Kitchen and dining room lighting

by brae  

I had previously installed range hood lighting...

...and made pendant lamps for the kitchen.

I bought a black chandelier for the dining area, but since the room is so deep it remained dark even with all the lamps lit.  Here I've taped Novalyte canned LEDs to the ceiling to supplement the existing lights.

It really brightens the room and will make for a very modern look once installed flush with the ceiling.

The rug under the dining table is a paper printout of the red Piazza rug by Dynamic Rugs.  The draperies are paper mockups; the pattern is Keisarinna by Marimekko.  I made the tapestry from June Tree by Natasha Westcoat.

Kits from the UK

by brae  

While buying supplies from a shop in the UK, I added a plant stand kit by McQueenie Miniatures to my order.  It's a beautiful kit made from mahogany that was very easy to put together.  I sealed the wood with satin varnish by Delta Ceramcoat to bring out the grain of the wood.

The hydrangea plant is by Falcon Miniatures.  I made the roses and bowl from quilling paper many years ago.  The rug is a paper printout of the Piazza rug by Dynamic Rugs.

The other kit came from Hazel Dowd, a different supplier in the UK.  The mannequins are sold premade as well, but I bought it unassembled at a lower cost.  It was a very easy kit, again with a wood base and cap beautiful enough to varnish without modification.

The wire hanger is by Handley House and the dress is a scrapbooking item by Jolee's by You.  I plan to make some clothing myself but couldn't pass up this beautiful dress in perfect scale.  :D  The brass coat hanger came from a furniture lot a friend gave to me.

Llama rug

by brae  

I stitched another pattern from Exquisite Miniatures in Cross Stitch and Other Counted Thread Techniques by Brenda Keyes, the same book where I got the pattern for the orange tree tapestry.  Unlike the first project, I hadn't planned to change the material or stitch count.  I went to a local needlework shop and asked for 22 count needlepoint canvas the project called for, but once I started stitching I realized she had sold me 24 count canvas.  Not a big deal for this project, but I was glad I noticed before I used the canvas for anything that required an exact count.

Since this was my first project using canvas, I had to get something besides an embroidery hoop.  I tried to find a smaller needlepoint frame, but the local stores didn't carry the smaller sizes.  I could order online, but then again I wanted to be able to see what I was getting beforehand.  On a trip to Michael's, I found a 4" x 6" unfinished wood frame for less than $2.00.  It was perfect for miniature needlework and less expensive than the frame components.  Sold!

I stapled the canvas in place but have since acquired flat tacks that I plan to use in the future.

I substituted some of the colors listed in the pattern book for what I had on hand, using only embroidery floss not wool as indicated.  I also moved some colors around on the pattern to make the llamas stand out more against the background.  The rug measures approximately 3" x 5" (not including the fringe) and took about 24 hours of work time.

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And, of course, everyone always looks at the back!  :D

Though I am not planning a southwest-inspired room, I really liked the pattern of the rug.  It reminds me of a souvenir my mini inhabitants might have brought back from traveling to South America.  :D  The miniature trunk is carved wood and opens; it was a gift from a relative many years ago.  It's marked Made in Poland.  I made the plant from floral tape and wire.

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Fancy papers for printies

by brae  

I like to make a lot of my own artwork and design elements such as rugs for the Newport since it is so easy.  Printing on fabric is also something I've tried with good results overall.  I bought some specialty papers from The Crafty PC to try, and they ended up being great materials.

First is the Velour Card Stock.  I am trying my hand at needlepoint and punchneedle embroidery for rugs, but I also have found images that I want to reproduce as exact as possible.  Printing on paper creates a good look but the paper is often shiny.  Printing on fabric doesn't necessarily achieve the right texture for rugs, either.

Here's an example printed on fabric and then adhered to felt.  The rug is a print of JCPenney's Floral Vine Rug by Chris Madden.  I had to pump up the color in PhotoShop to make up for the color loss when printing on fabric.

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Here's the same image on the Velour Card Stock.  In this instance, I used the original (not color-corrected) image.  Much better texture and very close to the coloration of the actual rug (I have this rug in my real life house).

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Unlike fabric printing which requires ink jet printing for the best results, you can put these specialty papers through a laser printer.  The color isn't as vibrant when you use a laser printer, but that is easily remedied by pumping up the color in a photo editor before printing.  If you can, I would suggest using an ink jet printer because the color is just richer overall.

I also bought Fuzzy Paper and Adhesive-Backed Velour Paper.  They both have similar surface texture, though the Fuzzy Paper is slightly thinner than the Velour Card Stock.  I haven't printed on the latter two yet, but I am guessing they will have similar properties as the Velour Card Stock.

The other type of paper I bought really isn't a paper.  It's called Art Canvas.  It's a flimsy material that has a texture like canvas.  It was difficult to get this to load in the ink jet printer and the color streaked.  I had amazing results with the laser printer, though.  The artwork is Plum Tree Panel III by Rodolfo Jimenez.  The material is thin, so I've backed it with white paper to show off the colors.  I recommend sharpening the image in PhotoShop before printing since the canvas texture blurs it slightly.

It looks just like a painted canvas.

Scratch built coffee table

by brae  

I needed a modern coffee table to finish off the sitting area of the living room, but nothing on the market really seemed to work.  So, I built my own table from an acrylic oval, a carved wood bead and various Woodsies shapes.

I first glued four small round Woodsies onto the bottom of the large oval shape.  These would serve as the feet for the table, since my mockups didn't look right sitting flat on the floor.

I then glued the wood bead in the center of the large oval and topped it with another circle to cover the bead hole and to add some additional height.  I chose a carved wood bead to add some texture to the table.

I then painted the whole structure with Bittersweet Chocolate paint by Americana, followed by a coat of satin varnish by Delta Ceramcoat.

The acrylic oval came from a set by Tim Holtz called Fragments.  Unfortunately, most of the shapes are small pieces but there was one large oval and one large circle.  These acrylic sets also come in squares and rectangles.

The oval's edges had imperfections from the manufacturing process, so I used 1/8" wide peel and stick lead line material by Plaid (used for making simulated stained glass).  It looks like a wrought iron edge along the glass.

I used Aleene's clear gel adhesive to attach the acrylic top to the base.  It turned out exactly as I had hoped.  :D

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You can see the adhesive through the acrylic, but who ever has a coffee table without anything on it?  :D

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The table finishes off the space well but the acrylic top allows the beautiful rug to show through (currently a paper printout of Parasols by Thomas Paul).

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