Friday, July 21, 2017

Watch coffee table Tutorial

Pocket watch coffee table
Pocket Watch Shabby Chic coffee table.

The completed watch face coffee table in 1/12" scale next to a rocking chair.

 I have always wanted a clock coffee table for my living room.  The $500.00 price tag is a tad out of my budget.  Making something  in miniature always brightens my spirit and usually takes the desire away to having it in life size. Plus it is affordable.  So, when I found this old pocket watch in the junk drawer that belonged to my Great Uncle an idea was born.  It had no glass, or insides, just tin and a small brass strip around the lid where it can be pried open.  The legs are purchased  wood  Housework's 1-3/16" Cabriolet legs.  I sawed off the tips on the top that fit into a chair and sanded them flat.  Place in an even pattern with super glue on the bottom of the watch.  I decided to paint mine all white and leave the brass strip showing.  Pry off the lid before painting makes it easier.  It took about 2 coats of acrylic paint to cover really well.  Let dry over night and seal with clear varnish or Modge Podge.  If you like the sanded look you can sand off some of the paint to age it a little.  I use an emery board.

The clock face picture I found in an old Discover magazine.  I liked the unusual swirl pattern on the face.  You can find download able clocks on Pinterest, Internet, Steam punk scrap book stickers.  I found some really pretty clock face stickers at Dollar Tree just recently.

Measure how big the underside of the lid is and cut you clock face the same size and glue onto thin cardboard.  I used a small cork glued to the middle of the watch inside to just  reach the lid without touching the cover we are going to put on it.   After gluing the clock face onto the cork I found some steam punk hands for the clock at Michael's and glued them to the face.  Now turn the lid over if you don't have glass in it and measure it and make a circle of paper to fit.  I used clear plastic packing material from something I purchased recently and cut into the circle using the paper as a pattern.  Lightly glue around under the lid and apply the plastic piece.  When dry attach lid, it should just snap into place.  

If you don't have an old watch, Tim Holtz has one for altered art.  I saw it at Joanne Fabrics.

This was a fast and fun project and will be used in the Shabby Chic Doll House I am refinishing called Daisy Hill.

Here are web sites I enjoyed this week:  In  addition to the blog  she also has a lot of YouTube Videos demonstrating how to make furniture out of heavy cardboard.  This enterprising woman also has an Etsy Store.She designs and uses Silhouette Cameo File  to cut her creations out. She shows her aging technique and how to make an old looking mirror without using a mirror.  Very interesting You Tube Videos.    Wonderful food inspirations.  Mini food good enough to eat.    Another site with beautiful food    Another  talented food artist     Down loadable  Free paper houses, castles, mansions and haunted mansions for fun.  Smaller scale than 1/12"  Very colorful.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Trash to Treasure Shabby Chic chest of drawers from match boxes

Shabby Chic dresser from 10 match boxes in 1/12" scale

Back of dresser

Right side of dresser

Left side of dresser

Most of the paper used came from Kirby Teesdale Studio  Designs
 in Mini Prints book found at Hobby Lobby. Mini and in pinks and greens and lots of roses.

You will need 10 mini match boxes found at Dollar Tree for $1.00.  Remove matches and keep in a safe place for mini lumber or maybe a log cabin in the toy category.

This is from scrap book days, I used dark green pigment around the front of boxes

where the drawers go in and around the drawers all sides.  Notice the cloth under the box of pigment.  This is another find at the Dollar Tree.  A super soft Microfiber cloth found in the car articles  16"x 24".  What caught my attention is the pile is short on one side and longer on the other and super soft.  I am seeing mini pillows, teddy bears or maybe a bedspread for a tiny bed.  A good deal for $1.00.  Our store only had off white, but may come in other colors in your area.

I lined the inside and the front of the box, now called a drawer.  The pigment is applied around the drawer fronts and inside all around the matchbox where the drawer inserts inside.
Put drawers inside the matchboxes to provide stability and glue 5 boxes one on top of the other.  Repeat gluing  with 5 boxes on top of the other.  Make sure they are straight front and back and put a rubber band around each set and weight down from the top and let dry.

When dry remove the rubber bands and put each set side by side and glue together, rubber band and set on side and weight down with something and let dry.  The manila cards 

setting under the assembly are coasters for drinks bought at a dollar store.  I use them as lumber, they are very hard but easy cut with a sharp blade.  The paint covers very well because they are absorb able.

Using the above described card stock I cut sides and back to fit the now glued match box assemblies.  When doing the back take the drawers out so the glue does not shut them in. These drawers will open up and you can store things in them.  Cover with paper before gluing onto the assembly and only one side  of each needs covered.  The base is 1/4" foam core covered top and bottom with paper.  You do not need this but I found the fancy legs in the jewelry section and wanted to use them  The top was cut with a little overhang on the ends, right and left side only.

For the pulls on the drawers.  You can use beads, dangles, teardrops.  I found these in the bead spacer area, they look like mini purses.  What ever you find you will need to attach to small wire and position as high as needed so it does not interfere with the drawer underneath.
Cut a piece of paper for a pattern and find the area where you need to place the hole on the drawer and mark it on the paper.  This way all the spots on all the drawers will be the same.
I used a thumb tack to drill the hole.  Attach a long piece about 1"  wire thru the bead or the tiny hanger on the bead find  and  take the bead to the center of the wire.  Twist the 2 sides of the wire all the way  to the top of the bead.  Wire through the hole and use a sequin and a dot of glue run up through the wire on the inside and attach to the drawer.  This makes the wire secure inside.  Now cut the wire a bit and use tweezers twist into a circle and them use needle nose pliers to flatten out inside to the front of the drawer.
I enjoyed this project so much that I did the stair case risers for my Daisy Hill Shabby Chic
dollhouse.  Most of the papers are scrapbook leftovers from other projects.

The inspiration for the chest project came from Laura  Carson of Artful Musing, a creator for Alpha Stamps.  You tube has the very detailed and lengthy  tutorial for a chest like this 
and many other items made with books that any miniaturist could use.  A lot of finish techniques that would be nice to know.  She is a very talented lady and I enjoyed watching all her tutorials.  You Tube and search for Laura  Carson.

Another site on the Internet in case you have never heard of Katherine Browning Miniature Museum in Maysville, Kentucky.  Search it on You Tube they have a wonderful video of the Collection including Princess Dianna's Childhood home Spencer house.  

If you like wonderfully made furniture and patterns
They make and sell, and have tutorials on this site.  Farmhouse cottage tutorials and a lot of pretty pictures for inspiration.

If you like Fairy Garden Houses this next one will blow you away.  Search on You Tube for Creative Mom  This woman is a set designer and makes things out of nothing.  She is fantastic!  See her many tutorials on how to make fairy houses from jars, 2 liter bottles,  foil and a glue gun.  She lights them as well.

Very professionally done videos and the end results are unbelievable.  I enjoyed watching and learning from all her videos. As  you scan wait for the one that says clay from toilet paper.
This is what she makes and  uses in all her projects. It  is a air dry clay just like paper clay, and a whole lot cheaper and does not get the lines in the surface when it drys.  

Saturday, July 15, 2017

New Beginings-Restoring Shabby Chic Doll House

Here it is the intended victim of Restoration

Inside glue galore and notice the trim board at the top

After 3 hours I removed the glue

The restoration of the Victorian has begun.  Look back on my blog to June 23, 2012 in Archives to It's a Miracle, Dollhouse takes me out of traffic jam to read about how this dollhouse came into my life.  This is how long it has been in my garage.

In the picture it doesn't look too bad.  However up close it is another story.  Someone started using hot glue and then switched to wood glue.  The yellow wood glue is dripping all over the siding and in every corner.  I saved you the horror of the carpeting and flooring used inside. It was real size carpet tiles and vinyl floor tiles stuck down with adhesive.  It took 3 coats of furniture stripper to  remove and about 3 hours of time.  

