Sunday, February 26, 2017

Country style bakery counter

I've been wanting to make a vintage, country style bakery counter for a while, and I even started carving the 'little bakery' detailing a few weeks back. I had ordered a tool to make the trim at the bottom (on which the 2 posts are resting), but due to a delay, it didn't arrive until last week. I could have used one of the pre-made trims I have, or even used my handheld electric file,. But seeing as I'd already made the order, I was determined to do it the way I'd initially planned.

The video is going to be posted on 'SugarCharmShop Gourmet' as a bonus video. Not this upcoming week - haven't decided exactly when it'll be up. I still need to finish some more pieces for the video anyway and the video in itself is somewhat of an experiment;
Since I don't post non-food videos too often on that channel, I wanted to try something a bit different. I'm going to finish a couple of additional pieces to go with the counter (small stuff like shelves) and then put everything into 1 video, which I'm guessing is going to be somewhere around the 20-30 minute mark - will try to keep it closer to 20. I know a lot of people find that to be too long, but I do think it makes a lot of sense to do it this way.
And don't worry - I'm not going to pack as much as possible into the video! I just want to make it more of a 'complete scene' rather than an empty counter on its own.

For those of you who watch the videos on my new channel, I just want to say thank you. I know the channel is still small, and it's too soon to make plans - heck, it's still only going through the second half of the trial period. But know that your support means the world to me. Every time you watch one of the videos I post on there, you're enabling me to set aside more time for these projects. I hope that the channel will some day reach a level that would enable me to post 2 times a week - I've received so many scrumptious requests for different types of food and have lots of ideas myself as well.

Saturday, February 25, 2017


One of the first pieces of miniature food I made were pancakes - not the thick/american style ones but closer to crepes (what we consider normal pancakes here). I find that, especially in the beginning, you tend to make foods that you personally like to eat.. You'll then, as time passes, venture in to a world that offers a larger variety of food, making new textures and discovering preferences as to what you enjoy making the most.
Sometimes it's nice to revisit the feeling you get from making those certain, I guess ''comfort foods'', and so since it's been requested quite a few times, I decided that today's video on 'SugarCharmShop Gourmet' should be for pancakes :) 

In the tutorial I'm going to show you how I made the pancakes as well as a basic frying pan. Originally I thought of adding blueberries on the side - but seeing as the video was already pretty lengthy I decided to stick to this simple arrangement.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Lettuce & more on the copycat issue

Today's tutorial on 'SugarCharmShop Gourmet' is for lettuce :) This is a fairly simple project - it doesn't require too much time or too many different materials - and it adds such a nice pop of color to any miniature scene. Fruits and vegetables is something I love to make in miniature because it's so colorful - it makes you happy!

Click here to watch the video

On the post I made around a week ago about being called a copycat, I received a comment, which was written in such a nasty way that I chose to delete it. I still have the comment, but I'm not going to go through the different 'paragraphs' of reasons why this person called me a liar.
And before I get further into this, you might wonder; why even address it?. Because, in a situation like this, there's no winning. If I don't address it, that means I'm trying too hide something, right? which makes me a liar. And if I do address it, I'm trying to hard to defend myself, which also makes me a liar. So my reason for addressing is that what I wrote in that post is the truth, and the comment I received were a bunch of assumptions - all of which were false and to be honest, fairly silly.
One of the examples used were some cherries I made back in 2014 - the person claimed those to be a copy of another miniature artist's work. As I've mentioned countless times I'm inspired by real food or pictures of real food - so though I'm sure there's no reasoning with those who want to believe I'm lying, I wanted to show you a picture of the cherries I made together with the photo I was inspired by;

I don't own this picture - it's one of the many food photographies I found and keep on my computer for inspiration.
In my version I took inspiration from the blue and white enamel bowl, the denim fabric that the bowl is placed on and the rustic wooden surface.

I am aware that there will always be people who won't believe me, or people who are not interested in having actual evidence to support their statements. And if you don't like me or my creations, there's not much I can do to change that.
Just know that when there are so many miniature artists in the world, all working within the same categories and all inspired by real life, the different seasons, holidays etc.- they're bound to make things that look similar, even if they weren't inspired by someone else's piece. When fall and Halloween rolls around, everyone makes pumpkins. For thanksgiving it's turkey, candy canes and gingerbread houses for Christmas and so on.

Another reason why I'm choosing to address this in this post is because after I had finished recording this week's tutorial (lettuce) I decided to search for lettuce tutorials on YouTube. Why? to torture myself I suppose, or to prove a point.. There are only so many ways you can make something and I did find one using CLOSE to the same technique I just used in my video. I hadn't seen this video before, I didn't copy this person or their technique - I just made the lettuce the only way I could come up with in order to get the effect I wanted. I've used these techniques in videos before. (Please refer to the video for more information about the techniques I recommend and don't recommend for making lettuce).
The thing is, that after seeing the other video, I was actually reconsidering even posting the video I made, which is silly since I hadn't seen it beforehand. And as I explained in the tutorial, there are reasons why I chose to use certain techniques over others. So my only other option would be to never post a lettuce tutorial - which is also ridiculous.

