April 30, 2020

#AtoZ Blogging: Z End and recap

* Go to Day 1


Z end - but not!!

I'll contact the contest winners and post names soon as I have to get their addresses. (See day 1 link above if you didn't enter. You still have time. Ends today!)

ha! The title of this post: I had to add a pun. Technically, yesterday's post was the last combined one, but I figured I'd add a couple other pix, and show some hints at my progress and getting near Z End of some projects. Yay!

What's this? 

Ha! Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not real organized. I try, but I usually end up with a lot of boxes with lots of mini things in them. I try to put items for projects together, I've gotten better at doing that, but.... 

So I looked in quite a few boxes before I found this faucet, which btw was in a small container I thought I'd  looked in already! BUT.... necessary as it goes in the Mini Kitchen Room... which now has everything glued on the top shelf (slightly different than that photo), and next I have to add the other counter, maybe a small curtain I'm thinking under the sink and.... you'll see yet! I'll take more pix soon. Sooooo close! (Click photos for full size.)

A favorite I wanted to share again:

Mini Groceries from a past swap. I get such a kick out of these!

A little trivia about the month's A to Z Blog Challenge posts: 

* The post with the highest amount of visits (over 200 and counting) : C for the Cabinet Dollhouse  by JP Sligh. (For a good reason! If you missed this, be sure to look!) 

* The second most popular post was N for Nothing but One Inch Dollhouse Kits (I liked this one, too, as it was interesting finding out of the ordinary kits.)

* The third most popular post was G for Miniature Gardening, Making the half-scale potting shed was one of my favorite projects. 

* Another popular post was the S for Miniature Country Farmhouse Style rooms by Tanya Thayer McKibben. I just love these rooms!!!

* Interesting for me, was one of my most popular posts on my Facebook page was the post showing my Raggedy Ann room on P for Dollhouse Show Plans. I really loved doing this small room, too. Everyone seems to love Raggedy Ann and Andy!  

I didn't show it in these posts, though I did share it before on the blog. Here's a pic (below) of the first and larger room I did with the same theme. Also a favorite. This one was fun as I even dressed the baby as a Raggedy. My friend Kitty did the two smaller dolls.  Who knows? Maybe I'll do another in the future... a whole house could be a lot of fun. Hmmm.... That has an idea percolating as I hadn't considered that yet.

Uh-oh. An IDEA!! Recently I started a new farmhouse kit in half scale.
 (Photo is from Real Good Toys. Mine is unpainted, unfinished yet.)

I was going to do it as Halloween, but...  I do have another kit set aside (don't laugh!) that'll fit that better. I wasn't real crazy about doing this house like that. THIS idea has me getting more intrigued.... 

Luckily all I did so far was pick out papers and added some paint to darken the living room floor a little. Still plenty of time to pick new pattern papers, etc. Stay tuned, this could work!! I love the idea of doing a whole kitchen in Raggedy Ann colors! I love finding things and making things to go in theme projects! Making tiny Raggedies in half scale could be a blast!! Believe me, I have plenty of accessories and kits that I can paint, etc. to fit this. It also gives me an excuse to look for more theme stuff, too. haa! (Still hoping the dollhouse shows will be held in August!)
 ** Stay tuned for some updates and progress pix!

****I hope you enjoyed visiting each day and seeing mine and a few other people's projects! I so appreciate all you old and new visitors. Please sign up for the updates (box in left column) to see what's new as I post. Maybe I'll get more inspired to finish updating that book, too! Yes, I'm a tortoise. ha! 

April 29, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: You Use Zoo Animals in Miniature?

* Go to Day 1 

* Today is Y and Z. But not Z End... that's tomorrow.

This gets harder as you get near the end. Y is you, of course, meaning the fun you and I have when sharing a hobby, right? And Z?

Well, like many, I have a stash of small zoo animals tucked away for... something. I did think of using a couple for those trophy wall plaques in the den/library of one of the half-scale dollhouses. All they'd need is to be flocked and glued to a wood plaque. Even in miniature, though, it's kind of hard to think of sawing off the head of that poor animal. ha! But... I still might make a couple as I know they'll look right in the library I had planned. In real life that whole idea is horrid. 

