April 22, 2019

#Paris #Miniature Project 9: A Miniature Treat & Inspiration

Today is Day 9 of the Paris Miniature Project!

The planning continues for the Paris Miniature Project which is my friend Gigi Nephew's Serendipity Shed renovation for the HBS 2019 Creatin’ Contest. (Click photo in left column to go to Day one to follow the blog series or here -Day 1  - See last entry Day 8.)

The Town
By Gigi Nephew

As I promised, today’s focus is on my late Mom’s miniature creation. We spent countless hours working on miniature creations, often surprising each other with what each of us did when I came to visit. My mother’s imagination and techniques were incredible. I found out much later it was my Dad who did the electric wiring, so it was truly a family hobby. (Click photos for larger view.)

She started with a farm house, then came the barn (animals on ground floor and a she-cave on the second floor), machine shed, chicken coop, the creek, the train tracks and the blue building, which consists of a grocer on the first floor. It is accessible by the outside stairs to the post office and floor shop. 

 On the top floor is an ice cream and pastry shop complete with roof top eating. She also got a big house to be a bed and breakfast, which unfortunately didn't get completed on the inside. 

There is also a Veteran’s Memorial Park, a carousel, and the train station. Plans were made for another building which was built, but not finished, which is the Christmas store on the ground level, a bar, and the apartment where the crabby bar owner lives. There are countless other sites to see, too.

Someday the entire town will be moved to my house and what a task that will be, but the memories in these creations are priceless.  Every time I go to my Dad’s I go into the basement and lose myself for a while in the town.It feels like I am closer to my Mom.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the mini tour. This weekend Chris and I will be going to the miniature shows!  What a great way to spend time with my “mini” friend, chatting, looking, eating, buying, chatting, planning…

(She forgot buying!! Yes, I'll show some of the treasures we found and some miniatures we saw on display!--Chris)

--Post office and News Stand 

-- (Being a writer and reporter, this is my favorite scene! Gigi's mom's work continues to inspire as I want to make a news stand like this! Love the piles of papers!--Chris)

So, until the next time… Happy Creating!

April 19, 2019

#Paris #Miniature Project 8: Thoughts of Notre Dame

We're a bit behind this week and Gigi was going out of town so today's post is short.

The planning continues for the Paris Miniature Project which is my friend Gigi Nephew's Serendipity Shed renovation for the HBS 2019 Creatin’ Contest.  (Click photo in left column to go to Day one to follow the blog series or here -Day 1  - See last entry Day 7.)

With everyone's mind is on the tragic burning of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, it seemed fitting to include the classic architecture in today's post. (Photo: Pixabay.com)

Today is also Good Friday, so it's poignant to see that the historic crown of thorns relic was rescued from the Notre Dame fire.

I had a chance to see the historical church when I was young, and it felt like I was there as I watched the event unfold. The sad news has left its mark on many Parisians hearts. I will somehow incorporate this tragic event in my Parisian building. 

As for miniatures, I found a fireplace that needs a little makeover, but hopefully I will be able to include it in either the second or third floor. And... PROGRESS! (Hey, it's the little steps!) Also, the “glass” roof has been painted black, so now I can start working on the that component as well.

On Tuesday, get ready for a TREAT! I will share a few photos and a story on my late Mom’s miniature creations. Here's a tiny preview. haa! 

 (Wait until you see this! Her mother had a full town and it's amazing!--Chris)

Until then… Happy Creating!--Gigi

April 12, 2019

#Paris #Miniature Project Lucky 7, More Progress!

Welcome to Day 7 of the Paris Miniature Project. Yes, we made it this far!!

The planning continues for the Paris Miniature Project which is my friend Gigi Nephew's Serendipity Shed renovation for the HBS 2019 Creatin’ Contest. 
(Click photo in left column to go to Day one to follow the blog series or here -Day 1  - See last entry Day 6.)

More Progress!

It’s Friday and a little bit of progress has been made.  The holes for the second floor (which is being made from scratch) are measured and drawn to fit the two window and the side door. This was actually a bit of a task as the windows have shutters and there is not a whole lot of space as I wanted two windows as opposed to one big window. Hopefully next week I can share pictures. 
Also, the store section has been taken apart (from being taped together) and outlined as I will be wallpapering next week!

Speaking of the store, I am looking through my mini stash and gathered some items for the shop, (one or two items may end up on the other floors). I came across some neat clocks, too, so I may end up incorporating those into the shop as well.
 (Ooh, those are neat clocks and I love that trunk!--Chris) 

Come back and visit next Tuesday as I share my progress. --Gigi
 Until then… Happy Creating!

