Tag Archives: Dollhouse miniatures

Cottage Comfort

Miniatures can literally take you way from the cares of the world to a place time has slowed down.

Shrink down and come inside!

This morning’s weather has changed to a damp rain.

A pair of wellies by the door , the watercolor palette on the chair with binoculars are from this morning outing that ended when the damp rain began.

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Wellies by the door
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A timid mouse is checking out the activities
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Chair with this morning’s paraphernalia

With the cold and damp setting in outside…

Hot tea, fresh bread and rustic cheeses more than make up for the dash inside.

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Ready to pour a cup
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This morning’s bread
cheeses
A wonderful assortment of cheese to go with the bread and hot tea.

A lazy cat enjoys the warmth of the fire besides the favorite rocking chair.

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Best spot in the cottage on a cold day!

Upstairs is a sled bed with lots of warm blankets to snuggle under.  I imagine the cat abandons the hearth with bedtime comes.

bed
Simple but elegant

The bed warmer is a recent find from a lot of copper things on ebay.  It added to the mood.  Imagine snuggling down is a toasty warm bed on a cold night after its use!

bedwarmer
Makes for an inviting bed when the weather is cold

The kitchen counter….

This turned out so good!  I do love aging and adding character to pieces.  Going from a blank canvas to this …. is a total artistic escape for me.

bare-sink
Bare beginnings
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A well loved sink with lots of use

If I could give you a step by step instructions of the transformation I would, but it is like asking Grandma how she does a recipe that she doesn’t measure — just makes it!  It leaves me perplexed by the inner workings of the mind that control the hands.  How does that happen?

My treasures collected over time have pulled together to breathe life into this cottage and given it a story!

The coolest butter mold with an imprint is from a box of junk.  No idea who made it but it is a cherished find. It sits on the counter by the fresh bread and butter dish.

A spot for the spice drawers – all which open.  I know it is silly but I love knowing that.  A wonderful rustic chicken print  from Dominque Autin. Every one of her pieces are simple but done so well they delight me each time I look at them.  The shelf sports a bottle of wine and special canned goods to be used for the arrival of someone special.

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Warm glow of candlelight
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Always ready for the unexpected guest
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Rustic chicken print

The china in the shelves by the door are from my faux china painting days.  This cabinet and dishes was a class I taught long ago with a few added pieces to round it out by Vince Stapleton and Valeria Casson.

Oh the table! It is by Bradley Meinke.   If you get a chance to take one of his wood finishing classes — do it!  He is very sharing of his techniques.

The chairs are odd ducks picked up at the Denver show.  I love the faux bamboo look.  Quirky but adds to the cottage character.

tea-kettle-w-cheeses
Faux china in the corner and Bradley’s table

I had a friend over and she was checking out the cottage interior.  She said that one thing seemed out of place — the pipe on the mantle.  Obviously, its a woman’s cottage — so why the pipe?

Its a remembrance of a friend now gone.  A reminder of many an evening shared by the hearth and the stories shared but not forgotten.

hearth-closeup
A pipe to remember many a shared evening by the fire

For a bit of amusement — note the transformation of the skull candle into a normal warm candle.  Another one of Dominque’s pictures hides the wiring.

Now for the total view of the interior………

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Kitchen area
total-view
The entire interior of the cottage

All in all … I can imagining walking through the cottage door and feeling instantly at home.

I hope you are feeling the same!

Transformation…

I had bought a half done project at a miniature show auction some time ago. It was a cottage from a Rik Pierce class. They are a lot of work but so beautiful when done. The structure was glorious but the exterior landscape had a swampy wetland with all kinds of creatures.

The beginning cottage

The previous owner’s intent was for a witch’s cottage. That was not an interest of mine. What to do with the poured resin swamp had me stumped. So it sat all this time waiting.

Changing the landscape

Finally, I started to play house inside the structure this summer and ignored the exterior. A plan of action developed. The fantasy of a place away from the busy world tucked away in a woods emerged. The cottage began to have a personality – I pulled out the barren tree (so much easier in miniature than real life!) and covered the swamp with paper clay to get a landscape to support flower beds. This then sat for several months without any further work. The reality of how many plants this involved overwhelmed me.

The dead tree is gone!

 

Not today – another day – was my response each time I started to think about it UNTIL an unexpected Christmas package arrived! My friend, Loretta Kasza had been talking about creating and making plants this fall but I hadn’t seen them. She sent me a batch of them!

I think my cottage had simply been waiting for them! They were just perfect! I wish had had photographed before planting but didn’t plan that far ahead. So here is a peak of them in the ground so to speak.

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Flower beds emerged! Combined with my stash of plants collected over time, Loretta’s foliage plants and filler materials it became a lush cottage garden that I could envision enjoying living there in the cottage.

A fimo butterfly from Lola’s Originals (in a drawer far too long) now rests on a hydrangea flower. Two of Loretta’s spectacular variegated plants show off the hydrangea bush.  Then for fun, I added the dandelion growing in the rocks, it seems the gardener missed that one.  The dandelion is by my friend, Twilla McKee.  The corner became a composition with all the elements working together. I was thrilled!

corner-composition
A perfect corner!

Another butterfly sits on my prize rose bush ( I can grow them in miniature it seems versus reality it is not so pretty. Kansas weather is rather harsh on them here). Another plant from the drawer stash. Along with a cadmium made ages ago.  

rose-bush
Rose bush in full bloom

I even had some creatures to add to the garden. The path around the corner has a toad and a snail peaking out from the greenery. The lovely hosta is another of Loretta’s treasures.  Can you see the ladybugs added to the plant to keep the aphids away? They were another forgotten treasure from the drawer stash.

Loretta's hosta
the eye catch corner of the path as you approach the door

A pot of lavender on the bench by the door has a few more butterflies. Sitting beside it are a few vegetables harvested from the garden to add to the stew for supper tonight. The lavender is by Maryvonne Herholz. The bench is by R-stuff.

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the comforts of home
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a gathering of butterflies on a pot of lavender

No garden is complete without birds. A bird’s nest is tucked in on the porch roof and a chickadee is resting on a shutter momentarily add to the scene.

It all pulled together and became a magical place to wander off to when I need time away from dirty dishes, laundry, etc. . Don’t get me wrong, reality is fine  but an occasional daydream wandering about in a FINISHED setting gives me a perk of energy to return to the mundane chores of daily life.

Now for the tour of the garden that I have been hinting about….

side of the cottage
flowers and ferns abound in the side bed
the front of the cottage
a view of the garden in front of the cottage
a view of the front entrance
a resting spot in the garden
close up of the plantings
close up of the flower bed
door
you are invited to step inside…..

with the next posting….

 

Summer ending and Fall beginning

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.

❤✄◡ً✄❤ La poupée ❤✄◡ً✄❤ This is the mold I used for one of the little porcelains I made. Such a sweetie.
Doll Presentation Display from Pinterest

Here is the similar doll from Pat Boldt undressed

beg-doll

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.

doll-presentation
A sweet faced doll with her finery

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…..

 

 

 

 

Dome Delight

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.

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Small Domes from Michael’s

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They come in 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.

 

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.

 

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.

doll-sistersartist-markings

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.

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Two stylish bunnies by Becky Delk

charming-girls
Dolls by Becky Delk

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Closeup of detail

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Giraffe by Becky Delk

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Giraffe closeup

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.

 

 

Discovery in the Floral Aisle

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!

 

A Creativity Crawl to Tranquility

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!

staircase-view
Coming up the stairs to the nook

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Books and Orchids

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Husband’s past exploration journal

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Lady of the House

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Calm Tranquility

 

 

Jewel Box Sweet Shoppe part 2

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.

cabinet

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.

side view