Igloo Dollhouse

Hi all!

Welcome back!

Last year, I bought the Polar Bear Calico Critter family. I had an idea to build them an igloo house, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. I’ve only built one other dollhouse from scratch–the Otter Shack–and I love that house, but it’s not anything like an igloo.

I ended up cutting foam board into strips to make it rounded. I also decided to have the house be two stories tall. Floor-to-ceiling height is 6 inches for each floor, so I guess about 1:24th scale.

Igloo in progress

You can kind of see in the picture above how I place the strips. I used tiny nails and glue to hold them in place. I really wanted a rounded dome roof, like an igloo would have, but I couldn’t make it work. I tried foil shaped around wire, and I considered just using a lot of air dry clay, but both were too heavy, so my igloo house has a flat top. If anyone has any tips, I will probably make a new igloo someday, and I would love to learn how to make a domed roof.

Igloo

I used my sculpting tools to add lines to give the appearance of bricks. I textured a little bit with a toothbrush and also using my fingers (I wore gloves to avoid fingerprints). I painted it all white, and then I went back over the lines with pale blue paint to make it look icy. I also used white glitter to make the igloo shiny like snow.

Close-up of the igloo after painting and air dry clay

I ended up with some annoying bubbles in the airdry clay, but it was my first time ever working with it, and I learned a lot. For example, when I spread it too thin, it cracks!

For the interior of the house, I actually took months to decide what to do. Initially, I had been planning on wood paneling the walls to give it kind of a rustic theme, but every time I tried, it just looked wrong. I talked to some of my friends on Instagram to get ideas, and basically we decided that it would look best if I lined the inside with white felt to make the inside look as snowy as the outside.

Igloo house interior

I took so long to finish the inside that the Polar Bears had another baby!

The bottom floor only has that pink sofa that doesn’t really fit. It’s too big. I can’t decide what else to put down there. My husband thinks it needs a kitchen of some kind, so maybe I’ll add some kitchen pieces. In the upstairs, I made the bed and the tiny dresser myself, but the crib is from Smallsminnimall on Etsy. I love their shop! Everything in it is just so pretty. The little fireplace is from Michaels. The bookcase is from a miniature library kit.

I hope you like this house! If you have any tips on domed roofs for miniatures, please share!

Instagram Miniatures Community

Hi there!

Thank you for being here!

I made my Instagram account for miniatures in 2019, and it was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. Everyone is so, so nice, and I have made so many friends. Many of us mail each other cards and little gifts regularly, and it’s such a nice way to feel connected to each other. It also forced me to start using the postal system more, which, because I am very much so an adult now, is something I needed.

Cards and a photo sent to me by a special miniaturist friend

The support and positivity of the miniature community is wonderful. I love the virtual activities that some accounts have come up with during the pandemic. This past summer, I participated in a virtual princess party and a really fun August event that set a daily theme for our posts. I have a pancake party coming up, and I am still debating whether I will host a Halloween or autumn-themed party. Even if I don’t, I’m sure someone will be hosting a Halloween party that I can participate in.

Everyone’s miniatures have backstories as well. I also love the accounts that are from the point of view of their miniatures and tell stories about the happenings of their miniature cities. I love reading the different stories behind each dollhouse and its inhabitants. Everyone is so creative, and it inspires me to be more creative. I also think it’s really fun when someone takes their miniatures with them on vacation. It’s so cute to see a Calico Critter or a doll visiting the beach or a castle in Europe!

An ongoing story from my Mushroom Meadow is that the Otter family adopted a baby mermaid last year, and they named her Cordelia. She’s the only non-Calico Critter in Mushroom Meadow. You can see her being held by Mrs. Otter in front of their Christmas stockings in the photo below. She’s a sweet little mermaid doll that I purchased from an Etsy shop called Monteserena Arts. I was just scrolling through Etsy one day when I stumbled upon her, and I just had to have her. I love mermaids, and she’s so precious.

Mrs. Otter, the twins, and baby Cordelia at Christmastime

Instagram has also been great for finding inspiration and getting tips from people who have been making miniatures for longer than me. Many people share videos of their process and include lists of the materials they used so that others can try it for themselves. I, personally, love when someone feels inspired by something I made. It makes me so happy!

I didn’t even know about working with clay or needle-felting or embroidery art before I made my Instagram account, and now I have trouble imagining my life without those things. I also learned to use air-dry clay from watching a video made by one account who was making a stone wall for their dollhouse. I made the igloo pictured below using the techniques that I saw them using.

Igloo with the Polar Bear family

It’s just amazing to be a part of such a wonderful and kind community. It’s restored my faith in humanity a little.

Thank you for reading!

The First Citizen of Mushroom Meadow and Her Story

Hi there!

I mentioned in my first post that the first Calico Critter of Mushroom Meadow was Mrs. Bear. She was purchased by my husband to live in the first dollhouse I built as an adult. The house pictured below. The first floor is a bakery, and Mrs. Bear is a baker. She bakes all the sweet treats for Mushroom Meadow, and each morning, she delivers some of them, mostly cookies and muffins, to Mushroom Café to be sold before returning to open her bakery for the day. She loves baking, but she also loves babies, and she frequently babysits the babies of Mushroom Meadow to give their parents a break.

The first dollhouse I built as an adult

Back to Mrs. Bear. Michael also bought me Calico Critter blind bags from Walmart back then, so I ended up with a couple of baby bears who became Mrs. Bear’s children and moved in with her soon after. She was a single mom of two and running a bakery, and it was a lot of work for her. Around this time, I also learned to work with polymer clay and started making more baked goods to fill out her bakery more. It was pretty bare for a while, as I only owned one cake that I had purchased from a craft store.

Mrs. Bear loves holidays, so she is always hosting brunches at her bakery to celebrate each event. For her Christmas brunch last year, she made donuts, cookies, waffles, and red and green macarons.

Christmas brunch at Mrs. Bear’s bakery

Eventually, some more figures, Mrs. Collie and her son, were purchased because I wanted their bike and I thought they were a cute pair. There is a Collie dad that I think is part of a beach set, but I don’t really like that set enough to buy it. And regardless, Mrs. Collie is a lesbian.

A year ago, Mrs. Bear and Mrs. Collie married, and Mrs. Collie and her son also moved into the bakery.

The wedding of Mrs. Bear and Mrs. Collie

Mrs. Bear, of course, made the wedding cake, pictured below, for their wedding, and it was a big hit in Mushroom Meadow!

Mrs. Bear and Mrs. Collie were the first wedding in Mushroom Meadow, but they definitely will not be the last. I really love making cakes, and I hope to build a church soon, so there will be many, many more weddings in Mushroom Meadow!

The marriage of Mrs. Bear and Mrs. Collie was a bit of an adjustment for everyone because now the upstairs apartment of the bakery is not very big, but they love each other very much, and they are all a very happy family!

Mrs. Collie now works in the bakery with Mrs. Bear to help her out. Mrs. Collie is not a very good baker, but she is good at taking orders and making deliveries on her bike. She also helps watch the babies when Mrs. Bear is otherwise occupied. They enjoy reading and going on bike rides together in their free time.

Thank you for reading!