Sunday, August 25, 2013

Change of pace...

As I mentioned to Elizabeth yesterday, I got all of that 'stuff' moved out of the workroom so I could begin to sort through it and put it back in an orderly, proper manner when DD Leanne phoned and reminded me that I was rabbit-sitting for her and Robert while they went off for a short trip. (Knew it was this weekend but somehow my head was telling me next weekend.)

Hate it in one way because I don't like to be interrupted when I'm on a cleaning roll as it doesn't happen too often.

On the other hand, our Show and Sale is just three weeks from today and I don't have a single new display for the show whereas usually I have three or four.

So I packed up the quilt shop room box, its contents and a pile of wood and plan on making the shelving for the back wall. If I can get that done, painted and installed, the whole project should be completed in time for the show.

All I have to do is ignore the big screen TV with a kazillion satellite stations AND Netflix...VBG

I brought my camera but forgot the cord for it so any pictures will have to wait until after I get home - and possibly after that as Robert still hasn't been able to find all the problems that were slowing my computer down so much and will need to spend more time on it on Wednesday. I'm just hoping that he'll be able to fix it before he goes back to work (out of town) on Thursday.

I spend quite a while this morning sketching out my ideas for the back shelving.

I want the shelving in three sections: two identical sections on either side and a counter with peg board above it in the middle.

Since I'm just slightly over 5', the bane of my existence in so many stores/shops is not being able to reach things easily. So I don't want these units to be any taller than 7' at most.

Each side unit will have two upper shelves that will hold bolts of fabric and a lower, slightly deeper portion that haven't quite decided yet.
(1) closed in cupboard with faux doors
(2) double shelf (open) with things like batting, pillow forms...
or perhaps a combination of the two.

Since the fabric bolts are 2" x 7/8" x 3/8 to 1/4", the upper shelves will be 2 1/4" apart and 1" deep and I think the bottom section about 2 1/2" h and 1 1/2" deep.

The middle section will have a counter for thread, etc., so the counter will be about 3" high with a 4" h x 5" w piece of pegboard above it.

Maybe I'll put the open double shelf below this and put the faux cupboards at the bottom of the side units.

The room is just over 15" wide across the back so I think I'll plan on each unit being about 5" wide. This will be me roughly 20" of shelf space for fabric bolts. Since I have about 24" of fabric bolts made, this will leave me with extras (aside from the ones already on the cutting table) to work with.

I'm thinking maybe pulling out all the bolts with a Christmas pattern and have a separate round table display of those.

Hope this makes some sort of sense to you. It's clarifying what I want to do in my mind so guess I better get out the wood and get started.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Where do you draw the line?

Putting aside the small amount of undealt-with paperwork, I decided to tackle the work room.

I moved the three current projects to the dining room table and all the boxes of bits and pieces that need to be put away properly to the long folding table in the living room.

Then I'm thinking this will be quick, just move out the two small work tables, vacuum, then move things back in. HA!

In one corner, I have a 6' stack of boxes that I'm thinking I can mostly get rid of...and moving them frees up some shelving that I can move packs of computer/copy paper I empty my box of paper from under another table to the shelving. At the bottom of the boxes was a box of out-dated files that needed to be shredded.

Emptying the box of paper freed up a box that I could use to store the hard styrofoam pieces that were in a bag...but then I had to find a place to store that. The top of one of the closets would be great for that except it already stores a big Santa face that we used to hang from the condo entry door (and have replaced with something else) and two construction paper posters that had been decorations at  my retirement party.

So I took a page from DS Marie's life and took pictures of the posters for posterity (kept the SGS lanyard) then put the posters in the garbage.

Then that uncovers even more hard Styrofoam - then I'm thinking why am I keeping any of this? If I want to make anything with that type of wall I would prefer to use builders there is another bag of garbage...which will free up a bit more space.

Of course I've done these big clean outs before and then needed everything within a couple weeks but I'll take the chance...once again.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Family and cleaning update

Yes, DS Carol (the second youngest of the four of us) arrived Sunday afternoon and stayed with me until about 10 tonight (when DD Leanne picked her up to stay at her place tonight and be driven to the AP for the flight home tomorrow).

Our mother lives in the condo next door to to mine, so Carol spent some of her time visiting with Mom (who will be 90 on Saturday) and the rest of the time with me. It was the first time in years that Carol and I had spent really quality time together - just the two of us - probably since we used to go camping together with our children.

We had just a wonderful time! Discussed everything under the sun and enjoyed each other's company!

Carol is a long-time crafter and quilter so in addition to everything else, we discussed all our recent projects. In addition to her beautiful quilting projects for family (one of which she was working on while she was here), she makes and donates beautiful baby quilts to an orphanage in Mexico.

We discussed how little mini-ing I had done lately and I mentioned the problems I have with completing the Christmas Shop so I dragged it out once again (as I did when Sue was here) and we discussed logistical problems with the case.
OMG -there is absolutely NO way all of this will fit in the room.

The major reason I want to cover the mirror on the back wall. 
Although she is not a miniaturist, her crafting experience and quilting composition eye ensured that she came up with some great ideas -some of which included taking advantage of the back mirrored wall. Then I countered with the fact that a mirrored wall was such a problem in photographing minis and that the mirror might cause problems with some of the plans I had for that wall and that I thought it would be better to cover the mirror with matboard.

Then she suggested....

Then I countered with....

It was an incredible brainstorming experience!!! And we came up with SO many incredible ideas on how to finally complete this room.


While Carol was here, I ALMOST finished all the paperwork cleaning and filing.  Only have about a 1" stack of papers to deal with! Files drawers mostly cleaned out and re-organized; other papers filed and organized in binders. EIGHT GARBAGE BAGS OF PAPERS SHREDDED!!!!!!!!

The standing file in the back contains most of my various sized envelopes, fabric/transfer prints, labels, full page photo paper, printed labels, transparencies, binder dividers. The box and binders organized a great deal of miniature information/tutorials, Condo board info and newsletters. kit  instructions, banking, etc..

I THINK I have a space on the shelves for all the binders so by tomorrow night all that could be finished then I can tackle the six shoeboxes of minis that have to be put away properly and start working on finishing at least one project (Oh, my, talk about Freudian slip - I originally typed problem) for the Show on September 15.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Family, Cleaning

Mom and I spent the loveliest afternoon at DS Shirley and DBIL Grahame's home. Grahame's DS and BIL are here from New Zealand and other members of that side of the family were there. Great visit!!! Had a bit of a giggle with Grahame's DS Katheryne when I presented her with one of my miniature City of St.Albert books as a souvenir of their visit. (Told her it would be easy to pack in her luggage.) Then Shirley brought up my miniature of Dad's workshop to show her some of my work.

Second youngest sister Carol might be coming out for a visit tomorrow so I've been trying to get some of the cleaning finished.

So I thought I would get rid of the "New Orleans" house:

Two years ago when we had the silent auction of Joyce's projects, I got an incomplete "New Orleans" house (I think it was from a NAME House Party) for $1.00 or $2.00. It's built most from foamcore and some light plywood.

When I got it, I thought it had possibilities but I found it had doors/stairs leading to nowhere and windows on the outside that had solid walls behind them...

Some of the extra wallpaper, etc., that came with it...

The beautiful 'wrought iron' that came with it.

Thought I might be able to salvage this piece of flooring but the heat that was required to 'unglue' it warped it too badly for it to be saved..

Couldn't save this flooring either.

Did manage to save all this trim from the outside of the second floor.

One of the things I loved about this house was the storage drawer under this rom

There were a lot of doors and stairs leading to nowhere.

Incredible amount of doors and trim that I was able to salvage as I took the piece apart!!

The base of the stairs on the bottom right.
This is going in the garbage momentarily but I really wanted you to see these incredible stairs! If you scroll to the top of the blog, you can see how they were closed in. Here you can see how they were made of cut and folded foamcore and supported by the stringers along the back wall. How wonderful!!

This is one of those "LITTLE" projects that took forever. Well, not exactly forever but almost three hours!

BUT, on the other hand, I did manage to salvage a whole pile of great trims,doors and other pieces from it. (And it will take me even more time to clean them up to use them - BUT since these things aren't readily available here, it's probably worth the time and effort.)

On the OTHER hand, I could have thrown the whole thing in a garbage bag and taken it out to the bin. two minutes!

YES, I think it was worth it. VBG

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Making It Real....

I'm not one for putting dolls in my dollhouses or roomboxes but I do like the effect of someone's having just left the room: the unfinished cup of tea or partially-eaten sandwich, an unmade bed, clothes scattered about a room.....anything that lends life to a scene. (Personally, I don't do it well but I REALLY appreciate it! LOL)

Since I started this blog, I've often referred to the online Yahoo group The Camp. Almost 1800 miniaturists (including some of the top artisans in miniatures) from around the world belong to this group and share their experiences, tips and hints.

One of the women I have been thrilled to  'meet' through this group is Lori Kagan-Moore who is the owner/curator of the Great American Dollhouse Museum in Danville, Kentucky. As you visit the website, you can feel Lori's enthusiasm for miniatures and her desire to share and educate.

Recently, Lori posted this comment on The Camp in regard to decorating a WWII period living room (used with her permission):

Sometimes it's the unexpected or out of place item that draws the eye and tells the story. What if the framed photograph of the soldier is lying on the sofa, instead of in its place on the mantle? Someone who is not in the living room has been holding it to look at. Want to go more dramatic? Take a tiny snippet of thin white fabric, dunk it in some glue water, wring it out and let it dry for a wet and wrung out handkerchief, to go on the sofa near the photograph. Says it all. No doll needed. 

Lori Kagan-Moore
The Great American Dollhouse Museum 

Isn't that just an incredibly visual portrait!?! Those two little touches just say everything.

Perhaps Lori's comments can open your mind to that special touch that brings the scene alive. I know that I'm hoping that I can learn from her.

Edmonton Show and Sale September 15, 2013

MINIATURE ENTHUSIASTS OF EDMONTON CLUB invites you to take part in its

DEALER LIST 2013 (So far...)

Another World Miniatures (Linda Maddaford, Bev Perret)
1:12 scale fine furniture, blown glass, silver, findings, fabric and lace, silk ribbon and accessories some 1:48 scale accessories, findings and kits.

Bits by Barb (Barb Striethorst)
Flower kits, assembled flowers, landscape supplies, German laser cuts, food items

Bob Francis Miniatures
1:48 plants, supplies, miscellaneous other minis

Brenda-Maitland Whitelaw
Personal collection

Janice Crawley, IGMA Fellow
1:12 ceramic dishes, Toby Mugs, figurines, tiny porcelain dolls (1” – 2”)

Judy Mitchell
Various handmade items in 1:12 and 1:48 scales

Luba Barnes
Miscellaneous miniature items in 1:12 and 1:48, magazines, furniture

Full line of roomboxes, furniture and accessories
N.A.M.E. (National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts)

Needleart Treasures by Rosalle
Crocheted accessories for the mini home

Nigh’s Pottery (Linda Austin)
Miniature wheel-thrown pottery (all scales) and assorted miniatures

Patricia Makarowski
 Furniture and accessories in 1:12 scale, some 1:48 scale.

Ruth Ramaekers
Shadowboxes (filled), miniature perfume and soap sets

Sher My Miniatures (Sherry McGirr)
Flowers, etc.

Tina MacDonald/Marg Wolfe
Original paintings, fabric, assorted minis, vintage plastic furniture.

Valley Doll Museum & Gifts
Dollhouse and Roombox kits, completed roomboxes, miniatures and mini dolls

We will also be having the Children's "Make and Take" table and the Grab Bag table.

I've had verbal confirmation from a few other dealers and there are some I'm waiting to hear back from. I'll update the list as I hear. 

And, of course, the wonderful displays of work by members and dealers.

Hope you'll be able to join us!

If you're interested in becoming a dealer or including some of your work in our displays, please contact me and I'd be happy to send you the information and forms.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wall hanging, mini pegboard

On thing I like about summer is that since there are no miniature club meetings I can attend craft night in the condo. Not as many people show up in the summer, but it's nice to spend the hour visiting and seeing what everyone is working on.

I always try to find some small project that I can take along.

Last week, I took a printed panel (mini, of course) and started outlining the image of the cat with black thread. Didn't get much  done as you can see....

A couple nights later, I decided to give the wool some dimension so I went over it with a red embossing glaze pen  (two coats - one to seal the fabric, then a second for some dimension). Still wasn't terribly pleased with the effect so went over it again with Inkssentials Glossy accents. (Did the same with the rug.) I do like the effect but it might have been better to use the puff paint I got in Montana for this.

Still have to finish the quilting and put a border and hanging loops on it.

I spent some time this afternoon trying to decide how to do the back wall shelving for the quilt shop. It just wasn't coming together in my mind so I decided that tonight's project would be the pegboard that I know I want to go in the middle of the back wall between shelves of fabric bolts.

Because the rest of the back wall is still undecided, the final size of the pegboard is yet to be determined so I decided to make a piece that I can cut to size later.

Mini Pegboard

Supplies (for this part of the project):
piece of matboard
graph paper (see below)
scotch tape
push pin
computer mouse pad
hard surface (I used a clipboard)

The graph paper for this project was printed from an online source. For this particular project, I chose Squares: Dots: 5 dots per inch: Black; downloaded and printed it.

(I love this site! You can print any style and size of graph paper that you choose. You can print your own graph paper to plan room/furniture placement. You can also choose a design that will work for vinyl flooring and print it on photo paper. SO many possibilities!)

This flooring in the bathroom of the Bombay house was made from a graph from Incompetech printed on photo paper.

Cut your piece of matboard to the size you want your pegboard to be.
 Tape the graph paper to the side of the matboard that you want to be the side facing you. For this project I want to the pegboard to be white so that's the side I used. For my Christmas Shop, I used the coloured side of the matboard.
 Put the graph paper/matboard over a computer mouse pad on a hard surface. Using the graph paper as a guide, use the push-pin to put a hole through the matboard.
If you look above the pushpin, you can see where I've punched two rows of 6 holes each.

Just keep making the holes....
And when you're finished, strip off the graph paper and you're left with your basic pegboard.

Because I haven't yet decided the exact size I'll need for this particular pegboard, I've stopped here.

BUT, when I do decide on the size, I'll cut it to size then  there needs to be some very thin, narrow trim put along the back to keep it away from the wall so items can be attached to the pegboard.

We'll deal with that later. In the meantime, here's what I did with the Christmas Shop.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mini potato chips, wallpaper for music room, some RL eye candy

Made myself a stir fry the other day and made some mini potato chips as a by-product. An oldie but goodie!

When you're using a bell pepper, save the seeds and dry them for mini potato chips:

If you want BBQ chips, sprinkle the pepper seeds with paprika before you dry them.

I forgot to show you the wonderful paint chips I got when Leanne and I were in Montana. They're from Glidden and they're 3 1/4" x 5". I just grabbed a bunch of them with no particular goal in mind. They can be cut into small squares and used for tiles. They are also wonderful to mat pictures.

Some incredible RL eye candy! DS Marie's BIL, Gary, and his lovely wife, Lorraine, held an "Open Garden" this afternoon and Joanne and I took the tour. I had only seen pictures of it before and they certainly don't do it justice. Don't know if this link to Lorraine's FB page will work but if it does, you'll be able to see even better pictures.

How I would love to see this done im miniature!

On our way back from Gary and Lorraine's, we stopped at Michael's and I picked up some scrapbooking paper as possible wallpaper for the music room - and on sale at 25 cents each!!!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

More Non-Mini

This week is Rock 'N August in St. AlbertRock'n August 2013 will celebrate its 17th year of operation as the finest festival of Cars and Music in Western Canada and the City of St. Albert's third largest annual event. A number of years ago, the Cosmopolitan Clubs of St. Albert, Edmonton and Sturgeon wanted to create a fundraiser for Diabetes Research and Education. They decided that classic cars and the sounds of the fifties and sixties was the perfect mix and Rock'n August was born. With the support of the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce and the St. Albert Cruisers Car Club, this small, fun-filled event has turned into an international classic car display showcasing over 600 extraordinary automobiles.

Tonight was the street dance held in downtown St. Albert by City Hall. One of the highlights of the evening was the music of The Classics, a band that has its roots in the Nomads - a band from Joanne's and my memories and the Kit Kats.

As we were leaving my place to walk downtown, we were joined by my friend Pamela.

As we walked, we enjoyed the parade along the route of classic cars and trucks that were in town for the event. 

Three hours of wonderful 50s, 60s and 70s music!

Great evening!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Not Mini but great Garage Sale

SHAVA GARAGE SALE will be held Saturday August 10th. at the Bookstore in Grandin Mall.
Hours 9 am - 3 pm.  Donations may be brought to the bookstore Friday August 9th or to the Gift Shop Thursday August 8th or Friday August 9th.

SHAVA is the Sturgeon Hospital Auxiliary Volunteer Association. In addition to the gift shop at the Sturgeon Hospital, it runs a wonderful used book store in Grandin Mall in St. Albert.

I have bought some lovely things over the years at the garage sale and think it's well worth checking out if you're in the St. Albert area.

Petit Point Picture stolen from Guild Show in New York

On the whole, miniaturists are the among the most caring, sharing and honest people I know. So it's always devastating when we hear of a "rotten apple".

At the Guild Show in New York on Saturday, a $700. petit point picture done on 84 count silk gauze was stolen from the table of Teresa Layman, IGMA Artisan in needlework. The picture is of 5 little elves in a row in a red frame. It's approximately 1" x 2.5". You can see a picture of it on Connie Sauve's shutterfly site.

Wouldn't it be great if our efforts to get the word out resulted in the picture being returned to Teresa! Long shot but certainly worth a try.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

House of Miniatures furniture kits

One of the delights of my miniature life has been the House of Miniature kits. I've probably made up about 50 of them over the years.
Two of the bed kits

One of the table kits: As one large table; a rectangular table and a circular table; or you can use the semi-circular tables separately.
I still have a few left that I have yet to put together.

I wasn't very active in miniatures when these were originally available so I've bought all of mine in the after-market. If you're lucky, you may find some of these kits for sale at a miniature show. They also show up on e-bay regularly.

There is an incredible website that not only lists all the HOM kits but has .pdf copies of the instructions for many of them. There is also a section of tips on building them.