Archive for Garden Art

Barbie Adds Curvy and Tall Miniature Gardeners

Custom Miniature Garden Barbie,

The Garden Gal. I forget what kind of Barbie it was before I customized it. This was made in 1999, before I started Two Green Thumbs.

Barbie Adds Curvy and Tall Miniature Gardeners

Thank you, Mattel, for adding us to your product line! We’ve been playing with you for years.

Here’s a little trip down the TGT memory lane this week as I put the final touches on the manuscript of my second book for Timber Press. (Find the first one, a bestseller, here on Amazon, or get one autographed here.)

This is Garden Gal, one of my adapted Barbies that I customized in 1999, (the last century!) before starting this busy-ness, Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center. I was experimenting with joining miniatures with gardening in different ways.

The Garden Gal was my second attempt at customizing Barbies. I still need more practice painting miniature faces, it’s as not easy to do as it looks. It was really fun to gather the items for the box, mess-up the clothes and to customize the box too.

Everything, including the doll, was threaded back in the box, just like a new Barbie. Too fun. Who needs to submit a manuscript when there are ideas like this to pursue????

Dig in for more details under each photo, click to enlarge the photos. Leave any questions in the comments!

Custom Miniature Garden Barbie,

Some props came from Barbie, some from a miniature store and some we made ourselves.


Custom Miniature Garden Barbie,

Remove Barbie’s face with Acetone. Get tiny brushes and a magnifier to paint for the details. It takes practice – I need more Barbies! Lol!


Custom Miniature Garden Barbie,

I cut the gloves from an old pair of full-sized gloves. The bulbs in the package are Allium seeds, I think.


Custom Miniature Garden Barbie,

The dirt on her clothes is a combination of dried coffee grounds and acrylic paint. The “soil” in the back is real soil, with any big chunks taken out.


Custom Miniature Garden Barbie,

The spool of string, the seed and soil bags can all be made from things around your home.


Custom Miniature Garden Barbie,

The backside of the box. I used the box she came in, and recovered in a collage to reflect the theme.

Love the idea of a garden in miniature? Visit our website and store here.

Keepin' it real in the miniature garden with

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28 Miniature Garden Ideas for Halloween Decor DIY

Miniature Garden Ideas for Halloween

28 Miniature Garden Ideas for Halloween!

28 Miniature Garden Ideas for Halloween Decor DIY

If a picture is worth a thousand words, here are 28,000 of them right here in this new 28 Miniature Garden Ideas for Halloween Decor DIY video! Easy Halloween do-it-yourself decorations that you can make for your miniature garden, fairy garden or railroad garden. The crafting days are upon us so let the fun begin!


You’ll find a ton of more ideas on diy miniature accessories now up in the Miniature Garden Society, a private website dedicated to everything miniature garden!

See what is up in your Miniature Garden Center store in the Halloween Department! 

Scared yet? Like this? Join us here for more fun in the Miniature Garden!

Miniature Garden Ideas

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The Art of Miniatures with Caveman Al

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

“Rock Island” is a dream. There is a chair next to this display where you can get eye-level with the scene and enjoy all the tiny details.  See below for the list of fish and critters.

The Art of Miniatures with Caveman Al

“If it’s not built from scratch, I can’t call it art.”

– Caveman Al

We followed the line of pavers next to the parking lot behind the building. “She said it was in the alley.” Steve and I were apprehensive about nosing around, it looked like someone’s backyard. We passed another little walkway lined with roses and saw a man looking back at us through the door. I recognized him immediately and gave a little wave. “I saw that confused look on your faces and knew you were probably looking for me.” He opened the door and welcomed us into the cutest studio on earth.

Meet Caveman Al. He has been designing homes and miniature making since he was 8 years old. He doesn’t work in any particular size

Miniature Making with Caveman Al


– I think the project dictates the scale – and everything is made from scratch.

Yep. Everything. No sourcing, no customizing, no scouring the internet for the perfect miniature to complete a scene. Al makes everything, including the fish in the sea and the leaves on the trees.

I wanted to stay and play.

