Friday, December 31, 2010
Remember that laundry basket that was full of odds and ends from the last purge of the workroom? I decided to tackle it. Tessie decided to supervise and take whatever she thought that she deserved as payment for putting up with me for another year....
I didn't decide to take the photo until I had already disposed of about a quarter of what was stashed in there.
As you can see, Tessie was "helping". Helping herself to what she wanted.
We are going to a movie and a late lunch soon. Tomorrow is Walter's birthday and we are starting the celebration today. He is playing golf tomorrow.
Anyway, I got some of the sorting done. Tessie made quite a haul.
She found her beloved rubber chicken, her favorite hat, three purses, lots of baskets, some fabric, various findings, books and a microwave oven that has a working turntable....It is from the 80s. You can tell by the lovely avocado green case...If she is really going to put that in the townhouse, I think that it is going to have to have a color update.
See the orange bead at the front of the photo? I have plans for that. With a little work, it is going to be a samovar for the Russian Cottage.
When April was here at Christmas, she saw the cottage for the first time and likes it a lot. I guess that I am going to have to get to work and finish it. She found some mini baby hedgehogs
in a basket and announced that Russians love hedgehogs. Then she found a mini Faberge Egg. I tried to tell her that Russian peasants living in a small cottage wouldn't have anything so fancy. I couldn't talk her out of it, so I guess that the occupants will have to be closely related to the late royal family. I am going to leave it up to her to think up a background story.
Anyway, today movie and lunch...Tomorrow I will build a samovar.
See you then and Happy New Years Eve!!!
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Anyway, I finished tufting the seat and in the photo you can see that I have started putting the pieces together.
This is one chair that I won't attempt to share the pattern with you. There are too many things that have to be done individually on each chair. It has to be adjusted every time because of the thickness of the fabric and the padding. I have to make a new pattern for the back cover piece every time I make it.
I will tell you about the tufting though. I work the pattern of the tufting out with the help of graph paper and I always poke the holes in the card stock before hand.
Then I start in the center and work my way out to the edges. This assures a more even tufting. Every stitch is done by poking down through the hole, turning over the whole thing and making sure that the needle goes back through a few threads from where it came out and then turning it back over to see that the needle comes out in the same hole where I started.
I do all of this before I glue the edges to the back of the card stock. I clip the fabric all around and cut Vs in the selvage so that there will be no overlapping of the fabric on the back.
This velveteen is thicker than I usually like to use for upholstery, so it it doubly important to have no overlaps.
After everything is glued together, I cut the back piece to fit and cover it with fabric in the same way, but without the padding. It has to be larger than the tufted piece or it won't stretch around to the edges of that piece.
When that piece is added, I pin it all together until the glue is dry.
The last step is to add braid or bunka to cover the edges of all the seams.
I made Tessie stand beside the chair so that you could see the whole thing. If she sits in it, you wouldn't be able to see any of the tufting at all.
That didn't make her happy. It is cold and windy outside and it has been hailing a bit all morning.
She is complaining, "It's cold and nasty. I don't like it one little bit. I need somewhere warm to sit in a snit. And let me tell you, I AM in a SNIT! It's hailing again! For crying out loud! This is Arizona! It's not supposed to be like this. I need warmth!"
She just zapped herself away after that.
I finally found her. She was in the bedroom snuggling down into a scarf that I just finished knitting.
This was fun. It is called a "Magic Scarf". I found the pattern on the net.
You knit the scarf like you see it on the right side. When you are finished, the last row is knit in a special way, dropping every other stitch and binding off the stitches in between....Then....Remember when we used to wear nylons that got runs in them? That's what you do. You pull down the stitches that you dropped. You get a finished scarf that is very soft, and twice as long as it was when you started. It's kind of a cool way to do a scarf fast. Not terribly fancy, but very warm!
Tessie just announced, "I am staying here for the rest of the day. Bring me some bug juice and a couple of doughnuts. Then turn the TV on and leave me alone......Who needs your new chair? You can keep that. I am keeping the scarf!"
Hey! This means that I have the rest of the day without interruptions! It won't last. It never does.
See you tomorrow.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I had to go in and pick him up because there was going to be a wait. He dropped me off and then went and did some errands.
