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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

.....say hi to Karin Corbin and take a look at her incredible Acorn Cottage! That's the kind of work that I inspire to. And having said that, I'm giving her my 5th Sisterhood Award. I'm going to look forward to reading & seeing more of her work.

Monday, March 30, 2009

freebies & give-aways

Cathy is having a Mothers Day draw for gift certificates good at her store, The Fabulous Farmhouse.

She has holiday bakery favorites, candy, displays & trays, & items too numerous to mention. You don't have to be a mom! All you have to do to enter is post an entry about your favorite Mother's Day gift you've ever received, OR your favorite Mother's Day gift you've given, OR a Mother's Day tradition in your family. If you don't have a tradition, you can even make a new one and post about it.

First Prize, One winner will be chosen based on the most original/creative post.
Second Prize, one winner will be chosen from all entries in a random drawing.

Deadline to enter is April 9th midnight Eastern Time Zone

Friday, March 27, 2009

Welcome, Bienvenue, Wilkommen

Go on over & say hi to:

Rosey Cotton from Florida
Marlies from Holland.

Ladies, welcome!

freebies & give-aways

I love a good bargain as much as the next person if not more. So here are two links for you to try:
1. mini apron & other good stuff .......April 1st drawing:

Calamity Kim's Apron Celebration G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y!!!!!!
This giveaway is her way of celebrating her apron being published in the new Apronology Magazine.

Kim's rules are simple. Just show a link to your website, blog, etc; go back & let her know about your link & bingo, you're entered

way-ta-go Kim! Congrats on your beutiful apron. You deserve all this recognition & more. In fact, I still have some sisterhood awards to hand out. So Kim, when you check out my link.....heh, I want that apron too....pls pick up the award for initiative, & creativity.

2. a free cherry cheesecake givaway......April 1 drawing

Mels Miniatures

In order to win this cake, tell Mel how you would stage her cake.
.....And Mel, I'd like to award the Sisterhood Award to you for initiative & creativity as well.

well done both of you!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

March Break

I can't tell you what a thrill it is to be a grandmother! involves all the excitement of motherhood with none of the pain. I assisted with the birth of my oldest and my youngest grandchild. What a miracle a birth is! One that can't really be appreciated unless and especially if you're not the one in labor.

I don't often see my grandkids so it was a double pleasure to have all three spend their March school break with us. Now mind you, our house was a bit crowded but the weather cooperated and it was warm(ish) and sunny for most of the time that they spent here.
Meals were relatively easy: for lunch, we toasted hot dogs over a bonfire made of fallen branches. Those hot dogs tasted twice as good as regular ones and my garden was cleaned up in no time flat and ready for the spring flowers when they appear.

Easter baking became a pleasure. Not only were there lots of cookies left over for mom & dad but there's enough left here to ensure that Ken will have to be doubly vigilant with his diet.

We painted hollowed out eggs.....funny how those eggs are harder to blow out than they used to be. We made string nests complete with clay eggs and added clay rabbits.

We even checked out the thickness of the ice on the lake......complete with a few "soakers" and the eau de cologne of sneakers drying by the fireplace most evenings. Childhood just wouldn't be complete without that fascination of fire & water. ...all in all, a glorious week! And then.....I got to give them back! Granmas' get to have all the fun with none of the traumas associated with upbringing.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I will probably send out the sisterhood award in stages:

my first recipient is the lady at the tatty victorian house in Hastings, England
tattyhousehastings. Altho she doesn't write about miniatures, she does write an interesting blog all about the adventures in her real life. Right now, she's fighting the battle of the bulge. So this award is for you to let you know that we've probably all at one time or another been there & we're cheering for you to achieve your goal! You go girl! (no pressure, no pressure)

my second recipient is Ruth, my 15 year old follower
Ruth's Dollhouse. Kids, like her, are our future. We read enough horrible things in newspapers around the world done by kids, her age or younger. I for one would like to acknowledge the ones who altho they are in the majority, we never hear about.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Give a big welcome to two new ladies who are following this blog:
Minna from Sweden, Minnas Doll Houses, who enjoys felting & crocheting

Rute from Portugal, Ruth's Dollhouse, who only recently turned 15 but who already is quite the blogger & miniaturist.

.......and a big thank you to Oese, (Eyelet in english) from Dortmund Germany. If you're in need of a visit to the beauty salon, pay her
mini Friseursalon a visit; it is the most amazing mini hair dressing salon.

Oese has inducted me into the "Sisterhood":

Öse viellen Dank!

Rules for this award are (1) to nominate 10 blogs which show great attitue and (2) to share the love.
.....hmmm, give me a moment. I want to get this right.

Good's a lovely day! The sun is shining. The mourning doves are cooing. But best of all....spring is on it's way!

And all this despite the fact that I got very little sleep last nite. The raccoons are out & about!

