Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Cool! ... made a Mini fridge!

B, handy husband and excellent side-kick, has been working away making a fridge for the Swedish   House. We did admire the look of the SMED (we call it SMUG) curved-top fridges but

I mentioned previously that I found a bamboo napkin holder for $3 at a Dollar Store.  I used wood from it for the kitchen counters and the wood also worked in scale for the fridge/freezer doors.

Below the picture shows the basswood box finished.  The doors cut to fit before beginning to paint, sand and repaint with light coatings of gloss spray paint.
Note: Carrie asked what type of paint we used. It is Rustoleum White high gloss. Two coats, allow to cure then sand. Then three more coats - drying and sanding with 400 grit sand paper.

The shape is correct - freezer on the bottom .... there are lots of illustrations with dimensions on the Internet of European styled fridges.

Painting ...

The handles are made with brushed brass pipe that has been drilled to take nails that will connect it to the box. The nails were glued with epoxy.

Positioning the handles.


The fridge is almost ready. There are feet at the base to hold it above the floor and small metal   pieces on the edge of the doors to represent hinges.


You can do it too!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Small Stuff ..

Hi, Hope you had a lovely Sunday.  Where we live near Vancouver BC, temperatures are still cold. Certainly above freezing so not insufferably cold but the garden has a long way to go till Spring. The snow drops, camellias and aconites are blooming and today I notice the tete-te-tete daffodils beginning to unfurl and that makes me happy!

I thought I would settle into my little workroom to try and work through the list of things to do in the mini house.  I had been trying to decide on a rug to use in front of the sink.  After a short  sojourn on Instagram  I noticed what was named as a “Swedish antique Kilim”.  I was  surprised as it did not fit the image of patterns I associated with Sweden.  


I had a silk rug that had a similar pattern. I measured and cut onto paper the size that I thought would suit and tried it out  in front of the sink.  
The central pattern on the silk rug matched the size I needed. To stabilize the silk threads I pushed pins through from the front to mark  the correct edge of the front pattern. I applied white glue on the back to capture the threads. Once that was  dry I cut very close to the edge of the pattern.

The picture above is closer to the colour than the lower pictures. The “rug” is displayed on white paper not pink!

The incorrect colour but this is the section that forms the new rug. 

This morning the Mistress of the house was awake early to make cinnamon buns and bread. TheMaster and visitors headed out to catch seafood for dinner. 

Below you can see the stove, now complete. A guard rail helps keep small hands off the hot surfaces and will possible hold other items. The new kilim is in position in front of the sink.
The Mistress has now put the dough to rest and raise. She had made a cup of tea using the Monique Juvenal teapot, cup and saucer with her feet supported by the little heart footstool for a few quiet moments. The teapot, cup and saucer are painted with delicate flowers.

I have mentioned before but it may be helpful to know that most of my displays are waxed into position using Museum Wax on acrylic sheets. Anna asked me what I  used. Fatima bought a supply and kindly shared it with Elizabeth and me.  The acrylic is from packaging . In this way I can slide the display onto a table or shelf and then just as easily remove it.

Another small thing in the list was to paint oars - these from a Playmobile dinghy.  You will see them displayed elsewhere in due course.

  The wall to the left of the stove hood had one shelf but even though I like empty space it seemed this needed another shelf. It is too high make to  sense to use as kitchen storage but not too high for showing off a vintage yachting picture and assorted boating trophies .... even a small boat built by one of the grandchildren.

You may notice the wire at the top of the range hood ... this is for two LED’s installed under the range hood. I will tell you of our experiences with installing LED lights .... very soon.

Take care.
Regards Janine  

Saturday, February 15, 2020

The Stove - Almost ....

Some may recognize the origins of the wood-burning style stove?  It is a Chrysnbon kit that one would normally see with a base that includes legs and a side (for heating water, I think) as well as an elaborate back frame. The photo below shows the original back that I thought I would use.

I could tell immediately when I saw it on the counter that it would not work and more surgery was required.

   I had successfully detached the water heater side using a hacksaw. It is plastic and quite brittle so I      was pleased when it all came off without cracking the unit.

