I love Christmas, which, as I am an atheist, is weird. For me, the best part of Christmas is that I can be as generous as I wish and no one can get mad at me. This, however, does take up quite a bit of time. I have been working on some mini projects.
A few weeks ago I started this kit:
I haven’t used a kit in a while, but since I moved a few months ago, a lot of my craft supplies are in storage. This kit is fun, though. The instructions are really easy to follow. I enjoy the tiny bakery:
Which lights up:
More on that project as I work on it.
I have also been filling the shelf between my living room and my dining room with a paper Christmas village. Here is the basic look of the village:
The houses now all have smoke coming from the chimneys and tiny christmas trees inside.
Sorry I haven’t posted in so long. I recently bought a home and have been really busy working on that. Also, I lost my darling cat Johnny and have been bonding with my new cat, Poppy. Poppy is a love, and he came to me about a month before Johnny left. I would have been lost without him. He is a great comfort to me. I promise I will get back to miniature making soon, in the meantime, here’s a photo of the rococo room I was working on before my life went crazy. I have a floor at least.
Hi! It’s been a while since I posted. The library is complete.
I also took two weeks to create an Easter scene for my sister. She loves Easter and we weren’t able to celebrate last year due to the Pandemic.
My next project, which I just started today, is a Rococo Room that will be built in an old dresser case I purchased on eBay. Here’s the box:
And here it is when it’s open:
Sadly, the old silk lining is too damaged to save. It literally shreds when you touch it, so I am either going to have to remove it or cover it.
The color scheme for this room is going to be pastel pink and white, which was very popular at the time. Also, since the walls are only about two inches high, the scale is, by necessity, 1:24 scale, which means that 1 inch is equal to 2 feet. 1:48 scale would have been a possibility as well, but 1:24 scale is my favorite.
She ships from Europe, but my order arrived very quickly. Here are the kits I bought:
I’ve also been making some architectural details using Crayola Model magic and some wedding cake decorating molds I purchased from Amazon.
The molds are very easy to use. Simply squish the model magic in and then gently peel it out again, and you have some lovely details. Model Magic air dries overnight, so I can just leave them until I’m ready.
Any one who knows Rococo design, knows that it is very ornate. The wealthy in this period liked gilt and marble and frescoed walls with plaster accents and textures. Versailles is a perfect example.
I imagine that the study will be finished within a few days, I thought I would give an update on what’s been happening.
When I work on minis, I like to imagine the people who occupy the scenes I am creating. This one is fun because I have been imagining a couple, one person who enjoys lovely decorating and a second who enjoys researching bloody murders. I keep hearing the first person in my head, complaining to a friend about how the other person has destroyed the formal study it took so long to decorate. Thus, the room is basically divided into two halves.
The still undisturbed side has the fireplace and the other side has the desk. So here are some pictures of the fireplace side:
Though, considering the reading matter, it’s not totally undisturbed.
The fireplace looks good, but I need something to cover the hook holding up the bell pull. I’m not sure how person one feels about the hookah. I, however, enjoy how it looks.
I thought about adding more artwork to this wall but I enjoy how stark the one drawing is, so I’ve left it alone.
Now, on the other side:
Person one has tried to make the place less gruesome with some flowers and a bust of the glorious queen (Victoria, of course).
Of course, the wall of suspects commands attention:
Those are actually photos or drawings of the actual suspects in the ripper murders. There were more than are shown here, but I didn’t have more space. Most of those images were from newspapers published at the time. You can see Prince Albert Victor there on the bottom row, as well as Aaron Kosminski and John Pfizer in the middle row. They were both prime suspects at the time.
Also, my ripperologist has this map Whitechapel from the 1800s, as well as pictures of the victims and crime scenes. The desk has copies of various notes the ripper sent to the police and newspapers, and some newspaper clippings.
His Lordship’s study is coming along. Here’s what it looks like now:
I like the way the mantle came out, though I still need a portrait to go above it. The mantle scarf is made from some lace my lovely friend and co-worker, Bambi. She’s a crafter herself, though not a miniaturist.
Choosing wall art has been very difficult. I want dark images, but not necessarily weird or creepy ones. And there is a LOT of wall space to cover.
When I was well into this project, I decided it needed more rugs, so it stitched this one:
It looks pretty good in front of the bookcase.
Of course, now I feel like I need another rug for near the desk, I tried this one, but it really doesn’t work:
I’m not really feeling like stitching another rug, but I might have to. Also, I want to build a stand with records for the phonograph.
I’m not sure why I keep writing this blog, as I have zero followers, but maybe there are some people who like to read it.
I finished up the finishing touches on the bathroom today. The high light, in my opinion is the tiny clothes I made to go on the chair. Here they are, tiny robe, undergarments and slippers.
Unfortunately, the bathrobe didn’t look quite right in the room so I decided to leave it out. Here are the other items on the chair.
The chemise and knickers are made from this handkerchief.
Vintage handkerchief’s make great material for miniatures because the cloth is so thin and fine. I used to feel bad about cutting up vintage items, but then I realized that I could purchase them for less than a dollar a piece. Any valuable handkerchiefs would be more expensive. I used the same handkerchief to make a basket of towels that I put on the bottom shelf of the washstand.
Last, but not least, i added some details to the hip bath, including a wash cloth, rose shaped soap and a mug for tea.
