Monday, 31 August 2015

The Start of a Mini Cottage and some Chrysnbon Kits

Recently (well maybe it was a few months ago...) I started making a mini cottage. I was missing my dollhouse, which is in New Zealand, while I am in Fiji. So I thought I should make another one. I hadn't done so yet, mainly because of the lack of tools I have up here, and also the difficulty of getting materials. 
I think sometimes I don't start things I have ideas for because I'm worried they won't work out perfectly. When I began to think about that, I decided to just get on with it, and start with what I had. Which were some sheets of cardboard I'd bought in Suva (the capital city of Fiji) and also some foam-core board. It had been quite difficult to find them—I'd traipsed from stationery shop to stationary shop looking for cardboard, and nowhere seemed to have it! I went back to the shop I finally found some in when I was in Suva last Saturday to get some more (not being able to find any in Nadi where I live, which is a little over 3 hours away) but they were closed! Darn. 
Anyway, here is what I've done so far...

The Chrysnbon kits that I bought off eBay in Canada (and which took four months to arrive—but were probably in Fiji for at least three of those) were a bulk lot. I bought them for the chairs, but included was a kit for a door. I made this up to be the door of the cottage, and painted it in my favourite colour of the moment.
I decided to make it quite small, so that it can be taken as carry on luggage. Each wall is the size of an A4 pice of paper laying on it's side. I plan to make it two stories.

This is the front wall. The big hole is going to be a bay window (because how cute are they!?)

I painted the inside wall white, then I had to paint the outside one too, because the foam core board started to warp and get a bend in it.

For the floor, I stuck together two sheets of cardboard with white glue. That made them about 5mm thick. I painted it black so that any gaps in the floorboards would look more realistic. Then I cut some floorboards out of popsicle sticks. I didn't stick them down yet though. I wanted to connect the walls first. 

This is one of the side walls. I made the window this size so that a set of shutters I have will be the right size to cover it if they were closed.

To connect the walls, I punched dress makers pins through the floor, then put white glue round the edges of the floor and slid the walls onto the pins. Some of the pins had to be adjusted. When I was pushing the pins through I had some black paint on my hands and I accidentally pushed a pin into my finger. It has healed now but I have a black dot in my finger!

Then I did some more paint layers inside and out, then started fitting in the floorboards. 

I have done some more on the cottage, but I'll have to show you guys that on the next post, because I haven't been able to get the photos off my memory stick for some reason.
I'm pretty happy with it so far though!

This is the little bookshelf I made a while ago. It turned out a bit rugged, but I like it. I made all the little books to go inside.
There are still more to make. It took ages to glue all the pages together and to make the covers. But I got faster as I learnt how to do it. I'd never made books before.

So now onto the Chrysnbon kits.

This is the first chair. I wanted to do pastel colours so I made this a sunny yellow.

I had two kits for these blue chairs, so I made a matching set. I didn't like the black fabric that came with the kits, so I used a bit of this material that used to belong to my Mum. She did lots of quilting, and this was from her quilting supplies. It's cream with tiny light blue hearts on it.
The little side table was from another kit, but I painted it cream to match the chairs.

Next was this chair. I decided to make it purple and paint it with tiny flowers.
I used super glue to stick all these kits together, but I want to get some proper plastic model cement. Hopefully that will be easier to use.  

This little table came with a bunch of other accessories. I painted it to look a bit worn.

Then I made up this chair. I think this is my favourite kind. I like the details on it. 

As you can see, it's the same as the other one I made last year. 

Then there is an arrow backed rocking chair with a little stool. I painted tiny pansies on them.

And these are the other bits that are left over. I haven't decorated them yet. But I will get round to them eventually. I'm not sure what to do for the lanterns. I'll have to look on the internet for some inspiration for them I think. 

I hope you're having a lovely day!
Love Amy.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Mini Paintings, Mini Flowers and Plants, and Mini Chrysnbon Cane-Seat Chair.

Hello everyone! Another long gap between posts I know. I have been working flat out on my novel. I've written over 78,000 words now. Go me! But as I have been putting so much effort into writing that, I haven't gotten around to blogging...
Anyway, now that my excuses are out of the way, I thought I'd update you on all the little projects I have been working on.

I've already shown you some of the mini paintings that I've made but have included them here too so everything is all neat and tidy.

Last week I was excited because I had a request (through my Etsy store) for a custom miniature painting from a lovely lady in Texas. Here is what I came up with and I was so happy because she loved it. For anyone who is interested in purchasing any of the miniature artwork below, I'll add the links above each one to make things easy for you.

So! Here are all the little mini things I've made over the last year. Not that many all together, but I love each and every one of them.

I adore this little pansy painting I painted last year. I think it would look lovely just about anywhere in a dollhouse, but my pick would be a bedroom.

And these rose ones are so sweet, it's hard to choose a favourite!

I think this little love painting would look cute in a nursery.

And maybe the strawberry one would be good for a kitchen.

This rose one is one of my favourites because I adore the colours and the little frame inside the frame is just lovely. 

This love one makes me think of a sunny spot near the kitchen bench.

And maybe blue bells in the bathroom would be nice!

I've also made some wooden bits of wall art using a combination of paints, scrapbooking papers and varnish.

And have made some framed pictures with scrapbook paper inserts.

And that is all the mini paintings to date. As well as the life sized water colours I've painted, I also painted my surfboard using Posca paint pens.
I love the way it turned out.

I made some mini peonies from a kit I bought off Esty from The Miniature Garden. Actually all the flowers and plants below are from there so if you want to try making any of these yourself, I highly recommend her lovely kits.

I love the dainty way the peonies tuned out. They look so delicate.

You might have seen the miniature poppies I made because I used them as the subject for the photography tips blog post. But here they are again anyway because they are just so cute. 

I also made some Californian Poppies. I have never seen this type of poppies before in real life but I adore the happy colour of them. 

Aren't they cheerful!

And then there is the wisteria kit. It really is a project all on it's own. It takes simply ages to make the flowers but they are very lovely. It's going to be so satisfying seeing it go up on the house. But who knows when that will ever get to come out of storage!

This is all the bits you get in the kit.

Here are the centres of the flowers made up.

And painted purple.

And this is what they look like with the flower petals stuck on. When I have them all done, I might paint them (very carefully) to add a bit of something extra.

And finally I made this delightful little fern. The leaves are laser cut and they look so realistic. My dollhouse is going to look so great with all these lovely plants in it!

I ordered this Chrysnbon kit online. It's the first plastic furniture kit I have made. Well actually, the first furniture kit full stop!

All the pieces come like this. Opening it reminded me of when I was little and used to get toys at Christmas (or my birthday - which is only 3 days apart from Christmas!) and they would have bits in them that you had to twist off the plastic like this. Oh the joy of it! I LOVE assembling toys. When something says "Some assembly required" my eyes light up.

It actually took quite a few attempts to get the chair to actually stay together because at first I didn't have the right glue. All I had was tacky glue, which was difficult to use and then, once the glue was dry, the chair would fall apart with the lightest touch.
I only have a push bike in Fiji to get around, but I peddled off down to the local store and they had some super glue, which was only FJD$1.50. So I thought I'd give that a go and luckily it worked. So probably after the fifth attempt, the chair stayed together. Hooray!

I painted it to look nice and shabby instead of using the stain that came with the kit.

And this is the finished piece. It looks quite grey in this picture but it is more turquoise/teal in real life. I'll have to include it in another photo in a later post with better lighting.

I liked making the mini chair so much I decided to order some more kits all the way from Canada (the first one was sold second hand from New Zealand). They haven't arrived yet but I'm hoping they will come soon because it's been over 5 weeks since they were shipped. I ordered something from Canada last year too, to get shipped to a friend in New Zealand and that took ages as well though so perhaps the postage from Canada is just slower than form anywhere else in the world...

Anyway, so I haven't been totally neglecting miniature making! And I have even been working on something else a little special too. But you will have to wait for a later post to hear about that as it's not finished yet!

Love and good wishes to you all!

xo Amy