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back to the campfire

  • Posted on October 12, 2018 at 12:53 pm

with the fire mostly done, i turned my attention back to cooking. it was now time to build the stand for my soup pot.

i started with some fairly stiff wire that i had salvaged from some packing materials. it was the right diameter, stiffness and best of all free…

cook stand start
i cut it down and bent it to make two side posts with loops – i wanted to make the loops smaller, but it was too stiff to bend with the end of my pliers. this is the smallest diameter i could use and still bend it. the cross bar has turned up hooks on the end to hold extra pots and pans or a coffee pot – all still on the way. the small hook in the center was formed by trimming down an eye pin and forming it into a roughly “s” shape

cook stand done
after spraying all the wire parts with several coats of flat black paint, to more closely mimic cast or forged iron bars, i cut pieces off of my dried branches to form the bottom supports, drilled holes in the center and glued it all together with e6ooo glue. because the loops were really too big, the stand fell apart easily, consequently i ended up having to glue the crossbar in place as well. since there wasn’t a lot of surface area touching, i left it to set for the full 72 hours before moving it again. lastly i touched up the glue with matte black acrylic paint to get rid of the shine. the roughness left by the glue just added to the look of cast iron -bonus!

the other problem i ran into was the bottom log supports weren’t quite wide enough to make the whole array steady on the uneven grass of the diorama, which means i had to glue them down as well. that was a little disappointing, as i had planned to make a second optional tripod structure that i could swap out for some pictures. i am quite used to things not necessarily working out according to my original ideas though, so in spite of the problems, and changes i am happy with how it came out. i’ll save the tripod idea for a campfire i’m planning later for my larger dolls.

cook stand with pot
and here it is with the soup pot on.

campfire part 3

  • Posted on October 3, 2018 at 10:06 am

next step is adding the fire to the diorama
i wanted to hide all the wiring so i found a panel board at the dollerama for $4.
panel front
it is 12″ x 16″. a little small for photos, but it will fit nicely on a shelf.

panel back
the back is hollow, with more than enough space to hide the wiring and battery

camp fire - hole for wires
after deciding where i wanted the fire to go, i marked the center with an x and then drilled a hole large enough for all the wires to fit through. i didn’t have to drill three holes this time. the top disc will keep the leds from falling through the hole.

diorama grass
then i added the grass. first i traced around the campfire disc. this area will be left glue free. i spread glue all over the top, except for in the circle, and down the sides. then i spread a moss mat (mine was from walmart, because it was cheapest, but michael’s also has some and with a coupon the price isn’t bad.) i boxed the corners by cutting out little squares the width of the sides. this gave nice neat edges all round. As you can see, adding moss is a messy process, so best to have a broom or vacuum on hand! 😊

diorama cut out
i then poked up with a pen through the hole from underneath, to find the center, and carefully cut out the unglued moss. i cut just slightly smaller than the actual circle

diorama campfire in place
lifting the edges i tucked the fire inside the cut out, adding bits of moss to a couple of places where i went too wide

here you can see how i painted the gray/white ash as well

diorama underside
underneath i taped the wires with heavy duty tape.

diorama
then i glued the firewood in place. the wood pile and caravan are just set on top.

almost done. i still need to add the battery. but i don’t have the right battery in the house and we are in the middle of a snow storm so it may take a day or two to go get one.

camp fire part 1

  • Posted on October 1, 2018 at 8:05 am

i’m ready to start making the camp fire now. i’m going to use an evans design led fire size 3mm. a 1.8mm would probably have been big enough, but i already had the 3mm and am trying to use what i have in hand before buying new.

the other things i need so far are a 3 inch diameter, flat, wood disk from michaels, and some small rocks from the gravel pad outside, (i picked out ones i liked for color shape and size and washed them to get rid of any bugs or dirt). also acrylic paint in black, dark brown, rust and white, and glue suitable for gluing rocks to wood, i used e6000.

