Monday, August 21, 2017

Trash to Treasure Dollar Tree Table

Trash to treasure remake of Dollar tree table  Everything is finished except the lamp shades. I might use Tooth paste caps for that, the ridges would look like pleats.

The grape vine wreath is made from brown cloth covered wire found in the floral area.  Make a circle of this wire and then weave and wrap around in circles until full.  Use a tooth pick to make spiral circles like the grape vines have on them. 

The windows in the back are made from  doors on a Dollar tree cupboard.  I pulled them off and painted using the same technique as the table.  The mirrors on the back are cut out of a mirrored sheet of metal found in the mirror aisle at the craft store.  That was a very useful purchase.  Now everything can have mirrors on it, custom cut.

The lamps are beads painted green with a wash of white on them.  A hold was drilled into a mini log slice and tooth pick inserted as support, glue beads on top of that.

This was my inspiration, a small add in County Sampler magazine .  Notice all the elements  that make up the picture.
Here is the table.  $ 1.00 from Dollar Tree.  Even though the finish is awful it did come in to be useful in the final finish.  The red came through when sanding to antique it  and added to the  primitive look.

Here is close up of table along with elements to make it pretty
Notice the closeup of the finish and drawers knobs.The finish was as follows.  On top of the reddish finish I placed a wash of white.  This red finish has a tendency to bleed into the next coat of paint.  On top of the white I used the mint green acrylic paint I have been using in the Shabby Chic theme.  After dry I applied another coat of white.  When dry but still cold, after about an hour and still had the feel of moisture in it, I sanded all with fine sand paper paying close attention to the curves, legs and edges.  This made a worn look and accented the ridges.  By far this finish is the one most favored.  I eliminated the crackle on this one and it looks more primitive.

Now onto the knobs.  Spending more time on this type of knob than I care to admit, a lot of ideas ended up into the waste basket.  In the middle of the night, a Eureka moment appeared and in that window of time my light was on in my workshop.  After a few  minutes the knobs above were completed.  

To make the knobs you need thick foil or embossing metal, a small clam like sea shell, a foam sheet, and a ball stylus.
Cut out a round piece of foil or metal about 1cm round.  Using the foam craft sheet for support place the foil and with the ball stylus carve a line around the top part of the circle, leaving a small margin.  The bottom of the circle will be cut off but go as far as you can.  Next glue on the sea shell in position close to the top.  Use a build up of glue so that the bottom of the shell is raised enough for a thumb to pull the drawer open.  After glue is dry, trim the foil off the bottom even with the shell bottom and using alcohol ink paint all silver.  Easy and the closest thing to the knobs I've seen.  Another metal that would be good for this would be the small tea candle metal.  It might hold up yielding to the ball tool.  The main problem I had was it looked good, but the bend would come out with handling.
A find from Michael's Craft store in the Jewelry area.  4 glass Beads on a card with claw feet.  This will definitely replace feet on a chair in Halloween creations.  My inspiration came from the Halloween area and these same claw feet with balls were used on several items only bigger. These claw feet are very small and in proportion to 1/12" scale.  Found in a box of antique items in an estate sale was one piano stool leg with a claw foot just like this one, too precious to throw away.  It is on display on the wall as an art piece.

Halloween is right next to the Christmas items at Michael's.   All the summer Fairy Garden items were 70% off.  A new batch of Halloween and Christmas Fairy Garden items was right next to them.  I found a couple of sliding barn doors that might be used in the Daisy Hill remake. 

Well today is the big Eclipse of the Sun.  Birds are flying into the windows so things are amiss in the atmosphere.  One was on the porch that was picked up.  It was very disoriented, but after talking to it a bit, it revived and flew away.  A couple of others weren't so lucky.  The windows are so dirty from all the rain storms I  wouldn't think they could see another bird there.

