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 items....my 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 table.....so 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.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

The Rug Won't Bite

........and PETA won't freak out.  It's just an 18 count stitched Tiger rug kit from Janet Granger. I stitched while drinking my morning coffee, as dinner cooked, every evening and every spare minute for a week. It wasn`t difficult, but wool takes longer, though the results are worth it!

Monday, 3 October 2016

And so this happened. IKEA

Well, this happened. The IKEA project.

I bought this little number after seeing it on The Shopping Sherpa blog. But then I assembled it and while not huge, it was 2 stories. And if I want to continue with this hobby, I need to be space conscious. Or start to tossing Miss Kitty's toys. And she might object.

The original IKEA Flisat dollhouse
Photo Credit: Ikea Canada - ikea.ca

So I hacked it apart on my table saw. It's now a single story living room and kitchen combo. With a mid century yet modern flare.

Did you know that I`ve never really BUILT a dollhouse before....seriously.  So, minus the room boxes I did in the past, this is my first half build...because its kinda a dollhouse and kinda a room box.  

And my prolonged blogging absence over the summer....well, lets blame life.  Keeping up the garden in this punishing heat and amusing a toddler took up lots of time.  And now Miss Kitty has started school, which should have left me with more time, but I feel like I have less and a more ridged schedule.  

The Plan

Well, its either poop or get off the pot, so I`m going to try my hand at wiring this bad boy.  Enough of the `gonna woulda shoulda` so its going to happen!

I purchased a number of LED items off of ebay.  That means a good month between me and wiring some elements, but whatever.  I don`t want to spend a ton of this project.....even though I know I will (and kinda have).  Pepper`s tutorial on LED soldering refreshed my confidence in my lighting abilities. 

I purchased a few pre wired LEDs from Evan Designs,  Even with the Canadian dollar and very reasonable shipping, it was actually more then affordable!!  I was beyond excited because that sort of thing seldom happens.  I have 2 ceiling light kits, a wire switch kit and the flickering fireplace kit ordered.

Then I jumped over to Grandpa`s Doll House.....holy smokes, if you`re Canadian, grab some of their wood narrow plank flooring sheets.  Only $10!!!  Yes, I still have a large roll of veneer in my basement (not to mention a life time supply of various sized stir sticks), but sometimes you don`t want to kill yourself laying a floor!  

Then I headed over to The Little Dollhouse Company.  Big mistake.  I go in for plexi glass.  I come out with:

  • a chair kit
  • Houseworks metal stove front
  • Steel hob kit
  • Side table kit
  • door knocker
  • 1 clearance lamp
  • an amazing plastic wall hang sink (its clear, you just paint it! They have skylights, big tubs, big sinks, etc., just have to paint it.  Amaze-balls).
  • various small items from the sales drawers that no one else wanted.

The oven, hob and door knocker are for the project.  But I really did restrain myself.  I tried.

The Design

Because of the A-frame look of the building, I want to make it a current take on mid century modern.  As if you purchased grandmas house and then made it modern, but still enjoyed its unique vintage elements.

As you can see with the cardboard on the front, I`m blocking a bit of the front opening so I can have space on the kitchen side that isn`t visible via the window.  And in the name of symmetry, I`m doing it on the living room side too.  The fire place will be brick (the center small dividing wall) and its kitchen side will have a breakfast bar.  

The kitchen will be the far right wall.  A small under counter fridge along with the oven.  Just the sink and hob will be on the top.  Frankly, there isn`t much more space!  Then there will be a run of upper cabinets with LEDs lighting the counter.

The front will have the centered door and be flanked by 2 large windows.  Above the door (and the span of the house) will be a large triangular window broke into 2 windows.  

The ceiling will have beams running to the peak.  This is within the look and era of the home along with hiding the wiring for the pendant light.  The fireplace design is to be finalized.  And I think I will go with lighter floors this time.  I`ve already done grey and chocolate, so this will be a nice change.  

So, now I wait until my mail box is flooded with goodies.  I think my mail carrier must have been in withdrawal over the summer.  No major deliveries to my house!  I also need one more trip to Credit Valley Railway Company to get some tiny styrene quarter round to hold my windows in place.  Miss Kitty looooooooves to watch the train sets there.  Me too!

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Hunter Boots....HBC and a bit of Canadiana

Oh Summer...things are beginning to come to an end.  Frankly, I am getting a bit tired of watering the garden everyday.  But that sunshine is still nice.  Keep your distance Mr. Winter!

