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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Day Away....

My mini friend, Joan and got out of the asylum for a while this morning. 

She is not Tessie's size.  She does miniatures and is one of the Wednesday Witches.

We went over the Mini Time Machine Museum to see the Madalyn Cook exhibit.  I had seen it before, at Madalyn's home, when she lived in Tucson, but Joan hadn't.  I loved seeing it again and Joan loved seeing it for the first time. 

It is spectacular.  I didn't have my camera with me, so I will throw in a Eugene Kupjack Dining Room box that I restored in 1986.
This is the card next to it...I did more than replace missing curtains and add fruit.  It had to be cleaned.  When it came in, it had dark fingerprints on the ceiling and the whole thing had to be repainted as well.

I feel honored to have done the work on this room.  For those of you that don't know, he is the creator of most all of the Thorne rooms.  Narcissa Thorne collected miniatures, and at her direction he did most of the work on her rooms.   
Joan and I get along well... We aid and abet each other in collecting things...We both do minis.  We both do bead work... If one of us wants to go to a bead shop, the other will follow... At least that was how it was today.  Then when someone asks, we have each other to blame.  I didn't want to go to a bead shop.  Joan made me do it!
Anyway, when I got home, I had to experiment with some super duo beads that I bought.  Those are the turquoise ones in the ring that Tessie is trying to rip off of my hand.  She seems to think that it should be hers... Isn't everything I make eventually hers?

She's not getting this one.  I made it.  It's MINE!

I started it with a video on U Tube from Beadfulnights.  I got as far as the part where I had to start the band...Then I went off in another direction.

The person doing it, was having trouble with making the ring any size other than a size 8.  I needed a nine.  So I improvised with the Super Duos.  It worked.

I am going to have to do some more experimenting with these two hole beads.  They are fun to play with. 

I really need to get back to the rug now. I did a little more, but not enough...I only have 30,000+ stitches to go...  Wish me luck! I'm going to need it, especially if I keep playing hooky.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Don't Count Your Stitches After They Hatch...

I was starting the first border last night...I had all four sides of the blue done.  The I started in the upper left corner, as you see it here...When I got down the bottom left, I had a problem. 

There was one less space then there was diagonal stripes.  Oops!

I got in a hurry and started stitching without double checking my count.  RATS!

I had to take out 436 stitches!  That takes longer than putting them in.  I did half last night and the other half this morning. It took a couple of hours.  There is no way to rush it if you want to save what you have.

With Tessie and Widget's help, I am now right back where I stopped last night. 

Tessie would have you believe that she did the replacement stitches...She didn't...

That's why Widget is glaring at her.  When I am stitching, I can't scratch behind cat ears and under cat chins...  I did the stitching...Believe Widget, not Tessie.

I have to show you another mini.  They won't stay mini long, but I couldn't resist this "Mother of Millions" type plant at Walmart last week.  Look closely.  You will see tiny plantlets at the edges of the leaves.  If this plant works like my other "Mother of Millions" plant, there will be itty bitty plants coming up everywhere. 

I started with one plant of the other kind and have them all over my yard now.

If you look closely, there is a baby in the dirt in the pot.  I stuck several in there to see if I could get them to root.

Well, it's kind of mini...Sort of...

See you tomorrow.  No more counting my stitches after they hatch...

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Noooo!!! Not Another Rug!!!"

I am still doing washes on the roof.  It is starting to look like I want it to now.

There is a bit of Prismacolor Pencil work on it too.

The hard part is the waiting for the shingles to dry... At least now they are starting to look aged and weather worn.
That's Tessie that you hear yelling in the background...

Hey!  I get bored waiting.  I went through all of the rugs that I have started and didn't like any of them for Daisy's Cottage.  Including the one that I started a couple of weeks ago...It just wasn't right.

Tessie is beside herself.  I have several started for her, but decided not to work on those.

I dug out this book.  I have been wanting to do a North African carpet for years.  In fact, this book is over 20 years old and I have only used it for beading patterns so far.

The North African rugs are very different than the Persian and Oriental.  They seem to be into the borders and not so much one central motif.  They kind of freewheel the designs.

Lots of different borders and the centers can be anything from more borders to several different boxes with different designs in them.

This book has NO color photos.  It does, however, have a lot of information on color for each rug pattern.

So....I am going to attempt to wing it.
I like the one on the right.  It is a lot of borders and a center motif on a honeycomb background.

Mine may not have the exact same patterns.  I am going to wing it and see what happens.
I started yesterday and got this much done....

I had to start by looking at all of the other rugs that I have started, then looking at other books, including the book of my own patterns. 

Then I grabbed a piece of #24 congress cloth and went to work...

So far, I have five basic colors picked out and The outer edge started.

That's better than a blank canvas.

Back to work... 

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Ruffing It....

That's what Spike calls roofing.  He was the only one willing to get up early on Easter Sunday.

I got all of the wrought iron painted and the top cap on the roof.  Spike did nothing to help, but cheered me on.
I have started applying washes to make the roof look aged now....A little bit at a time.  I have to let it dry between washes.  It is easy to over do it if you don't. 

I see a spot in the iron trim on the cap that needs to be adjusted a little bit.. The loops are too close together.

In case you hadn't guessed, the "iron" is antique lace, that I painted black before installing.

