Monday, 5 November 2012

1:12 Camisole, bloomers and hangers.

1:12 camisole and bloomers. Handsewn with Gutterman silk thread. Cotton lawn and lace are from Little Trimmings. The buttons are from The Dolls House Mall, which are painted with humbrol. The waist band is the selvedge from the cotton lawn. To keep the seam allowance small without fraying, I carefully applied nail polish along the edges.  In hindsight, I wish I had made the "placket" slimmer, it is the only bit glued on and is staying that way. The placket is the bit with the buttons on it. 

1:12 camisole and bloomers reverse.

1:12 Hanger  jig. Self explanatory diagram I think, red line indicating wire.  I used 3 dress makers pins ( heads cut off) at the top, to hold the wire in position, while using pliers to twist the ends. The V cut at the top makes it easier to manipulate the wire tails. Then cut off one wire tail above the twist, and shape the other around something round (I used a screw) to form the hook, any excess then cut off. The two brass nails are in drilled holes, so that after the coat hanger is formed, I can remove the nails and the hanger can be lifted off. The wire is actually 15 amp fuse wire. I didn't have any wire that gauge, so until I get some, I have to make do with just the one coat hanger. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

1:12 sofa, just needs feet!

1:12 sofa made from wood, dowel, fabric (Brodnax prints - Oakwood cotton), felt and padding. Another miniature project that has been lying around for months. The design is based on a Howard and Sons sofa of the Edwardian period. The feet are only temporary, they are much too bulky. Either I buy a lathe and make them myself, or commission someone to do it for me. The sofa was quite tricky to make. Whilst the base was quite simple to make, I had to make it smaller to compensate for the padding and fabric which would add bulk. Then the upholstering, which I can't even begin to explain without a lot of pictures and diagrams etc... I regret not doing that, but I was too busy making it. Definitely a learning experience, this one.. I hadn't remembered to keep the fabric lined up with the base and the back, that was a complete fluke, very lucky, as the fabric was £10 with very little there for error. 

I used a piece of formed wire under the fabric, to clamp the fabric around the arm,  and to prevent uneven bunching. The side piece is slightly too long, but this mistake isn't too noticeable, I hope. 

Quite a deep sofa, plenty of room for cushions and throws and hopefully, miniature cats.

Sofa base, wood and balsa wood. The arms and back have a length of dowel glued on, sanded into shape, and then covered with felt and then plain fabric. The patterned fabric was glued on to card (cut to fit and with a layer of padding in between) and glued in to place.

Finally getting somewhere. I think I have about  15000 stitches left to go!

Christmas Wreath. Etched brass "Ivy" from PPD ltd. Each leaf was bent into shape with tweezers, painted with water paints, then lightly varnished and bent around a small brass hoop, and held in place with wire. 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

1:12 shopping bag and stoneware jars.

 I made the shopping bag from a 5p sample and  plain fabric (from an old pillowcase). The rope is made from waxed thread (I ran the thread over beeswax, it makes it easier to handle and hold a shape too).  There are videos on youtube for a rope braid (hairstyle tutorials).  Easy to do, once you get the hang of it.

And the jars are painted, varnished and ready to be placed, placed where though, Im not sure.

And my break from this, didn't last long. Comparing to the last photo I took of it,  Im slightly shocked it hasn't changed much, after the hours I put into it. This is going to take a very long time. 

Friday, 17 August 2012

1:12 Butcher's Block

After looking at a lot of antique butcher's blocks online, I liked those with the brackets and those with the bolts, so I came up with this version, incorporating both. I made the block from scraps of wood, cut into small pieces, glued and layered in a brick pattern, which I then sanded down to "wear" the surface, as well as score it . The bolts are made from pin heads, small bead caps and round discs of metal ( which came from an old broken mobile phone I took apart years ago) and bought brass nails. The brackets are made from a thin tarnished metal sheet, cut and bent to size, with punched holes for the nails. The legs I bought, and the rest is made up with scraps of wood. I don't know the name of the company that made the hen, it may be Falcon, it was bought along time ago, and I don't see it online.

Butchers block with the oblivous pet Hen.  The block is only for vegetables!!

Authentic brick pattern. Only took a day and a half to make this alone......

In situ, filling the gap between the cooker and sink. Cooker and pump are Phoenix miniature kits.  Clothes airer is by Black Country miniatures.

Whisk experiments using wire, jewellery findings and model ship parts (wood). And superglue.

Paper jugs unpainted (2 pence for scale). Though I think the two on the left are quite convincing as they are.  I got the idea for making  jugs out of paper after seeing this tutorial online, though I used scrap paper instead of quilling paper, as I have yet to buy that...
Also its a fantastic blog for budget miniaturists, tips and techniques.

I would like to put up a photograph of my needlepoint rug progress, but it was taking over my life, nothing else 1:12th related was happening, so I have taken a break from it, hence no progress of that...

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Lollypop stick shelves

Shelves are 2cm deep. Cup hooks are by Phoenix miniatures. The brackets are also made from  lollypop sticks, and a  bit of 24th scale coving to add detail.  I have drilled a small hole in each bracket to put a metal pin through, which will help secure it to the wall, without needing to use too much glue, as I may need to take them down at some stage for redecorating.

The lollypop sticks were cut to size and sanded. I used a Walnut stain to darken the stick, then used liming wax  to  lighten the stain and give a soft sheen to the wood. I was lucky to find one lollypop stick in the pack (craft pack of lollypop sticks for about 99p) that had a knotty bit, which runs through to the underside, as can be seen in the photo below. 

And here they are on the wall, and nothing broken. Not the most artistic arrangement, but I  couldn't resist setting  bits on to them.  I drilled holes into the walls and set in small metal rods, which are then inserted into corresponding drilled holes in the brackets. These will be glued into place, but not until I remove the pencil lines on the wall, where I worked out the positioning. The shelves are slightly wonky, but I dont think it is very noticeable. 

Rug progress, this week.  When I finish this rug, I will be able to look back on all its photos with horror at the time it has taken to do. And then start another one, as petit point makes really convincing 1:12 rugs.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Not much has happened since I last posted and I went on a last minute holiday for 2 weeks, so everything has been neglected. The rug isn't even half finished, and I have been obsessively working on that mostly. Though I did find time to fiddle about with the windows on the front of the house. Currently waiting for a piece of fabric to arrive, so I can get started upholstering my sofa, which has been sitting about in pieces. So hopefully, that will be the my next entry, as anyone who has done needlepoint will know, a few days of work doesn't look like much, I have lost count of the days spent so far...

Finished rug will have thirty seven thousand, nine hundred and nine stitches (37,909) Not daunting in the slightest. I am not even halfway there! Rug is a kit by Bobbie Schoonmaker, Arak Saruk design. It is because I love the design, that has kept this from being thrown into a corner and forgotten about it. It's a bit dull here today, so the camera has not quite picked up how lovely the colours are.

The facade of the house will be evolving, at the moment  I am just doing whatever takes my fancy, there is no plan! Decided to keep the original plastic windows, and make them more interesting by adding windowsills. I'm not too worried about the scale here. The door is a bought one, and is subject to change. Door ornaments were bought at Miniatura from Tony Hooper. 

Windowsills are made with balsa wood and dowelling, upper portico is made with an old piece of coving that came free with the dollshouse, many years ago. Bit of filling in and painting still to do.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

1:12 Toilet and other things.

I wanted each of my blog posts to host only the one project, but as time is going on I have so much in various stages of completion that I have decided just to post what I am doing as I go along rather than the finished piece, and the blog is supposed to be my diary, so I can look back and see how long its taken me so far... So a bit about the toilet. Anyone doing up their 1:12 house will notice there isn't much available in the bathroom department. This idea will be useful to people who want to make their bathroom a bit more unique. The toilet was originally a plain wood high flush toilet. The materials were not that expensive. I think I spent under £10 in materials for the toilet alone, including the bought toilet. Count in the man hours though and it will probably be hundreds of pounds, as this did take some time to make. I chose to make a Victorian/ Edwardian embossed style of toilet. Though you could use nail decals to make a patterned toilet, if embossed wasn't what you were after. Or just a plain white one. A lot of toilet photos to follow.

Original toilet. You can see one of the pencil guidelines I have put in to help me shape the toilet. The lid is also going to be refined. I used a dremel sanding tool, and good old fashioned sandpaper for the whole shaping process.  I also used das clay here and there later on.  I can't remember where I bought my toilet, but you can get the same one on eBay, at DHD kitchens shop for £5.45. Mine was about £5. P.s. The bathroom floor tiles in this photo came from Spent quite a bit on those, but they do look convincing and they are very shiny. They are colour code M1.

Though I have started embellishing the bowl, I still wasn't happy with the base, in the next photo you can see it has become shorter in length. It isn't noticeable in the photographs, but I sanded an indent to the rear of the bowl, to make the bowl more defined.

And this is the bowl in its final shape.

I bought these filigree wraps on ebay, and carefully shaped them around the bowl. Any gaps underneath I filled in with grace clay (from Japan, though a fine filler would probably work as well) and used a wet paint brush to blend into the filligree wrap. The base was refined further.

As an afterthought, I added a tiny ball chain to the top of the wrap, so there are a few gaps here and there, where it wouldn't fit because of the wrap. That's what happens when you do things on the hoof, and it will forever annoy me.

There is a balancing act going on in this photo. Nothing is secured yet. I still have to  make a  permanent water pipe, the one in place, you could call a prototype. The cistern is exactly as it was when it was bought, with the addition of filigree wraps, many coats of  paint and a flush handle, which is actually a door handle. I bought that at Miniatura, from Tony Hooper. The toilet seat has been wood stained. When ready to put in place in the bathroom, it will have two small brackets under the cistern. 

The glossing technique!! I used a few coats of white primer on the toilet first. Then there are about 4-5 coats of Humbrol white gloss paint on the toilet. I  "watered" down the paint with white spirit, until it was the consistency of single cream (watery single cream, anyway) and carefully applied it in sections so it spread out over the surface and dried smooth, without leaving "join" or brush marks. Drying time for each coat took two days! So put a glass bowl over your glossed items immediately, and cat hairs and lint won't be a part of the finished object.

Obviously, this is not a toilet. The Del Prado chair from the old dollhouse. This kit came free with one of the Del Prado dollhouse magazines (1990s).  Although it was one of the best pieces of furniture I had in the childhood dollhouse, I thought it needed revamped, and I didn't want to throw it away. So I stripped it, reshaped the sides and reupholstered.

Half finished. Because the reupholstery is done in specific stages,  I can't fix the side panels, until the front legs are in, so this will be sitting on a crate, until I can find the right legs for it. For now it is shabby chic.

My Arak Saruk rug from Micro Stitchery finally arrived. Just in time for their half price sale to start.  Can't win them all.  Three days work in this photo. I don't think this will be finished anytime soon.  It is a daunting pattern for a needlepoint beginner, but I am pleased with how I am coping with it. No major mistakes yet. I did what they said and worked from the centre out. I can see why this is so important. Miss one stitch on the border and a whole row is out of the pattern. Great miniature needlepoint tips from Bobbie Schoonmaker (who designed this rug), and also Janet Grangers website are helping me to make this rug.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Dressing table and Bathroom sink

Two pieces I have had in the works for months. And they still aren't completely finished. 

Dressing table. The mirror with drawers is a bought piece, which I've had since I was a child. It was originally mahogany.  I refined it with sandpaper, rounding the edges of the frame, etc. Using a silky mitt, intended for your legs, gives a really nice matt finish to 1:12 painted objects. It also wears away the edges in scale. The table, is also an old piece of dollshouse furniture, mass produced Made in China stuff from the 90s, I have a box full of it. It has been rejigged and had new legs (spindles) put on. A few more coats of paint and fine sanding, and it will be finished.

Mirror board from Phoenix miniatures.  Just to show the realistic reflection it gives. That jewellery squirrel tree is in my  life size bedroom.  The original mirror had too much "depth", it was quite thick, though I read somewhere if you use a black marker round the edge, this is resolved. But I lost the original mirror anyway, so...

Dressing table drawer handle, made with a brass picture nail, with a tiny bead cap superglued on top, with the head of a tiny pin superglued on top of that. A hold your breath moment setting that in place.

It is a really dull day today, it usually is. I don't like using flash in the dollshouse, but I had no choice, I wanted this photo for the records.  Picture on  Phoenix "Wilkswood" fireplace, is a Canadian stamp.

Not quite finished... Sink made from gloss painted Das clay and wood offcuts. The cast iron support is a bar table, from Phoenix Miniatures, though the  'box' surrounding the sink is a plastic sticker, painted pewter. The taps are made from ear bullet posts, wooden dowel, pins, crimp beads and model ship cowl vents and wheels. Taps are waiting for some gold leaf. Eventually, I will get round to finishing off the taps and sink surround. 

Birds eye view of the sink. Shell soap dish, is a jewellery finding pushed into the clay and painted . Plug hole is a brass wheel (model ship part) with a washer on top. No plug for it yet!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

1:12 Victorian donkey pull toy

I don't intend to have a nursery in my dollshouse, so this will be on show as a vintage ornament. I really like the donkey pull toy in one of my family photographs, so decided to make a miniature one for the house. Didn't quite manage to get the ears and the legs as fine as I would have liked. The donkey is made from fimo, over a tiny wire armature, then flocked with finely cut wool. I used crochet thread for the bridle, reins and edging on the leather saddle, which is all held in place with dots of superglue and pva glue. The wooden base was an offcut, and the wheels are one side of a snap button with the centre filed down to make a hole, a pin then inserted, with the remainder of the pin glued into a small piece of brass tubing acting as the axle.

My great aunt Rita Lynas circa 1905

Close up of the pull toy used as a photograph prop.

4cm high and 3.3 cm long. Actually donkey alone is 3.5cm high. £1 coin for scale.

I put a dot of nail varnish on the eye to give the impression of glass eyes. Very hard to see in photographs.