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Thursday, September 21, 2023

A Trunkhouse Kitchen Warming

At last! We've finally reached a major milestone in the construction of Roz's Trunkhouse - the completion of her kitchen! Yippee!

Roz can't help but smile as she looks around. It feels like home!

To celebrate, Roz invited everyone to come, see and enjoy the first of many delectable delights that will be prepared here from now into the future. Today Roz is serving desserts to please everyone's tastes: strawberry and chocolate cupcakes, nutty caramel and chocolate ganache cake and a buttercream frosted white cake with huckleberry filling. 

There is also a delightfully arranged charcuterie board generously contributed by Wayne, who received it as a gift from Birgit upon Roz's arrival from Germany. This is not the original food, mind you. Wayne devoured every crumb shortly after he received it. But Wayne is so ingenious that he learned how to refill the board himself!

Before the festivities started, Alice, Goldie and Wayne wanted to present Roz with a kitchen warming gift. The girls worked hard to make a pretty gift box to present it in, and have shared the tutorial with you.

Roz, never expecting anything, was so excited and touched by the girls' thoughtfulness! She couldn't wait to rip off the lid!

Back left is Alice, then Roz, then Goldie.
Rozario is left front and finally Wayne front right.

Huh? What is this... The shine! The color! 

A beautiful teapot! And it's so BIG! Perfect for the large crowds Roz plans to entertain! Everyone is so happy that Roz loves her gift!

Roz's heart was so filled by the gesture that she insisted that they try it out right away! Tea for everyone! And then the cake!

While they are enjoying their tea, let's have a look at some photos from around the room... We'll start off with Roz's sink area. You can see herbs drying from a rack on the ceiling and more growing in pots in front of the window. Roz loves to gaze out at the forest as she tidies up. Paper towels are within easy reach on the wall to the right. To the left of the sink are her wall shelves with food and staples. Various gadgets, utensils and cookware/bakeware are handily stored on pegs and the shelf below. Roz doesn't need much counter space, as her magic allows preparations to float in the air within hands reach.

As we sweep left through the small room we see the cook stove. Roz is so delighted to have it custom finished in her favorite purple metallic paint - it's a wish come true! Everything she needs to prepare delicious meals is right at her fingertips. She loves to gaze up at her watercolor paintings. They are the first pieces of wall art that she bought for the trunkhouse. They were painted by talented local gnomes who sell their work at the local farmers market every Friday. Roz hopes to continue collecting her favorites, and it won't be long until there is no open wall space left!

As we continue left we see the wee breakfast nook. While it is a petit little alcove, there is room enough for an open dish hutch, a table with four chairs and a shelf for Roz's special tea set. Wayne and Rozario will take turns on the stepstool for family dinners. The half round windows allow light to come in so the room feels cozy but not cramped. The light wall and timber color help it feel spacious, too.

The table is a little hard to view from the front of the kitchen, so here's a photo from before it went into the trunkhouse. Roz is very happy to have cushions on her chairs so that long visits are comfortable.

Roz's favorite aprons and cookbooks are stored on the final wall as we spin left again. She likes to switch both the aprons and the cookbooks out seasonally. It keeps her looking and eating fresh. Roz plans to add a few rugs here and there to warm the space up in the winter.

For viewers looking into the opening of the trunk, here is the view...

Roz is so happy with her kitchen and can't stop looking around. She's dreaming of all the happy memories that will be made here in the future. 

And while it is a compact trunkhouse kitchen, the most important requirement has been achieved: Everyone can be together here happily and comfortably! Time for cake!

Now that Roz's kitchen is completed and fully functioning, it is high time I get her and Rozario a nice place to sleep! Their bedroom is next in the queue. I hope you'll enjoy following along as I try to make it as lovely, comfy and functional for them as possible!

Thank you all for being here to celebrate Roz's trunkhouse kitchen with us!

xo xo,


Thursday, September 14, 2023

Some Finishing Touches For Roz's Kitchen

There were a few things to finish up before Roz could invite the whole treehouse gang over to have the first celebration in her kitchen. I had to wait for my liquid hairspray to arrive so that I could pin and spray the aprons into a "natural looking hang" when placed on the pegs of the shelf. I learned the liquid hairspray trick many years ago from the amazingly creative Casey of Casey's Minis. She's got a wealth of knowledge from her decades making minis, and though she rarely posts these days, she is still often thought of and appreciated!

And finally this last shelf for the kitchen can be checked off the list!

If you remember from the chair cushion tutorial, I still needed to finish up the ties for the chairs. I was able to adapt the bow making video from Heather at My Mini Front Porch for my 1/8" ribbon. I added them to the cushion ties (all 16 of them) and I really like the "fairytale" look this gives to the chairs. Roz's chairs all match the one on the right and the other two are Goldie's.

Once the chairs were finished I made a runner and a vase of flowers for the table. It is ready to be set now with all the goodies for the party. 

Roz and I went back and forth on whether or not she wanted curtains of any kind. She didn't want to block the light or interfere with her herb pots in the kitchen window, but she does really love how a nice café curtain adds to the décor. So, the compromise was to add a floral swag valance above the half round windows in the breakfast nook. It won't block the light but still adds the charm she loves so much. 

Just a side note here for anyone building a trunkhouse with an addition in the back with no access except through the main room's opening... Decorate the room before you attach it! Holy buckets it is nearly impossible to reach in there and if you can manage that you'll have to guess where to put things because you can't see past your own arm!!! I hope the valences are fairly straight and close to where they are supposed to be because there are no do-overs!

Sneak peek - still needs touch-ups.

The final, final touch was preparing all the food for the party. Roz asked me to help because she wanted the treehouse gang to be surprised. Believe me - I warned Roz that my worst skill in life (besides sewing) is cooking/baking. Oh, I make a few good things, but they're limited because I really prefer anything else to being in the kitchen. Unless I am cooking with company. Then it's fun. I told Roz since we were doing it together I would be her sous chef.

No matter what the fairytale is, there always has to be a little reality behind the "magic". I got out all my food making stuff (a lot of it acquired and never used when I was planning Pound Cake) to see what I might be able to learn to make quickly. I had some molds and some Hearty air dry clay. I mixed a little dough color into the clay, brushed the molds with cornstarch and made a few loaves of French bread, some tart crusts and some crackers. 

To add the fresh baked look I brushed on some Tamiya Baking Master chalk.

I filled the tart crusts with lemon and strawberry slices and "cherries" (no hole beads). I made the appropriate color sauces using UV resin and artists chalk. They came out pretty good.

I wanted to make a few cakes, too. The more I made the greater the odds at least one would come out well enough to use. I had a bunch of 3/4" round chipboard circles left over from some project or another, so I stacked them into "layer cakes". Half would be base painted "chocolate cake" and half "white cake". I found that by drilling holes and adding toothpick handles, I could do a better job decorating them. Spinning them to paint on the "frosting" was genius!

You can see in the background a bunch of Bundt cakes, too. They were leftover from the last time I experimented using molds and air dry clay to make food. Three are "chocolate" and two are "vanilla/lemon". This was beginning to make me very hungry! 

All the chocolate cakes got a layer of "frosting" - Mod Podge mixed with a little "chocolate" paint made a lovely ganache. One got "nut sprinkles" added to the sides. I think I got the nuts on Etsy but a lot of my dessert making supplies came from Stewarts Dollhouse Creations during the planning of the bakery project.

I was trying to put the nuts on just the sides of a white cake, too, but wasn't careful and got it on the top. That left me no choice but to cover the whole thing with nuts. Then you could still see the white frosting under them so my fix was to paint "chocolate" over it. Now it's a Nestle Crunch cake. Sounds delicious, right?!? See? Good thing I made extras for accidents!

I had roses from Stewarts, a pineapple cane, Tamiya Deco SaucesSugar Sprinkles and 3/8" wooden furniture plugs that I made simple cupcakes from. The hardest part was deciding how to use my ingredients to decorate each one and then being brave enough to try. I'd say they came out pretty well and after I pick some things for Roz I'll have a good start on the bakery's displays.

Speaking of displays... back when I was planning the bakery I bought some things to experiment making cake stands. I thought gluing plates on top of vases from Natty Collection on Etsy would make unique cake stands. I really like the way they turned out.

I had cabuchon settings and various metal bead caps and spacers to try out, too. Since Pound Cake has a black-white-gray color theme, I painted them all black.

And here's what I ended up with, though Roz's party preparations are still not finished!

Hopefully, and with some focused effort, Roz's kitchen and her party will be ready to share with you next week! 🤞🙏👷‍♀️

I'm going to go take a nap now! 😜

xo xo,


Friday, September 8, 2023

Big Announcement - New Etsy Shop!

The fall of 2015 had me frustrated. I was working on my Alki Point dollhouse, my first "modern" type build, and I just couldn't find good contemporary/modern looking mini furniture or décor. Not ones that I could afford, anyway. At the same time, I heard about a free 3D modeling program called TinkerCad. I took a tutorial, started designing minis, had my designs printed through Shapeways and never looked back. Since then I have expanded my skills and my equipment. I now own two 3D printers and can't imagine my mini projects without them.

Last fall I endeavored to create an entire kitchen with 3D printed minis for my Willowcrest build. The feedback I received from my friends and followers encouraged me to make them available to other makers and 3D enthusiasts. After much prodding from a certain reader who shall remain unnamed, I finally opened an Etsy shop with all the 3D stl files that I have ready to share.

If you are also intrigued by 3D printing and need to expand your products, come by the shop and have a look around. Prices start at $2.99 and if you order $50 worth, you'll get a 15% discount using the code THANKSFRIENDS.

For now, I have 39 stl files in the shop. I hope soon to offer all of the svg furniture and kitchen cabinet files I've created in Design Space, as well. This will take a bit longer, as I will need to cut the files again, taking in process photos to create instructions before I can offer them in the shop. I'll keep you posted.

I can't thank my readers enough for making this journey feel as though we are all on it together! Your support means the world to me, truly!

xo xo,