15 Free Tutorials For Dollhouse Miniatures

15 Dollhouse Miniatures Tutorials

Make Your Own Realistic Dollhouse Scale Miniatures

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted about the tutorials available on Cotton Ridge Create! for one inch scale dollhouse miniatures. The images above show the miniature furniture and accessories you can make using various techniques and materials.  The skill level ranges from easy to difficult.

Try your hand at painting and aging techniques, kit assembly, clay food, living miniature gardens, paper flowers, and more. Click on the image above to get started!

You may also be interested in visiting the Miniatures Gallery, featuring talented artisans from all over the world!

Copyright 2014 Kathryn Depew

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Gyotaku Art (Fish Prints)

Gyotaku Art Fish Print by J.G. Wang

Gyotaku Art Fish Print by J.G. Wang

This has to be one of the most unusual art techniques I have ever tried. It was an enjoyable process; oddly satisfying when I achieved a good print. And I didn’t even catch the fish, it was purchased at the fish counter at my grocery store!

I loved the print above – it is by J.G. Wang on flickr.com. Below are my fish and prints.  I think next time I will try to find a fish with bigger fins!

Disclosure: The books and supply links below lead to products on Amazon. I am an affiliate and will receive a small commission if these links are used to make a purchase.

Gyotaku Art Fish Prints Japan Lesson

The idea came from the book Global Art: Activities, Projects, and Inventions from Around the World. I am exploring art project options for our upcoming kindergarten homeschool coop class, and the kids (especially the boys), would think making prints from a real fish is cool! Unfortunately I don’t think it’s going to work – we have our coop classes in a church building, and I don’t think they would appreciate the fish smell on Sunday morning! I am considering doing it outside, but I believe I found an alternative that will be fun for the kids (and less smelly).

Rubber Animal Prints Japan Lesson

Global Art suggests an alternative to a real fish: a rubber fish. This gave me the idea of trying my daughter’s small rubber animals, and they worked great! The paint cleaned off of them completely. They are the sticky rubber kind so they stuck to the paper, but peeled off easily.

You need:

The process:

Place the fish on plain piece of paper. Brush on a very thin layer of tempura paint (you can use more than one color). Work quickly so the paint doesn’t dry. Take another plain piece of paper and press firmly on fish. Start in the middle and press all over without moving the paper. Then carefully peel off the paper.

Rubber Animal Prints Completed Japan Lesson

(Note: Global Art gives more detailed instructions on how to prepare your real fish for an excellent print. For example, you can use straight pins to arrange the fins, and salt or sand to rough up the scales if you wish.)

I had a lot of fun with these, I hope the kids do, too!  What about you?  Have you ever made a fish print?

Copyright 2014 Kathryn Depew
Image from flickr.com used under the Creative Commons license. Image credit: Gyotaku Art Fish Print by J.G. Wang.

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Home Art Studio DVD Set Giveaway ~ Open to US and Canada, Ends March 25

Home Art Studio DVD Set 2015Learn Art and Art History At Home

Art teacher Lindsey Volin of Home Art Studio majored in Studio Art and received her art education teaching certification from Meredith College. She is also a Mom of two boys.

Ms. Volin is passionate about art and the benefits it adds to a child’s education. Through Home Art Studio, she teaches art and art history lessons as your child’s “personal art teacher” through DVD programs – one for each grade from Kindergarten through 5th. She also offers an additional DVD for Holiday Arts and Crafts, which also includes food craft recipes.

I am a strong advocate for art education and believe that every child can benefit from it. Art promotes creative thinking, problem solving, and stimulates and develops the imagination. Not to mention the fact that it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will join our Home Art Studio community of students.

Each DVD is filled with project lessons, art history, field trips and more! Learning art through a DVD program allows your children to learn at their own pace – pause and rewind whenever they need to. It’s also fun to make your own project right along with them!

Home Art Studio won the Mom’s Best Award for outstanding new products of 2012, was recognized by Homeschool.com for Top Homeschooling Curriculum in 2013, and earned the Practical Homeschooling Reader Award in 2014. The program was created for homeschooling parents and as a supplemental afterschool/summer program for children aged preschool through fifth grade.

