Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Flowery Laziness ;)

Helleu my dear mini-friends!
It's not much and Mother Nature gets most of the credit, but I think it's something many of you can use as an idea and I just like to show.

Stubborn as I can be I had to try something else to get easy, realistic flora in miniature (unfortunately one of my earlier efforts with miniplants from weeds here didn't last). So when a while ago I got a lovely bouquet of flowers and saw that the smallest part of one of the flowers could be used I decided to dry it by stucking it upside down to the side of a kitchen cupboard with some tape. Because I figured that might last (a lot) longer than what I tried before and is easier too. A while later - on my birthday - I received another (gorgeous) bouquet of flowers that had 2 kinds of tiny things that would be nice for a miniature vase.
I used a portion of them in the Antique Art with a Twist, but now I've finished the bouquet. I'm not sure I've ever seen a bouquet like this in real life, but on the other hand there are countless types of flowers and plants, who's to say it couldn't exist like this right? And I think it's beautiful and although it takes some drying time: it couldn't be easier!

I have no idea if this will last, but at least it will last longer than a regular bouquet of flowers, that's for sure! And I think it's a great way of accompanying a mini scene.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mock-up Oldtique Store

Because the Oldtiquestore is still nothing more than the entrance and stuff to put in it, I really felt like seeing what it will look like. So I recently put together a supersimple cardboard mock-up.. meaning a folded piece of cardboard and some folded pieces of card with prints of the wallpaper and a (out of scale) brick wall taped to it.

But it gives a very good idea and I like it! Imagine this made from mdf, with a floor, decent walls and the real paper and wooden wainscoting, a proper ceiling, lights and filled with lot's of stuff, not just this selection of all the great stuff I already have and will have/make for this store to be. Oh right, and a facade of course ;)

this is what some thought was the Oldtiquestore, but were just setups, the playing around with 'antiques' and the presentation of my mannequins: an mdf-corner I once ordered and used for some of the other scenes as well. This time with a piece of scrappaper just folded over a windowopening that's behind there and hanging over the edge (often tilting over the mantels when I added or moved something ;) as had just happened right before I took the photo on the left)
My boyfriend will start building the real thing the beginning of next year, but I just had to get an idea sooner. Not because I'm impatient I must add: he's had the mdf cut in 2010 already and he wanted to build it for me then too - or as soon as possible. But due to circumstances really was no option before and unfortunately I couldn't or can't do it myself either. But he finally can and I'm thrilled about that!

and this is why I wanted the entrance to be able to seperate from the steps: so you can have a good view inside the store, while maintaining a complete base.
Although it seems that way in these pictures, it will not be a pitched (or halfpitched) roof/ceiling. But I must say would look great seeing the way the cardboard on the left (unintentionally) is. It is meant to be just flat/straight and will have small planking across and 'beams' in length. But maybe something is possible with that ceiling, because I must say the extra height is fitting for the space and the pitched sides make it a bit more interesting... mmm.
the desk, like in this set-up, will go in a space behind the shop itself, which will be lower (streetlevel). There will also be room for a bit of storage, a kitchenette (including the desk-area all one space) and a toilet
I really like this view through the glass into the store.

Unfortunately the door has been loose for quite a while. My boyfriend dropped something on the entrance last year or so and it got disconnected as was the diagonal bar to push the door open.

Luckily that was all, the structure itself was still very solid, thanks to the double epoxy glue I guess! The letterbox I removed at some point because I wanted to have an opening one and was supposed to be delivered about a year ago with some other items, but despite emailing, a call, a promise it would come and some more emailing, still hasn't arrived ;)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Antique Art with a Twist

Hi y'all, it's good to see you!
Yay, I have something to show, something I've had much fun with; it's  3 'old painted' portraits, but not just any kind.

Because a few weeks ago when I couldn't yet do the kind of thing needed for some other things I had been making, I was thinking of antique paintings that I want for my Oldtique-Store-to-be and that it would be nice to add something to that. That led to the idea to give that antique art a personal touch and that's how I got to making: 'paintings' of nobly ladies with my own face in them! Well, it doesn't get any more personal than that I guess :D . I found some nice ones online that I modified with my face and it's printed on my beloved cotton twill fabricsheets, I just love that stuff!

you can't see it well or at all, but I've 'varnished' them with mod podge and adding layers in which I tried to add a bit of the brushstrokes
Because my boyfriend liked them so much and wanted one of himself of course I made one with his face too. I think he looks very handsome in that uniform. One of my brothers and his wife liked these pieces of 'art' so much too, they suggested I make them of the whole family. Which I think is a great idea and I certainly intend to do in time!

the label on the right is for reference, so it's always clear what the real painting is or who it's from and who's face is in it! :D
the one on the right isn't finished as it's missing in the finished pictures. The real one has - and I'd like it with - an oval frame and I decided it took long enough for me to make the other three. Besides an oval frame is a bit more difficult (although I have a simpler idea for that), I'll leave it at that for now

And below are the paintings in their normal state, as they were made by the painters for their clients. I wonder what they'd say if they could see what I've done to them ;)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Old, older, 'oldst' ;)

Hello again my dear minifriends, I'm so glad you're here! It's pretty quiet here isn't it? But not in my head, where lots of old and new (mini)ideas are always floating around, giving a nice ring to my mind and something fun to focus on. And since a couple of weeks I can even do a little here and there and I'm hoping to finish and show some items soon, can't wait!

