Tuesday, December 11, 2012

An Apology to My Readers





I didn't want to have to do it, but I've been forced to make a few changes to the comments section of the blog. Comments can be made by registered users and you will have to submit a word verification. I really hate to have to do that because I do not want to discourage my readers from commenting on posts. However, the spam posts have become ridiculous and Blogger is missing 90 percent of them.  I apologize for any inconvenience but it's the only way I can combat the rampant adult oriented spam being put in the comments section. Thank you for your understanding!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Diorama Prop Alert


With winter holiday season just around the corner, check the Christmas ornament aisle at your local retail stores.  Craft, big box, hardware, home decor and even grocery stores sell tree ornaments.  You can find many items suitable for Barbie in amongst the holiday decor. 




 Wally world is selling these adorable faux chandeliers. I found black & blue. They are covered with glitter and have the most charming sparkly beads. You can make these even more charming by stringing beads between the arms. Even though they do not light up, they still add a layer of glamour to your dollhouse or diorama scene.




They also have these delightful trees that look like they are made out of peppermint candy ribbons. Look for this tree to make an appearance in an upcoming holiday diorama. 





Picture frame ornaments are fantastic too. These black ones are from Wally world. I love the ornate details. Made out of resin, they are meant to hold a photograph. You could put in a craft mirror, printable artwork, images from cards or old books, and even your own photo to create custom art for Barbie & friends.

What great treasures have you found lately? Any tips for using non-doll items in a doll setting? I'd love to hear your comments!

Thanks for stopping by~

Happy Crafting!
Stephiejo

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Independence Day


Happy 4th of July!  To all my American readers, a little red white and blue to celebrate our nations Independence!



Happy Crafting,
Stephiejo

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Kitchen Littles Stoves: White 1996 vs. Pink 2009


The topic of the original KL stove verses the newer one came up in conversation with a customer of mine.  I thought that I would share the comparison with all my readers.  


The Kitchen Littles brand appliances are darling, realistic replicas that work well with the  10 to 12 inch fashion dolls.  


It measures 6.5 inches high, 5 inches wide, and 4 inches deep.  


The cooktop is 5.75 inches from the floor. The center of the burners are metal with black grates around the outside.  The back of the stove has a detailed sticker decal and a silver painted dial that is molded into the plastic. The dial is decorative not functional.


 The four dials in the front of the stove are  actually buttons that when pushed will give realistic kitchen sounds.  The button on the far left makes a ticking timer sound that dings when it's finished. The second button makes a sizzling bacon sound.  The third button sounds like a whistling tea kettle.  The fourth and final button will turn on the oven light.  The oven is operable with a cute silver rack so that Barbie can bake her cakes and casseroles. 


The drawer at the bottom opens up for storage of pots and pans, a must have in a small Barbie kitchen! 


I really like the depth of this stove back. It creates  a ledge that you can prop spice jars on to make a realistic looking display. 


The battery compartment is in the back and there is no on/off switch.


The Hot Pink KL stove is equally cute, although slightly different in its design.  It measures 6.5 inches high, 5 inches wide and 4 inches deep. The stovetop height is slightly shorter than the original at 5.5 inches from the floor. 



The back stove panel incorporates a control panel decal, although I am disappointed that the back of the stove lacks the depth of the original. 



The burners of the newer model look more like a gas stove. The knobs on the front of the stove all turn and make a clicking noise as you move them. 


The knob on the far left will raise the "flame" in the left front burner. The knob on the far right will raise the flame on the right front burner. The two middle knobs turn but do not provide any function. The really neat part of this newer model is the way the stove makes sounds. If you put an item on the left rear burner, it will make a sound like a whistling tea kettle. (no more button pushing!). If you place an item on the right rear burner it will make a sizzling bacon sound!  



The battery compartment is also in the back and includes an on/off switch. This is a great addition if you want to use the stove without hearing the noises.  Sadly there is no kitchen timer feature with this model, but you do get a faux digital clock! 


The oven is also operable and I like that the oven grate is more centered in the oven rather than at the bottom of the original.  (oven decals are NOT included-I added after I purchased) A bonus feature, the light in the oven turns on when you OPEN the door! No button to push.



 There is a storage drawer as well and it's quite a bit smaller than the original.



Side by side comparison of the drawers:



Overall I think both stoves are fantastic.  I added a rub on decal to the glass door of my pink one to give it a little attitude.

One more look side by side:



If I can get my hands on any more of the original KL stoves I will certainly add to my store. I have the pink version in stock new in the box.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Crafting ~
Stephiejo

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Red Hot Penthouse Decor


This is what I imagine Barbie's Fifth Avenue penthouse apartment might look like.




