Saturday, January 31, 2009
We went to Tucson Electric Park(baseball). That is only one of hundreds of sites all over town. The dealers take over whole hotels. Good luck on finding a room anywhere in the month of February. What has this got to do with minis, you ask? Sometimes it has a lot. We usually spend several Saturdays going from one show to another. There are all kinds of treasures to be had.
I have several favorite dealers. I usually try to hit them first. I bought Beads from the first. Only one of the hanks will go into minis. I was disappointed that they didn't have any #14s this year. The blue ones, on the left, that I got are 3 cut Charlottes. They will go to make mini purses and other jewelry. The rest will go to one of my other pastimes. I do a lot of beading when I am not doing minis, needlework or poly clay work. Although I sometimes mix a combination of those together.
All of the cabochons in the photo will be beaded(someday). Come on. Admit it. You have stuff hiding in your stash that you bought" for the future". I told my husband that I now have enough beads to last the next 20 years........I lied. I will never have enough beads. They are a collection in themselves. I just like them. They are like having treasure.
OK back to the subject of what I got at the show. So far, Tessie is doing better than I am this year. I bought her a present. She has been running all over the neighborhood showing it off. She says that it's a "Mini George" like the one that sits on the shelf in my workroom. It was hand carved in Indonesia from deer antler. According to the man that I bought it from, they make them from shed antlers. I hope that is so. No deer was harmed to make the little skull. Please don't write and tell me anything different. I believe the dealer.
That's about all I found today. In years past I have found lots of mini goodies. They always have silver charms dirt cheap. One year I found Japanese woodcarvings. These are all 1" high or under. Incredible detail. They are beads, but I use them for statues in mini settings when I am not wearing them. The sumo wrestler frog on the left cracks me up. He looks so fierce. The dragon coils around his own head and you see the tail on the back. Every scale is in place. The fruit in the back(persimmon, I think) has a mouse nibbling on the stem and another one that has dug his way into the fruit and is sticking his nose out. The cat is a good luck charm. If the hand is raised, it foretells good fortune. The paw is raised.
My all time best find, according to Tessie, was last year......Yup. The dragon was last year's prize purchase.
Anyway, I didn't accomplish anything today, at least in mini. Maybe tomorrow........
See you then.
Friday, January 30, 2009
I used Sculpey Moldmaker to make the mold. It's pretty cool. I made several molds while I was at it. You have to chill the clay before you make the mold. It is very soft and won't take an image properly unless you do. I shaped the clay into slabs and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours.
I marked one of the connectors at the height that I wanted to make the cupcake flutes. Then I used cornstarch on the end before pushing them into the cool clay. That keeps them from sticking.
Here are the finished molds. Just for fun, I pushed some of the larger ones in each mold. I think that you could make a plum pudding or jello mold from them.
Interestingly enough, I really didn't need to make more than one hole. I did them one at a time. You have to smoosh(mad scientist term) down into the hole quite firmly and then push the tops of the clay towards the center to form the domed top. You pop them out of the mold before baking. I was advised by Debbie that if I couldn't get them out, I could pop them out with the end of a pin. I didn't seem to have that problem at all. In fact, the first few kept falling out because I didn't push hard enough.
I used straight burnt sienna Primo clay. About a quarter inch diameter ball was needed for each. The cupcakes were baked on a tile at 275° for about 10 minutes.
Then I mixed some white fimo and some liquid Sculpey to make the frosting. The hardest part was getting those tiny tops frosted. It was hard to hold on to them and to get them back on the tile after I frosted. I tried tweezers and needle nosed pliers. Neither would hold onto the cupcakes. Then I put them back in the oven to bake for about 8 minutes.
See you tomorrow.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I didn't tell Debbie before, but when I was growing up there was a German war bride, married to an X air force guy living across the street from us. She gave my mom and dad a full sized tea pot, creamer and sugar bowl that was gold plated very much like this one. I don't know what happened to the real one, but now I have a replacement in miniature! Thanks so much Debbie!!! It is a gift with extra meaning for me.
Happy Birthday once again, Debbie!
Tessie gets some of the results, so naturally she is standing there staring at her section of the project.
It was much easier to do than I thought it would be. Mix equal parts and pour. I read in one of the bead work magazines that you could color it with oil paints, so Tessie is not stuck drinking just plain water. I made very weak coffee or good tea, fruit punch and some kind of red cocktail in a martini type glass. I could only find one. I may put whipped cream(spackle) on top of that one and turn it into jello.
After that I got a little braver. In another bead work magazine I read about making your own cabochons to bead around from resin. Soooooo I whipped up a larger batch. I used the metal trays from the make up samplers that I usually use for bread, cookies, pizza and cake pans in mini. I cut pieces of paper to fit from a Veranda magazine ad for rugs to fit the bottom of each pan. I glued them in with white glue. Then I filled each one to almost overflowing with the resin mixture. If it needs more of a dome I can top it off later. The magazine article said so.
I did get more workroom done this morning. That was the first thing I did. I figured that you would be tired of hearing about it by now, so I hit you with the fun stuff first.
I am getting quite skilled at taking photos of the bookcases from angles that don't need a lot of cropping to get rid of the piles in front. You would almost think that the room is getting much cleaner than it was.
I need to go back to work now. Go get yourself some resin and play. It's fun.
I will see you tomorrow.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
This morning I bought an Acrylic Water Kit at Wal Mart. It is to put fake water in vases with fake flowers. It doesn't say resin anywhere on the box, but the directions and warnings are the same. I am going to play mad scientist with it and see if it works for mini liquid. I will let you know the results of the experiments later.
Tessie gave back the bed. She said that she could sneak into the workroom and sleep on it if she wanted a bed of roses. She still isn't happy that she can't use it in her house, but she had a headache all day yesterday. I think that she learned her lesson.
I put a peace offering in front of her door. For cookies at least I get a little smile. That's her weakness. Anything sweet pleases her.
It's Wednesday, but no mini witches today. Maybe I can use the time to work on the windows and doors for Tessie. I had better go figure out what to do next.
See you tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
This is the first time in years that I have all of my sketch books in one place. They are all on the top right of the shelves. I even found some from college. I keep saying that I am going to frame some of them one of these days......Don't hold your breath waiting to see them!
I am going crazy with the Dymo machine. Labels are appearing everywhere. This morning I found the symbol section. I didn't even know it had one. Did you know that you can put spiders on your labels? That made Tessie happy. She says that everything with a spider on it belongs to her. I have limited it to one spider so far...........
I found a lots of things that I hadn't seen in ages. I had to stop and examine every one. These two bas relief plaques from England were one of the things that I even forgot that I had. I bought them at a yard sale a few years ago. I put them on a shelf, in a basket and promptly forgot them. I hung them up this morning. I don't know if you can tell, but the whole scene is shallow 3-D. The copyright on the back is 1977.
The post card with them is actually pressed tin. I imagine it is a lot older. It is from Moreton-in-the-Marsh. Also English. It is kind of rusty around the edges. I wish I knew the history of it. I have never seen another one like it.
After I finished hanging those, I ran onto an old bed that I have been looking for. Unfortunately, Tessie was in the room at the time. She has witched it into her cottage. I doubt that it will stay long. She is bracing herself so that I can't get it out right now. See the section of roof above her head? She has bumped her forehead on it three times in the past half hour. Then she mutters to herself and lays back down. I think that she is going to have to witch herself and the bed both out of the house at the same or let me do it. I hope that she will soon tire of the game.
I am going back now and start sorting papers. I have a stack of things that I have cut out of magazines that is about a foot and a half high. It needs to be sorted. Eventually some of it will go in notebooks. Fortunately that is something that I can do whilst watching TV in the evening.
I will have to show you my notebooks/scrapbooks of ideas sometime. I first started them in the early 80s. They are great references for minis, needlework and other artistic endeavors. But that's another story for another day.
See you tomorrow.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Anyway, here's the proof for this corner. I know it doesn't look like much, but I am happy with the morning's work. As usual the monkey cheered and jeered while I was doing it. And Tessie didn't help at all!
Now for what I found. This is a lamp that my friend Jo and I made online together a few years ago. She lives in Illinois and we met when we both joined our online mini group. I went back to visit her for NAME State day one year. We had a great time.
We chat on MSN along with other members all of the time. Our group just celebrated our 10th anniversary. The membership changes from time to time. We have only 10 at any one time, but we all feel like we all know one another. I met 6 of the different members that we have had over the years in person. I even got to meet Ronnie that lives in England when we went to London for vacation one year. Ronnie and I had a ball wandering the streets of London, shopping and talking. Every time I have met members it was like meeting old friends. Ok off track again....
Jo and I were chatting one morning and got to talking about a lamp that we had both seen in one of the mini magazines. It was made of 4 picture frames glued together.
We decided that we wanted to do one with walls. I happened to have the materials that we decided on and Jo went out and got the things she didn't have in her stash.
This is what we came up with. The front is a 5 x7 photo frame. The frame itself measured 7 x9. I happened to have a couple ofdifferent sizes of the wooden plaques that you find in the craft store unfinished. We used those for the top and bottom. We built the walls from foam core. It could be built larger with larger picture frame and craft plaques.
We used a lamp kit that you can buy at a hardware or home store for the lamp part itself. I ran a little night light to the inside with a line switch so that it can be turned off seperately. I'm not sure if Jo did that. We kind of did them the same only different, if you know what I mean.
I stained the plaques to match the frame and painted the outside of the box black. The photo frame on the front slides in and out from the side.
