Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Happy New Year!

I wish everyone a very happy 2018 and I hope it is a peaceful year with lots of love and creativity!

Here is a current shot of Waterside Way as I have started to find my furniture and put it back into Waterside Way.   (This is not the final version as I have still some more boxes to unpack.)
And as I decorated it for Christmas.

On the top floor lives a single woman.

A retired couple live on the second floor.  He is a doctor and she is a writer.  They both like to cook,  garden and travel.

On the bottom floor lives a family of four (in typical NYC style).

Here is the previous version of Waterside Way (or see via this link: http://penelopesdollhouses.blogspot.com/2014/03/waterside-way-current-interior.html)

And here is our new built-in bookcase after our renovation with three of my dollhouses proudly displayed.  (My husband designed the bookcase.)

Really, you should see the "before" picture.  I have to find it and frame it :)
 Before this, we had IKEA open shelving, and it was completely filled with books and toys with a desk in front of the bookcases that was also usually piled high with stuff (nobody ever was able to use it as a desk.)  So this is a huge improvement.  Nobody can see our mess :)  Now all the toys are in the bottom cabinets.  

Thank you so much for all your support and comments.  

 I wish you all a Happy 2018!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!


Here are the white branches from the December #squintbox:  I love these! I bought the December squintbox for the artwork (after it came out), so these were another happy surprise!

I also love my new kitty - I bought her on eBay from someone who was selling her collection.  (The thought of which made me a little sad.)  The kitty was made by Reve.  

I was very busy during December making little Christmas things and trying to complete some projects I've had on my list for ages.

I made some Gingerbread houses (because of the miniature gingerbread house competition by Ann Vanture), although none turned out quite as I envisioned they would.  

But I decided I should pull out all my dolls by Lana Hallas and show them making the Gingerbread houses.   I think the little blonde one looks a bit like me as a child (messy hair).  

Still I liked this one the best (so far): 

Here's the family in Waterside Way getting ready for Christmas:

And I finally made a front plexiglass cover out of my stash for my Santa's Naughty/Nice List Office Scene in a Wreath (so the furniture can stop falling out when inadvertently knocked).  

(Unfortunately, twice I tried to break the plexiglass after cutting it and it snapped wrong, so it's not perfect, but it does hold in the furniture.  Although of course, this year, I haven't seen it knocked.  Mysteries.).  

And then I made Christmas cookies with molds and frosting by Ruth Stewart (I actually started them last year, but never finished them):

And I also made cookies with molds from the Mouse Market: 

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and New Year filled with peace, creativity, happiness, love and laughter!

Friday, December 8, 2017


I saw this tutorial that looked simple and fun for making stockings in Dolls House & Miniature Scene (October 2017 issue), so I decided to make some stockings.  

My mini club (#BigAppleMiniaturists) has a gift exchange so I am extra inspired to try out some tutorials. 

In the meantime, I have also been busy unpacking my minis and putting furniture back into my dollhouses.   So fun! Very exciting!   I love finding all my minis again, although I still have many boxes left to unpack.  (At the end of the packing process in June, I completely stopped indexing and just put all my miniatures all in boxes, so I could get everything packed up before the renovation began.)

 So I put together the above scene with my stocking. (Poang chais is from Etsy: Chelseamakes; Box of Blue Christmas decorations is from eBay: littledaydreams)

But here is a close-up of my stocking following the October tutorial:

Then I unpacked some more items and added some more items to the fireplace.

I made the frame this summer.  It is one of my favorite makes this year.  I made the angel many years ago.  And the Christmas plate is from Ginger Landon Siegel.

And then I made more stockings with all different designs.  It is really addictive.  I particularly like my little angel. 

Then I made some wrapped Christmas presents.  

Here's a present wrapping scene:

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Turkey Turmoil

This turkey puppet in the toy store is looking a bit worried about the upcoming holiday.  

(I purchased him from David & Wendy's Dollhouse at the Denver mini show last February.)   

I've told him he doesn't have to worry - he's needed for puppet shows in the toy store. 

And this is a RL turkey made out of oreos and candy corns that my son made in his class Thanksgiving party:

Maybe next year I will try to make a mini one. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

From Holiday Catalogues to a Dollhouse Christmas Stocking Banner

Here is a dollhouse Christmas stocking banner made from stocking pictures in the Pottery Barn catalogue.

I also made one with blue stockings (and a little Peanut drawing pad on the chair from cutting out the Peanut stocking):

In case you haven't done this before, it is very easy.  

Just cut out the pictures (another good source is the Paper Source catalogue) and glue them onto another piece of paper with room above so that that section can be folded over to wrap around the string.)

Then cut out each stocking with the above part (making sure the above part can't be seen when folded) and glue together around string. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Takeout from TYA Kitchen in Tokyo

I just came back from a quick trip to Tokyo for work, but managed to squeeze in a visit to TYA Kitchen.   Those dumplings are making me hungry!

