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Friday, August 28, 2009

More Good News...

....Hooray for People Power
We have a one year moratorium on Dumpsite 41!! This is the landfill site that was to be built over one of the purest water aquifers in the world with only a liner guaranteed for 2 years, between our drinking water and piles of garbage above!
Tuesday saw the council meeting with estimates for attendance at about 500. So many in fact that some had to wait outside. If you know anything about Canadian local politics, you'd know that most people don't even know who their ward councillor is or even which ward they live in.
So we have our moratorium; there is to be another vote next month on whether to stop it altogether....the motion was voted down this time. The city of Barrie (150,000+ population) wants it stopped. Major newspapers for Toronto (2 million pop) have joined the bandwagon to make people aware that this is not a NIMBY issue and that altho they are located 100+ km away, they too will be affected.
Now I'm hearing rumors/possibility of council selling this property, and its MOE(ministry of the environment) certificate, to private interests who would operate the dump. Can you imagine the public opposition to that. It would be overwhelming! Are politicians really that stupid?? No don't answer! We all know what the correct response would be.
If the moritorium holds, the next council will be faced with this issue. Elections will be held in Nov 2010. I can't imagine any local politician in favor of the dump being elected altho our mayor made a boldfaced 180 degree turnaround from his election platform.
According to Simcoe County, $10.3 million of our taxpayer dollars have been spent in land purchase, consulting fees, site development costs and legal fees.
Our tax dollars at work, folks!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

So now that the Baby Shower swap is over, I have another one coming up. It's got a Halloween theme of "And it came up from the basement". Ara, who thought it up, has 2 blogs. One is about the Addams Family and the other is a murder mystery blog entitled Clue: Murder at Bentley Manor.
So anyway, I've already told you about all that. There'll be 6 of us, including Ara. What I didn't know until yesterday, was who I'd be making my thingie for.....ta da, it's going to be Jodi. This is one talented lady so I'd better be up to doing my best. Just to show you the type of stuff she does: that's Batilda & her helper.
Jodi recently put the little fella on eBay for $50. You know what a pain it can be if you're trying to sell there. Everybody wants to buy as cheaply as possible....including me, teehee. I've watched some really well done artisan figures take forever to sell & then with only one bid or so. This little guy sold with 18 bids for $1250!! Take a look at some of the other things that she & her husband Richard have made.

My swap item is going to be made by Sans who lives in Singapore and has three blogs: Dollhouse Diaries' Projects, Dollhouse Diaries and Dollhouse Diaries - The Beginning. She writes about creating a maharajah's palace. Wow, talk about exotic! Wonder what's going to come up my basement steps. Do witches wear henna and ghosts silk sheets in Singapore?

.....I think I already know what to make. I'll give you a hint: everything that comes from the basement doesn't have to be scary! Sometimes things get put there because of a lack of storage upstairs. Then they get forgotten.....

Oh and speaking of forgotten things.... the balcony vignette. I haven't started but I've found the cutest lawn chair...can't you see it with some nice thick cushions...rainproof of course LOL
Of all places, I found it at the Goodwill near my moms house. She's all moved now and luckily for me since I did the packing, my daughter has taken on the job of unpacking. And they say no good deed goes unrewarded.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just had to show you what I got from the Baby Shower Swap:
All this from AnnMari a Peter Rabbit pillow & jigsaw puzzle; lots of gift boxes & cards; a bag of cotton balls, a rug, but.... of all, I think she threw the entire baby shower for me...... right down to place mats, dishes and flowers but best of all the food came from Laduree.....oooooOooh macaroons!!! European MACAROONS!!!! I've read so much about them! They are supposed to taste sooooOo good!! I've never seen them over here.....and now I have some of my own!!

From Christina....

a soft container, so baby doesn't hurt himself, filled with diapers, a rattle, a baby picture and 2 bedtime books for when baby is older. Love that little rattle!

Then from Laura, I got a bassinet:
How gorgeous is that!! Look at all that lace. Absolutely gorgeous!

And from Tara, a very imaginative present, although nothing I'd want to get in real life:

Do I need to explain what you're seeing? LOL

Birth Announcement

I am so pleased & proud as punch to introduce my first born to you.
Born last week and weighing in at next to nothing.
I have not measured but believe it to be slightly over an inch in length.
It was originally destined for a silent charity auction as part of a vignette.

This photo is a composite; so what you're seeing is only one baby.....and yes, I should have put a penny in the photo with it! I will also NOT! photograph using yellow paper as a background again....sorry.
I used a face mold but the rest is all my own handiwork.

I imagine every mother would say that her baby is the cutest; I'd like to think that I'm not one of them and so to be honest.....entre nous, of course! could be a little cuter but at least it came out all the same color. There have been two miscarriages that were the wrong color if you know what I mean:
(Apparently SuperSculpy bakes at half the length of time that the regular sculpy does.)

I've looked everywhere locally but am unable to find either Pupperfimo or Prosculpt. I did finally manage to get some Prosculpt on eBay; unfortunately the price went up by $4 at the last moment.....just don't ask about shipping costs!!!! And I may try a sampler of the puppernfimo.
I've since been told that supersculpy is prone to moonies (I was lucky not to have had that problem) and I really do not find the "skin texture" to be realistic enough to suit me. baby is gender too small to polish but I may try some wax just to see if that makes a difference.
BTW: it took 3 days to realize that Kim was born without ears! So I guess it's a keeper afterall. Bet you didn't notice either, did you?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Summer Storms and Tornado Warnings

Haven't we had some crazy weather this year! We had a tornado warning yesterday. Thunderstorms had been predicted but never came. It was downright muggy and about supper time, the rain, all of a sudden, just teemed down. It was actually so torrential that we couldn't even see down to the lake and it came with whipping winds.
We lived in Barrie when it was struck in 1985 by a tornado. The next day, the sight was unbelievable. We've all seen destruction on TV but to actually see it in person.... To drive down a street that you've driven down many times before but this time it's all different! One day there's a copse of trees; the next day they're not there and the few trees left standing are striped of leaves and bark! To be stopped by armed soliers.....IN CANADA!! and questioned about why you're there.... The highway ran right thru the middle of the destruction so you got a good look at it as you drove by. The tornado had cut a swath thru Barrie & on either side everything was still as it had been.
When it came, the sky turned from blue to black instantly; when it went, the sky was green. Hopefully I never get to see that again.
I know that Ken was really worried that if we were hit with a tornado where would we go! We have no basement. You can't go outside & be safe! As a newscaster back then, he saw first hand the damage that had been done.
Apparently we did have tornados sighted or touched down all around us: Vaughn, Newmarket, Durham, Collingwood and Markham. South of us in Vaughn, it struck a shopping mall and damaged 120 homes in Newmarket & west of us in Durham, where it was especially severe, an 11 yr old child died (haven't heard details). There was some damage in Collingwood's Blue Mountain ski area as well.
Luckily the only damage that we had was a canoe filled almost to the top with water. Thankfully our boat has a cover on. At the shore line, the lake water was black & our nice beach eroded away and filled instead with debris. I'd say we got off lucky. This will have been the second severe weather watch that we've had this season!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Won!

Remember about a month ago, I won some witchy/wizard books from Cate & David of Solet Luna? Here's the photo that I had posted at the time:

When Cate asked me later to ask if I had received a fourth book, I had to say no; didn't see anything else. Well, today I happened to pull out one of our seldom used kitchen chairs. Guess what I found..... Encyclopedia of Toadstools.

And at about the same time Pearl the Dollhouse Diva had a drawing for some books for one lucky person who commented. Guess what... I won that one too!

Wow, dust covers and everything! Thank you Pearl!
How'd she know I like history? I'll probably be up all night reading....

.....or should I learn to cast spells? I already know how to make books disappear & reappear. Decisions, decisions!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Art Nouveau Teapots

I've been touting CDHM as often as I can for their fantastic tutorials. There's a different one every Saturday. From boiled lobsters to paper towel holders. My ladder back chairs came from one of their tutorials as did my apples & pears.
On one of the forums that I belong to, we were discussing CDHM and how you're able to take the Saturday tutorial in your own time...really, they're that easy that you can stay after school and play catch up!
I happened to use as my example, a teapot tutorial that Ernesto Baldini taught on April 11th. The teapots looked kind of cute. So without further ado, here's how I spent my rainy afternoon:

These are my version of Ernesto's anthurium and cauliflower teapots. The mug is my own idea.....afterall what self respecting doll wouldn't want a matching mug to drink out of.
They were really easy to do. But in hind sight, if I made them again I do some interim baking & I'd make the cauliflower smaller (I followed size instructions) and the leaves less prominent.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Balcony Vignette....the Start

Well I got my container. Cost me almost $150!

Here's what I bought:

I never met a plant I didn't like.....