The stove would now need a hood. Below are two cupboards bought separately - one from the Portland Show in 2018 and the other at the Vancouver Show in 2019. They were identical.  I bought them with the thought to paint them in a Swedish primitive style to use as wall-hung cupboards for the kitchen. I looked at them more carefully when I gave up the idea of using them as cupboards. I had run out of wall space! I decided to try and convert one to a stove hood.

 I removed the legs, drawer and cupboard doors and painted one black. The black seemed too severe and did not seem of the era I imagined. You can see I have made a small box for wood to go below and create a support for the stovetop and oven.   
The photo below shows the counters and a half piece of plastic pipe, painted black, that connects the stove with the hood. The decorative metal at the bottom conceals lights and gives space for a saucepan hanger. This was part of a light fixture that I had disassembled for my granddaughters who played with it as as a crown. I don’t think they will recognize this part now it has been recut apart.

Elizabeth of StudioEMiniatures visited and one of her recommendations was to continue the tile around the back of the sink. We have now done that and I like the look. It is painted with high gloss white paint and reflects the lighting.

Below... originally I had just one shelf with preserves etc as I like white space - but the space did seem to call for another shelf.

  I decided it was too high for every-day kitchen items so I have made it a nautical shelf displaying an earlier era photograph and yachting trophies including a world map and a grandchild’s version of a rowing boat.

My desk is a mess - I have so many different projects under way. B (handy husband) made an L shape for me to be able to sit the boards that my displays are built onto. This is the first time I have done my build this way. The wood of the renovated farm house is warped and this seemed a better way to straighten things. The card walls with all attached are slid into place and glued to the existing walls. I will show you that process underway in the next post.
If anyone has questions I would be happy to expand on process we have used. Unfortunately I cannot reply on comments but could address questions on Instagram: wordsworth502018

Thank you for dropping by.


Saturday, February 8, 2020

Sinking it!

Hi, Thank you for visiting. There does not seem to be as many active blogs at present and I miss seeing what is happening. Instagram etc are wonderful for a quick photo but it is also good to have a forum to share the process of how our miniatures are made.

In the Swedish House I decided to have natural wood counters, a concrete apron-front sink, reeded cupboards, open shelving, a wood-fired style stove, mmmm what else was on the list ... oh, yes wood flooring and good lighting.

Isn’t it amazing .... in a mini house I can have almost anything I want!!!  But how to get it!
I started with a bamboo napkin holder and pulled it apart. This was a $3 investment that proved to work for all the counters I needed. The counter depth was correct so it was just the width and lengths to be cut.
The plate rack is basswood with bamboo skewers painted black set into the sides to hold the plates.

On the counter cinnamon buns are cooling beside a raised platform tray with the coffee pot, honey container and cups. Behind is a tray that Elizabeth made - at one time you could buy them laser cut ready to be punched out, glued and stained. E then put a motif suitable for a farmhouse on an island!
The sink is made of basswood, cut to size and then covered with drywall mud to soften the edges and after sanding I painted it with Antique White Acrylic Craft paint. The crackling was unintentional and happened after I painted it with a clear matt finish.
There is a drain and plug attached with a chain ... the drain is one side of a necklace box clasp.  I am very happy with the way it looks. I needed to hammer it flat and paint the area behind with black to Create the impression of a drain.  I searched through my metal collection to see if I had anything suitable. Yes, this is a requirement for mini house builders. I also had BB pellets from an air rifle (amazing things in my metal box!) - they make perfect pewter looking cupboard knobs!

I made cutting boards with basswood - scored, stained and threaded wire through the wood  to create the look of a leather tie for hanging up the boards.

Below you can see the bass wood box measured to set into the counter before mudding.

These are the cupboards in progress. You can see the texture of the sink prior to sanding. I did paint it to represent concrete but I was not happy with it in the room as I already had lots of grey. It looked so much more appropriate once it was antique white.

The cupboards are made with mat board boxes overlaid with bass wood to give the impression of cupboards and inlaid with ribbed craft foam that took paint very easily to make the reeded door panels.

The foam was so much easier to work with than creating the reeding in wood. Handy husband rebuilt a cupboard that you can see in a previous post for the bedroom. It has reeded doors in wood and it can be worth the effort.

Below is fabric  my friend Fatima gave me as it looked in the style of the Swedish house. I recovered these chairs that I had previously used in the French house.
Note the spacer beads attached to the bottom of the kitchen table. The table had a grid at the bottom that I removed but the table was a little low but it was a simple fix to increase the height and paint it.

Original upholstery below - more French than Swedish I thought.

The original table - meant as an island but converted to a kitchen table.

Below you can see the sink painted to represent concrete .... and the stove ... but that is a story for another post.  You must be a miniaturist to read to the bottom of this post!  Thank you for dropping by. I can also be found on Instagram: wordsworth502018 
Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Hallway - upper level-Swedish House

The weather continues to be wet and cold. Perfect conditions to either read or become absorbed in mini magic.

Like most miniaturists I endeavour to make or create an impression of something without incurring too much expense. This allows me to buy things that I could not possibly make.

My plan for the upper hallway was to display pictures on the wall that may help place the house as one that is in the now but carries a sense of its past. I imagine it as a renovated inherited family farmhouse on a small island off the coast of Sweden.

I checked in my supplies for a narrow picture-frame moulding to make simple frames for the pictures I had chosen.  Alas, nothing left in my collection ..... thinking, thinking ... I decided to cut cardboard and cover it with fine linen to use as a frame. I found little jump rings to which I threaded silk ribbon that attached to the linen backing.  I had a few decorative nails ... only four! Lucky for me ( note to new Miniaturists - never throw anything away!)
So now my pictures could quietly take their places in the hallway.

Down the stars you can just see the checked fancy flooring of the living/dining room. Another inexpensive - time consuming, but rewarding solution to finishing the flooring of this style of house.

As always a cup of tea keeps inspiration fuelled.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

2020 .... how did that happen?

2020 ... how did that happen?

Cups and plates: Sam Dunlap - cherry pies by Janet Uyetake

Greetings All and best wishes for a safe, healthy and happy 2020. 2020 has quite a ring to it.

This year it was the “outlaws” turn to have the sons and families for Christmas Day ... we celebrated later and enjoyed being together under one roof.  The Grandchildren had a wild time especially , participating in a Treasure Hunt that handy husband Bruce had spent hours formulating.
He colour-coded clues, then tailored each hunt taking into consideration the age and interests of each child. He even laminated same clues before hiding them in the often rainy outdoors. It kept him busy for half a day! (That’s a good thing!)

Four very excited, red-cheeked children arrived back into the house to find their final clues hanging on the tree. The eldest, now 13, voted it “epic” and the other three asked if Grandpa could do it again next year!

It was a brief break from the Swedish House but now in the quiet, short, wet and dark days of a BC winter the Swedish House is receiving some well needed attention! Once again for my Christmas gift B has committed to do my bidding on mini projects. Thank you B

He is relegated to a square foot of space while I have fun doing some table tops for a change-of-scene in the living mini room. I did offer him the desk but he refused. It’s nice working together while the music fills the room and my heater clicks on and off keeping us very cozy in my small workroom.

Teapot, cups/saucers/plates Sam Dunlap, Cherry pie servings: Janet Uyetake

Teapot, Cups and saucers: Musselmalet

Breads: Elizabeth http://www.studioeminiatures.blogspot.com, Flowers: Linda http://lindasminiworld.blogspot.com Ham by Janet Uyetake on Sam Dunlap platter, Musselmalet cheese server cover.

Dinner plates by Sam Dunlap and food by Janet Uyetake.

Desserts and strawberries by Elizabeth of StudioEMiniatures. The little reindeer cookies are amazing! Strawberries are displayed in small crackle bowl by Elizabeth Causeret.

One day I will fill the mini dining room table to show you all the amazing food Elizabeth has gifted to me over the years. We met early in the 1980’s but minis did not bring us together till the early 1990’s, so now you know why I have so much of Elizabeth’s work in The French and now Swedish Houses.

Do blog to let us know what is happening in your lives ... not only minis!  I like
 to use Instagram but reading a blog is so much more interesting and often offers some clever solutions and insight as how to resolve problems we all experience.

Regards to all.