Friday, April 29, 2016

Casting Pewter & Apoxie Putty.

 I did a repair on a French frame I bought in Etsy. The frame arrived today from France. It had been broken and was missing a couple of small parts. The first thing I did was use Apoxie putty to carve the missing pieces. I did that right on the antique metal frame. Then I sand cast a new frame in pewter. I intend to use this for a mirror. Pewter melts at 400 degrees, so I can do this casting in my kitchen melting the metal in a cast iron skillet on my stove. The sand is so fine you can press your finger in it and it will pick up your finger print.
Long ago Catherine sent me a jar of her favorite gilding wax. I assume it is a wax. it smells heavenly! She sent me her favorite color which she thought most resembles real antique gold gild. I took the finished pewter frame and compared it to a early eighteenth century gilded frame I have, it was a perfect match! I can't read the directions about how you are supposed to use it as they are in French. I am wondering if I am supposed to buff it a little with a cloth now that it is dry?
I also made the French architectural mold and cast a few in Apoxie putty. I think I am going to try a different material to cast them in. The putty takes too long to harden and I don't like the surface look of it..

Thursday, April 21, 2016

French Exterior ARCHITECTURAL Embellishment

When I found this vintage, French brass stamping, I thought it looked a lot like a exterior architectural embellishment for over a window or a door (in 1: 12 scale). It is exactly 8 cm. long. It reminded me of so many of the buildings Linda Carswell has taken pictures of on her blog.

I am thinking about making a mold of it and casting several of them. Not that I am planning on making a French house. It is just that I have never see French architectural embellishment pieces for buildings. There are three holes that have been drilled in the piece but that is very easy to fix.

Would anyone be interested? Let me know what you think.

Must remember to check... spell check. hahaha

Spring is busy. There is always a lot to do around here as the weather warms up. The garden always needs attention in the spring. I have been busy planting things and doing some minor repairs.

A new piece of petit point is almost finished.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Diamonds and Roses Petit Point Cushion

I have been busy stitching another petit point pillow on # 56 silk gauze. It fits very well with the chair and the carpet I think. Much better I'm afraid then the rabbits do.  So they may have to find a different spot to live. I have another one in mind that will work much better. Though I am always happy to hear what you think.

Despite what it may look like, we are having a dark and dreary winters day. So apologies for these photos. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Brer Rabbit Petit Point Cushion...4,290 stitches!


 I have always loved William Morris designs. One of my favorites is Brer Rabbit. So when I saw Nicola Mascall's chart on #56 canvas I thought I would try it.

I have no where to buy the right weight silk threads for this size canvas locally. I wanted colors that might look good with the Aunt Olga petit point carpet I stitched. So I chose some silk threads from a needle point shop here. I hate ordering colors online. They never look the way they did on my screen. 

The threads were slightly too heavy, which made stitching this a real chore. Still... I think it worked out in the end. Luckily I had matching silk fabric for the back of the cushion. It looks great on the antique rose color chairs I made.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Are you losing "Followers" in your GOOGLE Blogger?

In December I had 930 "Followers" in my blog . Suddenly, over night in fact, I had gone down to 903. Then it stopped. I was mystified.

In the past two days I have lost many more! Last night I sat looking at my Blogs Dashboard and watched as my Follower numbers dropped dramatically. It totally freaked me out. I thought what sort of mischief is this. I wondered if I would even have a blog when I woke up this morning.

I found the answer in the Google Help Forum. You can read about it here...!topic/blogger/7cZFok8dd20;context-place=forum/blogger
I see Josje found the answer there too.

You would think Google could have put a notice on our dashboards so we didn't have to go through angst of trying to figure out what was happening.

It took me nearly six years to get to 930. I was amazed and grateful so many people were interest. Frankly, I am rather hacked off that all those people can no longer visit my blog. 
Someone please tell me how it benefits Google to do that?

Monday, January 4, 2016

It's a matter of interpretation. Miniature Shows/.April, Chicago 2016

This year there will be three different Miniature shows on the same weekend in Chicago during April.
The Miniature Show, The Tom Bishop Show and the Three Blind Mice Miniature Show.