You Tube find  search= Pipecleaner Crafts B.  Up comes Dollhouse DIY.  Lots of tutorials from this lady, some are for larger scales  but the techniques are all unique.  Look for the ones for spray bottles and soap bottles in a crate.  These are made from pill capsules, candles, hot glue and play dough to hold upright.  Unbelievable.  Why didn't I think of that.  

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Trash to Treasure Floor Fish Tank Remake and Wicker Redo

Trash to Treasure Fish tank Redo Finished .  Painted white and then sanded out for Shabby Chic look.  Inside was filled with items from swaps and shells from the beach.  The mini sand castle was a Name Swap item.  Goldfish are made of Fimo.  I did not put resin in this, with the blue screen in the back it gives the impression of water.   This was almost thrown away after attaching the metal paper to the glass with super glue.  Tickled pink with the final results I left it dry overnight.  The next day the glass was covered with a white haze, super glue must have fumed it up and reacted to the metal paper. I spent the next hour with a razor blade scrapping off the haze from the glass.

 I  took a Citizens Police Academy a few years ago and learned that they use superglue inside a case to lift the finger prints. This must have dropped from my memory banks.

Original Box used for the Fish Tank.  Looks pretty good like it is but looks are deceiving.  The glass was broke under the bamboo  that covered it up.  Bamboo looks like wood, it was paper that fell apart when I touched it. Everything is paper inside except the Styrofoam base.  This one probably should have accidentally dropped to the trash can.

The blue sheet of water and fish came from a Dollar Tree find.  I used it in the back and it covered the ragged edge of broken glass.  The finished picture does not show the blue background very well because it is a very dark and rainy day  out. It looks just as blue as this picture is.  Really finished it off.  The other items in this Dollar Store find I couldn't use they are too big.  The inside was smaller than I thought.

Close up of the Metal on the headband from Dollar Tree used to seal the edges since the Bamboo turned out to be paper.  I cut evenly down the middle between the two wires.  The metal paper can be cut with scissors but the wire needs wire cutters.  After cutting one section was folded in half over the wire, which became the center and I super glued that over each edge of raw glass to replace the Bamboo framing that fell apart.   

Princess headband from Dollar Tree used in the trim on the fish tank.

This is a remake of a wicker lounge chair and a wicker chair and table.  They looked good but needed something.  I repainted white.  The table has a little piece of wallpaper on it with tiny pink roses.  I made cushions and pillows for both that match the rest of materials on the bed. The table I never used because it appeared out of scale.  It had large turned legs on it.  I yanked them off.  Now it sits on a flat base and I like it better.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Trash to Treasure Dressing Screen and Dollar Tree Finds

This is the finished dressing screen  front

This is the back side of screen wall paper ribbon trim
This is the screen, cant really call it trash but can not be used as it is
The above pictured screens used to be sold in the Woolworth stores when I was a youngster. They always fascinated me particularly the ones that beautiful ladies in kimonos painted on them.  They were less than a $1.00.  I still see them on miniature sites, but they have left the inexpensive status.

I had several of these that were broken into individual screens.  The first thing I did was paint white.

Since it is plastic a plastic primer spray paint was used before painting with acrylic paint.  After dry I sanded where there was carving just to let a little of the black show through on the carved areas.  Wall paper in the rose stripe was cut to fit the opening and a very fine thin lace was glued over the entire paper square.  To cover the back another piece of paper was glued over the lace ends on the back and then the entire lip was glued and the lace covered card stock was set in, weighted down and allowed to dry.  After repeating this process on all 3 screens thin wire was cut and threaded into the wholes on either side of the screens top and bottom.  Give enough slack so you can position the screen.  I found a thin pink ribbon with a little white stripe on it to trim off the back side seams.  

The bead finds on the top of the screen are from the jewelry aisle.  The pink and green hand painted paper underneath  them are cup cake lacy surrounds.  Pictured below, I found these at Michael's, Joannes in the baking aisle with all the other paper lines.  These are fancy and paint absorbs very well. Inside you will find all kinds of combinations of designs that can be cut out and used for trim on furniture, pictures clothing, etc.  I cut out leaves and a ovaled type circle. Pink and green paint was used to color and then stiffened up with Modge-Podge.   There were also, black, silver and gold.

There are a lot of possibilities for this paper.  Cut out certain portions for on windows maybe, enhance pottery or chair backs, use on walls and panel it in.  I got a few years ago a Circuit cutter and got the architectural details software.  This had fences, windows, gates and it has never been used because a puppy chewed on the cord to make it work.  I have looked all over for a replacement.  The website for Circuit cutter  always says they are out of stock.  I will have to see if there is a generic one on line or find an electrician that can fix it for me.  They really are a great thing to have for miniatures.
Lace paper cupcake wrappers
Dollar Tree finds that will be beneficial for mini projects.  Tower game (next to box) has 36 pieces of wood all cut in the same size.  These could be used for planters, boxes, furniture.

The Wood shop item next to it is a mini bird feeder.  The lumber is already cut.  I see a sandbox that I had as a kid or the start of a tree house.  The brightly colored eraser in the front is about 6 inches long and 3 inches high.  I see a cake in the making without having to use Fimo.

This is a tiny crocheted doily found at the thrift store.  It has pink outside edges and each medallion is smaller than a nickle. This will work for the furniture and chairs in the Daisy Hill Remake.

The best find of all is the witch that is 6 inches with the hat.  Battery operated with flashing green face and hands and witch cackle  sounds for Halloween.  Would fit into a Halloween scene perfectly but I would put material clothes over the plastic ones.  The box of beads have all the components for nail polish  bottles and different color co-ordinated sizes in the same box for other bottles and jars..

A few sites this week on You Tube   Do a search for Petit Palm    There is no talking, very clear demonstrations, and captions were needed.  This site is amazing.  Great ideas to make your own molds out of silicon caulk,  mini working sunglasses.  Quite a few ideas to be found on this one.

Another you Tube search is DIY Miniatures will bring up dozens of  how to tutorials for appliances, modern tec toys, is an interesting site.  All kinds of information on this one.  I used it to find stained glass drawings and furniture.  Information site for researchers. is a sale site in the UK for hand made miniatures.  Loads of items I have never saw before.   This site is Christel Jensen  who does miniatures for mini mice.  She has wrote books with the mini mice and miniature articles.  Delightful to read and look at the pictures.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Trash to Treasure-1950's pink Kitchen set redo

Trash to Treasure  Kitchen Set.  A remake of my much loved tin set from the 1950's.
Look in the archives for the blog on the pink kitchen set from Sears, that got thrown away when we moved.  I have never found another one like it.  1/12" scale.

Here is the trash  portion of the set.  What was someone thinking?  I got this at a NAME Convention garage sale. The top of the refrigerator was sanded  because it needs to be rounded.  I need to look on the Internet for Frigidaire emblem from that time for the fridge.
After painting, lots of painting, still needed something so out came the wallpaper again.  The handles are aluminum flat wire that I found in the garden area and the door hooks are drop earrings with a loop.  The aluminum on the back sides is a heavy corrugated metal with a wire strip going through it.  I found it in the party aisle at the Dollar Tree.  There are 4 headbands that say Princess in the children's area.  I already have found several uses for this metal and will be using it on the remake of the fish tanks.

The refrigerator with an ink pen handle.

The items that were used for this project.  Modge- podge in Matte finish was used on all surfaces, wood paint and paper.  It gives a finished look and protects the surface.  The color of paint used was Folk Art Enamel  #4003 Baby pink. 

Painting was definitely the first step. Then after the fact,  I saw on You Tube someones technique of using Embossing powder on appliances and it made them look like the real thing. So I found in the scrapbook Aisle Whispers Opaque Embossing Powder #28863.  Of course you need an embossing heater gun to do that.  The ink it up pad is a clear ink applied to the paper or wood to allow the Embossing Powder to adhere as you are heating it all up.

