Evalina Rose and her little sister Posy Anna are the main characters of a series of children's stories that I am writing. In this blog I will share the final stages of crafting their half scale house--Honeysuckle Cottage--and the miniature stuff that will make up the settings of their stories.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Beach House

These are some porcelain fairies that I made some time ago.  I am planning on having a "Beach House" giveaway at the end of the summer.  I will include a tiny fairy and a fairy -house made of tiny shells.  The bellow picture is of some printed fabric that I have made for pillows and cloth napkins.  I have made far too many and will include some of them in the giveaway as well.  

I am working on my chimney right now.
  First I cut a piece of foam  roughly into the shape of a chimney, and glued it onto the side  of the house.
 I am experimenting with papiermache to form my bricks because it comes in a much larger amount than Paperclay,and coast less.  So far it seems to work.
 I will cover the whole chimney with Papiermache in stages .   I am encasing the top of the chimney where it meets the roof line so that  the roof will look like  it is cut out and not part of the chimney.
  I made one mistake: I made the first batch too moist and it was hard to mark the bricks, so they are a bit large.  The mermaid tile was stuck on with siliconized acrylic caulk which is what I have used for most of my gluing.  Siliconized  acrylic caulk  is a great adhesive  it's thick and you can paint over it easily.  
I have used the same taupe acrylic paint to paint some of my foundation stones and the roof shingles to tie the house together visually.

I have a love hate relation ship with porcelain.  I love the finish that I can get, the colors of china paint, the glaze and the gold.  I love the details and the fact that it shrinks a little when it is fired.  But it is brittle, not easy to model and is very messy plus the physical discomfort that I have mentioned in the past, but  I just adore French and British porcelain figurines and have spent a lot of my past trying to reproduce them.  What should I do?  An ongoing question.  I have been unpacking my  miniatures and found these tucked into a little box.  the largest one is one inch.     
I am experimenting with crochet...I am using Gutermann's 100 cotton and a .5 crochet hook. Also I am testing the Burmilana wool thread, it is the peach and green fiber and it is knit.  I am very happy with the results and if anyone is interested please tell me and I will add a post all about it's qualities to my Knitting page.  I almost forgot...the bumilana works well in #40 silk gauze with a #10 needle.  It is for machine embroidery and comes in many colors.
Annabelle wanted a picture of her puppy to appear on the blog. This is Percy, he was too quick to get a good picture of him

A porcelain garden angel that I sculpted many years ago.  I think that I will keep her where she is, in Gwendolyn and Joseph's bed room.

Have a lovely week,

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Fun

     I have been trying out different types of clay.  In the past I have worked in porcelain,but found it too abrasive for my system.  I found some La Doll at Amazon and spent a little time with it today.  The chimney tile is a quick piece of work.  I didn't spend much time refining it, but I can tell that it will be beautiful to work with.  It has many of the same qualities of porcelain but it is more malleable.  One of the things that I like about porcelain is that you can paint fine details on with slip...La Doll allows for this technique also.
       I can,t wait to have more time to work with this clay. I think it will allow me to make great details in my work, but for now, my children and I are  off to Boston to visit my mother and the museums.

Tile for beach house chimney (2 3/4 x 2 3/4 inches)
 Normally, I would knit or embroider my own window treatments , but summer's end is close, and Annabelle's house needs to be finished.   I have a nice collection of  of vintage lace, and have used some  of it  for the beach house windows.
I have used some roses made from cold porcelain to tie back the bedroom curtains. 
I made this  blue wicker Chaise longue this week.  I used directions in  the book Wicker Furniture by Sheila Smith to get a basic idea, but changed it to suit my needs.  The lounge will go o he porch.
I need to make one more chair, a bench and two little tables, and the porch will have all of it's furniture.
Details of Gwendolyn's dresser.  I painted the china with china paints about eight years ago. The blank pieces were from Avon miniatures of the UK http://www.avonminiatures.com/  .   I plan on working on my flowers at some point, but for now they are just balancing in the vase.  The wall paper is from Itsy Bitsy Mini, and is described in an older post.
Annabelle solved our cat-in-the-house problem.  She made Bella a cardboard house which I put on top of a china cabinet.  She loves to sleep in it and to look down on all of us.   

We are planning to do a lot of mini baking.  We made these whipped cream dollops out of silicone caulking that I put in a disposable plastic pastry bag fitted with my smallest star tip.  The clean-up was easy, as the caulk cleans with soap and water until it dries.  Once  they dried I was able to store them in a little plastic container.

I finally got the nerve up to use liquid resin.   I  used Easy Cast, and it was easy. My biggest fear was that it would harden all over the place, but it takes a few hours to set, giving you plenty of time to add color, mix with tiny fruits, drop into jars and clean up.  If you are afraid to try this project, don't be.

Have a wonderful week,
Lucy Coles

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Mother turns 87

  My mother,my three children and I  go to Rockport MA to celebrate her birthday every year.  This year she turned 87 while we were there. 
      I have been very indulgent and added quite a few pictures of my children.  I have promised them that this will not be a habit, and I ask for you forgiveness in advance...I will not make a habit of including my personal life too often. 
     I have made some progress on the beach house.  My trip to Rockport has given me many new ideas, and some miniature materials that I will share with you in the future.  Annabelle and  I are now calling the beach house our Rockport house.  Rockport is a small seaside town on the north shore of  Massachusetts.  There are many houses both large and small,  my favorite are from the 1780's.  Some of the smaller homes are painted in wild combinations of orange and blue, aqua and peach, lime green and pale blue.  It is an artist's community, with many beautiful shops and settings.  I have included a few pictures of details that I think are worth making in miniature.
Happy birthday Mom
Gwendolyn tries out two new granddaughters.  They are dolls that I made in the past .  Annabelle wants to name them Clair  and Amelia. 
some progress in the bathroom.  I am making a tile floor out of Paper clay  The wall paper is from Itsy Bitsy Mini and looks beautiful with the bed room wall paper.  The name of the bathroom wall paper is Starfish and Seahorses in aqua.  It is so perfect for a beach house.
We still are working on the canned goods.  It takes a lot of tiny  foods to fill a jar.  If you click on my images they will get bigger and the collages look better.
Joseph and Gwendolyn's bed room is coming along.  I have just put some vintage laces on the bed for  now.  I plan on making a mattress and bedding  I have since added pink crystal knobs to the dresser.  I painted the bed and and dresser green and added a simple landscape to tie them together.  I am planning on making a upholstered chair to set by the window, for now I am playing with the wicker chair that I made for the porch .  I love the wall paper from Itsy Bitsy Mini (Stripe Dark Toil, peach).
I have finished the" f"lag stone" kitchen floor.  I used a cereal box for the base and covered it with Paperclay.  I am very happy with the results, but have no idea how we will finish the kitchen.  I like the English and European kitchens That I am seeing and may just mix cultures.

Some pretty details from Rockport.  I am adding a chimney to our Rockport/Beach house.  I was going to put a  sculpted sail-ship tile in the center of  the chimney, but now I think that I will make a mermaid.  I love the seashells in the urns. 
Too beautiful to leave out.
Flowers  all around.
For Susan.
 I finished Anna's dress early this year.  I am usually hemming her smocked dress the night before we leave for Rockport.
I am not used to having a 16 year old, and I did not think to remind him to bring a razor.
It is not easy to get three children to pose in unison. 
Final product...a Christmas card
Have A lovely week,
Lucy Coles