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In Miniature Style II: Over 40 How-To Projects by Christine Verstraete (Non-Fiction: How-To)

In Miniature Style II: Over 40 How-To Projects by Christine Verstraete (Non-Fiction: How-To)
 
(3 reviews)  

In Miniature Style II is a must have book for anyone interested in collecting, and creating, doll houses and scale miniatures.

With dozens of stunning photos, over 40 how-to projects, and profiles of talented miniaturists and their work, In Miniature Style II offers a creative tableau sure to please novice crafters and experienced collectors alike. Contains new profiles, many new photos, and even more fun, new projects to try!

Due to the number of pictures and patterns in this book, it is only available in pdf format.

Also Available in Print.

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Illustrator Most Photos by Christine Verstraete
 
Ebook Price: $3.99
 
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In Miniature Style II: Over 40 How-To Projects by Christine Verstraete (Non-Fiction: How-To)
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(3 reviews)  

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3 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Camille Minichino (author, The Miniature Mysteries series, http://www.minichino.com/)
In Mini Style II is an outstanding source of ideas and instructions for the miniaturist. All levels are accommodated, from the intrigued beginner to the expert craftsperson, from using found objects to crocheting the most detailed afghan. I especially liked the ideas around finding a "structure" in which to "plant" a miniature scene, like a soda fountain inside an empty ice cream container. The text is fun and inspiring to read and all the instructions are very clear.
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Lianda, Kelirosh Studio, South Africa
Love the new book, it is so easy to understand even the "MINI Dummies" like me can understand all the amazing project ideas - Jam packed with so many easy to do projects, something for every miniaturist - Cant wait for book number 3....
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Lesley Shepherd, About.com Miniatures Guide
"...The book is full of good basic information for people who are starting out in miniatures, and want to learn some classic techniques and experiment with various types of miniatures across a range of themes. The photos illustrate achievable projects, items which are not going to take forever to plan and build.
"...Easy to read, the book is a bit like having a miniature club to yourself. The chapters feature formats that seem like club speaker topics, or club class sessions for beginners."
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Sample Chapter

Please note that photos have been removed from Sample Chapter

FEATURES:

Chapter 1: VICTORIAN STYLE

  • Mary Ann BRESNAHAN makes what's old, new and beautiful again
  • Chapter 2: DESIGNING STYLE

  • Leon PASCUCCI and author Christine VERSTRAETE talk design and color
  • Chapter 3: COUNTRY STYLE

  • The imaginative world of miniaturists Curt and Lori ROSEMANN
  • Chapter 4: TUDOR AND MEDIEVAL STYLE

  • Travel back in time to Ed and Mary SILVERS' Tudor castle

    Chapter 5: GOING GREEN IN STYLE

  • The fun, unique creations of Fern ROULEAU
  • Chapter 6: DRESSING IN STYLE

  • Artistic miniature doll creations by: Bonnie GLAZIER, Kathi MENDENHALL and Lucie WINSKY
  • PROJECTS:

    Chapter 7: STRUCTURES

  • Build your own Country porch scene – Lori Rosemann
  • Construct an outdoor privy or shed – Earl Beese
  • Learn olde-world finishing techniques – Christine Verstraete
  • Design a Mexican-style front porch – Christine Verstraete
  • Chapter 8: FURNISHINGS

  • Create shelves stocked with cigar boxes – Mary Ann Bresnahan
  • Construct a Tudor chair – Lori Rosemann
  • Make a coordinating Tudor table – Lori Rosemann
  • Build and decorate a Halloween room screen – Christine Verstraete
  • Chapter 9: FLOWERS AND DECORATIONS

  • Make some fun, frugal flowers and pots– Lori Rosemann
  • Make easy Hydrangeas and a "punny" plant – Christine Verstraete
  • Plant a pair of pants! – Fern Rouleau
  • Build an L-shaped potting table – Christine Verstraete
  • Create some "enamel" roses – Shelly Norris
  • Chapter 10: FOODS AND STUFF

  • Create a homemade Hibachi grill - Christine Verstraete
  • Construct a simple table-top display – Christine Verstraete
  • Cook BBQ faves: burgers, hot dogs and potato salad – Christine Verstraete
  • Make simple peanut butter and jelly jars – Christine Verstraete
  • Chapter 11: SOFT GOODS

  • Crochet a hand-made baby's afghan – Mary Ann Bresnahan
  • Create a comfy wing chair – Christine Verstraete
  • Make an elegant pair of curtains – Leon Pascucci
  • Cover the floors: art "Bunka" rugs – Christine Verstraete
  • Make a half-scale couch – Christine Verstraete
  • Chapter 12: MINIATURE DOLL CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES

  • Create a flippy, fun hanger dress, hat and purse - Kathi Mendenhall
  • Dress and wig a beautiful display bust - Bonnie Glazier
  • Create a delightful child's dress – Lucie Winsky
  • Make an easy pair of Bunka slippers & tote bag – Christine Verstraete
  • Fashion a China doll dress & matching handbag – Bonnie Glazier
  • Additional Patterns in last section

    Introduction

    Who can forget that first glimpse into a world where a chair fits into the palm of a hand, or where a realistic replica of nature's beauty is contained in a flowerpot no bigger than a thumbnail?

    There is something almost magical about viewing everyday items and settings that are reduced in size, but not in quality.

    For most people, that fascination with all things small often begins with a childhood dollhouse, or is sparked by a glimpse at the breathtaking contents of one of the superb museum collections found in the United States.

    Other collectors come to this Lilliputian world surprised to learn that yes, it's perfectly acceptable to engage in small-scale fantasies. And while the term dollhouse often conjures up images of childhood playthings, be assured that there is nothing the least bit childish about collecting and constructing what collectors prefer to call miniature homes.

    Like many collectors, my introduction to miniatures was via a metal dollhouse with lithographed walls and the plain plastic furnishings manufactured in the 1950s and early 1960s.

    Decades later, I bought an inexpensive dollhouse kit, and not long after, discovered a wealth of realistic, detailed furnishings and building components. A regular schedule of local shows devoted to miniatures, and an ever-expanding list of irresistible, hand-made items and accessories available to collectors sealed my fate. I was hooked.

    My interest in building and finishing miniatures hasn't abated in more than two decades of collecting. To my delight, I've also learned over the years that I'm not the only one who looks at almost everything around me in terms of its relation to miniatures!

    Today, both male and female collectors of all ages and backgrounds enjoy a certain satisfaction and creative fulfillment in translating their own tastes, interests, and personal history or dreams into miniature reality.

    If you're one of those people, the goal of this book is to spark your creativity by offering a glimpse into some unique miniature homes and rooms made by several talented miniaturists. They also share some tips, construction techniques and decorating ideas, plus a selection of original, how-to projects designed to help you create the miniature project of your dreams.

    As miniatures collecting can be such a wide-ranging hobby incorporating everything from building techniques, to interior and exterior design, electricity, furnishings, landscaping and more, I realize that it's impossible to satisfy the interests and abilities of everyone.

    But within these pages, my hope is that both long-time miniaturists and novices of varying skill levels will find a project or technique that will satisfy their urge to create something new in miniature or try their hand at something different.

    Some of the projects or techniques presented here may seem easy to some crafters and daunting to others, but they are presented with one idea – to have fun!

    Whether you're a master craftsman, somewhat experienced, or are completely new to the hobby, I invite you to happily experiment. Enjoy the thrill of making something totally your own, from start to finish.

    Building in miniature allows you to create life as you see it... life as it was... or even life as you wished it would be. Don't be surprised at how comfortable your miniature structure begins to feel as you work on it day by day. You might even find yourself wishing you could pack up and move right in!

    In miniature, at least, you can open a new shop or move into a new home without the stress of packing, unpacking, or the expense of a big mortgage. If only real life were that uncomplicated!

    The Basics:

    Unsure about where to start? The first step is to find a scale in which you feel comfortable working. Many collectors prefer the standard one-inch scale (one inch = one foot; for example, a 6-foot-tall man is 6-inches high). Smaller scales, half-inch (6" = 1') and especially quarter scale (equal to HO railroad scale) or even 144th scale ("dollhouse for a dollhouse" size) have become increasingly popular. These are great sizes for those short on space who may be interested in slightly more challenging projects.

    No matter what, choose a scale that matches your abilities and patience level. Working in miniature should be fun and satisfying, not aggravating and frustrating. You might admire the detail found in a quarter scale piece of furniture, but that doesn't mean you'd enjoy making it! Go at your own pace. Not everyone feels comfortable at first – and sometimes ever! – with the smaller scales.

    Choosing a Structure:

    Whether you decide to construct a whole house, a simple vignette setting or a roombox depends on how much time you want to spend on a project, your display space, and the amount of money you can invest.

    Real-life limitations may force you to scale down your desire to construct a 10-room villa in miniature, but that doesn't mean you have to totally abandon your dream.

    Some miniaturists find their inspiration in packages and containers that originally had different uses or were made with a limited shelf life in mind.

    Miniaturists, it seems, are the ultimate recyclers. They enjoy creating nicely detailed, unique scenes in unusual settings that often include some sight gags and plays on words. So, you might have a mini picnic in a real picnic basket, a scale bird hatched from a real egg, or a rubber ducky scene outside the bathtub.

    Other miniaturists have set scenes in everything from scientific instruments, to empty tins, old radio cabinets, empty bleach bottles, food containers, and more. You name it! When you learn to think small, the possibilities are endless!

    Don't be afraid to scout yard and garage sales for their miniature possibilities. When I saw a small, wall-hung bookshelf/cabinet at a garage sale for $3, I never hesitated. It turned out to be the perfect size container for a rooftop garden and barbecue scene to hang on my family room wall. A wood candy box from a friend (above) made a perfect half-scale room.

    Other miniaturists begin with a basic square or rectangular wood box or boxes made from Gatorboard, a processed-type board; or Foam-Core, a board made of a hard, foam-like material covered with a light paper that can be cut with a razor knife.

    The Art of Illusion:

    Collecting miniatures is by no means an inexpensive hobby, so the construction and decoration of your miniature building or room depends on your skill level and the size of your wallet. Many miniaturists not only enjoy the challenge, but also the satisfaction and cost savings that comes from making their own miniatures out of some surprising materials.

    The key to successfully creating a detailed miniature room or building is to think like a magician: learn to fool the eye. Paint washes can give the appearance of age or decline. Everyday items like pieces of wire become miniature drink stirrers. Life-sized wooden coffee stirrers make good picture frames, window trim or general strip molding. Empty plastic bottle tops or jelly and butter containers from restaurants have become staples for their myriad uses.

    If you've found yourself digging in the garbage, picking something up off the street, or imagining a new use for some cast-off item, don't despair. You're not alone (and you're not losing your sanity!) Welcome to the club. You're a miniaturist!

    With that word of warning, make sure you have a box or two handy. We're all packrats! Once you train your eye to see the possibilities, you'll be surprised at what you find.

    Planning and Themes:

    For peace of mind, it's best to start your project with a specific theme. You'll find that planning a room or house around a particular wallpaper pattern, a color, item, or era, will make the project go together much easier. By deciding on a theme as a basis, be it a specific style of furniture, a certain food or color, or even a book, a certain movie, era, or period of time – you get the idea - then you can begin collecting items specifically for your project.

    While not everyone agrees on their use, if you decide to use dolls in your room or setting, you'll have to decide on their wardrobes to fit a certain era or time period. You might also want to decorate a room or house based on an imaginary person's likes, dislikes, habits, lifestyle, etc. All provide a base on which to build your project. My favorite Raggedy Ann room centers on color, theme, and the dolls.

    For instance, a life-long love of dogs and a picture of an antique dollhouse inspired me to create "The Dogcatcher's House." The house, which is faced outside with the tiniest size fish tank gravel I could find, is home to a retired dogcatcher who offers solace and shelter to unwanted dogs. At last count, the house had about 100 dogs (and counting.)

    The house started out pretty shabby and sparse as you'd expect with so many four-footed inhabitants. But like in real life, I tired of the décor and redecorated. The slightly improved surroundings, except for the holes in the furniture and the broken windows, are easily explained. I say that the dogcatcher received funding from a wealthy lady friend, allowing him to spruce things up a little. And the dogs are behaving themselves. Well, for now, anyway.

    Whether you're creating a real-life setting, replicating a historic structure, or building something totally from your imagination, you'll find it helpful to study actual buildings, read about architecture, and learn about different furniture styles.

    Don't feel limited to what you see, or think you need to spend hours doing research, however, unless you want. Miniature rooms and houses can be as realistic, or as fanciful, as you like.

    Using different materials like beads for a curtain fringe, or gluing strings of fake pearls around the edges of a ceiling design as I did in a Victorian room box, can add glamour, as well as a unique decorative touch.

    No matter what type of room or structure you create in miniature, there is only one rule: do it your way. Have fun! Let your own personality and decorating tastes shine through.

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