Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Presents - big and little

How lucky am I??  Lamina (@ do a bit) made me these gorgeous cushions for Christmas - the 'human size' ones are her own screen printed designs, and the 1:12 little cuties are inkjet computer printed copies.  She's a very clever, very creative - and generous - gal :)  Thank you Lamina!!

Click here to visit Lamina's blog to see more of her creative projects.

Photo credit : Lamina @ 'do a bit'

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Guest post: by Lamina from "do a bit... everyday" - printed cushions from original designs

Hi there everyone, my name is Lamina from "do a bit... everyday"!

I am thrilled that Norma asked me to do a guest post about my mini cushion makeover here at make mine mini :)

It's been a busy couple of weeks for me, leading up to Christmas ... I bought this really cute little dolls house furniture set for my sister's little girl, but I wasn't really loving the cushions that came with it! So I decided, in the midst of all the craziness last week, that I would give the cushions a makeover... Yes I am slightly insane! Not sure how I found the time but I did!

cushion makeover - before
:: cushion makeover - before

I prepared the fabric by soaking it in bubble jet set 2000, ironed the fabric onto freezer paper and then using my ink jet printer, printed my little designs onto it and then sewed them up into cushions... it was very easy!

cushion makeover - printing
:: cushion makeover - printing

cushion makeover - sewing
:: cushion makeover - sewing

Voila... new cute little cushions!!!

cushion makeover - after
:: cushion makeover - after :)

And when you turn the cushions over...

cushion makeover - after
:: cushion makeover - after

I printed different images on each side of the cushion so she can mix and match! I used my own designs... rainbow cloud, home sweet home and the cupcake designs which I had screen printed on kids tops, cushions and tea towels. It was so much fun doing this little project.  I'm so please with how they look, they are so cute and my sisters little girl absolutely loved them :)

Thank you Norma for giving me the opportunity to show off my cute little cushions on your gorgeous little blog... it was great fun!

Hope you are all having a wonderful day!

do a bit... everyday

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The treestump house

At last some pics - I finally found my camera (safely hidden in a box on my workbench).  I'm just going to show you the finished piece today, I'll do a post on some of the process later on.  

Nice of you to visit, please come on in.
Please join the daddy and the little boy for a cup of tea while I relax upstairs.

It's such a lovely view ...

Perfect pattern for a treehouse bed don't you think?  We don't have any jungle animals around here though ...

Perhaps you'd like to take a stroll outside and meet some of our neighbourhood creatures...
Mind the step!

The little frog seems to be a bit reluctant to jump into the pond.

One of the bunnies is missing a bit of his ear, it could have something to do with jumping head-first out of the bedroom window...
I hope you enjoyed your tour, won't you come back again?
It's fun to play together.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Giveaway postponed until January - and another 'secret' project

I've decided to postpone my 500 Followers and Blog Anniversary giveaway until January, I think we've all got quite enough on with Christmas just around the corner and it'll be a bit of fun to look forward to after Christmas. 

I expect to have photos of the treestump house next week - it's all finished but I can't find my camera - no doubt it will turn up when I'm looking for something else. 

And now I'm frantically working on another 'secret' project - I'm not sure whether to call it  'Renovation Rescue' or 'Restoration Madness!'. 

A couple of weeks ago it was our local council annual cleanup where you get to put out all the big stuff that isn't allowed in the normal garbage collection.  Near my house I spotted a dollhouse amidst a pile of other stuff discarded at the roadside waiting for the compacting truck to come along (it's the kind of thing that you throw a big old wardrobe in and it crunches it into matchsticks).  It looked like it had been badly neglected for quite a long time but had the potential to be a nice play dollhouse for a couple of little girls in my neighbourhood - after a good scrub and a coat of paint - and I couldn't bear the thought of it getting crunched in the back of the garbage truck. 

