Easter Printables & Tutorials for Miniatures.

Happy Easter weekend everyone!

The following images are vintage pieces from the public domain or they have been generously shared on these blogger’s websites. They are recommended for ‘personal use’ to use in your Easter projects. Please visit the blogger’s site (by clicking the link)to retrieve the image from them, rather than saving from my page. This page is for a curated purpose, so that I can point you in the direction of cute things I have found.

I’ve included links to tutorials for an adorable Easter cart, mini eggs making, and baskets as well.

Have fun!!

Laurie Heisler has an easy video tutorial on making Easter baskets – they look very nice without the work of actually weaving them. If you click the link it takes you to her youtube tutorial.

Laurie also has a video tutorial on making colourful Easter Eggs from clay.

 

Just look at this marvelous peddler’s cart by Joann Swanson! This is the tutorial should you want to make one. You can see below that I modeled my sweets cart from her tutorial, with a few minor modifications.

cart finished

 

A cute goodie box from the blog Eloisa Dollhouse :

 

A collection of beautiful spring floral baskets can be found at AntiqueImages.blogspot 

 

OldDesignShop.com has a vintage postcard that displays a sweet chick with Easter greetings just for you…..

 

The same website has this pretty postcard….

 

The Graphics Fairy has oodles of Easter prettiness!

Vintage Easter Greeting Doves in Basket Image!

…and she has a collection of 30 favourite vintage Easter images for download located here.

Whether observing this special holiday, or just enjoying some quiet family time… Happy Easter and peace to you all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Trio of Dollhouse Ice Cream Pancakes

my icecream pancakes2

When I made a large amount of miniature pancakes a while back, I made these 3 cuties for something a bit different.

my icecream pancakes from above

I can’t eat the real-deal except on rare occasions. My blood sugar would sky-rocket. But these allow me enough satisfaction, so I am good. It’s a ‘look but don’t touch’ kind of thing.

If you are wondering, I get the texture for the ice cream to look realistic with the tip of an x-acto knife and a toothbrush. It just takes a gentle and patient hand. Refer back to up-close photos in cookbooks or Pinterest. When done, be sure to look all over your scoop of ice cream to make sure it’s all textured, because it’s easy to miss a spot. I do it too.

my icecream pancakes3

These would be so cute in a dollhouse vintage ice cream parlour. Now I’m getting more ideas. I already have a mental list of a gazillion roomboxes/dollhouses I want t o create!

Too many ideas, not enough lifetimes.

 

 

A Grapefruit Study & Breakfast Tray

breakie tray2Mother’s Day is coming up. That got me thinking about breakfast-in-bed…which got me thinking about pancakes…which got me thinking about pretty fruits…do you see where I am going with this?

my pancakes5_edited-1
I made a lot of pancakes!!

I thought for my shop I would make some pancakes and trays and also do a red grapefruit cane. In case you don’t know, I really do not enjoy cane making. I really don’t! Most of the canes that I use are done by Angie Scarr. You can see her bananas and kiwi slices above. Angie’s work is awesome!

But what I wanted is a raw cane so that I can texture the grapefruit myself. Sliced canes are cute, but if baked already, you can’t give them that realistic texture.  I started by purchasing a big beautiful red grapefruit, cut it in half and studied it. I looked at the colours, the translucency vs. opacity in sections. Then I measured everything – circumference, diameter, height, even the segments and the distance between them and the skin.  I stuck the grapefruit in a baggy and set it aside for later (I don’t waste food lol).

grapefruit measure
Measure everything.

Then I made the cane. A cane is basically a cross-section of whatever you are making. You Start with the main fleshy part and then cut it into sections which become the fruit’s segments. They get wrapped in a thin white skin and then it is all put back together. This is then wrapped in a rind and skin/peeling.Everything is slowly squished together, round and round, to compact everything until the size is manageable enough to start rolling into a cane.While I won’t be getting too detailed here, if you want to see some excellent tutorials, just search for Angie Scarr on Youtube.

graepfruit mix
My polymer clay mixes for the flesh, rind, and skin.
grapefruit cane3
These are the 12 segments that are cut just like the real grapefruit.
grapefruit wheel
The cross-section of what will become my cane – minus the outer rind and skin.
grapefruit cane2
The cane…see how ugly the end is? That doesn’t matter. Look how nice it is inside.

As you will see, in my photos, the ends of the canes look a hot mess. That is fine and you can’t avoid it. Your cane will look kind of ‘dumb bell’ shaped when you are done, as the ends protrude and get wonky. Those ends will be cut off anyway when you are finished, revealing a pretty cane – if lucky! *As they say, it’s what’s inside that counts* Mine was not perfect, but it is workable. If using in its raw form (which I am) I can manipulate and shape it by gently pushing and pulling the surface with my tools.

In case you are wondering, my real grapefruit was 9.5 centimeters in diameter. That means, doing dollhouse conversion, my cane would have to be just under 1 cm in diameter. Fruit sizes can vary and so can your canes. When I am making something small like fruit, I err on the slightly small side in case it ends up looking a bit off scale in a scene. I wanted a red grapefruit so as not to be mistaken for a generic orange. In the off chance, someone may look at it and think ‘oh, her orange is quite off scale. It’s too big”. Next time, I will probably make pink grapefruits, as the red one could be mistaken for a blood orange.

