Monday, December 17, 2012

1:144 scale Antiques Galore

Recently I was reminded of a project I started a few years ago.  In 2005 I participated in a 1:144 scale swap.  In 2008 I came up with a way to use them.  But it was today when I was able to complete the project.  One unfinished project done and many more to work on...

So here's how I made it.
First this project uses two small cardboard matchboxes.  I combined them by cutting portions off.  I choose to combine them rather than have two separate for additional sturdiness.
While the boxes were cut open, I also cut out my door and windows.  To cut them out, I drew on the box and measured out equal shapes and distance apart.
To add "glass" I used a piece of plastic from packaging.
The glass gets glued to the outside of the box.
Meanwhile I glued the two drawers together.  I added flooring to the bottoms.  The flooring was printed from my computer. 
Then a designed outer walls and a sign on my computer and printed that out.
This was added to the end of the two drawers and also wrapped around the front and end of the box.  I wanted to keep a portion of the matchbox showing.
To add further stability to the box as the folds made it flexible, I added the beams to the roof.  Gluing it down to the base also helped with stability.

I debated about having a door in between the two rooms, but decided I didn't want to waste the wall space.  Matchboxes are narrow so I am not realistic with the area shown, so having  door inside wasn't needed.

I filled in the two inside rooms with the swaps.
From Laura Miller - refrigerator and stove, Linda Austin swapped the shelf with two plates, the brown shelf unit was from Marjon de Haas, the small table with the blue and white planter was from Joan Baker, the quilts and the armoire of quilts was from me.
In back section of the shop was a green dressed bed from Linda Austin, Lauren Rein swapped the round glass topped table, the dresser and pink bed from Alison "Ali" Brand.  The quilts also made by me - printed on cloth.

Fast forward to today,  I added the stone foundation.  It was from paper stone that came in the Micromini convention package. 
I added the white trim around the door and window openings.
I also cut out a sign for the grand opening and painted the lettering.
It didn't take much time today to finish this up, but it did need time to focus on it.
The blue and white bed was made by Rosa from Sweden, the dining room set was maybe a special gift, not sure who it was from.  The two potted plants - on the table and piano - and also the shrubs by the door were from Carol Atchley. The piano was from Anita Nary Hayes.  The black hutch was a painted metal mini.
The left side
The two chaise loungers and the sun umbrella were from Virgina Paton.

From the right side, we can see the barrel cactus in floor pot that was from Laura Miller.
Also note the cat on the steps. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Playing with snow in 1:48 scale and beyond

In the spring of 2012, I started hearing about and seeing photos of the centerpieces from the NAME Portland houseparty (a convention for miniatures).  These centerpieces were really clever in their details and the simplistic style of the house used to create four different seasons.  I didn't get to attend this houseparty so I was excited when I heard that the instructions for these would be forthcoming. 
I belong to SmallerAndSmallerAdventures, a yahoo group for miniaturists run by Pam Junk-Knapp.  On this group I was privileged to see additional photos of how the centerpieces were made.   Susie Newell, the designer of this project was very generous of her time by providing many photos to help us to make them.  (Her team were the ones responsible for making the centerpiece for each table and also one for every attendee to take home.  The everyone taking one home even though it wasn't fully furnished was unprecedented - as far as I know- as normally there are just one centerpiece that one lucky person at each table wins.)

 In September Pam issued a challenge to the SASA group.  Make one centerpiece using Susie's house plans and you will be entered in a drawing.  I have done a challenge before with this group and I succumbed to the challenge and put my name on the database saying I was going to make one.  I was not as hesitant with this one as with the previous as I knew that I only have one school thing to wrap up and surely I could finish my centerpiece by Nov. 30 when it was due.
 I decided I would only make one project and so I ordered one dome.  I cut out one house and started thinking about what I would do with it.  I decided it would be winter so I needed spackle and glitter.  Lots of glitter.  I looked through my scrapbook papers and sure enough I had some paper I could use inside the house.  I just knew I wanted blue. 
 My dome arrived and I opened the box.  It was very well packaged.  However when I tried to extract it from the packaging, I broke it at the base.  Stupid packaging - maybe it was over-kill.  Am sure they have issues with breakage and they are trying to get them to the customer.  But could really use some instructions on how best to remove.  I decided to go ahead and move forward with the project just using the base.
 I followed Susie's instructions for painting the base blue and then lavender (I used the colors I had on hand).  But something wasn't quite right for me.  Part of the charm of these centerpieces is the bases aren't plain.  They are really something to see just on their own.  Susie had used snow stickers for her winter but I couldn't find any I liked.  Instead I decided I could just paint some.  Yes, that works.  That improved it.  But I wanted more.  I decide to splatter paint it and wow that was the extra pop I wanted.  I also used some pearl finish paint to enhance it as well.
Here's a teaser for what my base looks like.
The lavender at the bottom is very subtle in the picture, but more noticeable in person depending on the light or angle it is viewed.
 Next it was on to deciding about the bottom snow portion.  In one of the centerpieces I had seen the summer had a cave under the house and in others it was solid under the house.  I decided I wanted to go with the cave. 
 I also had decided that I wanted to put penguins in my project.  My husband is an Opus fan and has a penguin collection.  This collection includes many penguins of different sizes.  He graciously said I could use some.  When we looked at this there weren't as many as we may have first thought, but that is ok, I will see what I can do with what he has.  
 Meanwhile, we cleaned house for Thanksgiving and he was looking at one of his penguin items that was a clock with a water globe.  The clock is a neat feature but not practical and as he looked at it he realized it was messed up.  He decided to open it up and see if he could fix it.  Nope, that was not to be, but hey, there is a penguin Preble could  use.  This was the one that floated around inside.  He had a second clock that worked differently and the floating penguin follows a dolphin.  He also saved the base that had multiple smaller penguins attached to it.  This base was made of resin and he knew I had taken things off of resin bases before.
 Back to the cave, I had decided that the cave would be the skating area. So I painted it appropriately and also carved out the foam and when it came time to spackle, I left it open as well.
Here's the cave all finished.

 My cave was carved out of styrofoam.  The ice was made using triple thick gloss. I had never tried it before.  I love this stuff as well.  It is very glossy and dried hard.  The foam didn't quite meet the base so I added some snow-tex in a bottle that I had bought.  It is for writing but worked great for little fixes to fill in spots.  After I added the snow-tex, I was going to paint over it with the blue, but decided it looked like snow piled on the edge of the pond. This is fun. 
The standing penguin is a hallmark ornament that was skating on a bucket of ice - super cute that way, but better here.  IMHO.  The fallen penguin also hallmark and I added the snow to his hat to cover the hanger hole. 
I had painted the house blue and then added the glitter.  This was my first time to use modge podge (that I recall).  The glitter was a really cool addition.  I love glitter houses, but never have taken the time to make one (or buy one either).  I was very pleased with the house.

 On one of my many trips to the hobby store, I found some snowmen ornaments that I liked.  These are designed for small tabletop trees.  HL had their Christmas on half price already so I got a blue set and another multi color set.  I already had figured out these blue ones would go in a box I made awhile back (oh maybe 10 years ago). 
 This box was designed by me after seeing some ME frame magnets that someone had added a box to and made a scene inside.  I think I went a bit overboard in my construction of this box.  It is definitely not a frig magnet size anymore.  I made the box and covered the outside with painted paper and then used stickers to decorate it.  I was very happy with the outside of the box, but I had not gotten to the snowman making all these years.  Well, now I had these ornaments to use.
 Having purchased snow supplies was the perfect time to work on this as well. There were 8 snowmen in this set and I went with all 8.  I figured out how I would place them in the box - drew out a layout so I could work the inside.  I wanted them on different levels to they would show up.  Mmmm - well they are a bit crowded but I am going with it.  I used foam bits to make risers and then covered it all with spackle.  I painted it with a pearl finish and also repainted all the snowmen.  That was to fix the less than perfect painting and also to cover the hanger holes where I pulled out the strings. 
 When I splatter painted my centerpiece base, I also splatter painted the inside of this snowman box.  This time I used pearl paint.   It is very subtle - but I liked it and didn't repaint.
 I added two small bottle brush trees and viola - a finished snowman box.  (This proves that it is never too late for a project to get finished.)

