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Archive for the ‘Project’ Category

A Savonnerie Style Rug

open house miniatures needlework carpet lucinda pink - computer generated

Computer generated image to give idea of colours. 

Once upon a time… and it does seem a long time ago now – I wrote a blog post called To Sew or Not to Sew about a needlework carpet design that I had created from one of my printed carpet patterns.

Well, I did finish the carpet… eventually… and I thought that it looked very, very good and much nicer than the picture at the top of this blog post, but it is not a symmetrical pattern and it does take ages and ages and ages and ages and then some to embroider, so I filed it away in my (ahem) not very good filing system as something that needed thinking about and simplifying (a lot).

However, there seem to be a few brave souls out there who would actually like to try working one of these and have asked if I will share the pattern.

Now the problem that I have at the moment is that, due to circumstances beyond my control, my computer is in storage (if I start to tell you why it is in storage I will not stop and I suspect that you will become terribly bored because this is not a blog about leaky showers and electrical wiring, although I suspect I could be quite entertaining about wallpaper paste…)

Anyway, the end result is that I have a list of things of things that I promised I would do and now can’t do because of heaps of other things that I must now do first.

Having said that, this morning I conducted a dawn raid on my computer, grabbed some files and am now sitting in front of the computer of a kind and generous friend and about to type a brief list which I hope will be helpful.

  • This is not an easy carpet to work – for one thing the design is not symmetrical
  • A frame is, in my opinion, essential
  • I had to put in the central guidelines in coloured cotton (I removed these after completing the carpet although some people work over them)
  • I had to be very careful not to get huge lumps of thread at the back (there are a lot of colours in a small space)
  • It helped to think of the project as “painting with thread” and not just working a charted design – that way I didn’t get too worried if I put a stitch in not exactly the right place…
  • I think, in order to get a good result, it is essential to start from the middle and work outwards
  • I would recommend picking a bit that looks easy to you and try a small test patch first – see how your thread and canvas work together
  • Be kind to yourself, if you are new to needlework, try working the outside brown border and see how you get on.

Here are my colour charts – if you want to work a symmetrical carpet, work the central motif and then pick the corner that you like best and work that round the outside (I’m sorry, I can’t do reverse patterns at the moment).

And here are the black and white ones that I made. They drove me distracted – but you may prefer working with this sort of chart and it would make working the carpet in a different colour-way easier if you use these (I’m sorry, I can’t do a set of charts in different colours at the moment).

You will need to find your own colours. I used embroidery thread on 22 point canvas and I used a thinner thread than I usually do. Threads vary and you will need to experiment to find what suits you.

Here is a screen grab of the colours that the computer programme suggested, as you can see there is quite a subtle mix, but

OMH_Lucinda-carpet_colours

The colour blocks that look as though they are the same colour, are the same colour – this is where I combined all the very close shades into one colour that I liked.

Making up the carpet – (this sort of carpet was not usually fringed)

I can thoroughly recommend Janet Granger’s online tutorial on how to hem a miniature carpet.

I use a slightly different method and ideally I would like to make a slideshow how I finish mine, but I’m sorry to say that it is another one of those things that I will have to put of my To Do List.

Speaking of which, next on the list is –

  • Full Bilderbuch for Maria in Argentina

Well, I grabbed the file for that this morning, so all I need now is paper and glue and a printer and some time and space…

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Afterword

I don’t host any advertising on this weblog.

If you see adverts then they were put there by WordPress, who have to make money in order to maintain this blog site.

By paying WordPress a small yearly fee I could arrange for there to be no advertisements on this weblog. I am too mean / poor to do this.

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Nativity 2013

open house miniature christmas nativity 2013

I made these nativity sets last March and have been trying to get a “nice” photo of a finished one ever since.

So far the best I have come up with has been rather blurred…

open house miniature nativity set christmas 2013

The best that I can hope for, therefore, is that the combination of the above two photos will give some idea of the finished article…

The nativity started life as an old Christmas scrap

I have no idea who this will print - I suspect that although it is relatively large it is also poor quality

I have no idea how this will print –
I suspect that although it is relatively large
it is also poor quality

If you would like to make this miniature nativity for yourself, the pdf is here –

nativity_scene_christmas_OHM2013

If you decide to print and make the nativity, please bear in mind that your computer / printer settings and the paper that you use will make difference to the results that you get.

A walk-through of how I made mine is here –

There are more things to make and do on the projects page and I am going to repeat here what I say there –

  • You may use the contents of the pdf for yourself – and if you would like to make 10 of something and try selling them please go ahead, but do think first of all the other people who will be doing exactly the same thing.
  • You may share these projects with your friends and family, and miniature club.
  • You may link to them from your website / blog / satellite station, if you have one
  • You may customise them.
  • You may use them / the design ideas, in whole, or in part, as for inspiration for making your own things.

You may not copy the pdf, or the contents of the pdf, in whole, or in part, and re-sell them.

This is my 101st post !

Happy New Year,!
I hope that 2014 will be a good year for you all.

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Open House Miniatures - Rose and Forget-me-not needlework miniature cushion

The Great Tidy Up is still in progress, and I unearthed these cushions some time ago.

I been waiting (not very patiently) for a little bit of sunshine in order to photograph them because the chart really doesn’t show the design to advantage.

They are worked in wool on 22 count canvas and are backed with thick silk from an old shirt, and are roughly one and half inches square (3.8 cm)

(I just kept working the background until it was the size that looked right to me.)

They were a little bit fiddly to embroider, but I think that they repaid the effort.

Open House Miniatures - Rose and Forget-me-not miniature needlework chart

To enlarge the chart, just click on it.

This chart is rather lurid and bright because it makes the different colours easier to identify.

The original (Victorian) chart was rather faded and not at all easy to follow.

Later the same day…

I have just asked about colours for this pattern –

Well, in the cushions that I worked there are –

3 blues (dark blue, mid-blue and pale blue) – these are distinctly different shades.

Lemon yellow (for the centre of the forget-me-nots)

3 greens (dark green, mid-green, paler green) – the dark green and the mid green blend and the paler green is quite a bit paler.

And for the rose –

1 pale pink, 1 dusky pink, 1 deepish “rose” hue, 1 “rose” red

Just off-white for the background.

***   ***   ***   ***

I think it is fun to play with the colour combinations and make something that is entirely your own and right for your house.

For example, the design works well with a white to blush pink/apricot roses, pink to red forget-me-nots and bronze / green foliage.

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Meet Noah…

Open House Miniatures - Sock Bear Noah

Somewhere I have a “proper” pattern for a bear.

Somewhere…

Unfortunately my (non-existent) filing system let me down (again) and I had to start again from scratch.

Noah is therefore exceeding handmade and, because I am not very fond of sewing, I cheated a great deal when I made him.

Experienced makers of miniature bears do not look at the slideshow at the bottom of this page – it will upset you – and whatever you do, do not use my pattern.

Open House Miniatures - sock bear  called Noah

This is not a pdf file so
I have no idea what size this will print.

Instead, please go to a website where you can download a professionally designed teddy bear and re-size that.

There are quite a few websites to choose from –

www.planet-teddybear.com

www.sewingsupport.com

www.bearycheap.com

Everyone else…

***   ***   ***   ***

Noah is a distantly related to Sock the Elephant and, like Sock, he is not for sale.

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Open_House_Miniatures_Fairy_Tale_Theatre_Made_Up

Dear RG,

I have tried to email you, but my message has been returned as “undeliverable”.

In answer to your questions –

Yes, you may.

No, I don’t mind you asking – if you don’t ask, you will never know !

I am sorry, I don’t have a Cinderella scene for this theatre.

I found the parts that I do have in a small second-hand book market that used to be held on the South Bank of the River Thames, by the Royal Festival Hall. It was years and years ago now.

*** *** *** ***
Open_House_Miniatures_Fairy_Tale_Theatre_Proscinium Open_House_Miniatures_Fairy_Tale_Theatre_Curtain Open_House_Miniatures_Fairy_Tale_Theatre_Backdrop Open_House_Miniatures_Fairy_Tale_Theatre_Scenes

*** *** *** ***

The above images above are 80 ppi – They are not the best quality but they are “not bad”.

They should each print onto an A4 piece of paper / card – they are SMALLER than the original pieces.

In order to make the theatre at this size, I would use at least 140 / 160 gsm paper.

Sometimes this weight of paper is sold as “card”.

I am in the UK and I would look for something called “cartridge paper” – basically you will have to find a card / paper that works for you !

Everything that I wrote about scoring, folding, etc for the miniature version of this theatre I would say again for this size.

***   ***   ***   ***

4th May 2013 – Sharon has very kindly shared a couple of links, please see the comments for her full explanation –

I recently came across a link to this “set” on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/taffeta/sets/72157614068345415/

… Images for the theater in this post were published in the magazine in 1924. They can be found starting in the middle of the third row of images… The images are posted by the “owner” of the Agence Eureka blog, where she has posted hundreds of vintage paper projects over the years… http://bibigreycat.blogspot.com/

*** *** *** ***

I have been busy this week, and I am still paying back the “Blog Time” that I borrowed earlier, so to be very, very quickly –

Image7

I make the cloth books as an antidote to “This has to be exactly right” book-binding.

This ABC book is based on one published in the late 19th Century by the McLoughlin Brothers in the USA.

The books are very flexible and can be opened and “posed” in a variety of ways. If they are left open for any length of time they will need to be placed under a solid weight, or between other books on a miniature bookshelf, in order to shut flat again.

The smallest text is just about readable without a magnifying glass.

Just as it does in real-life cloth books, the printing on the interior pages wanders up and down a bit – particularly on the last page.

The top and bottom edges of the pages are slightly rough.

These “faults” are intentional and reflect the condition of the original book.

Size when closed – 1 inch x 3/4 of an inch (2.5 cm x 1.9 cm)

PLEASE NOTE – the books are not “toys”, they are “collector’s items”

Image3

open_house_miniatures_mcloughlin_cloth_book_abc_2

open_house_miniatures_mcloughlin_cloth_book_abc_01

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Open House Miniatures - Theater Bilderbuch - one scene

I haven’t seen many copies of the Theater Bilderbuch, and the (very few) antique ones that I have seen usually resemble the one on the V & A website.

[ Lucia Contreras Flores has an edition on her website that I have never seen before – you may need to scroll down the web-page to find it. ]

There are two modern editions that I know of –

  • a German edition (ISBN 978-3480131631)
  • an English language edition (ISBN 978-0722655368)

and these have been  re-engineered to work on a smaller scale, and using much thinner materials, than the original publications.

In order to make my miniature version work (to my satisfaction) I had to re-work the original construction too.

Open House Miniatures - Theater BilderBuch - construction of one scene

My version was designed for 100 gsm paper (I use the smoothest, best quality that I can find.)

90 gsm paper (in my experience) tends to be a little bit too thin and “soft” and, with repeated opening and shutting of the book, quickly loses its crispness.

I am mentioning this here because I have been experimenting with some paper that was recommended by the printers who do most of my printing.

It is 90 gsm, comes on a large roll and is designed to go through a printer “under tension” – in other words it is thin, smooth and relatively tough. It also gives a superb print finish, with excellent colour reproduction.

The printers call it “proofing paper”.

I still don’t know much about it, but I am quietly excited by the possibilities it seems to offer.

In the following slideshow I am using that “proofing paper”.

I would still say that most 90 gsm papers are probably unsuitable for this project, but you may know of a paper, or discover one, that will work better for you than the 100 gsm that I recommend.

It is definitely worthwhile experimenting !

***   ***

The pdf for this is here –

Theater_Bilderbuch_Christmas_Eve_OHM20130419

– and there is a page for those who like to Make and Do here.

I am going to repeat here what I have written there –

  • Simply click on the link to open the pdf on-line. You can then print it without downloading it.
  • If you want to save the pdf to your computer / a CD / data stick etc. you may do that too.
  • You may use the contents of the pdf for yourself – and if you would like to make 10 of something and try selling them please go ahead, but do think first of all the other people who will be doing exactly the same thing.
  • You may share these projects with your friends and family, and miniature club.
  • You may link to them from your website / blog / satellite station, if you have one
  • You may customise them.
  • You may use them / the design ideas, in whole, or in part, as for inspiration for making your own things.

You may not copy the pdf, or the contents of the pdf, in whole, or in part, and re-sell them.

***   ***   ***

I found the method used to construct the modern German edition of the Theater Bilderbuch very interesting.

The background scene, the text for one play and the front of the next theatre in the series are printed on one sheet and the various sheets are then folded round each other and glued together.

reproduction theater bilderbuch structure

Technicalities aside, the way that the front of the theatre frames the scenes, so that the edges are hidden – even when viewed from an angle – and the way that the overall scene changes depending on the viewer’s position make this (for me) not only an extremely good example of paper engineering, but it is also a wonderful piece of “theatre” – in every sense of the word.

reproduction theater bilderbuch side view

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I am about to abdicate responsibility again…

A little while ago I promised someone that I would demonstrate how to make a pop-up book “soon”.

“Soon” is taking me longer than I anticipated.

The week after next, however, I am planning to make some books.

The trouble is that there is more than one way to animate a book.

The ones that I made and photographed a while ago are not the simplest sort and, as an introduction to pop-ups, they may be a little off-putting.

Open House Miniatures - Theater Bildersbuch, single scene, Red Riding Hood

So I am going to be unfair and leave the choice up to you.

Shall I –

a) Do something simple – so that you can take the ideas away and use them to make something of your own (I will see what I can find by way of pictures)

b) Demonstrate one of my Theater Bilderbuch, with a pdf download for one of the following four scenes –

  • Little Red Riding Hood meeting the Wolf in the wood
  • Hansel and Gretel being chased by a (wonderfully irate) bear
  • The Adoration of the Magi – nativity scene
  • Christmas Eve – family scene

I am not going to say what I am going to vote for, only that I promise to be back to collect the results next Friday.

open_house_miniatures_poll_result_making_a_pop_up_book

If, like me, you are interested in theatres (and in books) and you would like to see an antique, full-size version of the Theater Builderbuch, there is one in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. It can be viewed on-line here

While I was checking that the above link was working, I came across an article regarding the conservation of another late Victorian book that gives a tantalising view of a different sort of pop-up mechanism.

victoria nad albert museum punch and bunny

This is the book after it had been restored.

The full (highly detailed)

A 5mm LD45 Plastazote polyethylene foam was chosen as soft, strong and inert. Three pieces were cut, bevelled and melted with a hot spatula on each edge to make them smoother, wrapped in Japanese paper and adhered with wheat starch paste between the upper board and back drop…

article is here.

(I loved reading the article, then I started to wonder – which Japanese paper did they use?)

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