Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top Posts of 2010

Happy New Year! 2010 was an amazing and productive year for me. In March, I stumbled upon the miniatures blogging community, of which I am grateful to have found. Since then, I have made many new friends, became inspired to create more miniatures, and overcame new technical and creative challenges.

In the spirit of auld lang syne, here is another chance to read the 5 most popular posts on this blog from 2010 (according to Blogger statistics):
  1. Printable Book "Livre de Fleurs" from 1620
  2. Photoshop Tutorial: Aging Paper
  3. Vintage Printables 
  4. Source for Printable American Newspapers
  5. Birthday GIVEAWAY!
I know that I've missed some great posts on your blog. Perhaps you would like to share your blog's most popular posts with your readers? You may use the graphic above.

Thanks for a year of friendship, inspiration and fun!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Swap

These are the beautiful gifts that Lara made for me. They will fit perfectly into my Victorian house. Aren't the childrens' toys amazing? The tiny flowers and berries will compliment a Thanksgiving table so nicely. And the ornaments have hooks! Everything is so detailed and well made. Thank you, Lara!

Here is the gift I made for Anna. Peggy was originally my partner, but was unable to participate for health reasons. Best wishes to Peggy for a quick recovery! And a big thank you to Caterina for organizing the swap!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Traditions

I have enjoyed learning how other bloggers are celebrating their Christmases. I think that no matter what part of the world you live in, the central part of the celebration is always the meal.

Rolled oplatky and honey in Slovakia, 1998
My husband is from Slovakia (the eastern part of former Czechoslovakia), so we celebrate a traditional Slovak Christmas Eve. The meal is typically started with a prayer or good wishes said while a family member makes the sign of a cross (made with honey) on your forehead. Crispy wafers (oplatky) with Christmas scenes are distributed with honey and fresh garlic cloves. I know that it sounds awful, but the garlic and honey are a wonderful combination!

Next comes the soup. My husband's family (in Slovakia) always makes sauerkraut soup (kapustnica), made with pork sausage, pork roast, sauerkraut, dried mushrooms and garlic. My husband makes our sauerkraut soup ahead of time so that the flavors have time to marinate. It also makes a rather pungent smell in the kitchen :)

Dinner in Slovakia (we named her Miroslavka), 1998
The next part of the meal is fried fish. In Slovakia, the fish used is carp. Americans have an aversion to this type of fish, so my husband makes cod or trout. At this time of year, many Slovaks visit the fish vendors and take home live fish. When they arrive home, the carp goes into the bathtub to live out the last day or so of his life. This ensures that the carp is fresh for the dinner.  :) The fish is accompanied by potato salad and of course, plenty of liquor (another Slovak tradition).

Wherever you live and whatever your holiday traditions are, I wish you the happiest of holidays!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Holidays and a Gift for You!

Happy Holidays to everyone! I hope that you are enjoying a beautiful season with family and friends.

I just finished designing these mini boxes as a gift to you. Perhaps you will find them useful for your miniature treats and gifts. Happy holidays!

Download the pdf of the box designs. 


Friday, December 17, 2010

Should She Bake a Pie or Make Pasta?

I just received this resin doll designed by Marcia Backstrom. When I saw the doll in Carol's Etsy shop, I knew that she would be perfect in either of two projects that I am making slow progress on. Maybe you can help me decide which project? Should the doll go into the summer kitchen scene (America 1900) and bake a pie? OR should she go into the Tuscan kitchen scene and make pasta fresca? What do you think?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Delicious Miniatures from Oiseau deNim

This is how my French table would look, if I lived in France. All of these beautiful miniatures were created by Peiwen from Oiseau deNim.

She has sent me a some of her new savory items – a French Terrine (in back with the knife) and Red Fruits Gratin – yum! And, something I have always wanted to try to make in real life: a Creme Brulee. Although I could never make the top turn out so nicely has Peiwein has done. My Creme Brulee would end as a torched piece of coal! The chocolates in the shape of seashells are amazing! They remind me of the Guylain seashells that are so yummy. Peiwen has even dusted the chocolates with a shimmer of gold! And aren't her macaroons to die for? They are simply perfect! The baker has developed a new recipe that gives them pretty, pearlescent colors. The snowflake on top of the macaroon charlotte is a pretty detail. And the box is perfect for a collection of mini ornaments.

I am so delighted to have these beautiful miniatures. Thank you, Peiwen!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Scottish Tenement Kits

I don't know the scale of these architectural model kits, but they are full of detail. The "tinyment" is sophisticated enough to display on your bookshelf when your friends who don't create miniatures come over for martinis. They're made by Glasgow-based Finch & Fouracre, designers and architectual modelmakers.

photos: Finch & Fouracre

Monday, December 13, 2010

Adobe Photoshop Elements Links

If you're a Photoshop Elements user, you may appreciate these free tutorials. If you're thinking about purchasing the graphics editing software, Adobe is currently offering $40 USD off in rebates, which brings the cost down to $59.99 USD for Photoshop Elements version 9.

As always, Photoshop tutorials for making minis are still accessible on my blog. The link "Photoshop Tutorial" is permanently located below the header.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Embarking on a New Journey: Facebook

Please join me! Click on the "Like" button to the right, or search Facebook for: True2Scale Dollhouse Miniatures. I look forward to seeing you on FB!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Another Basket

I've been trying a few new techniques and materials for making baskets. The possibilities of design and decoration using different weaving techniques greatly interests me. Here is one of my results of adapting some real life techniques to miniature.

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Favorite Removable Glue

I change my mind a lot. For example, I painted my garage door with 5 shades of taupe before I was happy with the way it looked. The last shade I created by slowly dumping black acrylic paint into the gallon of latex paint to achieve the perfect gray tint to the taupe. Perhaps my artistic friends in blogland may relate to my quirkiness?

My point is that I hate to glue things down permanently. To be able to change things in my mini rooms, I like to use a removable adhesive called Glue Dots®. They are acid-free and archival safe so they don't discolor papers or eat away at finishes. You may be familiar with them from their industrial application – direct mail. Often they hold fake credit cards onto the annoying credit card offers. If you peel the glue off of the paper, it stretches and is fun to pick at. They are also popular for scrapbooking. If you can't find them at your local craft store, try ordering them online.

Some dollhouse uses:
  • hanging wall art
  • hanging shelves
  • attaching seasonal decorations
  • sticking furniture and rugs to floors
  • holding accessories in place
  • sticking templates to pieces before cutting
  • adhering items to the inside of containers for protection from shipping
Do you have a favorite removable adhesive?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Giveaway Winners and a Discount!

Thank you to all who entered my birthday giveaway and left kind comments. Because of your many greetings these past weeks, I enjoyed a very long celebration!

As a thank you to all of the giveaway participants, please use this discount code at my Etsy shop to receive 20% off the laser cut glitter house kits: GIVEAWAY4U. This discount is valid until December 15.

The winners of the glitter house kits are:

Linda (Linda's Miniature Musings)
Alma e Lia (Vilia Miniature)

I hope that you will enjoy assembling and decorating your kits!