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 . . . .

Saturday, April 11, 2020

When all else fails: Chocolate!

The shop is officially online only now.  I have just about finished packing up the brick and mortar shop.  Between inventorying and packing, it's been hard to find time for my own personal minis.  But I decided to sign up for an online class with Ruth Stewart of Stewart Dollhouses (stewart dollhouse creations website).  My children and I had done one of her mold kits before (Bunnies and Chicks) and I had excitedly ordered a cake kit and some supplies a year ago but was too intimidated to actually do anything with them.  So when BFF sent me an email that Ruth was having an online Zoom class making miniature chocolates, I jumped on it to help motivate me back into miniatures!

The package of supplies I would need arrived via mail.  It was very well organized!
So neat and prettily packaged

Okay, this company really has their stuff together! Labeled, instructions, and just about everything I would need for the class (except my Exacto knife, tissues, and a toaster oven or regular oven).
Class started at 10 am (EST) and we jumped right into making chocolate boxes and tiny chocolates from molds.
Very similar to her other molds we had done, but I was still glad she was on my cell phone Zoom showing us how to get the clay into all the nooks and crannies!

Got all 4 boxes on the first try! And made a few chocolates for them too.
Some students had issues with their boxes breaking or burning (toaster oven malfunction) but mine turned out great on the first try so while others made replacement boxes, I made another set so I'd have multiples for my confectionery shop (or maybe I'll have enough chocolates for an entire chocolate shop instead of just a section in my confectionery shop, but then I remind myself that I need another project like I need another hole in my head.  Let's just focus on some boxes of chocolates for the confectionery shop).

After lunch we added decorations and details to our boxes:
Squiggly lines decorate my heart boxes.

Yes, my boxes are being decorated while taped to extract bottles.  Thanks to my youngest's baking habit I'm loaded with these bottles! LOL
They still need some minor finishing up, but overall they are "done" enough for me.
Rose on heart box. All made from clay, even the rose and leaves.

Hexagon ribbon and bow box and a hexagon ribbon and rose box. All made from clay.

My seashell chocolate boxes need Belgium sea shell chocolates in them, but I don't have that mold yet.  I could put the regular chocolates we made in class in these boxes, but I think some nice white chocolate and Belgium sea shell shaped chocolates would be more appropriate.

We even decorated the sides of these itty bitty boxes!

Shells are real, but everything else (even the Coral) is made from either clay or "frosting" (a special compound made by Stewart Dollhouse Creations).

Sides of my rectangle boxes.  These are supposed to have more decoration on top, but I was so pleased at how nice my lines were, I didn't want to cover them (all those hours helping my youngest decorate those sugar cookies she makes really helped out!)

My goodies
I tried to make white chocolate boxes but I think a chocolate design would look better than the pink I picked so I'll remake these....
Needs a dark chocolate design to really pop on the white chocolate
At 6:30 pm my kids started bugging me about dinner and dying Easter eggs so I had to leave the Zoom class (although I think they were just about done - Ruth had covered everything we were supposed to learn; we were all just concentrating and working on our boxes together, from different parts of the country).  So in my haste to clean up I manged to do what I had carefully avoided doing all class long: I sliced my fingers on the razor blade we were using to cut, create, and move our clay creations around.  Not only did I do it once, but TWICE, within minutes.  Oh well, at least I did it after class was over so the band aids didn't hinder my progress. LOL

Ruth is teaching more online classes and I've signed up for another one in May to keep my motivation going.  I still have to inventory and pack up the floorings, wood trims, and electrical tools from the shop so I know my motivation will disappear again as I tackle those boring (to me) categories to get them up on the website this week.  But after that, I hope to jump into my own personal projects....problem is, I will probably take out my Cottontail Confectionery shop instead of the mansion or the Irish Cottage (the two personal projects I should be playing with)!