Here are some photos I took with my iphone, (I should have brought my good camera!) so make sure you head on over and visit his website & gallery, Al has a bunch great photos of projects that we did not see in the studio when we visited. All his artwork is for sale and he does some custom work too.

Click to enlarge the photos.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

Every leaf was made from scratch. Al uses vellum, wire, polymer and marble dust to create the leaves. Each leaf can take almost half an hour to make. The tree is about 15″ tall.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

The studio was tiny, about 15 by 12 feet but it was filled with Al’s creations. Al got the nickname, Caveman Al, from a newspaper article about his work several years ago.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

It’s just a little vacation. Crystal clear resin lets us enjoy every inch of detail. The sign says, “Al’s Island Reservations Only”

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

Don’t sneeze. Steve holds one of Al’s tiny sharks, about 1/4″ long.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

The walls are lined with more photographs of past projects, processes and details.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

A step-by-step on how Al makes a palm tree.

Miniature Garden Plants is Our Specialty!

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

Okay, this is the house I’m building when I win the lottery – with Al’s permission of course. The house is called Walnut Manor and it’s 1/96th scale. The floors can be lifted off in layers so you can see all the juicy details. Note the pool in the center and the garden all around the house.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

The second floor of the Walnut Manor. I love the balcony in the middle, overlooking the pool.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

Miniature scenes of all shapes and sizes are everywhere in his studio. Al calls them “Personal Walls” The items on the floor reflect the people in the frames. Al does custom work too – wouldn’t this make a great gift for a Mom or Grandmother?

Join us for more miniature gardening!

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

I think this gazebo is large size or 1″ scale. Of course I fell in love his garden miniatures.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

Al was a delight to talk to. His sense of humor shows up in his art – if you look closely there is a naked man waiting for his laundry in “The Laundwich Shop” – a sandwich laundromat.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

Hanging out with Al makes me want to quit my day job and make miniatures. If you are ever in the area of Anacortes, he is worth a visit. You can find Al on the Anacortes Art Walk, on the first Friday of every month.

Checkout more of the lovely details on Al’s website here. There are a ton of photos in his gallery, including photos of his masterpiece, the “Out to Lunch” house shown above.

America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center


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Dr. K’s Award Winning Miniature Work for the Philadelphia Flower Show

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz


Dr. K’s Award Winning Miniature Work for the Philadelphia Flower Show

After blogging about all the miniatures at the Philadelphia Flower Show this year, I thought you may want to see the Best of Show Miniature Setting up-close and almost personal. Louise Krasniewicz, aka Dr. K, did an outstanding job this year – wait, doesn’t she always do an outstanding job on all her miniatures? Lol!

But I’m not sure if Louise will brag as much about her work as I will – and I wanted this for my Fellow Miniature Gardeners that receive my Mini Garden Gazette for March – so here it is in its delicious detail.  Click to enlarge the photos.

If you are on a phone and looking at this, you will want to see it on a bigger screen. It’s marvelous!

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

See the little basket for the dog? They would lower him down to do his business.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Every architectural detail was carefully aged to look worn and weathered.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

The alley. Note the gas meter on the wall on the left. Love the concrete retaining wall with the rusted fence on top.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

The sculptress’ studio. We followed Louise’s progress on her Miniature Settings blog throughout the past year. It was fun to see her ups and downs, her perseverance paid off twofold.

Here is Louise’s blog – it’s all about the Miniature Settings Exhibit at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

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Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Louise made the antennae, the pigeons were perfect. See the hosiery & brassiere on the clothesline above the window?

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Meticulous detail. Enlarge any area and you’ll discover more.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

There is perfection in imperfection when it comes to miniature scenes.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Despite the limited amount of garden space in this scene, Louise still used over 40 different kinds of plants.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Can you tell that she just loves movies? Note the lighting in the window scenes too.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Paying attention to the details that are not readily seen is an important part of the realism. And it forces the viewer further into the scene, extending the enjoyment and the enchantment.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Louise nailed the detail in each window, capturing the different personalities of the tenants.


Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

I recall reading on Louise’s blog how she fought the blinds a bit – but she didn’t compromise until she found what worked. I love that they are not perfectly straight.

