Tag Archives: miniatures

Come with an Appetite

I have been dabbling on a side project and finally finished it, so pardon the leap to another place with this posting.  I promise to return to the Orchid Hill tour but was bursting to share my fun.  I am also posting this on a second blog – Food in Miniature.

I decided earlier this year to start the second blog dedicated just to foods due to my mini food collection.  I had noticed that several miniature food blogs that I have followed in the past have fallen to the wayside and I miss them.  So I decided I would take up the torch and continue the enthusiasm for miniature food art.  You maybe a fan of Instagram and the like but I want more than a photo and hashtag trail.  I like more information and enjoy the story, details, etc..  I am old fashioned and have always like the journey instead of jumping to the end result photo.

I haven’t added much to the food blog yet as you can see.  I had to figure out a writing style to present things – not just a picture of a great food item.  So I decided I needed a stage – hence the current project for displaying them.  Things are always simple and quick in your mind but so much more involved in actual time, add to that fact,  I work S-L-O-W.  It does work out for the best for me that way because over time I get the layered details to create the allusion of realism.

Collecting foods are fun but the REAL fun is putting them in a setting that creates a story – another layer of enjoyment of them. Hence the current project to compliment the art of realism that can be found in the miniature world of foods.

Another objective was to point out that you do not have to have a large dollhouse – a small setting can be very versatile and it is amazing how much detail you can put into it.

I wanted a kitchen and a dining area with both areas well visible but separate.  So sometimes both can be set up or just the one area depending on the occasion.

So enough introduction…….

Fine dining doesn’t have to be elaborate.  How about a beet salad with a vingerette dressing drizzled over it followed by soup and bread? Sounds perfect to me!

salad-1-lab
A beet salad with a drizzled dressing for tonight’s supper.

The colors in the salad complimented the red wine in the glasses and seems made for each other.  The salad plates are by Orsolya Skulteti of Orsis Minis.  I got them this spring at the Chicago International show but she also has an Esty site but not possible to make it to the show.  The soup tureen is by Jane Graber.  Her redwork always adds a warm touch. The pumpkin autumn tray was made by MoonBijoux , an Italian food artist on Esty.

I was going to have the room unoccupied but a Jeanne Rullie’s doll fit so well as the proud hostess that she had to stay.  She seems glancing at everything for the final check before the guest arrive.  Her hand fit the knob of the chair and added a life like gesture that I hadn’t planned on but was perfect for the moment.

dining-room-lab
The final check of the dining room before the guest arrives.

 

the-hostess
The soft smile of contentment when everything is ready.

 

the-hand-gesture
The casual hand resting on the chair was perfect.

The table and chairs are by R.L. Carlisle.  His work has stood the test of time and still look fantastic years later.  They were made in the mid 70’s.

table-shot
The table is set!

The corner hutch was a painted Bespaq hutch piece that seemed dated but liked the size and shape. So I removed the doors and revamped it to fit my era.  I am aiming for a 40-50’s setting.

It now houses some great china painted pieces that have a final home.  I also added in with some of my own faux painted Chrysnbon dishes to fill it out and add to the color palette. Nancy Wantiez made the basket and I filled it with a lush philodendron from my friend Loretta Kasza.

I was loosely aiming for the 40-50’s era so I thought a print of The Gleaners was a must.  The food bowl is by a UK artist from 25+ years ago and still holds it colors well. The urn by Vince Stapleton seemed a good choice for the time frame.  Of choice the 40s and 50s were big into doilies – so naturally I used them freely ( I don’t need much excuse – I love them anytime!).  The clock is by Ron Chase.  I never have a had time finding a spot for one of his. I had  made the National Geography magazines for another project a few years ago and made plenty so added that and the reading glasses to set on the stack.

right-side-of-dining-rm
Creating the mood of the era.

Time to skip down to the kitchen…

I had to have an old style refrigerator.  I got brave and drilled a hole to add a light!  It was worth the effort! Not entirely sure if they were lite  back then but I am pretending so. I stocked a few items inside and even found an ice tray in my pile of metal minis.

The stove is a classic of the era.  This is a kit from Phoenix Models in the UK. You will find a finished one occasionally on Ebay but rather pricey.  The kit is a cheaper way to go but I will warn you it is not an easy build – the instructions require multiple rereads and patience to assemble.  However, the end results speak for themselves. I think I might do some photos of the constructions in a posting some time down the line when I build another one to help fellow builders.

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Putting the oven to use!  Pot roast cooling and rolls warm from the oven.

My display in the kitchen is not in line with the upstairs dining as you can see but I was in the “cooking ” mood so allow me a little artistic license today!

The roast is out of the oven and rolls are about ready.  I got the meat fork this summer at a miniature shop during a trip.  A vintage piece from the past. It added such detail along with the crochet potholder to the scene.

The apple strudel prep board is by Betsy Niederer.  It could be sitting by itself under a dome since it creates a stand alone setting  but I put it to use in my kitchen today. I am imagining the smell of cinnamon in the kitchen mingling with the roast and fresh rolls. The meal is coming together. The cherries and peaches are by Jan Patrie.  I am not sure what the cook had intended but I loved the color – so why not!

apple-strudel-prep.jpg
Apple Strudel prep board by Betsy Niederer

I had intended to build a kitchen sink cabinet but dreaded the hinging of doors so rethought that idea.  My placement of one in the mock up is borrowed from another kitchen.  The large porcelain sink was a better fit for the time (and no hinging needed!). I will probably add a skirt to it later.

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The kitchen mock up.
the-kitchen-sink
The porcelain sink was the final choice.

I laser etched the door window to add some interest and not the standard look.

the-door.jpg
The frosted etching adds some privacy.

Stocking the pantry was fun.  I am not sure the brands and packaging are totally accurate but I enjoyed the arranging. The unfinished cabinet is by M & R miniatures.  I painted it and added worn spots and shelf liners to give it the feel of well used kitchen storage.

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A well stocked pantry.
back-work-area
Everything for making a fine meal.

In playing around with things, another Jeanne Rullie’s doll invited himself into the scene. It made a perfect shot with the porch light on and the door halfway open – he looked so ready to step into the kitchen.

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He is looking forward to the evening meal invite.
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The dinner guest and perfect gentleman.

A view of the kitchen….

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Wonderful food and aroma greet the guest.
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The bustling activity in the kitchen.

Now so you can see the humble start of my kitchen and dining room box…..

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The beginning shell.
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Playing house with arranging things.
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The final  warm and inviting home.

It has come quite a way from my bare beginnings but I have a feeling it will be hosting many a fine meal in the future.

Whether you linger in the dining room or in the kitchen, the food is ready.  It is time for a great meal and good company!

You’re invited for supper!

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.  

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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….

 

Kid’s Play

It’s January and for the most of the United States it is really, really cold and misery outside.  Time to stay inside and find some place warm, for me that’s my workroom.

I’ve been tinkering again and cleaning out some bins of bits and pieces that time forgot. This year I am trying to make time to do some of the pins from Pinterest that I am always adding to.  I will never get to all of them but love the creative mood it creates for me as I am scrolling through the pictures.

Miniaturists do have a hard time tossing things.  I kept saving the candy/cough drop tins over time.  Now is the time to transform them into something.  One pin that catch my eye was the stovetop transformation.

So I decided to make some for grand kids and recycle some minis that were tired of being in a forgotten drawer. So the fun began!

Its a small surprise to send in the mail when the live far away.  A reminder that Grandma was thinking about them. I like to imagine their faces when it is opened. It is always a treat to have something come just for you in the mail, especially for kids!

Here is the pictures of one of them.

completed-project
Spaghetti and meatballs is what’s cooking!

Here is the graphics for the stove top that I mentioned in the video below.

Here is a video for further explanation. Hope you find this as entertaining as I did.

Playtime is always good for lifting your spirits on cold, cloudy winter days.

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!

 

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

 

Jewel Box Sweet Shoppe part 1

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.

interior 1

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.

closeup of window

The tiered wire stand allows the individual foods to shine.  Love  miniature foods especially the sweets.  Yummy without the guilty pounds!

Refocus

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.jewel box sweet shoppe front