I am not one to admit a fail, and this one failed miserably.  I just mention it so you don't have to spend the rest of the week scraping and painting.  It did give a wonderful texture just like my current refrigerator, but then it started to bubble.
I found it was not the embossing power bubbling but the enamel paint underneath..  So it should have not have been  painted it first.  A lot of sanding and scraping followed and about 5 coats of enamel paint. 

This technique will be tried again on a glazed bathtub to see if it works on it.  The heat gun needs to be about 10 inches above the work.  When it starts to melt it really spreads fast.   I still think this would have worked had there not been paint on the surface.

Another item I tried but it is not shown here.   You Tube Tim Holtz(scrapbook items)  He had demonstrations on Alcohol Inks, impressed me and got the Mixative silver available at Michaels and Joanne Fabrics.  It comes in all colors.  This is the best one coat silver I have ever used.  It coats better than my Krylon ink pen.  Usually gold and silver leave streaks on other paints.  It comes in a .5ml by the drop container and a little goes a long way.   I look forward to getting other colors and trying them out.  His entire line is so creative and includes many miniatures, dolls, deer heads, keys, locks, mini casters, corner supports, that can be used in miniature settings.

As a whole this job was very rewarding despite the frustration.  Sometimes things don't go smooth but we learn from them and hopefully don't make that mistake again, unless you're me.  I would have to try it again to find out what went wrong and come up with a solution to make it right.
That pink tin Kitchen set from the 1950's has been erased  off my Bucket list.  This one will fill that void and be cheaper on my pocket book for sure.

Next time a trash to treasure from a plastic screen  made into a 3 panel dressing screen with roses and lace and paper cupcake trim.  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Miniature Thrift Store finds-

Miniature chair found in thrift store bin marked Raine 1999.  One leg was broke off and missing.  I tore the bin apart and found it. Used super glue on it and is good as new.  This is resin but has very detailed texture.

While rooting for the broken leg, found another resin chair marked Raine 1999.  This one looks and feels and looks like real  leather but it is resin.  About 1999 I remember a whole series of these collectible chairs but they were quite expensive.

This glass cabinet is 1 inch wide, 3 inches high and long.  I love the stuff in it but it needs cleaned out.  I think it would make a perfect floor aquarium for the Daisy Hill Remake.

As luck would have it the Dollar Tree had this solar set today.  Notice the transparent sheet in the back.  It will be perfect for inside the Aquarium.  I will paint the divers helmet and maybe enhance the plants with real plant material.

This Resin is not marked, but with a coat of white paint it will be perfect for the front porch of the Daisy Hill Remake
With the  spoon portion cut off the handle will become a ladder for inside the Daisy Hill.

Today was a thrift shopping expedition to my favorite store.  Goodwill has started to open Goodwill outlets in close proximity to the other Goodwill's.  What the outlet sells is everything they don't sell in the stores in the shelf life time.  It goes to the outlet instead of throwing away and given another chance to live.  $1.79 a pound for all goods up to 29 pounds.  After 30 it is $1.49 a pound.  The above items cost $2.38 for all.  They put all items in long bin like tables and you can just root to your hearts content.  The materials, clothes, curtains and quilts are by the pound as well.  I have picked up some woven coverlets and handmade quilts for about $5.00. This is the ideal place to go for silks, laces and jean materials for doll cloths.   The stock changes frequently during the day.  Hardback books are .50 cents and paperback .25 cents.  I have picked up some very old books for projects and the rustic paper print inside is always handy to have on hand.  

A lot of play sets, doll furniture, miscellaneous miniatures and ornaments can be found.  I found a lot of steps and doors  from play sets for Fairy Houses.  It is a fantastic wonderland, you never know what will be there on any given day.  Treasure is in the eyes of the beholder.

