Thursday, September 11, 2014

Off on holidays soon

On Sunday, my husband and I fly out to San Francisco for three weeks, where I will be doing a Rik Pierce class at Shellie's Miniatures. Should be a great trip and September is supposed to be the best month in San Francisco. Will try to post an update whilst there. I hear they have some pretty buildings there! Tee hee!

For now though, some updates on my projects.

I have decided to lightly grunge up the interior of the doll shop. I've grunged all the painted surfaces (architraves, door, skirting, cornice) with a gel medium/linen coloured paint mix, and will grunge the corners of the wallpaper just a little with a light chalk pastel dust. I decided it would be more in keeping with the overall feel I am aiming for. So thanks to readers for their suggestions (Elizabeth, Margaret and PILAR6373), they were greatly appreciated.

I haven't ordered the accessories I was wanting for the Mountfield, so progress is slow, but I've done a bit to the laundry, including installing a sink with taps and towel rail, a shelf (actually made two but so far only one has been attached to the wall) and painting up a Phoenix metal vaccuum cleaner. I will show pics soon, when I have got a little further. I have also finished the two chairs from the music room. I added a few more splashes of paint, covered the cushions with a floral print fabric and made some cord from embroidery floss for trim. I am really happy with them and think they suit the room perfectly.

I have also been working on accessories for the French shop. I purchased some Lisa's Little Things kits, so some of these are going into the shop. The thread box is on top of the red display table on the left. 

The notions counter on the right (below) is also one of her kits. I have always loved her kits, so it is great to finally have some to put together. Still playing with the placement of little accessories but do you ever just leave something where you put it initially? I keep changing lots of things in this house.

And a little photo of the back room:

I also don't think I've shown this room yet, as I wasn't quite sure for a long time what it would be. It is now a sewing room, given that the occupant of this shop is obviously into sewing. The sewing machine is a Rement one. I think it is reasonably within scale, but strangely the peddle cord is too short to go from the machine all the way to the floor. I might need to replace the cord with a longer one. It's not shown in this photo as it was dangling off the table and looked silly. You can see my hand painted metal kitty playing with wool in the foreground.

And lastly, I have put together the shell of my chateau. I will need to get the windows cut up very soon, before I can start installing the interior walls, so hopefully I will get organised and have them done whilst I am away. I have them mostly drawn up and ready for laser cutting. I need to find something to have them made from first though. The laser cutting place doesn't stock thin enough boards.

This photo shows a wall that will go in the salon. They are the Robert Dawson (the Modelroom) wall panels I got at the Kensington Dollshouse Fair in 2012. The spaces between panels will be the windows. I want to paint these with a bit of colour and can't decide if I want to turn them into something like the panels from the Dauphine's private study at Versailles or not. I'd need to add a fair bit of detail to get that effect, and it is a room I have to replicate somewhere in this chateau, but not sure if it will be in this room or another. I have a little while to think about that though, whilst I wait on windows.

Here is a pic (from a google search) of the Dauphine's study. It is my favourite room at Versailles.

 Well, I hope you enjoyed my updates. I am off to vaccuum my floor and water the plants and then pack. Hope you are all well and happily miniaturing away.

Monday, August 25, 2014

To grunge or not to grunge?

Waaaay back when I first got into the miniatures hobby, I purchased the Houseworks street of shops small shop. I always loved the brick and stucco exterior of their promo photos. I have had it tucked away for years in it's box, taking it out occasionally to start, make changes and then put away. For some reason on Saturday, I pulled it out and thought, yep, I am going to just put this baby together. It was partially painted when I pulled it out of the box - the trim which is now timber was green and the door was pink. So between Sunday and Monday, I have got it this far. 

I am really happy with the exterior. The only thing I'm not sure about is the front door. I like it, but should it be blue to match the pediment? (Which, for the record, is a much less intense blue than it looks in the photo) I am thinking that a sign and other details will add some more blue.

My other question is, do I grunge up the interior just a tiny bit? It looks so pretty as it is, but this is supposed to be an older shop. I just don't want to ruin it. I will do the cabinets in the style of Lilli-ann Hamilton, if you've seen her stuff. It is much like June Clinkscales' work, gently aged, antique patina, soft. Therefore, the walls may look too stark against the furniture.

The door and window will have curtains over them when I get them done. I think I made the door too tall, so a curtain will hide it a little.

Thanks for the advice and have a great week!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Yay for sunny Fridays!