I was pretty excited when I saw the list of Exhibitors at The Miniature Show in April, 14, 15, 16...2016. Hyatt Regency Schaumburg ~ Chicago The list was impressive because there are so many people listed from other countries I have never seen.... Mike Sparrow, Danny Shotton, David Provan, Dominique Levy, Herbillon, Janet Reyburn, Johannes Landman, Pascale Garnier, Paul Saltarelli, St.Leger. Nicola Mascall, S.Gustavian and so on. In front of their listed names they all have numbers which I assume are table numbers.

 I noticed that Gerd Felka was not listed at the Tom Bishop Show this year on the "Dealer List". He is usually there every year. Sadly, I found out Gerd is not coming because his wife is ill. He is listed as an "Exhibitor" at The Miniature Show. However...That started me thinking. So I began to cross reference the list of "Exhibitors" to the dealer list at the Tom Bishop Show!chicago-intl-dealer-list/c12i  Hrmm... A few people are on both lists such as Jim Irish, David Iriate. 
I emailed a few of the listed "Exhibitors" at 'The Miniature Show' to ask them if they were going to be there in person. I got an email from Mike Sparrow telling me he was not going to be there and one from Nicola Maschall, she also is not going. She seemed a bit confused because apparently I wasn't the first person the ask her about this. Danny Shotton has retired from making miniatures.

Swan House Miniatures gives a huge artisan list of people it will be representing at 'The Miniature Show'. Missing from that list are people who they happen to have an enormous inventory work on their web site Such as Gerd Felka, Herbillon, Paul Saltarelli, Johannes Landman. Hrmmm...Some of those people have nine or more pages on Swan House Miniatures web site. Several hundred thousand  dollars worth of work. They are not included as people who Swan House will be representing.  How interesting!

I usually expect when I go to a miniature show that the Artisans who are listed are actually going to be there in person. It is a matter of semantics I suppose. You can exhibit your work in Siberia while you are basking on a sunny beach in the Bahamas!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Don Buttfield Miniature Chess Table and Pieces 1978

I am afraid until the sun comes back out these are going to be the best photos I can get. It has rained every day for a week. Not that we are having the horrible flooding that those in the UK are experiencing. I have been thinking about all my blog friends there hoping they are safe.

Please click on photo. I chose extra large here.

Occasionally you can find a great deal on eBay. This one blew me away because when I accidentally found it there weren't any bids and only one day left in the auction. Surely it had been up there for at least a week. The starting price was very low. Sadly for the seller, she had misspelled Don Buttfield's name in the title. So perhaps anyone who searches for his work would not have been notified. I really can't figure out any other reasonable explanation for the lack of bidders. Plus, you never see his work for sale on eBay. Actually, this is the first time I have seen anything of his for sale at all.

For those who do not know. Don Buttfield (now deceased) was a well known master miniature furniture builder/maker. IGMA has an award named after him. He was one of their founders.

I first saw his work in a book by Virginia Merrill and Thelma R. Newman called The Complete Book of Making Miniatures for Room Settings and Doll houses, Crown, 1975. That book was what caused me to fall in love with miniatures. It was my first exposure to truly fine collectible pieces.

I was excited but somewhat wary about the auction so I called William Robertson to ask him what he thought of the piece and ask him what he thought it was worth. He and I watched the count down as I won the bid I made the day before and for much less than half of what it is worth. I was so shocked someone wasn't out there waiting in the wings to snag it from me in the last few minutes/seconds.
How fun is that! So my nasty 2015 can now go out of my life on a good note!

The body of the table is made of cherry. The chess pieces are made of ebony and ivory. So tiny I cannot imagine how he made them. I am not entirely sure what the squares inlayed in the table are. The legs get so thin it is very scary to handle the table. The woman who owned it kept it in a box for 38 years!
This is one of the wood boxes that Don made for the table. I received two wood ones.