Meet me at the Flamingo Cafe

How 'Meet me at the Flamingo Cafe' came about.

The story has evolved over my last few posts. First there was the painting of the Flamingo sign. Then the making of the parrot on a perch. Then a rearrangement of my lounge around the painting. Then getting on the computer and designing an Espresso machine for the 3d printer. Finally, the completion of the 12th scale Flamingo Café. Funny how creative threads wind around each other (in my mind at least).

Click here to check out my digital magazine too!

Bird cage developments

A lovely result from Maria Gallen

Following on from my birdcage workshop was this lovely result. Maria did things a little differently as she wanted to put more things in the base. She hand painted everything rather than spraying. She used a paper lace rather than cotton lace. The legs were made from beads. She decided to make the top round rather than echoing the square base and I think this looks nice. So the bottle cap top is not attached to anything except the wires.

A great project to do

Victorian birdcage - a great project to do
A Victorian Birdcage, no welding required

Birds have been on my mind. First it was my paintings of the Flamingo and the Pelican. Then a Fimo parrot made an appearance. Now it is budgie cages! This example is based on a full-size Victorian one I saw in a magazine. It is a great project to do.

This is a lovely project to make and if you are interested, let me know and I will email instructions to you.

Example of annual subscriptions

If you would like more interesting projects, check out our miniatures publication. There are always at least 3 brand new exciting projects in each issue of Miniature Time Traveller magazine. In addition, the magazine contains detailed reviews of shows and conventions, interviews with talented miniaturists, fun children's projects, and articles on miniatures in general. This highly regarded magazine is published bi-monthly. It has a strong focus on the work of New Zealand and Australian miniaturists. Subscription details are here. Remember, all digital subscriptions enjoy a 14 day free trial period, and access to all back issues, at no cost. And, if you'd like to preview an earlier issue, here is a link to a free digital copy.

A little bird crazy

A little bird crazy flamingo

A painting started it all. It was in my head for about a year then a few weeks ago I finally got it on to canvas, a flamingo tin sign, rather aged. then I went a little bird crazy!

Pompey the parrot - A little bird crazy

This led to a lot of tropical thoughts and the 12th scale parrot called Pompey made from Fimo took advantage of an old drawer pull, a few washers, and plenty of paint and glue, to make an appearance.

The Pelican Dairy - A little bird crazy

Another spin off from the Flamingo painting is the Flamingo Café which is being created right now. And another bird clamoring in the wings (oops, sorry about the pun) is Percy the Pelican, another painting of an old tin sign, from my head.

Birdcages - A little bird crazy

But it goes on...... birdcages, 12th ones, started manifesting themselves on my workbench.

Cream Birdgage - A little bird crazy

This cream version will probably end up in my French cottage with canaries! Both of these birdcages are using up surplus materials. Paper clad wire is a bit of a pain and plain uncoated straight lengths have proven to be hard to find. Roger and I soaked three hundred lengths of coated wire on the weekend. Why? To strip them down to the bare wire for the next lot of birdcages to make an appearance. Phew! I need a lie down now. I'm a little bird crazy!

More about my work:

There is a lot more information on my work in the miniatures magazine I publish. There are always at least 3 brand new exciting projects in each issue of Miniature Time Traveller magazine. In addition, the magazine contains detailed reviews of shows and conventions, interviews with talented miniaturists, fun children's projects, and articles on miniatures in general. This highly regarded magazine is published bi-monthly, and it has a strong focus on the work of New Zealand and Australian miniaturists. Subscription details are here. Remember, all digital subscriptions enjoy a 14 day free trial period, at no cost. And, if you'd like to preview an earlier issue, here is a link to a free digital copy.

The postal service is going down the toilet!

Remodeling an old bathroom, for postal service post

I have the December issue of the magazine at the printer and will be able to post it away to subscribers in Australia and New Zealand by the end of the week. I am hopeful they will get it, and it's festive season projects, before Christmas. The rush is because the postal service to Australia is taking 8 weeks, or more at present. This issue is being printed three weeks earlier than usual because of the postal problem.

Ironically, I spent the last week remodeling a bathroom in an existing house. I had a go at making a modern toilet out of a toilet roll inner. It gave me the idea for the heading of this post about the postal service!

You can read about how I made the toilet in the December Issue. It has given me more ideas and I am now working on another way to make them with card.

I took delivery of a 3 D printer last week and could probably have printed one out, but half the fun is making miniatures from practically nothing.

Another little project was some Zodiac Art pieces to put on Miniature Doll House walls. They are 1 & 1/2 inches high. The image is cut out on a Cricut machine. As is the mat, the backing card and, although not shown here, the acetate to go over it.

An example of how i use my Cricutter

The Jigsaw Cottage Miniature Project

From the back it looks fairly normal

My latest miniature project project started off as an inside/outside scenario, with the kit provided by John Duff, Lower Hutt Miniature Makers. His intention was to create a Provencal or Tuscan scene. My last trip was to France, and I had started making a lot of French Shabby Chic furniture so as a result the theme worked really well.

I'm really pleased with the 'outside', which shows an old river fisherman, his boat and cat. This called for some realism in the vines, the flagstones (made from wine box inners) and the rough cast finish of the wall. The 'inside' consisted of the front porch and a little bit of kitchen.

The scenario was almost finished but I needed to put my furniture somewhere! So I built, from scratch, a cottage that would fit around it. The inside/outside scene can be displayed separately if needed.

The front slides easily into the remaining shape of the cottage.

The outside of my fisherman's cottage. It sets the scene for what may be inside

This addition gave me a bit bigger kitchen, a toilet, a staircase, an upstairs bathroom and a bedroom.

And, now, I get to show off my French bed and side cabinets, my toilet roll chair (in the bedroom), plus a sofa that hasn't had a home for a while. I'm happy! I will introduce you to the fisherman and his wife next week. Stay in touch to see how my miniature project evolves 🙂

Jill Fraser, Miniature Time Traveller Magazine

Christmas is coming – arghh!

I love Christmas. I love decorating my tree. I love wrapping up presents. What I don't love is some of the pressures that come with Christmas. Mostly self inflicted. I have my famous Worcestershire Sauce to make (for gifts). Some Limoncello to make (for gifts - mostly) as the lemon tree has produced bigtime this year. But I need to make Lemon Curd at the same time to use the lemons all up. More gifts! And there are miniature stresses as well. Getting organized for the club's Xmas lunch, finishing off projects, getting the December issue bedded down and - oh yes- buying the family their presents. Gosh, almost forgot that. Part of a Christmas workshop is a Christmas table setting and so I have been making little black Robins to feature in this.

My favourite so far is the middle one at the back. Next is Holly and red berries and tinsel and stuff.

Riverside Cottage Part 3

I am trying to get this project finished by the end of November. Progress is good. I have completed the top floor. The house slots in nicely with the initial front scene and part of the kitchen. It is a jigsaw house. First came the front scenario, with flagged yard, old fisherman and his boat and cat. A grape vine and on the inside was the front entry and part of the kitchen. It stands alone but I felt it needed a cottage! So I have built a cottage, minus that bit, and the cottage now nestles up to it. The final piece is the roof which has been tiled painted it's basic colour and is now up to being weathered.

Where the front yard starts in this image is the front entry and part of the kitchen up to the line on the tile floor. The stairwell overlaps the front entry floor. I will have to show you it in more detail when I get the roof completed.

I cunningly hid the battery to power the lights in the wardrobe. I plan to make clothes that will drape over this and paste a photo of a line of shoes, on the divider. This projects has definitely grown like Topsy!

Riverside Cottage Part 2

John Duff, a member of the Lower Hutt Miniature Club, gave us all a kit to make up a Tuscan themed inside/outside scenario. 12th scale. I decided mine had to be a riverside cottage as I had A BOAT. Then one thing led to another and a further decision was made to add on the rest of the cottage. Like a piece of jigsaw. So, this is what I have been doing over the last month.

The outside scene and a wall and front door and the kitchen left of the line is a separate piece. The rest of the cottage, still being finished off, slots against it with the right hand wall and front wrapping around it.

What I really wanted was a room where I could show off my very creative bed and the bedside tables made from toilet roll inners. A roof is to be made and the door to the bathroom fitted.

To see more of my work, and find our more about the magazine I publish, please click HERE

Riverside Cottage Part 1

Old Tom is musing over a successful fishing trip on the river

I started off with the club workshop by John Duff - an inside/outside scene. It was to have a Tuscan flavor. My decision was to go with a cottage theme by a river as I had this lovely little boat in my stash for years waiting for a home. However, while working on it I decided I needed to also find a home for some furniture I had been making for the magazine workshops so an idea occurred to me: make a whole cottage that would dovetail into this completed scene like a dollhouse jigsaw puzzle. This is in the making right now. I will keep you posted on the progress. Me and my bright ideas.

The beauty of Spring

Cyclamens for Spring

Spring in New Zealand and a bit more sun always gets me thinking about making flowers. This little pot of Cyclamen was inspired by a workshop by the Whakatane Club. The instructions are coming up in the October issue. I was very happy with this little pot. I used my Mother's real life Cyclamens as a reference.

Kit-set Tables and Chairs

Kit-set tables and chairs to make.

In the April Issue of the Miniature Time Traveller, only available digitally at present, free on request, there were instructions for three different stylish chairs. The chairperson of the committee of three demanded they have tables to match! So in the June Issue there will be instructions for three stylish tables.

12th scale kit-set table and chairs made from PVA
The first of three side tables, both items made from plumbers PVA piping of different diameters.

Lockdown Kids projects two and three

Now fully committed and seeing the magnificent half page I was allocated in the Saturday issue of the Wairarapa Times Age, the next two projects came quickly. A table to go with the chair and a little space to put them in.

A table made from a soup stock box wrapped with string and an old coaster.
A room made from a cut down cardboard box. (Six pack wine box actually- drank the wine!)

Using Lockdown creatively

Hit with a sudden idea I put together a little project kids could do at home. I sent it off with photos and instructions to the local paper. They loved it and commissioned ten more! Suddenly I was in work!

I started with a simple chair made from a cotton reel, a bottle cap and some card, glue and material.

Please take a seat

While putting the April magazine to bed I have been working on the projects that appear in it. Some fun was had in making chairs out of practically nothing so I am giving you a little preview. Instructions in the Issue out next week.

Making a modern chair from some 25mm plastic plumbing pipe. This thrilled the plumber who now has a different opinion of his commonplace materials!