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.
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
Mini Bows for Presents: I made a bunch of Christmas packages for a mini scene a long time ago, and used several methods to get bows on the packages:
Trish in Sunnyvale CA
Mini Bow Maker: There is a mini bow maker you can get. Then you need 2 mm silk ribbon, as it is the best for staying glued. I don't remember where I got my mini bow maker--maybe E-bay. But they should be available at a mini shop or maybe HBS has them. It is really just basically a ring of pins on a wood block. You loop ribbon around the pins in a certain pattern. I made bows for a Christmas swag and they turn out very well. Some people can do this using a pattern--maybe another SSer will tell you how. You can get 2 mm silk ribbon through some mini suppliers online and at shows, or there are a number of thread sites that have it. Here is Knights Thread Express, which was going out of business (50% off now!), so I don't know what they have left. Just make sure you get silk; synthetics don't always stay glued. Though I've gotten some nice pre-made bows using 'real' gift ribbon material (the shiny nylon-y stuff). http://www.threadexpress.com/Default.asp
Lynette in WNC
Bow Makers: This may be old news to some of you, but was a revelation to me. I have directions on my web site, under *Projects* for making silk ribbon bows with a bow maker, and the bow maker that I use is a hair pick with steel teeth. However, these are almost impossible to get nowadays. One of the students in the class I taught last weekend, (Cindy Adams) suggested that a fork could be used instead! So, before the class I went to the local Zellars store and found a whole box of odd forks. Picked out 12, one for each student, and had them try them out in the class. They worked!!!!!! What a lovely simple solution, and you can hold the handle between your knees (the really important part *g*) so that both hands are free to make the bows. Thanks Cindy!
Joy in Midland, Ontario
Mini Bow Making: I learned to make bows from an illustration in DH magazine, though I altered it a little. I use a block of foam rubber and four straight pins. I set a pin into the end of the ribbon on one side. Then I set two pins at angles where the heads point away from each other. I lay a 1-2" piece of cut ribbon across the gap between the two pins. Then I take the ribbon whose end is pinned down and wind it in a figure eight pattern three or four times around the two center pins. Then I pin the end of that ribbon down on the opposite side of the bow. I pull up the ends of the cut ribbon and tie them around the center of the figure eight. Clip it off and trim the loose ends at an angle or into a 'v'. Voila, a pretty bow.
Finishing Stair Openings: I thought you'd like to see some pictures of how stair openings can be finished. I remembered some from Carol of S P Miniatures' site: http://www.spminiatures.com/house/hallup.html shows from above, and http://www.spminiatures.com/house/halldown.html and http://www.spminiatures.com/house/entryway.html show from below.
Shop Recommendation: I have always ordered from A-C's EMPORIUM in McMurry Pa. even though I live in NV. I found them in the first "Nutshell News" I bought and ordered from my first Dee's catalog in 1978. They have always been most accommodating and very pleasant. It is really pleasant to chat with them on the phone when ordering and they really know their minis, I always hoped that some day I'd be able to get there to meet them in person , but I doubt that I ever will as at 79 I don't travel that much any more.
Shop Recommendation: I don't know about online but I have ordered from the Dollhouse Factory through their catalogue and found them great to deal with. The orders came promptly and when I called to ask a question they were very polite and helpful. In fact when I called on the phone I was using a phone number that was a toll number. The woman asked where I was calling from and when I said California, she insisted that I hang up and she would call me back so I wouldn't run up my phone bill. I hated to do that because from previous experience I figured I would never hear from her again, but she insisted. With hesitation I hung up but she immediately called me back!:-) I got my questions answered and then she gave me a different number to call if I need to call again so I wouldn't be charged. YES, they are very nice and I know I am going to give them a lot of business. As other have already said I also found HBS to be a good one to deal with, never a problem.
Shop Recommendation: My first mini online purchase was with HBS. They are always prompt, reasonable and friendly. Although they do not carry some of the high end merchandise, what they do carry, is never shoddy, or poorly made either. Whenever I have had to call, the friendly Operator sounded as if we knew each other, always helpful. Ernie, the owner, always writes cute little bylines in the catalog, and a newsletter online. He may be a 3 piece wearing corporate CEO, but I really don't think so. I have shopped many online stores, with very good results, but I will always try HBS first.
Shop Recommendation: I've purchased my mini's from http://www.miniature.com (Hunt's Collectibles) and have had good results and timely delivery. Furthermore they often have 15%-20% off sales and free delivery for sales over $150.
Shop Recommendation: My favorites have already been mentioned.....except for Hanky Panky Crafts: http://www.hankypankycrafts.com. They don't have an on-line order form.....but even using snail mail, their speed is incredible. When I received my 1st order, I was embarrassed to find out that I had misread one of the prices & shorted them a bit. They sent the merchandise anyway with the price correction shown on my original letter. I didn't want to write another check for such a small amount, so did some more shopping.....for things I really needed.....honest!
Jude in ND
Shop Recommendation: Some of my favorites: Little Obsessions http://www.miniature.net/LittleObsessions/ Sandy and Stu Dawson Sandy is great to deal with. Items are sent out promptly and I have never been disappointed with what I ordered. Woodland Whispers http://www.woodlandwhispers.com/ Lyn Trenary is great to work with, although after my last order she said she would never make little boys again. They came out great by the way. For half scale: Scale Design http://www.scaledesigns.com/ They are very nice to deal with.
Judy in Floyd, VA
Shop Recommendation: Someone asked about good places to shop on line or mail order. http://www.countrystoreminiatures.com I can highly recommend. I am fortunate enough to be close enough to shop in person but I am sure they would be as professional by mail. They are very knowledgeable and helpful. they have a huge stock- the only bigger stock I have see was a Tom and Kari's. They will special order anything you need and their prices are very reasonable. When I sort of *finished* my 15 room Victorian I had the entire staff and spouses to a house warming party to show them what they had helped to create.
Susan in OR
Shop Recommendation: Just wanted to add another GOOD online purchasing experience - I just bought something from Minikitz.com http://minikitz.com and I am very happy with the whole experience. Great prices on lace & tulle & such, and I got a couple of adorable kits I can't wait to put together (some Victorian lady's undies and some fancy ball/masquerade type masks. Not only that, but when my order arrived (very promptly, I thought), I was surprised to find a note included apologizing for the delay, and saying that I wasn't being charged shipping! Now that's good service!
Shop Recommendation: The shop in Pride's Crossing, MA, called Cottage and Castle and is owned by a gal named Lynne Warren. It is in a gorgeous area right near the ocean! We had a hard time finding it so I suggest you call for directions. 600 Hale Street 978-922-9864
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