Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mid-week news

There is excitement in the air at The House of TSS this week.

Firstly, I popped up in The Huffington Post again yesterday.
Secondly, I'm in discussions with a major international newspaper which is wanting to publish a photo essay of my work.

Thirdly, for those of you who read this via your feed reader, you might want to pop over to my new page and have a look (excuse the smell of new paint and piles of sawdust and tools: it's still very new. And, hopefully, very temporary. Let's call it an online pop-up shop, shall we?)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Yellow table 2

In a slight deviation from the plan, before I got to creating a room based on the yellow table and the tea towels I bought yesterday, I remembered the scrapbooking paper I picked up for a song at Eckersley's some  weeks back.

And wondered if I could come up with a home-schooling or playroom scene. A bit of a challenge since I don't usually do children's rooms so didn't believe I had much to work with.

But I dismantled today's earlier scene with the table, leaving just the table and the plain walls. Pulled out the paper and started by creating a feature wall with it. White floorboards seemed like the right match and so down they went.

At this stage I went downstairs to do the dishes, giving my subconscious time to think of options. Spied the undercoated hutch in the dining room and decided that would work well as a storage cupboard. Back upstairs, a rummage through my box of chairs resulted in a lovely mismatch of items and the scene came together:
 I call it 'Snack time'. Thus ensuring I don't have to decide if this is a class room, a home-schooling scene, or a playroom. :-)
 I used coloured pins for temporary handles on the hutch which I think pulls the table and hutch together visually. (I managed to use in my recent magnet purchase, too!)
 A sheet of corkboard made a suitable wall covering for the second wall, and highlighted the hutch and contents.
 The other end of the room is a play and reading area.
(And, currently, a bit of a mess...)

Yellow table 1

So, before I get sidetracked with new ideas incorporating my recently-painted yellow table, I threw together a quick scene using my original inspiration:
I call this one New York City boy. It started with a length of printed felt that came back in a bunch of fabric I took to use at hAbitAt 2013. Perfect to turn into a rug.

Checked rug? Yellow table? What else could I do but put together a scene inspired by a New York City taxi? Except, as I searched through my stash of accessories I came across a Keith Haring print that Amazing Miniatures sent me as part of a swap a couple of years ago (which I can't recall having used properly yet). And the scene turned into a more general hat-tilt to New York. (Note the big apple in the corner...)

Saturday, June 22, 2013


In my last post, in reply to a question from Hunky Dory, I talked about where I get my modern miniatures from. And I promised to talk about  'miniature-eyes' (as opposed to 'miniaturise').

Today a friend and I visited the local factory outlet mall so I could show her the Typo factory outlet. And, since we both need more exercise, we did the whole loop, Including the homewares hub. 

I, as always, made a bee line to the napery to check out the black and white tea towel situation and what placemats and napkins that I could use in miniature.

And decided, after making a few purchases, that this is as good  a place to start talking about 'miniature-eyes' as any. Here's what I bought from Freedom Furniture's sale:
 Two shiny silver and one red placemat ($8.46 each: I see floors and wall treatments), two rubber 'Carnival' coasters ($3.74 each: cool wall art or table tops) and a fundraising magnet ($2.21: wall art)

At Adiars, this three-pack of tea towels caught my eye:
$6.95 for the set and the yellow would work perfectly against the yellow of the table I spray painted last week.

My friend was quite amazed, saying 'You can see miniatures in everything!'. And that's the thing. You can. Just as long as you're looking right.

(This does make it a bit of a problem when you're working with people who wear business shirts and ties which would make excellent miniature upholstery and bedding. There is no polite way to say to someone you hardly know 'When that wears out can I have it?')

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A good question!

Today, Hunky Dory left a comment on my last post:
Do most of your things come from Australia or do you shop 'round the globe? You always find such cool things and it seems so much here in the US is not really very modern.
And I realised it's been almost six years since my post on Where to find modern miniatures. (Six years! How did that happen?! But look how much our little community has grown in that time...)

So, the short and sweet version of my answers:
Do most of your things come from Australia or do you shop 'round the globe? 
 I shop around the globe.
You always find such cool things and it seems so much here in the US is not really very modern
You're quite right, but it's the same anywhere, I think.

And the longer version:

I'm lucky enough that the only dolls house shop in Canberra, Victorian Dollhouses (such an unfortunate name, don't you think?) is owned by people who have an understanding of modern, even though they have a love of (much) older design.

(Yay! I finally get to use the photos I took way back in December!)

Apart from occasional visits to Victorian Dollhouses, the only 'local' buying I do is at the two shows I go to each year: the Canberra show each March (a very small affair, with very little that can be defined as modern at first glance) and the Sydney show each May (the largest in the country. Which, sadly, isn't quite as exciting as it sounds...)


(and it's a big but) because of the reading of interior decoration mags (Yay! to our local library service for giving us access to many online editions through Zinio for free) and blogs, I can see how more traditional items can be modernised.

I also have an eBay 'super search' which pulls up all sorts of interesting things but I have to say that, over the past few years, I've not been using it much as a) I've been a bit broke and b) I seem to have priced myself out of the market with such intensive marketing of modern miniatures as a hobby.

