Friday, September 22, 2017

Sweet Christmas Cottage - In The Pits? Make Kits!

Hello Dear Friends! Hope this post finds all of you enjoying the change of seasons. We went from A/C to heater weather in a flash, and it has put me into a bit of a funk. :O( Not so much the cold, but the loss of sunshine really affects my motivation.

I have been slowly plodding along mini wise, working on some mini kits for the Sweet Christmas Cottage living room. I'll share some of the progress here, and save the complete room photos for later. I still have much assembling and arranging to do, but more than anything I need to catch up reading what you've all been up to! A couple weeks is way too long for me to be out of touch!

I added a light and a new dial to the Jane Harrop 30's radio kit to add a bit of realism to the room. I have an extra kit, so when I feel inspired I may actually assemble it with a light and with a speaker so that it can play Christmas music. A good use for one of the old iPods we have filling up "junk" drawers around here.

I made a little SDK Mantle Clock Kit - super simple and fun, then filled the clock face recess with Glossy Accents for a bubble glass effect. It took several layers and lots of waiting but it's a great effect!

I used a very affordable Grandpa's Toy Dollhouse Kit in 1/144th scale to make a dollhouse for Ellie. It was fun to accessorize using scraps of lace and ribbon for the window coverings, scrap fabric for rugs, scrap wood and fabric for the bed and linens. The exterior was adorned with window boxes using scrap wood and ground cover, cardstock for the "timbers", and ink marker colored sandpaper cut into strips with pinking sheers for the roofing. The tiny kitchen appliances came from HBS, and the dining room table and chairs set are a kit by SDK.

Betsy - I have a whole new admiration for your Secret Christmas House and all it's tiny detail after working on that dining room kit!


The little Christmas Lap Desk kit is by Art Of Mini. Super easy to assemble and comes with lovely little paper accessories for in and on the desk. Also includes the wood and plaque print pictured. I distressed and had a little fun with it.

I have to take a moment here to say what excellent service I received on this order! The shipping from Germany was very reasonable to begin with, and then they even refunded me for part of it! And the package arrived so quickly! I will not hesitate to spend my mini budget there again in the future, and I already have my eye on several more kits! ;O)

I also purchased a digital file of Christmas cards on Etsy. At $3.00 it was a great deal. Lovely vintage art work, card files in two sizes, and I can use them as long as I can still print and cut. I'll also be using several of these cards as accents in the build.


The "vintage" Concord chairs that I purchased and planned to recover for the living room looked much too overbearing in the room. I loved the style of them though, so decided to adapt a couple HOM kits to resemble them and better fit in the space. By cutting the wings down and adding some curved bits of wood, I managed to come up with a happy compromise. I got the kits from eBay a couple years back. They were opened and the leg assemblies were missing. I rummaged up some Tim Holtz Hitch Fasteners from my stash for the legs and came up with a better height for the Heidi Ott dolls who will be sitting in them.

Those wonderfully charming hand embroidered pillows you see were so kindly made for me by Kat of Kitty and Kat Miniatures! I absolutely adore them! There is no substitution for handmade minis from very talented friends! They make these chairs and the whole room so very special! Just wait until you see the ones she made for the bed! Thank you so very much, Kat! :O)


I made several poinsettia kits using both SDK and Bonnie Lavish kits. I've had both for a long time now, so the Bonnie Lavish one might be hard to find at this point. The SDK kit was wonderful, though, so you won't be disappointed.

The sleigh is a laser printed kit from Alpha Stamps. That is also where I got the kit to make the gingerbread house. The reindeer was a purchase from TinyTreasures on Etsy. He started out as an unfinished piece but I had fun giving him a nose, tail and a little vintage charm. I also swapped out his arrangement for mine and used his in other areas.


The Christmas tree has been a challenge. I had purchased a tree on eBay which was touted to be the perfect ready to decorate tree. It was somewhere around $30. Unfortunately, the minute I attempted to start stringing lights on it, it began to crumble in my fingers. There was no good way to reattach the very fragile "fur branches" back on to the pokey wires, so consider that a rough lesson learned. I rummaged through my landscaping stash and came up with a solution, but I will save that for the next post. I am still waiting for the topper, which is taking many steps and immense patience, to dry. Hopefully, the attaching will go perfectly!

Luckily for me, I know the perfect solution to keep the seasonal blues away. I will gleefully sit tomorrow morning, warm cup of coffee in hand, catching up on all the exciting blog posts I've missed! You all inspire me so much, giving my mini dreams and ideas wings!

Be well, my friends!

xo xo,

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sweet Christmas Cottage - The Kitchen

Some might say this Sweet Christmas Cottage kitchen is packed full. They'd be right. It's just so hard to fit so many ideas into one little space! I am pretty satisfied with the amount of wonderful things I was able to fit, and to say I enjoyed the process of getting here would be a gross understatement. I really hope all of you find joy in it, too!

I'll likely just post groups of photos and not say much. No one is here for words anyway, right! If you see something and wonder where it came from or how it came to be, just post a comment or send me an email. I am very happy to share the sources or processes.

You'll have to forgive the many and varied light quality and shade differences in the photos. The red shades on the kitchen fixtures create a very warm and charming effect with real life eyes, but the camera just doesn't know how to interpret it. So I took many, many photos. Some with the lights on, some off, and some with the pieces completely outside of the kitchen under my bright white LED bulbs. I also used various papers and materials to filter the light and reduce the shadows when possible. Photography is an art that I am just beginning to comprehend. :O)

My grandma's kitchen was always filled with home baked breads, pies, cakes and cookies. Especially at Christmastime! It was a delight to the eyes, nose and especially the taste buds! I wanted to capture the feeling of my grandma's kitchen. Seven kids were raised in it, so it definitely had it's share of wear and tear. But it was always clean, always welcoming, and no one ever left hungry!

I want to fill the ovens with baking goodness and stock the fridge, but for the most part the kitchen is finished. I'll likely add some kind of curtains on the window, but will wait until I see where the leaded glass pattern falls before I do. That's part of the outside finishing and will be saved for last.

Now I need to decide if I am in the mood to start on the living room, or switch back over to pulling out can lights, removing ceiling trim, removing the ceiling paper, and redoing it all on the New Orleans. That's a long job and a long story. That post will require many, many words. :O)

To all of you all over the world, whether on hurricane watch or in the clutches of choking fire smoke, enjoying the last days of summer or the last days of winter, stay safe, count your blessings, and make some mini fun! It really is the cure for all that ails you!

Warm Christmas Hugs,