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Friday, 9 October 2015

MARINE LIGHTS- they're for the birds #HBS kit



LAND'S END
My HBS cottage kit, 
lives right by the Atlantic ocean.
And although I haven't done ANYTHING further inside my doll's house for several weeks, I'd been mulling over a way to make exterior Marine lights for my cottage by the sea.  
 I was inspired to make some after viewing Marion's mini marine lights
 (marionswiss. blogspot.com)

 as well as Brae's Walnut Bay marine lights 
(otterine blogspot.com)
both excellent and very innovative solutions.  

Meanwhile at the end of the summer, my sister told me about a plant sale where she and her friend Super Dave had discovered some great end of season deals so I joined them for a lovely day of plant shopping and it was whilst I was at the Garden Center, 
that I found the solution to my mini Marine Lights dilemma.

 I found these-
 Bee Guards
 at Art Knapps, a large local Garden Center Store.
I would imagine that your Garden Center or big box stores,
should also stock them.
 They are meant to fit hummingbird feeders to protect the syrup from marauding bees, but to me they looked exactly like 
mini MARINE LIGHTS


There were 4 guards in the package.  Each guard has a hinged back which folded back and snapped together and are approximately 3/4 inch in diameter.

The shape was perfect! 

So the first thing I did was that I spray-painted them with matt black BBQ spray paint.  
 Then to make a "glass lens", I used Frosted Gallery Glass Window Color which I "stretched wet", filling in between the plastic cage with the liquid paint squeezed straight from the bottle then dragging the liquid over the openings inside the plastic cage.   Although I wasn't sure if it the glass paint would grip to anything other than a flat surface, the process worked just as I had hoped.  
I filled in all of the openings and then allowed it dry, periodically checking it to see if there were obvious gaps and re-filling them if there were. The photo below shows the second application of the Gallery Glass applied over the dried first layer.
Meanwhile,
I cut and glued in some tin foil into the recessed portion of the fixture to act as a reflector.  The tinfoil wasn't installed as well as I wished but as it wasn't going to be visible, so I didn't really care.
 Once the Gallery Glass "glass lens" was completely dried, I went over it again 
( from the inside )
this time with white nail polish to strengthen the lens as well as making it more opaque.
However, it was after the nail polish had dried, that I then realized that I should have cut off the protruding back piece
first! ><
I used a razor saw to remove it and of course it resulted in some of the black paint flaking off, but as it was the back, and would be up against the wall, it wasn't all that important. Any visible yellow was later touched up with black nail varnish.


Next came the installation of the lights.
I already had some 12 volt bulbs which I had purchased from a Model Train and Hobby Store.  I have used a "Grain of Wheat"size bulb for this lamp.

The bulb was inserted in through the back and held in position while the silicon glue was squeezed into the hole behind it. 
I had to check the bulb was not too far forward which meant closing the top, and adjusting the bulb as the glue set, ensuring that the bulb didn't touch the interior of the cage.

This is the lamp once the bulb was in and the silicone glue had set.


And this is what the finished lamp looks like, and I made 2 using this method.  
I made a third Marine light and tried cutting a metal pie tin for the reflector insert, it worked out to be a little cleaner. Then I touched up the flaking black paint with black nail polish to tidy everything up again. 

It just so happens that after rummaging around in my piles of mini junk, I was able to find ONE clear plastic bubble which I used for a clear glass lens.  This lens is not glued in but can be removed,
(not that I would be taking it out).  

The clear glass allowed me to actually see the bulb.
I secured the light bulb in the same way as I did the first, then hooked the light to the transformer to see what it looked like.

           
              Here is the illuminated clear lens above and ...
       Then on to test how the white "glass" looks  

 
                       
Sweeeeeet!
:D





elizabeth







82 comments:

  1. Que fantástico hallazgo, las lámparas quedan genial.
    Gracias por compartir tus geniales ideas.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Eloisa; the lady with the fabulous mini Wisteria! :)) Thank You Very Much and I am very glad that you have enjoyed these lamps. They were lots of fun to make, once I found them. :D

      elizabeth

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  2. You found the perfect solution for this - I think I better check out the fish and bird section in future as well :-) Looks great!

