Monday, November 18, 2013

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Hello dear blog friends!

I hope you all are doing well. I'm very sorry to have been absent for so long.  It's been a challenging couple of months as I juggle things between work and home life.  However, I promise to catch up on all your blogs soon.  I see there are some wonderful projects going on.  They look amazing!

I would like to extend a warm welcome to the new followers of my blog.  I am flattered that you have joined and I am enjoying reading about all of your work too.  Thank you so much for hopping aboard my blog.  I hope you enjoy reading my humble posts.  Please feel free to leave comments any time.

As you may know from my last post, I was working on my very first project titled "The Blue Room."  This roombox was to be displayed at the Midwest Miniature Guild general meeting during the first Saturday of October.  After a few weeks of intense work and three nights in a row of staying up until 3:30 a.m. (and getting up at 6:00 a.m. for work the same morning), I managed to finish the box.  Everything was done--lighting, picture frames and portraits, walls, ceiling, windows, door--everything except the furniture.

OMG, what a disaster.  The same week I was to display my work, I took a look at all the furniture kits I purchased.  I realized there was absolutely no time to finish them for the coming Saturday show.  Luckily, John Elsner from Merriman Park sold me some extra furniture pieces he had in storage.  Phew!  I was saved.  So the Thursday before the show, I took the pieces and started to do a faux wood finish on them with oil paint and liquin.  I woke up the next morning and went right into my studio to see how they were looking.  Thinking that the paint would be dried, I picked up one of the pieces.  Urg!  The piece stuck to my hand like it was covered in glue.  Not only did I ruin the paint job, I realized that this furniture was never going to try in time for the show.  I started to get a dreadful panicky feeling in my stomach and thought all the money and time I had spent was going down the tubes.  But John again came through and loaned me some of his furniture from his beautiful music room at Merriam Park.  A big thank you to John!

Here below are the pictures from the show.  I think for my first project it turned out ok.  There are many things I would do differently, but live and learn I guess.  I included the program note below too.

The Blue Room 
by Brad Bradshaw

For my first miniature project I wanted to create a simple roombox that allowed me the chance to practice several basic techniques. The Blue Room was started after Carol Blanchfield asked me if I would like to display my work at the Midwest Miniature Guild meeting in October. After I spoke with Carol, I swallowed my fear and quickly got started on what has turned out to be a fun learning experience.

My goals for this room were to practice making several items from scratch—double hung windows, a paneled door, decorative ceiling mouldings, hardwood flooring, and a fireplace with marble surround and brick chimney box.

Although the room is far from historically accurate, the design and decorations are loosely based on the Georgian and Regency styles. I imagined this room as a small parlour belonging to the Bennett family of Jane Austen’s book Pride and Prejudice. I filled the room with paintings of historical figures and pieces of art including a small jade Buddha statue, an alabaster cherub figurine, and a mismatch collection of dishes and books.

The printed floral rug is by Terry Foster and the furniture is on loan from John Elsner, a Minneapolis miniaturist whose work was recently featured in Miniaturas magazine.

I hope you enjoy this piece.

I am finishing up the furniture that I started in October.  I need to reupholstering the couch, make a few pillows and tassels, and fasten hardware.  I'll post some updated pictures of the furniture in the room.  In the meantime, here's a picture of a few pieces in process.

To close I now wish you all many warm blessings and hope you are enjoying your minis too.  Many friendly wishes to you.  Take care and I'll be in touch again soon.


  1. Hi Brad! Oh my, there was happening in lot in your life: sad things, but good things too....real life can be difficult and hard. I hope you'll feel better soon.
    Your Blue Room is gorgeous, you can be proud of yourself. After all what happened I hope you enjoyed the meeting? It was very kind of John he offered to help you when you needed some. How awful what happened with the furniture you've painted, was it completely spoiled, or can you fix it?
    Take care! Hugs, Ilona

  2. Hello Brad,
    I was so excited and happy to see the incredible blue room post, but now am quite sad to hear your sad news. I am very sorry Brad, you will be in my thoughts.
    Big hug,

  3. The blue room is an absolute delight! You've certainly had more than your fair share of challenges in both real life and the mini version recently but you seem to have an indomitable spirit and it will carry you through I am sure. Looking forward to seeing your next project!

  4. Hi Brad
    your room is lovely, just lovely, Im sorry to hear about your troubles but things do get better I can assure you of that.


  5. Hi Brad,

    This is a great little room. Well done on all your hard work - though staying up late is always easier when you are passionate about what you are doing! Keep the pictures coming!


  6. Hi Brad,

    Sorry I'm so late with my comment but I wanted to compliment you on the great photos you took of the Blue Room. It almost looks as good as it did in person.

    Thanks for the compliment. And you already know how badly I feel about your break up. Hang in there, my friend.