It's been a crazy few days with Hurricane Sandy here on the east coast, and my home state of New Jersey got hit pretty hard. We consider ourselves very lucky, because we only had a downed tree (and many lost branches), and lost power for a day. Many are still without power, and the temperatures are now going down, so folks are scrambling to stay warm, fed, and entertained.

All schools have been closed this week (and my work is as well), so it has been an unusual time at home -- the kids have been helping to clean up the leaves and stay civil with each other, but when there is this much idle time, fights and other unappealing sibling behavior is bound to happen.

Of course, Halloween is today, and while NJ Governor Christie has officially postponed it until Monday (!), we plan to carve a pumpkin and do some baking. Here's a little scene that I brewed up, too...enigmatic and creepy. My Artply Higland is an ideal environment for such a scene, with its plentiful broken plexi, dust, and cobwebs. No cleaning was done in this room, to ensure it was a moody as possible!


See the curtains? I cut two swaths from a Chilewich place mat and hung them with a metal crafting sticker that looks like a curtain rod.

They work quite well!

The hanging lantern is also a crafting find from Jolee's Boutique-- fun!

I also wanted to share a few new items I found that might come in handy for your doll houses: LED-lit trees by Philips, purchased for $5.99 each from Target (I might get rid of the large star topper), and "Tangle" finials from west elm, on clearance for $6.99 per box (these could work as industrial light fixtures with a little Deco tape wrapping -- still experimenting).

I also picked up some minimal white napkin holders, also on clearance from west elm ($1.99/each), which show some promise for modern shelving.

I also have my eye on a lantern ornament from Pottery Barn (at left, without the monogramming!) that could have a second life as an outdoor fireplace. Speaking of ornaments, each year, Hallmark comes out with new Keepsake Ornaments...I haven't fully checked them out, but it's worth a look at those too. Make sure you check the dimensions before you buy, and let me know if you find any good ones!

A last tip: refrigerator magnets from Acme International. I bought up a few this week, including a cappuccino maker and wine rack, a copy machine, and an arcade-style video game. Worth a look!

Photo courtesy of Acme International
Photo courtesy of Acme International

Hope your Halloween is still happening, and you get lots of candy!

A quick update on the Call of the Small/Cubebot Challenge: the first entry is in: Nick James of the UK shows his Micro Cubebot wreaking havoc in his daughter's dollhouse! Naughty bot! Hope you are working on yours, too! Submit your entries (No more than five images, ideally 1 MB or under each), to minibotchallenge(at)gmail(dot) com for your chance to win $200 from AREAWARE. Full contest details are here.

Credits: Table is ELF Miniatures; male doll is Jasper from Twilight, and I got him at a $5 store; the female doll is from DHE; chairs are eBay finds; trees are from; table runner is from the Paper Source. Accessories are lots of Re-ment, Manor House Miniatures, and eBay finds.

The time it took me: 1 hour, 53 minutes, over three days 

The Blues

The holidays have come early for me this year. I went into a Hallmark store recently, and was reminded of Mini Modern's tip about Hallmark Keepsake Christmas ornaments and their possibilities. And lo and behold, I managed to drop a little dough on this popular enterprise. I had NO idea how elaborate ornaments had become! In my day, we'd untangle yards of Christmas lights and put up the same silver or gold balls year after year. Some garland too (if my Mom was feeling festive...and patient!).

Ornaments today have detail, sound, and reflect current trends, pop stars, and just about anything someone wants to hang off a tree. And for some of these, you need to have a substantial tree. They are not for the weak! Some ornaments work for 1:12 or larger. Not many work for smaller, at least not the selection I saw at this store.

The turquoise drum kit in this scene is an ornament; I actually had to cover the front with some black glitter paper. The Jonas Brothers smile from underneath!

The little vintage Harley was a good find -- perfect as an accent piece in 1:12.

I decided to put a few charms from Michaels in the window panes and then couldn't stop. All became filled with something, and it turned into an exercise of not knocking things off from their very narrow perch!

Let me know if you get and/or use any ornaments in your dolls houses!

Credits: Flooring is Japanese folding paper; drum kit and mini Harley are Hallmark Keepsake Christmas Ornaments; chair is Reac; coffee table is vintage Petite Princess; side table is vintage VERO; plant is vintage TOMY; little plants by the stairs and light are Re-ment; guitar is a Japanese toy; black rug is by Peppercorn Minis; picture is Lundby. Accessories are charms from Michaels, Lilu Shop on Etsy, AG Minis, Re-ment, made by me, beads from Pubdoll, and random doll house store finds.

Re-ment: I have written about the Re-ment in this scene with one exception. The shoes by the stairs are from Oriental Season "Spring," and are good for 1:12.