Sunday, July 31, 2016

DEALER - Guest Blogger: Tina MacDonald, Mini Minutia

I was born a long time ago when I was very young, and shortly thereafter, I started a mini shop on EBay. Life took over, and I closed the shop amid a series of family illnesses. As the Bible says: "And It came to pass...." and I thank God for that, because it could have come to stay! Many years later, when I actually knew something about miniatures, I started occasionally selling things I had made at our local club's annual Show and Sale. That's the Miniature Enthusiasts of Edmonton, for which I am now the workshop coordinator.

More disasters! A basement flood resulted in a complete rebuild of my workshop. In the process of putting everything away, I found myself going through drawers and boxes that hadn't seen the light of day in years! I found all of my stock from my original EBay store. I decided to start again, only this time on Etsy, adding all the new products I have made over the years for sale at the Show and Sale.

In the last few years, I have had many names for my minis: "The Petite Press" (for my stock of printies), "Lathey Bones" (once I took up the lathe to make turnings).  or "Tina's Treasures" for other stuff I made for sale. My new shop trades under the name "Mini Minutia", where minutia is defined as the small, precise, or trivial details of something - the niceties, the finer points, or particulars. The new name thus allows  me to sell anything I darn well want!

At the Show and Sale this year I will be selling fabric, turnings, tool stands, laser cut kits, baskets, and ceramic mugs and dishes.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Oh, shoot!

DS Carol and Fred are coming out tomorrow and staying the night with me so HAD to get some cleaning done. Couldn't get into the second bathroom the way things were.

So I got my rear in gear and got all my wood sorted and put away.

The shock was that I had all this strip wood and trim!!!! Whole packets of crown molding and baseboards and LOTS of pieces of strip wood in all sizes. It's going to take me forever to sort through it all and organize it but for now, this is it!

Was feeling pretty proud of myself. There is pretty much a clear trail to the condo's second bathroom. Just a short time to finish up.

THEN (and isn't there almost always a but to something like this) I walked into the dining room and spotted the box of wood that Marie had brought out for me a couple weeks ago :-(

So have a few more things to do tonight.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

What a Mess!!! Some mini - mostly RL!

I got the Alex from IKEA put together. At least it's on casters so I could just wheel it into the closet.

But somehow I have to get all this put away!

Now I have the Alex low cabinet in the closet but am left with all this to do something with!

At this point I have moved some of the wallpaper (from the other closet) and from a box into the low Alex closet. Not too sure if this is really the best idea.

I like that everything is together in one spot, it's flat (which is good) BUT it's not easily visible as it was on the hangers...have to dig through it to find things. On the other hand, it frees up a lot of space. And, quite honestly, I have a fair idea of what pieces I have so think it will work.

On the other hand, I am left with probably 30 or 40 skirt hangers! Joanne was over today and took a couple, I need a few but I guess the rest will go to the Put and Take.

I have about 15" between the two cabinets that I hope will be enough room for all the long pieces of wood (and there is a lot!)

Personal stuff:

It has been a VERY long week since last Wednesday when Mom had her stroke. DS Shirley and I were visiting her three times a day (at mealtimes) for the first while so the day was so chopped up, didn't get much usable time at home.  My youngest sister, Marie and her DH, Rob, have been here for a couple days so we're getting into a rhythm of visiting. (Plus Leanne's new apartment is only 15 minutes away so it's much more convenient for her to visit.)

Mom is doing incredibly well physically! She is up walking - and has been for a couple days. Still on pureed food which is the pits! Her memory has come back  fantastically BUT she has a terrible time with her speech. We can see in her eyes that she knows the words that she wants to say but her brain just isn't quite connecting with her mouth. Shirley and Leanne are much better with helping her to communicate than I am. Although today I did manage a bit better than usual.

At this point, we are just waiting for her to get a bed at the Glenrose Stroke Rehab facility.

In the midst of all this  DD Leanne separated from her husband of 5 years (16 years together) and she needed to move. Her original mover (yesterday) didn't show up!!! But she was fortunate that her second choice mover had a cancellation today - and was the most incredible mover!!!  Got her moved from the house to her third floor walkup in 3 1/2 hours (including 1 hour travelling time).

