Sunday, December 10, 2017

Making progress

It was another productive day today, with me taking my own advice and deconstructing both the Buzz Bar Café and the Seaside Shack builds. It was surprisingly easy, with the tape being so old it was hanging on with a wish and a prayer.

(As I pulled out the cardboard wall for french doors, I realised that it's been exactly four years since I last made a proper scene with that wall...)

The first step was a rough build: with the door wall from Buzz Bar on the left, the temporary wall with the scrapbooking sheet I chose to use for the room when I first started thinking about it in 2014 at the back, and the french door wall on the right (I already know I only want one set of french doors on the wall so have bodged together a test with the window wall from here cut down for now). The floor is the one I used for the Seaside Shack kitchen, turned lengthwise.
One-twelfth scale modern miniature lounge in soft blue, grey and red with a sectional sofa, a fireplace and french doors.
The good news is that the wall with the french door and window works well (I'll need to cut a new wall to combine them, which is no problem). The grey pinwale 'carpet' piece I have in stash fits the floor exactly (and the scrapbooking paper fits the back wall exactly, too!)

The bad news is that the room is very squishy at these dimensions. Now this may not be a problem if I decide that the original shack is small and that therefore twelve feet across is a perfectly sensible size for a room in a house of this type (and age).

I ease the side walls out another few inches and try again. It certainly feels better, but if I decide on this size then I'll need to rethink the carpeting and also come up with a solution for having to use two pieces of the scrapbooking paper to cover the back wall (that is, if I can actually find any more pieces in stash...)

While I ponder, I play around with the artworks I'd planned to use as a gallery wall, to see if there are other ways of displaying them that would work.
One-twelfth scale modern miniature lounge in soft blue, grey and red with a sectional sofa, a fireplace and a dolls' house. Arranged loosely across the back wall are a variety of art works with a heart theme.
 (And remind myself that I really need to get back into framing again).

By this time I needed to get the washing in, but was side tracked by the painted school-chair frames sitting on the workbench by the back door.

They're now finished:
Three one-twelfth scale miniature school chairs with frames painted in seafoam colours and seats and backs made of recycled wood pieces.
(well, apart from the fact that I've not yet painted the rubber stoppers on the bottom of the legs. Part of me is thinking that I don't need to since the chairs were spray painted a different colour to what they were originally. But I have to decide if they are vintage chairs redone, or new replicas: this will inform my stopper-painting decision. And yes, I realise I'm probably the only person who would have noticed it if I'd not mentioned it...)

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Sort-it-out Saturday

I have email back on line and spent most of the morning sorting out the backlog that built up while I was sorting the laptop situation out. And doing five loads of washing (as it's the first fine weekend we've had for far too long).

This afternoon I started on some hanging projects. These chairs, for instance, had their first coat of paint, and I found some scrapbooking paper that I think will work well for the seats:
Three one-twelfth scale school chair kits, each painted a different shade of soft blue, green and white, on a cutting mat along with the cans of spray paint and a piece of scrapbooking paper
 And I potted plants:
Five one-twelfth scale potted plants on a cutting mat surrounded by empty pots, spare foliage, a pack of air-drying clay and a cleaning rag.
I've still not found my marriage equality cushions, and have done nothing with the seaside shack lounge build except knock the tray of bits onto the floor (and pick them up again), and start to ponder exactly what should be included in a beach-side holiday home lounge. (I keep seeing french doors to the garden).

Perhaps it's finally time to deconstruct the Buzz Bar Café build and create a new space for future adventures?

Friday, December 08, 2017

Flash-back Friday

While I work on piecing my (electronic) life back together, I thought you'd be interested in reading this post I wrote way back in prehistoric blogging times about modern miniatures.

Reading it again over a decade later, I realise how much the modern miniature scene has blossomed in that time, but also wonder about the sorts of scenes that we generally make. Are we being aspirational rather that representational? And, if so, is that a problem? (Carrie Becker, I'm excluding you from this...)

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Completely lost

I've lost the cushions I was preparing in the hope that today's news would actually come to pass.

Which means I've lost the opportunity to make the scene I'd planned to mark the event.

And now, to cap off a really crap week, I've lost access to the internet at home. Just as I was trying to install Office onto my new ( but please note very cheap and boring and not at all worth burgling me for) laptop.

Can the year be over now, please?

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Tidy-it-up Tuesday

How does time fly by so fast?

This evening while looking for something to blog about (because I'm at that stage of Daily Dolls' House December where I still find it hard to find my rhythm: probably because I'm still trying to fit it around a full day at work, rather than it being my main focus. Which will happen in eight working days...) I rediscovered a drawerful of bits from a scene I abandoned three and a half years ago.

Well, it wasn't really a rediscovery, more of a desperate 'I need to tidy up and this is prime studio real estate that could be used much more sensibly if I just pulled finger and decided to either finish the damned scene, or put away the pieces!'

I went with the first option, especially as it's holiday-home season for a lot of people.

The first step: to unpack what was there and decide what I needed to do next to get it over the finish line...

Monday, December 04, 2017

Monday: make, do and mend

Today I went with the 'make' option as my stash of hotel toiletry lids and other plant-pot-shaped things has become quite big, as has my range of artificial plant bits that are a good scale for miniature use.

I picked up a block of DAS from the newsagents on the way home to fill the pots with: I've not used DAS since I was a child, so am looking forward to reacquainting myself with it and finding out what else I could use it for (any hints and tips will be gratefully received!)
A tray of various bottle caps, a tray of various bit of plastic plant, two wreaths of leaves, a bag of modelling scenic material and a block af DAS air-drying clay arranged on a cutting mat.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Sunday: fun day

While I was putting away my goodies from last weekend's Daiso haul (sorry, links seem to be beyond the ability of my poor old tablet, along with resizing images and adding alt text: all of which I shall come back and fix up when I'm back on the laptop), I spotted one of the plastic apple charms I'd picked up at Pete's Emporium in New Zealand on my last trip. At the time they reminded me of a cross between the Philippe Stark gnome stool and the Third Drawer Down giant corn cob stool, so I thought they'd make a fun addition to a scene.
Instead they because the basic of a fun scene, along with the round grass mat I bought at Daiso and a wood slice I got for free from a craft store many years ago (balanced on the head of a wooden mallet I found in my stash of useful bits and bobs I might need one day).
Three 1/12 scale modern miniature stools in the shape of apple cores around a table made with a slice of tree with bark still on it, on a round mat of fake grass. In the background is a bar with a red watering can on it.
It's decided that it's going to be a pop-up bar when it's finished. The fun colours reminded me of a stash of cushion tops I had cut out and waiting for attention. And since the whole point of Sunday fun day for me is just having fun, and I'd unearthed the sewing machine in yesterday's cleaning frenzy, I decided a little sewing was in order.
1/12 scale modern miniature cushion fronts in bright colours and retro design, piled on a work bench next to a pair of scissors, some loose threads and a piece of plain fabric.
Which was just as well as it meant I could take the cushions along to a coffee date with a friend, and turn and stuff them while we chatted.
Cat-shaped pencil case with 1/12 scale modern miniature cushion covers spilling out of it. Other cushion covers wait to be turned on the table top, next to a pair of tweezers and a (full-sized) cup of coffee.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Shelfie Saturday

Shelf full of various pieces of 1/12 dolls' house furniture, stacked up in a higgledy-piggledy pile.
This is not the sort of shelfie I'd planned to blog today, but when I woke up to discover it was still raining and wasn't likely to stop anytime this weekend I realised any thoughts of spray painting anything needed to be postponed.

Instead a coolish rainy Saturday seemed to be the perfect time to start the yearly studio deep clean, even though I know from previous experience that the yearly studio deep clean is soon followed by the yearly summer-break creative frenzy, thus ending the year with the studio in worse shape than it was when I started cleaning it :-D

Friday, December 01, 2017

Finish it off Friday on the first

So with perfect timing, my geriatric (seven-and-a-half-year old) laptop has decided it needs to visit the computer doctor on the eve of this year's Daily Dolls' House December challenge. I fear it may be fatal.

And so I find myself unearthing my almost-as geriatric-tablet that no longer holds its charge and blogging with that balanced on my ironing board so the charger cord can reach the power outlet. And loading photos usng my phone (because the ancient browser on my tablet is no longer supported and therefore loading pictures is beyond its capabilities at the end of the week, on the first day of summer (cue weekly thunderstorm...))

Anyway first-world and twenty-first century problems. I'll (finally!) get to the subject of this post.

On the way back from our team's end-of-year lunch I spotted these outside a cafe in town:
Three cafe chairs around a table. The chairs have metal frames painted in pastel colours and seats and backs made of strips of recycled wood in various pastel colours.
and instantly thought of the school-chair kit I had tucked away in stash.
Pieces of a 1/12 scale kit for a school desk and chair next to the box they came in.
So once the rain stops, I'll be cracking out the spray cans...

(And try to work out how to resize the pictures and add alt text without a right-click option).

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

These are a few of my favourite (miniature-related) things over the past couple of weeks...

(You might like to get a cup of tea, or your beverage of choice before you start reading: it's going to be a long post...)

OK: first up, the candelabra painting was a success. I'm feeling most chuffed.
One-twelfth scale wrought-iron candelabra with candles.
Now, on to what I've been up to over the past few weeks (when I've not been at work, or making scenes...)

There was Canberra Modern, a new sub-festival of the Design Canberra festival (and very similar to the now-famous Palm Springs Modern week).

I'm really excited that such an event has started in Canberra as I believe we could be 'The Napier of modernism' (but without the earthquake).
Person holding a flier for the Canberra Modern festival while seated behind a row of chairs designed by Fred Ward.
My budgetary constraints meant I had to chose carefully, especially as several of the events included book signings of books that were firmly on my collection-development wish list.

