Art emulates Nature

It’s true, but it’s not often I get to actually demonstrate it.

Finished size 195 x 175 x 175mm (7.5 x 7 x 7 inches).

This is my secret project, the one I’ve been working on for a month.* Because it was a surprise gift for my friend Dale, I couldn’t show it before now. It was ready three days before we left on holiday, carefully stowed inside a storage basket and padded with scrap batting.  It was gently transported nearly 1400km south in Miz Lizzie on her last big trip with us. It’s a much postponed (because The Rona) and much anticipated (because several/landmark Birthdays!) trip, and it’s been wonderful to get friends and family together in one place.

And this is Dale’s own full-sized potting shed/greenhouse, built for her by the talented G.O.

Do you see now where I got my inspiration?

*I made the broom, the trowel, the spade, all the plants, the flowerpots, the shelves and crates, the birdhouses and watering cans, the easel, pencil and paintbrush, the doors and the light (which I also wired in). It was a labour of love, and cursing aside, I enjoyed every moment of it!

More tiny, and a bit of festive fun

First, the tiny.

I have begun a new model. This time, it’s what the maker calls a ‘miniature house’ – in reality, just a room, and not even all 4 walls and a roof, but like a stage set. It’s a sewing room, and it will be a gift for a friend and fellow quiltmaker. We’re meeting early next year, (Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise), and I shall pack it up carefully and carry it the 1400km to our meeting place so we can enjoy it together on our holiday. She’s getting daily progress bulletins, so I thought I’d share with you too!

Here’s the box, showing what they intend it should look like.

There are some lovely details, and some absolutely ferocious bits of construction needing to be done (I’m looking at you, treadle sewing machine), but it’s coming along and I’m making progress. It’s a lot more fiddly than the other one, mostly because of all the furniture and accessories that have to be made. The structure itself doesn’t look too bad… Possibly famous last words, there.

This is where I’ve got to.

From left to right: work table with cutting mat and tool holder (rulers, scissors, spools of cotton); tailor’s dummy with measuring tape, treadle sewing machine, assorted baskets and cushions, fabric dresser with cushions, basket, fat quarters and fabric bundles; coffee grinder on top, chest of drawers with newspaper and hat (made from scratch). That sewing machine was something else. All the ‘ironwork’ underneath had to be glued and assembled, and the crank that holds the treadle to the flywheel is 10mm long…. I had to make the handles on the chest of drawers and the fabric dresser, and wind the cotton on the tiny bobbins.  The coffee grinder is made of 12 different components. Well. You get the idea.

That said, I have every intention of cracking on and getting it done by the end of next week, despite having a number of other things that need to be achieved. It’s difficult, but so very satisfying when you hold up this finished tiny thing, and realise that you did it!

Speaking of other things, now for the festive fun. It’s the Happy Greys Social Club Christmas party on Sunday. We’re having a picnic, people are bringing nice things to eat, greyhounds will get treats, a Secret Santa will be held with dog gifts, and there will probably be varying levels of dressing up, by both doggos and people. I shall content myself with my dangly earrings with reindeer and flashing lights and a red top. Mouse, on the other hand, has a position to maintain. Which is why he’ll be wearing this:

It’s made from two $3 Santa hats and a pack of ‘reindeer bell’ Christmas decorations, plus assorted scraps. Poor old Mouse doesn’t know what he’s in for, and I’m only going to put it on him once we reach the car park of our destination, in case he’s traumatised by the jingling of those bells. Which is why you’re not getting a photo… yet.

I think he’ll look adorable and handsome, but I won’t torture him if he hates it. I might have to wear it myself if that’s the case, hehehe! His girlfriend Lotti will be wearing a tiny Santa hat and a large paper poinsettia in her collar, very chic and girly!

Anyway, update over. Back to making more tiny pretty things until my back gives out.


A tiny world

I’ve never been a model-maker.

Giant jigsaws, yes, making garments and quilts and jewellery, assembling flatpack furniture, all within my wheelhouse, but for whatever reason I haven’t gone tiny.

Until now.

I was browsing some website, and saw an ad for a model kit (the Sakura Densya from Rolife, if you’re interested). I was riveted! I jumped on the website… and I was lost. So far, I have bought two kits, and there are at least four more that I want to make Now. And that’s just for starters.

So, here’s my first. It’s the Sunshine Town alley, complete with coffee shop and bookshop, street furniture, lights and cats! I did the wiring for the lights myself, which I’m proud of. It was fiddly, I learned a lot about model making and assembly, and I can’t wait to start the next one. This completed on is one of the ‘book nook’ series, where you slot the finished thing into a book case for best effect.

The next one will be Lisa’s Tailor, a sewing room with three sides and half a roof, but there’s a lot more stuff in it, so at least the first two days will be spent assembling all the components.

You do need to be good at following visual instructions, but the instructions are good. This kit had 24 pages of assembly information and multiple sheets of laser-cut press-out pieces in thin ply, cardstock and acetate, all clearly numbered. You only needed to sandpaper off the ‘ties’ that held the pieces in place on the sheets. A little painting, a little glueing, nothing technical. Steady hands and a bit of manual dexterity are helpful.

They provide almost everything you need. Due to the customs regulations here, you don’t get the paint or the glue or the batteries with the kit, but that was an easily-solved problem, and now I have them for the next one.

I’m in love with my tiny world. Maximum cuteness, maximum satisfaction at making it, and maximum willpower required to not dash off and open that second kit Right Now. It’s a little bit… ok, a LOT, addictive, which is kind of odd when you remember you’re fiddling about with glue and paint and little bits of wood and paper, but there it is.

I’ve made mistakes and done some things a bit wrong here and there, but I’ll know better next time. And as always, it’s probably only me who sees the mistakes. I leave you with my book nook lit up and looking extremely ravishing…

At least the Husband now knows what to get me for virtually any future celebration!

EDIT: for everyone who’s wondering if they can get these kits where they live, here’s a link to the company’s web page which shows the countries they ship to and the timelines/costs.