November 23, 2018

cutting intricate joins kumiko style

 Time to get back to thinking about doing some miniature sized wood work...
I subscribe to youtube channels from various "makers". Often those channels are not generally related to making scale model miniatures but they are all about how things get made.

Today there was one on using power tools to make some jigs for precision cutting angled joints on small pieces of wood. I thought it worth sharing as it has various applications in dollhouse building such as making windows, parquet flooring, dressing up paneled walls, making miniature shoji screens, railings, cabinets, boxes, drawers, fences, trim pieces for roof edges, gazebo details or for making picture frames, etc.

A lot of the cutting and trimming action in the video is done with hand tools. Some of the sizing of the materials that will be trimmed are done with power tools such as a tablesaw and planer. But some of us, meaning myself, do have smaller versions of the power tools shown in this video. Plus I have access to other friends larger power tools for cutting wood to sizes suitable for use on the model making sized tools or for making the jigs which are larger pieces of wood than my  model maker tool's motors are better off not dealing with.

November 1, 2018

Tiny Village news for 2018

It has been nearly a year since I updated this blog. I suppose if the Tiny Village  had a yearly newsletter it would state that no new houses were built in the year 2018.

Of course that does not mean I am not still making and selling kits of the 48 unique buildings that I have designed in previous years. But I did take a break from designing and testing new buildings. I do know that in 2019 I will designing new building kits in a larger size and that my focus will be on selling them as patterns that people can cut for themselves. The machines such as the Silhouette and Cricut are not capable of cutting the Micro Tiny Village buildings. So when/if I design more of that size I will still only be offering them as pre-cut kits.

I am not sure if taking a break in 2018 was only to do with the loss of the detail vision in my eye sight, although that is certainly a big part of it. Or if was to do with a temporary feeling of burnout. It does take several months of design and testing before a new release happens.  It was not from lack of ideas for new buildings to make, every year I see hundreds of inspirational examples of old buildings that would be great for a Tiny Village showing up in photographs taken by travelers or in old photos from historic archive collections that get scanned and released online.

But there are other things going on as well. Transitions in where and how I will be living is the big one. I had started renovation a small older motorhome but then found something even better, a tiny, lightweight, vintage fiberglass travel trailer. It was in bad condition when I purchased it, a fixer upper, but it was lightweight which is what is I needed for my 4 cylinder car. Renovating it to make it suit my needs has been coming along very slowly but somewhat steadily for the last 18 months. Slowly because my back is lousy, a lot of days nothing gets done but on none of the days does a lot get done. A familiar tale to an aging population :) If I could put in some of those old high energy weeks I used to have in my 30s it would be done in about 4 more intense labor work weeks. 

So here is a photo of the newly painted little red caboose that I  tow behind my little red engine. It does have a popup roof section so I can stand fully upright inside of it. I will post some photos of the inside when I get it completed.

As to my eye sight, my right eye is fairly stable, some minor improvement this last 6 months , but to see anything up close I have to move my head like my cross eyed Siamese cat does turning it back and forth to get a view of it from outside of the center of my focal point.  Even then the vision of the object is distorted.  My left eye is very slowly getting worse, it too has some blurring in the central focal point and some distortion with wavy lines. My eyes working together do some cancellation of the appearance of wavy lines but that does not change the blurry area in the central focal points. I can see to drive just fine, distance vision is not an issue other than the wavy lines, watching TV or working on the computer is not all that bad, I can't read paperback books with small print but I can read E-book versions on my tablet and I can read the newspapers. It is seeing small details up close that is the issue. For instance I can't tell if the dashed lines the machine cuts to create the bends for the wall of the Tiny Village buildings are cut in a straight line. Sometimes the windows and door and the little pieces for the dormers and chimney also look crooked. My friend says they are  just fine, that they are cut nice and straight, but unfortunately they will never again look that way to me. I can't see clearly to make a small intricate cut with craft knife or scalpel blade. In terms of the quality of my life this truly is a small problem. It only limits me in a very small way except for when I want to make very small things and then it becomes a bigger problem. I have done all that can be done treatment wise, it can't be fixed with any currently available surgeries, medications or with corrective lenses. So I will adapt what I make and how I make it and that way I still get to be creative.

November 18, 2017

A magic castle light show

The micro sized 2017 Castle kit. The lighting is done with a single LED tea light that has a color changing bulb in it. These color changing tealights do a slow fade from one color to the next rather than flashing; they are very pleasant to look at.

I finally got my camera back from the repair shop so I am busy creating the instructions for the kit and they should be done in a few days.

August 13, 2017

Tiny Village Necklace

I have been playing with miniatures again. This time I put the little lighthouse from the Micro Tiny Coastal Village 2016 into a little glass dome pendant necklace. It does make a nice necklace or Christmas tree ornament or ...something fun to hang in front of a window. I plan to have a limited quantity of ready to wear ones with pre-assembled buildings inside for sale in my Etsy store for the Christmas season. But they are not listed yet as I am still waiting on the supplies to arrive which seem to be taking the slow boat from China :) When they are ready I will update this posting and add an additional one.

The dome is great as it protects the building. Overall size of the container is 1 inch wide by 2 inches high. Not all of my micro sized tiny village buildings will fit inside of the dome but quite a few of them will.

For those of you looking to purchase this size of dome you can find them in the Tim Holtz line at places such as Michaels and Joanns.  Or for a safe way to order them in larger quantities with  options for style and other colors such as silver... you can get them from an Etsy seller who ships direct from China. Buying through Etsy will give you good buyer protection policy plus additional ways to pay within this country. This Etsy store has a 5 star rating.

I am not going to stock quantities empty domes to sell with my kits. My storage space is mini sized :) This is why I tell you where to buy things such as these domes and other supplies.

April 19, 2017

What I have been up to lately.

It has been a while since I have done any significant work on miniatures. I was making good progress on the design for the castle when I experienced an issue with my left eye. It was its time to have a sudden posterior vitreous detachment. That same thing happened to my right eye in the summer of 2015. Once again I pretty much lost functional vision from that episode which created masses of dense, cloudy floaters that constantly moved back and forth across my visual field. The standard medical practice is you have to wait 3 months to see if any of that material will reabsorb which is something that does not happen for me. So yesterday I had a vitrectomy on that eye. The most simple way to explain that procedure is to say I had a fluid change :)  Fortunately it is not painful to recover from as there are no nerve endings inside the eye but it will take a few weeks for it to internally calm down and have the minor swelling go away but six months to fully recover. But one day post operative my vision is already much clearer with the floaters gone .

To complicate matters my right eye which had some retinal damage from its sudden PVD that had led to scar tissue forming in my macular layer was also having a lot of issues. It was supposed to have been stabilized by the vitrectomy on it in late 2015 but unfortunately it turns out that I was statistically the one in hundred persons for whom the procedure did not arrest further scar tissue formation. So I now have very wavy looking vision in that eye as well as having the visual focal depth change month by month and the pucker has grown. This results in the loss of detail vision which any person who makes miniatures has a pretty critical need of. I will be having an operation inside of that eye on May 15th to get rid of as much of the scar tissue as possible. Obviously it is a fairly delicate surgery. That recovery time will take longer and it won't be very good during the first month post op. It is supposed to take three months to be fairly decent and a full year to be fully stable. But if all goes well then once recovered I will have no trouble continuing to make miniatures. I will still have some minor wavy distortion and loss of detail vision but not a major amount of that.

So for those who are waiting to order the new Castle kit I am hoping to get that photography and instruction writing task done in the few weeks that I will have between surgeries as well as cutting some kits to sell. Those kits will help fund the cost of fixing my eyes and I am happy for that!

I will have to admit that the wettest Seattle winter on record along with the frustration of being back to having bad vision once again all through those recent winter months resulted in a constant battle against depression. But now there literally is more light  both in the sky and in my vision. The clouds have literally parted and it is no longer freezing cold all of which is improving my mood day by day. But I am still sad that I won't be able to get as many projects done this summer as I had been looking forward to and also sad that I did not get anything productive done this winter and early spring.

December 22, 2016

Snow for Tiny Village scenes

I took a few minutes this afternoon to test out "snow" for a scene with the micro sized buildings. Obviously not a finished scene as it would need snow on the roofs and every thing properly leveled and lighted too. The snowy ground look is created with a product that used to be found at local pharmacies but now has to be ordered online. It is the very thin, bleached cotton that was used as padding around the edges of cast for broken bones. It comes in rolls and glitter will stick to it since the cotton has lots of tiny fibers making up the surface. The cotton can be layered, just pull off the straight edges so they are feathered and you can blend sections together. If also forms well for making mountain folds. Keywords to finding this product..."cotton roll cast padding". Sold for veterinary use as well as for people :) I think it gives a nice billowy look that is good for miniature scale scenes versus the much thicker quilt battings or Christmas tree skirting material. Plus it is an authentic vintage material that was used for creating such Christmas ornamental scenes. It will also hide the thin metal wires from the little LED light strings. I don't know if I will ever do a finished scene for myself as I have no safe place to store such things from year to year. But I do need to create a few for photography for marketing purposes.

