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July 25, 2006

I'd like to rant a bit at the miniatures world for their lack of certain items. One inch scale cameras are very hard to find (at least realistic looking ones) and video cameras next to impossible. (I've only seen ONE, and it looks very old.) Most of what IS available are modeled after antiques. Come to the 21st century, my fellow miniaturists! I'm willing to give you money for what you can produce!

In the meantime, I have to make do with my own sorry attempts at digital equipment. Two attempts at digital cameras, one at a MiniDV camcorder. Really,they're very SIMPLE designs! I need a bit more practice.

Oh yes, and one last attempt. I wanted lots of pieces from around the world, and thought Sake flasks, or Tokkuri, would be appropriate for Japan. Here's attempt number one. (definitely needs a second try!)

July 23, 2006

Bag End in One Inch Scale

Fantastic job! It'd be a cool project to try someday. I think I have floor plans somewhere, too . . .
July 22, 2006

I've gone from having a creative streak to being a creative freak.

This is actually an old project, but I was never happy with the heaviness of cardstock. Today I thought I'd give it a try with the leftover Bristol Board from my interior decorating project. Perfection. They even SOUND like composition notebooks. I'm quite pleased. I also had to print a page of them, so there will be lots! The whole thing was designed in Photoshop. I did try to use images of real composition books, but it just didn't work out the way I liked it.

I also uploaded the original image for other miniaturists to try and print out. I have no idea how well that will work. I may try to create a PDF file once I get to work.

I failed to resist. I bought Stikfas.

They came in nice neat packaging, but I still hate flash. It took me over an hour to remove, trim and assemble these lil fellas. My fingers hurt! And I'm a bit disappointed with the white showing underneath the darker colored pieces. I guess I'll try painting over them and seeing what happens. The kitty and the brown girl are part of the Jungle Adventure theme. She came with lots of stickers that seem to be repositionable. So I gave everybody eyes (or sunglasses) and the white dude a tattoo. They were a bit goofy, but I liked the variety of items. There was also a HUGE variety of accessories. Guns, whips, dynamite, backpack, canteen, telescope, shoes, hats . . . Very amusing.

Robert gave me a weird answer when I asked how to pose them for the shot. Fingers! So I did. The box in the background says Stikfas on it, but obviously it didn't show up.

I'm going to take a few to work, just to have something mentally relaxing to concentrate on once in a while.

I may possibly stick one in the car. Merlin could use some company.
July 21, 2006

I've been trying to keep myself amused while waiting for the postman to bring me stuff. (Hurry up! Creative urges don't last long!)

Amusement 1 was borrowing the Da Vinci Code from the library. Probably a bad idea. The historian in me says, oh, wow, what? And then I run off to look up Da Vinci and Mona Lisa and the Knights Templar and Paris and cryptography and special encoded keys and it'll be a while before I finish this book.

As for Amusement 2, I went to Miniatures in the Attic today - possibly for the last time. In the back of my mind are all my projects and the specific items I want/need for them. Because of the book, I'm thinking about history and archeology, and because of the miniature shop, I'm thinking of my Archeologist's Study.

I'm planning to create a web page for the room, but I keep thinking, "I want to add THIS first before I take a picture." There's a lot of THIS going on. More furniture to display things on, more things to display on the furniture. It's hard to find 'just the right thing.' I started thinking about how it needed more books, and started looking around at books, and then started looking at the really NICE miniature books and then, while looking at those, up popped "I can do that."

Well, what else have you got to do? Dig under the bed for an old leather purse. Find a little detachable mirror inside with a perfect small leathery grain inside. Get the X-Acto knife. Take mirror apart. Find parchment paper that doesn't seem to end. Measure and cut. Remember old envelopes with really shiny pretty insides. By some small miracle, go right to them and pull them out. Cut apart, measure, cut. Get glue everywhere. Mess with metal bits until you decide not to bother. Find some bunka and tie. Say "whoa, I did that."

Run tell the world.

Plan the next book, and how to make it better.

*UPDATE, a few hours later*

and here's the next book. This time I used a block of balsa to represent the pages. Turned out better, at least they cooperated by staying in place! I scored the page edges with a knife and painted it gold.

I really lucked out with the leather for this one. I had an old wallet that was apparently really good quality. It had the flower embossed on the outside, and on the inside had ridged leather for where the wallet bent as it opened and closed. I used the ridged for the side of the book, although it's a bit hard to see in this picture. (had a hard time with reflections, may try again later.)

I still need to figure what to do about the edge of the leather so the white doesn't show. Perhaps a little paint?

I'm pleased with the results. And since I've run out of purses and wallets for the moment, I think I'll stop for the evening.
July 18, 2006

Creativity's flowing out of nowhere.

The picture here is what I'm using as inspiration for Rána's lantern. I found it at Alley Cat Scratch in her Lord of the Rings Section, apparently it was a display at Neiman Marcus?

That part was free. The rest is going to be testing and spending money. I purchased a frosted shade that I think will work well (don't want the bulb to show!) and several types of 3 volt miniature bulbs. Remember, this is an experiment! I also bought a 3 volt battery holder that runs on 2 AAA's, in case I panic about using electrical tape and a coin battery. If there's an on/off switch, all the better! I forgot to check about that. Hope to soon find out!

Now I need to get to sculpting.
July 17, 2006

My search for something plausible to light the lantern took me all over the place. I found a web site for a cute little something they just called Throwies, a very basic design of an LED light attached to a battery and a magnet. (sounded rather fun for parties!) Didn't need the magnet, but obviously I could go a lot more basic than the necklaces I had been looking at! (and make sure it didn't flash.)

In the end, all I really needed was a 3 volt battery and an LED light. A bit of research and discussion lead me to believe I could use dollhouse conductor wire so I could seperate the battery from the light. While looking at the conductor wire I discovered that Cir-Kit Concepts made 3 volt grain of wheat bulbs on an 8" wire.

**insert stunned, shocked and 'doh!' expression here: 0.o **

So technically, I should be able to run that light on a 3 volt battery. (if not, I know there's 3 volt battery packs available. I can work around the fact it's made to look like a dresser.) I made the staff hollow so I could run fiber optic wires (my previous option) through it, and it should feed the regular wires through just fine.

Now to design the lantern!
July 16, 2006

Started thinking about that lantern for my miniature elf again. My experiments with the fiber optic wire did what I expected, but it seemed to be a lot more effort than it was worth. So it was back to the drawing board.

Glow in the dark paint could be an option, although I'd prefer to be able to see that it was lit without the lights being out.

LED lights just might work. There's quite a few available as jewelry - pendants and such. The main problem is that most of them have flashing lights. It'll take a lot of digging to find one that doesn't.