Friday, September 28, 2012

Slate Shingles Going Up

I have finally started to get the egg carton "slate" shingles up on the roof. I still have a few more shingles to color and cut but I am off to a good start. these are not at all as tedious to cut and prepare as smaller egg carton "bricks" can be. It goes pretty quickly.

 Here I am just dry fitting them before gluing. I really want to make sure they don't match their neighbor. Seeing that round window reminds me that I need to start planning the ghost effect soon!
 A close up so you can see the detail better. I am pretty pleased with how the coloring came out.
Here you can see the front doors which are going to be painted, aged, and then put in place this weekend. The will mostly be covered up by boards since all first level entry points will be boarded up and sealed off to thwart further entry and possible theft or vandalism.
I feel renewed on this project after taking a couple days off to start sketching and making the pattern for my next project. Really helped clear my head.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

On a Mission (and a ramble)

So today I swear I will get all my "slate" shingles colored, cut, and ready to go on Garth Manor. I already have a bunch but not near as many as I need. Here is a link to the tutorial where I learned about egg carton slate shingles:

I hate that I have to go to work right now. Working a job cuts way too deep into my mini time. I slept like poo last night because I had epic dreams that kept waking me up. And all of them had a soundtrack: Return To Oz by the Scissor Sisters. I still have the song stuck in my head. I love the Scissor Sisters but that song is very depressing.

Anyway, I will feel much better once the shingles are on. I still need to make the windows but it is proving more challenging than I anticipated. Because the clay work created such a thick wall, I can't even "cheat" and buy pre-made windows because they won't fit without extensive modification. I am just waiting for a solution to pop into my head. I have the windows framed out, just need to finish them. I have decided to salvage the door that came with the kit since it will be boarded up anyway. Putting so much work into a scratch door will just be a waste.

I am also perplexed about the interior. The house has been long abandoned so furnishings should be minimal since they will have all been stolen. How much is the interior damaged by the elements. How busted out is the glass in the windows? The closer I get to having to figure these details out, the more I keep changing things. Ugh. I feel like I will never finish.

I will just breathe and take it one step at a time. After all, the sooner I get through this project, the sooner I will be able to start the next one. And it will be perfect timing since I will need to work on a happy themed project to get me through the next 8 months of grey skies, rain, and (hopefully) some snow.

Ramble, ramble, ramble. I hope you all have a great day and I hope to have some pics showing progress within the next couple of days.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Minius Addicticatus- The Symptoms

Yes, another two post day here. I realize that some people can be casual miniaturists and I applaud them for it. However, I suffer from "Minius Addicticatus" which is a not so rare condition joyfully suffered by many in the "mini hobby".

Symptoms include:

The inability to NOT pick up some little piece of scrap found lying on the ground because it looks just like a mini________ (Fill in the blank).

The obsessive need to snap pictures of other people's chimneys, retaining walls, gardens, front door, etc. because it would fit in perfectly on some mystery "future project".

While on vacation, you see every exotic building as a future project.

You have more than three simultaneous, yet unrelated, projects going at once.

Your family re-heats leftovers or orders pizza more than three times in a week because you are locked up in your work room and "can't be disturbed". "I'm right in the middle of shingling....!"

You have skipped paying a bill or eaten Top Ramen for a month because the "Mini Show" is coming up and you need the extra cash.

Minis are built into your monthly budget.

You have more bottles of various glues than bottles of vitamins.

The only things being washed in your kitchen are your brushes.

You shirk at the idea of having to drive a friend to the airport but you revel in driving a hundred miles to the nearest miniatures shop.

You are horrified by having to pay $12.99 for an appetizer in a restaurant but are thrilled to get an artisan made Fimo "Nachos with Platter" for only $29.99.

You stash money away from your spouse specifically for minis.

You burn your invoice from before your spouse comes home.

Your  real life sofa is clawed up by cats and sagging in the middle and you refuse to replace it but you have 3 or more mini sofas in your stash that have yet to have a home.

You don't have time to clean your real house but your dollhouse is perfectly dusted. Always.

And last, but not least, you spend way too much time writing these kinds of things in a mini blog!

My Next project- The Bavarian Cafe

Bayern Ist Spitze!

I have needed to take a break from Garth Manor in order to clear my mind of all the changes I want to make to it. And what better way to clear them out but start the planning on my next project!

My family hails from Bavaria and I was the first family member born here America. Growing up, my family never let go of their Bavarian traditions and passed them on to me to keep alive. We spent nearly every summer in Germany and some Winters.  Those were always magical journeys for me.


One thing I really loved, even as a kid, was the architecture of Upper Bavaria. The traditional homes, churches, and even the "downtown" areas just captured my imagination. Many small towns seemed to have been ripped right out of a fairy tale.

This is why my next project will be a traditional Bavarian cafe with living quarters above it. These family run, casual dining establishments were always our favorite stop for lunch or a quick coffee (cocoa for me until later) and cake in the late afternoon and were usually enjoyed outside on the patio in warm weather. When I am sad or feeling really stressed, I try to think back to those moments, the sun on my face, the awesome pastry on my plate, the taste of hot chocolate fresh on my lips (god, no wonder I am heavy....), and it never fails to make me smile. This project will be my way of bringing that joy into something i can revisit every day.
The actual building shape of these typical establishments is pretty straight forward and simple. The devil will be in the details!

This will be a scratch build from beginning to end and will especially put my flower making skills to the test as flower boxes in Bavaria are always overflowing with the most beautiful and colorful flowers imaginable. It will also give me the opportunity to create some classic German foods in Fimo which will be a blast!
This project could be bad for my diet. I mean, to make them in mini I HAVE to cook up the real thing for reference........

The really fun part will be collecting and making all the decorative bits to fill the inside with!
I will have to include some mini "lebkuchen herz". Yum.
I also want to include a typical Bavarian "Marterl" or wayside shrine. These dot the landscape of Bavaria and served as mini shrines for those traveling long distances. We had one in our backyard growing up with a statue of St. Francis.
I am super excited about getting this project underway. However, first things first. Garth manor needs its shingles on. I just needed a break. Time to get back to it!