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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Surprises by Post

Ever notice how time flies when you're having fun? I've just taken two of my grandkids home after having them with me for the past 2 weeks. It seems like only yesterday that they arrived!
I will truly miss them. I just feel bad because the weather has been so rainy while they were here...but it didn't stop them from swimming in the lake & having to be forced out when their lips & fingernails turned blue. I didn't even mind too terribly when all the cookies that we baked seemed to melt into thin air...right before and after meals.
There's been a remarkable change in my 16 year old grandson Chris since I last saw him at Easter. He seems so much more mature & is showing quite the sense of humor. As for Jade, I see a lot of my characteristics in her....for better or worse! LOL. She is nine going on 12.
The house seems much too quiet and I miss them already. So when several packages arrived for me in the mail, it did much to cheer me up.

From the the dollshouse forum that I belong to I received a tiny bear and an award:

From my friend, Chelle in England: isn't that just the cutest packing case.... and English jam tarts & tea. What could be better!

From Dana of MsatMiniDoll a master tutorial CD containing Vol I & II & the full wigging tutorial. Now all I need are the character dolls that I ordered.

From Julia Cissell's Etsy store entitled godsflyingflowers, a 1:12 sized monarch butterfly. It's so incredibly tiny .....and made of clay!

Two candelabras from eBay. Can't you just see white dripping candles with skull bases in them....for Halloween.:

And last but not least, some books that I won from Cate & David of Solet Luna. Thank you Cate. They're darling! I will now be able to translate any Runes I come across: Thank you so much, everyone. What a great pick me up!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Travel Roombox in a Suitcase

Just a few photos to whet your appetite....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Did you know:

three billion people do not! live within one kilometer of accessable water....

that every 8 seconds a child dies due to a lack of drinkable water or the lack of water for agriculture......

that Pakistan, India and even Australia are already running out of water......

that Canada is the third country in the world with the most renewable fresh water.....

that 850 million plastic water bottles are thrown into Canadian landfill sites.....

that we live in a world running out of drinkable water......

that in Canada the legal limit for polluting water is 49%......

that the purest measured water on earth is located right here in Simcoe County.....

.......the same county that is proposing to build the largest waste dumpsite in Ontario directly over the aquifer whose groundwaters cover an area between Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario!
Scientists have referred to the pristine artesian aquifer in the area as one of the cleanest sources of freshwater in the world, comparable to ancient arctic ice. The water is so clean it can be used as a benchmark for gauging the purity of other water around the world.

I've just spent three hours at a Site 41 rally. Dump Site 41 was originally rejected as a landfill site in the late 1980s by the Ministry of the Environment; is again on the agenda and threatens to become the largest landfill site in Ontario if it is not stopped.
I listened to former Toronto mayor & federal cabinet minister David Crombie, Maude Barlow the senior advisor on water to the UN and the Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus one of the leaders in the successful 15 yr fight to stop garbage being sent to the Adams mine in his riding.
An estimated 2500 people attended. Included were representatives from Waterkeepers Alliance (founded by Rbt F. Kennedy Jr) and the Council of Canadians. The David Suzuki Foundation although not present have joined this fight.
We heard speaker after speaker outline the dangers to not only local drinking water but also to water as far away as Toronto. They told of a liner with an only two yr guarantee, to be laid down to prevent garbage contaminating the ground water; about the highly toxic leachate sludge (including medical waste, chemicals & hormones) that would average approximately 10 cubic meters per day, pumped out, transported to a Georgian Bay treament plant where it can be pumped directly into the such treatment plant exists on Lake Simcoe because the lake is so contaminated already.
We learned that our Ministry of the Environment has a computer modelling study that we are not allowed to view even though it was requested through Freedom of Information; how the initial consultants of the study have been bought out by one of the largest waste management companies.
This has been a 20 year fight but it is not yet a "Done Deal" as has been suggested by a 'former' politican. Today an Edmonton engineer wrote in one of our national newspapers: “It boggles the mind that this pristine water resource is under threat when secure alternatives have been discarded.”
This isn't just about Nimbys. This is about protecting a scarce & becoming scarcer resource.

