Friday, July 31, 2009
Anyway, this is what it looks like so far. As you can see, just a tiny bit of the background shows through here and there, giving it a worn look.
Here is the selection of colors that I finally ended up with. When I design with the PC stitch program I sometimes use a pallet with more contrast than the finished piece. It is much easier to read the colors that way if there are just a few of them.
The other nice thing about the program is you can make your pattern the exact same size as your finished work by selecting the number of stitches per inch. It's great when you want to see how your finished piece is going to look in the room size wise.
I am liking the colors so far. I did have to change the brown to a darker color for contrast with the green. The color that I picked first was lighter and the green and brown kind of melted into a puddle.
Tessie didn't show up all morning whilst I was stitching. I started to wonder what she was up to... It was altogether too quiet. Remember what I said yesterday about a hiding hole? I happened to catch a glimpse of white whooshing around the corner of the footstool that sits behind me when I am on the computer when I was here earlier.
I was quiet and kept the camera at hand and this is what I captured. I didn't use the flash, so I don't think that she saw me. Like Elmer Fudd chasing the rabbit, I was very, very quiet........
There is an actual door in the wall behind the footstool! she forgot to zap the footstool back where it usually stands.
She came out carrying the loaded water pistol like she meant business. I wasn't about to confront her. You never know what she has loaded that blasted pistol with.
I know when to keep out of the way. I am going to wait until I know she is somewhere else and then investigate.
If you don't hear from me tomorrow come and rescue me. I fear that she might zap me if she catches me at the door. Wish me luck!
See you tomorrow.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Letting her loose was a small price to pay for the two gargoyles that I gained. I should say regained. Walter ordered them from the Design Toscano catalog a couple of years ago as my Christmas present. They are a part of a set of five different gargoyle pens. Tessie immediately absconded with them and I hadn't seen them until she poofed them into the stone box with her yesterday. The other three are still missing.
I have a strong suspicion that there is a hiding hole somewhere in the house that she has stuffed with things that she likes. How else can I explain the things that go missing and are never to be seen again unless I ask her to help look for them?
When I started working on the rug this morning she appeared. She perched herself on my magnifying lamp and went to work. I noticed that she was working on a piece of cross stitch that I started a few years back. (The six year old lost interest and when she went back to look for it, it was gone.)
I asked Tessie where she got it. She claimed that it was all her own work, designed and stitched by her.
It is strange that there are really no stitches that weren't there when I stopped working on it last. Hmmmmm......I wonder if she could be prevaricating? It is also a Celtic pattern....I have no idea where I put it. I may have to use what is there and see if I can remember what it looked like.
This is what the pattern for the hanging looks like now. You are welcome to stitch the design. If you do, keep in mind that it is copyrighted and for personal use only. I designed it on my PC Stitch Pro cross stitch program. If any of you are interested in trying it, you can go to http://www.pcstitch.com and download a trial version to play with.
Tessie nicely volunteered to hold up the piece that I am working on to show you how I start. I always mark out the size of the rug on the fabric with a Pigma permanent marking pen. I use the .oo5 size in brown. It doesn't worry me that it will show when I am finished because that part will be cut off or covered with stitches. This gives me some idea how big it is going to be and how many more thousands of stitches I still have left to do. This is on#28 count fabric. There will be 784 stitches in a square inch. That means the whole thing will have 10,416 stitches......It isn't smart to count the stitches before they are done, but I can't help it. A long time ago I worked for a while as an inventory clerk.....I got into the habit of counting everything. It never wore off.... Bad habits are hard to break.
Anyway, I am almost finished with the first side of the first outside row.....This may take a while.
See you tomorrow.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
This is the pattern I was working on. I am going to mess with it some more and then use it as a wall hanging at the back of the stone box.
You are probably wondering where Tessie was throughout the meeting. Discretion being the better part of valor, I decided to leave her captive in the box. We went through the whole meeting without a peep from her. Soundproof glass is a good thing.
Balthzar wandered in and commented on the wonderful peace and quiet. Then he noticed the sign. Yup! She saved it from the last time that she was in a silent snit. This time we really couldn't hear her.
Hard choice....Quiet is good.....Gargoyles are better in this case.
See you tomorrow
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
See you tomorrow.
Monday, July 27, 2009
This is my new wallpaper. I found it at Brass Goggles. When I look at the screen it has the effect of looking into the inside of a strange machine.
I was hoping that it would inspire me to work on the Clockwork Cottage. It's not working. Tessie has gone off somewhere to pout because she can't remember how to get into Zar's cottage. Zar is off working on some mysterious project and I am left to clean up the mess.
As usual on Monday, I am trying to get the big house in order. Laundry is laundering. My next job will be to clean out the fridge. I am stalling as hard as I can.
When I went to look at what had to be done in the cottage, I felt like taking a page from Tessie's how to manual. I wanted to stomp my feet and yell a lot. I am really stretching my six year old's limits. I want to do something else for a day or two. Hey! I just remembered. I'm the six year old boss. I can do something else if I so wish.
I kept looking at the shape. It was saying "Stone Arch". Who am I to fight with a gift box? That would just be ridiculous! I pulled it out and painted the rim gray.
I am not at all sure what it is going to be. All I know is.....It's not going to be a clockwork anything!
I haven't painted the body of the box yet, because I have no idea what I want to do with that part. It could be stone or it could be stucco.
I started cutting up egg cartons and gluing them to the rim. I only have about a third of it done, but you can see how it is starting to look like solid rocks. I cut the edge so that it folded to the back and glued a piece the same width on the other side of the corner.
Now all I have to do is actually finish it.....OK so I am not as much a finisher as I am a starter and leave it for later-er.
I am going back to work now. I have a refrigerator to clean, laundry to do and dinner to cook. Alas, the real world is encroaching on my mini world.
See you tomorrow, hopefully with a better attitude......
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Then I put a second coat of antique copper/bronze on the whole thing. I am now liking the finish. I don't want everything to be matchy matchy.
I sat it beside the bed to check the height. I think it's about right now. I put the clock back on it and checked to see if I could still read it from above. I could, so Tessie loses this round.
Tessie came in and said,"I'm going to go check out the dining room chandelier."
I told her that it was working just fine, but as soon as I said it I heard a ruckus coming from the dining room.
Spike was nipping at her heels and I started yelling. "Tessie!!! Get down now!"
She just giggled madly and kept swinging. Spike backed off for fear of getting a foot in his mouth. I backed off because I was trying hard not to laugh out loud.
About that time Balthazar wandered in and saw what she was doing to his chandelier. "Tessie! You come down here! Get off of my chandelier! You'll break it!"
He finally managed to get close enough to grab her and get her down.
She managed to kick him in the chins a couple of times on the way. I, somehow, don't think that was accidental.
He has banned her from the Clockwork Cottage again. Let's see how long it takes her to remember this time. I am guessing 48 hours, at the most. I am not taking bets though. She seems to be remembering how to get in faster every time.
I have to go see about the kitchen light. Loose connection somewhere. That light is higher. If she remembers how to get in there is not as much of a chance of her swinging from that one. At least not without bringing her own chair.....
See you tomorrow.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Well....At least one of us got some sleep last night. I did hear a couple of piercing screams during the night, but I assumed it was nothing more serious than and actor getting bitten, stabbed or otherwise destroyed.
Anyway, they staggered away and that left me a clear field for cleaning out without someone looking over my shoulder and making rude comments.
I stuffed a lot of the smaller things in the typesetter's drawer. That thing is a lifesaver. Everything is close at hand and doesn't get messed up whilst in storage.
As you can see, I am getting quit a bit organized to go in the cottage. Pay no attention to the antique needlework items on top. I ran out of room on the needlework themed drawer on the other wall. That is spillover.
After I finished cleaning out, I decided to make a bedside table out of the last cog wheel that I received from Katie. I found a chess rook that just happened to fit into the hole in the middle of the wheel. I glued it in on the underside and so far I have one coat of bronze paint on the whole thing. I think that it needs to be a bit taller so that when Zar is in bed he will be able to reach it.
Remember the Steampunk clock that Tabitha Corsica sent me? It really looks nice sitting there, or it will when I get a better finish on the table.
After that I did some more of the half timber on the walls. I keep finding more that has to be done. Oops! I missed a spot. Over and over.
I was working on the half timber when people and dogs started popping up all over the place.
Did I mention that I made a cushion for the window seat? Zar immediately took that over. He claims that it will be a great place for him to read his technical journals......Sure it is....I guess he thinks I am too big to read the fine print....That's a Racing Form that he has in his hand.
Tessie had different ideas for where to put Tabitha's clock. She tried it above the fireplace.
Thank goodness. Zar is on my side on this one. He says it's too far away from the bed to read over there.
All in all, I have accomplished a lot today. Maybe I will take some of the Buffy DVDs away from the terrible twosome and go relax for a while now.
See you tomorrow.
Friday, July 24, 2009
See the little lip that sticks out at the edge of the carton? There is one all around the edge of the top. It is really handy. Don't cut it off when you are cutting up the cartons to save.
This is how you get a corner on the stones. If you look at the hearth that I am working on in the photo, you will see what I mean. The edges are covered, even though the illustration board is about 1/16" thick. I simply cut all of the edge pieces out of that lip. In case you hadn't noticed, the face of the stone is the inside of the box. This is the only place that there is an edge that turns the right way on most of the cartons. If you are careful, you can use this on the corners of buildings and walls by butting another piece of the carton the same length to the edge. It looks like the stone is a solid corner stone if you do it just right.
I noticed that the place in the wall that had a cubby for logs is still showing from when I patched it. I am going to have to do some more to that area so that it isn't showing....Or I could put a large wing chair in that corner. I have gotten pretty good at hiding spots like that over the years. No. Don't start looking for flaws. I told you. I am good at camouflage.
I still have to do some stonework on the inside of the fireplace. How I wish I had decided to change to stone before I put that wall together!
See? I am great at camouflage. All I have to do is bribe Tessie to stand in front of the log cubby place. What flaw? I don't see a flaw. Too bad I can't get her to stand there all of the time. Just bribing her to stand there while I took the photo was worth two pizzas and a keg of bug beer for refreshments for her and Zar while they watch DVDs tonight. They are back in business. Tessie found five seasons of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in the top of our closet this morning. Back to the Cat Tree Theatre. Mookie and Widget are banned until tomorrow.
Meanwhile she is pointing out where one of the rocks needs a little more work. Picky. Picky. Picky.
She just told Zar, "When I have a bedroom in Spiderwort Manor, it is going to be waaay bigger than yours! And what is more, I am going to have a fireplace that is twice as big as yours too!" She thought I was out of earshot when she made that statement. She is very confident. I still haven't signed any contracts to build the house. She is going to have to get it in writing before I build it. Quick! Hide all writing implements!
See you tomorrow.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Darn! I wasn't fast enough in cleaning up. There was Tessie. She started with the quarter inch scaled "Bedroom in a Trunk". "OK. This is what I want for a new bedroom when Spiderwort Manor is built. Only don't use yucky pink. It will, of course, have to be puce."
She is reminding me more and more of my daughter. April has been asking for real scale copies of my miniatures for years. Now Tessie is going for up scaling the quarter inch ones to one inch scale.
She climbed on top of the "Bathroom in a Trunk". "No blue either!" She has eliminated the two colors that I have to mix to make her beloved puce. I wonder if she realizes that? Maybe if I get rid of all of my pink and blue paint I won't have to paint anything puce ever again......Hmmmmmm.
"I do like the bathtub sitting up on a platform like that. And all of the fancy gingerbread trim is acceptable." she said, with her nose pressed against the top of the glass. "I want that bathroom." Then "Puce!"