I did put a small wooden giraffe in my half scale dollhouse attic as a kind of large decoration or toy. I like the giraffe so I used it. It was probably part of some jewelry or something. See him at left. (See more photos of the house here.)

I also have a necklace with carved wood animals that I'm saving. Eventually those animals will be pulled off and used. The beads are good too as small jars for half scale. The tinier beads can be used on top of them. The whole thing is useful! 

One of my more unusual finds? A group of African carved wood napkin rings from Kenya I found at the thrift store. See top of photo. (The antelope (?) without the stand is 2 1/2" high and wide.)  I thought if I ever get back to that idea of making my World Museum in Miniature they would fit in as decorative statues. Some might still be used in other houses or scenes, of course. I have a couple more not shown here.

* What's the most unusual thing you've found or used in your miniatures?

I hope you've enjoyed this miniatures tour. Please do sign up for blog updates in the left column of this blog as I will be working on updating the new version of my miniatures book, In Miniature Style II to The Best of In Miniature Style. I am compiling things!

** For fun, to see if you've been following along and got this far on the blog, sign up at the link below for a chance to win a copy of my other book, Dollhouse Decor and More (with Joanna Campbell Slan.) Sorry, but it's US shipping only. 

Email me via my website contact page with the subject Dollhouse book. Tell me about one of your more unusual finds and what you'll use it in. I'd love share these answers in a coming blog so send me a photo too! 

April 27, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: What an EXciting Hobby!

* Go to Day 1 

* Today is W and X for... xylophone

Hey, I don't have anything.... oh wait, I do have something for X., haa! Mini - half -scale xylophone toys I got in one of the previous annual swaps! This was in the half scale group's toys theme swap last year.

W? Well....

I have to say -- What an exciting hobby this is! Wonderful! Wild! I've been making dollhouses for mumble-mumble - let's say many years!

To the hubby's regret, I still haven't tired of it, meaning I have lots of stuff on hand and saved for that next special project. 

I still enjoy the challenge of making something, figuring out a setting, what to put in it, choosing the colors, what wallpapers to use, etc. 

If you're new to the hobby, that's the key to enjoying something for a long time. Do what you like. Decorate a house or room as you want. Think outside the box. As you mature in the hobby, your skills improve and you start thinking of different ways to do things and different things to use in your scenes. 

You always start looking at everything different, like how to use that box or container for a scene.  I've used those table-size wood gardening containers. I have a couple wood photo containers set aside for half scale as they have glass windows. I used an antique medicine cabinet for a different small holiday scene on the three shelves. 

Beware! It's a packrat hobby. haa! 

April 25, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: V for Miniature Valentines

* Go to Day 1 

I just LOVE vintage valentines! So... here's some for you! Simply right click and save.

Printies and Freebies:

* Cute mini hanging heart card holder at Joann Swanson's DIY Blog - how to and downloads - Also make a cute Valentine mini room  - Valentine Party Project

*  Some valentine cutout pages at CDHM

* Valentine printies cards at Treefeathers

* Freebies at Jean Day Minis

* Valentine links at minitreasures wiki

April 23, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: T and U for Totally Unexpected Dollhouses and Miniatures

* Go to Day 1 

* Today is T and U for Totally Unexpected.

The fun of doing miniatures is that sometimes you come across an idea that you didn't expect.

Like most miniaturists, I have lots of projects and lots of ideas, meaning a big cache of UFO's - unfinished objects!

But, you know how it is... You'll come across something that you know will make a good project - eventually or someday.

I found this little box at the flea market last year and while I had no idea what to do with it then, I knew it was perfect for a little scene. Sometimes it's fun just to make something that uses a few items you had in your stash. You get to make something new and feel like you actually got something done!

So luckily, I had the smaller hutch and a tiny chest and desk that all fit in here.

My Rooftop Garden is set in a small bookcase shelf that hangs on the wall. The small houses on top are the porcelain house-shaped bottles from the Dutch airlines. A couple I got from my friend and others came from the thrift store.

The candy box was also something I didn't plan for, but my friend Gigi gave it to me one year for Christmas (filled with the must-have Belgian Chocolate, of course!) She knew I'd figure out some kind of project to use it for, so I made a small Art Deco-vintage flavored sitting room. The furniture was made from the d. Anne Ruff patterns. See link for inside photos.

