Friday, May 29, 2015

Garden Shed

I haven't accomplished much in my miniatures this week.  I've been busy with work and getting ready to go on the road again.  I thought you would like to see the garden shed in place in the base.  Sorry some of the pictures are a bit dark, took them at dusk.  Once everything is finished I will take better shots outside.

I still have to do all the antiquing to the entire project and add the moss to the roof.  I'm still working on the trellis as well and a few minor floral projects around the shed.  So far I am pleased with it.  I think my Plan A  Plan B Plan A roofing turned out good.
I'm off to Toronto for the week, first for a miniature workshop on building a leather wing chair!  I want to use the project in one of my upcoming roomboxes, so I'll have lots of news on this when I return.  (Or maybe I will be able to blog as I go, I plan to take lots of pictures!)
After my mini weekend, I have to attend a Furniture Show for the rest of the week, so I may not be able to blog during the week. 
Hope you all have a great week!
Until the next time....

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Gifts from the Moncton Miniature & Doll Show

We had visitors from New Brunswick this past weekend.  Earlier this month there was a miniature show in Moncton (I think, Riverview to be exact).  I knew a couple of the people exhibiting at the show.  Also a friend and work colleague of mine, who lives in Monction, sent me an email to tell me about the show.  We have a long history of bad things happening to both of us when it comes to me buying miniatures, while travelling for work, to the point now it has become a little bit of a joke.  To say the least, when they heard of the show, I got the notice, and I told them they should drop by and visit the show!!  Never thinking they would, but they did!

The Saturday of the show I get this picture texted to my phone, announcing that they had arrived at the show.  Of course the first reaction was "Buy me something!"

When they arrived this weekend, I got my "gifts" from the Moncton Show.  Unfortunately the handmade items did not have any information on the makers.  So for anyone who recognizes the work, I would love to give them credit.

I received this lovely wine and cheese prep board.  The crackers are perfect, and the grapes and cheeses look good enough to eat.  Of course two bottles of the necessary wine, one white, one red.

Some close up shots.

I know just the place I will be using this prep board.  More on that tomorrow!

Then there was this wonderful little bulletin board, complete with it's own "thumbtacks", which have a tendency to go flying across my craft room (but I keep finding them, otherwise it would be painful to step on one!)  Think I will use this one in the bakery, and move the one in the bakery to the shed door, think the colours will work better.

My friend's favourite drink is rum and Pepsi, so my third gift was his favourite drink.

Isn't it great to have friends who will just buy you gifts when you ask?!  It was great to hear when they told some people at the show who they were buying the gifts for, they actually knew me, friends from Camp Mini Ha Ha!  The world is so small, no pun

I know they got to speak to Jo-Ann Shaw, you can check out her wonderful pottery and other miniatures by clicking on her name.  Jo-Ann, they are still amazed at your pottery.  They loved the pieces I have from you when I showed them during their visit this weekend.

Also at the show was Marijke.  You can check out her blog.  She makes everything from flowers to miniature food to the most exquisite needle work.

To all the other exhibitors, hope it was a successful show.  If you are the crafters of the two wonderful projects above I would love to know.

So I didn't get to go the Moncton show, but I definitely got to reap the benefits.  I think I read that this may be their last show, which is sad.  Glad I got to get some mementos from the show.

Until the next time....

Saturday, May 23, 2015

While the ridge roof ages....

My miniature shed roof is slowly aging now, I've applied the same solution to the ridge roof and now I just have to wait.  Since I'm not that good at waiting, I just wondered over to the bakery, not for some Saturday morning croissants, but instead for a messy garbage can.

 I had purchased a plastic garbage can filled with candy at the local bulk food stores many years ago for the sole purpose of using it in the bakery scene.  Mine was bright green, but as you can see from this picture I found online, they come in mini colours and the scale is perfect.

I painted mine with numerous coats of gray aluminum coloured paint and them rusted it appropriately until it looked like this.

Then I proceeded to fill it.  I stuffed the bottom with some old paper to help me get to the top of the garbage can, then I collected a bakery box, bakery bag (two styles) some pop cans, coke bottle, scraps of baked goods, that obviously did not meet up to some customer's standards and an old flour sign, and glued it all to the inside of the can.  This was the results.

I added a few old fruit crates behind the garbage can with some appropriately "rotting" fruit and this was the end result.

Once everything is dried, I may add a few more messy things around the display.  

The unfortunate part of having "rotting" food around is that it may attract other visitors other than the customers.  This was a difficult shot for some reason, but I hope you see our visitor.

He's concealed a little,  but I need to figure out why my camera couldn't zoom in on him so closely.  Hope he doesn't make his way into the bakery!!!

In the meanwhile, I've added some more displays to the front of the bakery.  More to follow on this.

Once again, thank you for your comments and feedback.  It's so appreciated.

Until the next time......

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Roof Ridge

Sometimes thinking things through before you proceed are wonderful things to do.  Unfortunately I'm the type of person who just charges right in.  Which is exactly what happened when I glued the roof ridge copper on.  Had I thought it though, I would have realized I should glue one side, turn it, so it lies flat and weigh everything down so it dries firmly attached, then repeat for the other side.

Nooooo, but that's not me.  I glued both sides and then realized that clamping something that is on two angles is challenging.  That's when I get creative.  Here's your laugh for today and Wanda's unique clamping skills.  Wish me luck.

Yes that is a large potato chip bag clip on the top, holding two strips of wood that is trying to keep the ridge cap in place.  Since masking tape didn't appear to be holding to the oxidized copper well, it now extends from my work surface, right across the top of the chip clip and down to the other work surface.   I even taped the top of the chip clip so it wouldn't spring back.  If it does I may have a hole in the ceiling of the craft room tomorrow morning!  Wish me luck!

In the meanwhile, after four coats of the vinegar/salt solution here are some close ups of the roof.

I think I may put one more rinse on after the ridge cap is firmly adhered, (nod your head in acknowledgement please, without laughing) and then let the roof age for several weeks before applying the antiquing and moss (which will cover a multitude of errors in the copper application!)

I have lots of other things to work on with antiquing the outside walls and of course there's my other three UFOs, the bakery, the street scene and the long forgotten castle room.

Once again, thanks for all the comments, not just the ones on this blog, but on the Facebook pages.  A big shout out to the Facebook group, Hints and Tips for Making Miniatures, who gave me lots of wonderful feedback on my project.  If your not following this Facebook group, check it out now.  There's a wonderfully interactive group of followers there!  Thanks for the feedback and for sharing my link.

Until the next time....

Monday, May 18, 2015

Aging the Roof

Now I have started on the aging process for the roof.  For the past two weeks I have been waiting for a jar of vinegar and salt to cure.  It was 1 cup vinegar to 1/4 cup of salt.  I've had my husband shaking this bottle a couple of times each day while work took me on the road.  The instructions in the magazine said that it would get a pretty blue-green color.  This never happened, however it did get cloudy, looking like this after two weeks.

So I decided to test the mixture on a piece of scrap copper to see if it will work.  After one coat it looked like this immediately.  The copper color was immediately removed from the metal as soon as I brushed it on.

After two coats, one day drying between coats, it looked like this.  That's amazing, I can only imagine what the salt in the air does to metal buildings.

So with these results I decided to proceed with the actual roof.  Here are the results in one coat.

After two coats, you can see the bluish colour start to appear.

Two issues I am realizing.  I think for the next coats I will tilt the shed so that the solution sits flat on the roof for a period of time, the aging is more visible on the lower edge, where it's collecting.  I know this is natural, but I am just trying to speed up the results everywhere else, but I will ensure the roof edge appears more intense. 

The other issue has to do with the fact that each side of the roof is made up of two pieces.  The area where the join is had the Liquid Nail glue I used outside on the metal.  This has sealed the copper in this area, making it harder to for the solution to penetrate thru to the copper, hence why it looks shiny still.  Any solutions on how to get the glue off this area?  If I can't, I will cover the area in the moss that I have to add later, so it can be concealed.

I also painted the top ridge of the roof black before I add the final ridge cap.  Again I will have to add a seam here, which I am hoping to hide.  Maybe with a bird and more moss.  Any suggestions on where I can find a very realistic bird for the roof, one in a nest would be great.

Another problem I did run into and had no way to avoid, so I am just living with it, is I couldn't line up the ridges from one side to the other, Each ridge is millimeters different in size, but over the course of the width of the roof, it was impossible to line it up, so I made it as uneven as possible, so it looked more intentional.  This is the worst at the back, sorry the wood I was using for a clamp to keep the join in place to join, is interfering with the picture.

Overall I am pleased with the results, and there's more to come.  The most valuable lesson I think I learned is leave about a week between bending/applying the copper and starting the aging process, the salt and vinegar getting into the cuts on your fingers from the copper is brutally painful!!  Ouch!  (At least a week will give the cuts time to heal!)  Or where gloves when applying the solution!

Again thanks for all the comments and feedback, I appreciate all and am reworking the trellis as per your suggestions.  

For all Canadians out there, have a wonderful Victoria Day holiday.  Having this long weekend is great!

Until the next time....

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Lisa's Miniature Gifts

I'm getting myself all unpacked and back into the swing of making more miniatures.  The hardest part of travelling is coming home to unpack, wash and put away everything you needed while travelling! Wouldn't you like to wiggle your nose and have the suitcase unpack itself?  I wish!

Well last weekend is just a memory now and as I put away all the wonderful gifts that Lisa gave me, I thought I would share them with you first before they find a place in my displays.

I always wanted to build a Christmas room some day and Lisa gave me these wonderful Christmas cards she made and two lovely stockings.  The stockings are actually in Barbie doll scale, but they are still lovely.

I have wonderful new items to add to my bakery roombox.  Now I have these "Pigs in a Blanket", Chocolate Chip Cookies and Pretzels, both of which are much better made than the pretzels and chocolate chip cookies I attempted to make myself.  Her pretzels look good enough to gooble up right now, and her cookies have more realistic chocolate chips than mine, mine look like chocolate chunks!  Don't you just love the wrapper Lisa made for the pretzels, that's just the extra details she adds.

The pretzels and "Pigs in a Blanket, are added to a baking sheet and dressed with a doily and ready to display in my bakery shop.

Likewise for the cookies, can't decide if I should add all the cookies to one side, and add another item.  Think I will!

Lisa also gave me one of her pizzas, only type I can enjoy when your lactose intolerant!  Also a delicious bowl of chips made from pepper seeds and a box of tissues for a miniature bathroom.

I've never thought to make an Easter themed roombox, but Lisa also as given me more Easter treats.  If you recall she had given me the Easter bunny cake, complete with it's own bakery box, and now I have these lovely Easter bunny chocolates and one Easter Egg.  They are so realistic!  Now I have to decide where I can add these wonderful creations.  Lisa made them from an Easter themed mould and then painted the coloured details on afterwards.

If you get a moment, don't forget to check out Lisa's blog at Lisa's Minis  You can also follow her on Facebook.  

Thank you again for all your kind suggestions in the comments on the garden trellis, I think I will add more leaves and more flowers and not have them so evenly spaced.  I can add some darker leaves as well.  I will have to Liz know at Grandpa's Dollhouse that I need more roses, I don't have anymore this exact same shade.

If you noticed the new look to my blog, I was trying to play around with it, and have made some major changes, most unintentional.  It appears I've changed my blog from three columns to two, which has completed eliminated my bucket list.  Got to go and rebuild it again.

Now I guess it's back to tidying my workroom, while the glue dries on several other items.

Until the next time.....


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Home Again!

I'm finally home from a week on the road.  I was anxious to see how the trellis looked against the shed.  I think I need to add more leaves.  It kind of blends into the shed walls.  The picture is poor, didn't see to have enough light.  What's your thoughts, more leaves, or not?

Another big thank you to Lisa for allowing me to spend the weekend with her last week.  I would not have been able to complete this trellis without the time we got to spend together.  I will share with you in a future posting the wonderful gifts Lisa gave me during my visit.
Again thanks for all your comments and welcome to the new followers, hope you enjoy my miniature ramblings!
It's a beautiful Victorian Day holiday weekend here in Canada, so we have three days to relax before returning to work.  The weather has been wonderful and even though I would love to be in my workroom, the weather is calling for me to weed the real flower beds and not the miniature flower beds.  We get so few warm days here, we have to take advantage of them.
Still have to finish the copper on the other side of the roof and antique the roof.  Hopefully I can fit this in between gardening outside!
Until the next time...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Classic Cuisine

Last year I turned 50, yikes.  I know it's just a number.  Still there's all these things you would like to accomplish before you turn these plateau ages.  For me, you'll see a long list of things on my miniature bucket list on the left side of my blog.

One of those things was to take a workshop with Whitledge-Burgess.  Leave it to my wonderful husband, who also reads my blog, (hence adding the "wonderful" part before his title), he surprised me with a Whitledge-Burgess workshop at the April Chicago Miniature show.  I was so excited, a week in Chicago, a wonderful workshop and then to shop at the miniature show, what more could a miniaturist ask for!  I even got to talk to Scott Burgess to work out some details (having to travel on to North Carolina from the show, due to my work commitments.)  Plans were made to meet up with some of my friends from Camp Mini Ha Ha at the show, and it all came together.

But even the best of plans sometime don't work out.  Unfortunately as some of you may know, the Whitledge-Burgess workshop at the Chicago show was cancelled due to personal reasons.   I got an email from Scott who explained everything and we came up with an alternate arrangement, I got two Whitledge-Burgess kits instead!!  I don't get to meet these wonderful guys, but I got the second prize, another Plan B for me.

The kits are Classic Cuisine and Equestrian Spa.  Here's images from the Whitledge-Burgess site showing the completed projects.

Classic Cuisine
Equestrian Spa

The first of the kits, Classic Cuisine, arrived recently, I was so excited, unfortunately not so much with Canada Post, who left the kit, unsigned, on my door step.  Thankfully I have honest neighbours!

(don't worry guys, I erased the address from the picture!)

It was just like Christmas morning!  I quickly opened the book, and then gulped!  It's an absolutely detailed kit, with pages and pages of instruction, a very complicated lighting LED lighting system (okay complicated to me, who's afraid of lighting), and a very organized kit, each section is bagged to keep all the parts separated to ensure there's no confusion.

Then I had to control myself and not start one more kit and have another partially completed project in progress.  I have decided to finish the bakery, garden shed and castle room first!  (Wonder how long I will keep that promise to myself! Ha!) 
I have wonderful friends from Camp Mini Ha Ha who completed a similar roombox in a workshop at last year's Chicago Show and they promise to help me.  I'll have them on speed dial once I start the kit, thankfully I have a great long distance plan, since they are all in Ontario!
But I am hoping once I do start this kit, that you will follow along with me and watch me complete one of the items on my bucket list.  I am so excited, and so thankful to my husband, Scott Burgess and Ray Whitledge for helping to make my 50th year so extra special!
Now it's back to folding copper for the roof of the garden shed!  More to follow on this!
Until the next time.....

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Rose Trellis at the Garden Shed

It's a couple of days later now, and I am still on the road travelling for work and sitting in a hotel (again) and I thought you would like to know how I filled the trellis.  I had made the trellis several years ago and wrote about it in this blog posting.  You can see how I made it in this posting.
Here's how I filled the trellis.  I used a punch that looked as close to a rose leaf as possible.  It was a Punch Bunch brand.  I do find these button punches difficult to use, but I managed to get a quite a few leaves punched. 
Then I cupped and dry brushed the rose leaves with a blend of red, gold and darker greens to give the leaves more depth of colour. 

While the leaves were drying, I added rose vines to the trellis.  I winded them throughout the trellis and glued the wires in place and left everything to dry

I used ready made roses and rose buds.  I glued all the roses and most of the buds in place the first evening, and left them to dry all night.

The next day I started to add all the leaves I had punched and painted.  I am still deciding whether I need to add more leaves.  I think I will wait until I return home and lay it against the side of the shed and see if it stands out enough.

Until the next time....

Monday, May 11, 2015

Miniature Weekend

I was so excited when I found a fellow miniaturist again in the province.  This past weekend we were finally able to get together and work on projects when my work took me to the other side of our province.  We created miniature cakes together using wood dowel cuttings.  We decorated them with Fimo.  Sorry for the fuzzy picture above, that's the one cake I made.  The three below were all created by Lisa.  I'll add my rose petal cake to my bakery when I get home.

Here is Lisa holding up one of her creations!

 Lisa also created some wonderful miniature pizzas using some Angie Scarr cane slices I purchased at the Barcelona Fair a couple of years ago.
They look so realistic!  Each pizza contains red and white onion slices, red and green pepper slices, pepperoni slices and mushrooms.  Lisa used pastels to colour the Fimo to the exact colour of a cooked pizza.  She used Liquid Fimo to make the "pizza sauce" and "cheese.  Aren't they wonderful?!

Lisa also gifted me with a lot of her wonderful miniatures.  I haven't had a chance to photograph them yet.  But I will and share them in another posting.
I also was finally able to fill the trellis that I built for the garden shed several years ago.  I'll share with you how I did it in a future posting.
Thanks for all your wonderful comments!
Until the next time......