The Christmas fireplace:

I decided that the fireplace needed further embellishment, so I decided to add a Christmas village to the mantle.

One of my most useful purchases from when I first started doing miniatures is this bag of “laser poop” I picked up at a miniatures convention in Sturbridge, MA.

These are left over bits from someone’s laser saw projects and has a wide variety of shapes and thicknesses. I was lucky enough to find several tiny house shaped pieces, complete with tiny windows and doors. I painted these in a variety of colors to use for the village houses.

I made a teensy barn by glueing several pieces shaped like the ones below and painting them red. I made a door and loft with black sharpie.

I also used a tiny star shaped piece, painted gold, and some curved bits, painted white, to make a star of Bethlehem, over the town.

When all these pieces were assembled on some white painted base pieces, I had this:

It looked a little bare, so I used my tree punch to make tiny trees:

I punched two sets out of green card stock (shown below) and glued two punches back to back. This made them thick enough to glue standing upright in the town:

Card stock with punched out trees
Tiny village with trees.

Next I got out my tiniest paintbrush and added a river:

Lastly, I used this edge punch to make tiny ovals that made some bushes:

And here is the completed Christmas village:

Next up, garlands and stockings

Ciao, my loves!

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Walls, floor, and a fireplace

I’ve been working on my Christmas scene today. I kind of love the wall paper I chose. I found the image on Pinterest, shrunk it down, and made two 8.5 by 11 inch sheets. That was enough to paper the inside of the mailbox. Here’s the image:

The floor will be parquet. I found this great paper at the craft store:

Lastly, I made an adorable fireplace out of cardstock. I used the template I found on the My Miniature Madness blog. Here’s the link:

https://my-miniaturemadness.blogspot.com/p/making-112th-scale-fireplaces-with.html

I shrunk mine down to half size and printed it in red and white. There are very clear instructions on My Miniature Madness, as well as several other tutorials.

Though, now that I see it in the space, I may be switching to 1:12 scale for this project.

More soon! Ciao!

Side Quest, part 3

The class at the library was yesterday morning and it went brilliantly! My students were all very creative and surprisingly patient. There were four girls: Lily, Chloe, Alicia and Ayla. Ayla was the youngest at 8 years old. Here’s her table:

And here is Alicia’s, she’s the next youngest:

This is Alicia’s mom’s table:

Here is Chloe’s table:

And Chloe’s mom’s table:

And this is Lily’s. She was quite meticulous:

I really thought this would be a one time deal, but the girls have asked me to come again. So there may be another side quest soon. It was a really pleasant way to spend a morning.

Ciao, my loves!

Memories of Christmas

I’ve been dragging my heels a little on the Christmas miniature. I’m not feeling much on the way of holiday spirit yet, and because I need a little downtime between projects.

Just now though, I remembered something from two years ago. My parents and I were at the kitchen table, and we were trying to make conversation. Mom was just starting to really show symptoms then. I mentioned that I planned to watch a move on Amazon Prime called “The Christmas Witch”. My dad suddenly looked like I handed him a thousand dollars and he started talking about La Befana, the Christmas witch, who brings candy to all the children in Italy on the 6th of January (which Italians call Little Christmas). I got so many memories from him just with that one phrase: The Christmas Witch.

That one image of my dad remembering happy times made me smile, and now I’m thinking about Christmas again. Maybe I’m ready to get to work.

Ciao

P.S. The movie was adorable.

Side Quest, part 2

My class at the library is this weekend, so I have been focusing on getting ready for that. As of last Wednesday, there were six people signed up. In the meantime, the project has taken over my dining room. I’m looking forward to getting some space back. The kits are mostly finished, though I need to put glue in the glue bottles.

Each kit contains a table, 3 paint brushes, detail scissors, a bottle of clear nail polish, an embossing tool, glue, and a button.

I need to finish cutting out the ovals for the table cloths.

I have cut out many more than I need but I’m trying to avoid squabbling over patterns and colors.

Last but not least, I need to print out a bunch of things, like little bags and dishes, anything people might want to put on their table.

That’s it for now.

Ciao!

It’s beginning to look a little like Christmas.

Almost a week has passed since I completed the music room and I am about ready to begin a new project. Next up on the table will be a Christmas scene that will be built in this:

I have already begun the rug and have been deciding on the wallpaper. Obviously, there will be a Christmas tree and a fireplace but I have yet to decide on the other furnishings. Plus I must choose flooring and wallpaper….my task is cut out for me. So many choices to be made.

And we are done!

So the very last piece for La Lanterna Rosa is now complete. I am speaking, of course, of the fire screen. This piece was fairly simple to create. I downloaded a rococo image that was in the general shape of what I wanted. I chose this one:

I used the “print then cut” feature on my cricut. I then used the basic cut feature to cut out a balsa piece that was the same size and shape. I painted the balsa white, cut it into 3 pieces and glued the picture to it. Then I covered the paper in 3 coats of clear nail polish. It adds a nice varnish effect to the paper. The las t bit was to “gild” the edges with metallic gold marker. I bought mine at dollar tree and it is better than some expensive ones I’ve used.

Everything is now in place, and here is the finished product:

That was quite the project.

Ciao!

The tiniest violin.

Today I have been working on some of the final pieces for La Lanterna Rosa.

More specifically, I have been building a tiny violin. I used the template I found on Littlearchitecture.com. That author suggested making the body of the violin in three pieces. That was more realism than I needed though, so mine is made in one piece that I will paint to look as realistic as possible. I started with the template, which I cut from cardstock using my cricut.

I then glued the template to a piece of 2mm balsa and cut it out using my exacto knife.

Once the cut out was done, I removed the paper template and shaped the top with sand paper. I cut the neck out of a separate piece of balsa. I would have liked it to be more detailed, but the wood kept splitting and I got frustrated.

Now I need to add in the details to make the violin seem more real. I started by painting my violin brown and then adding the embellishments, which are made from tiny leftover bits of wood.

I also added a bridge, and strings. The bridge is another tiny piece of wood and the strings are raveled pieces of metallic embroidery floss. There is a bow, as well. Which is also wood and embroidery floss. The last bit of detail was to add F-holes, which I drew on with sharpie.

The violin now resides with a tiny flute in a box on the white side table. A few more bits and I will be ready to glue everything into place and the music room will be done.

Now I’m off to bed. Ciao, belle!

Side quest.

My dear friend is a children’s librarian at a local library. She has been asking me for some time to do a class in creative repurposing for some of the local kids. I have been reluctant to agree to this, as 1) a single scene can take months and 2) I’m not particularly fond of children.

However, while I was sick with COVID, I came up with an idea and Elaine jumped at it. So, much to my chagrin, next month I will be spending my afternoon decorating tiny dining tables with a bunch of kids. By necessity, the table will be in 1:12 scale, as I believe a bunch of 11 year olds will find 1:24 scale to be too challenging.

In my copious spare time, I have been collecting supplies for this class, and in anticipation of this, my miniatures will be on display at the library for a few weeks and I have spent the morning today making an example piece. Here it is:

Well, that’s it for now. I need to go mow the full size grass in my yard. The macrocosm intrudes.

Ciao