Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas Market Stall Update

Once again, I find that I love to create in miniature what I enjoy in our day to day lives particularly our holiday traditions!
One of those traditions started in my husband's family.  His grandmother had a small display of German Erzebirge angels which are still lit today as part of a family tradition at Christmas.  I started collecting my own miniature angel orchestra and was delighted when I found a miniature version at a dollhouse show in Germany.
When I found the miniature market stall, it seemed the perfect way to display and assortment of Christmas miniatures. I have added two miniature spot lights which lights up my display but I think that next year I will rethink the lighting.  I also added an extra shelf to the front of the display for the assorted gingerbread treats and holiday edibles.

I hope that everyone has a very happy holiday season!  Best wishes for the New Year and I look forward to seeing what new projects everyone has to share on their blogs in 2013!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Miniature Christmas Market Stall Preparation

A number of my miniaturist friends have assembled Christmas market stalls.  I recently found an older market stall while shopping on the web.  It appears to be an older kit from the age of the box.  I am hoping that someone may know of a source to find another as now that I have sorted through my Christmas miniatures for this stall, I would really like to find a second one to do another! Or, if you have another source for a kit, I would appreciate any information that you could provide for me.

The stall comes preassembled and I decided that perhaps I would darken the wood without sanding the stall first to leave a rough finish. I mixed some different stains until I was happy with the final colour.   There are a few glue spots from when it was assembled initially that did not take the stain but I think that they will be covered when I am done.    I did not really like the fabric on the top so I removed it.  I did not have anything suitable to replace it with so I decided to do a different roof.

 I glued a piece of veneer on the top and then added some shingles which I sealed first with a light coat of sprayed varnish.  I have sprayed all my shingles for my various projects so that I can use a damp cloth to dust them when necessary.

I decided that I wanted to trim the end pieces of the wood with some strip would that I stained a slighted darker colour for a bit of contrast for the shelves.  I also finished all of the ends with fine strip wood the same colour as the rest of the stall.
The shelves were glued in when I bought the stall and are not quite level.  I do not think that once they are filled they will be noticeable!
Hopefully, I will have a photo of the finished stall shortly to share.


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Getting Ready For Christmas

I love the holiday season!  And, like many others, I usually find time to decorate my miniature projects for the holidays.
My first class with Ray Whitledge and Scott Burgess was a kitchen class.  It is one of my favourite projects because it has allowed me to showcase some of the miniatures that I have collected over the years.  I have a food background and in my late teens worked in Paris as a part time au pair and with a chef the rest of the time.  I went on to work in a cooking school when I returned to Canada for a number of years after I was married.  I think that perhaps that is why I love miniature food!
Here are a few photos of my kitchen - Santa and his elves have taken a break for some holiday treats!
Hors d'oeuvres and Sliced Ham

Santa and a few elves

Break time and one exhausted elf!

I have recently spent some more time working with resin and have filled some wine glasses.  I managed to break a couple of the glasses so not wanting to throw them out - created a broken glass of wine to salvage the glass!
Wine bottles - Shepherd Miniatures -
And preparing for the Christmas buffet - turkey, gingerbread house, champagne - " its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!"
I am currently working on a miniature Christmas market stall.  I hope to show you shortly.  I am also going to post my Santa's workshop project shortly on my other blog as it showcases so many of the miniature artisans that I have written about on my collecting blog.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Christmas Scene Class With Nell Corkin

What a great class!  This was a bonus class for a friend and me at the Philadelphia show this year.  Nell generously offered to teach this class a second day when our other scheduled class was cancelled as a result of the storm.  We created a miniature Christmas scene in a glass dome which was all provided by Nell.
I have never worked in 1/144 scale before and it was really fun to do this project which required good light and good eyes!.  It is amazing to me how many details that can be added to this scale.  You must visit Nell Corkin's website  and her blog to see her work.  You must also read about her varied artistic background.  I am always fascinated how some people arrive at creating such wonderful miniatures! Please scroll down to see the completed project!
Tiny cast chair - tweezers were a must for this class!

All items were stuck to double sided tape - I still lost a piece!
I did not take very many photos in this class so only have a few to share. We started by adding details to Nell's precast chair and ottoman.  We added the dust ruffle and then painted the chair giving it more details than I would have imagined on something so tiny!
We painted all of the tiny presents, assembled and decorated the tree. and then we did the same to the tiny dollhouse!
Nell's Pastry Display
Nell had one of her other dome vignettes to show us that was available for sale.  A tiny pastry display!
My finished Christmas vignette
This is my finished project which I was quite happy with at the end of the day.    I have photographed it all around for you to see the tiny details.  I adore the dollhouse under the tree!  The chair ended up with a ruffle with lace and wood and gilt details.  The tree with its topper and decorations were fun to do as well!

A really fun class and anyone that loves this scale must take a class with Nell if you get the chance!
And please visit my collecting blog at for my latest post on Helen Palenski's wonderful knitted miniatures!



