2018 Creating Contest Update

Here I am sitting by the toasty fire looking at our almost finished house for the hobby builders contest for 2018 ( miniatures.com). We have like 4 Days left to finish, and I think we are going to make it!

We started it last summer and thought we would have it done way ahead of time but procrastination and other projects kept it moving at a snails pace. Maybe we just like to work under pressure!

We changed our mind a couple of times on the look we wanted for the outside of the house but finally decided on brick and siding. I have to say I’m very tired of doing brickwork in miniature. It took me way longer than I had anticipated to glue all the tiny bricks onto the house. Then came the siding; this turned out to be a little more difficult than we thought. Once we got it figured out it did go fairly smoothly. I did have to call on my husbands help in a couple spots!

Brickwork on the back of the house
 A close up of the brickwork on the back of the house.
Siding on the 2018 Creating Contest house from Hobby Builders Supply/Miniatures.com
The siding going up on the contest house!

I have to say it’s looking good so far and I’m confident we are going to meet our deadline!

Mini Find Monday: Hatchimals Colleggtibles

Today’s Mini Find is another toy set, being a Hatchimals Colleggtibles pack. I’ve looked at these before and they have intrigued me, but what could they be used for was always the question. I decided to take a chance so we could see a little bit about them, and what scale they can be used in, as well as the hidden surprise I found!

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The little creatures come in many different pack sizes, so you can decided how many you want and not have to buy a whole lot if you only want a couple, or they make packs that have even more than five if you want a lot of them. I picked one in the middle for a decent look at sizing. Something I did learn, that didn’t fully click as I was standing picking them out is the speckling on the egg determines what set they are from, so keep that in mind as you are picking them out for yourselves.

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Once out of the plastic you get the eggs that you have to warm up and open to retrieve your little critter. I do have to say, this is quite fun and it is very cute to do, though it can get a bit messy as the shells come apart.

Once I freed them all I was taken aback at their cuteness. They are perfect for a little toy in a child’s room. You could use them for both scales, but they a are a little bit more sized for a 1:6 scale doll, I could just see a Chelsea doll holding or playing with one of them. They are all about an inch tall and three-quarters inches wide, give or take for each unique animal. So as I said they could easily be used for both 1:6 and 1:12 scales depending on the look you want.

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Now for the hidden surprise that I mentioned in the beginning….. The bottom of their shells stays intact, and I came up with something they can be used for other than a nest for the little creatures. So either this week or the next a tutorial on what they can be made into will be posted to help you make an up-cycled piece of furniture for your dollhouse, in both scale!! So keep an eye pealed for that!

Till next time!

~Briana Signing Off

 

Mini Find Monday: Schliech Puppies

Today’s Mini Find Monday is a cute addition to the 1:12 scale family. I feel that every dollhouse needs some kind of animal, it helps to bring life into the house or miniature scene. Now some of the animals you buy for the dollhouses can be quite expensive, and most of them are quite fragile, I don’t know how many times I’ve had to repair a little cat tail… Now in my wanderings I ran across these two little cuties.

Now I’ve known about this brand for a very long time, my younger sister used to have quite a collection. They are a German brand that makes many different types of animals, and since they a children’s toy brand are made out of a hard plastic so they can’t break.

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The puppies that I found where the German Shepard and the Labrador Retriever. These two came from the Tractor Supply Company, for under $5.00 a piece, I can’t remember the exact price, but I know it was under $5.

They are the perfect size for 1:12 scale, with being  about an inch and a half tall and about two inches long. Here’s some close ups…

These are probably my favorite of all my Mini Find Monday finds, and highly recommend them myself. They are just soooo cute!

~Briana Signing Off

Mini Find Monday: Poolside Fun

For this addition of Mini Find Monday we actually found two different style things that incorporates two scales, 1:12th and 1:6th for extra fun. The first is pool toys for your 1:6 scale playscale dolls and the second is some pink flamingos for your 1:12 scale dollhouse yard. Both of these where found at Target in the part goods section.mfm poolside floaty-flamingo-2476.jpg

The pool floats for 1:6 scale are actually blow up floating drink holders, but the perfect size for the 1:6 scale dolls. One really good factor to them too is that because they are drink holders they have a bottom, which means your dolls can float without having to get wet unless you want them to. Or you could carefully cut the bottom where the drink would sit out and have it be an actual inter tube.mfm poolside floaty-flamingo-2481

The flamingo measures six and a half inches across, seven and a half inches long, two and a half inches tall at the top of the ring, and six inches to the top of its head. The pineapple measures six and a half inches across, ten inches long and two and a half inches tall. Each are perfect for playscale and looks so cute used with the dolls.

The pink flamingos that can be used for 1:12 scale lawn decorations are actually swizzle sticks. They are made of a hard plastic so you do need a small handsaw to cut them down to the right height to use on a dollhouse lawn. The are slightly translucent but if the sun hits them it makes them really pretty.  They could also be used without cutting them if you where putting them into pot or ground with a fairy garden.

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They are eight inches tall as a whole stick with the flamingos being one and three quarters tall and two inches wide at the furthest points. Which is a very nice size for 1:12 scale fun.

If you want to see how we did up the flamingos we have a tutorial coming on Wednesday, to show how we did it and what we used to be able to put them on the lawn of the Mid-Century Beachside Bungalow.

~Briana, Signing Off

Mini Find Monday-Happy Places

This is the first post of what I hope to be a weekly or bi-monthly event. What this is going to be is I want to find things that are not necessarily for miniatures, but can be used for miniatures and show them to you all and give my opinion as to what scale they’d work for, as well as what I think of them. It a shorter type post, but something that I hope will turn out being helpful. I know I would have liked to find something like this in the beginning of getting into miniatures. Now what I want to also point out before we get started is that most all of these things will be things that you could find at most any big box store and will not usually be something that where made to be used as a mini but can be!

Now this set of items are a little bit on the mini side already, but I wanted to start off with a set of these to get the ball rolling so to speak.

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Now I personally have looked at these before trying to decide if I could use them with any of my houses, but it doesn’t really say size anywhere and it is a blind bag so you can’t pick what you get so I was on the fence. I decided to bite the bullet and try three,  with this blog series in mind. My main reason for picking these and not another set of Happy Places is these don’t have faces… So it would be easier to fit into decor of a house. Amazingly too we ending up getting sets from three totally different characters so we could look at three different styles as well.

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       Let’s start with box one…. This one ended up being a Minnie Mouse tea set. I have to admit they’re all cute. This set I could see being used for both 1:12 or 1:6 scale, depending on what scale you collect and what look you want. It would be a large cup for 1:12 and a standard one for 1:6 but both very usable for either scale. The teapot measures about 1 1/4 inches long from handle to spout and 1 1 /4 inches tall. The spoon is about 3/4 inch long and the cup is 3/4 inch wide with the handle and 1/2 inch tall. So like I said very usable for both scales which was nice.

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The next box ended up being one from Rapunzel, and seemed to be a school or desk set. My favorite part of these had to be that the journal book piece really does open, it makes it a little more realistic. Now this set I do feel is more in line with being for only 1:6 scale in my opinion. The pen and the ruler could probably be used for 1:12 scale but I feel the book and the holder are a little too bulky. The holder measures about 1 inch wide, 1 inch tall, and 1/2 inch deep. The book measures 7/8 inches tall, 3/4 inches wide, and a little over a 1/4 thick. The ruler is 7/8 inches long, 1/4 inch wide and a 1/8 inch thick. The pen 3/4 inches long and a little under a 1/4 wide. Now one more nice little detail about this set is all of the pieces do fit in the holder, so it can be stored on a desk easier.

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The last box ended up being from the Beauty and the Beast set and in it we got Belle’s tea set. I have to say, if I had to pick a favorite from these three it would probably be this one. Now I do feel that this set is a better fit for 1:12 scale than 1:6 scale. It is just a little smaller all the way around, especially compared to the Minnie set. The tea pot is only 1 inch big with the handle and spout and stands about 7/8 inch tall. The cup is 1/2 inch wide with the handle and 3/8 inch tall. The plate is 1 1/4 inches across with a 1/8 inch rim. It just looks ready to put on a table and have a tea party with.

 

Overall these seem to be good little additions to a miniature collection. They seem relatively easy to find, and they not real expensive to add a little something to your dollhouse or miniature scene. The only small downside could be they are a gamble in what you receive, and the size and scale do vary slightly. I feel though that they are a good mini item to add if you want a surprise!!!

