Thursday, October 12, 2017

Inspirational Time Out

I was really looking forward to starting the outside of the Sweet Christmas Cottage last weekend, so I began to start on the chimney. Better to get that and the electrical camouflage taken care of before figuring out where the gingerbread texture should go. I got some of the chimney structure cut & glued, then suddenly began to feel like I did as a teenager while doing math homework: board. Can you believe that?!? Board working on a dollhouse?!? Well, I was...

So, while I sat there waiting for glue to dry, I spaced out for a while. Then I picked up my phone and started looking through Instagram. That's when inspiration hit me, and I ditched the chimney for more a exciting project. Let's just call this one an interlude.


Here's the inspiration photo posted by lev_vackert, whom I follow. Amazing interior design, styling and photography. Check it out. Anyway, I wanted to try to recreate this scene using stuff I could find and tweak from my own stash. So here is what I did...


I gathered up some supplies and materials from my stash that I thought could work...

Leftover Magic Brik mix and tape, scrap veneer and plywood.

HOM Queen Anne Table Kit, Chair Kit, Laser Cut Window.

Miscellaneous Mini Supplies 
I made a simple two sided display using the plywood for the base and foam core for the walls. I didn't cut the foam core's paper covering through on the inside so that I could use a 1/4" x 1/4" piece of basswood for a corner support.



I coated the foam core with gesso to seal it and create "grout" for the bricks.


Then applied the brick sticker and brick material, Amazingly, it was still a perfect consistency after being stored in that RubberMaid container for over a year!



While the brick dried, I turned my attention to cutting flooring strips for the floor from 1/32" wood veneer.


It was really hard to see the exact floor pattern in the inspiration photo, so I had to make a guess. It looks to me as though there is a section, almost covered by what I think might be a piece of floor cloth, that looks like an old cellar door. So that's what I went with.

A tip here on getting a good meeting of the miters. Using double sided tape, I taped down my cellar door frame, letting the corners overlap. Then I cut where the corners met diagonally so that the remaining miters met up in a nice way.


I darkened all of the veneer strip edges and the floor under surface with a Promarker before gluing down with QuickGrip contact cement. It is stinky, but with wood this thin it is the only thing that won't make the wood curl.


Once the floor was laid out, I added some nail holes, scratches, dings and faux wood grain to try to simulate the floor in the photo. At this point the brick was also dry!


Then I added trim to the floor and wall edges...


To finish the walls, I painted the brick and trim in warm white. The original photo has a cooler white, but I like warmer better. I also mixed up some Folkart clear wax and antiquing wax to get a not too dark floor finish. I want to play around with the floor finish a bit more, 'cause I think I can do better.


I put together the chair kit, then began to see what I could come up with for the desk. The finished kit style and height was all wrong, so I "borrowed" some of the pieces to form the base for my own design. I eliminated the real drawer and cut my own for a more simple look. I cut and sanded chopsticks for super simple legs.


This is where I left things this evening. We'll see if inspiration strikes again over the weekend. If I can finish this one up, I'll have a nice bookend for my shelves, and a new mini scene to boot!

Hope you're finding inspiration for new and ongoing minis, too!

xo xo,
Jodi




24 comments:

  1. You are genius. That is going to be so pretty! Will you encase it in glass? I hate dusting even more than maths. The mitre corner tip is great. Definitely going to try that,I always make a mess of mine.

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    1. Thanks Megan! Encasing it in glass is a great idea! I wish I'd had you here when I was planning - I'd have made the base with a track for it to rest in! I may just do that. I have leftover 1/8" polycarbonate and the liquid weld stuff from Alki Point. Less dusting, especially fiddly mini dusting, is definitely a motivation! I hope the tip works out well for you!

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  2. Jodi, this is great! I agree with you - nice to have a small project once in a while.. ;.)

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    1. Thanks Marilyn! I am learning about myself that I need a variety of things to choose from to work on. Much to the chagrin of the space in my dining room/living room (aka work room)! These small projects do give me a sense of accomplishment, too!

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  3. Your inspiration photo is a good one Jodi and I can see that you are well on your way to yet another Great Project.
    I have never used a brick stencil before, so I find it fascinating that it doesn't stay stuck to the wall after the bricks have dried, and that it really gives an Authentic rendition of them really quickly- I like it! :D

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth! I have recently been going through the stash drawers, re-categorizing and organizing (so I re-remember what I have), and when I saw the photo it hit me that I had almost everything I'd need to recreate it! I love being this inspired, as it makes the projects really fun and allows for experimentation with no real consequential damage if I mess it up!
      I probably should have explained the bricking process in more detail, so I apologize. The process it to paint the grout, apply the sticker, apply the brick material, then while still wet, peel the sticker away. It really is a fun product to use, and I think you'd enjoy it - especially what you could do with your magic aging techniques after it has dried!

