Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fun with food!

I love minis. I love food.
Here are both combined in some fabulously fun artwork by Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle...

I love the tongue-in-cheek wittiness and color in these photos.

View this husband and wife team's website to see more of their amazing work!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Haunted Dollhouse

Kim and I talked last night about decorating for Halloween (already)! I can't wait!

In the spirit of Halloween, here is a link to a haunted dollhouse created by one of my favorite bloggers--Jenny the Bloggess. Some of you know her blogs... they never fail to brighten my day with their snarkiness and dark humor... Imagine my delight when I discovered her haunted dollhouse photo set on Flickr!
Click here to see her fabulous house! I am truly inspired.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I took comfort in reading J. Courtney Sullivan's New York Times article "A Hobby Best Kept Small", published on August 17, 2011. Why? Because there's someone else out there who shares my interest in dollhouses and miniatures... (Actually, there are a lot of people... I've encountered their blogs and websites. I just can't find them in my day-to-day routine...)

I can identify with Sullivan's article because I too outgrew my dollhouse, but had my passion for miniatures re-ignited in my adulthood by one small item--in my case, a tiny baby doll.

I can also identify with the author's stolen moments spent looking at miniatures on the internet. (I must add that her "it's research for my book" guise is brilliant!) I too, have no room for a dollhouse. And I don't allow myself to buy the exquisite (and sometimes expensive) tiny objects that capture my heart.

Instead, I create my own from what I have on hand in my crafts stash or from supplies that can be inexpensively purchased. The thrill of the hunt drives me to browse local thrift stores and antiques stores... And every so often I triumphantly return home with a treasure for my collection... Still, the tiny wine glasses and decanters on the websites beckon me and I lust after tiny claw-foot tubs and miniature books... ("Just wait," I tell myself.)

But most of all, I could identify with the subtext of Sullivan's article--that she somehow needed to justify her hobby. She worried about displaying a dollhouse in her studio apartment where a date might see it and think she was strange. And later, when she told her boyfriend she wanted a doll house, he suggested that the dollhouse should wait until they had a real house and it would be "less in the open". Yup. Though my husband is very supportive and doesn't mind having Abigail's "room" set up on the coffee table from time to time, I too know that sneaking suspicion that I need to justify my hobby. After all, I'm an adult. A wife. A mom. A professional. There's really no point in my sewing a 5-inch by 5-inch patchwork quilt for Abigail. She's a doll. She doesn't get cold. But I spent hours doing so and even hand-tied and bound it in the way one would a full-size quilt.

The only justification I can offer is that it gives me pleasure, is an outlet for my creativity and allows me to practice the crafting skills I've accumulated over the years. And besides, it keeps me out of the bars.

(And a side note to boyfriend of J. Courtney Sullivan: it could be worse. She could be into taxidermy... Embrace the dollhouse; It's relatively benign... And will keep her out of the bars.)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Inspiration Sunday

Sunday is typically the day I take a little more time to read the paper (scour the craft store ads) and spend time online visiting with friends on Facebook or reading other's blogs that inspire me...

Today's inspiration:
Halloween is a favorite holiday at our house. Here's a really neat display that I found on 19th Day Miniatures' blog. I could study all the details in this for a long time...

Wizardry with a dash of steampunk... Love it!
When I discovered Modern MC's Mini Modern blog, it blew my mind... If you think that all miniatures are stuffy Victorian or too cute for words this will set you straight.
A happy and peaceful scene
Also in time for Halloween, a how-to video from MiniMaker's blog Creating Dollhouse Miniatures: Skelly the Halloween Skeleton. If I want to know how to make something, this is where I go... With over 500 videos and slide shows, I'm sure to find some inspiration and learn a new technique...

Happy Sunday everyone... Hope it is restful... I'm off to plan my week's shopping and work on some mini projects....

Saturday, September 17, 2011

NW Dollhouse & Miniatures Show

I have been looking forward to the NW Dollhouse & Miniatures Show for several months and now it's almost here.

It all started with Abigail...

Abigail is a tiny porcelain doll my mom gave to me. She was "born" at the old Bess Kaiser Hospital on Greeley in Portland, where my mom worked in the cardiology department for years... (Hospital gift shops always have neat stuff!)

I immediately made her a bed out of a plastic mushroom basket--weaving pink and white yarn through the sides to create a checkerboard pattern and crudely crocheting a hood for it... I then knitted a striped pink and white blanket for her... Again, crudely... I was 11 and a self-taught knitter and crocheter...

Abigail slept in this bassinet for more than 20 years. Last year sometime, I pulled her out of a box and she sat on my crafts table while I hunted for the right size bed for her... Not finding one, I sketched out a plan for a wooden cradle... But my woodworking skills are rudimentary at best, and I lack the proper tools... I gave up my hunt and finally decided to cut all of my old handiwork off of the mushroom basket and reinvent it... And so my mini mania began...
Abigail in her new bassinet.