by brae  

I used two Houseworks 8-light windows for the Studio skylights, though I had to widen the original openings in the ceiling to fit them.  I painted the exterior portion Warm White by Americana.  I put the board on a towel to keep the painted windows and wood ceiling from being scuffed as I worked.

The windows don't come with window inserts, so I cut inserts from acrylic sheet.

To hold the window insert in place, I framed the interior with strip wood.  This was easiest to do before installing the ceiling board permanently.  I left it natural to blend with the ceiling treatment.  I sanded the wood smooth and sealed with satin varnish before cutting the pieces to fit.

I then added flat trim around the window openings, also natural with satin varnish.   I tried to cut them as best as I could with the Easy-Cutter.  Being that there is no paint to disguise the slight gaps at the corners, I'll just have to live with it.  I suppose a little wood filler might help...I'll have to pick some up next time I'm at the hardware store.

From the outside...

And, from the inside.

I have the half round trim for the dividing wall cut and painted; the trim that will hide the gap above the wall is also cut and sealed.  Neither is installed yet.

1908 Miniature Underwood Typewriter

by brae  

I received a nice bonus this year, so I decided to spoil myself a little.  For some time now, I've had my eye on this 1908 Miniature Underwood Typewriter by Ken Byers of Shaker Works West.

It fits wonderfully in grandma's attic for now, though I foresee this piece making the rounds in my various builds just as Mary's afghans tend to do.

Lots of wonderful minis are making their way to grandma's attic.

From the left, there is a mouse from Sussex Crafts next to Tony's catacombs case clock.  The wood and brass train is from a vintage lot of miniatures I bought on craigslist.  The Christmas box is from M Carmen for Caterina's holiday swap.  I purchased the two snowmen.  The sewing machine box is from Four Little Walls.  It's sitting on a crate with some random books I made in front.  :]

In black and white, it looks even more vintage!

I was watching Moulin Rouge the other day, and there was one of these vintage typewriters in it.  Love that movie, and yes, I had to have an absinthe cocktail.

The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.  =sigh=  So very true.  :]

There's an interesting story about the taller snowman.  A week ago, I noticed he was facing backwards.  I thought this was odd of me to do, but I just shrugged and turned him around.  When I set up this scene, he was facing backwards again!!!!  :O  Haunted attic indeed!  I was seriously disturbed by this because I knew I had turned him around days earlier.  Later that day, I was using the scroll saw and something fell out of the Heritage (the saw is attached to the same table).  After picking up the wayward mini, I checked the attic and sure enough, that snowman had walked forward!  Mystery solved...or was it?  Hmm....

And, have you seen this baby from Uncommon Goods?  Nothing like blending vintage and modern!  :D

Wood stove, part 5 - stove pipe and primer

by brae  

Continuing work on the wood stove.  For the stove pipe, I used the wooden dowel that came with the HBS Loft kit.  I measured against the outside wall to get the precise angle the pipe would hit the ceiling and used my scroll saw to make the cut.  The scroll saw has a nifty angle guide for just these types of cuts.

I tested the fit in the Studio to determine where the pipe would rest on the top of the stove.  I made this cut with the scroll saw as well.  There's another guide that can be tightened anywhere along the surface for straight cuts.

Looks like it worked!  :D

Using 1/4" art tape, I made a lower collar for the pipe.  This will add a little visual interest to the top of the stove.

I put cardboard to block the door opening for painting, curling some excess behind the scrap to hold it in place.

I cut another piece for the top.  It doesn't have to be precise since I will paint the interior by hand.

I sprayed all pieces primer grey.

I had attempted to start with an undercoat of flat white, but it didn't really take.  It bled through the grey in some areas, but this is just the first coat of primer anyway.  Once this dries, I will do a fine sanding and await another suitable day for spray painting the final color.

I've also painted the Chrysnbon radiator for the bathroom.  I first sprayed it primer grey and then covered that with Krylon Satin Almond.  It's a not a perfect finish, which is actually pretty great for a radiator.  I'll do a bit more aging once this paint dries, too.

My plan is to have the stove Satin Almond as well.  But, if all else fails, there's always powder-coated black to mask the imperfections!  :D

Blue medallion rug update - 138.25 hours

by brae  

It's coming down to the wire with the blue medallion rug...which is a good thing since this is meant for The Artist's Studio!  The Undersized Urbanite contest deadline is May 4.  Once the stitching is done, there is still the final finishing to be completed.

The halfway point was 80.25 hours, so there should be approximately 22.25 hours left of stitching (not including final finishing time).

There are 9 days left to vote in the Readers' Choice Awards.  It's been a tight contest for Best Miniatures Blog all month and every vote counts!  Please vote daily (every 24 hour period)!  Thanks a million!  :D

Cora is also modeling a new kitty bed listed in my etsy shop.

The Deck - part 3

by brae  

Continuing work on The Deck.  To finish the outer edges of the side deck, I used dark trim wood from my stash.  This is definitely Dura-Craft wood, but I am not sure from which kit or if it is walnut (I think it is).  It's close in color to the wood I plan to use for the leaf portions of the deck and using existing materials will keep the cost down.

I love the play of light and dark, and it was such a simple design element.  I didn't trim the main deck yet, since I want to finish the leaf sections first.

The leaves.  After a lot of deliberation, I decided to use the same reverse approach I did with the main and side decks.  I would form the surface boards first and then work on a supporting framework.  Beyond that, I thought developing the walnut outlines and center veins, then cutting the individual boards for the interior portions would be the simplest approach.

I started by redrawing my leaf shapes.  My mockup had used rough sketches and cutouts.  I used a 5 7/8" diameter lid, which was close to my original mockup size, to make one end of the leaf.

I marked a point the length of my original mockup (9 1/4").   Digging into my old art supplies for a flexible curve, I created a gentle curve first on one side and then the other.

I cut the leaf out and made two more leaves from this one.

I marked the outline 3/8" inside the outer edge.   Since my deck is smaller in proportion to the original and this will be my first major scroll saw endeavor, I kept the center veins soft -- just enough to give a sense of movement without overly complicating matters.  :D  They are also 3/8" wide.

On a new sheet of paper, I measured from the bottom and marked 7/16" intervals.  I was planning on 3/8" boards for this portion as well, and 7/16" allows for some room between each plank.  I drew lines to make a base guide.

I positioned the leaf template over the lines so there would be a good layout of whole board widths.

I taped the leaf in place and traced the lines onto the template.

I did the same for the other side, varying the angle of the lines.

I darkened the boards that would be walnut, repeated the process for the other two leaves and tested the fit again.

Hooray!  :D

The pencil makes these very messy, so I will make photocopies to work with going forward.

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