Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Simple Doormat and Pin Board Tutorial

I saw some cork tags at the cheap shop a few days ago, and thought I'd do a simple tutorial. The cork tags came in two sizes, and the smaller one was the perfect size for a Sylvanian doormat.


Mini doormat tutorial 1

First cut the part of the tag that's sticking out. Try to get the edge as straight as possible.


Mini doormat tutorial 2

Use a sharpie/permanent marker to draw a design. I used a fine tipped marker for the details and a slightly larger one for the thicker parts. It's a bit tacky at first, but is fine after the ink dries completely. I'd still recommend not leaving the inked parts in contact with Sylvanian figures or plastic for an extended period of time to avoid staining. I just left the underside of my mat untouched so I can leave it safely on my cottage's doorstep.



Mini doormat tutorial 3

Be sure not to track mud into Mrs Fenton's house!



Mini pin board tutorial 1

The larger tags are a good size for a pin board. Like with the doormat, snip the edge of the tag off. For the first pin board, I used some decorative tape to line the edges.


Mini pin board tutorial 2

Tada!  A sweet finished board.



Mini pin board tutorial 3

The second board requires a little more effort. Measure and cut some strips of balsa wood, and glue them to the sides of the cork tag with super glue. I prefer the look of this board, personally.


Mini pin board tutorial 4

Stick some bits of paper and pictures to the board, and you have your very own Sylvanian notice boards!

Friday, 13 January 2017

My Melody: Winter Vacation Re-Ment review

Happy 2017! Can't believe how long it's been since I've posted. My health wasn't the best last year, and I felt extremely unmotivated to do much in the way of blogging (or much of anything except for stressing over work really).

Shout out to Sylvanian Kingdom for doing a sweet write up on their blog about Plastic Candy! It's the first time I've ever been featured on a blog like that (that I know of). It's wonderful to know that people still like reading my sporadically updated blog. I don't know French so I had to rely on Google Translate.

I bought a very cute winter themed My Melody Re-Ment set last year, and I've been wanting to do a review of it for several months now. Almost everything in this set scales well with Sylvanians, and best of all, it's all rabbit themed. I don't really like using anything depicting humans in my Sylvanian dioramas--in my mind it's a cute fuzzy anthro world that's almost 100% animals. Almost, because sometimes I use Pinky St figures.

Anyway, enough blathering, and on to the review!




My Melody: Winter Vacation 
Brand: Re-Ment




My Melody is a Sanrio character. She's usually depicted as a rabbit wearing a hood. I'm going to do things a little differently for this review. Instead of reviewing each set separately, I'm going to combine some sets and set up a little scene with some Sylvanian furniture for each of the review pictures. That way it's easier to show how these items would look with a Sylvanian figure. This release has eight sets in total.


This first scene contains set #4 Knitting, and #7 My Special Place. The rocking chair is Sylvanian. 

Knitting has an open knitting instruction book, a basket, a yellow ball of yarn with My Melody's face on the label, some knitted mittens and a work-in-progress knit. The mittens are a little weird, but they're meant to depict My Melody's head. The extra appendages sticking out of the back are her ears and not for extra fingers! The book lacks detail--it's a smooth piece of plastic with some stickers on it. Re-Ment has made more detailed books in the past, so this is quite disappointing. The basket came to me with the handle bent from being smooshed up in the packaging. A quick dip in hot water and it's back to normal. I quite like the work-in-progress knitting item. Sylvanian Families has a similar item but it's only found in the hard to get Grandmother at Home set. This makes an excellent substitute and it's a lot more detailed. 

My Special Place comes with a red fireplace, a potted plant with a My Melody design on the front, a pink kettle and a rug. I love the kettle and the fireplace. The stove really opens, and I wish it lit up like the Sylvanian fireplaces. I could probably put a little red LED in there, hooked up to a small battery. I'm not too fond of the rug. I think the dark black outline really overwhelms the rest of the design.

My Melody Winter Vacation review 01



Next is set #2 Honey Ginger Milk. The table and the shelves in the back are Sylvanian.

Honey Ginger Milk contains a bottle of milk, a mug with a lid, a jar of honey, a honey dipper, a pink saucepan, a grater and a piece of ginger. The milk is huge! Compared to the rest of the set, it seems disproportionate. Maybe it's just family sized?  I do wish that the ginger had more detail on it. It looks like a brown blob. The saucepan is a perfect size for Sylvanians. It even fits on a Sylvaninan stove top. I like so many things in this set, including the adorable mug and the little grater. I've never tried honey ginger milk, but it sounds like a yummy thing to have on a cold winter's evening. 

