Monday, October 15, 2012


I think this witch cast a spell on me as I have be sooooooo slow getting this project done, but spell or no, here it is, THE WITCH’S KITCHEN….hopefully in time to add to your Halloween fun.  Yes, I know, the witch is a bit scary but I decided I wanted to use a skeleton & it is a bit hard to make them “cute”.  One reason I chose a skeleton was because they are so easy to come by that everyone that wanted to could create their own & secondly as a challenge. But you certainly may choose a sweeter version for your little kitchen.  If Halloween, witches, and all are not your thing, I have added a couple of pictures at the end of this posting that may inspire you to make some sweeter magic. At the very least, you should find some bits and pieces herein to add to your miniature DIY collection.

Happy Halloween,


This vignette sits on a base of a 5” x 7” picture frame.  All was removed from the frame and then it was painted black. The back of the frame faces up.  Next it was sanded here and there for an aged look.  A full-sized vinyl tile (an inexpensive, home improvement store purchase…lots of interesting patterns to choose from) was cut to fit in the frame opening with a craft knife.  It was sanded a bit to get rid of the sheen and then glued in place.  You could also choose to have a stone floor such as the type found in my June 2011 blog project, The Potting Bench. 

You will need:  I/16” thick matboard or bookboard or basswood, acid free  +  tacky glue, Crafter’s Pick used here
Instructions:  As you work, take your own measurements before you cut your material as slight differences in the thickness of the materials you use and your cuts may alter them slightly.
You may choose to use 1/16” thick matboard, bookboard or basswood or a combination of the three to construct your cabinet. 

  Cut a back 4” x 6” & two side pieces per diagram.
Glue the back edges of the side pieces to the face of the back, all edges flush.
Cut 3 top shelves 3-7/8” x ¾” (Check the space between your sides to make sure this size will fit your cabinet and make any necessary adjustments to measurements).  Glue one shelf (which is actually the sub-top) to the face of the back piece and the side pieces, top edges flush.  Glue the other two shelves to the back and side pieces, placed as desired to accommodate what you want to display on them.  You may even decide to eliminate one for higher storage space.  As seen are they spaced 1” apart.
Cut a counter top per pattern.  Glue into cabinet 3-1/8” down from the inside of the top piece and so the extensions on the sides of the piece rest on the front extensions of the cabinet.
Cut two bottom shelves for the bottom section of the cabinet. Glue them in place in the cabinet, one ½” up from the cabinet bottom and the other place as desired, You may also choose to omit this last shelf, depending on what is to be stored.
Cut a bottom kick plate 4” x ½” x1/16”.  Glue it to the face of the cabinet across the bottom.
Cut a 4” x 3/16” x 1/16” kick plate trim and glue over kick plate, top edges even.

Click on image to enlarge.  Copy and paste to your computer.
Set to print at actual/exact size or 7.73"w x 10.66"h
Cut two bottom side trim pieces 2-1/4” x 3/16” x 1/16”.  Glue to front sides of cabinet from under the counter top to the kick plate.
Cut an under counter top trim piece 3-5/8” x 3/16” x 1/16”.  Glue it under the counter top and to the bottom side trim pieces.
Cut an under top trim piece 4” x 3/16” x 1/16”.  Glue it across the face of top of the cabinet, top edges flush.
Cut two, top side trim pieces, 3” x 3/16” x 1/16”.  Glue these to the face of the sides of the cabinet, side edges flush with sides of cabinet.
Cut a piece of matboard 4-1/8” x 1” x 1/16” and another piece 4-3/8” x 1-1/8” x 1/16”.  Glue these two pieces sandwiched together, back edges flush & and a 1/16” over hang on each end.  Glue this cabinet top to the top of the cabinet, back edges flush, and centered, side to side.
Click on image,  copy and paste to your computer.
Set to print at exact/actual size or 7.93"w x 9.38"w


Assembling legs: 
Each leg is made up of assorted wooden beads including plastic skull beads (approx. 3/8” or 9-10mm… check your local or online craft and jewelry supply sources.  

