Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Santa's Workshop

I have collected a number of dollhouse miniature toys over the years.  I kept wondering how to display them to advantage so it was either a toyshop or Santa's workshop! 
I had Todd Kruger make me some elves after I had purchased Santa and Mrs. Claus a few years ago.  I felt that they added a touch of fantasy to my setting.  I do not tend to put dolls in my settings - miniaturists either feel strongly about putting them in a scene or not adding them at all.
I decided that separate work tables would help to fill the centre of the room.  The workbench was made by Terry McAllister from the UK and all the drawers are filled with wonderful miniature tools. The toys are by various artisans and if there is anything that you would like identified just leave a comment and I will respond.
With Christmas looming quickly, I thought that you might enjoy seeing my holiday miniature roombox! 
Wrapping Presents
Sorting Dolls

Taking A Nap

The Paint Station

Santa At His Bench

Friday, 1 November 2013

Another Chair & Sofa Reupholstering Project

I have finished the sofa and chair that I intend to use in my bed sitting room box.  It is turning into a rather feminine room but this light burgundy coloured fabric seemed to work nicely with the colour in the carpet in the bedroom.
Once again, I have used ready made furniture which I took apart and recovered and then reassembled.  It seems a little daunting at first but by just taking your time the glue can be eased apart with these pieces of furniture.  I have been lucky to be able to reuse the templates and the foam.  They go back together usually in the order that I take the chair apart.
Next project - dressing a bed! I can not seem to settle on a bed for this project but will hopefully do so soon!  Then the fun begins filling the rooms with miniatures!


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Miniature Dollhouse Christmas Tree - Making Your Own - Tutorial

I have tried various miniature kits to make a miniature Christmas tree.  I have found that the closest I have come to having it look real is to use preserved ground pine which I found at a local florist.
For those miniaturists that have never made one, it is quite easy. I  start with a bottle brush tree available at craft stores.  I usually trim it a bit to get the shape that I like before I start adding the pine.
Starting at the base of the tree - I use clumps of the ground pine but I measure each clump as I add it so that I get an even round at the base of the tree. 
Then, I add another few full rounds a little further up the tree.  This establishes the shape of the tree.
Then, it is a matter of filling in the rest of the tree and you are ready to light and decorate the tree.
I found some wonderful candle lights for a tree that I am working on at the moment and you can see them in a photo below. Just wrap up the battery pack and set it underneath your tree to resemble a large present.
I highly suggest that anyone that makes a tree stores it away in a box when not in a dollhouse.  I have found that the ground pine discolours if it is exposed to light for long periods of time.
Good Luck!

Finished Red, Gold and Silver Miniature Tree
Bottle Brush Tree

Measuring the Ground Pine

Establish your width at the base

Create the shape of your tree

Ready to Decorate

Silk Organza Ribbon

Candle Lights

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Favourite Mini Toolbox Items

I hope that everyone had a wonderful summer.  
I did not accomplish much in the way of miniatures this summer.  I did manage to get a few things started and worked on odds and ends which I will share in later posts.
It occurred to me that the reason that I enjoy reading miniature blogs is to learn new techniques that others share. I do enjoy seeing the end result when a miniature room is completed and filled with wonderful miniatures.
It also occurred to me that everyone has certain items that they work with that they "could not live without" when working in miniature.  I thought that it would be fun to share my few items and perhaps others will post their favourites too.
The table saw is a relatively new addition to my workroom.  I have not done a lot of woodwork so I took a lot of time to decide if I was going to make such a big expenditure for this saw.  I love it and as I work with it more and more find that I am really happy with it.   I have started a project that I will share later with everyone and this saw is making it fun to do the project.
Measuring is sometimes a challenge for small items so I am a huge fan of the mini square and the centre finding ruler.
Another item that I find invaluable is the gluing jigs made by Kreative Acrylics.  I like to clamp small items to the corner and leave them to set to a perfect right angle.
And, my most recent find - the rare earth magnet right angle gluing jig.  It comes in a couple of sizes - one perfect for anyone doing 1/24 scale.
A number of these items are available through the Micro-Mark catalogue and website.  I picked up a couple of the items below at the local hardware store.

Microlux Tilt Arbor Table Saw - Micro-Mark

Mini Square - Micro-Mark
Centre Finding Ruler - Lee Valley Tools
Mini Level - Micro-Mark

Large Square -Hardware Store
Clamps - Hardware Store
Kreative Acrylics - Gluing Jig

Rare Earth Magnetic Right Angle Clamps - Micro-Mark

Saturday, 15 June 2013

My Peacock Chair!

I have managed to complete one more item for my bed sitting room.  I wanted a chair for this box and have yet to decide which room it will go in but thought I would share my refinishing and reupholstering of it.
I started with a chair that I found online but did not love the colour of the finish for my project.  After I took it apart, I decided that I would paint it before reupholstering so I used some paint and then applied Liquitex matt varnish to give it a nicer finish.
I have found that these chairs have been reasonably easy to take apart.  You have to be very careful and take your time cutting through the glue to remove the fabric pieces.  Depending on the project, I do leave some of the glue and in this case it helped to hold the chair together.  If it is going to affect the piece going back together, I try to carefully remove as much of the old glue as possible.
Original chair and my finished chair

I decided what colours would look best with the fabric that I had used for carpeting and the pieces of fabric left over from making the draperies in a previous post.  The peacock fabric is one of Susan Bembridge's designs in silk and as it was rather expensive, I did not want to waste any of it!   This chair was the perfect size for utilizing the two left over strips of fabric.
Choosing paint

Carpet swatch

I decided that a soft beige colour would work well so after trying a few different colours, I settled on one that I thought worked well with the room finishes.
Very carefully lift edges to start

Very carefully, working slowly, I disassembled the chair taking care to remove each piece intact as I wanted to upholster over the white fabric that was on this chair.  If there had been a pattern in a bold colour, I might have done it a little differently - cutting new templates and padding it with foam. 
Placement of pieces on fabric - not much room for error

Centred peacock on back piece
As you can see, I had just enough fabric so thankfully I did not have any mistakes with this project!
I am very fussy about lining up patterns, stripes, etc and this fabric was no different as I wanted to place the peacocks strategically on the chair.  As you can see, I centered the peacock on the back panel.

Lots of glue to secure fabric

Be very careful not to get glue on front!!!

Ready to reassemble
I tend to use a fair amount of glue when I do these projects so that the fabric holds in place.  Sometimes, I hold the piece in my hand when working so that my pattern stays in place where I want it to be positioned.
Again, lots of glue!

Clamping in place

I carefully put the chair back together usually in the order that I took it apart.  I hold it with clamps until the glue sets and then fluff up the fabric afterwards.
My placement of the peacocks was important to me
I was quite happy with the result.
I will continue to follow everyone's blogs but will not post myself again until September! I hope everyone has a wonderful summer!