The two chairs really are ready to use as they are.  The wicker will get a coat of white paint to spruce them up.  The spoon after reading the tag made me laugh out loud  and another customer  wanted to share in it.  After letting him read the tag, he said "Why didn't I pick that one up".  Too late I said, its a ladder now for a dollhouse.  Look at the picture of the spoon and here's what the tag says:

Gas less Bean Spoon
"Place spoon in pot while cooking beans.  Do not remove spoon.  Spoon will take gas out of the beans.  The little farts will climb the ladder to jump over the side."  Some one has just too much time on there hands.  The price at one time on that was $3.84.  Looks like a handmade spoon.  I just like the ladder portion.
I might hang linens or lace on it for the Daisy Hill.  The wood is pretty soft and I may try to carve something out  of the spoon part.

I have been doing some layouts on tutorials this morning and type this with pink paint on my fingers and hands.  I am finally getting my pink childhood kitchen set.  It won't be tin but it will be the next best thing.  It fits the theme of the Daisy Hill Shabby Redo, and would be perfect for the kitchen.    I am trying a technique with embossing power, pink of course.  If it works you will see it soon too.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Trash to Treasure Make over Bed-Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic makeover of Bed

Here is the before of the bed.  The basic bones are there.  This was a lot of work!

The bed after lots of gluing and painting
The bed after dressing

Side view of bed covers 

Close up of pillows

Back view of headboard

Side view of bed.  Notice the tiny tatting on the white sheet.  Click picture to enlarge

The bed is finally finished.  There was entirely too much Chocolate in the house for this one. Coffee was a staple as well.  I enjoyed doing this remake but it was  another futzey process.  I would find myself biting my nails while trying to decide on what to do next and find out how to do it.  Sometimes material has its own mind and in the process frustration sets in.  A lot of drawers and boxes got cleaned out as a diversion on this project.

The basic paint techniques were used as on my other tutorials.  Mint green, crackle medium, then white over top.  A coat of Matte Modge-Podge was applied to all.  Using a tiny brush the spindles were alternated with green and pink.  The roses on the foot and head board are jewel finds that I painted and glued on.  

All the materials are mini prints from  A local quilt shop and available on line.
The lace is from my stash and was used as a dust ruffle around the bottom, on the pillows and on the top of the sheet.

A few years ago I purchased a huge box of tatting in all colors of the rainbow for a few dollars.  It has set on the shelf since then.  This tatting was done about 1930.  I was really amazed that little did this lady know she was tatting for me, right now for all my miniature projects.  Click on the picture to enlarge and notice the variegated shades of pink and green on the sheets and also the pink and green pansy pillow fit perfectly on the bed.

For making the quilt  the green print and the pink print were chosen.  I wanted the turn down to be a different color.  A quilt batting was chosen from the closet and the right amount of puff was given to the whole thing.  Where everything went wrong was when it was decided that a little ironing was in order.  Not using a press cloth, the results were less than satisfactory, it was as flat and stiff as a board.  Must have been fusible batting.  

As the tearing, Oops, taring, begins, I felt like my Mother many years ago patiently ripping out the seams of an outfit made by me and threw in the corner.  Material is too expensive she said to discard.  Rip the seams out and start all over.  I did not want too, she made me, and  the compliments felt so good after I said that I made it myself. Patience is a learned virtue..... Thanks Mom for your example, it has finally sunk in.

After getting this right the thought of using 3 colors of thread and doing tiny knots  ties appealed to me to hold it all together.
It wasn't going anywhere but authenticity is the key here.  That was abandoned after the first row, it already looked to busy.
The sheets have a tiny white dot on them which can't be seen, but go really well with the green print.

After doing the last two projects I will be doing some look alike accessories from magazine pages that can be incorporated into any type decor.  There is a Fairy Garden planter Trash to Treasure using a plastic pot, Paper towels and Modge Podge that looks like a real tree trunk from a class recently taken.  I will be making  a miniature garage sale find log cabin into a realistic treasure and turning a Sylvan plastic house into a shelf or mantel piece.

