Evalina Rose and her little sister Posy Anna are the main characters of a series of children's stories that I am writing. In this blog I will share the final stages of crafting their half scale house--Honeysuckle Cottage--and the miniature stuff that will make up the settings of their stories.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tiny Hat Tutorial...A Finishing Touch for Your Little Doll

When I started my blog, I put this tutorial on my Tutorial page.  I have deleted that page, because it was not well thought out.  Now I have taken the pictures and placed them in a collage that you can download and use at your leisure.  If you ever need help with my tutorials, just ask.
The first thing that I do is select a color of fabric...I use silk, but cotton will be fine.   I soak the fabric in a solution of 50/50 tacky glue and water.  I let the fabric dry on a plate, so that it will be smooth.  The doll that I am using is 1 5/8 inches tall...so her head is tiny.
  Measure the circle for the brim of the hat, and cut a circle to the size you like.
Clip a tiny hole in the center of the hat and carefully cut a tiny circle out of the middle of the brim.
Measure the hole to the doll's head.
find a dowel--I used a paint brush--with the same diameter as doll's head.
 Place the brim onto the dowel.
cut a strip of fabric so that it is the desired height of  the tiny hat.
Wind the strip around the dowel, cut strip to fit and glue ends together.
when strip is dry, remove and apply glue to base of strip.
Put the glued strip back onto the dowel so that the glue adheres to the brim.
Let dry.
Cut a tiny circle so that it is the same size as the crown (glued strip).
Glue top to crown
The final hat will need decorations to cover up edges.  I use tiny ribbon to wrap around the crown. Sometimes I glue a piece of silk floss to go around the top of the brim...the little gold hat is a n example.  I use beads, silk ribbon roses and tiny feathers that I collected from a pet love bird..  These little hats really pull together a little doll's wardrobe.

Happy hat making, and have a wonderful week,

Friday, December 7, 2012

Shameless Self Promotion

Actually, self promotion fills me with shame...but it has got to be done.  I started my blog to promote Evalina and other characters for some children's stories that I plan to write.  Evalina will be the main character.  She and  her little sister Posy Anna live in Honeysuckle cottage.  Humble and Pie are their best friends.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with scale miniatures, Honeysuckle cottage is considered a half scale miniature(one half inch equals a foot.  I am making all of the characters and the setting from scratch.
     I am about to send out a Christmas card to some publishers, with hope that they will visit my blog...wish me luck.

I am also getting back, after a long respite, to making and selling my miniatures.  I am preparing to go to the IGMA show in August.  I have opened an Etsy shop, and am slowly putting some of my pieces into it.  At the same time, I have started a Pinterst site.  Please follow, admire and pin me when ever you can...I need the attention.  I am not comfortable with attention, but I need to try harder to get my images out.

I continue to work on Hugo.  He is getting a little teddy bear  who still needs ears and arms

I am putting a Holiday challenge onto my needlework blog

I have had this clipping for about 20 years....finally, I am knitting him in miniature. I will finish him by Christmas.

My challenge is for the rest of you to make a Christmas item.  I have changed my mind, it does not have to be needle work, any hand made item will be included.  Please send me a picture, and I will  post it.


Hugs, and Happy Holidays,

Monday, November 19, 2012

Meet Violet

I have been finding my work on Pinterest, and I love that. 
 It is my intention to share as much as possible., and I am happy for you to take my images  as long as you attribute them to me (and so far you have). Please do not take pictures of other people's work that appears on any of my blogs.   Also, my tutorial is for a Femo doll, but I generally work in porcelain. 
 Welcome to all my new Pinetrest friends, I have discovered so much while viewing your sites(?).
Violet is my newest doll that I am dressing.  I have just finished a dark purple cape and will add some ruffles to her neckline.  I love her face, it is very sweet.  I do not feel like I make my dolls, I feel like my hands do...I am always glad to meet my little people.

This doll is all knit, knit on 7/0 needles with Nr. 80 Madeira thread. 
Tiny jointed porcelain doll with dress knit on 7/0 needles and Madiera thread

This is my Give-Away on my other blog http://mini-needle.blogspot.com/  Check it out!

I say farewell to dear Eliza as she is off to a new home.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Friday, November 9, 2012

Dressing a Tiny Doll

   I thought you might like to dress the little Fimo "china-head doll" that I described a few posts ago.  The following directions will work with any small figure.  This method is simple, and I think , quite nice.  I made collages, as I usually do, to save space.  Follow the pictures from the top, moving left to right.  If you can use the pictures, feel free to down load them for a reference.
First, I wrapped the wires with cloth tape(this is something new for me, I usually use silk ribbon and glue).  I used first aid tape.

 The first step to dressing her is to make some pantaloons.
I fold two squares of material together and cut a tiny curved line...this is the crotch.
  I end up with two identical pattern pieces that are shaped like the third picture.
  Some people just glue the seams, but for some reason, I am very clumsy with glue.  I sew the crotch seam first and then measure the inseam and cut it to fit the inner leg.
  I then sew the inseam  as shown in the fourth picture.
  The fifth picture shows how it will fit before I gather the waist and the ankles.  I like the pantaloons to fit  just bellow the doll's breast plate.
  I use a running stitch to gather the waist and ankles and then carefully glue a tiny piece of lace to the bottom of her pantaloons.

I measure a rectangle of dress material to fit the doll.  (I wanted the dress to come to the top of her shoes.)
 I sew up the side seam and add a tiny bit of glue to the seam to hold it flat.
  I add a piece of lace to the bottom, and gather the waist with a running stitch.
 The sleeves are glued directly onto the arms, using tiny strips of material.
 I apply a bead of glue around her shoulder plate.
 The bodice is a piece of lace, that is glued into a ring.
 I gather the top of the lace with a running stitch(this will be the neck hole) and pull it over her head and press the ruffled  lace into the glue around her shoulder plate.

I chose a purple ribbon for her shoes and the bow for the back of her dress.
 First, I apply glue to her whole foot. Then I wrap the ribbon around the foot pinching the two ends at the back.
  I cut a small piece of fabric tape into the shape of the sole of a shoe.
 I glue the sole onto the bottom of her foot.
 The final touch for this doll is a bow on the back.
 This method could have all sorts of details added to it to make it fancier.  For example tiny pearls can be added to the shoes to look like buttons  and embroidery can be added to the dress. 

This is a little boy who will go with the mother and sister whom I have mentioned in a previous post. I think I am going to name him Hugo because it is such a big name for such a small sweet boy.  I gave him a striped union suit for the fun of it and also because the stripes peek through his sailor shirt.  I  still have to knit his sailor collar and his knickers.  He will have little black boots with "brass" buttons.

I always forget to welcome new followers and to thank my regular followers for their lovely comments.  I do not mean to be rude, I just have a hard enough time getting my pictures and text in the right place...so please forgive me.  Welcome to my new followers and thank you for all the lovely comments, as a mother of two teenagers, I can use any positive feedback that I can get.
Have a great weekend,

Monday, November 5, 2012

Too Busy to Blog

I have found myself very busy this fall.
 My children are so busy with sports and ballet recitals, and my mother is very successfully having her cataracts replaced.  I am so impressed with how well her surgery is going...she can see again.  We go in tomorrow for her left eye.  I have been traveling back and forth to help her out, and will be settled back home by Thursday, and  I hope to get back to blogging at that point, but for know, I will quickly show you who I have been working on.
 I am trying to get some dolls done for sale, as I am planning on attending the IGMA show next year.  These two little ladies will go in my sales box.

Two new girls  for my sale box.  The red girl is Poppy and the pink girl is Eliza.
Poppy has a green coat, but I love her little red dress and I think I will leave her coat off as a piece of her wardrobe.
Eliza has a removable collar that is tied on.   The pink in her pinafore is a lovely shell pink and does not show up in the pictures.
Eliza has pantaloons and a slip  made of white cotton, knit on 6/0 needles. Her dress is also knit in the same manner and is tied at the back.  her hat and collar are tied on .  I usually tie garments on and apply a small drop of glue at the juncture.  This allows me to break the little seal of glue and remove the garment when I want.  If I am intending to make a full wardrobe -with two or more dresses- for one of my dolls , I leave the strings long enough to retie , but if the doll is to stay as is, I clip the strings to an appropriate length.  Eliza has a pinafore made of  a very fine linen, which is lovely, but hard to knit.
Poppy has pantaloons, a slip  and a little red dress,knit on 6/0 needles . I have embroidered little flowers on the bodice.  She has a green silk hat and a "carpet bag".  Her green coat still needs some work...I think that I will add a black collar and some little bead buttons.
It is hard to get close-ups of their tinny faces!

Have a wonderful week,

Monday, October 8, 2012

Make Your Own Tiny China-Head Doll

For those of you who would like to make your own "china-head doll", here is a Fimo version that anyone can make.  I am working on writing directions.  It is a whole different style of writing than writing stories--I am not very good at it.  If you have any questions, or need better photos, just ask.

The collage bellow illustrates the steps to create a tiny doll...feel free to download for your own use
  The first picture in my hand is of two porcelain boy dolls that I wanted to show you.  You will make your doll parts directly onto the wire frame.  (I fire my pieces and then glue them to the frame.) This Femo method can be used for flesh colored dolls or animal dolls, here I used white to simulate china.  I like to make mice and other animals to dress like dolls.  Once you have made the doll, you should wrap the wire with strips of cloth and glue  (I usually use white silk mini ribbon for this purpose).

First twist two pieces of wire at the center.   Bend the top pieces into shoulders and arms and the bottom pieces into hips ad legs.
  Make a shoulder-plate and neck out of   Fimo...bake it.  Be sure to bake it for 10 minutes and let it cool all of the way.  Put a very small amount of liquid Fimo on the neck.
 Place a small oval of Fimo onto hardened neck.  Note that the back of the head should be higher than the chin.
 I was in such a hurry to make this tutorial, that I did not let my neck cool enough and it snapped in the process of adding the head.  I had to plop a head on and as you can she , she has no neck.
  using a fine stylus, add some facial details...two slight indents for eyes should be pressed in the middle of the face and a slight dent for mouth.  Be careful not to over-sculpt ..this is a tiny face and you do not want to over do it.   Gently nudge the Fimo with stylus to form a chin
 I added a bun at the top of her head.
Bake the head.
Cut the arm and leg wires to the lengths that you like and make some little arms and legs right onto the wires.  I press the hands into a slight point and place them in the direction that I like.  I did not make fingers.  You may want to make fancy shoes...I made them simple and will show you latter how I make shoes out of ribbon.
Bake the doll to harden legs.
I used liquid Fimo to add  thumbs and a nose in small drops placed on with a toothpick. then I baked The doll one more time.
  I am out of black acrylic paint, so I used dark  brown to paint her hair.  Paint her hair slowly with tiny brush strokes to simulate hair at her neck and around her face.
  To paint her face.  I  made two tiny dots for eyes, two thin lines for eyebrows out of brown paint to match her hair.
  I found a nice rose acrylic for her cheeks and mouth.
  I use my thumb nail as a palette for tiny amounts of paint.
 For the cheeks I added a small amount of water to my thumb- palette and mixed it with paint, so that I made a blush.
  I used the paint straight for a clear little dot of a mouth.
  When I was done, and the head was dry, I covered the head and shoulders with triple thick varnish.

This is my latest porcelain china- head doll.  I have put a tutorial for knitting these tiny undergarments on my needlework blog
Here she is  in her new dress.  I am making her an ivy green coat , a green silk hat and I am trying to  design a "carpet" bag for her. 

I made a new slip for this little doll.

Have a Wonderful week,
Lucy Coles

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Winner of The Fairy-house is....

A patch of tiny porcelain dolls

A mother with her son and daughter waiting for their clothes.

My new favorite artist is ,Maurice Prendergast  He is known for his images of the New England sea coast and Venice.  I will dress the above doll family in similar dress as the family in this watercolor, the boy will have a sailor suit..

Here is a the China -head doll that I am working on.  In my next post I will discuss how I made her and dress her.

This was supposed to be on the top..and the winner is Daydreamer, athttp://aboutmydollhouses.blogspot.com/.  Hi Betsy, please send  your address to lucy_coles@netzero.net, and I will happily send you the fairy-house, pillows and shell wreath.  Congratulations!

Friday, September 21, 2012

New Miniature Needle-work Blog Open

     I am moving all of my talk about knitting to a new blog http://mini-needle.blogspot.com/, which I think  I have just opened to the public.
      My hope is, that other mini-needle-workers will help me fill this new blog with images of their work, and that the whole blog does not revolve around me.  For now, I will just write about knitting and myself...that is what I know. If you are a needle worker and have some advice or information about a product that you would like to share, please contact me at lucy_coles@netzero.net.  If you are not a needle-worker and need some advice, please feel free to ask questions...if I do not have the answer I will find it. 
     My first post is about Burmilana which is a fiber that I have mentioned on this blog, but it really doesn't belong here.  So, if you are interested in a fine wool thread that comes in 113 colors and can be used in many mini projects, come visit me on Needle work in Miniature, I'll be glad to hear from you.  mmmmmm

Miss Kitty is a new project that I am working on.  Above is the first prototype of my first pattern. She will be the first project that I descuss on my new blog...that's a lot of firsts.

Please join me on my new blog, even if you are not a needle-worker.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

New Image of Fairy House giveaway

I am in the middle of rearranging my blog and it is getting messy!
       I am continuing to hold my Fairy house /Beach house giveaway on this blog, but I am setting up two new blogs : one for miniature  needlework which is called Needlework in Miniature, and one for all the fun stuff that I have been doing with my beach house and one inch scale miniatures, This one will be called Lucy's Littles.
 I am doing this because, Evalina Rose was originally supposed to be about the characters in my stories and their half scale setting, and, because  I am easily distracted by what the rest of you are doing I have  gone off in too many directions--it was a great summer.  To contain some of the hysteria and  neaten things up, I will remove much of the unnecessary content from this blog and focus on Evalina  and her house.

Fairy and house.

View of patio and garden flowers.  I have used tiny scraps of lace for the curtains and tiny pink flowers in the window boxes.
For now, I leave you with  new images of my giveaway and the promise that I will be organized in the future.
I will give links to my new blogs when they are ready to view
have a wonderful week,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

End of the summer, Beach-house Give-away

This Sea Fairy House is part of my give-away.  I made a similar house for my Beach House and will set it into the garden when I make one, but for the winner of my give-away, I have set the sea fairy and her house into their own setting.  The setting is made of cardboard, Femo,seashells and green "grass".  So the fairy comes with her own garden, but her garden can be set into a one inch scale garden.  She is less than 1/4 inches tall, but seated on her mushroom, she is about 1/4 inches tall.

.The  house is made of card stock with five layers of gesso.  The shingles are made of tinny shells that I found in Rockport,  MA.
I have set the house into a tiny setting with a rock wall and garden( all made of Femo ,shells and miniature landscaping materials).  The fairy is the blur seen through her rose arch.
There is a small metal bench, which I have painted green, that I bought a long time ago at a show.  The gravel around the house is made of fine crushed shells.
Sea Shell Pillows...These four pillows are printed  and sewn by me and are included in my give-away.
I collected these shells on the beach of Rockport, MA.  I added some freshwater pearls.  The base of the wreath is Femo,   The wreath is part of my give-away, it is quite fragile.

Summer is over at my house, the children are back at school, the mornings are cool and the beach house has been removed from my kitchen island.  So to celebrate the end of a lovely summer, I am giving away things that remind me of it.  If you would like to be included in my give-away:
1) Leave a message on this post.
2) place the picture on my side bar(labeled"Beach-House Give-Away") on your blog...This optional, but would be greatly appreciated.
3) you need to be a follower.
4) the winner will be picked on October 1, 2012

If you have a mini beach house, send a picture to lucy_coles@netzero.net, and I will post the picture on my blog to help celebrate THE END OF SUMMER.
Good luck and I hope you enjoy the rest of the warm weather.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Beach House

These are some porcelain fairies that I made some time ago.  I am planning on having a "Beach House" giveaway at the end of the summer.  I will include a tiny fairy and a fairy -house made of tiny shells.  The bellow picture is of some printed fabric that I have made for pillows and cloth napkins.  I have made far too many and will include some of them in the giveaway as well.  

I am working on my chimney right now.
  First I cut a piece of foam  roughly into the shape of a chimney, and glued it onto the side  of the house.
 I am experimenting with papiermache to form my bricks because it comes in a much larger amount than Paperclay,and coast less.  So far it seems to work.
 I will cover the whole chimney with Papiermache in stages .   I am encasing the top of the chimney where it meets the roof line so that  the roof will look like  it is cut out and not part of the chimney.
  I made one mistake: I made the first batch too moist and it was hard to mark the bricks, so they are a bit large.  The mermaid tile was stuck on with siliconized acrylic caulk which is what I have used for most of my gluing.  Siliconized  acrylic caulk  is a great adhesive  it's thick and you can paint over it easily.  
I have used the same taupe acrylic paint to paint some of my foundation stones and the roof shingles to tie the house together visually.

I have a love hate relation ship with porcelain.  I love the finish that I can get, the colors of china paint, the glaze and the gold.  I love the details and the fact that it shrinks a little when it is fired.  But it is brittle, not easy to model and is very messy plus the physical discomfort that I have mentioned in the past, but  I just adore French and British porcelain figurines and have spent a lot of my past trying to reproduce them.  What should I do?  An ongoing question.  I have been unpacking my  miniatures and found these tucked into a little box.  the largest one is one inch.     
I am experimenting with crochet...I am using Gutermann's 100 cotton and a .5 crochet hook. Also I am testing the Burmilana wool thread, it is the peach and green fiber and it is knit.  I am very happy with the results and if anyone is interested please tell me and I will add a post all about it's qualities to my Knitting page.  I almost forgot...the bumilana works well in #40 silk gauze with a #10 needle.  It is for machine embroidery and comes in many colors.
Annabelle wanted a picture of her puppy to appear on the blog. This is Percy, he was too quick to get a good picture of him

A porcelain garden angel that I sculpted many years ago.  I think that I will keep her where she is, in Gwendolyn and Joseph's bed room.

Have a lovely week,