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:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Potions, Anyone?

Victoria, of Dark Squirrel Miniatures, has been making miniatures for 38 years and has always made minis for her own doll houses.  She has collected small things since she was a little girl, and discovered miniatures when she built her daughter a dollhouse.

She began making fantasy minis in 1996 after seeing a table full of witch, wizard, and spooky minis at the Denver Miniatures Show. That was her 'magic moment'.

She bought a few things and came home not knowing they would change her life. Victoria was building a fishing lodge at the time, so she put away her purchases until she could decide what to make to put them in.  She admits to never finishing the fishing lodge because she started making little things that had no place to go.

In 2008, Victoria decided to retire and make fairy and fantasy and magical-type minis to sell, and opened her Dark Squirrel Etsy shop in 2009.

Victoria works in many mediums... assemblage, mixed media, acrylics, clay, wood working.  She makes all her small cupboards and little crates.  Her candles and accessories and even dolls are all handmade.  Most of her cupboards are embellished with vintage jewels and glass.


In her words, "I have been an artist my whole life and work in many mediums, my favorite being assemblage. I am a hoarder of tiny things, books and paper.  I am one of those people who is always working on something.  I have more ideas than time in the day to craft."

Be sure to visit Victoria's blog:
And, her Etsy shop: