Saturday, 31 August 2013

Bargain Time

I decided the only solution for my veggie stew mishap was to sell them at a cheaper price than usual in my Etsy shop. They're far too nice to simply throw away as bad miniatures, but they're not quite up to what I consider my usual standard.

So if you fancy saving a couple of dollars on my usual prices, check out this listing in my Etsy shop:


Friday, 30 August 2013

Can I have some more please?

I made a batch of vegetable stew recently, in miniature of course. But I think I may have been a little over-eager.

Perhaps the next photo will give you a clue to my mishap:

Three out of four of my stew pots are so full the lid won't go on!
In some ways, this is highly realistic as I'm always having kitchen accidents like this (see how I tried to justify myself there?) but really it's a bit of a whoops.
I think I will still sell these in my Etsy shop (along with the lids), I'll just highlight the fact they don't close, which is not so bad as what's the point of having a stew you can't see at the table?
But hopefully I will learn from this little accident and not overfill my stew pots in future! Here's what it should have looked like:

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Book Review: 1/12th Character Figures for the Dolls' House by James Carrington

I bought 1/12th Character Figures for the Dolls' House by James Carrington a while ago in order to find out more about making detailed doll figures. While I have lots of experience creating food with polymer clay, I've never made a doll of any kind, so bought it in hopes of finding out what methods were best as I didn't know where to start.
The book outlines what materials and equipment you need, then goes into detail on how to sculpt various body parts from polymer clay. There are detailed and useful pages on proportions, and how to finish off dolls, as well as how to attach them altogether, which was the part I was most glad to see as this was what I needed to learn. I can get my head around how to sculpt in polymer clay, I just really wasn't sure how to put all the parts together, and this book really helped with that.
What I also found very interesting, and it had not really occurred to me before as a method, was the chapter devoted to making a mould. I've made various small moulds for my miniature food, but they are much simpler to do and usually have a base or 'unseen side' from which to push finished items out. Not so with a 3D mould of a figure, and I found this chapter particularly insightful if you ever plan on making several figures and don't want to sculpt all the torsos etc. from scratch each time.
The book is beautifully illustrated throughout with examples of Carrington's work, which are themselves works of art. I absolutely love the detail of expression in their faces, and how dynamic he manages to make them appear.
The only disappointment for me was the lack of information on dressing the figures. There was a small (but useful) amount at the end of the book, but as a novice sewer, I would have appreciated some basic sewing patterns, as I really don't know where to begin when it comes to making clothes in any scale.
I haven't actually made any 12th scale figures so I cannot comment first hand how practical this book's instructions are as you make something, however having read the whole thing from cover to cover, it seems very thorough and straight forward to follow, and I would highly recommend it. Even if you don't ever intend on making any figures (I swear I do, I just never seem to get round to it!) if you're interested in scale miniatures this is a delightful and interesting read.
My score: 9/10!

Monday, 26 August 2013

Pretty in Pink

As previously mentioned, I made loads of gingerbread house bases a while back, and have slowly but surely been decorating them. It's a fiddly job, so you really have to be in the mood for it, and I rarely manage to complete more than one at a time.
So here's the latest creation, a pretty in pink miniature gingerbread house.
I used a new technique for the roof - little gingerbread roof tiles.
I'm quite pleased with the effect.
On this particular house, if it isn't pink (or white) it isn't getting in!
There is also a very liberal sprinkling of heart shaped candies.
And with a coin for scale.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Back to School

It's getting towards that time of year when we're thinking of going back to school. I remember that time as a child. I was both sad that the supposedly endless summer holidays were ending, but also happy because I quite liked school.
Here is a collection of sweet school-related miniatures I found on Etsy. Enjoy!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Wibble Wobble

There seem to be a lot of jelly posts of late. What can I say? I love making miniature jellies! Here are a few more summery desserts to enjoy while the sunshine lasts.

And with a coin for scale.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Jellied Inspiration

I love jelly, I truly do, especially in the summer.
Here is some wobbly real food inspiration for some jelly creations.


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Non-miniature crafting achievement!

As has been mentioned on occasion, I don't just make miniature food. Oh no, sometimes I do patchwork and quilting (badly). So now I'd like to share with you the momentous moment that is the completion of my first ever attempt of a Baby Jane quilt!

Now I cheated, I admit. I didn't do all the blocks in a proper Dear Jane. But I certainly did well over half, and for a complete novice, I'm quite pleased with myself if I do say so. This is my second ever quilt and far more complicated than anything I'd ever attempted previously. It took eight months to complete start to finish. It's by no means perfect, but I am unashamed enough that I will be gifting it to one lucky family member for Christmas. I hope she likes it!

It will fit the bed it's intended for,
which is a King whereas this is only a standard double.
If you're super curious about how this quilt came together, I blogged about it over at my Deat Jane blog. I'm just relieved to have finished it in time! Now I just need to decide what project to sew next...

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Goodbye strawberries

The strawberry season is well and truly over, and it wasn't a bad year for the few plants I have. They live in pots in a cage because otherwise my friendly neighbourhood pigeons would eat the lot.

My baby strawberry plants a couple of months back.

 I love growing (and eating!) strawberries, but now I've run out of real fresh ones, here are some miniature strawberries that can be worn at any time of year.

