Tuesday, 11 May 2021

My new definition of 'downsizing'

 Hi everyone!  I didn't post last week because I have been working on the landscaping and finishing the interior of the Post office and figured you were getting bored of seeing the slow progress.  I will post about it again when I finish all the building and landscaping and start to make the Post Office worker elves and customers.

In the meantime, I had such a pleasant mini week!  First, my latest issue of Dollhouse and Miniature Scene arrived, then I got two packages in the mail on the same day.  

Several weeks back I was fortunate to win Ricardo's (Mis Minis Libros) prize draw and his package arrived from Spain. Inside I found 3 of his wonderful books which open and are readable (in Spanish of course but that just adds to the allure!).  Also inside was a lovely table he made using marquetry.  He took the table apart so it could be flat packed for mailing which made it so much easier.  I was about to glue it back together but, while admiring the work on the tabletop and base I thought - wouldn't it make a beautiful centrepiece for a floor!  I could install it in my southwest room box then build the rest of the floor around it.  Hmmm, I will leave it for a bit while I think about it.  The work is so lovely I want to find the perfect spot for it, whether I put it back together as a table or use it for a very special centre medallion in the floor.  Either way - I'm so very grateful.. Thank you, Ricardo!


The second package has to do with the title of this post:  My new definition of 'downsizing'.  I have wondered for a long time now what it would be like to build in 1:48 scale.  First of all, just for the challenge, but secondly, if I finish all of the projects I have on the go now in 1:12 scale, there is no way I will have room for them - especially when we sell this house and move into an apartment within the next year.  So - I finally took the plunge and ordered from Petite Properties in England.  Having never made anything in 1:48 scale before, I decided to start with one of their smallest kit - the shepherd's hut.  It came with the base kit for landscaping as well although most of their kits have the building and the base sold separately.  Here is a picture from their website of the kit made up (before landscaping).


I also ordered a small wall hanging cupboard so I could also try out a small piece of furniture to see how I liked working in that scale.  I immediately opened the bag for the little cupboard and got started. 


The instructions were extremely clear and the pieces were cut perfectly and fit together in seconds.  The last part of the instruction was to glue the doors to the front of the cabinet but I stopped and thought about that before I went any further.  First of all, don't I want to at least paint the inside?  Shouldn't there be something inside the cupboard before I glue the doors on?  So, I painted the cabinet and doors and set them aside while I tried to figure out what I could put inside.  Thank heavens for toothpicks and tiny pieces of scrap wood.  This is what it looked like before I put the doors on (please ignore all the little bits of glue that have become visible in these photos.  I will be cleaning those off for sure.)

Here it is with the doors on - again, the messy glue will be removed.  However, I did forget to glue on the teeny door handles.  Will get that done too!


I like it much better with something inside - even though it's just a few little bits that give the illusion of boxes and canisters, at least it's not an empty cupboard.

And, in this picture, you can better see exactly how tiny this cupboard really is.


Yes, it really is that small and yes, it wasn't easy to figure out what to put inside and yes, I loved making it!!!

Next, I opened the packages for the shepherd's hut. I immediately dived in and put together the lamb box and attached it to the base of the hut, as per the instructions which, once again are very clear and include lots of pictures of how to put it together.  The next instruction tells me to attach the side and end walls.  At that point, I once again stepped back and have decided to paint the interior walls, floor, and ceiling before putting it together, then I will finish the outside and build and landscape the base.  


So, tomorrow afternoon is mini day for Louise, Marijke and I so I will work on this little project tomorrow.  So far, what do I think about this 1:48 scale?  I absolutely love it!!!  I can see many more of these little kits in the future.  I hope Petite Properties has a gift certificate option because I know what I will be asking my kids for upcoming birthdays, Christmas, etc.  

In closing for this week, I would be remiss if I didn't include Bruce's contribution for the week.


These would be funny if they didn't capture our cat's behaviour so perfectly!  Or maybe that's EXACTLY why they're funny! Oh well, I love our little Bridie anyway!  Have a great week!  TTFN!! - Marilyn

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Short post - plus announcement from Blogger

 Hi everyone.  Sorry I didn't post anything last Tuesday.  I have to be honest, what little work I was able to do was not very exciting so I didn't want to bore you with it.  