Each leg should be approx. 2-3/8” to 2-1/3” high.  The top and bottom beads should have flat sides so the stretcher bars can be glued to them.  As seen each leg had two skull beads. 
The beads are “strung” on thin (approx. 1/16” thick bamboo skewers with tacky glue…look in kitchen & import stores for these thin skewers (why bamboo?...because they are pliable and will not break easily).  Make six legs.
Paint the leg assemblies as desired.  As seen they are painted with an avocado green acrylic craft paint.   When the paint had dried, antique them with a dark brown water based gel stain, wiping it back off until the look you want is achieved.  Lightly sand off some of the paint and stain for a slightly distressed look.  Make sure the skulls show up by adding a bit of white to the teeth and black to the eyes, etc.

Cut a table top 4 ½” x 2 ¼”, from either 1/16 to 3/32” sheet wood, bookboard, or matboard.  Sand edges smooth.  Paint with a raw sienna color acrylic (make sure to paint both sides at the same time to prevent any warping).  When paint has set, use  a fairly wide, flat bristled brush to apply dark brown water-based gel stain from end to end to create a wood –grain look.  Set aside to dry.
For the table apron pieces you will need, 11” to 12” of ¼” x 1/8” stripwood.  For the stretchers you will need about 12” of 3/16” square stripwood.  Paint & antique these wood strips to match the table legs. 
Turn the table-top upside down.  Measure and mark a line 1/8” in from the edges all the way around.  Glue a leg, upside down, to each corner of the table, just inside the marked lines.  Glue a leg centered between each of the legs on the long sides.  Let glue set. 
Measure and cut apron pieces to fit between tops of legs (do each one separately for accuracy).  Cut stretchers the exact length of each apron piece.  Touch up the ends with paint.  Apply glue to a narrow edge and ends of an apron piece and apply it to the underside of the table top, with the ends centered on the top beads of the legs.  Glue the ends of the matching stretcher piece between and to the bottom beads, centered on the bead, or sitting up approx. 1/16” from bottom of bead.  Repeat so there is an apron and stretcher between each leg.  Cut & glue in place another stretcher to fit across the center table legs on the bottom bead section.…this should be the same length as the end stretcher pieces. 



 For the witch I have used a 6 inch plastic skeleton from a skeleton garland.  These inexpensive skeletons are fairly easy to find in just about any store that offers Halloween d├ęcor or online.  Of course you may want a less scary witch and can dress a doll or action figure as you please. 

 The first thing I did was create the witch’s shoes so they would be ready when she was dressed.  To create the shoes I used plastic, fashion doll (Barbie?) boots as molds.  These type of boots can be found packaged with other shoes in toy departments of just about any store….they are quite inexpensive.
Cut the front and bottom of the boots open on the seam line.  Hold it closed with a rubber band, or what-have-you.  Mix up a bit of Plaster of Paris, carefully following package directionsDrop/pour it into the boot mold, making sure it goes into the heel part...tapping it sharply should do the job.  When it is full tap it some more to get rid of air bubbles that can occur.  Let the mold sit for several hours overnight.  Carefully open the mold, watching to see that the narrow heel does not break.  Let the boots dry thoroughly before carving…you can usually tell when the plaster is dry by the touch…when still damp it will feel cold.  Drying can be hastened by placing the pieces in a warm environment or with the use of a heat gun.  I would suggest making extras in case of breakage. 
To carve the shape, first cut off the top of the boot. Then use files, knives, Dremel Moto Tool, sandpaper, or what-have-you or what you are comfortable with to get the shape.  Paint your shoes with black acrylic.  I used Folk Art’s Metallic Sequin Black by Plaid because it resembles patent leather.  Cut or twist off the feet of the skeleton and make a hole in the shoes deep enough to take the end of the bone.  When all else is done on the witch, glue the shoes on with tacky glue..

I used these photos as an inspiration 
I took a very easy approach to dressing my witch, no sewing involved. You may sew yours, but I love glue. To do approximately what I did, start with a piece of black, lightweight cotton fabric.  Paint both sides of it with black acrylic craft paint and hang to dry…or hurry the process with a heat gun.

  Twist the arms off of the skelly.  Using Crafter’s Pick Ultimate Glue wrap a 5” length of wire (of a gauge that is strong enough to not bend easily but is still flexible…yes I know I should give you a gauge, but……..) around the arm, starting at the wrist and letting the excess wire extend off the top.  Cut arm pieces from prepared fabric.  Fold in half and glue together with a small seam.  Cut end of sleeve onto ragged points.  Paint the wired arm with glue and insert it into the sleeve so the seam is to the inside, the bottom of the sleeve hits just below the wrist, with the wire extending out the top of the fabric.  Let glue set for a bit and then hold the sleeved arm to the skeleton and wrap the extending wire around the neck/backbone until it is secure.  Repeat for the other arm. The wire will allow you to position the arm as desired.
Cut a 5-1/2”w x 5” long piece of prepared fabric for the dress.  Glue it into a long tube with a small seam.  Turn back a hem on the top of the tube…the hemmed end will be the top of the dress.  Cut arm sections out of each side at the top (making it look somewhat like a jumper). Paint glue on the top half of the inside of the tube and slip it on the skeleton from the bottom up.  Fit dress to body, arm cut-outs around sleeves, and draping and shaping using more glue as needed.  There is no particular way to do this, just play with the fabric until you are pleased with the dress.  When you have finished the dress should be just above the feet so the shoes will show so trim if necessary.  Cut the bottom of the dress into ragged points.  Add black sequin stars down the front for buttons if desired. 
A cape may be added…I “cheated” and used one taken from an action figure.  But making a cape with the prepared fabric should be fairly easy.  Measure and cut, pleat the neck edge a bit and drape on the back of the dress with glue, letting the bottom flow out a bit.  Add a black silk ribbon tie around the neck.
Click on image to enlarge,  Copy and paste to your computer.
Set to print at 5.79"w x 7.07"h

For the hat cut a brim and crown from black cardstock.  Lay the crown on a giving surface and roll over it with a round pencil or something similar, following the shape of the cut-out, causing it to roll up on itself.  Glue the side over the tab.  Cover the outside of the crown with a piece of unpainted black fabric.  Cover both sides of brim with unpainted black fabric.  Cover the outside edge of the brim with thin black cording, starting and stopping at center back.  Glue the crown onto the brim over the cutout.  Let glue set.  You may wish to add some trim to the hat.
Before putting the hat on the witch, add her hair.  I used snippets cut from grey faux fur but you may choose to use other materials, such as gray yarn, frayed out.  It is not necessary to cover the top of the head with hair as the hat will cover it.  Glue the hat in place and when the glue has set a bit, scrunch up both the brim and the crown, as desired.
Copy and paste image to your computer.
Set to print at actual/exact size or 6.02"w x 3.26"h

Add the shoes.
Remember these patterns and directions are pretty rough so take any liberties necessary to get a finished look that pleases you.


Choose two containers, one to sit on the table that holds the brewing potion and another that the witch is holding as she pours.  The first should be rather large and could be a pot or a small caldron.  The 2nd should have a handle or stem that is small enough for a hand to hold. 
Decide where on the table you want your brewing potion and glue or glue-dot it in place.
Glue the pouring vessel into the witch’s hand, bending the fingers around it; let the glue set.  Make sure the pouring vessel is positioned so that the “liquid” would have a natural spill.  Glue the witch in place to the floor so that the pouring vessel is above the brewing bowl. 
Cut a piece of clear plastic, kitchen wrap at least twice the width of the bowl and of a length that will fit from the pouring vessel to bowl with enough to fill the inside of each.  Scrunch up one end of the plastic and glue it into the pouring vessel; let the glue set. Put a nice glob of Crafter’s Pick Incredibly Tacky glue into the bowl and, with the help of tweezers, pull the other end of the plastic wrap down into the glue in the bowl, arranging/pleating the portion between vessel and bowl for a natural flow.  Let glue set.
Drop clear fingernail enamel (a top coat or hard nails type is stronger) all around the plastic wrap from the top on down so it flows down and over the rest and into the bowl.  Add several thick coats, drying between each.  Make sure the enamel is up into the vessel and covers the entire wrap in the bowl.  When the enamel is thoroughly set the plastic wrap should be rigid an hold its shape.
Choose metallic green or blue color fingernail enamel (or whatever color fits your fantasy) and paint it over the clear enamel until you are satisfied with the effect.  Sprinkle the last coat of enamel with fine glitter (you choice of colors) and if desired, tiny sequin stars or bats or whatever.  When all is set add a last coat of clean enamel.
To add interest, the brewing pot sits in the middle of an ornate, metal picture frame.
This is an easy, fun, and effective technique, but for good results take your time, letting the glues and enamels dry thoroughly, even if it takes over night.
A purchased pewter bowl & spoon holds glitter.

A purchased, tall metal candlestick painted gold holds a candle made from a thin drinking straw.  Once the straw was cut and glued in place it was filled with pale yellow acrylic paint, allowing it to dribble down the sides of the candle, spilling onto the base and a bit on the table.  Before the paint has set a length of white buttonhole thread was poked into the “candle” for the wick.  When the paint was set the tip of the wick was dabbed with bright orange and yellow paint and when dry, with a coat of clear nail enamel.  If I had more patience I might have considered wiring the candle with a tiny bulb.
The Open Potion Recipe Book:  From the spine of an approx.. 3/16” thick tablet cut a book a scant 11/16” w by 7/8” high.  Create a printie of the book cover.  Carefully cut it out & fold it on all lines.   Glue the two spine tabs to the inside.  Glue the prepared cover to the first and last cover’s of your book, gluing the tabs to the inside.  Using a pointed or very small ball stylus, “draw” over the black spine edges and the black corner edges to add dimension.  Holding the book closed, color the edges of the pages lightly gold, using your choice of medium.  If the gold is too intense, antique with a brown wash.

 Click on image to enlarge.  Copy and paste to your computer.
Set to print at actual/exact size or 2.81"w x 2.78"h
Set to best printer settings.  Print onto bright white paper.
Either print the book’s recipe page on an ecru-colored or vellum type paper or tint a white printie with brown water color for an aged look.  Fold the page in half.  Open book about halfway thru. And use glue stick to adhere the page in the book.  Age and distress the book’s pages for a used look to suit your tastes by turning the corners of the pages slightly inward and otherwise ruffling them a bit.  Add a light coat of glue stick to the edges of the pages to hold them together. A thin length of black silk ribbon bookmark may be glued on the open pages if desired.
Assorted beads and cork topped glass bottles hold bits and pieces of glitter and this and that.
A little rat sits on the corner of the table watching as the potion is brewed.  He is from Lemax Spooky Town Collection #74683, rats and snakes.   I used a Dremel Moto Tool  and files to carefully carve off the base the rats sat on.

The upper two shelves of the cupboard hold an assortment of bottles and jars.  Some bottles are made from Lite Brite pegs (multicolored, translucent, plastic  pegs from a child’s game. Refill packs are available at toy stores and are often found for sale, bagged in thrift stores) and others are formed from ¼” diam. acrylic rods from Tap Plastics   They come in opaque white, transparent yellow, green, yellow, blue, red, pink. You will want to order then in ¼”.  Each is 6 feet long but they will cut them shorter for cheaper shipping…these make a good purchase to share with mini friends or club members.
Print the bottle out to 1/4" wide
Using the bottle pattern as a guide (or create your own) cut sections of the rod to length desired with a razor saw or use the pegs.  Insert the cut rods or pegs into a variable-speed electric drill.  With the drill turned on to a medium speed, use various tools of your choice, such as Dremel Moto tool  with assorted attachments, carving tools, assorted files, and medium grade sandpaper to shape the piece.  Finish the bottles by buffing or coating with clear nail enamel.  You may paint corks or stoppers on the top of the bottles. 
As you experiment with shaping you will find the tools that work best for you and you will find a comfortable way to hold the drill as you work (I like to hold it in my lap but I also have a clamp that holds it to my work table.  Your first shapes may be a bit “wonky” but it doesn't take long to get the procedure down and you will find it a fun and habit-forming project.  Some Lite-Brite pegs have air bubbles in them adding to the illusion of a potion.  Small jars may be formed simply by cutting the rods to size.  Add ¼” punched rounds of cardstock for tops. 
Make printies of labels, cut out and glue to bottles or jars.

Copy and paste image to your computer.  
Set to print at actual/exact size or 4.26"w x 1.79"h
Print onto bright white paper at best printer settings.

Here you will also find an assortment of books.  For the bookends look in my October 2010 posting, The Consummate Bibliophile .
Click on image to enlarge.  Copy & paste to your computer.
Set to print at actual/exact size or 8.31"w x 4.26"h
Print onto bright white paper at best printer settings


The two lower shelves hold large baskets full of “who knows what”.  The counter shows an open book, more bottles, and a dish of something green & yuckie
On top the cupboard is a birdcage with an angry crow inside.  Also there sits a black cat, one of three of our witch’s pets.  These are repainted plastic cats from Archie McPhee‘
Start by peeling off the skin from a real garlic clove.  Coat the skin with acrylic matte medium to strength and protect.  Let dry.  Coat a white peppercorn with the matte medium.  Let dry.  Wrap a peppercorn in a piece of the prepared garlic skin, using lue, twisting the ends tightly.  Make ten or twelve little garlic heads.  Twist a prepared pieces of the garlic skin for a rope and loop one end over itself for hanging.  Glue the prepared garlic braid as long as desired.  Cut a bit of the root from a real garlic head and fray a bit.  Attach to the bottom of each garlic head on the rope, rimming as desired.  Hang from side of cupboard.

Gather a bunch of fine broom straw (craft shops sell small, inexpensive, fan-like brooms that are perfect for this type of project or check your full-sized whisk broom) that measures approx. 3/8” diameter when squeezed.  Holding the bundle tightly, tie a piece of black buttonhole thread several times around the bundle, approx. ¼” down from the top.  Coat the wrapped thread and where it touches lightly with glue.   Trim the bottom section of the straw to approx. 1 ¼”. 
For the broom stick, cut an approx. 4” length of approx. of 1/8” thick round branch cut from the end of a dried flower.  Choose a branch segment with some character for more interest.  You also may choose to whittle your own broomstick. If needed weather the broomstick with acrylics.  Coat the bottom 1/2 “of the broomstick with glue and insert it down into the middle of the top of the straw bundle, whole holding the bundle fairly tightly.  You’re all ready to fly!


Here are two photos of February 2003 article, THE QUEEN OF HEARTS

If all goes as planned I will see you soon with Preparing the Turkey in time to help celebrate Thanksgiving .

Until then, 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


NOTE: I have added instructions for a table lamp using the picture frame room box at the end of this project.  

A popular & very informative, world-wide, online miniature group (CAMP, owned by Den Mother, WMarie Werth ) has requested instructions for my concept of using simple wooden picture frames to construct room boxes. I believe it was in early 2000 that I developed the idea and have since used it many times, in different ways and sizes, to house a wide variety of miniature settings.  The Frame Boxes have become a standard in the hobby because they are easy and inexpensive (shopping around one can find nice quality wooden frames for just a few dollars each) to construct & require no power tools.  Den Mother suggested I put the instructions on this blog to share with as many miniaturists, around the world, as possible, so here you are:  (please pardon the quality of the photos herein; they were scanned from the magazines they were published in, not giving the best results.  But they should give you a visual idea of the frame method)

-For an approximate 8” wide x 10” high box with a raised base use five identical, 8” x 10” glass fronted, wooden picture frames Remove everything from the frames & set aside.  Assemble the box by gluing the long ends of two of the frames to the long face of two more of the frames.  Make sure all inside corners are flush and all is squared-up

                       These two photos show IF THE SHOE FITS from 2001.  It is 8" by 10" and 
has a solid back wall and three glass walls..

-For an approximately 10” wide x 8” high box follow the directions above but glue the short ends of the frames together. If desired a 5th frame of the same size may be glued to the bottom of this size box to act as a base.

It uses four 8" x 10" frames, with the 10" being the width and the 8" being the depth.
In this piece the back wall is the only solid one, the other three being glass.
You can also see how a selection of holiday postcards were used to decorate the 
outside of back wall.   This used wooden chess pieces as feet.

-5” x 7” frames may be used for smaller displays, for either smaller scale settings or to showcase one special piece.  
-10” x 13” frames may be used for larger/deeper displays or a two sided display box which would then be divided down the interior center.

 A PILGRIM'S PAGEANT  uses four, 10" x 13" frames.  It is a 2 sided piece with the play viewed on one side and back stage on the other.  The down-view, photo below shows how the box was divided in half.  The small section the the middle hides the wiring.

-Four, 8” x 16” picture frames may be used in a slightly different way than the others. Place a  bottom frame face down and then glue another frame to the top edge for the front and backs and then glue the 4th frame to the top of the assembly.  This assembly should be glued and pegged or screwed together for strength.  The two ends of this box will not be glassed.

An Art Deco New Years Eve Celebration from 2003 uses four 8" x 16" frames; one each on top & bottom and front and back.  The end walls between the frames are filled in with mat-board    the outside decorated with an outdoor scene and the inside papered to match the inside.

- Suggested but not essential: Once the glue holding the frames together has set you may reinforce the box with counter-sunk nails or pegs inserted in pre-drilled holes.  To do this, on the rabbet section of the two inset frames, drill holes (two each, spaced centered, side to side and approx. 2” up from the bottom and 2” down from the top) no bigger than the thickness of bamboo skewers.  There will be a total of eight holes. Drill through the one frame and on into the one it is glued to, being careful not to disturb the face of the frame.  Glue pieces of bamboo skewers into the holes, snipping on any excess flush with the frame.  If necessary, use a sharp knife to make sure the pegs are flush with the frame.  Paint or stain the exposed ends of the pegs to match the frame. 

-Depending on what will be displayed, housed or the setting, you have the choice of having no solid walls, just a back wall, two or three adjoining walls, or two solid walls opposite each other.  The glass walls and glass top will let in plenty of light.  Permanent access to the box will be from a removable top.  

-The outside of the box may be left as is or painted as desired. It may also be accented with various cut-outs/jewelry findings/stickers, etc. to go along with the theme of your setting.

This little Easter themed store, THE GOOD EGG, from 2004, with a solid back wall and three glass walls shows how the frames can be decorated to go along with the theme of the box.


-Measure and cut a piece of ½” thick foamcore or wood for your floor.  If you do not have foamcore or wood you may choose to glue thinner pieces of other materials together for a ½” thickness.   Finish the floor as desired, before or after gluing into box.

For the solid walls decide what you want to be seen from the exterior of the box.  This can be as simple as plain or patterned paper, or you can decorate them with words or poems, a collage of pictures, or a photo, all to go along with the interior’s theme.  Face it with a piece of set-aside glass.  Cut a piece of mat-board or something similar and cover it with your interior finish…wallpaper, paneling, etc. Between the out-facing piece and the interior one fill in with mat-board or whatever, so the finished walls will be flush with the frame corners.  Glue the assembled wall/s in place.  Add thin decorative molding to edges if appropriate to your theme.

Back view of THE GOOD EGG

Back view of a MATTERS OF THE HEART, a valentine store, using a vintage valentine card.
-Insert a piece of frame glass into the other openings and hold with a bit of tacky glue or tiny glue dots. You may choose to wait until you have designed the interior before permanently adding the glass wall/s and then adding the furnishings, etc. from the top opening.

-Using ¼” square stripwood to make a ledge around the interior top of the box, to support a protective piece of glass that can be removed for easy access.  The corners of these pieces can be mitered or butted to each other.  Paint to match the frame.  Glue them in place so they will sit down 1/8” down from the top of the box.  Cut or have cut the one of the extra pieces of frame glass a scant smaller than the top opening.  Sand edges smooth.  

-Turn the box over and measure and cut a bottom cover piece of art paper scant smaller than the box bottom.  This can be in a color to match the frame or painted to match.  Glue stick in place to bottom.  A decorative peg, button, wood turning, piece from a small wooden chess set, etc., may be glued or nailed to each corner for a finished look or to lift the box high enough to add a thin transformer/battery to the underside, if lighting is to be added to your setting.

   This is Happy Trails, a 2004 child's cowboy themed bedroom.
                  It uses four 8" x 10" frames making it approx. 10" high and 8" square
 It  has two solid walls and two glass walls. 
  You can also see the wooden feet on the bottom corners

This setting from 2004, celebrating women's right to vote, has two adjoining solid walls and 2 glass walls.

These two photos of a boy's nautical themed bedroom show how much can be shown in a little space without seeming cramped because of the two glassed in sides.

The lamp and base are easy to assemble and the supplies nead not be pricey.  Construct the framed room as instructed above, using six 5" x 7" picture frames., four for the sides and one each for the top and bottom.  The top and bottom frames are glued, centered over the top and bottom of the frame structure, flat edges to flat edges.

You should be able to find the wiring supplies at a lighting specialty shop or online.  Measure & cut a beam from a length of 3/4" x 1/2" wood, fitting the beam snugly from the front to the back of the box on the frame just above the back wall (see figure below).  Paint or stain the beam to match the frames.  Drill a hole through on 3/4" side of the beam, centered side to side, that is slightly smaller in diameter, than the brass post.  Screw one of the threaded decorative brass pieces on the bottom of the post and then screw the post into the hole.  Use the nut to secure it from the bottom.  The nut may be recess into the bottom of the beam by drilling a larger hole from the bottom.  Tighten the decorative thread-cover down onto the top of the beam.  Cover the nut with tape painted to match beam.  

Assemble the socket and wire per manufacturer's instructions, following all safety precautions (see figure below).  

Insert the 2nd decorative thread-cover onto the top of the post threads, insert theharp, and screw on the socket.  As you screw it on, make sure the wire extends the back inline with the wood beam.

When the assembly is done, use  a combination of Tack glue and cyanoacrylate glue (Super/Crazy etc.) to adhere the beam ends to the inside of the frame box, centered side to side, and in line with the inside of the of the front and back frame.  Let glue set before attaching the shade.  The shade is secured to the harp with a finial.  A 40-watt bulb is recommended.  

-4" brass lamp tube/post, threaded at both ends with brass nut to fit post
-3/4" x 1/2" wood, approx. 5-1/2" long
-Two threaded decorative brass pieces to cover threads of lamp post
-Brass socket with hole to take wire (Note: Most sockets sold have the wire coming down      through the bottom of the socket and into the post.  You will need the type sold for bottle and jar lamps with the wire coming out of the side.  If you can not find this type sold separately, purchase a kit for bottle lamps).
-8" to 10" harp
-Lamp shade approx. 9-1/2" high, with approx. 13" diam bottom.
-Electrical cord with attached plug
-Off & on switch for cord (optional)
-40-watt bulb 

Note:  A quick online search came up with this site  that should have the wiring supplies you will need for the lamp.  Interesting...the clamp-on-style, which I had not seen before, could work out nicely and not be as fiddly to install....I will have to investigate!

I hope I have answered the questions concerning the use of picture frames to construct room boxes for those that asked and have inspired you and others to try this method.  I think you will find it fast and rewarding with many options for displaying your miniatures.  

So many of you have wondered why I did not add more projects to fill the AMERICANA CART and expressed your concern...well, all I can say is that it was a long, hot summer here that seemed to extend into fall.  And living on the beach nice weather means lots of 
company.   Not complaining, as it also meant lots of hugs and kisses from grandchildren, many a bonfire and oodles of s'mores & ghost stories, delicious pots of clams and crabs and good times had by all.  But it did not leave me time and energy to even think about miniatures...and truthfully, that isn't always a bad thing. 

So, with a crispness to the air, leaves beginning to fall, pumpkin patches full, I think I feel a bit renewed and ready to jump back in to this blog.  I am working on a Halloween project and if all goes right you will "see me" soon.

Happy Fall to all of you who follow this blog,.. I am amazed at the traffic here and the amount of new followers even without my presence.  A special hello to all of you who have visited from Russia in the past month.