Struck by lightning and the Rose rug in French knots

by brae  

First, everyone is okay, and yes, that includes the minis.  Lightning struck the condo building Sunday night and caused an attic fire in the upstairs unit, right above mine.  There is smoke and water damage, so this means a sizeable repair and remodel.  Both my upstairs neighbor and I had decided to stay in on Sunday night, even with other plans offered, so it all worked out for the best.  I jumped out of my skin when the lightning hit the roof, and I called 911 as soon as I smelled the smoke, maybe ten minutes later.  We alerted the other two neighbors in the building who would not have known the roof was on fire until our two units were fully engaged.  So, I realize just how lucky we all were.  Now, it's just paperwork and static while the property damage is sorted, repaired and billed.  I plan to soldier on, though.  :D  Now, onto better news....

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After looking at the pattern more closely, I decided to make the Rose rug in French knots instead of punchneedle.  It's roughly three times the area of the Bees and Trees rug, so it shouldn't be too much of a time investment relatively and I think the texture will be wonderful.

Here are my floss colors.

I used the same technique for making the pattern as I had done for the Prairie rug: Aunt Martha's Tracing Paper and a Sulky Iron-On transfer pen in black.  For detailed info on how I transferred that pattern, click here.

I measured a piece of cotton muslin to fit my 8" hoop and centered the pattern in the middle.  Something I didn't think about is that I didn't flip the photo before making my transfer pattern.  Since there are no words in the design, it won't make a difference.

I had some operator error last time, so I taped the pattern to the fabric.  I was careful not to iron over the tape so the sticky residue wouldn't transfer to the fabric.

I fit the fabric in the hoop, and we're ready to go!  :D

Hepplewhite Serpentine Table

by brae  

The second piece for the Creatin' Contest build is a Hepplewhite Serpentine Table from The House of Miniatures.  I have a couple of these kits, since they are usually included in larger lots with rarer pieces.  These small side tables are perfect for lamps, plants and small spaces like entryways and hallways.

The table has a good classic design.

A two-tone finish of Minwax Cherry and Foliage Green by Americana (aged with grey washes) makes for a more interesting piece, with a soft country aesthetic.  :]  I found my inspiration from a scratch built table made by a Greenleaf member.  I sanded the top to a fine used condition.  The knob is wood, painted Liquitex Iridescent Bronze.

The clock and rusty tub are from Manor House Minis.  I bought one of the clocks in antique bronze, too, which will be a better fit...but I have to replace the face on it with one I like better.  :D

The star charts are from L Delaney, and the magnifying glass is a jewelry finding.

Daisy House Wall Hutch

by brae  

So, the Creatin' Contest 2013 begins!  I have an idea what most of you will guess I am building, but I hope you'll still be surprised a little in the end.  In the meantime, I can share the furnishings I build along the way since they won't give away the whole idea.

I started with a Daisy House Wall Hutch kit.  I had bought this for the Newport kitchen so I could display fancy plates and such but never ended up finishing that room before it sold.

Space will be minimal in my kitchen, so this shelf is perfect at 11/16" deep.  There is plenty of room for plates, bottles and even canned or packaged food as long as the depth is thin.  The silver platter and bottle were purchased, but I don't recall where.

The windmill plate is by Peiwen Petitgrand.  I just love the detailing.

I opted for blue, which I mixed myself from Slate Green by Americana and French Ultramarine Blue by Liquitex since I didn't have a good blue on hand.  I buffed the paint away in areas to add a little character and then sealed the piece with Delta Ceramcoat satin varnish.

Unfortunately, these kits are no longer being made, but you can find them at many dollhouse shops still.  They are good quality kits that take very little effort to end up with a great result.

Newly listed items on eBay

by brae  

I've taken some of my etsy shop items and moved them over for auction on eBay.  The buy it now price is what I had listed on etsy, but the starting bids are lower, so you might be able to snag a deal!  :D  I have a few more items in the works that I hope to have posted in the next week.

Candycane red and white Victorian chairs.

