Sunday, May 09, 2021

Sunday got-it-done day

 This week saw the arrival of my early birthday treat to myself: a box of Whittaker's chocolate goodies from Kiwi Corner Dairy, who thoughtfully arranged a 20% off discount just when I was planning to order: meaning delivery was free (and super-speedy!).

DHL carton of bags of chocolate on a sofa next to a copy of Home NZ magazine.
Of course, before I got stuck into finishing that damned sofa today, I got a bit sidetracked...
One-twelfth scale bag of Whittakers artisan squares sitting on top of two full-sized wrapped squares of chocolate, on a work surface containing bits of half-finished miniature sofa.
But finish it I did (even though by the time I did so I'd lost the light for a decent photo).
One-twelfth scale modern miniature dolls house sofa with cushions, a book and a bag of chocolate on a work surface.
Which is probably just as well, otherwise I may have been tempted to make a 1/12 scale DHL carton to complete the madness!

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

An evening in the ensuite...

 Between the work I'm doing collecting, inventorying and packing bits for the National Trust Victoria exhibition, the fact that work has settled down to pre-2020 madness so I have some brainspace left at the end of each evening, plus the fact that last weekend was the Sydney miniatures fair (to which I did not go) miniatures has returned to the front of my mind.

Add to that today's theme for the May mini makers challenge on Instagram, which is 'What I did today', and I had the perfect kick in the pants to pull out my half-finished sofa from January and try and make some progress. In my ensuite.

Ironing board set up in an ensuite, with a variety of craft supplies, an iron and a half-finished one twelfth scale modern miniature sofa on top of it.
Yes, some people work on their minis in their kitchen, and various other rooms in the house, but I'm not sure how many work in their bathrooms. I usually do my ironing in here because of the good access to a power point, and it also gets excellent evening light: very useful as the evenings set in.

So the ensuite it is.

FLat lay of a half completed one twelfth scale modern miniature sofa, scissors, ruler and fabric pieces.
Now I just have to remember where I was with it...

Saturday, May 01, 2021

A visitor and a trip

 In a turn-up for the books, I currently have my old Kaleidoscope House sitting in my garage.

Colourful perspex Kaleidoscope dolls' house sitting in a garage under a dropcloth.

(I never mentioned here that I sold it, come to think of it: but it was in that crazy time just after I'd bought this place and realised it wasn't going to fit anywhere here, which was very sad. Luckily a friend had always said she'd buy it off me if I ever decided to sell, so it's been living with her ever since, just one suburb down the hill from here).

No, I haven't magically found room for it (alas): rather National Trust Victoria is working on an exhibition at Como House in Melbourne (which looks like a dolls' house!) running from June to August this year (pandemic allowing: and also nicely timed to fit around the VAME show, assuming that goes ahead).

Details are still sketchy at this stage, but I've been told it will cover miniatures across many realms: from their history in Australia to creators, and more virtual approaches like games and social media, and I know that James from Victorian Dollhouses is currently building a Melbourne terrace house for it.

They contacted me asking if it was possible to have the Kaleidoscope House in it. Friend and I both said yes, which means that today I'm hunting down and pulling out the furniture from the various spots I stashed it, and having a wee mope.

Collection of brightly-coloured one-twelfth scale modern miniature furniture and accessories laid out on a dining table.
Tomorrow I'll be creating an inventory of it all, trying to work out what it's worth for insurance purposes (very hard when many pieces are either one-of-a-kind, or well out of production), and packing it all up.

We're also in discussion on another way I might be involved. Stay tuned for more details...

Friday, January 08, 2021

Finish it off Friday: sofa so good

 It's the end of my first week back at work, and I'm easing in quite nicely so far. 

It helps that I'm still working from home full time (oh how I love working from home, how much more I achieve here, and how sad will I be if I'm ever forced back into the office full time again!), and that the temperature is still nicely comfortable for me so my brain is still sprightly and firing on all cylinders at the end of the day.

And so, as the week drew to a close I started considering the idea of a second Finish it off Friday for the year: the sofa from day 28 of Daily Dolls' House December that got put to one side.

Aerial view of a plastic container holding a half-made one twelfth modern miniature sofa, with various components to finish it surrounding the container: double-sided tape, spare fabric, foam and pins for feet.
And perhaps even venturing out to buy some replacement fusible webbing now the Christmas craziness at the shops has died down...

