Sunday, January 17, 2021

Floor Plans and Elevations

 I played around with my graph paper this weekend designing the Container House. (Yes, I know, very original name but nothing else is coming to me.)

Since shipping containers are typically 8x8x20 feet.  So I thought at first to do an L shaped house with a big deck.  But I wanted to keep the footprint a little smaller.



I like it but as I said, a larger footprint than I wanted.  So I went back to the drawing board, (almost literally) and began work on something like this.





The big circle is meant to be a spiral stair. The location of that drove me a little crazy and I ended up moving it quite a bit.  But I think I've got a solid plan now.



It underwent some revisions as I figured out where I wanted the windows and doors.  



I had the component kit for the MiniTown Loft so I used those measurements for the windows.  I wanted to do a regular staircase, maybe with a couple of landings. But I ran into a little snag with the steps that came with the component kit.


I was a little surprised to find the stairs broken, that hasn't happened in a long time.  I wrote to Miniatures.com about it and they're always cool about replacing things that broke during shipping.

I'm excited to play with the doors on the ends of the containers.  I want to do some big windows in a couple of them.  That way I can open the doors and close them like shutters.  That could be cool right?

Since I am not an artist the drawing (and erasing and drawing again) took me pretty much all weekend.  My husband said that he hoped I was just drawing houses.  Apparently he thinks I have some demolition expertise and was drawing out bomb schematics.  He's so optimistic isn't he? 

I'm excited about this kit now.  I really am looking forward to working on it. I'd love to do another tile backsplash like this.




Maybe not these exact colors, something more in a grey? I do a lot of blue because its a favorite but a pretty grey with a nice granite countertop would look very nice.

Have to see. Hope you're having a good weekend! Stay safe and healthy.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Booknook Beautification

 I have no idea how other people finish the exterior of their book nooks.  For all I know it's just plain mdf or plywood or basswood on the exterior, left raw.  

I used chipboard to sandwich in the wires for the lights between the exterior walls and the gaps I'd created so the wires would have a little wiggle room and hopefully not come apart in transit.  But, as you know, chipboard isn't exactly pretty.

Like a lot of miniaturists/crafters...I have... well... the polite word is hoard.  I have hoards.  Like a dragon collects treasure I collect scrapbook paper, jewelry findings, beads... you know. Like you do. (You know who you are! 😁)

And since I had a lot of scrapbook paper, I decided to find my fairy tale book of paper.  The general theme of the book nook is magic, albeit a little more industrial than typical fantasy but certain things remain constant.


Dragons for one.



Potions for another.

And I added corner trim to edges, stained with Minwax Dark Walnut and then I started on the framing of the front.

I had trim left over from the WQRC, that lovely knotwork carved trim I used for the windows and bargeboards.  





On the WQRC I used Minwax Ebony on the knotwork and Minwax Dark Walnut on the rest.  It was a very Tudor look, dark and moody and I loved it for the cottage.

Back then I didn't have watercolor pens (oh I love these things) but having since gotten a set, I had this wild idea.  So I tested it out.



Blue watercolor pen on the knotwork.  And then...


For my sample I used the Minwax Stain pens but for the rest of the trim I used the can of the same stain.



Sorry for the sun!  My work area has east facing windows and in the morning pictures can be very bright in places.  What I do love is how the color of the knotwork shows up.

I coated everything (even the scrapbook paper) with semi-gloss polyurethane so dusting would be easy in the long run.  The bottom of the nook has felt on the edges so it won't scratch the shelf it rests on.

The nook takes three batteries to light everything.  They're on three separate switches. One for the candle holder, one for the sconces and one for the candles on the cinderblock shelves.

I have six books that are loose and three notebooks as well as the second stool.  So they can be placed on the shelves or wherever someone wants to put them.





So a romance novel and a notebook can slide in between another book and a candle.







You've seen the other books that open before but I also made an alchemy book.


Man that sunlight is killer.  






I gave myself Friday (January 1st, 2021) off so I could rest and relax.  And since I'd gotten the HBS Miniatures catalog I got to see the new Creatin' Contest Kit!


