Monday, January 28, 2008

Some of my Miniature Holiday Bucks AcquisitionsIf you see my last post of photos I scanned from my beloved Veranda magazine, Fall and Winter issue of 1989 (and if you can't see these minute photos, go to my Flickr badge where you can click on them and see them in detail a little larger), you will see the red print sofa's and chairs that are there. While I couldn't find red florals, these red checked pieces from Lee's Line, were great substitutes. I really like the look and the craftsmanship.
This is a piece from Hobby Builders Supply and is from the Lincoln's Springfield home collection. While it is supposed to be an armoire, I plan to place it in the living room of my log home because it looks a lot like our entertainment center. The birch logs in the barrel are also very much like the barrel of logs in the Highlands log home of my dreams.
Purchased this hall tree because it is also like the one I inherited from my Aunt Mae Gramling. It sits in our entrance beside the front door and you can often even see it when it isn't completely covered with coats, hats and various other pieces of clothing.
I have already pictured this gorgeous bear hall tree from SP Miniatures which is so much like the one in the Highlands log home of my dreams (I should hyphenate that) and I think it's by Jeanetta Kendall. I love it.
Lastly, I had to picture the skis from SP Miniatures again. Made in Italy and they will go in the corner of my log home like the ones in the original. I'm adding these pix and others to my Flickr album so check it out if you have a minute.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Log Home of My DreamsThese the the pix from Veranda magazine, Fall and Winter Issue 1989, three years after we married. I have kept it through three children, a move, several jobs and various places of safekeeping. It is in Highlands, North Carolina just over the Blue Ridge Mountains from us and was owned by Tom Hayes and Toby West, interior decorators and antiques dealers who, the article said, designed and decorated many homes in Highlands and, I think, live and work primarily in Atlanta. Anyway, whereas in my naive youth, I thought we might one day own such a log home in the mountains as reality turned out, I will be very lucky if Jerry ever has time to build one for me in miniature. So, I am collecting towards one day owning a facsimile of this log home in miniature (see my previous posts). This shows the bear hall tree, like the one in miniature I bought from SP Miniatures with some of my holiday and birthday money. See these pix larger by clicking on my Flickr badge!

Here is a view from the balcony down onto the living room. I fell in love with the red florals and solids against the honey tones of the wooden furniture and the logs. See the snow skis in the corner? Again, I purchased some of these in mini also from SP Miniatures and they were made in Italy--that's incidentally as close as I'll ever come to Italy as well.
This view shows the other side of the living room and part of the fire place. The half barrel of firewood? Got one like it from SP Miniatures as well. I also bought a Winchester rifle, a moose head and some other goodies fit for a log home from Grandma Holly's on eBay and from Dollhouse Collectibles on eBay. I'll be posting pix of some of them in the near future so 'stay tuned'.
Here is the kitchen. I ordered a 'maple' moder kitchen cabinet set from Ernie at Hobby Builders Supply. Also got the beautiful Sir Thom Thumb dough board that was like the one my grandmother used to go in my kitchen from SP.

