Thursday, June 30, 2016

Seeing Mini Dreams Become Real...

Some people who are entering the 2016 HBS Creatin' Contest keep us all in such suspense! I see little peeks and get so excited that I am like a kid on Christmas Eve! I used to beg my parents to let me open my presents early. I'd say "Just one? Please can I open just one? Please, please, pretty please mommy?" I'd jump up and down with my hands folded in prayer gesture on my chest and display all of the childlike exuberance I could muster. Some years I must have been more skilled or adorable than others, because sometimes, rarely, she would say YES!!!

I suck at keeping secrets and surprises. I always want to give my gifts or good news to everyone AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! I am so much happier giving gifts than receiving them. Probably because I am a pleaser, and partly because I rock at giving gifts! If you squeal or even cry, I've done my job well!

All of that said, I am sharing every gory detail, success and failure with you during my contest build. If you like one of my ideas, I wholeheartedly want you to take it and run with it! Sharing leads to inspiration, and inspired miniaturists keep our childlike dreams alive. And best of all, we pass on the love for our obsession to a whole new generation of dreamers!

Okay, so where did I last leave off... Oh yeah! I got all of the bricking finished, except for the outside, so it was time to wrap up some structural issues. I left this little bit of space on the back foundation so that I could create a fake wall.

I cut a piece of plywood down to size with the rip saw, made the side strips then used the scroll saw to make the outer window openings. The outer windows are the exact same as the ones you'll see from the inside. Here's the glued and primed fake wall:

The fake wall will serve as the housing for the scenery that you'll see looking through the windows from inside. It will also store the artificial sunshine coming through the windows. Here are the window scenes: A blown down wooden house, and the remnants of the straw house being blown in the wind. That Big Bad Wolf can really blow!

Now for some structure... I combined two kits, butt to butt and reassigned the opening to the side. Lots of cutting and filling in. That meant that I needed to modify some of the structural peices - like the ridge beam for the roof. I had to join both into one, so I drilled a hole in the center ends of each and glued in a dowel for strength. Then, I needed to decide on my roof length and cut it to size. Later, I stained it and glued it in.

Speaking of the roof, I had a total of four pieces from both kits. All too short for the new configuration. This meant that I had to join two for each roof side, cutting one of them to the proper new length. I kept a small overhang on one end, and shortened the porch to keep the project under 30" (my shelf limit).

Notice here that I have had to add an additional piece of trim to the edge of the roof to account for the fake wall. Once the roofing is on, no one will ever know! Shhhh...

Here's a peek at the inside with the back roof in place. It's going to need some light in there!

Look what adding the front roof does to it! Downright spooky in there! I better make some adjustments, both for light and accessibility!

That's better!

Oh yeah! The beams on the floor have also been modified from both kits, beaten up a bit and will be added to the ceiling later...

Now for the sunshine... I ran a long strip of warm white LED's across the top of the window openings on the interior of the fake room. I also tied in the ceiling lanterns and the fire from the hearth into the tape runs. I lined the interior wall with aluminum tape for optimum reflection, and added just a peek of a hedge to both windows so they'll be seen from the inside.

Here it is all closed up with the back roof getting glued into place. I'm going to need some fascia on the roof edges to help hide the light leaks.

And here it is from the inside. I will wait to add the front roof piece until I am done with most of the fiddling inside. I have been planning this fake window scene in my mind since I dreamed up this project many years ago, and I am really please with how it is turning out!

Next time I'll work on ceiling beams and a lot of pig friendly furniture! But first, I need a nice long weekend away with the hubs enjoying the beautiful forest, warm sun on my arms, and reconnecting with the knowledge that we are all a part of something bigger and more beautiful than our daily lives allow us to perceive!

Wishing all of you a wonderful and happy Fourth-Of-July weekend!