It's a mirror image of the 2012 kit which is kinda cool.  You can actually buy both of them now so you could make a row of townhomes if you wanted to.


And because I'm a dragon in human form and my chosen treasure to hoard is miniatures, I of course ordered the kit.  It's a very good deal so I'm excited.

At first...yeah, no ideas at all.  Mind completely blank.  

And then I remembered Marion's container house and how much I loved it.  I've wanted to do a mini container house for years but really didn't feel confident enough in my abilities to try.  Now though...ready to take the plunge.  

That was part of what I did on Friday. Searched for inspiration photos.  Marion was kind enough to send me the link to her siding source so I'm excited about that too.

I don't know if I want to do an L shape house with a deck, or a two story house, but I think that I'll be able to use a lot of the kit components in my build which will be good for me.  I get so tempted to hoard my kits and pieces because what if I need them for something else someday? 

The two pictures below were the first I found, and I love the arrangement with the deck in front.  I think I'd want to angle the roof over the deck though, for a more covered area.




The layout above is very striking but reaching the middle of the house could be an issue. Not sure I want to do a lift off roof, even for a portion of the build.


The above photo is a little blurry but I love the layout. It could be so much fun to do a two story.  Try to keep the footprint small.


But this is really gorgeous too.  With a neat glass garage door for that indoor/outdoor living experience.  Or really challenge myself and try to do a gorgeous folding glass door like Kristine's 2017 contest entry.

Any of them would be fun.  But I think I'll end up combining a few elements.  

Can't wait to see what the rest of you want to do!

Hope you're having a safe and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Gluing Walls and Starting To Add Décor

We had a quiet at home Christmas... 

Of course, for us, that's par for the course.  We don't have any family in our area so holidays are just the two of us.  I like it.  We both deal with people at work. It's nice to have a break at home.

But it gave me plenty of time to work on the book nook since with just the two of us we don't do a huge meal. I had Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off of work, and then the weekend.

Since this is a wizard's workroom I made a crystal ball.

Then the sideboard.  I'd previously glued the drawers shut. But I managed to pry two of them open and built up the sides.


The drawers are going to be filled up so the seams won't matter so much.  Then I added dividers.


I added some semi-precious stones from my bead hoard.




Next step was to get the magical cauldron glued to the sideboard.  I braced it against something tall enough to keep the weight of the kettle from pulling it loose.


Once the glue was dry I added some other things.  Jars of ingredients, an open book, a collection of amethyst, more books, a mortar and pestle, a hematite sphere to represent a speaking stone and some crushed malachite along with one of the wands and a spell page.


Then I had to add things to the lower shelf.  I painted a container I got from Shapeways, used some of the gallery glass paint I got on sale a while back.  It gives the plastic a nice sheen.




It fills in some space nicely and looks appropriate in the room.  I added some glass beads to some more jars


Another mortar and pestle, more amethyst, a box of Coke and a cats eye crystal also helps.

While the glue was drying I added maps to the wall and glued the shelf and sconce on.


I ended up moving the smaller map up a bit so it showed more.  In the books Dresden built a 'Little Chicago' which was essentially a table top representation of the city.  I didn't have the room for that so the maps will have to do.

I figured out the placement of my candelabra and glued two of the walls together after I made a little holder for the batteries I'll need for the lights.




While I waited for the glue to dry (again) I made a circle of gold, bronze and silver wire. 


I had to glue it down to the floor and while I waited for the glue to dry (so much waiting!) I made a coat to hang next to the hat on the wall.

Then it was a matter of gluing the floor to the walls and the rest of the walls together.  Since the sideboard didn't have any lights on it, I glued it in place and the candle holder on the stool next to it.


Once I got the other two walls glued I could add the rest of the shelves, the coat and my other items.




Then I added the ceiling and got the lights wired to the batteries and tested them out.




Next weekend I'll start to add the trim around the front of the box and something to cover the wires on the outside of the nook.

So far I like how it looks.  Hopefully my old friend will too.

I hope you all had a safe and Merry Christmas!