Friday, December 30, 2011

A Spot of Tea

Plushpussycat and Tomcat are out for a spot of tea. 

Dessert is served--one big piece for two. 

Who will win?

Hope your new year is bright and full of blessings! xoxo Jennifer

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Solution to a Dollhouse Problem

I had a big problem. You may remember that Dad's Dollhouse was built from a 1970s Sunset magazine plan. It was designed for a child (which I was!), not for an adult miniature enthusiast. The front door and windows were not in 1/12 scale. Dad and I never got around to putting a front door on the place (too busy with other dollhouse projects!), and the open doorway was 7 1/2 inches (19 cm) tall (equivalent to 7 1/2 feet or 2.3 meters in real life)! If you look at the second photo in this post about Dad's Dollhouse, you'll see that open doorway.

When I came back to the dollhouse a few months ago, I started looking for a solution to this decorating dilemma. There were no manufactured doors, including screen doors, that would fit the doorway, so I figured that my only choice would be to make my own door. Then one day it just struck me in a flash of inspiration that once I made the door, it would look too big in comparison to the 1/12 scale miniature furnishings.

That's when it hit me: I could treat the doorway like a window, put curtains on it, and build a piece of furniture to mostly cover the window opening. And I knew which piece of furniture I wanted: the Chrysnbon parlor pump organ kit. Why the organ? Because we had one in my childhood home in the room we called the parlor, which was wallpapered in the same paper you see in the two above photos.

So I ordered the kit and put together the organ (which took several days to complete!), and then it was time to make curtains. I had been gathering small-scale lace, most of it vintage, just for this purpose. I was on a deadline, too, because I wanted to take some photos of the parlor for my most recent post, Christmas at Dad's Dollhouse. But it all came together in the nick of time, and I'm happy with the results.

Have any of you had a dollhouse or miniatures decorating or other problem that you needed to solve? If so, what was the problem, and how did you solve it? I'd love to hear about it. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas at Dad's Dollhouse

You may remember that I collected dollhouse miniatures as a child, after my father built me a dollhouse, and then I mostly left miniatures behind for several decades. Since February or March, I've been refurbishing and decorating Dad's Dollhouse. I left the original wallpaper, since it was wallpaper from my childhood home, which coincidentally was also a country Victorian house just like the dollhouse.

Miniature Christmas tree from earlier days.

So for several months, I've been ripping out old carpet, purchasing furniture and accessories, and making minis from kits. I've also received several beautiful gifts and giveaway prizes to help complete the dollhouse. Several dollhouse miniatures that I kept from all of those years ago included a Christmas tree and a few other decorations, such as wrapped presents for under the tree, made by my younger self.

Kitty stealing cookies--one is already missing!

Then recently I built a key piece of furniture from a kit (more about that in a future post!) and FINALLY made curtains for the parlor and the kitchen. Then I found this sweet Mama Mouse (Mavis Mouse) at a thrift store!

Mavis Mouse working her paws to the bone baking Christmas goodies!

Look what Mavis Mouse baked--yummy Christmas cookies and cakes!

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it! Happy Holidays! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Prizes From Santa

I received two more blog giveaway prizes in the mail, and they are so sweet! First, I won Lugart petit's giveaway. LugArt petit is two sisters, Maria-Jose and Monica, from Barcelona, Spain. They make adorable miniature things. I won this cute little needle-felted bear, a sweet shabby chic canister set (with lids that open!), and a pile of teeny tiny cookies:

The tiny bear is only 7/8 inch (less than 2 1/2 cm) tall! I show it here with a half-scale vintage Japanese brass bed. Can you believe how tiny and cute these things are?! Lugart Petit has a lovely Etsy shop you might want to check out too. :-) Thank you Maria-Jose and Monica!

The second prize I won is this adorable Moses basket with rose patterned fabric (also quite petite) from Anna of  Littlethings blog in Athens, Greece. I show the Moses basket here with a half-scale vintage Japanese ironing board. Isn't Anna's prize pretty and sweet? She also sent a couple of lovely handmade extras: a Santa magnet and a heart-shaped tree ornament. How thoughtful! Thank you Anna! Here is Anna's shop.

Next time I will show Dad's Dollhouse dressed in its Christmas finest. That's in two days, on Christmas eve. Also, I haven't mentioned it in a while, but my Big Miniatures Giveaway is still going on. Check out the giveaway post to enter. There's still time! You can enter through January 1, 2012, and I will announce the winner on January 2, 2012. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lovers Cottage

I finally decided on a theme for my miniature shabby chic cottage: it will be a lovers cottage. Once I decided to leave the walls white, I kept getting a romantic retreat in my mind. Then I won this miniature framed 1920s wedding photo in an ebay auction, and my ideas started to solidify:

Caroline of Cinderella Moments suggested that I use things in the house that I find irresistible. I want it to be  romantic, with flowers, a fireplace, a luxurious bed, perfume bottles, sexy lingerie, and so on. I love all of that romantic stuff!

