Sunday, September 30, 2012

Halloween Labels for Potion Bottles and Jars

All of the above labels can be right clicked on and Save -in your picture files.  Open them up and view as to how much you have to shrink them down.  I have Windows picture gallery.  I save and open and then select print.  It opens to what size you might want.  You can choose and view how big the print will be before actually printing.  Usually I select the 35 on a 8xll sheet or the 4 3x5.  It shrinks it down for you automatically.  Print out on paper or card stock.  These are all off the internet from various printable sites.  I did not create any of them.

These will be used in a forthcoming How-To.

Halloween furniture from laser cut kits

Remember when leaves used to be funRaking huge piles large  enough to run and jump into.  Children laughing and dogs barking.  Every one getting into the action.  Even the dogs like to hide in the leaves.  Afterwards a quick bath and hot soup, homemade bread, and fresh baking apple pie.  Hot chocolate as a warm up during the festivities.  We used to burn our leaves.  The pungent smell in our nostrils still returns and memories flood back, long forgotten when I smell the scent of the woodsy leaves burning in the air.  Now they get shredded and put into a mulch pile to compost for the soil the next year.  They seem more of a yearly chore than fun!  It's pretty quiet as well.  A hot bath and liniment rub seem to be more welcome these days, but I must admit it is good exercise, of which I feel those benefits for at least a week after!

The furniture is this blog I purchased at the Philadelphia Miniaturia show last year.  They are laser cut and the detail is outstanding.  Because they have to cut so many at a time  to be cost effective, they kits are very reasonable, and very easy to put together.  The Dresser is all from wood, and notice the spider web front on it.  The stool that goes with the dresser has spider webs on the ends.  The skeleton chair has 3-d effects on the bones that make it look like its hand carved.
The mirror has a face etched onto it, the purple wooden dresser has drawers that open up and can hold things.  The letters are raised and engraved into the wood.
The skeleton is from yesterdays blog hanging out at this wonderfully detailed spiderweb table.
These wonderful kits  and many more can be purchased at
She is always at the Philadelphia Miniaturia Show in Philadelphia, Pa in November.  Most of her kits at the show are made up and just seeing them you want them all.    All the kits are very accurate and no cutting or sanding was necessary.  I enjoyed the detail of these kits, laser cutting has brought miniatures to a hole new level.  There is always a line and a whole lot of people at her table.  Even though she brings a lot of stock, try to go to her table first to get items before they are sold out.
She does a lot of different scales in the same design so every one can be Happy!


Halloween- How to Alter plastic skeltons and other mini finds

Fall is finally here.  My favorite time of year.  We had our first frost last week and the leaves are turning very quickly.

This is a mini How to on changing the position of the arms and legs on the plastic skeltons in the Dollar store right now.
You can put the skelton in water and zap in the microwave for a few seconds and then bend where you want arms and legs bent or use a heat tool for Embossing in scrapbooking. Turn heat on using the tool and hold over area until you see a little movement.  Turn off gun and bend at that area, holding until cool.  I did the shoulders, feet and knees, elbows.  The one on the right is before, the one on the left is sitting down, even though the picture isn't very good.  I'm going to make a few to sit around the table and play cards with different pieces of clothes on, but still have the bones show thru so you see it is a skelton.
Here is an idea for miniature , even though this one is from larger than life.  I found this on Pinterest.  It could be adapted in miniature using the plastic skeltons and  heating up their arms.  Really cute.
This is another idea from Pinterest that could be adapted for mini use.  Too cute.!
If you don't have time for making pumpkins out of Fimo clay I found these pods at Michaels.  They are called Mini Cosses, Mini Pods.  5.99 but I used a coupon for 40%.  There are over 100 in this container.  I wonder if I could grow the seeds inside the pods?  They look rustic like they are, but you could slap some orange paint on them and they would be perfect.  White , black and orange pumpkins, anyone?
Shown next to a wooden 1/12 scale chair, I found these small childs plastic chairs, 10 to a package in the party favors at Dollar Tree.  It is a stacking game of some kind.  It would be great for a reading circle for dolls or a school room.  Remember those small chairs we used to sit on all in a circle  while the teacher read?    Paint them a wood color, or primary colors. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Halloween Ghost Trick or Treater- Mini Tutorial

If you right click on this picture you can save it to your picture file and then print it out for a sign.  Glue onto cardboard .
This is a simple and fast project that could be done with a club in an evening.   I did this for American Miniaturist a few years back.  You will need: Mini plastic shoes from cake decorating store from the baby  shower section, A piece of white material or a Kleenex for the ghost cover, tiny Styrofoam ball for the head, tiny black dots for the eyes or 3 mm google eyes if you can find them,  A small scrap of material for jeans or pants..  String for the tie, a pumpkin or the bags below for treats and candy pictures found in the coupon section of grocery, drug store adds.  Three pipe cleaners, black paint or desired color for shoes and Fabritack glue-Joanne Fabrics.  Tooth pick for the nose.

