Monday, 24 December 2012

Happy Holidays

Finally managed to finish the snow scene and some of the mice celebrating a Snow Party, with skiing, ice skating and snowballs.

May all  have a  Merry Christmas or Holiday time and everyone has a dream come true.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Continuing the 4 corners

Well with Christmas on the horizon I bet many of you like me are busy with all the work involved to make it a fun holiday time.

I have started on the first of the corners for winter, this one does really make you shiver but was great fun to do and surprisingly easy. I hope to have this one up as a tutorial on the yahoo group Mini Allsorts around Christmas time.
The little trees are those cheap cake decorations suitable dressed with snow, but railway model trees or even bottle brush trees would work too. 
My favourite is the pond, it is cold and icy looking and I was so pleased with the first attempt at this method and it should be ideal for some ice-skating mice.

I also managed to complete the broom and rake as extra accessories for the Autumn corners and again the tutorials will be in the group.

The little mice seem to be having a discussion over who has the broom so will probably have to make a few more - well there is a lot of leaves and contrary to one friend, suggesting a leaf blower  I somehow don't really think it would work

I was really over the moon that one of my projects was accepted for the AIM Advent Calendar and as the day has now passed I can at last show the tiny Christmas decorations that were made. Fiddly but fun and most pieces available in our favourite of places 'the stash'. To try the project, follow the link on the AIM mag in the top right corner and go to day 15.
Will keep you updated with the new corners and in the meantime may all go well in your world.
Hugs Pauline

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Autumn's Challenge

I've spent the last month working on a challenge in one of my Yahoo groups Small and Smaller Adventures run by Pam Junk, lovely and whimsical and based on the Portland Centrepieces. Susie spent many hours with photos and updates to show us the tutorials and finished pieces so thanking her for the wonderful job, I couldn't resist having a go, although saying that it has put me behind on my Mini Allsorts group project tutorials so will be a busy month catching up. Below are some of the images of my challenge and loved every minute of it.

Seen from the back with all the goodies for harvest and the moonshiner upstairs in the barn.

The front has pine cone steps and lots of pumpkins for the pumpkin carving contest (would have loved to have dones some more interesting ones when I thought about it afterwards).

All the leaves were punched out and individually glued into place, it is quite therapeutic if you are not in a hurry to complete something and of course leaves can be punched whilst watching something on TV.

These little people are so much fun to do, but I definately need more practice but pleased with first attempts, the young man is off for another slide down the haystack, but I think he should have been helping in the farm shop somehow.

There is some serenading going on here whilst waiting for the 'hay ride to return.

Upstairs the old moonshiner is working with his still and sampling his goods as he holds onto his flagon of booze, at the top of the picture is a few apples waiting to go into the apple press for the fresh batch of cider.

Now where is the lad, just when you need him to help with lifting some of these pumpkins. In the background are goods for sale, freshly baked bread and pumpkin pie with fresh veggies and jams.

Some of the tiny pieces added to the barn, I did laugh when I saw that the bead I'd used for the still looked more like a hand grenade. Except for about 4 pieces such as trash can and milk urns everything has been made from scratch and is truly fun to do.

Tomorrow I go back to my corners with mice to get the winter one done for Mini Allsorts and will post pictures of progress. So until next time take care and enjoy your minis.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Whimsical and mice

I've spent the last few days working madly on a new idea with whimsical and mice still top of the listings, think that is mainly because the online groups I belong to just love these subjects.

With Autumn nearly over I wanted to capture the spirit of the season before it leaves us for another year (pun not intended LOL) as much as I find all seasons wonderful there is just something about Autumn that recalls many wonderful memories from down the years.

The landscape is made of things easily obtained and put together with glue and paint to create the effects needed. Natural twigs and grasses help with the creating the look and I can never pass a railway model shop with out checking the landscaping materials.

The ivy on the back wall is made from mini punched leaves and the doorway is just card, painted, distressed and a brad for the door knob. The mice well beads and pompoms created these, not a piece of clay of any kind in sight.

The second scene used photographs I took locally for the backdrop and those berries on the twigs are 1mm no hole beads, whilst the trunk of the tree is made from a toilet roll insert, painted to resemble the birch trees in the background.

I now need to make some furniture, or other pieces to bring the scenes alive and maybe one or two more plants and of course the little mice could move in too, that is of course if the fairies don't find it first.

Real life dried twigs and Lycopodium look part of the forest floor, a couple of pebbles and toadstools and it almost looks like real life.

The toadstools, well they are just brads of different sizes with rounded tops, painted and sealed and so simple to create. When dry trim the legs and insert into the scene.

