December 27, 2018

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The best way out is always through. – Robert Frost

So, there we go! After 10 months of re-fighting illness, moving to a new house and changing my job, I finally find the time and motivation for miniatures again. Since my last post in February, I did not touch any miniatures, but "the best way out" of this vicious circle was "always through" and what needed to be done is finally done. I missed blogging so much and I missed you my friends!

First of all, I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year!

I hope you had a great time this Christmas. Having moved to a bigger place than before, I and my husband were able to invite over my family for the first time ever for Christmas and we spent a couple of unforgettable days together - lots of laughs, good food and cookies - too many cookies! 

I do not have anything to show you yet, but I'm starting over with the Tattoo Parlor idea. I did not participate to the Creatin' Contest this year after all, (also the kit was too expensive to ship to Europe this year because of the weight) so I'm working on designing the base at this moment. Once I put some walls together, I will post some updates. Until then, enjoy the holidays!!!

- Susi

February 10, 2018

Initial drawings of the tattoo parlor

Each time I start a new project, one of the first things I do is to draw what I have in mind for the final project. This allows me to better focus on what needs to be done and I can decide from the start on what materials I will need. The easiest way to do this for me is to take the initial picture of the kit I'm going to work on and then to draw the basic outline in Inkscape on top of the picture. Once I'm done, I delete the original picture so that the outline remains. If I'm not going to use a kit, then I directly draw the project according to the measurements I chose.

At this point I'm ready to go. I often surf trough the web to get some ideas, such as what kind of door to create, or what the windows should look like and I collect all these little ideas by drawing them directly into the basic outline. I change the outline as needed while I draw. For this project, I decided not to change the kit much. I'm just going to add some pieces on the outside and merge the windows on the left side to allow a better view into the shop:

This is where you can be really creative, below is what I came up with. It's not yet there but it allows me to see what steps to take next. Generally, once I start working on the kit some of the initial ideas get replaced with others, but at least, this allows you a quick start.


Once I receive the kit (not yet in stock for international orders), I will also have a similar approach for the interior of the tattoo parlor. I will draw the ground 1:1 on a sheet so that I can decide about where to put which furniture. But more on that on another post. 

In the meantime, I received some awesome news and I can finally share it! My 2017 Creatin' Contest entry the "Writer's Retreat" has won an Honorable Mention! YAAAY! To be honest, this year, I was not expecting to win anything, as I was not 100% happy with my project. I wanted to do much more and did not have the time for it - this is also another reason why this year I will not change the new kit much; "more detail than size" is my motto this time. Nevertheless I'm extremely happy for the recognition and this is a great motivation to keep doing what I love the most. 

A Writer's Retreat - 1:12

Although only the honorable mentions are announced yet, it looks like a lot of great projects have been submitted again this year and I can't wait to see all the other entries! You can find them here.

Have a great weekend!

January 29, 2018

Tattoos everywhere!

I think I might have found a way around to turn the new kit into a tattoo studio. I just can't shake this tattoo parlor idea out of my head and keep coming back to it. Given that I work full time, spending the rest of my remaining free time on two separate projects (tattoo shop + contest kit) will be almost impossible, I think I will have to combine these two and make at least this one project work... On the other hand, I decided to share my progress on the contest kit with all of you this year, so I hope that this blog will finally see some more entries on a more regular basis and that I can get some helpful feedback from all of you!

I'm still trying to put the approximate visual of the final building on paper - not many changes to the basic kit to be honest, but in the meantime, I am pretty happy with the color scheme I chose after trying lots of different options:

To these colors, you will need to add some brown leather chairs, a blue/gray/brown rug, black preferably metal cabinets, a white ceiling, good lighting, and the gold poster frames...

In this tattoo studio, the artists mainly design old school tattoos and the decoration will be a mixture of old school and modern. Despite the sterile environment, it will be also a cool place to hang out and to get inspired for the next tattoo.

In the meantime I ordered some led strip light in red from AliExpress, to create the "Tattoo" sign outside of the store. I never used such a strip before and don't know if it will do what I expect it to do, but this is also the the most fitting material compared to what I had in mind in order to create the "Tattoo" sign with red light outside of the store. According to what I read, these strips can be cut and bent, so it should fulfill it's objective. But more on this later.

That's it for today, have a great start into the week!

Hugs, Susi

January 21, 2018

Tattoo Ink

After a big fight against minuscule miniature pieces flying around in my living room, I finally managed to put all together and create the tattoo ink bottles for my ongoing tattoo shop project. This took longer than expected but I think the result is not too bad. Here are the step by step images and the final product:

I started off with some paper lollipop sticks. These are pretty easy to work with, but you need to be careful to have clean cuts because the paper is actually rolled. Another guess is, that these might not be very resistant to liquids, so be careful when coloring them. I did not really have any issue using water based colors though.

Next step was to cut the sticks down to 8mm pieces and to sand one corner of each piece with medium sanding paper, to bring the corners down to 7mm approximately. The sanded side will be the upper side of the ink bottles.

To color the pieces, I attached some tiny nails to a piece of wood (wooden bbq stick) and then attached the non-sanded bottom sides of the pieces to these nails. I chose some colors inspired from a tattoo ink color range for this, but any color will do actually.

While the "bottles" were drying, I created some shapes out of black polymer clay. These will later help to create the black caps of the bottles. 4 shapes are needed in total: (they will be cut down in the next step, but for the oven I put bigger pieces, due to practical reasons) a thicker but shorter roll (the lowest part of the cap), a thinner but longer roll, small thin cones to form the body of the cap and very tiny )1-2mm thin cones to create the tip of the cap.

Once the polymer clay was hardened in the oven, I cut the first thicker roll into very thin plates (each half a mm). The thinner roll was cut in larger pieces of 1,5mm. I trimmed the bigger cones to a same size of approx 3 mm and finally the little cones to less than a mm. On the left center of the picture you can see how these pieces came together, one after the other to form the cap.

Once the caps were ready, I glued them with superglue on top of the different bottles. I printed and cut some brand labels and glued them to the bottles. Superglue won't work here, the best is tacky glue to ensure that you can still move the labels a bit to bring them in the right position on the bottle. After hours of cutting and gluing, here is the end result:

I really like how the colors came all together, the bottles look better than I thought they would - yes, I'm happy!

Another thing that made me really happy is, that my copy of the Dollhouse Miniatures arrived. What a great issue, I feel so lucky that my project has been featured in it next to all the great artists and all the great projects. When I see what other artists did create, I quickly remember though how much I still have to learn... So here is the article I, hope you enjoy.

P.S.: The rug, the pillow, the pictures on the wall and the little table lamp were actually all created by myself, but I think something got mixed up in the article. Let me know if you would like to see a tutorial for any of these...

Have a wonderful start into the week!


January 7, 2018

And the winner is...

Okay, let's make it a bit dramatic with some drum rolls!
And here she is,
the winner of the 2018 New Year's Giveaway...
Let's give a round of applause to

Sheila, I hope that you enjoy the minis and that your building inspector will approve them! Please send me a private message through the contact form at the bottom of the blog with your full name and address, so that I can ship the minis right away.

Thanks to everybody who has participated and for all your kind comments. Mandalei and Martha, the miniature world is amazing and gives me so much happiness. I wish you get to enjoy it as much as I do, welcome to the family!

Have a wonderful Sunday <3


January 6, 2018

New Year's Giveaway and new Contest Kit

I just want to send a reminder for the New Year's Giveaway from my last post. Don't forget to leave a comment to participate! You can do so until the end of the day. In addition to that, I want to share an update on the new HBS 2018 Creatin' Contest Kit - yes, already a new one!

As per tradition, Fran Casselman decorated the new kit for the contest to give us some inspiration and we get to see the basic kit that we can work on, in order to participate to the contest. I was actually hoping for something more modern this year and was thinking of applying the tattoo shop idea to it, nevertheless, I feel like I will have to come up with another idea for this specific kit and work on the tattoo shop separately - not decided yet! And here it is, the great work of Fran and the basic kit:

I really don't know what direction to go with this, but this seems to be the same dilemma each year. I like the shape though, I think I won't change it much...

Good luck everybody with the new contest, the giveaway and have a great start into 2018! Happy Saturday!