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    1. Hi Marion and Thank You for providing the initial inspiration! :)) It was after seeing your Fabulous mini Marine lights which you made for your urban BOX CAR doll's house, that I actually thought about incorporating something along the same lines, into Land's End.
      I'm very pleased that you like the results! :D

      elizabeth

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  3. Why am I smiling? Because only Elizabeth can go to a garden center and find her marine lights disguised as bee guards!
    Love what you "see" and "do" with everyday objects.

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    1. Thank You Sam! and I'm smiling too! :))

      elizabeth

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  4. You're so clever! Well done on yet another brilliant piece of mini-ing!

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    1. Hi Simon! I am Delighted that you like the results of these Marine Lights and I must say that it certainly felt good to be able to achieve what I had pre-determined to do - and that was to make them myself! :))

      elizabeth

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  5. Elizabeth, your idea for the use the Bee Guard is just as good or even better ( I guess,the producent would be surprised :-D ) WELL DONE!
    Big hugs!!

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    1. Thank You Very Much Magda! :)) And I too, often think about what certain manufacturers would say to seeing their product re-configured into our miniatures, and if they would even recognize them if they did!
      It kinda gives me the giggles:D

      elizabeth

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  6. Me parece que queda genial. Gracias por la información.

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    1. Thank You Very Much Isabel! I was quite satisfied with the way that these fixtures turned out too! :D

      elizabeth

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  7. Even though I've never commented on your blog, I'm always amazed of your ability to find ways to turn anything into a miniature!

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  8. Hi Nora and Thank Your for taking the time to leave a comment today! I don't think that I can turn Anything into miniature, but when I get an idea that haunts me, I suppose then I am either looking more intently at what might work or God just opens my eyes at the right time and when I'm in the right place.
    Either way, I am always happy to have the opportunity to be able to share it! :D

    elizabeth

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  9. hello Elizabeth, ingéniosité, créativité ... Vous continuez à me surprendre !
    Cette lampe est superbe et aussi très bien adaptée à votre projet !!
    Bises. Joce

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    1. Thank You Very Much Joce! :)) It makes me Really Happy that you like them :D

      elizabeth

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  10. Que fantástica idea!!! Esos comederos de pájaros han resultado unas perfectas lámparas de estilo marinero!!!!!
    Besos.

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    1. Good morning Pilar! Thank You and I am Delighted that you have enjoyed these Nautical -Style lamps. Other than sawing off the back portion to make them flush, they were very easy to do. :D

      elizabeth

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  11. Wow! Amaizing! A cool lamp.
    Hugs :0)

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    1. Good Morning Monica and Thank You! I have a similar style exterior lamp in Real Life and I can verify that these lamps DO indeed look "cool", both in Big, as well as in Mini! :D

      elizabeth

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  12. Oh, oh, dear Elizabeth, I've said it to you before and I'll do it again: you are such a very clever and inventive lady!! I do like your marine lights very much :D! I wonder what the supplier of the bee guards will think of the way you've used his product. I bet there will be a run now for these particular bee guards in the US and Canada ;)!
    Wishing you a nice weekend. Hugs, Ilona

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    1. Greetings Ilona! heeheehee, Maybe the manufacturers of Bee Guards would be somewhat bemused as to the cause of such a sudden demand for their product and perhaps assume a radical increase in the bee population? ( if That were only true!)
      I wish you a nice weekend too. Here in Canada we celebrate our Thanksgiving and so lots of cooking to be done today and lots of Eating will be done, tomorrow!:D

      elizabeth

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  13. I've never heard of Gallery Glass but it looks like something I should have in my toolbox. It worked really well, the whole idea worked really well. The lights look fabulous and you just know I'm heading out to the garden centre after reading this =0P

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    1. Hi Pepper! Gallery Glass is a name brand of a product by Plaid used for painting faux stained glass. It comes of course in a vast range of colors including CLEAR, as well as the FROSTED. I hope that your U.K suppliers will be able to answer your needs.
      Quite Delighted that you've enjoyed this tutorial, Thank You and Have Fun!!! :D

      elizabeth

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  14. Hello Elizabeth, what a wonderful idea. It never ceases to amaze me how we all seem to look at everyday items and make them into what we need! Brilliant lights :)
    All the best
    Vivian

