These items are not specifically house related, but I do think that I will use most of them one way or another in Little Top Cottage, so they are all going in this post.  Structurally I haven’t done anything else I have planned yet, I’m procrastinating about the windows, stairs and the skirtings.  It’s not that bad I keep telling myself, but I don’t do it and play with the little things.

The oldest little thing, that I haven’t showed yet are my beaded bathroom/perfume bottles now with labels. Here are a few to look at. I haven’t sanded the bath tub just yet, so I have nothing else bathroom related to show with them. At least a  couple will end up in Little Top Cottage.

Miniature Perfume Bottles made from Beads

Miniature Perfume Bottles made from Beads

I have to keep reminding myself that nobody is going to look this close, but the wobbly bits and the slightly off kilter scissor cuts are starting to really bother me… *sigh*

I did show the elephant cross stitch before. I have since made another and made cushions out of both of them.  I have to say though, part way through stitching I thought hang on a minute?! this isn’t the same picture as the example on the Kreinik  freebies section.  [Go to the Freebies Section, then select Free Cross Stitch Patterns and Cross Stitch for All Seasons, Elle the Elephant is on Page 1]

The Free Cross Stritch Pattern for Elle the Elephant Designed by Lula Chang

The Free Cross Stritch Pattern for Elle the Elephant Designed by Lula Chang

But it’s still an elephant and it will still work with QBerry’s circus theme.

Miniature Elephant Cross Stitch Cushions

Miniature Elephant Cross Stitch Cushions

I stitched them way too close to each other so could only cut out 2 rows away from the edge, so I first glued the stitchery onto white cotton then stitched those to the back.  I think they look more like bed cushions now that they are completed, but I will wait to decide where they will actually live.

Then just after Christmas I played with these:

Miniature Doll House Umbrella

Miniature Doll House Umbrella

The first thing I tried is the umbrella, isn’t it adorable?  there are plenty of tutorials around on how to achieve this, but if you haven’t seen them yet, basically you carefully peel off the paper from a cocktail umbrella and replace it with your own fabric.  I wrapped some ribbon around the stem and the top as well.  It’s a little dilapidated now since I passed it around so much showing everyone (most are probably highly dis-interested in miniatures and my mum just said – before I explained – “why didn’t you just buy a cocktail umbrella instead of doing all that?”) – Thanks Mum 😀

I think that QBerry may use an umbrella or two in her acts, so I will make some others and think about a cute storage option for them. I would like to make another with a painted stick – what do you call the central pokey bit of a brolly anyway?? – Anyone? I also realised I showed you the ugly side of my brolly – seamed edge right there… pretend you didn’t see it ok?

Then I knew I wanted to try baskets, I thought about wicker and then read some basket weaving (1:1) size instructions here and there, when I found coiled baskets, I thought that I would really like to try them.  The first one was a bit wonky and I used the entire cord of hemp from the spool I had bought.  Then I tried again splitting the hemp into its 3 plies and using one ply only.  I’m quite happy with this as a second try.

Miniature Coiled Basket from 1 Ply of Hemp Cord

Miniature Coiled Basket from 1 Ply of Hemp Cord

I tried to follow this tutorial here from Bricolages en Compagnie, I thought I would use 12 count cross stitch linen instead of tulle and this is how they turned out. I think I like the delicateness of the tulle a bit better, so I will try with tulle or other netting next.

Miniature Mesh Basket WIP

Miniature Mesh Basket WIP

erm… the last steps of making the basket involve painting it – haven’t done that yet.  I also soldered my wire I don’t do well with super glue (see perfume bottles above – am going to try some other glues and see how I do)

I also found this little elephant in the charms section at my local craft store (on sale!) and think that it looks a little like one balancing (actually almost in the same way as Elle the Elephant in the Cross Stitch Preview (see above)) , so I am either going to make a semicircle to look as if she is balancing on a big ball, or make one of those ottoman like circus balance things that elephants stood(stand) on.

Elephant Charm Silver

Elephant Charm Silver

Just a word on the use of animals in my circus theme, I love all animals but am quite against animals being used in performance acts if they are actually supposed to be wild animals or if they are mistreated.  So the animals incorporated in my theme are for aesthetic reasons only and I in no way think it’s ok, to train animals to perform in any cruel manner.

– I wrote most of the above just after Christmas like I said… the next bit I added 11th January – didn’t want to lie about when I did them
– please continue

And I baked made some bread…. I used a tutorial by Betsy Niederer available for free on the CDHM site. Betsy is amazingly talented and an active member of the CDHM forum. I drooled over lots of her tiny creations which are amazingly life like in the monthly updates in the food board.

Miniature Bread made from a Tutorial By Betsy Niederer

Miniature Bread made from a Tutorial By Betsy Niederer

I am very proud of my first attempt but  have to emphasise and say that the instructions are superb and easy to follow and I am sure anyone could make them like this (or better) by following the tutorial.  Thank you so much for sharing your talent Betsy! Betsy’s website is BetsyNiederer.com you can buy her items there and also tutorials on how to make other things. I have my eye on one of those tutorials.

Miniature Bread in a Basket

Miniature Bread in a Basket

Actually I haven’t even baked the bread yet, I need to do that soon because – looks like the pastels are coming off on my photo background and I havent actually finished them yet!

PS Two Ferrero Rocher Chocolates were harmed in the writing of this post 😉