Check back often

Have you checked out all my blogs?

Dollhouse Minis:

18” Dolls:

General Crafts:


Also if for some reason I can't post I will try to give a head's up on the Facebook page so check there too.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Tips for Dollhouse Miniature Crafting- Handy Holder

This week for my tips video I am sharing something I found in an old magazine I was looking at.

I know I almost always have bottles of glue (or paint or whatever) that I need to keep upside down so that I can get the product out of the container to use it. What to use to hold those bottles can be an issue, especially if you are worried about the product leaking out and ruining a container.

For this tip all you need is a lid from a spray can and something to hold it temporarily to your table. I used the putty that is sold for hanging posters, I always have it on hand and it usually doesn't harm the surface you put it on.

Since most of these lids, at least the ones I have include a second spot in the middle that fits over the spray nozzle they hold the bottles upside down at a fairly sharp angle. Because of this little area there are so many other things that this little holder could hold.

Another use I thought of after I turned off the camera is this would also be a fantastic place to hold those little glass bottles of model paint that are so easy to tip over on your craft table. Especially the bottles that contain paint that needs a solvent to clean up since spilling those is a huge mess.

Also you could use the center section of the lid to hold toothpicks and such.

So many uses but I have lots of lids so I’ve got it covered.  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Joanne's Minis is on Patreon

So I thought for a long time before I took this step. I really want to make better and more videos for all of you to watch. I really want to see my channel grow and I want to be able to give back to my viewers with some giveaways. I also would love to be able to test products for you all on a regular basis and to visit some of those wonderful mini shows across the country that I keep reading about. The problem with that is all of those things take both time and money. That is why I have decided to join Patreon. It is a way for all of you to help me reach those goals. I know you already love the content I am providing. I just want to give you more and better content.

If you aren't familiar with what Patreon is I will try to explain that in a bit more detail here than I did on the video. It is a crowd funding platform built specifically for those of us that create in some way. There are YouTube creators over there, artists, writers, poets, musicians, and people that do so much more. A Patreon Page can be set up to either collect pledges on a once per month basis or on a once per creation basis. I went with the once per month option.

Patreon has been around since about 2013 and has somewhere around a million active patrons and 50,000 active creators.

In preparation for this step I watched a bunch of Patreon Launch videos from some of my favorite YouTube creators. One of them compared the Patreon Pledge to tipping the server after a meal out. I think that is a really cool way to look at it.

So for just a dollar or so you can really help me to grow the channel. And I have already set up a series of rewards for those that do pledge to help. Here is a run down of what I have set up right now. If you have any ideas for more rewards let me know and I will consider them too.

For that single dollar a month you will get access to Patreon only emails, a quarterly Q&A video (only accessible to patrons) and your name at the end of my videos.

For just a little more, $5 a month you get all of that plus access to an additional tutorial video every month.

For $10 per month you will get all of those things plus I will invite you to a group video chat every month where we can talk about our projects, techniques to do things or whatever the group wants to talk about.

And for $20 per month you get all of the above plus you will get 30 minutes of my time monthly in a private video chat where you can pick my brain about your project, you can have me help you with a technique that you are struggling with (kind of like a private class) or just to chat, it's up to you how you use your half hour.

And I have also set up a goal, as soon as the page is generating $500 per month I will do triple giveaway. By triple giveaway I mean there will be 3 separate giveaways at one time. There will be one on Patreon for my supporters over there, there will be one on YouTube that will be open to my subscribers on there, and finally there will be another one on Facebook for the people that follow me there. So that means if you follow me all three places you will get 3 chances to win the prizes! And I am hoping to have really nice prizes to give too. I will be repeating the giveaways as different goals are met on Patreon so keep you eyes open for them.

So as far as what this means for the YouTube channel it is all good. I hope to upgrade my equipment so that will mean better quality videos. I also hope to have more money to spend on the videos so I can show you lots of new stuff and new techniques. All of this is good so I really can't see any downsides for any of you. I will still be making as many videos on YouTube and they will remain completely free just like always. (as long as YouTube remains constant), I will still be just as available on my Facebook page so you will still be able to talk to me there.

If you can help I will be so grateful and if you can't that is fine too. I know that times are hard for all of us and I totally understand.

