Landscaping Weekend

Mini-ing this weekend was re-doing the landscaping on the 1/2-inch scale Cotswold Cottage (in addition to more windows! Have only three more, woot!)

I didn’t like how the original landscaping of the Cotswold Cottage came out, so I pulled off the glued-on foam and the plastic bricks and redid everything. Used a grass sheet instead, and clumped green foilage for bushes.

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The back patio and side yard. French doors lead to living room; back door leads to kitchen.

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Little seating area outside back door.

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Back door (to kitchen)

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Added new potting bench. Want to fill out this bench with more accessories (dirt, flat of plants, and so forth)

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Cattails grow outside the kitchen’s imaginary wall.

CCfrontdoorFront door.

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Full shot of front door.

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Front of house (front door) and patio. Under the lean-to is the electric works.

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Right side of house with back door and patio. 

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While I was landscaping I took time to fill two pots with greenery and flowers to hide a spot outside the Blue House B&B.

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This is the bedside table of The Big House. (Didn’t do anything with this, but I thought it looked pretty, so snapped a pic.) 

Blog note: I added a search box and a category drop down to the blog so it would be easier to find posts and info.

One-Day Project #1–Half-Scale Trailer landscape

Sometimes I like to do a mini project that takes only an afternoon, not weeks (or months)! I finally found a display box the right size for the half-scale trailer and fixed up a little scene. (Husband actually spied box in The Container Store–he has a good eye; I totally missed it.)

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This trailer obviously has been here a while (as indicated by the dead grass beneath and the weeds growing around the rocks behind the wheels and hitch, not to mention the blocks holding up the other end). Maybe it’s a retired couple who have decided not to go anywhere too quickly. Why, when you can read a book and sip iced tea in the sunshine?

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Half-Inch Fairfield Landscaping / Wiring experiments

I’ve been quiet on this blog because I’ve been crazy busy in my non-mini life . . . finishing a novel, writing and publishing a novella, going over copyedits of another novel. All in three weeks.

Today, whew, get to talk about minis!

About one year ago, I pulled the first parts of the Fairfield out of the box! This month, I finished it!

Base: In the few minutes I got away from writing in the last couple weeks, I bought a piece of plywood and cut it to size (18 x 18)  for the base of the Fairfield. (Cut it myself, thank you!) Here it is half painted and waiting for landscaping.

Right (open) side of the house. The wiring is one great big mess–am using Houseworks plugs and power strip, an  easy and convenient system, but an eyesore. The only reason it looks neat here is because I wrestled the wires into submission.

Solution? Build a cover. I did this for the Blue House, so gave it a try here. It’s amazing how much better everything looks with a piece of wood over it.

Nice and neat. I’ll figure out a way to hide the transformer lead wire too. As you can see in the above photo, I’ve started furnishing and accessorizing the kitchen.

Landscaping: I want realistic landscaping but I don’t want it to be too fussy. Also, I’m constrained for space. I need this to fit on a shelf in my living room. So the base is fairly small (18 x 18). I decided to go with brick paper to form a walkway to and around the porch, and grassy areas which I’ll fill with flowerbeds, shrubs, trees, whatever.

The flower bed won’t stay there. I’ve put it here out of Temptation’s way (my cats: Temptation 1 and Temptation 2)

But yay! I’m pretty much done with the building and decorating of this house inside and out. (Furnishing and things to come, of course). I’ll try to write up my thoughts of the whole process and post it soon.

Cherrydale Exterior

I’m slowly finishing the exterior of my Cherrydale. Front porch with wreath I made on the door. Chair w/ cat I bought at an “estate sale” at the Mini Time Machine museum (100% of proceeds went to the museum). Obviously chair was made for Halloween, but I thought it would look cute on the front porch.

View of porch and landscape from the side. Sign says “The Blue House Bed & Breakfast.”

Side porch.

Back (kitchen) door looking through back gate.

The whole front. I plan to put in a porch swing. When I took pics, I realized front door needs a step up. Plus the extension wing looks a little bare. Needs vines or shutters or both.

Details of the side garden.

Another detail of the garden. Click to enlarge.

Pat Balazs Mini Cottages

I always love the articles about Pat Balazs’s houses that appear from time to time in Miniature Collector. I want to crawl into the pages and explore beyond the photos in the magazine. Bless her, she has a website! With many more pictures of the cottages.

http://www.balazscreative.com/minipat/index.html 

The April Min Collector features her Lilac Cottage.

Her miniatures are beautiful and so well crafted, and give me much inspiration.

Tale of two projects

I can’t do just one thing at a time. I stay fresh by going back and forth.

I’ve started back on the Blue House landscaping and garden, plus I’ve roughed in the third floor hall (former bathroom) on the Big House. Pics below to tell the story.

The back entrance area paved and the gate and fence put up.

Closeup of back entrance stairs and stuff.

The garden bed started. I’ve used Little Goodies kits (she’s out of business, but I have them left over), as-is flowers from HBS, marigold kits, and paper punched flowers by me.

Closeup of the flowers. I plan to fill the bed.

On to the Big House:

See my last post for what this looked like before (an old bathroom). Roughed in the new walls and floor. Put in photo and brick wall for atrium/grotto scene (it looks like a shower right now, but no, it will be a tiny garden with a window in front of it). Lights are roughed in place.

Good progress for a couple of weeks in my spare (very spare) time.

Don’t fear the landscape–in-progress photos

Ok, I sat and looked at my Cherrydale, studied landscapes done by talented people in Miniature Collector, and started to get ideas.

I have some photos in progress. Haven’t glued anything down here–trying everything out. I plan to do a flowerbed under the front wing window: an irregular shape outlined with brick, filled with flowers (that I have yet to make).

An overview first, then details.

 

Purchased brick stairs, made the side columns, put in front walk plus flowers (pansies made by me).

Detail of paneled porch sides, my pansies, and flowered bushes by Bill Lankford (Creative Accents). http://www.billlankford.com/landscaping_items.htm (affordable landscape items made by an artisan–love it!)

What I bought from Creative Accents: Climbing roses, forsythia bush (bright yellow), pink border plants. Found the picket fence and gate in boxes that came with the house–I cut to size and painted then hinged the gate. Will put a park bench out here too.

Detail of climbing roses, border plants. Little green bushes are made of “green stuff ” I bought from All Things Small (http://www.allthingssmall.com); birdhouse in redwood bucket I bought at a local miniature show.

I’ll be paving the side yard and putting in brick stairs.

Much more to do, but it’s a start. And I’m no longer afraid.

The Cherrydale

This is a Cherrydale (originally by Lilliput which is now Real Good Toys; or maybe it was always part of RGT). Anyway… I bought this house with the exterior finished as you see, from the DIL of a miniaturist. It was a bargan–the house plus several large boxes of miniature “stuff” for not much $$, but DIL was clearing her MIL’s estate and basically needed the minis gone, but to a good home.

I bless the day my friend called me and asked me to drive over to take the house off her hands. The two ladies who worked on this (I never met them–I don’t even know their names), did a lovely job on the exterior. They upgraded some of the components (porch railings), built the two-story extension, and had started finishing the inside (wallpaper/flooring/wainscotting/trim in most of the rooms).

I wired and completed the inside (see: http://www.jennifersromances.com/Miniatures/liliputhouse.html) on my website for lots of photos. Now I’m faced with finishing and landscaping the exterior.

I’ve not done a lot of landscaping, and I’m trying to tell myself not to be afraid. The builders put the house on an inch-high “foundation,” which gives it a nice base. I in turn set it on a piece of plywood (as shown here) which will become the yard. I made this house a bed and breakfast, so I’d like to make the yard pretty and welcoming, have a hanging sign on the porch, and a brick/flagstone area for outdoor barbequing.

I’ve found amazing things in the boxes I purchased: a full set of “wicker” garden furniture, Houseworks components for a picket fence and gate, even a small coi pond. I’ve bought some more materials myself, so I’m ready to take the plunge.

The only other landscaping I’ve done is on the 1/2-inch Cotswold Cottage, which came out OK, but just OK: http://www.jennifersromances.com/Miniatures/cottage.html

I won’t fear the landscaping. I won’t fear the landscaping…