Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Great day!

When I did the craft giveaway at Stitch and Bitch two weeks ago, neighbour Jean took a lot of the beads and sequins for two young family members. I've seen pictures of some of the great crafts they've done so was glad the supplies were going to a good home. They were visiting her today and she brought them down to see my miniatures. They were so excited and enthusiastic about what they saw and it was a real joy to visit with them. I gave them each a miniature book and an ice cream sundae. Also gave them a copy of my Kitchen Trash to Treasure book.

Jean called after they left and passed on some of their comments and enthusiasm after they left here. We made tentative plans to come up with a project for them to do next time they're in town. Unfortunately, they may be in France during the September Show and Sale so might not be able to come and make the project at the Children's Table - or buy any of the grab bags.

Mom, DS Marie and her daughter Stephanie, DS Shirley, DD Leanne, and Joanne came over tonight for dinner....a Ladies' Night Out. Had an absolutely wonderful visit!

Marie always says "We didn't invent laughter but we certainly perfected it!" And that is SO true! And Joanne was a perfect fit!

I'm the only miniaturist in the family but I get such incredible support from everyone else. So it was not unusual that Marie and Shirley brought me a couple things they had found at garage sales:

Shirley brought me the Lemax Christmas tree. Love these - with a bit of bashing, they're great! I've probably used 30 of them over the years. Marie found me this small box of Lite Brite pegs. (I know L-B pegs come in several shapes but this is a shape I've not had before.)

I don't recall just 'why' this tradition started but I do remember it started a year or two before Dad died. Whenever the sisters get together, we have after-dinner black licorice cigars.

Mom (90 next month), me, Shirley, Stephanie and Marie

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mini Day Out yesterday

What with people being on holidays and some minor illnesses, only ten of us attended Mini Day Out yesterday. In a way, I really enjoyed the smaller group as it gave me more time to visit and that's one of the nice parts of our get-togethers. People were starting to pack up before I spotted my camera just sitting there on the table (so what else is new?) so only got a couple pictures.

Margaret, Lois and Joanne worked on their attics.

Joanne finished shingling her attic and attached the chimney.

She has to wait until the glue dried before the shingles can be trimmed.
Lois has done an incredible job on the inside of her attic (with help from her DH, Peter). She started shingling the roof at MDO.

Marg very quietly worked on her attic while Barb strung seed beads for a couple Christmas garlands then began knitting a beautiful Christmas tree skirt from a pattern in an old Nutshell News.

Wendy was making wonderful bottles and glasses using instructions from Joann Swanson and Erika was making a great braided rug using some braid she had bought at one point, probably at Chicago International.

Erika showed me an incredible cuckoo clock she had made from a kit by Volker Arnold. (There was a problem with the Google translator so couldn't find the specific url.) Barb S. buys a lot of Arnold's kits so I had been familiar with them for some time. I had the opportunity to meet him in Chicago (lovely man) and see the incredible breadth of his line. I got a couple lovely pieces for my Christmas shop.

Rosalle (Needleart Treasures by Rosalle) was crocheting the most incredibly fine table runner (commissioned).

Tina made a wonderful little 1:48 horse drawn cart...she even has the horse to pull it (unfinished so far). She brought three other kits but for one reason or another couldn't work on them. But she posed for this picture showing the advantages of working in 1:48...

Travelling light: Tools and four kits all in that little work bag!!!!
Visiting trumped work so I only finished five of the twenty room vignettes I'm preparing for the children's table at the Show and Sale in September.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Continuing the Cleaning and Mini Day Out Tomorrow...

Aside from the fact that I STILL cannot find the charger for my tablet, the cleaning/organization is going well.

We're having a small Mini Day Out tomorrow - only invited club members and, of course, many are away - but it looks like we'll have a good group.

ONE of the reasons I get myself into this mess with cleaning/organizing is that when I have people over (such as second Tuesday and/or Mini Day Out), I tend to "clean" by shoving everything into boxes and "hide" the mess.

So for tomorrow, I am NOT doing that. I'm just leaving everything out and sorted so I don't have to start again on Sunday. Plus, everyone who is coming has seen my minis already so it's unlikely that we'll be in my place.

DS Marie is arriving Monday for a four day visit so really want to have the cleanup done by the time she arrives. She called me last week and asked: "Who just finished cleaning her office and spare room so she can keep all the doors in her house open when company comes?" 

Can't let her one-up me like that. LOL

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


HOPE that I'm now on a roll!

Just a bit of work done on the music room...Took the picture that will go outside the bay window to Stitch and Bitch last night and tried to give it some dimension with puff paint and fine foam.

The original picture

With puff paint accenting most of the flowers and fine floral foam accenting some of the leaves on the trees. (And Glossy Accents embossing liquid on the water in the picture.)

Tentatively behind the window.
Still may want to do paper tole with a couple of the trees in the picture...

Backstory here: In my vast supply of paints I had one bottle of puff paint that I picked up at a garage sale a gazillion years ago. Occasionally thought I might like more but the stuff is expensive and didn't really need it for anything. So when Leanne and I were in Great Falls, MT, on the long weekend, I spotted 10 packs of puff paint in various colours and put one in the shopping cart then put it back on the shelf. THEN I spotted a pack of 20 colours for $14.99 and put that in the shopping cart. Took it out of the cart, put in back on the shelf (TWICE), then Leanne took it off the shelf and threw it in the cart saying, "I don't want to hear you b*tch all the way home that you wish you had bought it."

Love my girl! She knows me SO well.

Oh, my goodness! I ended up with about 150 film canisters! Problem is - hardly any of them have lids. So I sorted through them all and hope that the child care will be able to use the ones without lids and I can save the rest and pass them on to dealers at our show in September.

So that was yesterday!

This morning I suddenly remembered that I had told one of the women who has coffee with us on Wednesdays that I would have her in after coffee to see my miniatures. MAJOR CLEAN UP TIME!!!

I whip through this place and I get SO ANGRY with myself because when I put my mind to it, I CAN clean and make it look good.

As it turned out, that visit didn't happen but I was in the groove!

So I finished cutting up all the 10 sheets of foam core to make the 20 vignette settings for Sunni to use at the Kids' Table at the Show and Sale in September. We're having a Mini Day Out on Saturday and that will be a good time to put them all together.

THEN inspired by my DS Marie who did this last week, I tackled all my all out-dated personal files:

This cabinet was so crammed that  I couldn't even fit one sheet of paper in it.

The first of what I'm sure will be mmmmmmm bags of shredded paper that I'll be getting rid of.

I LIKE this woman...

This video is SO me if you substitute miniatures for scrapbooking!

Reminded me a bit of when I was working with DD Leanne's kindergarten class making Mother's Day cards. Leanne was telling the class that I had about a dozen pairs of scissors and probably that many different glues...had to correct her on the scissors - at that point I probably had two dozen pairs.

Did a quick count just now and I have at least 32 pairs of scissors and at least 23 different adhesives.

Hanging my head in shame VBG.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Some ideas for the music room...see what you think...

First of all, I got thinking that the modern love seat and chair (bottom of page) that I bought in Bowmanville from Janet Harvey of Maggie Melinda Miniatures is what I want to use in this room..

My next thought was to go with this carpet. I tried to go with the wallpaper that is already on the bay window wall and thought I could match it with this linen look matboard. It works but I only have enough to do  one wall. And the linen look real wallpaper that I have has a very small white three petal design on it. But I'm sure a trip to the wallpaper store would solve that problem.

The carpet is actually a deeper/browner tone and looks good with the existing wallpaper.
But you know how much I like striking, modern rooms SO...

I also had a piece of black carpet so I hit the internet and found a couple wallpaper swatches that I cut and pasted and came up with these possibilities:

Black, grey and white wallpaper. Note: The carpet is folded in half and that's why the love seat is is at an angle.

Now, personally, I like this red, white and black wallpaper.
If I go this route, the Phyllis Tucker chandelier is definitely out but I have a lot of modern  brass lamps (and may even have a brass chandelier) that I could use. I'd prefer to have a glossy black grand piano in this setting but that's do-able (not easy, but do-able). (Although I'm open to a swap on this one if the postage isn't too great.)

I have a couple other pieces that I think I can make work in this room: (Think of them in glossy black)

Samm and Gerry Brockhurst gave me this wonderful cabinet that goes so well with the Janet Harvey furniture. I bought the table with the drum and other instruments at a MEE garage sale. I'm pretty sure it was made by former member, Gilbert Funk, although it isn't signed. I'm thinking that perhaps I could fill the cabinet with those and other small percussion musical instruments and perhaps lay the guitar on top of the cabinet. Then I could put the love seat and chair at right angles with that table in the corner.

The other issue is the wallpaper: the walls are 11 1/2" tall and my printer only takes 8 1/2" x 11 paper. BUT I could design it on 11" x 17" paper, save it to disk and have it printed at Staples. (Staples saved me once before - there are two separate links there.) If I used crown molding and a wide baseboard, I could make it work with it vertical on the 11" but might be best to work with the 17" side. No matter which, it's certainly easier than trying to make 8 1/2" x 11" work (and probably cheaper in the long run too). Plus Staples will print it on 32 pound paper which works beautifully as wallpaper.

I also found a garden scene that I think might work outside the bay window:

Love the depth this picture has but want to add to it. Maybe some Flower Soft on the flowers and leaves and some gloss paint on the pond area? Might even be able to use the puff paint I bought in Great Falls, MT, to give some dimension to some of the tree trunks. I really want to give some dimension to this.

Looking forward to your feedback.

Some eye candy for you...

Betinha is from Brazil but now lives in Florida. You can see her wonderful work on her blog.

All of her work is wonderful! I particularly like her unique teapots, especiallly the sewing machine teapot, in the second picture in this blog entry.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Not ANOTHER Project?!!!?

Oh! (Expletive - your choice!) VBG

One of my great purchases at the Estate Sale was the bare bones Brooke Tucker "Things My Teacher Taught Me".

This will need a lot of work but I know what it will be...eventually...

Remember, I bought that beautiful small chord organ by Penny Spencer at the Estate Sale and put it in the Victorian Parlour to replace the grand piano so I could put my Victorian lady by Judy Mitchell in the parlour. (BTW, Judy was over the other day and loved what I had done with the doll!)

Of course, that left me with the grand piano...

So I decided to turn the Brooke Tucker room into a music room eventually...

I've tentatively put some Victorian furniture in there (not going to work) the piano, a music stand, saxaphone, guitar, flute, (have to make stands for the sax and guitar), have a clarinet somewhere.

I don't have wallpaper to match the existing wall so that will either have to be redone or the walls will have to be painted to match.

Want to do a really great garden view through the bay window...using a paper tole effect.

This would be a wonderful room for my Phyllis Tucker chandelier!!

It will be very interesting to see how the original thought transitions into the completed project....

Good Intentions...

I had such good intentions this morning of doing some major cleaning/putting away. But by the time I read the paper, did the crossword puzzle and read all my email (especially all the digests) and going off on the tangents as I'm wont to do....checking out pictures and seeing a word or person that I want to learn more about...most of the day was gone......

A couple weeks ago I received a huge box of items that I thought contained a lot of things DD Leanne would be able to use at the Child Care Centre. So I got out my folding table and started sorting through everything. Not as much as I had thought/hoped for Leanne but there were many things Barb #1 could use for herself and her budding miniaturist granddaughter and a lot for friend Barb #2 who is a dressmaker and crafter. Still had a lot of 'stuff' left so I put up signs on the condo bulletin boards and took it all to our craft night. So hardly anything left....which was a relief!

BUT the pieces I had taken from the box are still sitting on the table and I still haven't even properly put away my Chicago purchases (end of April).

Then Leanne and Robert took me out for dinner on Tuesday night and Leanne delivered the 10 sheets of foamcore she had picked up at Michael's for me. (Oops! I thought she had bought 15 but 10 is good.)