Friday, 9 November 2012

Stained Glass Class with Barbara Sabia

This past weekend at the Philadelphia Miniaturia show in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, I had the opportunity to take a class with Barbara Sabia.  I have always wanted to take one of her classes because I would like to make windows for a future project that I have on my "to do" list.
Barbara is a very generous teacher and readily shares her years of experience with her students.  As this was a small class ( because of the huge storm), we were all able to do a different firescreen panel which made it quite fun!  Barbara had the designs printed for us and explained the process of cutting and applying the real lead tape.
We all learned to cut the lead tape and attempted to cut them all evenly - not easy!
Barbara explained the method of determining which short pieces to lay first and the ones that should have a continuous line.  It is something that must come with experience but as I worked on my pattern, it became a little more clear to me which order to lay the lines.

Once we finished one side, we then turned it over and lay the identical pattern on the other side.  Barbara did our outer edge quickly and evenly for all of us.
Barbara mixes her gallery paints to achieve the colours that she wants for her pieces.  We all had a chance to mix our own slowly to avoid air bubbles.  My finished piece has a few air bubbles!
Barbara showed us various techniques to apply the paint to achieve texture as well as how to use the same colour to achieve various shades of the same colour.
Painting my firescreen...
My first finished piece of miniature stained glass.   I thoroughly enjoyed the day and am quite happy with my result.   The day went by rather quickly and we were all able to complete our projects.  I am looking forward to doing a project of my own and will improve on the tiny mistakes made in this first attempt at this craft!  Barbara makes it look so easy but her experience shines through in her work!
It can be seen on my other blog in the post "Glorious Glass" at
Next post - my class with Nell Corkin!


Monday, 29 October 2012

Pink Bedroom - My Dollhouse

I spent some time over these past few weekends working on the little girl's bedroom in my dollhouse.
Pink Bedroom

I had already chosen a silk fabric for the window shade so I continued the same silk throughout the room.   I used the "Pretty Pleat Pleater" by d.Anne Ruff to help me make the fabric shade.  I lined it with a sheer fabric as it can be seen from the outside of my dollhouse.
Balloon Shade

The bed I choose was a bed that had been painted with gold trim.  It seemed a bit fancy for me so I repainted it and dressed it with the silk stripe fabric.  I also had a set of sheets and pillows to use that was made from vintage linens that I purchased from Hilda Burden in the UK a number of years ago.
Bed Before

Dressed Bed
In order to showcase some of the toys and miniatures that I have for this room, I thought that it needed a toy cupboard.  This is another piece of furniture that I repainted with pink highlights and inserted some fabric into the bottom panels to coordinate with the rest of the room.
Toy Cupboard
I also repainted some night tables and recovered a chair for this room.  I used a lamp that I repainted and covered the shade in a plain pink silk.
Recovered Chair, Painted Night Table & Lamp
I think that perhaps I may add some trim to hide a few things on the chair but covered in toys - it might be fine as it is now!
Furniture in Bedroom

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Townhouse Plans

I purchased this house shell assembled and immediately wanted to change things about the house.   That will become a recurring theme in this blog....

 The doors and windows that came with the house were not to my liking so I have changed them.  I have a number of building components that I have purchased over the years so I combined two door components to get the look that I wanted for this house.  I will have to cut the opening so that the door fits.

My friend Raymond Storey (glassblower and miniature light maker) did me a special favour and frosted a glass piece for my front door panel.  The windows that I chose came with acrylic panels so I have since (with the help of my husband) cut some glass to fit those as well.
The Ironworks & Black Country Miniatures

The Ironworks & Black Country Miniatures
Over the years, I have accumulated some great sources when it comes to doing custom work for a project.  Mike Tripp and his wife Patricia of The Ironworks & Black Country Miniatures from the UK have a wonderful range of metal items for miniature projects.  From fancy dormer crest strips, garden arches,bespoke railings, stair cases, brass house letters, name plates, gates, street lamps to various etched items, their metal work is well worth a look for those that do not know them.   I left a window with Mike when I saw him at the Kensington Dollhouse Festival and he suggested that he make them so that they would nestle snuggly into the window frame.  I will secure them permanently but for the purpose of taking these photos they stayed put!  He also suggested the window guards for the ground floor and made the wood piece for them to rest on for me.
I have not ordered this stair railing yet but will at a later date when I start work on the front of the house.

I have removed all the interior walls and the staircases that came with the house so that I could start with a completely empty shell.  I did want staircases that took up as little space as possible so I bought the most narrow ones that I could source and have since painted those.
My plan for the ground floor was to position the wall to line up with the center door.  I will have a tiny entryhall with dining area behind on the ground floor as well as a galley kitchen.

The second floor will be the living room.  The third will be the bedroom and the top level will have a bathroom and perhaps some closets (still not quite sure.)


Those are my plans so far for this town house.  I have bought some interior and exterior finishes for this house which I will show you as I progress with the work.
Any suggestions would be greatly accepted as I move forward!