In a ode to Fall, I made a Canadiana mini scene.  Nothing says Canada like using a canoe as a hall bench or using your Hudsons Bay point blanket as a wall hanging.  

But I quite enjoy my Hunter boots!

Here is the Hunter boots how-to!

  • Get some 1:12 scale plastic boots (dollhouse store or eBay)
  • Grab some ribbon for the boot liner (mine is a velvet ribbon)
  • Google image the Hunter boots logo.  Try to find the clearest and smallest one out there.  I then opened mine in Word and just shrunk it down until I found the right size
  • Glue ribbon to boot.  Glue logo to ribbon......or forgo the ribbon and glue right to the boot!

That is not much of a how-to, but in case you were wondering, there you go!

And then I had to laugh...and do a happy dance when I posted these to Instagram and Hudsons Bay liked my picture!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

House of Miniatures Sofa - A Semi Tutorial

It`s been a long time since I made a tutorial.  So, this is sort of a semi tutorial, because its not from scratch, but it is my process and tweeks.

The House of Miniatures Chippendale Sofa is a classic shape and just so darn comfy looking.  I managed to get a kit on Ebay and it sat for a long time.  Then recently I read the instructions and I wasn`t impressed.  I thought, I would never assemble it like this.....but I have a quirky way of looking at things, so why not make this a tutorial build and hope that someone else might like to assemble the sofa like me!  If you`ve never build anything, this might not be a good first build or tutorial to follow.   But for the rest of you, it might make sense!

My biggest pet peeve with the instructions in that they ask you to cover the pieces with fabric THEN glue the whole thing together.  This just seems like a recipe for disaster.  I think wood should be glued to wood first, then upholster.  I`ve seen too many HOM pieces at sales and on Ebay that look like they are falling apart because the glue has degraded on the fabric and the pieces is in shambles.

Here we go! And I apologize for some of the oddly lit and less pretty pics, as I worked on some of it at night and didn`t have natural light.

What You Need

  • The House of Miniatures Chippendale Sofa kit (No.40015)
    • If you don`t have the kit click here for the PDF from the HOM site
    • When you print the PDF and use it as a template it may not print to scale.  So, using PIECE 66 on page 2 of the LAYOUT SHEET - it should measure 13.2 cm wide and 4.9 cm tall (based on the actual size measured from the kit).  This way you can use your own wood.
  • Wood Glue
  • Aleene`s Tacky Glue
  • Sharp fabric scissors
  • Tiny nail manicure scissors 
  • Fabric of your choice
  • Wood Stain
  • Gluing jig (or something to ensure the wood base is square when gluing)
  • Iron or mini iron (mini iron is easier for creasing edges)

 Step 1 - Lay It Out

If you need to, use the instruction sheet and number your pieces.  I will not be explaining how to glue the wood base together because the instuctions are great for this and its just a matter of using wood glue.  But one word on this, glue small sections of the base together at a time and left them dry.  Much easier.

Lay out your pieces.  Figure out how they butt up to each other before you apply glue! Then glue them together. Yes, do the opposite of the instructions, glue that wood together!!

Step 2 - Arm Dowel

The arms require you to glue the half dowel to the side to form a rolled arm.  The dowel was slightly longer then the side piece so I sanded the dowel.

**If you are using the PDF and your own wood, slice a dowel in half to form the arm roll.**

Step 3 - Back and Batting

Take a piece of fabric and glue it (Aleen`s Tacky Glue) to the back of the sofa.  Don`t worry about edges, just ensure you wrap them just beyond the edges of what you are covering.  These edges will all be covered later!

Glue batting to the arm.  The batting should start 1 cm from the sofa base and continue to the underside of the arm roll and down the side.  I do this to avoid odd bumps! When you have fabric from both the back and front of the arm glued down, you have an empty space of wood between them (see 2 picture down)....fast forward to when you cover the arm with fabric to side the seems.  You will then have seam `humps`at the edges and a valley between.  The batting levels this in the middle!  See the pictures to better understand my ramblings. 

Step 4 - Front of Arm Fabric

Using Aleene`s Tacky Glue, glue a pieces of fabric to the from of the arms. ENSURE YOUR FABRICS PATTERN-DESIGN IS GOING THE SAME WAY! 