I have a small mirrored chest I'll be picking up at some point from Peg, so I was thinking of making a half scale craft scene and kids' room with toys in the two shelves inside. I figured it can be a kind of "holding place" until I get another house done, though sometimes those scenes do become rather permanenet!

I also have ideas to put in other small rooms and boxes, and I'll likely come across others. The ideas never end! 

April 22, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: S for Miniature Country Farmhouse Style Rooms

* Go to Day 1 

Today it's a treat to feature someone's work I've been admiring for some time on Facebook.

Tanya Thayer McKibben is one of those creative miniaturists who seems to be able to figure out how to make all kinds of things, many of them simply from things she has on hand.

Her latest project is a series of rooms inspired by the real-life country farmhouse style that are just about as real-looking as it gets. She has a real eye for decorating, too, as seen in this bedroom photo. Remember that commercial? Is it real or??? 

Peeking in the door, you would swear you're looking at a photo in a catalog. That's when miniatures are at their best. 

Here are some other views: 

 ** Isn't this great?? See more of her fantastic work and views of these rooms on her Pinterest page.

April 20, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: Q- R for Miniature Record Store

* Go to Day 1 

* Today is Quite the Record for Q and R!

I've been working on this miniature record store made in one of the Houseworks Street of Shops stores for quite a while.

I'm enjoying how it's turning out as I wanted it to be ultra-colorful like the 60's and 70's. I figured if I ever got tired of it being a record store, then I can easily turn it into a hippie pad.  ha! I have some furnishings I'd originally wanted to use in here, but don't have the room right now. 

The showcase was fun to make. I filled it with various items like, er, those essential hookah and smoking devices that were so common back then.

I love the idea of all the record albums, though I admit it got rather tedious making and making more of them! And there's more than this shown here! I had to cheat a bit in the bookcase I'm filling and made some foldable record "stacks" for the shelves. And I still have another table to build and fill with more records yet!

 The figure was one of those resin dolls. I covered her pants with a tie-dye skirt, added some decorative elements and lace cut out from a ribbon and added some jewelry made from findings and decorative cloth trim. I still want to add a few more things on her. She needs some longer hair and a tie-dye kerchief on her head, I think.

For record players, I'm using keychains that will make a riffing sound if you press the center button. There's more done, but I'll save more pix until it's assembled more.

And something, er, different....

Yes, it's what you think. ha! The kit leaves are from Mary Kinloch.

April 18, 2020

#A to Z Blogging - P for #Dollhouse Show Plans!

(illustration: pixabay.com)

* Go to Day 1 

* Because of the coronavirus outbreak what would've been my annual trek with my good friend Gigi to the Chicago Area dollhouse shows has been postponed to August. But I'm going to leave this post as is. I'll be sharing what I bought and show pictures later. (I hope.)

We did plan on making all 3 shows this time as I have some things that I hope to pre-order and pick up from one of the vendors. I'll be sure to show my finds when I get back and some pix of interesting things I saw. It's always fun to show off some of our discoveries! I'll have my eyes open to add more bottles and cleaning supplies for the small kitchen room box I've been working on. Hopefully I'll share the final project soon. Gotta get these UFO's done!!

Our stops include:

* The 3 Blind Mice Show, Now the April Chicago Show, Wyndham Garden Hotel, Schaumburg, IL.  (Postponed to Aug. 15)
    (The show has since been taken over by T&D Miniatures, which also runs the Waukesha Expo show (May 15-16). She also will be running what was the November Wee C Club show in Elk Grove Village, IL.) No May show.

I always find some nice bargains and something out of the ordinary. Last year I found the NAME window room kit that I made into my Raggedy Ann room. 

The year before I was lucky to win a door prize - the half scale house kit below, which I made into a small Halloween house (seen at right).

* The Miniature Show,  Crowne Plaza, Chicago O'Hare Hotel, Rosemont, IL. (No date yet for postponed show. This so far was cancelled.)

This show is interesting as you'll find some unique items, along with some high-end items that are more museum quality. Can't buy 'em, but they're neat to see anyways. 

