Sunday, 16 April 2017

Resources

Sometimes, half the battle of designing and make anything in miniature depends on finding the right materials. I'm sure I'm not alone when I describe the frustrating scenario of typing in the word miniature -(insert material searched for here)- into Google and getting 51,273,004 results, most of which are neither use nor ornament. Josje pointed out a miniature material exchange group on Facebook a while back, which I thought was a great idea, but it seems to have been closed down. I now rely heavily on you lovely readers to post links to new resources.
So if you don't already, I would urge you to post links to any suppliers that you find. That information can be pure gold and literally save someone hours of Google searches.

The first material I tried to find is the embossed diamond fabric that mimics modern miniature mattress covers. I'd seen it before. I knew it was out there. Model Horsey collecting people make saddle blankets from it so I knew it was a thing. I contacted a few well known UK model saddle makers and they couldn't remember where they had bought it...or it was a secret...I dunno. Two days of search later and YAY, you fabulous, fabulous French people! I found the most wonderful company called Ma Petite Mercerie who sell, amongst other things, 10mm diamond embossed Jersey.



The company sell small amounts in 10cm strips and ship really fast. I love how comfy that mattress looks now.


The second search, and one that I seem to do on a regular basis, is for wood. Finding suitable wood in the UK is a pain. Finding exotic wood, (i.e. not native to the UK), is nigh impossible. By pure coincidence, I was reading a thread in a wood turners forum when someone mentioned a wood mill in the North East. Huh? Where??
Here it is...in the middle of nowhere.



Our SatNav took us to someones house about a mile from the place we wanted to be. The lady who lived in the house looked kinda surprised to find us standing in her back garden but also accustomed to strangers asking for directions. 


Is it sad that I get this excited over wood? The place was a treasure trove of exotic hardwood. Even better, they could cut blocks to size and all of the wood came with chain of custody certification
The owners son is about to take over the business and drag it into the 21st century buy selling online. I'll post a link as soon as it becomes available. Alternatively, if you're in the area, I can provide you with better directions than my SatNav 😄


The last thing I did is more of a time saving tip than a supplier. I mentioned in a previous post about transferring images onto wood using wax paper. This tip is for anyone who has a laser cutter or who has access to a laser cutter.
I made a load of advertising stamps by laser etching a design onto rubber sheet. The tip is - a laser can read fonts. Even better, a laser can read any font, including dingbats, (which is a stylised picture font).



This saves you a whole lotta hours drawing designs from scratch if you want to laser cut or etch a picture. I think they'd look pretty good stamped onto some antique crates.


I hope this is helpful to someone.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend
Pepper :0)



50 comments:

  1. Hi Pepper
    I can't agree enough about the hours I have spent searching the web for something specific I have in mind for my miniature projects. Most of the time I know exactly what I want, but cannot find the right supplier. The fabric you found looks very effective. I also love your stamps, just makes me want a laser cutter all the more.

    Jayne c

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    1. Hi Jayne, there are a nation of laser cutting companies out there now so it's getting easier to have someone make your design. Plus the price of the machines are tumbling which is great :0) Yeah, I hate to think of the days...weeks probably wasted on the internet doing searches :0/

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  2. Thank you Pepper for these precious links!

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  3. Yes, yes and yes! :D I love that mattress material. Fabulous! :D

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    1. I'm so happy to find it. I triwed sewing the pattern into cotton and it didn't go well...:0(

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  4. What a great help this is! Many thanks... especially that fabric shop is a trouvaille!! Thanks for sharing :-)

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    1. Thanks Marion. I love that fabric shop :0)

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  5. Brilliant idea with the fonts - I've used them for similar things, but not having access to a laser cutter anymore meant I haven't experimented with text. I know someone who has one now though so there's the potential... :P

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    1. Yay, glad to hear you may get a little laser time again Christine :0)

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    2. `The only downside is that I have to do battle with CAD again. XD

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  6. The mattress looks cozy and nap ready - the crate stamps look like so much fun! Thanks for sharing the resources and techniques!

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    1. Thanks Jodi. I loves me a cosy ass bed :0D

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  7. Gosh I have seen that quilted fabric several times here... http://stores.ebay.com/frenchfashions?_rdc=1
    She hasn't got any up right now but she might have some if you contact her. Usually she has about 10 pages, right now there are just two. She has a tiny squared cut velvet on long ago. There will be several things uploaded soon, she adds things on Sunday.

    I have bought a lot of fabrics from her. She is just GREAT, she found me a matching fabric for my Aunt Olga carpet for the chairs I made.

    If you ever find something you want and she doesn't ship to the UK you can always have it sent to me and I will send it to you. XXX

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    1. Add her to your favorites and check her often. There is always something wonderful.

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    2. Dangnabbit Catherine, I knew I should have asked you first. Thanks for the link, I will certainly put it into my favourites :0)

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    3. WOW she put up that wonderful cut velvet. Look at the size of those squares. Not that you're looking for any or that color for that matter. It is just an example of the fun things she has in micro scale. PLUS she lets you buy small amounts! http://www.ebay.com/itm/TINY-WINDOWPANE-SCULPTED-VELVET-SEAFOAM-12-x28-TRUNK-LINER-DOLL-COAT-FABRIC-/262904028492

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  8. Oh wow! You have my utmost sympathies. I drive myself crazy with the google searches and even using links from other bloggers can be tricky. Sometimes the links have gone bad which is really depressing.

