Saturday, June 11, 2016

Life, Am I Right?

Oh boy, did I ever fall behind on blogging.

Let's see, since my last post here:

I obviously did not win Undersized Urbanite (loved all the entries btw). However, I did plant an entire garden's worth of plants indoors at my art studio, some of which are still in there, but most have made it out to the great outdoors now that it's Summer/not the dead of winter when I planted them.

I made a few new art pieces as well as a whole mess of new miniature inventory for a dollhouse show in Syracuse NY this past May...I had a table at a dollhouse show in Syracuse this past May (that's right, I'm on track to be in not 1, but 2 shows a year now).

After all that I wound up having to deal with some drama (not my drama, I had to step in and end someone else's drama and it was a yucky situation  - and while it did effect things, no I'm not posting anymore about it online). That derailed some aspects of my work, but now I think I'm back on track and headed to all good places. Keeping it happy over here.

Then there was a whole ton of life, death, war, famine, and an alien invasion that obliterated the planet (made up most of those just now), ANNNNNNNND here we are today. Alive, relatively well, and super busy. ^_^

And I know what you're saying right now - "You were off having a life? Pics or it didn't happen".

*boom* Pics! (well links to all the pics anyway);

If I disappear off the face of the blogging earth and you want to track me down or just follow along with my work, these are your go-to links.

Hoping I will find more time to blog in the coming months, I have so many neat things to share, but it's a lot of catch up and work time right now, so I will just have to leave you with a friendly Hello and I'll see you later. ^_^

Monday, February 8, 2016

Undersized Urbanite - The Surrealism House

Hello fellow miniaturists, bloggers, lovers of all things dollhouse, random visitors, voters, and other special guests! It's that time again - The big reveal for Undersized Urbanite!

As stated in my WIP posts, my dollhouse did not get as 'done' as I had hoped, but I do have a pretty interesting exterior to show off, so here we go;

Now for close ups;

I think that the egg carton mosaic turned out beautifully

The re-design for the new front door was a last minute miracle. A big Thank You to one of my "Mantis" prints, which I decided to cut up for the cause (to be fair, it was a damaged print, but I just couldn't throw away those pretty metallic colors - planned to use it throughout the house actually).

I know that I changed my color scheme from gray to purple halfway through sketching out the mosaic siding, but I'm still not sure what possessed me to start painting clouds on the purple after that - It did turn out really well though,...

...So well that I decided to paint the top floor sky blue and keep those clouds going. ^_^

What house wouldn't be complete without some trippy racing stripes, right? XD

And then finally, I give you a little bit of Steampunk, 
because I can't stop going back to Steampunk (it's fun).

So there you have it - The exterior of My Surrealism House. ^_^


There are a couple other things I did get a chance to work on, but they're part of the unfinished interior, but you know what? I'm going to show you anyway (Why not?);

Did you notice all the gold accents on the outside of the house? Well I got the idea for that while I was attempting to get the inside of the house painted. This painting/mural on the third floor is a mix of green, copper, and three shades of gold metallic paint. No sketching, just painted whatever I felt like painting.

And on that third floor, I also started a pond. It's acrylic paint with a few coats of Polycrylic to get the water effect. (I was hoping to add ducks - maybe someday) The green around the pond is more of the "Mantis" print - I was hoping to cover at least half of the floor with those shiny sea-foam tiles I was making (again, someday...). Oh, but what's with the puddle on the unfinished second floor hardwood? I'm glad you asked!

 I don't know if it was ever mentioned here on the blog, but one very rainy weekend last fall I walked into the art studio to find a huge puddle on the floor and rain pouring down in through the ceiling. It was just traumatic enough that I won't forget it anytime soon, but thanks to the studio visitors (some of which are friends now) who didn't seem to think a flood made the space any less awesome, that day was also just entertaining enough that it made it into this project. (Of course, I'm sure there was not actually a duck pond on the roof -it's more fun to to think about than cold Fall rain though).

I even made sure the ceiling is leaking.

Maybe I'll hold onto to the house and complete the interior next year, maybe when I have some time I'll keep working on it just for fun, maybe I'll finish it for an upcoming show - who knows? - For now though, this project is finished. As with any other year, I would like to say Thank You to Christina over at Little Victorian, for hosting Undersized Urbanite once more (Thank You!).

 Best wishes to the other entrants, hopefully you all finished in time. Can't wait to see everyone's entries. I think voting is open to everyone, so if you're reading this I encourage you to head on over to the official contest page and pick your favorite dollhouse.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Undersized Urbanite - Not Sure I'll Finish On Time ...

I am pretty sure I will not quite get the dollhouse done on time this year, still trying, so without spending a whole mess of time blogging progress - Here's a quick shot of the newly finished mosaic work and pretty, pretty blue door. 

(You can also view this on Instagram)


I'm hoping to at least have the exterior all nice and pretty by the deadline, so back to work I go. ^_^

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Undersized Urbanite - Progress With A Bit Of Purple

Update Time!

At the moment I am torn between working on the dollhouse for Undersized Urbanite and posting updates for you all to see, so bear with me while I try to fit in time to take/edit photos + compose the quick write ups. As of typing this, I am actually weeks ahead of what you are seeing here, but I still have a ways to go (Will she meet the deadline? Stay tuned...).

Theme - wise the surreal house has been coming along nicely, the plan in my head has changed a bit though. Not that you could really see what the original plan was to begin with, I just thought I'd let you know that there is a lot more purple now (with even more on the way). ^_^

 Here's how the dollhouse looked the last time you saw it;

(Artwork in the background by studio co-artists:
 painting on the left by Dan Covey, 
2 digital pieces on the right are by Michele Mirabella)

 I planned to do some faux-stone mosaic work siding, 
so first I had to sketch out that area.

For new readers: By "faux-stone", 
I mean that I'm using egg carton/packing materials 
made out of recycled paper products. 

 I painted the mosaic area gray and then started cutting out the carton.
I'm going with a mix of triangles and some free form shapes this time around.

Painted the pieces purple and started gluing them in place.

 The tricky part is finding something to use as the mortar/filler that goes between the carton pieces. Previous projetcs I was using clay, but that can be time consuming and a little expensive. So this time around I am using Puff paint/dimensional fabric paint. 
So far, I am enjoying the results.

I tested the puff paint out on a few pieces at the back of the house - looks good.

And here is the first finished section of the mosaic wall. It needs some touch ups, 
and I might do some light painting over the bright white to dull it a little bit, 
but this turned out really well. I am super happy with the house at this stage.

For anyone looking for this paint to try out on their own projects:
I am using Tulip Dimensional Fabric paint, Slick White. 
If you can't find it at your local store, it is available on Amazon.

 (Yep, ending this post with an ad, but I do like this paint, so why not?)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

* The 2015 Gingerbread House Series *

~*~ The 2015 Gingerbread House Series ~*~

I really thought I was calling it quits on the tradition this year. I didn't think I had the time and just wasn't feeling it, but then really early one morning last week I had an idea - I was going to made adorably kitsch Christmas clocks for the series this year! Decision made. So after several days/late nights, multiple bakes in the oven, and lots of gluing/painting, here we are. ^_^

And now I'm going to answer some of your questions;

1. No, the clocks do not work. I did include faux winding devices on the backs of these, because I would imagine they would be wind up clocks, but they aren't wind-able. (I would love to have those kinds of skills though)

2. The clocks themselves are printies glued behind a round piece of clear polymer clay, sealed with Polycrylic. I used a general clip art clock face, added my own hands in Photoshop, and then scaled the clocks down to fit inside this year's house design. The Polycrylic added a glassy shine to the finished piece.


So far the people who've seen the end results approve. I like them, and I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. Really happy that I was able to keep going with the annual gingerbread houses. I think I would've regretted it the next time I wanted to make more tiny gingerbread themed anything (you don't just skip a year...). Switched up the medium a bit, and I think that helped a little, time-wise. I used puff paint instead of tinted TLS. Less baking, more mess, but the dry time isn't bad. The results are sort of the same, so I might keep going with the paint from now on.  

Full list of materials;

Polymer clay - The gingerbread/candies/clock glass
TLS & Elmer's glue - Both pretty much just used as unseen glue
DIY printie clock - the clock
Reclaimed cardboard - The base and roof
Puff paint - All the frosting

And because these gingerbread house clocks are the 2015 series, they are initialed and dated on the bottom.


Apologies if anyone was hoping to snag one in time for Christmas this year (I usually get these posted late in the season anyway, but this year I really pushed it). As of posting this, 2 are now up for auction on eBay, AND EDIT: I had a chance to also post some on Etsy too.


This may or may not be my last post for 2015 (not sure), so I would like to end this entry by saying that I hope you're all doing well, I hope you are with loved ones and enjoying the season. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Undersized Urbanite - Pretty Sure I'm Entering This Year

Christina over at Little Victorian is hosting The Undersized Urbanite Dollhouse Contest once again, and although it's been open for entries since September - I'm just now getting to it. And honestly I wasn't sure I was even going to enter this year, but between months of working like a crazy person, and more recently coming down with a cold bad enough that it killed my ambition there for a bit (and got me thinking about how much I'd been working lately), I decided that it was time that I get back into the art studio and work on something just because I wanted to make something cool/for my own enjoyment. Sound good to you? Ok, then here we go;

A year or two ago I stumbled upon one of those puzzle dollhouses on a clearance rack for $3.00, because the packaging had been torn open and it looked like there were pieces missing (turns out it was all there, but either way $3 is a steal for any kit) 

I spent an evening in the art studio with my friends/co-artists. They worked on their projects while I popped together the dollhouse before deciding what to do with it.

A couple days later, at 5am or so while I was at work, I had this idea that the dollhouse is going to end up looking pretty weird this time around. At first I was referring to the idea as a "mushroom" (it does sort of look like that in my head), but my friends were getting too caught up in the idea of it being a mushroom house when really the better term is just to refer to the plan as a Surreal styled dollhouse - There you go, My plan is to make a Surreal looking dollhouse. The photo above is the color scheme I think I've chosen for the exterior (here's hoping that the red/green/purple combo doesn't come back to bite me). And I also had these 2 little wooden birdhouses I thought I could use as odd shaped additions.

Since the studio gives me more space to work I might attempt a small yard, and for that I might just use some of these floor tiles I picked up at a garage sale last summer. They look like stone and I've been wanting to find a use for them. Have to get a board or something to use for a base first, but it's do-able.

The puzzle house is not one inch scale like I'm used to (half inch scale maybe?) and I don't have any furniture that fits. Luckily, I did buy this furniture puzzle hoping the furniture would work with a different dollhouse, but it too appears to be closer to half inch scale and will probably work better for this project. If that doesn't work, I'm sure I could manage with scratch building, but since I only have until February it would be nice if the puzzle furniture worked out.

Back to the house building now;

After following the directions to see how the house is supposed to be put together (which you just saw), I started making changes. Here's me figuring out how to attach the bird house rooms.

And here's how I left the house in the studio on day #2 of this build. The roof is off while I paint it red. The porch is being all torn apart and redesigned to make room for the bird house on the right (which is attached with nothing other than tape and paper towels for now). I know it's starting to look funny, but the idea in my head is pretty cool, so I'm hoping I can make it turn out the way I want.

No promises that I can make the deadline on this one, but I'm going to try. Stay tuned. ^_^

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Magical Miniatures and Halloween Fun

So this isn't a place where I typically brag about my vacations, but I did go to Disney World a couple weeks ago, had some Halloween fun at the Magic Kingdom (my mom and I trick or treated like sophisticated adults: hit every spot in the park, and ended up with a ridiculous amount of candy), AND during one of the days at the parks I saw something worth blogging about.

A couple years ago I passed along a neat article about Walt Disney and how, like many creative individuals, he had a thing for working in miniature. After that blog post I had people in the comments asking me if I had any pictures/if I knew where to find images of Disney's miniature collection. And the answer is still No. And I've never been to Disneyland, so if the collection is there/still there, I haven't seen it. However, if you go to Walt Disney World, you may cross paths with some models and some miniature scenes, some of which were made by Walt Disney himself.

And I did take some pictures. Of course, this is not my work, I am posting it specifically for discussion purposes, and thanks to the lighting + display case you are definitely much better off seeing this in person. Until you book your Disney trip though, here are some shots of a tiny set Walt Disney made back in the 40's, "Granny's Cabin";

And if you noticed in the placard, 
working on this miniature scene indirectly led to the planning of Disneyland. How cool is that?

So there you go, miniature work, by Walt Disney.


Now, did I mention that I had some Halloween fun while I was on this trip? Yes, well Halloween also means it's the time of year where you can find all things, "The Nightmare Before Christmas", and since that's a movie I have cherished since I saw it in the movie theater, when I was only 4, you can imagine my delight anytime that movie or those characters popped up in the parks. I ended up bringing some things home with me;

That hat is pretty much a replacement for a similar one I've been wearing for the last decade or so, the purse I plan to start using soon, and the figurines - well my mom's guess was that they'd end up in a miniature scene - Yep, she was right;

(Several Fall's worth of tiny leaves, made by me)

So in conclusion to what I'm hoping is a cohesive post, despite being swamped with work and so busy you'd think I couldn't possible have time for fun or Halloween, it turns out I can/I did. And hey, look I even had a second to make a quick scene and blog. Hooray - And Happy Halloween Everyone! ^_^