Sunday, November 11, 2012

leaf your problems at the door

Today I'm taking full advantage of autumn.

I made a wreath by taking fallen leaves, taking off the leafy parts and using the veins to weave together.  The trick is taking fairly flexible leaves.  I really like the different colors in it!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Not tiny stuff, but I made the first rose for my sister's bouquet!  I'd been putting it off because I was intimidated, but I think this turned out pretty well.

The trick is to curl the petals beforehand, and make five different sizes of petals.

Happy arting!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


This isn't exactly dollhouse, but it sure is dollar.  I'm still working on Wolverine; I can't seem to cut his legs off... but that could be the healing factor.

I wish the picture was better quality.  The guy inside is a little old man with a cane who I painted with a safety pin.

But I will tell you how to hollow out a lightbulb!  Use pliers to take off the little metal thingy on the end of the bulb.  You'll be stuck with a thick black glass plug with a hole in the middle of it.  This threw me for a loop for a good long while.  I tried to hit it with something heavy and metal to shatter it, but it was really hard and it just flaked off bit by bit.  Then I stuck a dart in the hole and pushed it to the side, and it cracked right in half!  Then it's just a question of breaking up the glass inside and shaking it out.

At the bottom of terrariums you should put activated charcoal or those clay balls they put at the bottom of lizard habitats.  Then there's mesh, not metal mesh (which will rust), but fiberglass.  Then the dirt and the plant.

Happy arting!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Oh, Wolverine, what did they do to you?

I've been kind of busy lately, helping with my sister's upcoming wedding (I love you Kimberly!)  So fewer tiny stuff and more regular-sized stuff.  But I did manage to pick up a new arrival.

The saddest Wolverine ever.  I got him for ten cents.

Yes, he is missing two of his claws on one hand.  Yes, he's in a permanent sitting position. Yes, a lot of the paint is worn off of his body (even, scandalously, his rear end).

I want to show you what he looks like now, because hopefully I'll be able to give his legs some joints and spruce him up to better-than-new!  Happy arting!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rapunzel Rapunzel, how many bottles of shampoo do you use in one go?

I got this Rapunzel at a garage sale, basically for free because her hair was so messed up!  Look at this!!  I've always wanted a Rapunzel in my dollhouse, so much so that I tried to make one myself!  I'm not crazy about my sculpting, so I'm not going to relink to that, but it's on the blog!  Somewhere!
I used a little bit of fabric softener and a lot of water and brushed it all out with a wide-toothed comb.  The tutorials all say to use a wire wig brush, but... I'm a rebel.  No, I'm not a rebel.  I just didn't want to buy it. She did lose some hair, but that's okay!  That's the magic doll detangler.

I might get someone who's a prettier braider to rebraid, but basically it's pretty awesome, huh?

Happy arting!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blue Dog Blues

I went ahead and made an imitation George Rodrigue.  For those of you who don't know his work... he's super famous for painting this blue dog, based on his own deceased dog and the myth of the loup-garou. 

I went ahead and used one of those scrapbooking frames to frame it, and a fancy invitation to paint on.  Happy arting!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Vanity Shmanity.

I got this vanity from the dollar store.  As you can see, the drawers are a facade.  They pried off pretty easily with a pocket knife, and left a convenient hole.  So what I did is I made three drawers that actually worked, using small glass beads as the pulls.
I used a elmer's glue as a crackle medium.  Now, how to do that.  First I painted the whole thing white with like eight hundred coats because the cheap stain kept making it pink (then I gave up and let it be pink).  This ended up being a good thing, because you should have a contrasting color under the color you're making it.  Then I spread white glue everywhere, waited for it to dry (mostly), and painted over it with this revolting mustard yellow.  I know the drawer is crooked... that's fully on purpose.  I wanted some dumpster-dived, well-loved vanity that looked like it was repainted in the 1950s and left out in several terrible storms. 
I wanted it to look old and kind of trashed up; I even included a carving, done by a friend of mine.  My initials, and a darling art friend's initials, in a heart!  Thanks Lindsey!  I painted some lace turquoise to add a little extra color to the front.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monkeying Around

Today I made a tiny sock monkey!  I went for t-shirt materials that look like the same colors in a sock monkey, and just went to town!  I tried to keep similar construction, too, to add to the look!  T-shirt materials, if you don't sew them too tightly, remain loose and can fray a little to give the appearance of a knit. I used seed beads for the eyes and less than one cotton ball to fill it.

