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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Fit For A Queen

Or, more accurately, a Fairy Beary Godmother. What I'm talking about is Roz's bed. As you know, Roz falls perfectly into twelfth scale, though at just 4" tall, she's at the petit end of the bell curve. In addition, her trunkhouse, having been custom designed for her, is also what the realtors like to call cozy. So, when it came to making the perfect bed for her, I had to think a little outside the scale.

Roz's Bedroom is just 9-1/4" in diameter.

I started off with a House Of Miniatures Chippendale Canopy Bed kit. If assembled as intended, it would have taken up nearly the entire floor space of the bedroom.   


This meant that I'd need to make adjustments which allowed me to engage in my favorite aspect of mini kits: Customization! After measuring what the perfect width of a bed would be for the room, I found the center of the headboard piece and measured half that amount out from each side. 


Then I cut off the excess and carved the bedpost notches back into the new headboard. I still really loved the curved shape, even after losing the "wings".


Then came the complicated part. Here's where tenacity really pays off. After determining the perfect length for Roz and the room, I had to figure out which kit pieces needed to be cut for both the length and the new width. My advice for anyone attempting this is get plenty of sleep the night before, work in a silent environment, measure and visualize several times and don't go anywhere near a saw until you're CERTAIN about what you're doing. Luckily, I heeded my own advice and everything went well. 😊

The new configuration measures 4-3/4" L x 3-1/4" W x 6-3/4" H. It fits Roz comfortably and leaves plenty of "living space" in the bedroom. Hooray! 

The kit calls for making incremental holes in the frame to string "rope" through to support the mattress. Once I'd drilled the holes for the smaller frame, I realized I could just use a couple pieces of the leftover wood scraps to make cross braces instead of a complicated stringing process.


Here is what the viewer will see looking in through the trunk's opening.

The next step was to make Roz a super plush mattress. Considering the amount of headboard that I wanted to show above the mattress, I determined a good thickness was two layers of 3/16" foam core. Then a layer of Thermolam, and on top of that, a layer of quilt batting. Before gluing the layers to the foam core, I pre-drilled a series of holes for later tufting.


Next I covered the mattress with a very fun ticking type fabric. Purple stripes and hearts? It couldn't be more fit for Roz!



After sewing the tufts in, I made a bottom cover with fabric covered cardstock. I don't know if anyone will ever look under the bed, but if they did and saw a bunch of thread and knots, I'd be mortified!!!



The only thing left to do was to create a boxing strip (to wrap around the mattress) with more cardstock and fabric. I love the finished look and am suddenly craving a nap!


The final test was to check the mattress on the bed. A great fit with room for bedding!

You can see the beginnings of adornments being added to the bed frame, as well.


For efficiency's sake, I made Alice and Goldie's mattresses while I had all of the mattress making supplies out. Wayne and Rozario will get theirs made at the same time, too (soon), but with a more masculine fabric.



Every time I look at this unfinished floor I feel badly! Soon girls, I promise!

Once the mattresses were finished, I could focus on the adornments for Roz's bed. I may have had to skimp on size, but I could still load up on regal detailing. I added lots of Dresden trims, pearl half beads and Roz's initial. Then I painted a base coat of warm white.



I could have stopped right here and it would have been a beautiful bed. But not quite fit for a queen (or a Fairy Beary Godmother). But because this post is already long, and has (I am sure) eaten up much of your blog reading budget, I'll leave you with a... To Be Continued...


BUT... Before I go... I have one last event to share that is sure to make you feel the warm fuzzies that are pervasive in our mini community...

Many of you know and follow Sheila's wonderfully creative blog, Shenandoah And Stuff. This week I was surprised by the loveliest note of encouragement and unique gifts from Sheila. She crafted a beautifully embellished set of china for Roz! There is a serving platter, a pitcher, a large bowl, dinner plates, dessert plates and cups with saucers. Wow! What a thoughtful gift! She intended to give them to Roz for her kitchen, but after seeing the delicately petaled floral spray which was hand appliqued on these pieces, Goldie insisted that they belong to her! Boy, that Goldie has no qualms about stating her opinion! Roz, seeing Goldie's delight, and having everything she needs, couldn't argue. Here are the gorgeous dishes which will soon be adorning Goldie's open kitchen shelving. Aren't they delightful?!?



Thanks so much, Sheila, for sharing your encouragement, creativity and talents with me and the gang! 💗 The china is so adorable and will add a wonderfully unique charm and warmth to Goldie's kitchen! 

More sets are coming soon to Sheila's Etsy Shop

Until next time, my friends, find ways to share your talents, inspire others and spread the mini love!

xo xo,

Jodi

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,

Jodi

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,

Jodi