Saturday, April 01, 2017

Reduce, reuse, recycle

We're very fortunate in Canberra to have not one, but two tip shop outlets in the centre of town (and a Red Cross op shop just across the way). So when I arranged to meet a friend for an after-work catch up this week, I was pleased that we suggested meeting at The Green Shed, and deciding where we were going from there.
Two people walking past The Green Shed tip shop in the centre of Canberra
While I waited, I wandered the shop with my miniature eyes on, particularly inspired by my new studio (and recent visit to see the Alex Asch's latest exhibition...)

The first thing that caught my eye was a basket of vintage souvenir spoons (three for $1), with interesting handles and bowls
Fifteen vintage souvenir teaspoons arranged in rows on a white background
and, of particular interest: these styles, with holes in the handles with tiny metal charms hanging from them!
Close up of the top of a vintage souvenir teaspoon with a small metal building hanging from a hole in it.
There was also a stack of vintage vinyl presentation folders, which, following my op-shopping rule of 'open everything', I discovered contained pages and pages of enamel tie pins. ('From Croatia' the shop assistant told me, as she pulled still more folders out from under the counter for me to peruse).
Vintage enamelled tie pin with the word 'klein' on it.
('Klein' is German for small: how could I not?)
Selection of vintage enamelled tie pins in various shapes and colours.
At 66 cents each, I came home with a handful.
Selection of vintage enamelled tie pins in various shapes and colours.
And speaking of handfuls: as I was sorting out some stuff in the (full-sized) studio I came across the doll that came with the MiWorld Fashion Boutique. Without feet (as I'd stolen her shoes back here).

As I was contemplating whether I should just throw it out, or if an op shop might be interested in it (even without feet), I suddenly noticed that the hands were in the perfect positions to hold things. Like candles. 
One-twelfth scale wall-mounted candle holders in the shape of human hands holding the candles.
And so the poor doll lost both her feet and her hands. Followed by a decent burial in the rubbish bin.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A new studio

Sometimes, when you least expect it, the universe offers opportunities that are too good to pass up.
One-twelfth scale miniature scene of two work benches in an empty industrial space.
Like this studio space (that you might recognise), which I was able to rent at a very reasonable price.
Corner of a one-twelfth scale industrial-style miniature artist's studio, with a workbench holding various old wooden pieces.
 And this reclaim some of my home for actually living in,
Corner of a one-twelfth scale industrial-style miniature artist's studio, with a stack of various wooden and metal pieces stacked in a corner next to a workbench.
 not storing stuff and creating in!
Hand using tweezers to place a on-twelfth scale pencil onto a miniature worktable top containing a cutting mat and various tools, including miniature tweezers.
One-twelfth scale workbench top containing a cutting mat and various tools, including miniature tweezers, scissors and a dremmel.
One-twelfth scale vintage circus poster on the wall of a miniature artist's studio, surrounded by various industrial-style pieces.
(Work cabinets $10 each from the Victorian Dollhouses stall at the ACT Miniature and Dollhouse Show. Most other bits of treasure from Wendy Benson's boxes of bits at the same show: total price $5.40. Tools, paint and worktable: model's own...)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Time for a break

With encouragement from my readers to finish the other side of Bluebird Cafe, I decided to continue work on the scene. You know, instead of tidying the studio like I'd planned to do.

*Ahem*

So I returned to the original story of the build (and also returned the build to its original location: after I finished taking the last lot of photos, with a lovely shot of Wellington Harbour from the top of Mount Victoria out the window, I woke up at 3 am with my inner critic gently reminding me that if I was redoing Buzz Bar Cafe it was kind of INTERESTING that it had also suddenly moved from downtown Canberra to on top of a hill in Wellington. Even though we're now sister cities, that's kind of impossible.)

*Sigh*

I did a test-run.

Remember the photo I took during that Sunday when I almost tied myself in creative knots? I liked the use of the embossed wall, but knew it wouldn't work where I'd tested it (mainly, if truth be known, because then I'd have to cut a piece and that would limit my future options for the paper sheet). But the same paper, painted silver had worked really well previously.

So I moved the paper to the other side of the cafe, and it looked right.I decided that perhaps the new owners, after painting the existing shelving white, shifted them* up onto the wall.
Modern miniature white wall shelf with blue and white tiles on the back, filled with blue and white crockery and with various jugs displayed on the top.
And added some random tiles they'd picked up cheaply to give the shelves interest: thank you, Kaisercraft, for bringing out the Ubud Dreams range of papers, with the perfect tiles just when I needed them...

(It feels like I've now mixed that holiday house kitchen from 2015 into the inspiration mix...)
Modern miniature white wall shelf with blue and white tiles on the back, filled with blue and white crockery and with various jugs displayed on the top. Underneath, on a metal bench top, are the plates of cakes and sandwiches, with the sandwich components laid out.
Below the now wall shelves are a row of 'new' (erm... ALLBIDS find?) stainless steel benches (actually 2014 Sydney Show finds, which have turned up on the blog several times before now).
Modern miniature plates of cakes and sandwiches, with the sandwich components laid out on a metal bench top.
Where someone is busy making delicious things to sell to the customers...

(*It's a test, which is why there's only one so far...)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

At the show...

People at a miniatures show, browsing a stall with boxes of stock.
I've just finished loading the photos I took (and that passed muster) from last weekend's ACT Miniature and Dollhouse Fair onto FLICKR.

Yay! One more thing marked off the (seemingly never-ending) list.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Showing my colours

 I'm still working through the aftermath of Saturday's miniature show: but this year I'm doing things differently.
Flatlay of vintage dolls' house miniatures in yellow colours.
Instead of what feels like my usual habit of racing home afterwards, dumping the contents of my car onto the middle of the lounge floor, and then spending Saturday evening and most of Sunday hunched over my computer working on doing stock reconciliation, order documentation, photo downloading, correcting and blogging (plus, until this year, loading the photos into the space I'd reserved in The tiny Times's May working document), I stopped.
Flatlay of vintage dolls' house miniatures in orange colours.
 Took a deep breath. Stretched, and poured a glass of wine.
Flatlay of vintage dolls' house miniatures in gold, silver, white, black and brown colours.
Then spent Saturday evening opening the bags of goodies I bought at the show and creating flatlays. Partly for you, but mainly for me: so I could get to know my new treasures*, and put them away properly ready for use.
Flatlay of vintage dolls' house miniatures in blue and green colours.
It was quite lovely.
Hand holding an vintage dolls' house miniature plastic radio in front of vintage orange and white paper.
While you're waiting to see the photos I took of the exhibits that caught my eye, you might like to listen to the piece that ABC 666 aired about the club yesterday...

(*Although a few are for miniature gifts. Of course!)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Viva la miniature show!

This afternoon it was all systems go setting up the displays and stalls for tomorrow's ACTME Miniature Fair and Dollhouse Show. And catching up with mini friends from near and far.
Man putting up a fabric banner for the ACT Miniature & Dollhouse Show on a stage in a community hall. Boxes and bags and unpacked miniatures lie on the stage and table in front of it.
Plus the best bit: getting a sneak peek at what's going to be for sale on the stalls
Vintage dolls' house front door and window with green gingham curtain.
and what's included in the displays...
One-twelfth scale miniature french cafe scene with diners outdoors under umbrellas.
The theme for this year's show is 'Viva la France' and I was taken by the cafe scene above, which uses a french-cafe-themed plate as a background to an outdoor cafe scene set up on a tea tray. (I was informed that the waiter is Manuel from Fawlty Towers.Which I find a little confusing. Did he moved to France?)

I put this flat lay together in honour of the show's theme:
One-twelfth scale modern miniature fluffy rugs, knitted pouffes and accessories in the colours red, white and blue.
(Unable to get to the show tomorrow and keen on getting your mitts on some of my clearance stock? Contact me (see left-hand column) and I'm sure we can work something out...)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sale time

Four one-twelfth scale miniature knitted pouffes on top of four miniature rugs
I'm in the midst of preparing for this weekend's ACTME Miniature Fair and Dollhouse Show: my only show for this year.

And I'm feeling a clearance sale coming on. How's this for starters?

Perspex tables

Side: were $7.50 Coffee: were $10 Now $5
Hall: were $15 Dining: were $20 Now $10

Hand-knitted ‘faux-kati’ rugs

Small: were $15  Medium: were $20  Large: were $30 All sizes now $10

Hand-knitted pouffes

were $10 Now $5

Stag heads

were $7.50 Now $5

Frames, storage boxes, notice boards

were $2 Now 50 cents

Beads, cushions, plant pots, tiles    


were $1 Now 50 cents

I'll also have some seconds, including these damaged stag heads for $1 each (no one will notice once you hang a hat on it!):
One-twelfth scale dolls house stag head wall pieces, with various broken bits

ACT Miniature Enthusiasts 2017 Miniature Fair and Dollhouse Show

Saturday 25 March 2017
10.00 am to 4.00 pm
Weston Creek Community Centre, Parkinson Street, Weston ACT (next to Cooleman Court)

Adults $6, Children aged 5-12 $3, Children under 5 free.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Monday's making (mostly made up)

