Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Some better pictures of my miniature Fortune Teller's Table in Progress

I wanted to put up some better photographs of my unfinished table and chair set :)  My last ones were pretty bad.  Here's a couple new ones and yes, it's not finished yet, far from it.  I got the chair recovered but it's not done being fixed up either.  Here's what I have so far:

I have so much more to make.  But you get the idea :)

Hey don't forget to go to my store if you have previously made a purchase in my etsy.com store and leave me a message letting me know you are entering our 100 follower celebration giveaway!  We are fast approaching 100 followers and this means we will be having a drawing for some sweet shop items.  And also, we are asking for customer photos of a project or scene that you have made featuring at least one item that either Sherry or I have made.  It's quite alright if your project is a work in progress and not complete!  That is understandable :)  We just want to feature customer photos on our giveaway celebration blog post.  You can choose to remain nameless as well, or not, but we just want pictures of your projects!  Again, contact me here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/tarayvonne
and I wil give you my private email adress for you to send in your photos and tell us at that time if you would like to be nameless or if you'd like your username or nickname (not real name) on the blog under your photos.  Welcome to my new followers!  We're very glad to have you here :)

We want to feature you on our blogs! All it takes is one single purchase from 19th day minis to do both of these things! Free stuff and a blog feature that gets viewed all over the world? How cool is that?! Please contact me to join!

I'm so sorry to all of you out there who cannot join the giveaway! This one in particular is for customers who have supported our art and helped in our sales. There will be others, (like our last giveaway at 50 followers) that will be for everyone who follows this blog. I won't forget you dears! But I wanted to do something special for those who collect Sherry and I's work. They have made it possible for us to continue doing what we love and we want to give back to those people this time around. Hopefully you all can understand and bear with us until the next at 150 followers when it will be anybody's drawing!


Monday, May 30, 2011

Have your fortune told by the famed voodoo queen, miniature style

I think at one point in so many miniature artist's lives, they are drawn to the taboo.  There is a moment where some slightly risque thing calls to them, "Create me."  Something not quite ok with society, something on the fringe of right and wrong.  And this is a safe medium, where you can make it and no one raises an eyebrow because it's from a world of make-believe :)  There is a sort of permission already granted, because it's not for real life.  And this is why miniature scenes are created around haunted houses, vampires, the occult, and the list goes on and on.

And also voodoo.  And fortune-telling.  The voodoo queen of New Orleans, Marie Laveau, has always fascinated me.

A simple history:
"The most famous voodoo queen in North America who were actually two persons—mother and daughter. They epitomized the sensational appeal of Vodounism New Orleans during the 19th and 20th centuries. They taught and used the religion’s magical powers to control one’s lovers, acquaintances, enemies.
Marie Laveau I, the mother, supposedly was born in New Orleans in 1794 and was considered a free woman of color. Being a mulatto, she was of mixed black, white and Indian blood. Sometimes she was described as a descendant of French aristocracy or a daughter of a wealthy white planter. Her marriage to Jacques Paris, a free man of color from Saint Dominque (Haiti), is recorded as occurring on August 4, 1819; the records also indicates the Marie Laveau was an illegitimate daughter of Charles Laveau and Marguerite Darcantrel. Paris, being a quadroon—three fourths white, disappeared soon after the marriage. Perhaps he returned to Saint Dominique, but his death certificate was filed five years later without any certificate of interment. Then Marie began addressing herself as the Widow Paris and took up employment as a hairdresser catering to the wealthy white and Creole women of New Orleans. This was the beginning of her later powers as Voodooienne. For the women confessed to Marie their most intimate secrets and fears about their husbands, their lovers, their estates, their husbands’ mistresses, their business affairs, and their fears of insanity.  Quickly tales circulated of hidden and secret rituals being held deep in the bayous, complete with the worship of a snake called Zombi, and orgiastic dancing, drinking, and lovemaking. By the 1830s there were many voodoo queens in New Orleans, fighting over control of the Sunday Congo dances and the secret ceremonies out at Lake Pontchartrain. But when "Mamzelle" Marie Laveau decided to become queen, contemporaries reported the other queens faded before her, some by crumbling to her powerful gris-gris, and some being driven away by brute force. Marie was always a devote Catholic and added influences of Catholicism--holy water, incense, statues of the saints, and Christian prayers--to the already sensational ceremonies of voodooism.  Eventually, Marie Laveau, with all of the secret knowledge which she had gained from the Creole boudoirs combined with her own considerable knowledge of spells along with her flair, became the most powerful woman in New Orleans. Whites of every class sought her help in their various affairs and amours while blacks saw her as their leader. Judges paid her as much as $1000 to win an election, other whites paid $10 for an insignificant love powder. She freely helped most blacks. To visit her for a reading became fashionable."

