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I've been into dollhouse miniatures since the early 1990's now and when I realized how much I've learned during that time, I thought I'd make a blog to share my knowledge with others. I'm mostly auto-deduct, but always found help on the Internet and in specific books. The mini-world starts and ends with your own imagination, so let there be no limit. And never say : I CAN'T .... because you can, you just need to try and have the necessary know-how. And that's the main reason why I started this blog, because I wanna share what I know with newbies in the miniature world or anybody else who might be interested in sharing what I've learned so far. So, hopefully, I'll be able to provide some useful hints, tips and tricks for those of you out there just starting with this wonderful hobby

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Blog Archive

May 3, 2017

The Lavender Shop : this and that

Hello again

I just took this picture for fun, because when I saw everything standing there, I realized that I've already made quite a few items for my shop, which doesn't even exist yet, lol

Just felt like sharing

I made a few more candlesticks, bigger (higher) one's this time, as well as perfume bottles, vintage and other.

There are already 3 tiny displays (for the soaps, the perfumes and the ambiance fragrances)

In the front you can see a few plates I made with polymer clay and which I painted either lavender and/or gold for the occasion. The one one the right is filled with tiny lavender cakes  called "meringues" (these do really exist, taste a bit strange in the beginning but you get used to it after eating a few).

The gold plate on the left is filled with tiny little pieces of lavender "nougat" (don't know if there is another expression for that in english)

Both these plates will be on the counter at the entrance of the shop for my customers to try them before buying, lol

On the right in the back, you can see some sort of box/display for wrapping paper, all with the lavender theme and/or color of course, for the occasion


Stay tuned
See ya soon

The Lavender Shop : 2nd piece of furniture made with cardboard

Hello and good morning everyone


Since I kinda re-discovered cardboard, I'm making more furniture for my new Lavender Shop instead of buying it and it's not just cheaper, but also a lot more fun, believe me

I need a couple of shelves for my Shop and so I gave it a try after the 1st little one turned out quite nicely.

If you need measurements or so, please feel free to ask

I did use chalk paint (from Rayher, available at Amazon, but also in many craft and hobby shops). The first coat is plain lavender and with this cardboard, you usually only need 1 coat anyway to cover it all up nicely.

Once dry (which is really quick), I sanded everything to make the surface smooth before Step 2.
Then I took a piece of sponge and added some beige (also chalk paint), but I did not cover the entire surface.

To make it look "aged" or "distressed" I always use my little Distress Ink Pads, but when these are new, you gotta be careful not to use too much on the borders

Other than that, believe me, it's a piece of cake ..... 1 hour tops and you're done with the painting part. The real work here (which takes up most of the time of course) is planning the piece of furniture you wanna make.

Before you start cutting, make sure to draw some sort of plan on a piece of paper with the exact measurements and think everything through very thoroughly in order to make all the pieces fit once you start cutting out and gluying. You need to have an exact image in your head of what your shelf or any other piece of furniture you wanna make is gonna look like.

So here are a few pictures of my shelf

and come back soon, I'll try to make an armchair next

This is just one coat of chalk paint ..... as you can see, it's more than enough,
 you really don't need to add more coats.

I added some pieces of cardboard on the sides, just for fun


This is the chalk paint from Rayher I used

In these pictures, you can probably see what I meant with using a piece of sponge and not covering the entire surface with the second coat of beige paint


And the borders are aged with the Distress

I just decorated with a few items I've already made to see what it looks like

This cute little display on top is also made with cardboard

There's more to come, so stay tuned

See ya

April 23, 2017

The Lavender Shop : vintage candle holders

Hello everyone

Allthough they aren't entirely finished, I just wanted to allow you a little glimpse at the
vintage candle holders I made

I still need to make the candles and add a finishing touch, but they start to look good already

They are made of all sorts of jewellery findings, caps, metal beads, etc.

I'm using these long head pins to keep everything together and once the glue has set, I simply add some color (acrylic paint does the job, no problem)

That's why I leave the top of the pin at that stage, in order to have something to hold it while painting. This can be cut off once you're done of course.

I always leave a few mm, because it's a good way to hold the candle 
(which I make with Polymer Clay)

I used ecru, putting one just 1 layer of color, so that the metal still looks through at least a bit.