I have problems sleeping at the best of times but last nite was a comedy of errors: first Ken was having a series of rather vivid dreams. Usually during these, he thrashes about, actually moving as if running, etc. He was sent to sleep on the sofa after he kneed me in the back.
Then about an hour or two later, Luna heard something outside and started growling.....but of course, not before she made sure that I was awake & could protect her. From the living room, I could hear Ken yelling "burglars" in his sleep.
It was no rest of the weary this morning.... I couldn't even sleep late since I'd promised not to let Ken sleep in. He's taking the test in order to get his "small water craft" license today. .....and me, I refilled the garbage while the coffee was perking. Either the raccoons didn't like the taste of our prime rib bones or the odor of puppy pads put them off.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Interior Design

.....guess I'm making up for lost time

Thank you, Home Depot: the flooring upstairs is a piece of sample's an easy & fast way to finish a floor. Too bad real flooring couldn't be this simple or cheap to install

for the downstairs, which will be turned into the "Fine Sewing & Millinery Emporium", I've laid out a piece of parquet that I've cut up into smaller strips, making sure that no two pieces end alike. the attic which comprises of "Mlle Eloises'" living quarters got some scrapbooking "wallpaper"

.....I frequently check Michaels for the scapbooking items that are on sale. Make sure you get enough to do a room plus a bit extra for redos!

Since this was my first attempt at wallpapering in miniature, it could have been better...but then I'm a perfectionist at heart. I would recommend doing this before installing windows & having a think about how you'd like to do edges....i.e. do you want to go around or butt them together. (going round is easier)

I think that a lot of attic edges where the walls meet the floor are wasted space & as in real life, if you eliminate them, it sometimes makes for larger rooms. So here you see how I'm starting to lay out what will become tongue & groove wainscotting. The piece in the middle allows me to finish off the edge of the flooring. And of course I'm using my favorite material...tangerine crate wood.

Don't forget to finish off around the top of the stairs.....just like in real life! Along the walls as well as adding a railing....
I've scored the wood in 1/2 inch increments, added a step and matchstick railings with scrap dollhouse wood banisters...
.....and voila, a smaller room within the attic has be created!

I've added shelving underneath the two smaller windows. You can never have too much shelving!!
if you look closely, you'll see baseboards at the floor edges & the same baseboard reversed to finish off the half walls.

Now downstairs, I wanted to have the upper walls wallpapered and the lower bits painted with a chair rail as dividing mark. I've reversed the stairs from the original Orchid layout & cut a second "doorway" in the partitioning wall to create a small nook underneath the stairs. I couldn't for the life of me envision how Mlle. Eloise was going to get up & down the stairs otherwise!

You won't believe the number of posts I've finished in my head while driving or laying wide awake in bed at nite when I should be sleeping......obviously none of them have been realized.
......hmmmmm OK, I'll, at least, make a start now:

I have a lot of DIY sites on my computer that have helped in the building of this house exterior & that will aid in setting up the interior of "Mlle. Eloises' Fine Sewing and Millinery Emporium" which is what this particular house will represent. I'd like to share:
(For those of you who aren't subscribing in a reader, you'll see some new links to the right. For those of you who are, the links follow & I'll try to make a point of showing all new links at least once in a post.)

Exterior aids first....after all where would we be without the bricks & mortar
building an authentic Tudor dollhouse
thatching in miniature
thatching 101
another thatching tutorial

.....and now the interior:
skirted tables
how to make a pleater board
folding dress screen
bales of cloth / quilt

hat boxes
more boxes
and yet more boxes

.....a mini course in dress making as well as other various paraphernalia
fashions of various eras
dress tutorials
2nd dress tutorial
anatomy of a sleeve
dress making

mini ribbons
silk ribbon rosebuds

hat seller
more hats
lace hat tutorial
3 hats tutorial
another hat tutorial

closed parasol
open parasol

suede purse
baluchon purse
lace purses

Edwardian Beading

shoes / boots

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

De: Thank you for thinking my small creations good enough.

since this involves sending this award to 15 deserving people, I am going to take a few days to "think onit"

Willkommen, Bien Venu, Welcome...Hoya

Up until now I've been very remiss at introducing my followers. I'm going to make up for that right now. Welcome everyone:


Lena from Sweden

Tonyina from Spain

Rachel from Wisconsin

Minikat from Chicago

Sasha from Florida

Pussman from Belgium


Doreen a 15 minute car ride away from me

Sandra from England

Taenia from Austria

Tiny Delights from Portugal

Debbie from Wales

Golden Unicorns from Denver Colorado

Tallulah~Belle from California

Jean from Victoria BC, at the other end of Canada from me

Mayte from Valencia Spain

I am so blown away at how this common interest in miniatures, in creating and being creative links so many of us from some many different parts of the world. There are paleontologists, celts, natives, single moms, stay-at-home moms, healthy people, people with health issues, people in pain, horse-y people, pet owners of all types, etc, etc, etc.
I'll bet Marshall McLuhan ( never thought we'd get this far, this soon.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

a new day......

