Monday, 27 February 2017

Learn how to make a miniature tarte

Hello Littlest Sweet Shoppers!

As promised, we now have a new menu called 'Recipes' that will reveal how we make some of our miniature food. Our first new recipe will teach you how to make a cute Valentine's Day tarte. This new tutorial series is in co-operation with a Parisian craft store La petite épicerie. They have everything you need to make kawaii food miniatures and other awesome crafts. They also ship worldwide so you don't have to live in Paris to purchase their wonderful stock.
Learn how to make Valentine's Day tarte now in the new Recipes menu
The new Recipes menu also has a comment section so do ask any questions that you may have regarding the tutorial and we will answer within a day!
Make sure you have all of the ingredients that is needed before you start. We only use quality materials from Japan, Europe and America.
Making miniature food, especially when you don't have much experience can be tricky. I would recommend that you practise a few times if you are not happy with your work. All I can say is that I am also a self-taught miniaturist and it took hundreds of hours of practise just to get where I am. Don't feel discouraged if something doesn't turn out the way you want it. Planning ahead helps so make sure you have everything laid out so you will have less stress and more time to concentrate.

In the Valentine's Day tarte tutorial, I'm using a silicone based whipped cream. This is actually not an easy material to use as it is very stringy and sticky. However I would recommend that you always do some practise piping before you start piping it on the final piece. This will help you get used to it and know how long and how much pressure for each piping. If you are a complete beginner, you can use a matte (fake) whipped cream instead. It has the same consistency and texture as real whipped cream. The only difference is that the silicone whipped cream retains the shine and doesn't shrink too much.

Also note that I usually use alcohol inks instead of acrylic paints to paint fruits and pastry. The reason is because when the alcohol ink dries, it forms a semi-gloss surface and you can apply a very thin layer at a time. This means you do not have to apply additional gloss to seal in the pastels. The ink also dries up quickly so it is less messy.
Naru carefully removing a freshly baked meringue tart
There are many short videos on our Instagram that will also show you all the different techniques that I have used to make miniature food. Make sure you follow us so you won't miss out on even more tips!

Since I am now the ambassador for La petite épicerie, you will also be able to find this tutorial in French and German languages!
German: http://la-petite-epicerie.fr/de/tuto/387-herzformiger-miniaturkuchen
French: http://la-petite-epicerie.fr/fr/tuto/385-la-tarte-coeur

I hope you will try the tutorial and have fun at it! Remember to just ask if you are stuck and we will try our best to help you become a miniature Pâtissier. 

Good Luck!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Commission update - 1/3 Scale Strawberry Shortcake and 1/6 scale sweets and treats

Greetings Littlest Sweet Shoppers! 

A quick update on some recent commissions. A Littlest Sweet Shopper in Sweden has requested a 1:3 scale Strawberry Shortcake (Japanese) for her new Dolfie Dream doll. The frosting looks really real and each strawberry slice have been hand-painted in detail. The sponge cake looks light and fluffy. She also ordered a box for the cake.
1/3 Scale Strawberry Shortcake (Japanese)








The next order came from a Littlest Sweet Shopper in America who is also a returning customer! She ordered some cakes and sweets. Our chocolate dipped strawberries are now a best-seller!
1:6 scale commission. Chocolate candy pretzels, churros, chocolate dipped strawberries, whoopie pies, strawberry chewing-gum, lemon drizzle Bundt cake, candy buttons
Some close-up shots:
Chocolate dipped strawberries
Strawberry chewing-gum
Chocolate candy pretzels and chocolate dipped churros
Lemon drizzle bundt cake

That's all for today. Join me again next week when we reveal our first tutorial on the website. If you wanted to learn how we make cute miniature food, this is your chance!

Bye!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

New arrivals for February - Gourmet popcorn, Fruit lollipops, Latte Art, and new Littlest Groceries!!

Happy Valentine's Day Littlest Sweet Shoppers

Hope you had a great Valentine's Day yesterday. We had a great time selling chocolates and candy so today we have new stock that just came in! There will also be a new range of items from our own Littlest Groceries with original artwork by Inksalad Illustrations.  

This cute Japanese Strawberry Shortcake slices comes in white and pink. Each cake is frosted with a layer of cool and fresh cream - YUMMY!
There are 3 layers of sponge cake with white frosting in between. The strawberry slices in the cream look so real! Each piece have been painted individuallyy to give the strawberries more 'depth'.
Made with realistic looking fresh cream frosting
Fresh strawberry slices and cream. Soft sponge cake layers.
Also new to our Beverage menu is Latte Art. You can choose to have a cocoa powder stencil or chocolate drawing on the foam. Comes in white mugs that have been up cycled.
Latte Art. Heart cocoa powder stencil and Hello Kitty chocolate drawing
New Chocolate and Candy from Littlest Sweet Shop
There are tons of new chocolate and candy which is now available in store. The chocolate will be a great new addition to the chocolate range in the Sweets Boutique.

