Saturday, April 6, 2013

Shapeways, and I'm not talking about undergarments...

Remember this?

I got irritated with the system kitchen sink I have been working on. I want smooth! I want chamfers! I want real stainless steel! The wood and gesso were just not cutting it. I found Shapeways!

Shapeways 3D Printing!

Not this:

I modeled my sink in Vectorworks (a modeling/drafting program), converted the file to a .stl file, upload to, and placed an order. It took a few weeks, which is almost longer than I could stand, but I got my model last Friday. Can you say super-excited?!

This is my new sink in the counter:

I still need to settle on my drain cconfiguration, but I don't feel stuck anymore! The faucet (I've got something in mind for this one...), the cook top, and the broiler are the major tasks that remain. This is the Japanese System Kitchen in its current state of completion:

Sunday, March 31, 2013

I have a dollhouse!!!

2013 so far:
Friend from Japan and Alex's little sister visited.
New company merger
Allergies (Florida's the worst for this...)
Now, the parents are coming....

But, I have a job, so these are definitely not complaints. It has just been really busy.

I have been fitting in some time for minis, but just no time for blogging about them. I will attempt to catch up.

Home Depot sold a Real Good Toys dollhouse kit during the Christmas season. I heard about this through the CAMP Yahoo group. Somebody posted a tip about a coupon, so the thing ended up being something like $50. I've bought some Houseworks components, so the cost will increase some. However, the quality of the construction is so good, that it's negligible. 

Here's my inspiration house:
By Union Studio Architecture & Community Design in Providence, RI

Here's my house in it's current state of completion:

I added some attic windows which I have yet to build. I'm going to do a stained wood porch floor. I cut an additional hole in the third floor for a stair to the attic. (I hate how the stairs in dollhouses are so unrealistic... These won't exactly be working stairs, but at least it will appear to have a path to the attic.) I'm going to do brackets for the porch posts like the inspiration house. I'm also going to rebuild the porch rail with square balusters, and I want to add the vents on the crawl space under the building. I'm trying to figure out the lighting right now.

Having a dollhouse has always been a dream of mine. I currently have 4 kits - 2 in progress - so the dream has never been fulfilled. I'm not getting too crazy with a redesign of the RGT house so my dream may become a reality. I've been super happy since I did the first bit of construction. It may not look like much now, but I had to share.

Happy Easter!

So... apparently, the Silhouette Cameo is good for Easter bonnets too...

Evie, the puggle, hopes everybody got some rest today...

My Christmas Presents - Big and Small

I'm sure that it's obvious to anyone that has read my blog that I have the best boyfriend in the world. :) You know, the one who made mini tulips with me, who bent a tiny u-bend for my system kitchen, the one who made an Excel spreadsheet for super-accurate measurement conversions for 1/12th scale... (I could go on...) That one. It's very hard for me to not gush about him, so I'll try to keep it to a minimum (haha...) in this post. 

I have many wonderful, high-quality miniatures since I've been collecting for a long time. I've always wanted a dollhouse, but time and too much creativity has never allowed me to finish a project. Lately, I've been drooling over an IKEA curio cabinet that would act as a staging area for my minis until I can finish a project. I hate having them boxed up and dust is deadly...

Klingsbo Glass Door Cabinet

Alex bought me the cabinet for Christmas, but since we were traveling for the holidays, it was too difficult to give it to me on Christmas day. As a place holder, he made me this:

Yep...even the door opens.

Look at at the detail!

With paper and plastic from some container! Awesome, no? I think I like it more than the full size one. Big surprise...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Japanese System Kitchen - I've hit a wall...

I have been working on the system kitchen, but I've been having some difficulty. The sink. I want the counter and sink to look like one piece of molded metal. The counter came out to my satisfaction, but the sink has not.

I built the thing out of wood and thought my typical gesso-sand-repeat routine would get it smooth enough for spray painting. That's the same thing I did with the counter, so it should've worked. Well, it didn't. I can't get to the tiny curves to sand smooth. I don't want ridges, so this is absolutely unacceptable. I tried a jelly container initially, but they must be making them with really crappy plastic now because the plastic kind of melted with spray painting. (I have used the jelly containers in the past even spray painting them, and it worked well.)

See those awful interior joints? I want smooooooth.

The only thing I've been able to come up with is looking for someone to actually mold the little sink for me in plastic or metal. It would still need to be painted to match the counter. Maybe I just need to look into resin casting...?

If anyone out there has the inclination to post a suggestion, I would greatly welcome it.

The Dollar Tree

A while back, there was a thread on The Camp about these tiny jars that came with nail decorations at the Dollar Tree. I cruised by one day and to pick some up. Eight dollars later, I walked out the door with more than tiny glass jars. 

My finds:
1. Block of floral foam for mini plants
2. Package of 10 rectangular plastic containers (appx. 1.5" x 2" x 1.25") for storing tiny  
3. 8 tiny glass bottles containing nail glitter
4. 2 rolls of white crepe paper
5. A 1" scale wooden sideboard 
6. Tissues on 3" cube boxes - not 1" scale, but too cute to pass up
7. Spearmint gum
8. Snack-size zipper bags printed with Disney fairies  

So #6 - 8 have little to do with minis, but 1 through 5 got my juices flowing. See below:

The sheep are weird, I know, but the rug is a test print and needed weighing down. They worked with the color scheme...
The sideboard became a sofa table following a little sanding work and a coat of Martha Stewart's Satin Acrylic Craft Paint in Cloud. 

Rose 1

Rose 2

The crepe paper became roses inspired by Christine-Lea Frisoni's Le Grande Livre De La Maison Miniature. I can't read French, so I guessed at the method and painted my crepe paper with a watercolor wash heavy on the white paint. The leaves - I'm excited to say - are cut with the Silhouette Cameo. For anyone out there wondering about this application for the Cameo, I sent a 3" x 4" sheet of green paper through, but only about 50% of the leaves came out. I'm still pleased...

The tissues are gone, the gum is gone, and I'm still working on the zipper bags. I have yet to use the floral foam, but the plastic containers are still holding more petals punched for more roses. It was so much fun getting those bargains. I think only other miniaturists would understand the feeling. As for any more glass jars, I've gone back several times since, but they've been out of stock. I'll probably keep looking... Maybe I'll find something else even better...

Side note:
The tiny framed newspaper in the background is an actual printed paper written and hand-printed by my boyfriend's baby sister. (Alex made the double-sided frame.) She's a print-making student at RISD, and she's amazingly talented. The text is really funny to read, too. If you'd like to see some of her other work and be delighted by her unique style, check out her site: .