doll house


Happy belated Easter/Ostara/Spring Equinox to any who celebrate! Not having kids, we don’t really do baskets or egg hunts or any of that fun stuff, but I decided to dye some eggs last minute yesterday. They’re colorful, cheery and make me happy!

easter eggs

Nothing special, just plain old liquid food dye, but they turned out pretty. I used some neon food dye for the first time and granted, upped the amount of dye/vinegar ratio in the water, but I was very pleased with how vibrant they turned out. They were even prettier before I dumped them back into the carton for storage.

While shopping for egg stuff I came across these adorable monkey containers:

monkeys

They only stand about 3″ tall or so and I thought they’d be perfect for my bentos! I figured I could use them for dips, yogurt, fruit/veggies, etc. They’re so cute and they’re really easy to clean since there’s not too sharp of corners or crevices inside. I love cute stuff 😀

On Friday, I decided that I wanted a new book to read. I’d written a list of a few books I’d heard about recently that I wanted to try to find. Of course, I left the list at home and didn’t remember any of the titles or authors so I fell to my standby–craft books! I decided that I wanted to find a book on miniatures that delved a little more in to information on scale and covered several topics. I was super excited when I stumbled across this book:

miniatures book

It covers a lot of history on miniatures and is full of pictures. They’re black and white, but still impressive! There’s a whole spread on Queen Mary’s “doll house”, and I only put that in quotes because I think it goes so beyond just being a doll house. It’s a true work of art. Besides all of the rooms being hooked up to light and water, every piece was painstakingly made to scale over a three year period by experts who studied the original pieces in the mansion. Absolutely breathtaking.

The book is a little on the old side, (Copyright is 1975) so there are a few supplies that are no longer available, BUT, there are things comparable out there and I’m sure I could hunt some of it down if I decide to make anything from the book. They have a chapter on woodworking, one on textiles and even a chapter on how to make scale pieces from found objects. Awesome! I was even more excited about picking it up when I found out that it was a used book and the price was only $8.50 ($8.99? One of the two) The other miniature book I’d had my eyes on was smaller, had less information (though it was in color) and they wanted $25 for it. Score!

To go along with all that miniature talk, I thought I’d flash a picture of a work in progress:

mini wip

I’m not going to say what it is, just that it’s made out of a ping-pong ball and that it’s really effing hard to divide a half sphere in to even pieces! Hopefully I’ll have the piece that has yet to be revealed finished by the end of the week so people can figure out what the hell it’s supposed to be!

Finally, some knitting content…

I’ve been using a lot of my spare time the past few days knitting. It’s starting to get warmer, so why am I breaking out the wool?! I mean, once it starts getting hot around these parts, that’s it…it’s frickin’ hot and we don’t get much in the way of cool days until usually the end of October. Well…it’s because I got bit by the shawl bug. That’s right…this giant bug made out of lacy wool swooped down and smacked me with a load of stitch markers and told me I must knit a shawl. To please the shawl bug I got out some of my prettiest recycled wool and cast on not one, but TWO new shawls.

cozy wip

This one is called Cozy, from Knitty. I’ve been looking at this pattern for about three years now but there was something that I didn’t really love about it. Then I saw one that a lady on ravelry had made and I fell in love with it. The pictures on Knitty’s site just do not do the pattern justice. This is a rectangular stole. It calls to cast on 85 stitches, but I cast on 115 because I wanted it longer. I think once I finish it and block it out that it’ll be really big and it’ll open up the pattern well.

The second one is called Kiri (Link is to a .pdf file). It’s a triangular shawl with a leaf repeat and I think it’s absolutely gorgeous. I can do lace pieces with charts, but unless I’m completely focused I screw them up every time. This pattern has the option to knit the shawl using a chart or written instructions – I chose to use the written! I’ve decided that all lacy patterns look like caca until you’re finished with them and can block them. Once the piece is spread out you can really see the details.

kiri wip

Okay, I think I’d better go before I post so many pictures it takes a year for my page to load. I didn’t do any bento preparation this weekend so today’s lunch will be thrown together last minute.

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I had a really nice weekend! I spent the whole weekend shopping, crafting and cooking – what better, right?

Friday, after we’d ran errands ( you know, paying bills, all that pain in the butt stuff) we went to GameStop and I picked up Leisure Suit Larry (Magna Cum Laude). It’s a smarmy, mature rated game and it’s funny as hell. I rented it some time ago and really liked it. They had a used copy at GameStop and with the credit we had on our card I got it for free! After that I hit the Dollar Tree that was conveniently next door and found a few bento supplies.

bento boxes

I got the Hello Kitty bento there. I also picked up some little plastic picks there.

We hit Safeway after that just to pick up some soda for Paul, but wound up leaving there about $50 poorer because of the great deals we found! They had grapes for .75 a pound and I started buying up some supplies for my bento lunches.

bento stuff

Even though Paul was tired I made him take me to another dollar store before we went home. I don’t think it has a name…now that I think about it. I picked up the other two bento boxes shown above, as well as some tiny cookie cutters and a HUGE bag of chopsticks for a buck. There were probably 200 packages of chopsticks in the bag!

