Friday, January 31, 2014

Dad's Dollhouse Completed!

After much struggle to find a theme for Dad's Dollhouse, the house my dad built me when I was a child from a 1970s Sunset magazine plan, I finally realized something. Dad's Dollhouse is a Mouse House. Whew! Once I figured that out, I was able to complete the project to my liking.

Mavis Mouse bakes brownies in Dad's Dollhouse kitchen.

Some of you may remember an earlier project, the 1920s Lovers Cottage, a romantic honeymoon cottage. That building is now Bluebelle's Cake Shop, but I took many of the items from the Lover's Cottage and made them part of the story in Dad's Dollhouse, a 1920s late-Victorian farmhouse. The people who lived there included a sailor and his new bride. The sailor had to go back to sea after the wedding, and the bride lived there alone, busying herself reading Farmer's Wife magazines, waiting for her man to return.

The only problem with this scenario was that I always seem to get bored with people for characters (except for Strawberry Shortcake!). ;-) So after finding vintage felt Mavis Mouse and her mother (Grandma Mouse) at thrift stores and after more time, I finally realized that I needed to add more mouse details to this mouse house, and now Dad's Dollhouse is basically complete! Yay!

So here's a little tour of Dad's Dollhouse Mouse House. First, the Victorian parlor:

Overview of Victorian parlor with Grandma and baby mouse.

I made the Victorian pump organ from a Chrysnbon kit. I printed the matriarch ancestor mouse image for my own personal use, painted it with Mod Podge, and framed it for some fun "mousiness." I made the curtains and carpet, designed the calla lily arrangement, modified Grandma mouse from her original state, and made baby mouse from vintage wool felt.

The sofa is from my original childhood collection, as are the yellow doilies and the real candles in brass candle holders on the fireplace mantel. The wallpaper is from my childhood home, a real life Victorian house. This room is full of special gifts from blog friends, including the handmade paper flowers, needlepoint pillows, and memory box in the foreground.

Ancestor matriarch mouse painting is a new "mouse" addition.

Next, Mavis Mouse's kitchen:

Overview of Mavis Mouse's country Victorian kitchen.

I made the hutch, table, and chairs from Chrysnbon kits. I also made the curtains and tablecloth. The cast iron stove and dry sink are from my childhood collection, and I recently found the matching vintage ice box at a local miniatures show for $1!

The wallpaper and flooring are from my actual childhood home. This room also contains many special gifts from blog friends, including the handmade paper flowers, water pitcher, salami cookbook, and foods. My husband made the mini loaf of bread on the hutch cutting board.

Mavis Mouse is a great cook. Her husband is a very lucky mouse!

Here's the master (and only) bedroom:

Overview of the master bedroom, showing the new bride's arrival.

I made the bed's canopy from a vintage handkerchief, the carpet and curtains, many accessories on the bed, and a perfume tray on the dresser. Blog friends have contributed many of the pieces, including the gorgeous bedding, wedding dress, books, luggage, purse, shoes, and hat. The dresser looks like the real life dresser in my parents' bedroom. The wallpaper is from my parents' real life bedroom in my childhood home.

The cheese plate on the nightstand is a new "mouse" addition.

And the bathroom:

Someone is trying to repair a plugged toilet!

I made the towels, toilet seat, curtains, and flooring. My husband designed the flooring on the computer. All of the furniture, aside from the medicine cabinet and the footstool, is from my original childhood collection. The pot-bellied stove is one-half of a salt and pepper shaker set given to my by my mom way back when. Blog friends contributed the footstool (kitty's favorite spot) and the seashell wall hanging above the bathtub.

The cat is eyeing that cozy hand towel in the sink as a place to sleep!

The Victorian study filled with Asian art and sewing room are both in the dollhouse attic, with no windows, so they are difficult to photograph. First, here's the study:

The focus of this room is travel and Asian art.

It's full of Asian art from the sailor mouse's world travels and includes a wall map, Victorian photo scrapbook, and several memory boxes. I wallpapered the room and made the calla lily arrangement, the photo scrapbook, many books on the bookshelf, and the memory box on the floor. The chair is my first miniature purchase from my childhood collection. Gifts include the Oriental vase, Christmas cactus plant, paperweight, wall map, and mini Buddhas.

Finally, it's time to show the sewing room:

Kitty plays with his toy mouse!

I made the sewing table chair from a Chrysnbon kit as well as a scissors box. The iron, tiny mouse, and pair of scissors on the sewing machine are from my childhood collection, and the wallpaper is from my real life grandparents' bedroom. The many gifts from friends include the sewing kit, art prints, needlepoint kits and patterns, memory box, and thread holder.

