Monday, December 29, 2014

Freedom of speech

Modern miniature dolls' house holiday home bedroom with a speech bubble-shaped blackboard on a wall in the foreground.
Because Margell seemed empty without a blackboard.

(Found, of course, on the Typo NQR table. Five for $1. The others might just be heading to new homes in the near future, assuming I manage to get myself into gear)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Summer sleeping

Spending the day on Christmas Day in my beautiful bed with its beautiful bedding reminded me that I'd been meaning to make some summer bedding for Margell for quite some time.

I've had a vintage hankie with a lovely edging for years, set aside to make sheets for the bed in my shabby chic apartment, but had always been scared to cut into it in case I ruined it (I'm sure you know that feeling). I also have a second-hand curtain I bought for $4 from the op shop several months ago, knowing that it would make a perfect summer blanket for Margell. 

Since I'd declared today 'Sewing Saturday', I decided to be brave and schedule it into my To Do list.
Modern dolls' house miniature bed with sheet and pillows on it, positioned on top of a full-sized piece of woven cotton curtaining. Next to it is a vintage embroidered hankie, a pair of scissors and a bottle of Fray Check.
Of course it turned out to be a quick and easy job (they always do, don't they?) making my months of angst seem quite silly.
Aerial view of a dolls' house miniature bed with fancy-edged sheet, a white cotton woven bedspread and pillows on it. Next to it is a vintage embroidered hankie, with a pattern piece marked 'pillow'.
(You may have noticed that I haven't yet completed the embroidery-edged pillowcases and am procrastinating by blogging instead... *sigh*)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Christmas tradition

Even though I say I don't 'do' Christmas, I do have a Christmas tradition: spending the morning (if not the whole day) in bed with a box of chocolates, some sparkling wine and a good book (or two, Or three).
Pile of three books on a bed, with a box of miniature cupcake-shaped chocolates, a pair of reading glasses and a glass of sparkling wine on top.
This year's choices had a decidedly miniature focus, starting with chocolates in the shape of miniature cupcakes.

And the books?
Scandinavian design in the doll's house (a gift from Paula at Lundby)
Dollhouse And Furniture Advertising 1880s-1980s  (a gift from my Co Editor. I think she wants me to review it for The tiny Times)
Big Art Small Art (a gift to myself)

I was tempted to buy my sparking wine in piccolos to keep with the theme, but that would have worked out to be much more expensive than just buying a standard bottle.

To round off the day's theme, in the afternoon I had a little nap.

For those of you who celebrate Christmas: I hope you had (for my southern hemisphpere readers) or have (for my northern hemisphere readers) a good day.
For those of you who don't: have a lovely restful couple of days.

(And may all of your presents be little ones).

Monday, December 22, 2014

I don't believe in Christmas

...but Santa arrived at my front door this afternoon anyway, and dropped off two large cartons.
Two large shipping cartons sitting on a living room floor.
 Which contained much Lundby goodness:
A new Lundby Smaland dolls' house and garden, surrounded by packages of Lundby furniture and accessories.
(and my first challenge for 2015).

At the Sydney Show back in May, I'd been chatting with lovely Paula, the Lundby Australia distributor, who told me about the new approach Lundby was taking with promoting DIY and custom Lundby 'hacking' and asked if I'd like to 'hack a house'.

Of course I said yes! Things got busy for us both (although I did find time to brain storm what I'd like to turn the house into and we emailed back and forth over several months to come up with ideas for what I might need her to send me as well as the house).

And today it all arrived. I should get started on the project but the beady-eyed amongst you might notice a reason to put things off for a couple of days:
Copy of the book 'Scandinavian Design in the Dolls' House'.
Included in  the boxes was a copy of the book I'd been eyeing up this time last year in Brisbane. If anyone's looking for me, I'll be on the sofa...

Monday, December 08, 2014

Sunday surprises

Browsing through the most dangerous shop in all of Canberra, I spotted this nestled amongst the offerings:
Copy of the book 'The Making of Home' on display in a book shop.
 and instantly cried 'dolls' house!'

