Monday, September 26, 2011

Miniature Monday: Knitting Corner

If you are a Miniaturist, you quickly discover that miniatures take up a lot of space (I know that's funny.)  I often enjoy making tiny scenes to tell a little story.  If you don't have much space or supplies for miniature's, this post will hopefully inspire to create with what you have.

This itty bitty display was created in a 4" acrylic cube.

The chair was a Christmas ornament from Restoration Hardware.  I clipped off the ornament hook with my heavy clippers, and sanded the metal down to remove some of the shine.  The stone floor was a piece of scrap flooring tile that I had from a previous project. I rolled up balls of thread to put into the basket and I actually knit that quarter inch onto those tiny knitting needles:

The kitty and plant were both purchases.

The tiny 1/12th scale vignette tells a sweet story and always makes me smile!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Miniature Monday Project: My Witch and Her Castle - Part 4 Final!

The next part of my process was to patina the roof.  Although the color was fine, I wanted to give it a little something.  I used Americana acrylic paint in Asphaltum, Sophisticated Finishes - Copper Metallic Surfacer and Patina Geen Antiquing Solution.  You can find these at your craft or art stores.

The dark acrylic paint served as my base coat.
I then layered two coats of the Copper Metallic Surfacer. 

While the second coat is tacky, I lightly brushed on the Patina Green Antiquing Solution.  This is what the roof looks like before the solution has completed "antiquing":

And this is the completed effect a few hours after it's dry:

Here is the structure.  I have to add something over the fireplace, and I'm going to hang a fire breathing dragon from the inside of the dome.

I made this table out of wood strips, used Anita's Crackle Finish then aged it with burnt umber acrylic wash.  I made most of the items in the room and on the table from found objects, beads, bits of wood.  The candles are made from polymer clay.  The stacked books are leather bound and created by my friend, Marilyn Crockett.

That's a baby dragon peering into the fireplace!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you so much for looking!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Miniature Monday Project: My Witch and Her Castle - Part 3

I hope you've been enjoying these project posts.  This is the point where I lose total focus with painting and move on to something else for my project.  The next step would have been to show you how I painted the roof, but I’m completely distracted by my partially assembled room.

I pulled out all sorts of miniatures from my collection.  Things I’ve made and purchased.  My work table looks like this (YIKES!)

I’ve put everything where I think it would go and always find that I have too much stuff!   I'll ultimately decide what I will use and what will go back into the stash, but that could take days of playing and moving.  In the meantime, I put together these two amazing kits from Cat Wingler, a wonderful miniature doll artist who at one point created kits to go with her dolls.

Both kits are laser cut wood.  The first is a tall standing candelabra and the second is a book stand.  I’ve been holding onto them for ages and am thrilled to finally have a place to use them.  The above pictures are what the kits looked like out of the package.

Here are the assembled projects:

I don’t think I’m going to do anything else to them just yet.

Next post I’ll cover faux painting the roof to look like old copper, show you the accessories selected and the finished project.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Miniature Monday Project: My Witch and Her Castle - Part 2

My castle room is progressing nicely!  Part 1 of this project can be found HERE.  I painted the foam to look like stone by using a series of color washes and sponged layers.

I wanted to make sure that there was no blue showing through.  My first step was to use a thin wash of burnt umber. I concentrated on each of the stone separations and any cracks I created.

I did another coat of the wash to make sure I had complete coverage.  Once that dried completely, I painted both pieces in burnt umber.  It is important to let your work dry in between coats so that the colors are blended properly.  You will be tempted to fuss with it, but don't.

Next I used a regular kitchen sponge cut into small pieces to layer my gray from dark to light.  I used Delta Ceramcoat in Dark Gray, Hammered Iron, Quaker Gray, Mudstone, and Sandstone.  Sponging randomly and allowing each coat to dry.

The floor has had a layer of lighter paint sponged on.  I snapped this photo so you could see the difference each layer makes.  I'm including a fireplace in my scene.  I applied the same paints and techniques to a resin fireplace I had in my stash.  Using the x-acto knife, I carved a niche out of the wall base and painted that with the hammered iron.

Once I was satisfied with the wall and fireplace, I used tacky glue and my clamps to adhere the fireplace to the wall.

Join me next week for Part 3.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Miniature Monday Project: My Witch and Her Castle - Part 1

A few weeks ago, I attended the NYC Miniature Doll List Convention.  I took two classes that weekend.  The doll workshop was taught by Helena from Belgium   Her work is amazing!
She came with beautifully prepared porcelain dolls and all of the materials needed to finish lovely witches. This one is mine, dressed and wigged with Helena’s careful guidance:
My doll was complete in class and once I got home, I couldn’t think of anything but creating a scene for her.
The first thing to decide on was the structure.  I have an obsession with glassed in terrariums and giant candle holders so I had the perfect one in mind for my witch!

It opens at the top, and the panels are sealed with glass.  I decided I would be using blue builder’s foam for the wall and floor.  Since I would be working outside of the structure, I first drew a pattern of the floor and wall panel, then cut that out of the builder’s foam.  This is what the foam looks like before I started the treatment:

Using an X-Acto knife and ruler, I carefully cut two inch wide by 1 inch tall blocks on the wall, and a more random pattern on the floor.  Once those were cut, I went in with a stylus to define the stones a bit more:

Join me for part 2 of this project – painting the foam to look like stones.
Thanks for looking!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Miniature Monday: That Ornament is Not For My Tree! Baby in a High Chair

Miniaturists are always on the lookout for innovative ways to use ordinary products.  Christmas time is especially exciting because we scour the stores for scale tree ornaments;  YES ornaments!
Last December, I came across a wonderful ornament of a bear in a high chair, “Baby’s First Christmas”, in my local drugstore.
Made out of sturdy but soft enough to cut plastic, the ornament was perfect 1/12th scale with amazing details.   I carefully removed the bear and his toys from the high chair with my X-Acto knife.  I then painted over “Baby’s First Christmas” with 2 coats of white acrylic paint.  I wasn’t worried about any rough spots I caused since the new miniature baby’s bowl and snacks would cover the imperfections. 
The result is a perfect high chair for my beautiful doll house baby.  The baby is hand sculpted from polymer clay and measures about 2 ½”.  The high chair is about 4” tall.
I purchased the baby from Miniature Artist Alicia Singleton.  You can find her on EBAY at or on  ETSY at  I absolutely love the detail in her work!
So keep a lookout for those unusual miniatures and thanks for looking!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Miniature Monday; Grandpa's Study

These lovely dolls are waiting for Granpa to tell them a story.  They are by talented doll artist Bonnie Justice.  You can find her here:

The room box measure 14" tall by 11" wide by 9" deep.  The walls are made from strips of wood cut to create the panels and then stained.  The windows are super thin strips of leading that were cut and placed individually on a piece of acetate to make the window panes.  The old glass look is made from carefully dabbing clear stained glass paint in between the lead strips.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Miniature Monday - Wooden Vase Shop

This shop is 1/12th scale and measures 12"wide by 11"high by 9" deep.  All of the tiny vases are hand turned out of a variety of wood.  I purchase them everywhere I go.

The beautiful doll is made by IGMA Artist Gisele Hanson. The lovely painting in the background was hand done (with itty bitty brushes and acrylic paint) by my friend Heidi Gordon.

YES, that cat has fur! His name is Fred, and he's the store's guard cat.  He was sculpted and painted by Linda, an amazing miniature artist that I purchase from on EBAY.  Check her out - her seller's ID is linda060060.  I wove those baskets with waxed linen thread and stained them walnut.

The potted plant on the shelf was a purchase from Grapevine Miniatures.

Thanks for looking!