High back burnished copper bed with a modern autumn leaf bedspread, a pillow in a pillowcase and a coordinating throw pillow.

The second bed is made in the same way but it is silver with a lavender bedspread with a leaf pattern.

The third bed is chocolate brown with a green and brown chevron bedspread. 

A pair of scarecrows for your autumn or Halloween scene.

Daisy chaise.

Corner settee.

Green trees settee.

A new car for the garage

by brae  

No, not for me in real life, for The Brownstone.  :D  This beauty is a 1950 Volkswagen Beetle Saloon 1:12 scale model by Sun Star.

The back story for The Brownstone is that it is the home of a world traveler.  I toyed with the idea that this occupant is the grandson of The Haunted Heritage's grandma, and it stuck.  :D  Our world traveler likely won't have a name, but I'll have to figure out something to call him.  He is a collector of interesting items and lives in an upscale neighborhood.

The 1:14 scale Audi TT remote control car I have is a nice reproduction, and a world-traveling young man would certainly be at home in sports car.  I love that its headlights are functional as well.  It photographs well, even though it doesn't look as realistic in person.

But, I prefer the Beetle for this build because it is both interesting and upscale to maintain a vintage automobile.

Look at the orange flag turn signal by the door.  :D

It has many moving parts and wonderful detail.  There's a tool with the model to help open the doors, hood and trunk.  The front seats move forward, as does the back seat.  The steering wheel controls the wheels.  It is a bit rickety while rolling, but maybe that's to scale, too!  ;D  I wasn't too sure about the salmon pink carpet, but it's growing on me.

The cloth top retracts to show the interior.

Included with the model are a set of tools, a spare tire, a jack and lug wrench.  Yes, the lug wrench works to remove the tires!  :D  I used a bit of mini hold wax on each of the tools because they were not fastened into the case and fell all over.

The case sits inside the spare tire and fits into a space under the hood.  I placed the jack and lug wrench in there, too.

Engine in the back.

Some of the paint had a purple cast, and from what I've seen online, that seems to be a characteristic of this particular model.  On mine, however, it was rather streaky.

I took some mild soap and water to it only to discover a weird pink residue on the tissue.  It took some elbow grease to remove it all, but it's now much better.

I mention this only in case someone buys one based on my blog post...so you aren't surprised if this happens.  The paint problem is in no way a bad reflection on the eBay seller, but more a problem from the manufacturer.  The model I received was new in box.  I've been very pleased with the seller's communication, and he is going to ask the manufacturer about the discoloration.

The Houseworks garage door kit is from miniatures.com.  I've made a quick mockup to test the fit for the Beetle.

At first it looks like it might be tight.

But, it's just right!  :D

I used a similar garage door kit - a vintage Timberbrook kit - for the Newport.

This kit doesn't have hinges like the Timberbrook kit, and since I haven't put it together beyond mockup form, I can't tell you whether that is better, worse or inconsequential.  :D

I'll likely use a lot of the elements from the Newport garage for The Brownstone, including the grey coin flooring.

I haven't been able to find the lights I used, though.  They have wood/plastic magnetic covers over a lighting assembly containing two bulbs each.  Has anyone seen these anywhere?  I'd like two or three.  [Found these!  :D]

I know many of you are excited to see The Brownstone take shape, but it will be very slow going for the rest of the year.  I've just opened the HBS Creatin' Contest kit and realized that it is going to take more work than I initially thought.

I probably won't be finishing the Greenleaf Spring Fling in time, either.  As much as I would love to participate in the "big reveal" for the Spring Fling, I realized the whole point of my miniature hobby for me is to create works of art, not to hammer out three builds in three months.  Haaaa!  The Spring Fling build will be finished, because I have a solid idea for it and a good head start on the overall structure.  Plus, if I create that after the contest deadline, then it can be a public build.  :D

With that said, I will try my best to have things for the blog.  There are furniture kits to be assembled and techniques to try out, so I will have some subject matter to share along the way. 

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