Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cleaning stalled....

And this is why I never finish cleaning on schedule....(And I had SUCH good intentions VBG)

I actually got several a few solid hours of cleaning/paper-shredding in before my neighbour,  Helen, came by to return a cane I had lent her and give me a beautiful stained glass case she had had made 20 years ago for a 40th anniversary vignette Lorry S. had made for her and Russ.

I decided it would be perfect for the retirement vignette my friend, Isabel, had made me when I left Sir George Simpson School. The vignette had to be cleaned first, of course, then the base had to be trimmed just a bit so it would fit.

I'm very pleased.

But I couldn't/wouldn't stop there...

My friend, Dani, in Maryland says if you give your miniature silver a fine coating of VO5 oil, it will prevent tarnishing. So when I was out a couple days ago, I finally after all these years remembered to pick up some.

The only problem is that you have to clean the items first. I actually rather enjoy cleaning silver in RL - it looks SO good when you're finished! But when you're trying to clean egg cups that are tarnished black and are less than 1/4" tall, it's a nightmare!

But I persevered. They're not great but much, much better than they were.

The candlesticks and egg cups are by John Meacham of Canada. I made the punch ladle and carving knife in classes that John taught at Camp Mini Ha Ha when I attended.

The coffee pot is from the Mini Time Museum in Tucson, AZ, and the dish was a gift from Gloria Bogulas of Arizona. The goblet is by Greg Matuvosky of Ontario. I got it in the silent auction at Bowmanville last year. I also have an incredibly beautiful table picture frame by Greg.

Once everything is protected, it will go into the cabinet below with the exception of the coffee pot which will go back into the corner cabinet in the  living room of the Bombay house. (Well, Gloria's dish should probably go in the Bombay house also.)

This is a Reutter store front I bought from Grandma Holly on e-bay years ago. I've used it to store odds and ends of pieces but I'm now going to put special pieces that I don't have immediate use for in it. (The glass has been removed from the window for now.) On the shelf behind the door, there is a shelf that currently holds two Crysnbon candy dishes. They'll be replaced with Janice Crawley pieces with the petit-point silhouettes by Luba B. of Spruce Grove above. (It was a table gift from the Winnipeg Gathering.)

So you don't have to scroll back to look at what's in the window, I've entered the picture again. (Should have cropped it but blogspot is acting up tonight so this has already taken much longer than I had hoped/planned.)

The vase on the upper right is by Marsha Hedrick of Porcelain Fantasies. I bought it for $13.00 in Dallas in May 2002. Her work is (and was) to die for and this is in no way representative of her incredible work but I had to have at least one piece, no matter how small. You have to realize that I was just getting back into miniatures at that time, money was tight, it was my first major show (I was only there because DD Leanne lived there at the time), and my total expenditure was $153.25 for 179 items.Other than the vase, I bought some items from Wright Guide, Prestige Leather and Creations by Karen. Everything else I bought was garage sale and grab bag items. I was in miniature heaven! (The good old days when I actually catalogued what I bought, from whom and the price.)

The second shelf has two pieces of cranberry glass (the one on the left bought at our sale from Michelle Alberni of Winnipeg and the one on the right from Petite Images in Port Perry, ON. The middle piece is a lovely blown glass piece with two doves that my friend Barb R. gave me before she got into miniatures herself.

On the bottom left of the counter is a lovely wooden vase turned by Tom Saunders (formerly of Red Deer and now, I think, in Ontario) and formerly of our club. This was made with a special technique of Tom's and has a metallic element.  I wish I could tell you who made the vase of flowers on the right. It's gorgeous but unfortunately I have no record/recall of where I got it.

Once the silver pieces go in, this is definitely a piece where I have to make up a spreadsheet of the items, artisans and prices, and attach it to the back. In monetary terms, this will probably be one of the most valuable pieces in my collection other than the Bombay house where I tend to keep many of my artisan/better pieces (not to mention all the light fixtures that it contains).

Sheesh! It's 5 1/2 hours since Helen stopped by and that's all I've accomplished. Haven't even treated the cleaned silver. (Just FYI: Taking the pictures and writing the blog took about 1/3 of that time.) Hope I'll have the willpower to put the shop front and all the expected contents away and get back to cleaning.


  1. I understand the list. I have a dress to finish for a friend and I am getting there. What stop me? Well today I had to go to Hancock fabrics and that was 3 hours gone! I had to get my $1 patterns first then check the material! I know exactly what you mean.

  2. I know, Brini. One thing leads to another to another and somehow the original objective gets lost in the "others". One of my favourite sayings, which may or may not apply, is "When you're up to your A$$ in alligators, it's hard to remember that your original objective was to drain the swamp!"