Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cleaning the (Doll)house

Today is house cleaning day. Before Sophie moves into her new home, it needs to be cleaned from top to bottom. Fortunately, Flossy the bunny came over to help Sophie with the cleaning. There's dusting and scrubbing...

...and there's sweeping and hauling.

Ah! It's finally time for a break! There's homemade cherry pie with hot tea.

Mmm, yummy!

The cherry pie and the tea kettle on the stove were precious gifts from MelyMel of MelyMel Piccoli Sogni blog. Thank you again, Mely!

There's still time to enter the Valentine's Day giveaway! Until next time, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, January 26, 2013

New Dollhouse! A Mini Dream Come True

Remember how excited Sophie was about her new dollhouse kit? Well, she's ecstatic now, because she has a whole new house instead!!!

Sophie finally has her own home. Can you see how happy she is?!

When I was online recently, I happened upon a dollhouse for sale. It looked a lot like the kit I was going to build, but it already had real siding, working glass windows and doors, stairways, wallpaper, hardwood floors--the works! The dollhouse, made from a Celerity Lady Emily dollhouse kit, included a house full of furniture too! The whole lot only cost a little bit more than the dollhouse kit I received for Christmas, which was already very reasonable. Wow! Something I could afford, and it was already pre-built--woohoo!

Front view of Celerity Lady Emily dollhouse.

I know not all of you are like me in this way, but shingling a roof sounds like drudgery when all I want to do is start decorating and setting up my mini scenes and stories! So this house sounded perfect to me. Then when I saw the house, I was floored, because it was decorated so beautifully. The builder had wonderful taste in wallpaper and paint colors and had added gorgeous hardwood floors, wainscoting, trim, and doors.

Back view of Celerity Lady Emily dollhouse.

Not only that, the furniture was in impeccable condition, and there were tons of cute accessories too. That first evening, after I got the house home, I could hardly sleep I was so thrilled! Acquiring this house is a dream come true for me.

Here's the first half of the furniture and accessories...

So what happened to the dollhouse kit that hubby gave me? I still had time to return it to Home Depot, but my friend Sheri wanted to buy the kit from me, so I sold it to her instead of returning it, and everyone was happy!

...and here's the second half of the furniture and accessories.

I'll show you more about this new house in future posts. I'll be decorating it for a while, no doubt. In the meantime, there will be stories in Sophie's new house with updates as I go along.

Sophie finally has her own bed! Looks like she'll share it with Luna too!

If you'd like to join my Valentine's Day giveaway, you can leave a comment on that post. I hope you all are having an awesome weekend and that you have a fun week ahead. May all of your mini dreams come true! xoxo Jennifer

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tickled Pink!

Flossy and Sophie are both tickled pink! They've received some amazing gifts from two of the loveliest people ever. First, look what Carmen of mi pequena evasion blog sent:

Carmen is so talented and generous!

Cupcake Cottage now has a whole new set of gorgeous shabby chic dishes, a beautiful tin biscuit box, a darling shabby spider plant growing in a tin can, and so much more. Carmen gave prizes to her top five blog commenters recently. Her prizes were so thoughtful and perfect for Cupcake Cottage. Thank you sooooooo much, Carmen! I love everything you sent. It is a pleasure to leave comments on your fun blog.

Next, look what happened when I made purchases from Magda at 1717mk on Etsy. First, I bought this sweet red tea kettle, and look at how it arrived from Poland, wrapped up like a tiny masterpiece:

What a treat to receive this specially-wrapped purchase!

And here is the same darling teapot in Cupcake Cottage:

Chocolate chip cookies and Magda's darling red tea kettle.

Then I saw Magda's new line of needle-felted miniature furniture, and I just had to have a small hand-painted pink stool that she made. This is how the stool arrived:

Magda's amazing miniature diorama!

Can you believe it?! She made me this gorgeous diorama with the stool, and she even included one of her darling signature miniature teddy bears! Notice the curtained window behind the bear. Wow!!!!! Her little bear is settling in in Cupcake Cottage's bedroom now:

Look at that cute face!

Thank you soooooooo much, Magda! There are no words for the gratitude I feel. Magda's blog has more incredible photos of her work. Don't miss it!

Darling cookies and cupcakes from Sweet Petite Shoppe.

Last, but not least, I'd like to introduce you to a fun new blog. Catherine of Sweet Petite Shoppe on Etsy has a new blog showcasing her darling miniature needle-felted animals and tasty sweet treats. If you have a chance, please visit her blog and give her a big blogland welcome. You won't be disappointed in her gorgeous creations.

