Saturday, December 12, 2009

Furnished Dollhouse at Hospice of the Carolina Foothills

Furnished Dollhouse at Hospice of the Foothill Carolinas Thrift Barn

My friend, Tammy, let me know that there was a fully furnished dollhouse up for auction at the Hospice of the Carolinas Thrift Barn in Landrum, http://www.hocf.org/services/thrift_barn.php my hometown. So, as my Dad and I were heading to the cemetery to place Christmas greenery and bows on several graves, including that of my mother who died of cancer seven years ago, I told him I'd come up his way and we'd go see the dollhouse. You can read the poignant story about Lisa Owens who lovingly built it and furnished it but sadly lost her battle to diabetes in 1997. Her parents donated the dollhouse and to add to its bittersweet story, a man who is also under Hospice care and has a bad tremor, took all of the accessories out of the plastic bags labeled as to which rooms they belonged and put it all back together including the individual books in the bookcase and tiny figurines throughout the house. They graciously allowed me to take pix and to post about the house in my blog. The house is up for auction until December 19th and they are hoping to raise as much as they can for this valuable operation. As Hospice is dear to our hearts, I hope some local folks will see this and want this beautiful house for a special person in their lives. And to all, in case I don't get to blog much between now and then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!




Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christine's 12 Days of Christmas!

If you run over to Christine V's blog today, Candid Canine, http://candidcanine.blogspot.com two of my little Christmas scenes from Etsy are featured in her 12 Days of Christmas! I can't upload pix of my own just now as my laptop battery has decided to die right here at Christmas when any $$ has to go for presents, food, my son's senior trip, etc. so when I get Christmas funds, I'll be back in the saddle! I am actually typing this at work before the day officially begins! And I do intend to visit with everyone soon. It's been utter chaos around these parts lately but I do wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and a very Happy and prosperous and healthy New Year!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Been Gone Too Long!

A Christmas Goose

A Christmas goose in 1:12th scale for your holiday or year-round country decor. One of my goals is to create folk and country decor items in miniature. This goose is from polymer clay over a wire and foil armature and is painted with crackle medium. He has glass seed bead eyes.
A country Christmas living room scene. Pottery by Butt Hinge; chair and coffee table by Lee's Line and the pewter biscuit box is by Warwick Miniatures.
Polymer clay Santa figurine. The 'fur' trim is dusted with diamond dust glitter but it doesn't show in the photo. I was individually hand sculpting these little guys but finally was able to create a little poly clay two part mold so I can turn them out a little faster.
A Christmas living room scene. I've had this fireplace kit by House of Miniatures (remember them?) for about 20 years or so and finally put it together and love it.
Another Christmas goose with removable evergreen and 'berries' wreath. Polymer clay over a wire and foil armature painted white with glass seed bead eyes.

I promise I will get around to 'visit' everyone soon and my profound apologies for neglecting to stop in and admire all of your wonderful accomplishments!

Every time I get into a regular blogging routine of sorts, life intervenes and all kinds of things happen at once. I won't even bore you with all the details. Suffice it to say that poor little Joanna, 10, the child who still loves me fiercely (the other two are 17 and 19--need I say more?!) still has a shell of a dollhouse waiting to be finished. And I had such high hopes of displaying it this Christmas, all alit, furnished and resplendent. So, my guilt at having abandoned it to start up my little Etsy endeavors has also partly kept me from blogging but I'm going to get back in the groove and hopefully this winter, we'll be able to work on Joanna's house and get it finished.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Just Checking In!

Business continues around here and yesterday my 10-year-old, Joanna, and I suffered a tragedy. Running late to pick her up from school, I jumped in the car and didn't see my sweet kitty of 16 years, Priss either darting into or out of the garage and I ran over her. I had to scoop her up and place her on the back step and by the time we got home, she had died. So this morning I am still grieving as I prepare to head to work.

I promise I am working on some mini endeavors and also preparing for a Bring Your Own Art show with some of my quilting/fiber arts pieces. I will be back soon and running around checking in on everyone. I hope you all are well and I miss you. I'll be with you soon!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gracious! Where Does the Time Go?!

