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.





Sunday, July 30, 2017

” Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”








Ravens have managed their way into superstition, stories and poetry. It is said that if the ravens ever leave The Tower of London the Crown will fall and Britian with it. In Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" it symbolizes grief and death.  They sure have found their way into Halloween. I suppose that Poe's poem can take credit for that.

They are huge birds. As long as 25 inches in length and as much as 4.4 pounds. A lot bigger then a crow. 


The inspiration for the miniature was actually Pepper's Gothic dollhouse. https://mitchymoominiatures.blogspot.com/  I wanted to make her something for it. She has received it now so I am not spoiling the surprise. 

I had no idea how she wanted to decorate it so that made making something for the interior difficult. Then it suddenly struck me that a raven might look right sitting somewhere on the exterior. Old manor houses also seem to have a lot of taxidermy around he might even be used like that.

I had ordered a lot of black turkey feathers for this project so I made the one shown here. It is very difficult to photograph black!  There isn't any white lint on the bird, I had to lighten these a bit so you could see them. Otherwise they would have looked like a silhouette. He is jet black!




I cut his flock out of black silk embroidery floss. He was sculpted out of polymer clay. I only used the tips of the turkey feathers to cut down.

No color tweaking below. Here he isn't grayed from lightening the photo.




Monday, July 24, 2017

Lazy Summer Day



It has been very hot and humid here. Yesterday the heat index said it felt like 109 degrees F.  The air-conditioner really can't get the inside temperature more then 20 degrees below what it is outside. So we have been enjoying lazy days. I have been working in polymer clay making  miniature animals, while Kilmouski naps next to me.


 There is a dormer window I put a kitty perch in upstairs. The fabric pillow he is resting his head on is printed with cats. One of which looks exactly like him. That pillow belonged to his predecessor. It still apparently contains the wonderful scent of Honeysuckle after more than 20 years! I wish I could buy him Honeysuckle wood sticks (for cats) but it isn't sold in the USA. You can only get it in Canada. Sadly, they won't mail it to the US either. Catnip just does nothing for him but he thinks Honeysuckle is magic!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

I LOVE Silk!





This spring Linda http://miraclechicken.blogspot.com/  kindly allowed me some space on her table at the Tom Bishop Show in Chicago. I wanted to try to sell some of the William Morris silk chairs I made. When I got to Linda's table she asked..."Notice anything?" I was shocked! The chairs sold within 45 minutes of the doors opening on preview night. WHY, Oh WHY, didn't I bring more!

No photo can convey how beautiful that silk fabric is. The way it takes dyes is magic.  So... I have decided to make a few more. Each pattern presents a real design placement challenge. I try to and make a mirror image on each side.  On both sides of the wings, both arms and the sides. That can make you say some very bad words while you are working.

This one has hand carved legs made by Linda Master. She is a wizard! How she carves two perfectly alike is a mystery to me.





Here are a few 1: 1 scale William Morris upholstered chairs I found on Google. The scale seems to be close to what my miniature ones are. 



Pepper https://mitchymoominiatures.blogspot.com/  very kindly sent me a gift of some beautiful silk she got at the York show in the UK. I was thrilled to bits! I have a very hard time finding fabrics. These are hand loomed. Just gorgeous!


AND... She sent me some Susan Bembridge silk in my favorite colors. I  LOVE the patterns! Thank you so much Pepper. ;-)


I am still collecting Terry Curran crocks. Here are a few new ones I found on eBay.


                                     


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Chainsaws and Chippers... All around me

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A faux bois picnic basket in my garden. They are busy spreading rather than blooming. 


Seeing sky behind this house for the first time. Most of the debris  has been taken away today.

On Saturday night a huge storm hit my city. The sound and the lightening told me this was going to be serious. Straight line winds wreaked havoc on my neighborhood & city again!

 It is hard to see but it tore the driveway up.



Again... Sky over a house that used to have huge trees all around and behind it. 

 When I moved here 20 plus years ago it was like living in a forest of enormous very old oak trees. Finding a place to plant something that needed sun was difficult.
  
In 2003 another storm ripped through the city. The destruction was devastating, thousands of trees fell. It was heartbreaking. They fell on houses cutting them in two all around me. The whole city came to a standstill.  I had no power to my house for three weeks in July. That is when the temperatures usually range from 90 to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit . There was no getting out by car or on foot because hundreds of trees blocked the streets. I was so happy to see the firemen. They knocked on every door to see if anyone needed help. For weeks and weeks all I heard were chainsaws and chippers. I was lucky my house was not badly hurt. My poor neighbors were not so lucky. Most of them had to move out for as long as two years while the repairs were made. Blue tarps covered most of the rooftops.

So you might understand why I cringed when the chainsaws started here on Sunday morning. I am still hearing them and the chippers that they feed huge limbs into.

Today I got out and walked around my neighborhood. I was a little wary because big limbs are still dangling from huge trees that managed to stand. I was happy to see most of the houses were OK.












My neighborhood of 300 homes was built around this private
lake & park. Most of the houses were built in the 1920's.













Friday, May 12, 2017

The Larder




I love the idea of a well stocked larder/pantry which can be seen through an open doors in the kitchen. Beautiful baskets hanging from ceiling beams, braids of onions, garlic, peppers and hanging herbs. 
 
Today I wanted to see what all this will look like through a door. Though the shelves will be very different. Much older deeper and going from floor to ceiling.
 
On the back wall of the kitchen in the center will be a fireplace surround over the cast bronze stove I made. Then on both sides, closet doors.
 
I was very disappointed that Tiny Ter Miniatures (Teresa Martinez) was not going to be at the Tom Bishop Show this April in Chicago. Her work is just beautiful.  I wrote Teresa when I got home and ordered three more of her canned goods. They are pictured here on the second shelf. From left to right...  A jar of cauliflower, carrots and green beans,  a jar of pears in wine sauce and sliced carrot sticks.



Taking photos gives me an idea where the holes in the collection are. I may be missing a couple of dead rabbits hanging from their back legs! ;-O Also I don't like this spiffy clean look! 





HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!