Monday, April 18, 2011

A Magical Cabinet, and a New Tool

I didn't manage to get as many miniatures done as I'd hoped. However, Mom and I took a trip to a local dollhouse store together, and I found this little cabinet. I painted it black and lined the back and floor with bright red. Then I gathered up some "magical" items I've made. There's an aged book, a crystal ball with a mysterious dark figure inside, a few bottles (the one in front is actually red, but photographed orange for some reason) and various spooky papers. 
I'm planning to add a lot more to the cabinet interior and top. These are some other things I'm considering for the top of the cabinet. The wand was my first attempt at barley twist. I'll have to make a better one for the cabinet, but I have a soft spot for this one. The illuminated book has touches of gold.
I also played with a fairly new tool. This is a draw plate from Micro Mark. It has a series of successively smaller holes. You pull a dowel through the holes, and they are shaved down until they extremely thin.
Below, you can see the square piece I began with (about 1/16th" square) and the thin dowel I ended with. I discovered that this process does take a while, and I ended up losing a few inches of dowel as I broke the end trying to force it through the next hole. Still, I now have enough wood to make many miniature pencils. Someone with more skill than I have could probably use this tool to make a beautiful birdcage like one I have in Phoebe's room.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Diversion

 I haven't posted in a while because I've been working on a non-miniature project, but figured I'd share it anyways today. I fell in love with the lace masks from the Valentino Fall/Winter 09 show, and have been scheming to make something similar ever since. You can see how far I've gotten below. The entire thing is made with stiffened black lace, reinforced with hand-sewn wire, and embellished with tons of beading and more stiffened lace. It ties with black velvet ribbon. I'm still working on the beading, but it's starting to really look the way I intended.

 Believe it or not, I'm making this for next Halloween. I know, I'm a bit early, but I wasn't sure how long it would take! This was a much quicker project than I expected, so I should have more miniatures to share by next weekend.
P.S. If anyone is interested in making your own mask, let me know and I can add more specifics about the construction.