Thursday, July 15, 2010


Dear All, A bit of excitement here in Vancouver. We have sold our house & have to move by August 23. We have bought a cottage about 45 minutes south of the city..... trauma, now we have taken possession it is so much smaller than we recall. What have we done!!

Back to Mini.... it has already been packed away! Again!!

The attic space from right to left: grotesque/gargoyle - figure from the top of a stamp pad painted to age. Bee urns. I am sure you can see what I have used to make these. Yes, thimbles with a snap base and bees as they are a Napoleonic symbol. A broken chair, unfortunately, hoping it will be able to repaired one of these days. I made the quilting basket and contents including a quilting hoop,fibrefill, fabrics and cotton reels. Sewing machine head with thread beside a small sewing basket with a handle and several vintage sewing magazines. There are two suitcases in the back corner and a cross on the wall.

Posters are displayed on the walls between the rafter beams, garden urns, rolled tapestry supporting a curtain rod. Walking stick with a brass tip, wooden train, Chioise pot, aged newspapers supporting a beribboned and feathered Edwardian-style hat beside a broom.

Cushion, broken clock detached from statuettes in a basket with straw. Sword and mirror on the wall.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Senior bear requires glasses to read the Children's books made using pictures clipped from magazines. I will paint the frames of the glasses black at a later date but for now I have a small supervisor who believes that if it is pink all is well with the world.
I made the bunnies and painted the Crysonbon cups and saucers. I like the scale. They are plastic and come attached to a bar from which you detach them.... but paint them prior to detaching them. Probably everyone does it this way but the first time I bought them I had them off the bar before I realized the advantages of leaving them on. Their cutlery is also a good scale.
I bought the rug many years ago and would like to enlarge and reproduce it to tie the beds together.

Elizabeth made the lemon tarts and stand and showed me how to make the bunnies. There is a plate of three gingerbread bears. Notice how nicely the pillows on the bed slump when they are filled with gravel.

If you did not see the first post of AtticBedroom you can find it in April dated April 8. I had begun writing in April but only posted it last week. However, the blog posted it in April. Not sure how to change that. Any advice?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


This precious doll, named Ugenia by me, was made by and purchased from Doreen Sinnett at the Seattle Miniature Show in the early 1990's. Her crochet dress is perfect scale as are her socks and I find the way she crosses her feet very appealing. Her arms can be manipulated. I like her best from the rear looking out the window. Although she was purchased at least fifteen years prior to my Granddaughter's arrival she reminds me of her.

The cat is very similar to our Siamese cat named Cleo, naturally she recognizes the most comfortable spot in the room.


The light between the head of the beds is a commercially purchased one but the one in the centre of the room was bought from someone at the Seattle fair. Bruce put a very bright light in the bathroom that helps highlight the room.


Another friend, appropriately named Pearl, as she is an amazing knitter, created the little monkey displayed in the wicker pony cart. You can also see two robots from the boys and an Amish doll made by Elizabeth.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


We are preparing the Children's room and the attic for photographing. I have an expert and willing helper. My Granddaughter is four and declares that the finished result is "truly adorable Grandma!".

I will continue when my helper returns to Mum and Dad, but in a few days you will see full coverage of these rooms! I'm very happy to be back working on the interior!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


These earrings must date from the 1980's. I bought them, with many other filigree style accessories. I think I paid about .20c a piece at a Thrift Store. That was in the mid 1990's. As you know we miniaturists must NEVER throw anything out!

I thought originally that I might use them as matching mirrors but I think that this use is more interesting for my house. The central disk is 1 1/2", top to bottom they measure 2 1/2". I have two pair of earrings.

The photos show how easily the earrings were converted to formal French-style and Chinoiserie-style decorative wall plaques. I chose an image, cut it out - then painted the central disk very thinly with all-purpose glue before placing the image. I am very happy with the French ladies but may find different images for the others as they seem a little dark. Interesting how a different style is achieved by turning the earring upside down. You can see I cut the dangles from the disk to enable me to attach the silk ribbon but left them on for the others.

