Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The HBS Creatin' Contest 2019

Image courtesy of

The 26th Annual HBS Creatin' Contest hosted by Hobby Builders Supply and is in full swing.  When I was approached by HBS to share with my readers about the contest, that wasn't tough, because I was already following a few bloggers and Instagramers as they tackled their kits.

The 2019 contest kit, The Serendipity Shed, could be anything, from she-shed, man cave, store, cafe, apartment, or even made larger if you added a few shed kits together to expand your vision. If you head over to you can check out their version, the Japanese Potting Shed, so fear not if you would love to try the kit but don't know where to start!  There is even a handy tip and item sheet put together by Fran Casselman to make purchasing the items easy and quick.

Image courtesy of
I gave it serious consideration this year because the build is relatively small, but ultimately I had too many projects on the go!  Had I decided to do the kit, I would have made it into a miniature store.  Not a tiny store, but rather one that sold 1:12 scale miniatures. I've been tempted by smaller scales, and a miniatures store would let me have had the best of both worlds!

What really makes me happy about this contest is that it gets people motivated to make miniatures and keep this hobby vibrant.  You see miniaturists supporting each others projects and helping solve problems, give suggestions and words of encouragement on all content platforms.

In the Blog-o-sphere, you can follow:

On Instagram you can follow the following accounts:

  • @thecraftymillenial
  • @ktunacreations
  • @otterine
  • @mymanysides
  • @miniaturemercantile
  • @aprilwpottery
  • @thedesignerdollhouse
  • @makerofminis
  • @myminiatureabodes
  • @papermoonminiatures
  • @linchens_little_cottage
  • @nevermindthefurthermore
  • @jessminiart
  • @samisminiatures
  • @houstonsminis

Or you can follow the Instagram hashtags (#):

  • #creatincontest
  • #creatincontest2019
  • #serendipityshed

If you are feeling up to the challenge, you have until December 16th, 2019 to complete and submit your build's pictures to HBS along with your entry form, click here for contest details.  Like this past year, grand prize is a $1,000 HBS/ gift certificate. Gift certificates will be awarded ($500, $300, $200 for first place, second and third), plus up to $1,000 in gift certificates divided among the top first-time entrants, and all entrants receive a thank you prize.

One cannot end without mention of Sheila's Grand Prize winning entry for the 25th Creatin' Contest, The Wicked Queen's Retirement Cottage.  Thank you Sheila for letting me share this picture of your amazing build!

Please let me know if you are participating in the build I somehow forgot you, as I'm happy to add you to the list.

Good luck to all the participants.

Images courtesy of  This post received support from Hobby Builders Supply and

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Mini Bits Of Fun

Kits are so much fun!   I got this monster deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant) kit by CastleCrafts from The Little Dollhouse Company.  There were enough leaves to make two plants.

And then I treated myself to an amazing pair of chairs by Pepper via her MitchyMooMiniatures Etsy store

And then because I did the two other ELF Miniatures kits, I decided to make the industrial stove and the fridge.  I didn't have a fridge in my collection of minis!  How is that possible? 

Sunday, May 05, 2019

O.M.E.G.A. Show 2019

Today was the Ontario Miniature Enthusiasts of Guelph Area (O.M.E.G.A.) Miniature Show.  Lots of vendors and a lot of people! Check them out here.

The Haul

June Simpson (still spry in her 80's) has been selling off her beautiful miniature collection over several shows with the help of her friend Marie.  Once again, I was able to purchase another beautiful piece.  This kitchen hutch has fully functioning drawers, cupboards with locks and lots of surprises.  Inside were two pieces of Jane Graber pottery and a honey jar made by James Clark.  Even little cutlery in the drawers.

June made these beautiful metal stacking containers and bucket at the IGMA Guild School in Castine, Maine.  Marie told me the class was given by a French artist (name unknown).  They are so well made despite looking so simple and ordinary.

Grandpa's Doll House  had 3D printed milk crates and cinder blocks! I also grabbed a guitar, some art and a little glass vase.

One vendor, Sheila, was selling a lot of vintage items from her collection.  When I spotted the T & E Brownawell pieces, my heart stopped.  I had been watching pieces on eBay for a long time, but with shipping rate at almost triple that of the already costly piece, I had to pass.  I didn't expect to find three pieces today.  They even came in their original handmade boxes stamped with T & E Brownawell.  

Joan Merriam of Merriam's Miniatures has fast become one of my favourite artists at this show (sorry, no webiste).  She makes the most darling food items, plant kits, and needle work.  I purchased bagels, focaccia bread and ice cream cones.  The black and white embroidered pillows also stole my heart.  I love black and white. 

The ostrich egg canteen was only $1 from June Simpson's collection.  I don't know why I got it, but its odd and cute and I just liked it.  The woven slippers came from Sheila's table.

There you have it, my mini haul.  I've also started a summer patio project (of miniature proportions).  Because why not have 2 large projects on the go!  The patio is nothing more then glue wood boards right now, but soon there will be patio stones and a pool!

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Mid-Century Build - It's Alive!

Building has taken place....over a loooooooooooong time and very slowly.  So slow you might not even think anything is occurring.  But it is.  I swear.

I took my Greenleaf kit out of its "primed and stuffed in a corner" purgatory and started its transformation into a little mid-century home.  Like most of my projects, there is minimal planning, lots of swearing and regrets and praying that Instagram and Pinterest have an actual image of the house I have in mind.  

