Monday, June 21, 2010

Working hard and another Welcome

I've achieved more than I thought I would these past few days, although I am having problems with the batteries for my camera and can't take pictures at present.  To have a change from flower making I started on a kit for a doll's pram, which only needs a finishing touch that I need to do at home.  I lack the tools where I am at present. 

Yesterday we had our monthly meeting in Brisbane of our Dollshouse and Miniatures Club where I took the photo album workshop.  Since it was a repeat workshop and there was another one finishing off from last month there weren't many takers, although that never worries me.  With only a few one can pay more attention to the workshoppers and make sure they are going home happy with a properly finished mini.

Here are a few photos for the sake of your entertainment.   ;-)

Bettye, the lovely member and friend that gave me the black cat for my witch's cottage, knew that I was going to do Rik Pierce's market hall next year. She'd had a good clean-out at home and brought me some pheasants and a hare and a box with a few oranges made from Fimo by another member and friend who has passed away a few years ago. Very kind and indeed, these little treasures are very special for this reason. When my camera will be agreeable again I'll take some piccies and show them to you.

First I am going to give my eye a bit of a rest, because since the mishap with my little cat the other day a bruise has developed on my retina. I've seen my opthalmologist this morning and fortunately he could assure me that it only was a bruise and not (yet) a detached retina, for which I was very scared. I have to be careful for a while though, because things can still go wrong.

I also need to welcome a great number of new followers since I last posted some news.  I keep it brief this time, but I can assure you that all their blogs, insofar they have one, are very much worth having a look at (although you may recognise a few shared ones of course....).

Here goes.  A warm welcome to:

Oiseau deNim from Le Petit Monde d'Oiseau
Dora from Miniatures Dora
Bastrota from Bastrotas Blog
Alafosca from Altafulla Miniatures
Cockerina from Les Minis di Cockerina
Annie from Obsidian Hall
Heleni from Tres Petit Blanc
Michelle from Little Rabbit Miniatures
Lucia Gabriele from Case di Bambola
Debbie Lee from The Little Saints Nursery
Anama from Anamavesi Minis
Eva from Mini Escenas y Manualdidades
Nancy Mastwijk from Dollshousehobby
Marie Whomes from Witchwonders Dollhouse Miniatures

Please let me know if a link doesn't work.  I have been known to make mistakes now and then. :-)

Then there are two more followers for whom I could not find a blog: Garoldhart and Elis.  Please let me know if you do have a blog and I place your link here as well.  For all of you, thank you so much for your interest in my blog.

I am actually surprised to see already 53 followers.  Since I am a slow worker I'd better be prepared and start on a giveway, because I plan to have a giveaway ready when I reach the count of 100!!!  Please, not too soon. LOL
In the meantime I'll keep in touch and wish you all a nice day or a good night, depending on where you are out there. Nice of you to have paid me a visit in blogland...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Photo albums

As I mentioned before I have been preparing a workshop making photo albums.  I used to prepare the kits, including detailed instructions, but have noticed that it's rather a waste of time.  Nobody ever reads them. ;-)

Therefore I have decided that it would probably be more helpful to have a set of step-by-step examples ready.

It's probably just as much work, or perhaps less, then writing the instructions and taking photographs of every single step.  I am going to mount these examples on card and I am going to use my next group as guinea pigs. ;-)

They are really nice albums, because I have been able to get some real thin kangaroo leather and also faux-leather paper:

They should all have a leather strap to keep them closed, but three of these still have to be finished.

I have also been working on a photo album for myself.  I had a series of pictures of all my friends of a miniature group.  We had to send in one current picture of ourselves and one as a baby or toddler.  I have finally taken the time to put all these pictures together in an album.  That'll be a nice memory for later years.

And that reminds me.  Do you ever happen to come across nice people?  I do!  As I have also mentioned before, I have recently joined a woodcrafters club.  I am learning general skills, but while doing so I am making things for my miniature hobby.  People noticed this of course and since then two have already approached me and given me either copies of pages from a book on miniatures, or have lent me some books from friends or relatives.  I think that's ever so nice. (I didn't have the heart of course, to tell them that I had those very books in my bookcase.  That doesn't matter.  I just appreciated the gesture so much!)

And wait, there's more...........  Some nice people following my blog.  There are four more that I want to welcome today:

The first one is probably a blog of a group of miniaturists (my Spanish isn't crash hot yet!): Nuria, Rossana and Norma at Casitamini.  I haven't had much time to have a good look, but I am sure it'll be worthwhile to look around on this blog.

And next there are Meli Abellan and Miniaturemaid.  Couldn't detect a blog, so please, if you have one, let me know.  Also Maria van Woggelum from The Netherlands, who is a member of a Dutch forum I am also a member of and I have even met her when I was visiting the country a number of years ago.  Welcome too, Ria.