I had great fun creating both scenes and the mice.

The tutorials for the scenes have been added to the Yahoo mini group Mini Allsorts and hopefully we will see some great variations when others have a go.

Enjoy mini-ing and until next time, may all be well in your world.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Brambly Hedge Update

As per usual running out of steam, the tutorial for the Brambly Hedge was launched and seems to have been enjoyed, will be lovely to see those that complete and put their own stamp on the mouse house and would be even better to see pictures.

I managed to find time to give poor Hamish his blower up of bagpipes and his little kilt pin albeit at this tiny size a piece of wire, but this is the best photo I could get. Each time I do this tiny scale I am so glad that digital cameras were invented, I take 100s of photos and hope that one or two will develop well and yes both on auto and macro but sometimes in the case of Hamish so excited to be able to make a noise I think he kept dancing or jiggling or whatever kilted wee Scotish people do.

Hopefully over the coming weeks will finish my houses and install the furniture and accessories, did cop out of doing a rocking chair for the time being may even buy one in kit form, can you tell a small amount of frustration here LOL.

The tutorial was in three parts for the house, landscaping and a few for furnishing and accessories, most were tips in the latter, but to keep that micro eye in the final piece was a basket of seeds, only 3/16" tall and including the handle it was filled with poppy seeds, mustard seeds and onion seeds but could just as well used no-hole beads, the red and black would have looked like fruit I think in this tiny scale.

Off now to complete another couple of tasks and then back to me time minis. Looking forward to next Sunday and a local show, small but helps with the fix to mix with other mini people in RL, their enthusiasm is always a boost.

By the way is there a energy booster I can plug into anywhere I need a top up please.

Take care and may all be well in your world.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A challenge and a chair

I am still trying to complete the last part of the tutorial, those furnishings at last the large fan chair is complete and so on to the next piece.

I think that most of the time is taken in trying to take good pictures and write instructions that make sense to others as well as me.

I hope to make some more intricate pieces later, but the ideas are still brewing in the place between my ears.

But as per usual I'm easily influenced and this time it was a challenge from a dear friend in Hawaii who thought I should do a mouse with a kilt. Fine but for one tiny problem the idea grew to a hat, a sporran and a set of bagpipes and shhhh cos I forgot a kilt pin and Hamish MacMouse was born. Not exactly Brambly Hedge unless there is a new story on the horizon but I suppose he could be a visiting long lost cousin.

Oh gosh, just realised when looking at photograph I have forgotten the tiny reed thingy they use to blow up the bag, oh well will have to add oops, egg on face grimace inserted here.

The ruler is showing 1/16 inch segments so his shadow on the ruler is 1/8 inch, and just like the other mice he is less than 1/2 inch tall only just though.

Oh well off to rectify mistakes and organse myself somewhat  - that will make a nice change.

Take care and thank you for the lovely comments so glad you like this little project, it will hopefully be a free tutorial in the Yahoo Micro Minis group this month.

(ps not the mice though only the house and furniture)

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Beds for Brambly Houses

Well Autumn has finally arrived and the winds have a chilly bite when gardening so rather than plant bulbs and clear up I've huddled indoors and thought I could update the blog.

The first trials of the beds for the little houses have been made using a variety of materials including printies. Three of these will be used in the houses but it was definately interesting to try different ways of doing things. Each of these beds are just over 1/2 inch in length.

Also for my own fun I have tried having a go with making tiny mice for the homes based on the books and here are the first three attempts. Poor Primrose in the middle had one of her ears squashed when I replaced a rather thicker tail for a smaller one, I didn't notice until I took the photo, she is fine now all pristine with two perky ears. Their little arms and tails are poseable and all I will say is a big thank you to whoever evented tweezers. You can see how tiny they are, if I'd pushed the mice together they would have fitted in-between the inch marker on the rulers.

I'm now going to try some other pieces out to fill the little 'balls' with and hopefully keep my sanity.

Will keep you updated with progress. Happy mini-ing and hugs.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Brambly Hedge continues

Well I've certain fallen in love with these tiny houses and couldn't resist having more goes with slightly different materials. Still no furniture but ..... I'll get there. These tiny things have been put together with lots of photos as a tutorial for making and hopefully will be launched soon in one of my groups or if all else fails here in the blog.

The picture on the left is another ground based house and actually has more flowers but I haven't taken photos yet.

The next two pictures are of my favourite one a full length one and a close up, it appears so light and airy. They are definately fiddly but so much fun, and although the tutorials will include some furniture can certainly use some of the great kits on the market.