But, sometimes, on a quite Sunday, I go and have a rummage. And not just on eBay Australia. But also the UK, US and German sites. Finally, my background in information management and linguistics makes sense: I was training to search for dolls house treasure!

I also steal like an artist (odd, because that's what I am: and you are too, but you've probably not realised this yet)

So, to pull this all back to the post the question was asked on. Here's the photo of what I was working on over the weekend  (and I have to admit I felt a wee bit odd sharing it):
And here are the back stories:

'Zimmer frame*' (or desk), desk and school chair: Otterine mentioned them on her blog. I immediately went to eBay and bought the lot. I'm sure we'll approach them differently. (*The fact a Facebook friend mentioned 'Zimmer frame' makes me think in a whole new direction. Loving me some miniature kismet)

Hutch: You first saw it as part of my Sydney Show stash this year (and possibly remember its twin from the shabby chic room)

Sleigh bed: A gift from Jennifer. Always planned to be painted with blackboard paint but sidetracked along the way and now, suddenly, silver?!

Table: Another Sydney Show purchase, always with repurposing in mind...

Bird house: Oh man, this was last seen here in 2007. And, since it was originally bought to go in a house I no longer own, and isn't my current style, has languished in my box of bits for years. Monday night, while reading Elle Decor online, I spotted a white birdhouse and realised I already had one. Just not painted yet...

And I now realise I've probably only only answered half of your question. Next time I'll talk about 'miniature-eyes' (as opposed to 'miniaturise')

Unless someone else takes up the Talking Stick?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Minis, not meals...

What do you mean, you use your dining table for eating meals?
I use mine for drying spray-painted mini furniture in the warm...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A questionable exercise

While I was putting away the pieces from my last scene I spotted a couple of things I'd picked up weeks ago from the Typo factory outlet lurking in the piles of things to use.

And, suddenly, there was another scene. 
Can you guess what it is?
Here's another clue...
It's the office of a lady P.I.!
One-twelfth scale modern miniature office scene in shades of black, grey and hot pink.
(Perhaps it's our big game hunter, who has upgraded her office since we last visited?)

Thinking outside the box

While cleaning up my workbench earlier in the week I came across a vintage cardboard box I picked up from an op shop months ago for a whopping 10 cents: 
It was nestled beside some shelving from a recent eBay order. Which became the starting point for a new scene:
 (Especially when, as my sorting continued, I came across this image by Hannah Riden that  I'd pulled out of a New Zealand art calendar given to me by my Parental Unit (female).)
 And so, this morning I pulled the rest of the scene together, using the rustic boards from my New York loft scene, but on the wall this time.
 It's the snug of a New-Zealand-based man of the world.
Or something!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Green scene

Today in Canberra is dark, grey and freezing. So I made a light, spring-like scene!
My inspiration was a crocheted 'mug coaster' by Seesew, picked up for $5 in her sale bin at yesterday's Handmade Markets.
The feature wall and poster are from the Typo factory outlet.
And the daybed is from my box of stock from the Sydney Show, waiting to be listed on Etsy (although I'm getting tempted to just create a new page on my blog and send out Paypal invoices).

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Kaet's Place

Isn't it interesting where mini inspiration comes from?
This afternoon's scene started with a black and white houndstooth tea towel that a work friend gave me last week to add to my black and white tea towel collection, which I thought would make a striking miniature carpet.

Rummaging through my stash of not-yet-used items, I came across a very old set of Mickey Mouse calendar pages I'd chucked in there ages ago. Which were nestled up against some cheap magnets I'd picked up in Kmart last month.

And suddenly I thought 'I'll do a room inspired by my friend!'. Kaet likes Mickey Mouse, houndstooth, red, and travelling.
Also on my radar was the fact this weekend is Shop Handmade's Handmade Market and episodes of Kirstie's Vintage Home that I've been watching recently.

Throw it all together and what do you get? A collaborative crafting space, newly opened, (which explains the empty shelves and lack of cushions and stuff much better than 'I was inspired so late in the afternoon I had to stop and take photos before I lost the light'!) which will host a range of crafternoons and classes.
The palette is red and black and there are travel souvenirs dotted here and there.
 (And there's a possibility the tea towel which started it all will never make it to the tea towel cupboard. Perhaps I need to buy a spare?)

Saturday, June 01, 2013

A grand day out

I was very happy to discover my birthday trip to Sydney coincided with the last weekend of the Wallace and Gromit exhibition at The Powerhouse Museum. And, as a member, I got in for free...
 Entry to the exhibition was through a replica of the front of their house.
I was going to say 'full sized' but then  realised this is actually an over-sized replica of the original and, once I started thinking more along that path, my brain started to hurt...

 Here's the first set from the films from the outside:
And the inside...
(I'm ignoring all the non-miniature parts of the exhibition, by the way!)

The next set was the dining room:
(Here's the lovely Miggs admiring it...)
The restaurant from A matter of Loaf and Death:
 Gromit in the TV studio control room:
( and a close-up of the control desk.)
 The kitchen:
 (with a 'Smug' fridge!)
 (And an excited me...)
Finally, there were some garden sets:
I hope you enjoyed joining me for a miniature tour of the exhibition...