Tuesday, February 8, 2011


So I think I spent most of my childhood making books, particularly miniature books. I had a whole series of tiny books with illustrated stories in them and a staple holding them together. I wish I still had those! Someone told me once he remembered me bringing them to class for show and tell. I had forgotten about that and I was embarrassed when he told me but now I'm thinking it's pretty cute.

I spent the rest of the time trying to acquire miniature books. They used to have miniature joke books in bubble gum machines but the tricky part was getting one because most of the bubbles just had gum. You could spend a lot trying to get a bubble with a book! Several years ago I found some on ebay though, so I have 3 of those.
Anyway I just finished making my HOM secretary desk and decided it needed lots of books. I thought the joke books would work but they were just a wee bit too big. The shelves aren't very tall so the books have to be really tiny. I measured a paperback and Bradley helped me work out the right size for 1:12 scale and it was smaller than the joke books.

So I made lots of books. They're perfect bound - a glued spine - with origami paper covers. They have real pages that are blank like a little notebook or sketchbook. While I was at it I made a couple of sketchbooks that are a bit larger and thinner and a few smaller notebooks. The sketchbooks and notebooks have brown paper backs to look like the cardboard back of a notebook. Then I even made two really tiny plain notepads.

These are my first tiny handmade items for the "tiny handmade" section of the needle book shop! I'm selling little book sets with combinations of books, sketchbooks, notebooks and notepads.
the teacup is a little wooden one, the only remaining piece from a set I bought in Scotland when I was little.
The desk still needs some knobs and a bit of touching up, but I think it looks cute with all the books. I'd like some little mugs/cups as well for the pencils I'm going to make. But for now I accessorized with a plastic thimble, little cup shaped button and a tiny dish from the dish set I showed you before.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

White HOM chest of drawers

So as I mentioned there are these House of Miniatures kits that make nice little 1:12 scale furniture pieces for dollhouses. They're from the 70s and 80s but some are replicas of 18th century furniture by Chippendale such as this Chest on Chest piece.

I love these kits, they are generally perfect, the pieces match up beautifully and are nice wood with lots of charming details. They're easy to make - the main trick is to figure out the right amount of glue for a secure bond without too much oozing out the sides.
I decided I wouldn't really have such a grand piece of furniture in my house, so I painted mine white which I think is pretty for a chest of drawers. I also changed it by adding green glass knobs (flower beads) instead of the brass fittings that came with the kit. It just seemed like too many tiny brass bits on the drawers as there are also the keyhole escutcheons. I think I may even paint over those later. It would be nice if they darkened up but that could take ages. (I want green glass knobs for my own bureau but when you need to buy ten the cost adds up. So it was nice to have them for the dollhouse.)
The final touch was Japanese paper drawer linings. I did paint the insides of the drawers as it's so easy with a little piece like this, I thought I might as well. It's less realistic but I thought it was pretty. 
Then onto the styling. I crocheted a tiny granny square bureau doily for the top from a single ply of cotton embroidery thread. I just learned how to make a picot edging border, I love it! Then I added a little pot from The Little Dollhouse Company shop. I had some tiny flowers that are used for bridal embellishments, I liked these ones that look like some kind of spring bulb. I was disappointed I didn't have clay for the soil then remembered I had tea leaves in the kitchen leftover from my morning tea. It's absolutely perfect for potting soil!

I'm starting to get caught up in these decorating details but I need to finish building the house. I guess I will start on the ceiling beams soon...

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