Next post I'll tell you some amazing dollhouse news. Yes, it has all changed again, and that's why Sophie the bear is nowhere to be seen. I can't wait to share the news with you. xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Valentine's Day Giveaway!

2/15/13 update: This giveaway is now closed. The winners will be announced tomorrow. Thanks!

Hello everyone! Valentine's Day is all about letting other people know that you love them, so it is a perfect way for me to tell all of you how much I appreciate your visits and sweet comments. Plushpussycat blog has nearly 800 followers, and the day I announce the giveaway winner will be exactly two years to the day since I wrote my first blog post. So we're celebrating 800+ followers AND Plushpussycat's 2nd blog anniversary!

Cupcakes by Cherrydot on Etsy

There are two prizes for this Valentine's Day giveaway. Everything you see in the photos is included, aside from the backgrounds.

Cupcakes by Cherrydot on Etsy

This giveaway ends Thursday, February 14, 2013 at midnight Pacific Daylight Savings Time, and I'll announce the winners on Saturday, February 16, 2013. I'll pick the two winners from the pool of qualified entries. I must hear back from the winners by end of day Friday, February 22, 2013. If I don't, I'll pick (an)other winner(s). This giveaway is open to anyone anywhere who meets the below criteria. The postage will be paid by me.

Giveaway requirements:

1) Be a follower / member of this blog (or become one now) using Google Friend Connect (on my top right-hand sidebar). (Required)
2) Leave a comment on this post. (Required)
3) I would love it if you added a link on your blog with my giveaway photo, but you do not need to do this to enter. For help in how to post a giveaway photo on your blog's sidebar, there are instructions here.

Thank you to all of the friends of Plushpussycat, and good luck in the draw! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dollhouse News Plus Three Special Bloggers

Here's the dollhouse news I mentioned a couple of posts ago: First, I sold a dollhouse kit to my friend Baby Cat. She's an architecture student who crochets (among many crafty skills) amazing things with her mom, Momma Cat, on Laughing Cat Creative Enterprises blog. She seems really excited about putting together the dollhouse kit, a Greenleaf Storybook Cottage, and is planning her paint colors now.

Sophie is excited about her new house!

It was a good thing that I sold that dollhouse, because I received two surprise dollhouses for Christmas. The first one was one of those Quickbuild Imagination House dollhouses that were sold in the U.S. at Home Depot during the holiday season. It's a simplified version of the Vermont Farmhouse, Jr. by Real Good Toys. It's going to be fun, because I'll be able to get to the decorating phase quickly! My husband gave it to me and promised to help me build it--yay! Sophie the bear is going to have her own house soon!

Cute dollhouse at a good price!

The other surprise dollhouse was an extra-large 1960's tin dollhouse given to me by my father. Yes, the "Dad" of "Dad's Dollhouse" found me a gorgeous vintage dollhouse! I was very touched by his thoughtfulness. Mavis mouse has inspected the tin dollhouse kitchen and says it's a keeper:

Mavis mouse likes the red gingham curtains!

Now, I'd like to acknowledge three more special bloggers. In my last post, I held a giveaway for six prizes for some of this blog's top commenting followers. After the giveaway, when I was looking at my followers from the earliest days, I noticed three special bloggers who have been here from almost the very beginning who still leave very frequent comments, even to this day! Those three special bloggers, who did not win the recent giveaway, are Anna, Drora, and Carmen. I'm sending them each a special prize too, just to say "thank you."

Thank you to all of you who visit my blog, leave comments, and provide moral support. Each of your contributions is special to me, and I'm really grateful to all of you. On Saturday I'll announce my big giveaway. It's celebration time! Until then, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dollhouse Miniature Gifts and Giveaways!

There's so much to tell you--let's get started! Be sure and read this whole post--you don't want to miss the giveaway news! :-)

Remember Julia's fantastic tip on how to miniaturize an image? She generously gave me a copy of her Cath Kidston party set, and I miniaturized it and printed some more pieces from the set, including these darling party hats, fun blue polka dot carton, the washi tape holder, and this festive multi-colored bunting.

The Japanese washi tapes were made by asukasakumo on Etsy.

There are so many more pieces in this party set. And there are several party sets to choose from--all super-cute! You can get your own party set in Julia's Etsy shop. Thank you again for your lovely gift, Julia!

Speaking of gifts, I received several surprise Christmas gifts in the mail over the last few weeks. I already showed you Drora's wonderful gifts. Next, I received a gorgeous surprise from maribel of MINIATURAS ISABEL blog:

The nightgown, panties, and slippers are so adorable, and they look perfect in Cupcake Cottage. Thank you so much, maribel! Your gifts were so thoughtful.