Who ever put the house together must have not read the instructions because the trim boards are all different sizes.  All this will have to be removed, the windows have fairy stickers on them, and the banisters will have to be removed because of the vinyl floor tile on the porches.
The window boxes are solid wood, no flowers can go into that, so I will use them as patterns for size and make new ones.  The shutters are wood with lines drawn on for the shutters.  I will take them off and get shutters for them.

In all it's pretty overwhelming.  I will fix it room by room and side by side.  A lot of sanding and Dremel work to get all that glue off.  It will be a challenge but I feel up to that.

I liken this Dollhouse project to my own life.   When I was young,  I was in love with an old house.  This was built by my Grandfather, my Father was born there and my Children were raised there.  It was filled with old outcast furniture and I fixed and painted it to Shabby Chic before it was even thought of.  Now as I look back it would have been cheaper to buy a new one and go on with life.  So it will be with  this Dollhouse.  It would be cheaper and faster to go with new.  But as with  my house, this one has been loved.  Hopefully it won't take as many years for the Mini house as it did the large one.  

Everyone wants to know the story behind a house.  So, here is the fictitious one I will give this house.   A free  spirited, independent thinking woman finds an old Victorian house built in 1865 and falls in love with it.  She decides it would be fun to fix up and call it home.  It is purchased at a bargain price and every room is filled with old furniture that she already has imagined how it will look fixed up.  She calls it Daisy Hill after her Grandmother Daisy.
It is home, It is loved.

Here are a couple web sites that I have enjoyed this week: -Free projects, 1/4" scale furniture kits, Laser cutting, wood aging solution, and a 1/12" wicker chair tutorial

This one the connection does not work with a link, if you google a miniature site will come up.  There is another home site not miniature called The Spruce.    The mini site has all kinds of color co-ordinated wall paper. really like this site.  She has all kinds of potion labels and other printies, printable quilts and rugs.  Trash to treasure ideas that are really great.

Well it looks like rain.  Yeah another day to play with miniatures.  I am working on a tutorial that involves match boxes. Shabby Chic dresser to match the step risers..  More on that in  a near future post.  Have a great day!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Final Traveling Medicine Show-Finished

The finished Traveling Medicine Show

Close up of potions and  cures
The Medicine show is finished.  I rummaged through my junk jewelry and bead box and found every thing I needed to make the potion bottles in the  crates and trunks.  I found a wicker trunk in rummage sale finds and decided this would work.  All the labels are from Alpha Stamps as well as the die cut wagon, called a bathing machine in their catalog. 

Shannon Cooper created this idea for Alpha Stamps and her blog has all the items listed that you will need to purchase for the finished project.  The link to her blog is  or you can go onto Alpha Stamps search for bathing machine and her article with items needed will be available to you.  Very creative talent.  She calls her creation Snake Oil Caravan.

Here are a few UTube channels that I have enjoyed this month.
Go to search in UTube and put in the name.
The Square to Spare-a lot of furniture made  without a lot of power tools.  Very professionally done videos. She has a lot of listings and very talented, easy to understand instructions and gives measurements to all items.   

 Sugar Charm Shoppe-very professionally done videos.  She has more than  one channel, subscribe and they will all come in.
She mainly does wonderful Fimo creations, food, dogs sculpture, people, Gourmet food, and has started to build furniture as well. Very talented 

It has rained here everyday this week so I have had a lot of time to work on miniatures.  I have started to paper the kick board of two sets of  steps of my shabby chic dollhouse, but that's another day's posting.  I do love the look of roses and stripes on the steps.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Unpacking Alpha Stamps purchase-like Christmas!

Here is the items I purchased from Alpha stamps last month.  Door knocker that looks like lion head, trunk locks, brads that look like eyeglasses, hands that are pointing and standing up, could use for signs or jewelry displays, a punch that looks like plant leaves, a mini typewriter, rectangle beads in amber and clear for bottle of potions, chair legs, an old Chrysonbon pump organ, the bathing machine, it was assembled and painted by me before deciding to blog about it, the tires are part of the kit.  The free items were 4 skeleton heads in different sizes and the wooden bowl.

