Creating and collecting miniatures have long been a part of my life. They bring me inner squeals of joy when I make an individual piece or finishing up a setting that looks like I could walk on in if I was resized to that scale. Hopefully, they will bring you a little smile to cheer your day.
Sometimes I am enchanted with a single piece or vignette that I am not ready to put in a larger scene of a dollhouse or roombox so a small display under a dome is just the ticket. I can also rotate my treasures so things aren’t stale in my displays and my eyes can seek out the details up close when I am in the miniature mood.
This fall I discovered some small glass domes at Michael’s that allow me to display a seasonal favorite or special miniature. They still carry them but they keep moving them around in the store. Currently they are in the fairy garden section. They are inexpensive, running about $5 to $7 with several sizes.
Another cover for a small grouping is a cheese tray. I got this one at the thrift store for $3. I will admit the glass is thicker than a dome and distorts things a bit but the price was right. A footed glass cake stand is another option. Garage sales and estate sales can provide some interesting covers if you keep your eyes open.
Re-purposed Cheese Tray
Grouping of luggage
The luggage trio is by Bobbie Johnson of Colorado. I made the other 3 pieces many years ago. I am not sure who made the green trunk but I love the aged peeling affect it has for a well traveled look.
Since I am on the subject of small displays, I wanted to share some of my favorites. Not all are dome covered but I wanted to share some eye candy.
Some great polymer clay creations
Closer view of display
A captured gnome in a dome
Gnome figurine in a garden floral
The spring garden display and gnome floral is by Laura Crain of Dollhouse Land. I love her use of color. Well balanced and feels like a bit of the outdoors captured. They always perk me up in the winter.
The doll and 2 bunnies are some old favorites from the late 90’s. I have two of the dolls by the same artist that I got in 1997 when I was on the East coast at a miniature show. I have never seen her work since but love the detail. They have viscose hair, lace trim and ribbon added to the pinafores. All the rest is polymer clay. Here is the two dolls and their markings. If you know the artist’s name, I would love to know it.
The bunnies are by Becky Delk. She made lots of sweet children and animals in the 90’s. She was at the Denver show and NAME conventions when I was able to get some of her creations. The detail is incredible with the dresses having checkered pattern, strips, etc all created with her manipulation of the clay. They amaze me. I think she burned out due to her work being so popular.
The small gatherings under a dome or cover is a much better way to enjoy your miniatures than tucked away in a drawer until you have a place for it in a scene.
I have gotten a lot of things done this month. It was not one big project that presented itself well in a posting. It been a stead focus on small details that added up to something.
I greatly enjoyed my candle carousel that was on the shelf in my Christmas house. Its a mini version of a German Christmas decoration that uses the heat of the candles to set them in motion. I would gently blow on my mini version and watch the blade rotate the carousel. It would make me smile each time. It was also fun to share this with my little granddaughter when she was visiting.
Pardon the pun –but it set my thoughts a whirl with the desire to create one myself but not Christmas related. I had worked with some silhouettes on another project. So that was the beginning. Combining those ideas was the path I followed this month. I spent many hours fine tuning to make it work smoother than the first attempt.
The trail of what if I tried this, or this, or this kept the impulse going. I created the first one based on the silhouettes. That was so much fun that I decided I wanted a heart one being that it was February and there were hearts everywhere.
When I finally got them to the finished stage I was so excited with my new toys that I wanted to share them. The magic of these carousels are not captured in a single photo. Motion tells the story.
So it lead to me making a you tube video of each of them working. That was something new for me! I do realize that this is super basic for some people but I hadn’t attempted one before. It seemed very intimidating and I never had something to share that way before. It was much simpler to do that I ever dreamed. It really made my day to learn a new skill!
Carefree Childhood Video https://youtu.be/mtFNPdRYtIU
Fluttering Heart Video https://youtu.be/JggH-Yo_Xxs
I didn’t have a set path to begin with but followed the breadcrumbs of experimenting that lead to my carousels and making the videos.
I do have the carousels available as kits on the website (also learned to put the video there too) and some assembled on the Etsy site, if that is of interest to you.
To end this post—
I urge you to follow a creative whim occasionally. You might be surprised by the unexpected pleasure of the journey!
One of the side enjoyments of making a project like the Christmas House was the trip down memory lane. So many bits and pieces have been made or purchased over a long period.
The feather tree in the alcove is a prime example. That was made from a roundtable kit from a NAME convention at least 20 years ago. It has been in a drawer for a long time and ALMOST thrown out several time from being battered. Really glad that didn’t happen. I don’t think the room would be as cozy without it.
The Let it Snow Shelf was an impulse buy from the past that never fit in any scene. I would pull it out and try it places but it just wasn’t right on a wall until now.
The stuffed stockings are by Paulette Svec and Carl Bronsdon. The tiny bear hanging in the stocking astounds me. Both of the stockings are hand crocheted so they hang like children stockings.
The filled punch bowl and cups I painted some years when I was heavy into painting Chrysnbon dishes. I still think they are the nicest scale dishes for the price. I painted lots of Christmas sets for sell but never used that set in any setting. Now there is some stacked on the side board and the hutch upstairs. Sweet!
The tray and basket of treats were from roundtables of Carl Bronsdon. They had so much detail, had the fimo foods included and were easy to assemble. Fun times!
I cherish the dolls in the dining room and upstairs. The fair hair girl with Christmas ornaments in hand was given to me by a friend that has since past away. The red haired lass I got this fall. Years apart in coming to my house but look so like sisters to me. Both are made by Carol McBride.
