Monday, May 9, 2016


Tiny Progress....

I hope you don't mind, Dear Readers, if I skip about between my various projects, because I don't have a whole lot to show you on any of them! I apologize for the blurry photo you see above... the weather has been unrelentingly dreary, dark, cold and rainy for more than a week (until yesterday afternoon), making it difficult to take good photos of what little I have accomplished in my Mini Worlds! While I have been very absorbed in the Teeny Tiny Mini World recently, I have also been trying to make progress on the Exterior Trim for Hardwick Hall. Some of you might be familiar with this kit (The Willowcrest) and will be aware that it is Lavishly Adorned with ornate Victorian Woodwork... which I have to confess is a good part of its appeal! But Constructing all that Lavishly Ornate Woodwork Trim is an Adventure to say the least! It is all made up of layers of pieces you must punch out of the thin and splintery plywood sheets... and be sure to label them all carefully because they are confusing until you know how they fit together... and they all need to be sanded and sometimes glued back together because they are fragile and don't punch out easily! One of the sheets for this kit which included some of the skinny porch sections was badly prepared and the pieces were not easy to punch out. I had to use my exacto knife on the back side to cut through in places where the punching wasn't complete. Hence the parts needing to be glued back together... before I could even assemble the structure! But I managed to get it built to the best of my abilities, and fortunately the worst sheet was the one for the middle layer that would show the least on the finished porch. (And my story for the rough and broken parts is that any Old House must have very weathered wooden parts!) In the above picture you can see the assembled porch framework, still unpainted, propped in place to see how it will fit. This piece is not supposed to be attached until after most of the other trim is done... and it will need to be squeezed into it's spot between the porch floor and ceiling... a process that I only want to do once!

Here you can see I have painted the framework... 
first the primer, then the gray base coat 
and then the shiny metallic silver....
It will need more coats of the silver paint.

I had also recently finished the front gable ornate trim... 
and now I also attached the front attic window trim.....
Which also needed the exterior muntins added...

Which you can see here (sort of) 
along with the front balcony being tested for fit!
The balcony was much simpler to assemble, 
being mostly just one layer of plywood punch-outs.
It also needs another coat of the silver paint...
So it is not quite finished.

And while I was waiting for the paint to dry on all those pieces of trim, 
I was also trying to make the gowns for the Teeny Tiny dolls...
I started with a gown for Virginia in green velvet and silk....

(I apologize for the dark and blurry pictures... 
these tiny Ladies are really hard to photograph!)
With apologies to Lady Evelyn, 
I wanted her sister's gowns to have better sleeves.
So I cut a very narrow strip along the selvage edge of the fabric
(so one side of the cloth would have it's edge already "hemmed")
and glued it directly to the arms, starting at the back, 
and when that was dry, wrapping it around and gluing again.
Of course, I forgot to take any pictures of those steps.
And then I glued the green velveteen skirt around the doll...
(having already put glue on the underside 
to prevent fraying on the cut edges)
I am still trying to work out what material to use for her bodice....
 at the moment her neckline seems scandalously low!
I think I will try a thin strand of embroidery floss...
or perhaps just another piece of the selvage....
but at the moment this, too, is unfinished.

And while I worked first on Virginia's gown, 
it is on Salome's gown that I really tried some tricky cuts!

Here you can see her with just the sleeves attached.

Here you can see I have started with the gown itself.....
I spread glue on the underside of the cloth where the cuts would go 
before making the cuts, and let it dry thoroughly before cutting.
This way it prevents raveling, 
so I was able to cut a "v" neck for this gown 
and slits for the arm holes.
Here you can see I have glued the front part of the gown...
and am waiting for it to dry.

This is another angle... showing just the front part being glued....
(The sewing pin you see is useful for spreading glue in a very small space,
 and also for pulling apart the pieces that were not supposed to have glue get on them yet!)

Yes, another angle, showing the one side being glued in the back...
 letting it dry before the other side is glued!
This way you can get the pieces cut to fit as they are about to be glued.

