Shoe House, Outside

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The shoe house in progress. Click images for larger pics.

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Stuccoed the outside using the torn-up tissue method. 1) Take facial tissue (the kind you blow your nose with) and separate each two-ply sheet into two very thin sheets. 2) Tear each sheet into quarters. 3) Crinkle up each quarter sheet then smooth it back out. 4) Paint surface to be stuccoed with a layer of acrylic paint in your choice of colors. 5) While paint is still wet, place one piece of crinkly tissue on the painted surface. 6. Dab with stiff-bristled brush until tissue is absorbed and it looks like stucco. Cover entire surface of house (or wall or whatever), let dry, then give it another coat of paint in your color choice.

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Painted the walls of the house Americana Warm White. The timbers and trim are pink, because Mrs. Mouse (who is decorating this house) likes pink. I started with Delta Ceramcoat Touch O’ Pink, but it wasn’t bright enough for Mrs. Mouse. I colored over it with a Prismcolor marker called Ballet Pink, and this made the color pop better.

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Scroll down for more pictures of the completed exterior. Roof shingle sheet comes with the kit. I painted it Neutral Gray, then aged with by dry brushing burnt umber and black green around the shingles (wiping off if it got too dark).

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Porch more or less done. The basswood post on the right corner is just to prop it up until everything is done. I’m thinking about making walls below the porch to both support the porch and conceal the wiring.

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The kitchen will go in this small space in the shoe.

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This is all that will be seen of kitchen once the shoe is together (I plan to find a way to not have to glue house down permanently, so kitchen can be viewed).

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Must finish hiding the wiring and doing the interior decorating. Mrs. Mouse is rubbing her paws waiting to get started.

A Different Kind of Mini Project

Click photos for larger versions!

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This “room box” is a shallow diorama type box, which fits into a 1″ deep frame. It’s a kit by Ginger Landon Siegel She taught a class at last July’s NAME show; I didn’t take that class, but I thought it was a cool project (the facade of a house). This one is similar, except an interior rather than an exterior (obviously).

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When I saw this kit on her site, I was intrigued. I’m always looking for different projects to do. The kit starts with a photograph, which is then manipulated and enhanced. The result is a cool-looking diner interior. She provides the frame and everything needed to complete the display box (including the lighting).

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I’d never done a project like this, and I wasn’t sure about it as I was doing it, LOL, but it taught me a lot about perspective and fool-the-eye techniques.

A cool update on The Scale Cabinetmaker

Meghan Dorsett sent me this note about ordering back issues of The Scale Cabinetmaker (which you can find at or

“After releasing all of TSC on cd-rom this past fall (2013), we decided to take one more technological leap. All of TSC is now available, by issue, as downloadable pdfs. Folks can go online to, choose the issue they want, and download it directly to the computer. No waiting, no shipping, now wondering if the delivery service is going to manage to deliver it in this lifetime. We made the move because the Postal Service and the other shipping companies raised their international rates to a level just this side of insanity.

We set the price at $6.00 per issue, which given what we include in an issues is a heckuva deal. We do still have some print issues available, so if folks write us and ask, we may actually be able to fill in some of the missing materials. Thanks for your support over the years.


I (Jennifer) now own every issue. The magazines are chock full of projects from easy to complex, and contain plans for complete houses, furniture, accessories, plus plenty of articles on how to use tools (both power and hand), how to hand carve, make dovetailing, mortise and tenon, and other joinery, metal minis, room box arrangements, and and ways of making minis you might never have thought of. Projects come in all scales: 1″ , 1/2″ and 1/4″ (esp the 1/4″ Italianate Victorian house that looks gorgeous).

When I lived in Germany, I would take TSC with me to the train station for my journey from the farmhouse into the bigger town, and read them cover to cover. Now I have the room and time to try to build what I could only read about back then!

Again, they’re at: or