I love my fans, they have been here for me during some pretty hard stuff in my “real” life and you guys have kept me sane. So I thank you all for that. I also thank you for all the support I will get in the future both the emotional support and the support through Patreon.

Here is the link to my Patreon Page, remember if you have any questions I am here for you.

Thank you so much.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Refrigerator Part 2

This week we are continuing to work on our refrigerator project. We get the shelves in, add the exterior “finish”, get the doors on and even make a produce drawer. I think that is a lot in one week. Next week we should be getting the entire project finished.

I want to take a moment to say I love how this one is turning out.

So, once again I have created 2 PDF pattern pages and you can find them here:

I really hope these pattern pieces are helping you to follow along with me. I felt it would be so much easier this way for you to do the projects since the patterns cut down on a lot of the measuring that would normally be part of a project like this.

Supplies you will need (in addition to the stuff from last week)

PDF pattern pages 3 & 4
Plastic packaging (I used a plastic “clam-shell” box from the bakery department)
12 ga aluminum wire (I got mine at Dollar Tree)
wire cutters
black cardstock (only 1 sheet)
rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball (if needed to help clean the plastic)

As far as I can remember that is all the new stuff we needed. The rest is the same as last week's list.

Remember if you have any questions be sure to ask.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Trash to Treasure Bar Stools

The inspiration for this week's Trash to Treasure project actually came during a walk through the furniture department of a local store a while back. I found these super cute real life size bar stools that were made to look like they had been made from a bottle cap. I knew this idea would be fun to translate into 1/12th scale.

The main things you need for the bar stools are: a bottle cap, some 12 gauge wire, a scrap of foamcore, and 4 fancy toothpicks.

Other supplies and tools include: pen/pencil, craft knife, glue that will hold metal and plastic together (and not melt the foamcore) and some Tacky glue.

A circle template will be useful too.

I start us out by making a jig to help us assemble the stool. I do highly recommend you make this first even if you are only making one bar stool. It will not only help with getting the legs spread out correctly but it will also support the wire ring while the glue dries. I tried to make my first stool without the aid of a jig and quickly found out it was really hard to get everything where I wanted it.

Remember you aren't limited to bottle caps from beer, in my grocery store there are also several brands of soda in glass bottles with caps. Or just go to the craftstore and get the bottle caps there.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Refrigerator Part 1

A while back we made the corner roombox and at that time I told you the main reason I was building that roombox was to give me a good backdrop to photograph the projects I make for tutorials. Since a lot of what I do make is food and/or kitchen related I decided to make a set of kitchen pieces so that I can turn that roombox into a kitchen for photos. You can use these same pieces in your dollhouse or roombox to create a kitchen.

This week we are going to start making a refrigerator for the dollhouse. I have once again created a PDF pattern for the project and it can be found here: page 1 pattern and page 2 pattern.

Be sure to print these pages at 100% on standard 8 ½” by 11” printer paper and also check the test square in the bottom corner (it should measure exactly 1”)

For this project you will need:

the pdf pattern
paperboard (cracker or cereal box)
white poster board
cardstock in the color you want your finished refrigerator to be (mine is white)
2 cocktail straws
tacky glue
glue stick
craft knife
straight edge
cutting mat
safe gluing surface
skinny sticks
1/16” by 1/16” strip wood
white paint
double sided tape
clamps as needed
something to cut the stripwood

Note: I have a horrid feeling I am forgetting something but I have gone over everything and can't figure out what I forgot for the list. I will correct it as I figure it out.

This project is similar to the microwave we made last week in several ways. I tried to make it as easy as possible and still give you a project you could be proud of when completed. Sorry the video got so long, I tried to find a logical spot to cut it but couldn't find a spot that made sense. I will try next week to be more aware of how long I am filming and keep it shorter.

I think I went over the steps pretty thoroughly in the video. If you have questions feel free to ask.

The following pictures I hope will help to clarify where I made the cuts for the door cover and also the placement of the supports inside the refrigerator.
straws glued in place
cuts at the corner of the door covering

ignore that I have my placement line for center divider in the wrong place

supports in place

shelves in place

Next week we will get the doors on and the interior shelves in place. I am not sure at this point if we will finish completely next week or if we will be having a part 3 for this project.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Little Bit of a Rant and Things to Come

First let me make this clear I love making videos for all of you to watch and I will continue to do so. Stopping the videos is not even a thought that I will entertain at this point.

I think all of us that watch YouTube videos realize that the ads that play on the videos are there to allow the video creators to receive a little bit of money back. I mean we don't make much on a video but every little bit helps. I have been on YouTube since July 2010. I have pretty close to 400 videos up on my channel and I try to post 2 most weeks. I know over the summer I was not as good about that as I should have been. (sorry)

Those videos take a lot of time and many of them are expensive to make. The income I get from the ads on the videos should offset that cost at least. And some months it has more than offset those costs. Lately however I have seen a trend on YouTube of more people watching my videos but my income from the ads is not reflecting that. In fact it has gone down.

Also YouTube has been in overdrive trying to catch videos that are not appropriate for all audiences or all advertisers. In the process they are really hurting those of us that are trying to make a little money to pay for our videos. I have had videos flagged by their automated system as not “advertiser friendly” almost every week for the last month or so. I try to keep on top of my list and as soon as a video receives a flag for not being appropriate I request a review. The review process can take anywhere from a few hours to a week. And up until the video is cleared I get no money for the ads that should be placed on it. Since most videos get flagged when they release this means that the first day when most of the views take place I am not getting any income from the video. And it isn't just me, there are hundreds of YouTubers in the same boat with me. Some of them with hundreds of videos at a time making no money.

In case you are wondering the things that are supposed cause a video to be deemed not not advertiser friendly are spelled out on the site. Among the things that are supposed to make a video not advertiser friendly are: controversial issues and sensitive events, drugs and dangerous products or substances, harmful or dangerous acts, hateful content, inappropriate language, inappropriate use of family entertainment characters, incendiary and demeaning content,sexually suggestive content and/or violence.

If you have watched any of my videos I am sure you know my videos don't fit any of those categories. I don't think I have said any thing worse than “crap” as far as curse words go. So it would be funny that so many are getting flagged if it weren't for the fact that it is really starting to hurt my bottom line.

So I have decided to go the route that many of my favorite YouTube creators have gone and that is to sign up on Patreon. The Patreon page on Wikipedia explains it like this “Patreon (/ˈpeɪtriɒn/) is a membership platform that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service, as well as ways for artists to build relationships and provide exclusive experiences to their subscribers, or "patrons."[1] It is popular among YouTube videographerswebcomic artists, writers, podcasters, musicians, and other categories of creators who post regularly online.[2] It allows artists to receive funding directly from their fans, or patrons, on a recurring basis or per work of art.[3] The company, started by musician Jack Conte[4] and developer Sam Yam[4] in 2013, is based in San Francisco.[5]

So I am in the process of setting up my page and figuring out what to offer to my fans for their kind donations. I am going to have mine set up as a monthly pledge and the amounts will start at $1. So for a dollar a month you could really help me to keep bringing videos and tutorials to you.

There will be special things that the patrons get in return for pledging money I am working on my list and I will have a blog post all about it shortly. I just wanted to let everyone know ahead of time.

I totally understand that not everyone can participate. I know money is tight for a lot of us. I still love everyone of you no matter what so don't feel pressured but it would really help if you can sign up when I get the page up.

Thanks so much for reading this post and for all the emotional support for all the years. I am looking forward to making a lot more videos over the coming years.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tools for Making Dollhouse Miniatures-Pointy Tools

This week for our tools video I decided not to talk about a specific tool but a class of tools that really aren't tools. Does that make sense?? These are items that I find invaluable for crafting, especially miniatures. They are pointy tools.

So what exactly is a pointy tool? I am using this term for any item that I can use to craft with that has a pointed end. My very favorite is my dental pick. I love that dental pick and I can't find another one that is just the right shape. I actually had to do some repairs on mine a while back by adding some glue to the top where the metal comes out of the handle.

Second most used is just a plain old toothpick. These are so useful for applying glue or paint or for texturing clay or a million other uses.

Next would be a toss up between the double ended knitting needle and a sewing pin. They are very different but both are used a lot.

So how do you use these tools. Think of them as an extension of your fingers when working with small things. You can get those points into places your fingers won't even come close to going. You can pick small things up with them, you can apply glues or paints in small areas, and you can use them to mark clay or score paper. There are probably a million other ways I use these tools too.

