nid_dabeille: bee (killick)
I finally installed my first light in the roomboxes!  And I also made my first lights from scratch!  Most of the others are store-bought (and also still not installed). 

I made little lanterns out of glass bottles (supplied by [profile] asyngin at [profile] miniswapsetc).  I've only installed one lantern so far, in the little sleep cabin, because that's the only room that has all the ceiling beams in place so far.  I made the lanterns by gluing strips of black fake-leather-buckram onto the bottles and then painting the glass a golden color.  I painted the black stuff too to make it look rusty and worn.  Then I just inserted my little flame bulb, attached the plug, and plugged it in (to a cunningly hidden socket in the woodwork.  Beams are handy for hiding stuff!)  Oh, and I made some little hooks to hold them too.

I'm very proud of my cute little lanterns!

linked at [profile] doll_houses and [profile] little_world
nid_dabeille: bee (stephen jubilant)
My local doll house store is closing!  I grew up there!  At least, I guess I started going there when I was about 13, and now I'm nearly 30, so it's been my store for a while.  Though there were several missing years when I went away to college.  As a teenager I used to take workshops there.  I learned how to make fimo/sculpey food, I made a wicker sofa, a gazebo, a dogwood tree...  They were so much fun.

Anyway, now it's closing because the owner's retiring, and therefore things are on SALE.  So I finally bought my scales!  My scales!  The Nantasy Fantasy scales!  Which I yearned for and loved so much, which swept me off my feet, and which I used to visit every time I was in the store!  They're mine.  No one else would have loved them like I do.  They're mine, and I will give them to the miniature invisible Dr. Maturin.  Even if they're unsuitable for life aboard a man o' war.

I also bought a beautiful table by CJ's Miniatures.  It's very simple, but it's so fine that the Bespaq things I looked at seemed chunky.  Though they were still tempting... but I find that I'm more drawn to simple things rather than the frilly fancy elegant rich Bespaq things.

And I also have a picture of my surgery table.  It was an unfinished table I bought and stained and distressed.  It was fun.  I thwacked it and gouged it, sanded edges, rubbed grime all over it, and...  ok, this may sound mad, but I cut my finger while working on it, so I dabbed blood on the table top.  It's very subtle, so you can't see it in the picture, and it's just a small spot.  But it's like my signature.  I'll spread the mini tools across it in the sickbay.  (No, there won't be an amputation scene.)  And I do know that a naval surgeon would often lash together the midshipmen's sea chests for an operating table, but in the movie of M&C they have a trestle table.  And it looks nicer in miniature than a bunch of vague sea chests.)

So here, pictures.

pictures )
linked at [profile] doll_houses and [profile] little_world .


Mar. 7th, 2008 01:16 am
nid_dabeille: bee (Default)
It's 1:15am, but at last, my main roombox is WIRED.  For electricity.  At last!  This means I can finally finish things - there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and it's an electric colonial swag lantern.

You have no idea how long I've been waiting, how many things I've been putting on hold and couldn't do until it was wired.  Well, the miniaturists on my list know.

Bedtime.  In my tiny tiny hammock (I wish.)
nid_dabeille: bee (hornblower duchess)
I have a new miniature cot - or a hammock if you prefer.  Yes, I know hammocks and cots are different.  But if I tell most people that I have a cot, they picture a little bed, the kind with legs, not a swinging hammock-like thing.  So I'll obstinately call it a hammock.

It was made for me by the talented [profile] elwenlj (who also makes curtains and bedding and other wonderful textile miniature things) in exchange for a set of ivory handled surgical instruments that I made for her.  The hammock is SO cute in person, and it swings so sweetly.  I really wish I could crawl into it and swing to sleep. 

All I've done to it is finish off the rope ends and add the rings for hanging, but I plan to dirty it up a bit too.

She made a mattress as well, very cunningly weighted with rice to make the whole thing hang nicely with a heavy feel - but unfortunately the ceiling of my little tiny roombox is so low that the hammock touches the floor when the mattress weighs it down.  And speaking of ceilings, I'm rather proud of mine because I added beams and things, plus cleverly disguised the electrical connections behind the beams.  I've finally been working on the electricity.  It's a bit tedious, since it's just logistical challenges instead of cute tiny fun pretty things, but the lights are going to look fabulous.  I have the handsomest hanging lamp for the great cabin!