These are the tiniest  brass caster wheels for furniture.  The wheel turns.  Not a good picture, they are so tiny.

A picture of some of the papers purchased and the detail of each one.  The one on the right is all book covers that will be used for a mini library retreat to be done in the near future.

As you see from the pictures above the items are all found on one site on the web

They are getting new things in all the time and can be easily checked under the listing new items.

I babysat the fur  babies one week and had the time to check out everything on this web site.  1,000's of items but easy to locate because they have them categorized by items.  My next post has the Bathing Machine turned into A traveling Medicine show wagon .

Traveling Medicine Show Cart

Traveling Medicine Show Cart

Traveling Medicine Cart-opposite side

Back side of cart

Front of Medicine Cart with add on porch

Details of copper roof

Sophisticated Finishes found at a Craft Shop to produce aging on copper

Back window found in Fairy Garden area of Joanne Fabrics
This is my latest project that I have finished to go with my Peddler's carts.  NAME as a yearly project a couple of years ago in October came up with Peddler's carts for fruits and vegetable's.  After doing 4 of them, I decided it needed a Traveling Medicine show.   This project still has a lot of details to finish on it.  But I wanted to show the basic finish on it. 
ALPHA STAMPS-click on this and it will take you to their website.  The laser cut Bathing Machine was purchased from them as well as the papers used to finish it.  

This site is amazing.  Originally a scrapbook site but now has miniatures of all kinds.  A monthly kit will give you ideas, and a blogger has done the project and all items used in that project are listed.  A very easy site to navigate and with each order free items are shown that you will receive. 

This is the place to go if you like Halloween.  The pressed heavy laser cut cardboard items are very inexpensive, easy to assemble and paint which after doing they look like wood.  They have a lot of Goth and mad scientist items, steam punk and mermaid.

Their offerings are listed under categories making it very easy to find what you are looking for.   What are you looking for?
Bottles, furniture casters, chair legs, bottles, boxes, unusual items, book shelves, bead findings?

This package I picked was called a bathing machine.  It is a tad smaller than 1/12", maybe 1/24"  Go under kits category,  a blogger did this bathing machine and listed everything she used, all available from Alpha Stamps.  It looks very good with the 1/12" because it does not overwhelm  and fits right in.  Now comes the part I love to make the boxes, bottles of potions, steamer trunks of quack medicine items  and do the detail work.  

The papers are amazing with detail.  All the signs, labels, and paper on the wagon are on a harder stock paper.  All the names are listed on the web.  These are copyrighted papers and are not to be copied and sold by the purchaser.   The only alterations that were done were the back window frame was purchased at Joanne Fabrics in the Fairy Garden area.  I choose to fill in 2 windows on the sides so the paper murals would not be cut into.  I also added the porch on the front to display more medicine bottles.  The roof was covered by thin copper sheets that I grooved and used the Sophisticated finish liquid on shown above.  I do not know is this is still available, it is quite old as well as the thin copper sheets by Walnut Hollow purchased at a craft shop. I tried dipping the copper in Vinegar and nothing happened.   The trim around the front door was scrap book paper from long ago, but the design fit right in.  

If I did this again here is what would be changed.  The inside would have been papered or painted before assembly.  Not thinking about this with the excitement of putting it together.
The copper roof pieces would have been aged with the Acid solution laying FLAT on a work surface instead of after attaching to the roof.  I put the solution on flat surfaces AFTER the fact and it really looked good with a solid patina of green. Paint could be used to create a patina if the copper sheets can not be found.  They  were used for embossing designs and it came in tin, copper, brass and silver colors.

This was a fun project and I have purchased two times from them since discovering their website.  I highly recommend this site.    The shipping takes about 10 days but the shipping policy is clearly stated on the site. My next blogging will list the items I recently purchased from the web site.

Thursday, July 6, 2017


Ivory carved female manikin from 1600's  with removable organs approx. 6" in length

Ivory carved female manikin from 1600's with baby and removable organs approx. 6 inches in length

My daughter and I recently took a road trip to Cleveland, Ohio to the Dittrick Museum located in the Allen Memorial Medical Library on Case Western Reserve University.

This Museum is a hidden treasure.  The Gallery exhibits were amazing.  The theme this time around was mostly around Reproduction and birth, and birth Control through the ages. I always have my miniature mind engaged when visiting such exhibits and I wasn't disappointed.  The ideas starting swirling in my head.

I thought these Ivory carved teaching tools from the 1600's amazing in detail.  Doctors did not attend births in that time period, it was done by midwives.  There was also other teaching tools thru the ages on childbirth, chairs and beds used in childbirth, a couple doctor's offices set up of different era's and drawers after drawers of utensils, and other items used by doctors of every century.  There was an interesting History of Microscopy with ninety microscopes from 17th to the 20th century.  I have been doing research on lobotomies and the tools used were in  a display there.   If you needed research for a period of time for a room box this would be the place to start.  The  architecture of the building itself is from the late 1800's and is quite impressive.

The price was free.  Times and days listed on the web site. Exhibits change frequently.

Dittrick Museum  Click on Dittrick Museum, this is the web site.

This Museum is right down the street from Wade Circle where all the other great Museums and Botanical gardens are.  Also the famous Lake View Cemetery is not far.  Here is their website.   There are many famous people buried there, gangsters, rich and famous.  They have trolley tours available on certain days.  It is also the location of the crying angel head stone.  This is a very old and historic cemetery and as always good research for miniaturists.  

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


Hello all!

It has been a while since I have posted on my blog and for that an apology is in order.   Life gets busy sometimes and truly gets out of hand.  Retirement came around pretty quickly for me and now all the things  on my bucket list can get attention.  Where does the time go?  It has been a big adjustment for me, relaxation was never part of my agenda. What do I do now?  What do I want to be when I get old? Such a dilemma.  Truly every minute is being enjoyed.

The first 6 months have been spent reading, organizing, deep cleaning my house, researching miniature projects and taking classes of all kinds.  Stocked away for "When I retire" items have been found and were long gone from my memory.  It's been like Christmas!  There is more time for babysitting Grandchildren and fur babies and of course my passion  Miniatures.

A local quilt shop offered a class in crocheted rag rug making.  This is a good way to get rid of all the material stash being hoarded away for someday.  This totally thrilled me and it lasted for a couple of months.  Everyone got one.  As always the process had to be converted into miniature.  The above and following pictures are of what I came up with.  These small 1/12" scale rugs are crocheted.  A lot of threads and  yarns were experimented with  before coming up with what worked the best.
Premier yarns has a wool Free Sock yarn that is 93% variegated and acrylic.    Each rug you see has the color variations in one skein.  It was just luck how the colors came out to finish each ring around and blend into the next color.  This is easier than changing colors and no lumps. This yarn is very soft.  There is not a ply on the sleeve but it is very thin.  I also tried the Friendship bracelet floss and 6 strand variegated cotton embroidery floss. There was a little dry drag on the crochet hook that wasn't acceptable to me and  then the issue of starting a new color with out the bulk produced became frustrating.  Each skein has 235 yards of yarn and depending on the size will give you about 4-5 rugs.
Most of mine I made in 6 inch rounds or ovals.  Hobby Lobby or Joanne Fabrics carry this yarn.  Michael's did not but in your area it might be different

The crochet hook used is a Boye  10/1 .30mm.  I got mine from A Gibson Girl at the Chicago Miniature show.  It has the tiniest hook, but still grabs well.  Check at local yarn shops or Joanne Fabrics.  Its really small!

To make a 6" round rug:  Crochet

Make a loop and knot it onto 10/1 crochet hook.   Chain 3- slip stitch into the beginning loop,
chain 1, single crochet into next stitch:  repeat for the rest of the desired size for the rug.  If it starts to cup up,  stretch out on all sides or lightly press with iron and cloth to flatten out and continue on repeating the chain 1, single crochet into next stitch. When you have decided it is small or large enough pull thread through the last crochet loop without the chain 1, and pull tightly towards you.  Weave into a  few  stitches on the left side and cut off remainder of thread. Press with a pressing cloth and spray iron to block it.   Make as large or small as desired.  This one is a no brainer and no counting needs to be done.  Give your eyes a break on this every couple of minutes or look at the television.  The stitches are tiny but after awhile the hook finds the stitch by itself.