Hugely helpful tips when trying to do a cane – Keep it as symmetrical as you can – but there is no need to be perfect. There are slight variations in real fruit afterall. Avoid leaving spaces as they will turn into air bubbles (keep it tight). Use firm, good quality clay. If your cane seems really soft, make sure you pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes before slicing it. Slice with a very sharp blade (Adult supervision please!!)

my breakfast in bed5

 

Once I textured and manipulated my cane slices a bit, I was very pleased!

breakie tray3

 

my breakfast in bed3_edited-1

I think the breakfast tray turned out very cute.

my grapefruit

…..And yes, I ATE the real grapefruit, sprinkled with a bit o’ sugar!

 

Miniature Cherry Strudel

cherry strudel2_edited-2

I recently made this dollhouse cherry strudel. This was a great lesson in patience as I spent part of the day trying to perfect these cherries – cherries that are a mere 2 millimetres in diameter! The cherry ‘stems’ are not much bigger than a hair. In fact, when looking at this with the naked eye, instead of under a lens, you can easily miss seeing the stems.

cherry strudel yum_edited-1

 

I have so many cherries left over that I expect there will be many cherry pies, cobblers, sundaes, tarts, etc in the near future. Good thing that they are all calorie free!

cherry strudel with nickle

 

Cherries (the real deal) are one of my favourite foods. Making clay cherries, not so much!

…..But they do look so simple and pretty in a dish!

 

Sculpting a Mini Lemon Bundt

my lemon thyme cake

I’m sometimes asked “how on earth did you make that?” when people see my miniatures for the first time. So, I thought I’d show a few photos with a brief description of the process.

Even though it’s so tiny, it helps to think how ‘real’ food is made. Sometimes the best inspirations come from cookbooks, pinterest, or food blogs. This is where I came across a lovely recipe that inspired me online. What caught my eye this time, was Nigella Lawson’s Lemon-thyme cake, which this blogger wrote about.  If you want to make the real deal, follow along in Simone’s blog, insimoneskitchen.com . I know I plan to make the real cake this weekend! Thank you, Simone, whom I do not know. She certainly takes lovely food photos!

*I have to make real desserts on occasion, or my family grows frustrated every time they see a new sculpt!* I lost count of how many times I have said, “I think I’ll make a cake”, just to hear them all groan – “REAL or fake??”

Whenever I see something that I have to sculpt, I prepare the clay (batter), then the garnishments/sauces/icing etc. Just like in real cooking, I line up all my ‘ingredients’. In this case, I started by cutting out thyme leaves from painted parchment paper.

my lemon thyme cake 7

After forming my clay into my desire shape, I begin the basic texturing. For this I use a foil ball, ball stylus tools, and dental tools.  This is where I spend most of my time in every project, and the result is well worth it.

my lemon thyme cake 10

I then set down an initial colour base with soft pastels, starting with the lighter colours first. Think how real food cooks or bakes, with the light golden progressing to charing if your dish calls for it. The more variations of colour you use, the more realistic.

my lemon thyme cake 11

my lemon thyme cake 9

Sharp blades are used to cut out servings, which then requires more texturing. I prebake after this, before adding any icing/sauces/garnishes. This protects the details of all that texturing I did!

my lemon slice

Once cool to the touch, I finish adding the pretty touches.  I had planned on making more sprigs of thyme with the many leaves I cut out, but chose keeping my sanity in the end. Yes, I actually do grow impatient sometimes with this process!

my lemon thyme cake2

My favourite part is the end result and getting to take photos of my creation. The real challenge is not to rush it. However, sometimes there is only so much time in the day to make use of natural light.

 

So before the last of the light slipped away from me, I barely got this scene set up. I didn’t manage to complete the scene backdrop. I did manage to find my kitchen Island that I made. I hope you enjoy my photos and can appreciate the process. If you stumbled upon this post and ever wanted to try making miniature food, but felt intimidated, please don’t! Polymer clay is a forgiving medium. It also does not dry out like air dry clays. You can buy a 2 ounce bar of polymer clay for under $3 at just about any craft store. Give it a go!

 

my lemon thyme cake5

 

A Tiny Room for Mother…

moms roombox2

This Christmas,  I made a room box for my mom. My husband made the outer wooden box and I made the inner foam box ‘room’. If you want to see a tutorial on how to make a room box, Kris at ‘1 inch minis‘ has a great one to follow.

