Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Meeting of Like Minds

First of all I have started a gingerbread house - hopefully this will look something like a gingerbread house next time you see it. We will see!

Today I went to the home of a fellow miniaturist one hour from where I live. The lady Maureen and her friend Marilyn recently held a miniatures display to see if there were people in the region interested in get-togethers to do miniatures. Regrettably I was unable to go to that but they got a huge number of people through their display and quite a lot of interest was shown. Today there was a gathering of eight of us. We discussed what we would like to do for future meetings and did a little workshop making fimo breads. We were also given a little kit for a bread tray to make at home.
We all just did our own thing as far as breads were concerned so each of our bread displays would look so different. I put mine together at home and here is the result - all ready to take to a farmers market:

I added a sign saying 'Artisan Breads' because some of my breads are a little creative - you probably wouldn't find them in a real bread shop.
Maureen also had a cute little mold for making little mice so we all went home with mice as well.
Thanks ladies for hosting the meeting and for the workshop. It was great to meet you both and the other attendees. I look forward to attending future meetings.
I hope everyone is having a great weekend - mine is just about over - it is nearly 7.00pm on Sunday evening in New Zealand. See you next time.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Where Oh Where Has My Creative Ability Gone...

I don't know - you get days like that where nothing you put your hands to turns out the way you want it to!
For Christmas last year I made some little Christmas bird houses as gifts for Christmas swap recipients.
As per usual I never thought to make one for myself. I decided today I would try to make one to go in my Christmas workshop scene. While I did manage to create one I am not particularly happy with it.  I think the paper needs to be brighter and the bird smaller (you can't see the hole for the bird to enter the house) and unfortunately I didn't get the snow looking lovely and icy like I did last time. In fact I had to cheat and add some glitter to the roof.

I just tend to create and make things as I go and until recently never wrote down how I made things. I'll probably have another go next weekend and see if I can improve on it. I know I can do it - I've done it before. In the meantime this weekend's effort will sit on the shelf in Edward's workshop until I create a better one.

Talking about shelves, I added an extra shelf to the side wall of Edward's workshop so I could make room for the bird house.

I also made a little Christmas tree today from a tinsel pipe-cleaner, some glitter and a glass star.

I need to make some paper chains which I am going to hang on the inside door which Edward will hang on the North Pole Christmas tree closer to Christmas. He also likes to give some to his fellow elves to decorate the Christmas trees in their little North Pole cottages.
When I was flicking through reading some other miniaturists blogs this morning I came across one from Jane of Minifanaticus.
Jane mentioned some gingerbread houses which she is going to do as a workshop with some children. This reminded me of another unfinished Christmas project I have.
In January 2011 (aarrrhhhh where does the time go) when I first got back into miniatures after a break of about 17 years I started Joann Swanson's Sugar 'n Spice project. You can find the project here:
Her project is shown on the paper in the following photo:
I have added to my project some shelves I made at a workshop tutored by a Jewel Lewis at a NZAME (New Zealand Association of Miniature Enthusiasts) Convention in the 1990s (based on a 1920s kitchen). I have also added the stove which I had in my stash.

I even made a little cookbook with a 'Gingermen' recipe.
The main thing that is missing is some lovely little gingerbread houses. I will have to see if I can make some to finish the project. The project needs a few more little accessories and a dog under the table. I think it is probably about time this project was finished.
While we are on the subject of Christmas I came across an ornament my grandfather made me (probably about 45 years ago) when I was a little girl. I thought I would show it to you as it is quite a nice idea for holding a little miniature scene.
As you can see from the photos below the decoration is made from varnished pieces of log (bark included). He has just put one sloping piece of glass in the front and a removable piece of perspex in the back. You could easily replace the back with a background picture mounted on some cardboard.

It could lend to a lovely woodland fairy scene with some foliage, flowers and fungi or a number of other little scenes.
Lastly for today, and not a Christmas thing this time, I managed to pick up this second hand book to provide me with some inspiration for my Victorian Del Prado house. There are some lovely photos in it.
Now to decide what to make next.
Perhaps a knife cleaner:

or a butter churn:

We will see!
Have a great weekend everyone.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Edward's Workshop - Progress Made

For those of you who haven't met Edward Elf yet he was created by Melanie Frank (Melli) of Germany. Melanie's blog is
Edward grew up with such a love of Christmas that he was invited by Santa to be an honorary helper elf at the North Pole. As time went on he worked through the ranks and gained the respect of Santa and is now the Master of Decorations and decorator of the North Pole Christmas tree. Being a German elf he is a bit bigger than the North Pole elves but he is fully accepted by all his fellow elves and is always happy to help them when they can't reach something.

When Santa told Edward he could make arrangements to have a special workshop built for himself,  Edward chose a design that looked like a Christmas gift box because of his love of all things Christmas.

I have made some progress on Edwards workshop today. First of all I added a few more gems, especially on the inside.

I then added some shelves for some of the special decorations Edward has been working on. I also added a few essentials - such as a pot belly stove for warmth, a box of chocolate truffles for energy and a companion dog for company.

The Workshop so far.

Some of the things I added today are:

I found the skier in an antique shop. I think it has come off a German Christmas decoration. It looks similar to some of the vintage Erzgebirge ornaments. I made the little wreath and the lovely cherub ornament was a Christmas surprise I received last year from Melli of der Pippibaeren (the creator of Edward).

The lovely 'Merry Christmas' wreath is one of a pair earrings I found at a local op shop. I was lucky enough to win the three tiny Christmas characters which were a giveaway prize from Sylvia of Mijbil Creatures. The tallest character is only 9mm high. The silver angel I made from jewellery findings. The bells are a charm from an 'Avon' Christmas bracelet. The three stockings are buttons from a scrapbooking shop. The wooden Santa and his Christmas tree was another op shop find.

Under the shelf is a string of cards which are from Paper Minis. The box of chocolate truffles are also from Paper Minis. I made the woven box holding the coloured paper. I have made a tutorial to make this which you will find here. I also made the paper chain Edward is making. The dog 'Prince' was an antique shop find and when he saw the pot belly stove he decided this would be a good place to live. He thought Edward looked very kindly too. The pot belly stove is actually a pepper shaker. Other miniatures are just from my stash.
Edward seems pretty pleased with his workshop so far. He is really pleased Prince has volunteered to be his companion. Towards Christmas Edward can spend hours making last minute touches to all the decorations and decorating the North Pole Christmas tree. He will be glad of the company.