Projects: Veneered box and Dora’s Little Loft

2 Comments

I want to share two little projects I did when the Westville grew too frustrating, and then I’ll turn back to the Westville build.

First, I finished up the box I started in the class with Geoff Wonnacott in Chicago.

I added the hinges myself, plus all the filigree and lock. Papered the inside of the box and then finished the outside with shellac.

The hinge pins were long pieces of wire snipped as close to the hinge as possible and then ground down with a Dremel. I was amazed at how well that worked! New techniques to know.

The second fun project is a kit called Dora’s Little Loft–almost 360 degrees different from the box above.

This is a kit by a Chinese company called Robo Time, which specializes in 3D puzzles and miniature scenes. I’ve seen these kits in various catalogs that come through my house (like Acorn and others), and I purchased this one because it was just cute.

It has a retro feel and is very colorful. The kit contains *everything* in the room–you make all kinds of accessories and little decorative objects, all out of paper, wood, wire, clay, and findings and beads.

Everything here I made from the bits of wire, paper, and fabric in the kit. It’s cleverly put together, even if some of the accessories are a little fiddly.

A tip: Superglue (krazy glue with brush applicator) saves a lot of grief when working with the projects made of wire.

I can put together another post with tips and tricks on this build.

Meanwhile, here’s details of the finished piece.

I used my own pink fabric for the chair, but everything else came from the kit (they include the chair’s fabric, but I liked my color better.)

I chose this kit instead of the plant shop, because I didn’t want to make so many plants. Ha! This one has 19 different potted plants, plus the rose vine and a tree! I cut out many leaves …

I love the details of the cat’s food bowl, milk, and enclosed litter box.

The light fixture with led light and battery box is included–battery box is hidden in a niche beneath the scene. It was one of the easiest lighting hookups I’ve done.

Scale? It’s sort of 1/2 inch, sort of 1 inch. It’s not really exact. But it looks fine. The finished scene is about 8 inches x 10 inches, maybe 10 inches high.

I enjoyed this kit so much (when not cursing at it), that I looked to see what else they had.

HBS (miniatures.com) has four–this one (Dora’s Loft), the plant shop, a kitchen, and a mini camper (I like that one and might get it too).

I searched Robo Time’s website for more, and there are many more. A bookstore, a coffee house, a porch, other shops, all kinds of them. I purchased another one–a music studio–because I play guitar and piano, and it looks cool.

You can purchase directly from Robo Time–they have a U.S. warehouse, so the shipping is from the U.S. (and shipping is free if you spend about $50). They’re also sold through other retailers, and Amazon. Prices are cheapest at the Robo Time site or HBS (miniatures.com)

Anyway, a fun little interlude before I got back to the Westville.

Next post–Westville porch, bay windows, and starting the roof.

Shopkeeper Doll class

4 Comments

I took a little break from building and went first on a cruise, then came home and took a doll making class from Fern Vasi today.

Made this guy:

She made the armature and head and cut out the fabric pieces. We dressed him and did his hair and accessories.

Started with this:

Here he is with pants and shirt on.

And done. I made his eyebrows and mustache too!

I love him! I might put him permanently in this room box which is under construction.

This is my first-ever attempt at a doll, so I’m pleased. I realize I only dressed him, I didn’t actually make him. But it was a lot of fun! Three hours flew by.

Way Cool Miniatures

2 Comments

I want to share some of the coolest minis I’ve found. The first is a box of Lord of the Rings books and maps in Spanish. I bought this from the artisan (who is from Spain) on an online sale that was chock full of wonderful things. I had to restrain myself.

(Señor Anillos means, in literal translation, “Ring Lord”)

The side of the box with the cast of the film version.

Inside are the three main books of the series (Fellowship; Two Towers; Return of the King), plus a secret drawer!

The books are printed throughout. This one is The Fellowship of the Ring.

Inside the secret drawer all all kinds of maps! There is one from the Hobbit and also the ones that lead to Mount Doom.

The craftsmanship on this set is wonderful. I first read The Lord of the Rings when I was about twelve, and nerded out on it big time.

This set satisfies both the nerd in me as well as the miniaturist. It really is beautiful.

Next is the Metamorphic Desk by Ferd Sobol.

