Interlude: Finishing smaller projects


I needed a break from the Beacon Hill so finished up some quarter inch and micro scale projects.

This is the cute little Sunnyside Gardens, a microscale shop in the “Watercolors” series by Robin Betterly. I had completed the shop before, and now I finished the interior and landscaping kit. (I could have decorated the interior myself, but sometimes kits are more relaxing for me).

We have pots of plants, crates of seedlings, garden soil, garden tools, all kinds of fun stuff.

The interior is a bedroom upstairs of woodland themed furniture, and the shop downstairs, which includes a seed rack and display counters for all the garden goodies.

I had to wash out the exterior to get the photo of the interior through the door. Seed counter and pots inside.

A fun little kit. It’s on display in my living room with the first kit in the series (the cafe). Gee, there’s room for another kit next to the garden shop.

Next: Finished up the landscaping and added an outdoor tub to the quarter-inch scale Creekside Studio.

Decided to put a little vegetable garden here.

This kit turned out really well. I got this from Suzanne and Andrews Minis (link in sidebar under Quarter inch Resources). They don’t have this particular one anymore, but they have a similar kit called “Seaside Cottage,” which has a complete second floor.

Obviously, this needs furniture! Which I will do one day. Right now, I’m ready to return to the Beacon Hill and finish the outside details I need to build on.

Petal Stone Finished


I finished up the 1/4 ” Petal Stone kit from Robin Betterley. This is a great little kit–all the landscaping materials, lights, electric system, base, even rugs for the floors and curtains for the windows are included. Now I just need to get in some furniture!

Finished house before I put it on the base and landscaped.

From the back, all lit up. Kitchen is in the downstairs silo, bathroom in the upstairs silo. I have not decided what the other rooms will be (apart from the obvious bedrooms, living area…). All the lights are included!

Now I have the base and landscaping. There are plenty of materials in the kit. I also added grass from a leftover grass sheet and a some “clump foliage, dark green” from Woodland Scenics, which are for model railroads. A bag of that lasts for years. Hobby or model railroad stores will have it.

The trees are included in the kit. The silo looks pretty all lit up.

Right side.

Left side with conservatory.

While the kit contains materials to make a vine, I had some leftover from landscape materials I bought from Bill Lankford. (

A glimpse of the bathroom.

I really enjoyed this kit. I have been working nonstop in my writer’s life and dealing with real life things, and putting this together was great therapy (well, all my minis are, which is why I have so many of them!)

I have stepped away from the Beacon Hill enough that I’m ready to go back, finish off the one side, and start on the other. But this kit was a fantastic break. I’m glad I did it.

Creekside Studio (Much needed break from Beacon Hill)


Taking a break from the Beacon Hill, I built this kit. Creekside Studio by Suzanne and Andrew’s Minis. This took me about a week–it’s 1/4 inch scale. Nice to do an entire build in a week!

Front door and porch.

The back door.

Right side of the house.

Left side and interior.

Suzanne and Andrew offer a landscape base for the house as well, which comes with material to do the dirt and grass. I thought ahead and purchased it when I bought the house kit.

The blank base.

The base provides the height for the porch steps to reach the back door.

I’ve painted the stones on the base here and added grass and dirt. I’ll plant a ton of flowers later–thinking of doing a vegetable garden too.

The “creek” looks like it has water in it. It’s triple gloss sealer.

The full creekbed side of the house.

The back door. I’ll put in bushes, flowers, and other fun stuff.

Right side of the house. I’m thinking of putting the kitchen garden here.

A fun kit, glad I bought it.

Shoe House Landscaping

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I had a little challenge with the final exterior on the Shoe House, because I had wires to hide. I had purchased this wooden base from Michael’s a while back, and realized that the hole in the bottom (the base came like that) would be perfect.

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I gathered all the wires (splicing on more wire where they weren’t long enough), stuffed them through the hole, then pieced artificial grass around it (the German grass sheet bought at Hobby Builders Supply).

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Ready for landscaping and finishing.

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Shoelace is a piece of grosgrain ribbon that came with the kit. I painted it black and dabbed on polka-dots… or rather, Mrs. Mouse did. She didn’t like it plain.

The most amazing thing about this ribbon is that it was lying about loose while my entire real house got packed up and then unpacked (for reflooring). When I needed the ribbon, I found it right away! That will never happen to me again.

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The rest of the landscaping is model railroad supplies, painting, and glue.

Bushes around the base, which hide the wiring and hole are clumpy green model rr landscaping stuff. I tore pieces to the size I wanted, dipped in quick-dry tacky glue, and stuck it around the house. Then I dry-brushed blue, pink, yellow, and red for flowers.

The vines: I used vines to cover the wires coming out of the house. Here’s how I did it:

I took 0000 steel wool and pulled it apart until I had very thin strands but still a bit meshed together. I painted them green. You could spray paint these, but slathering on dark green acrylic craft paint worked fine.

I glued the painted strands of steel wool to the house where I wanted them (over the strands of wires). Once that was dry, I dribbled tacky glue on the strands (a small area at a time), and sprinkled loose green model railroad landscaping foam over them. When dry, I shook off the excess. Did this until I had fairly uniform green all over the vines.

For flowers, I dabbed the vines with tacky glue (I use Aleen’s Quick-Dry tacky–it’s a white bottle with a silver label), and then dribbled on colored loose model railroad foam. I’m finding that mixing colors (blue with white, red with yellow) makes the flowers look more natural and realistic.

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And that’s it! The inside still needs finishing touches, but I’ll get there. I can never build a house in one go .. I have to work to a point, put it aside, and come back to it. That way I stay excited about the project instead of burning out.

I have another 1/4 scale project I’m working on, then I think I’ll return to 1″ scale for a change!

Workspace / Honeysuckle Cottage (Quarter Inch)

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The flooring is done, walls painted, baseboards in! My real house looks fabulous. I took the opportunity to update my workspace. I replaced an elderly table nearly bent in the middle and boxes of stuff everywhere, to new table and tower of sliding drawers (Container Store had a big sale). I took a picture while it was all nice and neat, because it’s not going to stay that way!!! (Already isn’t)


New project–dabbled on this while waiting for flooring, because it was easy to put away in a shoebox when I couldn’t work on it. This is Honeysuckle Cottage, a kit by Sue Heber. As you might guess, I’m fond of her kits (have done four of them now). She’s retired this one (which I bought about a year ago; her kits don’t last long–if you’re on her site and see a kit you like, grab it now!).


Everything was provided for this house, including all landscaping materials, doors, windows, shingles, tiny wishing well, walkway (though I made my own), flooring, and wallpaper (I chose to use other wallpaper, and the wallpaper for this house ended up in another house).



The interior waiting to be finished and furnished.

Seen at Mini Show– Tree House

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At the Small World Miniature show and sale this year, I was fortunate enough to see this tree house. If you shop at Hobby Builder Supply, you’ll recognize it as one that won a prize in their Creatin’ Contest this year. I’d seen it in the HBS catalog and emails, and then there it was in person! I think they did an awesome job. The tree isn’t real–it’s made of covered PVC pipe! The staircases and railings alone had to be a chore. Click for larger pics and enjoy!

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See more pics of this plus other winners (people have amazing imaginations!) at

Cool Auction Find #2–Quarter-inch scale English Cottage


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In my last post, I said that I’d bought this English Cottage at auction “accidentally.” True. When this lot came up, no one was bidding on it. I thought “I’ll click one bid and kind of get things going.” Click. Congratulations! You have won the bidding! Next lot . . .. Oops.

I wasn’t that bothered–the picture showed a cute 1/4 scale house, and I could put it on the long table behind my sofa with my other 1/4-scale houses. What I didn’t realize was it’s on a base that’s about 2 feet x 2 feet!

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As you can see. But as I started “walking” around the property, gluing back bits that had come loose in shipping, I began to appreciate the amazing creativity that went into building and landscaping this house. Scroll for pics and click for closeups!

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The tree on the right side of the house has a swing for fun on summer days.

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The front door is approached through a cottage garden and stone walkway.

English cottage front door

An arch with purple flowers outlines the front door.

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A rose climbs around the front door, blue hyacinths (or maybe hydrangea or irises) grow under the window, and a pot of geraniums perches on the windowsill.

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View of the right side of the house from the vine-covered stone wall that separates house from road.

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Following the wall around to the right side of the house.

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Pull-back view of right side of house.

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Going around the tree with swing, we see that this family not only has a lovely flower garden, they have an extensive vegetable garden as well.

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Looking at the veg garden from the back. Hard to get a closeup, but they have carrots and lettuce growing here. I puzzled a bit over the stick trellis as I glued it back together, then I realized–they’re bean poles! Growing up in cities in arid climates, I’d never seen one before. Now I know why we refer to thin people as “bean poles”. (See? I learned something via miniatures.)

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The inhabitants of the house have a garden shed, complete with tools (which you can see leaning on the door in the previous pictures). They also have a well.

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The covered well, complete with rope and bucket.

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Pull-back view of the left back side of the house.

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Photo is a little blurred, but behind the clump of trees on the left side is a little pond with a swan and a bench beside it. Another nice refuge on a hot summer day.

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Continuing around the left side back to the front.

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Left front garden. An extensive flower garden!

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A closeup of the brilliant flowers. I don’t usually like figures in my scenes, but these two–the woman and kneeling gardner–go well with the house.

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The front door. Let’s go inside.

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The interior was a bit difficult to photograph, which is why I don’t have many pics, but click them to see what you can. The walls are finished with “whitewash”, with little pictures on them. The furniture is cozy and overstuffed. Most of the furniture is plastic–this house was done in the late 70s, early 80s, I think, and the plethora of quarter-inch things we have now wasn’t available. But the furniture is very well finished and goes with the house.

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Floor is nice stone. If you can see the skirted table on the right, it has breakfast waiting with a tea cozy over the teapot. Plants decorate the deep windowsill.

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Upstairs is a big bedroom with a bathroom in the corner.

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I love the detail of the water heater over the bathtub. Before houses had one big heater for the whole house, each appliance had its own heater to heat up just enough water for what you needed (bathing or doing dishes in the kitchen). The house I lived in in Germany had separate water heaters in bath and kitchen, which had to be filled with water and the heat turned on in advance.

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The bathroom corner is screened from the bedroom (I removed the screen in other pictures so you could see where the stairs came up).

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Bedroom side with cozy four-poster waiting to be snoozed in.

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Here’s a closeup of the thatch and chimney. I like how the chimney is crumbling and crooked.

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The thatch is made of some kind of straw-like material, I’m not sure what. It’s well done, with good texture.

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The stone wall that goes all the way around the house is incredibly detailed. Hours/days/weeks/months of work went into this house and garden. Remember, this is all quarter-inch scale (1/4″ = 1 foot), so it’s tiny!!

This house sits in my workshop on a shelf, and since I’m in my workshop room every day, I get to gaze at it. I’ve fallen in love with this little house. A happy accident!

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