Thursday, December 29, 2016

It's almost time for Grandpa's Doll House Daily Deals

And here's this year's information from Liz!

Ready! Set! BUY!

Just a reminder that the GRANDPA’S DOLL HOUSE 2017 Daily Deal Promotion starts on January 3.  I have so many really nice things to offer this year!  We have more contests and giveaways as well.  You can take a sneak peek at some of these items on my home page (the carousel that moves between two photos).  Check it out at 

Please note one change to the Daily Deal promotion this year……………emails will not be sent out on Sundays.  This is to save my sanity………..or rather, what is left of my sanity.  J

Preview emails will be sent out at 8pm just like they were last year.  Orders can be placed at  9 pm, same as last year, when the items go live on the website.  The  feedback from that change last year was very good.

Important information has been added at this link so please read it here:
There are some hints there on how to be more successful in snagging the best deals.

Here’s a hint for those of you who celebrate Christmas.  Is your family struggling with what to gift you?  Some smart shoppers asked for gift certificates for Christmas last year and used them to shop during the Daily Deal promotion, making it the gift that keeps on giving.  A win/win situation for you and your family.  (A whole lot more fun than socks or an ugly Christmas sweater, in my opinion) 

Gift certificates can be ordered here:

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Removing a ring...

I've been wearing a beautiful opal and diamond ring from Vern on the middle finger of my right hand for years.

In the last while, my fingers have swollen. The ring became uncomfortable so I thought I should remove it. I turned the ring but my finger was too swollen for it to come off.

Then I remembered a hint from St. Albert Goldsmith:

I sprayed my finger with Windex...

And I was able to remove the ring...

Have absolutely no idea how it works...

BUT the ring came off....and I just tried to put it on again a few minutes later and I can't get it on over the second knuckle.

It's MAGIC!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

A belated Merry Christmas to you all! I hope your Christmas was as great as mine!

After a couple down days, Mom perked up considerably and from Dec 24 to now, she has been very bright and cheerful! We had an incredible Christmas day with Mom, DD Leanne, DS Shirley and DBIL Grahame, and DS Marie and DBIL Robert. And a lovely Christmas Eve at Shirley and Grahame's with several of Grahame's children, grand and great-grandchildren.

Nothing much mini in the way of gifts. Leanne gave me a package of fine tipped Sharpies and Marie pointed out one package in my 'stress kit' box that she says has something miniature-related in it but the days have been so good that I haven't had to delve into it.

And actually Mom gave me a clock that she and Dad had made years ago (Dad died in 2000). Unfortunately the hands were damaged and it's unuseable as a clock but the face is a 4 1/2" x 5 1/2" oval of agate that will make a wonderful miniature table.

My best Christmas present (although I knew about it early) was that DD Leanne has applied to adopt a child between 3 and 12. So for next Christmas, I will be a Grandma again! She will make an incredibly wonderful mother and she has total support from all of the family and all her friends and co-workers. One of my 'dreams come true' for her!

Monday, December 19, 2016

OOPS! Some final cleaning. Cutting ping pong balls.

Well, I promised The Grandmommy that would post about cutting ping pong balls but I couldn't find not even one X-Acto knife! That's when I realized that in my recent clean-up, I didn't tackle my tool box. Put away a set of stain pens, 3 black markers, 3 gold and 2 silver Pilot pens, and a couple micro markers....then decided I would show the rest of the contents before I put everything away.

A mitre box and spare blade, hammer, hacksaw, my second good utility knife, sanding tool, clamps and cutting board!

14 paintbrushes, glue stick, 4 pair of scissors, my super glue, three clamps, my small easy cutters (that I needed the other day, odds and ends of tools, tape and lots of other odds and ends.

But only one regular and one large X-Acto knives! Guess the rest have disappeared into the black hole!
Got everything put away!!!

Pulled two ping pong balls from my stash. Both have a barely visible line where the two halves connect. The one on the left is the cheaper one and the line is quite visible on it. The one on the right was a bit more expensive so the line isn't quite as visible but I think I could see it well enough to mark it with a pencil.

Once you find that line, simply insert the tip of your X-Acto blade along it and follow the line around the entire ball.

If you go off the line a bit, just take an emery board and smooth it out.

Although I cut the one above with just the X-Acto blade, in the past I have started the cut with the X-Acto then continued with my smallest pair of scissors.

Hope this helps.

Now back to searching for the rest of my X-Acto knives. LOL

Saturday, December 17, 2016

RIP Monica "Peaches" Lavoie

With great sadness, I am reporting the passing last night of Monica "Peaches" Lavoie.

Peaches was a member of MEE for some years until she and her husband moved to BC to live 'off-grid'.

A lovely, friendly, young woman, Peaches taught many of us in the club to make flowers and she continued to make kits and flowers for miniaturists all over the world.

One of my treasured minis is this 12" birch tree that the school commissioned Peaches to make for me when I retired. There is a bird at its nest, a dragonfly and a butterfly on the branches.

When my nephew, Chris, married, Peaches made the flowers from wedding pictures for the vignette I made to commemorate the occasion. You can see it here. They were perfect!

My prayers and sympathy goes to her family and friends.


Yesterday, Joanne and I spent the afternoon together. We started by mailing "The Book" then ran some other errands. Our last stop of the afternoon was at the new Dollarama (up by WalMart). It was my first time there and I was impressed. The cashier told us it's the largest Dollarama in Western Canada. Great selections, very well lit and clean!

I really didn't need anything mini so wasn't really looking for anything like that although I did note that the selection of  Christmas trees this year is incredible. But I still have quite a selection of trees so managed to resist.

However, when I was finishing the Christmas vignette, realized I was out of cats and dogs and I like to put a pet in them. Joanne had noticed one of these animal playsets earlier ($2). We weren't totally impressed with the puppies in the top picture then spotted the second set and each bought a set. The grooming tools are a bit big but the rest of the pieces are good 1:12 scale. Didn't see the cat set as I might have liked to get one of those. I'm more a dog fan but cats seem to fit better in mini scenes somehow.

Uh-oh! Joanne was here and reminded me that we had looked at the cats but they looked a bit too large for 1:12 scale. Pity!

Have a couple books I want to make up so picked up the four pack of glue sticks for $1.25.

When I cleaned the Christmas tree for the vignette with the compressed air, I noticed there wasn't much air left in the can so was pleased to find this can for $4.

Also picked up a couple styluses for my tablet. I lost both mine months ago and am really pleased to finally get replacements.

By this time, it was 3:15 so we headed off to Swiss Chalet for a late lunch. Great time with excellent company!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What a blessed day!

You know how some days just go so well! Today (Thursday) was truly one of those days.

I've already told you about making the Christmas vignette for a door prize at the potluck Christmas party and even having time to take it to show my Mom.

The dinner was absolutely incredible - with LOTS of leftovers! Brought home some great turkey, ham, gravy and Marv's delightful pecan butter tarts! There were even enough of my cheese biscuits left over to take to Mom tomorrow.

After dinner, a few of us discussed whether we would advertise a condo New Year's Eve get-together again this year. We decided to go for it and I said I would put signs up on the bulletin boards.

So after I finished writing my blog about the Christmas vignette, I printed up the signs and went downstairs to post them.

The first bulletin board I posted on was right by the Put and Take Room so I took a peek in it. And found this wonderful angel!

I've never really considered myself a 'collector' of angels but I do have several in my bedroom on top of a bookshelf. The second from the left is one my sister Carol made me years ago and the others are ones I've collected from the Put and Take over the past few years.

Now that I think about it, I guess maybe I am a collector as I also have four more in a cabinet in the living room.

So I'm feeling pretty good about dinner, finding the angel and getting the signs up when I collect my mail.

I don't know about you but I get virtually no mail these days except junk and flyers. And, yes, I know how to stop that but just don't bother.

Well, I had a Christmas card from Hoanie Yong and her daughter, Savannah. In addition to being a friend and fellow miniaturist, Hoanie is an associate member of MEE and a dealer at our show and sale in September. Savannah helps her mother out at the Show and Sale and also volunteers in many capacities. Pretty great people.

Enclosed in the card were this beautiful personalized Christmas stocking and this wonderful hummingbird sun catcher. And I really noticed the angel on the stocking!

You can learn more about Hoanie (and get her contact information) here.

Just remembered! Took one of my gifts from Marie's 'stress reliever' box and it was a milk chocolate almond bar!!!

Some days you really need to count your blessings. And today I do!

Christmas vignette done

Hope I'm wrong but it looks like it's going to be one of those nights! Have some pictures of making the floor piece and adding the dusty rose carpet to it but can't seem to up load them.

And some pictures I was sure I had taken of the process, especially electrifying the lamp, seem to have disappeared.

But it's done and delivered so I'll just have to deal with the pictures that I do have.

If you'll recall, I finally decided to do this scene in a gift bag but knew the red one that was ready to go wouldn't work. But I found this green one that I think will go nicely with the pinks of the tree and chair. Fortunately  the walls weren't glued into the red bag so could use them in the green bag EXCEPT the red bag was fractionally larger than the green so had to cut them down a bit.

After cutting the front piece down to size, I had to remove the plastic temporarily so I could cut out the front of the bag. Then I taped the plastic back in place using double sided tape.

With the carpet in place in the bottom of the bag, I cut the foamcore for the back wall and  taped in in place.

Taped the front piece in place then did the side pieces.

I love using double sided tape because it holds the foamcore securely in place. I also hate it for the same reason.

I hadn't planned on adding the frame around the plastic in the front of the box but I was in too much of a hurry and didn't make sure the front wall was correctly in position. So the foamcore was too high by about 3/16" on one side and the opening had to be framed to cover the mistake. Although I think it's a nice addition.
The walls are white although here they are reflecting the colour of the carpet.
I decided to use the hanging lampshade from an earlier trash to treasure post to light the scene. The Nova LED light was added to the shade and the wires strung through a 2 1/4" small cocktail stirrer. This was suspended from the middle of another piece of foamcore and the switch and battery taped to the top of the foamcore. (Found the centre of the foamcore by drawing lines from opposite corners and using a push pin to put a hole where the lines intersected and fed the wires through that.) This piece became the ceiling of the room.

The tree was cleaned by spraying it with compressed gas and gifts were glued to the skirt of the tree.

The table is a House of Miniatures kit, the plate of fruit slices was a gift from Luba B. at our club's 25th anniversary celebration, the plates and tea cup are Chrysnbon. The cup is filled with some brown paint.

 The tree, table and chair are in place. I added a small gift bag at the back of the tree, a wreath above the table and a pair of Crocs in front of the chair.

And here it is with the light in place and turned on.

The ceiling is 3 1/4" from the top of the bag so it is closed by simply tying the gift bag cord handles together. It's quite simple to reach in the top and hit the on/off switch for the light. Everything is glued in place. It's relatively dust-free and easy to store between Christmases.

My down-the-hall neighbour, Ingrid, won it in the draw at our Christmas potluck dinner and I think she was pleased with it.

It was finished by 4 p.m. so even had time to take it over and show it to Mom beforehand.

I like doing little projects like this. Everything was from my stash so didn't have to buy anything for it (although I will admit to buying the Christmas tree at our last Show and Sale with this in mind). It was quick and fun to do. Now maybe that I've accomplished something, I can get back to all my UFOs.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Have accomplished so much in the last two days...

Oh, my. It has been a long couple days but accomplished so much!

Yesterday I got 10 copies of "The Book" collated and bound. Delivered five copies to friends in the building and

five more addressed to friends ready to be mailed when the weather improves so I can mail them.

Took a look at my 'stress relievers' from DS Marie. Beautiful lacy gift bag with some lovely flowers in it and two facials!!!

I am weary, but so relieved to have the last 10 of the books done! It has been a long but satisfying journey. The bottom of my binding machine no longer works so I had to bind them by hand but fortunately I worked out a reasonably quick rhythm to that.

Between the book binding, I did some cleaning and put up my Christmas tree. 

I am REALLY frustrated because St. Vincent de Paul STILL has not come to take away my old couch and loveseat. I do realize that it's a volunteer organization and the weather has been SO bad but I want/need them out of here. Really hope they'll be here before the family comes for Christmas.

Another Put and Take treasure:

This great Dior box. Love the magnetic closing on the side.
Not too sure how I can covet the "Dior" name!

7 1/2" x 7 1/2" x 3 1/2"
Like the depth on this one! Most are only about 2" deep.

Now I'm in a time crunch! Tomorrow I have a coffee club Christmas lunch and gift exchange at noon then a Board meeting in the evening.

On Thursday I have our Potluck dinner. I've promised a Christmas scene for a draw so have to get that done!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Christmas vignette on the back burner for now..

I've been waiting for my old couch and loveseat to be picked up but that's just not happening and I cannot delay putting 'The Book' together. So I've crowded my living room a bit and have set up the folding table. Collating 20 books with 200 pages each takes a fair bit of room. It's hard on my back so I'll probably finish it over the next couple days.

The books are usually done in early October so I'm really far behind with them. Pushing the envelope to get the five that I mail away out in time for Christmas. 😟

My DS Marie sent me a box in the mail awhile back that contained about 20 individually wrapped gifts that I was to open when I was stressed. First thing I opened was a container of 3 Lindt chocolates! Yum!

Some of the others I opened have mini applications...what a wonderful sister I have!

Although the book is too big for miniature, the contents are wonderful. And the 3-D M will make a wonderful wall hanging in one of my scenes. It's 1 1/4" square.

All these erasers will make great additions to 'stress kits'. But thought four of them might make good wall plaques for my kitchen in progress. They're about 5/8" tall and a bit thick but will be easy enough to cut in half.

I think this will end up as a grater in the kitchen once it's cut down.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Christmas vignette for potluck dinner

My tentative furnishings:

Bought at the 2016 Show and Sale. This needs to be cleaned with blasts of compressed air.


These are the settings I'm looking at:

Sort of like this but a lot of work to make it work both inside and out...

These are always good but want something that can be enclosed...

I really like this but....
 it's too shallow but what I plan to put in it...

Another good one but not tall enough for the tree I have...

And too shallow for the expected tree, furniture...

Now this works!!! Size, height, etc. But colour is all wrong :-( Furniture/tree is all pink/Victorian so red isn't right. Will have to check my Christmas bags downstairs to see if I can find something that will work.

Have to think on this.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Some trash to treasure

Well, winter has arrived with a vengeance! It was +1 C yesterday and it's now -18 C and predicted to be that and lower (with wind chills of up to -30) for about 10 days. Brrr! Sure glad Mom lives right next door so it's a quick walk to see her. BTW, she's doing well and looking forward to Christmas.

Anyway, our potluck Christmas dinner is next Thursday (Dec. 15) so I decided I better get started on my Christmas scene for my giveaway at that.

I have a couple things to go in it but needed to find a container for it so I pulled out several things that 'might' work. One was a gift bag from the top of my shelving unit. It seemed a bit heavy and I was surprised to see that it contained several things I had shown at our Show and Sale several years ago as examples of trash to treasure.

So I'll show them to you now and get to the possible containers later.

These chandeliers are made from fish hooks with three barbs on them. (I got them at Canadian Tire.) I clipped off the actual barbs with wire cutters. WEAR EYE PROTECTION WHEN DOING THIS. Another thing I would suggest is using the wire cutters and the hook inside a paper bag so when the barb flies off (and it will) it stays within the bag and doesn't fly off into  your body (ouch!) or onto another surface where it will hide until you find it with your foot or hand.

The lights themselves are just beads from my stash. The white ones were painted with white nail polish. The ones on the right are petal shaped with gold faceted beads inside.

A stock pot for your kitchen is made with a 3/4" copper end cap from the plumbing department at the hardware store. The handles are "eyes" from sewing hooks and eyes. These are glued on with super glue but you could solder them on.

Copper end caps come in several sizes Smaller ones can be used as saucepans. Handles from those can be made from the long strips from fasteners like these from a stationers cut to size. I've done it but can't find one to take a picture.

This lamp shade is made from half a table tennis ball decorated with finger nail art and edged with gold pen. The light bulb is simply a 1/4" clear (in this case faceted) bead on a head pin that is put through a hole in the tennis ball and through a bead cap. The end of the head pin is cut off and hooked through the end of a chain and crimped.

These two cakes are simply bottle caps that have been 'iced' with spackle. The cake top on the left is from

These bowls are caps from bottled water. I don't know what brand they were from and I must admit I haven't seen them in a long time. The two on the left are coloured with glass paint and trimmed with a gold pen.

I have thousands of the small push pins but only about 30 of the large ones. Found them years ago at Zellers (!) and London Drugs but haven't seen them lately. The pins are easy to remove. Just hold the pin itself and heat the pin with a match or lighter then pull it out with pliers.

This table lamp was made with two push pins painted with gallery glass and a clear bead on top for the bulb.

Another shade made from a table tennis ball. The top is a bead cap and seed bead attached with a sequin pin which in turn fits through the clear bead. The trim on the shade is a strip of red and gold ribbon.

 This little hat was made from plastic back blue velvet ribbon with a sheer blue ribbon around it and trimmed with a small button and some feathers. BUT the reason this was in the trash to treasure was the hat stand which is made from a golf tee topped with a 3/4" foam ball.

A quick, cheap door handle, especially for a false door. It's from a halogen light bulb - just break it loose from the bulb.

Drill a small hole in the door and glue the handle in place.

Just a few quick ideas. If  you need further instructions, just email me and I'll try to help.

Now I need to put these things away and get back to finding a setting for my Christmas gift.