Saturday, September 22, 2012

Prize and Gifts From Maria of Il Cucchiaino Magico!

Here is the miniature vintage Italian cosmetics poster I won recently, shown in the child's bedroom of Cupcake Cottage. Isn't it adorable? It was made by Mari@ of Il Cucchiaino Magico blog:

Actually, Mari@ sent all of these darling miniatures in a gorgeous pink bag:

She included a book, Language of Flowers by Kate Greenaway, which I had been eyeing forever in Maria's Etsy shop (book shown here on the fireplace mantel of Cupcake Cottage's master bedroom):

She also gave me the gorgeous cookbook, Salumi Italiani. Both books are printed inside. Here's a page from Salumi Italiani for you to see:

Wow! I could hardly believe my eyes when I found the thoughtful gifts, in addition to her giveaway prize, that Mari@ had sent. She told me that everything was made with love. Isn't that so sweet?! 

Thank you so much for your sweetness and thoughtfulness, Mari@! You are a gem, and your gifts are divine! I am nearly ready with some gifts to send back to Mari@. I am working hard, also with love! :-)

Mari@'s blog and shop are both gems too. Her blog tells interesting history about the stories in her books. It also shows many examples of her beautiful work. And as you can see, her books are magnificent pieces of art. I know you'll enjoy a visit to both places!

Keep having fun! xoxo Jennifer

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Met a Blog Friend for Real!

Remember the saying, "Blog friends are real friends"? Last week I got to meet a blog friend in real life, and it was wonderful!!!

You see, Maria of Pretty Things Ireland blog was traveling to San Francisco. Portland is just over 600 miles (1000 km) away from San Francisco and a little shorter than a two-hour airplane flight. Years ago I'd flown to San Francisco for the day to attend a friend's wedding, so why couldn't I do it again?

Maria, her sister, and her daughter 

So that's what I did last Thursday. I flew down and spent five wonderful, fun hours with Maria, her sister, and Maria's daughter. They were all such lovely people, and we had a blast together! Maria is warm and friendly, just as you'd expect. She's a good hugger too! We chatted non-stop and giggled nearly the whole time. :-)

First we went to The Hobby Company of San Francisco for dollhouse miniatures, of course! They had a small but nice selection of dollhouses, miniatures, and diorama supplies. Maria and I both found a few miniatures there. They also had a small but lovely selection of beads, which caught everyone's attention, especially Maria's daughter, who makes gorgeous jewelry.

Next, we ran around like real tourists taking photographs of houses and all of the gorgeous flowers in bloom:

And then we walked to Baker's Beach and sat on the sand next to the Golden Gate Bridge:

Maria and me, Golden Gate Bridge in the background

Finally, we took a long and crowded bus ride, down steep hills through Chinatown, back to where we started, so that I could catch my plane back home. I was very sad to say goodbye to all three of them. They were the loveliest people, so warmhearted and fun. Thank you, Maria and family! It was wonderful spending time with you! Blog friends are so much fun! xoxo Jennifer

Friday, September 14, 2012

Precious Dollhouse Miniature Kitties!

Dad's Dollhouse has a kitty in every room. Cupcake Cottage needed some kitties too. I kept searching, but I couldn't seem to find what I was looking for. They needed to be soft, look like a real kitty, and not break the bank.

Then I found a shop on Etsy and started stalking it. It had just what I wanted: cute, realistic-looking needle-felted kitties, but they were twice the size I needed. That was until two weeks ago when I checked again, and there were two of the cutest dollhouse miniature-size kitties I'd ever seen. Just look for yourself.

What did I tell you? I think they're the cutest kitties ever, but I might be a little bit partial, since they're my fur babies now. ;-)

They were made by artist Judy Johnson of Bay Colony Designs on Etsy. Judy makes several sizes of her needle-felted kitty sculptures. She even makes custom kitties from a photo of your own pet! And she has new dollhouse miniature-size cats in her Etsy shop right now!!!

My suggestion: run to her shop this minute, and get yourself one of these cuties. Don't forget to favorite her shop so you can find it later too. ;-) Keep having fun! xoxo Jennifer

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Natalia's Fine Needlework!

Wow! I sure got lucky when I won the latest giveaway at Natalia's Fine Needlework blog. First I won these two precious miniature needlepoint pillows, which are perfect for Dad's Dollhouse parlor sofa:

The kitty can't wait to get its fur all over Natalia's needlepoint pillows!

I also won this gorgeous fine needlepoint rug, which really completes the scene in Dad's Dollhouse late-Victorian country kitchen:

Uh, oh! The brownies on the plate are starting to fall off the stove!!!

The rug feels so nice to the touch. It is very dense with stitches but doesn't feel stiff. It is so soft and lovely. Natalia, how many hours does it take to make a rug like this? I know I wouldn't have the patience to make something so time consuming and requiring so many stitches, so this prize is a special treat for me.

Whew! Mavis Mouse scurried over just in time to catch the plate with
her tail!

And as if that wasn't enough, I won these other sweet dollhouse miniatures (plus a flocked teddy bear that I had trouble photographing) in the same giveaway:

Natalia had all of these prizes wrapped so beautifully when she sent my package too--that makes it extra special. Thank you for all of these fantastic prizes, Natalia! I recommend that you check out her blog, if you haven't already. Rumor has it that there'll be another giveaway there soon. Who will be the next lucky one? Keep having fun! xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Miniature Treasures From FloraDollhouse on Etsy!

I'm so excited to show you some dollhouse miniatures that I bought from FloraDollhouse on Etsy. Flora acted as a shabby chic decorating consultant for me. I emailed her photos of Cupcake Cottage's bedroom, and she made suggestions on what would work in it. Thank you, Flora! It was a pleasure to work with you!

So, starting with Cupcake Cottage's kitchen, here's a gift Flora gave me: a shabby copy of the book 500 Cupcakes in miniature. How perfect is that for Cupcake Cottage?! Thank you for the lovely gift, Flora!

Next, moving on to the bedroom, I ordered this fab chair in delicate pink with tiny white polka dots that I'd fallen in love with while searching Flora's sold items on Etsy. And to the right of the chair, inside the fireplace, is a pair of shabby floral candlesticks that I just had to have.

I must say that I had a hard time sticking to my (tiny!) dollhouse miniatures budget this last month, because I loved everything in Flora's shop. :-) But somehow I practiced self-control and just bought these few pieces.

Next on the tour, there's this adorable shabby lamp that Flora designed and gave me (isn't she sweet?!), and to the right, on top of Mely's gorgeous bedspread, is a matching pillow (also the same as the pillow on the chair in the previous photo). Flora did such an amazing job of tying the fabric of the pillows and lamp together--I love it!

Here's an overview photo, so you can get more of a big-picture feel of the room:

Finally, back in the kitchen, Gino discovered a pillow from Flora and has made it his personal bed. Looks like the purchases and gifts from Flora have made both of us really happy. :-) Until next time, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Centerpiece of Cupcake Cottage's Kitchen

It's early morning here at Cupcake Cottage. The sun is up, the cupcakes are freshly baked and frosted, and it's going to be a good day. The centerpiece of Cupcake Cottage, the one that sets the tone for the whole room, is this gorgeous kitchen hutch / dresser, made by Vicky Lovejoy of Lovejoy Bears blog. I love this piece, with all of its whimsical charm. Cupcake Cottage wouldn't be the same without it.

Vicky has opened a beautiful Etsy shop, and it's full of pieces lovingly hand made by her, all loaded with that special something that is uniquely hers. It always feels happy. Just take a look at this precious piece:

This little cabinet would be gorgeous in almost any room of your dollhouse. Just try to picture it in the bathroom, the bedroom, the hallway, the kitchen--it would be perfect anywhere!

And to celebrate the opening of her shop, Vicky is hosting a fabulous giveaway on her blog. Look at what you could win:

All I'm saying is, don't miss out on all of this cuteness! Let the happiness rub off on you, and keep having fun! xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Gratitude, Gifts, and Prizes!

You may have seen me write that I have so many things to be grateful for. I really believe that focusing on what you are grateful for increases joy in life. I was once given an exercise to write down five new things each night for which I was grateful.

Finding five things that you're grateful for each day isn't so hard, but five NEW things each day really opened my mind to what I COULD be grateful for. I kept up the practice for nearly a year, and now I see the world differently as a result. Have you ever tried an exercise like that? If so, I'd love to hear about it!

So lately I have another thing to be grateful for: I've been winning a lot of giveaways. The first is this gorgeous fabric (a fat quarter) designed by Carina of Carina's Craftblog. I started following Carina's blog when I started crafting a couple of years ago, but I keep following her blog for the world she shows me. It's not overly perfect (like some of those super-stylized blogs), but it is interesting and often full of gorgeous colors.

This morning I felt inspired to use some of Carina's fabric to make a tablecloth for Cupcake Cottage's kitchen alcove. That's the picture you see at the top of this post. I love how it turned out. Thank you, Carina, for your gorgeous prize and your precious friendship!

The next giveaway prize that I want to tell you about is from Saara of Saaran Nukkekoti  (Saara's Dollhouse) blog. She took a fabulous trip to Rome and then fashioned a giveaway around her trip. I won the grand prize, which included all of these goodies:

The Italian packaged foods are adorable, and I've already added one of the maps to Dad's Dollhouse study. Thank you, Saara! I love the fantastic prizes you sent!

Before I move on, I have to show you one of Saara's handmade cute blog characters. Its name is Mau, and what a cute kitty it is! Saara is so talented, and she makes custom kitties, if anyone is interested. Check out this link on her blog for more fun characters that live in her dollhouse.

Finally, I received some lovely gifts from Birgit of BiWuBaren on the Blog. I could hardly believe what came out of the box Birgit sent. It was like Mary Poppins' carpetbag! First, here are the ready-made gifts:

There are jars of candies, board games, a shabby chic tray, children's books, lemon cupcakes, and even a Fluby bear cake--how cute! Next, Birgit sent some wonderful craft supplies. I already have plans for the ones in the front row, and the rest will keep me busy all winter! Thank you so much, Birgit! Your gifts are so lovely and thoughtful. I am so grateful, too, for your friendship and for your blog, which keeps me laughing.

I am getting behind on my posts. There are more prizes, final photos of Dad's Dollhouse now that it is complete, and updates on Cupcake Cottage's progress. Plus, there are stories to tell and a giveaway to announce. Yikes! I'd better get busy! ;-) Keep having fun! xoxo Jennifer