Left to my own devices, I opted to do something silly. I dug around the work room and found a pattern for a barrel chair that I designed years ago and decided that it would be fun to make one.
This particular chair has a tufted back and seat, so it takes a bit of time to do.... I got the base pieces cut out on the jigsaw. I found some velveteen fabric and covered the edges of those.
No sooner had I done that part and Walter came home to pick me up so that we could go get my car.
He stopped at Jack in the Box on the way home and of course, they got our order all wrong. We live to far away to make it practical to go back and complain....So we ate what we got.
I went back to work and cut out batting and fabric for the back and arms of the chair and went to work tufting it.
While working, with the TV on, I heard that there is a bad storm coming at us from California.
I covered all of the plants on the patio. It was a "Blizzard Warning".We seldom hear that word around here. It is supposed to freeze for the next two nights. I hate cold!
Anyway, that pretty much stopped me working in my workroom....That is the coldest room in the house.
I am not making the chair for any particular project, so there is no hurry for getting it done. Other than Tessie nagging me and telling me that it is her chair.....So what else is new...
I am going in the bedroom and cozy up with the cats. They will keep me warm whilst I knit. The chair can wait.
It is a dark and dreary afternoon and what with the way that the rest of the day has been going, I think that it would be wise for me not to tempt fate....If I keep working on the chair, I will probably just sew or glue my fingers together and have to stop anyway.
I am going to go knit and pout now.
See you tomorrow.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Not being in the mood for an argument, I humored her. She dragged it in and I fancied it up with some copper wire and some gold embossed sticker paper.
I am not crazy about the fact that the whole lamp is copper and then they went and put a gold trimmed shade on it.
I remedied that by adding more gold trim around the battery case, the top and bottom of the shade and a couple of lines around the bottom of the fixture. At least now it looks somewhat like the gold was meant to be there.
After I finished doing that, I coiled a couple of copper jewelry, head pins and glued them to the frame of the lamp.
Tessie says that I can now hang it over the kitchen table.
Not just this minute....I have a headache and I don't want to do anything that requires that I stand on my head to install.
So....instead, she decided she needed a new party apron, which I wouldn't have to stand on my head to make.
How could I complain? It took all of 20 minutes to do and it will keep her quiet for the rest of the day.
I put pockets on the front. She is fascinated by pockets. She runs around the house looking for things to stick in them.
I finally got smart and told her that their sole purpose was to keep her hands warm. She fell for it. She stuffed her hands in and has been walking around boasting about how warm her hands are and telling Zar that it is a shame that he doesn't have pockets to keep his hands warm.
It is 52° here right now. I know that a lot of you are knee deep in snow, but 52° is colder than I like it. I am a desert rat and so is Tessie. Thus, she appreciates good pockets.
I am going to go take some aspirin, put on some woolly socks, and knit more now. I just hope that she doesn't get the idea that she should have socks too...
See you tomorrow.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Kat, Zar loves the bronze medal. He says it is something similar to the Nobel Prize, but for Steampunk inventors.
And of course, Tessie immediately grabbed the puce teddy bear and won't let go of it. She also likes the puce teapot.
Anyway, thank you so much Kat! All of the other pieces will be put to good use too.
Now on to today's excitement. I never go out on the day after Christmas. I hate the traffic and crowds. The day after that is soon enough for what I want.
Every year I hit Walmart for their after Christmas half price sale. I go in and look before, but I never buy until at least the half price sale. If I were more patient, and confident that the pieces that I want wouldn't be gone, I would wait a week more until the prices go down to 75%.
They always have these huge trays of make up. They used to run $10.00. Unfortunately, they have gone up a bit, like everything else. This year the one that I wanted was $15.00.
At $7.50, it's still not a bad price for all of the craft supplies that you get. Poke the photos and you will see what I mean.
The first photo is everything that I got in the box. There are several make up pencils, and a couple of lipsticks that I probably will give to somebody else of just plain throw out.
The nail polish, I will use. Not for minis. I like odd colors.
Now for the loot, left to right....There are two small mirrors that I can pry out of the plastic case and frame. One rectangular and one oval.
