Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Ladies Men

There are a couple of boys in town this week. Actually, there were 3, but one moved to Australia rather quickly, on short notice. That leaves 2. We have Benjamin the little brown mouse. Very dapper. Very manly, as you can see. We also have Peter the Rabbit (how original, right?), also very dapper, very manly. The deal here is, they are ladies men. Truly. Look at how they are dressed. What else could they be for heaven's sake? There are a couple of ladies still around the mouse house and the boys want to do some dancing. They have been discussing the proper way to get a lady to dance prior to the girls' arrival.

Here come the ladies.

First we have Lucille. She walks in and sits down, pretending not to notice the boys in the corner. She is a lovely little blonde mousie girl. She is quite shy and a bit demure. Benjamin will go first.

"Well, Miss Mousie, would you like to dance?" She turns her head the other way. Benjamin is quite bold. He moves out in front to get her at eye level.

Well, all right. She will dance. Why not? That's what she came for after all.

You'd think she thought of it herself! She is quite smug about the whole thing. After a bit of dancing, Benjamin spots Bernadette. Now it is clear, she is an actress. She is very dramatic seeming and maybe a bit out of his reach. But, it's a dance. He intends to dance with all the ladies.

On the approach, it does seem she has her nose a bit in the air. Not a problem. Benjamin is brave. He will try some sweet talking first. "You are quite lovely, Miss. Care to dance?"

At least she turns towards him. She is considering it. Well, all right. It's a dance. She came to dance. No use trying to play too hard to get. She agrees.

She is not going to take her nose out of the air, though. She has her pride after all.

In the meanwhile, Peter sees Lucille is without partner. It seems that Lucille will be a better candidate anyway. She doesn't seem quite so snooty.

Well, that wasn't too bad. She agreed quite quickly. Peter still has it. He is a ladies man, after all.

Hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving. Do some dancing. it will keep you young!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Evany, Bevany and Lucille

There are 3 new girls in the house today. Cousins Evany (dressed in teal), Bevany (dressed in pink), and their little mouse friend, Lucille (in peachy pink).

These girls are all quite lovely in their fine dresses and crazy matching headwraps.

I spent yesterday and the couple days before fixing up some more furniture to go with them, and have decided I can easily change out the wall paper of their room box when I grow tired of it. So life at the mouse house is good.

I think people are liking these little tinies, because they all seem to be going to live in other towns, in other states, even in other countries. Very pleased about that. I love them, I do. But, I am a country dollmaker. I have to expect that some of the dolls will want to move to the city. Country mouse, city mouse. Hard to decide sometimes.

Hope you are having a lovely end of the week and that the weekend brings many fun things. Stay warm. Stay creative. Always have fun!

XOXO Cindy

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Spanish Dancing Rats

I have a bit of an imagination, if you didn't already know. So, I was thinking about spanish dancers. Well, dancers of any kind. But, I wanted some fancy dresses for the rat girls, and, that was the image that came to my mind.

I made 4 Spanish dancing rats for my etsy listing this week.

Their names all rhyme, because of course they must. I have Sabrina, Josephina, Katina and Irena.

I gave them hand-dyed silk charmeuse dresses. Some with lace, all a little different. I love the shades of salmon pink, lavender, aqua and cerulean blue. So pretty.

I really am having too much fun. I got some new chests of drawers in dollhouse scale in the mail this week. I want to spend some of the weekend re-finishing them. Haven't decided how I want them yet. They are kind of old and ratty (well, of course!), but have nice lines. We will see if I do and what I come up with. I also want to make another room box, but this time out of art board. Not sure how that will come out. I will let you know. Hope your week is wonderful and you are staying warm and staying creative. XOXO Cindy

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Who's A Pretty Princess?

I am trying something new this month.  I made this OOAK princess dress a week ago.  It is a little more special.  I don't want to put it in my etsy store, because honestly, I don't know how to price it.  It's got a really nice bodice, with some silver-tone beads down the front, and layering, and well, I really like it. 

I am working on a doll at the moment to go to a show I was invited to participate in in Melbourne, Australia.  The coolest gallery I have ever seen contacted me to participate.   If you haven't been to the website of Auguste Clown, do check it out.  The artists they represent are amazing.  I can't even express how honored I am that, one, they even know who I am, and two, they asked me to participate in a future show.

