Thursday, June 28, 2012

What a week!

I had SO much I wanted to blog about in the past week or so but RL interfered big time and I've not only not had time/energy to keep up here but I'm even X&#$ behind on reading my e-mails. And I'm just too tired tonight to even begin a catch-up other than to tell you why I haven't been around,

First of all, my Mom (who lives in the condo next door) passed out and fell, badly bruising a couple ribs, this past Saturday. That meant a lot of time at the hospital on Saturday and keeping an eye on her and scheduling tests to find out the cause of the fall. But she is doing well and is in good spirits.

A former member of the St. Albert and Edmonton miniature clubs contacted Joanne because her health requires that she move to a care facility and subsequently downsize. So Joanne and I picked up her miniatures on Tuesday and started sorting through them. There are roughly 20 incredibly wonderful roomboxes/vignettes and I spent a good part of today measuring and photographing them for sale.

Then I came home and downloaded the pictures...but had to spend about two hours figuring out how to download the fast method of downloading to Fotki (which I had lost when the computer crashed last time)...finally accomplished that then had to identify and give information on all the pictures.

If you want to look at some serious eye candy, you can see Joyce's work here. It is actually available for sale locally if you're in the Edmonton AB area but we are not in a position to ship it - it's only available for pickup.

And, of course, this brings up the question that most of us are considering - what arrangements do we make for the disposition of our collections?

Friday, June 22, 2012

All my goodies...

This is one of two sets of Indian brass that Pat had. Absolutely love it! And you can buy it for only $10. The table is low but I feel the chairs are true 1:12 scale.

Picked up this couch for only $5. If Barb doesn't want it, I'll do the faux leather application on it and keep it in my stash.

Oh, my goodness! At it's tallest, this piece is 1 1/2"

This Buddha is 1" high. Beautifully detailed. One of three that Pat has for only $1.00

I don't as a usual buy dolls but Pat offered me this wonderful articulated doll (as you see sitting here)

and her great clothing for only $ could I resist?

These are some of the little freebies from Pat. The floppy-eared bunny recognized the fact that we both have rabbits in our lives.

This is a $1.00 bag of Christmas ornaments from Pat.

This is a gift of holly leaf shaped woodies that Pat thought I could use as signs in the Christmas shop.

I couldn't get a good shot of these but they are really cool Christmas license plates: e.g. HoHoHo

Dollarama red furniture pieces for 25 cents each. These work well in vignettes.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Very interesting day...

A while back, several of us went out to buy from a woman who bought a storage unit full of minis. As it turned out, eventually one of our club members bought all the items that Amber had left and will be selling them at our Show and Sale on Saturday, September 16.

Pat picked me up early this morning and first came in to take a look at my collection and workroom. After that we headed to her home to check out her purchases.

Pat is a newcomer to minis so she asked for my help in pricing the minis for the sale. Now I'm no expert but one of my concerns was that Pat might have some artisan pieces that she might not be aware of. And we found a few of those but most were more inexpensive pieces. So all in all, it was a wonderful time sorting through everything.

Pat has taken two 6' tables at our Show and Sale in September and I'll tell you, there are going to be SO many incredible bargains at her table!!!

She also has about a dozen of wonderful dollhouse kits, mostly Greenleaf but some Real Good Toys. I should have a list of those in the next few days. Half price plus shipping.

Tomorrow I'll tell you about the pieces that I bought - and how incredibly reasonable things were!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MEE Garage Sale

Our Miniature Enthusiasts of Edmonton club final meeting of the year is tonight and one of the highlights is the Garage Sale. Members bring in items that they want to 'clear out'.

Since my major giveaway last year, after which I discovered I had given away SO MANY things I later needed, I\m hesitant to go that route again.

However, I have four paper boxes of bits and pieces of fabric that I've collected over the years:

View from the top - about 8 cubic feet of fabric:

I went through 'most' of the fabric and packaged it in 25 cent packages.  Lots of lace but also many pieces of silk and pieces of Christmas fabric.

Should have packaged more but you just never know what you'll need/want later.

The most frustrating thing is that with all that fabric I couldn't find a single piece that worked with what I wanted for the sunshade for the book stall - or the plant stall either.

BUT as I headed for bed, it occurred to me that my nightshirt was of the colours and striped design that I was looking for...

My holiday...

Two days after the All Day Workshop, my computer crashed! Aside from this blog and my online groups, I spend a LOT of time on the computer. I try to follow several other blogs and I keep a pad and pen on the coffee table and am continually jotting down things that I want to check out and find out more about.

So it was nice that my planned trip with DD Leanne and Robert took up five of the 16 days that my computer was in for repairs.

They had left a week previously and driven to Las Vegas (doing a lot of sightseeing along the way). My flight left at 6 on Wednesday morning so had to leave for the airport at 3:30 a.m.!!!