In the meantime, I did receive a notice from Blogger - which I'm sure many of you did.  Just to let you know, if you are someone who has chosen the "follow by email" option for the blogs you read, Blogger is discontinuing this in July of this year. If I understand things correctly, if you use the regular "follow" that adds new posts to your Reading List, you should be okay.  If I am incorrect, I am sure one of you who is better at this stuff will be able to correct this assumption.  Thanks!

So, this week, I did make a few more geranium heads to finish Louise's window boxes.  I only got 5 of them made for her birthday and she needs a minimum of 8.  To reward her for her patience, I will end up making a total of 10.

I also saw some pictures of how to make little winter toques which were meant to be Christmas tree ornaments so ended up being 3 or 4 inches tall.  The technique they used intrigued me so I wondered if I could make them considerably smaller using the same technique.  This was the result:


I thought it was adorable - and it perfectly fit the head of one of my doll kits, sized for my North Pole elves.


Other than that, I have been putting in a lot of thought on how to hide the last battery pack I have for the North Pole Postal Service.  This one is the largest one I have to hide.  I am thinking that I want to build a pile of snow that will hide the box itself but, I still need to have access to turn the battery pack on and off and to change batteries when needed.  I have finally landed on a solution based on some of Pilar's (Miniaturas En Mi Mundo) incredible landscaping skills. She uses bits of Styrofoam to build up mounds, rocks and such, then covers it with plaster bandage material before finishing off by painting and adding dirt, grass, etc.  I am thinking I could use a similar technique for making snow mounds so am giving it a try.


I think it will work in the end but I still have a lot of work to go.  Hopefully I will have some success to show you next week.

On an entirely different note, I made a recent purchase for which I have been getting a lot of teasing from my DH, Bruce.  Since we have our name on a waiting list for an apartment we have our eye on, I have been worried about how our little Bridie will make out as an indoor cat as she is used to going outside every day and playing in the trees and woods around our house.  So - I went online and found a pet stroller and have been taking her for walks in our local eco-park so she can get used to it.  Here she is on our latest walk with my grandson, Brogan. 


She actually seems to like sitting back and taking in the new sights, sounds and smells as we walk through the trails.  Needless to say, Bruce thinks this is hilarious.  As a result, he has started sending me pictures he finds online from someone who posts as "the crazy cat lady".  I will leave you with the first one he sent me and, hopefully, will be back next Tuesday with that battery box solution completely done!  Until then -stay safe, stay healthy!  TTFN!! - Marilyn




Tuesday, 13 April 2021

At least it's fun!

 That's what I say to myself when I look at the long list of things still left to do for the Postal Service.  I thought I would have more time this week but, as often happens, other things demand my time and take me away from my beloved miniatures!  This week it's trying to prepare a grant application for our Irish Association.  Man the paperwork involved for just a little bit of money!!  It's amazing - and very time consuming!

So, this week will be a short update:

My last entry about the Postal Service showed the light fixture I wanted to use for the back entrance.  However, it was just a bare bulb and I felt it needed a cover over it - one that retained a little industrial look.  So, I took one of those pull tops from a milk carton, cut off the pull tab, and cut a slit in the solid top remaining.  Then I slid it over the arm of the light fixture and used narrow pieces of Bristol board to cover the slit I made and to look like metal framing.  Then I painted the added pieces grey, then silver, then dirtied it up with brown powder.  I like the way it eventually turned out.




As you can see, I also made and added a sign by the back door as well.  I see from the picture I have a tiny bit of red that needs to be touched up with white along the bottom edge.  You always notice these little things AFTER you take the pictures.  *smile*

I also installed the back door but I needed to add door handles and locks to it.  For the outside door handle and the lock I just used pieces of mat board and a piece of copper wire.  I etched the shape of a key hole in the lock portion then painted them both a dark brown.


One of my favourite things was the little doorbell I made for delivery drivers to ring for service.  I used a small gear that looked like a snowflake to me, a bead spacer, and a scrapbooking brad.  Isn't it just the cutest!!  I also am happy with the way it looks with the door handle and lock in place as well.


The last thing I was able to accomplish this week was getting the trim around the back door and building a salt/sand box that is really just there to hide the battery from the light above but I will be putting a rusty bucket and shovel next to it so the workers can spread some on the ice to prevent slipping!



