Friday, 29 December 2017

Dining Room continued

Today I decided to continue on with the dining table. I'll probably keep on with it until something better comes along. :) I'm keeping the top unglued until I finish, well finishing it. :) And until I decide if removing a leaf is an option.

 First I gave it a coat of stain. I chose Cabot's Walnut Brown.

Then I gave it a thick wash of Americana Chalk paint in a grey called Yesteryear which I left on for a few seconds then wiped off with an old towel.

Nope, more wash required.

Umpteen more washes and Ok, now we are getting somewhere. :D  

The Chairs are still in their primer white underwear. I was thinking of making them a dirty swedish grey, but I don't know, I like the white.. They are a bit plain though.. I'll need to distress them or something if they stay this colour. Maybe some antiquing wax would do the trick.

And from the side. Oops looks like I forgot the underside of one leaf. Teehee. Need to fix that on my next crafting day. I'll add it too my looooong list. :D 

A view of the top. It's not showing up in pictures that well. It's greyer in RL. I do like the undertones of the wood finish though. I don't want a completely grey table.

None of this painting deals with the size issue of course. So I mocked up a version that removed a leaf. 

I'm glad I did this because I literally had my saw out to cut the base until I saw this photo. There are several problems with making the table this length. Firstly, length is not the issue, width is. Given that I want the table to be centred to the fireplace, shortening it and moving it down the room will off set it from the fireplace and my sensibilities will be offended! I could always move the fireplace down the wall towards the back of the room, but this has all sorts of implications for the chimney, not the least of which it would cover one of the basement windows below. Umm.. no.... This will be an ongoing issue in this house as the rooms are long and narrow.. and this is the widest one with no stair well to impede. Secondly, if I remove a portion of the base to shorten the assembly the legs will either A: be in a wierd position or B. be too close together to allow chairs under.

Losing the staircase or the fireplace are not options in my opinion so there is nothing for it but to mock up the room a bit to get a feel for how overwhelming it's going to be... Meanwhile I'll be stalking Ebay for a skinny table. :D

Get ready for picture spam.. You can never have too many pictures right?

It doesn't look too bad here.. maybe the lighter colouring has camoflaged the size. The room looks fairly spacious.

I think the chairs in white help them fade into the background a bit and not look busy like they did when they were dark wood.

This room is all just in dry fit and like a house of cards could come crashing down at any minute. All my minis could be turned to dust at any moment. :) 

 I quite like this shot. I like how the light coming through the door reflects on the table surface. This mock up exercise has highlighted to me that, not only do I need a new light, I need to move it over to the middle of the table. I think I will wait until I know what table that will be before the move though.. lest I have many holes in my ceiling to patch. :)

Not a lot of space down the fireplace side.. how close can you be before your furniture catches fire??? It might need to move over just a smidgen...

These random metal minis were chosen for the table for one reason only. No it's not tea time.. They are heavy! Because the table top isn't assembled and my white-washed floor is wonky. These heavy little minis are holding the tabletop level..

Let's pretend there is a back wall.

A view from the foyer.

From the front bay windows. The light was so nice this afternoon. :) 

Love the little basket in the fireplace I got from Lidi Stroud at the Sydney Miniatures show.

Through the front door. Come in!

And a couple of close ups. 

 I'm actually really liking the look of this table.. My mini people may have to learn to sidle around the furniture. :D

I digress into The Dining Room

I felt I needed a break from the basement, plus I'm waiting on some supplies so I digressed into the dining room for the morning.

I made the horizontal wood boards for the fireplace wall. They only have one coat of primer and one of paint in this picture. That has been rectified this afternoon.

I don't know what's going on with that chandelier being a bit wonky but it doesn't matter anyway as I've decided to replace it with something more suitable... Just contemplating what that is. :) 

The gaps around the chimney breast will be dealt with with trim. As you can see by my test piece, it will more than cover it. 

This is not the sculptey marble hearth I will be using. This is the thicker one I made, but for some unknown reason, I can't find my preferred thinner option. Still contemplating whether to cut out the floorboards and sink it for installation or leave it above. I do prefer the look of the hearth being a bit raised above floor height, but it might be neater the other way (if my skills extend to neat cutting of floorboards... current evidence suggests otherwise. ;) ) It will be glued down either way so will not sit up above the floorboards as seen here.

I've got a bit of a wonky floorboard issue as well. The boards warped when I whitewashed them and no amount of squashing under books has righted them. I think I will take them all apart and glue them individually to a thicker piece of card and see if that minimises the issue. I want the floor to be a bit rustic, but not this rustic!

Looking forward towards the front door. I still have this wall to make horizontal boards for. I've started cutting the ones for the bay as you can see.

The stairs in place. They are actually on a bit of an angle to be able to prop against the upper floor. These stairs are slightly too short for the ceiling height. Something I will have to deal with soon. I think I will add a riser at the back of the top step and attach it to the stairwell hole. The last step will be shallower than the rest but there is not much I can do about that. Given it's positioning it's not going to be noticable unless you go looking for it.

A snug fit against the kitchen door. I might notch out a bit of the step to make this sit flush with the trim. I've been having an internal debate about whether the newel post should go on the floor or on the first step. It seems people do it either way. I was firmly in the "on the floor" camp until I saw this photo and now I think it may look a bit odd protruding into the doorway space? Thoughts?

 Checking the fit of the kitchen and front doors. They are in a tight spot and will need to be glued with precision to make this all work out in the end. Getting a neat line of floorboards at both doorways has been an excercise in torture. :D

At least for now, the front door can open against the kitchen door successfully. Small wins! :)

I chucked together the HOM kit table I thought I would use for the room. (Don't be alarmed, only the base has been assembled I just hastily sat the tabel top pieces on top, hence the higgledy piggledy nature :) )

Hmmm... this is not promising, I think it is too large! 

I thought about removing a leaf from the centre but the way the table is constructed makes this look like it would be difficult if not impossible.

I think I will persevere with making and finishing it in the style I want and then see how it looks in the end. I may try to figure a way to lose the centre leaf also. I have another table kit I could try but it doesn't really have the right lines for the look I'm going for. Back to the drawing board.

The chairs are going to be used though so I decided to start their makeover to cheer me up after the dining table debacle.

I removed the cushions and any lingering glue. The cushions are not offensive as is but I'm not a fan of shiny fabric so they will be recovered.

 Then they got a coat of white primer.

 Don't be alarmed, they have to look worse before they can look better.

I think I'll give them a wash of brown then a wash of black, then a wash of grey and see what I get.

To be continued..... :D 

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Another Mini Shopping spree! Wheee!

So the reason I have been so quiet on the mini front until recently is I went through a particularly busy time at work. One of my colleagues took a month off to run the New York Marathon (no it didn't take him a month to run it.. hehe.. He just decided to combine a vacation around it.) which translated into 12 hour days, 6 days a week for me... I'm tired just thinking about it. Yawn. Anywhoo.. what it also did was give me a bit of funny money through all the overtime and of course I spent it on minis... I really should have spent it on new clothes or something more practical.. but who cares about those things! :D

Most everything has shown up in the mail, so now I'm going to have a little "show and tell". Fair warning - lots and lots of photos follow.

First up my most recent acquisition a tiny model ship by Artisan John "Bud" Gillick. He sadly is no longer with us but his boats show up from time to time. I will surely treasure mine.

It's so teeny tiny with teeny tiny pieces I'm almost scared to handle it lest I break it into a million teeny pieces.

I also purchased this artisan telescope from a vendor on ebay that obviously frequents estate sales or auctions. No marks or signature so the maker is lost to posterity. :(

Both of these items will make great additions to The Ship Captain's house - if I ever get to it. 

I made this little table the boat is sitting on from a vintage kit by Jan's Mini Magic. I picked up three of her kits in a lot a while back. Very cute! I turned the table around to show the wicker because I haven't put the handles on yet.. 😳 I seem to have a fear of putting mini handles on things. I've built several kits now and haven't yet got around to putting the handles on any of them... One day.

I got this lovely wooden duck decoy by Studio B Miniatures in a lot Auction on Ebay. Love this duckie!

The table he's sitting on also came in a lot. It has no makers mark so I'm not sure if it's Artisan made, from a kit or store bought. It is wonderful quality though and a bit different to what I usually see which I like. It's also the most delightful colour.

These two glazed earthenware pots also came in a lot. Again no makers mark, so I have no idea who made them. They are really lovely though. I wish I knew who made them.

These two little bowls and the darling wooden spoon along with the tomatoes in a bowl below came with a Kitchen sink unit I'll show you further down the post. The blue trim around the smaller bowl is particularly sweet. :)

The tomatoes in a bowl (I think they are tomatoes?) are adorable.

I've tried to capture the bowl but photos don't do it justice it is a gorgeous pearlescent purple graduating to gold around the rim. There is one loose tomato so you can stage them to have one that rolled out of the bowl. :D

I got this Heidi Ott suitcase at my local miniature store. It was going cheap so in my bag it went. :)

When I got home and opened it up, it had a top hat and a cane inside! The hat is an awful plastic number but I might be able to rescue it by covering it with a fabulous fabric yet to be sourced. 

The cane on the other hand. Is kind of cute. And free is always cute!

This cute little pair of vintage chairs came in the same lot the table I've been using to display my smalls on did. they are just as high quality, though a different but equally lovely colour.

I am just in love with this sink unit that was listed as by artisan June White. I don't know anything about her and haven't been able to find any information on the internet. I would love to know if anyone knows anything about her and if she is even still with us.

The bowls and tomatoes above came with it as did the little enamelware pot under the sink. It looks like it may have had a lid at some point, but it is long lost.

It has drain holes in the double Belfast sink but no hardware. I would like to add some but I'm not sure I should mess with the piece. The sink is actually some type of white porous earthenware and very delicate. It's amazing it has survived

The taps are fabulously detailed. I feel like I could actually turn them on. :)

I had a bit of a play and put some of my limited kitchen style mini's to work. This sink has advised me I need to start purchasing more and better quality kitchenware. :D

Staying in the kitchen I picked up these two stoves a while ago. They are not strictly dollhouse miniatures but will do in a pinch. The grey one is a DCMT Crescent Cooker (I've mentioned this one before) is the perfect height and petite enough to fit into the smallest kitchen space. It's in pretty rough shape but I will be painting it with white enamel and making it some interior shelves. I think it will be super cute when its done. If you want some eye candy, check this model out in Kim Saulters Flickr account

The next one is a Vintage Hubley toy Eagle stove. Yes, it's in very rough shape too, but as with the other one it's going to get a make over. :)

The scale is a little off, the burners are too low.. but I maybe able to work with that by building a low platform for it to stand on.

In my travels I also came across this absolutely beautiful vintage artisan crafted copper stove. I fell in love and I'm still in love. I let out a little squeal everytime I get it out. lol

It has the most wonderful patina. I just love it! It is signed and dated 1977. Great year. :D I can't quite make out the signature though. H. ??? somebody.

All the doors open and the burners have little holes in them to pop them out. Of course there are more realistic stoves out there, but you can't beat the love that has been put into making this. It really is a stunning piece of metalwork.

Looks like the Tenant is getting ready to make pancakes! :D 

Moving into the bathroom I picked up this Bodo Hennig  bathtub with a bath caddy included along with the taps.

Bodo Hennig are on the larger side of 1:12 and sometimes as large as 1:10 so that means, this tub actually can fit a 6 inch doll comfortably!

Also included in the lot was the Classic Bodo Hennig Victorian water heater with taps and shower. I'm not sure I'm ever going to do a build that would call for this kind of water heater but the price was right and it's always good to have options. :D

The doors at the bottom, which I can only assume are for coal/wood storage and an oven, open.

Look the tub even has a plug on a chain. :)

I picked up this pair of Sonia Messer chairs for a good price when no one else bought them. They languished on eBay for months. I think it might have been because Sonia's name was spelled incorrectly in the listing. It pays to try alternate spellings if you are looking for something special.

They are in really beautiful condition but the scale is way off. When I sit a doll in them they look like they are sitting in a child's chair. The legs are too short. I've added this Sonia Messer half round table into the photos to show the height difference.. Hmm.. something doesn't seem right. I had high hopes for these chairs. They were going in the Ship Captain's house. Now I'm not sure I can use them. I'll have to see when the time comes. Maybe if they are strategically placed it won't be that noticeable.

An Australian vendor on eBay often has vintage NOS. I picked up these Classics Swan leg end tables with marble tops along with the matching coffee table. 

The marble top on the coffee table is a bit large for scale. But once styled up I don't think it will be that noticeable. 

The detail on the legs is fantastic though. 

The same vendor also had this Classics Spindle bed.. LOVE!! 

But it has this hideous blue bedspread.. Oww.. Oww.. it hurts my eyes and my sensibilities. :D It's hard to see the beauty of the piece through the ugly.

It's actually glued to the side rails of the bed.. how the heck am I going to get that off?? I"m scared to microwave it because that thing is so synthetic it'll probably melt.. Plus what will that do to the lovely dark wood finish?

Well I can't look at that anymore, I need to do a quick mock up with fabric scraps and tape and a few strategically placed minis, to make me feel better :D

Ta Da!

Don't look too closely, the fabric is just wrapped around the bed over the other bedding and taped together on the underside. So much better than looking at that shiny blue plastic that was masquerading as fabric! :D

I shoved a box and the Heide Ott suitcase under the bed to make sure it didn't all fall down while I was taking photos.

I added the Classics side tables as bedsides as I already had them out and they are the same colour  and are a good place to display a couple of minis to distract the eye from the hastily assembled bedding :)

Nothing too special on the table. Just a milk jug with cheap paper flowers a shell and an opening book from one of those picture frame mini scene kits you see on eBay all the time. It's actually quite cute and has illustrations on the interior pages. It's convincing enough for photo's at least. On the other table is a lamp that came in a mini auction lot, it looks like it's been home made from jewelry findings. It's quite sweet. And some perfume bottles I made a long time ago from beads.

The spindles on the bed are incredibly detailed and the wood seems to be good quality because the turnings are very smooth. I love this bed! So happy I bought it.

And in what will be the ugliest photo but the absolute best deal of the day. I got all these Realife kits for $10usd. I kid you not! The postage was more than 10 times that but still that's  9 room kits for about $7usd a piece! I never run into these kinds of deals so I'm pretty happy. One of the kitchen kits is missing some pieces which I knew up front but some of these are even still in the plastic wrap. Amazing.. *does happy dance*

I'll post about my growing mini animal collection in another installment. 😤