Monday, 6 May 2013

Utensils makeover

Some time ago I bought a set of wooden miniatures in play scale. Play scale is 1:6, which is twice as large as collectors' scale, but some things fit in. They were good quality, and I thought I'd think of ways to use them.

The fruit is actually ok, and I have it in my modern house. It can be made more natural with some amendments, which I will do one day. The cutlery is fine, even though it is a bit large. I use the tumblers as flower pots. I found new labels for packages and bottles. 

Yesterday, as I was finishing the Swedish kitchen, I realised that I needed a solid iron frying-pan. So this is what I did:


Then I added a fried egg and a slice of black pudding, made from fimo.  

Sunday, 5 May 2013

A Swedish kitchen, part 4 and final

The heading says "final", but of course there is never anything final with a room box, not even if you give it away, because the new owner can add to it. So, a modification: as final as it can be for the moment.

I filled the cupboard with stuff that I borrowed from other houses - I have more than enough in those. The rug is made with a very clever technique that I described before. I had to sacrifice the window because it would have felt too crammed. I think what I need to add is some bread and other food on the table. But it looks somewhat finished now, and the sofa, which started it all, is nicely displayed.

A Swedish kitchen, part 3

When I finally got round to doing some more work on this box, I decided to make wooden floor. It is made of lolly sticks and takes some patience.

Then I painted the floor with diluted white paint. 

I also added proper skirting and cornices. This was a part of my ongoing project of making proper skirting in all rooms and houses - a separate story.

After this, it felt better to start putting in things. Wallpaper and floors make a huge difference in a project.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

A Swedish kitchen, continued

One day I bought a large lot from eBay. When you buy a lot there are some things you want and some things you are not specifically interested in, but which may turn out useful. Frankly, I don't even remember now what I really wanted - possibly, nothing in particular, it was just a great bargain. I can do a separate post on this, just to show where different things go when you buy a lot.

When I contemplated the treasure it struck me that at least some of the things would go well with Lina's sofa. So I fetched an empty box from the garage and put some things tentatively in it.

The made-in-China table and chairs are of course not quite right. Or simply very wrong. There have never been tables and chairs like this in Sweden. But I thought it would go for a start. The whole environment was simply to display Lina's sofa (that's a miniaturist's way of reasoning). I fixed wallpaper and painted the window white.

One detail that a Swede would recognise is the famous painting: Gate penny, a copy of which would be found in many Swedish homes. If Google can translate it decently, the story is quite fascinating.

The stove hidden behind the doll is wrong scale, so it was my intention from the beginning to make a proper one, which I eventually did.

However, for a long time, the box stood in my bookshelf and looked at me with remorse. You see that the doll is going to let the bread fall. She has given up.

A Swedish kitchen

About a year ago, a cousin gave me a miniature kit from Kotte Toys, who offer a fabulous range of chairs, but also have some other furniture kits, including "Lina's sofa" inspired by illustrations from Astrid Lindgren's Emil books. The sofa is a typical Swedish piece from mid-19th century.

It took me a long time to start on the sofa because it didn't fit into any of the projects I was working on, but then one day I decided to make it and see what happens.

This was the first piece I made from kit, and it was quite straightforward. The instruction was excellent, and all bits fit in perfectly. The interesting part, however, was painting. Sofas like this would typically be red, white or blue. I didn't want red, and I thought that white would be too plain, so blue it was. But of course simply painting it blue wouldn't be any challenge. It had to look old and worn-out. And there is a special technique to do it. I had read about how to make picture frames look old, but it was just as suitable for sofas.

First, you paint your piece the colour you want it to be. Then you apply an ordinary candle every here and there. Then you paint over with a coat of white, and then rub away the white with sandpaper. Where the candle wax has been applied, streaks of white remain. The first time I did it, it became far too worn-out, so I had to do it all over again several times before I was happy. And I had a piece of fabric that was just right.

I had the sofa in my bookshelf, all alone, because it didn't fit within any of my houses or roomboxes. It was obviously waiting for its own project. And then, one day...

Friday, 3 May 2013

Kitchen chimney

I like to recycle and think of interesting and original ways of using rubbish. I had been saving bits of hard foam (from some electronic appliance), trying to think of this and that, and most of all I wanted to make a kitchen chimney. Miniature makers usually make chimneys of floral oasis, which is easy to cut to the shape you need. I have a large oasis cube bought for this purpose, and yet I had these bits of foam on my mind.

It is an interesting shape, and I wanted to use it somehow. So I took measurements based on the size of the room it was going to be in, as well as an old stove I wasn't particularly fond of (got it with a lot), just to see how it would fit. The foam wasn't easy to cut, and it crumbled horribly.

I used toothpicks to hold the pieces together, because it was pointless even trying to glue them.

Then I painted it with sand paint. It gives nice, uneven surface.

Then I painted it white. I also repainted the old stove and added some details, so I now find it quite nice.

I am very pleased that I managed to use all the interesting features of the foam. The large pot lids are made from champagne caps, and the small are buttons.

You may have noticed that the stove is in a room that I haven't yet described. I will do it in the next post.