where I ramble on about what's happening in my little world
and hopefully you have some enjoyment reading about it!

almost done :o)

I had a few hours to myself over the last couple of days, which is rare for a school half term! but my daughter is getting older now and doesnt need (or want) permanent supervision from mum!! LOL so I made some progress on the sewing shopbox whilst the playstation kept her company.

and it went from looking like this....to this.... :o)The bricks were made from paperclay & painted with acrylics, then the rest was plastered in ready made quick drying filler, sanded and then a weak dirty wash applied all over.

I dont like the door it came with as it's just mdf so will make one of my balsa specials for it next... maybe tomorrow? and I want to try out Glenda's idea for a leaded window too, you can see her fantastic tutorial here.
I'm on an urge to get it all finished as I want to make a start on my steampunk mousientists house ... and because it'd be quite novel to actually have something FINISHED for a change!!! :o)

I did take lots of pics while I decorated it, but wasnt sure if anyone would actually want a step by step how to do it with paperclay and polyfilla? let me know if you want to see how it's done.

another project to add to the to-do list!....

just a quick post... I found this whilst out shopping this morning and just HAD to have it !! and it was a bargain too, so home it came :o) as soon as I saw it I thought it was just the right size to turn it into a 2 floored steampunk style clockwork 'dolls'-house/room box 'thing'!
I have a vision for it... (wether it turns out anywhere near the image in my head is another matter LOL) I think I shall put a lift in one corner with cogs and chains etc and on the upper floor will be an observatory, with a pull down/fold up bed contraption. I've been wanting to do something steampunk for a while and now I have the perfect vessel for me to play with :o) I had a chat about this with a few friends and Joolz of Jakdaws attic is going to make me a steampunked mousientist with mad hair, boggly eyes & goggles on, to live in it (when he's not running around the Skool of Majick blowing things up!! )
:o) Happy days ....

I'd love to make a start on the new project but the neverending 'to-do' list insisted I finished some overdue tasks first... so I did a little bit of decorating on the sewing (shop?) roombox instead (little being about right! LOL) painted the ceiling, fitted & painted flooring, bashed the beams about a bit and stained it.

not much to show workwise & not very exciting really, I need to buy some filler stuff to put between the beams on the outside as 'plaster' & I need to spray seal the wallpaper that I printed off for it, but I need to do the spraying outside and today it rained! :o( ... so those are jobs for tomorrow & hopefully I'll show you a finished roombox next time?

back to the to-do list... I did tick some tasks off but now seem to have added more than I removed... c'est la vie!


and now for something completely different...

Not my usual sort of miniatures, but...
A while ago, I discovered the world of "inchies" on another blog and did much covetting, ooo-ing and arrr-ing, googled it... and oh my, it opened a world of mixed media delights upon my eyes!! and then I wanted to have a go too :o) Before miniatures, my first love was always with textiles and stitching so I enjoyed focusing on playing with fabric just for the fun of it again, rummaged in my stash & this is my first attempt.

They say size matters... well an inch wasn't quite big enough for me (no smutty jokes please) and I settled for an inch & a quarter.

some closer views,

Now they're finished I wish I'd added more stitching... maybe next time? I need to find a nice box frame to mount them in now ... nothing's ever completely finished around here LOL

back to my 'to-do list!.....


adding door hinges

As requested by Michelle...
to get your doors to sit flush within the door frame so that no gaps are visible where you've added the door, you have to rebate the hinge into the door, just take a look at your real doors at home.
So here's how I did it... Firstly lightly mark around the hinge to be fitted, I positioned mine about an inch from the base, in line with the brace at the back of the door and the mock strap hinge at the front. You can buy working strap hinges that are all in one.... unfortunately I only discovered this AFTER I'd bought mine :o( so had to do it this way.

then cut/slice this section away using a sharp scalpel (I have no idea if you can get proper mini chisels, but I found this worked well enough for me) as a safety warning... cut away from you (not like I do... I am an accident waiting to happen LOL) Cut away just a 1mm depth or that of the hinge you are fitting.
like this -

Put a drop of superglue on the back of the hinge to keep it in place, but take great care at this point not to allow the glue to get into the hinge or it will stick & remain permanently in that position ! (yep, I found out the hard way)

add the fiddly screw-pins, remember, double sided sticky tape over the end of you thumb is a godsend for keeping the pins where you want them!

at this point I go over any raw bits of the door with a touch up of woodstain, and paint the hinge with a bit of black paint, filling the gap between hinge & strap to make it look like one piece (again, you can buy working straps and save the hassle of this bit). When dry, your hinge should close flat like this :o)

and not be raised at all, perfect for a close fitting.

as you can see... I didnt find the doorknobs! LOL so havn't finished the final fitting bit as it'd be too fiddly adding the knobs once the doors are fitted properly. To fit, I will cut a similar groove from the door frame as done in the first & second step shown, and just apply a thin bit of E6000 glue to the hinge, put into the frame rebate and wait... it takes a while to dry so gives you more working time but this stuff is industrial strength and is much stronger than superglue, so make sure it doesnt get into the working bit of the hinge!!!

I have just had some replacement knobs delivered and am waiting for the paint to dry before fitting them ... and its teatime... and Im hungry, so will show you the final bit tomorrow.


I made doors & I've still got all my fingers :o) or just - 'how to make doors' !

As you would expect from anything thats mine, nothing is 'normal' and all my mini doors are an odd shape &/or size! so I've had no choice but to make my own. I had been collecting coffee stirrers believing they would do the trick but they were just the wrong scale, so following much inspiration from Nina (the tudor dollshouse project), Michelle (Michelles Mad World), and Janice (on being a mini mum) & their wonderful blogs offering advice, I took the plunge, ordered some 1/4" x 1/2" balsa and set to work :o)
Firstly, I drew around the door hole to get a guide, and then started cutting the balsa to size, using a razor saw as recommended by Janice. I had no idea what a 'razor saw' actually was but was given an assortment of blades a few xmas's ago so made full use of it, experimented with all the ones with teeth, and found the perfect tool to cut with! I then scored the balsa with my modelling tool to get some deep weather grains into the 'wood' as I don't want them looking all new.
When all the pieces were cut to fit the pattern, I used Michelles tip of adding some brown paint to the PVA to colour it, as an added ageing thing; and glued all the pieces together. I had to add a coffee stirrer to each side as it wasnt quite wide enough to fit the door hole but its provided a 'frame' for the door so it worked out ok for me. The balsa didnt stick too easily so I taped it tight with lowtack tape and left it for a few hours for the PVA to dry.

I wanted my doors to look like they had iron studs on the door braces so made pilot holes using my 2mm drill bit and cut small bits of cocktail stick to dowel them together (I also glued them at the back just to be sure!) this sounded much less time consuming than cutting down real nails like Nina did!!!

Hinges.... here I nearly lost my sanity completely!!! the TINY screw/rivetty things they supply with hinges I swear are meant to drive you crazy trying to insert into the holes! LOL the balsa was simple to get them in but getting them into a coffee stirrer type strength of wood..... NO!
So, my 'Tip of the Day' is the same as yesterday's.... double sided tape again! worn over the finger tip worked a treat at keeping them where I wanted them ... which wasnt on the floor :o)

next, the brace studs got painted with black acrylic

After staining with a coat of satin walnut woodstain, I added a wash of grey acrylic and then dry brushed a bit of sap green on the edges of the doors to make it look a little mossy/mouldy like I imagine old doors to look.

Here are the finished doors for the front & upstairs back door.

adding mock strap hinges ... and a little moss to hide where the superglue leaked! and painting a little black acrylic over the TINY brass 'rivets' that I have learnt to despise more than I thought possible!

The finished door in place ... at last! & the upstairs of The Skool of Majick is now a little safer from the invasion of the dust monster.

I cannot do anymore to finish them properly yet, as I cant find my door knobs. I really, really want to finish it all :o( but I seem to have mislaid the smaller hinges that I bought as well and as you can see, the ones I have used on the other doors are just too big!!! (typical of me to now be officially un-hinged LOL) methinks I have put them in the same 'safe place' and lost them! if I cant find them, I may have to get the clay out and attempt to make some. I have the most amazing dragon door knocker to put on the front door too and cant wait to show it off :o)

right ... off to have another rummage for my sanity.

P.S. I also have to think up what to do with a bagful of spare wooden coffee stirrers!!! LOL


banisters & more sticky fingers

I've pulled my finger out of where-ever it was it got stuck and have been getting on with a few overdue neccessaries in the Skool of Majick :o)

As some of you may know , I don't like doing woodwork... it conjures images of splinters and chopping bits off of digits usually, so it was ignored.... until now.

Now, most normal people buy ready made stair banister railing thingies... not me, I'm a tightwad, and despite limited abilities with anything wood, thought it would be easier? better? or just cheaper, to do it meself!

marking up, for dowelling so that it stood a chance of not falling apart! I had to add a thin woodstrip at the bottom for the spindles to be glued to, to save my sanity attempting to work out how to secure them to the floor otherwise!!

I then used a 2mm drill bit, to make a hole just big enough for a bit of chopped off toothpick to be used as a fine dowel.
then the bit I dread.... whittling bits of the wood away to imitate years of knocks and general wear 'n' tear.
adding woodstain... and getting very dirty fingers, I then discovered my 'Tip of the day'...
Double-sided carpet tape!!! perfect for the spindles to stick to so they can be painted right up to the top without covering my fingers in quite so much mess :o)

it was also useful for keeping the base together whilst the glue dried.

and the end result...

it just needs some dust... no creative tip there other than to leave the roof off for a bit... it'll soon find its way in ;o)

My balsa wood arrived too , so I've also made a start on the doors... more to follow