Sunday, November 25, 2012

Japanese System Kitchen - I've hit a wall...

I have been working on the system kitchen, but I've been having some difficulty. The sink. I want the counter and sink to look like one piece of molded metal. The counter came out to my satisfaction, but the sink has not.

I built the thing out of wood and thought my typical gesso-sand-repeat routine would get it smooth enough for spray painting. That's the same thing I did with the counter, so it should've worked. Well, it didn't. I can't get to the tiny curves to sand smooth. I don't want ridges, so this is absolutely unacceptable. I tried a jelly container initially, but they must be making them with really crappy plastic now because the plastic kind of melted with spray painting. (I have used the jelly containers in the past even spray painting them, and it worked well.)

See those awful interior joints? I want smooooooth.

The only thing I've been able to come up with is looking for someone to actually mold the little sink for me in plastic or metal. It would still need to be painted to match the counter. Maybe I just need to look into resin casting...?

If anyone out there has the inclination to post a suggestion, I would greatly welcome it.

The Dollar Tree

A while back, there was a thread on The Camp about these tiny jars that came with nail decorations at the Dollar Tree. I cruised by one day and to pick some up. Eight dollars later, I walked out the door with more than tiny glass jars. 

My finds:
1. Block of floral foam for mini plants
2. Package of 10 rectangular plastic containers (appx. 1.5" x 2" x 1.25") for storing tiny  
3. 8 tiny glass bottles containing nail glitter
4. 2 rolls of white crepe paper
5. A 1" scale wooden sideboard 
6. Tissues on 3" cube boxes - not 1" scale, but too cute to pass up
7. Spearmint gum
8. Snack-size zipper bags printed with Disney fairies  

So #6 - 8 have little to do with minis, but 1 through 5 got my juices flowing. See below:

The sheep are weird, I know, but the rug is a test print and needed weighing down. They worked with the color scheme...
The sideboard became a sofa table following a little sanding work and a coat of Martha Stewart's Satin Acrylic Craft Paint in Cloud. 

Rose 1

Rose 2

The crepe paper became roses inspired by Christine-Lea Frisoni's Le Grande Livre De La Maison Miniature. I can't read French, so I guessed at the method and painted my crepe paper with a watercolor wash heavy on the white paint. The leaves - I'm excited to say - are cut with the Silhouette Cameo. For anyone out there wondering about this application for the Cameo, I sent a 3" x 4" sheet of green paper through, but only about 50% of the leaves came out. I'm still pleased...

The tissues are gone, the gum is gone, and I'm still working on the zipper bags. I have yet to use the floral foam, but the plastic containers are still holding more petals punched for more roses. It was so much fun getting those bargains. I think only other miniaturists would understand the feeling. As for any more glass jars, I've gone back several times since, but they've been out of stock. I'll probably keep looking... Maybe I'll find something else even better...

Side note:
The tiny framed newspaper in the background is an actual printed paper written and hand-printed by my boyfriend's baby sister. (Alex made the double-sided frame.) She's a print-making student at RISD, and she's amazingly talented. The text is really funny to read, too. If you'd like to see some of her other work and be delighted by her unique style, check out her site: .