Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Making of a Miniature Pyramid Roombox

Earlier this year, I just decided to to do it. You know one of those 'its' you've been thinking about but just hadn't gotten around to for like two years. Well I finally did! The 'it' was an ancient Eyptian Pyramid Roombox in 1:12 scale. Then I had to get around to blogging about it. After an inquiry about the piece, I finally was motivated to write a bit.I've made several Egyptian dolllhouse miniatures ranging from sets of museum crates & archeology desks, to Revival style furniture, and even a tacky gift shop set. The style seems pretty popular maybe because there isn't a lot of it out there in the mini world (hint hint to mini makers) and Egyptian anything is so magical (ok, except the recent riots). Anyway, I always wondered what type of setting my customers put their Egyptian style minis in. I suppose a Victorian house could have such touches because the 'exotic' other was very influential in all of the Revival movments, including those of that period. I kept thinking though, that a fully Egyptian setting would be really interesting. I had been keeping a folder of ideas for awhile. Some of the pics include:I decided on making a pyramid shaped tomb with an open front. For your history buffs out there, my design is purely FANTASY and may have elements from different historical periods... honestly, I just totally made it up based on my own imaginings. I began drawing patterns on newspaper and cardboard and the project just went from there! It was built with a combination of foamcore, styrafoam, paper mache, sculpy clay, paperclay, and my own stucco mix. It's a very lightweight but sturdy piece. It measures 18" square at the base and is nearly 16 1/2" tall.
I made molds using polymer clay of some of my Egyptian trinket boxes and jewelry and then used these to stamp pieces for the decorative elements. I made little lotus bricks, statuary, and carved hieroglyphs on the walls like this.
There is a central ramp leading into the tomb and an upper shelf inside to put additional trinkets on as well as hang the removable curtain rod. I admit that I was inspired a bit by the Mummy movie with all the gold curtains.I wanted the tomb to look very ancient and a bit spooky. I thought someone could really have some fun with a Halloween scene in this. I kept all the colors very dusty and earth toned, like the paint had worn off centuries ago leaving just a bit of the gold. The details were inked in black and soot to bring them out, with a bit of dribbling here and there like some water damage had occured. Yes there is flooding in the deserts of Egypt. In fact, I just saw a show about the water table rising enough to worry Egyptian authorities about the base of the Sphinx. On to the little goodies I made to go inside the tomb. My tomb has not been raided. The female mummy still lies within its wraps and there are jars, tabulets, and a bit of treasure about. I made several things specifically to go with the tomb as a set for sale. I used genuine obsidian and African wood beads, little ankh charms, and a glass scarab bead.
Now, I did do a photoshoot of many of my favorite little Egyptian bits and baubles in the tomb just for my own satisfaction. Unlike the things in the above photos, these are not for sale. Yes I know much of it is not to scale either (someone emailed me about that) but these pics were just for fun... because it was shiny and I like hoards of treasure! I should totally do a pirate cave too on that note.
Anyway, while I mentioned that there are not so many dollhouse scale miniatures in Egyptian themes, I did find a few here and there. Berkpanda on flickr has an amazing Egyptian roombox and set of dolls in their stream of photos. I was unable to provide any pictures here due to copyright issues but definitely go see these!
I also found this ancient Egyptian domestic home- so cool. Not sure of the scale but I think it's a smaller war game piece. It would be pretty easy to make something like this with an open back. Maybe a fountain in the front.
Miniature dealers who do have Egyptian decor can be found with a bit of digging. Here is a selection from The Wild Orchid at Not sure if these are artisan? Some of it looks similiar to the Aztec miniature catalogue but I still like it all. The tiny sphinx bookends available on the site are beautiful.
There is a set of very realistic Egyptian burial scene dioramas by 'hummeline' on flickr, taken at the Field Museum (where?). Go check out the whole stream at: there are a ton of Egyptian miniatures in smaller fantasy gaming scales! Below is a tomb set which has the block set in standard gaming piece movement squares. I really like the details and the paint job. The molds are available from Crocodile games and you can customize with infinite detail. This picture doesn't even do justice to the main website's examples. There are temple columns, fountains, statuary, etc at There are some very unique accessory pieces by Crocodile Games as well. "Their range of miniatures for their Wargods of Ægyptus wargame is based in a egyptian fantasy realm, so there are plenty of sources for inspiration!" I heartily agree.
On ebay, Jason's Collectibles and Comics has a nice selection of resin terrain pieces.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My latest discovery: Medical Miniatures!!!

Just imagine what you could do with a few well chosen medical themed miniatures... Insane Asylums, Embalming Rooms, or Spooky Hospitals! I've recently found so many miniature funeral and medical goodies that I will have to break this down into a few seperate articles. Let's begin with the basics: gurneys and wheelchairs. I found two spectacular resources on ebay for 1:12 scale medical equipment and props. These are:

Mortician's Friend seems to be a general macabre gift store for funeral business professionals. Having been Mortuary Science student myself for two years, I saw a delightfully odd array of such knick-knacks in various morticians' and directors' offices. Tombs of King Tut, pink hot rod hearses, and all kinds of quirky headstones made me grin. A grim dry sense of humor seems to be an effective coping mechanism as humans are not naturally inclined to handle the dead. Couple the humor with a strong sense of respect and empathy, business acuemen, and an artistic eye - you have the perfect Funeral Director! Anyway, this shop offers miniature hearses and a very realistic looking gurney with a sheet covered doll. I'm sure this is mass produced because I've seen it in few other mortuary themed gifts shops, including Pushing Daisies online. I am bidding on one right now for myself...

The other shop I found on ebay has the most incredible selection of medical miniatures I've seen, both modern and vintage. Here are just a few of my favorite pieces.

I also just love these creepy little handmade organ models at Northern Lights. Line these up on a shelf with a few specimen jars.Below is another sickly realistic miniature organ find, this time from Wicked Gems on Etsy. For gooey jewelry and miniatures visit her at:
Wicked Gems specializes in anatomically correct charms and lockets, like the heart below.

Now, to the medical staff. Every Haunted Hospital needs a blood spattered Nurse and Doctor. With a little work, these two could easily become Nurse Nihilism and Doctor Dead!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I'm Vending at Scarefest IV: Tribute to 80's Horror !!!

It's official now! I will be vending at Scarefest IV: a tribute to 80's Horror!!! Scarefest is a yearly horror and paranormal convention held in Lexington, Kentucky (around where me pappy was raised). I'm so excited! Elvira will be there... OMG. When I was young, I wasn't looking to Brooke Shields or Christie Brinkly as my model of fashion perfection. I loved Cher and Elvira! Still do and they both look pretty damn good for their age. Anyway, the convention had a very cool line up last year including the Ghost Adventures guys, Danny Trejo (you know, Machete? the hot Mexican with all the knives and tattoos?), actors from Terminator, Preditor, various hit tv paranormal shows, movie artists and costume designers, the huge guys that play the movie monsters like Jason... This year there will be a costume ball, a zombie wedding, and so much more. We're turning it into the year's family vacation. I was contacted to vend after one of the directors saw some of my jewelry on Etsy. I probably will be focusing on fashion accessories and herbcrafts rather than on miniatures at this event but I'll take a few pieces, like my zombie cow. I've only vended much smaller local events in the past. This is a whole new ball game and just the challenge I needed. I finally got all my state and federal tax ID numbers and feel so O-fish-al... I've been looking at showing my work in some of the local galleries or even having a table at our First Friday art events here in San Antonio. I just feel really positive and like the sky is the limit for my whole artistic venture. I've been making things like crazy and have probably sniffed way too much glue haha! Bought 2 more shelving units to hold everything. The list of things to do is getting much longer hmmm. Below are just a few of the sponsers and guest stars at the convention. To see me and visit their websites go to the Scarefest Links:


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