Monday, January 1, 2018

Starting out 2018 with a big BOOM! ;-(




Wishing you all a Very Happy, Healthy 2018 

My city rarely gets extremely cold but as many of you have heard or are experiencing yourselves, the USA is having some rather unusual temperatures at the moment.

Last night, the coldest for me so far was 8 degrees Fahrenheit or -13 C. It was at about 9:30 PM when I heard it.... a big BOOM and then all the lights and the heat went off. I looked out my up stairs window and the neighborhood was totally dark. A few minutes later I phoned the power company to report an outage. They said via a recording, there were 13 outages, 1,875 homes. I can tell you truthfully it scared me to the core of my being! I have lived in this neighborhood a very long time and the longest I went without power was for three weeks in the summer, after a really bad storm.  That storm destroyed houses and took down trees all over the city. We had a bad ice storm about 15 years ago and I lost power in the winter for a week. Right, no lights, no heat! Last night was really odd because other than being very cold there was nothing extraordinary happening with the weather, no snow no ice.

I got more blankets and went to sleep. I was VERY happy this morning to find the heat was on and the house was warm! I frankly didn't expect it.

So...  if you are in the FROZEN USA I hope you are inside and warm. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Winter Carpet Picnic





Last Spring when I was at the Tom Bishop Show in Chicago I met Lidi Stroud for the first time at her table. It was a real treat to see so many of her gorgeous baskets in person.  I was going to buy one of my favorites but instead we started talking about a trade. Lidi told me she liked my walnut shell cottages. Over the next few months a trade was never discussed again.

In November I emailed Lidi to let her know I had sent her a parcel. She wrote back and said... "Now isn't that strange, I sent you one yesterday." Strange indeed!!! I was sure she had forgotten all about our discussion.

I was thrilled to bits when her French picnic basket arrived! It has been a favorite since the first time I saw it on her blog. http://basketcase-miniatures.blogspot.com/ You can't really appreciate how fine her work is until you hold it in your hand.

Thanks again Lidi! I love it! XXX




Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!



 My neighbors asked me if I would collect their mail and parcels while they were out of town. Sadly the people who sent them these lovely flowers didn't know they were leaving for a 10 days.

They sure look nice in my dining room. The colors are perfect!

                                     
   

                                         

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating today!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Lots of Flowers



As you can see I have been busy.
 
There are a few things I would rather do then make flowers. Like spend the day with my tax man or go for a colonoscopy. The entire time I kept thinking of dear Elizabeth making that garden all around her house. How did you survive that I wondered?  http://studioeminiatures.blogspot.com/  I survived by listening to one of the Outlander audio books. Good thing it has 47 disks!
 
Still, I have to admit miniature flowers have loads of charm. I am going to have to work on the color combinations.  I wanted some sort of setting for the French flower buckets, watering cans I made. I am hoping to start making those to sell next year. And yes... this project will have walls. ;-O
 

I think a cat popping out of a bigger flower pot might be fun next.




 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

My First Assignment in Metals Class in Art School



This was the first project I made in a metals class in art school. The assignment was to fabricate something in metal. Using forming and soldering techniques.  I chose to make a 1: 12 scale teapot on a stand.

The stand was made of sterling silver square wire because I needed that gauge and sterling was all I had. The flower cup holder was cut out of a dapped piece of sterling with a jewelers saw. Then the stand was oxidized to make it look like wrought iron.

The body of the teapot is in brass and was made of two dapped pieces soldered together. I wanted a tapered hollow spout and the only way I knew to make it at that time was to electroform it. I made a wax interior shape and painted a conductor on it. Then literally grew copper over the wax. Once I had enough copper on the wax I was able to melt out the wax and solder the spout on the brass pot. Everything brass had to be gold plated. The burner was made out of telescoping tubes and sheet brass. The wood knob and handle are ebony.

My father gave me the life size version of this piece for my birthday. For Christmas I gave him back the miniature I made of it.

More 40 years later this first project makes me cringe a bit. I made five of these pieces. Dearing and Tracy (miniature dealers from the 1970's)  sold the other four for me.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Antique Copper & Brass Findings


I have been so busy with RL I haven't had much time for miniatures. Though I have finished several galvanized French Flower buckets.

I have found so many wonderful brass and copper findings lately. I have a lot of ideas about how I would like to use them. Any ideas you might have would be welcome. I think we all have had lots of uses for findings.



The copper pheasants and chicks are just 38 X 30mm. They detail is just incredible. Which will be greatly enhanced/defined once they have been oxidized and buffed. I can think of many ways to use this piece. The simplest of which would just be framing it.. The copper is pretty heavy, unlike other stampings I have seen. Which makes forming it a bit risky because hammering on it might damage the higher raised areas. I still may sweat solder it to a piece of brass and try forming it into cane/umbrella stand. That would be great next to a front door of a country house. 

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The brass dragons drinking out of the fountain are 110mm long. Wonderful I thought for a pediment of a house. They would have to be painted to look like they were carved stone or plaster. They could be used over a double door too. 


I wish I had been able to get two of these copper pieces so I could have soldered them together. It would have required cutting off and replacing the bottom.  It will still make a nice wall planter. Perhaps in a green patina. 
 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

1:12 Scale Vintage "Galvanized" Watering Can






I made several watering cans a few years ago and either sold or gave them away. When I went to make myself one a few days ago, I discovered I had lost the plate I engraved to make the raised rings around the body of the can. UGH! Sad, because that plate also had to curved engraved cuts for making French "zinc" flower buckets. This cans watering head has really small holes drilled in concentric circles. In a few days the polished brass will dull down and look just right.

I meant to take lots of in progress pictures but as usual I just got busy and just couldn't stop.


 It is amazing how many tools it takes to make these. Steel surface plate, ring mandrel, Small tapered mandrel (for making the tapered tube), dapping block set, soldering equipment, Flex shaft, hammers, gravers, jewelers saw and on and on it goes. I am sure you know very well how much stuff you have to drag out for a small project.