Monday, March 16, 2015

Foundation and Miele Appliances

Well, I'm at least gluing the foundation together this morning! Hopefully I can also get an idea of the foamcore/wood pieces I will need and maybe I'll even stop to pick up some supplies on my way to work later. I do enjoy my lazy Monday mornings. Normally I close on Mondays, so I don't have to be at work until 12:30 p.m.

While glue was drying I unpacked and photographed the Miele appliances that arrived!

The oven does take a AAA battery and lights up and makes noises. The range top also lights up and makes noises. The noises are pretty loud and scratchy sounding, but I love the look of the oven light on with the door open, just like a real one.

Included with the appliances were some plastic foods. These may need a little work to make them more realistic.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Unfinished Bespaq Pieces

Craftsman Storage Cabinet

Arrow-Back Armchair

Craftsman Dresser and Mirror

I ran across a selection of unfinished Bespaq items on Mountain Miniatures' website recently. Some of them were a little plainer and seemed like pieces that could work well in my current planned projects, so I bit the bullet and placed an order.

Of course, when I received them, they are definitely unfinished and will need more work than I had anticipated. Not that they are terrible, but there is going to be more sanding than I expected to get them ready to stain or paint. The dresser drawers especially looked a little rougher in general than I was expecting. However, they are the perfect sizes for the intended spaces, so I'm happy overall. And I still like that I get to determine the finish.

I have to really decide on my color schemes for the rooms before I know what I'm doing with them. The seat will need to be recovered on the chair, which is convenient as it came off recently. I was initially going to stain all three pieces, but I may go with painted finishes instead. If not on all three, at least on one or two.

The other order I placed recently was for the small Miele fridge, oven, and microwave from ELF Miniatures. I assume they will show up sometime next week. I've pretty much hit my budget for the month as far as purchases go, but I'm planning on another order from HBS in April to get supplies for the kitchen and bathroom.

I was really inspired by Brae's kitchen from her Baxter Pointe Villa, so I'm going the Houseworks kitchen cabinet route. (Also following suit with the Miele appliances.) We'll see if my kitchen ends up looking half as good as hers!

After the show last weekend, I did stop in at my local miniature shop, Alki Beach Miniatures, yesterday and picked up a few magazines. There are some construction/finishing supplies I still need to get before I start really assembling the shell with glue instead of tape, but I have to figure out exactly what I need first and then I'll probably go next week.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Acquisto Silver - Shell Dish

Well, I did go to the Seattle Miniature Show this morning! Much smaller (no pun intended) than the last show I went to about twenty years ago, but it was also in a different location. Lots of energy and excitement in the air. Bryn was nice enough to accompany me. I had forgotten to get some cash beforehand, so I didn't buy some of the pottery I was eyeing. But I did buy a piece I have loved for years and years. A tiny little Pete Acquisto shell dish in sterling silver. That was the only thing I brought home with me today, but I love it.

I'm hopeful that the Seattle show will continue to grow again and attract more dealers. There were a good amount of dealers there, but I didn't see as much furniture as I would have liked. If I was doing something period (Victorian, Regency, Edwardian, etc) I'm sure I would have found something, but there was very little that could be contemporary, and even less that was of the quality I'm looking for. And I'm trying not to buy too many accessories at this point, so I just figured I'd invest in one really nice piece today.

I still might head down to my local miniature store this afternoon. I have a hankering for some new magazines. Of course, the sun is out and it is a lovely spring day in Seattle, which means that I'll have to fight for parking to get to the store. It is right on Alki Beach and the crowds do flock there when it is nice out. Still, I think it is worth a trip to get some sun, a nice walk perhaps, and the latest copy of Miniature Collector.

Friday, March 6, 2015

"Denise's City Cottage" for HBS 22nd Annual Creatin' Contest

Here's what the kit photo looks like above...

And the two kits in boxes plus a door I also ordered...

And here's a view of the sliding door and windows that came with the first kit I opened.

Starting to assemble for test fitting.

Exterior view for dry test fitting. All the pieces were there! 

And an interior view as well. 

Just wanted to share some images of the kit at the beginning of the project. As I'm planning on kit-bashing the two kits together, there are some modifications I'll be needing to plan to make before things get fastened together. This was also good to do, because the instructions are all just text. I needed to figure out what pieces were what, and where they went! The roof actually doesn't have as much of a curve to it as it looks like. Also, it is nice to see the inside of the space with the rafters to get a better sense of the space. This thing is going to be bigger than I imagined. Now I'm starting to see why the smaller scales have been gaining popularity since they require less storage space.

Hopefully, I'll get a little more work done today on the walls I'm needing to modify. Probably not much will happen tomorrow because we're planning on going to the Seattle Miniature Show (yay!) and then maybe the zoo, if the weather is nice.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Another tiny find, a giraffe!

Another tiny thing I realized I already own is a teeny tiny crocheted giraffe! Bryn got me this as a gift a couple of years ago because I love giraffes and also small things. I absolutely loved it, but I'm realizing now that I will soon have a reason to take him out of the box and give him a proper place to live.

For scale, I placed the box next to a dime for the photo. It is hard to tell, but the giraffe also has a little leaf in his mouth and he came with a couple extra leaves too. I don't know exactly who made this, but I know he bought it on Etsy and I suspect that LamLinh's shop is where he found it. If not there, she also makes similar pieces.

You know, I have to say that I love the internet. I know some folks feel like it is "cheating" to track things down online, but the fact that I own a tiny crocheted giraffe from Asia, and an articulated 1/12 scale doll from Lithuania, and have some kits I'm working on from the USA... well... that's just cool to me. There aren't a lot of shops or shows up here in Seattle that I know of, and I can't really travel to do all the miniature-related things I'd like to do. So, the internet does help me get great ideas from various blogs and websites. And I can also find things to buy that I wouldn't find locally.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Fun Deliveries This Week

I received my two "Denise's City Cottage" kits from HBS this week. Also, a door that I plan to use with this project. I'll be combining the two kits into one structure (assuming everything goes as planned). Excited to get started on this and I think I'll be setting the barely started bungalow kit aside while I get this going. 

Also received in the mail this week was a little sofa! I had it delivered to my work, which is a furniture retailer. I got to tell my coworkers that I had a sofa delivered to the showroom that day, and it was in my locker.

I've been looking for pieces or kits that are a little more modern, and ran across this on Ebay. I'm trying not to buy much at the moment beyond materials to finish the room box/house kits I have, but this one seemed to have a nice aesthetic. Also, I'd had a few glasses of wine, so it was much easier to hit the "purchase" button. I love it, although the fabric is out of scale. When it comes time to furnish, we'll see how it works, and if it doesn't I just may attempt a recover.

One other thing of note is that the Seattle Miniature Show for 2015 is only a week away! I'll probably break my rules to buy a few things while I'm there. Thank goodness I get paid next Friday, conveniently beforehand. I had wanted to take a class potentially, but there weren't any workshops that really spoke to me. There is one on lighting that looked interesting, but it was on Monday and I have to work that day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Doll by Giedrė Petkutė

I almost forgot about another purchase I made last fall! When I bought my kit, I also wanted to get an inhabitant for the house. For whatever reason, I think it helps me to design a space around a "customer," of sorts. The bungalow was going to be a contemporary version of an older home, and I wanted the occupant to be a male artist. (Probably some idealized version of myself, I know.)

On Etsy I ran across Lithuanian artist Giedrė Petkutė's shop (SereneDolls) and really loved her work. She does these incredible 1/12 scale dolls that are full jointed. I had her custom finish me a gentleman with long brown hair and I also bought an outfit and two pairs of her amazing tiny shoes. When he showed up, I was blown away!

I haven't given him a name yet, and just ran across him again this past weekend after a few months of him hiding in his box. I still can't get over the shoes. At some point in the far future I will probably try my hand at making some clothes for him, but that will be later, when at least one of my projects is nearer to completion.

What also made me laugh is that I don't even have a chair to have him sit in. I used to have at least some dollhouse furniture, but I sold it all off years ago. As much as I want to buy a bunch of pieces now, I do need to slow down and focus on getting materials for the house and room box, and get those constructed first. However, I do like that I have a picture of something other than an unassembled kit to share on my blog. Mixing it up a little bit!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Finding a place to work...

Just as I suspected, I'm definitely not going to get anything done on the dollhouse today, but in cleaning up the apartment, I did move the bungalow kit components into the office. My desk and bookshelves are along the wall here (pictured) and then I put up a small folding table that has the house kit on it. I wish I had more work surface available! Things were spread out on the dining table, but I had to clear that off for a dinner party tonight. I'm wondering if I should set the bungalow aside for a time and just focus on the new kit that is coming in the mail? It will be smaller than the house, and might be a better "first" project to start with.

I do wish I could take over this whole room, but my husband has his computer desk on the opposite wall and he definitely uses this room too. At least it is bright and cheerful with a bunch of my artwork on the wall. (Can you tell I like triangles? I'm an enrolled member of the Karuk Tribe, and I use a lot of geometric patterns derived from traditional basketry designs in my artwork.) There is always so much stuff. I really need to get more organized, but I suppose creative people are seldom tidy. At least, that's what I tell myself.

Friday, February 20, 2015

HBS 22nd Annual Creatin' Contest

Been a little under the weather this past week, so I didn't do any more work on the Craftsman Bungalow. I had still been thinking about the HBS contest though, and I had a sudden flash of inspiration for what I could do with this kit. Since the entry due date isn't until December, I went ahead and placed an order today for my "Denise's City Cottage Kit" (see picture above). I don't know how well I'll be able to juggle two projects, but I really loved the idea I came up with so I'm going to go for it. The contest will give me a little more structure and deadline than the bungalow kit, which should help to keep me on track. Also, it is smaller, although I have many plans to customize it. But no more kits until at least one of these projects is finished, I swear.

