Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fantasy Upcycling

I'm creating a little patch of fantasy where the residents are into 'fantasy upcycling'. My husband came up with that title for this project. I decided I wanted to keep on with experimenting with polymer clay today, especially after seeing Jane's recent inspirational post on her creations:
Then I saw the lid of a little box and for some reason I thought 'briefcase'.
By the end of the day I had made a start on a mini project to get me back into miniatures for 2015.
For your viewing, the briefcase residence:

I will be able to put a bulb inside this so it will glow at night but it will really just be a background piece in a little scene. I will find a few other items that the residents have upcycled to create items for their garden, e.g. a thimble as a plant pot etc. I want to have a go at making plants, flowers, toadstools, fungi etc to create a little fantasy woodland or garden scene.
I don't yet know who the upcycling residents are or what I will even put the scene on or in. Any ideas would be welcomed. I am thinking it will only be a fairly small project.
It is not really to a specific scale, it is fantasy afterall. The briefcase is approximately 11.5cm x 13.5cm. The briefcase is made from the lid of a box and a piece of cardboard covered with a piece of old roller blind. The door, window, chimney and handle are polymer clay and the lock is part of a metal hinge. I will probably touch up the leaves with a bit of paint. I'm not that happy with them - still it is all part of learning a new skill.
After seeing Jane's wonderful work I am even more determined to master working with polymer clay.
I hope you are all having a good weekend. I can't do any miniatures tomorrow as I have family commitments but I am looking forward to continuing with this project as and when I can during the week.
Will keep you posted as to progress.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Back to Work Tomorrow!

My Christmas break is over. A lot of it has gone towards attending to family matters but I did do a little bit of playing with minis.
The most exciting mini-related thing though is receiving two wonderful Christmas swaps from fellow miniaturists. I participated in Fabiola's 2014 Christmas Chain Swap and my swap partners were Fabiola and Drora.
Unfortunately I was late sending my gifts to my swap partners due to unexpected family matters and I thank them for their understanding. I cannot post photos of what I sent them yet until I know they have arrived safely.
From Fabiola I received the most delightful kitchen set in a blue checked fabric - apron with spoon (with 'S' embroidered on the pocket), bread bag, pot holder and cloth. Also enclosed was a delightful 'Home Sweet Home' picture.
From Drora I received a lovely little toy shelf, rubber doll (which I will create a garden ornament with), a cute little water dispenser which has a light in it, some beautiful flowers and a dainty little shell trinket box.
I just adore the tiny shell trinket box. Inspired I even went to the beach the other day hoping to find some small shells to make a shell mirror frame but unfortunately I couldn't find many small shells at our beach, only lots of broken bits of larger shells. The trinket box is currently sitting on a vintage Japanese dresser in my vintage house The Laurels.

The lovely flowers from Drora have found their way into a vintage vase in The Laurels.
I was away with my sisters last weekend and when I got home my husband and daughter had moved my craftroom to the biggest brightest room in the house so I can have most of my houses and miniature related items in one place and a good space to do my miniatures in - a lovely surprise. My daughter has voluntarily moved into the smallest bedroom in the house. They are both keen that I spend more time doing my hobby. It also means my daughter Jamie has space in the craft room to do things if she wants to join me.
Before I went away I reviewed some of the houses in my collection. The Victorian kitchen in the Del Prado house has been moved into my vintage house, The Laurels. What I had made for the Del Prado has been mixed with my vintage kitchen miniatures. I still need to get some flooring and paper for the room.

The cook is making use of the lovely swap gifts from Fabiola.

My Del Prado house will now become a more modern house and will house the furniture my Dad made. I am thinking that rather than adding the room on the top left of the house I will instead create a roof-top garden/entertaining area. It will be a basic house with a kitchen, living room, parent's room, girl's room and boy's room. That way I can use a mix of girls and boys toys in the house.

Now for my attempts at polymer clay.
Most of my first attempts at making items from polymer clay went in the bin, but eventually I started having a little success.
First I made these two plates from a mould I made using 'Mold Maker'. The flower pattern is from an old button.

 Then I made some strawberry roll cakes loosely based on a tutorial on You Tube by Sugar Charm Shop. I cannot take credit for the lovely strawberries and kiwifruit. These were cut from canes I won via a giveaway from Lisa at Mini Addictions which included some polymer clay and related items. I don't think I am quite ready for canes yet but I am definitely going to give them a try.

Today I made the little plates the cakes are on and the candle holders and candles. The plates were my own design.The candle holders were based loosely on a tutorial in the book Making Dolls House Miniatures with Polymer Clay by Sue Heaser.
I have a long way to go with polymer clay but I am determined to persevere as the possibilities are endless.
Well back to work tomorrow but I am going to try to get in my craft room some evenings from now on so my hobby isn't just contained within one or two hours each weekend. Hopefully I have something else to show you very soon.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Awaiting Moderation Tool

This morning I received a lovely comment from Plushpussycat saying "Happy new year, Sharee! I look forward to more fun with you in 2015! xo Jennifer". Unfortunately while using the little screen on my phone I hit 'delete' instead of 'publish' and deleted her message. I felt terrible.

Jennifer I so look forward to following your wonderful blog through 2015 and those of our other blog friends.

For the first time in my four years of blogging I have had to resort to using the 'Awaiting Moderation' tool because there is a persistent spammer that keeps trying to post nonsense on my blog - 13 attempts on different blog posts the other day. I had to go to each post and delete the messages. It isn't even advertising it is just nonsense. Someone has too much time on their hands! Eventually I had to resort to using the 'Awaiting Moderation' tool to have some control over the situation.

I am trying to get to grips with using polymer clay - that is the first task I have set myself in learning new skills and improving my existing skills for miniatures. There are so many possibilities with polymer clay and I really admire the work of other miniaturists in their creative use of polymer clay. So far I have a lot of failed experiments in the bin but I am learning and hopefully will have something to show you soon. I have just bought myself some new polymer clay with some Christmas money I was given and this has made a big difference. What I had before was a mix of clays and they were very old. I have bought some colours from the Du-kit range which is a New Zealand product.

I hope everyone has enjoyed their holiday break and has had a bit of creative time.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

Marlon once again wishes everyone a Happy New Year!

I have to say that 2014 wasn't a great year for us and I venture into 2015 with hope!
I didn't have time to set up a little New Year scene this year so I have reposted last year's scene again, besides Marlon really does want to wish everyone a Happy New Year.
Marlon enters 2015 with hope too - hope that I will finally build him his own little residence.
It is 1 January here in New Zealand and I have decided to have a day of reflecting and deciding on what I would like to achieve in 2015. With regards to miniatures I really want to be more focused and improve on the skills and knowledge I have - to give things a go, do fellow miniaturists tutorials, try new techniques, experiment with some ideas that I have, look for inspiration, find out what I really enjoy and strive for a higher level of craftsmanship.
I also really want to focus on doing things I enjoy.
I'll let you know what I come up with after my day of reflection.
In the meantime, best wishes to everyone for a happy and creative 2015.