Thursday, June 27, 2013

Yard Sale of Miniatures in Ontario!!

My friend Liz just posted this on Facebook! So if you are in Ontario and were sad that you were unable to attend our estate sale last week, you might think about attending this:

Yard Sale of Miniatures at Grandpa's DollHouse, 43624 Sparta Line, St. Thomas (enter into GPS as 43624 Sparta Line, Central Elgin) on Saturday, July 27! Contact me for information on renting a space to clear out your extra "stash" and make room for the wonderful new deals you can buy!! This is a fundraiser for the 2014 Ontario Miniatures Gathering in London ON. We are gonna have fun!!!

Saturday, July 27 9am - 2pm. Great bargains on miniatures, FREE items table (donations accepted), make and take wicker kits, silent auction, food and fun!!!

What you've been waiting for! Ta-Da...what I bought at the Estate Sale!

Okay! To the good stuff.....

Oh, my, the prices were SO good and there was just SO much to choose from!

My absolutely best purchase was fifteen 3/32 x 4 x 24 and six 3/8 x 4 x 24 pieces of basswood plus all the pieces of strip wood. This is wood from Northeastern Scale Lumber Co. so it is the absolute best! All for $39.00

Didn`t really need the 3/8" wood but have a thought about how I `may`be able to use it with the cabin.

I 'think' this is a Judy Mitchell piece. Love the colours! Don't have a place for it yet but it's lovely.

These cushion covers for a pittance! We had been talking about the pom-pom pieces in The Camp so I really appreciated the work that had gone into them.

I'm a Pepsi girl myself but these are such wonderful room accessories that I had to have them. They`ll work almost anywhere!

Oh, my, Just realized the other day that this is a Penny Spence chord organ. When Penny Spence was doing our Show and Sale, I always bought a 'special' piece from her. She hasn't done our S&S for many years but her work is available from Alex at Miniland in Victoria.....

 Oh, my, this will go into the Brooke Tucker music room (if that's the way I decide to go). But maybe the better choice might be to take the grand piano out of the Victorian Parlour, replace it with this chord organ and put the Judy Mitchell doll in the parlour. (I'm not a doll person but I've always thought that this doll needed to be in the Victorian-style parlour!I like the way this looks.

Well, here I did it....removed the grand piano and replaced it with the doll and the chord organ.

Lovely little music stand...

Hallmark ornaments: Picked up this great Hallmark Harry Potter Quidditch ornament for DGS Jonah:

And this precious little Mr. Potato Head ornament for DGD Holly:

These candy-filled garbage cans aren't always easy to find anymore so I was thrilled to find two of them...will probably go in my trailer/camping scene next year. As I used them in my camping scene for DS Carol.

Got these two wonderful selections of tools. The screwdrivers/chisels seem to have been made by Bonnie out of straight pins with Fimo handles. What a great idea!!! Scale is wonderful!
 Some great metal minis....The fire extinguisher will work in my trailer. That wonderful wood plane at the very bottom was originally a tie tack. Some of these items will be added to my Dad's Workshop and some will go in a tool box for the trailer. The fire extinguisher is perfect for the trailer!

Isn't this just a perfect little vacuum cleaner? It's actually a fridge magnet but once I remove the magnet (using the heat from a hair dryer, it's just SO good!

These two filled cookie tins will go in the Christmas Shop.

The bust will probably go on the grand piano. The ashtray and pipe are great but am not thrilled about the scale of the chain on the watch chain.

Shoot! Thought I had cropped this picture. These are two little angels (about 1/2" tall) that will go in the Christmas Shop.

Long story but these pots and pans will be painted and go in Vern's Attic

Now on to the supplies:

Oh, my goodness, 950 of the tooled toothpicks that I love so much. I already have a lot of these but they're so hard to find that this was a great purchase! They have other possibilities but I make knives from these. Some great brass pins, Pom-poms in two sizes (Didn't need these but they are so, (dare I say it?) cute that I couldn't resist), some wonderful narrow trim that will be great for trimming the raw edge of foam core. A small bag of Lite Brite pegs...SO many possibilities there.

Dirt cheap: paint brushes and sealed bottles of paint.

 This is one of the roomboxes that was designed and made for the club years ago. It`s a great size. This one doesn`t have the plexi-glass front but for $10, I can deal with that.

 A Lemax 6`weeping willow! For the eventual Secret Garden.

 Incredible roll of thick plastic for windows, lots of things...

This is a great shelf lining material in RL. In miniature, small pieces of it are wonderful floor mats. AND it can be `dyed`by colouring with permanent markers.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fourth Tuesday at Tina's

I'll be posting twice tonight so you WILL get to see my purchases from the estate sale. But first...

In addition to our club workshop on the first Tuesday of the month and the general meeting on the third Tuesday of the month, I try to hold a simple workshop on the second Tuesday of the month and Tina hosts a get-together at her place on the fourth Tuesday for club members who work in 1:48 scale.

Although she kindly includes me in the invitation, I seldom attend as I don't work in 1:48 scale. I did attend this week, however, since one of my purchases at the estate sale was the basic Brooke Tucker roombox from her "Skills My Teacher Taught Me" workshop.

 For a Brooke Tucker room, it's relatively small but all the difficult work (the bay window) has been done so it was a real bargain!

I'm thinking maybe a music room...had originally thought library/music room but it's not big enough for that.

Tina had invited me to take pictures of her room done in that workshop AND she found the instructions from the class for me.

Have to think a lot about what I will do with the room but I really appreciate Tina's help.

Joanne bought one of the beautifully refinished by Gilbert Funk (a former MEE member) vintage radio cabinets at the estate sale. The more she thought about it, the more she thought it would be ideal for a radio shop. Great idea! But she's going to need a lot of radios to fill it!

I just happen to have this great little vintage radio kit in my stash! I won't be using it but it'll be great for Joanne.

Sorry the picture is so blurry...The 'white' spots are actually brass knobs. Great kit and great results!

So that was my gift to Joanne!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Southern Alberta! Estate Sale!

All my thoughts and prayers are with the people who live in the southern half of our province. 

The Estate Sale is over and all packed up. What a relief!!

I had planned to show you pictures of my purchases tonight but I'm just too tired to take and download them.Tomorrow....

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Second Tuesday

My great delay in posting....hope to catch up later... This should have been posted just after June 11.....but I  am SO behind in keeping you up to date.

Oh, my...

There were only 6 of us at Second Tuesday tonight. We each did the vignette settings out of foamcore as a learning process THEN we did larger pieces that will be the basis for the pieces for the children`s table at our Show and Sale in September.

Wendy mentioned that she had epoxy residue on her hands from working on her dolls so we discussed barrier hand lotions. You can Google that but one I`m aware off is the is the one from Lee Valley 

This is inexpensive and quick...


This can be used to make a greeting card with a small vignette inside or simply as a setting for a seasonal vignette (such as a Christmas scene).

Made this way, there are no visible seams on the outside of the vignette.

Cut a piece of 3/16” foamcore to the height you want for your wall and twice the width of one wall.
(This particular vignette will be 8” tall with two 5” sides so this piece is 8” x 10”. This is a good size for a card. Where I’ve wanted a larger scene, I’ve used a piece 10” high x 20” wide and a piece 10” square for the base.)

Draw a vertical line down the exact centre of the foamcore. Draw another line 3/16” to the left of the centre line. Then draw a line up 3/16” from the bottom of the piece.

 Using an X-Acto knife with a brand new blade, cut along the bottom line in two strokes: first cutting through the upper layer of cardstock, then cutting through the foam layer, being careful not to cut through the bottom layer of cardstock.  Run the blade of your X-Acto knife between the bottom layer of cardstock and the bottom of the foam layer. Remove the 3/16” upper layer.

Now cut along the two vertical lines at the centre, again cutting only through the top layer of cardstock and the foam. Fold the right hand side back at the centre line and again run the blade between the bottom layer of cardstock and the bottom of the foam layer to release the centre strip.

Run a bead of Tacky glue down the left hand side of the middle strip. Fold the right hand side into that strip.
Clamp the pieces at right angles until the glue is dry. ( * have this great angle clamp from Princess Auto but you can use anything in the house to accomplish this: boxes, books, etc._

Cut another piece of foamcoare 5” x 5” for the “floor” of the vignette. Run a bead of glue along the inside angle of the bottom  cut and fit this piece in place.

For our 'class', we did the small pieces with the 5 x 5 inch bases. (Because we could do six pieces out of one sheet of foamcore.) But for the children's table at our September Show and Sale, we did extra pieces that were 10 x 10 x 10 - and those are great because we can get two of them from one sheet of foamcore with only three major cuts.