It turns out, they kinda did have a similar picture (which I can't find anymore) but I used it to inspire the exterior of the house.

The Canvas

The plywood house was a bit warped after I primed it.  Pressing it under heavy books helped a lot.  

The vision I have is a mid-century home with an added on sun room, not era correct, kinda like most homes!  Added for function, not its architecture.  Truthfully, the sun room is a secondary add on kit for the house that is a greenhouse.  I decided to flip it and put it on a base to make the extra room.  That space will be the living room and also the bedroom (couch/bed).  The privacy for that space (and to hide its not quite era appropriateness) will be the breeze wall sent to me from the wonderful Anna-Maria (The Shopping Sherpa).  I had been drooling over the wall, and its was like she read my mind!!  Now it will have a home!

The inside and part of the outside will be clad in 1/2" square cinder blocks.  To define the front door I trimmed part of the front in black wood and used corrugated wood siding stained using Danish oil to prevent warping.  

To the right, there will another section, the bathroom, built on.  the roof will form a "butterfly" roof with the main section.  Lemme tell you, trying to envision the roof angles, the shower stall (that will also be angled to the roof line), and just constructing that thing is the reason you see no room!!  I'll get there, but I just need a burst of motivation.  I did buy the clear plexiglass sheet and knife at Lowe's, to nudge me along.

The Door

The door also came from Greenleaf.  I used a sheet of vellum paper from Michael's as frosted glass.  I will be honest, I really dislike having to hang doors.  If I could have purchased a pre-framed door like this I would have paid a premium, but I didn't find anything I liked.  There are slight framing gaps which anger the perfectionist in me, but I will just not have lights on inside the build when I take pictures, and the gap will never be visible to the world!

The Sun Room

Let's not even discuss how I measured many times and somehow managed to not only make BUT GLUE TOGETHER the base before realizing it was too large for the entire glass frame to sit on.  But, I added the black ledge and its fine now.  In the below picture, its not glued on yet, so due to some warping, it looks like it doesn't fit, but I assure you it now does.

I applied stucco to the interior and exterior of the base then painted it.  I went with wax as a finish because I didn't want any sheen on the stucco.  

For the sofa bed, I made two toppers, one is the beige linen and one is a very fine deep beige corduroy.  I know I want to make the build vintage at times and then modern, so making two makes sense.

The Kitchen

The kitchen space in the build is tiny.  Nothing more then a galley kitchen!   That said, I wanted something that stood out against the blonde floors, so a dark wood was most appealing.  

I have been hording a large box of veneer for 2 years.  First, I was clueless on how to use veneer and second, it looked tricky.  Throwing caution to the wind, I made my sink unit and veneered each board, then glued it together.  The only "trick" is to clamp each piece of wood and let to thoroughly dry and to use a (many) sharp blades when trimming the veneer.  One day I will make a tutorial for everyone, because it is a lot easier then it might seem.  

For the island, I veneered a Houseworks kitchen island.  It was the right size and it had a butcher block top.  

The stainless steel counters weren't terrible to make.  I used a sheet of hobby aluminum from a model train store.  To achieve a bend in the metal, use a sharp blade and score the line 2-3 times (but don't cut through!), then bend against a metal ruler.  I had to use the Dremel to cut out the sink hole, but scoring and bending was too tough.

The kitchen faucet is from Paper Doll Miniatures Shapeways Store.  The sink is from Marion Russek's Shapeways Store.  I made the sink and stove from kits by ELF Miniatures.

What I haven't photographed is the actual wall behind my galley kitchen (below is just staged in another space).  The kitchen has a stainless steel wall with floating shelves (which have under shelf lighting).  That took forever to make!  All the batteries and wires for the kitchen will be hidden inside the sink unit.

And that is that!  Before I can attach my kitchen wall, I need to plan the bathroom (which shares the back of the kitchen wall and door).  Much more mumbling and grumbling and procrastination will occur!

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Look! I'm In A Book Of Miniatures

Hello everyone!  I've been more active on my Instagram page of recent months, my apologies.  If only Blogger was easier to use, I'd be updating more often!

Last year I was approach by The Daily Mini about contributing a few photos of my mini collection to a book.  I couldn't say no!  The Book of Mini by Kate Esme Unver!  I started following The Daily Mini right from the beginning on Instagram.  Her following has exploded and its a great way to see tons of amazing miniaturists.

It's tough to pick and choose your favourites, but after submitting a handful of pictures, the publisher did the work for me.  I had 3 featured photos!  My minis and my fingers are now printed in a book.  

The hardest part of the entire project was holding the mini in one hand and trying to take the picture with the other hand.  Yes, I could have asked my husband for help but then I would have just been yelling at him about angles and lighting, so I suffered for my art.

The purses were shot beside my dining room window on a roll of white paper from Miss Kitty's art supplies.  Same spot for the pottery, but this time I used 40 year old water colour paper from my mom.  The hunter boots (life size) are mine and I shot that on my front step because it was raining and I was trying to avoid getting wet!

I've been mini making quite a bit recently!  And this coming Sunday is the Ontario Miniature Enthusiats of Guelph Area's Miniature Show.  10am-4pm.  I will be attending!  One particular vendor will have just shopped at the Tom Bishop show, so I can get some goodies without having to have traveled to Chicago.