On the Passage of Time and An Award!

I can't believe I've had so much going on that I've neglected my little blog so badly. Now that our party is over, the house is looking better than it has in years and I've added several little things to my Etsy shop so it won't look so pitifully empty, I am hoping to get back in the saddle of posting more often and visiting everyone to see what you're all up to! This was the Halloween basket I threw together to fill an empty corner before my in-law's 50th wedding anniversary party at our house this past Saturday evening. (Of course, then I visited William Bezek, the Artist, at his blog I saw how simple and droll my little effort was! If you haven't visited his house for Halloween, head over there this minute for a treat! http://williambezek.blogspot.com/2009/10/haunting-house.html?showComment=1255650964954#c8200450395236479193

The anniversary party was wonderful. Everyone had a good time. And as one was brought from assisted living in a wheelchair, another is on a walker as she is a bad diabetic who can no longer feel her feet and another brother is on a cane and in his late 80's, I was glad we could host it. I'll post a few more pix soon but am just literally rushing through. The one drawback to the event was that my son, Ben, 17, called the night before to say he had run his truck off in a ditch with his girlfriend in the truck and it was a dark, rainy, bad night. We were able to get the truck out with DH's farm truck, they weren't hurt, hadn't been drinking, no other vehicles were involved so we have lots to be thankful for. However, the truck was pretty much totalled. But again, they weren't hurt--or killed. And her Mom showed up to take her home and couldn't have been more kind, understanding or gracious.
This is a little Gothic mirror I just listed in my little Etsy shop today (I promise I won't bore you to tears but as this is the season . . .). It is made from a press mold of a circa 1980's belt buckle, polymer clay painted and dusted with gold dust and glitter and spray-sealed). And it sort of represents a major milestone for me. I have had Photoshop for three years and never learned to use it. As I took pix of the reflection of my hands and camera in the mirror, I was able to 'paint' it out--TADA! Made me feel all accomplished. Oh, and I made the poly clay crow, too.
Back to the party, this was the centerpiece my SIL brought up from Georgia and below was the front of the house with newly spiffed up and re-stained front door, rockers, church pew and the mums I bought for the occasion.
And lastly, thanks to Kathi from Beautiful Mini Blessings and Victoria from Little Boxes for the award! I promise I will pass it on ASAP--although most of you have already received it--when I get another chance to stop by. I would also like to say I am so happy that Debbie is back with us and recovering from her open heart surgery. I've sent many prayers out for her 'homecoming' back to us! And a huge thank you to Nikki for listening and trying to help me resolve a big eBay/Paypal issue of late. I owe her in a huge way. What a wonderful community of mini bloggers we have. I am gratefu for you all and so admire your tremendous talents. I aspire to your levels! Oh, and I must post pix of the little gifts I received from another special blogger, Kathy Calhoun and I will have to pass it on to those who post a comment when I post pix! So, I will be back with you soon! Thank you for missing me. I've missed you, too!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Etsy Shop Now Open!

I've Opened An Etsy Shop!

Not that I will constantly blog about my little Etsy endeavors but I have opened a little shop, Peach Blossom Hill, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=7945829 and am still hoping for that first little sale! I thought I had one but as it is with fishing, she nibbled on the line but then evidently changed her mind and the line went slack!

So, I have been feverishly working on a few mini paintings and other items but life in general keeps thwarting my efforts at every turn. School back in session always stomps me into the mud and takes about three months for me to adjust. We're hosting my in-law's 50th anniversary party the first of October so doing some major house overhauls and we're having a big yard sale this Saturday. Plus a few minor little hormonal and TMJ issues I'm seeing the doc about next week have really wreaked havoc on my emotions and creative juices lately. That, and the normal stresses of life in general.
In addition, while I try to be a good fellow blogger, I'm way behind on reading what everyone is up to so need to get around to at least saying hi and checking in. I'm hoping Debbie from Tiny Treasures is on the mend.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Wedding and Some Mini Progress

A Few of the Min's I've Been Working On and a Wedding!

The above picture is of a sewing cabinet I've put together in hoping I can reopen my Etsy shop soon with an emphasis on miniatures. It's either find ways to make extra dough or find that dreaded mind-numbing full-time 9 to 5 gig. In the foreground are hydrangea's. I am a messy crafter so you see all the bits and pieces of glue and paper lying around. The true me.
I've also been working on some poly clay pumpkins, a rooster decorator item and a rabbit. The rooster will be painted some more before he is done. Now this rabbit is to be furred. Therefore he is probably entirely too big and fat! I've got to learn to sculpt smaller and leaner but at least, I think, he captures the essence of 'rabbit'. At least I hope! The pile of leaves are some I've punched and painted with acrylics.
Joan A. from one of the Yahoo Groups I'm a member of announced a mini e-mail yard sale and I wrote asking for this china set and the brass pitcher. The tea kettle was a Dejoux Miniatures purchase. Joan kindly offered in lieu of an outright sale, a trade. I'm to make her some drapes and Colonial diapers (so if anyone knows how Colonial diapers may have differed from modern cloth diapers, I'm all ears--I Google'd it and found nada except that babies during that time wore long dressed regardless of gender).
I also got around to pouring some of my House of Caron housewares molds. Alot of pouring to go before I fill up the Skutt kiln with these tiny wares!
And this is the bride and groom, Victoria and Justin. I grew up with his mother and as my late mother used to direct weddings, I am sometimes asked to direct them for folks from my hometown. Jerry, Maggie and I did Justin's older sister, Erin's wedding and his, last night, was the fourth we've done. It went very weel. She was radiant and beautiful and he was very handsome in his tux. Plus there were two precious flower girls, a beautiful little miniature brider, her young sister and a handsome miniature groom as well as the beautiful young maids, matrons and groomsmen. It was a fun wedding and reception. And as Maggie and Jerry do most of the actual traffic control, Jerry heads up the ushers responsibilities and Maggie the bridesmaids, I mainly run around pinning on corsages, checking on the guest arrivals and wring my hands. So, a good working relationship. And as this bride and groom are both sherrif deputies, I wish them a lifetime of happiness and safety!

Monday, August 17, 2009

We Got Our Bike, Me 24 Years Ago, Stuff . . .

We Got Our Bike!

Remember I wanted Joanna's house to have a bike like Amyla's on Flickr (see my previous post a few weeks ago)? We got our bike from Hong Kong and I love it! It is 1:12th scale and the back wheels even spin when you turn the pedals! We got it from Speedfind on eBay, and the price was great. I think it was $2.95 plus about $10 shipping. So, I highly recommend them now!

ANIMOTO. Another great site I found through the Etsy forums is Animoto!! You can upload your photos from a photo site or your picture files on your computer, choose a song and they create a little short movie for you. A lot of Etsy vendors are using it to promote their shop items. I made one of my three children when they were small and plan to make more. You have to scroll all the way down to the bottom to see it.

Also, check out the Back to School Sale at Dejoux Miniatures. I feel party responsible for Charles Deyou, owner, extending the recent sale he offered on his already low prices. I wrote and told him it was back to school time and therefore I couldn't take advantage of the sale because of back to school expenses. He wrote commisserating with me but also pointing out how difficult it is for businesses to survive with their normal margins which I do understand having owned businesses and working for a small business. So, go shop at Dejoux and enter code 0904BTS to save 15% on your entire order! I'll go there this week as well.

Now I thought I would show you what I looked like 24 years ago. I found my engagement picture taken when I was a 22 year old college senior and ready to get married a month after graduation. Look at all of that hair and the lack of pudginess and wrinkles! Three children and almost a quarter of a century later, as you can see from my profile pix, I don't quite look the same!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bunny Rug Attempt and Official Documents

My Attempt at One of Joan Grimord's Rugs

I've sent this pix of my nearly completed attempt at her punch needle bunny rug to Joan Grimord to see if she thinks the 'extra small' needle for the Cameo Punch is actually not small enough for her little rugs. I'm not entirely happy with this poor little guy but he is going in Joanna's nursery anyway when he's finished. I teach quilting classes, do thread paintings, mastered heirloom sewing and smocking but punch needle is kicking me! And, my gosh, the technique is pretty simple: Punch, drag, Punch, drag . . . . .
I finally put up our building permit--good thing we weren't fined before now having not posted it!
Now I know all of you true mini artisans in our little blogging community usually show your exquisitely beautiful finished--and perfect--creations. But being an old country shoe as I am, I show the good, the bad and the ugly. This is the progress I've made so far--the roof gave me some difficulties and I admit having to go at it with a hammer to loosen the wood glue and reposition it but I am bursting with pride: I didn't have to whine to DH! So give me a gold button. I 'done' it my own self. So there.