April 11, 2019

Progress on Haunted Half Scale House, the gardens

Still working on the "Slightly" Haunted Half Scale House. I have to add trim yet and the porch posts. I also have to repaint the roof and add edging. 

The roof is taking some time as I decided to try corrugated paper for a different look. It'll be painted black. Just not fun measuring and fitting the pieces since the house was pre-assembled. I sure would do a lot of the decorating before assembling a house this size!

But I did get the weird "Punny" garden beds made. These were fun! I may do a couple more. I decided to make beds so I can move them if needed. The statue of Pan is removable as well.

The brick is glued to a mat board base. I coat the bricks with matte Mod Podge first to keep the surface clean, then grout them. They can then be wiped off. The grass is glued to a painted piece of Crayola Model Magic air-dry clay. I added separate small balls painted black and covered with railway dirt for the plant bases.

I'm amazed I still could find these plants as I got them in a half scale group swap... like 10 years ago! I'll let you guess what the plants are. 

April 09, 2019

#Paris #Miniature Project 6: Planning the Decor

 The planning continues for the Paris Miniature Project which is my friend Gigi Nephew's Serendipity Shed renovation for the HBS 2019 Creatin’ Contest. 
(Click photo in left column to go to Day one to follow the blog series or here -Day 1  - See last entry Day 5.)

Wow, we're on the sixth day already! The fun continues...

A Better Idea: Planning the Decor
By Gigi Nephew

Phew! It’s been a busy couple of weeks filled with seeing and holding a new baby, having fun on spring break with my family, and even watching the movie “Dumbo” with my friend Chris (by the way, it’s an awesome movie and we are both now looking for a mini Dumbo). (Yes, loved it!!--Chris)

So, back to the project…  It’s been a while since I last provided an update. I have done quite a bit of additional research on exactly how I envision the interior rooms and it’s slowly coming together which I will reveal much later when I finally translate the visions into pictures for you.

 I have also contemplated the stairs which I originally thought would be a spiral staircase.  However, I came across a tiny Parisian apartment (for rent) that had the cutest narrow stairs and would be a perfect fit to have a small kitchen underneath. So, first change from the original design is following the idea of this space under the stairs. (See photos 4 and 5, click Photos link on page here.)


The second design change is to close the two windows on the outside walls of the Serendipity Shed kit thus giving more wall space. Enough light will flood the room from the front windows and French doors and the soon-to-be “glass” roof. So, with these two design changes it’s time to engage dear hubby to cut holes for the floor and close some windows.

The picture shows the ladder type stairs that I will use. I also completed a few kits.  The two Paris suitcases (one beige and one in black), the letter holder with working drawers (between the suitcases), and the clock are kits from www.artofmini.com.  The one bottle wine box is from www.grapevineminiatures.net.The little shelving unit I bought at a miniature show which I will be incorporating into one of the three floors. 

I also started working on a drop-leaf dining table kit from Jane Harrop (www.janeharrop.co.uk).  As the Parisian apartments are small, this table will work perfect as the leaves will extend to make a perfect space for a romantic dinner. (She really has some nice kits!--Chris)

So, why Paris you might ask, besides the obvious being the beautiful city of love.  When I first took French in 7th grade, I fell in love with the language and then the love for Paris developed thereafter. Shortly thereafter my mother and I had a chance to go to Paris for the weekend with a bus tour while were visiting my grandmother in southern Germany. I fell head over heels in love with the city…from the beautiful Eiffel Tower, to the smell of fresh bread, and to the garbage being swept off the street in the early hours...LOL.  Someday I will travel back to Paris and spend at least a week or two just allowing my senses to take it all in.

That's it so far. What do you think?

* Oh, and you know how it is with cats and dollhouses. My "helper" Tasha has last say on the decorating. ha! See you on Friday!

April 05, 2019

#Paris #Miniature Project 5: Decisions, Decisions

The planning continues for the Paris Miniature Project which is my friend Gigi Nephew's Serendipity Shed renovation for the HBS 2019 Creatin’ Contest. 
(Click photo in left column to go to Day one to follow the blog series or here -Day 1  - See last entry Day 4.)

Decision-Making 101

Today was a decision-making day. The question: which shutters to use with the long windows that will be in the front?

You know how it is when you have several items to try out to see how they look and fit. It has to "speak" to you. It has to feel and look right.

So it went here.

Here are Gigi's shutter choices: the shorter shutters on left or the white pair. What do you think?

They looked okay, but still not-quite-right. They were both too short and rather plain.

Then - Eureka! Gigi said she looked through her own stash, along with some of the stuff she'd inherited from her mother - and she found it!

