More hairdo thingies. Each of these strings of sequins is in a different metallic color. I carefully pulled the strings off to save for future use - and the elastics go in the stash for the granddaughters. They have enough for the rest of their lives!


I have a feeling I have picked up one of these before. It sure looks like a neat hat for a fairy.


These elastic scrunchies yield nice long strips of exotic print; used as is for sleeves or pant legs, cut into pieces and scrunched a bit they become hats. The seam could be picked apart and there will probably be enough fabric to make a doll bodice. I saved the black elastic ties to give to my granddaughters if they want them.


This little girl's hair ornament yields lots of gauzy ribbon, plus all those little padded hearts - white, pink and red - would be terrific pillows in smaller scales; maybe pin cushions in twelfth scale ....


This was an ornament iron-on, but each of those stones can be used for mini jewelry and trims for jewel boxes, crowns, hats, fancy buckles on shoes, etc.


These socks were in my husband's sock drawer, where they had lain for absolute years after I gave them to him. He tossed them to me recently and said, "What in the world made you think I would EVER wear these? Even when I was still teaching, I wouldn't have been caught dead in those socks, and I sure won't wear them now."

"Well," I hummppphed, "I guess I will put them in the Candlelighters bag for pickup."

Then I looked at them and thought, Hmm; I could actually cut around those stockings and actually use them on a mini fireplace. Or, I could make a sweater for some miniature guy who wouldn't be so resistant to dressing in the spirit of the season! So, instead of going to charity they wound up in my stash!



These three pairs of baby socks were a dollar at Dollar Tree. They are perfect for making miniature t-shirts. The grey looks just like exercise wear. In addition to shirts, they can also be used to make caps, scarves, socks, leg-warmers ....


This little smocked panel was on clearance for $3.50 from Home-Sew, Inc. It is intended to be inserted in children's clothing; e.g., a dress, or jumper yoke, overall bib or bonnet. However, when I look at its various elements, I see curtains, a dress, a petticoat, a nightgown, a dust ruffle ....


I found these two lame-like fabric headbands at the local Dollar Tree. The material is wonderfully drapeable and glueable, great for dressing a princess or a Vegas showgirl, even a sorceress.


These filigree squares and beads were stitched onto fringed fabric squares that covered a plastic headband. Filigree can be used for all kinds of things, from fancy hair combs to tiaras to collars to earrings, to chair backs in quarter scale, etc

I used the fabric to make Grandmother Matamosca's dress.


I found this gorgeous sheer camisole on sale for $3.00 at Mervyn's. And, oh lordy, no, I don't need this nowadays, personally. Although there was a time ....

Well, anyway, I bought it for the sheer aqua blue fabric and for the wonderful lace.


Look at that nice finished edge; great for nightgowns and sleeves. And there's enough of it to make any number of mini nightgowns, fairy dresses, curtain treatments. Notice how it drapes so softly, too.

The beige lace can be cut apart in numerous ways. And here's even more of it across the back. Shoot! I can even use those straps for something!


On another dollar store shopping trip, I found this concho belt. Bonanza! Everything from a warrior's shield to a serving platter to ...? I can picture one of these conchos standing upright on a shelf like a tray, with a green plant sitting in front of it, or a figurine ...

Here you can see the duller concave side. That hook could probably become perhaps a mail or magazine holder, or a rolled- or folded-towel holder in a modern bathroom, or ...?


Did you ever see anything more deliciously awful? I love hair scrunchies, the wilder the better. I can see these strange tufts and braids on some kind of fairy- or elf-like creature.

Well, speaking of deliciously awful .... I thought this wild hair wouldl go on one of the Computer Gremlins I am planning. Then my granddaughter Jenna came over and saw it and it went home with her. What they wear in their hair these days!


Pawing through the clearance bin of hair accessories yielded some useful dividends on my last outing to Big Lots. My granddaughters love to make minis from stufflike this. This stretch satin headband will serve as a dust ruffle under a quilt on a bed, or may be used as part of a dressing table in a smaller scale, etc. Its pink lace bow can be taken apart and cut to provide smaller more workable pieces of lace. Even the pink sequin rose that centered the bow has possibilities for a little girl miniaturist. All for 50 cents.


These hair clips were hard to resist for 50 cents, as well. Clips this size are always useful as clamps to hold things while the glue sets. Of course, the little woven flowers can serve as toss pillows or chair cushions in a country setting. Even the one that's coming apart could be a knit collar on a doll, maybe?

I am working on a gentleman's study/bedroom and I think these two hairpicks would make excellent posts for a masculine bed hanging. Wouldn't you know it, though, one got broken before I even got the bag unpacked, but it will glue easily.

I fell in love with this pin. It looks exactly like a pair of shoes my mother was wearing in an old photo when she was a young woman.

