Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from Down Under

Merry Christmas everyone from Australia!! Today for us is of the beach, seafood, bbq and family all around!! It's a crazy busy time of the year. Christmas then New Years and fireworks. Then getting my boys back to a new year of school!! Life I'm sure will slow down yet again to a little less busy and minis will take up my days. A big thank you as well to all my new followers.
Until then keep safe everyone and I'll see you in the new year!!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Little House Nearly Completed.

I haven't had much time to work on my little house. This time of year is mad! But I took a few pictures and thought I would post them. I had a go at making a basket. It's a scruffy one but so is my RL one. My little house is slowly filling up. Just need to work on the garden and outside area and it's nearly done. Don't look at the blue tack holding the rolling pin in place will you. Every time I needed to move the house (it's on an old computer desk of the kids, it has castor's) there would be this horrible noise of all the little things carefully arranged falling. At one stage the kitchen looked like it had been ransacked!! Double sided tape in tiny pieces and blue tack fixed that. The table set with goodies for a yummy afternoon tea. The tea cosy was an Ebay find. The bullion roses are so small and the colours are delicious. Some of Jennifer's mail from Looking glass Miniatures on the sideboard. The letter holder is just a brass finding bent to shape. I had smashed the hurricane lamp part of this light. A pandora bead fits over the top nicely and gives a lovely glow when it is on. I will never recover a wing chair again. EVER!! It was awful to do and I don't like the messyness but the print is now more to scale. I used double sided tape to make the cushions and they are stuffed with glass beads to make them floppy. This is looking through the bay window. The sideboard still needs to be filled with 'stuff'. Plans for the next house are all sketched out and supplies are en route!! How excitement!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Linen, Lace and Corsets.

I finally finished the bed. I gave up trying to figure out what I wanted and just went with what I had. I really don't like sewing so everything is held together with strips of double sided tape. I used hemming tape for the laces. The pillows are stuffed with loo paper. I found I could get them to squish a bit better that way. I didn't want fluffy pillows. The reason I become so spurred onto to finish the bed was so that I could show of the beautiful corsets from Marlie. I have become a huge fan. Her work is amazingly neat and so fine!! Bows so tiny and porcelain flowers!!! The matching briefs were a wonderful surprise!!

Click to find Marlies Etsy shop.

How to do slippers evaded me for such a long time. Came to me very quickly one afternoon and I was left wondering why I was having so much trouble in the first place. Over thinking the culprit yet again. Does it every time. Cut a sole shape out of some pretty paper. I reduced samples of wallpaper in Photoshop and printed them out. A small square of lace glued to the underside of the toe area. About an inch, a small inch did it. When it has dried bring the lace up and over. Before this gets glued look to see where you can trim away lace to reduce bulk. Glue underneath again to form the upper sole area. I used felt as the bottom sole. It hides my really poor attempts as cutting a neat curve. Teeny bows on top. I went a bit nuts and made a heap of them.

A few more things to add. Cluttering stuff really. An antiqued stool for a bedside table is up to it's fourth layer of colouring for maximum chippy, scuffed oldness. Thatcham is nearly finished and I am already planning my next project!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Postcards, Mail and Paper Dolls.

We had a wonderfully tropical stormy weekend so I sat in my little sunroom and wondered what I could do with paper dolls. I love them!! Had them as a kid, Barbie of course. On a school trip to Sydney years ago I came across one of those arcades full of odd shops and one was selling vintage books, etc. Inside there was a whole display of vintage paper dolls. Well they left Barbie for dead!!! The one of Hollywood's Golden Era greats were the most amazing. Ava Gardner and Vivien Leigh from Gone with the Wind where among my favourites. So I Googled once again and found many different types that were published within magazines. I put them all together and made a scruffy little box to store them in. French label on the box because there are so many of them on the net!!