I urge all of you to help us in this fight.
If you live in Ontario, sign the private members bill started by Garfield Dunlop ( Let our Premier Dalton McGuinty ( know how you feel.
If you're a member of the rest of the world, who's concerned about the water supply for youself and your children, write to our Prime Minister Stephen Harper (

On the same water conservation note, help save the rainforests. Join the Prince of Wales' campaign & tell the world to put an end to tropical deforestation today:

Friday, July 24, 2009

Big Chute Marine Railroad

What do you do when the grandkids come up from the city to visit? Even though we have an entire lake in our front yard, it just doesn't seem exciting enough....and you can only spend so much time helping Nana bake cookies or make minis.
The weather hasn't been all that cooperative but we must have picked the hottest day to see the Big Chute.

The Big Chute is Lock #44 in the 386km Trent-Severn Waterway that meanders across Ontario running from Georgian Bay eastward to the Bay of Quinte & from there to the St Lawrence River and out to the Altantic.

It is just a marvel of engineering, lifting boats an average height of 58 ft, crossing massive rocks as well as the road to deposit them safely on the other side.
Aboriginals, fur traders and lumber barons all used the Trent-Severn as a navigational passageway until in 1833 when the first lock was constructed.

While we stood and watched huge cabin cruisers and tiny seadoos being lifted out of the water and later set back into water on the other side, I wondered how our pioneers, newly brought out from the relative comfort of Europe, handled all the discomforts that their new lives in the wilds of Canada entailed.

Of course we had to stop for ice cream on the way home and I found three buildings that would lend themselves fabulously to being miniaturized. All were located in the small town of Coldwater; one was a grist mill that had been renovated into a resaurant;
one was a typical old time building, at one time bricked but later plastered over and the plaster was now on it's last legs.
The third building was the best of all. One side was covered with old signs and it reminded me of an old time store or gas station. I've been toying with the idea of creating a 1920s rural gas station ever since we went to an antique car auction several weeks ago.

What do you think?

Friday, July 10, 2009

where are my manners!

I got so carried away with my monumental news that it completely slipped my mind to invite you to celebrate with me.
First 2 people to leave comments can email me privately with your snail mail address & tell me whether you'd like to receive a pink & blue diaper bag, or a box(only) of truffles (french what else!)....miniature of course.
Since you already left a comment Kim, send me your address as well as your choice.

I know why the Pointer Sisters keep jumping.....
I'm so excited
And I just can't hide it....

My first Sale!!!!!

Remember the Baby Photo Album that I made?
I just discovered that it sold this week.
I check my sales of antiques online. Hadn't really bothered too much as this year, thanks to the economy, sales have been down & lately I haven't had many big items to sell anyway.
Well, I checked this morning....reading off the individual items to baby photoalbum...didn't dawn on me (I have so much little stuff that it's hard to remember what there is. Read it a second time. And then it hit me!!!
That's my roombox!
It sat on the shelf for less than 6 weeks. I put it there not really thinking that it might sell....more for bragging rights, if you know what I mean!
And it sold!!!!!
Ken figures that I hadn't charged enough for the time that I put into it but the way I see it: I've only been into miniatures less than a year and it's all new to me anyway. This's a hobby that grows on me the more I get into it. I just love it!! If I weren't making minis, I'd only be bored, laying around doing nothing.
I am soooooOooo excited!!!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I've been feeling guilty for not posting enough. It seems I'm always playing catch up.
If the weather's nice, I'm outside trying to get my gazebo built. Not having ever built one before (my plans came off the net), doesn't do much for speed. If you have trouble calculating angles do not built anything other than a square gazebo....mine's octagonal! I had hoped to have it completed before Sat as we're hosting a big garden party. But the way the weather's being predicted, it may become an indoor party and so the completion date becomes moot. In any case I won't make it.
I have close to a dozen plants that need to go into the ground. Some are waiting for the new gazebo beds to be made as they were bought with that idea in mind. Some were bought as replacements. Ken has a habit of running the lawn tractor over small shrubs, claiming not to have seen them. Some were bought because the price was just so irresistible.
My mother is moving from her townhouse into a condo next month and it seems that I am the only one in the family who packs boxes well....or so I'm told!
My roombox is proceeding at a snails pace & altho I am making progress, there's not a whole lot to show.
Next month I'm going to have to reshingle the boathouse roof. There's already a small leak & we keep a lot more things stored there that aren't nautical in nature. In fact, our boathouse is like other people's garages: there's way more stuff in there and no room for the car or in our case, the boat.
If the weather is crappy, then I'm inside trying to catch up. The July swap that I signed up for is closer than I'd like. My daughter-in-law's birthday is next month & I need to finish her roombox. My house is a disaster area & the laundry is piling up again.
So now that you know my entire list of excuses, I thought I'd let you see some doll houses truly worth seeing. This list is thanks to Susan:

The first one is a million dollar dh 1:1 scale, 9ft tall, 800lbs in weight: This castle currently on loan to the Nassau museum contains more than 100,000 items.

The next is a Mexican doll house c1890 complete with 6 dolls, 7.5' h. x 6' w. Starting bid was $25,000 Auction was held in June 2004. You know how much I love antiques & auctions:

Number three on the list is a 1:1 scale dollhouse, 42 yrs in the making; 40% of its items are antique miniatures. It is 8-1/2 ft long, 50 inches wide & built entirely in one piece taking 3-1/2 yrs to complete; it contains 100 yr old books, 1-1/4 inch music box that you can wind & play; a complete set of movable manicure tools made by a 75 yr old artisan; tapestries made of 40 mesh silk gauze (1600 stitches to the inch): I probably mentioned this one before. The first report that I had of this dollhouse was when it had been temporarily put on eBay.

Are you a lover of fairies? The Enchanted Woodland Faery DH Co. was founded in 1929 by Miss Clare Maddingly who at 12 fell in love with a fairy. Take a look if you don't believe it (even if one of the fairy houses looks surprisingly like the Greenleaf Tudor house), it's still intriguing to see what some people make of simple kits:

The last doll house on the list is a fairy tale castle on display in a Chicago museum. It was commissioned by a silent film star in the late 1920s and completed in 1935 when it was exhibited to raise money for childrens charities during the Great Depression. In only 4 years, it raised $650,000. It contains a set of Royal Doulton china of which only 2 sets were made (Queen Elizabeth owns the other). Hanging in the dining room are tapestries made of the smallest stitches ever stitched (barely visible under a magnifying glass); the drawing room holds 500 yr old Ming vases from the collection of the Dowager Empress of China: Don't they are look worthy of time spent looking! Hmmm....maybe I could just take another peek. Afterall I'm already playing catch up anyway!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

An Award Received & Shared

Mary of MizMaryMinis very kindly thought of me when deciding who to give this award to. Thank you Mary! She also has an absolutely fabulous second blogsite on which she has gathered an incredible list of tutorials....well worth a close look MinisTutorialDatabase.

Apparently this award has to do with reading. I have had a book or two on the go for most of my life & cannot imagine going anywhere without one close by. Since starting on this hobby, I do most of my reading at night when insomnia sets in but have been known to pull an all nighter or day-er, if I get hold of a book that I can't put down. Since I buy most of my books second-hand & therefore have a limited selection, that doesn't happen all too often.

Here are the basics:

Turn to page 161 in the book that you're currently reading. Find the 5th complete sentence & mention it on your blog. Then pass the award on to 5 other blogs

I am currently reading "All My Sisters" by Judith Lennox. The 5th complete sentence on page 161 is "Really Mr Bellamy, we've nothing to say to one another."

And I'd like to pass this award on to:
Doreen of Doreens Miniatures. Doreen is a "close" neighbor in the town next to us who writes about nature & interesting things happening near by as well as having a second blog that she confines to miniatures.

Elly of Elly in Amsterdam. Elly and I belong to the same dh forum. She's an incredible needlewoman who is also keenly interested in animal welfare & rescue.

Chrissi of Gartentiere kreative. I started to read Chrissi's blog to improve my german language skills and quickly became hooked on the adventures of her duck family.

Kathi of Beautiful Mini Blessings. Kathi is making a beach house & while I generally don't like sites that impose the owners choice of songs upon the reader, I fully approve & enjoy Kathi's playlist.....and of course, her beach front sagas.

Grazhina of New England Miniatures. Grazhina also belongs to the same dh forum. As well as finding the time to write her blog, and post tutorials on the forum, she & her husband run an online mini shop of the same name out of Kennebunk, Maine. I had been aware of the store long before we ever met on the forum.

