Kitchen progress, part 2

by brae  

The main component pieces of the kitchen are Euro Mini's, but I used two base cabinets by Houseworks with four drawers on either side of the oven. Since the drawer cabinets come from a different manufacturer, I had to make a few adjustments to make them blend with the Euro Mini's.  I added a front baseboard, a thin strip of wood above the top drawer to make the front flush and cut a countertop with a backsplash.

The Miele oven is shorter than the surrounding cabinets.  To fix this, I built a base out of scrap wood and gouged out holes to accommodate the feet on the bottom of the oven.  I then painted the front of the base silver.

The countertops still need finishing and there will be hardware added, and now that I see this photo I might end up painting the oven base black to make it less obvious.

The backsplash shown is a sheet of scrapbook stickers; they are plastic and iridescent.  I don't know if I will use these exact pieces, but I plan to add some sort of backsplash behind the oven.

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One thing I like most about this miniaturist hobby is putting in hidden elements.  They aren't necessary to make the overall room look realistic, but they are fun to add.  I used scrapbook paper from BasicGrey called Vintage Tee to mimic contact paper in the drawers.

The miniatures came from eBay.  I just love the look of this!  :D

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Making photos from contact sheets

by brae  

When I order regular size photos from Kodak Gallery online, they send a contact sheet of what is in the packet.  These sheets have mini photos that are 9/16" x 13/16".  I also have some from Sam's Club that are roughly the same size, but those have numbers printed in the corners, which limits their usability depending on the photo's composition and the size you need.

This first example was made using a Kodak contact sheet without the numbers printed in the corners.  The mini frame has an acetate "glass" that I used to center over the part of the image I wanted.  I cut out the image and glued into place with the backer.

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The second example uses brass jewelry findings with 1/2" photo openings.  I first cut a template out of vellum paper, which is translucent enough to see through.  This way you can center the template over the image without guessing if you're centered over the portion you want.

I like these since the images are crisp and printed on quality photo paper and the frames already have holes to hang them on the wall.

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Garage door

by brae  

I used a Timberbrook garage door kit, which came with a preassembled door, tracks and hardware.

Choosing a color for the garage door was not easy.  I loved the raw kit, but the natural wood door with the white painted trim and overall red brick didn't look right.  I had used some leftover black stain from IKEA for the front door and liked the look of it well enough to use it on the garage as well.

While I was researching garages during the build phase, I ran across some high-end garage door styles.  I especially liked the ones with window grilles.

I had to use something flat so it wouldn't interfere with the function of the garage door, but I doubted I would ever be able to find something that would fit perfectly inside the existing window openings.

The windows in the garage door were not removable, so I used cut pieces of vellum paper to mimic frosted windows.  I then glued some jewelry findings over the openings.

It's not a perfect fit, but I do think it gives the illusion of grates over the windows and dresses up the overall look of the door.  Since these are glued on and not tacked on with nails, it would be easy to change out the pieces if I do end up finding something more suitable.  In fact, I already found something that might work better...just need to order it.  :)

Doily, filebox and plant

by brae  

While waiting for some supplies to arrive, I made some more miniatures.  First was a doily for the dining table made in the same fashion as the faux crochet afghan I made.  It used up the scraps I had left over and went together in no time at all.

Second was a file box made from what are known as "printies" in the dollhouse world.  Many people have created free printies out there on the internet, and this is a file box I found on Jim's Dollhouse Pages.  I printed on regular paper and then affixed it to bristol board.  It turned out okay for my first attempt, but I messed up the lid completely; it didn't fit at all.  Interestingly enough, the file box actually looks more realistic beat up and crinkled.  :D

Last, I made an elephant ear plant following the instructions on a DVD called Master Miniaturists: Flowers & Plants.  I love this whole series.  There are a lot of great books out there, but there is nothing like watching someone demonstrating a technique.

I'm not going to post a tutorial on this plant since I made it based on someone else's work, but here is the finished product.  It is made with floral tape and covered wire.  I bought the planter and used the same "dirt" technique I did for the topiaries only this time I used cinnamon plum tea for potting soil.  :D

The plant was supposed to be made of light green tape (see the DVD cover above), but dark green was what I found at the craft store.  I am very pleased with the result regardless of the difference in color.  The one thing I will do that wasn't mentioned on the DVD is use a sealer on the tape once the glue has completely dried.  The surface of the leaves is still sticky, and I think sealing it might keep the dust from clinging to it.  It will also enhance the waxy appearance of the leaves.

Bird prints

by brae  

I found these beautiful bird images on etsy.  They are vintage prints from A History of British Birds, published in the 1850s by Rev. Francis Orpen Morris.  I resized them and added borders before printing them on bond paper.

I used Yes! paste to affix the mini prints to thin sheets of balsa wood.  Note: I no longer recommend Yes paste - I use Wallpaper Mucilage instead.  Yes paste has problems with longevity.

I cut the images out using the borders as cutting guides.  I constructed frames from picture frame moulding from Hobby Builders Supply.  The pieces were thin and tiny, so it was a bit tedious.  Here the assembled frame is taped to a cardboard scrap for painting.

I originally cut a mat for the image but liked it better with only the frame.  One down, eight more to go.... :D

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