I have always been a big reader, but at this point in my life, I am having to get rid of books in order to make room for my miniature settings. I surely don't need any new ones because I have baskets full that I haven't finished reading.
But recently when I dropped off a bag of Robert's old jeans at a local Goodwill store, I just couldn't help it and found myself gravitating to the book corner. My goodness! What a collection; what a selection. And sure enough, there was a book just calling out to me. I mean, I could almost hear it!
I picked it up and looked at the spine.
Well, of course! If ever a book would make noises, it would be this one.
I opened it and nodded my head as I read its inside cover: "I'm not crazy, my reality is just different than yours." Yup; my kind of book.
And there I was confronted by a man in a chair. Well, actually a man who WAS a chair!
I didn't mean to stare, but he just smiled. "No need to be uncomfortable. We're all a little mad here. You're not a queen, are you?
"Oh no," I said. "I am just an ordinary person. Well, perhaps a little strange, but certainly nothing close to being a queen of anything."
"Won't you join us, then? Have a tart, and maybe a wee drinkie."
I took a strawberry tart. "I don't mean to be rude," I said, "You remind me of a character in a book, but I have never seen a chair talk before. How can that be? Although now that I think about it, I recall a character in the Harry Potter books who disguised himself as a chair. "
"Well, there you are! Nothing strange about me, then. Or Alice upstairs," he said, gesturing.
Well, as my grandmother used to say, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Not only was Alice there, but she was a chair, too! And with a living footstool.
And she was looking on adoringly as a flamingo poured her multiple cups of tea.
"I thought flamingoes were croquet mallets in Wonderland," I said.
"Well," the flamingo responded, "Wouldn't you prefer to disguise yourself as a tea table rather than getting bopped on your head all the time?"
"Oh, yes," I agreed, "For sure."
"And he makes such excellent tea, too," Alice said. "I just adore it."
The Mad Hatter chair spoke up again, "You haven't seen a Red Queen anywhere, have you? We're trying to stay out of her clutches and I am not sure how long we can be chairs. We haven't decided what our next disguises might be."
"Oh no; I haver never met a queen, Red or otherwise, and even if I did, I assure you I would not give away your secrets."
The Cheshire cat footstool flicked its tail.
As I started to place the book back on the shelf I had an inspired thought. "If you all don't mind," I said, "I'll just buy your book and take you home with me. My husband is a bit offbeat himself, so I think he would appreciate your clever disguises. And it's hardly likely the Red Queen would ever find you on our street!"
And at their affirmations, I closed the book and headed for the checkout counter.
And that's why this book is on our coffee table.
(You can see another Alice-themed project here.)
When I saw the wonderful OOAK handmade miniature collectable Alice in Wonderland set of chairs and foot stool on Etsy, I knew I had to have them!
Made by UniquablesByUrsula, they are so special that I decided I didn't want anything else to distract from them. Fortunately, I had a small 7x5 wooden book box that I had purchased years ago at Hobby Lobby that worked perfectly.
An outdoor graphic with whimsical toadstools became the interior. My original plan was to extend that checkerboard floor out to the edge of the open book, but none of my display cases were the right size, so I decided to leave it as a book that could be closed (it has a magnet) and spare myself the need for a separate case or dome.
I wanted to use two original qotes from Lewis Carroll and that grinning Cheshire logo. The box exterior had a burgundy design, so I used a Marks A Lot pen to color all the exposed edges that would not be covered by the black paper. I really like their black, as it stays true in color, without the purple tinge some other pens have. On the other hand, gluing black printed paper is a challenge, and despite my best efforts, there are some glue smudges. I figure it is in an old book, anyway ...
The Mad Hatter didn't need much, so I decided to make him a small table from an inexpensive little plaster mushroom and a small glass circle. I had those great strawberry tarts from a desserts swap years ago, and I contrived the Drink Me bottle.
Alice has such an adoring expression on her face that I knew she needed something to be admiring of. When I began making lists of items I recalled from the Alice books, the flamingo croquet mallets came to mind. And who else would want to be hiding from the Red Queen more than one of them? The flamingo was a small Christmas ornament, sort of a wee bobble-head on a spring, which I removed from its body. I used another tiny glass circle for the tabletop.
He was top heavy so I used a small strip of plastic packaging at a right angle to make a support for his back side. Practically invisible, fortunately.
I liked the idea of polka dots because the Mad Hatter has a polka dot bowtie, so I painted Chrysnbon cups and saucers pale yellow and used a toothpick to add the polka dots. When dry I coated them with Hard as Nails polish. I painted one cup and saucer first and let them dry to see the effect, and when I saw they dried clear and porcelain like, I then painted and glossed all of them.
The teapot was a small metal pot which I also painted to match. I glued four cups and saucers in a stack, then glued the stack in place. I used a mixture of Tacky glue, brown paint and raspberry alcohol ink to make the tea for the top cup. I used a small piece of paper as a measuring tool for the length of the pouring liquid, which was a small piece of beading wire coated with the tea mixture.
I let it dry first in the cup before gluing the final cup atop the stack and the top of the wire to the teapot spout.
This was great fun to do and I shall love opening that box on our coffee table so people can take a peek.