Friday, August 30, 2013

NAME Houseparty Swaps!

I joined in the NAME swap for the Houseparty in the Gazette, and my goodies came a few days ago. I live in the same state as the swap hostess so I got my just the day after she sent them. In fact when she emailed everyone t say they were sent I had already gotten mine!

I participated in the Quarter Scale, because I have a harder time with projects in that scale. 1:1 is easy to me lately, but quarter I just can’t picture what size everything should be. I also discovered today that quarter is MUCH harder to photograph! It doesn’t help that my good camera has a dead battery and a lens problem.

I made a watering hose, with a wall hanger, with a small basic welcome mat thrown in. The value was supposed to be $5, I hope I did well. Some things I got back are SO amazing I feel like I cheated that person.  (You should be able to click photos for bigger pictures)
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Here’s the items I got! Lots of photos with some explanations. WP_000538 (1)
Everything together.
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Armoire, table with plant, farmhouse table, lamp in a case (secured to well in the box to risk fumbling it by taking it out) Treasure chest (my son’s favorite) a desk decorated (AMAZING!!!!) an orange and lemon tree in pots, a hat and purse on a wall hook, 3 adorable little cakes (totally blew my mind! so CUTE!!!!) and a tiny beaded necklace.
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Some of the same stuff as above, also another small memory box, a table and chair set made from buttons and beads, and that other little tube? HANGING PLANTS!!!! They are amazing! I tried to get a picture of them but they are just to small to capture a picture that does them justice!
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Some flowers and wire, the bottom of the armoire, a baggie of tiny tiny games! (Chinese Checkers, Parcheesi, and Old Maid! So tiny the marbles are no hole beads!) also a cute little desk and stool (super cute!) and a HANDWOVEN rug!
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One detailed piece I could manage to get a decent shot off was the little table with a potted plant.

Thanks so much to everyone who participated for enhancing my quarter scale stash!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A year!?!??!

It just occurred to me that it’s been almost a year since I got my Beacon Hill. It doesn’t look like it. So far I’ve glued paneling in the foyer, changed the wall in the upstairs room to remove the closet, wallpapered that room, and removed some parts. Not by any means a year worth of work. I’m a bit disappointed in myself. However, I have been working! I joined NAME, and my local group. I’ve slowly been doing a group project of making the D Anne Ruff furniture set. Only, I lost my chair to another project. I've noticed my typical trend of doing maybe 3 to many projects at any one time. BUT, here is my work so far for my Mouse House! A project I’ve puttered around with for awhile, and is finally coming together. Once I finish my little chair and secure everything in place.

I bought this paper mache teapot at a Delaware minis show, knowing I’d do this exact project with it. I cut a big whole in it, and painted all of it white.

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I made the ladder using chopsticks, and a dremel to rough it up and make it more rustic looking. I made the shelf too. The shelf was tricky because it is fitting into a fully rounded space, so each piece is rounded to fit a rounded surface both horizontally and vertically. It could fit a bit better, but it will be good enough and any gaps shouldn’t show. I’ also needle punched a rug.

I painted the shelf, and added a bunch of harvest. My struggle was that I want to provoke the feeling of fall, but could only rely on what is inside the house to do so. So I needed a bountiful mouse harvest.

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Besides the stocked shelves, and baskets I also have some wheat stalks and such to hang from the walls, and lean against the shelf. It HAS to be finished by October, because my local group is doing a display ‘Seasons in Miniature” and I want it in the display!

Now I only have one other struggle- how do I make it obvious it is a mouse house, without having a mouse? The space is awfully small to fit in an occupant and I’m usually not into occupants. Hummmmmmmm off to ponder and glue, glue and ponder.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Santa’s Workshop

To make a somewhat long sad story short and not tear-worthy I’ll just say that recently we got a small Christmas Cottage that my Mom once made for my Grandmother. It was decorated for winter outside, and finished inside but completely unfurnished. We agreed to make it Santa’s Workshop, and that we’d get one present for each day in December as our own little advent calendar. In my head I pictured a garland of mini stockings, with a tiny dollhouse mini in each one, being thoughtfully and excitedly opened one at a time…….
Well, it’s isn’t quite a picturesque, but it is working. Each day my kid reaches into a standard stocking, and there is something there, either a larger item tucked in near the top, or a bunch of wrapped tinies waiting at the bottom to randomly select one. It’s working so far, though not as charming as I imagined when I brought up the idea, which I have since declared my worst idea ever. Adorable sure! But probably better thought of sooner than a week before Thanksgiving!

Here is the inside with the first few gifts, a scratch made bed with a knit blanket and pillow (currently in use by our elf on the shelf, Mr Mopper) and tree. I like the uncommon set up, with the bed on the main floor.
Soon to come will be all the following, and some other bits I ordered from Hobby Lobby that haven’t arrived yet.

Table and two chairs, made from scratch. And the second one now has it’s seat woven too.
Small wall shelf, teddy bear, a dollar tree desk sanded to be a bit shabby and not shiny, and a silver chair. Why silver? When I asked at dinner one night what color should Santa’s chair be my son proudly and quickly said “silver!” So I decided to surprise him and make it silver. I can make a better, daintier, less silver one when he’s older.
Some store bought bits, candy canes, coffee set, candle, and oil lamp.
Since I’ve decided the Beacon Hill fire places have to be upgraded I stole one for Santa’s house, and a store bought toy train. I’m going to make the fireplace look a bit more used, or at least ready to use with some wood in it and such.  From Hobby Lobby I ordered tools, a pitcher and wash basin, small basic cabinet, and a few other things I can’t remember. The neat thing is that we can keep it going, and each year upgrade and add too. And in the future it won’t be a last minute bad idea.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It’s coming together!

