I am a bit surprised by the time gap from the last posting. Summer got away from me and miniatures laid abandoned for the most part. I had a day here and there but other activities called.
If it was sunny, I was in the garden –the flowers enjoyed the attention and I had the visual satisfaction of all the work. It had been a long time since I really put the time in before the weeds claimed the ground. It made my summer something to savor this winter.
Aside from the gardening, we had a construction project of a stone patio and sun room. This required a lot of moving things out of the way and then back in place. I did rethink some things and cleared some clutter. The project is DONE and I am ready to turn the page to fall.
So fall has official started (contrary to the weather–very hot at the moment but due to change this week) and I am ready to slow down a bit and treat myself with playing with my miniatures again.
I did dabble here and there this summer on short bursts, so I do have some things to share.
I have gotten into the habit of Pinterest browsing in the morning with my tea. It inspires you and gives you many idea when you are researching a topic visually. Even if I didn’t get to make minis I got to daydream about them. One of the post that got me excited was a doll presentation display. For some reason the face and dress drew me and I wanted to create something similar. I showed the picture to Pat Boldt, a fellow miniaturist that makes dolls. She had a similar doll mold and I was ready to try my hand.
Here is the similar doll from Pat Boldt undressed
Here is my version with straw hat, collared dress, a brush and comb set and a little purse. I even added a simple heart charm bracelet on her wrist. It was a delight to see it all come together and finding just the right things to make a grouping.
I enjoy seeing a finished project that came from one of my wanderings on Pinterest and getting to share it with you. Until next time…..
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.
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
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!
Here is a closeup of the cabinet. Carl designed it and was part of the shoppe class. It is a very nice display cabinet for foods. Anne Caesar from the Kitchen Captive made the cookies on the cake stand and boxed ones on the right side of the shelf. The boxes are mine, named Old Castle boxes(not the most creativity title). They are great fillers.
On the third shelf are my clover boxes filled with meringues that I made. The boxed rose candies are beads but look great as molded chocolates. The belingot container on the left is a favorite. The subtle coloring of the bonbons always draw my eye to them.
Here is more photos of the previously mentioned shop. With an open side and no roof it allowed all the individual foods to be visible and not hidden in the shadows. All the bits that I had treasured have a home! So many treasures and memories tied to them.
I loved the wicker table. I recolored the table top to blend better to its companion pieces. I created the doilies. Draped doilies always seem to add elegance and warmth, at least to me. The cabinet on the right was from Philly show a few years ago. Brought it on a whim but had no immediate home for it BUT now it is looks perfect in here.
The tiered wire stand allows the individual foods to shine. Love miniature foods especially the sweets. Yummy without the guilty pounds!
I started this blog about a year ago and really just let it set idle. I think the problem was no set purpose to the blog. I wanted to share some of my thrill of creating miniatures, I just didn’t have a clear vision how to present it. The internet has allowed people to share far and wide. It has became our community. Due to all the inspirations I have found helpful, I want to give back some of that.
I love the journey from a mere idea to a captured mini version of some object or scene. I relive the journey when I look at it, all the time spent making it or all the things I have purchased to fill it. Perfect contentment.
I took a class from Carl Bronsdon at a NAME convention in 2014. It was a structure that captured a beautiful facade but allowed you to really see the inside well. One side and roof is absent so the detail of my minis really shine.