Merry Christmas 2016

 "Micro Tiny Village Castle"© Karin Corbin 2016
Merry Christmas to all of you. There is a golden castle in my hand...this gift from me given to myself was getting this prototype done before Christmas arrived :) It really feels great to get it out of the virtual computer reality and into real life 3 dimensions. All sides of the castle including the inner courtyard sides have lots of details and a lot of great depth changes to the surfaces.

"Tiny Village and Castle" © Karin Corbin 2016

This is the larger sized version in the standard white color (my favorite look) shown with some buildings from the Tiny Village series.  The castle was designed to be used on it own or with the village buildings.

© Karin Corbin 2016

How big is it and what scale are they? Everyone always ask that!  Well castles are much bigger than a village house so it is not going to fit on a shelf in a dollhouse, you will have to put it on a table or on the floor of a child's room or next to a Christmas tree or use it on the shelf in your real house. In a 1:12 scale dollhouse the micro size is going to be the best look unless you are putting it into a 1:12 scale Castle. What scale is it? These items such as toy castles, glitter houses, Putz decorations, cardboard castles and such were not created in scale sizes, they were made in all kinds of sizes ranging from a few inches tall to a few feet high.

The size I settled on for micro was determined by experimenting with making them small and small as being as small as I could make them and still have them be reliable for cutting and assembling. If I make the castle smaller or the village buildings smaller then I have to start removing the smallest of the details and I like the details, that is what makes them rather magical and fun to look at and interesting to put together.

I still have a few very minor adjustments to make before I start the process of creating the step by step, photographic illustrated directions for the assembly. Plus I need to order in the materials for packaging and then figure out what it will weigh for shipping.

November 26, 2016

Sneak preview Tiny Castle

This weekend I am putting the finishing touches on the new Castle set that is part of the Tiny Village series of miniature sized cardstock glitter house, putz sets. Almost done with the building block phase of the design, it will be slightly different from this in-progress image of the 3D CAD model. Soon I will be covering those block shapes with the virtual paper that I will then unfold to make the cutting patterns.

October 25, 2016

Penciling it in

The micro size version of the 2016 Tiny Coastal Village. Now available in my Etsy store along with the larger size too.

September 18, 2016

Today's new design

Another new design for the 2016 Tiny Village set. The building that inspired it has been turned into a cafe, it is on a narrow triangle lot at the point of a twist back street in the country of Sweden. Tall, narrow and a steep roof line made the most of that small site.

Yesterday in my blog comments someone mentioned needing a fire department. I have had a request for one before. A lot of old towns had hand drawn, man operated, fire pump carts so this would certainly work for that with its double wide front door opening.

September 17, 2016

Guessing game?

2016 Tiny Village, the design work continues. Now what would this building be used for in your village? Perhaps a post office, maybe a retail store hats, perfume, chemist, florist, china? Villages do need buildings other than houses so I try to include designs that have that feeling of possibly being something other than a house.

September 15, 2016

Time to create a Tiny Village for 2016

My holiday work begins once again :)

I have lots of great inspirations in my head for this year. I will cut the first prototype today! A little cottage inspired by an old one from France.

I get a lot of  request for very small sized cottages, the kind that were modest with only a very few rooms in them.  I will put several of that size in this year's selection. I am also getting asked for more churches so there will be a new one of those as well.

March 18, 2016

Armchair Travel to Bretagne

Today I virtually, via Google Earth, wandered the streets of Port Saint Goustan in the Brittany region of France. I walked across the bridge then along the quay, then went wandering the streets up the hill  enjoying all the old medieval era buildings and cottages. Very inspirational for putting me in the mood to design more Tiny Old and and Tiny Village buildings. Using google earth means my knees don't give out and it was a free mini getaway trip to France :)

Enjoy this nice video I found on youtube that features the town. But do also check it out in Google Earth and use the function that lets you virtually walk down all the streets.