I think this little fellow is a tad too large for the house, but they make oversized sock monkeys too, so it can work.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Something pretty awesome I've found is that the scrapbooking section of most craft stores have tiny picture frames!  And, if people send you fancy letters they're usually in fancy envelopes, which work pretty well as watercolor paper!

Check it out, yo!  My first tiny picture for the tiny house.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Oh oh oh it's magic, you kno-o-ow.

Okay!   I am for sure getting back in the art scene, I mean it!  Right now I'm making a Murphy bed for the dollhouse, but while that's getting rigged up, I have a tutorial for something a little more full-sized.

Made of a chopstick, hot glue, and paint!  I used a satin finished paint on this one and I think it looks a lot like wood. After that I did a wash of black paint, to get into all the crevices hot glue made.

And now I'm a wizard.


There's that.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Gifty Gift Gift

My sister got back from South Africa!  She brought me back exactly what I asked for: a little something for the dollhouse.

They look just like little vases, or jugs, hard as rock!  I'm so thrilled with them!  They make the perfect new additions.

Love you, Kimberly!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Owl be Back

Recently minis have gone on the backburner so that I could plan for something secret!

It'll be in a month so expect frequent arty updates. 

Yesterday I sewed three owls for the owlery. I made them all with little pockets so that they can have notes in them!

Here's one!  I'm not crazy about them, so I'll probably make more (eventually!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

No Bones About It

Today I made a skeleton!  Rather, I took a dollar store skeleton garland that looks like this:

And fixed it up a bit.  I gave it actual joints beyond the shoulder joints and the hip joints.  This next part is a little technical... I noticed that the shoulder joints were connected to the upper ribcage, which is entirely incorrect, so I connected it instead to the clavicle (the collarbone, which, on these little plastic guys extends right to where the shoulder joint would be).

How did I do this miraculous thing, you might ask?  All you need is a piece of cardboard, a pushpin, and wire, and scissors.

Using the cardboard as a buffer, I pushed the pin through the skeleton to make new holes, one a little above the knee joint, one a little below.  I did that for the knees, shoulders, wrists, elbows, and cut the joints apart with a scissor.  At this point, I filed the edges down a little with a nail file.  Finally, I strung the joints together with wire, and painted the whole thing.  In the pictures, the eyes look darker than they are; I mixed a middle gray so it wouldn't overwhelm the rest of it.

Here he is, chilling with Poe.  Poor Poe.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Because I Need More Sugar Rushes

Today I made something so tiny that I can't get a picture of it.  I've been wearing a rubber band around my wrist for weeks thinking about this, but I hadn't gotten around to it until today.

So, you know those really thin, square-edged rubber bands?  Not the flat ones, the other kind.  I figured, if you can cut it right, you could make tiny sugar cubes, and you can!  It totally works!  I had to discard about 70% of the ones I made for being misshapen, but it's not like it's a lot of effort.

Painting them white is the challenge.  I tried coating my finger with white acrylic and rolling them around, but it didn't work as well as I wanted it to.  I had coverage, it just wasn't awesome coverage, even when I did it twice.  Then I painted the top of a Rubbermaid container (that's my workspace) with a little smear of white and rolled the little cubes through that! Much better.  I just wish I could get a picture!

Happy arting!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Nest Big Thing

Taking the picture with my camera phone kind of wiped out all the details, but I made a tiny bird's nest!

