Tuesday, November 24, 2015

More good mail

Just as I was starting to think that today's blog post would involve pictures of paint drying (and how exciting is that?), I checked the mail and found a package from Kitty and Kat Miniatures waiting for me. (How lucky am I? It's the second good mail day I've had in less than a week...)
Selection of small scrapbooking paper pages, miniature books and a wrapped parcel peeking out of a bubble bag.
The package was full of  goodness: some small scrapbooking sheets,
Selection of small scrapbooking paper pages and dolls' house miniature books, tinsel, pottery and accessories with a note on a table.
a selection of design books (made by Kat),
Selection of five modern dolls' house miniature books on design, one of which is being held between a finger and a thumb.
 a tiny gnome figure,
Tiny dolls' house miniature gnome ornament, being held between a finger and a thumb.
 and some lovely blue pottery.
Two pieces of dolls' house miniature pottery with blue glaze.
Also included were two packages of tinsel (also made by Kat), a magnifying glass, a letter A for my collection and a thumbtack wall piece.

Thanks Kat! I can't wait until I have the time and head space to start making scenes again so I can use some of these...

Monday, November 23, 2015

Porch post

After the weekend's trip to see Ann from Victorian Dollhouses, and extra roof beams ordered cut and in the mail to me (thanks to the amazing Karen at JWT Dollshouses and Miniatures), things are definitely looking up on my HBS Creatin' Contest build..
Dry fit of a dolls' house shed kit, with stained weatherboarding taped to the sides and pergola posts and struts taped in place.
 So much so that I ventured into the next step: building the pergolas for the sides.
Dry fit of a dolls' house shed kit, with stained weatherboarding taped to the sides and pergola posts and struts taped in place.
 The first trial is bodged together with bits from the kit that I don't think I'll be using, just to get an idea of size.
Dry fit of a dolls' house shed kit, with perspex and weatherboarding taped to the front and pergola posts and struts taped to the sides.
Ideally, I think the pergolas should be double the width, so my writers can sit outside when it's raining without getting wet, and even move their desk onto it on fine days, if they feel like a change of scene.*
Dry fit of a dolls' house shed kit, with stained weatherboarding taped in place and white sliding door frames fitted.
I also cut down the centre wall to fit and was most chuffed to find that my dodgy cutting isn't so obvious when the wall's in place.
Inside rear view of a dry fit of a dolls' house shed kit, with a central wall installed.
Inside front view of a dry fit of a dolls' house shed kit, with a central wall installed.
Speaking of chuffed, I returned from my weekly digital sabbath to find this in my inbox:
Etsy notice celebrating the first sale in my shop.
(*While looking at this picture of the sliding door frame installed without the doors, I suddenly saw a future version of the build with the pergolas covered in and turned into a tiny bathroom and kitchenette area. Oh dear. I'd better forget that idea as quickly as I thought of it...)


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Nice and clear

When I visited James at Victorian Dollhouses last weekend to buy some tile sheet to complete the build for the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery exhibition, I mentioned that my next step was to get the front windows cut at my favourite perspex place. His wife, Ann, said that if I popped down this weekend she could do it for me.

Who was I to resist such an invitation?
Half-built dolls' house miniature kit, on a bench with tools.
As I put the pieces of the kit together so she could see what I was working on, I had a bit of a whoopsie:
Beam from a dolls' house miniature kit, snapped in half.
 At which point Ann introduced me to a miracle glue, Hafixs professional glue (see a video demonstration), which had my beam back together in seconds.
Person holding two pieces of broken dolls' house beam together.
Bottle of Hafixs professional glue held up in front of a mended beam in a dolls' house kit.
We then got down to the nitty gritty of working out exactly what I wanted, and as Ann realised I had no idea what I was doing, she drew me a diagram of how to design a window to support the perspex.
Person drawing a diagram of how windows are built.
And suggested I should build the front first and then she could cut the perspex to fit my windows, rather than my original plan which was to cut the perspex then build the front around it.
A diagram of how windows are built.
After some more discussion we decided that the safest approach would be to cut a piece of perspex to cover the entire front, then build the walls and window frames onto it.

She introduced me to her Olfa p-cutter, which cuts perspex quickly and cleanly.
Olfa P-cutter on top of a piece of perspex.
 And, before too long, she had measured.
A piece of perspex held up in front of a dry-fitted dolls' house kit.
Person measuring and marking a piece of perspex against a beam.
Person measuring a piece of perspex.
Cutting a piece of perspex with a p-cutter.
and split
Bending a piece of perspex along the cut line.
A piece of perspex broken in two along a cut line.
 a piece of perspex that fitted the front perfectly.
Holding a piece of cut perspex up against the front of a doll's house kit.
For me, it was another moment of 'Gosh, things are easy when you know what you're doing'.


Friday, November 20, 2015

The aftermath

This morning was a mad dash to complete my two scenes before I was picked up by a friend to deliver them to Goulburn Regional Art Gallery for their 'What's in the toybox' exhibition, which opens next week.

