Monday, June 14, 2010

Good Intentions Didn't Get Me Very Far cleaning up my workspace. I kept coming up with project ideas, until I finally took a break from sorting/labeling/tossing and had a little fun. A few months ago, I bought a few packs of quarter scale brown plastic furniture. Looking through old issues of Little Enough News, I found a page which showed various ways to cut the furniture apart and reassemble it to make other pieces. One of the things I got from the Sturbridge Show was a quarter scale Art Deco house kit. The seller didn't have it at the show, so I haven't started building it yet, but I'm already thinking about how I will furnish it. I decided to see if I could make anything even vaguely Art Deco from the brown plastic furniture.

The desk on the left is the piece I started with. Eventually, the modified piece on the right will be a vanity, with a tall mirror in the center. It obviously needs a paint job to improve the look of the ugly brown plastic, and hide the white plastic I used to modify the shape. I'm hoping that I'll be able to do a realistic looking faux wood.
For this table, I cut off the legs and discarded the pedestal. Then I flipped the legs upside down, glued them to the underside of the table, and added a couple thick blocks of plastic to form a new base.
The chair in the center is the stock brown chair. The little table on the left was made from two of the laddered chair-backs, glued to a scrap square of plastic. The chair on the right is made from two stock chairs. I first removed the back from one of the chairs. Then, I trimmed the legs from the second chair, flipped it over, and glued it to the top of the first chair. With a little more trimming, and a single ladder from the chair back, the second set of legs became the chair's back and arms.

I'm not thrilled with these pieces, but they were a fun diversion. I'm going to continue experimenting with the rest of my stash, and hopefully a bit of paintwork will reduce the plastic look. But first- I have to finish cleaning up!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Not Much to Show

We didn't end up finding much at Sturbridge. There were lots of great miniatures to see, but very little that would work in any of our houses, so we came away with mostly supplies. Mom ended up getting two darling things, but she hasn't yet figured out where she will put them, so I will hold off posting about them until they have a home. In the mean time, I've been having fun making Valentines from frilly bits and pieces.
Lots of gold paper, glitter, and lace. My favorite glitter is actually an additive meant for model car paint. It comes in a range of colors, but I mostly use the gold.

The weather's been dismal lately, so I've been reorganizing my workspace as well. I finally decided that it was time to replace the hand-written labels on all my drawers so the label-maker has been going full blast. I've also been spray-painting cardboard boxes between rain showers. I needed a neat way to store small items that didn't have a home. I collected a variety of sturdy food and toiletry boxes, which did the job admirably, but didn't look very neat. A couple coats of spray paint and printed labels made all the difference. I'll post photos when the re-organization is done: right now I'm sorting the last few drawers and boxes, so it still looks like a mess.

Friday, June 4, 2010

More Little Books

I decided to work on more miniature books today. Below you can see a finished book in the press. This little flower press is the best tool for bookmaking. It's only a few inches wide, but it easily presses two or three books shut at once. It's extra small because it was originally sold as an American Girl Doll flower press. Despite the fact that it's technically a toy, it's held up really well to (lots!) of real use.

Here are the last three books I made: Pride and Prejudice, The Arabian Nights, and The Castle of Otranto. Eventually, I hope to make an entire readable library for my other dollhouse, but so far I've only done a shelf and a half. There are five shelves in the largest bookcase I plan to fill, and each shelf needs about 16 books. Right now, I have 23 books completely finished, and that's taken me over six months (working very intermittently). At the very least, I need to make about 60 more books. I really didn't realize what a big project this would be when I started! Those ready-made books are seeming awfully reasonable right now... Fortunately (?) there's even more to do on the dollhouse, before it is anywhere near ready for a full library, so there's no rush to get the books done.

P.S. Mom and I are going to the miniature show in Sturbridge. It's usually my favorite show of the year. It's a big enough show to be more exciting than our local shows, but it generally has a friendly atmosphere that some of the big shows lack. Is anyone else going?