Saturday, April 30, 2011

I can see clearly now...

...all the way from the door to the work area. This is how I've spent most of my day but the room is actually usable again. I'm able to have my laptop on the side desk and work at the main one. I have my jewelry making supplies set up now. More earrings coming soon.

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

Happy Mother's Day to me...a little early

I got a large 5 drawer, 2 bin rolling tool box today for an early Mother's Day gift - it is so cool! For the first time ever, I know where all of my tools are - and they're organized. There's an open bin/shelf in the middle. Glues, pens and markers, magnifiers and paper towels are there.
One drawer is just for punches, scissors, tweezers and the other tools I use most for minis.
There's a drawer full of clamps and Dremel accessories.
A drawer for clay tools. There's a drawer for basic household tools, one just for saws and knives. Miscellaneous stuff is in the area under the lid and the large bin at the bottom holds power tools.
And the result of the tool box is a large clear area on the work table. I have more work to do but you have no idea how bad it had gotten in this room!

Not every mom would be excited about a tool box but I definitely am! :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

More earrings

I just had to show you my favorite earrings from todays jewelry making session. I also designed square business cards to use to hold the earrings. I promise I will be back to minis soon. I'm just waiting for some new inspiration. Tomorrow will be a better day and I will figure out the next project. At least that's my goal. ;)

Better, I think...

Thank you all so much for your concern and encouragement. I spoke to my son's school counselor - she's a very special lady who's been the go-between for each of our children - and she clarified the principal's instructions. She said the principal often comes across much more strongly than she intends and even the counselor had to ask questions to figure out what my son was allowed to do. It isn't as bad as it first sounded and I'm hopeful we're going to work out the last of the issues by tomorrow.

Some days just take too much effort...:)

Please excuse the rant!

I'm sorry - I try not to bog the blog down with a lot of real life stuff but I'm angry. I have 3 young adult children with health issues. The oldest and youngest have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. The disorder affects every system in your body that is supposed to function without your input - breathing, heart rate, pupil dilation, blood flow, vision, etc. So it qualifies as a disability. There are medications to treat the symptoms but it often takes an extremely long time to get the balance correct. My oldest has been fighting her way through college and will finish successfully at a different school than she started with (because of the unwillingness of the dept head to work with the disability) in 6 years rather than 4. My youngest is in high school and was diagnosed his freshman year. All of high school has been a major struggle - this is his 4th year and I think we've finally got the medications right. He's going to need another year to finish. Today the principal banned him from the school. He's working to complete two courses from home but still needs access to the teachers and he has some standardized tests he's supposed to take in May and June. Excuse me, but isn't the goal supposed to be to help the kids get through?

I don't want to have to get the advocates involved again so I'm currently waiting for responses to my plea for an alternate plan. All prayers appreciated!

A Non-Mini Sideline

In addition to making minis, I do many other crafts. One I really enjoy is making jewelry. My daughter has been pushing me to start an online shop for my earrings so I finally did. The shop is called Designs by De. It's a zibbet shop - please take time to explore zibbet. You will find many wonderful artisans - beautiful miniatures, jewelry, art and more.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The new and improved version

I used a different technique on these. I used a smaller bead for the base of the flowers - I used glass beads in baby blue or white.
The blossoms are punched out of coffee filters that I first colored with chalk pastels in blue with a bit of pink. I left a bit of the white exposed.
I got a much more realistic color this way. I punched some hearts to make the leaves. Each flower has 1 or 2 leaves attached just under the blossoms and I made a few stems of just leaves to fill out the arrangement. It's all planted in a mini bean pot.

I think these are a huge improvement over the first attempt. What do all of you think?


I would post a welcome photo but my internet is cranky due to the weather here and won't let me. Please help me welcome all those new to the party.

Several are new friends from Zibbet - Please stop by and check it out if you haven't already. Lovely jewelry, greeting cards, handcrafted toys, hats, etc., vintage items and more - and, of course, miniatures. Thank you, fellow Zibbeters for dropping in.

Some are fellow miniaturists. I learn so much from exploring other miniature blogs - and I've made many friends. Thanks for stopping by.