Here were a few small pieces of decorative trim, probably cut for something else. It definitely added something to the shutter design, and filled in those spaces.  It adds a kind of European flair, doesn't it?

The moral: As we all know: never throw anything away. And look in that stash or scraps box. You never know what you'll find.

Be sure to stop by again. There's a whole lotta cuttin' going on! Coming: stairs and more. See you Tuesday!

April 01, 2019

#Miniature #Paris Project 4 - What goes inside?

Welcome to Day 4 of the Miniature Paris Project! 
(Click photo in left column to go to day one.)

A little behind here as Gigi went out of town. But here are a couple pix in the meantime:

The rooftop being built: (Roof kit from AlphaStamps.com

Some potential decorating items. Kits are from ArtofMini.com. Be sure to come back on Friday for more details!

plan on having regular updates, but at times real life will interfere, of course. The plan is for updates here every Tuesday and shorter ones on Fridays to ensure I keep on track to complete this Paris Project to submit by December 16th for the HBS 2019 Creatin’ Contest.  The deadline seems far away, but time goes quickly. (Quicker than you think!) 

* Go to: Day 1  - Day 5

March 29, 2019

Latest #Miniature Find & Half Scale Books!

The Paris Project will resume Monday. In the meantime, check out some of my latest minis:

Realized I didn't share my latest cool find! I found this real mini brick set at Goodwill - for $2.50! I like the look of Spanish roof tiles so now I have real ones to use. It also has larger rectangular bricks. It must be an older kit. I found one on Amazon for - gasp  - $88!


The legal kind! Still at it. I had a bunch of half-scale books saved that I made before to fill book shelves in various projects. Like real life, right? I should have piles of books all over!

I've also been making the "fancier" books in half scale. I'm adding gold accents on the covers, too, with the gold paint. Next I'll be sharing the amazing items I got in this year's half scale group swap once all the boxes have been opened. Been doing this for some 10 years and it never disappoints! 

March 26, 2019

#Miniature #Paris Project 3: Color & Pattern!

(Image: pixabay.com)

 Welcome Back to the Paris Miniature Project!

Moving right along! (If you missed the start, click here, see the links at bottom or click photo in left column. You also can subscribe to the email updates in the left column (I think they're working?)

For me, today is part of the fun stuff of a miniature project - the decorating ideas. I love figuring out the decor, colors and look of a project. Gigi enjoys the building part she's said. I push myself through that part to get to the good stuff as sometimes the construction (like real life?) seems to take forevvver. ha! -- Chris

Ideas for decorating the Serendipity Shed Project:

Oh, wow, a preview!!!! Now this looks really cool!!! The possibilities!! LOVE it!

The Fun Part - The Decorating Plans - Let There Be Color!!

By Gigi Nephew

It was time to do something fun, so I selected ceiling color/textures, wallpaper, and flooring.  I am planning as much as possible to use what I have since I absorbed all of my dear Mom’s miniature items. She was an avid miniaturist building and creating a little town.  She had such an eye for details and knew many techniques.  Unfortunately, she passed away in 2011.  I am sure she is smiling as she sees me doing miniatures. 

For the shop on the first floor I am doing a brass tin look ceiling.  The wallpaper has a light cream background with little designs (they remind me of Fleur de Lis?).  

The floor is actually a paper pattern resembling a tile floor and picks up the brass color from the ceiling.  I figured using the light wallpaper is better as it's not super busy with all the soon-to-come neat times for sale. (Nice combination, don't you think?)

As the second floor will be the living room, kitchen, and bathroom, I wanted to capture a classic yet historical and rich look thus the main color is a burgundy.  The ceiling will have a white textured wallpaper. The wallpaper has these beautiful roses and the border on top is so elegant. (Oh, pretty!!) 

It all ties together with a rich burgundy carpet. As the kitchen area is small, I may end up using the marble-like flooring from the bathroom that you will read about below. 

 The second floor bathroom will be small so I'm keeping it light with a gray marble floor (which may also end up being used for the kitchen floor), and a textured light rose wallpaper. The ceiling will be white paint. I'll probably use the small white tiles around the  sink and maybe the shower.

 I'm most excited about the d├ęcor for the third floor which will be the bedroom and a small sitting area. I absolutely love toile and I am finally going to make an almost-heaven-like blue toile room.  (I really like these colors too. Very Parisian.)

The ceiling will be a textured wallpaper. The floor will be covered with this sumptuous blue carpet.  Sigh…when can I move in?

I came across this heavier stock paper that resembles a smooth stone walkway.  This will be used as the sidewalk in the front and the outside area on the side that has the stairs leading to the living quarters above the shop. It feels wonderful when you slide your hand across it. (Very nice paper!)

