Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I spent the last day of the year in the Land of Little Houses*

It was only when I returned home from my day trip to Brisbane to visit the fabulous exhibition California Design 1930–1965: Living in a Modern Way and downloaded my photos that I realised I seem to have spent the last day of 2013 taking photos of little houses. Which is not a bad way to spend New Year's Eve at all, wouldn't you say? (Warning, some of these shots are a bit rough and ready)
 This is a display at the Queensland Museum of buildings made by school students. I forgot to take a photo of the display information and I can't see any information on their site. Notice the Sydney Opera House at the bottom left!

At the California Design exhibition there was a Barbie Dream House:
 (Plus many other treasures
 which I will share with you when it's not 11 pm on the last night of the year and I've just returned from a full-day adventure in a state far far away...)

 Also at the California Design exhibition, a bird's eye view of one of the Case Study Houses
 and little house-shaped gift boxes for 'trend setting store' Joseph Magnin, designed by Joe Hong:
 In the pop-up gift shop, I was tempted by this book, which seems to meld two of my interests together quite perfectly:
 Surprisingly, they also had a copy of Scandinavian Design in the Doll's House (and more surprisingly, no reac miniature chairs) At $95, it wasn't within the budget I'd set for the trip so I left it where it was, after leafing through it several times.
 These miniature houses were for sale at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art shop , which is kind of sort of part of the Queensland Art Gallery (where the California Design exhibition was on), but not really. My brain got quite confused but happily followed my body two doors down the cultural precinct when I it realised there were five gift shops to mine for minis within 150 metres.
(I'd actually discovered the Little Building Co when doing some research for the trip, and was keen to see some of the kits in person, even though they weren't 1/12th scale).

Back at the Queensland Museum I decided I had to check out the Collectormania exhibition, if only because I'd bought the souvenir black and white tea towel from the gift shop.

And one of the collector's pieces on display was a model hobbit home by Peter Kenny. Not really my thing, but miniature, so I took some photos as best I could with the perspex in the way:
At the same exhibition, there were some dioramas to showcase a collection of toy soldiers:
 (Did I photograph the display details? No.
Can I remember them? Also no.) 

Other miniature-related displays in this exhibition included miniature pianos (Susan Johannessen),
 And miniature (but not doll's-house-sized) baths and toilets, salesmen's samples from the local antique centre.
(As a random aside, at lunch there was a lonely lizard. The first table he tried to join for lunch weren't quite so keen on the idea.
 I last saw him waiting forlornly for table service: obviously no one had told him that the QAG cafe only does counter service...)
(*And finished my Daily Dolls House December challenge!)

Monday, December 30, 2013

The endless summer

Today was the first day of the second week of my holiday. It's also the first time in years that I've had so much time off over Christmas, which I could get used to very easily.

And tomorrow's the end of the year. I have a wee treat* planned to mark the occasion.
One-twelfth scale modern miniature office with wood-panelled wall, and wooden desk. On the desk is a yellow typewriter, set of yellow books and various pens and pencils in a glass.
(*Or a big adventure, depending on how you look at it...)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Making a date

What I've been up to this morning, thanks to Vistaprint and their tempting discounts on custom calendars...
Alas there are no discounts on postage, so they're not due to arrive until January's almost over.

(Which is better than the last two years' calendar, which seem to have not been made at all...)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

It started with a sketch

A number of mini ideas have been percolating in my head in the week I've been off work, with influences including blog reading I'm catching up on, magazines I'm reading and scenes already made.

Yesterday as I collapsed onto the sofa after a usual busy end-of-year day (it was my annual Vacuum Under Things Day, which didn't get terribly far as the first thing I vacuumed under was the table next to my bed, which required shifting rather a lot of books first. Which also needed to be vacuumed) I found myself dreaming of a retreat.

And, suddenly, I grabbed the nearest available piece of scrap paper and pen and sketched this:
(It seemed rather apt that it was an article on Judy Horacek's work:
If you don't know of it, go check it out immediately. She is a national treasure).

This morning over breakfast I was reading the latest Inside Out magazine and came across this page:
 which brought together several of the themes I've been playing with recently, including the idea of a creative retreat, a small shed and the re-use of recycled building pieces.

