Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 Creatin' Contest Kit is here!

The new Creatin' Contest kit is HERE, you guys! I'm so excited. Who else is entering in the contest this year? Is anyone just building along but not entering?


As soon as I saw this kit I knew it would be perfect for an idea I had been thinking about... Then I received the kit in the mail and didn't realize how LARGE it is! I didn't expect it to have this much room! But I think I may still stick with my idea and run with it... We'll have to see though...


ALSO I've been most active on Instagram these days! You can find me by searching "The Miniature Bazaar" and you can also follow along with all the other things I'm making (non miniature related stuff) on my "Christopher Blake Handmade" accounts!

So excited! I'll talk soon!

P.S. For some reason I wasn't able to log back in to the YouTube channel I created for my miniatures... or even find the one video I uploaded?! So I created a new one! You can find my YouTube channel HERE, and my general art channel HERE. I recorded the unboxing and dry fit of this kit, and I plan on sharing all my progress there! So go subscribe if you'd like!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Creatin' Contest 2016 Blogger Campaign Entry - And BIG Projects Behind The Scenes

Hey mini friends! How have you all been?! I've missed you guys so much! I have been up to LOTS. Like... LOTS. I'll tell you guys all about my other projects, but first I want to show you what I did for the HBS miniatures.com Blogger Campaign! They sent me a kit in exchange to share my progress with everyone- I shared the most on my Instagram so if you want to see more pictures, head over there! Find me @theminiaturebazaar on Instagram!


I wanted to go for something simple. Almost minimalist- due to time constraints and when I began this project I wanted to also enter the contest. However, it's clear now I won't have time for that! (More on that later in the post)


The idea is that this is a remote cabin where someone goes to create. As you can see in some of these pictures, there are some dollhouses in the works! Those were made by my SUPER talented friend Karine over at Kayanah Miniatures.


However at the time of this photo shoot our inhabitant was taking a break from building dollhouses to carve some pumpkins! And sneak a sweet snack... or two... or five...


Some of my favorite elements of this build are the extended windows and the chevron reclaimed wood wall. The larger windows let in so much more light, so I didn't have to do any electrical work. The reclaimed wood (inspired haha) wall was a labor of love, but the end result was exactly what I wanted. You can see it more clearly in the last picture! 


The living room set was purchased from a local craft store. I really loved how the blue accented the grays and neutral tones the build has.


Of course we had to have pumpkins on the porch. The haunting season is upon us, after all! If you look closely in the following image you can find a furry little friend trying to sneak a snack for himself... Go on little fella, we all deserve some candy during this time of the year!


That's pretty much it for this project! I'd love to make some additions in the future, but for now I just don't have the time I thought I would! I want to thank HBS/miniatures.com for including me in this campaign. They have been so incredibly patient and understanding. I had some issues with the right image size, time constraints, etc- but they worked with me! I already can't wait to see the kit for next year and the entries for this year!! The deadline is December 16 so if you want to enter, you still have plenty of time! I won't be entering this year, but I will TOTALLY be following along!

If you would like to read more about some of the other things going on (some are actually miniature related!) then please read on!

First I want to mention that I have been doing a series of local craft shows/festivals. The first one for the season was the Indie Craft Parade in Greenville, SC. I am debuting my felt flowers at these, so don't worry if you thought you missed some miniatures! I did a small festival in the city we live in, Easley. And in a couple weeks I will be at another festival near here in Traveler's Rest, SC. Here are some of the most recent felt things I have made-


This is a little bundle of mistletoe I am starting to make for the coming holidays! And the following picture is the pergola I built with my dad for our booth display, all filled up before the Easley Fall for the Arts Festival.


Besides all the festivals, I have been packing for a family trip to Disney world. We're leaving on the 8th and coming back on the 14th (of October).

However, the biggest thing I want to tell you guys is that Easley has been holding a competition called the Main Street Challenge. Essentially they are granting small businesses with funds to help within the first year of business in an actual BRICK-AND-MORTAR STORE! So as you might assume, I entered. I have actually made it to the second round which requires me to create an in-depth business plan and create a 30 minute presentation. My business plan is essentially done, I just have to fine-tune and print it. The presentations are October 20th. If this works in my favor I could potentially have a place to sell all of my handmade goods AND have more space to work. This has been my issue for the longest time... I have only had so much space to store what I have made & the supplies, tools, packaging materials, etc.

I will of course keep you guys updated, but my personal goal is to bring all of my handmade lines together under my name. It's exhausting running multiple micro-businesses, but if I shift my thinking to them being separate product lines underneath one business I might find more peace in the chaos. I already have a website up and running and you can check it out, here - christopherblakehandmade.com  . I would love to get back to making miniatures like I was before and this would be the perfect opportunity to do that while also building my other lines and my overall business as a whole.

The website is a work-in-progress, along with everything else, but it's coming along! I wanted to let you guys in on whats going on so that you know where I have been and can maybe keep me in your thoughts  in the coming weeks!

Thank y'all so much for stopping by and I will check back in whenever I have some news!
X
-Blake

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Artist's Studio 1:12 Scale Build | June Updates

Hello lovelies! As I type this it is 11:45 at night, we just spent an ENTIRE week getting "our new place" ready for us to move in, and we have to be on the road to the coast tomorrow to meet our family at the beach for a week-long getaway!


I haven't had a chance to do *much* work on the artist's studio (TAS for short, because I'm lazy). However, I will show you what I have done since we last caught up! As you can see in the picture above I widened my windows! Since I have two kits- I used the window inserts from both to make up a larger window. All it took was a little bit of work with a jigsaw and instant light!


As I've said before, I love adding more natural light into a build- partially because I am intimidated by adding electrical elements, but also because it gives the build so much more air-y-ness! Over the last couple weeks I also started on the walls.


I used those pesky flooring sheets from Hobby Lobby- I still have no idea how you are SUPPOSED to use these, but I manage to use them a different way every time I get them. I made an oxidation mixture with vinegar and steel wool. Essentially you dissolve some steel wool in a jar of vinegar and it does amazing things to the wood! After a few more touches- whitewash with some chalk paint, a little sanding, some brown paint here and there- I got a pretty authentic looking reclaimed wood finish!


Personally, I love how it's coming along. I imagine a very light and airy cabin by the lake- or maybe up in the mountains. This is all the pictures I have today, but I promise to have more soon!

Okay, a little bit of what I've been up to- like I said earlier, I am moving! Which means I haven't had a place to work for the last couple weeks and it might be driving me a little crazy. The good news is that I have a pretty sweet setup in our new place and I am VERY MUCH looking forward to using it when we get back from the beach! We'll be there a week, and I have to say we REALLY deserve this vacation. And... I need a tan like you wouldn't believe!

Thanks for checking in, I will be in touch soon!
x - Blake

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