Friday, October 28, 2011

*Updated, now available for sale-The Worst Pies in London in miniature, completed :)

The sale of this item fell through and it is now available for purchase in my Etsy store with extended 3 week layway available:
It was a long hard battle, but I toughed it out and finally finished my Mrs. Lovett's Pie Making Counter based on the movie Sweeney Todd by Tim Burton.  These pictures that I'll post somewhere along the way are horrible and I shot them in my photocube at night so they are the worst they could possibly be.  I'll change out all the pictures tomorrow morning to show a true view of all the details on this piece.  There isn't a piece on or in this that hasn't either been completely hand-made or refinished by me.  Right down to the hand-made knife and the tiny bug in front.  Size comparison on the bug?  I could fit four of them on my pinkie fingernail which is short right now.  It's VERY small and it was a beast to make!  This counter is 1/12 scale, but built slightly taller than an average 1/12 scale counter as per the one in the movie.  It's designed so that the person making the pies wouldn't have to bend over as much to make them, thus causing strain on the back during prolonged work hours :) 

I found a rather bad clip from the movie of Mrs. Lovett making pies, but first you'll want to go turn off my blog's music player.  There is a clickable button on the player that shuts it off.  Here's the video:
And this ridiculous nastiness is what I was trying to convey in this piece.  I wanted to stay as true to the movie counter as possible.  That included bugs and filth :)  It's totally gross!  And for some reason this tickled my funny bone, the sheer grime and awfulness of the pies being made with bugs all over everything.  Without it, it's not the London of that particular time period for the people living in the lower class areas.  And without the gross aspect of the counter, bugs, rats, blood-to me it's not "Sweeney Todd" enough.  It had to be dirty.  I worked hard to make this thing look filthy-it's not as easy to do as it sounds!  Because it isn't dirty, I built it by hand from new wood and flawless trim and shiny new white clay :)  To get it looking like that was a chore and a half!  It took me a full week to build it myself.  The clay tile work took another four days.  No one but me would be crazy enough to start this thing from scratch and build it like I did.  I still can't believe I did it!  And I have to say this is one of my favorite pieces I have ever made and I feel a real sense of accomplishment when I look at how well it turned out.  The sign on it wasn't on there but I felt the need to put one on.  It explains the miniature to those who wouldn't know who might look at it and be confused as to why someone would try to make something look filthy and gross and buggy.  I mean there's even the bug splat from her hitting the roach with her rolling pin!  Yucky!  Now the answer is just a Google away to anyone curious enough to look :)
I guess I should just post the pictures and quit running on and on huh?  Ok please check back in tomorrow to see better photos!

Here you can see Mrs. Lovett's gin bottle, bucket of human meat, buggy flour barrel, rat-infested cornmeal and there's lovely bucket of human bones which you can't see in this picture.  Also not seen, another rat, blood splats on the floor of the counter, etc.  Inside the basket are various vegetables that are dirty.  Another fun fact about this is that I used glow in the dark clay extensively and this thing lights up at night like it has been sprayed with luminol (I think that's the name of the blood detecting spray used by the police at crime scenes) which is quite fitting for this miniature!  It looks cool in the dark too :) 

Like I said, there will be 100 percent better photos tomorrow that will really show the quality of the work and all the gory details :)  Please come back when I have better pictures available!  These make me sad :(

Updated with new pictures here:


Sunday, October 23, 2011

A little more progress on my miniature Mrs. Lovett's Meat Pie Counter

It's slow going, but I'm getting somewhere finally.  I've had a constant stream of activity at my house and people in and out so my time for working has been limited at the moment.  Retired parents and kids in and out have made a difference on my progress.  It will be done sometime!  Anyways I thought I'd show you all what I do have done.  The process of tiling the whole thing tile by tile has been rough!  Man it takes along time!  But I still don't think there would have been a better way to get the look I achieved without doing it this way.  There would have been no good way to get the weathered dirtiness of the counter without putting the time in on it that I have.  And as you can see from the back of the counter picture I'm not done yet.  And those tiles haven't been distressed to look old and dirty enough yet.  And the arrangement of things on this is not the way it will be, I'll refer to the movie to get that right.  And the pies are not made yet of course.  I still have to make the dirty vegetables for the basket, a dirty kitchen hand towel, the pies, a barrel of buggy cornmeal, the bugs that go all over the whole thing, the rolled out floured pie crust, a bowl of broken open eggs, etc.  I have my work cut out for me.  There's still plenty to do.  But I think what I have so far is very accurate to the movie and I'm happy with it.  I'll be a lot happier in the end of course when it's done.  I like the little fingers and eyes in the bowl of runny meat for the pie filling :)  My fingers turned out well, and they are so tiny!  Do you guys think the bucket of intestines and meat cuts should go underneath the counter or on top of it?  I really did a good job on them, they are really gross in person and realistic!  There are even little red veins running over the surface of the intestines :)  And I took a lot of time on the finish of the bucket as well as the barrels to get them looking aged and just right.  There will be more stuff in this, I just need time to make it all!  I want it full and gross :)  I might even make a little mouse to stick under the counter just for good measure, as though he's been in the cornmeal or something.  Matter of fact I think I'll have him in the cornmeal!  Sticking out of the barrel.  That barrel isn't in the photo because I haven't got the cornmeal in it yet.  Here's what I have so far:


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Still busy, working on Mrs. Lovett's Meat Pie Counter

I don't have any pictures yet, but I am working on the counter.  I had to take a few days to do yard work.  We have 32 trees in our yard and they drop massive amounts of leaves.  Getting them all up takes some time.  I also had a ton of orders to pack and ship, there seemed to be a lot of sales at one time and packing them all up took me a day and a trip to the post office.   

I decided to have my husband help me open up the back of the pie counter so I could fill it as well, and put in a shelf.  It seemed less impressive the way it was, with only the top to decorate.  It didn't seem realistic that it wouldn't be open in the back with storage space.  So today I worked on getting that looking right, and making the shelf for the inside.  Turns out it's not easy painting a faux "filth" paint job :)  I think I did quite well though in the end.  I will post pictures as soon as I get the counter tiled, which is very time-consuming and tedious.  Probably why I'm stalling on doing that part of it.  I'm making the tiles by hand from clay, which is a blended off-white tile made of various clays that really give that authentic grimy look to the piece.  I'm trying very hard to stay true to the original counter in the movie in every way possible.  That means it looks filthy (but isn't) and there will be cracked tiles and discolored tiles mired with all things gross :)  I've also been making and painting accessories for both the top and inside of the cabinet that I'm very proud of.  There will be a large dirty rectangular basket full of various things like potatoes and carrots in various states of decay.  Distressing the basket was quite a job of layers, both paint and wood stain and finally polyurethane to seal it all in.  It looks old and dirty now.  I have several wood pieces I had to work on and distress to look old and yucky.  They have a tudor look to them with a layer of blackening and grime.  A metal banded bucket for instance, will hold entrails :)  I also have two very old looking small barrels that hold flour and cornmeal.  They will have bugs of course.  Metal ale mugs have been dirtied and darkened as well, like the dirty one Mrs. Lovett pours something out of and then fills with ale for Sweeney when he first enters her pie shop.  I've done a very good job of refinishing metal pots to look like aged, crusty old copper pots that will hold meats with icky parts sticking out.  There is also a realistically blackened copper kettle going underneath the counter.  There will be a stack of dirty white plates with the same pattern found in the movie.  I made a copper water pitcher exactly like the one on the counter in the movie and I think it turned out very well.  I'm still waiting on some of my bowls for the counter top to come in, they must be held up somewhere.  I have the large cutting board for the top made as well, and there will be rolled out pie crust on it and a rolling pin that I have yet to make.  This is a large project full of things that must be hand-made so it all takes time.  The pies themselves will be last, and I plan on doing them to the best of my ability.  Oh and also the bowls of meat, eggs, etc.  Stay tuned and bear with me on the time it's taking me.  This one isn't easy and I'm trying really hard to stay accurate to the one in the movie which isn't easy at all!  It should be quite interesting when it's done, I can tell you that :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