I finished the cushions (sort of, they still need to be stitched up after stuffing).
Six unstuffed  dolls' house miniature cushions, in shades of blue and white, on an outstretched hand.
I completed the squabs for the benches (well, not quite. I only finished one set and they're taped together at the back where you can't see). 
Modern miniature padded bench in blue and white, with toning cushions, displayed on a full-sized sewing machine.
And the Bluebird Cafe is done.
One-twelfth scale modern miniature cafe scene, in blue and white with a bird theme.
Detail of a a menu and jug of daisies on a table in a one-twelfth scale modern miniature cafe scene.
 (You know, unless you zoom out and notice all the bits that most definitely aren't done.
View of a one-twelfth scale cafe scene, with one corner perfectly arranged, and the rest of the room a mess of  various components and full-sized tools.
Or, indeed, wait long enough and watch the 'done' bits slowly undo and the whole thing trash itself).
View of a one-twelfth scale modern miniature cafe scene, in blue and white with a bird theme. A display shelf has fallen off the wall, with the contents having knocked over several other components of the scene, and edned up on the floor.
Maybe today I'll actually really finish it?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Sunday: in the studio

You may be pleased to know that I have dug out various surfaces around the house, and not just by piling the bits into a plastic tub and setting it aside out of the way...

Indeed, I've actually made some progress. Those blue chairs, for instance: now much shorter
Plastic dolls' house miniature chair on a workbench next to a saw and pieces from the end of the chair legs.
(and without stickers)
Four plastic dolls' house chairs, placed on a drying rack with a selection of full-sized dishes.
I continued to fight with possible decorating options, none of which felt quite right,
Four versions of a modern miniature scene comprising two blue chairs, a dining table and an industrial-style light fitting. The wall and floor treatments vary between the pictures.
until I gave up in disgust and headed off for a break to read the latest issue of Uppercase. And check out Instagram.

Where this hit my feed (you can see it here, if you're not an Instagrammer)*, and I realised I had been overthinking the whole thing (as usual). And so, back in the studio, this mock-up made much more sense with the whole story of the build, which really was about a cheap and cheerful make over.
A modern miniature scene comprising two blue chairs and a white dining table with an industrial-style light fitting hanging above. In the foreground is a breeze-block wall and a plant. The back wall is covered with white anaglypta paper and on the floor is a sheet of mis-matched tiles in shades of blue, teal and white.
Which lead to deciding that I needed to add squabs to the existing benches,
Pieces of fabric, card and padding on a table with a pair of scissors and a seam ripper (which is sitting on a one-twelfth scale black bench seat).
with some cushions for added comfort... 
Six dolls' house miniature cushion tops, sewn on to a piece of backing fabric. One cushion is cut out, and the scissors are next to it.
(*Emily Hartley-Skudder, a recent discovery for me, is a fellow Kiwi who creates scenes in miniature and then makes oil paintings of them. Visit her website to see more of her work, read an article about her, or watch a video about her work (or her time living and working in New York).)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saturday: strange couplings

The latest Alex Asch exhibition opened at Beaver Galleries on Thursday night. I decided not to go to the opening (apart from all the people that would be there, I was concerned that I might have a glass or two of bubbles then accidentally buy something...).

Instead I popped in this morning: first for breakfast at The Palette Cafe, them for a mooch around the exhibition (where, in true Canberra style, I bumped into my tutor from my CIT design course!)

Good thing I don't have tons of money (or, indeed, space), as I lusted after almost everything in the exhibition.
View of an art gallery exhibition of Alex Asch assemblage art pieces.
Detail of an assemblage art piece by Alex Asch, showing a cathedral model inside a circular port hole.
View of an art gallery exhibition with two Alex Asch assemblage art pieces in black and white, in the shape of buildings.
Alex Asch assemblage art piece in black, red and grey, in the shape of buildings.
View of an art gallery exhibition with a wall full of Alex Asch assemblage art pieces in black and red, based on various musical instruments.
Detail of an assemblage art piece by Alex Asch, made up of various pieces of distressed corrugated iron.
Detail of an assemblage art piece by Alex Asch, made up of various pieces of distressed board, pipe and metal.
Detail of an assemblage art piece by Alex Asch, made up of various pieces of distressed corrugated iron and board, and part of a road sign.
 But most particularly this piece, 
Assemblage art piece by Alex Asch, with two black boxes and a staircase.
with its miniature gallery containing a Rosalie Gascoigne homage inside (the concept of one of my favourite Canberra artists referencing another of my favourite Canberra artists, in miniature, delights me greatly).
Detail of an assemblage art piece by Alex Asch, showing a miniature art gallery space with a painted model viewing a piece in homage of artist Rosalie Gascoigne.
And this piece, which takes up much less room and would fit in with my decor perfectly...
Assemblage art piece by Alex Asch, with various distressed boards making up a 2D view of old warehouse buildings.
 But, with my wallet tucked safely in my bag, I finally left and came home to create my own bit of distressing, at a much more affordable price:
Two painted wire items on a sheet of baking paper in a box, with a row of various spray cans lined up behind in browns, greys and metal colours.