How do you feel about swaps? Love em or hate em... they definitely get your creative juices flowing!
I'm waiting for my first swap prezzies to arrive. The theme was baby shower! I can't knit or sew so that left a few real life gifts out. Won't tell what my contributions were until I know that everyone else who participated has received theirs. But I'll let you know what I get....when I get it. Hint: one of my items was made from chenille pipe cleaners and I've got a tutorial for you to make them too.
My next swap is a "make". You have to sign up before you know what the theme is. Talk about living dangerously!!
And now I'm signed up for a circle swap whose theme is "And it came up from the basement" Must be made & posted to arrive before Halloween. So I immediately had a look in my witches file. Not much there that lives in a basement but I have an idea for either a ghost or for witch accessories. hee hee
Wanna join in too? Here's your link. Your hostess will be Ara.
I've been following Ara's Addams Family blog (she was making a doll house fit for the Addams of TV fame) for a while and when I joined the All Things Mini forum, I discovered her there as well. Well now I learned about her latest blog entitled Clue: Murder at Bentley Manor. Looking thru the comments, I noticed that one of my greatest heros, Jodi Creager is participating. OMG!!!
This lady has more sculpting talent in her little toe than most people in their entire bodies. OMG!! Hope she gets my name while at the same time hoping that I don't get hers. It'd be like a house painter giving Rembrandt a stick figure drawing as a present. Well, too late now. I've already signed up. So whoever's name I get had better be prepared for my stick figure drawing!!

On another note, remember I mentioned that I was trying to come up with a box to display my moms balcony in? I had thought that I'd have to use a dollar store gift box but it really wasn't doing much for me. Doreen suggested using a window box and I immediately rejected it as too long and not high enough. But the more I think about it, the more it grows on me! Thanks Doreen!! What a brilliant idea...even if I didn't see it right away.
If anyone wants me, I'll be at the nursery scouring the shelves for the perfect sized plant container...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Antique Steam Engine & Tractor Show

Having won two tickets to the Antique Steam Engine & Tractor Show from a local radio show, we spend an enjoyable day driving over to Paisley to see what we thought would be a 2 hour drive each way & maybe at most an hour to wander around the show looking at antique farm equipment. Neither one of us is greatly interested in farm implements but an outing is an outing after all!
We have a GPS that constantly shows us new & intriguing roads which we'd otherwise have turned our noses up at. It's still a new enough toy for us to delight in. Today it took us on a 6km concession road that was wide enough for a single car....we saw only one farm lane. No houses. No other cars. Definitely no people. If it hadn't been for the road signs I would have sworn it was a private road.
We stopped at Walters Falls to look at the old mill:

An inn & spa had been built right next to it. Looked very nice so of course I got some of their brochures as we often take mini vacations and this place would make a great get-away during fall color season.
Between off-the-beaten-track sight-seeing and a road closure, we drove our GPS crazy. We think of it as "her highness" because of its classy English voice. (Do you ever wonder what voices the British hear from theirs?)
Poor Ken despaired of ever seeing paved roads again but eventually we made it. Probably not all the exhibitors were there ....but neither were the crowds. We caught a horse drawn wagon, one of several that were constantly circling the entire show and hopped off again at the far end where we wandered around an exhibit of cutters and buggies.

Among them were a glass sided hearse, a hearse/sleigh and a sleigh with an enclosed box in which to carry the coffin. Looking at them makes you realize the seasonal hardships that our ancestors must have endured.
We watched a 1920s steam shovel load soil into a truck of the same era.

Had it been all tractors and such, I doubt we would have stayed as long as we did. We spent some time talking with a man who'd spent more than 20 years collecting toy trucks. I discovered a simple little tool used to wind rope (and got a demonstation) as well as some miniature 1920s gas pumps. Unfortunately the scale was 1:25 but I have the company's name so will write & ask if they make them in a 1:12 scale as well.(I'd still like to recreate a 1920s general store & gas station scene) We stayed a while to listen to some fiddle & western, of course. Before we knew it, a couple of hours had gone by. I would have loved to have photographed some of the retired farmers. The craggy faces beneath western hats or John Deere caps would have made for interesting study.
Her Highness took us home on a different route, and I found a house shell that could make a great Halloween scene. Can't you imagine it at night with maybe an eerie green light rising up out of it?

We stopped for supper in Singhampton at a restaurant that had originally been a hotel & livery stable in the 1890s. The walls were covered in photographs of the hotel in its heyday and the people of the time. Although the livery stable is long gone, the hotel still looks pretty much the same.

We got home just in time to watch the sun set over Orr Lake and have another fish take Ken's last worm off the hook.

Balcony Vignette

Well it's been almost a week since I finished the suitcase. It sits prominently displayed in my living room. As I pass, I most times take a look and am still not finding I usually would with anything that I make. So that must mean I "did good".
My daughter-in-law's birthday isn't until the end of the month and I get to keep it til then. I already have a long list of things that I want to do next:

1. I need a birthday present for my daughter in Dec;
2. For my mothers Christmas present, I want to vignette her balcony (at the new condo) filled with lots of plants;
3. I'd like to make a Christmas stall. A very kind friend sent me the plans for building one. This would also entail making lots of xmas decorations, etc.
4. I just got an old bread box & hope to roombox it into an old fashioned kitchen with lots of baking/preserving going on (somewhat like on pg40 of the current Dollshouse World)
5. I have a baby face mold & want to learn to sculpt babies, children & fairies. I have an idea for a small exhausted fairy, asleep in a lantern after having tried all night to escape (sort of like a moth)
5. I want to start making clay food. The mailman just brought Angie Scarr's newest book. (Had a look. I'd better start with something simpler....a great book nevertheless)
6. There's a charity auction for Emmanuals Wish Foundation coming up that Ken supports. They raise funds for an African hospital that takes in babies & evenually adopts them out if there's no parents & I was thinking about making a vignette (a baby on a bed, maybe) to donate.
7. Last but not least, I need another vignette to sell....seeing that the economy has wiped out the sale of antiques.

As a person with ADH, I have problems falling asleep, and staying asleep. Someone recently suggested that I try melatonin, an all natural substance. It works!! ...but it takes a 1/2hr. So every night I have up to 1/2 an hour where I lay with my eyes closed & think. It's a great time to conceptualize projects. I mean, we all lead such busy lives these days, who has time for 'quiet time' anymore.
The weather has been so great's finally summer! So I don't want to work with clay. The last few nights I've thought about the balcony vignette for mom. I think I have it figured out. All I really need now is what to display it in. I've also been busy collecting links for flower making and will have a long list for all of you to peruse on my links blog. Stay tuned....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Travel Roombox in a Suitcase Conclusion

This is the final chapter in our story. Do you remember all the clues?
1. the fierce storm
2. the soon to be impassible roads
3. shovel & boots still covered with snow; hastily thrown aside
4. travel information on the chair
5. travel posters on the wall
6. yet the desk is piled high with work
7. passport, cell phone & airline tickets in full view & at the ready

8. the suitcases are packed....

In fact if you look closely, you'll see that one case is bulging so much that bits & pieces of clothing have been caught in the opening.

I leave the conclusion up to you. Do you see a glass half full or half empty? Remember the Destiny poster on the end wall! It is the choices that you make, not the chances that you take, that determine your destiny!

Thank you for following with my story. I hope you enjoyed it.


Anyone who reads Doreen's blog, knows that when her laptop died, she lost all her tutorials, files and all those other good things that we all save. I too have tons of saved files and altho many of them are saved to a memory stick, these too can die at an inappropriate time. So having said that, I've decided to save my tutorials in a new blog. Afterall who ever heard of the internet crashing. Ooops, hope I haven't jinxed myself.
I've only just started but come & have a look: Mini Tutes from Orr Lake

I still have lots of furniture making, building DIYs, clay & plant making tutorials left to add.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Travel Roombox in a Suitcase cont'd......

there are papers & files galore....even a letter sitting unopened next to the keyboard. What's that on the desk? ....look closer:
hmmm....more papers, a passport, cell phone, delta ticket folder, and an open map.
....and on the wall travel posters. You don't suppose......?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Travel Roombox in a Suitcase cont'd......

in the corner: a cosy chair. A dog close by on the carpet. By the looks of the magazines left behind, it seems to have just been vacated. Take a look at the reading material.....hmmm: a brochure on Mexico & one about Canadian rail travel laying on the carpet; vacation real estate, car rentals and maps on the chair.
The poster on the wall behind the chair is an inspirational one; so common in N. America. It reads Destiny: its the choices you make, not the chances you take, that determine your destiny.

P.S.: as you know this roombox will be for my daughter-in-law. They do have a dachshund named Jake in real life and the picture in the Destiny poster is of The Arches at Los Cabos Baja Mexico, where the 4 of us spent our vacation in Feb.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Travel Roombox in a Suitcase cont'd......

.....the shovel still wet with melting snow, boots hastily removed & tossed aside.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I am up to 50 followers..... 50.... WOW!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Travel Roombox in a Suitcase cont......

Look out the window....
It's twilight. A fierce snow storm is raging. Can you hear how the wind howls? The car is nearly buried in the snow. Soon the roads will be impassible.
pimp myspace profile

Ontario has had about 4 dry days in the last 60 days.

A curious fellow died one day and found himself waiting in the long line of judgment. As he stood there he noticed that some souls were allowed to march right through the pearly gates into Heaven. Others though, were led over to Satan who threw them into the burning pit. But every so often, instead of hurling a poor soul into the fire, Satan would toss a soul off to one side into a small pile.

After watching Satan do this several times, the fellow's curiosity got the best of him. So he strolled over and asked Satan what he was doing. "Excuse me, Mr. Prince of Darkness," he said. "I'm waiting in line for judgment, but I couldn't help wondering, why are you tossing those people aside instead of flinging them into the Fires of Hell with the others?"

"Ah, those," Satan said with a groan. "They're all from Ontario.................. They're still too wet to burn."