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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cupcake and Frosting Kits

This week I am showing you a couple of kits I purchased at the recent Seattle Miniature Show, if you watched my haul videos I showed them in the second day haul.

I love to buy and use kits to make things. It is a great way to learn things and some kits are just a pleasure to work with. There are some that fall short of the mark too of course but thankfully those are not as common as we sometime fear.

To prep for the video all I did was read the instruction sheet the first cupcake I made on the video was truly the first one I had made with the kit. I have had cupcake molds in the past (both purchased and homemade) but none have turned out as nice and delicate of a cupcake as this one. I really can't say enough, I went into the project hoping that I would be able to make a video that would do justice to the product and that was easy because the mold and tools that come with it work so well.

First let's talk about what comes in the kit. You get the mold to form your cupcake in and it has a lip on it to help you get the liner piece in correctly, you a tool to position the liner, you get 18 sheets of foil paper to use for liners, you the round punch to cut out your liners with, you get 2 paper plates so you can display you finished cupcakes and you even get a sample finished cupcake so you can see what it should look like.

All you need to supply are your choice of polymer clay and some TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey) and you are ready to make dozens of cupcakes.

Ruth gives you some wonderful hints in the well written instructions and there are many photographs to take the guess work out of the process. They really are as easy as they look.

The kit also comes in 1/24th scale and 1/48th scales too for those of you that work in the smaller scales.

While I was at the show I also purchased Ruth's Frosting Kit, I have used a lot of different products in the past for frosting with varying degrees of success. I am so pleased with the frosting in this kit and I would never have thought of this method of applying the frosting but it works so well and makes getting small details in the frosting so easy. I have no idea what the material is that the frosting is made of but it was so wonderful to work with. I decided to go with basic white although many other colors are available. You can also tint the frosting to just about any color you can imagine which is why I went with the white. 

Contact information for Stewart Miniatures:

to email Stewart Dollhouse Creations click here

The Stewart Creations website has so many other things available for you to purchase also that I can see it is going to be a regular on my shopping list.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dollhouse Miniature Table

This week for Trash to Treasure Thursday I am showing you a really quick table that can be made out of a lid to a container. The lid I am using is from one of those cans of whipped cream you buy in the grocery store but any interesting looking lid will work. Mine happens to be just the right size to make a coffee table but lids and tables come in all sizes so look around and see what you have that you can use.

For the table top I chose to use a wooden round but again use what you have that fits with your lid. Buttons are nice for small tables, lids off jars (like jam and jelly jars) would be nice too. Again anything that you have. This is truly a trash to treasure project.

I decided to spray paint my lid but again do what ever you want to get the look you want.

If you make one of these tables be sure to post a picture of it on the Facebook page I love seeing what you are working on too.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Chrysnbon Organ Kit part 3

If you haven't already watched the earlier videos showing this project you can find them here: part 1 and part 2

First off I want to say I am sorry I totally forgot to put up a Trash to Treasure video this last week. I got busy with other things and it totally slipped my mind until I was editing this video. One of the things I want to do this year is to expand and improve my skills in many different artistic directions. To help me get to this end I decided that I want to expand my skills in working with polymer clay and to learn to draw and paint. So this last couple of weeks I have been busy learning in all those areas. I have been watching videos on different techniques with polymer clays and then spending a lot of time practicing what I have learned. I hope to share some new ideas and methods with all of you soon. For the drawing and painting I have just been sitting down and practicing (I am trying to do some each day) and I hope that eventually I will have something I can show off on that front too. In the mean time I am having lots of fun and loving every second of it. I think it is so important to keep learning new things, I got that lesson from my father he continued to learn his entire life and was so proud to talk about the new things he was learning even in his last months (he lived to be 90 so that was a lot of years of learning) I hope to be able to say in the end that I was able to keep up with his example.

Now on to today's video project. We only had a couple of parts to glue together. And that was the easy part of the project. I am a bit unhappy with how my keyboard fits into the organ. I somehow got mine crooked and I can't seem to make it right. I guess it will just be crooked, so if you do this kit be sure to be more careful on that part than I was.

I decided that I wanted the carved areas to have a bit more pop so I got out my Perfect Pearls and highlighted the areas with the Heirloom Gold color. I also brushed a touch of the Pewter color over those knobs above the keyboard. You really don't see it much but it does its job of drawing a bit more attention to those areas. I think the subtle touch is just right. 


I am glad that I did wait until now to do the final finish since we finally have a beautiful day and I was able to go outside and use a spray finish on the completed Organ. I like the coverage of a spray so much better than a brush on finish but the weather has not been really nice enough to do a spray finish until today. The product I used Deco Art under the label Americana. It is just an acrylic spray finish/sealer. I am not totally sure if they still make this exact product but any spray finish should work about the same. 


To finish the organ all that was now left was to glue in the mirror on the back. This was simple and now I have the completed organ. I am very happy with how it turned out.

If you make this kit or any of my other projects (or really anything mini) be sure to post pictures on the Facebook page we all love to see what everyone is working on.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Chrysnbon Organ Kit part 2

Chrysnbon Organ Kit part 2

So far

If you haven't watched last week's video where I start the construction of this kit you can find it here.

This week we are continuing with the construction of the kit, mostly the painted finish and then some of the rest of the construction. I had planned to get all the way done this week but I just ran out of time. The video is already pretty long so it might be for the best. We should get this kit finished next week.

I decided I wanted my organ to look like the ones I have seen that are made of oak, so for that I first painted a base of a fairly bright yellow paint. It looked really scary at that point and even I had to wonder if it was a horrid mistake. LOL But from all the years I have been around the re-finishing process of real wood furniture I do know that oak is sometimes has a very yellow under current to its color. The paint I used was Bright Yellow by Ceramcoat. Any yellow would probably work just as well.

I did do a couple of tests of colors to make sure I was in the ball park before I started. This will help you to get close but as you see in the video I did have to adjust the paint mix in the Antiquing medium to get the color I was after for the top coat. I decided to leave this process in so you could see how I worked out what colors I wanted to add to get to where I wanted to be in the end. As you saw in the video I used mostly Golden Brown with a touch of both Espresso and Bright Red. This mixture gave me the warm brown that I was looking for.

I did go back and fix the edge of the paint after I took the photo

The beauty of using paint is if you don't like it when you are done just repaint it. I think when this is completely assembled and I have the clear coat over it it is going to be just what I want.

This kit is a lot more complicated than the previous kits from this company that I have shown you. I hope that doesn't scare you away from trying it because although it is more difficult it is also a lot of fun to put together.

When I started to put the pieces together I did find I had missed painting some places. I really should have been more careful but hopefully you will learn from my mistakes there. I was able to fix most of the spots so far and the rest I think I can do with just some very careful painting.

Well, since this has been a very busy week I am going to have to cut the blog post a little short. We will be back next week to finish up the organ and then the following week I hope to start playing with the cupcake kit I also got at the Seattle show.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dollhouse Miniature Ice Cubes

This week's Trash to Treasure project really couldn't be any simpler, you simply need some inexpensive plastic canvas to make a huge supply of ice cubes for your dollhouse. I know I use the canvass for a lot of different things in my crafts and I bet you might too. This project is a great way to use up some of the small scraps of the plastic canvas. And even if you have to go buy it just for this project it is super cheap (well under a dollar for a piece that will provide a lifetime supply of ice cubes for your dolls)

There really isn't any secret to this project just a matter of looking at a common item in our craft room and seeing something different from its intended purpose. 


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Chrysnbon Organ Kit part 1

This week I am starting the Chrysnbon Organ kit that I purchased at the Seattle Miniature Show last weekend. I have never put this particular kit together so we are all learning about it together. The kit does contain a lot of pieces so staying organized is really important on this one. I actually used a pencil and wrote part numbers on the backs of some of the pieces to help me keep track. If you do this just look at the diagrams for a place to write that will not show later when the kit is assembled.

This kit has a total of 6 steps to complete the kit. I am showing you the way I assemble these kits, I like to do at least a partial assembly before I add any paint. I think they turn out better that way for a couple of reasons. One, you can hide some of the seams a bit with the paint. And two, I don't like to glue painted surfaces together, I think the glue works better if you don't have any paint on the surfaces you are gluing. You can also hide some of the excess glue with the paint too.

For this kit we are only partly assembling some of the steps because it will just be easier to paint some areas. For instance I don't want to get the wood color paint onto the keyboard assembly so I am going to glue the keyboard in after painting. That means that a few other pieces that need the keyboard to be glued in first have to wait too. Just read the instructions and determine what parts you can glue together now and what ones have to wait until later.

I did make a star on my instruction sheet on the steps that I need to go back to finish.

Another way to do this would be to assemble and paint each step as you go. Since I think I am going to be mixing some paint/antiquing medium up to use this would have been hard to do with this kit. If you are using paint straight from the bottle this is a good option though.

The instructions tell us to assemble the stool last, I decided to assemble it first just so I didn't loose any of the parts. It can really be done at any time. 

For step 1 once you have identified the parts it is really easy. This step is just gluing together. As long as you understand which parts you need it should go smoothly.

Step 2 has both the decal (let yours sit in the water longer than I did and you shouldn't have any problems) Also it would be a good idea to let the decal dry for a few moments before trying to glue on the “stop pulls” The instructions actually have you glue the pulls in first and then add the decal. I think the order I did it was easier I just should have let the decal dry a bit more. I could really see myself breaking off a pull trying to get the decal added. Also it was nice to have nothing in the way when lining up the decal. 


As for the stop pulls...... Once again we have tiny little knobs to maneuver into tiny little holes. This for me is always a problem. At least they did give me 2 extra and I only lost 1. Where that 1 is I have no idea because it shot over my shoulder behind me somewhere. I am sure I will never see it again. LOL I did find that my lighted tweezers did a wonderful job with these but I did manage to get the first two in with my fingers. So just use what you have and try different things. After the first 2 pulls I realized that putting the pulls in first and then adding the glue from behind was going to work the best.

Also when I started the process I told myself I was only going to do 5 of the 10 and then take a break. This type of work tends to make me stress a bit and I find if I don't stop part way through I make more mistakes. When I came back and did the last 5 they went right in with no problems. I have a feeling if I had not taken the short break I would have fought with them a lot more.

Set 3 was pretty easy and straight forward. This was one of the steps that I feel the keyboard has to be glued in first so that is why we stopped where we did.

Step 4 I would have glued in the foot pedals but I want to paint the tread black and I think that will be a lot easier if they are loose. I did debate about gluing on the lower section back. I think it would have been fine to glue on but I wasn't sure, we might need to have that back access when we add the keyboard so I left it for later.

Step 5, the upper section we obviously want to finish painting before the mirror is glued on so that will wait. 


So this is where we left off, I am happy so far and I think I know how I want to finish the kit. I will try my painting technique on something else first to see if what I am imagining is going to look how I think it will.

Now a question for all of you.

I decided to take pictures of each step and add them to the video as we completed each step. Does that help you? Do you like that or did it just add length to an already long video?

Let me know what you think.