Friday, January 29, 2016


I've enjoyed dollhouses, miniature vignettes in unusual containers and miniature furniture, pictures, stuffed animals and so on for a long, long time. 

I'm not sure why that little world is so interesting to me. It's tedious to light a little room box or a dollhouse, or to make your own furniture. 

Yet, looking into that little room is such a delight and if I can put a train display with it, I'm thrilled.

My father didn't build a dollhouse for me when I was young, but he did for my daughter when she was about 5 1/2. She was shocked when she saw it. I couldn't believe that he brought in two sections from West Virginia to Michigan via plane and finished it before Christmas morning!  Appropriately, since his name was Jack, I had a plaque made that said "The House that Jack Built." My brother is in charge of that house now for one of his granddaughters. 

Later my dad built another smaller house that I wrangled away from him because he was going to sell it in a garage sale. It is now the "Bear House that Jack Built." It's such a joy to see my 6-yr. old granddaughter play with it, getting lost in the miniature world. I saw her interest in miniatures when I made her a couple of fairy gardens.

Usually when I'm working in that small world, I may change out the characters and the furnishings, but I don't change the wallpaper or floor covering. I seem to postpone that design decision So, a Christmas vignette that I made a number of years ago has had a delightful unfinished scene, as shown in the first photograph.
The walls needed some sort of covering, as did the floor. I could use dollhouse wallpaper but decided to use some paper I had on hand in Christmas colors to complete the theme. The scale of the paper would work. I measured several times for the walls. (Note that I put tape on my ruler that takes chalk - sure makes marking measurements easier.) 

I also had some molding I wanted to use for the upper part of the wall. The molding strip I had was a little bit thicker than 1/4. Unfortunately, I had to make-do with the one strip I had. It was easily
trimmed with scissors.
With my paper and molding strip trimmed, I ran them through the Xyron® Creatopia using the permanent adhesive cartridge. This machine, although no longer sold at Xyron,  is a workhorse. It takes 12" wide materials, can do decorative cuts, diecut, permanent and repositionable adhesive and laminate. I applied permanent adhesive to the paper AND the molding strip, which went through the machine with ease.

The "edge to edge" adhesive phrase used frequently by Xyron® spokesperson Beth Kingston has become a running joke in my house.  I think I embarrass my husband when we go out for breakfast because I order edge to edge butter on my English muffin! Needless to say, edge to edge adhesive AND butter are terrific!

Continuing with the details of the little room, I laminated the small picture then put it in a tiny frame so it looks like it has glass over it. The photo was from a miniature magazine. Although I've done my own tiny artwork in calligraphy and my mother used to do the tiny embroidery, I usually save very small photos like this to use on the miniature walls.

Continuing on with the room, I applied the "wallpaper." After applying the adhesive to the paper, it was easy to put the paper on the walls. I started at the top and pressed down toward the floor to smooth out the surface. I then when over it with an old credit card to make sure it was bubble free - no bubbles ever appeared. The molding strip applied as easily as the paper. Note that I put push pins into the molding for a few minutes to make sure it stayed in place but I discovered that it stuck firmly without extra help.

My little room is done except for the outside. It has lucite on one side and the top, and wood on the other 3 sides. Since it usually sits on a shelf, I will probably apply either a Christmas banner to the outside front edge or little shingles on the wood. The shingles also went through the Creatopia with ease!! Joy! Joy!

My only remaining project with this is the lighting. That is another post at another date with a really cool idea, so please check back.



Thursday, January 21, 2016


Yep - I think I'd call it a Tissue Tape explosion with the amount of interest people seem to have in making their own version of a "Washi" tape. I'm no exception. Ive been making then for awhile with scraps on my workshop table, strips of my monoprinted pages and  even my Citrasolv™-washed National Geographic® pages. I've used book text and my own writing also.

It's fun to make some to keep on hand, or to customize the tape with your current project's color scheme. Of course, having a few of the handy Xyron™ adhesive machines makes it even easier. I use repositionable adhesive on the strips I make to keep on hand. For targeted projects, I will use permanent adhesive.

Recently, the Women's Bible Journaling group I lead spent some time learning how to do it for themselves. They can embellish their Bibles or notebooks with tape borders or specific words relating to the current study. We used strips from deli paper we wrote on as well as decorative napkins after removing the backing.

I prefer keeping completed tapes on the adhesive backing sheet until I use them. Adhering them to the inside of file folders allows me to see my stash of tape. You better believe I have a basket of store-bought Washi tapes as well!

Tips: thinner papers may wrinkle when running them through the machines....hold the paper as taut as you can without tearing it while adhering the adhesive. When you remove the top plastic, do so carefully so you don't lift the tissu. Also, be careful when you peel the tissue off of the backing because it will tear easily or double back on itself!

Check out the YouTube demo by Beth Kingston at

Happy Taping!! :)