Monday, August 29, 2011

Wear and tear

Last night I was looking through photos of Johnson's Boarding House and one thing popped out at me - everything looked too shiny and new for a post war boarding house. So I got out the sandpaper and started adding some wear and tear. The floors especially were too new looking but the sandpaper helped solve that problem. I also added some chips to the enamel cabinet that Harriet is working at.
The living room tables got the sandpaper treatment, too. I didn't want them to look beat up, just well used. I left the dining set alone, though, on the presumption that the family ate in the kitchen when the children were young so the dining room has only been really used since the boarding house opened.
The foyer floor and the newel post show some use now.
I even sanded the leather wing chair at the head, seat and arms.
This isn't wear and tear but Harriet got a new (and final!) bedspread. I think this fabric looks like chenille so I had to use it. :) I made the linens from an old lace edged hankie.

I just made subtle changes but they made a big difference in telling the "story" of the house.

Off to find a new project! Have a great day!

Friday, August 26, 2011


DD #2 is home for a short break between her early student teaching activities and the start of her college classes. She was bored and needed something to DO (emphasis is hers, lol.) So I gave her some wood furniture pieces and her choice of paints. She did the base coat work on these three and I added the folk art and floral designs as well as the aging. My favorite is the trunk. I've got some brown on cream fabric I plan to use for inserts in the wardrobe styled hutch.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Victorian rooftop garden

Last night I made the twisted wire furniture. This morning I worked on plants.
My apple tree is not as authentic looking as Casey's but I had the red wired floral accessories that looked like slightly overscaled apples so I used them. The rest of the plants are made with paper, reindeer moss, bits of twigs, artificial plant parts, etc. They range from very realistic to just giving a general impression.
The finished garden area looks welcoming and cozy although I may need to change the roof color. I'm still debating that.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A lucky find

I found this fountain for $1 at Goodwill today. No water and "snow" around the base - I think it's meant to be part of a Christmas village.
I've been wanting to make a rooftop garden on my Victorian townhouse for a long time. This fountain is a good start.I used fishing line to make the water dripping down on each level and added clear dimensional glaze to the basins and down the fishing line. It looks like water is flowing now. :) I painted over the snow, added tea "dirt" and planted some tiny ferns around the base. Next step will be making some furniture and potted plants.


I thought I'd post a photo of the clock as it was before its makeover. You can see that I hadn't even painted the white edges that showed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just keeping busy

I've been working on some mini mini projects this week. Just a few little things for fun. This month's American Miniaturist has a tutorial for a bead toy. I altered the instructions to make it like the one my children had. Here it is in the nursery.

This clock was made from a printie I found in a mini magazine many years ago. I think it may have been Nutshell News. I was fairly new to miniatures and it was a complicated printie so I put it together just as it was and popped it in a house. This morning I felt the need to "fix" it so here it is with the addition of some hardware, stain, a wood base, a clock face surround and some dimensional gel for the face. It no longer looks like it started as a printie. Definitely time well spent.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Playing with buttons

While surfing the internet yesterday I found a tutorial for a mini vase of flowers using stacked buttons for the vase. I apologize for the poor quality of these photos but you get the general idea. I used a variety of sizes of red buttons glued together with Loctite super glue to make a bowl shaped planter on a pedestal.
The ivy was made with punched paper stars and covered wire. I used an ink pad on one side of the paper to make the top and bottom sides of the leaves a slightly different color.

The rose leaves are hearts punched from two shades of green paper and the rose buds were made from tiny bits of a pink envelope, rolled and glued. I dragged the tips of the flowers over a burgundy stamp pad.

Then I just glued everything in place on top of the button. The vines are glued into the button holes to keep them stable. I filled in all the blank spots with roses and leaves.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How does your garden grow?

This lovely batch of beans is now cooling in the pressure canner - the second planting of green beans is really taking off.
The tomatoes are just beginning to ripen. I'm hoping to can whole tomatoes, salsa and soup. The zucchini is nearly finished. I've had no trouble using all of them this year. In fact, I was hoping for more.

How are your gardens doing? - vegetable or floral - I'd love to see photos. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Busy, busy, busy

Monday and Tuesday were spent moving daughter #2 into her new apartment. She will have a roommate but my daughter had to move in early for some pre-student teaching activities. The living room will eventually have a futon/sofa instead of the butterfly chair. The denim slipcovered chair was one of our garage sale finds as were the plant stand, TV table and end table. The plant (Spike, lol) is a start from the plant my hubby and I received as a wedding gift 29 years ago. Daughter #1 also got a start (Harry.) The window treatments throughout the apartment were done with the many yards of tulle I had purchased for the canceled wedding. It made perfect fuss-free window toppers and added punches of color against the white walls.
The apartment is the top floor of an Arts and Crafts style turn of the century home. There's lots of great woodwork and cute little cubby storage areas everywhere. I didn't get photos of the hall - it has a floor to ceiling four door storage area. The kitchen cabinets aren't as old as the house but they are definitely vintage. The little green stand next to the fridge was one of our garage sale purchases after a makeover. She has small appliances, kitchen wraps and cookbooks stored there.
The kitchen isn't big enough for the dining table so that's in the living room. You've seen this set in an earlier post. The rose painting and the pasta one in the kitchen were both painted by my mom. This is daughter #2 BTW. :)
I love how her bedroom turned out. The nightstand was a garage sale makeover as are the bunk bed and lamp. K recovered a comforter with a pretty flannel print and made the throw pillows you see in several of the photos.
The chest of drawers is her old one from home but repainted. The glossy white with chrome hardware is a huge improvement over the old oak laminate and brass hardware. I love paint. :D

The apartment is three bedroom so one room has been turned into an office/study area and roomie will have the third room with the large walk-in closet. K chose the room with the smaller closet that's closest to the bathroom.

Next time I visit daughter #1 I will get photos of her apartment, too. It's fun to show how all the miscellaneous garage sale/consignment shop purchases have come together to make cute starter homes for my girls.

Hope you are all having a wonderful week!

Friday, August 12, 2011

All in a day's work

No minis today but I canned three pints of beets, 4 pints of sweet pickle spears, and 11 half pints of dill relish.
I also made zucchini banana bread and did the laundry. The "Happy Housewife" is now exhausted and sitting with her feet up. ;)

BTW, the bread tastes great!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Adding the little touches

The Willowcrest does not yet have a permanent home. It currently sits on a card table in the middle of the sewing room. I can't get to my work area without squeezing past that table so I'm constantly getting new ideas for things to add to the house, lol. There's now a filled dish drainer (parts of a plastic curler on a ribbed cardboard mat) and the paper towels are now wall mounted rather than freestanding.
The bedroom bookshelf lamp got a shade - painted corrugated cardboard.
All the bottles behind the bar got actual labels cut from the Sunday paper ads. They make the makeshift bottles look much better.

The spider plant got reworked. I found a better pot, added stripes to the leaves and redid the top of the hanger to make it look better. It all looks much more realistic now. I never thought I'd enjoy making plants and flowers but I really do. :)

I've recently decided on some upcoming projects but i'm not going to be able to share details. They will be for gifts. It won't be long until I can share the Odds and Ends challenge photos, though.

Tomorrow I will be canning again. Today I harvested beets, onions, cucumbers, beans, zucchini, and eggplant. So I will can the beets, some dill zucchini relish and some sweet pickles. By Saturday I will have enough green beans to can. The pantry is looking so pretty and colorful.

I hope you are all having a wonderful week!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Making shopping easier

I've added several new items to both of my zibbet shops. To make it easier to shop I've added direct links in the left sidebar. If you click on the DeLightful Minis by MiniDe banner you will go to my mini zibbet shop. If you click on the Designs by De banner you will go to my earring shop. At this point you still need to register to shop at zibbet but I hope you will do so. With all the changes in the online shopping sites I think zibbet will grow quickly and you can find many beautifully crafted items there. The zibbet administration has been working hard to roll out some wonderful improvements to the site that will benefit shoppers and sellers alike but it is taking longer than anticipated. That's why it's still necessary to register. Please do!

The pink and brown china cabinet is now listed at DeLightful Minis as well as several items that used to be in the etsy shop. A teammids friend gave me some great ideas for new dolls so be watching for those to be coming soon.

End of commercial. ;)

Yesterday my wonderful husband and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. Church, dinner, movie and dessert made for a full but great day. We saw "Cowboys and Aliens." It wasn't the best movie I've ever seen but we enjoyed it. And really, can a movie starring Harrison Ford ever be bad? LOL

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Play time!

I made a spider plant for Baily and Josh's living room. Baily's enjoying a quiet afternoon reading.

Earlier today I made bread and butter pickles and a spicy sweet zucchini relish. The pantry is looking good. :)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Time for a mini project!

This pink and brown dinner set used to be listed in my etsy shop. I painted and distressed a Michael's hutch in Nutmeg Brown with a top coat of Victorian Rose to coordinate with the dishes. They are held in place with tacky wax.
Both lower doors open but there's a bowl in the right one.
I added opening drawers lined with the same paper that lines the back of the top - it's a really pretty scrapbook paper.

The dishes were all handmade out of polymer clay. I will be listing this hutch, complete with dishes in my zibbet shop -

I really needed to make time for a little project. I get tense if I don't get some regular mini time. :)

Keeping Busy

The only minis I've done lately are for an odds and ends challenge but the deadline for showing our projects isn't until September 1st. So I can't share my project until then. In the meantime I've been busy with "life." My middle is moving into her first real apartment in a week and a half. As you can see, we've been packing. As the apartment is unfurnished, this is only a tiny bit of what we'll be moving but this lot is in my sewing/craft room so I will be thrilled to have it out of my way. :D There will be more mini-ing when I can actually get to everything again.
The garden has been productive and I've added dill pickles to the pantry. Tomorrow I need to do another harvest - sweet pickles are coming soon.
You may remember that last summer we took a family vacation to Walt Disney World in Florida. I still had not gotten the photos printed and scrapbooked. We ended up with a couple of poster frames that were too small for DD's posters so I printed the best photos on my printer and made collages. I still have the option to scrapbook later but we can enjoy the memories now this way.

So I am keeping busy. I have a few ideas for new projects so maybe I will have something to share in the near future.

Have a beautiful day wherever you are!