Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Just rollin' along here...

What a productive day!

Duct-taped one arm of the couch. Looked through my fabric stash for a blanket, then remembered the wonderful tartan throws that Cheryl Hartlen makes and used one of them. Found a pillow to tuck between the wall and the end of the couch.

Put a white porcelain knob on the table drawer then made the hot plate.

I first Googled for images of vintage hot plates. Looked first at two burner hot plates then decided that a one burner would be best. (I love Google images - not only can you find the pictures but you usually can find measurements.)

Glued together two pieces of balsa for 5/8" thickness, cut a 1" square, sanded it and gave it rounded edges. I should/would have given it a coat of gesso for a smoother finish on the edges but when I opened mine it was moldy and didn't want to take the time for the 1/2 mile walk to WalMart (the closest place that carries it) and get some more.
 Used my hand-dandy circle cutter from Dollarama to scribe a circle in the middle of the wood and removed about 1/16" of the wood.
 Shaped a piece of wire into a spiral for the burner. (I used a stripped piece of telephone wire.) Then painted it black with black nail polish.
 Painted the wood with two coats of white acrylic paint then  rubbed it down with a piece of brown paper. That smoothed the paint and gave it a bit of a sheen. Then I glued the wire spiral into the hole. Poked a hole in the back with a push pin and glued a short length of thick black thread into the hole. Added a black bead on the other end of the thread for a plug. Cut a small piece of dowel on the front for a control, painted it and added a control line and, voila! a hot plate.

At this point I decided to make a standing ashtray. I found two great black buttons in my stash for both the base and the top and a small wooden button to make the actual ashtray. I broke the shanks off all three buttons and smoothed the areas where the shanks had been. My original plan was to make the upright of some twisted wire but changed my mind and used a piece of dowel painted silver (my trusty Pilot marker). I drilled holes in the middle of each of the black buttons and put them on each end of the dowel. The 'ashtray' button was just the tiniest bit too big to fit inside the black button so I filed around the edge until it fit. I used a needle file to put four grooves around the edge to hold cigarettes.

I got the cigarette (and a pack of matches that I added later) in a grab bag at the Dallas Show that I attended years ago when Leanne was living in Texas.
Added two Chinese food takeout containers and a pair of chopsticks to the table, replaced the black (Chrysnbon) coffee pot with a chrome one, and put a garbage can by the table.
I wanted a small bookcase for the back wall but the ones in my stash were too big so I bashed this little cupboard from the Dollar store.

 Stained it,
 and filled it with books. Dick Tabor was kind enough to share his method of making books on one of my online groups (and sent me a bag of them too). Carolyn Brown of Maple Leaf Miniatures has posted, with Dick's permission, a tutorial on this. The radio is from my stash.

All prepared for a stake-out with thermos, camera and binoculars.
I bought these wonderful folding chairs on e-bay from Pat Morrison (seller id taffy671). They'll be tucked in the corner by the file cabinet for extra seating, if required.
 I wanted an old Edmonton city map for the wall but couldn't find one so found this 1938 B.C./Alberta map and framed it.
Next on the agenda:
Add two chairs for clients, dress and install the desk, install his swivel chair, make a table for the typewriter and add a carriage and carriage return to the little typewriter in my stash...........and add some stains and cigarette burns to the carpet.

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