There are still at least half a dozen fires burning in Tasmania, but none of these are currently considered to be a threat to people or property. At the height of the fires last week 111,000 hectares of land was burned in a six day period which is a little under 2% of the total area of Tasmania. A total of 250 homes were destroyed. The Red Cross has raised over 2.5 million dollars to aid those who were affected. If you have helped by making a donation, you have my sincere thanks. Although the situation in Tasmania and Victoria has eased, bushfires are still raging uncontrolled accross the state of New South Wales (at least 120 of them) affecting an area at least half the size of Tasmania. I know of one Aussie miniaturist whose property and possbily life was saved from fire last week only by a shift in the wind direction. To my other fellow Australians, please stay safe and let's all hope for a moderate amount of rain (we don't want to get flooded out again like January a couple of years ago).
On the miniatures front, the shop is progressing slowly. I might have been able to do more with it, but I've been babysitting my sister's eleven week old kitten and trying to do something constructive with a hyperactive ball of fur in the house (or, as in the above photo, in the shop) does not work very well. He won't even stay still long enough to be photographed properly. The apothecary has not progressed at all for the same reason; somehow I don't think trying to cover a room (and myself) in clay and press bricks into it before it dries while trying to keep a small cat amused and out of trouble at the same time will really work very well.
What I have managed to do is to add some trim around the outside of the shop to cover the join between the top and bottom halves. It's made from a thin piece of inch wide balsa wood over which a centimetre square strip of balsa wood was laid. Off cuts of cornicing/coving cut into centimetre wide pieces were glued to the underside of the square beam for decoration.
Once this was in place, I gave the entire outside of the shop a coat of matte sealer. In a recent post, Daydreamer at About My Dollhouses complained that her matte sealer dried with a shiny finish and here you can see mine has done the same thing. Matte does mean non-shiny, right? Well, at least the chalky green paint no longer marks everytime you touch it.
Inside, I've been trying to figure out the arrangement for the furniture and displays that I want to put in. As usual, when you first put the kit together it looks enormous, but when you try and fit everything into it, there is no room at all. My plan was to have gowns on display downstairs and accessories (shoes, jewellery, etc) upstairs. The position of the front door and stairs leaves surprisingly little room downstairs. At best I could fit in three half mannequins (i.e. full figured in front, but flat to sit against the wall at the back) and maybe one central full mannequin, but there would be no space for a fitting room or counter. More dresses would fit in much better if I moved that department upstairs, but then I still have trouble arranging things downstairs. And I really want the dresses downstairs and the accessories up. Why don't these things ever just co-operate?
A Randomly Selected Newspaper Headline:
The following is a randomly selected newspaper headline from many years ago:
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I have also added a separate page to the blog for the Tower of Magic with a brief summary of all the rooms of the ToM in the one spot. The link is just below this and above the main body of the blog, or you can just click here.