Sunday, 8 November 2020

Time to reflect on what is important

While the malls and stores are all decorating for Christmas - and don't get me wrong, I LOVE to decorate for Christmas, my husband and I just completed a small tribute to what matters more to all of us. It doesn't take much - a package of red plastic plates and a roll of black shelf liner and some left over red mesh from our Christmas decorations. This little bit of labour was fueled by a whole lot of love, admiration and appreciation. Thank you all who serve.
In memory of my late father:
MWO C. Vernon Gay
WW II; Egypt; DND Headquarters

and my late father-in-law:
Cpl. C. Stewart Driscoll
WW II, Korea, Cyprus

and in appreciation of my son-in-law
Sgt. Kevin R. Dean (retired)
Golan Heights; Cyprus; Bosnia; Afghanistan

May we all take a moment this week, and particularly on Wednesday, to honour those who have served, and continue to serve, to keep us safe and free.  May their sacrifices never be forgotten.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Life is getting back to normal

...or as normal as can be expected given this strange time we are living through right now. I am happy to say that my better half has been back home now for closing in on 4 weeks and is getting stronger every day. I am so very grateful to have this period behind us but am now concentrating on getting some weight back on him - not that he was very big to begin with! I keep telling him I will gladly donate any extra pounds he needs since I have many to spare but he's not buying it! He spoke to one of his cardiologists this afternoon who has cleared him to get back to his regular routine so we're both very happy!

Today, for the first time in weeks, I spent the afternoon working on minis with my friend Louise via Skype. It's really great to be starting back down that road again. So - I'll keep this post short and just let you know that all is good here and I should actually have time to get something accomplished on my North Pole Post Office this week so I can get back to regular posting this coming Tuesday.

Thanks to all you wonderful people out there for keeping my spirits up during a very scary time. Big, big hugs for all of you! TTFN! - Marilyn

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Be back soon!

Sorry everyone - I know this is Tuesday but I am in the middle of a family medical emergency so have been unable to work on my minis this past week. This next week is not looking good either so I will probably not have anything for the upcoming Tuesday either. However - I sincerely hope all will be resolved and I will have an update for you on Tuesday, August 25th. Until then - keep on mini-ing and posting so I can live vicariously through you! Thanks everyone.

In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger - "I'll be bawk!" Big hugs to all. TTFN!!! - Marilyn D.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Slow and steady

Once again, real life has left me with not as much progress as I would have liked but I'm plodding along - happy to just get something done. I did get some necessary, although boring, tasks completed: I finished putting baseboards in all of the rooms, I added a base surround to give me some room to add piles of snow around the edge of the building, and I built a frame for building the loading dock doors.

I'm planning on an old-style door with a strip of 3 windows above and a door that looks like 3 doors side-by-side but is actually a double size door plus a single width door. Hopefully it will look like what I have in my head.

I finished the door handles for the front and middle doors. I used white beads for the end of the handles for the red door and red beads for the ones for the white door.

Then I installed them, of course.

I also put together the little lunch room corner so our postal elves will have someplace to take a break and have their lunch, or a snack. Of course they have the essentials there - regular and barbeque-flavoured Pringles and a tin of chocolates! I see someone is about to have their sandwich. I hope they're working in the back room for the rest of the day - looking at all those onions they're about to eat!

The Camp Mini Ha Ha coffee cup was a little something provided to Campers by a generous "secret Camper". I purchased the sandwich plate some time ago.

Last week I received this chair kit from my friend, Marijke and thought it would be perfect for this scene. The chair kits were made by Samm Brockhurst, from Ontario, to go along with the 2008 wall-hanging kitchen project from Camp. Marijke had a few of the extra kits and gifted one each to Louise and I. It did take me a little to figure out how to put it together but, once I realized the 4 pieces I was wondering about were for forming the "apron" around the seat of the chair, things went much more smoothly. I did have to cut the back legs a bit as they were longer than the front legs.

The shelf unit I made last week now contains dishes, a tea kettle and coffee pot, the aforementioned Pringles, and a lovely little radio that was a Camp tidbit a few years ago from Sherry Parker from Nova Scotia. I'm not sure about the white spots showing on the walls in these photos. I thought they might be excess glue and I would touch up the wall paint to eliminate them but, when I checked, there was nothing there. Perhaps just a trick of the light?

So - that is all that was accomplished this week. I do want to leave you with a new link, though. All of our Camp Mini Ha Ha people were so disappointed that this year's Camp had to be cancelled so we decided it was time to start documenting the projects from prior years. We have put out a call for Campers to send in their own bios and pictures of finished projects over the years. The blog is set up so that, once fully populated, if you want to see all of the various interpretations of the same project, you just click on that year in the label section. Alternatively, to see all projects of one particular Camper, you choose their name from the labels. We're in the early days of posting but, over time, a complete picture of our Camp adventures should be available. To see what we have at this point, visit the blog at: Camp Mini Ha Ha Projects.

UNtil next Tuesday - keep safe and keep mini-ing!! TTFN!! - Marilyn D.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

The tortoise and the hare...

Okay - there is no hare - just a tortoise and that's me!!! Once again I got very little done this week but I will show you the very little bit that I did do.

I did cut the last side wall in half so I could permanently attach the wall for the front, customer service end of the building. I then built a wooden wall for the back portion so I could attach a 1 inch strip of wood the the MDF back wall and still be able to hinge the rest of the wall (I knew screwing hinges into MDF would not work in the long run, hence the wood). I painted the portion of the wall that will be in the bathroom area and wallpapered the portion in the work area.