Experiment number one

First a few more details on the punch. It's a Fiskars brand and is called Daisy Scallop Border punch. The little flowers are about 5 mm across.

I experimented with making hydrangeas. The flower will work - I just need to change the bead I used for the base. I will also shade the flowers a bit next time. The leaves are just filler leaves. I didn't make hydrangea leaves but would do that next time as well.

So I still need a lot of practice but I'm happy with my first try. The hardest part is getting clear photos of the tiny flowers!

Wishing you all a blessed Easter as we celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I love sales!

DD #2 and I were shopping in the big city today and stopped in at JoAnn Fabrics. It's about 3 times the size of our local JoAnn's and is great fun to explore. Anyway, punches were 40% off. I found this border punch with tiny 5 petal flowers that I think will be very versatile. And there's the added bonus of a cute border when I'm scrapbooking or making cards. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Makeover Story

This is the girls' room in the 70s house. It's a mini version of the room my sister and I shared. The wallpaper was always just "good enough." It wasn't a very good match to the real wallpaper.
At JoAnn Fabrics a week or so ago I found this scrapbook paper. It's very much like the real wallpaper. Woohoo! I repapered the room today and then added some pop star posters of singers my sister and I "loved." ;) There's even a Tiger Beat magazine on the bed.

Then I started thinking about books. I had made a few of our favorites previously but there wasn't a good place to put them. I built the bookcase today and filled it with some of the books we collected - mostly preteen books but they were our favorites. I had the whole Donna Parker series, the Kim Aldrich series and most of the Nancy Drew books. My sister had the Trixie Beldon series and the Bobbsey Twins books. There's also a copy of Little Women which flips over to Little Men and a copy of The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew.
And here's the completed room. I really need to figure out how to put a full wall with a door between the rooms. The sloped roof makes that more challenging. :)

Monday, April 18, 2011


After multiple attempts I finally got a clear photo of the first carnations I made. The arrangement is currently on the side porch of Johnson's Boarding House.

A New Addiction?

Making mini carnation arrangements is fun. :) This time I used 2 pink and 3 white flowers with 3 stems of leaves. I used an Asian inspired bead as a vase.
They look pretty sitting in the living room of Johnson's Boarding House.
Here's a closer pic -the tacky wax is making the vase sit a bit crooked. I've got to remember to adjust that. ;)

A lot of times you need special punches to make mini flowers. I love that these can be made with just a plain old office hole punch and a 1/8 inch punch for the calyx. I almost always have plain floral wire on hand. I didn't have to purchase anything new and I got some pretty arrangements in the process. It doesn't get much better than that.

I'm dreaming of sunshine and spring...

It's spring but we've been short on the sunshine this month. But April showers bring May flowers, right? In the meantime I made some little flowers of my own following Kris's tutorial for carnations. I made a few changes (because I can't seem to help myself, lol) but it's basically her technique. I'm sorry for the awful photo but don't the flowers look real? The next attempt will be better but I am very happy with these. The flowers were made with coffee filter paper and I edged each paper circle with red Sharpie marker. The leaves were punched from the lining paper from a box of grapefruit. Everything is planted in a wooden finial.

Now I just need to find a small daisy style punch so I can make those, too.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Please join the celebration!

I am so excited! I was just looking over everyone's blogs and look what I found - I won Peggy's giveaway at Another Cosy Cottage! Everything is so beautiful - I'm doing the happy dance today. :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

At home in the parlor

Good morning! Just a quick update to show you all how the sewing table looks in its new home in the Petite Dreams parlor. The table in my book, Decorative Dollhouses by Caroline Hamilton, has a lot of painted gold accents but I think I like mine plain black. What do you all think?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Return to the Past

Today's project was a quick one - easy but detailed, too. I made a Victorian sewing table from part of a thread spool. The idea is not mine - I got it from a dollhouse book by Caroline Hamilton. The spool had 4 sections plus the center. I sawed off about a half inch piece from the end. I used my Dremel to even the edges and then sanded it smooth. The base is a wooden wheel and the post is a wood turning. I glued a paper circle to the bottom of the spool section then glued all the pieces together. I added some lace at the base of the spool to resemble carving then painted the whole thing gloss black.
I cut some small pieces of black foam to take up space in the bottom of each section.
Then I made all the bits to fill it. The center holds a tomato pin cushion. One section holds spools of thread in various colors. Another has two pairs of scissors (straightened dressmaker hooks)and a card of buttons. The third section holds reels of ribbon and the fourth holds embroidery floss. I made some needles from thin wire and glued them into the pin cushion. This will go in one of my Victorian houses.

