Sunday, January 12, 2020

Weekend green thumb

This was the view of my poor long-ignored ivy kit yesterday evening:
1/12 scale miniature plant kit with bare stems in a plant pot filled with 'soil' on top of a cotton reel, with a packet of air-drying clay to one side and a set of instructions behind.
late this morning: 
1/12 scale miniature plant kit with half bare and half leafy stems in a plant pot filled with 'soil' on top of a cotton reel, with tray of extral leaves on one side and a pair of pliers on the other.
 and, finally, this evening:
1/12 scale modern miniature scene of a wooden mid-cantury modern sideboard with a string of pearls and an ivy plant on top at one end, and three vases in yellow, orange and teal at the other. Above the sideboard is a print of an animal waering a spotty T shirt in the same colours.
I still need to arrange the stems a bit but am happy with the general end result, and even more happy with the fact it's finally done with counting and gluing and can move on to something else!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

It's good to see you again my friend...*

I'd arranged to meet my former colleague/ boss (now friend) this afternoon to visit the Reg Mombassa exhibition at Ambush Gallery in Kambri at ANU (I've had a soft spot for Reg's work, not just because he's a fellow kiwi living in Australia, but because he has a dolls' house in his studio...)

We got a bit lost as neither of us had been there before, and ended up finding a lift that took us straight into the gallery from the plaza.

So it wasn't until we left, via the front entrance, that I spotted something familiar in the foyer below. Raced down the stairs and stopped dead in front of Bette Noir, delighted to see she was being used once again as a publicly-accessible miniature gallery.
Miniature gallery on a stand in a foyer space.
Closeup of an exhibition in a miniature gallery.
Part of an exhibition in a miniature gallery with a paper bird and a sign saying 'How to look at art'.
I felt a bit teary, to be honest, and wondered how long she'd been just up the road from work without me knowing...

And to make the whole thing even weirder, in the blog post from when she arrived into my life, the contract that I'd just started, that was sucking up my energy (and that morphed into my current role), was the one where I first met the colleague/ boss/ friend I was standing in front of her with.

(*It's been a long long time.)

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Well that was tedious

1/12 scale ivy plant kit instructions laid out on a cutting mat alongwith two small white trays holding q total of 245 teeny tiny ivy leaves, arranged neatly in rows.
And not quite 250, but I figure close enough: and having spent all afternoon separating teeny tiny ivy leaves from each other I'm not inclined to go back through each one to find where the other five are hiding.

I need to rest my eyes for a while, and then I'll start putting it all together... (And interestingly enough, so far it's more soporific than scary...)

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Leafing it to the last minute

And so I finish the year, and this year's Daily dolls' house December challenge.

Alas I haven't finished yesterday's kit, but I've opened it up, read the instructions (twice) and sorted out the pieces. Then I started carefully prising the stacks of leaves apart, holding my breath, and being paranoid that I'd accidentally sneeze and blow all the little teeny tiny leaves all over the place, causing me to spend next year trying to hunt them down (the instructions say there are at least 250 of the blighters in there...)
View through a desktop magnifier of a (badly stained hand, holding a miniature ivy leaf with a needle stuc into the side of the leaf. In the background are a set of instructions, several more miniature ivy leaves set out on a tray, and three miniature plant pots.
Today, in the list of yearly tasks, I repotted my work pot plants (and one from my bathroom) ready for another year. They're like hermit crabs, all moving up a size pot each year, and (not like hermit crabs) gradually all ending up in self-watering pots. Alas, it looks like Robert (Palmer: geddit?) is now so big, I may need a hand truck to get him from the car to my desk this next year...
Selection of potted plants grouped on a balcony fllor, next to a half-used bag of potting mix, a couple of empty pots and several stalks of spider-plant pups. In the background is a large pear made from old horseshoes.
But that doesn't explain the state of my hands in the first picture. After exactly a year of many excuses ('Too hot!' 'Too cold!' 'Too worried I'll balls it up!' 'Too difficult to schedule three to four times, exactly twelve hours apart...') I finally realised this morning that if I scheduled staining at 7:30 am and pm over the next couple of days, when the weather was coolish enough to safely stain,  I could possibly get these armchairs' wooden bits stained wenge before I went back to work for the year, and thus assembled, out of the workshop and into my lounge.

(Here they are in my shopping trolley on this day a year ago, when I snapped them up from ALDI for $30 each, marked down from $100, thinking I could try turning them into the frugal version of the IKEA Ekenäset. Which I'd actually bought two of just after I bought the flat, in that 'limited edition might miss out' frenzy, but knowing full well I had three years to return them if I changed my mind. Which I did and I did: partly because spending $600 on armchairs seemed ridiculous, but mainly because I quickly realised that the teaky-coloured wood didn't fit in with the wenge colour I had elsewhere in my lounge.)
Shopping trolley with two ALDI kitset armchairs stacked in it, with several more on the pallet behind it.
Anyway, that's a very long-winded way of saying that I finally plucked up the courage to not only deal with the scariest kit in the whole stash, but also two armchairs that have been sitting around in boxes in the workshop for a year.

So far the prognosis is not looking good, but I remind myself that first coats usually look like shit and to withhold judgement until the third (or fourth) coat is on. And if it's all a disaster, it was a cheap-enough one...

And on that note, I wish you a happy new year: may the best of this year be the worst of next, and may all your pleasures be tiny ones!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Make, do and mend Monday: the scariest kit in the whole stash...

I was out and about this morning: checking the post box, catching up with friends for brunch and popping into IKEA (where I was delighted to find just what I came for in the As Is corner, marked down by 30%. It would seem I not only have a Frugalling Fairy, but I have an As Is Assistant as well, and this is why I always enter IKEA through the exit!).

And since it's only three days until I head back to work for next year, I started on my list of yearly tasks.

