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.

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.

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,

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.

Miniature Kitchen: Faux Marble and Winter White

The kitchen has taken on a new look with a modern white palette.  Marble countertops and glossy subway tile bring a little luxury to this scene.  The pictures in this post are a  peek into the progression, as many components are still being finished...

I decided on a Satin finish on the cabinets after applying acrylic. I'm undecided if that will stay just yet.

The counter tops were made with a water marbling technique and acrylic paint.  In a small dish I added a thin layer of water and then dropped in white, black and grey paint, swirling the colours into the correct pattern.  Very messy but really easy to manipulate into what I wanted.  They will have a few coats of high gloss added on top.

I think the gloss will really help with the realism too.




You can't really see in these images but some of the upper cabinets will really need some work.  I managed to strip off the plastic backing that I had put on originally but a lot of the pieces came off.  The plastic had become too damaged during the building stages.  It took a lot more glue to get the frames of the windows back together which didn't spray paint well.
In all I think I should have just stuck with hand painting the white acrylic rather then spraying Satin white on all the cabinets.  

Here is a picture of before I sprayed and with one coat of acrylic (I did two before spraying).  Very rustic.

In the end the kitchen has to photograph well, more so then how well it looks in person as I will use it for my scenes.  It might take a bit of tinkering before I get it just right for the camera.

Miniature Kitchen: Counters and Details


The counters are on!  The oven range hood has been finished with trim!  Time to paint!

While the range hood and counters are an obvious mark of progress I have been busy fixing my early mistakes.  The two cabinets flanking the stove were completely re-created this week to fix all the awkward angles and issues.  After evaluating all the cabinets it makes me think I'm going to need a lot of wood filler before I paint.

I also made some trips to the hobby shop and found some great little hinges for the cabinets, one problem solved!  I've been playing around with them and should have them on next time.

While there I picked up my order of 1:12  brick plastic sheets in the "clean" style.  I'd been waiting for two months and thankfully there arrival is in perfect timing with the progress of the kitchen.
These brick sheets will be painted white with a gloss. The counters a white marble with grey/black veins and the cabinets a matte white.
The counters are 1/8" basswood with the front edge rounded on the top.  I'm thinking I might have to re-do the piece along the wall with the sink but I ran out of wood for now.  The counters have an 1/8" over hang off the cabinets.

Everything is looking much more solid with the counters on and the sink fits in a lot nicer too.  They aren't glued yet, but that will happen after paint.

Cottage season is slowly but surely coming to an end but it means more time for minis!  I can't wait to see this kitchen finished and start on the other rooms in the house ;)

Miniature Kitchen: Upper Cabinets

My custom 1:12 kitchen is moving right along with the front of the upper cabinets completed.  These six pane doors have been quite a challenge but are worth every effort.
You can also see some of the accessories mentioned in my last post sitting on the tables, I'm working on the design for the island but for now the three tables joined together are the right size.
I have so much extra glue on the panes!  Thankfully it comes off with some water.
In other updates, I bought a farmers faucet on ebay last week only to have it arrive too small!  I'm using the Elf Miniatures DIY faucet for now and I really like its modern look so it might stay.  The sink needs a drain but the porcelain finish is complete.

Now what to do about knobs?   I've attached some wooden ones that I got from Elf.  I'm not entirely convinced. My bf has suggested that I order the same knobs as used on the bottom two drawers of the Elf oven with a chrome finish.  I do like that idea.  And with that in mind I was thinking of borrowing from the oven again and using a similar pull bar on the dishwasher panel/cabinet rather then the metal plate with buttons.

And so my cabinets are almost already for paint!  I'm nervous of letting go of the beautiful wood finish.  Do I stain or paint?

You can see the mess this all has created.  Minis and mini related items are filling up my small room.  Here's a peek at what is slowly happening in the room beside the kitchen:

In my last post I mentioned that I walked away with two similar but different wing chairs by Bespaq in a recent mini shopping trip.  I was fortunate to have family visiting in the area and pick up two more matching chairs to complete the set.  In the end it turned out to be a good mistake. The white sofa in the image is from the tutorial I have here  , but I have a navy walnut Bespaq sofa on its way too, so exciting!  The room is large so it needs lots of furniture.
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Kitchen Progress 2

It's been awhile friends.  With summer here I've been traveling and working on a few projects apart from minis.  It seems that is the case with many of us mini bloggers during the warmer months.  The kitchen has progressed though and I have a few posts lined up.  During my travels I went on a bit of a 'mini' shopping spree and purchased many accessories for the kitchen, but I'll show those a little later.

For now take a look at the kitchen as it sits waiting to be finished after I return from holidays.





The upper cabinets are simply shells at the moment but all of the components are bought and ready to go.  I'm a little nervous as to building the doors.  While I was there this past week, The Little Dollhouse Company in Toronto suggested that I use paper clips as pins rather then trying to find nails.  I just need to find the right drill bit...



I've also started the farmers sink.  It's made of wood but it will have a high gloss finish.  The inside is shaped with a glue to give a more realistic look too. I'll have a separate post on that project once its completed with a few more coats of paint.



Obviously there is still much more to be done but its nice to have so much in place.  I think I'm ready to remove a lot more of the tape holding some of the remaining pieces together.  I wanted to make sure everything was the right size before finalizing.

I'm excited for my next post filled with mini kitchen accessories food and dishes.  Until then,

Kitchen Progress 1

I have progress!  My miniature kitchen is coming along with great results.  I have much of the cabinets built and I am slowly finishing them with trim.



I have picked a range hood style, probably the most difficult decision that kept me from progressing.  Mainly because I wanted a cove or mantle above and therefore needed to extend the width of the room.  Oh yes!  Another 3 inches added to the right side of the house!



The room has become massive, but I keep telling myself that there will be more options for the scene and photographing different angles. ;)  The cabinets fill 16" x 17" of space and this excludes the fridge and breakfast nook!

Adding the trim:





I'm using a combination of 1/16 and 3/32 basswood which is nice and easy to work with and means that the hanging cabinets are light.

While building I found the best way to visualize the space and the style was to add some accessories and blur the background.  Kind of like squinting and pretending its already there ;)  I do love these new candles by Handley House I got from the Little Dollhouse Company, I'm so excited to decorate.



My next post will have some pictures of the finished mantle and hopefully the oven wall complete.  Until then...


The Modern Kitchen Teaser

I'm just so excited to share!  I feel like I've had so little to post this past week because I've been so busy getting things ready.  I visited my not-so-local hobby and model shop several times over the last few days getting the all right materials for my next project.

Here's a peek:






The back and sides are glued but the front is held on with masking tape for now.  I am going to attempt to cut out the doors so it looks seemless.  The top cabinets are going to be glass fronted with lights inside. I still have the window wall to do and I'll do a proper post once that's done and before I start on the finishes.  I still need to settle on a range hood as well... until then,

Thanks for visiting!

Drawings and Floor Layout

I'm pretty sure I've been making plans for this house for 2 years now.  I have sketch books filled with floor-plans and exterior renderings with ever changing layouts and rooms.  I have to say designing a plan from scratch has been very difficult, I'm no architect.  With every plan I came up with I had a problem.  Two floors didn't offer enough room, a 360 house only offered views into the interior walls (no looking out the windows from the inside unless the house was a huge "L" shape) and the bigger I went the heavier it would be.

Finally this past December I visited one of my favourite shops, The Little Dollhouse Company in Toronto and figured out a plan.  I had seen their large Italianate house but never knew it split down the middle! Problem solved!

However, my next obstacle of building a dollhouse from scratch was that I could customize it, and customize it, and customize it, until I never actual got to building because I was always changing things around. Suddenly I needed another cabinet in the kitchen? Well lets move out the wall another inch...

I think I've finally made some concrete plans. I did decide to make the kitchen bigger to accommodate the change in the second floor layout :)  You can see the faint line in the kitchen.  This means that of the foamboard mock up house I've presented here in my last post I will need to extend the back right side out.

The only thing left to plan is the exterior. I know I want a modern dollhouse, but I'm not too sure how contemporary I'd like to go. For example, the Modern Classic;



Or the Contemporary; which features lots of added lines and components.



Both images are essentially the same with three stories of windows for the stairway and the door to the left. It's just the composition of windows and architectural elements.  Which way to go?