Some vendors I hope to take a peek at are the new Halloween items from Cynthia Howe ;  (I have one of her beautiful hat kits which I confess I still have to make!);

 I love the flower and furniture kits, especially the Gothic items from SDK Miniatures; and ArtofMini from Germany has some different kits like cute suitcases and more. I got one of those last year so we'll see what else I find!)  

The Bishop Show, Chicago International, Marriott O'Hare, Chicago  (Postponed to Aug. 15-16)

I admit the last few years we've stuck with two shows as by the time you get here, you are worn out. Big show, I've attended in the past so many of the vendors are familiar. But it's nice when you discover someone new that you haven't seen in person before. (Last year I found Jane Harrop from the UK who has an incredible line of unique retro kits and in half scale too! Unfortunately, she's not coming to the shows this year. I still want to order a couple 1950s items like her TV and curio stand.)

This year, I've come across Seaside Miniatures, also of the UK, and hope to have things ordered ahead to pick up there.

 I have my eye on her cute kits for half scale, the beach house and the Shepherd's Hut, which I think would make a good Gypsy wagon. I liked this style better than the actual wagon as I like how the bed area is divided off. (Aren't they cute? Yeah like I don't have enough UFO kits? Never mind!) I think the hut would be a cute addition to add outside when I  - eventually - do my mermaid-sea captain's house and beach.

IDEA:  I saw some fantastic directions on the Michael's store page for a resin water plaque that looks really good. (Cool, isn't it?) I'd like to try this for the water for the beach house scene. So-many-plans-and-ideas. I'd need to live to 90 to do them all. ha!

I've also seen a couple neat sea theme houses set in those boat bookcases. I have a larger one I've been saving... and a mid-sized one. It's tempting to build my scenes in there and try this water effect on the bottom like it's on the beach. It's a thought... Eventually. We'll see...

 (Some of these may change as many people had to cancel from the Bishop show but I still wanted to share these neat items.)

I also want to check out the spooky items from Michael R Miniatures of the UK. He has some fun, creepy things. I'll want them all (but can't buy them all. ha!)  Love the faces on these bottles he has on Etsy. (As the UK Miniatura show was cancelled, he was doing an online show so I hope he'll still be making the trip to Chicago in August.)

Also of interest that I came across online and will be fun to see in person is Miniature Pop-up Books of Japan. These are really incredible tiny works of art in a book. And she has many in kit form on her Etsy page, too. 

April 16, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: Nothing but One-Inch-Scale Dollhouse Kits

Pictured: Cabin, Nstrworks

* Go to Day 1 

Today is N and O.

If you are looking for a different kind of dollhouse kit, there are plenty of choices out there. Thought I'd search out some unique models that caught my eye from around the world and often with reasonable or free shipping. They're all worth taking a peek at. 

Cabin, Nstrworks - (photo above) Unusual shape, $96 on Etsy

Central Perk Lego Set - Build a miniature model of the Friends coffee shop with Legos.

French style dollhouse - pretty cool, lots of rooms, on Etsy. $498

Hawaii Kit - This is one of the "million parts" dollhouse kits from China, but the design on this is mesmerizing. (Find it on Ebay, Wish, etc.) $28 and up.

Japanese Dollhouse Kit -Three rooms, $160, $20 shipping from Japan.

Modern Townhouse -Another China-made kit. First time I saw this model. Neat looking, though one review said it has poorly translated English instructions, but it has  a YouTube video. But this is a cool-looking design. 1/24th scale. $44 (From what I've seen from another kit, the refrigerator in this is smaller than half scale.) But if you like lots to work on, these kits can be a fun challenge.

MoMa Rowhouse - Interesting design but pricey. $405

Park Place Townhouses - Love this! Townhouses (each sold separately) in 1" scale. What a neat idea! $150, free shipping. 14"W x 32"H x 18.5"D. This would be cool in half scale! (Shop has pretty, unique wallpapers, too.)

Nikolas Malengos - interesting dollhouse kits from Greece on Etsy. Reasonable and free shipping. Here's a modern kit, $48. 

** And in passing, a couple half-scale houses I spotted:

Victorian Gothic Mansion - Nice details, but not sure on size though they "guess" it's 1/24th. I'd ask for more information on dimensions, and door/window sizes. $127, free shipping

Victorian Gothic House - Love the details on this house.  Half Scale, $199, free shipping