Tuesday, September 19, 2017

How to alter Dollar Tree Plastic skeletons, Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil, See no Evil

Hear no evil, Speak no Evil, See no Evil.  Plastic skeletons from Dollar Tree that have been altered with a heat tool.  Growing up there was a statue in plain view in my house  for every kid to see of 3 monkeys with the same design and sentiment as these skeletons.  It always reminded me to be good.  Somehow the skeletons further drive the message home.






A heat tool is needed to heat up the plastic.  My brand is Darice, but look in your scrap book Aisle .  It is used to melt embossing powders on cards.  This is hotter than a dryer and needs careful use.  It does get hot.    To use I wedge it into a drawer that is right in front of me.  If you have a vise that would work as well.  You have to have both hands to hold and shape the skeletons.   Have clamps, rubber bands or string to shape after melting into desired design. Use tweezers or needle nose pliers to shape in desired direction after holding skeleton over the heat tool.  It blows lots of hot air so make sure it is away from your body, paper and anything else that could catch on fire.  When you have turned the arms, elbows to desired shape, clamp, tape or tie to shape or dip in cold water right away while holding in new position.  The hands over the ears, eyes and mouth were super glued on after melting and held down with rubber bands.  The knees were heated up and turned under for sitting position.
Dollar Tree plastic skeletons that have been altered in shape.  Hands and elbows and knees now bend.  The picture does not show the finish on the skeletons.  I used a white alcohol Ink spray from the scrapbook area.  It dried in irregular dots all over the objects adding an aged effect over the brown skeletons.  This spray alcohol also comes in blood red, in case you want to get a little gorier effect.  The photo shoot was intended to be  outdoors in the grass with the fall leaves on the ground.  It was just a short trip from the back porch to the tree.  All my objects were in a box along with my camera and down  the steps I went.  As soon as  on  the grass I was flat on my face on the ground. The grass was very wet.  This shook me up pretty bad, nothing broken just bruised up on my right arm and ribs.  Lucky my hands were full or I could have broke my arm trying to stop my fall.  These things happen so fast.  Can you believe all that worried me is who might have been out to see my blunder.  So this picture was the dining room table instead of the nice Fall background.  My sense of humor was lacking after my small blunder.


Wagon found in a thrift store.  These seem to be popping up all over.  This one looks to be from a kit. Maybe a covered wagon.  It did not have the cover on it. There are a lot of wagons from play sets for kids that are at the Goodwill outlet.   Just the wheels alone are worth the small price of the item.  Spray painted black or aged they can be used in gardens settings, make tables out of them  Pumpkins in front are pods from Michael's. Straw bails, and skeletons from Dollar Tree.  The corn stalks are made out of corn stalks from my stash,  Cut and wrapped to size.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Trash to Treasure 3 tier storage Caddy made from pill cases and Fall pumpkin setting



This is a 3 tier  kitchen  storage caddy for mini scenes made from pill cases from Dollar Tree


These are the pill cases.  Select 3 days of cases  and cut off one of the 3 sections on all 3 cases. This gives you 2 compartments on each one.  Three makes this a tad too big.  These are plastic so Super glue is about the only glue that will hold.  I tried several methods on this, metal sides with wheel rollers, and they all fell apart.  So the above caddy has been papered with scrapbook paper.  I then took a Dremel with a drill bit the size of a tooth pick and drilled in each corner of each section. You can paint the inside at this point with acrylic paint, and paint the tooth picks the desired color.  The tooth picks used are the fancy carved like finial ones. The finial became the bottom foot.  Insert tooth pick in and make legs even, use a piece of foam underneath to insure all legs are the same level.  Put a bit of super glue on the corners inside and let dry.  When dry add the second 2 compartment case and allow enough room to insert items inside.  Apply superglue to the inside corners on this and let dry.  When dry apply the 3rd compartment  on top and let dry after applying a dot of super glue in the corners. The tooth pick now needs trimmed with sharp sniper's or scissors just to the top of the compartment.

I used a kitchen chair to gage the height of the caddy.  Have items you would like to put inside to gage the distance between the shelves.