They met me at the airport and we made a quick stop at Fry's Electronics. Leanne has quite often called me from there to see if I wanted any of the tools she found so wanted to see it for myself. Unfortunately, didn't find anything that called my name.

Our second stop was the Peter Lik Gallery. Because Leanne and Rob are such fans of his work, I had looked at it online and even put a miniature piece in the Bombay House. But you can't begin to get the full effect of his work online. His photographs are printed on a special paper and in the galleries they have special viewing rooms where you can see them with the light on a dimmer switch. As the light dims or brightens, the pictures take on a life of their own. If I ever win the lottery, I know exactly which of his pictures I'll buy!

Then we headed to the Luxor to see the Titanic exhibit. Leanne had seen this one before and we had driven to Calgary to see the exhibit there. Absolutely incredible! I highly recommend it.

After seeing the Titanic exhibit, checked into my room at the hotel and it was time to head to the Venetian to see Phantom. Although I was very familiar with all the music, I had never seen the show. We had seats front row centre and, believe me, they were worth every penny. The sets and the costuming were incredibly beautiful and the music was so enhanced by them. Great experience!

Walked back to our hotel and called it a night.

The next morning, we went to Target where I got some tops and some Christmas presents for Leanne, Sean and Jonah. Went to Dollar Tree but didn't find a thing (very disappointed) then went to Michael's where I picked up four adhesives that aren't carried here (Yippee!).

We arrived in Anaheim mid-afternoon, checked into the hotel (right across the street from the entrance to Disneyland) and headed to the park. I haven't been to Disneyland for about 20 years so other than Main Street and the Railroad, it was pretty much like a first-time visit. And of course, California Adventure wasn't there the last time I was there.

Friday morning, Leanne had a special pass to a new area of California Adventure so Rob and I had a leisurely morning and met her at 11 and went through the parks again. We hadn't planned on staying for the fireworks but as we were leaving, there was a big break in the crowd so we decided to watch - and I'm so glad we did. They were worth the hassle of trying to leave the park in that crowd.

Although Leanne isn't a miniaturist herself, she's very knowledgeable and appreciative of the hobby. As a very frequent visitor to Disneyland, she's very familiar with Robert Olszewski's work and has often asked me if I wanted one of his pieces. I've always said "no" but I changed my mind and bought "Gepetto Painting Pinnochio". (3 3/4" x 4 3/8")

With lights on:
With lights off:

Saturday we went to the beach very briefly, did a bit of shopping (another Dollar Tree where I got some of the strongly coloured baby washcloths) and spent the evening at Disneyland.

And Sunday, the kids dropped me off at LAX and I began the trip home.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Little Fair on the Prairie

Well, my computer is still limping along so I better tell you at least some of what's been happening before I get so far behind that I'll never catch up....

On Saturday, May 26, the club had its annual All Day Workshop. This year, everyone was to bring their stalls and pedlar carts (finished or not) so we could do a preliminary set-up of the Little Fair on the Prairie for our Show and Sale in September. I was totally wowed at the incredible variety of projects members brought in. We ended up with about 40' of displays in an 'L' shape and a 6' x 5' picnic/playground area. The display area has 33 stalls and pedlars carts selling just about everything.

I already showed you the wonderful washroom trailer that Laurie H. made and told you about the changes. It's even better than when I first saw it.

The men's washroom needs to be cleaned...
And the women's is in use....

Carol K. has made this wonderful hot dog stand (and the slurpie machine has since been  installed):

I am now officially committed to making three stalls: an ice cream stand, the plant stand (I've at least started work on that one), and a book stand.

You'll recall that I bought a John Greer market stall at Amber's sale:
My tentative idea for this is to do a stall for the St. Albert Public library with withdrawn books for sale. I'd also like to do a miniature of the dollhouse that MEE made for the children's department of the library as part of this display. That may, or may not, get done.

But the other night I was thinking about (Horrors) making enough books to fill this stall when I had my AHA moment. Dick Tabor, my miniaturist friend from New York state, taught me this incredible technique for making books - and even sent me a very large supply of books that he had made. Carolyn Brown of Maple Leaf Miniatures (she of incredible cakes and the prize-winning castle dining room "Retribution") has a tutorial on Dick's method on her website. So I got out my bag of books and filled the stall - one step closer...

Now I need to find some fabric to hang over the top of the stall. (More about that tomorrow.)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A quick note

It has been a LONG three weeks! My computer crashed three weeks ago and was in the shop for 16 days. (Didn't lose anything at least!)

Fortunately I was away in Las Vegas and Disneyland for five of those days which helped eased the computer withdrawal. Unfortunately when I got the computer back, I had 874 e-mails that I've tried to get through.

But this morning when I turned on the computer, ran into problems and am just trying to get "must do" things done before it has to go back to the shop.

In addition to (or probably because of) the warning messages I got this morning, the computer is running so slowly that it's a real chore to accomplish anything.

So hopefully, it'll be repaired soon and I can bring you up to date on what's been going on here.