Check back often

Have you checked out all my blogs?


Dollhouse Minis: http://joannes18dolls.blogspot.com/


18” Dolls: http://joannes18dolls.blogspot.com/


General Crafts: http://joannes-place.blogspot.com/


Cooking: http://inthekitchenwithmummsie.blogspot.com/





Also if for some reason I can't post I will try to give a head's up on the Facebook page so check there too.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tips for Dollhouse Miniature Crafting- Cleaning the Pasta Machine






Again this week if you are also following my Clay 101 series on my 18” doll channel you have already seen the majority of this content. Since I had filmed it and I thought that the information was perfect for a tips video I decided to use it for both channels. I hope you all don't mind too much.

The secret to successfully using a pasta machine for clay is really to keep it clean. The quick little tips I showed (especially wiping it with the wet wipe and running white scrap clay through) really will help to keep it clean. If you do those two things every time you use your pasta machine you won't have to deep clean it very often.


Just keep in mind to never use any tool to clean the pasta machine that could scratch the rollers. That is why I stick to wooden toothpicks and bamboo skewers. It might take a moment or two longer to clean with those than say a sharp metal instrument but the risk of ruining the rollers is too great. Once you have scratches on the rollers you will always have problems. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Trash to Treasure Outdoor Planter


I think Mrs. Doll is very happy with her new planter.


This week's Trash to Treasure project is super easy and if you happen to have one of those coffee makers that uses the K-cups you have plenty of supplies on hand. I mostly use a reusable filter in my machine and I still manage to get a bunch of these cups really quickly. If you don't have one of the machines ask your friends I bet you will quickly find some one that can supply you with more K-cups than you can ever use. I even noticed my mechanic has one of these coffee makers in his waiting room now.

To turn the K-cup into a planter is really easy. After a thorough cleaning all you need to do is paint it. I like to use a spray primer that lists plastic as a material it will stick to then I can use any paint I want. In this case my regular acrylic craft paint.

I went ahead and “planted” my planter so you could see how easy that was to do and I think it turned out great. Even my 18 year old son agreed it looked like a real planter just the right size for the dollhouse.





Sunday, June 11, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Easy Corner Roombox pt 8




This week we are finishing up the porch floor on our corner roombox. I decided to use plain old craft sticks for this project. They are fairly inexpensive and also pretty easy for most of us to get. I was out of my stash of them so I needed to make a trip to Michael's to pick up some more. I am going to tell you how that trip went so you can see how very important it is to both check the price when you pick up an item and then to watch the cash register at checkout time. Since I just had the one item it was a little easier to watch.

I had noticed a display of “summer kid's craft” items as I came in the door of the store. They were right there next to the door and on the middle shelf there were about 10 or 15 of the economy size boxes of craft sticks. The price on the shelf said $4.99. I grabbed a box as I went by and proceeded to look at several things in the store. I happened to go down the aisle where the craft sticks were normally placed and noticed that a lot of the small packages of wood items were around $4. I wanted to double check the price on the big box I had but there was no price on the shelf back there where the large boxes were. I then went back to the front of the store to double check that the price I saw was indeed for the item I had picked up and not the price for something else. I read the tag and it said it was for the economy box of craft sticks so I went ahead and got in line.

When my turn at the cash register came my box of craft sticks rang up at $7.99. I pointed out the cashier that the price was different on the shelf. She called for a price check but ended up going herself to check it. She also verified that the price on the shelf was $4.99 for this item. She of course made the adjustments for my purchase and since I had my Michael's rewards card pulled up on my phone she automatically gave me the 40% off coupon that was valid that day.

So in the end I paid $2.99 for an item that rang up at a much higher $7.99 in the first place. So the lesson here is if you know the price on the shelf was lower than what the cash register says point it out. Truthfully, I would have been happy with the $4.99 that the shelf said it was just extra nice to the coupon come off too.





Thursday, June 8, 2017

Tools for Making Dollhouse Miniatures- The Pasta Machine





This week on our Clay 101 series we are talking about a tool I use every time I work with polymer clay, my pasta machine. I am so glad I decided to bite the bullet so to speak and use this pasta machine for clay.

A bit of a back story about how I came to get this pasta machine. Anyone that knows me in real life knows I love to cook, it is one of my passions and years ago back when I was a new bride my mother-in-law gifted me with a top of the line pasta machine. I had seen this machine in a kitchen store that used to be local to us and my thought was “who would pay that much for a pasta machine” Then I found myself opening it up for my birthday. I thanked her profusely and I did attempt to make pasta with it. One time. That was more than enough times to make it really clear to me that I was never going to be making fresh pasta. At least not with that pasta machine. I have better things to do with my time. I would rather make the sauce and buy the pasta.

Anyway, the pasta machine sat at the back of my kitchen cabinet for years, over a decade close to two decades. I would pull the box out occasionally, wonder what I should do with it. I felt guilty that it just sat there but I really could never convince myself to make pasta again. I even moved it to a new house and it took up residence in the back of a new cabinet. I really felt bad but....

Then I started working with polymer clay. I read some articles where people were using pasta machines to roll out their clay. That made me think... should I? I wanted to but I again felt guilty. I knew that once I put a piece of clay through the machine I couldn't use it for pasta again. I debated for a couple of years and then one day I just boldly took that pasta machine out of the cabinet, un-boxed it and clamped it to my table. I then found a lump of clay that really needed some rolling out and I never looked back. The only regret I had was that I hadn't done this years before.

My pasta machine and I have spent hours together, it is always clamped to my work table and I use it every time I work with clay.

Then there is that second pasta machine, the one that was marketed for clay. I was at a store closing sale one time and they had this one machine left and it was marked down to less than $5! I felt like I couldn't pass that deal up.

My thought process was that I would be able to use the cheap machine for dark color clay and the good one for the lighter colors. The problem is that having 2 pasta machines on my table just took up way too much table space.

Maybe some day I will figure out how to use both machines and still have work space. In the meantime it doesn't take up too much space in the storage room and I can always dig it out if I need it.



Thursday, May 25, 2017

Tips for Dollhouse Miniature Crafting- Portioning Polymer Clay




This week for the tips video I thought I would talk a bit about portioning clay. When we are working in 1/12th scale not only are the items we make scaled but so are the mistakes and not in a good way. If for instance you are making cookies, if you making cookies in real life and your balls of cookie dough are off in size by say ¼' its not a big deal. Probably no one will even notice. However, if you are making those same cookies for the dollhouse you are probably starting out with a ball of clay that is about ¼” (at most) and even being a tiny bit off is going to show up big time. So we need an easy way to get consistent sized amounts of clay every time. Also we are all busy and we don't want to have to sit there and measure each and every ball of clay to see if it is the same size as the one next to it. And by the way just looking at them on your work surface is no grantee that you will notice differences. Those usually show up once the project is finished and you go to set it up. Then you see that one of the cookies looks like it was meant for the Jolly Green Giant.

Also with this method if you make a note of how you measured the amount of clay you can come back later (a month from now, a year from now, or whenever) and you can get the same results again without having to do all the measuring again.


So I hope you found this useful. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Visit to Heirlooms Dollhouse Miniatures & More




This week's video is a bit different from what I usually bring you. I got the opportunity to visit a local miniature shop and I decided to take all of you with me! So here is what is in store you today.

I hope you enjoy our visit to Heirlooms Dollhouse Miniatures & More.

The first thing we are going to do is sit down and have a short chat with Wendy who owns this lovely store. We talk about miniatures, her store and the area where the shop is located.


Next we are going to step into the classroom and listen in for a few moments to a doll making class that was taking place while we were there. The class was being taught by Dana from Miniature Art. Be sure to take a side trip to her website to see the beautiful dolls she creates.

As a bonus Dana, did a quick tutorial for all of you on how to curl doll hair! That was so nice of her and I had no idea she would offer until we got there.

I do want to introduce you to this little guy, this is Tip the official shop dog. He is a darling little guy and makes sure everything is running as it should.










Heirloom Dollhouse Miniatures & More is located in the community of Aurora Oregon. Just a short drive south of Portland. Aurora is rich with history and simply filled with antique stores. There are even some delightful cafes where you can grab a bite eat. There are lots of very old houses to look and the history of the area is unique. You can learn more about the area here.

As for the miniature store, Wendy has a Facebook page where you can learn more details including hours and directions to the shop.

I want to take a moment here to thank a few people that made this post possible. First Wendy for allowing us to come into her shop and set up cameras. Next Dana for letting us take a peek at her class as it was going on. And finally my son Erik, he was the guy behind the camera today. He even got up an hour earlier than he normally does so that we could get this done today.

Please enjoy the pictures that Erik took.







































And now some photos around the town of Aurora.