Holiday Cookie Swap

by brae  

This year, I participated in a mini cookie swap arranged by Gail at Dolly's Gallery Miniatures.  Gail made glitter stars and trees, and Denise made gingerbread men.  Gail also included some glitter snowflakes, and I've used one on the snowman wrapped package as a bow (yes, I now see the blood is rushing to their heads - I'll have to flip the package).  The wreath I bought a couple of years ago, and the doily is from Stewart Dollhouse Creations.

The mouse is from a box of miniatures a group of us send around as an ongoing swap, so I'm not sure whom to credit.  Here she is with the topiary I made this past week.  Cutie.  :D

I made the cards and wrapped gifts, and the plates are from A Lavender Dilly (topiaries!).

Denise and Gail sent some extras: holiday plates, a cookie box and a serving platter that I didn't get the chance to set up...but I have to stop playing and get some work done today!  :D  Thank you, Gail and Denise, for a lovely swap!

Little potted topiaries

by brae  

I love topiaries...and I've made the taller outdoor kind once before.  They have faded since then, in case you're wondering how the cilantro fared.  :D

Using tiny Squeeze Me bushes this time, I made a few tabletop topiaries for interior decorating.  This one was my test subject, and I loved it so much as is that I left the stem unpainted.  This one will live with me.

These two, however, are both listed separately in my etsy shop.

Here's a penny for scale.

They are perfect for a kitchen, mantle display or a conservatory.

The Deck

by brae  

The Artist's Studio is a relatively straightforward build, though the window wall will certainly pose some challenges.  The biggest challenge I've set for myself is replicating in miniature this beautiful deck from Trex.

Of course, the real life version is larger in proportion than what I can build in miniature and still keep a reasonable base size.  To that end, my deck will be more an "inspired by" build than a replica.

I started with a paper and foam mockup to get the general feel of the layout and size.

My baseboard needed to be around 24" x 28" to accommodate what I wanted.

I then used the leftover builders foam from The Aero Squadron Lounge to build up the ground under the Studio and deck.  The arrows on the right indicate steps that will follow the slope of the landscape.

This initial layout had the lead edge of the deck 1 1/2" off the ground.  I have the option of cutting away one of the two foam boards in the front to make it a 2" elevation instead.  I now just need a wood base to hold it all.

There will be a small area on either side of the Studio for landscaping but the building itself will sit on the back edge of the landscaping base.

I consulted with Elga since she knows woodworking.  She helped me figure out the best way to cut the various curves and suggested some types of wood.  Looks like that jeweler's saw class might come in handy after all...though I hear a few of you telling me I need a scroll saw.  :D

Moo Cow Cookies!

by brae  

While I was working on my swap cookies tonight, I tried another new punch I bought...tiny moo cows!  :D  They are iced in black and white, each one a unique freehand creation.

I posted this set in my etsy shop.

The Art Studio - primed!

by brae  

I primed the front and back of each board except the floor since that is still in the planning phase.  I used white on the interior and black on the exterior.  I always prime first one side and then the other in the same painting session to keep any warping to a minimum.

The white portion will need a second coat, but I also have to fill in the loft notches some more since the spackling shrank as it dried.  The extra floor boards are in, too!  :D

It might seem like I'm flying through this build, but this thing will stay in dry fit for some time.  This is usually how my Spring Fling builds go...lots of prep and dry fit for months.  The Studio will be glued together relatively early in the build, but there will be a lot of work to do besides.

I also bought three papers for the interior, all drawing papers in large size sheets.  The side walls are longer and taller than standard scrapbook paper sheets, so this will eliminate the need to piece the wallpaper.  I have successfully applied wallpaper with seams before, but why bother if you don't have to?  And, solid papers tend to show seams more readily.  I will be using the back side as the right side surface since the texture is softer.

I bought Daler-Rowney Dreadnought Grey as well as Canson Pearl Grey and Ivory.  The ivory is for the bathroom and the greys are for the main hall and living area.  I loved the Dreadnought Grey in the store but worried it might be too dark for the interior, so I bought the Pearl Grey just in case.  I might use a two-tone treatment.

I think it's rather fitting to use drawing papers for an artist's studio, don't you?  :D

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