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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A temporary stop

I have stopped temporarily working on my flower shop for various reasons.  One is that it is going on display for a short time and secondly I haven't got any inspiration at the moment.  So, I have returned to working on my dolls house instead.  If you wish to follow me there go to my other blog:  Marion's Miniatures.  Enjoy.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More about the street and the buckets

Do you reckon it's difficult to think of a suitable title every time you blog?  I do, but.... I'm not really breaking my head over it though. ;-)

Well, this is just a follow up of what I was working on before.  First the street scene.  I have finished the cobble stones and grouted them.  I'm not overly happy, but it will have to do.  The part I'm not happy with is that the clay shrunk more than I had anticipated and the grout was still a bit to white, eventhough I had added some parchment and burnt sienna colours to darken it.  Not enough though after it had dried up.  Wonder if I can still do something with a wash....

To wash in the grout I had to varnish the cobble stones first. This made them darker and a bit too shiny eventhough I used matt varnish. It's not too bad though. We can pretend it had just been raining. :-) Yes, I know, you can see the grout on the pavers' edges. Will have to paint that again. Never a dull day for a miniaturist!

The buckets are finished too now.  Unfortunately they ended up a bit bigger than the one I already had and also I couldn't match the colour, since I didn't paint the smaller one at home.  It's not too bad though.  I might just use the four new ones outside.  I sprayed them silver at first, but that appeared to be too shiny.  Silver Folk Art paint didn't do it for me either, so I went out and bought an expensive spray can for a galvanised zink effect.  I am happier now, but I am still wondering how to get that real 'used' and 'old' effect of zink.  I own a few items myself and when I compare the buckets just don't look right.  Anybody has an idea????

The one in the front is the older one, that I made a few years ago.  The one on the far right has been sprayed with 'zink', the other two are still plain 'silver'.

I have been in search of all the items I could use to decorate and fill my shop and luckily I had quite a few.  First there is this huge bouquet which gets pride of place in the bay window.  An eye catcher for the customers I reckon, and also this beautiful Hibiscus that I am putting out on the pavement:

And that's my update for today.  All I need to do now is to welcome yet another follower.  She's from Finland and her name is Ultsu.  Ultsu likes dreaming, like most of us, and she does it (and more) on: Mini Dreams. I hope you'll enjoy visiting my blog Ultsu and a warm welcome to you.

Friday, August 5, 2011


No, don't worry.  It's not raining buckets of water.  I am only making buckets. ;-)  You see, if you want to sell bunches of flowers you need something to store them in.  Buckets are probably old fashioned, but I had made one a while ago from card stock and thought it looked really neat, so that's what I am doing right now: making more buckets.

Here I am in the process of doing so:

The hardest part of the buckets really was the drilling of little holes in the length of a toothpick, but I have succeeded so far. I need those pieces as the handles for the buckets.

In the background you can see, very vaguely, the original bucket with bunches of tulips. I should take a picture of that one too, but I'm running out of time right now.  This was only meant to be a very short update to show that I am still working on my project. 

Oh, and before I go, I want to welcome another new follower: MiniJoJo at Mini Jo Jo's Mountfield. As busy as her life seems to be, she seems to find time for mini's and blogging.  I don't know how she does it.  Go and have a look at her blog.
Have a nice day all of you out there.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Welcome and a little note

I posted this welcome just after I finished my regular update, and on the same day, so have a look at my other post as well so as not to miss the progress on my florist.

A long neglected welcome to all my new followers.  I haven't worked on this blog for a while and besides I have been on a three month holiday, so it's easy to lag behind in those circumstances.  However, today I wish you all a warm welcome and thank you for following my blog.  I hope you'll find something of interest now and then.

I would like to welcome all of you by name and with your link, so that other people may be able to find you as well, because your blogs (if you have one) are certainly worth reading.  For those who are a new follower, but don't have a blog (or I couldn't find one in your profile) be assured you're just as welcome. :-)

So, welcome to:

Annina at Miniatures by Annina -
Eva at Casita de Regaliz -
Muriel at Le Coffre D'Emilie -
Eli en Karina
Tonyina from Barcelona - at Can Tonyina Minis -
Fabiola from Italy at Il Monda Magico di Fabiola -
Choupraville at Mini Rivoli -
Petra from Hamburg in Germany at Meine Kleinigkeiten - 
Treefeathers at Life in Miniature -
Elis at Minis-onesecondlife -
Rosamargarita at La Tapatia -


The street gets done

Today  I enjoyed myself.  I played with clay!  Yes, I do like playing with clay, because this job was different from the roof tiles.  This part is the more creative work that I like.  I have started paving the street and the footpath.  However, before I could start on it I had to place a doorstep in the door opening, because, when I changed my mind I had to cut the door shorter to accommodate the floor inside and the pavers outside.  Oh, and I showed a picture of me working on the scroll saw yesterday, but I of course had to cut the base too.  This I didn't do on the scroll saw, but on another one of my you beaut machines: the table saw:

And, yes, I do use the push sticks.  Ten fingers may seem a lot, but I still want to hang on to all of them!
This machine I've had since October last year, but hadn't really used it until yesterday.  Stage fright probably, but I am over that now.

Anyway I needed a doorstep which I created from a few tongue depressers.  Nothing fancy.  Stained them and glued them in:

As you can see, I will have a lot of cleaning to do before we open the shop.  Paving is such a dirty job. ;-)  By the way, the hole in the floor is to accommodate the stairs when I get to do the interior.

I really shouldn't have started with this picture, because it gives the game away.  Ah well, on to the next pictures quickly then.

The paving is done in stages.  First a layer of paperclay onto the glue covered surface and then the pavers are indented with a special tool: a cut off credit card!

Then comes the tricky bit.  I have to wait till the clay is dry enough so it doesn't pull, but also not too dry, because then it's too late to do anything at all.  I got it right today:

The pavers are nicely carved out and can now dry.  This is the foot path. Next come the cobble stones for the street at a slightly lower level:

I started of with a tiny bit, but wasn't happy, so off they went into the bin.  Start again.  This time I was happy enough and finished the whole lot.  All you do for starters is just glue little balls of clay onto the surface and wait till the clay is dry.  Then comes the hard bit, but I'll leave that for next time.  I am going to be patient and start thinking about the interior.  I have a feeling there will also be a lot of flower and plant making....

One more thing.  While I was reading through earlier posts to look up something I came upon my one time building inspector.  Remember her? 

Well, unfortunately I've had to do without her since last December.  There were multiple problems with her and we have had to put her to sleep.  I still miss her every day, but I know she's much happier where she is now.  That makes it less hard, but only just.  She was in her own way a cute little thing.

See you next time.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

And steady she goes...

The most boring part has been finished now: the slates on the roof!  I thought I would never see the end of it.  Just been unlucky this time, because I finished the roof on my witch's cottage much quicker (and neater!).  It really doesn't help when you go away on a three months holiday and forget to pack away your paperclay in a sealed plastic bag.  That was one.  Next thing is that this time I didn't have long continueous periods to work and you can tell, every little batch looked different.  Then there were the interruptions: doorbell, phone call...  You come back to your job and notice the dried clay on your work board or dried glue on your roof.  Ah well, it's done now and since paperclay is quite forgiving once it's been painted it still looks half decent.  This is the result of a week's hard work (I have forgotten to take a picture of the roof with just the paperclay done, but at least there is the one of the bay window):

roof on the bay window done

the roof painted and 'gutters' attached and painted

I have decided to paint the window sills green as well

There's even a planter with gereniums

looking through the window

shop doorbell attached
If you, like me, never work to a plan then sometimes you have to make changes, minor or major.  This time a ran into quite a major change which required me to put the whole building on the scroll saw:

shop on the scroll saw
 As I had never planned to use paperclay for this scene I needed to cut off a bit from the base.  The plan is to have a slightly higher footpath next to the building and the street at a slightly lower level.  So I cut off the bit for the street and will glue a new square base underneath the existing one, ending up with two different levels.
It will perhaps become a bit clearer once I can show you the picture of the finished base once the glue is dry.

cutting of the part for the "street"
 Well that's all for now.  I'd wanted to welcome new followers, but it took too long (been neglecting you people for too long, my fault) and it's way past my bed time. 

See you, folks...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Was it really more than half a year?

Yes, it was.  More than half a year ago, seven months and a bit to be precise, I posted on this blog about the cacti I had made.  Not that I haven't done anything in the meantime, but my Florist has been terribly neglected.  So, here I am, back again and I have made a new start.

On my other blog, Marion's Miniatures, you may have read why I haven't done much of late.  Amongst other things I have been overseas for three months, but it was mainly my 'mini' holiday, so I have visited two fairs and have partaken in various workshops.  You can read all about it on that blog if you would like to (and haven't done so yet).

You may have read that I have met Nina from Germany, who is also making a flower shop (or has already finished hers).  Und, ja Nina, Ich habe es versprochenm Ich wurde wieder arbeiten als Ich zurueck war.  I keep promises as you can see   ;-) 

Remember the white brick wall?  It's been painted now

And the side wall too
 Next I will be working on the roof and put on paperclay slates, the same as on my witch's cottage.

That's all for now.  When I next have a bit of time I will have a look at my followers, because I have been neglecting that side of my blog as well.  See you soon....