Category Archives: Dollhouse and Dollmaking

I have an action figure dollhouse that I built myself over a decade. I also make and customize dolls, usually unpleasant ones.

A dollhouse maid upgrade for the Beetlejuice fashion revival!

Six inch scale dollhouse maid Beetlejuice custom by Suzanne ForbesTim Burton stripes are back, big time, and I’m also in love with bustles again!

Not that I ever stopped loving the bustle silhouette, but wow I am suddenly so excited to wear it and draw it and see it again. The goth and burner fashions of San Francisco in the Oughts were absolutely marvelous, and I am personally ready to bring these looks back in Berlin. It’s gonna be cold drawing at outside events this Fall and I am happy to wear some layers 🙂

six inch scale bustle dress dollhouse maid custom by Suzanne Forbes August 2021 three shotLike this little commercial maid doll who I radically upgraded into the goth maid my dollhouses need!

I used fourteen different trims, ribbons and micro-picots plus three fabrics to do this customizing! Of course all the original articulation of the doll is preserved, and a cool bonus to narrowing her skirt silhouette and loading it with ruffles is that she now stands on her own!

I hadn’t touched my black-and-white trims bin in years and it was marvelous to see how many cool things I had saved every scrap of.

Below, the doll (I have named her Myrtle the Maid) with my biggest Little Shop of Horrors Audrey Two, made last year. The last image is the original doll before mods.six inch scale bustle dress dollhouse maid custom by Suzanne Forbes August 2021 outside

If you’d like to see more of my doll customizing, check out the Dollhouse and Dollmaking category on here, or these specific stripey-doll projects:

Gothic Lolita Nico Minoru custom

Gothic Burlesque Bride of Frankenstein

Other bricolage dolls and fairies I have made:

Fancy Wasp Dolly

Reserved Parking for Eliza

Valentine’s Monster Doll Armada

Snow Queen/Jadis

Fearless Pink Gay Santa

Gothic Rococo Horribella

Horribellas

Mummified Fairy King

Evil Mermaid

Opal Fimo Mantis Doll

Earliest dolls! with bad photos!

My miniature magic shoppe and coffee roastery, Cafe Morgana! Part 2, the coffee shop!

Dollhouse miniature magic shop and coffee roastery with action figures by Suzanne Forbes June 2021I had to make a miniature coffee shop!

I’ve spent so much time over my lifetime in bakeries, cafes and coffee shops, whether working or drawing. I wrote about it here, on the post for my miniature patisserie, and here, talking about the bakeries I loved in the Bay Area. Although I drink instant espresso at home these last few years, I still bake. My flapjack recipe is here and my Peanut Butter Pie is here!

There’s a whole album of coffee shop drawings here!

Dollhouse miniature coffee shop with action figures by Suzanne Forbes June 2021The coffee shop side of Cafe Morgana features some of my favorite miniatures from decades of collecting them.

Some are very new, like the espresso machine, roasting drum, coffee jars and bags, and other coffee roastery specific items, from the just-released Re-Ment Snoopy’s Coffee Roastery set. (The Snoopy logo or text had to be carefully painted over on several items!) And there are things on this side from the new Re-Ment Witch House set as well, like the cute owl on a perch.

I swapped a vamped-out Darla head onto the school uniform Darla body, and painted her lipstick and nails black, then cracked myself up by putting a witch hat on her. She looks so pissed!

Dollhouse miniature coffee shop with action figures by Suzanne Forbes June 2021 2I only got Geordi this spring!

I was so happy to find a Geordi in 6″ scale in Berlin. I am gonna make him a visor though, as I don’t believe in magic disability cures/erasure. Assistive tech, yes!

Dollhouse miniature coffee shop with action figures by Suzanne Forbes June 2021 far right sideThere are a few spaces left in case I find something amazing and coffee-related.

The Little Prince figure is a feve, as is the figure of the Chinese tea master and sage, Lu Yu.

The Plague Doctor mask on the very old DC Direct Dr. Mid-Nite is from the Re-Ment Witch House series – so good!

I had to build out the counters for the coffee shop, using foam core, balsa wood, and miniature moldings, all painstakingly stained to match.

I hate that part, so I didn’t document it very well!

I used commercial components, kitbashed them together carefully, and wound up with a workspace that felt right to me.

I wanted to capture the feeling of wonder, sitting at the end of the bar at Ritual Coffee in 2009, asking the barista, “Why is the coffee so damn good?”.

And of course, I had to have as much space to show off baked goods as possible!

Cafe Morgana dollhouse miniature coffee roastery window by Suzanne Forbes June 2021There are miniature treats in this display I’ve had for twenty years.

As well as very new ones! I was thrilled when Re-Ment made clear glass teapots with flower tea, like we used to sell at Wicked Grounds. You can see Geordi is enjoying a pot, with his timer at the ready. Ah, the fucking timers! The bane of baristas!

Cafe Morgana dollhouse miniature coffee roastery window and shelf by Suzanne Forbes June 2021I have so many coffee shop memories!

The bags of unroasted coffee beans in the window are a memento of my days in 1991 at Dunn Bros. in St. Paul, when Ed Dunn roasted fresh every single day, and the bags at Ritual in the Oughts, which reminded me of Dunn Bros. Being a barista is one thing I was always able to do, in St. Paul, in DC, in Berkeley, in San Francisco. When I came to Berlin and met my friend Suzanne Wegh, who was a barista, it seemed like a magical connection.

I will probably never be physically able to work in a coffee shop again, but this project is a tribute to the labor that I did.

There were hard days, and good times – I met my husband at my last barista job, at Wicked Grounds!

Part one, the Magic Shoppe side of Cafe Morgana, is here.

My previous bakery/espresso bar miniature, The Poison Apple Patisserie, is here.

The Poison Apple Patisserie

Danger Room work in progress!

My first action figure dollhouse.

Laboratories underneath it.

My action figure subway station.

A New York City subway car, underneath a dollhouse in Berlin.

Projects for the X-Men Dollhouse – a blackboard for the library

The X-Men Dollhouse – nearly finished, and the goddam lighting

The X-Men Dollhouse – stairs and lighting

The X-Men Dollhouse – wallpaper and assembly

The X-Men Dollhouse – getting started!

Lila Cheney and Lilandra customs.

My Rahne and Dani lovebird action figure customs

Douglock custom figures hanging in Kitty and Illyana’s room.