This could have been easy, but I made it a big issue.  My original plans did not work out so the rest was down hill.  I have several other caddies for other areas of the house but I will post after completing them.  These could be made for sewing rooms, kitchens, work shops, bathrooms.  I am still on a roll with the Daisy Hill and almost completed with the outside.


I finally had to go online for the rest of my trims for Daisy Hill Remake.  I can't keep running to Hobby Lobby every two weeks for supplies, and some they don't carry.  There won't be a miniature show for another month. in my area.   I selected Hobby Builders Supply and within one day I got notice it has been shipped  .www.miniatures.com  They have an online catalog and a hard copy one as well.  The doors are the only thing holding this project up.  I have spent the last week painting each color, then cleaning up little messes on that color.  It is shaping up. 

Instead of making the window boxes for the price I purchased the window boxes,  My patience is thinning out the longer this project goes on.  If I had not committed to blogging about this it would have already been put on the back burner;  The colors are speaking to me as I go along, and have changed my mind and added new ideas as it progresses.  As soon as the new front door is on I will give an update.


For laser cut kits and accessories from heavy chipboard this site has a lot of seclusive items
Gypsy Soul Laser cuts  They have a very reasonable Gypsy wagon to go with my medical show, a lot of goth in many scales and greenhouse, furniture and wheels.

www.factorydirectcraft.com  If you like crafts of all kinds FDC Factory Direct pictures each item, gives specifics on each.  Has primitives for your house, scrap booking, and a search bar, when I typed in dollhouse a lot of items came up.  All kinds of beads and trims.  This is an interesting site for crafts and the dollhouse items are a bonus.  Holiday items under their own header.

This website is in French but sponsored by Google so the translate button should come up in the top left corner.  www.nonomininostalgie.blogspot.com.es  Click on the tutorial section on the right side.  She has a lot of very nice tutorials and patterns if there are any needed.  She specializes in shops.

www.true2scale.blogspot.nl  This website is awesome.  Every place you can click-leads to another amazing find.  There are free magazine publications to view online.  She has a store and does shows.  I spent about an hour on this site and have many more to go to see everything.  She has a lot of links and other blogs and sites you can visit as well.  When I visit sites like this I get antsy to start new projects.



Here is a small Fall scene compiled into a wheel barrow.  The grapes in the basket are flower sprigs with  round balls found at Dollar Tree and spray painted purple.  Fall leaves are punched from real preserved leaves with a punch.  The Pumpkins are made from Fimo Clay and baked in the oven.  I use toothpicks to make the lines on the sides using a rolling motion from top to bottom.  The stems are from real  tomatoes allowed to dry and shrink.  Grape stems could also be used.

All miniaturists will enjoy the new movie coming out in December called Downsizing.  It is on the line of Honey I shrunk the kids, but its the answer to overpopulation.  A lot of miniature models for this one.    You Tube has the trailer you can watch.



Monday, September 11, 2017

Daisy Hill Remake update and interesting web sites




First coat of paint on Daisy Hill Remake.  Still a lot of work to do and lots more painting. 
Waiting for more supplies to come into Hobby Lobby.  Its a shame there are no longer supplies at most Craft stores and no Brick and Mortor stores.  Probably should have ordered on line but prefer to see the item first. 

This past week has been so beautiful and fall like that I just wanted to be outside.  So I set up shop in the garage and was determined to finish the Daisy Hill Remake House.  Just as in my Vintage Home in real size, I got into more than bargained for in the mini size as well.  What I thought would take a few days has expanded into a week and it's still not done.  However I am further along than when first beginning.  Hobby Lobby only carries 2 of any item and then reorders with a 2 week wait on that to come in.  I looked all over for grooved stripping for shutters that used to be so easy to find.  It took one full day of going to 3 separate Hobby Lobby's to get partial supplies to begin.  There are now enough shutters and  enough crown molding to get me thru the 2 weeks before needing  more.  The windows were a real challenge but the stickers and unicorns are all off thanks to Goop begone.  A few scratches show but  glossy Modge Podge should fix that, and the curtains will cover a whole lot.   Of course the inside doors purchased were too large, so I have to jigsaw an inch off of each wall to fit the doors. 

Where the dollhouse sides and front were put together there were gaps so corner molding had to be cut to size to cover that and maybe now I can take the hinges off the wall from inside.

I think the porch rail assembly was put together wrong but it seems too much time to make it right. The opening should be down by the front door.  It is on the farthest corner from the door.  It is not shown in the picture, it was removed so the flooring could be covered in coffee stir sticks for realistic floor.
The front door is rather cheesy and not to scale.  This is on the back burner for the moment until a eureka moment comes to mind. One needs  to be able to see inside and outside the door even if it is miniature.  Stained glass needs to be somewhere and its still be researched.

Before painting the outside siding I used heavy brown paper bags cut to siding stripe size to fix the holes and defective places.  I then put 4 coats of Americana Brand Mississippi Mud brown on the siding.   This is my preferred paint as it has thickness to it.  Make sure you shake well before using. The shingles were not finished at all where they met on the corners, so brown bag again cut to size to cap off the joints.  I decided on a gold brown for that, not sure if it will stay that way.  American Victorian Painted Ladies by Elizabeth Pomada, Michael  Larson is an excellent guide for painting a Victorian. I choose a color combination that I liked from there.  Victorians used 7 different colors in the house and the end result will be gold, brown, white, blue, green, bittersweet orange, and a burgundy color.   The painting is taking some time, looking forward to this step being done to begin inside.


This  week I have investigated a few web sites and share them with you:

www.ravensblight.com   All I can say about this is THATS INCREDIBLE! Check out this site, you will be amazed, especially if you like anything Halloween.  Everything is free.  Ray Obannon is the creator of all the neat toys, music, videos, printies.  A totally creative person with a generous, giving heart.  My favorites are the 6 inch deluxe coffins and shipping crates with optional skeletons.  There are games, printable treat boxes in the shape of haunted house and grave stones.  If I continue it won't be a surprise.

If you like French antiques, Shabby Chic check out this beautiful site:
www.lookingglassminiature.com      Jennifer Osmond Hatt is guest designer for Alpha Stamps this week and has a lovely Antique shop as the feature.  Her blog has many of her creations and she also has an Etsy Shop.  Eye Candy.  On her blog there are many links to interesting blogs and sites.  I clicked on a few and they were interesting enough to mark for future visits.

www.Alphastamps.com  This is the connection for Alpha Stamps that features Looking glass this week.   If you like Halloween they have laser cut tables, mirrors and other /Goth items as well as Halloween trinkets and papers.

www.bangGood.com   A variety of items for sale, but click on Toys there are a number of inexpensive miniature kits available.

www.lisaslittlethings.com  a delightful sale site of beautiful laser cut items for every area of the house.  A lot of period clothes items and accessories.  Sale site beautiful pictures.  

www.wish.com  Another overall sale site with really good prices.  Click toys and hobbies and all kinds of miniatures come up.  I put a couple items in the sale cart and couldn't complete.  Within a few days all the items were on sale as notified by Email. 







Thursday, August 31, 2017

Trash to Treasure Childs reading chair-material stash, treasure hunting finds

Trash to Treasure Child's Reading chair.  Little Golden books draped over the entire chair.



The before of the chair.  Was in the container of lost and forgotten toys.
The penny rug was hand made and a table gift at a State Day.

This is the inspiration for the chair.  I stayed at my daughters house for a couple of day's and she made this full size in  her guest room.  Real pages from an old book, antique chair and burlap feed container seat and milk bottle vase.

Here is the finished piece along with a few treasures I redid today from my week end treasure hunts.  The little pink stove and refrigerator are 1/48 scale I believe.  I found them in my stash.  Debbie Young had them for sale at the last Convention I attended.  Resin and less than an inch high.  Too cute.  I have the table and chair somewhere.  The pages of the book are printed from the Internet and reduced to size in the picture print area in Windows gallery.  Interspersed between are printed pages.  All are strung onto a long piece of thread and draped over the chair.  The chair was painted over the creme color, green and then white.  While still cool and almost dry I sanded around the edges and legs to show wear.  

