Barbie for big girls.

Poppy in the Conservatory

…with Professor Plum and a candlestick {Snort!}.  No, we are not playing the game Clue…but it sure sounds like it.  Some times I have an idea for a photo and it simply won’t go away.  I received a couple new pieces of furniture this past week and I knew I was in trouble when I formulated a game plan before I went to bed and woke up with new ideas on how to make the scene work.  I realized…I was already on the road to doing the diorama so I might as well get on with it.  My enthusiasm ( cough, cough obsession) was fueled even further by some amazing photos on Flickr  by Stilleto Queen (  This one was an idea that needed some lead time for construction so that explains my blog absence for the past week.  I was very lucky to find some resources online for this shoot and I will share them at the end of this post.  If you wish to make some of the items in this post, get ready to make glue, glue dots and scissors your best friends.

Model:  “Sea Breeze” Poppy Parker

Gown and jewelry: Petal Perfect by Dressmaker Details(

Table and Chairs:  Mini Chair (







Some candid shots during the shoot.  Loved how the sun was hitting the scene while I shot this!! 


Photo of the set up…real high tech…right down to the Star Wars AND Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit games holding up the chandelier.  My family and I are complete geeks.  Yes, that is an old window providing the back wall.   I love it!


Do you like the French flower pails and tin pitchers?  Well they are made of paper and available for download at:

Actual downloads are on page two of article above and in multiple scales.  These are all in 1/6 scale.  I used heavier weight presentation paper for this project because cardstock was just too heavy and hard to work with.  I also wanted a slight shine to the items but not glossy so the presentation paper worked well.  Tip:  to keep the flower pails from tipping over when you put something in them, fill them up halfway with rice.  It weighs it down and helps hold the stems in place . Tip:  Ever filled a mini pot and wondered what to use for dirt?  Try coffee grounds.

Happy mini gardening!!


33 responses

  1. bvisayc556

    Wow, such a great set and I am transported there, it looks so real!! Beautiful and Poppy is a vision in pink!!!

    April 26, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    • Thank you so much Brenda! I strive for realism so I am happy to hear that is coming across.

      April 26, 2013 at 7:28 pm

  2. Absolute heaven, my friend. The amount of detail is incredible. You are such an artist. I just love it.

    April 26, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    • Awwww! Coming from an artist, that is a special compliment. Thank you!

      April 26, 2013 at 7:26 pm

  3. OMG… speechless. When you say presentation paper, no clue. Weight? Manufacturer? Card stock I know, 20 lb laser paper, but beyond that? THANKS for the behind the scenes photos. I always love seeing how ppl hang lamps or the lighting.

    In fact, I enjoy ALL behind the scenes photos. The magic of lighting and sets.

    I totally GET what you say about an idea. I want to create something using my punk photos as a backdrop, and inserting my dollies somehow. For a small animation I’ve wanted to do for awhile. I’ve got to storyboard the images first, so I know how to light the dolls. Grand ideas, ltd time. We’ll see.

    I won’t ever do quite what you are doing. You are far more into fashion. I want to create mythology and fairy tale scenes. IF I can ever be done w/my punk photos. Every time I wanna move on, ppl take an interest in my archive. Not complaining, but I wanna play with my dollies.

    One of my obitsu dolls lost a hand today. I’m so sad. I inserted another hand, but it’s obviously a bad-fitting prothesis. Oh well, life goes on. Back to my film-based pix.

    April 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    • Thank you for another most awesome comment! As for the paper, specifically, I used Brochure glossy laser print paper ( 150 g/m^2) . The magic in these shots was 100 % pure unfiltered sunlight! We just don’t get that often in the Pacific Northwest so it was fun to forego the artificial lighting and bend the natural light – hence the reflectors. Storyboard sounds really cool. I hope you find the time to get your muse into animation. It sounds like a fun project.

      April 26, 2013 at 9:44 pm

  4. Beautiful shots! and such a great job on the diorama. Can I ask where/how you store everything.? That’s my biggest problem with getting into dioramas. I barely have room to store clothing and accessories!

    April 26, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    • Mr. Berry

      And *this* is why we’ll never be able to move to a smaller house.