Of course, I had to do a voodoo queen table :)  I've got it started anyway.  I'll post updates as I get further along.  Right now, this is pretty basic and far from finished.  So much more going on here and the chair isn't redone yet.  A partial list of possible items going on this table:

gris gris bag
alligator taxidermy head
more religious artifacts (because Marie was devoutly Catholic, surprisingly)
broken egg
tarot cards
pillar candles that sit on the table top
voodoo dolls
and who knows what else I'll think of?

Here's what I have so far but I took these right before dark and they are difficult to make sense of:

That table topper is metal, by the way.  I've put it over the top of two voodoo-patterned table covers.  In the center is a rather large star which I'm going to try to not cover too much because in person it's very cool.  I can't tell you all the detail you're missing in these pictures, so sad!  Hopefully tomorrow I can turn out way better photos :(  Like for instance, on that plate is a very nice root, and on that plate will be the broken egg and feathers and runes.  As though Marie has been casting a fortune for some customer with her hoodoo ingredients, hehe.  And you can't see it well but there is a tiny statue of the virgin Mary with a rosary around her feet.  The metal cross is so tiny you wouldn't believe it!  Check back in tomorrow for new pictures and maybe a few new things on it :) 


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dollhouse Miniature Candyland/Wonka Trolley and Candy Tree Finished

I decided due to how highly labor intensive the first candy tree was to only do one with this set, but do it really well.  It wasn't easy to make, not at all.  But I truly feel it was worth it, it turned out so cute.  There are stacked, leaning brightly-colored ice creams sticking up here and there.  There brightly-colored tufts of "candy fluff" sticking up here and there, as well as regular green leaves growing out of two-tone candy branches.  Glistening little orbs perch here and there like dew.  The base it really pretty, surrounded by bright candy drops.  I'll add pictures of the set as a whole with the cart as well as pictures of the tree alone.  It's is really so much better in person!  I love it!

I'm not sure yet if this will be truly taken, it is pending approval from a client who spoke up for it first.  I guess we'll see :)

I want to welcome my new followers and thank you all for your support and interest in my work :)  Welcome dears!  Speaking of followers, we are fast approaching 100 followers now and do you know what that means???  Customer Appreciation Celebration Giveaway and Member Photo Sharing!!!
What does this mean?  If you have been a loyal customer of 19th Day Minis (meaning you have bought at least one item from either me or Sherry out of our etsy.com store located here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/tarayvonne?ref=si_shop
 then you are most welcome to join our blog giveaway!  What will we be giving away?  Candy-themed items of course :)  Three items, all candy-themed.
The grand prize?  A highly-decorated wall hanging candy shelf filled with goodies and held up by candy brackets.  I figure most everyone has shelving units that sit on the floor, but most people have nothing to hang on the walls.  The shelf would need to be glued onto the wall by you, being too small to actually put on hangers.  A little hot glue from a glue gun would work, or the ultimate glue if you aren't comfortable using a glue gun.  You would need to gently hold it in place long enough for it to dry a little if you do use a wet glue.  Otherwise it will slide down the wall.  Second place will be a smaller and therefore less detailed candy shelf, third place will be a small lolly pop display.  I'll post pictures after I make them. 

In order to enter, you simply have to contact me through my etsy store by way of the convo the seller link and tell me you are entering my blog giveaway and I will look up your purchase from our store by your username.  The link to my store is listed in this post.  

The member photo sharing means that I want pictures of your favorite project featuring at least ONE item (if not more) that you purchased from 19th Day Miniatures to be sent in to 19th Day Miniatures email address which I will give you if you contact me through my etsy store asking for it.  This way I don't get swamped with junk mail :)  We want to feature you on our blogs!  All it takes is one single purchase from 19th day minis to do both of these things!  Free stuff and a blog feature that gets viewed all over the world?  How cool is that?!  Please contact me to join! 

I'm so sorry to all of you out there who cannot join the giveaway! This one in particular is for customers who have supported our art and helped in our sales. There will be others, (like our last giveaway at 50 followers) that will be for everyone who follows this blog. I won't forget you dears! But I wanted to do something special for those who collect Sherry and I's work. They have made it possible for us to continue doing what we love and we want to give back to those people this time around. Hopefully you all can understand and bear with us until the next at 150 followers when it will be anybody's drawing!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Dollhouse Miniature Candyland/Willy Wonka Trolley almost done

I literally only have three more tiny things to make before the trolley is done.  I don't have time today because my son has a thing we have to go to for school today.  But I thought I could go ahead and post because it's nearly done and all I have to do basically is make the candy trees that go with it.  They won't be large, not much bigger than the trolley itself.  I'll start them tomorrow.  For now, I can show you this until I have the set completed which won't be long now.  I have to say this is my best piece to date, it's truly a labor of love and time.  I have worked slowly and enjoyed it, taken my time and done well.  It started really as a candyland theme but has evolved into a candyland/willy wonka and the chocolate factory trolley due to the lack of proper candy labels from anything candland related.  But, I'm glad it happened that way :)  It was really fun looking for wonka labels and finding my own "golden ticket" which now resides on the trolley next to the glass vase of lollies :)  I love this piece, truly love it and I am so proud of it.  My best work in my opinion to date :)  Anywho, here it is:

I just have to fill a little dish with candies (easy) and make a couple little draw-string bags with candy in them to stick in a couple spots that need something.  And make those small candy trees for on either side of the trolley :)  Should be a fun challenge.  I'll post an update when I'm all done.

Oh and, here's a funny little witch's/wizard night table stand I made for fun the other night when my brain was fried from too much candy-making:

It's all decked out in everything a witch could need, save the wand-because any good witch knows you don't just leave that laying around :) Someone might sneak in and swipe it! Much safer underneath your pillow :) Instead, this has the much needed hat stand for taking off one's hat at the end of a long day of potion making. Spell books, because you never have a better time to brush up on your potions knowledge than right before bed. Speaking of potions, here he or she left three of them bottled up in neat little bottles marked with poisonous tags. And scrolls, there are always scrolls piled here and there in a wizard's house-everyone knows that! Cloak has been hastily tossed away in the drawer with a little left hanging out because a witch has better and more dubious things to do than tidy up :) Last but not least is her Sister, currently transfigured into a frog because they got into an argument and there's no better way to end that and shut her up than by turning her into a frog for the night! That'll teach her! The only way to know this frog is really a witch is by her little witch hat sitting on the frog's little head :) That gives it away :) So now you know what exactly would be sitting on the night stand of a witch :) Oh yeah, and the hat is genuine rustic suede as well. Quality is important to me in my materials.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just for fun, Hogwarts Perfume Bottle/Miniature bottle for display

My last perfume bottle sold, so I decided to make another one a little different today :)  These are wildly fun to make!  Still wrapped up in the thought that this is the last of these movies and waxing nostalgic over how much our family has enjoyed them all of these years, I had to do a Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Perfume Bottle :)  What better for the top?  Why a potion cauldron of course!  This cauldron has a mixture of fun that has plenty to see in it, candies and mushrooms and pretty shiny bubbles, etc.  This particular brew has boiled over the pot, some spells just can't be contained :)  And on the side of the bottle?  Why it's Trevor the toad!  I guess Neville has lost him again :)  I don't blame him, even frogs are attracted to things that smell good.  And this scent?  It's Hogwarts in a bottle :) 

It smells of craggy old leather spell books, parchment, sweet cakes, ton tongue toffees, Hagrid's treacle, tea leaves from Professor Trelawney's room, and there just may be a little Amortentia love potion thrown in there somewhere :) It's the experience of Hogwarts castle in perfume form.