First up was Modernist Love, a talk by Tim Ross who created the most excellent series Streets of Your Town (trailer here, watch the series here).
Tim 'Rosso' Ross and his latest book in front of an audience.
 Next was a talk by Geoff Isaac, the author of the first book on Australian mid-century modern furniture designer Grant Featherston (via a Kickstarter campaign I didn't quite get to in time).

This is one of the dining chairs that started his obsession:
Geoff Isaac giving a talk in front of a slide of a Scape dining chair by Grant Featherston.
and a photo of how he stores his collection now (and I thought I had storage problems as a miniaturist!)
Geoff Isaac giving a talk in front of a slide showing how he stores his Featherston chair collection.
This is the very rare E51 chair which has eluded him so far (it sold at auction for $17,500):
Slide of a battered Grant Featherston E51 chair.
And here he talks about the famous Talking Chair (during which I was plotting if a paper cup would make a good beginning of miniature version...)
Geoff Isaac giving a talk in front of a slide of a Talking Chair by Grant Featherston and one of them in use at the 1967 World Expo.
Finally he shared the story of the failure of the Stem Chair, with base and chair of differing materials:
Slide of a Grant Featherston stem chair, with the base and the top created from different materials.
Afterwards there was a book signing. I bought a copy of course, calling it one of my not-Christmas presents for this year...
Geoff Isaac signs a copy of the book he wrote on Grant Featherston.

The next talk on my agenda was The Other Moderns and I was delighted to see an unexpected mention of my old friend The Dixon Street Flats* in Wellington in a slide show about Australian émigré designers.
Rebecca Hawcroft giving a talk in front of a slide of the modernist Dixon Street Flats in Wellington.
Once again there was a book that I needed in my collection...
Display of copies of the book The Other Moderns on a table.
and a signing. (The author convinced me that I needed to make the trip to Sydney to see the exhibition that went with the book).
Rebecca Hawcroft signs a copy of her book The Other Moderns.

To round things off beautifully, Mary Featherston (wife of Grant Featherston) gave a talk about her and her husband's work, and his work with Robin Boyd,
Mary Featherston giving a talk in front of a slide showing a flier of the Modern Home Exhibition.
(including the house Boyd designed for them, and in which she still lives).
Slide of the interior of the house designed by Robin Boyd for Mary and Grant Featherston.
I was very pleased to see that she included pictures of maquettes and trial versions of the Talking Chair, which confirmed my thoughts on how to make a miniature version...
Mary Featherston giving a talk in front of a slide showing maquettes and tests of the Grant Featherston Talking Chair.
And then I went to Sydney to see this:
Entry to The Moderns exhibition, with a modernist chair in a display cabinet.
Man reading the introductory display on European modernism: the spirit of the age at The Moderns exhibition.
Photo of a mid-century modern lounge on display at The Moderns exhibition.
Photo of a mid-century modern lounge on display at The Moderns exhibition.
(Hey, I have one of those chairs in miniature!)
Modernist lounge on display at The Moderns exhibition.
Mid-century modern scarf fabric design on display at The Moderns exhibition.
Modernist lounge on display at The Moderns exhibition.
Modernist lounge on display at The Moderns exhibition.
Photo of a mid-century modern house on display at The Moderns exhibition.
and then stumbled across miniatures while I was there: a ghost-train winding box 
Model skeleton pushing a trolley of baggage at a miniature ghost train.
Model skeleton pushing a trolley of baggage at a miniature ghost train.
and Luna-Park chess set, both by Peter Kingston. (I'm now slightly obsessed with finding out what the winding box did when it was being wound...)
Chess set made up of pieces representing parts of Luna Park in Sydney,
Back home, the next stop was the opening of an exhibition at The Embassy of Finland in Australia, where Daniel Soma's model of the Futuro House had landed after his Sydney exhibition (which I missed, so was very pleased to learn had come to Canberra in a new iteration):
Model of a Futuro House in front of a wall of sketches of its design.
Model of a Futuro House in front of a wall of sketches of its design.
Interior of a model of a Futuro House set up as a lecture theatre.
Model of a Futuro House in front of a wall of sketches of its design and behind a window covered with replicas of original correspondence about the company.
(I was ever so good and wasn't even tempted to stuff the model up my top and head to the exit...)

(*In a weird twist of...something, one of the very first miniature club meetings, in the early eighties, was in the common room on the roof of the Dixon Street flats, where we made a chair out of a paper cup).

Monday, November 27, 2017

Where do I start?

Design Canberra festival.
Canberra Modern festival.
Book signings (and book buyings).
A trip to Sydney to see The Moderns exhibition at the Museum of Sydney.
Visits to four different branches of Daiso.
And an exhibition opening which included a scale model Futuro house.

I'd planned to spend this evening blogging about it all. And then a thunderstorm rolled in, so I'll (and you'll) have to wait until tomorrow...