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Sunday, November 28, 2010

In case you wondered

...where I've been hiding, I thought I'd better touch base. Rosanna's Christmas swap will be ready for mailing on Monday; I'm still working my way through the Christkindl Market Stall. It's all stained and I'm in the process of filling the lowest shelf with product ...all printies as they won't be that visible.

I've had to switch to a different type of building project that was meant to start in the spring but unexpectedly got started early due to the availability of our builder. This is what the first 8 x 18 ft of my kitchen looked like, after we emptied it of furniture on Friday:

Because we were so determined to buy a waterfront home in this area three years ago, we bought a house with some ...lets call them flaws. Our house began life many years ago as a very tiny, non-insulated summer residence and each successive owner had added to or enlarged it here and there ...including the roof. At one time there were 3 layers of roof, one over the other, each slightly larger and differently angled.
After our first winter, we replaced the roof; unfortunately two years later we're still working on it ...but this time from the inside!
Of course with a fully furnished house, this can be somewhat harrowing. What you see ...or not see in this photo is a 7ft long table with all the bits and bobs piled on top. And to make it even more "fun", we've had to partially empty an upstairs storage room so a retro vapor barrier could be sprayed into the attic...
So what you're seeing in this photo is the result of that, another room turned into a storage pile. This was the view Saturday morning. The blue tarp kept the remainder of the kitchen "clean". and this is what came to light, a prior build that gave new meaning to "building code". All the existing ceiling framework had to be removed pieces. Above that we had our new roof with its scissor trusses. This part of the kitchen was meant to have a vaulted ceiling from the time we had it built and since the far wall and all my cupboards are pine, my new ceiling will be clad in pine as well. The other three vertical walls will be drywalled ....which I will have the privilege of finishing and then painting.We had planned to finally put up our Christmas tree this year. It would have been the first time in 3 years. Thankfully we'll be celebrating both the 24th and the 25th of December with family at their homes and who knows maybe next year we might even be able to invite everybody to our house...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

a little birdie told me...
that in the USA, the third Thursday in November is a special day where all over the country, families sit down to dinner at the same moment - halftime. ....So I thought I'd wish all my American friends...

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Happy Thanksgiving

...may your team win and your dinner be joyful!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Best Laid Plans

...don't always work out no matter how hard you try! The other day Nikki Rowe, who I follow avidly because she makes the most incredible wizardry accoutrements, showed some books on her blog that she'd made with faux leather covers.
Now you may remember my writing portfolios a while back,which I originally tried to make using leather; I just couldn't stop my leather from cracking. So faux leather got me very excited. I had a Dickens Carol Christmas swap coming up and got the bright idea to make some account ledgers that Bob Cratchit might have used.
Well long story short, I asked, Nikki replied & sent me her how-to. Turned out to be extremely easy to do which was fantastic as there wasn't enough time left to put my original idea into effect for making Tiny Tim stools & crutches. I got my ledger covers finished in two easy sittings! I'd already printed off the account pages. My intent was to have the ledgers open & send a tiny ink well and a quill pen as my swap contribution. Next morning after leaving them to dry overnight, I realized that I'd made them too wide. At that point, I could have resized the printed pages but now I was really under time restraint, and totally frustrated.
I made something else ...which of course, I can't show you until my swap partners receive them. Rushed to the post office with my parcel, only to be told that the zip code marked on the box was unknown. I was on my way out of town for the weekend so I couldn't even go back home to check for mistakes. It seemed like one of those hair pulling situations where no matter what you do, it goes wrong!
Yesterday morning I checked, the post office was wrong, my zip code was correct and off the parcel went!

Now just because the book covers didn't work out for my swap doesn't mean they're garbage. I'd made an extra one with the imprint of a dragon on the front that could be used as a wizards book and if I ever want to show a stack of books, I'm all set. Thank you sooo much for your fantastic tutorial Nikki!!
I'm now going back to my Christkindl market stall while I still can. Turns out that with less than a month til Christmas, my kitchen will be torn apart by the end of the week for some long planned renovations.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Queen Mary's Dollhouse Part 2

Queen Mary's Dollhouse

"This is a wonderful video of Queen Mary´s Dollhouse. There are close-up pictures of many details and the dialog is filled with interesting descriptions.

