Saturday, April 30, 2011

~ Mini Makeovers ~

Hello sweet friends! I hope this week is finding you healthy , safe and happy! I'm sharing a few little make-overs today ..... I love make-overs, it's always wonderful what a little paint can do :) The above picture is not a Mini, it's my kitchen table after I went a little wild with a paint brush last year. Ok not "wild" but a little more work than just painting it one color. I added a creamy white paint, some blue stripes, cherries to the chairs, and then some roses in each corner... I did a make-over this week to my Mini table in Summer Rose too.... fun fun :) Mini ones are a lot easier! My Mini table was inspired by my big girl table :)

This was my Kitchen table, an old farm table , but it was too dark for me...

This was the "after", below and also the first picture on this post is another "after"...

Now come on in to Summer Rose and see a few new things.... :)

This was my Bakery table/Kitchen island before (below) , I liked it a lot and wanted a simple look inside this Mini home, but I think it just needed a little more "Umf"...

{Before}

So here's a tad more "Umf"....still soft and simple, but just a little bit more color :)

{after}

What do you think?

I also made a little cutting board out of some Susan Branch images (below) and gave it about 5 coats of thick polyurethane , It looks cute on the table I think.... I'll probably work on some Mini cheese and grapes this week to make this a little more "lived on" looking, hmmmm, or maybe a big bowl of blueberries? :)

The kitchen nook in Summer Rose also has a new little Mini.......a pink toile pillow.... I just got this and love it! I have my seamstress from my Interior Design days making me a bunch of these and I can't wait to get them and use them in projects and also scatter more around the cottage :)


Well that's my little update to Summer Rose... I think it's subtle but I'm happy with it so far... I'm thinking of moving the bakery island out to the center and moving things around a little bit, not sure yet exactly how I want it.... but Fun fun :)

I spent the rest week filling custom orders and creating new projects too...{ In-between Spring chores, cleaning, running errands and getting the kids settled back into school after a long vacation} Whew! Glad the normalcy is back :)

Some teeny tiny strawberries and cupcakes for a Kitchen Hutch order.... I love strawberries :) AND Cupcakes :)

This is a copy of a Hutch I designed last month , and it's getting ready to go out to her new home this week...

This is another one I designed last week ( below ), and then made a 2nd one again this week for another customer.... this one has been added to my favorite list :)

I went PINK crazy and wanted it to be "very" Shabby Chic .... :) The sign is hanging from the bakery ceiling in the shot below, I loved making the sign too, I wanted it rustic to contrast with the sweetness and soft pinks and whites....


I hope you enjoyed my tiny make-overs and updates :) It's back to Mini making and Gardening outside this weekend!

My thoughts and prayers also go out to my friends and family in the South this week, what happened is so devastating and life changing for so many, I will continue along with every one else to lend my support and prayers to bring them back to some sense of peace and going forward again!

Much love and blessings!

~ Cynthia ~

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

~ Miniatures and a real Spring ~

HI Friends! Well it's really looking a lot like Spring here in NY finally! The flowers are popping and the grass is getting greener by the day! It took long enough :) I made some Minis this week to celebrate the colors and feel of Spring. I also got out a lot and enjoyed some beautiful days looking at the all the wonder of the beginning of the season! My favorite things are smelling the earth come to life again, hearing a lawn mower and catching the fresh scent of newly cut grass and of course I cannot leave out the first scent of a BBQ, my own for that matter, pure sweet and tangy heaven :)

Its a time for new things and I love that. I took that feeling even to my blog here, a new header that was lighter and simpler was just what it needed. I change it kind of seasonally, cause it's fun :) Plus I even gave my Etsy Shop a little lift. All my photos will be shot next to a white shabby chic fence background to give it that Summer light feel. The pictures of the new minis are all shot by it, do you like it? So far I do :) It helps having mostly white vs. my pink and white stripes from before, I think it helps show the true colors of the Miniatures better. So here goes...

