Monday, 31 July 2017

A trip to Tamborine and Shopping part 3. :O

Hubby and I rarely get days off together (the joys of shift work) so when we do it's date day. That day this month was Friday. :)

We decided to take a trip up to Mt Tamborine, it's about an hour's drive from home and there are some lovely wineries and a couple of craft breweries and a distillery up there. Fun times!
Also they have an amazing fudge shop, but lets not talk about that. :)

We decided to lunch at the Bavarian Grill Haus.. (I wanted to eat at the Polish Place, but it burnt down on New Years Eve. :( ) DH loves German food (and beer) and is an active member of the local German club, so you can see why he chose this venue.

While we were eating lunch he suggested I make a trip up to Custom Dollhouse for a little mini shopping. It is quite literally, down the street from the restaurant. I said, no no no.. I've been spending quite a bit of money online lately, I don't need to go down there.... But he insisted and I wasn't going to prevaricate twice! :)

So I left him happily drinking beer at the bar and chatting to the German backpacker waitress and strolled down the street to the store.

I went in looking for dining chairs for the San Franciscan but came away with a couple of impulse buys as well. :)

I settled on these 4 dining chairs and 2 carvers. I already have 2 of these exact chairs, that I picked up at the Sydney Miniature Show. Seating for 8... quite a grand dining room it will be!

I intend to paint and reupholster these chairs into a modern Gustavian style. They have the right lines, so they should turn out great if my skill set can match my imagination. :)

Then completely on a whim I picked up this bed. Just because... :)

I thought I might use this in the San Franciscan.... I think it would be lovely painted white and then sanded back a bit for a bit of shabby Gustavian glory... But now that I look at it, I kind of like the walnut colour, so I may keep it as is and use it in a future project. Wherever it ends up, it will definitely get better linens than that hideous cover the mattress currently has. :)

Finally, I picked up these tub chairs with cane side panel detail. Again, I bought them for the lines not for the styling... I do not like the upholstery at all, but I intend to give them a make over and they feel suitably French or Gustavian to fit in as occasional chairs in the San Franciscan's Living room.

30 minutes and a dent in my wallet later I was back at the bar. Looking back, I think DH wanted to have a few more beers and sent me mini-ing so he could do so... forcing me into designated driver duty... lol

I'm not much of a drinker anyway, so it was a win win as far as I can tell. :D

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Playing with tree foliage

Yesterday I started to work on some options for tree foliage... I think I've ended up back at the drawing board, but I'll explain what I did so you don't think I've been doing nothing. :D

As I may have mentioned in a previous post, I really wanted to use Candy Tuft as foliage for the tree, but it is unavailable in Australia and I think also on the banned or restricted import list of the quarantine & inspection service... so no dice there. :(

I haven't found much on 1:12 trees during my internet sluething, so I wandered over into model railroaders territory and found this reference to making bushes out of noch leaves and lichen. I wondered if I could adapt the bushes to be tree foliage.

After a long wait for my Noch leaves to arrive from Germany, I got to work.

I bought three colours so that I could get some variation and depth into the tree.

I also bought several colours of lichen to decide what worked/I liked.

I started with the natural lichen and broke some apart into what I thought would be appropriate pieces.

Then I used some spray paint I had on hand to lightly paint them first a dull brown and then a light frosting of forest green. 

It's actually metal fence touch up paint so, quite difficult to clean up! :O

I wasn't really looking for full coverage.. more just a hint of variation seeing as they were already a woody colour.

The next step was to spray them individually with adhesive and then roll them in the leaves. I chose to do several different variations, light & medium, medium & dark, light & medium & dark.

It was all going a long swimmingly if messily and I was liking the effect. Even if they were a little more clumpy than I would have preferred.

That is until I got them onto the tree. :/

They look more like some kind of moss that grows on trees in the tropics than foliage and the scale is off, which I always suspected it would be. I thought if I bunched enough of them together I could disguise that, but it's a messy process & I'm not sure that it will solve that problem anyway. The other issue is, they shed like crazy, which isn't conducive to the application in my opinion... I probably could spray them with adhesive or hairspray to see if that settles them down.. but I'm not sure I like the look enough to continue.

All is not lost, I'll probably used the clumps I've made for bushes or topiaries. :)

While I was out in the back yard, I was looking at the paperbark tree and noticed it had surprisingly small leaves and some nut like buds that looked interesting. I decided to cut a few sprigs and throw them in the microwave for snap drying... My house now smells like eucalyptus! :)

I tried a few on the tree.

I kind of like them but after microwaving the are a bit brown, so I sprayed some forest green on a few sprigs.

Hmmm.. I don't know maybe too green? I do want this to be a summer yard though and the grass will be quite a deep green so the darker green might be a better fit.

I do like the little nutty buds though. :)

This look is better than the lichen foliage but the leaves are still to big. What to do....

It's a lot of work but I'm thinking of cutting down the individual leave to be smaller... So a test is in order.

I think they look a bit better.. but probably still too big...

I think I'll get some more onto the tree before making a final decision. They are surprisingly hardy with nowhere near the shedding of the lichen.... and the price is right, so if I can make these work I will... The jury is still out though. Probably because they are not the look I first intended... we shall see...


Saturday, 29 July 2017

More shopping - but this time, appliances

My mini shopping spree continues. :)

A couple of weeks ago I got on a bit of an appliance kick.. In particular I was hunting down a washer and dryer for the San Franciscan's Garage.

I have long wanted a matched set of the Town Square washer & dryer. I searched for a while on eBay, but didn't see any come up... but I did see these Concord ones that looked really similar. I emailed the seller and asked what they were made of and they said metal, so I bid and won. Yay.. Well not so much... I have since found out that this set is resin and the doors don't open like the town square ones... They have yet to show up on my doorstep so time will tell what they actually are.... It doesn't really matter though, I didn't pay very much for them and they still look like a cute set.

So the search was back on for the elusive Town Square set and after much internet sleuthing I found a pair at Miniature Cottage.

They are now winging their way to Oz. :D

In an interesting and unusual find, as often happens when you have a major search in progress.. I found these retro salt & pepper shakers in the shape of a Laundromat washer & dryer. So retro cute and about the right size.

They look like they will need a bit of a clean up on arrival but for less than 10 Australian dollars who cares!. :D
I'll likely cover up the salt & pepper holes with laundry accessories... a folded stack of towels and some detergent maybe or even a basket or mini iron.. I like the idea of these for the San Franciscan but we shall see if they fit. 

So now I have three washers & 3 dryers.. oh my, how silly.. I'm just going to tell myself it's always good to have options. :D

While I was musing over at the Miniature Cottage website, I checked out their "retired pieces" section and saw a K J Metalworks stove and refrigerator being sold as a set. Be still my heart!

I've wanted been longing for one of these stoves since I saw one in Kim Saulter's Flicker album. If you know these pieces you know they are a splurge item!.. I ummed and ahhed about them for days.. adding to my cart.. removing.. adding.... Adding won. :D Better sign up for more overtime. :P

There are probably more realistic sets out there on the market but I just love these for their retro feel and fantastic interior features.

The bottom drawer opens as well. And as you can see by the electrical cord, they light up!

I wasn't really after the fridge, so it will be a bonus item. :)

Look, how adorable is the inside? :D Karen Fuller is/was a true artist.. not sure if she is still around but her Metalworks are fabulous.

Rounding out the appliance hunt I won an Auction for a DCMT Crescent Cooker. Having looked on Etsy and the like, I got this for a steal. About 5 pounds. 

It's in pretty rough shape but I intend to paint it with enamel paint so better for it to be like this than in pristine condition. Now that I've bought it I notice that Kim Saulter has this lovely in her collection also. I must have subconsciously picked that up while pouring over her lovely albums. :)

Still more to come... until next time. :)

Thursday, 27 July 2017

No time for mini-ing but always time for mini kit shopping!

So I've been very busy at work of late so that has left me very little time to spend on the San Franciscan.

However the upshot is, I've picked up a total of 63 hours of overtime with more to come... and that means... money to spend on minis! Woot!

So in the evenings I've been on a bit of a spree.. particularly when it comes to retired or rare furniture kits.. They are my weakness. :)

Nothing has arrived of course but I couldn't wait to share, so I'll post some web photos, so you can see what I've been spending my hard earned cash on!

First up some stools and chairs from Twin Palms Miniatures.

Image result for Twin Palms Miniatures

These couldn't be any retro cuter if they tried! My Grandparents used to have a sun-room at the back of their house and they had this style of cane furniture in there. I think they had curtain fabric that had green palm trees on it and the upholstery on the chairs matched. I guess I'm now on the look out for fabric with teeny tiny palm trees on it!

I think I've only ever seen the stools and only once before so I knew I had to pounce when I saw these. They were a steal too! The chairs were $9usd and the stools were only $3.99usd. Of course I'll be killed on shipping but I made sure to buy a few other things from the same online shop to make it worthwhile.... As you do.. :D

Then I bought a bunch of BH Miniatures kits, I've never seen these before and I'm not going to lie, they were expensive! But I don't even care.... I wanted them and so I bought them....

First up I bought two of these upper corner kitchen shelving units.

Then I picked up the #316 Small Cupboard

And the #629 2 Door Dish Cupboard

I also got the #617 Two Door Cupboard. I guess you can choose to finish it with punched metal or leave it clear.

But the absolute gem of a find was this #611 Hoosier Cabinet. It just looks like it is so detailed I can't wait to get my hands on it.

Then I just happened to be trolling around on eBay one night and I came across a reasonably priced lot of Millie August kits. I've been coveting these for ages! I missed out on an 8 piece lot on ecrater about a year ago, because the vendor couldn't figure out how to charge a credit card and didn't have a paypal account. They were also completely freaked out about international shipping, so they just cancelled my order. I was so disappointed. This lot is smaller but was also much cheaper and the rest will come I feel it in my bones! Good things come to those who wait.

Also on eBay, I picked up one of these vintage HOM Chippendale bookcases. 

Image result for house of miniatures chippendale bookcase

This is another kit that I've been looking for, forever. I know Mini Mundus still make these, but they are charging like a wounded bull for shipping from Germany. You can also buy the Mini Mundus kits at Minimum World in England and they have free shipping over $50, so you would think that would make them more affordable, but unfortunately the Aussie Dollar (or Pacific Peso as I like to call it :) ) isn't doing so well against the pound.  
So, when I factored in the exchange rate for the Euro or the Pound and then added on the shipping it made the kit price well over $100 from Germany and about $85 from England (if I got free shipping from Minimum World). Now you see why I was waiting for an eBay find or two. 
When I saw this kit from a US seller, I made an offer that would get me the vintage kit including shipping for about half the price of a Mini Mundus one from England. What do you know, they accepted. It's still an expensive kit by US standards, but that's the price of living on the other side of the world!.. I'm still looking for another one as I want one on either side of the living room fireplace, so if anybody sees one let me know! :)