Saturday, February 28, 2009

Victorian times

Many miniaturists' first project is a Victorian dollhouse. Not so with me. My first three houses were all contemporary and I had no interest in doing a period dollhouse. However, after that third house and the birth of my third child, I had little time for minis for several years. About 5 years ago, my husband bought me a Real Good Toys Victorian Cottage Jr. for Christmas. I decided that it would be fun to try a Victorian house and so it began. The next Christmas, I got a Petite Dreams house kit. It's very similar to the RGT Allison Jr. but reversed. It is prefinished on the exterior and I left it the original blue but added touches of darker blue for accents. I also made the dolls for both houses (except for the baby - she's a Renwal doll). Emma and Richard and their two children live in the big house and Emma's parents live in the cottage next door. Both houses have staff as well. Maria is the cook/housekeeper at the cottage. Emma has a cook, a nanny, a butler and two maids. I made or refinished most of the furniture in the two houses. I really enjoy figuring out how to make something out of bits I have on hand. That challenge is my favorite part of the miniatures hobby. These photos are all of the Petite Dreams house.

Friday, February 27, 2009

My daughter is home on break

Daughter number one is home from college on spring break. At least today, her first day home, I won't be doing any new mini projects. Today I'm posting photos of the general store I made from an old food crate that my other daughter gave me for my birthday last year. I like this type of project because it isn't really ever finished. You can always find room for one more thing. The doll was a gift from my husband's aunt so, although she's not very realistic, I keep her for sentimental reasons.
The left side of the store is where the customers gather for warmth and conversation after the long trip into town. You will also find tools, seeds and bulk supplies on this side of the store.

The right side of the store has the post office and counter. There are peppermint sticks and lemon drops for the children, cheese under glass, fresh eggs and a barrell of pickles all within easy reach.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I got a package from the UK today!

I asked my friend, Tina Upson, of 12th Scale dolls to make a lady gardener for my aquarium garden. She arrived today and I think she's adorable. I've named her Ruth and she's finally in the garden to watch over niece Sara. Since Sara was obviously underdressed for the weather, she now has a zipper cardigan and bright orange tennis shoes.

She loves red!

I just finished this set for a mini friend whose favorite color is red. It's a surprise gift (at least it was before I posted this picture, :-) .) Happy Thursday everyone!

Another follower!

Welcome Mary of Mary is fairly new to miniatures so be sure to stop by and say hello.

Thank you again to all of you who follow my blog. You all help to make this blogging thing a lot of fun!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A new follower!

Welcome Karen Clark of Karen also has two other blogs. Stop by and say hello!

My friend, Theresa, was very happy with her furniture. Tonight I will see Norene and give her the St. Patrick's Day hutch. It's been a lot of fun to create those things with my friends in mind. There's the added benefit of not having to find homes for them afterwards, too. ;-)

The new American Miniaturist had St. Patrick's Day cards to cut out so I had to add those. I also made some mugs (on the top shelf, center section) from instructions from Judy at Small World. Thanks, Judy! I also added a pillar candle and holder next to the stew on the counter. I can't add anything else because I'm giving it to Norene tonight and the glue wouldn't have time to dry. Hopefully, I'll remember that if I get "inspired" again.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Anyone for tea?

Today's project was this tea set for my friend, Theresa. She's working on her first dollhouse, a Duracraft Marquam Hill. She was hoping to work on it through the winter but that didn't go as planned so I'm giving her this sofa, table and tea setting to inspire her to complete her house. I don't have any other miniature friends close by so I am working hard to convert her. :-) I made the sofa for an earlier project but it was too large for the room so I had to make another one. I really like how this one turned out. It's both cozy and elegant. The book on the sofa is made of polymer clay with a real leather cover.

The teapot and cookie plate are both made of polymer clay. The cups and saucers started life as inexpensive metal spatterware. All of the items were given a coat of metallic blue paint and edged with gold. The gold tray is made from a necklace pendant. The tea hasn't dried yet but it's amber Gallery Glass paint.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hutch - take two

After looking at the pictures I decided to make a few adjustments. Here's the finished (for real this time) Saint Patrick's Day hutch with the Irish blessing plate on top.

Saint Patrick's Day gift for my friend

After doing some household chores I found some time to work on this hutch for my friend, Norene. She's very proud of her Irish heritage and celebrates the entire month of March. Her birthday is just a few days after St. Patrick's Day so I'm going to give her an early gift so she can enjoy it for the whole month. I started with a Michael's hutch and just added bits and pieces until I was happy with it. My Small World friends suggested an Irish blessing so I may try to fit one in somehow but otherwise I think it's finished once the glue dries.
Added later: Since posting these pics I've added an Irish blessing plate on top of the cook book at the suggestion of my Small World friends.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Say hello to MiniKat of Thanks for following my blog!

