Saturday, March 30, 2024

My heart is singing, but my budget is reeling (sorry: it's not a dolls' house!)

 I've been a bit AWOL for the past couple of weeks, because my mind has been focused on things not-mini (alas).

One of those things was the idea of upgrading my current scoot.

When I test-rode one option last month and discounted it as a possibility, Nico (the owner of our local, and fabulous scooter shop), said to visit in a month because he had another one he thought I might like that he needed some time to get ready for sale.

So I popped in to visit Thursday after work, only to be told to come back today.

Which I did.

Silly me.

Because there was Mickey. A lovely 2002 Vespa PX200 (75cc more power than Jasper has).

And yes, I'd already given him a name. And bought him a keyring. Because of course I was just exploring options. *cough* (To be fair the keyring had only cost $1.28 so was a small sunk cost if I decided not to go ahead with the concept. And I like to be prepared 😜).

We went for a ride, which was a bit hairy because there was an issue with the fuel line (that was soon fixed), and also because, apart from the test drive last month, I've not been on a scooter with gears for almost 18 years.

I'd plotted our course in advance: a few minutes pootling around the carpark next door to test the basics out and make sure I remembered how they worked, then a trip down the local parkway, a turnaround and a climb back up it through a quite steep section that challenged Jasper every time we did it.

And, boy was it FUN!

It sounded right.

It smelled right (as I said to Dad when I told him: 'I'm back to smelling like eau de 2-stroke!').

Ignoring the dearth of storage options on the classic design (there's only so much you can fit in a PX glovebox, under-seat storage is nil and this one doesn't (yet) have a top box) I was sold. Or it was.
A Vespa ET4 motor scooter on the left and a Vespa PX200E motor scooter on the right
(I felt the need to recreate a newer version of the photo I took in January 2020 when Jasper took over from Miss Daisy in my life, although in less salubrious surroundings, but in much better circumstances. Jasper on the left, Mickey on the right). 

Do I need a new scooter? Shut up.

Is it in my budget? Also shut up (although to be fair, the financial planner did say when he set my budget up 7 years ago that I was allowed a new-to-me car every 7 years and still be on track, so that's a relief. And the scooter upgrade cost much less than a car would).

Was it the right thing to do? Logically, no: because it guarantees that there is no car in my foreseeable future budget. But also yes, because today I am feeling like this:
Vintage picture of a young woman sitting on a Vespa scooter looking very pleased.
(And also finding it interesting that my first Vespa was called Toto, but had a Mickey Mouse sticker on him, and my latest scooter is called Mickey.)

Monday, March 18, 2024

Feeling like I'm at a crossroads

 R Jones commented on my last post, which included an update to the dark academia trial scene with the addition of the writing desk, some moving of things around, and the addition of more books, saying that they thought it looked fantastic, to which I replied that I thought it was veering into 'crazy old professor' a bit far but a) isn't that what dark academia is based on and b) does it matter if it does?

Which gave me pause for thought.

The lovely thing about creating scenes, not the more-static dolls' house room, in the ability to (as is common to say these days, and which grates on my nerves every time I hear it: so you've been warned to jump to the next paragraph if you feel similar) pivot very easily.

Because yesterday's additions and rearrangement

One-twelfth scale modern miniature dark academia study with a writing desk, potted plant, 2-drawer filing cabinet and side tables piled with books.
is unexpectedly heading in a new and interesting direction to my initial intention
One-twelfth scale modern miniature dark lounge or study with a mid-century modern dresser, Eames lounge chair and ottoman, potted plant and turkish rug.
(which now I'm focusing on it, is actually giving me more 60s bachelor vibes than dark academia).

So I need to take some time to decide if my intention is to highlight the dresser I put together, or just follow the path that unwinds before me.

Or, just to add to the confusion, decide that this is the new yellow table challenge (at which stage I realise I never tagged those posts as such so can't link to them. Yet.) and do all 3.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

A seriously slothful Sunday slowly sorting things out

 After the last couple of days I need to pull the drawbridge up and recover, but decided that can include putting away the treasures I collected yesterday, and pulling the dark academia scene back to the centre of the work table (and my mind). All in my pyjamas.

Here're the treasure I bought yesterday to add to my collection:

First up, I went back for the other pieces of furniture to match the writing desk I bought on Friday night: I don't have any plans for them, but felt bad splitting them up:

One-twelfth scale vintage dark-wood cupboards and blanket chest.
and while I was at the stall, picked up a cheap bag of furniture because I spied some tiny drawers in it (I obviously still have a thing for tiny drawers)
One-twelfth scale miniature set of tiny drawers
and when I got home realised they were part of a victorian dresser set and I'd just seen them upside down while the mirror piece was hiding.

