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, 5 May 2013

Monkeying Around

My Sock Monkey

While I was aimlessly surfing about this week, as one does, I came across a link for a lady in Edmonton who makes - amongst other creations - belly dancing sock monkeys.

One of Caasi's Sock Monkeys

As some of you are painfully aware, I like sparkle, and I like unique. I thought - how wonderful this monkey is! So clever. Note the monkey has an attribute  (or two) you don't usually see on most sock monkeys...I will wait while you examine the photo...aaaaaand there it is.  I was ready to get the chequebook out, but some friend or other said those horrible, nasty words that instill guilt and confidence all in one blow  to the warrior artisan i.e. "You could MAKE that yourself, you know...". Pity the poor crafter who is clever, we almost never get to actually buy something that is hand crafted without someone instantly wondering if we made it, and if not, why not. Sometimes their disappointment is unbearable when you have actually not gone off and made-yer-own. I wonder if Martha Stewart feels that way when she gets take out?

The thing that amuses me though in these challenges is somehow the person who is less crafty than yourself feels that  you are saving money on the venture because you are making it yourself.  Nothing could be further from the truth, as you well know.  They never understand that you are liable to spend as much as, or more than, the original you are emulating. You just can't buy enough for one, no, that would be too convenient. You usually have to buy enough to make a small army of monkeys (or dolls, or chairs, or whatever).  Plus our imaginations are so big, we tend to think very far off script as we are seeing "possibilities", and we can get carried away very easily - especially if you have a fair bit of magpie in your genetic make up like I do.

Long story long, I did take up the challenge yesterday, with all the little bits of sock dust to prove it, and the monkey wearing the orange dance belt is my try. She is not finished yet - she hasn't a mouth, and the only reason she is wearing an orange dance belt is because  of modesty - she is still nekkid  (gasp! scandalous!) - I have to start making her some clothes. There were a couple of tricky bits that I had to figure out the mechanics on - cough - but I worked out a method and gave her a respectable bust line. Once I have her properly dressed, I will post her glamor pictures

So, what else have I done this weekend you say? What, you didn't ask? I will tell you anyway. I finally broke into the package labelled "Washtub Cottage"! 

 I can hear my friend mutter "blasted well time" - she has anxiously waited for me to start it for months. I, however, feel I made the right move on this, in that I started with the furniture, got comfortable with the author's way of thinking and in so doing  hopefully less mistakes will be made. That is my story, anyway. 

What Comes Out Of The Box

 So, the first task is as with all first tasks - make sure that you have all the bits. Some things (like flooring, roofing beams, shingles, flooring, wall partitions) are not included, but are - in the fine tradition of British miniaturists - easy  enough to find and make. 

Organzing the Bits

I sorted everything nice and neatly before I took the floor board and stuffed everything back in the bag for safe keeping. You get a fair sense of the house and what it will eventually look like, at any rate.

Marking off the Floor
 The floor was divided into two unequal "halves".

First Floor Partitions
This was another component that wasn't included, and had to be cut by hand. These are two sides of the same wall. I was a little discouraged when I found a critical piece of information was missing from the pattern - I needed the height, which was not printed. I did some guessing and creative extrapolation, and later reading further into the book found that my guess was right and the information was available, but I do wish it had been put down a little more obviously. Again, it was good that I started with the furniture first,  because the skill gleaned was skill enacted. 

Figuring out my Floor Space
 I used the walls to track exactly how much space I was going to need to set the floor in between the two roomsThe flooring does not go down in this space, which is important. 

Preparing for the Offensive
 The floor is done with air drying clay. This meant I had to be prepared with the tools and supplies. The trick was to paint the floor (leaving the gap for the wall) with glue, and while the glue was tacky but not dry, have a prepared bit of the clay rolled out to desired thickness, which was then applied to the wood at warp speed and detailed. The trick was to work everything fast and furious before the glue got too dry and/or the clay got manky from drying too fast - and as the temperature is quite warm today, I went forth with no hesitation or second guessing

The Floor
I should have made a guide of some sort on the flagstone floor in retrospect (even if I was moving quite quickly) , but once things are painted it should look pretty good. The tile floor came out pretty even. Now I just have to wait until it dries. It is recommended that you don't rush this process, lest you  cause unwanted breaking and shrinking. So I leave it there, to dry for the recommended time

And done! No, not really. I thought I would surf around and see if I could find a similar cottage, and this was the closest I could find, a charmer in North Yorkshire. One thing I do wish designers would do, and it is personal preference as not everyone wants details on everything like I do,  is see that their inspiration is listed, if the house is based on a house they saw or whatever. I just like to know history and such, I suppose - such as, why "Washtub"... there has to be some history I don't know about, something that can drive me slowly mad. Actually, nobody has to drive me anywhere, I think I may have arrived, but that is a different story. 

That is probably enough for today, as I don't want to push on to the point of making mistakes. Plus I have a slightly angry and very cold monkey who needs some finery to call her own. 

One final thought, I just wanted to say ....

to our kind vendors who graced us with their presence at the show last weekend.  Those individuals are:

Michele Rondeau 
Sherrill Bedu
Rosalle Pinske
Another World Miniatures
Mostly Miniatures (Susan McGowan)
Jennifer Kwong (C&J Minis)
Ernest Schait 
Victoria Miniland (Alex) 

A thank you to the Penticton group and all our visitors as well!   
We appreciate your support

 Until we meet again, my cute little monkeys! 

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