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Monday, October 27, 2014

Baskets

Just a quick update to show that I am still alive and kicking!

From time to time I try to go back to my hobby, but I am still not always in the right frame of mind after the loss of my husband.  However, something is pulling me in the right direction... :-)

After a bit of work on my dollshouse I wanted to go back to my florist and do some work on the upstairs floor.  The workbench needed a few drawers or something to hold tools and stuff, so I decided to go for baskets.

As the walls, and therefore the workbench, are not square it takes a bit of extra work, but in reality it is not too difficult.  The baskets I am making of balsa (bottom) and paper (woven part).  It is a very simple procedure albeit time consuming, but that's miniatures for you.

I haven't finished the work yet, but wanted to show a few pictures of what I am doing at present.  The blue basket on the bench is a finished product that I made some time ago. It's also made of paper.





An update will follow when I have finished the baskets.  Till then.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The rest of the kits

Indeed I had more time to make flowers.  I had brought three kits with me and discovered a little plastic bag with a waterlilies workshop, so I have been able to keep myself busy.  After the hollyhocks followed a pink hibiscus, an orchid (Phalaenopsis) and the waterlilies.  I also made a cyclamen, but that was done with some material that my friend still had lying around.  The waterlilies aren't finished yet, so hence no picture.

pink hibiscus

cyclamen
phalaenopsis

That's all for the moment.  You'll see more when I feel like it again... (plenty of kits to go)


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

More flowers

On holiday in New Zealand and staying with a friend who also has miniatures for a hobby, I couldn't help but make some more flowers for either my florist or to just plant in a garden one day.  I'd packed some kits in my suitcase and the weather appeared to be just right for some indoor fun: it's been raining on and off!

We both have a series of kit sets for plant/flower making and we both happened to have hollyhocks.  So, a picture to show the results:




I do have a few more kits at hand, but don't know how we will be going timewise.  You'll find out when I update my blog again. ;-)




Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tragic events

At the beginning of this year, on the 23rd of January to be precise, the title of my post was: Back on deck.  Well, that didn't last long, because just then my husband passed away under tragic circumstances and of course, I was devastated.  Miniatures did no longer appear on my horizon for a long time, other than preparing and tutoring workshops at our Brisbane dollshouse club.  I felt obliged, because I was, and still am, workshop convenor.

In a way that was good, because it kept me going and it kept me interested to a degree.  At the moment I am still battling depression because of what happened, but I have finally taken the step to get back to my miniatures.  It will keep me distracted and that is what I need.

Since back then I was working on the Florist I decided I will keep going with that for a while.  It's a bit difficult at times, because I needed to finish and place the stairs and they were made for me by my husband...  I guess these things will happen from time to time (as they happen in other areas as well), so on with it and get them painted.  I am not sure I will leave the white parts as they are, but I can ponder about it.  In the meantime there are other objects that I can concentrate on.

The stairs, painted white and green

The original plan was to have this fantastic bouquet of flowers in the window as a show piece for the shop.  Well, that will no longer be possible, because over time something unfortunate happened with the bouquet.  As you know, most of the flowers we miniaturists make are worked on florist wire: metal.  For some reason or other, it may be the 'clay' in which they were stuck, the wire had started to rust through and broke off.  So, after a while all my flowers were lying on the ground....  The only solution I can see at the moment is to gather all the flowers and the big vase and put them in the 'work area' where somebody is arranging a beautiful bouquet!

The bouquet as it was

The bouquet 'being arranged'
I wanted to start something new too, so I made a blackboard to advertise the flowers outside the shop.  As this is a shop with a lot of Dutch flowers and a Dutch feel about it, I have decided that, yes, it has an English name, but...... I want it to be a flower shop somewhere in the Netherlands. ;-)

The blackboard reads:

This week's specials
Tulips
Irises
Daffodils
€4.50/bunch
Parrot tulips
€5.00




So close to Christmas with all the goings on of break-up parties etc. I don't know if I will have a lot of time to consistently work, but I aim to do so.  So, hopefully, see you soon again.  In the meantime I will think of what I will add next...




Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Back on deck

First of all a Happy New Year to all.  As you can see, I am back on deck and couldn't wait to get going again, so I was looking for something 'easy' to do.  I still have a load of kits lying around.  It's so handy for when your creative juices aren't flowing yet....  :-)

However, I can forget about 'easy', because this chair was not as easy as I thought it would be.  When searching through my container with all the kits I came across this, quite modern, chair and I could picture it in my contemporary shop.  The chair is actually a set of four, with four different animals as a back rest, but I only had this one, so I figured it would fit nicely in the shop, which consists of odds and ends anyway.

It was a lot of work, quite fiddly, but I am happy with the result and it got me back into miniatures again.  The animal had to be cut out with the scroll saw and the legs and back rest are connected with wooden 'pins', so I had to drill holes in the tops of the legs and the dowels.  Not an easy task.  The legs went alright, the dowel protested heavily, but the parts that didn't go too neatly have been covered up by the upholstery!

The upholstery is by way of woven ribbon in two colours.  It was something I had always wanted to do, so that worked out well.  And here's the chair:


It probably looks a bit too clean and new, but so does the rest upstairs.  A bit further down the track I may do something about it, but not just yet.

No idea what comes next.  I will ponder over that and you will find out when I post another update.  See you then.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The carpenter is busy

I am so glad that I have taken some time out this week to do some mini work.  At least I can keep going and  that way I don't loose my creative 'thread'...

I have called in the carpenter to build me a workbench with shelving and I need a sink, built in, in the corner. This room upstairs is going to be the work room where the bouquets are being prepared for sale and all the other work is done.  Downstairs is only going to be the sales area.  The shop is rather small and the florist will just have to keep fit by climbing the stairs all day. :-)

First I wanted light upstairs, so I have found a lamp shade that I have made some years ago.  It is a simple beaded shade with little roses worked in.  The lamp will have to be easily removed in case I need a new bulb, so I used an old plastic plug that I can plug in into the ceiling contacts easily.  I shouldn't have had the wires exposed, but something had gone wrong and the contacts had to be replaced.  As I couldn't lift the roof we had to find another way, but it's working fine now (temporarily):


Tomorrow the electrician will fit the wires properly so that I can turn on the lights upstairs and downstairs.  I have also put in windows and treated them to look like old glass as I did with my witch's cottage:



As you can see again in the pictures, the building is not straight and I am working with difficult angles.  However, it's a learning curve and part of the fun.  The shelving underneath the workbench was a challenge, but worked out okay in the end:






I wasn't going to make a cabinet with drawers and doors.  Shelving seemed a lot simpler and I like the idea of putting some baskets in with stuff, so this is sort of what it's going to look like.

As a florist needs a wet area with a sink I have fixed one in the other corner, where there is less room.  It's where you enter the floor via the stairs.  I generally draw my plans and cut them out of paper to see if it works, so here's the new sink in stages:





Now I am looking for some pewter items that I know I've bought some time ago.  I do have secateurs and a tap, but they need to be painted.  That's the next job.  The drainpipe is going to be painted grey and will be fixed underneath the sink, but will be in full view.  Upstairs is not a luxury kitchen!  I have found a chain with tiny links, but need to find some black rubber or similar to make a plug for the sink.  If I can't find rubber then polymer clay will be a solution.  Let's just wait and see what's going to happen.

Next is filling the room with all the necessities, like wrapping paper, ribbon, scissors, a bin and everything else I can think of.  Anybody with good ideas just leave me a message in the comments... :-)

See you next time

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A rusty old chair

Again it's been a while.  Nearly eight months to be precise, but... I haven't forgotten my florist.  It's just that right now we are travelling a lot and while away from home I can't do much.  (My other blog: Marion's Miniatures, deals with our last trip and a visit to a small dolls house show with some pictures.)  Sometimes I take my miniature knitting, but that's about all.  However, being home for three weeks between two overseas trips I have been able to manage to get a workshop ready for the Brisbane club and also a rusty old chair for my florist.

For a while I have had my eyes on a workshop in one of my Dutch mini magazines, but since I am not very good at soldering I have been putting it off, until today!  Another reason was the wire.  I couldn't get the right thickness and when I did it was on a roll, which makes it a lot more difficult to handle, but....... here it is:


The seat of the chair has been taken out and replaced with a kind of wire basket.  The chair can be decorated according to the season and since I've just returned from the US it's been decorated with autumn in mind and thus pumpkins, of which we must have seen hundreds!!!  But it was great and autumn has again become my favourite season (in my mind, because where I live we don't quite experience autumn).

The chair was first treated with primer and than with rust from a 'scenic rust' kit.  It's every body's guess what will be next on my list, but I'll have lots of time to think about it, because I'll be away till mid January.  No Christmas decorations in my florist yet..... ;-)

I have noticed that my list of followers has grown again.  Welcome to all newcomers.  When I am back home again with more time on my hands, I will dive into it, have a look at your blogs, where possible, and welcome you all properly.

See you again in the new year.