I did not have a lot of computer and You tube time this week but I found Ron's Miniature shop in Orlando, Florida.  Type in Ron's Miniature shop and see in depth and detailed video of their shop.  They have everything you could ever want.....  It is definitely on my bucket list for the future.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Trash to Treasure- Victorian Dresser now Shabby ChicAn oldS

Shabby Chic dresser remake 

The back side of Dresser covered with paper

The before of Victorian 'Dresser from "Scientific kits about 1973.  I never knew the drawers opened on this but they do now.
The after of the bed to be redressed in a future tutorial

The before of the bed.  What a challenge this was !

Well,  this project was a whole lot more than I bargained for.  But it has been rewarding.  As stated above the dresser was from an old Scientific kit for 1973.  I don't know what I was thinking when originally making this then.  I certainly had a talk with that younger self doing this, but she did not have time to listen.  By doing this I reflected about how much growth has taken place in all areas of my life since then.  I really thought  my craftsmanship was great back then.  Glue all over the place,  Airplane glue maybe.   What a mess.  To refinish this, a lot of glue had to be removed, sanding, the marble tops were taken off, the mirror was in need of a replace.  I found at a local craft shop where the mirrors are sold a thin metal sheet that can be cut and that looks pretty good after the thin piece of plastic coating was removed.  My favorite Craft shop is called Pat Catan's.  They have quite a few stores and they have been bought out in the last year by Michael's Crafts, not to close them but to add to their portfolio. It saddens me that they got rid of their miniatures.  Yet another place not to get mini supplies.

As with the rest of the furniture it was painted mint green, allowed to dry and then a coat of crackle was applied, allow to dry.  Using a 1/2" brush white acrylic paint was applied all over.  One stroke and it starts to crackle.  You won't get another chance, so put enough paint on the first time.  After all was dry it seemed pretty plain to me, so I painted certain areas green and pink.  The paper seemed needed in spots and really improved the drawers.  The drawer pulls are the nail charms from the Dollar Tree as explained in another dresser tutorial.  The other items are jewel finds painted with paint and silver embellishment pen.  Paper and paint all have a thin coat of Matte Modge-Podge.

The bed  will be covered in the next blog.  Both of these items were all week getting them like I want them.  A lot of futzing on these and frustration.

This week I viewed some interesting You Tube videos and I hope you will enjoy them too.

Karen's minis on You tube.  Excellent tutorials and very well done.  She will show how to sculpt baby's and dolls,  Make boots-mini Uggs,make a tricycle, baby carriage, real looking disposable diapers.  She is from the UK.  All her videos are shown with music and self explanatory.  No talking.   Quite an evenings worth of viewing.  She makes everything look so easy.  Just go onto YouTube search and put in Karen's Minis.  I enjoy this Etsy site.  It is county and Shabby chic all in one.  If you don't make, here is a maker that will have what you possible need.

This next one has nothing to do with miniatures but I enjoy watching on You Tube when I need a mini vacation.
Go to You Tube search and type in Exploring with Josh.  This young man travels all over the world and goes on adventures that I know I never will do.  Abandoned buildings and parks, Asylums,  He goes to places the average person would never find themselves.  I particularly love the Castles.  Check him out.  Go on vacation and never leave home.  Knowledge is increased  every time I watch , plus I don't have to go through the hassle of packing and traveling to get there.

The next one I found and am really saddened that I missed it..  In Florida there was a place called Magnificent China near Orlando.  The Promo for it as well as the closed state is on You Tube.  It would have been a place I would have loved.  There were gardens, miniature structures and the miniature Great wall of China.  It was only open for about 10 years and closed.  Too close to Disneyland attractions.

The next You Tube video that can still be enjoyed and this is still open.  Do a search of  The Miniature White House in Clermont, Florida and see this fabulous building housed in the Hall of Presidents.

Well that's all for today.  I will be concentrating on dressing the bed and  am having a hard time on choosing what prints to use.  They are all so beautiful.