Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Teddy Bears' Picnic

Do you remember the wonderful room box that Connie Stitt gave me at our Show and Sale?

I knew at the time it would make a wonderful setting for a "Teddy Bears' Picnic" but had put it on the lower end of the 'to-do' list.

For a few years now, I've had a table at "Arts Day" at Leo Nickerson Elementary School. (My friend, Joanne, is joining me this year.) The Art teacher at the school invites a large number of artists in various mediums to demonstrate their work. Some offer workshops and many have tables throughout the halls. In the past, I've tried to have a small kit to pass on to the students but this year that just didn't happen.

So yesterday morning, I got the bright (?) idea to complete the "Teddy Bears' Picnic" and donate it to the school to be used either as a door prize or perhaps a raffle fundraiser for the school.

So I raided my stash for picnic things.

The frozen mini quiches sold by Superstore come in a plastic tray that I saved and cut into individual pieces

I cut around the edge to create a rimmed tub, then painted the tub silver with my wedge point silver Pilot Pen.

I had this crate of Coca Cola bottles in my stash along with this bag of "ice cubes" - the small clear crystals that are used in floral arrangements.

I made watermelons years ago to go in my sister Carol's camping scene. Instructions were in the July 2004 issue of American Miniaturist.

Filled the tub with the floral crystals then added some watermelon and bottles of Coke.
Cake made from a slice of cork iced with spackle and decorated with sequin hearts. Bean bag game from my stash.

The hamburger and hot dog plates and the bowl of potato stash were from my stash. The ketchup bottle was made by Susan and received at CMHH. (It's from a single dose eye drop bottle.) And an acorn top bowl filled with potato chips made by drying the seeds from bell peppers.

The drinking glasses are the lids from some old glass stain paint and the salt and peppers are made from pony beads.

I got this great piece of mini gingham at the Three Blind Mice Show in Chicago.

I cut a 4" square of the gingham and fringed it by pulling several rows of threads from each edge.

Normally, Blogspot is really easy to use but it's acting up tonight and I just lost 3/4 hours work!

So we'll try again....the final items from my stash:

(Double Scream!!!!)
Lost update again even though I hit SAVE and it appeared to take.

One more try and if it doesn't work, I'll finish in the morning.

The greenery came from Dollarama and I took two pieces to create little bushes in the scene. I had a long branch about 1" in diameter in my 'log cabin' stash so I cut a length off it for seating. The cooler is a printie from Jim Collins who site has been taken over by Small Stuff at his request. (I actually filled the cooler with some stones I had on hand to give it some weight and keep it in place.)
Now it's time to deal with the setting itself. The only change to be made is in the inner walls. The wallpaper has to be replaced with a forest scene. I was incredibly fortunate that the wallpaper had been mounted on cardstock then glued to the foam core...and it came off quite easily.

With the wallpaper removed.
I had found this scene through Google image and printed it as large as I could on two sheets of paper with the smallest margins allowed. Then I sprayed the two pages with a fixative. (Lost a few pictures here and after the next step.)

I cut a piece of mat board to fit inside the roombox then cut partially through the back of it so it would fold easily. Then pasted the two pictures to it using Yes glue.

Here the matboard was put in place against the back walls of the roombox.

Now I've placed all the picnic pieces in place. I had hoped to have room for a barbeque or a fire pit but there wasn't room so you just have to visualize it out of the picture (LOL).
THEN the Miniature Enthusiasts of Edmonton Club came through with the teddy bears! Maureen M. delivered a bag of 20 miniature bears to my house this morning and I added a few if them to the scene.

With the plexiglass in place....

With the plexiglass and cover in place.
There's still some tweaking to do to the scene and things need to be glued in place (moveable glue, of course) but it's still 36 hours until we have to have it at the school and I'm pleased with it.

Don't know if you spotted it but I made a marshmallow/hot dog roaster that I didn't mention. I'll post a tutorial on that tomorrow.

Monday, September 23, 2013

I promise I'll get back to minis....

at some point. REALLY!

My whole life these days seems to be "two steps forward, one step back". For everything I cross off my 'to-do' list, I seem to add two more items.

And everything that should be so simple runs into problems!

Got all 15 copies of "The Book" collated and ready to bind. I've had the GBC Combbind C20 for about 4 years now and I've been really pleased with it. Don't use it a great deal but I use it for "The Book", the MEE club handbook, and my "Trash to Treasure Kitchen and Pantry Book". All in all, since I bought it, I've bound no more than 200 books.

