Friday, May 22, 2015

Spraypainting Oops!

The title refers to one of my favorite children's books:  Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton.  The turkey keeps putting all his clothes on the wrong way (socks on his hands. . . etc).  My kids love it and it so fun to read with them!  (I also highly recommend her Hippos Go Berserk.) 

 But back to my dollhouse oops .. .

Since I had to do some painting in the bathroom, I started spray painting the bedroom doors as well.  I taped up the "glass" and started spray painting, but when I removed the tape, it had seeped in - oops! (Actually, my first mistake was that I glued the wall in place because I think you could take the glass out via the bottom, but I had already glued it into place of course.)

But it looks a lot better now that I have cleaned it with Goo Gone.  Phew!!

And then because I have to stay away from eBay after my Chicago shopping trip, I started making some of my kits.  I bought this Tom Walden Miniature Floating Shelf kit when it was advertised in one of the NAME Gazette issues after a NAME function, but he had some for sale at the Tom Bishop show  (which is what put it back on the top of my "To Do" list.)

I made it in 2 nights so I am quite happy with it!

And of course, I  had to play with my bathroom and set it up to see what  it looked like with the tile shower wall safely installed.  This may be why I am not making fast progress :)

The double sink unit is from PRD Miniatures.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Brooklyn Brownstone by Lawrence Valenza

This 2008 American Miniaturist issue captivated me because of the picture of a Brooklyn loft apartment scene:

This artist Lawrence Valenza SO captured certain NYC apartments- the varnished floor and the white moldings are perfect.  The Persian rug and the record collection in the window.  And he even has the radiator in the corner in one picture.   

And I love the pocket doors.     

 Here's a picture from the AM article:

I recommend checking out his blog post about it (it has much better pictures) (although he may be a bit surprised to find a bunch of miniaturists checking out his blog): 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"Feel Big, Live Small" Miniatures Art Exhibit in NYC

I visited the "Feel Big, Live Small" Miniatures Art Exhibit.   It was such fun to see all the art pieces.  You can see all of them here.

I recommend checking it out online and especially reading the brochure article by Rachel Nuwer discussing some of the history of miniature collecting  - available at this "Feel Big, Live Small" brochure  link:

She quotes Matthew Albanese as stating:  "[miniatures] give me the ultimate ability to control my environment while satisfying a need to simply work with my hands," says artist Matthew Albanese. "It always seemed to me that the miniature was the most effective solution to experiencing visions of the world and new perspectives that otherwise could not be achieved in life."  (Although to be honest, my miniature collection is getting out of control and so my real-life environment is out of control as I search for places to store my miniatures in my apartment.)  

And I also like the her quote from artist Joe Fig:  "Miniatures evoke a feeling of wonder or awe. . .  They suspend reality, taking you out of your surroundings and bringing you into a new world."  Or, also for me, creating a lasting emotional memory of your current world.

And I also found fascinating Rachel Nuwer's discussion of Frances Glessner Lee:  "Frances Glessner Lee, popularly known as "the mother of forensic investigation" . . . created 20 dollhouse crime scenes in the 1940's and 50s, which she called the nutshell studies of unexplained death.  At that time, crime scene investigation was a sloppy affair, with evidence oftentimes overlooked or tampered with before it could be collected.  Lee -- who came from a wealthy family but was denied a college education because of her gender - co-opted the traditionally female art of dollhouse-making into a darker but more purposeful pursuit, building perfect freeze-frame replicas of real-life crime scenes .  . . for training purposes.. . .  Lee's nutshells are still used for training crime scene investigators today."  So interesting.

I especially loved Joe Fig's "Self Portrait: Collinsville"  which was a wonderfully detailed art studio:

And I liked Alice Bartlett's "Nail Art" with the 1/144 people (or railroad set people) - very fun!

The office scene in a briefcase was quite realistic and cleverly done.

And I found this one thought-provoking - with soldiers on top and children playing on the other side (of the world?)  - especially in these times when there seems to be so many wars and suffering around the world.

The motel street scene ( a piece entitled "Bad Girl" by Tracey Snelling) also was well done and evocative  - with the neon lights flashing and the telephone or cable wires hanging between the buildings across the streets.  I didn't take a photo, but here is a link to an article about her artwork (which includes a picture) and of course there is a picture in the link up top.

Anyway, it was lots of fun to see a miniatures art exhibit!  I was having a bit of withdrawal after the Chicago show.

Friday, May 1, 2015

My SoHo Loft Dress Shop and Making a Clothing Rack

One of the first shops I made was my SoHo Loft dress shop in a wooden wine box:

The clothes are mostly by Paola from Paola y Sara.  (There are some Topper Dawn doll clothes mixed in.)  I especially love the pink nightgown and robe.  The rug is also hers.  I made the dressing room and the clothing rack.  The shelves (which need some more bags) are paint stirrer sticks cut to size.   And luckily there is lots of room to add some more minis!

I kept eyeing the Elf Miniatures aluminum clothing rack, but what with shipping etc., I thought I should at least try to make my own first.  So I made it with a skewer and a 1/4 inch thick square wood piece. And  my Fiskars drill (which I love), tacky glue and a saw (which I forgot to include in the picture).  I cut the skewer pole to 8 inches.  The height of the square wood piece is 6.5 inches and the base piece is 2 inches.  And everything is just glued together. 

The shoes are from the Tiny Doll House Shop in Manhattan.

And here is the store with a few more items

Have a great weekend!