Also in the bag was a blue bookcase, and filing cabinet which will be fun to try and refinish to fit into the current build, plus a broken table: I'm still tossing up if I should glue it back together or sacrifice the legs for more candle holders.
Vintage wooden bookcase, 2-drawer filing cabinet, broken dining table with turned legs and tiny drawers next to a swivel mirror that belongs on top.
The last thing I picked up from that particular stall was a sheet of stupidly-cheap wall tiles:
Sheet of tiny styrene suqare wall tiles
I couldn't resist buying a few kits: a couple more JWT ones and one from a new-to-me seller, Gum Blossom Miniatures, which I couldn't resist because it had daisies on it:
3 one-twelfth scale kits: one for a shop counter, one for a clothes rack and one for a set of lightboxes with daisy designs on the front.
(I'd admired a completed version of the shop drawers kit on the stall of The Miniature Witch, and she was kind enough to tell me that it was made from a kit: and I was lucky enough to find one on the very next stall when I asked!)

I collected some frames, baskets and a tiny birdcage from various stalls throughout the day,
One-twelfth scale modern miniature picture frames, round woven baskets and tiny metal birdcage
and finally, paid a visit to Jennifer's stall to collect some fabric pieces which I did not need (but black and white daisies!):
Selection of pieces of quilting fabric with small-scale prints
The 2 on the left I bought hoping they'd work in the dark academia scene, but I must have been more tired than I thought because when I checked this morning they don't seem to work, which is odd because I usually carry colour pretty well:
2 swatches of fabric against a one-twelfth scale kilim rug.
Speaking of which (the dark academia scene, not being more tired than I thought), I popped the writing desk into my trial scene, which caused me to need to move some things around, and add some more books (and the 2-drawer filing cabinet to test), and I'm feeling rather pleased with the result so far:
One-twelfth scale modern miniature dark academia study with a writing desk, potted plant, 2-drawer filing cabinet and side tables piled with books.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

A pretty perfect day

 I didn't sleep well last night: firstly because I was being picked up at 7:40 this morning so had to set an alarm (which always puts me on edge as I'm paranoid that it won't come on or I'll sleep through it), and also because I'd taken the opportunity to drop a large box of stuff at the op shop as I was in a car for the first time in ages: so the energy of the flat was in a bit of disarray because of the removal of over 100 things (did I mention I've been doing an unofficial seven-things challenge for the past year?)

 And my brain was still buzzing because my friend and I decided to go out for dinner after a busy evening setting up last night, and then I blogged when I got home, so hadn't had the time to do a brain defrag before bed.

Which meant that I headed out this morning before I'd breakfasted,and took the opportunity before things started happening at the show to go find some food in the small mall next to the hall (crikey! Say that 3 times fast when you're sleep depraved 😉)

While contemplating a fruit bun or similar I decided that perhaps I could take some quiet time to regroup and have a coffee and sit-down breakfast before I needed to be on duty: and while exploring my options spotted some very familiar-looking pastries, looked up to see a very familiar-looking face behind the counter and was delighted to discover that in my absence from mini club one of my favourite cafes (owned by the chap that used to own the excellent cafe next to my work's old building) had opened a small branch in the mall.

Bakery cabinet with a variety of brightly-coloured croissants, including a gold chocolate one
(I didn't have a gold chocolate croissant for breakfast, but I bought one for my friend who most definitely deserves a gold chocolate croissant, and who I knew would have her mind blown that such a thing exists in the first place. Luckily for me she decided it was too big for one and ended up sharing it with me!)

When the roster for the day had been sent around I'd said I was happy to be a floater: filling in wherever I was needed. And I started the day on the door. Continued my day on the door. Spent a bit of time on the raffle table then went to work... on the door.

Luckily I had an excellent one-the-door buddy who was 'also' a new member (quote marks because she's rooly trooly new whereas I'm newly-returning after many years away) who seemed very happy to have me blow her mind in the quiet times by telling her about things like printing fabric at home, printing fabric on Spoonflower, and that miniature knitting hurts a lot less if you use piano-wire knitting needles rather than sewing pins, and who reminded me of myself when I joined my first mini club and realised that there was a whole world of people out there who were just as obsessed with tiny things, and were happy to share their knowledge if you sat (or stood) still long enough.

I found it really interesting being at a show as a member of the hosting club and not a stall-holder for the first time in... decades? as I found my focus was quite different, but at the same time also found it interesting that auto-mode kicked in from the days when I was editor of The tiny Times as I had to remind myself several times that no, I didn't need to pop out and take photos or schmooze with potential advertisers.

The other thing I found really interesting was how accepting and welcoming everyone was. How we fell very quickly into pretty deep conversations when we hadn't seen each other for 5, or even 20, years (or, in a couple of instances, had only met for the first time minutes beforehand).

Case in point: someone I haven't seen in 5 years said that I was welcome to stay with them if I decided to go up for this year's Sydney show.

But I fear I'm rambling and you must be getting a tad frustrated that we're so far down this post and all you've seen is a picture of my not-breakfast (stunning as it was).

So here are the photos I took and posted on Instagram (I took a few more but I'm not sure if they're worth sharing: a job for the morning):
One-twelfth scale card catalogue drawers, with drawers open to show the dove-tailed drawers

This card-catalogue drawer unit by Ann Dowdall with dove-tailed joints (alas not on the Victorian Dollhouses website that I can see) has been on my radar for a while, but not within my budget. I was sorely tempted but held strong until I have an occasion to celebrate to deserve such a thing of beauty.
Dinosaur bone 'tree' with a dinosaur at the bottom with a squashed tomato on its nose, wih a monkey climbing above it towards a storehouse of food.
Marilyn Pride and Lewis P Morely were showing some new pieces: alas I meant to return to take a photo of the whole of this piece by Marilyn, and the information sheet, but completely forgot.

