Sunday, November 11, 2012

A quick update

Being home for three weeks before we leave on our next trip to the south of France (near Lyon to be precise) I have just been able to finish two small items.  One for my florist and a workshop for the Brisbane club. The latter is a kind of tray for peeling potatoes or cleaning vegetables.  The tray is filled with a newspaper and, of course, muddy potatoes and a few leeks.  There's also a potato peeler and a pair of disposable gloves (naturally, because of the muddy potatoes!)  :-)

The picture isn't very clear, but because of time constraints is the best I could do for the moment.

And while I am away my workroom will be quite empty, because two kind girls from a local museum took away almost all of my roomboxes, as well as my witch's cottage, to go on display as exhibits for a "Toy Box"  exposition.  I was quite chuffed and honoured and I sincerely hope that I will somehow inspire a few people to join us in this great hobby of ours!  If someone local happens to read this, the exhibition is going to be held at the Pine Rivers Heritage Museum from the 23rd of November 2012 till 10 March 2013.

Also the list of followers of this blog has grown, so when I will be back in January there are a lot of newcomers to be welcomed.  I will have more time, I hope, to have a look at your blogs as well, but for now, I welcome you briefly and I hope you will be happy browsing through my pages.

Till next year...

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Dollshouse and Miniatures Show in the USA

30 September 2012

In my last posting I told you that we were going to visit the Sates, and here we are: in Hamburg, NY!  We’ve been here for two weeks now and are enjoying ourselves. 

Before we left I have been trying to find out if there was anything going on in the miniature world in this neck of the woods, but in vain.  If you don’t have contacts or names of clubs or so you don’t get very far, but…  today we were lucky.  Frank was reading the newspaper a few days ago and saw an ad about the Western New York Miniatures Enthusiasts.  The were going to have a show on Sunday 30th September not so far from where we are staying, so this morning we got into the car after breakfast and made our way to Depew, which I believe to be a suburb of Buffalo.

They had a display of various items, which I was kindly allowed to take pictures of, and a range of traders.  It was not unlike the Open Day of our Brisbane club, but it was nice to experience what miniaturists make and sell at the other side of the globe. I had a brief chat with two ladies who were on roster in the display area and they told me that they also have a small group of miniaturists who work together on projects in Hamburg.  I would have loved to pay them a visit, but they didn’t offer and I didn’t dare ask…  Never mind, I had a pleasant morning looking around.  And guess what, I didn’t even buy anything.  I was tempted to buy two little resin dolls for my Florist, but I told myself that I would be allowed to do so as soon as it was finished.  I need to work a bit harder and this kind of thing is a good incentive. The club meets every 1st Wednesday of the month to work on projects and every 3rd Wednesday for a business meeting.
Next are a collection of the pictures I have taken in the display area:

A collection of rugs (cross stitch and French knots)

very small scale: "Bifocal Express"

Minis Cheaply Made (explanation below)

South Western Room in a book

American Room in a book

A club project (barrel) used in a scene

Arts and Crafts dining room

To Grandma's House we go

Live garden in a dish

Another live garden, but the plants "have been eaten by Chipmunks and ?"

Pumpkin patch with a difference :-)

Forecastle of a ship

Below decks of the same ship
Sunday in Church (view from the left)
Sunday in Church (view from the right)

Henry VIII in his dining room

A Catholic school

Miniaturists with a sense of humor!
17th Century Keeping room (right)

17th Century Keeping room (left)
 I hope you have enjoyed these pictures as much as I did.

See you next time when I have to tell you something of note...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Less time for miniatures

Since my last update in March earlier this year, I haven't had much time for my miniatures.  In April and May we've been away to New Zealand, in June and July we've been travelling around the country in our campervan and tomorrow........... we are going to the USA!  I have created a new blog, dedicated to our travels.  Follow the link if you are interested: The Globetrotters.  I have packed some hobby stuff, but don't know if I'll find the time.  However, it's bound to rain sometime......... ;-)

See ya....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Something different

As you may be aware, I am a member of the Bribie Woodcrafters' and learning a lot of new skills. I like working with wood, and I like my machines even more. I have acquired quite a collection and the corner in my garage was getting rather crowded. Everything was on trestles and a small Triton workbench, but since last week I am the proud owner of a real workbench:

I have sorted everything out and tidied up and I am hoping that I can keep it quite as tidy as it is now...

Having such, may I say unusually small, machines for woodworking it has attracted quite an interest at the 'Woodies' and I was asked to come around on market days to demonstrate, which I happily did last Sunday, together with my other half.  I took a number of my miniatures around to display and it is amazing when you realise how few people actually know about this hobby.  Frank demonstrated the milling machine and the router(table), I worked on my thicknesser and table saw.  We took a kind of Unimat system with us as well, although we were not working on it, but had it set up for wood turning.  Everyone commented on the size of it: so small!  Anyway, I did some preparation work for workshops, so time wasn't wasted and we had a lovely day overall.  Who knows, we might eventually get some more people interested in miniatures.

