Friday, December 24, 2010

Numero Uno

How do I pick number one? It's just so hard.

#1- It's just plain fun!

It's creative and fun and it makes me feel like a kid again playing with toys. It makes me smile and that's what life is about, right? Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Two More Days and Reason #2

Number 2- I enjoy all the wonderful bloggers I have "met" through miniatures and the vast online community :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Number 3

Countdown day 3 of why I like miniatures.

#3- They let me express my inner creativity.

A Few New Titles & Categories

A few more titles were added to the store today. The book jacket images were found online and placed over wood. The wood makes them nice and sturdy and easy to keep in place.

I also made some labels for genres within the store. Hmm.. which section should I browse?
(Not the best picture, but you get the idea.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Countdown Day 4

Reason #4- Cool furnishings are much more affordable. (Some day I hope to own a mini Eames!)

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Own Advent Countdown

There has been little time for minis lately, so I thought I would do a countdown of 5 (yes, only FIVE more days) reasons I love miniatures. Feel free to chime in with your own.

#5 - Even when your world is falling to hell, tiny miniature worlds are perfect and pristine.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Book Blanks

No, I have not disappeared off the face of the earth. Between the holidays and working a ton of hours, I have just been very busy. Miniatures have been on my mind though and finally today I found some time to work on them. What a relaxing and fun way to spend a few hours! A "mini" escape :)

There are lots of shelves to fill in my book shoppe, so I figured my time would be wisely spent making some books today. These are just filler books to take up some space, but I think they turned out pretty well. I cut varying sized pieces of wood and simply wrapped them in spare scraps of leather. I may go back and add some gold titles/details at a later time. A very simple project, yet time consuming. How many shelves are there again?!

On another note, I have finally come up with a master plan for opening up the Villa. Now I just need to get some proper tools for the job and then "surgery" will begin! I'm very excited!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'm Batty With Happiness!

I can't believe I was lucky enough to win a giveaway from Nina at The Tudor/Medieval/Jacobean/Queen Anne Dollhouse Project! What beautiful stuff she has!!

Check out the post here. I won the witchy one! I'll post more details and pictures later.

Thank you Nina!!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Goodies Galore!

Here are a few of the purchases I mentioned.

Ahh..the perfect little nook to curl up with a good book! "Leather" club chair from I lightly sanded it down to add some wear and take away the shiny appearance. Side table came from the old house. Mug of coffee from Hobby Lobby.

I bought a cute metal little bistro set from It was white and came with a "glass"-topped table and four chairs. The table and other 2 chairs will end up in the Villa- (double-duty-bonus!) White seemed too stark for the bookshop so I painted them green. I'm not sure if they will stay that way though- maybe brown? I'm also thinking of adding some "tiled" flooring to delineate the cafe area.

Bakery case also bought from I added some paint to darken it up a bit. Cherry pie and plates came from Hobby Lobby. Great cheap finds! How do you think my cookies look? Hoping to fill it up with more goodies soon!

Metal cash register (with working drawer) from Lamp swiped from the old house ;)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blast From the Past

This past week I went back to my old stomping grounds. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my family had saved my daughter's old dollhouse.

As you can tell, it was a child's choice of colors :0! Red and orange exterior--wow! I never had the time to finish it properly (kids will do that to ya), but maybe one of these days. Possibly as a gift to a friend or as a charitable donation.. It has good bones, but it's a bit flimsy .

I think it is made by Duracraft. If anyone knows for sure I would love to know.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Trying Out My Creativity..

Time to start furnishing the cafe for my bookstore. The store is not big enough to fit a huge cafe, but I still wanted to convey the idea. I had in mind a cute little bistro set.

Yesterday I was at Michael's and found an awesome metal pendant sort of in the shape of a compass. Viola! A table base! The top of the table was made to look like a Formica overlay. Chairs to come..

While looking at miniatures I have been in awe at some of the food I've seen (Kiva's Miniatures- amazing!). I swore I wouldn't even begin to attempt food. It just seemed so daunting. Last night however, I found a little "discovery" that I couldn't resist. I hadn't exactly cleaned up my table from my last adventures. There were little hard globs of Liquid Nails glue left over. Hmm.. a light bulb went off. What could I do with this stuff?

I laid out some intentional blobs on wax paper. This morning they were dry (and didn't stick to the paper). The result- chocolate chip cookies! Not perfect, but not too bad for a first attempt. I have a few more ideas up my sleeve for making the media more workable for my next attempt. Fun!

I also made my first major purchase last night from . Can't wait to get the package and share my goodies with you!

Here are  some miniature paint brushes I thought I would share. They were purchased a few years ago at Dick Blick. As I've said before, I think miniatures have been in my blood for quite awhile and I just didn't know it ;)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Building Resource Questions?

Does anyone know of a good place to get hardware (doors, windows, staircases, etc) for odd sizes? The floor to ceiling height for my villa is 11" and the arched windows and doors are not standard. Any suggestions?

Just in the initial planning stages now, but can't wait to get started on it!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Odds and Ends and Flowers Too

I've had little time to work on my miniatures lately :( , however I had a wonderful day today doing some small little projects.

Recently I purchased 3 of my favorite books from miniaturebookstore on ebay; The Stand, Da Vinci Code, and James and the Giant Peach. I will be making many of my books but wanted to get an idea of how other people do them too.

Imho no good bookstore is complete without a Starbucks! After all, a girl can't live on books alone! The official sign went up. Eventually there will be a glass display case full of pastries and goodies next to the counter.

Door hardware and kick-plates were also completed. I found some thin brass sheeting and rods at Hobby Lobby. Pretty simple to make and I think they turned out pretty well.

(glue was still wet in this photo..)
Last, but not least, I made some basic window boxes out of basswood and planted some flowers! The little terracotta pots ("aged" with acrylic paints) were found at Michaels craft store in a pack of 4, along with the silk flowers. The only thing missing on the outside (I think) is a sign. Still not sure what I'm going to name it..

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shelving Complete

Today I got the remainder of the shelving done for my bookstore (except for a magazine stand I plan on building).

I am really happy with the way it's coming together. The little ceramic vases were bought years ago at a pottery festival. Maybe miniatures were always in my blood! They were hand-turned on a pottery wheel. I wish I remembered the artist's name.

Look! The first customer! Too bad the store is empty. I guess he'll have to stick around for awhile! I think I'll call him Buster. (The little ceramic puppy was my grandmothers. I think it's from the 50's?)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Awnings On

Why is it that every time you think something is going to be a snap, it always turns out to be so much more. Awnings, I thought--no problemo! All I need is a simple triangular shape, right?

Maybe I was trying to make it more complicated than it needed to be. I tried a few "triangular" designs, but wasn't happy with any of them.

I finally settled on having simple overhangs. I used basswood wrapped in green canvas. They were attached using wood glue. I wasn't sure if they would stay, but they seem very secure today. Miracle glue I say!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Designer Fabric Samples Rock

Today I made a trip to Jo-Ann Fabric store with the sole purpose of finding a simple green canvas fabric to use for awnings for the bookshop. That part was easy. Not getting side-tracked by the myriad of other fabrics, not so easy.

I managed to restrain myself from buying several until I stumbled upon a clearance rack of designer home interior fabric samples. These were intended to be special order fabrics, but I guess they had been discontinued or something so they were selling all of the samples for two dollars each. The samples are about 20" square, so that is plenty of fabric for miniature making.

I chose three really cool fabrics. They will all go in the Villa eventually. I am thinking of the striped one (Waverly) for accent chairs, the green satiny one (richloom) for pillows and I love the woven one (Phifertex- a vinyl coated wicker weave retailing for $49.99 a yard!) as an area rug.

While browsing a French Interior Decorating magazine I found these cool chairs. They look like they would be fairly simple to reproduce/modify in miniature. I love the clean simple lines. Who knows, they just may end up (possibly with the striped fabric) in the Villa someday...

Simple green awnings coming soon..

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Villa Has Arrived

I am absolutely on cloud 9 over the architectural model I got on craigslist! It is truly a marvel! I'm still in shock that I got the entire thing for $65!
So in love!!!

For being 40-50 years old it is in good shape, but will be a ton of work-- a total labor of love! I bought this house planning on it taking several years to finish and I don't want to rush one single moment.

I have always loved the juxtaposition of old and new. The house is screaming to me to be made into a rustic French or Italian Villa. My plan is to make it look like an old well-loved house with a modern clean interior (my idea of a dream house).
I adore the arched windows!

Now the research begins.. coming up with ideas and inspiration. So fun!!

Second floor

First floor. Still trying to figure out how I'm going to open it up for accessibility.

I think the "basement" is probably unusable space since it's sloped, but I love the idea of finishing the exterior of the foundation (probably in stone)

Roof is Done

The shingling is done. Whew.. big job! I used Liquid Nails glue in a caulking gun to attach the shingles.

I guessed my way through doing the seam where the shoppe opens, but think it turned out okay.

I think I am going to stain the side edges of the roof. I am going to install awnings on the windows once I find a fabric I like.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Heart Craigslist

I have scooped up the Deal Of The Century!! And sure to be the project of my lifetime!!

I am SOOO... excited and I get to pick up the masterpiece on Sunday. It is a 40-50 year old HUGE architectural model. I have tons of ideas and can't wait to see it in person.

Here are a few teaser pics.. It is SOO.. Awesome! Solid wood 3.5 ft sqare, ceiling to floor height is 11", so I think it will be fine for 1:12 scale, very solid wood and has a custom table that goes with it! Can you tell I'm totally excited?!  :O

Bookstore update- shingling is almost complete. I will post some pics soon.

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