Hopefully this will keep me thinking of Summer until the next strawberry season comes around.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Joyeux Anniversaire!

It's my mother's birthday today. She has an insane collection of frog themed things (she's a French lady in England; it's a running joke) so in honour of that, here is some froggy miniature cake I found on Etsy. Could it get any more apt?

And some tiny frog-shaped macaroons (what could be Frencher?!)
All these super cute goodies were made by Asukasakumo on Etsy.
I love this cute style of miniatures! Her shop is full of lots of different scaled miniatures which would look great in any dollhouse scene.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Mini meaty treats

I finished making something with my beef cane. So here it is:

Roast Beef Dinner Set
Roast Joint
Individual plate of beef dinner
Meat and veggie platter - perfect for the summer!

And with a coin for scale.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Making the Squirrel Tree Part 5

I am starting to furnish my Squirrel Tree. I have no idea how to make proper furniture, and most massmade dollhouse miniatures would not fit in with the look of the Squirrel Tree. So I bought a couple of these amazing 1/24th scale sets from Rustic Miniatures on Etsy. They create both one and half inch scale pieces and they are simply so beautiful. Even the bed is strung underneath with twine. I love everything about them, so much in fact that I have since bought another bed and chair set!
One of the sets I bought from Rustic Miniatures
They are surprisngly sturdy, and even the little stools sit completely flat without wobbling. No nails are used, which adds to the rustic look. I've now idea how they get it to look so neat.

Here are a few more pieces by Rustic Miniatiures, just because they are too good not to share:


Saturday, 10 August 2013

New layout on Etsy

I got an email from Etsy recently informing me of changes to my shop. Ah joy. If you could see my mobile phone (I have no idea what model it is) you would quickly deduce I don't do well with technological advances. It's not that I'm against them per se, it's just that I'm far too lazy to get to grips with them unless it's absolutely vital. Well understanding how my Etsy shop works falls into that very exclusive 'vital' club, so I had a look into it.
See what I mean about the technological uselessness?
This photo looked fine in paint, and it's gone all wonky now!
So here it is. Everything is a little rejigged, but I don't mind too much. I do like the fact that now when you click on littletimewasters it takes you directly to my shop rather than my profile page. If a potential customer is only going to click on one page, I'd much rather it was the one with my stuff for sale, rather than the one with my oh-so-witty banter (you can come here for that!). 
 The only thing that narks me is that in the email I received, it stated that it would be advantageous to site visibility if there were more than three items available. I'm not sure if they meant three of each item (there is a drop down quantity box after all) or just three items total in the shop. Could anyone clarify that for me? I hope it's the three items total in the shop, as it seems unfair to penalise one-of-a-kind makers on a handmade site.
Anyway, those who have already opted in or had the new layouts forced upon them, what do you think? 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

What's the beef?

As I sometimes do, I devoted an entire afternoon to making one kind of miniature recently. It's one of those things that involves mixing special colours and canes and you really have to give yourself a few hours to have at it in one go! Following on from my food inspiration post, here is what it looks like when I make miniature roast beef from polymer clay.
These are the 2 main colours I use.

I base it loosely on Angie Scarr's advice in Making Miniature Food, however I've adapted the colour combo slightly, and somehow end up using about 9 different colours to get these combinations! I've got to hand it to Angie though, that her suggestion of adding a tiny amount of black was a good call. It worked a treat. Although unlike the book's instructions, I make a LOT more of the cooked meat colour (the brown) than the raw meat colour (the red) as my dolls don't like their beef too raw. Plus the larger the cane gets, the more clay you need to get around its circumference.
As Angie prescribes, I do use the Skinner Technique.
I always think it's never going to work!...

Lovely, lovely shades!
...and lo and behold, it nearly always does!
Here is my cane before I added any 'fat veins' or rolled it slow.

Mmmm, appetizing...
I also use various powdered pastels to coat the exterior of the cane as I like my beef to look well done on the outside. Unfortunately I somehow lost the photo I took of that stage!
And here is my ceramic tile covered in an afternoon's worth of miniature making. I hope the plated meat at the top gives an idea of scale, each plate is under an inch in diameter. Each tiny roll of sliced beef is approx. 1cm long.

As usual, adding the texture to each individual slice took a lot longer than making the actual cane. But unlike many canes I make, such as liquorice or cucumber that can be sliced after cooking, this one has to be sliced while the cane is raw so the texture can be added. That's why you really have to make sure you have a whole afternoon free before you start!
I haven't finished any of the dollhouse miniatures which these beef slices are going to go into. But here are a couple of previous creations to show how I intend to use them.
The vein of fat shows up a lot more in my current batch of beef slices, which for me is an improvement as it was a little too subtle in these for my liking. I'll update the blog when I finally finish making my current beef dinner sets. Those veggies take forever!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Sunday Roast

I love a proper British Sunday Roast (well other than the gravy - I know I'm weird).
Here are some pretty, yummy, awesome pics of Sunday dinner,
to help me get inspired into making some miniature versions.
Roast beef, a classic
Lamb, why do we only have this at Easter?

Chicken, a beloved favourite

I could happily just eat a plate of roast potatoes
if it were socially acceptable
And don't forget your veg!