Category: "Ivy Hollow, RFD Post Office - HBS Creatin' Contest 2019"

Mail Wagon - part 11

by brae  

Continuing work on the mail wagon. Here is the mock-up from last time.

I originally intended to build a working window for the front, but after considering that the small space would make it difficult to actually operate the window, I opted for faking the window instead. I cut a front following the cardboard template from the mock-up and then built the trim to fit. I will enclose acrylic sheet inside the window frame during final assembly. No sense in risking marring the acrylic as I continue to work. Even though the window doesn't operate, I did add the holes for the horse reins.

The back wall has a slightly smaller window and is also non-opening.

After building the front, back and doors, I figured it was easier to prime and paint what I could before assembly. I started with the interior since I could start putting things together as I painted if I wanted to do so. The first coat on the interior was Camel by Folk Art mixed with Staining Medium by Americana. After a light sanding, I added a second coat using Honeycomb by Folk Art mixed with Staining Medium by Americana.  I followed that with a light coat of Delta Ceramcoat Satin Varnish. These layers give the look of varnished wood.

It reminded me a lot of the Model T wood portions as shown below, which would fit the era well.

I cut a solid floor and then scored lines to mimic individual boards. Much less fiddly than trying to use actual planks. This is painted to match the remaining interior.

Ivy Hollow - tiny parcels

by brae  

At this point, there's so much left to do on the build that I'm having no time to blog. I've posted a few things on Instagram, as some of you know. Since I like a big reveal but have chosen to build publicly this year, I think the next few weeks are going to be more like sneak peeks than long blog posts for the most part. Anything I don't get to cover in depth I can certainly do after the deadline has passed. Fingers crossed I can pull it all off.


Now that we have seed order form mailers and catalogs, we are receiving packaged goods! At The Miniature Show in April, I bought some packaging kits from Looking Glass Miniatures.

I used this kit for its parts and will get to what I did with the boxes portion in a later post. It was nice to have the Fragile labels and shipping tags for post office stock. For parcels, I wrapped wood blocks in the kit's kraft paper and twine, using old labels found online. Obviously, parcel post labels are harder to find than old letters and postcards as the wrapping would usually have been discarded. :]

Ivy Hollow - postmaster's desk wall, part 3

by brae  

Continuing work on the back wall. Our rural post office has good cabinets and a postal teller in newish condition, but the desk and chair are hand me down pieces. They are still perfectly usable, after all. :]

The Chrysnbon Victorian chair kit was a gift from Barbara.

The desk is adapted from a table pattern in the book Finishing Touches by Jane Harrop. I beat it up with every tool on my work table. Look at that delightfully ratty finish! :D

Ivy Hollow - tree, part 1

by brae  

I'm working on another tree this year. I'm using the same wire and putty technique I've used in the past for the trunk - notes at the bottom.

The first layer of putty is on with at least one more to go, where I will add texture.

I like how the tall tree forces the perspective. Jebediah looks more in scale with the tree in place.

I plan to use candytuft for the foliage. This is autumn gold candytuft from Scenery Solutions - 4 bundles.


Notes: Link to my last big tree - follow the links in the first sentence back through the process.

A good starting source if you can find it is the DVD Master Miniaturists: Landscaping Primer with Diane Myrick. I got mine through interlibrary loan. This whole series is just awesome! 

The tutorial by Connie Sauve on using candytuft for the foliage. I doubt I will go back to using individual leaves again unless I want a specific type of tree where candytuft won't work. :]

We've got more mail!

by brae  

After the letters, envelopes and postcards, I still needed mailers and catalogs. Rural Free Delivery meant businesses could expand and reach more customers, and people in rural areas would have access to goods far from home.

Again, I turned to online image searches, trying to limit those chosen to 1917, give or take a year. Though I was able to find some fully scanned catalogs including the inner pages, I focused on covers and glued each one shut with inserts. These would be placed in the pigeon holes and not opened for viewing. Some of these came from sale listings, so I was able to get accurate measurements for scale, though I had to increase the scale size to get a good print in some instances. Some required more sprucing up in PhotoShop than others as well.

I'm not completely sure, but I would imagine many magazines were sent in envelopes with handwritten addresses. Since I spent so much time researching and working on the catalogs and magazines, I didn't want to hide them away in envelopes.

Seed catalogs.

This one is a 1916 with a changed date. I could not pass up that cover!

Ladies magazines.


Lionel electric toy trains.

Machinery and pulleys.




National Geographic.

Booze. Prohibition is coming!

I used true real life magazine pages for the inserts for the magazines. The color and variation add more realism.

For the catalogs, I used black and white printed pages. While many of these would not have been printed to the edges of the pages in reality, I liked the look better than plain card stock or paper.

I'm still making many more envelopes with letters, but this is the mail I have on hand, along with a few gifted letter sets not shown here. Like flowers, you always need more filler than you I might be making even more in the end. I also plan to add packages.

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