      April 26, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      • {SNORT!!} Well there you have it. The boss hath spoken. Guess we are not moving any time soon. Thanks hon. 🙂

        April 26, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    • Oh mannnnn…you had to ask that didn’t you LOL! I wish I could say I keep it all contained in one little closet that is very meticulously organized. That would be a LIE. In truth, I have multiple areas ( Doll room closet, studio table storage, cabinet in studio…cough…cough and a few more). I should do a blog post just on the storage shouldn’t I? I do try and reuse the old window which hangs on a wall and displays things. Many of the items in this diorama will go into a new doll room display, because I LOVE it that much but…I guess this my long winded way of saying I have a big a$$ prop closet(s). 🙂

      April 26, 2013 at 9:49 pm

  5. Oh I just adore the Berrys and yr FAB friends, dolls and real ppl. Such great senses of humor. ANOTHER doll room? When I die, can I come back as YOU! I know you work hard, but … wow.

    YES, pls show us yr storage areas. Maybe ppl can share tips. I put items in plastic shoe boxes. I use a few 6 or so drawer carts w/wheels. Craft stores sell them (I get them online. A MAJOR craft store often has them and other storage drawers/boxes on sale, online). Those are the best! You can stack them (without wheels). Label the drawers. i want/need more! I sort by clothes, accessories, shoes.

    I put shoes, jewelry, makeup supplies, etc into small, clear boxes from 99 cent store in the drawers. Then at least one drawer for each kind of items. I grab a bunch of them when in stock.

    I had a lot of storage boxes from stationary store. I use those for furniture, again separating by various categories and labeling.

    Let’s share storage ideas. Pix too, esp YOURS. You are the Queen of Dioramas and doll photography!

    April 26, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    • I have an idea for a blog post on storage ideas so hopefully will have that up soon. Yes, I encourage people to share tips so thank you for yours. 🙂 I believe I am the queen of doll diorama item hoarding…that is what I am the queen of LOL!

      April 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm

  6. Have you seen “The Most Popular Girls in School”? I don’t get their humor. Will offend many on so many levels. I just Googled. On youtube. The other day I saw Barbies there. Also exact 99 cent dolls I have standing in a coffee cup to the left of my computer. Oh my gawd.

    I would love to see YOU do that in your CLASSY style. You created great slide shows … but these are … well, worth checking out. Be warned they appeal to teens and ppl w/gross sense of humor. They’ve gone viral. OMG.

    I’ve been thinking awhile how to integrate my dolls. How to punk my {cough cough} eBay Barbie heads I put on Liv bodies. Mostly Barbie clothes w/my crazy exposed film punk pix. I don’t want to run afoul of copyrights either. Off the shelf faces, hair and clothes won’t suit my needs.

    Need to look a lot more authentic than ANY commercial punk looks and fit in w/my authentic early punk photos. A LOT of computer manipulation. We’ll see.

    Check out Most Popular Girls in School. Oh my gawd!

    April 26, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    • Will have to check this out…have not seen it. Can’t wait to see what you do with the “Barbie punk” idea. It sounds cool!

      April 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm

  7. be still my heart!!!!!!!!!!! Love, love, love this one! So beautifully composed! You really should be a stage or film designer, but I’m glad we get access to your artistry right here!

    LOVE the backstage view with the connect four game, and love the comment from Mr. Berry – lol! Stan is mostly too busy to notice the many places I have doll stuff stashed…..

    anywho – thanks for an inspiring start to my saturday!

    April 27, 2013 at 7:14 am

    • Awwwww! Thank you so much Peter. Coming from a theater professional, I take this as an extreme compliment. When I was deciding what to study in college, theater was at the top of my list for a while. I would have loved to do costume design or stage design. I am so happy to be able to explore that in the 1/6 scale. Thank you so much for “getting it” Peter.
      {Big hugs} to you and Stan!

      April 28, 2013 at 3:41 pm

  8. rogier

    Love it. And great choice of jewelry. Love this picture because every time you look at it you see something new. And so great that you show the behind the scene picture

    April 27, 2013 at 8:06 am

    • Thank you so much Rogier!! I always love it when someone shows their process or a picture of something “in process”. We all learn through eachother. Now…if I could have your creative eye for things, I would be a happy indeed. 🙂
      {Big Hugs} to you and Ruben!

      April 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm

  9. Dom

    absolutely lovely and elegant!. thanks for the links and tips I will try my hand on this 🙂

    April 27, 2013 at 8:53 am

    • Thank you! Happy to provide the links. I hope they work out for you. I know I had fun making them. Lots of glue….but fun 🙂

      April 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm

  10. You’ve made such a charming diorama! And beautiful pictures (as always)! I’m really glad and flattered if I have contributed a tiny piece to your idea 🙂 And thanks for sharing some useful tips. I’ve been using the coffe as soil in my pots too, but rice is a great idea – I’m sure I’ll use it some day 🙂

    April 27, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    • Thank you Andreja for your beautiful photos that helped inspire my garden theme. I also appreciated your guidance to look online for tutorials. It was a HUGE help. 🙂

      April 28, 2013 at 3:45 pm

  11. Such a lovely room and doll…you are wonderfully creative!

    April 27, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    • Thank you so much for the lovely comment Barbara!

      April 28, 2013 at 3:45 pm

  12. New follower here!

    Your tips are fantastic, I wouldn’t have thought of coffee grounds. They look good and smell great, LOL!

    Your photos and setup are just lovely.
    I appreciate that you tell where you got things too.
    I try to do that on my blog as well, because it’s always a bit aggravating when you see something awesome somewhere and no one credits it!

    Feel free to stop by my blog:

    April 29, 2013 at 7:05 am

  13. Deb

    Ahhhh…loved everything about this ITFDS entry.
    Pink Petal, Poppy, Photo and the flower in-faux-mation.
    I have a brown thumb, so this might work and live.

    P.S. I am techno challenged…how do I change my avatar?

    May 1, 2013 at 6:19 pm

  14. Thanks for gravitar link! I wanted to change mine and you save me time googling to find the link. 😉

    May 1, 2013 at 6:43 pm

  15. Jane Reeds

    I would like to get some flowers like your peonys, delphiniums and tulips. I’ve seen a lot on etsy but am afraid to get them in case they end up out of scale. Yours are just perfect! Would you mind telling me your source for the flowers? I would really appreciate it!

    January 19, 2015 at 12:05 pm

  16. Could you share your source for the peony, delphinium and tulip flowers? They are the perfect scale.

    January 19, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    • Hi Jane,
      I can totally relate. You can never be assured of scale when you just see a picture on Ebay. My sources for the flowers are as follows but I am not sure it will be helpful to you.
      1) the soft pink ruffled tulips were a gift from a dear friend in The Netherlands 2) the hot pink tulips and the pink peonies were part of a small bundle of artificial wild flowers I found at a local craft store ( Ben Franklin). They were intended for small bud vases I believe but the little miniature peonies were such a perfect scale when I saw them that I bought the bundle just for those. I have not found any since then and I have looked 🙂 . 3) The delphiniums were part of a spring pic of flowers I purchased at another craft store. I just used the top portion of it. When I look for scale flowers for a 1/6 diorama it is mostly a matter of repurposing something you can find. Hope this helps.

      January 19, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      • Thanks for letting me know, it does help. I have been looking on etsy and ebay and thinking the same thing that you mentioned. Will they be the right scale? As you know, often something advertised as 1:6 scale is not. I have been looking for over a year and only found the small ones I now have. I’m sure if I went to Toronto and scoured the stores there I would have better luck but I just don’t think that would be fun.I may just go ahead and take my chances on some I saw on Etsy. Although I have one arrangement for the dioramas, I’m sure everyone tires of seeing it over and over in every scene. I know I’m bored with it! I guess I’m thinking of spring and flowers with all this drab weather lately. If I get lucky and they are perfect, I will let you know the sellers store. Of course you will always find them in my dioramas too!

        January 19, 2015 at 1:54 pm

  17. Feel free to email me privately Jane. I may be able to find some of the delphiniums and a few of the pale pink tulips if you like 🙂

    January 19, 2015 at 2:04 pm

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