Re-exploring Key West

Thursday, October 31, 2013

National Dollhouse Miniature Month - Day 31 - BOO!

My favorite holiday is Christmas, but a VERY CLOSE SECOND is Halloween.   I love Halloween and every year  I think I will do less decorating and every year I do MORE decorating.   We live in a community that does heavy trick or treating and our neighborhood is a great place for kids.   All the streets are dead end and we end up with 380 - 420 trick or treaters.   Lots of kids dressed in really cute costumes.  

I have lots of pumpkins outside, but my favorite decorations are my minis.

My first endeavor was Halloween in a Bag.   To see the whole post, you can check it out HERE 

My next scene was done in quarter scale and you can see that HERE
My most recent Halloween Scene was done at the Lakeland Show and it is lovely. 
You can see that post HERE
I hope you have enjoyed this month's posts.   I love sharing my minis.   I am not going to make a promise this year since last year's promise took me a whole year to fulfill.    I love doing minis and I hope you follow my blog.   If you want to get a notice of when I post, sign up for email notification.  
Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

National Dollhouse Miniature Month - Day 30 - Oh My - what is my favorite scale.

I am frequently asked what is my favorite project and what is my favorite scale.  I am just fickle enough to generally respond that my favorite is the one I'm currently working on.   Well, that is not entirely true.   I started off on 1/12 scale and loved it and still love it.   It just takes up so much room.   My first quarter scale project led me to believe I WILL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN.   Well, so much for those words.   I have known some really good miniaturists and the first person that I ran into that did quarter scale was my friend Betty in Leavenworth KS and she was and is fantastic.   She was an inspiration but still not enough to make me jump ship.   I also had not run out of room. 
Then after years of working on 1/12 scale in Key West, I met Melody in Marathon FL and she had taken quarter scale to a whole new level.   Very talented and I doubt if she ever made something that didn't expand on the project.   She always added something to make her projects uniquely her own.   I took one little house that had lingered on a shelf for years and she immediately critiqued it and told me to add, mirrors, books, food, accessories of all types and presto change - I had a project I liked.
After seeing her incredible collection, I ordered a few projects that were nearly stand alone projects and made those.   After breaking a few pieces and re gluing lots of things, I finally had completed 3 more projects that were quite nice.   I was very proud of them.   She also told me about several miniature groups that dealt with QS exclusively and after sitting on the side lines I purchased some kits.   I was off and running. 
Now after doing years of 1/12 scale and about 3 or 4  years of pretty steady QS, I love them both.   
I like kits, but I like kits that allow me to add a lot of my own finishing touches.  
Here are some of the examples of how the same theme looks in two different scales.
Cocolate Shop - Done at Fun Day in Lakeland FL. 1/12 scale

Chocolate shop in a cocoa container in QS

Chocolate shop in baseball case QS
Love all 3 chocolate shops in each scale.  
They all are quite lovely, they all allow me the option of making them my own.
Antique Shop in Quarter Scale.  I absolutely love it. 
 The antique shop I recently updated, in 1/12 scale.   Love it too. 
I guess I am back to square one - I can't pick my favorite project or my favorite scale.  I LOVE BOTH!

Friday, October 25, 2013

National Dollhoue Miniature Month - Day 25 - Swap

If you have been following my postings this month - you must know that I do tons of miniatures.   Well the cost would be prohibitive if I didn't do something to acquire lots of 'stash' without spending too much money.   There are several types of swaps that I participate in.   Some are one-on-one and you swap with just a person individually, some are monthly where you mail your swaps to generally 11 other people one month of the year and sit back and receive swaps the other months.  There are lots of monthly swaps where you have a choice what themes you participate in and  you get 10 items for that theme.     Lots of exchanges with virtual conventions, fun days and other events.    Lots of scales to participate in.
I get forgetful sometimes and do a whole batch of swaps and never take a picture of them.   But I thought of those that I have taken the time to take a picture, I would share some of the things I've made since last October's National Dollhouse Miniature Month.
Perfume for table gifts for Lakeland Fun Day.

 Tablescape for monthly swap.

 QS box of books, xylophone, drum for Attic Swap.

 QS bulletin board for sewing swap.
 Box of items for Garage swap
 QS bowls of Spaghetti and loaves of bread.
Plate shelf for Raggedy Ann
 QS Rugs
 1/12 and QS Pumpkins for autumn and market stall swaps.
 QS Luggage for Virtual Convention and monthly swap.
 Plate of cookies
 Tins of Egg Plants
Egg plants 
 Filled Hanger swap
 QS Fire Pits for Summer entertaining.
QS and 1/12 scale fire pits for summer entertaining. 
 1/12 scale fire pits.
 Buckets of grapes
I'm sorry I didn't take pictures of everything, but you can see that I do a lot of swaps.   I absolutely love the process.  
When swapping, ALWAYS make a couple of extras for your own projects or for gifting others.   You'll be glad you did.!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

National Dollhouse Miniature Month - Day 24 - Containers

One of the worst problems I have with my miniatures in Key West is the dust.   Dust destroys the project so I try to find a satisfactory cover for my projects.   As I do lots of projects, I need lots of containers.   Of course, one of the option is to go to a miniature store and buy a container that is sealed.   

This container is a sports container that is designed to display basket balls.   I get them in lots of 4 from Pioneer Plastics.   The first picture has the cover on and the 2nd doesn't.   Doesn't distract your view and keeps the project dust free.    Only flaw I can see is you can only use one wall.    I generally use a double sided scrapbook paper or bond two pieces together so you see a finished side. 

