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 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…..



Kim@My Fairytale Cottage said...

So glad you had a wonderful time!!
I can't wait to see your finished castle! Have a safe trip home.
-Kim :)

May said...

¡Que vacaciones mas estuprndas y que trabajadorahas vuelto!
El intercambio es precioso
Besitos May

Norma said...

This is all great info, thanks for sharing Wanda. I'm a bit pressed for time at the moment but I'll be back to study it in detail in a few weeks :)

Tallulah Belle said...

What a wonderful way to spend a week...I'd love to do this and will be looking it up :-)

It might be time consuming but the end effect is so worth it. I am guessing it is pretty messy too :-)

the shield is lovely to have learned how to make something like that.

And all the gift's have been amazing but that dagger is the best so far.