Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I'm back, we're fine!

Well, NJ was hit very hard.  We live in Toms River and most of the area is devastated.  If you are able to watch any of the photos, they don't even show the complete ruins.  Some areas look like a war zone after an explosion.  But we now have power back, complete with Internet access and cable t.v.  However, telephone service, both landline and cell, is sporadic.  We found out today that Gov. Christie made next Monday the official day for trick-or-treating. 

I'm off all week from work because the schools are closed.  So many in the district in which I sub still have no power and may not have it for another few days.  And the nights are getting colder. 

I did sew some doll clothes this morning.  This afternoon I went out with hubby.  The trees on houses is terrible.  The lines for gas remind me of 1973 when gas was rationed. 

Wanting to work on the last two houses, I decided to just buckle down and do it.

The dragon house now has a green and white checked floor.  I just loved the paper.  Those pillars are crazy and somewhat difficult when measuring but they will work.  I have to paint the walkway and I don't know what I want to do to it.  Any suggestions?


I then turned my efforts to the store.  There is now a second floor and both it and the first floor are papered with purple paper.  I think it looks like tile.  There are a few things left to do on this store yet. 

My goal is to finish the houses so I can concentrate on making things for the inside of them. 

Tomorrow I will do more.  I missed writing this for the past two nights. 

Until then....


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Storm coming and looks bad

Hi.  Doing this blog early in case we lose power or heaven forbid! the Internet!!!  Frankenstorm Sandy is going to hit our Atlantic coast with a vengeance.  Schools closed Monday and Tuesday.  Curfew where everyone is off the road by 11 p.m.  They even were forced to close the casinos in Atlantic City.  Lots of evacuations of those people who live directly on the water.  The moon is full so the tide will be even higher than normal.  One of the problems of higher water is that the sand in the wash comes with the tide water and when the tide goes out, there are many inches of sand in the streets.  Lots of erosion that way.  I hope we don't have to leave.  We live by a creek and last year, we were forced to leave because the creek water went way, way up.   

I spent the afternoon painting the white trim on the houses, especially where I accidentally smudged during painting.  Annoying chore but it had to be done.

Then I put the things I bought on the Moonbeams Magic shop.  They are so cute and it is just what I wanted.  I was going to make the shoes and the hat and the cauldron.  Done!! 

I painted the store two shades of blue.  A midnight blue and then a soft cornflower blue.  I will leave the white trim.  I like color and since this is a fairy village, colors are important.  The picture shows the masking tape so I stay in the lines.  (smile)

I am leaving the roof terra cotta because there will be a brick terrace up there for the outdoor cafe.

I did order the second quarter-scale furniture book today and will show it to you when it comes.  It is coming from England so I don't know how long the post offices will take to get it here to NJ.

Since I have the next few days off, I think I can finish my doll outfits and maybe even finish all of the houses except for the furniture.  Wouldn't that be nice?  I'm very anxious to get into the new box of houses! 

If you are in the area of the storm, safety to you.  I hope to be able to do a blog tomorrow.  If you don't see one, it means we lost Internet service.

Until then...


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dragon green house

Dragon house with paint I call Dragon Scale Green

It was a great day but the wind is whipping up and I guess the storm is coming in.  We are hoping it doesn't hit hard. 

Today I did a lot of sewing and am almost finished with the capes and outfits for the dolls.  I was only able to sew until lunchtime.

My hubby gave the other houses their first coat of polyurethane.  He's a great painter and I think it's great he's helping me.

I'm gearing up for next Saturday's Philadelphia Miniaturia show, which is held in Cherry Hill, NJ. I've been looking at the web sites of those who will be showing their miniatures and there are a lot of fabulous artisans who will be exhibiting. 

Dragon scale green for roof!

I wanted to paint the dragon house the green I bought last night. I am more than pleased with the result. The green actually looks like dragon scale green. Anyone else think it's beautiful? And it will fit in the village nicely.  I took two pictures, one of the front and one of the roof.  I still have to touch up the white but that won't be difficult.  I don't know how I am going to finish the inside.  I can't find any dragon paper.  Any suggestions?

