A Parcel of Goodies

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I was out of province for the past week, spending time with my eldest daughter, who had a tonsillectomy.

When I returned home I was happily tackled by 3 little ones, my husband, and our fur baby, Lenny.

And…as an added bonus, a parcel from Italy was waiting for me too!

I had to share my joy and these lovely dollhouse items with you, superbly crafted by a fellow Etsy seller, ‘Mondina Dollhouse‘.

I am not being compensated, nor was I asked to blog about this…this is just a well deserved shout-out.  She (Raimonda) makes beautiful textiles in dollhouse scale. She also sells some furniture and little tid bits, but it was her textiles that caught my eye.

I’ve been longing to buy from Raimonda’s shop, but waited until my dollhouse was closer to completion. I can’t wait until it’s time to start feathering the nest!

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This beautiful cushion has this image printed on both sides!

Her style is definitely romantic, even precious. Some of her stuff I’d call shabby chic, some can also fit in contemporary doll houses. If you have a chance, check out her pillows and linens. They are lovely!

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A crisply folded tea towel for my country kitchen
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A cute book on chocolate cakes….mmmmm…chocolate…
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A beautifully detailed cotton area rug with fine corded edge and a soft backing to lay flat. Magnificent!

When I am ready to decorate, I will share a source list and some of my other great finds with you.

Pepperoni Pizza in 1:6 Scale

DSC_0549 (2)I made this as a gift for a customer. She collects miniatures in 1:6 scale.

Clay Pizza is fun but also time consuming. This took most of the day but it was worth it. I hope she is pleasantly surprised when it arrives!

Some day, when I have this process down to a science, I would like to post a tutorial. In the meantime, I wanted to share my  recent effort.

Constructive criticism and suggestions  welcomed 🙂

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A Dollhouse Cookie Sheet

At some point, I want to get some aluminum sheets to make some baking pans. Since I didn’t have any, I settled for polymer clay. I love polymer clay. But when it comes to dollhouse miniatures, I like using materials closer to the real thing….For the sake of realism.

This may lack a bit in that department, but it’s still cute. And I am pleased how it turned out.

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Here, I scored and formed the sides using my Sculpey knife. Some liquid clay in the corners will help fuse the corner seams.

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Then I made a pink spatula with a marbled end. I went on to create a baking scene with some cookies and dough.

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You can smooth and polish the edges of polymer clay after it has been cured. The less handling while forming tiny items, the better.

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Maddie Chamber’s Hand Made Hobbit Hole – Bag End from Lord of the Rings

Oh WOW…I had to share this woman’s blog. She is a UK artist, Maddie Chambers. I never made it to quite 5 feet, so I think I would be quite pleased and content to live in a Hobbit dwelling! Isn’t it magical?! I would move to the Shire in a heartbeat (as long as my family came too).

Madshobbithole's Blog

Aerial View of Hobbit Dolls House

Background on Bag End:

My name is Maddie Chambers/Brindley and this all began when I was a young child and read the Hobbit for the first time. I believe I was about 10 and I was instantly hooked. My Nanan lent me her copy of the Lord of the Rings about 1 year later and I remember thinking that the trilogy leaped into a far more complex world and one that I completely lost myself in. I have read Lord of the Rings about 20+ times now and each time it holds as much magic as the first time. When they announced that they were making a movie, I was really concerned that it would not live up to my imagination and that I would be disappointed. As it happens, a lot of it DID live up to my expectations, and when Gandalf visited Bag End…

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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.

Polymer Clay Floor Tiles

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Do you remember when I started these polymer clay tiles for my first dollhouse?

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Well, they are finished! And now I am installing them in the upper level of my dollhouse. Installation is near completion and then I will ‘grout’ them with a mixture of acrylic paint and light weight spackle (the fluffy white kind).

I’m so pleased with how they are turning out that I thought I would share. Cost wise, I got about thirty four 1-inch square tiles from each 2 oz block of polymer clay. I used an economical brand of polymer clay since this was going into my first dollhouse. It cost just under $3 per block. I made approximately 180 tiles so I think it cost roughly $16 for the upstairs flooring. Not bad at all!

The benefits of making your own are in the price and the aesthetics. They look real, they are durable ( I dropped a bag of them on concrete without one breaking!), and they are light as a feather.

You could do the same with air dry clay but I find polymer clay is a better choice. Moisture won’t affect it like it would paper clays. Polymer clay also takes texture and colour (I used chalk) very easily. You also don’t have to worry about misting it to keep it moist. Another plus is you can make a big batch and store it for later, without any special preparation or storage concern.

Later on, I plan on using paper clay to make stonework to give this a lovely English cottage charm…but for tiles, I think I would opt for polymer clay.

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Can you see my schnauzer’s beard in the upper corner? Lenny is always inspecting my work!

And here is a set of tiles I made for a lovely buyer from Utah. They have a softer terracotta look. I used several variations of colours of clay here, combining them together. She wanted something that resembled Santa Fe tiles….

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Cherrylicious!!

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Yesterday I whipped up a batch of polymer clay cherries. Then I mixed up some cherry sauce from fimo, clay from my cherry batch, and soft pastels.

It was my best cherries yet, so I went all out and made a bunch of desserts with it!

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Two of my favourite cakes; Cherry Cheesecake and …….