 Here's what the back of the box looks like
And here is the box opened up
Like I said - a bit overkill on the construction and the pearl splatter snow is quite subtle.

So now that was done, it was back to playing with snow on the centerpiece.
 I'm missing something.  Ah - the chimney, so I cut one from blue foam - painted and glittered it like the house and stuck in the chenille stem for smoke. I love this bit of whimsy.
 Next was time to make the mountain, add rigid wrap and spackle.  The directions said to make the mountain (one side of the house) with a paper towel, then apply rigid wrap - I love this stuff as had used it two times previously - and then add spackle.  The spackle was fun as well.  I did this once before when I did a maple sugaring scene in a tin, so the spackle technique wasn't new.
 I added the icicles to the house.  Those were super neat.  I sprung for a pack of the dept 56 and I do not regret it even if I paid too much for them as figured out later could have got them cheaper on another site.  (Lesson learned - check multiple places before ordering.)  At first I just glued them place and added snow to them later using the snow-tex writer tube.
 I got out that resin base that hubby had saved for me and used my dremel tool to remove every penguin from the base.  Then when I went to work them for this project,.. well some of them were far from perfect and I don't mean the paint.  Mmm... what to do?  This was a stopping point until hubby pointed out the better ones to me and I was back moving forward.  I decided where I was going to place the penguins and do what I needed to help them stay on. 
Here's four of them
The one on the top is a hallmark ornament I think.
The three below were on another ornament - hubby had two of those ornaments and this one was broke so couldn't hang it.
One disadvantage to not having the dome for this was that I couldn't check my fit.  I ended up having to sand the bottom of the mountain (hope it was enough) as I could tell that there was too much hanging over the groove for the dome in the base.
There are more penguins in front

 The two kissing - well that was my way to hide their damaged wings.  Just so happened they worked together.
The set below were together on the resin base so no changes other than using them on my project.
Now it was time work on the house inside.
 Downstairs I repainted a toy hutch I got from a friend.  The chair is BPF I painted white and then added blue pearl paint.  The pearl paint doesn't cover well so gives that shiny effect without being too much.  The table was something I made for another project and then didn't use.  This time I added something to the feet to make it more stable and then painted it like the chair.  The mug and cookie jar on the table are from a totefavor swap from the recent QC convention.  It was made by Bonnie Helterhoff.  Really clever, I think.
This penguin was the one inside the water dome clock.  None the worse for wear having been in that water all the time.
 Upstairs - I was informed that I must have a fireplace since I do have a chimney - so I obliged.  The fireplace was also a swap but I am unsure who made it.  I painted it like I did the chair and table in the kitchen area.  I also added the wallpaper bit behind it to fit in the house to fill the gap.  I added a blue flame fire as I was informed the fireplace also must have a fire.  Above the fireplace is a tv where "A Wish for Wings that Work" is playing.  (An Opus movie)
The chair was a swap made by Elizabeth Johnson.  The table and accessories on it, I believe was made by Julia Greenhalf and was for the firecracker swap that she very graciously sent to me when my swap package never came.  The penguin on the chair here was from the resin base.
The penguin on top of the house/mountain is from hallmark I think.
I think that lamp is quite clever the way it is made.  The table is really nice as well with the sculpted edge. 
Here is my completed project from the front
On the right side of the house is a powder puff tree.  I found these at HL in the floral section and they just screamed whimsy and use me. 
Here's the back in full

The last thing I did to the snow was make it glitter.  Every inch of snow was covered with modge podge and glitter was added (small area at a time).  I was covered in glitter before all was said and done with that.  The spackle works very well but the glitter gives that extra something I wanted for this project.
All this snow play made me determined to have my real life size snowmen in my kitchen.  I usually display them in the winter atop  my entertainment center, but last January we rearranged and so the center isn't the same place. 
Here's the results of the snow play in the house.
The extra multicolor set of small snowmen are hanging from the knobs of the cabinets. 

And here is a snowman tree that I made awhile back.  Am thinking I might add snow to the hangers of these red ornaments. 

Playing with snow it so much fun. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

1:48 Scale Star Banger's - How I made it

This project came about because of a challenge on Smaller and SmallerAdventures, a yahoo group. It was to use a round box - like a salt box or oatmeal box to create a red, white and blue themed project. The challenge was to do the project and complete it by July 31st. Although, that deadline was extended to Aug. 31st.

In addition to the challenge, we had the opportunity to participate in a swap for it as well. We could do either or both. I decided that with finishing school in June that I would have the time to do both.

To make my project I used an oatmeal box. I have made a project like this in a saltbox already so this was no big deal. Actually it should be easier because I would not be doing the plaster cloth as I did in my Scaredy Cats.

I have these great intentions to plan out everything and go step by step in an organized way, but often my creative muse gets ahead of me and I skip a step. This project was no different.

I knew I wanted to light it and I decided I would light it up using a LED kit from Evan's Designs. I had purchased them months ago to have on hand.

Well as I worked the idea around, I decided I would have the push button on the bottom. I had obtained a dome from a thrift store recently that didn't have a base. I knew I could make a base from foam core. Thought it would be easier to have the button on the bottom so didn't have to lift the dome to turn on the lights. But I discovered after doing this that since I was using foam core, it wasn't sturdy enough to handle this scenario so I had to redo the base.

The first base was foam core bottom, then a builder foam middle. But then I got this idea to add more lights on the top as I figured I have the height in this tall but skinny dome, why not use it. So the new base was all foam core.

The first layer of the base is big enough for the dome to sit on but just enough, no bigger. Then next is a layer that the dome fits around. Next was a base for the box. My box being for oatmeal was open already one end and I decided to invert the box. This allowed me to insert a base into the box at the floor. I initially cut my opening for having a builder foam floor, but turns out that three layers of foam core board equals the layer of builder foam.

Using three layers, I have one layer glued in place as the floor at the same level the builder;s foam would be. This left room to hide/house the battery and its holder. I cut another foam core circle for insetting below the floor and cut out a space for the battery housing. This piece was glued in place to the two layer base. Sections were cut out also for the push button and wires going to and from the button.

I added to the battery layer pieces to contain the wiring but also keep the building from moving around.

The opening for the project was cut of the side and I also pulled out my windows and doors. I have purchased some at shows to have on hand for those projects not designed yet. Comes in handy for things like this.

I decided where I wanted the door and windows. I decided to leave the middle above the door for the label I would create. I then measured to allow reasonable space for these openings both to each other top to bottom and also side to side. Then I cut the openings. I also test fit each component.

I also cut a foam core circle for the second floor. The LED's were added to this circle. These point down to the first floor. They were easy to hide in the foam core, but I added a paper layer to hide the wires. Holes were cut to allow the light to shine down.

To do the second floor lights they are glued to the ceiling paper (a heavier paper).

For both the first and second floor, I created and printed floor papers. The one for the first floor was my design done in Word using drawing objects and different colors and the second floor was using a print found on the Internet.

On the top of the box was the inset - not totally flat or squared top. I had decided that I would use it as a rooftop patio. I was also leaning towards something that reminded me of the used up firecracker so decided to go with a black ground cover here.  I added black railroad blast to the rooftop.