Here are some mail that I promised a little while back. The postcards you cut out and just fold in half. The envelopes have been left with a lot of space around to allow you to cut the back part that you fold over. Before I cut them all out I give them a dirty wash with raw umber paint to add the age effect. The print sealed first or it all runs! The photo of the 'rocket' envelope below is how to cut them out. I use a glue stick, love them. Pinched from my eldest desk. :0)

I'm off now to make another scruffy box for my mail. I have more lovely french labels and another storm is on it's way!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Teacups and Saucers

I had bought a mob of these ages ago but it was only just this afternoon I worked out what to do with them. They were so much fun to do. I will be putting them up in my Etsy shop tonight.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Baskets and Mail

I had a go at some mini mail this weekend. I was blessed to find double sided vintage postcards on the net. I will put some up at a later date. Already had a selection of some lovely old photos. Found some vintage letters and envelopes as well. Gave it all a dirty wash after it was printed to scunge it up. Working out how envelopes fold got me thinking. They need a better box but this little printie one will do for now. I have some exquisite mini mail from Looking Glass Miniatures. Jennifer's work is amazing. But they are too good to be stuffed in a tacky old box that sits in a grotty old cupboard. They will be sitting elegantly in a gold letter holder on the antique sideboard downstairs, fitting for such mini stationery finery. This lot of mine will be in that tacky box in the grotty cupboard in the upstairs attic bedroom.

This isn't the basket I had in mind for my mini sewing kit. This was much easier and I kind of just made it up as I went along. The brain was working in this direction and who am I to stop a fully functioning brain!! I didn't use fabric for the liner just printed out a small pattern on paper.

The weather is insanely warm today. Here in far north Queensland we don't do winter. We have a prolonged warm Spring which is our Winter and then bam on October the temperature goes up by about 8 degrees or so into the thirties. Then all summer we sit in our air conditioned abodes while we wait for a cyclone or two and put everything up on bricks. The Big Wet! That lasts for four to five months. It's just gone over very uncomfortable and fans are now on the highest setting which is devasting for mini work. I'll try again this evening.

Good day to you all!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

More Book Covers.

A big thank you for all my new followers and more big thank yous for the lovely comments!!

I was recently reminded that I was going to put up some more book covers. I had forgotten. Thanks to Shannon for the reminder at http://shannonsminiblog.blogspot.com/
Here are some more. Just click on the image to make it larger, save and adjust the size to suit. If it doesn't work as blogland is having pictue problems, I will persist!! I have soooo many book covers. I am making a French style townhouse with a Harry Potter type slant for my niece. There will be a bookshop on the ground floor. It will need a lot of books. Guess what Rebekah will be doing in the next school holidays!!

Ha fixed it. I have learnt with computers that the best way to fix a problem is to do the least logical thing and it will work. Well it did. I just put the picture in a different place in my post. Victory!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thatcham Moving Along.

Amazing it is that something as small as my little house can take so much to 'fill' up. The kitchen was easy. Kitchens especially old ones have lots of lovely interesting things to put in them. In fact I had to pull up the reins there as I was filling it up so much that no little person in their right mind would work under such claustrophobic conditions. The lounge is a struggle however. My own house if full of bits n bobs picked up haphazardly from years travelled but when you have to make them to put in a house it a little bit more awkward. So I'm still working on the downstairs. Basics covered but it the little things that make a house a home that are eluding me. The little table still needs a finish and lots of plump cushions of course. My sewing machine sits glaring at me from across the room. We are currently on speaking terms only. It knows it's too fancy for me and I just don't treat it the way it feels I should. That is why the curtains are for the time being made out of paper. The kitchen needs a rag rug I think. Whipped up the little sewing basket, took hours! The basket is still a work in progress but I used this one for now. I'm making a lidded one. Well I'm having a go at making one anyway. But it is school holidays here in Queensland so I'm off to the bush for a week. See you then!!

Yes this photo is terrible. I used my Iphone which had just had it's third drop in water for the week. Remarkably it still works.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cookbooks and Dolls

I have finally finished these little dolls. There were a few prototypes till I got them looking the way I wanted. They come with their own little tissue lined boxes. They have been called Daphne Dolls, by my sister. I'm not very good with names I'm afraid and a quick phone call last to her saw them more appropriately named. I had just been calling them Dilly's!

Did these cookbook covers over the weekend for Warm Thatchams kitchen. They are mostly from early 1900's through to the 1940's. I just made them with balsa as the body of the book. I have also made up a printout of magazine covers from the same era and I'll post them up when I get a chance to clean it up a bit. I do love scouring the net for hours finding vintage material. So much artistry!! No computer graphic programs for designers back then.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Warm Kitchen

Told the kids to look after themselves on the weekend, I had a kitchen to do. They did for the most part. I haven't done much to my little house for quite some time. The boys took in turns to get sick and Etsy orders to fill. As well as other general life stuff that gets in the way. But the majority of that was all settled and I sat down and finally put all the bits n pieces I've been hoarding into some use. This side of the kitchen is done for the most part. Need to add a few things here and there. Hanging bunches of herbs, more utensils, tea towels and fire wood. Stuff. The other side will now get my attention. A pretty shelf over the table and a little cupboard to go behind the door for all of Mrs. Thatcham's pots and bowls. It is so nice to see it finally come together. Canned food is just lengths of dowel cut painted silver and printed out labels gluesticked on. The jars of preserves are filled with clear silicone with a drop or two of food colouring and then polymer clay slices pushed in with a toothpick. The muslin tops were off an old quilt. The cotton had worn down so much into lovely soft muslin. Squares lightly glued on the top then very fine gauge wire around to hold. Then trim off the muslin. Had a go at ageing enamel canisters. Now where as scary as I thought.

Looking through the net on how women cooked with open fires I discovered all sorts of cast iron 'technology'. One of which was a swinging plate to cook on directly or to put pots on. I made one up from carboard cirlces glue together to for the plate. Electrical cable bent and glue to another smaller cardboard plate that would be glued to the brickwork. All glued together and painted black it works a treat.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Miniature Children's Books

I loved making these! Although it took days to redo every page in Photoshop and line it all up and make it all fit, print them out and then put them together!! But I loved doing them. I have done over twenty or so and I'll put them up when I can in my shop. All children's books from in and around the turn of the last century. Every page is printed and some you can read without a magnifying glass. Some of the books have sleeves while others are fixed . The illustrations in some them are so beautiful. Can't beat books.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More Lovely Little Plates

I love this design. My new favourite.I haven't been able to get much work done. Both my boys have been ill for the last two weeks plus I have had a few orders to fill. But I did get some plates done last night. I found some lovely smaller plates and I am now doing some settings. I love this one below. A child's birthday plate. Also a cake stand that was so accepting of a decal that I kept checking it for I was sure I had done something wrong!
These are all available in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Beautiful Tiny Butterflies

I came across these most beautiful dainty butterflies quite by accident surfing the net. I knew I had to have some. Julia Cissell is the artist and her work is beyond words. She has an Etsy shop called God's Flying Flowers which is currently undergoing a renovation. I bought four of her tiny masterpieces. Do be so very careful when the parcel arrives. She ships them in little lidded containers all lovingly padded but a breath of air can make them vanish. I pull them out for to show people and use tweezers. When I have finally completed Warm Thatchum and have the acrylic case made up only then will these little beauties come out. I so wouldn't want to lose one! They are so beautiful.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Love of Blue and White China

I do love so very much blue and white china. Whether it be plates, jugs etc. I made some more little plates up last night. The pattern below has become my favourite. they are all available in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rugs and Clocks

I had a go at printing fabric on the weekend. It was now where near as horrible as I thought. Had visions of the printer going berserk and ink going every where! But no it is as easy as printing on paper. Just a bit more preparation. I had some 'pretend' linen. Not the real thing, bit out of my budget range. Gave it a good iron. Sprayed an A4 sheet of paper with spray glue and laid the fabric on top. Patted it down to make it adhere. Sat a heavy book on it for a bit to let it really set. Trimmed off the fabric . Making sure it was neat and exact. Print it out on the glossy photo setting. I let it sit for a bit to let it dry and then gave it an iron on dry setting ink side down. Now the ink is not set. Meaning it will run if it gets wet. I have tried all sorts of things to set it and so far none of it has worked. You can buy a rinse I think that will do the job but I didn't want to spend anymore money and I don't know how well it works. Alternatively there are fabric sheets I could have bought but again more money I didn't want to spend. I have however given my rugs a quick going over with my spray matt and that seems to do the trick but I still wouldn't wet it completely. Just allows for sprays n sprinkles that seems to happen. I cut them out with a rotary cutter. Left half an inch at the ends. I used a light iron interfacing to back the rugs to add a little body and to help stop fraying. I sewed along the edge of each print so that I could fray the edges. I set my stitch length to 1.5. It also helps to add body as well as stopping it from fraying too much. So many rugs can be found doing a Google image search. I made the little alarm clock out of bead spacer, pins, findings and buttons. The main body of the alarm clock is just two buttons glued together. Backed with a finding cause it pretty. Cut off brass pins stuck into the back through the holes for the little turny things. Bead spacer for the donger thins on top and another cut off pin for the hammer. A tiny bead cap for the foot. Printed out a clock face. Ages ago I found these see through scrap booking things that are perfect for the domed glass. Love those $1 bins! The wall clock was made out of cardboard and an assortment of brass findings. I used a hole punch and cut out four circles from a cereal box and glued them all together for the clock body. Then just arranged the findings and glued them in place. The same thing again for the clock face. Working on doing one with a chain and pendulum.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Book Tutorial, Easy one.

Above you will find some of the book covers I use for my easy balsa books. Once you click on the image it will open into a new window. Just right click and save. You will need to adjust the size. The image once saved will be very large. I make the largest one here around 2.5mm. But it is a personal choice. I print them on a better grade of A4 paper on high. Then spray over the printout with matt spray. Let that dry and cut them out. Then I 'rub' the unprinted side over a glue stick (Bostick)and glue them over a strip of balsa. Thickness of the balsa will depend upon the size of the book spine. Get it as even as possible so the the halves match up. So that when you trim away the excess balsa you aren't taking away too much of the printie. Let the glue set itself. Trim away balsa and lightly sand if necessary. What you do after that is a personal choice. I like to run a round needle file along the longer page edge to give it the curved look some old books get. I sometimes then scratch in lines with a embroidery needle to give the appearance of pages. I like to make mine old cause well they are. These book covers are all at least 100 years. Some are from the Art Deco period. Old!! I go over them with my dirty brown wash and wipe away or dab away some of the excess. I find sometimes the printie comes away from the corner of the balsa which I like as well. Gives it a dog eared used look. That's pretty much it. Hope you have fun!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stripping Again.

Yep I've been stripping again. Love it. Got this little rocker for nix. It was far too red and shiny so it got stripped and sanded. With that kind of red stain unless you keep going over it with stripper there will always be a hint of the red and even then not all if it will go. So it just got sanded and hit with some lavender and beeswax. Smells lovely. I recovered the seat with tapestry canvas. Didn't like the original arms. They were odd to say the least but my problem was answered when stripping one split in half. Screwed up my face and thought now what. I broke the other one and made up a new armrest with the bits. Love fluff ups sometimes.It was a very red chair.

Realised that I had been procrastinating over colours and stuff over my little cottage furniture so i just jumped in. Picked up a brush and with the motto 'I can always make another one if I fluff it' in mind just started. Gave my little sink cupboard a light blue wash. It needs a bit more grunging in the corners. but not too much or people will think the lady of the house is rather unkempt.I finally set about painting my little sloped cupboard. Didn't have a clue what colour and still really don't. I just sort of started with something harmless which was cream. Then a wash of burgundy, some sanding followed by dark tan shoe polish. It has a red cast to it and not really brown at all. Buffed it on and then went back over the cracks and grooves with more polish on a horrible paintbrush to add built up age. I added the poster cause the ides of painting it made me pull faces. I remember watching documentaries etc on the Depression and in other hard times and people used whatever they could for decoration. I wanted a handle so hit my box of findings and I made one from bending a small jewelry connector and the little keyhole I bought ages ago from somewhere!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Can't Post a Reply on my Blog!!!

As the title say I can't make any replies to any comments left on my blog. So Daphne I will answer your question about the little red chair as a post.

Hello Daphne, I have only just found your comment! I bought this little chair soooo long ago. I would've bought it on ebay. I get virtually everything via ebay and the store sellers there are wonderful. I almost always buy from the UK. Their postage is cheaper and gets here a little faster. I just did a search for the chair on ebay and a found a few going for a couple of dollars. One store is BARGAIN DOLLS HOUSE MINIATURES. Another store is Musical Dollhouse. I buy from them a lot. They currently have one for $5.22 AU and about $2.00 AU for postage. But I would suggest doing a search for dollhouse fireside chair, red velvet chair and I have seen it listed as a bespoke chair. Hope this is of some help to you - Carrie.
July 4, 2011 2:16 PM

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gramophone Records

These little records are all an inch in diameter. I found a stack of cover and label images on the net. Set them all up in Photoshop. The records are just made from black cardboard cut out with a hole punch. As always finished up with a bit of a dirty wash. The water helps the paper to 'age', it shrinks and crinkles.

