I had a vintage-look sewing machine, but like in real life, I wanted a contemporary sewing machine too. I searched some tutorials. This one at Easy DIY Miniatures looked interesting and I would learn a new technique. My goal would be the Baby Lock Aria. It wasn’t too fussy and it is popular at the store where my daughter works.
The material is the same expanded PVC sheet I used for the craft table and the office chair. For the table the PVC was used as is, for the chair, I used heat to reform it, and this project would involve carving.
I’ll need doors for a future build, but I was not able to find the size and style I need ready made. The solution? Build them myself. I ordered door frame wood in three sizes from Northeastern Scale Lumber. This wood has a groove precut to hold the “glass.”
Once I cut the wood to the dimensions in my sketch, I could see that the proportions were not quite right. But these are miniatures, the investment is small, I can start over.
I received feedback from Jodi that really resonated with me. She said, “You have the same Popular Mechanics mind in your DNA as I do – I can tell!” Although I have never thought to describe my craftiness and approach to problem solving in terms of the magazine that “inspires, instructs and influences nine million curious minds,” I feel that it fits me to a T. It is quite a compliment, because I admire Jodi and her work. That she sees some of herself in me while I am in the early stages of my miniatures hobby brings a lot of satisfaction.
Until about five years ago I used my Popular Mechanics mind for real life projects. My curiosity about “how the world works” helped in real life projects and it turns out to be helpful in translating to the miniature world. I decided to spruce up my daughters’ dollhouse for my grandchildren and went to the internet for help. I discovered a universe of miniaturists with the same curiosity and approach to problem solving that I have. I had no idea all of you existed! After seven decades of working alone, I found my people!
I continue to reflect on my July vacation to the Baltic Sea. I’m a visual person and the visuals that keep popping up are the buildings with ornate front-facing gables. So many of these Baltic cities not only have tall brick buildings, but they have these façades typically associated with Amsterdam. There is a reason for that. The cities, like Amsterdam, were affiliated with the Hanseatic League that I mentioned in an earlier post. The members had strong economic, social and cultural ties and consequently they shared architectural styles.
What I think makes this relevant for miniaturists is that we look at architecture for our builds. We decide on a time and place. But here similar architecture is found throughout a broader geopolitical area. I’m sure this is not a new observation for our European friends, but I found it interesting. I’ll show you what I mean.
The buildings on the market square of Gamla Stan, the historic part of Stockholm, had ornate front gables .
The thing about building miniatures is that your project doesn’t have to please anyone except you. In the case of the Romance Retreat, I went with a concept that at first blush did not seem like my style. I wasn’t interested in doing the club bookshelf project and I’m not a hearts and flowers kind of person; and I’ve never used pink and black!
But when I saw the pink rose fabric at the store where my daughter works, I knew it had to be a curvy wing chair. I put the finished chair in my pied à terre and it had the proportions of the bookshelf project.