 Sport boxes work for small scenes (Quarter Scale).   Most kits that are produced generally come with a container. 
The following QS Chocolate shop fits in a plastic container designed to display baseballs.   Fits like a glove.   - No Dust!
 The following diner is set in a plastic container designed to display collectible cars.  
Now we probably all know you can get really good display cases for footballs.   They can sometimes be found on sale at Michael's or you can use your coupon.   The Art Deco house below is in a case designed for displaying Footballs.  Great case - dust free environment.    Now if you can't find a coupon or can't find it on sale, go to the next display. 
 This 1800 Saloon is displayed in an aquarium.   It is covered with a piece of Plexiglas - also dust proof - probably more readily available and fairly cheap.   They also come in many - MANY sizes.   The smallest ones I use are 1 1/2 gallon.   I also have gone as large as 10 gallons.    They also stack!   More room for minis!!!!
Domes - we all love domes.  
Two sizes.  Another item that you can generally find on sale at Michael's or Hobby Lobby or use those coupons.
Or Make your own.   This is a jelly container, a candle holder base that came with a used-up candle and a clear knob that was epoxied onto the top.   Great display for smaller minis and CHEAP.  

I have found these little plastic paint cans in many places, including my own Ben Franklin.   They come in at least two sizes, quart and gallon.   Keep the dust off, light weight and easy to add a light at the top if you want. 
Art Studio below is lighted.
Toy store - unlighted.   Either way this container works. 
Yard sales are a great place for containers but you must be prepared to view them with a new use in mind. 
This piece was a little display cabinet.   One thing I liked about this container is the blank space at the bottom which holds a 9-volt battery for the lights. 
 With the door closed.   Great little shop with living area above.   Also dust free.  
Explore containers - you will be able to find lots of alternatives. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

National Dollhouse Miniature Month - Day 23 - The Front and the stand

I leaving the best until last.    I built  the rolling table for my dollhouse and I purposely wanted a place to store things.   Well, it works but looks terrible.    I have room for 3 rather large tubs that are waterproof (remember this dollhouse weathered Hurricane Wilma in 2005) and I don't have to rely on someone to help me lift this dollhouse as the rollers makes it pretty easy to move around.

The can sitting on the front is something I ran out of.   It's air - yes air.   It works on cleaning computers and does a wonderful job of cleaning dollhouses.      The front of the house is rather nondescript and I plan on adding a few things to make it look more inviting for the big wedding event.  

The following picture shows a wreath above the upstairs door onto the balcony.   The bottom door has two lights added next to the door and a mailbox.   I wanted to add a chair, but I apparently don't have anything that is the correct scale.   I will keep looking. 
 The drapery for the bottom is rather simple.   I still have the storage but it doesn't distract from the dollhouse.  

I love my dollhouse and although it has taken me a year to get to it even after promising last year during National Dollhouse Miniature Month, I am quite pleased with the house.  
Now for things that I didn't do.   I didn't repaper it.   The wiring still worked and quite frankly I didn't want to ruin that and figured new paper would mess it up.   I also like the look of a house that looks like it has been in the family for years and years.  
I don't have enough men in the house.    I have papa and he is the only one.   Poor fellow!!!!    I need at least a photographer and a couple of others.   Will look for resin figures that will work.
As I said when I started posting about this project; I'm too emotionally involved with this dollhouse to think of not keeping it.   Maybe it will survive another 25 years (hopefully I will too).  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

National Dollhouse Miniature Month - Day 22 - Dining Room

Well, well, well.   I didn't take a before picture of the dining room.  Why?   A senior moment I guess.   Oh well, I didn't leave any furniture the same and took it all out.    Here is the new look.   The old look was all black oriental furniture.  

Over the aunts shoulder you can see the new round table.  Skirted for Christmas but will work great for the wedding.    It also will hold lots of foods.    Look at the tiny bride and groom on the cake. 
 A new sofa and easy chair added to the dining room.   With so many people, you need to have a great place to sit.   The table only has the wedding cake so far (because I've lost my punch bowl and want to find it before I set out all the food).    In the far left corner is a table for wedding gifts.   So far, the couple has received some pillows, two tablecloth sets, a painting, a set of towels and several boxes that haven't been opened yet.  

 A very lovely room to receive guests.   
Tomorrow we will redo the front porch to make it as comfortable as the interior.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

National Dollhouse Miniature Month- Day 21 - Living Room

Can you even tell what is going on.  The sofa is way across the room in front of the windows.   The piano is so dusty you have a hard time seeing the beauty of it.  The fireplace is a mess and the Christmas tree has ended up in the center of the room.   Icky! 
 The sofa has been moved to look at the fireplace.  The 3 bridesmaids were cake decoration from my wedding cake.   They are a little the worse for wear, but Ron and I've been married since 1967, so all in all, they are doing fine.    Mama is in the back and she is reliving all her own memories and looking forward to the big moment.    A valance was added to the windows.  Two additional paintings were added to the walls.   A different Christmas tree and it's location was changed from the far wall to the stairway wall.    The piano was moved close to the bay window.  
 The girls are waiting for the photographer for a few more pictures.   The poinsettias are resin and they are a wonderful addition to the fireplace.  
 It is a Christmas wedding and there are lots of Christmas gifts already arriving for the season.  
 A little different view.
 The aunt was coming to the living room, but decided to stay out of the way and wait until the photographer gets done.   When he is done, the bridesmaids will go assist the bride. 
Come back tomorrow and see the dining room.