Westville: Stonework practice–Painting

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I painted the stonework I made with the Creative Paperclay in my last post. I’m fairly pleased with the results. This has been a good learning experience.

Painting started with making a base wash of gray. This is a very, very light wash: 1 drop of black plus one drop of burnt umber mixed in a plastic shot glass of water.

The next step was to paint stones with a darker gray wash in a random pattern.

Next the other stones were painted with a brown wash. Then random stones were highlighted with burnt umber and burnt orange.

It turned out a little bit more brown than I wanted so I washed it over with gray again until I liked it.

That’s my paperclay experiment. I like the results, it’s much easier than I feared, and so I will do stonework on the Westville.

For now, I want to finish this little house.

I’m adding LED lights from Evans Designs (made my own fixture below). Here I’ve strung the wires from the house, which I’ll thread through the base to hook up with the battery switch there (that’s the plan, anyway).

Roof pieces painted and ready. One thing I love about quarter-inch scale is the roofing is ready-made, usually from railroad modeling supplies. So much easier than gluing on one shingle at a time.

I’m almost done with this house, then I’ll switch back to the Westville.

More Nob Hill and Mini Framed Art tutorial

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Before I could put the roof on the Quarter-inch scale Nob Hill and hook up the electricity, I had to furnish the entire second floor.

I needed to finished the bathroom, bedroom, and room in the front–so here’s what I did.

Bedroom before I put the roof on.

Finished with roof and lights. You can see the front room, which I decided to keep simple, like an extension of the bedroom.

The bathroom is a kit created for this house by Suzanne and Andrew’s Minis. I added the towels, bottles, decals, and plants from my own stash and leftovers from other kits.

A peek at the bathroom through the window.

For the pictures: I search the net for vintage pictures or classic paintings and then size them for the house I need. I measure real pictures and posters and calculate the dimensions (easy for 1″ scale). These are quarter inch scale, and about 1″ x 3/4″ and 1″ x 1/2″.

I line these images up in a Word doc file (inserting each image and making columns), and then print on card stock using my color printer (when it has ink, which it usually doesn’t). I do many of these at a time and keep them in a folder. As you can see, I have more than one copy of the same picture, so if I mess it up, I have a second one handy.

For the frame, I cut pieces of molding that I’ve stained or painted. In this case, since it’s so small and informal, I cut straight pieces of 1/16 inch wood strips, stained them, and then glued them around the picture. For bigger pictures, I will use picture-frame molding and miter the corners or, even easier, buy a frame and size the picture to fit before I print it.

I glue the frames right to the cardstock and then cut it out with an X-acto knife.

This makes for quick and easy art to stick on the walls.

So now the Nob Hill has a roof and lights! Next, I need to furnish the downstairs.

New Projects

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I haven’t posted much lately, not because I haven’t been doing minis, but because I’ve been writing so much I don’t want to be anywhere near my computer when I’m done. After a day of my laptop, I want to go analog, so I paint, glue, cut, no computer in sight.

But … I’ve built a couple of kits that I enjoyed and am working on another as we speak.

For Halloween, I completed this spice tin (quarter-inch scale). Click photos for larger versions.

A fun little project that introduced me to another way to light minis (because I broke the switch on the battery box in the kit–this is typical of me).

Anyway, the kit came with a lighting kit–LEDs plus battery holder and switch from Evan Designs. This is a cool, easy way to backlight minis, especially great for the smaller scales. When I broke my switch, I easily ordered another one straight from Evan Designs, whose website showed me all the LED lights and switches I could buy! Very inexpensive too.

Christmas Project

I realized I didn’t have enough Christmas minis (I have one vignette and that’s it), so I made this:

This is a microscale “Secret House” kit from Robin Betterley. I have the kit for the interior furniture, but haven’t put it together yet.

I’m working on another Christmas project, a (one-inch scale) Christmas Peddler’s wagon (again from Robin Betterley–my husband got me a gift certificate last year, and I went nuts.)

I’ll post pictures when I’m done. It’s teaching me how to put together a wheeled vehicle, which is very clever.

I also put together another house kit (quarter inch), which I’ll show in the next post.

 

Older Projects–Paris game room

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I’ve been seriously busy this last month on work and travel, but I’ve been updating previous projects, mostly upgrading the electrical systems.

I built this games room a while back–the story is: A room in an old apartment in Paris on an upper floor, either in the 18th century or owned by someone who collects antiques.

I’ve changed and added things to this room over the years. This time I added a chessboard and pieces (I did not make; I purchased), and added an LED bright white light to shine behind the window.

I’m very proud of the gaming tables (below), because I made both myself.