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And I still had more cherries left. “Waste not want not” my mother always says, so I made another cherry cheesecake and cut it into individual slices.

 

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To make a batch of cherries, mix an equal amount of red and translucent polymer clay. Then mix in just a speck each of black clay and purple clay (this creates a black cherry effect). Once it’s fully integrated, roll into a thin log and slice fairly equal segments to roll into small balls. Take a small chunk of that clay and mix in approximately twice the amount of liquid sculpey or fimo to make the syrup/sauce. Scrape in a bit of red soft pastel and mix well until you have the colour and consistency you desire. Remember it will bake up a bit darker. When you add the cherries to the dessert, for realism, smoosh them with a ball tool.

Now I really really really want a slice of the real thing!

Realistic Dollhouse Floor Tiles

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This weekend, I continued working on my dollhouse. After finishing the lower level floor from millions of skinny sticks, I turned my attention to the upper level. After I regained feeling in my fingertips!

Once finished, the dollhouse is going to be a confectioner’s shop! The sweet lady who owns it will work out of the upper level, which will be a sprawling kitchen and a small sitting area for her to put her feet up. It will be open-spaced so I want a floor that doesn’t look too busy. Something classic and warm. To keep it from being busy, I chose to do it in larger tiles. The tiles would be represented as 12 inch tiles in real life.

I’ve been looking online for miniature flooring tiles but the ones I can afford are made from cheap vinyl sheets. Not the aesthetic that I wanted. I wanted a ceramic look. That got me wondering if I had the patience to make the tiles myself.

…So, I looked to my own kitchen tiles for inspiration.

I chose Craft Smart polymer clay in light brown (which is actually a great caramel colour). I put it through my pasta machine to make sheets that are roughly 1/16th of an inch thick. I trimmed these into individual tiles at 1 inch square.

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Sienna and burnt umbre soft pastels were applied with a soft brush for colour.

Next, I textured the tiles by stippling with an old toothbrush, and created a tumbled edge with my ball tool.

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After curing and cooling, I protected the tiles with matte varnish.

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This is my life size tile that inspired the miniature version!

I will glue the tiles to the dollhouse floor. Beige acrylic paint – mixed with a bit of gesso- will serve as the ‘grout’.

These are some other tiles I have custom made for clients who visited my etsy shop…

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To simulate Nordic stone tile, with tumbled edge. 
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This client asked for Sante Fe style tiles. They are textured and painted to get this effect.

Dollhouse Breads

 

 

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My recent Tea for Two.

This past week I focused more on dollhouse scale miniatures, as I am starting my first dollhouse build. I’m very excited to complete it (and share it with you all)… but I have to constantly remind myself to slow down and focus on all the tiny details!

Tiny details are the best parts after all.

I thought I would share some bread and scones I made to go with a tea set I had in my collection of supplies. Breads are always fun to do as they evoke such a homey, warm feeling.

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A poppyseed and cream cheese bagel necklace that I recently did

 

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Strawberry and cream scones…for a proper tea

I am also sharing the work of some of my favourite miniature artists. These are some of the best miniaturists I have come across!

The following photos are from the uber talented Satoshi Tanaka from Nunu’s House miniatures. Absolutely my favourite artist!

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Photo credit from Nunu’s House miniatures

 

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Just look at that amazing crust! Photo from Nunu’s photostream

There are also a couple of Singaporean artists I love to follow; Cindy Teh (Snowfern Clover) and Pei Li’s Dollhouse Miniatures.

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A perfect sandwich by Pei Li. Photo credit from her facebook page.
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Cindy Teh’s beautiful fluffy cake texture. I’d love to know just how she achieves it!          Photo credit from her Snowfern Clover facebook page.

Pei Li also makes gorgeous flowers and other non-food items. Cindy Teh’s sushi and fruits are beyond compare in my opinion. If you love miniatures and are looking for inspiration, check out these two ladies!

Carol’s ‘Acorn & Beet’ Cookie Necklace

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“They’re pink”

“Beets”

“Beets?”

“Beets…it’s what makes them sweet”

“I’m not really a beet kind of guy”

“just put it in your mouth, jerk”

If you are a Carol fan from The Walking Dead you remember those lines from a recent episode. Carol is my favourite. I love the duality of her nature. On one hand, she is the casserole and cookie Queen…on the other, a warrior who will get the job done.

Many of us women are like her, I think. It’s why she’s so popular. We love our families, we are peacekeepers, caretakers, and often the glue in our relationships…but we also know that in a zombie apocalypse, or any scenario that threatened those we love, out comes the claws.  Don’t mess with our Carol!

I loved the scene with her cheerfully picking out her perfectly pressed blouse and cardi from her closet, only to get zombie blood splattered all over it in the next scene. The exasperation on her face was priceless.

…Anyway… I love her ability to bake up goodies from foraging for acorns and a depleted stock of canned goods.

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Carol roasting her acorns that she will later grind into flour. Photo belongs to AMC.

Inspired by her ingenuity, I made the cookies from that episode into a multi-media necklace for myself. It’s made of polymer clay, wood, and paper. Tucked behind, on another board, is Carol’s cheerful face, in a modified sketch design:

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The cookies have a hint of pink, just like on the show

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And, in the event that you want to make these cookies- the edible version- a blogger at Ready Nutrition has posted the recipe!