Saturday, April 02, 2016

Ticking the box

Here's how I made the light box I blogged about yesterday:

While I was at work I pondered and plotted and came up with many options for how to make a working light box. A number of them very complicated indeed. Finally, after doing some research on my lunch break, I decided that the easiest way to make the letters was by printing onto clear stickers. And it so happened that Officeworks had the perfect solution for quarter of its usual price.

I popped out there after work, and while I was there picked up a couple of folders that I thought would work for the light box front and the channels for the letters (I'd originally wanted to make it with working channels made of styrene so I could change the letters but then decided that was the way madness lay and so went for an easier option.)
A packet of A4 clear printable stickers and a white plastic and white cardboard  folder.
 Total cost? Under $10.

At home I dug through my tubs of projects that I should have finished months ago to find a brooch box that I'd painted black for a custom order (sorry Tina: you're going to have to wait a while longer...).

I knew that if I could ignore the fact that the dimensions weren't quite correct, it would transform easily into the body of a light box.
Plastic tub containing a number of miniature wooden crates and packages of miniature items.
I stole the wiring from The Hideout,
Nine-volt battery with wires and switch, and a miniature light bulb.
 and drilled a hole in the back of the box for the bulb to go through.
View from above of a hobby drill drilling a hole in a miniature crate.
Miniature light bulb set into the back of a miniature crate, next to a nine-volt battery and a hobby drill.
Light shining behind a white plastic folder.
After this trial, I decided that perhaps a lower-voltage system might be better, I was going to test my theory but all my AA batteries needed charging so I pressed ahead before I lost momentum.

I cut strips of the cardboard folder to act as channels for the letters: again, they could have been neater but I was going with a proof of concept and knew I could cut better versions later.
Modern dolls' house miniature light box, half built but lit up.
At this stage I was starting to get excited.
Modern dolls' house miniature light box, half built but lit up, with hand for size reference.
The final step in my experiment was to print off some letters. I cut my sticker sheets down to A5 and did a test print (during which my printer decided to start running out of ink. Just after I'd returned from Officeworks. Typical!)
Modern dolls' house miniature light box with the words 'let there be light', half built but lit up, with hand for size reference.
The end result was good enough to prove that it was worth some further work to make it awesome.After I'd had some sleep.

The next steps? Try a lower voltage system. Cut new (straight) pieces of card for the channels. Re-print the letters and then cut them down to look more real. Glue it together. Make a scene. Then spray paint a new brooch box for Tina's commission...

Friday, April 01, 2016

Let there be light...

After being set a challenge by an Instagram follower this morning, I can home tonight and made a mock-up of a miniature working light box.
Modern dolls' house miniature light box, lit in the dark with the words 'let there be light' on it.
A perfectly normal way to spend a Friday night, wouldn't you say?

I took photos, which I'll share with you tomorrow. I might even finish it properly!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Not at all what I'd planned (day two)

I've not made any progress on yesterday's build. In fact, things have gone backwards (I thought I was being burgled last night: until I realised the sounds I was hearing was the Blu Tack falling off the walls, and the shelves with it:)
Modern dolls' house scene of a kitchen with the shelves above the bench fallen off the walls with stings of Blu Tack remaining.
And since today's priorities were elsewhere, things have stayed the same. And I realise that this is how I end up with half-build scenes that never get blogged...

On a positive note, last night I finally finished three commissioned pieces from last year's sPIN exhibition at ANCA: just in time to give them to the recipient for her birthday:
Three miniature cedar crates containing letters of the alphabet and items that match. From left to right: 'B' and five miniature books, 'C' and a bottle of champagne with two glasses, and 'G' with a watering can and trowel. A finger is shown for scale.
And this morning I dealt with the 171 photos I took for The tiny Times at this year's ACT Miniature Enthusiasts show. I treated myself afterwards with a trip to the National Gallery of Australia to (finally) see their Black exhibition.
Entrance to an exhibition with the name of it ('Black') on the lefthand wall, with explanation text below. On the right a man in a red shirt is looking at an all-black art work.
Interior view of an exhibition of black art, with several black work on display to the left, and a black Issey Miyake dress on display on a  mannequin on the right.
Which was well worth it: highlights for me were works by Jospef Albers, Josepeh Cornell, Colin McCahon and various other New Zealand artists.

