Sunday, January 19, 2020

Quoth The Raven, "Nevermore"

Well... this is the big idea.  It starts out like this...my husband is a librarian. And a huge fan of Edgar Allen Poe.  He loves the man's short stories, poetry, you name it.  Considering my husband was an English major who then went on to get his masters in Library Science, I suppose it isn't surprising.

And looking at the kit, I like the door and windows, and the stairs are interesting so I'll try to work them both into the design.

What I want is something like a room box, based upon the poem, to evoke that mood and echo the setting.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”

Which to me says somebody is semi-relaxing, half asleep, probably not super dressed up, reading old books.  It's obviously very dark outside, the proverbial witching hour.  So Victorian lounge-wear.




And as it is his 'chamber' he likely spends a lot of time there, so there's a choice of seats, not just a regular chair but also a chaise to relax upon or nap on.



    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
            Nameless here for evermore.

Which means it's cold outside, even in the south December was chilly and damp, and there's a fireplace with a fire dying slowly.  And the man is severely depressed.



I really like the style of the second fireplace, so I'll try to do something similar with bookcases built in on either side.  With a set of portraits above the mantel, of Poe and Lenore hopefully, draped in black crepe as was appropriate for someone in mourning.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
    “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
            This it is and nothing more.”

I'd like to point out that what my husband loves about Poe is his ability to make you doubt the...sanity of the narrator.  It was one of Poe's signature traits, the unreliable narrator.  So you can't know if you're hearing the truth, a fantasy/nightmare, or a combination of the two.

But from that verse I get purple silk curtains.


Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
            Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

So just inside the doorway, likely on a shelf over the door, is bust of Pallas Athena, and on it, a Raven.



Which I've found a plastic bust of Pallas Athena on Etsy since creating one is beyond my capabilities, like way beyond.

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
            Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

There were desk chairs and library chairs with wheels, so I'll try to recreate something like this.  With some sort of cushioned backrest.


And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
            Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Kinda gives the impression that this guy died staring at the bird.  Which leaves the room empty except for ghosts.  And the bird is still sitting on the bust staring.  Nooo...not creepy at all!

So I do have a black bird which can pass as a Raven in a pinch.  What I still need to procure are some...things for the exterior.

I want it to look like this:



Or something similar to this.  I really like the idea of a room box, to look like books on the outside and inside, a 'chamber' with a back hall and maybe a staircase going up, half hidden, gothic wallpaper, dark floors... minimal light, just enough to cast shadows and make the place look suitably creepy.

I'm excited. I've never done anything like this.

So I need to hit up thrift stores or the library donation reject box for some battered old books.  Luckily the librarian husband works at a library (go figure) and says he'll be on the lookout.

I'm also still trying to build barn doors so I can fix up my 1:1 house a bit.  They're a bit heavier than 1:12 doors.

Can't wait to see what the rest of you are coming up with for this kit!

Monday, January 13, 2020

Creatin' Contest 2020 Inspiration

Well I'm a day late from my normal Sunday post but I didn't think anyone would mind too much.  I've got a couple ideas.  One is an old idea that I've been thinking would be fun but I don't know if this is the right kit for it.

The old idea is a boathouse, an open space with narrow landings on the front and sides, an open back and maybe a shed roof, with water on the bottom.  I've wanted to do one for a while.  Not sure this is the kit for it. Though the stairs and height lend themselves to the look nicely.  But it doesn't feel very original.

The other idea is a new one.  And oh yes, I'm going to make you guess because that's always fun.  It's a little odd, and I've never done this before so I'm excited about it too.

Here's another look at the kit.


And here are a few of the pieces that have inspired the new idea.












This is something my husband will get a kick out of.  And I'm feeling a bit pleased because it's definitely new to me.

Any guesses?

Monday, January 6, 2020

2020 Creatin' Contest Kit

Well, it's more of a sneak peak really.  The Corner Place Kit.

It's a bit of an oddity, not an actual structure.  It looks like the outside of a structure to me.  A front porch?

The measurements are: 14 1/16"W x 14 3/8"H x 12 1/8"D

So it doesn't have a huge footprint.  I like that.  Not sure what I want to do with it yet.  The back porch of an old rambling farmhouse? Complete with greenery and dogs sprawled under the porch in the shade?

If I enclosed it I could finally do the music room roombox I've been wanting.

Have to think about it some more.  Any of you got ideas hitting you like lightning?  Those are the best kind aren't they?

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having a lovely week. Since I have yet to make a room box just for Christmas (its on the list) I'm putting up reruns of my Christmas Lanterns.



 








Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Fine Print Submission Pictures

I chose the four pictures to which I am limited for submission and turned them in.  And then I gave myself a mini break.  Not a small break. But a break from doing minis.  I've got some 1:1 scale house projects (which I haven't done either), reading to do, writing, and just in general being lazy.

I'm so excited to see everyone else's entries.  You've got until midnight tomorrow to get them submitted.  I know you can do it!

Here are my four photos:





Once I rearrange my work and storage space some I'll likely start working on the Loft again.  Hope you are all having a wonderful and safe holiday season!


Sunday, December 8, 2019

Fine Print Open For Business

Well! All done.  Got over eighty pictures taken and chose four for submission.  I'm improving, last year I had over a hundred.

So starting out with the exterior...


The first floor is a shop front I bought from Miniatures.com.  I used baseboards, crown molding and wood to embellish it and attach the front of the kit to the top of the shop front.

I filled in the space for the doorways and built up the depth of the shallow windows so I could use all four across the front of the second floor.

