Wine Cellar vignette

Continuing with smaller projects, I put together this wine cellar in a wine box kit. I bought the kit at the Chicago show last April–I had said to my husband: “I’m not buying any more kits!” Husband: “Oo, look at that one!” and points to the wine box. Sigh. I purchased. (It’s by Jill Castoral: https://jillcastoral.com/miniatures/. She has a lot of cute kits–check them out.)

 

The kit came with everything pictured: The box (a gift box for a bottle of full-size wine), the wood to make the cabinet and wine rack and crate, wine bottles, the wine barrel, etc.

It was easy as well–simple pieces to put together, but the result looks intricate. Lots of staining and aging in this one! Most of the time for this kit came from waiting for things to dry. But worth it.

Putting together small projects that took a few days to a week was relaxing and a good stress break.

I have now gone back to the interior of the Westville, and also started the Pickett Pond, a Robin Betterley kit I’ve had laying around for a while. Photos of that one as I go.

Three More Small Projects

As I said in my last post, I sometimes like to make small, quickly built scenes (kits) for that sense of accomplishment. Here are three I’ve done in the past couple of weeks:

Microscale (1/144) Book “house”. There’s no inside, just a cute facade. This can stand alone or be a decoration in a 1-inch scale house. (Kit by Robin Betterley):

Pocket watch scene (kit by Ginger Landen Siegel). I picked this up at a show. It’s micro-scale, the pocket watch blank is the size of, well, a pocket watch. The scene is paper made 3D. Four pictures get stacked with various bits cut out and wood, lace, landscape material, etc added for texture. Ginger specializes in these kinds of scenes, which are a French art form from the 19th century. I did one of Ginger’s illusion kits in a larger scale here.

Yesterday, I finished this one:

This is the “Pie Pickup,” a 1/4-scale kit from True2Scale.

I picked this up at the Good Sam show I went to in October. The kit contains *everything*–pickup, the art, dishes and placemats, pies, chairs, shelves, jars, crates, fruit, and various accessories. I added the grass.

Fun little kit. Much is 3D printed, so there was a lot of painting with tiny brushes.

I like little kits like this–they’re low-stress, and don’t take up much space when I’m done.

I’m looking through my stash for my next small project, and trying to decide where I’m going to put the Westville when it’s finished.

Small projects: Redone scene and tiny kits

I’ve discovered that when I’m writing a long novel, which is months of work, I prefer doing short mini projects. This gives me a sense of accomplishment on the days when I’m wailing: “I’m never gonna get this book done!” (I do this on every single book; just ask my husband.)

First short project: I was cleaning out my closet, trying to organize the mass of junk that gets thrown in there, and I came across pieces of an old scene I’d done years ago, a turnaround vignette showing inside and outside a front door (1-inch scale). Its first manifestation was a Christmas scene–Christmas tree and gifts on one side, and presents left outside the front door on the other.

I gradually took that apart, moving the Christmas items to other scenes, and I had planned to do a grungy scene–peeling wallpaper, boarded up window.

But when I took out the wall looked at it, inspiration struck.

I covered the old wallpaper with scraps of leftover paper, and repainted the door and window (celery green, if you’re interested). I gathered some pieces that didn’t have a home, and voila, instant scene.

On the “front” side, I refreshed the grass (by brushing it clean, getting all the dust out of it), and covered some gaps in the bricks with “rose” material I had leftover from another project. A few extra plants and I was done.  (I’m proud of the bricks–I made them out of Fimo, cut into individual bricks, baked, and glued on. I must not have had anything else to do that year.)

It’s very simple, but I’m pleased with how it turned out.

I pulled out some other inexpensive little kits from my stash and have been happily putting those together. Next post will be about those.

Christmas Wagon

Last year I put together this Christmas wagon kit (1-inch scale). This year, I got the horsie finished and fixed up. Horse is a Breyer model I bought when I was ten years old. Yes, I still have it. In good condition too! I thought he’d be happy as my Christmas horse.

Both sides of the wagon are open and full of goodies, with lights to illuminate all the stuff.

I haven’t posted in a while, because the first two weeks of December, my husband and I went to the Caribbean. Where it’s warm! It was lovely.

We stayed a couple days in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which was wonderful. I def want to go back there and explore the whole island.

I took this photo of houses in a street in old San Juan. Would love to make a mini of one of them.

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season. Happy New Year!

Thanksgiving Spice Tin

I finished putting together the Thanksgiving Spice tin in time for Thanksgiving!

  

The tin is another Robin Betterley kit. It looks nice on the Thanksgiving table. After today it will join the other two tins I’ve done on the dining room shelf.

A look at the other tins:

Halloween Tin

Spring Tin

Enjoy Turkey Day!

New Quarter Scale Projects

I took a big break from the Westville, first to travel for about a month, second to work on some smaller projects that didn’t take very long to finish.

First for Halloween! This little kit was cute, fun, and took me two days (because I was working–it probably could be done in an afternoon.)

 

This is a 1/4″ scale kit from Robin Betterley’s miniatures called “The Petite Shop of the Black Hat Society.” It’s a vignette that is a peek through the window. Nothing else. Kit comes with everything including the battery box and lights, plus the frame.

They have several of these, for Christmas and other holidays. It sits on my shelf with other vignettes and tiny scenes..

The second project was more elaborate and took longer. Another kit, this one from True2Scale. It is also 1/4″ scale.

This very cool shop is called “Joie de Vivre.” It’s a bookshop, with a printing press on the top floor (or will be when I get the interior furnishings done.)

This kit took a bit of doing, plus I wired it, but I loved how it looked, I’m glad I built it. I had to shut it in the closet every night so my cat wouldn’t eat the wiring!

The interior. Three large floors with balconies indoors and out. A spiral staircase will lead to the balconies.

Bottom floor will be the bookshop.

Second floor will be a sitting room. The red glow of the fireplace LEDs was already done as part of the kit (thankfully).

I love the skylight on the third floor.

The skylight from above.

I love Art Nouveau, so this was a perfect project for me. I have furnishings kits for it, but have put it on display for now, and I’ll go back to it.

Projects: Veneered box and Dora’s Little Loft

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.