Friday, August 15, 2014

tutorial real writing pencil

Hi y'all, just like to mention a tutorial I made in February of this year. And maybe gives you a nice reason to go into the summery outdoors to find the key-ingredient if you like having a goal. Or you might find it in an old stash of dried flowers like I did. Anyway, if you like it, enjoy making it!

You need:
- a thin dried stem (mine is slightly less then 1 mm thick), like the dried flower in the photo, but nature has more thin hollow stems
 - a pencil lead from a penlike pencil you normally 'feed' those to write
- a hobbyfile like mine, an emoryboard, or a piece of sandpaper stuck to something flat
- paint if you like (spraypaint works best) and then also doublesided tape to hold the pencil up

Then:
1) gently file the lead by rolling over it with the file or sandpaper, until it's thin enough to fit the hollow inside of your stem.
2) And very gently put it in the stem. If it doesn't go further, don't push, you might need to file a bit more as I had to in the left-down picture. It does break sometimes, then you can make a smaller pencil from that, a 'used' one. It can be loose a bit and the lead can shift inside the pencil, then you can put a tiny bit of superglue to the lead on the side it comes out and push it in. That way it should stay put.
3) If you want you can paint now, put it with the back on a piece of doublesided tape and (spray)paint.
4) After drying you can file/sand the point and the back till they look like the real deal.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A journey of a thousand miles...

... begins with a single step - Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher, 604 - 531 bc

Well, a thousand miles this is, my ever so challenging mini-laptop, I've been able to work on a bit the past few weeks! Meaning that I could finally proceed on the lighting again. In my head I've known for months what to do, but in ones head connections don't come loose all the time and once connected lights don't stay dark for unclear reasons either :).

In the real world they apparently do, with these tiny lights and ridiculously thin wiring anyway ;) [and my lack of experience in this department probably didn't help either]. I was thrilled that I was able to reconnect one of those leds to the wire again since I could't order any new ones and had a few laying around loosened form their wires and wanted to use those. And I not only managed to rewire it: it actually worked!

You see, I wasn't at all sure that that was possible, or that I could, because I have next to no experience in soldering and only have a regular solderingtip and not a special micro one that you would actually need for this kind of work. Also because the led is so small (about as big than the 'sand'/crumbs in your eyes when you wake up ;) the heat of the iron melts away that connection, so had to figure something for that too, but this makes the soldering even harder..
But it appearantly was possible, yay! But despite the soldering connections being pretty strong, surprisingly so, I had to reconnect them often because handling them they did come loose at some point, just being too delicate. And needed to solder again and again the times I could work on them, the same connections that is....

And then I finally had two together, and they didn't light up! Both of them worked, but not when tested at the same time. Later - because I kept thinking why and the connection between them had to be fine - I finally thought it might be the 3V coincell that is easy for testing. That should be fine using for 10 leds on one coincell, but that's in parallel, maybe not the series I was having my lights in. Had no idea if that would (or could) matter, knowing practically nothing about electronics (I also had to look this up, the parallel and series thing, had no idea what that was or how to call it, just knew there was a difference). But when using my 12 volts transformator, it appears that had been it, because now they lit up both! But the connection came loose again, because of having to handle them to be able to test it, no matter how careful I was. Arrghh!
Why even bother with al this right? Well, it's simple: I really want to do this. And kind of like the challenge and overcoming all the hurdles and bumps it brings (wouldn't mind skipping them or at least part of them, but they do make me móre determined, not less). And I am sure I'll get it someday, because I know it is (or should be) possible and I will succeed! Hopefully befóre I'm an ancient relic, haha!

And to show you at least something: here's the little box (can't figure out the english word for it, freely translated from Dutch it would be 'feeder') with its blue light. I haven't shown that before, although that has been ready for ages (the box I did show once, but not lit I mean). Because I wanted to show it all at once, lit laptop, the blue light, all of it. But because that is going to take a while, here it is.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A mini partyscene for a big occasion !

Yes, I have a good reason to show - of ;) - a select part of my miniature collection creating a little partyscene kind of thing because.... :

today my boyfriend and I have been together for 20 years, TWENTY years! I could write a book about him and what he means to me, but for your and my convenience - and not to bore you out of your skulls - let's just keep it at he is one amazing and truly special guy! Who is all I could ever have wished for in a man and I love him more than anything. Yes, even more than miniatures, although it's a close call, haha :D
And I am a very, VERY lucky person to have him in my life.
In two decades we went from being two somewhat insecure teenagers who fell deeply in love to gradually becoming confident adults who went through quite a lot in all those years due to different circumstances and my illness, but are still very strong together, sronger than ever actually.
this (contrasted) photo is from somewhere in the middle of our 20 years together
Although we can't go out because of me, we will celebrate this special anniversary at home with a nice stonegrill diner and just be together, which in the end is the most important thing anyway.

Cheers, to LOVE! And your soulmates or the ones I wish for you to meet if you haven't found him or her yet and wish to.

And I'm so sorry, but the snacks are gone already.. someone with a big apetite went through everything before anyone had a chance ;)
But here's a look at the empty bag (if anyone likes, I could do a tutorial on this bag someday):

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

to cheat or not to cheat?

Not back yet, I just remembered an idea I was very enthousiastic about months ago (still am) and had not thought of showing yet, until now. 'Cause when I ordered the EL-light at Microstru for my laptop in January, I also ordered one of their kits for an amazing 1:144 scale house. Because every selfrespecting antique/old stuff shop should have an antique dollhouse right? And besides that it's a house I kind a fell in love with, it also seemed a very doable and realistic kit. A closed house, so no inside stuff needed either. Which is good, since I never ambitioned anything as small as 1:144, I just admire everyone who works in this crazy scale ;). This kit however - because of it's solid structure and high level of detail & realism - is an exeption I was willing to make, at least housewise.
This lovely kit comes from Microstru - Millers Engineering
But when I received the kit soon after, the ambition, ideas and even urge to want to make 1:144 things got flowing. The parts are só detailed and perfect (with very clear instructions that even I can comprehend, not being my strong suit at all!) that I started thinking it would be so much fun if you would be able to look inside and see an interior, instead of painting the inside black as suggested. I did decide I will only do one room though (the biggest one), being two floors high (with a landing).
But to make that interior, I didn't feel like spending too much time and energy on it. Mostly because it would only be visible from the outside anyway, but I still wanted to have something nice and realistic, so it would be able to pass as a high-end antique dollshouse. Well: I can only love the modern times we live in! Soon after I got the kit I started 'making' parts for an interior on my laptop by browsing the internet for pictures of what I liked and was photographed in a way that it was usable. Then modifying them digitally to actually be used (and being able to fold as 3D furniture for example) and finally had it uploaded & printed as a postcard in a postcardwebshop. The cheapest and easiest way to achieve very detailed and crisp printing on a single piece of card. I will build things up in two layers, to make it more realistic and give it depth. Like the paintings will be the painting and on top of that the frame with an opening cut out. Some - or maybe many - would say this printed stuff all won't have the charm of handmade things, which of course is very true and I respect people not wanting things this way. But I do like it, a lot!
all the extra items are for cuttingfailures that will be enivitable
But is this cheating? Oh, I'm sure it is! But since all is fair in love and war, I figured that because I really, really LOVE miniatures, this would still be sort of fair ;), haha!

And in my defense: I am going to make a tiny spiral staircase - of very thin metals - that will probably make my head spin... And also a table, one or two chairs (besides the ones from card), the floor (that will be over 500 tiny wooden floorboards), a porchlantern and a chandelier with working lights, a floorcandelabra with 3 working 'candles' with ridiculously small leds, and 'real' curtains. So a bit more time and energy I will put into this after all, but because I really want to.

So I will make up a bit for all the corner cutting, at least I think so (feel free to disagree). And it will be fabulous, in my head it will anyway. But I must admit, I keep forgetting how extremely small everything needs to be in this scale... But hey, I definitely like the challenge!

And with all that, I (of course) thought it would be a shame to only be able to view it from the outside... ;) So I decided I'm going to make the room seperate so I can take it out, instead of dressing the inside walls before assembly as I initially planned. And to be able to put the longside walls flat (one at a time) so you can see one corner of two walls well from the side, as opposed to the whole room not so well from above. I did consider and wanted an opening side of the house, like dollshouses usually have, but I think that will weaken the structure of the house.

In time we'll see how all of that will turn out, looking forward to start this fun little project! (yes, yes, áfter the laptop ;)