Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Glass houses.....

I said I would post a picture of the "Glass House" I had a friend make. As you can see, it is a very simple design. I first saw such a thing by an artist called Lady Jane but the wait, at the time, was two years and she wanted the total payment up front. I knew my friend was just as talented and asked if he would consider a three-dimensional piece. When he agreed, I do not think he realized how large a project I had in mind :-) ... but he did a beautiful job.

The glass used was an "antique" color at all. The building itself can be carefully lifted off the base which is simply a piece of plywood that has the interior "footprint" tiled. The interior can also be accessed by the double doors in front. One of these days, I am going to attach door handles.....

I was going to use it for a plant filled Conservatory but never got around to making or acquiring sufficient plants as it is quite large. One year, I decorated it for Christmas and so it stayed. Mmm...I see I need to get out the glass cleaner.

I also picked up another "glass house" at Old Time Pottery a few years ago for very little...I think it was $10. This is about 12" square by 8" plus the peak which is about another 5". Right now it keeps the dust off little things lying around but I am thinking of using this for the flower/plant display. It has no doors. It would have to lift off a base rather like a cake cover.

You cannot tell from the picture but the metal is copper with a very pretty twist detail.

This little piece I also got very inexpensively at a home decorating store. The top comes off for access. The arches are glassed. It needs some work to get the top to fit properly and I haven't done anything with it yet but I have an idea for a table setting.

BTW, I believe I have solved the problem of safely shipping the Orreries and such, though I can take no credit myself. My son and husband came up with what I think is a great idea. If will attempt to execute it and, if succesful, I'll post about it. Well, I think I'll post about it even if it isn't sense someone else re-inventing the wheel.



Friday, March 26, 2010


I wasn't going to blog about this at first but who else would I kvetch to?

I mentioned that I had my first etsy sale this week, right? I packaged the thing in double boxes with lots of bubble wrap and cushioning but when the lady opened it, she said it (the Orrery) had come loose from the plastic box I had attached it to and was now in 4 pieces, one of which she lost in the packing material as it was so small.

I was using a new product to keep the thing stable in the plastic box. It is called Museum Gel and is supposed to be the best thing ever......apparently not. After 30 minutes, the item attached with it isn't supposed to so much as budge, nevermind release. But I am finding that a lot of things are over-rated. A "fabulous new glue" I bought a while ago didn't work as touted either.

So I've asked her to send it back to me for repair, which is easy enough to do but now I am a leary of mailing these items. As I recall, the one I sent to Nikki for Debbie' Get Well box arrived with a piece off. I don't remember if she said that one came loose inside the box but that was one of the reasons I looked for something other than the wax I was using.

The Orreries are pretty sturdy with normal handling but they will break apart if they get knocked around....I know....I've accidentally dropped one off the display table myself. When I get this one back, ( and I haven't heard back from the customer as yet) I will know better where the attachments/glue failed.

Until then, I think I will pull the others off Etsy and try to figure out a better way to secure them in transit or to improve the holding power of the glue. Actually, I will investigate both.

I use a pretty aggressive jewelry glue which dries cystal clear and cures fairly rapidly. I didn't have good luck working with a 5-minute (2 part) epoxy. I solder the balance scales and thought of doing that for the Orreries but some of the metals in the watchworks won't solder very well and of course the beads don't solder at all. :-)

So I am back to the drawing board on this at several levels. Grrr......bummer.

And it will take me away from Alice's place for awhile which is even a bigger disappointment. :-(



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hat Stands.....

Since the project includes a rather large hat shop, I realized I'd better get cracking on some hats stands. I wanted something a little unusual so I raided the house trim stash and just let loose.

These are a sampling ( I made quite a few!). The largest can easily stand on the floor. Next I'm looking through my bead stash. I think some metal and bead stands might be intereseting.....

I also found a hatbox printie and a pattern online and am making a bunch of those to scatter about. I have a few larger sized ones I found in a box which will have to be covered but will be quite useful, too.

I think I have sufficient furniture to adapt one way or the other. Some will stay wood stained; some will be painted. All will be made to look well-used. This shop has, after all, been around for a vey long time. :-)

Next big thing on the list is hats! I am out of town at a family gathering this weekend so that will have to wait until next week.



Tuesday, March 23, 2010


You ladies are way too smart for me......believe it or not, this project does have an "Alice" theme. I guess the flamingos were an obvious clue.

When I saw the film last week, I was quite taken with the imagery and reminded of Lize's beautiful Wonderland Tea Party garden which she featured on her blog recenly. The Summer Lakeland Miniature Show always has an area for exhibits. I entered one last year and wanted to do so again but I really had nothing that I liked well enough to exhibit. Then I realized that I had this box sitting around doing nothing and decided this was it.

Above is the interior of the larger of the two rooms. The rug will be tea-dyed to age it. The plan is for this to be a crazy hat shop. The smaller room through the curtain will be the workroom.

