Saturday, December 18, 2010

Off Topic: Finally.... Tabitha's Give-Away Prize

Well, it was a bumpy road getting there... but I finally got Tabitha's custom give-away finished!!! And I am so glad to say that she really likes it.

She has a really amazing project going on focused around a rather famous Wizard/Magician..... please visit her blog for her to tell you more about it in her own words! Plus she has so many wonderful things there, that I highly suggest you become a follower if you aren't already!

Tabitha's blog is here.
I also included this detail show for those of you who were saying my photos don't pop up.... I will really try to work on figuring that out! Tabitha wanted the chair in 'ruins' so I tried my best!!

Hope you like it!!! hugs, ara

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Long Time, No See!!! 100th Post!

Hello Everyone! I'm back and rejuvenated!! I have been dealing with a lot of nausea because of the baby and on top of that several sinus infections that have left me down and out!

Good news is Baby is doing good, healthy as far as we know and we find out what the gender is in Mid January!!

More Good News: I'm Back!!! I am finally feeling well enough to sit at my desk and get back to work! My fingers are itching and my mind is full of ideas for the Addamses, chairs and more!

I am sorry I have missed so much of whats been going on. I plan to go through y'alls blogs over the next couple days and check up on everyone. It's my mission!!

Meanwhile I'd figure I'd show you the last miniature project I actually got done... This was a while ago too!

We had to make something themed off of the phrase "little shop of..." And I made the "Little Shop of Lost Monsters". This was made for a Circle Swap on a forum and it went to my friend Marie. She said she really liked it so yay!!

Missed you guys and I can't wait to see what you've been up to!! -Ara

Monday, November 8, 2010

Just checking in before its back to the Couch!

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to let you know that I haven't forgotten about you all. I've had the hardest time sitting at my desk or even being on the computer for very long. Needless to say I haven't been keeping up with your blogs and I really miss them!

I had a sonogram last week and every thing seemed well with the baby (and me). And now I have a nice little picture to look at as I am getting sick every hour.... it makes it a little more bearable!

Anyway - I just wanted to say hi and that I am almost out of the first trimester. Hopefully baby will let me back to my miniatures soon! The Addamses are getting impatient!

And continued apologies to Tabitha as I still have not finished her prize from winning my give-away. Luckily she is the sweetest person ever!!!

Love you all and hopefully will be back soon, Ara

Monday, September 27, 2010

Off topic: A bit of personal news....

So we found out some news recently that's kind of thrown off my schedule and my energy.... I'm pregnant!

Yep this will be our first baby. We are very excited but boy do I feel icky! (or should I say ooky...) I'm tired, nauseous, and feeling several of the other symptoms! We are guessing that the kiddo will arrive sometime next May.... but we have yet to have our first doctors appt!!

Anyway - I am still going to be working on my project but I want to let you know that my recent burst of energy and productivity may have been short lived - lol. Hopefully my energy levels will go back up by the second trimester.... we shall see.

Tabitha.... your chair is first on my list at the moment but will not be done by the end of the month like I had hoped... I will keep you updated! Hopefully it won't be to much longer!

Hugs to all, Ara

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

We have a Give-Away Winner!!

Congrats Tabitha - you have won the give-away! You will receive a custom hand-made piece of furniture from me!!

Thank you all for entering the give-away and telling me about your projects. Like I said I wish I could make something for each and every one of you. I appreciate you guys following my blog and commenting and giving me suggestions on my project!!

Here's what Tabitha said about her current projects:

I have two projects that I am currently working on, though I don't have pictures on the blog yet. Mmm...probably should do that...

The first is the study of Prof. Meradoch Emerson Pimm's...archeologist and adventurer!

The second is Medieval ruins that I intend for a friend who writes fantasy novels and short stories. I want to include as many things from his stories in the setting as possible and only recently got the idea for the setting when he wrote "Ruins of Camelot".

I would LOVE to have something made especially by you for the Professor!

Please make sure to visit her blog and see what she's got going on - you won't regret it!!! Think about what you would like made Tabitha and email me at! The professor project sounds exciting!!!

