Berry Argyle for Barbie and friends

I imagine most people decorate for Christmas in the traditional red and green. I, however, decorate for Christmas in pink and green. So when I found this vintage pink and green Burberry argyle handkerchief, I thought “Christmas.” Although, some may think “Easter” instead, but either way, it’s a versatile dress. Available now in my Etsy shop.

Also available are these doll size throws hand knitted by my sister in Christmas green and Evergreen.

1:6 scale hand embroidered pillows

My stash of vintage petit point and embroidered hankies has been calling my name. Sometimes, the hankie design is simply too small to use in a Barbie fashion, or the hankie has age marks or damage that would prevent me from using the entire thing. But I can’t bear to waste the lovely embroidery, so Barbie size pillows are the perfect solution. I’ve just posted this new collection in my Etsy shop.

Antiquing in Tennessee

You may have noticed the only things currently in my Etsy shop are digital downloads. That’s because we’re taking a much needed vacation before my crazy season at work begins, and of course that means hunting for treasures at antique shops along the way. We started off the road trip with a stop at the Exit 76 antique mall just south of Indianapolis, Indiana, off I-65. 72,000 square feet. 600 booths. You could easily spend an entire day at the mall and still not see everything. We spent about an hour and a half and just skimmed the surface. I found a couple vintage hankies and a Barbie Christmas ornament. Definitely worth the trip. Plus a good pitstop to get some much needed exercise in.

We then stayed a few days with family at the Lodge at Piney Brook just outside Lebanon, Tennessee (a wonderful location!) and took in a river cruise and show on the General Jackson Showboat.

The Lodge at Piney Brook

We stopped at a couple antique shops in Lebanon and Murfreesboro where I found some more hankies and this vintage book with amazing illustrations by Howard Chandler Christy, an American artist famous for the ”Christy Girl” – a colorful and illustrious successor to the “Gibson Girl.”

After the family left, we spent a day antiquing in Franklin, TN, and then Nashville (Gaslamp and Gaslamp Too). I saw this adorable fairy bridal shop at Gaslamp Too.

After a full day shopping, we moved into the Gaylord Opryland Resort, one of my favorite hotels, known for it’s lush atrium gardens complete with waterfalls and indoor river.

The Hotel is decorated for Halloween

Today, we visited the antiques district in Goodlettesville, and Music Valley Antiques in Nashville before taking a stroll through Opry Mills outlet mall. Here are some more of the treasures I’ve picked up along the way.

Vintage handkerchiefs
Miscellaneous miniatures. The salt shakers will make adorable lamps for Barbie. And what doll doesn’t need a brass Greek helmet? LOL! The little gold filigree thing is a basket.

Feet are now sore, so taking a break and enjoying the view from our balcony.

Waiting for paint to dry

It’s a drizzly day outside, which makes it the perfect day for crafting. I have a bunch of doll furniture stockpiled, just waiting for a new coat of paint. So I’m starting out with a vintage Susy Goose Barbie vanity and 3 Barbie Fan Club chairs. I’ve got the first coat on everything, and it will probably take 2-3 more coats before I finish with sealer. I also just got a package in the mail with a vintage Susy Goose Barbie piano that needs some love. What color shall I paint this piano …. Previously, I’ve done blue, white, cream, pink, vertigris, black, and green. Revisit one of those colors, or try something new? Suggestions? How about lilac?

Home again from a weekend of antiquing and a doll show

This past weekend, we antiqued our way around Lake Michigan from Southwest Michigan to Indiana and the west/northwest suburbs of Chicago. It’s amazing how many miniatures you can find in antique shops, many the perfect scale for Barbie. And I also scored some beautiful handkerchiefs and vintage lace. On Sunday, we shopped the Naperville Doll and Teddy Bear show where I found vintage Ken and Skipper sewing patterns (I already had copies of the vintage Barbie patterns I found there), more lace and hankies, and a Silkstone lingerie Barbie #6, never removed from her box. Plus we got to visit one of my favorite customers, stop by the Windy City Dolls shop in Geneva, Illinois, to see Barb, the proprietor, and help my nephew find some furnishings for his new apartment. All in all, a wonderful trip!