I have just added these to my Etsy Shop. You'll find the link over to the right.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Lavender Dilly Etsy Shop!

I have just opened up an Etsy shop of my own. I will be slowly filling it with all the things I make and show from time to time here. I am in the process of making a lot of brooms, mops and dishmops. I am free for commissions and there is a link for that in the shop. You can find a link to my shop just to the right. Enjoy!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Beautiful Plates

I came across this idea from Carolyn's Little Kitchen blog. She has a great tutorial on how to do these plates. I found the water decal paper on ebay. What would I do without ebay?!! Google image search provided all the images an my faithful Adobe Photoshop allowed to organise them all to print. It was a little nerve racking at first but once I overcame my fear of making a boo-boo I was off! I ran out of plates, phooey. Will have to wait for the Postie. Oh one thing I did learn from error. That is to know how exactly your printer feeds paper. My first collection of beautiful plates ended up on the backing paper. Erk.
Big thank you to Carloyn!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Old Worn Fireside Chair

These chairs can be picked up for very little dollars on ebay but the luminous red of this chair that is supposed to be mahogany is awful. I like the red padded velour cushioning but the timber had to be changed. So I needed to pull it apart. Fun!! To loosen the glue I put the chair in the microwave for 15 seconds. Careful lot to loosen up too much glue holding the timber together! The glue softens and then the fabric panel came off very easliy. I hit the timber with the paint stripper and washed it off. I wasn't to fussy in getting all the stain off. Sat it in my warm oven for ten minutes to get it to dry out. We are actually having a cold winter here this year so I've taken to drying things out in my oven. I gave it a light sanding all over paying attention to rounding off the edges. I didn't want it too dark and I'm generally lazy/impatient so instead of tackling a can of wood stain I used dark tan shoe polish. Just rubbed it on with a cloth let it sit and went over it again to make sure there wasn't any excess left. I wanted the velour to be worn and rubbed back. Velour is cotton so when it is burnt it doesn't melt like polyester but singes and falls away. So I hit it with a flame on the areas that would be typically worn with age. Sometimes it does catch alight but I just blew it out. Keep moving the fabric over the flame to stop it catching alight. When it cools off just rub over it with a cloth and the blackened cotton comes away leaving the even weave underneath. For a more frayed look just keep having small goes at it till it comes away. Then just glue it all back in place.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Easy Mini Books

I came across this simple idea in Jane Harrop's 'Thirties and Forties' book. Simply a book jacket printout glued to a piece of balsa and aged with a wash of dirty brown. I adpated it a little bit. But it goes as follows. I found a heap of book covers via Google books. You can find entire libraries online with complete books. After saving the image I change the resolution to 300dpi and re size them to fit 1 inch scale. Increasing resolution gives a finer detailed printout. I do it all in Photoshop. Print them out and then to set the ink I give the paper a spray of matt. Then cut out. To a length of balsa I round of one side by rubbing it along sandpaper to give the look of a spine. I use a Bostick glue stick all over the balsa and glue on the printie. Along the page edges I use a round needle file to rough up the balsa and it gives the appearance of pages. Plus adds the convexed look of a large book. If you don't have a needle file I reckon a small piece of sandpaper on a toothpick might do it. You could also use the pointy bit of the pick to 'scratch' the balsa. Then a quick going over with a very watered down raw umber and pat down. I found the process of scruffing up the balsa can sometimes curl up the paper cover giving a great dog eared look. I use different thickness balsa as well. 1mm through to 3mm. I've got a printout of an old Bible I will use 5mm for that. Great for using up my containers of bits of balsa. That's it. These look great stacked together. I have just completed 100 printies!!! Argh. Took two days. The weather isn't too great and good for sitting in front of my PC. They are printed out and waiting for pages.