Sunday, August 31, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Now why would I do that? This morning Buttercup spit out a House of Miniatures kit for a Chippendale corner chair and demanded that I make it for the second floor.
I looked at it and decided that if it were going to be a "real" Chippendale it wouldn't have just sanded down cabriole legs....No sirree! It had to have ball and claw feet and a scroll at the top of the legs. One catch....There were four of them. I have done ball and claw feet before. They are a lot of fun. Usually they are just on the front two legs of a wing chair or something similar. With a corner chair you have to make at least three out of the four ball and claw, and......they all have to be the same. I knew that there was a catch! Here is the first one roughly cut out and started(no scroll yet).
I used the trusty Exacto knife, needle files and an Emery board cut into quarters lengthwise and then crosswise. This is one of the handiest tools that I know of when you are trying to rough sand small pieces. Being stiff, the corners that you cut can get into places that regular sandpaper can't reach.
Here is the leg that I am working on a little further along. The leg at the right is what I started with. That's the thing I like about House of Miniatures kits. Their blanks are generous so that if you want to do something like this there is plenty of room to play.
Of course now that I have decided on ball and claw feet and scroll knees. Yes, the part at the top is really referred to as a knee. I will have to do some fancy work on the back slats too. In the Chippendale Directory these are usually carved to look like woven ribbons going over and under.
Who was the idiot that got me into this mess? Oh wait. I remember now. It was Buttercup. Stupid bookshop! Why didn't you stay up on the top shelf and sleep longer? At least I have someone to blame other than myself. See you tomorrow, hopefully with four carved legs.......
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
This is the illustration from the front of the book. I don't think that I will get in trouble for showing you this one. This is one of the simpler designs! They were in love with asymmetrical designs and the more layers, the better. This window has three different fabrics. The curtain on the right is what they used to call "glass curtains". It is what we would call sheers. The one on the left would be lace. The top blue one would probably have been a darker color than the illustration and probably velvet or other heavy material. The trim would have been gold braid and gold work embroidery with gold tiebacks. Notice the cord tiebacks all have tassels on the ends. Another use for our mini tassels! The nice thing about this design is you don't have to make anything match. Even the height of the tiebacks on the inner curtains is not the same.
And now for more mini variations. With the pattern that I used yesterday, you can do a double sized window simply by making two of the swag pieces, two of the end pieces and the piece in this photo. All you need to do is first put the two swags over the bar. Then add this piece over the center, between them. Then proceed with the outer jabot pieces as per instructions. BTW, I noticed that in the book the end pieces and the center piece are called festoons. I kind of like that.
This next one is a valence that was used with long curtains. It is simply a 3 sided box with fancy cutouts on the largest side. This is also from the book. In there they show a variation where they put stained crown molding around the top edge of the valence as an accent, with a carved cartouche in the center of the molding. I think I am going to have to try that variation sometime in a formal setting.
This is fairly straightforward. Cut the pieces in the photo out of mat board. Glue them together.Glue a piece of fabric to the front that is about an inch larger all around.
Trim it like the first photo. Make little ears on the top edge. Fold them down and then glue the sides over these.
Trim the outer edge flush with the mat board. Clip the inside edges as shown in the photo. Turn them under with glue. Don't worry about it looking nice on the back side. When you glue the draperies in place the inside will be covered.
Now turn it over to the front side and cover the edges with braid or bunka. Spread some glue on the backside and insert the draperies. I cheated this morning. I didn't want to fuss with draperies, so I put some striped material under the valence to illustrate what they would look like.
Don't forget to poke the little photos to make them big.
The last step is to put it in the dollhouse and enjoy.
Once again, I need to clean up the mess that I made working on these. See you tomorrow.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
I am going to put you to work making clothespins, bag and a hanger on which to hang it.
I saw some clothespins at the first NAME National House party that I went to back in the early 80s. They were turned and made the hard way and were very expensive. When I got home I pulled out some of the fancy turned Japanese toothpicks that you can buy at the import stores. Here's what I came up with.
I cut most of the fancy part off with my razor saw and miter box. It takes only one stroke but turns out better than doing it with an Exacto knife and the pieces don't tend to fly so far.
Then I marked the toothpick at 3/8" long and cut again.
After that I held the toothpick bottom up between my finger and thumb and cut the slit down 1/4". That seems to control the cut and keep it in the center.
I then used an emery board to smooth the end into a V shape. That's all there is to it.