This lead me to picture a collection of similar but unique sheds dotted around a property, with each visiting artist adding their own homely touches for the duration of their stay (thanks are due here to Kate Ward for documenting her time in residency at Hill End so thoroughly, and Wallpaper magazine for an article I now can't find in my pile of back issues. Plus, of course, My cool shed...). And, more intriguingly, this idea would give me the freedom to explore a similar themed series to the Limited pop-up shop series, which each build giving me the opportunity to create a quite different occupant

The final piece of the puzzle came to me this afternoon during the screening of the movie Touch the Earth Lightly (about Glen Murcutt’s work), which was part of an Arc film event Australian Architects on Film 1. One of the people being interviewed in the film was standing on a balcony in Paris, overlooking a vista of rooftops. And I suddenly thought 'The Garrets! A holiday village for creatives!'.

On my return home, I started a mock-up (and got quite nostalgic as I remembered that this was my first window...)
I added a plain white table, 
and a lovely vintage wire bed, which I trial-dressed with the table cloth from the seaside shack as a bed spread (what I originally bought it for) and an old hanky providing faggotted-edged bed linen.
Then a chair
before the wall with the french door was added to see how it looked.
Monastic. Serene. And worth finishing off properly (or as properly as is needed for a good blog finish)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Quiet and contemplative

Modern one-twelfth scale tray for Santa, with a can of wine, a plate of cookies, a glass of candy canes and a carrot for the reindeer.
Not matter what your plans are for tomorrow, or what you beliefs are, I hope you have a quiet, contemplative and relaxing day. With too much good food. And a present you bought for yourself, just because.

(I'm giggling as I realise it seems I don't own a miniature beer can: I only noticed this one was full of wine when I was loading the photo...)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Second-hand scores

It's been a while since I last went op shopping, and I did very well mini-wise on that trip. So today, after a morning at the car wash catching up on reading while Miss Daisy had her six-monthly bath, and lunch with work friends, I did the rounds of some north-side op shops.

The first find was a stash of tapestry yarn skeins, just perfect for mini knitting. At 50 cents a skein, the lot came home with me to be added to my stash:
(Let's not talk about the fact I have a shoe box full of similar finds that I have not yet touched, shall we?)
 I also picked up a set of plastic drawers like the ones I used to hold larger-sized mini accessories. For $4, I'm happy to ignore the fact that these are white and the rest of the ones I own are black.

And, finally, there's a handful of National Geographics. Because every holiday house needs a pile of old National Geographics somewhere. I tried to convince myself (and a friend) that,in the seaside shack, they were hidden away in the sideboard, but I wasn't convinced. And I'm not sure she was, either. 

Oh, and in case you're in need of a pile of National Geographics in your mini scene, download this photo (Click on it to get the large size, then right click and 'save image as'):
Resize the image to a height of 2.125 cm (or, if you work in  1/6 th scale, 4.25 cm), print it out, cut it out and then glue around a piece of balsa wood (or similar) the correct size.

Then relax secure in the knowledge you have one of the main ingredients of the perfect summer break. In miniature, at least...

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mending my ways

It's a tradition around here that the Christmas break is used to catch up on things left undone for far too long.

And today was no exception, with the theme being clearing my workbench downstairs (again) so I can actually use it (again). 

The things I like most about this time of the year is the lack of feeling that there isn't enough time. Which meant I spent a satisfying half hour unpicking the edging off one new
and one op-shopped bamboo runner
 so I can actually use them in scenes.

Fifteen minutes dismantling various Typo finds for the parts, followed by ten minutes making minor repairs to miniature furniture.
And then I pulled out this box lid of bits needing major repairs or reupholstering, some of which have been here for an embarrassingly long time.
 After sorting them out into some semblance of order I decided a break was necessary before tackling them
(and besides, all my clamps are being used in other, full-sized, repairs I also got around to doing today).

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Brunch at Good Brother

It's the first day if my sixteen-day-long Christmas break today. And I'm having brunch and a long-overdue catch up with a friend this morning.

Last night I collected a package of mixed vintage miniatures from the post office. And one of the items included was this:
Which I discounted and put aside as I admired the pieces I actually wanted from the lot.

But (of course) I woke up far too early this morning, with that plate of food playing in my mind. And a fully-formed plan to build a miniature version of Good Brother, the local cafe I'm hoping to visit for brunch.

I was most pleased with this plan as it meant I could finally use my Navy chairs in a scene worthy of their fabulousness.
And so the build started. With a concrete floor, courtesy of a ceramic tile from Bunnings, and a chalkboard wall courtesy of the Typo factory outlet  Not Quite Right table.
One of the major decorative features of Good Brother is a cardboard stag head trophy on the wall. Which I happen to have in miniature (thanks to the much-missed Amazing Miniatures)
I flesh the scene out with some another feature of Good Brother: the industrial shelving unit that holds the water and goodies for sale.
 And decide I am done.

(What do you reckon, have I captured the essence of the place?)