My Melody Winter Vacation review 02



Now for #5 Baking an Apple. The table, shelves and stove are Sylvanian.

Baking an Apple comes with a pan, a wooden spatula, a bottle of rum, a tub of butter, a knife, an apple and some cooked apple slices. The butter is an insert that can be removed from the tub, and it also has an indented design on it featuring My Melody's face. The apple looks really cartoony, and I'm not sure it really fits in with the rest of the items. All the other items have enough detailing on them to make them look at least semi-realistic, but the apple is very simple, with none of the lines and markings that a real apple would have. The pan scales well with a regular Sylvanian stove.

My Melody Winter Vacation review 03



I decided to combine #3 A Special Winter Dinner and #6 Taking a Nap on the Rocking Chair together. The table, shelf and magazines are Sylvanian.

A Special Winter Dinner has a sheep candle, a ramekin filled with soup and bread lid, a soup spoon, a fruit cake, a bread knife and a cutting board. The sheep candle is pretty 'eh' to me. It has a hard time standing up on its own properly. The soup is great. It's a bit big, for Sylvanians, but I guess that it'll be great for someone extra hungry (judging by how many bakeries and cake shops Sylvania has, it won't be hard to find extra hungry critters). The soup is a removable insert. The spoon even has woodgrain detailing on it. The cake and bread knife are nice accessories, but the stand out piece of this set has to be the cutting board. It has woodgrain detailing and a meticulous design etched into the wood. I've taken an extra picture to show all the details in the soup and board accessories. 

Taking a Nap on the Rocking Chair comes with a pillow, a rabbit toy, an open book and a small rocking chair. This is probably the weakest set in the series. The pillow is unattractive, and the book lacks detail. It's the same style of book as the one in the Knitting set. The rabbit is cute, but has a hard time sitting up on its own. It sits in the rocking chair very well though! The rocking chair is detailed, but it's too small for Sylvanians. I thought that maybe a baby figure would fit, but it's too narrow to comfortably fit a baby figure, and the whole thing tips forward when I try to wedge a baby in there. Maybe the little kangaroo baby would work?

My Melody Winter Vacation review 04

My Melody Winter Vacation review 05



Time for #8 Shopping. The table and shelves are Sylvanian.

Shopping is presumably a nice winter shopping trip out to get some goodies! It comes with a purple handbag, a wreath, a jar of jam, a loaf of bread and a paper bag, and a My Melody figurine. The purple bag scales well with Sylvanians, but I think it works better for a sibling figure than an adult. The label on the jar came to me all crinkled. The wreath is really pretty and the loaf of bread has heart designs on it. The bread isn't as long as it looks in the picture. I had it poking out of the bag, or it would have been entirely covered up otherwise. The My Melody figurine is nice and detailed, and comes with a removable base. 

My Melody Winter Vacation review 06



The last set is ironically, the first set in the series. #1 Playing in the Snow.

Playing in the Snow contains a shovel, a bundle of sticks, a pine cone, a lamp and two snow bunnies. The snow bunny with the green ears is a something that kids in Japan tend to make. The snow figures are nicely detailed and will fit in with any winter scene. The sticks and the pinecone are not as detailed. My favourite piece is the lamp. It even has a little flame in it! This scene would have worked better if I'd shot it as a twilight scene, heh. 
My Melody Winter Vacation review 07



That concludes the review. It's a lot longer than I had intended, and I hope no one got bored. If you like the set, it's currently available on AmiAmi and Fan21hk

Friday, 2 September 2016

Miniature Canvas Paintings

I've picked up some miniature canvases, and found that I really enjoy painting on them. I used to draw a lot, but my interest waned for a few years. I decided to do up some pieces and post them on a local FB group to see if anyone's interested in buying them. So far, I've sold the Wonder Woman and she will be shipped to her new owner on Monday. Yay

I'm taking commissions, so email me if you're interested. Pricing is from $15 - $20, depending on complexity, plus postage.


7x7cm mini canvases

7x7cm mini cancases

Bonus picture--Cloud Dreamer painting Twilight. I've always thought G1 Twilight in the storybooks was so mysterious and pretty. Never had her toy--actually didn't have any MLP growing up despite wanting some. But I did have an awesome MLP storybook. :)


Cloud Dreamer paints Twilight

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Monster High Minis

I picked up a few Monster High minis a couple of months back, and I like them so much more than I though I would. They mostly (except for my Catrine) have nice paint jobs and feel really well made with a nice solid weight to the plastic. So far I have about six of them, and at $5 a pop, they are not cheap. But then again, toys are just expensive in Australia. I wish I were really rich. Then I'd buy a huge mansion and fill it with dolls and cats. I'll end up being the local haunted witch house, lol.