Below is the exterior entrance. A long time ago, I attached the box to a longer piece of plywood so I could make a garden entryway but it had accumulated so much dust it had to be removed. The walkway bricks are the type that go one with a stencil. I recall it being very easy to do at the time.

This is the exterior of the "backside" of the box. I put plexiglass in the windows to keep the interior dust under control...I hope. You can see the "aging" on the clapboards though it is still too shiney, I think. The paint was a satin house paint but I may have to overspray with a matte finish to dull things down, though it is doubtful this side will be seen very often. The flash makes the shine really noticable. (Sorry for the crooked photo.....)

And now for those ceiling details......

I used a playing card paper that I downloaded to cover the ceiling (and hide the electrical) in the larger room. The "medallion" around the lighted fan is simply four wooden heart shapes that are painted red and glued under the light. It is not exactly the fixture I love but it was there, somewhat hard to remove and serves the purpose which is to prove light. I also added 2 flourette bulbs for indirect light.

The smaller room has the paper "coffered" ceiling detail which I framed out in stained wood. This rooms light is provided by a super-bright flourette. To hide these lights, I used a decorative molding on the front of the box. (you can see this on the picture above showing the curtained doorway.) This molding does block the view of the ceiling in both rooms which is why I made the comment about standing on one's head to be able to see it. :o)

More later......


Monday, March 22, 2010

Times flies.....

Things have been a little hectic here the past week what with tech weekend. tech and dress rehearsal all week and then the performance this weekend. Things went very well but I am glad it is all over until the Fall.

I had hardly any time to work on the new project except for removing all the old foliage and aging the outside. I used a Minwax Golden Oak stain and just dabbed and wiped until I got the degree of "antiquity" I wanted. I was, at first, a little leary of doing that...the creamy paint was sooo pretty. But too pretty for the new purpose.

There was small problem with the existing electical wiring so while I was into the repair, I decided to redo the ceilngs in both rooms. When I can get a decent picture, I will show you the detailing (which no one will probably ever notice unless they stand on their head) in the smaller room.

In the is a small hint regrading the nature of this project. And do not dispare...soon all will be revealed!

BTW....had my very first etsy sale this morning! Really exciting for me.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

New project.....

Yes, yes....I know I have plenty of unfinished projects lying around but right now the Muse is not speaking to me about them. She has made it perfectly clear that THIS is what must be dealt with now. Who am I to argue?

So I dragged this out, dusted it off, took a few "before" pictures and am plunging to speak.

I have had this roombox for eons. The original plan was to make a fine Victorian lady's dress shop with a workroom but that, sadly, never happened. Now I've been inspired to do something really whimsical and fantasmical with it and I'd like to share the progress here.

I have taken a page from Casey's book and am keeping notes of what I plan and what I actually use.

I'll be re-working the inside and outside and giving hints along the way as to how it will end up. I do have a deadline of the 1st of July as I want to enter it into a judged exhibit mid July.



Saturday, March 6, 2010

Update on my "perplexion" (?)

(I don't think that is a word...)

Anyway, just to let everyone who offered their support know that, although she did not reply to me, the dealer did add my name as artist to the listing. A friend sent me an e-mail the day after I told her it was important to me to be mentioned as the artist. He said my name was now prominently displayed with the tables.

So all is well. But I do think I may refrain from selling to dealers who only sell on-line in the future.


Monday, March 1, 2010


I am... perlexed..... after mulling this over for several hours, I have decided that perhaps my followers could share their thoughts and insights with me.

Several months ago, I sold 2 of my "wizard's tables" to a lady at a show. I learned that she was a dealer herself, though I did not know if she planned to re-sell the items. I explained to her (as I do to all my customers) how I make the tables, that they are all handmade by myself and OOAK.

This morning, I saw the tables for sale online. I was a little surprised to see them (especially since it has been a while since they were purchased) but what set me back a bit was there was no indication anywhere that I had made them. I know I am not exactly the Andy Warhol of the miniature world but I thought a little recognition might have been appropriate, no?

She doesn't imply that she made fact there is no reference that I could find to the artist at all.

Don't get me wrong....I was thrilled to see my work online....except no one but me knows it is my work :-(

So should I drop her an e-mail and ask her to identify the pieces? She did buy them outright so I guess she can do whatever she wants with them. And if she doesn't care to identfy "unknowns", I suppose that is her perogative. But then how will an artist become "known"? Obviously, I did sign and date the piece but that will be apparent only once it is purchased.

I really hate to stir up the pot with this one. Perhaps I should just let it go and not sell to people know are dealers anymore. But ideally, a dealer would handle my things so I wouldn't have to schlep all over the country to shows. Is it really worth getting someone annoyed with me?

Perhaps I should just be grateful that she bought the things at all and move on....... I am, as previously stated, perplexed......sigh.....