Found these wood eyeglasses at the Goodwill outlet store, paid next to nothing.  The bag said Oriental Trading Company#13653345 item number.  These are wood and less than an inch long.  I painted them and put mirrors from the cut out sheet of tin mirror found at a craft store.  See picture above on the wall.  I will add them to the metal brad ones that I got from Alpha Stamps for a wall display.  There were 4 in the bag along with 4 mustaches.  I haven't figured out this mustache fad.  It appears on everything.  If anyone knows let me in on it.

Farm Animals taking selfies.  This is not miniature but too cool to not mention.  Howard Robinson for Elizabeth's Studio.  The material shop had a quilt made up of it and its just the neatest thing.  I love the pictures of the dogs taking selfies and this one was just to good to pass up.  I will probably make a wall hanging.

This was a new shipment of Halloween material that just came in.  I am going to incorporate into chairs and bedding for Halloween.  The dotted material glows in the dark.  

My in house TSA AGENT   checking out my duffel bag for the goods.  I stayed to babysit the fur babies this past weekend.  The area is in the Flea Market Mecca of town and a lot of thrift stores.  Had a great time.

A bag of jewel finds for .25 cents and a plastic weather vane cupola from a child's play set will come in handy

This bag of handmade wicker balls are mini light covers.  I thought they would be a form in  a topiary tree.  They were .30 cents for 100 a bag.  I got a few bags and put one in a mason jar.  Looks good.  I thought cut in half they could be baskets.

Found this at Michael's Craft Store.  It is from the summer Fairy Garden items.  It was 80% off. So it came to about $1.00.
I am entertaining the idea of a Fair with Carnival acts and this would make a great display.  It would be colorful, lots of action and just plain fun.

Today's Trash to Treasure's inspiration was taken from a real size chair.  My daughter did a beautiful job of recreating her chair.  I did one as well in  sea mist chalk paint in a child's chair using a miniature antique book.  It came out pretty cute but is hiding somewhere in the constant cleaning that is going on here.  We saw the original one hanging  on a wall in Amish country that  had the pages dangling in the air with dried flowers in a crock.  It was white washed and very rustic.
   This week has been rainy and I have enjoyed reading and watching  some new You Tube videos.   When I was a child my Father was in Excavating.  I would go when he was tearing down a house and he would dig up the old cistern for me.  It would keep me busy for the day and was immensely enjoyed.  I found on You tube the treasure seekers with the metal detectors..  The old excitement came back and when they found a mini bottle, it was like I just found it. 

This You Tuber has been on for a few years but I just discovered her.  Shabby Chic at its  finest
 A whole evening of vlogs to watch, she has an Etsy store and her web site has some free printouts and  tutorials to watch on how to construct.  Each and every one I enjoyed and all techniques would be great to know.

The Miniaturist is a book written by Jessie Burton.  It is an internationally acclaimed novel.  I read it because it is centered around a doll house.  The theme us rather dark overall but exciting to see what this has to do around the doll house.  BBC is adapting for PBS's Masterpiece Theatre- 3- 60 minute episodes   starting in 2018.  This is something to look forward to.  PBS always comes up with the best miniseries. 







Thursday, August 24, 2017

Trash to Treasure Brass bed-Shabby Chic




Finished Trash to Treasure Bed Shabby Chic Antique lace bedspread from an antique dress
Notice the tassel's all around the bedspread on on the pillows.  This is antique and have never saw it again anywhere.  The pillow in front is a medallion from the antique lace dress on the bedspread.
Close up of antique lace dress bedspread.  My aunt dealt in antiques and this was in the throw away boxes at the auction.  She would always pull them out and wash them up for me for she knew I loved to dress and restore old dolls.  I can only imagine what this dress looked like in its day.    Once she brought home a wedding dress with all cutwork down the front and on the sleeves.  I made a christening gown out of it.
I wish it were real sized.  I would crawl right in.

Brass and black rail bed.  It looks good here but had rust all over it.  It must have been in moisture.  Got at the NAME Convention garage sale a few years back.

