Thursday, February 18, 2010

Flour sacks and rolling pin arrived!

Aren't they awfully realistic?
I have to re-make the dough adding talcum powder to simulate flour. I've never done that, we'll see how it turns out...
Now, waiting for the kitchen stove :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Crafting delicatessen sweets

It seems that everybody is in love with miniature macaroons lately. Maybe you are familiar with yippiekawaiiyeah? She carries lots of hand-made molds and supplies for making miniature food. Well, I wanted to try the mini macaroons myself and recently purchased a mold from her. It arrived yesterday, and the results are fabulous:

This batch is, as always, for my mother. I have to make yet the box for them, and I am working too in a box of donuts.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Interphase: Crafting minis for the baking table

Yes, yes, I know I should probably be putting on the floor or the wallpaper in the room box, but I need to consider those a bit longer, and in the meantime I did not want to waste time. So here are the first minis that I have made for Mrs. Lovett's baking table:

I am adapting the table's layout so it will be similar to the one shown in the movie. I need to craft (or buy) a lot more of kitchen stuff, but I think this first batch of pies looks delicious! My mom was impressed with the big meat pie and the eggs.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Phase 1: Building up the shadow box

I have been so excited this week, and I just couldn't wait for the weekend to arrive to begin the work on the shadow box. I'm afraid I was so anxious that I did not take pictures before beginning the work :)
I asked dear hubby for help for the construction part, since it was my first time assembling and I didn't want to mess it up. After all, four hands are better than two... He was busy with some lab work, so I began the fun by staining the furniture that I bought last week:

A hutch, a working table and a buffet table. They were just unfinished - as the bottom part of the drawers shows. I used the same stain for all of them, but I applied it differently to achieve different shades of color. I wanted the table to be somehow "washed out" because of the use. After all, it has to be cleaned every time pies are made. So the top surface is lighter than the rest. The buffet table is the one that is stained most dark. It's going to be used to display the different pies offered for sale. The hutch will display some kitchen stuff - plates, jugs, bottles...

This is a pic of the floor and the ceiling being attached. The glue that I bought worked very well, and was not messy at all. After four hours of drying, we attached both sides and left everything to dry overnight. Sorry, no pic of that. It was almost 11.30 pm and I forgot to take one...

This morning I attached the frames, as well as the one that goes on top of the glass. I was so impatient to try the furniture inside the room that I did it while the frames were drying!

And I gathered up some minis that I had around and filled a bit the hutch:

And the last pic, finally, with the glass in place:

Yay! It has been a most productive weekend! I can't wait to begin to craft stuff to fill up the furniture. I think I'll spend the afternoon making pots, maybe the first pie...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Working for my mom

Every time my mother says "Could you make something for me?" I get excited. It gives me much satisfaction when she puts in her scenes something hand-crafted by me; specially because, being honest, many of my minis are far from perfect. The fact that my dollhouse has not a popular theme adds to the trouble, since I can not practice with "everyday" objects. Now that I am going to begin Mrs. Lovett Pie Shop I hope I can have the opportunity to craft more usual accessories. By the way, the room box arrived yesterday! I hope I can begin with it on the weekend...

Coming back to my mother's request, these are the last minis I have made for her - sorry, the pic is not very good:

I had just bought for her a gramophone for her parlor, and she was quick to ask for some records to put near it. They are just printables, and very easy to make. I used Jim's page as a template, but I designed my own covers - classical music instead of modern pop music.

The calendar was a freebie that I got with a purchase, and since I did not have a place for it, she asked for it. But she wanted a different pic and asked for this one, called "Kissing on VJ". She saw the statue of San Diego's harbor, and simply loved it.

The pillow is a replica in miniature of one that I have for sale in my shop; she has a dress form with a wedding dress near a bay window and wanted the pillow to place next to it. It was challenging to sew the mini-pillow because the fabric is baroque satin, and as you can see, it doesn't look too good. But I am fortunate that she doesn't care :)

This is her dollhouse; as you can see, the shoes are out of scale, but she doesn't mind. The room is supposed to be the home-shop of a seamstress; hence the mannequin.

This is the inside of the room. I have made for her many of the objects here: The contents of the grocery basket - which, by the way, you can buy here -; the knitting basket of the floor, behind the stove; a blue velvet pillow on the armchair; the appointment book and the inkwell of the table; and some of the contents of the cabinet - some you can see, some you can't - two button jars, some other books, and a sewing basket. I also re-sized for her the fashion posters of the wall.
She made the standing dress and the capelet that hangs in the ironing board, and she filled up the cabinet with different fabrics and trims.

Hope you have enjoyed this peeking into her dollhouse :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

New miniature books found

Perusing through Kate's blog entries, I found out about two miniature-making books.

I was aware of Sue Heaser's publications, but although I am familiar with Angie Scarr's name, I did not know she also had published books for making miniatures with polymer clay. For those of you who did not know either, here they are:

Miniature Food Masterclass: Materials and techniques for model-makers

Making Miniature Food and Market Stalls

I have ordered both, and I can't wait for them to arrive!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

More on Sweeney Todd

I am one of those people that when find a theme that they like, they squeeze it to death. I was watching yesterday the special features of the Sweeney Todd movie, and found out a lot of interesting facts.

The one I liked the most was founding out that the writer of the original Sweeney Todd tale was Thomas Prest, and that the original title was "A String of Pearls", published by the penny dreadfuls. Being a huge fan of Gothic literature, I ran to Amazon and found the tale available for Kindle, along with a complete version of Varney the Vampire. Of course I purchased both, and I have already begun the lecture of "A string of pearls".

I also didn't know that there was a theatrical musical version starring Angela Lansbury, and I may purchase that as well. I am going to immerse myself in the legend...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The room box is on its way!

I bought the room box over the weekend and my seller shipped it out yesterday. It's coming from New York, so I hope to have it here maybe in a couple of days. I'm so so excited I can hardly wait...

I re-watch Sweeney Todd just so I could take notes on how the pie shop it's set, and I have been searching eBay like crazy looking for minis to fill it up. I am so impatient because this is the first time I will be decorating a kitchen, and there are so many things that can fit in... Of course, I want to preserve the original ambiance so the room is recognizable, but I also was thinking on how neat and clean should have been for the grand re-opening, so I am kind of mixing both the degraded and the clean state.

I found here a layout sheet so one can design the room before purchasing the furniture and know where everything goes and how much room one have left. My room box is not very big (15 x 10 x10 inches) and I don't have a lot of room, but so far, I am having fun mixing up the furniture, thinking and discarding options.

This project is giving me so much energy that I bought yesterday the BSO of the Sweeney Todd movie, and I don't get tired of hearing it... Specially "The worst pies in London" and "Have a little priest" tracks :)

The room box that I ordered