For the hanger I use a plastic coated paperclip. I get them at Wal-Mart. They come in lots of different colors in the package. I even found some that are striped! For hangers you need a pair of chain nosed pliers(Both points are round and needle nosed. They are usually found in the jewelry section.)and a pair of regular needle nosed pliers with flat openings. You bend one end in a circle. Straighten a neck. Bend for the shoulder. Use the chain nosed pliers to bend the curved end and do the same about an equal distance from the center. Bring the tail back up to the neck and cut the end off where it meets the neck. You can use the drawing in the photo. The bottom of the hanger is about 12" across. I do them this length so that they will fit into any of the clothes that I make, including children's sizes.
The bag is made of a scrap of cotton material. It is cut 1 1/4" wide by 2 1/2" long. In one end cut a "neck" out of the top. Then fold it in the center and cut a quarter inch triangle off for the shoulders. Put glue on the two long edges and across the shoulders. Sandwich one of the hangers in between the front and back. Press the front and back together. Let it dry. If you want a pocket on the front simply cut a strip to fit and glue the sides and bottom to the front. I used bunka for the trim. You can use anything you like. Perle cotton will do if you have it or silk ribbon. If you want clothespins on the edge of the pocket, put them on first and then put the trim around them. They will fit over the thickness of the fabric, but they will be difficult to push down over the trim.
Now I am going to go do my real laundry. I am not going to hang it out to dry. My excuse is that it's raining here........Well OK.....I wouldn't hang it anyway. The dryer is right next to the washer and the only clothespins that I have are the spring kind. I use them for holding together things while making minis. Nope. They have never touched laundry. Thank goodness for automatic washers and dryers! They make more time for mini-ing! See you tomorrow.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
You can print up boxes, books and would you believe even tea sets? About. com is one of the first websites that I found for minis when I started on the web. It has changed over the years, if only to get better. These days it has sections for all kinds of minis. http://miniatures.about.com/od/miniatureprojects/Miniature_Projects_Making_Customizing_and_Displaying_Miniatures.htmThis is the url for the ones we are interested in. Be sure to look at the printable section. That's where you will find printable tea sets. Honest!
No. The pizza isn't a printable, but the box is. Free for the taking. There are several sites for these. Jim Collins' website that I gave you once before is one of them.
I went looking around this morning because I hadn't done it for a while. Here are a few that I found.
Here's one that has all kinds of projects for your house and some printies too. http://www.the-art-of-dollhouse-miniatures.com/index.html
This one is printies. It has wonderful bricks, terracotta tile and textiles. http://www.allthingsmini.com/patterns/
All things considered, these three should keep you busy and out of trouble for at least 24 hours. See you tomorrow.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
We went up and down all of the aisles, in and out all of the booths and couldn't even find anything to buy even at the ones that were priced at 75% off! Don't get me wrong. We enjoy ourselves there even if we don't spend money, but it's more fun if you find a treasure.
At the very last booth I found treasure! I found two holey Victorian handkerchiefs. They were exactly the same. Maybe they were part of a trousseau, nicely embroidered. In fact, they were amazingly embroidered. Who cares if there are holes in the center? I was more interested in the edge anyway.
I laid the two side by side to take the photo.....One is right side up and the other is the back side. It is nearly impossible to tell which is which. Up at the top of the photo you can see the damage in the one laying on top. As I said, who cares about a few holes? I paid 4.50 for the two. I don't know what the price would have been if the centers were perfect.
For years I have used holey handkerchiefs, baby clothes and other fine cotton antique fabrics. Most of the time they almost give them away if they have damage. I make sheets for my beds and underwear for my ladies if the trim is not unusual. I think that these two are going to have to be for something very special.
I have not had time to decide what these beauties will be when I finish. The design is embroidered with one strand of very fine cotton thread and goes all the way around both of them.
To give you an idea of what can be done with antique fabrics, the dress on this doll was originally a baby's dress. It was too far gone to be of use to anyone and I got it for free. The pin tucks on the sleeves were on the front of the dress. The tiny flowers were close to the neckline. The trim around the neckline of the dolls dress was another trim that I simply cut off and glued in place. The only thing that I added was the lace at the bottom and the silk bows with long streamers at the back of the shoulders. I don't think it turned out too bad for something that was going to be tossed in the rubbish bin.
This lady is the first porcelain doll that I ever bought. She was bald and had no clothes. Every once in a while she gets a new hairdo and clothes as the mood hits me. I think that this is the way she is going to look for a while tho. I am very happy with the way that she looks right now.
See the silk roses in the lady's hair? If you can wait until tomorrow I will show you how to make them.
See you then.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I walked by the Mystery House this morning and I heard a tiny voice whispering "Fill me." It was the armoire in the bedroom. I thought it was about time that I did at least a minimum of work on the Mystery House. So I filled it.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
This is the back side of one that is about 4" long at the base and 2" long at the top. I wanted you to see how the cranes and leaves are attached.