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50s Moderne Open House: I finished my quarter scale 50s Moderne House and would like to invite you all too see it.

John Medeiros

1/144 Amusement park: How about making food stands that look like giant food (only they are tiny to scale) A Hamburger or hot dog with an opening where the counter is, an ice cream cone for the frozen treats., balloon man, a fun house made from a tiny castle.... Wish I worked in that scale. Check out the dollar store for toys for rides. And please keep us posted

Gail in Orlando

Lighting and Photography: I'd recommend you get a book on lighting for studio photography. From what little I've learned from classes, the amount of light reaching the object drops off very quickly as you move the light source away from the object. A logarithmic scale, I believe. So with weaker lights, you'll probably need them much closer than your stronger ones. You might not be able to get enough light and still handle the heat problem. You could try a fan, or shooting for a while and letting your little "set" cool down from time to time. I could try to look up formulas, but there's only so far you can get with calculations anyway. Having a light meter, so you can measure the amount of light getting to the object and the f-stop you'll need to use to get a good exposure can make things faster. But if you are using a digital camera for your pictures, you can just keep trying until you get what you want. It's going to be different if the object's darker or lighter, etc. People doing product photography do end up creating a whole theater of lights and reflectors around the object, and shooting their camera through some space in between. If you're finding the stuff gets in the way, set up the camera first (on a tripod or stand), and then arrange the lights and reflectors to get the best light on the object. So experimentation is probably what you'll have to keep doing. To make things more efficient, you might try shooting objects of close to the same size and lightness/darkness, to minimize the amount of adjustments you have to do for each individual object.

Trish in Sunnyvale, CA

Children's' project: Had a seasonal thought about beauty salon decor. how about using the pointier half of a plastic Easter egg for the hood of a hair drier? Also, for curlers, what about cutting the spring from a ballpoint pen into 2 or 3 sections, then covering with a very thin black net?

Here's something I did with my daughter when she was entering 4th. (You might need to simplify it depending on how much time you have, how many kids are in the class, and of course, your budget.) She had to do a project of any kind based on a book, so we made a roombox of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This particular one was pretty complicated, especially since we made back-to back scenes -- the attic room with the wardrobe on one side, and Narnia on the other.

You could keep it more simple, use show boxes or cigar boxes (I bet a smoke shop would give them to you if you told them it was for a classroom project). Use beads for doll heads, pipe cleaners for bodies,pizza-box tables, jewelry findings, etc. Also, if there are manufacturing companies or cabinet shops in your area, you might be able to beg for scraps that would ordinarily go to the landfill. This is a great way to get children to (a) think about recycling and (b) stimulate their imaginations by coming up with unintended ways to use things.

Rosemary in Cleveland

Fiber Optics: Go to I learned some new things here already. I will certainly be experimenting with white light LEDs to see if any give sufficient light and good color for our uses. It would be fantastic to have low voltage, non-heating, long lasting lamps with some of the other advantages that LEDs enjoy. Take a look see. I will keep all posted on the primer.

Mel K. in Las Vegas

The cardboard dolls house and ark: The lovely little cardboard dolls house that I remember posting about ages ago has, I see, just won the British Toymakers Guild Dollhouse Award 2001, I see. My great niece still loves to play with it while I play with mine. They also have a really cute wood and card Noah's Ark...Its worth a look on I'm not associated with this site, just bringing it to attention.

Moira Lynch

Purple Gift Bag - *I don't know what to do with a purple (shiny) bag ... Has anyone got any ideas as to what I can do to make something fun and/or lovely out of my first room bag? Any suggestions?* How about something from that terrific poem 'When I Am Old I Shall Wear Purple' There are SO many great images that come to mind from that.

Pat in SC

Purple Gift Bag: First thought I had -- How about a vineyard tasting area? I could picture a little tasting area on a veranda, little table with wine, cheese, grapes. Beyond the table you can see a panorama of a vineyard? I could see grape leaves and a trellis gracing the outside of the bag, etc.

Kim from Canada

Purple Gift Bag: For some reason when I read your post I immediately saw a purple polka dot bedroom for a teenager-sort of a 60's thing! The polka dots could be yellow! Or, it could be a lovely sunroom with pale violet shades on wicker furniture. Or a nursery done in mostly white with pale violet and pink accents. Or an elegant living room with gold touches. I think you made a great choice!


Purple Gift Bag: What a joy this would be to almost any little girl. Don't know why but little girls (and gray haired little girls) love PURPLE. My just 4 year old granddaughter included. How about a child's room. All done in shades of purple. Maybe a closet with purple outfits, hairbows, etc. Of course the inside of the bag is white, so how about The Purple Tulip Flower Shop? Or A (gray little girl) in her rocking chair in her 'Sunday Best' rocking with her cat on her lap and a tall glass of lemonade, in the garden? Have fun! You chose purple for a reason, now run with it.

