Friday, April 30, 2010

New Chaise

Gosh, I think I had better learn Spanish!! Thanks so much for your kind comments.

Here's the chaise I've been working on, it's at and I am under furniture, 1 inch minis, Kris Compas

Thursday, April 29, 2010

P.S. on Pottery

I forgot two things: to hold your bowls I use a toothpick with adhesive wax on the end. This gives you a handle to hold on to when you are painting, stick it into foam or something to hold upright while the bowl or pot dries. Then sometimes it's hard to get the paper started in the quilling tool just putting the tip in, I will fold paper in half or about half, (lengthwise) then start turning the tool to wind a tight circle.


Paper Pottery Update

Hi, I am beginning to be sleep deprived! I should be making furniture for the CDHM site to update things but can't get my head around it!
I've been playing with the quilling paper pots I started and I thought I would show you some of the work.
I can't emphasize enough the importance of using Elmer's glue to make the pots good and hard. I smear the inside and now the outside of the bowls with several coats of Elmer's and let them dry overnight.
I have started using my Dremel with the small diameter drum sander on to sand the bowls. It's so, so much easier and quicker.
I made a pot and bowl from the quilling paper from ideas from a birthday card to my husband and a note pad.
I haven't finished the pot from the birthday card, yet. I thought I would show you that one in progress.
I like the red speckled bowl with the handle. It's just 28 gauge green paddle wire and a toothpick for the handle. I drilled using a #72 bit for the wire to go through and used files to shape. To make the surface decoration I glued card stock onto the surface of the bowl.
Then I finished the pot I was making for the tutorial. That's the brown glass stain on the top part of the pot. I wasn't sure you could see it in the picture with the tulips.
I finished these with Delta's Perm Enamel Clear Gloss Glaze.
I'm taking a nap. Kris

I have some more sanding on the pot from the birthday card at the middle seam. The glue is drying.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Dear Ira, I hadn't thought of that. That's the best idea I've heard. My cat doesn't go after Ginger, my rabbit because I told him "no". Thank you so much for the input. I knew someone would give me a good idea to keep Fidget alive. Thank you, Kris


I don't know what I am going to do right now. We had one before, Ally Mae. We raised her and just let her loose on our place, we have 5 acres. She raised lots of kits, one time she had 6. She was not a happy mom. She just wanted to be with my son, her eyes opened with him so she bonded to him. When she wasn't pregnant he could still get her to ride on his shoulder. She got very mean and cranky when she was pregnant. It was lots of fun seeing the babies all lined up eating out of a chicken feeder trough full of dry cat food. Of course Ally had her own bowl pulled up in front of her with a very unhappy look on her face. She would sit on her butt with the bowl between her legs, grabbing at the food, scratching her belly and looking around. They are always looking around and their hands are busy doing something else.
This story ends very sadly. She killed one of our chickens, she didn't need to, we fed her and all of her relatives. It got to be quite a scene in the back yard, all the different dishes. Ally would open the screen door and let it slam closed when she wanted to eat. Well, we let the first chicken go. The next year she killed another. My husband wouldn't let it go, he shot her. It was not a happy household for a few days. We all understood, couldn't have anything that killed the livestock. It was hard on him, too.
I don't want this to happen to Fidget. He is a male and that would stop all of the relatives from living here. I can have him neutered if I get a license for him and then he wouldn't have need to wander. But raccoons are wild and should be wild. They shouldn't be caged. They are very, very inquisitive, can not keep them out of anything!!! They have hands and they use them. They are not like a dog or cat that lays around and sleeps. If a raccoon wants into a cabinet or drawer they will get into it and empty the contents out. That's fun the first time.

I don't want to dump him anywhere. I couldn't leave him to die, it's a serious decision when you take in a wild baby, one we are never prepared to make. Getting the license and having him neutered and letting him live on the place sounds good, if he doesn't kill chickens. Living inside in a cage wouldn't be a life, would it?

I don't know

Baby Picture!

I couldn't resist taking this picture and sharing it with you. Mr. Fidget lives in a aquarium right now. His eyes and ears are still not open and he is a lot bigger than when we took him out of our wall. He does have a big, fat belly doesn't he? He lays on a heating pad to keep warm. I think he is going to start to sleep through the night, at least he did last night! TTYL Kris


I am tired, Mr. Fidget takes up a lot of my time, day and night. He is growing.

I have found a way to copy and paste my patterns and when you print them out they will be the same size, so cool.

I have finished another custom order for a miniaturist in California. It's a special size chaise. I have made one for sale but a little longer. I have the legs to stain and apply finish to, that will take a few days. It is black and grey, very narrow stripes, a piece of vintage fabric I bought from Sandy's Lace and Trims a long time ago. I will put it up on the CDHM site soon.

Here's a picture of the custom chaise.

