Saturday, July 02, 2011

Micro Set [very nearly] FINISHED!:
Mouse House Interior (part 2; the Furnishings & Props)

Halfland Rule #8: It is always easier build on top of something that exists already rather than to start from scratch.

Cirelle donated a precious miniature upholstered chair to 1/2L last year. I had a small scrap of colorful brocade from Mood Fabrics left over from another project that had a nice traditionally elegant pattern. I managed to piece the bit of fabric to cover the chair, although there are seams showing I'd rather weren't there. I built the chair a new larger base to cheat the overall size up a bit, sewed coordinated cushions into the lap.

The rug was an oval cut from a cream colored woven placemat hand-embroidered with custom dyed matching yarns and floss to look like a cozy braid rug.
I wanted the walls, ceiling, roots, and furniture to create a brown base/canvas that the bright greens, rose pink, magenta, and orange props could be seen. The place is underground but it should look bright and cheerful despite that.

Picked up the cabinet for $1 at a craft shop which gave me a base to work from that otherwise would have taken me a lot to construct from nothing. I painted it with oxidized copper paint and fitted it with mesh "glass" door fronts, made embellished knobs for its six doors. Made dollies from painted lace, and proceeded to outfit it with ink bottles made from random beads from my boxes. The glass bottle seen lower right with a blue tone when sent to me by reader Enui in Italy (how nice a gift!). It took me quite a while to figure out that a bright yellow permanent marker would shift the color to green, stay transparent and not leave any brush marks. (the bottle had its own spot built for it on the mantle later.) The lighter tall glass bottle filled with small gold seeds is a blown glass bead finished with other beads and findings to make it an apothecary jar. Seeds and scrolls (made by Downstairs Jean) and bundles of dried petals got crammed in all the spaces of our busy writer's den.
His chair by the hearth with tendril of wool-strand smoke on a bed of hand painted deer moss ashes. His tiny twig side table holds a portrait of a friend (thinking of changing the two portraits in the house into seed paintings instead), a candle for reading, and an acorn and vine pipe (gifted 1/2L by Sharon Ferg) with a skosh of saffron tobacco in an acorn cap bowl. (Please click to enlarge for detail)
His writing desk nestles in a tangle of natural roots and is kitted out with leaf motif marquettery box (all hardware hand made), ink wells made from the odd grebble bits from drawers in the shop. His upholstered desk chair has a simple twig back and holds up his old cane. There are Rana-scale (1:3) bottles filled with different kinds of seeds tucked into all the corners in the house because while the Mouse lives in a world that makes sense for his size, he also lives in Rana's world as well, he's just mouse-sized in it. They often pass certain jars of seeds back and forth between them to share them.

The library bookcase built into the wall next to his desk will soon be filled with miniature books like the two quarter leather-bound journals made below. One has a pocket built into it that holds a feather quill pen. These were made from an existing cloth-covered Japanese folder that I cut up, trimmed with leather, and painted to fit.
Lower right are additional fine papers I've prepared with paints and dyes to bring the Mouse's color scheme to the shelves below. They'll look terrific next to the small seed jars and other objects there...
Once the books are made, and a clay pot of mid-scale red geraniums are installed outside the left eye/window of the chalet, this entire set and all her props will not only be made but also completely installed and completed in full. Utterly.

I really wanted to begin a set (that I thought would be quick and simple) and see it through in one sweep to prove to myself that I could close a deal. Tenacity.

I think I've figured out why the last 3% on these projects seem to take 100% of the previous effort in order to finish. It's either I'm wrong that the 97% point has in fact been reached, or perhaps that I do these projects at 150% and the last 3% is in reality another 47%. I think it's a little of both.

Having the time of my life with it all though.


  1. Aww! ::pets all the tiny things with one finger::

  2. [And they purrrr!] Hi Jessica Marie! Believe it or not.... I ACTUALLY HAVE IDEAS FOR YOUR 1/2L scene!! Lookie what I saw today on reader Rustika's blog!:

    IT's PERFECT!!!!

  3. Those props are very sweet.
    I would definately ask for your talent, if i was a full-lenght movie stopmotion director.
    Keep up the great work !

  4. Very encouraging and kind of you to say, Vincent, Thank you!

  5. Shelley, (continueing the email I just sent) I see that a way for the audience to be able to change focus could add a lot to Hafland as a film. Sooooo many wonderful, tiny details with al set pieces. I have been following your work for a long time and I still get very excited by seeing all the effort you put into "every"thing. I love the coach, little pillows, everything.

  6. Shelley,,,are you sure you don't leave your body and shrink to scale and go in Halfland and arrange the shelves and, well do wonderous things.....and do you have wings too, like a butterlfly...I think so...yes.

  7. Hi, Yaz! So nice of you to say! Did you notice that one of the chair cushions "buttons" are actually sesame seeds?! Fun!

    Thanks, Marcie HON, I do get lost in the world here. Zone out. Nice.

  8. This will come as no surprise, but I absolutely adore and appreciate every single teeny tiny detail you add to this project. It's really just amazing...sneaky, charming faces? The next time I get around to dusting my bookshelves and mantle I am totally going to make sneaky faces with my dust catchers :). Your enthusiasm to make and create is contagious...I always know where to come sneak a peek when I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. Thanks for that!

  9. Holy cow, Amy! That's incredibly wonderful of you to say!

    My fondest wish for Halfland is to have people of all ages looking at their world with wonder.

    I'm so glad you come here!


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