Diane in SFBA

Purple Gift Bag: Off the top of my head, how about doing a floral scene, one filled with pansies, lilacs, and other pretty purple flowers. Or maybe a room scene, especially a child's, where the color scheme is purple. Or a vineyard scene with lots of purple grapes.

Karen from PA, USA

Purple Gift Bag: since you love purple, why not put all kinds of dress, lingerie, hats shoes, ladies' wear all in varying shades of purple, lilacs or lavenders? You could hang a pretty picture in the background , have a dressed mannequin in front, with hat boxes, shoe and garment boxes lying around open with white tissue paper and pretty things spilling out - someone's just been shopping. Or have little shelves against the back wall like it's a little shop. Just an idea, and probably what I'd do

Paulette in Indiana

Room Bags: Well, you'll probably get a b-zillion answers to the this question, but they are simply little rooms or vignettes in a giftbag. You cut out a 'window' in the front of the bag--I use foamcore to build the walls and floor and then slide into the giftbag from the top. I leave the top open because I like to be able to see in and it allows more light. Barbara Demaris taught a class in St. Louis and I loved her method. I used to make the 2 sides and the back separate pieces and was never happy because there were 'seams' in the corners. She taught to measure the sides and back and cut one piece to that dimension. Then, score through one cardboard covering and foam insert and NOT the other cardboard covering where the sides would fold. I use spray adhesive (3M) on the wallpaper (cut to fit the entire foamcore piece) and then stick to the foamcore. Fold the sides in and NO SEAMS in corners. The only tricky thing in this method is to remember that you have to allow the width of the foamcore (I use 1/4" foamcore) before you 'score' the sides--measure twice, cut once. I invariably will miscut and the piece will not fit into the bag. So, I have to tape the 'score' line and recut. Duh! I cover the top edge of the walls with paper because I leave the top open and I don't want to see the 'raw' foam. You can also use wood trim. This also hides the little 'L' where the score is made. Or, if you put a ceiling in your bag, the trim isn't necessary. I have some giftbags I have made on my website, Vet Bag, Sunflower Bag, Wedding Bag,Nursery Bag and then in 'My Sister's Minis' she has made a couple of rooms using giftbags. The url is: - -- click on the button 'My Minis' and you'll see all the links to these bags.

Fay in St. Louis

Gift Bags: You can light these bags with battery operated lights. I've made several, a ME 1/2" Kitchen, The Wedding Day, several Baby Showers ones and my most recent was a teenager's room which I made for my boss's granddaughter. If interested you can see them at:

Marsha, Newark, CA

Round Room Boxes: Hatboxes, cheese boxes, a 'slice' of a barrel or keg, all make wonderful round roomboxes! My friend Lorraine found one years ago in a Rag Shop Fabric and Craft store that was covered in metal studded leather. She built a lovely ship's captains quarters in it, standing it up! She used the area below the floor as the hold of the ship and filled it with all sorts of nautical gear!

Alice Zinn- Pt. St. Lucie FL

Purple Gift Bag: To me, a purple bag demands bright green and gold accessories and a Mardi Gras theme.


Purple Gift Bag: Mardi Gras would be a great idea with the beads etc all the colors of the royal purple/green yellow. Also Easter theme would be darling with spring colors and miniature eggs - you could have the rabbit hopping down the bunny trail with Easter eggs in the basket and a beautiful meadow.

Elizabeth Smith

Purple Gift Bag: How about a lovely romantic bed dressed in shades of lilac and purple with a lot of frothy lace?


Purple Gift Bag: As soon as I read your post, Stacey, I immediately thought Flower Shop, stocked with spring flowers. Next thought was an Easter religious scene. Or an Easter scene of children hunting for Easter eggs. Purple is the color of royalty and that opens up many, many possibilities.

Mel in MA

Purple Gift Bag: Years ago, in Cincinnati, I saw an adorable (life sized) kiosk. It was a flower-type cart stocked with hundreds of gift items, all of them PURPLE. I think that it was called "Purple Passion." There were purple t-shirts, headbands, barrettes, teddy bears, stationary, pens, memo pads, stickers, pennants, posters, jewelry, diaries, little fancy boxes, bumper stickers, stick candy.. well, you get the drift, and every single thing was purple. You could have shelving on the back wall, and build a little awning over the cut-out front opening in the bag, to make a store instead of a kiosk. Or install a door & show window in the front.

Terri Rowe

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