I also had determined that my project needed to have a lighting sculpture on the rooftop that resembled a shooting firework. After some fiddling and considering my available options, I decided to use some tinsel as the hollow portion and sequins as enhancers to the LED's. The LED wires are actually what hold them up. Sturdy wires.
This shows the tinsel.  It comes like this but can be stretched.  I got this package of multiple colors at a mini yard sale, but I believe it was sold as tinsel for 1" christmas decoration.  I have used in 1/4" tree decoration.

The wires for the inside lights come out to the same side. I added a groove in the box for the wires and then used tissue paper to hold in place. The wires were short in one section and so had to add a leader wire to get them to connect all underneath.

The interior for both levels was painted white. Once that was completed I applied the full outer label.  I had created a label using the drawing object function in Word. I use that a lot to layer and repeat things to create stuff. Once I made the row of stars and the different background rows, I grouped them and then copied them to fill up the page. 

I started applying the label by applying glue to the edge next to the opening in the back. I added glue at the window and door openings and also along the top and bottom but not all over. I wanted the label to float over the wires and didn't want any wrinkling either.

To fill in around the second floor, I used a piece of thick card to edge it so didn't have the foam core showing. I had to piece together the label for each of the opening edges. Don't look too close. I could have printed another page but just used up the scraps.

Next I painted the windows. The door was already black and had decided it looked good so that's why I painted the windows black as well. I cut out thin card window frames for the inside and painted them black as well. At this point I realized the issue with making the openings a tight fit for the components. I had painted the openings and that made for too tight an opening. I trimmed and sanded them to allow for the components. Once everything fit, I glued the windows and doors and their inside trim in place.

For the base, I added a rock/stone paper I had on hand around the sides. The section where the dome would rest, I faux painted. When the dome is one, can't tell the difference between my painting and the rock paper.  When I was adding grass to the base, some fell on the edge for the dome and that would have looked good as well, but didn't won't to cover my faux painting or deal with dust if the dome edge wasn't covering the grass.

The steps to the first floor were made from foam core pieces.  I added the rock paper to cover the edges and top.

My orginal plan was to have a scaffolding in the front for Sparky to work on the sign, but after a detail discussion with my husband who does construction work, I decided to go with a ladder instead.

The ladder on the front was made from a plastic balcony my dad gave me.  I used my dremel tool and a cut off wheel disc to remove the platform and then painted the railing white to become the ladder.  There is also a ladder to the side to reach the roof top that is a grandtline product, I think.  Didn't have enough of it on hand to use for both places.

The text label was done in Publisher but I could have done it in Word.  I made it so the addition of the word Store wouldn't cover any other text.  Also since this is a re-purposed firework, the addition of the S on top of the label seemed fitting.  The S was cut very careful from wood and then painted.  The ' is painted on to the label.

To make my Boomers I used scupley.  I rolled them and cut to length.  I used the end of a paint brush to round the ends.  I also inserted the wire to make holes for the legs and arms, but didn't bake them with the wire.  The wire I used ended up not being the same size as the black wire so I had to drill out the holes to allow them to be inserted.  All the leg wires were pre-bent, but then after I glued them in some had to be re-bent.  That caused some breakage, but glued back ok.  The arms were bent after inserted into the body.  The thicker wire was 20 gauge and the thinner wire was 26 gauge.  The thinner being easier to work with.
Sparkle and Popper were made using the thinner wire.

Heads were made of scuply.  I added the bead eyes and nose before firing.  Some have mouths and some don't.  Hair made of either embroidery floss or unraveled bunka.  Their hard hats were goggle eyes.  I painted their bodies.

The swaps - although I participated in the red/white/blue firecracker theme swap, my swaps have not arrived.  I made a round BBQ grill as my swap.  I should make one for myself since I don't have one at this point.
The swaps I used other than the geraniums from Pam Junk were from previous swap events.

I had decided early on that this was going to be a firework store.  But I didn't relish the idea of making tiny fireworks.  I am very pleased that Banger explained they wouldn't be selling fireworks but works for them.  So that worked out very well for me to make fuses and wrappers - embroidery thread and scrapbook paper rolled up.

The shelves in the store were made from some plastic shelves that my dad gave me.  I used my dremel tool to cut them down.  They both were two sided and double width.  Also the counter was cut down as well. 

The only thing I ordered specifically for this project was the extra led lights.  All of this I had on hand for a some day project.  I highly recommend that if you want to create to purchase things when you see them.  Does not mean to purchase a lot, just a bit here and there and collect them. 

To see the completed project with more photos- check my earlier blog post here

Firecracker Challenge - Star Banger's 1:48 scale

Once upon a time in land not far away, people are so busy they don't bother to notice the little things. This is a story about the little things - little people if you will. They are called the boomers. They are a curious people attracted by the smell of sulfur and the crackle and pop of things like fireworks.
A few weeks ago was the US holiday - Independence Day. At my house this holiday includes shooting fireworks. In recent years that has even been at our house. We have a great place to do so, as there is a concrete pad that is open. This year, like any other, after shooting the fireworks, we clean up the yard of the trash.
Before I got to work picking up the trash, I was sitting on my porch.  A tiny flash of yellow caught my eye.  I started watching and very soon I saw that one of the used fireworks had a strange smaller firework next to it.  When I looked over at another bigger firework, I saw a second small firework.  I call them strange because we didn’t shoot or light any small fireworks.  These were different markings.
I kept watching and the small firecracker moved.  The second firework had disappeared.  I crept up and squatted down next to the big firecracker.  The smaller one was still there.  I blinked because I thought my eyes were deceiving me.  This smaller firecracker looked to have legs and arms.  Is there a spider wrapped around it? I tilted my head to see around it.  But no, not a spider but yes, a tiny head – with a white hat or cap on its head.
“Interesting,” I said.  “That explains it.”
“That explains what?” a tiny voice asked.
I looked around to make sure there wasn’t anyone around playing tricks on me.  Then said, “Why you look so strange.”
“Excuse me?” the tiny voice said. 
“You don’t look like the firecrackers we used last night.  Matter of fact, we didn’t have any your size – well, except for bottle rockers and we didn’t shoot any of those.” I replied.  “Obviously you got here by walking or flying.  Although I haven’t the foggiest idea what you may be.”
He looked up at me looking down and then said, "Hey, do you mind?"
"Sorry, I don't mean to stare, but I am very curious what is going on?" I said.
"Well, I'm surprised you noticed us. Humans rarely do." he said. "My name is Bang-Bang Boomer but you can call me Banger, everyone does." He put out his hand and then looking sheepish as to how that would work.
I leaned down further and very careful moved my finger toward him until it touched his hand and he shook it.
"Nice to meet you, my name is Preble. So what are you doing?"
"We decided to build a firework stand. Figure it would be very profitable in our neck of the woods."
“Oh, how nice.  I guess, I will leave you too it.  Ok, if I clean up the rest of the fireworks – will you need any of them?”
“No,” he replied.
“Ok, then see you around.”
That first day, I only saw Banger.  No matter how many times I looked I didn’t see anything.
But on the second day, I sat down on the porch and I saw several of the Boomers.  They were very shy.  At first whenever they saw me watching, they would hide, but after a week they had grown used to me being around. 
I talked with Banger every day.  He explained to me what they were doing as I watched the progress of their renovation. They started by putting in floors and ceilings. Next they cut out door and window openings and then installed them. They painted the inside to cover the explosion stains and the plain cardboard.
Banger explained that they were going to set up a shop in the used up firework.  It wouldn’t be a normal shop like you or I might think of, but one for them to shop in.  He explained how they were always needing new fuses and wrappers.  So that is what they would be selling. 
As I watched them remodel, I became a familiar face to them and they weren't afraid of me anymore. So as the days passed I would meet new boomers every day. Every one of them had their own personality and job to do.
I am not sure why it had not occurred to me earlier to take pictures. Maybe I was concerned they would not want their picture taken. Maybe I didn't ask at first because they were so timid.  Although the last day when they were redoing the firecracker label to make the shop sign I did get some pictures.  They didn’t mind the pictures so much as long as they were busy and so it was really hard to catch their faces.
Here is the front - with Banger, Smoky and Sparky working on the front
Here is Banger close up- he is the owner of this fine establishment
and this is Smoky setting out the potted Geranimums from Pam Junk
well you also see Banger's backside. 
Sparky is up on the ladder - Banger is making sure he puts the letter on correctly.  Sparky had already added the Store sign.  Banger figured it was easier to add to the label than make a whole new one.  He really liked this particular firework as it had his name on it. 

In the back we can see the other Boomers hard at work to make sure everything is in place.  
Note the grey line to the right is the ladder to go up to the top.
Let's zoom in and see what they are up to.
Up top is Sparkle and Popper - I think Sparkle was telling Popper to be careful up there. 
The lighted star scuplture was Banger's idea of simulating a firework explosion and also lighting the top.
The Boomers are going to have a picnic when they get finished with putting everything in place.
The picnic table was from my swaps/totefavor stash and was from Marie Kallberg.  The picnic on top of the table was from Molly Lawler.
Sparkle was hard to photograph since she is leaning over Popper.
Here is a different view of Popper
More picnic items - cooler from Sharon Anderson and the igloo one from Patty Johnson.

Now let's check out what Sizzle is doing in the Office /Bedroom - the bookcase is plastic I painted and the wardrobe is a resin piece I painted and added knobs.
Oh, he is putting out the other geranium on the bookcase
Here is a close up of his face from the outside
Maybe he is daydreaming about owning a firecracker place himself one day...
The rest of the second floor
That bed I think was from Cindy McDaniel and the chair from Barbara Campbell.  The lamp on the desk was from Beth Laverty.  The desk is plastic that I painted.  I got it from my father - who I think got it in some toys as he gave me some other things.

At the bottom is the store area
That's Powder on the left and Crackle on the right.
In the store are Fuses and Wrappers - what every firecracker needs at some time or another.
Hope you enjoyed your tour.

To learn more about this project - I will be posting a how I did it - very soon.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Are you a Scale Snob? defines snob as "one who tends to rebuff, avoid, or ignore those regarded as inferior" and from the scale as "ratio of the size of an object as drawn to its actual size" such as a scale drawing.
So thinking about snob and scale miniatures, I admit that I sometimes I am a scale snob.  I tend to avoid photos and websites of items made in a scale other than 1/4" scale.  I don't mean I am a snob because I think that other scales are inferior but more that I avoid or ignore other scales most of the time.

So I got thinking about why we are 'scale snobs' in the miniature world.  In no particular order:
  • Time limitations - I work full time so I focus only on the scale that interests me.
  • What can be accomplished - Looking at 1" scale I might think I can do that in 1/4" scale, however I will have many challenges in 1/4" that I might not with 1" scale.
  • what can be obtained - I like seeing what I can readily get for my particular scale so looking at 1" scale items or kits to purchase is not going to help me find them in 1/4".  Exceptions would be when the dealer says they offer in several scales.
  • Space limitations - why would I look at 1" scale items when I am not going to purchase them, even if I fell in love with a 1" scale thing then what do I do with it?  A kit would take up too much room - a 12" x 12" room box takes up that amount of space but a 1/4" equivalent room box takes up 1/4" all around so only 3" x 3" - a three or four story house is going to sit on a table in 1" scale and in 1/4" it can go on a shelf with other projects above or below it.
  • Techniques may not work the same - yet they might, so this is not a reason to be a scale snob, just why sometimes we are
Reasons to avoid being a scale snob
  • Supplies - Many supplies are the same for any scale, some aren't going to work because they will translate to be too big - thinner wood is need, thinner paints are needed, fabrics with designs may not translate, but portions might, weave of fabric may not scale down well, but something like silk is good for many scales.  Real life comes in many sizes so a tiny print in 1" scale can work in 1/4" as a not so tiny print.
  • Patterns - can be reduced to the scale desired, adjustments may need to be made to simplify or  for materials to be used - such as different wood thicknesses if the thickness is part of the overall measurement
  • 1" scale items can be used to create unique things in 1/4" scale - teacups in 1" scale can be used as a light cover/shade in 1/4" scale
  • Ideas- I never know when I will see an idea I want to make in 1/4" scale, so I could see something in another scale and that includes real life that will strike an idea.
  • Many miniaturists work in multiple scales - it is entirely possible that I could find a 1/4" project in the other miniaturist's photos.
  • Working in other scales will help me to think outside a particular scale and should expand my mind.  This is no different than trying a different technique or medium.
So after thinking on these things - I feel it is neither a good or bad thing to be a scale snob.  There are some very valid reasons to be - such as the time or space limitation.  However there are some valid reasons not to be as well.  So although I admit to being a scale snob I can't say I will always be one.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

In honor of Pam Scott, - a beach hut

Pam Scott was the creator of Little Enough News, a quarter inch and smaller newsletter.  She published the newsletter for several years and then created an online yahoo group titled LittleEnoughNews.  She passed away in early 2011. 
Several of us agreed to continue on with the group and this year we created a project to do in her honor or in memory of her.  This is that project.
It started with the idea of something to do with the beach and shells.  I got the idea to do a simple beach hut.  I created a very simple design and worked with Karen Cary as she had agreed to laser cut the kits. After a couple of variations we came up with a finished kit.
We also decided to hold a swap to go with the project, which I hosted. Boy, that was fun receiving them in.  Had to store them up high to keep the cats out of them.  Every time a box came in if I didn't put it right away the cats were all over it.  Some people say the swaps talk and obviously the cats could hear them. 
Once it was time to sort them all, that was a task.  But it was all worth it in the end. I have managed swaps before, but never this many.  One of the problems I had was allowing people to send a different number.  I will not do that again.  Either I would set it at 10 (or a set number) or all swappers, far less headache arranging them to sort them out.

Here is my finished beach hut with the swaps I received. Thank you!!! to all the swappers.
In the front, the chairs are my adirondack chair kit, the table between them was from Lynn Hamel, the gold color seahorses and shell were from Sharon Anderson, pink flamingos by Kay Marshall, and sand castle by Alician Pearce.
On the side, I had added a palm tree that I made.  The pile of shells was from poohcat and the trashcan was from Roberta Ditch. 
To go inside, I had design a built in bookshelf with window seat (yes, it is very similar to the NAME alcove, but not related).
The shells on the left side were either some I had, from poohcat or from Lynn Hamel who provided some very tiny ones in a larger shell.  The picture is of Pam Scott mounted on a ship's wheel and was provided by Jenn Price Jones.  The rugs and window seat cover were cut from a rug given by JoAnn Jacot.  On the left side of the shelf are more shells and a silver starfish from Marti Icenogle.  Prints on the wall were from Jacot as well.  The blue chair and the clock above was from Lynn Hamel.  The magazine filled basket was by Joan Webb.
The upper section contains a bench by Peggy Fowler, shell display by Pat Henshaw and the rug from JoAnn Jacot and the shell plaque above the window by Lynn Hamel.
A side view of the other side of the beach hut.  The buoy was from Barb Striethorst and that red radio by Heather Drinkwater.
I had already decided on my 50's theme colors including the pink and the swaps started coming in.  I was very excited when I saw a pair of flamingos with my name on them.  Here's a better view of those great flamingos made by Kay Marshall:
 I understand that these were first ever attempt at making animals.  I think she did a wonderful job and others who didn't get them in their swaps - swapped with her later.  I know I would have as well.

Again, a big thanks to all those swappers.