This program is designed to increase students’ love and appreciation of the visual arts while enhancing a child’s ability to problem solve, think creatively, and truly see the world around them.

Watch the informational video above and visit the Reviews page to learn even more about Home Art Studio. The DVDs are available to purchase separately for each grade at $29.99 each – click on the thumbnails for details for each grade. The price includes ground shipping to all 48 contiguous states. Shipping to Hawaii, Alaska and Canada is $5.00.

Free Lessons & Student Gallery

There are free sample lessons available to watch on the Home Art Studio web site – one for each grade (Kindergarten through 5th). You can also visit the Student Gallery to see the creative art projects taught on the DVDs.

Giveaway Details

Hosted by Cotton Ridge Homeschool and Cotton Ridge Create!

Ms. Volin is generously giving one of my readers a six-volume set of the K-5 Home Art Studio Program DVDs, a $179 value! This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada aged 18 years and older, and will run from March 5 – 25, 2015. The winner will be contacted within two days of the end of the contest via email, and will have two days to claim the prize. If unclaimed, a new winner will be drawn. The winner’s entries will be verified. Please enter the contest using the Rafflecopter form below; all entries are optional. Thank you for visiting Cotton Ridge Create!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  Disclosure: Cotton Ridge Create! is not responsible for prize delivery. Prize will be delivered by Home Art Studio. I was not compensated for this post.

Featured Projects & Free Image Of The Week From Cricut

Elegant party favor Cricut Free Project

One of the free projects available from Cricut. Elegant party favor!

I have owned a Cricut machine for over 4 years now, and I love it!  It’s great for cutting out shapes for crafting, party favors, and scrapbooking. I’ve also used it for cutting out letters and mini-books for lapbooking – head over to my sister site Cotton Ridge Homeschool to see samples of our ABC lapbooks, along with instructions on how to make your own.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Free Image Of The Week

Sometimes all we need to get the creative juices flowing is a little inspiration, and at Cricut they have just the thing. Each week Cricut posts free images of the week that you can download and use to create hundreds of new projects—from iron-ons for fabric to vinyl stickers for furniture—each one paired with an exciting project that you can make. In addition to the image, they also feature projects from their online community, both easy and moderate in complexity, everything for all levels of DIYers.

All of these cutout designs can be made with the Cricut Explore, a design-and-cut system for making amazing, affordable DIY craft projects. (Requires downloading a plugin to your computer.) It’s the easiest way to turn an idea into a finished project right in your own home. Check out Cricut to jump start your own cutout art!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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Beautiful Handcrafted Device Stands From Grant Stands & Co

Grants Stands WrappedDisclosure: I was given a complimentary item from Hatch.co to review. I am an affiliate of Hatch, and will receive a small commission if the links on this page are used to make a purchase.

My Review

There is something about the texture and feel of wood that brings warmth to the home, even when paired with the most modern of devices.  This was my first thought when I came across the docking station made by Grant Stands & Co on the new site Hatch.co.  My iPhone stand just arrived, and I was immediately impressed with the quality – it was obviously made with care and pride.  It also adds a cozy feel to the little corner where I charge my iPhone. Now instead of looking at a cord plugged into the wall, my eyes are drawn to my beautiful Black Walnut wood stand!

Grants Stands

Grant Stands & Co is a family-owned and operated business in Indiana.  Their wooden stands are handcrafted from choice lumber, sanded and polished smooth, then rubbed with tung-oil.  The finish is beautiful!  The slanted slot fits my iPhone perfectly, and holds it at a perfect angle for viewing.  There is a slot in the bottom of the stand (not visible in the photos) for the charging cord – it is large enough for the older 30-pin connectors like mine.  Grant Stands also makes docking stations for the iPad, iPad Mini, plus one that holds both an iPad and iPhone together.

