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15 posts from November 2016

Keli's miniature repair shop


Starting with the clamped table, moving clockwise....

The light colored table had been repaired before, but not properly.  I sanded two layers of dried glue off, re-glued, and clamped it.

The long, dark table...well...I dropped it.  Half the legs and apron pieces flew off.  Thankfully it only came apart at glued points, so was an easy fix.

When I picked up the half-moon table the drawer fell out and the front came off the drawer.  Obviously, I hadn't realized there was a drawer.  I sanded the old glue off and re-glued.  When it's dry I'll put some knobs or pulls on the drawer so that it is obvious the table has one.

The clock had wooden finials on the top corners, one of which came off.  Because the surface area to reattach it was so small, I snapped the other finial off, then removed the glue residue.  I also had to put a wee bit of E6000 on the bottom of the metal door pull and push it back into its hole.

The candle wreath had a couple of pieces of lycopodium that needed to be re-attached with a dab of tacky glue. Easy peasy.

The floral arrangement is beyond repair.  The flowers had fallen out and were all over the floor of the drawing room; I propped them into place when I took pictures.  I will use the flowers to make a new arrangement in a vase, and add leaves to what is left of the base to make a new plant.

The sofa....the poor sofa.  As you can see, all the glue let loose and the poor thing is in pieces.  It is obvious repairs had been attempted before, unsuccessfully.  It was in place in the room cleverly held together with scotch tape and tacky wax.  I will reassemble this sofa, but it won't be the same color when I'm done, as sanding off the layers of glue and removing tape residue will ruin the finish in enough spots that it will need to be painted.

The birdcage needed to be re-glued on one side.  After the glue has cured I need to touch up the paint in spots.

All in all, for the number of pieces that were moved, in place in the rooms, from John's house to mine, the number of repairs needed is minimal.


Charlene's tower

None of the furniture and only some of the accessories were tacked down in the tower.  I discovered that when we tipped the house to carry it and all the furniture slid to the back and a few things fell out the open windows, which I didn't realize were open until then.  Fortunately there was no breakage.

Because nothing was tacked down, and because the accessories are few, in comparison to Charlene's other rooms, I think this was the last piece she was working on, and didn't finish.  Also, the vanity says "J Larsen, 1996" on the bottom, and pieces in the other rooms were dated in the 80s.










Willum's Work Shop

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Charlene must have loved her husband, William, very, very much; there are some wonderful tools in his mini work shop.  I can tell each piece was selected with great care.  It was his Christmas present in 1982.  In 1982 I was in the eighth grade.  I can't help but wonder what it would have been like to meet Charlene then, to have her teach me what she knew.





The dog and cat are lesser quality miniatures than anything else in her collection, so I suspect they have special significance...perhaps they replicate family pets or were made for her by a loved one.

I am fascinated with this workshop.  I love good tools, even in miniature.


Many of the tools function.  I kept gasping with glee, then running out to the living room, one tool at a time, to show Husband.



He yelled "ouch!" when I tested a saw on his arm.  The blades had to have been cut down from real ones.


Look at this perfect, tiny, perfect little hammer.  Swoon.

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The rifles are spectacular as well.  They aren't my cup of tea, though, so after I admired their craftsmanship and stroked them a few times I boxed them up to re-home in Susan's mini mansion.  I texted her pictures and could hear her peals of joy even though it wasn't a voice call.


The bolt action works!  Incredible!




Charlene's kitchen

Yay!  The lights work!  All but one is lit, hopefully the one that didn't only needs a new bulb.

This structure needs some repair....the walls let loose from the base and many of the roof tiles are no longer attached.   I don't have room to keep this building, but I'll find a good home for it after I fix it.









A note about wax versus putty (blu-tack, or similar)...

This room was the most difficult to reassemble because several things flew around the room during the move.  The pieces you see in the room remained there because they were put down with wax.  The pieces you see on the table were put down with blu-tack.


The brittle blu-tack was difficult to clean off, and left stains on the wood furniture.  This gorgeous cabinet is going to need to be refinished if I can't figure out how to get the rest of the putty residue off without damaging the piece further.


Wax, on the other hand, wipes right off everything with no damage and holds its consistency and effectiveness over time.  If you use putty in your builds, please stop.  Buy some wax.



Charlene's cabin

The wires on this one have broken away from the power supply and need to be fixed as well, so I can't light this one up either.

All of Charlene's builds have plexiglass screwed to the open side to keep them clean (smart!).  This one must have had the plexiglass installed some time after the build, because it required some dusting inside before I got the camera out.  I forgot to dust the exterior before I took the pictures though.










Charlene's legacy, or John's gift...part one

...I'm not quite sure what to title this.

I brought everything in the house, piled it in my dining room, and started to sort through it.  I cried a little.  It's all so heartwarming, and so beautiful, and so overwhelming.   There are seven rooms in five structures (one structure is a three room tower), a box of stash goodies, and a box of supplies.

How I'm going to approach sharing this, I've decided, is to reassemble each room as close as I can to how Charlene finished it, using pictures taken before the rooms were moved and  the furniture and accessories slid all over.  I'll compose one blog post per room, to share, honor, and appreciate Charlene's passion for miniatures with all of you.  Then I need to give adequate thought to what to do with everything.

Let's start with the contents of the boxes, since everything is now spread out on a table in my studio and needs to be taken care of before I can move a room there.

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The table is hand painted...beautiful artist's signature...there are also three hand painted plates to match, one in the center of the table and two to follow in another picture.

I had no idea what that funny looking thing front and center is, Susan told me it's a cranberry scoop. 


Speaking of not knowing what something is...what's this?


There's an eye hook on the back...or what I'm assuming is the back...

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The inside isn't finished, is it just part of a piece and not the whole piece, do you think?



Today's adventure

I received a phone call today from a gentleman named John, who saw the article in the local newspaper a few months ago about my winning last year's Creatin' Contest.  He was in possession of several miniatures that were his mother's, he is moving, and would like the miniatures to go to a good home.  I drove over, loaded up Husband's Jeep, and brought it all home.  More pictures to follow as I sort through everything.



day one, first regrets

I started the painting prep work.  After I'd gotten too far along to turn back it occurred to me that it would have been cleaner and easier to color the pieces with marker, especially the trim pieces.


A few of the pieces have damaged spots on the siding.  I thought about cutting out and piecing in new clapboard on the tower but everything is so fragile that I didn't want to risk it.  I left it alone with hope that it won't be too obvious in the end.


I got the floor pieces stained and the base assembled.  I wasn't careful enough curving the base piece that wraps under the porch and broke it in several places.  It's a bit wonky now, but landscaping will hide that.


I also messed up the tower roof assembly.  I put it together carefully and correctly, it must have come out of shape when I wrapped rubber bands around it to hold it in place while the glue dried.  Thankfully it's not too out of shape that some sanding can't fix it.


I would like to blame all this on being in great pain, but my dental surgery wasn't until the afternoon, all the work on the kit was pre-op.

The surgery went well, better than the one for the first implant.  I'm in a lot of pain today, but it will pass eventually.