Next, I received another surprise package from Maria of Pretty Things Ireland blog. Her gifts to me in San Francisco were already more than enough :-)--then she sent me more cute things:

In this close-up photo, you can see a couple of darling pieces of blue cheese that Maria made for the mice in Dad's Dollhouse:

They're so sweet! Look for the blue cheese in a future story with the mice. Thank you so much, Maria. Your gifts are all so precious, as is your friendship.

Now, on to giveaway news. There are two giveaways I want to tell you about. The first one is right now. You know how much I love comments. Your comments mean so much to me, and blogging wouldn't be nearly as fun without them. So, in order to thank my "super" commenters, I came up with a giveaway plan. I decided that those readers who left comments on at least three of my last four blog posts would be eligible for this giveaway. Here's the list:

1. Susanna Zanchi
2. Kikka
3. Wyrna Christensen
4. The Old Maid
5. Drora's minimundo
6. Mieke
7. Maria Ireland
8. Candy
9. Beverly
10. BiWuBar
11. Vicky Lovejoy
12. Lucille
13. Melli's Hobby
14. MelyMel
15. Victoria Stitch
16. Ilona
17. Fi.P
18. Giac
19. Ascension
20. maribel
21. BeBe Cherie
23. PAKY
24. Jacqueline

These are some of the super followers who leave comments very, very often on my blog. Let's give them a round of applause. Thank you very, very much for your dedicated commenting! There are some who are missing, perhaps because they were busy over the holidays or were caring for loved ones. I appreciate all of you so much too. And I appreciate everyone who leaves even one sweet comment. Thank you one and all!

For this giveaway, the 24 people on the above list qualify, and there are six prizes:

Prizes #1 and #6 were made by Jill T at Halfpint Miniatures on Etsy, and prize #4 was made by Catherine Parsons of SweetPetite Shoppe on Etsy. I ran the draw on, and here are the winners, in this order:

1. MelyMel (#14)
2. Mieke (#6)
3. The Old Maid (#4)
4. Ascension (#19)
5. MALINIK (#22)
6. Beverly (#9)

Congratulations to the lucky winners! Please email me your mailing addresses, so I can send you your prizes!

OK, one giveaway is over, and another one begins right here on Plushpussycat in one week's time. Be sure to stop by to see the prizes and learn why we are celebrating. All followers of this blog (including those who join now!) are eligible for next week's giveaway--yay!!! Until next time, keep having fun! xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, January 5, 2013

How to Miniaturize an Image

I'm really struck today by how much we learn from and are inspired by others through blogging. On Thursday, I was reading Julia's most recent post on Postreadiccion blog, when I saw that she had posted a free printie: a Cath Kidston-style washi tape holder. I left a comment that my dollhouse needed one of these darling tape holders too and could Julia help me?

It's chocolate chip cookie time!

A little while later, Julia emailed me with the full-size file and a 1:12 scale version of the printie and told me it was really easy to resize an image in MS Word. Not only did I print out the miniaturized version of her printie, I followed her instructions carefully and miniaturized a bunch of images! Wow! It opened up a whole new world to me!

Cath Kidston-style washi tape holder!

In case you're interested in trying this at home, here are Julia's instructions for making a miniature image:

"If you want to change the size, just open the file in Word, click on the image and then push the right button of the mouse and click in "Size" and just change it, it's very easy."

BTW, I have an earlier version of Word, so for me it was open the image in Word, click the image, right click and choose "Format Picture," then choose "Size" and then change the size. As Julia said, it's very easy. What I love about this method is that the image maintains its clarity and aspect ratio, so it looks just as good as the original. Yay!

Thank you so much, Julia! Be sure and check out her blog for that freebie printie and also to see her gorgeous work. She's an amazing food decorator specializing in cookies, cupcakes, and pops. She also teaches classes in this gorgeous art form and makes party kits that are amazing. Prepare to be blown away!

My own Nestle Toll House chocolate chip bag!

Remember I said that I used Julia's instructions to miniaturize other images? Well, I recently purchased these sweet chocolate chip cookies on a tray from Allies Minis on Etsy (her food is so cute!), and then today when I was "stalking" Beverly's Cute in Miniature Etsy shop, I saw this darling set of heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies with a mini Nestle Toll House chocolate chips bag. 

Matching Cath Kidston mini bunting!

Yes, using my new-found miniaturizing skills, I made my own little chocolate chip bag. Again, I'm so inspired by both of these mini food artisans (too inspired by their work to try making the food myself, but inspired to build on the skills that I do have!). ;-) Thank you, Allie and Beverly!

OK, I am really overdue in showing some beautiful gifts I received from special blog friends, plus there is major dollhouse news at my house, so I'll tell you about all of that in my next post. Until then, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer