Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Party!

You're invited to a Halloween party at Cupcake Cottage!

Sophie, all dressed up in her witch costume, has a cup of hot apple cider ready for you.

And who could this ghost be? Oh, it's Flossy the bunny in her costume. Don't worry: costumes are optional, but they do make Halloween parties a lot of fun!

Look at all of the goodies laid out for you, dear guests:

Those sugar cookies and fudge brownies are fresh out of the oven and oh-so-tasty. Can you stay a while?

Boo! Oh, sorry, but I had to get your attention away from the treats. Guess what? In my next post I'll announce a new giveaway for all of you good friends of Plushpussycat. See you soon, OK? Happy Halloween, everyone! :-) xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Preparations at Cupcake Cottage

Flossy and Sophie have, each in her own way, been preparing Cupcake Cottage for Halloween.

Sophie carved a jack-o-lantern from a pumpkin, while Flossy gathered fallen leaves outside to use for festive holiday decorations.

Flossy got so enthused that she even decorated herself with one of the leaves!

The best part is, Flossy can hide behind the apple bowl and sneak chocolate chip cookies and cookie dough undetected! ;-)

Speaking of Halloween, I won this wonderful House of Miniatures desk kit from Victoria of Dark Squirrel's Miniature Asylum blog:

Victoria sent my prize so quickly, wrapped it so beautifully, and included a set of beautiful drippy candles, one of which I used in the scene above. Victoria has gorgeous things in her Etsy shop, including some shabby pumpkins that are amazingly realistic looking! Thank you again, Victoria!

Sophie was very excited about carving a pumpkin after seeing this post at A Small Hearts Desire blog--thanks for the inspiration, Karen! The leaves in the scene above, by the way, are made from real fallen leaves that I ran through a tiny leaf-shaped punch (but don't give away the secret to Flossy, OK?)!

There'll be something fun going on at Cupcake Cottage on Halloween day, so please do pop back here for a visit, won't you? Until then, keep up the Halloween spirit! xoxo Jennifer

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New Bear in Cupcake Cottage!

I showed you Cupcake Cottage's new bunny character in my last post. Thank you to everyone who left a lovely comment for me. I so appreciated your sweet words and great suggestions for a name for the bunny. Now it is time to introduce the new bear character living in the cottage:

I needle-felted her too, and hand-stitched the skirt, just like the bunny. The bear has been busy baking chocolate chip cookies today:

Mmm, they look and smell so yummy, straight from the oven. And our bunny friend is waiting in anticipation. When can she try one?

OK, now you see them both together. Any ideas for the bear's name? From your suggestions on the last post, my two top favorite names are Flossy and Sophie. Flossy comes from the name "Fairy Floss," whose equivalent is "candy floss," or "cotton candy" in the U.S. and Canada. The bunny is very fluffy like cotton candy, so this name "Flossy" is really sweet and apt.

What if the bunny was named Flossy and the bear was named Sophie? These are my favorites so far, unless I hear something I like better from one of you lovely readers. Don't be shy! Tell me what the best names would be, if you have an idea. Thank you in advance. I appreciate your comments and name suggestions so much. Next blog post, it will be time for some Halloween fun! xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, October 20, 2012

New Bunny in Cupcake Cottage!

I'm really excited to introduce the first character I've created for Cupcake Cottage. She's a mini needle-felted bunny with a hand-sewn skirt. I don't have a name for her yet. Do any of you have any name suggestions?

She's a little shy at first.

I took a needle-felting class a couple of months ago and enjoyed it. I'm really excited that with new characters like this bunny, I'll be able to do more photo stories, and now greeting cards, with Cupcake Cottage as the backdrop.

Ah! Here she is!

Have you noticed another change in Cupcake Cottage besides the new bunny? Look what I found: the perfect work table for the kitchen. Just like the hutch, it was made by Vicky Lovejoy of Lovejoy Bears on Etsy. I feel like it pulls the whole kitchen together. Vicky sent these lovely gifts along with my purchase too: the gorgeous cake stand, cupcake book, and pink polka-dot heart that's hanging from the drawer pull. How thoughtful and generous--thank you again, Vicky!

Thanks for taking a look at my latest. I really appreciate your thoughtful comments. I'll have more to show you very soon! Until then, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dollar Store Halloween Fun! Plus Challenge

After seeing some of the things that fellow miniaturists have been finding at the Dollar Store, I've been stalking my local shops. See what I found here? A package of drinking straws with four jack-o-lanterns per straw! My husband used a hacksaw to separate the four pumpkins from one another. Each pumpkin is approximately 5/8 inch (1.5 cm) tall.

Pretty nice potential here for dollhouse miniature Halloween scenes, wouldn't you say?

Now onto the challenge: Ninni from Finland at Nipsun Nopotykset blog challenged me to answer some interview-type questions here on my blog. So here goes:

1. How and when did you start your miniature hobby?

I originally started my miniature hobby when my Dad built me my first dollhouse at around age 9 or 10. Several decades went by, when I'd almost forgotten about my interest in miniatures, but I saved my dollhouse. Fast forward to a couple of years ago when I made some plushies with the idea of selling them. As I was starting to photograph them, I thought of my miniatures collection and pulled some out to use as props in my photos. I started this blog, miniaturists found it, and my interest in the hobby was re-ignited. I turned some of my plushy photographs into greeting cards, and now I have a business selling them in local shops.

2. What would you want to do in miniature size?

I like to create miniature dioramas and scenes using my own playful handmade plush characters, recycled and repurposed materials, and dollhouse miniatures. I take photos of these scenes, and some of them become greeting cards. The type of scenes I create are whimsical with touches of shabby chic and vintage styles. I intend to create more scenes along these lines.

3. What kind of miniatures interest you the most?

I love sweet, cute, whimsical, and romantic-style miniatures the most. I love to purchase miniatures from individual artists who create in these styles. Examples include Lovejoy BearsCuteinMiniature, and FloraDollhouse.

I also enjoy repurposing found objects and "shabbifying" old dollhouse furniture. Recycling is fun!

4. Mention five things you like.
  1. Positive people.
  2. Having fun!
  3. Animals.
  4. Needle felting, sewing by hand, and making miniatures.
  5. Photographing miniature scenes and blogging.
5. Mention five things that you don't like.
  1. Drama and negativity.
  2. Mainstream media.
  3. Cruelty and bullying.
  4. Politics.
  5. Social networking.
6. What is your biggest dream?

I just take one day at a time and see where it leads me.

7. Tell about some tradition you have in your home place/country.

In Portland, people spend a lot of time in bookstores and coffee shops during our rainy, dark winters. I love exploring bookstores and libraries.

8. If you could choose any place you wanted in the world, where would you want to live?

I like living in Portland, Oregon. It is green and beautiful, progressive and fun!

9. In which countries have you been? And which did you like the most? 

I spent a few years in SE Asia and have been to Mexico and Canada. My favorite place was the island of Bali in Indonesia. It was a tropical paradise with lovely people and an interesting culture.

10.Tell something interesting about Finland? OR What do you know about Finland?

Finland is known for its natural beauty and its peace-loving citizens. It's renowned for being a wonderful place to live!

Thank you for the fun challenge, Ninni! OK, that's it for me today. I'll have something fun to show you this weekend! xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Guinea Pig Love

I didn't realize that when I bought Gino the dollhouse miniature guinea pig from LugArtPetit that I would fall in love with guinea pigs so much. Gino is a real sweetheart:

And so is my little Rufus:

I just got Rufus a couple of weeks ago. He is a year old and the most adorable thing. He trills when he hears the rustling of plastic bags (he thinks it's time for food!). He runs around the huge, luxurious cage my husband built for him. He curls up and sleeps in his little hut and hides in his tunnel. He takes carrots from our hands too!

His pen / cage is near our dining room table, so we can watch his antics while we eat. We laugh and smile so much while we eat together. A big thank you goes to Ines of Liliput Things blog, who answered many questions about guinea pigs before I got him. He's keeping me busy these days, but not too busy, which is good.

I couldn't resist his sweet face!

You see, I've been trying to carve out more time in my schedule for creating. So far, I think Rufus is a little inspiration for me. I hope to show you some new creations soon! xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sweet Prizes From Ana of Mi Mundo en Rosa Blog

I remember feeling both shock and overwhelming gratitude when I won the recent giveaway from Ana of Mi mundo en rosa blog. I adore her handmade shabby chic dollhouse miniatures, and her prizes were absolutely perfect for Cupcake Cottage.

It's the detail in her work that makes it just so precious. I adore the itty bitty bowl of cupcake frosting with the tiny wooden spoon, the one unfrosted cupcake, and the colorful cupcake cookbooks (Ana sent an extra one as a gift--how thoughtful!). Both the picture frame and the hanging picture (which is covered with so many tiny flowers!) are so sweet--I can hardly wait to place them in Cupcake Cottage!

The cookies look amazingly realistic, and the hanging ornament for the drawer pull is so tiny that it's hard to believe! Really, I adore everything in Ana's Etsy shop, Mundorosa, and everything she sent. Thank you so much, Ana!

Speaking of giveaways, some of you may have noticed that I haven't joined as many as before. I've been really looking at what I can use for my projects and joining giveaways based on my project needs. Many of you can relate to having more ideas and miniatures than you can really use. Between giveaways, swaps, dollhouse shops, and miniatures fairs, it is very easy to accumulate a large number of miniatures!

I never want to offend anyone by not joining their giveaways, but I let those who can really use the prizes join, and I stay out of the giveaways if I know the prizes won't fit with my decor or current or upcoming project ideas. I love all of the sweet prizes up for offer, but I can't fit them all in my house! ;-) Thanks for letting me get that off my chest! :-) Until next time, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dollhouse Miniature Purchases and Gifts in San Francisco

Hi Everyone! You remember my recent trip to San Francisco to see Maria of Pretty Things Ireland blog? I showed you some snapshots from our wonderful time together. Now I'll show what I bought and the precious gifts I received from Maria. First, I bought one of these items at The Hobby Company of San Francisco. Can you guess which item I bought there?

If you guessed the miniature chocolate pudding in the parfait glass, you were right! Here's everything I bought that day. The mass on the left is a pile of rubber black bats, just in time for Halloween. The beads on the right are for making miniature cake stands. I didn't buy much, did I?

On the other hand, Maria gave me so many precious gifts that I think my bag was bulkier than when I left my house that morning loaded with food for my trip! First, Maria had Irish chocolate for me:

I have a bunch of food allergies, and I really shouldn't have, but I ended up eating a lot of this chocolate and sharing just a little with friends. So naughty of me, but it was so good! Really yummy chocolate, Maria! Thank you very much! ;-)

Next, Maria gave me a gorgeous special Irish handmade glass guardian angel in a beautiful fabric-lined box. I'll treasure it always, Maria! Thank you again for your sweetness!

Finally, Maria made me so many beautiful dollhouse miniatures. Not only these,

but these too:

I was and am so overwhelmed with Maria's sweetness, thoughtfulness, and generosity. Now I'll have all of these treasures (minus the yummy chocolate!) to remind me of our special day together in San Francisco. I hope I have the chance to meet many more of you, my dear blog friends, in the future. If you're half as nice as Maria, we'll have a sweet time together. :-) Until then, keep having fun! xoxo Jennifer