Monday, August 29, 2011

I Changed My Mind

I changed my mind about the 1970s dollhouse. Remember, that's the first one I bought recently, for $30, including a bunch of furniture and a family? I've decided that old 1970s particle board isn't my favorite, and the fact that it is not to scale is not my favorite either.

What do you think? This one...?
I got some nice pieces of furniture with the house that I'm now using in my Dad's Dollhouse, including a grandfather clock, a rolltop desk, a full-length mirror, a gold fireplace set, and an old-style wall telephone. I also got some other lovely furniture plus a dollhouse family circa 1978. The other great thing is that the house has roof shingles that will work perfectly on the bare spots of my newer shabby chic dollhouse (the one with the siding, hardwood floors, and stairway).

So, sorry old house, but once I get all the shingles I need from you, it's off to a charity for you! :-( It makes me feel bad, but over the last few weeks, I haven't felt inspired to work on the 1970s house. What keeps coming up for me is the phrase, "You can't make a purse from a sow's ear." Meaning, if I put a lot of work into it, it still won't look that great anyway--it's never going to amount to anything.

I've never liked old-style particle board, not since I bought a six-foot by 4 foot shelf kit that was made from it. It was pretty funny, really! It was for my first apartment after completing school. I didn't realize how heavy particle board was until I had to try to get the box of six-foot pieces into my second-floor apartment. I had to move the box end-over end up the stairs, because I could not lift it! And once the kit was finished, if the shelf had fallen on someone, that definitely would have been the end for them--yikes!

Of course, the house is not built to scale either! The doors and windows would always be too big, and I could never buy things to fit them....

...or this one?
So, I'm feeling a little guilty about using the 1970s dollhouse for its parts before giving it away, but I do feel really excited about moving forward on my shabby chic dollhouse. Dad's Dollhouse is almost finished, so soon I'll be able to start work on the shabby chic house with the teashop and probably ladies hat shop on the lower level. Woohoo! I can't wait to begin! :-) Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Friday, August 26, 2011

One of Top Five in Carmen's Giveaway!

Wow! Carmen at Mi Pequena Evasion held a really special giveaway almost two weeks ago. She gave a prize to each of her top five commenters, and I was one of them! I got a note from Carmen to head over to her blog. When I got there, I had the opportunity to pick my favorite of the remaining prizes. Luckily, I got my favorite of all the prizes--woohoo! Carmen put my prize in the mail Tuesday, and by Monday I received it--all the way from Spain!

Look what cute things she made:

I love the shawl, purse, and sandals so much!

And aren't the books cute? I was supposed to receive only the small book, but then Carmen sent two more. The books open and have color pictures and writing inside. The inhabitants of my dollhouses must be very cosmopolitan, because apparently they read Italian! lol

Carmen still has a prize or two left for her blog's existing followers and new followers. If you want a chance, you need to leave a comment on her blog here. Thank you, Carmen, for such a lovely giveaway! You are very talented and very generous with your gifts! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gifts of Caterina's Holiday Swap 2011

Caterina just published all of the photos from the Holiday Swap 2011. Now I can show you what I made and sent AND what I received--yay!

I was a little nervous about making minis for the swap, since I'd never made any before, but I decided that challenging myself with this swap would be a good idea. I was right, because it helped me to overcome my fear and just do it.

Most of my supplies came from thrift stores, which is how I prefer to buy things. When I can, I buy used and vintage, to save the earth's resources. I also considered my partner, Stacy from Texas, and what I thought she might like. So I tried to learn about her from her blog.

Here's what I ended up making:

They are items for a little visit to the beach. There's a bamboo roll-up mat, a beach towel, a red polka-dot bikini, flipflops, a beach bag, a sun hat, and a book to read while wearing the bikini. The book is called How to Lose Weight, and it is vintage from the 1970s, from the second dollhouse I recently bought. I also included a couple of tiny shells from my great-grandmother's beads. They are at least 25 years old, and probably older.

Now here are the gifts I received from my partner Erika in Italy:

She made a platter of stuffed tomatoes and a second platter of sliced watermelon with a cut watermelon bowl filled with colorful melon balls. How cute! Erika also included a beautiful hand-written note in Italian with a recipe for making her homemade stuffed tomatoes. How thoughtful! Thank you again, Erika! A big thanks, too, to my friend Savina. Her family is originally from Italy, and she visited my home and translated Erika's letter for me.

I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the swap and will look for other opportunities to participate in miniature swaps in the future. I received so many different "gifts" as a result of the swap that I feel it was a big success all around! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dad's Dollhouse Study--An Update

Dad's Dollhouse is almost finished--woohoo! You heard me right--I am getting close to finishing the refurbishing of Dad's Dollhouse. I showed you recent pictures of my dollhouse's sewing room. Now here are some pictures of the room right next door--the study. Notice how I moved the lamp that I didn't like in the sewing room into the study. I like it better here, but I'm still not sure:

The chair is my first miniature, bought somewhere between age 8 and age 10 for $4.20, if I remember correctly. It is a spring rocking chair and is covered in the softest velvet ever. I originally bought it for my dollhouse's livingroom, but it doesn't work well there, so it is here. I wanted to be sure to include it, since it was my first miniature bought for this house (on a sweet outing with my mother).

I fell in love with this mini metal typewriter at a shop in Vancouver, Washington. I guess when I was younger it was a little fantasy of mine to be a writer, so this study with its typewriter fulfills that fantasy for me. I also love a comfortable place to read a book, and between the soft chair and the bookshelf full of books, my needs are well covered.

