Baslow Ranch - Farm wagon

by brae  

This was one of the initial things I built for the Ranch.  As an integral part of my idea, I had to figure out from the start if it would even work the way I wanted.

My wagon was adapted from a covered wagon kit by Allwood (made in the 70s, I think).  I changed it from a covered wagon to a farm wagon since the kit was 1:16 scale and, as a covered wagon, it would have been a bit small in relation to the barn.  Here's the box image.

The kit was partially assembled when I bought it.  Three of the four wheels were already done as well as the main body.  The faux wood trim didn't look right (think wood paneling on an old station wagon), so I ended up taking the body apart altogether and cut new pieces from a scrap of plywood I already had.  This allowed me to score the inner and outer surfaces of the pieces to mimic wood planks.

I painted the outer body Black Cherry by Folk Art.  I painted the rest of the pieces with a wash of black and brown paint and used some of this wash to age the Black Cherry paint.

The trim is made from 1/8" wide Instant Lead Lines by Plaid.  This is a self-adhesive material used for faux stained glass.  Once in place, I pressed a nail set into the lines to create rivets.  A little rust paint added here and there aged the look a bit.

I added some ballast by Woodland Scenics to dirty up the inside.

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It's a good thing this was meant to be a rickety ol' wagon, because the wheels are nowhere near straight.  Three of the four wheels were assembled by the previous owner, but I my fourth wheel wasn't much better.  :D  The chassis and basic structure are solid, though.

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It ended up fitting perfectly in the barn space.

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I applied multiple paint washes to some unfinished wood barrels I purchased and put them in the back of the wagon.

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I made the stool using a pattern in the book Finishing Touches by Jane Harrop.  It, too, was aged with a black and brown paint wash.

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The wagon has a removable tongue, too, though it makes the wagon too long to park inside the barn with the doors closed.

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Greenleaf 2010 Spring Fling - Baslow Ranch

by brae  

This was my first time working with a Greenleaf kit.  The 1/8" plywood walls gave me some fits with the warping, but the laser cut pieces were great to work with.  Overall, I loved this kit!

The overall feel I went for with this project was that of a late 1880s building that had been updated over time with electricity and other "modern" features of the passing times.  It now sits as an open air, living museum to remind us how people lived and worked.  I relied heavily on my trip to Bodie, CA - an open ghost town where you can walk around and explore - as well as other living museums I have visited.

I decided on a name sometime ago for the Newport: Baslow Manor, though I haven't posted about this previously.  The name is in honor of several of my recent pets: Basil (pronounced bazzill), my beloved cat who passed away in September 2009; Clover, a sleek and beautiful Chinese dwarf hamster; and Willow, a Russian dwarf hamster who went through a lot in his long life and held on tenaciously until the very end.  My current pets are Baxter, a Roborovski hamster, and Jasper, a domestic shorthair cat recently acquired from a local shelter.  I suppose their names could be considered included in the name, too.  :D

To expand on this name, I've named the Spring Fling structure Baslow Ranch, established in 1888.  It's where the Baslow Manor money comes from.  ;]  What they made their money in is still a mystery, but this building remains, along with the family estate (the Newport).  I dedicate this build to all my animal companions, past and present.

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And, the back:

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A close up of the sign and light over the barn doors.

Attached to the main barn is a room for rent.  Both the above sign and this one were created in Word and printed on paper.  I glued the paper to a wood backing and aged with paint washes.

The backdrop I used in some of the shots is a photograph I took in Bodie, CA.  This was a great place to visit - a bit of a chore to get there but more than worth the effort (bring a hat and sunscreen!).  I took over a hundred photos walking around this open museum ghost town.

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I tried to make as much as possible for this project, not only to stay on budget but to see what I could accomplish on my own.  The things I didn't make include: lights, buckets, barrels, as well as the glass, ceramic and metal minis.  Of the minis I bought, however, I still changed most in some way by either painting or weathering or both.  The blog entries for this build might jump around a bit in the actual chronology of assembly, but I've tried to group portions together in a way that makes sense.

Even though I mostly relied on my own photos from my Bodie, CA ghost town visit, I did do some minor research through the library on wagons and rural life of the late 1800s/early 1900s.  I highly recommend the book I See by Your Outfit: Historic Cowboy Gear of the Northern Plains by Tom Lindmier and Steve Mount.  It has an amazing collection of old photographs that are an excellent source of study as well as being just plain interesting to look at.  Some of the photographs are so clear you can see the texture of the fabrics and the individual hairs of the horses.

Some other notable books I looked at had schematic drawings of wagons and carts.  I reduced a couple of the vintage advertisements in one of the books and printed them for inclusion in the barn.  I don't recall which book exactly, but all of the ones I viewed were by John Thompson.

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The posts detailing the build are coming soon - likely on Monday - be sure to click through enough pages to see them all once they're posted - there will be a lot of photos!  :D

New needlework project

by brae  

Now that the Spring Fling project is complete, I am free to work on the Newport again.  Unfortunately, I've become obsessed with a new needlework project so any building progress suffers.  :D  It's a rug pattern from the book Miniature Needlepoint Carpets by Janet Granger.

I am stitching the rug shown on the front cover.  Definitely more traditional than the last rug project.

Her patterns are made for 18ct canvas, but this rug would measure about 9" x 9" -- too large for my purposes -- and 18ct isn't as fine a finish as I prefer.  I decided to stitch the pattern on 28ct fabric, which will result in a rug just under 6" x 6".  I also decided to cross stitch this pattern to eliminate the tendency for the fabric to show through the usual needlepoint stitch.

I made a color copy of the pattern to attach to my magnetic board and liked the colors better than the original, so I visually matched the thread colors from my stash instead of using the suggested colors in the book.

This is the rug after about 13 hours of work!  Long way to go...

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Italian shoes and matching handbag

by brae  

I now own three things from Italy, though I have never been there.  First is a Venetian mask I bought online about ten years ago.  And, now...these beautiful shoes with a matching handbag from the wonderfully talented Patrizia at  :D  I just love them!

I originally saw the shoes at the Bishop Show in Chicago back in April.  I hesitated about buying them and lost out.  The price was reasonable considering the outstanding workmanship and time involved; I just hadn't wanted to go overboard with shopping on my first night at the show.  When I went back later, however, the ones I wanted were gone.

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After looking at the photo I took at the show over and over, I decided to write to the artist to find out what I had to do to get those shoes!  She made a pair for me and (as a complete surprise to me) included a matching handbag.  It was so thoughtful of her.  I think the shoebox and shopping bag are so awesome, too.  :D

I don't typically carry handbags in real life, but I would carry this one and I would definitely wear those shoes!  :D

Greenleaf 2010 Spring Fling Countdown...

by brae  

12 days to go...

I finished the project about a week ago, but I have been making a few things here and there to add to it.  The birds nest was made using an online tutorial as a starting point, but I used what I had on hand instead of their suggested materials.  It's about 7/8" in diameter, maybe a bit large for scale but pretty close for my first attempt.  The bird is by Falcon Miniatures.

Looking forward to the big reveal...  :]

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