Before Sunday I had also made a little cabinet.  Since it's meant for the Florist go and have a look at my other blog if you haven't already done so.

On Monday I had a lucky escape while doing my cabinet making course.  I had been working on almost all the more dangerous machines during the day, but managed to damage my hand on a simple band sander.  I had switched from one sander to the one next to it, not realising that the support for the wood had a bigger opening underneath than the other one.  The piece of wood slipped through and so did my hand.  It got really stuck under the metal frame and I can tell you, it was a huge relief that I could wriggle all my fingers when my hand was finally freed....  I am now badly bruised and have lost a bit of skin on the inside, but I am using all ten fingers to type this, so it's not too bad after all.

Now it's back to the drawing board as I am trying to design another little cabinet.

Bye for now and thanks again for stopping by.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Workshop enamel spoon rack

This is roughly what you need:
metal ruler
fine paint brushes
shaping tool
mouse mat or other soft surface
scalpel or sharp hobby knife
pair of scissors
wire cutters
wire (0.6 mm ø)  piece of 65 mm long
hole punch (ordinary household punch with hole of 5.5 mm ø)
cutting mat
piece of card or very thick paper
paint of your choice including black
tacky glue

Save the above image onto your computer and from there print it onto card.  The pattern itself should measure approx. 38 mm from top to bottom.  Cut it out around the outside black line.  Cut a strip of paper approx. 30 mm long and 2 mm wide.  Punch out two circles.  Cut a piece of wire approx 65 mm long.

The second black line is not shown on the above cut-out but you should try and shape your wire into the shape of the black line on your card. When done it should look like the wire in the above picture.

With your shaper (I use a glass one, but metal will do as the glass ones are hard to come by) follow and indent the black line carefully.

Place the wire in the indented line and glue in place with tacky glue.  I know this is not the conventional way of making enamel spoon racks, but it shows up nicely at the front and it stays.  Just indenting the card with the shaper is not enough as it would loose its shape.

Turn your work over and follow the contours of your wire on both sides.  Go carefully so that you don't crinkle or split your card.

Get a skewer or something else that is round and not too thick and roll the bottom of your card carefully around towards the front.  Roll a few times till the card keeps its shape.  You can now also glue the strip of card at the top.  Measure the length from the outside of the wire from one side to the other.  Make the two folds approx. 2 mm deep and glue outside the wire.

Next cut the two circles in half, but just above the halfway mark, say at approx. 3 mm. and glue them on the outsides of the curled up bit at the bottom to form a sort of a gutter, like in the picture below.

If you want to you can finish off the edge at the bottom with a length of thread or wire, but I don't find that satisfactory, so I shape a very thin edge with tacky glue and paint over it.

Paint the rack in the colour of your choice and with a bit of black and/or brown paint make the enamel look chipped at the edges here and there.

Also have a look at the white one in the picture below, which shows up better than the dark green.

Below are the spoons and other implements that I have made from a Dutch workshop, which you can find here if interested:

And this is the result of an afternoon's work:

Have fun and if you have questions, just ask! :-)

Bye for now.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

An addition to the kitchen

As I was placing lots of items in the kitchen I discovered that 'lots' was still not enough, so I had a good hard look to see what a complete kitchen would still need.  First I discovered the dishwashing mop, or rather lack thereof.  I remembered the one my mother used in her time so that was the start.  I happened to discover a workshop on it somewhere on a blog, but unfortunately I wiped my history and cannot remember who's blog it was.  If I remember I will mention it here later.

The hardest part was not drilling the tiny little hole, but trying to thread the 'twine' through which is needed to hang the mop on the hook.  Even my thinnest needle wouldn't go through, but I finally got it done.

Next I needed a little enamel rack to hang enamel spoons on.  You know: a ladle and one with little holes to scoop the foam of the surface of a liquid (don't know the name for it) and a kind of sauce ladle.  Anyway, I was quite happy with my first effort although it was a bit short.  When I tried it against the back wall I was disappointed, because it didn't stand out against the white wall.  No problem, I made another one.  This one shows complete with the set of ladles:

I am quite happy with the results, although the ladles were quite a job to make.  I am not good at cutting round shapes.  The rack was made after a picture I saw on Ebay.  The ladles I created after this workshop:  Marie Louise, if you ever read this: thank you for your handy workshop.

And after all that, the rack is now hanging, not on the wall, but on the side of the fireplace!  So I could have used the white one after all, but...  I leave it as it is.

Now I am making a few canisters and after that I will make an old fashioned sand-soap-and-soda rack.  I have made one before, but it resides in another kitchen.  I just have to stop borrowing and will have to make things twice or more if I want them.  Such a rack is also enamel and contains three little cups: one for each sand, soap and soda.  In the olden days used for cleaning and scouring in kitchens.

Now it's time again to welcome my new followers.  More every time I look.  I am humbled and very pleased that my blog seems to attract such interest.  Great! Thank you very much for visiting.