Some pink frosted vanilla cake and a sweet Tea set...



A yummy one layer cake, just like my Mom and I always made, they were simpler to make after school when I was little, you just frost and eat :) .. I love the pale aqua blue frosting :)



And of course a decadent fudge cake too... This one made me hungry making it lol!


Then just in time for a warm Spring day? Some lemonade and lemon cake , a favorite of mine :)


Lots of new Cupcakes and some Sugar Bread...


I just started making my own "Mini" Jams and Preserves, I've done the real thing every Spring and Summer for years, so I adored doing them in Mini .... No boiling any water and pouring hot wax , so it was pure pleasure :)

I so love making my Miniatures, I constantly get new ideas and love trying to perfect it all and learn new things along the way...Doing something creative is a wonderful way to spend a day!

It's also wonderful to walk around the yard and catch what's been growing too :) So here's a little "real" life of my back yard. The grass still has a way to go and so do the flowers, we have flowers planted for every part of the Spring , Summer and early Fall, and by June everything is just so beautiful outside! But there is something secretly special about seeing a bright daffodil or pure white pansy popping up by themselves. It's like they are the first flowers to say "Hello World"..... I love that sight :)

This is the little pansy I spend my morning coffee with on the back deck {that sounds funny typed out, not intentionally lol }... she watches me come awake every morning, I'm an early bird and like to watch the Sun rise on her petals....

And here are my sweet little Daffodils .... Freshly mulched this past weekend...


It was raining today so I didn't get every shot I wanted, but I adore my Mothers day tree, she is getting so big and needs to be trimmed every year , a LOT! She was super tiny this winter and just exploded within a few weeks! I believe it is a dwarf Cherry tree, The flowers don't last long but then she turns into all leaves and is just as beautiful! When it gets super full with green leaves , I call her "Cousin It" :) Remember Cousin IT? Omg, I'm showing my age :)

Well I hope you all have a wonderful Easter and Holiday time! I'm getting my Menu planned for Sunday and it looks like Honey Baked Ham, Asparagus, New potatoes and chive cream casserole, and a big salad :)

And of course Cake :) Not sure which kind yet, but I know one thing , It will be REAL! :)

Love to you all, and many blessings for the week!

~ Cynthia ~

Sunday, April 10, 2011

~ Indulging in the small things ~

HI friends! Before I give you a pictorial of "what's new" I want to say THANKS for all your comments on Summer Rose! That meant so much to me, it truly was and continues to be a labor of love. Designing the Miniature home and Miniatures for my Etsy shop has been so wonderful for me. It's such a transition from my work in the "real" world in Interior Design, but so similar too. Every aspect of my design experience has, after 20 years, come into play in designing Miniatures. During my Interior Design career I had many spin offs of work involving hand-painting furniture, designing custom details , designing fabrics and accessories , etc. And it still amazes me how much all that work has now transferred into the "small things" :) I started out doing the simplest Miniature accessories and then fell in love with making the baked items and miniature foods, and now it's brought all of those elements into designing pieces for collectors that involve it all. And like I've said, it is so much nicer to design a Shabby Chic/Cottage look into something 6" tall , than to find room in the studio to hand-paint , buy or have made every single accessory, and complete the details, stay in budget, consider a clients wishes , etc, into a 7 foot tall piece! Plus I was always at the mercy of 10 other people involved in that process too :) Now it's just me and the little things and my imagination and transferring my favorite looks and taste into something pretty :) A true blessing and passion for me! My wish is always that that passion shows in my work and makes someone happy too! Even if you don't collect Miniatures or love them, I hope the designs and things I make hopefully can give you ideas for your big girl home or get you inspired to try something new!

With that said, I'll move on to the less wordy version of the post , lol.... Pictures of new minis and maybe an idea or two for you :)

Here's my newest Cottage style Miniature , I named her "Bakery Beauty" :) This was a dark walnut color hutch and looked pretty drab, but with great lines to start ....then after some paint, pastel highlights, distressing and a waxed stain wash of antiquing, she was Shabby Chic indulged and ready for pretty and delicious items :)



Fabrics, decorative papers, and pretty little items made her shine and come to life...

