Christmas Basket

My local miniature club decided to make a room in a basket. Each of us went in our own direction so they all turned out differently. Mine reflected my white and gold theme in my life size decorations.

Christmas scene in a basket

These photos are scans of printed ones from the 1990’s. Back then one captured them on film and didn’t know if they were good or not until they were developed. There was also the added cost of having them developed, so often I delayed in getting the prints.

I wanted to light it. Back in the 1990’s this meant using 12 volt and battery packs. Well, I wanted battery packs anyway. Which meant two battery packs because I had a lighted lamp, a flickering fire and a lighted tree. The light set for the tree had it’s own battery pack.

The tree was an interesting kit. It used a preserved fern for the branches. The fronds were inserted into a pre-drilled pole. This fern gave the tree a very realistic look that the pictures (taken with film and later scanned).

Lighting the tree was quite a challenge to hide the wires as although the wires were short, they weren’t as short as works well with miniature trees. Then I decorated the tree similar to my life size one. Well, at least the colors and the bows. I have found it challenging to find miniature things to match life-size.

White and gold theme

Since this had a battery pack, I needed a place to house them. I decided to have it inside the basket itself. Initially I made a platform using foamcore board to fit inside the basket at the top. Soon I had to add structure to that so it would sit properly without shifting. The platform needed to be lifted to access the batteries so l decided to cut out the bottom of the basket as well. I do tend to over engineer because what I do is all reactionary. I’m not great at pre-planning every detail.

My conclusion about using preserved materials is to avoid it. Why? Because this requires maintenance. It needs to be retreated with glycerin, I believe it was. That is a messy proposition for minis, especially when you have wiring involved.

Settee and two tables were a set I bought.

The settee was a couch. It didn’t fit the basket so I cut it and put it back together. I also changed the upholstery using ribbon. All the pieces were repainted to fit my scene.

fireplace was made from a kit

The fireplace kit was very basic. I drilled hole in it so I could add the light for the fire. The swag was made on a pipe cleaner shaped to drape the way I desired. Then leftover preserved fern was used for the greenery portion. All the bows were made using a miniature bow maker.

Sadly, this project is no more. I sold the items I could salvage. The reason this project was dismantled was dust. I didn’t have the nice cases I do now, nor the nice cabinet that keeps out the majority of dust. The biggest part that dust destroyed was the tree made from preserved fern. I remember the kit instructions did say to treat the fern each year. I had not done that. I might have salvaged the project by doing a good job of cleaning the parts if it hadn’t been for the tree.

Another lesson learned was to make things that had a case. I stuck to that pretty much every since. It wasn’t just the tree that got dusty. Everything did. It didn’t help either that there was a smoker in the house back then.

Happy miniaturing!


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