Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Building of the Indecisive Roombox - Part 3

With the roombox coming together nicely, I decided to create a focal point for the parlor; a mantel with a lighted village scene. This is a very special village scene, created by Sylvia Mobley at Pine Rose Studios. Sylvia does the most spectacular work in porcelain and ceramic clays!

As many of you know, I've done a few lighted village scenes in my time (ha ha!). So, I thought I would share how I put them on mantels and add the LED lights. 

Please forgive the terrible photos that were taken with my phone. I was in a bit of a hurry on Christmas Eve to finish and wrap the project, which was a Christmas gift for my mother.

I used:
I chose a French Style mantel piece that I felt would fit with the architecture of the roombox. As is often the case, the mantel was not deep enough to accomodate the houses, so I cut a deeper faux mantel top from matboard. White matboard is obviously preferred, but a coat of white paint solved my last-minute materials supply issue!

A faux mantel top was created from matboard.

Before I glued the matboard in place, I made tiny holes for the LED wires to slip through, one hole/one LED per house. Typically, I glue the LEDs into my paper glitter houses (tutorial) but in this case, I was concerned about gluing them to the porcelain houses. Instead, I bent the wires of the lights flat against the mantel piece and placed the houses on top of each LED (this solution worked well). The wires were pushed through the matboard and bent. They exit the back side of the fireplace under the faux mantel top.

LEDs are placed on top of the faux mantel top. Their wires exit under the top and behind the mantel.

Using foamcore for the chimney breast allows me to carve a section on the back of it for the battery and switch. I wallpapered the front of the chimney breast. Holes were drilled from the front of the chimneybreast (behind the fireplace) into the carved section. The LED wires were pushed through the holes and connected to the battery and switch (tutorial). 

The back side of the chimney breast.

After the wires were pushed through, and the LEDs were tested again, the fireplace and firebox were glued to the chimney breast. The houses were glued on top and the mantel was decorated.

A future post will show the completed village scene and the roombox that were finished just in time for Christmas.

Other posts in this series:

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Building of the Indecisive Roombox - Part 2

Well, here it is... just a couple of days before Christmas, and I have yet to finish the indecisive roombox. The project has been neglected for a while because I've been busy creating new kits for 2013 (I can't wait to show them!).

The ceiling was a bit of a challenge because I found out that I don't have the proper tools to cut it. A table saw would have worked perfectly. Are you reading this, Santa?

I installed the lighting components from Creative Reproductions 2 Scale, which included a flexible strip of LEDs and a power supply. Using a trick I'd learned from Joe Zerbolio, who teaches really helpful wiring clinics at the Miniature Museum of St. Louis, I mounted the LEDs on a triangle-shape molding and glued the molding to the front of the roombox.

The black walnut flooring kit was purchased from Broadnax Prints. It took a couple of afternoons to assemble the pieces like a puzzle, but it was fun! A coat of dark walnut stain and several coats of a gloss polyurethane will be added.

Choosing the wallpapers has proven to be the most difficult job! Even though the architecture of the roombox suggests a French style, the wallpapers and furniture will be an assortment of Victorian pieces that were collected by my mother and me for our large Victorian house.

Here is a selection of the many, many carpets that were collected over the years. Most of our collection was purchased while my husband and I were still dating. While on a trip to Istanbul, we found these little carpets in all of the tourist shops. And the fantastic markets offered plenty of opportunities to purchase large quantities of rugs for a discounted price. We returned home with our suitcases full of them! Perhaps that was the first time that the future Mr. True2Scale realized that his soon-to-be wife was a little obsessed with miniatures!

Other posts in this series:

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Building of the Indecisive Roombox - Part 1

I am an indecisive person. I mentioned in a previous post that it took 5 coats of paint for me to decide the perfect beige for our garage door. I take after my mother in that regard. Case in point—25 years ago, my mother and I started a 9-room Victorian dollhouse. The shell is still sitting in my mother's basement; furniture, wallpaper, and a myriad of findings all attest to the plan to finish the dollhouse. However our indecisiveness about color schemes, wallpaper, flooring, etc., prevented us from moving forward. Well, then came college, Mr. True2Scale, career, etc. (luckily I was decisive about those things!). But, the dollhouse was never finished. Now, it seems unlikely that the time and space needed to finish the house will ever be found.

That's why I've started this roombox for my mother. I'd like her to use some of the goodies that we've purchased over the years while we attended the many shows together. This seams like a simple idea, right? Well, until I decided to complicate it a bit...

The Indecisive Roombox
I think that it will be much more fun if my mother may change the rooms to fit her moods. If she's bored of looking at the parlor, she may slide a kitchen or a bedroom scene into place! The concept is simple enough, but the execution may prove a bit tricky!

