April 28, 2016

#AtoZ 2016 - EXceptional Yellow Miniatures!

Today is the Letter Y - for the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April! 

Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list!  If you like books, etc., I'm also doing the same on my GirlZombieAuthors blog.



Today is X and Y for EXceptional Yellow Miniatures



Lemon Meringue Pie - Linda Cummings


This is my favorite color and once I saw the latest gorgeous work by fantastic miniaturist Linda Cummings of Lins's Minis, I knew what I had to feature today!

Linda's minature work (1" scale, 1" equals 1 foot)  is so precise and realistic, I'll bet your mouth will be watering! Also check out her Facebook page. See more of her work and a previous post I wrote about her here.  

Check her Etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/linsminis/) or see her website,www.linsminis.com.  You can see more of her work on her Pinterest page.


Banana Bread  - Linda Cummings

Pansies and Primroses - Linda Cummings

April 27, 2016

#AtoZ 2016 - W is for #Miniature White House

Welcome to the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April!  
Come back daily for more exciting posts and even some giveaways!
Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list! 


Today is W for Miniature White House

If you're never seen The White House in Miniature, you've missed something. I've heard it may not be touring again, but it is housed at the Presidents Hall of Fame, Clermont, FL.

I'm so glad I got to see it when it was in Chicago some years back. It even had a miniature Bo the First Dog (made by Alice Zinn.)

There are a series of great photos here at the Ford Presidential Library site.

Check out one of the mini video tours:


April 24, 2016

#AtoZ 2016 - Upper Floor View of Tudor #Dollhouse

Welcome to the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April!  
Come back daily for more exciting posts and even some giveaways!
Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list! 

Today, I combined the letters U and V for the Upstairs View of the Tudor Dollhouse.

* See first floor - the bakery

The tour continues. The bakery shop owner lives above the bakery in a simple space, perfect for a bachelor. He doesn't even mind the pink walls so much anymore (thanks to a former girlfriend's decorating touches.) (Click for larger images.)




The living quarters:  The walls are covered with textured paper. The ceiling is textured with paint mixed with sand before the wood beam strips were added.


The bed is also made from the Creatology punch-out furniture kit (1/24 scale) from Michael's.  The small table by the couch is also a magnet from China (eBay purchase) from my friend, Gigi.

TIP: Make the pieces look more finished by cutting off any protruding tabs. Fill holes and spaces with wood filler and sand. I painted it with a watered-down Brown Umber acrylic paint.  

The bed is covered in three layers like a real bed. Glue a thin piece of foam onto cardboard cut to fit the bed. Cover that with one fabric pattern, folding fabric over and gluing to underside of cardboard for a mattress. Cut and fit a second fabric to top of bed and overhanging sides for a bedspread. Glue under small hems for a neat finish. Cut a fake sheet by gluing a piece of fabric to underside of top bedspread, then turn over and glue to top of bedspread. 

I made the couch using the pattern in D. Anne Ruff 's older 1/24 scale furniture pattern kit.  The small club chair is one of those packaged erasers found at Michael's. Measure your fabric and glue to cover the back and seat of chair. Add smaller size pony beads on bottom for feet.


Right side:  Simple bookcase, kit from SDK Miniatures. The vintage TV is a magnet from China (from eBay.) The guitar was one of the swap gifts from the annual Half Scale Yahoo group swap. (You can get a similar kit at my other favorite kit shop, Mini-Etchers.)



 I added a beam across the top and used a metal mesh bead as a lamp shade for the ceiling light.  I had to be a little creative since I hadn't planned the lighting. The sides are covered in a plain pink paper so I could peel it up to reattach the side light and then cover it again. 

The window valance is made by pleating a piece of fabric, folding and gluing it so one end is pleated over the next. It's glued to a wood strip with small pony beads at the ends.

The picture frames are painted chipboard pieces. The wall clock is a small charm.

I wanted the room to have a simple, but homey feel. Nothing too fancy, just something clean and neat that the bakery owner would feel comfortable in.  It's a simple house, but still fun to decorate.

The table was made by gluing a small round piece of wood to a  dowel rod and painted. That was glued to a small flat clay piece for a base. The chairs are vintage plastic dollhouse pieces.  
I hope you enjoyed the tour! 

April 23, 2016

#AtoZ 2016 - Tudor Half Scale Miniature #DollHouse Bakery

Welcome to the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April!  
Come back daily for more exciting posts and even some giveaways!
Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list! 

Today is the letter T for Tudor House Bakery
(See the Upper Floor tomorrow)  


I started this house a while back and then put it aside. Originally, it was going to be a greenhouse, but I decided to make it into a bakery and upstairs living space instead.

I bought the house a loooong time ago at a show. So, some projects do sit around a while until inspiration hits.

The outside is covered with lightweight stucco (or wall compound, Spackle) with some plastic brick spots showing through. (I share how to do that in my book, In Miniature Style II or get the Kindle version of the first, shorter ebook, In Miniature Style.)

Well it's winter yet, I guess, since I didn't put flowers in the window box! See the door how-to at the bottom of this post. (Click images for full size.)



Floor 1: Bakery


The bakery case is made from a bookshelf with acrylic plastic glued in front and a larger wood piece glued on top for the counter. Cover front edges, top and bottom of the plastic  with wood strips (coffee stirrers.) The stove is a magnet. 

My friend Kitty Balke made most of the cakes and desserts. A few cakes are from the annual Half Scale Yahoo group swap. I made the brown and yellow cake on the back shelf from wood furniture plugs. Paint and cover with colored sand. I use dimensional or "puff" paint on top for icing. Add small fruit slice. Glue to a small button for a plate. Most of the square and round plates, including the plate for the mixed pastries on the counter, are buttons.



Left side: The cabinet (below left) is a kit from Petite Properties (UK). I made the table from a round piece of mat board cut out and sanded. The base is a chess pawn, cut, sanded and glued to painted table top. The chair is made from the punch-out Creatology 1/24 scale, punch-out furniture kits from Michael's. 




Right side:  Counter with cupcake art on right wall is made from a box shape and piece of wood for the top. The table is also hand made. The round center table was a purchased resin piece; I added the wood on top. The chair is also from the punch-out furniture kit, with an added seat cushion. 

The rug is a paper print-out coated with Mod Podge, with fringe added to the ends. I like to do it this way to give the rug a floor-cloth look.

Fringe a Rug: Everyone has their own method. An easy way to do it by measuring a piece of cross-stitch fabric to the width of the rug. Cut it to about four-to six rows deep, enough to give you a few rows to glue on the back of the rug and to have several rows sticking out on the end. 

Glue to back of rug with Tacky glue. Pull the strings to desired length for fringe. You can trim the fringe down if you think it sticks out too far. For an extra "glam" look, lightly coat the fringe ends with a metallic gold paint. 


* Come back  tomorrow to see the second floor.


Make a Hinged Door: (See top front photo.)

The door is handmade.  Before you make the hinges, measure the height for the doorknob. I used flat silver beads and attached one to each side of the door with Quick Grip and a cut-off straight pin. See directions below for cutting the pins. You don't want to try fitting the door knob in after the door is hung. (Yes, done that too! ha!)

HOW TO:  1. Scribe lines into a piece of wood cut to size for the door. It fits into the open space and above a piece of wood set into the floor for the jamb. Cut wood strips for top and bottom, and glue to face of door to provide something for the hinge pins to grab onto.

2.  I cut hinges out of the tin from the top of a peanuts can with scissors. NOTE: Measure hinge to fit across door on side and attach to wall under the doorway frame. 

3. Cut hinge into an arrow shape. Drill small holes into the wood strips with a small hand drill. Line up hinge and push hole into the tin. Coat back of hinge with Quik Grip to door and to edge of doorway so it fits under the frame. 

4. Cut off small pieces of straight pin with wire cutters. TIP: Hold the pin with a pair of needlenose pliers while cutting unless you want to be hunting for the pieces all over. (Don't ask how I know this. ha!)

5. Gripping pin with pliers, dab end into Quik Grip then push it into the hole in the hinge. Push down on top of pin with a hammer or flat side of the pliers until it's all the way in place.  do the same to the end of the hinge to hold it in place.  