'Are you sure?' my shopping companion replied. 'Well yes: that's a REAC chair and a Dolls' House Emporium bed in the top room.' I stated, And so, when I got home I tried to find out who had created the cover, With no luck (looks like I'll have to buy a copy anyway and then I can check).

Interestingly, on the other side of the same display stand I found this:
Copy of the book Horrorstör on display in a book shop.
 (And there it was again next door...)
Copy of the book Horrorstör on display in a book shop.
Which got me thinking. Are these two examples (and, of course, The Miniaturist) pointing the way to a new trend in book cover design? Might we end up seeing a new employment option open up for us? And, if so, how do I sign up?

Sunday, December 07, 2014

A massive Saturday night

Local tourist attraction Cockington Green held a night opening last night - something they usually only do for school groups.

My Co Editor (who had drived down from Sydney for the event) and I were on tenterhooks all day as it's been a rainy weekend and we were hoping it wouldn't be rained out.

But it went ahead despite the rain, giving us the opportunity to splash our way around the exhibits without having to deal with the usual festive crowds.
Miniature model version of the main building at Cockington Green Gardens, at night.
I was surprised how different it felt, being there at night.

We'd arrived while it was still light, so had a drink in the cafe while we waited for it to get dark (and giggled about how this wasn't your usual Saturday night drinking spot).
A bottle of special-label Cockington Green wine next to a glass of it.
Once it got dark I managed to photograph some quite unusual shots of the buildings:
Miniature model of a railways station with a train at the station, at night.
Miniature model street scene of a tree and a concrete wall on a hill in the rain.
Miniature model of colourfull apartment buildings at night.
Miniature model of a lit-up building surrounded by bushes, at night.
 (Here are some very old photos of some of the same places during the day).

Friday, December 05, 2014

Mini gifties

Part of a piece of scrapbooking paper with a typographic design next two several shortbread biscuits in the shape of houses and trees.
Today I was given two lots of mini-related gifts.

First up was a scrap of scrapbooking paper given to me by a card-making colleague. I'm looking forward to working with it to make something for Margell..

The other was a package of gingerbread and shortbread house (and tree!) biscuits made by a friend. She used the cookie cutters Cider Teak gave me to make biscuits for her workmates as Christmas gifts and I got some of the extras as a thank you.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

December decorating

Tonight's scene started with an image I cut out of a catalogue some months ago. Of course, the end result ended up only vaguely referencing the original, but it's appropriately festive for this time of the year (for those who do that sort of thing), so I'm happy.
Modern miniature cupboard-top scene which includes a silver lamp, a bowl of pinecones, a three-section picture, a Christmas angel and a wooden star on the wall.
Here's the original image, which I cut out because the lamp was similar to the one in the parcel that Elvira sent me in June this year, and the picture easily replicable from the one in the package Pepper sent in September last year. The fact I discovered plentiful supplies of miniature pinecones recently sealed the deal:
Catalogue ad showing a silver lamp, a bowl of pinecones, a three-section picture, two wooden vases (dip-painted white, one with a sprig of bush), and a decorator plate on the wall.
Of course things didn't go quite according to plan, I have the perfect desk for the scene. Unfortunately too buried to find this early in December, So I used the vintage German cupboard I (finally) mended last night as a base.

Then I discovered that I don't seem to own a plain white ceramic bowl (let alone a slightly grey version). Not to worry, I substituted the rectangular one that Mad for Mod sent me in February this year.

And of course I don't have white-dipped wooden bead vases. Or that plate. So it was at this stage that things went off-plan. While looking for plate options that might work, I found a wooden star, And the angel that Penelope sent to me in the returned Bellabox in September.

Suddenly my generic-themed copy of a catalogue image had turned into a meaningful display of items gifted to me by various blog buddies. I'm satisfied (but still off to buy a plain white bowl, And find my beautiful new desk...)