And as an aside, I'm actually thinking of opening an Etsy store for mini's. Between my part-time job and three children, I can't put a ton of things in but I've either got to augment my little part-time gig or go to work digging graves (about what my late great 'liberal arts' degree and my resume which screams, "Has avoided full-time employment like the plague" will qualify me for). Hay isn't selling gang busters this year and we're still trying to climb out of the hole life left us in in April when everone's cars had to have major repairs at once and some of the household appliances joined in the melee for fun and DH had to have $800 worth of wisdom teeth removed. Anyone have any advice or suggestions about Etsy mini shops?

Friday, August 7, 2009

We Got Mail! Thank you, Donna!

Lookie What We Got!

Donna at Hager's Bears, http://hagerbears.blogspot.com/, was so very kind to send us one of her precious and detailed little poly clay dolls and a little teapot for Joanna's nusery! They came in the mail yesterday and we were thrilled! Her work is just exquisite as you can see. I've put them here in Joanna's nursery furniture piece to photograph. The little pink bear and the stacking toy were earlier gifts from Katie at Katie's Clay Corner, http://katiesclaycorner.blogspot.com/. They will add so much to the nursery! Thank you, Donna and also Katie.
I couldn't get Dolly to stand up but was hastily snapping these pix before I have to get ready for work. Isn't it great to be a part of such a sharing, giving community of mini friends?!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Fourth Photo Challenge

The Fourth Photo Challenge

I received the challenge making the rounds to post the fourth photo from the fourth file in your computer on your blog and pass it on to four others.

This was one of my favorite photos of Maggie, far left, and her friends, Casey, Nikki and Alex before the 2007 Chapman High Prom and thanks to Mercedes for giving me an opportunity to share it! We had the girls and the boys all go to a local park, Cleveland Park in Spartanburg and took photos around the lake and in the gazebo. They were all leaning forward to get down to little Casey's height. She may be five feet tall but I'm not sure. Aren't they beautiful?! This was my favorite of Maggie's evening gowns and she won runner up in the Miss Panorama contest in it. She looked so elegant. Lucky for her, she takes after her father in looks! LOL!

I'm passing this on to:

Casey at Casey's Minis
Kim at It's a Miniature Life
Kathi at Beautiful Mini Blessings
Evelyne at Les Carnets de l'Atelier Blondie

Friday, July 31, 2009

Accessories and a Funny Story!

Accessorizing and a Little Mini Funny!While taking inventory as far as the furniture and accessories we have for Joanna's Victoria's Farmhouse, I realized there is actually more furniture than accessories. So, here are a few items we've received from various places lately including Mainly Mini's, Hobby Builder's Supply and other spots. We now have cleaner, extension cords, a smoke detector, some junk food, a porch swing, barbeque grill and US Postal Service packages.



Oh, and the trash can although I'm ashamed to see there are metal cans in there. I preach recycling around here! Oh, and I have found a bike the eBay seller claims is 1:12th and ordered it so fingers crossed it actually is 1:12th!.

Now for the funny story. Jodi Creager showed the scene she disovered, the trolls roasting poor Barbie over the heat of a saucepan! So, I thought I'd share my funny story about my 19-year-old, Maggie, one of the quintessential 'good girls' though no one can figure out where she got it-Haha.