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    1. Hi Vivian Thank You and I agree 100%!!!
      When I visit the blogs of others and see how they have turned something that I would have NEVER considered of any value, into a perfect MINI TREASURE, then I am Thankful that our Collective Eyes have given us new opportunities to Reduce Reuse and Recycle! :D
      We miniaturists are all public servants in disguise doing our small part to reduce waste and make Ourselves VERY HAPPY as well! :D

      elizabeth

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  15. You've done it again and did a wonderful job. I mean, you've managed once again to use things that would have never meant anything to me concerning miniatures. The result is fantastic.
    Geneviève

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    1. AHOY Genevieve! Thank You and it gives me Great Pleasure to pass on this idea, especially to one who is as actively involved in her own Mini Cottage by the Atlantic ocean as you are! :))
      Also that you will perhaps, find this tutorial useful and have as much fun with it as I did! :D

      elizabeth

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  16. Great idea! The light is amazing.

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  17. Really clever Elizabeth! Again you found a new idea for upcycling everyday items and to create unique miniature treasures.
    I admire your creativity and skills!

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    1. Thank You Ersilia! I belive that Everyone has their own special gifts from God and mine is in FINDING THINGS;

      because it certainly isn't in Constructing things!! hahhaha

      elizabeth:D

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  18. Brilliant! You have an eye for seeing things that are meant for one purpose and re-imagining them for your mini needs. Love what you did, Elizabeth!

    xo
    Claudia

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    1. Thank You Claudia! There are times when I am with some of my mini friends and I pick up junk off the rack and they ask me "What am I gong to do with That?", and I honestly don't know but the object is intriguing and the price is right.
      But in this case however, I knew right away that these bird-feeder cages would be transformed into Marine Light fixtures although at the time I was uncertain as to how.
      The faux glass lens began as an "experiment" that proved itself successful - Hip Hip Hooray! :D

      elizabeth

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  19. What a great idea! Thank you for the tutorial!

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    1. You are Sooo Welcome, as I am such a Great Fan of yours as well as your unique interior design style and I DO hope that this tutorial will come in handy. :D

      elizabeth

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  20. What a wonderful EYE you have, Elizabeth! I always wonder, after reading about another of your fabulous creations, how many perfect trinkets I've overlooked with complete oblivion as to their usefulness! Your marine lights are absolutely amazing; and I'm so impressed that you thought to use foil as a reflector. Who else would have thunk it? Good work; good thinking.
    Marjorie

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    1. Hi Marjorie and Thank You Very Much!!! I've looked at the interior of my Real Life Marine Light and found that the reflector is a standard feature. I knew though, that with the glass being opaque, more light could be redirected forward this way.
      I have yet to install the lamps to the outside of Land's End because I haven't progressed that far yet, but it felt good to do something for this HBS project after hitting a 3 Week "Dead- End", inside. :/

      elizabeth:D

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  21. a stunning result, thank you for sharing explanations

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    1. Merci, Claude and I am Very Pleased that you are enjoying this tutorial with me, as much as I am enjoying sharing it with You! :D

      elizabeth

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  22. Awesome!!!! :D Very creative and innovative. I love the end result.

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    1. Thank You Brae! And that is EXACTLY how I felt about YOUR Very Clever solution for Marine lights in your Walnut Bay Lighthouse too! :D

      elizabeth

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  23. Ok...so I'll summarize...clever, ingenious, amazing, fabulous, brilliant....I think you get the picture. I saw these fantastic little creations and truly what a wonderful transformation of a little something into a wonderful something. Thank Elizabeth for taking the time to share and although I know Land's End is on the side burner, it will happen and when it does, it will be a superlative I haven't even used yet! For sure!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of your followers!

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  24. Hahahaha!!! Welcome to one of my "BEST-EST" of friends! :D You and Janine are Always my "Go-To" Mini Sounding Board when it comes to critiquing projects, and I highly regard each of you and your honest opinions. :D
    Thank You My Dear Fats, for your faith in me and in my capabilities, since Land's End continues to sit idle while I make other mini things.
    I needed a break.
    However, I actually liked making these lamps because all the hard fiddly bits of having to MAKE the Cages was already accomplished.
    Which is my Very FAVORITE kind of project.... No Construction Necessary! :D

    elizabeth

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  25. What a wonderful solution to your desire for marine lights. Well thought out and executed!

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  26. Thank You Very Much Juliette! It DOSE feels good when a mini project of mine goes smoothly from Beginning to End ..... for a change! :D

    elizabeth

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  27. Dear Elizabeth,
    Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! As always your creative "eye" never fails you .... Although we doubt you at times when you buy something for which we cannot imagine a use.
    I am still waiting to see what you will do with the kitchen sponges you bought one day,
    I think the lights turned out so well .... Will you do them in red and green for port and starboard. I know the gallery glass colours do exist.
    As always a thumbs up for sharing your technique. It is very encouraging to see how you convert something into something fabulously mini!

    Look forward to seeing you soon for a mini day here.
    Hugs Janine

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    1. Hi Janine! Happy Day AFTER thanksgiving! :D
      Your comment got me to thinking about those sponges because I HAVE used them although I didn't tell you how. Will elaborate a little later on, but thanks for reminding me.
      As for the making the Marine lights red or green, I am still un-decided about that but since I'm not even close to installing them, I still have time before I commit myself one way or the other.
      I am Really looking forward to our next Miniteers meeting as well and hope to have some show and tell to bring along.

      That is IF I can break away from Eating ALL of the thanksgiving Leftovers! :(

      elizabeth

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  28. Спасибо! Я получила огромное удовольствие когда читала ваш пост! Реальные предметы превращаются в миниатюру, при помощи волшебных рук и гениальной головы! Корабли увидят ваши огни! Они будут очень рады! :) :) :)
    Татьяна

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    1. Thank You Tatiana for taking Pleasure from reading this post! :D I have long thought that finding things to transform is what gives me great Pleasure and Satisfaction too! Your comment about ships ( at sea), being happy about seeing the light made me smile. :))

      elizabeth

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  29. Elisabeth, they are fantastic! They work perfectly, the opaque ones look like they've seen through many storms, so the clear glass one, must have had it's glass replaced fairly recently, got broken maybe ;)

    We don't have hummingbirds here, but how delightful those little bee guards are. I saw hummingbirds a few times when I was in Canada, quite a magical experience when you are mostly used to starlings and the like, though I do love my starlings :D

    Sarah :)

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    1. Thank You Sarah! :))
      You know, Ilona first mentioned something to that effect and after reading your comment I Googled up information about hummingbirds and found (to my great surprise) that they are only found in The Americas from Chile in South America, to Alaska in the north, with the most abundant varieties in Ecuador.
      In Canada we have 3 different native species, however I recall the very first time I heard one (15 years ago) in my garden and was so surprised because
      didn't think that it was warm enough for them to be here. Since then I see them on occasion, flitting about nearly every summer and In Janine's garden she has her "regulars" that I get to observe "up close and personal" when they visit her feeder.
      It IS indeed a magical experience! :D

      elizabeth

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  30. Pity us poor miniaturists in Europe... we don't have hummingbirds and therefor no bee protectors... ;O) What a great solution to create the lights you had in mind - they look fantastic.

    Greetings
    Birgit

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    1. Greeting Birgit! I am so sorry if I am tempting you from Afar, because it was totally unintentional. So a general apology to my European Readers for not only being denied the experience of having humming birds to grace your gardens, but also not having Bee Guards to transform into miniature Marine Lights. ( A Double Whammy) :((
      Even so. Thank You for your comment Birgit, which makes me Very Happy!

      elizabeth :D

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  31. that is such a great find Elizabeth and great vision to see you could use them for the lamps, they look awesome!

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    1. Thank You Monique! I felt very Blessed that the right solution came along at the right time, AND that this project went smoothly from beginning to end. :))

      elizabeth

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  32. This is so creative! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank You Susi and may I also commend you on your Fantastic Miniature Headphones tutorial that you've posted. They are Beautifully done! :D

      elizabeth

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  33. Wow!!! That's quite a transformation. Ingenious, Elizabeth! Thanks for a great tutorial! xo Jennifer

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    1. Thank You Jennifer! These were a Real Treat to complete because they saved me not only a heck of a lot of work but that the Gallery Glass "experiment", actually WORKED! :D

      elizabeth

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  34. Don't you just love finding perfect minis in disguise?! They look fantastic!

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    1. I DO love it Christine and Thank You!!! :D

      elizabeth

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  35. Don't you just love how we see ordinary things as miniatures? The lights look great!

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    1. Yes! and I am ALWAYS AMAZED by what I see other people doing in transforming found objects into something usable for various mini projects. Even when it is something unrelated to what I might be doing, it is nonetheless fascinating observing the creative vision of so many others, throughout our miniature world. :D

      elizabeth

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  36. Clever is not the word for it. How you envision this stuff amazes me. Is your real home full of disguised items? Isn't the posh word upscaling or something? Whatever it is you are the champion. Marilyn

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  37. Hi Marilyn and Thank You! :D
    To answer your question about my Real House; I have a Great Love of JUNK STORES and have often found many interesting objects d' Art that have graced my walls and become conversation pieces,- all from various thrift stores.
    It has become something of an Addiction I'm afraid.

    elizabeth

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  38. Dear Elizabeth, you are Brilliant!!! Just plain Brilliant!!! I am always amazed at the source material you use for your creations.... but I think this is one of my favorites! They are just So "off topic".... if you know what I mean.... so WHO would ever spot a mini Light in those Yellow bird feeder guards??? Well, You would, because you have a finely tuned "eye" that sees past the expected and hones in on the Essence! That is just Brilliant! Now I can't wait to see them in action..... well, no rush.... (I am still "koff koff" recovering and am behind schedule on those plants....)!

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  39. Thank You Very Much Betsy Dear! :))
    Perhaps if I had not already been thinking Marine Lights, I would have over-looked the possibilities of their conversion. But finding them WAS a bit of a Surprise because I can't say that I even knew of their existence before OR that I ever looked at any of the wild bird items at ANY garden centers prior to that particular day trip to Art Knapps. Even so, it feels good to be able to cross that off of my TO DO list. :))

    Meanwhile back at the cottage, Land's End still sits patiently waiting for ANY of my attention,
    even though MOJO Has Already Left the Building! :((

    elizabeth
    GET WELL Soon Betsy, and never mind about any schedule,... Ya Hear? :D

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  40. Bee Guards! Who would of thunk it. You may see something similar show up in my build one day. What a great idea...After this post, the big box stores may experience a bit of a run on bee guards...Not a one to be seen anywhere!

    I think these will be perfect additions to Lands End.

    Doug

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    1. Thank You, Doug! It gives me the greatest of pleasure that You have enjoyed this idea AND that you may have future plans for this tutorial. I do believe that these lights, could very easily lend itself to your Steampunk Theme after you personally give them your Unique and Creative spin.
      I'm looking forward to that day :D

      elizabeth

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  41. It really looks great! You are very creative! Hannah

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  42. Thank You Very Much Hannah! I Really enjoy creating things or perhaps I should say, "TRANSFORMING things", instead! :D

    elizabeth

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  43. Ingenious ! I admire your creativity.It's great !Thanks for sharing,

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    1. Thank You Very Much for your lovely compliment and I am Very Glad that you have enjoyed this tutorial. :D

      elizabeth

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  44. Replies
    1. Thank You Niele, I am so glad that you have enjoyed this idea! :D

      elizabeth

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  45. Hi Elizabeth! It's so interesting to read about all the many varied products you use to achieve your ends. You have such a wonderful imagination! You are so good with electricity, something I have not yet touched. I need to learn everything in this department. What an amazing creation this light turned out to be. It's an absolute chef d'oeuvre, Elizabeth. Thanks for sharing all your tricks of the trade! Hope I remember everything but then I can always come back for a sneak peak!

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  46. Hi Lucille! So much of what I do is HIT or MISS, which means that there are a whole lot of failures that never see the light of day. But it doesn't deter me from experimenting which is what I always enjoy doing. Electricity isn't HARD but it is fiddly. If you are thinking about trying it, begin with something small, perhaps a vignette. The larger the project the more lights will be required and trying to connect them all to the power source is where it can get rather complicated. Otherwise,it is actually very simple, and lights can completely change the atmosphere of your miniature project, so go on.... and give it a try Lucille!

    elizabeth
    p.s. Check out the tutorials on wiring a doll's house on youtube which are extremely helpful to any beginner.

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  47. Thank You Lindsey! I imagine that your new baby girl is growing by leaps and bounds and doing LOTS of WONDERFUL as well as FASCINATING things for you to constantly marvel at. :D I remember those long ago days with my 2. They go by so quickly so make sure that you don't let them slip away. :)

    elizabeth

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