Sunday, July 17, 2016

A little canvas house

I very much enjoy reenacting, but this summer has been a bad one for migraines. There is an event 20 minutes from my house that wiped me out to set up a (brand new!) tent for, but for which I'm grateful to be able to have a tent to be laying down in. If any of that makes sense. 
I had a migraine and a rebound last week, leaving me in a brain fog and completely wiped out this week. I'm finally feeling like I can do things again, but I have to take frequent breaks. Especially in the heat. There are a lot of people here this weekend, and I am tired out after a few social interactions. It's like being at school, but worse, because there's *really* no break. there's no set start or set end. No schedule. No lunch break, no pee break, no one agreeing with you that someone was out of line, no boundaries. Total free for all. People letting their dogs jump on you. People poking their head inside your tent when you are trying to take a nap, even when it is tied shut. 
I'm laying down trying to catch my breath before the heat of the day. Stashed with me is my chair that someone sat in and broke- instead not sitting in, or picking it up to move it so they could see what they wanted to look at, they sat down and torqued it into the ground as hey twisted it to the side, snapping the top rail in half. Thanks. This is why we can't have nice things. This is why baby bison die. Its not yours. Don't touch it. Or maybe ask first...? 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Oh, little bed: a miniature

I've been looking on Etsy and eBey for replacement pieces for my dollhouse and have been coming up empty handed for some pieces. The time period I am trying to achieve is 1800something, and I am not sticking hard and fast to the Federal or Antebellum or any other time in American history; rather, I'm trying to make the house look like a mash of times. 
The bed that I made is a little folk art, a little... I'm not certain. It is based on extant pieces that I have seen at historical sites and antiques I have seen online, and would have been meant for a child or the 'help'.

This looks like a mess, but after discovering that the C clamps and quick grip clamps I had were too strong for the wood I was using and that rubber bands alone were warping and contorting the form in all directions, I turned to a favorite childhood toy for some support. My bed was slightly too big for the clamp, making the finished project slightly distorted - not as distorted as it could have been! Next time I am going to draw the concept, build the clamp, dry clamp then glue and rubber band it up.
Out of the clamp after 14 of drying time [brick for scale purposes]
To help hide some of the imperfections, such as one of the headboard posts blowing out and needing wood filler, I painted the piece with Federal blue milk paint, completely VOC free and child/animal safe.
Then it occured to me that I needed to cut in some bed rails. Derp. 
While I was cutting rail slots with my 1/4" Irwin chisle, I started sewing a mattress and bedding - more on that later.The wood is nothing fancy, a combination of bass an balsa available in a multi-pack from an average craft store.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sweet dreams: bedding for a tiny bed

After making a small bed out of a combination of balsa and bass and painting it a federal blue, and then making a tufted mattress for it stuffed with six layers of cotton quilt batting, I found some wool and cotton blend sock yard at the local charity shop that I knit up on 2.5mm  DP needles [I realize it's not finished, but I needed it for the pictures. It's 40 sts, done in a knit 1 purl 1 rib for 5 rows, then switches or a stockinet for 4 rows with 3 stitches of seed on each end and the 5th row is garter, knit to the desired length, which was this bed specifically. Folks kept thinking I was knitting a miniature rug or a potholder; it's such lovely yarn in person, I wouldn't want to muck it up with grease. 

The blue fabric below was labeled 'summer denim'. It's hardly what I'd call a denim; it's a straight weave and the only thing it has in common with denim is the color and the warp/weft white blue combo. Otherwise it's very light weight.

It's too big for the little blue bed, and too narrow for the double bed. I had thought to make a coverlet and double it over, but for the scale of the miniatures, I'm going to leave it alone. As a weave, the design is reversible if a little big. Color wise, it would have been appropriate for the 19th century. A turkey red would have been more difficult to accomplish, but the use of a white warp and a colored weft still might have been costly for something as large as a blanket. Not that people didn't do it.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

the little dollhouse that could.

Presenting the Hofco Junior Collectors Series Gettysburg House Kit. It took a lot of digging on the internet and finally discovering a post on eBay of a partially assembled kit including the instructions [for which mine a long gone] with the name on it to figure out that this was my doll house and the manufacturer. I don't remember when I got it, I think perhaps it was a Christmas present?
That little table is all that I can find of the furniture that was in that house. Thankfully, we still have all the trim pieces to finish the exterior.

I got a bug in my ear to finish it, an so began a flurry of paper collecting an research online and pinning on pinterest

I wasn't sure where to start- walls? Floors? Put on an addition? 

Ceilings, suddenly, with cream milk paint, seemed like a good place to start. The interior hall is not finished; I can't quite get in there with the brush I have.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Princess Elizabeth [Darcy]

 Back when dolls actually resembled human form but melted in the rain...