Tuesday, 30 November 2010

And it's only November!!!!

Not had much time for mini-ing lately so nothing to report on that front! However, we are shivering under the heaviest snow fall that I can ever remember in our 20-odd years here! We had a 'team' of neighbours clearing our street yesterday but after more heavy snow we are now unable to get vehicles out of the residential areas and even the main roads aren't that great. As a result we've been stuck at home for the past few days. I'll try to rustle up some enthusiasm and get on with some projects today but meanwhile here are some photos from a very snowy Cumbernauld xxx

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Such Tiny Knitting!

I have to share with you the items I received from my swap partner this month. Jennie does the most fantastic miniature knitting and made these two little dresses.

The detail in them is breathtaking and, having tried miniature knitting (ie. sharp needles, sore fingers, crossed eyes - and six hours to knit a 1" square cushion!!!), I applaud anyone who manages it. Aren't they wonderful? Perhaps I should try making a doll or two to wear them...maybe next year!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Paper Crimper

Following on from my earlier post today, here is the paper crimper I mentioned. You put the paper between the rollers and turn the handle - it's that simple. It came from our local Hobbycraft store, found among paper punches, etc. and best of all it was only £3! Hope this helps x

Conservatory Roof Blinds

I've got a new toy.... a paper crimper! I've mentioned already my idea for blinds in the conservatory but the thought of fan pleating so much paper was too much to bear. Now with this nifty little gadget the vellum comes out with just the right amount of 'ripple' to look like blinds when they're closed. Perfect for the closed blinds on the back roof of the conservatory. For the front I wanted blinds to look more like they were partially opened so there was nothing else for it but to run the vellum through the crimper and then pleat the rest by hand. Some beading nylon was threaded through them and here's how they look in situ....

the back...

...and the front, if a little crooked!

I'm pleased with how they've turned out...now what else needs pleating?

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Swap Group Update

You may know that I'm a member of an online swap group, Dedicated Mini Swappers. It's quite a small group, very friendly and there's no pressure to take part in every swap. I'd signed up for swaps in October and November but as none of my swaps were 'themed' I hummed and hawed for quite some time before deciding what to make. October was my month in our Half-Yearly Swap so, with my new found crochet skills everyone in my little group each got one of these, a little shopping bag ...

For November the swap theme was an item of my choosing, so I chose to make this little Christmas rug and cushion..

And finally, our annual Christmas Swap has to be mailed out by the end of November so we can all open them together before Christmas. I have made .... oh no, sorry, you'll have to wait until then before I can 'show and tell'!
I hope my partners like my gifts to them and if anyone is interested in joining our group please drop them an email and say Allison sent you!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A Comfy Sofa for the Conservatory!!

I'm still thinking about the roof blinds so while I was thinking about them I made the sofa for the conservatory. This was a fairly cheap sofa that I bought some time ago always with the intention of stripping it. However, having stripped the sofa to the bare bones I now realise that it's basically simple shapes joined together so I'm tempted to build a matching chair from stratch using foamboard as I don't really like cutting wood.
I wanted a sofa that had a rattan-type frame with some plump cushions and here's how it came about. The original covers were removed and the sofa base recovered using Aida, the fabric used in cross stitch. (For any fellow cross stitchers out there this was justifiable as I had a large piece of bright yellow, 14 count fabric that I knew would never be used for cross stitch because of the colour - see photos for verification!!!!) Here are all the bits recovered in Aida!
After reassembling the sofa it was ready for painting. I painted it with brown acrylic paint, several coats to mask that yellow! Then a light coat of satin varnish to seal the paint and add a bit of a sheen.

I then got on with the cushions for the seat and back. I bought this dark red fabric at the same time as the blind fabric because I thought it complemented it well. Some little scatter cushions (these might be changed) and the sofa was done.

I'll let you know how I get on with my matching chair! Until next time x

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Blinds for the Conservatory

Following on from my last post, sewing won over landscaping!! The blinds for the conservatory have been made. I chose simple blinds because I didn't want a cluttered look at the windows and have made them different heights - intentionally! I made them by sandwiching together the fabric so the pattern would be seen inside and out and then trimming them with ribbon. They were then fixed to the frame above the windows.

I'm toying with the idea of making those pleated blinds for the roof - you know the sort, with cords running through them? I was thinking perhaps that I could make tiny pleats on vellum paper and then cut to shape before running thread through them - hmmmmm, might be one of those little jobs that seemed a good idea at the time but half way through and.....argh!!! Something to think about!!!

I'm really enjoying making minis again and my next post will either be about the above mentioned roof blinds or the sofa I'm ready to start. Until then x

Monday, 1 November 2010

Back to Miniatures!!!

Over the last couple of months I've been doing allsorts of crafting but not many miniatures. That's just me - I flit from project to project. I'm now back onto miniatures and decided it was high time that my conservatory was glued together and glazed. I started this conservatory so long ago and it has sat forlornly on my shelf, in bits, collecting dust, so here's its story to date. Firstly though the photos were taken with a flash which seems to distort things slightly. So...it was painted green to start with and, as I wanted a more weathered look, roughly painted over with a walnut wood stain to tone it down a bit. I think in places I've overdone it a bit so might have to rub it back in places.

The lower walls were painted cream and then 'bricks' were cut from a sheet of black card which I had painted with terracotta, black and a touch of grey paint. These were glued onto the lower walls of the conservatory inside and out - it took forever!
I was going to tile the floor but the floor panel already had floorboards scored into it so I stained them as I thought a wooden floor would be more in keeping with the style I have in mind. More about that another day...
The back wall was papered and painted over in cream and then I searched the internet until I found the type of wall art I wanted. I found this print, resized it and printed it so it could be stuck on the back wall. Some wooden moulding was cut and stained to frame the print. For some reason in the photo it appears to bend at the top but it is straight..honest!!!
Finally the glazing was added, correctly on the second attempt as I managed to stick it to the wrong side the first time round! Don't ask!!!
So that's where we're at just now. I plan to fix it to a base and landscape around it so I think I'll work on that before starting on the inside. That said, however, I have found some rather pretty fabric in my stash that would be perfect for some blinds and you know how I like to sew.....