A Timeline of the History of Miniatures: From Ritual and Religious Object to Plaything and Collectible

A re-look at a past post, miniatures since the beginning of time.

Tourmaline .

Miniatures have taken the world by storm. And why wouldn’t they? The internet allows the spread of their tiny glory to miniacs all over the world. But they have a hugely amazing history, dating back to ancient Egypt, if not further, and I think that history needs to be explored.

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A Timeline of the History of Miniatures: From Ritual and Religious Object to Plaything and Collectible

Miniatures have taken the world by storm. And why wouldn’t they? The internet allows the spread of their tiny glory to miniacs all over the world. But they have a hugely amazing history, dating back to ancient Egypt, if not further, and I think that history needs to be explored.

Continue reading “A Timeline of the History of Miniatures: From Ritual and Religious Object to Plaything and Collectible”

Sundance: Life in Miniature

Life in Miniature is a short film by Ellen Evans. It profiles a mom and daughter mini making duo.

Kath Holden, the daughter, makes furniture and accessories inspired by modern life and Margaret Shaw, the mother, specializes in replica food.

In its short span, the film discusses the catty attitude in the Miniature world, with miniature makers being overly concerned that others are copying their work. Although from experience, I can say this attitude spans all creative genres.

Continue reading “Sundance: Life in Miniature”

Dollhouse

Hi all,

As I’ve been doing with my Amusement Park project, when I’m not constantly sharing new images, I try to keep you updated with misc. miniature updates. Lately I’ve been working on some bigger and therefore more time consuming sets, making new images slower to come out. I’d like to think, this will make the eventual images all that much better, but I’ll leave that up to each of you.

I recently had a long weekend. We had off work for a Hurricane on the Friday then U.S. Labor Day on the Monday. I used that long weekend to build a dollhouse.

After saving and pining after a dollhouse kit in high school in 2007 I finally purchased the Greenleaf dollhouse Orchid model for what I think was around $50. I can’t recall how long I worked on it, but I managed to wallpaper some walls and prep the majority of the window pieces. Then set it aside. Whether I lost my drive or got distracted I don’t recall, but for the better, because now, 11 years later, I finished it. I kept with the dark red, dark blue, off white, Americana color scheme I began with back then. Although I don’t know if I’ll decide to change that in time. But, all in all it’s done! And I finally own a dollhouse.

This year it will serve to house some of my planned Halloween scenes, and I imagine it will house other scenes as I need it to. I’m planning on setting it on the balcony and letting it collect real dirt, grime and webs before photographing. I realize this sounds a bit strange, but I relish the abandoned aesthetic and enjoy the idea of real nature taking over these miniature spaces. And not to worry, I can always clean it up if I need to.

The idea of photographing it ‘abandoned’ is what led me to decide to finish this house in the first place. I’d been searching for one on craigslist and ebay for some time that was in the $20 – 30 range, as I didn’t want to spend too much money on something I’d let wilt. But, when I pulled out this box this past weekend to look for a door for an image, I was compelled to finish what I started all those years ago.

-Jennifer

 

Do you have a dollhouse? Have you ever had one or built one?What’s your favorite miniature scale? Let me know in a comment below.

Fashion

[For the 2016 April A to Z Challenge, Day 6, F]

MMM – HO Scale Traffic and Rail Road Crossing Lights

MMM

I recently decided to make my own HO scale traffic and rail road crossing lights. For the purpose of my photos, I don’t need the expensive ones available that allow you to set timers for the change of the lights etc. I did want mine to be able to light up though, for my Headlights series. So, I set out to make my own.

Want to follow along? You’ll need: 2mm in diameter acrylic rhinestones, fine grit sand paper or nail file, tweezers, super glue, thin cardboard or matboard, black hobby paint, thin gauge jewelry wire, small paint brush, black coffee stirrer straw


How to Make HO Scale Traffic Lights

IMG_1621

stop light colorIMG_1629

  • gather the materials listed above
  • paint the an area of your cardboard black
  • cut a 6mm x 14mm rectangle from the painted cardboard
  • sand the foil backing off each acrylic rhinestone you plan to use
  • mark the placing of the 3 lights on your cut cardboard with pencil
  • ‘drill’ 3 holes in the marked locations to place the colored rhinestones on top of
  • place a drop of superglue in each hole and attach the rhinestones
  • paint the sides and back of your cut cardboard
  • cut 3 pieces of a black coffee stirrer – cut the stirrer in half lengthwise (through the hole) then cut pieces 2.5mm long
  • round one end of each of the 2.5mm coffee stirrer pieces
  • glue the coffee stirrer pieces over each rhinestone to create a ‘hood’
  • twist a length of thin jewelry wire to create a line that the traffic signals will hang from over the road
  • cut a 1 inch piece of thin jewelry wire and make it into a tiny hook/circle to connect to the traffic signal and hang from the line
  • attach the wire hook to your traffic signal with super glue
  • place a micro led behind the finished light to let the light shine through each rhinestone

How to make HO Scale Rail Road Crossing Lights

IMG_1636

Gather the materials listed above, and follow along with the images in the gallery below. The original idea was to have a video tutorial for this one as well, but there were some technical difficulties…so screenshots it is.

  • Cut a 2.5 x 2.5 cm square from a piece of non-corrugated, compressed cardboard or matboard.
  • Draw a line from one corner, to the corner opposite on the cut square – creating an ‘x.’
  • Draw a line perpendicular in each corner measuring a 1/2 cm in length.
  • Connect the ends of each of the 1/2 cm lines to the end of the line in the opposite corner – creating an ‘x’ that is a 1/2 cm wide (see the first image below).
  • Cut out the space around the ‘x’ (see images 2 and 3). This is your Railroad Crossing sign.
  • Use glue to attach the sign to a black coffee stirrer. Leave about 1 cm of the coffee stirrer sticking out above the sign.
  • Sketch out the backing for your railroad crossing lights. Each circle should be 1 cm in diameter. leave them connected in the center. (see images 4 & 5).
  • Cut out the circles and attach to the coffee stirrer, directly below the ‘x’ with glue. (see images 4, 5 & 6)
  • Cut a piece of cardboard 1/2 x 7 cm. This will be the traffic stop.
  • Glue the 7 cm long piece of cardboard to your coffee stirrer, about 1 cm below your circles. If you would like this arm to move, rather than remain down, use a pin to poke through the coffee stirrer and into the arm, to make it movable. I suggest using a sewing pin, then cutting it down to size with wire cutters once it’s been poked through.
  • Let the glue dry a bit, then paint the ‘x’ and arm white, and the circles, black.
  • Once dry, add red lines to the traffic stop arm (see image 11).
  • ‘Drill’ holes in your circles with the point of an exacto knife.
  • Gather 2, 2 or 3 mm red acrylic rhinestones.
  • Use fine grit sandpaper or a nail file to sand off the foil backing of the rhinestones.
  • Use superglue to attach the rhinestones over the holes you drilled in the circles (see image 13.)
  • Cut a coffee stirrer in half and cut 2, 3 mm long pieces.
  • Round the edges of one side of each 3 mm piece.
  • Glue the flat side of the piece above each rhinestone to create a hood of sorts.