It opens with the background of the palace photographer and then the first 10 minutes are about the dollhouse, so get a cup of coffee or tea, relax and enjoy this trip."

Unfortunately it's in English only but even without sound, the photos are amazing!

Royal Collection


Friday, November 19, 2010

We've had our first snowfall...

and I am so not looking ready for it!

OK, OK, so I exaggerated! We only had a light dusting of snow overnight but it feels like those photos.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Remember this Kathryn Gray workshop that I did... It was my first time doing flowers using laser cut paper ...actually my first time doing flowers of any kind! When I emailed to thank Kathryn for such an incredibly easy workshop, we discussed different types of materials and she recommended that I try some cold porcelain. Here are some photos of plants that she made using CP:If you didn't know better, wouldn't you think these were real hops:

For any of you fortunate enough to go the Chicago Bishop show in April, Kathryn will be teaching this pretty English garden workshop:
I think Kathryn's photos have finally convinced me to try cold porcelain. I'd never be able to get fimo that thin!

If you need some flower making supplies, laser cut or CP or just friendly advice, check out Kathryn's site at Templewood Miniatures.
Happy flower making!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Look who arrived at my doorstep today.
First came Little Noel, the Christmas mouse:
I have long been a fan of Robin Joy Andreae. Although her needlefelted animals are larger than 1:12, I think next year, Noel will be pulling the Christmas sleigh into fairyland. Robin is currently showing a new little mouse on her blog. Thank you for Noel, Robin. She looks even better live than she did in photos.

At the same time, Haggatha arrived in a puff of smoke, holding out her poisoned apple.With her came her familiars: a raven perched on her shoulder, her grey rat prowling the cooking pot and her wooden staff.Haggatha is a Christel Hutson creation. She's not a pretty creature with a wart on her nose and a number of teeth missing; she even has a greenish tinge to her skin. Haggatha is destined for a particular witch's emporium that I've been thinking of for more than a year.Again, if you'd like to see more of Christel's wee faes and other not so gentle folk, have a one of Christel's blog. I also have one of Christel's impish faes.
Started my Christmas baking:
Ken complained very bitterly ...although he's supposed to be on a diet! So today I'll making mince meat tarts for real.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Teeny Tiny Creches

Remember this creche?Finished it's 5/16" wide by 1/4" tall Those trees were supposed to be at the back & I think my star is upside down. Someday I'll have to remember to read instructions before gluing!
These are my 3 creches as well as the Tudor house. I won't paint the two smaller creches; a coat of paint makes the tabs too thick to insert. I was happy just to fit the pieces together!!!
At the far right is a lantern. At least I wasn't so quick with the glue on it; I've only laid the top on the lantern so if I want, I can place a light inside. I do have 2 lanterns so may hang one on each side of the market stand.
The house is a Tierneys Kit that I bought second hand. And the paper in back of this photocontains the instructions ...part of which reads:
Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier fur is perfect for straw effect on the painted wall and on roof for thatch.

Now I sorry.....can't you just see me walking the streets with my scissors in hand asking people if the dog they're walking is a "Wheaten"!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Starting My Sales Items

The design for the market stall is really quite ingenious. The roof, front counter and front wall can be glued on after the back shelves are filled. I'm just finishing off the siding so I thought I'd start on the items that I'll have for sale at this stall:
Isn't this an incredible size! I'm in awe of people who regularly work in this scale. BTW the gentleman that I bought this kit from, sells as small as 1:1000!

This is supposed to become a 3 story Tudor dollhouse. It's 1:144!! By the time I have all the shelves filled I may have to ask for new eyes from Santa...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

When a soldier comes home, he finds it hard.... listen to his son whine about being bored. keep a straight face when people complain about potholes. be tolerant of people who complain about the hassle of getting ready for work. be understanding when a co-worker complains about a bad night's sleep. be silent when people pray for a new car. control his panic when his wife tells him he needs to drive slower. be compassionate when a businessman expresses a fear of flying. keep from laughing when anxious parents say they're afraid to send their kids off to summer camp. keep from ridiculing someone who complains about hot weather. control his frustration when a colleague gripes about his coffee being cold. remain calm when his daughter complains about having to walk the dog. be civil to people who complain about their jobs. just walk away when someone says they only get two weeks of vacation a year. be forgiving when someone says how hard it is to have a new baby in the house.

The only thing harder than being a Soldier.. Is loving one.