Once it is dry, I just add a tiny little bit of wood stain and here's the result

Hope you like 'em

they will look much better of course once the candles are added
so stay tuned, there's more to come

See ya

The Lavender Shop : making all sorts of bottles (Part 1)

Hi there

In order to fill my Lavender Shop, I do not only need to make items that fit into boxes, but also bottles with all sorts of "liquids"

For now I've tried to make a few bottles with beads and other jewellery findings

The one's in the picture contain Lavender Scented laundry liquid, called "Eau de Linge", 
something you simply add into your washing machine when doing your laundry.
And there is another one called "Adoucissant", to make the laundry soft
and of course with Lavender Scent too.

I also added the labels to the bottles containing bath salt (Sel de Bain) and made a jug and some lavender to embellish the scene a little bit

The picture below gives you an idea of the size, just look at the pencil


Next up will be soap bottles made with resin and empty gel capsules, this is gonna take some time, to be patient please

See ya

The Lavender Shop : 1st piece of furniture made with card (or mat board)

Good Morning to you all

I hope you're all enjoying your sunday, doing whatever you love to do, hopefully with your loved ones round you

As usual, I work on my minis and there's no Sunday to stop me πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

In my last post, I showed you the little shelf I made with card board (or is it mat board ? ..... puh, I just never know the difference)

Since the last pictures you've seen here, it has changed quite a bit and I'd like to say it is ready to find a place in the shop ..... haha, that does not yet exist πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I gave it a 1st layer of paint with wood stain, but only very little, because I was afraid the card might suck up to much of the liquid and maybe would no longer hold together or so.
But I was lucky, no such thing happened

After that coat was dry (it does dry very quickly), I applied a bit of lavender acrylic paint, but not with a brush, but a piece of cloth (and gloves of course) and once that was dry, another layer (again with a piece of cloth) of egg shell acrylic paint

I wanted to make this shelf look really old, vintage, with a touch of shabby chic.
Once the result looked good (to me at least), I took out my distress ink mini pads and started to give it the old aged look. When everything was dry, I just sanded it again, but only very slightly, and gave it a coat of matt finishing spray. This does not make it look shiny, because I didn't want that on such an od vintage piece, but it helps to fix the colors 

So here's the result, let's see what you think :

After the 1st coat of wood stain (dilluted with a little water)
and remember not to apply too much

Then the second coat of acrylic color (lavender of course)

And the 3rd coat of egg shell acrylic color
(always applied with an old piece of cloth)

After the "aging" treatment with the Distress Ink Pad
(you can of course achive the same result by appliying Wood Stain again, but you should be 
careful doing that, if you apply too much, it will cover up all you color applied previously)

Doesn't look t bad, huh ??

Of course, I needed to add something with my new designed logo on it
... as you can see, this little shelf is gonna be "Le coin des savons", which literally means
"The Soap Corner"

Adding a few little details and voilΓ  .... aahhhh, me happy


See ya

April 21, 2017

The Lavender Shop : making furniture with cardboard (or mat board)

Hello everybody


I recently re-discovered cardstock ... a very useful item to make dollhouse furniture. It's not too thick, 
(the one I'm using is about 1,5 - 2 mm) but still has enough thickness for that size of furniture (1:12th scale in my case). It can be sanded easily, cut with a simple craft knife and painted or stained in whichever way you like

So I decided to give it a try and designed one little piece, some sort of cupboard to display items in my future Lavender Shop. You know, it's not really difficult to think of a piece of furniture and make a plan with the pattern, the only thing is that the size and the measurements need to be correct.

So what I do is quite simple, after browsing a little bit through the Internet to get a more clear idea of what my piece should look like in the end (try to keep it easy in the beginning πŸ˜‹)

You might wanna check out video tutorials on Youtube, it can be easier if you see for yourself how it's done before starting to make your own, but that's only a suggestion of course.

1) I make a plan on the computer, where I indicate the exact measurements for each piece, as well as the name of it (meaning where it goes when I assemble everything, lol). If you're not sure about the hight or width or so, just take a finished piece from one of your dollhouses or other miniature projects and measure that, it should give you an idea.