This double-purpose bottle has been designed by me to fit the Harry Potter miniature theme I've been making. I wanted to create a bottle that, when the perfume inside has been used up could double as a miniature decoration for Harry Potter enthusiasts and miniature collectors. This bottle could sit on the floor beside a cabinet or sit on a cabinet top. I have designed the perfume inside to match the theme, which is Wizard's School.

To get to the perfume inside, one simply has to gently pull up on the bottle topper (which is quite sturdy but you'll want to be careful of the more delicate areas) by the metal cauldron. I've done it several times successfully without incident. I'm just careful about it as to not damage it by being too rough. It opens just fine, and restoppers just fine. The stopper itself is a rubber plunger that slips down inside the bottle neck.

The listing is here:

and there is no possibility that I'll make another like this.  These bottles will always be one of a kind.  Different every time!

I wish you all could see how cute this is in hand!  So much better than these pics show :(

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dollhouse Miniature Candyland Trolley coming along nicely :)

I have been hard at work filling numerous orders so I haven't been able to keep up with my blog much right now.  I'm currently making another Upelkuchen cake in the footed box and then I have a Bertie Botts Cabinet custom order to make.  So I'll be a bit busy for some time.  I also made this lovely custom ordered ice cream holder for a dear client who's putting together a Honeydukes sweet shop out of many of Sherry and I's Honeydukes items we've made:

This will go in her shop window :)

In between drying times on things I have been trying to work on my Candyland Trolley.  I really love how it's turning out so far :)  I've been making items to put on it, like this sweet platter:
I needed to use some white on the trolley due to all of the colors already on it.  Otherwise, they just sort of blend in to the pastel wash finish.  Hard to tell on the picture, but the platter is far more detailed and pretty in person.
Here's what I've done thus far:

Still so far to go but I do have some tall thin glass containers full of various candies.

a better shot of those tall containers

Whew that one is a little bright and washed out looking :(  Goofy camera.
Still have to make the other pieces for the top twirly display.  There will be a couple ice creams I think.  A chocolate cone with bits of candy bar in it and a bright candied vanilla one with a cherry on top.  As you can maybe see, I've made a cute little decorated chocolate cake with a slice taken out of it.  There is also a glass pedestal candy cup holding various sugared suckers and lolly pops.  There are shiny glass orbs inside the glass cup that are currently swimming in clear glue that has yet to dry out :)   The glue will shrink up leaving only the orbs showing holding in the stems of the candy pops.  I wish you all could see how lovely this really is in person!  I'll post updates as I work along.     

Friday, May 13, 2011

Candyland Miniatures and Honeydukes Oil Perfume :)

Here's little update on my miniature Candyland Trolley which is now on hold for one of my customers pending approval.  I can't get too far until my glassware comes in the mail, but you'll see the general idea.

I've built my three shelf riser for the middle on which candy will be arranged around.  On the top is a candy holder that will be holding cotton candy (pictured), lolly pops (one of which is pictured), and ice cream cones.  I have to make more of everything so this is all I have to show right now.  I'll post updates as I get further along.  It all take awhile and I'm still filling custom orders too alongside making this.  Working on another pumpkin bench right now.  As well as this:

This is my Honeydukes Oil Perfume without a label so you all can see the inside.  As you can see, there are little candy sticks inside (fake candy) and what you can't see inside is cosmetic grade glitter (just a little to pretty it up) floating in there.  I thought this would be a fun idea to make individual perfumes in decorated bottles that when empty could be used in a miniature room or scene or just left on a dresser for display.  A bottle worth keeping, based on whatever theme I happen to be making at the time.  And the perfume?  They will never be the same or duplicated exactly.  Unique, one of a kind scents. 
These bottles hold just under 5 ml of perfume oil.  They are shorter than regular oil perfume bottles, but wider.  I poured water into an empty bottle and then poured it out into a liquid medicine cup and it measured exactly 5 ml but I'm calling it under that by a smidgen just in case.  In a miniature scene, this could be used on the top of a cabinet or left sitting on the floor next to a cabinet in a Honeydukes miniature shop. 
This scent smells a little like those candied peach gummy rings we have here in the US.  I wanted it to fit the Honeydukes theme, so it's bright and peachy with a sweet candy finish.  A drop of liqueur scent (no there is no alcohol in this, just a light hint of that smell) adds a grown up twist.  

To get to the perfume inside, one simply has to gently pull up on the bottle topper (which is quite sturdy but you'll want to be careful of the more delicate candy pieces) by the white part.  I've done it several times successfully without incident.  I'm just careful about it as to not damage the little candies.  It opens just fine, and restoppers just fine.  The stopper itself is a rubber plunger that slips down inside the bottle neck.  

I will list more of these in different themes as I make them and there is no guarantee I will ever sell another just like the one available now.  They will change a bit every time I make a new one.  I get bored and want to do something new so there will be variations.
Here it is all done now and I will be listing it later on.  
I've added on a little vintage witch and cat image which is so cute :)

Thank you all for your kind words about all of my blog posts, I always appreciate that!  You're all so sweet :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ok ok, I know I said no more candy but....

When I was a little girl, I loved board games.  When I was really little, I used to sit and look at the lovely and cute little images on my Candyland game board :) 
I used to wish it was a real place I could go to some day :)  As a grown up (well ok, not so much even at 33 years old) I know that's not possible and yet the little girl in me still secretly wishes it were real :)  That being said, how wonderful that now I can just make one myself.  Even if it's not full size :)  Here and there as I can between custom orders I'm still filling, I'll be making candy pieces of all different sorts, including candy cane trees :) I had this extra trolley left over from ordering stuff for Honeydukes and decided I still feel like putting candy on it.  But bright happy candy, and the trolley would be a confectionery creation of scallops and pastels while the candy on it will be bright and colorful.  I'll be building a three tiered display for the center of the trolley filled to the brim with candy...like the whole top of the cart will be overflowing with candies of every kind.  This will be a tall display that tiers down smaller on each level.  The top most peaks will have a holder with both cotton candy and ice creams, the next levels will have boxes and bags and jars of candies in neat rows around each level. 

And the trolley?  I just finished applying the most elaborate paint job I've ever done and I will NEVER do another one like this because it took quite awhile.  I wanted to do a pastel watercolor-effect wash over the whole thing.  This is soft, whimsical and beautiful in person.  I just want this one to be "pretty" and bright.  I wanted it to feel "candy-like" and childish.  I want whomever buys pieces of this set as I make it to feel when they see it in person for the first time like they just won this:

Ok so here's what I did with the trolley, my multi-pastel watercolor-washed and sparkled little beauty:

Keep in mind a lot of the shelves and top will be covered in candy and containers holding candy so much of the shelves will be covered in stuff.  I want this thing loaded! 

I have to work on custom orders still and I won't let those people down.  But I will work on this here and there as I can.  I hope my customers with orders can be patient with me :)  I tried to take a break so I could make some new things but I still had orders come in anyway.  So hopefully if I sneak in something I want to do amid all the orders you all will understand :)  I hope so!  This helps me not "burn out" on mini making. 


Monday, May 9, 2011

One last Honeydukes custom order, and then on to other things

I just wanted to show you all the custom order I was commissioned to do, a custom-colors Honeydukes Cabinet made to the buyer's specifications.  Here it is :

That's two large cotton candies under there, along with lolly pop trees in glass candy dishes :)