Once the piece has dried THEN begin to make small snips to the edge of the wood.  This way you can glue and fold the edges down.

Proceed to glue another piece of fabric over the front edge (the sofa base).

 Step 5 - Covering The Arms

I actually tried using the pattern to ensure it would be helpful...and it is. It does fit and is workable.  I seldom use patterns and I usually just drape fabric and fit`n`glue and as I go.  But that isn`t really helpful when you are looking for instructions!

When you lay your pattern out, make sure you know where each part of the pattern relates to the sofa.  The image below makes it clear.  Also ENSURE YOUR FABRICS PATTERN-DESIGN IS GOING THE SAME WAY! Double check before you cut!

This next part is great if you have a mini iron (I have a Clover Mini-Iron).  Using the pattern as a guide, I fold and crease the fabric using my mini iron.  Now you have the back and bottom creased for installation!

I didn`t use the pattern for the front rounded edge because, frankly, it was a little off and wonky (and my fabric is a bit thick).  Holding my creased edges in place, I took the front edge and tucked it under to match the curve of the arm.  I then creased it with my finger (mini iron works too).  I took the whole piece off and quickly applied glue to hold the creases down and glue to the arm.  Then I glued it all in place in one step.  Aleen`s Tacky Glue on fabric has a few minutes of play time before it firms up (especially on this thicker fabric), so you can re tuck and adjust the edges until you`re happy.

Step 6 - Cushion Covering

I used batting instead of foam to cover the back cushion.  I applied 2 layer of batting to the back and seat cushion to build up the cushion and make it more comfy looking. I found the thin foam the kit provides gives a harsh angular appearance that looks uncomfortable to sit on.

When gluing the batting on the back cushion, leave 1 cm battling free on the bottom, but covered in fabric.  This allows the seat cushion to fit in tightly to the back cushion.

Now that you have added batting to the arm sides and fabric, you may need to trim the seat wood to get it to fit!  If not, then just apply 2 layers of batting and your fabric.  Then glue both the back and seat into place with glue.

Step 7 - Finish It Up!

My tweed fabric was a bit thicker then the usual cotton I upholster with, so I decided that I didn`t want piping around my edges or seams.  If you are using a thin cotton, you might want to because there will likely be a bit of gap along the front of the arm.  It`s up to you and often dependent on the fabric you choose.

If you`re looking for a wonderful piping tutorial, head over to 1 Inch Minis by Kris and follow her pillow piping tutorial.

I used wood glue to attach the base to the sofa.  I then put a paperweight on the sofa to ensure it stayed level while it dried.

There you have it.  It`s not rocket science, its just a little different approach then the HOM way.  As long as you go slowly and allow the glue to dry at each step before try the next one, things should go smoothly!


  • Apply glue in THIN coats.  Thick glue will bleed through thin cotton.  And if that is a dark cotton, you can`t hide it.  I`ve tried...and failed
  • Let it step dry before going on.  Tacky glue on fabric can take up to 30 minutes to dry on fabric.
  • Keep your fingers clean of glue.  
  • Stay clear of fabrics that are shiny, stretchy and slippery.  You`re asking for a nightmare.  And unless you care comfortable with mini upholstery, small patterns or stripes can be tough. Let your pillows have the pattern!

Feel free to comment and ask questions.  I am always glad to help and further clarify if something doesn`t sound right!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Bringing Sexy Back

Minis and lingerie? And I'm not talking a Victorian boudoir.

I was ever so fortunate to receive some fantastic boxes and bags from Nora at DoubleNMinis.  They come in PDF format and are available as an instant download from their Etsy page (check it out!!!).

I took the French style boxes and the Shabby Chic boxes and had some fun.  They reminded me of the pretty types of bags you get in lingerie stores.  Sooooooooooo I decided to make them the most Haute Couture lingerie brands out there with a few of my own embellishments.

The person that did this shopping trip to La Perla, Agent Provocateur, Carine Gilson, and Bordelle must have an unlimited credit limit on their credit card.  They did some serious damage.

Nora's final product are much prettier then mine.  I used a 67 lb card stock from Staples on my laser printer.  My printer is lack luster at best so pardon the slightly dull colours, its me, not the PDF.

I still have one more set, the Modern Style boxes and magazine holders, to complete.  Not that they aren't done.....its just the usual me getting way too into it and feeling the need to make some new furniture to go along with the scene.