6. Measure your side door frame piece. Press the wood piece onto the wall and over the hinge so you get an indent on the back side from the pin. Gouge out this space slightly so the frame fits flush to the wall, then glue in place. Once measured, your door frame will be glued over the hinge. The door can be opened - carefully - but excess stress may pull the pins out.

April 22, 2016

#AtoZ 2016 - S for Show #Miniatures

Welcome to the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April!  
Come back daily for more exciting posts and even some giveaways!
Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list! 


Today is S for Dollhouse Show Miniatures

Some of the stuff I found at the Spring Chicago-area dollhouse shows this past weekend.

I will also try to share photos of some of the interesting exhibits and items I saw.

This year there were again 3 shows to go to:

The Bishop International Show

3 Blind Mice

New - The Miniature Show





April 20, 2016

#AtoZ 2016 - Q-R is for Quite Cool Miniatures Road Trips

Today is the Letters  Q and R  for the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April! 

Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list!  If you like books, etc., I'm also doing the same on my GirlZombieAuthors blog. I may even share a spooky mini or two there!


If you're new to the hobby, or have never seen the following places and exhibits, be sure to put them on your next travel schedules! There are some Quite cool places to see on the Road!


Miniatures Museum of  St. Louis - they have a virtual museum tour, too on their website!



Open since 1993, the museum contains a collection of over 600 houses, roomboxes and more.

Cool! Take a virtual tour on Google Maps. 

April 19, 2016

#A to Z 2016 - P for Personal Favorite Miniatures

Welcome to the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April!  
Come back daily for more exciting posts and even some giveaways!
Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list! 

 *******

Today is P for Personal Favorite Miniatures


Got these kits coming from Michelle's Minatures (she didn't have them on hand at the 3 Blind Mice Show so she's shipping them.) I fell in love! 


She has such unique kits! 

This half scale  fortune teller booth is so cool!


This forest bed is really unusual.  (Getting the half scale)

Also got the cute cigar box purse kit.








April 18, 2016

#AtoZ 2016 - Other Miniatures

Welcome to the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April!  
Come back daily for more exciting posts and even some giveaways!
Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list! 

 (I think I missed N - so...) 
Today is N-O for New and Other Miniatures

Here are some of the interesting items I saw (and couldn't or didn't buy) at the Spring Chicago-area dollhouse shows this past weekend.

This year there were again 3 shows to go to:

The Bishop International Show

3 Blind Mice

New - The Miniature Show

Some of the fantastic things seen at the shows! (click for larger images)

Thought these were gorgeous!




Cute and made of leather but pricey...


Love the pinball machines! (Wish I'd looked at the price!)


Trivia: Bet you can't guess the price of that painted doghouse...


Nice Harry Potter scene...

Beautiful entryway


April 15, 2016

#AtoZ 2016 - M is for Mini Mysteries


Welcome to the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April!  
Come back daily for more exciting posts and even some giveaways!
Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list! 



Today is M for Mini Mysteries




I'm cheating a bit today as I'm featuring  Camille Minichino, (writing as Margaret Grace), author of my favorite mysteries about dollhouses and miniatures, on my other blog


Be sure to go read her post and comment there to enter her giveaway!




  
 Hard to believe she's written eight  books in the series, the latest being Manhattan in Miniature

Number 9  - Matrimony in Miniature - will be published in September.  (Can't wait to read it! Yes, I'm biased as I did blurb #8!)

* See all the books at her website or her Amazon page. 












April 11, 2016

#AtoZ 2016 - I Just Love Minis & #Mysteries + Know You will too!

Today is the Letter I and J for the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April! 
And K-L  - I love minis - and Know you'll love this, too!

Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list!  If you like books, etc., I'm also doing the same on my GirlZombieAuthors blog. I may even share a spooky mini or two there!

************
Cheating just a bit today. I'll have a mini mystery coming out soon involving my two favorite things - miniatures and writing short stories!  What's more fun, right????

I had a blast writing this story featuring my part-zombie girl character, Becca from GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie. This times she's solving a little mystery involving miniatures based on friend and fellow writer Joanna Campbell Slan's Big Wave Dave's Surf Shop.

Joanna's cool project took honorable mention in the annual Miniatures. Com contest this year! See all  the contest pix here.

See more of Joanna's project on her Facebook page.


April 09, 2016

#AtoZ 2016 - H is for Half Scale Miniatures

Today is the Letter H - for the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April! 

Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list!  If you like books, etc., I'm also doing the same on my GirlZombieAuthors blog. I may even share a spooky mini or two there!

I love working in half scale (1/24 scale - 1/2 inch = 1 foot). The best part is the annual anniversary swap by members of the Half Scale Yahoo Group. I've been in it at least 7-8 years, I think. This year there were over 30 members. There have been over 60 members in the past.  It always amazes what people make. I have a box full of items to use in my dollhouse projects and get ideas for things to try making myself, too.

Here are the items I got in this year's swap:



Yes those are eyeglasses above!


Was thrilled to get a computer model! I'm going to try making a white wood with a wood case. The tiny dotted bead is a crock pot!


The white straw sewing basket even has teensy sewing items!


I made the glitter picture, cookbook and newspaper (which has my real story and photo on top, even if you can't read it. ha!)

April 08, 2016

#AtoZ 2016 - G is for Great #Miniatures Reading + Projects

Today is the Letter G for the A to Z Blog Challenge.

Welcome to the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April!  
Come back daily for more exciting posts and even some giveaways!
Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list! 

Shared this on my other blog at a later date, so figured I'd share it here, too. 



It's not new but some may not be familiar with my miniatures book, IN MINIATURE STYLE II. See some of the projects and details here.  (print-PDF-ebook)

A secret. Shhh!  I am working on some other projects. Details to come soon!

** CONTEST:  Sign up for my mailing list on the main website page - get entered to win the yellow and black check material to make the cover dress! (US shipping only.)  Comment below that you signed up.

See the contents:





April 07, 2016

#AtoZ 2016 - F for Half Scale Dollhouse Flowers

Today is the Letter F - for the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April! 

Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list!  If you like books, etc., I'm also doing the same on my GirlZombieAuthors blog. I may even share a spooky mini or two there!

I enjoy making half scale miniatures (1/24 scale - 1/2 inch = 1 foot.)

Here's a sample of some flowers I just made... They'll be planted around the half scale garage. I'm planning the yard and driveway now. (Hoping I can get that done, the roof on, and the flowers and gardens finished to share with these posts.)

Sunflowers and Hibiscus... More to come.



April 06, 2016

#AtoZ 2016 - E for Everything #Miniature!

Today is the Letter E for the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April! 

Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list!  If you like books, etc., I'm also doing the same on my GirlZombieAuthors blog. I may even share a spooky mini or two there!


Today I'm talking Everything Mini...

I used to draw and do other crafts like cross-stitch, but I've since concentrated all my crafting efforts on miniatures and dollhouses. This still allows me to make a variety of things or try different crafts.

I've cross-stitched and made Bunka rugs... I've made fabric curtains... I've made different accessories.  I'm a DIYer - I like making things or trying to. And yes, I buy stuff I like or realize I don't have to make! See some of my projects at my website or look through this blog, too. 

The trick is making it look real enough, or making it so I'm happy with how it looks. Sometimes we can be too picky with ourselves. Yes, there are a few mistakes sometimes, that I hope aren't glaring (only to me, you know how that works.)

For fun and as my profession, I also like to write. I do nonfiction -- newspaper and magazine articles -- as my main job. I write fiction as another creative outlet.

A little hint: I will have another mini mystery story coming out soon featuring my Girl Zombie book character, Becca. This time she's helping solve a murder --- and it has miniatures in it! Some may also recognize a friend's project in the story. Stay tuned for more details soon!! Sooner than you think!

** CONTEST: Please sign up for my sporadic newsletter on my website

* Sign up and get your name entered to win a Kindle copy of my first miniatures book, IN MINIATURE STYLE or a PDF of my second expanded version, IN MINIATURE STYLE II.   See minis page for all links.  Comment here that you signed up - be sure to leave an email to contact you.



April 05, 2016

#AtoZ 2016 - D is for Dollhouse Books

Today is Day 4- the Letter D - for the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April! 

Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list!  If you like books, etc., I'm also doing the same on my GirlZombieAuthors blog. I may even share a spooky mini or two there!


