Sunday, December 23, 2012

Seasons Greetings!


If you are traveling, I wish you and yours a safe, enjoyable journey.
  If you are staying home, I wish you warmth. 
Wherever you may be...have a most wonderful and peaceful time!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dollhouses For Kids Battling Cancer

Ann started Dollhouses For Kids Battling Cancer in late 2006. Her daughter was interning at a hospital in New Jersey on the pediatric cancer ward, and she suggested that the kids might like playing with a dollhouse while having their chemo.  Ann and her daughter  donated the first house and the kids loved it so Ann decided to keep going.  She built dollhouses and her daughter gave them to the doctors to give as gifts from them to the kids as they started or finished their chemo. 

Since then, Ann has been donating 90% of the houses to kids with cancer and the rest to fund raisers benefiting children with serious health issues.  Many  other organizations have asked for help so Ann has built a few dollhouses that have special meaning, such as for Juvenile Diabetes (her daughter has been a type 1 diabetic for 10 years so it is a cause dear to her), and Autism (her granddaughter is severely autistic).   She may have donated outside of the kids with cancer but all her dollhouses are still for kids with serious health problems.

Ann gets some very generous help from many people and places.  Penelope, who owns The Magical Dollhouse Company,  has a page on her website for people to donate dollhouses at a discounted price.   Greenleaf Dollhouses pays for the shipping of those houses to Ann so the customer does not get charged for that.  HBS/ has recently set up to help Ann by allowing people to buy gift certificates on their website.  HBS holds them until Ann needs something, then she orders and it is paid by those gift certificates.   If there are no donations, Ann personally buys the houses, furniture etc.   Her  mom died in 2008 and she loved DFKBC,  so the little bit of money her mom was able to leave to Ann is mainly for the kids and their houses.

In Ann's words, "I love doing this and hope I never have to stop.  I just finished the 207th dollhouse and am starting on the next.  All the houses are donated to children through Pediatric Oncology Wards, Ronald McDonald House, Bereavement Centers, fund raisers and at Christmas to the "Suffern PBA/DARE Annual Holiday Toy Drive"

WOW! 207 dollhouses, all built by Ann and given by her to a good cause.

Please consider donating to Ann's awesome project. 

You can contact her via email at:  or visit her Facebook page and leave her a message through there.  Or, via The Magical Dollhouse Company, Greenleaf Dollhouses, and HBS

Do you have some unwanted/stored/handmade miniatures you can send to Ann?  Contact her first by email or via her Facebook page, and make sure those items are suitable for young children.  She can use, carpeting, flooring, wallpaper, paint, animals, dolls, plants, accessories, etc.

These are so cool!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mini Toothpick Dolls and Penny People

About 15 years ago, Angela of Angela Michelle Dolls  made a simple toothpick worry doll and decided to see what else she could come up "addiction as it turns out",  she says.

For Angela, making dolls is a gratifying process.  "To see something take shape in your hands and develop into a beautiful (I hope!) doll with a spectacular costume is enough to keep me going on to the next one, and pushing the limits.  Can I do a stand-up collar?  How about wings?"

You can make dolls out of all sorts of things - clay, cloth and porcelain are the usual materials but Angela uses toothpicks. Look closely at her dolls. Imagine the head stripped down to a single toothpick. Under the dress are two spindly little toothpicks. Each arm is two pieces of toothpick, attached to look bent at the elbow. Everything added to the toothpick skeleton: the head, the body structure, the gown, the hair, the flowers, is all embroidery floss, or thread.  Her Toothpick Dolls measure about 2.5 inches (7 cm) tall and can take anywhere from 6 to 15 hours or more to make, depending on the design. Every doll is an original design (OOAK), and comes with a glass dome and wood base for safe display.

After several years of making her 2.5 inch Toothpick Dolls, she decided to see if she could go any smaller, and she did.  As Angela says, "Yes, I'm nuts; yes, I love it!" Her one inch Penny People was the result.  These tiny characters are made entirely of thread, save for a thin wire in the arms.  They make their home either on top of a penny or in a shadow box custom built to fit a frame she has  selected.  Her shadow boxes are also original designs.

