Oct 4 2013

Miniature Reading Nook

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The dollhouse reading nook is nearly finished, just waiting on its crown moulding and baseboards.  The window seat has a nice padded cushion and throw pillows, and the shelves are being filled with wonderful tiny books.  The pillows and cushion were sewn by hand; tiny beads were used to add tufting details to the seat, and contrast stitching added  detail along the edge of the red pillows.

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The window covering was also created by hand.  It was relatively simple to make, but is stationary (I’m going to try making functional roman shades in another room).  I cut a piece of grass paper to the width of the window opening, gave it an accordion fold, and then used thread to hold it in place.  Starting from the base of the shade, simply thread a needle, knot the end,  and draw it through the layers, making sure to end on the back side of the shade.  Once both sides are threaded you can play with it until they are hanging evenly, and then glue in place.  To install the shade, I cut a piece of balsa to  the width of the window opening, glued the shade to it, and then glued the whole thing in place.

This room is particularly special to me, as at least four women in my family have made the miniatures within it.  My grams, Irene Moon,  made the main furniture and inspired most of my choices in decor, my aunt, Alona Moon, created the stone fireplace on the far wall, and my great aunt, Oma Holbrook, painted the watercolors now framed on the wall over the stairs.  Not to sound overly sentimental, but having these small pieces reminds me every day of the amazing family I came from.

 


Oct 3 2013

Strange Dolls in Vermont

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This past July I had the opportunity to take a class with an artist I have admired online for quite some time-  Beth Robinson’s Strange Dolls  The intro to doll making class was held at Davis Studio in Burlington, Vermont, right around the corner from the Strange Dolls’ studio, and in the heart of Burlington’s “South End Arts District”.  I stayed in the upstairs apartment of a wonderful couple (found through air b&b) within minutes of the studio, and a very short walk/bike to downtown Burlington and the trail alongside Lake Champlain.  With a bike at my disposal for exploration, two days of doll making class, the inspiring company of other artists, and beautiful (although quite hot) weather, Burlington won me over.

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Below is the doll I created at the workshop and finished back in my studio.  For display I finished a wooden shadow box in black, with a padded satin fabric background that can be hung on the wall, allowing my “strange doll” to be displayed, and yet still taken out and “played with”.

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No matter how long I’ve been working in polymer clay (about 16 years now), I always like to meet other artists that work in the medium to trade tips and experiences.  Each brand of clay has its own properties, every artist has their own preferences, favorite tools, methodology, and finishing techniques.  After visiting the Strange Doll studio I felt so inspired, and eager to get back to work on some of the projects I’ve been stuck on.  Struggling with some mixed media pieces, I have ordered apoxie clay, a two part air hardening clay that I have not worked with before, but Beth Robinson uses on some of her one of a kind work.  Talking about clay is my “talking shop”, and having a weekend of shop talk is just what I needed.  Thank you Beth!

 


Oct 1 2013

Kerrytown Kids Art Market

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The Kerrytown Artisan Market happens every Sunday 11-4pm, from early April through mid December.  This past weekend was special though.  In conjunction with the regular market, there was a Kids’ Art Market, giving local kids a chance to see what it’s like to not only make art, but display and sell it!  The photo above shows my daughter at her booth, where she sold her original character drawings on canvas, and as magnets and bookmarks.

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Here she is, so proud of her very first sale!!!  I want to thank this amazing Ann Arbor community for their encouragement and support.  Watching my daughter’s confidence grow with each interaction, and with each customer that took the time to stop and compliment her hard work, or even buy a piece – we are so fortunate to live in this town.  It was not an easy day for a 3rd grader.  Between setup, the show times, and cleanup, it was a nearly 7 hour workday, yet she was able to keep a smile on her face for her customers, and was already planning for future shows and learning from all of the other artists and booths around her.

Keep an eye out for Art by Rocket in the future, with such a perfect first show under her belt, she has big plans for many more to come!

 


Oct 1 2013

Miniature Library

 

This room was in need of stripping, and redoing the electrical as with the rest of the house.  Most of this work was done by my sister before the dollhouse came to me.  I added outlets along the walls, and wired the lights on the ceiling of the kitchen below.

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The colors and feel of the room were based around two things; the stone fireplace created by my aunt circa 1988, and the burgundy furniture my grams built from kits.  The floors are cherry planks laid one at a time.  The beadboard panels were fit to the wall and window, and everything painted white.  The deep blue “wallpaper” is a lightweight cardstock I had amongst my stash.

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With the stairs facing the opposite way as my gramps had installed them, it creates a bit of a nook near the back window.  It seemed in need of a window seat and library.  Built in bookshelves line both side walls of the nook.  They and the window seat are made to a 1/12″ scale depth.  The seat lid lifts off to reveal storage inside.  I’m planning to add shelving above the window for display, and cap the entire built in with crown moulding.

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The books on the top shelves in the nook were part of the original dollhouse, and the other are mostly from shops on etsy.  Be warned that the miniature book selection is pretty awesome, and only search with the full understanding that you may become completely oblivious to time.

Obviously the nook needs a softer spot to read,  so cushions, pillows, and a window covering are up next!