Saturday, April 29, 2017

Great day got even better...

A short time after I returned home from Calgary and had checked in with my Mom, I received a phone call from my friend and neighbour, Jeanne. Her friends, Shirley and Evelyn, were visiting and Jeanne and Shirley (who had seen them before) had tried to explain my miniatures to Evelyn. They were unsuccessful so wanted to come down and show her what I do.

I certainly hadn't done any housework since I got home Friday with groceries for Mom and did some cooking for her...not to mention getting up at 4 this morning for the trip to Calgary!

But I asked them down anyway, having warned Jeanne.

And they were lovely, perfect guests who enjoyed my miniatures and ignored the mess!

It is such a joy to show off my miniatures. Mostly, I just let people look around and comment. Occasionally, I point out things that I'm particularly proud of.

Jeanne is one of my most enthusiastic cheerleaders! And I thank her for that. She always tells about her great/grand nephew Carter's enthusiasm for my tiny printed books and the book that I made for Megan and Carter about their trip to France. I actually had one copy of that book left to show Shirley and Evelyn.

Most people ask if I sell my things. I don't! However, these days, I find I'm making things for family members or as gifts for groups I belong to, such as our Potluck Dinner group in the condo. Jeanne won the first of those that I offered.

Great Day!

Joanne and I were up at the crack of dark this morning to catch a bus taking members of the Doll Club of Edmonton and five members of MEE to the Doll Show in Calgary. We've made this trip a few times now and it's well worth the trip, if only for the camaraderie.

We left at 6, stopped for coffee in Red Deer and arrived at the Doll Show at 9:30 which gave us time for visiting before the Show started at 10. Found Marilyn A. who is a member of both the Calgary Doll Club and MEE and MEE member Sunni Dixon who was visiting Marilyn.

MEE member Reenie of Reenie's Teenies was doing a booming business with her miniature accessories. Could hardly get near her table! Visited with Val C. of Calgary who often does our Show and Sale and who expects to attend this September. A newcomer to Calgary who does minis including beautiful knitting showed interest in doing our September also.

MEE member Bev also took some time from visiting her sister to attend the Show. And I ran into two old friends, one of whom plans on doing our Show also.

Joanne found a couple unique minis, The others from MEE found some great items also but I managed to avoid temptation.

We left the Show at 1:00 (gifted with a bottle of water and roll of Mentos each from the Calgary Doll Club) for the Antique Mall in Airdrie where we spent about an hour.

There I found a crystal salt cellar that I'll use as a mini salad bowl.

From there we headed back to Edmonton with another brief stop in Red Deer.

Home by shortly after six. Great trip!

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Oh, my!

I took a couple pictures with my phone at Value Village in St. Albert a couple weeks ago. They were such neat things but I haven't been able to download them!

But even though it's weeks later, I thought I would just mention them anyway....

There was a large (would guess about 12" x 12" x 36") aquarium (no visible cracks) for about $30?. Would be a wonderful  container for a miniature scene OR a cover for a 1:48 street scene.

Aquariums are great settings for mini scenes! See my camping scene.

There was also a dollhouse (three stories)) that surprisingly was 1:12 scale. Think it was $30-35.

Sorry I wasn't able to download the pictures OR report on this in a timely fashion.

A bit of fun - sort of mini

Some years ago, Barb R. made a hockey themed Christmas tree (small but not mini) for their son, Tim.  I made some mini hockey pucks for it and never thought of it again until a couple days ago.

DS Shirley gave me a string of Budweiser mini goal lights. Had a minor thought of how I could use them in mini-mini but when I got them home thought of Tim's Christmas tree.

Turns out that Barb had added to the tree over the years so was really glad to add them to it.

Just a lot of fun!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

My t-shirts (really are mini-related)

A couple weeks ago, I started taking clothes from the left-hand side of my closet (sort of no-man's land). Had some lovely blouses there that I had forgotten about....then I came across the two t-shirts that my sister Shirley had made for me probably 8 Christmases ago. (Click on the links below the t-shirts to see the actual scenes.)

