Creative Paperclay class

My current mini project is an online class I’m taking via IGMA (International Guild of Miniature Artisans). The class is taught by Tori West, and is an adobe garden wall (with door) scene made almost entirely out of creative paperclay.

This past weekend, we rolled out clay and made the base, the wall, the door, and started on the grate work. During the week, everything will dry, and next weekend we’ll do all the texturing, painting, and finishing.

I will share my finished project when it’s done. It’s going to be gorgeous, and almost everything, including the “wrought iron” door grate will be out of paperclay! My door grating is drying even as we speak.

I am learning so much already. I have used paperclay to make stones and stone foundations, but I had no idea all the stuff you can do with it. Once dry, it can be cut on a saw, carved, polished … many things you can do with wood or polymer clay, you can do with paperclay. Who knew?

Anyway, I’m having a great time–even if the class starts at 5 am my time (8 EST). I didn’t realize this when I signed up …

BTW, the horse sculpture on every package of paperclay is by the the instructor for this class, Tori West. They had a competition to be featured on the package a while back, and she won (she does not work for the company).

Lots of photos to come when I’m done!

Ravenwood Halloween House back in stock at Robin Betterley’s

Just FYI: If you have been trying to find Robin Betterley’s kit for the Ravenwood house (micro-scale 1/144), they have it in stock again:

This is how mine turned out. I love these secret houses!

Balcony project

Finally, I finished a new mini! This is called “Balcony Daydreaming,” and is one of the “Little Kits” that are available from and also on Amzn and elsewhere.

The scale is roughly 1/2″ to the foot, but it’s not precise. Precision isn’t the point here!

I picked this because a) it’s cute and makes me smile; b) it’s not something I had to put a lot of concentration on–writing has been dominating my time. Right now I’m writing a book set in Ancient Rome, and between figuring out the story and researching the time period, I haven’t had a lot of hours for minis. These kits are a relaxing way to take a break. 

Anyway–done! Scroll for pics and then tips on building it.


The kit comes with glue and paint, but I put them aside to use my own. Tacky glue works well, and superglue is good for anything built of of the thin wire (chair legs, bench legs, etc).

I also swapped out the kit fabric for my own. 

As much as I prefer to build the structure first and then make the furniture and accessories, you have to have the accessories done before gluing the walls together. The right side with the floor-to-ceiling windows is enclosed, no openings, so you have to put all the accessories in place before you build the walls around them. There’s a small opening to the right of the sliding door (which doesn’t actually slide), but it’s too narrow to really reach anything.

Have a small box or bowl to keep all the accessories in as you build them. I used an empty (and clean) take-out butter container for the tiny pieces.

I coated the walls, which are particleboard, with gesso before I painted with craft paint. Paint both sides at once to prevent warping.

My only complaint is the the photos in the instruction book are very small. The pics are really the only guidance, and it would be nice if they were a tad larger! I have bad eyesight as it is. But I got through it.

Music or an audiobook is good company while making this kit!

This is the second Little Kit I’ve done. The first one is Dora’s Loft:

This one was much more complicated! So of course I did it first. 

Balcony Daydreaming is a better one to start with. Fairly easy and cute.

Be warned: These kits are addicting. I have two more sitting in the closet waiting: The “Happy Camper” and a music studio (I bought that one via Amzn).

The link to the kits at

Some of them are stackable so you can make a little house.

I don’t need any more of these, but I’m looking at the coffee house, or maybe the kitchen, or maybe the ice cream shop … 



FYI: Olde Crowe Apothecary

FYI: The Olde Crowe Apothecary kit that I put together here is available once again from Robin Betterley:

This was a fun kit, and includes absolutely everything, including the lights and wiring. You need paint and glue, that’s it! (I don’t work for them; I just enjoy their kits!)

I’ve been crazy busy with writing lately, but I’m always doing minis on the side. Right now putting together this Little Kit called Balcony Daydreaming. I’ll share when I’m done!

New and old projects

I’ve been working so much I haven’t had a lot of time for minis, but I always make sure I’m at my hobby table at least a few times a week.

I made a small, quick quarter-inch scale kit that I picked up at last year’s Good Sam show plus started working on my quarter inch scale library:

Starting with the kit: This is from Robin Betterley, a storefront vignette.

The box is about an inch deep. LED lighting shows the interior.

All the junk inside is included.