What I like to show you now and I'm very excited about is some old stuff; really, REALLY old. I've had them a while now and wanted to show them when I had been able to make simple displays for them, but that might take a while because I want to do the other things first, so here they are!
Getting to own these great old relics got started with Pinterest where I came across something from Tony's great blog Miniature Treasures. Tony uses treasures, hence his blog name, he finds in the ground like old coins and other beautiful stuff for most of his miniatures. Which make them beyond special I think. I wouldn't want to (or could) copy what he does, but the idea of using old small relics in miniatures appealed to me.

Out of curiosity and not expecting to find anything, I did a quick search for artefacts on our Dutch online marketplace, comparable to Ebay and Craigslist. To my surprise I found a seller of some great ones that wouldn't leave my mind... From a bunch of other wonderful excavated ministuff I choose the 3 I couldn't choose between, weren't too expensive and also fitted the 1:12th scale best. I asked them from my boyfriend for my birthday that was coming up. Well, sort of, it was only 6 weeks away :D. Not something I usually do, but wanted to make the exception. And lucky for me, he thought it was a great idea!

Not sure if pieces such as these would be more likely to be found in a miniature museum as opposed to a miniature antique&old stuff-store, but if not: hey, that's the great thing about this mini world, we can do things the way we like!
there's just nothing like natural aging, there's no way I could distress anything like this!
The bronze 2000 year (!) old horse (3cm's or 1 and 3/16th inch) has been used as a cloak pin or a woman's stole in ancient Rome, called a fibula (yes, like the bone). Because of it's purpose it's flat on the back and has things on that back that once held the actual pin. It looks like a miniature table statue and is what I wanted it for, but statues don't have flat backs with thingies on it. After some thinking however I decided I liked it so much I didn't mind that and it would still work great as a small statue. I'm all for as realistic as possible, but sometimes I don't mind to compromise, especially not with a piece this unique and special.

I have been thinking who this was made for: maybe a little Roman girl as a gift from her parents, or maybe from a guy to his girlfriend or a husband to his wife? Or just bought by a person needing a cloak pin ;) . And would she (I'm guessing it was a she, but maybe men liked and wore horses on their clothing too) have worn it daily or just on special occasions? And I can only guess it must have been someone with money or a metalworker who could make it himself? I just can't imagine ordinairy people could afford to have a shaped fibula if at all, but maybe they did? Not so familiar with Roman times, especially not those kind of details :D
The religious kind of object is a medieval pilgrim badge of tin from around the year 1500, that I think will make a great antique wallsculpture.

The dish is a 10-12th century Byzantine dish-coin that comes from a big treasurefind in Turkey acoording to the seller. This little piece started out as money, became useless and degraded as just being soilfiller for ages. To now becoming an item to be 'sold' in my miniature Oldtique Store, how cool is that? The story to go with that might be it was used in those times as a servingdish for regionally famous chickenhearts on Sundays by the rich and wealthy? I really don't know, my knowledge of the miniature upper class Byzantine foodserving habits is not that great, but sounds like a possibility, right?


Then I've got even older stuff to put in the Oldtiquestore-to-be that I came across online while looking for the artefacts: fossils! Two that are 65-112 million years old, and another one about less than half that age, but still a whopping 35 million years old. The fun part: they were nicely cheap (less than a euro each, probably because they're so common and the light one not being in the best shape (as compared to other same kind of fossils, that are often a lot better preserved or nicer formed). The pink shell I added for colour, it's very small for such a nice kind I think.
The oldest fossils are ammonites. These are of a prehistoric squidspecies related to our present day squid, but with the shell on the outside. The species have gone extinct around the same time the dinosaurs did.
source image: Polihierax, DeviantArt
According to Wikipedia (Dutch), ammonites are found in various sizes, ranging from less than a centimeter up to 2,5 meters! (more than 8 feet) So a great item to display as a miniature, it will always be to scale (as long as you'll never want to use one of over 20 cm's (7,87 inches) ;)

The second kind is the fossilized tooth of a ray (flatfish). Which at first I thought I could use as a 1:12th scale dinosaurtooth or something. Figuring they could be different, like this one, from teeth we know. But the teeth I can find of dinosaurs online have no ridges like the raytooth has or the shape, so I'm not sure there would have been any dinosaur with teeth resembling this one (but it was a quick online search, not a study ;) ). So I decided it to be a fossil of undetermined origine, because I really like the shape, texture and colour!

So, that was a little bit of history for ya, like it or not.
But, if you got to here, you probably weren't too bored I guess :D