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 . . . .

Thursday, October 27, 2022

2nd Life for this Cat (Roombox)

I love cats.  Hate kitty litter, claws, and hair ball vomit.  But I adore cats.  When asked though, I have to say I'm a dog person. However, some black carpet and cute cat furniture made me create this cat themed bedroom roombox:

Sue Sharp dressed the bed for me

The wall art was a table that broke but the table top looked good so it became artwork

Up close pic of the bed

Cat chair in the corner always made me smile

However, I am running out of space in my basement to store my creations and I have an 1890s kitchen I want to make but have no space for. I didn't want to just throw the roombox away. It deserved better than that. So this roombox is being passed on to a neighbor friend who loves cats and appreciates miniatures. This kitty cat project gets another life. And I have a new spot for my next miniature project!

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Gardens

22 years ago I completed my English Teahouse. Each room in the Teahouse was decorated with a particular family female in mind (myself, my sister, my mother).  Right after finishing the building, I created a Springtime Garden to be just outside the teahouse. The Garden was named "The Afternoon Garden" or "The P.M. Garden" since the gardens were for an honorary family member (my Aunt Pam - not blood related nor married into the family, but my aunt nonetheless). And since my Aunt Pam became my aunt by always being around, having tea with my Mom at my childhood home, the P.M. (Pam. Mom.) Garden was for them.


Enter thru the archway and take a seat at a bench to sip your tea

Garden filled with greenery and flowers

I always intended to make a Fall and Winter Garden as well but time got away from me.  I knew that when I made the next gardens, I would need to mimic the same set up (since it is supposedly the same garden, just different seasons). I had purchased the arch entryways, long back bush, back corner bush, and fencing at the time I had made the spring P.M. Garden to make sure I was getting the same type product from the artisan (House That Jack Built, a company long gone now). But I was gonna need a fall (and winter) tree.  But I never found a good autumn tree I like. So I decided to make one from an old Lemax tree I had:

The leaves were so obviously fake.  So I cut more realistic looking ones off of a roll of fall leaves vine. And added the leaves, gluing them, one at a time:


Finally finished gluing all the leaves on and glued all my goodies to the grass flocked board.




Love the little chipmunk under the table

There is a gap in the back right corner. In the Springtime Garden that space has a bird bath.  I want a stacked pumpkin display to go in that spot for the Fall Garden, but haven't found one nor have I had the time to make one.  It was more important to me to finish the garden with what I had for now.  I can add finishing touches in the coming years. 

There are a few finishing touches already in the Fall Garden, such as these lantern kits I bought about a decade ago by Robin Betterly...

Assembled the kits but still need to paint and add the handles

Here are some up-close photos of my lantern kits, finally assembled and painted:

I put tiny votive candles inside. Pumpkin cutout design.

Spooky cat cutout design.

And since there are close up photos of my Fall Garden, here are a few details you couldn't see from my Spring Garden in the first few photos:

Butterfly on the arch entry

Chipmunk chilling in the garden

Spring time robin eggs in a teacup in the tree

I did make a Winter Garden too, but it did not turn out like the vision in my head. I always knew that it would be too cold for the teahouse patrons to sit outside in the winter so the tables would be removed to make way for the Christmas Trees.  However, if I had more time, patience, etc. the garden would have twinkle lights wrapped around the tree, bushes, and fence and there would have been footprints in the snow from guests walking around the trees. I do not love the snowman in the back corner -- he is strictly a place holder until I find something I absolutely love to go in that spot (same troublesome bird bath spot from Spring and empty gap spot from Fall). Maybe I'll look for some Gluhwein (Germany hot cider) in a small stall to go in that corner....

Front arch entry

Looking down into the garden

Victorian pink tree and wreath on left side of garden

Traditional red tree and wreath on right side of garden

Favorite view, looking thru arch into garden

So the gardens are ready to be displayed next to the Tea House.  And as the window flower boxes change seasons on the house, so will the garden on the side of the building!

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Busy Like a Bee

My best friend acquired this room box for me years ago. A shop fa├žade with windows on either side.

(The bike seemed to highlight the fact that the door wasn't quite to scale so I ditched the bike out front.)  As summer approached I thought I would dust off this little roombox for a quick and easy project to tackle -- it would only take me a month or so. (We all know how THAT goes, right?)

I had spent a few years debating about what should go in the shop windows. Sewing paraphernalia? (I have the Knitty Kitty which seems like a similar theme.) Bakery items? (But I already have a bakery, both a bread bakery as well as a Confectionery shop.) Plus, the image behind the revolving door is more of a clothing shop. So I looked at miniature clothes but nothing really excited me. I did find some cute Western hats and purses though....

So I thought maybe I would do something like this NYC shop window:
Actual shop window in NYC, Dec 2015 or 2016

But my window is too small for a large jackrabbit scene. But it is big enough for some cacti! So I started making some (glittery) cacti.  Made the bases out of tin foil....

Then covered them with FIMO clay...

Once baked I spray painted it green and then another coat of green glitter on that...



So I had a direction and was making progress on the one window scene.  And then this purchase from WennysMinis inspired the other window to become a bee themed scene:

Started to make a bee sign out of FIMO and a honeycomb mold I had.  Needed a blank space in the middle for the sign's words ("Bee Wild") but I didn't smooth the area where they met very well and I didn't realize it until I started to paint it and the issue became apparent...

...but I went with it anyways cuz it was only gonna be temporary. I should know better by now: my temporary usually becomes permanent. Found some charms that fit the theme and began to acquire bee things...
My most treasured purchase was this pair of shoes, custom made for me by kellylynminiatures:

While acquiring so many cute, tiny items for my shop windows, it quickly became obvious that these window scenes would need light. Ordered 2 bulbs and battery pack from Evans Design. Used a thin floral wire to pull a bulb thru the tiny opening so both windows get light.
Pulling bulb thru the small opening on the right

Taped the bulb in place with electrical tape

Windows all lit up now (with stripes drawn in)

I drew some lines to make a striped pattern for the bee themed window.  Thought a nice black and yellow stripe would add some color and interest.  But the painted stripes looked sloppy.  Guess my hands aren't as steady as they used to be.
The messy edges on the stripes would drive me crazy over time

Luckily my best friend suggested yellow paper strips to make crisp neat lines. Smart idea!  And what's better than yellow scrap book paper to make crisp clean stripes? GLITTERY scrapbook papers to make crisp clean stripes!
Pow!  Glitter, baby!!!!

Bee Theme Window is ready for all the bee related items I have been purchasing!

And I originally wanted the cacti scene to have a night time starry night background so I could decorate the sky with little diamonds to get some glitter bling in that window too, but I was having trouble finding someone to print the Google image I found.
Loved this night scene I found on google

My printer only prints in black and white.  So I couldn't print the image myself.  But while shopping at a dollar store I found a calendar and June's picture had cacti, so for $1, that can't be beat. And I ended up using that image instead:
My cacti sunset scene

Now to work on the flooring.

Again, scrapbook papers came to my rescue on the bee side. Piece of honeycomb design paper and that's done. The desert side I had more qualms regarding the floor. Was gonna do sand. But I wanted more glitter/bling. And then I remembered these leftover bits from my daughter's diamond painting. The colors were perfect for a desert theme. And they sparkle a little!
So I made a template of the space and arranged where my cacti would be placed and started to glue the diamond painting pieces in place.

Anyone else seeing multicolored flint corn instead of a tile mosaic floor? Lol


I decided to check if it was working or not.  I loved the look of the tile flooring, but it wasn't fitting the mood of the window.

So, back to the drawing board. And again, scrapbooking paper came to my rescue! I had bought a few sheets of different gold glitter papers for the Bee Wild side. And one of them was more of a copper shade. So it became my flooring.
Lots of glitter glitz

Time to deal with the white gaps along the edges, make the sign for this window, and fill the window with stuff!
"Live Wild" side

A little disappointed that the sign isn't as clear once the light is on


Up-close photos of the Bee Wild side:

Both pillows are by Designs By Janet, bee bag was purchased from ZJMiniatures, and of course, my fabulous shoes I mentioned earlier get to be at the front of the window.
I loved the hats by Just For You, especially the one with it's matching purse.

Whole project "complete":

Of course, now that it's finished, I realize that I should have put a light above the revolving door inside to light up the "inside" and some exterior lights on either side of the door would be appropriate. Plus my friend suggested plants, ash tray, or a dog peeking in a window would help the exterior spaces look more realistic/interesting. So, I have placed an order for more lights and I must wait for them to arrive.  This "quick and easy" early summer time project has now taken me all summer and into October. And although I have "completed" the project, I still have more to do. Another day.