I did lay some sandpaper in the entryway and will paint it black to look like asphalt before dirtying it up with a snow, salt and sand mixture.  It's a busy spot with lots of foot traffic!  I can't have it too pristine, can I?

So - sorry I didn't get more done this week.  I hope I can get back to work on it after I finish this grant application, then get the newsmagazine ready for the publisher, then get the annual report done, then get the......it just never ends!  I think I'm going to come out of retirement and go back to work!  These volunteer activities are killing me!  Hope everyone has a great week!  TTFN!!! - Marilyn

Friday, 2 April 2021

Trash to Treasure Final Reveal - At long last!

 Finally I get to keep one of my promises!  I was busy with other thing yesterday, as I mentioned in the last post, so I set the time aside today to finish my T2T project.  Before I carry on from where we left off on Wednesday, I will repeat the list of 35 items from which I had to choose a minimum of 25 so you can keep an eye out for them as we go through the pictures (plus, I changed my mind and exchanged two items from the list on Wednesday because I couldn't make the darn feathers work!)  Here is the revised list:

1. 4 feathers  - did not use

2. 10 Beads - 6 for the door handles, 2 as decoration in the door pediment, one in the pedestal for the bird bath, and one to make a teapot.

3. 3 cotton balls - I used 1 to provide volume inside the chair seat and back.

4. 10" sq wrapping paper -  did not use

5. Eraser - made a double bird house

6. 5 stir sticks, popsicle sticks or tongue depressors - used long tongue depressors for balcony railing

7. Small box (no side longer than 3") - used top for the frame of the shelf unit and bottom for the shelves

8. 2 stickers - used to look like buckles on the yoga mat

9. 4 bottle caps (any size) - used 1 for the bird bath and 3 for the chair-side table

10. Greeting card - used a small portion of the plain back of a card to make the tea cup and part of the cover for the teapot

11. 6" fun foam sheet - used for the yoga mat and a small birdhouse in the shelving unit.  Used small strips as frame around the mirror/tray (painted it black), used around base of birdbath

12. 6" Felt square - used a small piece for a cushion

13. 6 Toothpicks - used the tops of 2 decorative toothpicks for the drawer handles in the side table and as part of the teapot cover.  Used lower parts for stems for the flowers.  Used 2 others as handles for the garden tools.

14. 2 sheets of paper (8.5 x 11) - used one for the French doors and one for the apartment interior.  I printed a box of fertilizer and some seed packets and leaves to the side of the apartment picture since it didn't take up the whole sheet of paper

15. 1 full sheet of cardstock (any colour) - I used a dark green cut into strips as "siding" on the balcony walls.  Yes, I am aware that this type of siding would be very unusual for downtown Paris but - you work with what you have!

16. 4 Q Tips - used the sticks to support the acetate panels of the balcony railing

17. 3 Thumb Tacks or Push Pins (any type) - used wooden push pins as part of the pedestal for the bird bath.  Used two of the pins I pulled out as perches in the double birdhouse.

18. 6" length of ribbon or lace - used a narrow suede trim as straps around the yoga mat.

19. 2 Toothpaste caps (or any toiletry lid) - top from lip balm: plant pot in shelf unit

20. Small mirror (under 2") - used as a tray for the teapot and cup

21. Tea Bag or coffee grounds - soil in planter and in garden

22. 6" Sq fabric (any print or solid) - penelope cloth for the faux "rattan" chair

 23. 2 Paper or binder clips (any size/type) - used white coated paper clip for the door handles and the teapot handle and spout. Used regular metal paper clip to make tines for the garden cultivator

24. 6 Straight Pins - since I didn't have any floral wire in this list, I cut the straight pins in half to use as stems for the caladium plants in the garden

25. A Napkin/paper towel - used instead of fabric on the seat and back cushions for the chair

26. 2 Straws - used paper straws as uprights for the balcony railing

27. 2 Pipe cleaners - used for the celosia flowers in the plant pot and for the accent tree in the garden

28. 1 Styrofoam or paper 8 oz cup - used to make the barrel chair

29. 1 Lid from yogurt/sour cream container - used to contain the balcony garden

30. 2 nut shells (pistachio, walnut, peanut) - did not use

31. Aluminum foil 2-inch square - used to make the garden trowel

32. 6-inch square of sandpaper - cut into blocks for the wall on either side of the French doors

33. 1 Egg carton - covered the frame around the French doors, used as patio stones, used as a book cover and made flower pots.