A quick note

Yuck, I just got my first neutral feedback today that I've ever had in my life.  My reputation tarnished, yay, what a great way to start the day :(  So I just thought I'd explain really quick what exactly happened so you all don't think I'm slipping in my service or whatever you might think.  Someone bought an item that was clearly marked "reserved, please don't buy" in both the title and description of the item.  Someone else had put the item on layaway and paid down half the money for it.  We do this all the time in my shop, it helps people afford the more expensive items that they want without straining their budgets.  Well when the new person bought the reserved item, I went in a refunded her money and explained very nicely that the item had already been purchased by someone else and apologized for the mix-up.  I canceled the transaction out, again saying that I was sorry that the item was not available once again.  So instead of being mature about it, apparently the woman was at least slightly mad at me and left me a neutral.  I got a neutral for her mistake, lol.  Oh well, what can you do. 

Anyways I just roughly built Mrs. Lovett's pie counter.  It's not tiled yet but the dimensions are 7" long x 3 " deep x 3" tall roughly.  The stuff that will be on top will change that of course.  I built it a bit taller and longer than a normal miniature counter because it was taller and longer in the movie than a standard counter.  And I needed the room for what will be on it as well.  It looks pretty awful right now but won't be in the end.  I was just getting a feel for my new tabletop scroll saw and it was very nice to not saw on wood for ten hours by hand :)  Just keep in mind the whole thing will be covered in tiles in the end.  This is  just the basic shape I needed the frame to be.  And as for the things on top, that's all that's came in right now.  There will be so much more before it's over.

Yicky, needs some tile in a hurry!  I also found this gorgeous metal bowl very similar to the one on the counter in the movie and bought it right away because it's perfect!

I also sold my Three Broomsticks sign, and had an order for a Honeydukes and Olivanders Wand Shop sign as well.  So I'll be making those as I go along here.  I started the Honeydukes, but that sign is really basic.  I just have the sign made right now without the hanging bracket or chains that hold it up.  The other one is not started yet.  Honeydukes:
Of course this isn't done.  I have more to do to this part of it as well, this is just a basic start.
I'll post updates when I get done with them :) 


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Just about to get started on my Miniature Mrs. Lovett's Pie Counter and a couple new things

First of all, welcome to my dear new followers!  Thanks for joining in to see what Sherry and I have coming up in the future!  We appreciate every comment and just adore talking to you all!  If you haven't joined Sherry's blog (19th Day Co-Creator Sherry who happens to be my beloved Mother-in-Law) you should go join her blog because she has some amazing skills!  I happen to think she makes some of the best birds in the business!  She's also very good at dressing some of my creations such as the white rabbit from alice in wonderland, the headless horseman, and alice in wonderland herself :)  Her blog is located here: 

What have I been doing the past couple of days?  First I made a ghost sculpture from polymer that I think would be neat in a haunted house scene or a Halloween graveyard:

which is available in my store now for the very reasonable price of $30.00.  I did it just for fun and it wasn't a big intense project :)  Apparently I like Halloween so much I can't stop making little bits of this or that in celebration of the season.

Then I had a custom order for another Honeydukes Chocolate Frog display so I got that done:

Sorry about the multiple shots but you all know I like messing around with photography and props :)
I think this turned out very good.  I did make the backboard sign a little bigger this time because I felt the last one was too short and didn't really say "display" as well as it should have.  It was still cute but I felt the back sign needed to be slightly taller.  That's the only change and it's not a major one.

Last night I decided to make a hanging sign out of this wooden ornament I had.  So I did :)  It's OOAK because I don't have another wooden ornament to use to make another, so when it's gone it's gone for good.  It had a hideous painted Christmas tree on it that I sanded off and then I refinished the piece into what you now see before you. The rustic wooden feel of the piece lent itself well to this particular Harry Potter place of business :) I felt it could really do the pub proud. It is meant to be glued directly onto the side of your miniature building-which is quite easy with an inexpensive glue gun that can be purchased at any hobby store or discount store. Not comfortable using one? A nice big glob of super glue will also do the trick, but you'll have to hold it in place as it dries! Matter of fact if you do use a glue gun I would advise going around the base with some super glue anyway to really hold it on after the hot glue dries. Oh you know, you'll figure it out :) It measures roughly 3 1/2 inces wide and 3 1/4 inches tall.  I tried to capture some of the look of the real sign at Universal Studios in Florida.  It's not exact by any means, but I think it works very well.  