Recently one evening, she and I were sitting on the couch watching TV and I had my laptop open perusing a mini shopping site. I periodically turned the laptop toward her to show her the goodies I was finding: "Look, Maggie! A miniature golf cart!" "Look! A mini bird feeder!" She would glance over and nod politely hardly taking her eyes off the TV. I clicked on a section titled 'Adult' Items wondering what in the world could be there??. There was a tiny garter belt, fancy fluffy bodice, jock strap, etc. and then I came upon a box of 'preventatives.' I turned the laptop to Maggie and said, "Look, Maggie! You don't want your little people reproducing at will so you have to provide these for them." She glanced over, did a double take and said, "WHAT?! I don't know what kind of dolls you had but mine were always PURE!!!!" LOL! So Funny!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Searching For A Bicycle!

The Great Bicycle Search

I 'borrowed' this pix from Amyla's photostream on Flickr. She is a mixed media artist and has the most beautifully detailed dollhouse that she rescued from the landfill where someone had discarded it and which I have blogged about before. You can see her dollhouse photos on Flickr here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldinamatchbox/sets/72157603445249733/

Sometimes, I just go there for inspiration. This bicycle, I think, is a Heidi Ott. I may be wrong. I commented on the photo above which shows her riding her bicycle at age nine but must head out to work so haven't heard from her yet.

I really want this bicycle for Joanna's Victoria's Farmhouse but it has been discontinued. I've posted that I'm searching for it on the Yahoo mini groups I'm a member of, Small Stuff and now here. A few years ago, you could find this bicycle around lots of places. Now, sadly, not at all. So, if anyone out there has it, I am willing to buy or trade for it! Poor me, perpetually a day late and a dollar short in life! I am going to also peruse the toy aisle at Toys R Us and Walmart and see if I can find one that might be in scale? Wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Joanna! And Furniture Arranging

The Birthday Girl

Yesterday was Joanna's 10th birthday! I have often referred to her as the 'bonus baby' because she came along when Maggie was nine and Ben was seven and of course, we thought at 37 and 35 years of age that we were 'through'. So, she has been a joy and is my constant little companion when the other two are off doing their teenage things. Knowing I would not be baking a cake (I cook more for survival than festivities or culinary joy) her grandmother, Weewee (Maggie named her as a toddler!) brought her a cake and ice cream which we had last night around 9:30 p.m. after cleaning the kitchen and living room, and her Daddy came in off the tractor.
She and Maggie had been a friends' pool yesterday afternoon so were still in their bathring suits when we had the little 'party' such as it was. We three 'girls' are going birthday shopping today.
I did spend the day putting the second floor on Joanna's dollhouse and then arranged some furniture inside to get an idea of which rooms should become which. This will be the nursery beside the master bedroom. Maggie was relieved to see that if the baby were to climb out of the picture window, there is a porch and not just a sheer dropoff.
This was going to be the kitchen but there was no room for the cabinets and refrigerator so it will become the living room. A bit small but it will have to be cozy.
And here is the kitchen. Love this kitchen set and it is somewhat similar to our full-sized kitchen with white cabinets although our counter tops are more emerald green. Fun!

Monday, July 13, 2009

An Award! And More Progress!

Casey Sent Me An Award!

Casey from http://caseymini.blogspot.com/ gave me an award and I am so honored! Among all of you very accomplished mini artisans I am but a mere amateur still searching for my niche! It is the Bella Sinclair award and according to Casey's blog, it was designed by Ces. Ces wrote:- I designed this award to celebrate art in the blogs and to honour the value of friendship, sisterhood, sharing and caring. It is to be awarded to the gifted, accomplished, eloquent and talented blogger, whose friendship and influence inspire us to do our best.would like to pass it on to:
Evelyn at Les Carnets de L'Atleier Blondie, http://lescarnetsdelatelierblondie.blogspot.com/, a new blogger who is sharing her beautiful creations and collections from Belgium;

Mary Beth McLees, a Clemson University student who I discovered on another blog and who has her whole life ahead of her. She blogs at http://mbmclees.blogspot.com/. Clemson U is about an hour from us and I had to contact Mary Beth.

Katie at Katie's Clay Corner. She is always supportive of me and has sent Joanna and me some of her lovely creations. You can find her blog on my blogroll.

