February 23, 2013


photo copyright 2013 Karin Corbin

Decorating cakes and cookies is NOT my favorite thing to do. So don't laugh at my unenthusiastic attempts at it. I really need you guys to send photos in of your projects because I know for sure you can do this stuff with much more finesse. It might help matters if I had not been doing the decorating at my local coffee house, that caffeine added extra squiggles to what should been straight lines. I had to switch my order to decaf espesso this week but one must make sacrifices for ones art. Not that my squiggles actually qualify as art as I am no longer 6 years old.

I will to stick to basics by using a white gel pen to draw in the icing details. A bit of glitter will get sprinkled on later today.  Despite my lack of graphic skills they are still turning out very cute and charming.

My Etsy store where you can buy the gingerbread house kits.

photo copyright 2013 Karin Corbin

February 13, 2013

Fairy Dust

photo copyright Karin Corbin 2013
UPDATE: You can now buy the kits at my Etsy store.

You might call this stuff glitter, but I  call it fairy dust because there is always a fair amount of it that has to be vacuumed up and wiped up after working on this kind of project.  I use ultra-fine polyester glitter on these tiny buildings.

This photo show the starting phase of creating a village scene out of the various buildings. I have a long ways to go before the scene is done. Roofs to glitter, snow put on for the roofs and the ground. Trees to make and install. Lights to install too. I will post a finished photo of this project in a couple of weeks when I am happy with how it looks. At the moment I am just fooling around arranging and rearranging the pieces before I commit to the placement of them. Looks like I need to design more buildings to fill up the top of the box which I don't mind doing in the least.  But for now there is no time to work on new designs and still get everything done  before the first of next month. So I think I will be creating a grouping of identical row houses to fill in where future buildings might go.

I am using a small white box I found at a local craft store to mount my scene on. It has a hinged top which will make it easy to install some LED lights with a battery. You could do the same thing using an empty cigar box.

As I am going to take this scene to the Seattle dollhouse show for my sale table as a demonstration piece I wanted something easy to flip open to show the possibilities of adding lighting to the village. I am not selling lighting kits at this time, it is not in my budget to bring in a bunch of them at wholesale prices. But I have put some links on the glitter house blog for various sources to get them.

I glittered the miniature Gatehouse in a pink marble color in honor of Valentines day. It would be a fun color to do for a girly girl's scene in her dollhouse bedroom.

Disclosure....animals have been frequently chastised in the making of this project.

February 3, 2013

Doing the Crow Step

No the crow step is not a new dance craze it is architectural slang for a stepped gable. Also called a Corbie gable, corbie being derived from the Latin word for crow and what do you know that is also where my last name comes from.

 Another new building for the Tiny Village. Someone had mentioned it seems like I had skipped a few numbers when I was showing the gatehouse building. That is just because I was aggravated with one of the designs that was using an earlier number, #9.  So yesterday out of frustration I finally sent that file to my computers trash can and started over with a type of building style that I had wanted to represent on a few of the village structures.

Stepped gables are fairly common in a number of European countries but we do have some in the USA on the European inspired classic brick buildings. And they even show up on the false fronted, wood buildings in older  towns such as often used on general stores in the cowboy western movies.

The construction approach on this little building is a bit different from the others. I have overlayed a separate pieces of paper on top of the two stepped ends and also over the front of the dormer wall.That was the easiest way to get the steps and it added an easy opportunity for a little extra depth of detailing such as one sometimes finds on brick buildings with some bricks set back further than or proud of other bricks. I am sure to do more overlays on buildings now and again, it works nicely at this scale. There is just enough depth to the cardstock to create shadow lines.

February 1, 2013

Giant attacks tiny village

photo copyright Karin Corbin 2013
UPDATE: You can now buy the paper village kits at my Etsy Store.

All the villagers have fled in advance of a giant. How were they to know he was friendly?
Nothing like a bit of silliness to lighten up the day!

Those are some buildings from the Tiny Village collection shown with a 1:12 scale action figure. This will give you an idea of how it would work with dollhouse items.

I took this photo to help customers understand their relative size. They are smaller than a 1:144 dollhouse would be, more like the size of the old German toy houses with red roofs. The tallest building in the photo, the tower at the back is 1.25" high.

Eventually I will sell some of the buildings in an even smaller size but at the moment they are not available as I don't have enough of them to make a nice grouping to offer as a set. The more complex building designs can't always be scaled down. Window mullions can't be done at a reduced scale as my machine can't cut that narrow of a piece without tearing it.  Truly narrow sections can't be bent without distorting them so that also induces design changes that have to be made for micro sized kits.My cutting knife can't reliably swivel fast enough to make an accurate micro sized radius.

I keep this action figure around because it looks just like my son! It also happens to be an accurate 1:12 model for his 6'4" height. I find it handy for designing dollhouses.  I set him into the cardboard prototypes to see how comfortable the rooms feel with a human figure inside them. This action figure came from a Lord of the Rings set. But I call him Siegfried the dragon slayer.