zondag 16 juni 2019

Making a tree for the Italian project.

This project - which I chose to practise making plants and flowers - is getting bigger and bigger and still hasn't got any greenery at all ;)
So, after deciding that had to change, I made a bigger and better base (plate) than the one I had.
I cut the corners on the back, following the mountain edge, and got a larger area for the bistro terrace, so I could plan where to put a tree. I used the cardboard tube as reference for the tree height.

I thought an olive tree would look great on that corner, so I searched for tutorals to get me starting (like I always do ^^).
Unfortunately I couldn't find any, only for trees in general. Or for olives :) The only YT tutorials I've found were in Spanish and were no help to me at all :')
Instead of searching a couple more days I decided to just start and make the trunk and larger branches and then see what kind of tree it would become :)

This turorial helped me with making the wire base: click
To get the right size I folded thin wire to a lenght of 30 cm, without cutting the ends (yet).

Because I ran out of the thinner wire, I used the green one for the roots, cutting pieces of 15 cm and folding them.

Then onto the fun part; figuring out how to shape all the branches and twigs :)

It took some time but I found it very relaxing, did it during a tv show ^^

After finishing the wire base, I switched to another helpful tutorial, which showed the technique of making bark: click
After I'd googled old olive trees I'd figured that tutorial would be great for a gnarly trunk, but in hindsight I probably shouldn't have used one of a Halloween tree for that (a)
Here I've put some tinfoil round the trunk of the tree and covered it with masking tape.

Then I covered it with tissue paper soaked in water & glue. I hoped the tissue paper might still make it bark-like, but a bit more subtle than paper towels or news paper.

I covered all the wire that was twisted, but not the ends because I didn't want those twigs to become too thick. Instead I painted them with nail polish ;)

When all the wire was covered, either with tissue paper or nail polish I started with the first layer of black acrylic paint with water mixture, as shown in the tutorial.
It took multiple layers because everytime I thought I could go on to the next step/colour, I noticed some tiny white spots in the cracks of the trunk or on the branches. No matter how much I rotated the tree or turned it upside down :)

I forgot to take a photo from the black tree, since I couldn't wait to start with the next colours.
After two different brown layers it looked a bit rusty. Which made me think, it wouldn't need leaves, if it was a dead tree ghe ghe
But it might ruin people's appetite, sitting at the bistro table under that bare and dead looking tree. It could be dangerous; a dead branch might fall down!
So, no chance to avoid making thousands of leaves :')

For the layers of paint I used, from left to right;
1. burned umber, just painted the surfase, not into the cracks
2. burned sienna, only dry brushing over the tissue paper, but painting the nail polish
3. yellow ocre mixed with sap green, again only dry brushing over the tissue paper, but painting the nail polish
4. to high light  I mixed off white chalk paint with a drop of gold acrylic and cottage green. I just used whatever I have lol
5. finally I added some green in that previous mixture, so hopefully it would look less spooky :')

I guess, that less-spooky part failed, right? :') Even so, I love the result, though I'm not sure if it'll be going to fit the Italian scene.

Did you notice the real leaves under the tree? 
They're from an olive tree! I'd forgotten there's one in my backyard :D
That would have made a great reference.

I'm thinking about making a new tree for this project and keep this bare and spooky tree for a Halloween scene, but I'm not sure :)

Anyway, here's the tree in front of the trattoria. With some props already in place :)

The cute little rabbits are made by my dear friend Kim, from BibbidiBobbidiBooCo.
They will find a nice place somewhere between the flowers on the mountain or at the bottom of the tree :)

donderdag 13 juni 2019

Long overdue update on the Italian project!

It's been months since I've shown you the progress on the Italian project. Even though I've met with the miniature club twice since February, and I've been working on it at home as well :')
So this is mainly a quick photo update, so I can move on to the next thing ;)

I finished the awning and then I could
finally put the front of the trattoria in place
(which wasn't as easy as it sounds ^^).

Next, the ballustrade got glued to
the mountain wall. Because of all
the tweaking on the front, it
didn't fit as well as when I made it.

So I filled the gap with a piece of card-
board that was left over from cutting the
door opening :)

I've made two table clothes and pinned the planter under the
window, just untill I've made flowers (a)

I've put together some bodyparts for
a waitress and got this wig from an-
other doll.

Started sewing the trousers.

Made an apron from the same fabric I used for
the awning. Then I made the bistro tables, so
now there's four bistro chairs on my to-do-list ;)

And of course a neat collar shirt :)

She's still a w.i.p. and need shoes, arms, a face
paint and a better fitting wig but I'm very happy
with the clothes! 

