Thursday, 22 September 2011

Country Kitchen

This is a picture from my long neglected Georgian Dolls House. It's a good example of some of my really amateurish crafting skills from when I was just starting out a couple of years ago.

I made the chimney breast and shelves from balsa wood, I tiled and grouted the floor....a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into this project. Can you see the concrete caste staining the terracotta tiles? That's where I didn't clean up properly after grouting. Of course, you don't really see it until it darkens as it dries, and by then it's too late. Ah well, you learn by your mistakes I guess. One day I'll get around to buying some terracotta paint and going over it.

I can't take credit for the beautiful table covered in food. That was a piece I bought at the Birmingham NEC Doll's House fair, it's one of my favourite miniature items I own.

I'd like to add a few more bits to this room one day, but for now I'm too fired up about my sweet shop. Until I can afford the flat pack shop kit I'm practicing with various types of other food - bananas, jam tarts, oranges. I'm still not getting the orange cane right, the "spokes" that form the segments just won't meet in the middle neatly. If anyone can suggest what I might be doing wrong I'd be very happy.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Welcome To The Tiny Pantry

I've recently rediscovered the joy of miniatures after a long break. I have a three-quarter finished Georgian doll's house (just the attic still to decorate) but my real passion lies in creating miniature food.

I've always been the same. As a small child when fimo and other specialist materials weren't so readily available, I would spend hours making tiny flat plans of food packaging out of paper and card. Cereal boxes, packets of biscuits, if it could be miniaturised I would make it.

Then a couple of years ago my Auntie Pat, who is a crafting wizard and an absolute inspiration, told me about Angie Scarr. Angie is an amazing miniaturist specialising in making food. In fact she's turned it into a full time career, something I dream of. I bought Angie's book "Making Miniature Food and Market Stalls" and learnt about techniques like caning, which is the art of stretching an intricate design to turn it into a long layered tube, small enough to chop small segments off and use it as slices of miniature food. More about caning later.

This blog is so I can share some of my creations with anyone who might like to see them. I'd love to hear any feedback, even if it's bad, as I know I've got a long way to go towards perfecting my miniature technique. This weekend I had a miniature making frenzy - below is a photo of everything I made in a short space of time. I know the cupcakes are awful, I'm not pleased with them at all, I watched a How To video on You Tube and I don't think it was a particularly good one. But I'm quite pleased with how the candy canes and lollipops turned out. I've decided to make an old-fashioned sweet shop and would love any tips, links or suggestions you might like to share.

I always work in 1/12th scale, always sticking to Fimo so I can be sure exactly what colour I'm going to get. I also use clear varnish, cocktail sticks, coloured beads and whatever else I can lay my hands on!