Monday, August 18, 2014

Courtyard: Moroccan Tiles

Instead of the black and white marble tiles that I had planned originally, I now have contrasting Moroccan tiles on the courtyard! The muted colors of the tiles go nicely with the river-rock foundation around the courtyard.

I used Photoshop to resize some images of tiles that I liked. Although the tiles look gray, they have a slight sepia tone. I then decoupaged the tiles over the existing paperclay layer. Instead of adding a glossy varnish, I liberally smeared wood-glue on the tiles, giving a matte aged finish which photographs nicely.

The tile surface is uneven to the touch, since the paperclay layer below was textured. But I think the slight sheen and imperfections add to the old tile feel.

If you click on the image below to magnify it, right click and "View Image" you should be able to download and print the high resolution version of the tiles for your own projects.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


I thought I would create a simple checkered courtyard with paper clay. It would mirror the checkered wooden floor inside the manor. My plan was to paint the individual tiles in contrasting colors as you see in the inspiration photo below.

Because of time constraint, I had to work in sections, and in the beginning it was looking OK. Not perfect, but I was fine with it.

However, cracks began to appear once the sections dried, and although I tried to patch the cracks, I am really not happy with the end result!

I think it's time to move on to "Plan B."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

For the Kitchen

It was my birthday and I bought a few things for the dollhouse kitchen as a pat on the back for staying alive for 32 years! These are tiny and so cute!

I have started keeping track of how much I paid for the miniatures in my collection. Years from now, I might wonder how much I spent on them ... just thinking ahead.

The measuring spoon cost $4.31 (no shipping); the measuring cup cost $1.56 (+ $2.50 shipping); and the rest of the accessories cost $2 on eBay.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Music on the Moonlit Terrace

Instead of closing off the third floor for the attic, I have kept it open as a roof-top terrace. The master of the manor loves to invite renowned musicians for concerts on the moonlit terrace. 

When I was little, one of my great-aunts had a similar set of miniature instruments that I adored. I never imagined I would find anything like it on eBay, but I did a search on a whim, and when I clapped my eyes on the set, I had to get it! 

I bought this vintage set of miniature Indian musical instruments last month from eBay for $24.99 (+$13.33 shipping). They are not 1:12 scale instruments. They are closer to 1:9 scale. But I love them!  

From the left: esraj, tanpura, sitar, bina, tabla-baya and mridangam. 

To read about Indian music, visit:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cherry Blossom Bath Accessories

Finally got my hands on the cherry blossom bath accessories and the bathtub caddy by Reutter Porzellan. I have been wanting these for a long time, since they share the same Lisa pattern as the rest of the Garfield chinaware. At $20.45, it was still a splurge for me, but I usually see them being sold for around $32.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Water Pump

In the back of the house, by the kitchen bay window, we now have a copper/brass water pump by the Durham company. I mixed watered down glue with sand, and leveled it out within a border of paperclay bricks to create the cement effect.

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Perfect Lawn

Many many years ago, I had bought two Woodland Scenics landscaping kits from Hobby Lobby. I finally dusted off the boxes and was surprised that the Scenic Cement (watered down glue) was still OK to use!

I found one medium pouch of "Green Blended Turf" and smaller pouches of "Burnt Grass Fine Turf," "Green Grass Fine Turf" and "Medium Green Coarse Turf," all of which I mixed together in a zip-lock bag to get enough material to flock the lawn.

At this time, I am adding a lawn around the house, but leaving the courtyard empty. I am still not sure what I want to do for the courtyard.

I painted the wooden base with a coat of sap green acrylic paint.

VoilĂ : grass!

You can use Scenic Cement to glue the grass on, or you can simply use watered down white glue. I have used both during my project, and got the same result.

If you are watering down glue, make sure it is not so watery that it will not hold down the grass after it dries. It will be the consistency of full-cream milk, and slightly slimy from the glue.

I poured the flocking material into a disposable bowl, and mixed it with the glue so it looked like avocado dip.

I took clumps of the mixture, and patted them down to create a thin layer of grass on the base.

I mixed small batches so that the mixture would not dry out while I worked, but the process went quite fast for me.

This is the first time that I ever flocked dollhouse lawn, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Bathroom Accessories

In January, I bought the Chrysnbon Bathroom Accessories kit from eBay at $5.85 (+ $1.69 shipping). I finally got the chance to paint some of them and add them to the bathroom.

You can see the soap holder and white soap in the bathtub, and the back scrub brush on the stool.

Beside the toilet, you can see the toilet paper holder and plunger. I also painted the hot water bottle a dull red, but since I don't have bathroom shelves yet, I didn't know where to put it.

I am still pondering if I should add the toothbrush holder and glass holder beside the sink. Since I need storage, I may have to add a shelf with a towel rack above the bath tub, instead of adding the simple towel rack that comes with the kit.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Tower Room

The telescope has been set up in the tower room. Now we have to wait for nightfall ...

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Telescope

Bought the telescope to star-gaze from the tower room. The unfinished pewter telescope cost $5.99 (+$2.50 shipping) on eBay. I had fun painting it in coats of black, copper and gold acrylic paint.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Brick Borders Complete

I have finished adding brick borders to the 30 windows! phew!
I especially like the borders around the tower windows and the oval windows.