In front of those are brushes. There are two long handled flat brushes(Plain old paint brushes), two very short, pointed brushes(good for getting into tight spots and corners), four of the small sponge brushes(good for stains) and two soft bristle, wide brushes (good for sweeping floors in the mini rooms). Are you keeping track? That's 10 brushes!
Next to that it a new pencil sharpener with cup to catch the shavings.
There are four generous tubs of pearlized powder that will work well with poly clay.(Gold, Pearl, Pink and Puce.....) We know who will get the last one.
There is also a full back sheet of silver covered cardboard that can be used for a lot of different things.
Back by Zar, there are 22 plastic disposable paint pots, cut from the tray that this all came in.
Now for the most important part. See the 18 little black and clear boxes by Tessie? Each one of those have several metal pans filled with eye shadow and cake rouge. The boxes themselves are useful for keeping small parts.
There are several different shapes of the tins and in all, there are 68. Depending on shape, these can be used for cookie sheets, pizza pans, cake pans, etc. in miniature.
I also use them for the base of the resin cabochons in beadwork. The piece beside Tessie in this photo is one that I am working on now. The large round center piece is one of the cabochons.
It is simply a piece of a page in a glossy magazine that was lightly glued inside and then covered with two part clear resin.
I now have a lifetime supply of the tin pans. And that's if I live to be 100!
The only part I am not crazy about is digging out the make up.....I am going now to cover my hands in rainbow colors. It's a good thing that the stuff can be washed off!
If you are interested in these, run, don't walk to your nearest Walmart. Ours seem to have a lot left. I may still get one for $3.75. Who knows?
See you tomorrow.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
As I was cleaning up the family room, Tessie and Zar were taking their pick of the gifts that were still sitting out in the open.
Thank goodness I put some of them away or there would be nothing left.
They found the fruit basket and for the most part, they discarded the fruit....They kept the Toblerone Chocolate and some marshmallow squares....
Then they moved on to the beautiful pot that Seth made for me. It is wonderful to have a potter in the family. I may be prejudiced, but I think that his pottery is some of the best!
I am going to have to find a special cactus or euphorbia to plant in it.
Thank goodness, they decided that it was too big for them. They did consider making it into a swimming pool, but fortunately, Seth put the traditional hole in the bottom for drainage....Ha! They can't keep water in it! I win!
I am having a bit more difficulty with the iPad. We got a free month of Netflix and they started watching the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I don't think that I am going to be able to get it away from them until the end of the season. That will be about ten hours from now. There were only eleven episodes that season. I am not telling them that all of the seasons are on Netflix.
I kicked them out of the kitchen after the end of the second episode. I was tired of having to work around the two of them. They were getting into everything.
I sent them into the living room. That may have been a mistake. First they started un-decorating Tessie's cottage. They were taking down the Christmas flags that Jo sent me just before Christmas. Thanks Jo!
I told them to leave the flags alone. They did. I saw that they were headed for their hideout in the Christmas tree. I thought that would be a good place for them.....Well....OK....It wasn't.
I heard a few clunks and rattles coming from the townhouse. I couldn't imagine what was happening. The only livable sections of that is the roof garden and the top floor.
When I confronted them and asked for an explanation, they had one....
Tessie looked over her shoulder at me and said...
"Christmas is over. We have the presents and the food that we want. Now we are on to planning for the New Years Eve Party. You have to get things together so that we can have it here!"
I answered with, "Tessie, you and Zar had better have all of this stuff back where it belongs in the next ten minutes or there will be no New Years Eve Party! In fact, there may not even be a townhouse left standing if you don't do as I say! Now!"
Since Tessie used all of her zapping power to get everything into the living room, they are both dragging the furniture back to its rightful place, as I type.
I may do some work on the town house this week, but I doubt that it will be ready for the kind of party that Tessie throws.
I will try to get back to minis tomorrow. See you then.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
A great day was had by all. I will be back with after Christmas stories tomorrow.
I hope that your Christmas was as Merry as ours was!
See you tomorrow. Merry Christmas!!!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Tessie said, "If we take the potato chips, we will have to figure out how to get in the fridge and grab some dip."
Zar answered with, "All we have to do is wait until Casey takes something out and turns her back to put it down.... Then we just shovel some into a pail and run."
OK.....One of their pails can't hold a lot of dip. They may get away with a tablespoon full if they work at it.
"Now. About the cookies. I can zap the rest of those into the Christmas tree on a tray." That was Tessie's voice.
Then I heard, "Hey! Look at these! Tessie again.....Very excited.
She found the Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes.
Then she said, "I know where there is a can of chocolate frosting in the cupboard. It's way up high, but if you give me a boost, I think that I can reach it. We can use that for chinking and in no time, we will have a yummy log cabin. If we build it at the back of the tree, nobody will even notice. Then we invite everybody in and all of us can eat our way out."
Amazingly, Zar agreed to that plan. I don't think that he has thought ahead to the point where he will be doing all of the work and Tessie will be the contractor on the project.
This could be interesting....I think that I will let them think that they are getting away with it. If I wait long enough, they will be bickering and eventually at each other's throats. Then I can just go collect everything without a fuss.
Next they found the cup of candy canes. Trim for the log cabin or just food for thought?
At least they restrained themselves and only took one each.
The last that I saw of them, they were sitting in Tessie's workroom. They have been in there for an hour now and I think that the sugar has gotten to them....I don't think that I will have to worry about the other food. They are both on a sugar high and won't be down for a while.
By the time that they come to their senses, I will have hidden everything edible in the kitchen. I wonder if they will believe me if I tell them that they have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads? Hey! I can at least give it a try......
See you tomorrow. Merry Christmas Eve!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
She was carrying a sled that a friend made for me many years ago. It was an unpainted Christmas ornament that she repainted and fancied up with toothpick painting. Very pretty.
I asked Tessie what she was doing? She mumbled something about needing a rope for the sled.
I asked if I could take a photo of her and the sled for the blog. She was a bit cagey about answering......Then she replied, in a loud voice, "You can only take my picture if you give me a cookie!"
The light dawns. She wasn't so worried about the sled, as she was about her stomach.
I conceded and gave her a petal off of one of the spritz flower cookies that I made a couple of days ago. She grudgingly stood still for the photo and then gobbled down the cookie. I snapped another photo whilst she was gobbling.
She looked up at me and said sweetly, "More please?"
I asked her nicely to go find something else to do. I was busy.
She disappeared with the sled. No argument? No back talk? Hmmmmm.....
I went on about my business and did some more cleaning in the bedroom.
After a while, I heard voices in the kitchen. They were getting louder. I could finally make out what was being said...
Zar said,"I've got the fudge and the cookies are loaded on the sled."
Then from Tessie....."Oh! A whole cookie of my very own!"
Zar got louder. "Tessie, don't just sit there on the butter. We don't have time for you to eat a whole cookie. Casey will be back any time now!"
He was starting to sound hysterical. "We have to go this instant!!!"
I rounded the corner with the camera, just in time to get this picture. Then Tessie looked up and saw me.
I heard two voices , simultaneously yell, "OH NO!!!"
Then with a flash, everything on the counter disappeared. Cookies, fudge, the sled, Zar and Tessie all gone.
They did leave the two sticks of butter. There was a reason for that.
I heard a small voice, coming from the Christmas tree....."Make more cookies please...."
Then, "Oh and we need more fudge too!"
I am off to restock the cookie jar and the fudge plate now.
See you tomorrow.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I am finding that I like my socks a little more orderly than this. I guess if I was wearing long pants and nobody could see the tops they would be OK for me, but as they are, they are just too weird for me. At least they are finished!
Tessie is still nagging about the tree vignettes. This is one from last year and I just put a padded stool in it. No sooner than I had done that, Cordelia and Eskaiga arrived and took it over. I am beginning that there is something going on there. Ever since the Mid Century Mod housewarming, they have been spotted here and there together.
I discovered one tiny(big) problem with the new cupboard. It wouldn't fit in the only vignette that I have left.
I refused. She zapped it and vanished. I had to go hunting for her. She managed to balance it on one of the branches of the tree and wedged it in. There it is and there it will stay unless someone shakes the tree vigorously.
Anyway, the party is gaining momentum day by day. Three more days to go. Who knows what other guests will show up? I guess we will just have to wait to find out.
See you tomorrow.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I dug into the drawer that has the unfinished Michael's cabinets and found that I only had four left and three of them were the same.
Everybody uses these and makes them fancy in different ways.
I just grabbed a few "Tiny Turnings", some laser cut corner brackets and a few beads. I got lucky. One of the strips of tiny turnings when cut in a certain place, fit perfectly in the scalloped area of the doors. I just cut them off with an exacto knife and glued them in with fast grab.
Then I improvised feet and a top crown with six of the corner brackets. I lined the front feet up with the lines of the cabinet above, not the outer decorative bottom. Then I turned two of them back to back for the top.
I will go back and do some finishing work. I still need to put on a coat or two of varnish.
It's too bad that the people that put these together aren't a little more careful with the glue. I am going to have to do some work on the bottom corners of where the drawer is. Maybe I can get Spike to sit in front of one of the spots and put a potted plant on the other side.... I now have furniture for another vignette.
It was a fast project that made Tessie happy. Now I am free to go bake Christmas cookies and fudge.....I wonder if I could put off the laundry for another day? Who needs clean clothes anyway?
See you tomorrow.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Anyway, that brings us to other cats. Tessie saw what was going on and said, "Well! If they were miniature cats, you wouldn't be having problems. Everybody knows that miniature cats are more well behaved than the big ones."
I am not sure how she comes up with these theories. Personally, I think that it was just a ploy to get me to make her a cat. I fell for it.
Follow along and you can have a mini cat of your very own....I made one that is asleep, so of course he will be more well behaved than Mookie and Widget! This is the easiest way that I know to make a cat. We cheat and make him sleeping so that you don't even have to do eyes.
All you need is some poly clay in the color that you want the cat, a knife, a toothpick and a little patience.
First you knead the clay for softening. Then you pinch off a piece about the size of a small peanut shell, a ball about 1/4 to 3/8", a ball that you flatten and cut in half about the same size for the hips, a tiny ball to smash and cut in half for the ears, and a long rope for the legs and tail.
Make the body a little smaller at the front end by rolling.
Make the head kind of teardrop shaped and then moosh the pointy end a bit for the nose.
Cut two 1/4" pieces of the rope for the back paws. Then two 1/2" pieces for the front legs and feet. Cut the ball that you made for the hips in half and push them against either side of the back. Flatten one end of the 1/4" pieces and place them under the hip piece, extending forward.
Make a bend in the front leg pieces about half way up and put them against either side of the front end to make shoulders, legs and paws. Lay one paw over the other.
Place the head on the front end of the body. For the ears, flatten the tiny ball and cut it in half.
Pinch the curved edge to a point. put the opposite side from the point against the top of the cat's head, leaving about an ear's width between them.
You can do the face any time, but If you do it while still handling the cat, you may have to do it more than once. I just poke two slits in for the closed eyes. Then a triangle for the nose and a curve going out from the bottom of that on either side of the face for the mouth.
With this cat, I turned his head towards the side and rested his chin on his paws. Then I coiled his tail around the side of his body.
You will want to go over all of the seams with a toothpick to smooth them out. Then bake him following manufacturer's directions. You can texture his fur with an Exacto. It isn't necessary though.
See you tomorrow.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I did turn on the iPad and did "watch" two movies. I really mostly listened to them and just kept cleaning like a fool.
I even took all of the plants from their places on the window sill and scrubbed that! I have come to the conclusion that Walter knew what he was doing. I dug out cupboards that hadn't been taken apart for quite some time. Two movies and about three hours later, I came to my senses.
I do have one Christmas cactus that is blooming....OK, so I cheated and bought it a couple of weeks ago.
The hummingbirds have been coming in regularly to the feeder all morning and one even waited by the window to watch me inside refilling it. They are very tame and watch me through the window regularly, but as soon as I get the camera they leave. Camera shy?
Now ask me what I did with the rest of the day... I watched three episodes of the first season of Dexter and knitted.
I am anxious to see what these are going to turn out like.
The first pair are all black and white and from one ball....They don't match! Not even close! It seems that this is the latest thing in hand knit socks. I think that they are kind of weird, but April picked this yarn out when we were looking at different colors. If I get them finished, she will get an extra pair for Christmas.
The other pair that I am working on are for me. Yup, the same thing is happening. In fact, I took out quite a bit of yarn between the toe of the first sock and the top of the second one. I am still not sure about wearing mismatched socks and the stuff that I took out looked like totally different yarn.
Oh well. If I don't like them, I know someone that will. At least I get the fun part. I love knitting them. Even when they go to live somewhere else.
Those are my excuses for not mini-ing today. I will try to do better tomorrow. See you then.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Walter had the Christmas tree in place when I got home from shopping this morning. Between the two of us, we got it decorated in about a quarter of the time that it usually takes me to do it alone.
He went out to do some shopping and I started putting in the finishing touches. I still have two vignettes to fill, but I got a pretty good start.
I learned a lesson...Never turn your back on Tessie after keeping her locked in the workroom overnight...She retaliates....Big time.
As soon as I installed the cappuccino corner, brooms seemed to pop up out of nowhere.
At least the witches parked them where they were supposed to. So far there is no need for any toad spells.
I looked around to see where they went. The party has started.
Tessie's two older sisters brought the gypsy the tells fortunes in the Witch's Warehouse. The three of them have claimed a clearing in the branches and have settled in for the long haul. Eggnog or something stronger is being passed around...At least I think it is eggnog....
Tessie and Zar have made themselves comfortable in front of the fireplace. I keep telling them that Santa won't be able to get down that fireplace without a flu.
They insist that he will make it. Oh well...Let them sit and wait. It will keep them out of trouble for a while anyway....
There will be more to come as the other guests arrive.
Meanwhile, here's the whole tree. The only ones that you can actually see so far are Tessie and Zar.
I am sure that by tonight, there will be more friends arriving. The gargoyle isn't even here yet. He needs to be here to restore order if things get out of hand.
I have to go now and see what other things are needed for the party. This is only the second "Tessie's Tree Party", but I think that it is going to be a lot bigger and louder than last year. I will be sleeping with a pillow over my head and ear plugs to boot for the duration.
See you tomorrow.
Friday, December 17, 2010
She seems to be pleased with them and has her hands full. She hasn't asked for more.
I added stocking caps to them. I just flattened a piece of red and a piece of white to the same thickness, cut strips and pieced them together. I cut them into a quarter circle and formed them into a cone. I put a band around the bottom after they were on the monkey. The one in her arm has a ball added to the point for a pompom. Please poke at the photo if you want a larger view.
This morning I started digging around in my workroom some more....Look! I have an actual floor in there and a work table and a chair and two stools and a desk with practically nothing on them...Well the desk isn't too good yet, but at least I can see the surface.
While I was digging, I found these. They are fridge magnets that April and I used to make a long time ago. I pulled them out of the box and made a design on the refrigerator with them.
I used to be one of those people that had lots and lots of magnets all over the fridge. They were getting to be too much, so I put them away.
I always kept the center one. It is the Eye of Horus. Walter bought that one at the Fourth Ave. Street fair one year.
The ones that April and I made are simply the clear pebbles that you buy to put in vases. I haven't seen any like these for a while. They are flat, about an inch and a half across and no fancy finish on them. We cut photos out of glossy magazines and glued them face forward on the back. Then we either painted the back or put another piece of plain paper on the back. The last step was gluing on a piece of sheet magnet from Walmart. Almost instant fancy magnet. I have seen people do something similar with the smaller pebbles for fancy thumbtacks.
OK. Now that I have sidetracked you, I think it is safe to show you what was hiding behind the worktable....Tessie insisted. This is the seed basket for the next mess....
This is all I have left to put away....I am whining and whinging because it is all of the little stuff that has to be put away one piece at a time.
Tessie is threatening to get help from Zar and the cats to watch over me until I get it all put away.
I think that, if I time it just right, I can heard the four of them into the workroom, slam the door and put a chair under the knob. I plan to be on the other side of the house. If I close the door to the bedroom, I won't be disturbed by all of the yelling and yowling. How's that for a plan?
See you tomorrow...