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!