So it wasn't until after 3 pm that my mind turned to today's blog post.

'It's Monday, so we can do a make, do and mend.' it suggested. 'Something quick, easy, take a picture of the completed item, up it goes, bang, done, head to the (newly vacuumed with washed cushions) sofa, recline for the afternoon and finish your book.'

'Go on...' it wheedled. 'Only two days of this year's Daily Dolls' House December challenge to go, and the only rule was to blog something miniature related...'

Alas, when I opened the drawer of small kits, I spotted this:
1/12 scale plant kit of ivy, with instructions, leaves, wires and a hand holding an empty terracotta plant pot.
The scariest kit in the whole stash. One that was bought for a house that I sold 23 years ago to pay to move my belongings from New Zealand to Australia.

And suddenly, it seemed like a jolly fine idea indeed to mark the end of Daily Dolls' House December 2019 by confronting my (miniature) demons, and actually having a crack

Who knows? It might turn out to actually be quite easy, and then I can feel like Grover in The monster at the end of this book.

(Either way, as I pointed out to a friend a few days ago about something else, it'll make good blog fodder...)

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The sailor's daughter

And so he did. And so she did.

Which meant I got to mock up the beginnings of the next scene in the space (that's why there's a kitchen cupboard on the roof...)
1/12 scale modern miniature scene of a kitchen, dining room and lounge in shades of white, teal, grey and light wood in a flat overlooking the sea.
The story is that when the sailor died, his daughter moved in: but not before getting rid of a lot of the 'old tat' in the place, and moving and modernising the kitchen (I probably need to think about getting another kitchen set as I use this one quite regularly).

She did keep the stove and fridge, which were still newish, and a number of pieces of her father's that she liked, and worked into the new scheme, such as her father's trunk, globe, model yacht and telescope, and the terrazzo floor...
1/12 scale modern miniature scene of a kitchen and lounge in shades of white, teal, grey and light wood in a flat overlooking the sea.
(The sofa that I'd pulled out to test my box-frame scene worked well here, paired with an Eames rocking chair from a box of goodies received from Elvira back in 2014, a rug gifted by Mitchymoo Miniatures in 2015 and cushions which I swear were also a gift but I can't find documented (although I suspect they were part of this package from Mini Dork...))

In the space where the old kitchen and (huge) table was, she added a set of industrial shelves, a tulip table (from my now-sold Kaleidoscope House.. *sniff*), some Tolix chairs, a small desk (from Mini Mod Pod), paired with a school chair (from my seaside shack), and a low sideboard (the repainted Europa sideboard from the next build after that).

1/12 scale modern miniature scene of a dining room in shades of white, teal, grey and light wood with a terazzo concrete floor.
(The lamp base is from a necklace picked up on a recent op shopping adventure, and the shade my trusty Irwin Interior Decorator Set, which I have used in many scenes over the years).

It pleased me greatly to add a new satchel for the sailor's daughter: like father, like daughter, obviously!

Now I'll let the whole thing sit for a while to mature, which will give me time to decide what I'm going to do about wall coverings, and if I like the sea-washed paper above the kitchen or need to try something bolder (or softer).

Plus decide if that wall cupboard needs to move down into the kitchen or not...
Detail of a 1/12 industrial shelving unit stacked with kithcenware in shares of teal, white, grey and light wood.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

This ship has sailed (The Saturday shelfie)

Back in August, I placed my Lori Ballet Studio on my desk, above my laptop, and in direct line of sight in the hope that it might cause enough inspiration to make me find time in my life for miniatures.

It worked (sort of, and much later than I'd hoped) but this week I've found that it's been sitting there taunting me as I sort out other parts of my life that were long neglected as I packed and moved last year.

'Bloody hell', I finally declared around 3pm.'It's Saturday. Do a quick shelfie of the kitchen. Blog it. Then you'll be done and dusted for the day and can go back to sorting out your files...'

So I did:
1/12 scale modern miniature scene of a kitchen bench with a fold-down toaster, chopping board and bowl of fruit on it. On the shelf above are two containers of tea, a cannister of sugar, a packet of Weet-Bix and a half-used jar of jam.
 (Of course, you know what happened next...)
1/12 scale modern miniature scene of a kitchen bench with a fold-down toaster, chopping board and bowl of fruit on it. Next to the sink is a glass, a scourer, a sponge and a bottle of washing-up liquid. On the shelf above are two containers of tea, a cannister of sugar, a packet of Weet-Bix, a half-used jar of jam, a jar of vegenite, a packet of Sao crackers and a packet of Lemon crisp biscuits, a box of barley sugars, a salt and pepper grinder, a tomato-shaped tomato sauce bottle, a jar of spaghetti and a cask of red wine.
 I finished the kitchen.
1/12 scale modern miniature vintage table with a plate of scrambled eggs, a knife and fork and a large mug of tea on it, In the background is a kitchen with a stove on which there is a kettle and a fry pan with an egg slice balanced on it.
 Then I finished the lounge.
1/12 scale modern miniature lounge scene with two mid-century modern armchairs in grey with dark stained arms and legs, an early twentieth century cupboard, a battered sea chest and afghan rug on the floor. On the wall is a framed picutre of a boat and an abstract landscape. On the windowsill is a globe, several piles of books, some shells, a telescope and a flat-screen TV.
 (Deciding that it's much easier for my sailor to live in the present day...)
1/12 scale modern miniature windowsill over looking the sea. On the windowsill is a globe, a flat-screen TV, a vintage telescope, several piles of books and a number of shells.
 And I think I'm done. 
1/12 scale modern miniature scene of a kitchen and lounge in a flat overlooking the sea.
(Although there's a small voice in my head suggesting that my sailor might be due to die, and then his daughter take over the space...)