Category: "The Artist's Studio"

Hummingbird shower mural - making the tiles, part 3

by brae  

For the final hummingbird tile mural, I cut around the drawing printout, leaving some bleed area around the edges.  I used spray adhesive to mount the paper to mat board.  Since I needed a close fit around the bottom edge where the shower base would sit, I used blue painter's tape to mask off the bottom edge.

I then used the Triple Thick Gloss Glaze to seal the image.  Once dry (two days later), I scored the tile lines with a stylus.  Before removing the blue tape, I scored along the top of the tape to make sure it didn't pull the glaze finish away from the tiles.

I cut along the center line and then the outer lines, leaving extra along the bottom.  Oops...photographed them in the wrong order.  :D

I propped the boards in place with the shower base to see how it looked and then glued them in place.

It's hard to see the three dimensional aspect in the photos, but it looks just like high gloss tile in person.  Hooray!

Next up, shower surround.

The Deck - part 6

by brae  

I taped the outer walnut boards and the center vein onto the frame support to mark where the support beams should end under the surface boards.

I cut the frame using the scroll saw, cutting in slightly to allow room for a veneer finish around the outside.

The local Home Depot had only the iron-on pre-glued veneer strips, and I didn't want to wait to order online, so I used birch veneer.  I had some leftover from previous projects.  I cut a strip 1/4" wide and glued it around the outer edge.  It doesn't hit every point, but that's fine with me.  It creates a natural smooth finish around the outer edge and hides the framework (unless viewed from underneath).

After staining the veneer with Minwax Plantation Walnut, I began gluing the boards to the framework, using wood glue supplemented with super glue gel.  Once I had the walnut pieces in place along the outer edge and center, I pressed the assembly flat with magazines and waited for the glue to dry.

Once the glue set on leaf 1, I started adding the cross boards using wood glue (and super glue gel only as needed).  In some areas, the frame seems to show more than I would like but in the end it shouldn't be as obvious.

By having the copy of the drawing underneath, I could see where to apply the glue so it wouldn't seep out.

One leaf down!  :D

The Deck - part 5

by brae  

I finished up the second leaf for The Deck.

The third leaf had the most complicated design of the three, so I left it for last.   Once the second leaf was complete, I went back to the first leaf and re-cut some of the boards for a better fit.   Next was figuring out the framework.  As a reminder, here is the frame support system for the real life deck.


image from CFC Fences & Decks

I mainly needed a frame that would attach each surface board and be stable enough to be elevated over the front of the landscape board.  Using another printout of the first leaf, I began building the frame with a center beam.  From there, I planned to cut skinny sticks (to save on cost) to create cross beams every half inch.  This should create multiple glue points for each board.  Here is my mockup to determine layout.

I notched the center beam and cross boards for a solid fit, using glue to reinforce the joins.

I used bass wood for the few areas where the skinny sticks were too short and left the ends long for now.

To add stability on the outer edge, I added more skinny sticks.  These are not the cleanest cuts I've ever made, but you will see these only as the underneath structure of the deck.

I cut these notches using my handheld Dremel since they were angled and the main spine was glued together.

Next up...finishing the third leaf surface boards and building the basic frames for leaf 2 and leaf 3.  :]

The Deck - part 4

by brae  

With the straight portions of The Deck assembled and the leaf patterns drawn, it was time to start cutting the pieces for the first of the leaves.  Elga, who is a fabulous woodworker, suggested I cut the outer walnut frame in pieces, keeping the grain lengthwise as much as possible.  I marked the outer frame into five pieces and cut them from the paper pattern.

I traced them onto the 1/16" thick walnut sheet and then started cutting along the guidelines.

Here's the cut outer frame with the center vein and walnut cross boards.

Then I cut the bass wood cross boards to fit.  Each one is marked with a number so I can reassemble them easily.

The first leaf is now cut...two more to go and then the support frames need to be built.

Here's the second leaf started.

Already, I am getting better at cutting and fitting.  I'll likely go back and re-cut a few of the boards from the first leaf that don't fit as well as I'd like.  :]

Kitty bed and loo for Cora

by brae  

Cora's bed is a basket by Al Chandronnait from miniatures.com, though I added my own tufted insert since the one included wasn't fluffy enough for Cora's delicate sensibilities.  :D

And, the other thing kitties need is a litter box.  I saved the honey tub from my cup of tea and cut the rim all the way around.

For the main filler, I used tan colored sand mixed with glue.  I use Feline Pine for Jasper, so I wanted to have a similar look.  Where to find fine sawdust?  In the scroll saw trap!  :D

I sprinkled the loose sawdust on top of the glue-sand mixture.  It turned out very well (and, yes, this is as realistic as it's going to get for me), but I might not have room for it in the bathroom once everything is put in place.  Ah, well.

But, I do have room for one of my pet hair rollers (you can find these in my etsy shop).  :D

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