Sunday, February 12, 2017

A weekend of books

It is such a joy and satisfaction when one can look at the accomplishments over the weekend and be happy about them!

I have spent the free hours making more books for my libraries, and here they are:


All of them come from the Magic Collection Set #7 from Ever After Miniatures, and they all have the inside pages as well.  Except for the Vampyr and Darkest Magick, which are my own creation:

I made them using images found on Google
I still have seven books to make to complete the set.  But it has been a productive weekend!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Miniature books

One of the things that I enjoy more than anything doing for the dollhouse is books.  The first instructable book about miniatures that I bought taught me how to make books with real paper pages and clay covers.

I know that some people prefer "dummy books", which are books that do not open, either because they have clay pages or wood pages, so they look more realistic when placed on libraries or tables.  I do not like those for a reason.  When I was working in a vintage car foundation (we had cars from 1899 to 1930) we had some visitors that asked my then boss if all the cars we had worked.  I will never forget what he answered: "Of course they all work!  If they did not, they would not be cars; they would be statues".  To me, dollhouse books are the same: they have to have pages, or they would be just sculptures, not books.  I do not mind that the pages are fixed in place, but they HAVE to have pages.

Books offer such a vast range of subjects!  Science, literature, pictures, children's stories, cookbooks... Antique editions, manuscripts, journals, diaries, coffee table books, ledgers, notebooks...
They can be copies of real books (your favorite book!), or they can be made-up books.  Or they can be books that appear in your favorite movies or TV series.  They can have blank pages or illustrated pages, or written pages.  Anything is possible!

So I love searching for miniature books to fill my shelves with.  These are my favorite places to buy books from:

- For DIY books:  I absolutely love Ever After Miniatures!  Their books cover a lot of subjects: science, literature, music, children's stories, wizard school, fictional creatures, cookbooks... All their books have illustrated pages, or are "written" with illustrations.  They sell collections of covers if you prefer dummy books, and they have filler pages too if you are like me and like books with written pages.  My dollhouse has two floor-to-celing bookshelves; it is probable that I run out of space before I run out of books to make.  They also sell other stuff, such as scrolls, shadow boxes and shopping boxes and bags.

Some of Ever After Miniatures books

- There are a couple of other places from which I have bought DIY books, and those were lovely as well: A Lavender Dilly and We Love Miniatures.  For permanently open books, Gothic Miniatures's designs are the best I have seen.  I have a custom-made bat book from her.

- For ready made books: Tree Feathers Miniatures.  These are the books with the best-looking covers you will ever find.  Most of them feature copies of vintage editions covers; they also offer modern sets such as the Game of Thrones collection.  They have blank pages.

I also love making books designed by myself.  Many times I use Ever After Miniatures templates to make my life easier.  Here are some of the books that I have created from scratch:


From top to bottom:
- two Agatha Christie's novels: Murder on the Orient Express (that one is for my mother, who is a huge fan of Ms. Christie's) and Death on the Nile.
- three books related to Egypt: two guides to learn to read hieroglyphics and a coffee table book.
- The Necronomicon, a copy of a prop used in the TV series Ash vs. the Evil Dead.  I also have in my back burner the books from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Vampyr and Darkest Magick).

I have also made several vintage editions of Dracula, Frankenstein, Ivanhoe, Carmilla, Arabian Nights, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, and The Man in the Iron Mask.  I also used to sell copies of the Handbook for the Recently Deceased, from the movie Beetlejuice.

The making of books is awesome, but it can get tiresome if I do not do anything else.  So I make them in batches, and when I have had enough, I start a different project.  My next project is going to be a Phantom of the Opera shrine.  More on that very soon...

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Tarot reading in Kassandra's shop

Today I found Kassandra very busy.  She was beautifying one of the corners in her shop.  She has a small sitting place behind a screen to do readings for her customers; mainly tea leaves, tarot cards and palm readings.  She said she had not changed the decorations for very long, and it was time to try something new.

Before:



And after:



She explained that her friend Ana had provided her with the supplies, and the change looks really good.  The tiny pictures on the wall, the big placemat on which the new deck of cards rests and the advertising sign on the screen.  There is also a small picture on the table of a lovely lady.  Kassandra said that she was an old friend that taught her some clairvoyance secrets.  

She also has new merchandise in her shop: tiny tarot decks in their boxes.  She hopes that her customers will like them.
The Tarot cards are the ones I used to sell in my shop




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Fantasy apart, the tiny tarot boxes I made myself with the help of an awesome template, creation of Craig P. Forbes.  You can custom made any box for any set of cards of any size that you may have.  However, I had to tweak my way around them, because the design works well for real life card size, but the 1:12 scale proved to be very tiny for the program and some flaps were omitted.  But I had loads of fun adjusting and mounting the boxes.  I even made a real life box for a deck of Steampunk cards that I bought from Vectoria Designs.  They fit perfectly!


Friday, February 3, 2017

A sight from the past: the stereoscope arrived

Remember that I mentioned that Kassandra was waiting for the delivery of a stereoscope?  Well, the stereoscope arrived, and it is a pretty neat gadget:



Kassandra explained that a stereoscope is a device for viewing a stereoscopic pair of separte images, depicting left-eye and right-eye views of the same scene, as a single three-dimensional image. Kassandra feels fascinated by optics, since, she says, a vampire almost never uses devices that improve eye vision.  "We do not need them", she adds.

Even so, she wanted to have this very special piece in her possesion.  She even showed me a collection of stereoscopic images, in which among them were a view of a room of the White House, two images taken in Egypt (one of them being one of the pyramids), and one of a semi-naked woman (!).

You can see the pic with the pyramid placed in the stereoscope holder

And the picture of the naughty woman on the left (!)



Apparently, the stereoscope has taken the place of one of the shaow boxes in the cabinet of curiosities: 




She is so happy with her new toy.  She is still waiting for the delivery of the Egyptian mural.  I am sure it will be a marvel to see...

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Fantasy apart, the stereoscope is a creation of Tiny Dwelling.  Rebecca is a very talented artist.  Go check her shop!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Kassandra's Victorian hobbies

One of the things that I admire most about Kassandra is that her mind is always open to learn or explore new things.  Or sometimes, to rekindle some old interest of her and give it an space in her life again.

One of the things that has called my attention is that the console she keeps in the parlor is constantly changing in decorations.  What started simply as a piece of forniture to decorate, now is a cabinet of curiosities - or, as she calls it, a table of curiosities:


I asked her what a cabinet of curiosities was, and she explained that they were collection of objects that did not have their categorical boundaries defined when they were found.  Now we would place them in natural history, geology, archeology, relics, antiquities... The people who could afford to buy them and store them, made them into collections that were the precursors of modern museums.  They would put them into cabinets to show their friends, and they were a kind of stentation and status symbol.

She has been acquiring some objects that she displays proudly in her table:



The two domes with taxonomy items, as well as the bats and butterflies posters, the bat in the shadow box and the paperweights come from Easy Print and Cut; Kassandra says the lady that makes them, Ana, is very talented and oh so lovely.  The paperweights feature flowers and an Ammonites fossil.


The shadow box with the strange skeletons comes from Ever After Miniatures.  The dollhouse she made herself with a kit from Miniaturas M y E, and the tiny furniture is from SDK Miniatures.


The two shadow boxes with strange animals' fossils also come from Ever After Miniatures; and remember the papyrus collection she got and the Anubis statue?  She says she is wating for an Egyptian mural to be delivered to her; I can't wait to see it.

She also confided in me that she has recently acquired an stereoscope and it is due to arrive soon. Where  does she find all these things I do not know...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Solstice gift for Kassandra - Greenhouse with plants

Since Kassandra told me about her custom of exchanging presents for the Solstice, I wanted her to have something from me.  Yesterday I visited her, and I am happy that she was glad to see me.

She said she spent a marvelous holiday, going to her country of origin and seeing her other daughters that still live there.  She said she could also rekindle her relation with her brother, and that she was an invited musician to a concert to celebrate the New Year that had been orgazined.  Her brother was the conductor that night.  I asked what instrument she played.  "Cello", she said.  "My dear Amadeus taught me to play it". I did not want to ask if her "dear Amadeus" was Mozart...

When she invited me to sit down and offered something to drink, I gave her her gift. Remember that greenhouse that I bought at Tom Bishop's Show? I prepared a couple of plants: an Echeveria and some young saplings, and then offered the whole lot to her.





She was very happy to have a belated gift, specially something to keep delicate plants.  She was quick to find a place for it in her parlor, and gave effusive thanks.  




I am always happy to see her smile.

Also, a co-worker of mine has just been to the Canary Islands, and he was kind enough to bring this back for me:



It is a real live tiny cactus.  It only needs to be watered once a month.  I was ecstatic with the gift, and of course, so was Kassandra when I brought it over to the house.  This one has been put on the bedroom window.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Egyptian miniature project

Kassandra was telling me the other day that a member of her family is a woman born and raised in Egypt.  Then confessed that for obvious sunny reasons she has never visited Egypt, but also confided that some of her grandparents were supposed to have acted as pharaohs.  I am not sure how that could have been possible, but she is quite sure about the fact.  She also pointed out that vampires have been using the Egyptian cross, the Ankh, for many years as a symbol of eternal life.

In any case, she has developed a recent interest about all things Egyptian, and has acquired some art: a statue of a lying Anubis, that came from Stewart Dollhouse; and a collection of papyrus.  She says she likes Anubis because he is one of the gods of the Dead.  She is not quite sure what to do about the papyrus, so she is keeping everything at hand in her table of curiosities:

Images found on Google




She is also reading a book about Egypt, and some guides to learn to decipher hieroglyphs:

I scanned my own book to make the cover for this.


And of course, a famous Hercule Poirot novel that is set on a cruise through the Nile:



She says she feels fascinated by Egyptian history and she must visit the country soon.

Oh, if you would like your own Egyptian minis, you should definitely check Lilliput's Treasures!