Sunday, February 28, 2010
Tessie has a new house coming. Zar has an old house, unfinished. Tessie wants the worktable to be house free when hers arrives.
I saw her sneaking up to the second floor of Zar's place this morning.....This can't be good.....
She climbed over mountains of debris just to get to the stairway. Exertion is not her thing.....
The next thing I knew, she was in the bathroom with one of my sculpting tools, digging at the wall. She knows that's where the secret door is. She has known for a while. She just doesn't know how to open it.
She kept yelling, "Zar! You have to move......Come out here you coward!" and other niceties....
I saw that Zar was on the other side, bracing the door for all he was worth.
Tessie has decided that the house should be finished and "out of the way" by the time her new townhouse arrives.
I would say that Zar and I have our work cut out for us. The new house is probably traveling overland by mule train, but it still won't take more than a week or two. I am in so much trouble.
At the rate that I was going on the Clockwork Cottage, it would probably be finished within the next year.....Now she wants it done in the next week or so.....Uh Oh....
Sometimes I am such a chicken. I am meekly standing back and letting the two of them fight it out. What will be, will be....Hmmmm...That would make a good song title.....
The last time I looked in, Zar was still barring the door and Tessie remembered that there was not, as yet, a roof on the room. She was hanging over the top.
"Zar! I advise you to cover your head. She is going to start throwing things down at you any minute now."
As for me, I am going to stand back until Tessie gets tired and goes away....After that, I have to start working double speed.
See you tomorrow with lots of progress. I hope.
First I have Lara of Lara's Miniature World http://larasminiatureworld.blogspot.com/ Her blog is fairly new, but she has some interesting things to look at.
Second is Allison from Miniature Allsorts http://www.miniatureallsorts.blogspot.com/ She seems to have more than one blog. You can get to the others from here.
Next is Chelle from House of Mouse. http://dashausdermaus.blogspot.com/ She has a lot of neat Barbie stuff to look at.
Then we have Cleer. I have no info on this one.
Then there is Nyork of Mundomini la tienda http://latiendademundomini.blogspot.com/ Lots of minis to look at.
Next is Erika of El Desvan de las Hadas http://desvandelashadas.blogspot.com/ She has some printies for the pitchers that we all like to do on her blog.
Next is Hissunkissun. Her blog is in Finnish, but translates thanks to Google. Näprääjän notes is the title in English. http://vaapulavissun.blogspot.com/ You should go look at her tiny bobbin lace! The food looks good enough to eat!
Then there is BrujitaMinis http://brujitaminis.blogspot.com/ She says that she is a newcomer to minis....She is doing quite well.
Next is Pity of Las Minis de Pity http://pityminis.blogspot.com/ Lots of little bitty stuff to see!
There is minimusdoll. I have no info on this one.
Last is Selena with a blog of the same name.http://selena-primitiveco.blogspot.com/ She is in Russia and makes the cutest little pesant dolls. Selena, I will have to tell my daughter about your blog. She spent some time in Russia for her college courses.That's it for the new guests! Make yourselves at home. As usual, tea and cupcakes are ready and waiting. Welcome!!!
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Well maybe just a little fault goes to HBS, alias Miniatures.com. They sent me an e mail night before last saying that for three days they were having a sale.....50% off of one house of my choice.
Unfortunately, Tessie saw the letter. See the photo to the left? She has been perusing the pages for the past 24 hours whenever I wasn't around. She is getting quite adept at jumping up and down on the computer keyboard.....Thank goodness she didn't have access to a credit card!
When I finally discovered what she was up to, it was already too late. She even figured out how to make a "wish list". You should have seen the length of that!
Walter got in on the act when he heard about the sale and said, "Why don't you go ahead and order one?"
I think that he knew that he wouldn't be able to stand the whinging witch if he didn't talk me into it.
I finally agreed, with limitations. I told her it had to be narrow enough to fit on the desktop in a 20" wide area. I figured that would fix it so that she would only be able to get a very small house.....Oops! I forgot the old addage, "If you can't build out, build up."
She has completely forgotton about the Magnolia behind the door. I never thought it was her style anyway.
She picked out the RGT Victorian Townhouse. She stuck with the criteria....It is exactly 20" wide. It is also 20" deep and 38" high! Oh well. It was a good try and at half price, it is a real bargain anyway.
It is an interesting house. It opens in the front with a bay that swings out. The back is open also.
These photos are from http://www.miniatures.com/ website. Too bad that they are so small. It's the best I can do for now.
It comes with all of the windows, doors, shingles and trim, so that will save me a bit of cash also.
You should hear Tessie....Or maybe you shouldn't. She is saying things like, "You are going to have to hurry on Zar's house or it is going on the top shelf as soon as MINE gets here." And then, "It's NOT going to be icky yellow like the photo. Maybe it could be more castle like. It has a tower! Hmmmmm.....I may just have to have a secret room that Zar doesn't know about.....Kind of like the one he's been hiding. Yes....I know about that."
I placed the order about an hour ago.....She keeps jumping up and down on the keyboard, checking on the shipping. At this rate, I am probably going to have to replace the keyboard before the house gets here.
"Is it here yet?"
"No, Tessie. It's not here yet."
"Is it here yet?"
"Is it here yet?".......
I am thinking of turning the tower into a torture chamber......
See you tomorrow.
Friday, February 26, 2010
She was having the most difficulty with her because she is a modern lady and more difficult to do and make look good.
I sneaked in with the camera and Tessie immediately saw me and started yelling for me to cease and desist. In fact, those were almost her exact words. "Casey! Cease and desist that intolerable snapping right now! Remember what I told you yesterday?"
She proceeded to shoo me away and said, "If this continues, I am going to give these people some of my clothes so that they can defend themselves!" And that is just what she did.
The next thing I knew, she had moved them all to her closet and dressed them in anything that she could find......Unfortunately for me, as soon as she got them dressed, they all started backing her up. All were chattering at once about the disarray of their costume.
I think that she knew just what she was doing. I can no longer put them back in the parts box without being arrested for cruel and inhumane treatment.
Her next step was to take them all in and show them where I had been keeping them and warning them that if they, meaning Tessie and them, didn't stick together, I might manage to force them back in there.....She made it sound just horrible.
They are all now in the bedroom discussing which patterns and fabrics they would prefer for their new clothes. Here we go again. It doesn't look like I can get out of finishing them now.
I thought that you might like a close up of their faces. I can't claim the beautiful paint job. Someone else did that. It's almost hard to believe that they are 1:12 scale.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I took off the bloomers on the buxom lass. It was for the best. They were just too baggy.
Then I proceeded to shave two out of three heads. I had started these two and stopped after I attached the hair. They were getting pretty bad bed heads from laying in the parts box for so long.
I did get a lace petticoat on the blond and painted all of the shoes. I guess that counts as four steps forward and three steps back.....
I set the three girls up for photos in back of the tea shop. If what Tessie says is true, they won't mind. They are still not cognisant of what is happening around them.
Tessie spotted me. She immediately objected, saying, "Stop that right now! How embarrassing!"
She grabbed a scrap of material and covered them. I asked her why she was doing that since she said that they weren't aware yet.
She hissed at me,"Zar will be here any minute! He has a cupcake appointment!"
"Oops! I guess I should have checked the cupcake schedule before I started." I said.
She was getting hysterical and shouted,"You shouldn't be doing it at all! What if these genteel ladies wake up and see what you did? They will probably all go into apoplexy!"
Just as he was coming in the door.....Wait a minute! He has a key??? Tessie shoved all three of the ladies towards me and spun around on her heels.
I managed to catch the ladies and I heard her yell at Zar, "Give me back that key! Now!!!"
To keep the peace, I intervened and told Zar that it wasn't nice to steal keys at Grand Openings. I am wondering how many cupcakes he has filched in the last week....He finally forked it over.
Tessie was so mad that she kicked him out without a cupcake and kicked me out with three half naked ladies! It is going to take a few days to get back into her good graces for both of us.....Back to dressing.
See you tomorrow.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I made pantaloons for the blond....Tried using an extra pair of Tessie's for the brunette. she is a rather buxom lass and will have a pouter pigeon look to her outfit when finished.
After I got the sewing done on her bloomers, I decided that Tessie's were too long for her. I am going to take them off and make her some of her very own. She doesn't like hand me downs.
She now has the proper shape for the style, but the bloomers just don't do a thing for her.
The third poor lady didn't get anything but padding.
Did I mention that the WWs were all having too much fun catching up to get much done? We had an actual lunch of home made lasagna, spinach salad and garlic toast. Did I also mention that the witch in charge of the meeting has a restaurant downtown and the food is out of this world?
We didn't get much done and we did eat a lot. I finally gave up and gave into dessert.
I think that this is much prettier than the dolls. It's a sinfully delicious, Chocolate mousse pie with homemade Carmel sauce and Carmel ice cream....
So much for working on dolls.....I am too full to work.
See you tomorrow!
Post Script: Irene at Apples Tea Rooms http://applestearooms.blogspot.com/ and Anna of Anna's Minis http://miniannalee.blogspot.com/ have awarded me the Sunshine Award. Thank you both. Since this is the third and fourth time I have received this award, I am going to cheat and count the first six blogs that I awarded it to, as my "pass-it-ons". Thanks again ladies!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
It is my "Unfinished dolls and patterns" box. That's what the label says....Tessie said, as soon as she saw the contents, "Oh! Unfinished people! How could you leave half done people cooped up in a plastic box like this? Bad Casey!!!!".
OK. So there are some dolls that I haven't gotten around to dressing and wigging. Is that a crime? Don't answer that. Tessie evidently thinks it is. She is determined to see that they come to life ASAP.
First she got them all out of the box and made them pose for a photo. No matter that they weren't decently dressed. She explained to me that until they are wigged, painted and fully clothed, they won't even be aware of the goings on.
Please don't tell her that there are others of their kind hiding in another box, on a higher shelf.....
The two ladies are some that I bought at a show several years ago and the two kids are some that I started and didn't finish, that I was going to sell at the same show.....Oops. I forgot them all. Poor people. Maybe Tessie is right. They deserve to be finished.
My only question is, who is going to take responsibility for these two. I have a feeling that they are going to get into just about as much trouble as Tessie. I know that she isn't ready for kids...After all, she acts like a six year old most of the time, herself.
I couldn't stand it. When Tessie's back was turned, I looked for the other box. Big mistake.
I found two of Marcia Backstrom's kits that Pat A. gave me. There was also a doll with terrible hands and feet(the reason for not finishing her) and One of the pincushion half dolls from the 20s. That poor little lady has been dressed several times and then undone. All she needs is a new bottom half.
Don't tell Tessie about the extra people. She will want me to finish the clown and he scares me....
Well......I guess I know what I am going to be doing for the next few days until Tessie loses interest. I had better get to work.
See you tomorrow.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Earlier today Tessie decided that the tea shop should go atop my tool chest in the bedroom. She must have had her measuring tape out. It just fits. She explained to me that it is a good location to sit, sip tea and watch TV. That's what she did all of the time that Zar and I were cleaning up the shop.
After we got that straightened around, I decided I had done enough miniature stuff for the day. I turned to beading. I finished beading the head of my tweezers and Tessie immediately grabbed to them. You know how she is with sparkly things.
She announced to the world that I made them just for her....???
The bead work is circular even peyote stitch and it kind of matches all of my other beaded tools. I still need to bead a pair of wire cutters. Then I will have everything beaded that needs beading in the way of tools. It is too difficult to use an exacto knife with beading....I learned that the hard way. Don't ask.
Anyway, this morning I cleaned out the cabinet that has all of my spare picture frames and found that one thing led to another...and another.... and another. I figured out that hanging some of the frames around the house with something inside them was one way to clear up storage space.
Then when I went to put something inside the frames, I got sidetracked into cleaning out files that had drawings and other things that I was saving to frame.....Before I finished, I found a lot of patterns for furniture, notes for room boxes and other ideas....There is never enough time to do it all.
Soooooo.......I put Mookie to work. He is now in charge of future adventures in miniature.....He is diligently searching. It may take a while. He keeps getting sidetracked too. The file box is just the right size to use for napping. I keep having to nudge him and tell him to get back to work. This could take a while with him doing it.
Maybe I should go help for a while. Cleaning out files is a good rainy day activity.....
See you tomorrow. I am wishing for the sun to come back then.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Eskiaga and Cordelia grabbed the best seats in the house and you will have to fight them for the basket of cupcakes in the center of their table. Eskiaga already has dibs on the strawberry cake. I think that he was the first one in the door. I saw him peeking in the window, deciding to make a bee line for it when they were all out on the porch....Don't touch his strawberry cake!
The fortuneteller trapped poor Zar in the corner and keeps saying "Cross my palm with gold and I will read your fortune in the crystal ball. Zar hasn't been able to get near the cupcakes. I think he is going to have to give her some gold just to get out of the corner. Forget about the fortune.
Esmirelda got the only other chair and Tessie keeps saying, "My chair! Get up, Sis!" Esmirelda is holding her own. She managed to get a glass of iced pumpkin tea and raided the box of jack o' lantern cookies.
Beau knows which side his bread is buttered on. Esmirelda always shares with him.
Tessie is about to throw both of them out. The cookies weren't on the menu.
I managed to get a nice close up of Essie when she wasn't looking.
She never looks directly at anybody. She has this spiderweb that holds her hair in place and that spider hangs in front of her nose all of the time. That makes it difficult to focus on anything else.
Tessie finally got tired of trying to end the party. She gave up and joined her oldest sister in the attic. They are sitting up there, making fun of the other guests. They have a rusty tub of cupcakes....The best ones, and they just point and laugh a lot.
I am not sure what the special brew in Tessie's cup is made of. There is slimy red stuff dripping over the edge. No. I am not going to ask.
Anyway, the party is still going strong and I fear that the whole tea shop will be bare to the walls by the time this crew finishes eating and drinking.
If Tessie's not worried, neither am I. Back to the real world now. Fiddle Dee Dee. I will worry about clean up later. Have fun! Have another cupcake!
See you tomorrow.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
This is what the front of the shop looked like at six this morning. And they just kept coming. By eight o'clock, she gave up and opened the door. She was in fear of them knocking the door down and starting to riot.
These are people that have been waiting for months just for a cupcake. And believe me, they are serious cupcake eaters.
I decided to show you the 'before' photos today so that you could see it before the party got started. If it goes like most parties around here, it could go on for at least a couple of days. It depends upon how long the cupcake/tea supply holds out.
Here's the tour. First the attic. The pot of bat wing stew is still simmering.....How many days has it been now? Maybe we should call it Fermented Bat Wing Stew. Tessie is pretty well stocked up on spell ingredients....I don't see any of the flour, sugar, cocoa and other supplies that she needs for cupcakes. Not to mention, the only tea I see is on the shelves in the shop. I do hope that she remembered to order more. What she has is not going to last very long.
She is going to have to make more stock after the party. There are a lot now, but tomorrow there will probably just be crumbs on the floor and plates licked clean. Did I mention that the dogs like them too?
Here's a view of the whole thing. She doesn't have much in the way of seating....I asked her about it and she replied,"Seating? Who needs seating? Remember? By appointment only. Three people is enough to wait on at a time. If more want to eat cupcakes, they can take them home. I'll not have a bunch of people messing up my nice clean tea shop!"
I guess that is logical if you don't want to clean up after people. If I ever start a tea shop, I might just have to try that.
Then she said, "And besides, I am a free spirit.....I can't be tied down serving tea all day long!"
Here's the left side of the shop. She has put the tea cart that I bought her at the antique store to good use, serving cappuccino.
For special customers only, she has the golden Reutters tea set. Debbie from Tiny Treasures http://debbiestinytreasures.blogspot.com/ Sent her that.
There is also pumpkin tea in the pot at the front for her sister Esmirelda. That's all she drinks. Special brew.
The pets are getting a special sneak preview of the shop. I suspect that some of the cupcakes are going to have holes licked in the frosting at this rate. Theo has his eye on the strawberry cake. That tiger has the strangest tastes for a cat.
This was just before the shop opened and Tessie was still barring the door on the right side of the shop.
She very thoughtfully put a couple of baskets by the door for shoppers to fill.
On this side, the table with one chair is officially hers. Her cup with "Tessie's Teas" is on the table and she scarfed up most of the chocolate chip cookies before she let the others in.....She told me,"I didn't make enough for everybody. They are MINE!" She is being her usual "One for all, and all for me!" self. I am sure that the rest will disappear before anybody gets inside the door.
It is about time for the party to start! Tessie said to tell you, "Come on in! Have a cupcake and a beverage of choice and clean up your mess before you leave!" I wonder if she has ever heard the phrase "The customer is always right." Probably. She just disregards whatever annoys her and I am sure that would annoy her, no end.
Anyway, I am only going to repeat the part of the message that doesn't annoy me. "Come on in and have a cupcake and a beverage of choice!"
See you tomorrow. I will be the one with the push broom and dust pan and Tessie will be hiding anywhere but the tea shop.
Friday, February 19, 2010
To appease her, I decided to make quick work of the tables. I ad libbed.
I got into my drawers of turnings and other wood parts. The only thing I had to cut was the table tops. They were simply 3" circles cut from 3/32" bass wood.
In the photo you can see what I choose to use. There are two different types of turnings that I found at Michael's and two types of Woodsies, round and octagon. I tried them until I liked the combination and they were 2 1/2" tall. Thats pretty much standard table height.
I sanded the pieces, stacked them together with fast grab glue, let them dry and then painted them white.
Incidentally, they aren't lopsided. The cutting mat that they are standing on is bowed in the middle.
After the paint dried, I decided I didn't want to mess with making tablecloths. I simply traced around the top of each table on the back of fabric that matches the curtains. Then I cut that out and glued it to the table tops.
The last step was to glue white lace to the edge. This is about as simple as a table can be. I didn't tell Tessie that. I made her thing that I worked my fingers to the bone. That way she will leave me alone for the rest of the afternoon.
She and Monster Bunny are enjoying hot chocolate at one of the new tables. She started to pick up the cup and Monster Bunny growled at her. I didn't know that bunnies could growl until now. I think that she needs to make a second cup for herself if she doesn't want fang marks in the back of her hand.
I just noticed in the photo that the door to the shop could use another coat of paint. It seems like that sort of thing isn't noticeable until you look at it through the camera's eye.
I had better go attend to that now. I believe that the grand opening is planned for Saturday. You are invited! Tea and cupcakes for all......No appointment necessary for the opening. I am informed that it is a one day only offer. After that it will be back to "Cupcakes By Appointment Only!" Tessie is the only proprietor that could get away with that arrangement.
See you tomorrow for the opening.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
She has seen an apron in my fabric stash that I got from my grandma, via my mom. I think it is from the 30s or thereabouts. It is one piece and made of muslin. Whoever thought up this pattern had a twisted mind...Literally.
I am passing on the pattern that I made for it. This is only the first time I have made it. I think it could stand a few adjustments(according to Tessie). The shoulders are too wide and the neckline in front is a bit high.
I like the idea and will experiment with it some more until Tessie is happy with it. After all, she is the one that has to be comfortable in it.
As usual, I drew it on 1/4" graph paper, so if you want to mess with the pattern, enlarge it accordingly. The pocket is not necessary. I just cut out a general pocket shape and turned under the edges with glue.
The only sewing I did was the two darts under either arm. All of the edges were turned under with Fast Grab Glue and then the trim was also added with that.
Anyway, for a first draft, I don't think it looks too bad. I am going to try it again. I think that Tessie is going to earn the nick name "Apron Queen" if she keeps enlarging her wardrobe of them.
The cute thing about this pattern is the "twisted" part. the straps cross in back and fasten to the opposite shoulder.
The antique one that I have actually has seams at the shoulder and you slip the whole thing over your head arms stick your arms through the sides.
As I said, it's a work in progress. I thought that you would like to have the pattern to play with.
If you try it for your mini people, you may have to make some adjustments to fit whatever person you make it for.
Tessie enjoyed Witches and went around the table showing everybody her new apron. I hope that she doesn't figure out that is where I go every Wednesday. She may want to go along......I have to get away all by myself once in a while.
Today I have been back in the workroom, digging out, again. I keep telling you that I am making progress. Then I go back and look at it. I wonder where the progress is??? I think that the house gremlins (and Tessie) run in there as soon as I leave the premises and fling everything against the walls. Yup. That must be it. Workroom wrecking gremlins....
See you tomorrow.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
This particular room is one of my favorites. It is another one that goes through a metamorphosis every few years.
It has always been a library, but the furniture changes and so do the things on the shelves.
It has bee sitting, closed, in the workroom for a while now. It is an old oak file box that I found somewhere for $8.00. The reason I mention the price is, I saw one at the antique mall a couple of days ago and they wanted $64.00 for it! They have to be kidding!
This particular box was made to hold cards about 5" by 8". Turned on its side and opened that way, it has 8 foot ceilings. The body is about 4" deep and the lid about 1 1/2".
When I first made it, I covered the inside walls with dark green mat board. No painting, no muss, and no fuss.
I did get a little complicated with the floor. I used some veneer that I had laying around. I believe it was birch. I cut it into quarter inch strips and then on the diagonal about 2" long.
That made a quick job of it. I didn't do the staggered joints like you sometimes see. I just did straight lines. That way I could lay one course of it at a time instead of having to fit the ends into the next row.
Now, about the shelves. They are walnut. I designed them to exactly fit the lid of the box. I didn't put a finish on any of the wood in the box. When it is on display, I oil it with lemon oil when it starts to look dull. I rather like it natural.
The things that are displayed are an accumulation of gifts from friends, purchased books and knick knacks and things that I made. The engraving of the hot air balloons in the center was a table gift at one of the NAME house parties. There are several books from a dear friend that are actually readable. She is no longer with us, but these are a nice remembrance of her. One is a book of Mini Tips and Tricks!The two rocks at the bottom are some that Seth gave me after one of their hikes. The kids know what I like. April and Seth both are always picking up pretty rocks for me.
Speaking of rocks....See the one sitting on the pile of books second shelf up, on the right? That is a piece of the Berlin Wall. A friend brought that one back shortly after the wall was torn down.
Above that is a miniature of the Maltese Falcon and beside him there is a copy of the book.
I am working on a sofa to go in the main part of the box. Until I get it finished, I borrowed one of Zar's chairs and Beau's dog bed to fill in.....The catch is, Zar made me agree to let him have first dibs at using this room.
I knew that there was going to be trouble, but foolishly I agreed.
Not two minutes later, Tessie showed up. She is really ticked off that she didn't get there first. Now she is harassing Zar and wanting to borrow books. This is how it goes.....
Tessie is pulling the books off of the shelves one at a time and, "I read this one.....Didn't read this one....This one is great....You may as well burn this one.....Loved this one....Hated this one.....Saw the movie....They should make a movie....I have this one on CD...." On and on it goes. As she looks at them, if she doesn't approve, she tosses them over her shoulder onto a pile. The floor is going to have more books than the shelves when she finishes. I wanted to redo this box, but not twice in one day.
I have to go throw Tessie out on her ear now.
See you tomorrow.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I finally decided that it would stay a garden room for the rest of its natural life.
The bent Plexiglas is the thing that makes these boxes unique. Back when I made it, there was a man here in Tucson that was doing quite well bending two sizes of plexi and selling them to miniaturists all over town. We were selling them in the shop where I worked and I bought several. With this one, I just built the box from foam core and made it so that the plexi slides down on both sides behind a piece of molding. At the bottom there is a channel for the plexi to sit in.
As you can see, it had a bunch of odds and ends shoved in and looked rather sad.
The wallpaper is from a regular wallpaper sample book and has held up well. The blue trim around the doors and baseboard is 1/8" grosgrain ribbon.
The floor was scuffed badly in several areas where things has been stuck down with mini wax. It is, after all, just one of those fancy, glossy, card stock tile floors. I am not sure if they are still made, but they were really fun to work with.
Here is the "before and after" of the front corner of the floor. I used my old friends, the Primsacolor pencils to fix it.
In the after photo, you can barely see the scars. I don't know what I would do without Prismacolors.
This room is one that usually doesn't have an occupant, so she wasn't disturbing anybody.
I have plans to do the same thing to a lot of my older room boxes, so you may get a guided tour of some of them. I hope that you don't mind.
I heard Tessie tell Edgar, "You are very uncouth and uncivilized. Get down now!"
What does she expect from a baby elephant? After all, he is less than a week old.
I am going now to do the Monday chores that I didn't do yesterday. Tessie can have the box for the rest of the day. Tomorrow this one will be uninteresting and she will want a new room to move into.
See you then.