Dec 30, 2013

Happy New Year to you and yours!

From my family to yours, we wish you a very happy, healthy and safe New Year!

Dec 22, 2013

Holiday Inc: Santas Workshop Complete

Good evening good folks!

This will be my last post till the new year and I will let you know after dragging my feet a bit I have completed Santa's workshop. I will tell you I got pretty lazy about the details at the end so it might be a bit messy in areas and my camera has pretty much seen its last days, but its finished enough to consider the rest next Christmas :P
I want to thank all of you great mini friends for the swaps and wonderful gifts you sent over the last year, you will notice your pieces are displayed here with lots of love and gratitude!
I hope your Holiday season goes well and you are happy and healthy!



Santa here was a last minuet creation, my daughter insisted I make a Santa so I threw him together with scraps of projects ..he has my failed Easter bunny body, the head I started a year ago and some pipe cleaners, pillow remnants etc...he turned out better than I thought!   
I hope you enjoyed this post, if you have questions about things in the shop, feel free to contact me or ask in comments.
Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year to you all!!

Dec 14, 2013

Holiday Inc. Toy worktable : Also I may be completely addicted to glitterhouses

Good evening good folk!

I been working on Holiday Inc..I have! but before that...Glitter houses....twinkle in the eye!

I though of doing some little toy houses for the shop area and the build space so I looked up paper craft houses and a few patterns came up...then...then I saw them..glitter houses....

I decided to print off a few of the patterns I found on the web and apply some of the 100 vials of nail gittery stuff in my stash....ohhh sparkle...oh delight.
On the larger house I added the flock and glitter I got from the fabulous chick that is Jennifer of Plushpussycat you will notice the houses look plush ;P 
The patterns are free to find all over the web for various projects. Just remember to look for the term PAPERCRAFT as well as printable when you folks want to find other printables for instance small 3d style toys and things can be found this way you just would scale them in any picture/ writing/ graphics program of your choice. 
EDIT: I have added this printable pdf for those who want to mess around with them>
Sorry got tranced there......
Any whoooooo... I did a little bit of work on the toy worktable . This is just balsa wood and acrylic paint I made some simple stools from woodsies.  

As you can see I filled the table and surrounding areas with a lot of the toys and beautiful swap pieces from the last year.

I made this little robot from some leftover foam pieces.  IT'S ALL GOOD them dodads, even when they all look at you crazy for picking up fancy strings and tiny scraps *heheh Harhar har* *crazy look in eye*

More work to be done....maybe...just....a few more.... glitter houses.....stares off into space........

Dec 9, 2013

Holiday Inc: The Christmas room renovation.

Hello folks, quick post here just to show you I actually am working on Holiday Inc... instead of just saying I last time...

The picture isn't the best, its snowy and cold and crap here today..

Any who, I decided to redo the walls with a faux plaster/adobe'ish finish.. so sand, paint and cornstarch to make a plastery mix. Then I went over them a few times with a rag and blotted a cream/orcre color.... so basically I redid the redo a few times..because I hated it three times.... all premeditated >=)

The floors have been redone to look more of a worn woodshop floor.

I made a quick bottle brush tree with the Lycopodium I got from Lyssa and added quite a few bits and baubles from you fine folks, to fill in the tree and present area.

This is just filling from the back to front so a lot of work to go. The plan will be to add a long work table and have three elves working at the table with toys in production...

Ok.. here is a shot of work in progress.

Dec 4, 2013

Christmas Mini Swaps: I've done it..Holiday Inc: is dusted off

Good day, good evening and goodnight..for me anyways ;)

Now that we are in December I wanted to show a few of the mini swaps I've done the last month. I have sat on my lazy mini butt for long enough! Its time for action and Holiday Inc. is back on the worktable!

My first swap was with a fine lady that actually lives locally to me we are within a hours distance form each other so we got to do this swap in person ;)

Traci over at made me some beautiful Christmas minis for Holiday Inc.

As you can see here she created this amazing Christmas wreath decorated with candies, silver and red ornaments just beautiful!. She taught me how to make the bow on her wreath so I learned a new skill as well!
The stocking is another amazingly crafted beauty, its sewn so fine you cannot even see the stitching. It is decorated with pine, perfect little apple, candy cane and of course another fine looking bow!
Stop by her blog and say hi, I expect great things from her!
Thank you again Traci! I look forward to our next meet hon!
I also wanted to show you a few of the Christmas minis that I swapped with Kelly over at the Greenleaf Dollhouses Forum. Kelly was the first place winner of the Spring fling this year and sooooo well deserved! She is such a lovely lady..and absolutely amaaaaaaazing miniaturist!
Have a look at some of her houses when you get a chance...she is just prepare for awesomeness! Kelly's FB
Kelly and I are both dragon lovin gals so of course we swapped a couple dragons but I will show you the Christmas minis for this post.
As you can see here we have a awesome gingerbread board with a gingerbread towel and frosting for decorations. She sent me these perfect winter pillows and of course a dragon sneaking into the stocking, peeking in on his treats! 
Thanks again Kelly you continue to inspire me!
I did mention Holiday Inc. Yes..I have ignored the ole girl long enough! She is back on the work table dusted sorted and ready for work. I have gotten so many amazing and wonderful gifts from you fine folks all around the world it is time to start placing them in Santa's workshop.
I decided that after learning a few new techniques from the Treetop Creature Shop that I would update the room a bit.. So I have stripped it down and am preparing a new vision.
I hope all your Chrismismini dreams come true! See you folks soon ;)

Nov 26, 2013

Treetop Creature Shop wins 2nd place!!!: Part two house construction

Good evening folks!

