Monday, October 31, 2011

Nothing made but plenty of inspiration!

Hubby and I went on a bus tour of Ohio River Towns and besides the simply fabulous views and scenery....
we also toured 4 historic homes and I got some photos of some items I fully intend to make.  First is a bed step stool that also housed a chamber pot.  This was in the Lanier House in Madison, Indiana.
I also was thrilled by all the restored facades on Madison's main street and decided I want my towns small row of stores to look something like.

The Lanier House also had 10' tall doors, both front and back entrance hall doors and the pocket doors!   Aren't they simply majestic!!     I do want pocket doors in Ariel.    I also noticed they had period carpeting nearly everywhere which was laid down in not very wide strips.   And just look at those fabulous curtains!
And then there was the dining room done with scenic paper, gold curtains and a patterned floor that you'd think would clash but it didn't.  I have been inspired by not only the furnishings but also the wall/floor combos in this house.


And just look at these delicious wash stands calling out to be made in miniature!

Look at the brightness & pattern of that carpeting too!  Wow!

More tomorrow....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2 floors put down in Ariel

 Who is the fella?  I don't know his name and he is really supposed to be over in the Red Dragon Tavern playing poker.  Poor man has no shoes!
Just as the title says....

And in case anyone thinks I slave away with veneers which I couldn't afford to do anyway, nope - these are paper copier products cut out and glued down bit by bit.

I even managed a coat of water-based poly-U, just one.  I am quite happy with the results although the lack of a baseboard is decidedly glaring.

I also do not like bare walls....

Monday, October 24, 2011

Making Inkwells & various other bottles

Elga asked if I'd mind sharing how I made my ink bottles.   I am inspired by old ads usually from Sears & Roebuck or Montgomery Ward 1890's catalog reprints or reprints of old ads in books like this one.
Then I keep an eye out for amber colored, clear or black beads in square, oval or round shapes.  But I've made a ton from a purchase of a big bag of clear plastic pony beads.   Into the top sometimes for inkwells, I will glue (all with plain old white glue) a black smallest size eyelet.   That is optional but nice if you can.  Then I glue on top (again with a fat blob of plain old white glue) another bead of what seems to be an appropriately-sized top.   I have some hexagon, faceted black plastic beads which work perfectly.  I've used hematites, fake pearls and even the little round white tip from one of my lancets (diabetic testers) as you can see in the pic below.  I painted that black with glossy acrylic paint this very morning.    Sometimes I put a seed bead below or above the "top" to add effect.   I cover the hole in the black beads with a blob of black, glossy acrylic paint or if I used a gold or silver bead I'll use a 1/2" pin of which I have a bunch of silver and gold types on hand.
Labels - I print off stuff from online and cut them out and glue them on, rather finicky work but well worth it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Solomon Bandstand

In looking up my records of Facetious I found this:
The Solomon Bandstand (in Bantering Park).  The Solomon family has recently donated to the town of Facetious a bandstand for the park.   The design by Solled A. Brick (of Merebrick) is based on something he saw when in England (from Christiane Berridge’s book).   A brass quartet plays there on weekends.
I am hard at work on this bandstand and have a few pictures to share.  I have three brass instruments but will need a fourth in order to have that quartet.   I see no reason why a string quartet also can't play on occasion but such a group will have to be formed and primarily - instruments will have to be bought.   Ah, The Facetious String Quartet!    It is placed on green stuff but that is not Bantering Park.  I was just trying to get a feel for how it would look on greenery.

 Painting the gold on is very tedious but looks wonderful when done. could be a brass and wind quartet and have a flute for the fourth instrument.  I'm going to have to look up what pieces I expect to hear and what instruments are required for them.  Ought to have music playing somehow, like a music box and maybe even LIGHTS!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I bought one of those LED battery-powered lights which I meant to put in Slothaven's parlor but once I saw how BLUE they were....   Last night I discovered the shades screw off (!) and I applied with white glue a yellow tissue paper overlay, virtually a "gel" over the shades and bottoms of each of the five lamps.   Then it was alright to hang and it only looked right in the hallway, oddly enough.
So although the parlor remains unlit I am thrilled with the light in Slothaven and just love turning it off and on.   But I now fully realize how much work is needed on this hallway and on the door.

I also bought a fall tree.  I just plopped it on my just made board and took a picture to see how it would appear.  I could be happier with it but maybe after time and with better surroundings....  My favorite thing right now is the leaf that fell off while I was stretching out the branches, that is realistic enough.   The "bushes" have not had anything done to them yet so they look pretty silly - ignore them.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A bon mot

I don't remember where I got the idea for this but I'm doing it more and more.    I glue (white glue) items to a clear piece of plastic (like the stuff covers items you buy) and then grip wax that to a table top or not.  It makes it easier to create a little set piece you can move around.  The glass here was the tip from an eyeliner.

What is going on here?

One could well ask....     I was cleaning up some cheap wine bottles I bought many moons ago and repainted the tops.   In the background are some tables-in-progress and a bit of my first garden also-in-progress to the left.   I was working on about 6 things at once all weekend, it was confusing but fun!

I'd recently bought some plain bottles for my bar and I waxed 'em down to the counter just to get them out of their package.  I also glued some really cheap bead & push-pin glasses to a bit of clear plastic and stuck them onto a lower shelf where they really won't be very visible but I'll know they are there.
I like this overhead view.

And just for this photo I stuck the bar back into Ariel's morning room (which seems to make a nice bar).
One of the finished pedestals with the blue bit which I actually got in Paris in 1977 is also showing itself off here.
Those bar bottles need some labels - I'll be working on that soon.
Seeing this makes me want to change the paper in the bar/tavern!

Weekend Fun!

I actually had an entire weekend (almost) to make mini's in.   The first thing I did - thank you Casey's Mini's for the idea, was to stop by the local Dollar Tree and get some wonderful items.  I got those mini-skeletons which will be handy for the doctor's office and other places in town.

I saw a set of black hair curlers and was at last able to make the fireplace grates described by Jean Nisbet in Making Your Dollhouse Special.  
The three pedestals I made from Hobby Lobby findings with a "checker" piece on top.

 Here is the unfinished version and another finished version.
I also found these "trays" which I am turning into shelving units for the stores.  The first one I made I used shoe polish on which I just read of on someone's blog.   I used brown since that was what was on hand and was very pleased with the results.       

In the second photo I am using one of my quilting rulers which I am finding incredibly handy for miniatures.     

The third photo shows the 1/16" x 1" piece of balsa I used for shelving.
The decorative top bit is from Hobby Lobby.

And the last photo shows the finished piece being loaded with "stock" - some ink bottles and desk blotters.

And also inspired from Casey's Mini's blog I made 3 tables for my Cafe using bits of wood also from HL.  I didn't paint them yet because I could not decide what color they will be.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Inspired by perusing Casey's Mini-blog and seeing her crypt I suddenly got the hot idea for a mini-copy of the Collins Family Mausoleum!   

Entering that into the net pulled up a Youtube of an episode I haven't yet seen with a mini-mausoleum that Roger is apparently going to smash!   I don't know how to copy a frame or pic from a youtube but I made penciled notes.   I would rather try and make the one I see bits of in the series though, the old original one.

Facetious has a graveyard and it ought to have a mausoleum so it may as well be the one from Dark Shadows!
Fortunately this is a Friday and I just might have time this weekend to get a start on it.  What a thrilling thing to make!

October is just the greatest month!!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Slothaven's Dining room gets a frieze

As the title said...  There will always be a wedding about to happen in this room.  I'm proud of how well I did up these extremely cheap Greenleaf chairs.  It was in 2005 and under tense times when hubby was facing a layoff which happened and resulted in a major move/relocation.  I made chairs like crazy, 9 of these and 14  from House of Miniature kits.    This is how you can make hay out of hard times!
        That obnoxious & ostentatious looking chandelier I was making when recouperating from have all 4 wisdom teeth out and suffering from another tooth that needed a root canal and had to wait till I finished recouping, ugh!
        And it still needs a bit of cornice!

Coupla' friezes in Slothaven

I have been waiting since 2000 to find just the right frieze for the study in Slothaven.  I found it and put it in and here it is....       I need just the smallest cornice and then to get the rest of the room fully "done up"!

The Rev. Brick, as can be seen, has a penchant for the medieval.

Merebrick - Uncle Justa's bedroom

These are some pictures of one of my favorite rooms in Merebrick.   He is a Civil War veteran eternally writing his memoirs and cozily tucked away (just as he likes it) on the ground floor.  He won't use the new-fangled bathroom and performs all his abulations in his room.  His washstand is to the right and his shaving equipment sits on a small table between the 2 windows on the door.
That small woven rug on the floor is something I made as a teenager back in 1976. 

I put him in the fictitious 305th Lancers with their motto of "Nos Facesso" which is a close as I could find in Latin to "Can-Do" which was the motto of the 305th Air Refueling Wing I belonged to long, long ago.  
He has a big photo of Robert E. Lee over his mantel.     Over in Port Brown, the kitchen house, they have a big painting of Abe Lincoln so it all evens out nicely!

Change of Wallpaper in Merebrick

I have never been happy with the walls of the Merebrick parlor.   When I found some scenic papers online I decided I wanted that sort for the upper half of the parlor.   The door has yet to be done.

More wallpapering done

It was slow going but I got more wallpaper or more properly said, dado's & friezes went up this weekend.  I am pleased to have quite a number of Bradbury & Bradbury papers in Ariel.

Fortunately, pictures do not show the amount of back-and-forth decision making that went on before I decided on this dado & frieze set for the "drawing room".  And when decided what I had to do to get it all on there.  I think it is a rather strong statement but this is what I want.

This one below is just perfect for the "morning room", quite somber.  I think this frieze is not B & B though it might be a Voysey - but whatever, it is just what I wanted.  Now to decide where fireplace and door(s) will go. 

The Morning Room