You can see a behind the scenes view from last year’s blog here. Scroll down to the end of the blog to see behind-the-scenes of Louise’s “The Birds” display, for 2014.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Why would she leave her purse behind? If you look closer, you can see her ring…

The Ring post from Louise’s blog.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

I wonder how many times Louise watched the film?

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

The brickwork alone is amazing!

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

“The most unusual and intimate journey into the human emotions ever filmed.” An Alfred Hitchcock classic.

From the movie:
: Why would a man leave his apartment three times on a rainy night with a suitcase and come back three times?

Lisa: He likes the way his wife welcomes him home.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Congratulations Louise! You deserved it!

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

An amazing number of plants, over 40 different types were used in this scene.

See and follow Louise here.

Learn the difference between our gardening in miniature and these miniature settings exhibit here.

Love everything miniature garden? Then join us here, we’re going deeper… ;o)

Miniature Gardening

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo


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9 Fantastic Gift Ideas for Your Miniature Gardener

Miniature Garden Center

Fantastic Miniature Garden Gifts

9 Fantastic Gift Ideas for Your Miniature Gardener

Find the right gift for the miniature or fairy gardener at America’s favorite Miniature Garden Center! Last week we rolled out a few different kits that you can give with or without the plants. Today we’ve collected a few great ideas that can be put under the tree to wait for the big day. You won’t find any of these items anywhere else so you are guaranteed to surprise and delight that special person on your list.

 Miniature Garden Accessory Set

Miniature Garden Accessory Set

The cherry red color looks great against the greens in the garden.

The cherry red chair is painted right here in our studios. The cute fruit/veggie crate is made of resin but looks like wood. The tiny pail and tools painted metal and are nicely detailed and sturdy too. Large size or 1” scale. $15.99


Miniature Garden T-Shirts

Wear your love with pride! We have a few different T-shirts up in our Zazzle store, some for men or women but you can change the style, size and color when you order! Let us know if you have an idea or want to see your favorite Two Green Thumbs image on one and we’ll make it for you! $21.95 – $29.95

Miniature Garden Calendar


Our first – wait – the WORLD’S first miniature garden calendar! We took one garden and decorated it for a year and now you can too. Click in and you can see the photo for each month before you buy one. $23.10

Blank Greeting Cards

Blank note cards with your favorite miniature garden photos!

We have a series of blank and funny greeting and note cards. If your special someone enjoys sending cards and letters, these will put a smile on her face! Checkout the miniature garden stamps you can get – way fun. Got a favorite photo from Two Green Thumbs? Let us know and we’ll make it for you!  $3.15 (Price changes with quantity.)


Miniature Garden Mug

“Just checking for fairies”


We have a the first few mug designs up in the store for your morning cuppa. Do let us know if you want to see a special design or any customization and we can get it up in the store for you. $16.95

A Little Somethin’

Janit's Etsy Store

Our Etsy store is filled with unusual and unique miniature and fairy garden items and sets. Get a little something for their windowsill or their desk at work. $3.99 – $84.99


Miniature Garden Bumper Sticker

Miniature Garden Bumper Sticker

Spread a little fun while you wait in traffic.


Because, hey, I know you would rather be miniature gardening!

The Best Book on the Hobby

Best selling Gardening in Miniature book

Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World is the bestselling and the best book on the hobby. Browse the beautiful photographs and years of experience that you can put to use right away plus an endless supply of inspiration.

Gift Certificates

Leave the choosing up them! Gift certificates are easy, print it out or email it. Find the button on the front page of our main online store here.

Miniature Garden Plants and Accessories




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Decorating Fun in the Miniature Halloween Garden

Halloween in the Miniature Garden with Janit Calvo

Decorating the Miniature Halloween Garden with a blend of DIY and new accessories. That’s a Cotoneaster with the berries on the left, and the “big” tree is a Nana Hinoki Cypress.

Decorating Fun the Miniature Halloween Garden

TIEG Chris Halloween

Chris, ViAnn and Della, of The Inland Empire Garden Club fame, go big each Halloween.

I saw a friend’s post on Facebook this morning showing her full Halloween display all a-glow and ready for The Day. So, I collected a bunch of my own miniature Halloween items and raided both of our online stores to see if I could do the same. It kinda worked, but I’m really missing the lights. Check it out, there are some DIY ideas in here that you may be able to use!