Joanne and  I finally got together last night for the first time since she and three others from the Edmonton Club returned from the N.A.M.E. National in Tucson. We went out to a cafe here where two of the daughters of one of her co-workers were performing in a string quartet (Kamara Quartet). Beautiful music and a very enjoyable time. (They are available for weddings, etc., and I have their contact information if you're looking for some great entertainment.)

While in Tucson, Joanne got me two great miniatures!

Some years ago at Camp Mini Ha Ha, I received a great house of cards as an exchange gift from Anne Bowen from Britain. I had thought to use it in the detective's office but it was way too big to use there. So Joanne brought me one that is just perfect! And completes my contention that my detective is not terribly good/busy! LOL

And for my as yet unstarted Oriental room, she brought me this incredible beautiful wooden statue:

1 1/4" tall The picture does NOT do it justice. 
When Leanne and I were in Great Falls, Montana, on the long weekend I spotted this incredible boombox charm...and Leanne bought it for me! (By Funkytech)

I did get a good start on cutting up the foamcore sheets to make the 'rooms' for the children's table at the September Show and Sale.

So the day wasn't a complete loss but I hope tomorrow will be better.....

Thursday, July 18, 2013

More on Bulletin Board Storage

Thanks so much to Indypoppy, Elisabeth S. and Ruth who commented on the bulletin board storage.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have the a closet  space that I do.

One thing that I have also done is attach bulletin boards to some of my shelving units with piano hinges. This actually has a double advantage in that it not only gives you extra storage, it 'helps' keep down the dust on the items on  the shelves themselves. (I have always been totally amazed at how comparatively inexpensive piano hinges are, even after you buy the screws to attach them when you buy the screws in bulk - not in those incredibly expensive blister packs.)

Here are two pictures where I attached two bulletin boards across the front of a bookcase:

Here you can see the piano hinge attaching the bulletin boards to the shelving unit.
Ruth asked about a 'clothes rack' to store the bulletin boards. This is a definite fact, I have been thinking about this myself. I think that if you were lucky enough to find a commercial piece, it would be wonderful.

I Googled 'clothes rack' and found a couple household possibilities - 'garment rack' might be a better search. Once you find one, click on 'specifications' and hopefully, you'll find the weight load.

Two that I found were:

The Turbo Clothes Rack from Ikea $40.00 in Edmonton with a maximum load of 33 pounds. I weighed several of my filled bulletin boards and they weighed from 5 - 6 pounds so you could probably hang 5 - 6 filled bulletin boards from them. I think this one is great because it has a very broad, sturdy base.

WalMart has two racks but strangely enough the less expensive gets better reviews. But no weight specifications and I don't think that the base is sturdy enough to hold bulletin boards.

Hope this helps!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bulletin Board Storage

The other day, on The Camp, I mentioned my use of bulletin boards for miniature storage

One of the campers asked about fastening the hanger to the bulletin board so I thought I would show a picture here:

Centre a heavy-duty clothes hanger across the top of the bulletin board and drill holes through the bulletin board below the far flat sections of the bottom of the hanger. Cut two lengths of wire and put one through each of the holes in the bulletin  board. Wrap the ends around the bottom of the clothes hanger and twist the ends together securely.

One of my friends used large ceiling tiles instead  of bulletin boards to store many of her lighter items such as printies and small bags of materials/supplies.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Check this out...

I've had this wooden yard/metre stick for years....

Before we met for the Second Tuesday to make the vignette settings, I was measuring off the pieces of foamcore to get people started on making the vignette settings.

I measured in the 10 inches from the edge: then, because my aluminum carpenter's square was only 24" long, thought I would use my wooden yardstick. None of my measurements matched.!

So I put my yardstick on my kitchen counter...

The kitchen counter is FLAT!

The yardstick is SO  out of level!!!

I wish I could show you  but my camera won't show it properly!

It's weird! If I put the yardstick one way it curves SO much that there is a 1/8" gap in the middle. If I put it on the other side, it's level for about 24" then it curves up about 1/16".

Just FYI