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, 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.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Ready for the Weekend

As you all know from the last few blog updates, I was not happy that my Hunter's cabin was getting pretty fancy for a rustic weekend retreat.  And the kitchen was always too small for large appliances (link to fridge post). I had an oven/stove for the kitchen but it was fairly posh, modern, and large:

Also, I didn't like a stove/oven wedged between the wooden pantry and wall: my maternal instincts were worried my miniature Hunter would accidentally set the house on fire. So I got rid of the stove oven.

But I couldn't find a Coleman style camping grill to replace the fancy stove. So I bought the Hunter a microwave. And then I discovered an electrical grill on Etsy (MiniMonday3 Etsy Shop)! Since there is limited space in the Hunter's kitchen, I had to make a microwave cart to hold both the electrical grill and the microwave!

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I bought a 2" wide lower cabinet base. This also appeased my realistic nature since now my Hunter also had somewhere to store dishes and utensils.

Electric grill barely fit on the base. But now I needed a top part to hold the microwave....

Used some scrap woods and trims to add side supports and a top shelf. Then finished the base cabinet's drawer and cabinet door.

Gave it a nice honey oak stain like the real life microwave cart I had a few years back. Added the electric grill and microwave and put it in the kitchen:

Since the inside was basically done now (few minor details to be dealt with but overall it's finished), it was time to deal with the landscaping and outdoor areas.  I know nothing about fishing (or hunting for that matter).  But I know that when we've gone to the beach the beach houses have "fishing tables" for guests to clean the fish they have caught.  So I decided to make one for my Hunter too.  Found this photo to use as a guide and got my scrap woods together:

Spray painted the woods gray and the top piece white and glued them together to create a basic table:

Then I taped my trims together so my drilled/carved holes would all line up:

And accidentally added some holes to my kitchen table too (oops):

Luckily my table is so "well loved" that no one noticed a few extra bits of love.  Once the table and trims were glued together I realized Hunter would need a shed for storing various equipment that would/could be needed (chain saw in case a tree fell and it needed to be cut into smaller more manageable pieces; fishing rod; ladder; shovel; etc.).  So I made a shed:

Made side walls by gluing various wood scraps together
After gluing my three sides together and beginning to work on the door THEN I remembered that I wanted one side to be "open" so that you could see the shed's contents.  So I had to use an exacto knife and cut away part of a wall.  All my planning goes out a window once I start playing with minis!
Ready to stain or paint.  But whenever I applied my weathering product to the raw wood, the wood would warp so I had to place "heavy weights" (aka salsa jars) on the wood to keep it flat while the stains dried.

Shed after a coat or two of the weathering product and now with a tin roof!  Had pewter color hinges but only brass handles so I used a Sharpie marker to darken the brass handle for the shed:

Despite my best efforts the door still warped a bit.  But that's ok cuz it's supposed to be a rustic, aged, slapped together in a weekend shed.  After I aged the tin roof a bit I moved on to the landscaping:
My Hunter pulls right up to the cabin so I needed to put some gravel down (leaving a marked area for the tires).

A layer of some thick sod material a friend had sent me made the right side of the yard look great.  But the left side was a little skimpy and since I'd run out of sod I needed another solution.  Plus it was bothering me that this was supposed to be a cabin in the woods and there was only one tree!
So I ordered some more Bill Lankford trees and some low, squishy bushes and glued everything down:

Bat motel to help keep the mosquitos away

Glued some birds in the trees

My shed and fishing table right by the hose

An assortment of things stuck in the shed

Every forest needs some woodland creatures running about

Inside the Hunter's coffee mug, video game controller, slippers, and dog wait by the fire

Fly tape and a fly swatter kept handy to keep bugs away

Pantry and cooking area

Basic bedroom set up: Fresh linens out of the trunk and the hunting stuff ready for the early morning

Bathroom, squeaky clean

A little hunting cabin in the woods.

So now that the Hunter's Cabin is finished, I have moved on to 2 quick little projects of Art Deco shoe shop and a Shop's Windows roombox.  And of course, since I thought they would be "quick little projects" they will take me months. LOL