Here is what I'm starting with, the Chateau Roombox from Goliath Miniatures. My mother picked it out when we were attending a miniature show in Chicago. At that time, it was to be her birthday present. However I'm hoping that I'll be able to give the completed roombox to her as a surprise Christmas gift.

The Chateau Roombox from Goliath Miniatures.

This is a really nice roombox to work with. It's very well built, and the plexiglass panel in front slides out for easy access to the inside.

A few hours of sunshine and unusually warm weather today allowed me to paint the inside and outside with a first coat of paint. The inside will obviously be covered, but I wanted to provide a nice surface for the tapewire to stick. My extensive collection of house paint came in handy for mixing the creamy color, which is comprised of: upstairs bathroom ceiling ivory, downstairs bathroom cabinets white, 3rd painting of garage door beige, and just a hint of front door chocolate brown. Keeping all of those cans of paint now seems almost justifiable!

Next step will be deciding on wall, floor and ceiling designs, and installing the LED lighting goodies that I've ordered from Carl at Creative Reproductions 2 Scale.

Other posts in this series:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

100 Miniature Christmas Tutorials

Following up on the original 50 Christmas tutorials that I posted in 2011 (see below), here are an additional 50 new tutorials. As always, reader suggestions are welcome! If you would like to share a link to a holiday theme tutorial, please leave a comment below.
  1. Fire surround Keith Walker
  2. Sleeping Santa Rita McVinnie via msatminidolls
  3. A Blessed Noel Cynthia Howe
  4. Santa ornament Cynthia Howe
  5. Christmas tree ornaments My Small Obsession
  6. Orange cane Daniela Nielsen via YouTube
  7. Angel tree topper Garden of Imagination via YouTube
  8. Roast and steak Garden of Imagination via YouTube
  9. Jar of jelly Garden of Imagination via YouTube
  10. Dollhouse for a dollhouse joannesminis via YouTube
  11. Toy train joannesminis via YouTube
  12. Toy truck joannesminis via YouTube
  13. Toy xylophone joannesminis via YouTube
  14. Doll's winter hat joannesminis via YouTube
  15. Christmas tree from pipe cleaners Smallwood Village Magazine
  16. Evergreen Tree
  17. Molasses cookies and tea Cotton Ridge Create!
  18. Teddy bears from pipe cleaners Harvington Guides
  19. Bow making 1 Jan's Dollhouses and Miniatures
  20. Bow making 2 Jan's Dollhouses and Miniatures
  21. Meccano box Natalie Gayle Miniatures
  22. Needlework wreath pattern Dancing Violet Designs
  23. Fabric dollhouse for a child UK lass in US
  24. Felt stocking MsMiniLover via YouTube
  25. Cross stitch pillow chart The Dollar Store Dollhouse
  26. Sugar N' Spice baking scene Joann Swanson
  27. Lebkuken Jan Stuart via A Small World's Big Buzz
  28. Food tins
  29. 1:48 Candlesticks Anna-Carin Betzén
  30. Wrapped gifts Anna-Carin Betzén
  31. 1/144 scale angel tree topper Frances Armstrong
  32. 1:144 scale Georgian fireplace Anna-Carin Betzén
  33. 1:144 scale Christmas tree Anna-Carin Betzén
  34. 1:144 scale wreath and swag Anna-Carin Betzén
  35. 1:144 scale candlestick Anna-Carin Betzén
  36. Winter tree Blue Kitty Miniatures
  37. Braided door mat Miniatures & maisons de poupées
  38. Lantern 
  39. Star shape cutout cookies Unoesadoce 
  40. Scissors My mini world
  41. Prawn Snowfern
  42. Panettone Simplystella's Sketchbook
  43. Doily made with liquid clay Christel Jensen
  44. Cinnamon rolls
  45. Christmas crackers
  46. Retro printable boxes
  47. Beaded angel Wilhelmien's Poppenhuizen en Miniaturen
  48. Ice skates Ellen Boersma
  49. Sled Ellen Boersma
  50. Mistletoe kissing ball
The 50 tutorials posted in 2011:
  1. Bow making Andrea Thieck
  2. Polymer clay candles My Small Obsession
  3. Ham Slices Daniela Nielsen via YouTube
  4. Turkey with garnish Julie Old Crow via The Mini Food Blog
  5. Oranges Angie Scarr
  6. Candy and caning Chrissy via CDHM
  7. AIM 2011 advent calendar (24 projects)
  8. AIM 2010 advent calendar (24 projects)
  9. AIM 2009 advent calendar (24 projects)
  10. Christmas tree Victoria Miniland
  11. Beaded Santa Victoria Minland
  12. Tiny snowman Victoria Miniland
  13. Fire for your fireplace Merry Jingle
  14. Gingerbread Stephanie Kilglast via CDHM
  15. Egg nog Mary Eccher
  16. Christmas pudding Mary Eccher
  17. Christmas punch Mary Eccher
  18. Hedgehog cake Todd Toys and
  19. Wreath and candles Todd Toys and
  20. Christmas cake Todd Toys and
  21. Poinsettia Abby Benner via CDHM
  22. Leg of lamb Linda Cummings via CDHM
  23. Straw ornaments Miniatures & masions de poupées
  24. Mistletoe Miniatures & masions de poupées
  25. Christmas boxes True2Scale
  26. Christmas cactus
  27. Needlepoint stocking
  28. Swedish Christmas Joann Swanson
  29. Cookies Pine Studio
  30. Gingerbread house Pine Studio
  31. Ornaments Smallwood Village
  32. Toys in 1/144 scale Frances Armstrong
  33. Shopping bag and gift box On The Scene
  34. Christmas tree skirt pattern Laurel Wheeler
  35. Ornament box Christine Woolsey
  36. Printable sleigh
  37. Toy soldiers box Natalie Gayle Miniatures
  38. Seashell angel Butterfly Dreams
  39. Printable wrapping paper 1 and 2 Jean Day
  40. Printable nativity scene Jean Day
  41. Printable micro Christmas room Jean Day
  42. Wrapping paper TreeFeathers
  43. Victorian Christmas cards TreeFeathers
  44. Sheet Music TreeFeathers
  45. Ornament boxes TreeFeathers
  46. Gift boxes 1 and 2 TreeFeathers
  47. Gift bags Treefeathers
  48. Tinsel tree Puchicollective
  49. Teapot from polymer clay Christel Jensen via YouTube
  50. Cheesecake Christel Jensen
Additional holiday tutorials shared by readers:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Our Trip to the Dollshouse Nederland Show 2012