The weight of the wood and the rubber feet attached to the bottom give me confidence that the stand will not easily tip over (an important feature when there is a preschooler in the house).  The cost including shipping was less than $25, which I think is very reasonable.  I’m am very happy with my new docking station!

Grants Stands Close

Introducing Hatch, a New Artisan Goods Marketplace

You can find Grant Stands & Co, and hundreds of other makers on Hatch.co.  Hatch is an exciting new place to find hand-picked artisan-made goods for the home, jewelry, children, and more.  I enjoyed browsing through all of the categories; the artistry and talent are truly amazing.  The great thing is, each item is customizable – you choose personalization, type of material, etc. The type of customization varies according to the item.  For example, I was able to choose the type of wood for my docking station, as well as the size of the slot.  If you are looking for a unique, hand-crafted piece to give as a gift (or keep yourself), this site would be a great place to start!

Text and Images Copyright 2014 Kathryn Depew

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Meet the Owners of Posie Meadows Etsy Shop

Somebunny Loves You Watercolor by Posie Meadows

Posie Meadows is a joint venture between sisters Rachel and Rebekah Land. Rachel is a children’s book illustrator with a degree in fine art and Rebekah runs the business and graphic design side and has a degree in marketing and entrepreneurship. They have been inseparable best friends since childhood and this new venture is a dream come true. Posie Meadows is based on an imaginary world they created as children in a small cubby hole under the stairs of the house they grew up in. Juniper Wood on the edge of the Posie Meadows was a magic land filled with talking animals and fairytale adventures and their wish has been to bring those childhood friends and dreams to life and share them with the world.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I am an affiliate of Amazon, and will receive a small commission if the Amazon links on this page are used to make a purchase.

An Interview With Rachel and Rebekah

Please tell us about the beautiful prints you sell in your Etsy shop!

We sell archival quality fine art prints in several sizes including greeting cards, 5×7″ and 8×10”. We use high quality supplies and only print on 100% cotton rag paper with a gorgeous toothy texture to replicate the original watercolor feel as closely as possible. We also offer customization like adding the name of a loved one or an inspirational quote as well as special editions accented with Swarovski rhinestones and glitter.

How did you become involved in art, and what led you to open an online shop?Nana's Sewing Circle Watercolor by Posie Meadows

We have been making things together since we were little kids. We were homeschooled growing up so we had lots of free time to pursue extra curricular activities. When we were 10 and 12, we made stuffed animals and jewelry and sold them at the local farmers market. Ever since then we have been creating a variety of products depending on our interests at the time. We went to college at the same time and got degrees in art and business but we never dreamed at that point that we would be starting a business together. We both started our first Etsy shops around 2009, Rebekah was selling handmade cards, and Rachel was selling handmade stuffed animals. Rebekah now has 4 Etsy shops selling everything from hand made jewelry to graphic designs and Rachel has 2 selling her animals and fine art prints. Etsy is a fantastic community and a wonderful site to start any handmade business. They make things really simple and when we both had our first successful businesses established, we were encouraged to branch out into this joint venture of Posie Meadows.

What are your influences?

We are mostly just influenced by our imaginations and the stuffed animals we loved as children. They were real to us and we are telling their stories. We also love the fantasy works of C.S. Lewis and other talented illustrators like Richard Jesse Watson.

The Wee Three Watercolor by Posie MeadowsWhat do you like most and the least about your business?

Well, the reason we originally started our own business was to be able to build something that we could maintain while staying at home and homeschooling our kids. Being able to work from home on something we adore while keeping a flexible schedule is the best job we can imagine. At the same time, it’s not for everyone and there are tedious aspects to the daily maintenance that can get boring or frustrating at times. Tax time is definitely my least favorite aspect.

Kite Flying Watercolor by Posie MeadowsDo you have any advice for those who’d like to start an Etsy business?

The most important things about starting a business are passion and perseverance. Running your own business can be the most difficult and rewarding thing you will ever do, except probably homeschooling your kids! Seriously though, you have to be sure whatever you choose is something that you love and care deeply about and after that, its all about pushing forward and taking criticism as a chance to grow. If you believe in what you are doing, other people will too! Etsy is a fabulous place to start because you are in a community of other artists and business owners and there is generally a very encouraging and collaborative environment.

Connect With Rebekah and Rachel

Visit Posie Meadows on Facebook, Pinterest, Etsy, and Twitter.  They ship their prints world wide.


Rebekah and Rachel have generously offered one of my readers a $40 gift certificate to their Etsy shop!  $40 will purchase four 5×7 prints or two 8×10 prints.  These would be wonderful additions to a nursery or child’s room decor.

The giveaway is open World Wide and will run through midnight CT on Monday, May 26, 2014. Must be at least 18 years old to enter. The winner will be contacted via email and will have two days to claim the prize. If unclaimed, a new winner will be drawn. The winners’ entries will be verified. Please enter the contest using the Rafflecopter form below. All entries are optional. Thank you for visiting Cotton Ridge Create!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shop online with me, your Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant! Free shipping and free samples.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I am an affiliate of Amazon.com, and will receive a small commission if the Amazon.com links on this page are used to make a purchase.

Text Copyright 2014 Kathryn Depew. Images Copyright 2014 Posie Meadows; please do not use without written permission.

Garden Planners, Charts & Lists ~ Free Printables

Garden Planner Button

I am ready to start thinking about planting, how about you? We most likely won’t have a full-fledged garden this year, but I do want to grow a few vegetables and pretty annuals. And definitely some herbs.

This planting season I am trying to be a little more organized and do some planning before going to the garden center to shop. Below are a few blank printable charts and lists that I created – you are welcome to download themif you need a little help organizing your gardening thoughts! Please let me know if you have any ideas for more planning tools, and I will be happy to try and create them.

Terms of Use

These printables are provided at no cost for personal or classroom use. Print as many as you like! If you are linking to this blog post for a round-up type post on your blog, you are welcome to use the button image above in your post. 

Restrictions: Please do not sell these documents or upload them to your web site or any other web site. If you would like to link to these printables, please link to this blog post and not the PDF files.

Just click on the thumbnail images to open, download, and print. If the PDF files do not look right in your browser, open the document in Adobe Reader first, then print.  Thank you for visiting Cotton Ridge Create!

Seedling Planner ChartGarden Planner ChartGarden Shopping ListGarden Planner Grid

Looking for fun Springtime activities for your children? Visit Cotton Ridge Homeschool for more free printables!

Spring Themed Printables Button

Copyright 2014 Kathryn Depew

Creativebug Brand Series

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It’s finally spring!  I don’t remember a year when it’s been so welcome. Perhaps we’ll have a nice, warm, sunny day very soon! In the meantime, you can anticipate freedom from the cold with this springtime-inspired Etsy treasury.  (Click on this link to view the treasury on Etsy.)

Spring Treasury

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Win an Online Craftsy Class ~ World Wide Giveaway! Ends 3/24

Craftsy Class 2014 Giveaway

Update: The Winner has been chosen and contacted by Craftsy.  Thank you for your visit!

Craftsy has generously offered to give one of my readers an online class!  Craftsy features dozens of creative online courses on knitting, cake decorating, fine art, holiday crafting, photography, and more.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Craftsy and will receive a small commission if the links on this page are used to register or make a purchase. However, my opinions are entirely my own and based on positive, personal experience.

To enter for your chance to win the class of your choice, please click on the Craftsy web site link below and provide your email address – this is the only entry required!  You will be registered on the Craftsy web site and receive occasional emails regarding new classes, sales, and specials on craft supplies.

While you are on their site, take a look around! I have been very impressed with my experiences with this site – if you are interested in class reviews, you may like my two articles: Online Class Review: Shoot It! Product Photography by Craftsy and Fab Felt Christmas & Holiday Crafts Online Course ~ A Review.  Craftsy also offers several free mini-courses; check out all of the free courses by clicking here.

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Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Craftsy and will receive a small commission if the links on this page are used to make a purchase. However, my opinions are entirely my own and based on positive, personal experience.