My young man was made by Barbara Cooper of the Wren’s Nest. She made wonderful painted pull toys and dolls. She also passed away a few years ago. I miss her laughter and stories when I would visit with her at shows. Her dolls are so usable with swivel heads and arms and legs that bend that allow them to be adaptable to the getting ons in the room.
Times and events long over but the memories remain to relive when my eyes wander over the scene. It adds another layer of satisfaction to doing miniatures.
I’ve been quiet lately. I started looking at my collection of Christmas items in early December and decided I needed to create a setting to use them instead of storing them. It was a project that quickly got out of hand.
I had a started wall house that was assembled and painted on the outside but completely bare on the inside. It had been sitting idle for sometime with the original plans abandoned.
I played house with the various Christmas pieces, arranging them in multiple ways. Finally a story developed to fit the arrangement. At that point there was a direction and focus to what was placed where.
It is finally a stage that is presentable. There is a few things to add at a latter date, such as the mouse family celebrating Christmas in the attic. Currently they are in only in my imagination.
So I am either late or very early for Christmas depending on your point of view. I am an optimist so I AM EARLY and my Christmas treasures gathered over time have a home!
In the creating of seasonal plants for my floral shop decked out for Thanksgiving I explored the aisles of the hobby shops for bits that I could use to add the proper seasonal colors. I found the nicest sprays that have a wide range of colors to work into the arrangements.They made great clusters of grapes in my turkey cart and were another texture/filler in the bouquets. It looks like something the floral department has for each season, just different colors, so I am checking for them this spring too.
You may find some uses for them too.They were inexpensive and took acrylic paint well for touch ups.
Magical transformations from one thing into something different is always a thrill!
floral sprays from hobby lobby
mini grape clusters cut off the spray for use in cart and arrangement
Miniatures are magic at times. Wednesday started out as an overcast gray kind of day here. All damp and muffled outside. I looked out the window and veered for the workroom instead.
Out of sorts with the weather -umm— so what should I work on????
I have 2 projects at the present that I have been bouncing between. One is the Orchid Hill House and the other is a florist shop. I am trying to get the florist shop down to exhibit it this fall and the deadline is approaching fast.
I have been doing fall flower arrangements of late (miniature of course). The wonderful autumn foliage colors this year have kept me inspired. I have had a ball doing them! Some for the project, some as gifts for friends and even an overflow into my Etsy shop (the same name as this blog) ———–
So I wondered what if I changed the colors of a little cart that I have used as an Easter arrangement and had a turkey pulling it instead of a bunny? I love the graphics from old postcards that had whimsical images of bunnies, turkeys, etc for the holidays. That is actually how the original Easter egg cart evolved that I have had filled on the Etsy site and offered as a kit on my website . ………………
I totally got absorbed in the transformation of that Easter cart into a turkey cart. It was cheery and sunny in the workroom despite the gloomy weather outside……
IT WAS MAGIC!!!!
So thinking about how much fun I had with this simple project and wanting to celebrate several things………………………………………
the start of this blog
my Etsy shop
the revamping of my website
I am giving away Turkey Cart kits (you have to fill them with flowers/ candies, etc) for the month of November!
Free with orders this month or if you send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) to:
Lisa's Little Things
15998 94th Rd
Topeka, KS 66616
It is odd how this room created the story of this home’s inhabitants. I didn’t start with a story and build a dollhouse around it. I just was going to create a dollhouse from a structure I had brought many years ago. I had played with many ideas but never loved one idea enough to begin it. So it sat waiting. Also, I wanted to conquer the fear of wiring an entire structure. I have mainly stayed with roomboxes. A mighty ambitious plan but you know how fired up you can be on New Year resolutions. I will not state what year but it wasn’t 2016 goals. It has been a meandering path but I think it may be finished this year. I am saying that quietly and with fingers crossed.
Determining what each room was going to be was the first thing – sewing room, servant quarters, bedroom, a child’s room, entry hall, stairway nook and the drawing room. This is so a wiring plan could be planned and laid out under flooring and wallpaper. Each room’s function was dictated by a stash of furnishings that I wanted to see in use instead of storing away in boxes. Someday had arrived. Use it. Modifications were made to the original structure to accommodate these rooms and the wiring. Also, I wanted to be proactive to be able to get to things if the lights didn’t all work later. Nothing more frustrating that a dead light that you can’t fix long after it is done.
I pulled out furniture and played house to get a feel for what furnishings would work. It was OK but it had no life to it. Yes, it is a dollhouse but for a miniaturist it is a world, a place, that if it were physically possible we would go there. As a reality check, I know it is not possible BUT imagination plays a large role in this hobby.
In playing house, the staircase nook came alive. The plants(orchids), desk, peacock glass wall, and the warm color tones stirred into a story. Uhh??
The orchids are important. Orchid Hill House became the home’s name. An older woman, her daughter-in-law and a granddaughter are the house inhabitants. This is due to the dolls and the rooms they seem to fit in. There are no men in the household at the moment except for the butler. This is due to the father and son off on a voyage exploring for new orchids. The ladies gathering in the drawing room are meeting for the monthly meeting of the orchid society. Now there is life and a purpose to the inhabitants residing here! All because of a staircase nook, that I now can imagine my lady writing her letters to husband and son far away or completing her notes for the talk this afternoon to the ladies at the orchid society meeting. Imagination crawls out of hiding sometimes and leads you down a path you were not expecting. That makes my day when it happens!