Monday, November 30, 2015

Cricut Explore Air Testing...

I've been testing cuts on the new Cricut Explore Air I purchased this weekend. I mainly purchased the machine so that I can easily cut basic shapes for the wood work that I do. I thought it would allow for more precise cuts, less sanding and I can create several items at one time. So far I am super impressed with the results I have gotten from this cutter.

Today I ran a few test on Balsa and Bass wood. I like the results. Keep in mind that I am using the standard blade that came with the machine. I have ordered the deep cut housing and blades, so I am assuming I will get even better results once I have installed the "correct" blade.

Results based on this test: The Cricut Explore Air does a great job making precise cuts to simple shapes. Using the standard blade, a deep pressure setting and running the machine around each shape 5 times still did not produce cuts that went through the 1/16 thick wood, but with a little help from a sharp Xacto knife the shapes easily released.

Next Test - Deep Housing unit with Deep Cut Blade

Testing Photos...
Balsawood, Deep Pressure Setting with 5 runs using the standard blade.

Balsawood purchased from
After the Cricut Cut. The little dots are from rods that hold the material in place. I tried to move them, but
it seems as though they are glued in position (can lightly sand, as they are not deep)
The cut did not go through the back of the wood, keep in mind that I am using the standard blade and housing.
I will test again once I receive the deep cut housing and blade. 

After I ran a sharp Xacto knife through the cuts, the shapes popped right out. 
Close up of the Balsa cuts using the Cricut Explore Air (standard blade) with the help of a super
sharp Xacto knife. 

This is when I started getting really excited. The Basswood cuts are GREAT! Again, this is using the standard blade.

Basswood, Deep Pressure Setting with 5 runs using the standard blade.

Basswood purchased from Michaels

I used painters tape at the ends to avoid the wood from moving while cutting…just in case. 

After the Cricut Explore cuts…just PERFECT, less dots too! 

Back side of Basswood after cutting with standard blade. Used my sharp Xacto knife, gently following the
cuts. The shapes popped out. 
Super clean shapes.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

My New Machine...

I've been thinking hard about what tools I could use to help with my wooden projects. There are a few things I put on my Christmas list; a scroll saw and a belt sander. But, I really want something that would easily cut simple shapes like squares, rectangles and circles in various sizes.

I started thinking of ways I could make wooden cuts more precise and it dawned on me…a die cutting machine! For the last few days, including a 6 hour drive to Los Angeles and a 6 hours drive back to the Bay Area, I researched, watched videos, visited forums, compared machines until I couldn't any more.

By the time we arrived home, I decided on a machine called the Silver Bullet. It is super awesome, but at a price of 1300.00 for the smaller machine and accessories, it's a little steep.

I started wavering back and fourth on my decision. Although the Silver Bullet is the "king" of die cutters, I probably would not use it to its max and I still want the sand belt (not sure if I will need the scroll saw if I get the cutter).

I kept going back to the less expensive Cricut Explore Air. There are tons of wonderful reviews, it's one thousand dollars cheaper, I can purchase it locally (no shipping fees), and it would serve the purpose of what I need a cutter for. I quickly talked myself out of the Silver Bullet, headed to Michaels, purchased the Cricut Explore Air and within 1 hour, I was cutting Basswood. I am ecstatic!

Regarding the basswood, the machine (using the normal blade) did not cut all the way through 1/16 basswood, but I ran an Xacto knife through the cuts and the shapes came out with no problem.

There is a "deep cutting" blade and housing that I just ordered. Once I receive these items, I will test again to see if the cuts go through the 1/16 basswood. I am still happy that I can create my designs, import them into the Cricut software and have precise cuts.

I can imagine many uses for this machine using different types of materials and intricate cuts for my mini creations. I am super excited about this purchase!

*Once I receive the correct deep cutting housing unit, I will update this page.

Cricut Explore Air

Basswood cuts using the Cricut Explore Air using the normal blade. Had to run the Xacto knife through the cut.
Waiting for the Deep Cut Housing and Blade to test again.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Wonderful Wall Shelves...

Just completed this set of nine miniature dollhouse wall shelves. They are painted with wonderful colors and slightly distressed with a rusted rod and hanging towel. The towels can easily be removed (not glued, unless requested).
I have them all listed in Etsy…now I must go clean my "real" house!
Have a great weekend.

New Wall Shelves in wonderful distressed colors.
Wall Shelf with hanging towel.

Close up of hanging towel

Shelf without the towel can be used all over your mini home.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Simple Towel Tutorial…

How to Make a Miniature Dollhouse Towel out of Fabric

While my towels are drying in the sun. I thought it would I would make a simple tutorial on how I make them. I'm sure the pros have already figured this out, but for the newbies starting out in miniature making, these are fun to make.

Here's are the final results:
Completed Towel Made from Cotton Fabric
(Close up)
A nice addition to a wall shelve
Used towel hanging on shelf

Here's what you need:
Cotton or Linen Fabric
Craft Glue
Straight Pens
A Styrofoam board
Strong Hold Hair Spray

Cotton and Linen work well for this project
Strong Hold Hair Spray

Cut your fabric in a rectangle that measures 1inch x 2inches.
Tip: Sometimes the sides will fray, it's okay to cut the width a little wider and size it after fraying.

Cut rectangle 1inch x 2 inches
Grab a piece of the fabric thread at one end and pull, keep grabbing threads until you achieve the amount of fraying you want. Repeat this step at the other end.
Fray both ends
Pre-fold the sides, add a little glue to seal and fold again, so the towels are nice and neat.
Glue sides and turn over
This is what your towel should look like once you have completed the above steps…pretty easy, right?
Completed towel
 Here's the towel nicely folded. A stack would look great in your mini kitchen or bath.
Nicely folded and ready for the shelve or linen closet.

A handful of towels almost ready for the shelves.
You can make your towels look like they have been used too. (A tip from the LibertyBiberty blog). Wet your towel, lay it down on styrofoam and pin the creases. Spray with super hold hair spray and let it dry.
Water bath, pinned and hairspray to keep shape.
 Remember that handful, here they are drying in the sun.
Drying in the sun.
This is the final result.
Enjoy :)
The finished "used" towel hanging on a shelf. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wall Shelf with Rusted Rod and Hanging Towel...

Just finishing up a bunch of wall shelves I've been working on. Painted with Annie Sloan Olive paint, waxed and distressed. The rod is rusted to give a vintage look and the hanging towel adds a sweetness (Can goods not included).
This one is listed in my Etsy Shop today.

I have about eight more in wonderful colors. Working on the towels for each one, will get them listed as I complete them.
This one measures: 2 1/2 x 1D x 1W.

Miniature Dollhouse Wall Shelf with Rust Rod and Hanging Towel

Miniature Dollhouse Wall Shelf with Rusted Rod and Hanging Towel

Close up of Wall Shelf

Miniature Dollhouse Wall Shelves in various colors

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"Trying to Perfect the Canister" Attempt...

So here is the blue set. I don't know… I think I still need to play around with the idea a little longer before I list them. Maybe after I put the rust effect around the labels and the round handle that will make them better????
The red one below, I love. I need to rust and age the label a little, but I think it turned out nicely.
….More work to be done on these :/

In like, not in love :)

This one…I LOVE!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hard to Make Canisters...

I've been working on a few things for the last week or so. I feel like I'm a little off, as it has taken me more time than usual to get through projects.
However, I did manage to finish a set of canisters (see below). I am not sure how I feel about these??? Something seems off. I'm thinking the labels are a bit too large. I have made 3 sets, white, dark blue and a sage. I have already changed the label size for the blue and sage. The labels on this set is crazy glued on, so I can't take them off :(. I should have the others completed tomorrow...
(I'm thinking I will keep this set for my dollhouse I'm working on)

Miniature Dollhouse Vintage Style Canisters
Miniature Dollhouse Canister Set
Miniature Dollhouse Canister Set

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sweet Little Birdhouse Wreath...

Just uploaded this little cutie in my Etsy shop. This one is made with natural moss, cream bow and a sweet little birdhouse. Look closely at the birdhouse, there even a little ledge for birdie to step out for fresh air.
Find it in my Etsy Shop

Sweet Miniature Dollhouse Wreath with Birdhouse and Creme Bow

Miniature Dollhouse Wreath with Distressed Birdhouse and Creme Bow

Close up of Distress Birdhouse on Miniature Dollhouse Wreath

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Major Charm...

Just listed this very sweet wreath. It is made of burlap with green moss, a distressed wooden birdhouse and a burlap bow. It is so charming! I am "MAJOR" obsessing on wreaths right now. They are extremely tedious to make, but the results are worth it. I hope you enjoy :).
Find it in my Etsy shop!

Miniature Dollhouse Wreath
by fabulouslyflawedminiatures

Miniature Dollhouse Wreath
by Anita Smiley for

Miniature Dollhouse Wreath made of burlap, wooden birdhouse, moses and burlap bow

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

New Items Coming...

Just wanted to share of few things I have been testing out for the shop. It took me a few times to get it right, but I can now say that I am happy with the results. I will be making a bunch of each to add to the shop.

First, Miniature Dollhouse Wreaths. (this one is listed, Etsy shop) A friend mentioned I should make wreaths in miniature. I thought the idea was great, so off to Michaels. I purchased both natural and green moss. Once I made the wreaths, I needed to decorate them…this is the hard part. For this example, I made grapes with clay. Oh my, it took forever to make those little balls! (I really do admire miniature food artist). Although I am still working out the decorating part, I'm excited about the possibilities.
Of course, I needed a door to display the wreaths, so I decided to try my hand at making one. Super simple to make and I can visualize several different designs and uses for this type of door (stay tuned!).

Next, Miniature Dollhouse Wall Shelf with Rusted Bar. This design has been on my mind for months. I got a little bored with making chairs (I have several to get back to), so it was the perfect opportunity to give this a try. I think the shelf turned out great and will be making a bunch of these in several different Annie Sloan Chalk Paint colors. I also wanted to accessorize it a little. I remember reading on Liberty's page how to make fabric look more natural by giving it a glue bath and using pins to give it a gathered look. I gave it a try on the towel (still need to play around with it a little more). Thanx Liberty:).

Finally, I love, love vintage can canisters. I've alway wanted to make them, but did not want the tedious job of gluing paper together. Well, I found the perfect cylinder and "viola". This is just one of a set of three; sugar, coffee and tea. I have big plans for these little sets. I will have them in many colors in vintage and french styles.

It's been a fun week. I have to admit that I had to order a magnifier to carry on. This work is super, super tedious. My eyes are exhausted, but I am really looking forward to the next few weeks of work and getting these items listed in the shop.

Miniature Dollhouse Moss Wreath with Grapes

Miniature Dollhouse Door Wreath with Moss and Grapes

1:12 Scale Miniature Dolhouse Wreath with Moss and Grapes

Miniature Dollhouse Door, aged and painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Vintage inspired Miniature Dollhouse Wall Shelf with Rusted Towel Bar

Vintage inspired Miniature Dollhouse Wall Shelf with Rusted Towel Bar

Miniature Dollhouse Rusted Canister (Sugar)

Miniature Dollhouse Rusted Canister
Sugar, Coffee and Tea Set coming soon!