Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Good morning and welcome!

Harriet and I would like to welcome three new followers. Please say hello to Marion of Marion's Miniatures, Christine of Hollyhock Cottage, and The Old Maid of The Sunny Hours 1:12 Miniatures.

Marion has several blogs but this link takes you to her general minis one. She has some small and large projects in the works here.

Christine's Hollyhock Cottage is a 1940s post war cottage. The most recent projects shown are a beautiful handmade "iron" bed and a really lovely quilt to top it.

The Old Maid (sorry, she doesn't give her real name) has several projects on the blog but the most recent posts are about Harry Potter's Professor Snape. His office is the project in the works.

All three blogs are really lovely and well worth your time to visit. Please stop in and say hello!

This brings me to 198 followers. I will have to be thinking about a 200 follower giveaway. Hmmm....

The trade

These are the overstuffed chairs I made for my friend, Brenda, in exchange for the saloon girl she's making for me. I think I'm getting the best end of the deal. :) I do hope she likes the chairs, though. She sent me the fabric. I think it's so pretty. It's a very dark red with cream and brown (I think - can't tell for sure if it's brown, black or gray) leaves.

The chair on the right wasn't completely dry when I took the photos. The embroidery thread piping still shows wet glue. It's looking pretty good now, though. ;0)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Stove tile detail

I added grout lines with a permanent marker and went over them one more time with an embossing tool. Then I added another layer of antiquing gel. I think it looks good. I also thought you might want to see the tag I started with to make the tile. That's it there on the left.

Saloon update

I was looking through vacation photo albums and found the family photo (that I originally had in this frame) in a wanted poster mat. Perfect! I scanned it and resized it to make another wanted poster for the exterior of the saloon. That left me with an empty frame but never fear - I had another photo for it. This is hubby, me, my SIL and my BIL back when we were young parents. We took an overnight trip to Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH without children. These are the only two saloon pics I have. Mark and I had another one of these taken in Victorian era clothing, very prim and proper. That one is miniaturized and framed and hangs in my Victorian Cottage.

Turning the frame also allows for a larger horizontal photo. I can actually recognize the people in the picture now, lol.
Last night I made a stovepipe for this woodstove salt shaker. The saloon starts to get chilly in the autumn evenings. The tile board under the stove was cut from a cardboard label. The pattern was very boldly colored so I antiqued over it and glued the cardboard to a piece of copper to give it some weight and a nice border.

I'm hoping to start the Brimble tomorrow. My son's not doing too well today and I'm taking him in for an IV this afternoon. He should feel better and be back to school tomorrow and I can play. I'm getting anxious to see how everything fits together.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Long day

Hi all,
Came home exhausted after moving my younger daughter back to college. Found my knitting with one of my expensive bamboo knitting needles on the dog's bed - I guess I should say I found the remains of that expensive bamboo knitting needle. She also ate a coaster and a couple of tissues. The food bowls were empty so I guess she got bored. Yesterday she ate a chair from one of my dollhouses - she's not on my "nice list." The cat's contribution was to pee all over the recliner foot rest. She does that when she's irritated about something. Yay...not the best homecoming.

But I did get a nice dinner with hubby on the way home. I think I'll just remember that part of today. ;)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saloon Art

Last night's mini project was artwork. I had already drawn the requisite bar nude - originally she was completely nude but since most of the pictures I saw only were artfully draped I gave her a waist to hip drape. This was drawn with chalk pencils so the details are very soft. Next time I'd use a regular pencil to sketch in facial features, I think. Next to the nude is a portrait of Rose. I photoshopped a pic to make it look like a painting and then made a layered frame with cardboard and gold cord. Next is a miniaturized photo of my family on a vacation to Mackinac. I'm the Miss Rose character, the girls are saloon girls and hubby and son are cowboys. The photo is framed in a beautiful jewelry finding I found at JoAnn Fabrics. The bottom two items are internet prints. I did some editing on the first one. It's a sign to remind cowboys to leave their guns at the bar. I was excited to see this since I had already decided that the sheriff was going to be the only one allowed to carry his gun in the saloon. The last thing is a standard wanted poster. It will be posted somewhere on the exterior of the building. I'll need something for the walls in the billiard room upstairs but I need to wait until I have a better idea of the wall space there.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Now they can enjoy the game

Jake and Daisy will enjoy the game now that they have balls for the table. I just made traditional solid and striped balls with a black one and an ivory cue ball (the cream/tan ball near the center of the table.) There are even a couple of balls in the net pockets. Jake is currently contemplating his next shot.