Tessie insisted on posing so that you would have some idea of what it looks like furnished. I had it sitting in the living room for a long time. I put it away because it needed a new shade. When I ran across it today I remembered that a lamp died in the livingroom and I saved the shade. We're back in business.
Now all I have to do is get Tessie out of there. I don't think that it will be hard. She isn't fond of glass fronted cages. It's about time for her to start yelling to get out now. I guess I should go check on her and get back to work.
See you tomorrow.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
I got a pathway cleared into the workroom and managed to clean off the desktop. That was this morning.....Don't ask. No I didn't get in there at all yesterday. Some knitting and computer games got in the way. And I had to change that awful background on here. I hated the diamonds.
Here you can see that I have a straight shot from my workroom desk chair to the computer chair. Now if I could just walk around in the rest of the room. I have knee high piles all over the place. What is really disgusting are the the empty spots on the shelves where all of the stuff wasn't put back into place when I was finished with it.
The poor shelf that I took the wood stove from is propped up by the door. Tessie won't let me put it back in, so I guess I will have to find something else to put in there.
I probably shouldn't let you see the mess. You may not want to come back. Although sometimes it seems to me that my messy room makes others feel good about their not so messy work spaces. I know I feel good when mine is clean and I see someone else's work area in shambles. That's not very often. I know it's not very nice, but it's human nature. You can look at mine and stick out your tongue and say "Na, na, na, na,na!" because yours is better than mine(temporarily).......
I turned my back for just a second and when I turned around again, guess who was sitting on the clean desk? Yup! You guessed it. There's Tessie. She has appointed herself "Director in Charge of Placement".....She wants a badge to go with the title.....Fat chance! I still have control of the label maker!
She wanted this photo for, and I quote, "Posterity". It's not because she is the boss of me. It is because she says that all of the ladies in the photo are her relatives. She claims to have known the Egyptian goddess to the far left personally.....Sure she did......The lady in the tintype, she says is her great great auntie.....Of course she is. She managed to stick a photo of me in the corner of the frame. She says that she thinks that we are distantly related, but she's not sure how. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I am responsible for her being here at all.
After that, she insisted on a photo further away, so that everybody could see that I was generous and let her pet black widow join in the fun. I personally, just wanted proof that the desk was really clean.
She is now sitting there and telling me where to put things, one at a time. Yes. She is holding a button. She informs me that it can't stay in the workroom. It MUST go in the button box in the family room cupboard. She has been snooping again. She found out that Widget and Mookie both have the skill of opening doors. Her inspecting has gone deeper than I thought.
The last photo for the day is......my blog photo. How she managed it, I'm not quite sure. This is now the photo on my profile. The only thing that she will say is "It's for the best. Friskie and I are much cuter than you are." I feel another long talk coming on.
See you tomorrow.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Doreen suggested yesterday that I get Tessie to help me clean up my workroom........Bad idea. She's the one that made the mess in the first place. I had nothing to do with it! I swear! Honest!! She is still asleep. I don't think it would be wise to wake her. I am going to tip toe into the work room and see what I can do now.
It's coming up on the first anniversary of my blog. I will soon have 365 days worth of entries. I can't believe that I have had the discipline to do this every day for almost a year. I am going to have to do something to celebrate. Maybe we will have a drawing a la Debbie's Birthday. Let me think on it a bit.
Now I am rambling....I think I am trying to put off the inevitable......Somebody shove me into the workroom and slam the door.
See you tomorrow.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Post Script.....This award seems to be going round and round. I received it again today from Erika and Rosanna. Thanks ladies. I am running out of people to give it to, so I have decided that it is only fair to give it to all of the blogs that I follow. If I am on your followers list, consider yourself awarded!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I look outside the real windows and it it cloudy and drizzling rain. It has been all day. It's a good day for getting sidetracked. So I went to the kitchen and made real date oatmeal muffins instead of minis. Then I had to eat the muffins. All of that took up about an hour. I couldn't think of any other excuse not to work on the cottage so I decided on making the curtains.
I have a tutorial elsewhere for making curtains already so I will just show you what I got done. I talked Tessie into some different fabric for the bedroom curtains. They are much more sedate than the ones with the big stars. I think that they will work out better.
About the toaster fabric in the kitchen...Now that I have it pleated the toasters done show at all. I am going to at least try it, but I may have to change to something like Roman shades or a roller blind if I want them to show.
I have all of the curtains pinned. The more that I look at them, the more I think that they are too formal for a cottage. I am thinking that this has been a wasted day, with the exception of the muffins. Those were good.
You may be asking why I haven't mentioned Tessie. Well......Yesterday when I was taking photos of Eskiaga's digs, she noticed. I had to introduce the two of them. I don't think it is going well though.
Eskiaga seems to think that she is only interested in his cat and his tacos! I imagine that she will be back in her cottage soon.
See you tomorrow.