These ideas have been moved to in the Miniature Garden Society! A private website dedicated to everything miniature garden!


We’re digging deeper. Join us.


Miniature Garden Plants is Our Specialty!



Best selling Gardening in Miniature book



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Getting Ready for the Super Bowl of Garden Shows

nwfgs display preparation

Getting ready for the big Northwest Flower and Garden Show that starts next week. All balls are in the air as the display arises from the pre-chaos preparation.

Getting Ready for the Super Bowl of Garden Shows

It really is the Super Bowl for gardeners as the teams of people from all over the industry gather and descend upon downtown Seattle for one week only. Landscapers, independent garden center owners, garden designers, floral designers, growers, nurserymen, authors, clubs, associations and  – well, I probably missed a few people but you get the gist – they join forces to bring you a dose of spring in the middle of winter. If you haven’t been, go. It’s a treat for the senses when you need it most.

Here’s a sneak-peek of our big display for the Small Space Showcase at the fabulous Northwest Flower and Garden Show. It’s a special year for us – it will be our 10th year displaying and it’s the garden-show-debut of our bestselling Gardening In Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living Gardens book by Timber Press. We just couldn’t wait any longer to show you a little about what we’ve been up to!

nwfgs display preparation

Big, small, medium and tall. Our display in the Small Space Showcase is going to be all about miniature gardening this year, and jam-packed with only miniature gardens.

See our miniature pot selection here. You can “add sedums” if you need the plants for them if you like.

Find that wee miniature gnome here, up in the store. We stake him so he’ll stay put.

nwfgs display preparation

Something old, something new, something borrowed… no, we’re not getting remarried, it’s the NWFGS! Lol! This photo was from our very first miniature garden scene we made in 2001. An overloaded Scooter, ready for the road and parked in the garden, forces the viewer to create their own story.

Find out more about us and miniature gardening here, on our main website,

See the weird and wonderful miniature garden accessories here up in our Etsy Store.

See our regular line of plants and accessories here in our main, online store, Your Miniature Garden Center.

nwfgs display preparation

We try to include as many new techniques and ideas as we can – and some ol’ favorites too.

Find the adobe garden jar here. 

nwfgs display preparation

Many parts make up the whole. You just hope that you’ve thought of everything but you’ll only know what you’ve missed when you start to set it up at the Convention Center.

This is our 10th year doing this display, and we use this as a place to experiment with new ideas and new plants too. Above, a miniature podocarpus hedge makes a cute backdrop for a miniature vignette. (See the other nine garden displays here on our Flickr album.)

nwfgs display preparation

Our Mini Patio Mix Kit helps keep everything in place. It’s easy and very adaptable. Our formula remains true to scale too, with very fine sand that you can only find here the PNW.

Find the Mini Patio Mix Kit and a great selection of miniature garden patio materials here.

nwfgs display preparation

It’s easy to come up with a bunch of ideas for a display – the harder part is editing down what works, what will deliver the maximum value to the viewer, and, of course, what is the funnest.

nwfgs display preparation

The mess that a big display generates here in our studio is quite impressive. Once the parts and pieces are assembled at the Convention Center on Sunday/Monday – we can clean up, take stock and… breathe.

nwfgs display preparation

We keep our handmade miniature accessories from every year. You’ll be able to see them all in one place in this exhibit. It will be really sweet to see it when it’s done – stay tuned! 

2014 NWFGS Speaker Decal

Come and meet us! I’ll be in the University Bookstore’s booth #211 on Saturday, February 8th after 11 am. (Come early, I’m not sure how long we’ll be there.) AND I’ll be the Hood Room on Sunday, February 9th at 10:45 am talkin’ about miniature garden plants and trees – with lots of NEW eye candy! And here is more info on the garden show website. A book signing follows the talk.

See the Northwest Flower and Garden Show website here. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for a chance to win tickets to the show. 

Like this? Then you’ll love our Mini Garden Gazette newsletter. It’s monthly and it’s free. Join us here.

Gardening in Miniature book

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