Milo Valley Farm - siding, part 2

by brae  

Continuing work on the siding.  I finished applying the siding strips to the side wall templates, both interior and exterior.

I applied Weldbond glue to the previously primed kit walls to attach the finished templates.  I use scrap pieces of foam, foam board, cardboard, etc. to spread the glue evenly.

Using Staining Medium by Americana, I aged the planks with a mix of grey, brown and black acrylic paints.

The Staining Medium acts somewhat like a glaze, looks a little like an ointment, and makes acrylic paint behave like a liquid stain.  I apply it thinly and then wipe away the excess with a paper towel to reveal the grain.

I did a second pass on the exterior for deeper color and less grain.  I allowed the boards to dry to the touch and then pressed all of the boards under magazines to minimize warping.

I painted the cross beams and door frame with the remaining mixture.  I will do more to these later, but it's a good base coat.

I drilled a hole in the floor board for exiting wires.

After feeding some florist wire through the hole in the foundation, I glued the floor board to the foundation.

Retro laundry

by brae  

So, the roll-away bed looked fine in the modern laundry, but just look at it with a retro Westinghouse washer dryer set!  :D

I even got a retro squeeze mop from The Dolls House Mall.  The broom is from Wright Guide Miniatures.

The mop doesn't actually move, but it's remarkably detailed with its pale yellow foam pad.

So, where did I find these beauties?  They aren't actually dollhouse miniatures.  They are retro salt & pepper shakers!  I found this pair from GlasskatsVintageItem on etsy.  They are in a little rough condition (not a complaint about the seller at all, just stating that these are in true vintage condition with yellowing glue and shelf wear), but they photograph well and are too cute!

The wonderfully detailed 3D printed laundry basket is by Marion Russek on Shapeways, and I spray painted it flat white.  Endora is from agzr*studios.

Mini seed packets -- shake, shake, shake

by brae  

I bought a package of pre-printed seed packets by Farrow Industries at one of the local shows.

These were made before laser cutters became all the rage, so you have to cut them out individually.  I used scissors to do this part.

I scored lines with an X-Acto blade, using the small guidelines printed in the design.

I added a bit of flat, round glitter.  It's large enough to stay inside the glued packet but not bulky.  And, when you shake, shake, shake the sounds like the real deal!  Little "seeds" rattle inside the package.

These are wonderfully detailed.  The sheen of the paper is very much like real life seed packet material, not too glossy.

Two down, sixteen to go!  :D

Designer Emulation Kit 2, part 1

by brae  

I've been dealing with a fair amount of real life stuff.  Nothing outright terrible, just time-consuming.  Getting back in the swing isn't always easy, so I might be busting out a few small kits in the coming days just to get going with something.

I think the main reason miniaturists have hoards of projects for rainy days isn't due to a lack of self control but more for the simple understanding that you had better grab something you like when you see it because it will likely vanish from the marketplace right around the time you want it for a project.  :D

Such is the case with Designer Emulation Kits.  These are little circuit board mini kits you build.  They end up as modern mini light fixtures.

These were designed by Mark McKenna, but the website is now defunct and you can find these babies only on the secondary market.  You can see all of them here.

The one I liked best is DEK2, based on the classic Arco lamp by Achille Castiglioni.  I was able to find a new kit on eBay.

The simple instructions are on the back of the box.

Inside, there's a clamshell plate that holds the circuit board and the toolkit emulator.  Yep, that's a standard emery board.  :D  You add the 9V battery.

I used some heavy scissors to clip out the parts and sanded the nubs with the included sanding board.  It was easy peasy.

The material is not delicate, which is good for popping it on and off the 9V battery base.  As a bonus, it's wonderful in 1:12 scale.  It is a little bright, but some glass paint should help tone it down.

Now, I just need to build a modern end table to hide that battery.  :D

This isn't the seller I bought from, but here's a lead on all five kits.

Ticking stripe in miniature, part 1

by brae  

I had printed ticking stripe fabric previously for a tiny driftwood sailboat.  I first saw this on The Lettered Cottage, which featured the real life size boat from White Flower Farmhouse.

It's a better match for scale than the mattress that came with the roll-away bed, but it is still out of scale for an exact 1:12 conversion.

And, the bad thing about printing fabric at home is the fact that the ink runs if it gets wet.  That's not good for longevity.  So, I uploaded my image to Spoonflower.  Unfortunately, I couldn't get that pattern straight enough to print a larger piece without obvious flaws in the design.  :\

I worked with another image, and ordered two test swatches.  The one on the left is cotton sateen and has a whiter base than the cotton poplin on the right.  The yellowish cotton poplin would work well for older, vintage items while the whiter sateen would work well for new, fresh items.

I ended up with a good scale pattern but without the detail of the first image.  It doesn't look bad, but it isn't what I was aiming for.  Also, when I say "good scale" I mean it has good relative scale.  It looks right even if it is still not exact 1:12 scale.  Exact scale would likely lose all ticking detail and be a busier striped pattern.

I went back to the original image and now I await more test swatches to see if I can get better detail to the print.  In the meantime, I decided to use the first round of test swatches for other minis.  :D  Nothing should go to waste!

I made two sets of pillows from the two types of ticking set is crisp and white and the other set is vintage.  The sateen is on the left and poplin on the right.

I love the vintage look of a ticking stripe pillow.  :D  These are made from the poplin.

The pillowcases for both are made from plain white cotton sateen.  You can somewhat see the stripes through the fabric.  For the yellowish poplin pillows, I left the reverse side out; for the whiter sateen pillows, I used the shiny side for the outside fabric.  The sateen ticking pillows are shown here.

These are the sateen.

These are the poplin.

Each measures approximately 1.5" tall by 2" wide.

Looks like I didn't get the stripes matched up on one of them.  Ah, well.  :]

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