Sunday, April 8, 2018

Old Farmhouse Roombox, part 2

There is something I meant to ask you, my mini friends: How do you handle all the various media? Facebook, Instagram, Blog?

The basic question is, of course, why are we publishing things?
  • In the first place, everybody needs a bit of recognition.
  • 2ndly, one can share experiences and be inspired by others.
  • And then there is the interaction with others because building minis is not exactly someting you do in a team... 😏
 I thought I will make life easier and cancel one of these channels, but it seems that
  • Miniature groups and personal friends can only be reached via FB... 
  • Instagram is a 'must' because many people changed from FB to this
  • And a blog is the place where one can get a bit more detailed than just showing pix
Good and valid reasons to keep going in all the media channels. But maybe you have a clever system as to what info goes where? If so - please share!


Ok, back to minis!

My room box is coming along. 
The ceramic oven was trial and error process. After talking to Tiny Ceramics, I realized that they did not have corner pieces, only flat tiles. I then made a model with paper covering. It looked nice - but definitely not real enough.

So, I turned to foamed PVC - not quite sure how I could get the glazed look though.
Samples, samples, samples...
In the end, it was simple: I spray painted it with acrylic, then dry brushed the gaps with brown acrylic and allowed a 'used' look by not cleaning it all off the tiles, and finished it with clear gloss.

The back rest had to be laser cut. But I don't have a local library like Kristine, where this could be done and I only wanted to ask Carol as a last resort. After many phone calls I finally found someone locally who does small jobs like this one 😄
The slanted legs would be an issue - I knew that! So, I had my son do a bit of a cheat and he designed the bottom part so that I could 3d print them ;-). Now I just have to finish the paint job - but I first want to make the table as well.

The master piece of this room box is definitely this walnut cupboard!
Plotting the lock shields did not work - the machine could not handle these 1cm pieces. I was very disappointed. But as I walked out of the hobby shop, I spotted some interesting and very cheap scissors! Another 'yeah'!!! 
key production...

So, this is where I am at now.
I don't like that piece of furniture I made on the left under the window - it doesn't look 'farmy' enough and competes with the cupboard. An old-fashioned chest would probably look better....

You might have noticed that I had a few new things designed in 3D. Reason for this was not really that I needed them but my son stayed with me for two weeks after his knee operation and was terribly bored and sorry for himself! I grabbed this situation and made him do CAD work for board/lodging, coffee service and the occasional warm meal 😀😀😀 But I think he quite enjoyed it as well, especially designing the beer crate...
Printed in 'Frosted Ultra' and then colored with permanent felt pen the bottles remain translucent

Now, I wish you all a great week ahead, sunshine, spring feeling and all!
My bike is already in action again 😊

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Old Farmhouse Room Box

I seem to be doing projects that are a little different from my contemporary style ;-)
But I seem to have friends who are fond of different styles than me. And this box is for Anja in Greyton, Cape Region South Africa.

She lives on the country side in a small village and is into spinning and weaving since a long time. When I visited her a couple of months back, she gave me some of her finer weaves and asked me to do a room box with a spinning wheel for her.

So, this is the progress I have made so far, using poplar plywood 6mm for the box.
Deciding on the color of wood dye was not easy... here making sure
that the weights will keep the wall panel straight while drying

I decided to do the walls and floor first and then only assemble the box.
Used trimmed popsicle sticks for the floor, glued them right on the floor but used weights and all.
Sanded and polished with walnut wax.

And then came the typcial walnut cabinet that one finds in every farmhouse here in Switzerland.
Used walnut stain/glaze (all in one, in German it is called 'Lasur').
Love the color but it turned out a little busy.  Ah well..
The locks are in the making. I have an ambitious vision ...
I will use a plotter for the key plates and am talking to someone in Etsy about the keys.

Today was the big day where I could hammer all this together! YEAH!!

Ceiling in the making...

Just wanted to share the with you. The piece of white wall is for the tile stove to come...

Hugs, Marion

P.S. I have my son staying with me after a knee operation (accident kite-surfing) and I kept him busy making miniature CAD drawings! Great way to pay for his food and lodging 😏
Once I have printed and painted them all, I will show them in my Shapeways shop.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Biedermeier room box

Long time no blogging - but I was in Cape Town for a month. The water shortage was not so much of an issue - but when I moved on to Durban for another week I really appreciated the long and hot shower !

You probably wonder why I make a Biedermeier room box - totally different from anything I ever made.
My non-mini friend Maya sent me this foto of what she found in her closet and asked me whether I has use for it. Never... but then I know that she loves this interior style and dollhouse stuff. So, this room box will be a surprise for her - good thing she does not read my blog 😉

Since I make most furniture myself, working with kits was something new for me.

And here a few pix...
Now it just needs her cups and cake on the table...
Added a light in the alcove of the writing desk because there was not enough space on the surface for an office lamp

I minimized fotos I had of her and her family to make an ancestry picture display... bet she is going to love this!
Made a see-through front for this wall clock and just love the petit-point pully for the servant

I had this lamp (not electrified) for a long time and it finally has the perfect place!

Jodi, the pleater you suggested came in very handy ... ;-)

By the way...

My space situation became just a 'little' cramped and I was considering putting at least one house in a storage room. Before doing that, I advertised on a Swiss platform and attracted a young couple living two villages away from my place!  'Glenwood'  house moved on - and this without having to wrap everything because we simply could load it into their van! They really appreciated the work: the mini scene is not unknown to them because their great-aunt is the famous Heidi Ott!!

So, knowing that it would be cherished and in good hands I did not feel sorry at all to let it go...

Now there is space for new projects!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Video of Modern Wood House Model

It is done!

And here the link to the Making-of video about this house

What a way to end the year 2017!

Now, I am off to the southern part of the world and will spend time in Cape Town - making new memories with old friends...
And - of course - meeting the South African mini group. Sandy, here I come!!

Happy new Year to all of you

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Photo shooting and making a video

As much as I love working on a project - coming to an end is great as well ✌✌✌

Taking photos and video shots

This was always meant to be a winter house and the snow around here came just at the right time (gone again since yesterday)! For the photo shooting I wanted some of the pix to be done outside, whilst others I did in the warm inside using a poster backdrop I photographed and had printed.
Background poster 60cm high
Outside shot
All my pictures and videos are taken with the iphone6. Most shots and definitely all videos are taken holding the phone horizontally! Nothing worse than having black voids left/right of the video picture.

- For hard-to-get-to places I use a 360° blue-tooth selfie stick. The 360° the vital feature because I really want the phone to swivel the way I need it.
- The tripod ensures really sharp takes.
- For the videos I need to be in a non-cramped position and have a steady hand. A video stabilizer like DJI Osmo would come in handy for those who are prepared to spend money.

Taking photos:
Avoiding glare and mirror effect in the large windows of the model, is always the biggest problem. That's why I sometimes close all shutters and work with borrowed photographer lamps. Not my favorite - I prefer natural daylight. But then again, it should not be too bright..
Photo shooting is a lengthy process because I try different light situations in a south/east facing room (am, pm, artificial...) to be able to select the best.
A little cramped in my 'village'...

Select and enhance shots:
Because I am not all that good (yet..) with Adobe Photoshop Elements, I perfer to use the Mac Photo program to enhance - where necessary.
But before I get to that I have to select!!! I first sort them all into room categories. And then mark those worthwhile looking at again. So it goes... until I am down to a good dozen shots per room.

Then the critical eye becomes extremely critial:
- Everything straight? No? Grr... need to re-take the shot
- Specks on the floor? Easy - use the little fix-it plaster in Mac Photos
- Is the background realistic? No? Grr... need to re-take the shot
- Is there glare? ... off into the delete baskets and take a new shot
- is the focus where I want it do be? Adobe Elements can help a bit ...
- And it is bright enough? Up to a certain extent, Mac Photos can take care of that...

Assembling the video from photos and video takes:
I do this with iMovie on my Mac. I use this since many years and the best tutorials I found are Gary's Macmost website.

I use various features of the program, such a stabilizing the video take, adjusting length of take, adjusting exposure, etc.
The photos I use (only horizontal takes!) become alive by using Ken Burns. It allows to put the focus to where is should be. iMovie does this automatically - but my choice is often different ;-)

So, this is how I finalize a model. Thought you might be interested in this.

My next blog will give you the links to the videos of this house.
Wintery and christmasy greetings from Switzerland

BTW: if anyone ever needs one of this large posters just let me know and I can either send you the file or the printed poster (on loan). These are the ones I have..