I made a vow to myself that I would not start working on my 2014 Philadelphia Flower Show entry in the Miniature Settings until I cleaned my workspace. After all, it is how many months since the March 2013 show? I was still unpacking (or just looking forlornly) at the bags of stuff I brought home from that show, so it was time to move on. Now, this may not look totally cleaned and ready to you, but you should have seen the pit that it was! So the surfaces are (almost) cleaned off, the drawers organized with tools and paints, the mini accessories put in protective boxes, furniture in drawers, wood and paper supplies standing in recycled poster tubes.

Here we go!

This is where I actually build the setting. I have a few sketches done on my computer but I will do some hand drawings before starting. I have a book of photos from the movie as reference. The light piece of wood (partly covered by the sketching board) is the correct dimension of the setting and it helps to have this always in view. The cherries in the bowl were very expensive but I deserved them for all the cleaning I did!
This is where I actually build the setting. I have a few sketches done on my computer but I will do some hand drawings before starting. I have a book of photos from the movie as reference. The light piece of wood (partly covered by the sketching board) is the correct dimension of the setting and it helps to have this always in view. The cherries in the bowl were very expensive but I deserved them for all the cleaning I did!
Miniature accessories and props are store in plastic thread boxes (from Michael's)
Miniature accessories and props are store in plastic thread boxes (from Michael’s)
Cardboard poster tubes hold the small pieces of wood and the larger trim. Paper supplies are rolled up or placed on shelves.
Cardboard poster tubes hold the small pieces of wood and the larger trim. Paper supplies are rolled up or placed on shelves.
I've been collecting props and accessories for this project in a drawer until I was ready to start. I have other project drawers for other mini settings I may do in the future.
I’ve been collecting props and accessories for this project in a drawer until I was ready to start. I have other project drawers for other mini settings I may do in the future.

The big advantage to cleaning was finding things I needed, thought I had, but couldn’t figure out where the things were. Here was the dilemma.

I have to build a school playground from the movie:

Playground equipment with birds
Playground equipment with birds

I went to several miniature shows and every online site I could find, looking for playground equipment. No luck, at least not anything that looked like my playground from The Birds. I know I can build it from wood dowels but couldn’t find anything that could be used for those joints, especially the ones of the swing set. But then I found this kit in my workspace rubble that confirmed I had once (years ago) seen something that would work. It was a kit for putting straws together:

Egg Drop Challenge Kit from a project for my son's school. Seems every middle school does this science project. But as miniaturists, we look at those beautiful blue pieces in a different way.
Egg Drop Challenge Kit from a project for my son’s school. Seems every middle school does this science project. But as miniaturists, we look at those beautiful blue pieces in a different way.

MiniElbows

I found a dowel to fit but it was an old one and I only had one. Not a good sign. I will have to go searching for more.
I found a dowel to fit but it was an old one and I only had one. Not a good sign. I will have to go searching for more.

My only fear is the scale is a bit off so now I will try to find other kits like this. But it is a start and at least I know something good can come out of the cleaning.