Wednesday, November 30, 2016

And A Little Bit Of Everything Mini!

I have been shuffling between life and minis.  Not too many major accomplishments of recent, but I've been puttering!!

I entered the above photo in the Janet Granger stitching contest.  You needed a minimum of 4 of her kits in a picture....which I more then have in my stash!  I didn't win, but I quite enjoy this picture.

I decided to continue to tackle the backlog of kits in my basement.  After the Brampton show, and seeing the number of "extra" things people were selling, I didn't want to become a hoarder and need to sell in 10 years.  So I started the pile!!

I assembled the Realife Miniatures music room kit.  See those happy people on the box? They must be on some serious recreational drugs.  I swore, had a hissy fit and almost threw some of the items across the room.  Could they have made the parts fit anymore poorly together? Nope.  The "sand to fit" concept resulted in me cutting off (with my Dremel), part of the sofas rolled arms.  There was easily 5cm extra of solid wood (not balsa).  No sanding would fix that.

Then, they suggested that the sheet music rest on the piano (the black part), should fit into the rectangle below it so it could lay flat.  Huh? Huh???  

And then I discovered this box actually contained almost enough parts for a second piano and a third set of one off piano parts.  That made things even more confusing!  But thankfully the kit was painted in DecoArt black paint, which I had, so fixing the parts was relatively easy once I muddled through building what was missing.

Then I moved on to some very fun and very affordable laser cut wood kits made by Liz West of Taffy & Me.  She just relaunched her website, so check it out!  The wall mirror kit I made could also become a divider with additional kits, or instead of a mirror you could add photos.  The end tables and the coffee tables are very sturdy.  I might get the matching sofa table when I order again.

Then I was at Dollarama last week and found miniature furniture!! I would say its more 1:16 in scale.  The two long dressers became mine, and the others became Miss Kitty's.  She was in heaven.

I sanded my two dressers down.  I used a burnt umber with staining medium to stain the exterior, then painted the (faux) drawers black.  It better hides the fact they don't open.  I used 1/4 round styrene painted copper for handles. 

Back to kits I went!  I dug out some kitchen printies from Paper Minis.  It was slightly more involved then usual, hence why they were put in the "gonna get to it one day" box.  But I'm in love!

The Shopping Sherpa had her hand in these too.  She had sent me the I love minis mug and the blue cutting board.  Yes, its a plastic cutting board!!!! I love it.  The toaster and expresso maker are Mini Fanaberia that I bought from Small Scale Showcase.

And I will post the ongoing saga of my mid century Ikea dollhouse hack turned roombox.  I've put it aside with all the Christmas stuff that needed attending too.  I'm almost done with windows.  Note to self, while styrene is cheap and awesome to hold in window "glass", it takes a lot of paint to get a solid coat of dark brown.  Not doing that again!! I'm excited to tackle the roombox kitchen next.  Much more enjoyable.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

This Is Not A Christmas Post!

While I despise all the early Christmas stuff out, it is kinda fun when you want to make minis out of ornaments!!  And you might be shocked I wrote two posts in one week, right? Well, I needed to keep away from the TV after watching "America, The Finale."  Minis make me feel better. 

I apologize for not taking pictures before I hacked the ornaments.  You will have to use your imagination.  The brass tables were all made from these medium size geometric shapes (prisms, diamonds, etc.).  Very of the moment in design.  Not my thing for Christmas, but I saw the potential for minis.  

I used my metal wire snips and cut them down.  Bent some wires here and there and added plastic sheets for table tops.  And I just couldn't post pictures of I had to style them!

Side note - photographing in dull fall light is terrible! and all that reflective plastic, ugh.  My apologies for the picture quality.

Then.....I saw a clearance tag.  That's like a beacon for me.  Three little metal birdcages were left there...begging me to take them home.  At $1.50 each, I saw hell yeah!!

I snipped off the curved top to the bird cages to make a square table and flipped them over.  You can see the cages opening on the back side if you look closely.  Meh.

I took two of the tops and bent them into egg like table objects (see above picture with the coffee table).  I took the last top and made a bowl.  I even used the off snips of coffee table metal to make triagular table objects.

Christmas might be my new favourite season...for minis!!

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Brampton Show Extraveganza

So I said I might attend the Brampton Miniatures Bazaar. Well, I did!  I missed out last year due to my husband travelling and not having babysitting that day. Bringing a small child to these things is not good for ones mental health.

The show consists of miniaturists selling their used, but often new, items in their stash. I came with a wad of cash, fully caffeinated, bladder empty and my head in the game. It was go time.

Like a kid in a candy store. The prices were rock bottom. The items were first rate. Most items were priced lower then tagged (and the tagged prices were more then reasonable). I'm pretty sure I had a look of awe and crazy as I walked through. It was busy, and getting to hunt through bins was tough. But, most of the items I'm after aren't popular. 

 I was really pleased to snag an older Kim Stewart Vintage Miniatures kit, the deck chair.  Truthfully, I had passed her kits before, but they had appeared very "simple."  They are not simple! In fact, they are extremely well designed and crafted.  Kim is an IGMA artisan in wicker, which I learned after the fact.  I will get more of her kits at the Guelph show in the spring.

I intended to grab a few lighting items from a box, but ended up with the box and all its contents. I found out it was the box that was $20. Which was less then the marked items I was holding (and was told I had to buy the box). I now have a lifetime worth of lights, bulbs and wire!

Miniaturist Diane Mitchell was selling some of her vintage handmade pieces. I spotted this over someone's shoulders as I was leaving. Full stop. Went back and grabbed the rattan pieces (made in 1981). There were more but I exercised restraint. Now I regret it.  Should have fought through the crowd at that table first!  If anyone knows more about Diane, please let me know!

One miniaturist was selling many interesting pieces for just a few dollars each, such as a metal bed kit, a Realife Miniatures Music Room kit and a Queen Anne dining table kit made by Harold Watson (for the Annual Jacobstettle Workshop - March 31, 1989 - seller said he had passed away). And I love the little roast by J & J Miniatures (Jane MacGregor of Winnipeg, MB).

A look at another table revealed something I recognized immediately, pieces from Maggie Melinda (by IGMA artisan Janet Harvie). Normally her sofa are quite expensive, but a collector was selling her pieces for over 80% off. I found a beautiful neutral sofa that was just perfect.

After both shows were over, and my haul safely in my basement, the most fun I had was going through all the new items and tucking them safely away. It gets the wheels turning and reminds you of the interesting pieces you have tucked away.

But before I added all the small kits to my horde never to see the light of day for months to come, I started making a few.  I repaired the broken chair.  An easy fix, I just drilled out the broken leg dowel and inserted a new one!  The butterfly display box (kit designed by Sandra Quigley & Laurie Mecke) was a quick build while I watched The Walking Dead.