34. 6-inch square of foam core - used to build up pediment and door trim, small piece inside book 

35. 5 sequins - used one as part of the top to the teapot.

Bonus supply from stash - piece of acetate for the "glass" in the French doors and in the balcony railing.  Also small piece to simulate water in the birdbath.  So - I used 32 of the 35 items, plus my bonus item.  Here are the rest of the pictures:

I think I mentioned on Wednesday that I used the top of my small box as a framework for a hanging shelf unit, and the bottom of the box for the shelves.  You will see it finished as we move out to the balcony.



On the apartment side, I have added the final touch of paint to the sandpaper blocks of stone.  I am actually quite happy with how these French doors and the whole wall turned out.  I think my daughter will like it (She is getting this box as a gift for something to display in her office).


Stepping out of these doors, we have access to a comfortable little balcony where our little resident can relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of downtown Paris.

On the left wall is the shelving unit.  It is easy to see she is into gardening, even though she hasn't much room.  The book on the shelf, "Gardens Galore", provides her with lots of inspiration for her tiny balcony garden.  She has plenty of extra pots, a small box of fertilizer, some packets of seeds, and a couple of hand tools.

I used the ends of two decorative toothpicks for the handles of the garden tools, pieces of a regular paper clip for the tines of the hand cultivator, and for the garden trowel, I folded the 2" square of tinfoil several times to make it thick enough, then cut it into the shape for the trowel.  The little celosia plant on the top of the cabinet is made with a small piece of toothpick, some yellow/orange pipe cleaner, and paper leaves and is "planted" in the top of a lip balm stick filled with glue and topped with a blend of dried tea and coffee grounds.  I also made another wee birdhouse with a tiny leftover piece of fun foam because I wanted to be able to bring the yellow into a few different areas of the scene.


On the right hand wall is the larger birdhouse - built for two feathered families.


Under the shelf unit, our Parisian apartment owner has a comfy little barrel chair (made with a Styrofoam cup. some penelope cloth covering, cushions stuffed with parts of a cotton ball and covered in the top layer of a paper napkin).  She also has a small cushion made from felt for a little extra comfort.  I see she has her teacup and teapot ready to go - but the cup is empty.  Has she just finished a little tea break or is she just starting?  The teapot is made from a metal bead painted yellow, with small pieces from a white vinyl-coated paper clip for a handle and spout, and a circle cut from the back of a greeting card and topped with a yellow-painted sequin and the tip of a decorative toothpick as the top.  The cup is a small piece cut from one of my paper drinking straws and the handle is a tiny scrap of heavy card sliced from the leftovers of the box used for the shelving unit.  The tray is a small mirror framed with a teeny strip of fun foam, painted black.

Next to the chair we have the side table made from 3 bottle caps and  pieces of decorative toothpicks for the drawer handles.

You can see the Paris street scene through the "glass" panels of the modern railing I made from slices of paper drinking straw, 1/4" wide strips of tongue depressors and pieces of Q-tips.  I love the traditional iron railings you would normally see on a Paris balcony but thought they would block the street scene so opted for modern.  (okay, truth be told - I was too lazy to try to figure out how to make an ornate one given the limitation we had with materials!)


In the tiny balcony garden, our owner has managed to fit in a birdbath - made with the top of an Advil bottle, a bead, 3 wooden push pins (pins removed and used for birdhouse perches), and a base of foam cord wrapped in fun foam.  I see we must be getting into fall as there is a fallen maple leaf floating in the bird bath.


Also in the wee garden is a small decorative tree (made with a fluffy pipe cleaner coiled into a tree shape then, using my fingers dipped in clear gel glue, I spiked the fluff to make it look more like an evergreen tree and less like a cone of green fluff.  Below the birdbath are a couple of caladium plants.  I printed the leaves on the space left over beside the picture of the apartment interior and used pieces of straight pins in place of floral wire to stick them in small pieces of foam core covered in tea/coffee grounds.
 

