Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Light Blues

I still have a few more of the darker blue pieces of Stokesay Ware I want to collect. I have a list I am working on. I will almost be sad when I have finished this part of my collection. I get such a thrill when a new piece arrives.

Today two pieces of the light blue china came. They are so beautiful, pictures don't do them justice!!! The pitcher is so fine. Meaning light and thin walled. There is a dish with a hole in it sitting on the top of the slop bucket serving like a funnel. Partially meant to cover the contents from view I assume. ;-)

I find the idea of re-purposing antiquated antiques fun to do in my own home. Since I will have a few modern facilities in my doll house, I am not sure what new use the slop bucket will be put to.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cardboard, Paper, Scissors

I had to do some shopping today at Target. It is one of those stores that has everything! Going up and down the aisles suddenly I stopped dead in my tracks. There were these tiny shadowboxes with a hinged door and a magnet closure. They were less than an inch deep. I put two in my basket and continued shopping wondering what in the world I was going to do with them.

When I got home out came the cardboard, paper, scissors and glue. I covered everything in the inside of the box with one of my favorite papers. Then cut cardboard shelves to fit inside the box and covered those with the same paper.

It is so nice not to have all the Stokesay Ware packed away in little boxes. I can have this on my desk for inspiration, safe from dust, loss and curious paws. =^..^=

If you would like to watch a video of Stokesay Ware being made you can see it here. http://www.dollshousefestival.com/video/stokesay-ware.html

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Humble Beginnings Of Metalwork.

This is a piece I started a while ago in miniature, it is in 1: 12 scale. It is going to be an exact copy of the beautiful antique lanterns (street lights) that grace my neighborhood (Chickasaw Gardens). They have a sentimental meaning to me for reasons in that will become clear in the last part of this post. The photo at the top is the real one in my garden.

A few days ago Karin posted a picture of a gorgeous French iron lantern on her blog. http://karincorbin.blogspot.com/2010/08/architectural-images-from-normandy.html I was going to email these pictures to her but then I thought I would share them with you all.

Most people never see the humble beginnings of a piece of metal work. It is always looks ugly until the very last day when it is either polished or has been given a patina.

This piece is being fabricated out of several different metals I happened to have on hand. They were in scale to the parts I needed to make the faux iron work. It really doesn't matter what metals are used to make it. The piece will be oxidized black eventually. The top to the lantern (that has the light in it) I turned on a lathe into a bell shape. The faceted the sides of the turned piece were filed into an octagon. As you can imagine that is a lot of filing to get that shape! lol I have to carve the Chickasaw Indian's head out of wax and cast that element of the piece.

The real ones in my neighborhood were in a awful state when I moved here. They were broken and missing so many parts. None of them worked anymore. I found one for sale through a blacksmith friend of mine. It had been sold many years ago away from my neighborhood. I bought it and restored it myself. When the the association saw it in my garden they asked me to help them with all the others. They had tried for years but couldn't find anyone that could do the work. I am happy to say they have all been finished now by Robinson Iron. http://www.robinsoniron.com/

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Please click on photo for a closer look.
Aren't they wonderful! There are tiny teeth in the keys. I first bought these when I was in Chicago but they disappeared along with all the other things that were stolen. I had to go digging through several websites on the Tom Bishop Show dealer list to figure out who I got them from. They came in today's mail from Italy.

Today I fiddled around with making different sets on key rings. For this one I used brass wire, cream leather and a Dersden die cut flower. I am sending them to Linda for her new project.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

More Extreme Kit Bashing & The Dilemma

Over the years I have cast more of these Chrysnbon cook stoves than I care to remember. There is one in the Miniature Museum Of Kansas City I cast.

When I first became involved in miniatures there weren't any good stoves at all. The only one that was remotely in scale and acceptable was the Chrysnbon cook stoves in plastic. The first time I saw one I bought a dozen kits with the intention of casting them all. It may sound like it is fast and easy, but I assure you it isn't. I won't bore you with all the details of why and how so many things can go wrong when you cast one. Then there is all the clean up after the pieces are cast and they all have to be silver soldered together (with a torch). It takes several days just to get all the pieces sprued up to be cast. It also takes good size flasks to hold all the pieces to be invested for casting. Five flasks usually. I have always cast them in bronze.

For some reason today I am getting awful photos so you probably cant see that the parts I chose to polish are bronze in color. They look like nickel here. I could still plate them to look like nickel, I will have to see. The stove has been oxidized and waxed. It isn't painted.

My dilemma is what sort of stove do I want to use in my house. I would hate to pack this away never to be used because it is not an English stove. Maybe the answer is to create a space where I can have either interchangeably?

My grandparents had a cottage in Wisconsin when I was growing up. They bought it in 1917. I loved going there because we had 30 acres on a big lake. To this day we still have a wood burning cook stove we use that is almost like the Chrysnbon one here in this photo.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Green Apples

I have admired so many food artists work. I just love seeing all the amazing realistic things they do. The gorgeous arrangements that are worthy of a still life painting. I have wondered what the shiny gooey stuff is that makes cakes and sauces glisten. These and many more are the techniques that are a total mystery to me. It maybe time to find a good book (if there is such a thing) on the subject just to satisfy my curiosity. This is not something I want to get seriously involved in.

Today I decided to try something really simple, just a few green apples. No one seems to make loose things like this. If you want something on your own china that isn't glued down to it, you have to figure it out yourself.

So I got out the polymer clays I had to see if I could get the right color. I used a lot of transparent in the mix. They still need some flecks of brown and maybe a pale yellow patches here and there. No idea at all about how to do that.

I think I will form heavy foil in the bowl and then slip out the foil, do the arrangement and bake it in the foil. That way it will fit in or on the bowl or plate without being permanently fixed to it.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Copper and Sterling Silver Chafing Dish

This is a copper chafing dish I finished this week. The stand is sterling silver. Not exactly realistic for such an item I suppose. The reason I made it in silver is because I only had half round wire in sterling. I do like the look of these two metals together though. The tapered legs and the feet were all done with a needle file. The knob and handle are made out of African black wood. Now that I see the photos I think I will take them off and turn something that isn't so heavy. I also made another basket that is holding the lemons.

BTW... Does blogland seem a bit quiet to you lately?

Friday, August 6, 2010

I got mail! Lots and lots of Mail!

I am so thrilled to say... I have received one of Linda's gorgeous rugs and some of her fantastic mail!

Ever since the first time I saw the rugs in Une Petite Folie I have coveted and drooled over them. She has made me one that is perfect with the wall paper I chose to go in the master bedroom of my house. OMG!

Then when she posted pictures of the mail she made I was definitely pea green and close to slobbering on myself!!! There is something about those tiny little letters and post cards that I find totally irresistible. Some of the mail has been opened and has a letter half way out of it. She also made un-opened pieces and sent fresh envelopes and stamps. There are lots of post cards with writing on the back of them from France.

Thank you so very much Linda! You really cannot know how much I dearly love it all. I am so excited about having these perfect miniatures. :-)))))