Sunday, December 18, 2016

Finished! - and it's not even Christmas yet!

Knowing my track record, I bet you thought I couldn't do it! Well, I know I thought that but hey - it's the time of year when miracles really can happen!

After I posted my entry last night I was kicking back, thinking about how to finish the bottom level of my Christmas shelf. I needed something to hang in the space to the left of the large central Santa picture, something to hang on the left-hand wall, then I also needed to finish adding accessories. On the back wall I figured I should have something with a red frame to balance off the picture on the right that has a red frame. I didn't want another Santa picture since the centre one was of Santa - - - and then it struck me! I knew exactly what I needed so headed right to work before I changed my mind. Can you tell what these are for?
If you guessed "a little red shelf", congratulations - you think just like me!!! Okay, maybe that should be condolences rather than congratulations but, I'm impressed you guessed correctly with just that one little picture to go by. So - here is the finished product. I was really pleased with how it turned out and it balanced out the picture on the other side perfectly.
Now, I just needed something for the left-hand wall. Well, as it turned out, a couple of pieces fell off my life-size rustic trees as we were setting them up and, like all miniaturists before me and all future miniaturists, I didn't throw them out. I took one, added a little garland I had and a tiny red cardinal siting of a nest. Voila - a wreath for the side wall. I think it looks pretty good alongside the little red shelf.
Turning my attention to the other accessories - I found a wonderful plateful of sweets in my stash that would look great on the table. It had the name "Adrian" marked on it so I am assuming it was a tidbit from Adrian Cooper at one of our Camp Mini Ha Ha weeks. The footed plate was made from one of those pretty little covers you can place over your mini lights to add some interest to your life-sized Christmas tree. Unfortunately, for me, it was too tall. At that height it hid most of the candelabra. I used my small mitre saw and it took less than a minute to cut it down so it sits closer to the table top.
So, now all I had to do for the lower shelf was to place the rest of my accessories - including my dishes. Yes! I found them! I glued them in place in the cabinet and on the table and added some gingerbread houses, Santa and Mrs. Claus and a couple of other little doodads. I hung a mitten stuffed with candy canes and little gifts on the right-hand chair and called the bottom level done!
Moving on to the upper level, I gathered all my materials together. Remember the large gold frame I told you was originally around the central Santa picture from the lower level? You can see how big it was next to the bottle of craft paint - way too big for a mini picture. Looking at it with fresh eyes I thought it might make a nice fireplace. I used my mini band saw to cut off the bottom of the frame, fitted a piece of dark green mat board inside the frame, a textured brick paper on the wall behind it, then stood back to assess.
So - what goes nicely next to a fireplace? A little chair, of course! I dug out a little metal chair I had purchased at the Montreal Miniatures Show last spring. It was on a table with a lot of used items - some not so gently used as others. It was painted a dark brown all over but it only cost a couple of dollars and I could see it had potential. I first painted the whole seat with a white craft paint, just to cover the dark brown, then painted over it with two coats of a nice red. I finished up by painting the trim around the bottom of the seat with a bright gold. Ready to go!
I had an old tree in bad shape in my stash. I had picked it up from the "freebie" table at Camp last year. It had no base - just a wire sticking out the bottom. It was looking pretty raggedy but I thought it could be salvaged. Today, I cut a round piece from foam core and poked a hole in the centre to take the wire end of the tree. I found some fabric with a Christmas theme in my fabric bin and cut a circle a little larger than the foam core. Using a trick I learned from Kris Compass's site, 1-inch minis by Kris, I also cut out a piece of plain Bristol board to match the foam core and poked a hole in that as well. After cutting a small hole if the centre of the fabric round, I used a glue stick to stick the fabric to the Bristol board, then used tacky glue to glue the Bristol board to the foam core. If you try to glue the fabric directly, the glue will often leak through, showing up on the front of the fabric. By gluing it to the Bristol board first with just a glue stick, this doesn't happen. I then glued a sparkly green trim around the edge of the tree skirt and glued the wire end of the tree into the new base. Then I trimmed the tree with some extra garland to spruce it up a bit. At that point, it was simply a matter of adding toys and gifts under the tree, cutting out a little throw rug for the dog to sleep on, and dressing up the fireplace with a Santa and Mrs. Claus, two stockings "hung by the chimney with care", and a little mantel clock. Unfortunately, someone forgot to wind the clock since the downstairs clock reads 10 minutes after 10 and this clock only reads 9:00. Regardless, it's obvious that Santa has already visited and that the people in this house were on the "nice" list. The pictures below show the various parts of the upper level, ending with a shot of the whole unit which is now hung on my kitchen wall.
I think I'm done with it although, all you miniaturists out there are probably a little skeptical because, after all, when do we ever know to leave well enough alone? We always seem to find something to change or add or take away. We'll see. All I know is that I can now cross off another box on my Camp Mini Ha Ha Bingo Challenge - to create a celebration-themed miniature (Christmas, Halloween, birthday, anniversary for example).

Tomorrow I will start showing you those little gifts one of our Club members made for each of us for our Christmas party this year - so well done, I know you'll just love them! TTFN! - Marilyn


  1. Your Christmas shelf is ADORABLE, Marilyn! You have made 2 wonderful holiday scenes inside your shelf which takes up very little wall space yet still packs a punch!
    I have to say that your $2.00 metal chair painted up Beautifully and your solution for the tree stand and skirt is a Great Idea!
    Isn't it amazing just how much stuff we have Stashed? It is usually more than we have projects for isn't it? But even with small vignettes such as yours, there is an abundance of things that are needed to make our little houses- homes!

    Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas Marilyn! :D


  2. Thank you, Elizabeth. I was really pleases with it yesterday however today I now think I need to blacken the bricks in the fireplace, put some little logs inside - or some ashes and semblance of a fire - it's not deep enough to put in a working electric fire - which I have one of in my stash!, electrify the tree and add some lighting to the lower level.....need I go on? We all know how it works, don't we? - A very Merry Christmas to you too, Elizabeth - and to your friends Janine and Fatima as well! You're all so very talented! - Marilyn