So I get set to bind the 2013 "The Book" and the handle that pulls out the coil bindings so the pages can be put on the binding isn't working! Managed (with great difficulty) to get one copy bound then had to give up. The hole punching part of the machine was still working so I bound the second copy manually. That worked - but took forever to do one book.

So I finally removed the plastic handle controlling that part of the machine and the plastic had broken! What were they thinking? Using a 1/16" thick square of plastic to constantly rotate a 1/4" steel rod probably 14" long  - and all the moving parts attached to that!

I got on the computer and attempted to contact GBC to find a solution. Their "contact us" site does not support Google Chrome auto fill so I had to go back and replace all the auto fill manually. Finally got a message off asking about a replacement handle - and preferably a better built one!

Well, you know how "contact us" goes: you get an auto-reply telling you how important you are to them and they will answer you within "x" many hours. Can't comment on GBC because I only contacted them this afternoon so we'll see what happens....

In any event, I put my 'thinking cap' on and circumvented the whole 'plastic' issue by using a pair of pliers to turn the steel rod and open the binding coil, loaded the pages, then used the pliers to close it again. Took a bit longer than the one smooth movement formerly supply by the plastic handle but did the job.

Considering the amount of force it took to do it with the pliers, it's no wonder that the plastic handle failed!

By the time I got them all finished, it was too late to deliver the two copies that I give to friends in the building.

But at least they're done and ready to be delivered/mailed!

Tomorrow is once again filled with condo business so it's another delay in getting back to minis...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Blithery-Blathery Out of My Mind......

(From the children's book Bonnie McSmithers, You're Driving Me Dithers).

Aside from the fact that RL has attacked me from several sides, this computer is driving me nuts!

Almost every single action I take, I get the message not responding so everything is taking up to 10 times as long as usual.

Thursday it took over six hours to catch up on my e-mail and clean out my inbox. Then I finally managed to get my folding work table in the living room cleared and put away.

Got most everything put away to the point where it was a week and a half ago THEN today went off on a different tangent.

For years I have collected e-mail forwards, cartoons, quotations, etc., and put them together in a book that I give to family and friends each Christmas.

In the last years of his life, I collected these things to take over to my Dad to brighten his day. At one point, as yet another of the pages went on their fridge, Mom suggested that I put them together in a book.

With that, "The Book" was born. Originally, I only made enough copies for my parents, my three sisters and our two children. Over the years, the list of recipients has changed a bit. I usually make a couple extra copies for friends and neighbours who go through rough times through the year.

Family tradition is now that my Mom and sisters read it either Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day evening after all the hoopla is over.

My DS Marie is coming out again next weekend so I wanted to get it put together before her arrival so she can take her and Carol's copies home with her (and save the postage).

This year's book is only 100 pages (last year's was 150) but it still contains some gems.

Two stacks of pages for this year's book along with a copy of last year's book.

Busy collating the 15 books I'm doing this year. (If you're counting, the other four sets of pages are on the counter behind the table. LOL)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Personal view of the Show and Sale

TIP: This is a tip from Nutshell News for transporting mini scenes to a show. Put a towel inside the container before you put in the display. First of all, the towel will cushion the display...but, secondly, you can remove the display easily by pulling up on the ends of the towel.

Well, I knew I would not get the quilt shop finished in time for the Show. If it had just been a matter of the round table to display all the Christmas fabrics, I might have been able to do it. BUT there was absolutely NO WAY I would get all the quilting accessories done and on the pegboard in time. (I was particularly disappointed that I didn't at least get to display all those spools of thread that I had worked so hard on.)

So I decided to put up a "Grand Opening October 15" sign! And put shipping boxes in place. Four of the shipping boxes were from our Lori Ann Potts workshop. The box middle front with all the bolts of fabric is a plastic box that I wrapped with double sided carpet tape then covered with pieces of brown paper bag.

Then I printed the Grand Opening October 15 sign on a transparency...

And taped it to the plexiglass on the front of the room!

So those were my two displays for the Show!

On the the Sale portion - and what I bought!

My first purchase was from MEE member Rosalle Pinske's Needleart. Rosalle does the most incredible mini crochet work. This frilled doily is a miniature of some that my mother had in our home when I was growing up so HAD to have it. 

Hardly the same but I knew it would be perfect in the Victorian era parlour!


From Linda A. who is downsizing:

I got this great counter for the Christmas shop

 This wonderful black leather chair - don't know where this will end up but it's just SO GREAT - and was only $2.00

 This was my most expensive acquisition of the day at $15.00. These will go in my Vern's Attic. I had hoped to find Vern's original  so I could take a picture of them together so you could see how perfect they are.

Incredible fruit tray!

Some great electricals for a great price from Bonnie's Estate!

 Sher McGirr of Sher My Miniatures sells the most incredible grab boxes! I got all of this from her for only $10.00!
Three gift boxes, box of books, wooden book block, medical printies, comics, packing box, calendar

Three dandelions, wooden tree, box of cigars, parasol and handang, telephone, sewing machine, cushion.
 Connie Stitt, one of our dealers,  gifted me with this wonderful box. It will be a scene for a "Teddy Bears' Picnic"

I'll try to get all the pictures from the SHOW side up tomorrow.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

MEE 17th Annual Show and Sale

I am so totally elated after the Show and Sale today! It was incredible!

I met some kindred spirits who were SO excited to learn there are other people who think the way they do!

And what a pleasure to get a chance to visit (however briefly) with all the dealers I've come to know over the years.

I didn't spend much but found some absolutely perfect things.

The elation has been completely replaced by exhaustion! So it'll be a couple days before I bring you up to date on all the news from the sale.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Quilt Shop

Got the lights (used two of the new 3rd generation battery lights from Miniland) put in....used E6000 glue to install them so did that first thing this morning on the balcony as it's a  glue that needs to be done with a lot of ventilation.

Because I'm so short on time, I didn't have time to do a tutorial on the book/magazine rack. (Had good intentions as you can see from the first couple pictures...but just didn't get it done.)

Here it is on the left wall of the quilt shop:

At this point, I'm putting the false fronts on the bottoms of the side cabinets.

It's coming along.........

Friday, September 13, 2013

Getting ready for the Show and Sale on Sunday

I've been so busy with Board business this week that today and tomorrow are going to be frantic with getting ready for the Show and Sale.

Took  a look at my to-do list this morning and thought, "Oh, that's not to bad. I can handle it."

THEN I looked at the table in the living room where there were 17 vignette settings still to be made  for the children's make and take table in addition to the five already made.

Now to make a couple pieces for the quilt shop....

Thursday, September 12, 2013

WAY OFF TOPIC - Don Williams Concert

Last night, Mom, DS Shirley and I went to see Don Williams in concert to celebrate Mom's 90th birthday and Shirley's 65th.

Now I don't know if you're familiar with him and his music but most of our family have been great fans for a VERY long time. Vern and I saw him at Devil's Lake some 30 years ago and Mom, Dad, and Leanne saw him at Big Valley Jamboree probably 15-20 years ago.

He is 73 years old now and he is one of the few singers who has lasted 40 odd years without a loss of voice.

I cannot begin to tell you what an incredible concert it was - worth every penny we paid for it.

BUT, and I am really upset about this:

Here is the email I sent last night to the Director of the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium:

"My mother, sister and I attended the Don Williams concert tonight. It was fantastic and we thoroughly enjoyed it!

"BUT: Whatever happened to `Latecomers will be seated during a suitable break in the performance.`  Our enjoyment of the entire opening act was spoiled by the constant seating of latecomers throughout his performance. People were even being seated throughout his last song before the intermission. We did get a small break from that during the last half of his second last song but that was it. We were very disappointed."

The opening act was Trevor Panczak, a wonderful up-and-coming entertainer. We should have been able to see his presentation without the constant interruption of latecomers!!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sometimes a cork-backed ruler just isn't enough....

If you're cutting a short length of wood, usually the cork-back ruler will work well enough. But for longer cuts, even that tends to slide a bit.

Here's a TIP that you might want to try.

Put at few pieces of double-sided carpet tape along the back of your ruler...Then put the sticky side of the tape against a piece of your clothing so it isn't QUITE so sticky then apply the ruler to the wood and make your cut. Your ruler will NOT slip!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Very productive day!

You may remember that before I went to rabbit-sit, I had moved most everything out of the flat surfaces in my workroom to the table in the living room.

Wow! It has all been sorted, bagged and mostly put away! The table is clear!

Have all these empty boxes!

About half of the 'stuff' on the table has been put away...the rest is bagged and ready to go on the bulletin boards.

I'm feeling good about where this is all headed!

Hopefully I can get all the cleaning/tidying done tomorrow before DS Shirley, Mom and I head off to the Don Williams concert at the Jubilee Auditorium.

Wednesday is pretty full up with condo board business then Thursday and Friday I need to get the Quilt Shop finished and make the 25 vignette settings for the Children's table at the Show and Sale.