Christmas Goodies in Miniature

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The holidays are coming up fast and I wanted to get a jump start on my baking this year.

Have you ever bought one of those Italian imported panettone fruit breads and wondered what to do with it? Apparently there is no end to what you can do with them. They make a wonderful base for a bread pudding I found out (swirled with fig jam throughout….yummm!). I hear they also make lovely french toast and also a fancy liquored-up trifle. Some eat them as they come, with a bit of butter.

My miniature one is lovely just as is. I paired it with Italian ricotta cookies…which I will make ‘for real’ this Christmas! I made the serving board from bass wood and painted it white with accents of gold. The cake stand is a painted button attached to a jewlery bead cup.

The tree I formed from sculpey and used soft silver and white pearl embossing powders.

 

 

Then I made a traditional fruitcake with hard sauce. It’s also 1/12th scale and made from polymer clay. Fruitcake gets such a bad rap from most people! Didn’t Johnny Carson once joke there was only one fruitcake in the whole world, but everyone keeps trying to re-gift it?

I have always enjoyed a thin slice of the dark fruitcake with a cup of tea. Even if it’s not to one’s taste perhaps we can agree that it ‘looks’ pretty?

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For children, I made near-life-size cookies (just right for little hands) with holiday red & green sprinkles.

Not for eating of course. These would do nicely for a holiday tea party with the teddies!

If left out to trick Santa on Christmas eve, I do hope he has a good dental plan.

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I hope you have as much fun with your Christmas baking!

Chicken Skewers for American Girl dolls

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Today I made these grilled chicken on skewers from polymer clay, for my shop.

The scale works for any 18″ doll, or larger ball jointed dolls.

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As a thank you to my small (but much appreciated) following, I thought I’d do my first give – away!! The prize consists of 2 grilled chicken skewers, made to order, in either 1:6 or 1:3 scale…whichever you choose! The winner will be announced this Sunday, June 26th, after a name is randomly drawn. To enter, please visit my Facebook page.

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Best of luck should you choose to enter 🙂

 

Tempting treats to break a tooth on (or my unusually productive day)

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I really don’t know what got into me. I must have been inspired by something. Because today I made some sweets…lots and lots of sweets….

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Blueberry and strawberry desserts….

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And a flaky, buttery cookie with sprinkles…..(I had to try out my bright sprinkles)

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And finally, cupcakes in 1:6 scale….

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I did manage to get one healthy choice in…a tiny lonely pear! But I must say I was pleased with how it turned out…and darn if that simple little pear isn’t one of the cutest things I have turned out!

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The pear was quite therapeutic to make. Especially after the more complex pieces I made today.

The only tools needed, save one ball tool and a needle to act as a skewer , was my fingers. Some simple squishing and moulding got the shape to where I wanted it. Then, it was just about layering colours.

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This would be a great beginner project with polymer or air dry clays. By adding a pretty leaf, it would make a nice necklace or brooch. There is something so simply beautiful about pears. I guess that is why they are painted so often.

BBQ Ribs & Baked Potato for 18 Inch Dolls

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I made these today as I thought about BBQs getting fired up soon. It occurred to me that little girls should have some BBQ food for their dolls too.

And if the dolls should have food, why not make it realistic? There are lots of plastic mass produced doll food in the big box stores…but handmade with love is so much nicer!

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I swear I could smell the BBQ sauce after this was done curing!

 

Cookies in Clay (a recipe)

 

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Chocolate chip cookies have to be one of my favourite foods to shrink down. They aren’t exactly easy, as there are several stages of texturing and shading, but call me crazy, it’s almost therapeutic.

To achieve realism -if that is the look you are going for- it’s all about the texturing and shading. I start with a big lump of conditioned beige polymer clay with a bit of translucent clay mixed in. About 1 part translucent to 3 parts beige.

I begin rolling out a bunch of balls, close to the same size. I flatten them all with my thumbs, pulling down on the edges, to leave the center slightly higher. Cookies have lots of divots and valleys, so I create those with an xacto knife and needle tool. Next, I use a tooth brush and small ball tool to finely roughen and dimple the surface.

Next I poke in tiny chocolate chips, which I make and prebake ahead of time. Then I shade with soft pastels – mainly an all over yellow ochre, followed by a reddish brown on the edges and raised bits.  I bake and then I used gloss sealer dabbed on the chips. I use matte sealer on the cookie because that is crucial for achieving realism.

These cookies are the perfect size for 18 inch dolls like American Girl, and I will be adding them to my shop. Hopefully they will find a place at a little girl’s doll table one day. They would be perfect for a tea party!

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Time to make the donuts…

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Valentine’s weekend left me with a full heart and chocolate withdrawal.

The only way to get my fix was to make some donuts. It didn’t matter that they weren’t edible, they were still satisfying.

The weekend allowed us to put together a small light box from a wooden frame and vellum panels. Until I get a micro lens to shoot my miniatures, this will do in a pinch.

While I was doing that, I lost my favorite baking tile. My fault. I didn’t put it away and it was nudged to it’s death by one of my girls (I won’t say WHO but anyone who knows my family will probably guess correctly). It’s no biggie…I will use what is left of it, until I find another magical tile…

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I made a lot of chocolate and mocha donuts and macarons, in various scales. And you can spot my favourite donut: the walnut crunch. Those nut pieces were from tiny walnut chunks that I formed from polymer clay.  I made them fairly realistic…then chopped them up like a crazy person.

I purchased some cute donut boxes from my favourite miniature food artist. Her name is Cindy Teh, from Singapore. She goes by Snowfern online. Her boxes are available for download (for personal use) in her Etsy shop.

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Why Minis?

critterslivingFor me, miniatures are a bit of an escape.

An escape from bills, a messy house, and all the bad news I see too often. It’s important to come back to reality once in a while, but between the hours of 9am to noon…and some times late in the evening…don’t disturb me. I am either viewing a miniaturist’s little piece of heaven, or trying to create one myself.

Miniatures always focus on the important things in life: family and home. While so many of us live chaotic lives, these tiny kin are always in harmony. The houses are always pretty and families are always enjoying each others company.

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These pictures I am sharing are of a cute house we built for our kids’ Calico Critters (my absolute favourite kids toys!). We made this for our little girls two Christmases ago. I blogged about it back then on my other wordpress blog.

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We found an awesome ”dream dollhouse” template from Ana White’s website and shrunk it down, with some modifications. Our girls critter collection was growing and we found the houses too expensive for our budget. The solution was to build it ourselves and we were just as thrilled as our girls with the results; a house big and open enough for our little ones to play with it together. No exterior walls meant everyone could access it without pushing or whining.

Sometimes I push and whine when playing with the cute wee forest creatures. I’m working on that.

Our Critter house was published on Ana’s website as well, if you want to take a look at the design that inspired ours.