No mattress came with it.  I made one from foam over the knob door signs found in the craft area at Dollar tree. Almost a full fit but had to cut another one to finish off the full bed size. It was taped together and then glued material on for the mattress top and bottom, with wrapped sides turned under..

All the miniature prints are from Schoolhouse quilts, see below,  lace bedspread and antique lace trim and tatting were used on the trim.

Here are a few  web sites I viewed and enjoyed very much this week and hope you will too: www.crownjewelminiatures.com  This is a beautiful site for food.  They have a store on web that food  can be purchased from.

www.thumbprintminiatures.com  Another craftsman for food.  Online store and also on You Tube

https://sites.google.com/site/butterflydreamsminiatures  This is a not to be missed site.  There are all kinds of tutorials, and printies on this site.  My favorite are shoes and shoe boxes.  There are hatboxes, holidays, stationary sets, wallpaper and flooring.  She has been published in American Miniaturist Magazine.


The miniature prints on the bed are from www.schoolhousequilts.com a local quilt shop for me but she has an online shop as well.

www.valentinapinkcutesugar.blogspot.com  This is a beautiful web site.  Look for the translate button and it will translate into whatever language you need.  Very talented Fimo Artist.  The Desserts are good enough to eat.

Another You Tuber with great talent is  Akameru Kawaii,  doll house miniatures, repaints dolls.
Fimo artist.  Type in name in the search on You Tube and lots of vlogs turn up. Excellent talent.

www.ivanigrande.blogspot.com  Another great Fimo Good artist and beautiful pictures without the translation.  However a translate button will come up for this.  Brazilian artist.


I hope you have enjoyed my Trash to Treasure features as much as I have in making them.  It costs nothing to Subscribe and in doing so lets me know you are interested in more  tutorials and Trash to Treasure remakes.  Let me know what you think or would like to see via  the comment section at the end of each blog.  I am always up to a new challenge.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Trash to Treasure Dollar Tree Table

Trash to treasure remake of Dollar tree table  Everything is finished except the lamp shades. I might use Tooth paste caps for that, the ridges would look like pleats.

The grape vine wreath is made from brown cloth covered wire found in the floral area.  Make a circle of this wire and then weave and wrap around in circles until full.  Use a tooth pick to make spiral circles like the grape vines have on them. 

The windows in the back are made from  doors on a Dollar tree cupboard.  I pulled them off and painted using the same technique as the table.  The mirrors on the back are cut out of a mirrored sheet of metal found in the mirror aisle at the craft store.  That was a very useful purchase.  Now everything can have mirrors on it, custom cut.

The lamps are beads painted green with a wash of white on them.  A hold was drilled into a mini log slice and tooth pick inserted as support, glue beads on top of that.

This was my inspiration, a small add in County Sampler magazine .  Notice all the elements  that make up the picture.
Here is the table.  $ 1.00 from Dollar Tree.  Even though the finish is awful it did come in to be useful in the final finish.  The red came through when sanding to antique it  and added to the  primitive look.

Here is close up of table along with elements to make it pretty
Notice the closeup of the finish and drawers knobs.The finish was as follows.  On top of the reddish finish I placed a wash of white.  This red finish has a tendency to bleed into the next coat of paint.  On top of the white I used the mint green acrylic paint I have been using in the Shabby Chic theme.  After dry I applied another coat of white.  When dry but still cold, after about an hour and still had the feel of moisture in it, I sanded all with fine sand paper paying close attention to the curves, legs and edges.  This made a worn look and accented the ridges.  By far this finish is the one most favored.  I eliminated the crackle on this one and it looks more primitive.

Now onto the knobs.  Spending more time on this type of knob than I care to admit, a lot of ideas ended up into the waste basket.  In the middle of the night, a Eureka moment appeared and in that window of time my light was on in my workshop.  After a few  minutes the knobs above were completed.  

