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.
Monday, March 24, 2014
The Best and The Worst
The two current rooms on the Tower of Magic are shaping up to be the best and the worst of the rooms done for the ToM so far. The 'worst' is the Master's Chamber. Since you last saw this room I've rearranged the layout by ripping out the fireplace and moving it to the opposite wall and adding a chimney breast behind it. The bed has moved over to where the fire used to be. The sample furniture you saw last time has either been replaced with a more suitable counterpart or repainted to match the scheme of the room. The furniture in here is a real mix of qualities from the good quality JiYai bedside/nightstand to a slightly crooked handmade washstand. The wardrobe is made from a kit with some missing and damaged parts I picked up on ebay a few months ago and the plastic desk was part of the huge parcel of freebies Lorraine at Fairy Meadow Miniatures sent me before Christmas.
By rearranging the room and taking out those rather nasty windows and curtains, I think this room will work when I get to put it all together. Maybe. Hopefully. It will never be my favourite room though. I'm not sure if it's because the black and white pattern on the wallpaper is too bold, if it's all the red or if the whole thing is just a really bad design scheme. Well, at least I've gotten things right in the Lab . . .
Last time you saw the Lab it was pretty much a blank slate ready and begging to be filled, so fill it I did. First off the furniture was stained in a mix of walnut and mahogany stains to make it as close a match to the Angel Downton side table as possible. Then I trawled through my stash for suitable accessories pulled out the polymer clay to make what I didn't have.
On the central main table a spell book rests open (totally hiding the bookrest beneath it). The wizard working in here is a little sort sighted so a large magnifying glass is attached to the table and positioned over the text to make it easier to read.
Whatever the spell in progress, it seems to involve a quantity of mushrooms and is progress is being supervised by one of Nicky Cooper's cute little dragons. An agate slice serves as the chopping board.
Books are stacked on the opposite corner of the table with candles left burning on them until the melted wax has run down the stack.
In the corner of the room a fire burns in the fireplace. Glass bottles have been stored on the lip around the hood of the fireplace and a selection of utencils hangs from the bar to the front.
From the side you can see the pair of cauldrons hung over the fire so their contents can bubble away.
Next to the fire on the back wall is the lectern. This is filled with a range of scrolls and books.
Atop the lectern is an open spell book. It's rather obvious in these photos that it's made from an old telephone directory with a cut out from a dollshouse magazine glued between the pages. It has a metallic red leather cover.
On the right wall are the open shelves. These have been stacked with a range of pots and jars and even more books and scrolls.
The side table rests along the opposite wall. This holds more jars, books and another of Nicky's little dragons.
Over the side table, a range of jars hang from the overhead shelf. These were supposed to hang from a large rack over the centre table, but there wasn't really enough height and it made the room look too crowded so I bent some short pins with pliers and pushed them into the underside of the balsa wood shelf to create quick hangers for the jars.
This little imp in a cage was also supposed be be on the central rack but for now is hanging from the ceiling hook intended for the defunct rack alone.
As you might imagine, after collecting and making all these bits and pieces it took an entire day just to position them in the Lab and fix them down.
The Lab is shaping up to be my favourite room in the ToM so far.
Those of you who follow Daydreamer at About My Dollhouses will remember a few weeks ago when she showed off her newly aquired sewing machine. Well, I hate to be a copycat, but here's my version of her picture of two sizes of vintage sewing machine:
I really couldn't believe it when after reading her post and marvelling at the detail of the miniature I clicked over to ebay to see if there were any bargains going and found an identical Bodo Hening machine listed as part of a bulk lot with other furniture. And more unbelieveable was the starting price and no one else was bidding on it. I couldn't resist and put on a bid for 1c more than the starting price expecting to be outbid, but no. Clearly the seller nor the other buyers on ebay in Australia realised quite what was on offer and I was thrilled to snap it up for a bargain price. The detail of the miniature really is astounding, especially when you see it next to a 'real' machine (in this case my Grandmother's). In fact if the miniature had a hole in the needle I think you could almost actually sew with it. I guess now I have to start planning a sewing room somewhere . . . .
And other side note to finish for this week, this one aimed at my fellow Australians. Since I started miniatures I've been trying to find some thin, supple leather for upholstery, clothing and accessories but never been able to find anything really suitable. It was all either too thick or too stiff. Last week I went into my local Spotlight and found something new called 'faux leatherette' in the fabric dept. It is no more than a millimetre thick and as soft and supple as a regular fabric and looks enough like real leather for all but the most finicky. If your local Spotlight is like mine they will sell what they have in stock and never get any more in again. So my tip if you want some leather suitable for miniatures is to head into Spotlight now and grab some before it's gone.