Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Congratulations Nancy and Morgen

And to the other two winners of second place and the Grand Prize

Edit: Just got some more info from HBS/Miniatures.com about our winners and thought you all might like to have some background on the builds.


– February 20, 2020 Hobby Builders Supply/miniatures.com, manufacturer and wholesaler of quality dollhouse components since 1975, has announced the winners from its 2019/26th Annual Creatin’ Contest.  The recently completed contest centered around the Serendipity Shed (https://www.miniatures.com/Serendipity-Shed-P28228.aspx). There were over 130 entrants from almost every state and four foreign countries, with many first-time entrants, including the grand prize winner. They used their imagination to create many different designs including bookstores to teddy bear hotels to she sheds, and so much more.



“We were blown away by all of the interestingly creative projects with intricate details,” said Kara Deason, Marketing Director for Houseworks Ltd.  “We had more entries than last year, including experienced miniaturists to people creating their very first projects.  From all of the amazing projects it was very difficult for our panel of judges to choose the winners.” 


You can see more photos at HBS/Miniatures.com but here are a few.

Third Place:

Sea House Leadlights

by Nancy Enge & Fenn Foxx




According to Nancy, “I always like to retain recognizable elements of the starter kit, so deciding what those are helps define the build.  The interplay of light, texture and form between the windows, structures and landscaping is my favorite part of the piece. I advise spending a lot of time at the beginning sketching, thinking, dreaming, and researching about what your build might be. Think about where, what, when it is. These parameters will answer a lot of questions as you build. Take your time, love what you do and learn by doing.”

Second Place:

Brown Bear Lodge

by Michell Bryant & Lamon Small


Since my uncle and I are a team, we both looked at the kit for inspiration and we saw everything from a western store to a pawn shop, but could never really come up with a design we both could agree on,” says Michelle. “We had pretty much given up, and I stared at it for weeks, when one day it came to me.  It was the perfect hotel lobby in a hotel for bears! Then the idea grew from there. Every hotel needs a tavern so The Honey Hole was a natural addition. Then we decided the bears would be having a beekeepers’ convention, and of course they would need ‘cub care’ center.  I love seeing my imagination come to life, seeing a project from the very first idea to the end result.  And I love that anyone can look at this project and see the story we are telling. We advise people to never enter a contest to win.  Instead create things that you love and let the project evolve. Sometimes we might think we were going in one direction but it didn’t work out, and we didn’t fight it and it ended up so much better.”

First Place:

Elle Peinte


According to Morgen, “The windows and doors of the project reminded me of those seen in old Parisian buildings -- beautifully large windows and French doors letting light stream into warm, well-loved living spaces.  I knew that I wanted those features to be the centerpiece of my build.  I love how it looks like a framed piece of art that can be hung on the wall.  My tip is to follow your passion and create what speaks to your heart. Only you can tell the story you want told.” 


And the Grand Prize:

She Shed

by Inger Henriksson


She is a first-time entrant to the Creatin’ Contest.  “This kit inspired me to make my dream studio that I wish I had in real life,” says Inger.  “I found a picture of a rough and weathered garden shed on Pinterest and that got me going, and the rest sort of took off on its own. My favorite part is the porch with the dog on the sofa and a good friend coming over for wine and cheese in the cool afternoon air.  I have changed every kit and almost every readymade piece of furniture to my own liking.  Instead of using real wood for the exterior and interior, I copied old wood from a wallpaper webstore, cut strips and glued to thick cardboard in irregular widths to mimic the real thing. I also added color with an inkpad and made dents and deep grooves on the dark brown interior wood. The patio floor is pieces of a cork sheet made old and worn with acrylic paint and inkpads.”

Amazing, all of them!

Congratulations again!

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Shall We Begin?

I'd like to begin by saying that even for accountants, doing your taxes... no fun.

I spent part of my Saturday doing that.  And then because two things had arrived on Thursday I got to start playing around with my new kit!

First thing I opened was the bust of Pallas.


As you can tell from the bits and pieces it's plastic and requires assembly.  I'll build it some sort of wooden base and paint it all the same color to get a stone effect.

The bust is sitting on top of the unopened kit.


So I got my books out and lined them up.


I'm a little odd in that I can't stand the thought of actually hurting old antique books.  So I'll beat these up, distress them and make them look a bit more antique-ish.  I've got a lot of books from my grandmother that are very old and they're all coming apart so at least I've got examples.

I'm testing the window and door placement.


I'm thinking of having the smaller window on the 'wall' kitty corner from the door.  But nothing's finalized yet.

I started to glue all the pages together so I can cut them out and leave a 'roof' of the pages and hardcovers.  My goal is to keep the room only eleven inches deep as that's the depth of my bookshelves.  The ones where I keep another house.


I'll have to move some books around, but I think it can be done.

And of course, we can't forget, the Building Inspector is keeping an eye on my progress thus far.


I hope everyone else is having a great weekend!  I'm excited, Keli is doing the contest this year, and Brae mentioned she's already got something in mind as well.

This is going to be such a fun year.  I can't wait to see!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Fine Print Honorable Mention!

Hey everyone, just a quick post to put up the first results of the 2019 Creatin' Contest.

I'm excited to say that Fine Print won Honorable Mention and that among others Brae's Ivy Hollow 0 Rural Free Delivery Post Office also won Honorable Mention.  Congratulations Brae!

You can see all the announced winners here!

And to remind you, here are some pics of Fine Print.







I can't wait to see the next round of winners.

Congratulations to all of you who've earned a prize!

And in other exciting news, my 2020 kit arrived today.  So I get to play with it this weekend!



Sunday, February 2, 2020

Laundry Room Part II

Well this weekend I finished my little laundry room box.  I worked on it for half of Saturday and then goofed around mostly.

But I'm pretty happy with how it came out.


I like that it's with things I already had so I didn't spend any money on it.


I had to put one pink fuzzy sock on the clothes line just so that everyone knows that this washer/dryer set also eats socks.  So Megan, your question is answered!




And my husband brought home a bunch of books the library was going to get rid of so I can get started on my room box.


I'll take the dust jackets off them and start to get the pages glued together soon.

Of course we have football going on too so I'll end up watching that.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Laundry Room

So I have to fill my time somehow.  And I didn't get a lot of sleep this weekend so it's probably best that I did the cutting portion of this project last weekend.

We had a Tide Pod container that I grabbed before my husband could throw it in the recycle bin.  I've been wanting to do a little room box since I had a couple sets of washer/dryers salt and pepper shakers.



I built up the floor a bit with cardboard, and used scrapbook paper to cover the walls.  The floor is a piece of wallpaper I got from Minimum world.  I used a ball stylus to outline the 'tile' and glued it to the cardboard.



The baseboards are also cardboard and scrapbook paper.

I'm waiting for some of the glue to dry but I plan on having a hanging wall shelf above the washer/dryer.  I've got laundry soap and fabric softener as well as other cleaning supplies to go on the shelf and towels to sit on the washer/dryer.


The ceiling light fixture is a crystal/glass knob I got from Hobby Lobby.

The glue should be dry soon and I'll be able to add the wall shelf and soaps.  I'm hoping to have it done next week.  Nice little distraction until the new kit as available.  I might try to do a room box music room after this.

Hope you all had a great weekend.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Quoth The Raven, "Nevermore"

Well... this is the big idea.  It starts out like this...my husband is a librarian. And a huge fan of Edgar Allen Poe.  He loves the man's short stories, poetry, you name it.  Considering my husband was an English major who then went on to get his masters in Library Science, I suppose it isn't surprising.

And looking at the kit, I like the door and windows, and the stairs are interesting so I'll try to work them both into the design.

What I want is something like a room box, based upon the poem, to evoke that mood and echo the setting.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”

Which to me says somebody is semi-relaxing, half asleep, probably not super dressed up, reading old books.  It's obviously very dark outside, the proverbial witching hour.  So Victorian lounge-wear.




And as it is his 'chamber' he likely spends a lot of time there, so there's a choice of seats, not just a regular chair but also a chaise to relax upon or nap on.



    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
            Nameless here for evermore.

Which means it's cold outside, even in the south December was chilly and damp, and there's a fireplace with a fire dying slowly.  And the man is severely depressed.



I really like the style of the second fireplace, so I'll try to do something similar with bookcases built in on either side.  With a set of portraits above the mantel, of Poe and Lenore hopefully, draped in black crepe as was appropriate for someone in mourning.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
    “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
            This it is and nothing more.”

I'd like to point out that what my husband loves about Poe is his ability to make you doubt the...sanity of the narrator.  It was one of Poe's signature traits, the unreliable narrator.  So you can't know if you're hearing the truth, a fantasy/nightmare, or a combination of the two.

But from that verse I get purple silk curtains.


Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
            Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

So just inside the doorway, likely on a shelf over the door, is bust of Pallas Athena, and on it, a Raven.



Which I've found a plastic bust of Pallas Athena on Etsy since creating one is beyond my capabilities, like way beyond.

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
            Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

There were desk chairs and library chairs with wheels, so I'll try to recreate something like this.  With some sort of cushioned backrest.


And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
            Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Kinda gives the impression that this guy died staring at the bird.  Which leaves the room empty except for ghosts.  And the bird is still sitting on the bust staring.  Nooo...not creepy at all!

So I do have a black bird which can pass as a Raven in a pinch.  What I still need to procure are some...things for the exterior.

I want it to look like this:



Or something similar to this.  I really like the idea of a room box, to look like books on the outside and inside, a 'chamber' with a back hall and maybe a staircase going up, half hidden, gothic wallpaper, dark floors... minimal light, just enough to cast shadows and make the place look suitably creepy.

I'm excited. I've never done anything like this.

So I need to hit up thrift stores or the library donation reject box for some battered old books.  Luckily the librarian husband works at a library (go figure) and says he'll be on the lookout.

I'm also still trying to build barn doors so I can fix up my 1:1 house a bit.  They're a bit heavier than 1:12 doors.

Can't wait to see what the rest of you are coming up with for this kit!