I've used this photo as a reference for the apron: click
This one for the bistro tables: click
For the shirt this tutorial by AkameruKawaii was very helpful: click

dinsdag 21 mei 2019

A coffee table

After I'd finished the sofa, I needed to make a coffee table of course :)
I didn't use a tutorial but found inspiration from these images;

I needed to do something a bit out of my comfort zone, because I don't want only oak stained furniture in the cottage. This might seem hardly different but it was for me lol

For the legs I drew a template first. Cut the four legs from
Balsa. 4 mm if I remember correctly. Then I stacked them all
 up and sanded them together in the hope to get identical legs :)

The top is from Balsa 2,5 mm, but the legframe is from
cardboard, because I didn't want that to have wood grains.

The top got an oak stain coating and leg frame a layer
of Gesso (primer). For a little sturdiness I'd glued thin
Balsa strips on the inside of the cardboard.

With a layer of black acrylic paint, and a bit of
sanding some edges for aging.

I then drybrushed some gold paint
on the sanded edges and glued the
top onto the leg frame.

Time for the furniture removers, I guess ;)

Though Penny is already getting comfortable outside
the living room.

Just a glimpse of the living room because photo's are either 
too dark or too bright inside (a) Still a work in progress.

zaterdag 18 mei 2019

A sofa for the cottage living room

It's been awhile, but I've finally managed to make some time for another blog.
I've made this sofa three weeks ago. It has taken me forever to find the right style, design and fabric. I kept doubting myself and changing my mind, so I was very happy when I'd made a choice ;)

I used this semi tutorial from Kitty and Kat Miniatures, but with a few twists of course.

I used Balsa 2,5 mm and 6 mm dowel (not a half dowel) for
the wood base. Mine is not as wide as the one from the tutorial.

Againt the advise I went with a stretchy fabric with an
abstract pattern :) I went through my fabric stash but couldn't
find something fitting for the living room, so I ended up
taking a shirt from my wardrobe. It had been my mothers
at one time, so now it'll be a sofa with memories ;)

I adapted the leg assembly with an extra
piece of Balsa to make it a bit more sturdy.

And gave it an oak stain finish.
It would almost make a nice
coffee table, right? :)

It took some time to figure out which part of the shirt
to use where on the sofa but I love how it turned out.

The back looks totally different, as do the sides, 

Tho photo is a bit too yellow from the candles but
I wanted to give a better look of the leg assembly :)

Moving the sofa around to see where it'll
fit best. Penny has made herself
comfortable already :)

Next piece of furniture will be the coffee table.

maandag 8 april 2019

A scratching post for Blast.

While planning the furniture for the cottage living room this weekend, I also wanted to craft a little something, so I had some fun making this scratching post.
The coulours will fit the living room, though it might end up in one of the other rooms ;)

I got tips & tricks & inspiration from the following sites:

The half cat/half Kneazle was a gift from my friend Kim of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo for Penny.
The name 'Blast' comes from my all time favourite Harry Potter fanfiction 'Secrets' by Vorabiza, in which Draco's daughter gets a little white kitten which they call Blast.

vrijdag 5 april 2019

The living room rug - April

It's been awhile since my last blog. I haven't been able to work on miniatures for a couple of weeks so I thought I start motivating myself by showing the progress I've made on the rug for the living room. The progress I've made was mainly done in the beginninh of March; I haven't done any cross stitching since then :')
Still the differece is visible and makes me want to continue ;)

20 februari

More octagons being filled

dinsdag 26 februari 2019

Crafting together (the Italian project) - February

Last month while crafting with Jolinda and Monique I'd made a planter for the Italian bistro, and when I got home I made this test model from paper for the awning.

So last week we  met again. Jolinda continued with the stone steps and Monique worked on her garden. For me it was time to figure out the awning for real :)
For the frame I got the inspiration from Miniature House, but I didn't want mine to be as neat as hers and there was no need for working blinds :)
I wanted something like this one below. Red and white striped fabric crossed my mind, especially since I want red and white checkered tablecloths, but in the end I choose a blackberry red fabric, which I intend to use for the waitress apron as well.

While at the craft club I cut the parts for the frame from Balsa (2,5 mm) but in hindside I should have just used card board, since I had to start at least four times over :') That was also why I didn't get much further that afternoon.
That evening at home I glued four skewers to the fabric with textile glue, a little wider than the test model indicated. One by one I attached the Balsa parts onto the skewers.

Then, when the glue had dried long enough, I put the four Balsa parts together with masking tape to see how it looked. At that point I didn't had a clue as to how I'd do the sides ;)

I like that the fabric isn't pulled tight on the frame. That's why I glued the skewers a bit wider in the beginning.

I put some masking tape on the overhanging fabric at the front and drew a scallop pattern. I cut them with sharp siccors and removed the tape.
The sides were just done with a bit of tweaking and adjusting, glueing it on the frame and cutting the exces :)

I liked the resulting sides of the awning.

I'd like to stain the Balsa frame, but then I have to replace to masting tape holding the parts together with something else.

I also want to put the name of the trattoria on the awning, but I need to figure out a way to do that first :')