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!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Tutorial for Magically Pouring Liquids

As part of making the diorama for the school library, I decided to learn how to make magically pouring miniatures. I had printed out the tutorial from Lesley Shepherd in 2015! Only 4 years ago.

 It seemed intimidating, but it was much easier than I expected. 

I used clear tar gel and invisible hanging wire. I highly recommend Lesley's Tutorial.

It's quite addictive once you start. 

Here are my witches making a magically pouring mixture.



Someone must have called for some milk with their cookies.  I need this magical milk in my house. Usually it's me as the magical mom making the milk appear.

(The grey glass is a pen cap cut-off). 


Here's a potion for making baby dinosaurs! 


(The dragon book printable was purchased on Etsy from LittleMaggieShop and the dragons were purchased on Ebay. Like magic :))

Here are my attempts at cookies from Randall Castle's tutorial in AM November 2019. I used a toothpick instead of a needle, but next time I will follow the instructions. :)


Have a great week!


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

What can a writer imagine? New Halloween-themed Diorama for School Library

My son's school librarian asked me to do a Halloween-themed exhibit for the library. I probably should've done a spooky house (maybe next year), but instead I created this.



It's a writer who is writing and imagining all sorts of spooky magical mayhem, which is then coming to life in the room.

Here's a close-up of the writer's desk. With Halloween cookies from the tutorial in American Miniaturist October 2019 by Randall Castle and magically pouring milk from the tutorial by Lesley Shepherd


The ghost above is from the complimentary projects by Ann Vanture. I recommend subscribing to her newsletter.

A potion is magically mixing from the spell book.


I put Stephen King's quote about writing on one side of the box.



And this picture explaining the diorama on the back side:


Here's the third wall-- all the wood is scraps from my friend Ketsia at Itty Bitty Adventures:


The skeleton is frantically trying to get his cape ironed so he can go to a Halloween party:



Here's a top view:


There are crumpled pieces of paper around the desk of frustrated attempts by the writer.

I made Scary Gary the spider out of pipe cleaners and stickers.  


And another view:


Happy Halloween! And Happy Imagining and Creating!





Sunday, October 6, 2019

N.A.M.E. Day Crafting Table


This year's N.A.M.E. Day project was a crafting table "island style." 

(N.A.M.E. is the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts.)

Every year, I buy the N.A.M.E. Day kits and I never make them. I just add them to my growing kit pile. So this year I signed up for an online NAME Day where I met online with other NAME members of the NAME online group and made the kit. 

I love NAME events. As usual, there were drawings for prizes. I won the grand prize--a 1/144 dollhouse for my crafting room.




I'm so happy I actually finished it and I love the cherry wood.  It was a beautiful kit cut by Tom Walden. 



Now I kind of want to work on building out my craft room. Years ago, there was a NAME online houseparty where the Thursday night project was a craft room, so I have a little craft room, but this table won't fit in there. 

But I'm supposed to be working on my restaurant kitchen, the castle and my bookstore. And I want to make a Halloween scene too. 

Dilemmas, dilemmas.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Making a "stainless steel" kitchen counter for my restaurant

I am just so excited to be working on my restaurant!

It's the only restaurant in town, so it serves everything, including delicious pizza.  It has an Italian/ beachy/nautical atmosphere.



First, I had to make the kitchen counter with a sink in the corner. (I did debate NOT having a sink so I'd have more counter space to display food, but the kitchen should have a sink.)  I think I have enough space, though.  

I wanted a stainless steel counter top, so I had to find my craft metal. That took me some time. I looked on Amazon and it turned out I had purchased three different pieces, so I had some hope that I should be able to find one of the three :). (And I told myself I could not just buy it again.) 

I purchased them back in 2017 so it's only taken me 2 years to get to this :) 
I had used some to make the mail slot for my Malibu dolls house. 

I finally found all three pieces together. I wasn't sure if I could cut it with a scissor, but the reviews said I could. And indeed it cut very easily. It was very easy to work with. 

I cut out the shape I wanted in matte board and then I bent the craft metal around it. See below.


My sink is a jelly container. I have a very fancy aluminum sink but it was too big.


Here's my playing with the various patterns/colors. I am thinking of putting that subway tile on the one wall, and the blue tile on the floor. I used the fruit picture for my daughter's small pizzeria, and made one for myself as well. I just came across it again and it works better than I expected here as well. I had planned initially to have only white tile. 


Then with guidance from Julie Warren's book on making kitchen furniture (also used for "Cool Beans" in this post), I made the bottom shelf of the kitchen cabinet. I used the shape of the top stainless steel counter and then I cut out spaces for the legs. The back is a solid wall.  I glued that to the shelf first. Then I marked on each leg the distance to the floor and glued the legs in.


I put the partially glued cabinet into the restaurant kitchen space to make sure it fit.

(the Reutters pizza oven is in the corner)

But then I couldn't resist playing and added some pizzas, plants and pots.  And the tray I made of miniature pizza fixings.


The playing made me realize I should add some more shelves, one for pizzas waiting to go into the oven. I have purchased so many pizzas over the years while preparing to make this.

So below is the counter cabinet right before I "varnished" it.


While that dried, I made a shelf for the pizza waiting to go into the oven.


My kids made this pizza so I'm very fond of it.



 I also wanted to hang a dish towel, so I glued wire to make a railing on the other side. 


Meanwhile I had bought a faucet from #PaperDollMiniatures (check out her blog) on Shapeways. (And I hadn't lost it yet). So I spray painted it. I wanted a stainless steel look, but I must not have been paying attention when I bought the Humbrol Metal Cote spray (last year) because I bought "polished steel" --  which came out much more black than I was expecting.  But in the end, I think it looks rather nice with the tile artwork behind it. And maybe a stainless steel spray wouldn't have matched the counter.

The dishwashing soap is from Sue's Little Things on eBay.


The tomatoes on the cutting board are by Sharon Harbison. The knife is from TYA Kitchen.

I glued the sink and the faucet onto the top counter (before I lost them). I love the detail on them. I also bought the pot filler.  

I still have to glue the counter top to the bottom cabinet, but I started playing again. I had bought these dirty dishes so I put them in the sink (while I wait for an eyelet from my friend to make the drain. Or I find a snap). 


 The frying salmon is from TeenyPerfections on Etsy. The metal stove is by TYA Kitchen in Japan (@minichuubouan_tyakitchen on Instagram). I bought the fried cutlets at the Chicago International Show, but I can't recall the name of the vendor.

The spaghetti is from Teeny Perfections on Etsy. The Italian Chef spoon holder is from aMusing Miniatures on Etsy. I think I bought the olive oil and pasta at a show. 


And dinner is served. All the food is by Teeny Perfections from Etsy.  


Have a great week!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Castle Second Floor WIP


I have painted, wallpapered and glued in the walls on the second floor. So there are now three separate rooms. My son gave me his thumbs up approval :) 

(The bathroom is now on the top floor--in the battle area. Which may be appropriate.)

The rooms are still all to be decorated. He's only just started.


This is the boys' bedroom. My mother-in-law made the blanket. One boy looks like he's having a great time on the gingerbread cookie couch.



Above is the boys' playroom. My son chose the colors. But I love them too. (At first he wanted orange, so I was quite happy when he switched to this one.)


I love the door handles by Olde Mountain Miniatures. My son decided he liked the look of the wood and didn't want to paint this wall.



And above is the parents' bedroom. I found the wall hanging on eBay. 



And then we ordered a new dryer (Hurray! So happy to have a new dryer) and the styrofoam packaging was perfect for the back wall of the top of the castle. Isn't that amazing? 

(You can the bathroom in the box. We will try to insert that under the back wall.) Next summer, I can work on adding the stonework. 

And also probably next summer, I will do the front wall, but here is the preliminary layout of the windows:


I am wondering if we should paint them a royal blue, even though that won't match the bottom windows. These windows don't match the bottom windows anyway, as I found these fancier windows after I'd already installed the bottom windows.  Apparently the bottom windows were modernized :)
But I may just stain them cherry so that at least they match in stain color.

Have a great week!