Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Power of Accessories

For those of you who have followed my blog, you may remember my post lamenting that the Victorian bed didn't quite look right in the master bedroom. Janice Lee Smith suggested I make a throw and toss it on the bed. She added that by fastening my cloth to aluminum foil, I might have greater control over how it drapes. I tried her suggestion and it turned out well! (See photo below.)

My wife and I agreed that perhaps the flooring wasn't making the bed "pop." So, when we attended the Quad Cities miniature club show, we found an oriental carpet to put under the bed. The two additions - a throw and a rug - made quite a difference in the look for the room, don't you think?

I'm now working on curtains for the bay window. I'm using a cornice kit created by d.Anne Ruff. I'll put some soft lace curtains under the cornice. Again, it will be mostly white on white with the curtains, but we'll be sure to include some colorful pictures on the walls. And I probably will add a colorful throw pillow or two beside the two white pillows on the bed. Then, my daughters (who love interior design) will add the final touches to the room and we'll call it done.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

I've been tagged! Now I'm picking six...

It's Father's Day here in America. (Is it celebrated in other countries, too?) So, I've taken lots of time to explore and make some selections. As I mentioned in my previous blog, I was tagged by LinsMinis who is in Durham, England. (I’m constantly amazed by the Internet – I follow blogs from people in a variety of European countries, down under" and various sites across the USA. How small our world truly has become because of this invention!) Lin is a very talented miniaturist, who also has some commercial sites and sells on eBay as well. Please do check out her blog. Her miniature food is exquisite!

I know the rule of the pick six is to tag six people whose sites I find interesting, and then list six things I like. I can’t just go post comments on six sites and leave it at that. I want YOU to know about their sites, too! So, here are the six I picked (in no special order of importance). I hope you may enjoy these sites as much as I have. Josje Veenebos’ blog was recently picked by someone else for the “pick six” honor; so I don’t expect her to do a whole new group of six blogs to feature on her blog. I have just enjoyed seeing the pictures of her work. I was looking at the picture of her kitchen one night, and my son-in-law said, “You mean, that’s a miniature kitchen!?” It’s just exquisite. New England Miniatures in Kennebunk, Maine. It’s a small, family-run miniature business. Grazhina has several blogs – some feature the miniature houses and rooms she has made and then there’s this blog, which is right down my alley! It’s filled with all sorts of links to “how to” articles! Perfect for those of us who wonder, “How did they DO that?!” is from New Zealand, and she has done some remarkable things with her dollhouse in spite of not having any power tools for mini making! She does all this while still caring for her daughter who is preschool age. Way to go! She belongs to a miniature club, too. I thoroughly enjoy Casey’s Minis blog. Her sense of humor is delightful with her little characters Tessie and Zar helping her with her blog postings and her miniature work. Here’s a link to see her character Tessie taking a break between gluings: Minimaker Anderson comes up with some amazing videos to share with us. Frequently, these feature “how to” information. This is one of the first sites I started following, and I have not regretted it since. If you haven’t linked to her blog, you’re missing some excellent videos. Please click on over to take a look at her site. Texas Belle is doing some wonderful things with her dollhouse. I’m so impressed by the rooms she has completed, and she says she doesn’t have a lot of miniature experience. Please DO check out her site. Here’s a picture of the wall she has created for her library. It’s very nice!

The other part of the pick six is that I’m supposed to share six things that make me happy.

Here are six for me:

  1. Finishing a miniature and thinking, “Wow! I really like how that turned out!”
  2. Cold, sunny winter days with lots of snow on the ground. I can stand in my workshop and look out at the blue sky and the white snow and feel comfy cozy in my little world. (And I also know I don't have to go out and mow the grass!)
  3. Finding new tools that really fit my needs. I love it when I have a new tool to play with.
  4. Discovering new ideas – especially “how to” ideas that I can add to my skills
  5. Having a good laugh – it’s good for the soul and clears the cobwebs.
  6. Having a supportive and loving wife (which I do), who doesn’t mind my spending inordinate amounts of time on my minis and/or on the computer!
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Details! Details! It's the icing on the cake!

Adding windows to the top floor of Sara's dollhouse was one of the toughest things to do with this house. As I developed my drawings for the house, there were so many details I wanted to incorporate into these windows. In addition to the paint scheme, layers, angles, and carving, the windows were to be my only access to the attic rooms; so I knew I had to make them removable.

I later had to modify my plan about access to the rooms when Sara found a canopy bed she wanted for the little girl's room. I could not fit it in through the window opening; so I had to retrofit part of the back wall so that we could open it to insert the bed. Like I said in my previous post, the best laid plans of mice and men... and daddies... oft go astray!

The small circles and arch over the window were some of the trickiest pieces for me to make. They really challenged my carving and painting skills. In fact, there's still a little bit of detail to paint there, and I haven't worked up the courage/energy/patience to do it, since I know I'll probably go back and forth several times between white and red paints trying to fix slight imperfections of brush strokes. It's the details like this, though, that really give Victorian houses their personality. I love that wedding cake frilliness of Victorian houses! It's just that it's hard to replicate it in miniature at times...

I've been "tagged,"by another blogger; so in my next post, I'll address that.
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