Ye Olde Taxidermist - Haunted Heritage double feature in Dolls House & Miniature Scene

by brae  

I'm honored to have Ye Olde Taxidermist and the Haunted Heritage both featured in Dolls House & Miniature Scene for October 2019.

As I was going through the old album to send them pictures, I found a photo I liked that I hadn't posted before. :D Isabeau was made by Maya Schippl, and I built the Model T Van.

There's a snippet of the Heritage on the cover.

On the inside, there's a lovely article written by Sadie Brown.

It's always so awesome to see one's work in print. :D

A special thank you to Sadie and Carl at Dolls House & Miniature Scene!

Ivy Hollow - wallpaper options

by brae  

I bet the rural post office would have been plaster on the inside, maybe wood paneled...but I'm going fancier. I wonder if this building might have been repurposed to be our post office, or perhaps the townspeople just had money and style. :D Options are as follows in no particular order. Trim color can be chosen later, but I am figuring a dark rustic wood floor and baseboards. One thing to remember is there are five window openings and I'm sure to add some maps and advertisements, so there won't be large sections of pattern.

Graphic 45 - Cityscapes Collection - Crossroads: Love the name and colors. I thought it might be too big and busy, but it rather works for me.

Graphic 45 - Cityscapes Collection - Grand Tour: Also a great color. Reminds me of old playing cards.

Kaiser Craft - Provincial Collections - Chaise: This one does seem busy to me and might be better as a linoleum floor in another build.

Brodnax Prints - 1VT321 - Hospitality: A vertical stripe pattern is what I had in the back of my mind all along. The dots are actually tiny flowers, so it is not as stark as a true stripe. This is the lightest of the four papers, which might work better for a small interior.

Brodnax Prints - 1AN103 - Camel Caravan (named for the border that I wouldn't be using here): A little busy but still fun.

Time to think on it. :]

Ivy Hollow - lighting

by brae  

Originally, I thought to have a removable roof and possibly a removable wall. I'm pretty much set on having only the roof removable at this point, so I put an additional window on the back wall for better viewing the interior with the roof on.

With a removable roof, ceiling lights are just too much of a hassle. Possible, but a hassle. I'm opting instead for wall lights only, and the Meyers Wall Lights are the perfect blend of vintage and shop. While considered an outdoor light, they are small enough to work well indoors. Plus, I like the look of the pea bulb (not shown in my photos since they are still safe in their packages). As for whether there would be electricity in this post office in 1917, I'm deciding yes!

Using the artist's model as a guide for height, I chose a place relatively high on the wall.

I'm still deciding if I'll have one on each side wall and two on the back wall.

I had originally planned on only one centered over the back counter, but the added window meant I would have to arrange any shelving or desk in a different configuration than originally envisioned. I could likely eliminate the one to the right of the back window and have plenty of light. That would allow for full shelving on the right, a cabinet under the window and then a desk counter on the left. I could also add a desk lamp. I'll do some mockups in cardboard to see what I like best.

I won't have an outside light since my inspiration post office inspiration did not. Let's just say the business hours were limited to daylight hours, but you still had to see to work inside. This would be especially important during winter or stormy days.

To install my wall lights, I'll need channels running to the floor and through the foundation. I'll also need a wire for the stove to run to the battery in the back. Having the building on an angle makes it easier to build a shed in the back to house both the battery for the flickering lights and the power strip for the regular lights.

Looks like Daisy has found a great place to curl up and stay warm. This beautiful sleeping kitty was made by JMDS. I'll need to make her a less modern pillow if she is to stay in the post office. :] She's rather pristine for a rural cat, so she might end up having a permanent home in another build. It's not as though I don't have enough mini cats to find one to wander into the post office.

Ivy Hollow - potbelly stove, part 4

by brae  

Continuing work on the potbelly stove. There's always the kit stovepipe, which has excellent detailing, but I wanted to attempt a straight pipe up through the ceiling, which would be more in line with my inspiration photo. The rub lies in the oval opening at the rear of the stove. I can't just take a round polystyrene tube and use it out of the package. I also don't want to alter the kit parts just in case my alterations fail and I need to fall back on the original stovepipe. As a reminder, here is the stove built for Baslow Ranch.

Debora sent me some defunct Chrysnbon kits for parts some time ago, and one of those was the cook stove. Look here at this part. It's an oval to round adapter.

I cut the top away using the scroll saw and sanded it smooth.

To make the stovepipe that will continue upward, I used 1/2" polystyrene tubing.

In order to make it easier to hold the stovepipe steady while the plastic cement set, I glued three polystyrene rods inside the pipe adapter.

Once the glue set, I glued on the stovepipe, leaving the full length intact. Once I get to the roof, I'll cut the top angle and fashion a chimney pipe for the exterior. I cut a thin band of polystyrene and glued it approximately 3 inches from the top of the adapter to make it look like the stovepipe was assembled in two pieces, which it likely would have been.

I roughed up the surface with sandpaper and spray painted it flat black. It will remain unattached until installation.

While I was painting, I finished the floor pad in the same stippled black finish as the stove.

Horse Harness - part 1

by brae  

Maybe that should read, "Putting Jebediah to work, part 1." As you know, I'm using a Breyer thoroughbred horse for my mail wagon. I found it interesting that at least one pacer (harness racing horse) pulled a mail wagon in real life.

Mail Wagon Horse Mon, Jan 19, 1914 · The Star Press (Muncie, Indiana) · Newspapers.com

After finally getting my hands on the marvelous book Making Model Horse Harness by Anne Funnell, I started reading the material and doing more sleuthing online. Anne's business is no more, so I am doing my best to scout Rio Rondo for the things I need. They seem to be well-stocked, so I am making a shopping list while I work on a mockup.

I bought this bridle from Texas Tiny at the local mini shows this past spring.

I fitted it to Jebediah to see. Yeah, it was a pain. I can see there will be more swearing in my future as I make said harness. :D But, it fits perfectly and is very well made. I'm not sure if I will be able to modify this one (the reins are not long enough, there's no simulated bit and there are no blinders), or if I will have to use this as a guide to make my own with the harness.

I had the idea of doing a test run with ribbon before diving into the leather and custom hardware. This would give me a feel for the parts and lengths/widths of the tack. Michaels is always hit or miss in the supplies department, but it was the closest store while out to lunch. I bought 1/8" wide white ribbon - the two colors missing from the stock of plain 1/8" ribbon were brown and black. Sigh. I colored the white ribbon with a permanent marker and let it dry overnight. I'm not worried about color transfer since Jebediah is still in his primed state. I had 1/4" black ribbon at home. These aren't the precise widths I'll need, but they are a good approximation.

I didn't get very far, since one part really depends on another, but it was worth a shot. I need to just get the materials and start to work - trial and error. But, this attempt did help me study the drawings in better detail and estimate the amount of leather I will need. I also kept a tally of the various hardware components since the book doesn't have a detailed listing of items with sizes. The book appears to be a companion to the kits and hardware sold by Anne Funnell, so that is understandable. If you have the kit, you need only the part number - not the size. And, the kit itself would have likely had a parts list with sizes and lengths noted.

I am reconsidering adding flocking to Jebediah in seeing how much handling needs to be done when attaching and, especially, tightening the buckles. I know I can get a good approximation of hair on the body with paint, and the mane and tail will no longer be plastic to help drive the realism.

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