Monday, 23 December 2013

Hanging and Ageing Tiny Doors - A Tutorial

Preparing and hanging doors is a tricky business. To get a real aged look you have to create wear and tear.

Lightly sand the surface and then smudge it very lightly with grey chalk pastel. Be sure to smudge only where ordinary wear and tear would be, such as around the door handle. 

To add more realism I made a faux door catch by cutting an indent on one door (above) and gluing a small brass square on the other (below).

I hung the door using hinges rather than using a pin (which is easier).

This required carefully cutting in where the hinges will go.

I superglued the hinges on, and then drilled little holes for the nails. This makes it much easier than trying to nail it when it is not fixed in place. Also, be sure to drill the holes and glue in the nails rather than nailing them in with a hammer. If you nail them in the chances are the delicate wood of your door will split. 

It is important to ensure your hinges are perfectly lined up and horizontal, otherwise the door will not open or the hinges will break when you open it.

The result is pleasing.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Miniature Palladian House for a New Kitten

I am going to be getting a new little kitten next week, and so have been planning and collecting supplies for her arrival. Despite extensive searches I couldn't find a cat bed I liked. They all seem to look like giant bean bag chunky things with bad/ugly fabric. As such I decided to create my own.

I had a pile of card board outside and decided to recycle it. I wanted to use my miniature skillz to create an architecturally correct cat house which is a good hidey-hole for puss but also looks novelty.

I am particularly enamoured of the great neo-classical architecture of Palladio. Especially the Villa Chiericati.

I decided to copy it in miniature. The cat house measures 38cm square. 

There is circular door in the back of the house for puss to enter. 

I decided to replace the Palladian statuettes with neo-classical cats.

It looks surprisingly inconspicuous in the lounge room.  

The test will be whether the little cat is actually interested in it...


Saturday, 7 December 2013

Tiny Accessories

As an almost final touch (because a miniature room can never really be finished) I bought a tiny but realistic ashtray. People smoked indoors in the 50s, so I thought it added a special touch of realism. Such "adult" things are not always easy to find in miniature.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Little Touches

Today some little throw pillows I ordered arrived. I ordered them from Annina at Miniatures by Annina on Etsy.

They look lovely. Because she has filled them with a type of sand rather than stuffing, they have a more realistic look. 

It is now summer in Melbourne, and today the temperature reached 36 degrees (97 degrees F). Because of this when I came home my little shelf had fallen off the wall because the blu-tack had melted! Such hot weather always makes me feel like Christmas will soon be here (Yay!). 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Some Accessories for the Mid Century Room

This week I have been working on filling the Mid Century room with accessories. 

I made some art works that would be appropriate for the time period. I printed some abstract paintings, including a Chegall and Picasso. I then mounted and framed them. 

I also needed some magazines for the coffee table to give the room a homey feel. I printed some vintage Vogue and New Yorker covers from the internet and made the magazines up with layers of paper.

I also made a few books in the same way as the magazines. It was a challenge to find the cover art to print. I specifically looked for classic titles from the 1940s and 50s, including Catcher in the Rye, the Grapes of Wrath, and In Cold Blood.

I created a small liquor cabinet, with some whisky and a martini being prepared. 

There are also some 1950 stye christmas cards on the sideboard, in time for the holidays.

I made duplicates of my accessories, you can find them for sale at my Etsy store.

Now all I need is a lamp!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Mid Century in Miniature and a Disposable Roombox

This month I took delivery of some wonderful mid century modern Danish style furniture. I ordered it all from Minisx2 and it was lovingly hand made by the very talented Patie. I wanted to make a modern 1950s style room box for the bookshelf, which I thought was looking too bare.

I decided to make a room box which would be quick and easy to assemble. Instead of wood I used poster board.

I bought some textured olive green paper (to imitate painted stucco walls) and brown felt for carpet. I cut strips of which 1mm thick card for the skirting board. All up it cost about $25 for the whole room box. 

It was quick and easy to assemble. 

Then I placed it in the bookshelf and arranged the furniture. The whole exercise took about an hour and a half. Now I am shopping for some lights and some nice accessories to fill it out with.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Tiny Patisserie in a Big Hurry

Usually I try to make all my miniatures from scratch, so that I can truly say "yes I made that". I like to avoid simply putting a lot of pre-bought items together (though a lot can be said for how fun that is). However, sometimes you have to compromise, like this weekend.

My sister and her partner are opening a Patisserie in Maitland, near Newcastle (outside Sydney) in November, and my mother was travelling there this weekend to help out with the opening. So on Friday mum and I got the bright idea of making my sister a shop opening gift in the form of a miniature patisserie for her shop window.

We had to make it in a great hurry so my mum could take it with her, and so it probably wasn't made the standard I would normally like! We bought all the components and whacked them together in a quickly. Nonetheless it was good fun.

I got a pre-bought shop front, and made a room box around it.

We made a frame for the room box so that a perspex cover can be put in front (to keep little fingers out). 

We put in the wallpaper using real wallpaper paste. Hopefully this time it doesn't bubble! Instead of using real flooring, I just used some printed paper. 

We fixed some shelves in under the windows so that we could put in some window displays. 

Then it was time for the fun part - filling the shop with pastries and cakes!

Im yet to think of a name to paint in, but was thinking of "La Petit Patisserie". 

It should look nice in the patisserie window. Hopefully kids will pester their mums to take them back to see it and get a treat!