But how can the techniques then be so similar? - because again, there are only so many ways you can do something, and even fewer ways to get particular/exact effects. It is close to impossible to make something that none of the other 7.5 billion people in the world has not yet thought of. If we had to search on YouTube, Google or various social media platforms every time we wanted to make something, to make sure it hadn't been done before, we would never be able to do anything.
I won't be addressing this in future posts, because I'd much rather spend time creating and sharing. And in the name of 'sharing the love' I'll list a few of my favorite instagram accounts when it comes to inspiring food photographies (feel free to go through my entire list of the people I follow @SugarCharmShop - lots of delicious food/decor inspiration)

@dennistheprescott - His capability to make any food look scrumptious is outstanding. Even cheese platters and sushi, which are 2 things I don't eat ;D
@annagarciafrigola - photographer/stylist - beautifully arranged food.
@wagyu_beef - I follow a couple of accounts that post mainly raw meat due to my love for butcher's themed stuff.
@still_life_gallery_ - Exactly what the name suggests. Beautiful and harmonic scenes.

Anyway, Hope you'll enjoy the tutorial - I will be using lettuce in an upcoming video together with the cucumber from a previous video - just need to post another component first :) 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Simple Roses

Tutorial for today on 'SugarCharmShop Gourmet' is for some simple roses in celebration of valentine's day coming up Tuesday :)

I am planning on making more flowers as they look great in the background of photos. Some of them might be listed on Etsy at some point, but I'm mostly making them to keep for the photos - just like the green plant you've seen in quite a few of my videos already. And for those of you who are only interested in the food tutorials on the new channel; don't worry, the majority of the non-food videos, including this one, are uploaded as bonus videos - so you're not missing out of any food tutorials :)

I bought chocolate to use in the photo,.. so you'll have to excuse me while I take on the 'super difficult task' of eating it ;)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Currently on my desk

When you don't know what to call a post ;) - though it's not far off; these ceramics are currently on my desk. Undergoing 'quality control' so to say. Basically keeping an eye on them to see if the glaze/clay combo and firing schedule seems to be a match. Crossing my fingers though - can't wait to use them.
One of the new additions are the little flower shaped dishes - they were actually inspired by some plates/bowls I saw on one of the many food-instagram accounts - I'll try to find it and add the name. I did change up the design a bit, but I thought the shape would look gorgeous with some berries or even just on their own. I used my usual combo of the colored inside with the brown glaze on the outside - my favorite combo for ceramics. Just so beautifully rustic.

I would love to be able to sell more ceramics on Etsy - especially since I'll be using them frequently on 'SugarCharmShop Gourmet'. I just need to be fairly certain there won't be any problems with them,.. and I say 'fairly certain' because if there's one thing I've learned by now, is that ceramics is a science.
I'd also love to list some sculpting bases, since I get questions about those daily. But it does require some more testing
If everything goes well though, I'm counting on being able to list some this summer! ^^

Oh - quick note; Next tutorial on SugarCharmShop Gourmet will be up tomorrow :) Promised you 2 uploads this week ^^

Friday, February 10, 2017

Falsely being called a copycat

This post was inspired by a recent event.. I'm not going to name names, and I'm not going to go into too much detail, but I do have some things I want to say - and I'm hoping that the person sees this.
Especially as it seems this person has no interest in actually confronting me or speaking to me about it - so I am going to be pretty blunt in this post, as I don't appreciate false accusations or backtalking  of people you don't know.

Sorry if the post is a bit messy - I'm in a hurry,. have to cook and have to edit today's video.

Basically - not that long ago I was told that another miniature artist had said I was 'notorious for copying' which had be confused. This person also sent 3 of my pictures together with 3 of hers (not to me, but to a friend of mine), calling it evidence and saying I had copied her work...
Now - the 3 pictures were animals; A black cat I made for a halloween tutorial in 2013, a grey sleeping cat I made for a miniature fair in 2015 (I think) and the hamster I made for one of my youtube tutorials.