To make an oval rug  Crochet any size you desire.  

Make a loop and knot it onto 10/1 crochet hook.  Chain 21.  Reverse , skip the first single crochet and single crochet in the next 19 stitches, single crochet in the last stitch 2 times then single crochet in next stitch 2 times  starting on the other side-and continue single crochet down to last stitch and put 2 stitches in the last stitch. 
There is now a channel in the middle of the rows next to the 2 crochet on either side.  The procedure for the rest of the rug is as follows on each end.   last stitch 2 crochet, middle stitch on each end 3 single crochet, first stitch on opposite side 2 crochet in first stitch.  Continue on the ends this same way.  You do not need to count any other stitches.  You will know when you are at the end.  Continue on this way will be the increases you need for the increase in size.  If your item starts to cup up stretch out yarn both ways or press with a press cloth and stream iron.  This will flatten out and give you no more problem.  This yarn is acrylic and has a mind of its own.
When you are satisfied with the size end off around a curve on the end, pull thread through a loop without a chain one and pull towards you.  Weave into a couple loops to the left and cut off excess thread.  Block the rug with steam iron and press cloth.

Here are a few others:

Shades of grey, beige, white and charcoal, fawn.  This is my favorite


Beige, creme, green and brown variegated
Red orange, salmon, rust, brown, creme.  This one would be a good one for fall.

 As you see no two rugs will ever have the same color variations.  Wouldn't you love to have a pair of socks in these colors.

There is a large list of tutorials on my desk to share with you in the coming weeks.  I plan on redoing a thrift shop doll house and making  all the furniture  in Shabby chic remade.

There will be a lot of making something out of nothing tutorials as well as Dollar store items made into really great things.  I will share web sites I enjoy, recommend new shopping web sites I have been dealing with, and recommend a lot of U-Tube sites that are miniature related and tutorials.

We will be doing some baking with new silicone molds and Fimo clay.  Joanne Swanson made a tutorial on trunk making and covering with cloth covers from old books.  I will make mine out of old books from thrift and garage sales.  I have one that is an encyclopedia  embossed  with imprints from 1920.  I am learning to weave, so I will share what can be wove in miniature. We will make a front porch out of a picture framed box and make items for each season.  I have found quite a few found boxes, shelves and cupboard from clock cases that are going to be made into miniature room boxes. The process will be shared along the way.  Fairy gardens and fairy domains are still popular,  New techniques from regular size classes that  have taken and now converted into miniature will be shared as well.   I also have been exploring U Tube for tutorials, maybe in the future I will get into that.

I have a couple books on the back burner to be completed, one is How to articles in Miniature,   a Children,s book inspired by a Raccoon that lived in a certain part of my house this winter, and one that will probably be a Romance in the end.  All that needs done is to compile the thousands of notes when inspiration hits and put them in order. One of the first things on my bucket list was to find a creative writers group.  Found a good one and it is unbelievable how much creative energy is turned on when you take a step toward your goals.  Miniatures was my first topic that was written about because it was something known to me.   As a result of that they asked me to display some of my room boxes in the display case at the library.  Five  were chosen and were well received by senior citizens particularly and children.  About a month later while taking a craft class at another library, a woman at the table was talking to her friend about these great miniature room boxes at the Foltz Center.
She said her Granddaughter went bonkers over them.  I just had to break in and said they belonged to me. She looked at me with a  --Sure they are Crazy lady look on her face. 

It's been a while since blogging and things have changed some a whole lot.  It has taken pretty much a whole day to type and get pictures loaded, technology has changed, someone has a propane cannon that makes me fly out of my seat.  But overall, I look forward to posting and sharing with you all once again.  Happy July 4th!