And now, pictures of the hammock (and the traded surgical tools):


linked at [profile] doll_houses and [profile] little_world .
nid_dabeille: bee (stephen tortoise)
Eek eek!  Look what I just got!

The thumbtack is just for scale.  And the middle item is actually a brandy decanter, not labware.  Eeek!  So so so cute!  So perfect!  The bowl and the mortar and pestle are for Stephen of course, and the decanter is for Jack.

They came from SP Miniatures, my favorite site (which I've never gotten anything from until now.)

I'm SO excited! :D  Happy Valentine's day to me!

Bigger pictures below...

Bowl, decanter, mortar and pestle! )
nid_dabeille: bee (stephen book)

I got a book today - Naval Surgeon: The Voyages of Dr. Edward H. Cree, Royal Navy, as Related in His Private Journals, 1837-1856.  It's full of his own journal entries and watercolors.  It was dirt cheap on amazon.

Oh, [profile] cionaudha, I also got Regeneration.  But I won't start until I'm done with Adm. Byrd.  ARGH and I haven't finished Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death yet either!

And in other book news, I'm really fond of my Moby Dick popup book.  Sounds silly, I know, but the popups are amazing!  So I've prepared a picspam.  I'm too tired to type about it, but a picture is worth a thousand words.

Also, I made little gold capped crystal bottles to go in Stephen's dressing case.

nid_dabeille: bee (jack happy)
My watchmaker's cabinet arrived, the one I bought on ebay!  It's so perfect!  I mean, perfect for me and my miniatures.  And so pretty!  It was really dirty when it came (probably with dust and dirt all the way back to 1875, the date that's stamped in the drawers) and as I cleaned it, I kept finding all sorts of little watch gears and hands and other parts.  So cute!  It was like it was shedding.  I would set it down on the table, then pick it up again and find a couple of little gears it had left behind, and found some little watch hands in the packing material...  I waved a magnet around and picked up tiny little screws and gears that had been hiding under the dividers, etc.  Then gave it a jolly good clean so the wood became lustrous.  And then put all my tiny bottles and bone saws and trephines in the compartments!!!  Every now and then as I walk past I'll just pull open a drawer to gaze at them in fondness.

And now my roombox is sitting on top of it, and they make the perfect pair.

Bigger pictures below...

In other miniature news - randomly on ebay I saw old dollhouse plans for building a house exactly like my mom's that her grandfather built her, and that my sisters and I grew up playing with!!!  The exact house!  I was so freakingly excited, and so was my sister Becca when I showed her.  (She has the house now, lucky thing.  She's older than me, and also has two daughters, so I guess that's to be expected.)  I bought the plans, of course.  When I saw the photograph, I thought it was an old photo of my mom and her sister playing with it - I mean, because I'm so used to seeing that old photo of my mom with the house.  It was totally foreign to see a DIFFERENT photograph of strangers playing with the same house!

more )

So excited!  And I'm actually considering (in my insanity) building the house for myself.  Maybe in the future.  Or maybe half scale.  It's a huge huge house.
nid_dabeille: bee (stephen bonden slabline)
Do companionways in Jackish ships always go up to larboard, down to starboard (if they're athwartships-oriented)? *feels proud of jargon*  Like a letter Z if you were looking at them straight on, nose-to-nose?  (*fails at jargon*)

I really think the movie played a lot of tricks on me. That was very unkind of it, playing on my innocence and trusting nature like that.

I'm even starting to be like Stephen and think that larboard can be the other side of the ship if you just turn around.  And why not?  It sounds quite sensible.

I only fret because of my miniatures, and the fear that since I have no idea what I'm REALLY doing, someone will come along later and say "You did it all WRONG!  You've never set foot aboard a frigate in your life."  And they'll be right.  I've only been on a tiny little 16th century bark.  Whatever a bark is.
nid_dabeille: bee (jack sunshine)
New miniature furniture!
I made these around Christmas time, but haven't gotten around to photographing and/or posting them until now.