The third floor is more wood, trim and windows I bought on sale, again from Miniatures.com.  The mansard roof is foamcore board covered with wood shingles painted to look like slate.  I made the decorative grill from a strip of wood, pieces of spindles and paper covered wire wrapped around it then painted black and black metallic on top of it.

I bought a brick stencil from Moonflower Minis on Etsy and used drywall spackle for my brick, painted it and then sealed it with ceramcoat before grouting and resealing it.  The stone texture on the roof lip and corbels is sugar texture medium.

The stone and brick on the base and corners of the shop are egg carton brick and stone.  The lights are from Miniatures.com.  And the sign letters are from Hobby Lobby.  I sanded them down a bit to make them fit in my space and painted them gold, aged with black.



The first floor, the main shop space, doesn't have a ton of floor space.  I read up on shopping in Victorian times and people would line up at the counter, request what they wanted and a clerk would get it for them.  Bookstores were a bit different because people wanted to browse.  But I still didn't see it as having a huge open space really.



The one thing I noticed about the pictures I found of different shops, was that they were crowded with goods. The walls didn't have a lot of bare spots.


And of course I had to have the cats come and keep me company while I took pictures.  Austen is lounging across the newspapers and fashion magazines.


Dickens is waiting his turn on the table top.  Bronte thinks the floor is too cold and jumps from the staircase to the top of the bookshelf nearby.




The bookshelves were barewood from Minimum World as was the counter.  I made the staircase from spindles, wood fan blades and beads and a lot of the books and newspapers from free printies.  I also bought bookmaking kits from LDelaney on Etsy.  I made the cabinet display tables from House of Miniatures kits and the display racks and stands from woodsies and spindle pieces.

More of the books, magazines and papers came from Lilliput Treasures, PetiteGiteMiniatures, LittleThingsInterest, and MiniShacks on Etsy.  The cash register and lamp I found on Ebay.  The rest of the light fixtures came from Miniatures.com.  And the stove was also an Ebay find, though the 'fire' light inside came from Miniatures.com as well.

Barbara sent me a bunch of books and a beautiful atlas that I refuse to glue anywhere... it's too pretty to make immobile.  I couldn't find a place for it in this build so it's very carefully kept in its little bag.  I love the little sign, and maybe it'll end up as décor in a more modern build.




The crown molding is also from Miniatures.com.

On the second floor, I left the center open, so the clerks or patrons could look over the railing to the first floor.  I imagine there's a lot of speaking between floors.  As you can see, all three cats enjoy the view from the railings and lounge there as only cats are able.


I made the door to the 'staircase' from scrap wood and painted it to resemble the actual door on the third floor with similar trim.  I went with single light sconces on the second floor since the chandelier would provide light as well.



I can't remember where the pictures came from.  Probably HBS but I can't be certain.




They like to move around, an easy leap from the railing to the top of another bookshelf, and thus a nice view out the windows.



Sometimes it's easier to take pictures when the lights are out.





I like the view here, seeing the staircase in the corner.




For layout the third floor living quarters gave me the most trouble.  Not easy to arrange the furniture for practicality and photography.  It had to look realistic as far as placement but I didn't want to block out details I'd taken such pains to add.



Dickens is guarding the wonderful copy of Pride and Prejudice Deborah made for me.  It's readable and absolutely gorgeous.  She sent it along with some little blank books for my shelves and I just adore it.  Another book I could not glue down, so it stays on the bed where it's safe!


The fish, sausages and turnips are from Etsy, they are the goods I'd ordered for the WQRC and they didn't arrive until well after Christmas.  When they arrived they also stank to high heaven of I don't know what.  Thankfully they don't smell anymore.  Otherwise Bronte wouldn't go near them.


One of the few flat walls in the living quarters so I could hang these two portraits over the door.


The gorgeous bonnet is from Just For You Miniatures. I bought it ages ago for my Gothic Victorian and it looked so good here I had to kidnap it.


I made the hair brush from some wood and the bristles are from an old paint brush.  The mother of pearl back is from an old necklace I'd taken apart for my bead stash.  The small blue, pink and white 'jar' is a bead with a jewelry finding and another bead on top to make a place to keep hair from the brush.  Jewelry made from hair was still pretty common in Victorian times, according to my reading.  Ladies would have three hair brushes. One for that day, one from the day before which was drying from being washed, and a third to lend to a friend if needed.  Brushing one's hair removed all the dust, coal and other types, that had accumulated during the day.  You washed the brush and let it dry while using the other one and kept switching them out.



It's toasty warm by the stove. Another Ebay find.



Bronte, Austen and Dickens are all creations of Maya Schippl.


I made the throw at the end of the bed.


I made the bureau from a House of Miniatures kit.  The blue upholstered chair is an Ebay find, and the bed is from my stash.  The rest of the furniture is from Minimum World. I bought a bunch at half price last year.


The mattress and pillow are from Minibeddingshop and the quilt is from MiniBargains, both on Etsy.



The mirror on the dresser is from Smallsminnimall.  The lamp is an ebay find as are the bottles.  I got the pretty box from an online mini show.  The clock is from Minimum World.

The letters, paperwork and leather-bound book on the desk are from FrancesLanePark on Etsy. I made the ink bottles and dip pens.
 

The blue glass pitcher is from Keli and the 'copper' pots are from Ebay (I think) I've had them in my stash for a while.  The green bowls are from Susi, I won a drawing of hers a couple years back.  The metal canisters are from Miniatures.com as is the wooden box.  The white plates and bowls are from Hobby Lobby and Ebay.  The packages of food are reallllly old, (I got them when I was thirteen? I think) although you can still buy them.