I took twine and unraveled it and roughed it up around my finger.  After that, I picked apart the fibers in a piece of felt and rolled it up to make little eggs!   Happy arting!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Poe Gets Pwned

Today Poe watched the Notebook, and I found him later, next to the tissue box.

Poor Poe.

This is how I made the tissue box:
I took a small wooden cube, an interesting pattern from a magazine, and a tiny square of tissue.  Basically I wrapped it up the way I wrap a present (or, rather, how other people wrap presents, because I kind of... put stuff in bags or just hand it over or hide things under other things), took an oval of plastic and some tissue to make the 'opening,' and glued the scrap of tissue on top of that.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

So They Can Shoot Hoops and Make Touchdowns

Today I re-covered a little pool table that I got for free, that had the green buckled and warped.  As I peeled it off, I found that it was paper, with an adhesive backing!

Woah, this picture looks kind of wonky, but it's Oscar Wilde partying on the pool table, which is now smooth, if still a little beat-up looking, which I think is just fine for an old house full of curmudgeons and howler monkeys.

Monday, May 28, 2012

My room is clean(ish) for the first time ever, and I'm focusing most of everything on that.  Today I went through papers and trashed a lot of junk I didn't need.

In lieu of an art picture (I swear, they're percolating, I have ideas for miniatures just a-waitin' to come out), here's a picture-picture of my glorious room, which was mostly cleaned by my mom, for money, while I was out of the way for a week:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

So, you know how you sleep with a down comforter and you're picking teeny feathers out of your clothes and hair? I had a brain blast! How perfect would those be as tiny quill pens?
I got the sharp tip by pinching the end of the feather between my thumbnail and pointerfinger nail and pulling. Pen cap for scale. Happy arting! P.S. I'm typing this from an iPad so I don't really know what I'm doing and I hope this post doesn't end up deformed.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Okay, I'm sorry for being so mega slowsville lately!  I have a writing deadline... today.  So I've been mostly doing that.  Speaking of... I need to get back to it!

I'll leave you with this super cute picture in the spirit of summer.

It's one of those drink cosies, but it makes the perfect little kiddy pool!  I got it at a garage sale!  Happy arting!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I'm don't drink, but friends of mine do, and when I saw this teeny sword I just had to have it!  (Thanks for the sword donation!)

The picture is kind of wonky, but I painted the blade with the copper leaf (the coverage was surprisingly amazing), distressed the handle with dark blue paint, and made a few shiny blue jewels.

Close up!  Poe's ready to kick some rear.

Happy arting!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Under my Umbrella-Ella-Ella

If I atoned for the rest of my life, I'd still never be forgiven for the title of this post.

This project is something I've been itching to do for a while, and I thought it'd be much harder than it was.  I took a cocktail umbrella (which I've always been kind of fascinated with, honestly.  They're tiny, functional umbrellas with moving parts, and people just throw them out willy-nilly!  They're cool) and peeled off the tissue paper, leaving me with a skeleton of the umbrella.  Then I used the tissue paper, which was all surprisingly in one piece, as a template to cut out the fabric I wanted to use.  It actually worked out brilliantly, because I chose spotted fabric, and there's one spot right in the middle where I cut out the center piece.

I glued it on and coated the whole thing with white glue, in part to stop it from fraying.

Cutesicles, right?  Happy arting!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Today I planned to make a little box to put the cards in, but as you can see, it didn't quite go as planned.  The box is too small width-wise, so now I just have a tiny box!

I used posterboard cut into strips and tape to hold them together.  Then I tried to paint it, but the paint kind of... decided to not stick to the tape.  So I decoupaged it with tissue paper, used three small yellow beads, an orange glass tile, and a strip of gold string, and it looks so much better when the picture isn't done with my crummy phone.   Happy arting!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Today I finally felt a little spark of motivation, and I moved to make a tiny deck of cards.

It wasn't as easy as just snipping them out, though.  I painted the back with this cool metallic blue paint that I got when I was painting set pieces for a community production of Alice and Wonderland.  I fell in love with the shade, but I haven't had cause to use it since. 