We were accompanied by a Stewart Little
(sans red car).
It was a week of much fun and much work! Our friends, Ruth and Dan Stewart, from Stewart Dollhouse Creations, accompanied us to the Netherlands and brought their adorable, young children, whom we've nicknamed the "Stewart Littles." Our first stop was Amsterdam, where we slept several nights on a houseboat and enjoyed walking around the city and sightseeing. The museums were fantastic and the food was delicious!
Hotel Abbekerk

We arrived in Apeldoorn and stayed in the charming Hotel Abbekerk. On Friday, we taught a workshop. Despite the fact that one of our students didn't speak English, the talented ladies were able to take home finished projects.

It was a lot of fun to see people with whom we've become acquainted with; and meet many new people as well!

Hindeloopen painting by Godelief Janssen (Wagon Mountain Studio).

Bas Middel's fantasy structure (more to come in a future post).

Ruth Stewart (Stewart Dollhouse Creations) at her first European show!

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Fun Gift for My Mom

Do you mind if I toot my horn just a wee bit? I'm just so excited! The November/December issue of Dollhouse Miniatures magazine contains a feature about True2Scale, compiled by Janet Stuart. It is the first time we've been featured in a magazine (blush)!

I think a copy of the magazine will make a fun gift for my mother, who ignited my passion for miniatures when I was a child. I'm looking forward to seeing her expression when she opens the magazine!

The cover showcases Bridget McCarty's charming animals.

Good Sam Show and The Tuck Box

The Good Sam Showcase of Miniatures in San Jose, California, was so much fun! Mr. T2S and I enjoyed meeting many new people, including Patty from Petit Orphelin. She shared a couple of her sweet, hand sculpted babies with us.

On Sunday morning, I demonstrated applying decals to dishes. In the afternoon, I had time to view a few of the pieces on display from area miniaturists. One of those pieces, The Tuck Box, was built by Don Silva. Don took measurements and photos of the life-size Tuck Box in Carmel, California and built an exact replica of the 1927 English style tea room. It was so charming, that Mr. T2S and I decided to make a visit to Carmel the following day. Unfortunately, The Tuck Box closed just before we arrived, but we did enjoy checking out the neighboring gift shop and wine bar!

The Tuck Box by Don Silva.

Interior by Don Silva and Connie Suave. Do you recognize the dishes pattern?

The real Tuck Box in Carmel, CA.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