Most of the pieces can be drawn on your computer, this helps to get exact measurements. 
The one's that need a little "drawing by hand" are added later (I just make a copy on my printer, that's the easiest way to do that)

All this takes up a little time of course, but believe me, it's worth it

(see Pic 1 below)

2) I'm cutting out all the pieces (don't forget either to make a few extra copies or at least save the documents as a PDF on your computer before starting to cut out) and I'm transferring everything onto the cardstock. Then I cut out all the pieces of cardstock and sand everything. For the top of this little cupboard, I glued two pieces together, in order to get more thickness.
Sand everything a little and lay out all your pieces in front of you

(see Pic 2 below)

(see Pic 2 below)

3) I start to glue the cardstock pieces together (I will make a more precise tutorial for this later)
Cardstock has the advantage that it sticks very fast and very easily together, I'm using simple white glue from Elmer's or Aleene's Tacky Glue (whatever you have at hand).

Although I suggest to avoid Superglue, I tried that and there was a lot of it on my fingers and I don't even begin to tell you                                                                                           where else it ended up πŸ˜„πŸ˜„, but it doesn't work very well with cardstock, cardboard, paper, etc. ..... that's my experience and just a personal opinion of course.

Starting to look like something already ... yeah 😍

(see Pics below)

And that's about it ..... of course in this stage, the piece hasn't been sanded and painted yet, but it's just to give you an idea of what you can do if you're willing to invest a little time and patience and only very little money

Here are just a couple of pics of the decorated piece ...... I just couldn't resist, lol

Stay tuned, I'll be posting the finished piece soon

See ya

April 19, 2017

The Lavender Shop : designing my own label (take 2) :-) :-)

Hi there

If you saw my last post (the 1st one regarding my new project, the Lavender Shop) you've seen my 1st try at making my own label for all the things that I'm going to make for this project, meaning my own label, since I don't wanna risk using one that has a copyright on it or so

The 1st time, I printed everything out on 120 gr Photopaper that was slightly 'eggshell' color (see pictures in the previous post)

It takes quite some time to make that, because, first you have to make the design, then you gotta think about what kind of packages and boxes you'll need, then you have to make those on your computer, if possible in the correct size πŸ˜‰πŸ˜ŽπŸ˜

Then comes the 1st round of printing, cutting out and gluing .... as well as the 1st round of realizing where I made mistakes, like one side to small, the label being upside down, the size not being correct etc.

OK, so let's go for the 2nd round ..... correcting my errors, printing out on 120 gr matt Photopaper, white this time (which I prefer by the way, because the nice lavender color comes out much better, although the other one looks a bit more vintage, which can be nice too) ..... hm hm ..... 😳😳 need to make up my mind about this, lol

So again, printing, cutting out, gluing to discover more details that still aren't perfect.

Tell me what you think, here's a pic of the one's printed on white paper :

As you can see, I added some new ones, like the round one, which is going to be a special "gift" box
The cute little jars on the right are filled with real lavender soap, which I grinded myself with my tiny tiny little clay grinder, lol

This is what my work table looks like right now


I wanted to make some sort if display for a few of my items and started by one made with 1,5 mm thick cardboard, which can easily be painted without everything bending or so, it's just perfect and once finished, it looks almost like wood

.... and here it is : my first try at making a display for my shop

See ya soon, stay tuned for more



April 13, 2017

The Lavender Shop : a new project

Hi everybody 


Sorry I've been away for so long, but I had so much to do outside, like each year, when spring finally arrives, there's a lot to do in the garden and since we had such good warm weather for almost an entire month now, I started to get going

Also, I made a few new elephants, since I'm a big fan of the Elephant Parade. There is a recent post here on my blog about this subject. Feel free to check out my FB page "Dany's Elephant Paradise" and my website www.danyselephantparade.jimdo.com

But for now, let's get back to my miniatures. I had an idea in the back of my head for quite some time now and I finally got to it. I'm a big fan of lavender, I love the smell, but also the bright color and the beauty of it in general. I do have lavender plants all over my garden, in every corner and I always wanted to make something related to it in miniature.

A while back, I discovered "Michaelas Miniaturen" http://michaelas-miniaturen.blogspot.de on the Web (check out her previous blog too : http://www.michaelas-miniaturen.beeplog.de) and she has a Lavender Shop there which I instantly fell in love with of course.

