Whinnie's Terrace

by brae  

I had a different idea going for the HBS Creatin' Contest at the beginning of the year that came to me before I saw the kit, The Corner Place. I built a few things that I loved, but I couldn't get the final piece to look the way I wanted. I ended up taking a fresh kit and starting a more modest idea shortly before the deadline.


Whinnie's Terrace is a quiet space to enjoy a meal, test your green thumb, and play with cats. Named after one of the sweetest cats to ever live who has left us for the rainbow bridge. I built a place of beauty and serenity to remember her by.

This is the first time I've dedicated a whole build to an exterior, so my selection of minis to include was different from what I normally do.

The glass block window I made for the previous project found a home here, so not all of my previous efforts had to be stored away.

I made some minis, bought some minis and received some minis as gifts.

After finishing the staging, I really wanted a burger on the patio. :D

I made only two modifications to the overall layout. I closed up the small side window and shortened the catwalk to a landing only.

My muse Miss Whinnie from back in 2018. She loved hanging out in this old patio chair, so I thought an outdoor space in her honor would be a lovely project for a dismal year.

The terracotta hexagon tile flooring was made from polymer clay (parts one, two, and three)

It was labor intensive and time consuming, but I was very pleased with the end result.

The walls are covered in wood brick made from skinny wood craft sticks by Creatology. I've done a tutorial on this finish in the past with a different brand of sticks, but it's the same process.

For the back wall, I had to measure each row carefully to make sure it was even and level all the way up and around the window opening.

For the side wall, I had to cover only part of the lower wall with bricks since I applied what I term bamboo waterfall paneling to the majority of the wall. I used uncut sticks to give the same layer depth to the portion without bricks. I later painted the bricks White Birch satin by Americana.

The bamboo is from a table runner, and I left the finish untouched.

I freely share nearly every process when I make things with very few exceptions. The glass block process is one of those exceptions, so there is no tutorial or materials list at this time. A few people have asked whether I would sell the blocks, but it's hard to make individual blocks that look realistic and easier to make whole window sections. (Glass block window post one and two.)

I originally wanted a working hopper vent for the window, but in the interest of saving time, I opted to make a solid window for the middle. I could have filled in the space with more glass blocks, but I like the break in the pattern the window provides. I built the window from styrene sheet, styrene rod and rippled water sheet.

The stairs were made using the mdf catwalk support from the kit, stair stringer and tread stock from Northeastern Scale Lumber, and random basswood. The stain is Driftwood by Minwax. The railings are vintage stock from Northeastern. I wish things like this were still made today. Fine accessories like these can make such a difference.

Under the stairs, I added a hose, holder and spigot. I've always wanted to do one of these, but I never had a build where it would fit so well.

I later added a watering can from Shepherd Miniatures and a vintage trash bin by Ken Ketteridge.

The fancy wrought iron door is a kit from Art of Mini.

The door is painted Lilac Love by Folk Art, and the wrought iron is painted black brown. I built a door frame from basswood since this was not included with the kit, but this isn't a working door. I added rippled water sheet as windows to simulate pebbled glass.

Once I got to lighting behind the door, the original paper I used for the shade proved to be too thick. I replaced it with a light swirl vellum.

I added gentle aging with pastels. It's not an old door, but it has been exposed to the elements for a few seasons. The door knob is from Sussex Crafts, and the keyhole cover is from HBS. Since the amount of room for hardware is so limited, I opted for an old style center knob. The Meyers wall light is from HBS, and the thermometer was made by le mini di Pierluigi.

The French knot rug depicts five felines near and dear to me: River, Cloie, Jasper, Whinnie and Cosmo. They've each touched my life in a special way. The original pattern was made by Anne Ritter, and I was inspired by the rug made by Shelly Norris from this pattern. I altered the position, shape and size of the various cats to better suit the real life cats they represent. The rug measures 3 1/8" by 1 3/4" and took me 28 hours to stitch.

Of course, I had to include a lovable feline in the courtyard, so I chose Roux made by 2014erok.

I made a container tree so that the space would have a large shade plant without permanently placing landscaping features (parts one and two).

I made some flowers and leaves to fill in around the base of the tree. It's just enough to finish the look of a container tree.

I added a pair of cardinals by Mini Gems, too. :D

The sink is a vintage metal piece I bought at a local show years ago. I aged it with acrylic paint and added a metal washer for the drain. I've seen a lot of inspiration photos showing old shutters or windows above a garden sink, but I didn't want to attach anything permanently to the wall that might limit the versatility of the build. I built a standing shelf using a door bought from a local show and basswood. I did have to replace the screen from the original since it was damaged. I added Chrysnbon hooks and a towel on a rope made from a scrap of fabric. The broom and dustpan set is from D's Miniatures, the rustic pitcher is from Sinny's Mini Art, and the doormat is from A Little More in Minis.

I made the milk carton flower from a true2scale kit, the purple flowers were a gift from a friend, the mister bottle is from HBS, the mushroom and acorn birdhouse are by 64tnt Miniatures.

I made a side table from a Hepplewhite Serpentine Table kit by The House of Miniatures. I cut the table top to a rectangle and replaced the legs. It's painted Folk Art Villa Green over brown, then aged with brown paint washes.

It's now an old table repurposed for the courtyard. The old drawer is by Dollhouse Smithery and the square pot is by Braxton Payne.

I'm not much of a gardener, but I can keep most potted plants alive as long as they are hardy species. :D My small setup includes a water bottle from Shepherd Miniatures, a crate by Dollhouse Smithery, Miracle-Gro by Wright Guide Minis, nasturtium and petunia seed packets made by me from a Farrow Industries kit, and butter and milk containers from a true2scale kit.

The patio set is a vintage white wire set scraped, repaired, repainted and upholstered in retro inspired fabrics. I cut a new tabletop from rippled water sheet.

I decided at the last minute what I wanted on the table for staging the scene. I added a citronella candle (made by me) and a Venus fly trap plant by Lamis Minis in case the candle doesn't work. :D

The placemat is vintage, and I made a quick napkin from a scrap of fabric. The Pellegrino water and chocolate milk are by Alma. The burger is by Sugar Charm Shop.

This all made me so hungry while taking pictures.

The rug is vintage and sent to me by Robina. We're not sure who made it, but it's an expertly woven rug in beautiful colors.

The various plants were purchased, gifts, or made by me. The frog is by Spencer's Nook.

This one was made by my dear friend Debora. :]

To control the lighting behind the door and the view through the glass block window, I made small room boxes to attach to the back. The back of the build is covered in a remnant of real life wallpaper. The boxes are painted and papered, and held in place with support blocks and magnets. I added LEDs to each box.

This helps create the illusion of an interior building on the other side.

I didn't want a full room behind the window, so I chose to make it look like a hallway or stairwell, with a couple of plants on the window sill inside.

Behind the scenes in my kitchen photo studio. :D

This small build brought me a lot of joy, and I couldn't have asked for a better muse. We miss you and love you always, Whinnie.


Comment from: Debora [Visitor]
I love it! What a pretty face Whinnie has. I really enjoyed reading the step by step review. There are so many things about this build that I like. Bravo for another excellent piece. :D
12/19/20 @ 23:34
Comment from: Marian Fdez [Visitor]
Wowww Es una maravilla. Esta preciosa la escena y no falta detalle. Un saludo
12/20/20 @ 02:51
Comment from: Marilyn [Visitor]
I love this build and such a wonderful tribute to a beloved pet. Thank you for linking sellers and tutorials.
12/20/20 @ 07:53
Comment from: Barbara [Visitor]
Wonderful! Everything about your build is so precise and perfect and I love the back story. It's always quite thrilling to see your entry!
12/20/20 @ 08:58
Comment from: Jeanne [Visitor]
Well done!
12/20/20 @ 13:36
Comment from: Sheila Lester [Visitor]
It's so lovely! I can imagine sitting down on the steps and petting the cat until she gets bored and goes to chase a bug.
12/20/20 @ 19:06
Comment from: Claudia [Visitor]
Just beautiful work - as always. It's charming and private and lovely!
12/21/20 @ 11:29
Comment from: April [Visitor]
A beautiful tribute. I have that same cookie cutter, it's perfect for mini tiles!
12/22/20 @ 06:25
Comment from: Kamelia [Visitor]
The final effect is outstanding.
12/24/20 @ 01:36
Comment from: Bre [Visitor]
Your creativeness takes my breath away! Another "out of the ordinary" build. I hope to see a Grand Prize ribbon on this!! Simply amazing! :-)
01/08/21 @ 20:08
Comment from: ann [Visitor]
Such a cozy corner. I always learn so much from you: the possibilities, techniques, and I appreciate the venders that you always share. A very nice tribute to a lovely little kitty. She would love it.
01/13/21 @ 22:00
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you so much for the encouragement and support! :>>
01/20/21 @ 11:45
Comment from: Polly Macleod [Visitor]
WOW your terrace is beautiful, a fitting tribute to your beautiful cat. Everywhere you look there is something stunning, such precision and detail, it's gorgeous.
01/29/21 @ 05:09
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you!!! :>>
02/04/21 @ 14:16

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