Sunday, 17 September 2017

2017 Bowmanville Show - Minis Gone Wild

I had never been to the Bowmanville (Ontario) Miniature Show before, and I have to say, it was a solid show!  There weren't too many vendors there, and 2 that I love had to cancel due to emergencies, but the ones remaining were exactly the ones I wanted to see!

I started off at Small Scale Showcase.  Carol always has amazing items.  I purchased a salad bowl and salt and pepper shakers handmade by a Ukrainian artist.  I also picked up a Mini Fanaberia kitchen scale.  

I then moved straight across the room to Maggie Melinda Custom Miniatures (by Janet Harvie).  She had some sell off deals at her table, and I said sold!! She is absolutely lovely to deal with, and if you want custom furniture, I would highly recommend her work.  I now have several pieces in my collection and they are beautiful and well crafted.  

And she had some of her own mini collection for sale, so I grabbed the two gold end tables. 

Across the room I went to A Dollhouse Shoppe.  They sell all kinds of minis, but the last show I attended in Fergus, they had an artist I love, Gunther's Miniatures.  Recall the bed and the bench I purchased? Well, I had to have more of his incredible work!  I purchased a rose wood coffee table and an art deco sofa table.

Now that I had exhausted my "must have" list, I took count of my cash on hand (not too many vendors taking credit cards!) and set off on my hunt.  

Fay-vourite Crafts and Miniatures Co. is always good for kits, especially the ones she makes herself.  But what caught my eye at the end of the show (and also caught the last of my cash too!) was this beautiful handmade leather purse.  She told me it was made by a recently deceased artist, Jose Gomez in Spain.  It actually opens!

1000 Island Miniatures has a mix of things, old and new.  I grabbed this vintage TV that I plan to refinish and make slightly more realistic.  It needs some work.  The lamp had a retro vibe and the bag and thermos were, well, just kinda cute!

Petite Images had a lot of cute items, but I couldn't say no to these Halloween mugs.  Look at those happy little pumpkins!

Kim Stewart of Vintage Miniatures continues to make really amazing kits, she never disappoints.  Her wicker kits are very well crafted, I just completed the wicker tray kit I purchased from the Fergus show.  Most importantly, her instructions are great so you don't have to guess as you are learning. 

The paper chain kit was a bit of a whim purchase.  I was going to make a mini chain to celebrate Miss Kitty's birthday this summer, but never got to it.  Now I can make one for Christmas!!

And as I was out of cash, in need of coffee and getting hungry, I called it quits and went to find my husband working away on his laptop in our car.  He's a keeper that one! Drag him to a mini show a good distance from home and he happily works as I get my mini on!

Here's to hoping I make the MET Show in October!

2017 Miniature Enthusiasts of Toronto Sale - October 14th

Image from Grandpa's Doll House

How is it almost October?? But it is a good month!  First, we get the Miniature Enthusiasts of Toronto sale and then its Halloween.  After that, meh (sorry Christmas lovers).

The MET show this year is doing something different, 1 day instead of 2 days and also extending their hours.  

I have prior commitments that day, but I am praying that I will somehow make it there by afternoon.  Not first in the door, but better then nothing! My fingers are crossed.

Please come out and support the amazing artists and vendors on October 14th!

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Que Vee Is For Me!

Oh, when you find the love of your life on eBay!!  Well, the miniature love of your life.  If you recall, I have a red corduroy couch (with arms) that regularly makes an appearance around here.  I have never been able to locate a manufacturer, until now.  They are made by Que Vee in the US.  I purchased the vintage 3 piece living room set and the 2 mustard colour ottomans.  Shipping was tough to swallow, but I couldn't leave these behind.

And then I decided to make a little psychedelic space!

Where To Buy/Where To Find

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Completed Summer Projects!

I actually completed some of my many on-going projects over the summer.  Yes, its a miracle.  It's the plight of the mini maker, a thousand projects on the go and the guilt associated with never finishing most of them.  

I made this grey velvet sofa for the charity build.  But I like it so much I am going to make myself one!  It's a little too deep for me, so I will slim this design down. It was a nice thin velvet, so it was easy to manipulate and not too bulky.

I also finished the Tabriz rug kit from Janet Granger.  The kit said small, and I never read instructions so I went with it.  Ha!! It's just over 8'x5', not very small at all!  Possibly the most boring stitching project that I've done, but I love the pattern.  It can go in any room and any era.  The rust colour isn't too red or orange either, so it doesn't over power a room.

This evening I started gluing down the fixed elements on the charity build, the cabinets and the TV unit.  Tomorrow I will glue in the ceiling light.  I'm making good progress (so far!).