So now I'm trying things out:

The room is so tiny that I'm limited as far as how much I can put in it, but that will help me to tell the story well with just a few key miniature items. I've been trying out existing pieces of furniture in different floor layouts. Eventually I'll paint everything white and shabby "chic-ify" it. For now, I'm still experimenting. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cute Things #3

I found this little beauty at a thrift store in a box full of wires and Christmas lights. The red string was intertwined with the wires, and it took some work to free it. I'm so happy I did, though. It's a wind-up toy! When you wind up the mama hen, she starts walking, and her baby chicks follow behind! I don't know if you can see how cute this is, but if you can, you must be oohing and ahhing right now. :-)

Mama is 2 1/2 inches (7 cm) tall, and her babies are 1 inch (2 1/2 cm) tall. Made in China and of plastic, this toy is not old, but it has a vintage look to it. I adore it! I have two more wind-up toys, a hopping lavender plush bunny and a spinning seal pup, and that is the extent of my collection (which is fine with me). ;-)

Do you have any toys or toy collections? Tell me--I'd love to hear about them! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Visit to The Knittn' Kitten Vintage Craft Supply Store

Yesterday I visited one of my favorite places, The Knittn' Kitten: Portland's Vintage Fabric and Craft Store. Whenever I go there, I come home loaded with vintage fabric, buttons, beads, embroidery floss, and yarn--and I don't have to pay an arm and a leg for it either--yay!

Ethel and Rome, mother and daughter, are the proprietors of The Kitten. If they don't have what I'm looking for in the shop, often they can get it for me. The best is when they go into their storage room and dig a little. Usually they return with craft supply treasures! ;-)

Ethel greeting me at the door

Yesterday I bought beads and felt. Last time I was there I bought gingham fabric, lace, and ribbon. It's just a fantastic way to recycle, get the craft supplies I need, and save money over buying from the big box-type craft stores. Maybe that's why my fabric and craft supply stash is so big! :-)

Let me give you a little tour of the place:

Ribbons and lace, Rome in the background helping a customer

Vintage notions and fabrics

Vintage buttons and beads

Miniature bear rug for your dollhouse, anyone?

If you're in the Portland area, The Knittn' Kitten is a no-brainer--definitely stop in for a visit. They're located at 7530 NE Glisan Street. The phone number is (503) 255-3022. If you can't make it to Portland, Ethel and Rome have an Etsy shop too--woohoo! I hope you enjoyed my little tour of one of my favorite places. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Beautiful Mini Blessings Prizes Plus Shabby Chic Cottage Update

I received Kathi's Beautiful Mini Blessings giveaway prizes late Monday afternoon, and boy, did she spoil me rotten! Not only did she send these amazing beauties (all made by her!),

but she also sent all of these extras! Fabrics, ribbons, lace, a shelf, a hutch, and a bunch of cute dollhouse miniatures! There's a tiny pink flamingo leaning against the hutch--so cute!

And this photo is a close-up on a darling dollhouse book and a bunch of lovely mini magazines. Wow--I'm thrilled! Thank you again, Kathi! I love everything! :-) You all might want to be following Kathi's blog now so you can enter Kathi's next giveaway! ;-) Besides, her blog is really fun!

I'd been doing some work on my new shabby chic cottage in anticipation of receiving Kathi's prizes. I wasn't sure the flocked white Christmas tree would fit in Dad's Dollhouse with its Victorian decor, but I figured the tree would look really nice in a shabby chic environment. So I've done a little bit to the house, which as you may remember, arrived in pieces from Greece.

First, I removed two small areas of wallpaper in the attic:

Wallpaper before

I did some research online and found the suggestion to lay a hot steamy wrung-out cloth on the wallpapered walls before scraping off the loosened wallpaper. It worked, although it took several tries to get the wallpaper and ALL of the glue off. Patience was the key word! :-)

Wallpaper after (no wallpaper--yay!)

After I removed the wallpaper, I gave most of the pieces a first coat of gesso. So that's how I got the pictures of Kathi's prizes above. I removed the wallpaper, I painted the inside walls of the house with gesso, and then I leaned the house walls together long enough to take some photos (!). Next steps will be more painting and then wallpapering--yikes! If anyone has wallpapering tips for me, please do share! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Monday, December 5, 2011

Where Have All the Dollhouses Gone?

I've gotten rid of some of my dollhouses. Bought with hopes for future fun, several of them looked different once I came out of my buyer's fog. ;-) I'd mentioned in a previous post that I was having second thoughts about the first house I bought, the one I called My 1970s Dollhouse:

It was made of old particle board, was heavy, and wasn't to scale. It was more of a child's dollhouse and needed redecorating. I decided to donate it to a charitable organization, along with this one:

It was also a child's play dollhouse. I found it in pieces at a thrift store for $5. Once I got it home, I realized it wasn't the antique dollhouse I had imagined, so I cleaned it and put it together, and took a couple of photos of it in the back of my truck before I hauled it away for donation along with the 1970s dollhouse.

The third dollhouse I want to mention is the one that also was a 1970s dollhouse, but I called it My Shabby Chic Cottage. Again, I had high hopes for this one. It had "good bones." It was a to-scale dollhouse miniature collector's house with siding, hardwood floors, and a beautiful staircase. The problems for me were that it was heavy, it took up a lot of space, and it needed a lot of work (mostly wallpaper removal). I also didn't care for the fact that the rooms were really deep from front to back of the house.

Finally, after hemming and hawing about what to do with it, I decided to sell it. I sold it last weekend to a mom who wanted to work on it with her daughter. I sold it for what I paid for it, but I kept all the furniture and family (also kept all of that from the 1970s dollhouse too!). So, I feel I've come out ahead. The furniture and families are worth more than what I spent on all of the houses, and I know I'll use more of the furniture (besides what I've already used in Dad's Dollhouse) in future projects.

Now I have two dollhouses left. There's Dad's Dollhouse (did you notice the new link at the top of my blog that takes you to a page with ALL of the Dad's Dollhouse posts?), and there's also my new Shabby Chic Cottage, the one I won from Tam toum's giveaway. I like that this house is compact and lightweight. Next post I'll show you some work I've been doing on it. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cute Things #2

I am heartbroken. I was acting as a surrogate mother to Elliot, a precious tabby cat, for the last six or seven weeks. Today he got on a plane to go live with his real mom again in Colorado. I only had a couple of days' notice. I've been crying off and on for the last three days.

Innocent one

You see, his mom left him with her ex-boyfriend a couple of months ago, and Elliot adopted me. He showed up at my back door howling pitifully. Soon he was sleeping on my sofa with his head resting on my lap. He came every morning at 6 or 7 am. He was always on my back step, waiting for me. He stayed all day every day until my husband put him outside for the night.

Sending me a kitty kiss

We both fell for him. He had food, water, and shelter at the other house, but at our house he had attention and love. When his mom was ready to be responsible for him again, she sent for him. That was it. Now he's gone. Will he be happy there? Will I ever get over him?

Cat and mouse

Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Monday, November 28, 2011

Surprises From Klara!

I received a fun surprise in the mail from Klara Meijer on Saturday. Look at how cute these minis are:

Klara sells these adorable miniature accessories to support her daughter's missionary work in Brazil. If you look at this post on Klara's blog, you can see all of the miniature accessories on offer. If you are interested in purchasing some of these goodies, you can contact Klara directly.

Thank you, Klara, for your sweet gifts. I love them!

Don't forget the Big Miniatures Giveaway I am hosting! Go to the giveaway post to enter, if you haven't already. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Friday, November 25, 2011

Reminder: Big Miniatures Giveaway!

12/14/11 update: Enter the Big Miniatures Giveaway on the original post. Giveaway closes January 1, 2012. Good luck!

For those who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a good day. Hubby and I went non-traditional yesterday by fixing a big pot of homemade lentil vegetable stew. We had Brussels sprouts on the side (one of my favorites)! :-)

If you haven't heard yet, I'm having a miniatures giveaway that I'm calling the Big Miniatures Giveaway! I was announcing the final winners of my previous giveaway when I announced this new one. Since this could be confusing, I thought I'd give you a link to the Big Miniatures Giveaway again here. Everyone is welcome to join through the last day, Sunday, January 1, 2012. I'll draw and announce the winner on Monday, Jauuary 2, 2012. Here's the url: too (just in case!). Just go to one of the above links to enter the giveaway. :-)

Today I'm making some minis (secret ones!) and trying to avoid the holiday shopping craziness by staying home. Hope you are having fun, whatever you're doing. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Two New Winners (Cute Kawaii Giveaway)!

I did not hear back from either winner in the Cute Kawaii Giveaway, even after multiple attempts to reach them. As they say, "You snooze, you lose!" ;-) So I did a re-draw just now! This time there were 50 qualified entries for the giveaway (because we lost two and gained one whose membership I could not confirm before). I numbered them in chronological order from first entry to last entry. Then I used the random number generator to pick two winners. Drumroll, please!

