Friday, 19 June 2009

Day 76 & 77- Electrify!

LET THERE be light and there was Light, on Day 77.

I don't know why I had "electrifybia", maybe it was because everyone I know told me it's hard. The articles I read said it's a pain . The must-do, must-have list is a mile long and I kept forgetting what they are. Of course, the fact that there is no dedicated dollhouse shops here where I can just buy a pack of "everything -you -need -to -electrify" adds to my dread. That's why it is already Day 77 and I have yet to start on Termite House because everyone says you need to electrify 1st so that all the wires can be hidden behind the wallpaper/ceiling/floor boards.

Many things happened on Day 76. One of them was this strange resolve that I must get the lights done. It suddenly became numero uno on my Urgent-To-Do list after lying dormant for 7 months. Must be the Light Award...Anyway, I took off at 3pm from work and called Treewizard Chris to check where I should go for mini light-fittings. I don't know how but I was persuaded to drop by his place. He said I MUST check out these "fantastic LED lights that turns on when your hand move over the sensor". Wow !! Ok, so I took a cab and rushed down only to be shown this awful gadget. "OMG! It will look like a spaceship stuck on the ceiling of my tent !" I protested! By the way, you turn the lights off with a switch!! Sensor works only with "on". Shikes!

I made Chris give me one of his trees to appease me . So that's the other thing that happened that day.
I got this beautiful Darwin tree in 1:24 scale. It came with a black base which I modified that night so that it looked like a shrub growing up from the floor of the tent. I also added some more moss and the ferns (made by Chris with paper) to the tree.

While I was at it, I also modified the 4 flower pots Mercedes gave me earlier (Day 63) and this is the transformation process:

I didn't like the 1st version so I redid them again.

As you can tell, in line with the yarn factory, I changed the flowers into cotton plants. A very unruly bunch too. I liked using real materials from my garden for plants because you can't make them any more real than that. So the dried leaves, moss, barks are all real. I dried them and painted them a bit but not the fern leaves which are so beautiful just being themselves. Cotton flowers are made with real cotton.

That was some digression but I did say many things happened that day. Back to the lights..

And so, after 2 quick glasses of coke light and a cup of ginger tea with Chris, I went home, dumped my bags and headed straight for Sim Lim Tower, THE place for L.E.D lights. I forgot to mention that both Chris and FaiZ told me to use LED. All this rushing had given me a headache which grew worse at Sim Lim. It is one of those places where everyone there know exactly what they are doing or at least what they want. There I was, not even knowing what to look for! After asking 6 shopkeepers and another call to Chris, I found Shing Lee Hardware (Pte) Ltd.

At first, the lady at the shop was irritated with me because she kept telling me I had to let her know exactly what I need or want done before she could help. Luckily I had the good sense to bring down my "chandeliers" to show her that I wanted to convert them into lights. I also drew for her where I want them placed in the tent with dimensions of the tent.

She warmed up after a while since I was not a complete dud. She's used to working with students in their art projects and told me I made the chandeliers beautifully. I didn't have the heart to tell her they are christmas decor but I did confess that they were not made by me. Anyway, 10 minutes later, she showed me how a row of LED lights could tranform my ornaments into bringers of joy. I am so, so pleased with my lady angel of light. I thanked her like a million times.

What they do is they solder the row of LED lights (these come in multiples of 3 depending on how bright you need them to be) to wires (you have to let them know how long) and then to the adaptor (or power source which already steps up or down the voltage). As my tent will need 3 lights, powered by the same source, her colleague soldered 4 wires together, 3 of which with a row of 6 LED lights and the other with a switch. So when everything was done, they look like this.

I am completely in love with this little switch. He really turned me on! Seriously though, I think I am a lucky gal if little switches can make me so happy. This is where my darling ended up:

It's on the left side of the tent where Chris' shrub is. I made a little cement holder for it with Blu-tack.

I showed SuZ my light fittings and she gave me some suggestions on how to place the bulbs. I went to work on it the very next day after work. And it was easy peasy (Merce), lemonade pancake (Rosanna). Really! I took longer making my Indian stool and for the amount of time I spent on my baskets, I can wire 3 houses, ok, make that 4!

Too bad I can't photograph this better but I swear by LED. They really add a sparkle to hanging lights and they are so unobtrusive, you can't really tell that they are there. I am not sure if they are expensive but here is the breakdown of the costs for everything:

LED lights: S$2 each but she gave me S$6 discount and charged me S$30 for 18 bulbs.
Wires: S$1.50 for the whole lot
Grand total :S$53.00

This has to be the cheapest therapy ever for my fear is now completely gone. I am already planning to go back to my angel of light with the requirements for Termite House.

After I fixed the lights, I knew I had to change the tent top. This has been the bane and pain of my whole tent experience. Here's the evolution of the tent top:

The black and white one was done by my dear sis, SuZ who gave me a very good structure. I changed the pillow case into a torn white Indian piece (thankful I could never throw away anything Indian even though it was really torn to bits, owned it for 20+ years) that had laces at the fringe and pick the striped orange cloth from SuZ's stash. The top piece is a cloth coaster I bought in Little India for S$1.

In that stash, I found gorgeous cloth samples from India . They were perfectly scaled for mini carpets and so I hung them at the side of the tent where the yarn factory is.

I had wanted to hang coloured threads as Katie had suggested but when I saw these colours, which matched my "Dye" post, I knew I had to use these. So beautiful that all my girls were immediately drawn to the tent. I added uncoloured balls of cotton yarn next to the wheels , ominously, I hope, as a warning to my unsuspecting girls.

On this side, you can also see the subsidiary company of The Emperor's Emporium, "The Emporium Freight Forwarders Co" and here's the ever expanding staff members:

The main change for the left side is the new home for Sissy and of course, my new love, the Switch
The love seats are still there with a new plant.

For the front, I have added a ladder, some pots with ingredients for the dye (left) and cotton plants (right)

For the inside, I have changed the legs to Taenia's table .

The emporium also now sells elephant candle holders standing next to Kiva's perfect pastries.

And I have placed an immaculate beauty Fafa found in my garden, at the feet of Maharajah Ranjit Singh.
I told her I would post it on the blog and claim that I made it . Eat your heart out, Jayne, stamens that you can see!

And so here it is, my Tent project in all it's entirety sitting alongside my next project..

Thank you for being a part of this. I couldn't have done it without you.


Ara said...

Sans! I could just stare at these pictures all day to find all the goodies you've packed into this project!! It's really a gem and now sparkles like one too!! The lights look great! And I will be sending the link to this post to my husband. I love LED's and knows how to solder (sp?) and everything so I can say to him, "See... I want this" haha.

Sans said...

Ara, I owned a soldering iron for almost 10 years already and it is still in its original packaging !! Recently I went and bought the alloy and I don't know, it may join the iron . The man at the shop made it looked real easy but I think I will just pay him the S$5 and wait 15 mins while he solder everything. You are lucky hubby can do it for you :). I am thrilled you liked my lights :). I don't think I can ever have a house with no lights after this!Makes a world of difference.

Pubdoll said...

And Sans said: Led there be light!
It's gorgeous and I love the "Christmas" lights!
The cloth samples look great with the wheels and it's all coming together so beautifully!
I'm so happy to see it finished and I'm so sad to see it finished, I have so loved following the progress!

rosanna said...

Such a brilliant idea!! I want my led too!!! I thought of them but I'm scared by electricity. Now I know that it can be handled. I love your lights and you have been very clever with the plants. Today I thought to cotton flowers, give me some time and I'll show you what I meant.Very very good! Is that the Termite Cottage for the gipsies?
I DO LOVE IT!!! I want my house in Singapore. Big hugs

Liberty Biberty said...

WoooooHoooooooo!!!!!! You did it!!! The tent looks fantastic! The lights do make such a difference don't they?! You'll be using that soldering iron in no time, one day you just won't be able to wait to go and see the man at the shop and you'll just do it!
Those plants have never looked so good!!
Can't wait for the transformation of the termite house.

Sans said...

Ohhhh Helene *groan and kicking myself! I should have thought of that..LOL. Thank you too for all these encouragements and the many comments you left me. I mean it when I say I couldnt have done it without my friends, virtual or otherwise :) because sometimes, these tiny things can be so frustrating? And the high standards exhibited by everyone just makes me try harder, and again and again. Knowing you guys are here to let me know what you think is really almost as good as going to a mini club meeting! And getting over that dread, it's really because you guys tell me it's easy peasy or as Merce had said "go get it done already!" lol! Now I have to learn soldering and drilling and then sawing and then I will be a real apprentice miniaturist!!

Sans said...

Rosanna,electricity will be like making lemonade pancake to you! Too easy! After this, you will want to have remote control and a switch for each room or say "Lights, dining room!" and voila! Chris old me can be done It's very very satisfying, when you click on the tiny switch and the whole room lights up. I sit directly across the tent on the dining table when I work on my laptop and watch it with lights and it is like looking at a Christmas tree..makes me smile. I will go to Genoa to help you with the LED if you are still scared by the time you build Casa Rosa!! hehe but you better have loads of souffle for me and I want to go to Portofino and dine with Catherine Zeta Jones! By the way, if I have my way with the gypsy house, it will be the one I love the most..maybe even more than the palace!

Mercedes, you are my other angel of light! Thanks for "kicking my butt" about it even though you got Ann to do yours!! *evil laugh! and all the email and tolerating my repeated boring whine about " I really should go get lights..blah blah blah" YOU, my dear, LED me out of darkness!By the way, the shop is 10 mins away from my house if I walk and they open on weeekends. But I promise I will learn to drill and solder only because I really love hardware else shares my fetish? You are too good to be true, Merce.How can anyone be good at the sewing machine and the drill at the same time! Most unfair!

Ana Anselmo said...

Beautiful! I love every detail you put in it!!!!!! (all my houses and room-boxes are electrified, it is easy to do it, really, and you said, it make all the diference.

Sans said...

Thank you so much, Ana! Great start to the week to have someone's approval :)! I am now thin king of whether I want to wire the little temple I built on Day 44 & 45 :). I am going over to check how your little bat is doing !

Katie said...

LOL....Guess one day I'll have to give in and try some lights, too!

I love what you have so far, never realized you had soo many people!! The tent is all the detail! Right down to those carpets you have hanging on the side!!! Can't wait to see what you do next!! :)

Sans said...

MY dear Katie, thank you for dropping by !! You have given me so many good suggestions in the process of making this tent! Last night, I was still trying out the soda bottle top idea to see if the top can have a more interesting shape but I think this will do for now ! lol.. I want to move on to my new project and after I finish my research, I am going to start.

Meli said...

Sans the tent is incredible!!! Your are doing an outstanding work and is always a pleasure to come and see your blog!!! It's full of details plus reading it is just great!!!

Sans said...

Meli!! Sooooo happy you came by and see my tent :):). You are always so encouraging! Have you started on your carpets yet? I am finishing my 2nd one soon , maybe another 2 weeks :).

Texas Belle said...

Lol, you are a riot! I always look forward to your posts because you have an amazing sense of humor. I, too, have been putting off electrifying my house - I'm so intimidated. Seeing you finally tackle this, though, gives me a lot of encouragement. The tent looks amazing!

Sans said...

Belle, after you are done electrifying that beautiful manor of yours, do post it up and tell the world what a piece of cake it is! If you can get someone to solder everything and test the wires, even better. And LED! Always Not sure if you are making your own lights but I am now convinced that it is better to make your own and customise the wiring by someone who is good. I think much of the pain come from having to test connections.Imagine hiding all the wires only to realise one small connection is loose or one of your electric lights are spoilt! The words that will come of my mouth!!

Tallulah~Belle said...

Way to go looks fantastic :-)

Stamens huh lol.

Sans said...

Oh Jayne, how can one not think of you where flowers are concerned. You are in the history book of minis! Even the tiniest wild flower has your name on it!

Tallulah~Belle said...

My dear Susan you flatter me :-)

Hopefully within a week or so there'll be some new flowers in the palace !

Tallulah~Belle said...

I can get in now...stupid blogger.

It is very similar isn't it...what about scale though. Look how many stripes are on his leg in my photo...each of his thighs are only about 1 inch across the front bit.

You know how picky I am lol

Sans said...

Quick Jayne, go check your email !! I seriously think you can't get them any more perfect than the ones I have ! The green version that I have is very very retro or Jethro , whatever.

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