Red leather chaise, modern glass coffee table, acrylic nesting end tables, chrome wall sconces and a fabulous damask wallpaper accent. 



The perfect retreat and sanctuary...





A place to entertain guests...




Or just a place to relax after a long day of work.


You can achieve this look with a few simple techniques. The papered walls are two silver colored doll boxes. If you do not have any boxes that are already silver-cover them in grey construction paper, contact paper, gift wrap or scrapbook paper. The damask pattern is a scrapbook piece. I left a large section of the grey visible to visually heighten the room. The chaise is a piece from the My Scene Party Pad. Originally purple, the legs were finished with a chrome color. The faux leather look was achieved with layers of paint. Each tufted button is a sparkly crystal accent. The coffee table base began as a bench in another My Scene bedroom playset. I removed the seat-painted it to look like wrought iron then used a smoke colored piece of oval glass for the table top.

The wall sconces are custom made using mirrored tiles, beads, jewelry findings, plastic pieces, super glue and silver paint.




Thanks for stopping by...

Happy Crafting!

Stephiejo

Friday, March 30, 2012

Featured Fan Friday


This weeks featured fan is Tara who has created some really unique Victorian style rooms to showcase her Victorian Barbie collections. She is currently in the process of creating a website to showcase her work. When the site becomes available I will let you know. She has graciously sent me some photos as well as some valuable historical information to share with all of you. Tara has some very creative ideas on adding realism to your dollhouse and diorama settings. The following is written by Tara. All photographs belong solely to her, posted here with permission.  Enjoy!~

Front Entrance Hall

The Entrance Hall set the tone of the house. Every Victorian dwelling had one, even if it was a tiny closet-sized anteroom fit only for wiping boots and sheltering the guest from inclement weather.
Very civilized, if you think about it!
In wealthier homes the Entrance Hall, or foyer grew larger and more elaborate, and was an indication of how comfortably well off the owners were.  It served as a formal waiting area where the visitor could be officially greeted by the head parlor maid or, if they were really affluent, the butler, who would then announce your arrival to the mistress of the home.  

If you knew your hostess was home and expecting visitors you would take off your coat or cape, hang it up with your bonnet and store your parasol or walking cane. While you waited you could warm yourself by the fireplace they often had one in the foyer check out the mirror to make sure you were tidy and admire the wealth of your friend and ponder how well she had married.

Victorian women operated under a burden of protocol most gals of today would find incomprehensible. In the days before telephones.....and certainly Twitter!! }A typical middle or upper class woman socialized by having "Home Days" and "Visiting Days". These were official specific afternoons when you were prepared for guests to drop by, so you made sure the house was clean and tidy and perfect. Every woman had her own visiting card,  called a "carte de visite" with her name and her Home Days available printed on it, so everyone knew who  was home when, and they all took turns visiting each other. 

A lady would make the rounds by herself, with her daughters or perhaps another friend usually between 3 and 5 pm. They would go specifically to the addresses of friends they knew were having "Home Days" which meant the lady in question was ready and prepared to receive visitors. On Home Day a friend could drop by unannounced, be received in the front hall and then wait for the hostess to appear doubtless in an elegant "at home" outfit to usher you into the Parlor for a nice chat. 

A visit was supposed to last no more than 15 minutes, unless subtle signals by the hostess invited the visitor to stay longer for tea and cake, or perhaps cucumber sandwiches.{Yes, you heard right, slices of cucumber on buttered bread.} It was a severe breach of protocol to outstay your welcome, so great attention had to be paid to the parlor clock on the mantelpiece. Should you drop by the house of someone who was indisposed at the moment or decided she wasn't in a socializing mood you could always leave your card on a little silver tray in the Entrance Hall to indicate you  had dropped by and was most  interested in a reciprocal social call at some time in the near future, thank you very much.

The wallpaper and decor of our Entrance Hall is rich, dark and somber, almost churchlike, and an indication of the sober righteousnes of the owner's personalities. 

The mirror is actually a little mirror/sconce object we got at a garage sale for 2 dollars. I painted and stained it with Minwax to give it that rich dark look, and marbelized the flat surfaces using black and white hobby paint and just swirling them together. It's Gothic style echoes the ecclesiasticle theme of the room. 

The most expensive thing I purchased was the front door which was part of a Byers Choice Christmas Carolers display set, I paid about 40 dollars {ouch!!!}for mine. It was a splurge, but since evrything else in the room was so cheap I felt ok about it!!!!

The painting above is nearly four inches high, I simply purchased a birthday card and an inexpensive dollar shop frame.The wallpaper was two dollars a role at our local outlet store.The border was from an old border role I already owned and just cut the bottom off of.


Mini Hint: copy centers like Staples and Office Max can shrink or enlarge your pictures to match whatever frame size you want. For the best effect, ask for high gloss finish on sturdy card stock.

A chair actually, a trinket box awaits the visitor's tired posterior although the house pooch {a refrigerator magnet} seems to be taking up space on it at the moment. A column from the wedding cake section at the Ragshop {and glued to a small tile for weight} is topped by a miniature Japanese vase sporting tiny plastic fern fronds. The stained glass window was a purchased at a Hallmark Store and produced by the Amias Glass company. We painted the reverse side white for contrast and framed it with stained wood trim.

Mini Hint:Clink of the link for more stain glass patterns from the Amia website.http://www.collectorsaddition.com/gentu/AMIA9790.htm
OR.......if you're on a budget and you love our background, print out this stainglass pic on study card stock, you can print this yourself although for maximum quality{and perfect sizing} you should put it on a CD and take it to Staples. Remember to insist on high gloss card stock, and glue 1/12 mini wood trim{ stained or gilt} around the edges for a nice frame.Or simply have it sized to fit one of your own existing windows.


Detail of ceiling.The "plasterwork" is a standard thick, 
textured wallpaper available off the shelf at most 
wallpaper or hardware department stores. 

Invest in one roll for about 20 bucks and you can do 
several ceilings or even cut it into strips to create your
 own wainscoting. Itcan be painted,gilded or stained to 
look like tooled leather...the possibilities are endless!!!! 
I glued a regular plastic fancy picture frame from a
 dollar shop and then painted it in oil based satin white.
{But I'm sure latex would work too}

The chandelier was a Christmas ornament 
from the now defunct Treasure Island craft chain. The 
ornamental wood work was purchased at a hobby crafts
 store {in my case, Joanne's} and stained with Minwax and 
combined with fancy edges I cut off from from various 
borders I've picked up cheap in flea markets and outlets, 
ie Big Lots, Family Dollar etc."

A big Thank You to Tara for sharing her pics & 
techniques! She has some great suggestions on where to 
find miniatures in ordinary places.




Happy Crafting!


Stephiejo


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mr. Bunny Spring Tea Party


It is almost time to celebrate Easter! Children will be dressed in their pastel finery, gathering eggs hidden by the Easter Bunny. Such a fun way to welcome the arrival of Spring!

Welcome to Mr. Bunny's humble home..won't you come in and have some tea?


That is Mr. Bunny himself seated in the wicker chair. The backdrop is Barbie's fold up cottage with the insides removed and painted white. (original color was blue). The wicker is real and was made for 11.5 inch fashion dolls in the 70's. I found mine second hand and spray painted it a rich chocolate brown. Hand sewn pillows add a vibrant pop of color.  Coffee table is a plastic Barbie piece faux finished to look like wood. Most of the dishes are made by Re-Ment. The exception is the green rimmed plate which is made by Kitchen Littles.


The incredible details on the Re-Ment cakes make my mouth water....mmmm....so yummy! Notice the tea inside the teacups? Yeah...great attention to detail by Re-Ment. 
**Love**

Re-Ment even made the little daisy boquet...and that leaf plate...one of my favorites!


Oh, and Mr. Bunny...he's a miniature I found at Michael's Craft store a few years ago. He's jointed too!

Hope you all have a very Happy Easter!

Featured Fan Friday will have some great eye candy and fabulous history lesson & miniature tips!

Happy Crafting!
Stephiejo

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Find us now on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/pages/SS-Designs-Doll-Interiors/260723439694

More fantastic  tutorials and featured fan posts coming this week.

Thank you loyal visitors! :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Romantic Tablescape


A little eye candy to tide you over...it is almost Valentines Day after all.


Victorian Tea Tablescape


Happy Crafting!
Stephiejo

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Store Open for Business


Announcing the Grand Opening of SS-Designs Doll Interiors. New items added every week. You will find a variety of unique and hard to find furnishings and accessories for fashion dolls. We also carry a variety of other items, including vintage toys, dolls, doll clothing, puzzles, games, plush, and many more. You never know what you may find when you visit! Add me to your favorite seller's list to be the first to see my latest inventory.


I will continue to create tutorials and vignettes for this blog so stay tuned for lots of fabulous fun in 2012!
Happy New Year Everyone!



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