now that I have your attention, my weekend last weekend did actually involve all of the above.Camping
I mentioned in my last post we have a visitor at the moment from the USA who we are doing lots of touristy things with. Well this weekend we planned on going up to the town of Burra (and old mining town on the border of the Flinders Ranges) about 2 hours drive from Adelaide. Friday night after work, DB and I headed up there and managed to find our camp mates and camp doggie Sav, in the pitch dark that is 7:30pm in the middle of nowhere.

Burra Creek Gorge Campground - Image from Camping South Australia .com

Burra Creek Gorge Campground – Image from Camping South Australia .com

I was trying to get in as much as I could over the weekend so I stayed the night had my camp dinner and breakfast with some quality time with Sav dog and then after breakfast, I left back to the town of Burra (we were camping about 15km away). I stopped at Burra only to realise my camera was back at the campsite (which is why I don’t have any photos of the gorgeous town, the surrounding countryside or the bright yellow canola fields I drove passed on the way home).

The reason I only stayed a night, was because on Sunday I had a kitchen tea to go to, and I had some crafting to do before the event. Speaking of crafting, I did stop in the town of Burra, you know, to clean my windows, fill up the tank, check my tyre pressure and all that. I also thought I would look through some gift stores and antique shops before I headed home.  There I found Kookaburra Quilts, which was closing down and had a lot of fabric and stock on sale. Woo hoo!

So I added about 1.5m of fabric to my stash (including a metre from Kate Spain’s line Terrain (yummy!), some ribbon and some ric rac and a couple of tiny doll size woven baskets. That made the 2 hour drive home on my own much more pleasant.

these are the two Kate Spain fabrics I got to add to my stash, from the Terrain collection for Moda

oh… My boss has a Spanish speaking partner who thinks the name of the town Burra is hysterical since it means a girl donkey in Spanish. So because most strange sounding town names around here are Aboriginal names, I went off and googled what Burra means.  The word Burra is used in Aboriginal to signify tribe or people but there is actually a bit of controversy here, since the original town pastor had Indian’s working as shepherds for him- Burra Burra- is said to mean Great Great and to refer to the creek through the town.  There is also a Scottish version of the name (the pastor was Scottish) that is thought to be a bastadisation of the old Norman word borgarfiord which means fortified hill.

Anyway… I think it’s definitely not about a donkey!

Top Hats
The invite called for us to ‘dress like a lady’ for high tea, with gloves and hats. I envisaged one of those teeny top hat fascinators like the one my burlesque zombie self wore to the zombie party in June. I didn’t want to go to a costume store nor buy one, so I decided that I needed to make one.

I’m sure most of us could think about it a bit and figure out how to make a little top hat right? I think I could, but I still chose to look up tutorials.  There are several and most of them are quite good I thought.  I always like to check a few just in case there are awesome ideas in one that are not in the others.

The reason the last tutorial resonated with me was 1 – I loved the lace around the brim idea and 2 – she also has a black and white print in hers, which is what I chose to purchase for mine.  I do have plain black cotton and plain black felt (what self respecting crafter wouldn’t?!) but I wanted my black and white with accent colour.

This is me wearing it, my outfit was all black with crystals on my shoes, black satin gloves, purple ear-rings and nails. At this stage, I still didn’t have my camera back so sorry about my very bad cell phone photo.  My cell phone actually has an excellent camera, but taking a photo of yourself with one very shaky hand (I guess it’s an age thing?) does not correlate to good photos.

Wearing the Mini Top Hat Fascinator I made using Tutorials Online

Wearing the Mini Top Hat Fascinator I made using Tutorials Online

I’ve been procrastinating about this one long enough!
A while ago I purchased my 1000 square butt red cedar shingles for my dollhouse, and it has been laying in my craft cupboard for a while untouched, while the house (as I mentioned in a previous post) had become a storage area for my paints, paintbrushes and other craft tools in the vicinity of the house at the time I started stashing things in there.

So after my drive home from Burra (on Saturday morning) and my crafting of a hat (on Saturday afternoon).  I eventually went outside (the house is under the verandah at the moment, and made a roof template (this is the fancy term for cutting a piece of brown craft paper into the same size of the roof panels).

I did um and ah about whether or not I was going to use shingle dye to dye the shingles as per the instructions here and here. Mostly I thought it sounded quite painful and I didn’t quite get, why it would be so tough to just stain them with a brush and stain?  I guess if it was already on the roof you could mess on the house?

When I read this tutorial at More Minis – who have build constructions of an enormous list (30!) of dollhouses with images for you to follow allong. It sounded like if I made my templates that I could just stain the tiled/shingled template and then stick it on the roof.  Since my roof is literally two rectangles, that sounded quite simple for me to follow.

So I made my templates. Then I went inside and sat down on the bed (yep the bed) with my template, my bag of shingles, my low melt glue gun (low melt because hot melt guns will hurt my dolls!) and an unused Ikea Billy Bookshelf as my ‘work surface’.  I used my quilting ruler (brilliant for drawing parallel lines) and drew my outline guides across each roof panel.

Two Roof Templates (one with not enough Shingles) Prior to Staining

Two Roof Templates (one with not enough Shingles) Prior to Staining

I decided that I wanted my shingles to overlap by half the length of the shingle.  I must not have read enough about how this overlap was going to effect me, because what it means is, I have now run out of shingles 2 rows from the top of my second roof template.

My flawless planning skills *ahem* were probably rocked by my need for pretty overlapping and not realising how that would impact on the surface area that I would be able to cover with my 1000 shingles. (there were less than 15 reject shingles so wastage was not to blame). Alternatively this could be because the house itself (which I have whined about in a previous post) has one side of its apparently symmetric (to the eye) roof a different size to the other.  I knew this because of my template not because of my measurements which I used to calculate how many shingles I needed.

I think that I would like to also shingle my Artesania Latina Casa Europa dollhouse, so I will need to check the measurements for that roof and buy some more.  Once I finish the tiling/shingling –

[aside] actually I just googled that and tiles are supposedly different to shingles?  the definition said that tiles are made of ceramics… erm I disagree. Here in Australia at least we have terracotta, clay, asphalt tiles and some are even referred to as ‘shingle tiles’ so I think the wikipedia references are more related to interpretation by the authors of the term.  To me a tile is something cut into small pieces and placed on something else as a cover – carpet tiles cover the floor,  slate or wood or clay tiles cover the roof, ceramic tiles can cover the floor. Ok… language rant over…

– I will start the stain, as I would imagine even if I was using the same stain from the same can with the same brush, that if I stained the templates now and then stained the next two rows after I received them, there may be variations in the colour. Well I suppose my dollhouse could have had it’s roof repaired and therefore have two rows of different coloured shingles, but for now I will try to stain them in one go.