It's Miss Kitty's first day of Kindergarten tomorrow.  Mini me is growing up!

Where To Buy / Where To Find

Monday, 4 September 2017

Cooking Up A Kitchen

The mini charity house has been progressing slowly! Miss Kitty's school is taking up lots of time, but I've been squeezing in mini sanity time with this build.

All my Ebay items are every so slowly arriving.  I managed to score a great deal on this kitchen because it was at auction prices.  And when it arrived, the counter and the sink had detached.  I emailed the seller and they gave me a partial refund on it!  After a little glue and fiddling it's all back in one piece.

This was the kitchen before I renovated
I papered the back wall with a tile paper and spray painted the hood and hooks with stainless steel spray paint.  I really wanted to use that blank cabinet as a fridge, but I had to butt the stove section up against it.  So, in this house they have no fridge.....meh.

The amazing Jodi Hippler (My Miniature Madness) sent me a box of goodies for this build, and the faucet worked perfectly!!  Check it out in her Shapeways store!  And then Keli sent me some mini goodies for the build too.  This house will be fully stocked....and apparently I will be building another house next year given the quantity of furniture I have!

And once I finished the kitchen I couldn't resist putting my minis in it to play around.  It's my reward for finishing!

I'm hoping the bathroom vanity arrives soon so I can finish that room next.

Where To Buy / Where To Find

Friday, 28 July 2017

Sneaky Little Me....Working Away....

Recall me mentioning the dollhouse I'm working on for my little ones school? I've made some progress! It's the Ikea Flisat dollhouse.  At $40 its an economical build to end up giving away, not to mention that its solid wood and easy to construct.  I'm hoping all this work will fetch a good price at the silent auction.

I primed and painted the walls, along with staining the floors, prior to assembling the house.  The stained floors are just the wood floors provided, nothing special added.  I stained them a medium walnut to disguise the rather large grain of the wood.  I'm pretty sure it only bothers me!  Despite sanding the wood, it was a struggle to get good stain coverage.  I assume the wood is treated with something.....not stain friendly!!!!  5 coats of stain and sanding in between later, it looks great.

I papered some of the walls.  The "brick" is scrapbook paper from Michael's and the blue paper is normally rather expensive craft paper that somehow found its way to Dollarama, and I paid $2 for 2 very large sheets of it.

The bathroom is awaiting a vanity and sink from China (eBay).  I had the tub and toilet in my stash, but I need to paint the toilet seat and gold accents, along with the tub taps.  The accessories here will all be white and modern.

Maybe even some mini macrame plant hangers for the corner! Depends on how crazy I plan to get.

The bedroom is still in the development stage.  I'm going with the mattress on top of a wood pallet base with simple wood floating bedside table.  The table is a keeper, but gussied up and the ottoman will be recovered.  The dresser that's there is a placeholder for now.  Not certain what I'm putting there!

There was supposed to be a dividing wall on the ground floor.  I removed it.  I prefer the open concept and it makes for easier play for little hands.  That hunk of half painted wood is a wall mounted cabinet that the TV will go on top of.  I'm covering the wood with aluminum sheeting.  I've also designed a new sofa for the space (the one you see is just a placeholder).  It's going to be grey velvet!  It will be slightly deeper then usual scale to allow for dolls of various sizes to sit comfortably.  And one of those napkin rings will become the coffee table, but I need the new couch in there to decide!

The left side of the ground floor will be an L-shaped kitchen I ordered on eBay, along with some tables and chairs.  I want to get it in so I can start the decorating.  I'm checking my mailbox everyday.

And these are some of the fabrics that I will be using! And no, I haven't gotten to purchasing my new sewing machine, so all that bedding will have to wait!

And then I'm stitching away when I can find a few minutes.  I have some pillows in the works and I'm slowly completing that rug of mine.  Nothing is more boring then stitching in a white background!

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Happy Weekend!

I hope the weather is good wherever you are and you get outside to enjoy the weekend!!

......and check out your local nurseries and greenhouses, its the season for fake grass!!

Sunday, 25 June 2017



In the fall I went to the Brampton Miniature show, where mini makers sell their old stock and some people off load their collection as they get out of the game.

At a table, by the door was an older lady who was selling off her excess minis.  I bought the Realife Miniatures piano kit from her too!  In a zip-lock baggie marked $5 was a table kit.  I was intrigued and she believed all the pieces were there plus extra legs.  What could I loose at that price!

The table kit was made by Harold Watson in 1989 for a miniature gathering.  I cannot begin to tell you how beautifully cut and prepared each piece of the table was made.  Everything fits together perfectly, which left me in awe.  Zero fit issues.  