The memory box I made for Mom.

Dad's workshop in the garage.

Mom loved it when I wore "her" scene to her place on Monday and I wore Dad's to club last night. We've had several new club members since I wore it last to it was sort of fun.

Shirley made these using fabric transfers from Staples

They're wonderful! And get a lot of attention!

BUT, if you want to do one for yourself, I would make some changes...DO NOT put it on the front of the t-shirt. Women will look and 'maybe' ask about it. Men will look and definitely will not ask about it. Not to mention that your breasts will distort the picture a bit (LOL).

You could put something on the front like "Maureen's World of Miniatures - see my back" and put the picture of the mini on the back of the t-shirt with something like "I'm a miniaturist - ask me about my work."

Just a thought....

Easter weekend, then MINIS!!!

Went to bed last Friday with virtually no snow on the ground and woke up to a blizzard with a forecast of 10" of snow. Discussed it with family and decided to postpone the housewarning/birthdays party until the 29th - then Joanne reminded me we would be in Calgary at the Doll Show that day so now we're trying for May 6.

Monday, back to virtually  no snow on the ground again; then yesterday, more snow. On Monday, Leanne made me kung pao chicken for dinner in exchange for my putting together her new headboard and another bookcase. (Made the same blinking mistake that I made on the last one. Grrr!)

Was about 11 C today so almost all of the snow is gone again....

On to the minis:

Last night at club, we held our Shirley Phillips' estate sale. I had already bought a Christmas scene in a gift bag through the club auction and picked up a couple things. Didn't spend a great deal but pleased with my purchases.

All these wonderful House of Miniatures kits. Fortunately I've made all but one! The only one I haven't made is the desk  third up on the far right and since I have 5 or 6 desks in my stash, truly don't need another.

Shirley had all these Avon miniature room sets (1:24 scale).
My purchases:
The bag needs some repairs at the corners of the "window" but I'll want to add plastic to protect it from dust so I'll do that and frame the opening. Shirley made wonderful chairs and couches....and the tree is nicely decorated.

Practically stole this ass they couldn't get the glass our of the front. But I got it out so that's good.
Like the plant, chair and fan but not wild about the rest of the furnishing. So I'll probably gut it and use it for something else as the wallpaper and paint job are great.
 Nephew David and Laura are expecting another baby so picked up this baby (love how she's sucking her thumb)

and this beautiful bassinette! (I DO have a plan B if it's a boy.)

This beautiful St. Patrick's Day piece was made by Karen Jones of Edmonton. Have the candles for the candlesticks.

Got these two frames (1 1/2" x 1 3/4"). Showed the back of one because they are actually brooches.

There was only one package (6 pieces) of the Houseworks drawer handles but they'll look good in my kitchen.

Swore I wouldn't buy anymore lamps but this sconce was only $1 so had to have it. LOL

Got this wonderful little package of kitchen basics (butter, Carnation milk, salt, mustard, HP sauce, miracle whip and ketchup) for the kitchen I'm (supposed to be) working on.

Kudos to the club members who priced this estate for sale! A couple of our newer members were in the group that priced this estate to ease them into it. It's always such a fine line between what you know the person probably paid and what you think people will be happy to pay. They did a great job in my opinion. Thank you.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Canada 150

For the Show part of our Show and Sale on September 17, one of the things we are planning is an "Art Gallery" of 150 pieces of art that represents things that are uniquely Canadian.

My contributions will be framed pictures of the Northern Lights, First Nations Art (both from my art galleries); a picture of the Men of the Deeps, Niagara Falls, and the Mile Zero sign from Dawson Creek representing the beginning of the Alaska Highway.

It has been incredibly interesting to hear what everyone has chosen. And I'm really looking forward to the final display.

