The Front

Click on any of the pictures to see them larger.

The front of the flower shop was designed to look like European flower shops. I wanted a bright open store front with lots of plants and flowers.

All of the flowers were made from flower kits or made by me.  I really liked using the flower kits from Mary Kinloch and The Miniature Garden.  The pictures on the walls are pictures of flowers that I have designed.

front detail 2front detail 13a

The plants (not orchids, those were made using a Mary Kinloch kit) were either bought or made.  I had found an aquarium plant at a thrift store for $.50.  The tera cotta pots were both bought online and found at thrift stores. The furniture in the front of the shop was also bought at thrift stores.  I painted it, aged it, waxed it to make it more uniform.

I made the vintage sap buckets from card stock. The votive candles were made out of pieces of mechanical pencils, a little air dry clay, and thin wire painted black. The door handles was made with a bamboo skewer, silver crimper beads, and silver nail polish.

The urn was a shiny gold party favor I picked up at The Dollar Tree. I printed the wallpaper. The little white bird is a miniature I’ve had since I was a kid.

The white vase is actually a bead that I picked up at, you guessed it, a thrift store.  I made all of the ribbon spools, the rolls of cellophane and butchers paper, and the wood rack that’s holding all of it.

It’s so hard capturing all of the details and having them translate well into pictures. I’ll post pictures of the sides of the shop next.

 

Advertisements

What a Surprise

I know I had mentioned showing you the furniture that I made for the travel trailer.  I’ve decided that I’m going to remake one, if not both pieces.  I haven’t been happy with how the stain turned out.  I’ll remake them and document the process, just incase anyone else wants to make some mid century inspired furniture.

The main reason I’m posting today is that I received a huge surprise this week.  Last year, after starting my travel trailer, I was shopping on Miniatures.com and noticed that they host a miniature contest. When I saw the kit for the contest I knew immediately what I would turn it into, my dream flower shop (I was an event florist in a former life and still design flowers occasionally).

92015_lg

I hinted about it to my husband, who is a very good listener.  I ended up getting the kit for my birthday in June from my mom (I wonder how she knew what to get me).  I worked on it for hours, weeks, months, until I hit a creative block in September.  There was a problem/hurdle that I wasn’t able to figure out how to handle. At the beginning of November I realized that the due date of December 16th was getting uncomfortably close and I still had a lot to do.  Well, with a lot of hard work I got my entry in a whole day early.

I had to send in 4 pictures that captured my little flower shop.  That might have been harder than building it. These were the ones I chose:

picture 1a

I named my flower shop Butterfly Flowers.

picture 4

picture 2

picture 3

I agonized about which pictures to choose.  I second guess everything I do. After waiting 6 or so weeks, I found out this week that I won a First Time Entry Prize! So exciting! Such an honor! Check out the other First Time winners here. There are some amazingly talented people out there in the mini world. That just means that I have to work extra hard when I work on my build for 2016.

I’ll post more detail shots of the flower shop in other posts.  I ended up taking over 140 pictures, but managed to narrow it down to about 40.

Inspiration 

My second favorite pastime, after miniatures, is thrifting. In fact it’s also my day job. I spend a few days a week shopping for good deals. I bring them home and clean them up. Then they are put into my booth at a local antique mall where , hopefully, they sell.

  While I’m out I keep my eyes open for minis, things I can use in projects, and inspiration for future projects. I haven’t decided if I’m going to do the HSB Creatin Contest this year, but I’ve bought a few things just in case I do. 
  
These things may or may not get used. They work like a touchable mood board: natural fibers, brass, wood tones, rock, and pops of color. 

  
I pick them up with a specific use in mind. My last project evolved quite a bit during the construction, so some of the inspiration pieces were replaced with ones that better fit the final look.

  
It’s ok if they don’t end up getting used. I’ve only spent about $5 on all of it, $3 of which was for the little brass urn. I know I’ll end up using them somewhere. I’ll save bigger purchases for when I actually commit to the Backyard Bungalow, until then it’s just gathering inspiration. 

Tonight’s Project

I’ve decided to give you a little peak into my current miniature project. I’m working on a 1:48, I think, sized art museum. It’s for the Undersized Urbanite Contest. 

I wanted to create a miniature scene using only what I already had. As I dug through my stash I came across some miniature frames. I had bought them in a big lot of dollhouse furniture at a thrift store. 

  
Then I remembered some tiny little people I had bought for a project a few years ago…ok, 6 years ago, but who’s counting. And that’s when it hit me- a tiny art museum. 

After much thought I decided I wanted to use art my kids have done as the pieces of art on display. 

  
I took pictures or scanned the art. I used photoshop to resize them to match the frames and then printed them onto canvas paper. The inks started to run and smear a bit. I used acrylic paint and sharpened up the art, adding in the detail that was lost in printing it on the canvas paper.

  
This one was the hardest since it was a water color. I think it will be ok. Next time I will try it on watercolor paper. However, all I had was the canvas paper and since I didn’t want to spend any money this will have to do.

 
This one was done with oil pastels. It had the most detail lost on printing, but was pretty easy to add back in. 

  

And this one had lots of texture for the flowers, so I tried to glob on paint for texture. It turned out well also. 

So, that’s what I’m working on tonight. Now to be patient and let them dry before I try framing them. I’m notorious for messing up projects during the last step because I was too impatient. 

Little Things

IMG_0307 (1)

First up, I made tiny postcards.  I found retro postcard images online.  I resized them using photoshop and print them out on card stock. I used packing tape to coat the image and give it a nice shiny finish, then cut them out. Almost all of the locations are places I have been or ones that have a special meaning to me.  I left the backs plain since they won’t be seen.