Here is their website:  http://minityuan.ocnk.net/

Yukio Kawai is the artisan, along with his wife and daughter who make the food, behind TYA Kitchen. 

Here is a close-up of the salad and meal takeout (in their perfect takeout containers!): 

They are having a documentary made about them, and so the filmmaker asked if he could film me shopping and ask me some questions.   It was great to talk to him and learn more about TYA Kitchen.  He also translated for me and Yukio Kawai to talk.  Many of their roomboxes are made at the request of customers to preserve memories.  Yukio-san also asked if I had any requests for items, so let me know if there are any suggestions. 

 I didn't take any pictures this time, unfortunately - a bit flustered with the camera recording, but every time I visit, I always see new details.  (See my Visit to TYA Kitchen blog post.) This time, he had made a American diner based on his trip to a diner while at the Chicago international show.  

Here is a picture of all my purchases. 

Cooking in the Malibu kitchen with some new TYA Kitchen accessories: 

I also went after work one night to Tam Tam Hobby Shop in Akihabara and picked up some model train stuff, which are for my 1/12 toy shop (and separately, some little toys for my kids). 

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 3, 2017

IGMA Show - Small Beginnings - the Children only shopping area

Sheila from Shenandoah and Stuff asked me what my children bought at Small Beginnings, the children only table at the IGMA show.   

I am always very excited to see what they bought when we arrive home (no adults are allowed in the children's corner.)  It even has a wall around it so you cannot see in (I should take a picture). 

So here are their purchases.  

They found some great stuff.   Miniaturists are very generous with their donations to Small Beginnings.

The best find was this bed.  My daughter found it.   I think she found the chair there last year.
The covers are made by mother-in-law.  

Here are my son's purchases (he is only 5).  He first came out having only spent 80 cents. 

I reminded him that he had a garden and he went back in and came out with these plants.  That was a good find.  He also found the really cute mailbox and the box of fruit.  (The little mailbox has a flag that can stick up, so at Christmas time, I am planning to put some Christmas cards in there and put up the flag 😉)

He told the ladies who work that corner (they are very nice) that he had a castle dollhouse and they showed him this.  At first he said no, because his castle was a much bigger size, but then when we were looking at the stalls outside and he saw something similar for much more, he said he wanted to go back and get it.  I think they are very nice and his little boys can use them as toys.

Here are my daughter's purchases (although the fish tank was from the auction outside) and the blue stone was purchased from Artistic Florals by Arlene Finkelstein: 

The train track is very cool:

She also found these lamps:

And some more animals:

She bought this fish tank from the auction (another mom outbid her but very kindly allowed her to get it)

And then outside the Children's Corner, I bought them each a dog and a fish bag, and Sofie also bought these flowers from Artistic Florals:

My son really wanted this armor that went for around $80 in the auction and some swords that were around $20 each, so that was too expensive.  Instead I found these on eBay for him:
I particularly love the suit of armor.  

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Halloween Mystery

Can you figure out what happened?  

The dragon seems to be occupied reading a book and eating candy (although maybe he is looking at all those potions spilling over madly).

It looks like someone was studying and eating candy corns and then the chair fell over.

There's a haunted dollhouse near the bed.

A table with lots of spells and potions. It looks like someone created a frog.  He looks a bit bewildered to be there. 

And a little witch on the floor with a dropped silver potion bottle and a spilling container of eyeballs.  And a very upset black cat who is arching his back. 

Have you guessed it?

Nobody in my family was able to guess it (what does that say about my story scene-setting abilities?)

Yes, the girl witch drank a potion to shrink herself so she could go play in her dollhouse.  👻👻😉

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Big Apple Miniaturists Club Porch project

This year, my dollhouse club Big Apple Miniaturists is doing a Painted Lady or Shabby Chic porch facade project with a garden.  I am so excited about this project.  We will work on it over the course of about 18 months.

First we worked on the porch.  Here are the beginnings of my porch  --with my 2 new cats checking it out.  (The cats are made by www.literatureinminiature.co.uk)

The flooring is popsicle sticks cut and glued and then painted with a whitewash:

I made nails using the technique described by Otterine in this post Milo Valley Farm - siding, part 3
(except that I did not add rust, as I feared that I would add too much rust.)

And here is the house facade (we're not building the house,but maybe I can put a shallow box behind it) with the siding added and painted.

And here you can start to see what it will look like with the posts and the railing (although it still needs the roof):

I love the little paw reaching up to catch something in the air (pretend there is a butterfly going by).

The grey tabby was custom made by  www.literatureinminiature.co.uk from photos I sent of my cat Audrey.   Here are some close-up photos.  

Have a great weekend!