I am pleased to tell you I won 2nd place in the Greenleaf Dollhouse Spring Fling Contest!!!!

As you can see in the link, I was up against some amazing artists that have incredible skills. I am Honored to have placed with these ladies, let alone with my first complete build!!

I have won a 250$ Gift certificate to Greenleaf now, ohhhhh Christmas gifts!!!!!

Have a look at all the entries when you get a chance, they are very inspirational!.
I wanted to continue a little bit about the house construction with you, I don't have a ton of photos of this phase but the construction of the house was very simple. It is the details that took forever ;)

As you can see the kit was very simple and easy to place together 3 walls and floor, trim pieces and bam! you have a dollhouse! 
I started covering sections of the walls with a more firm version of the toiletpaper clay, I wanted it to appear like a worn plaster, since this house is thought to be magical and the tree is grown around it with lots of time. As you can see I lined cracks in various areas around windows and doors as you would think this place would "sway" a bit with the wind.
The interior is a mix of a cheap Crayola air dry clay and some leftover tp' clay I wanted this one to be a thin coat as I placed lathe slats inside this house, lathe slats being lighter, supported by the tree ;)
The lathe boards I decided to do very simply as they only peek out from a few sections and since I knew I would be packing this place full of decorations. to keep it simple and light I simply scored some cardboard like you score floorboards.
Quick example:
Line score and fit a bit
floor board scoring:
Floor painted:
And as you can see I glued the slats around and then did the wall covering, adding cracks here and there
After the walls were dry I went about dabbing some light brown and cream to age the walls, then the trim work was placed around.
playing with furniture ;)
The roof that come with the standard house was just cardboard and corrugated cardboard strips, think of tin roof.
I decided to continue on my favorite themes and go with a Tuscan style roof tile. This was a lengthy process but in the cost department, quite inexpensive.
I found this tutorial online about making roof tiles from cardboard Link Unfortunately the kit did not have enough cardboard for a layered roof tile so I disassembled a box I had downstairs and added tile strips which is essential the same.
I placed Kabaob skewers into the ridge areas then painted the piece with a mix of wood glue and paint to firm up the paper..then I speckled it with browns and greens then coated it all once dried with a sealer.
Then you simply have to cut 1000000000000 pieces and layer them for 2 days!! YAY! ;P
Since my build is a old battered windblown shop, I did not worry too much about perfect alignment and I even lifted and bent a few to resemble broken tiles and moss growing around. 
Tile, mossing plaster
The deck was done after I placed my shop on the tree so that it could be cut around the branches. 
Then I added a few real twigs as rails
I hope you enjoyed this view of the build. I will go over the decoration aspects in the next post.
For those that celebrate have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Nov 16, 2013

Testing..1..2..3 this thing on? : "Tree" of treetop construction Stage 1

Good day good folk!

I kinda dropped off the planet a bit there, I went to the philidelpha miniatura show on the 2nd of November and had a bad chest cold at the time. Then over the next week it got progressively worse. Long story short I actually had Walking Pneumonia... so a regiment of antibiotic and inhalers and cough meds. I feel much better but it is still is a long recovery.

In any case, I thought I would just start talking about the Treehouse. Since it was months worth of construction and a lot of different techniques were created and used I though we could go over a few every couple of days and break down the build.
My apologies to my foreign friends as this will be "word heavy" and the translation might not go through. Feel free to ask questions and I will clarify.

Just to let you know, what I had on hand was what I used: My main goal was to construct this using all my power of creation, without spending more than 20$ extra in cost.

Stage 1: Tree Construction:

In this shot you can see the basic structure of the tree. I started with a small wooden base. I screwed a long wooden rod to the base, then I proceeded to create a trunk out of a large rolled oat container, I stuffed the container with Styrofoam for support, while still keeping the structure light.
The branches are a 13 gauge carbon steel wire, pushed into the Styrofoam and tube base, wrapped in heavy tinfoil, with lots of packing tape to support the branch: The house base was used as a guide for where to place the branches. I placed a small wooded square base at the top of the tube to compress the whole structure together.
The second part was the homade paperclay/mache. While there are many recipes out there I simply created cheap "toilet paper clay"..
Remove 1 roll toilet paper from cardboard tube, soaked in a hot water till easily shredded by fork. I then used a large screen mesh to drain the water out and smash dryish' and separate the shredded paper. I decided to use a mixture of joint compound/wood glue and cornstarch, till I felt the clay was what I could sculpt with, it was messy..but inexpensive and turned out pretty nice ;)
Here is one of the best recipes to match what I created:
After applying the mixture in stages around the tree I used one of my wooden clay tools to carve bark in the trunk and sections of branches.
You can see some balls of paper were in the clay mixture but I decided to leave them as they added more realistic bark bumps and curves to the base.
Here was my first test fit it was a bit lopsided but the simplicity of the wire and paper mixture allowed me to bend the tree limbs and base enough to level the house.
After a few days in front of the fan I started the paint job. It was done with plain water based acrylics in layers.. I did a grey brown, then a bit of coffee then a few streaks of chocolate, grey, white, moss green.. Layers and a stiff bristle.
Layer..and layer..and layer...
The first purchase I decided on was these leaves, I had to decide on what I wanted the tree to resemble. And then I remembered my own advise, if you cannot create a particular species..Minifanatisize it!
These leaves looked perfect, they had a range of small and large leaves that were attached to what, once painted, would look just like branches.
Hole punched, glued and painted branches
Adding more
Mossing and detailing
A view of stage 2
Next part I will go into a bit more detail of the house construction.
I hope you are all inspired in your mini worlds...remember..inexpensive...toilet paper mache clay..,,,,play!!!