Friday, 30 December 2016

Happy New Year!

May your hangover be mild and your 2017 be awesome.

I will ring it in on my couch with my husband.  We shall munch on a selection of appetizers and call that dinner.  All while we watch the terrible New Year celebration coverage on TV!

While I have achieved many of my 2016 mini goals, I promise to show you my room box progress soon!  And Merry Christmas to me....I purchased the 2012 Greenleaf Spring Fling build to tinker with this year!

Friday, 23 December 2016

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Petit Point Workshop Announcement!

Yup, that's me!! I'm teaching a basics of petit point workshop at The Little Dollhouse Company.  If you were ever thinking of planning a trip to Toronto this winter, might an afternoon with me and petit point seal the deal?

Just remember that Toronto has transit and there is plenty of street and Green P parking!

If there was ever a time to want to tackle a new skill in a fun, friendly, and relaxed atmosphere, then this is it.  Plus, since its in The Little Dollhouse Company's store, you can enjoy a bit of shopping and treat yourself to something new and mini after you stitch.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

And A Little Bit Of Everything Mini!

I have been shuffling between life and minis.  Not too many major accomplishments of recent, but I've been puttering!!

I entered the above photo in the Janet Granger stitching contest.  You needed a minimum of 4 of her kits in a picture....which I more then have in my stash!  I didn't win, but I quite enjoy this picture.

I decided to continue to tackle the backlog of kits in my basement.  After the Brampton show, and seeing the number of "extra" things people were selling, I didn't want to become a hoarder and need to sell in 10 years.  So I started the pile!!

I assembled the Realife Miniatures music room kit.  See those happy people on the box? They must be on some serious recreational drugs.  I swore, had a hissy fit and almost threw some of the items across the room.  Could they have made the parts fit anymore poorly together? Nope.  The "sand to fit" concept resulted in me cutting off (with my Dremel), part of the sofas rolled arms.  There was easily 5cm extra of solid wood (not balsa).  No sanding would fix that.

Then, they suggested that the sheet music rest on the piano (the black part), should fit into the rectangle below it so it could lay flat.  Huh? Huh???  

And then I discovered this box actually contained almost enough parts for a second piano and a third set of one off piano parts.  That made things even more confusing!  But thankfully the kit was painted in DecoArt black paint, which I had, so fixing the parts was relatively easy once I muddled through building what was missing.

Then I moved on to some very fun and very affordable laser cut wood kits made by Liz West of Taffy & Me.  She just relaunched her website, so check it out!  The wall mirror kit I made could also become a divider with additional kits, or instead of a mirror you could add photos.  The end tables and the coffee tables are very sturdy.  I might get the matching sofa table when I order again.

Then I was at Dollarama last week and found miniature furniture!! I would say its more 1:16 in scale.  The two long dressers became mine, and the others became Miss Kitty's.  She was in heaven.

I sanded my two dressers down.  I used a burnt umber with staining medium to stain the exterior, then painted the (faux) drawers black.  It better hides the fact they don't open.  I used 1/4 round styrene painted copper for handles. 

Back to kits I went!  I dug out some kitchen printies from Paper Minis.  It was slightly more involved then usual, hence why they were put in the "gonna get to it one day" box.  But I'm in love!

The Shopping Sherpa had her hand in these too.  She had sent me the I love minis mug and the blue cutting board.  Yes, its a plastic cutting board!!!! I love it.  The toaster and expresso maker are Mini Fanaberia that I bought from Small Scale Showcase.

And I will post the ongoing saga of my mid century Ikea dollhouse hack turned roombox.  I've put it aside with all the Christmas stuff that needed attending too.  I'm almost done with windows.  Note to self, while styrene is cheap and awesome to hold in window "glass", it takes a lot of paint to get a solid coat of dark brown.  Not doing that again!! I'm excited to tackle the roombox kitchen next.  Much more enjoyable.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

This Is Not A Christmas Post!

While I despise all the early Christmas stuff out, it is kinda fun when you want to make minis out of ornaments!!  And you might be shocked I wrote two posts in one week, right? Well, I needed to keep away from the TV after watching "America, The Finale."  Minis make me feel better. 

I apologize for not taking pictures before I hacked the ornaments.  You will have to use your imagination.  The brass tables were all made from these medium size geometric shapes (prisms, diamonds, etc.).  Very of the moment in design.  Not my thing for Christmas, but I saw the potential for minis.  

I used my metal wire snips and cut them down.  Bent some wires here and there and added plastic sheets for table tops.  And I just couldn't post pictures of I had to style them!

Side note - photographing in dull fall light is terrible! and all that reflective plastic, ugh.  My apologies for the picture quality.

Then.....I saw a clearance tag.  That's like a beacon for me.  Three little metal birdcages were left there...begging me to take them home.  At $1.50 each, I saw hell yeah!!

I snipped off the curved top to the bird cages to make a square table and flipped them over.  You can see the cages opening on the back side if you look closely.  Meh.

I took two of the tops and bent them into egg like table objects (see above picture with the coffee table).  I took the last top and made a bowl.  I even used the off snips of coffee table metal to make triagular table objects.

Christmas might be my new favourite season...for minis!!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Brampton Show Extraveganza

So I said I might attend the Brampton Miniatures Bazaar. Well, I did!  I missed out last year due to my husband travelling and not having babysitting that day. Bringing a small child to these things is not good for ones mental health.

The show consists of miniaturists selling their used, but often new, items in their stash. I came with a wad of cash, fully caffeinated, bladder empty and my head in the game. It was go time.

