86 posts categorized "Creatin' Contest 2015‬"

kitchen fixed and the latest edition of Miniaturas

It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted.  The kitchen has been troublesome.  I painted the cabinets aqua, then white, then purple.  Purple looked good, but the surface at that point was too disgusting for the painted finish to look decent, and since the unit is glued in place it would torturous to sand.  I wiped as much of the still wet purple off as I could, fantasized about setting the house down in the back yard and setting fire to it, then walked away, closing my studio door behind me.


Eventually I came up with a solution I was sure wouldn't work, but it did.


This is nothing more than a piece of cardstock, with the doors drawn on with a fineliner, and some subtle shading done with a promarker.

Now I can move on.  My next decision is whether to install a faux tile backsplash under the open shelves that aren't there yet.  I think I'll go to my favorite rocky beach today to think about it.

Speaking of beaches.....the Tropical Beach House is now a Spanish centerfold.  :)


There is a lengthy article featuring in-progress pictures from this blog.  I'll have to have my daughter's bestie over for dinner so she can read it to me.


The Tropical Beach House is the Grand Prize Winner!

I got the news a couple of weeks ago, and I'm still stunned. :D  I haven't quit smiling!


If you've just arrived here, you can see all the posts about building the house, including links to the artisans who made accessories, by clicking on #HBSCreatinContest2015 in the categories list.  If you want to skip the small talk and go straight to the finished photos, click on the picture of the house further down in the sidebar to view the photo album.  

Congratulations to all 115 contestants for finishing the build, and congratulations to the other winners.  It's amazing to see all the creative interpretations of the same base kit.  Head over to miniatures.com to see all the entries.

You're invited to  stick around to watch me build the 2016 contest  kit :)  There are several ways to subscribe to my posts, or just bookmark iseecerulean.com.  I post at least once a week...daily if I'm in the zone and making accomplishments.

Thank you to all you were here with me last year, cheering me on, it means more than I can say. ♥

Tropical Beach House - deck, beach and lighting


First of all, Happy New Year, everyone :)  As you noticed, I've done a bit of a refresh here.  The blog is now on my own domain, iseecerulean.com, but all your old links will still work...nothing broke!  The new design is responsive to different screen sizes across multiple devices, so should be easier for everyone to read.  The post-to-post navigation is improved as well.

Now, on to the last post about the beach house details....

I made the beach from several thin layers of sand poured over layers of Elmer's white glue.  I had tons of free beach sand at my disposal, but opted to use clean play sand purchased from the hardware store.  I didn't want to sift out debris or have insect eggs hatch later, inside my studio.  The last few layers were poured around tiny real shells.  The shells were left over from the Chantilly build, I don't remember where I bought them, but they're readily available on ebay....I checked because I couldn't find where I stashed them at first and thought I was going to have to buy new ones.


There is also a bird on the beach, made by Barbara Meyer.  He's hard to see but that's why I like him, he looks real.


Barbara also made the cockatoo perched on the planter box and the lizard on the wall by the shower.


The gorgeous goldfish bowl is another item that I bought years ago but didn't have the right home for until now.  It was made by Miyuki Kobayashi

The cactus came from Grapevine Miniatures, the bird-of-paradise plant from Carol's Bloomers.  The big palm was made by inserting leafs laser cut by JMG Miniatures into a pine cone.  The dracaena was made with leaf sheets and instructions from Pepperwood Miniatures.  I made the rest of the plants.


The surfboard is a mass produced piece.  I chopped a bit off the bottom end to make it look like it was stuck further down into the sand.   The snorkeling gear is handmade, the tag said "by Barb".  The beach towels were cut from baby washcloths.


The chairs were purchased from WCD Miniatures, I made the table.  The sushi was an ebay find, it came in a round black dish that was larger in diameter than the table, so I forcibly removed some sushi pieces to relocate into a plastic take-out container I made from chewing gum packaging.  The chopsticks were cut down from flat toothpicks.


Originally there were two cocktails on the table, a pina colada and a pink martini, but I knocked the table over while dressing it and broke the stem of the martini glass.  I replaced it with a bottle of beer off the bar.  So as not to waste the pricey martini I flipped it over, filled the empty space with wax, and made it a flask-shaped bottle on the bar, in place of the beer bottle I stole.  It adds a nice shot of color there.



The cocktail and beer bottle, as well as the shrimp cocktail between them, were purchased from The Little Dollhouse Company.  The fantastic orange sandals were made by Patrizia Santi.

The only thing I've yet to talk about is my unsuccessful experiment in lighting.  I used electroluminescent strips in the shower and on the ceilings.  They look really neat, but they're not bright enough to light up a room and they cause the power supply to emit a harsh and distasteful buzz.  I had to retrofit some LED fixtures to provide enough lighting to view the rooms.  I had an electroluminescent, blue, rope light I was going to run along the bottom of the deck, but didn't bother to.







Tropical Beach House - kitchen and bathroom

Another week without a post.  Sigh.  We had a bad wind storm just before Christmas that caused an extended power outage.  It made for a peaceful holiday, we sat and talked instead of sitting in front of electronic devices.  The power came back on Christmas day for a few hours before it went out again...long enough to do laundry and watch the Dr. Who Christmas special, so all was good.  