And yes, Dear Readers, this gown is also Unfinished!
I think it desperately needs some delicate silver edging 
or a waistband at the very least!

See how Tiny she is?

Yikes, it makes the hand look enormous!

Of course, now they are eagerly waiting for their House....
(When they are not complaining about their dressmaker!)

Yes, Dear Readers, in spite of all the Unfinished pieces,
I have made some Tiny Progress!


  1. jolie façade, les petits personnages très plaisants

    1. Thank you Claude! The little dolls are a lot of fun!

  2. Dressing the tiny dolls is a big challenge but it must also be fun. Nice progress so far, thanks for sharing. The exterior of the Hardwick Hall already looks beautiful.
    Hugs, Drpra

    1. Thank you Drora! The costumes are turning out to be quite challenging... but I am enjoying it a lot! I am glad you like Hardwick Hall... sometimes it takes so long to make something you think you will never get it done!

  3. Hello Betsy,
    The house is coming along so beautifully. I am so impressed by how well finished every piece is. I built a Garfield kit from the same company years ago and the quality of the wood completely turned me off. You manage to make everything look perfect. This will be an amazing house. Once again the dresses for those teeny, teeny tiny ladies are lovely and I think I would go bananas working so small.
    Big hug

    1. Thank you Giac! I have had mixed luck with the kits, but this is the first one that required really tricky pieces. I was afraid I might have to re-build some of it.... but managed to glue the broken sections back together. At the same time, I can't imagine trying to make these ornamental pieces from scratch! As for the tiny ladies... they are challenging but fun.... I have gotten myself into a whole new world all of a sudden... they now want a coach and four....!!! :)

  4. Your patience amazes me. I think I would have drawn their costumes and pasted them on like paper dolls. (? idea?) You could get a lot of detail that way? As for Hardwick Hall, it's going to be spectacular when finished. Reminds me of the house I have imagined in Somerville...

    1. Hi Mom! I thought of that ... but the three dimensional part is what I wanted and cloth is actually easier....! I might end up painting more cloth... This is proving to be a fun new adventure!

  5. Oh those tiny dolls! I can't even imagine, you make it looks so easy. I can't wait till they get to move into their new house.
    I built my daughter a Willowcrest, I think it was the second house I built, the roof gave me fits and yes punching out those sheets is a pain. I am so glad you can get precut houses now. Hardwick Hall is going to be awesome!

    Big Hugs,

    1. Hi Victoria! I always wanted to make one of these kits with lots of Victorian trim.... Now I know what a challenge all that trim can be! Eventually I am sure it will be worth the work! As for the Tiny Ladies... I am surprised at how much they are taking over Everything!!! Oh, this could take a while! LOL!

  6. Oh my! These tiny dolls and their dresses! Can't imagine making these. :)
    The trim and balcony gave your Hall different energy and elegance. :)

    1. Hi Ewa! I am even having a hard time Imagining the dresses for these Tiny Ladies! It does take a bit of trying again and again to find what will work... and it is always smaller than I thought it would need to be! LOL! The hardest part is making the glue dots small enough... the sewing pin is helping a lot! LOL! I am glad you think the trim on Hardwick Hall makes it elegant... I am hoping it will not be too shiny when it is all in place! We shall see!

  7. Very beautiful house with beautiful windows and details
    Best regards:Lea

    1. Thank you Lea! I am enjoying this kit in spite of the challenges! It just means I have to use my imagination to fix things!

  8. I love it all, Betsy! The gable end to the house is so pretty and I like the colours you have gone for. I bet it was really fiddly to glue in place.
    And those tiny minis are coming along well too. You'll soon have an army!

    1. Hi Simon! The "army" of little ladies is taking over my life! LOL! If I don't give them extra care they get "lost" in the blink of an eye! I am going to need a whole "city" for their housing and lifestyle needs.... This is going to take a while! LOL! I am glad you like the trim on Hardwick Hall. It is taking a while, but I think it will be worth it in the end!