Got a trace of insanity running through you? Angela's dolls are tiny, fiddly, exasperating, but oh-so-fun to make.  She has posted a tutorial  on her blog:

Angela's Dolls are for sale in her Etsy shop:
and you can see more of her work on her website:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you to all my followers!  
May you and your family and friends 
have a most abundant day!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Minis On The Edge

Tracy Topps has been building Minis On The Edge Of Fantasy & Reality for over 15 years.  
She loves building dollhouses, and has built many of them in the past years .  She then sells them because, "My thrill comes from building something new and making them different."

She specializes in building custom dollhouse creations for her customers. Tell her the dollhouse kit design you want, and she will build you a creation direct from her imagination.  She prefers to work with Greenleaf & Corona Dollhouse Kits.

Tracy's favorite type dollhouses to build are cottages, castle themes, and Tudor style.  She likes to mix realism with fantasy.  
Her work has been featured in several magazines Worldwide and she is dedicated to giving you beautiful One Of A Kind (OOAK) and custom creations.

She will soon be coming out with a new line of her hand made resin pieces which you may want to add to your own scenes. They will be cast from her own original so they will be unique and not found elsewhere.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crafts From A Miniaturist's Cauldron

Meet Grimdeva!  She is an eclectic mixed media artist, miniaturist, and cat wrangler.  Grim (as many of us fondly call her), hand makes fine fantasy and spooky 1:12 scale dollhouse miniatures, and gets most of her inspiration from both the dark and light aspects of Nature.

Each of Grim's pieces are one of a kind (OOAK), and crafted in assemblage style. She uses recycled bits from jewelry, toys, hardware, and various found objects, in addition to several types of clay including sculpy, paper, and epoxy.

When painting her miniature creations, she applies several layers with crackling, glazes, inks, dry brushing, and gilding.  She works in specific themes: Egyptian Revival, Spooky Witch, Gothic Vampire, Woodland Fairy, Steampunk, and Cryptozoology.   She likes the odd, the curious, the darkly ornate.

Grim received her first dollhouse when she was 2 years old. Her grandfather built a sturdy wooden Swiss Chalet, which she still has.  As many girls do, she set aside her toys when she became a teenager.  Many years later, she rediscovered that chalet  along with a large box of furniture .  While renovating that dollhouse, Grim discovered that she was very good at making miniatures and loved it. A friend suggested that she sell her miniatures online, and she soon  opened her Etsy shop, Cauldron Craft Miniatures.

In addition to being a Miniaturist, Grim is a working Witch and a rootworker.  She is as busy making full size wands and potions as she is crafting the tiny ones! In her words, "I have more ideas than I have time.  These tiny worlds will always have a special place in my heart and imagination- really, mini making is my therapy.  Lately, I’ve been making miniatures and buying artisan pieces for my own GrimHaunt Mansion, a 1:12 scale glow in the dark spooky dollhouse. So much fun!"

Grim will soon be moving all of her handmade miniatures to a new Etsy shop called Grim Haunt Miniatures, and will be keeping Cauldron Craft Oddities exclusively for real-life jewelry, ritual goods,  and fashions.  Be sure to visit:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Keeper of the Needle and Thread

Pam Gracia is a self taught character-maker and pattern designer and very proud of it.  Come travel with me through Pam's wonderful world of "Soft in the Head", a place where her original characters are all pieces of her personality and "warped" humor, and a smile is contagious.  Each of the art dolls which come to life in her workroom have a spark of what she cherishes most... life and laughter.

Pam's whimsical and primitive characters are usually of the four-legged variety.  She is well-known for her singing and dancing mice, and sour-faced frogs and cats.  When working with cloth, Pam finds that it is easier to bring human characteristics to an animal than it is to bring animal characteristics to a person. 

The 104-year-old country store, nestled in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where Pam and her husband live along with three very old cats, inspires her creativity. Once her primitive characters spring to life, they feel right at home among all the (as she says) hanging, sitting and standing clutter from the past, some of which she incorporates into her characters whether it is old vintage rusty nails, pins, fabric or even a rusty lantern.  Her art dolls are always 'animated', i.e., doing something like reading, laughing, and yes, even dancing!

In Pam's words, " I love to see the smiles and joy one of my humble characters creates when it is held or seen by the unsuspecting shopper."   

Pam teaches classes and has pioneered some new methods in the “prim” design world with her characters. “Soft in the Head” does two shows a year: Ghoultide Gatherings (a Halloween Art Show) in October in Northville, Michigan,… and a Christmas show in November in Fairfax, Virginia. 

Follow “the happenings” of Soft in the Head by reading Pam's blog:

And, be sure to visit: