Portable readers

by brae  

I got my first pair of reading glasses a couple of years ago, and I never remember to bring them when I'm out.  :D  I use them occasionally during the day, but for the most part I don't need them except for reading.  I do have magnifying readers for my mini work and needlework, but those are cheapy plastic ones.

I wanted something I could carry in my small Vera Bradley wristlet bag - I'm not a big purse type of gal.  I do have a larger bag I cart my needlework and papers in, but when it's a social call, I use a tiny bag.  I found these on amazon, and I love them.

There's a tiny carrying case.

The readers fold into the case.

In addition to the usual hinges on the outer sides of the frame, there is a pivot point at the bridge.

The temples telescope.

These are +2.00 magnification, which is a lot more than my reading glasses prescription, but this means I can use them to read the random menu and do needlework without carrying multiple pairs.  They fit neatly into my small purse, too.  :D

Mail call!

by brae  

I ran across at old Rondel Wood Products Mail Wagon kit on eBay, and now it's in my house.  Why?  Peer pressure, plain and simple.  You all know who you are!  :O

All kidding aside, it's a simple little kit that makes one of these: a rural mail wagon.

image from The Smithsonian

Included in the kit is a large blueprint.  Some pieces are pre-cut and some you do yourself.  This kit was missing a piece, but that's a relatively easy fix.

The plans and wheel drawing are even notarized.  :D  Not with original signatures, but still....

It comes with a jig for making the wagon wheels.  Though these are made differently, I've made two wagons in the past (here and here) and have some experience with the fiddly things.

It also includes two tiny oval glass windows.  :D

There are no materials for interior detailing included, but I will certainly add that.

image from The Smithsonian

These can be quite beautiful.  :D  In the kit, you're to paint the lettering by hand.  Riiiiiiiiight.  I see Woodland Scenics rub-on letters in my future.  :D

image from The Smithsonian

Happy Easter 2014!

by brae  

Archer and Juniper are sharing some treats today!

I've used a basket from Nikki Rowe and ribbon candy from Blondie.  The birds are by Barbara Ann Meyer, and the plants are from Michelle of Little Rabbit Minis and miniatures.com.

The white Easter bunny is from Milestone Miniatures.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter!  :D

The Brownstone - the forgotten stone detailing

by brae  

One nice thing about doing a recap post is that I see things I forgot.  :D  I was looking over the color mockup I made using the original Sketchup image from Mike.

I missed adding the stone to the grid portions.  Luckily, I am only halfway through...and it's an easy fix.  Before going through the trouble, though, I got out my trusty PhotoShop.  Here's the addition with the stone...

And the front...

Yeah, I think it's in!  I'll make up some templates and cut the stone to insert on top of the existing fillers.  :]

The Brownstone - a pictorial review

by brae  

I'm starting the overview post so I can keep adding the "best of" photos along the way.  :D  This post will change as the build progresses.

Many images in this post can be clicked to view larger.  To see a list of posts showing details on how I made things or what materials I used, as well as more pictures, click this link.

The back story for The Brownstone is that it is the home of a world traveler.  I toyed with the idea that this occupant is the grandson of The Haunted Heritage's grandma, and it stuck.  :D  Our world traveler likely won't have a name, but I'll have to figure out something to call him.  He is a collector of interesting items and lives in an upscale neighborhood.

The Brownstone is a modified version of The Golden Gate view kit from American Craft Products.  These kits are no longer in production, but they show up on the market from time to time.

kit photos from the box

The first dry fit shows the kit's original configuration of two rooms with a dead space underneath the first floor.

Below is my modified version in the latest dry fit.  I added height to the bottom to add a garage.

The vintage 1950 Beetle will be housed here.

I also added a side extention to add three more rooms.

Mike was gracious to lend me his Sketchup drawing so I could try out some colors.  I decided on a Tudor inspired exterior (shown here without the height addition and garage).

I love the colors and textures.  :D

Testing the bay window stained glass inserts.

The security gate under the stairs is a work in progress -- just needs paint.

I used the kit door but built the custom frame to get the door to function, adding a transom window in the process.  Why 85 as the house number?  I love the number 8, so that was automatically in.  I also liked the way the 5 looked in this particular font, so that was in, too.  So, 58 or 85?  I was trying to think of some historical figure, and Edgar Allen Poe popped into my head.  I found this article on one of his residences at 85 West Third Street in Greenwich Village, so 85 it was!  :D

Roland Sneakypants, made by Steve Panner, will skulk about the city block in search of food.  :D

Too cute!

Stay tuned...

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