Welcome to my life . . . .

This is a blog about my passion: dollhouses and miniatures. This particular blog was started to follow my miniature dream: to create a Victorian Mansion. But work on my Mansion is slow. Very slow. Sloth slow. Ice Age glacier movement slow. Why? Because I am easily distracted by other personal miniature projects (I have 50+ roomboxes and 15 dollhouses in various stages of incompletion) and because I work for a miniature shop and am often up to my elbows in miniature projects that aren't mine! So, I thought, some artists work in a particular medium (woods, watercolors, clay, oils, etc.), I work in progress . . . .

Thursday, December 25, 2014

July in Christmas!

Every year I like to make something special for my two best friends (one in Texas and one in Michigan).  We met years ago on Facebook and the 3 of us share a love of miniatures and an interest in each others lives.  I was inspired to make them something that represented my wish that we lived closer together so we could go out for a drink (of either wine or coffee) or hang out together at a mall, window shopping and discussing our kids/dogs and most recent recipe that was delicious (you know, the stuff we usually discuss on Facebook).  I wish that we were independently wealthy so we could travel to visit each other or run away for a girl's weekend at the beach and people watch while we sipped our fancy drinks with umbrellas in them.  And although I wish for those things in our friendship, I am very grateful that we have what we do: a great friendship.
So, this year for their gifts I decided to make a (miniature) spot where we could all meet up and hang out:  A beach stand.
Using the Rocky Mountain Stall Kits I created 3 identical beach stands for us to each decorate how we wish.
Dry Fit Stalls Together

I wanted bright beach colors for the interior walls!
Made posts a more sedate color to help tone down the teal!

 Now for the exterior I didn't know what to do: the teal was too bright to cover the outside.  I asked various people for opinions and someone (Thanks Carole!) suggested staining the exterior walls and then distressing or aging it!  I knew another friend of mine had aged a dollhouse structure using some denatured alcohol and India ink combo so I asked her for the formula and got to work!
Picking the right stain color - I wanted bright!
But, once I stained the walls a beautiful orange stain, the aging solution just turned it brown.  I didn't want a dull brown wall - I wanted bright, bright orange!  So I opted to not age the stalls.  After assembling the pieces I then shingled the roof . . .
Then I had to install flooring for the stalls (can't have the proprietors standing in a sand pit inside their stall)!  I thought of wood strips at first, but thought that was too similar to the walls and wood strips wouldn't add any more color; and I wanted bright colors!
Trees and Tiles are in place!
I found a bright yellow tile that seems beachy.  So I glued them down and drilled holes for the palm trees to be glued in.  I glued trims around the bases to hold the sand in place once it was all together.  Which brings me to the sand!  I learned to glue sand in place during a workshop I took about 15 years ago: a mix of water, sand, and white Elmer's glue.  When the sand dries it is solid and immoveable like concrete:
Mixing the water and glue with sand.
The three stands, representing my two friends and myself!
The Stall Kits come with shelves for the back wall.  I want/need mine glued in place a certain distance apart from each other to accommodate my particular theme for my Beach Stand.  And I did not know what my friends will make theirs into so I did not want to glue any shelves in place yet.  At first I painted the shelves yellow to match the floor:
Sunny bright shelves!
But I didn't like how they were looking, too sunny and glaringly bright, so I painted over them with a Burnt Orange color to keep them colorful yet subdued.  Next came time to make my own sign (did not make one for my friends because I don't know what their stands will be selling).  My Beach Stand sells drinks (coffee, ice tea, iced coffee, etc.) so I used decoupage to create a sign on a miniature surf board:
I painted the stripes to match the stand and used decoupage to glue my "Barefoot Barista" sign in place.
Shipped my friends' gifts to them and am eagerly awaiting their reaction!  I can't wait to see what they make theirs into (I imagine colorful drinks or pineapple filled drinks will be involved; Audra will sell Suntan Lotion in hers :) )
All finished, my stall, front and back:
Barefoot Barista is open for business!

Someone has propped their surf board behind the stand!

It's certainly bright.
I know it's strange to be thinking of the beach in December -- I suppose it's a bit like Christmas in July, or rather, I put a little July into Christmas!  I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday season!  Stay merry and bright -- like my Beach Stands!

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