Saturday, July 18, 2009

Nothing new

Sorry to have abandoned the blog for the last few days. I haven't done much miniature work lately, other than a bit of shingling on the finishing school. I've had a slew of errands and appointments this last week, and I've been preoccupied with finding things for my dorm. I had my wisdom teeth out this morning, so I expect to be out of things for a while longer, but I promise to resume proper posts soon.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

New House!

I always thought I'd be a one dollhouse person. But the summer before last, I found the Greenleaf WillowCrest and fell in love. The house was dusty and falling apart, and had been painted with vivid oranges and turquoise. It's been in the attic, gathering more dust since then, but now I've finally brought it down. I eventually plan to make it a girl's school in an alternate world where magic is quite ordinary....

I've repainted the orange exterior with creams and grey-browns. I was originally going to paint tromp l'oeil stonework all over, but decided that would be too busy.

The interior needed to be entirely repainted, but the stairs were a complete pain. I ended up having to paint some parts blindly, then peek through the windows to make sure I hadn't missed a spot.
This is the lantern for the entrance hall. The ceiling rose is an embossed medallion from a Christmas card. We've gotten some amazing embossed and laser cut cards over the years!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Painting Update

Real life interrupted part way through painting, so I didn't get as far as I'd hoped. I did manage to work on the very top part of the painting, which I'd been avoiding since it was all very complex architecture. I've got a much better idea of where all the different elements are supposed to go now, though all I really did was lay out the basic shapes of the largest architectural features. I did have to fudge a bit, but I think (hope!) the space will make more sense as I go along. Right now, I'm noticing all the wonky angles and the poor, painted-over columns... I'm not sure how much time I'll have over the next few days, but I hope to snatch bit more time. We also just got two more sets of storage drawers for supplies, so all those wandering materials will finally have a home!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


I got the chance to take an introductory oil painting class after school last year. I've always hated acrylics, because they dry so quickly, especially when I'm only mixing a little for miniature paintings. The other day I was rooting around in my box of miscellaneous pieces, and I came across some miniature oil paintings I hadn't finished.

I have quite a few brushes as you can see, but most of them are in relatively poor condition, since I received them secondhand or used them so much that they are just worn out. The largest fluffy ones are actually makeup brushes that I use to dust my dollhouse.

I found these brushes at the Sturbridge show and really got a chance to use them today. They were amazingly helpful!

Here is one of the paintings I found. I had really only gotten a chance to block this one in, before I abandoned it. I decided I'd try to salvage it, and make it something I could actually hang.Below is the painting after the work I did yesterday.

I'm excited that I may be able to finish this painting. Of course I still see lots of things that need to be fixed, and large parts of the painting are still untouched, but it's going a bit faster than I expected.
This was the second painting I found. I painted this on a crooked piece of wood, at a funny angle, which caused some chaos when I tried to paint the features.I went back in and straightened out the mouth a bit, and lowered the eyes a little (still a bit cross-eyed and eyebrow-less). The hands could use lots of work as well. I'm concentrating on the first painting for the time being though, and letting her wait a little longer.
I'll put another picture or two of my progress up sometime tonight.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Christmas in July

I've been busy with another micro project in addition to the cottage.

It never fails. Each summer, I get an incredible urge to make a winter/Christmas themed miniature. For some reason I just can't seem to make miniatures with the season!

The Christmas tree in the corner is made from a glue covered toothpick dipped in model ship's ballast and then painted green. There are a few red and green wrapped packages, and some unwrapped toys. I carved the wooden doll (in front of the tree) from a toothpick, adapted from instructions on Frances Armstrong's site.

The 1/1728th scale dollhouse is made of paper. I patterned the house after a photograph of an antique dollhouse, but took some liberties with the design. Tutorials I did for similar dollhouses are available through the MicroMini group on Yahoo. Membership is free, and the group is tons of fun!

The painting above the fireplace is another of the watercolors I did a few weeks ago.The fireplace has brass andirons and a fender. I still want to add a dog in front of the fireplace, but besides that and perhaps a few more details the room is done.

I've also been working on a few 1/12th scale things. I'll try to get pictures up soon!