I am going to paint the general store tomorrow but I think the brown is too humdrum.  Maybe a blue?  So maybe I'll have something to show you on the next blog.

I had thought of Magic Muse for the magic shop but it will definitely be Magic Moonbeams.  It goes with my theme.

I am going to buy the second book of the quarter scale miniatures, the sequel to the one I'm using now.  Last night I bought two huge mat boards and will be making a lot of furniture in the next few months.

If you are in the path of the storm, blessings for safety, my friends.

Until then...


Friday, October 26, 2012

Field Trip to Craft Stores

Hi.  Sewed all day today.  After a chili supper, we went to AC Moore and Michael's with coupons in hand and a list.  Of course, they didn't have a lot of what I wanted.

Tomorrow we are going to pick up a friend from the Atlantic City Airport and stop for dinner on the way home.  I plan to sew in the morning since I have so many things cut out.  So here are pix of my goodies. 

After sewing or after we get home in the evening, I will paint the Dragon house that beautiful metallic green, kind of like dragon scales.  This paint is what I'll be using.  It's under $3 and it is beautiful when finished.

And I hope to get the Moonbeams Magic shop (I just named it) fixed with some more things.  I even bought a tiny round stick to make items for the cabinets (potions and things). 

I bought Rowena a sleigh for Christmas.  Hubby said she needed reindeer but I think a horse might work better.  I also saw this cute Santa and reindeer for Rowena's house.

I bought some cauldrons that were on sale in AC Moore for my doll scene.  I will age them and they will look great.

Sunday I plan to put the "wrought iron railing" around the yard at Rowena's house.  And then I'll work on the inside again.

Hope you aren't going to be in the way of the Frankenstorm.  We are and they anticipate many problems.  Last year we were evacuated.  And I took all of my dolls and of course, our personal papers with us and packed wonderfully.  Oh yes, we also took clothes!  I would have mourned my dollhouse but luckily we were able to come home after only a few days.  And we were able to stay at hubby's son's house. 

Until then,


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Anatomy of a laundry room

Okay.  I'm tired of hearing Rowena whine.  So I spent this afternoon finishing up the laundry room.  She doesn't know I'm going to put up a second ceiling light and still need curtains but what she doesn't know won't hurt her.

The loo under the stairs
Privacy screen
I began with the bathroom, which is located under the staircase.  I saw this in a house decorating site and thought it was a wonderful idea.  I have a privacy screen for the potty and the bath.  I might need a second one, too.  This screen was something I downloaded as a printie, copied it onto a heavier paper (like matte photograph paper), cut it out and just bent it according to directions. 
See the hangers for curtain rods?
Then I put in the washer and dryer.  But I didn't have room for the extra cabinet.  I could have put it next to the w/d but then no one could see into the loo.  So I opted to put it above the w/d.  I might attach it to the wall.

I then put in the wash sink (above), which is an empty washed thoroughly syrup container.  (I save many things.)  I primed it with white gesso and painted it yellow.  I would like a regular sink and cabinets but the ones I want are pricey and so I have to save some $$ first.

On the left side of the room, I put the tall linen cabinet and next to it, the smaller folding table/cabinet combination.  The ironing board is up but conveniently comes down for pressing needs.  It has to stay up because it would block the doorway.

I put up the ceiling light, which is one of those battery lights (above).  I love them. They are supposed to stick to the ceiling with a magnet but they don't work that well and I don't want holes in the ceiling.  So I glue them up and they work perfectly.  I have these battery lights throughout the house.  You'll see the others as we go through the rooms. 

Then I realized the vacuum cleaner had to be put somewhere, so I placed it in the corner.

On everything little, I use a glob of museum wax to hold it in place.  It doesn't hurt the object or the walls/ceilings and I can remove the object when I want to.

I have a few paintings for the walls yet and need to make curtains.  That's the next project.

P.S.  I don't know why Rowena was in a snit about the laundry room being finished.  She has a maid and doesn't do laundry herself.

Until then...


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New building started

Hi.  Better tonight, which is good. 

Tomorrow I will be doing Rowena's laundry room so stay tuned for that.  It's a glimpse into the 1:12 world.

I did a lot today for my dolls and created several patterns for them.  Some dolls have no patterns on the market so they have to be made personally.  And I cut a bunch of things out.

I then turned my sight on doing another coat of green to the dragon house.  It needed the extra coat.

Time for the last building.  I am going to make it  with a second floor.  The outside will be terra cotta and the roof is flat, which will make a great outside cafe.  I do have a counter for this shop and I have to make a cash register.  I have one in 1:12 but have to decrease it for quarter scale. 

I haven't decided on a name for this building yet because I'm still trying to decide if it will be a bakery or a chocolate shop or an ice cream parlor.  It is set up as store but I want it different.  We'll see.

Within the next week, I will be taking pictures of my work space and a lot of my craft items for a special blog I'm doing for Couture Doll Shops' holiday project.  I hope the pictures turn out great because they will be on this blog for everyone to see.

I think my grandchildren will be looking in to this blog.  If they are looking, I'd like to say:

Hi Kate and Hi Sydney.  Miss you girls.  Your project is safe here!  We'll work on it soon.

As an FYI, I'm working on creating roomboxes with them and we've begun.  But school and cheering are in the picture now so it'll be awhile before they are done.  I'll showcase them on here.

Until then...



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

One thing today

Today was a lot of time at the sewing machine.  But this afternoon I have been suffering from vertigo so not much was done.

However, I do have some staffs cut and put them in a large container for the magic shop.  I thought they turned out cute. One looks like a sea horse but that was unintentional. LOL    I did cut some wands out, too, but that's for tomorrow night.

I did manage to paint another coat of green on the house for dragon rides.  I have a fun thing I want to do for this building.  I think you'll like it.

Until then...


Monday, October 22, 2012

Magic Shop update

Good evening.  Today was a busy one.  I worked on the skirts for most of the morning.  They are almost done, thank goodness.  Just when you think all is going fine, something gets wonky.  But it was better by the time I stopped for lunch.

I decided to work on the magic shop for the entire afternoon, although I didn't think it would take me that long.  Wrong.

Finding some great paper, it was too large in its original state.  So I cut and pasted.  I realized after I took the pix for this blog that some of the paper needed to be glued better in several spots.  Just a hint:  if you ever want to check for any abnormalities in your work, take a picture of it and view it closely.  Anything not good will jump out at you.  As this paper did.  But it's no problem with a little bit of glue.

I then put down the special shooting star picture that I liked so much.  And then I had to put a border around the floor.  Not much I can do to the walls since there are so many windows.  I will be adding things to the walls anyway.

So to finish the outside, I chose to paint the one peak with a gold trim.  Looks great. 

Then I painted in gold the shooting star on the front.  There is one more thing for the roof and I hope to do it tomorrow if I don't get a job. 

I will also be working on the dragon rides building and the village store.  I'm really anxious to get these buildings done so I can begin putting the others together.

And I continue to hear complaining from Rowena.  She tells me that her bathroom isn't finished, either.   Nor her landscaping.  All in good time. 

Now, it's off to bed.  Until then...


Sunday, October 21, 2012

A few things done

Today was a day of relaxation mostly.  After church, I read a few chapters of a new book I just bought.  Then I prepared the witch hats for the dolls and have to cut the fabric tomorrow.  A lot of my plans depend upon if I have a job tomorrow.  I'm looking for one tonight but it's getting late and I may just be home tomorrow.

Left side of library
Right side of library
I put the sides on the bookcases and placed them in the library on the first floor next to the stairs.  Then I placed the desk inside with a laptop and a book on it.  I think it's looking great.  There are a few more things that need to be done, including the door, which I almost forgot! 