So - what else?? Hmmm.... Well, I did start making toilet paper for the shelves in the bathroom:

Then, of course, I knew I would need labels for the packages of toilet paper so, rather than waste a whole sheet of clear label plastic, I put some time in lining up a variety of labels for cleaning products, paper towel and toilet paper. Now I just have to make the little shapes to stick the labels on. I figure I now have enough labels to last me until my miniature-making days are over!!

I also had an idea for a set of shelves I wanted for over the table in the work area/lunch room area. I used 3/16" x 3/4" wood for the shelves and some very small strip wood for the sides. I still have to paint it white, in keeping with everything else, although I quite like it in the plain wood, I must admit.

So - that's all I managed to get done this week. Oh - I also had a broken wire in one of my wiring set ups so had to replace the light.

Here is the hinged wall (not yet applied to the building) the table for the lunch room area with the 3" wide set of shelves on top, one package of toilet paper I made up and ... oh yeah, I also made four long, candy cane striped door handles - two for the front door (inside and out) and two for the door leading into the back room. I will make the brackets to hold them and get them glued on to the doors this week.

I do hope I have more progress to show you next week as I know how boring these short little posts must be. However - I do want to leave you with one little thing: I finally managed to convince my good friend, Louise, that she needed to start a blog so she could show some of her amazing projects and hand made furniture. You can find her at Flaminis ( She asks for us to be gentle with her as she's just beginning to explore the world of blogging but then - what else would we be?? We all love a new blogger!

Until next Tuesday - big hugs to everybody! TTFN!! - Marilyn D.

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Last Call

This is a very short post this week as I have been busy with a lot of rel-life things - mostly working on database entries for the Irish Association as we are in the middle of developing a new web site. As a result - I have not had much time for minis this week *insert large sad face here!*

Since I wasn't able to work on the North Pole Post Office this week, I thought I would post some pictures of the hydrangea tree from Dorothy's Corner. YES!! I have actually finished it and "planted" it in place.

Here is a picture of a real Pink Diamond hydrangea:

Here is my final version in place:

Suffice to say - I am so glad I had only 29 branches and buds to apply florets and leaves to instead of the number of branches on a real tree! I couldn't possibly live long enough to complete that!

I planted the tree behind the fence so that it can hang over the garden on the other side. Also, the pink of the flower heads is almost exactly the same colour as the pink of the bird house on the wall above it.

If you look closely enough you can see the little blue tit perched on the top rail of the fence, under the tree. Also, Dorothy has been a little remiss in her gardening as she has missed a few dandelions growing at the base of the tree. I guess it's a matter of "out of sight, out of mind". I can understand that!

Sorry for the brevity of this week's post but the good news is - you won't have to see any more entries about Dorothy's Corner!! I do hope I will have some time to spend on the Post Office this week coming up so I can share some updated pictures of its progress next Tuesday. Until then, I hope you all have a great week working on your own minis and are keeping safe and healthy.. Big hugs! TTFN!!! - Marilyn D.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

A Cautionary Tale

... That's basically what I call my whole journey into miniatures...a cautionary tale for everyone out there who would like to know the proper way to do things. Following my example would not be the way to go!!

I know, and have always known, that planning in advance is so important and can save so much time and anguish on your project. However, that is just not the way I roll! As a result - I once more find myself at a crossroads where I have to take a step backwards in order to move forward.

My original intent was to have the walls of the North Pole Postal Service permanently in place with a clear dome for the top so the interior can be viewed from above. However, every time I set the last wall up against the building, I felt like it would be difficult to view a lot of the planned (yes - I did say "planned") details. After much agonizing, I decided I needed to have that last wall hinge open in some way. Well, the building is made from 1/4" MDF and we all know that screwing hinges into MDF does not often have good results. If you are going to install hinges, you really are better off screwing them into wood. So - I could do that by using wood glue to attach a one-inch strip of solid wood to the existing back wall and the floor in that area. Then I would also need a piece of the connecting wall to be wood as well in order to secure the hinges. Well, as we all know by now - I have that 22" long wall already finished with wainscoting for the front room portion, wallpaper in the back room area and a painted wall in the bathroom area, not to mention that the light sconces are already attached and wired onto the wall in the front portion.

Now what to do??? I haven't had a lot of time to work of minis this week as real life has gotten in the way - which is why I am posting late on this Tuesday, but I have spent a lot of time thinking about that darn wall.

In the meantime, I have taken advantage of the few pockets of time I have had to get just a couple of little things done. I used my Cricut maker to cut out the letters and images for the signs for the building. Here is a picture of the sheet of cardstock before I finished punching out all of the negative spaces.

Then, I glued and stacked three of each letter and sleigh image to provide a thicker profile. I arranged them on white Bristol board until I was happy with the spacing, glued this onto a 1/16" thick piece of sheet wood and framed all of it with a red trim piece of basswood. I have installed the sign on one of the side walls and, as soon as I finish the other wall, there will be a sign there as well. I will have to cut that one to match wherever I cut the wall to allow it to hinge open.

I also managed to finish making the electric meter to hide the wires and battery for the front room and bathroom lights. I first painted it with a couple of shades of grey, dry brushed with silver and again with white to make it look more like galvanized metal. I didn't like it at all so I repainted with a light grey, leaving just a bit of the old paint job showing. Then I hid the wires in the two upright pipes and the battery and on/off switch in the main box. I cut a hole in the side for the switch to be accessible, and I wedged a piece of wood inside to make sure the switch didn't get pushed back into the meter box. It's all glued in place and the wires are now hidden. Whew - finally, one problem solved!

As for my dilemma with the wall?? Well, Bruce cut a partial wall for me from 1/4" plywood, cut that into a 1" wide piece to attach to the back wall and drilled holes in the two pieces to accommodate the hinges.

Now I will have to test fit to determine where to cut the original wall to meet up with this new piece, and start painting and wallpapering all over again. Wish me luck!!