Sunday, December 8, 2019

Fine Print Open For Business

Well! All done.  Got over eighty pictures taken and chose four for submission.  I'm improving, last year I had over a hundred.

So starting out with the exterior...

The first floor is a shop front I bought from  I used baseboards, crown molding and wood to embellish it and attach the front of the kit to the top of the shop front.

I filled in the space for the doorways and built up the depth of the shallow windows so I could use all four across the front of the second floor.

The third floor is more wood, trim and windows I bought on sale, again from  The mansard roof is foamcore board covered with wood shingles painted to look like slate.  I made the decorative grill from a strip of wood, pieces of spindles and paper covered wire wrapped around it then painted black and black metallic on top of it.

I bought a brick stencil from Moonflower Minis on Etsy and used drywall spackle for my brick, painted it and then sealed it with ceramcoat before grouting and resealing it.  The stone texture on the roof lip and corbels is sugar texture medium.

The stone and brick on the base and corners of the shop are egg carton brick and stone.  The lights are from  And the sign letters are from Hobby Lobby.  I sanded them down a bit to make them fit in my space and painted them gold, aged with black.

The first floor, the main shop space, doesn't have a ton of floor space.  I read up on shopping in Victorian times and people would line up at the counter, request what they wanted and a clerk would get it for them.  Bookstores were a bit different because people wanted to browse.  But I still didn't see it as having a huge open space really.

The one thing I noticed about the pictures I found of different shops, was that they were crowded with goods. The walls didn't have a lot of bare spots.

And of course I had to have the cats come and keep me company while I took pictures.  Austen is lounging across the newspapers and fashion magazines.

Dickens is waiting his turn on the table top.  Bronte thinks the floor is too cold and jumps from the staircase to the top of the bookshelf nearby.

The bookshelves were barewood from Minimum World as was the counter.  I made the staircase from spindles, wood fan blades and beads and a lot of the books and newspapers from free printies.  I also bought bookmaking kits from LDelaney on Etsy.  I made the cabinet display tables from House of Miniatures kits and the display racks and stands from woodsies and spindle pieces.

More of the books, magazines and papers came from Lilliput Treasures, PetiteGiteMiniatures, LittleThingsInterest, and MiniShacks on Etsy.  The cash register and lamp I found on Ebay.  The rest of the light fixtures came from  And the stove was also an Ebay find, though the 'fire' light inside came from as well.

Barbara sent me a bunch of books and a beautiful atlas that I refuse to glue anywhere... it's too pretty to make immobile.  I couldn't find a place for it in this build so it's very carefully kept in its little bag.  I love the little sign, and maybe it'll end up as décor in a more modern build.

The crown molding is also from

On the second floor, I left the center open, so the clerks or patrons could look over the railing to the first floor.  I imagine there's a lot of speaking between floors.  As you can see, all three cats enjoy the view from the railings and lounge there as only cats are able.

I made the door to the 'staircase' from scrap wood and painted it to resemble the actual door on the third floor with similar trim.  I went with single light sconces on the second floor since the chandelier would provide light as well.

I can't remember where the pictures came from.  Probably HBS but I can't be certain.

They like to move around, an easy leap from the railing to the top of another bookshelf, and thus a nice view out the windows.

Sometimes it's easier to take pictures when the lights are out.

I like the view here, seeing the staircase in the corner.

For layout the third floor living quarters gave me the most trouble.  Not easy to arrange the furniture for practicality and photography.  It had to look realistic as far as placement but I didn't want to block out details I'd taken such pains to add.

Dickens is guarding the wonderful copy of Pride and Prejudice Deborah made for me.  It's readable and absolutely gorgeous.  She sent it along with some little blank books for my shelves and I just adore it.  Another book I could not glue down, so it stays on the bed where it's safe!

The fish, sausages and turnips are from Etsy, they are the goods I'd ordered for the WQRC and they didn't arrive until well after Christmas.  When they arrived they also stank to high heaven of I don't know what.  Thankfully they don't smell anymore.  Otherwise Bronte wouldn't go near them.

One of the few flat walls in the living quarters so I could hang these two portraits over the door.

The gorgeous bonnet is from Just For You Miniatures. I bought it ages ago for my Gothic Victorian and it looked so good here I had to kidnap it.

I made the hair brush from some wood and the bristles are from an old paint brush.  The mother of pearl back is from an old necklace I'd taken apart for my bead stash.  The small blue, pink and white 'jar' is a bead with a jewelry finding and another bead on top to make a place to keep hair from the brush.  Jewelry made from hair was still pretty common in Victorian times, according to my reading.  Ladies would have three hair brushes. One for that day, one from the day before which was drying from being washed, and a third to lend to a friend if needed.  Brushing one's hair removed all the dust, coal and other types, that had accumulated during the day.  You washed the brush and let it dry while using the other one and kept switching them out.

It's toasty warm by the stove. Another Ebay find.

Bronte, Austen and Dickens are all creations of Maya Schippl.

I made the throw at the end of the bed.

I made the bureau from a House of Miniatures kit.  The blue upholstered chair is an Ebay find, and the bed is from my stash.  The rest of the furniture is from Minimum World. I bought a bunch at half price last year.

The mattress and pillow are from Minibeddingshop and the quilt is from MiniBargains, both on Etsy.

The mirror on the dresser is from Smallsminnimall.  The lamp is an ebay find as are the bottles.  I got the pretty box from an online mini show.  The clock is from Minimum World.

The letters, paperwork and leather-bound book on the desk are from FrancesLanePark on Etsy. I made the ink bottles and dip pens.

The blue glass pitcher is from Keli and the 'copper' pots are from Ebay (I think) I've had them in my stash for a while.  The green bowls are from Susi, I won a drawing of hers a couple years back.  The metal canisters are from as is the wooden box.  The white plates and bowls are from Hobby Lobby and Ebay.  The packages of food are reallllly old, (I got them when I was thirteen? I think) although you can still buy them.


  1. Your entry looks great. I like the way you do so much research beforehand so you can get the details just right. Good luck!

  2. Standing ovation! I love everything about this build (including, of course, the cat guarding Pride & Prejudice). ;-) I don't know how you manage to choose just four pictures to submit. I wouldn't want the judges to miss a single, fabulous detail. All the time and work you've put into this has really paid off. You have made a lovely, welcoming store full of charming period details. Fingers crossed for you!

  3. Que difícil ha tenido que ser,escoger sólo cuatro imágenes! Toda la construcción es una maravilla,la mires por donde la mires,el exterior,el interior,cada pequeño detalle o rincón...
    Espero que tengas mucha suerte,mis pensamientos positivos están contigo.

  4. Your entry looks fantastic, Sheila, good luck!!
    I loved seeing this tour through the book shop, it's wonderful to see each of all details in the interior, and of course the outside, after it's ready.

  5. Sheila, how beautifully it all came together. Your bookshop has atmosphere and it looks inviting, wish I could browse there awhile. Knowing how Victorians loved to keep the windows closed, I want to sneeze looking at all the cats, ha ha.

  6. Wow! I'm sure this stunning Library is a winner. I love it from start to finish, interior, exterior, cats included. Good luck!!!
    Hugs, Drora

  7. Great cover photo, Sheila! It's so hard to narrow it down to just four photos when there is so much incredible detail in every nook and cranny! Luckily, those folks at have specialized and highly trained eyes to look for the magic you put into every project! What you've made of this year's kit with the facade and interior features is truly visionary! Congratulations on another fantastic and interesting build, and best of luck in the competition!!!

  8. I had loads of fun during this tour and enjoyed next to your wonderful pictures your explanations very much. You did quite some research for this project and it became a masterpiece to be proud of. There are so many fabulous ideas and details I could mention but I'm shortening this down to just two notes: The first picture of the whole building with the lights on is absolutely gorgeous. And - you've had a very good hand with naming the cats (although T. S. Eliot said the naming of cats would be a difficult matter). Oh, and one more thing I need to point out: You're very tough that you managed to decide for four pictures. Good luck to you!


  9. Amazing work Sheila! It looks beautiful and cohesive and lots of interesting detail. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

  10. Wow! Sheila, it looks so Fantastic and welcoming and beautiful and Awesome!!! I love the project almost as much as I loved the Wicked Queen's Cottage! Lol! Really, your work has paid off and the shelves are filled and all those extra details like the food and the hairbrushes really make a difference! There are wonderful things to look at in every corner! I LOVE the cats in every picture! They look so at home in the shop! I wish I could live in a place like this! LOL! Congratulations on getting it done and making such a great Project!!! :):)

  11. So impressive!!! And three full stories! Yay so happy you've finished. And honestly what a contender, I wouldn't be surprised if you take home another prize this year! I adore the exterior all lit up. I immediately loved all the brick work and the trim, but when you put on the signage it just really came together for me. Seeing it lit up is just magical. Inside the book shelves are stunning. The colours of the books and the variation is so so good. I've spent a lot of time really looking at those photos because there is just so much to see. I've always really liked the way you did the stairs so we can really see in too. The third floor is beautifully laid out, very smart. The stove is so perfect in the living quarters.
    Congrats too on your photo skills, everything is light and bright. I really enjoyed reading through the recap on this post.
    JUST BEAUTIFUL! Fingers crossed for you this year!

  12. Wow, so impressive! It looks beautiful and those kittnes and lots of interesting detail. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

  13. I can't take my eyes of this masterpiece! Again, you made a masterpiece. I love the idea of bookstore and how you made it. It was a pleasure watch all the progress of your work. And now I'm absolutely impressed by the final efect!
    All the details are incredible. I always admire your sense of putting everything togheter exactly as it should be.
    Wonderful work!