IMG_0312 (1)

My little world traveler needed some books to read. I had bought some pre-made miniature books at Joanne Fabrics.  The book covers were made kind of like how I made the post cards.

 

I found book covers I liked and used photoshop to make them the right size, and then printed them on regular printer paper.  I also had to create the back cover and spine so the books looked more like books. I covered them in packing tape to make them shiny and cut them out.  I glued them on using a glue stick and let them dry under a heavy book.

IMG_4757

The plants are cut from a floral spray I found at a craft store. The pots are wood pots that I painted.  I glued the leaves into the pots, added a little paint for shading, and called them done.  The purple flowers were from the flower spray, just cut down to size.  I will probably go back and add some “dirt” around the base of the leaves. They are living in my other dollhouse project right now, so I may even just make new ones.  Who knows.

IMG_4761

My last mini project is this little sleeping bag. Sometimes my little traveler likes to go hiking and camping. The sleeping bag is functional.  I used nylon fabric for the outside and an old necktie for the inside. The black stitching down the side is to mimic the look of a zipper. It’s all rolled up and ready to head out on its next camping adventure.

Next up will be some of the furniture I’ve made for the trailer so far.

 

Floors and Walls

The trailers owner is an artist who loves to travel. She collects things that remind her of her travels. She wouldn’t be content having a run of the mill interior. She would have revamped it to make it her own.

I knew I wanted wood paneling, a checkerboard floor, and some fun retro inspired wallpaper.

IMG_0298

The floors are made with cork I had gotten in the scrapbook paper aisle. I painted one side with whites and greys.  I left the other side natural (some paint bled through, but I liked the look).  I cut it into 1″ squares and started laying out my pattern.  I ended up making a subfloor out of foam core.  I glued all the floor pieces to the subfloor and let it dry under some heavy books.  No one wants a warped floor.IMG_4737 (1)

The wallpaper I chose felt retro and organic.  I created it by using photoshop and trying to piece together the repeats.  It’s not perfect, but it won’t be horribly noticeable. I printed it onto cardstock and glued it in. The bedroom area and the living room area both have the same wallpaper.

IMG_4784 (2)

The paneling was a bit harder.  I couldn’t find craft sticks long enough to fit the area I wanted paneled and I hadn’t even considered using bass wood and custom cutting it.  I ended up finding some very thin wood sheets with adhesive on the backs of them.  I stuck skinny sticks to the backs, cut them apart using a box cutter, and let them sit under a heavy book to make sure the wood adhered to the, well, wood. I sanded the edges slightly, wiped on a thin clear coat of poly, and glued them in place.  The thin wood sheet was longer than the skinny stick which made it easy to trim down to size.

IMG_4786 (2)

This picture was taken before I glued down the floor.  I get so excited sometimes I can’t wait for the next step before I take a picture. After the walls were done, I glued in the floor. I used small weights to hold the floor down to keep it from warping.

Next up will be some projects I worked on while I waited for glue and paint to dry.

The Journey Begins

After much research I had decided that the dollhouse I wanted, if I ever broke down and actually got one, would be the travel trailer by Corona.  32c07d5d7e84636c00da41cc2b2a6a82

It had the possibility for mid century styling and was a nice beginner size.  I had mentioned it to my husband one night before bed, but then let it go as a project for another day.  He’s really good at listening and got it for me for Mother’s Day.

IMG_0286

I started it right away.  Trying to be careful.  I learned quickly that even with my best intentions, I’m really good at screwing things up.  I glued pieces wrong, chipped the wood while trying to sand it, and kept misplacing the pieces I needed.

IMG_0289

I eventually got the basics worked out.  I was certain it was going to fall apart, but I guess with enough wood glue, anything will stay together.

IMG_0291

Here it is, with a curious kitty, all glued together and ready for the fun part.

IMG_0293

After a coat of primer.

IMG_0296

I used corrugated scrapbooking paper as the siding.  I needed about 4 sheets.  I tried to be careful when joining pieces together.  I wanted it to look as seamless as possible, but I still have a lot to learn.  After the siding was on all 4 sides I painted it with white interior house paint.  IMG_0300

The bottom 1/2 of the siding got a few coats of aqua.  I ended up painting a yellow stripe just above the aqua as an accent.IMG_4803 (2).jpg

Sorry the pictures are so bad.  I was just using my phone to document my progress.  I’m learning using the right tool for the job is even important when taking pictures.

So I’ll stop there.  The floor, wallpaper, and wood paneling will be next.

Welcome to My Tiny Obsession

  
Hello and welcome! 

I’m Morgen and I love miniatures. Last year, 2015, was the year that I worked on my first dollhouse project. Well, projects but I’ll post about that later.

I grew up collecting miniatures. Small animals, tiny houses, glass bottles, and the ever popular Wade figurines graced the wooden shelf I always had hanging on my bedroom wall. Some of my first pieces belonged to my mom when she was a kid.

Growing up I would make dioramas. Give me an old shoebox and I’d create a fun little world. My Little Pony’s castle was well decorated. I seem to think in miniature. I worked as a florist for many years and would get teased for making arrangements too small and detailed. I may have even created a miniature funeral wreath for a rat that had died in the ceiling of our shop, but that was before the days of Instagram and blogging so there isn’t any proof. 

Years have gone by and thoughts of having my own dollhouse have always lingered in the dark corners of my mind. I’ve never taken the leap. I’ve always been content thinking, “one day”.  That’s until early last year. I read a blog post on Retro Renovation about building a mid century dollhouse and furnishing it on a budget. A fire was lit. I must have talked about it a lot, because My husband gave me my first dollhouse for Mothers Day. A few months later I got my second…

And so began another tiny obsession.