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Daily Dolls' House December 2020: round up and musings...

After completing the final scene for this year's Daily Dolls' House December challenge, I had the urge to collate all the images, and then decided to make a bookmark (something I've not done since 2011: which has to be a good sign, I think...)

Montage of 31 one twelfth scale modern miniature scenes
I started my Daily Dolls' House December challenges back in 2013, and have managed to complete them for 5 of the years since. (2014's challenge fell over because I was also editing The tiny Times and working in a toxic role, both of which sucked my time and brain space away halfway through the month, and I didn't attempt 2015 (as I was exhibiting and, again, editing) or 2018 (shifting!)

When I started the challenge this year I was wondering if it was worth doing it at all. But it ended up being surprisingly easy (even if I moaned a bit at times about the added challenge of incorporating the date).

Of course, working from home made it easier during the first third of the month, as I had more time to commit to the challenge (and the luxury of being able to prep at lunchtime if necessary).

And the rest of the consequences of the whole COVID times helped a lot too, as once I was off work for the year (a week earlier than usual because I wasn't able to make my usual second trip to New Zealand this year so had that week's leave up my sleeve), there was very little enticing me from my studio.

I now get my groceries delivered (for $2!) rather than visiting the supermarket and dealing with the crazy too-close people. Although I can go op shopping if I want to, it's more stressful than it's worth dealing with the other shoppers and the staff who seem to have completely forgotten that physical distancing is still a thing. (Besides, with much less room than I used to have and way more stash than I need there's very little reason to go op shopping anyway...)

Gallery hopping or movie going are currently also on my More trouble than they're worth list.

Which left me in the perfect position to happily lock myself away in the studio.

And my initial moaning about incorporating dates changed it's tune once I realised that having that parameter gave me some boundaries: on days where I needed to create a fresh scene, I knew in advance so could do some prep work beforehand. And once the scene was made (photographed, blogged, Instagrammed, Facebooked and FLICKRed), that was it for the day.

Similarly, if I already had something lined up for the day's post that left me free to do other things.

I found it liberating in an odd sort of way: there were times when I'd finish a scene, prepare the already-lined-up post for the next day and have a sense that I was 'free' for 48 hours: and then end up spending that time doing a deep sort and cull of stuff I haven't touched in years.

So although at first I thought this year's challenge tougher, it ended up being easier as once I'd hit my mark I could focus elsewhere for a predetermined time.

And speaking of predetermined time: at some stages of the challenge I felt like I was back in the newspaper world, where once the issue went to bed there was nothing more you could do with it. In previous years I could carry something over to the next day, but this year I 'had' to have a scene blogged before midnight (or, more accurately, 9 pm bedtime). This meant there were a few times where I was tempted to redo something but had to pull myself up and remind myself that done was better than perfect, and I would probably be the only person who noticed the mistake.

And the weather's helped a lot: it's been a cool summer which means my brain (and Blutack) haven't dissolved into a sticky mess.

Now it's over for another year: how do I feel?

The word I've been using a lot when people have asked how my break was over the first few days back at work is 'recalibrated'. I also feel chuffed that I finished another challenge, and rather pleased with some of the outcomes.

So yeah. Defeat is not an option. At least not this year.

I'm also hopeful that I can find time in my weeks to include some mini making and blogging: but I seem to recall I say pretty much the same thing in those first glorious days of each year, and then as various obligations and distractions start building back up, things fall to pieces again.

Perhaps with the variety of external distractions much reduced this year (for the foreseeable part of it at least), and another year of settling in to smaller quarters behind me, it'll be different.

We'll see.

Friday, January 01, 2021

Finish it off Friday

I have a rather long post about my Daily Dolls' House December 2020 challenge in production, but thought I'd spend some time this morning returning to another 'challenge': Finish it off Friday.

This week I finally completed the magazines and records I printed out at the beginning of last month for my two tone dance party.

One twelfth scale modern miniature scootering and mod magazines next to a plastic crate containing a collection of records. A few are on the ground in front of the crate and a full-sized hand is pulling one out of the crate
Which made me a bit sad, as I sold all my records before I moved in here because I didn't have the space to keep them...