Kate has an awful stomach flu, she can't even keep clear fluids down.  I took her to urgent care yesterday for some IV fluids and an antiemetic, which relieved the immediate danger, she was severely dehydrated.  Now we just need the virus to finish running its course.  I must say, it's much different taking care of her when she's sick now that she's a nurse.  When she was a child she didn't argue with me, yesterday we had an small spat about how Mom can indeed feel a fever with a hand on a cheek.  (She got the thermometer out...I was right.)  The doctor said this flu is going around and is very contagious, so I'm going to work from home again today so as not to infect my coworkers...besides which, that way I can keep my eye on Kate.  Today's goal is to get some calories in her, she hasn't eaten anything in three days except for one small bowl of rice last night.

So...two more posts to finish the Tropical Beach House details, then on to Christmas present and 2016 contest posts :) 


I made all the cabinetry from scratch.  The sliding doors on the upper cabinets open, but the door and drawers on the lower cabinets do not.  The backsplash tile is a piece of scrapbook paper.  The brackets on the bar counter I got from JMG Miniatures...they're made from paper, so aren't structural elements; the bar is held in place because it was inserted into a groove in the back of the cabinetry.


The blender, toaster, and espresso maker were crafted by the very talented Lady Fanaberia.

The fruit basket in glass bowl was made by Abasketof, the faucet, resin basket and glass jar are mass produced pieces available almost everywhere, the vegetables were picked up here and there at shows.  The dishcloth was provided by my bestie, Susan, the scrubber I made from a dental pick and fancy toothpick.  I made one cutting board, the prettier one was made by Weston Miniature (if memory is correct). 

The dishwasher, sink, hob, and oven were made from ELF Miniatures kits.  I made the range hood,  washer/dryer, and refrigerator.  The fridge is an eyeglass case with letter stickers, the handle is from an ink pen.


The maneki-neko is a bead I picked up in Toronto's Chinatown, the canister was made by TwelveTimesMoreTeeny.  The salt and pepper grinders were made by Weston Miniature. I canned the pickles and made the teal canister, everything else is mass produced stuff.


I purchased the original painting years ago from Artsy Emmy the Crafter, it was waiting for the right house.

The bathroom is only viewed through the doorway (that's a faux pocket door, not a working one) or when the back of the house is opened up.



The mirrors on the wall were cut from plastic mirror sheet, the mirrored medicine cabinet was assembled from an old House of Miniatures kit.  I made the slant-back whirlpool tub and the vanity.  The toilet, sink, and faucets, as well as the electrical outlets and switches used throughout the house, were purchased from Shapeways.

The baskets were made by Grapevine Miniatures, purchased at the Bishop show in Chicago.  I also picked up the brush at the show, I don't remember from who.  The towel bars are mass produced pieces available lots of places.  The toilet brush in stand is the cap from Ester's flea treatment stuff, the wastebasket is a cap from a jar with a bit of plastic shopping bag used as the liner.  The towels were cut from baby washcloths.


The large picture on the wall is a photograph that I took at either Shedd's Aquarium in Chicago or Ripley's Aquarium in Toronto, I forget which.  I had commissioned my nieces to make original artwork, but due to scheduling issues didn't get it from them until the day after I finished the house.  I'll use their artwork in future builds.

With the exception of one glass jar holding cotton swabs made from white seed beads, everything on the shelf, as well as the soap dispenser and jar on the vanity, and the jars in the basket, are beads.  Just beads.

The glass jar of bath salts is some glittery confetti stuff that comes in fingernail embellishment kits I buy from the dollar store for the glass jars.  I usually throw the contents straight into the trash. 

I made the scrubbies from toile.  The bars of soap in the basket are little tissue paper wrapped pieces of scrap wood, tied with string.  The bathmat was cut down from a microfiber washcloth...it has a waffle pattern, not that you can tell in my picture.  You can see it better in Pepper's bathroom, I sent her one of the washcloths, she made a towel from it.

The ledge under the window mirrors another ledge on the opposite side of the window, in the outdoor shower.  I designed it so that bottles of shampoo and whatnot could be passed through the open window.


Tropical Beach House - the loft

I meant to post all the room detail posts in a row, one day after the other, but life distracted me, what with Daughter buying a house, holiday celebrations, and being buried under an avalanche of paperwork at the office after buying a new company.

On with the show...I've got other stuff to share with you when I'm done with these....


I made all the furniture in the loft from scratch except for the desk chair, which is from Shapeways

I get many questions about the nightstands...I made them by cutting an unfinished wooden napkin ring in half.  I topped each half with a piece of scrap basswood, trimmed out the edges, sanded, and finished with a couple coats of enamel paint.  

The headboard is a piece of stick-on, repositionable, wall decal.  The reading spotlight sconces are candle sconces turned upside down.

The fabric for the sheets and blanket came from my stash; I peruse the remnants bin at JoAnne's every time I'm there for mini-worthy prospects.   The anchor fabric for the throw pillow came from Wee Wovens, she generously included a snippet of it as a surprise bonus when I purchased the sandcastle fabric for the sofa pillows.

The iPad on the nightstand, the macbook on the desk, and the iPhones elsewhere in the house were purchased from LiLu Miniature.   The brandy glass is from The Little Dollhouse Company.  The jar of hand creme (that's what I imagine it is anyway) is a bead topped with a another bead.  Leaves for the palm in the corner are from JMG Miniatures....the pot it's planted in is a black plastic bottle cap.


DSCN2994I made the other plant on the dresser from scratch, with leaves made from origami paper using a acorn shaped paper punch, then inserted into a little seed pod that looks like a tiny pine cone but isn't.   If anybody ever needs a bunch of tiny pine cones for a project I know where I can pick a bunch off a tree. ;)



The orchid was made by Era Pearce.  The glass perfume bottles are mass produced pieces, I put a bit of liquor in them.  The green perfume bottle I made from a bead and some watch parts.  The exquisite glass octopus, and paperweight on the other nightstand, I purchased from Vitreus Ignis at the Bishop Show in Chicago last April.


I made the surfing magazines from images sourced online.


I don't remember where I got the brass key.  The wood vase was turned by Bill Helmer.  The brass comb was made by le mini di Pierluigi, purchased from The Little Dollhouse Company.   I made the wallet from paper, on the spur of the moment, to hide half the comb...it looked too long for a man's dresser, it's a woman's comb.


The pushpin shaped bulletin board was a gift from Kat. It looked better in the natural wood finish it arrived in, but I had to paint it for it to stand out against the natural wood wall.  The pictures pinned to it were sourced online, the pushpins are dots of paint.

The piles of paperwork are from Moulin Cerulean; I gutted the mill before I got rid of it. 


The wooden jewelry chest is made from a kit by Lisa's Little Things.  I made the books and marbled boxes on the shelves.

The big metal five has been floating around my studio for years, I picked it up off the ground during a walk through my neighborhood one day.

Someone commented in an earlier post on the flooring.  The flooring in the house is cut from one very large piece of handmade paper made in the Philippines from salago fibers.   I selected it because it reminds me of the lines made by waves in sand on the beach  Is it supposed to be carpet, stone, or maybe vinyl flooring?  Who knows....I leave that up to the viewer to decide.

Tropical Beach House - the dining room


Acrylic table:  MitchyMooMiniatures

Black chairs:  Shapeways

Filled shopping basket, bowl of oranges, and bowl of fruit: Abasketof

Handbag: DesignBA

Sunglasses: A Little More in Miniature

Schefflera leaves: sdk miniatures

The paper shopping bags came with other orders packed in them, the pink elephant is a bead.  I don't remember where I bought the keys, the iPhones, or the big green glass bottle on the floor.  I picked up the Toblerone at the Bishop show, but don't know from who.


Labeled glass bottles, wine and margarita glasses, and glass jar of lemon slices:  The Little Dollhouse Company

Glass decanter, matching seltzer bottle and stemmed glasses, on a glass tray: C&J Gallery

Square glass whiskey decanter and glasses: Gerd Felka

Pottery: Elisabeth Causeret

I don't remember where I got the corkscrew, cocktail shaker, or little glass bottle.  I made the bar.


Tropical Beach House - the living room


The TV is a sixth generation iPod.  It connects to a circuit board amplifier built into the planter box on the deck, which connects to both a battery supply and a transducer mounted under the house that turns the 'box' of a house into a speaker.  The house plays rather loud music :D

The Chanel book was a gift from Kat, the newspaper and pencil are from Cottage of Miniatures. There are a couple of beads, a glass vase, and a wee plastic turtle, everything else was made by either me or Mother Nature.  The jars contain beach sand from beaches the residents have traveled to, each is labeled with the location and year of their visit.  Different colors of sand were created by raiding the spice jars in my kitchen, some were colored with a bit of glitter.  The contents of each jar is unique.

The chair was purchased off ebay; I made the sectional.  The fabric for the pillows came from Wee Wovens.  The teeny pair of reading glasses with lenses I picked up at the Bishop show from Spencer's Nook.  The teacup is Chrysbon, I put a drop of tea in then let it evaporate to stain the bottom.


The sweet dog was felted from wool by Angelika Ostapchenko.





Tropical Beach House - my entry into the HBS Creatin' Contest 2015

The base kit:92015_lg

My first dry fit:


My submission:

Jon and Jeannie ran away from home one cold and snowy night; now they live in a house on a tropical beach.  Jon still runs five miles each morning, but now he surfs every afternoon.  Jeannie enjoys yoga on the beach, snorkeling, and building sand castles.  They have become beach connoisseurs, traveling the world and bringing back a bit of each beach they visit, storing the memories in glass jars on their shelves.  They are home for a while now, dog-sitting for their neighbors.  Jeannie just came home from shopping in town, Jon has crafted her his signature cocktail to enjoy as they eat take-out sushi on the deck.





 I'll have more detailed posts coming over the next few days, with credits to the artisans who crafted the accessories.