She has an incredible support system of work, family and friends. I'll be helping her with a couple things tomorrow, including rabbit-sitting for her over the weekend.

The Weather: Leanne dropped me off at about 2:00 p.m. this afternoon. My balcony thermometer read 30. I went to the mall next door (sprinkles of rain) and when I came back, temperature was down to 25. A few minutes later, it rained and the temperature was 20. Then a half hour later, up to 25 again and stayed there until almost now. 11:30 and it's +23. Places in Edmonton got so much rain that there was a lot of flooding!.

Our condo potluck dinner is tomorrow night. Not too sure I'll be able to make it with everything that's going on . But on the off-chance that I will, I made this corn salad to take to it. Leanne made this as part of her Christmas dinner a couple years ago and it has become my "go-to" eating and sharing item! I love it with feta cheese but since not everyone loves that, I serve it with feta on the side  

 This is one of those "by guess and by golly" recipes.I think it is safe to say that this is the "doubled" recipe for a potluck:

4 - 6 cups of whole kernel corn (cooked frozen or cut off the cob)
one each chopped (1/2" square pieces) yellow, orange and red sweet peppers
1/4 large red onion, sliced and separated
about 16 grape tomatoes, quartered (or a regular tomato, just chopped)

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar ( I used just regular white vinegar)
2 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp water
pinch salt and ground black paper

Mix all the vegetables together. Then mix the dressing together and mix with the vegetables. Best if you marinate for an hour or more.

Friday, July 22, 2016

update on Mom

Well, they were wrong. Although the first CT scan did not evidence a stroke, the second did.

So at this point, she'll remain in the hospital for another week while they assess her and see about a placement as she won't be able to remain in her apartment.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Some time off....

Well, this week has turned into the week from h*ll! A couple family things happened that I don't feel comfortable writing about...but stressful nonetheless.

Then yesterday, my mother (93rd birthday next month) ended up in hospital with what the medical staff feels is a TIA. She was moved from Emergency to the Medical Ward this afternoon but we were unable to meet with a doctor today. Hoping to do that tomorrow morning and hear what the prognosis is. She's unable to communicate with us other than answering 'yes' or 'no'. Has strength in both legs but her right arm is very spasmodic and her hands have no strength in them.

The nursing staff is very optimistic that she will make a full recovery but, as I said, we weren't able to speak with her doctor today. Hopefully tomorrow, we'll have some idea of what to expect.

Since she can't communicate, she doesn't really want us (DS Shirley and me) with her so we just go up for several short visits during the day. So between visits to the hospital and spending hours on the phone keeping in touch with family members, not much time left in a day.

What a blessing it is to have Shirley with me at this time! So much easier to cope when we're together. It's hard on our two other sisters who can only wait for phone calls - that don't tell them anything.

Fine time to have the house torn apart for the closet re-organization.

I hope I'll carve out some time to work on the re-organization and keep up the blog but only time will tell.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Re-organization 2

Not an comfortable's been 12 hours with a low of 25...just too blinkin' warm for me. Thank heaven for the portable air conditioner I bought last spring - although even with that, it's warm. Leanne compared it yesterday to the humidity in Dallas.

Earlier I didn't take a 'before" picture on the left side of the closet where I put the tall, narrow cabinet.

Here is the right side. What a mess of all kinds of wood from the floor and lots of fabric and paper hanging from the top.

I'm hoping that I can move a good portion of all this to the new cabinet.

Absolutely love this new cabinet! Think I can put most of the paper/wallpaper from the other closet in the top drawers and get most of the wood in the bottom shelves. The inside measure of the drawers is 16 3/4" x 23 1/2" so a lot will fit in it...I hope!

The great thing about this cabinet is that it is on casters so I can move it readily into the closet!

I'm hoping that I can put a lot of my wood and strip wood in the bottom three drawers.

Some of the tubes can be used to store the longer pieces of work.

I just have to figure out how all of this is going to work....

And plan on getting rid of other things.

Another "wait and see" thing.

Doing some re-organizing

DD Leanne and I spent the day together yesterday for another Mommy/Daughter day. We ran some errands then went to IKEA where I picked up two cabinets for one of the closets in my workroom.

Just finished putting together the first of them. I'm going to use this to store my fabric.

All this fabric needs to be sorted (I think by colour) and put in the cabinet.

I put the cabinet and drawers together in the living room but had to move it to the closet before final assembly. (It weighs about 80 pounds.)

The other cabinet I got was the ALEX drawer Unit on casters. I'll  use this to store wood and, hopefully, some wallpapers and carpet fabrics. Hope to get it put together tonight.

We also went to The Brick where I looked at some living room furniture. Found a couch and love seat that I really like but didn't order it. Will ponder it a bit before I decide.

Then we went to Costco and WalMart for groceries before heading h home. Was a great day!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

DEALER - Another World Miniatures

Linda and Bev will be dealers at our show for the ninth time this year.

We've also been lucky enough to have them to teach classes the day before the show in the past

 and plan to have them do so again this year. More about that later.

Another World Miniatures carries collectible blown glass, porcelain tea sets, furniture and artisan pieces. 

If you prefer to make your own minis, Another World has a fine selection of heirloom and faerie lace, over 70 shades of silk ribbon in 2 mm & 4 mm, select colours in 7 mm. Fine silk and cotton fabrics, hat straw, size 15 seed beads and needles, Swarovski flat back crystals in ss3, 4 & 5.   Some quarter scale kits and metal minis.  

Friday, July 15, 2016

DEALER - Sherri MacRaild

Returning to our show and sale as a dealer is Calgarian Sherri MacRaild. Sherri has achieved artisan status with the IGMA (International Guild of Miniature Artisans in Toys).

In addition to her toys, she makes plants, lamps (wall-hung kinds as well as a Faberge-style one), Christmas decorative items, Easter accessories, Circus rings and wagons, Venetian and Mardi Gras masks, toy theatres and boxes of chocolates.

Beautiful, detailed work that you’d be proud to own.

When I asked Sherri to send me some more pictures for this, not only did she send me pictures but told me a bit about each one. So enjoy!

Really enjoyed making this 'old toys wagon' with a cat theme.  Everything is made from 'scratch' (pardon the pun!).

There seems to be a 'cat' theme going on here!  A lot of the things that I make are the result of a challenge given to me by someone else.  Started making Venetian masks because a friend of mine was collecting them and I wanted to make her something special for Christmas.  But then I started doing in-depth research and got so intrigued by the history behind the various masks types from Venice and their over-the-top yearly carnival, started making a number of different kinds and enjoying it a lot.

All handmade (made the graphic for the 'tree' container, too) except for the table. 

This is my latest 'potion bottle' project.  Had just too much
fun with it and it was hard to get on to anything else.  :-)  

These chocolate boxes are all sort of colour co-ordinated because they were made for my French Gift Shop.  I love making boxes of chocolates and enjoy the process of blending beautiful graphics with matching box colours...and the chocolates are not fattening!

I made a number of Noah's arks (prompted by a request from a lady here in
Calgary) and this is one of them. I was grateful to this lady because it allowed me to carve them out of wood that my father had given to me year's ago.  He had made a very large fishing boat when I was a teenager and saved pieces of various types of woods left over from it for 40 years as a memento.  So it was special, making boats from wood that had been used by my Dad for making a boat in real size.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

DEALER - Judy Mitchell


Hello, my name is Judy Mitchell.  I live in St. Albert, AB. Canada.  I create a wide variety of 1:12 scale miniature accessories,  from tiny knitted Baby item’s, dolls and teddies and crocheted afghans, Ladies Hats & Purse sets, as well as Witches Hats and Shoe Sets.  I make a lot of sewing items and many more items too vast to mention.  

When I am creating I am doing so with heart and the finished product is a reflection of my own tastes and ideas.  I don’t limit myself with the usual techniques and I love the challenge of trying to turn my various materials into pleasing products for the enjoyment of others.  

