As most of my followers will know, I spend most of my time when I’m not at my day job, working on model making – specifically commissions of model houses for my lovely customers. I’m lucky (or cursed) to have a rather long waiting list for my bespoke models – each one taking upwards of 70 hours, so my actual spare time is at a premium.
Even when you enjoy something as much as I enjoy making model houses, there is be a danger that it can become a chore, that you can become a little jaded by ‘having’ to work on a project, so now and again you need to put it aside and work on something a little fun.
I’m writing this both as a piece of advice for crafters and modelmakers, but also from a point of view of what I’ve done recently.
I have a love of making, and I’d like to think I can turn my hand at pretty much anything, so having seen a tutorial on making miniature food from polymer clay, I thought I’d have a go at it one night. Sadly, I don’t have any photos to show you, but if you check out the work of makingminis on TikTok, you’ll see the wonderful things she makes and what I was trying to emulate. These little projects are fun to do and are easily done in a couple of hours, so you get a sense of accomplishment in having finished something tangible. Anyway, having made my little loaf of bread, I’d ended up with leftover clay and rolled it into a ball and on a whim, made it into a little skeleton head.
I showed some friends and they instantly suggested it would make an excellent scarecrow head, so grabbing a couple of toothpicks, I fashioned a post for it to sit on, and a little range of scarecrows was born.
I now like to make one or two of these on an odd evening when I feel the need to work on something fun and feel a sense of accomplishment. I have evolved and developed my style now and each scarecrow is completely individual – sometimes they are accessorised with a theme, for instance, I made a vampire one for a special request.
Of course, everything I make is for sale, so if you’d like to own your own lnrmodels scarecrow, you can check out my Etsy – they’re perfect for Halloween!
So today is the start of October – where has the time gone? It’s also the start of Blogtober, and whilst I’d like to be ambitious and post once a day, I think a target of twice a week is realistic and anything else is a bonus, right?
Well, what to write?
As so many of my fellow crafters in my little small biz world have done, I think it’s fitting to introduce myself. I’m Lee and I’m a miniaturaholic. I love making tiny houses.
I’ve told this tale many a time on my TikTok Live streams, but I started my making journey way back when my Dad gave my daughter a transit when she was 2 (She’s 18 now). I decided I was going to fix the Hornby trackmat down onto a board and do it properly. One thing lead to another and I started to get ambitious with the board and before I knew it had taken over half the garage.
Starting to build houses to add to the model, I began to look at downloadable kits from the internet – printed walls etc. Then, being a Graphic Designer, I started to look at making my own textures to make walls. I built a massive run of retaining wall on my layout, but no sooner had I finished it, I changed my mind. I wanted to make it look more real.
I started to look at how other model makers worked an found an excellent blog by a guy called Iain Robinson. He’d been model making professionally for decades (sadly now retired) and I learned so much from reading his blog and chatting with him. I followed some of his techniques and started to develop some of my own.
After a while, I started showing off the work I’d done on a Model Railway Forum and before long I’d been asked to make something for a fellow forum user.
Above is that Model. From this I was asked to make something similar, and it followed that over the next couple of years, I had a slow and steady series of small commissions. This dried up for a while until I saw someone post on Facebook that they were looking for a West Yorkshire based scratchbuilder. I sent a message and after a quick chat, I started out on a very enjoyable and lengthy project to recreate Denholme Station and all the associate buildings.
In March of 2020, when the Covid pandemic tied most of us to our homes, on a whim, I advertised on Twitter asking if anyone fancied having a model made of their own house.
Below, is the start of that particular journey, maybe I’ll tell you about that project next time…