The ripperologist’s library was rapidly becoming a CASITAS (crafter speak for CAn’t Stand IT Another Second), so I put it aside for a little while to work on a tiny bathroom. I’ve had such fun doing it that I am almost finished and haven’t written a post about it yet.
I started with a small display stand by Reuter Porzellan that I purchased from Minimum World. I thought the blue stripes it had on the back drop would be good for a bathroom.
However, to my dismay, when it arrived it was only striped on one side and there was no way to cover the writing on the striped side. I decided to use some of my fancy paper to cover the display. I chose a soft blue damask paper I bought at Joann’s.
It came from this pad:
For this project, which is in 1:12 scale, I was able to purchase several unfinished wood pieces. The window frame cam from Hobby Lobby (not my first choice for shopping, but Michael’s and Joann’s have basically stopped selling miniatures and uncommon charms), the washstand came from Minimum World, and the chair came from Dollar Tree.
I decoupaged the washstand and chair with Victorian illustrations I found online.
Then came the fun part: adding the details. The photos for the left side of the window are printed on card stock and placed in frame charms by Tim Holtz designs. The tassel is yet another charm and the cameos on the wall are more. The mirror was meant to be a pendant.
I made the curtains from an organza bag (8 for $1 at Dollar Tree). I pulled out the ribbon draw strings and cut the bag in half. The curtain rod, made from a painted bamboo skewer, fit into the gusset for the ribbon ties. I then used one ribbon tie to make the curtain tie backs, and I used the other to hang the silhouettes on the left of the window. Outside the window is a view of London.
I purchased the little hanging plant at The Yarmouth Antiques Center. It looks just perfect there.
The wash stand holds a toiletries tray, made from a flower shaped cabochon frame. The bottles are made from assorted beads with actual miniaturized vintage labels. The hand mirror is another charm, and there is a wash stand and basin from Minimum World.
I also added a floor vase, with tiny pink flowers. The flowers were meant to go in resin jewelry, but the are the perfect size for a miniature.
So here’s how it looks so far:
This a tentative placement for the furnishings. I still need to finish the bathrobe and lingerie set I am working on, and I need a basket with towels and other sundries. Plus I might make some kind of toiletry basket with soap and a washcloth to put with the hip bath.
I decided the book boxes were too confining and too flimsy for use as a container for the ripper-ologist’s library. I still plan to use the same wallpaper and trim, but the boxes themselves had to go. This is why I’m not a fan of working in 1:12 scale. The pieces become too big, and I know how ironic that sounds considering this is a “miniature”
Hi! It’s been a while, I know, but work on the Ripperologist’s library continues. It has been relocated from the temporary staging area into it’s final home, which is a large book shaped box. Actually two book shaped boxes. I bought these papier-mâché ones from Joann’s and took the cover off one and the back off the other and glued them together. I then covered them with extremely expensive paper I bought at the Paper Source. (Side note: why does the “Paper Store” call itself that when it doesn’t actually sell paper?). Anyway, here are the boxes:
They look pretty good, but I forgot to take a photo.
Next, the interior walls. The floor is “parquet” I got from Pinterest. I covered them with open stock paper in a pale yellow, with slightly darker patterning. The paper is 12”x12”, which is slightly shorter than the interior of the box.
Since the wall paper was a little short, I needed to add a border. I found a great on for free on Jennifer’s Printables. Technically the border is Regency Period, but it is no great leap to assume it would be in place for years.
That left the room looking a little plain for a Victorian study so I decided I needed wall paneling, which I also found on Pinterest:
They look pretty real and look good with the floor.
That’s all for now. Next up is the ceiling and a chandelier.
I have most of the main pieces created for the library, so I needed a theme for the embellishments. Originally, I intended to make the occupant an explorer, traveling the world, shooting big game, but that felt kind of obvious and overdone, so I needed another idea. I wanted something dark and different, something to compliment the other pieces I have done. When I looked into the period I realized that there were four defining events of the period:
1) The sinking of the Titanic.
2) The Chicago World’s fair.
3) H.H. Holmes
4) Jack the Ripper.
Honestly, I really wanted to do the Titanic, but the only way I could really bring it into the room would be to have a newspaper lying on the desk. I felt similarly about the Chicago World’s Fair. Maybe my occupant would be an architect and have some plans for the fair, but not many people have an interest in if and the nuances might escape many. H.H. Holmes, the serial killer operating in Chicago in the 1890s was a real temptation. I thought, at first that this would be perfect. I could set up a desk with designs for the murder castle and his weird “kiln”. However, that case was solved and wasn’t really recognized in the media until it was solved, so it seemed less likely that someone who was not a detective would have been thinking much about the case.
That left Jack the Ripper. So I have begun turning my library into the library of a Ripperologist. First thing I needed was newspapers and evidence, and there is a wealth of examples online.
The newspapers were the most time consuming as I wanted them to be double sided.
I started by googling Jack the Ripper newspapers 1888 images and found plenty of scanned online archives. I did image grabs of the ones I wanted and put them in a Pages document (I’m an Apple user). I then found an image of an internal newspaper page and added that to my Pages document. I then resized and lined up a cover page and 3 internal pages.
That was easy enough. I then added another page to my document and lined up end pages and in reverse order on the opposite side of the page. All images are 0.5” from the side and 1 inches from the top of the page.
I then printed page 1, flipped the paper over and printed page 2. The second page lined up precisely with the first and I ended up with perfectly lined up double sided newspapers. The last step was to cut them out and fold them. They look great, I think.