Friday, May 6, 2016

Dropping in for a quick visit

Hello everyone. I just wanted to post a short message today for a few reasons:

First: Thank you so much to all who have provided some comfort to my DH and I on losing our much-loved 18-year-old kitty. It's been a couple of days and we're still adjusting (not well, but it will come).

Second: If you haven't yet done so, please consider sending in your donation to the Red Cross to aid in the current efforts from the tragedy that is still unfolding in Alberta - even if you can only afford a small amount - it all helps. There still appears to be no end in sight and I cannot even imagine what it will take in the days and weeks ahead to provide assistance to so many people and businesses. Kudos to the first responders and all the agencies working hard to bring this devastation to an end. I can't believe they managed to evacuate 88,000 people in just over 24 hours! Unbelievable work!

Third: On a much happier note, I received a link today from a friend to this ebay page. I just loved it and thought I would share it with you. It does, of course, link to product for sale, but it also gives a short tutorial on making these adorable little mini-vignettes. I thought you might enjoy the article. You can find it here:

I'm off now to start putting together everything I will be bringing for our display at the Moncton Miniature show tomorrow. Louise is picking me up at 7:00 (yuck!!). Marijke and Mary Lou will also be there but they are travelling on their own. I believe JoAnn Shaw and Debbie P. from Nova Scotia will also be in attendance. BTW: Congratulations to JoAnn for achieving Artisan Status with the International Guild of Miniature Artisans for her leather work. She is another very talented lady!

If I'm not too tired tomorrow evening I will try to do a post about the Moncton Show. Again - thank you all for your kind thoughts over the last couple of days. They were much appreciated. TTFN!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

R.I.P. Brandi

Sorry folks - no follow up today on the golf tee ideas. I'm afraid our little darling kitty had presented with so much pain today that we finally had to make the decision we've been dreading for weeks now. At almost 18 years old she has made her final trip and gone to play in the large field of catnip in the sky. No more afternoon naps together on the sofa for us. I'm too much of a wreck to work on minis today. Rest in peace sweet Brandi.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Bits and bobs.....

Okay - first off let me say how much I envy those of you who confess that you have the attention span of a gnat. Because at least you have an attention span!

Now, I know I'm supposed to be moving onto the Irish cottage - as well as finishing up the chimney pots for my Dorian Grey room box but, let me say this latest diversion really isn't my fault - it's Bruce's, my DH. Yup - that's my story - it's his fault. You see, he showed me these golf tees someone gave him. They're not ordinary golf tees and he was given 12 packages of them with 50 in each package. Even if he uses some of them - just think of how many that leaves for me to play with!!! I really like the top of the tees because, unlike your standard golf tees, these have three little "prong-like" sections that hold the golf ball. All kinds of ideas are flowing through my tiny little brain!! Can't you just see all the possibilities for these things?? I had to start playing with them. I just couldn't help myself! I know - not only do I have no attention span, I have absolutely no willpower!

So the first thing I wanted to try was a set of pillar candle holders. Cutting these little suckers straight was not the easiest thing but, keep in mind -- I have hundreds of these!!! So what if I waste a few of them while I'm trying this out? I have many tries left to get it right.

For the candle holders, I snipped them into three different lengths, then used Aileen's Super Tacky glue to attach the smallest size of my round "woodsies". Once the glue has thoroughly dried and "cured" I will paint them. I have been wanting to try making my own "chalk" paint because I really like the look of it and the store-bought stuff is really expensive. Plus, I'll be able to have a plethora of colours for many different uses if I make my own!

There are a few different recipes for home-made chalk paint but what I will be using is 1 part Plaster of Paris (dry - then mixed with an equal amount of water and mixed until smooth) to 3 parts of paint. So, if you were making a batch large enough to paint a life-size dresser, for example, and you wanted to paint two or three coats, you would use 1 cup of dry Plaster of Paris, mixed with 1 cup of water and beaten smooth. Then you would add this to 3 cups of your paint. Yes, I know that, once mixed, this mixture is now not 1 part to 3 but you get what I'm saying, I think.

What else am I thinking of for these golf tees? Well, I think I could use the largest of the round woodsies and the middle size to make a two-tiered dessert or hors d'oeuvres server. I'll be trying this out later this evening. The other thing I realized was that my crystal marbles fit perfectly into the little three-prong area of the golf tee. So, cut really short and installed on a base - crystal balls for my Wizard Emporium? How about making the overall height about two and a half to three inches and turning them into garden gazing balls? Maybe I could glue a mini cup and saucer into the indent and make tiny bird feeders for the garden? Could they be used as legs for three of four leg benches or tables? Okay - I can see I won't be getting any sleep tonight as I lay awake and try to think of uses for these things!

The other thing I've been playing with - because why would you want one distraction when you could have two?? - was a package of little wooden filigree pieces I bought a while ago. For one thing - they were pretty, for a second thing - they were cheap -and for a third thing?? - Hey - I'm a DIY miniaturist - I don't need a third thing!! It's enough just to know that it's something that I'm sure will come in handy some day!

I've been doing a lot of searching on Pinterest for French Shabby Chic inspiration, and for English Cottage style as well. With those inspirational ideas in my head, I looked at these fancy trim pieces, then I looked at the little frames I bought from Michaels and showed you in an earlier post, thought about my home-made chalk paint, and some ideas started to come together. The simplest of which was just using them to trim out the frames to make shabby chic mirrors or picture frames.

Testing the little wood pieces against the frames, I saw they would fit much better if I cut the bottom straight across for the square frame, and cut off the little end curlicues for the round frame. I glued one on with Aileen's Super Tacky and the other with a super-glue-type glue. Over time I'll be interested to see which one holds best and lasts longest. I'm going to let these two little frames alone for a couple of days before I paint them. One reason is to make sure the glue is well-cured, the other reason is that I want to finish experimenting with other little accents or pieces of furniture before I mix up my chalk paint so I can paint everything at one time.

As a final note - since I know how many brilliant miniaturists are out there - anyone have any other cool ideas for using those golf tees?? Did I mention that I have hundreds of them??? Okay - Maybe I'll actually let DH use some for golf - if he's really nice to me. So, until the next post - TTFN!!