Mercedes at Liberty Biberty. I am soooooo looking forward to a trade with her as, like Kim at It's a Miniature Life, she has that shabby chic, feminine touch to her creations and Joanna's dollhosuse will certianly benefit from some of Mercedes' touches!

And to K Arthur at Dollhouse Miniatures and Hitty Art by Miniature Folk Artist K Arthur who I just discovered by searching for punch needle embroidery tips and hints. She is an accomplished folk artist from Williamsburg, Virginia and sells some of her paintings and punch needle rugs on Etsy.

This is a better pix of Joanna after I snapped the one of her priming her dollhouse and looking none too happy for some reason.
And this is our housing inspector, my precious husband of 24 years, Jerry, who came home from lunch, saw that I was needing some more professional assistance and offered it even demonstrating what I should be doing as far as priming.
And this is the porch sections taped off and primed. Making progress. Yahoo!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Welcome, Progress, A Serial Killer and an Award

A Welcome, Progress on the Mini's Front, A Serial Killer and an Award

I would like to welcome more followers--I now have 100! Makes me feel popular and accomplished. Thank you! I'd also like to welcome Evelyn Fontaine of Brussells who has a new blog, Les Carnets de l'Atelier Blondie, http://lescarnetsdelatelierblondie.blogspot.com/ which I am now following. Such beautiful work and attention to detail. She is an artisan.

These two pix show a new roombox I ordered from Steve Harvey on Minatures Only for only $20! I love it, have stained the exterior and am playing with the arrangement of mini's I have collected to eventually do a roombox for my daughter's college president. After hearing him speak on several occasions and meeting him, I was so impressed with him, I was inspired to do a roombox in honor of both my Dad who graduated from the college and my oldest daughter, Maggie. My DH, 'housing inspector' for my mini endeavors, however, says the light-colored desk is not good enough--it needs to be dark. He picked out a Bombay type with a mahogany finish. Hmm.
This is a pix of my garden shed which limps along. I have been so disappointed with my terrible exterior I tried with Paperclay. If anyone has suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

And this is the Gaffney 'peachoid' water tower. Gaffney has been in the news, both regionally and nationwide because we have a SERIAL KILLER in our midst. First, let me explain the 'peachoid'. It is a water tower that sits beside Interstate 85. Our Upstate region of South Carolina once grew more peaches per capita than the entire state of Georgia which calls itself the Peach State. Gaffney still grows a large number of peaches despite the urban sprawl and development everywhere. And Gaffney is probably 35 to 45 minutes' drive from us here in Inman--and parts of Cherokee County are even closer to our Spartanburg County. The serial killer has now taken the lives of five people binding and shooting them. The first was a well-known peach and hay farmer, Cash Kline, two were a elderly mother and retired school teacher and her 50-some-year-old daughter, also a teacher (and related by marriage to a relative of my mother-in-law's), and the last two were a business owner and father and his teenaged daughter who clung to life with a gunshot wound to the head until she died two days later. It is very scary and we are ALL ARMED around here (giving credence to those normally false rumors that everyone in the US South is armed to the teeth with a hair-trigger finger) and with every little bump in the night, we get up to investigate. The FBI and law enforcement from all neighboring counties including those from western North Carolina are all involved in the investigation. And as my husband is a hay farmer who sells to the public and the first victim, Mr. Kline was last seen by his wife talking to the killer who approached him about buying hay, all the youth in our church are very concerned about Jerry and say he needs to take down his 'hay for sale' sign. It's very sobering and scary so to those who are so inclined, please say your prayers that he is caught and for the families he has destroyed. Mr. Kline had just been on the news recently saying he intended to retire from peach farming to spend more times with his grandchildren. Now, he won't get that chance.
I would like to award the For the Love of Reading Award from Doreen (as seen in my last post before I got the new baby modem and now have consistent internet once again) to:

Debbie at Tiny Treasures (if you haven't already received it!)
Kim at It's a Miniature Life
Katie at Katie's Clay Corner
Donna at Never Enough Time
and Glenda at MidSouth.

The rules are:
1- collect the book that you have most handy.
2- Turn to page 161.
3- Find the 5th complete sentence.
4- Cite the sentence on your blog.
5- Pass it to 5 other blogs