Sunday, January 8, 2017

In the words of John Lennon....

"Another year over, and a new one just begun."

So - yesterday was the end of the twelve days of Christmas. In true Irish fashion, with the Feast of the Epiphany now over, it was time to take down the Christmas decorations. Therefore I did no minis today at all. However, I did take one photo I thought I would share.

I have been collecting Santas, a.k.a. Father Christmases, for several years now. Each year I get a new one for our collection. I have a few large ones that stand on their own but the smaller ones are displayed on a shelving unit in the living room every year for the month leading up to Christmas and into January. As I was clearing the shelves today in preparation for storing my beloved Santas away for another year, I took each one off the shelf and took them into the dining room to get them out of the way temporarily. After removing the Christmas lights and dusting the shelves, I walked through the dining room to dispose of my dusting cloth. The sight of all my smaller Santas gathered together made me think they were whispering secrets back and forth to each other. I snapped a picture before they could turn away!


I packed things away slowly throughout the afternoon but, you have no idea how much Christmas decorating I do. This is definitely a two to three-day job. So, once I cleared the items from the top of my buffet, I had to replace them with something. Given the time of year I went searching for something more appropriate than the usual bric-a-brac I keep there. Here's my closing picture for the day. (I was careful to stay out of sight of the mirror when I took this picture but I see I captured DH standing in the living room. I won't tell him if you won't!)


Time to get in the mood. So that's my short post for today. I'll be back to minis soon, I hope. TTFN!! - Marilyn

Saturday, January 7, 2017

All aboard!!!

I had the most amazing visit with my friend Louise today. I just had to share it with you. Remember a while back I had told you Louise was building a Via Rail railway station with a Tim Hortons on the 2nd floor? Well, she's almost finished and it is really amazing.

Knowing this is what she was planning, last spring I made some birthday gifts for her. You can check out two of my earlier posts: "All is Revealed" (signs I made for the Via Rail section), and "Tim Hortons is Everywhere" (bagels, doughnuts, cookies, and metal trays I made for the Tim Hortons section). Luckily she was able to make use of them in her project. Here are some pictures I took this afternoon that show how far she's gotten. Unfortunately the pictures are not as clear as I would like but you can still see the incredible amount of work she has put into this oh so Canadian project!! (Remember to click on a picture if you want to see a larger version of it).

First we'll take a tour around the outside of the building. In this shot you can clearly see the lower level train station and the mezzanine which houses the Tim Horton's. Don't you love the large piece of artwork hanging on the second floor wall? It's absolutely perfect for the setting. Exactly what you would expect to find in this kind of building. The elevator doors are just closing downstairs. You can see the interior lights and the mirrored back wall of the elevator interior. Someone must be tucked into the corner, heading upstairs for a coffee and a treat!


From this angle you can better see the upstairs coffee shop. Outside is a bus shelter for people journeying on from here, or maybe busing in from elsewhere to catch the train. Of course you can also see one of the flamingos in the landscape. Louise has never met a flamingo she doesn't like! What a great "signature", clearly showing it must be a project by Louise! The green around the windows is masking tape. Louise is still deciding on the finish she wants for the roof so is keeping the window trim protected in preparation for a paint job on the roof.


Here we see a view of the back of the station. The train tracks stop shy of the sliding glass doors. A luggage cart is ready to be loaded or unloaded. Peaking out from behind the wall on the right you can just see the top of the bus stop shelter. Did you notice a familiar sign above the sliding glass doors? It's important for our mini people just arriving to know where to go to catch the bus or a ride to the airport!


From the side you can clearly see that it is a Via Rail station. Another familiar sign?? Also - a better view of one of the resident flamingos.


Moving around the corner toward the entry doors, we can see one set of arrival/departure screens hanging on the wall, and the view through to the back train platform.


Now we'll walk through to scope out the inside. Come on in! I love how Lousie captured the look of etched glass for a VIA sign and the etched stripes on the glass.


Inside, the first thing you notice is the lovely piece of luggage and the shopping bag waiting for it's owner to retrieve them. Maybe that's who was in the elevator on their way to Tim Hortons? They know they would still be able to see their luggage from upstairs so it's perfectly safe! Also - notice the little extra touch of the model trains being displayed on shelves above the seats in the waiting area. Wanting to make sure all of the seats were exactly the same size and shape, Louise made a mold first, then used it to reproduce multiple copies in a royal blue FIMO. Then she added the labels and affixed the chair bases.


Looking in from the train platform, we see another set of arrival/departure screens and we also notice that one of the wickets is currently closed. Must be a slow day. Louise even included the appropriately painted garbage can/ashtray in the corner of the seating area.


Looking down from above you can see the details Louise has included - from the clip board hanging on the wall to the one on the clerk's desk, the pencil on the desk and those in the pencil holder, and the eye glasses and scissors. I love the style of clock she chose - perfect for a train station! It's nice and large and easy for busy passengers to read. The "employees Only" sign on the door behind the desk is also a really nice touch.


Here we have a closer look at the beautiful piece of luggage Louise was able to pick up last April when she was at the Montreal Miniatures Show. I wonder if this traveller has only one suitcase - travelling light?


Moving out to the train platform we take a closer look at the loaded luggage cart. Wait a minute! Maybe the passenger isn't travelling light after all. Don't these pieces match the one inside? They even have a set of golf clubs with them! Nice travel case for their clubs, isn't it?


Take a look at the detail on these train tracks - from the stony grit of the rail bed to the nail heads on the tracks themselves. What a great job!


Around the corner in the bus shelter, someone has been naughty! They've been painting graffiti on the inside of the glass walls! Luckily it should be easier to clean than it would have been had they painted on the nice large advertising poster inside the shelter.


Now let's head upstairs for a coffee. It was really difficult getting pictures of the second floor so I do apologize for the fuzziness. This first one was taken through the upstairs window. You can just make out the image Louise used on the back wall which makes it look like a section of tables and chairs for the Tim Hortons customers. Great technique for creating depth in a scene.


This one is, unfortunately, really fuzzy but you can see the counter with the order screen, the box of Timbits, the coffee cup waiting for a refill - even the debit machine! In the cabinet next to the counter are trays of bagels, doughnuts, cookies and Timbits. Now where have I seen those before? You can also see the seating area beyond. And, of course, I see that the "Roll up the rim to win!" contest is being advertised on top of the doughnut case.


Here you can see the shiny elevator doors. I also really like the flooring used throughout with the little blue tiles. It's perfect for the station!


Last, but not least, I tried to get my camera in as far as possible to catch the back of the doughnut case. Yep, these look really familiar, don't they??


So - there's a run-through of Louise's 2016 Camp Mini Ha Ha project. I think it's phenomenal now. It will be totally unbelievable when she gets her last little bits done. Absolutely fabulous job, Louise! Great attention to detail.

I hope you all enjoyed checking out this project as much as I did! TTFN!! - Marilyn