And so, dear friends, I thank you for your patience as we near the end of the Trash to Treasure Challenge.  I am sure Maureen H. from Edmonton will give us an update on her blog (St. Albert Mini) of her club's official entries once they are all revealed after April 6th.  Marijke, Louise and I did the challenge just for the fun of it since we are not part of Maureen's club - being as how we are on opposite sides of the country from each other! *smile*

Here are some overview pictures of my project:



I now have my answer about the empty tea cup - she has just finished her little break and now she has gathered up her yoga mat and is about to head out to get some exercise.



And so, dear friends we close the book on my Trash to Treasure Challenge.  


Since you have heard from me three times this week, I will be skipping my regular Tuesday night posting this coming week.  When you next hear from me, on Tuesday, April 13th, I will hopefully be getting close to the end of the North Pole Postal Service. Until then, have a wonderful Easter and stay safe and healthy!  Big hugs to all of you. TTFN!! - Marilyn

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

T2T Challenge - It's been a long day

 How is it possible that little teeny things take so long to make???  Whatever the reason, this has the potential to be a long post - but I will make it reasonably short for you instead.

Before I update you on the progress of my T2T project - a Parisian balcony scene, I will provide a list of the items that were allowable and we'll see if I managed to use a minimum of 25 of the 35 items:

1. 4 feathers  - used a couple in the plant pot on the shelf unit

2. 10 Beads - 6 for the door handles, 2 as decoration in the door pediment, one in the pedestal for the bird bath, and one to make a teapot.

3. 3 cotton balls - I used 1 to provide volume inside the chair seat and back.

4. 10" sq wrapping paper -  did not use

5. Eraser - made a double bird house

6. 5 stir sticks, popsicle sticks or tongue depressors - used long tongue depressors for balcony railing

7. Small box (no side longer than 3") - used top for the frame of the shelf unit and bottom for the shelves

8. 2 stickers - used to look like buckles on the yoga mat

9. 4 bottle caps (any size) - used 1 for the bird bath and 3 for the chair-side table

10. Greeting card - used a small portion of the plain back of a card to make the tea cup and part of the cover for the teapot

11. 6" fun foam sheet - used for the yoga mat and a small birdhouse in the shelving unit.  Used small strips as frame around the mirror/tray (painted it black), used around base of birdbath

12. 6" Felt square - used a small piece for a cushion

13. 6 Toothpicks - used the tops of 2 decorative toothpicks for the drawer handles in the side table and as part of the teapot cover.  Used lower parts for stems for the flowers.  Used 2 others as handles for the garden tools.

14. 2 sheets of paper (8.5 x 11) - used one for the French doors and one for the apartment interior.  I printed a box of fertilizer and some seed packets and leaves to the side of the apartment picture since it didn't take up the whole sheet of paper

15. 1 full sheet of cardstock (any colour) - I used a dark green cut into strips as "siding" on the balcony walls.  Yes, I am aware that this type of siding would be very unusual for downtown Paris but - you work with what you have!

16. 4 Q Tips - used the sticks to support the acetate panels of the balcony railing

17. 3 Thumb Tacks or Push Pins (any type) - used wooden push pins as part of the pedestal for the bird bath.  Used two of the pins I pulled out as perches in the double birdhouse.

18. 6" length of ribbon or lace - used a narrow suede trim as straps around the yoga mat.

19. 2 Toothpaste caps (or any toiletry lid) - plant pot in shelf unit

20. Small mirror (under 2") - used as a tray for the teapot and cup

21. Tea Bag or coffee grounds - soil in planter and in garden

22. 6" Sq fabric (any print or solid) - penelope cloth for the faux "rattan" chair

 23. 2 Paper or binder clips (any size/type) - used white coated paper clip for the door handles and the teapot handle and spout. Used regular metal paper clip to make tines for the garden cultivator

24. 6 Straight Pins - did not use

25. A Napkin/paper towel - used instead of fabric on the seat and back cushions for the chair

26. 2 Straws - used paper straws as uprights for the balcony railing

27. 2 Pipe cleaners - used for the celosia flowers and for the greenery in the garden

28. 1 Styrofoam or paper 8 oz cup - used to make the barrel chair

29. 1 Lid from yogurt/sour cream container - used to contain the balcony garden

30. 2 nut shells (pistachio, walnut, peanut) - did not use

31. Aluminum foil 2-inch square - used to make the garden trowel

32. 6-inch square of sandpaper - cut into blocks for the wall on either side of the French doors

33. 1 Egg carton - covered the frame around the French doors, used as patio stones, used as a book cover.

