Saturday, 30 May 2009

Day 71-The Emperor's Emporium

It has been a long and frustrating journey, the making of this tent aka "The Emperor's Emporium". I believe I had wanted to make a tent even before I wanted to build the temple (Day 42) and when I saw what Mercedes first made for me, my resolve became even stronger. You see, in the beautifully wrapped "Palace Parfumerie" box are tiny gorgeous little bottles screaming to be displayed.

So came the Evil Maharajah Ranjit Singh, my carpet/perfume/hookah trader on Day 48 and the urgency grew. Although I have this book called "Making Miniatures" by Christiane Berridge with a tutorial on Arabian tent, you will have to drill holes (stumped!). I also didn't understand the steps for making the tent top as there was sewing involved.

Nevertheless, I started gathering supplies, bought a piece of plywood and thought I would just go from there, still not knowing how to make the walls. After I glued some really nice sticker on it, I junked it as it was too dark.

A light bulb moment when I went to Arab Street and found beautiful handwoven Kashmiri carpets which I thought would be great for the walls. Another such moment when I saw barbecue skewers! Woohoo, that's how I can make the walls stand! I also have a table mat made of bamboo which I thought would be great for the floor. What about the top? Paper mache!

I was getting very excited because although that was a mere paragraph describing my thought process, I had been cracking my head for at least 2 months on this ! I was getting anxious as I had even spun stories around the non-existent palace tent (Day 62 ). I set to work with high hopes and

took pictures of my progress in case people want to know how I make my spectacular tent. You can imagine how I felt when it turned out like this:

To torture myself, I let this structure stand on my dining table for 2-3 weeks until last Saturday when I went over to Chris' to see his even more damaged building. It did nothing for my ego. By the way, I posted his work on my projects blog if you want a closer look.

The trip was really fruitful though for Chris showed me this wonderful material called Simona (?). Anyway, it's like the inside of the cover of a Bodyshop scrub which I used to make the table on Day 43. And it stand! Like a block of wood! Just glue! He also showed me how to cut a circle with string, nail and penknife to make the tent-top. I was not that adventurous though and took the easy way out. So my tent last night looked like this:

No pics of progress for obvious reasons.

The best part was of course doing up the interior which took me from 10pm to about 7.30am this morning.

I knew I had to change the top so I consult with SuZ, my sister and the palace architect when I tricked her, my mum and dad to come over to my place- we live 3 minutes from each other.

In 2 minutes, she found the right material in my house and taught me how to build the top. I used an old pillow case from India, which was already torn, for the "canvas". It was not the greatest work and very filmsy but at least, it look like a tent.


Interior (10 1/2" W, 11", 11 1/2 H)
As you can see, I have used almost all the carpets I featured earlier in this tent for the obvious reason that this tent belongs to a carpet seller. I was really thrilled to find, from the cloth stash that SuZ gave me, the "straw" weave fabric which I used for the lower half of the walls. Top half featured the mini carpets from Turkey. This is how the carpet sellers at Arab Street show off their better looms. By the way, the shape of the tent is cross sectioned heptagonal, if you know what I mean.

The screaming bottles
Set above sits on the rugs that Mercedes gave me. The next set is displayed with Mahendra's Roses of Misgivings that took me a ridiculous 4 hours to arrange. There are like 20 more beautiful bottles which I will use in the other houses and The Palace.

My hookahs on My Indian Side Table

The best find of the week
I gasped out loud when I found these mini elephants on Friday, because they stand at an exquisite 1/2" ! I think people around me thought I swallowed some because I was quite loudly choking from my gasps. These elephants are displayed on my favourite coffee table, the one that Taenia gave me on Day 62.

Home with Ranjit Singh
I know you can't tell but he is very pleased. He is also admiring the chandeliers. The blue one was bought in India and the 2 silver ones at the side are Christmas ornaments from last year that I bought on Day 11. (My goodness, I didn't even know how to upload my own pictures back then!) Look closely and you can see Ranjit relaxing against Sylvia's pillow. Her other one is on my Indian Carpet Low Chair. Green tassels were bought from Little India.

External (20" high from floor to top of tent)
Expanded picture reveals camels. I know you think they are the palace camels. Wrong! I have since acquired 3 more! I have also bought 4 more cargo cum "supporting" elephants.

Base Support (5" high)
Why? Hmm, because I like high ceilings? And if you are wondering how you climb up to the tent, here's how:

Tent Top- (enough said)

If you are wondering why Sylvia is in the picture, well, you will find out soon enough..perhaps the next post?

Those chairs were upholstered by Mercedes in the prettiest Mughal fabric.

Sissy (my favourite palace animal)


You know, the tent has been really good for Ranjit's business. He even managed to sell the worst of his carpet collection. That evil man had wickedly insisted that he would deliver it by 1st class mail to the unsuspecting fool. Look how Ranjit carefully rolled the merchandise up so no one could tell it is trapezium instead of straight!!?

"What a wonderful day!" thought Ranjit and of course, he celebrates the end of his day by gleefully partaking in a double hosed hookah tokes with his best and only pal


Liberty Biberty said...

Wonderful! All those carpets look fantastic! I love the tiny elephants. How you can stay awake ALL night is beyond me! You've done a great job here, now go out and get yourself a drill. It took a year but I eventually overcame my fear of power tools and you can too!

Pubdoll said...

Wonderful work Sans!
The tent is magnificent and so is the interior!
The carpets are really beautiful!
And I love the tiny elephants! I have a thing for indian elephants and they look a bit like an elephant with howdah-painting I have.
In fact it's painted on a dry leaf!

rosanna said...

Are you sure that you have not done minis for all your life? I think it's gorgeous. I took all the time I needed and I watched at it very carefully, making each pic bigger. Everything is so good but what I love most is the IDEA !!! I should have never thought of a tent. I'm only afraid for your mind ( and body) sanity: you cannot stay up ALL night to do minis. Unforgivable, but understandable ;o))
BTW do you remember what you said about being psichic? I am going to post something about carpets as well. Nothing even comparable to yours, ust a few souvenirs from Djerba.
To make it short: BRAVA BRAVISSIMA

Sans said...

Yes, Madam! I am going to write "I will overcome" a hundred times! lol. You know, Merce, I traced the email I sent you where I 1st mentioned building a tent or a carpet shop. It was on 19/3/09!! Also found another one which says I bought the carpet since 19/4/09. Thanks for listening to my woes in all the in-between email when I complained about The Making of Tent. For that, you win something. Look out for another parcel ..hehe

Helene, very kind of you for using the word "magnificent", lol. Show me the painting please if you take a picture. You did not list an email address so maybe you can email me? I have something for your Oriental Room :) and something for Helmer. One of my girls have a crush on Helmer and kept looking at the pic of him on the Vespa.

Awwww, Rosanna, what you said really means a lot. You know why. Although I have never been doing minis, I have been doing real life styling (house/interiors) as a hobby for as long as I remember. Started with decorating the wall next to my bed when I was sleeping in a triple decker bed (my mum designed that) with my 2 other sisters in a very cramped flat. I think I was about 10. I am blessed with needing very little sleep lol. If I stay up the whole night, I crash 2 or 3 days later. If I have

I wish you guys are here to see the room "live". It is impossible to take picture of a room or tent. They come out crooked. lol. For once, my pictures are not as good as the real thing. Usually I make sure they are better ..haha

Sans said...

Oh Rosanna, forgot to tell you I am dying to see what you bought in Tunisia. Can you show ALL? Did you buy mini carpets? If I were there, I will go broke shopping shopping shopping because I love Islamic art. They must have so many things I love.

Texas Belle said...

This looks fantastic! The tent idea is so clever, and I love the carpet walls. Your creativity is so inspiring!

Sans said...

Hey Belle, thanks! Strange I was thinking as I worked on the tent how gifted you truly are because you came with 0 experience as well? And you are so good with construction. I struggled big time, lol.

Hertta said...

Great job - again, Sans!
Inspiration and hard work are the key words !!!
And a little bit of lunacy doesn't hurt in miniworld ; D

Sans said...

Ahhhh Helena, that is said so well, except I think it is Inspiration, Hard work and A LOT of lunacy. My mates just don't understand how I can spend so much of my resources on this. But making them make us soooo happy and that's what matters right? I am going to quote you from now on.

Jean Day said...

Love the elephant bases, so uplifting! The tent is amazing, love all the carpets and they way you made it. I am so delighted that you share this project with everyone, I love reading your stories!

Mini Hugs, Jean

Sans said...

Dear J4ean, I am always so happy when you visit the blog and give me your encouraging comments.They mean so much to me. And like you said on your post, spur me to do more. Thank you so much! Can't wait to see more of your flower shop which I follow very closely.

Meli said...

Sans as always what can I say to your works and stories!!!! Is just wonderful!!!
Love Meli

Sans said...

Ola Meli!!! Thank you for popping by the blog and looking at my tent :). Really appreciate your encouragement. Have you started on your carpet yet?? I can't wait to see it !

Mary said...

Sans, I sent you an email!!

Sans said...

Mary! Wow, THANK YOU! May I show you the Indian side table I made with the fans on Day 48 ? Will love your thoughts on it. I am going to reply to your email this evening when I return home from work! Don't go away LOL! By the way, thank you again for taking the trouble to email me the pics. It is great!!

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