critiques and suggestions

I took the almost finished studio to the office with me on Monday for critiques and suggestions.  I like to get the eyes of non-miniaturists on projects as well; they tend to see it not as a miniature, per se, but as a place.  Shutters and a cupola were suggested, but I had already thought of and decided against those early on.  A roller shade on the side of the porch opposite the chairs is a smart idea I hadn't thought of, and is under consideration.  More than one of my coworkers said I need a light fixture hanging in the porch, and that the studio needs to be lit.  I agreed those to be actionable items I need to address.

Also noted....the red paintbrush on the floor sticking up from the folds of the dropcloth wouldn't be sticking up like that, it would have fallen flat, in between the the folds...so I pulled it out.  And...my trailer fork is a bit long, isn't it?  That can't be changed, but it doesn't look ridiculously long, so it's fine.

Something else I discovered, while picking the piece up off my desk at the end of the day, is that the tacky glue stuck one row of cement blocks to the base, and the other to the bottom of the house, but did not hold the two layers of blocks to each other.  In hindsight, I should have known that, since I had to buy special glue to adhere the stones on the Cedar Kitchen.  I viewed the mishap as fortuitous, since it means I can flip the house upside down again without the base board in the way.

Flip it upside down I did, to install a chandelier in the porch.  I had an antique, pewter, non-electrified, one in my stash, that I got off ebay a while ago.  It's perfect for this space.


The candles need to be cut down, don't they?  Half that height, do you think?

The pewter is so pliable it bends when I so much as look at it funny, so I used the two holes in the base plate of the hanging rod to nail it into place, instead of gluing it into place.  I figured if I broke it during installation and had to take it down it was better to leave behind two tiny holes than a yucky glue glob.  I used my vise, gently, to straighten the hanging rod before I even started, it was all wiggly looking.


At this point, the only option I have to light the interior of the studio is to pop a light through the back wall.  I have LEDs in my stash, but I had to make a fixture.  When I sat down at my piled-up filth of a work table the end of the plastic tube I cut off during the bird feeder construction was in view, so I grabbed it, cut a strip of vellum to line it with, and used a paper punch to put a hole in the side to feed the LEDs through.  Easiest sconce ever.  I may dress it up with a metal looking rim on top and bottom, and/or a base plate...haven't decided yet.

I built a wooden box to hang on the exterior of the wall, over the trailer hitch, to house the wires and battery.  So that it looks purposeful, I made a quick louvered vent looking thing to put on it, from a scrap piece of clapboard siding.


While the paint was drying I measured, marked, and drilled a quarter inch hole in the wall.  There's no going back now.

I still have not started on the paintings.  It's been raining and I haven't been able to get outside to sketch any of the landscapes where I want to take the studio to photograph it.

I know I want a landscape and an abstract, but my mind is blank beyond that.  When I sit down at my easel to paint (which I haven't done in years) I've already had the painting finished in my brain first.  I have not, since I was a student, sat in front of an empty canvas and had to come up with something.  Susan suggested I have Husband and Daughter do some sketches for me.  I know Daughter won't, but Husband might, except Husband is feeling a bit under the weather.  I do, though, have finished pieces they've both done hanging on my walls, so I'll plagiarize those, I think.

Here are two of Husband's...I'm leaning toward reproducing his self portrait...


The other, if I can't manage a landscape, or run out of time, will be Daughter's study of apples, since I want the paintings on the easels to be in-progress and Daughter never finished this....

DSCN4191 (2)

I will most likely, since I have the originals, take them out of their frames to have them copied, shrunk, and printed.  That will be an incredible time saver.  I can, at that point, either lightly paint over them (after sealing them), or use them as is.









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I agree...I think the candles need to be a little shorter... Maybe you could melt the tops a little so they look like they've been burned after you snip them off? Otherwise you'll have soot on your ceiling. And I can't wait to see the finished sconce!

Love that vent! It looks like the type of thing that's been covered in dirt and sprayed down with a hose in an effort to get it clean but the hose didn't quite do the job.

It would be kinda cool of the neat artist was more into modern art/abstracts while the messy artist is into traditional landscapes and portraits. Another clear definition of the space to make it clear there are two artists. (Or if you're like my sister and I, a line drawn down the middle of the room. Not that it worked for long.)

The only other suggestion I would make would be a citronella candle or something for outside. Maybe sitting on the porch rail or endpost. Those bugs are going to be awful swarming around the chandelier.


The candles aren't wax, they're plastic, and I'm kind of scared to melt them....especially after the whole melting holes in a tire incident. I do have tons of them though, so I'll try it with one to see if it turns out okay. I'm also going to buy some birthday cake candles, I think the cups in the chandelier are large enough.

Soot on the ceiling and a citronella candle. I had not thought of either. Hmmm....

That was exactly the look I was going for with the vent. :) I did it with a pencil. :)

You've guessed correctly on which artist paints in which style. :)


I follow a blog called EPbot, if you're interested it's listed on the side of my blog. She was making candles for her Harry Potter Christmas tree and she used melted hot gun glue to get the look of melted wax. Not sure how well it would work in 1:12 scale but it's a possibility.


I'm sure it would work great. I am not to be trusted with a glue gun, however....not unless I've preemptively checked into the hospital's burn unit first.


Oh dear. Maybe white glue like elmers or Sticky Tacky dripped carefully down the sides? Less chance of 2nd degree burns.


My first thought was "shorter candles", too - maybe just color the wicks with a Magic Marker if they won't burn properly, or you don't want to even risk it.

Love your ideas for the artwork, and also Sheila's idea of the citronella candles outside.
Lol - can you make a bug zapper?


I did the bug zapper thing already....on the green house with the yellow shutters...the one with the sunroom and the colorful tile in the kitchen.

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