24 Dec 2013

Christmas Kitchen

A little Christmas baking has been going on this month.
I didn't get as much done mini wise the last few weeks.  I had hoped to create a more developed scene. Still, I am very pleased with the clay items I made and my attempt at a tree.
The tree is lit with Lemax star lights. They are rather big, but the tree isn't decorated with anything else right now so I left them on.  

For the baking I made gingerbread dough, with cutters from Michaels craft store (in the Christmas section).  Michaels actually had a few 1:12 scale items like sleds, buckets and wreaths for mini scenes.  The cookie cutters worked perfectly.  I also used craft sand on the sugar cookies and it worked out really well too.
The food on the island really makes all the difference.  I will have to get some regular food items for the new year. (And some granite!)
The tree took a bit of trial and error.  I couldn't find the dried 'princess pine' many miniaturists use locally but I did find a artificial pine tree with tiny needles.
I got two of them and pulled out all their branches.  You can see the sizing below.

 I tried the wire tree with branches stuck in method, but I quickly ran out of branches and couldn't get the shape right
So I left that and started over again using floral wire and wrapping the pieces together.
No glue.
It worked better.  I might try again next year using the wire tree base again.  For now I am enjoying my quick little festive scene.

To all my followers and readers I wish you the merriest Christmas this holiday season and the happiest New Year yet!

25 Nov 2013

All Lit Up

I can finally see the light. ;)  It's been many long months but I finally feel like my kitchen project is nearing its completion. Even as I type this my boyfriend is building me a base with wheels to set the house on, which will let me anchor and glue everything down.
I received my chip LED lights on Friday and quickly assembled them all together.  I bought them from Evan Designs and they were shipped quickly and at a reasonable price to Canada.  I highly recommend them.  These tiny tiny LED chips are very powerful and I only had to use one per cabinet. 

The magnets holding the doors to the cabinets leave a small gap of light.   So I'll be finishing with trim to fill them in.  

I'm especially happy with how the space above the oven is lit and the reflection on the tiles.  I think I will do lights under the cabinets to brighten the space too.

Last week I finally got around to using the polymer clay I had bought.  I didn't have time to start the gingerbread house but I did make some little cinnamon buns.  I'm hooked!  It was so much easier then I thought it would be!  I may not be a great baker in real life but my miniature baking might just work out.
 Once again thank you all for moving with me to Blogspot.

18 Nov 2013

The Kitchen Without A Chef

My kitchen in real life could never look anything like this.
So clean and tidy.  HA!  I have plans.  I am making a gingerbread house and I expect to have full on icing splattered candy covered disaster.  

While I play with my polymer clay, I'm waiting for the little chip lights to arrive so I can put them inside the cupboards.  I also need to decide on countertops. Maybe add in the windows?  Next post will no doubt include some Christmas spirit but also detail the upper cabinet magnets.

I'm looking forward to getting into the Christmas miniature spirit.  Have any suggestions of links I should check out?

11 Nov 2013

Modern Miniature Kitchen Hardware

Let me tell you finding modern miniature hardware wasn't easy. Most ready made drawer pulls are limited to gold, brass and fancy-schmancy designs of eras past. I became increasingly worried that I would be stuck with the generic bent wire shapes for the pulls. Hours of searching later I was ready to give up.

Enter Emily from The Den Of Slack and her amazing idea to use jewelry jump rings.  Genius.  I loved the subtle shape and scale and decided to take a trip to the craft store to see what I could find.

As Emily had noted, these pulls are not easily applied to the cabinets but I think they are well worth the effort.  I decided to use an oval shape 'connector' as I thought they would curve out from the cabinets much nicer then the round shape.

Method:  Take your cutting tool (I used diagonal pliers) and snip the connectors in half.  Then attach the very very tiny half of connector to your cabinets with crazy glue by pressing it into the wood and applying a dot of the glue to the sides where the metal meets the wood.  (In her post Emily had mentioned how frustrating this was to do, and I didn't believe her... But I learned quickly just how right she was.  Just when I would have it setting the metal would topple over into the glue and I would have to start again. : (  Be warned!

The other knobs you see are the small (B) knobs from Elf Miniatures and are a great modern hardware option. They were much, much simpler to attach.  I used a nail and a hammer, no glue.

This post is rather behind in showing the actual progress of the kitchen.  I'm very excited to show you all the changes, I now have the upper cabinets up along the walls with magnetic closures and extra tiling and detail work.  Next post will detail how I did that and show you all the progress that has been made.
Until then,

3 Nov 2013

Important Message for Email Subscribers

Dear email followers, I am going to try moving blogging platforms from Wordpress to Blogger over the next week or so. My domain will stay the same at paperdollminiatures.com and it should all be a relatively seamless transition (Feedly and Bloglovin will continue to work as well).  However my email notifications will be coming from a different client, so from my research:

If you want to keep receiving emails for new posts you will need to click here and enter your address.    

I am choosing to do this now while my blog is still young.  Personally I have found that many of you use blogger and I am missing out on opportunities to interact and link up with all your fabulous blogs!  As well my blog seems to have been slowly taken over with ads and has been limited with customization, which would require money that I would rather spend on my minis!  Overall I'm hoping that my switch to Blogger will be easier for many of you to follow and enjoy even if you choose to for go the email notifications.

I appreciate all of you and apologize for the inconvenience.  Thank you so much for following along with me here on my blog. Until next time,

29 Oct 2013

Kitchen Island Tutorial

Today's post is a step by step tutorial on making a miniature island.  The design includes a breakfast bar, a working set of drawers, and space at the ends for optional shelves or design elements.  My design is based off of this real life kitchen island here.

For this project I used Basswood in 1/16" thickness. As well as 3/32" cove moulding, 1/8" by 1/16" and 1/4" by 1/8" strip wood for trim.  For reference counter top is currently unfinished in the photographs and is 1/8".  If you are going to have shelves at the ends I would recommend 1/16". Also I used a set of drawers from a basic Houseworks worktable that I took apart (you can see the table in my previous Thanksgiving post).  Alternatively you could make your own or leave them non-opening.  Lets begin!

These are your basic components.  Front, sides, and drawers.  I used a regular bandsaw to cut my pieces quickly, but because the wood is so thin you could just use a knife.  I will admit I built this island 3 times with different dimensions before I got it just right.  The measurements I used  in the end were: (2) 2 3/4" by 3 1/8" for the ends, (1) 2 3/4" by 6 1/2" for drawer front, (1) 2 3/4" by 5" for inside (not shown above), and (10 ) 2 3/4" by 12/16" for little pieces that make up the boxes.  You will need to take into consideration your kitchen size, my island is slightly lower then the rest of my kitchen cabinets to allow for a better view.


Front with cut out for drawers and inside piece:

See the way the front overlaps both the ends?

Next fit in your drawer.  Next time I'll probably make my own.  They look really simple to make:

Then you will need to attach the inside piece using glue:

Time to add trim, knobs and finishes.  I first switched the houseworks drawer handles for chrome knobs to match the rest of the kitchen. A really simple and quick fix.

Next trim the sides and baseboard using the strip wood. I used the 1/8" by 1/16" for the cabinet part and the 1/4" by 1/8" for the baseboard.

The trim really adds a lot of bulk to the boxes .  It also means that the sides by the bar and the sides at the end will now look like they are different widths because of an overlap of trim.

Wider side↑ and  Shorter end↓ (see the overlap?)

For a more ornate look you can choose to add in decorative moulding (cove is shown).  I used scissors or my knife to cut it and roughly measure it using no ruler (ah!).  It's pretty forgiving and any gaps are filled in with paint.
The design I picked for the front: two tall cabinets and two lower.  Because the drawers were made so close together I only put cove above and below the two drawers rather then on all four sides.  Its something I compromised on but once painted I think it looks okay.
Paint according to your kitchen design.  I am showing you a basic paint finish.  I still need to stain the baseboards once I have chosen the colour on all my cabinets and floor.  Add your knobs, these are Elf miniatures chrome knobs in the smallest size (B).

There you are! You can now decide to either add shelves or something decorative to the ends.  Personally I think I'm going to add shelves and I will update with the final results.

I found a great way to make drawer pulls which will be explained next time.  The countertops were also re-cut and I'll be working on them too.

Hope you found this tutorial helpful and it gives you some mini inspiration!

12 Oct 2013

Happy Mini Canadian Thanksgiving!

Nothing says goodbye to the warm memories of summer like Thanksgiving weekend at the cottage.  A cozy fire, the putting away of docks and boats and one last family dinner overlooking the lake.  This post is definitely inspired by the fall scenery here.

The kitchen didn't progress that much this week.  I'm waiting for several packages to come in the mail; knobs for the cabinets, magnets to hold the door fronts on - and a totally unrelated but very exciting - Eames Recliner chair by Reac Japan.  Still my kitchen looked so neglected.
Time for a mini scene!  After showing my miniature collection to a friend I was reminded of all my harvest items I got over the summer like the squash, pumpkin, apples and potatoes.  I set them up on the makeshift island in the kitchen with some other accessories and punched out some colourful leaves.

The upper cabinets are missing here but its nice to see the tile up.  And the placement of two of the windows, I added a festive fall background for now.

Here's a look at the full kitchen, including my makeshift fridge!  After setting this up I realized that the tables won't work as part of an island because they are too low.

I'm off to bake a pie before the kitchen becomes one big turkey frenzy.  I hope you all have a great weekend!

5 Oct 2013

A Place For the Dishes!

Hi Everyone,
Another piece has fit into place in my kitchen puzzle.

I love these new transparent shelves in the upper cabinets!  They allow just enough light to filter through down to the bottom.

After getting the right plastic it took me weeks to find the right tool to cut it.  My bf got the plastic as a sample at Home Depot (for free!) and then after trial and error went back and got cut them into strips.  They also suggested this plastic cutter and it worked really well.

I built little runners to place the shelves on.

I also decided to test out some lighting options in the kitchen these past two weeks too.  I had some mini Christmas lights from the Dollarstore from a few years ago.  Essentially they are 3mm LEDs tied together to a battery pack.  Its a short-term solution, something to help me visualize what it will look like.

Some things haven't gone as smoothly. The glossy counter you see will have to be re-done.  The clear acrylic gloss I used to spray it bubbled.  I've realized painting miniatures is not my forte.

Then I  tried out the hinges on the upper cabinets. Basically they are bent thin pieces of metal. The problem is that the window front bows out from the cabinet.

Back to the drawing board!  I'm going to get some magnets from the Dollarstore today to try out.

My real life  was very busy this past week and once again I find myself at the cottage, far far away from my minis.  That said I've been working on the blog (notice the domain change?) and obsessing over whether to join up with the Undersized Urbanite challenge. (After I finish this kitchen of course!)
I'd love to have another small project on the go to work on when I run into issues with the big house.   The best part would be linking up with a bunch of fun and talented miniaturists.  I'm thinking a 4 room (living, kitchenette, bed and bath) modern structure.  The contest runs for 7 months so lots of time to link up.  You can check it out here, its run by Little Victorian.


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