Saturday, 1 December 2012

Quick update on what has happened

I have been quiet for quite many months now, the excuse being the book, of course.
But the Finnish book is now out and available. I have decided to find a publisher for the English translation, so it may take a while...

Now I'm concetrating on finishing the started projects on a Christmas calendar.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Guess what?

I was planning on making a photo guess competition about this one, as this one is really a misfortunate thing. But I decided not to tease you, so I reveal that it is the first version of chandelier to lady's dressing room at Hôtel Jadis. Really material to the book "Ei menny niin ku Strömsössä" (have you seen the book two? It is hilarious!! And the group is in Facebook too!)

It looked really nice, until I decided that I try to adjust it a bit. Well, you should follow the rule "if it is not broken, don't fix it" because now it is only a photo guess work material to be discarded after writing. Luckily it was also a bit big, more like 1:24 chandelier.

But working with metal is really hard, so I really wait for Larissa's book. At least she promised on the phone to reveal all her secrets in the coming book. But unluckily we have to wait for it a bit longer....

Hôtel Jadis is progressing well, the exterior is finished, and I have started to work on the interior decoration. I decided to finish the back of the house first to get something ready quickly (?), and I think only things that are missing now is one chair (Robin Betterley's kit), another chair is missing covering and the unlucky chandelier. The library books need to be glued to shelves and perhaps, just perhaps, I build library stairs....Just in case they want to read the books at the upper most shelf.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Hôtel Jadis - final considerations on the exterior

Back from holidays - finally, as the kids were not ill like they were for the previous week...Unfortunately, the photos are still missing as the Finnish service provider was able to loose all the pictures since autumn 2009. And not only mine, but for everybody. But yes, I'm still collecting the pictures to that one site, so I don't have to wonder where they are. I bet they have learnt their lesson in :-)

So this morning is a happy one, as I finished the exterior of Hôtel Jadis. Finished might be a strong word for it, but it makes me happy: something that is not "in progress". The only consideration I have is that there should be wrought iron fences in the front of the windows, but it is a bit too much black, or what you think?

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Library of miniature books

I do love libraries, the only thing I hate about them is the fines you get from not returning the books in time. But I always think that the money goes for a good cause: they are able to buy more books.

Well,  going to the library of my friend Sari, was far more expensive:-) As she has an enormous collection of miniature books, I was happy as can be when she said that I can borrow as many as I wanted. Luckily I was going home by foot, so there was a limit of a backpack.

But, as I was afraid, the end result was that I had to buy most of the books to my own library. The end result can be seen below. Yes, I admit that the two on the bottom of the pile are not miniature books, but while shopping on amazon....

There were a couple of dissappointments on the shopping spree though. The Paris Interiors book is a smaller edition than the one I have been borrowing from the city library (with fines, yes) and the printing is not of the same quality.  And if you look carefully to the photo, you can see that I have ordered two copies of the same book....

But the biggest dissappointment was ofcourse that even the French amazon did not have all the books I wanted: Florence Labeyrie-Bejot's books about French kitchens and libraries. What made it worse: they actually had them, but the sellers did not ship to Finland.

So it has been like Christmas when getting the daily posts...

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Does this count?

We had a miniature fair on Saturday at Lahti, and it was fun, as always. It was the sixth time, and I had a table there, as always. I remember the first one especially. I was very new to Finnish dolls' house community, so there were lot's of new people there, not too much was sold, but it was a beautiful day. And the weather was quite important thing, as the tables were outside on the garden of one Englishman.

And I was more than happy to meet this gentleman, Brian Stevens, on Saturday. Not only is he a nice guy, but we had a business to do. :-) And now we come to the long story...

I think it was the second or third Lahti fair, when I saw a beautiful shop at sale. Oh my, how beautiful it was and so cheap... It was quite big, and I was commuting by train, and I thought I would not have a place for it, so with regrets I decided to leave it there.
Photo by Brian Stevens, when the shop was an antiques shop.

However, two years ago, I told this story to my friend who said that she knew who had bought it, it was our friend. So next time I talked to her, I said how much I admired the thing and asked what she had done with it? Well, after all, she had not bought it!

So, next time I saw Brian, I found out that he still had it. Unfortunately he had re-used the box, but he still had the front. So we agreed that he will build me a new dolls' house behind the front. I think this was at Christmas fair in Helsinki one and half years ago.

So in spring, I draw the floor plan. And me being me, instead of one floor, there were four!!!
The ground floor plan, let's see if it will have anything to do with the end result!

But we found emails as boring method of communication, so we met on Lahti fair last year and agreed on the details: Brian would build according to my plans, and I will send him the lamps I have craved from Dolls house Emporium for ages.

Half a year later we meet in Stockholm Miniature fair, and agreed we both been very lazy.... The same thing at Christmas fair in Helsinki...

Then came the local miniature magazine, and I read from it that Brian has invented a perfect cover story for laziness: He claims to be too old, and he is only 75! It is a pity that I have a few decades to wait for that excuse...But many happy years to you, Brian, on your new (or should I say old?) career with the model boats!

So we agreed that I can buy only the front and build the department store myself.
So now I have only two (?) questions:
  1. Does this count as a new dolls' house or is it an already going-on project? At least I have to add another house to the left hand side of this page...
  2. Which one you prefers as a name for a department store that will hold every collected item that does not fit to any other house: will it be Elina's Emporium or Kalli's Gallery? So please answer to the poll on the right hand side of the page...