This is an updated version of our Chocolate Bar. The new version is smaller and with more small details. This also comes in 1:12 scale which is also a nice size as a mini chocolate bar in 1:6 scale.
Available in Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate and Strawberry Milk
1:12 scale chocolate bar. Also suitable as mini chocolates in 1:6 scale
Chocolate Buttons is the latest selection in the Chocolate Pick'n Mix. Each piece is tiny and comes in Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, and Strawberry Milk flavours. It is also the candy we use when we are building the roof of a Gingerbread House.
 Chocolate Buttons
Another new addition to the Chocolate Pick'n Mix are these creamy looking Moulded Chocolate Swirls. Made from the highest quality chocolate and available in dark or milk chocolate flavours. It even comes in 1:12 scale.
Moulded Chocolate Swirls in dark and milk chocolate. Also available in 1:12 scale
Another new item in our Sweets Boutique is Gourmet Popcorn. This popcorn is a larger size because it was air-popped and coated in generous molten candy.
Gourmet popcorn is currently available in Berry Rainbow, Chocolate and Caramel.
Caramel Popcorn Medium serving (for 2 dolls)
XXL Portion of Gourmet Popcorn to fill a big glass bowl. Perfect for parties or home movies.
The Fruit Lollipops have been updated to be slightly thinner and a new recipe was used for additional hard candy clarity. They come in Cherry, Pineapple, Lime, Watermelon, and Grape flavours. 
Akiko approves the new grape lollipop
L-R: Cherry, Pineapple, Lime, Watermelon and Grape lollipops. You can also order the rainbow lollipop stand from us.
Liège Waffles is a soft sugar dough recipe from Belgium. Our version is small, crunchy on the outside and deliciously sweet! This is our 3rd update on this type of waffle so we have definitely come a long way to make them look tasty and real. The best part is that it also comes in 1:12 scale. Comes in plain or you can have it coated on one side with chocolate or white chocolate.
Liège Waffles from Littlest Sweet Shop.
Liège Waffles available in chocolate, plain and white chocolate.
Time to debut our new range of Littlest Groceries! I have been so excited about this since I was working on the designs since last summer and it is finally here! The artwork for the boxes and packaging is an original design by Inksalad Illustrations.

I also plan to make the contents of each item in detail so you can also purchase them separately or together. It does take a long time to model the contents especially tiny items like cornflakes (which has to be modelled individually) but it will be listed in the shop very soon. We will also be stocking up fruits and vegetables into this range so please be patient for that as well.

The boxes and packaging are hand-assembled and printed in hi-resolution to give it a professional finish.
Akiko shopping at Littlest Groceries
Our cereals come in 3 different variants and the labels are in Japanese on one side and English on the other side.
Japanese labels side
English label side
Biscuit Snack from Littlest Sweet Shop in Banana, Chocolate and Strawberry.
Littlest Sweet Shop's version of 'Pocky'
You can also buy packets of crisps in 3 different variants. FYI Super Ring is a cheese hoop snack. We are still developing the loose contents for each product so please stay tuned.
This box of Fancy gems comes in 1:12 scale. Perfect for the dollhouse collector.
English label on one side
Japanese label on the other side
You can now buy these grocery items from Littlest Sweet Shop
Thank you for visiting Littlest Sweet Shop today and we hope you like our new arrivals. There will be some commission update news next week and I will also be busy setting up shop at a doll's house exhibition called 'Small Stories'. If you are in Norwich, please do come and say hello! We will be selling some miniatures and Littlest Sweet Shop accessories.  

I am also working on a tutorial for this Valentine's Day tart in co-operation with a Parisian craft store - La Petite Épicerie. The tutorial will be permanently available on our website so if you were ever interested in our recipes in making miniatures, make sure to visit us again end of this month.
Valentine's Day tart. Tutorial available end of February at LittlestSweetShop.com
Happy Belated Valentine's Day and Good-Bye!

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Commission update and Castle Museum charms

Hello again Littlest Sweet Shoppers!