Bigger pictures below...

nid_dabeille: bee (stephen shrunk the navy)
My little roomboxes came!  After the devious [profile] hoosier_red posted a link to Real Good Toys, I saw these on deep deep discount and realized they would solve some problems for me.  My sickbay/dispensary combination was getting too crowded (at least, in my mental planning of it), and I kept wanting more space.  And these are the perfect size for one tiny little cabin like a dispensary.  See?

Not bad for $8!  And it has a little plexiglas sliding window too.  Not sure what I'll do with the other two, but this one will be the dispensary.  Then the sick bay can fill up the whole lower level of the Big Box.  Never mind that I have beds bigger than this whole little room - it's perfect for a ship, even the shortness of the ceiling.  It will still be roomier than sharing the Big Box.


Dec. 20th, 2007 07:41 pm
nid_dabeille: bee (Age of Fail Erebus)
I keep thinking I should have a tag for my roombox(es), but I don't know what to call it.  It used to be "Stephen's world" back when I was just making mini bottles and surgical instruments, before Jack came along and demanded a room too.  So what is it?  It's not the Surprise - it's only two tiny cabins that may or may not be on the Surprise.  "Jack and Stephen's World" is too vague.  What is it?  ("Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' / Let us go and make our visit.")

Maybe I'll just make the tag be "roomboxes."  Unless someone has another clever idea.  Anyone?

ETA:  I just about died just now when I discovered this site with loads of gorgeous chemistry items in miniature.  Oh my goodness, WANT!  My heart hurts to look at them.  They also have an amusing mad scientist's laboratory to showcase their glassware.

I'm thinking Stephen should just do away with the sickbay and concentrate on the dispensary.  Hmm.  I kind of wanted to make a hammock for the sick bay, but I don't think it will fit.  Maybe I should just give him a really nice big dispensary instead of tiny dispensary and tiny sick bay.  After all, he regularly fit 3 people into the dispensary, so it shouldn't be extremely tiny.  Oh, indecision!  I'm going to have to decide some time!

I suddenly crave fruitcake.  I haven't had any fruitcake this Christmas season!  I hope my mom has some.

ETA again:  Hmph, you lot are no help! :D  I'll call it Aubrey-Maturin miniatures.


Nov. 20th, 2007 12:20 am
nid_dabeille: bee (jack happy)
My newest acquisition for the room box:

nid_dabeille: bee (Default)
Jack (and Stephen) have chairs!  Now they can sit and play their instruments, when their instruments arrive.  (Actually, I had a dream about someone playing a mini violin I made for my big doll house... I was amazed they were able to get such beautiful music out of it, when I'd only used cotton thread for the strings.)

And the stern windows are varnished and glossy.  Probably not as glossy as they look in the pictures, actually, in case you're alarmed by the shine.

And I have hands!  One to hold the camera, and one to hold mini things.

Bigger pictures below...

Pictures )
nid_dabeille: bee (jack smug)
I haven't posted on my minis recently, but I've been a busy bee with my naval dispensary and great cabin roombox(es).  I've made floors, I've worked on Jack's stern windows some more, and also made more bottles.

Bigger pictures below...

pictures! )

ETA:  And here's another picture of the windows with more detail. 

linked at [profile] doll_houses .
nid_dabeille: bee (angry stephen!)
Look at my stern windows!  (Still in progress.)

picture )
nid_dabeille: bee (Default)
Jack Aubrey, you don't know how lucky you are that I'm OCD when I make crafts.

I'm working on his stern windows now.  From scratch.  (Finally.  This is a big milestone for me.  I'm finally conquering the paralysis of indecision, hooray!)  I went and bought lots of types of molding for his cabin today.  I spent about $15 just on molding.  Crazy!  But I'm still paranoid about ship expert people saying, "You did the windows wrong" or whatever.

Other stuff unrelated to the roomboxes - I made some miniature watches!  The first pics are dollhouse sized ones I made for a swap at [profile] miniswapsetc, and the second is one I made for a coworker to give to her husband who collects real watches.  It's not any particular scale.  (All my other miniatures are the basic 1:12, or one inch = one foot.  Not counting the poppets.)  I've been thinking of selling more on Etsy, but I have no idea how much to charge.

nid_dabeille: bee (stephen eyes)
I made Stephen's desk for his dispensary! I made it from a kit (the House of Miniatures Chippendale slant front desk, the closest match I could find to what he has in the movie - did anyone else ever notice what his desk looks like in the movie, apart from me?) but I distressed and messed it up to be appropriate for life on a ship, a life being covered with bottles of chemicals and dead specimens, and life with slovenly Stephen.  (I think he dissects that fish directly on the desk top.  I bet he eats garlicked bread right off of the same surface.  Probably at the same time!)

Bigger pictures below...

linked at [profile] doll_houses .
nid_dabeille: bee (Default)
Doing research for my mini-dispensary, I keep running into this site about Lewis and Clark.  But it was only today that I discovered how extensive it is about the medicine aspect!  And it's my period too, 1803+, so I'm pleased.  I'll have to read it in depth, because it's so lovely and fascinating.

Lewis's Medicines

x-posted at [personal profile] hms_surprise .
nid_dabeille: bee (angst!)
(LJ is being really slow and weird!  Here's the second try at this post...)

I picked up my roombox(es) yesterday!  They were custom built to my specifications, yay.  It's one unit with two rooms, one above for the captain's cabin, and one below for the surgeon's dispensary/sick bay.  The back panel for the captain's cabin isn't attached, so I can adapt it and add windows later (when I figure out how exactly I want to do that.)

I haven't even started doing anything to them.  I think I'm going to stain the outside, so it will look like an apothecary chest, and put a brass handle on top for carrying.  But I'm so excited and ADD about it that I'm paralyzed with the inability to start!!!

Here are pictures.  The Plexi covering-film hasn't been peeled off yet.  I'll wait till after painting and all.

pictures )

linked at [profile] doll_houses .
nid_dabeille: bee (mowett)
Say, [personal profile] esteven, did your bears ever get their cello and violin, respectively?  I've been looking on ebay at dollhouse sized ones...  Did you see the amazing $400 violin for a dollhouse that I linked to last week?  It's incredible.  I certainly couldn't make such an exquisite tiny violin for $400.  (Though the bow is kind of funny looking.  But many of the miniature bows are, I'm finding.)  But they're all so CUTE!  I can't wait to get my own and hold them in my hands.  I've always had a funny kind of enamored-ness (is there a noun in there somewhere?) with musical instruments as physical objects, especially the stringed ones.  I have a similar enamored-ness with toe shoes as objects.  And opera singers' throats as objects.  (Just kidding about that one.  Yeah...)  Anyway, I think I might get this cello off of ebay.

You know, I think it's actually my poppets who are whispering these things to me, about making these roomboxes and buying musical instruments and the like!!!  Here I was thinking all along, "No, nobody's going to inhabit these little spaces.  That just wouldn't be quite right.  I'll just furnish and decorate them as if the people have just stepped out for a moment."  But I think my poppets are planning to sneak in there at night and live it up, dissecting little fish or eating weevil-infested hard tack - and now they want MUSIC too!  How did I never suspect this before???

And if that's the case, then who's been whispering to me to buy miniature silver...?  *looks around uneasily for a poppet Killick*  And what are Sophie and Diana poppets going to demand?
nid_dabeille: bee (stephen silly)
I keep encountering GORGEOUS miniatures that turn out to be made by Nantasy Fantasy.  For instance, the $100 magnifying glass that inspired mine, and yesterday I met in person this amazing marvelous little scale, which was $90.  Sigh...  The man really wanted to sell it to me, and he prompted me to make an offer, but I knew I'd never come anywhere near buying it.  It was so precise though - the trays really were perfectly balanced.  You could tip them up or down, and they would still balance themselves.  Remarkable.  The man said, "Well I hope some time in the future it will be in your price range."  He was a nice man, and was enthusiastic to hear about my naval surgeon dispensary.  (I don't even know if a naval surgeon would have a scale like that.  Maybe not, with the ship rocking so much.  They'd probably be too delicate an instrument...?)  And the little drawer opens, and it's the most perfect little drawer I've ever seen - not at all like the usual chunky drawers.  I've shrunk the picture so it's about actual size.