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    2. Thanks for clarifying the use of the brick stencil for me Jodi. Your projects are ALWAYS Inspirational as well as Instructional and I am quite excited to see how your "Time out" will develop.

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    3. Thanks again Elizabeth! Playing with the weathering will be a fun challenge!

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  4. Hello Jodi,
    That is a fantastic interpretation of the picture. I love the floor and the walls came out beautifully. I cannot wait to see more. For the record, I cannot count the number of times I got bored while working on certain never-ending tasks on the manor...parquet floors come to mind ;).
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Thank you, Giac! It is so great to be so excited about something, especially when the finish line is so tangible! I admire your ability to work on such a grand and amazingly detailed project. Even more so knowing that you, too, have to fight your way through the boredom! Big hugs back at you, my friend!

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  5. We all need a break from time to time. This small project looks promising!

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    1. Thanks Alexandra! I can really see doing a lot more of these, or projects in smaller scales, in the future! It is so nice to feel such a sense of accomplishment in only a few days worth of work!

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  6. Neat! I've never done a small project like that, maybe I should, it looks like fun.

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    1. Thanks, Keli! I think you might really enjoy it! If nothing else, it would be a great way to display some of the amazing miniatures you have until you can get them into the larger projects you have planned! I know space is a challenge for you with the bigger sized projects, too!

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  7. I love this! I am also so impressed that you had all the materials in your stash -- AND that you could actually find them!! Can't wait to see the final result. And now I am following lev_vackert - what beautiful scenes!

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    1. Thanks Penelope! I started back into the mini world in the summer of 2012 after a 9 year absence. I quickly realized that I needed a space to work in where I wouldn't have to put everything away, but could leave out and work on when time allowed. We had a formal dining room/living room that never got used, because even during the holidays we gathered in the kitchen/family room. And my kids were grown and gone, so that made it a lot more feasible.

      Over time, I have transformed my dining room into a work room with lots of IRIS storage drawers. I keep things in categories such as kits, gardening and landscaping supplies, paints, adhesive and collage supplies, sewing-fabric-ribbon-thread, paper supplies etc. Whenever I start planning a project, I start a drawer. When I see things I want for the project, it goes into that project drawer. I often go through the drawers to reorganize so that I remember what I have. It is fun, and is kind of like shopping in your own stash. It gets me excited again!

      I am so happy that you are following lev! It is a daily treat for the eyes!

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  8. Oh that's sweet. Love how it looks so far.

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  9. Los momentos de inspiración hay que aprovecharlos y si además hay una imagen bonita mejor-Me guta mucho como ha quedado el suelo . Me parece una estupenda adaptación a la fotografía. A ver como terminas la mesa.

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    1. Gracias Isabel! ¡Será interesante jugar con los acabados desgastados!

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  10. Love this! What a great little room box! I have never tried the magic bricks because I was afraid they would look fake but your's look fantastic Jodi. I may have to give them another look. :) I love the style of the inspiration photo and I'm dying to see what fabulousness you come up with once you get to the details. :D
    I get the boredom issue.. It's probably why I ran out of tiles for the shower stall and also why said tiles started to drift higher up.. I was trying to "just get it finished" because the boredom was bugging me. lol... I should have done what clever you did.. and moved on to a side project instead. Heaven knows I've got a million mini accessories to build/make. *rolls eyes* :D

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    1. Thanks, Sam! The Magic Systems products are a lot of fun. I've also used the Ston and Bloc versions, and liked the results. You should pick some up to play around with next time you find a good deal on them!
      The details are going slower than expected. Between being lazy and then deciding to make extra stuff for future projects, I am a little distracted.
      I always mess up when I get bored or antsy to finish something. I know better, but still I keep going and live to regret it. Luckily, I had this project to keep me away from the chimney until I am re-invigorated!
      I highly recommend having a little side project going for the times when you are bored, frustrated, out of ideas or just find something inspiring. It is really nice to have a small finished project to look at when the big ones are still so far away from being done!
      Good luck finishing up those marble times! They are already fabulous!

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  11. Jodi...you have done it again by creating a wonderful small scene that will be a most useful one too! The tutorial on the brick stencil is appreciated and so many variations on colour could be achieved using it. It's fun to get a little off the main task by another creative adventure...I do it all the time hence my 'butterfly' reference in my comment name ScrapbookingButterfly....my husband always is telling me that I butterfly from one task to another but how can one help it as they are all so intriguing, creative and delightful to do! Cheers, Alayne

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    1. Thanks Alayne! I believe you are right about achieving great things with the Magic Systems finishes -
      especially if you begin with the white rather than brick colored powder. I sure wish you would start a blog and share with us your creative adventures!!! Your husband has come up with a great analogy! And you are so right! So many wonders to try, and so little time!!!

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