Fun new minis

by brae  

I bought a metal opening/closing laptop from Manor House Minis for $6.

It has stickers for the keyboard and screen...but it's rather convincing in a scene, especially for the price.  (Yes, they have a Mac version, too.)

The farm girl figurine (also from Manor House) is wonderful, too!  Such great detailing.

It even has velvet on the bottom.

I made up some poppies from a Bonnie Lavish kit and sent one of the pots to Blondie for her birthday!  :D

I also just finished up a spice rack for a custom etsy order.

One of the spices chosen was bay leaves, so I punched a few leaf shapes to fill the tiny bottle.

Two of these items are for the Spring Fling.  :D

Prairie Rug - 9.5 hours

by brae  

Sarah asked about the consistency in loop size, so I thought I would do an update on the Prairie rug with some detail photos.  Here's the 9" x 6" rug at 9.5 hours of work.

I've found the loops to be mostly consistent, more so the better I get at it.  Having the tighter hoop has made a world of difference, too.  For the few loops that stick up too far, I just clip them with sharp embroidery scissors.  As long as you don't pull, there's no risk of them coming out.  You can also keep punching until you run out of thread, so you will have the occasional long thread hanging on the right side.  These can be cut also, just don't pull on them.

On the back, you can see the initial green areas where I worked are less clean and orderly.  I'm getting the hang of working with the needle and cutting my strings longer.  In the Bees and Trees kit, Teresa Layman suggests holding your work up to the light to see if there are any thinner areas of stitching so you can fill in.  I've been doing that with this rug as well to make sure I have good coverage overall.  :]

Midnight Snack

by brae  

MinisModernas is running their second annual modern minis contest, and I set up a scene in The Artist's Studio called "Midnight Snack."

Looks like Cora is hungry, too.

The slippers are from the Heritage, and I couldn't believe they fit!  :D

The goldfish crackers are from Cindy at Snowfern Clover.

Yes, there are tiny goldfish crackers inside.  Amazing!

Here's what the kitchen looks like without the model setup.

The hotplate was made by me and is one of my favorite features of the Studio.  :]

Thank you to MinisModernas for a wonderful modern minis contest!  :D

New embroidery hoop

by brae  

I inherited a set of plastic embroidery hoops from my grandma.  They are in good shape, but I've always had a love-hate relationship with embroidery hoops.  They never keep the fabric tight enough, and I constantly need to adjust the fabric.

To do French knots and punchneedle embroidery successfully, you need tight fabric in the hoop.  The small hoop I'm using for the Bees and Trees rug is working just fine...minor adjustments needed.  But, the larger hoop for the punchneedle Prairie rug project is a pain.  I think it's the fact that you're continually putting pressure on the fabric and it slips more and more as you work.

I needed a larger hoop besides, so I did some online searching and found the Morgan 12" No-Slip Hoop.  It has a groove in the middle that keeps the hoop from coming apart until you loosen the wingnut.

It does have a taller profile than the usual embroidery hoop, but I didn't find it to be uncomfortable or heavy to work with.

I had cut my fabric too close since I thought a 10" hoop would work, so I sewed on some additional fabric.

I tightened the fabric in the new hoop.

I stitched a few rows and could already tell the difference.  The fabric was tighter than I had been able to get it in the regular hoop and it stayed taut the entire time I stitched.  Hooray!!!!  I also ordered a smaller hoop, but they sent the wrong size.  I'm sure it will work just as well, but I'll let you know if it doesn't.  :]

Fireplace plan

by brae  

I've become dangerous with the scroll saw recently, so I've decided to challenge myself with an intricate fireplace.  I can't show you the original inspiration just yet since that would give away some of the décor.  :D

After a few rough sketches on the wall, here's the final outline drawing.

Behind the scenes, I've been making good progress on the Spring Fling...cutting additional walls, applying the exterior treatments, staining and priming.  I've also just started the chimney, a much more straightforward design than the one for the Heritage.  It's hard not sharing all of this along the way!

I've also been finishing up a larger custom order from my etsy shop and making a little something for a friend's birthday (that has since passed).  Oops.  :\

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