Side view of the trick or treater

Close up of the feet with tread tied in a bow for shoe strings

Treat bags for gifts or candy.  Right click and save to picture file.  Print on a card stock for extra support.  Fold on lines and glue.
To make a form for the ghost, attach a pipe cleaner into a small Styrofoam ball with glue.  Into the Styrofoam ball insert a toothpick for the nose.  Cut off desired size and using an emery board to round off.   Decide on the height wanted for you little person  and attach another pipe cleaner that has been folded in half for the legs to the head section.  Fold another pipe cleaner in half and use for the arms.  Cut after placing and wrapping around the body section.  The hands or mitts are formed by looping the ends. 
Make tubes of the material desired for the pants and attach now to the bottoms of the legs.  Tubes made using Fabritack glue.  This glue drys fast and is clear.  Now cut the legs to the height you want and glue into shoes which have been painted desired color.   To keep the ghost easy to work with I work on top of Styrofoam and stick the pipe cleaner with the shoes into it.  When all is dry I cut the bottom pipe cleaner sticking out of the shoe.  Tie a bow from string or thread and attach as a tie for the shoe.
The white cover is a circle cut larger than needed and attach the center of the circle to the head with a little glue.  Now drape and create small darts around the head.  When happy tie a piece of string around to form the neck.  Drape the rest around and over the hands.  You will have drapes and folds.  Cut the length to just about where the knees would be, to still see the shoes and pants.  Glue google eyes or black dots punched from black scrapbook paper.
The candy is cut from adds from the paper.  I like the small Monthly savings book from Walmart.  The pictures in it are already the size needed.  Right now its all about candy in all the adds.  Cut your pictures out and glue to card stock.  Arrange in pumpkin or treat bags, building the bottom up with tissue paper.  This same principle can be used for batman or other super heros using black or red cloth.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Halloween Mini Cupcake Tutorial with mold

These are tiny cupcakes I made from a very easy mold that you can make as well.

The mold is made from Sculpty Mold Maker.  It is found at Michael's and Hobby Lobby where the clay is found.  Very easy to work with.  This is very soft and after baked is a flexible silicone mold that can be reused over and over.  I made a 4 inch piece  long and about 1 inch wide.  Make the depth about 1/2 inch deep.  The cupcake molds are electrical connectors, found at a hardware store.  About 12 for 99 cents.  These are the smallest they make.  They are grey.  Electricians attach these to the wires after they have wrapped them.   Notice the grooves in the connectors.  These transfer over to the mold.  Set the mold into the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.  Remove from the Frig and insert the connectors about half way up.  Slowly REMOVE the connectors as not to mess up the design.   Bake the mold at  250 degrees for 15 minutes.  Do not bake with the plastic connectors in the mold.  Allow to cool before using.

Close up of connectors and the design

This is a paper crimper in tiny size found at Archivers Paper store.  It is so tiny as seen in the white paper in the foreground.  This can be the paper liners if you so desire.  It can be glued around as cupcake liners.  I used the real cupcake liners of any color. They will hold the crimp nicely.  I you do not want to use this, the crimp in the mold is very nice.  The bottom of the cupcake can be painted and it looks like a liner.  I choose on the ones in the picture to just leave as is.

Studio G punches found at Walmart in the bins near the scrap book department.  I have saw these at Hobby Lobby and Michael's, and Joanne Fabrics near the bins where you check out.  They are very tiny punches and what I used for the decoration on the top.  I especially like the cat and the bat.  A tray of these could also be  made into cookies.  I used scrapbook paper, but you could also use very thin Fimo.

Knead Fimo until very soft.  Roll into a coil and push very hard into the already baked mold to get the ridges in the clay.  The ball on the end of the mold is put on top to get the mounded look on the cupcake.

Bake cupcakes 250 degrees for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool and then quickly remove from the mold.  You are baking and softening the mold again so it has to harden back up.

A close up look at the cupcake.  The bottom needs trimmed off with  a razor blade to allow it to sit flat.  Cut off to desired height.  The paints I used for icing were black and orange puffy paints.  Dip and allow to dry slightly before adding the decorations.  I used tweezers for this process because they are so small.  White caulking could be used or Gesso with a touch of paint could be used for icing.  I like the shiny look.    
I hope you enjoy this mini cupcake tutorial.  Let your imagination go and you will find all kinds of cupcakes to make.  A trip to the local library or online  will give you lots of ideas .  There are so many books out just on cupcakes.  Pininterest has a ton of pretty pictures to look at.   After making these mini delights, I just may have to go into the kitchen and make the real thing.  Chocolate is my favorite with cream cheese and chocolate chip centers.!   

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Taking a Mini Vacation

I am taking a mini vacation, not because I want to, but because my body said I need to.  Usually every change of season I get a sinus issue, and for 2 weeks now I have not done much but work and sleep.  I am not a person to give into sickness, but sometimes it's the only way I can slow down and renew my batteries, so to speak.  I usually get caught up on reading all those articles and cleaning files out.  Often finding things to help in a creative mini project. 
 I have loved the magazine Country Living from the inception of its publication.  However I usually tore out the articles I liked and got rid of the rest.  Such is the case this week, I found some articles from Jo Northrup, Country Matters.  She wrote an article every month for Country Living, about the Pros of living in the Country.  I read she was legally blind, but her articles were written in such detail with such colorful content , you just wanted to be there.  She always came in from her outdoor adventure and enjoyed some special treat and shared a recipe.  I went online and discovered she had written  a book in the 1980's and I purchased it for 1.55 and 3.99 postage.  I look forward to adding  her wonderful writings about a quiet, peaceful country life to my library.  Her recipe book is out of print.
So in the fashion of Jo Northrup I am sharing a piece of my country and my favorite original recipe.
My girls above taking an afternoon walk around the park-Gertrude, Gertrude, Gertrude and Gertrude.
Its easier to remember what their names are.  Even though each has their own personality and mannerisms.
My girls keep me with enough eggs to have these addictive custard pies weekly.  The eggs are small but quite heavy.  The yolks are very yellow and the taste is like no other egg.  My neighbors throw the scraps from the garden and vegtable scraps from the table.  A lot of broccoli, the chickens love it.  I like to think they eat all the good stuff and put it in the eggs.
My Mother always made the best pies in the world.  But with restrictions with diets these days I think I have come up with a recipe that is not only good but better for you.  This pie is high in protein and I don't feel guilty if I want to eat it for breakfast.  Be prepared its not your usual custard pie.  Its better!!
The Custard:  Enough for 2 large deep dish pies
Preheat oven 400-Degrees
Mix all in the same large bowl:
12 small eggs- yolk and white
1/2 cup Honey
1/2 cup Splenda baking blend
2 teaspoons Almond extract
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and nutmeg
5 cups Silk Coconut milk or Silk Almond milk-both lactose and dairy free-in milk section
Using a hand mixer beat the ingredients for about 4 minutes until foamy. 
Pour into prepared baking dishes with pie dough mixture below or a prepared crust from the freezer.  Sprinkle additional nutmeg on top.
  Bake in a preheated oven 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  It  will be somewhat jiggly but not runny. 
The Pie Crust:
3 cups of flour, your choice for your diet needs.
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 cup of butter flavor Crisco
1/3 cup of cold VODKA-its unbelievable how flaky the crust will be, it bakes out right away.
1 egg mixed in with the vodka
Using a pastry blender or a fork blend the Criso and salt into small pieces in the flour
Add Cold Vodka and egg and blend until moist.
Pour out onto board and lightly knead with your hands.  Divide into 2 pieces and roll out on lightly floured board to the size of the pie pan.  Make a crust that is thick.  You will love this crust.!
Pie Crust for the less adventuresome:
3 cups flour of your choice
1 cup Butter flavored Crisco
1 tea sea salt
1/3 cup cold water that has 2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar added to it.
1 small egg mixed into the water and Cider Vinegar mixture
Follow directions for the Above crust.  This is equally good and flaky.  Very tasty crust.  This is the German version of pie crust  The Vinegar taste does not come thru but makes it all flaky.
The Silk and Almond Milk are not only lactose and dairy free, but lower in calories than regular milk-only 80 calories.   It is higher in protein and lower in fat.  In this pie you can not tell the difference. 
I hope you enjoy making this pie.  The smell of it still waifs through the house from this morning.    It is best refrigerated after cooling down.  Cover with foil or saran wrap.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mini bottles at Dollar Tree-Nail art

