Tuesday, February 20, 2018

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Miniature elf doors for dollhouse

I finished all the doors in the fantasy build! The main entry door is so fun! All of the doors were extremely meticulous and made from scratch. Wood, paper and wire. A necklace charm is on the door window.

Here is a link to my other blog to show how I did the hinge. For these wood doors I also carved away a notch for the hinge to sit in.

Miniature animals

I occasionally list my creation or other minis for sale on my eBay store

Cover of American Miniaturist

Very flattered that the publisher ask that the foyer from my Ophelia dollhouse be on the cover of the March issue of America Miniaturist!

Sometimes it is tricky for me to separate myself as editor and also as a miniature artist. My number one goal is to support other artists through this publication, so sharing my own work as a feature can feel a bit awkward. But because March is my birthday month this is a wonderful present.

I have chosen American Miniaturist as a platform to feature my Ophelia dollhouse tour over the next few months.
The first time I was ever featured many, many years ago, before being editor, was in AM as a contributor. So this publication has remained close to my heart.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Elf miniature kitchen

Because my elf tree house kitchen is so small I have to make all of the pieces myself so they will fit.

I was really nervous about the cooking wood stove, but am very happy with how it turned out!
Mat board, paper and glue, and then a jewelry embalmment, paint, and pins.
For the oven rack I used wire and Super Glue.
Here are some photos to show how I did it.

The sink and the hutch was made from wood. The hutch legs are obviously stair spindles.

The metal washing tub was made from paper, thread, and wire. Then I painted it.

I still want to add two nature themed paintings to the hutch door insets. Lots more to do! Thanks for stopping by.:)

primitive miniature tools

I needed some tools for my elf tree house and luckily they only needed to be primitive.
I sometimes contemplate putting up tutorials that are very simple but then I remind myself that it’s not always abut the complexity of a how-to. Many times it is more about what it will inspire someone else to make.
Sometimes I see a simple tutorial that inspires me to make a scene I never would have thought of. So here it is…

Primitive wood hammers
Start with a wooden dowel. This one is about 1/4” in circumference. Carve the end so it’s rounded. Get a drill bit that is as wide as a toothpick and drill a hole in the center.
Sand it so it is semi smooth. Perfectly smooth if you want something more modern.

Cut the end off the dowel. Cut a toothpick and sand the end and glue it in the hole.

For the mallet/hammer use a similar method.

Stain everything your desired color.

Draw your handle shape on a piece of basswood. Carefully trim around it with an X-ACTO knife. Don’t press too hard or you will spit the wood. Take your time.

Once you get the shape carve the edges gently with the knife to make smoother, but still mainly flat. Sand the edges a little.

Use some polymer clay to shape the blade. Make the wood poke out of the top of the blade. I pressed it on the board in a basic shape. Then cut away what I did’t want. Slide a flat clay blade under it and flip it over. Shape with the knife again then carefully picked it up and shape the blade to have a sharper tip.

Once you are happy put it back down and cut excess clay away from the handle for the final shape. I kept one straight but added a point to the other on the neck of the wood.

Bake according to the manufactures instructions, let cool. You can sand the blade to get it sharper. Paint in a steel grey acrylic then go in and dry brush a lighter grey.

Stain the handle.

I mixed up some silver metallic dust with mat varnish and painted on the shiny blade edge.

Cut a toothpick and round the edges. Drill a tiny hole in the handle.
I had two tiny drill bits and decided to cut one to use as the tools drill but it went flying when I cut it and got lost in my studio. If you are going to attempt to cut one do it in a plastic baggie so it won’t fly away!
Instead, I covered wire with glue and wrapped thick thread around it in a spiral fashion. Then painted it silver.

I cut into a piece of wood and made a clay handle. Then painted the clay to match the wood.

An acorn cup makes a perfect nail bowl!

The bee’s wax candles took a lot of trial and error to get the color I wanted. They are pretty close. My browns kept turning the clay green when baked.
I ended up using a smaller portion of translucent, yellow, and a tiny pinch of the right brown. If any one needs slim green colored candles let me know I have a large batch for free!

elf tree house

I have been working on my first “fantasy” style house. I imagine it would be a house for small elves up high in a tree deep in the woods. After having made so many “real life” houses it has been smooch fun to let loose and just create organically.

This is my progress so far.
This build is just a hair smaller than 1:12-scale. Much like a “petite” one-inch scale house.
The structure is foam board. Wall spackle for the stucco and wood for the trim. I added pieces of bark from the mighty oaks on my property. The pine cones for the roof were gathered from the trail I walk/jog weekly.

I will share some of my method here.

I drew out the house on graph paper. Highly recommend this if you are doing a scratch build. Each square is considered and inch. Helps a lot. I just started at the base and added each room one at a time. I wanted it to feel as if it may have started as a two room house and then, as the family expanded, they began to build upward.

The first level is the storage room. This is where they store their harvest. The first room where you would enter is the kitchen and granny elf lives in the next room. 

A ladder (not shown yet) will take you to the sitting room. To the left is the bedroom of granny’s daughter and her husband. To the right will be the washroom.

Up the next ladder is the nursery for the triplets. Three tiny elves that are full of mischief!

On the bath roof will be rain barrels with pipes leading to the kitchen and washroom. 
There is also a hummingbird roost where I will make hummingbird nests. This is how the elves get their eggs. Only sparingly of course. 

The back of the house is a custom-cut piece of wood with a hook on it. 

The stained glass windows were made using a tutorial by Rik Pierce. The only alteration I made was using graphic tape instead of lead tape.
He has great tutorials in his new tutorial book available at his Etsy store: frogmorton studios 

I made everything in the kitchen from scratch, (stove, hutch, sink and dish washing tub). I will post the cooking stove photos separately. The trap door opens. I will make a hook on the hutch to hold it open. A ladder will also be added.

There will be electric but it will be for candles. I still have to paint all the candle lights to look like bee’s wax.

The front facade will have doors that open for each room. And hopefully I will be sculpting all the elves who live there and maybe even a few visitors.

Stay tuned for more progress photos as I go! Thank you for visiting!