She sidled up to the "Attic in a Trunk" last. "Now, I will be wanting a much larger attic than this."
"I know." I replied. "You will be wanting it in one inch scale if I ever build it."
She started her usual foot stomping as she does whenever things don't go her way."NO! I want a BIG attic. It has to be big to store all of the things that I want for Spiderwort Manor."
" But Tessie, if the things are for your new house, they should fit in the body of the new house." (Insert one foot into mouth and bite down hard!) Trapped again!
"So! You are building me a new house!"
"No. I didn't say that!"
"Yes you did!"
Here we go again. I won't bore you with the next half hour of "Yes!" and "No!" arguments.
Thank goodness I found the missing wand yesterday before she did! It is well hidden now and I am not foolish enough to give it back.
See you tomorrow.
I thought of Jodi over at Creager Studios. A week or so ago she had written of the same problem. So.....I went to her site. No followers there either....I checked a few other blogs, including Mad Uncle Cliff's Antipodean Steampunk Adventures in Australia. I thought maybe it was just on this side of the world....His was missing too.
Does anybody know what is going on? Are our favorite people all being held for ransom? Help!!! We need to rescue them!
Tessie grabbed the first weapon that she could find. She has threatened to pinch the little heads off of the follower-nappers. Whomever they are, I pity them if she has to come after them with her pliers!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tessie has "lost" the wand again and has been very bored all morning. I asked her to fetch me a piece of heavy paper. I forgot to specify the color.....Yup. Purple. Rather than search for gray, I got out the Ceramcoat Hippo Gray and painted it. Needless to say, that didn't make her happy.
For any wall or other surface that you want to cover with rock this way, you can apply directly to said wall or cut a template. I choose to do a template for the fireplace since it is already in place and I didn't want to stand on my head to install it. I do use a gray background for this. It makes the process so much easier.
I used the carved fireplace surround as a template. After painting, I let it dry so that it wouldn't curl. Then I proceeded to cut random rocks. In this case, I wanted them to look as if they had been shaped. I used regular scissors to cut the shapes and nipped off the corners. If you have to cut angles, be sure that you have the rough side facing up so that the angles are going in the direction that you want them. For example, I had to have pie shaped pieces to curve around the top. I made sure that the rough side was facing me so that I would get them going in the right direction.
As you can see, I didn't try to make the pieces fit exactly. They can easily be trimmed after they are glued to the template.
I started at the center top and worked out to the bottom of each side. I made sure that the inside of each piece overlapped the paper. That way when I get it glued in place I will be able to glue matching pieces inside the fireplace for dimension.
Tessie is sitting on a pile of the egg carton tops that I have saved. Some people save the bottom parts as well for more curved rocks. I don't. If I ever need those, they are easy enough to collect. You can also save the carry out cup trays from theaters and fast food places. They are a little rougher texture if that is what you need.
Here is the painted surround. I used a pallet of charcoal, hippo gray, trail tan, old parchment, light ivory and leaf green. They are all Ceramcoat. I just dabbed and dabbed with a stiff brush. I don't clean between colors. I will hit the stones with a couple of coats of flat varnish to finish and protect them.
Tessie is now raising a fuss because she doesn't have a fireplace in her cottage. I knew this was going to happen. To quote her,"A witch needs a place to keep her cauldron! Spiderwort Manor is
I am leaving soon. I have to go to Wednesday Witches mini meeting. I don't want to listen to her complain all afternoon! Sweet relief. I just hope that she doesn't find the wand while I am away...
See you tomorrow.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Spike is back out from under the bed. As soon as she finds the wand, I have the feeling that he is going to grab it and chew it to death.... He doesn't want to be a gargoyle again.
I am a day behind since we went to HP yesterday. I am doing two things at once now. I am doing laundry. I'm cleaning and I just finished putting up a new curtain rod in the family room. I did one earlier in our bathroom. Those are real size and not at all easy compared to the mini ones. I have had the rods for ages and I still have a new one for the living room....That one is going to have to wait.Two is enough for one day.
