Sunday, August 28, 2016

Inspiration, Crooked Walls, and Kit Chaos

A few weeks ago, I commissioned several tiny copper baking molds from my jeweler friend, Tony. In addition to making awesome stitch markers, he uses a copper-smithing technique called chase and repousse to shape copper sheets into fun designs. I'd watched him make a few things and asked how small he could work. Happily, he'd been quietly interested in miniatures for a while. You can see where this could get both of us into all kinds of fun trouble!

Originally I wanted 6 little copper molds in different shapes. If these were life-sized they'd be called mini molds and be the right size for the individual cakes that have become en vogue in the last few years. Small also means i get more variety. We weren't sure what shapes would work and which would fail utterly. So Tony sketched up several. Most of them worked! The apple did become an acorn, but I'm cool with that.

I'm really happy with these pans. They're his first attempts at working so small with that technique. We both figured out changes he can make for more improvement in the future. But I love them! :-)  Oh and check out the copper scimitar that he made too! I may have to create a doll to wield it.

In the original batch of molds, Tony tried out a tiny pan. It's small and would either work in a 1:24 scale scene or be the size of my real-life, smallest skillet scaled down to 1:12. He asked if I wanted him to try larger pans and bowls. Of course I said yes! He even made the absolute best miniature colander I've seen that is affordable by mere mortals such as myself!

All of these kitchen minis reminded me that I had a roombox that I'd planned on dividing into a kitchen and dining room. I'd inherited it from a friend in mini club and it needed some overhauling.

I removed the cat, wallpaper, and trims. There was a debacle with the original wall section I'd cut out. It got lost. I found the leftover wood from cutting the first wall and decided I could use it. Of course I found the original wall section the day I was trimming up the second piece to fit. I decided to keep going with the new section. The old section needed more work done to it.

And then I installed the wall in the middle of the box. That was Tuesday. Today as I was prepping to take pictures and then wallpaper, I discovered the wall was crooked! So when I'm done here, I get to remove staples and make adjustments.

Incidentally, this is the wallpaper for the kitchen. I ordered it a while back for the Big Dollhouse that has once again had it's interior plan altered. I've ordered coordinated paper for the dining room and hopefully it will arrive next week sometime.

And now the the "chaos" I mentioned. This is a pile of kits from Shenandoah Designs. As you can see, some of the kits were already in various states of assembly. Some of them are actually missing parts, which is aggravating. But for a pile of kits that I was gifted, I'm not going to complain too loudly. 

FuuzyHusband has recently taken up 3D modeling objects to either be lasercut or 3D printed. He's designed a modern sink basin that will fit the standard base cabinet kit in this pile so I can kitbash a nice looking sink for my scene. It also fixes the issue of some of the missing parts. Some. Not all. The refrigerator is the other partially assembled unit that is missing pieces. I will have to make a few replacement parts. 

I've already pulled quite a few things from my stash for the dining room. Lots of food items as well. I'll show them off next weekend, if I remember. For now I'm going to go pry out some staples and hopefully get the kitchen wallpapered before it gets too dark.

See you next weekend!

Sunday, August 21, 2016


I needed to take some time this week for self-care, so I don't have any project pictures to show off.

What I ended up doing creatively was figuring out the dolls that I will need for my Haunted San Franciscan house. It's a house party, so lots of them.

This is the list so far:

- Headless Horseman (1)
- Werewolves (2 adults, one pup)
- Mummies (1 adult, 1 kid)
- Frankensteins (1 adult, 1 kid)
- Invisible Man... don't know how this one will turn out, but I'm going to try it
- Vampires (2 adults, 1 kid)
- Witches/Warlocks (3)
- Ghosts (1 adult, 1 child) [I already have one ghost, made by Jodi Creager]
- Phantom of the Opera
- some type of creature to be the nanny in the room with the kids

Then I played around with figuring out some other dolls that I know I want/need for other projects.

- Esmeralda, the witch that Hibiscus helps out
- the man who breeds ball pythons, for my ball python breeding set up
- a couple of anthropomorphic characters to practice those types of figures

None of these dolls are on a specific timeline. I'll likely make one here and there. Heck, the San Franciscan house isn't even built yet! Neither is Ezzie's house. Which brings me to the next list...

Projects that are waiting for me to have access to a laser cutter: (Note: the MakerSpace is in the process of getting the laser cutter operational. So: soooooon!)

- 1930's nursery scene: windows
- Patchwork Peach Quilt Shop: shelving
- Bertie's (the "naughty" doll I inherited) box: plexi-glass shelves
- New windows and doors for the San Franciscian
there were two more ideas for other projects, but I couldn't (and still can't) remember them

Projects that require me to repair something that didn't work right, or Artan broke, so I can finish them:

- FuzzyHubby's hunting cabin: front wall of cabin is warped
- second Attic Lamp needs re-wiring
- Trading post needs the bed repaired and a smaller mattress made
- completely repair my Independence Day room and cut thin plexi-glass for the front... thanks Artan

I'm not even going to list the projects in various states of progress right now. It would be disheartening.

But these lists will hopefully give me a bit of focus.

What I want to work on in the next few weeks:

- getting some work done in my dining room/kitchen box
- dressing Hibiscus
- a couple ball pythons

Wish me luck and I'll see you next weekend!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Blackwork and Bodypaint

I'm irritated because I'm missing things. Specifically the inner wall for the roombox that will become my kitchen and dining room scene, and the brown cotton leftover from a sewing project that I want to use for Hibiscus' skirt. Spent all week looking for both in between doing chores and whatnot. I shall be miffed if I have to re-cut the inner wall.

Speaking of Hibiscus, I added some painted details to her skin. I also painted her shoes.

I'm hoping to get her dressed this week, but if I can't find the skirt fabric I'm going ot have to change gears with her clothes.

I did find the severely neglected Aragon Blackwork project while searching for things. When I last worked on it, almost 3 years ago, it looked like this:

Today it looks like this:

The red thread above the design is me gridding out where the blackwork border belongs. 

So that's the extent of the creativity on my part this week. Except for planning, which is boring without drawings. ;-)

I'll leave you with pictures of post-bath Mercedes as I try and get pictures of the feather in her fur. She was uncooperative.

See you next weeekend!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Markers and Minis

Last week was slightly more productive than the week prior. I'm sick right now, thanks to the virus that hid behind a mask of sinus issues that FuzzyHusband suffered with last week. Hence the "slightly" in my previous statement. So whilst I consume fluids and rest, lets got to the fun stuff.

In fun, awesome, and shiney news, I'm now the proud owner of these fantabulous and gorgeous universal stitch markers!!

The loops are 5 and 7 mm for two different sizes of knitting needles and the S-hooks work for marking crochet! The artist who makes them will also do custom work, so you can get the knitting loops in various sizes!

I bought these ready-made because I liked the beads, but he will use any bead colors people want and tailor the sizes to what you need! How cool is that!?!

I'd wondered about the length being fiddly to work around, but it's not an issue. Because they're weighted thanks to the materials, they dangle out of the way nicely. Plus many of my crocheter and knitter streaming friends HIGHLY recommended these markers to me, so I bit the proverbial bullet and ordered a set. SO GLAD I DID!!!

So if you find yourself in the market for a pretty treat and want to try them out yourself, poke this link and you'll be taken to his Etsy shop. I will definitely be ordering more of these, with different sized knitting loops.

On the miniatures front, I pulled out a doll that I started sculpting at a miniature club meeting 2 years ago. Poor thing had a very basic face and the only sculpting tool I had on hand was a bamboo manicure tool. Armed with my regular tools and a better knowledge of making faces, I got her finished!

Hibiscus is a Brownie, the fairy kind that helps people with their housework in exchange for respect and gifts. Most Brownies like either milk or even whisky, but not Hibiscus! She's a needlewoman and loves linen and silk threads.

Hibiscus is the housekeeper for Esmeralda, my witch (who still needs to be sculpted) that has a hat addiction. Hopefully I will get caught up on some projects so I can build Ezzie's house and start furnishing it. Until then, Hibiscus will have to hang out in the studio with me.

I'll get her painted and dressed hopefully this coming week. Dressing her will be a challenge since I want to embroider some details on her clothes. We'll see how it goes. I'm going to take my time and enjoy it.

See you all next week!