After way to much time spent just looking at miniatures online, reading about them, drooling over them, I FINALLY began to tackle my Beacon Hill. Then after even longer I’m actually blogging about it! To most miniaturist it is the Beacon Hill, to me it is 8612 Magnolia Lane. First I spent some time on the outside front of the house regluing everything that needed it, to help make the structure more secure. Some things, like trim, I pulled off until I’m ready to paint/repaint them or deciding if I am upgrading. Then I flipped the house around and started working on the inside. I had decided that to honor the original owner I was going to use the wallpaper she gave me with the house, a fairly common looking rosebud pattern, but didn’t know where. I have also bought various papers to use throughout the house, though I intend to buy several more soon. I’m just not in love with anything! Everything looks to white, or two cream, or two bold, or to dark, or….

Sometimes I spend time tucked in a corner in the craft room working on the house itself. The craft room was mid re-do when I bought my house, and the re-do has never been finished. So I am in so snug I can’t even spin the chair around! I work on small pieces on the few inches of table I have in front of the house, or right inside one of the rooms. Here you can see how it often looks. Only now there are also paints jabbed into several rooms. My way of toying with colors and planning what will go where. PB034753

The first thing I did to the interior was use a hair dryer to heat the hot glue used to put in the stairs, and took the main staircase out. This was to repair it, clean it, and use a stronger glue on it. It also makes it easier to lay a flooring, and to wallpaper the room. Any pieces that came apart were redone, and any piece that was still stable I used my finger to squeegee wood glue into the join. I also did some sanding work and painted. I’m not to keen on the stairs. I’m not sure if the wood was originally not very good, if it was stored poorly, or not sanded well, or what, but it is very dry looking, and splits easily. I’ve made it so that the staircase will be removable, though not to easily. I cut off the tabs on the bottom, and can manage to wiggle the railings into place, and will secure the bottoms with a tacky wax so they are flush against the stairs. OR I may just use fittings to make railings, oh la la!


After some of the stair work I finally decided, mostly, on the main foyers look, and got started. I cut strips of basswood into 3 inch tall sections, and glued them on as a paneling, next will come a trim above them, and baseboard trim, after I figure out the flooring.


It was amazing to me how different it looked after some white paint! The wallpaper is either going to be brown and white or blue and white, selected from a stack of papers I bought intending them for the foyer. The two walls on the right, are not secured yet. They came loose through the years of wear and hair dryer, and not having them makes working in the foyer MUCH easier, so I’m waiting to glue them back in. I’m considering somehow hooking them in on a hinge, so that they can somehow still fold out of the way, but I doubt I’ll carry that out.

Besides the house itself I tend to sit at the dining room table and make any furniture I can find a pattern for. My favorite so far, easily, is this bed! I made the bed itself from scratch, and then made up the mattress pattern and made it too. Next will come pillows, sheets, blankets, etc. So comfy looking I just want to snuggle in for the winter! Here you can see it in what will probably become the main bedroom, the larger room on the second floor.


In the picture you can see the paint I used, and also the wallpaper for that room, the original rose paper.

I’m also pretty proud of these two tables, which are for no house or room in particular. I shift them around often.



Although, I strongly suspect that the larger one will become the kitchen table in our newest acquisition, a Santa’s Workshop!  More on that soon, hopefully tomorrow!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Welcome to 8612!

Welcome to my new blog. The first question is probably what am I blogging about, the next is what is 8612! So let me answer them both. :)

Since I was very young I loved miniatures, and I mean dollhouses mostly, but also just anything small. Even as a grown up I tend to purchase items just because they are so tiny and cute, even if they are not dollhouse sized. When I was a child my mom had a dollhouse, and I desperately wanted my own. I would eyeball her catalogs, make tiny things following instructions from her books, and dream of my own doll house. And I have zipped in and out of the dollhouse scene ever since. I had a dollhouse when I was 11, sold it when I was about 17 or so. Got another one (a shop this time) when I was about 23,left it alone at 24, got pregnant, got sick, got a screaming baby.  It's sitting unfinished in a corner of what I call my "craft abyss" instead of a craft room, really the title is more fitting. At about 27 or 28 I got a another, a big bulky solid house to redo in a completely unaccurate way, the scale was all wrong, so it sat. I found a house almost exactly the same but to scale on freecycle, got it at almost 29, and then gave the off scale one away. Then comes today 8/6/12, the day when I picked up my Beacon Hill, my dream house, from a Craigslist ad. The Beacon Hill is the exact house I adored in my Mom's catalogs all those years ago. Now I have one.

I stumbled upon the ad while looking for any minis supplies, and saw it was over 2 weeks old, but I wrote anyway. The house was unfinished, stopped during assembly for only the original person knows why. I got lucky. I got it. Upon inspection it is a interesting blend of unassembled, assembled, and already falling apart. Some trim has broken, some has fallen off in one piece, and some has never been attached. The inside is completely untouched in decor and wallpaper. So I'll be finishing, fixing, AND repairing, all on the same house, while still tackling the house I got from freecycle. I think on this day my journey to miniatures is complete, I'm not going anywhere.

So I'm going to blog about minis, starting today, my last day as being "back into miniatures" on 8612. Stay tuned for pictures of my houses, furniture projects, buys, repairs, and everything else along the way.