I wandered around there and was thrilled when I came across these:

mini furniture

They’re obviously not top quality, but I think they’re nice starters. I plan on making some mods to them. The little hutch’s doors don’t open, but if I can find some super tiny hinges I’ll be changing that. I think the second piece will become an entertainment center and I might put the desk in my crafty room. I read on the package that there are six different furniture pieces in the series so I think I’ll be popping back over there periodically to see if I can find the other three.

I finished some knitting this weekend as well! I’ve noticed a growing trend in the grocery stores of racks upon racks of reusable shopping bags. At .99 apiece they’re a good deal, but why buy them when I can make my own that are not only bigger, but cuter and more unique?

knit shopping bag

I used this pattern on size 15 needles. The body of the bag went super quick and I modified the pattern to in the round so I wouldn’t have to seam the bag. I also picked up only 60 stitches for the top on size 10 needles. The handle felt like it took forever, but I think it was just because I was impatient to finish it. I hope to make several more of these. It holds an unbelievable amount, probably more than I can comfortably carry at once!

I also promised pictures of the miniature foods I’ve been making, so prepare for several more pictures!

mini purple cake

This is my favorite so I’ll post it first! Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, covered in purple fondant with a teensy white flower on top. I cut a piece out of it so you could see the frosting inside 😀 It’s just barely an inch across.

mini potatoes and carrots

Tiny potatoes and carrots!

mini french loaf

A perfectly toasted loaf of french bread.

mini donuts

A dozen various donuts – two maple bars, two glazed, two apple fritters, two jelly filled, two frosted, and two cinnamon twists!

mini cupcakes

Three super tiny hostess cupcakes. These little suckers were so fun to make but hard! Those squiggles on the tops were so hard to make! The cupcakes are only about 1/4″.

mini apples

A whole bunch of crisp red apples! I need to make a little basket to put them all in.

Finally, a set of eight plates.

mini plates unfinished

They’re currently unfinished. I need to sand them smooth, paint them and glaze them. I’m looking forward to making matching bowls and a little scared of the challenge of making cups to go with them.

Hope I didn’t kill your connection with all these pictures! I plan on posting a picture of my bento lunch this afternoon. I know y’all can’t wait!

Thanks for the kind words guys, they meant a lot! I’m feeling quite a bit better now, though I’ve been dealing with very sore tummy muscles from Friday’s sick fest. Moving on…

I’ve been working on pretty much nothing but miniatures since I last posted. They’re a lot more time consuming than one would think, but they’re so fascinating!

I thought I’d work on a few craft room projects and they’re even more fun in mini!

mini fabric bolts

Some miniature bolts of fabric. Each bolt 45″ “wide” and has 12 “yards” of fabric, so it’s approximately only 3″ by 3.75″ of fabric.

mini spools of thread

You can’t sew without thread! These little spools of thread are on real wood (I couldn’t drill a hole for the center because they’re so tiny!) and they have real thread on them. They’re only about 5 mm tall.

mini knitting basket

No craft room of mine would be complete without a knitting basket! The basket is made from brown #10 crochet thread and the yarn is baby yarn that’s been rolled into teeny tiny balls. The knitting needles are 26 gauge wire with seed beads for stoppers.

mini pony bead jar

It seems like such a small thing to be proud about, but I’m VERY proud of my jar of “pony” beads. I made it out of a mechanical pencil eraser cap and a metal sewing snap. I couldn’t have gotten the diameter of the snap any closer to perfect size for fitting on the cap. I think it turned out to be a wonderful little jar! They pony beads are actually seed beads and the whole jar stands about 1.5 cm tall.

mini shelf

This shelf was made out of popsicle sticks from a tutorial I found somewhere online. It was a lot of fun to make and I’m seeing a lot of modifications I could make to make it look different. One thing I need to make sure to do before I make the next one is to sand it down well before I paint or stain it! I can see the lines where the sticks join and I don’t think it looks very nice. Once I add some books or other things to the shelves it won’t be noticeable though. I may use it for the pink bedroom, if not then for the craft room or the kitchen. I haven’t decided yet.

mini embroidered rug

This little embroidered rug only took a few days of on and off working on it and I think it turned out really cute! It was only after I was about 3/4ths of the way finished with it that I realized they were Dolphins colors! I just plucked them out of my thread box and thought they looked nice together. D’oh! Hopefully no one else will notice (‘cept for those who read this!) I used a square stitch for this called the pillow stitch. It looks really satiny and interesting I think.

mini throw pillows

These little pillows are for the pink bedroom. I never really gave pillows much of a thought because I was thinking “They’re just squares sewn together, what’s the big deal?” These proved to be a bit more difficult to me. I had to find a nice print for the front that I felt was small enough to work for a miniature, then I found a nice contrasting fabric. I thought about doing these on the machine, but the stitches were too large for as small of a seam as I’d given myself. Hand stitching these suckers were time consuming. I thought I’d just whip them out, but noooo…they took about two hours. They’re throw pillow sized, just under an inch miniatured. I think they regular sized pillows will be a bit easier, but I’m starting to rethink my idea for the bolster pillows!

I’ve got several other things in the works right now, but they weren’t ready in time for this post. I made an entire cookie tray of miniature foods so I’ll post those after I glaze them. I also printed out a bunch of miniature food boxes and other paper goods that I need to mod podge and cut out. Those should keep me busy for awhile!