I don't know yet if I'm going to make an entire shop or maybe just a few displays first, we'll see about that in the future.

For now, what I'm trying to do, is designing my own line of products so-to-say, and therefore I started working on the computer in order to make boxes of all sorts for my shop

It's a start, but I'm afraid there's still a lot of fumbling ahead of me :-) :-)

So stay tuned, there's more to come

Happy Easter to all of you, enjoy the time with your loved ones

Here are a few pics of what I've done so far, just a first try ..... there are still some changes to make, but it's a start

See ya


February 22, 2017

Books about Dollshouses and Miniatures

Hi guys

Today I'd like to talk a little bit about books.

First off, I'd like to say that I purchased most of my books about dollshouses and miniatures at AMAZON. This is - in my opinion - the best source if you're looking for books.

Of course, if you're lucky enough to live in a country where the dollshouse and miniature hobby is much more common and better known than where I live, you might of course find some in a good old traditional book store.

Here are just a few of my favourite books (sorry for the pictures, just realized they aren't very good)

Please note that the descriptions I added are a copy/paste from Amazon.com
This should give you an idea of what the book is about

Veteran dolls’ house maker, expert on all things miniature, and prolific author Jean Nisbett presents a comprehensive volume that brings all the elements of her previous work together. The result: a complete guide to the making and furnishing of all kinds of dolls’ houses, large and small, from the leading writer in the field. Incorporating practical advice, expert tips, and inspiring profiles of top artisans, it covers both the standard 1/12th scale and the increasingly popular 1/24th. And there’s an incredible range of styles, from fabulous palaces and elegant mansions to country cottages and Shaker homes. Breathtaking photos display imaginative decorations, period rooms and room boxes, holiday settings, outdoor scenes, and charming collections of diminutive china and other trinkets.

Want a Tudor dolls' house that looks historically accurate down to the canopy bed? Or one from the 1930s, complete with bathroom fittings? If the magic of miniatures has captured you, you'll find this treasure-trove of glorious photographs and dolls' house information irresistible. Here's just one beautiful example -- a picture-perfect Regency room, based on a real home. It has a chaise longue, elaborate plasterwork on the ceiling, Gothic windows, and bookcases. Build or restore authentic recreations of Tudor, Georgian, Regency, and Victorian homes; designer houses; country cottages; shops filled with wares; gardens with pavilions; and more. First, look at the homes' facades, and then take a room-by-room tour to see how to decorate -- from just the right rug to lay down or hang up, to the food to place on the kitchen table. With all this practical crafts and historical information, you'll get every detail right!

Renowned miniaturist Jean Nisbett offers a wealth of inspirational ideas for constructing extraordinary modern settings in 1/12 or 1/24 scale. All these decorative styles come from the 1900s through the present, and mesmerizing photographs showcase spectacular miniature houses and interiors. Among the delightful and unique choices for sheltering a doll: an elegant Art Deco beach house, an iconic midcentury Philip Johnson house, and an ultramodern 21st-century house, complete with soaring windows and state-of-the-art furnishings. Checklists of key period features and creative ways of using readily available objects to make furniture and accessories on a budget will help you design the dolls’ house of your dreams.

Kevin Mulvany and Susie Rogers create some of the world’s most magnificent and coveted architectural miniatures. Museums and private collectors commission their beautiful work, which covers many periods and countries, and ranges from the double-horseshoe staircase that leads up to Fontainebleau to the outrageously decadent chandeliers at the Brighton Pavilion.  This beautifully illustrated book captures the full breadth of Mulvany and Rogers’ achievements, and reveals the techniques and materials they use to fashion their stunning recreations. Practical projects for the reader include wood paneling, parquet flooring, trompe l’oeil marbling, and much more.

The Thorne Rooms, sixty-eight miniature models of European interiors from the 16th century on and American furnishings from the 17th century on, have entranced generations of visitors to the Art Institute of Chicago. This charming book showcases these rooms, featuring full-color views of each one as well as eight two-page spreads of some of the most spectacular interiors.

The introductory essay by Bruce Hatton Boyer chronicles how Chicago socialite Mrs. James Ward Thorne conceived the rooms. They were made between 1934 and 1940 by a number of skilled craftsmen according to her exacting specifications. Many of the rooms were inspired by specific interiors in historic houses, palaces, and sites Mrs. Thorne visited during her travels, and Fannia Weingartner’s individual commentaries provide information about each one. In addition, a number of Mrs. Thorne’s original drawings are reproduced to actual scale. 

Devotees of miniature houses and small-scale furnishings will be thrilled with this superb collection of more than 90 dollhouse projects to craft at home. A comprehensive volume on small-scale interior design, it presents 15 authentic and carefully matched room settings, featuring a variety of decorative styles from Shaker to Victorian. Each period interior is faithfully recreated in 1/12th scale, down to the tiniest detail. Hundreds of tips ensure that crafts enthusiasts will create splendid miniature furniture, decorative elements, and accessories, just right for decorating the most stylish and historically accurate dollhouses.

John and Jan Zweifel's meticulous recreation of the White House is captured in full-color  illustration.

Considered to be one of the world's greatest miniature houses, the replica is the result of over 30 years of research and construction by the Zweifel family. The tiny, working telephones, hand-carved chairs and tables, and miniature carpets that reproduce the original stitch by stitch, are all proof of great craftsmanship and minute attention to detail.

This tiny old house takes you back to a bygone era. The Big Book of a Miniature House is a superb guide to crafting an exquisite miniature French country home from the ground up. With a fixed front and open back, this little gem of a home takes you back in time to enjoy old-fashioned elegance and vintage grandeur.
Everything and the kitchen sink. There are also instructions to make French-style furniture – chairs, folding screen, ornate light sconces, and dressing tables – even flowers, fireplaces, window treatments and the kitchen sink!  With over 200 vivid photographs, this is a beautiful book to linger over and the gorgeous gallery of dolls' houses will ignite your creativity.
Construction made simple. A practical guide to tools, techniques and materials is included along with detailed step-by-step instructions. With over 400 drawings, it will guide you through all phases of construction, including:
  • Basic house construction
  • Electrification
  • Building the hallway
  • Kitchen
  • Stairwell
  • Bathroom
  • Living room
  • Bedroom
  • Nursery.
Details, details, details - because they make all the difference. Easy-to-follow instructions will help you build up the wall panels to create the deep recesses, fancy paneling, and wall niches that make this miniature home so special. These are techniques that you can use into any dollhouse you make. Plus, you’ll learn more about creating authentic miniatures with expert advice on furnishings, decorations and paint colors.

The secret to a realistic and authentic looking period dolls' house is in the fixtures and fittings - these are both the basics and the finishing touches. Each chapter of this book deals with a different fixture or fitting, discussing how it featured in the period home, illustrated with a beautiful fully dressed miniature room set. The chapter then goes on to feature a captioned, photographic gallery of ideas, shown in chronological order, from Tudor and Georgian through to Victorian and even Art Deco. This will assist the model maker both in selecting a model suitable for a particular dolls' house, and in styling it. A myriad of accessories to dress each feature is also illustrated in full colour. Finally, each chapter has a selection of step-by-step projects that show how to make or adapt some of the fixtures and fittings featured, including tips on achieving decorative finishes and effects.

This book of needlework (soft furnishings) for dollhouses by the editors of International Dolls' House News contains projects similar to those in Pamela Warner's Miniature Embroidery for the Victorian Doll's House but has a broader scope, covering British styles from 1845 to the present. Projects for curtains, rugs, and accessories include descriptions of period furnishings, charts, patterns, and photos of the finished items in a dollhouse setting. These are cleverly designed needlework miniatures that add an authentic touch to period rooms and would be collectible in their own right by needlework enthusiasts.

The authors aim to provide the answers for all those seeking to create a garden to match their dolls' house. This practical guide offers comprehensive coverage of items such as the lawn, paving, ponds and pergolas, and even the garden shed. Ideas are combined with advice on selecting the appropriate materials and products for garden features in 1/12 scale. Eight complete garden designs are presented, each with plans, photographs and detailed instructions for assembly.

You now, there are just so many many more books about this wonderful miniature world, some are for learnings, others are just filled with such beautiful pictures that you wanna make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and just sit down with it for hours

See ya

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