Looking forward to the next give-away, ara

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And finally the 3rd Floor tour....

This is the floor that has never been seen before!! I spent a whole two days having the DH help me glue this top section together.... because of the weird angle it took a lot of clamps to do each wall (or so it seemed)! Finally we got it together the and I was able to work on the final rooms in the main part of the house.

Here you can see Wednesday's and Pugsley's room. For this house they will be sharing one large room. It will also kind of be their play room. It is the biggest room of the house so I am excited to get working on the all the goodies I am going to fill it with! Also.... I just wanted to note that the border around the room is a border drawn by Charles Addams in one of his cartoons. Its the border in Wednesdays room. With photoshop and a little bit of patience I was able to make something I could print and stick up on the wall!

You can also see there are a few things sitting in on the floor - there is a cement mixer, a cannon, a trunk and Wednesday's spider, Homer, in her cage. The red tile floor is handmade - it took a while but I like it! Its hard to see but I even put in a spot where perhaps some dynamite might have exploded and left a burn mark.

Next is the 'Attic' side of the 3rd floor. I went all out and made aging boards surrounding the whole room. I really wanted to give the effect that this is an unfinished part of the house used for storage. Anything strange and without a home will go up here. Its also where the firemans pole from the 2nd floor will come up to.

I built a small landing platform here for those Addamses going up the pole. I did this to make the stair opening that came with the kit smaller and also to add some interest to the plain floor.
There are a few things that have made it into the attic already!

I do think the attic needs a little more dirtying... and the kids room needs some more explosive marks ... but I am happy with what I have as a starting point! Dirtying things up is the fun part!!!

You've now seen the entire tour of the Addams Family Mini-Mansion thus far. I am about to start putting together the wing addition!!!! More on that to come soon! Thanks for looking!

PS..... The give-away drawing is tomorrow night! Make sure to leave a comment if you want to enter!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

2nd Floor Tour - Far from done!!...

Here you can see the second floor. It is, as I said, far from done. But things are really starting to come together in my mind and in the mansion! I added in a gray bar for where there is another open column.... it just looks confusing so I grayed it out!

Below is a photo of my newest installation. I wanted so badly to hang weapons up on the wall in the study. I didn't have a ton of them so I hung what I had.... DH says that they medieval weapons hung with the rifle doesn't make any sense. But it seemed like something the Addams Family might do.... after all they still use Medieval objects in their every day life...

Here you can see the built in book case I am building on the other side of the weapons wall. I want this to kind of be like a reading nook in a dark corner. I think I will make a big poofy (ooky of course) chair to go across from this shelf in the hall way.
Also I wanted to point out my little guy that's sitting at the base of the book shelf. My dad brought me this guy back from Brazil. Isn't he perfect!!! My dad got him just for my Mini-Mansion! Thanks Dad! I love him!

Also... you may notice that I am missing the stairs up to the 3rd floor. Well.... I have decided that because of lack of space and a want for being like the Addams house ... that I will put in a fireman's pole instead of a stair case to the 3rd floor. (its not in yet ... but its coming) According to the 1960's tv show, all the Addamses have the unique ability to go up a firemans pole just as easily as most of us can go down one. I am very excited about it!!!

Also... if anyone LOVES to make books and would like to do a swap for a bunch of books for a custom piece of furniture just let me know. I need lots of unique books for this shelf and books are just not my thing. If interested you can email me at afminimansion (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thanks for looking everyone. This concludes your tour of the 2nd floor....until I do more on it :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Over 200 Followers! Give-Away Time!

First of all I want to say thank you to all who follow my blog! I truly appreciate all your encouragement and comments over the past year or so! You all have given this project a whole other level of fun!

To show my appreciation I want to do a give-away. I wish I could give something to each and every one of you but I don't have that kind of dough! So in the usual fashion we will have a drawing for one person to receive something from me!

And I decided to use Kate's idea so she gets her name in the pot one extra time! Here's what the give-away item will be:

1 custom made piece of furniture for whatever miniature project you may be working on.

Because I am making this item specifically for the person who's name is drawn, it will be a wait before you will get it. I am thinking a month would be a good amount of time to say I could get something done.

So here are the RULES to enter the give-away. Leave me a comment telling me about the project you are working on now that you are the MOST excited about. Also put the address of your blog or website in your post so if anyone else wants to see your project they'll know right where to go! *The piece of furniture I make doesn't have to be for the project you mention in the post.... I am just interested in what every one's doing right now.* If you don't have a current project just tell me about an idea you have for the future.....

ALSO..... to say thank you to all the followers who have been with me through the long haul I will be choosing three of my posts (one from the beginning, middle and more recent posts) and if you commented on those posts you will get an extra point per post as well! I will just choose them randomly and only count comments made before this post (so no going back and commenting on everything-lol). Remember you have to comment on this post to be entered... previous comment points will just add on to this first entry.

Let me know if you have any questions... I will do the drawing next Wednesday, September 1st in the evening so be sure to comment! Looking forward to hearing all about everyone's projects!

Thank you all again, Ara

First Floor Update!

Welcome back Ladies and Gentlemen!!! I've done a lot since you've been here last and I am excited to show you around! Above you can see the entire first floor.... I have added in a fake column because right now it is just open. I haven't yet figured out how I am going to finish off the open face of the dollhouse.

Here is the front hall.... its still mostly the same with the addition of a little caveman statue and a hall rug.

If you look slightly to the right you can see a bench waiting for visitors to take a seat. Morticia has lovingly added an interesting little plant for some color.

Across the room you can see the main fire place complete with knick-knacks and moose horns waiting to be hung in place. Gomez and Morticia's chairs sit side by side waiting for them to come warm themselves by the fire.

Off in the distance sits Lurch's organ and a small phonograph. The Addams Family is never without music and their living room reflects that. Morticia is still picking out curtains so that will be next. Also floorboards and crown molding needs to be stained and installed.

Here is a closer view of Gomez's chair. He always sat in a throne-like chair so this is what he has in miniature. It's not the most comfortable looking thing but its great for relaxing in after a good workout of Zen-Yogi!

Thank you for coming on yet another tour of the first floor!! I already have pictures of the 2nd and 3rd floors to share with you all..... so I have no excuse to get those on here in the next few days. They are not as close to finished as the first floor but its getting there! -ara

Friday, August 27, 2010

Blogger :P - and Give-Away Question....

Screen Capture from Addams Family Values
Property of Paramount Pictures, Copyright 1993

Well blogger has just really been hating me lately. Every time I have gotten on to read through and comment on posts, I have not been able to. I am now on a friends computer (helping them out at work) so I have been able to go back a few days and read through some missed posts.

Also.... you guys will be so proud of me.... I have been mini-ing up a storm! And its not on chairs this time - its actually on the Addams Family Mansion!! You can all pick your jaws up off the floor now - lol.

Here are the things I have done that I need to show you all (this is more a list of reminders for me but also so you can point out if I missed anything in the next week or so:

-I put the columns into the first floor (except for some floorboards and crown molding the first floor is almost done!!)
-I built Gomez's chair to sit next to Morticia's
-I started the built-in shelves needed for Gomez's Study
-I put together the at 3rd floor of the house (contains the kids room)
-I painted and put up a border in Wednesdays and Pugsleys room
-I created a fun spooky attic space in which to stuff a bunch of ooky junk!
-I started building the addition that will hold the dining room and G and M's room!! oh la la

ALSO - I passed 200 followers since my last post so it is definitely time to celebrate with a give-away. But I can't really decide what to give away?

Do you guys have any ideas? I want to make something but I don't know what. My first give away I made a nail bed but I don't know how many of you can use that.... What about a crazy upholstered chair.... I want it to be something my followers would actually want and be able to use. Please leave a comment with suggestions. If I pick your suggestion of what to make I will give you an extra point towards what ever I will do to pick the person who wins!

Love to all, Ara

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Can't comment on Posts!!

Anyone else having this problem???
I have been doing my regular looking back at posts I missed from you guys and I can't comment at all. I try to write in the comment box and my computer just dings at me.

It happens with all your blogs :( It's really rather frustrating!

Well, you all are doing such wonderful things with such beautiful work!! Wish I could tell you all that personally!!!

Off to try and locate the problem!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Morticia's Chair

Well - like I said I've had the tinglies in my fingers to get going on the mansion again! And I know this isn't directly a piece of the mansion itself.... but its a VERY important part!

I am so glad I finally found some time to make a custom chair for myself! This is Morticia's famous chair that is seen in almost every episode of the tv show. It's actually a little modernized I feel. This mansion is my vision of the Addams Family mansion so I decided to put a spin on the famous furniture as well.If you want to see what the one from the tv show looked like, it was something like this. So I still kept the 'wicker' look and updated the over all shape. Plus you can see the back of it is a little more 'free form'. The only thing I am not sure about is the color....I feel like its very muddy. Its painted a light brown color and I tried to give it some depth using pastels ... but I'm just not sure..... what do you guys think?

Also, I am sad to say that my Morticia doll will never actually be able to sit in this chair :( Her dress is WAY too tight. I have been thinking about redoing her in the future anyway. Question for doll makers: when you make a doll you usually choose before hand if she will be sitting or standing? Is it difficult to make them do both??

Next in line for furniture will be Gomez's chair. He always sits in this ornate gold throne.... so that will definitely be a fun one to go wild with!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Antique gifts for the Addamses

I've been to several antique stores recently and I have NOT been disappointed! I went to several stores while on a trip with my parents in Tennessee. Jackson, Tennessee to be exact :) The Addamses were pleased to see me return with a few things for their much neglected Mansion.

These first items were bought by my mother. I was going back and forth on whether or not to purchase them and so she just got them for me :) They are old Avon perfume bottles. They are tiny but I think they have a lot of potential. I am thinking of turning the clear one into a large vase full of some of the dead roses Sans gave me. And I am thinking of using the cap of the pink one for a very ornate side table :) And then the pink part can be a large decorative bowl in Bentley manner perhaps.

The next antique I am not sure what I am doing with just yet but I love it! My dad wanted to contribute to the dollhouse as well and bought me this antique vanity with seat. I am trying to decide if it works best for Morticia or for Mrs. Bentley!!? It's a little creepy but very classic I think!

Lastly, I found this piece here in a DFW antique store. I think its just a small mirror meant for a ladies vanity BUT its the perfect size to be an impressive stand-up mirror in miniature. It will definitely be a center piece in Morticia and Gomez's bedroom. And it was only $8. I felt like I struck gold!

I am getting the tinglies back in my fingers for working on the mansion! I am planning and planning!! More to come.....

Off Topic: Making Monsters with my Sister

Just wanted to share with you a project I did with my sister when she came to visit me. I asked her what project she wanted to do and she practically yelled, "Lint Monsters!!"

Remember this guy from way back? Well she thought he was the cutest thing and wanted one of her own! They are made from dryer lint. I bought new red towels for my guest bathroom and saved the lint from washing those!

Anyway, here they are! My sister made a duck-monster since thats her favorite animal..... and mine came out a little like "Mike" from Monsters Inc. Hehe! They're both a little over an inch tall.

I'll be posting some Addams Family themed posts shortly.... I promise!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Off Topic: Alice in Wonderland Chairs

Hi Guys! Well I finally finished something I was working on! And no it isn't for the Addams Family (they're gonna hate me!). It's my Alice and Wonderland Chair Collection. Anyway - I just wanted to share them with you here since they are what has been taking up most of my time!

They are now listed on my Etsy site (which you can find a link to on the side of this blog). I did a version of the Red Queen's Chair, the Mad Hatter's Chair, and Alice's Chair. They are not direct replica's of the movie of the book illustrations, they are just what came from my mind when thinking about the characters. I also did a version of the White Queens chair (similar to the Red Queen's) that I have posted on Etsy.

Let me know what you think!

Love you guys, Ara

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quick Family Portrait

I just couldn't resist getting the whole gang together here to show you who lives in the mansion so far! (click it to make it bigger)

Morticia - The Matron of the Addams Family - made by me
Cleopatra - Morticia's prized African Strangler - made by Jayne of Tallulah-Belle
Cousin Itt - Gomez's hairy, yet playboyish cousin - made by Kate Whittaker
Cousin What - Cousin Itt's son - made by Kate Whittaker
Aristotle - Pugsley's pet octopus - made by me
Homer - Wednesday's pet spider - made by Teresa Dudley
Thing - The family's helping hand - made by me

Thank you all who contributed to this good looking group!! Don't they all just belong together!! Looks like a need to make a few more of the main family members to keep these guys all in line though....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Texas Miniature Showcase

Well - I am finally posting about my trip to The Texas Miniature Showcase!

It was my first miniature show ever and I was so excited I had a very difficult time falling asleep the night before! My Aunt drove up from Houston to go with me and my husband said he would go as well! (I warned him that if he came he was NOT allowed to say at any time that he was bored.... he did a very good job and I think he had fun too!:)

Anyway, I also got to meet Texas Belle!!!!! It was great getting to meet up with her. We went and had lunch and shared our treasures we had found that morning. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon walking around together trying to keep track of my aunt - haha! I can't wait for her to come over sometime to see the mini-mansion!

It was such a blast!! I'm gonna show you my favorite things I got from the show for the Addamses!

First, this is a piece by an artist named T. Dudley. It's a spider in a cage and he was just perfect to be Wednesday's pet spider, Homer. My Aunt actually got him for me!! I was jumping up and down I was so excited! It's about an inch long to give you an idea of scale.

The mounted moose horns you see sitting on the mantel here is another piece I found made by T. Dudley. The funny thing is that I bought these at two different stands and they were made 5 years apart.... The spider with cage was made in 2010, and the moose horns were made in 2005. I will be mounting the moose horns higher of course but I really like them and they are the closest I have found that look real!

And lastly this is a Bespaq piece that I found at a booth that was perfect for Gomez!! My Aunt bought this for me as well! She also got me the lamp and the small tobacco set for the top of the desk! Now I am ready to get the second level of the mansion going! Thank you Aunt Debbie! Gomez is finally ready to light up one of those cigars and sit back and relax in his office!

I had such a fun time.... I'm looking forward to next year! (The Addamses are too!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Swap With Kate: Welcome to Cousin Itt and family!

As you can see..... a few more Addamses have come home!! Morticia and Thing are seen here greeting Cousin Itt and his son, Cousin What!! Aren't they fabulous! Both of these were made by the wonderful Kate Whittaker!! She has really outdone herself for this one. I just wish I could put some kind of 3D app on this blog so you could see all the detail in these pieces!!

Because Cousin Itt was a little hard to see in the dark house I wanted to do a quick family portrait for them against a white back drop! Kate made everything.... the tiny coffin, Baby What, and even the precious pacifier (or Dummy... I just learned that from Kate) in his hairy little mouth! Ahhhh - I love them!

Also notice that she made the wheels into spider webs and there are two spiders joining Baby What wherever he may be going.

And I also wanted to show you the back of the coffin stroller! So cute!

Kate, thank you so so much for this wonderful swap!! I had so much fun and I can't tell you how excited I am to have two more of the Addams clan at home!! I really fuels my fire to get some things done! Big hugs from across the ocean!!

Oh yes.... and I was also gonna show what I made for Kate. But please stay tuned to her blog because when she is able she will show pictures of it in her project!!

She asked me if I could try making a wicker baby bed for her Sweeney Todd project. If you haven't seen the movie, Sweeney finds his daughters old bed.... all tattered and torn. So that is what I created. Its not just like the one in the movie but its based off of Kate's vision of what she wanted.

It was really fun making this for her because I got to try out some new techniques!!

Kate, as always, swapping with you was a blast! I look forward to the next time!!! -Ara

Friday, May 14, 2010

Off Topic: Gift for my Mother

Hi Everyone,

I know this isn't Addams Family related but this is something I've worked on lately and I wanted to show you guys :) I have had in the back on my head for a while plans on how to make a working miniature recliner. Well I finally got started on it and I couldn't think of a better material to cover it in than my grandfathers old work shirt!

I remember for years when I was younger that he would come home from work and plop down in his recliner and sleep for a few minutes before dinner. Of course us grandkids would either disrupt his slumber or make fun of his amazingly loud snoring!!! haha.
Anyway he passed away several years ago but I have held on to several of his old shirts.

This chair went to my mother for this past mothers day. I knew she would love it because of the connection to her father and because.... of course her child made it :) It now sits in her curio cabinet of memories and I am so proud for it to be there!!

Anyway - I plan to make some more of those recliners and sell them (without my grandfathers shirt upholstery of course!!)

Since this was the first one I ever made there are a few improvements I will make on the next few but I really like it! Let me know what you think!!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Business is Booming and I am Tired!!

But good tired!!

I know y'all don't want to hear another blog on why I've been such a very bad blogger and blogging friend. But its good news this time! I have been really working on trying to get Bentley House Productions up and running and I guess I've done something right!

I got my first order off of Etsy this past week and I am just over the moon about it! Plus I have 2 custom orders that I am working on at the moment. Plus lots and lots of plans!!! Those of you doing Alice in Wonderland tea party scenes.... stay tuned for chairs, chairs, chairs!!! (hopefully they'll be coming soon!

Plus I've got a few side swaps going (kate.... I'm getting started this week!! promise!!) (oh and Jayne.... your piano bench will be coming soon!) Phew!!

I can't tell you how upset the Addamses are at me right now as their mansion has coming to a grinding hault! Its just sitting on my desk collecting dust at the moment (not that they mind too much - they like dust).

I need to do something for them soon.... because its not really good to get on the bad side of the Addams Family.... I am thinking I might make some of those lovely skull candelabras like Tabitha did. She sent me some beads and instructions for it so I have NO excuse!!

OK - well thanks for everyone for still staying tuned to my silent blog! You guys are awesome!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Addams Family: An Evilution (Book Review)

Hello All,

Well I am very honored to write this post. A publisher from Pomegranate Communications (click here for their website and purchasing info) contacted me about writing a review for a new Addams Family book after she found my blog!

She sent me a complimentary copy so that I could read through it. Oh boy... what a treat!! If you are at all interested in the Addams Family this would be a great book for your collection! It's entitled, "The Addams Family: An Evilution" by H. Kevin Miserocchi (Illustrations by Charles Addams...of course!).

Because of the new Addams Family Musical that just came out, this book was put together to reflect on the beginnings of this odd family. I have looked up a lot of information for my project but I found some things in this book I hadn't read anywhere else.

There are descriptions of each character as they were developed by Charles Addams, put together as a family, and notes on how he named and described each one for the famous Addams Family TV show.

A couple tidbits you might find interesting from the book: It talks about how the Addams 'Family' didn't really start as a family! They were all separate characters that ended up coming together in a beautiful way. This book will show you where they first showed up in Addams' work.

*My Morticia admiring a piece of furniture that she says must be in the mansion!

Another little tidbit..... the book explains the origin of 'Thing' (or 'The Thing') which I didn't think was in any of Chas Addams' cartoons.... but he is. But there's the secret! He used to be more than just a helping hand........

*Thing showing me that he did indeed exist in Charles Addams' cartoons. My bad, Thing.

And that's it... you'll have to get the book if you want more!

....Oh, duh, I forgot the best part! This book has some of the best of Charles Addams original cartoons. I can't tell you how page by page I was gaining more and more inspiration for my project! There are more cartoons than words so don't think this sucker will take you long to read..... but you might be caught up for hours looking at the beautiful illustrations!

And the best for last: Here's an amazing cartoon showing the woeful Wednesday putting a black wreath onto her doll house! How perfect!

Thank you all for reading this review! It's a great book that I will be visiting over and over!


*Cartoon images © Tee and Charles Addams Foundation / Courtesy Pomegranate Communications