Thursday, December 22, 2011


For the first time ever, I styled my mantel for the holidays. I've had most of this stuff for years but I usually just toss it all up there. This year, I wanted to do something special. I pulled out all the white and silver.

Z and I made the trees. It took me about 45 minutes to wind and hot glue the yarn around the tall tree. I might add another layer or some color next year. We glittered the other cone with super chunky glitter.

The deer is my favorite. I got it last year at Crate and Barrel I think. I was with my mom in Manhattan and after seeing the Rockettes. We walked all the way up 5th Avenue (?) looking at the lights. On our way back down the next street (Madison?), we shopped for a long time. The jingle bell garland is from there too.

Last year I found the perfect cylinder vase for the jingle bells. The plate with the birch trees and single cardinal is from TJMaxx. They have the best holiday stuff.

This is a bit of the top. My vintage favorites mixed with the Martha Stewart Santa tree topper from back when she was just out of prison and wasn't too good for Kmart. Oh why doesn't she love us poor people anymore? I liked buying Martha stuff at Kmart. There is no Macy's near here.

Oh, and just so you know, I think I'm using the word Mantelscape somewhat ironically. I really don't take myself that seriously.   Edit: just realized the typo in the original post. Mantle is actually a correct spelling but not the more common one. Oops.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm a Giant . finished for now

The studio apartMac is finally finished! I took some photos before we went out of town last week but I had some technical difficulties and only managed to upload a couple of quick shots to Flickr. I am happy with what's here but I'm going to take advantage of the extension to edit a little bit and refine some pieces.

I stuck closely to my inspiration and I think it all came together. Of course, my favorite bits are the little macbook and iPad from lilushop (thanks to Modern Mini Houses for the tip).

The billy balls that my assistant (3 years old!) and I made are perfect in the eBay vase.

I've seen this wood slice wall art around the internet a good bit so I had Mr. Lemon chop up some sticks and I glued them above the fireplace (another cheap eBay find). The little houses are from a vendor at Handmade Arcade and the birch logs are from Gigi N Studio.

I'm most proud of the wood shelf. It was a scrap leftover from the fireplace slices and it fit perfectly above the sink (that's a chair from the Irwin Interior Decorator set).

These are just a few of my favorite vignettes. With the extension, I'll be able to take better photos in different light and get some good views of the whole thing. The iMac is a beautiful piece of design but it's so hard to shoot the scene!

Friday, December 02, 2011

I'm a Giant . making some progress

It probably seems like I haven't been working on my studio apartMac but that's not true. It's just that I've been doing all these little things that don't look like much. I spent a very long time on the stone floor. The vinyl sheets were from eBay and I had to cut them to the size of the base which meant stacking one on top of the other. To make it look more realistic, I cut away the top layer in a stone pattern then sealed up the seam. You can't tell in the right lighting that it is not one piece.

I also worked on the kitchen unit. I made a farm sink out of pieces from the Irwin Interior Decorator Set. I think it looks pretty good although I do need to touch it up a bit and attach the bar table.

On the left side of the unit, I'm building a wall behind that fireplace. I have an art piece in mind that I'm very excited about. If I use the Petite Princess chair, I will paint it so that it looks like grey leather. This tiny space can seat more than 10 guests! And there is so much more in store. I'm hoping to finish up this weekend.

While I enjoy holiday crafting and all the sewing I've been doing for the doll I bought my assistant for Christmas, it always feels right to work on the minis.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

More holiday crafting

I'm pretty sure this is the last of our Christmas craft extravaganza. We're going to take it easy from now on. This is just a felt ornament that we got at the dollar store (where everything is $1). We just glued all these sparkly bits to it with tacky glue. It took about 45 minutes. If you have a toddler, you know how precious that 45 minutes can be. That's a lifetime of being occupied.

We hung one in each of our front windows using those Command hangers. I can't get a good picture at all but you get the idea.

I've been hoarding these tins for years and got the idea to make these little scenario ornaments out of them. It was super simple. Just drill a tiny hole in the top of the tin and thread the baker's twine through it to hang. Everything inside is just tacked in with glue. I think they turned out well and I like them in this little cluster in front of the window.

Finally, a word about Pinterest. I am loving Pinterest and having such a blast with it -- so many great ideas. Please, pin away! But I do ask that you pin directly from my post and not the jpeg image so it will link back here. I spend a lot of time writing and coming up with ideas.  I'm obviously not in this for the money; I just really enjoy doing it. So give me a little cred, okay? Thanks so much!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday crafting continues

We got about 5 minutes of sunlight today so I took some photos of the other Christmas crafts we've been working on. First was a white yarn tree. I was inspired by this pin on Pinterest (here is a link to the original tutorial, per pinterest etiquette). I just used a paper cone from the craft store and hot glued the yarn at random increments as I wound up and up. I'm still trying to decide if I should do another row inbetween the rows -- maybe it's not full enough. It's soft and lovely though. It makes me happy. I like the little berries in the inspiration. Maybe next year we'll embellish but for now I like the simplicity of this.

Last year I bought the styrofoam wreath I saw on a happy nest (my friend Nikole's blog). I just thought it was so pretty. I cut my Christmas fabric into strips and hot glued just at the beginning and end of each piece. She used string too which is very nice.

I made the little cluster of bells with wire and added some ric rac because I have compulsions to do so while crafting.

This tree fabric from Boosterseat is amazing. My friend Anda (genius of boosterseat) designed it. I don't think she meant it to be Christmasy but it is. I got it from Spoonflower directly when they were having a crazy sale last year. Oh how I long for that one again...

We also doused a styrofoam tree with glitter. That was very fun. I'll show a picture of that later. There are a million different ones on Pinterest so I can't say it was just one pin that reeled me in. I hope your house smells as good as mine does right now. I love being married to a baker!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Holiday crafting commences

We are like little elves these days. The most fun for Z to help out with was this button tree. At first I was afraid to let her handle the pins but then I couldn't stop her. She was grabbing and sticking those buttons into the foam like a crafter possessed. It was awesome. She even forced her daddy to join in.

We got the idea from this pin on Pinterest (if you know the source, please let me know so I can link back). I found the cone at Goodwill and using it was a huge mistake. It's florist foam and already disintegrating and getting everywhere. I cut a circle of felt to set it on but when the holidays are over, we are going to have to pull all of these out and save them to do again next year. We'll use a styrofoam cone from Michaels. We used an entire box of floral pins from JoAnn's and that seemed just about right for this 12" cone. I have no idea how many buttons we used.

This garland was inspired from something I saw on Flickr (she used fabric). We have this little nook that is usually piled with books and a box of tissues but I cleared it out to make a space for our Playmobil advent calendar. I just cut a piece of fleece I had in the bin to look snowy.

We just cut scrapbook paper and glued the trunks on. I let Z pick out the order of the trees and dots. She glued the stuff onto the dots but otherwise I had to do the crafting. We used hot glue to get the dots to stick to the ric rac. It was pretty quick and fun to do. I think it fills out the space nicely.

We've been making lots of holiday decorations. There are crafts all over the house in various stages of completion. I love it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

2011 Handmade Arcade review

This weekend we took an extra long drive up to Pittsburgh to check out Handmade Arcade. It was my first time at a cool craft show where I wasn't a vendor. How nice to have time to look around! My first purchase was at My Paper Crane. I have bought from her online shop and from Spoonflower but I never had time to spend at her booth when we were vending at the same shows so it was nice to be able to say hi.

How amazing are these little houses from The Oak Leaves? These will definitely be finding a home in the studio apartMac.

For the dollhouse we also bought this cute mushroom birdbath. I'm sure Tasha McKelvey calls it a ring holder but we have other plans. I wish I had bought more but I was a little overwhelmed by the cuteness.

I love everything that Renee Ruth had out there. It was so hard to choose but I'm happy with this. It's really amazing. Her papercuts are phenomenal. This is a bad photo.

This print by Kin Ship Press is too cool. Z picked it out for her room. It's perfect. And it was only $5.

I loved everything at Laura George but my budget wouldn't allow it. I had to settle on these cards. The beard will become part of the permanent holiday collection. I'm going to frame it and hang it on the wall. Next time I will plan to buy an original.

Finally, we picked out a few cards from Sloe Gin Fizz. Lots of cuteness. I like her style. These wellies will probably hang in Z's room too (once we figure out how to hang pictures without frames just in case we have another earthquake.

I also bought a funny shirt for my nephew but just in case he's reading I won't post it.

Overall, it sucked to have to pay so much for parking but with a toddler in tow, we weren't willing to park anywhere else. I was surprised that the things that bothered me as a vendor bothered me even more as a shopper: super loud music (I think we're there to buy stuff, not dance or see a concert) and food. While the food was really good, there wasn't much of a selection. I think craft shows should always have food so the shoppers stay longer. If you get hungry and leave to eat, there's a pretty good chance that you won't bother going back. I remember before that there were more local vendors. I am assuming that the venue wouldn't allow it.

The vendor selection, as usual, was pretty broad. I would like to have seen more kids clothes but I know (having been there) that it's a tough market.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


We have been in super craft mode around here. Since we don't have Thanksgiving at our house, we sorta pass that one over and head straight to Santa because Santa's got elves. Of course we are working hard on the yearly elf costume (see above: 2008, 2009, 2010).

I also recently discovered how addictive Pinterest can be and we've been gathering supplies to make lots of ornaments and decorations (email me if you need an invite). We already made a cute garland and some ornaments from tins (I'll post this as soon as we get a sunny day). Here's the board if you want to check it out.

The Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial that I wrote up last year is still very popular. It's very easy -- just a few quick seams and I even uploaded a printable pattern.

I developed an easy mini (ornament-sized) stocking tutorial. I will share that soon. I made over 20 of these last year for Z's class to decorate. They were a huge hit.

Finally, I will be adding a week of posts to the Play Dollhouse Guide. If there is something you want to review or are interested in, please let me know. The info on the furniture and houses as far as scale goes has not changed. In fact, many of the sets I reviewed are still available. We play with ours all the time and the only thing that has broken is the refrigerator door.

The elf on the shelf will be coming to stay with us this week!

Monday, November 07, 2011

A new skirt

Santa will be bringing my assistant a special doll for Christmas. I know you're judging but I don't care. She's been asking for a girl (not a baby) with clothes and shoes and sunglasses and stuff. So it's this or American Girl. And yes, I've been taking her out of the box.

I used the Miseducated skirt pattern but since I don't like felt I added some 1/4" seam allowances and stitched it up. I cut out the center of the pattern to fussycut the Russian dolls.

If you want to do this, make sure you clip your corners and snip a little in the curves so it will turn. (See my flickr for detail).

Leave an inch or so open on one side, turn it inside out and press. Then topstitch that seam closed.

Add a snap to close it up.

I feel this skirt is a little short so next time I'll lengthen the pattern. And I'll make a wrap skirt sometime too. Just extend one of the short edges about an inch or so and add a little ribbon to tie it up. Oh yeah, I did some applique on an eBay shirt using the scraps of the skirt fabric to match. The shirt is too long for the skirt so I paired it with these dollar store jeans that need to be hemmed. I found loads of free Blythe dress patterns online and I'm really excited to start sewing.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

I'm a Giant . billy balls and beads

My assistant and I went to our local bead shop to pick out some vases for the iMac studio apartment. We found these yellow resin beads to use on the mantle perhaps. The 3-year-old picked out the turkey for her dollhouse and it is having a lovely time, so I hear. The wooden bead has already been painted white and will probably become a shade of grey. We will fill it with the 1:12 scale billy balls we made. The white slate is the flooring I plan to use. It's a bit shiny in a plastic sort of way so I'll fill in the grout more and Frank Lloyd Wright it up after our Fallingwater inspiration.

These are the first run of billy balls. I think they are more 1:6 but they look great in the pink "vase" from the bead store. They now also live in the upstairs dollhouse with the turkey. Her house is play scale (Ryan's Room), so about the size of 1:12 but not actually to scale and very chunky for small hands. I think these look great on this 1:16 Petite Princess chest in this photo but the smaller ones are way more awesome.

Finally, I bought a few sets of the Kaleidoscope furniture for my birthday from This green flocked sofa and fuschia chair are actually quite large. I would say they are more like 1:10 but I'm not good with numbers. I have a Lundby and usually work with 1:16. I really don't care about scale (although you wouldn't know it from this post) but these are just too big for my purposes. I really want to keep the coffee table. But if someone wants to buy this (box, olive rug, and all but the coffee table), please let me know. It's actually quite heavy.

I think if you have a house that has tall ceilings or a more open floor plan, this would be great for you. I'm happy to take it out of the box again and measure it or photograph it next to familiar objects (don't you love all the diet coke cans on eBay?). Email me if you're interested: lemoncadet at gmail dot com.
I paid $29 for it. Make me an offer. If you're nice, I will throw in some handmade billy balls in the scale of your choice (or both).

Monday, October 31, 2011


Z said she wanted to be a purple ladybug for Halloween, "and you can make me some wings, mama!" I made the pattern by drawing a half circle. I traced a butter container for the spots. It has been a huge hit.

This photo is the best.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Vintage Arrow dollhouse furniture kit

A scored this awesome Arrow dollhouse furniture kit on eBay a few months ago. It was new in the box and even in the shrinkwrap (mostly). I had to throw out the paint as 35 years or so doesn't do it any favors.

I love the printed fabric. The upholstery should be easy. And if I don't want to use these colors, I could photocopy this and use it as a pattern. Underneath the fabric is the sheet of graphics showing through.

Really cool construction of the pieces; there is a lot of possibility there. I actually see this furniture (already completed) up for auction all the time. 

My favorite it this fireplace. I have a small collection of fireplaces (you need a warm home!). I haven't started any of this yet because I have to finish a few other projects first. I think I'm going to take a day off of work sometime and play around with this. It's really amazing.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Oliver + S . cape

I made this cape from the new Oliver + S Little Things to Sew a few weeks ago but my little one has been refusing to try it on. I bought gorgeous eggplant fine wale corduroy from JoAnn's and lined it with a Kona solid (kinda between mushroom and chartreuse). I wanted a linen look without the hassle of linen (and thought the Kona was on sale and it wasn't!).

As soon as I got the fabric home, my House Beautiful magazine arrived with a cover story in these same colors. I feel with the times.

Since Z is inbetween the two cape sizes from the book, I went with the larger one. It actually fits me (I'm 5'2") rather well so she'll get years of wear out of it. As you can see, it fits her fine but it's more Lord of the Rings than Little Red Riding Hood.

The pattern calls for 1/2" seam allowances and I hate that. It is so annoying to have all that extra fabric in there. But I had already cut the thing out before I read that so it was too late to adjust. 1cm or 3/8" is the only acceptable garment seam allowance in the world. And that's final. Doll clothes, quilting, sure, that's a different game but what a waste of fabric and what a waste of time when a pattern calls for massive seam allowances and then has you go and cut the extra off. Hello, who has this kind of time?

I also made sure to do a good clean job of stitching so this would be reversible. I sewed a button on both the inside and out but did it too tightly so I can't secure the loop. I need to fix that.