Prize #1 goes to: Flor of Flor and FF

Prize #2 goes to: Caroline of Shop Cinderella Moments

Congratulations to the two lucky winners! Please email me your mailing addresses by end of day Thursday, 11/24/11 to claim your prizes. My email is pdxjbear (at) Thank you all for your patience with this giveaway. Don't forget that you can still enter my Big Miniatures Giveaway. If you haven't seen it, please take a look! :-) Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Monday, November 21, 2011

Big Miniatures Giveaway!

1/2/12 Update: The giveaway is now closed. There is a winner! See who won here.

OK, you know I love giveaways, and we're finally here! It's time for the Big Miniatures Giveaway I promised! My intention with these gifts is for you to feel pampered. And the scene should be romantic. First, how about some miniature blueberry cheesecake for two:

Miniature blueberry cheesecake by Sue's Little Things

Next, how about some 1:12 scale sexy silk lingerie:

Miniature silk corset made by me from a Dragonfly International kit

And finally, here's a beautiful hat, so after you've eaten your cheesecake and put on your silk lingerie, you put on your haute couture hat and clothes and face the world feeling like a million bucks:

1:12 Victorian ladies hat by Kat the Hat Lady

What do you think? Do you feel pampered? Is it romantic? :-)

This giveaway ends on Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 12 midnight U.S. Pacific time. I will pick a winner (using a random number picker) on Monday, January 2, 2012 and will announce the winner that day. I must hear back from the winner by the end of Wednesday, January 4, 2012. If I don't, I will pick another winner (using a random number picker). This giveaway is open to anyone (who meets the below criteria) in the world. The postage is on me

To enter this giveaway, you must do three things:

1) Be a follower / member (or become one now) 
of this blog using Google Friend Connect (on my right-hand sidebar). 
2) Leave a nice comment on this post.
3) Publish my giveaway on your blog (if you have a blog).

If you have any questions on how to do any of the above, email me at pdxjbear (at) I would be happy to help! Here's a picture to post on your blog's sidebar:

It's that simple! Good luck to everyone! I am so grateful to all of my Plushpussycat friends. Your presence makes blogging so worthwhile, not to mention FUN! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Won Beautiful Mini Blessings' Giveaway!

I know what you're thinking: "Jennifer won ANOTHER giveaway?!" I can hardly believe it myself! :-) Look what Kathi at Beautiful Mini Blessings made:

I WON IT! Wow! I am thrilled. Winning this prize will push me to do some work on the sweet cottage I won from Tam toum. It's going to be the shabby chic cottage of my dreams, and Kathi's prizes will go perfectly in there! I'm going over to the craft store now to get the needed supplies. :-)

Tomorrow morning I'm announcing my Big Miniatures Giveaway. I can't wait to show you the prizes and can't wait to give them to the winner! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cute Kawaii Giveaway Winners!

Today is the big day! It is time to announce the winners of the giveaway. Because there were so many of you who responded to this giveaway, I have decided to open another cute kawaii giveaway in a few days, just after I open the Big Miniatures Giveaway. So stay tuned here for another chance to win some super-cute kawaii gifts.

Now it is time to announce the winners of THIS giveaway! There were 51 qualified entries for this giveaway. I numbered them in chronological order from first entry to last entry. Then I used a random number generator to pick two winners. Drumroll, please! Two prizes, two winners!

Prize #1

And the first prize goes to: msluna!

Prize #2

And the second prize goes to: Becca-san!

Congratulations to the two lucky winners! Contact me by Monday, November 21, 2011 at pdxjbear (at) to claim your prizes. A big thank you to everyone who participated in the cute kawaii giveaway. Check back in the next few days for another cute kawaii giveaway. Who knows? You may be the lucky winner next time around! :-) Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cute Things #1

I'm starting a new series here at Plushpussycat. You saw the title: it's called Cute Things. Each time I write a Cute Things post, I'll feature something cute that I own, or that someone made, or that I saw somewhere. You get the idea! It may be a miniature, a plushy, something vintage, or whatever.

For my first post today, I want to share this cute thing I found at a thrift store. I paid at most 25 cents for it. And it's super-cute! :-) It's a 78 rpm phonograph record from 1948, designed for a child. It measures 6 3/4 inches (17 cm) across. On one side of the record is the song "Three Little Kittens":

The second side has the song "Wash Your Hands, Brush Your Teeth":

I adore the vintage-style illustrations and the cute critters! I wish I could listen to it, but I don't have the kind of equipment needed. By the way, the blue gingham fabric in the background of these photos came from The Knittn' Kitten: Portland's Vintage Fabric and Craft Store. I find all kinds of vintage fabrics, ribbons, buttons, beads, and more there. They also have an online shop on Etsy.

So what do you think? Is the record cute? If so, what do you like about it? Did you ever have one (or something like it)? Does it remind you of anything? I want to know! :-) Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer