Monday, January 31, 2011

More lights and more snow

This is the kitchen ceiling light again. I rotated the photo so it looks as though it's actually hanging.
The living room ceiling fan turned out really well. The ceiling mount is part of a button and the fan blades are cardstock.
This is the wall mounted lamp for over the bed. I made it with a combination of beads, wire and paint.
This photo is fuzzy but it's the ceiling fixture for the bedroom. The bead I used for the globe has soft stained glass looking shapes in blue and pink. It's a really pretty bead.

We're currently under a winter storm warning. We could get up to 20 inches of snow! I'd actually enjoy being snowed in. The only problem is that hubby is the ham radio emergency coordinator for our county and he's likely to have to be out in the nastiness. Stay warm and safe wherever you are!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thank you, Kathi!

Kathi, at Beautiful Mini Blessings, gave me this award. It is for creativity, use of materials and membership in the blogging community.

Here are the rules:

1. You must choose 5 blogs that you think deserves this award, the criteria for design, material use, and participation in the blog community, regardless of language.
2. Add each award recipient's name and a link to their blog.
3. Name and link to the person who gave you the award.
4. Add the link to "Arte y Pico" so that everyone can see who originated this award.

I'd like to present this award to the following people:






I've been inspired by each one of you. Although we will probably never meet face to face, I'm so glad for the opportunity to get to know you through your blogs.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Another t shirt blanket

Dear daughter number 2 is home for a short break from college. She used my sewing machine to make her t shirt quilt. K used polar fleece in a black paw print on red for her backing fabric. Our school mascot is a black panther and the school colors are red, black and white. K was a cheerleader in both middle and high school and was in choir for all that time, too, so that's what most of her shirts are from. I love these quilts - they're like scrapbooks that keep you warm. ;-) Both girls decided several years ago that they wanted to save their "special" t shirts to make a blanket. It's funny that it took them so long to actually do it - I guess M getting a sewing machine for Christmas spurred them on. The quilts made perfect 1st sewing projects.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

This is so cool!

I just found out that one of my dolls has been featured on an "etsy stalker" website. The ladies look through etsy shops and feature items that catch their attention. The doll they chose was Carole, the aging bathing beauty. You can see the feature here -

Stained glass?

This is not a great photo but it's the view from the top looking down on a floor lamp I made yesterday.
This will be the ceiling light fixture for the kitchen.

These were so simple to make. I used inexpensive tiny suction cup hooks from Dollar Tree for the shades. The "leading" was done with a black Sharpie permanent marker and I used a toothpick to apply glass paint to the tiny sections.

Then I used a variety of materials to construct the actual lamps. The floor lamp has a wooden base with a flat bead as trim. The pole is a fancy toothpick and I used a small bead as the light bulb.

The kitchen light has a jewelry finding tip and part of a button for the ceiling mount.

I also made a light for the dining room and a ceiling fan for the living room but I'm having trouble getting decent photos.

I used beads and jewelry findings to make lights for the bedroom. They are a different style but still appropriate for the style of the house.

I'll keep trying for better pics. :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Please help me welcome my new followers.
Bridget of tweetypetieproducts.Bridget is only 15 and makes the most amazing mini food!

Blake of ahhwahwah is 17 and has just finished his first doll, Patch. Patch is a character from a story Blake has written.

Carol of true2scale makes beautiful printables and other minis.

And finally Looking Glass Miniatures which is a blog for the shop of the same name. You will find links to her other blogs there. She has some wonderful projects in the works.

Thank you all so much for following. I'm so happy for the opportunity to see your work and make some new friends. :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The kitchen looks great now!

I added several things to the living room - a rug, an afghan and flames and embers for the fire. The rug is a blown up picture from a catalog. I printed it on cotton fiber paper.
Here are the pieces I used for the cabinets. I had some rubber stamps that were given to me that I wasn't interested in. (I love stamping but these were categories I wouldn't use.)
And here it is. The fridge and stove paper parts I salvaged from the rejected kitchen. The upper cupboards are just held on to a book cover with some sticky wax so that's why they aren't hanging straight. Each piece is separate so I will have options for laying out the kitchen. My favorite things are the double sink and faucet and the range hood. The stamp block has a dip for a finger grip on the top edge. I used a large craft stick for the counters and I put two holes in for the sinks. The dip and the edges of the hole were painted silver. The hardest part of the range hood was the angles - I kept looking at mine to figure it out. There's even a mesh fan grate inside. The doors are cut from regular and wide craft sticks with bead knobs.

I am so happy that I decided to try the wood. I'm also thankful for God's inspiration in using the stamp blocks.

I just couldn't do it the bungalow will have wood cabinets in the kitchen. After spending all that time on the furniture I don't want to kitchen to look "not up to standard." Playing with how to make them now and will post photos soon.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And the progress continues

I added some accessories to the living room area today. Magazines on the coffee table; pottery, books and art on the mantel. Pillows will be coming soon.
The kitchen cabinets and appliances are all printies. The stove is from - I made it shallower so that it's the same depth as the cabinets and fridge. They were made from a variation of the printies I posted last year. The lady of the house had some fun with painting her cabinets and used several shades of olive green. With all of the other work she and her husband are doing on their bungalow they couldn't afford a complete kitchen makeover so they just got new appliances and painted the old cupboards. The tile backsplash is alternating sunflower tiles and plain white ones. The disadvantage to using printables is that the doors and drawers don't open. The benefits are: less money (almost nothing!); I can choose any color I want; the stove has 4 burners instead of the two on most half scale stoves; I can have a double door fridge with an ice/water dispenser in the door (I don't have one in real life but I can pretend, lol); I can have as many cupboards as I feel like making; I even have a range hood and wall mounted cabinets. If I don't glue this set in I can try my hand at wooden cabinets if I want. For the most part I'm happy with the printies, though. The stove and fridge are more realistic than anything I could make with wood.

Late night project

The dogs decided to go out last night just as I was ready for bed. They were out a long time. Long enough for me to start a new project...then I didn't want to stop even after they did come in. So it was a late night but look how cute the fireplace is! The basic framework is the cut down lid of an individual chocolate box. You know, one of those that holds 3 pieces? I painted that with a coat of hippo gray and then started tearing tiny little stones from egg carton and some tan packing material. I first trimmed around the opening with mitered strips from the egg carton and then just started gluing pieces of the cartons in place. I highlighted some of the "stones" with paint - hippo gray, pale pink and pale peach. I made the base and back with some of the packing carton and made a mantel from the egg carton. Once everything was dry I painted on some acrylic sealer and laid some twigs (large branches in half scale) in place ready for a fire.
Here's how it looks with the rest of the living room stuff. Once it's actually in the living room I may extend the chimney from the mantel to the ceiling with more of the carton stone since there isn't an exterior chimney, just the one on the roof. I'm not sure yet.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Just playing

I made some clay pots and added various plant materials and then arranged the furniture into "rooms." The fabric under the bedroom set came from the swap box. I was planning to make toss pillows for the living room but I think it makes a great rug...hmm. The fern leaves were cut from a real life plastic plant. I also added the top trim pieces to the bed today. It looks more finished now, I think.
The living room will have the large floor plant potted in a terra cotta bead, a fern on a plant stand (made like the previous fern) and a smaller plant in a clay bowl (made with reindeer moss.) I will add some throw pillows to the couches when I actually decorate the house. The walls will probably be a pale olive in the living room.
The dining room has a vase of flowers - a really cool stained glass looking bead - and a gold trimmed terra cotta teapot. I made the teapot from polymer clay as well as all the pots except for the bead I used for the floor plant.

It's fun just to arrange and rearrange - it helps me to get ideas for the finished rooms.

New half scale treasures

The Small World online forum that I belong to has a traveling round robin swap box. When it arrives you take out anything you are interested in and add anything you want to clear out of your stash. The box arrived today and look what I found! The grandfather clock is one of the weird scale things you can find at Dollar Tree. I cut off some of the bulky extra wood and sanded off the glossy finish. I used some dimensional gel on the clock face to represent glass. It's going to look great in the dining or living area. The treadle sewing machine needed a bit of work, too. The hand wheel was broken so I made a new one from a circle of tooling foil. The top was brass so I painted it to look like wood and added some painted "thread" to the machine. Now it's ready for a project. The wringer washer is a fridge magnet. I'm not sure if I will use it in the bungalow but it's cute so I kept it for now. If I don't use it, it can always go back in the box next time around, lol.

I also found some fabric for pillows and some beads for light shades, pots and candles. At this rate I'll have all the interior decor figured out long before my birthday. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

New additions

The chest of drawers and the nightstand were this evening's work. The drawers are fake...but they look like they could open, lol. The bedside table is a little "wonky" but I can hide the bad side against the wall. I like the concept - one of the braces slid up before the glue dried and I didn't notice until it was too late. I'll make another table if this one ends up bugging me too much. ;)

New and improved...well, improved anyway

I got out my trusty Dremel tool today and worked on the dining chairs and the rocker. The thinner front legs and trim around the seat help the dining chairs to look much less clunky and more in scale. I enhanced the curve of the rockers and thinned the legs of the rocking chair.

Looking at the photos it looks like the stain is really blotchy. It doesn't really look like that. I think the flash is making funny reflections.

I was asked about a tutorial. I will have to think about that. The original chair was based on a pattern for a 1:12 scale chair. The rest of the items are my designs based on the Mission style look and using the materials I had on hand. I will get back to you. :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

And still more...

I made lots of pieces while watching football today. The bed, rocking chair, sofa at the back right, and the table and chairs are all projects from this afternoon. I'll have to decide whether this is going to be a contemporary house decorated authentically or a turn of the century house but since I don't even have the kit yet, I've got some time to decide, lol.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Wait, there's more!

