Saturday, September 16, 2017

Steaming ahead on Saturday

Continuing on with Wednesday's approach, I've been spending an hour or so each night since then working on long-neglected mini projects.

Thursday night I started cutting bobbles off a ball of op-shopped novelty yarn which I've had in stash for ages, thinking it would make a good miniature felt ball rug (not that I need one, as I already have two fabulous versions courtesy of Mitchy Moo Miniatures...)
I finished the task on Friday night , after treating myself to some new craft supplies on the way home:
(I 'needed' the silver foil tape, the rest just came along for the ride). By this time I was so sick of the sight of little coloured yarn bobbles that I decided that they could be tucked away for just a wee while longer before I braved the next step.

This morning I was up bright and early, and very pleased when it started raining as it was the perfect excuse for the first craft day I've had in a very long time.

I had plans to continue with the tub of mystery, particularly finishing the final of the four noticeboards I made way back in 2011...
but then I got sidetracked by a box of tiny vintage paper treasure that was included, that almost certainly from my 2011 Inch by Inch challenge.
And before I knew it, I'd decided I wasn't in the mood to make so many decisions and so moved on to using some of the paper pieces from the noticeboard stash to make some simple notebook sets.

Next I decided to us my new foil tape, which I'd bought for the Twinings tea caddy from the 'Trash to Treasure' kit that Chell Oldfield gave me back in 2015 (not actually from the tub, but tucked on top of it, so fair game for finishing off as well).
 That seemed to do the trick, and suddenly I was on a roll.

By the time I was done for the day I'd created four packs of notebooks, framed something I was sure I'd already framed (and so I had, but obviously had nicked the frame for something else at some point), and something I knew I hadn't framed before, but have been dying to. Plus I cut out the last of the books and magazines I glued last week.
And from Chell's 'Trash to Treasure' kit, I'd made a full and a half roll of paper towels (and a roll of toilet paper), the aforementioned tea caddy (I wanted to make the other two as well but didn't have enough dowel in the kit: I'm sure I have some more tucked away around here somewhere...), three bottles (which I had a bit of a bother with painting the lids), a potted plant, a cut 'glass' bottle and two wire baskets, which I couldn't resist painting.
 There's just one problem with this burst of creativity. My dining table now looks like this:
and I have guests arriving for brunch at ten o'clock tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Softly softly September

Aerial view of a work table showing glue and a toothpick, two piles of miniature book covers and two lots of book covers glued to cardboard inners, clamped and waiting to dry.
It's been a busy month work-wise and so the Lori Loft to Love still sits on my desk in much the state it was in a month ago.

And I'm trying another tack to entice my mini mojo back (again) now that the days are longer.

In doing a deep clean of my studio, I came across a plastic tub that I'd obviously shoved things into ages ago (so long ago, that is, that I forgot it even existed until I pulled it out!). And I've decided to, instead of pressuring myself to make the big scene, just slowly work through all those little boring tasks that will make things done (even if not perfect). And empty the tubs.

So this week I've been making books. Which is slightly ironic since the Lifeline Bookfair was the weekend just gone and I decided not to go as I had more than enough unread books to keep me going for now, not to mention other budgetary priorities...

Saturday, August 12, 2017

This is why sometimes, things just don't happen

Yesterday, on the bus coming home from work, I contemplated if I had the energy to restart my Finish it off Friday challenge this week. And decided that I could start it properly next week and just have fun this week.

But when I got home, I did pull out the wooden bookmarks I bought in January in preparation.
Three laser-cut wooden bookmark-sized black panels with Australian flora designs.
This afternoon I saw them on the work table and idly wondered if perhaps they might work around the edge of the Lori Loft mezzanine level*.
A laser-cut wooden bookmark-sized black panel leaning on the top of a one-twelfth scale doll's house mezzanine wall.
 Having decided that the answer was no, I went in hunt of the miniature hinges I knew I bought at this year's Canberra show to put with the panels ready to go on Friday (if not before).

And then I spotted these windows, which you might remember from my Airbnb apartment back in December, and thought they just might work...
Two one-twelfth scale wooden laser-cut church windows leaning on the top of a modern doll's house mezzanine wall.
 ...except that when I was testing them, I realised they'd probably look better as actual windows (and, at the same time, solve another problem I had with the loft).
Two one-twelfth scale wooden laser-cut church windows attached to the front of a window opening in a modern loft.
Now what was it I was doing again?

On a completely unrelated note, I popped into the Typo factory outlet this morning and picked up a macro lens for a mobile phone from their scratch and dent table. For $1, I thought it was worth the risk that it wouldn't work. But look!
Macro photograph of a one-twelfth scale glass of wine held by several fingers.
(*Seems someone didn't go home last night...)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday night. Finished. And off.

Since Wendy and I took possession of our new space (was it only a couple of days ago?) we've not done much to the structure apart from ripping out the kitchen and installing a very temporary solution to rectify the staircase issue in the short term.

Oh, and moving in a selection of our basic shop fittings and office furniture.
One-twelfth scale modern dolls' house doll sitting on a white sofa in a semi-empty modern miniature office, with a glass of wine in one hand.
One-twelfth scale modern miniature loft space, with a number of white shop fittings dotted around the empty space.
But it's 5 pm on Friday, so high time we christened the new space. Cheers!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Bobbing along

While Wendy ponders the options for our new miniature acquisition, I took the opportunity to continue my (long standing) task of clearing out my laptop's hard drive before it declares itself completely full and falls over.

In the process I found a very large folder of photos I'd taken while in New Zealand in December 2015 (a trip that, it seems, didn't even rate a mention here. Perhaps that's the reason I didn't blog them back then?)

I wonder if another reason I didn't blog them was that some were rather fuzzy. But I've decided that fuzzy is better than not seen at all, and so, may I present an exhibition including the work of Bob Gerrard?
Selection of miniature wooden painted artist's arks on display in a gallery.
The Parental Units and I stumbled across this exhibition on our standard trip to The Dowse in Lower Hutt:
Gallery gallery explanation for Bob Gerrard, a self-taught artist.
The contents of the exhibition, although not quite my usual sphere of interest, were worthy of quite a few photos:
Two miniature wooden painted artist's arks on display in a gallery.
Miniature wooden painted artist's arks on display in a gallery.
Miniature wooden painted artist's arks on display in a gallery.
(I've since consulted Google and came up with some background information, which may be of interest...)
Two miniature wooden painted artist's arks on display in a gallery.
Miniature wooden painted artist's arks on display in a gallery.
Miniature wooden painted artist's arks on display in a gallery.
Miniature wooden painted artist's arks on display in a gallery.
Miniature wooden painted artist's arks on display in a gallery.
 Detail of a miniature wooden painted artist's arks on display in a gallery.
Also in the exhibition were a number of paintings that the artist had made 
Two people in a gallery, looking at a collection of naive art.
 some of which had a miniature bent to them...
Naive art painting, depicting a sinking ark.
And if that wasn't enough, we also found the following miniature works on display:
Miniature art piece with three figures around a table with a metal cake on it.
 Helen O'Connor, The Tin Years (2003),
Art work with a miniature figure in the centre, framed by a mat with doodles and phrases on it.
 Jim Cooper, Lovely Jesus (2006), and
Gallery display of a miniature clay figure, blue and white striped jug and pencil
 Kate Fitzharris, I'm listening (2013).
Close-up view of a gallery display of a miniature clay figure, blue and white striped jug and pencil

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

The property tour

Bright and early this morning, I met my trusty assistant to check out the new property.

We liked the cool modern look of the entrance,
Front view of the modern Lori Loft to Love dolls' house, showing the front door and corner windows.
and Wendy was keen to check out the inside.
A doll opening the front door of the modern Lori Loft to Love dolls' house.
The full-length two-storey corner window met with her approval,
A doll looking through the corner window of the modern Lori Loft to Love dolls' house.
as did the light-coloured wooden flooring throughout the ground floor area. Perfect for either a shop or a gallery, she thought.
The wood-printed floor of the modern Lori Loft to Love dolls' house.
But the stairs were a problem, with the first step right up against the front wall (which also created dead space by the windows: not too much of an issue for us, as it can be used as a display space).
A doll at the bottom of the stairs of the modern Lori Loft to Love dolls' house.
 More worryingly, the stairs don't meet code, with no railings and therefore very dangerous if someone trips. A real problem for us, as we saw the mezzanine space as the perfect spot for the office. We won't even mention the danger of falling from the second set up to the roof!
A doll teetering at the top of the stairs of the modern Lori Loft to Love dolls' house.
Similarly, the mezzanine edge is far too low to be safe.
A doll looking over the mezanine railing of the modern Lori Loft to Love dolls' house.
Wendy was quite perplexed at the design of the windows on the mezzanine, pointing out that she couldn't see out from a standing position, but that it would probably be OK when sitting at a desk.(She didn't even mention the hazard of the opening from the roof..)
A doll looking through the mezzanine windows of the modern Lori Loft to Love dolls' house.
Similarly the windows under the mezzanine were quite high as well: not an issue for us as we're planning to fill them with either glass bricks or frosted glass to control the amount of light. 
A doll looking through the kitchen windows of the modern Lori Loft to Love dolls' house.
Finally, Wendy (carefully) made her way up to the roof terrace. But she refused to climb onto it as the lack of barriers and the nearness of the edge to the top of the stairs made her feel quite unsafe going any further.
A doll looking through the hole at the top of the stairs to the roof garden of the modern Lori Loft to Love dolls' house.
After returning to the safety of the ground floor she asked me what I thought.

I mentioned that what I found most perplexing about the building was that the designers managed to create the paper for the outside and the floor to scale, but chose a very out-of scale and fake-looking wood grain for the inside walls, when they could have quite as easily used something much more suitable.
Close up view of the wooden print on the walls of the modern Lori Loft to Love dolls' house.
I also told her that I thought the rounded corners on the unglazed windows are going to be a challenge for us,
Close up view of the window edges of the modern Lori Loft to Love dolls' house.
and wished that the front edges had been better finished.
Front edges of the modern Lori Loft to Love dolls' house, showing the raw MDF edges.
But, on the whole, Wendy and I decided that we are both very satisfied and can't wait to get started on our new project!
A doll standing in the kitchen of a Lori Loft to Love dolls' house.
(As an aside, I note that the house is mainly held together with screws. If you have a Lori Loft to Love, I'd love to hear if you've been brave enough to unscrew it and if you have any tips: I'm thinking that recovering or painting the inside would be much easier if the pieces were flat, but have a fear that once I unscrew it I'll never get it back together again...)

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

My financial planner said I needed to buy a property before I retire...

so, of course, I did what he said.

*Ahem*
Brand new one-twelfth scale Lori Loft to Love dolls' house, in packing.
I first discovered the Lori Loft to Love dolls' house in late 2015/ early 2016 via Modern Mini Houses and  Call of the Small. Of course, it wasn't available in Australia and when I checked eBay, it was going to cost me in the vicinity of AU$500 to buy and get a house originally priced at US$49.95 delivered to me. So I decided it was not to be.

Then, interestingly, earlier this year I discovered my local Kmart had some of the range. But not the loft. But it gave me hope.

Finally, about a month ago, I was surprised to stumble across a local listing at a price I could cope with.

Which led to a few weeks of trying to convince myself that it wasn't in my deposit-building budget. I didn't really need it. And I should probably finish some of my other dangling projects first.

And then my love of creative accounting took over.

I bought it. (And didn't feel one jot of guilt).
Brand new one-twelfth scale Lori Loft to Love dolls' house.
Inspired by Allie's House on Instagram, I'm wanting to turn this into a miniature gallery and possibly a permanent home for my pop-up shop series.

I'm also hoping this will give me a much-needed kick in the pants to start blogging again.

On that note, I asked my boss for (little) house-moving leave. And so I have tomorrow off and plan to do a review of the structure, plus start working on its transformation.