A great day to be a Miniaturist!! Look at the bottles found at Dollar Tree right now in the makeup -nail area. Each has the  Greenbrier International name on it, so all Dollar trees should have it.  That is their brand.
Each filled with good stuff we can use in all areas of our mini projects.  Diamond dust, use as sugar on cookies or cupcakes. Hole less beads, use as cookie decorations or buttons on clothes, earrings, beads. glitter, torn paper that looks like gold flakes, cut long sequins, sequins with the holes cut out in shapes, would look great as jewelry.

A close up of these tiny bottles with the sequins with the cut outs.  Would make great jewelry for a mini lady.  Each bottle is 3/4 " in size with a stopper.  The circumference around is the size of a pencil eraser.  Tiny and dainty, can't tell that from the picture.  Canning jars, Halloween potion bottles.?
I found 6 total sets with 6 varieties inside
This is a possibility project.  See if you see it.  A tiny Jr. juice box, the top of a gumball container for a dryer lid, and the bottom to be used for the bottom of the dryer chair.  Do you see it?  A future How To project.
Miniaturists do the impossible!!!!!~

Dollar Store Finds-Hood Hounds

Any one with a Dog knows what I'm talking about on this!

11 of the 12 available of Hood Dogs

Incredible detail of these Dogs

You can run but never hide from a Dog, they will find you!

The other day I went on my lunch hour to Deals, a dollar store and owned by the Dollar Tree.  Upon checking out a little girl was at the gumball machines and she was so excited about the dogs she got out of one of the machines.  Well I just had to check it out, and when I did, That girl has good taste.  The above dogs, Hood Dogs, are so incredibly detailed and painted so great.  The seam lines are totally un-noticeable.  There are 12 total and I got 11 before I ran out of money.  I did not get any duplicates, so someone did a good job loading up that machine.  They are not cheap plastic and the paint finish is very nice.  Nothing else needs done to these dogs. I was totally excited about these little dogs.  They aren't a quarter any more  .75 was the cost of each, but well worth it.  Every scene can use a good dog! 

In case you haven't check out Gum ball machines lately, give it a try.  I was equally astounded at Giant Eagle with the tiny puppies they had in one, and tiny trolls in another.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Japanese Wall Box #1 using Swap items

I like this sunset, reminds me of an Eastern Sunset
Here is the first  wall box using the NAME swap items in a Japanese theme.  I used a shadow box that was all black and had some scratches on it.  I painted everything red, then put on a crackle and repainted black on top.  The crackle came in red.  The paint is much more interesting and the red accents the reds in the box items.  I took the picture without the glass for easy viewing.  Click on picture to enlarge and see detail.
I used a bamboo place mat cut up for the bamboo floor.  The rug is a book mark, replica of an oriental Rug that I got at the Chicago Art Museum.  The table is from the Dollar Tree and I painted red, crackle coat and then black over top. 
I incorporated Origami paper, painted handkerchiefs, postcards, paper umbrellas, and nail decals that have the word in Japanese and in English.  I used them on the wall next to the ladies heads.  The lanterns are from Jim's Printables, printed out on card stock.
The rest of the items are part of the swap items.  I have more to go and another box to share as soon as it is finished.
I have always had a love of the Asian culture ever since reading Pearl S Bucks book the Good Earth.  I loved the book and understood the culture, but alias my teacher did not have the same love and understanding during an oral book report,  in front of the class, some unenlightened kid had to stop me in my tracks and ask what a Concubine was.  Book report over and a nasty note that the book was too advanced for an 8th grader!!  That did not stop me I went on to read all of Pearl's great writings.
Her writings inspired me to take Chinese language classes a decade ago during a rough time in my life.  Unfortunately I was also taking Spanish, French, and sign language at the same time, in an effort to keep my mind and heart occupied.  Not much stuck but a few verses and phrases.  It is  a beautiful language to      learn.     I did have a practice partner to practice with.  We spent more time laughing at our selves.  She   was learning Chinese because her request for adoption was being reviewed   and  she would be traveling to China to pick up her child.
I lost contact with her after the class, but she was a great lady.  I was saddened just over a month ago to see she passed away after a long battle with cancer.  Her adopted 12 year old Chinese son was listed.  I am glad she finally got to go to China to pick up her child and experience the joy of Motherhood.