Lastly, here is the little irony of my having fallen in love with this cabin. See the miniature Christmas vignette in the room box on this chest?? These guys also loved things in miniature I think and, at least at the time of this publication, they had mini pieces of furniture, mini scenes and rag dolls placed throughout the house. I've tried to publish this post and post these pix so many times now I was beginning to think I had been banned from blogger. So, please comment if you're reading this!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Gotta Have's for My Planned Mini Log Home!!Wren Song Miniatures has the neatest pieces of furniture, lamps and accessories for my log home. I must have this entire scene here--the table with carved frieze, the lamp with moose and the painting. These are part of Kathleen Stewart's North Woods collection. The table is $47; the framed wildlife print is $26 and the moose lamp is $42. Piece of cake. I happen to have $115 just lying around--not. Especially after my big buying spree with my holiday bucks. But this is top on my list for whenever I can swing it. If my precious children didn't need to eat at school, put gas in cars, and occasionally get a new pair of jeans, . . . .
Now, this is to die for as well. Lorraine Scuderi makes these beautifully dressed log beds. They are so far out of my range just now I won't even put the price. But, DH can do this type of thing as far as the bed itself goes and I'm right handy with a needle and thread so. . . . . we'll see what we can come up with in our 'spare time'.
Another Lorraien Scuderi piece I would love in my imaginary log home.
This is this morning's attempt at a Great Blue Heron. He is not so great, I know but he is in progress. One of my former art teachers, Pam Brown, who is known widely around our region for her beautiful watercolor originals and prints, mainly of wildlife, said one day that she paints every day whether she feels like it or not. I am attempting to do this as well in an endeavor to improve. This is what I started this morning. Of course, if you visit Daily Miniature Paintings (see my links--I think this is what it's called) you will see how much improvement a rusty old novice like me has to make. But the first step of any process, no matter how daunting, is to begin and I have done this so we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More Efforts at Mini Paintings--This is Harder Than it Looks!Here are some more efforts at miniature paintings. It's a lot darned harder than it looks and since I took art lessons in my teen years (eons ago) I have forgotten most of what I learned and my eyes have gotten a lot worse (I attempt this wearing two pairs of reading glasses, one 1.5 strength and the other 2.0 strength). I think it might be a while before I am ready to try to sell any of these on eBay but maybe others out there who aren't art critics and can't see any better than I can will think these are by some poor little geriatric sole who needs money to buy her dog a can of food. Actually, that's not too unlike my actual circumstances when you get right down to it. At 45 I am quite curmudgeonly at times and I need money to feed and clothe three children who are college bound. So, if I want to purchase or play with mini's I've got to find a way to support my habit.
Cringing yet again to show them up close but they say photographing an artistic endeavor will show your flaws and where they need improvement. These are still works in progress so if you have any suggestions, I will be happy to hear them.
I see my barn is leaning a bit more than I intended so I may have to work on straightening it. Also, the tree will get more branches and the ground more leaves and plants.
I like the owl in the tree surrounded by bittersweet though I didn't quite do him justice. Oh, to be able to replicate nature in paint!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Scavenger Hunt for Mini's

A Scavenger Hunt for Mini's at Bass Pro Shops and Mini WishesWhen I go to home improvement stores, hardware stores or other big box stores, I like to go on small scavenger hunts for things that could be used in miniatures. Yesterday while in Charlotte, NC for a meeting, Jerry and I went across the road to Bass Pro Shops. There are tons of things in the fly fishing area that could be used for minis including small feathers, animal fur, and other items. I bought this package of deer fur (Jerry said to just take a pocket knife and a razor for when I come upon roadkill). This would be cool on small poly clay animals like beavers, rats, etc. Now to perfect my sculpting skills.
This rainbow trout pin sculpted by an artist in Wisconsin, Virgil Beck, I think will make a good fishing trophy. It may be a little large but I don't think so. It's about 1 3/4" long so we'll see. These items are going in my log home, remember. The one I have to get Jerry who works six days a week to build me??
This or the one in the photo below are on my wish list but will definitely have to wait. This creel is by Catherine Bigot-Duverne of France (if I can hardly pronounce her name, obviously, I can't afford her pieces) for $69 from Swan House Miniatures. The set below is by G. Reed, it says, for a mere $90. I am going to have to really work on my painting skills and start selling mini paintings to afford those more high-cotton accessories.
And, as a parting word, if you're reading this, come out of the woodwork and comment, won't ya? I need affirmation and feedback.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

How I Spent My Sunday Afternoon!