We have had a few sunny days here in Seattle, the weather is warming up a little but still relatively cold. Hopefully the drying out trend will continue as it has been a very wet winter, the most rain on record for any winter in Seattle. I am getting impatient for getting more work done on my vintage motorhome project. I have started gathering a few supplies for the plumbing and electrical work that has to be installed before I start cutting wood for the cabinets. A big advantage is this is a very small motorhome, a big disadvantage is that means it can be difficult to fit things into the small space for accessing spaces behind spaces including things such as myself :)

February 10, 2016

Pupply onboard!

A new crew member signed onto the good ship Antelope yesterday evening. It's a baby boy standard poodle, color red. Smart as a whip. Brio (his name) learned the commands sit and (lie) down before bedtime and I mean he really has it nailed down for response time to get his bottom stuck down to the deck. This morning he added come and spin (in a circle) to his bag of tricks. You might wonder why teach him to spin right away. It is a great way to teach them to greet people. Puppies and even grown dogs need some way to release excitement when they meet people instead of indulging in the natural inclination to jump up on them. He will be a very large dog when full grown but at the moment he is still small enough to fit into my 15lb cat's harness and fleece sweater so those will serve as his baby clothes. He has not met the two cats yet.

February 7, 2016

Armchair Travel to Romania

This is the kind of thing I just love to do. Explore old European streets. A bicycle would be excellent if I ever take another trip there. Romania is high on my list of places I would like to visit.  I wore my feet and knees out after spending 3 weeks in France exploring the kinds of streets shown in this video and also from wandering around smaller towns in the countryside. I will be working on another Tiny Old Town set of little cardstock buildings this year. The taller ones that can be placed right against each other for creating these kind of street scenes.

November 14, 2015

Tiny Village 2015 now in Etsy!!

They're here, come and get them :)

The micro size too...

Now we will look at them one by one...

Help has arrived

This morning I had a volunteer show up to help me get the micro sized buildings assembled. But of course as many of us know its often quicker to do the job ourselves rather than trying to train volunteers how to use tools properly.

November 5, 2015

The cutting edge

My friend Don saw a photo I took where I had my craft knife shown next to a building and liked the visual. He then suggest that I do it this way for the drama! He was right of course, this really does work. There is a small pinterest button in the bar at the end of this posting. Please do share if you enjoy using pinterest. It really helps my Etsy store sales when  you do that and I appreciate your efforts in that sharing.

I don't actually cut the buildings with a #11 knife but I do use it often in the assembling of them for nudging things into position and pulling off excess wet glue. This photo  shows the knife that does the actual cutting along with a #11 knife blade. That  knife tip is so tiny I can barely see how far it is extending out of the holder. The holder is not shown in this photos, What you are seeing is the shaft that slides into the holder. But eventually I got used to knowing when the tip was extended just the right amount for the cardstock I was cutting. In other words my brain got calibrated and that will almost always happen if you quit using those training wheels (click holders) on your machine :) I certainly did fret about it for a while but then one day the fretting stopped and no more troubles since.

October 10, 2015

working in 3D CAD design

This is a view of one of the new glitter house buildings showing it in Ironcad the 3D CAD program that I love to use. At this point I have finished the design of the miniature cardstock building and created all the walls out of virtual paper the thickness of the real material I will be cutting from. Here I am just getting ready to start unfolding it to make everything flat so I can create the 2D cutting files. You see that funny circle and line shape against the roof of the building? It is the special feature of this program that allows me to move an object in all kinds of directions and also do things like duplicate it, snap it against other objects, move it a defined distance or angle, etc. Its a magic tool that other CAD programs don't have. Across the top are the tools for the various functions you can do and also types of options with lots of drop down menus of choices to select from. At first its pretty confusing as this program is very much loaded with what it can achieve in the way of intricate detailed design.  For glitter house design I am only using a fraction of  the capability. Along the bottom are the ways to view the model, pick objects, etc. Of course for designing something this simple I need only a small fraction of this program's capabilities.

It does have a built in rendering engine where I can make the model look close to photo realistic. I don't bother with photo realistic rendering as my goal is not for presenting the CAD model itself to a client to show them what I have designed for them. Its fun to play with if you like being always virtual such as in a video game or for digital art but that is not my art form.

Over on the left side of the screen is a list of all the parts of my building. They can be further expanded when needed. On the right side is a catalog of shapes you can drop into the scene. There are other things in the built in catalogs as well, fasteners such as screws and bolts, color and textures. You can also create your own catalogs of parts such as objects you have designed or imported from some other place.

When I have all those walls flat I click a button and the program launches a drawing file. That next step is super easy to do, I just rotate the CAD model until it faces the right way and choose a 1:1 scale. Then that image exports as a new file in a format I can open in Corel Draw. I use Corel because both my paper cutter and the laser have plug-ins that will launch my project into the software that run the machines.

The program I design in is called Ironcad, a high end design program, not one most of you will have heard of before but having been trained in and having worked with  most of the big name CAD programs, this one is the only one of them I would ever choose to work in for my own projects. It is faster than all the competitors and also much easier to learn. Not a free program, this is professional software for serious use. However  the prices for students and educators are very reasonable. There are lots of tutorials for it on youtube created by the company as well as by users. The program does have a free 30 day trial.

Disclaimer...I am an associated dealer of Ironcad because I happen to love using it. :)

October 9, 2015

Tiny Village 2015 more progress

©Karin Corbin, 3D CAD model of a  house from the 2015 Tiny Village Series

Went back to revisit the design of this building to make it a little easier to put together.  I have not test cut it yet but it is wearing its coat of virtual cardstock now instead of being just basic building block shapes. Who knows it might yet evolve further or it might stay in this form. I am having too much fun playing in my CAD program to stop and cut anything. Sometimes its better not to interrupt the design flow by making my brain switch out of its current mode of being locked into the steps required to manipulate the object types in the program.

The next phase of prototype cutting and assembly is the where the cats get to have some new toys to play with and I get to try and try again with removing or adding a few thousandths of an inch here or there or even making a major renovation at times. That is the gruesome phase as any change involves not just changing the original CAD files which has 3 types of files for each design, the full 3D, the walls flattened out in 3D and the 2D drawing of the flattened building that gets exported to Corel. The Corel file is where I do all the painstaking, fussy node editing,  that file is then exported  to the software that runs the cutting machine. So each prototype revision means changing at least 6 different files in 3 different programs.

Someone asked is there a theme for this village? Well this series is as always based on the types of buildings found in historic Northern Europe. But this one will hopefully have a bit of a surprise for the focal point fancy building in the set. I am still puzzling over the puzzle of how to structure it while I work on the other buildings.

February 27, 2015

Time traveling to Paris France

Yes we really can travel back through time... It's movie night once again on my blog, grab your munchies and enjoy a trip to Paris, France and other locations.

December 25, 2014

December 23, 2014

Playing with scale

© Karin Corbin 2014, all reproduction rights reserved

Just doing some test fitting plus some glittering today. Working on the larger sized versions of the design. I have been playing around with them off and on this last year. But never have gotten down to making them available as kits in my Etsy store.

These larger pieces are not all that large.  They just big enough to be suitable for a real life tabletop Putz or Christmas tree ornament rather than being a miniature that fits into a dollhouse. It is only by comparison to the Micro and Tiny size village sets that they seem large. The tallest tower on the table is under 5" high. I make them from the heavier weight cardstock papers.

As I have an order for some I needed to do some test fitting of ones I had not cut in this size before. Of course the danger is I will get spoiled by how quick it is to assemble something this size compared to making itsy bitsy micro buildings.

December 13, 2014

Christmas Village Shadow Box Scene

© Kris Hull 2014  Christmas display created by Kris Hull of Forks, WA all reproduction rights reserved.
A photo treat that spreads some Christmas Joy made  by  Kris Hull of Forks, WA.  I just love it when one of my customers shares photos of their projects with us!  Kris used five of the buildings from the Tiny Village 2013 set for this project.

What a great job she did. There is a lot of depth to each of the small vignettes in this scene plus it incorporates other paper miniatures such as vintage Christmas Card scenes. I am loving the sleigh and horses with the bottle brush trees up on top as well. Plus of course she lit it up!

Kris shared the following information about this project.
" just thought you would like to see what I did with my Tiny Houses...this is one of my favorite projects ever! I used a Tim Holtz Configurations box and a strand of tiny lights (the battery compartment is stored in the base that the box is sitting on!) Thanks for the great houses :) "

Kris also said " I made the trees from bumpy green chenille and cut it and painted them with white paint--they were so simple. And the backgrounds are just vintage Christmas card scenes. "

I have not yet taken the time to get out the glitter, tinsel, etc and create some scenes of my own this Christmas season. You have all kept me pretty busy with cutting, packaging and shipping.  I am cutting gingerbread brown buildings today as I had run out of stock of many of those sets. Next on the schedule is making more of the Tea Light Snowflake kits. After that I might get out the glitter and see what I can come up with.