I'm going to be making a Honeydukes Sign as well, which hopefully will look like the real one as close as I can get it with what I have on hand.

Also, tonight I begin my Mrs. Lovett's pie counter.  I had to wait on my husband to help me because he bought me a new scroll saw that's quite large and scary.  Two nights of fishing and running aside, I think I might have him pinned down tonight into helping me learn how to use it safely :)  This way I don't lose a finger or two trying to figure it out!  Although fingers really do fit into the grand scheme of the miniature I'll be making :)  But I was hoping to use some fingers in it that weren't actually mine :)  Hehe!  Ok enough goofing around.  Here's my bowls I picked up for it so far:  
I bought two that look very similar to this real bowl and look just as antique and primitive and they were the only ones I could find on all of ebay and etsy like this bowl:

but they only have one solid blue band around the rim.  And then I bought these that looked aged as well and slightly icky-looking:
because again, they looked old and used.  Remember everything must be a little gross :)  I also picked up a different bowl that will hold eggs and a wire whisk for beating them.  I'm making a rolling pin because I couldn't find one similar enough to hers in the movie.  I have so much to do but at least you get the idea :)  Of course these will be the worst pies in London :)

Also I should mention this might already be sold, not quite sure.  It depends on if she likes how it turns out :)

Alrighty then everyone, have a lovely day and keep on collecting!



Monday, October 10, 2011

Dollhouse Miniature Marie Antoinette Set done, and other new items

I've been having a bit of trouble at home with our renovations to our house, so mini making has been on the back burner :(  Why is it when you tear into an old house that you find more issues than you ever thought you would?  Anyway, sleep has been hard to come by and things got a little crazy.  We've gotten some help from family and friends now and are finally getting a little peace.  Heck last night I even got some sleep!  I did finally get my Marie set done though, and a couple other things listed that were quicker to do:

Eeek, you can see my shirt and jacket in the mirror :)  I was a little iffy about the face on the wig stand, but I figure anyone who might not like it could easily paint it plain white with craft paint and it would look like a faceless mannequin head stand.  Everything else is pretty I think.  This is a totally girly set.
Also, this is OOAK.  It won't be made EVER again lol.  
Available here in my store:

Here's neat little thing, a witch vanity table:

A pretty little witch's vanity, for your dollhouse! I personally think not all witches are hideous old crones! I mean really, they start out young at some point don't they? Just picture a young Bellatrix Lestrange getting ready to go out and there you have it, her setting at a vanity table like this one getting ready! There's even a beautiful box of poisons on the table! What else? Sex-ay

little black gloves that have recently done some dirty work, a vanity tray with bottles and a single rose from an admirer, a book on palm reading for the girl "in the know", a mirrored compact with powder puff, a gorgeous little facial mirror on stand with a crescent moon and a little lady witch laying back on it. Like I said, this is for a girl who knows not only how to cast a spell (and not just with a wand :), but also knows her way around a good curse or hex!

And then a necklace I just made and listed (not a miniature, a regular necklace to be worn):

Both of these can be found here:

Yay, life is getting a little back to normal for me now :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Miniature Marie Antoinette updates, and a new project on my plate