Will show again when I am near completion, the picture on the left is the inspiration for these tiny homes and can be found in The Autumn Story.     
This is the Brambly Hedge website and a search of Google images will delight no end.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Brambly Hedge and tiny scales.

In my last post I hinted at an idea for 1-144 scale and here is a preview of an almost finished little mouse house which is based on the Brambly Hedge book Autumn Story.  To give an idea of the size the base is 2 1/2 inches diameter.

I bought the whole compendium of books for a nominal amount and the pictures are just wonderful - mind you they might be written for children but I did enjoy the stories at bedtime too :)

The next stage will be the furniture and I need to design and make a 4 poster bed and table and chairs, now this should be interesting.

I still need to finish so many pieces and my UFO section is definately multiplying without even trying and my pack rat tendencies are not improving with age a real clear out is called for.

Just a short post I know and apologies, but showing glue drying is not really the best of interests, in the meantime all do all take care.

Do click on the AIM magazine picture the new one is just out, lots of ideas there.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

A Forest Room

A one on one swap with a forest theme, gave me the chance to try a room made with predominantly natural items. The following photos are the end result of something I thoroughly enjoyed making and for a first attempt with this type of media I can honestly say I'm hooked, this has been done 1:48 scale and I will be trying out more.

The ruler in the above picture gives an idea of the scale, the tiny bath up the stairs is an acorn cut in half and the inner seed/nut removed, very fragile when acorn is this dry. The tiny lamp actually lights over the acorn cup sink.

This picture shows the stairs to the bath, they look like fungi, but are actually wood that has been cut rather like sharpening a pencil creating those curly pieces, some parts are dried pieces of plants.

The floor is cork tile cut to shape, the little table and stools twigs and slice of broom handle, as is the support for the acorn sink which was shaped. Next to the acorn sink is a tiny bottle and a teeny shell for a soap dish. The background is bark and then I played with different pieces and have so many ideas for the future. It is definately worth playing just let your mind wander into fairy land.

The last picture is one taken from above showing the milky bath water with floating flowers, the tiny blue bath sponge a mini pompom and a dried seed head for the shower.

The little bed is made from twigs with a flat piece of wood for base covered in railway grass mat, its little flowers are a mixture of dried flowers from my garden tinged with blue acrylic paint and flowersoft, with a tiny plastic white flower for the extra pillow.

So next time you are out look at the leaves, twigs and interesting shells along the beach think about creating your own lovely scene, but also remember the dried flower pieces in florists and department stores, can also be used.

I'm now experimenting with a 1-144 item that blends natural and man made so watch this space - honest will own up if I fail LOL.

Happy miniaturing to you all.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Autumn is arriving fast

The sun was shining, the sky was that great blue of late summer and it felt warm when protected from  a cool northly breeze. After a morning of chores and working in the garden - do so hate rampant weeds, it was time for some relaxing time away from all thoughts of what I should be doing. So with camera in hand a bag to collect any great specimens suitable for minis - now you don't think I'd forget minis - not a chance, it was a leisurely stroll to the woods. This time to the far side, where woodland ended and as you can see harvested farm fields and then the scrublands of the coast with the sea on the horizon, just stunning, about a mile away but too lazy to try this for walking.
Once the noisy families with children excited about dragonflies of which there were millions, if only they had stood still they would have found that they land on you - peace descended.  Did manage to get some pictures but would the big blue ones stay still long enough to be photographed, well what do you think LOL, they flitter all over the place and the amazing thing is how silent they are, and no photo really shows the irridescence of their wings, they are like tumbling jewels in flight.
Squirrels came out and played among the trees and a woodpecker was drumming away, then a loud chattering started from a jay and little birds dived for cover and overhead a large bird of prey - not sure if the buzzard or sparrowhawk -  swooped looking for food, this time the silence in the woods was tangible as everything held its breath until the bird had gone. You know when because the rustling of movement and the odd call can be heard and it doesn't feel so tense.
The beginning of Autumn has started, puff balls and other small fungi are carpeting the floor of the forest, some trees like the birch are beginning to loose their leaves and the greens are far darker and heavier looking as the autumn colours start working on them. Blackberries are ripening and the hawthorn berries are abundant, but acorns couldn't find one, mind you didn't see any chestnuts sweet or otherwise, not sure if it is our wet summer or that the inhabitants of the wood have eaten them early due to lack of other food, but will keep checking back, most strange.
Did find some dried grasses and roots that could be good for miniatures hopefully will be trying them out soon and some other plant material that will need drying out for mini scenes, the roots would make fantastic trees.
Well off back to minis and chores, take care and enjoy life.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Quarter Scale Challenges

Last weekend the subject of the 1920s Safari Camp was being discussed in our group. (If you want an idea of what the safari tent is based on Cottar's 1920s Safari Camp - the link appears broken at the moment maybe they are updating)

The idea of a shower - the kind with a bucket reminiscent of all those old war films springs to mind which led on as subjects do to "the necessary" or "privy". It was decided it would look funny if a monkey was peering in from the top, which naturally being of warped sense of humour led to the idea of a monkey with a stolen camera and a challenge was born for a giggle.

For the first time I created a monkey, he was small as you can see sitting on the ruler, and he was also the first attempt at flocking. Tips given afterwards were paint him the colour you will be flocking then bald patches don't show, but I did find that you can add more flocking by painting on watered down glue and using tweezers so most bald patches disappear and his chest area is a lighter colour anyway so they are not missed bits, but pale flocking.

Oh what is he made from?  Well polymer clay and wire to support also helps by having something to hold onto whilst making and he was fired in stages 5 or 10 minutes and then adding another limb etc.  By the time I'd finished I'd totally forgot about the camera oops! The other monkey was posted along with this one in the group and mine looked gi-normous, the other monkey perched on the privy with camera was about 1/4 inch tall. Mine was more of gorilla in size - remembering this is quarter scale, even 1/2 inch = 2 feet, so as cute as he was just toooooo big. (Maybe give him to Fingal to play with should make for some interesting stories).  Another attempt was made this one was about half the size, but with such a grumpy face the camera went out of focus whenever I tried to take a picture - no you are not blaming me. So a third and final attempt was made and son of monkey arrived now this little character is 3/8 inch tall and less than 1/4 inch wide so much more in scale - did you notice still forgot camera and I'm also off monkeys.

But that wasn't the weekend over I was determined to try and do a 3-tiered wedding cake, now I knew these cakes would be a little large but they are not out of scale, just think really big weddings and lots of money spent. The first one attempted was a square one and boy do I love my tweezers, the flat shovel ones for holding gently and the pointy curves ones for sticking things on.

Each rose is made from polymer clay and the photo below shows just how tall the cake is, under 3/4 inch. I also tried a round one but as is typical murphy's law, all the round craft punches, needed to make the silver cake boards, bar one were the wrong size, so now on order and hopefully with me next week.

Maybe these or similar will turn up in the next Shelly's Online Show, but that is not until March next year so plenty of time to practice.

Hopefully at the next show will introduce some 1:24 scale food and items too.

In the meantime I'm off to cause more mini mayhem, so all look after yourselves until next time.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Retirement arrived and minis at last

Its official as from the 1st September no more wage packets boo- hoo!!! Tomorrow morning I am retired and can become a cantankerous old biddy wayhay! I've been practicing for ages LOL!

1/4 scale garden called Time Out

Its been a crazy last 2 months, clearing the work backlog and creating tiny food for Shelly's Online Show mid August, and the orders that followed - many thanks to all who bought from me I still can't believe people want my work it always astonishes me.
 The wet weather here in the UK has meant the garden has done little but grow - rather rampant I'm afraid and can someone please tell me why weeds grow much faster than plants, but many plants have not enjoyed it and the vegetable plot well a soggy disaster.

In the meantime minis, swaps and challenges were on the go and I've enjoyed myself no end - great fun.
The first was my T2T challenge (Trash to Treasure) with one group. Five little packets arrived with some of the most obscure things imaginable, like elastic bands which no longer elasticated, paper clip, bubble wrap and a pipette just some of the items. We were allowed to use some of the box items delivered in and a 5 inch square of fabric, one piece of computer paper (for printies or to paint) as well as paints and varnishes. All or part of everything to be used that came in the bags.
 I used toweling for my fabric, you can gently pull out the threads leaving you with an open weave - the fence of the garden is made from this stained with brown paints, not unpicked and painted it makes grass and the lengths removed are coloured for wisteria and other flowers as well as the sausages on the bbq.

Bits of paint and the bubble wrap made the pond with glue creating the waterfall

I had a great time making this and it certainly opened my eyes to looking at bits of trash with fresh eyes. Not that I need any help with hoarding, managing quite well already in that department.