To make the knobs you need thick foil or embossing metal, a small clam like sea shell, a foam sheet, and a ball stylus.
Cut out a round piece of foil or metal about 1cm round.  Using the foam craft sheet for support place the foil and with the ball stylus carve a line around the top part of the circle, leaving a small margin.  The bottom of the circle will be cut off but go as far as you can.  Next glue on the sea shell in position close to the top.  Use a build up of glue so that the bottom of the shell is raised enough for a thumb to pull the drawer open.  After glue is dry, trim the foil off the bottom even with the shell bottom and using alcohol ink paint all silver.  Easy and the closest thing to the knobs I've seen.  Another metal that would be good for this would be the small tea candle metal.  It might hold up yielding to the ball tool.  The main problem I had was it looked good, but the bend would come out with handling.
A find from Michael's Craft store in the Jewelry area.  4 glass Beads on a card with claw feet.  This will definitely replace feet on a chair in Halloween creations.  My inspiration came from the Halloween area and these same claw feet with balls were used on several items only bigger. These claw feet are very small and in proportion to 1/12" scale.  Found in a box of antique items in an estate sale was one piano stool leg with a claw foot just like this one, too precious to throw away.  It is on display on the wall as an art piece.

Halloween is right next to the Christmas items at Michael's.   All the summer Fairy Garden items were 70% off.  A new batch of Halloween and Christmas Fairy Garden items was right next to them.  I found a couple of sliding barn doors that might be used in the Daisy Hill remake. 

Well today is the big Eclipse of the Sun.  Birds are flying into the windows so things are amiss in the atmosphere.  One was on the porch that was picked up.  It was very disoriented, but after talking to it a bit, it revived and flew away.  A couple of others weren't so lucky.  The windows are so dirty from all the rain storms I  wouldn't think they could see another bird there.

You Tube find  search= Pipecleaner Crafts B.  Up comes Dollhouse DIY.  Lots of tutorials from this lady, some are for larger scales  but the techniques are all unique.  Look for the ones for spray bottles and soap bottles in a crate.  These are made from pill capsules, candles, hot glue and play dough to hold upright.  Unbelievable.  Why didn't I think of that.  

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Trash to Treasure Floor Fish Tank Remake and Wicker Redo

Trash to Treasure Fish tank Redo Finished .  Painted white and then sanded out for Shabby Chic look.  Inside was filled with items from swaps and shells from the beach.  The mini sand castle was a Name Swap item.  Goldfish are made of Fimo.  I did not put resin in this, with the blue screen in the back it gives the impression of water.   This was almost thrown away after attaching the metal paper to the glass with super glue.  Tickled pink with the final results I left it dry overnight.  The next day the glass was covered with a white haze, super glue must have fumed it up and reacted to the metal paper. I spent the next hour with a razor blade scrapping off the haze from the glass.

 I  took a Citizens Police Academy a few years ago and learned that they use superglue inside a case to lift the finger prints. This must have dropped from my memory banks.

Original Box used for the Fish Tank.  Looks pretty good like it is but looks are deceiving.  The glass was broke under the bamboo  that covered it up.  Bamboo looks like wood, it was paper that fell apart when I touched it. Everything is paper inside except the Styrofoam base.  This one probably should have accidentally dropped to the trash can.


The blue sheet of water and fish came from a Dollar Tree find.  I used it in the back and it covered the ragged edge of broken glass.  The finished picture does not show the blue background very well because it is a very dark and rainy day  out. It looks just as blue as this picture is.  Really finished it off.  The other items in this Dollar Store find I couldn't use they are too big.  The inside was smaller than I thought.

Close up of the Metal on the headband from Dollar Tree used to seal the edges since the Bamboo turned out to be paper.  I cut evenly down the middle between the two wires.  The metal paper can be cut with scissors but the wire needs wire cutters.  After cutting one section was folded in half over the wire, which became the center and I super glued that over each edge of raw glass to replace the Bamboo framing that fell apart.   

Princess headband from Dollar Tree used in the trim on the fish tank.

This is a remake of a wicker lounge chair and a wicker chair and table.  They looked good but needed something.  I repainted white.  The table has a little piece of wallpaper on it with tiny pink roses.  I made cushions and pillows for both that match the rest of materials on the bed. The table I never used because it appeared out of scale.  It had large turned legs on it.  I yanked them off.  Now it sits on a flat base and I like it better.