The tiny cards were printed on cardstock (or photo paper) and I coated the front with white Elmer's glue.  That gave it more of a playing card feeling between my fingers, if that makes sense.

I'm not the best cutter in the world, so I tried to cut it with a boxcutter and a ruler.  Big mistake.  It ended up tearing up the paint on the back (I'll do touchups eventually).  I switched to scissors and I didn't do half badly!  This is Van Gogh playing Solitaire (okay, so my hands are too shaky today for setting up tiny things, but I made them, and that's the important bit!)  Happy arting!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I've been having a really wild week!  No real art to speak of, but I started pressing flowers for projects (and possibly miniatures), trying to write, babysitting, and more, and while I'm inspired to make things, the motivation just isn't there right now.  It's like being an RC car and having good, fresh batteries but the whole car is upside down so no one's getting anywhere.

So I'm giving myself the week off.  I'm going to be obnoxiously relaxed, give my brain a break from building, and start focusing on other stuff without the nagging guilt at the back of my head that says, "Make something."  I'll get to it.  And when I do it's going to be awesome!

What do you folks do when you find yourself in an artistic rut?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Early Easter

I don't want to be the one to tell Hagrid that Easter is tomorrow.  At any rate, he seems to have found an egg.  I'm slightly worried about what's hatching from it.

You might notice that his basket is rather cauldrony.  I got the cauldron at a garage sale, at which point it was dry brushed silver, which gave it a really nice aged look, but it had a very obvious plastic seam down the middle, and MADE IN TAIWAN stamped on the inside.  I used a nail file to file down the seam and the inside, and I used some liquid copper leaf to color the cauldron.  It took a few coats.  Partially due to my own stupidity.  I thought because it didn't say to shake well on the back of the package that I didn't need to.  It's also a kicker to clean off of brushes and hands.

Don't let the bad quality picture fool you... it's gorgeous.  And it was really exciting to work with actual soluble copper, as opposed to copper paint.  I got it on sale, which is also pretty exciting. 

Happy arting!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wall-t Whitman

“I sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world.”   
-- Walt Whitman

Painting these walls involved many barbaric yawps.  For one thing, the paint had seperated.  Even after mixing, it took five coats for the beige paint to cover the gray primer, which must have gone bad or something.  The walls aren't together due to an accident when we were moving houses, and I'm probably not going to put them together until I have the flooring done which will be sometime in the future [/intentionally vague]

Van Gogh is standing there to mock my poor artistry and sloppy painting.  As he does.  Happy arting!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dolls and Doilies

Today was an awesome Garage Sale Saturday.  Soon, I need to buckle down and do some real work on the house, but I've been feeling lethargic, and it's hard for me to focus on one bit of the project versus another.

Nevertheless, here's my haul (what I can remember):
A crystal doorknob for the top of a cane that I'm going to carve.
A little blonde girl doll, for fixing up and putting in the house.
A cauldron, a record player, a phone (perhaps a bit too large).
A pretty dress, for myself.
A Superman shirt (welcome because it was the mid-eighties [degrees, not time period] and I left the house in a green sweater).
A doily.
Three bike-type Christmas ornaments with turning wheels, for use in the house or dismantling.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hello Dobby

Finally finished!  Here's a picture of Dobby next to Hagrid, for scale.  The very tall to the very small.

And here's a slightly better picture.  The picture isn't awesome, because I'm still using my phone camera.   The reason he's bandaged: he has a habit of hurting himself when he misbehaves, in the books.  The real reason he's bandaged: his arm fell off, and I had to crack his legs to get him to stand up.  His ear fell off and I replaced it with paper, and you can't tell the difference! 
I did a quick touch-up and replaced the picture, sorry!

Happy arting!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Slots of Fun

Garage Sale Saturdays was a huge success!  I got material, watches to dismantle, and... a working slot machine.