Like a kid in a candy store. The prices were rock bottom. The items were first rate. Most items were priced lower then tagged (and the tagged prices were more then reasonable). I'm pretty sure I had a look of awe and crazy as I walked through. It was busy, and getting to hunt through bins was tough. But, most of the items I'm after aren't popular. 

 I was really pleased to snag an older Kim Stewart Vintage Miniatures kit, the deck chair.  Truthfully, I had passed her kits before, but they had appeared very "simple."  They are not simple! In fact, they are extremely well designed and crafted.  Kim is an IGMA artisan in wicker, which I learned after the fact.  I will get more of her kits at the Guelph show in the spring.

I intended to grab a few lighting items from a box, but ended up with the box and all its contents. I found out it was the box that was $20. Which was less then the marked items I was holding (and was told I had to buy the box). I now have a lifetime worth of lights, bulbs and wire!

Miniaturist Diane Mitchell was selling some of her vintage handmade pieces. I spotted this over someone's shoulders as I was leaving. Full stop. Went back and grabbed the rattan pieces (made in 1981). There were more but I exercised restraint. Now I regret it.  Should have fought through the crowd at that table first!  If anyone knows more about Diane, please let me know!

One miniaturist was selling many interesting pieces for just a few dollars each, such as a metal bed kit, a Realife Miniatures Music Room kit and a Queen Anne dining table kit made by Harold Watson (for the Annual Jacobstettle Workshop - March 31, 1989 - seller said he had passed away). And I love the little roast by J & J Miniatures (Jane MacGregor of Winnipeg, MB).

A look at another table revealed something I recognized immediately, pieces from Maggie Melinda (by IGMA artisan Janet Harvie). Normally her sofa are quite expensive, but a collector was selling her pieces for over 80% off. I found a beautiful neutral sofa that was just perfect.

After both shows were over, and my haul safely in my basement, the most fun I had was going through all the new items and tucking them safely away. It gets the wheels turning and reminds you of the interesting pieces you have tucked away.

But before I added all the small kits to my horde never to see the light of day for months to come, I started making a few.  I repaired the broken chair.  An easy fix, I just drilled out the broken leg dowel and inserted a new one!  The butterfly display box (kit designed by Sandra Quigley & Laurie Mecke) was a quick build while I watched The Walking Dead.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

And BOO To You!

Welcome.  Please come in.  We'd like to play.

Casting spells can be a lot of fun.......

.......unless you're babysitting your undead baby sister

And you thought your pre teens room had a lot of interesting stuff in it? Think again

Finally, the reality of having a mum that loves Halloween....Miss Kitty loves Halloween (and the zombie sisters)


Tuesday, 25 October 2016

MET Show....A Mini Bonanza

On October 15th I took a little trip to the Miniature Enthusiasts of Toronto (MET) Show. This being the second year I attended, I knew what I wanted, who was there and who took credit cards. Very important as some people are just cash and you have to ration.  And in a stroke of genius, I remembered to grab business cards with my purchases so I could recall what came from whom.  In the words of Homer Simpson, I am S-M-R-T.

I started off at Martha McLean Miniatures. I got my handbags!! Last year I got the black Birken bag, so my hopes were high and Martha didn't disappoint. The handbags are made by a South Korean artist, but she forgot the name.

Then I ran over to Small Scale Showcase who sells MiniFanaberia. Much easier (and no shipping) when you don't have to order on Etsy. I got my toaster!

Janice Crawley Miniatures was the next table over. I found a few pieces in her "dollar" bins and grabbed the little honey pot and the red fiesta wear jug. Her pieces are just beautiful.

I had seen Keenderson Miniatures on Facebook, and never made the connection until recently. Glen makes amazing pieces with such fine carpentry. I would buy it all! But I just grabbed the little acrylic stool because it was so cute.

Tremeers Treasures always has gorgeous rugs and stitched pieces. While the large rugs aren't in my price range (but very reasonable given they are 40 count and done in wool or silk), the small woven rug called to me along with the pillows. I also snagged a bowl Harvey Tremeer turned himself. 

Off to Grandpas Dollhouse I went and did restrain myself. I grabbed a few small favourite being the squirrel and frog made by IGMA artisan.  Liz said she would look up the artist for me as she purchased a large number of pieces from the artist at the Chicago show recently.

Adrian Cooper of Eclectica does beautiful stained glass.  But I fell in love with her koi ponds. One for now and one went into the "Christmas gift for me" bag for family.

Out Of The Ordinary has lots of fun small items. They have bins and bins divided by categories. And filled with so many interesting things. I was taken by all the booze bottles. And since I dislike my printers mini book printing results (and I can be lazy) I purchased a few books.

The best deals (and finely crafted pieces) came direct from the MET table, made by MET members. The kitchen hutch was made by Alberto Gozzi. The coffee and end tables were made by Gerry Brockhurst. I was just going to buy the end tables, but knew I would regret not getting the coffee I caved and got it. No regrets now!

Hutch by Albert Gozzi
Tables by Gerry Brockhurst

The candle holder (box) was made by Judith Carlson.  The knitting bag and afghan were made by Margaret Taylor.  The Christmas socks were made by Judi Surridge.

I found a few other bits and pieces, like 2 more ghost chairs to give me a set of 4. And some generic bar stools for my new build.

I left no stone unturned and got everything on my list. And just a little bit more. Thankfully this is a once a year thing....or I'd be in trouble. But, I might try to venture to the Brampton show this year too.