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Teenage tartan

Modern dolls' house scene of part of a boy's room, with fawn, red and white tartan wallpaper and a white shelf holding a Noah's ark, a toy car, some books and a spinning top. To one side is a BMX-style bike.
It's early December and my mind (apparently) turns to a more masculine-style scene.

And since it's been a while since I made a scene that's not set in Margell, I'd decided to start small, with a 'shelfie'. The white cupboard* from my stash started things off.

My next step was to crack open the drawer full of Typo scrapbooking paper, where I spotted this oversized tartan and was off (another December tradition, it would seem).

Already I was thinking 'boy's room' so that focused my attention when choosing accessories: an ark (and camels) from Elvira's generous gift. A car and spinning top,courtesy of a mixed bag from the last ACTME show. The books and bike were from stash and the magnet from a very early Typo factory outlet visit.

(*I had to giggle because I used its twin last December for a similar scene)

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

On top of spaghetti

I'm concentrating hard this month on getting things finished. (Because we all know that an-almost-one-year break is more than enough time, no matter what excuses real life throws at you...)

And using a last-in-first-out approach meant that tonight I filled my pasta jar from Saturday's workshop and glued on its bottom. (Vermicelli for mini pasta. Who knew?)
Dolls' house miniature jar of spaghetti, with a bag of full-sized vermicelli in the background.
I was going to glue* a label on it but then realised that I should follow the rule I have in my full-sized kitchen: If it's obvious what's in it, don't label it.

I probably could have finished this project last night, but I had the sudden urge to visit Kmart in search of my very own cheap nail varnish to paint jar lids.
Dolls' house miniature jar of spaghetti, with five full-sized bottles of nail varnish behind it.
It's been a while since I explored the possibilities of nail varnish.

(*Because I haven't made time to look for my stash of Xyron refills so far this week.)

Monday, December 01, 2014

Using the Xyron Create-a-Sticker machine

When I was at the AGM on Saturday, trying to glue the label onto my jar of vegemite, I mentioned that I should have brought my sticker maker with me, And got blank looks.

After I stopped raving about how great my sticker maker was, I promised I'd share how it worked on our Facebook page. And then I realised I'd not really talked about it on my blog, and perhaps I could do a little recycling...

Anyway. This is the basic Xyron 150 Create-a-Sticker machine. I hate that it's sparkly and pink but at that stage they weren't doing a black and white version (and now I can't justify buying a second one just because I don't like the colour of my one). I bought mine on a whim from our local craft chain for around $15, but you can usually pick them up online for less. Sticker refills are available for permanent and removable stickers.

How does it work? 
Xyron 150 Create-a-Sticker machine.
1. You cut out the (flat) tiny thing that you want to stick to another tiny thing,
Loading a dolls' house miniature marmalade jar label into the Xyron 150 Create-a-Sticker machine.
2. Carefully drop your tiny thing into the feeder, face up. (I usually have several things side by side to use up the available sticker width, but this was just a demonstration)
A dolls' house miniature marmalade jar label in the Xyron 150 Create-a-Sticker machine
3. Slowly pull the sticker sheet out from the bottom (I realised as I did the demonstration that my cartridge is almost out and couldn't be bothered going and getting the spare for the shoot: which is why there are brown bits on the sticker sheet)
A Xyron 150 Create-a-Sticker machine with a dolls' house miniature marmalade jar label turned into a sticker.
4. Once your sticker has cleared the teeth, carefully rip the sticker tape off.
Ripping off the completed sticker from a  Xyron 150 Create-a-Sticker machine
 5. Rub the sticker area with your fingernail, then lift the top sheet off and discard. Peel your custom sticker off the backing and carefully apply to whatever you wanted to stick it to.
Completed sticker from a  Xyron 150 Create-a-Sticker machine
There are several sizes of Xryon machine available. I was lucky enough to pick up the 2.5 inch model at an op shop for $15 and was given the 9 inch model during a work clean-out.
Three sizes of Xyron sticker machines stacked on top of each other.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

I couldn't contain myself...