PS The Brimble kit came today. I'm not starting it until my middle daughter heads back to college on Sunday. She starts later than the other two. I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Care for a game of pool?

This turned out nicely. I used a tutorial I found at One Lucky Bug online. I made a few adjustments based on what I had on hand. The legs are hatstands I got at Hobby Builders Supply.
There's a slight problem with this game - there are no balls. I'm still trying to find out what would be authentic for the 1860s and not having much success.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Reconstructive surgery

If you look at Daisy's right arm you can see that it has some weird angles around the elbow. My trusty Dremel helped me fix that.

Saloon fun!

This is Daisy. Her dress fabric came from another Salvation Army find. It drapes beautifully. The lace was some that my grandmother had - she passed away when I was 5. I have quite a bit of the lace so I can spread my memories around. :)
I'm still waiting for the Brimble kit to arrive. While I'm waiting I had some fun making some saloon scenes.
I've asked a couple of friends if I can commission a doll from each of them for the saloon. I thought it would add more character to have at least some of the dolls made by someone other than me.


Please help me welcome Beatrice and Jody. Les Miniatures de Beatrice has some lovely dolls. Jody's Miniwereld shows a variety of beautiful minis. Please stop by both blogs and say hello.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Miss Rose finally makes her appearance

These are not the best photos. I'll try tomorrow for some better ones. Miss Rose is wearing a green and gold ensemble with a very low cut top. She favors green because it enhances her green eyes and red hair. The bright carrot color is a strong family trait - as you can see from both Rose and her cousin, Sean.
The bustle looks much better when you see it in person. I love her cascading ringlets and the feather headpiece.

Rose's gown was made from a blouse I got at the Salvation Army store. I love the color and I also love the crystal pleated ruffle.

I have a dance hall girl in pieces. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll have a chance to get her assembled and dressed. I think I want at least one more girl after I finish her. I'll probably need a couple more cowboys for the pool hall upstairs but I'll wait until I get the building constructed.


I have new followers to welcome. Please say hello to Marina of Casa de Bonicas, Lisette, Victorian of Dark Squirrel's Miniature Asylum, and Heather of Diary of a Dollhouse. Thank you all so much for stopping by!

Also, I'd like to introduce Jake. He's a gold miner having a night out on the town at A Rose Among Thorns.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

More characters mosey up to the bar

This is Joe, the gambler. Joe's been in love with Rose for years. He doesn't travel much anymore - just hangs around A Rose Among Thorns watching out for Rose. Good thing he made a lot of money in his younger years.
Sean keeps the place hopping with his piano music. (I need to adjust his vest, I see.)
He's an Irish man and 1st cousin to Rose.

BTW, the sheriff is Sheriff Roy Sheldon. (Thanks, May!) The bartender is Ben Jenkins.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Adding life to the scene

I spent a fun afternoon and evening dollmaking and dressing. The first saloon patron is the sheriff.
He enjoys spending his evenings playing poker - card shark coming in the future. Stay tuned! Since this photo was taken I added some detail to his holster and used dimensional gel on the six shooter (made of paper) to make it look more real.
Miss Rose wants her staff to be well dressed and the bartender does look sharp. The fabric for his waistcoat came from a necktie I purchased today at the Salvation Army store.
He looks right at home behind the bar.

I need names for these two. I am open to suggestions.

The Brimble has shipped so hopefully I'll be starting it soon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Crazy day but still time for minis

Yesterday I had to take my daughter's car back to the shop - she'd just had it back for a week. We picked it up today, she headed back to her campus apartment and it started acting up on the interstate. She pulled off and it completely died on the exit ramp. So I picked her up, she moved everything to her sister's car and headed back out. Meanwhile the repair shop picked up the car. So between car related trips out I still managed to get lots of minis made for the saloon. Last evening I worked on the liquor bottles. Some are lite brite pegs and some are made of translucent polymer clay painted with glass paints.
Late last night I started a couple of cowboy hats. One is real leather and one is felt. I found the tutorial on the internet. I made some variations.
Here are the finished hats as of this afternoon.
Chairs - I really hate making them. Or maybe I just hate the thought of making them because these came together fairly easily. I only had enough square dowels to make two per table. The dowels are balsa 'cause that's what I had. I'd have preferred real wood but I couldn't find any square dowels locally. The seats are cardboard. The ladderback pieces are skinny sticks and the stretchers are toothpicks. I made them assembly line style and that helped to speed the process up. I'm glad I just "bit the bullet" and made them because I really like how they turned out.
And here's a poker game in progress. Each player has a mug of beer - a section of ink pen casing with a fishing line handle, plastic packaging base, amber glass paint beer, and matte finish white fabric paint for the foam. The playing cards are printies from printmini.com.

Now I have to decide if I'm gonna try to make the pool table or buy one. I've made one in 1:16 scale for my brother and it wasn't too difficult. That's a decision for another day...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Playing with chalk

I found this sheet of border left over from a previous project. I think I found it at Jennifer's Printables. The border came in dark blue and a chocolate brown. This sheet was the brown. I wanted burgandy so I got out my chalk pencils to see if I could change the color. You can't tell in this photo but the border is now just the color I wanted. I added a touch of gold paint to the buttons at the top of the tassels and sealed it. Then I wondered if I could deepen the wallpaper color. For this I used a square of chalk pastels from my scrapbooking supplies. It worked beautifully. Then I added dots of gold to the center of the emblems. Now it's very elegant and perfect for my project.

Now you can have a drink

Here are some of the results of yesterday afternoon and evening's labors. A beer barrel with spigot, a tray of drinks, and a tray of empty glassware. The barrel is a plastic toy that I've repainted. The spigot is a wooden drawer pull. The trays are the metal ends from a tube of refrigerator biscuits. The glasses are a mix of beads and pieces cut from plastic ink pen casings. The beer mugs have plastic sheeting handles. The scrapbook paper behind the bar is gonna be the wallpaper. It shows up a bit lighter than it really is. It's really a dark rose background. I thought that would be appropriate for a saloon named "A Rose Among Thorns."
This collection of bits and bobs will become glassware and liquor bottles. There are a couple of other items in there, too, that may or may not have a place in the saloon. The bottles are made from various sizes of Lite-Brite type pegs. I have some original ones and some knock-off ones. I've already ground the bottles flat on the top and bottom and I've done some reshaping. I'll work on adding labels today.

At this rate it won't take long to complete the building and furnishings. That will give me lots of time to work on dolls. I have a couple of doll making friends. I think I may commission a couple of the characters to add variety to the clientele and staff.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

From spittoons to tables

The spittoons are pieces cut from decorative spindles. I layered a couple of paint colors to get a brass look.
This is not the wallpaper I'm planning to use. It will be a red but something more Victorian looking. The tables were made with margarine tub lids, spindles, cardboard and various wood scraps. I still need to put a final coat of sealer on them but they've been painted and antiqued. I want them to look well used.

I am having fun making things with what I have on hand. Many of the accessories are going to have to be purchased so the more I can save now, the better.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Care for a drink?

Well, I guess you'll have to wait a bit for that as there isn't any alcohol yet, lol. Just the bar itself. To be authentic I need to have some rags hanging every so often from the bar. They were for wiping the foam out of your mustache. Um, community napkins...I'm glad that custom has changed. Since I don't have a mustache I guess I wouldn't have had to worry much about that one. ;)

I did win the Brimble's Mercantile so I'm excited. It's gonna make an awesome saloon.

And so it begins...

This was today's project - a piano and stool for the saloon. I got the pattern for the piano from a book about making Victorian miniatures. It's made of cardboard, clothespins, chopsticks, a wooden flower, various wood scraps, and some gold cord. The keyboard is a printie.

I think the piano looks just beat up enough to look at home in a saloon.

Now I'm off to ebay to see whether I won the auction for Brimble's Mercantile. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rethinking the project

I've been doing some research on old west saloons and found that saloon girls were rarely prostitutes. They made a commission on the drinks they sold and their purpose was to entertain the men and encourage them to drink. Sometimes they would dance with the customers but only in really seedy places were they prostitutes. So, in order to remain somewhat historically accurate I think I will make Rose's saloon a bar/gameroom place with an area for dancing.

New project

Well, it's mostly in the idea stage but I think I want to make an old Western saloon/house of ill repute. I already have a name for it - A Rose Among Thorns Saloon. The owner/madam is Rose, of course.

I spent some time this afternoon sketching nudes with chalk pencils. I came up with a lady reclining on a red chaise that I'm happy with. Luckily, with minis, you just have to give the illusion rather than have each little detail. I can draw but I'm not a trained artist.

I know I want a poker game, a piano, the bar, of course, swinging doors. If I just use a crate for the saloon I'll just have to imply that there are other activities that take place upstairs. If I can find an inexpensive kit that works I'll do more with the madam and saloon girls.

