Friday, August 26, 2011

Dabbling in Intrigue

 Awhile back, I saw a photograph of a secret poison cabinet hidden inside of an old book. The idea stuck, and I decided to try a miniature version. The drawer pulls are made from brass pins (the pulls had to be low-profile so that the book would close.) The bottle and jar were miniatures I had stashed in a drawer.

  I used textured wallpaper for the outside- I would have loved to have used leather, but didn't have any thin pieces large enough for the whole thing. I used model ship rope on the spine. On the whole, this piece  is a little large to be a 1/12th scale book, but I really wanted to have enough space inside for the poison supplies.

 I think I've mentioned before that I don't take notes on most of my miniature projects. Well, below is the proof that I don't plan well either. This is the post-it where I drew the drawer and cubbyhole layout, and started to figure out all those important measurements- until I decided I'd just figure measurements out as I went along. Thank goodness for very precise rulers!

I still need to fill the drawers, add some leather straps to the cubbies to keep the bottles in place, and add a clasp to the outside of the book to hold it firmly closed.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Miniature Bibliophilia

Awhile back, I posted (here, here, here and here) about my goal to fill a library with readable books like the ones below. Well, I haven't quite gotten there yet. The bookcases I'm trying to fill are quite large, and I haven't managed to fill much more than two of the shelves in the past few months. I was getting a bit discouraged at the length of time the project would take, when I made a fun discovery...
A few months ago, I impulsively bought a little bookcase at a local show, thinking I might be able to squeeze it into Lottie's room (I'll have to post a better look at her room soon!). It didn't fit where I'd planned, so it's been hanging out in my workspace waiting for a home. I put all the books I'd made so far in the little bookcase today- and they filled the shelves PERFECTLY. Now I have extra incentive  to find a spot for the bookcase, and an excuse to put the library project on hiatus until I'm in the mood to make books again.
One book won't be going in the bookcase though. I found this book, "The Quadrille" at Eileen Godfrey's shop just after deciding to put the library project on hold.
It's beautifully made, with lots of illustrations. The title is stamped in gold on the spine as well as on the cover. I'm going to have to find a very  special spot for this book. I'm not sure who made it, if anyone has any ideas, please let me know. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A "Brass" Table and a Dishtowel

Mom worked on a new doll today. While she had her supplies out, I borrowed her Styrofoam block, fabric stiffener and extra-thin pins to make a dishrag for my cupboard.

 A few weeks ago, I ordered some shrink plastic (or Shrinky-Dinks). This stuff comes as a plastic film which can be easily cut with scissors, and colored with markers. Then you heat it in the oven or with a heat gun, and it shrinks to about 1/2 the original size, and becomes about 1/6th" thick. I had the idea that it would make great glass for miniature table tops.

 Well, that idea was a failure. I just couldn't get the plastic to shrink perfectly evenly, and any fingerprints I got on the film became permanent smudges on the finished plastic.One or two pieces just curled up like the piece on the left. After a half-dozen tries, I gave up the idea.
While I was working on the glass however, I'd built a little table out of styrene. To make it look like brass, I spray painted it gold, then added highlights of gold Rub'n'buff.

 I rather like the table with the Zebra chair I re-covered a while ago. They are both outrageous.  

Since I hadn't managed the glass top I'd originally pictured, I painted some marble for the top and popped it in.