Which has absolutely nothing to do with this post, other than it allowed enough light to take some photos after a good week of bad weather.

I have almost finished the main bedroom of my Mountfield. I have the ceiling light and just need to attach it, and poke the bedside lamp wires through the wall to the back. Then add some accessories. The little books on the nightstand are from Lisa Engler, whose beautiful kits I purchased recently.

The music room is about done, and I thought I had a ceiling light, but perhaps I didn't as I can't find it. Still needs a few accessories as per my standard. I painted those mulberry paper gypsophila flowers and stuck them to the top of the green urn that you can see on the table against the back wall. Really happy with how they turned out. And the chairs need cushions but can't decide on a fabric.

The kitchen has some sweet little apples from A Basket Of on Etsy. They are just so beautiful and a great price.

The entry is almost done, save for the stair bannister, which I have to cut and don't want to ruin, so I am putting that off!

You can see the leadlight door into the living room here:

I am having a few issues with the frront bedroom. I don't love the colour of the armoire and struggling with placement of pictures. I am thinking that I'll put up shelves/a shadowbox for some interest. Here is the dresser in progress, which i am quite pleased with so far. The colours are looking good. You can just see the rug on the floor, and the little square plate, which I purchased from A Lavendar Dilly's Etsy store. Very sweet and match beautifully. 

Here is a shot of the bed with a rose painting above. I made the bedcover with one of those paper linen-like napkins, which has a nice embossed pattern. I love the soft light in this photo.

I really need to put in a solid day or two tidying up a few things in this house, finishing the electrical etc. It is so close to being done (structurally anyway, with just some furniture and accessories to go in as I find them). I have done a lot to the exterior as well, and just waiting on a few supplies to finish that off too. 

On other dollhouse news, I have started the construction of my French chateau at long last. I hope to get a bit further with it's construction soon so that you can see the direction I am (finally) headed. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend. Take care!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Melbourne Miniatures Show

This weekend I made the journey to Melbourne for the local miniatures show. I was really impressed. I unfortunately didn't make enough time to really have a good look, so next year I will make sure I have longer. There are some very talented artisits selling their minis, which included plants, food,mknitted and crocheted items, paper goods and lots more. I picked up a few things, however I plan to have some more money to spend next year! I passed up too many cute things that I would've liked to take home.

So here are the things that did come home with me:

A very sweet and tiny baby rabbit toy on the Marcee chair (I had wanted this set for some time and got it at a good price):

Next are some little resin baskets, a sugar and creamer set and a cruet set. I couldn't get the handle into the stand, so I'll have to sand out the hole first.

I had been thinking over the last couple of years about how to make mini tassels for my French chateau. These are some very beautiful ones from Versailles:

Then I saw these amazing tiny tassels made by a member of the Victorian Association of Miniature Enthusiasts, and I had to have one. This one attached to scissors, but others were for drapes or hanging off furniture.

It is TINY so my photos are not great.

And I also dug out my collection of tiny dolls, scaled to be a 1:12 child's doll. I finished these years ago, and they need some attention and finishing. They were made by Pat Boldt.

I hope you have all had a lovely weekend. I will try to get some more photos of my Mountfield up soon, so you can see the progress on that.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

It's Monday again...

And I'm not at work! It is fantastic! I have been working on some 1/2" scale house and furniture kits which I hope to be able to sell someday. I was hoping to be able to cut the prototypes with my KliknKut machine but I am really struggling to figure it out. So for now, will keeping plugging along and attempting to learn my machine when patience is abundant!

I have also been making quite a few accessories for the English house and thought I'd show you. 

Here is the piano, one of the kits I made up for my very first dollhouse. I want a really cluttered look on top of it, so will add some vases with flowers and feathers, some figurines and photo frames as well. I painted the clock, frame and candelabra, and hung a very cute vintage photo of a family in a tiny rowboat, taken in a studio with painted backdrop. It's very sweet.

I ordered the Houseworks resin bathroom as it looked the most like a 1920s bathroom to me.
 I don't think I like the washstand, but it needs something. What do you think of the layout? I want something interesting and realistic. I will add a shower curtain and have a go at making a shower head.

I made mini leadlight glass doors for the living and dining rooms, and am really happy with how they turned out. I drew the design in a drawing program, printed it out on heat resistent transparencies and then heat embossed with a dark grey metallic embossing powder. I intend to repeat the process for the bay windows and front door, once I've got a design drawn.