No mini-ing for me today. Other real life stuff to do. I remembered a small project I've been wanting to do for a friend, though, so hopefully tomorrow I can start that.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Little Girls' Dollhouse

One of my favorite recent projects is a dollhouse a friend and I made for another friend's two little girls for Christmas. We used a Lemon Twist kit I purchased on Ebay. We tried to keep costs down for the family and so this kit was very bare bones. My friend had the idea to cut our own siding from colored posterboard and it worked beautifully. After applying it, I sealed it with clear spray sealer to protect it. We used roof shingles from Jim's Printmini website and added sand and glitter to give them the texture of real asphalt shingles. It was a lot of fun to decorate a house for little girls because I could use much brighter colors than I would for one of mine. I also found Fisher Price dolls that looked like their family to make the house even more fun for the girls. My friend, Brenda, from Brenda's Miniatures, made a cat and a dog for the house. I made much of the furniture from scratch and also got several pieces from our Small World round robin swap. (Thank you to all my friends who participate in that!) The best part of all is how much the girls love their dollhouse.


Welcome to Jean Day of Jean Day Miniatures at and to Sam of Happy thoughts of a mini making mum. Stop by and visit them soon!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mini Museum

Hi everyone. I'm back from a long day of driving. Hubby had a doctor appointment 2 1/2 hours away. The appointment itself was an hour and a half long and then we had the return drive. He got a good report but there will be no actual mini-making today. Instead I'm posting some pics of the "mini museum" I set up in my house last spring for the senior citizens' group at my church. I set up all of my dollhouses like a city block on the dining room table with a gazebo in the middle (lucky for me I have a very large table!) The roomboxes were on the kitchen counter and snack bar. It was a lot of work to set up but very fun - and everything got a good cleaning. The seniors enjoyed looking at everything and several have commented on how much they enjoyed it since but I haven't yet been able to convince any of them to take up the hobby.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Suitcase Room

My favorite types of room boxes to do are the ones in unusual containers. My mom gave me this furniture set and I refinished it but I had no place to put it. I went looking around the house and spotted this make up case in my closet. I hadn't used it in years but it looked to be just the right size to hold the furniture. The only thing I'm not happy with is the amount of light but I have a solution for that. I just used an Aura-lite in my husband's radio room and it works wonderfully. I want to get one for this room, too. It's easy to install and provides just the right amount of light. I want to look at the hardware store this time because they are sold as under cabinet lights. I may be able to find it for less money there than through the miniature shop.

I redecorated in here last night. I like the new background and being able to have full pictures top and bottom.

I hope to get started on a new project soon. My son wants a cantina for his Star Wars figures. I've got to think some more about that one before I start.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More farmhouse pics

First, I'd like to welcome Doreen to my followers. She has two blogs - one of projects in progress and one of completed work. Stop by and visit her.

I'm still working on swap items so today I'm posting some more pictures of the farmhouse. I got a partially built Real Good Toys Vermont Farmhouse, Jr. on ebay. It hadn't been put together very carefully and it was missing several pieces, mostly trim. None of that mattered as I had to make modifications anyway to make it look more like the real house. We had an enclosed front porch that was used as an extension to the living room. The porch floor and roof came with my shell and I used foamcore to build the walls. The siding on the porch is made of poster board and the front steps are a combination of wood and egg carton pieces. Even my brothers (some of my most honest critics) say the house looks very much like the real thing. The real house no longer exists so I'm glad to have the mini version. Has anyone else made a replica of a place that's important to you? I'd love to see it if you have. That's all for now - I hope you all have a great day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Slow news day here

My current project is a swap for the Small World forum so I can't post any pictures. I'll just have to show you an older project today. A couple of years ago I recreated my childhood home in miniature. I grew up on a farm in the 1970s. My mom decorated our old house and it was beautiful...for the 70s. Looking back now, it seems very gaudy but it was the style of the day. I had to make most of the furnishings since 1970s style isn't very popular among miniaturists but that was both fun and challenging. The bedroom is my parents' room. The photo in front is my sister in the room in the late 70s. The other photo is the dollhouse kitchen. You may recognize the coppertone appliances and the wood look laminate table if you are old enough to remember this time period. The chairs were difficult to make but I'm really pleased with the final result. They look amazingly like the real ones we had - the real ones followed me when I got married. We were in college and had no money so we duct taped the tears in the vinyl and made do until we could get some better chairs. Ah, the good old days! The photo at the bottom of the page is my interpretation of the living room and of me with my siblings. The dolls were fun to do.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tax time...

Hi everyone. This will be quick as I'm off to do the taxes. I don't really mind doing the paperwork. It's just the gathering of everything that I don't care for.

Yesterday I came up with a variation of the wall fountain. I really like the stone fountain but my garden does not need anymore running water! So, I made this plant shelf with a matching planter. I used a clip earring back for the shelf and a bead for the planter itself. Very favorite kind of project for those busy days.

Have a great week!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Welcome to all of my followers

Wow! I have 12 followers now. Thank you everyone and welcome Jayne of Tallulahbelle Originals. Jayne is a friend from the Small World forum, as are Brenda (Brenda's Miniatures), Gaye (My Small Obsession) and Grace (Treefeathers Miniatures). A special thank you to all of you who follow my blog and you don't even know me. :-) Hopefully, we will become friends as well as we get to know each other through our blogs.

Mini wall fountain tutorial

Good morning. I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day! I saw the movie "Fireproof" with my hubby (a great movie!) and we had some quiet time in front of the fire.

Yesterday afternoon I came up with a wall fountain for the mini garden. This is a quick and easy project.

Items needed: Metallic plastic frame scrapbook sticker (I get a four pack from the Dollar Tree), Small scallop shell or some sort of jewelry finding with a bowl, Barrell type earring back, fishing line - about 2 inches long, Tacky glue, Super glue, Antique copper acrylic paint, Dark green glaze or thinned acrylic paint (or several shades of green in either the glaze or paint), scissors, scrap of paper

Instructions: Attach sticker to scrap of paper and trim along the scalloped edges of the frame. For this fountain I turned the sticker so that the oval center ran up and down. Glue (using a combination of tacky and super glue) the earring back to the top point of the sticker. Glue the item you are using for the fountain bowl at the bottom of the oval with the bowl facing up (towards the earring back). Depending upon what you are using for the bowl, you might have to trim or bend parts to make it fit snugly against the sticker. For the shell jewelry finding pictured, I'd have to bend the ring and part of the shell up to give a large enough surface to glue. Once the super glue has set and the pieces are firmly stuck together, paint a light coat of antique copper paint over the whole thing, being careful not to get paint into the hole on the earring back. Once that is dry, paint another light coat of the antique copper. Give that a couple of minutes to dry and then, with a very light hand, highlight areas on the fountain with the green glaze or thinned paint. You are adding the patina. If you want your fountain to look old you'll want more green. If it's to be a newer fountain, go more lightly with the green. Now, go away for awhile and let everything dry thoroughly. When you come back, put a dab of glue on one end of the fishing line and glue it into the hole on the earring back. Let that set and then trim the line so that the other end rests in the bowl of your fountain. Add tacky glue to the bowl and let it set up a bit then put the other end of the fishing line into the glue in the bowl. Once it is all dry you have water running into the bowl of the fountain. I used a different type of finding for my fountain. You can't see into the "bowl" so I just glued the bottom end of the fishing line directly into the finding. Just adjust the directions to fit the frame and finding you use. Another finishing option would be to use acrylic paints to give it a stone look. (I just posted an example of that at the top of this post.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

I can't seem to walk past the aquarium garden without it telling me it needs something else. Yesterday alone I added a sundial, gate hardware, more plants, a climbing rose, a couple more garden tools, painted the wheelbarrow...maybe more but I can't remember right now. I want to add a wall fountain but I've misplaced the jewelry finding I planned to use. I've torn the workroom apart looking because I just tried it in a different project a week or so ago. I know it's there somewhere.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Meet little Sara

This is Sara.

She's been "helping" her aunt in the garden. I hope Aunty finds her soon and that the kitty continues to hide in the plants. Sara loves kitties as much as she loves flowers. The cat, however, does not feel the same way about Sara.

Adding character to the garden

Today I focused on adding the little touches that make a mini project seem more real. I highlighted some of the stones in the wall and added moss between some of the stones. I also added moss between some of the patio pavers. I added a few new plants and some garden ornaments. There are a couple of oversize mushrooms and a tiny little gazing ball. I need some ideas on hardware for the gate. Would it be inside or outside, what type, how should I do the latch? All suggestions are welcome.

My friend, Tina, of 12th Scale Dolls in the UK, is making a gardener for this project. I can't wait to see what she comes up with!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A quick garden update

I just added a few things to make my garden look more realistic. There are now some garden gloves on the bench and the two blackbirds became a gold finch and a robin. If you look closely by the pond you'll see a mourning dove.

The glue is still drying but it's finished

I had a late night spurt of energy and the garden is basically finished. Of course, there's always room to add something because no mini project is ever truly finished. A couple of items are special enough to note. Cary Yerves made the canvas chair and Brenda, of Brenda's Miniatures, made the gray cat curled up near the pond. The other items were found in the Small World round robin swap box or were made by me. I am very happy with how the slate tiles for the patio turned out. They were cut from egg carton like packing material and then painted and sealed. The patio table is made from several "found" objects. The base is a pizza box "table" topped with a small tile. The umbrella is a cocktail umbrella on a button base. I used aquarium gravel for the stone path. Once it is completely dry you won't see white between the stones. I sealed the stones in place with a heavy coat of matt Mod Podge and it's taking forever to dry.
PS I forgot to add that I painted all of the sky area with pale blue glass paint. It's just enough to filter the light (but still allow plenty of light in) and mask things that are sitting outside the aquarium.