This weekend, I went to my local Hallmark store to see the new Hallmark Keepsake Christmas ornaments for 2021. I bought a bunch that I’ll share later, but one of my favorites is the mini box of crayons. They’re the perfect size for Barbie and they look great with my 1:6 scale Barbie paper dolls! (Paper dolls are available to download from my Etsy shop.)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
My parents gave me an Etsy gift card for my birthday and with it I purchased this lovely corset ghost chair and rug.
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!
I finished painting the Susy Goose Barbie vanity. I added a vanity tray and bottles along with a brass framed photo. Available now in my Etsy shop.
This morning, I spent some time searching for other Barbie blogs. I got so caught up in one blog that I delayed breakfast for over an hour poring over her posts and awesome projects. I’m convinced Rieka can make anything! And most projects are made from Dollar Tree items and found objects. I was so inspired I had to visit Dollar Tree, Goodwill, and Walmart after breakfast!
I especially love how she customized a Glitter Girls sweet shop for Barbie. In fact after seeing what she did, I found a used sweet shop on eBay and ordered it to customize for my dolls!
Here’s a comparison of the original sweet shop to Rieka’s customized version.
Check out her blog at https://brunbellebarbie.com/
and her new Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/brunbelledesigns/
You’ll be glad you did!
I’ve been publishing Hankie Chic calendars for several years now. But invariably I end up with a few leftovers at the end of the year. I can’t bear to throw them out, so I decided to use them for a craft project. The pictures are a really nice size to frame for Barbie dioramas. So I found some brass stamping jewelry findings on Etsy, frames in the scrapbooking section of my local craft store, and some earring dangles to bend and glue onto the frame for a support. Then I simply cut the pictures to size and glued everything in place (gotta love Gorilla Glue!).
I started making some 1/6 scale miniatures a few years ago when I was looking for things to add to my doll dress photos to help set the scene. One of the first things I started making was books. I had bookshelves to fill and it was hard to find US suppliers with beautiful book covers in 1/6 scale. So with some desktop publishing software and pictures of old books, I set about creating my own. Once I offered them for sale in my Etsy shop, they quickly became best sellers (most popular color is pink – can’t imagine why). I don’t even want to know how many thousands of books I’ve made over the years. Lately, I’ve been getting bored making the same old books over and over, so I decided to add some new titles to my selections. While I have added a few more Barbie books to that listing recently, Mattel only published so many Barbie novels. So I decided to expand my vintage book listing. Here’s a glimpse at my expanded selection of books.
My sister has been knitting and made some more 1:6 scale throws that are now available in my Etsy shop. Love the shades of pink and coral.