Hope everyone is having a Holly Jolly Holiday season! 

© Karin Corbin 2014, all reproduction right reserved

November 29, 2014

Winners of the Black Friday Giveaway

© Karin Corbin 2014, all reproduction right reserved

There were a total of 53 entries for the giveaway. Two entries were submitted by email and I added them as they really tried hard but could not figure out how to leave a comment (it happens).

Every person was assigned a number. I printed out all the comments starting with the first comment as #1.  I then used the function from to choose 5 numbers . I had decided that I wanted everyone to have really good odds of being a winner. So you each had  a 1 in 10 chance of winning. This means there were 5 winners!

Thank you everyone for entering. Your comments were very fun to read, lots of creativity out there!

Winners you need to email me include your mailing address and also the kit of your choice. Please put Black Friday Winner into the subject line of your email. Go to to see what the sets look like and their names. Then send me that name so I know exactly what you want. Just copy and paste the name of the set into your email. The kits are shown in white but there are always 3 colors to choose from. Remember you can choose any set you want. If you choose the 2012 village set the church shown in that set will be substituted with the buildings shown in the photo at the top of this posting unless you tell me that you would rather have a church instead of that tower house with chimney variation.

The winning comment entries are:

1. Blogger
 Caseymini said...
Karin, I have been a fan of your work for years. These black ones would be to put in one of Tessie's rooms. Being a witch, she would love the littlest ones for her mantle or even under a witchy Christmas tree. Thanks for all of the tips and tricks that I have learned from you along the way!

ShellyH-Y said...
l would use some of them as birdhouses for Ravens house. She is a tiny witch/herbalist who lives in the woods and cares for many creatures. Her house is already built (1/24th scale) and done in shades of purple and black, so these would be PERFECT! Thanks Karin!

Sanschichis said...
Hi Karin,
Thanks for this amazing giveaway! I would like to build a chrismas scene with them: black houses in the dark night, flown by Father Christmas's sleigh! Keeping my fingers crossed!

Judith Andraka said...
They are great!They would be perfect for a "Brigadoon" village that I have been wanting to make - rising from the mist among the hills. Thank-you for this give-away opportunity and your great blog.

Wanna said...
I see a spectral figure (like the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come) holding out his arm with all these little black houses on it. The caption would be:
There are some neighborhoods that are best kept at arm's length.

November 28, 2014

Black Friday Giveaway

© Karin Corbin 2014, all reproduction right reserved
© Karin Corbin 2014, all reproduction right reserved
© Karin Corbin 2014, all reproduction right reserved
Update,  Black Friday is over. No more comments please.

I have already printed out the list of eligible entries. I will post the lucky winners very soon. I  will assign everyone a number then I will use a random number generator to choose who gets the set of your choice.

© Karin Corbin 2014, all reproduction right reserved

November 18, 2014

Shipping time

© Karin Corbin 2014, all reproduction right reserved

 I was preparing some of the Tiny Village series orders for shipment and noticed what a colorful array they made. So just for fun I took a photo of them.

November 11, 2014

Micro Tiny Tudor set is now in Etsy

© Karin Corbin 2014, all reproduction right reserved
They're here, I got the micro sized glitter house village, putz buildings are all assembled and lined up for a family portrait. This new micro sized kit is now ready to ship.

The new cutter with its high resolution has made it possible to include all the flourishes and details of the larger sized Tiny Village set in this micro sized version. Ruler included in the photos so you can see the size of the set.  The average height of the houses is about 3/4" and the height of the gatehouse to the top of its chimney is 1-1/16". The detailing of these pieces is from the Tudor Revival and Normal style Revival buildings  of the 1920s. But of course revival styling means they also look much like the original buildings they were inspired by.

November 3, 2014

Fairy Tale Castles

© Karin Corbin 2014  Fairy Tale Castles, a glitter house, putz kit.

What's next? Why a fairytale castle set. Today as soon as I finish the directions for the new Tiny Tudor set I will be tweaking the castle pieces that are from the other collections and releasing them as their own grouping.

I had made up my mind to create a special grouping of the castle style buildings last Christmas. They will be cut in 4 sizes. The two sizes you are used to Micro and Tiny and also 2 more larger sizes that can be used for Christmas ornaments and decorations. I can cut thicker cardstock with my new machine so that means I can expand the designs into the full size glitter house market opportunity. Of course they are still miniatures ;).

One of these days I will do a larger castle with more turrents but that won't happen this year.

November 2, 2014

Fireplace mantel village snow scene

© Cecilia Colo 2014 project made with Karin Corbin's Micro Tiny Village Gingerbread 2013
Cecilia Colo from Mexico has graciously shared  photos of her Christmas Village scene on a 1:12 fireplace mantel. What an outstanding job she has done with this project. I love the vertical use of the space with the trees coming down the slope. No doubt about it there is Christmas magic in this scene! That garland with Christmas cards is lovely too, what a great touch that is, it really adds to her artistic composition.

I love seeing what people do with the kits so please share photos with me. 
photo © Cecilia Colo, 1:12 Gingerbread Village Scene using a Karin Corbin  Gingerbread Village houses kit.

The kit used to create the scene above is the Micro Tiny Village 2013 in gingerbread color. They really do look like a gingerbread house when displayed this way. You can buy that kit in my Etsy store Micro Tiny Village 2013 Gingerbread
photo © Cecilia Colo 2013, all reproduction rights reserved

The lighting used in the scene is from Evan Designs

November 1, 2014

holding a ruler down for cutting

© Karin Corbin 2014, all reproduction right reserved

In a chat today I was reminded that it is easy to have trouble with some of the basic tasks in model making. This time it was how to hold a ruler firmly while cutting. My best friend happened to be close by so he became my hand model. He has that hand tremor condition but despite it can do great fine detail model making so he is perfect for demonstrating its all about how you position your fingers, not about how steady your hands are. The little finger is on the table adding stability, heel of palm can rest on the table for extra stability if needed. There is a cork backing on this steel ruler. Do not use a ruler for cutting against with a knife unless it is made from steel. Never plastic or aluminum rulers as the knife blade can snag into those materials.

October 31, 2014

Tea Light sets now available!

© Karin Corbin 2014, all reproduction right reserved

© Karin Corbin 2014, all reproduction right reserved

© Karin Corbin 2014, all reproduction right reserved

© Karin Corbin 2014, all reproduction right reserved
They are now in my Etsy Store.

Snowflakes only are in this first set made for 4 tea lights. No buildings included and no tea lights. Later next week I will release a set of 3 houses with 3 snowflakes sets included.

You might wonder what determines how many items  are in the sets I put together. It is based on what will fit into a business sized envelope that weighs less than one ounce when all packaged up. I do it that way as a business model for several reasons. First of all I can keep the shipping very affordable. I also can keep a supply of regular stamps on hand and don't need to find a post office to ship from. When I send kits overseas they look like the purchaser is getting a greeting card in the mail so no delays from customs.  The most important reason is I can fit this business into the lifestyle of a gypsy woman who chooses to live in a tiny vintage motorhome for much of the year. No space for storing cardboard boxes for shipping.

I will have the assembly photos for the tea lights posted on the very soon. But it is pretty much obvious how they go together.

So many photos yet to take this next few days to get ready for listing  the new Tiny Tudor Village set. But it will most likely happen this Sunday. Had a slight delay in launching the series as I had several large orders come in this week that I had to cut kits for. But one of those orders was what made the new Snowflake Tea Light accessory kit available to all of you.

Still learning to use the new cutting machine. It is more accurate than the original hobby machine I started this Tiny Village series on. That has made it possible to cut those fancy snowflakes. But it has not been without its learning curve.

Off the topic, did any of you catch the news that the Dremel company is launching a 3D printer for sale next week on November 3rd ? Now that is interesting news. It only works with PLA plastic filament and it steps in vertical layers that are .004" thick. That is about the standard resolution for a 3D printer in the price range of just under one thousand dollars. Home Depot store is one of their retail partners for developing this new printer, Amazon is also a retail partner in the project. Actually it is the first 3D printer that has been created for sale by any major tool company. It makes sense that it was done by the Bosch company, they own the Dremel brand name. Dremel has always been a primary power tool line used in making miniatures by hobbiest.  I won't be purchasing one as my boyfriend  owns a 3D printer that can use more types of plastic filament.

© Karin Corbin 2014, all reproduction right reserved.