miniature

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little dresses

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How did the party go in Portman Square?
I cannot tell you: Juliet was not there.
And how did Lady Gaster’s party go?
Juliet was next to me and I do not know.

– Hilaire Belloc

For the few days I worked on these art tags, I was taken back to the long summer days I spent at my grandmother’s house on the corner of Fifth and Plum street in Detroit.  It was perfectly fine to wile away the day with a shoe box full of my beloved paper dolls.  Whenever I tired of their wardrobe, I took to cutting out pages from my grandmother’s Time magazines.  Certainly not destined for a shoebox, I may need to fashion a tiny armoire to hang them in.

The macramé bodice was worked within a drawn outline, using vintage Mastex nylon cord in rose.  Starting at the top of the shoulders on both left and right sides simultaneously, I worked my way down to the bottom row of horizontal half hitches.  By the way, I use a whole lot of Euro-Notions Iris Swiss Super Fine pins to hold my tiny work in place.

Teeny Tiny Macrame Purse

So very teeny tiny macrame purse in the making. Actually it’s just a draft to calculate how large to make the velvet lining.

boho barbie

Barbie with Macrame Purse

She walks in beauty like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;

– Lord Byron

Just fooling around with the tiniest of macrame purses. My littlest granddaughter Tallulah loves her Barbie dolls. It’s amusing to watch her dress and undress them, or spend time folding some small cloth into a useful accessory. I sense she has a soft hand. Naturally I’m hoping she develops a heart for fabric and thread.

Barbie’s macrame purse is very simply knotted in one long rectangle then folded in thirds and sewn up the sides. I used Beadsmith cord size FFF along with matte gray triangle beads. The fringe ends were wrapped with sewing thread, then trimmed and Fray Checked. There is a silk lining that is not at all noticeable, and a sweet little brass chain that makes for a snazzy strap. All in all it’s pretty sturdy, so I think it will hold up well over time. Or in the blink of an eye when she becomes too old for Barbie, whichever comes first.

Antique Miniature Rocking Chair

I must confess I’m in the middle of a sewing binge right now. I’m currently consuming twice the recommended amount of fabric and defiantly defensive about changing my behavior or my perceived need to increase my wardrobe.

Until I get back to knotting here’s a peek at what my scavenging netted me from Town & Country Antiques in Livonia: another piece of furniture for the dollhouse I don’t own yet – a wee bit crooked yellow rocking chair, a rather elaborate pair of safety scissors, and a photo that reminds me of my sister and I (because we don’t look very much alike either). Draped on the chair is a macrame choker worked in Irish waxed linen that I once used as a class sample.

I hope you noticed the textured doily. My dear grandmother must have spent weeks crocheting all those yellow popcorns. The sturdiest of women, I will always be in awe of her innate talent.

Antique Miniature with Macrame

Sometimes I leave the antique store empty-handed, sometimes I score big time. Or in this case, tiny time. Because I just can’t get enough of all things miniature, I scooped up this 5″ Oriental chest of drawers. The little vase atop was purchased at a garage sale last summer for 25 cents. Some day I would like to house all my little things in something that is not really a dollhouse but would function as one. I’m still looking for that special cabinet or cupboard.

The macrame necklace (not fully shown) is one of my first attempts at micro-macrame knotting. It’s a sampler of knotting designs that I borrowed from one of my very first beading books, Exotic Beads by Sara Withers.

miniature macramé


Recently a friend asked for a hanging plant holder.  Hmmm I think the last time I made one was when I was 16.  Anyway, I gave it a go in hemp and got an idea for these miniature versions.  The beige one is the shortest at 8.5 cm and would fit a standard 1:12 dollhouse quite nicely.  The burgandy version is 10.5 cm and would fit better in a Barbie 1:16 dollhouse.

Oh yeah, that’s some tiny cord.  It’s beige Conso, size #69.  The thickness is about the same as buttonhole twist.  It’s a bit softer than I’m used to, so when I worked the tops and bottoms of the diamonds, I ran the cord through beeswax in order for the knots to hold. If you’re looking for a supplier, see stock list at Marion – Jewels In Fiber. The teensy weensy turquoise seed beads are 13/0 Cut Charlottes that I bought years ago at a bead show.

Now what’s a hanging plant holder without a hanging plant? Oh naive little me, I thought I could whip up a couple of spider plants jiffy quick.  I won’t go into my many failed attempts to create realistic leaves.  Suffice it to say that my final solution was a 49 cent grass leaf bunch from Michael’s Crafts.  This lovely grass even curls like curling ribbon.  There was a good deal of cutting, painting, curling, coating, then setting into air dry clay. Voila Spider Plants!