My latest followers are:
Judith at Cherry Croft
Hannelore Strehler-Baur at Meine Miniwelt 
Els de Kom

I love your blogs, in particular Meine Miniwelt which deals with my favorites: toys!  However, there are other interesting blogs too.  I have visited all of them.  One I'll leave out, and the person concerned will know why.  I have visited her blog and left her a private message.  Els, welcome to you too.  I know you don't have a blog, but can't remember your website (it was on my pc which crashed).

My next blog will have a workshop on it.  I am preparing it right now and will add it when I have a moment.
Till then.

Friday, February 24, 2012

My dolls house - part 9

I am going to bore you with some more pictures. :-)  Not that I am a great photographer, far from that, neither have I done a lot of work, but I am filling downstairs with the little things that have been lying around in boxes for  ten long years.  After I had taken the pictures of the kitchen I discovered that I wasn't happy with the open parts of the big shelving cabinet, so I found a piece of cardboard, my old tin of (by now very thick) blueberry ash paint and set to work.  It looks a lot better now.  I am happy!  I used the same white glass pins for the knobs on the drawers as I had used for the cabinet I'd made earlier, so this at least is a matching set.  The white strips along the shelves are from peel-off card making stickers.  It's so handy when you have more than one hobby...

Next I'll show you some close-ups of the shelves.

I don't know how I managed to get this picture done when the shelves aren't in the least bit crooked!!!??
Well, it doesn't matter.  The plates on the top shelf are just paper plates which I decorated with decals.  I learned this from Carolyn from Carolyn's Little Kitchen.  I admire her work so much.  If I could do only half of what she does....  Yeah, keep dreaming Marion!  The same goes for the other three plates.  I should get a better close-up, because the detailed work is fabulous.  They are done by Anja Knoop from the Netherlands.  She is famous for her fimo plates which she paints with ink.  Such fine work.  I am very proud to possess some of her work.  The little box I made of paper.

The next shelf contains a Dutch type of tea cosy, which can actually be opened and you can put a teapot inside, but the teapot is now on the table.  The tea cosy was made by Loes Snoodijk.  She is not only very good with this type of thing, but she also makes beautiful furniture.  I have shown you earlier the chairs I made at one of her workshops last year.  On the left is a fimo tray made and painted by me. (That's why I put the cheese in the centre LOL).  The bread and bread stick are also made of fime, as is the cheese.  The little box is the one that tea bags come in.  The bottle of Grand Marnier and the cake mould are bought items.  The mould I am planning to use to make a jelly pudding sometime in the future.

The bottom shelf contains a jar of liquorice allsorts (given to my by a friend who's name I can't think of right now), a mortar and pestle and fruit made by me of polymer clay and a knife that I bought.  The fruit bowl is an unfinished piece of wood turning.  My hubby wasn't very succesful with his turning work the other day and I asked him to make this into a bowl after he had a mishap.  Will finish if off one day....

It's getting late.  I won't be going into much detail anymore.  Most of the pieces in the kitchen are a mixture of bought items, items given to me by friends or obtained through swaps or made by me.  The table is set for lunch and the lady of the house has just arrived back home from her groceries shopping.

I love the shadow-cat on the door.  No, it's not done with the scroll saw.  I cheated and made it out of a few layers of thin card to look like wood.

Details of the folk art painting on the table, the distressed chair, crocheted cushion and macrame shopping bag.

The shelf above the stove.  The two plates are very dear to me.  The top one (although not completely in the picture) has the inscription MOD, which stands for Marion Ontmoetings Dag.  It refers to meeting a number of people from the Dutch email group I have been a member of for the past 10 years or so.  It says a lot about the group, doesn't it?  The plate with the teddy bear, that I broke and I felt terrible about it, was given to me in 2000 by Anja vd Doel.  She was a good friend and IGMA Artisan.  She used to make the most beautiful settings and was also wellknown for her flowers and bouquets.  Unfortunately she passed away a few years ago.  I am really happy to have this plate and lots of other items of her making, but I save those for my Dutch house that's been in the planning.

 The cats are playing with the curtain until I can find the bowl that belongs to them...  The little shelving thingy above the kitchen bench is partially made of fimo and partially of wood.  It is a copy of a similar little cabinet that I saw in one of the books that came with the Del Prado house.  I have made two.  The other one hangs in  another kitchen.  This is only a bad copy, but still worth hanging on the wall.  The sieve is 'enamel' made of paper.

I changed the doors of the hutch to make it look more like a meat safe.  The knobs I remembered from my auntie's old house and are made of wood.  They do work.

I love the look of this picture.  It's the only way I can go inside my kitchen and look through the windows: take my camera there!  I had to put my hand and camera through two doorways, but it worked! I would love to sit in that kitchen and have lunch or a cuppa while the sun is streaming through the windows...

 The following picture was taken with the light on.

So far the pictures of the kitchen.  My back is sore.  Time to give it a rest.  I'll go and find an easy chair and a glass of red and put my feet up.

See you next time.