Some of the choices so far:
Terry Fox
Butter Tarts
Olympic Red Mittens
E. Pauline Johnson
Stompin’ Tom Connors

Anne of Green Gables
The Mckenzie Brothers and the Great White North (SCTV)
Maude Lewis

 The 3 cent beaver, Canada’s first postage stamp.
Newfoundland Screech Rum
A painting of the Voyageur fur traders
A portrait of John A. MacDonald, our first Prime Minister
A picture of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa
A poster about the endangered Whooping Cranes, which breed in Wood-Buffalo National Park
The Blue Nose racing sloop 
Gordon Lightfoot
Stuart McLean (The Vinyl Cafe)
Leonard Cohen
The Group of Seven
green onion cakes
Stanley Cup
Grey Cup
Wayne Gretzky
Louis Riel
maple tree,
canada goose,
Tim Horton's
Rita MacNeil
k. d. lang (singing Hallelujah at the Vancouver Olympics)

(There are a lot that I've missed.)

It won't take long for us to get 150  but it will be very interesting to see how they all come together. And who chooses what - now that could be interesting in itself!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Catching up on RL

Cleaned my desk off: shredded a whole pile of stuff and filed the rest! Well done!

Filed my income tax and paid what I owed. Nice going as I filed 17 days earlier than last year. We won't talk about how much earlier I could have filed 😐 Shirley will come over soon to file her and Grahame's taxes.

Today was DD Leanne's 42nd birthday. Our family is celebrating three birthdays at Leanne's new home on Saturday, April 15. My 70th birthday (March 27), BIL Grahame's 81st birthday (April 3) and, of course, Leanne's birthday and her new home.

My birthday pig!

When I turned 60, my sisters gave me a "birthday pig" (not this one). Each of my sisters filled it with 60 Loonies (for those of you who aren't Canadian, those are dollar coins). So I had $180 to spend as I wished. That year I spent it to go to Camp Mini Ha Ha in Nova Scotia.

In turn, we filled that pig with $60 each for my other three sisters as they turned 60.

Now that I have turned 70, the tradition continues. When we celebrate my birthday on Saturday, I will receive the latest birthday pig with $210 in it - $70 from each of my sisters.

My youngest sister, Marie, found this pig and passed it on to me along with some Swarozki crystals and I took those and things from my stash to decorate it accordingly. What fun!

A really fun way to celebrate out decade birthdays!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Joanne's sewing maching; Some more marbling

I'm late posting tonight as I had to watch Team Canada, skipped by Brad Gueshoe, win the Men's World Championship. SO proud of them! Team Sweden also did well but not well enough.

Yesterday, Joanne brought over her Bodo Hennig sewing machine and the wonderful base she made for it from a kit. Although you can't see it here, we made a "HENNIG'  logo to put on the lower part of the base.

My (on my own) marble table top.

I took this paint shield (Thanks, June)  out from under my bed and put it together again. (I actually put tape up on the sides to keep it together.) Put newspapers in the bottom to keep things clear.

I put the table tops on two chopsticks with double tape so I can deal with them easily.

I hung some paper in the back of the 'room' so I can turn the spray upside down and clean out the spray.

Gave the table tops a second spray of varnish.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Applying a finish to the faux marble (my take on it - an experiment)

I had matte varnish, gloss varnish and a bottle of satin varnish. Think the satin would have been the best choice but it was all dried up and had to be thrown away so I decided to go with the matte.

I put on two coats of matte varnish, letting it dry between coats. When the second coat was dry, I 'sanded' it with a piece of brown paper bag (just an ordinary lunch bag).

Added another two coats of matte varnish, sanding  with the brown paper after each coat was dry.
 Although the brown paper bag sanding gave it a soft glow finish, I decided to try one coat of gloss and see what would happen. Disaster! The gloss varnish sort of pilled on the surface...not a good result.

So I took this nail buffer (six sides each with a different grit) from Dollarama and used the 4th side to sand off the layer of gloss varnish.

Then I added another two coats of matte varnish, again sanding with brown paper as each coat dried.

It has a mellow soft finish but don't know how realistic it is as I don't have any marble to compare it to.

If my satin varnish hadn't dried out, I think I would have been more pleased with the final finish.

But the brown paper worked well in lieu of the steel wool called for in Tina's instructions.

I'll be picking up the spray semi-gloss varnish and steel wool tomorrow and will use that on the table tops from the kit from Tina and I'll see how that goes.

A BIG job I now have ahead of me is to sort through all my paints and varnishes to get rid of all the ones that have dried out. That will probably clear out about half (75) of them 😢

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Giving faux marble another try...

I currently don't have the spray acrylic varnish that Tina called for so I decided to make another table top that I can experiment on.

And there was a nice round piece in the laser poop so decided to experiment on that.

I sanded the top then painted the piece black on both sides.

When that was dry, I sponged on Hunter Green.

Then, using the same sponge, added some Leaf Green.

Spread the piece with clear water, than used a toothbrush to spatter it with Ivory White.

Again coating the piece with clear water, used a liner brush to add veining to the piece. I only had a 3/0 brush so not as success as it would have been with the 10/0 called for. I've also seen instructions for using a feather for the veining which I would have liked to try but couldn't find that either 😒

Not terribly pleased with it, but honestly, it looks a bit better in person than it does in the picture.

Because this piece is much bigger than the ones I did at the workshop, there is a fair bit of warping so I've put it under a book until tomorrow when I'll do some experimenting with brush-on varnish and see if I can make that work.

Faux marble workshop, laser poop

Last night, Tina taught a great workshop on faux marble.

Here are some of her samples:

The round table is a new design Tina came up with. Love it!

The 1:48 table (upper right) is wonderful.
Still a lot of work to do as our homework is to add several coats of semi-gloss varnish (sanding between coats) to add depth to the marble. I'm very pleased with the top piece - not so much the lower.

You start by painting both sides of the wood with the base coat (black in this case). When that's dry, you put a coat of water on the pieces, then sponge on Hunter Green. The next coat is Sage green which is spattered on with a toothbrush. Then the veining is added in white.

 Everyone did different colours of marble and they all looked amazing. Great evening.

Tina gifted me with a bag of "laser poop" (the off-cuts from her laser cutter. Am looking forward to sorting through it and seeing what I can do with it.
Sorry, I'm having trouble cropping my pictures the last couple days.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Home from Leanne's, Dollarama

Got home from Leanne's after three days of house/rabbit sitting. 

Hope she can find things after I "organized" her main level. Left her notes of where I put things so hope it all works out.

It's a beautiful kitchen with lots of cupboards and a great backsplash!

Her living room with the new couch and loveseat. Picture doesn't do it justice. The furniture is a dark charcoal and the painting is a wonderful picture of birch trees. I just put some of the plants where I thought they might work.

Including these on the dining room chairs!

Love Mom and Dad's dining room suite in her dining room! With all my china and crystal plus some of Leanne's own lovely things. Including the plant that's an offshoot of the one that we had in our bathroom at 16 Larose Drive in 2002.

I got home about 10 a.m. Monday. Called Mom and got caught up on condo business, went out for a haircut (long overdue) then picked up some things at Dollarama.

First of all, I picked up several boxes of bags so I could finish up sorting Lorry's fabric and trims. Then I found a few things that I needed for minis.

I needed some small superglue tubes and this seems to meet the criteria - four tiny tubes!

This 5-minute epoxy should do the trick for some tihings.
And that will bring my adhesive count up to about 15!!!

This LED strip lighting should be interesting. Heard about it on Canada Minis.
I'll  give it a try and report back.

This is interesting. About a year ago, Dollarama had the bride cake topper available. I'm pretty sure I bought her but I'm not sure and can't find her. However, for $3.00, the groom isn't too bad. He could be a minister or some other figure....scale is good.
Although I don't ordinarily use figures in my scenes. But for $3.00...
Tuesday night, Tina is teaching us how to do a marble finish.  She is such a great instructor that I'm looking forward to her class. I don't want, at this point, to do a table top, so I'm planning on taking a  statue that I hope to use in my Secret Garden and marbleize it.