May 28, 2017

Alice in Wonderland...

Hi fellow bloggers! I'm super happy to find some time for minis before the end of this long and sunny weekend, so I would like to give you an update on what I'm working on. But before I start, I would like to thank you so much for your kind comments on my last post. On my side I've been very busy and I'm very sorry that I missed responding to them, but each single one of them made my day, thanks! 

So I still had this Alice in Wonderland set from Sally Meekins Ceramics, that I wanted to use in a scene, since the time I bought it at the Kensington Dollhouse Festival in 2015. I almost had forgotten about it, but I just came across the film on TV and it got me inspired again. Below some pictures of the result:

Have a wonderful week!

March 25, 2017

Spring and a new project...

It's sunny outside - and that 3 days in a row! I've been patiently waiting for the first signs of spring. I love this period of the year, there is so much going on outside. The changes in Amsterdam are beautiful this time of the year, every day there is something new to see. I just want to share this magnificent photograph that my colleague has taken with his phone on the way to work a couple of weeks ago. You feel the presence of the sun, but it is not quite there yet...

Since my last post, I managed to finish last year's HBS Creating Contest Kit and yes, I know I missed the deadline, but after the stormy year I had, I'm just happy to finally finish it at my own deadline. Now it's finally time for something new, hurrah! Seen the size of our home, my husband is not keen to have two projects at once sitting on both of our tables! Indeed, we need one to eat! Hah!

So I though, in the honor of the finished project, I'd go to a beach close by and take some pictures. Here they are, with some others taken at home:

First sunny weekend since a long time...

And here it is, the finished project - I still don't have a name for it. To be honest, it's not what I had imagined in the beginning, and I could not put all the energy I wanted in it. I just had lost my motivation at a certain point of time with everything else that was happening around me, but still wanted to finish it now. Could it have been better? Yes, but I felt the need to start something totally new. I initially thought about placing a glass door in the front, as well as creating a bamboo fence for the balcony and a garden full of tropical plants - but no, I just could not find the patience for it. Maybe sometime in the coming years... Below are some close-ups.

In the evening it looks kind of cozy though!

Before I forget it again, I realized that I did not mention my record shop having made it to the cover of the American Miniaturist magazine last August. This is an honor, it's thrilling and made me so proud.

And then there is this picture, really terrible - and I'm sorry for the quality of it -, but it means so much to me. This is the first dollhouse I ever saw and that my dad apparently had built for my aunt who is collecting miniatures. It is pretty old, older than me I guess, and does need some cleaning for sure, yet when I look at it, I remember all the hours I set in front of it, rearranging every room one by one... Do you remember your first mini-experience?

Have a wonderful weekend!

November 9, 2016

Ups and Downs

Picture taken at Yosemite National Park, California

It feels so good to write again! It's been a loooong time since I last posted on this blog. I spent maybe an hour to put together all the things I want to write about - I missed blogging so much!

"Fall down seven times, get up eight" fully describes my past half year. Life had prepared some hills for me to climb, yet I must say that I'm proud of running those hills down today without any big bruises, yay! After 2 medical operations and leaving my new company to join my old one again, I can say that I had my share of stress for the year 2016. Lessons learned:
#1: Take as much advice as you can get, but always trust your gut feelings
#2: No money or status can replace a healthy work environment
#3: Get regular health checks (which in my case saved me a lot of trouble)

After all the stress, me and my husband went to a well deserved holiday and it was such a great metaphorical moment when we hiked up to the Sentinel Dome at the Yosemite National Park. I felt as if all the weight had fallen from my shoulders and it was finally time to "enjoy". When standing at the tip of the dome, I really felt free and happy. We were really lucky with the weather that day.

My favorite picture from our Sentinel Dome hike.

Another picture from the beautiful Yosemite National Park.

Alright, so where is all the miniature in this? Well, you're right, there is none. With all the stress, work, operations, I did not have time at all to work on miniatures lately. The worst part is, I really want (or should I say wanted?) to participate to the HBS Creatin Contest this year, but I'm terribly behind and I am not sure if I can finish the project before the deadline. I keep my hopes up high but I definitely will have to abandon some ideas to be able to make it. For example, I wanted to make a real hand weaved rug for the living room, but it takes so much time to create the rug that this is the first thing I will have to give up. I even made my very own loom out of remainders of wood and some really thin nails. Below you can find some pictures of how I made it and what I did need as material.

 First I added some height to both shorter sides of the loom.

 Then I marked every 2mm on the elevations on both sides to ensure that the nails that will hold the string will have an equal distance on a straight line.

 This is a picture after I nailed all the tiny nails on to the marks I made. Once all nails were ready, I just tied a knot with the string on the first nail and warped it back and forth on the subsequent nails.

Once all was set, I put a stripe of carton on each end of the loom to create an area without knots, which later will end up being the fringes of the rug. Note that I walked the carton over and under the strings 1 string at a time for a better grip. The rest is pretty easy. Just select the color/type of string you want to use for the body of the rug and with the help of a sewing needle run it over and under the base strings row by row. Each new row you will need to inverse the sequence, so that if you had past over a base string in the earlier row, your color string should this time pass under the string. Repeat until rug is finished and tie a knot at the end. Before you taking the rug off the loom, take off 1 nail at a time, cut the freed string in the middle to form two fringes and tie a knot with these two to ensure that your rows stay in place. Voila! I tried to explain as best as I could in English, but if you have any questions please do ask.

For now this is how the interior of the project looks. I have planned something very special for the outside of the house, one of the reasons why part of the roof is hidden!

Another thing that took me quite a time was to make the custom windows. I'm happy that at least these are already done. To create these, I simply glued black colored wooden sticks on a thin transparent PVC sheet to ensure exact measurements. I glued sticks on both sides to create a more realistic look.

First I created the frame.

Then I filled in the remainder.

Ta da!

These are the only updates I can give for now. In the meantime I'm trying to catch up with other blogs as I could not follow any for a couple of months. Below are some really nice ones I already visited. Sorry for not leaving any comments on the posts, there are so many to read...

Keli's amazing Fall Color Pics.
My source of daily motivation @ Mockingbird Hill Cottage.
Brae's stunning model cars in progress.
Useful tips from Nancy on working with wood and her gorgeous plants.
Ilona's fantastic dolls and flowers.
Jodi's breathtaking contest project.
Casey's conservatory.
Evelyne's sweet feves on her Beatrix Potter showcase.