Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Chartreuse Fur

Marjorie Wannamaker wrote:
I needed something that resembled fake fur in chartreuse to complete a gift for a friend.
No only did I not have any fake fur, I had NOTHING that was chartreuse. And for the ornament I was recreating in miniature, it had to be chartreuse. What was the ornament you may ask? A Christmas Vulture. Don't ask. LOL.
A turkey vulture ppicks up all the toys left lying around on Dec.26.
Anyway, I found a little dainty trim that I thought might be able to use, but it wasn't going to make the ornament like it was. My DH came to my rescue - "I have a Fluorescent Highlighter that is chartreuse color; what about using it on a Q-tip and then pulling the cotton out and putting it on the ornament?" It worked perfectly, so he colored a Q-tip, I pulled the chartreuse cotton out with a needle tool, cut off what I needed and glued it to the ornament. That did the job.
So the next time you need fake fur, try coloring q-tips or cotton balls and set to work gluing to your hearts content.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Do you have fire in your belly?

Jaime wants to fire up her Chrysnbon stove.

Chris in Canada:
This kit which uses a very rigid plastic, so drilling a hole is not a good idea, but you should be able to make a hole with a hot nail. (Hold nail in pliers and heat in a candle or flame from a gas stove.) Immediately push the nail gently into the stove and once it is through wiggle it to enlarge the hole. You may have to repeat this a few times to get the hole big enough, but just go at it gently so the plastic doesn't crack. Now, if it were metal ....... you may be able to run the wire down the stovepipe from above and down into the body of the stove.

  • If your stove doesn't have an open back or bottom, it will be harder to recreate the glow of a fire, but still do-able. Anyway, if you don't have a hole to work with, you will have to drill one yourself to feed the bulb and wires through to the inside.
  • Now for the glowing bit. If the bottom or back is open, grab a dollar store sponge eye shadow applicator (10 for $1) and lightly sponge both red and yellow acrylic paint randomly on the INSIDE of the window so you get a good mix of colour. Work a bit at a time, and check it for realism by shining a flashlight inside. You don't want the paint to be so thick that it hides the light, just enough to give the window a thin all-over coat. When that's dry, insert your bulb and use a dab of MinWax or BlueTac to hold the light in place.
  • If you have had to drill a hole in the stove, sponge on the colours as above but on the outside of the window. When completely dry, brush a very thin, even coat of clear gloss sealer over the paint to create the look of glass over the fire. Just be super careful not to leave any brush marks, or you will ruin the effect. When dry, push your wired bulb through the hole and secure it as above.
  • The glowing coals in the fireplace were done the same way as the stove with a snippet of acetate painted as above, and railway ballast with a few dabs of grey to represent ash here and there on top of the acetate for coals. The pictures don't do the look justice by any means, but they all look quite realistic considering they are not flicker bulbs, just plain grain of rice running off a battery pack.

From Marjorie Wannamaker:
A plastic battery box (this one is for larger batteries) with wires coming out of one end. Hook the bulb wire to those wires or put a off/on switch between the power source and bulb. Buy the off/on cord switch set up at any mini shop with electrical supplies

Bulb wires attached to battery wires.
9 volt battery with snap connector.
  • Use a 12 or 16 volt light bulb with your tape system and 12 volt transformer. Use a 3 volt light bulb with a battery set up. Hide the battery box in the woodpile or out of the actual scene (behind it.)
  • Color the bulbs with glass stain if they are clear, or look for a blinking orange bulb from Houseworks. Be sure to check to see if they are 12 or 3 volt. If you use the 3 volt bulb with a 12 volt system, you will blow the bulb. You can use a 12 volt bulb on a battery 3 volt system, but the light won't be as bright.
  • You can use a 9 volt battery with a 12 volt bulb. When using batteries, you need to add up the voltage per each battery and then use a higher rated bulb. The power source needs to be less voltage than the bulb size.
  • Remember: the bulb size needs to be larger or equivalent to the power source, in this case a battery. Holds true for transformers, also.
From Melanie Navarro:
Take a battery operated tealight candle apart. The battery is one of these small watch batteries and can be hidden easily.

Follow Jaime's progress in her blog:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas is a' comin'!

Doreen Playter has a beautiful talent for combining real life and miniatures in her blog.
This is a picture of her doll house decorated for Christmas. She is also decorating inside - look at her cosy fireplace below.

She says:
I try to make all my scenes as I would like them in real life. My mother always had a miniature snow scene that had a sleigh and reindeer. It was not dollhouse sized but she worked at a place that made Christmas ornaments like that. I still can see her sitting at the dining room table with newspaper spread over the table and bags of glitter and greenery and the wooden pices that she put together. I still remember the church and the sleigh that was covered in sparling snow and played music. I loved to get those ornaments out every Christmas and I loved to put the bag
of toys in Santa's sleigh. The church played Silent Night and the sleigh played Jingle Bells. I think I wore out both of the music boxes as I played them so often.
This is just a sampling.
Go to Doreen's Blog at

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Key West Facades

Arts and crafts are rampant in Naples Fla, as are farmers markets - great weekend entertainment.
Ronny Bailey from Key West had a booth at one of the local trunk shows. Key West is a unique part of Florida, full of verve, character, and personality.
He has made some wonderful facades of Key West houses which capture the charm and history of the area, rescuing the memories of what is rapidly being destroyed by developers. The structures are replicas of actual houses. His booth had these creations and pictures of the originals on sale.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Talking Turkey

Garden of Imagination has many food tutorials:

Advent Calendar en Francais

Calendrier de l'Advent

Look for the tutorials for a kitchen stove and metal basket.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

MiniTools from Trash

Chris from Canada wrote:
Save a few ready-to-toss disposable razors or that cheap vegetable peeler that never did work properly, and use them as mini chisels, adzes or planes. They are perfect for shaping balsa wood that you want to use for ceiling beams, lintels, mantels, wall framing etc..... in Mediaeval, Tudor or Elizabethan dwellings and as a mini plane, will remove just a sliver of wood from a tight-fitting door. Or use one to inflict deliberate damage to corners and edges of wooden surfaces to create an old, battered look. After all, makers of RL antique reproduction furniture do things like this all the time, so why not have some mini fun?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Advent Calendar for Miniature Lovers

The Minitreasures Wiki has begun their countdown to Christmas Advent calendar.

This is today's entry:

It's beginning to look a Lot Like Christmas on PhotoPeach