After a good scrubbing and a bit of paint it did look better, but I decided not good enough.  That's when the madness set in!  It now has two new sides, a replaced ground floor partition, an additional partition upstairs to create a space for a bathroom, the sizing of the doorways has been heightened and narrowed ready for doors to be hung, it also needs a new base because the house had been sitting on the curbside grass during at least one overnight rainstorm.   There will also be a lot of basic furniture making in the next 2 weeks because I'm hoping to deliver it to the girls around Christmas.  Fortunately I also have some bits and pieces in my stash that I can use but it's still going to be a fairly tight schedule.  More on this project later.  Now back to the workshop ...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I won Lidi's basket!! (and mention of a couple of other things)

Recently Lidi Stroud, miniature basket maker extraordinaire, at Basketcase Miniatures offered this gorgeous shopping basket in her 100 Followers giveaway and I won it!!  I'm so excited about it, it's going to be so perfect for Emily to take to the market every day (you can read about Emily here).  The detail and perfection of Lidi's tiny baskets is just incredible.  I was lucky enough to receive one last year on my birthday and I just love it, I'm super lucky to now have another.  Thank you so much Lidi for your generousity, I'll truly treasure this little basket - it's going to give a real 'slice of life' to my French project.

Click here visit Lidi's Etsy store - maybe a little basket is just the treat you deserve for Christmas...

On another subject ... you're probably wondering if the little tree-stump house is ever going to be finished - well there has been a bit of lull in the proceedings because I'm recovering from surgery - I'm doing just fine but it's holding me back from getting busy in the workshop.  However, it won't be too long now and it should be finished ready for playtime.    And I'm just busting to get back to Emily's apartment above the brocante

Also a big welcome to a number of new Followers, always nice to see new faces, thanks for stopping by. 

And yes, I have noticed the number has gone a little over the 500, plus it was my 2nd Blog anniversary a few days ago, so some kind of giveaway celebration is appropriate - so many things to think about!  Will it happen before Christmas?  Let's wait and see...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My "secret" treehouse project

Study is all over for another year so as promised here are a couple of  preview photos of  my  "secret" project - a mini treehouse for my grandson to play with when he comes over. 

I hope he's going to like it!  He's a young man (not yet 3) with very strong opinions about what he does and doesn't like. I can't imagine where he gets that from, although there have been a few suggestions ;)

Come on in

and take a seat

The main idea is to make it strong and simple, appropriate for a child's play, but with enough character to satisfy me at least a little.  I have some little wood and pipe cleaner people, and a few 'woodland' creatures to live in and around it.  I hope it will stimulate some imaginative play. 

There's still a lot of work to do yet though so I'd better get back to the "workshop"!   

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A note on the fly...

I'm nearly done - only a couple of tasks to complete and submit and then I'll be able to come out and play!!  No more classes - no more books - for 4 whole months!! Yippee!!   See you in the playground soon!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A new mini blogger with fairy dust on her fingers

Even the most diligent student (me!!) needs some 'time out' now and then and mine is normally spent wandering around Blogland.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this TINY tatting at a new Australian mini blog The Needlework Butterfly a few days ago...

It's not only exquisite, it's exquisitely perfect.  How this is humanly possible is beyond my comprehension.   The talented mini-artisan is IGMA member Beverley-Anne Miles (she has kindly given me permission to post her photos and mention her here). 

Bev is no 'one trick pony' - her other accomplishments include tiny crochet, knitting, cross-stitch, petitpoint, filet lace and beading some of which you can see on  her website Miniature Needlework  (you can read her interesting profile here.)

As for myself, well my new work area is finally useable and I have made a start on a little secret project ...  no, I can't tell you about it yet because then it wouldn't be a secret any more!!  All I can say is that it has something to do with a tree and it's for a certain very short person who calls me "Grandma'" :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Still up to my ears in boxes - and books...

Thanks to you all for your good wishes re the move.  It went okay but there are still LOTS of unpacked boxes sitting in the garage - not only can I not get to the workbench we can't get the car in!! :)  We arrived in Australia with two suitcases - where did all this other stuff come from??????? 

Internet was finally connected yesterday so I can begin to catch up on what's been going on out there recently.  Not sure when I'll get to do anything productive in the mini world but at least I feel that I'm 'back in the loop' again which is a good thing.

And I'm back at uni!  A bit of a shock to the system after having the whole of last semester off, which was preceded by the summer vacation, so it's several months since I've had to find the discipline to study.  The time off was beneficial and fun but I fear that my brain has grown a bit of mould ;)

A warm welcome to all the new faces on my Followers list! I have had a look at some of your profiles to look for links to your blogs but on many of them I can't find the link which is a shame so if you have a blog perhaps check your Profile settings to make sure your blog link is featured.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Taking time out to move

We're moving house on the weekend so just letting you know that I'll probably be absent from Blogland for a little while due to moving and resettling chores and also I'm anticipating that we may have a bit of a wait for the internet to be reconnected. 

A big plus at the new place is that there is an area in the garage where I'm hoping to set up a workbench - that'll be a real luxury - no more sawdust all over the living area :) 

See you all soon but right now I've got more boxes to pack ...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I am entranced by a new blog "In the Court of the Gypsies"

I have recently discovered Daphne's new blog - I'm totally entranced and just can't keep it to myself.  Here are a few images from the cottage...

This cute little Brownie sculpted by Daphne

Pop on over and take a look:  click here

PS - Daphne is about to announce a giveaway - don't miss it!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Breathtaking miniature paper artist you MUST see

I just found this image of this incredible miniature paper construction on Pinterest and followed back to the source - click here to go to the source page at Merveilles en papier - the link is to the November 2010 archive where this creation appears. 

Oh to have the courage and skill to even attempt something like this!

All images credited to Laetitia Mieral @

Monday, July 4, 2011

Little beanbag - gift exchange with Carolyn - chapter 2

Before going to New Zealand recently I looked through Carolyn's blog to see what I could possibly make for the 'girl who has everything' :)  Eventually I decided on a  simple white upholstered chair for the lady's bedroom in the shabby cottage.  However when we put it in there it just didn't look right, this is a difficult room to work with because the floor area isn't large and the vertical space is cut into with attic gables.  Carolyn got around this problem with great ingenuity, she simply slightly downsized the furniture which cleverly gives the illusion of space - and it was an illusion that fooled me!  The standard 1:12 chair looked totally out of place, however you could say that Carolyn's "loss" is Liberty's* gain because it's now gone off to her (after the addition of a couple of fairy cushions), and the 'French tapestry' cushion that accessorised the chair originally went to Mona because it matches the portrait on the bedroom screen she won in my recent giveaway.  *(Mercedes' daughter @ Liberty Biberty)

I had planned to make something for Carolyn's shabby cottage little boy's room too but ran out of time, and inspiration, before leaving but once I saw the room 'in the flesh' I knew just what to make for it.  So I haven't been entirely idle recently (nor spending 100% of time on my Pinterest!) - here is the beanbag and vintage Biggle's books (which Carolyn and her son have a soft spot for) - made since my return - bottom pic (courtesy of Carolyn) shows them in their new home - the little cushions were made by Carolyn and already in the room.

I've also made a simple little wooden bench for the end of the lady's bed in Carolyn's shabby cottage. I'm hoping it will suit the space and that the colour will be close to the blue accents in the rug. It's not in the mail yet so here it is photographed in the bedroom of my 1:16 house with a photograph of it's 'destination' next to it - hope you'll like it Carolyn!

Photo on right courtesy of Carolyn

PS - Since this post was published Carolyn has received the bench - and here it is in place

I'm so relieved to see the size and colour are just right

And I've received a second gift from Carolyn, some more pretty plates.  The florals will probably go in the shabby French apartment and the others in the modern kitchen that is still 'on the drawing board'.  Thank you Carolyn, they're just wonderful. 

Click here to visit Carolyn's blog  (Carolyn's Little Kitchen) and see more of her gorgeous shabby cottage and her original dollhouse, a Dutch canal house.

The bedroom in my 1:16 house is empty because all the furniture is packed away ready for our 'real world' move in a couple of weeks.  I wish the real apartment was as easy to pack as the dollhouse!!   

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm Pinning my heart out!

I SHOULD be making minis, I SHOULD be doing laundry, I SHOULD be packing because we're moving house soon, I SHOULD be cleaning the house, I SHOULD be resting -  BUT I'm playing with Pinterest.

The best that I can say in my defence is that it's research - yes truly it is - so it's a kind of work - I'm saving gorgeous pics that I hope will inspire great minis!  I was ultra excited around 6 this morning because I found EXACTLY the sort of pictures I'd been looking for to show me how real exposed lath looks after old plaster falls off - it's important for a gal to know these things when she's  researching/working on a mini French property that should end up with a look of 'faded elegance' - probably more faded than elegant but that's ok. 

Exposed lath from Euro Antique Market blog
I'm having such fun filling my Pinterest albums with inspiring images, it works so much better than saving to a computer file.  One of the features I like best is that the source URL is saved with the image so there's no problem with knowing where it came from - which can be very important sometimes.  And it's fun looking at the albums of other people who share similar tastes and interests. 

Click here to visit my Pinterest page, click on a board to see all the images in that category in a larger size.  Maybe there's something there that will inspire YOU!  I hope so.

Do you have a Pinterest album??  If so please let me know in a comment - I'd like to come and take a look. 

If you don't, but would like to, let me know and I'll send you an invite.

Now I'm going to go and do something on my "I SHOULD be doing ..." list ......

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Have I lost my mind? (This post now has an unfortunate postscript)

This isn't a mini, it's a "standard human size" old, battered cabinet with a bin. Clearly it's seen better days but I love it. It was rescued from the workshop of an old house that my cousin has just bought. She was with me when I bought the old sideboard (below) that is now in the New Zealand cottage bathroom after some repair and painting so she knew that it would appeal to me.

I won't be painting the old green cabinet though, it's great just as it is, well I think so anyway although there are others, perhaps saner than I, who do not agree. 

The green cabinet isn't the only thing she rescued from the old house - she just managed to get this old chest of drawers out of the clutches of her husband who was going to chop it up for firewood!

There will definitely be some 'upcycling' work to do here - for a start only two of the handles are intact, but it's generally in good condition (look at the beautifully shaped kickboard!) and it looks to be just the right size for the cottage upstairs bedroom, perhaps replacing the bookshelf in the corner...

Thank you Dot for coming to the rescue and saving these beauties for your perhaps slightly insane cousin :)  I won't get to see them 'in the flesh' until our summer visit which is some months away - I hope she can keep Trevor and his axe away from them until then!!


I just heard that the old bin is no more :( 

It disintegrated when it was moved so my love affair with it has been somewhat shortlived.  It wasn't in the dry workshop with the chest of drawers but in a laundry and had been damaged by the damp, unfortunately that didn't become apparent until they went to move it.  Oh well, it is the demise of many of these old pieces that makes the ones that survive all the more valuable - there must be another one out there somewhere...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Meeting Carolyn, Mercedes and Frederica in New Zealand

I had a great time during my recent visit to New Zealand to celebrate my brother's birthday, it's not often that he and my sister and I get together as we live far from each other - they live pretty much at opposite ends of New Zealand while I'm on the other side of the Tasman Sea here in Sydney. Being able to meet up with some special New Zealand miniaturists as well was a real bonus.

When I discovered that Carolyn (Carolyn's Little Kitchen) lives not far from my brother visiting her was a definite 'must do' during my trip.  We had a great afternoon together, the time went much too fast - and what a surprise it was to discover that we both love purple, as you can see by my scarf and her cardigan - it may look black on your screen but trust me, it's definitely purple!  It was a delight to see her original dollhouse (the Canal house in the picture) and the shabby cottage that I've watched come together room by room through her blog.
Carolyn had some lovely surprises for me
The breakfast tray and plates are soooooo pretty!

This boudoir tray will be perfect for the French bedroom

As well as her Etsy store Carolyn also has an online minis store - well, actually at the moment it's offline because it was brought down by a hacker some months ago :(  I fell in love with the French slippers from The Dolls Cobbler that  Carolyn showed on her blog a little while ago and fortunately she had some on hand so how could I resist buying these beautiful little real leather shoes.......

My next big treat was spending several hours with Mercedes (Liberty Biberty) in Auckland when I transited through on my way back to Sydney.  To my great delight Mercedes invited Frederica (Frederica's Little World) to join us for lunch.  Enjoying a delicious lunch with Mercedes and her family (including cute as a button and very funny Liberty of course!) and Frederica was the perfect end to my New Zealand visit. Here we are in the Auckland sunshine in Mercedes' front yard

It was great was to have plenty of time to enjoy looking at Mercedes' fabulous projects: the barn, the shabby cottage, the Nylon's big house - and how exciting to meet Mr Nylon as he relaxed on his front porch!  

 How lucky I was to receive these pretty gifts from Mercedes

I've long admired Mercedes' shabby tables, now I have one of my own, the pretty paper minis and canisters are by her as well. (Sorry about the lighting problems in this pic)
These pretty little children's jackets by Frederica are just delightful - and they're mine!

Such lovely things from such talented and generous women. 

It was a pleasure and a privilege to have Carolyn and Mercedes welcome me into their homes, and to have Frederica take the time to visit.  I never imagined that my decision to start this little blog some 18 months ago would lead to friendships with such warm hearted and talented women as these.