Monday, March 29, 2010

Mail Today

I have been wanting a few books from Treefeathers. They came in the mail today. I am delighted with them. Among others, I ordered the Jane Austen set. Which are personal favorites in real life.

Also my order from Gerd Felka arrived. Four wine glasses that are exactly like my real life ones. Which go nicely with a decanter Frank Whittemore made and the wine bottles I bought from Hanneke that arrived last week.

The painting also came which is going to fit right into a theme I have in my mind about the person that lives in the dollhouse. I have to get started making a miniature pair of English riding boots. The leather for those came last week. I bought that on Etsy.

The Zinnias I made last month from kits.

Why is it when these things come in the mail do they always feel like gifts? I know I am going to get the bill for them. Yes...It is worth every penny!

CORRECTION posted... 05/30/10
I am delighted to be able to tell you that the sterling silver water pot was made by Obadiah Fisher. I have confirmed this.

Gift For Mary

I have an online friend that is making a 1" scale Brambly Hedge mouse house. Today I decided to make her a few things for it out of paper. There are some great prints in the Scrapbook section of crafts shops. Some of them come in card stock weight. The two coats of acrylic paint to the side that wasn't printed and the additional ten coats of clear nail polish made them quite sturdy. I however am still swooning from the nail polish fumes.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Miniature Cat


This is a miniature cat I have been working on. I am sure my real cat is glad it's finished because I kept feeling him all over. Which I thought was a better idea than shaving him to see what a cat looked like under all that hair.

I made the flock and fur out of Rainbow Gallery Alpaca. His eyes are 2 mm round yellow beads, they have a pupils painted on them but you can't see that in the photos.. Polymer clay is not something I have spent much time playing with, so I am hoping the next cats will be better.

An idea occurred to me about someone having left a drawer open in a bedroom and two or three cats sleeping in it. I want a bit of life in my dollhouse but not people.

PHEW! I fixed his eyes there was too much black around them.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kitchen Knives

I have been making knives this morning. I found the wood for the handles in my shop but I am not sure what it is. It is much easier to glue the wood to the metal before you cut them out. OOPS!I see have have a bit more polishing to do on the steel. Back to the Flexshaft.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Open Your Mouth Here Comes The Airplane!


These are baby spoons I made in sterling silver. One is the British Hurricane and the other one is the P-51 D Mustang.

The planes were cast. The bowl of the spoons were formed from sheet (hand hammered over a spoon stake). The stems were hammered out of square stock I made. They have some file work on them to create a design.

I put them in a show I was in at the National Ornamental Metals Museum.
Much to my amazement, they sold the day after opening night to a Fed-Ex pilot. I still have a few to put together. I love the Messeschmitt, so that is the one I eat my cereal with in the morning

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Getting All Steamed Up

Welcome! Please click on any of the pictures. They will all enlarge.

Teapots have always been a favorite thing of mine to make. These teapots and burners are brass. They were gold plated when all the work was finished. I made the stands out of sterling silver and oxidized them black to appear to be wrought iron. The pots were fabricated from sheet and the burners were made from telescoping brass tubes and sheet stock. The knobs and handles are ebony.

One of the things that really bothered me about most miniature metal teapots was that the spouts didn't have a hole through them. That is understandable because most spouts are tapered and would be nearly impossible to bend into the right shape or cast with a hole through them. To solve that problem I decided to electroform the spouts over a tapered core of casting wax.

Electroforming is another process you probably don't want to hear about. It will suffice to say, that once I had built up enough metal on the wax, I was able to burn out the wax core and solder the spouts on the pots.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Early Spring & Dollhouse Inspiration

I am finding all sorts of dollhouse inspiration in my own neighborhood. My house is not in the mix however. These are the houses that are all around mine. Somehow I never notice them driving in and out. I took a long walk this morning. The cherry trees are in full bloom and it's finally warm!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sterling Silver Birdcage

This is a sterling silver miniature birdcage I made when I was in my first year of art school, learning to become a metalsmith. I don't even want to think about how long ago that was now. I really learned to silver solder when I made this cage. It is built it out of 22 gauge round wire and 1/32 inch square stock and sheet silver. As you see it has a drawer that can be pulled out to clean it.

I drilled holes into the 1/32 inch stock using my Unimat (set up as a drill press) to thread the 22 gauge wire through. Every joint is silver soldered together (with a torch). The perches were turned out of ebony on my Unimat set up as a lathe.

It is not my finest work obviously but it holds so many memories for me which are more important than the piece itself. I think after all these years it might be time for a new news paper to cover the bottom.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

For The Fairies?

Isn't this wonderful! I found it while I was doing a Google search. I wish I could tell you who made it so I could give them credit for their talent. I have seen these tiny outdoor cottages before but they are usually made out of stone.

There is a perfect spot for one of these at my house. I have a big court yard surrounded by high brick walls. It really is a secret garden with a locked iron door. This idea has to be added to my growing to do list.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Spring is in the air

I ordered this peony kit from VariAatje. Ria's kits are just beautiful! I still have a hydrangea kit to do but that will have to wait a while. PHEW! No one told me how much time some of the flower kits take to put together.

The hat and purse are made of congress cloth I dipped in strong tea. I didn't want to use the paper flowers for a hat so I stitched them out of 2mm and 4mm silk ribbon on gauze. Then they were glued on.

Maybe some of you remember Penny Weight Press. Barbara Raheb made such beautiful books. I am lucky to have several of them. The unabridged (fully readable) Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare is on the table and E. B Browning is in the purse.

The lemons are polymer clay. My first attempt at making any sort of food.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I have had my first auction win on Ebay. It is a lovely Olszewski miniature from the woman's series titled Hunt and Hounds. When I first saw it I couldn't figure out what she was holding. It is a Falcon and she is wearing a leather glove on her hand.

Francis Whittemore blew the glass pitcher for me and I made the sterling silver pour spout and the silver tankards.

Monday, March 1, 2010


I hope you won't mind an occasional post about bigger pieces of my metal work.

This is a spatula I have wanted to make for a long time to use in my kitchen. It is made of steel, with a African Blackwood handle.

I had to find a special type of steel for this project. I finally found it at an elevator company. The steel is almost as hard as the saw blades I used to cut out the house fly design. Because of that, it took forever to cut out my design and my blades kept breaking. I used 144 of them to cut it out, a gross of saw blades!!! I suppose I could have had it water cut rather than doing it by hand. I'm just stubborn I suppose. If I decide to make them to sell, I will have them cut.
The stem is all file work. The design in it is created by twisting the metal. When I turned the Blackwood I decided to turn it in the shape of the handle on my jewelers saw frame. A little private joke to remind me what a nightmare I had cutting out the fly.
I will never use Ebony again now that I have used African Blackwood, particularly in my miniature work. It is not brittle and the grain is just as fine. All I had to do was oil it after the sanding was finished.