Sunday, April 24, 2016

Finishing Things

I started the week off with the two N.A.M.E. Day storefronts that have been sitting on my off-hand desk since March. I'd forgotten how much still needed painting and varnishing, so I didn't get the assembly done until I was done with the stream.

On Tuesday's stream both rooms got filled with contents (mostly)  from my stash.

FH made all the jewelry pieces on black velvet displays in both rooms.

This room's dress, hat, and parasol were purchased when I was in college. I've had them cooling their figurative heels in a box for about a decade. About time they were out and able to be enjoyed! The purse was a gift a long time ago. I did make the hat stand and perfume bottles.

The dress in this room was made by a friend who has passed away. It's a little too tall for the room, but I didn't want to alter it.  Most of the perfume bottles were made when I was on a bottle-making kick a few years ago. The parasol was one of the first mins I ever made... and it shows. I couldn't afford silk back then. The wooden hat and jewelry stands I made on stream Tuesday.

These are the remaining hat stands made on stream. They'll get used in my regular hat shop. I need to see if I can find the wooden spheres again. No clue where these came from originally.

This Gibson Girl hat got started but then the glue had to dry.

Wednesday and Thursday saw me hiding from lots of noise and strangers. Too tense to work on minis, but we have a brand new roof on the house! I did do some sketching for some teapot ideas though.

Friday and Saturday FH and I worked on things around the house. But I made an overlay to help make the stream video look better. Today we're helping a friend with a project, so I won't get back to the studio until Monday's stream.

Until next week!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Teapots, Hatboxes, and Crocheted Hats

Last week was pretty good on and off stream. It feels really good working in my remodeled studio space. There are still some areas that need decluttering and some tubs of supplies to go through and whittle down, but so far I'm really relaxed in there.

Monday I continued working on teapots. Mostly because I wanted to try adding vine-like details and leave to the tomato teapots. I tried a few different variations and I think I've settled on an arrangement that I prefer. I'm thinking of one more change I'd like to make and then I'm start a production run of them.

For fun I showed how to make a marbled set of colors and made some teapots out if it. I did some solid ones too.

Tuesday I switched gears from clay and went to work on some prototype hexagonal hatboxes for next month's mini club meeting. Another member is teaching round hatboxes and I found this hexagon version in an issue of American Miniaturist. We're going to split up the members and this way everyone can learn both with more hands on instruction. I need to briefly jump ahead to Thursday for this part as well. Bear with me. ;-)

From left to right:

(Tuesday) Light green scrapbooking paper with regular paper template foundation. - It worked alright. Not too stiff when bending the paper into shape. The lid is a little loose though. I covered it with some antique lace on the sides.

Rose colored cardstock with regular paper template foundation. - This one was a little thick and harder to fold into shape. Loose lid again. It's not bad though. I used more antique lace on it.

Cream colored (striped) wallpaper sample with regular paper as foundation. - Again this one worked well. It was also a bit easier to fold than the cardstock. It got trimmed in silk ribbon.

Black and white cotton fabric with regular paper foundation. - I liked the way the cotton folded into shape. But the plain paper foundation wasn't very sturdy. The lid isn't quite as loose. Trimmed in pink silk ribbon... because "sassiness."

(Thursday) Teal cotton fabric and cardstock foundation. - This combination worked the best.  The lid fits perfectly too.

Blue silk with cardstock foundation. Gluing the foundation to the fabric (per instructions) led to some bleed-through of glue. Also the foundation paper shows at the corners.  I'm thinking if I cut things differently, that issue can go away. Not sure what to do about the glue since even using as little glue as possible showed badly.

But for this one, I covered the corners with silk ribbon and hid the massive glue stain on the lid with lace, silk roses, and no hole beads.

Back to Wednesday, I'd forgotten to print out the hatbox templates on cardstock and neglected to press my silk, so I constructed some tools for miniature millinery.

Of course the rose tool was tested out.

I also started a crocheted cloche hat. I found the pattern in a miniature magazine.

I finished it later that night. Wasn't too pleased with it, but we'll see how it turns out after it's blocked and stiffened.

It will be decorated in part with some miniature faux blackberries I made from no hole beads.

For fun on Friday I started my own cloche pattern. I got it mostly done and figured out I'd decreased too much at one point and had to frog most of it.

I need to get back to real life house work for now, so I'll leave you with a picture of Mercedes post-bath on Friday. She's gorgeous and she knows it!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Playing with Clay

FH and I got home late last Monday and I was knackered. I also had no plans for my streams Tuesday and Wednesday. I'd been thinking up a new sculpted teapot design in the car, so I decided on just playing with clay and seeing where things took me.

Whilst rummaging for colors, I found some pre-mixed "dough" colors leftover from workshops I'd taught and decided they needed to be used up as well.

 The first thing I played with was a cane for candies and cake decorations. I attempted a strawberry design. It's... ok. I'm not super happy with it. The design itself was not well planned out and the result is "meh" in quality. I can do better, so that one is going where it should've gone first. The sketch pad. Also I don't know if the clay had started to dry out or if it was just really cold in my studio, but I was having problems with my canes cracking and breaking apart as I was working them to make them smaller.

After I got fed up with the cane foolishness, I switched to my prototypes for new teapots. The center tomato is plain. The other two are based on one of the emote designs E-Jipt uses in his Twitch channel. It's a "Not Tomato." Long story. The gloss varnish and the sunlight weren't playing nicely and this is the best picture I have of them. The tomato teapot itself still needs tweaking. Also I'd like to make them a bit smaller.

The leftover bits of cane got the teapot treatment as well. Also some of it got turned into lollipops.

Wednesday was "baking day." I started out making a simple split-top loaf and a braided loaf. Then I decided to try marbled rye. I'm pretty pleased with that experiment. The rye can use some tweaking, but this is a good first result.

Various dinner rolls followed as did cookies in different states of preparation.

While I was working, a viewer asked how I'd made the tomato teapots the day before, I so made another to demonstrate. And E-Jipt suggested a Pokemon-themed teapot while I was working so I tried that as well.

The tomato teapot has more detail than the first versions. I added more vine details and am happier with it. The Pokeball teapots... not so much. They're too big and clunky for one. I turned one into a cookie jar as it looks better size-wise. Also the red smeared everywhere on the white bottoms. So they get to join the strawberry cane back at the drawing board. I may end up making the two haves of the Pokeballs separately and "gluing" them together with liquid polymer after par-baking them. Just to keep the red from staining the white. I'm not sure yet. But it's a neat project idea to play with.

Thursday night was the mini group meeting and we all made the Plein Air set from True 2 Scale's tutorial. That was a lot of fun. I'd made mine already so I could help everyone else figure their out.

The next several meetings will be all hat shop oriented. Hatboxes are next month, but I'm not teaching that one. However I need to make some tools for making silk roses and start practicing a hat design people liked. Unless I'm complete rubbish at it, that will be June's project. We go out for dinner in July, but I'm going to suggest having an all-day play day in July sometime. Don't know how that will go. 

That's all for today. I need to go sketch up some cane designs and start research mini hat shop items. See you next Sunday!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sad Traveling

After I posted last week's blog, I found out one of my brothers-in-law had passed away the day before. FH and I are currently dealing with family obligations at the moment.

I'll be back to minis next weekend. Until then, be well.