Well, I'm off to cut some leather for the kits, and then I'm finished.  I've rambled on enough for one day.  Bye for now

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Too soon

I finished my former posting a bit too soon unintentionally because of a phone call.  I had in mind to welcome a few more friends that are following my new blog.  I am still very much humbled by the interest that my blogs seem to attract.  I have seen, and I am still seeing, so much talent out there.  Not only did I see so many real artisans, but also such well designed blogs and some people tell stories with such imagination.....  I know that I won't be able to copy them, so I am not going to!!!  I just hope you'll keep enjoying what I have to offer in my modest way.  And now, a warm welcome to some knew and old (from my other blogs) friends:

Gonda from The Netherlands at Gonda's miniaturen
Monika from Germany at Puppenstubennostalgie
Carolyn from New Zealand at Carolyn's Little Kitchen
Susan from Australia at Mini Crochet Mad
Cheryl from Hawaii USA at A Miniature Place
Karin from Canada at Mini Ramblings and Musings
Alienora at Miniatury Alienory
Maria Jose from Valencia at Bienvenidos a mi blog Marivigano
Anthoula (from Greece?) at A Miniature Life
Sans from Singapore at The Dollshouse Diaries - My Maharaja's Palace
Ingrid from Vlaams Brabant, Belgium at Mijn Droomwereldje

Welcome again to all of you.  I am happy to have you visiting here and it's lovely to read your comments now and again.   Thank you so much.

A little accident

On Saturday I had a little accident with my eye, so at the moment I cannot work on any of my hobbies.  I won't go into detail here, but if you want to find out what happened go to my personal blog Glaginye and read the summary in English at the bottom of my posting (That is, if you don't speak Dutch of course :-0)

However, I can just about manage to read the larger fonts on my computer screen, so I'll try and update my blogs in the meantime.  In the late 90s, when I had just started in the miniature world, we often used the IKEA 3D frames "BAS" as a small roombox.  There was also a smaller (half) size, but that was taken out of production even earlier than the BAS frame, which is no longer available either.  I made a little nursery in the smaller size for a friend of mine who had just had a new baby girl and also made little girl's room in the bigger one and used another to temporarily store all my plants and flowers in.

Unfortunately I don't have any good photographs of the nursery.  Back then I managed to buy a cheap digital camera (my first) which produced very grainy pictures, like this:

Of the other two I have been able to take a few clearer pictures:

Since I have joined the local Woodcrafters group where I am learning boxmaking (amongst other things) using the dovetail joining technique, I had a good look at one of those IKEA frames and thought: I can do that!!!  So I did.  I won't say that everything I make goes well, but this was good enough for me:

Friday, June 4, 2010

More pictures after all

I said earlier that I had forgotten to take pictures while I was working on the project, but that was not completely true.  I did take a few, but not exactly step-wise.  I took one, when I was busy mould making on the kitchen bench.  Lucky me, I have a huge bench, so I don't miss the space much that was taken over by my mould making equipment.  It is still in a similar state, because I had an additional booking and so I need to pour more casts.

Before I knew of the extra booking I realised I needed door handles. I didn't really feel like making moulds for such tiny items, and pouring resin in such little quantities wasn't attractive to me either, so I sat down and in a few hours I'd made these from polymer clay:

I have to be honest and tell you that I pinched the idea from the Internet. They looked so cute when painted. Now I have made moulds of them after all, since I need to do more casting and can use up extra resin if I have mixed too much.  They might come in handy somewhere else.  There are two sorts: for inside and outside and the way I have made the moulds I can use them on the left or right hand side of a door.

I also took a picture of the fireplace before I put it in. I don't know why. Perhaps I wanted to have a picture to remind me how I'd done it, instead of writing it all down. I have been taking notes while I was working on the project, otherwise I can not make a proper scenario for the workshop.

I wanted to keep it simple, yet effective, so I used left over foam core and balsa wood.  That's all there is to it.

Well, that's really all the pictures I have.  I haven't got anything else to show you today, because I am preparing yet another workshop.  We are going to make a photo album when we have the next club meeting in Brisbane.  I am busy putting the kits together and all it is is cutting paper and card. I do have a cutter for my card making, but it's old and worn out and not very precise when it comes to working with millimeters.

That brings me nearly to the end of today's posting.  All that's left is to say 'Welcome' to my friend Ria from Variaatjes WorkshopBoxes, who's now also following my new blog.  So, welcome again Ria.  Glad to see you here too.

And just as I had published this post I discovered I had another follower, so back to editing and saying: Hello to Sylvia from Spain.  Sylvia loves miniatures, but is also into graphic design, photography, interior decorating, cross stich and scrapbooking.  (Yep, my Spanish is definitely improving :-0)  Have a look at her blog: Miniaturas Natasylvia.

And now I'll have to think of something to show you next.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

And before I can say "Jack Robinson" there are 12 more.....

