Thursday, 29 November 2012

Splash of Marrakech

Inspired by my sister Carrie of ALavenderDilly.  Carrie did a flavour of Tuscany in a book-shaped box.  It looks fantastic, go check it out - Shameless plug. Inspired by how awesome she made it look and by the appeal of something completed, I grabbed a box for myself and decided to give vent to a many years-long love of things Moroccan.  Getting this vibrant red/orange colour took a bit of mixing, and it ended up being a perfect match to the scrapbook paper I'd bought on a whim a few weeks before.  All urges pay off when it comes to random craft supply purchases!

The facade was built up with layers of cardstock, balsa, and plaster castings for the decorative corners.  I bought those more than a year ago for no apparent reason :)  I even pulled out the paperclay and smooshed it around for the interior step.

 A moist cotton ball does the job of rubbing back acrylic paint for an aged foot-worn step.

 The back window feature I made up from 3 laser cut decorative pieces bought years ago!  I made a frame from balsa to tie the 3 together.  The whole point of this exercise, like Carrie said on her blog, was to get over the trap of always having to wait for the perfect parts to arrive before we can do a project and just using what I had.

 The doors are balsa, the decorative designs I scanned from an art book of Arabic designs, re-sized with Photoshop and printed out.  There is still a bit to go with aging, rubbing back the paper to give the impression of weathering, lights, furniture, fixtures, furnishings.  If someone or something inspires you just go for it.

Tudor Style

Another side trip on the journey that is the grand Droston Park.  I wanted something with a touch of the medieval.

I have had this pair of unfinished wood carver chairs for a while.  They are inexpensive and can be bought on Ebay or from several of the online line dolls house suppliers like Minimum World.

To get the colour of wood stain that suited my purposes I mixed a bit of  Wattyl brand Western Jarrah with Aged Baltic.  The next task was a pattern for cutting out fabric for the seat.  Kitchen paper towel is perfect for the first rough pattern shape as it is soft and you can bend and mold it around your piece of furniture like fabric but still draw on it with ease.

The seat padding is my usual favourite of cotton quilt batting - thin, soft, but dense enough to give the right amount of in-scale loft.  The paper towel pattern was converted into a more accurate pattern on 2mm maths grid paper.  The fabric design I wanted to use is a William Morris design - what else!  The original design was just a simple square.  I turned it into a square within a square with Adobe Photoshop.  There were a couple of designs I was toying with so printing them out on paper first gave me the chance to try them both out with a mock seat.  The final choice was printed on printer prepared fabric and is the one you see under the foot of the chair in the photo above.

I like to finish off edges neatly, but what to use for really fine corded trim in 1/12 scale?  20 count crochet cotton did the trick nicely!  It was a little bit too crisp and pristine in colour to suit my old chair but a rub over with flesh-coloured pastel chalk fixed that.

A whole lot of small brass pins lost their heads to be used as furniture tacks!  There was much hammering with my little jewelers hammer.

Then of course we have the underside of the chair.  Not one to leave a rough edge, some thin slices of balsa got stained up to match the chair and glued in place to complete the look.

The other unfinished chair will get a different look - I just prefer not to do the same thing twice!