Never did hear back from Lawbre about custom windows/doors and I didn't call them either. I figure I should challenge myself and try to work with the pieces that came with the kit. They'll need to be modified for sure. I did see that Jocelyn is coming along on her bungalow kit via her blog. It looks lovely! I really think her color scheme is great and I like seeing what other people are doing with the same kit. Would love to work on my house tomorrow, but I think we're having some folks over for dinner so I think my full scale apartment will be what actually gets worked on. Need to clean things up so that we can have company and mess it all up again!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Beginnings of a Bungalow

There isn't a lot to share right now beyond the fact that I've begun assembling the foundation for the bungalow. I've still been reading a lot on various miniaturists' blogs, mostly Architecture of Tiny Distinction (AOTD) and Otterine's Miniatures. They are SO inspirational! I have the feeling that there will be many similarities between my bungalow and the one that is on AOTD, because she had so many great ideas in finishing her dollhouse. I'm trying to also make it my own though, so while I am planning on following some of her examples (nixing the staircase, false ceiling for the dormer window, wood panelling on the main floor), there will definitely be differences too.

Never did hear back from Lawbre, which leads me to believe that I should try calling them this week. I suppose I can try assembling my own doors and windows if I must. Doors I'm not as worried about, but the windows feel like they will be a chore to make.

I have been having so much fun getting ideas online from builds that other folks have done, and looking at all the fun accessories, furniture, and kits that are available out there, that I keep having to remind myself to slow down. There's no sense in ordering furniture kits before the house is built! But I'm trying to keep track of things I see that I want to try. I'd love to attempt making rugs or do landscaping like the stuff I see on Otterine's. But again, those projects will come later.

Today I did follow a link from AOTD to McQueenie Miniatures and found this Edwardian Bed Kit that I think would be perfect for the house. Then I realized why... it is the same bed I've seen in posts on AOTD for her American Victorian dollhouse, and also inside her Craftsman Bungalow. It couldn't hurt to order just one kit early, eh?

Also saw this week that Hobby Builders Supply is selling kits for their 22nd Annual Creatin' Contest. Would love to buy this kit and work on that as well, but I'm holding off for the moment. While it would be a smaller (and fun!) project, I should probably just focus on one thing at a time.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Step One: Open the Box

It has been forever since I posted last! Sadly, no miniature-related updates during the busy season at work. I'm starting to feel human again though, and have been planning what I want to do for my Bungalow kit. Last night I even opened the box and started sorting through all of the pieces (as shown above). It was a little overwhelming, but I'm going to take my time with construction as there is no reason to rush. I'm realizing that the tough thing will be figuring out where to build the kit, as I don't really have a good, large workspace available.

I've reached out to Lawbre to see about having some custom windows and doors made as I don't really like the parts that came with the kit. I probably could attempt to make them myself, but I know they would do a better job than me at this point. Plus, it isn't a huge house, so there aren't too many of them to make. There are three windows on the front of the house, and then I want to add two small windows on the second floor (one on each side). I'll need a front door, and then two interior doors for the upstairs. Downstairs, I'm going to rework the wall so that it is more of an open divider between the rooms. 

There are still some supplies I need to get before I even start putting things together, but I'd like to at least start on assembling the foundation in the next week or two. I've been debating between doing a brick or a stucco foundation. Brick seems like the right thing to do, but it will be a much more intensive project. But hey, if I'm not making windows, I can do the brick, right? I've been obsessing over Architecture of Tiny Distinction's blog posts about the Classic Bungalow she built a year or two ago. Her other posts are also full of great info and, if I do brick, I'll probably follow the recommendation for the method she used from Otterine's Miniatures

Of course, I can't help but think ahead to the excitement of decorating. I'm planning on doing wood panelling downstairs with some wallpaper friezes most likely. And upstairs I've been looking at wallpapers and have found ones I really like for the two smaller rooms at opposite ends of the house. 

Birds and Berries on Cream Background by Jackson's Miniatures 

William Morris Fruit and Leaves in Orange/Green by Itsy Bitsy Mini

The larger center room will have a wallpaper frieze, but I don't know if I'll do panelling with it, or a combination of panelling and another wallpaper pattern. And I'm still trying to think of the tone of wood I want. Darker? Lighter? A combination? Since it is meant to be a contemporary home, I'm not sticking too closely to the Craftsman or Arts & Crafts aesthetic. Obviously the wallpapers are a little more Victorian, but they seemed to capture the feeling I want for those rooms. 

I'm excited (and nervous) to get started!