The furnishings are a mix of some items I made, and some favourite pieces I was keeping for a future project. Raimonda at Mondina Dollhouse made the lovely rug and cushion on the rocking chair. She makes the nicest detailed dollhouse linens, with perfect seems and crisp folds! I purchased the rocker, sofa,  lamp, and unfinished french doors from Grandpa’s Dollhouse (a Canadian online shop). This shop is a family run business (you can’t beat that for personal service) …and I always find some great sales in their shop.

moms roombox complete3

The main focus of the room box started with the song, “You are my Sunshine” which was my belated father’s favourite tune to sing and whistle. He sang it to my mom when they were dating, and later to his kids and grand babies. The song has been a comfort to my mom since his passing. I knew that I had to have a vintage record player with Gene Autry’s LP cover beside it.  I made the player from jumbo popsicle sticks and stock wood I had on hand. I used an old sewing machine needle for the ‘arm’ of the player. The albums, below the stand I made, are ones that my parents listened to…Roy Rogers, Johnny Cash, Elvis, Charlie Pride. I found printable LPs online, modified them a bit, and coated them with gloss spray.

moms roombox complete4

The apothecary coffee table I made some time ago. It is one of my first pieces of furniture! Not perfect, but cute. On top is a slice of raspberry layer cake that I made, and a cup of tea.

 

moms roombox7

The throw blanket was an old knitted shirt of mine, pinned in place and sprayed with hairspray.

moms roombox complete2

There is a framed photo of my parents when they were dating on the wall. The box of mementos on the floor is filled with our family photos, documents, and a photo from my parents wedding day. A sign hangs in one corner saying, “Family is Life’s Greatest Blessing”. A bible sits in a corner table, because my mom is the most faithful person I know. If asked, she would tell you that is the foundation that held my family together and kept us safe.

moms roombox final

I hope anyone who reads this had a lovely Christmas holiday…and all the best to you and yours in 2018!

Christmas Goodies in Miniature

my panettone (2)

 

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?

my fruitcake3_edited-1

 

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.

kids christmas cookies4_edited-2

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

Little Pretties

my best pic of cart

Warning…in the event you go reeling at the colour pink, there is lots of it coming up……

My favourite miniatures to make are sweets. I had been working on a little display cart to showcase my minis for when I attend sales.

I made this wooden peddler’s cart (which I still plan on embellishing a bit more) and then set out stocking it with goodies. All the sweets you see here, I made with polymer clay.

cart finished

The cart is slightly modified from plans I found online at Joann Swanson’s website. If you would like these plans you can find them by clicking here. She does a wonderful one all decked out for Easter. A big thankyou to Joann.

my cake

The cake pictured is available as made-to-order in my Etsy shop.

my donuts2

These are my neapolitan glazed donuts. Shamefully, even I get a craving when I look at these. Being the one who made them, I really should know better than to drool over polymer clay.

I’ve also put a little pink ‘tea and cake break’ together recently. Isn’t it cute?

pink cake texture

It does need a few crumbs on the cake stand, and maybe a dollop of fallen frosting. Regretfully I had overlooked it before taking the photos. Taking photos are great for study. You can always find improvements to be made. Luckily, these can be added in easily.

pink cake set3

 

My Autumn Miniatures

turkey dinner 4_edited-1

This year we had a much welcomed extension to our summer. It’s only been since mid October that we can feel the crisp autumn air. Now that fall is upon us, I couldn’t be happier. This is my favourite time of year…when we bring out our sweaters, cook more comfort foods, do more family cuddles on the couch…and get my crafting ON! Thanksgiving, Halloween, and soon to be followed by Christmas. There is so much inspiration for us creative people!

I’m almost a bit manic by the time we are ready to kick off the Thanksgiving holiday here in Canada. I have so many ideas for minis rolling around in my brain and just never enough time to finish what I started. However, I did have luck completing a few pieces.

First it began with a ‘naked and raw’ turkey….

my turkey

Add to that lots of texturing and painting …..and before too long, I had made a Thanksgiving roast turkey with several side dishes!

turkey side white

 

turkey dinner3

stuffing and potatoes

stuffing3

 

The stuffing and the candied sweet potato casserole are my favourites.

 

holding-sweet-potato.jpg

When Thanksgiving was over, my attention was drawn to making Halloween miniatures. I spied some old material I had from one of my kids costumes. I made a witch’s hat from it, a broom, some pumpkins and a carved jack o’lantern.

 

my halloween decor

 

I hope you enjoy a fun and safe Halloween!

Making minis for my girls…

my diner burger basket2

This is where my obsession all started. After watching a few youtube tutorials on making doll food, I thought I would give it a whirl. Money was tight and I had 3 little girls who loved their dolls. I felt confident I could make some cute foods for their barbies…and so I went to Michael’s and bought a few 2 oz blocks of polymer clay.

A tip to anyone starting out – you don’t need a lot of different colours of clay. Just start with the primary colours along with white and black. You can mix an infinite number of shades yourself. Add some translucent clay to things that are not supposed to look entirely opaque (like cakes, frostings, etc) – if you want more realism.

sub sandwich

 

my cherry pieThese pieces are done in 1:6 scale, for Barbies, Blythe, or small ball-jointed dolls.  The pie tins were purchased at Michael’s in their jewelry section. You get several in each pack and they are wonderful for using with barbie, or as mini pies for American Girl dolls.

my pizza

My youngest is developing a real good eye for miniatures herself!

E with pie