The funny thing is, that though I have seen a couple of pictures of this person's work in the past, I never looked further into it. In actual fact, I have very little interest in looking at other people's work - it's not something that inspires me. And in fact, I had NEVER seen any of those 3 pictures before.
So why were they used as 'ecidence'? because they happened to be posed the same way as animals she'd made. not the same colors - just the same poses.
The thing is... That those were VERY generic poses. a playful kitten,. a sleeping cat and a hamster standing on its' hind legs. I'm sorry if this offends someone, but it doesn't take a genious to know how animals move - and it takes 2 seconds to google ''playful cat'' or ''jumping cat''; whichever pose you're looking for, google is bound to have a photo of it.
I love animals. I have a good idea of how they move - and I usually find poses that I feel represent those animals. Eg. A german shephard is to me a majestic dog - which is why I made mine ( a couple of years back) standing on all 4 legs, looking straight ahead. An english bulldog however, is clumbsy yet charming looking, and so that is why I made one, laying flat on its belly with the hind legs poking backwards and a big smile on its face.
And what about the 3 'evidence animals'??;
For the black cat I simply searched "playful kitten" on google, found a picture of a real cat and copied that pose.. the same for the sleeping cat - actually, the only reason why I made the sleeping cat at that time was because I wanted to make a cat for a fair which was only a couple of days away, and I happened to not have any pre-made cat eyes... As for the hamster,.. well, I have had 3 hamsters in my life and the standing pose is once again, a very generic pose for any hamster, and any rodent for that matter (out chinchillas do that too, does that mean I can't make a standing chinchilla?)... but, but why did I make a box for the hamster?? (the person accusing me had done the same). How do you carry a hamster home from the store?! in a box! I'm sorry, but the accusation was straight up ridiculous. People don't own the copyright to an animal pose... so don't build up hate towards someone unless they are CLEARLY copying you; same pose, same color, same accessories, same everything. AND even then, it IS possible for 2 or more individuals to make the exact same thing without ever having seen what the other person made. If one person is capable of coming up with something, someone else is capable of doing the same.
Yes, there are cases where you can see that someone copied your work,.. this case, is not one of those.

Where do I get my inspiration?; from real life.. pictures of real food, real animals, real furniture. I love looking up photos of food photography or searching for different types of furniture, different types and breeds of animals etc. I study the faces of people who walk past me on the street or the people I talk to. I randomly stop to take a picture of a small stool outside of a house or a sign in front of an old butcher's shop.. Most of the time I avoid looking up other peoples' work, both because I'm not interested in looking at it, but also to avoid situations like this one.. I've seen pictures of other people's work - I'm aware of a lot of the other miniature artists out there, but I don't find inspiration in the things they make, and quite frankly, I don't have time to manically look up what other people make so that I can copy it. I need pictures of the real thing in order to study the colors and textures - looking at a recreation is no help. I don't watch tutorials or search 'how to make' because I love figuring things out on my own. It's not enjoyable for me to have someone show me how to do something. Being accused of copying, when it's not true, really hurts...

So if the person happens to be reading this; no, I was not inspired by your work. when I made the black cat for instance, I wasn't even aware of who you were - never seen any of your work at that point. Next time, confront the person instead..

I could go much further into this and list many reasons for why this whole thing is so STUPID - but I'm not going to waste time on that, when I've done nothing wrong...
And on a side note; I very much believe in giving credit if you were inspired by someone else. But it would also be a lie if I gave credit to someone, whom I wasn't inspired by.
I know that there are people out there who won't believe what I'm saying, and unfortunately I can't do anything about it. Just know, that by making false accusations, you can seriously damage someone's life.

More on the topic click here

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Happy Birthday!!! - to meeee

In my last video I asked you guys to give the video 'thumbs up' if you'd like to see 2 videos this week and I'm happy to say, that there will be 2 videos! :) In general - the more support the videos receive, the more time I'll be able to set aside for 'SugarCharmShop Gourmet', and that's why, as I've mentioned before, that even if I upload something you personally might not be all that interested in - watching the video, clicking the thumbs up button and leaving a comment still really helps the channel!

Yesterday was my birthday, so for today's tutorial we're making a simple birthday cake :)
I'm not a huge fan of the fancy fondant cakes - I much prefer these more 'home-baked' looking cakes ^^

The second video of the week is going to be somewhat valentine's themed and will be up this weekend :)

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Miniature mac & cheese

Today's tutorial on 'SugarCharmShop Gourmet' is going to be a pretty simple and much loved dish; Macaroni and cheese. It's been requested quite a few times both before and after I started the new channel, and even though I personally don't find it that appealing, I do understand why so many people love it.

I chose to make the baked version because,.. let's be honest; mac & cheese is basically goo. and in miniature, that 'goo' is going to look even less interesting - so the baked top adds a little extra something, haha.

I do have an old tutorial on my main channel showing how to make this type of cooking dish from polymer clay, and I might make an updated tutorial on my new channel at some point :) The one I used in the tutorial however, is one of my ceramics.

Tutorial for the green plant that appears in quite a few of my pictures - as well as the 'kitchen setup' can also be found on my main channel, in case some of you are wondering :)

I'm currently in the process of doing some more test firings of ceramics,.. can't tell you how much I HATE experimenting when it comes to new clay and new clear glazes... I love making ceramics, and I love the final result, but I could do without the testing -.-'' so *yay* for me - now I have to wait another 2-4 months before I'll feel somewhat comfortable using the new pieces.