Hoot owl pillows

by brae  

I have been on a pillow making spree with a few more designs still in the works.  :D  I might need to open a mini pillow emporium.

Yes, you can find these little guys in my etsy shop.  :]

The March Online Miniatures Show

by brae  

I am participating in the The March Show running from March 9 - 12.  You can pay a small fee to be an early bird shopper late March 8 - 9, though it is free and open to all March 10 - 12.  I am offering free U.S. shipping or $4 off international shipping for early bird shoppers March 8 - 9.

New spring pillows

by brae  

I've stocked my etsy shop with new designs for spring.  :D

Citroën DS19 1/16 - part 1

by brae  

A new model car, especially one with cautionary reviews like the 1/16 Heller Citroën DS19, always starts with extensive research.  I look at many forums, blogs and online photo albums from people who have built, or attempted to build, the same kit.  I even look at other scales of the same car for ideas on additional detailing and color schemes. While I do look at real life examples and vintage literature, sometimes it's nice to build a car without adhering to the limitations of the real life examples.  This modeler built one to completion, and it's gorgeous.  If I can get even close to this result, I will call it a success.  :D

The other thing I do is make a copy of the instructions to mark up along the way.  These particular instructions have symbols, arrows and numbers, none of which are indicated in any legend so there's some guesswork to be done.  Fat teardrop is likely glue; fat teardrop with X through it is likely "don't" glue.  Squares with stars are decals; circled numbers are part numbers, though there will still be a lot of hunting around.  :]

The tiny numbers are paint indicators, which meant nothing until I found this posting.  It seemed to make sense with which colors I thought went where, so I printed it out for desk reference and marked up directions for ease.  No, I don't know why some are 70 numbers and some are 90 numbers when they indicate the same color, i.e., 7010 and 9010 are both black.  =shrug=  I then googled the other colors to see if I could find an approximation online so I could make an educated substitution from my existing stash of paints (or shop for new ones).

The other thing to do is figure out which sprues or parts of sprues will be primed in which color.  Spraying primer on an intact sprue always makes for an easiest start.  You can scrape paint for gluing parts and touch up a lot easier with a good base coat.  Sometimes you have loose parts that you're better off removing cleanly so they don't end up in the grass when you're spray painting outside.

Large sprues can be unwieldy and make parts prone to overspray from one side to the next, so I cut those down, too.  There aren't a whole lot of pieces to this model, so for the larger parts I might end up with a lot of popsicle stick mounts and spray them invidually for even better paint control.

Of course, sometimes you need to fill in injection marks (or sand them down).  I try to determine early on which are worth doing and which won't be seen later on anyway.  Why do the work if it won't show?  At first glance, this one doesn't seem to have many unruly spots, just a few scratches to buff and a bubble or two to sand and fill.

Dry fitting parts also makes a lot of sense for a car touted as being difficult, though you want to remove tape right away to keep the residue from marring the surfaces.  This one does appear to have a bit of gap-itis, so I will likely follow suit of the builder who glued the doors in place from the beginning.  I want "pretty to look at" over functional at this point.  And, no, this will not stay a black car in the end.  While black looks sleek, it's a pain to photograph and keep clean.  :\

The last part of the initial process is to give yourself permission to launch the project into high speed traffic if it truly becomes a bear that you just know you can't tackle any longer.  :]

Blanket Chest from Minimum World Dolls House Furniture Ltd

by brae  

The fine folks at Minimum World Dolls House Furniture Ltd contacted me about doing a feature on their unfinished furnishings and sent me a bare wood blanket chest free to try.

They included a huge catalog of minis that will keep me occupied for hours!  :D

The wood was in great condition and needed minimal sanding to prep.  I did use my Tweezerman tweezers to remove the hinge pins to make finishing easier, though this might not be possible for everyone to do.

I painted the chest a base color of Heritage Brick mixed with Staining Medium, both by Americana.

It's a rusty red that will fit with just about any décor.  I lightly sanded the chest with a scrap of paper bag material to smooth the surface raised by the paint application.

As with many pieces of unfinished furniture, there can be glue spots on the wood that don't take stain well.  Painting is no issue in covering these, and I've detailed methods for covering these spots in a past post.  For me, it didn't much matter since I wanted to try a different type of finishing.  I scanned the front and sides of the chest and then printed templates from those scans.

I found wonderful art on The Graphics Fairy to add to the chest.  I have handpainted designs previously, but I wanted to give this technique a try.  I always print a few copies of the final images and then cut the panels to fit until I am happy with the end result.

I didn't worry too much about being precise because the final finishing will cover minor mistakes and the shadow of the overhang will help disguise as well.  I skipped the side panels, keeping the focus on the front.  The panels are glued in place using MiniGraphics Wallpaper Mucilage and covered in a thin layer of Delta Ceramcoat Satin Varnish.

I also cut pieces of parchment paper for the interior and glued them in place with the same mucilage and varnish layer.  I used a tiny bit of Antiquing Medium to age the crevices and give some depth to the piece.  By varnishing the paper first, I could wipe away excess without marring the paper or over-staining it.

After a final coat of Delta Ceramcoat Satin Varnish inside and out, I was ready to reattach the lid.  Blocks from Andrea Thieck.

Now I have a delightful country blanket chest for books and other treasures.  The books are from L. Delaney, and the tin man doll is from Sir Thomas Thumb.

I am very pleased with the end result and would definitely recommend giving their unfinished furniture a try.  Thank you, Minimum World!  :]

As for the Putitto tabby cat, I blame Keli (and a complete lack of will power).  :D

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