Here is a short update regarding our recent work and commissions. 
A Littlest Sweet Shopper in America placed this order of sweets and gyoza for her dolls. I even made a huge Valentine's Day lollipop for her Blythe and Ruruko dolls are going to receive some sweet treats!
Commissioned items, gyozas and sweets. Includes bespoke lollipop for Blythe scale
There was also a custom commission for Castle Museum Norwich's gift shop. I designed 5 charms to represent the different exhibits in the museum. Each is unique and bespoke since they have all been handmade.
Castle Museum Norwich theme charm bracelet
Polar Bear charms
Wooden pain palette and brush charms
Norwich Castle charms
Scarab charms (to represent the mummy and Egyptian exhibit)
Blue Willow Suffolk teapots (from the teapot gallery)
That's all for now. If you are visiting Castle Museum in February, I hope you can check these charms out and support local businesses.

There will be so many new items for January so make sure you stick around. I have also been going 'LIVE' on Instagram so you can witness me spending hours making tiny miniature (fake)food. I usually go live when I'm doing something interesting but this week I have been sculpting popcorn and cereal so it's a bit boring for spectators. I will try to get back to it next week before we roll out all of the new miniatures.
See you soon, bye!

Monday, 16 January 2017

2017 New arrivals - Gyoza, Pastel Heart Lollipops, Waffles and more!

Happy New Year Littlest Sweet Shoppers!

I got back straight to work when the new year started to create some new miniatures. Valentine's Day is fast approaching so we came up with some new sweets to celebrate the holiday.

Our first new item for the year are these gorgeous chocolate-dipped strawberries. We have strawberries and white strawberries for you to choose from. Strawberry halves are dipped into our finest dark chocolate to create something special for Valentine's Day.
Chocolate coated strawberries and white strawberries. Available now in the Valentine's Day menu
The strawberries look so cute and real! I used a technique from a Japanese book to create a new recipe to model strawberry halves.
Littlest Sweet Shop's chocolate-dipped strawberries up close
I modelled so many strawberries and decided to make a Strawberry Parfait using a real glass cup. 
Strawberry Parfait with glass cup. Available now in the Ice Cream menu
Because we use real glass containers, you can clearly see the layers of strawberry sauce, cookie crumbs, cream, and candy. Topped with whipped cream and garnished with strawberries.
Littlest Sweet Shop Parfaits has many layers
My in-laws gave us a waffle maker for Christmas so I have been enjoying so many waffles almost everyday! It inspired me to update our waffle recipe with a better version. Our new waffles are thinner, smaller and in perfect 1/6 miniature scale. Both sides are modelled for extra realism.
New waffles now available in the Breakfast menu
We have plenty of other items that you can mix and match with from the Breakfast menu.
Buttered waffles with streaky bacon
Delicious waffles are also be served with some fresh fruits and a touch of cream.
Waffle in icing sugar with blueberries and raspberries. Waffle with Strawberry and cream
I love gyozas from a Teppanyaki restaurant I used to go to. I love how crispy the skin was and the delicious flavour of the meat filling. At Littlest Sweet Shop we make sure our gyoza is not too oily and taste perfect!
Littlest Sweet Shop Gyoza (Japanese dumpling). Available now in the Japanese menu
I had literally made each one from scratch including the gyoza skin! It took many attempts and practise until I was able to fold each miniature pleat (video on our Instagram and Facebook). You can also order uncooked gyozas if you would like your dolls to cook them instead. Gyozas can be steamed or fried.
Gyoza skins and a tray of raw gyoza
Littlest Sweet Shop is now equipped with a big commercial cast iron cooker from Germany. So many different miniature foods can now be prepared in our shop!
Remember to fry until brown and crispy
Gyozas are usually served with soy sauce (I like it with some chili sauce). Green tea is a refreshing way to wash down the savoury goodness.  
Gyoza now available in the Japanese menu. Don't forget the chopsticks!
Littlest Sweet Shop's Valentine's Day candy
These mini pastel hearts are so sweet and perfect to share with everyone. Love Hearts come in 5 pastel colours.
Love Hearts available in the Valentine's Day menu
These new heart lollipops are so sweet (just like Harumi's ballet outfit). It looks just like real hard candy because of the translucency and gloss.
Red Heart Lollipop and Dark Red heart Lollipop. Available now in the Valentine's Day menu.
They even come in 4 sweet pastel colours
Pastel Heart lollipops.
And last but not least, an elegant new Chocolate Dome cake. Each cake is coated in glossy chocolate and garnished with gold confectionery. The base is a thick biscuit and comes in 2 sizes.
Chocolate dome cakes now available in the Cakes menu
Single serving chocolate dome cake with gold leaf design.

So that's it for now. I'm currently working hard on tidying up the shop (website) and making some Easter items to celebrate the arrival of Spring.


See you next time! Goodbye.