As usual after a major project, my studio is in complete chaos.
Work table of a miniature artist, in a complete mess.
And, even worse, have a large cutting mat and tools in the middle of my kitchen floor: I found myself moving from over-crowded spot to over-crowded spot in search of somewhere to finish the next part of the work before the deadline.
Large cutting board, ruler, stanley knife and various bits of card and paper on a kitchen floor.
We drove through 40 degree (104 Fahrenheit, for those on the other side of the world) heat* to reach the gallery, and were diverted off the highway because of a grass fire*, but it was worth it to spy this at the entrance:
Pamphlet rack on a wall containing pamphlets for the 'What's in the toybox' exhibition and various related public programmes.
 and these little houses in the exhibition before the one I'm in:
Ronnie van Hout's 'Cold shoulder to cry on' sculpture of a house on legs in a gallery.
Ronnie van Hout's 'Timing that Flawed' sculpture of a house with legs in a gallery.
Once I got home and did some research on the artist, Ronnie van Hout, I was delighted to discover that he is not only a fellow kiwi, but that he also created 'Fallen robot', one of my favourite sculptures in Lower Hutt, New Zealand...
Ronnie van Hout's 'Fallen robot' sculpture of a metal robot in a pond.
High on my agenda for the next couple of days is some serious down time (possibly including some TV-series binge watching) and napping, hopefully not at the same time. And some major house cleaning and organising.

(*How can this be? It's only November!)
27 November - 24 December 2015
An exhibition of works particularly for children but also suitable for adults in need of a little nostalgia in the lead up to Christmas.  From original book illustrations to colourful sculptures and hand-made wooden toys by local Goulburn Woodworkers, there's something  in the toybox to delight everybody.
Civic Centre, Bourke Street
Goulburn N.S.W.
Tel. 02 4823 4503

Open Monday - Friday 10 am – 5 pm,   Saturday 1 pm – 4 pm  (Closed Sunday and Public Holidays)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thank you

I took a step back for a day, and read your comments. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I returned to the build with a clearer idea of what I needed to do next. One of those things turned out to be putting the first coat of 'creosote' on the side siding. Which suddenly made the whole thing look much better
Dry fit of a dolls' house shed kit, with stained weatherboarding taped to the sides.
(especially combined with pulling the cardboard central wall template out of the pile and re cutting it to fit around the front and rear beams. Buying a better roll of masking tape. And adding some furniture pieces).

And I've emailed someone to see if they can laser cut the extra roof beams I need to extend the roofline out over the pergola area. Because I know there's no way I can do that myself.

Meanwhile, I visited the newly-opened Canberra IKEA yesterday and couldn't resist buying a pair of light-up pears to add to my collection. Since I only need one in the collection, I thought the other would make an interesting garden sculpture for the build...
Dry fit of a dolls' house shed kit at night, with an Adirondack chair and a light-up pear sculpture outside it.
Speaking of IKEA, while I was there I noticed that they've added another set to their Huset range. Once again, out of scale for 1/12, but still tempting as the rug would work fine, the wardrobe doors could be hacked for front doors. And that dragon!
Set of IKEA dolls' bedroom furniture.
I may need to take Wendy out for a visit.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Presents in the post

That was mean of me, keeping you in suspense about what was in yesterday's delivery from Mod Pod Miniatures.
Selection of items wrapped in blue and teal tissue paper, laid out on a tabletop with an envelope on top addressed to Anna-Maria
Shall we open the contents together?
Selection of wrapped items laid out on a tabletop
 The first excitement were these fabric pieces. The bottom one is particularly timely as I approach the six-month mark of quitting my toxic job.
Two pieces of black and white fabric printed with words.
I love these frames and am very tempted to start trawling eBay to find more and I think they'd make a fabulous gallery wall. Except I'm not supposed to be spending any money...
Hand holding two white scrapbooking frame embellishments.
 Great pictures, once again with perfect messages for me right now.
Sheet of scrapbooking pictures.
 And this! An Old Navy purse keychain (after I removed the keychain bit).
Hand holding up a dolls' house miniature leather handbag with metal straps.
Oddly enough, I've had this LiLu clock on my Etsy wish list for a while but never got around to buying it, so was excited to unwrap it.
Hand holding a modern dolls' house miniature square perspex clock.
 Black and white cushions! With letters! Much excitement (and many exclamation points!)
Hand holding two modern dolls' house miniature black cushions with white text on them.
 A lovely desk, 
Hand holding a dolls' house miniature mid-century-modern desk in wood and metal.
 And a SLICE Tilt coffee table, which is an amazing piece of design.
Modern dolls' house miniature Slice coffee table with a sculpture and decorative plate on top.
There was more: I thought I'd just showcase the highlights.
Selection of dolls' house miniatures and craft items laid out on a tabletop
 Thank you so much for your generosity, Mad for Mod.  I feel very spoilt and inspired.

And rather guilty, as I have this sitting under my desk:
Shopping basket with a pile of shabby-chic-style fabrics, a collection of letter Ks and various other items in it.
 A basket of swap items waiting to go in the mail. I'm hoping to get to it after the exhibition at Goulburn Regional Art Gallery opens next Friday.