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!




  1. Ohhh Cindy, a work of art again! What a wonderful abode for the wee rats, a wonderful working environment, love the colours & how it has all come together. Look forward to more updates & the continuation of their wardrobe x

    1. Thank you Pammy Girl! Ha ha . So crazy! Having a lot of fun, though. I am really 12. I just seem old :)

  2. tres sympa votre petit univers. j'aime beaucoup; c'est tres doux. et romantique. et empreint d'une belle touche d'elegante. tres beau travail.

    i love it. is very sweet.

    1. Thank you so much Laetitia! All of that sounds so beautiful in French! I will let the rats know they now have some international friends! XOXO Cindy