Just to see the smiles on people’s faces when then visit my table is why I love this facet of my work so much.

I treasure all of my Mini friends and customers that have made the Edmonton Show & Sale such a huge success. 

one of my afghans

baby items

beauty trays

witch sets


Thanks for your support and I look forward to seeing you at the September Show & Sale.

What are the chances?

I went down to the Put and Take this morning and, lo and behold! these two miniature prints were on a table. Can't believe it!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sherlock Holmes, new minis

We went to the Telus World of Science to see the Sherlock Holmes exhibit today. We spent four hours there and you could spend more so allow lots of time if you go to see it. Last day is September 5, 2016.

The first section is on the life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and includes a film of him talking about Sherlock Holmes.

The second is devoted to Victorian London.

The third is Sherlock's study. (I was afraid this would tempt me to do it in miniature but fortunately that didn't happen. But if the mood should hit, I took these pictures.)

Here Sherlock's voice introduces us to the next section - checking out the crime scene, reading the police reports and Sherlock's comments on  them.

There are four areas to help you sort through the clues and eventually you come to the solution!

The final section concerns the history of the Holmes books and movies over the years. I took these pictures of the latest BBC series for DD Leanne who is a big fan.

After leaving the exhibit, we headed over to Il Fiono Ristorante (which at one time was owned by our late friend and fellow miniaturist, Bonnie Maio). As we were entering, we saw her ex-husband, Ralf, whom we were to meet later to pick up a box of Bonnie's things that he was donating to MEE.

At Ralf's, he asked us to take a look at the garage sale he was setting up and give him some advice on prices.

When we held the garage sale of Bonnie's miniatures and supplies a couple years ago, these miniature paintings had been in her things. We had no idea what they were worth so suggested that Ralf research them before selling them. He had put them in the garage sale (still unpriced) so Sunni threw out a number and I handed Ralf the money for one - then he told me to take both for that price. I'm SO pleased to have them...not just as great art - but as a memory of Bonnie.

He then also handed me this rabbit skin.I remember when I first moved to Edmonton (OMG 52 years ago!!!), you could buy these at the Bay downtown.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Christmas in July

My youngest sister, Marie, and her DH Rob came out today for a family visit.

She had told me she was bringing a box of balsa wood out that a friend had given her for me. Balsa's not my wood of choice but it can come in handy. BUT this is not balsa - it's basswood and lots of strip wood. LOTS of possibilities.

She also brought me all this wonderful fine brass ornaments. No specific plans for them yet but I'll think of something.

Already am hoping to find room for this in my Christmas shop. (That green piece at the bottom is where you stick a Christmas light through on the tree but I'll be removing that.)

She also brought me a necklace and earring set. The earrings aren't exactly my style but she suggested I could use them for small table tops. LOL

So it was a good day.

Joanne, Sunni and I are planning on going to see the Sherlock Holmes exhibit tomorrow and I have a Board meeting on Wednesday so may not have much of an opportunity to post till Thursday.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Additional DEALER information - Victoria Miniland

What wonderful news from Alex at Victoria Miniland! 

Great News from Victoria Miniland!
We created a special coupon for the Edmonton show visitors - this coupon offers 15% off on any items from our website and free delivery to be picked up at the show. Since we have limited room, we will not be bringing any items from Heidi Ott, Reutter Porcelain, any dollhouses, and only a limited quantity of our lights and accessories. If anyone wishes to purchase any items in advance, we will happily deliver it to the show. Also, please note that the 15% discount is to be included on top of any additional sales - such as our "deal of the day" sale.
Coupon code: EdmontonShow

minimum order US$ 20, Expired Sep-14, 2016


This will be Hoanie's third year as a dealer at our Show and Sale on September 18.

Her main line is wonderful handcrafted chandeliers, sconces and ceiling lamps.

I bought these sconces and the chandelier from her.

She also sells a lovely assortment of Christmas decorations and mini suncatchers.

You can see her work in her ebay store I love these sconces.