34. 6-inch square of foam core - used to build up pediment and door trim, small piece inside book 

35. 5 sequins - used one as part of the top to the teapot.

Bonus supply from stash - piece of acetate for the "glass" in the French doors and in the balcony railing.  Also small piece to simulate water in the birdbath.

 So, I guess I used enough of the items listed.  Here are some of pictures of how they were used:

You already saw in last week's post how I had made the French doors, so this is how I finished that wall.

I cut a decorative shape for a pediment over the door out of my piece of foam core.  I cut two

 pieces so I could stack them, then I cut out a layer so I could insert a couple of fleur-de-lis beads I had.  Once I glued them in place I covered the whole thing (except the beads) in egg carton.  Then I cut short four  strips to go part way down the sides of the door, 2 single strips, and two strips of egg carton.  This gave me a stepped-down profile for the door surround.  


Once I had all of the pieces covered in egg carton, I painted them all with a Ceramcoat colour called "putty".   The I used a gentle hand to pounce on a darker brown, a caramel colour and a bit of white. Here are the colours I used to simulate the granite stone.  Yes, I know - I am definitely the messiest miniaturist you've ever seen!





Once these dried I glued them in place.  Then I cut my square of 150-grit sandpaper into 1 inch wide strips and glued these on the rest of the wall to look like granite blocks.  I went on to paint them the same as the door frame, which you will see in the final pictures.  


I then turned my attention to the balcony where I ran a stylus around the pieces of egg carton floor to look more like the spaces between stone blocks pieces, and painted these as well.  Now it was time to build the balcony railing.  

I used one of my paper straws to cut into 1/4" spacers which would go between the horizontal railings.  I used the other one to cut into 2" posts.  I split 3 of my tongue depressors into 1/4" strips to use for the horizontal pieces and also for the 2" vertical pieces that would support the acetate "glass".  I glued 2" pieces of Q-tips to the supports to provide the lip on which the acetate would be glued. 


Once I put all the pieces together I dry fit them to the balcony and discovered that, once the chair was in place, because of the railing it stuck out a wee bit so I couldn't close the box.  I then very carefully whittled out the bottom rail in the top portion of the railing until the chair would slip in and the box would close.  Then I painted the whole assembly black, like wrought iron. Yes, again I know you would not likely see such a modern railing like this in a downtown Parisian apartment.  They have beautifully ornate railings that have been around for hundreds of years.  With the materials I was allowed to use, I wasn't able to replicate one of those railings but...some day...

So - I know I was supposed to show you the finished project tonight but there a still a few things to be finished up in the garden area.  I will be busy tomorrow but I will definitely be able to post the final items I made, and show you the overall finished piece on Good Friday - just in time to wish all of you the very best Easter, or whatever spring celebration is special to your family.

So sorry for yet another delay but - I will be back on Friday!  TTFN!!! - Marilyn

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Patience is a virtue....

 ...or so I've been told.  It's never been one of my strong points but I'm hoping, dear readers that is is yours.  I promised you I would be posting tonight with the final version of my Trash to Treasure Challenge project but I just have a few teeny things to finish up.

So, instead of my usual Tuesday night posting, I will be showing you the finished project tomorrow night, after I spend my Wednesday afternoon with my usual weekly mini session on Skype with Marijke and Louise.  Just 24 more hours and I will post the finished project - honest!!!!

See you tomorrow night! - Marilyn

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Trash to Treasure Throw down Take Two

 I would have said "Challenge" but it just didn't work with the alliteration I had goin' on there.

So, as I am sure you guessed by now, I have not finished my T2T piece yet - but I do have until April 6th!  I really need to stop overthinking things!

Marijke finished her piece which you can see on her blog at Pulchinella's Cellar.  It's a wonderful little mid-century modern piece and I just love it - especially the mirror on the wall.  I want one of those for real!

Louise also finished hers but has been so very busy getting her house ready to go on the market that she has not been blogging so I promised I would show a couple of pictures of her end product.  It depicts a wind-swept derelict shack on the beach that has been blown over by a big storm.  The flamingos have now taken over (of course!) and there is a little site set up where someone has obviously been taking shelter under the side of the tipped over shack.



On the back of her piece she pasted a list of the T2T items she used to make her scene.


It is truly amazing what a person can do with just little bits and bobs of things, isn't it?

As for my entry - sadly I feel like I got very little done this week.  Well, I did do a lot of thinking and changing my mind on ideas, as usual.

The easiest thing to show you is my little eraser project.  I used a white/blue eraser for something to add interest to one of the balcony walls (once I install it!)


I angled the top of the eraser, painted the whole thing green - although that colour might change before my project is finished - added two little roof portions that I painted a terracotta colour, used two of the pins I pulled out of the push pins I used for the base of the bird bath, to act as perches, and added two dots of black for entrance holes.  And there was my bird house for my balcony.  Child's play!


On to bigger and better things!  

I mentioned in my last post that, on the inside cover of the book box I am using to house my project, I wanted to post a picture of an apartment interior and maybe add some French doors that one could imagine lead from the apartment to the balcony scene I will be creating.  I chose a picture from the internet and used one of my allowable pieces of computer paper to print it out.  Since I did not need the whole sheet to print out the size I wanted I made sure to take advantage of the blank space on the page to also print out some leaves that I could use in my corner garden on the balcony.

The other piece of computer paper would be used to simulate French doors.  I still had a "free" supply item I could choose from my stash so I chose a piece of acetate to act as "glass" inside the French doors.  Here I am, just getting started.  I have drawn an outline of the faux doors I planned on making.


Okay - it's at this point that I think I lost my mind.  I must write on the blackboard 500 times "I will not obsess over the tiniest of details!"  

I cut out the basic door shape then, in my addled thinking, I thought I could add layers of paper to frame out each section to provide more detail in the final product.  I painstakingly cut out 1/4" strips and glued them around the two doors, the windows in the doors and the transom window above the door.  Then I cut out 1/8" strips and centred these on all of the 1/4" strips to make it look like a stepped trim.  I didn't have enough paper to make more than one layer of each size but, when I was finished adding a double layer molded panel to the bottom panels, I thought it all looked pretty good!  Here it is in process:


Now, I know there are many of you out there chuckling right now because you already know what happened next, don't you?  Of course, I painted the whole thing and let it dry.  That was when I realized that, because the paper was so thin, once the paint hit it, it all became a single layer with no definition whatsoever.  Do you have any idea how long it took me to trim that all out?????

Well, not to be deterred, having come this far, I got out my trusty Crayola pencils and started adding definition and shading to try to make the doors have a little bit of personality.  I used a light brown and a dark brown to add the shading and outline some of what should have been the architectural features.  It may not have been what I had in mind at the start but I think it turned out okay in the end.


So now I needed to add the "glass", attach the picture behind the doors and make some handles.  For the handles I used a total of 6 of my ten beads and small pieces of a white coated paperclip.  Okay, the handles may be a little wonky but, in the end, people will be looking at the balcony, not the door, right???


So, here is the finished door along with the chair I made last week and the little bird house I made earlier this week.  Take a quick look then I will point out a couple of things that truly confirms how ridiculously focussed I can be on the teeniest of things.  Man, this b&%ch be crazy!!!


Why do I think I must be crazy??  Because I cannot let the little things go, even for a simple T2T challenge.  When I covered the chair cushions with the napkin paper I had, I looked at the colours in the napkin and really could not allow myself to just make things randomly.  They all had to tie in with the fabric or some other part of the overall design. So, even though no one other than me will probably notice, the roof of the birdhouse perfectly picks up the orange/terracotta colour in the chair fabric, and the green as well.  I chose this particular picture of an apartment interior because the colour of the floor also picks up the colour as does the terracotta coloured leather chair in the room.  The corner of the sofa you can just see on the left inside the French doors picks up the lighter beige-yellow colour in the balcony chair cushion.  It would have driven me absolutely crazy if these things didn't tie in to each other.  What is wrong with me???  Is there any cure out there for this madness??? *sigh*

Well, hopefully my madness isn't contagious but, then again, I'm very suspicious I may have caught it from some of you perhaps????  Oh well, we'll all be good company for each other.  So, I'll be off now with hopes that I will have the finished project to show you next Tuesday.  Stay safe, stay healthy!  TTFN!! - Marilyn