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Saturday, 29 June 2013

Strange Doll House Miniatures

Strange Miniatures:

We're always on the lookout for new products to bring to you here at, which got us thinking-

Is there anything you'd like to see in miniature but haven't ever found?

Or perhaps you've been busy doing something in your home, and saw an item and thought "Hey, I wonder if you can get that in miniature?"
Have you actually seen something completely bizarre in miniature and didn't realise it was even possible to buy them??

We're intrigued what you guys think, and have had a few good suggestions on our Facebook Page already, including Cat Litter Tray, Swimming Pool, and Gym Equipment...

What would YOU like to see? Comment below!

- Niccy and Mandy -

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

How to Make Dolls House Miniature Pencils

Hello and welcome to the Magpies-Miniatures Blog. 

This second blog from us here at Magpies-Miniatures is a tutorial on how to create a simple Scale Miniature for you to use in your crafts and scenes. With schools coming to a close soon for the summer, and kids getting excited for a new term in September, I thought it fitting to start a small project which ties in with this time of year - Pencils!

Model Making Level : Easy (Beginner)

 How to Make Dolls House Pencils:

 You will need:
  •  Cocktail Sticks / Toothpicks
  • A Craft Knife
  • Paint (Black and whatever colour you want your pencil body to be- I chose Yellow)
  • A Silver Paint Pen
  • Tiny amount of Pink polymer clay
  • an oven
  • a steady hand
  1. Collect all your materials and have them close to hand for ease.
  2. Take a cocktail stick, and start to whittle away using your craft blade. make sure your fingers are away from the blade, and push it out away from you. Take this step slowly, rotating the cocktail stick slightly after each sweep with the knife, to gain an even finish.
  3. When your stick is to the desired thickness, cut the end you have just shaped, using your blade, or a pair of scissors. A typical pencil is approx 175mm, so I made my pencils around 15mm long. Of course, if you're making several - feel free to vary the sizes as pencils vary in length due to use!
  4. holding the pointed end, paint the rest using your base colour (yellow here), let this dry, 
  5. Taking your silver paint pen, colour a band of silver at the opposite end of the pencil. This imitates the metal clip which the rubber (eraser) sits on.
  6. Dab the pointed end in a small amount of black paint to imitate the lead. Again set to one side to dry.
  7. Take a tiny piece of pink polymer clay and soften it.
  8. Break this piece down further into minute balls. These are to become the rubber at the end of your pencil, so use your pencils as a guide for size.
  9. Push the eraser on to the end of your pencil, and roll it gently across a flat surface to let the rubber take a rounded shape.
  10. when you have made all the pencils you wish, pop them in the oven on the lowest setting for a couple of minutes, to set the clay.  
-and hopefully now you will have a wonderful collection of pencils!
Of course, you can adapt this further. Why not omit the erasers and create pencils in varying colours for the kids! Enjoy!


Friday, 14 June 2013

Magpies-Miniatures Introduction

Hello and welcome to the Magpies-Miniatures Blog. 

We have blogged in the past, but have this month started to release a newsletter (Which can be found here), and decided a nice new, fresh blog would sit nicely hand in hand with the Newsletters!

So here we are! For those of you who are unfamiliar with who we are, here's a quick introduction.

Who are Magpies-Miniatures?

Magpies-Miniatures is a family run business, from Near Ulverston, in Cumbria, UK.

There are three faces here behind the scenes - Mandy is the business owner, founder, and holds great knowledge in all things miniature. She has been behind the scenes from the very beginning, and with the help of her husband, Jon - is the one responsible for this site you're now visiting. Jon has been the quietest member of the team, but his talents in computer programming, databases and the fact he's extremely artistic and fantastic at any craft he sets his mind to- he's incredible valuable in our eyes, and those of our business too. The newest member of the team is myself, Niccy. I am the daughter of Mandy and Jon, and hold college qualifications in Art and Design, which is where my passion lies. I have taken on the role of keeping the website updated and looking fresh, with improved stock photography, and dealing with social media. All of us have something different to give to the business, which is why we work so well together as a team, in keeping our business running smoothly, and bringing you the service you'd expect as a customer, which has so many of you returning.

Magpies-Miniatures began as a venture on a popular online auction site, and as business and demand grew, so did the levels of stock we housed, and so our own website was the only way forward for us. Now the site is up and running, and has been since 2008, our passion, knowledge and focus has grown into the company you see today. We strive for 100% customer satisfaction, and to keep you coming back to complete your projects. If there's anything you're uncertain about, please feel free to ask. Combined we have a vast knowledge in several areas, and are in touch with many wonderful and knowledgeable people, so if we don't know the answer- we can seek it out for you!

What makes Magpies-Miniatures different from other Doll House Miniatures sites?

The fact we are a small company means you'll only ever be dealing with one of three people, and the fact we're all related means we all get to know you as individual customers! We love striking up friendships and conversing with those who hold interests in the same field we do- Miniatures! You get a very professional, but personal approach to your hobby from us as a business.

We stock miniatures from a range of suppliers, and are always on the look out for something different, that competitors don't offer. I have myself, taken up crafting miniatures from polymer clay, and so we are now able to provide things which other people cannot- because I don't make them for anyone except us!! 

We are proud stockists of the wonderful McQueenie Miniature kits. These are the guys who are responsible for the fabulous 12th scale Gypsy Caravans which are so popular amongst our customer base. I won't go into too much detail here, because they are due to be in the spotlight of our 2nd Newsletter, which will be published on the 25th of June. Sign up here to be included on our subscription list, and watch your inbox on that date for more info and photographs of the kit :)

So for now, I will leave the blog here, and will return back in a weeks time to keep you updated on other news and events going on here at Magpies-Miniatures.

thanks for reading, and bye for now!!

- Niccy