Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wednesday morning 3 am

About cards from friends left town, in stash, for scenes yet unknown*.

And the visions that you planted in my brain, will make me insane
Unless I finish them...

Seriously though: an upcoming trip to see a friend who has shifted out of town obviously reminded my inspiration that I'd tucked a card that she'd sent me last christmas away in stash.

The card front featured a piece of Japanese fabric, and I'd always planned to work it into some suitably-themed scene. So, before work this morning, I pulled out various pieces that could added to it to become the bones of a scene called 'Trudi's spare room':
A mug of tea on a used envelope in a one-twelfth scale miniature room. Next to the mug is a card with a piece of blue and white japanese fabric on its front, a deep red miniature velvet sofa, a one-twelfth scale Yanagi butteryfly stool, three one-twelfth scale lucky cats, two one-twelfth scale cherry-blossom cushions, a pair of one-twelfth scale slippers and two pairs of one-twelfth scale chop sticks.
(A 3D-printed Yanagi butterfly stool from Shapeways. hand-embroidered slippers from Judy Foster, cherry-blossom cushions and a bento box from the 2016 Sydney show. Lucky cats from various places. And chopsticks courtesy of Mod Pod Miniature's swap back in 2015).

Tonight when I got home I plundered my fabric stash for suitable patterns to go with what I already had out:
A flat lay with three pieces of blue and white Japanese-patterned fabric (and one in red), a card with a piece of blue and white japanese fabric on its front, a deep red miniature velvet sofa, a one-twelfth scale Yanagi butteryfly stool, three one-twelfth scale lucky cats, two one-twelfth scale cherry-blossom cushions, a pair of one-twelfth scale slippers and two pairs of one-twelfth scale chop sticks. All on piece of white woven wallpaper.
Perhaps I should rename this post 'Watch this space Wednesday'...

(*sorry)

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Back in the studio

One-twelfth scale modern miniature office scene containing a credenza with a black Eames chair next to it and an artwork with leaves above it. On the credenza are three green lever-arch folders, a bowl, a vase, a potted plant and a ceramic ornament.
I figured two weeks was enough time to recover from my latest Daily Dolls' House December challenge and so I scheduled myself back into the studio this afternoon.

My plan was to start back with something simple to warm up: a shelfie, perhaps. And since setting some parameters worked so well last time, I added the following:

1. The colour scheme should work with the colours that have been predominant on my Instagram feed this week (which is a rather hilarious parameter, but why not?):
Selection of nine Instagram photos in colours of black white, green and seafoam.
2. Use at least one item gifted to me by a blog buddy.

I started with an artwork sent to me by Kitty and Kat Miniatures back in 2016, which was the right colour and also picked up the leaf theme that's been happening on my Instagram feed (doesn't everybody take 'back to work' photos of their pot plants at the beginning of the work year?!)

To that I added pieces from Mod Pod Miniatures, Catherine and my friend Hannah.

And then got a bit stuck.
One-twelfth scale modern miniature office scene containing a credenza with a black Eames chair next to it and an artwork with leaves above it. On the credenza is a bowl, a vase, a potted plant and a ceramic ornament. On the windowsill to the right is a potted plant.
 A Lori credenza and an Eames chair recently picked up cheaply off eBay got me thinking this would turn into yet another office.

But I wasn't feeling the love.

Until I reached down to check out my flooring drawer for options and had to move my Lori ballet studio (last seen three months ago) before I could open it.


It was the answer I needed to turn what I thought was going to be a simple shelfie into a whole scene (I love tricking myself like that).


I added pretty much all of the pot plants I made last month. Another of the 'grass' rugs I bought at Daiso for $2.80 last visit. A black sofa I bought for $5 back in 2015, and the iron screens I picked up at Pete's Emporium (and obviously only photographed for Instagram) last year.