Venus mini


Mini Monster Mau

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Miniature books

Mini books, first try I made these a month, or maybe a month and a half ago. My health has not been very good this year, so I haven't been doing as much as I used to (which isn't very much at all, really...).

I wanted to make books with pages you could turn with real text on it. Lots of research later, and these were born. I also needed to put a piece of sticky tape over the covers because I have a laser printer and the ink cracks when I fold the paper. The sticky tape trick works quite well, fortunately.

After I made this I realised that I wanted the spines to be curved rather than flat. That will be my next lot of books! No idea when I'll get around to doing them. I spent so much time making and remaking these and researching that I don't really want to go back to making tiny books for a little while. Plus I took a shitty picture which I really dislike.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Re-Ment Science Room and Sylvanian comparison review

This is for the folks over at the SF Forums. This review will take a look at the new-ish Science Room set and see how well it fits with SF figurines. Mr Huckleberry, a teacher at the local school has agreed to be the model (he really just wants to play with all the new science equipment).


 photo 15f9ceebe19024f2e8c84ae324d40a44.image.433x600_zpseq09udbx.jpg


There are 10 sets in this release. All the sets have names in English as well, and I'm going to use what's written on the packaging. Any Engrish is not my fault :P

     photo s_zpszexhbd3s.jpg


Set 1: An Anatomical Model

I think size wise, it fits SF quite well. All the organs in the model are removable and the figure comes apart from the pedestal as well. Only thing is, it doesn't quite fit in the SF world of anthropomorphic animals.

Re-Ment Science 1

Mr. Huckleberry: How does human anatomy work again? I could have sworn the human heart was located next to the spleen.

Well,  Mr. Huckleberry never claimed to be a science teacher...


Set 2: Experiement of Boiling Water

The second set consists of a beaker, wire mesh, a bunsen burner and a stand. The beaker and the bunsen burner fit quite well with SF, but the stand is way too tall.

Re-Ment Science 2

Mr. Huckleberry: I forgot to add the water. Look, the bottom of the beaker's turning black.



Set 3: Roberval Balance 

I find the scales frustrating. Re-Ment's quality has gone down in recent years, and it really shows in this set. My scale is twisted and uneven and made of a very lightweight plastic that feels like it could break easily. I think it looks a little large for SF, but it could act as a big scale. Comes with some weights, plates and a pair of tweezers.

Re-Ment Science 3

Mr. Huckleberry: It's stamped 'Made in R'lyeh' on the bottom. No wonder the scales don't conform to Eluclidean geometry.  Oh, hey, it's starting to ooze something black. 


Set 4: Experiment of Starch

Ah, this set brings back memories of secondary school. The set has two petri dishes, half a potato, a water dropper, a bottle of iodine and a book. I placed the book face down because it looks nicer, but the inside has the potato experiment scribbled down on the pages. I'd say that everything in this set scales nicely with SF, except for the dropper. Unless you're using it as one of those huge droppers you see in sciencey stock photos, haha.

Re-Ment Science 4


Set 5: Experiment of Water Solution

This set has all the laboratory 'glassware' goodies! A round bottomed flask, a conical flask, a measuring cylinder and a mortar and pestle. I'm a little disappointed by the quality of the glassware though. Re-Ment used to make nicer glass things. The seams are very visible and my round bottomed flask came to me partially cloudy.

Only the measuring cylinder seems too big, everything else looks great.

Re-Ment Science 5

Mr. Huckleberry: A Scientist's Starter Kit. Mad or otherwise is up to the user. 


Set 6: Function of Electric Current

The battery and light bulb experiment was the first school physics experiment I did. I was in grade 1, so technically, my dad did it and I watched. Set comes with wires, a battery and a voltage meter. The wires are detachable. The battery is not a separate piece (I have a feeling in 'old' Re-Ment it would have been), but it's not something that really bothers me in this set.

Re-Ment Science 6

Mr. Huckleberry: So technically I can create a Frankenstein's monster with this, right? Awesoooome. 

Mr. Butterglove (actual science teacher): No, not really. 


Set 7: Dissection of Frog

Set comes with a scalpel, tweezers, medical scissors, a tray and a splayed out frog. The scissors are a bit large but overall, I think the set looks all right with Sylvanians. (lol)

Re-Ment Science 7

Mr. Bullrush: !!!

Mr. Huckleberry: I can explain...


Set 8: Making a Sponge Toffee

Comes with a bunsen burner, a pan, a cake and a stick. I have no idea why making a sponge cake is a science experiment. The bunsen burner is way too big for SF, although the cake in the pan can work.

Re-Ment Science 8

Mr. Huckleberry: Now this is the kind of science lesson I can really get behind!



Set 9: A Microscope

This set is so cool. It comes with two teeny tiny sildes, a microscope, a leaf and a bottle of something. The microscope scales well with Mr. Huckleberry (maybe a little bit on the large side, but I think that's offset by a Sylvanian's naturally large head).

Unfortunately the microscope in my set is bent. :( I have no idea how or if it can even be fixed. The plastic it is made of is a hard brittle kind, with very little give when I try to bend it. I'm afraid of snapping it if I try to put any kind of pressure on it. Otherwise, it's a nice set. It's a good alternative for SF fans who are looking for a microscope and can't get the official SF one (which is much less detailed anyway).

Re-Ment Science 9


Set 10: Cleaning Up

Squee! More lab glassware! Set comes with another round bottomed flask, a beaker, two test tubes and a test tube holder. I only wish they had more test tubes--enough to fill that test tube holder up.

The test tubes fit SF quite well. The official SF versions of test tubes are much shorter.

Re-Ment Science 10

Mr. Huckleberry: Can I drink this?

Mr. Butterglove: No! 

I'm also including a comparison of the Re-Ment Science items and the science items found in the old Sylvanian Families School Master set and the School Watching set. Re-Ment items are on the left, and Sylvanian items on the right (except for the round flasks on the bottom right--I mixed those two up).

Rement and SF science comparison

As you can see, the sizes of the items are mostly quite similar. I'm a bit surprised after doing this review to find out that so many of the items in this Re-Ment set actually fit Sylvanians . Usually Re-Ment items are on the larger side.

One thing to note is that the Sylvanian science accessories are much sturdier and more solid than the Re-Ment ones. Re-Ment is made with adult collectors in mind, so things tend to be far more detailed and as a result, more fragile. This set though, seems more fragile than most other Re-Ment items and the quality control is a bit on the lacking side. I really like the items in this set because they are so unusual (Re-Ment and other miniature companies seem to do more food than anything else), but I wish the overall quality of the items was higher.

If you want to get a set, the cheapest places I've found for it online (after taking into account shipping to Australia) has been AmiAmi and Fan21HK.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Sea diorama

Started work on a seaside diorama base so I have something to put my Seaside Restaurant on. I cut out a piece of wood so it fits into my display shelf. Would have liked for it to be bigger for photographing dioramas, but I really wanted something for a permanent display piece more. I used Ashmimi's tutorial. Go visit her site. That lady's brilliant.

I think I should have used just one layer of foam board instead of two.

Sea diorama base 1


Nicked some sand from the beach next to my work and mixed it up with some watered down Aquadhere (brand of wood glue). The sand dried rock hard--I was impressed. I thought it would be a little crumbly, but it's not. Wouldn't do to get it wet though; Aquadhere is water based.

Also painted the 'sea' bit with acrylics. I tried to mix a turquoise colour, but it came out more green than I wanted. Oh well. This sea is full of algae or something.

Sea diorama base 2


Glued some plastic on the sides and poured resin to make the sea. I've been using Glass Coat as my go-to resin of choice for years, but I learned that Bunnings doesn't carry it anymore. I ran out of Glass Coat half way so I had to go find another resin. Bunnings had Feast Watson, which works just as well.

Sea diorama base 3


I also put some little shells from the beach in the water. I love that little red striped conical one. Unfortunately there was some air trapped in it and it floated to the surface overnight while the resin hardened. I had to do a second pour or resin to stop it from looking like it was bobbing on the surface. The sea was too shallow anyway. My plastic sides weren't watertight so part of the resin leaked out overnight. I had a lot of trouble getting that area to seal well enough to hold all the resin. :/ I used more resin than I wanted, and that stuff is not cheap.

Sea diorama base 4


Ashmimi used a 5 minute curing epoxy for the ripples. The only one I could find that I didn't have to order online for was Araldite, and that stuff is expensive for the tiny tube it comes in. I experimented with shaping the resin as it was curing, but only managed to get a slightly lumpy effect. I tried Mod Podge after seeing some other miniaturists use it, but I guess I can't spread it right. It keeps getting heaps of tiny bubbles in it which leaves many pockmarks on my 'water' surface. I ended up just peeling it off (one good thing about Mod Podge is that it's easily removable from resin) spreading Aquadhere all over it. Aquadhere doesn't hold its shape as well as Mod Podge IMHO, but it'll do.

Sea diorama base 5


Here's the end result. The waves are certainly not natural, haha. I'll have to redo it again someday, but I'll leave it like it is for now.

Sea diorama base 6


Here it is in a photoshoot! I also made the dress, but I'll talk about it in another post.


At the Sea (2)


At the Sea