Monday, December 05, 2016

In a holiday mood

I planned to work on Saturday's scene yesterday, but decided starting the end-of-year big clean early (since I missed last year's and the year before's), and so ended up doing nothing mini-wise, but a great deal otherwise.

I planned to work on Saturday's scene after work today, but ended up visiting friends and running errands instead.

I then planned to start a series of 'round up' posts: I figured the end of my tenth year of blogging was a good time to do some cleaning up and add more meaningful tags to a pile of my posts, so they can be found more easily (and I'm just talking about by me!) I also thought that doing this would highlight some older scenes which newer readers may have missed.

I was half way through the first round of this massive task, when my computer decided to hang on me: and as it was past my bedtime I decided I really didn't fancy staying up an extra hour or two to finish the first round-up post, so would have to put it off until tomorrow.

I believe that a blog post without a picture is a pity, so here's the first of my 'holiday house' scenes, originally posted back in 2007:
Modern one-twelfth scale miniature balcony near the sea, with a director's chair  and sunhat.
(I actually made the scene well before I started blogging...)

Sunday, December 04, 2016

And I think it's gonna be a long long time...

My friend Tina and I went on an art date yesterday and visited Beaver Galleries to check out their Small Works 2016 exhibition.

As I hoped, there was a new Alex Asch to drool over:
Woman standing in front of a miniature building in an art gallery.
(I tried to take some photos of the inside, but there are much better ones in an album on his Facebook page...)
View through the window of a miniature building.
Facade of a miniature building in an art gallery.
(I ignored the little voice inside my head evilly suggesting that it would be a perfect 'Well done, you got a fabulous ongoing job and a pay rise' gift to myself...)

Other favourite pieces in the Small Works exhibition included Bunretsu (schism) by Kenji Uranishi: 
Woman looking at small porcelain buildings in a gallery.
 which reminded me of Le Corbusier apartment buildings,
Small porcelain building-shaped works in a gallery.
and this (actually quite large) gold pear by Nick Wirdnam, which I would have brought home to add to my collection, had I had a spare $2,700 banging round.
Large black and gold pear and apple on display in a gallery.
 I also loved these small folded book pieces by Maryann Mussared:
Small folded book art on display in a gallery.
but wasn't tempted by them as I already own a (larger) piece by her.

Other pieces for sale in the gallery shop, that I would have been tempted by if I had pots of money include City of the Dead by Ruth Oliphant:
 (I do love her work).
And I think Reader kneeling by Patricia Lawrence would look perfect on my front porch, don't you?
Large statue of a girl reading displayed in a gallery garden.
Oh well, dreams are free...

Saturday, December 03, 2016

While waiting for things to dry

So it felt like time for a 'warts and all' post. No, I'm not going to show you the state of my studio, but I will share the fact that after my last post where I was feeling all smug about managing to whack together a project and a kit after coming home from work on Friday, I realised that I hadn't noticed that the two trays were slightly different sizes.

And I had (of course) painted the wrong bases with the wrong colours (hang on: is that like a double negative?). I had a moment, after I noticed, where I looked at my now white tray with a wooden frame and my black tray with a white frame and wondered if I should just embrace the serendipity of the error, but knew that it would drive me nuts.

And so I had to wait overnight for the paint to cure, and then respray both bases, keeping my fingers crossed that there wouldn't be any more whoopsies in the process.

While I waited I started thinking about what sort of scene would suit each tray. Since the room I'd made for the exhibition in Goulburn last year was still out (I'd used it for both the last two scenes) I decided to be lazy and use it a third time. I pulled out a black bed I bought at the Sydney show, and thought it would be fun to create an Airbnb place.
Modern dolls' house miniature room set up in dark shades of black, brown and cream.
Once again I hit my fabric stash, and spotted another free Spoonflower sample, printed with a design I'd created a couple of years ago. I thought it would make a great doona cover, until I noticed that it had a big chunk missing out of it and remembered I'd used it to make customised notebook covers soon after:
Three notebooks: one is white with a martini glass drawn on the cover. Two are covered with fabric printed with various letter As in wood tones.
No worries, it would still make a great bedcover folded at the end of the bed, or cushions (which I suspect is what I'd originally planned to make with the left-over bit).

I started grabbing things from my stash, almost at random, and trying them out: gradually building up an eclectic collection of almost gothic-y pieces. Including an empty chocolate box I'd saved from last Christmas's chocolate tradition (and which I'd bought with the thought of reusing the box in a scene), which I thought could make an interesting room divider/ headboard.
Modern black dolls' house miniature bed set in a room set up in dark shades of black, brown and cream.
Other bits that settled into the room included a table from my German haul of 2013, a stool from Hideout Cafe (2015), my new book press, a window from a kit picked up at the 2013 Craft & Quilt Fair and the fireplace and chimney sent to me by Elvira in 2014 (which I have used before).
Modern dolls' house miniature room corner with a vintage table, metal stool, book press and wooden window frame propped against the wall on the table.
And this hutch, which I started painting way back in 2011, and put aside for over five years, while I decided if it needed a second coat! 
Modern dolls' house miniature room corner with a vintage shabby hutch dresser and wooden gothic window propped against the wall.
The scene seemed like a good place for my new pipe shelving, but I needed to grunge it up a bit first with random sprays of black and copper paint.
Modern dolls' house miniature room corner with pipe shelves leaning against the wall and a black egg chair in the foreground.
There was space on this side for a sitting area, which is still looking very plain. But perhaps that's a good thing as a contrast to the darkness and business of the rest of the room?
Modern dolls' house miniature room corner with a white sofa, black egg chair and a wooden side table.
And here's a shot of the whole room as it stands, with random bits and pieces included that may or may not work in the final scene. I'll work on it a bit more tonight and then leave the old subconscious to think on it overnight before (hopefully) finishing it off and taking the final photos tomorrow.
Modern dolls' house miniature room in progress, stuffed with various items of furniture and accessories.
(Unless, that is, I get distracted by something else new and shiny in the meantime...)

Friday, December 02, 2016

Finish it off Friday: Tray bien*

It seemed like a good time to return to an old weekly  habit, especially as my box of kits seems to be much fuller than I remembered...

I started with this Dragonfly International two-tray kit that I picked up cheaply at this year's Sydney show.
One-twelfth scale miniature tray kit in packaging.
At work today, while I was thinking about starting the Finish it off Friday challenge again, I remembered this kit: thinking it would be an easy way to ease back into the habit. But I couldn't decide how best to finish the tray, tossing up between 'light and bright' or 'dark and moody'. So I was pretty happy to discover, when I dug the kit out of my stash, that I got two kits to play with. Problem solved!
One-twelfth scale miniature tray kit pieces arranged next to the instructions.
 I've been at the pieces with the spray cans: now I just have to wait overnight for them to dry properly before I glue them together.
Half-finished one-twelfth scale miniature tray kits: one has a black base and wooden edges, the other a yellow formica base and white edges.

(*Yes, I know that's not how it's spelt...)

Thursday, December 01, 2016


I'm home with a headache today: my brain is numbed with painkillers but I was still able to make some minis.

This challenge started with a Rement camera that my friend brought back from Japan for me earlier in the year. I decided it would work well with the dresser I bought at convention, and a picture I'd cut out of a Bose advertising mag that came with a Wallpaper magazine a while back.

Since I already had the concrete tile and wooden wall out for the scene I made yesterday, I decided to reuse both for today's scene (forgetting, I note, to replace the skirting board...), and filched the futon bed from Margell.