\

Backing up–When I went to Europe a couple years ago, one reason I booked the trip we did was because it ended in Basel, giving me a day of free time to go to the Miniature Museum there. (I know how to plan…) I’ve posted photos of what I found there elsewhere (Basel Miniature Museum (Spielzeug Welten Museum)

There they displayed a metamorphic desk:

20160609_120026

 

I loved it! When I saw that Ferd Sobol had built one, I ordered one from him when I attended the Chicago show last year. He makes limited editions and I knew that when they were gone, they’d be gone and I’d regret it forever if I didn’t grab one, so I indulged. Hey, I work hard. I should have a beautiful desk, right?

Here it is in the left half of my Beacon Hill. The chair pulls out, the two halves slide open, and a drawer compartment pops up. (The drawer contains secret letters!)

I got to choose the wood, the inlay design, and the fabric for the chair.

You can see it a little better here, and below:

It’s beautiful, and the workmanship is superb (he is brilliant). Here’s a link to a video about the desk, from Ferd Sobol’s site–you can see it better than in my photos.

These two are so far my coolest minis. Both are displayed in the left half of the Beacon Hill, which is my “show house.”

In the Interim: Mini Show

1 Comment

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.

Creekside Studio (Much needed break from Beacon Hill)

5 Comments

Taking a break from the Beacon Hill, I built this kit. Creekside Studio by Suzanne and Andrew’s Minis. This took me about a week–it’s 1/4 inch scale. Nice to do an entire build in a week!

Front door and porch.

The back door.

Right side of the house.

Left side and interior.

Suzanne and Andrew offer a landscape base for the house as well, which comes with material to do the dirt and grass. I thought ahead and purchased it when I bought the house kit.

The blank base.

The base provides the height for the porch steps to reach the back door.

I’ve painted the stones on the base here and added grass and dirt. I’ll plant a ton of flowers later–thinking of doing a vegetable garden too.

The “creek” looks like it has water in it. It’s triple gloss sealer.

The full creekbed side of the house.

The back door. I’ll put in bushes, flowers, and other fun stuff.

Right side of the house. I’m thinking of putting the kitchen garden here.

A fun kit, glad I bought it.

Break from Beacon Hill but back soon

1 Comment

This time I did have to take a break from the Beacon Hill. Too much!

I turned to other kits I had bought and stashed. First, a microscale flower shop:

I think one appeal of microscale is that you can build a whole house and landscape it in a weekend! That and it doesn’t take up much display space.

These both are kits from Robin Betterley: https://www.robinbetterley.com/collections/watercolors

Next, I started a quarter inch scale kit from Suzanne and Andrew’s that I’d been hoarding for a year or so.

This kit is called  “Creekside Studio”  in 1/4″ scale. Very small, a first floor and a loft, the first floor divided into two rooms by a cabinet. (I see this kit still for sale on Suzanne and Andrew’s site, so if interested, grab it. Their kits get retired.)  Creekside Studio by Suzanne and Andrew’s Minis

I’m almost finished with the structure. I’ll post pics when I’m done. This one is taking me about a week to finish (maybe two).

But I’m still plugging away on the Beacon Hill. I now have interior trim done for the second-floor room (will be the bathroom):

and the left half of the top floor, which will be a bedroom.

One reason for my slowdown, other than dollhouse fatigue, is having a lot of work to do at my job (real life). Minis had to go on the back burner for a while, always a bummer.

It’s also nice to do simple kits to step back from a more complicated one. Suzanne and Andrew (http://andrewsmini.com/miniatures/ ) and Robin Betterley (https://www.robinbetterley.com) have fun ones that look great when finished. (I promise I don’t work for them or do endorsements for them; I just like their stuff!)

I hate to admit it, but I can’t resist a great kit. I keep telling myself I will design my own houses, and then I see a fantastic, well-designed kit, and in it goes to my stash. But I swear I will make them all! I decided a few years ago that there’s a difference between collecting and hoarding …

More Beacon Hill anon.

 

Miniature Luxuries Sale

3 Comments

Popping in to say I got a note that says Miniature Luxuries (http://miniatureluxuries.com/) is having a huge sale starting today. They have wallpapers, fabric, laces, and decals for dishes and so forth, and trims. All scales. They have lovely stuff. Enjoy!

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: