27 September 2007

Miniature Dollhouse Food by Northern Miniatures

I've done it again! Another YouTube video for my collection. This one displays the most recent miniature foods that I have made. Enjoy!

Miniature Candied Apples on Plate

These adorable little candy apples are so fun to make. I make as many as I possibly can, the only downside is shaving down the scraps of wood to make the faux popsicle stick handles. The apples themselves are made from polymer clay, a stick is inserted and then they are baked. How I get that lovely red candy coating is my little secret. I have a feeling these will sell well at the show. Paper plates by icklebits.

Miniature Jackolantern Cookies on a Paper Plate

I am not sure how many of these plates of cookies I have made for the upcoming show but I know I'm tired of individually gluing each cookie to the plates! The jackolanterns are made from a cane that I made myself. It took a long time to make each little slice of sugar cookie Heaven but I'm glad they turned out so well. This is my second cane experiment. Paper plates by icklebits.

Miniature PBJ Sandwich on a Paper Plate

I have been trying to make many things for my upcoming show in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It's three weeks away from tomorrow and I am trying my best to get ready. I have made approximately 35 of these little peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on paper plates, and I want to keep them at under $5.00 apiece. Paper plates by icklebits.

18 September 2007

Miniature Chocolate Chip Cookies

These little chocolate chip cookies are one of the most painstaking things I have ever made. Not to mention I spent two hours last night working on pineapples for a customer. I wasn't entirely happy with the result of the pineapples, but I did my best. If she doesn't like them she is not obligated to purchase them because the challenge alone was really fun. The pineapples were tough, but these cookies are no fun either!

The texture, the individual chocolate chipping, whew, I am exhausted and I need about 500 more cookies just to make 50 plates. Absolutely the most draining thing since heart tart cookies. Paper plates by icklebits.

Heart Tart Cookies

Heart Tart Cookies
Originally uploaded by Northern Miniatures
My very first dollhouse miniatures show is one month from tomorrow and I am so unprepared that it is scary. I've recruited tons of friends and family members to make things for the show as I know I can't possibly do it on my own while holding down two jobs. As it stands now, I get out of work, make miniatures for 3 hours and then start work again. When I get out of the second shift I make minis until 2 or 3am and then I fall asleep and start the process again in the morning.

When I woke up this morning my eyes were so puffy from lack of sleep that I felt like I'd had Larry, Curly and Moe sleeping in my bed with me shoving their fingers into them. It was awful. Last night I made 20 breakfast platters on assorted coloured plates, 10 plates of these cookies and 7 plates of chocolate chip cookies. By the time I had finished there was almost half a shelf filled with food. Not enough. Not good enough. The cookies look great, but I need more stuff! Ahhhh!

These are so awful to make because I insist on cutting each heart out with a razor blade. They are all unique in their own way. I then add colour, bake and finally glaze them with a bit of faux jam. Heart tart cookies. Mouth-watering but they aren't satisfying my mini hunger yet! Back to the drawing board, need more stock. Paper plates by icklebits.

14 September 2007

Miniature Cat - Rascal

The third cat I made is called Rascal. He's so full of energy that he bounces from room to room. He can be seen lying under the tablecloth and batting it about, tagging along behind the lady of the house, clawing at her skirts, or crawling up the side of a planted cactus pot just waiting for the trouble he's about to find. He's an orange tabby and he's got big, curious eyes.

As with all of my photos, you can click on them and then click "All Sizes" to see a larger copy.

Miniature Cat - Moses

The second cat I made is called Moses. He's not an old cat but he's lived a rough life on the streets as a stray and he's got a tattered look to him. His brow is furrowed with worry and he's pondering who might give him his next bit of tuna. He sits in the alley behind the butcher's and the baker's and hopes that someone might send him some scraps.

Miniature Cat - Pickering

I was working on projects last night and decided to have a break and have a go at those animals I've always wanted to try and make. Here is Colonel Pickering. He is so old he can barely work up the energy to move and his little legs don't work quite the same way they used to. He's a determined Colonel. He wants to catch the mouse that's been raiding the kitchen cupboards. Cheerio, Pickering.

Miniature Shows

There was never a point last year, as I entered A Grand Affair In Miniatures show in Grand Rapids, Michigan that I thought I would have a chance to have my own table there. I looked around in awe at all of the dealers who were selling their wares. Amazing miniatures surrounded me at every turn. I had never been to a miniature show before and this was right up my alley.