Because foamcore tends to warp when a water-based glue is used, I generally use rubber cement to attach any large areas of paper (such as a picture on the front of the card or wallpaper to the ‘walls’ for the inner ‘room’) to it.

If you wish, you can glue (using Tacky) ribbon or cord along the edges of the vignette to cover the raw edges of the foamcore.

This wedding vignette is 10” x 10” x 10” 

Hint: If you’re making several of these at once, don’t make the cuts to remove the centre and bottom strips until you have several ready to do. Cutting through the foam is very hard on your cutting blade so if you make all the partial cuts first then remove the strips, your blade will last longer.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

It's MAGIC!!!

I use Google images a LOT! If I'm making something in mini and I want pictures and measurements of the real thing, I Google and almost always find what I'm looking for.

In The Camp Yahoo group, someone had mentioned awhile back about Googling for an image that you already had but I didn't pay too much attention at the time.

I wanted to know more about some of the dolls that are in the Estate Sale so I checked this out further and it's an incredible tool.

The basic information can be found here. Using the second method of four available for searching, I went to, clicked on the camera icon in the search box, uploaded the picture from my computer and hit Search. The first results were not at all helpful but I was prompted to refine the search with a couple key words so I typed in Polish dolls and found exactly what I was looking for! I clicked on the image that matched my picture, another click on website and there was a doll matching one of those in my picture.

As I said, It's MAGIC!!

There are other ways of using it but I can see this one being of real value to help you find a specific item - or just information on it as for pricing, who made it, age, etc.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

More on the Estate Sale

Oh, my goodness, I wish you could have been with us today to see all the goodies that await those of you who will be able to come to this sale....

It took three of us a total of 20 hours to organize, sort and price just three of the 8  foot  tables of items available for sale.

About 4 sq. ft. of landscaping materials and accessories; about 2 cubic feet of Hallmark collectible ornaments; miniature accessories for various holidays; and 12 sq. ft (so far) of all manner of supplies: wood, beads, sequins, gold foil for gilding; one entire 8' x 2' of roomboxes and display/storage containers.

Almost all miniatures will be sold at 1/4 to 1/2 their original prices. Bespaq and Artisan pieces will be sold at appropriate prices.

That was last week....

We've spent even more time organizing and pricing this sale and we just keep finding more and more wonderful things. I finally remembered to take pictures of the handcrafted Polish dolls that I think are so wonderful.

As just one example, I thought I had a really good selection of no-hole beads from Dollarama. Bonnie had 28 packages of them! Mine pale by comparison. One of our members came up with the great idea of filling muffin tins with beads, buttons and findings and giving you the chance to fill a ziploc bag with your selection.

A lot of collectibles that are not necessarily to scale - although some are 1:6 (Barbie) scale.

Just SO much that I cannot begin to tell you about....


Even if you have a relatively knowledgeable team such as we are, a WHOLE pile of your items are going to disappear through the cracks unless you identify them as being valuable. For example, we found a certificate of authenticity for miniature Haida baskets by Danielle Perry. Fortunately I was familiar enough with her work that I could find the baskets. There were innumerable pieces by Sue Ann (Ladybug) Thwaite that Joanne recognized by the work then we looked for signature/identification.

As we were dealing with all this, I was thinking a lot about what would happen to my miniatures at some point. One of the things I mentioned to the other ladies was that at least most of my miniature accessories were already bagged and sorted on my bulletin boards. (Actually up to 26 boards by now...) Most of those pieces were bought at low prices but there are SOME pieces that were more costly so I'm thinking I will go through them and put a red slash across the ziploc bag to identify them as special/artisan/more expensive pieces. (I have several pieces of silver by John Meacham plus some pieces that I made in his classes.  I have a painting by John`s wife, Victoria, and an oil painting by a woman in Yellowknife..)

One thing I SHOULD do is look back through this blog and acknowledge all the work done on the Bombay House - go through it room by room and price work, furniture and,, definitely, the electrification. Because this house will go to Leanne, I don`t always think of this as a priority...but this is THE house that has most of my very special pieces - and all that wonderful lighting!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A couple great websites

As most of you know, Joann Swanson is my hero in the miniature world. Her tutorials in Nutshell News and later in Dollhouse Miniatures (until Ashdown Publishing took it over in January 2008) taught me a good portion of what I know about DIY miniatures. She now publishes a blog that I highly recommend.

Another Joanne also has a blog that is very helpful to DIY miniatures. For those of you who are visual learners, Joanne includes links to videos demonstrating her projects. Very helpful.