This stretchy bracelet had images of shoes and purses strung on stretchy clear nylon cord.

For fifty cents, I got this many images, all those beads, plus two lengths of the stretchy clear cord which could work as water coming from a hydrant or faucet, perhaps.

I think all these will work in my vignette of Blumrosen's Department Store where my character Miss Minnie Sparks worked when she was a young woman. If not, I can always wear the shoe pin as a pin! Or, use it in a shadow box with some pictures of my mother....


I found these headbands and bows in the 50 cents bin at Big Lots. At the time I was thinking about a medieval kitchen, and thought the little twisted wire gidget thingies looked like handles for utensils in twelfth scale and for pots in quarter scale.

I figured I would start cutting them apart this way, keeping the metal strip as part of the tool hanger. I can either leave them as is, or use them singly. I can make spoons, forks, etc., with findings or paper, and quarter-scale pots can be made from various findings or from paper as well. Sprayed black, they would be great in a medieval or country setting.

My granddaughters love to decorate their little projects with flowers, so these little roses should work nicely as trims for beds, perhaps; maybe hats. Actually, those silk roses and leaves are nicely made. Also, the headband yielded a surprising amount of green silk ribbon, as well.

The narrow elastic ribbon headband looks like velvet on the back and yielded five of these little white silk roses.

And, finally, the elastic was made adjustable by these little plastic buckle thingies. Surely, they can be used for something, too.

I bought two of the metal pronged headbands, and one elastic one. Not bad for $1.50.


I bought these dollar store fake nails because I was needing dishes for ice cream sundaes and banana splits (with four little gold beads on bottom). After I removed them, I noticed that the little indentations would be perfect for paint and/or glue, and the plastic covering would fit over the whole thing nicely to keep air out. Here in the desert where it is so dry that is necessary.

Here is another potential covered palette; this one had beads in it. You could put water in the center. Since these are free, they could be taken in our toolbag to workshops and then just thrown away if need be.


I found some dollar store Body Glitter for girls; apparently you rub it on with your fingers. If you can rub it on skin, then you ought to be able to rub it on lots of other things, too, like fairy items or for jewelry and accessories, etc. Forgot to take the photo, though, and it's already stashed away somewhere ....


This weird thingie held socks. It is so intriguing I couldn't throw it away. It makes me think of ancient wall heiroglyphics or rock carvings or strange modern art or ....?


I can't seem to keep all my clutter and "stuff" in my work room. It always seems to gravitate to the den in, around and even tucked between the cushions of my chair. One day I was trying to clear out (do I ever stop?) and discovered a bag from one of the dollar stores that had gotten pushed between my recliner and a large wicker trunk that I use as a table and storage. When I opened it, I pulled out a cellophane package of two smallish round metal trays! I sat there going Hmmm, and for the life of me didn't remember having bought them. Anyway, I put them aside and went through the rest of the purchases (which I did remember buying).

To make a long story short (do I ever do that?), when I opened the package of trays, they weren't trays at all; they were burner covers that I had bought for the kitchen! However, instead of using them for their original purpose, I now have two nifty round trays to hold stuff on my work table and in a nearby shelf unit. Somehow, things corralled in a tray or box always look neater.

One dollar spent (however inadvertently) in the continuing quest for minis and order isn't bad.


This hair clip was on a 50 cent table in Big Lots. Its strange configuration and coloring immediately grabbed my attention. It makes me think of some kind of headgear for a Hagar the Horrible-type character. Turned upside down, one half of it could be a lavabo wall fountain in a fantasy setting; both could be the head and footboards for a bed, perhaps? No idea what I'll do with it, at this point, but I couldn't pass it by.


This funky little scarf-thingie that looks like long grass was with the jewelry items at a place called The Bonanza Store, where I am always finding strange things for my hobby. It is like a fake-fur, sort of, with a knit background and came in a tube shape.

It made me think of the Hobbit houses in The Lord of the Rings. I may use it as a roof (and who knows what else?) covering on my fairy nursery, and try dry brushing it with different colors, too, because it is a very bright green.

When I first got into miniatures, our then-club met in each other's homes, so we got to see how everyone displayed their houses and roomboxes, etc. That was the first time I saw someone use a towel for grass. She just had an olive green towel spread across the bookcase where all her roomboxeswere lined up. She also had a strip of cardboard painted to look like a concrete sidewalk stretching across the front. It was clearly illusion, but enough to suggest what she wanted.

I have a roll of that paperish model railroad grass stuff right now but never have liked it, so that's what it remains - a roll of "grass stuff." By the way, I have also seen towels and fake fur used as thatch on houses, but have never tried them myself. I have used model railroading landscape materials in many of my scenes, but I try to keep them covered because of the dust problem.

A terrific book on model railroad landscaping, the name of which I forget at the moment, also suggested using toweling for long grass. They went into more detail with it, however, dry-brushing several shades of green, beige and brown. In the pictures, it looked quite realistic.

With the wide selection in towels, you can start with a duller green color, and add more realism by drybrushing other colors. Normally I would avoid emerald or forest green because they look too fake, in my opinion, without some serious doctoring, but the particular scarf above just called to me for some fantasy roof setting.

Towels can be very inexpensive choices, and if you come up with something better later on, you're not out too much money. And, an added bonus, when it collects dust you can take the towel outside and shake it or run it through the air cycle on the dryer.


These are baby washcloths from the dollar store. They are very fine soft knit, perfect for everything from baby buntings to folded blankets to towels in a mini bathroom.

These are baby socks, two pair for a dollar. Look at the one propped against the wall. I can see a cap and matching sweater and/or sweater vest from one pair of socks. Who knows what else we could make?


I found these in the reduced/reduced section at Tuesday Morning. Although these are children's clothes in Barbie scale and look a bit poofy here, the clothes are workable for several environments. They can be sprayed and weighted down or pinned to look more realistic as adult outdoor/exercise clothing. The shoes might work, too. That little car could go in a child's room or in a bookcase. Hmm, the map folds like a screen ....


At a doll show recently, these rayon doll socks took me down Memory Lane to childhood, when my favorite doll Susan wore rayon socks like these. And then I came back to the present and saw ... miniature winter scarves! No trouble to hide the ends; just tuck them under coat collars.


I stumbled across this old tie box in a place called House of Treasure in New Mexico.

When I opened it, here was this beautful yellow silk hand-painted tie, for $2.50.

I love those images, and plan to use the fabric to upholster some pieces for my gentleman's study. I am almost afraid to cut into it, however, because I couldn't stand to mess it up. How could they ever be replaced?

The box print suggests 30's or 40's, maybe 50's, to me. I think I would have bought it just for the box, which I think I will try reproducing in mini, possibly for Miss Sophie's attic.

I can just imagine the conservative man who got this tie thinking, "Well, nobody will ever catch me wearing THAT!" and hiding it in the back of a drawer somewhere. I just wonder how it got from Buffalo NY to a secondhand store in NM!

Curious about martin Jacobi, I wrote my friend Leslie who lives in Buffalo, and got this response from her:

"The tie that you bought at the second hand store in NM. was made at an old family run mens wear business here in Buffalo for years and years. Downtown Buffalo in its heyday boasted an old fashioned main street retail area that rivaled 5th Avenue. There were several manufacturers of the finest mens clothing right here. There were some very nice family run retail businesses ( furriers, jewelers) and department stores back in the 40s through the early 1970's. Very high class. People, like MIL, still remember going downtown for the day as an event! Lunch and shopping. Making a whole family treat day of it at Christmas time to look at the AMA's windows ( Done with figurines and just like Macy's).

When I moved here back in 1979 the Jacobi family business had outgrown its solo Chippewa location and they actually had stores in a few malls called Jacobi Brother's. Very nice quality mens wear! All the younger business men wanted a suit made from there. They were stylish but classy.

The population growth out of urban areas to the suburbs killed our downtown here in Buffalo and drove all the local downtown businesses to try opening in the malls. Some lasted for quite a while but with the way all the retailers merged in the late 80s and formed the huge retail corporations ......competition from the huge retail chains drove most of them out of business, including Jacobis (their last store closed about 15 years ago). Inexpensive overseas manufacturing took care of the rest.

The department store I work for now called BonTon is one of the last smaller retail chains left in the Northeast, only about 70 stores. All the rest of them are owned by HUGE companies now. BonTon claimed the life of AMA's which was a Buffalo family owned business for decades."


Don't you think her comments could be repeated for almost every downtown in America? It could for El Paso's. What has kept ours alive - although not robust - in recent years is the day traffic across the bridges from Juarez, Mexico. If those shoppers quit coming, then downtown El Paso is probably going to be like downtown Buffalo, too.

Sad. To paraphrase Emerson, "For everything we gain, we lose something."

We may have gained interstates, but we killed off Route 66's and lots of little towns; we may have lost parking meters and gained acres of parking, but we also lost some wonderful old downtowns with beautiful buildings and real personalities - and quality service.

My mother cried when the local Popular Department Store closed. The saleslady always called her when she got something she knew Mother would like, and they delivered to her door! I felt like crying when The White House Department Store closed, because I have a small foot and used to go downtown to their basement and buy sample shoes - fabulous shoes - for $4 or $5 at most. Now, samples start at a 6 and I can rarely ever find anything that fits! And I have to pay through the nose - or the toes! lol

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