Chicago Show–Stuff

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Showing a selection of beautiful things I found at the Chicago show.

An overview of the goodies.

Wendy Swale’s pillows and specimen (shells) tray. I’ve been purchasing Wendy’s pillows for years (have them all over my dollhouses), and it was exciting to meet her. She is the sweetest lady! I couldn’t resist these pillows and also her tiny paperweights and minerals (below).

Mirror in background is by June Clinkscales.

This “fossil” I got from Wendy is paint! From the car factories in Detroit when the cars were spray painted. The overspray built up on the machines, layers and layers, and now these pieces are collected. Apparently yellow is highly sought after.

Another artisan I was excited to meet was Troy Schmidt of Red Dragon Pottery. I’ve been admiring his work a long time. I purchased a Japanese tea bowl, a pot with wooden handle, and an ewer with a dragon spout. Lovely.

This beautiful Celtic knot by Diane Almeyda can be worn as a pendant or hung in a dollhouse window. Best when the light is behind it. I chose this particular one because it goes with my “Shifters Unbound” series of books (the Shifters wear collars with the Celtic knot.)

I love this tutu! From Julie Stewart at Aristocratic Attic.

Laura Crain had a ton of things at her table I could have glommed. I restrained myself and bought this pretty chair and pot of hydrangeas. I am thinking of putting the chair in the bathroom of the shabby chic side of the Beacon Hill.

The standing mirror is by Pete Acquisto. Not only is he very talented, he’s also the nicest guy. Just a regular person (sure), who happens to make amazingly exquisite miniature silver pieces. I love his work.

Couldn’t resist the beautiful captain’s desk, made by Bruce Phillips (BHP Fine Miniatures). It has several compartments and secret drawers.

You can just see the pulls of the hidden drawers beneath the tray. They really are there.

Two Brooke Tucker-style pieces. I liked the bling on the lamp. And bowls for the cat who has everything.

June Clinkscales is another artisan who is lovely in person. I took a picture of this bed I fell in love with then said, what the heck, and purchased.

The color and style will fit perfectly into the top floor room of the left side of the Beacon Hill (which will look much better once I have a floor and a window and other details …)

Last but not least–electrics!

From Carl Sahlberg, whose electricity class I took, I have power supply, circuit boards, and LED Christmas lights, both in color and warm white. I might use the warm white in one of the Beacon Hills.

I was a little intimidated by the circuit boards, but they’re very simple. I’ll have more on that later.

I did make one other purchase (or at least a down payment) from Ferd Sobol. When I get that all paid off and in my hands (or on a table touching it very carefully), I’ll do a presentation. 🙂

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Chicago Show–Workshops

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To say I had a blast at Chicago International is an understatement. I hope to return next year.

I could not stay the entire week because I had to do a reader event in Milwaukee, so on Friday afternoon, I left (after shopping until I dropped), and drove from Chicago north.

Workshops I took during the week:

Magic of the drill press with Tom Walden. Who knew? You can use a drill press for routing, carving, shaping–all kinds of things!

We made a table, which I did not put together all the way. I need to fix and finish it. I took Tom’s beginning class, but would love to go to the advanced class another time.

A radio made by Tom Walden using a drill press for everything except the knobs. (An example he passed around in class). Behind it you can see the holly and ebony table I’m working on.

Second class: Electricity!! Carl Sahlberg (Creative Reproductions 2 Scale: http://www.cr2s.com) taught this one. I of course went to his table the next day and bought all kinds of supplies to try out, including strings of LED Christmas lights.

We made a working fan with a light!

All the fun tools! We didn’t keep these–but all supplies for the class were provided. I learned to solder! Much easier than I thought, though I’m sure I’ll set the cats on fire if I do it at home.

The basic fan put together. The blades were laser cut for us. The board with electric tape was for us to practice laying and working with tape runs.

Bottom of the fan. The light socket has been threaded through (you can just see the tiny socket waiting for a light).

Lightbulb installed with globe over it.

It works!!!!

These two workshops were all day (9-5) with a short break for lunch. Intense, but I learned so much.

In my next post, I’ll give highlights of the show and things I bought. Before I went I feared I’d end up broke and having to sell the cats, but happily I found many lovely things without going over my budget.

 

Dremel Workstation

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****I’ve already had a taker for this, so it’s gone!**** Thank you!

 

I have a Dremel Workstation (220) I am looking to get rid of. If you are interested, please e-mail me via the contact form here: https://jennsminis.wordpress.com/about/.

It is nearly new–I took it out and set it up, used it one time to practice, and then I moved and never used it again. I even have the instruction booklet and screws to mount it for stability. (Note, this is the workstation *only* [the drill press and tool holder], not the Dremel tool itself.)

Why am I getting rid of it? Because I bought another drill press at the Chicago show, and I don’t have room for two!

 

Beacon Hill–Left Side–Garage

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On with the Beacon Hill!

As I’ve talked about, I set the left side of the Beacon Hill on top of the Houseworks garage.

 

I decided to proceed finishing this house from the bottom up, which means finishing the garage first.

Touched up outside paint, finished inside paint, and painted the floor.

Houseworks has a garage door to fit this kit, so I painted and installed it. Tip: Do not paint the rollers or the roller tracks if you want the door to work (it rolls up and down). I used this same door kit in the Mechanics Garage I did a few years ago.

Outside finished and trimmed.

I didn’t construct the garage exactly to the specifications of the kit, because I needed a flat roof, and the kit has peaked sides. I could have simply cut the peaks off the sides, but in the absence of a good power saw I decided to use other pieces of the kit to create the side walls.

This leaves me with a hole in the upper left side, because that piece of wood was supposed to be a floor with a hole for a ladder or staircase. Now it’s a window!

I went back to my own “Windows Tutorial” (link below) and did a custom-made window. First lined opening with 3/8 strip wood.

Making the two window frames from 1/4″ strip wood.

Frames ready for plastic or micro-glass in between. I imagine most people’s windows will be neater than mine.

The finished window with outside trim and sill (I haven’t trimmed the inside yet).

The Windows Tutorial post shows in detail how I put together custom windows. This method will let you make any window for any size of opening. Very convenient when you have an odd-sized opening or want to make different styles of windows without relying on what’s commercially available.

Now we have the garage! I need to do more trimming on the bottom.

While looking at this house head on, I made the decision not to do the entrance stairs up the side. I like how it looks, I can pretend there’s a way up from the garage, and it will be easier for me to display in a tight space, which was why I cut the Beacon Hill apart in the first place.

I will most likely put the left bay window in where it’s supposed to go.

My decision is not set in stone–I might change my mind again. But I like the simple appearance of the house as is.

If I do put in the bay window, I’ll prep all the parts.

Next thing for me, though, is the Chicago International Show! I am going this year for the first time! Signed up for workshops and everything. Let’s hope I don’t spend too much money. 🙂 I have $ set aside and a budget. Really.

Hopefully I’ll be able to take some photos of exhibits of cool minis. Which I of course will share!

Sanity project: Interior of Ravenwood 1/144 house

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Because I was working so hard, I took a break from the Beacon Hill to finish the interior of the Ravenwood house, which I’d built a couple of years ago. (Post on exterior here: https://jennsminis.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/halloween-interlude/)

The house is microscale, sitting on a one-inch scale cabinet.

This house kit is by Robin Betterley. http://www.robinbetterley.com It’s called a “secret house,” meaning it is solid when you look at it, but secret compartments slide in and out, showing you the interior.

One thing I like about Robin’s miniatures is that she tells a story for many of them. The story of this house is about a young woman named Sophronia whose family moves into this derelict house and makes it a home. She’s terrific at natural medicine and helps out many from the nearby town. She also nurses any ravens she finds hurt in the woods around their house. The entire story is included with the kit, including the day the lonely doctor meets Sophronia in the woods …

I mention the story to give context to the rooms. This is the left side of the house. Ground floor, living room. Second floor, dining. Third floor, father’s bedroom.

The tower–the middle of the house.

First floor, entrance. Second floor, hall with entrance to the ravenry (through the large picture). Third floor, library.

Right side of the house.

First floor, Sophronia’s consulting room. Second floor, ravenry, with cage. Third floor, Sophronia’s bedroom. The pouf in front of the dressing table is a tuffet. (Now you know.)

The house in its entirety.

The lower half is a one-inch scale cabinet for potions and spooky books. (The bottles and book below are mine–not in the kit.)

I loved this kit. For the interior, everything comes with it–all the furniture, books, raven cage, chandeliers, candelabras, paintings, fabric, carpets–everything!

Just what I needed to ease my stress. However, microscale is tiny! I need to get back to one-inch scale, which looks huge to me now.

Next, I return to the Beacon Hill and start finishing up the left side of the house.

 

 

 

 

In the Interim: Mini Show

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I have been working flat out at my “real” job as a writer–two deadlines back to back, and two more coming up. Whew! But–I made time to go to a the Small World Mini Show one afternoon and also to finish another kit. Minis is therapy.

Some cool things I saw at the mini show:

This was my favorite exhibit–a wedding suite in a wedding shoe! You can read the story of it here:

This flower shop was really well done! So much detail.

Witch’s workroom inside a spell book. 🙂

I enjoyed these rooms using unusual spaces.

Well done junk shed.

Lovely and unusual Christmas room.

A couple of my purchases. I couldn’t resist this flapper with attitude from Fern Vasi.

Steampunk manikin from Vegas Aires. So much detail.

I went, I saw, I shopped, I came home refreshed.

Working: Fun Minis to look at

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Sorry for not posting here in a while, but I had to step away from both blogging and minis to finish writing a couple of books (one is final, the other I’m still working on). Must write books so I can afford to buy wood strips! In the meantime, enjoy photos of some of my 1/4″ scale projects (these are all kits).

Honeysuckle cottage (kit by Sue Herber).

 

Interior waiting for furniture.

Shoe house (kit by Suzanne and Andrew’s Minis)

Unfinished interior.

A peek inside the kitchen, in the shoe part.

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Sparrow cottage (kit by Sue Herber)

Interior of Sparrow cottage (living / dining above, and kitchen below).

As soon as I acquire more wood strips, it’s back to finishing the Beacon Hill!

 

 

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