Miniature Collector (Scott Publications) has a monthly column "Kids Korner" - a one page miniature tutorial. Don't let the name fool you - these are great little projects for any age miniaturist. Best of all, Scott Publications is generous enough to share them online. Projects are available from November 2006 to the present. Great variety of projects!

Hope these give you some valuable help - especially Cheryl from the U.S. who is mini-ing with her grand-daughter.

Now we're off to work on the estate sale.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Estate Sale, June 22, 2013

Yesterday, four of us from MEE spent several more hours getting ready for the estate sale.

The Miniature Enthusiasts of Edmonton Club has been asked by the family of a former member to handle the sale of her miniatures. We will be doing so at a garage sale at 9803 - 152 Street, Edmonton, AB, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

Due to the nature of the sale, there will be absolutely no pre-sales. Items will be available only during garage sale hours.

There will be eight 8` tables covered with empty roomboxes; radio cabinets; furniture - dollar store to Bespaq to artisan; landscaping supplies; books and magazines; accessories (many by artisans such as Ladybug, Janice Crawley and several local artisans); dolls (artisan, resin and kits); beads; fabrics and trims; suppplies; tools; furniture and accessory kits; and Hallmark ornaments. Most of the items are 1:12 scale but there is a good selection of smaller scales.

You can see pictures of some of the items for sale on my fotki site. There are just SO many wonderful things. 

There`s a Bespaq baby cabinet that I didn`t get a picture of...and a most incredible baby basinette in 1:48 scale. A set of metal mini medical tools...some beautiful lace and accessories to suit any budget...and several bags of carpenter tools for anyone wanting to do a garage or workshop.

The family has chosen to keep almost all of Bonnie`s completed pieces although there is one great Halloweèn breakaway box done in a cigar box that she made.

There are 11 Georgee Prockiw dolls. For those of you who aren`t in western Canada, Georgee was a fabulous doll artist who was a member of our club. She is best known for her `Queen Mom` doll, one of which was gifted to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. (Before you ask, this doll has been kept by the family.)

For those of you who live close enough to Edmonton to attend this sale, I think you will be be thrilled with the extent of the items available and pleased with the prices.

Monday, June 3, 2013

My "Get Up and Go" Got up and went

Shoot, I started to write this last Thursday and am just getting around to finishing it tonight....

I just don't seem to be able to do anything these days except read...and, Oh, my, goodness, I've been doing a lot of least a book a day...And a lot of RL has been attacking me lately...nothing bad but just busy with miniature club business and condo business.

So I don't know just when I'll get enthusiastic about minis again...

In the meantime, I've had some great things happening in my life:

My `baby`sister, Marie, just had her 60th birthday! We celebrated it with family in the social room of our condo.

Me, Marie, Mom, Shirley and Carol

This is a great part of our 60th birthday celebration! DS Carol donated the pig bank when I celebrated my 60th birthday. Each sister puts in 60 loonies ($1 coins) so the birthday girl receives $180 to spend for something special. (My $180 went toward my first trip to Nova Scotia!)

That was Saturday (May 25)...

On Sunday ,I went with four other members of MEE (Miniature Enthusiasts of Edmonton) to check out the miniature estate of Bonnie Maio. Bonnie was a member of MEE for many years and throughout several of those years, taught many workshops.

MEE will be co-ordinating the sale of Boni`s miniatures on Saturday, June 22, from 9 am to 5 am.  I`ll give the location later...but there will be NO early sales.

I`ll tempt you tomorrow with some of the incredible things that will be available at the sale...(Although I wrote tomorrow at the time, I really will be posting the information on the sale tomorrow, June 4.)

Yesterday (May 29):

My friend, Sue, came up from Calgary to see the Princess Diana display. She went straight to West Edmonton Mall to see it then spent the night at my place. We had a wonderful visit that lasted well into the night.

We got talking about my being stalled on my Christmas Shop project (and all the others but this is the longest stall) so we dragged it out and discussed possible solutions to get going on it again.

Sue actually gave me some good ideas so I may get working on this one again. (Think I have enough to stock it?) Fortunately Barb upstairs is also planning a Christmas shop so I know where I can send any leftovers. VBG

Sue also brought up a box and bag of extras from her stash for me to share with the club here which was very generous of her.

Happy Birthday to my dear friend, Cheryl. I know I owe several of you e-mails and I promise I will try to get replies off to you in the next day or two.