...at the Australian Miniature Enthusiasts Association meeting yesterday.

I bought a trunk for Margell (even though I have the kit from the last meeting, still waiting to be put together.
Miniature vintage tin trunk.
But I figured $12 was a small price to pay for such a beautifully aged example, and I can now use it as study piece when I make my own.)
Open miniature vintage tin trunk, showing newspaper lining.
 And the trunk seemed to set the theme for the rest of my acquisitions. Kathy Brindle gave me this beautifully-crafted hat box the she made, and Adelaide Cann gave me one of her new wooden crayon cases.
Miniature blue and white polka dot hat box, vintage tin trunk and crayon box with scissors.
And there were more containers in a couple of 'bags of bits' I bought from Chell Oldfield (who was the tutor for the round-table workshop I took):
Selection of miniature vintage bags, boxes and a trunk.
 These black and white shoe boxes caught my attention in one of the bags,
Collection of four miniature vintage black and white striped shoe boxes.
 as did this lovely vintage gift box,
Miniature vintage gift box.
 and this crumpled empty Toblerone packet!
Miniature vintage empty and crumpled Toblerone chocolate package.
 And this is the rest of the contents of the jar-making kit I got from the Chell's workshop. Lots of lovely possibilities in there for stocking Margell's pantry!
Small ziplock bag filled with tiny dolls' bottles and a selection of printies for making miniature jars.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A jarring day

One of the great things about Canberra is the fact that you can wake up in your own bed in the morning, spend the day in Sydney, and return to sleep in your own bed that night.

Today The Australian Miniature Enthusiasts Association held it's  November meeting, AGM and Christmas lunch in Sydney. I was lucky enough to get a lift up and back with a friend who was visiting her mother.

The main reason I wanted to go?
Miniature table filled with jars of jam and preserves, In front of it on th efloor is a selection of miniature empty jars, open jars, and squirt bottles.
 To do Chell Oldfield's jar-making round-table workshop.
Cutting mat with saw and sandpaper plus a tiny toy baby bottle on it.
 I particularly wanted to make a jar of Vegemite and a jar of pasta for Margell
Bottle of yellow nail polish with a miniature empty jar in front of it and a finished miniature jar of  Vegemite next to it.
 The Vegemite I finished. But I kept getting distracted so my pasta jar remains unlabelled and empty for now... 
Miniature jar of Vegemite and empty pasta jar on a worktable.
And the rest of the items in the kit? Added to my teetering pile of UFOs...

Monday, November 24, 2014

Global cuts

Having the vet visit on Tuesday meant I had to clear off my work bench to make room for him to examine Mr Nibbs.

And I vowed that I would deal with the piles of stuff that I moved off it rather than just pile it all back on. But first. while it was clear, I decided to see if I could indeed use some of the contents of the snow globe I bought that afternoon from the Typo factory outlet store:
Tiny models of the Chrysler Building, the New York Stock Exchange and a New York yellow cab on top of a table vice.
Three miniature New York landmarks for a total of $1? I'm happy. (Alas the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building didn't survive the breaking into the globe and the cutting apart of the contents)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Little houses, at the markets, little houses made of clay.

This afternoon, while visiting a friend who had a stall at the Belconnen Arts Centre Christmas Market, I stumbled across a basket of tiny clay houses.
A large number of small clay houses, all jumbled together.
How could I resist, with a sign like this?
A large number of small clay houses, all jumbled together under a sign which says '$2 Buy a New House mortgage free'
 I chose my house...
A small clay house sitting on a hand in front of a container filled with others.
and took it home.

Where I'm now trying to decide if it should like with my full-sized decorations
A small clay house displayed next to a full-sized knitted cupcake.
or in my mini-world...
A small clay house displayed in a dolls' house between a kiwi figure and a portable tape deck and CD player.