Well, my readers that is all for now.  Don't forget to come by and see what's up next time!   By the way, feel free to share your thoughts or your own color schemes. Love to hear what others are doing, as well!

I plan on having regular updates, but at times real life will interfere, of course. The plan is for updates here every Tuesday and shorter ones on Fridays to ensure I keep on track to complete this Paris Project to submit by December 16th for the HBS 2019 Creatin’ Contest.  The deadline seems far away, but time goes quickly. (Quicker than you think!) 

* Go to: Day 1 - Day 4 

Until next time… Happy creating!

March 24, 2019

The Half Scale Slightly Haunted House

Between posts for my friend's miniature Paris Project (see link and photo in left column for first day), I thought I'd share progress on my current half-scale house project. (Click the photos for the full image.)

The Before:

The Almost There: 

I've had this Chantilly house kit by Greenleaf for years. I got it from Tracy Topps (of Minis on the Edge - check out her amazing houses!) and was never sure if I wanted to tackle it. The problem? It was partially assembled.

Well, I kept thinking of what a cool haunted house it would be. At least as a "holding" place until I build the much bigger house I want to do.  So... I gave in.

Ohhhhh... Never ever do I want to wallpaper an assembled house this small again. As it doesn't have to be "perfect," I did a lot of piecing since it was hard to make paper templates and get my hand in some spots. But I survived! (Cue Gloria Gaynor!) Oh and, glutton for punishment, I did more piecing around the front window since I wanted to put brick paper in. Yeah, fun. The large strips can't be glued on until I first cut and paint the wood strips for the front porch floor.

I made paper templates and measured the floors, too. The living room floor (first floor right)  is wood I had. It's perfect for an old house as there's a tiny section missing near the door. You can't tell too much because of how I painted it, but that's okay either way. I still have to figure out a rail by the stairs and find a post I had made a while ago or make another one since I somehow  lost the pre-punched railing.

I love the paper patterns I had for wallpaper. It's scrapbook paper. The gray on the second floor and the shabby blue in the dining room are from Michael's. I probably will use those patterns in another house as they work really well. I love the checkerboard look and use that a lot, too.

The floor is interesting on the second floor. It's actually from a scrapbook paper pad. The floor has a slightly shiny coating. I pieced it on the side wall and at the staircase opening.  It was really too nice to mess up, too, as it fit the room size perfectly.

I love the green paper's print, too, in the living room, but that's all I have. Probably got it in a garage sale find. I decided to sponge paint the bedroom a two-tone in purple with gray. The floor is another cool scrapbook paper with lamination on it. Too bad that's all I have, too. It's a cool pattern.

The upper attic is simply painted gray with some brown accents. I'll add a photo in a later post once I put in some cobwebs and stuff, meaning lots of junk. ha!

The house's outside is painted a medium gray sand paint (sand mixed in for texture). I'll be dabbing on black around the house edges to age it. I'm painting window trim now along with all the decorative trim. Too-much-trim!! The second floor balcony has to repainted and I'll be adding some plastic "wrought iron" trim around it. Once I get to it, I'm going to try using corrugated cardboard painted black for the roof. Yeah, should be fun cutting the shapes.

One thing I decided for fun was to make some flower beds for the "Punny Plants" that  I got a long time ago in a half-scale group swap. (Can you guess what the plants are?) I'm going to make raised beds with foam core and brick as then if I want to move them to the bigger house's yard later I can. I'm also thinking of making a colored brick walkway with some white square plaster pieces I have. I really really don't like all the painting I have to do, but I admit, I am liking the look of this house more as I go along.

The other big project I've been putting off is figuring how to run the wires for LED lights. I'm planning on one in each room. This is the kind of house I figure shouldn't be too bright, so we'll see. I got the 3-volt battery holder with an on-off switch and a AA battery holder from True2Scale. I didn't want to bother with electric this time and wanted to see how this will work. They also have a pretty decent LED tutorial on their site.  

Hopefully later, I want to take apart some light strings and see if I can adapt some. Cheap way to do lighting. We'll see. 

I'll share some other pix later of the furnishings I made. Some will only be in this house temporarily as it's pretty small, but it's good for the moment. 

Oh, and why the title? Well, I've been admiring some amazing dilapidated miniature house photos online - but I just couldn't do it on this one. I'll add some cobwebs and some staining, but I just couldn't totally mess it up. That really is much harder to do than you think. Maybe another house...

Don't forget to come back on Friday for another Paris Project post! Ta-dah! A preview!! (and it's really cool-looking!!)

Until then, Chris 

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