As some of you know I have 2 kitchen hutches in my "real" kitchen that I adore, but I have yet to add some beautiful papered prints to the shelves. I really have to add that to my "Spring to-do" list! I probably said that last Spring too, lol, but after making this piece I REALLY want to get that done :)


Now this would be pure indulgence in design ( like below ) if I added paper or fabric lined drawers to my own hutches.......but, the only "lined" thing in my house is the linen closet. :) I've always wanted nice organized drawers and have them be all sweet and pretty :) But I'm sure I'll keep pushing that to the back of the list.... So I made them in Mini instead :)


I do however have folded table cloths and napkins in my real hutches, so of course "Bakery Beauty" should have them too :)

After spending some time on the hutch I also created other minis over the last 2 weeks, and since Strawberry Shortcake is a staple in my house I couldn't wait to try the Miniature version!

Butter Horns are present during every holiday here too, especially Easter, so I attempted them too and was so happy with how they turned out....

A little more up-close...

I created a few tables after I was finished putting together and decorating "Summer Rose" .... My head was very much still in that Cottage style , simple, cozy, vintage feel. So out of the response to a few emails asking for things designed like Summer Rose, I came up with these below...

This table design was started using the Dining room wallpaper from Summer Rose...It was the perfect back drop to bakery items, sweet accessories , and cottage details :)

I love vintage recipe cards, so they became a little surprise in the drawers....

Another table using the Bedroom wallpaper this time as the starting point...


This one below was a request from a customer for a more vintage feel... plus she wanted a sign to hang on her wall too, so I put it here just for the pic but I'm sure it looks cute at home in her mini cottage :)

I loved adding the canning items too, ( below ) so vintage sweet! A couple weeks ago I started making these myself, they add another aspect of Miniature making that I love. The wonderful thing about Miniatures is, everything you see in big girl homes and design, can be made little :) And I'm having such a fun time trying it all!!

I have a few icing recipes and cake recipes, but I tend to love butter-cream the best. The very frosty/sugary looking kind :) The sweeter the better!

Using pale pastel glitters for sugar dusting on my Miniatures is another favorite of mine, I love custom mixing my own colors out of pastels and sugar snow ( glitter ). I love this very pale blue below, it was exciting to see the mix come up just the way I wanted! It's the little things that make me happy :))

And the big final parts of a project make me happy too! Putting together the entire design is very rewarding, and exhilarating! (like below)...

Designing minis and making them also comes with some stresses only Miniaturists know , I'd love to do a "blopper" post one day... Like when your rolled up sleeves come down without you noticing and you accidentally brush past a tiny cookie, which in turn hits another and before you know it you have the domino effect of 20 minis falling out of their carefully chosen place! Not funny at the time :) But stuff happens :)

This one was such a joy to make.... I wanted a mix of pale blue, soft green , with hints of pink and wanted it filled with vanilla sweets and a hints of chocolate. So with the Shabby Chic colors, lots of hand-made items and a lot of patience, it was done :)

I try and add a new project to my list every few days and when I ran out of doily's for my cake stands I had to come up with something else and my Mother suggested that I do some punch work on bakery papers. I had forgotten all about it but she did a few lamps using this technique when I was a little girl, so I tried it here on my minis and loved it! It's kind of hard to see in this pic (top cake stand below) , but it's really so pretty in person. I'll be doing a lot of them because I love the look!


Well that's about it, it's been a busy 2 weeks and after this post I'm back to creating....

Oh yes, and back to all my regular Spring chores too :)

Our first Daffodil came up this week and I about fell over :) It's really here?? can it be ?? Spring is here......... So Happy Spring everyone!!

With appreciation and love,

Cynthia xo