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.

Pickett Pond Interior (1/4″ scale)

I’ve put together nearly all the kits to furnish the interior of the Pickett Pond (pics of all follow). Some of these kits (though not all) are still available at Robin Betterley’s site (


Living Room

This under-the-stairs day bed is my favorite piece. I love all the books (which were easy). I also like how all the throw pillows on this and the sofa are regular bed pillows, so people can sleep anywhere they can. Important in a vacation cabin.


The downstairs bathroom is partly outside.

Sink, toilet and shower are inside.

Tub and towel rack out on the porch. No running water out here! Tub is hand filled.

Upstairs bedroom / loft

Hanging bed and nightstands.

A dresser with another day bed fits under the eaves.

A bench full of games and books for rainy days.

The Porch and Pond

A big picnic table for family meals outdoors.

This rowboat kit is very realistic–I put together the ribs, keel, bottom boards, seats, gunwale, oar locks, and rope, and sanded the oars to give them shape.

So that’s the Pickett Pond. I really like this house–the colors and the warm, rustic feel. I only got to do the cabin thing twice when I was a kid, but I remember the informality and how indoors and outdoors kind of blended. I’d love to vacation at the Pickett Pond! (but with more running water and electricity…).


Stress Builds

About a month or so ago, my mom fell and had to go to the hospital for a week and then a rehab place for two weeks. I was so worried! (She is home now and doing very well. Better than she was before, even!).

To keep myself calm while I fretted about her, I built some easy and adorable kits. Very soothing.

All of these are microscale or 1/144 (1/12″ of 1/12″)

A “Secret Book”. I love these. A little room slides out from the “book.” This is a Robin Betterley. I collect the kits (which are inexpensive) and do them when I need a stress break.

Secret books series:

The reeeelly small secret books: 

I have a thing for books. This kit is by Desert Mini Makers–she has now retired. I bought two of these kits from her Etsy shop when she discontinued everything, and decided to make this one. The books are resin (3D printed), and I painted and covered with the art. She even provided a little clear plastic cube for display.

 Scene from the back.

I can make or hunt up a microscale table and chairs to create a sidewalk cafe.

Last, this microscale house in Robin Betterley’s mini shops series called “Watercolors.” I have all the shops! (a bakery, a garden shop, and this one, a children’s shop.)

The kit comes with everything in these phots, and is fairly simple to put together.

The shops series:

I have the newest one too (Lavender Lane), though I haven’t built it yet. Saving it for next stress time!

Artist’s Loft

Last year at the Chicago show, I made this one-inch scale artist’s loft in a class. The basic box had been built for us, and then we learned faux bricks, aging techniques, lighting, and how to make the mullions for the window (much harder than it appears, because you have to cut subtle angles to compensate for the slant of the window).

I filled the box with odds and ends minis I’ve collected over the years.

The painting (which I did not paint, but it’s an oil painting), is of a bouquet of roses and a cup of tea. I just happened to have a bouquet of roses in a vase and a cup of tea. Instant still life.

You can see the faux brickwork here (made of cork). I aged and stained the table (from Hobby Builders Supply) and added art accessories I’ve been collecting (from Etsy and shows). The drafting triangles and cutting mat (on bottom shelf) are by an artist from Mexico who does fabulous work.

Corner filled with odds and ends. The chair is a commercial one I’d aged for another project. The trunk is a kit.

I chose the wallpaper from scraps provided in the class–I’m saying it’s a woman artist in the loft, and she painted the wallpaper herself.

Behind the scenes: The window is lit up with an LED strip of white or “outdoor” light. The wires from the closet light (an incandescent bulb) join the LED wires into the tape wire. The blocks under the window are pieces of scrap wood glued down for extra support for the window wall.

A good class, not too hard (though time-consuming, one and a half days), but i had a nice piece, mostly finished by the end. I fixed it up with my stuff, and recently repaired the wiring (which had come apart during transport).

It looks nice sitting on the fireplace mantel in my living room.


Westville: Landscaping

Yay, I finished landscaping the Westville! I’ll share a couple of techniques I experimented with.

I added a grass sheet around three sides–but I think a grass sheet on flat board looks unnatural. Most lawns aren’t flat. They’re hummocky and humpy, as we discover when we mow (I no longer have a lawn at my real house, which is fine by me.)

This weird-looking thing is packing material from something or other I ordered–I think an electric tea kettle. It’s cardboard. When I looked at it, I thought “pavers” so I saved it.

This is nice material, because it was easy to tear apart and then cut into shapes for a front walk. I sealed it with satin varnish, which did not change the color or deteriorate. I didn’t try to paint it, but it’s essentially paper so probably that would work.

I decided to glue the packing material on the base randomly to make small humps in the lawn.

The grass sheet glued on over the humps. It makes the lawn look more realistic, I think. This packing material could be mounded to make hills and so forth. The texture is bark-like–it could be used to make a tree or a fairy room inside a tree trunk. Many possibilities.

I used paper patterns for the grass sheet–it does not look good if it’s not all one piece, because the seams show.

I added flowering plants, window boxes, a hedge, little trees, etc.

This little wagon is a cute kit I picked up at the NAME show in Tucson a few years ago.

Tip: I used double-stick tape to hold these window boxes on. Because of the texture of the house and the smooth painted wood of the box, glue did nothing but sit there. My husband finally said, “you know, I have some great double-stick tape,” and I commandeered it! At least a few small pieces.

This old-time wringer / washer is by a miniaturist in the Netherlands. I found it at an online show a few years back. I thought it would be appropriate on the porch of an antique shop. The handle spins the washer around–it’s precisely made.

Inside are the dirty clothes and the soap. I love it.

The sign for “Westville Antiques.”

I used the same packing material to make pavers across the back.

I was not at all sure about this house while building it, but now that it’s done and landscaped, I like it.

I’ve started putting in the jumble of furniture. I’m going let it sit and then seriously fix up the interior.

For now, I’m having the “I finished this project, what now?” blues. I have many other projects I can start, but I kind of stare at them, unable to fix on one. It’s not because of the pandemic–I’m always like this! Once inspiration strikes, I’ll go full steam again. I probably just need a break. I’ll look at other people’s minis for a few days. 🙂 Oh, and write books. I should be doing that.