I am working on a shelf you can make with the quilling paper.


Sunday, April 25, 2010


Hi Guys! Thanks for your compliments, I hope you try it out.

O.K. now for the bologna. My daughter, Katie, came up with this idea a long time ago but it's a good one. She noticed that some pills came in a plastic bubble that resembled a lunch meat package, pills that are a flat circle. Use a pink pencil eraser that fits inside of that pill bubble and you have Oscar Mayer B-O-L-O-N-G-A!

My son just showed me a great website: You can find all kinds of labels and you can resize them!


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Paper "Pottery"

I make my paper pottery from quilling paper. For some shapes I combine card stock with it, such as a "moonshine" jug. The color of quilling paper doesn't matter, you are going to cover it with gesso anyway. Check Micheal's or go online for the quilling paper, use 1/8 inch wide. You can cut paper an 1/8 inch wide, too, to try this out without going out to buy special paper.

I made my tool from a large needle
stuck into a dowel rod. I snipped off the top of the needle's eye to finish the tool.

To start, slip the end of the paper into the eye and start winding. I glued 3 pieces together to make a tight circle of about 3/4 inch in diameter when finished winding. Remember the pot is only as big as the tight circle you make. If you want a large diameter pot you have to wind more paper. Use tacky glue to glue the end when you are done winding. Carefully slip the tight circle off the needle tool. For the pot I'm making 2 tight circles. They can both be the same size or the second one can be just so slightly smaller, this will be the top portion of the pot. This is so one can fit into to other when we glue them together.

Two tight circles.

The next step is pushing the centers out. Some people use beads as forms. I just manipulate the circle with my thumbs and fingers. Don't push too much or it will all come loose.

The circle can be flattened if you don't like the shape and you can try again. This takes a little playing with. You'll learn that just a slight nudge can change the character of a shape. Play with the tight circles first to get the feel of pushing out the centers.
In picture 14 you can see the shape of the pot I am making. The bottom and top are not quite the same. The top is not as tall as the bottom. The final shape is your design, just asking you to look at what I've done to the tight circles.

To make the hole in the top, carefully push out the very center with tweezers. Grab the paper and pull out until you have an opening the size you want.
This step can be done after smearing glue on the inside of the bowl, that's the next step. It depends on my mood what I do, glue or make the opening.

When you have the size of opening you want cut off the excess paper.

Top of pot with opening.

I use Elmer's white glue to glue the inside of the bowls we've made. Elmer's dries hard, tacky glue always stays flexible. I don't want the pots to be flexible. Smear glue on a couple of times. Let the glue dry, it's important, if you don't you can smush your bowl shapes doing the next step.

Sometimes I want a smooth finish on the surface of the pottery. I sand the paper with 120 grit sandpaper. You don't have to sand all the rings off, the gesso will cover up a little bit. Sometimes you want to rings to show, like the potter left the rings in for surface decoration.

Glue the two bowls together. They can be glued edges to edges or if you made one of the tight circles a little smaller, one bowl will fit into the other.

I like to drop a little Elmer's glue inside and roll the pot around to distribute the glue. You will have to roll the pot around a few times before the glue dries.

To make a flared lip I use card stock and trace a 3/4 inch circle, then trace a 1/2 inch circle inside of it.

Cut the circle out.

Gently bend the circle over a dowel rod or pencil to get it to curve without creasing.

Mix dots of tacky glue and Elmer's glue together. Overlap the lip to match the size of the opening in the top of your pot and glue the lip together with the mixed glue.

Glue the lip onto the pot using the mixed glue.

I trimmed the quilling paper a little narrower. You can buy narrower quilling paper, but I just trim for now. This narrow size is for the handles on the pot.
Wrap the narrow paper around a 1/8 inch dowel rod. Secure with the mixed glue, paper to paper to begin with, don't glue the paper to the dowel, then roll around the dowel twice. Cut the paper and glue the end. Slip the handle off the dowel and make another.

For the smaller handle I used a toothpick, that's about a 1/16 in diameter. Make two handles the same as above.

I use gesso to fill in and smooth the surface of the pot a little more than just sanding. Apply a couple of coats, let dry, sand and apply more coats, sanding between until you get the surface you like.

I also stipple using gesso and glue mixed together or paint and glue mixed together. You can use any craft texture product to add surface texture to the pot.
Remember, this is pottery, not china. It's supposed to look hand made, not too perfect.
At this point you can add all sorts of surface decoration. I used flower and leaf paper punches to make an applied decoration. Wire can also be used as handles. You can use thread for ribs, the top edges or as a foot. Fingernail accessories can be used.

Imagination is the name of the game here.

To paint I use acrylic craft paints. Sometimes I will top this with glass stain, like the pot holding the pink tulips. Glass stain can be very useful for different pottery glaze effects, experiment. I generally top it all off with a very shiny, hard varnish. I like Delta's Perm Enamel Clear Gloss Glaze or DecoArt Triple Thick Gloss Glaze.

Nesting bowls painted to look like 1950's and 60's Pyrex bowls with the white inside.

Pot holding pink tulips with brown glass paint used on the top portion of pot.

I love big pottery and mini pottery. I hope you all try making some pots and bowls.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Mr. Fidget

I've named the baby raccoon Mr. Fidget. He is a handful. I've done this before, but I've grown older and night feedings are not fun. I've moved my bed into the workroom so I can rest between feedings. Ginger gets up on the bed, too.
I am working on another lesson for you, must take pictures and I will need another hand to do that. This time it's about how I make "pottery" from paper.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

What a response!

Thank you for the comments and awards. I want to try more small how-to's. You know the vintage kitchen has all sorts of how-to's if you are interested in that era and I did a shell lamp somewhere around the first of the blog entries.

I am starting a red chaise for Encore-Elegance today. Hope to finish it by first of next week. Need to go to Menards to find a red mahogany stain for the legs. If you don't have a Menards building materials store you are missing out. It is so much better than Loews or Home Depot. Can't explain the difference but it doesn't feel like the warehouse stores. It's big too, really big and the sales people don't run from you! Ours is an hour away but it's worth it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


(I don't know why this picture keeps being loaded sideways, sorry)

This is how I do piping for my pillows and around the furniture cushions.

First of all you need to cut your fabric on the bias, this aides in bending around curves and corners. I have used piping cut on the straight or cross grain in a pinch or if you like the pattern better on the straight grain, but it's a little harder to handle. That's in pictures 1 and 2.

I use Coats and Clark Knit Cro Sheen for the inside of the piping. It's a crochet thread, I think a pretty standard size. I am sorry I can't tell you a size number. Just remember, you are in miniature don't go too big. Cut the crochet thread a little longer that what you need. I use a fabric glue, tacky would be all right to use. Picture 3.

Apply glue to the bias edge of the fabric. Spread out to about a quarter of an inch. If you get any on your table, wipe off. Press the crochet thread into the glue on the very edge of the fabric. Picture 4.

In picture 5 you see that I have turned the fabric around to roll the edge towards me. Make sure you keep the crochet thread at the edge, don't let it move forward. Roll the fabric and thread just so the edge touches the other side of the fabric, don't overlap. Picture 5.

Turn the fabric over and use your thumbnail or fingernail to press very close to the crochet thread. Pictures 6 and 7 show this.

Cut with sharp scissors very close to this pressed edge, snuggle up close to the roll. Lay the piping onto scrap fabric to do the next step. We want to piping to be round. DON'T roll it in your fingers, this will sometimes make the seam spiral around the crochet thread. I will admit on some fabrics this wouldn't matter, but on most it does. I want you to lay it on the fabric, the fabric is for friction to get the piping to roll. Use a couple of fingers or the heel of your hand and roll the piping back and forth only for a half of an inch, just short strokes or the seam will spiral. Press the fabric into the glue. Pictures 8 and 9.

That's the piping. I have used cloth covered florist's wire for the inside of the piping, too. You can bend the piping to stay in place while gluing.

The next pictures are of how I make a pillow.

I cut a piece of card stock the size of pillow I want, this was 1 1/4". I trace around the card stock. Pictures 10 and 11.

I then cut out the fabric adding a seam allowance, don't cut on your drawn line or your pillow will be smaller. Cut a front and back. The drawn line now becomes the guide line to sew on. Picture 12.

I sew my pillows by hand, I think the machine goes too fast for miniatures. I leave a little opening on one side. Don't knot off the thread. Run your needle through one layer of fabric to that it comes out between the two sides of the pillow. Picture 13.

I trim the sides and corners. I apply a dot of glue to each corner on each side so the corners won't blow out when I turn the pillow to the right side. Picture 14.

I apply a line of glue along the sewing guide line on the opening, both sides. Fold the seam allowance down to seal. Picture 15.

Turn the pillow out to the right side, I use forceps. Pull your corners out, you can do this by inserting your needle between the layers of fabric, catch the sewing thread and work the corner out. Don't catch the fabric or you might blow the corner. I am sorry I don't have a picture of this, I was alone when I photographed all of this.

Now for the big secret, are you ready? Nobody is looking over your shoulder are they? I fill my pillows with polystyrene balls. Tiny, tiny, as small as the head of a pin or smaller. A couple of years ago pillows filled with this were popular, they were usually covered in a very, very stretchy knit. When you felt these pillows you couldn't keep from squishing them. I don't see these pillows around anymore. I found one at the Goodwill store. I haven't gone on the Internet, yet. Depending on the fabric you use, pillows filled with these balls can get pretty scrunchy. You can fill your pillows with stuffing, some people use sand or seeds to get them to "set" right. Sew the opening closed.

Apply a thin line of glue in the pillow seam and press the piping into the glue. Picture 16.

The last picture is of the pillow setting on a sample of the last custom piece I made. Picture 17.

I hope you all make some piping! Let me know if you need any help. TTYL Kris

P.S. This does not work on all fabrics, you have try them out. I was making a couple of chairs from plain old cotton broadcloth and thinking that I was going to use the piping. Piping generally works on plain old cotton broadcloth, I don't know if it was me, the fabric or the moon and stars, but I was not going to get piping from that fabric. I had to use the old stand by, twisted embroidery floss. Another thing, when you are finishing the piping, rolling it, try rolling it just towards you or away from, which ever is comfortable for you. Sometimes you need to just roll in one direction to keep it from twisting too much. You can't keep it from twisting. Kris

Finished another custom project

I have finally finished the custom project for the miniaturist in Nebraska. He is creating a rustic cabin retreat. It sounds very relaxing doesn't it? One of those projects you can sit in front of and dream.


Looks Great Nina!

Hi Nina, Got the photo of the settee. I think it looks very much at home in the Tudor castle, something like a bed and breakfast in a castle in the countryside in England! Your walls looks fantastic, how long did they take to do? You have got to be getting a history lesson doing this project, so far you are getting an A+, Nina.

I've got more followers. Thank You for signing up, I hope I can keep up, keep you interested. Have a short project on how I make and put piping on my pillows, I hope to get that out to you soon.


P.S. Now I am raising a little baby raccoon. He fell down in the wall in my workroom and my husband had to cut the drywall to get it out. This is the second time, the first raccoon was big enough to go back to MOM, this one is just about a week old and we don't hear MOM. We are afraid she won't come to get him if we put him back. This year after they are gone He Is going to close that wall up for me. No more raccoons! We raised one before that the kids found in the bark of a tree. Yes, that one was in my workroom, too, along with the silky chicken, named Fluffy. Fluffy passed at 13 years old a few year ago. I live in a zoo.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


O.K. Ladies, I've been visiting blogs. You ladies are knock-out miniaturists. I've always been one to stay out here in the boon-docks. I try to tell people about miniatures and, well you all know the reaction. You are all so accessible with the internet. I would just read the magazines and dream about seeing more beautiful things. It is a community isn't it? I know I sound silly, but this is all new to me. I just put my things up on CDHM in November and was blogging a little bit to commune with like minded people. I am so impressed with all of your talents. I have one friend that also makes minis and she lives an hour away and we find it hard to get together. I am glad I've joined in on the fun.

And goats! We had goats for 16 years, our last wether died about a month ago, Reggie, he was 16 years old. I made saddle bags for them and we would all go hiking together with the goats carrying our meals. They loved it, and so did our 3 kids. Our nanny had triplets one night, doubled our herd, that's when Reggie went to the vet! Six was enough for us. We had so much fun. People would stop us on the trail and ask where we rented the goats from to carry our things. Ofcourse they were carrying heavy backpacks! Al, my husband had a hard time when Reggie passed, we all did. He came up with the idea to adopt some donkeys from the Missouri Humane Society. We went and he fell in love with Riviera and I came home with Casper. We want to train them to haul for us. We heat with wood and being 54 and 60 years old the woods are getting farther away and the wheel barrow is getting old. We had been doing it since Reggie retired a few years ago and we need help.

Well, I am signing off now. Just wanted to say I am truly impressed with all of your talents, and thanks for taking the time to comment.


Room Boxes, So Far

I thought I would put up the date on the room boxes I have had pictures of so you don't have to go searching.
Starting from the first, my Vintage Kitchen, date 7.29.09, there will be several pictures around that date. First Apartment, date 12.29.09. Watering Can Potting Shed, date 2.16.10. Carl's Room, date 2.16.10. My current project, put on hold, date 2.25.10.
Thank you for visiting my blog, Kris

P.S. Just learned something new: After you click on the picture to make it larger you have a magnifier and you can click on an area of the picture to make it larger. How cool is that?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Thank You!

I want to thank everyone for their kind and generous comments. I love hearing from you, it's fun to communicate with all of you. Miniatures are so much fun to do, but sharing is the best part of all.
I am working on some custom furniture and will be busy for about a week. I have some news things I want try. I keep saying that, but I am going to make some new furniture.

This is a picture of my new donkeys. Casper, the white one is 3 years old and Riviera is 16 years old.
I finally have the chicks moved out to the chicken house. They are 6 weeks old and fully feathered. Now, Ginger, my rabbit can stop playing "bowling for chicks". The chicks were jumping over the top of their pen and would get out and walk around the work room. So Ginger would charge after them. So much fun!