Now that I'm seeing these photos, however, I see a couple of things that are missing. First, I need to fill the nooks in the desk as I find appropriate items, such as a fountain pen and an ink bottle. Second, there definitely needs to be a cat sleeping on the chair. How could I forget something so obvious?! I love having a cat on my lap while I read. :-)

Of course I love getting mail, especially foreign mail. I had pen pals from several different countries, both as a child and as a young adult. Now with all of the friends around the world who share my interests in miniatures, plushies, and cute things in general, my needs in this area have been completely fulfilled. :-)

Speaking of foreign mail, a few minutes ago I received a lovely package from Carmen in Spain! I won a prize in her giveaway just last week, and now here it is! I will write about her lovely gifts in my next blog post. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Favorite Mouse Plushy Photos

Yesterday, my mouse plushy was featured in an Etsy treasury called I love everything mouse. It got me thinking about a couple of things. First, I had wanted to take some new photos of my greeting cards for my Etsy shop. The original ones I took weren't very effective for viewing in Etsy treasuries, and since they hadn't been put in any treasuries, not many people had been exposed to the cards. To make a long story short, I took new photos of my cards, put new listings in my Etsy shop, and * reduced the price * on the cards while I was at it. You see, I added a new card to my line:

And I ordered a batch of these cards while Moo was having a sale. Then I added a coupon onto the sale price, so I got this order of cards at a really good price. So I'm passing my savings onto anyone who buys any of my cards. Yay!

The second thing I was thinking about was that there are some really cute pictures of my mouse plushy, and Friday is a great day for cuteness, so here are my favorites:

This last photo is on the front of two of the cards in my shop. One is a birthday card, and one is blank inside. These mouse photos are some of my very favorites, so I offer them for your viewing pleasure, my dear readers. Have a great weekend! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cute Vintage Plush Critter Finds

As many of you know, I love going to thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets to search for craft supplies, dollhouse miniatures, and fun vintage items. Yesterday I went to my favorite all-purpose thrift store, and look what I found:

It's a cute little plush house with matching plush furniture and a bear family to go with it! I just love the blue and white gingham! The bears look very kawaii (Japanese for cute), don't you think?

Then, a few weeks back, I found this vintage Fisher-Price Toys 1979 squirrel family with an adorable plush log to live in. It even came with the "wood" chair (but not the table, which I found later). What a find! Are they the cutest ever?

"Who are these for?" you might ask. "Are they for a child in your life?" Why yes, they are for my inner child, the little girl inside of me. She squeals with delight when I find these treats. Now I keep them in my craft room, where I can see them and be inspired by them. I hope seeing them does the same for you, my friends. :-) Fun! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Monday, August 15, 2011

Gifts from Drora Plus Sewing Room Update

I never cease to be amazed at the kindness and friendliness of the miniaturists I have met online. It is something I am most grateful for!

Recently, I commented on a lovely sewing basket that Drora had made and then featured on her blog, Drora's minimundo. Soon after I left my comment, Drora sent me a message that she had a second one and would mail it to me. I was so touched! The postal delivery took longer than either of us expected, but that just increased my anticipation, as I looked for the postal delivery worker every day. Finally the package arrived, and I was actually moved to tears at Drora's thoughtfulness.

Not only had Drora sent a sewing basket, but she had also included these beautiful items: two teapots for the hat shop/teashop that I am planning for my newest dollhouse; a Chinese vase with beautiful yellow flowers; and a seashell collage made from precious tiny seashells from the Sea of Galilee.

As if these were not magnificent gifts all on their own, here is Drora's masterpiece, the miniature sewing basket that I had originally commented on:

It is full of tiny spools of thread, a pair of gold scissors, tiny button cards, and mini lace. Isn't it amazing?! Thank you, Drora! You are so very kind and so very talented! I am lucky to count you as a friend. :-)

OK, now that we are in my dollhouse sewing room (in Dad's Dollhouse), I thought I would give a little update on it. Here's where it is today:

Now that I'm looking at this photograph more closely, I see two things I want to change. First, I need to change the lamp to something more feminine and Victorian. I plan to make some lamps and chandeliers from beads and jewelry findings in the very near future.

Second, I just made the chair shown in the above photograph from a Chrysnbon kit. I changed the fabric from what looked like a cheap black polyester blend to a piece of burgundy-colored cotton velvet. I'm not, however, happy with the stain that came with the kit. I want to re-do the color with a mahogany finish to coordinate with the sewing machine table. Another project! :-)

Now, here's a close-up on a little scene in the sewing room:

The cat is absorbed in his own reflection in the full-length mirror. He is so absorbed that he doesn't even notice the mouse right under his nose! Next time you see my mini sewing room, it may be all torn apart as a result of the cat chasing the mouse! ;-) Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Banana Slug Plushy is a Calendar Girl!

My banana slug plushy was recruited for a photo on a major calendar. Since then, she's been dressing like a cover girl. See her here with all of her glamorous makeup, wearing a chic sheer red mini-dress. Maybe fame has gone to her head, like it did for Tomcat plushy?

Actually, The New Fat, a creative graphic design agency in Nottingham, UK, discovered my banana slug plushy while searching for their next calendar girl. Banana slug is featured as Miss August, and I guess it is more of a centerfold, because she is totally nude!

Seriously, see what great work they did with her photo?

A big thank-you to Suze Moore and everyone else involved at The New Fat! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Love Letter

Sent by Bert....

...and treasured by Bella.

If this is your first time on my blog, you may not know that the story of Bella the bride bunny and Bert bunny started a while back. You can see previous episodes of this story (and other miniature vignettes I've done) here. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer