Saturday, February 27, 2010

The perfect place to read...

Invite friends over and let them eat cake =) This coach is entirely hand crafted from solid cherry wood and white oak. All the details are meticulous and intricate, for example, the wheels are made from one hundred individual pieces, the heart shapes in the wheels are spring loaded, panels are hand tapered and beveled, the contoured panels are as durable as a boat hull and the petal-like canopy, interior curtains and upholstery are 100% silk. At Posh Tots, price starts at $75,000.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

To the Rijksmuseum we shall go.. in Amsterdam

This article and picture was sent to me by a friend, I have no idea where the article came from, but I sure wish, I was this person who could visit this exhibit..

to the Rijksmuseum. to see the "The Master Pieces" exhibition in the Philips wing. Lots of Rembrandt, Hals and Vermeer paintings with all the main works on display. Of course the paintings are nice, but for some reason we all are drawn to the dollhouses.

Seventeenth-century doll's houses were not children's toys, they were a hobby. In the 17th century, many wealthy Dutch merchants had collections of one sort or another, which they kept in display cabinets. The wives of these well-to-do gentlemen also had collections, which reflected their personal interests: often their homes. Some had large cupboards full of miniature furniture and dolls, replicas of a real home. These doll's houses were sometimes on a magnificent scale. Whenever an important visitor dropped by, the host and hostess would show their collections. The master of the house would open the drawers of his cabinet and explain the contents to his guests, while his wife gave a comprehensive demonstration of her doll's house. She would display the contents of the cupboards, reveal hidden spaces, light the lamps and would let real water gush from the fountain in the garden. Doll's house demonstrations sometimes went on for hours. for ladies, comparable to the cabinets in which gentlemen kept their collections. This is one of three seventeenth-century doll's houses that have survived intact. It was commissioned by Petronella Oortman, a wealthy Amsterdam lady. The house is remarkable in that all of the components are made exactly to scale. Petronella ordered miniature porcelain objects from China and commissioned furniture makers and artists to decorate the interior. It was extremely costly to create a model house like this. Petronella probably spent between twenty and thirty thousand guilders on her doll's house. In the seventeenth century she would have been able to buy a real house along one of the canals for that price.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Too many projects but ready to begin a tobacco barn

YES, I have too many projects going on in the studio. I have everything ready to begin building a Kentucky Tobacco Barn and I need some miniature tools. I have been searching , found a few Tom Thumb tools I had packed away and am working on my buying list for the upcoming Chicago shows.

While searching the internet for tools I found this website called the Toolchest Site and found this wonderful article. Time to share with others again...

It’s almost difficult to comprehend that this replica of an 18th century gentleman’s tool chest, packed with tools, is only 2 inches long. It is a masterful 1/12 scale reproduction based on the Hewitt chest at Colonial Williamsburg and is by celebrated miniaturist William Robertson.

The chest is primarily made from mopane wood which looks like mahogany in scale and oxidizes similarly. The secondary wood is Swiss pear.

There are also cast brass Rococo drop handles as well as beaded backplates. It should also be noted that the miniscule lock actually works, and the label on the underside of the lid is printed on 18th century paper — in lettering to perfect scale of course.

As you would expect from something so masterfully created, the tool chest was made with the same construction as the original chest. Tool trays and drawers are fully dovetailed with hand-sawn dust boards. The dividers are v-notched and crosslapped and the lid sides are tongue and groove.

Robertson’s tool chest contains all the same tools that were found in the original. All the tools work, even the plane’s tote (handle) is set a scale 1/8″ to one side as the original. The saw has 160 teeth to the inch. Robinson says that the hardest tool to make was the folding rule with 5 leaf hinge. It is about .030″ thick and hand engraved on boxwood. Things like the shears and dividers also have nice little joints.

Also included in the tool chest are a Kent-style hatchet, claw hammer, a riviting hammer, marking gauge, five gimlets, a smooth plane, backsaw, saw wrest, divider, awl, round file, burnisher, inside/outside calipers, bevel gauge, try square, three turnscrews, four brad awls, an oilstone in its case, three tanged chisels, a mallet and a beak anvil. As stated all the tools are fully functional, with blades made of steel. Other parts are made from brass with handles made of pearwood, boxwood, African blackwood, Bolivian rosewood and maple.

The chest and tools took about 1,000 hours to complete.

Miniature Tool Chest 2

Miniature Tool Chest 3

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Man's Miniature World

A friend of mine, made a comment to me , "I'm beginning to get into this miniature stuff".
He had liked my presidential postings and the connection to miniatures. I have been searching for miniatures for "manly" roomboxes or settings so when I came across this diorama made by Wilco Machiels, I had to post them . I found these on Speedhunters. I have left the descriptions of the photos as I found them written on the Speedhunters website.

I AM IN AWE!!!! Read this:

Many model car enthusiasts, they start to build model cars and quickly realize that they have a long way to go before it looks like a real car. There's always the exception and that is Wilco... he started at the age of seven and has since then mastered the technique of building realistic model cars and dioramas like no other.

All the models and diorama's have been build in 1:24 scale and are made to represent the garage's from the 1960's. Wilco says "I love the nostalgic garages of the 1960's - dirty, a little cluttered and rather disorganized and untidy - I like to recreate them just the way they were". He always starts out with a model and then builds the garage around it, he often takes parts from other kits to enhance the look and feel of the diorama's.

The following is from his website....

My name is Wilco Machiels from the Netherlands

This site shows my hobby and passion, making GARAGEDIORAMAS. ( click here to go to his website) Only in 1:24 scale because this is the best scale to work in, detailed and not to big in my opinion.
The dioramas are fully scratch build made from pieces of plastic, wood andmetal. Mostly shoebox size with real 12 volt electric lighting.

I prefer garages from the past with their nostalgic looks (50-80's). I use plastic model car kits with many parts because they are high in detail.

Al my models are plastic kits from Tamiya, Hasegawa, Fujimi, Gunze, Revell, Italerei, Monogram, MPC and Airfix

The detail on this VW bus is amazing. The rust and the battered paint shows that it had a hard life, I'm guessing that it just unloaded the crate engine.

This more customized Beetle with its deep dish wheels is getting some work done on the rear. It looks like there is some welding going on, maybe a leaking exhaust?. The shop owner must have thought better be safe than sorry so he has a fire extinguisher at the ready.

This beetle is undergoing some major overhauling. It is getting a new engine and it seems that the drum brakes are getting refreshed.

This bus is getting a fresh lick of paint and maybe some rust removed around the arches. It is already rolling on some new wheels. Al the diorama's that Wilco makes feature real lighting as you can see on the wall.

Here we have a lot of spare parts that are scavenged from other models to make this diorama complete. Did you notice the Continental sign just right of the door?

This looks more like a donor car but it makes for a great addition to this diorama.

A scratch build tire exchanger.... just so you now that Wilco is truly a king amongst modelers. I'm amazed at all the details and still find new things to marvel at.


So to my friend, what do you think , has this caught your attention..

A new miniature idea... Noah's Ark

I made a Noah's Ark room box about 8 years ago,
it is titled " Noah and Sons Travel Agency".
The room box has appeared in several magazines . I think I bought 6 copies of those magazines, I was so excited to see my work in a magazine at a Border's book store.
I am fascinated with Noah, the story, the lessons to be learned and the number "2". How that number has related to my life is a fascinating story. I liked these quotes and wanted to share them. Now to ponder do I order this kit or keep on looking. It too can go on my birthday wish list!

Noah’s Ark Everything I need to know, I learned from Noah’s Ark…
ONE: Don’t miss the boat.
TWO: Remember that we are all in the same boat.
THREE: Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
FOUR: Stay fit. When you’re 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
FIVE: Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
SIX: Build your future on high ground.
SEVEN: For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
EIGHT: Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
NINE: When you’re stressed, float awhile.
TEN: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
ELEVEN: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.

I found this model kit.. a tiny scale but it might do.
I did find a kit - 9 feet long for $1,500 DON"T THINK SO

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Continuing to honor President's Day

To continue honoring President's Day, I wanted to share this link with you which takes you to a visit to Mt Vernon and wonderful pictures and explanations of this dollhouse replica of Mt. Vernon. Above is the real Mt. Vernon...

Two years ago, I lived approximately 30 miles from Mt. Vernon. I could see the Potomac River from my home in Occoquan. I was a member of the Mt. Vernon Miniature CLub, a marvelous group of NAME miniaturists who I miss very much.
Mt. Vernon has gone under a wonderful renovation and the visitor center is grand. Everytime I visited it, I learned something new about George and Martha ( by the way, the restaurant there serves wonderful lunches.)
I found this site by searching for George Washington clothes... I want to try and make a replica of his coat for a grand and large two room -roombox Williamsburg style I have.


About this third page of Mount Vernon photos and comments .... it is all about the delightful doll house size replica of Mount Vernon that is located on the Mount Vernon estate in the Ford Orientation Center.

Monday, February 15, 2010

In honor of President's Day

In honor of President's Day, this is the Springfield, Illinois home of President Abraham Lincoln.
I am putting this on my birthday wish list... and will start buying the matching furniture. I already have lots of Lincoln accessories and have planned on going to Lexington's Mary Todd Lincoln museum to begin making my list of items to represent her life in this home.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Staying Young with mini chocolates

( this luxury truffle box can be found on from UK)
I just love this miniature. I plan on spending time tomorrow absorbing her website.
I am really hoping someday I am told Chocolate really does make a person stay younger. Here is a great message which if followed will surely add a few more years to my life.


1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. That's why we live smart.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop & dull living.' Experience new things...get out.

4. Enjoy the simple things...

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love , whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is..

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Friday, February 12, 2010


"i carry your heart with me
(i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it
(anywhere i go you go, my dear)"

e. e. cummings

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oh to be in love...

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!!
"Trip over love, you can get up. Fall in love and you fall forever." ." ~Author Unknown
May you be surrounded by those special sweethearts in your life ...and may love never leave your side..~

Monday, February 8, 2010

Paris-what color do I think of..

When I think of Paris, I think of Pink...
I wonder why?
So what do I show you today - this entrance of BLUE, to walk into this entrance
room ( from a home in the Hamptons) ... heavenly and a great room to recreate in miniature.

then well, Super Bowl's are to be watched in a man cave aren't they. With A ROARING FIRE ( I WONDER HOW MUCH WOOD WE WENT THROUGH IN THE PAST WEEK) good food ( yes, chicken wings made by my son, a kentucky ham, good drinks, and snackies galore) and lots of excitement, twas a great game no matter who you wanted to win.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pastry-- cookies extra special

Visit this site for the most wonderful miniature French pastries you will ever see. Two very talented ladies in France have joined forces and their love for miniatures .
You will find delight in reading their delightful blog entries and very quickly go to their online stores.

Carl Bronson, another pastry making genius, is offering another wonderful class at the NAME 2010 convention, French pastries and he has a pastry shop workshop also. I took his chocolate decadence class last year and love making brownies topped with a walnut! In the past I took a class from Sue Ketchum learning how to make breads. So my french food making can begin with loaves of french bread, baguettes and chocolates. It's a beginning.

I was thinking about french scarves too... french perfumes...hmmmm..lots to think about and look for..

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The place to be for the next 8 days waiting for Vaelntine's day

Paris - with a name like mine , where else should a person be the next 8 days when romance is in the air.
The little nook - below- yes, a perfect room to recreate.. in miniature. So throw out all of this week's previous plans.. I shall be posting all week, pictures of Paris, what I find that can be,well, what I think, can be recreated in miniature. the place for Valentine's Day

Friday, February 5, 2010

French knot rugs

A rainy day makes it easy for me to curl up in a big chair and work on my 1/2 inch scale rug.
If only at that scale it took 1/2 the time.
I have sketched out 12 rug patterns and want to even tackle 1/4 inch scale rugs.

This little cabinet picture was sent to me by a friend... can anyone tell me who made this or where it came from- whose website? My friend was using Stumpleupon and yes, stumbled upon it and now can not remember where it come is just the CUTEST ever cupboard

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Spring is a month closer..

Hoorah- that horrific winter blues month is over and I have found February already bringing a bit of inspiration in to my life.

Well, kinda- I caught a horrific cold- two day of me really feeling sorry for myself, staying in my jammies and enjoying sleep and hot tea.

I also traveled with my husband's college basketball team this week to northern Indiana for a game and the next day traveled to Cincinnati for a game. With a french knot rug I am working in my travel box, off I went. Lots of stitches were made and I love basketball victories.

My husband is a cancer survivor and this is the time of year when college basketball coaches honor
" Jimmy V"and the fight against cancer. Here is a photo from one of the games and the sneakers!
My hubby is the 3rd from the left. He has had 5 cancer surgeries, the best cancer doctor in the world.. and I see no sign in the future to have my husband leaving the game he loves to teach.