Another brilliant day in the Okanagan, and another meeting for MECO. Today was a "bring your own" day, and we started on some little boxes found in the unfinished wood department of Michael's (I am hoping by mentioning their name, there will be swag forthcoming...? Well, they should, given how much money they have made from me over the years ) . Anyway, the box...
The goal here is to take this very simple box, and turn it into something spectacular, as Sherrill did when she inspired us with her offering.
Isn't it brilliant what you can do with such humble beginnings? I especially love the little cellar she made, and the little tasting table in the door, which fits ever so perfectly. The trick now, of course, is to get inspired. When I looked at my box, I saw a wine cellar. I have wanted to do a wine cellar for a long time. I am not sure why - I don't drink, and I doubt if I would like wine anyway, given my rather persistent hatred of grape juice. I do know a lot of whiners, but I don't think that counts as the same thing. Something about a wine cellar just appeals to me though; I like the stone work, the pretty bottles, and the big oak barrels, the elegance of grapes, the coolness of the cellar against the heat of the summer - just don't expect me to drink the vile stuff. Anyway, I saw an article by Betsy Treunicht, which appeared in the American Miniaturist March 2005 issue , which I loved and I have always wanted to make, but really had no interest in building it in one inch scale - there is simply no room left in my house. However, what if I reduced it for 1/4 scale? Perfect!
|Picture of Betsy Treunicht's Wine Cellar 1:1 scale, as it appeared in the March 2005 American Miniaturist Magazine|
This had a few challenges in planning. First, I am building to fit into the container, not building the container to plan. Second, and I am not sure how this ran past the editors of the magazine because usually in an American publication you are not going to see metric, but all the dimensions of the plans are given in millimetres, not inches. Fun times everyone!However, as a good little Canadian who has a working knowledge of metric to Imperial conversion and a calculator, I carried on, muttering under my breath all the way.
I started, as I often do, with a cardstock template. I can always use this as a pattern for the heavier and more expensive matboard later. I think this will work out quite nicely, giving me room for detail and the depth for background, but also enough room in the front for me to add my table and such.
The trick with this diorama is to build it back to front, starting with the stairs and working out. The original plans called for 15 mm thick wood (1/2 inch) for the stair treads. That equates to 1/16 inch in quarter inch scale. I pulled out my nifty 1/16 thickness of balsa wood and started cutting. Balsa isn't always a great thing to build with, because it is soft and squishy, but I think I will be able to make some rather nicely detailed stairs with it.
Voila! Stairs! The stairs are quite easy, as they are 4 rectangle pieces the same size, with part of the rectangle lopped off as the stairs climb. Hopefully these will look thick enough but right now it is in the "raw" state anyway and I am not overly concerned.
Here are the stairs behind the template I cut out earlier. Not too bad.
The stairs, painted a terra cotta, although I intend on taking down the colour a little later on with some patina. Also, the support for the stair in the back is pictured.
The stairwell, behind the template. Not horrible. I will do a little more detailing and see what I get. I wonder today about lighting this bad boy. That will have to be done before things get too pretty.
That is pretty much where I got today - most of the day was spent getting a migraine over converting a metrified one inch down to a quarter inch scale.
We also spent some of the day discussing our next group project. The first discussed was a lighthouse in 1/4 inch scale. I like it! And not only because I have a kit already that I haven't put up. I have to say, I do love lighthouses, and I am excited to break out my kit! I even have a nice little house for the lighthouse keeper and his family.
|Similar to, but not exactly what we will build|
We also spoke today of participating in the 2013 N.A.M.E. (National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts) day event, which happens October 5th, 2013. This year the big project is peddlar's carts, which to members they have available in 1:1, 1:2 , and 1:4 scale.
We also did some talking about a past project that appeared in "Dollhouse Miniatures" a few years ago, a year of 1/4 inch houses. Again, I probably have a house that I haven't quite finished yet that might just fit the bill. It is always good to clear out a few *UFOs, so you can make room for more.
*UFO - Un-Finished Object
So what other news? Well, I got overheated yesterday, and not just because we are currently experiencing a nasty heat wave. I have mentioned off and on that my friend and I would like to do a beach hut. I tried desperately to contact a maker of same in England, but no one got back to me, so I have to assume the website is defunct, they are out of business, or they just don't like me. Anywhich way, I never did receive an answer back. So, I started designing my own. In doing research about it, I stumbled across a bit of good luck (given the rotten luck I have been having lately, this was wondrous indeed).
Yes, citizens of the world...Dolls House and Miniature Scene is doing a seaside issue for August! I hopped on my bike and had my local book store put one one hold for me, I was so excited. I can't wait to start. Youtube wouldn't let me post the video, but if you go to Coombe Crafts Miniature Blog you can get the whole scoop and a half . Exciting!
Well, that is all for today - hope you have had a fabulous week, and will have more of this same for this week. I will leave you in the waning days of July with a little summer time treat of watermelon. In our house this was strictly an outdoors treat, and you generally had to be hosed off before you were allowed back into the house, due to the surprisingly sloppy nature of a watermelon and the general lack of coordination small children have with such things. Enjoy!