I also changed the rug in the living room. I like the warmer tones better. Still needing a sideboard or something for where the hutch is (I don't think this one suits).

And lastly is the master bedroom. I've hung some pictures, finished painting and glueing the bed ends together, and made two little silk lampshades for the candlestick lamps. I should take a closeup of those, they have little bows on them and look quite pleasing. To me anyway! Not sure about the chair in the corner. It looks OK in the photo actually, but in real life, it kind of looks too chunky.

I still need to attach the bed ends to the bed base, and not sure how to go about that. 

Well, I hope you enjoyed my update and that you have a good week ahead. We are expecting rain and cold so good weather to be indoors.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Start of a new era... I hope!

I am happy - I have just started about 6.5 months of long service leave. Yay! I have been miserable in my job for a good 5 years. I would feel like crying most days, sitting at my desk. I don't think I could've chosen a less appropriate job if I'd tried. So the solution was to take almost all my long service leave at half pay, to buy some time and work on a new career. The alternative was to quit, and I wasn't quite ready for that. I will keep you updated on how I am going with my leave. So far, I'm loving having time to work on minis whenever I feel like it

Also, my husband and I recently took a holiday to Western Australia and visited Margaret River, Mandurah and Perth. I took some snaps which you may be interested in seeing, from a mini perspective. Firstly is a stove in an old lighthouse keeper's cottage.

This photo is blurry, but you can see it in situ:

The next photo is an old store we walked past in Perth. I wished I'd gone in and taken more photos. It looked like it hadn't been touched in 60 years. The store beside it was the same (they were actually joined on the left side of the photo, where a door had been partially knocked out between them).

The last two pictures are the old homestead we stayed in at Margaret River, called Baseldene Manor. Very lovely, highly recommend it if you're ever in the area.

The sunroom was an addition in more recent years, as is the building you can see to the right. The gardens were beautiful too. Rumour is that the oak tree at the front was grown from an acorn that came from Buckingham Palace. It rained a lot, so my photos are a little murky.

Maybe the beautiful stonework will inspire someone? 

Lastly, thanks for the encouragement with the wiring and positive comments. I really appreciate your interest and taking the time to make a comment. Have a great day everyone!

Friday, June 13, 2014

You win some, you lose some

Or maybe knowing when to quit?

Had a bit of a mixed day today but regardless got a fair bit done on the English house. It is rainy and cold and wintery so a great day to be tucked under the eaves working on minis. Except for all the hassles, breakages and defects.

I put some wall lights in the bathroom, which meant the usual - drill holes through the wall into the next room, pull wires through wall and attach light to wall. The thing is, I needed to drill through the ceiling and cornice in the next room to get the wires through into the roof space and into the channel to travel down the back to the switch thingos. So the wires of the  first light worked Ok after about 10 minutes of moving and jiggling and swearing. I had to get the wires through about 4cm of ceiling and cornice, so had to make the hole smooth and wide. When drilling the hole for the second wire, the drill bit got stuck in the ceiling and I split the cornice. Grrr. Took an intermission, some chocolate, pliers, more swearing and patience to work the drill bit out. Then got the light wires through the wall and ceiling and the wires snapped off the light with absolutely no way of being able to reattach them, so guess what? I stuck the light in anyway. Just like in real houses, 'the globe has blown'....

I wallpapered the bedroom next to the bathroom, which was initially painted, which I didn't like. I therefore had to do the wiring in the bathroom first. It is a little bubbly, but mostly Ok, nothing that won't be covered with pictures. The most annoying thing, which I never noticed when it was painted, was that the back wall appears to be two seperate pieces joined, so there is a ridge running up the middle of wall, and the wallpaper makes it really obvious. Strange. So more pictures, and a chair needed! You can see the light shade, which I handpainted with purple roses.

I actually was hoping the wallpaper was greener, but I am happy with it anyway. Or rather, at the end of my patience! Also, I've since painted the armoire a pretty apple green. And yeah, bedding not finished yet and just pinned on!

The kitchen is just about finished. It really only needs accessories now, which I am working on.

And lastly, the laundry is all tiled and painted. I need a scrap of cream paper for the ceiling and some sort of small moulding for the wall/ceiling joint. And the light is now attached to the wall! You can see on the floor my laundry trough, but it needs a little gap filler, another coat of paint and some legs. The laundry actually looks much larger than I thought it would be. I hope to fit a little old washing machine in there.

Hope you enjoyed my little update.Happy weekend everyone. I hope the weather is better where you are!