The building itself can't begin until I am back in the UK about mid-March but in the meanwhile I can have a go at making the furniture for it. Apologies for Quarter Life readers as I am about to repeat (indeed steal from) a post in that Blog as it now really belongs here.
Here is my first go at making a 48th.......
......... and I am not a happy bunny for all sorts of reasons.
First handy tip is not to mess about with teeny stuff the day before the cleaners arrive. When I opened the packet to start work I discovered I had lost an arm from the pair of chairs that I intended to work on. I must have dropped it when I was putting stuff back in their packets after messing around with them a couple of days before. There might have been a chance of finding it had not two ladies scrubbed our apartment to within an inch of its life. I can't find a speck of dust never mind a chair arm.
So the day began with a slightly grumpy me as I now have to buy a pair of chairs just to get the one I need. Hey ho.
This is one of a pair of Lincoln chairs in a kit made by Karen Carey - apologies to her for what is about to follow.
They are lovely kits made from a really thin wood so the scale is great. The pieces are utterly easy to remove from their 'frame' - just have to nip a single tab with a sharp knife. They aren't all sooty everywhere like some kits, though the cut edge is darker than the face. I can't see how laser cut wood could be anything else, so that's not to their detriment. I was happy to set off with great components and very clear and detailed instructions.
In my wisdom I somehow thought that building tiny things must take less kit than building large things so I only hauled half a dozen tools across the Atlantic with me. I was determined not to duplicate tools on each side of the pond.
Firstly, did I bring the absolutely basic thing, a knife? No! Conceded and bought one of those, problem solved.
Onwards and upwards. During the build I very soon discovered I needed my magnifying glass on a stand with the little extra hand thingies like I have never needed it when doing 1/12ths. I flat refuse to duplicate that so I shall remain a frustrated, half blind, contortionist whilst assembling this stuff. [that didn't last long, I soon bought one]
I didn't bring tiny sharp scissors and no way am I going to be able to manage with small sewing scissors and curved nail scissors so that's something I need to get. [sorted that] As for a couple of paintbrushes from my huge collection in the UK? - nope, they are still in the UK. [bought some of those too] What did I bring you might be asking - me too!
I deliberately didn't bring glue as the prospect of those bursting and filling my suitcase was too horrible to imagine so, on my trip to Michaels, I bought two lots of glue: both Aleene's, the ever-useful tacky and the wood glue. They both proved to be fairly useless but I bought them because Michaels didn't sell my favourite Deluxe glue and I was too lazy to find a store that does. [still haven't found one; now hoping I can get it at the show next weekend] Yet another thing to go on my ever-growing shopping list.
So discovery number one - the basic tools needed are:
- Cutting board/work surface
- Sharp knife
- Paint brushes
- Small sharp scissors
- Magnifying glass on stand with helping hands
- Deluxe R/C modellers glue - love it for everything
- Small right hand jig (did bring that)
Over to plan two - use a wood stain. As an experiment to compare two makes of wood stain pens I bought a Min-wax Golden oak for one set of furniture and a Marvy Woodstain marker in dark walnut. I thought the walnut would be good in this case as it should cover a multitude of sins. Wrong! Over the base coat of cream it produced a rather patchy mauve/purple colour and there is no way of buffing this combination to a silky sheen.
My chair now is totally the wrong colour and probably no use for the bathroom in The Gate House.
If I use my usual glue I can stick any material I have ever used to anything and it doesn't matter if it is painted or stained before or after; the glue allows for that. Not so with wood glues and tacky glues. I used both on the chair but they both stayed resolutely slightly rubbery. I suppose it won't matter because once the chair is in place somewhere it won't be getting moved much.
Here is the end result, not a thing of beauty but mine own! I assure you the frame is a funny grey/purple colour and the silk is a lovely pale pink slub.
Here it is sulking.....
High resolution cameras do not do justice to tiny objects - they work far too well and magnify every little blemish. It is actually much better looking than this when reduced to the 7/8ths of an
inch it occupies in real space.
I went on to add a bunka piping but that was much too chunky. I knew I should have pulled it thinner as I applied it but I found it difficult enough to do as it was. I might just strip the fabric parts off and redo - all good experience and learned a lot about what not to do next time!
My second make was another Karen Carey kit - her grandfather clock. Hard to believe it has eleven pieces.
I am spoiled for choice as to what to do next as I have quite a lot of things to choose from.... and probably even more after next weekend. (Sarasota Show) If you want to see what I have bought so far click on the Purchases photo album link over in the left hand column.