So look around at what you have on hand and see what pointy things can become tools for your next project. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Microwave Oven

This week I decided to make a microwave oven for the dollhouse. I originally planned for this to be a single video so that is the way I filmed it. Then I started preparing to edit the video and found that I had pretty close to an hour of footage. I posted the question on the Facebook group and took opinions for a while on what the majority of people that responded thought would be the best option. So this week instead of just one Sunday Tutorial video you get 2 of them. I am planning to schedule the release of the videos to both be the same day but a few hours apart. So if part 2 isn't available when you watch part 1 just check back in a little while. I put both links at the top of this blog post but the 2nd one won't work until the video goes live. I did it this way in case I have issues getting both to upload today.

So for this project I created a PDF of the pattern pieces. You can find the download here. This is the first time I have done this so please excuse any bumps in the process. I am hopping to be able to offer more things to you this way for future projects. It will save you having to measure everything you will just be able to print off the PDF and use the pattern pieces to create the project.

When printing the page be sure that you have your printer set to U.S. Letter size (8 ½” by 11”) and that your printer is set to print at 100%. Then after printing check that the box at the bottom right corner of the page measures exactly 1”. If it does you are all set.

For this project you will need the following materials:

Printout of the PDF
Double sided tape
Paperboard (I used a cracker box)
White poster board
Tacky Glue
Jewel-It glue or other glue designed for plastic (optional, you can probably just use tacky glue)
White Craft Paint
Triple Thick or other gloss finsih (optional)
Plastic from clear packaging
Wide white ribbon (I recommend Satin) between ¾” and 1” wide (mine was 7/8”)

Tools needed:
Craft knife
Straight edge
Cutting mat
Emery board
Small clamps (I used binder clips and clothes pins)
Small paint brush
Tweezers (optional)

A few notes on the assembly of the microwave oven.

With the exception of the piece marked “front” all the sides with the Poster board will go to the inside. This is the finished side for the inside of the microwave. On the “front” piece only the poster board provides the finished side that goes against the door.

When you attach the “side” pieces make sure that the word side is either correctly oriented or is totally upside down. If it is sideways it won't fit correctly.

Take you time on the cutting and assembly and you should have a piece to be proud of.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Trash to Treasure Chandelier

This week's Trash to Treasure project is super easy to make like all Trash to Treasure projects should be. One really nice thing about this one is that it is easy to adapt either smaller or larger (I think Barbie 1/6th scale is probably the largest though) because the fishing hooks come in lots of sizes and so do chandeliers. If you do go smaller in scale you might need to find an alternative to the beads for the globes on the fixture.

The hooks I used this week were size 8 and they came 4 in the package for under $2. The beads are just some cheap plastic ones I got at Walmart several years ago. 

As for hanging your fixture I came up with this of course it will only work if you have a floor covering in the room above that you can lift up (like carpet). Make a hole in the ceiling where you want the fixture to hang from. Then thread the chain up through the hole to the floor of the room above. Use a staple to attach the chain to the floor. I made holes for the staple with a push pin then put the staple through with my fingers. Cover this with tape and lay the carpet back down over it. This would be great in a room box too.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Mug Tree

This week I figured we had better provide the dolls with somewhere to put all those mugs we made last week. Did you get as carried away as I did on that project? I found it to be one of my very favorite mini projects in a long time and just kept making them. I haven't counted but I know I made dozens. I think the dolls are going to need a lot of mug trees. LOL

Anyway this is another easy project and I made both of the ones I showed you on the video with stuff I already had on hand. So go through your stash and find items to use.

The biggest piece you will need is the upright portion of the mug tree. For the one on the video I used a piece of basswood strip wood that measures ¼” by ¼' you will just need 1 ½” of it but I recommend not cutting it to length until after you drill the holes. I have a much easier time holding the longer piece steady to drill.

For the hooks (?) not sure what to call the part that the mugs hang from I like the fancy toothpicks but regular toothpicks would work too, just sand off the point and maybe put a tiny bead on the end.

For the base anything that is ½” to ¾” across would work, for the brown one I used a little wooden heart and for the one on the video I used a wooden button. This is one place you can get really creative and use up an item from your stash.

The drill bit that I find fits the toothpicks the best is the 5/64th inch size. For the softer woods like I used in this project I find I can just use my fingers and skip the pin vise (and that is a good thing since I have no idea where I put mine)

So I hope you enjoy this project, if you make some mug trees be sure and send my a picture. I love seeing what you are making.