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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Finishing the Table Kit

Once again I feel the need to apologize for this being late. I know I told you all two weeks ago I would have this up last week. I had planned to do just that. I did realize by Friday or Saturday that I was running a bit late but I posted on the Facebook page that I would be posting it a little late last Sunday. It had just been one of those weeks where everytime I was going to work on the video something else came up that I had to do first. I finally got t part of the video (first segment where I finish gluing the chair) done but I was waiting for the glue to dry. Then the weather took a turn for the worse and took our electricity with it. Our power was out for most of last weekend and by the time it did come back my house was sooooo cold I couldn't work in my office. I was also afraid to start much since the lights continued to flicker the rest of the day. By the time we were back to normal it was time to get a Trash to Treasure video ready to post.

On the bright side while I was not able to work on the project I was able to figure out how I wanted to finish the kit.

I had purchased this bottle of Americana Stain and Antiquing medium a couple of years ago. I remember I stumbled on it while I was searching for some other product and got it on impulse. I had then put it in with my other acrylic paints and never used it. I figured this would be a good time to try it out.

I first bought it because I have bought antiquing stain type paints in the past but how often do you really use them. I ended up tossing out half empty bottles because they dried up before I was able to use them I figured that being able to turn any of my paint colors into an antiquing/ stain would be a big advantage.

You might be wondering why I am referring to the product as antiquing/ stain. Well, as I understand the process if you are using it on wood it would be considered staining any other surface it would be antiquing. That seems to be how the process is referred to on several websites I checked for information so that is how I am going to refer to it.

I really do like the medium and I think we will be using it in the future. It does give a slightly different finish that a wash or dry brushing although you could easily substitute either of these techniques for what I did in the video.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dollhouse Miniature Table

This week for Trash to Treasure Thursday I show you a super simple way to create a table. This can be made for any size doll just look around for a suitable size container and use the same steps.

For my yogurt container I cut my circle of fabric about 8 ½” in diameter and had just a tiny bit to trim off when I was done. Just measure up the side across the bottom and down the other side of whatever container you are going to use to determine what size to cut.

The rest of the assembly goes exactly the same. Just start with on glued spot and make the second one across from it. Now put one between these two on each side and then between those 4 to make 8 pleats on your table cloth. Now let the glue dry and then glue 8 more times (once in between each of the others) for 16 spots in total. This number should work no matter what scale you make your table.

If you make on I would love to have you post it on the Facebook fan page so I can see it. 


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Doll Size Valentine Treats

This week for Trash to Treasure Thursday I thought I would show you a super quick and easy way to make some candy/ marshmallows for your dolls. Which they are will depend on what size doll you are making them for. For the dollhouse (1/12th scale) these make some wonderful holiday marshmallows just like the ones I saw at the grocery store this week. If you are making them for a larger doll (Barbie or American Girl) they are more the size of the Conversation Heart candies that come out at this time of year. You can also vary the size depending on what size hole punch you have to use. Mine is about 1/8” so those scales are based on the size I am using. Since the candies come in a couple of sizes they can work for both scales (and those in between as well)

I used the same hole punch to create the “sprinkles” I used on the Valentine's Day cookies I showed you last Sunday in my 18” Doll Kitchen tour. Just use some of the cardstock weight paper they sell for scrapbooking for those.

The craft foam I used is some I got at the Dollar Tree and I see it there from time to time. You can probably get it other places too that is just where I first noticed it. I love having the smaller pieces of a variety of colors, sure beats cutting up a full size sheet if I just need a tiny bit. I do recommend picking some up if you find it.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

18” Doll Kitchen Tour

You are probably wondering where the second part to the table and chair kit is and why are we looking at a kitchen for 18” dolls this week.

Well, I have been really busy with this project but I had set aside time to work on the table and chair kit. Then I managed to slice the end of my index finger open, I am not even sure how I did it. I discovered what I had done when I found that I had bled all over a part of what I was doing at the time. Then it took almost all day to get the bleeding to stop. The cut itself is tiny but for some reason none of my normal tricks to stop bleeding would work and some things that normally work really well just made it worse. So for most of the day I had my finger wrapped up and elevated trying to not bleed on anything important. It finally stopped bleeding in the evening but now it is so sore I can't stand to touch anything with the tip of my finger. So the kit will have to wait until that heals a few days.

In the meantime I figured I might as well show you the project that has been keeping me busy for the last 2 or so weeks.

First a little background, as you know I have been doing dollhouse stuff for a long time. About 2 or 3 years ago I fell in love with the 1/3rd scale dolls too. This is the scale that American Girl dolls are as well as a host of other brands. I started doing more and more in that scale.

A while back I decided to start a blog dedicated to that scale (you can find it here) and that is what this project is for. My plan for that blog is do a couple of different kinds of posts. Some will be just to show what I have been making in that scale, some to showcase items that I make for sale in my Etsy store (I know I need to get busy and get stuff listed on there), some will be reviews of products that I try that are related to the dolls of that scale, and some will be what I am going to call “photo stories” those will in the future be listed as being from “Allison's journal” since Allison is the doll that narrates the stories. Those posts will be stories that I create backgrounds and props for and tell through words and photos. There are some of those posts on the blog already (of the 7 current posts 5 are of this type) and there are many more to come.

One of the things I wanted to do was to make room sets, like what you might see movies or TV shows being filmed. These will be room backgrounds with furniture and props that I can quickly set up to create the backdrops for these stories.

At the same time as I was thinking through what I wanted to make and what rooms I wanted to represent a doll sewing group I am on did a Sew-along project with a cute apron, oven mitt and chef's hat set. That project sparked a multitude of project ideas in my mind. I knew I had to make some cookies for the dolls (after all if you have an oven mitt and an apron you probably should be baking) and then of course they would need a kitchen. I thought for a few days about how I wanted to do the kitchen. At first I couldn't really picture the project in my mind in a way that I thought would work. Then one morning I woke up way too early with the inspiration for the project. I couldn't get back to sleep that morning so I got up and started making scale drawings of the different components of the project. By afternoon I had a stack of pages of these drawings and a pretty good idea of how to make it happen.

I picked up supplies on my next trip to town and started to build the kitchen. I started with the background wall (I was lucky to find the perfect fabric for the wallpaper) then the kitchen island then I proceeded to the stove and finally the back wall unit. I also made a few little touches like the canister set and the cookie jar too.

I hope you have found this tour a fun change from the normal video. If you are interested in the larger scale dolls I do hope you will follow the blog and come back to see what the dolls and I are up to on a regular basis. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dollhouse Miniature Dirt

I know I have talked about what I use for dirt (or potting soil) in my mini scenes in different videos over the years but I thought I would go into more detail.

I use coffee grounds, they do need to be used coffee grounds but around here that is not a problem. We do go through a bit of coffee so I have pretty much an endless supply of them. I use my regular oven to dry them at a low temperature. They should dry in about 30 to 45 minutes at around 200 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. It is better to err on the side of leaving them in too long rather than taking them out too soon. You do want to get most if not all the moisture out of them. Be sure to use a low temperature because they will burn and they smell pretty bad when they do.

I store mine in a jar that I have poked holes in the lid, that way if there happens to be any moisture left in them it can evaporate.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Chrysnbon Table and Chair Kit part 1

I promised to tell you about what you were supposed to be seeing this week in the blog so let's start with that.

If you remember I had purchased 4 different Chrysonbon kits at the local mini show back in October. I did the first two kits on videos for you right away and there were no problems. I hadn't gotten around to doing the other 2 yet. Last week on of my friends asked if I had made up my Dry Sink kit yet. Her sweet husband had gotten her some minis for her birthday and that kit was one of the items he had gotten her. She wanted to know how mine had went and if I had any suggestions to help her with hers.

I decided that since I didn't have a project planned for this week's video yet I might as well start that kit. I had been meaning to get to it and this is as good a time as any.

I even taped the intro and the first part of the video (about 10 minutes of footage all together) and things seemed to be going well. Then I hit a problem, after I sorted out all the pieces I discovered that I was short a number of pieces. Part of what is missing is the towel bar that I really like that goes with the dry sink. I had really been looking forward to using that part in something I have planned. Then the I realized that more importantly some small pieces to the dry sink are also missing.

Since I had not even opened the box for the kit before this week I suspect they were missing when I bought it. I did notice when I did open it that the plastic bag was not stapled closed. Normally the bag is stapled but someone had removed the staple. I can see where it was at one time. So that is probably when my pieces disappeared.

I am going to check around and see if I can find another of the kits since I would really like to build the dry sink. I have one in my Harrison and it is one of my favorite kits to build from the Chrysnbon line.

Now onto the table and chairs that we are making today.

So you are probably wondering about that spot in the video with the voice over. I had paused the camera because I started coughing and I was sure I had started it recording again. It wasn't until I went to do my editing that I found I hadn't recorded that part. There really was no way to go back and re-do that section. On the bright side all I had done was to continue to separate a few more pieces of the kit and talk about using acrylic paint on the kit when it was done. You really didn't miss a lot. I think I hit all the points in the voice over.

I was thrilled when I was able to confirm that I do have all the pieces in this kit. I did run into a minor problem but I show you how to fix it and how I knew that it was a problem. This one is pretty minor if you think through the problem and solution. I was happy to be able to show you part of my way of thinking through the situation. I was also happy that I was able to show you how important it is to dry fit EVERYTHING and to really read the directions and look carefully at the diagrams.