Welcome to my life . . . .

This is a blog about my passion: dollhouses and miniatures. This particular blog was started to follow my miniature dream: to create a Victorian Mansion. But work on my Mansion is slow. Very slow. Sloth slow. Ice Age glacier movement slow. Why? Because I am easily distracted by other personal miniature projects (I have 50+ roomboxes and 15 dollhouses in various stages of incompletion) and because I work for a miniature shop and am often up to my elbows in miniature projects that aren't mine! So, I thought, some artists work in a particular medium (woods, watercolors, clay, oils, etc.), I work in progress . . . .

Monday, December 25, 2017

Gifts for Friends

Holidays are here!

I had made an extra Verdi dog (Making Verdi) with the intent to give it to the lady who made my Queen of Hearts doll (Tish Tierney's dolls), And, earlier in the year, I had spray painted a chair for a little "Thank you" project for her.  But the scene of just "dog and chair" didn't come together until BFF suggested adding a Mad Hatter's hat and then she also supplied a cake for a stand. So the little "Thank you" gift of a dog on a chair became a more elaborate holiday gift scene.  My BFF and I decided to join forces and give our mutual friend, Tish, a little Alice in Wonderland's Queen of Hearts theme vignette.

But BFF's cake was purple and white; we needed red and white.  (Yummmmm....cake!)  So I broke out the paints one evening...
Used to be purple
Now red!
And the gray stand got a coat of paint too...eventually (didn't photograph that until scene was finished).

Then came the hat.  In theory I had a plan.  The vertical part had to be wider at the top than at the base.
Made my rim and top circles out of cardstock.
We wanted the harlequin design on there so I bent a playing card to be the tall cylindrical part of the hat.
Using spray adhesive I attached black fabric to the cardstock I had used to create the brim and the top of the hat.  Glued some feathers and a green ribbon on to it. Sounded like it should have been a quick and easy endeavor yet I still managed to take all evening/night to make it, with several texts back and forth with BFF about design, color(s), and execution of the project.
All done and ready for the scene!
I love the green feathers in the hat that match Verdi
So that "Thank you" scene/holiday gift was ready and all shipped off to the friend in early December!
With the dome on it

Dome off
I also made a little plastic ornament filled with kid trucks in the dirt/sand for my childhood friend who doesn't own any miniatures, but admires them.  We've been friends since we were about 9 and 10 years old and I liked that this gift harked back to those childhood memories of playing in the dirt by the little pond and stream in her back yard...
These Tonka mini toys were sold at Target earlier in the year (they still may be, I'm not sure).  I painted stripes on the plastic ornaments...
Ornaments have their first coat of paint; need about 3 more...
And I added some dirt and sand, glued the trucks in, and glued some trims around the opening to make little childhood scenes...

Finished those gifts for my childhood friend just moments before our gift exchange. Whew.

Texas BFF knew she was getting filled shelves for her clock shop scene for Christmas.  She wanted drawers filled with metal doo-dads and accessories the clock shop owner would need to repair clocks.  The issue was her drawer shelves were with her in Texas and I'm in Virginia.  But I had the same shelving unit for sale in my shop so I could use it's shelving drawers to make plastic template shelf liners and glue the clock accessories on the liners.
Used blister packaging to cut liners

Liners fit into the drawer shelves

Easily removed and inserted

My steampunk items that will become clock shop paraphernalia

Various left over bits from other projects that will also be clock shop paraphernalia; lesson to be learned here is: don't ever throw anything away!!! You never know when you'll need that little scrap of paper clip for a scene! LOL

Organized the bits and pieces for groupings in drawers
All glued in place on the liners

Was one drawer short (ran out of bits and pieces)
Drawer liners in their drawers
There were 12 drawers and I only had enough metal bits and liners for 11.  So friend will have to fashion/glue some bits and pieces into that last drawer.  Yeah, I'm a crummy friend, skipping out on completing this project, but that's because I was secretly working on her REAL Christmas gift...

Looks good in my cabinet so I hope it will look good in hers!
Now, I feel badly cuz BFF knew that I was making those drawer fillers for her and it was just those 2 blister packs of metal bits that cost less than a Wendy's Combo meal (yes, everything relates to food for me).  And it took me no time at all (just one evening) to sort and glue them to the liners.  So, a long time ago I had told BFF that I would make her items for her Mardi Gras scene.  I think (I hope) she forgot about that, so hopefully these next little gifts will be a surprise for her to open Christmas morning...

I bought a set of face masks from Reutter Porcelain but needed them on a stand so I could decorate them in Mardi Gras fashion!
Gotta get the mask face onto a stand

Upturned bowls with a toothpick glued on for the stands

Painted them gold and added a dash of glitter

Faces are glued to the stands
These hair clips had perfectly scaled feathers in the perfect colors!

Glued the feathers to the back of the face

Glued lots of feathers!
Used glitter scrapbook paper and a fleur de lis template printed off the computer to cut out fleur de lis designs to cover the back of the face where the feathers were all glued.
So the back looks festive too.
Needed to add some bead necklaces to the King Cake I had made previously in the year....

Cake is ready...as are some extra bead necklaces to hang around her scene

Made the necklaces by "drawing" the necklaces in glue on plastic bags and dumping a bunch of no-hole beads on them.  Once dry I could peel the necklaces off, leaving them flexible.
I know the necklaces will probably not survive the trip to TX, but if she can salvage them enough to use them somewhere in her scene, it'll be a success in my book!
To soften the faces I added accessories of beads and chains; Gluing the chain around this face....

Ultimately got 3 chain drapes before calling this face "done"

I am now realizing that this one really needed a froo-froo collar, feather boa, or something...doesn't look finished.  Oh well, it's boxed up and shipped off now so BFF will have to add whatever she thinks it needs (if she thinks it needs anything -- which it does, just saying...LOL)

So that's it for this year's holiday homemade gifts!  I hope all of you (all 4 of you who read this! LOL) have a peaceful, wonderful, holiday!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

I Found a Name! (And it's Woodline)

My curiosity is appeased!  This house that keeps appearing to haunt me finally has a name! (First mention of this style house. Second post about this style house.)
The house we worked on in 2004

The same style house that appeared for work in 2015

Another turned up again in 2016
And, in November, a fourth one showed up for repair!
This house is in for repair in 2018
But this customer had all the manufacturer's instructions and some other reading material about miniatures (including some catalogs from the 1970s or early 80s for Lynne's in PA)!

So this style house is called the Victorian Doll House by Woodline Products out of Illinois.

Now that I had a direction to google, I have found some other Woodline Product houses with the most popular being:
Not certain if you can see the other houses offered so here's another image of a kit up close:

That's that.  Now I know who made these houses I keep seeing and what they are called.  And now you do too.  Lol

Friday, November 17, 2017

Water Update: Year Anniversary!

I was so distracted by other projects, looming holidays, and baby arrival that I missed the year check up on our water effects! Blog post about different water products to use in miniature scenes.

Now I have since used another miniature water effects product (running water to create a fountain was explained in the middle to end of This Blog Entry) but did not cover that in this experiment and review.
Day 1
Half Year Anniversary
And today (13 months later) there is not much change!  No cracks or shrinkage that I see.  Issues that were there before (bubbles, cloudiness, etc.) are still there:
Year Anniversary Group Picture
Not seeing much difference in the sun photos either:
Early Days in sun

Year Anniversary in sun
For individual photos:
EnviroTex in Painted birdbath

EnviroTex Unpainted birdbath

Scenic Water

Solid Water
So I don't see any major changes but we will continue to check up on them -- hopefully I'll remember in October next year for our second anniversary! LOL