It's funny how easy it is to make something look so nice with such odd bits of "stuff" from the scrap drawer. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I am very far behind in my welcomes. Seventeen of you have joined us since my last giveaway was announced. Thank you all so much for stopping by. Your comments and encouragement mean so much to me!

The project I had planned to do on Monday

I had several items from a recent birthday swap that didn't fit into one of my other projects so I made a small birthday party in a cardboard cigar box.
Several of these items were made by my friends in the Small World forum. Sandy made the pinata; Brenda made the cake, pin the tail on the donkey, the pinata stick in the corner, and the gift on the floor; Sharon made the panda mask and the teddy bear paper doll book in front of the gift on the floor; Gaye made the bags of chips - these are from a previous swap-and the heart peg rack on the wall. I need to figure out what to hang on the pegs still.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm back!

First, I'd like to thank you all for your "get well soon" messages to my husband. He's improving each day but he's a bit like my college aged daughters when they are home for the summer - he's bored out of his mind. :) When he's working he's on the go all day and is pretty tired by the time he gets home so he doesn't mind quiet activities. But now he keeps thinking of all that needs to be done outside and he's getting stir crazy - but he's not driving me crazy yet so it's all good, lol.

I've been busy with a commission these past few days. It's a bedroom for a very young boy.
The furniture and bedding is all my design and was very fun to make. I've been making a lot of girly, pastel things recently so this has been a nice change of pace.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Short Break

I'll be away for a couple of days - hubby had unexpected surgery yesterday. He went to the hospital for some tests to find the source of the pain he's been feeling. The upper and lower GI scopes didn't find anything significant so the doctor ordered a gall bladder ultrasound. That was the problem. It took a year to get to that point because his symptoms weren't "normal." So, anyway, his gall bladder was removed yesterday afternoon and after healing from the multiple procedures and long day he should start feeling much better.

I'll be back early next week. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I spent some time playing in the garden - the mini one. I added an umbrella to the patio table, repainted the Easter baskets, and gave the dogs collars. Just enough mini-ing to keep me from going stir crazy, lol.

Happy Thursday!

Easter in the bridge garden

It looks like the girls have finished their Easter egg hunt and now are just enjoying the beautiful spring weather in the garden. I hope spring has sprung wherever you are, too. :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Time for a little gardening...literally

My cat got into the window box on the bridal shop so the box needed some "gardening" work done. I added new flowers and plants to fill the box in a cottage garden style. Hubby said it needed a cat in it since ours trashed the first one, lol. I humored him by adding one on the sidewalk. It looks as though it's ready to jump into the box. It better not mess up those flowers! ;)

And here's Santa

That bit of glue has been removed from Santa's hat since I took the photo - before I added hair, beard, hat, etc. he looked just like the actor Ed Asner, lol.
This is one roly poly Santa. He does stand well all on his own, though.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Meet Emily

Yesterday I made the rounds of the big city fabric stores (big city for Indiana anyway, lol). I found this beautiful gray fabric in the clearance bin and knew it was going to be a Victorian lady's walking suit.
I sculpted and dressed Emily (and a Santa) this afternoon.
Back details.
I love her auburn hair and the way the hat turned out. I'm going to list her in my zibbet shop but I'm really tempted to keep her for one of my Victorian houses or the general store. Maybe she'll visit while she's waiting for a buyer. ;)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wardrobe change

This is how Brittani used to look. The proportions of the outfit just weren't right.
Today she got a new dress to wear over the leggings. This looks like an outfit my daughters would wear - and Brit looks cute and comfortable. Brittani is listed in my Zibbet shop -