I'm a little tired out after my company left but I've managed a little work on my Marie Antoinette set.  It's not cleaned up yet after all the handling from me working on it so there are a few visible boo boos in these pictures especially on the mirror.  All of that will be cleaned off in the end.  I decided it needed a few frou frou touches here and there to posh it up a bit.  This is based on Marie Antoinette after all :)  And I pulled off one of the brass pedestal dishes to make way for the forthcoming stand and wig.  The other matching pedestal on the other side I made into a fancy little rose flower arrangement.  So flowers on one side, fancy wig on the other :)  I have to make a little jewel dish for the bare side as well.  There will be more on this in time.  I'm just a little tired out right now.  The side chest of drawers has a little sign on it with Marie's famous saying "Let them eat cake" and beside it is a lovely pink filigree cake stand I made.  There's just no cake on it yet because I'm not at that point yet.  I still have a little painting to do on the furniture because I saw some flaws when I took it out into natural light to photograph it today.  Those will be cleaned up and fixed as well.  I want this set as close to perfect as I can get it in the end :)  I figure if no one buys it I can always keep it :)  I like putting out minis just for decoration in my house in random areas.  I think this would be darling in the bathroom or bedroom on a shelf :)  Who ever said minis couldn't be regularly displayed wherever you want in your home?  I like them wherever I want them!  Hehe.  If it's crazy I don't care because it's my house after all :)  Well anyway, here's what little I have done so far:

Yikes this does need cleaned up a bit.  But you get the idea anyway.  I get things all goobed up while I'm working on them and then I clean them up well before the final reveal :o  Oh wells, ya know :)

One last thing, I have just recently watched Sweeney Todd for the first time and have fallen in love with it :)  I can't believe I haven't seen it before now.  I guess it's because the whole musical thing put me off.  I figured it would be annoying.  And it was for my husband, so maybe it's not much of a guy thing.  Don't know.  Me being the Tim Burton fan that I am though, I should have given it a chance.  Finally curiosity got the better of me after seeing some great minis based on it.  I bought a copy on ebay cheap and instantly was smitten with it :)  It's not your regular musical by any means.  Yes there is a ton of singing but the whole theme is horror based so it's ok in the end.  I will admit I can't watch the murder scenes well.  I end up looking away.  But the rest is so charming I forgive those icky scenes.  It's darling if you watch it closely and pay attention to the plot. 

And the point of this is I have to make Mrs. Lovett's pie making counter, bugs and all.  Pies with fingers sticking out of them, cockroaches, etc.  It's too hilarious not too.  It's so disgusting!  My corny sense of humor was taken with the absurdity of the whole thing.  It will be grimy, flour everywhere, cockroaches climbing all over the food, etc.  Horrible, yet somehow funny.  I guess you'd have to see the movie to "get   it".  This will be another I could seriously keep just for the fun of it.  Because the macabre nature of it 
delights me in ways I don't even understand lol!  I can't explain it to you if I can't even explain it to myself hehe.  All I know is that I was struck with an uncontrollable desire to make this gross mini and have been shopping for parts ever since :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Update-now SOLD-Our miniature version of the Headless Horseman is done :)

This item is now sold to someone in my area, it is no longer available.

Updated-new pictures:

Yesterday's post:
I only have to add a little hair around the hooves and this guy is finished :)  I would have had it done but the light was fading outside and I wanted to snap some pictures before I lost the opportunity to shoot them outside.  Sherry got him all dressed, I made his sword and put him on the horse with his flaming pumpkin head in his hand.  He's glued in, reins in hand.  I added some scenery to the base, just a little because I didn't want it to distract from the Horseman and his horse Goblin.  I added a little blood here and there, because this is the Hessian Horseman who collects heads until his own is returned :)  Of course there would be blood.  Tonight I'll be finishing him up by adding a little hair around the hooves of the horse and then he'll be listed tomorrow.  This was our big Halloween project and finishing it marks the end of our Halloween crafting.  I have some custom orders to do, but I want to finish up my Marie Antoinette set first.  I have some lovely ideas for it.  But for now, here's Sherry and I's version of the Headless Horseman (and yes it's lot of pictures but some are better than others or offer a better look at one thing or another):

I'm not going to blog this after I add the hair because the difference won't be enough to worry about.  This will be listed tomorrow sometime at the price of $275.00.  It's 9 1/2 inches tall, around 7 1/2 inches wide at the base.  It's a 1/12 scale horse and rider.  Also I forgot to mention that there is glow in the dark paint used here and there all over this set so there is some glow to it when the lights are off.  Key parts of the horse like the eyes, nostrils, hooves, etc. are glow painted.  And the horseman's neck is made of glow in the dark clay that really glows well :)