Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dreaming bigger...

If I was a Barbie girl, I'd live in this Barbie world. I love this retro kitchen by Fuchs made in Western Germany I saw on ebay:

So tempting. I already caved and started collecting some 1:24, but I don't think I could find enough space to jump to 1:6. Sigh.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Shapeways 3D printed Miniature Houses Contest!!!

3 months in the making and it's finally here! I'm happy to announce Shapeways 3D printed Miniature Houses Contest

3D printing is the perfect tool for creating unique pieces for your miniature house or display. Show off what you've made with Shapeways and enter for a chance to win printing credit. Submit a picture of your miniature house or roombox display decked out with furniture and decor items 3D printed by Shapeways - either your own original designs or the many miniatures for sale on Shapeways. In the description be sure to tell us which items are 3D printed and how you finished them.

All participants will receive a code for 10% off an order with Shapeways after the contest has ended. Contest ends April 10, 2015.

Judging based on the following criteria:
Creativity: How do you create an inviting, original, miniature environment incorporating 3D printing?
Craftsmanship and quality: How well is the display put together and your vision realized?
Detail: What surprising, original details do you include that delight viewers?

How to Enter:
1. Start with any miniature space
Use a dollhouse, storage box, build a foam core structure, anything you can come up to make a miniature room.

2. Design or order your 3D model
Design your own models or shop other designers’ miniatures from the Shapeways marketplace - some suggestions are below (on contest page).

3. Decorate your room
Use your 3D printed furniture and decor and other materials as needed.

4. Submit one picture of your miniature scene
Photograph your scene and post it to Shapeways Facebook Wall. In the description tell us which items are 3D printed and how you finished them and include the hashtags #shapeways and #3Dminihouse. All entries due by 11:59pm PST on April 10, 2015.

Judges Panel:
Carol Mitcheson, Miniature Maker and Collector,
Kacie Hultgren, Designer, &
Megan Hornbecker, Designer and Modern Miniatures Fanatic, and

Check out the contest page for more details, links to tutorials to get you started, inspirational 3D models, terms & conditions and all that stuff.

Also, for Mini Week at Shapeways, I was featured in the Designer Spotlight, check it out here

Check out my Designer Spotlight on Shapeways blog

It's "mini week" at Shapeways and kicking it off is a really cool contest I'll post details about later today. To get the ball rolling you can check out my Designer Spotlight on the Shapeways blog here:

More contest details coming soon, please check back tonight. :D

Friday, February 13, 2015

Stirring up business with some mini chairs

A small bar on the outskirts of Paris, Les Chaises (The Chairs), came up with a clever mini advertising campaign. They asked all of their friends and family to save champagne bottle caps for them. 10 months later they collected 400 caps. They spent 20 hours fashioning them into colorful chairs affixed with a little card. They placed them around Paris and anyone who found them could return them to the bar for a prize (free pizza). All of the actual chairs in the bar are different and were acquired at flea markets, so the colorful mini chairs tie in nicely with that theme. Read more here.

(Photos from Les Chaises)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How to get started in 3D modeling

I'm happy to announce what I've been working on the past few months... Shapeways reached out to me after noticing a passionate group of miniature fans discovering Shapeways through my blog. They were interested in a community initiative to encourage people to engage further with 3D printing miniatures. We came up with a contest that will be announced soon, but to kick things off, I created a tutorial for absolute beginners to get started 3D modeling with free design software. I walk you step by step through creating this pendant light and share lots of tips and tricks for how I make my miniatures.

Check out my SketchUp tutorial on the Shapeways blog here:

Shapeways is also running a promotion; if you order your first design by Feb. 13 you'll get a secret code for $20 off your next one. For more details visit

Monday, February 9, 2015

New artists on Where to Buy Modern Minis page

I updated my Where to Buy Modern Minis page and sadly I had to remove 16 artists. I removed artists that have had empty etsy stores and haven't updated their blogs in over 2 years. I'm happy to add them back if they start selling again but I want people to be able to find the miniatures they are looking for and not end up at an empty store.

The good news is, I added 23 new listings and a new category for 1:24 and smaller.

I added a new section for 1:24 scale or smaller, here are few of the listings.

There are a growing number of designers making modern 3D printed miniatures on Shapeways. There are quite a few that I didn't add to this list because they don't say what scale the items are and they only have digital renders of the products and not actual photos. I feel that if you are designing to sell to miniaturists you should know and specify what scale it is to make it easy for the buyer. I found a lot of cool designs but doing the math the scale was 1:10 or 1:14, so just like buying on ebay or etsy, always check the size before you buy.

I'm also weary of buying a product based off a digital render, I want to see what it looks like once it's actually printed. For example, here is a Wassily chair that I was hoping to sell in my shop, but due to the nature of 3D printing and the thickness of the design at this scale, it had several issues.

The flat straight "fabric" sections were getting warpped and the legs were bent and bowed making them wider at the bottom than the top. The material is just too thin at this scale to print exactly like the model. I tried making the legs and fabric pieces thicker but it didn't look true to scale. I couldn't make it print at a high enough quality so I decided not to sell it. Before I sell something in my Shapeways store, I print it to make sure the final product is the quality I designed it to be, if not I won't sell it. When I see only digital renders in some people's stores, it makes me wonder if they took the time to print it first, and if they did, why didn't the post a picture of it?

There are a lot of designers making some amazing stuff on Shapeways, and a few people selling some sloppy stuff. Some of the pictures don't say "Digital Preview" so sometimes it's confusing if it's a real printed product photo or the preview the 3D software generates. Please feel free to email me any listings you have any questions over and I'd be happy to share my opinion on what the quality looks like. I've been working with Shapeways for almost 3 years and I'd love to make sure everyone has a positive experience with the designs they buy.

Friday, February 6, 2015

What happened to The House that Jacq Built?

2021 Update: Jacq's daughter added this comment but I accidentally deleted it when cleaning up spam. It looks like it's down again now, but keep an eye out there for Jacq's work.

I finally updated my where to buy modern minis page and I was sad to see The House that Jacq Built is no more. The website doesn't work and I can't find any info online:

This was my old listing for him, does anyone know what happened to him/his business?

The House That Jacq Built
Hertfordshire, UK

The House That Jacq Built offers an ever-increasing selection of 1:12 scale modern and contemporary furniture and accessories for miniature collectors. Their designs are based on the styles of furniture seen in today's homes, and they aim to produce quality handmade items that add realism to the dolls house.

I loved so much of his work and was sad to see the website gone. UK people, did Jacq used to go to your miniature shows? I'm curious if anyone knows if he moved on from miniatures or what happened.

UPDATED 2/7: Thanks so much for the info Penelope and My Wee Life. Jacqueline is now selling on ebay at the store here:

And D'oh!!!! I thought Jacq was a dude, I just guessed it was a Frenchy spelling of Jack, but it's actually Jacqueline!! Faceplam. That makes much more sense.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

DWR annual Champagne Chair Contest finalists announced

Here are the 10 finalists for the annual DWR
Champagne Chair Contest
. The winners will be announced on February 11th.

Dima - it really swivels
Ryan Bromm
Alison B.
Rick Arrowood
Cici Stevens
David Ryan
D. Jason Crowder
Jeffrey Burke Whitten
Zach Martin

Comments are still open if you want to go vote for your favorites:

This year DWR is recognizing the entries that look like miniature versions of the chairs they sell. The judges rarely choose these entries as finalists because they aren't original designs, but they are going to send prize to one of these creators.You can cast your vote for best likeness here:

Louis Ghost by Nicole
Eames Lounge and Ottoman by Barbara Dalbey Whitehill
Eames Rocker (RAR) by Amie Barder

Marshmallow Sofa by The Bearded Man
Shell Chair by Francisco Marmolejo
Egg Chair by Gabriel C.

Thonet Era Chair (with cane seat!) by Glaysher
Eames Chair by Keven Walter
Corbu's LC2 with Arco Lamp by anonymous

Eames Stool A by Myla
Eames Aluminum Group Management Chair by Tak
Wassily Chair by VCP:B3

Marais Chair by Danielle Suppa

Really outstanding work this year. Check out all of the submissions here: Winners announced Feb 11, 2015.