This is probably all I am going to do today...

We all just wanted to pop in and say Happy Easter to those that celebrate.  Happy Sunday to everyone else.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

All Is Forgiven...Kind Of...

The Terrible Two are back together...I will tell you about that part later...

This morning I drew and cut the roof cap shingles for Daisy's cottage. 

I did it with copper scrap booking paper.

To show you what can be done with this technique, here is the roof of Spike's crypt.  It was done with charcoal colored, textured drawing paper.  With a bit of Prismacolor Pencil shading on top. 

The point is, You don't always have to use conventional shingles.  Whatever works is my motto.

I turned the paper over to the back and drew lines across the longer edge at 1/2" intervals.  Then I turned it lengthwise and did 1" intervals.

From there, I did diagonals on every other rectangle, in one direction.
Then I went back and did them in the opposite direction, forming triangles that were half the length of the rectangles.

When I cut them out, I first cut them in strips, with a plain edge on one side and triangles on the other side.
 Then I went back and cut the triangles out on each strip.  Keep the triangles.  They are handy to do the top row, if you do a whole roof.

Anyway....Yes. Those are Tessie's toes that you see.  She's Baaaack.....

Zar let her off the hook with the proviso that she would behave herself for a full 24 hours... Sure she will... It also helped to promise her a chocolate covered graham cracker....All of her very own.
Here you can see the first part of the roof cap.  There are still a few steps to go, to make it look good.  I will get to that by tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I think that I deserve a chocolate covered graham cracker for getting back to work on the house. 

No.  I haven't finished the workroom yet...

See you tomorrow.

Friday, April 18, 2014

All Quiet on the Western Front....

I am continuing and making progress now. 

Working around the room, I am on the western wall... I still have some rearranging to do when I get everything in place, but I am happy with it so far.

I moved the stack or drawers from one end to the other of the bookcases and turned the one on the end sideways to get more room behind the desk.  I even have room for the small worktable, in front of the window now. 

Spike likes the arrangement.  No. Not the dog.  The vampire.  He sits in a copy of King Tut's favorite chair, on the corner of the table...

Walter got him for me one Christmas when Buffy was still on.  I totally repainted his face, so that it would look more like James Marsters.  Unfortunately this one is about the size of a Barbie.  No I am not going into 1/6 scale just to make him a room.  He will have to be happy with the throne.
Here you can see the switch.  It makes the wood far easier to get to.

There is still a lot of straightening to do in here.  I am basically moving furniture right now.

I am getting there....One step at a time.
You may be wondering what happened to the yelling from yesterday...

It is very quiet.  I gave Zar a large sack of pick up sticks, shaped like tools.  Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, there was a wand in the mix...

Tessie is now approximately 1 1/4" tall. She kept yammering all morning...Zar got tired of it.

When he found the wand...He turned to her.  He pointed it at her and said, "Tessie!  You deserve this!"

She is now sitting on his arm... Still yammering!  Now it sounds like a bunch of crickets.  I don't understand a word she is saying.

It has been a peaceful morning for me, but not so much for Zar... He can't shake her off, or shut her up.

When will he ever learn?  I guess that I should go See if I can reason with him to turn her back to the right size.  Now he knows what I go through every day.  I don't think that it will be a hard sell.

Gotta run before mayhem ensues...

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tessie Told Me To!

 I heard yelling coming from the workroom this morning...I pushed my way through the mess and saw that it was Tessie.  She was stuck behind a pile of wood in one corner.

Zar was trying to pull her out.  It was another case of forgetting how to zap in a time of panic.

I pulled her out and she stood up, dusted herself off and started yelling at me...That's what I get for pulling her out.  I should have left her...If I had, I could be peacefully working on the roof of Daisy's cottage....
She was really irate and I couldn't blame her.  Just look at the mess!  The wood that she was stuck under is behind the broom in this photo...

After she straightened herself out, she looked down the end of her nose at me and gestured towards the corner she had been stuck in...And she shouted, "How can you live like this.  I can't find anything in this mess!".  And then, in a little calmer voice, she continued.  "You are taking the day off from that silly cottage, that's not even mine, and clean up this mess. You should be ashamed...Very ashamed...!
So...Just to be obstinate, I started at the other end of the room. 

About this time of year, spring cleaning rears its ugly head... I get the urge to move furniture around. Soooo....

I moved the desk.  I like it sideways in the summertime.  I'm not so close to the window and almost directly under the ceiling fan with this arrangement... This is the hottest room in the house.

As soon as I had the desk in place, the Terrible Two ordered pizza.  Two please.  One extra large, with different toppings on each one.

They had the nerve to sit and watch.  Eat pizza and tell jokes while I toiled...

I am going to continue for the rest of the day and see what I dig up... I need a shovel, instead of a broom.  It's really bad this time....

It would be easier if Tessie hadn't decided to ride the black dragon around my head and shout orders in my ear as I work..."You missed some dirt over there!  No, a little more to the left!"

Hey!  I just realized that I cleaned off the desk chair and the footstool that I keep under the desk... Maybe I can do some sorting, with my feet up, a Pepsi in one hand and some beads in the other...  So much for furniture moving...

Now, if I could only get Tessie to stop buzzing around my ears....

See you tomorrow.  Maybe with a room that you can walk through.  Maybe.....