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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chapter 87 - The Sliding Windows to the Left Side Second Floor Porch, Two Chairs, A TV


July 26th - 30th 2014

This chapter just has a few objects to provide a little distraction before embarking upon the railings and awnings of the porch.  The windows were straight forward as was the TV (having already made a few) but this time there were two new chairs to construct.

So, first thing I did was to paint the sliding window pieces and the two support pieces the usual brown.  Then to glue up the windows and add the panes.  Last step was to aggressively sand down the piece where the windows get slotted into place.  Then the final two windows were inserted.  Then, I realized this was the last porch window set I would be doing.  Hurrah!!
You can see the space where I had to sand down for fitting the sliding windows.
Windows in and functional!
The next step was the TV.  I did some searches on the net and found that the TV’s in the kit are very closely modeled after actual 1960’s Japanese television sets.  Which is pretty neat that they would be so attentive to such a detail.  But since I already had two TV’s in the house and honestly I didn’t know where to put this one, I decided to make a portable TV.  So I had to look for some pics and I did find quite a few from that time. 
Cheesy 60's portable TV - inspiration.
I liked the color combinations especially (powder blue and beige) but I had to bash the kit a bit to make the TV portable. I cut back the side pieces and rounded the edges.  I then painted the TV a sort of blue (I don’t have any blue! So had to use some light Williamsburg Blue) and the buttermilk.  I then painted the front of the TV grey (it’ll be turned off) and the dials gold.  I also used a 0.05 fine point marker to ink in the black stripe in the front.  After letting the paint dry, I glued the TV into it’s cabinet and painted the whole thing with a bit of varnish.  I then added the antenna to the back and a handle to the top (which was a metal collar clip from my son’s new dress shirt).  I think the TV is pretty funky!  It’ll look better once it’s positioned downstairs in the kitchen.
The TV cabinet before shaping.
After shaping and a little color.
Finished cabinet and TV ready for insertion.

Finished portable TV.

TV ready to entertain the busy cooks.
Next were the two low chairs.  There were quite a few small pieces but went together quickly.  Once glued, I just had to sand the straight edges a bit then paint them black then varnish.  Next were the seat cushions.  I was undecided on these since I was unsure if leather was actually used on these types of chairs.  I really wanted to use the leather even if I couldn’t find many examples of leather cushions so I cut out some pieces on the bias, trimmed them and used double sided tape to attach the leather to the cushion piece.  I am really glad I did use the leather since the final result is quite nice and the leather fabric, being a coated fabric and faux leather, didn’t unravel during the cutting and fitting.  Very clean final look.
The low chairs before sanding and smoothing the edges.
Cutting the second leather piece.

Finished low chairs with leather cusions.
While I was working on these pieces, I had come across an artisan on FaceBook named Antonio Malacario who makes miniatures for manger scenes.  His work, especially the bird cages and iron work, are very detailed and special.  I came across a cage that would look great in the outside kitchen area and seemed small enough to fit.  Unfortunately, by the time I contacted him, it had been used in a manger bell dome scene and he didn’t have any others immediately available.  But he did have some other cages.  After a few sessions of messaging, he came  up with a cage that satisfied me so I purchased it.  (He accepts PayPal).  He was so nice I figured I’d risk it.  Who knew.  Maybe I just threw away €40.00 but at least if it did arrive it would be nice (I hoped).  All my doubts were erased when the package arrived from Naples today less than a week after the purchase.  The cage is absolutely gorgeous!  It’s the beat up look, stained and dirtied, the little door opens and it even has a removable tray under the birds (which he included) and a feed trough which removes as well.  The only thing I changed was that I put some Japanese newspapers in the bottom tray and dirtied it up with some bird poo.  I think it looks great!  I obviously had to figure out a way to hang it from the pergola so I used some leftover pieces from the TV set and made a hook and glued it to the upper pergola.  Fantastic!
Antonio's super bird cage. Door opens and bottom tray slides out.
I added some poo poo'd Japanese newspaper in the tray.

Sliding feed tray for my hefty birds.
Bird cage in place!
And the kicker is he included a few little extra surprises.  A little fork (which will go outside in the outside kitchen cabinet with the hibachi), a small soup container and lid and the best was a LED lamp with a tack like way of attaching to the house.  Basically, I had been thinking of putting a LED outside in the pergola area but I couldn’t find anything that I liked.  I knew it had to be rustic - like a naked bulb or something.  Well, Antonio must have read my mind because this lamp is super perfect!  The only small problem is that the LED is a 12v but I’ll try and figure out a way to light it up! 


Extra little surprises in the package.
"Un caro saluto da Antonio"
What a treat! Like Christmas in July!!
Excellent.