If you're a new visitor, I wanted to share a little about me. I'm a writer, journalist and collector. You can see more of my miniatures on the blog here or go to my website.



I'm also the author of a In Miniature Style II, (print-ebook-pdf) with expanded how to's, photos and profiles on other collectors.  Book 1 is also on Kindle. (Similar content except for a few different projects.)

I also wrote a kid's mystery, Searching for a Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery, with two kids and their nosy Dachshund, searching for a lost miniature painting (Van Gogh's Starry Night.)

Oh, and check out this previous post to see the actual mini oil painting of Starry Night by Lucie Winsky!


April 04, 2016

#AtoZ 2016 - C is for Dollhouse Coloring Pages

Today is Day 3 - the Letter C - for the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April! 

Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list!  If you like books, etc., I'm also doing the same on my GirlZombieAuthors blog. I may even share a spooky mini or two there!


As much as I love planning my dollhouses, the best part has to be the interior design and the color coordinating. I love working out color schemes!  I loved to color as a kid, so it's fun to see it becoming popular again.  So, today I thought I'd share links to some dollhouse coloring pages...

Hey, this is cool! Did you know Real Good Toys has a page with different dollhouse coloring pages?  (Image, Allison Jr. detail)



More dollhouses to color: 

Color a dollhouse at SheKnows. - Assorted subject coloring pages. 

Color a dollhouse and change the text. 

* TIP: Put the words dollhouse coloring pages in the Google search box and you'll get a bunch of pictures to color. Have fun!









April 02, 2016

#AtoZ 2016 - B is for Mini Baba Yaga

Today is day 2, the letter B for the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April! 

Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list!  If you like books, etc., I'm also doing the same on my GirlZombieAuthors blog. I may even share a spooky mini or two there!

If you don't know who - or what - Baba Yaga is, I wanted to share a unique miniature project made by talented miniaturist Alice Zinn.

I thought this was incredible and so realistic - a mini Baba Yaga, (1" scale, 1" =1', 6 inches tall) - accurate down to the feet! Now I'd heard of the Russian "witch woman" before, but never saw her with chicken feet until I looked it up.   Pretty amazing, huh? 





According to Wikipedia, “in Slavic folklore, Baba Yaga is a supernatural being (or one of a trio of sisters of the same name) who appears as a deformed and/or ferocious-looking woman. Baba Yaga flies around in a mortar, wields a pestle, and dwells deep in the forest in a hut usually described as standing on chicken legs (or sometimes a single chicken leg). Baba Yaga may help or hinder those that encounter or seek her out. She sometimes plays a maternal role, and also has associations with forest wildlife. According to Vladimir Propp's folktale morphology, Baba Yaga commonly appears as either a donor or villain, or may be altogether ambiguous.”

April 01, 2016

A Mini A Day 2016 - #AtoZ Blog Challenge Begins!

Today is Day 1 - the Letter A - for the 7th annual A to Z Blog Challenge in April! 

The idea is to blog daily (except Sunday) from A to Z.  So expect lots of minis, maybe a few guests, maybe even a giveaway or two - you never know! Now I may repeat a pic here and there that I've shown before but there'll be a lot of new visitors this month, so bear with me! 

Check out the 1000+ blogs on the list!  If you like books, etc., I'm also doing the same on my GirlZombieAuthors blog. I may even share a spooky mini or two there!

I'm going to share various minis for the month like....


A is for.... Assorted Minis


Don't be put off by today's plain, boring photos. It'll all make sense soon and yes, I'll include the "real " miniature projects. 

For now, I figured, why not? Decided I'd show a bit - just a bit - of the stash I have. And I know I'm not alone....

If you don't know what this is... it's a bit of the things that us collectors save or have on hand to use in that next project.





These containers hold some of the mini gifts I got this past Christmas from my two collecting friends, Gigi and Kitty. I'll show some of the items along the way.




This basket has items I'll be using in other projects. That pink item is a neat woven paper basket made by Alice Zinn that I won a while ago. It'll probably go in one of the Ladies Shoppe projects. 




And this? Well, let's call it chairs in waiting... I seem to have collected quite a few different chairs and tables... they always come in handy. The room is my Teddy Bear room I made a while ago...

Be sure to come on back for the rest of the daily mini tour!





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