Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Scraps, Leftovers and Possibilities

A common trait amongst us mini obsessed is to never throw anything away. I myself have been guilty of (or smart about) this very thing throughout my entire mini phase. Even during my nine year hiatus from minis, I had kept a rolling cart full of bits, bobs, leftover kit pieces and scraps of wood. It won't surprise any of you to know those very pieces have saved my bacon in creative ways more than a time or two during a project. So while cleaning up and reorganizing after my fall project, I thought it would be fun and challenging to try and make a couple new, small projects where the majority of materials were taken only from my stash of "someday I'll use this" drawers.

What follows in the next few weeks will be a chronicle of (hopefully) my success in making neat things from leftover scraps, brain farts and "I wonder if that would work" items. This week's post won't have a lot of "during" photos, because I had to see if this was even going to be a possibility before I began to chronicle. But I hope it will inspire you to really take a look at what you've saved, and then to create something super fun from all of it!

I find that I really enjoy working on small projects. Ones that don't take up too much room and allow you to really delve into a subject or a style. I feel like with big projects such as the New Orleans, having a large house with rooms full of everything you find in a real house can be overwhelming for you or the observer to absorb. So, I decided to make a couple small bookshelf sized room boxes. These would allow me to use my leftover materials, and enjoy a genre that I haven't really worked with very much before: Mid Century Modern and Modern Modern.

I started with the Mid Century Modern structure. I looked at my resources, drew up a quick sketch, searched online for some theme ideas, and then gathered some possible materials. For the base, I cut a piece of 1/4" plywood scrap down to 8-3/8" x 6-3/8". I used scrap 1/8" x 1/4" to trim the edges, then used leftover wood flooring for the interior part of the roombox. I had some Provincial Minwax Wood Stain Pen left over, so I decided that's what stain I'd use for all the wood in the project.

With this base, that would make room enough for a small (enclosed on three sides) room scene (5-13/16" x 5-5/8") plus a peek out into a small atrium type garden (6-1/8" x 2") through a large (4-3/8" x 7-7/8") window. The walls were constructed from leftover 3/16" foam core sheets. I used a combination of scrap wood flooring and wallpaper sample sheets that I got from Joanne's several years ago to cover both the interior and exterior walls.  The 1/16" Lexan for the window was leftover from a sheet I used to make the windows for Autumn's Pantry. I trimmed the wall edges with 3/8" x 1/8" wood scraps.

For the angled ceiling, I used more foam core. I made a skylight with the same Lexan, used more wood floor scraps to clad the ceiling, and used grip tape strips for the roofing which was leftover from the New Orleans.

For the exterior fencing around the atrium window garden, I was able to use up a lot of the 1/16" x 1/2" basswood strips I had floating in a drawer. I used leftover  1/4" corner molding for the corner posts. I used other miscellaneous pieces of wood to make a holder basket for the 9 volt battery pack. The lamp that I'll use in the scene is one from my Shapeways Store. It uses a regular 12 volt screw socket bulb that comes with a plug. The lamp is designed to hold the bulb with a channel to run the wire down through the lamp base and out the bottom like a real household lamp. It can be easily run on battery power too, just by connecting the wires from the bulb to the battery pack and securing with shrink tube or electrical tape. I am going to paint the base of the lamp to match the roombox decor.

I want to get the structure completed for the Modern Modern roombox before I start on all the interior furnishings and the garden for both roomboxes. This way, I can clean up and put away all the construction-y stuff and make room for the decor materials. Here are a few more angles of the Mid Mod box as it stands today...

I hope you feel inspired to go take a look at all your "someday" supplies, and I hope you come away with some exciting ideas on how to use them! Making a bookshelf roombox is a great way to display and enjoy special pieces that you have put away for "someday", too!

xo xo,

Monday, September 30, 2019

Autumn's Pantry - The Grand Opening!

Well... It's finally here! October 1st, my (second) deadline, and The Grand Opening for Autumn's Pantry! I had such a fun time with this project, and it's a great feeling to have it finished! There are still a few little things rattling inside the project box, but nothing else will fit! I am so happy to have been able to incorporate so many fun fall ideas, and I think my real life trick-or-treaters will be delighted to see it Halloween night! I wish my background poster were double the size for your viewing, but please forgive...

Come on in! I'll catch you up on how I got to the finish line, and give you a daylight tour of the property! 

When we last left off, I had been working on the bay window display shelves. After that post I added some crates and pumpkins to fill in the floor area underneath.

Then I finished making flowers - Lots of flowers! There are single stems of zinnia, dahlia and sunflower available inside the shop, as well as ready made pots of marigold.

The shop counter has been outfitted with seasonal delights such as baked goods, fruit, candy and there's even a barrel of apple cider to help yourself to. Fiona knows... one sip and you'll be taking a bottle home!

Oh! I see Spooky has decided to come out and say hello! He spends a lot of time sleeping under the counter. He's saving up energy for all of the little Trick-Or-Treaters who will come by to pet him. He began life as an inexpensive resin figure. I glued on a little wool, repainted and glossed his eyes, and now he's a happy, handsome kitty!

More interior views...

Outside, the shop has undergone some major changes. First, I was going to add planters to either side of the door. Once I made a top lip and began to put bricks on them, the front door area felt too constricted. I opted instead to make it all brick with displays on either side. This still allows the front wall panel to come off nicely for access inside.

Front sidewalk with displays on either side with front wall removed.

With the front wall placed and the door open...

Front door closed...

Pots of sunflower, dianthus, zinnia, decorative cabbage, petunias, pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns and lots of fall leaves.

Lighted jack-o-lantern, bushel basket of apples, corn stalk, asters, zinnia, succulents and even a proud and sneaky dandelion!

The right wall of the shop gets a little weather beaten, but it only adds to the charm.

The left side of the shop has a little room for some fun landscaping.

On this side we have black eyed Susan, zinnia, sunflower, dianthus, sedum, chrysanthemum and daisy.

The old water pump is a little rusty, but still works great!

We're ready for business so Come On In!

Here's a few "dusk" photos... Just spooky enough to be fun!

Thank you one and all for following and encouraging me during this fun and colorful build! The next project is going to be a total 180 - I hope you'll come along on the journey with me again!

xo xo,