Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring is almost here! Little lavender pots to brighten the day

Hello Friends,
Just a quick little post while I am waiting for the furniture delivery men.
I am awaiting our new sofa and loveseat.  Please don't take that as braggadocio, lol, if you saw our ten year old sofa you would understand. The dogs and children have done their duty - it is a filthy, saggy mess and I cannot wait to see it leave my home and go on its way to sofa heaven.

So, anyway, here are some little miniature pots and planters filled with lavender and other greenery. These were made using the ground up paper from my last post.





 Have a great day!

~Daphne

Monday, March 17, 2014

Promises, Promises or Make Your Own Flower S O F T for Lavender and Other Flowers

Yes, promises...I do solemnly promise the tutorials for the corset, stockings and tuffet are coming but I was so excited that this couldn't wait!
This has been stewing and bubbling in the little idea closet of my mind for probably about a year.

I wanted some of that Flower Soft stuff to play with but I always felt like it was a little pricey. I mean, it's just some kind of ground up something or other, right? (I must be truthful, I've never felt any of that stuff with my own hands but have seen photos of it in use.)

Anyway...do you have a little food chopper, old blender or food processor? Maybe a food processor you use for polymer clay or a blender that is languishing in the cabinet in the kitchen because you learned your lesson the hard way the last time you had Margarita Night? ;) *snicker*

Yep...see that paper up there in  pic? That is Bazzil card stock..it has a white core...I really don't think it matters which brand or that the paper has a white core, that's just what I happened to have in the colors I wanted to use for some lavender.  I used three shades of purple.  I would be willing to bet you could use construction paper but it might not hold up as well - haven't tried it.

So, yes, tear that paper up into...ehm, maybe one inch squares? I apologize, I was so excited, I forgot to take any pics of the process but it's not rocket science.  Throw some torn bits of paper into that poor, disused blender and then drop in a couple drops of water...not too much! We don't want to make paper pulp. I tried it first without any water and it created a lot of super fine dust and built up a lot of static.  The water really helped...just wet your fingers under the faucet and shake them off into the blender/food chopper cup.  I set my little chopper on high but you might want to first start on a little lower setting and see how things go.
You want the paper chopped up fine but not pulverized to dust.


Voila! Is that cool or what?  I'm sure I will think of lots of uses for this but for now, I made some little Lavender stems with florist's wire (the wire needed to be a little bit finer but this was an experiment) and my super sticky favorite glue in the whole wide world.
Easy Peasey.
I know, you, my friends, will make something wonderful with this idea! I'd love to see what you do.



Friday, March 14, 2014

I Am Covered in Paint, Stain and Varnish....

...but like a pig in a mud puddle, I couldn't be happier than when I have worked hard and made a mess. ;)
Do you like the new look for the blog? Let me know your thoughts, I don't want to make anything hard to read or hard to find, etc.

Here are some things I have been working on this week, some are up in my etsy shop.
I couldn't really capture the grandiosity of this armoire. It is really striking in person.

I'm not entirely sure of the official name of this dresser? Anyone know?
**EDIT** It is called an 'Empire Chest'. I Googled "dresser with columns" ;)

I've been making corsets and stockings. Fun!










I am still working on the tutorials for you! Would you like a tutorial for the stockings?  I've seen lots of tutorials for the corsets but never for the stockings (not saying there aren't any but I couldn't find any).  Hope you've all had a wonderful week and here is to hoping you have an even better weekend!

XO
Daphne

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Another Bombe

I can't get enough of these. One day I will find one for my 1:1 scale home but till then...





This is the first time I've attempted faux marble. It was fun to do. I would like to try a black base with white veining next.

This piece is for sale in my Etsy shop.

I'd also like to invite you to visit my web shop. www.courtofgypsies.com
There you will find many DIY miniature items. I am still stocking the shop, there is lots more to come, it's just very time consuming.  I will have furnishings from JBM, HanaMini and many others. Lots of accessories and building/decorating items as well.  I will announce sales and specials and new items here on the blog. :)  Please feel free to contact me with any requests. The shopping cart is not currently set up to accept international orders but you may certainly contact me and make arrangements for shipment outside the USA.

Have a wonderful day!

~Daphne

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Fantastic and New (to me) Sculptress and Battling Facebook and Other Social Media

;)  Hello Friends,
How does that title grab you? Haha!

So, I ran across these little 1:12 figures on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/181494789/ooak-miniature-artdoll-112th-by-tatjana


Her name is Tatjana Raum. Tatjana, I hope you don't mind me posting your photo here.
You can see a gallery of her works on her website - http://www.chopoli.com/index.htm
and her blog - http://www.chopoli.blogspot.com/
Prepare to pick your jaw up off the floor. ;)

On to other, less pleasant topics.
Battling social media.  What? Why? You say?
I've been catching up with blogs for days now and I've noticed a trend.  Many bloggers have mentioned in one way or another the lack of posting by many (I plead guilty!!) and a decline in blog traffic. One blogger mentioned that she can remember a short while ago, opening her blog reader and being overwhelmed by the number of posts and not being able to keep up and read them all.  I have been thinking this myself. Where did all the beautiful posts and photos go? I really enjoy reading wordy, informative posts accompanied by beautiful photos!

 Many have pointed to social media as the culprit. I agree to a point. I think the combination of Google's betrayal by way of totally ruining/dropping Google Reader along with Facebook, Twitter and the multitude of other social media goodies out there has resulted in scattering us all to the four winds. 

Here is my challenge.  Let us do battle with the other social media venues! Let's start posting again on our blogs and promoting those posts via social media.  If you are having a giveaway, by all means, post it on Facebook, but direct traffic to your blog, have entrants post a comment on your blog rather than on your Facebook post. Push readers to your blog, entice them to slow down and once again discover the delight of a full blog post rather than a few lines of text. So many, more intimate friendships to be attained! 

I have nothing against Facebook (I just plain ole' don't get Twitter...bores the heck out of me, I'm too visually oriented for Twitter). I use Facebook often but I love blogging; blog posts to me, are akin to hand written letters from distant friends....Let's keep that alive!

Stepping down from the soap box. ;)

Have a wonderful weekend my friends.

~Daphne
 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Typography on Furniture





Hello Friends,
I've been busy. Still having fun with furniture makeovers. Have you noticed the trend of typography being transferred to furnishings? I think it's been around a while but I really like it.
The sideboard above has had an antique french advertisement applied to the drawer fronts. The whole piece was repainted and distressed and then sealed with satin varnish.  I'd like one of these, please, in 1:1 scale.

The little pouf ottoman in the pic with the sofa was made using the cardboard tube from a roll of ribbon.  Easy peasey!

Hope you are having a wonderful week!
~Daphne

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Nordic French Brocante Style Chest of Drawers in 1 Inch Scale

Good Sunday Friends,

I've been playing with some ideas. We've got 'weather' again (read that blech, more snow!) so the Nordic French style is quite apropos with its coolness and light. Doesn't necessarily make one feel 'warm and fuzzy' but it is lovely in its stark, time worn way.

Don't mind the crazy over-sized lavendar, lol, I need to get out my flower making supplies and make some more realistic looking plants.

I really like the motif on the chest of drawers - what do you think?  I definitely want to explore this technique.

The dress form and chair are  Chrysnbon  kits (available in my shop, contact me if you'd like to order) that I have painted and distressed. The little chaise lounge is a cheaper wood piece that I reupholstered with linen. In retrospect, I wish I had made it a little more plush with a thicker seat cushion with piping...maybe I will re-do it.






Hope you have a lovely evening!

~Daphne


Sunday, February 23, 2014

OOAK Rehupholstered Parlor Set Fantasy French Victorian




This is what I've been up to the past few days. I love mixing patterns and textures. I will try to take photos on the next set for a little tutorial. I'm still learning the best ways to do things. I think I would like the next set to be a bit more plush with thicker padding - Just have to learn the proper way to do diamond tufting.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Our Daughter is in a Magazine!!



Okay, so I know this isn't mini-related. But I am so proud, she is my step-daughter and her mother did a wonderful job raising both her and her sister. I came late to the party and had no hand in their success. Nevertheless, I am proud of them both as successful young women.

Liz (above) is and artist and a Stylist for Amazon. She does installation art and works with crystalline structures grown on various objects and surfaces and is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet :D.  Way to go, Izy (you will always be Lizzie to me)!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Shabby French Rococo Lady's Work Table and Chair Finished







Hello friends,
Finally found time to finish up these two Bespaq pieces. Please excuse the silly little room box scene in the photos...it is in pretty poor shape but I liked the light play through the window. It's one of those DIY box kits from China. ;)

I had purchased some smaller artist brushes for the paintings on the furniture but I still think I need even smaller ones. :/ I'd like the little roses to be a bit more delicate and petite.

Kris, suggested I should try painting on fabric for the upholstery. Thank you so much , Kris! I was hesitant but it worked out well, I used textile medium mixed with acrylics for the muslin on the chair back.

This set is available; if anyone is interested, please drop me an email at daphne at courtofgypsies dot com.  I am planning on listing this in my Etsy shop but wanted to offer it here first.

I am thoroughly enjoying painting these little pieces and just got a huge shipment of miniatures to put in my shop. Just have to get the technical things worked out...bleh.

I hope I don't sound like a big advertisement here, that is not my intention but I had some questions and would really appreciate your input if you have the time.
I want to stock my web shop (not Etsy) with miniatures that are things you have been looking for or that are hard to find. Please let me know if there is something you would like to see in the shop.  My suppliers have thousands of items and I realized that there is no way I can stock or even have the time to list all of the available items - so, I was hoping you all could give me some feedback on your most desired items?  I want to be able to offer them at reasonable prices as well as offer specials and discount sales etc.
 My suppliers offer furnishings, glassware, dollhouse figures...everything, just about anything you can imagine as well as supplies for building and making minis.

Hug!
Daphne

Sunday, February 16, 2014

On My Work Table...


...waiting to be finished. :)  Two Bespaq pieces.  The legs on these are so delicate.
Please be sure to visit my new website - www.courtofgypsies.com 
I have placed my first order with my supplier and will have some lovely things listed soon. I'm very excited as this has been a dream of mine for a long time. Someday, I would love to open a brick and mortar dollhouse shop but for now, it will have to be online.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!


Monday, February 10, 2014

Hand Painted Miniature - French Rococo Kidney Side Table





Hello Friends :) Thank you so much for your kind words, so much appreciated.

I've done up another little Rococo piece. Still rusty with the painting...have get smaller!  I feel like the roses are a bit too large on this piece. It is so tiny and delicate. Very well made little piece that I purchased unfinished.

Still working on the website so I will probably list my first few pieces in my Etsy shop.

Hope you are having a wonderful day...trying to stay warm around here!



Saturday, February 8, 2014

Chalk Painted Rococo Bombe Chest in 1:12 scale

Hello Friends,

It's been one of those weeks..really, I should say, one of those months or years, as it's just been one thing after another around here. Trying to keep my chin up.  I try not to post personal junk but life is getting in the way a bit here and I am a bit down. It will all work out. :) I apologize, not trying to dump on you, just had to get it out.

On to the fun stuff, I promised to post about chalk paint. I should have taken pics of how I mixed up the paint but I didn't...so, I will just explain. It is very simple, anyway.  I also wanted to give credit where due. I first saw the chalk paint mentioned at about.com in an article from Lesley Sheperd.

You need:
Acrylic or Latex Paint
Plaster of Paris
Water


I used regular old acrylic craft paint, folk art brand that comes in the small bottles. The kind used for decorative and tole painting.  I had some small jars here to mix the paints in.  I poured some bottled water into the little jar - about half full - and then put in small amounts of plaster of Paris till it was the consistency of a little bit thicker than liquid hand soap. Don't make it super thick and not super runny either.

Next, add your paint. I used about equal parts paint and plaster of Paris/water mixture.

My little jars have tight fitting lids and so far, only one has set up a tiny bit in the bottom and by chance that was the one that had a little bit less acrylic paint in it.

I made this paint in small batches, about two oz. or so.

So, here is the result. I only used the chalk paint as the off white base coat for this piece. It covered really well, I used two coats. This little bombe chest had a shiny red varnish on it to start. I did run some fine sandpaper over it just to give it some tooth but honestly, I probably wouldn't have had to. I distressed this piece a little more than I meant to but I kind of like the result. :)  I'm a bit out of practice with my decorative painting, I want to do some of these little chests with some pastoral scenes.  I also learned that my gold leaf paint needs to be sealed before you put antiquing gel on top...




All in all, really really like the soft, flat look of the chalk paint for base coating and the nice coverage it gives.

Hugs and kisses for now,  I hope you will try this and hope you have a wonderful weekend!