I should tell you the bad news. Zar ran out of DVDs to watch. He is now back to nagging me to work on the Clockwork cottage. Maybe I can talk him into getting down and looking for Tessie's lost wand in exchange for my work. Thank goodness she lost it before she got the idea to try it out on him. As Debbie said in the comments, Zar could be turned to stone if he wasn't careful. I think that the crisis is averted for the time being.
Tessie popped up while I was hanging the curtains to tell me that the wand was nowhere to be found....Personally, I think that Spike found it when she wasn't looking and absconded with it.
She pleaded for me to do another one, since I had one started anyway. I finally gave up and carved the second one.
She was so desperate to get it that she didn't notice that it was made of lighter wood and not so powerful as the first. The kind of wood makes all of the difference. I also used a zebra tail hair for the core. That's much weaker than the piece of rhinoceros horn that I used on the other one.
She agreed to be confined to the glass terrarium whilst she learned to control it. I figured that she couldn't do quite so much damage in a confined space. Well. It was a good theory.....
If you look closely you will see what I mean. Spike is sitting on the floor. Look on the chair......... She IS good! Click the photo for a closer look. Heaven help us if she finds the other one and has one for each hand!
See you tomorrow if she doesn't turn me into a toad before then. Thank goodness for the glass between us.....
Monday, July 20, 2009
Anyway,in the movie, Olivander's Wand Shop was destroyed. So much for buying Tessie a nice wand......
What made me think that buying or making Tessie a wand was a good idea? Sometimes the six year old in me just doesn't think before she leaps. This was one of those times.
First I drew spirals on the toothpick from the "handle" to about an inch out. Then with my trusty Exacto I carved the barley twist on it by making a "V" on each line and smoothing it with the emery board. I stained it with Minwax Provincal stain.
While that was drying I built a box for it. If Olivander had boxes for his wands, Tessie will want one to store hers in when she is not madly waving it at everything in site.
Then using the lines on the index card as a guide, I did a 1/4" box that was just a bit longer than the wand.
You can build any box this way. All you have to remember is to make the inside box just a smidgen smaller than the outside. In this case, I made one about 1/16" longer than the other and for the width, I simply folded the inside box inside the lines on the bottom and the outer box on the outside of the lines. I glued fancy paper to the outside top before folding and some velvet floral ribbon to the inside sides and bottom.
Before I was even half way done, Tessie grabbed the wand and started waving it around, pointing at various items and trying out spells. There were things flying this way and that. She finally calmed down when I told her if she made the mess, she cleaned up the mess. She knows that threat is a solid and very serious one. I did have to get Mookie down from the high plant shelf, but other than that everything was back in place.
Remember how Spike was sitting attentively in front of her, watching every wave of the wand? I was looking through the magnifying glass, marking the second wand so that you could see how I did it. I saw a flash out of the corner of my eye......
"OK, TESSIE!!!! THAT'S ENOUGH!!!! Spike does not want to live his life as a gigantic gargoyle! You have sixty seconds to turn him back!" That was me....
Tessie's reply? "But it is such an improvement! He can fly!"
I then pointed out that if he was a gargoyle he was made of stone and couldn't move or breathe.
She quickly waved the wand and put him to rights. He is now hiding under her bed and wouldn't come out for even the T-bone steak that she offered!
I am either going to have to wrestle her to the ground and take back the wand or go somewhere and hide too. I will have to ponder the choices for a little while. What was I thinking?? Tessie with a wand???
See you tomorrow.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Basically you cut three petals from purple scrapbook paper for each blossom. Then you cut a bunch of slivers off of the edge of green paper.
You then use a ball stylus to cup the petals. I use a double thickness of suede leather for a pad. This allows me to cup them without having them fly up and hit me in the eye. I curled the leaves with the edge of my tweezers, like you do curly ribbon at Christmas. Soft curves please. No whirligigs.
I put a piece of dry floral foam in the pot. I covered that with glue and miniature railroad ballast. I have been known to go out in the back yard and grab a handful of dirt in times of need. It works fine.
After that, I started putting the same glue on the bottom end of the leaves and arranging them in a circular pattern around the stem. Some times there are a couple of flowers coming out of one of the crowns. Just keep building until the pot looks full.
See you tomorrow.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Most of the time that I was working on it, I could hear Tessie and him making rude comments about Vin's bald head in the cat cozy.
When I was finished with the floor, I did some of the timber framing on the ceilings and walls. I still have some of that to do. I made the mistake of putting the carved wood fireplace surround in place to see how it looked. I don't like it with the half timber. It may have to be saved for another house. I am thinking that Zar would prefer old brick or maybe stone. I will have to ask when he finishes the movie.
I tried to ask him something yesterday when they were watching "Hackers!" and he stomped on my fingers and told me to leave. He was upset that he had to replay the scene that he had been watching. I am getting worried now. He has a notebook and is writing furiously as the movies play. He says it is research......
Meanwhile, just as I finished laying the floor, Tessie showed up. I asked if she would like to sit on the bed and pose for a photo to show scale. She replied "I am NOT scaly!" Here we go again. I had to explain that she was 1/12 the size of me and that was what scale meant. She finally agreed to pose. Only if she could keep her yo yo. It seems that Zar has been eyeing it for use as a part for the time machine. Something about balance. She and Spike are both guarding it with their lives.
I came in here to see how the photos of her and Spike came out. I am not a great photographer and sometimes I have to do it more than once.
When I went back to the cottage I caught Tessie in the bathroom. I think that whatever Zar did to make her forget the secret workshop is wearing off.
She was kicking the secret panel and trying to wedge her fingers in the crack between the door and the frame. I helped Zar out, just this once, by telling her that I had made a mistake in that wall and had to patch it. I am not sure that she bought it. Spike refused to leave. I think that he smelled the lunch that Zar left on the table. I am going to have to have a long talk with Zar. He has to be more careful and he also has to hypnotize her better next time.
I am going to go eat Chinese food now and worry about those two tomorrow.
See you then.
Friday, July 17, 2009
She rummaged around there for a while and then disaster struck.....She found the DVD player. "What is this infernal machine?" I told her that it was an infernal movie player. That was easier than explaining DVDs to her. And anyway, I don't think I could. I am not even sure what they are exactly. All I know is they play pretty pictures on a screen and tell a story.
She demanded that I come down from the ladder and turn it on for her. She was watching carefully. She settled on a new set of four DVDs that I just got on the bargain table at Walmart. It's a compilation of forty of Alfred Hitchcock's early movies, including six silent ones that I have never seen. How could I pass it up for 5.00? Good stuff.
She couldn't find any popcorn, so she settled on a can of coke and a whole sheet of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. She sat there watching and happily munching. I went back to work up in the attic.
After a while she got bored and wandered off. I am not complaining, mind you. I just got a bit worried when I didn't hear anything but the sound from the DVD player that she left on.
I came down from the ladder and started working on the pile on the work table. I didn't think anything about it when the player went silent. I just figured that it had run out.
I went looking for both. This is what I found. Tessie was in her director's chair and Zar in his big wicker one. She zapped the player into the cat cozy. They had a stack of DVDs waiting to be watched.
When Tessie saw me, she exclaimed "This is just like going to the movies! It's nice and dark."
I asked what they were watching....Then I saw it. "Hackers!" Tessie explained that they picked that one because it was all about computers and taking over the world. Well she got the computer part right. She and Zar are making plans. I am slightly apprehensive. They have "Pitch Black" with Vin Diesel, "A Hard Day's Night" with the Beatles and, of all things, "Caddyshack"......It should be interesting to see which parts of these films they plan to use in their diabolical scheme. I am just going to stand back and watch.....and probably giggle hysterically every once in a while.
See you tomorrow.