Watson Mill - foundation, part 1

by brae  

I'm 95% sure I want to do a wood shake exterior on the mill, which means I neglected to leave any space for a foundation.  I made a support system from 1" plywood strips, adding a couple spare pieces of mdf that will help hold it in place when I glue it later on.  I will brick this short foundation.

The change made the landscaping too short on the door side, so I pried up all but the lowest layer of builders foam.

I cut new pieces for the land and added a rounded step for the door.

These pieces will stay loose until later on so I can further shape them for the final landscaping.

The steep grade to the door is more what I had in mind anyway, so adding the foundation was good.  :]

Bargello, introduction

by brae  

Since I plan to make some seating from House of Miniatures kits, I thought I would give embroidered upholstery a try.  I previously cross-stitched new cushions for two Mackintosh chairs, but this time I wanted to try something new to me.

I've always liked bargello needlework, and since Gustav has an eclectic taste I thought it would work well in the Mill.  Bargello is also called Florentine or flame stitch, and there are a lot of lovely patterns out there.  Being in miniature, keeping it simple is best.  I found a suitable pattern in the book Miniature Needlepoint and Sewing Projects by Kathryn Falk. The pattern is for a wide bench, but the geometrical nature of bargello makes it easy to adapt to other sizes. You just stitch more or less to cover the area you need.  To make it easier to follow, I charted the book pattern in full color using Pattern Maker Pro by HobbyWare.

The pattern called for 5 colors worked on 42 mesh cotton Penelope canvas.  I chose three blue-greens, one navy and one cream color from my stash of DMC floss.  I didn't have the canvas, but I still had the 40 count silk gauze from my previous attempts at petitpoint and French knots, both of which were unsuccessful.  This was no exception.  My eyes want to focus on the holes, not the threads even with high magnification.  Again, I could feel a headache developing.  Here is the old silk gauze photo...too sheer for me, but you can't say I haven't tried multiple times.

There is 40 count linen on the market, but I figured I would try a quick sample on 32 count Jobelan to see if I even liked it.  I used three strands to cover the fabric here.  It does bulk up quickly, but that works fine for upholstery.  I'll just cut down on the padding underneath.  This was much easier for me.  I need substantial fibers to see in order to stitch.

Since the sample on 32 count turned out so well, I ordered a small piece of 40 count linen. I'll have to do another test to see if I need the full three threads or only two.  Two threads would be less bulky, but it's a matter of whether the fabric is sufficiently covered.  The higher count should also translate better in miniature.  To be continued....

Where we're going, and thoughts on it

by brae  

I recently purchased sketchbook and road atlas kits from Nancy Enge's etsy shop.  Nancy makes fine kits with detailed instructions.  I've always loved tiny Moleskin journals, and her sketchbooks remind me of those.  I made one straight out of the kit, changing only the book mark to red thread.  I made a second one using map end papers from the atlas kit.

These two are clean and ready to use.  Operator error caused one to be thicker than the other, so I had to add more insert pages.  I've saved the last one to customize with writings, sketches and such, and I figured it would be easier to do most of that work while the pages were loose.

The road atlas kit was actually geared toward making two journals with map covers and blank pages, then one road atlas.  There are enough parts in these kits to choose and make it all your own.  I decided to make two road atlases, adding blank end papers and custom covers.  I used the 2017 Rand McNally cover image, made a spine and added some of my own photos to the back using PhotoShop.  I also cut two new cardstock covers from cream cardstock to replace the kit's light green.

One of the pre-cut covers from the kit had a place called Stumpy Point.  How could I not go there?  I used one of the insert pages to cut it down to include inside the atlas instead of on the cover.  I have actually been to that area, visiting Bodie Island Lighthouse and other locales there.

I curled this one to stay open and made the other closed.  Even though I won't open the other, I did put Newport as the center paper.  :]  That's where I started this adventure with minis, with The Newport by Real Good Toys.

Looks like we're ready to hit the road.

The blanket roll is by FranMadeMinis, and the keys are by WhimsyCottageMinis.  The other minis were purchased at various times.

Wee topiary pots

by brae  

I've added three styles of topiary pots to my etsy shop.  The heart is in a resin pot, and the bird and bunny are in ceramic pots.  I've painted them to a fine patina.

I've also listed the third unused shop counter like the ones in Ye Olde Taxidermist.

Watson Mill - settee and rug

by brae  

I had originally planned to put the Tribal Foxes rug in the bedroom, but the room is so narrow very little of it would show.  I will stick with the red rug shown in the mockups since it fits so well.

The rug was purchased at the most recent mini shows from Designing Ways.

I figured I would try out the Tribal Foxes rug for the main room.  No, I still haven't finished the edges...have to be in the right frame of mind for that work.  :D

I recently purchased the settee.  It's so rare to see these in green upholstery instead of red.  I had to do a bit of repair work, but it blended reasonably well.   I think it fits the space and brings a bit of nostalgia to the room. Plus, what a great lounge chair for reading with that tall back support.

But, we can't have the coffee table blocking the center details of the rug.

Pushed to the side, it looks meant to be!  :D  In fact, this is how I would set up the room if I lived in it so I didn't risk stubbing my toe each time I went to sit down.

The table is by Jancrafted, purchased at one of the local shows.  It was a stand-in, but I think it's here to stay.  The footstool will change since it has a future home elsewhere.

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