Once I had the chair done for scale, it wasn't as difficult to make the other pieces. And to respond to April's comment on the previous post, I hate to measure and I often work on the principle that it's close enough. :) The little bars that make it Mission style were a real pain. I did a lot of trimming once the glue set.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Doing everything by half

I've asked hubby for the half scale bungalow for my birthday coming up early next month. I want to decorate it in Mission style. That would be a bit of a challenge for me in 1:12 scale. Here's my first chair. I'm actually quite happy with it. There are some flaws but I won't point them out. ;) I have a one inch scale pattern so I just cut all the measurements in half. One piece of furniture down for a five room house...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Meet Ally

My husband got me a new clay mold for Christmas. Usually I sculpt my dolls from scratch or occasionally use a mold for the faces for my personal dolls. This mold has all the body parts but I had a lot of trouble getting the mold to release - even using corn starch as a release agent and putting the mold in the freezer before popping the pieces out. She still looks cute - like a teenager talking to her friends at dance class.

Happy Friday!

It's a beautiful day with more snow predicted for this evening. I'm enjoying a cup of tea before I start my morning workout. I'm slowly getting back into the mini routine now that the holidays are over. Unfortunately, my newest creations are for a swap so I can't share them with you yet. I hope to spend some time this afternoon making minis that I can share. Stay tuned!

I've been drooling over my latest Hobby Builders Supply catalog. I really like the Real Good Toys bungalow - it's one of my favorite real life architectural styles. I just don't have room for another large dollhouse though. I was really excited to see the bungalow in half scale now. My head is filled with visions of mini Arts & Craft style bits of furniture...I have a birthday coming up soon. Maybe the little bungalow will find it's way here. :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's snowing again!

This time we're getting several inches. It's been falling steadily since about 9:30 this morning and it's nearly 7 pm now. The roads are awful but the snow looks so pretty. I'll try to post some photos tomorrow.

Hope you all are having a great week!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A few steps back in time

This is the Canterbury dollhouse I built when I was pregnant for my middle child. She's going to be 21 in March so this house has been around for awhile. It was only the second dollhouse I'd ever built. The rooms are so tiny that I never really got around to making decent appliances for it.
Today I sacrificed a couple of my last Michael's hutches to take care of that.
This is Elizabeth Greene making some stew in her new kitchen. This unit holds the sink, cook top, oven and cabinets.
The unit on the opposite wall holds a mini fridge and cabinets.
Elizabeth's husband, Martin, is playing with one of the grandkids. Elizabeth and Martin are the first polymer clay dolls I ever made. They are kind of large for this little house and they are very simply made but they're special because they were the first. I'm proud of this little house. It was only my second mini project but I reupholstered the furniture and made rugs. I made my own trim for the inside and sewed all of the curtains. If I were ever to make another of these kits I think I'd use it for some type of store instead of a house since the rooms are so small, especially on the top floor.

I'd love to see some of your early projects, too. It's fun to see how much we've grown in our abilities over the years.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Finally a mini project!

I did a bit of work on the New York loft apartment. I tore the carpet out and glued it directly to the floor rather than to cardboard. It looks so much better now! I also made and filled the black corner shelf. That space just seemed bare.

The shelf was made with a thin sheet 3 inch wide wood. I scored it down the center and folded it into the corner shape. The shelves are woodsie triangles. I used skinny sticks for the shelf supports and for the trim at the base of each shelf. Quick, easy and it looks good, too. :)

Not a mini but very cool

This is my oldest daughter's first sewing project. She's 22 but never really had an interest until now. She got a sewing machine for Christmas and the first project was this quilt made from squares cut out of her high school t shirts and sweatshirts from the various activities she was involved in. She used a black on cream polka dot flannel for the backing so the finished quilt is very cozy and warm.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Snow - inside and out!

I don't have photos of the "out" but we have gotten a bit of snow with more to come. Yay! As for the "inside" I painted this sign a few days ago to add to my snowman collection. It's a nice backdrop for the shelf and was fun to do.
Another addition to the collection came from a surprise source. I bought a new box of Red Rose Tea and they always have little figurines in the boxes. I was so excited to find a little snowman! My son thought my reaction was a bit extreme but I was happy, lol. He's sitting on the ledge over my kitchen range between a cute little metal cone shaped snowman (a gift from a former student) and an antique butter press (for making individual pats of butter imprinted with a design.)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bring on the snow...please?

We currently don't have any real snow so I've decorated my blog with it instead. I'm still hoping for more of the real stuff, though. I got most of the Christmas decorations down and my snowman collection out today. The kids and I are going to work on the big tree in my room tomorrow. I will be glad to get everything put away - it all gets stored in the closets in my craft room. Until I have everything back in the closets my room is torn apart.

By the way, has anyone else had trouble with blogger's design feature? I finally gave up and went back to an old template. I couldn't get any of the new design stuff to actually show up so I could make changes. I was getting really tired of the silly maple leaves showing through on every background.

Today was kind of fun. My oldest got a sewing machine for Christmas but she's never sewn before today. She's making a quilt from all of the t-shirts she had in high school from band, cheerleading, theater, etc. It's turning out to be really cute and she's so excited that she's making it mostly on her own. I'll post some pics once she's finished it.

Have a great week everyone! Hopefully, there will be some new mini projects coming soon!