First off.....a big hello to a miniaturist neighbor that I didn't know about. Doreen, ....and here I thought I was the only one in this neck of the woods!

Hey Doreen, we should get together & compare notes. If I see any clothes patterns for contemporary dolls, I'll make them for you.

Got a lot done yesterday. Cut & painted most of my baseboards and crown moldings; put my stairs together & painted them; the ceiling downstairs in the shop is done and the lower half of the shop walls are whitewashed. I love it when a plan comes together...

When I started this house, I knew right away what it was going to be: a Fine Sewing & Millinary Emporium. The shop is downstairs & the seamstress' living quarters upstairs. I had no trouble finding some suitable scapbooking "wallpaper" at Michaels and because there are so many nooks & crannies upstairs, I wallpapered before I added the roof. I do remember reading at the time not to paste wallpaper too close to the windows as it makes them too thick. ....huh?

Well, I'm an Aries, an A type personality. We never stop to ask ourselves, whether we learnt to swim. We jump right in at the deep end & flail around until we either sink or swim. (course we'd never let you know if we sank!)

Soooo, having painted my inside sash windows and the frames, it's time to glue them to the walls. I never did read the instructions on how these windows go together but as long as it looks right, it can't be wrong! The outside sashes were hung long ago. The inside window frames are too long. ....OK. I have a handy dandy saw. Yes, but now I'm realizing that when I glue on the inside sashes, I'm going to be seeing wallpaper inside the frames. Did I hear a titter......

I glued my wallpaper on! I didn't use wallpaper paste; I used glue! Is there someone giggling? Took me a while to realize that water does dissolve .....sort of.... white glue. But not before I had a big pile of paper shavings and a lot of blue air. I'm sure I hear someone laughing!

Stop it! Whoever's laughing, cut it out!

OK. That's it! Now there's a whole bunch of you out there laughing. If you wouldn't play nice, I'll end this post! .....and I won't even tell you about the second hand Garfield that I'm buying today. So There!

I can just tell it's going to be one of those days.....good thing my hair grows fast because I feel like pulling it out!
I lost my blog! Then I found my blog but I couldn't post. Then I went to Google to adjust my toolbar and finally after about 10 pages in, I realized that unless I want to switch to Foxfire, I can't adjust it. So I'll go back to opening sites & never closing them.

And now that I've vented I feel better!

Monday, March 2, 2009

An Award Received & Shared

Saturday morning, just before heading off for my booth at the antiques show & sale, I looked at my emails to discover that Kathie: had made me into an award winning, whatever.
Thank you, Kathie!

I've been to your site & your work is amazing! And if you think my humble....choke, choke....efforts deserve an award, then I am doubly honored.
According to the rules that come with the award, I apparently have to list my five top addictions and then pass the award along to five other blog owners who will then have to do the same. Both of these will be hard to do!

First, the addictions, not necessarily in this order:
1. surfing the net / reading a fabulous novel......both equally important for my sanity.

2. #1 addition while sitting by the fire on a cold winters day or by the lake in summer

3. what else.....chocolate

4. bidding on an antique, winning it for way below its monetary value because no one else can see its beauty.

5. being happy......because after having done without for many years, I've come into my own: a husband (#3) who adores me (most of the time) and whom I adore (most of the time LOL), a great relationship with my kids, a passion rather than a job, and....and....and.

Now for bloggers who deserve this award:

Linda Carswell, way out in Tasmania who even tho she's creating a modern interior, has some incredible photos of Parisian housing which are going to provide the inspiration for my newest acquisition, the Gloucester. because she has an entire website devoted to tutorials, freebies, printables etc and it is people such as this lady who keep me....from dropping out.

Christine-Lea Frisoni, for her awe-inspiring house & the home-made furniture with tutorials. When I first got into miniatures....which wasn't too long ago, I thought that you had to buy furniture & accept doll houses the way they were meant to be built. Then I ran across her webpage, "creer et realiser" & I was blown away with the images of furniture made of bristol board!! That was a revelation that I've never looked back from.

Sandra,, Tales from a Toymaker, if only because anyone who writes about adventures with their 'other' children, can't be all bad and because she is incredibly talented with her 'little people'.

Jean Day, Jean is a very talented artist whose site also contains freebies and who writes in the most delightful manner. Thank you, Jean.

Some of these ladies have already received the award before but since there are only so many blogs that can be read in a day and only so many blogs out there, I guess it's OK. So many blogs, so little time!

This newfound hobby has given me so many pleasures, so many new friends....if I may call them that, so many teachers. I am indeed truly blest!

Oh and in case anyone is interested, Kathie & her award brought me luck at the show. Even tho it seems like I always come home with as much stuff as I went well as new stuff gotten at a good bargain from other dealers, I also came home with several pockets full of money.