Monday, August 26, 2013

Wooden't it be nice?

Another recent Typo scratch and dent find was this wooden box, which needed its lid re-glued: 
 The moment I spotted it I thought it would be a fabulous focal point for a cafe, perhaps on the back wall behind the counter with display shelves each side.

So yesterday afternoon I started working on a mock up, pulling the wood in with the tables and stools and mirroring the shape of the logo with the mesh beads. (I'm still undecided as to whether they're going to be ceiling fixtures or stay on the tables as candle holders...)
I was concerned that this set up would be too similar to my last cafe, but  once I added an old box underneath the cafe started to assert itself as a coffee shop that just happened to sell cups of coffee alongside the beans and machines it focused on.
Here are a few bits and pieces I've pulled out of stash that I think might work: a vintage German cupboard, some straws, cards and biscuit rubbers from Typo, and some anaglypta I forgot I had...
Of course the dawning realisation that a coffee shop would need to have many many (many!) bags of coffee made for its displays made me decide that I really needed to clean the (real-sized) bath and think about finishing the scene another day....

Sunday, August 25, 2013

At home with Hello Kitty

I was wandering past the newsagents at Belconnen Mall this afternoon when I spotted something suspiciously dolls house shaped out of the corner of my eye.

And so it was that I discovered the new part series 'At home with Hello Kitty'. I picked up issue one, mainly because I figured $2.95 was a decent price to pay for this set of plates and trays:
 Here's a picture of the back of the package:
 Some of the inclusions have potential for upcycling into useful pieces for larger scale scenes (At home is 3/4 scale...) This light fitting, for instance:
 some of the bits from the study:
 and some of the kitchen pieces:
 But I understand what I call the Del Prado principle, which is that what seems like a small outlay each week will end up with you paying way more than you need to for a pretty shoddy end result.

Having said that, I am tempted by the food included with issue 2:
Anyone else seen this series?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pinky Promise

Pinky Promise is a pop up 'bar for besties', situated in the same complex as Limited

The owner was keen to create a space where females felt welcome and safe, whether they were out for a drink with friend(s) or by themselves.
The background: Yesterday a friend facebooked a photo of Canberra's first laneway cafe while she was there for breakfast. And my lunchtime trip to Typo was with a colleague who has completely different taste to mine: all pink and sparkles and bling. 
The bits:  In last week's Typo hauls, I bagged a couple of pink, heart-shaped alarm clocks to pull the bells off, and some pink striped scrapbooking paper. At first I was just thinking of challenging myself to use a colour I don't much like or use in miniature.

And then I spotted the broken crate I also picked up last week:
The phrase 'pinky promise' popped into my head, and I was off...
 Turning the crate on its side gave me a narrow (18 cm wide) space, with good height for hanging the lights (plus a convenient hole to hang them from) and a complete back wall which I could use as is

I hung the paper on the side walls to hide the fact there was a split in the sides of the crate and used some contact paper I've had forever on the floor to give the space a bit of grunge to match the distressed back wall and ceiling. The bar branding is shamelessly swiped off a Google images search.
The big picture:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tick tock Typo

This is how the miniature brain works sometimes:

Take one newly-formed lighting obsession.

Add a pretty severe Typo scratch and dent table habit.

And sprinkle with a dose of miniature-eyes.

And suddenly, one day, you'll find yourself picking up a dead alarm clock and seeing it in a whole new *ahem* light:

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday shopping

Yes, I went to Trash and Treasure this morning, and yes I bought stuff for minis. Perhaps I'll show you that later but first, may I invite you to join me perusing the goods for sale at Limit3d?
Looks like they've had a bit of a makeover since we visited in May (and, previously, in December last year): they've painted the floorboards and counter. Plus added a new display cupboard (or perhaps it's for sale?)
 The vibe I'm getting is 'Fifties French'.
 (Someone's obviously got a sense of humour...)
 I'm loving this cosy nook full of fripperies. (Or is that 'fifties French fripperies'?)
 Don't forget to check under the counter...
Hmmm.... I'm tempted by the dolls house shop. And maybe the school chair. What about you? Anything catch your eye?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Tiny things at Trash and Treasure

An out-of-town friend was in town this weekend, and it's tradition when she's here,  that we meet up for a spot of Trash and Treasure market trawling followed by brunch.

Imagine my surprise to find a copy of Nutshell News on a stall at the Woden market:
 (Imagine my further surprise when I looked up and spotted a woman with a pile of Dolls House World magazines and a box of 1970s Lundby furniture! Unfortunately she had just finished buying them. But fortunately it was Ann Dowdall, wife of James, so I was pleased they were going to a good home.)

