Kitchen wall, flooring and more books

by brae  

I've been busily sewing a dress for an upcoming holiday party, so mini work has been sparse this week.  I did install one of the last two outer walls - the one on the side of the kitchen.  I used a trick I learned on the Greenleaf forum of putting a couple drops of super glue (I used the gel kind) to hold pieces in place while the regular glue dries.  Ingenious!  The wall had a bit of a warp to it, and the super glue held it better than masking tape.

I also began working on the dining area flooring.  Here is what it looked like out of the package.

Lyssa wanted raised floorboards in my old house, so I cut the paper between a few of the pieces.  This should allow for enough give for the wood to warp and lift.

I used Minwax Plantation Walnut stain on the walnut floor, and it worked well for a start.

I then added a few dark washes of black and brown acrylic paint.  Now we're getting somewhere - all those years of grime.  ;]

I sprayed the floor with matte sealer and once dry I sanded the hell out of it.  I brushed on a thin coat of satin varnish, which I wiped away before it dried.  I'll mess with the finish more when I install it, but it is at least the basic color I was looking for.  The table is a House of Miniatures kit - assembled but not yet finished.  I am awaiting the chairs I hope will work with it.

The darker floor works better with the checkered floor.

I finished up another batch of books for the house, sixteen more for the collection.

I even included some coffee table books on lacemaking, birds and the Great Barrier Reef.  :D

And, in other news, there is now another kit in the house!  :O  I used part of my Greenleaf winnings for the Glencroft.  I assured Jasper this one won't be started while the Heritage is under construction.  I just couldn't pass up the 25% off sale since I'd like to build the Glencroft next.

I have some fab ideas for it, but you'll just have to wait and see.  Maybe around this time next year?

Filled bookcase!

by brae  

The bookcase has been filled with books!  :D

There are 79 in total, arranged in random order.

They range in thickness from 1/64" to 3/16" and from 1/2" to 3/4" in height.  I think the variation in sizes, colors and design gives them that extra push toward realism.

tallest, thickest and smallest

I still have covers left over, so I will continue to make books in my spare time so I have them for other places in the house.

Books - a few of my favorite covers

by brae  

Another nine books for the shelf.  Now there are fifty-four on the bookshelf.

I always judge my mini books solely by the covers, though I do occasionally add books that I like for their content in real life.  As I was making up books, I figured I'd share a few of my favorite covers.  Some of these might be hard to see since I am photographing the minis I made.  They do lose some legibility from printing so small, but I don't want to violate any copyright laws by posting book covers that might not be in the public domain.  You can always search for the titles online if you'd like a better look.

The House Mouse, by Dorothy Joan Harris and Illustrated by Barbara Cooney.  This has a super cute dollhouse with a mouse occupant!  I'd like to make the cover illustration as a wall hanging mini house.

I was able to find only the cover, so I made the spine and back in Photoshop.  For the back, I used the image again and eliminated the text.

Sweet of the Year by Emily Ridgway.  This came from, an excellent source of book covers and sometimes spines.  I love the villa in the garden illustration.

This one had the spine in the image, so I duplicated the front image for the back cover, flipping it in the opposite direction.

Amphibian by Carla Gunn.  Froggy.  Enough said.  :D

Return of the Bird Tribes by Ken Carey.  Beautiful illustration.

I made up the spine and back cover, this time using solid colors and dropping in a UPC box on the back cover.  This is one of grandma's many modern additions to her library.  ;]

Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant.  Lovely colors and graphics.  This is apparently a funny book, but I've not read it.

Taming the Wolf by Greg Stone.  This is actually a self help book on resolving conflict, but the cover to me says adventure in the wilderness.  I could see this cover being on the sequel to The Return of the Bird Tribes shown above.  :D

The White Mary by Kira Salak.  Love this cover - the greens, the butterfly, the layout!

I made the back by copying the butterfly graphic, rotating it and removing the text.  I made the spine by copying the green background, duplicating it in mirror image and adding text.  I also added the UPC box again.  I later found the actual spine and back cover, but I liked mine so well I printed it instead.

Utopia by Thomas Moore.  This is a book first published in 1516, though I don't believe this is the original cover.  Ever After is one of my favorite movies for its fun take on the Cinderella story, not to mention the costumes, and this book plays a part in that movie.  When I first stumbled onto the cover during my online searches, I knew I had to use it.

I created the back by mirroring the front, removing the text and copying some of the border design elements into the middle.  The spine is a section of the front cover, with text replaced.

Obviously, I haven't used any covers I don't find appealing in one way or another, but these are some of the highlights.

Navajo rug - a new petitpoint project

by brae  

Natalia at Scarlet Sails Miniatures recently stitched a gorgeous Navajo design on 40ct silk gauze.  I had been thinking of making a rug for the Heritage, but I wasn't sure of the direction until I saw her beautiful work.

I am one quarter Navajo, though I don't know much about the culture since I've not had much contact with that side of my family since I was very young.  I thought it was a perfect way to bring that part of me into the Heritage, especially since my childhood home is the inspiration for it, like gathering the pieces that make me who I am to include in my project.

I checked out numerous books from the library and found many designs I liked.  But, it wasn't until I did a google search that I found the perfect piece: a beautiful contemporary weaving presented by Steve Getzwiller.

the second weaving from the left

You can see more of this wonderful collection here.  So many intricate and beautiful designs to admire.  I love the corn stalk weaving on the far left, too.  True artisan work!

I was instantly drawn to the colors and shapes of that one particular design, so I set out to find a better photo.  This was the best I could do.  That is Steve Getzwiller.


I wrote to Natalia to see how she charts her patterns, and she offered to chart it for me.  I can't tell you how grateful I am to her.  She saved me so much time and headache since I had no idea where to begin.  She has captured the beauty of the rug in miniature scale, and I will soon begin to stitch.

Mine will be cross-stitched on 32ct fabric.  I like the coloration as it appears in the first photo considering the room I plan to put it in, so I'll use colors similar to those instead of the warmer earth tones of the second photo.  Wish me luck!  :D

Coffee table and a birdbath

by brae  

The Chair, The Sofa, the fireplace and the bookcase are such statement pieces in the parlor, as well as the fancy stairs, that I needed an equally expressive coffee table.  I bought a closeout Bespaq Eddington Walnut coffee table for its lines though the color was off.

When it arrived, two of the legs had broken in shipment.  The damage wasn't so severe that it couldn't be repaired, and it was the perfect excuse I needed to refinish the beautiful table.  I don't think I could have convinced myself to paint it otherwise.  Here it is before (you can see the leg glued back together on the right).

And, here it is after.  I painted it Black Cherry by Folk Art then added a satin varnish.  I thought about painting it black at first but figured I would lose the beautiful detail work.  It's a subtle change but it darkened the finish just enough.

The paint is rather sheer so it kept most of the beautiful wood grain.  I scratched up the top just a little and added a top coat of furniture wax.  Instantly, the table has a history and has seen many a visitor.  :D

It fits in perfectly with the over the top parlor pieces!  :D  The red pulls in color from the upholstery, the front door and the slightly darker mahogany bookcase (yep, there are eight more books on the shelf).

The other new item I have is this aged metal birdbath by Island Crafts & Miniatures.  It's going to look awesome in the overgrown lawn!  :D

It has the perfect patina!

Both the coffee table and the birdbath are from Dejoux Miniatures.

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