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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dollhouse Size Table for the Kids

This week we are making a small table for the kids that live in the dollhouse. This project came about because I found some cute little chairs at Dollar Tree (thanks to a ti on one of the mini groups I am on) that were perfect for the kids in the dollhouse. The chairs had originally been a stacking game and since there were only a dollar for 10 kid size chairs I couldn't pass it up. Now that the kids had some chairs I knew that they would need to have a table to sit at. Right?? So this is the table that I came up with to go with them. I know several people have shared with me that they are working on projects like day care centers and the like so I thought this table would be perfect for those settings.

The table top is simply 2 of the wooden rounds that can be found at the craft-store, I used the 3” size. I decided that I would need to glue two of the rounds together both to make it look more realistic and also to accommodate the pegs used for the legs. The legs are simply labeled as 1 ¾” Shaker Pegs. I found that the top of the pegs was just about 7/32” so I was able to use a regular drill to make my holes. After sanding the top I wanted a totally smooth top so I used my favorite Yes glue to add some scrap-booking paper to the top, this was cut to size when the glue dried.

As soon as I looked at the edge of the table it reminded me of the metal edge that some many tables have so a quick coat (or 2) of silver paint and we had a table with a metal edge. I did use my finger to apply the paint, I find I have much more control in areas like this with my finger and I don't have a brush to remember to clean.

After the paint dried I used Mod Podge to coat the table. I sprinkled some various nail are glitters in the wet Mod Podge to add a nice decorative element to the table. When this dried a few more coats of Mod Podge and the glitter was embedded in the table top. I really love the way it turned out. You probably noticed I used my finger to apply the Mod Podge, this was for a couple of reasons. First no brush to clean and secondly no brush marks. I find I can get a much more even coat with my fingers on small areas like this.

I hope you can use one of these tables in your scene.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dollhouse Miniature Breakfast Sandwich

This week's project is a really easy breakfast in both mini and real life, the breakfast sandwich. We are again using some of the English muffins we made a few weeks ago, that video is here if you haven't seen it yet.

I think most of us have eaten a breakfast sandwich at some time or another either homemade or from the local fast food joint. I figured your dollhouse family might need to have the same convenience of a quick to grab breakfast. This is a super easy project you can tell that partly by the short length of the video. This would be another great beginner project and a subject that a lot of younger miniaturists can identify with.

Again we are using some left over clays for some of the elements.

For the meat layer I used a bit of the clay that was left over from the Bacon video, I am pretty sure this was the lightest of the clay colors from that project. The directions for that mixture are here. Really though the exact color isn't critical in this just make up a light brownish pink color.

For the egg I used a bit of the white/ translucent mix that I use a lot for food. Just equal parts of the two colors are all you need.

For the cheese I found that some Sculpy III in the color sweet potato was perfect. Also the fact that the clay is so soft won't be a problem in this project. Just use whatever clay you have in a cheesy color. Be sure to roll the cheese layer out very thin to get the melted cheese look.

In fact getting the clay thin enough is probably the hardest part of this project. We are going to have 5 layers by the time we have the sandwich completed. Each layer needs to be thin enough or your sandwich will be way to tall to look believe able.

At the very end it does help to coat just the cheese with some kind of gloss finish to make it look a bit greasy and melted. 


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Eggs Benedict for the Dollhouse

This week's project uses some of those mini English muffins we made last week. If you didn't catch that video you can watch it here. This is the perfect place to use some of the English muffins that maybe the texturing didn't turn out as well as you had hoped. We will really only see the sides and a bit of the top (depending on how much hollandaise sauce you add)

I have to admit this is my very favorite breakfast so this one was especially fun for me to make. I did make my son and I the real thing for breakfast the day I filmed too. We decided that we had to make the scarify for the video LOL.

As to the clay colors I used:
For the meat layer I used a bit of the clay that was left over from the Bacon video, I am pretty sure this was the lightest of the clay colors from that project. The directions for that mixture are here. Really though the exact color isn't critical in this just make up a light brownish pink color.

For the egg I used a bit of the white/ translucent mix that I use a lot for food. Just equal parts of the two colors are all you need.

For the sauce I am using Scribbles brand shiny fabric paint. I love the fabric paints for making sauces. They come in a bunch of colors, are realistic in texture and drip-ability. They are my go to product to make sauces of all kinds. They are also inexpensive and a tiny bit goes a long way.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New YouTube channel

I just wanted to give you all a heads up that I have added a new off topic YouTube channel. I have found myself watching a lot of the vlog channels that my favorite YouTubers have so I decided that I wanted to join in the fun.

I won't be posting there as often as on my mini channel (at least that is the plan currently) and these videos will be non mini related. Just stuff we are doing and things that I find interesting and want to share.

I posted the first video over there this morning and here is the link to it  if you want to take a look. If you are interested in watching more of the vlog videos be sure to subscribe to that channel too.

Glass Paint Comparison

I have been planning to do this video and blog post for a while but hadn't gotten around to it. I decided that the time had to come to get myself in gear and get this done because I have heard reports from several people that their Michael's stores are in the process of discontinuing the Gallery Glass that we all use so much.

So far I am happy to report that the Michael's I shop at has not started to discontinue their supply.

The reason I wanted to do this comparison in the first place was that I had noticed that there are currently 3 brands of glass paint in my local craft store and I wanted to know for myself how they compared. I decided to do this as a video/ blog post because I thought you might find the process I use to test this kind of thing helpful. Also hopefully the results will be useful to you also.

The brands of paint I am testing today are: Gallery Glass, Martha Stewart crafts, and Deco Art Glass Stain. I kept the test to 2 colors from each line. Since the 2 colors of Gallery Glass I use the most are Amber and Clear I was hoping to test those. However, only Gallery Glass has an Amber. Both of the other brands have an orange and brown and Amber falls in between those two colors. Since I already had a brown in the Deco Art brand I chose to try the orange color in Martha Stewart. The prices of the 3 brands were comparable at my store with Gallery Glass at $2.79, Deco Art at $2.99 and the Maths Stewart didn't have a shelf tag but rang up at $2.44 on sale (30% off regular price, you can do the math) 


I didn't really like the packaging on the Martha Stewart brand because it seemed to be overkill. The bottles were both shrink wrapped and there was a paper/foil seal on the bottle. Also the opening on the actual bottle is really small as is the opening on the nozzle top.

The Deco Art just had the paper/foil seal on the actual bottle top and I think that is sufficient.

If I remember correctly Gallery Glass just has the shrink wrap not the paper/foil seal.

As for the openings of the nozzles on the bottles the Gallery Glass seems to be the middle sized. The Deco Art is a bit large and I can see where the product could come out too fast from the bottle. On the other end of the spectrum the Martha Stewart nozzle is really too small. I actually had trouble getting the product even out of the bottle.

To set up for the test I decided that the bacon and fried eggs that I made recently would be good tests for the paints. I mentally divided up a paper plate into 3 areas and put one egg and one slice of bacon cane in each area. I used some TLS to adhere the clay to the plate so they will stay in place after baking so even if I manage to drop the plate I will still know for sure which is which.

After the clay was baked and cooled I labeled the three sets of clay with the initials of the product. Any notes you need to keep your info straight works here. I do the same thing when I am testing color mixtures of clay but I write down the colors or brands of clay used.

Next step was to apply the paint to the clay pieces. I used my finger being sure to clean up between colors/brands with a wet wipe.

Now we needed to just wait for the paints to dry. I found no information on the bottles on how much time to expect this to take so I just had to wait and check back every once in a while.

The paints all were dry in a short time I'm not sure how long it took since I had to leave the house to run some errands and all were dry when I returned.

The Gallery Glass is definitely the winner in this test. It dries smooth, the color is just what I need for projects, etc.
Gallery Glass sample as applied

Gallery Glass sample after drying is complete

The Martha Stewart, the dried finish on this one is a bit on the grainy side and I really wish it had a bit more shine. The biggest downfall though is the lack of an amber color. Also I really dislike the bottle! This one runs at a distant 2nd to the Gallery Glass.

Martha Stewart as applied

Martha Stewart after drying is complete

The Deco Art is really grainy in my opinion when dry, for some uses that might be a good thing but not for the applications we are testing today. I do prefer the bottle but because of the texture of the product once I dry I have to place it last in the ratings.

Deco Art as applied
Deco Art after drying is complete

I hope this was helpful to you, if there are other products you would like to see me test let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Also as a side note, I am looking into other sources for Gallery Glass for all of you. If it does become harder to locate I have a few ideas but that is in the future. 


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dollhouse Miniature English Muffins

This week I decided to show you how to make some English muffins to go along with the breakfast foods for the dollhouse. These are another simple project that is made with polymer clay. I am using Fimo again this week, only three colors needed: white, translucent and golden yellow, the same colors we used last week for the fried eggs.

I would imagine you have noticed how often I use the basic clay mixture of equal parts white and translucent clay. It is so basic to so many things we make in clay that I try to keep a large batch mixed up and ready to go. When I find a sale on clay I buy a block of each of the two colors and mix the blocks together. Just be sure your work area is perfectly clean (you don't want to ruin 2 entire blocks of clay even if they were on sale). I then store the mixed clay in a well marked zip lock plastic bag. It is so nice to be able to just pull off the amount of pre-mixed clay that I need for a project.

On a side note if you noticed my son whistling in the background please comment either here or on the comment section of the video. He doesn't believe me that it came through on the video. LOL

Be sure to make a few extra mini English muffins because I am going to use them in the next couple of weeks as the base for some more breakfast items.

I love to take pictures of the mini with the real thing.

Breakfast is coming along nicely!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Fried Eggs for the Dollhouse

This week I am continuing on the breakfast theme with some fried eggs. These are the typical “Sunny Side Up” eggs that my dad loved to eat for his breakfast. In real life they can be kind of tricky to get them cooked just so but, in mini they really couldn't be easier.

In my opinion these fried eggs are probably the easiest food item I have ever demonstrated for you (hence the short length of the video) but at the same time one of the coolest when finished.

You only need 3 colors of clay (white, translucent, and a golden yellow) I used Fimo but any brand would work for these. The only other material you will need is some clear glass paint, I used Gallery Glass because that is what I have and I know how it works.

Since we are coating the cooked clay with the glass paint I cooked the eggs on a tile. I find that when I cook my foods on a paper plate and then coat with the glass paint the paper from the plate sticks to the dried paint and makes a mess. I really dislike baking on the tile but it is just easier for this project.

Since these are so easy they would also be really easy to re-size to another scale. Just work up or down in size.

One tip, don't make the balls of white/translucent clay to perfect, you want the egg white to have an interesting shape. Also don't put your yolks all dead center on the whites. Think about how a real fried egg looks, they are never perfect.

Above all HAVE FUN!!!!