I bought a box of beautiful  bits for $5, particularly for the typewriter and the box of cutlery:
I also bought the vintage TV for $5 and paid $2 for the basket on the floor and the sea urchins on top of the TV. The blue Jean furniture, the grey cabinet and the Playmobil figure came from a $3 bucket of plastic toys found at the Jamison market.
(Total cost for everything in the picture, plus many more bits, was $15)

Also spotted this morning was this vintage Tonka camper van (parked, you notice, outside of an almost identical full sized version):
But since the asking price was $180, it stayed right where it was...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Craft show creativity

I know a number of people who attend the local Craft & Quilt Fair every year, but I've never been myself.

Until today, that is. Invited by a friend, I figured I'd go along, spend an hour or so there and wander back home.

How wrong was I? I arrived just after 10 am and left at 2.30 pm, bag bulging and mind reeling.
 I found many beads that would make great modern miniature light shades.
Each for prices measured in the 'X for $2' or 'X for $2.50' range.
(Good thing I managed to get out to Jaycar last week after the cluster lamp test, and explore the options for bulbs and power sources.)
These are, amazingly (in my mind at least) run off 1.5 volt AAA batteries.
I also found other miniature treasure tucked away here and there. The cloche base and cover were around $3 total. The Eiffel Tower charm, $1. The large plastic storage boxes, $1 each. And the bunting, window frame and telephone sign were part of the offerings from a company called Scrapmatts.
 I may have gone a little crazy there, but that's a story for another day...

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The six minute scene

So, with it being the middle of winter and the light being crap and work being full-on I'm only really making scenes on the weekends.

But my acquisitions are backing up. And I'm feeling frustrated at my (perceived) lack of mini-time.

So I've been pondering the idea of (yet another) challenge: The six minute scene.

Let me explain: I grab inspiration from somewhere (my stash, something I've seen that day in real life, online or in a magazine.)

I have five minutes to create a scene. One minute to document it.

And that's it.

What do you think?

(Image from waaaaay back in 2008)

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Dairy: done

It's a sunny winter Sunday afternoon. The studio's warm for the first time in weeks. And I've been trying to finish some stuff that's been hanging round on the work table for far too long.
This cardboard dairy, for instance. I've had the postcard it came from for years (possibly over a decade) and it's been sitting, half-finished, for months.
Now I just have to find the motivation to cut out and complete the bach and dunny from the same card...

Finally seeing the light

Sometimes it takes a while for me to get to things. Sometimes it takes so long, I've forgotten what my original inspiration was until I'm working on the project.

Today's experiment is a case in point. Many many months ago I picked up some IKEA battery lights at Trash and Treasure for $2, mainly for the shades that covered the bulbs:
 (Once I got home and tested the lights I discovered they were multi coloured. And flashed. The lights got passed on pretty quickly but the shades got stashed away)

I'd hoped that the shades fitted over the plain white IKEA Kallt lights I had, but no such luck. I was disappointed, as I'd hoped to experiment with making a set of cluster lights.

Today, as I was clearing space on my worktable to finish something (else) off that had been hanging round an embarrassingly long time, I rediscovered this set, bought at last year's Sydney show:
 and bingo! The shade fits over the bulb:
I plan to work on this idea further. I just need to finish that other thing off first.

(Oh, and the title of the post? Call of the Small was doing miniature cluster lights way back in July 2011)

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Continuing tales of a yellow table

You'd think, after three rounds (and over a month) in the spotlight, that dratted yellow table would have had enough.
But no, it keeps calling to me with new ideas for scenes. And since I'm not sure I'm actually going to complete any of them, I figured it was time to do another inspiration round-up post.

Idea 4

I bought this card from Fiona Roderick at the June Handmade Market:
 and it made me think of a study belonging to an Ornithologist. Or perhaps a writer of books about birds. Or something.
The scene called for hessian-like walls. And some suitably bird-like accessories.
 And, at this stage, I think this idea could be a keeper.
(As an aside, I often trial my scenes sideways)

Idea 5

This one starts with a most unlike-me canvas that one of the assistants at Typo kept aside for me a while back. I walked into the shop and she said 'I'm glad you came in: I was about to write this off as it's been cut, but then I thought you could use it for a scene' So I bought it for $1.
 And thus the challenge was set. I think the yellow table could work quite well with the over-sized flowers on the canvas, but should the canvas be a wall...
 or the floor?
 (Perhaps it's time for Limited to have another makeover?)
I'll think a bit more and come back to this one...

Idea 6

I've been daydreaming about baches and holiday houses recently. I blame the book My Cool Shed, which I picked up cheap a while back (and the video I watched about Tove Jansson's life)

Then, this morning I watched a stop motion animation wedding video and spotted this:
 And suddenly thought 'I could make that! I've just been given some spare mat board bits and have some corrugated iron tucked away somewhere...' And, just like that, the bach shrank down to a garden shed concept with a desk for writing and a day bed for napping.
 Except, when I contacted the local dolls house shop to see if they had any pre-painted french doors, the answer was no and, since they were at a miniature railway show this weekend, going to buy the plain ones they did have would cost me $8 entry fee. So the shed-building was put off until next weekend (unless I decide to get very clever and make my own doors out of mat board, which may just happen)