For that doll, I have a theme and story going, and it relates to queens and princesses and things, which is something I am partial to. Thinking about princesses has led me to think about princess dresses.  The one for the gallery doll is different from the one seen here, and I will be showing sneak peeks here eventually, but that is my inspiration for thinking about princess dresses in the first place.

Which leads me to this dress here.  I found some really fun unicorn print fabric at the quilt store a few weeks back and wasn't sure what I would do with it. "Princess dress" was screaming out in my head, and so, I worked on a suitable bodice for a few days.  This is what I ended up with, and the skirting and overskirting and sleeves and all of that came together, and voila' this fun dress.  I've got is listed on Ebay for 5 days, and so far, at least a few people want it, so I feel like I am on the right track.  There may be other princess dresses in the future, but this OOAK number with the unicorns, well, like unicorns, you won't see it again after it's gone.  Hope you are having a lovely creative week!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday is For Relaxing

It's Friday today and I was planning on taking the day off and relaxing a bit, since I usually work through the weekend anyway. It's a rainy day and seems like the thing to do. It's almost noon, though, and I still have to go through photos and list my rat girls on Etsy, so perhaps the sitting back and being chill is going to have to happen later. Ah well, the life of a country doll maker :)

I have 5 new rats done for the week. It actually takes a lot longer to make each one than I imagined would be the case, but I am still having fun, so it's my little labor of love. I have continued to find little furniture pieces for them, and can now switch things in and out and change it up a bit. At least the rats can relax, as they have some furniture that fits them, a room to sit in, and they haven't much to do for the day other than look pretty and sit.

I seem to have gone a little miniature crazy. Besides a few more pieces of furniture, I have gone onto Amazon (usually a big mistake) and found some books on miniatures. I almost can't resist. Everything is just so darned cute! I hope I can find others who are interested in doing little 1/12 scale things. It's really quite fun.

If you don't require umpteen million books to satisfy your curiosity, a lot of the stuff can be had for cheap. There are little furniture kits and also used furniture available out there for in the $10 range, so that as a weekend project you could paint a little chair and have something to add to your scene without feeling like you spent all your hard earned money.

Hopefully you will find a bit of charm in my rats and rabbits and other tinies and see potential for your own scenes and room settings. The stuffed things also go nicely in Blythe scenes if you aren't for the teeny tiny miniature stuff.

My plan for the weekend is to make a few dresses for the rat girls and maybe look into some things for the walls of my little room box. I haven't worked on putting together any faux paintings yet, and I think that might be fun.

I am inspired a little by the old-timey children's books with their illustrations of animals in little jackets and trousers. I want my little rat girls to be a little less countrified, and more city fancy, but the works of Beatrix Potter and Tasha Tudor certainly come to mind.

We are running into a cold snap here for the week, so staying inside seems again the thing to do. It won't be long before winter hits here, and even this morning we had a tiny dusting of snow, and still there are little flakes flitting around outside my window. Nothing sticking yet, but it won't be long.  I hope this is a good weekend for you.  Stay warm.  Stay creative and always find time to play.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Hare Sisters are Dining Out

 I have set up my little rat dressmaker's shop now and it's time to have some clients.  The 3 hare sisters came in over the weekend and wanted similar dresses in different colors, as they will be dining out, and love to look the same, but prefer different colors.  The hares are a lovely shade of nut brown and they have long ears, making them a bit more stately than the rats.  They fit the same dresses and can sit in the same chairs, but their ears take up more space than the little mouse ears.

The 3 hare sisters, Rita Mae, Claudine and Katrine have decided that they will choose cream, blue and pink as their dress colors.  The rats worked hard and gave each girl a lovely elegant dining out dress, made from a satin devore of rayon and silk.  The bodice of the dresses have a layer of cream colored cotton lace and a bit of white silk gauze at the neck, for a bit of fluffy frou-frou.  The dresses have an underlayer of the same silk gauze as a bit of petticoat.

Each girl was given a head wrap to complement their lovely ears.  No good French hare would like to be out on the town without one.  Keeps the breeze out of the ears, and adds a lovely festive element.

The hare sisters seem happy with their dresses.  They are ready to go.  The rats had a busy day and the shop can be swept and the lights dimmed.

I trust you are finding creative things to do as well!



Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Rat's Have a Dress Shop

 My mind is in a whirl.  I have never before looked into 1/12 scale dolls and miniatures.  I thought 1/6 scale was tiny enough!  But, I seem to have grown dissatisfied with the accessories available in 1/6 scale.  There isn't much furniture out there, and what there is, is so expensive, because, well, it has to be OOAK, or it is plastic, and that isn't what I was after.  There just isn't a market for 1/6 scale roombox stuff.  Takes up a lot of room.  However, in dollhouse scale, there is literally tons of stuff.  Just search 1 thing.  Any thing you can think of that a human might need, and you will find it in 1/12 scale.  I had no idea.  Really.  

Did you know you can find all sorts of flooring, wallpaper, trim, windows, furniture.  Oh, and then the stuff to put on tables, on chairs, on beds.  It just goes on and on.  Okay, so my new love of tiny rats has led me to investigate.  They need things.  You know they do.  I mean, why have little rat dolls if you can't actually do anything with them?  I am not one for a lot of stuff sitting on shelves.  Things I own have to amuse me.  That is their job :)  

So, I set out to make a room box for the rats.  It is pretty small, as rooms go.  1/12 scale means every inch in the doll's world is the same as 1 foot in human world.  So, my room box thingie is 11.5 x 11.5 inches.  That is a little less than a 12' x 12' human room.  A bedroom more or less, and not a grand one either.  An average sized bedroom.  I didn't know how to proceed, so I bought 3 pieces of ready cut wood on Ebay.  1 for the floor, 2 for the walls.  I wanted an open room to start, because we don't have a lot of light here, and I am not sure about indoor artificial lighting yet.  They came to me flat.  The flooring had 2 grooves on 2 edges, where the 2 walls would slide in.  Apparently I was supposed to glue those in the slots, but I wasn't sure I wanted anything permanent, so I just slid them in.  Seemed okay.  A little unstable, so I taped everything well on the outside, where it won't show.

After initial assessment of the new room size, I first went to the Home Depot, gathered paints (the small sample sizes are perfect, at about $3 a pop - so for a small budget you can get a handful of colors to try and not feel you have broken the bank).  I also got some drywall tape in the lightest weight I could find.  And some spackle.  I taped the seam where the 2 walls adjoin, added the spackle, let dry, sanded, and repeated.  Then I painted the wall a pretty pale peachy pink and added in a bit of rag painting of a slightly darker shade of the same color.

 I painted the floor in a random stripe pattern and gave it a mopping with toweling to make it look a little messy and shabby.  I was going to put some baseboard trim, but I just cut out some paper using a die cut edge thing i have, and painted it gold.  I haven't permanently affixed that, because not sure if I like it or not, and the furniture hides it anyway.

 I painted a bunch of furniture I got on ebay, which was originally various shades of stained or painted wood.  My goal was to not pay over $5 for a piece of furniture, and I did that in all but 1 case I think.  I painted the furniture various colors, and the room was basically ready.  I had started originally with the idea of having an elegant room.  Well, that never happens with me.  Whenever anything starts to get serious in my artwork, I have to make a joke, and it always ends up being more whimsical.  I don't know that I love whimsical, but that is just what happens.  So, with all the crazy painting I did, pretty much whimsical is what I ended up with.

 So, now I have a nice dressmaker's shop for the rats.  They will be working there.  They may need more room eventually, as there isn't much of a dressing area for the ladies they will be waiting on.  But, these things take time.  For now, it's a small shop, with a limited number of rat girls.  All of the rat girls you see here are for sale in my Etsy shop and I plan to continue making more.  Ultimately I would like to have little 5-6" rodents for sale as well as dresses and things to go with them.  The costumes are changeable and no one, even a rat, likes to wear the same thing day after day.

I still have to put things on the walls and have things on shelves and maybe hanging out drawers, but I only started this yesterday, so I will need time to figure out the best way to proceed.  I bought too much furniture, so maybe at some point that will have to go in a second room.  It seems to be a learning curve - thinking in small :)

Hope you are having a lovely creative week!