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    1. Ugh, that's the worst isn't it? I often find a great link on a blog and then find it closed down a decade ago...:0(

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  9. What an excellent post! The mattress looks so real and very comfy indeed! Then OH MAN I got a little bit high seeing all that wood, what an awesome store, so glad you found it. Then I scroll down more to see the stamps, so perfect and how fun :) Thanks---

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    1. Haha, I'm glad I'm not the only one to get giddy in a wood suppliers. Thanks Linda :0)

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  10. Wooooow, thank you so much for sharing these precious links, Pepper, and so much fantastic sorts of wood...........it's also nice to see you smiling from ear to ear ;)!
    I hope you had a Happy Easter?!
    Hug, Ilona

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    1. Thank you IIona, I hope you had a good one too with a lot of choccy :0D

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  11. The mattress and bedding look soooo realistic, great job!

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    1. Thank you Bennzz61, glad you like it :0)

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  12. Sherlock Sleuthing certainly pays off if you are diligent, so BRAVO Pepper for sourcing out EXACTLY what you were wanting as well as for being able to get it! :D

    elizabeth

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth. Stubborness finally paid off :0D

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  13. Hello Pepper,
    I am happy you found what you needed. Searching on the internet has become such a chore. Most of the results I get are p9interest pictures and not real sites.
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Me too Giac. I get so excited when I see something on Pinterest, only to find there's no link or the shop/blog has closed :0(

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  14. Others drool over toylands or candystores but to me it was a real pleasure to see Pepper in Woodland... ;O) So good that you've been successful in finding new resources. This fabric is perfect for a mattress... and what a nice price! Thanks for sharing and starting this topic - luckily our community is great at sharing... those saddle makers could learn a bit from us minimaniacs...

    Hugs
    Birgit

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    1. Haha, yes I'm a bit of a wood nerd Birgit. I'm so happy that we have so many people in the miniature community that are willing to help :0)

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  15. Jackpot on the wood supplier! I have a weakness for beautiful wood. I have a lady on Ebay that I buy miscellaneous thin cuts of wood and another where I buy basics like walnut and cherry. I pray they never run out! I found a similar fabric with stitched diamonds at our local fabric store. Northeast lumber here in the US is a great resource for mini window frame, door frame and strip wood. I love the stamps. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thin wood is so hard to find...not sure why but I'm like you - I treasure any suppliers I find and hope that they never close :0)

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  16. Merci beaucoup Pepper pour les photos et les textes explicatifs.
    Dans ma région, ce n'est pas encore trop dur de trouver des bois de fruitiers. Il faut juste avoir une dégauchisseuse...Lol!
    Bonne continuation,
    Amicalement,Dominique

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    1. Vous semblez avoir tant de magasins et de fournisseurs merveilleux en France Dominique. Je pense que je dois visiter votre beau pays :0)

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  17. I love the picture of you in the wood shop! I immediately thought: Jelutong when I started reading your post, because DollsHouse Magazine seems to recommend that wood constantly and I can't seem to find it in America - although I gather now that basswood is the American substitute. I love your stamps - beautiful designs! And that stitched fabric is perfect! (As an aside, I am very sad that DollsHouse Magazine ceased publication as they were my favorite dollhouse magazine...)

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    1. Agh, basswood I hate the stuff. I always seem to pick some that's a blummin nightmare to paint because it becomes more hairy as you sand it *shudders*
      Yeah, I can't believe that the DollsHouse Magazine has stopped. I thought it was odd that Feb/March was just one magazine then recieving a letter about moving over to Dollshouse world...:0( I hope it's not that less people are interested in the hobby.

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    2. Me too! I thought it was odd too that Feb/March was just one issue and then I noted that they had no editor so I thought it was because they were finding a new editor. Not that they were closing :(

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    3. I didn't even spot that! I'll give Dollshouse World a try and if it's awful I'll cancel my subscription :0/

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  18. I just happened to go canvasing all over the place this week looking for wood and fabric too. (All the while giving my GPS dubious looks, like serious down that road?!) It's so much nicer to see things in person before you buy... it just means the selection in store can be hit and miss. All your finds look really nice and thats a great tip for the laser :)

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    1. I think the longer you're in this hobby, the more you need to see the actual stuff you're buying up close. I can't tell you the amount of wood I've bought with splits in it, huge knots, bowed, and once, 1.5mm at one end and 3.5mm at the other O_o I swear if this supplier closes, I'm going to cry :0/

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  19. Hi Pepper! I really admire your patience and perseverance when it comes to seeking the right materials! You really go the extra distance to get it right. It is one of the reasons your mini creations are so exceptional! Thank you for sharing your sources and techniques. It is always so inspiring to me to see what you are making!

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    1. Thank you Betsy. I do try to find the right materials for the job or at least, something that makes the item look as real as i can make it :0)

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  20. Tus busquedas dan buenos resultados, el colchón queda precioso.
    Un abrazo
    Maite

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    1. Muchas gracias. Me alegro de que te guste el colchón :0)

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  21. Hi Pepper, I enjoyed your post very much. I really don't know how to work with a laser cutter, but I don't mind for I enjoy looking at your achievements nearly as much, I think :-)
    By the way: the bed looks great now and I LOVE the wooden bedframe.

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you like it. I always wonder if it is a waste talking about laser cutting. But there are a few more people who own them now so I put it out there just in case it helps someone :0)

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  22. bloğunuzu ziyarettim. güzel çalışmalar. benim bloğuma beklerim

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    1. Teşekkür ederim, hoşunuza sevindim :0)

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  23. I try to pin every resource i come across and there are many, and many one wouldn't think of as a miniature for dollhouses under Claire Devore on Pinterest. I'm currently working on a gothic/Tudor from an old bookshelf.

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