Showing posts with label Assemblage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Assemblage. Show all posts

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Review of "Mixed Media Dollhouses" by Tally Oliveau and Julie Molina


Mixed Media Dollhouses by Tally Oliveau and Julie Molina
There are so many good selections of craft books this year and one of the newest books that I have picked up is a cool book published by Quarry Books called Mixed-Media Dollhouses.  The book is written by Tally Oliveau and Julie Molina.  You may be familiar with both of these designers from their articles and/or projects that have been published in Somerset Studio magazine, 1000 Artist Journal Pages, Etsy, and more.  Below in a close up photo of one of the assemblage dollhouse rooms featured in the book, you can see that the authors combined paper, fabric, photos and other ephemera into creating this mixed media this room box.
Mixed Media Dollhouses by Tally Oliveau and Julie Molina

Mixed-Media Dollhouses  focuses on both mixed media and assemblage techniques.  In the next close up of another one of the rooms featured in this book, the room box has a fun french Marie Antoinette theme.  If you look closely at the photo you can pick out some fun elements that they have put into this room (like the frog prince on the chair).
Mixed Media Dollhouses by Tally Oliveau and Julie Molina
One of the reasons this book caught my eye is that it is making miniature rooms out of non-traditional materials.  My daughter loves miniatures and I thought that she would benefit from some of the techniques taught in this book.
Here is a list of only some of the topics covered in this book:
  • materials for room bases (including non-traditional shapes)
  • choosing a theme
  • finding inspiration
  • organizing supplies
  • tools for special effects (like cut outs)
  • how to work in layers
  • decorating boxes using paint, paper, etc
  • collage techniques
  • adhesives
  • cold joins
  • special effects (like movable parts)
  • emblishments
  • found objects and more.
   Additionally, the authors provide some great templates and images to use in creating your own project.

There are so many cute details in this book, that my daughter was very excited to try her hand at making a room.   This book is written so straight forward that it held her attention and inspired her to try her hand at assemblage.  We decided to start simply with some things she could find around the house, as well as  some fun items she had left over from the holidays.


This project inspired by some Ikea paper doll tags that have a cute Christmas theme.  My daughter wanted to use her fun little christmas trees she had bought at the dollar store, along with these fun paper dolls that she picked up at our local Ikea store.


Supplies used:

  • recycled box
  • asst scrapbook paper
  • card stock (for the chimney and christmas gifts)
  • rhinestones
  • Martha Stewart Glitter
  • Plastic Sequins
  • holiday die cut paper dolls (IKEA's Christmas tag collection)
  • air dry clay (for stands)
  • and various plastic toys
We started with an empty box.

Then cut some scrapbook paper to fit inside of the box.

Glue the paper onto the box to create faux wall paper in the room box.  Once the glued pieces have dried, use a Letraset AquaMarker to create floor trim.  Then line the bottom of the box with an embossed piece of card stock to create the flooring.

The chimney is made from the bottom of an old jewelry gift box that has been decorated with assorted trim to look like a chimney.

Using an inch square die cutter, cut out 7 squares in various colors to make each little christmas gift.  Then using a bone folder, fold the paper to make the different size gift boxes.  Once the boxes have been folded and glued, decorate the boxes with thread and sequins. 

The tree is decorated with plastic sequins and rhinestones.   Then use the air dry clay to create stands to hold the little paper die cut tag people (from IKEA).  The mirror is aluminum foil which is framed by an oval die cut.

To finish off the box, decorate the outside of the box.  Add a bow to make it look like a holiday gift box.  Above is a closer view of the finished box.

If you want to light the box up, punch a few wholes and put a battery operated LED lights inside the holes. If you have access to some of the new LED mini light kits, then you can create lamps or other types of lighting for the room box.  Since the LED battery operated lights are the safer alternative, I would be wary of using any other types of lighting in or on the box.   To be safe, the lights are only turned on when the box is being played with.


As you can see,  Mixed Media Dollhouses doll is not just written for adults.  It can be used to inspire kids to create their own dream rooms.  I loved that my daughter could use it for her crafting needs.  The project also inspired her to write a story to go with the Christmas dollhouse room box.  That alone was worth the price of the book (which is listed at $24.99).   This is one of those fun inspiration books that is filled with so many good pictures that you just want to make something.  After she finished this project, we started looking around the house to find different types of containers to house more room ideas.

Speaking of paper crafts, if you are new to paper crafting or just want to see one of many different types of fun paper projects you can make using some of the cool papers available on the market today, check out some of Lisa Kettell's books and videos.  She is the author of  Altered Art Circus
and is well known paper artist, writer and designer.  Below is one of her video projects called "How to Make a Marie Antoinette Paper Doll."


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