Thursday, October 29, 2009

Minis for sale!

Hi, all! I'm selling some minis, so take a look!

I made these little holiday placemats last year, and I'm selling the set for $20 plus shipping costs if applicable. Here are some more photos of these 1:12 scale placemats.

I'm also selling little custom masks. Here are some examples of ones I've previously made. If you'd like to order a custom mask, or a mask based on one of these, send me an email at to discuss pricing.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A workbench from Shellie's classes

Hi, all! Well, yesterday was the miniature party at Shellie's Miniatures. My mom and I went to take the five classes to complete the secret project. My mom is not a miniaturist, but she likes crafts, and it was a nice mother-daughter day. Last year, we made the Halloween scenes out of basic materials. Imagine my surprise when I found out that we were going to make these adorable workbenches! I've wanted a garage complete with a workbench so that I could make miniature scenes of building dollhouses. This was exactly what this project was for. We made the workbenches (the peg board is a circuit board from Radio Shack - I've always thought that that would be a great mini peg board too), the little dollhouse, and all the items for the "building of the dollhouse." The little metal tools were provided too, but they needed to be painted. Here are some photos from the project.

This was the first class we took. We made the dollhouse out of balsa, glued the image on, and painted the edge.

Here's my mom's and mine. Her bench is the clean, pristine bench that she's considering making into a garden potting bench. Mine is the aged, well-used one. I just love making it messy!

Here's two other examples of the teachers' benches.

Here are some shots of my work so far, but I'm going to be doing a lot more. Plus, I hope I can put it in a proper garage soon!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shellie's Mini Party!!!

Shellie's Miniature Mania store is having a mini party on Saturday!!! Last year, we made these cute Halloween scenes using materials supplied by the store. This year, we'll be making National Miniature Day themed scenes. I can't wait! I'll be there at 10am sharp. Stay tuned for pics of the finished project! And for those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, come to Shellie's Miniature Mania store in San Carlos on Saturday.

(James Hannibal took this photo for me. Thanks, hun!)

Talk to you soon!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Phantom project is done - w/ a little something extra

Well, the phantom lair project is done! It was my most ambitious project yet, but I’m happy with the results. I just got the photos taken, and something unexpected showed up - three times. When I reviewed the photos, I saw a skeleton-like face of a man wearing an old-fashion shirt in the mirror. I zoomed in on the photo so you can see it better. Like I said, it showed up in three photos, and I didn’t have a skeleton in the scene that was reflected in the mirror, and I did not photoshop it in. Interestingly enough, the phantom, or Erik as he’s known in the book (by Gaston Leroux who claims that the story is true), is supposed to have shown up in mirrors and had a distorted, skeleton-like face due to a condition he was born with (thus the reason for the mask). He was even known to wear a skeleton mask which gave him the label of having “death’s head.” The image that appeared in the mirror is wearing an old-fashion shirt which does fit the type that Erik would have worn. Just an interesting observation. None-the-less, that image creeped me out!!! Worse yet, I first noticed it late at night. Eeeek!

The project took me about 2 months to create, and cost me around $102 in material cost alone (not to mention any “hourly wage” that would have been added on to this had I sold it). I was able to cut down on costs based on items I already had and new techniques I worked on when it came to lighting and water effects.

I’ve been told that I ought to make these types of roomboxes and have them available for sale. I always do love a new challenge, so if you would like a roombox (whether that be a replica of a room in your own home or of a famous scene from a movie), please send me an email at I’ll be happy to discuss options and pricing with you. Keep in mind, this project took me 2 months, so I’ll need a good chunk of time to finish your project. Who knows, you could soon have a miniature of your favorite scene sitting in your living room!

For more pictures of the Phantom’s Lair project, view the full album here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

New look!

For those of you who are familiar with the old look of my blog (same as my writing site), you may have noticed a few (well, a lot) of changes. Yup, I found this great site called that gave me new inspiration. Here’s the result. I hope you like it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mini Convention in San Jose, CA

The mini convention was great. It was smaller than last year’s, but I still found some great finds. I bought a mini thermos and lantern since I love camping. Eventually, I’ll do a mini camping scene. I even have the splatterware plates!

I also bought this adorable BBQ. The best part? It’s dirty! I’ve seen a lot of BBQs, but they are all in pristine condition. What BBQ in history has ever been clean once it was used? I like it to be realistic, and reality is dirty.

I bought these wonderful baked goods from Kim Saulter. I couldn’t believe how realistic and yummy her minis looked! I wanted to buy all the yummy treats! Finally, I settled on the mixing bowl (I loved the marble look and the rubber spatula) and the chocolate souffle. I love them! I must say, I think her work contains the best miniature baking goods I’ve seen.

I’ve been looking for a 1:144 scale dollhouse kit for my dollhouse. After all, I want my dollhouse to reflect life, and a big part of my life are miniatures and dollhouses. Why shouldn’t my house have one too? The ones I’ve seen are too expensive, but this one was reasonable and beautiful too. I will say, it was a pain in the butt to put together. If you painted it first, the wood warped and the glue didn’t hold, but if you assembled it first, you couldn’t reach the areas to paint them! The directions were a bit confusing too. I did paint just a few areas first, but finally had to use a toothpick to paint the assembled house. It was painful, but I think it turned out okay.

On Thursday, I’m going to meet with a local artisan. Maybe I’ll have some more new pieces to show!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Clay may not be as safe as you think

One point of interest for me is working with clay. Many times, it’s the best option for the effect that’s wanted, but at what cost? In my years of working with clay, I’ve heard that you are not supposed to cook the clay on any pan or cookie sheet that will later be used for food. Well, if this isn’t okay, then what makes putting it in an oven where food also is cooked okay? I’m assuming the baking process will release some particles into the air that would then be trapped in the oven only to fall on your food later on, right? Well, I decided to do a little research. Turns out that the committee in charge of testing clay for the U.S. marks the clay with a stamp of approval that says “AP.” The equivalent stamp in Europe says “CE.” Here’s where the problem arises: America looks at clay as an art medium and they seem to expect a little bit of not-so-good chemicals will be included in the recipe. In this case, those chemicals are phthalates which are bad for you (same stuff that is released when you microwave plastic - another big no-no!). However, Europe looks at clay as a child’s toy, so the standards are much stricter and phthalates are completely prohibited. Now, which clay companies use which standards? Well, that’s where it becomes interesting. Sculpey uses the AP standard which means that the clay can have phthalates in it and still pass the test. Fimo, on the other hand, abides by the CE standard making it phthalate-free.

Now, just finding out this research and switching to Fimo wasn’t necessarily enough for me. I mean, if I just found this out, what more is out there that I don’t know, right? To take an extra safety measure, I found a free Easy Bake Oven online and used that to cook my Fimo clay. Now, even if toxins are released, they are contained in a place where food won’t go.

Today, I did my first successful test with the Easy Bake Oven. Now, Fimo cooks at 230 degrees (F), and the Easy Bake Oven heats up to about 350 or so. For the Real Meal Oven, the instructions say to preheat it for 15 minutes. I simply changed that number to 9 and cooked my minis for 5 minutes. Sure enough, it worked! Now, I’ll be even safer while using clay.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

September issue of AM

Hi, all! I’m in the September issue of American Miniaturist with a messy desk project that they requested back in July. I haven’t seen the issue yet, but I’m very excited to. I had fun making the little mess, and the desk now sits in my dollhouse, in the bedroom on the third story (which has been completely redone!) Instead of the teeny-bopper room that it used to be, the room has now matured into a college-age room.