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The Shopping Sherpa by Amcsviatko - 5M ago
I spent the weekend mulling over how I was going to approach the tissue box challenge, while doing other things (including, you may be pleased to hear, finding my Filofax paper and passport).

Should I make it completely random: closing my eyes, grabbing a box, and making myself use it somehow in a scene?

Or should I be a bit kinder on myself, and preselect boxes that look like they might be a good jumping-off point?

I went with the latter option, and ended up a good handful of possibilities and initial thoughts to start with a box printed with small pictures of herb plants: easily framed (assuming, of course, I find my saw, mitre box, gluing jig and picture framing strips in time!) and I feel it could build into an interesting scene:
(It was at this point that it dawned on me that, although the light in my new place is quite good, it's different to what I'm used to. In fact, both my studio and the room previously known at The Room of Shame (now retagged 'The Library') face in the opposite direction to my old versions. So in the interests of getting things done for now, I took photos on my bed.)

I was particularly heartened when I found this chair in one of the first boxes of miniatures I unpacked yesterday, as it seemed to fit nicely with the chosen box and suggest a rustic kitchen or dining room.
But then, as I was taking the top photo, these heart-themed designs caught my eye and seemed very fitting for this week.
This one in particular...



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*Blows into the mic*

Is this thing working?
(And more importantly, can I remember how to use it?)

Today marks the 13th blogiversary of this blog, and I feared that if I didn't post now the whole thing might just fade away into the dusty corners of the internet. Which I thought would be a shame.

So a quick catch up: I finally moved at the beginning of December and have been unpacking boxes ever since. I have two desks set up in my studio, with one more to find room to erect (once I move the mountain of boxes that's in the way...).

Speaking of mountains of boxes, I had a mountain of boxes of dolls' houses in my bath until quite recently: I figured there would be a good spot to keep them safe from the shifters when they moved the rest of my belongings in.

I have no idea where my tools are (or my passport, or my spare Filofax paper, but that's a different subject...). These are the joys of shifting home: along with $300 grill elements (don't ask).

Back to miniatures: I toyed with the thought of trying to do Daily Dolls House December last year but realised that it was an insane idea on top of everything else that was happening. And since I've not made a scene for over a year, I figured I'd be very very rusty.

So when someone on my (newly) local Buy Nothing group offered a collection of tissue boxes for 'artistic types', I took it as a sign that perhaps a miniature challenge was in my near future: especially as the timing seemed quite serendipitous.
So now, to add to my collection of packing boxes both full and empty, I have a collection of tissue boxes (not, thankfully eaten by mice) to kickstart what will hopefully be a challenge to keep me going for the next year (once I find my tools, of course!).
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I visited The Parental Units over Easter, and we took the opportunity to check out Toi Art, the new art gallery at Te Papa.

As we entered the first room I spotted this in the corner of a large, blank wall and had to investigate further.
Inside the storefront was a piece of moon rock, a New Zealand flag and a sign explaining how a piece of moon rock came to be in New Zealand (if not inside a miniature storefront in an art gallery in New Zealand)...
 And to confuse matters further, across the gallery there was a technical drawing of the store front, by Christo.
There was a booklet explaining the artworks, but alas this wasn't allowed to leave the gallery (which I suppose made sense, but I was surprised that there weren't copies available for purchase at the gallery shop: I know I would have bought two...). And I've just discovered that there's also a mobile app that we could have accessed on our phones at the time (although perhaps it wasn't available in April?)

So it wasn't until I got home that I was able to research the artworks and discover that the model in the wall was The shortcut gallery by Michael Parekowhai, informed by Christo's Storefront series (created in the 1960s). And the Christo drawing was Pink Store Front (project). The whole thing is described nicely in Article magazine.
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I've previously sung the praises of Canberra's city-based tip shops, especially for discovering unexpected miniature finds.

What I neglected to mention is that there are two more tip shops in Canberra: one at each of the resource management centres (the new term for tip, dump, or whatever you call it where you live). And those ones are massive.

Canberra is in the fortunate position to have a fairly high level of education (and pay) and also a rather transient population. Which means the resource management centres have a regular supply of items too good to end up in landfill (see example A (or is that A sharp?)).

I don't visit the tip shops very often, as I have that whole 'trying to save money/ have enough stuff already' thing going on. But the day after this year's Canberra Miniature Fair and Dollshouse show I popped in because I needed bigger pot plants for my work plants (even though I'd replanted them already at the beginning of the year), and figured it was the right place to start.

While searching for the gardening department, I stumbled across an entire end of the shed that looked like a craft shop: except it was at the tip. Wandering inside, I spotted a dolls' house on display:
It wasn't until I got closer that I was able to read the sign on the top of it:
and got very excited.
Because what they've done is taken a fairly standard kid's dolls' house and used it as the centre of an area dedicated to showing how everyday discarded items can be used to make minis, and offering a selection of items that you might want to use:
An example: 
I eventually found my plant pots (50 cents each), but also came home with these:
(which were $5 total).
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