Friday, 14 February 2014

California Here I Come........

In a couple of weeks I will be travelling from wet and windy England to the sun of California. 
I will be staying in Palm Springs and visiting the surrounding areas plus San Diego, Sedona and Las Vegas. 
Sooooo, where are the best places a craft hoarder and miniature collector should shop? I know there are lots of hobby and craft shops and I have a very patient husband.
All suggestions will be very gratefully received. 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

By George She's Done It!! Well Nearly........Honeydukes Window Update.

I have been working very hard since my last post with the three round bays for my Honeydukes project. It has been two steps forward and one step back, a lot of tweaking and painting plus a couple of 'put it down and think moments' but I believe I am nearly there.
 I chose to use plastic sink mats to provide the 'panes' for my tall Georgian windows which meant I had to fit all the other elements around the height and width of these mats.
My attempts to make my own circular plinths were not good enough so I had been waiting for some ready cut 3mm/10cm and 6mm/12cm circles to arrive. These were then cut, sealed with PVA/water, painted with brown paint mixed with PVA and the painted with 3 coats of my paint mixture.
 The bay 'tubs' are Chedders tubes cut to size and then covered with a top skin of thin cardboard cut from a cereal box. These then were sealed and painted and given an edge of very thin bass wood to give a panelled look.
 The 6mm depth of the panels was accommodated by cutting one of the larger circles and then topping the ledge with a 10cm circle. I made life harder for myself by choosing to have a lighter shade of the green inside the shop. This meant I have had to paint all the interior showing pieces a different colour.
 I have also built the two front bays sitting on a 1/32 piece of balsa to allow the front panel to open without too much scraping.
 The plastic 'pane' has had a number of coats of paint and been given a final coat of spray varnish.
 The pink shop sign has been cut to fit snugly over the window pane and reaches the top of the window opening.
 To finish the outside a top lid. 
 The almost finished look of the front panel. 
 The side window has the finished panelling detail on the bay tub but I have yet to finish the front two strips.
Internally I have carried the ceiling moulding through the top of the windows as this will not be seen from the outside but be hidden by the pink shop sign. I wanted the bottom bay to carry on into the shop to provide display ledges and there will be a display shelf under the moulding. I will probably have a tidy up around the windows once everything is finally glued in.
 So all is going well but I now have to get over the final hurdle.....the shop signage. The pink strips need HONEYDUKES in big dark green letters. I have decided to go with the Gloss Medium method after lots of research on Pinterest.
I used WordArt on my computer for the lettering and remembered to print it out as a mirror image. Then I made a photocopy of my lettering as my printer is an inject. I then painted a layer of the gloss medium onto the wood and the cut to size lettering. Made sure there were no bubbles and then left overnight.
The next day I sprayed the paper with warm water and rubbed off gently, very gently.
 Three bays, only one has come out well and even this has a few blimps. I am not sure what I did wrong so I have had to rub them down to start again. This time I have made spares so I am hoping to get the final two done in the next couple of days........more time wasted.
This will be the final, final look! I am hoping to start the exterior stone work next week if I get the windows done and finally glued in. I am hoping that this part of the project will be a lot less time consuming and progress will quicken up as I am off on holiday in a few weeks time and my daughter is also preparing to go abroad for nearly a year to work so I won't have all the time I want to play with my toys.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Shopping at the City of London Dolls House Festival This Weekend........

I visited the City of London Dolls House Fair yesterday which is a new show and much smaller than its sister fair which is held in Kensington. There were a few more stands than last year and a couple of European sellers who I have not seen at UK fairs before which made it a worthwhile trip.
I was mostly intent on buying my lights from Small World Products and making my usual visit to the mecca of all things wood, Wood Supplies. This lovely enthusiastic couple carry a vast range of expertly sourced and cut wood supplies that are absolutely perfect for miniatures and dolls houses. I always stock up when I visit a fair and I knew they would be able to help me solve some of my Honeyduke window problems. 
I also bought a selection of glues from Jennifer's of Walsall another tireless dolls house supplier. Aleen's Tacky Glue has always been my glue of choice but is very expensive to buy locally and this time I decided to try two other glues in the range that I had not seen before. I used the Quick Dry Tacky Glue today to stick thin bass wood onto card and it was perfect for that job, no slipping and very quick drying time.
 I wanted a white flowered plant for my beach house and as a lover of cyclamen this little pot by Jan Southerton, The Flowerlady, was a perfect choice and I couldn't resist this super pot of lavender too.
 Angie Scarr was also at the fair and as I have not seen her work in the UK for a number of years I took the opportunity to stock up on a few of her famous canes that will be very useful for my Honeydukes project.
 Of course my sweet shop must have trays of mouthwatering chocolates and sweet treats and I was very pleased to see these little trays and tins on the Country Contrast stand. They will fill my counter perfectly. I was really tempted, again, by their wonderful range of enamelware, but resisted manfully.
 I couldn't resist this tiny Victorian theatre by Jacqueline Crosby Miniatures for my winter market  project on the toy stall.
 I had to visit one of my new favourite sellers, Jane Harrop, where I purchased these two dinky angels, again ready to be put away with my winter market project. Jane's 80 year old mother in law wrote a lovely little poem to go home with every angel. How lovely is that! 
 A very different item for me is this amazing tiny vintage doll by Victoria Heredia Guerbos. The detail is amazing and she is set to be part of of winter project. 
As predicted the Art of Mini stand was mobbed the whole time I was at the show and I am not surprised. Janny had a wide range of the most gorgeous pieces and I definitely intend to buy some of her furniture kits one day. As it was I just looked, sighed and walked away......see, I am learning!!
I was also severely tempted by an ice-cream cart on Cinen's stand but I was soooo good. 
I had a lovely time looking at lots of stands that while they didn't have items that fitted into any of my current projects were wonderful to look at and enjoy.
I hope that all the sellers had a successful day too because we want them to keep on making all their fabulous items.