In my real life I have always dreamed of owning a store. I had an eBay store and was a Power Seller for a while. I grew tired of the constant fee hikes and I gave up for a while, vowing to never use eBay again. I didn't...until I met a dollhouse at a thrift store. We fell in love and my friend and I worked to restore this heavy antique and then sell it on eBay.

That first dollhouse was a real test of ambition. I had to learn whether I wanted to use hard wiring or tape wire, learn how to keep my cool when I soldered the wrong wires together, and learn to accept that not every piece of wallpaper wants to be hung straight. I'd been scammed on off-scale items, and I'd got some great deals in auction lots. I've come such a long way since December of '05 and I've mastered some skills I never thought I would.

I've always admired people like Betsy Niederer. I used to look at her gallery over and over again wishing I could make something as nice as she makes. I studied her tutorial at CDHM.org and learned from it. I learned the basics in how to make a cake and I was so proud of that cake that I carried it around in my pocket to show everyone I could find. I'd sit it on the table with me at dinner and just stare at it. Betsy's tutorial helped me find my calling.

I always knew I loved miniatures, I just didn't know that I wanted to make miniature food. I don't really like real life food. I'm a fussy eater and I pick at my meals more than eat them (unless, of course, it's something bad like carbs, then I chow it down!). This evening I sat down and did something else I've always dreamed of doing. I made some miniature animals. I always daydream of making mini animals and how perfect they would look if only I could just steady my hand, and my mind, long enough to make them. Today I sat down and said "Look, this isn't that difficult. I've just got to concentrate and I'll have it beat." I made three cats and one of them looks just like my kitty. I showed her but she was not impressed. She just continued to lick her paws.

My first year in selling miniatures has been lovely. One year ago in October I would never have imagined that I'd be making miniature food and that people would be buying it. I'm really proud of myself and I'm proud of the CDHM community for producing the quality of art that it does. Thanks, CDHM. I really appreciate everything you've done for me. You've inspired me, you've taught me, and most of all you've helped me make some great friendships. Food has gone over well and I want to try a variety of other things like animals, housewares, and eventually some furniture. Here's to another great year and I hope I see some of you while I have my very own booth at A Grand Affair In Miniatures in October this year.

09 September 2007

Miniature Spaghetti and Garlic Bread

I oftentimes get requests for commissioned pieces through eBay, CDHM or my website. Today's request came from an eBayer and asked "Can you make spaghetti for four and lasagna for four." I set out to make both but I have had so much drama going on in the big world that my eyes were too tired to keep crafting in the little world.

The Spaghetti sauce, noodles and garlic bread are all made from polymer clay. It took ages to get everything just right. I made an initial loaf of bread with seasonings and the seasonings took over and made it look like a giant clump of green clay. Back to the drawing board. I love making bread but I get too picky about it and I always end up remaking it ten times before it's right.

Finally, I sat down and finished this. The entire thing took about two hours from start to finish, including the 20 minute snack break I took and the bake time, walks back and forth to fetch things I kept forgetting, and much more. I'm pretty pleased with the overall result. Now I wish I just had the patience to make something like this every day. It's on eBay now. Happy bidding! :)

06 September 2007

Bloomin' Onion and Margaritas

Last night I spent hours and hours devising a way to make a fried onion bloom. I tried everything and after three hours of intense labour (and tearing my hair out) I finally found the answer, and I'm not tellin'!

Making the sauce and the margaritas was a walk in the park compared to the fried onion bloom. For a while there, I was wishing that there was such thing as a 1/12th scale onion petal slicer. Oh, would it have made life easier. Sometimes it's so hard to replicate real-world items in 12th scale.

I'll slap these on eBay sometime this week. You can find a link at www.northernminiatures.com or you can buy them at our upcoming show in October!

Miniature Breakfast Platter

These little diner breakfasts aren't my favourite thing but I simply love the tiny sausages, they turned out so well. I'm not too pleased with the way the eggs blend in with the paper plates and I'll use a different colour next time I attempt this.

I cooked all of the items first then glued them down onto the paper plate and finally smothered on some lovely syrup. I am OK with the end result but next time I don't think I'm going to gloss the eggs. Paper plates by icklebits.

Miniature Fish and Chips

Fish and chips, these took AGES to make. I wasn't happy with the fish the entire time I was making them and then in one brilliant stroke of good fortune, they suddenly looked OK.

The newspaper is pretty crinkly and I'm not entirely sure I like the gloss on the piece, but the liquid sculpey I was using as grease for the paper dried out in the oven and I needed to gloss it to return it to the greasy shine. Next time I'll just grease it when it's done.