MECO Show and Sale

MECO Show and Sale
2016 Show & Sale will be the Saturday 14th May 2016 held at the Peachland Community Centre in Peachland BC. contact person Barb Janes-Yeo at 250-757-2842

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Springing into Action

"The March wind roars
Like a lion in the sky,
And makes us shiver
As he passes by.
When winds are soft,
And the days are warm and clear,
Just like a gentle lamb,
Then spring is here."
-  Author Unknown

This week heralded the first day of spring. Supposedly. Now, I am not saying the calendar is an out and out liar, but how am I supposed to work with snow almost every day this week and below freezing temperatures? Not to mention, it was nearly -10 C each morning of my very short weekend...I couldn't even get out to ride. I was getting more cycling action when it was still winter.  I have to say, my fancy was turning less to thoughts of love and more to my very warmest set of fleece jammies and a hot cup of cocoa. Today, at least, there was a little bit of a redemption of the first week of spring with a shot of embracing promise of better days to come, but once that sun started to set, wham! The poor birds were freezing out of the trees again. The weather has been so very angry and agressive, it is no suprise to me that the month of March is actually named after the Roman God of War

The happy news is, I have completed my Valentine's Day box. Admittedly, it is enough sweet to rot your teeth/put you in a diabetic coma, and make a 7-year-old girl just giddy with glee with all the pink and cliche cute contained within its tiny little pink walls, but I am happy with how it all turned out. 

Pink Exterior

Kitties and Bears, n' Teapots, n' B'loons 'n EVERYTHING!!

Little Mood Lighting

I think Valentine's Day has been very much seized for 2013, don't you? 

I also worked on my quarter scale furniture for my Washtub Cottage. I made a medieval chest. 

The Pattern Drawn Out
 I began as I do with drawing out the pattern. I find as I make more and more of these, I am getting a little more skilled. I should be quite the Quarter Scale Engineer by the time I hit the Washtub Cottage proper. 

The Pattern Drawn for the Detailing
The chest gets its detailing from an overlay of a second piece of cardstock, in which key sections have been cut out. This gives an element of depth and weight to the overall appearance.

Overlay and Ventilation Holes
 I actually followed the instructions this time - I know, I know, that I was getting ill was my first thought too, but no. I just have just lost my head for a moment. Anyway, the ventilation holes are merely pin holes pushed through in key spots. 

Adding the Base
 Once the box was put together, of course, I added a base, same way as we have been all along, gluing to a piece of medium card and cutting carefully around the bottom - hmm, that sounds rather like a Beverly Hills Reality Show about plastic surgery, doesn't it? 

Ready To Paint!
 Strangely, I did not actually take pictures of the painted piece. I used a burnt sienna as an undercoat, and then with my burnt umber water colours, I went over it and gave it a nice burnish and it is really effective in the picture you can't see. I was more careful this time with the acrylic gloss - less of it, and not using my big expensive jar as my dipping in reservoir, as to preserve the clarity of my varnish. I will take a picture and add it to the "finished" pile here next week. 

As it is Easter coming up next week, and as today's club project was a Lily, I went really insane and did a 1:12 scale market stall...or started one, anyway. It is really strange to do a 1:12 scale anything after working in half scales and quarter scales, everything seems so...mutant. I drew inspiration from Joanne Swanson once again, that wonderful, wonderful lady to whom I owe so many happy hours in my miniature life  
From Joanne Swanson's Blog
 ...And you thought you were safe from overly cute once I got the Valentine out of my system, didn't you? Nay, I say, Nay.  I haven't done an actual Easter tableau, but I have been getting a small but steady collection of Easter-y things, and I have also wanted to do a market stall for awhile now. Bazinga! (If you are a "Big Bang" fan, you get the reference, if not, tough for me )

The Raw Ingredients
 As with all projects, we start with our basic cut outs. I would suggest, because it is a 1:12 scale project and it is built primarily out of matboard, that a heavier blade be used. Exactos are nice, but box cutters do a better, safer (see below) job in this instance.

Building The Box
 The box is built in a fairly standard way - you want your "facing" side to have an uninterrupted look - i.e. the edges of the side pieces are hidden. You don't have to do this, but it just looks neater and more finished

The Box with Top and Bottom in Place
 I realized too late that I either measured wrong, or I was supposed to have a "lip" coming over the edge because the top and bottom piece (cut to the same dimensions) were a little too proud over the front. I compromised, shortened the bottom so it was flush, and let the top hang over a bit. I think this is more in keeping with an outdoor event table. 

Framing Out The Front
 Originally, the plans called for a lot of fiddly woodwork, which got tiresome within about 3 seconds - some days I just don't have the patience, I swear! I took a page from my quarter scale medieval chest treatment, did some math and made cut outs. I did this for the two short ends as well, but left the back plain, as you don't generally see the back of a sales booth looking too overworked, mainly because the person you want to impress is standing in front of the booth, not behind it. 

Package of "Project Wood"
 If you did want to get frisky with the wood detailing like I didn't, sometimes you can find very usable pieces in bags such as these at the craft stores. Be aware, though, that sometimes the ends are not as true as you would hope, so make sure you are squared up before you start gluing. 

Mitre Box and Saw
 I find the above marvelous for the thicker pieces of milled hobby wood that would reduce my mitre scissors to tears. If you are looking for one of these marvels, make sure the razor saw has a fairly wide blade. I have two saws, one of which is very thin - and very useless. The saw above gives me more stability. Of course, any bigger pieces of wood should be handled with a larger saw and even larger mitre box. However, you do have to remember with anything cut with a regular sized mitre box and saw, you will lose a certain amount of board to wastage due  to the thickness of the blade, so always take that into account. As well, the bigger saws have bigger teeth, and may not give you the surface you want in the end, so reserve the big tools for big cuts you just can't make in a small hobby-sized mitre as above. 

Supports for Base of Booth
 I made a simple support for the base, again hiding the vertical boards with a longer horizontal face board. I decided to leave the back open, so my miniature people had space to push their feet under - comfort is always important, even if you are 5.4 inches tall with glass toes

Top Supports
 The supports to hold the canopy are pretty basic, the classic "H" shape. 

Canopy Supports
 To make these canopy support pieces, I drew a rectangle first, which of course will fit between the support posts and is an inch high in the middle. I found the centre point of the length, and measured out from that  at the top to get my short side, and drew a horizontal centre line from the half-inch measurement  Joanne gives in her instructions. From that center line on the edge, I drew a diagonal line to the top where the shorter edge ended. That way I had everything centred and ready to go for cutting. Ah, Math, is there anything you *can't* do? 

Canopy Support  and Side Supports, Together At Last
 Our pieces, now expertly cut, they are glued to the posts. 

Getting there!
 The posts attached to the base. 

With Top Shelf and Face Board
 I added the top shelf and face board to dress it up. It is ready to be painted and decorated. That is where I got to today, but as I went to club I didn't get much further. It is probably a good idea to let the glue finish drying anyway. Maybe

So, club. That happened today too. Today's lesson, as mentioned,  was a Lily, taught to us by Member Sherrill.  

Sherrill's Flowers 1:12 scale and beyond

 We had a choice today - an Asian Lily (Pink with spots) or the Easter Lily (white with green towards the petals). I went with the Pink Lily (which of course, should come as a great shock to the majority of my readers). 

 We started out with cloth cover wire (stems), bunka (stamens), Punched paper shapes (leaves and petals), florist tape (to wrap the stem), bag o' dirt, and a bead. 

We began with the petals. A clever trick was to have a little card with double sided tape in which to secure the petals. They were attached just at the pointed ends, to make them easier to manipulate, but not so much on the tape as to tear the paper. Next, the petals were painted - we used water colour pencil crayons to tint the petals, then went over the petals with a damp brush to get the desired effect. The spots were added using a mechanical pencil, which was very effective.

Petals on a Card
 To prepare the middle bit of the flower, we glued an end of the bunka to the stem, and then cut the bunka away. The bunka was teased out, and we put tiny drops of paint on the bunka ends to create a stamen appearance. 

Stamen Structure
 Then it was time to add the petals. We used 5 petals. Strictly speaking, Lilies have 6 petals, but for whatever reason, 3's, 5's, and 7's - odd numbers, really - seem to just "read right". Six petals can be done, but you have to be rather scrupulous with the placement, and it still can look crowded. In the end, of course, it is your choice. 

Petals Glued!
 Right now it looks a little like an slightly over eager tulip, but eventually - once the glue is dry - the petals will be gently shaped into the lovely curves of the flower. Sorry about the bandage, this is why I know it is better to cut big pieces of matboard with a heavier blade. Happily I missed any major arteries, so it is all good.

Our next task was to to cut a very thin piece of the  florist tape, and wind the tape around the stem, winding in such a way as to "trap" the florist tape so it wouldn't come undone on us. As we went down the stem, we added leaves. We found it a little easier in the end to add a little glue to the leaf before we taped it down, otherwise we had a lot of "pinging" noises and "Son of a Furry Wildebeest!" curses floating over the table, with people going about on their knees on a green carpet trying to find tiny green leaves. It was all very sordid. 

We did a few "cheater" leaves as well, cutting a larger punched piece to look like more leaves than there should be. Sometimes in the world of illusions called Miniature Work, we like to have people imagine in the rest for us, and quite often less can be more. 

Once we were happy with our stems, and after we curved our petals and leaves gently with tweezers,  we cut the stem to size based on the pot given, and glued our flowers into a pot (bead or wooden finding)Here is mine. 

Asian Lily
  I didn't add dirt, although some was supplied. I felt this gave my plant a more "Asian influence" look (whatever that means) , I suppose - less, once again, is more. 

Thus, with my little pot of flowers set up to dry, my day has come to an end. I hope your First Weekend of Spring has brought many more promises of life bursting forth, and less of that silly frozen water that has just overstayed its welcome, in my opinion. Many happy days until the next time we meet, my friends. 

PS: Here is a little video on how to make a mini rabbit, since it is the season - feel free to make it smaller, but the technique will be the same. Enjoy! 






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