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August 25, 2014

Remember the roombox?  Probably not, because I tacked it at the end of a long post about my craft room.  Here's the pictures again!

It was randomness I threw together from my collection so I could have some minis on display somewhere.  A bit vague, there's not much of a story, until you realize one of the photos is a collection of native americans in full regalia, and the chest under the birdcage is full of treasure . . .  and then it's STILL vague.

I'd completely forgotten that I'd planned to do a tea room, so I dug out the tea related items I'd bought and put in another box because it was more recent than the packed minis.  I had plenty of teacups and sets, and even a table and chairs.  But . . . what about the food?

I was introduced to High Tea by my husband and mother-in-law, and we'd go to the British Pantry near Middleburg, VA and have a very nice time and eat way too much.  I'm all about finger and party food, and cucumber sandwiches are my new favorite lunchtime staple.  Unfortunately, they're hard to find in one inch scale!  Most tea sets are dessert teas.  I wanted the savories and the sandwiches and whatever other tempting pick-me-up bite sizes I could find.  

Most of the one-inch scale items I could find were REALLY pricy, and made by English artisans, which meant higher shipping, as well.  The one on the left is by The English Kitchen, and currently for sale at Jeepers Miniatures.  Probably not for long!   Personally I think it's worth every penny, but I can't justify the cost.  But I do have plenty of clay, and I do have internet tutorials, so naturally, I talked myself into doing it myself.  I dislike the messy clay process so it took me a while to talk myself into it, and then I figured that I might as well go all out, because I'm not going to like everything I make.

The advil tablet is for scale.  I couldn't find a penny.  

I found a tutorial by Akameru Kawaii on Youtube, and simplified it for my purposes.  I'd already bought a cucumber cane, but that probably wasn't necessary, given that all you can see of it is the green edge.  I didn't have a toothbrush to spare, but I DID have one of those little Colgate Wisp toothbrushes that you can find in packs at the Dollar Tree.  They're meant to store in your purse for tooth brushing emergencies, and even has a pointy end for some carving detail or, I suppose, to use as a toothpick.  I used them on the scones, but not the sandwiches, and I can see a huge difference in the two.  I may have to make MORE bread because I like the other effect better.

I'm a little disappointed.  Some of the pictures above are before I put them in the oven, and apparently I either left them in too long or misjudged a color, because all my eggs and a large portion of my sandwiches turned a translucenty brown.  That's another reason I made so many in different styles and clays.  I never know what's going to happen, and I never understand the cooking instructions.  Fortunately, some of them came out just fine, or at least passable.

The eggs were sort of an experiment, I thought I'd include deviled eggs, but didn't have the right color for the yolk mixture and couldn't get a good half-egg shape.  I'll cut the full eggs in half and try later.  I've also seen quite a few plates of deviled eggs for sale that were in my price range, so I may break down and buy those.  And desserts, too.  You can find mini desserts EVERYWHERE.  

I admit this is far from my best work, and nowhere near as good as the English Kitchen tray above.  But I never found a happy medium, and since I had all the materials on hand, it was worth trying.  Given how tiny these are, I don't think I even made a dent in my polymer clay stash!  Also given how tiny these are, the camera blows them up quite a bit.  They won't look so garish once they're behind glass in a scene.

I know the "1 Inch Minis By Kris" blog has a tutorial for a tiered dessert tray, so that will probably be my next project. 

After that I need to either redo this roombox or unpack the other one. It'll be pretty simple, only one table and a set of chairs and a buffet table of some sort, and probably the back wall will mostly be windows.  The best part about a theme this particular setting is that I can change it for various holidays.  Stick a tree in the corner for Christmas (future project!)  A jack-o-lantern for Halloween!  (future project!)  Chocolates and hearts everywhere for Valentine's Day!  Easter egg dyeing!   And flowers.  

I'm kind of liking this one room thing.  I'm nearly done and I've barely gotten started!