Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Magic Portal Bookstore and New York City Plant Bed Tutorial

I made a lot of progress over the long Thanksgiving Day holiday (although there were several times when it felt like one step forward, two steps back) on The Magic Portal Bookstore, particularly on the NYC sidewalk and plant bed.

It is good that I have a deadline because I get very tempted to work on other things (like Christmas or Thanksgiving food or just random ideas that catch my fancy).  This explains why I have so few finished projects. Lol.

I finally decided on the color of the letters and I glued them on. I bought the letters from Factory Direct Craft. I painted them white and then I used glossy white nail polish on top for a shinier effect.

The Bookstore is called The Magic Portal because books are like a magic portal. I believe that, but it's also based on the Stephen King quote, "Books are a uniquely portable magic."

I also finally got the magnets to work to attach the front to the store. (Sheila, I'd be interested in how you did yours. The walls were so narrow to drill holes into for my magnets.)

I created book exhibits for the windows.

This circular one will be attached to the top of the left window. It's supposed to evoke a book portal. 

I chose a mixture of books for the window: literature, chicklit, children's, cooking, Stephen King's book On Writing.

I also figured out my lighting with some trial and error. (I tried a fancier method  (using my bakery ceiling as the practice ceiling) and then went back to my easier method.)

I worked on the city sidewalk and the flower bed. I am really happy with how the flower bed turned out.

I love looking at flowerbeds on streets in New York City--glimpses of very small gardens. This is a flowerbed I pass every day and I think it is quite beautiful.

I was going to put a tree trunk in mine, but I couldn't find the tree trunk I wanted to use. My daughter and I had made one for a school project, and we saved that from the project. But I couldn't find it (another time).

Here is my flowerbed:

The hostas plant is from the youtube video by We love Miniatures (and the printout was available years ago on their Facebook page. My friend Ketsia had found it as a project for us to do).

The other plants are from Dragonfly International Miniatures. The small plants were a NAME roundtable kit  (but also available on her website) and the large plants are available on the Dragonfly website or HBS/Miniatures (where I bought it ).

I highly recommend Deb's kits. They are easy and come out well. This kit makes 2-3 plants. I didn't realize that at first, and I was like this plant is going to be HUGE. Then I looked at the website where it clarified that the kit makes 2-3 plants. Similarly, the kit for the small plants made 6 different plants.

Plant Bed Black Iron Fence Tutorial

For the iron guard rail around the flowerbed, I cut paper clips. I crazy-glued them into the foam base and then I painted them black with Testers Black paint.

Here are my tools and supplies:

For the iron guard rail around the flowerbed, I cut paper clips. I crazy-glued them into the foam base and then I painted them black with Testers Black paint.

After painting:

For the sidewalk, I used spackle thinned with water, a sponge to give it some texture, and then I painted it with watered-down grey.

I made the purple dahlias from a kit by **. I bought it at Philadelphia Miniaturia. I forgot to include it in my earlier post on purchases. That was also an easy kit with a lovely result.

And finally, in New York, you need a "don't pee/poop on my garden sign." Not that it works. 

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Bookstore Blue

I couldn't decide initially what to do with the façade of the bookstore, but eventually I went with my original desire to paint it all blue.

I considered doing stone on the front bottom to match the side walls.  I made a sample on cardboard
But for some reason, it didn't look right.
So I painted it all blue.

I also flirted with building the second floor, going as far as to cut the plywood floors and one wall (love that wall shape).

But then I decided against that for now. Too many space constraints in my apartment.

I added the door handles from Ron Stetkewicz Miniatures

Next I am working on lighting and painting the letters of the name. I can't decide if it should be gold or white, so I'm making a sample of each.

And I keep getting distracted and making more books.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving 2019!

Happy Thanksgiving!

May I offer you some appetizers while we wait? What would you like to drink? 

Lots of cooking going on in the kitchen!

Hurray! Dinner is ready!

I can't wait to dig into the turkey dinner! With carrots, broccoli, peas, sweet potatoes (I really need some mashed potatoes and cranberries. Next year.)

And another favorite part of Thanksgiving: dessert!

Someone brought Turkey Pops (made by Kiva).

And  pumpkin pie, a fruit tart, a cherry pie and an apple pie. Yummy! 

Looks like someone brought one more cake from CottonTail miniatures on Etsy: a gingerbread cake with stars. Love Gingerbread!

They all look scrumptious!

Which desserts would you choose? 

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Philadelphia Miniaturia Show Purchases

At the last minute, I decided to go to Philadelphia Miniaturia for a day. It was my first time and so much fun. I also enjoyed talking to various dealers at the end when I was spent (literally and physically).

One of my favorite dealers is DollsHouseMinis on Etsy. Here is a link. I first saw her in Chicago. I love her work. Once I saw that she would be there via her Instagram postings, I really wanted to go. 

They've already found their way into Apartment #2 of Waterside Way.

I bought this strawberry jam and pie tin from El Arte de Angelina from Argentina. And a lego mold from Stewart Dollhouse Creations because it's a close call whether my house has more lego or dollhouses (or books). 

And I've already placed the jam and pie tin in my bakery. is another vendor I really like, so I bought these 3 kits and the grey pitcher. I'm excited to make some flowers to put in there. (Since I still have kits I bought from them last time and haven't made yet, I was a bit more restrained. But I have made several of their kits and they're very easy.)

I bought this pink bicycle to decorate with a basket of flowers.

I bought fruit from Sharon Harbison. 

On the second time around, I found this Christmas gingerbread cake from Carl Bronsdon. 

I bought this key chain, bags and flower kit from Itsy Bitsy Mini.
I loved talking to her. She said how she was just always so excited to be making minis and she couldn't wait to start each day.

And then I saw Ron Stetkewicz (website: at the show and asked him why he wasn't selling, telling him I needed door handles for my bookstore. Luckily, he had some in his car, so I bought these in the parking lot. 

I installed them before I lost them.

I bought these seedling trays from Castle Crafts. I met Robina of Miniature Abodes at the show and she pointed them out.

Two wine bottles for the restaurant. 

(I am still working on the swinging door and wall, and I plan to make a wine rack to sit above 

And a butterfly:
I might glue that to some flowers or a shop front before I lose it. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Book Store in Progress for the HBS/Miniatures Contest

I'm making a bookstore for the #HBS/Miniatures Creating Contest. After I made the my writer friend's book talk scene and the library for my son's school last spring, I really wanted a book store for myself. Especially since I quit my job to be a writer. So I thought if I like the HBS/Miniatures contest kit, then I'll use that. 

Instead of working on the structure, though, I keep re-arranging the books.

And posing my new cats. Above is my new fat cat from wolvi64 on eBay.

And below is my new orange cat from JMDS Miniatures on eBay. 

The books then fall down because I don't want to glue them in.
 I like using them in scenes. Some of them are from #LittleThingsofInterest and have text/illustrations on the pages. I can't glue those in! I will build little boxes for them, I think.

I did make a little bookmark box. Free bookmarks when you buy a book! I cut up little pictures from a Paper Source catalogue and put them in some left-over wood scraps from a Betterley book kit.

I love The Big Book of A Miniature House, but I can't fit another dollhouse in our apartment, so I thought I'd try to make this in the French style. Sort of.  I would like to put a second floor roof on top following her instructions, but I think my husband will notice if a two-story structure appears. Lol. Anyway, I doubt I have time, so I'll work on the current kit and the landscaping and then see if I have time. 

I put spackle paste on both side walls, as per her instructions of how to do the walls. And there you can see the blue of the window.

I want the front to look like these inspirational photos, but I realized I've already used that blue in other buildings (my bakery and Malibu dollhouse - yes, I clearly have my favorite colors), so I will use the royal blue above. 

I like the way they put the books on shelves on the side of the wall in the above picture.

Have a great week!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Magical Mayhem - Happy Halloween 2019!

Happy Halloween! Mr. Bones wants to invite you to come inside!

I think Mr. Bones looks very inviting. And his long-lost relative is coming out to visit as well. But our trick-or-treater looks a little nervous - maybe because the long-lost relative just popped up.

Inside it's magical mayhem.

Even the witches look a bit shocked.

Pre-party, there was quite a lot of activity going on. The cat doesn't know if he should chase the mice away from the cheese OR watch that iron.

The magical iron is from Mainly Minis

Ok, he's scared away the mice, but now the milk is magically pouring.

But at least there will be cookies!

Happy Halloween!