My issue? This was clearly made for a workshop, so the instructions, while complete and accurate, needed "interpretation."  Let's just say I spent many evenings (months apart I might add) staring at it and trying to figure how the table would look and how the pieces fit together.  Mentally modeling....made easier with wine.  Hehehe.  Finally, it clicked and it made sense.  I glued it with high quality multi surface glue.  To ensure that when I glued the top to the base, and that I wouldn't glue it so I couldn't open it (major &*%&#*& panic attack as I glued it), I put wax paper slips of paper to ensure the glue at worst would adhere to the paper and not to the non-moving parts.  And it worked!! Table opens and closes to fit the leaf in like a charm.

Here is my Instagram post to see how it actually opens and closes.  It's pretty neat!

These are the instructions that guided me.  This was all that came in the baggie with the parts.  The drawings are to scale, so you can at least lay the pieces on the paper to see how they fit.

What to finish this table with?  Well, it was beautiful wood, but the table top pieces were cut from different pieces, so the grains did not all match up.  I selected the least matchy piece to be the leaf.  But, even then it didn't quite look right.  Instead of a natural finish I went with dark walnut.  I used Watco Danish Oil as a finish.  Unlike many oils, this does not sit on top of the wood, but rather, it sinks in (most oils are for food prep, so it doesn't sink in).  Danish Oil gives you great coverage and you can use a clear coat on top, or not.  I'm debating because I'm concerned with adding too much moisture to this thin delicate wood and risking warping.  No warping noted with the oil!

So there you have it!  I finished a project.  Only 3 Home Depot hunting trips and multiple trips to other hardware stores looking to find someone that had Danish Oil in stock.  But today I found it and I have a new table!

I think soldering a bed kit (I also got from the same lady) will be next in the the kit completion game.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Hello Summer!

Hello Summer! In my mind I had posted quite a bit, but translating my thoughts to the written words is another issue.  If only the Blogger app reliably worked and the PicMonkey app let me watermark my pictures on my phone...then you'd hear more from me!

I'm still pondering my new build project.  And by ponder I mean, its in a box in a cupboard and I keep saving Instagram images for inspiration.  Hehehe....guess I better get moving on that!

What I have started in the Ikea Flisat dollhouse.  It's going to be for Miss Kitty's school's silent auction.  I've primed it and stained the floors.  Now its a matter of going through all my paint in the basement and deciding on what colours it will be.  It won't a traditional build with traditional finishes.  Much more modern a la @whimsy_woods or @minihome_co or @onebrownbear on Instagram.  It's what the mommy's of today want...a dollhouse that fits their decor.  So, since its a fundraiser piece, I will go with what will generate the most interest (and actually cost less then a traditional build).  So, its off to eBay for some of the furniture and the rest of the decor I will make.

Oh, and as I started to go on a bedding (sewing) Ikea Sy sewing machine died!! Many words were said that cannot be typed here as it malfunctioned as I sewed comforters. I would sew the same side twice just to get it to finish all the stitches.  It's a mechanical issue and when a $70 machine malfunctions, its hard to pay double that to fix it.  I've got my eye on a Brother machine at Costco!!

Mini mini mini time!!

But in the mean time, between Miss Kitty's school and gardening (and sitting outside at night and enjoying the weather).....there's always time to mini!!!

Keli's gorgeous notebook!!

Found some lovely green Rye pottery at an antique market a few weeks ago! 

At that same market I found some new beads (the red and yellow vases).  I also realized I hadn't made a new piece of furniture recently as I pulled out that dresser.

The other evening while I was sitting around stitching and my neck got sore, I went rooting through my minis and put together a kitchen scene.  The sink unit was a vintage piece I found at the Brampton show last fall.

That cast iron pan looks like a well seasoned pan, right? Wellllllll that's because I never cleaned the dirt out of it from the lot it came with at an antique show.  I feel kinda gross about it, but it looks like a convincing dirty pan (because it is!) it will stay....and now you will think I'm a mini slob.

I got a shout out in the Artisans In Miniature Emagzine (Issue 62) for my Janet Granger contest entry! I stitched her tiger rug.

And while on my vacation in May to Jamaica, I used my airplane time wisely and began stitching another rug by Janet Granger, call "Hannah".  Which I did not finish on the beach like I had planned! I quite like the pattern.

And then I started the "Tabriz" (allegedly "small" - I'd hate to see the large one, but I never read the dimensions on these things when I buy them). It's been slower to stitch because of the number of colour changes and frankly, I get bored! 

So my evenings have been filled with work, stitching, painting a dollhouse and hand stitching the pillows/comforters from the sewing machine disaster.  I look forward to showing you next time my progress on the charity build!