This house has been a collaborative effort from the very beginning when Dad built the house and wallpapered it and my mom introduced me to dollhouse miniatures until today, as the house has become filled with precious gifts from blog friends. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the completion of Dad's Dollhouse!

Thank you, too, to anyone who has read to this point in the post. You are a real trooper! I will keep my eye out for more "mouse" items--accessories that let you know a mouse lives here. Does anyone have any suggestions on what those items might be? Until next time, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mavis Mouse and the Homemade German Delicacies

Mavis mouse has been in the kitchen again.

This time she made a giant feast of German delicacies. There's a selection of fancy meat dishes, fine wine, sliced dark bread, potato salad, and cucumber salad. Yummy!

Looks like the German egg salad is even more enticing than her other favorite food--cheese! ;-)

Good thing Mavis Mouse received such beautiful foods and fancy wine (everything but the cheese plates) from her good friend Mieke of Petite Victorian Rose blog. :-) Mieke made all the foods herself--wow! Thank you so much, Mieke!

Notice the hutch in Mavis Mouse's kitchen? I made it from a Chrysnbon kit after procrastinating for a year or two. I just finished it last night so I could show Mieke's beautiful gifts. Yay!

In addition to all of the homemade German delicacies, Mieke also sent a gorgeous handmade table runner that has become the perfect rug in Mavis Mouse's bedroom:

Last but not least, Mieke also sent this gorgeous handmade dress and purse set for Orange Blossom, one of my vintage Strawberry Shortcake dolls:

There's a tiny red butterfly button on the front of the dress--so whimsical and wonderful. Thank you so much for your sweet and gorgeous gifts, Mieke, and for your precious gift of friendship! I feel so lucky and grateful. Until next time, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, January 25, 2014

New Cards Sneak Preview!

Hi Everyone! I've got some new greeting cards that are going to the print shop in a couple of days. Here's a sneak peek at what will be in stores in a couple of weeks!

Title: Bluebelle Celebrates Her Birthday
Inside message: "It's your birthday. Let's have some cake!"

Title: Flossy and Bluebelle Have a Good Chat
Inside message: "I'm so glad we're friends."

Title: A Birthday Wish
Inside message: "Close your eyes and make a wish!"

I've received amazing miniature gifts from a couple of sweet friends too. Next time I'll show you the Christmas gifts that just arrived! Until then, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tutorial: How to Make Easy Miniature Brownies

Bluebelle just stopped by Cupcake Cottage for a visit with Flossy, and the two of them are thoroughly enjoying their chat as well as the super-easy miniature brownies I made.

Mmm, yum yum yummy!

You see, I was recently looking for a jump start to my creativity after having a long break from making minis. I needed a simple, easy project that I could feel successful with and that didn't take too much time. I'd seen an idea on Pinterest for making dollhouse miniature brownies with craft foam and puff paint, so I decided to just wing it and give it a try myself.

And look at all of the possible variations on brownies that I developed! I made regular brownies, mint brownies, brownies with a raspberry filling, and even special Halloween brownies. Think of all the possibilities!

Here are the TOOLS AND SUPPLIES I used (from top left to bottom right):

1. Tacky glue or craft glue (I used Aleene's Original Tacky Glue)
2. 3D fabric paint or "puff paint" (I used Scribbles 3D Fabric Paint in Hot Chocolate color, available at Joann and Michael's)
3. Plastic pumpkin-topped toothpicks for the Halloween brownies, if desired (not required)
4. Good craft scissors
5. Various colors and thicknesses of craft foam or "fun foam" available by the sheet

DIRECTIONS for Making Easy Miniature Brownies

1. Cut craft foam to desired size and shape. For the basic brownies, I cut small squares of brown foam. For the other "flavors," I cut additional squares of colored foam.

2. Next, I glued the squares together, in whatever combinations I liked. Then I waited for the glue to dry (approximately 30 minutes). Skip this step for the regular brownies and go straight to step 3.

3. I squirted the 3D fabric paint on top of the foam and used the tip of the bottle to spread it around for "frosting." Tip: As the 3D fabric paint dries, it becomes darker in color and thinner. Make the "frosting" a little thicker than you want and wait for it to dry to your desired thickness.

4. For the Halloween brownies, I cut the pumpkin top off of the plastic toothpick and put it on top of the "frosting" once the "frosting" had turned slightly tacky.

5. Wait for the "frosting" to dry. That's it! 

It was really easy, really fast, and really fun, and Flossy and Bluebelle say the brownies are delicious! 

Maybe you need a jump start to your creativity too? If you have any questions about this mini tutorial, please let me know in the comments below, and I will reply. Hope you enjoyed this one! Until next time, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer

Monday, January 13, 2014

Amazing Minis From Special Friend

Another special package arrived recently, all the way from Italy! A special friend sent them, and they couldn't be more sweet!

The package was from our dear friend MelyMel of MelyMel PiccoliSogni blog. Flossy the bunny has her hands full today, still caring for the orphan baby bunny that Sophie the bear found in the carrot patch. Still, she wanted to show these special gifts:

Look at the strawberry dessert, so delicious!

And the amazing can full of miniature Pringles!

The teapot is extraordinary, even showing footprints in the snow!

And the food bags have mini food inside! Oh joy!

Thank you so much for these gorgeous, precious, thoughtful gifts, sweet friend. Now Flossy must put the baby bunny down for a nap. ;-) Until next time, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer

Friday, January 10, 2014

Miniature Dessert Giveaway Winners!

The big day is finally here (actually, it's a day early!). It's time to pick the winners for our Miniature Dessert Giveaway featuring yummy-looking cakes and pie made by Kim Saulter of Kim's Mini Bakery. Flossy the bunny and Sophie the bear have prepared the slips of paper for the draw. Who will the lucky winners be?

First up, it's the winner of the shabby chic yellow-frosted bundt cake with two pieces of cake, one on a gorgeous floral print plate. Drumroll, please!

And the lucky winner is: Wyrna Christensen !!!!!!!

Next up, it's the winner of the luscious banana cake on the glass cake stand with lace doily, piece of cake on a plate, extra piece of cake (not shown), and frosted knife. Drumroll, please!

And this time the lucky winner is: Eliana !!!!!!!

Finally, last but not least, it's the winner of the all-American apple pie with the piece of pie on a plate and the red and white tea towel on a shabby cutting board. Drumroll, please!

And the lucky winner is: ImagiMeri !!!!!!!

Congratulations to all of the lucky winners! I must hear back from the winners by end of day Friday, January 17, 2014. If I don't, I'll pick (an)other winner(s). You can contact me via email (available through my Google Profile on the blog's right-hand sidebar). Please email me your mailing address, so I know where to send your prize! :-)

Thank you to everyone who joined the giveaway and to everyone who became a new follower of Plushpussycat. I hope everyone who visits here enjoys at least a little bit of fun. And more fun is on the way! My blogiversary is coming up, and so is my birthday, so we'll have another giveaway soon. Until next time, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer

Monday, January 6, 2014

Flossy and Sophie's Reminder

Hi everyone! I was sick with the flu over Christmas, so I wasn't able to post anything sooner. Although I wasn't feeling well, Flossy the bunny and Sophie the bear were having their own mini party without me. Look at the yummy mini holiday treats they were munching without me! Cake and cookies and ice cream sandwiches and bowls of peppermint ice cream, oh my!

Miniature desserts by Beverly of CuteinMiniature on Etsy

Oh, and they both received wonderful gifts from our dear friend Jane of Minifanticus blog too! Jane has such a fun miniatures blog and never fails to leave sweet comments on Plushpussycat blog. She's also so generous and thoughtful, often sending friends surprise gifts in the mail. Flossy and Sophie were over the moon with happiness when she sent them some dream-come-true gifts.

First, Flossy received this lifetime dream of a mini glitter village:

Flossy says she's never removing it from this spot! Here's how it looks in her bedroom:

Flossy and I are so grateful! We love the way it brings some fun color into the space. And if that wasn't gift enough, Jane sent a special bumblebee cup as a housewarming present for Sophie's new home, Brambleberry Cabin:

Now Sophie feels like Vanna White, showing off her new cup! Ta dah!

The cup is so tiny and detailed, with the handle a tree branch with leaves and a bumblebee on top. Perhaps you can see in the above photo that the bumblebee's head is facing to the right, away from Sophie.

Close-up of Bumbelbee cup by Jane of Minifanaticus.
The bumblebee's tail is facing the camera.

Sophie only uses this cup now, as it is a treasured gift from a treasured friend. Jane also sent some darling bear cookies and golden reindeer for crafting, but alas, I wasn't able to catch them properly with my camera. I'll show them another time. Thank you so much for ALL of your precious gifts, Jane, especially your priceless gift of friendship.

Flossy and Sophie have a reminder for all of you: The miniature dessert giveaway featuring mini cakes and pie from Kim Saulter of Kim's Mini Bakery ends Thursday, January 9th. Please make sure you are a follower of Plushpussycat blog with Google Friend Connect and that you have left a comment on the giveaway post. Good luck to everyone. I will announce the winners Saturday! Until next time, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer