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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sorry to be away so much lately

I've been trying to catch up on my blog reading but I am still about 3 days behind.  I haven't had much time to work on my minis at all, hence no postings.  I've been doing all the last minute errands for my wedding, which is in 6 days!!

I thought I would share some pictures of another project I've been working on, my bakery.  I still don't have a name for the bakery.  All I have left to do is add signage, more "bake goods", add the front step, and trim the edge of the landscaping base.  I've been actively looking for a bike to go outside with a basket, but I haven't found exactly what I am looking for yet.  Hope you like it.












This will probably be the last posting for at least a week.  I'll be too busy in the coming week with the wedding, visiting family members and I still have to punch in three days of work, before I am off for a week!

Until the next time......
Wanda

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Work continues on the castle

My last day of my long holiday weekend did give me some extra time to work on the castle again.  I've glued together all the panelling for the back wall, but I am still deciding on the baseboard, crown molding and fireplace insert.  I did finish carving this wall as well.



I was planning originally to do just a plain fireplace but I think with the detailing of the panelled wall, I think the fireplace needs a little more attention, so I am back to the drawing board on that part.  I don't think it will stall me on the progress, because I can prop this much in place and proceed with the interior of the tower, and then fit the fireplace in later.  I do have to cut the hole for the chimney access though.

It takes so long to carve each wall, I was working for three hours on this much alone!  At this rate I should have the project completed by next year!  Now I'm off to research this fireplace!

Until the next time....
Wanda

Monday, October 11, 2010

My last garden swap arrived

With the busy holiday weekend here (it's Thanksgiving in Canada) I haven't had a chance yet to post the fact that I have received my final garden swap from Margaret in Australia.  She sent a beautiful birdcage, birdhouse, wooden crate and the most wonderful dried lavender to hang from the rafters of my shed.  I can't wait to get the items in place.


I am working on Caterina's swaps again because unfortunately the package I sent never made it to her.  This time I will put a tracking number on it to ensure that it makes it to her.  Hopefully I can get this completed this week, because the following week will be a busy one with the wedding fast approaching.  It's less than two weeks now!

I have two new followers to welcome.  Say hello to Alennka & Frederica( I don't see a blog for either of you, but if you have one, just post a comment in this blog!)

Again a big thank you to Margaret!  I love the items.

Until the next time-
Wanda

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pottery of Marie Luce Pelletier

In the past two years while attending Camp Mini Ha Ha, we've got to visit a local artist's community called Bear River. 


In the quaint town we visited a local gallery, and on my first visit I was pleasingly surprised to see some miniature pottery by Canadian Artist Marie Luce-Pelletier.  Her work is phenomenal and on both trips I have purchased a piece.


This year I purchased a jug which I absolutely loved.  The finish matches the piece I purchased last year which is a covered jar.



The gallery we visited in Bear River was called "Flight of Fancy" and they have a web site at http://www.theflight.ca/ 

I ran a search to see if there were any other sites selling Marie's pottery and I found this link:-

http://www.spminiatures.com/marieluce.htm

Check out the pottery.  They are collector pieces, and well worth the investment.

Until the next time
-Wanda

Thursday, October 7, 2010

More Purchases at Camp Mini Ha Ha

I've been busy at work this week, and busy doing last minute wedding stuff, so very little has been done on the castle.  I thought you might be interested in more of the minis I got at the recent Camp Mini Ha Ha.

Great fireplace embers for the castle fireplace!

Candles, statues and fireplace fender

"Silver" plate and open serving bowls


Glass jars, real tapered candles and fancy scissors,

Okay I guess not all the last items may be for the castle!  But they were so nice I had to buy them for some project!

Two of the vendors set up at the camp were Grandpa's Dollhouse and Petite Images.  They have wonderful products.  Check out their sites.

Until next time
-Wanda


Monday, October 4, 2010

Castle Progress

I seem to have put my garden shed on the back burner to work on the castle.  I've finally tidied my workroom, found a spot for the castle, dryfitted everything again, and started doing more carving.  I completed one more wall, and the two sets of stairs.  I wanted to show wear on the stairs from centuries of walking up and down.  I hope it comes clear in the pictures.



Now I have all the interior walls carved in the main room except the wall that I will be panelling.  So now I have to get the panelling glued together.  It was so inspiring seeing all the walls come together, I wanted to play with the furniture and get a sense of how much I needed.  I have one chair (shown in the tower room) and the sofa table now, all the other pieces I placed in the castle belong to other projects.  I just wanted to get a good idea of how much the room will hold.





I found a great picture in a magazine that has given me the inspiration for the room.  I love the tower room in the picture, and I really love the upholstered ottoman.  I want to replicate these pieces for my castle room.








I have one new follower to welcome.  Have a look at Chris's blog at http://chrispycrittersminis.blogspot.com/  She's been a busy blogger with two other blogs as well.
Chris, thanks for taking an interest in my blog.

Until the next time......
Wanda

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A wedding gift from my fellow campers

Because I had a wedding quickly approaching, less than 3 weeks, the ladies at camp treated me to a beautiful card and monetary gift to be strickly used for a mini purchase to remember all of them.  It was a difficult choice, but I decided on this lovely Bespaq sofa table.  I will use it in my castle room.



I also choose a handmade clay vase made by one of the campers, Jo-Ann. 



I have a couple pieces of Jo-Ann's clay pieces.  Last year we received a corner plaque for our stores, which I embedded on the side of my bakery, which was handmade by Jo-Ann.  It has CMHH (Camp Mini Ha Ha) and 2010 written on the plaque.



She also gave everyone a mug that she made last year.  I am very pleased with the pieces and hope to collect more in the future.

Thank you ladies for your kind gift!  Everytime I look at the table and clay pot I will think of each one of you.

Until the next time....
-Wanda

Saturday, October 2, 2010

More of my mini purchases

One of the many great things about Camp Mini Ha Ha, is that they bring the store to you.  Several vendors set up tables to sell their mini wares.  Some already have brick & mortar stores and some are just hobbie miniaturist who make fantastic items and have rented a table for the camp to sell their wonderful items.  Whichever type of seller they are, camp attendees get to SHOP!!

I purchased some great items for all my present projects, because as you know there is never only one project in the works, it's a part of my AADD personality!!

My garden shed project which has been put on the back burner because I needed a drill to do the electrical (no excuse now because hubby has purchased said drill)!  It wasn't forgotten while at camp though, and I purchased several new accessories for the shed.


There were great wooden barrels and buckets found, metal bird house and bucket.  I got some wonderful bunches of roses, a pick axe (to dig those mini holes to plant all my flowers!)  I love the rusty chain, this was actually given to me by another mini camper, thank you very much.  I also love the red and white birdhouse I purchased from another lady at camp.



I had to zoom in on one of my favourite purchases.  Sitting on top of the wooden barrel, is a delicately hand painted butterfly.  I've been looking for one to go on the window box that will be located beneath the garden shed window.  I was delighted to see one of the campers selling one at her table.  You can also see a close up of the rusty chain and pick axe close up as well in this picture.

I plan today to get my workroom tidied again, and to hopefully get back at working on either the garden shed or the castle.

Until the next time....
-Wanda


Thursday, September 30, 2010

More Garden Swaps

When I returned home there was a note from the post office informing me of a package waiting for me.  Today I got to pick up the package and was delighted to received my garden swaps from Kim.  What a wonderful collection of potted flowers and loose flowers.  They will be perfect around my garden shed.

Kim had everything wrapped beautifully and ensured that nothing was crushed in shipping, all the pots were wired to the boxes!  Thank you Kim.





I've got to dig out my workshop now and reorganize everything from the recent Camp Mini Ha Ha.  With getting ready for camp and then returning with all my new swap items and purchases, plus the castle room, it looks like a hurricane really did go through the room.

Thanks again Kim, I hope you have received my flowers as well, and they work with your projects.  It's so nice swapping, not only do you get wonderful items, you get to see how others assemble their flowers and I've learned so much from this.  I noticed that you have sprayed or painted the flowers with something, that really keeps them sturdy.  I think I will spray my flowers in the future as well.  Thanks for the idea!

Until the next time
-Wanda

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Safely arrived home from Camp Mini Ha Ha

I've safely arrived home from Camp Mini Ha Ha and my partially completed kit, swap items and purchases have all made it safely back to Newfoundland as well.

I had so much fun at Camp and learned so much more about mini construction.  So even though it was a hectic time to go both from a work perspective and considering I am getting married in less than four weeks, I am glad I went.

One of the great benefits of camp is that several vendors of dollhouse miniature items also set up at the camp, and we have several time periods where we can go shopping.  These vendors are the campers who are also participating in the workshop as well.  So I got to purchase a lot of new items, both for the castle project and for other projects still in the works and in the planning stages as well.

One of the new items I purchased was some fantastic rugs.  I had received one of these rugs in the final night giftie exchange, but I also purchased four more for other projects.  The detail in these rugs is fantastic, and the prices were even better!!


I've got lots more purchases to share with you in the coming days.

I also promised to welcome all the new followers in the past 2 weeks. Check out the blogs of the following:-

Annie at http://obsidian-hall.blogspot.com/
Janine at http://missameliasminiatures.com/home.html
Little Miss Kris, I can't to find a blog for this one.  Let me know if I have missed it.
Tabitha Corsica, at http://tabithacorsica.blogspot.com/

Thanks for taking an interest in my blog!

Until the next time
-Wanda

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fifth day at Camp Mini Ha Ha

Today was our final day at Camp. We pack up to return tomorrow morning. It has been a fun filled week, with lots of mini making and lots of laughs. I am totally exhausted. I’ve learned so much more, collected so much more, and can’t wait to get home with my new minis and continue working on the castle.


Today I carved my floors and walls. It’s a very tedious task to do so. I am amazed at all the planning and thought that has to go into each panel before you even start carving. You have to ensure that the pattern matches the walls that come into contact with the wall you are working on. You have to tape off all the areas that will be glued first, to ensure that you don’t paint these sections in error when you get to the painting stage. You have to lay out the pattern using a pen on the panel before cutting. This task alone takes a lot of time because you are working with a predetermined pattern that you have to continue to match. If there are doors and windows in the panel, you have to work around the trim work for these as well.





Then you have to carve out the initial stones, then round the corners, next use an emory board to round even more in the grooves. I used my drafting brush to brush each piece briskly to remove any cut pieces that remain in the grooves. The cut pieces become filled with static electricity and stick to everything! It’s important when you cut the grooves that you remove all your ink lines, because the ink will bleed through the paint later if it’s still there. Then we used a rolled up piece of tin foil to roll over the foam to give a rough texture to the foam. This task alone gives the walls a fantastic stone effect! So it’s so much to take in and do, which makes it very tedious. But I am sure the end result will be wonderful.


I have so many plans for the castle when I return. I want to electrify it, so I have to select the appropriate light fixtures. I have a picture from a magazine that I am using as inspiration to decorate the castle, so I have to make or purchase all the furniture to fill the room. But first I have to finish cutting the stones, and then assembling the castle room.

During the morning I took a smaller class on making a Silver Shield. Each year we have made one piece of silver. The talented instructor is a retired silversmith, who is extremely patient with each of us as he passes on his skills. Last year I made a beautiful sterling silver knife with a wooden handle. This year, keeping in theme with the castle, we had a choice of the shield or medieval spears. I thought the shield was something that could have been passed on from generation to generation, so would still appear in a modern day castle. I thoroughly enjoyed the class, and I was disappointed to find out that this was the last year that our instructor will be teaching us silver work. He is moving to the west coast of Canada, making attending our camp a little more challenging. He will be very missed.







For anyone who is interested in attending in the future, you should check out the camp web site at http://campminihaha.com/. The camp is located in beautiful Nova Scotia, and it’s worth the visit to the area. Prices include your project, meals and lodging and it is extremely reasonable prices.

We also got a memento of the camp again this year. This year we received a sterling silver dagger (which I think will be perfect for a letter opener) made by our Silversmith instructor. It is stamped with CMHH 2010 (Camp Mini Ha Ha). It is beautifully detailed, but I don’t know if all the details will show up in my photo.



We also received our final tidbit exchange again, and this time I received a wooden barrel, another spear, a witches’ hat, a hour glass, silver oval box with opening lid, wine rack with three wine bottles, and more Tudor accessories.



For our final giftie exchange I received a wonderful area rug. I have also purchased several more of these which I will share at another time.



My next posting will be back in Newfoundland, so until then…..

-Wanda

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day Four at Camp Mini Ha Ha

Day Four


Today at Camp Mini Ha Ha we got to try our hand at the painting techniques required to paint our castle to make it look like stone. We worked from some sample foam pieces and I started with a very light color base coat, then a second light coat that contained sand in order to get the grit effect of stone. I then sponged on several layers of darker colors, but I wasn’t totally pleased with the finish color. I went back and tried painting with a base coat, but once again I couldn’t get enough lighter colors to lighten it up. I want my finish color to be mid range, similar to my inspiration room. I think once I return home I will experiment with more colors until I get the finish look I want.






For the remainder of the day we continued carving our stone walls. It’s a very tedious task and I definitely will not get this finish before we leave on Tuesday. I am concentrating on getting all the interior walls finished and then I can work on the outside walls, crenulations and painting when I return home. I would also like to wire the room, and this is definitely a task left for when I return. All the places showing green tape are the areas where you cannot paint, because later there will be walls or floors glued to these areas, and the paint would prevent a good seal.

I also carved out a recess for a door at the top of the stairs.  I didn't actually cut a hole through, but I wanted to give the illusion that the steps lead to somewhere.  You will see very little of the door once the other walls are in place.  I will carved the door to make it look appropriate for the castle.





One of the instructions carved a quatrefoil pattern for me so I could carve it over the archway to the stairs.  She also made a pattern for a larger quatrefoil between the outside windows.
At lunch time again we got more of the tidbits from the attendees. I received more wonderful little accessories including some Danish spears, picture frame, plant, scroll, wine glass, Tudor styled water carrying case, wine barrel, tapestry and candle box.




In the evening we had another gift exchange and I received a fantastic medieval carving wheel bench. The wheel actually turns! I know I am not dressing my castle in a Medieval theme, but the carving wheel is a beautiful piece in itself, so a definite keepsake.



At the end of the evening we had what is termed at camp a Kit-n’-Kaboodle sale. Attendees can make up kits, do a demonstration on how to assemble them, and then sell the kits. I bought some fantastic items which I will share at a later date.

Overall another great day at camp with more mini techniques learned.

I love reading all your comments!  It's a beautiful location here in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia for the Mini Camp.  Some readers were inquiring about the materials being used.  It's builder's foam which is used in building construction as insulation, usually for basements.  You can see some of the insulation values written in red on some of the pieces.  It's an extremely dense product, very easy to carve, but your blade gets dull very quickly, so you need lots of replacement blades for your knife.  It will be challenging to get it back to Newfoundland on the plane in one piece afterwards, but I will package it will.  I will be travelling with the castle in panels, rather than assembled, and I have brought a seconds suitcase just for this purpose.

The building material they choose was the main reason I wanted to come and do the camp.  The medieval and fantasy themes that a lot of the campers choose to do, didn't personally appeal to me, but the material and techniques used in this project was of extreme interest to me, hence why I came to learn from this!

I apologize again if my pictures are not in the right order. The internet connection here is very slow, and I am having a lot of problems with uploading and arranging the photos. I am writing my blog posting the evening before and copying it to the blog the next morning, so it’s been somewhat challenging.

Thanks again for everyone’s comments on the previous postings, and especially to my fiancé! I miss you too.

Until tomorrow…..

-Wanda