Still not completed the Beach Hut scenery but it is getting there, the sea and palm tree are done and some of the wonderful birds from swaps have settled on the rocks. 
The picture is just a sneak preview of the beach and water.
A new project is also on the horizon of a 1920s Safari Tent, think Hercule Poirot and you will be in the right era.
I joined the swaps for this and made tiny lamps from jewellery findings along with my first attempt at doing fuzzy rugs. The first rugs came out a mess, I changed the computer settings to higher resolution and too much ink on the fuzzy paper, left a smudged mess, set back to normal and the printing worked fine. The swaps received were brilliant so really pleased found time to be part of the group.

There is also a forest fantasy one on one swap and my first try at twig furniture and like the other projects all quarter scale, but those pictures will have to wait.

A weekend challenge of a monkey - or maybe two and a three tiered wedding cake, this a self challenge which seems to have turned out better than I expected, will post pictures tomorrow.

Other projects are in the pipeline and I really must try and finish poor old Fingal's pumpkin for this Halloween, retirement what retirement!

In the meantime all take care and sorry for the long delay in posting, I promise to do better.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Minis and Arts & Crafts

Life seems so hectic these days, and I am wishing my life away for end  of July and a hopefully a great retirement and more mini times yeah!!!!

May and June are the dreaded months of exams at school and life seems so draining on arrival home, but, I have a great time with two challenges one the Trash 2 Treasure which I can not even show how annoying is that LOL and a beach hut, both in quarter scale (1:48).

The scenary on the beach hut is not finished but the little hut with its back opening has finally seen the light of day and what fun it was to do. The only trouble is after seeing other projects there is load of other ideas swimming around in my head and I would love to have a fisherman's hut right next to this one - in fact would love to do loads of them from family fun to the beach bum and all inbetween.

I've also spent time looking at some of my other old arts and crafts wondering how many of these I can start up again and how many need to be passed on. Which made me reassess my dragon picture, this is about 3 foot tall and taking pictures with it inside a frame was not easy; this is the Sea Dragon (Water) and made of shells collected along the local beach over a 2 year period, and no they are not dyed but their natural colours.

I wanted to do 4 dragons one for each element, with this one the water; Air would be feathers and Earth, well that was the use of the flower press to dry out flowers and leaves but for the life of me I cannot think of what to use for Fire - somehow BBQ ash hasn't quite got the zing of the others and I don't think I could afford to do it in fire-opals so the whole idea like so many others ended on the back burner. Sorry no pun intended :o)

In fact, I'd forgotten just how many hobbies I do have - oops!!!

It has been a wonderful weekend of what we in Britain do best pageantry, celebrating 60 years on the throne of Queen Elizabeth II, long may she reign.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Tiny Creations - oh and the weather

I'm sure somewhere above there is an entity with a great sense of humour, the water companies in the UK say drought and hosepipe ban and we end up with the wettest April since records began in 1910, hardly a day without rain and in some places floods. But wait for the great British sense of reality, the drought is still on, it is the wrong kind of rain - you couldn't make it up now could you :o)
Well May has started with rain too, hopefully we should see some sunshine and warm weather soon.

I have spend the last few days of April in an online convention with Micro Minis (a Yahoo 1-144 scale group) - the theme "Waterfalls and Gardens".

Quiet Reflection
 These online conventions are a marvellous way of enjoying minis with like-minded people and you can sign up for workshops, round tables and enjoy some lovely projects and discussions all from the comfort of your own home. Okay I know it doesn't have the full buzz of a real life convention, but it is pretty close and people from the four corners of the globe can join in. I do so wish I could show some of the exhibits entered all were good but some were absolutely stunning. For the first time I made and entered one of my own pieces 'quiet reflections' and it was a lot of fun to make, also made the gifts for the tablemates (virtual table, but real people).

As you can see from the pictures this is very tiny scale and  they fit on top of craft paint bottles.

This was also my first time of making round tables for sale, a novel experience, when you make something you sort of do it, making kits for someone else to do and making sure it is clear and understandable is a challenge, well I made 16 and have one kit left and no-one has come back with problems yet - please note I crossed my legs when I wrote that, couldn't cross fingers makes it impossible to type.
My round table well that was a 'princess bed' made from wood veneer, balsa, ribbons and laces with  'peel-offs' if you chose to use them  This tiny bed is only about 3/4 inch tall and ideal for that fairy castle scene.

The next challenge well they are in quarter scale and I have a T2T to complete - T2T means Trash to Treasures and you are supplied with a box of 'trash' and using just that trash plus a couple of items you may add you create a 'treasure'. But you must use part or all of everything you've been given, this is something I have never tried and I will keep a note of what I did so that when the challenge is over I can share.

There is also a Beach Hut on the horizon with another group and the Souvenir from the Micro Mini convention to do with  all the other UFOs that have built up over the months.