And then I came home and finally tried creating some kitchen storage containers from the Tic Tac boxes I bought last June.
And pondered the fact that unlike most magazine people, I seem to be existing about a year behind, not six months ahead :-/

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Not at all what I'd planned!

Today's plan miniature-wise was to finally make a scene that's been banging around in my head for far to long, using a magnet that I bought in October 2014 showing Cuba Mall in Wellington; the wire day bed I bought at Daiso almost a year later; some fabric I've had cut out ready to sew into cushions for far too long, and the afghan rug that minicrochetmad sent me last June.
Flat lay of a modern dolls' house miniature wire day bed with a brightly coloured afghan rug draped over it, a brightly coloured painting and several square pieces of brightly striped materian on the floor
Well that was the plan.

The reality is that the day bed demanded to head in a whole different direction (my miniature furniture does that sometimes...) And suddenly I had this mock up:
Modern dolls house miniature bedsit scene with a day bed, wing chair, circular fluffy rug and side cupboard in soft shades of white, grey and rose.
Which, you'll agree, is nothing like my original concept.

The scene got bigger and bigger and I finally ended up with this:
Modern dolls house miniature kitchen in colours of white, grey, black and pink. In the foreground is a vase of roses and an easter afternoon tea laid out.
(Plus a lot more. I plan to share the full journey with you tomorrow.)

Friday, March 25, 2016

A touch of decodence

I seem to be on a bit of a masculine-themed miniature jag at the moment, with the gentleman's study on Sunday, the night club on Tuesday and now this:
Art deco style modern miniature room with a Barcelona day bed in the foreground and a silver sideboard in the background, next to a potted palm.
(I wonder if this is the home of the owner of Lorraine's? Perhaps it's Stephen, who I thought was an antique dealer, but I could be wrong (or perhaps he's a man of many interests...))

The scene started with the first thing I bought at last weekend's Canberra show: a black and white Art Deco picture (for the pricely sum of $1). While cleaning up my work table this morning (I know!) I decided the picture would work perfectly with the metal tin I picked up in the Blue Mountains in October. And the black, gold and silver fabric that's been banging around in stash for so long that I've completely forgotten where it came from.

Which lead me to pull out the Barcelona day bed Elvira sent me back in 2014. And I was off. Added a potted palm (of course!) A walking cane, hat and parcels (thanks to Mad for Mod for the top one) for the day bed.
Art deco style modern miniature silver sideboard with a selection of white, black and gold-coloured items displayed on it.
And, finally, a selection of suitably luxe items for the top of the sideboard: including a couple of vases from my experimenting back in October, a magnifying glass courtesy of Kitty & Kat Miniatures, a quill pen from Michelle's Miniatures, a glass bird from the Canberra Show ($3 for three plus a larger one) and a silver car charm from the Cockington Green Gardens gift shop.
Art deco style modern miniature silver sideboard with a black and white picture hung above it and a selection of white and gold items displayed on it.
And that statue in a display case? I'm most proud of that.

The display case is a coffee table from the Lundby SmÃ¥land Red Living Room Set (60.2081) which I opened for a scene in December last year. And the statue was originally a bright shiny plastic game piece from a Monopoly set I picked up in an op shop. A quick blast with copper and black spray paint and it's almost unrecognisable.
Art deco style modern miniature silver sideboard with a display case containing a horse and rider statue, and a glass bird and silver car ornament displayed in front of it.
I'm well pleased and have the urge to spend the rest of the day watching Poirot episodes...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A light for Lorraine's

The first thing I bought at last weekend's ACTME show was from Wendy Benson's 'bits and bobs' box. I have no idea what it was originally (possibly some sort of bottle lid?) but it screamed '1970s nightclub chandelier' to me (and started this song playing in my head).

And for 50 cents, I really couldn't go wrong, could I?

After I got home from work tonight I took a deep breath, remembered what Lorraine from Fairy Meadow Miniatures taught me when she visited, and set my drill to work. And ended up with this:
Close up of a modern dolls' house miniature 1970s-style chandelier.
which I built a scene around, deciding to call it 'Lorraine's Night Club' in her honour.
Modern dolls' house miniature circular booth, table and modern chandelier above.
It makes me want to return to my 1980s clubbing days...