Anyway, I am officially losing my mind now. This isn't my entry for today. It's only 5:30 AM. This is just to let you know that I am not completely crazy yet, but I'm working on it!
On top of everything else, I discovered this morning that I have 11 followers! I never thought to check. Hi all! I am honoured that you like the blog that much. Happy to have you here! I added a followers gadget so that I can wave at you all as I type!
See you later.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
In this photo you can also get a better view of the beams. I started with some Houseworks baseboard and carved the diamond pattern into it. Much easier than starting from scratch.
I did start from scratch on the front door. It is simply a false door, but all of the carving is the same as would be done on a real one.
The silver disk that you see above the door is an Aztec calendar.(It's really an advertizing coaster from a shipping company.) The two chairs are "Take a Seat" resin ones that I added a couple of years ago.
OK. This is all I have time to do. Please feel free to stay around and look at all of the pretty new sites.
See you tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
When I returned home, Tessie was waiting and demanded to know what had taken me away from working on her house. It is very hard to explain about the inauguration if someone has never heard anything about politics before. So.....I decided to show her what was going on.
I borrowed the burglar's TV and put it in her cottage. It's a good thing that I haven't done the windows yet. I had to stick the antenna out the window to get a good picture. She was sitting in the corner pouting when I started setting it up. She peeked over the top of the book that she was pretending to read and was immediately entranced by the amazing moving pictures.... "Why haven't I seen this before?! I thought you said that a TV wouldn't work because I didn't have that electricity stuff!" She moved her chair closer. I had to explain that it worked with batteries. I didn't have the heart to tell her that in a few weeks it won't work at all. When they change the signal, the set will be just a doorstop.
Then I had to explain who Barack Obama was and why he was swearing.....No not that kind of swearing, Tessie. She was fascinated and was disappointed that she had missed the swearing part. She only got to see part of the luncheon. Then they had the nerve to turn off the cameras and actually eat without her watching..... How rude!.
She still watched and kept moving the chair closer. I went away to find a couple of things that I needed to work on the cottage. I discovered that she had poked her nose over the top of her book as I was getting it ready for her to watch.
She learns fast. When I returned, ready to work, she was snuggled under MY silk afghan, watching the burglar's TV. The inauguration? Nope. She managed to push the buttons and change the station to "Friends".
Oh well. I didn't want to work on the cottage today anyway. So there!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Now then........The only problem that I have left for the day is Tessie herself. She worked on me until I agreed to give her the stove. I am still not letting her eat the cake and cookies that Val sent me. They are too pretty to be eaten. She kept the chocolate chip cookies. Friskie loves it when Tessie cooks. She is very messy and he gets a lot of the stuff that she drops. Good Eats!
I am a little worried. She wants the stove hooked up for cooking "Right Now!". She found my favorite wok pan and Japanese cleaver..... I'm afraid to ask what she is going to cook with that. She might just tell me.......I don't think that I want to know!
See you tomorrow.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I peaked in and there she was. Her new clothes were scattered here and there. Her excuse was that she put extra sheets and other fabric for clothes in the trunk. I think we have a problem. There are no flat walls to put pegs up for hanging them.
I started looking around and she has stolen one of my antique pincushions to use as a footstool. I collect all kinds of antique sewing tools. I have extras so I guess it's OK, for now anyway. I think that we are going to have words about having a big easy chair in the bedroom. I made her move the joint stool away from the eaves and under the window. The candle was a fire hazard. She confiscated a beaded necklace from my stash. I am either getting soft or very tired of arguing with her. She is getting her way more and more. Did I mention that she is sitting up there pouting? She witched the sewing table up there and was eating Halloween cookies and drinking bug beer. I gave up and went back downstairs and did the half timber while she was still busy.
I stopped to eat lunch after that. By the time I was ready to go back to work, this is how the ground floor looked. She managed to witch the cupboard back into it's place. That was probably the best way to move it. There is less than a quarter inch to spare between the top and the ceiling now.
I am not sure how she is planning on using the silver filigree container by the cupboard. Maybe it's a waste basket. I will have to ask.
She's still trying to work in the round table. The pogo stick is resting by the door.......I am not sure that I should show you the other half of the room....
Once again she has witched the stove that has food into the room and now she is trying to get the motorcycle in also. If she succeeds, there is going to be no room to walk around.
She left the oven door open. It' s a good thing that it's not lit. I found her new shoes stored in there! Debbie made a comment saying that she hoped that Herman wasn't a fire breathing dragon the other day......I hate to say it, but I think that is the least of my worries. At least she can't move Herman into the house!
I am going back now to see what other damage she has done. I am going to have to move everything out of the kitchen again. I need to varnish the floors. Did I mention that I still need to finish all of the windows and the curtains? Yes. Another move out and in. Or in and out. I am thoroughly confused now. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
See you tomorrow.