  9. Hi Betsy!
    I KNOW EXACTLY what you are speaking of! Nevertheless, you precision in taking care of all of those irksome details have PAID OFF handsomely, because the porch looks lovely! And that curved wood trim around the gable really shows that you have taken the needed time to finish it properly- Really Beautiful Work Betsy! :D
    Your little ladies are also a Delight! However, I still shake my head at the minuteness of them and feel PITY for both your poor eyes!!!! ><

    elizabeth :D

    1. Hi Elizabeth! I am sure you know all about lousy little punched out broken pieces... but didn't you say you threw them all away? LOL! Oh, right, that was just the Instructions!!! :) I am persevering with the exterior trim As It Was Intended on this kit... and will see what it wants me to do to it once I have it all assembled! I am envisioning hanging shutters (not part of the kit...) and climbing vines.....
      As for the Tiny Ladies, I am growing more fond of them by the minute... they are taking over my life and my workspace! LOL!

  10. Hi Betsy! Your have done a good job at the gable end to the house, the porch looks wonderful!
    But oh my, your teeny tiny ladies are getting spoiled, they've got such wonderful dresses of you. It's absolutely amazing work!
    Warm hugs, Ilona

    1. Thank you Ilona! A compliment from you is worth a lot! LOL! I am glad you like the costumes on my Tiny Ladies! They are very particular, and did not want to all look the same! I am still designing the next gowns, so stay tuned! I am also glad you like the house trim. It is a lot of work, but it is also a big part of what I wanted with this kit! So many houses over here were built in this era with fancy "gingerbread" trim.... it is a big part of the appeal! Thank you for your comments!

  11. Wow your tiny gowns are amazing. Your house looks wonderful already I cant wait to see more I am sure it will be awesome.
    Hugs Maria

    1. Thank you Maria! I am having a lot of fun with the tiny gowns... but they are not quick to make! LOL! Hardly any material is used, but it takes a lot of time to assemble! I am glad you like the trim on Hardwick Hall. I am hoping it will look spooky enough when I am done.... we shall see!

  12. I have absolutely no idea why those tiny ladies should ever complain about their dressmaker... their personal designer works miracles, each gown an individual ooak with personal fit. Btw - did I ever mention before that you never stop to amaze me? *LOL* Wonderful work on the first three sisters - each one of them a personality on her own. And your progress on the the exterior of Hardwick Hall is spectacular - the difference these decorative trims make is awesome. Nevertheless... I think I need to excuse myself now and do some sobbing in private... about an Orchid kit I really fear to start with... *gulp*


    1. Dear Birgit, I must reassure you that not all these kits have "bad" wood at least not on all the parts! The orchid kit (The Folly) was my first one and I don't recall having any trouble punching out pieces. The layers of decorative trim were not as elaborate, so they were easier to assemble! It is important to follow the steps and do the windows first! LOL!
      As for the Tiny Ladies... they are showing a very demanding nature as they each request ever more challenging "styles" for their gowns! (It is taking longer than I thought it would! LOL!) And I haven't even started on the Guys! And then there are the other "unfinished projects" .... I am running off now to get busy on Something!!! :)

  13. Goodness me! I have just found your blog and am amazed at your teeny weeny ladies. They are fantastic and so glam!!!

    1. Thank you Carol! Welcome (belatedly!) to my blog! I have just joined yours too and look forward to seeing all your projects! Thank you for commenting!

  14. Hello, Betsy - I am so impressed with the work that you're doing on Hardwick Hall. That kit seems like a really daunting project to me, but it's coming along beautifully. I admire the way you work at the smallest details until they turn out just right. You have amazing perseverance! All the gowns for the teeny tiny dolls are incredibly........teeny tiny! Each one is beautiful and unique; It'll be such fun to see them all complete.

    1. Hi Marjorie! These kits are a bit of a challenge at times.... and I think this one is worse than most! I wondered when I looked at the pictures in the catalogs, just how all the rooms were positioned... now I know... and I think there are design flaws! LOL! But I am determined to make it through to the end... and still enjoy the process as much as possible... which is probably why I work on more than one thing at a time! I am glad you like the Teeny Ladies... I am having fun with them too!

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