50 Miniature Halloween and Fall Tutorials

The Fall of the year brings Halloween and Thanksgiving projects to mind. If you would like to add an autumn-theme tutorial to the list, please leave a comment. Your suggestions are always welcome!
  1. Tree stump house Laura Miller
  2. Apples Barbara Dezza via CDHM
  3. Candy apples GardenofImagination via YouTube
  4. Halloween candles collbn via YouTube 
  5. Jack-o'-lantern collbn via YouTube
  6. Candy corn collbn via YouTube
  7. Chocolate candy bars GardenofImagination via YouTube
  8. Halloween candy joannesminis via YouTube
  9. Halloween flowers (black roses) collbn via YouTube
  10. Grinning pumpkin cauldron Pixie Dust Miniatures
  11. Witch's brew Mary Eccher
  12. Spider chrysanthemums
  13. Fall decoration (bucket planter and pumpkin) joannesminis via YouTube
  14. Bonsia/spooky tree technique
  15. Braided mat
  16. Bushel basket joannesminis via YouTube
  17. Ghost joannesminis via YouTube
  18. Potion bottles MiniMaker via Squidoo
  19. Harry Potter Jawbind Potion Toni Ellison via YouTube
  20. Harry Potter Mandrake Restorative Draught Toni Ellison via YouTube
  21. Harry Potter Drink of Despair Toni Ellison via YouTube
  22. Harry Potter Skele-Gro Potion Toni Ellison via YouTube
  23. Cider and cinnamon donuts Mary Eccher
  24. Canning vegetables Mary Eccher
  25. Canning pot 1 inch minis by Kris
  26. Wine rack 1 inch minis by Kris
  27. Witch's broom Jody Raines via CDHM
  28. Ladies boots
  29. Corn stalks
  30. Dried Corn
  31. Needlefelted cat
  32. Kitten made from wool lapappadolce (in Italian)
  33. Flying bats
  34. 1:48 Scale Moonshines smallpackages via webshots
  35. 1:48 scale lilies/fall arrangement Wanna in El Paso
  36. 1:48 scale Laura's roadhouse Wanna in El Paso
  37. Skeleton joannesminis via YouTube
  38. Fixing up a cheap skeleton Wanna in El Paso
  39. Rat Alice Zinn via webshots
  40. Wizard's set Collector's Club
  41. A Halloween peddler's cart Joann Swanson
  42. A bit of Autumn Joann Swanson
  43. Potatoes Barbara Dezza via CDHM
  44. Pumpkins Sandra Keller Palesch via CDHM
  45. Pumpkin needlework design
  46. Pilgrim's hats
  47. Simmering stews Mary Eccher
  48. Thanksgiving dinner GardenofImagination via YouTube and My Small Obsession
  49. Thanksgiving printables Sherree via Picasa
  50. Pumpkin pie Mary Eccher
Additional tutorials suggested by readers:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Josephine Meyer Class at the Denver Show

I just finished a Monet-inspired waterlilies painting class with Josephine Meyer. It was really fun to see how every student's painting looked different; some had darker, heavier strokes; others were softer, with lighter colors. Josephine was able to judge each student's abilities and make suggestions to help them improve. Not only did I enjoy the class, I finished!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tiny Indulgences

Attendees of Ruth Stewart's theme luncheon in Charlotte, received a very special gift! Ruth created unique cake houses in 1/144 scale — 24 houses—each one different. Please visit Ruth's website to see more of her charming creations.

Photo: Ruth Stewart

The inside is just as pretty!

I love the penguin slide! Photo: Ruth Stewart
Photo: Ruth Stewart

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Preview of 2013 Chicago International Workshops

I thought that you might enjoy viewing a sample of the upcoming workshops to be offered at the 2013 Chicago International Show. The prototypes for the workshops were unveiled this weekend at the Chicago Fall Show. To view all of the workshops and read more information, visit the Chicago International Show website.

Framed Bloom Box Charrita Teague

Sculpted Character Lady Lisa Tabbanor
Grand Phoenix on a Stand Mike Barbour
Wicker baguette basket Vicky Sanfield 

Biltmore Jo Bevilacqua

Modern Loft Erik Goddard

Island Victorian Cottage Sabia and Reneé

Marquetry Serving Tray Iulia Chin Lee

1:144 Scale Living and Bedroom Nell Corkin

Exotic Lady Slipper Orchids Paula Gilhooley

1/4" Miss Monarch's Cottage Bruce and Judy Steinke

Cupcake Emporium Ruth Stewart

Sweet Bébé Steps Suzanne Larson-Tamburo

Double Window Treatment Marcia McClain

1:144 Lighted Glitter House and Pinecone Santa in Sleigh True2Scale

Friday, August 3, 2012

New - La Boutique Bleue Kits

I'm so excited to share with you the debut of a new collection, La Boutique Bleue! The 1:12 scale shop window vignette and kits were inspired by my collection of photos of beautiful Parisian shop windows.

Since I can't have a room in my home filled with blue and yellow, I've created it in miniature!

La Boutique Bleue Collection is available on my website. Please check out the other new items that have been added.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Do You See It? Take a Closer Look....

See it now? This exquisite butterfly was a gift from Andrea Thieck. It is a very special keepsake from our meeting in the spring. I have been waiting for the hydrangeas in the garden to bloom the perfect shade of blue, so that I could share the beauty of Andrea's work. Unfortunately, the photo does not show the butterfly's glistening, intricate wings that Andrea has so perfectly replicated! Please visit Andrea's blog to see more of her amazing work.