The backgammon table came from instructions in The Scale Cabinetmaker (Vol 17, Issue 3). I made the playing pieces, the dice–everything!

The card table I made from plans in a book called Reproducing Period Furniture and Accessories in Miniature (I found it at a used book site somewhere). The cards are laid out in a game of piquet.

The decor on the walls are retro tarot cards (I think from the 19th century).

I put new LED light above a hole in the top of the box–replacing a fluorescent that didn’t do much. Now you can kinda make out the rooftops of Paris. I coated the window in clear nail polish to give it an old, bubbled glass look.

This is one of my favorite rooms, and I enjoy returning to it.

Older Projects: Shoe House–Finishing Touches

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Now that my obsession with the Beacon Hill has been satisfied, I’m returning to older projects and cleaning them up or adding finishing touches.

I returned to the Shoe House (Quarter-Inch Scale) to add decoration and furniture to the downstairs rooms plus overhaul the electric system. It had become disconnected and a tangled mess during my move.

I soldered! I learned this in class at the Chicago show, and now I have my own soldering iron and everything (cats beware…)

Scary stuff! But I am finding that the connections are stronger and more reliable. As in, the lights work!

I had to repair almost every connection, and add new lead wires. I got the green connection junction and battery box from Lighting Bug. It’s an LED kit. For each fixture one wire feeds to the positive, one to the negative lead wire (red for positive, black negative), and those wires are screwed into positive and negative terminals in the junction box. That is hardwired (by the manufacturer) into the black battery / switch box. I now just flip the switch on the black box, and the lights come on!

The kitchen is in the bottom of the shoe, only visible through the door and window.

I added all kinds of decorative touches (pictures, plants, dishes, books, pillows, throws, various accessories) to the living / dining room.

I tend to save accessories that come with other kits that I didn’t use with the original kit, which help scatter finishing touches throughout the house.

Upstairs I added pictures, pillows, nightstand accessories, and a folded throw at the bottom of the bed (you can barely see it–it’s pink).

Fixing the lighting systems lets me get a better photo of the bathroom, which, like the kitchen, is only visible through door and window.

 

I’m pleased with how everything has turned out.

Beacon Hill: Left Side–Chandelier

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I have chandelier!

I made this myself with findings from JAR / JAF and Cirkit candle holders and bulbs. It was a challenge!

Can’t remember if I showed the garage light, but here it is. (I purchased this one.)

I had to dial way back on minis to finish writing a book and turn it in, but I’ve returned to finishing the Beacon Hill.

Not much left! I need to make a chandelier for the middle floor room on this side, then put in floors, trim it up, and I’m done!

I’m gathering my thoughts on making this big house and I’ll do a tips / lessons learned post on it later.

Beacon Hill–Catching up

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I’ve been working on the Beacon Hill since I returned from Chicago, in between working hard on about four books at once. I have made some progress.

The left bay window is finished and installed. You can see I have much cleaning up to do.

I also finished the inside of the garage (painted) and added a light.

This gadget is a junction splice between the tape wiring and the power supply. It can be used with LED lights (the black and red posts where wires can be placed), or simply screwed into the tape (which is what I did). I bought this from Carl Sahlberg at http://www.cr2s.com.

A bad photo, but this shows how the inline switch plugs in. The black cord leads to the transformer / power supply.

It works!

Roughing in floor and staircase.

Floor stained and installed. I need to finish it.

I’m trying to decide whether to go with the piano …

Or the harpsichord. I like how they both look.

Staircase is almost finished. I had to take it apart to stain the treads and railings while having everything else white. I broke four of the spindles and had to replace with Houseworks ones. I’ll show more of the staircase when I’m done with it.

Moving to the other side … I have much of the outside trimmed and finished.

  

Playing with furniture placement.

I decided to switch the bathroom to the top floor. The fixtures fit well in here, better than they did in the second floor room. Oh well. They match the wallpaper too.

The other side of the top floor will continue the bathroom. The washing and sitting area.

First floor / ground floor. Entrance hall will double as a sitting room.

This is my reasoning behind building the tall bay window extension–so I’d have more room for furniture! Not sure that the sofa in the window will stay, but it might.

Upstairs will have another sitting area / writing room. I plan to add a desk, either in the bay window or behind the staircase.

This is now the bedroom. Not much space, but it could be cozy. Everyone has a mannikin with a tutu in their bedroom, right?

Kitchen is still empty. I keep putting in the stuff I have for it, taking it out, debating arrangements. I’ll get there.

That’s it for now. Sandy has to make sure all is well beneath, though.

It’s definitely getting there!

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