Saturday, January 30, 2010

A tiny project and a big, new project...

It have been sometime since I wanted to make this. My friend Arantxa gifted me with a lovely Heidi Ott top hat. Lovely, yes, but also plain. So my lady vampire friend insisted that I needed to embellish it up for her. This is how it was before:

And how it was after:

Nothing fancy, as you see, but enough to make it a riding top hat suited for a lady. Here is a pic of it hanging in the hall of the house:

The big project is something that I have been wanting to do for some time. I know that I'm not very original, and that there are people here in blogland doing it as well, but as a big fan of Tim Burton, I was dying to make a Sweeny Todd dollhouse. And recently I found a house that seems made precisely for that. Here it is:

Isn't it perfect? It even has the exterior stairs, and the place for Mrs. Lovett shop has a central door and two windows. But sadly for me, I don't have the room to have another dollhouse. I was quite upset about this, when my husband suggested that I could make a room box, because those can be hung up on the wall, and I became all excited again. I know it's not the same, but what I enjoy most is the decorating part, rather than the building up. So I am now in the hunt for a nice room box, and I can't wait to begin. I will probably make Mrs. Lovett's place first. I love the Tonsorial Parlor, but the posiblities for a meat shop are more wide. After all, Mr. Todd's room is almost empty...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Apothecary cabinet finished!

It's done! I have put the last new bottle inside it today. This is how the cabinet was before changing:

Halloween sweets and chocolates boxes for the most part.
And this is how it is now:

I think it's pretty filled up... I wanted to add a couple of test tubes in the lower shelf, but I don't want it to appear excessively cluttered. I don't know... The round glass jar has leaves inside that still need to be processed. Here is a pic of the cabinet in its place inside the shop:

I just love all the different jars that I have found!

I stored the Halloween candy and the chocolate bars for future projects, but I could not bear to take out of the house the chocolate boxes, so I simply made some gift bags, and put the boxes inside them; they are currently waiting in the hall of the house to be stored away...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Birthday Give Away Winner

Sorry it's taken me so long to announce the winner. Since I only got two correct entries, we tossed a coin, and the winner of the Give Away is Debbie from Tiny Treasures.


Edited to add: The answer to question number 2 - What was the name of the girl victim of Carmilla? - is Bertha.
If I interested you enough to read the tale, Jonna, I am happy :)
It's public dominion, if you want to look it up in the net: Carmilla, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Oh, how I love roses!

A birthday surprise from my husband.
They are not mini, but they are very nice anyway...

Birthday and minis

Yay! Another year wiser! No, I am not going to say "older". It's being a birthday somehow wet; it's been raining since yesterday. But no matter, nothing is going to stop me from dressing up this evening when we go to dine...

Mr. Postman just came and delivered some cute minis from Manor House Miniatures. More glass jars for the apothecary cabinet, showing here:

They are the ones in the third and fourth shelves. Just filled up!

Also, I have been spending some minutes in placing Edgar, the pet raven, in his new stand, a Christmas gift from minibuilder. He is so happy to have a place from where he can watch everything!

Can you see him just over the book stand?

I will announce tomorrow the winner of the Birthday Give Away. You still have time (until local 12 am this evening) to participate. Just answer the question here and you can win a hand-made miniature for your dollhouse - Valentine's Day theme.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sad news

It's official. Michael's has stopped stocking up on wood miniature cabinets. I have no idea if Don Mechanics has discontinued the line or if Michael's simply doesn't carry them anymore.

I visited yesterday all the Michael's shops that I have in a 100 miles radium to stock up on cabinets for my crafts. I have only 16, and when they are gone, there will be no more.

If you would like to order a custom cabinet, please contact me through my shop.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mini bottles and apothecary cabinet

The bottles arrived today; 60 tiny glass bottles to fill up and label! Who can resist that? I had to sit down and finish the first apothecary cabinet. I am so happy how well it turned out! It will be up for sale in my shop tomorrow.

Three different kind of jars, and all of them feature reproductions of real vintage unmodified apothecary labels. And of course, a brass scale and a glass stirrer or pipette.

I made a couple of them for my own cabinet, but I have not taken a pic yet; too little changes to show it. I will wait for it to be complete before showing it again.