Let me know if you have ideas for this project.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Please help me welcome three new followers. First is Priscila Lima. I wasn't able to find any blog information for Priscila. Next is Annemin Eli . She appears to have a couple of blogs but neither seems to be mini related. My third new follower is May. May has some beautifully dressed mini babies featured in a recent post. As always, please stop by and say hello.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Zucchini everywhere!

OK, maybe not everywhere but I came home from vacation to find three very large zucchini waiting for me in the garden. So today's project was to process them. The results are 10 half pints of relish, 5-2 cup bags in the freezer, and 2 loaves of bread. That was several hours of work but we will enjoy those 3 zucchini for a long time. ;)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A better photo

I think you can see the detail more clearly in this photo. I set the plant on my back porch and I really like it there.

Pansies take two

This time I painted a coffee filter with more realistic colors. The colors are softer and the coffee filter paper texture is more realistic. You can just see the last pansies I made under my thumb in the photo. I couldn't get a really good picture of the two side by side. Poke the photo to see everything more clearly.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

One last photo from vacation

This was taken by our waiter at the Sci Fi Dine In Theater at Hollywood Studios Theme Park. It's a fun restaurant - they show old, old science fiction flicks and you eat in tables like this set up to look like cars. My son Adam and nephew Morgan are in the front seat. Daughters Kristin and Megan are in the middle and hubby Mark and I are in the back seat. (And yes, he did make comments about being in the back seat at the drive in. ;) )

Family Fun!

This photo was taken at Epcot near the aquariums. The tall boy at the back is my nephew...and my son's best friend.
The boys had a great time. I have photos of them as Vikings (here) and as pirates and with a wooden Indian.
We had to take a wheelchair for Kristin as she's still recuperating from foot surgery. Here she's sharing with her sister, Meg.
Game night! We had a great time playing Phase 10. Meg was multitasking - reading and playing cards. We stayed at the Old Key West Resort. It was perfect for us 'cause everyone had some space to get away if they needed it.
Just me and my girls while we waited for the guys to make one last stop at Legoland. The boys had been saving up for some major purchases here.

The coolest thing about Walt Disney World is the wide variety of activities available. We had fun at the theme parks, shopped, ate some amazing meals (Tepan Edo at Japan in the World Showcase was wonderful!) and saw the Cirque du Soleil performance of La Nouba.

We all came home exhausted but it was fun. The only real downside is that hubby ended up with food poisoning from eating a hot dog at the Orlando airport the day we flew back. We landed in Detroit and spent the night there before heading home yesterday. Last night I ended up taking hubby to the ER. They replenished fluids and gave him some meds. He's resting today and hopefully will shake this soon.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm baaack!

Hi everyone! We got back this afternoon. We had a wonderful time but we're all exhausted. I'll post some pictures soon. Bye for now!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


We're leaving today for a computer free vacation to WDW in Florida. I'll be back next Tuesday. As Tigger would say, "Ta ta for now!"

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Say hello!

And welcome to Katiana of A casinha de Katy. Stop by her blog and see the lovely things she's making.

More followers!

Please help me welcome Janny of Art of Mini and Marie of Le petit monde merveiliux de Marie. Both have beautiful blogs so please stop by and say hello. Welcome ladies!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Please welcome my new followers!

I woke up this morning to find two new followers. Please help me welcome Peggy of Another Cosy Cottage and Brae from Otterine.com. Both blogs are lovely and filled with good ideas already. Both seem to be fairly new blogs so please pay them a visit.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pretty Little Pansies

I was looking through an old issue of American Miniaturist (June 2007) this afternoon and found a tutorial for pansies. It didn't look too difficult so I decided to give it a try. The pot on the right was my first attempt. I used the heart punches at full size but the flowers are too large for 1:12 scale. For the pot on the left I hand cut all of the hearts down a bit. These were really fun to make so I think I need to look for a smaller heart punch. :)

It isn't my tutorial to share but I can tell you the basic shapes if you want to play around with these. There are 3 yellow hearts, 1 purple heart and a small green circle for each flower. The leaves were cut with an oak leaf punch. The buds were made with one heart and one circle. This tutorial called for regular colored copy weight paper but painted coffee filters would give a more realistic texture. I just used the colored paper today since I just wanted a quick project.


Please help me welcome two new followers. They are Kim @ Fairytale Cottage and Anything Miniature. If either of you have blogs or websites that you would like me to link please comment on this post. Thank you for stopping by!

PS Shellby at Anything Miniature has just started her blog. Please pay her a visit!