Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last Friday night my husband and I finally decided to put our extensive Halloween decorations away. We were on the fence about whether to put our everyday decorations back out, knowing we'll have to take them down soon to decorate for Christmas, go ahead and decorate for Thanksgiving even though it is less than a week away, or just put everything away and not put anything out until it's time to decorate for Christmas.

The living room, in particular, looked bare so I decided to go ahead and make the effort to decorate for Thanksgiving. I'm really glad I did, because I was able to bring out some of my very favorite decorations, among them, a cross-stitched banner and a tiny scarecrow and bale of hay. The scarecrow and bale of hay were among the first fall decorations I purchased for myself after leaving home and I've always loved them.

Wishing you many blessings this Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Inspiration! Books from Otterine

Those of you who know me know that I have a serious love of books in real life. Hubby and I are "Friends of the Library" in more ways than one. We probably have what most would think are too many books, but we love them.

One of the blogs I follow, blog, recently made a post about these books she made for a bookcase for a project she's working on. I am in l-o-v-e with these books and absolutely inspired.

Future project: a house that represents my family... with each person having their own room filled with the things that are unique to them. I've already started compiling a list for each family member. Not surprisingly, books--copious amounts of books--show up on more than one of those lists...

For inspiration, be sure to check out Otterine's blog, as well as her Etsy shop...

Almost turkey day here in the US! Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

In the News: Dream Leads to a New Miniatures Store

Here's a neat article from "The Review" in East Liverpool, Ohio. Three sisters have opened a miniatures shop in East Liverpool after one of them dreamed (literally) that the three of them owned and operated one together. Interesting how one person can dream something, mention that to others, and it plants a seed that grows into something real... LOVE that.

Read the article here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Witch House Progress...

So it seems I'm getting better with my not-so-great camera.... Here are a few pictures of the Witch House and a little progress update. I haven't had much time to work on this over the past week, but I'm still pleased.
Perhaps Agatha's familiar is an owl? She hasn't revealed that to me yet, but I have a sneaking suspicion...

Furniture has been painted and a comfy mattress added... Still deciding on embellishments for the bed and dresser...

And the kitchen floor has been "tiled". 
More updates coming soon! "Best witches!"

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Last Weekend's Shopping Finds

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of going to the Camas Antique Mall with my sister-in-law who was visiting for the weekend and my mom. We shopped till we dropped then headed home for a spaghetti dinner and a few glasses of wine. Here are the mini treasures I found...
I mentioned this little cast iron wood stove in a previous post. When I was growing up we had a potbellied stove with chromed skirting. This is one that my mom found in a junk store years ago. During our shopping trip last Saturday I found the coal scuttle next to it. (Yes, I know that coal doesn't go in wood stoves... but won't it make a great container for kindling and small logs?) 

In the basement of the antique mall I found this bed and nightstand. They're both a bit shabby, but I find them charming. I look at them and imagine the little girl who must have played with them long ago. I will clean them up and then decide whether they will get a new coat of paint. The scale of these is about the same as the wood stove in the first picture. So maybe I have started a collection for a new room...

My mom spotted these hidden behind a spray of fall foliage that was laying on a table. They were totally hidden but my mom spotted them. They are 1:12 scale. I love the details on the legs of both and on the back of the chair. Thanks for the eagle eye, Mom!
Here in the Portland, Oregon area, we don't have very many options for buying miniatures so I'm always thrilled when I find little treasures during my outings. Happy shopping!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Abigail's New Duds

Good Saturday morning! I've been a bit indulgent this morning... allowing my sweet hubby to make breakfast for me... Then finishing reading Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes (and dreaming of making some of the Tuscan winter foods she includes recipes for).

I felt like staying cozy in bed for a bit longer so I started reading Ian McEwan's Atonement. Interestingly, in the first chapter, there is a miniatures motif. Early on in the chapter as she is being introduced, McEwan writes:

"...Briony's [room] was the only tidy upstairs room in the house. Her straight-backed dolls in their many-roomed mansion appeared to be under strict instructions not to touch the walls; the various thumb-sized figures to be found standing about her dressing table--cowboys, deep-sea divers, humanoid mice--suggested by their even ranks and spacing a citizen's army awaiting orders.

"A taste for the miniature was one aspect of an orderly spirit."

Briony, in this first chapter is also revealed to be a writer:

"...writing stories not only involved secrecy, it also gave her all the pleasures of miniaturization. A world could be made in five pages, and one that was more pleasing than a model farm."

I read just a bit past this before I had to pull myself together and get on with my day. We shall see if the miniatures motif persists throughout the book. Onto other things... Today, I thought I'd share Abigail's new jammies and robe that I made for her recently.

Here she is all bundled up in her robe. She is laying on a quilt that I made from scraps in my stash, some of which are leftovers from a quilt my mom made a long time ago. I also knitted the pink blanket next to her.

And with her robe open you can see her white flannel jammies, trimmed with the same lace on her robe. You can also see her booties that I crocheted with pearl cotton left over from a long ago attempt to learn Hardanger and tied with scraps of silk ribbon. 
I still need to recreate her roombox in wood and am revising the plans for that. Maybe that will be my Thanksgiving weekend project.

Friday, November 18, 2011

150-year-old German dollhouse to be displayed in Albuquerque museum |

KOB Eyewitness News 4 reported on this November 16.
A 150-year-old dollhouse, passed down from one generation in the family to the next, was left in Germany when the family fled the Nazis. Given to a Christian friend to store in her attic, the dollhouse was saved and later brought to the United States. Lilo Lang Waxman, now 91, has donated the dollhouse and its contents to the New Mexico Holocaust and Intolerance Museum in Albuquerque.

This is a real heirloom... And such a special treasure.

Be sure to watch the newsclip!
150-year-old German dollhouse to be displayed in Albuquerque museum |

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Whew! It's been a busy weekend with family in from out of town and the usual things going on... I did manage to work on my witch house AND I found some nice little treasures at the Camas Antique Mall. Pictures tomorrow... Tonight I'm headed to bed to read my book... It has been a long busy weekend... Sweet dreams...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Witch House... the witch has a name...

I was feeling kind of glum on Tuesday. Discouraged about a few things in life... But then I spent a half hour painting the little witch house I'm working on and it cheered me greatly... Almost magic! It really is the small things in life that can make a big difference...

The witch told me her name is Agatha. She likes European castles so I found some postage stamps in my stash that feature them and she is pleased that they will be artwork for her new home.

Wednesday morning while waiting for my daughter to finish getting ready for school, I installed the carpets. Then yesterday during my lunch hour I made a bed, bookshelf and dresser. Here are a few pics...

The whole abode. I haven't painted the furniture yet or picked any fabrics. Still a couple of pieces of furniture to make and quite a bit of finishing on the house itself, but we're making progress...
The boudoir. Agatha's bed and dresser are made from the top and bottom of a small jewelry box. I made a headboard and footboard from the card from a package of seam binding and glued pony beads to make feet for the bed. You really can't see them in this picture but the dresser has rectangles of card to make the drawerfronts. There is also a round mirror above the dresser. Looks kind of retro! The walls are actually purple but it's hard to tell in this picture.
Agatha in her parlor. You can see the bookshelf I made from a tiny box and more pieces of the seam binding package card. This is where all of the potions and spell books will go! Also, I've placed a couple of postage stamps with castles on them that will be artwork. Walls are red. Purple felt for the carpet. My apologies for the blurry pictures. (I have a crummy camera.) There's a crystal ball on the table and the little thing with feet next to Agatha will be a footstool.
The kitchen is an ochre color. Leaning up against the wall, you can see one of the postage stamps that Agatha likes for artwork. It has red poppies on it. I also found a the little sterling silver teapot charm that is sitting on the mantle. Just the right size for a spot of tea for Agatha.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fairy Gardens: Part 3

An article about fairy gardens ran in The Oregonian (one of the local newspapers here) a couple of weeks ago. My mom clipped it out and mailed it to me. What a nice thing to have come through the mail slot! Much better than bills or junk mail!

Here's a link to the article on The Oregonian's website.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mini Movie review: Dinner for Schmucks

Tim (Paul Rudd) is a rising executive who "succeeds" in finding the perfect guest, IRS employee Barry (Steve Carell), for his boss's monthly event, a so-called "dinner for idiots," which offers certain advantages to the exec who shows up with the biggest buffoon.
IMDB link:

Barry has a unique hobby--creating dioramas with taxidermied mice which he dresses up. The scenes he constructs are amazing and at one point in the movie Barry shows off his magnum opus: a book called "Mouseterpieces" in which he's recreated scenes from famous works of art including the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. You can see a gallery of some of Barry's creations on the official movie website.

Aside from the minis theme (which I unabashedly love), this movie is delightful. A bit of a darkly comedic farce, there are scenes that are touching. There's a lesson taught too, but without being preachy. Highly entertaining and definitely worth watching!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Abigail's Acoutrements

A while back, I promised a "tour" of Abigail's room. That is being put off for a few weeks, as I reconstruct her room box in wood (rather than the foam core I had used previously). While I'm working on that, here is a sneak peek...
Abigail's toy box... I painted the alphabet blocks and toy chest and made the braided rug. The bears were a gift from my mom. The giraffe is a Japanese eraser. The doll box was a laser-cut kit from Dragonfly International that I picked up at the minis show in Portland last month. One of my favorite things is the antique basket (another gift from mom) that holds flannel receiving blankets, bottles and a rubber duck.

A closer look...

Sorry this picture is blurry! Here's the top of Abigail's dresser. Antique tatted doily. Woven baskets from Small Talk Miniatures, flower pot and mulberry paper roses from Dragonfly International, a beaded baby toy, sweet porcelain rabbit, and hand painted band box. I found most of these things at the minis show in Portland. The picture on the wall is from a vintage baby card.
Abigail in her bassinet with her stuffed kitty that I made from a kit.

Another view... In the background you can see the rocking chair (a Goodwill find).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Witch House

This week's trip to Goodwill wasn't entirely fruitless... I didn't find anything mini, per se, but I DID find an oak tissue box cover (remember those from the eighties and early nineties?) that is evolving into a three-story house for my little Polliwog witch...

Here it is with floors installed to separate the box into three stories. You can see that I built a roof and chimney as well as a fireplace for each room.

From top to bottom, little miss witch has an attic, a boudoir, a parlor, and a kitchen. Hubby says Abigail is going to be jealous!

Checking out the fireplace in her boudoir! The fireplaces are constructed of foam core and "stones" made from an egg carton.
Here you can see all three fireplaces and the chimney finished.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ukrainian Cross Stitch Patterns

I love antique needlework of all kinds and just came across a great website that features Ukrainian Cross Stitch patterns. Most of these could easily be adapted to miniature scale. This pattern would make a great wall-hanging and reminds me of a woven tapestry that hangs in our living room. There are also TONS of patterns for borders. I haven't cross-stitched in several years and recently cleaned out a lot of my stash; it's a good thing I couldn't bear to get rid of my accumulation of scraps of evenweave fabrics! More on this later...
Happy stitching!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Museum of Miniatures

I just stumbled across yet ANOTHER place I need to travel to....
The Museum of Miniatures in Carmel, Indiana.
Their website is great, plus they have a wonderful photostream on Flickr showing all of their exhibits. I can't wait to grab a cup of coffee and spend some time looking through all of the photos this weekend.