Needlepoint in miniature and my first book

by brae  

Since I started the Newport, I've been checking out books from the library to find ideas for projects and to generally drool over all of the beautiful minis out there.  One of the better books I found was Embroidered Projects by Sue Hawkins.

It has rugs, screens and pillows in a nice array of styles.  There were a few lovely items worth spending the time stitching, but there was one in particular that caught my eye: the Mackintosh chair cover.  I already had the chairs...and the design in the book fit perfectly with my modern living room.

In the past, I've done quite a bit of counted cross-stitch but very little needlepoint.  However, needlepoint on 32-count linen is pretty close to counted cross-stitch.  The project called for 32-count silk gauze but I had a hard time locating it.  I also changed the colors from what was listed in the book because the pinks were just too bright for my tastes.

My eyesight has always been good, but wow were these tiny stitches!

The first one took a little over five and a half hours of work, and I did it without the aid of a magnifier.  For the second one, I flipped the design to have a mirror of the first and bought a magnifier with two LEDs.  The second one (at the bottom of the photo below) took about the same amount of time but it was much cleaner since I could actually see what I was doing.  :D  Since I already had enough fabric in the hoop, I decided to make another like the first one; it turned out much better the second time around.

I had to remove the glued-on chair pads, which was a scary task since the chairs were expensive.  I popped them into the microwave to loosen the glue, but it still wasn't easy removing them.  While the cushions were off, I gave the chairs a couple of coats of Bittersweet Chocolate paint by Americana.  The original finish was uneven and a bit too red for my taste.  I then sealed them with satin varnish.

I removed the original fabric from the chair pads and used the needlework to upholster the chairs.  I finished the edges with twisted embroidery floss.  I think they turned out pretty well for my first attempt at miniature needlework and fit in rather well with the modern style and colors in the living room.

Another project I worked on this week was creating a miniature book from my own photographs.  I did the basic layout in Word, including a UPC and some lorem ipsum text on the back (it's so small you wouldn't be able to read it anyway).  Once printed, I glued the cover to some heavier paper.

I cut the book out using the crop marks and scored the paper to form the spine.

I used a piece of balsa wood for the pages, scoring the edges to look like individual pages and painting them white.

This one was created just using what I had on hand at the time, but I really like the way it turned out.  Creating it was a lot of fun and I have some ideas for more books.

Dining floor

by brae  

Since the Greenleaf tiles I used in the kitchen area were thicker than the Handley House wood flooring I planned to use for the dining room, I had to start with a cardboard template to even out the difference.  To get the proper outline, I used paper to create an exact template of the room.

I then cut cardboard pieces to fit the area under the wood.

The wood is not yet glued in place since I need to seal it first.


click image to enlarge


click image to enlarge

Kitchen floor

by brae  

I liked the look of the dark wood flooring by Handley House I used during the planning phase and it is super easy to install, but I wanted to give something else a try before going ahead with the wood floor.  I think travertine tile floors look beautiful in real life, so I attempted to recreate the look with Greenleaf vinyl tiles in tan.

For the layout, I printed out grids with 1" squares.  The floor will be removable since the tiles will be glued to this paper template and not the base floor itself.

Even with the grid set on the diagonal, I quickly realized my floor and wall pieces were not completely straight - or my grid was slightly off.  Either way, I tried to get it as close as possible, piecing my paper and cutting a template along the border.

Since not all of the tiles were the same color and pattern, I traced where my kitchen cabinetry would be onto the grid.  I glued the pieces that were either darker or more patterned than what I wanted in these areas since they wouldn't be seen.

A lot of the real life floors I've seen have very little space between the tiles, so I tried to keep my tiles close together.  I kept checking the fit along each edge, but baseboards would cover any minor gaps.  As you can see, I got off the grid pretty quickly, but the tiles themselves are mostly in line and the grid won't be seen in the end.

The tiles continue under the sink and corner cabinet, but I cut it closer to the door on the living room side.  I plan to have the wood floor under the dining area, and I didn't want the black cabinet to be half on the tile and half on the wood floor.


click image to enlarge

The tiles were very easy to use, and I am very happy with the way it turned out.


click image to enlarge

Divan and tray

by brae  

I had no idea what a divan was, but when I saw one in Dolls' House Furniture: Easy-to-make projects in 1/12 scale by Freida Gray I knew I had to have one.  :D

I opted for the same fabric that I used for the entryway chair.  I used the instructions in the book as a starting point but ended up making my divan a different size and height.  I also changed the way it was put together compared to the book's construction.

I eyeballed the size I wanted and cut the top and base from 1/2" balsa.  I added a frame of 1/4" balsa to the base to make it thicker.

I used 1/2" wood blocks for the feet, painting them Bittersweet Chocolate by Americana.

I hemmed a strip of fabric and wrapped it around the base, leaving just a tiny bit of the legs exposed.

This project was made much easier by using Peel-n-Stick Fabric Fuse.  It's an adhesive on a paper backing that you stick on, peel away the backing to expose the other side of the adhesive and then press in place.  It comes in different widths; I bought a 5/8" wide roll.  I tacked the excess fabric on top of the base with tacky glue and set it aside.

I put a thin layer of batting on the top piece.

I have a vintage Tot 50 stapler by Swingline, and this is the first time I've used it in years.  :]  It made it very easy to upholster the top and get a taught surface over the batting.

I glued the top to the base with tacky glue and set the assembly aside.

In order to create the band to cover the seam between the top and bottom pieces, I used a strip of crinoline covered by fabric.  Crinoline is a stiff fabric that makes it very easy to get a crisp band of fabric with no wrinkles.

I used the Peel-n-Stick fabric fuse to attach the band.  There is a seam for both the bottom fabric and the band, but you would have that on a real life upholstered piece as well.


click image to enlarge

I love it!  :]  It now serves as the coffee table for the study.


click image to enlarge

The green of the divan fabric brings out the green in the Bespaq plaid furniture in the room.


click image to enlarge

The tray is a replica inspired by the shabby chic trays made by Pei Li, an artisan who makes some absolutely beautiful 1:12 scale miniatures.


click image to enlarge

Entryway progress

by brae  

For the chair, I updated a mahogany and red velvet chair from Concord Miniatures.  This was part of the box of minis my friend gave to me when he helped me cut my garage panels.  In order to remove the cushion, I popped the chair into the microwave and then gently pried up the pad.  I upholstered the pad without removing the velvet since the cotton was thin and needed the extra padding.  With a coat of black paint and a fresh green cotton print, it has a much more contemporary look.

For the side table, I painted another Concord Miniatures creation.  This table looked dated in its original brown stain, and it had a bad place in the finish besides.

The lines of the table work well in black, again leaning toward a more contemporary look.  The vase and bowl are from Manor House Minis.  The paper flowers were a clearance item from Michael's; I used only a few of the flowers that came in the bunch.  Under the vase is a single venise lace flower left over from my faux crochet afghan project.

That's a set of keys on a ring in the bowl.  Those are from S P Miniatures.

1 ... 268 269 270 ...271 ... 273 ...275 ...276 277 278 ... 288