April 14, 2014

Miniatures Monday - Dollhouse Show!

Just got back from the Bishop Chicago International show over the weekend. Always lots to see and buy!

The most amazing exhibit was this replica of the Titanic staircase and lobby - the scale is 1:12 (1 inch= 1 foot).Amazing!

 Tudor House 

A few things I bought... 

April 09, 2014

Half Scale Dollhouse - Let there be light!

Made some more progress on the Half Scale Country House I've been working on. (See first set of photos.) I can't wait until I have a decent pic of some progress on the outside to show!

It's a great feeling when you can plug in the transformer for a test - and Let there be light!

The kitchen has a cute little hanging lamp and a wall light (I have to put the shade back on.) Put some tile on the wall where the sink will go also. The floor is scrapbook paper.

There's a hanging lamp and a little old-fashioned bulb in the living room ceiling. I may add a lit candle on the fireplace yet since there are holes for one. (I also put some new brick paper in the fireplace as the old stuff was faded and added a brick insert to the floor in front.)

(Okay a funny admission - first time I bought lights that had the replaceable, push-in bulbs included in a tiny bag attached to the plug cord. Well, I cut off the plug in the living room lamp, not realizing this, and had the light soldered in. Hmmm, no light. Oops! Luckily, I didn't throw the plug out with the light bulbs still attached!)

This boring pic is the wall light above the door that will be inside the shed. I put a small globe from one of those Christmas post light sets over a bulb. Next I have to stucco this wall before I glue the shed walls on.

Now that the first floor lights are soldered onto the floor, I can paper the second floor and do the flooring. I have to enclose the staircase opening and add a fake door in back leading to the third floor. With the problems I had building (and rebuilding and rebuilding) the staircase, I don't want to do it again!

Neat thing I found at Michael's- these metal findings look like shades! I'm going to add them on the two side walls in the attic and on the back wall as sconces...

April 07, 2014

Miniatures Mystery author Camille Minichino talks minis, mysteries and organizing plus a giveaway!

Today's special post is by Camille Minichino, who writes several series, including my favorite, the Miniatures Mysteries (under the name Margaret Grace.). Believe it or not, MADNESS IN MINIATURE (Perserverance Press)  is her 7th book in the series -- the 8th, MANHATTAN IN MINIATURE, comes out next summer.

Besides writing, Camille also is a miniatures collector and is known for making fun little mini scenes that she raffles off for charity. She also decorates dollhouses (annually yet!) that she donates for school fundraisers.

  In MADNESS IN MINIATURE: The Miniature Series, the grand opening of a giant crafts store comes is accompanied by an earthuquake--and murder. Gerry and her computer-gifted granddaughter Maddie help police investigate and wonder whether something is up with the disposessed small business owners? The clues aren't so easy to follow when it comes to her own relationship, however, with Henry Baker...

Read Chapter One...

Today, Camille wanted to share some of her organizing tips she's learned along the way doing miniatures.

 (To which I ask, organizing? Is there such a thing?)

Be sure to keep reading to the end for a special contest!!!

by Camille Minichino

Thanks to Christine Verstraete for lending me her blogspace today! Chris is an amazing, prolific writer and artist and I'm grateful that she lets me into her life now and then!

This blog is about a week late --- I should have written it for April 1. Because the follow up to Managing a Crafts Addiction is: You can't! April fool!

But I do have some tips on how to use up those supplies that accumulate and seem to take over your crafts corner, no matter how big or small.

1. Scrapbooking supplies—not just for scrapbooks. I promised myself that I wouldn't buy a greeting card until I had no more paper left in my house. I'm not very good at those professional-looking cards some of my friends make—the ones with several layers of paper, cutouts, brads, and stamped messages placed exactly in the center where they belong. But expertise is not necessary to make a personalized card by simply arranging a collage of stickers or stamp images on a piece of stiff paper. 

Use the kitchen-themed stickers for a friend who's a good cook, flag stickers for a vet, or cut the shape of a boat from a scrap for the friend who sails. The large scrapbooking sheets that have a design on them can be folded twice, into card size and often used as is. Most people prefer something hand-made, even if it looks a little like a day care effort.

2. Donate. Every year I donate a furnished dollhouse to a local school. I work on it through the summer and have it ready for their holiday raffle. Instead of furnishing the house completely, I include a bag of materials—odds and ends of wood, plastic, fabric, paint—with ideas on how the lucky winner of the house can make her own accessories.

I also prepare small scenes for auctions. The one shown above just went for nearly $300 at a silent auction to benefit a library literacy program. Donating not only helps a worthy cause, but it allows me to Buy More Stuff. (I warned you this might not help trim down your inventory!)

3. Fabric scraps. Besides dressing up and giving texture to greeting cards, fabric can be used as wrapping paper and to make small items like pouches for travel and luggage tags. (For these, just fold and press the fabric into a sturdy block; stick around the edges, leaving an opening to insert a business card. At the tip of the opening, thread yarn to make a loop for attaching to luggage.)

4. Out of the box. Sometimes it's fun to pick a piece from a crafts drawer at random and make something from it. Today, I found a partially used page of red glittery sticker letters. I took the H, B, and J, and made a Happy Birthday gift tag for Joel using an odd piece of gold cardstock.

I think of my crafts "corner" as my playground—and everyone knows playgrounds are usually overstocked and a bit messy, and always a lot of fun. I hope you have fun playing with your crafts!

More miniature scenes are on display in Camille's website gallery at minichino.com

** Now here's a great tip ---

Your Turn: 
 ** Add a tip in a comment and win a chance for a copy of the newest Miniature Mystery, MADNESS IN MINIATURE by Margaret Grace!

* Camille thanks again for stopping by and for the great tips! It's always a pleasure!  Btw, I really like #2. Any idea to make room for more is always a GREAT idea!

April 03, 2014

Half Scale Dollhouse Printies Site

I wanted to share a friend's great work. Barbara del Duco makes some unique printies, like her half scale Mouse House and furnishings, and the cute garden shed on Etsy.

She also makes some free printies like this adorable Half Scale Easter set, so check out her Paper Crafts blog to download them or go here. (There's a pdf for 1" scale, too.)

April 01, 2014

AIM 50th Golden Anniversary Dollhouse Magazine!

Get your copy of the free Artisans in Miniature (AIM) Magazine. It's the 50th issue! I have some photos in here too. (I have half scale flowers on pg. 63; Gold items - gold party dress pg. 82 and my great lipstick stand pg. 84; my tea stand pg. 85)

* Make some great "golden" roses (and how to scale them down to half scale)
* Make chrysanthemums
* Golden printies
* Landscape a Brambly Hedge scene
* Printable spring dishes