(If you're interested in their work and are within striking distance of the Blue Mountains, you might like to pop into and have a look at the exhibition they're currently part of at Arts Blue Mountains Gallery.)
Three-quarter-inch scale vintage 'Triang Lines Bros' dolls house with windows open
This wee house that I spotted for sale caught my eye as it reminded me of the house that I'd bought way before I had a blog, that had never turned up. And I had a hard time deciding that this wasn't reason enough to buy another house that I didn't have room for in either my budget or flat, difficult as it was to make that decision.
One-Twelfth scale modern miniature park scene with a car park containing 2 motor scooters and a motorcycle. In the background is a full-sized banner saying ACT miniature and dollhouse show
My final photo (ignoring a scene of the crowd of shoppers which isn't of lasting significance or interest) was this one of 2 motor scooters and a motorcycle in a parking lot as part of the club display which was themed on a day in the park. Alas I didn't take any more photos of the scene.

I bought a few (more) things, which I plan to share tomorrow once I've recovered, and returned my flat to some semblance of normality.

Friday, March 15, 2024

It's showtime

I spent this evening helping set up for this year's ACT Miniature Enthusiasts show, which is on tomorrow

Community hall with tables lined up around it.
and, since many hands make light work and I'd got a lift over with a friend who was still finishing her task, was able to catch up with people I've not seen in years (it's been 5 years since I've been to a show!), and have an early sneaky peek at the stalls that had set up this evening.

I know I don't need anything, but had set aside a small budget in case something caught my eye (or my heart), and I ended up coming home with a few random bits and bobs: apologies in advance for the bad lighting, but I wanted to blog then tonight as I suspect I'll be a bit buggered by tomorrow night.

First up was a box of old lights which I picked up because I'd like to include more lighting in my scenes and 2 of these looked like they'd work well:
3 one-twelfth scale modern miniature lights in a berry box.
Next I snapped up this Xyron 150, because refills cartridges are currently at least $25 including postage, making this a steal at $5.
Xyron 150 sticker maker in its packaging.

(Don't know what a Xyron is? Here's a post I did on them almost 10 (gulp!) years ago)

The final purchase took 3 visits to the stall to decide on.

New Zealand friends will know that I've been pretty obsessed with writing desks recently, so when I saw this bundle I initially discounted my attraction to it as my full-sized obsession getting confused.

But there was something about it that drew me back. And back. And finally I decided that perhaps it was the perfect fit for the dark academia scene I need to get back to.
One-twelfth scale modern miniature writing desk, pot cupboard and tea trolley.

One-twelfth scale modern miniature writing desk with the leaf open
I was intrigued when the seller said it came from a dolls' house she'd bought from someone downsizing, and that the furniture was from the 30s or so. Even more so when I noticed the 'foreign' stamp on the back of it when I got it home, which suggests it may have been made in Germany and imported into Britain for sale just after the first world war.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Sunday: sitting and thinking

Last time I blogged, Instagram had eaten my pictures. This time, work and life have eaten my brain.

Good thing I have a 4-day weekend to recover, because it's only today, on day 3, that I've made it back into the studio to list the next round of items I'm deaccessioning, make room on my work table again and return to staring at the beginnings of the scene I started last month:

One-twelfth scale modern miniature dark lounge or study with a mid-century modern dresser, Eames lounge chair and ottoman, potted plant and turkish rug.
It's progress.

Monday, March 04, 2024

A busy weekend (and an Instagram that ate my pictures)

 I was all set to blog on Saturday as I went to mini club meeting, and then on to the inaugural meeting of the Vespa Club of Canberra, but Instagram was being a poo bum and ate my pictures while I was trying to post: and those of you who use Instagram understand that it doesn't spit pictures out onto your phone until you've posted them (and sometimes, as is happening at the moment for me, not even then).

So I was grumpy, and didn't want to publish a post without a picture, then Sunday got away from me and here we are. With a picture.

Screenshot of ABC66 radio's webpage for the Meet the Maker show featuring 2 miniaturists.
With the annual ACT Miniature Enthusiasts show coming up on Saturday 16 March, a couple of club members were interviewed on local ABC radio yesterday morning.

(Show details: 10am till 4pm at Weston Creek Community Centre, Whitney Place, (just off Parkinson Street) Weston ACT (adjacent to Cooleman Court).
Admission: Adults $6, Children aged 5-12 $3, Children under 5 free.
The club's exhibition theme for 2024 is 'In the park'.)

Friday, March 01, 2024

Brain-fried Friday: tell me it's not just me that does this!

Walking into Woolies today I spotted these and thought 'Oh! I'd like a couple more of those'.

Selection of (full-sized) potted plants in ribbed pots.
And it took me a beat to realise it was the Miniverse version I wanted not full-sized...