Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Good Book

I've been re-organizing bookshelves around the house. I've finally rounded up most of the books about miniatures, and have given them their own shelf. I was a bit surprised to see how many books I had collected over the years, mostly from local book fairs. I'll be sharing a few of my favorites from time to time.

The thick orange book in the photo above is one my favorites. The Collector's History of Doll's Houses, Doll's House Dolls, and Miniatures by Constance Eileen King is the most comprehensive book for antique and vintage dollhouses I have found. It covers sixteenth century cabinet houses, right through the commercial houses of the 1980s, and is loosely organized by both country and century. There are surprisingly detailed descriptions of the construction, contents, and owners of the antique houses, which makes for entertaining reading. The only real drawback to the book is that most of the photos are black and white, with only a few color plates.. I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone who has the slightest interest in antique dollhouses.

(Please excuse the glare, my book is a library cast-off, and the dust jacket has a protective plastic cover that makes the book difficult to photograph)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bottle Cap Footstools

I always save bottle caps. I started collecting them to send micro swap items safely, but it's been a while since the last swap, and my collection is getting a bit large. The other night, I remembered using bottle caps to make footstools as a kid. I had to give it another try.
The bottle caps I had were large, about an inch across, and 1/2 inch deep, so I cut it down to about 1/4 inch high using old scissors, then sanded the cut edge. An adult should definitely do the cutting! Stuff the cap with cotton balls, until they make a nice puffy seat. Cut a large circle of fabric (printed cottons hide glue spots pretty well), and cut rays from the outer edge inwards towards the center. Put glue around the plastic sides of the bottle cap, and then cover the cap with your fabric circle. Don't worry if glue shows around the sides, you will cover that with trim. Secure the fabric with an elastic band, and let it dry. When it is dry, trim away excess fabric, remove the rubber band, and add trim. I'm fond of embroidered ribbon or crocheted lace for this part, but any heavier weight wide trim will work.
Flip the stool over, and glue feet to the bottom (which is the old top of the bottle cap). I used wood turnings, but small beads will work as well. The finished effect is always "cute" rather than "elegant", but they are a fun rainy day project.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Little Mischief

I'd like to introduce you to my mother's latest doll. She's a very sweet girl...
who has gotten into a bit of trouble! There are muddy paw prints all over her clean white dress, and her hat may be ruined-what will Mother say?
Mom dressed and wigged the doll, and I 'helped' with the pawprints. My mother is a brave woman, letting me get near all her hard work with paint!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm Back, and a Sneak Preveiw!

Here's a glimpse at my contribution to my mom's latest project.
The fleshy pink blob is the home-made stamp I made this morning. I first made the paw print in reverse, using a bobby pin and micro beads to indent a scrap of clay. Then I used a second piece of clay to get a positive relief from the clay. You have to rock the stamp a bit to get a good print, but it's much faster than painting each by hand.

And here's the real culprit! Hopefully the full project will be done soon,and I'll be able to post more pictures of everything.