Suddenly, things were coming together.
Modern one-twelfth scale miniature bedroom scene.
And I made things! The doona cover fabric was a free Spoonflower sample from when they launched their eco canvas a couple of years ago: I'd planned to make into a suitably-themed doona cover for Margell. And then forgotten about until I started looking for fabric to work with what I'd picked for this scene.
Modern one-twelfth scale miniature futon bed with a doona cover designed to look like notebook paper.
I printed the rug on fuzzy paper: the design is from a full-page ad for the Govett Brewster Art Gallery that I pulled out of a magazine a few months ago: it was sitting under the Bowie picture in the pile and I thought they went well with each other. A quick scan, a quick print and I have a one-of-a-kind rug: which pleases me as not only does it suit the theme of the room, but reminds me of my visit to New Plymouth last month.

And this. My pièce de résistance:
Modern one-twelfth scale miniature pegboard shelving in wood, white and red.
I've been seeing a few miniature pegboard shelves around the placebased on the Kmart ones—and had been wanting to try making one myself. To this end, I picked up a piece of circuit board last time I was passing Jaycar and decided that since I had the time today (and a run of good crafting mojo), I'd have a crack, using what I had at home.

It's not perfect, but as a proof of concept, it's good enough and I plan to experiment further with the idea at a later date: possibly as a new stock item for my stall next year?

The thing I like about the shelf, is the range of gifted minis included on it. The cat and camera were from my friend Hannah. The arrow, from Kitty and Kat Miniatures. The box is from convention goodie bag. And the rubber flag? I picked that up in a carpark while I was in New Zealand...
Modern one-twelfth scale miniature leather satchel, boots and socks dumped on the floor at the end of a bed.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

In which I accidentally create a Christmas-themed scene...

Modern miniature scene of a black ghost chair next to a white scrollwork side table. On the chair is a shoebox filled with Christmas decorations, and on the table, a tray displaying Christmas baubles in  silver and hot pink.
I only wanted to display the scrollwork side table that was made from a solar light cover (and idea I yoinked from Mad Missy Minis).

But, somehow, the scene that emerged has a decidedly festive bent. *Shrug*.

Actually, I'm quite pleased as it means I got to use the tinsel given to me by Kitty and Kat Miniatures this time last year, The strings of miniature Christmas lights (some deconstructed!) sent to me by Catherine earlier this year. And the 3D-printed wall art given to me by friend Sandra while I was in New Zealand last month.

Time taken (excluding painting time): 20 minutes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Taking stock

(Card stock, that is...)

Last weekend I caught up with a friend who recently visited New York.

'I brought you back a little something' she said. And added, almost apologetically 'It's really quite small'.

After assuring her that I really REALLY liked small things, she handed me a card. Not just any card, but a card she bought at the Museum of Modern Art gift shop. A card that could be turned into a one-sixteenth scale Ercol butterfly chair
Fingers holding a greeting card by One to Sixteen, which contains pieces to make a model 1958 Ercol butterfly chair.
If this isn't a good example of what the phrase 'It's the thought that counts' really means, I don't know what is...

Last night curiosity got the better of me, and I opened the package. Read the instructions. Punched out the parts (super-easy, especially as little arrows were printed on the backing pointing to where the chair pieces were attached to the card.)
Card containing printed pieces to make a model 1958 Ercol butterfly chair, and glue to make it.
Then realised that there were bits on the backing that weren't explained in the instructions. And the picture in the instructions of how to glue the chair together was very small. And very confusing.
Piece of cardboard threaded through a curved slit marked 'seat curve'.
Luckily, this morning I noticed the words at the bottom of the instructions: 'Further assembly instructions:'.

I checked out the website and found full, clear and easy-to-follow instructions.
Glue, ruler, scissors and toothpick plus a half-built cardboard model of a 1958 Ercol butterfly chair.
Hand holding a half-built cardboard model Ercol butterfly chair in front of online instructions for making the chair.
 And pretty quickly my flat pieces of card turned into a chair.
Almost completed cardboard model of a 1958 Ercol butterfly chair, set in a jig in front of the tools used to make it.
 They've thought of everything, as included in the package is a floor and background to display your finished piece in.
Completed cardboard model of a 1958 Ercol butterfly chair, in a printed room setting.
The only problem? I want some of the other models. And they're not sold in Australia. :-(