Next, I’m starting to furnish the interior of the quarter-inch scale library I started last year:

The main room will have lots of bookcases, which means I’ll be making lots of books!

This room will be where the reference librarian hangs out.

This front upstairs room will be a reading room. The doorway leads to the stairs to the first floor. We’ll say the restrooms are in the upstairs hall too.

A look at the reading room and downstairs reference room together.

I have a long way to go, but I’m starting to build the furniture and accessories. I’ll need a check-out station and computers for the card catalog, though maybe I’ll figure out a way to do an old-fashioned card catalog (remember them?). There was something soothing about flicking through all those cards, reading each one to find the book you wanted.

The kits for the window seat bookcase, the revolving shelf, and the big bookcases in the main room are from (they have great kits). The glass-door bookcase is a kit from Suzanne and Andrew, as was the kit for the house itself (they retired early last year).

Happy mini-ing!

Halloween Scene

I finished my Halloween scene, before Halloween! (of this year even!)

This is a quarter-inch scale shop. The table-stand is 2-inch scale.

The roof comes off for access …

… As does the front. Now you can better see the treasures inside.

Some bats have escaped the bat cage.

There you have it! The shop of a cluttery witch!

The basic structure was very easy to put together–the many, many, many little tiny accessories took time!

The kit is by Robin Betterley (now listed as out of stock), which came with everything, including the electric supplies for the fireplace and the candles, and the table that the shop is glued to. The wiring and battery is on the underside of the table.

I had been a little burned out on miniatures, but finishing this revived me. I’m looking in my kit drawer, rubbing my hands, and thinking “I want to build ALL of them! “LOL Plus fix up my Westville antique shop.

Stay tuned. I’ll post whatever project grabs me next.

New Projects–Halloween!

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been dang busy. I had to write a novel and a novella on top of each other, and I should be starting yet another novella, but I decided I’d rather do minis today. 🙂

I also burned out a little bit on minis (as I do from time to time), but once I decided to start a Halloween room, my interest came back. I figure if I start now it might be done in time for Oct. 31.

This will be a witch’s shop and apothecary. It’s a kit–I love kits–in 1/4″ scale. The books and jars in the back wall are photo cutouts, but they look 3D.

The shop will be stuffed with all kinds of spooky stuff. I love working on Halloween projects, because it’s the only time you can say “I need more skulls!” or “Where’s my ichor?” and not be thought a little weird.

More photos as I progress. It will be electrified with a glowing fire and candles.

Back to the StoneBriar cottage

Jumping around mini projects keeps me fresh. I do these for fun, after all, not profit (the opposite of profit), so I just do what strikes my fancy.

I decided to get back to this house–finished the exterior about a year ago. My first challenge is to restore the wiring my cat ate (not chewed on, ate.)

I found the ends of the severed wires, made sure the bulbs still worked, and spliced on extensions.

I brought the wires down out of the bottom of the house, but the house sits on a plaque (included in the kit), with nowhere to put junctions or a battery pack. So I built a frame:

These are wood strips I think 3/8″ x 1/8″. Glued them together and the house and its base on top.

Wires waiting to be added to battery pack.

I use the coin battery with switch from Evans Designs, which are wonderful for small scale houses. They carry tiny LED bulbs of various sizes plus the battery packs with switches, all very handy!

I hooked everything up, and to my delight, the lights now work.

I will organize the wires and hide them with molding.

According to the kit, this house is based on a library in a small town in New England. I decided to make it a library myself, though I know this means me making a ton of books!

But I think it will work. The main rooms downstairs will be the library, and upstairs will be a reading room. We’ll pretend the restrooms are behind the upstairs partition wall in the stairwell.

I’ve started sorting through my kits stash to come up with furniture, shelves, and so forth, and of course, books! I’ll post more when I get started.



Petalstone Quarter Scale House

A quick note to say that the Betterleys are retiring the Petalstone 1/4″ scale house that I put together a few years ago. They’re taking orders for the last batch until the 15th of July (that’s this coming Wednesday).

Petalstone Pre-order

You have to make a $50 deposit to hold one for you. The kit contains everything, including all landscaping, the base, electric system, all windows and doors, wallpaper, lamps and chandeliers, curtains, and rugs.

Below are a few pics of mine, and the post where I show some of the build is here: Petalstone Build

The interior with the furniture kits.

I promise I do not work for them! LOL. I am getting no kickbacks. I simply wanted to alert you if you are interested in this house–get it now, or it will be gone.