Friday, July 30, 2010

Ceiling roses and tin ceiling tiles

On one of my mini forums today there was a discussion about ceiling roses for dollhouses. This photo is a picture of my real size kitchen ceiling. It's finished with a textured wallpaper that I painted to resemble tin tiles. The leftovers have been very useful for minis.
I cut out lots of the little square motifs and painted them to make a tin ceiling for my Petite Dreams Victorian kitchen. I've also cut around the larger border of the square and left them white for my other Victorian kitchen.
I kept the design simple for the bedrooms. This one has just the floral motif left white.
The parlor and dining rooms call for more extravagent ceilings. Here in the parlor I cut out the entire floral motif, including the border. I added corner pieces to the ceiling corners and added gold "leafing" to the central rose.
In the dining room I cut around the first border of the large floral motif and added corners and smaller flowers to the ceiling corners. I again added the gold leaf effect to the central rose.

I've still got lots of this wallpaper leftover. I've used the paper intact to make cove plaster ceilings in some roomboxes, too. I think the investment of one roll would be well worth it if you like more elaborate ceiling detail in your dollhouses.

A lucky garage sale find

I have my mom's childhood tin lithograph dollhouse. For the past 4 years I've been working on repairing or replacing the furniture I remember from when she let us play with it. I've been looking for this Ideal bedroom set with the blue bedspread for all 4 years. Today I found it at a garage sale just down the road from my house. I probably paid more than I should have but I was so excited to find it that I didn't really care. :) My mom's dresser had drawers that really open and this one doesn't but it is in excellent condition with the original cardboard backing. The bed is missing the top pieces of the posts on the headboard but that's a fairly common problem. I'm so happy to have finally found these!

I also purchased a couple of cardboard cigar boxes to use for future rooms. For a quarter each I couldn't pass them up - even if I do prefer the wooden ones.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

And a table to finish the scene

Today's mini project was this little bedside table. The table was made from a piece of paper towel tube cut down to size with a foamcore table top. I made all of the items on top of the table. The mini magazine is a printie but the cup of tea was made from polymer clay with glass paint tea. The candle is a pencil eraser with a black thread wick. I sealed the eraser with satin varnish and used tacky glue to add melted "wax" to the top of the candle. The candle stand was made from a couple of jewelry findings.

This has been a crazy week with doctor's appointments and various other errands. We leave for Walt Disney World with the kids and a nephew one week from tomorrow. I am so ready for this vacation. It will be fun to go with teens and young adults this time.

Hope you all are having a great week!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

And now for a little shabby chic

A miniaturist friend of mine is dealing with some health issues. I made these as a gift to cheer her up.
The shelves are lined with a little lace paper.
The comforter was all hand quilted.
I'm very happy with how the painting turned out. The roses were painted with a very simple technique. Dab on a dot of the darker paint, pick up a drop of a lighter shade on a toothpick and swirl the colors together. Very easy and quite effective.

The armoire is a Michael's hutch. The bed was made from a kit that came with one of my dollhouses. I had originally stained it so I sanded it down before painting it roughly with cream paint. After painting the floral design (and letting it dry thoroughly) I lightly brushed on an antiquing gel. I finished with a satin varnish. I left the inside of the armoire/hutch the pure cream color.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Some days I could kiss the mailman!

Today is one of those days because he brought me Ingrid's wonderful giveaway prize. It's even more beautiful in person. Thank you so much, Ingrid! Visit her blog and say hello.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Surprise, surprise, surprise!

Just a quick post tonight. I'm very excited because I threw a successful surprise 50th birthday party for my husband tonight. We had a houseful of friends and family and had a wonderful evening. Just had to share. :) I'll try to post some pics tomorrow.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The nursery is finished and listed

I had a lot of fun making tiny baby toys and supplies. There's also a plant on the shelf over the window. I'll put the personal photos of the buyer on that shelf, too. I can also put photos in the photo album on the top shelf of the hutch.
The little baby girl was hard to photograph. She has a scrunche up little face like she's crying.

You can see more photos on etsy at MiniDe's Miniature Dolls and More.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A new little nursery

I think I will list this in my etsy shop when I'm finished. I plan to offer to personalize it with photos and a little certificate with birth details. I just got the basics finished today. I still have all the little bits to make and a baby, too.
I'm happy with the finished hutch. It's a Michael's one with the doors removed. I replaced the wooden drawer pulls with flower beads. All I added to the hutch today were the two neatly folded receiving blankets. I've got lots of shelves to fill, including the one over the window.

Making that back wall was a challenge. I don't have a scroll saw. I have a hack saw and another small handsaw. Getting the curves cut was interesting. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Welcome to 3 new followers! Wait, make that 4!

Please say hello to Eva Krog, JRB Creations, and Margaret of My Petit Parterre. If you click on the links you will find beautiful little animals at JRB Creations and a floral shop in the making at My Petit Parterre. Margaret also has some lovely inspirational photos of real shops and gardens. Stop by and visit both blogs. I promise you won't be disappointed. :) (Eva, if you have a blog or website you'd like me to link to please comment.)

Please also welcome Piikko of Sopokatu. She's currently blogging about the vacation swap many of you participated in.

Update: Check out Eva's blog, Eva's Miniature Hobby. She's currently featuring some beautiful tomato plants.

I can't believe I won!

I logged in today to find out that I'd won Ingrid's 2nd give away. Follow this link to see what I've won: Ingrid's second give away prize.
Thank you so much, Ingrid!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's finished...for the first time anyway

I worked on this in little spurts throughout the day to finish the accessories. In this photo the dimensional gel I used for the TV screen is not yet dry so it's a little hazy.
My first little working session today was making all of the books on the shelves. I also added a clear finish to the floor and baseboard.
The next step was making the windows and drapes and adding artwork.
The last step was making the ceiling light, television, dvd player and video player and filling in the rest of the shelves with accessories.
The bedroom got art over the bed, a frame for the mirror, window and curtains, table lamp, and a tiny tray of perfumes for the vanity.

Now that I've made a two story corner box I know what I'll do differently next time. My floor warped a bit this time so none of the angles are quite right. But it was fun to do another half scale project. I didn't like quarter scale very much but I enjoy half scale almost as much as one inch. You can still put a lot of detail into half.

Oh, today was the baby shower and my friend was thrilled with the little nursery. She also liked the baby afghan I finished several weeks ago. She looks so good and so very pregnant. :)

There's nothing like a new mini project to cheer you up!

I got my green beans canned yesterday and that went well but the rest of my day was not as good. Just one of those days that we all have sometimes. So I broke out the last of my cigar boxes and started a new project. This one is too tall for a one inch scale scene to look right so I made it into a 2 room half scale scene instead. When it's finished both rooms will have a bit of Asian influence with more obvious Asian accents in the downstairs living room. It has a skinny stick floor (I'm leaving it natural colored). The contemporary swivel chair was made from half a plastic lid, a push pin and some plastic sheeting with a cushion added for comfort. I'm planning to paint the "swivel" base a chrome color. The coffee table is a lid with a wooden ring added to the top. The art over the fireplace and the pillow on the couch were made from the paper covering on chopsticks.
The back of the chair.
So far, the bedroom is very simple. The headboard looks very bamboo-like (corrugated cardboard) and the art over the nightstand has an Asian feel. The smoked acrylic vanity was made from half a clear plastic lid that I colored with a wood stain marker. The chair is an inexpensive dollhouse toy that I stained and painted. The carpet is a fabric sample.

I still have a lot to do in both rooms. I think I'm going to add windows on the right side walls so I can add texture and color with curtains. I have lots of mini accessories to add to both rooms so making those will keep me busy this week, too.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I think I'm cross-eyed now

I just finished sorting all of my photos on my computer. I spent about 5 hours on it today and at least 4 yesterday but now I can find the photo I'm looking for in just a short time. Everything is grouped together by category or project and some things are cross referenced. It's going to be very worth the time spent.

I did have a little time for mini-ing today. I redid the four poster beds in the 70s house. That house represents the house I grew up in and the beds were in the room I shared with my sister. I originally made the posts with stacked beads and the headboard with foam core but I was never happy with them. Today I redid the head and foot boards with scrap wood and the posts with chopsticks.All of the toys in this bedroom represent ones I really had. The doll on the floor is dressed in an outfit similar to my doll Wendy's. The fashion doll case looks just like mine. The dollhouse represents my mom's tin lithographed one that she let us play with.

Earlier in the week, I refinished the bed in Magnolia Way yet again. I didn't like the muddy gray color I ended up with last time. I love the black "iron" with brass trim, though. The contrast against the walls and between the bed and the white spread is just right.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Good Day!

My son got his license and I just picked my first green beans and zucchini from the garden. Of course, that means I'll be canning green beans sometime tomorrow but they will look pretty on my pantry shelves. ;)

He's driving me crazy....

Well, not really. We're just heading off to the license branch so he can take his driving test. Hopefully, by this afternoon there will be another licensed driver in the family. My baby will soon be driving himself around. Wow, where did the years go? :)

Thank you for all the nice comments about my little nursery. As usual, I've done some editing and adding. Looking at the photos I noticed the Chubs wipes label did not look good. I've since fixed that and added a basket of laundry. The shower is on Sunday so I will share her reaction to the gift after that.

Have a lovely day everyone!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A gift for a friend

My friend loves cows and will probably have them in the nursery. I found the border online. The wallpaper is scrapbook paper. I made the corner from 3 pieces of laminate samples leftover from when we were shopping for our new floor 8 years ago. The back side of the "room" is nicely finished without me having to do anything to it.
The baby in the bassinet was a hanging Christmas ornament. I cut off the ribbon hanger and made a wire frame for the bassinet. Then I added a longer skirt. I cut cows from the leftover border and glued them to the baby's blanket to make it a printed receiving blanket. The clay cow on the floor came out of a Noah's Ark display thing I used to have hanging in the dining room. The baby book and diapers were made from printies. I made the wipes, powder, lotion and diaper cream from Sculpey.
The pig is supposed to be a piggy bank. The photos are actually of my friend and her family. The plant on top of the shelf represents a welcome baby gift. The wooden blind is a sample.
The diaper pail was made from one of those canisters that come in pill bottles to keep moisture out.

They don't know if they're having a boy or girl so I tried to keep it gender neutral. The wallpaper is blue but has pink polka dots.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Welcome and another way to make the grill tools

First, please say hello to Shelly. If you have a blog or website, Shelly, and want me to post links please leave a comment.

Next up is another set of grill tools. I used beading wires and beads for these. The beads are glued on with super glue. Thank you, Kathi, for this idea. The loops on the beading wires allowed me to hang the tools from hooks attached to the grill. This grill is for a friend.


I've gotten behind in welcoming new followers so I have a few more to welcome than usual. Thank you all for stopping by!

Please say hello to Wanda of So Mini Projects and Pilar of Las Minis de Pilar.

I was unable to find blog information for Lataina and Barbara. If you do have a blog or website and would like me to post a link just let me know.

I feel so honored that 174 of you in blogland find my blog interesting enough to follow. Thanks again!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Grill tools tutorial part 3

To make the brush, cut a piece of toothpick to the length you want the brush to be. Using the pliers, crush the end of the toothpick to make it look like a brush. Use silver paint to touch up the glue areas on the spatula and fork and to create a 'metal' band to hold the brush bristles.
Paint or stain the handles whatever color you choose.

Grill tools tutorial part 2

Make a handle for the fork just like you did for the spatula.
Cut a fork shaped piece from the soft metal and crimp the handle end. Dip the metal part of the handle into tacky glue, then super glue and attach to the fork piece. The glue should be at the back.
To make the tongs we're going to use a piece of a large paper clip. Slip a scrap piece of wood into the clip and use needlenosed pliers to crimp the curve tightly. You want the curve small enough to look like tongs.
Cut the ends evenly (about 1.5 inches) and use the pliers to turn the ends in slightly. Use a craft knife to flatten one side of a round toothpick. Cut two handles of equal length. Glue to the sides of the tongs using the tacky/super glue combination.

Grill tools requested by Kathi :)

Supplies needed: fancy or plain round toothpicks or small wood scraps; large paper clip; straight pins; soft metal (can be cut with scissors); tacky glue; super glue or glue of choice; scissors; wire cutters; needlenose pliers; emery board or sand paper; silver paint; paint for handles
Cut a spatula shaped piece from the soft metal. Lightly crimp the end that attaches to the handle. Cut an inch and a quarter length of paper clip (or use a straight pin.) Cut the end off the toothpick - approximately an inch long - for the handle.
Use a push pin or mini drill to put a hole in the plain end of the handle. Dip the pointed end of the straigght pin (or piece of paperclip into first tacky glue and then super glue. Insert it into the hole in the handle. The handle may split but that's ok. Smear super glue over any cracks and clamp until dry. Once it's dry dip the other end into tacky glue, then super glue, and attach it to the back of the spatula piece. The metal part of the handle should fit into the crimped end of the spatula.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

You've got to have the right tools

These tools were not easy to do. I had a lot of trouble making the pieces stick together. My metal to metal glue didn't hold the metal pieces together like it should have so I had to experiment with glues. I'm still not 100% satisfied with the tongs but I do like the spatula, fork and sauce brush.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Ready for the 4th!

Burgers and ribs, yum!
I made the charcoal using a tutorial in the latest American Miniaturist. You use burnt wooden and cardboard matches for the charcoal. It looks very real. Of course, you can't see it once the grate is in place...but I know it looks good. ;)


Please help me welcome Wanda of So Mini Projects. Wanda is currently working on an amazing garden shed. Do stop in and say hello.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I couldn't bring myself to document the awful mess of the "before" but you can actually see the floor in the "after." These two shelf units were made from parts of my daughter's bed. The shelf on the right was the headboard. The space at the bottom is perfect for storing my shipping boxes. The red basket on the floor holds bubble wrap, packing peanuts and tissue for wrapping items. The shelf on the left was made from the three drawers that were under her bed. I removed the knobs and glued the drawers together. It works really well for my beads.
The blue tub is full of miscellaneous wood scraps. My daughter and I sorted through all of it and it's semi organized now, although you can't tell by looking, LOL. At least I know what I have now.
This photo is just to show that I did find the floor. That corner behind the desk chair is a project for another day.