Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas 2019! Happy Holidays And Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas 2019! 

Here is the family in Waterside Way getting ready for Christmas, writing Christmas cards, drawing pictures for Grandma and unpacking the Christmas ornaments.

Up in Waterside Way Apartment 2, they are hanging Christmas cards

The bakery had its annual town Gingerbread baking event with varying results. This is my best effort so far--with the little snowman.

But the professional ones are by #hbsminiatures, true2scale kit and David's Dollhouse. The kids attempts (i.e. mine) are in the back. They all still taste yummy.

And my favorite cookie baking board by DollsHouseMinis on Etsy.

Now the bakery has prepared all the Christmas cakes for various orders.

The stockings are hung. The cat found the catnip and is out on the couch.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Waterside Way!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Magic Portal Bookstore Photoshoots

I think one of the toughest things about the HBS competition is taking 4 good photos of your project. But I am so happy that my bookstore is actually done and complete. I mean, of course, I will still fiddle with it and play with it, but it's my most completed project yet.

I've had two photo shoots and I can't say that I see four clear winners.

Here it is set up on boxes on the balcony - with some jerry-rigged lights. I really wanted an atmospheric outside photo. (Can you imagine what my neighbors thought? Lol.) And I was very careful because I really didn't want it falling off the boxes over the balconies

It doesn't look realistic enough because it's floating in mid-air, but to be honest, I really like this photo. It also was getting dark as I was taking it. Thanks to Sheila for pointing out that I should use more lighting.

Similarly, I quite like this one too.

I think below is a good inside photo. 

From a different angle:

Here's a photo of the children's bookshelves. I still have so many more children's books that I could add. But I tried to include many of my children's favorites right now. 

I then moved the bookstore inside onto my desk and took a picture with some nice sunlight/shading:

I then moved the bookstore back to its space next to my Malibu dollshouse and took a picture there, with my daughter holding the lamps. 

But this came out very dark (even with the light and it was mid-afternoon and sunny), although it looks maybe more realistic. 

So here are my final four. Drum roll please:

Closer shot

The interior

If there were six pictures, I would have added the children's bookshelf and my garden. I I really love my garden. I am quite inspired now to make another garden.  Which is good. Because I am making a flower shop for my Big Apple Miniaturists club project. So stay tuned. 

Have a great week!

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!