I'm also going to just take a moment to plug the Dolls House Forum which since there are no "real life" mini clubs in my area, takes on the next best thing. My only regret is that most of the members live in the UK so I'm online when they're asleep or vice versa. But we still manage to get in some good "banter".

Canada Day Quiz Answers

here's the promised answers to the Canada Day quiz. How did you do?

1. Jay Silverheels, a full-blooded Mohawk, was a champion wrestler, a boxer, and a star lacrosse player with Canada's national team before setting his sights on Hollywood. He landed the role of Tonto the Lone Ranger's faithful sidekick.

2. a mullet: short on top, long at the back

3. West Edmonton Mall located in Edmonton, Alberta once promoted as the "Eighth Wonder of the World,"Centre ... 25 hectare site (62 acres); Mall size 106000 sq. m. (1140560 sq. ft.) Apparently the SM Mall of Asia has surpassed it by 36,000 sq meters

4. Surprised me too. The correct answer is golf.

5. The Friendly Giant, a popular children's TV program from September 1958 through to March 1985. It featured three main characters: a giant named Friendly, who lived in a huge castle, along with his puppet animal friends Rusty (a rooster who played a harp and lived in a sack hung by the castle window) and Jerome (a giraffe).

6. Winnipeg

7. Pile o'Bones

8. Bob

9. The correct answer was: Drunkenly threw money on the floor of a homeless shelter, telling the residents to get a job..
You want to know what's really amazing about this incident? His popularity went up afterwards! Alberta, what a delightful province.
"King Ralph" had long been known as a heavy drinker, but he vowed to clean up his act after this incident. The Premier of British Columbia, Gordon Campbell was arrested in Hawaii on a DUI.

10. Provincial soil.

Ok, so maybe this isn't so silly. After all, PEI is known for its red sand. Except, as far as I can tell, that it isn't a provincial soil. No, instead it's "a fine sandy loam texture, is mainly well drained and is highly suitable for the production of a wide range of crops, including potatoes." (source:
So, does Idaho have a state soil?

11. The correct answer was Butt, Newfoundland.

There is no Butt, Newfoundland. Unfortunately. The other three are real, though. Beautiful Climax, Saskatchewan is just a short hop across the Montana border, for the next time you Montanans really want to see someone in the middle of a climax. Dildo is on Trinity Bay, a little ways north of the Newfoundland capital of St. John's. And next time you're visiting Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, it's just a short trip northwest to see lovely Eyebrow.

12. The correct answer was A wool hat worn in winter.

To Canadians, this is a perfectly normal term (pronounced TOOK). It's just one of those normal knit woolen hats one wears in winter (which in in some parts of Canada means about six months of the year). It is a French word, apparently originally specifically a woman's hat. I think all countries should adopt their own terms for these hats. If your particular country needs a name for it, I suggest "poogstrap". Just make sure you give me credit.

13. The correct answer was Doughnut shop.

Tim Horton's is "the" Canadian doughnut shop. There are more than 2,500 outlets across the country, and a couple hundred in the US (and let's not forget the branch in Kandahar, Afghanistan, at the Canadian Forces Base there).

14. The correct answer was One blue bill, one purple bill, one polar bear, two caribou, one sailing ship, one beaver, and one maple leaf..

The blue bill is a five dollar bill, and the purple one is a ten. Canada does not have a one or two dollar bill, we have instead 'loonies' for ones, and 'toonies' for twos (the toonie has a polar bear on it; the loonie has, that's right, a loon). The caribou, sailing ship, beaver, and maple leaf are, respectively, on the 25 cent, ten cent, five cent, and one cent coins.

When Canada did have two dollar bills, there was one province where you seldom saw them. In Alberta, they were considered unlucky, and people would refuse them if they were given in change.

15. The correct answer was Block heaters.

Cars built in the sunny climes of the US and Southern Ontario just can't quite handle the winters in the West and North. A block heater keeps the engine from freezing right up when the temperature goes way down. It is usually only plugged in when the car has to sit for long periods, such as overnight especially if the temperature is predicted to go below minus 25 Celsius overnight.

16. Hartland, New Brunswick

17. Serve as Prime Minister of Great Britain

18. 6

19. Newfoundland

20. pay his taxes