Wednesday, November 30, 2011


 Back in September I posted about the boxes I'd made (here) with the help of my square. The boxes I made then were finished with matte paint. It occured to me that I could make the same type of boxes look much fancier with a shiny lacquer finish.
The first box was painted burgundy and black, and sized to fit a large perfume bottle. I dotted some red paint in the corners of the lid, but found that the colors were too close to show up well, especially in photos!
Since I found that the dark colored backgrounds were difficult to decorate, I switched to lighter colors for the next boxes, and used a combination of hand-cut Victorian images and painting  to decorate them.
The blue box stayed empty, but the pink box got a surprise!
The lining is padded white silk satin. I love to make jewelry using swarovski crystals! I'm honestly not one for jewels or crystals most of the time, but when I'm doing jewelry, they make the pearls and other bits come to life. I seem to use the pale blue and amethyst colors most frequently. The colors are a bit more interesting than plain diamonds, but not as bright as the reds or greens. It took me a long time to buy the swarovski, they always seemed expensive! Instead I used to hunt through bags of sequins to find the tiny punched circles that fell out of the hole in the sequin centers. Or you can get the smallest plastic jewels available (about 1/16th" across), stick them down with double sided tape, and cut them smaller. Both of these are time consuming methods though, and the results aren't nearly as good.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Just wanted to mention that there is a post about my micro garden sheds on the IGMA blog! They showed both the shed I made in Nell Corkin's class at the Guild School (more about my Guild School experience here,) and the little green shed I built after taking the class.  Please go take a look!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Things to Do With an Extra Table

 One of the nice things about Mom and I both liking miniatures is that a lot of things get passed back and forth between the two of us. The white table below was originally supposed to be for one of mom's dolls. I distressed the table, and two matching chairs, for her. When the set was finished, however, the size and shape of the table just didn't quite work. Then mom stumbled across a slightly smaller rectangular table that was perfect for her project, and suddenly the round table was extra!
Looking at the beaten-up finish of the table, I suddenly pictured it in the home of an absent-minded scholar.  I'm getting to the end of the semester at college, so I guess piles of books are on my brain! I chopped off half the table foot, and propped it back up with a slim leather book. The brass lamp came from my mom's collection. I feel a little guilty about the lamp. It has the most fantastic patina- just the right amount of tarnish! I swear she gave it to me, I didn't steal it, but I also know she had plans for the lamp. I may end up giving it back. The little white vase has a few daisy-like flowers, most of which are dead! I made everything except the table, lamp, teacup, and vase.

 The stacks of books took longer than I was expecting. I added a few with silk covers to give variety. I'm still planning to add more piles when I get the chance.

 I already had the bottle of ink made. It looks very strange in the photograph above, it's actually only half full the way that the very first photo shows. I'm not sure if you can see it, but the pen has a tiny brass nib. Lastly, the dirty tea cup has left a few rings on the table! I made the rings a bit darker than I would normally, because the tabletop is so busy (I'm still planning to add more chaos). I wanted to make sure they would be seen. I also realized, looking at the placement of the teacup and the angle of the pen, my imaginary scholar is probably left-handed! I'm left-handed, so I tend to arrange things that way without realizing it. Oh well. At least the ink is on the right side. (P.S. I'm sorry, the pun was unavoidable.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Pretty Project

I've always loved antique fans. For a long time now, I've wanted to try making some in miniature. This last weekend I finally gave it a go. Since I wanted the fan to look very delicate, I chose to make the sticks of the fan very narrow, and spread them quite widely. In many of the examples I looked at, it was hard to see the individual spokes, which were so close together there was no space between. I was relieved to find a few historical examples where the sticks were spaced the way I preferred.
This was my first attempt (above). You can see that the bottom of the fan got a little messed up on this attempt, but I kept going, because I wanted to make sure all the other steps I'd figured out would would work the way I thought they would. I used an old gold silk for the fan leaf and tassel. The colors are a bit brighter in real life.
I had a little trouble with the spokes of this fan, as well, but they came out better overall. I used a pinkish beige silk on this fan, and painted three little portraits connected by garlands of flowers . It still needs a tassel.
 This fan had perfect spokes! I painted a landscape this time, with a pair of flower-filled urns flanking the scene.

 Did I mention that these are less than an inch tall, and only about an inch and a quarter wide?  Unfortunately, even using the thinnest silk I had, they are still a little too thick to function, but I think with a bit more experimenting, I'll be able to make them in various open and closed positions. I'm also excited to try a few variations, like adding guards (which most, but not all of the fans I saw had) and maybe adding some painted flowers or gold designs to the spokes!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Time for Tea

The break in postings over the last few weeks was unexpected. By accident, I left my camera and memory card full of pictures a few weeks with my mom, and wasn't able to retrieve them until this past weekend.
This teacup was part of a larger vignette for a doll my mom was working on. The cup and teaspoon are only Chrysnbon, but Mom added the resin tea and I added pink flowers to the cup and saucer. I made the tea bag from tissue paper.