So since I keep seeing this Nantasy Fantasy everywhere, I looked up the website, and there was a special section just for miniature firearms, which of course reminded me of [personal profile] sharpiefan.  Take a look at the armory!

Oh my goodness, there's a sextant.  *clutches heart*  There's a cat o'nine tails in a bag.  There's the most exquisite violin I've ever seen for a dollhouse (at $400)... And a chronometer!  And sea charts with a case!  Haha, there's even a dead guy!

I'm going to have a heart attack now.
nid_dabeille: bee (Default)
Tonight I distressed miniature bottles.  Bet your evening wasn't as awesome as that.

Up next: labels on the bottles, leather covered books and a bookshelf.

ETA: And look at this miniature model of a ship's surgeon's dispensary at the NMM site!  How I squeaked with delight when I saw it!

Linked at [profile] doll_houses.
nid_dabeille: bee (Default)
Tonight I made bottles out of beads.  Like a madwoman.  Like a banshee.  Because you know how those banshees love to make bottles.

And a magnifying glass.  They're not finished.  I need to add the lens, and I need to distress them all, with spilled medicine and little labels and grime and age.

I'm a tired madwoman.

pictures )

linked at [profile] doll_houses .
nid_dabeille: bee (stephen happy)

Heeheehee!  I went to the dollhouse store and the craft store and returned victorious!  I'm going to seriously begin my endeavor to build my Stephen Geeklab (as mentioned before in this post).  I bought lots of tiny random tools!  And I'll be able to jury-rig them into early 19th century surgical instruments, with the help of websites like this, Alex Peck Medical Antiques (how I loooove that site).  And with many more viewings of Master and Commander to look at Stephen's tools (like these:)
pics )

Eeee!  I'm so excited.  Now if anyone has advice or tips or good screencaps or info, tell me!  And I still need to figure out what exactly I'm making.  Am I making the orlop?

And feel free to offer inspiration in the form of other miniature things, even if they're not exactly related - like this mini Victorian physics laboratory, or Cristina Noriega's AMAZING miniature historic medical scenes.  She's a Spanish nurse who used to make ship's models, I think.  Guh.  Her things are to DIE for!  Pleeeease look at them so you can swoon with me.

linked at [profile] doll_houses and [personal profile] hms_surprise (here).
nid_dabeille: bee (stephen)
I miss my dollhouse (it's at my parents' house, and it's rather large) and I've been pondering the idea of making a small roombox of some sort to get my miniatures fix.  Tonight I suddenly had the idea to make a miniature version of Stephen Maturin's Realm in the orlop (or wherever it is that he goes) with bottles of medicine and tiny trephines and forceps and bone saws (BONE SAWS) and ... sigh!  I've been perusing page after page of online miniatures dealers who have things I could use or, more often, adapt - even some amazing things that are perfect in their own right but which I could never justify buying.  (Like this $100 reading glass, guhhh)  And I also looked back at the miniature things I had suggested to [personal profile] esteven for her Aubrey and Maturin bears.  I still love that jar of leeches and the mortar and pestle.


May. 23rd, 2007 08:18 pm
nid_dabeille: bee (stephen love)
I finished my Surprise Family!  (Jack, Stephen, Sophie, Diana.)

Disclaimer:  I did not make the bodies.  I just dressed and adorned them They're just standard little wooden manikins.  (Where did the spelling "manikin" come from?  What happened to "mannequin"?  Anyway, these are called 4 1/2" wood "manikins.")  (My art supply store was having a huge going-out-of-business sale, and they were only $2.50 each!  How could I resist???)


ETA:  As a joke, I made Stephen a temporary wig out of my cat's fur, but when I tried to photograph him wearing it, the cats became very interested.  In fact, Nemo ended up carrying it off in his mouth and destroying it.  I didn't mind.

Fur wig )

For more pictures (including closeups of the fabulous wigs, and Stephen wigless and also with his messy!wig, see my photobucket album.  Do it!!!