Antique shops we visited included: Great Lakes Antique Mall, Coloma, Michigan; The Antique Market, Michigan City, Indiana; Jackson Square Antique Mall, LaGrange, Illinois; Affordable Antiques & More, Naperville, Illinois; Antiques of Winfield, Winfield, Illinois; Antique and Chic, Winfield, Illinois; Oakton Street Antique Center, Arlington Heights, Illinois; Geneva Antique Market at the Berry House Shops, Geneva, Illinois; Antique Market I, St. Charles, Illinois; and Coachman Antique Mall, LaPorte, Indiana.

Here are some pictures of the treasures I found.

Lots of gorgeous lace!
Hankies galore!
Hand painted miniature ceramics: salt shakers to make into lamps, vases, cake salt and pepper shakers, and a clock
A quarter sawn oak library table, a metal rack to store miniatures, and a 3 tier plastic rolling bin.
Silkstone lingerie Barbie #6
Found in the basement at the Coachman Antique Mall in LaPorte, Indiana, on our way home. Could not get it all in one picture! Doll boxes were stacked about 6 deep from floor to ceiling! Tons of furniture, vehicles, and accessories, as well as bins full of Barbie clothes. I honestly don’t know how they got it all in there. If you’re looking for Barbie stuff, this is a must see!

1:6 scale miniature delights

Yesterday, I received a surprise in the mail. One of my friends in France saw my blog post about feves and sent me some for my dioramas! They are so cute! Be sure and notice the Barbie mirror (it even says Barbie on the back) and the adorable little shoes. Thank you, Evelyne!

And in other mini news, I found some adorable brass picture frames on Etsy that are the perfect size for Barbie. I scaled down a Robert Best sketch and printed it on card stock and glued it to the back of the frame. Then I glued a couple brass earring drops on the back for the easel stand (I bent them in half with pliers). It’s a little pricey for me to make in bulk to sell in my shop, so here’s the shop info if you want to order a frame and make your own.

1:6 scale paper dolls for Barbie and friends

Did you like to play with paper dolls as a child? My favorite part was cutting them out! So I thought maybe Barbie would like her own set of paper dolls to play with. You can now download a printable PDF file from my Etsy shop for $2.99 that will print out two sets of mini paper dolls on one page. Each set contains a folio to house your doll and outfits, a doll, plus 6 pages of outfits (3 in full color and 3 for your doll to color). I even included extra dolls in case you make a cutting mistake. Have fun playing!

Minis for Barbie and friends

I’m always on the lookout for minis to include in my Barbie dioramas. Here are some treasures I’ve added to my collection that you can find in retail stores or on Etsy.

French feves from the Etsy shop ValueARTifacts

Feves (French for “bean”) are tiny figurines that are made to be put inside a “King’s Cake” for the “Epiphany” Holiday, which is celebrated every year on January 6th, the 12th day of Christmas. Tradition states that this is the day that the three wise men or “Three Kings” came to Bethlehem, to honor the birth of Christ. Traditionally it was a fava bean that was placed inside the cake. Whoever finds the feve in his or her slice of cake, is king for the day. SInce it was good luck to get the feve in your cake – these little items were saved and treasured.

In the 1870s the bean was replaced with small porcelain figurines; good luck charms, religious figures, saints etc, and a collecting craze was begun! The oldest feves were porcelain. As the years sped by, designs became more elaborate; different glazes were used, they were hand painted or gilded. Following WWI, due to supply shortages, plastic feves were made. Now this tradition of Feve production and collecting has been completely commercialized, and there is a vast assortment of porcelain, plastic and metal figures that are made. A lot of the newest feves are sold in series – more for collecting than for actually placing in cakes. Designs include everything from Harry Potter and Disney to the high fashion shoes and purses. Collecting Feves is very popular in France. The series are generally only produced for a single year.

Corset ghost chair from the Etsy shop TheParisianApartment. Rug from Etsy shop TinyHomeGoods.

My parents gave me an Etsy gift card for my birthday and with it I purchased this lovely corset ghost chair and rug.

DIY Modern Mini miniatures from Michaels

I stopped at Michaels this morning and discovered the dollhouse craze is back, this time with modern minis. While most of the minis are strictly 1:12 scale, I thought these would work well for Barbie. I think I’ll use the little ceramic trays to hold jewelry on a vanity or dresser, and I may or may not paint the mirror frame. The little storage basket is simply a plastic bucket with twine glued on the outside. These pieces are very affordable at $3-4 each, plus they were on sale today!