Watson Mill - main room furnishings, part 1

by brae  

Now that I have the general layout, I can start making the final furnishings.  I've raided my stash of furniture kits and took out a couple that I would not likely use otherwise. For the kitchen area, I will make two Queen Anne Side Chairs from The House of Miniatures. I don't recall starting these before, but the kit is mid-assembly.  It's also possible they were started by someone else when I bought them.  I have purchased a few lots of HoM kits before, so who knows?  :D

I've built enough furnishings to be able to handle a piece already started.  These are simple chairs with just enough interest.  I have sanded the legs, but I never fully round them as the instructions or photos show.  I like a bit of structure to cabriole legs even if it is not in keeping with the true style.  The foam in the kits has been damaged, but that is easily substituted.

The table kit has a resin top and wood legs.  I could not tell you where it came from, though.  :\  I bought it quite awhile ago.  The legs have extra length and are easily shortened as needed.  I'm not sure if I will paint the top or leave it white and just finish the legs and apron.  I like the small size of the table, 2 3/8" square.

As you can see, I still have to cut the legs to the final height.  I do like their lean shape, so I might substitute shorter legs and put these back in the stash.  :]

Two Chippendale Benches (also HoM) will replace the footstool and round stool I've been using as placeholders.  The similar legs will go well with the chairs.

These are what I planned to finish with the bargello embroidery.  One of these might seem a little large for the work table, but in a small home, furnishings have to do double duty.  Once I have the work space set up, that should help, too.

I have a Houseworks 2" kitchen cabinet kit for the space in back.  This will coordinate well with the dumbwaiter on the other side since that has a kit from the same series as the base cabinet.

These pieces fit well and use up some of my stash of kits.  :D

Watson Mill - wallpaper

by brae  

Choosing wall color is a big step in decorating.  I always knew I wanted a pale blue for the main floor, but finding the right shade was key.  There will be a lot going on with décor in a small space, so nothing too dark, too bright or too green to compete with the settee or corner cabinet.  I like using textured cardstock since it has visual interest over flat paper and it can cover rough walls better, especially when die cut pieces have been left intact like the former door location on the front wall.

My first option was a pale sea foam blue from Hobby Lobby.  They didn't have this in the larger 12 x 12 sheets, but the short main floor made this workable.  I would still have to piece it along the front wall, but the ladder could disguise the seam.  Meeko is modeling for us.  :]

But, I knew I had my winner when I received my order from Scrapbook.com.  This is Happenstance - Fluke by The Paper Loft.  It is flat paper, but it has a printed design that looks like old fresco.

The blue would be lovely in the bedroom, but I have a few other ideas milling about.  Nothing has spoken to me yet.  I did buy enough of the paper in case I decide to make it uniform throughout the build.

World's Smallest Yardsale

by brae  

I am participating in the World's Smallest Yardsale coming up June 14-18.  Early bird shopping starts June 13.  I have a bunch of unused and like new items from my stash including kits and random minis.  There are also a few scratch & dent bargains.  Prices are low, so mark your calendars and come on by!

Watson Mill - foundation, part 1

by brae  

I'm 95% sure I want to do a wood shake exterior on the mill, which means I neglected to leave any space for a foundation.  I made a support system from 1" plywood strips, adding a couple spare pieces of mdf that will help hold it in place when I glue it later on.  I will brick this short foundation.

The change made the landscaping too short on the door side, so I pried up all but the lowest layer of builders foam.

I cut new pieces for the land and added a rounded step for the door.

These pieces will stay loose until later on so I can further shape them for the final landscaping.

The steep grade to the door is more what I had in mind anyway, so adding the foundation was good.  :]

Bargello, introduction

by brae  

Since I plan to make some seating from House of Miniatures kits, I thought I would give embroidered upholstery a try.  I previously cross-stitched new cushions for two Mackintosh chairs, but this time I wanted to try something new to me.

I've always liked bargello needlework, and since Gustav has an eclectic taste I thought it would work well in the Mill.  Bargello is also called Florentine or flame stitch, and there are a lot of lovely patterns out there.  Being in miniature, keeping it simple is best.  I found a suitable pattern in the book Miniature Needlepoint and Sewing Projects by Kathryn Falk. The pattern is for a wide bench, but the geometrical nature of bargello makes it easy to adapt to other sizes. You just stitch more or less to cover the area you need.  To make it easier to follow, I charted the book pattern in full color using Pattern Maker Pro by HobbyWare.

The pattern called for 5 colors worked on 42 mesh cotton Penelope canvas.  I chose three blue-greens, one navy and one cream color from my stash of DMC floss.  I didn't have the canvas, but I still had the 40 count silk gauze from my previous attempts at petitpoint and French knots, both of which were unsuccessful.  This was no exception.  My eyes want to focus on the holes, not the threads even with high magnification.  Again, I could feel a headache developing.  Here is the old silk gauze photo...too sheer for me, but you can't say I haven't tried multiple times.

There is 40 count linen on the market, but I figured I would try a quick sample on 32 count Jobelan to see if I even liked it.  I used three strands to cover the fabric here.  It does bulk up quickly, but that works fine for upholstery.  I'll just cut down on the padding underneath.  This was much easier for me.  I need substantial fibers to see in order to stitch.

Since the sample on 32 count turned out so well, I ordered a small piece of 40 count linen. I'll have to do another test to see if I need the full three threads or only two.  Two threads would be less bulky, but it's a matter of whether the fabric is sufficiently covered.  The higher count should also translate better in miniature.  To be continued....

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