How I Spent My Sunday AfternoonDon't laugh--I haven't painted anything in decades. Plus, I was always better at oil painting than acrylics but I tried my hand at acrylics for these because of the drying time. I cringe to show them up close but here they are:
This is obviously supposed to be a buck in a clearing in the woods. It is based on a photo in a back issue of South Carolina Wildlife. I think his neck needs a little adjusting but I was okay with this.
This one, again, based on a photo in a SC Wildlife back issue, I think I'll call Turkey in the Straw. I've got to find a way to make some mini's to sell to support my habit. Thought I'd practice painting in miniature. These are both 2" x 2 1/2". I'd love some critiques if you have a minute.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Few of My Mini Acquisitions from SP Miniatures--Love Them!I love this little bear hall tree from SP Miniatures by Jeanetta Kendall. Amazingly, it is almost exactly like the bear hall tree in my dream log home in Highlands, NC, which was featured in Veranda magazine in 1989. Yes, I've kept that issue all these years of our marriage through three children and the building of our house seven years ago. The dream used to be that we would one day own a log home in the mountains much like it. As life has turned out, I will be lucky indeed to achieve that dream in miniature. I am going to picture that log home on this blog soon because that is the new goal. I want Jerry to build me a log home in miniature in between his full-time job, the hay business in season, sewing machine repair and everything else he does.
This is one of my new prized Sir Thom Thumb pieces also from SP Miniatures. I have a ladder and a few small tools but this dough tray looks almost exactly like the one that belonged to my mother's mother, Maggie Alman, for whom our oldest daughter is named (and also for Jerry's maternal grandmother who was also Maggie). I can remember watching Mama hold this tray in her lap mixing the dough on one end of this tray with quick sweeping motions with one hand while the dry flour sat waiting to be added to the mix on the other end. She died when I was about ten so this had to be in my early childhood memories. My mother would go to their house on Hydrick Street in Spartanburg from our home in Landrum about 30 minutes away and clean their house on Monday and every Monday Mama would cook chicken and dumplings, green beans, biscuits and creamed potatoes. I would love to go in that house today but the people might have me arrested for breaking and entering. I loved that house and I think I was a Sears bungalow design.
These snow skis (there is a beautiful pair propped in the corner of my dream log home in Veranda magazine, 1989) by Taller Targioni of Spain, also from SP Miniatures. I was so flattered and gratified to go back to the site and see that beside these beatifully detailed skis, it said SOLD. That was little ole' me from Inman, South Carolina! I now own these!!!!!!! Now, I can't ski myself and have hardly an athletic tendency in my exercise-deprived body. But, every log home needs a pair of snow skis and my dream log home has them so there.
This steer skull by whom I do not know, is also an SP Miniatures purchase and I love it. We have been to Colorado twice to stay with friends out there and this reminded me of some of the steer skulls you might come upon on those wide, sweeping prairie lands. It is so detailed and perfect.
The pick axe I just had to purchase also from SP Miniatures and I guess it could be a pick axe used by those early gold miners in Colorado and since that is probably the most 'exotic' locale we will ever visit, I have to have a few items that represent that beautiful, wondrous state. And it's also a Sir Thom Thumb piece and it has weight to it. I could set up a mini Sir Thom Thumb museum one day I so love every piece 'he' makes, whoever he is.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rumors of My Death . . .

Rumors of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated!
I took about a year off mini's not by choice but due to life circumstances. In a nutshell, DH and I bought a sewing machine dealership and I began working six days a week in the quilt shop pretty much putting an end to any leisure time activities. The dust is settling somewhat and I spent all of my Christmas and January 7th birthday $$ on mini's. I will be posting some pix of my acquisitions as I can. Above are the parts of a sewing shadow box I put together. I had to take it out of the box so I could photograph everything without the glass on the front. The machine is one of those inexpensive ones you can get from various sources as is the little tomato pin cushion. The hutch I bought for less than $4 from Amy at Manor House Miniatures and painted white. The various patterns, bolts of fabric, needle cases, etc. are from Paper Minis. The little quilt is a pix of one a friend made from the kit, Vintage Valentines by Verna Mosquera. I transferred the photo onto Printed Treasures and layered it with muslin and a dryer sheet for batting and sewed the blocks with silk thread on the machine.

DH slapped a price sticker on it as it is here in the shop where everything is for sale. I might put it on eBay in light of our daughter getting accepted to a prestigious local private college. I would try to sell my body for extra money, but, sadly, there would be no takers. I am trying to figure out how to make some mini's to support my habit.
The goal for this year is to finish the Halloween house (yes, that died on the vine with the upheaval of business ownership) and for Jerry to make me a log home in miniature. As life has turned out so far, it looks like my dream of owning an actual log home in the mountains is never going to materialize so having one in mini will be the next best thing. So, most of my purchases post-holidays were geared to that end.
More on that to follow. So please come back and stop in--I am going to try my darndest to update--and 'mini'-- on a more regular basis.