I didn't have a table handy so I used a clay container.  Pretty neat, huh?  Though, I must say, the last thing that anyone in the dollhouse needs is a gambling problem.  The house is 80% full of depressives (see: Poe, Van Gogh, the Crow, Batman, etc).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

to thine own elf be true!

I'm having my first experience with Sculpey! It's fun!  My hands hurt because I've been sculpting all day, though.  Here's one of the fruits of my labor.  Dobby!  I want to bake everything at once so he isn't in the oven yet, and now that I look at the picture, I can see where I need to smooth more, and add more.

 There's his cute little profile!  I made him with wire and candy wrappers as his skeleton, and the only thing that can move on him is his arms (if he bakes correctly).
Happy arting!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Okey dokey!  I've been doing a lot of shopping lately!  Garage sale Saturday was a huge success for me!  I got doilies to use as tablecloths, and a whole stack of fabric (for free!)  I also got a furby, because I love those creepy little things. 

This week is super busy for me, as far as real life goes, so I might be slowsville for a bit.  But I am working on some new arrivals (I have the foil and pipecleaner skeletons all ready to go!)

I'm also trying to decide what to do, as far as coloring the front door and the window frames.  Since the house is this gorgeous shade of light blue, I need to choose the right colors to go along with it.  Do I want to go clashy, or matchy?  I'm leaning toward clashy, because (let's be honest) I always am!  Maybe a golden door?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Okay, this picture isn't very good, but there's something I want to talk to you about, buddy to buddy.  Have you ever found something fully stellar but it's made of plastic and it looks like it's made of plastic?

Have I got news for you!  I found silver nailpolish  at the dollar store, and it works like a dream to make plastic look more metallic.  Now, this picture is definitely twenty-two shades of awful, but I haven't painted the knives yet, and you can sort of tell the difference.  The light reflects differently.  Better.  The knives look flat, and the other stuff has dimension.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Today I finally finished the flooring in the middle room of the attic!  So, the first thing I want to show you is a comparison between the flooring I was going to use and the flooring I did use.
I was going to use this super plush flooring sample.  I have enough of them to cover the floor!  But I couldn't get them to lie flat... they had a bit of a curve, and I couldn't get the edges to match so that it looked like seamless carpeting.

Do you know what makes perfect dollhouse carpeting?  Upholstery fabric!  I got a few squares in different colors and patterns from a garage sale, and I attached it to a posterboard backing.  Tada!  A floor for my Gentleman Velociraptor to stand on!

Happy arting!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Okay, you folks, I know that I've been quiet lately, but I'm working on flooring and I want to post it when it's finished.  So I'll give you something from Garage Sale Saturday.

I got a tiny rubber ducky!  Among other things.

Look how interested in the duckie Van Gogh is!  He must be in a mood.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Today I made a chair out of some scrap fabric and some scrap wood from the back of a canvas.  The wood was weak enough to cut with scissors, and I used a nail file to round a few of the edges.  I used light batting for the back and the seat, and a funky floral fabric that I just had a scrap of.

Here's a pic of all the pieces before I put them together, on my leg.

 Here's the finished chair!  It looks lopsided because I'm taking the picture at an angle, but it's really not.

Again, it looks lopsided, now because it's sitting on my friend's bed.  It's low to the ground, but some chairs are kind of like that!

Happy arting!  One day I will get a better picture, but right now I am sleepy.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The house now has something that I've been calling a Gentleman Velociraptor, though my mother suggested the title Philosiraptor, which I very much like.  Here he is, before he became a gentleman, trying to eat my brother.
Bad velociraptor.  Bad.

Here he is, all dolled up.  I made his monocle with a chain and a circle clasp, plus clear nail polish for the glass.  In retrospect, using a small circle of clear tape and then clear nail polish would have maybe looked better!

Here he is from the front!  I made his vest with real leather, bought from the thrift store.  I learned that using white glue on leather actually works remarkably.  His buttons are little silver thingies that my sister took off of a shirt and gave me ages ago.
I love this little guy!  Happy arting!