 

Briana ~ Signing Off

House Blog: Mid-Century Reno Introduction

I was running through different topics to blog about next and it dawned on me that you haven’t gotten a chance to see any of the dollhouses that we have, and what we working on with them. So to start off before I get to showing you any more minis, I thought I might show you one of the houses that we are working on more right now, which is a renovation of the first dollhouse that I built.

I had started a Real Good Toys Beachside Bungalow in 2012, construction of the actual house was finished within the first couple years (As much as I enjoyed building it was hard to find the time to work on it), but actual decoration of the inside was put off till much later, unless you count the two different coats of paint I gave it…. and the glitter…..

Here’s some photos of the outside construction…

The exterior decisions where relatively easy. The only major change that had to happen was the changing of the main exterior color, which changed prior to actual construstion. I had initially wanted to do it with much brighter colors, such as the purple that is in the first photo, but it never seemed to look right. Now part of that was due to the type of paint that I started with, which was just your basic flat acrylic craft paint. Since that type of paint usually has such a flat finish it didn’t show of the house as nicely and never really had a finished look. I then did a complete about face and switched to the white that it is now. The white paint is actually a semi-gloss house paint from Home Depot. I’ve found that using actual “big” house paint on the little houses has the nicest result in my opinion, and you can get the little sample cans mixed to whatever color you want and that little bit goes a very long way.

Now to the inside…

This house kit comes with built in wood floors that you can stain to your liking with non-penetrating stain… That was harder to find than you would think. This makes it easy if you don’t know what else to use or do, mind you I’ve completely hidden them now but to start with it made it feel more finished.

I had started with painting each room, I had never intended on wiring this one and to begin with wallpapering seemed very intimidating, and paint is always an easy way to go with most anything. Now you would have thought I would have learned from the outside but I didn’t fully yet, thankfully it made changing everything later easier, so the inside had all been done with craft paint again. After awhile I decided i didn’t like that either, that there was too much of a color difference and that it looked funky as a whole. I also decided it didn’t like the being able to see the wall and dormer seams, so i had to find a way to cover them… thus here comes the glitter. Now I’ve seen many a full-sized house with a heavy sheet-rock texture and I thought something like that would hide the seams and look pretty in the little house, and I wasn’t wrong but my initial application was less than desirable. I ended up mixing glitter in with acrylic gesso, and then applying the mixture to the wall, it did cover everything up like I wanted but it wasn’t the look T wanted. The question was now how do I fix the mess I had made of my little house…

We finally decided, last year, that the house had sat long enough uncompleted, and that we needed to finish it up. After some careful consideration to when the house would look most at home, we decided to place it into the mid-century, someplace in either the late 50’s or early 60’s.  That time just kinda seemed to be the best fit for the little home’s construction style to us.

The first step was to get rid of some of the glitter, so I took to sanding the walls. I never did get all of it off, but it made the walls smoother and allowed me to apply wallpaper where I wanted.

The first room I changed was the front room, which is now the living room.

 

The major decision we made was the brick was with the built in fireplace. I sized a piece of mat board to the wall and built the custom fireplace to fit the space, then all the bricking had to go on and be grouted. Before that was glued in though I repainted the walls with a off-white semi gloss paint sample, I had finally realizing the importance of using full sized house paint for everything. The carpet I added is a grey cloth that resembled a berber carpet in the miniature scale.

The next room was the kitchen and the stairway…

The biggest thing in the kitchen was realizing I wanted to close off the stairs from the rest of the kitchen. We added in the big black and white tile floor and the grey wallpapers to bring the bottom floors together, since we decided to leave the doorway as an archway between the two rooms to make them seem more open.

Now the bedroom…

Now you can actually see what the glitter looks like after sanding in the first photo, but anyhow we went with a pick and grey color scheme in  bedroom, with a paint and wallpaper mix. The same carpet we used in the living room went into the bedroom to add uniformity to the entire house and bring it all together.

The two side rooms are still in progress, but I don’t have any photos at the moment. The room on the left side is going to be a little hallway nook room, with the same grey wallpaper as the stairs and an oak veneer wood floor. The right room is going to have the same oak veneer wood floor and a different grey wallpaper.

It still needs furnishing and some little finishing details here and there, but it’s on its way to being done. Next time I show you this house, you’ll get to see the last two rooms and some of the furnishing.

Briana– Signing Off