Photo 1: French lady with gold silk ribbon.
Photo 2: Earring blanks.
Photo 3: Magazine page for Chinoiserie-style choices.
Photo 4: Cut-out to define image.
Photo 5: Chinoiserie plaque finished.
Photo 6: Pair of French ladies.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Dear All, These are a couple of photos of the front courtyard of our home in Vancouver BC. Summer has officially arrived ..... please, please let us have some warm weather at last.
We live very close to downtown (about 12 minutes by car) and most homes in this area have small lots with a small front and back gardens. Most front gardens are exposed to the street. Many years ago we decided we would create a private space by hedging the front garden. This area faces north and as a result it was always a struggle to keep the moss out of the lawn. We resolved this by paving the whole area, building screens to baffle the entry from the street and planted boxwood to define the inner area. On the screens we planted hydranga petiolaris and clematis, in front of this are skimmia japonica and boxwood.
A spreading small leaf maple and bee attracting hawthorn shade this area in the summer but as they lose their leaves in the Fall it is a sheltered spot catching any available light in winter.
In the large planters we have the same clematis as on the screen, a fragrant honeysuckle and annual sweet peas, white impatens and bacopa.
It is a heavenly spot to take tea and read.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Greetings All and a warm welcome to Minworks new followers.

I have found it difficult to settle to write of late as we have had a lot of things happening in our lives. Here are a few photos of the roof to show you more of the process. I know the sequence of the photos is incorrect but I cannot seem to change them once I have downloaded them. I hope the description will assist anyone considering using this roofing technique.

We applied wooden guttering that we painted with copper paint. The inside of the gutters were given some aging with black and dark green paint... then the outside treated to give a verdigris patina.

I decided to add lighting into the Children's bedroom and the entry bringing it up through the chimney. I had to hide the electrical tape on the ceiling of the second floor. The Empire room now has a gilded ceiling (watercolour paper spray painted gold) and the Entry now has the same paper that covers the walls. Bruce has attached all the moldings for the ceiling on the second floor as well. We feel like progress is being made!

Photo 1. Roof with gutter finished!!! Roof yet to be aged but I'm feeling a bit more confident about it now I have realized I can always repaint it if I don't like the aging.

Photo 2. Roof prior to paint touch up and final trimming.

Photo 3. Roof before the guttering is applied.

Photo 4. Roof tipped upside down so Bruce can paint and paper the ceiling of the second floor.

Photo 5. Completed roof tiled.

The following are older photos:

Photo 6. Just a couple of tiles left out to show you the roof ridge prior to finishing the capping.

Photo 7. Completed edges of roof.

Photo 8. Edges of roof - lower section tiled but not retouched with paint after tiles were trimmed to size. Upper section of roof unfinished but showing how tiles connect prior to capping.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Did I say 1200 slate-look tiles? No, it should have been more than 1800!

What we learned:
The tiles are great to work with and attach firmly with three small dots at the upper edge of the tile with Carpenters wood glue. Take care that the glue does not run down the tile before you attach it as it may reach the lower level of tiles. I selected the edges that I wanted to show but to be honest I don't think it was necessary.

If you are making a large amount of tiles it is best to make more than you need and mix the batches so that you do not have any distinctive areas of tile that seem similar. In the photo you can see that I have a large roof. Your roof is likely not as large so don't be discouraged by the number of tiles that need to be made.

We worked from the centre of the area bottom row first of course as they overlap. Do not trust your eye but draw lines so you will keep your tiles straight. We also ruled lines up from the bottom row to provide a check that we were keeping the joint lines even. You will note the alternate rows are offset so draw that guide line as well. Don't miss this step as it will help you to work quickly and if you have a helper one can put glue on while the other puts them in place. Bruce and I spent some nice hours listening to jazz late night on the radio and working together.

Make sure the tiles on the edge of the roof are given a little extra glue as when it is complete you need to mark the edge before cutting it with a mat knife/box cutter. You can imagine the extra pressure on the edge when you cut so allow for that when you affix the edge tile.

When we were working on individual tiles to fit around the little dormers we used a mat knife. The tiles on the roof edge have been cut with sissors. The Spackle does not shatter when it is cut. We will retouch any white on the tiles with grey paint when we are finished.

The ridge capping tiles have to be done and I will post again once we have worked how best to do it. Bruce is toying with the idea of making copper gutters made of copper water pipe but the jury is out on whether it is practical.


The dormer shows the tile cut to fit. The copper roof caps will be aged as will the tiles. I have a curtain on this window as there is nothing behind it. The opposite side houses the attic bathroom.

Bruce painting the roof before beginning to tile. This colour is the same base colour as the tiles.

Bruce glueing tiles. We are very good at it now!

This view shows the back of house show the tiles trimmed. The tiles have been trimmed on the upper edge but not on the lower edge.

View of the opposite side trimmed. The room that you see will be the childrens' room. I am looking forward to getting back to dressing the rooms.

If anyone has questions we are always happy to help if the directions are not clear.

Spring is well and truly here in Vancouver and I have had a wonderful time in the garden,

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


This will be the best view of the little attic bathroom as in the near future we will only be able to see it through a small dormer window. The bath, basin and stool are part of a Chrysnbon kit. The little shelf above the sink has the supports that were part of the toilet.

On the shelf you will see a candle holder, bead bottle and bead vase, a clock and also a clear jar with lid all made of buttons, a shell from my collection and a postcard. On the sink there is a fimo soap and a button for a glass soap holder.

Once again I arranged everything on a piece of rigid packaging plastic. I did make a mistake as I wanted the candlestick to be on the right but the only way you can see it when the roof is enclosed is in the mirror and everything is reversed.

Under the sink is a waste basket made from a filigree tube. I have four from the thrift store. They seem to be a cover for something but I have never seen them again.

The stool beside the tub has a large book on it created by covering a block of wood with paper from a magazine. The picture is part of an antique map and the bead jar has a tiny Chanel label on it.

To enable you to see more of the room I placed a large mirror in a horizontal position on the wall. This was made from a picture frame the decorative edge suggests a fleur- de-lys. I painted the decorative edge with silver enamel paint to tie in with the chrome fixtures on the vanity and tub.

You may notice the Napoleonic foot soldier that came from a military game painted and used as a door stop.

The wall paper is a small toile de jouy that has a little bright yellow colour in the gentleman's trousers. I painted the tub and the underside of the sink the same colour and tried to have the dried seed pod/flower absorb the yellow colour... somehow it resisted the strong yellow colour but I have accepted it as is!

I glued a section of a baby's white sock to the tub to create the soft fall of a very fluffy white towel.

The bath seems to be sitting in the middle of nowhere but when the roof is on the bath will actually be sitting up against the dormer window.

This was all a bit of fun as despite my fever for finishing slate tiles I needed to finish the bathroom and glue everything solidly before the base for the roof tiles closes this corner of the house.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


This closeup gives you an idea of how the "wood look" tiles turned out.
We were experimenting to make slate tiles but thought this may be helpful for anyone who wants to make singles or shakes.
You will notice by the white showing on the tiles that we did not finish them once we realized they did not have the look we wanted.
A small wire brush was used to rake the Spackle (dry wall/sheet rock filler) surface to give the appearance of wood grain.

The photo is enlarged so the raking looks distinctive but on the roof looks very authentic. You would need to try different colours and a bit of aging as well.

Bristol board is mat board. Also I would mention that the stone floors we made using a similar technique have stayed flat without any warping or lifting and look the same as when we installed them. The house had been in storage until January since the year 2002.

We would be happy to expand if anyone has any questions.


Imagine, 1200 slate-look tiles to make plus the ridge tiles! I think they are going to look authentic so there is no lack of enthusiasm to have them finished. We made the sandstone flooring with a similar technique that I detailed earlier.

We used grey 1 1/2 m.( 1/16") Bristol art board.

Step 1. Skim the board with drywall/spackle.
Step 2. Paint the dry spackle with your colour of choice.
Step 3. Mottle the board with dabs of white paint - quickly soften dabs using an old sock or tee-shirt fabric.
Step 4. Cut tiles into size. We chose 25x38m. (1"x 1 1/2") an laid the tile horizontally. Take about a third of the tiles and run a screwdriver along the edge to create more dimension - see white portions that are being repainted.
Step 5. Soften the cut edges of your tile by rubbing against a rubber gardening glove and repaint the white portions of the tile taking care not to have a build up of paint on the edges. Lay out on newspaper to dry. Dust each tile by wiping with a soft cloth. Now you are ready to draw guide lines on the appropriately coloured undercoat of the roof.

This is not difficult and I fell into an almost manic desire to finish the tiles. However now that the roof is prepared there are lots of things to be considered before we (my reliable and enthusiastic sidekick husband) can finally attach the top floor that includes the roof.

Note: During the experimentation to create the slate look we stumbled upon a wood look result by softly raking the spackle. If it was painted brown or even weathered grey it would make a very nice wood shingle. I have a photo of the result if anyone is interested.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


This long view is to show the whole room as well as the leather bag beside the bed. I'm sorry to put this on another post but I could not work out how to add in a photo in a changed-from-original sequence. One of my sons promises to bring me an eight-year-old to help me. Hope he can find one soon! Also I have difficulty leaving comments on some blogs. I write a message then it will not seem to go in..... never mind I will soon get it all under control. Until then thank you for following and if you notice you have been visited by Canada - it is probably me!
Regards Janine