Shop Listing: I recently found a site that listed miniature shops by state, http://ares.redsword.com/dollhouse/shops.htm and also quite a few other countries. It is not complete, but should give anyone traveling a good start for finding those elusive miniature shops. If you own a shop, might I suggest sending your shop's address to this site and maybe it can become a really good source for miniature shops.
Videos: I have several from MindStorm, Inc. and love them because I can stop, go back and view again what I didn't quite catch the first time 'round. Just click below and see what they have to offer, as I've heard they won't be making any more...such a pity as they are so useful, well done, and reasonably priced. http://www.mindstorm-inc.com. Hope you find something that pleases you. Click on Master Miniaturists...lots to choose from. Foods, faux finishes, dolls, wiring, just all kinds of things.
Using Batteries: Before anyone uses batteries to make suitcases or other items for a miniature scene, please keep in mind that batteries tend to corrode over time. The acid inside the batteries can leak and cause great damage to anything it touches. Small wooden shapes would be a much better base to use for suitcases, and you wouldn't have to worry about battery acid.
Mary in MS
Using Batteries: For the person who wants to turn 9v batteries into suitcases...don't do it. Batteries corrode with age and spew nasty acid stuff. Better to just get a small cut off block of pine, or layers of foam core, or Styrofoam, or anything else...but don't use the battery or you will be unhappy somewhere down the road!
Bonnie Gibson - Tucson, Arizona
Using Batteries: Batteries: I hate to put a foot down on a creative idea (mainly because it goes against my basic nature), but using the 9 volt or any battery for a project should be considered very carefully. The battery may be dead, but there is still "stuff" inside, which over time and heat etc., may leak out. A dead renewable battery in my caller id ruined it because the casing cracked, leaked and dissolved the contact points. I would just hate to have someone find a dead battery leaking caustic agents over their hard work. Also please please please *DON'T* even think about cooking a battery!!!!!!! I cannot hit that exclamation key enough on this one. Heat may cause the casing explode. I wouldn't want to see anyone get hurt.
Fimo: Micro-waving Fimo? It is strongly recommended that this is not done. Fimo is essentially a moldable plastic that, when heated, forms bonds and becomes a solid. Microwaves do not heat in the same way as a conventional oven, and the clay simply won't cure in the microwave. Add to that that microwaves are notorious for hot spots, and the clay (actually plastic) may lead to a melt-down disaster (fumes are highly toxic!). An oven will serve you better in the long run. Many people invest in 'fimo-only' toaster oven that they can set up on a porch somewhere, so there is lots of ventilation.
Half Scale Furniture: Scale Designs (Frank Moroz) has a large selection of finished and kit 1/2 scale furniture. http://www.scaledesigns.com
There are wonderful kits by Cassidy Creations, and there are also 1/2" furniture pieces already built by Shenodoah. I call these my 'Naked Furniture' pieces when I sell them. There is a rocker, bed, corner cabinet, dough box, cupboard, dry sink, small chest, etc. The Cassidy kits provide a really wide variety of furniture pieces and are very easy to assemble and decorate. Let me know if you would like more information and I can correspond with you personally
Lawbre Houses: I love the Lawbre kits. The amount of pieces can be a little overwhelming but they are extremely well done. Cabinet grade and exacting measurements. The windows/doors come in component bits and pieces that can easily be painted before putting together so you can get a really nice clean finish. Instructions are easy to follow - just follow them step by step and don't try and second guess anything if you don't quite understand. (like measurements) Yes, they are more expensive but the room sizes and designs make it well worth it if you want the look of a real house over the look of a dollhouse.
Debi in Quesnel
Lawbre: A number of folks have asked for Lawbre's information...here it is: The Lawbre Company
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