.....friends to welcome: Christine, Naomi, Laurina, Debie, Beatriz, Susanne, Ascension, Jeannette, Klara, Janice, Norma and Alennka. Welcome on my new blog.  I hope I can keep it interesting. ;-)  I just need heaps of time. LOL

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Welcome friends

I shouldn't be surprised, but I am! I've just launched my new blog and already I have 8 followers. Welcome:

Margriet, Ira, Carmen, The Old Maid (sorry I don't know your real name), Sonia, Nuria, Lara and Nina. Good to see a few 'old' friends. ;-)

I promised some more pictures, so here goes:

I can't quite remember who made the floor from airdrying clay and had it shrink so much that the whole floor cracked. Well, look at my walls! Lucky for me I wanted to build an 'old' house. However, if I would have used the more expensive paperclay I would have been able to cover them up and smooth them, like I do with the openings between walls when the clay has shrunk and between floor and wall. Now I haven't bothered, because I like the cracks where they are. I have used the cheaper version of paperclay that is used for pottery. I have found that the more expensive paperclay seems to be more elastic and if money isn't a problem I most certainly prefer the good stuff.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A new blog

I've done it!!! I've finally created yet another blog.  It will mostly be about the bits and pieces of my hobby that don't fit in the topical blogs of my Witch's Cottage and The Florist's.  Nor about my ordinary life, because that's done mainly in Dutch in my blog Glaginye.  No, this blog is more or less about what it says in the title: the little things that fill my days.  Or in other words, just the minis I like to make, see, read about, hear about, etc.  Hope you'll enjoy following this blog too.

Now I can also show you the pictures of the project I have been working on for the last few weeks.  It was the reason why I haven't been working so much on the witch's cottage and the flower shop. It's an inside/outside scene done in Rik Pierce style with paperclay.  It's to be a weekend workshop, but until we actually do it I won't know if it works or not, because paperclay needs time to dry before you can paint it and in wintertime (that's when I am conducting this workshop) it will probably take even longer because of the cold.  But........ time will tell.

What everyone else is going to with the finished product I don't know, but mine is to be the workroom of a scrooge.  Not Ebenezer Scrooge's from Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", but a scrooge nonetheless and his name is Mr. H. Penny (got it? ;-)) I was going to make a hanging sign with his name on it next to the door, but with the little roof added I ran out of space and the small beam is not wide enough to hang the sign on. Anyone with ideas, I am all ears. :-)

I haven't taken pictures from the beginning, so absorbed was I that I completely forgot, but here are the piccies of the (almost) end product:

The geraniums I have pinched from my florist's. The beautiful carriage light (close-up below) came from Carolyn's webshop.  Doesn't it look great, Carolyn?  It got a bit rusty, though, since I took the picture, so it fits the scenery!!! The streetsign and the housenumber I pinched from the internet and made them into real metal signs.  Also with the help of Carolyn, because I had trouble the way I was doing it at first.  There's always so much to learn and I still have a long, long way to go.......... However, there are also many good friends around, and I very much appreciate all their help.

The whole scene is done with a form of gaterboard (foamcore) and paperclay. The beams are only balsawood. So easy to work with and not at all heavy to 'lift' :-)

The originals of the door, window and shutters were made by my husband. What you see in the picture are resin casts. There will be no time to also make doors and windows, so this is an easy (albeit expensive) shortcut. It looks good though, and I am quite happy with the result.

I must admit, none of it has been researched and none of this might be authentic in combination, but I don't really care. The main thing is that I could throw a lot of techniques together for working with paperclay and if Tudor houses didn't have shutters, or the streetlight is from an other era, so what! We're going to have fun making it all over again.....

The next picture is that of the inside of the house (naturally!). The floor is just MDF, scored and painted to look like wooden floorplanks. The fireplace is made up of left over gatorboard and balsawood.

My scrooge is not as bad as Ebenezer Scrooge. He wouldn't dream of having geraniums growing outside, nor would he have a fire going. My scrooge loves to warm his hands after counting numerous gold pieces....... And I am going to add a flickering light, because that looks so much better. I used to buy kits, but they're for 1:1 and contain a halogen light that I won't use anyway, and they are so expensive! So my son is going to make up a few kits that I can solder when I need them. The soldering is going to be part of the workshop as well.

Pictures always show your mistakes, don't they? I have to poke into the lock with a brush with black paint on it. The white Fimo is so obvious......

The fire in the fireplace is made up of a piece of red straw, covered with blackened sticks and pieces of red glass beads. That was such a good idea of Ira's from Merry Jingle, I had to try that out. Formerly I used a piece of red straw (to stick the light in, that I coloured red too, so as it not being too bright) and covered that with sticks and a bit of blackened catlitter. In another fireplace I used only a red straw (in T-shape) and covered it with black catlitter only. All look good, but different, although the addition of the pieces of red glass beads makes it a bit more special. Thanks Ira, for your excellent idea.

In my next update I will show you some piccies of the house in the dark, with lights on. I always like that. It's so very special when you see your roomboxes lit up at night. No roombox that I am going to make in the future is going to be without light.