I am waiting for more packages with more glass goodies inside...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Birthday Give Away

I will be celebrating my birthday on Friday the 22nd, and following up the tradition Debbie of Tiny Treasures has begun, I will be giving away a gift on that day.

One lucky winner will get a surprise gift - well, it's a surprise, but I will let you know some things:
- It's a 1/12 scale miniature
- It's hand-made by me
- It will fit in any dollhouse, no matter the style
- It will be perfect for your Valentine's Day

So, now some rules...

1- You have to be a follower of this blog
2- You have to answer correctly one question. Leave me a message in the Comments section; I will keep them hidden until Friday so you may not copy one another.

This is the question: What is the name of the evil main character in the story "The vampyre" by John Polidori?

You have until Friday to answer the question. I will place the name of all the people that answer correctly in a hat and my husband will pull up a winner.

To make it more interesting, if you answer correctly two questions, you will get your name in the hat two times. The second question you may try to answer is: What is the name of the girl that Carmilla the vampire kills before visiting the narrator of the story?

Good luck for everybody!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Update on the Apothecary cabinets

The first round of bottles for the apothecary cabinets arrived yesterday!

They are a cute set of mini bottles in the characteristic caramel color of antique jars, and I was happy to see that the labels fitted perfectly. In fact, I was so happy with the result that I decided to make some for myself. Here is a first pic of them in my dollhouse shop:

After I began to craft the first cabinet that was going to be sold in my shop, it was painfully obvious to me that I was not going to be able to part with it, unless I had my own cabinet. So I took my food cabinet, emptied it, and began to think about the new apothecary design. Here is a sneak peak of what I have accomplished today:

The first shelf has the bottles that I normally use for potion jars; the second shelf has the new caramel bottles. All of them have a reproduction of a real vintage apothecary label. The third shelf has a candy jar that my mother sent me; I removed the lid, took out the candy canes and filled it up with tiny polymer clay Aspirin pills. The fourth shelf has a mixing bowl and a glass stirrer; I may end up painting lines on it to make it look like a pipette. Take a closer look:

There are 80 pills inside the jar... and you can see that it appears almost empty. I guess I need to make two times that to fill it up almost completely. Oh goodness!

Still waiting on two more packages with mini bottles to arrive...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sources of inspiration

Sometimes the Muse can strike from the most strange places...

It had been some time since I wanted to try and make a pharmacy/apothecary/laboratory supplies cabinet.

My husband is a scientist, and I can tell you, a messy table/bench is the last thing you need if you want your work to be successful; dirt can spoil many hours of work if you are dealing with cells, and a glass left in the wrong place can finish in the floor with all your precious DNA inside. So I am not very fond of cluttered furniture, not even when it is in miniature. That's why all my cabinets are so tidy - blame it on the hours that we had to spend in the lab when experiments don't come out OK. I figure that if tidiness is necessary in real scale, more so in the cabinet of a skilled witch or wizard. Think about the protocols that are described in magic books and that you have to follow to the last detail... Anyway, the idea of the mad scientist or Victorian chemist have been going around my head, but I was not sure about how to bring them to reality.

Yesterday I put on a CD that I had not listened to in a long time. It's from Attrition, and it's called "All mine enemys whispers". It is inspired by the story of Mary Ann Cotton, who was sentenced to death in 1873 for killing children with arsenic. Attrition's Martin Bowes is a descendant of the arresting officer, Police Sergeant Tom McCutcheon.

And then the vision stroke me! I saw a dark chemist in London, where this woman went to buy the poison; the unsuspected pharmacist who sold it to her; the neatness of the filled jars in the shelves...

Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary, Alexandria

Right now I am on the hunt for different kinds of glass jars to fill the cabinets, and I am already working on the labels, which will be, of course, reproduction of real vintage pharmacy labels.

I hope to have a new line of apothecary cabinets, parallel to the magic cabinets. Science is as much part of my world as it is fantasy. How contradictory the human race can be... Will you come with me on my journey?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dollhouse accesories from jewelry findings

I was doing some shopping at Michael's today and found some lovely jewelry findings that may work well in a dollhouse setting.

They belong to the Madame Delphine's collection. I saw some charms small enough that would look lovely on a dresser, as well as mirrors framed with delicate Victorian flowers that could belong on a bedroom or parlor. Here is a link to the collection.

If you have a chance go take a look before they are gone!