One-twelfth scale modern miniature room with lino floor, white walls and a bay window to the right.There is a black sofa, with an Eames stool next to it, a credenza with art works above it and a black Eames chair to the side of it. The seat of the bay window contains a collection of potted plants.
The only thing left to do was decide what it was. (I was reminded of this scene as I tried to work out what I'd built).

In the end I decided it was a client-facing area in a trendy plant hire company (called 'Leaf it to us'), based either in Los Angeles or in Cape Town (I blame Skinny la Minx for that latest thought...)

Sunday, December 31, 2017

... and I'm done

It's the last day of December (and, in fact, 2017) and this post means I've successfully completed my Daily Dolls' House December challenge for the second year running.

Although (as usual) I feel like I've cheated somehow, even though the 'rules' are only to blog something mini related every single day for the month.

So the fact that rather a lot of the posts included pictures of miniature cushions in various stages of completion fits the criteria.

Things I managed to complete included a bunch of potted plants, some school chairs with recycled wood seating, a scene that's had bits hanging round since April 2014 (most pleased at that one!), and two other big (and three little) scenes from scratch (I'm not counting the pop-up bar which didn't get finished before I put the pieces away, but am counting the scene from this blog post, which you'll get to when I finish reminiscing...)

I also did one round-up post, which ended up being more work than just throwing a scene together and blogging it.

What I didn't manage to do was make much headway on my five stalled projects, or the tub of miniature mending I bring out to stare at every boxing day. Maybe next year?

And on that note, here's my final scene for 2017, showing how I plan to spend this evening*:
One-twelfth scale modern miniature scene of a black iron bed with white embroidered bedding next to a wooden chest of drawers with a stack of design books and a glass of sparking wine on it.
(Rather similar to a scene I made during my first Daily Dolls' House December challenge, the synchronicity of which pleases me greatly).

(*Books may differ from those on the actual reading pile: as I really can't be bothered going through the rigmarole of making miniature versions of the actual books I plan to read tonight, and would prefer to just go and read them!)

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Saturday shelfie: a quick scene was a crate idea

The day slipped away from me and it was with a slight sense of panic I realised the time late this afternoon and that I'd not prepared anything to blog about.

A more calming realisation was that it was Saturday and so I was quite justified in whipping up a Saturday shelfie scene.

I added some parameters to streamline the decision-making process:
1. Use items I'd received from blog-buddies in swaps as a start...
2. ...and at least one unused furniture item I had sitting in stash.

I surprised myself by picking out three purple pieces that Kitty & Kat Miniatures had sent me in a swap last year (I don't really like purple, and find it difficult to photograph well).
One-twelfth scale modern miniature scene containing a white shelving unit made of crates and a plastic glittery purple chair next to it. The shelving contains various decorative items in purple, white and black and the chair holds a black and white stitched cushion.
Choosing the shelf was easy: I bought this crate shelf at the 2016 Sydney show, as I realised I was never going to get around to making my own version. Originally it was designed to go into a lavender shop, so using it in a purple scene seemed quite fitting!

Also from stash was a purple chair from the Lori Moderna dining set

To add interest I included some books (what's a shelfie without books?), a black-and-white vase and one of the pot plants I made at the beginning of the summer break.

The final touch was the hand-stitched black and white cushion Judy Foster gave me at the 2016 Sydney show.

(Time taken: 15 minutes)

Friday, December 29, 2017

Fix-it Friday

It's that time of the year, when my focus turns to the chores I try to get done over the summer break so I can start the new year feeling all fresh and sorted.

Cleaning under the stove and the fridge. Vacuuming under the bed. Doing the filing. Sorting out my photo files.

I'd scheduled five hours of mini-making time into my day today: and found myself in the weird position of deciding I'd rather work on life admin instead...

Including a major renovation of my blog (including a long-overdue change of name). I'd hoped to get that done and dusted for the turn of the year but I'm now thinking it's probably safer to aim for a launch to coincide with my twelfth blogiversary in February...
One-twelfth scale miniature toolbox with steel ruler, hammer, screwdriver, spanner and measuring tape.

(Twelve! I suspect blog years are like dog years: and my blog is a grand old lady).

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Let's go outside

It's taken a couple of weeks, but finally, here's my round up of miniature gardens, balconies and patios. I made the executive decision to include scenes made by other people as well as my own (but am sticking to my decision to include only domestic spaces, not communal or wild spaces).

First up, from the 2007 ACT Miniature Enthusiasts' show is this scene which still makes me laugh when I see it (I believe it was by Mandy Bates: can someone let me know if I'm remembering incorrectly?)
One-twelfth scale miniature scene of a man inside a house with a beer in his hand watching a football match on TV. Outside the ranch sliders in the garden, three gnomes are lined up sitting on mushrooms, watching the match through the glass.
A couple of months later I shared how I'd made an old project of mine: city and beach balcony scenes created in two matching IKEA box frames (sadly now long discontinued...)
Two one-twelfth scale modern miniature balcony scenes in box frames. On the left is a city balcony, with sprayed concrete walls and floor and a corrugated iron balcony wall. On the balcony is a folding wooden chair with a laptop on it. On the floor is a cordless phone, a mug and a stovetop espresso jug. On the beach balcony is a white director's chair with a woven hat on the back, a magazine on the seat, and a pair of jandals and a glass on the floor. The balcony overlooks the sea and some cabbage trees.
A one-twelfth scale modern miniature beach balcony scene in a box frame On balcony is a white director's chair with a woven hat on the back, a magazine on the seat, and a pair of jandals and a glass on the floor. The balcony overlooks the sea and some cabbage trees.
A one-twelfth scale modern miniature city balcony scene in a box frame with sprayed concrete walls and floor and a corrugated iron balcony wall. On the balcony is a folding wooden chair with a laptop on it. On the floor is a cordless phone, a mug and a stovetop espresso jug.
Back at the ACT Miniature Enthusiasts' show the following year, I was taken by this greenhouse created by Ann Dowdall (wife of James of Victorian Dollhouses):
One-twelfth scale miniature green house with a man in a hand-knitted jumper working inside and a dog watching from the doorway.
In 2009 I went to Melbourne, and to ACMI's Setting the scene exhibition. Where I took some sneaky against-the-rules photos (and a video) of the model of Villa Arpel from the film Mon Oncle. (I still feel bad about that... but not bad enough to take them down. :-/)
Model of a modernist villa from the film 'Mon Oncle' with a garden containing a pond with a fish fountain in the middle.
Speaking of films, the next year while visiting Wellington I was invited to visit the film set (in miniature, of course) for the New Zealand movie Second-hand wedding:
One-twelfth scale miniature scene of garage-sale items outside a garage.
One-twelfth scale miniature scene of a yellow Mini van in a garden. It's back doors are open with two cardboard cartons on the ground next to it.
In 2012 I was lucky enough to hunt down and buy a Brio 1960s bungalow, one of my 'holy grails'. And had a party to mark the occasion.
Patio at night, with a table covered in bottles and glasses, surrounded by mis-matched chairs.
Another 'holy grail' was marked off the list in 2013 (no party this time, just lots of ice cream...)
Vintage dolls' house patio with stonework pillars and paving, and planter box full of plants. On the paving is a set of white outdoor table and chairs.
Here's a mid-century modern patio scene I started making in 2014, based on some wonderful pieces sent to me by Mod Pod miniatures in a very generous swap parcel at the beginning of that year.
Aerial view of a one-twelfth scale modern miniature paved patio area with a mid-century modern sofa and a Jens Rison webbed chair and various accessories.
Alas I never finished the scene, as after finishing a miniature version of a La Gardo Tackett garden sculpture
One-twelfth scale mid-century modern garden sculpture made of a stack of white-painted angular beads.
I got flumoxed by working out how to bash standard french doors into mid-century modern ones. (In fact, I found one of the doors on my boxing-day clean up...) We'll add that to the list of things not finished and move on, shall we?

Five month later I celebrated my 9th blogiversary with a party at Margell Public School. And what a party it was!
One-twelfth scale miniature school house exterior with a bunting strung across the verandha spelling out 'blogiversary'. Chairs and a table are set up outside the school, while on the veranda is a guitar, a ukulele, a bottle fo wine and a wine glass.
One-twelfth scale miniature veranda scene with a school chair holding a recorder next to a guitar and on a bench next to that a bottle of wine, a stack of sheet music and a ukulele.
Early-morning shot of a one-twelfth scale model school veranda, with a broken railing, a table with an empty plate, and a school chair with an empty wine glass on its seat.
Early-morning shot of a one-twelfth scale model school veranda, with a school chair with an empty wine glass on its seat and a bench with a toppled glass on it and an empty wine bottle under it.
And later the same year there was a different veranda, this time on the HBS Creatin' Content 2015 build (which ended up on top of the fridge for a couple of years until I resurrected it recently...
Dry fit of a dolls' house shed kit, with stained weatherboarding taped to the sides and pergola posts and struts taped in place.
One-twelfth scale modern miniature paved patio with a Jen Rison webbed chair, a side table and patio umbrella. On the side table is a potted plant, a fan, a pair of sun glasses and a glass of water. On the chair is a magazine.
using pieces from earlier builds mixed in with Lundby pieces that worked well in 1/12 scale.

It was a quiet year blog-wise as I dedicated my brainspace to settling into a new job, but Spring saw me trying to kick-start my mini obsession with this scene (inspired by a swap parcel from Kitty & Kat Miniatures):
One-twelfth scale modern miniature wooden park bench in front of a white brick wall. On the bench is an IKEA catalogue, a bowl of chips and a white, green and orange cushion. On the pavers next to it is a pot of daffodills, and perched on the back of the bench is a cockatoo eyeing up the chips.
and this scene, pulled together with a breezeblock wall I'd bought from Tiny Bungalow (whose website, alas, seems to have disappeared since..)
One-tweltfh scale modern miniature garden chair and plant in front of a miniature breeze block wall.
That very same wall featured in the post where I finally finished the Alvar Aalto trolley 900 which had been taunting me for a very long time.
One-twelfth scale modern miniature Alvar Aalto Trolley 900 set up for drinks.
Finally there's this whimsical pop-up bar: I'm not sure if it's finished or not...
Three 1/12 scale modern miniature stools in the shape of apple cores around a table made with a slice of tree with bark still on it, on a round mat of fake grass. In the background is a bar with a red watering can on it.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Running out of steam

With four days of this year's Daily Dolls' House December challenge to go, I fear I'm losing my oomph. Or perhaps it's just that other tasks that I'd planned to get done before I return to work (next week! My how time flies...) are muscling their way onto the daily list of tasks and thus making the time for creating minis shorter.

You may be pleased to hear that I glued seven things together yesterday from my mini mending box, and made a list of what I need to do with the rest. So perhaps this time next year I'll be able to share a picture of an almost empty workbench, containing just a bowl of cherries and a tube of glue...

There have been a couple of mini-related happenings of note, though: last night, while reading a second-hand book on Rosalie Gascoigne, I discovered a previous reader had a left a little* present between two pages. (*Literally: the perfect size for miniature use...)
Art book open on a white bedspread with a flyer containing pictures of four works of art inserted between the two pages on display.
And this afternoon I met with my friend at the local café for coffee, chatting and mini cushion-making.
Table at a cafe with a cup of coffee and a glass of iced cofffee on it. Across the table a woman is winding embroidery thread off a cardboard bobbin. On the table next to the iced coffee is a pile of inside-out miniature cushions and a pair of tweezers.
One good thing about not making minis today is that the studio has remained tidy from this morning's clean-up...