camp fire
first i painted the top of the wood disk solid black for the charcoal, then while still wet swirled and blended in some dark brown and rusty brown to get the look of dirt around the edge. my realpukis are safety conscious 🙂

camp fire
i drilled a set of three holes in the center to thread my leds through. i should have done that before painting since i had to repaint around the holes with my black paint. when it dried again i arranged the rocks till i liked the look and then glued them down with e6000 glue. i let that set a bit and then painted the inner surface of the rocks to make them look soot covered.

camp fire leds back
finally i threaded the leds through the holes and taped them down in the back with a bit of tape. i just used regular tape since it doesn’t have to hold for long.

next step will be building the fire itself, but first i have to dry my “logs” in the oven. i took pruned, dead branches that have been sitting in my burn pile all summer (we have had a fire ban most of the summer so they never got burned). it is pouring rain so they are all wet, and i assume have bugs. i am going to bake them at 200F for 2-4 hours to make sure any bugs are good and dead! i’ll check them every 15 min or so to make sure they don’t catch fire. i wouldn’t mind if they got a bit scorched, but i would rather not burn my house down! 😉

my caravan has a table

  • Posted on September 30, 2018 at 9:28 am

since the last attempt at a table turned into a storage bench, my ‘pukis requested another table, and there was just enough room in the caravan for a small one.

table bare
i started with a miniature candlestick from my stash, just a shade under 1-1/2″ tall. the top is a 1-1/2″ wooden disk and i just glued them together.

table painted
i painted the bottom metallic purple, the top turquoise. it looked a little bare and i considered painting a floral design on top, but realized my painting skills don’t really match the vision i had. so instead i looked online for pictures of mandalas, resized them and then printed out a bunch on cardstock. i find that what looks good on my desktop is not always the correct color or clarity when printed, so this gave me some choice. after i cut out and auditioned them, i modge-podged the one i liked best on the table-top.

table in caravan
it just fits, and holds two tiny pewter mugs i ordered online. the furnishings are done, it’s time to work on the diorama next.

fireplace final installment

  • Posted on December 23, 2015 at 5:19 pm

grate painted black looks like a well used cast iron grate.
Black grate
thread fire led lights through logs btw i ended up painted the lags with my ultra matte varnish because the ash kept getting all over my hands at this step Lol
Thread fire led lights through logs
put crumpled cellophane over the lights. this was included in the kit and just needed to be cut. i’d have preferred something more orange but couldn’t find any.
Cellophane over lights
punch holes for wires in back wall. i couldn’t find my awl so i used a large yarn needle and put in three small holes instead of one larger one. it really didn’t matter in the end.
Punch holes for wires in back wall
back view of wires threaded through
Back view
attach wires red to red, black to black
Attach wires red to red, black to black
tape everything down. the little white thing is an on off switch so the lights don’t go continuously.
Tape everything down
finished!
Finished!

i took a video of the fireplace with the lights flickering and it looks awesome. but apparently i can’t upload video to flickr, so i’ll have to figure out another place to upload it and then add it in.

working on the fire

  • Posted on December 22, 2015 at 4:52 pm

i want i light saber! we just saw star wars last night and they made cutting wood look so easy. this took far too long, i broke my pull saw and froze my fingers cutting these tiny things :(. then of course i forgot to take out a tape measure and had to guess on the size.. i like the look of the bigger logs better, but they ended up being too big. the smaller logs are just perfect. so i’ll be using them. i’ll save the bigger logs for another fireplace that i plan to do later.
Logs for the fireplace
i want my logs to look like they have really burnt so i am charring them in the flame of a candle. notice that i hold them with metal tongs and burn them in my kitchen sink just in case they decide to burn more than i planned! not likely since this wood is green and fairly wet from all the snow, but you never know…
Charing the logs for realism
here’s what one of the logs look like done.
A charred log
and the pile of finished logs. i wet them down thoroughly to make sure there were no sparks since the glue i’m using is flammable. so now i have to wait for them to dry before i can proceed.
Charred logs cooling and drying

my dh is building me a grate for my fireplace out of 2-1/2″ finishing nails. he still has to add the top rack. he designed it and did all the bending and cutting with his much stronger hands :o)
The start of a grate
and with the cross pieces added.
Grate!
just waiting for the glue to harden so i can paint it black

getting closer

  • Posted on December 18, 2015 at 5:19 pm

the front and mantel are now attached. but it is just resting on the hearth until i get the fire installed.
Getting closer
i’m really happy with how it is turning out, though i realized as i looked at it that i ended up making a fireplace that looks more well suited for a beach cottage, than the ancient english style manor that my crew is supposed to inhabit. lol oh well, i guess i’ll just have to make another one later on..

and a better view of the distressed finish of the wood on the mantel and the side. i really like how that turned out, especially considering the side is just the painted cardboard box!
Side view of wood
the mantel is a flat piece of wood with a square dowel glued to the front to form the overhang.

bed for a 15cm princess- pillow

  • Posted on December 16, 2015 at 12:10 pm

now onto the pillow. a necessity for a comfy sleep. cut a rectangle of cotton and one of batting, make sure you add seam allowance on all the sides. fold in half and stitch together leaving a small opening to turn.
Pillow lined with batting
turn right side out and fill with “pellets”. i used glass sand blasting pellets just cause that’s what i have on hand. i bought a huge bag years ago, when i was still making bears and i still have tons left! but you can also use seed beads, play sand (clean please) or some miniature sites also say to use salt but you would have to be sure it would never get wet!
Turn and fill with "pellets"
because my pellets are so fine and i don’t want any leakage at the seam i put a fine line of fabric glue on the inner seam. it is flexible and doesn’t show especially under the batting. after gluing it together i close the seam with a ladder stitch as usual.
Glue inside edge to seal pellets in
now take a nap on your comfy new pillow.
Take a nap
liya approves and demonstrates just how soft and squishy her new pillow is.

bed for a 15cm princess- mattress

  • Posted on December 12, 2015 at 12:30 pm

coming back to this one for a bit, while once again waiting for paint to dry on another project. (it is taking a very long time) this time i am working starting on the bedding. first the mattresses. to begin i cut out the filler. the rectangular bed got 1″ thick memory foam. that was too thick for the other two and hid too much of the head board so instead they got three layers each of warm and natural quilt batting.
Mattress filler

the covers are simple, pillow cover like. i cut a rectangle a little bigger than the filling, stitched it 1/4″ wider on each side for the smaller mattresses. 1/2″ bigger for the larger then “boxed” each corner, turned it right side out and stuffed. the small opening is closed with a ladder stitch. i had originally planned to make tufted and piped mattresses – even got one mostly done, but then realized that would mean i’d have to make bottom sheets for these tiny beds 🙁 so i tossed it and made these simple ones instead!
Mattress covers

1/4 scale fireplace

  • Posted on December 10, 2015 at 8:53 am

leaving the beds for a bit, just cause i want to get the woodworking done while i have no kids at home, and since christmas is coming, i’m going to tackle another project that has been on my list for ages…. a fireplace. i’m starting with a photo box using the lid only) a picture frame and a vague idea in my head of where i’m going….
Building a fireplace
i cut the frame down to make the front of the fire place. for the back i turned the lid over – it already was black inside which is a bonus since i may be able to leave that as is – then filled it in with a piece of packing foam. this is the same foam i used for my couch ages ago. i still have a bunch of it left over. it wasn’t quite deep enough so i put scrap pieces foam board on the back. i could have put the foam core on top but it wasn’t cutting as smoothly on the edges.
Mockup
i’ve always wanted to try doing egg carton bricks and this seemed to be the perfect place for them. unfortunately my first calculations were off and the 1/2″ x 1″ bricks i cut were just slightly too small. i ended up with either too much gapping or uneven rows and and asymmetrical pattern. so i recut them all at 1-1/8″ X 5/16″. that worked out perfectly and i got hem all cut out and glued down. however cutting two sets of bricks took all my time, and i’m out at drs again tomorrow so this gets put on hold for a couple of days most likely.
Brick "layed" and ready for painting