Friday, 8 June 2012

This is what happiness is

I woke up this morning 3.28 am to a text message and was miserable for couple of hours: No, it was nothing bad on the message, quite contrary as my daughter reported safe landing as she is first time ever abroad on her own. The misery was just what I call nightly thoughts: of things that should have been done and that I should start doing them immediately but too tired etc. Anyway three hours of worrying for everything.

6.30, after my husband had left to the airport, I sat on my desk and started working on the roof of Hôtel Jadis. The effect was immediate: this is what life should be!!!

And now it has turned to the happiness as the roofs are ready. I admit I cut the corners somewhat, but I'm still quite pleased with it. The colour is brighter than I thought but it has already settled somewhat from the photos as the paint is getting dry.

And now Spotify is even playing a very appropriate song : "Friday I'm in love" (with my dolls' house, why the Cure doesn't mention it on the song?)

PS. as you can see from the background, the desk is getting more messy, day by day...

Monday, 4 June 2012

Unnaturally clean

Once in the lifetime my desk looks unnaturally clean.

Yes, you guessed right: we had guests on Saturday and the table was needed for serving the dinner. Luckily there are still things that are more important than doll's houses (but they are very few, aren't they?).

As it was so clean, we got a visitor to Hôtel Jadis as well. She just happens to be four times bigger than the inhabitants...

I guess she is a very good example of procrastination: I was supposed to sand the exterior of Hôtel Jadis, but instead I sewed her a t-shirt. I guess she could have waited it for a while as I bought her from Taru Astikainen one and half years ago.

T-shirt is made of light weight jersey, so she can undress it if she wants. Unfortunately she is still waiting for a pair of jeans, so I have an excuse to postpone the sanding work also tomorrow...

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Finally - Hôtel Jadis exterior work has begun

I have been working on Hôtel Jadis since beginning of February, more or less (more like less) full-time. And finally this week I started to work on the outsideof the house. On Monday when I glued the third floor to the rest of the house, the feeling was amazing: it will be ready. You can see the results below. It is quite long way from the picture on the left hand side column.

Well, it will take a quite long while still as even the outside is taking much more time than I estimated. I thought  the whole thing would be ready by Monday eve (after a very long day), but then I just had not the courage to work so hard.

I guess it is the artistic process, very painful one, as I seem to be able to postpone starting to infinity.  The pain point of Monday was the back. It started on the third floor: I wanted to have an open door there, which meant that there needs to be an extension.

So on Tue I built the extension and decorated the inside (impossible to do afterwards). Then I started to look to the first and second floor, or actually their back. Plain. Boring. A bay would be needed. Luckily a faux one would do, wouldn't it?

It is still quite plain, but there are windows wainting that someone would sand, paint and decorate the outside instead of writing the blog....

Friday, 25 May 2012

Tools of trade

I read just a moment ago about Casey's workspace, and it encouraged to me to show you my desk (just a bit tidyed...)

The reason why I don't show the whole room is a bit embarassing: the room is supposed to be our living room....But I was driven away from my study as it will eventually become a room for my son. Unfortunately it has been on the transitional state for more than half a year.

On the desk you see my tools of trade: an old magazine, a pot of honey, duplos, and an old jar of mint jelly, and a flower pot.
  1. The old magazine is my favorite: I used to have an oilcloth to cover the surface, and it always got stained and I always managed to unnotice it -> stains in all very inconvinient places. Now I just tear the page away when it is all used. And the bonus is the nice pictures and the random combinations paints and glue makes with the page content.
  2. A pot of honey keeps my PVA. I had a very big bottle of it, and it was nearing the end. It was painful to get out of the bottle, so I cut the bottle and inserted it to the honey pot. Works well, if you don't forget the lid open (like I do).
  3. Duplos are wonderful for keeping the corners true. But you knew that, didn't you?
  4. Old jar of mint jelly is filled with water and keeps my brushes wet. I know it is a bad habit, as you should wash them right a way, but I'm lazy....
  5. And the flower pot works as my desk waste basket.
In addition of these I've noticed that having small boxes or their lids available helps finding things: for the current project I have a shoebox to keep the parts of the house, and sometimes the lid contains e.g. windows. And a very nice Spanish chocolade box lid has the completed furniture and the actual box has all the leftover bits and pieces for things that have been tried out. (And luckily the honey pot hides the very untidy mess of coffee stirrers anc coctail sticks used for working with adhesives...) (Even more luckily my husband is too busy to comment on other stuff around the desk....)

I admit that it helps that this current project, Hôtel Jadis, is in scale 1:48. I have finally reached the point I can start work on the outside of the house, as I have tried to be more organized on this project and finalize the inside first. Well, at least for the parts that are fixed to the house as there are places where you can't get your fingers into anymore as I glued the bay yesterday:

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Kalli's Gallery is founded

A miniature enthuasist from Finland, starting blogging in English. I have been blogging in Finnish and will continue to do so, but got p.., well, annoyed with the layout editor of the Finnish service provider and wanted to check if this is a better solution. Already now, after 1/2 hour of playing, I definetely vote for this one. I have found some difficulties already for making the layout I want, but perhaps it's just me trying to be difficult.

In addition to play with the layout, it would be fun to find more miniature friends from outside world, even though we have a very lively communion of miniaturists here in Finland.

So I will play a bit with the layout now and add some pictures of my (unfinished) doll's houses. The background picture is the first one, it is the big 1:12 house that started my hobby. But I have houses now in every possible and impossible scale....