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Boarding House: How about an old gunslinger? I do historical research on the old west and some of these old guys lived into the 1930s. Wyatt Earp didn't die until 1929. There could be all kinds of old cowboy things, wanted posters, guns, badges, and a very elderly man living in the past.


Boarding House: I thought the suggestion of a young woman was great - I had been thinking of a movie I saw recently (I tried to find the name & couldn't) of a young woman at the turn of the century who moves to Boston to be one of the very first female "typists" - she winds up in a boarding house of the strangest oddballs (it's a requirement to live there!). Besides herself (a woman with a job!) there's a man writing a dictionary and an inventor. Also, I think, a songwriter and a painter (I only remember them because they have a routine of buying one another's latest works, so the money just keeps making a circle through the house). Here in Haverhill they used to be famous for their shoe factories, and the working-class girls who came to work in them were housed in strictly chaperoned boarding houses. Maybe a couple such girls sharing a room? And the lady of the house might be a single (widowed?) mother, so her child(ren) would also need a room!


Boarding House: How about a pair of bank robbers, just returning from a heist, stuffing the mattress with money? Or a chemist, quickly recovering from some sort of miscalculation, trying to remove the green hair now growing on the floor and the sofa? Then there's the fortune teller, polishing her crystal ball. There could be an old man sitting on the front steps, spinning tales for the neighborhood children . . . and why not a miniaturist, surrounded by materials, staring cross eyed at the tiny object she's trying to paint?

Elaine Brown

DoJo: I think a couple of pieces of that hobby foam that comes in bright colors, stacked and glued to make up a bit of thickness, then cut out in the shape you want, would do the trick as far as the mats are concerned. Also, a few bits of wood glued together would easily become the kick/blocking "dummy" used commonly by wing-chun practitioners (Bruce Lee had one). Also, the 'bo', a long staff slightly tapered from the middle towards both ends, the nunchaku (commonly butchered as "numchucks"), and the practice sword are made of wood. Other practice swords are made of rattan strips bound together with leather. There is always the usual large punching bag, and thick foam pads against the wall for punching and kicking. And I'm sure that you can find the logo for any particular 'brand' of martial art, plus any pictures of what I've mentioned so far in Black Belt magazine. Sounds like a great's bringing back some very fond memories for me!

Dave Pierce

DoJo's: In my son's Dojo, there were belts of all of the level colors on the wall, above and around the almost full wall mirror. There were also certificates hanging showing the accomplishments and instruction of the Sensi. There was also a small office in the front and a small changing room in the rear. I believe in your original post, you mentioned needing mats, like in gymnastics. Well, one of my daughters was a gymnastics coach (she was one of those who could teach others to make their bodies do what hers wouldn't) The dojo mats and gymnastic mats are different. The craft foam used as is would be good for the dojo mat, where the gymnastic mats are covered with a heavy, usually gray canvas.

Mary Lou in Portage, IN

Pirates: Kathy in PA suggested that the person doing this project should visit my site for bar and pub and some other items (thanks for thinking of me). I started thinking and remembered that I have some neat old fashioned pewter ware from Tony Knott. I have jugs and mugs and eating utensils etc.


Transfer decals: Making a Decal from a magazine picture: this is something I have done and yes.. using Liquitex acrylic gel stuff. (can't find tube at the moment to be more precise) I gave it about 4 coats.. maybe 5 or 6 even. It gets cloudy after a few B4 the latest layer dries. since I was making an "oil-painting" each coat was brushed on in an opposite direction to end up looking like canvas. When all dry, soaked it in water.. (it will cloud again but will dry clear.) When fully soaked, CAREFULLY turn over to wrong side and GENTLY rub off the paper back leaving only the picture itself.. then block w/ a book to dry flat. Glue onto chip board and frame. I tried decals for putting on dishes too. hope this helps. I don't think you need to go off trying to find the "official" stuff for transferring, but I think they sell it in hobby shops.. i.e.: train and track car shops) I'm also searching beauty supply shops for appropriate nail decals to decorate plates with.


Fingernail polish decals: I did this process making the potting shed in DM that Joanne Swanson did last year. I printed out words on regular paper. Then put about 6 or 7 coats of clear fingernail polish, drying well between each. Actually, I did a coat and the next time I passed by, did another! Then wet the paper -soak it good. The paper will roll off the back leaving the design and the polish. Just glue the design on using tacky glue. I just don't have access to a lot of things suggested for use, so alternate ways of doing things become important. I like to be able to use items I have on hand.

Martha Simpson

Shrink Plastic Sheets: I use the plastic sheets of the clear Shrink It plastic sheets for the wings of my Indian fairies. I used the clear glitter paint for the design and let dry, then put Modge Podge over it so it wasn't sticky. I also make my bear wings from the clear sheets. I tape the pattern to the plastic and colored them with permanent magic markers. You can use paint or colored pencils to color with, but you have to sand the plastic first. I use small rectangle pieces of the plastic for the windows in the front of my tiny room with a view bags. The sheets can also be used for templates. I trace the patterns onto the plastic, cut them out, trace the pattern onto the fur or the fabric. I make tags for my teddy bears, by using a rubber stamp on the sanded plastic. After it's stamped onto the plastic, I sign my name and it let dry, then punch a hole in it. The ink for rubber stamps won't set after the tags are baked, so I carefully coat it with Modge Podge after its cooled. The design is about 2" long, but after it's baked, the tags are only about 1/2" long, but you can still see the design and my signature. After I'm done with my bears, whether they are my miniature bears or my big bears, I take one of the tags and sew it onto the bear. I also make business card key chains out of the white sheets. Enlarge the business card, so its about 4" x 6", cut it out, then tape it to the sheet. Use a fine permanent marker and trace the design and the words. Punch a hole in the corner and bake it. When it comes out, it's the size of a business card and add one of chains that has the balls on it and you have a key chain. I can only find the Aleene's plastic at Hobby Lobby. Michaels has the Shrinky Dinks plastic sheets. They come in Bright White, white, and white sheets that have already been sanded.


Swimming Pool: I am making a pool (swimming), and have created half moon steps 3 deep out of fimo, drains, screen from faucet adaptor, some little plastic white thingamajigs that have holes for the jets, and need to know, as I am filling it with resin, if there is a certain resin proof glue I should use since they are tacked down and don't want it to slither away after pouring.?? I also have aluminum steps,(small pegboard hooks with handcrafted steps), (looks so darn real), .I am especially concerned what I should use to hold them to the side to keep them in place. Diving board, (rectangle wood with sandpaper on top painted white, turned out great too! Can't wait to post a pic! Any answers will be appreciated.


Swimming Pool Glue: We have had very good results with Bond Tacky. As a point of interest, you might want to consider pouring the resin for the pool in layers rather than one solid pour. The layers won't show, and it will generate less heat that might soften any plastic you used.


Miniature Horses: I've just discovered the most fascinating miniature enthusiast sub-specialty! Recently I've had a few purchases from miniature horse sculptors and collectors who want to display my little carpets with their model Arabians. There are folks who make costumes and props for the model horses, and there's even an auction site just for them at

If you're interested in finding out more about the miniature horse hobby, you might want to take a look at the American Model Arabian Horse Association web site, Although many Small Stuff subscribers seem to come from a background of interest in houses and dolls, and many model horse enthusiast seem to come from a background of owning and breeding real live horses, it looks like the two groups may actually have a lot in common.


Purple Gift Bag: Several things come to mind:
Mardi Gras Scene colors are purple, gold and green
Barney the dinosaur (I don't care what you say, I like him!)
A Wine shop
A Wine and cheese cafe
A conservatory room with a grape leaves and vines theme
Something 'Royal' a jewelry store with fancy jewelry

Alice Zinn- Pt. St. Lucie FL

Room box idea for Dad....I wanted to make a room box for my mil for her birthday. Her only real hobbies are her religion and namely helping others. One other thing though that came to mind for me was her helping out with my four kids and her other five grandkids. She and her husband had gone to Florida and brought us home all a large gourd (sure with she would have brought home more for us). Any way while at the hobby store I found a paper mache gourd. I made a scene inside and titled it 'Grandma's back yard' complete with tree, tire swing...remember I asked about what to use...silly me with four boys and tons of trucks etc. I am new and learning. When someone doesn't have a hobby try to think of likes/dislikes. And other silly things they do. Does dad always get up in the am have a cup of coffee and a piece of toast. How about a kitchen scene. I know bad example. Just an idea. I like the living room idea, dad's favorite chair and the tv idea. If he was a truck driver why not a truck stop.

Theresa McCann

Trucker room box: For a trucker room box, how about a truck cab. I know some of them can be quite exquisite with beds, fridges, elaborate dashboards with radios, TV's, computers, etc. I would think you could do a "dream cab" with all kinds of fabric.

Rhonda in Fl

Trucker room box: I was going to suggest a truck stop for the trucker-dad room box but I'm late-I can envision a tiny version of a cool little truck stop in Quartzsite, AZ that had all the amenities-showers, a phone lounge, good food, a gift shop. Laundry, too, if I recall.

kath (ct)

Trucker room box:: If your father drove to different places, what about a wall of license plates of the various states he traveled in - current or vintage, or ALL of all the license plates he might have seen. Exotic license plates (Arkansas! North Dakota!) have always been a thrill for me. And I've seen a few real license plate walls which are terrific.

Melissa in Vermont

Minis to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee: My dolls house club is holding a mini Golden Jubilee Summer Fayre. We are all making a different stall and will bring them together at the next meeting for display and a celebration of our own with plenty of food and drink! My own contribution is an Old English Sweets stall. I have been making toffee apples, dolly mixtures, lollipops, candyfloss, Turkish delight, liquorice, red, white & blue gobstoppers, sherbert etc etc etc for weeks now. My stall is decorated with little flags of course and I have made some weighing scales from a kit (thanks to Lesley from South Africa who pointed me in the right direction). I also have a doll that was made specially for me - her name is Violet Palmer (geddit?). Some of the other stalls are a Tombola, Refreshments, Jubilee China, Home Grown fruit and Veg competition, Kiddies lucky Dip. I'll take some digital pictures and put them up on my website. Be interested to know what others have done.


Victorian sewing room: How about some wicker rockers and table some dolls mother and some kids playing possibly a dress form?

Ann Weiner

Victorian Sewing room: you may get some ideas from my web site, There are 4 views on Page 4 under More Vignettes & Room Boxes.

Jeanette in Wisconsin

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