I finished the gold stars and moons on the magic shop.  I then tipped the roof shingles in gold.  I love that look.  I hope to do the floor tomorrow.

And I don't want to forget the coffins.  I have some things I plan to put on them and in them!

I actually planned the village on paper while I had some time last week.  I think it is going to work out great.  I would like to have several streets.  There won't be many, if any, vehicles.  They are all magic, after all.  LOL

Time to turn in.  I'm exhausted!

Until then...


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Books today

Hi.  Didn't feel like I accomplished much today.  We have a mouse in the bottom of the bathroom cabinet.  It stinks under there.  So hubby took up the wood piece and the shelving and made new ones while I cleaned the area with bleach.  We think it's coming in through the little hole around the water pipe so he put steel wool in it to close it up.  This process took awhile.

Then I did some sewing but didn't get as much done as I had hoped.  Everything takes time now because I'm doing the waistbands on the skirts.   I had hoped to get the shirts cut out -- maybe tomorrow.

Had to make bundt cake for our dinner out tonight.  That took awhile, too.  And then it was off to our friend's house at 5.  It is now almost 10 and we just got home.

Two bookcases ready for sides and tops
However, today I started two bookcases for the library.  Instead of fighting to get the books in the finished bookcase, I put the books on the backing and let them dry completely.  Tomorrow I will put on the tops and sides.  I think they are going to be great and they will stand by the staircases in the library.

I hope to get more done tomorrow.  I want to finish the magic shop roof. 

Also found some things for wands.  Still can't find my chopsticks.  Where did they go? 

And the lady of the dollhouse, Rowena, is making a lot of noise about her laundry room not being done.  And her drapes aren't up.  I think that will be part of my blog because I don't need someone yelling because the work isn't done in her house.  LOL

Until then...


Friday, October 19, 2012

Finishing touches

Worked again today -- 5th day straight.  7th grade math.  All was well.  Looking forward to sleeping past 5 a.m.  After morning chores, going to finish skirts.  Then do the other outfits and work on village.  Busy morning ahead.

However, tonight I have a finished firehouse.  Here it is with the firebox on the front and there's another view with the chief's car inside the house.  No fire truck yet because I'm looking for one to scale.  So that's the first finished building for the village.  Yay!  I'll add a table and chairs later.

Then I decided to put moons and stars on the magic shop roof.  I saw the design in one of my art books.  The stars were not all the same.  I liked it so much that I'm going to do it all over the roof.  I also found a shooting star that I plan to use on the floor.  It should look fabulous. 

While rummaging around trying to find the chopsticks I saved for wizards' staffs, I found this other gazebo.  It will work wonderfully in the village.  It even has "snow" on it. 

So tomorrow will be a very busy day.  Going to dinner with friends tomorrow night so I'll be blogging early in the day.  I will try to get the top of the magic shop done and maybe the floor.  Note that I said "maybe."  LOL

Until then...


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pretty beds in a row

Worked today and I'm very tired tonight.  Amazing how much working gets in the way of my fun time.  LOL

I wanted to decorate these beds, not just paint them.  I have some stickers from scrapbooking that are very, very tiny and thought they would be perfect.  My hubby said that they look like beds for the three bears.  Never thought of that but he's right! 

I cut pieces out of the stickers for the beds.  I think they look really cute and I'm not sure I would feel like painting them the different colors.  I also had the little round stickers that I cut down so they would fit in scale.  I have to cut out mattresses for them from foam.

I also glued the fire call box on to the front of the firehouse but forgot to take a picture.  Since I did that, the firehouse is done except for needing a chair for the call board.  One building down!

Hopefully will make bookshelves for the library tomorrow evening.  It's date night with hubby so I'm not sure if I'll do anything but set things up for the weekend projects. 

I'm looking for things to make items for the magic shop, too.   I have scrying balls and will probably put them together tomorrow or Saturday.  They should be relatively easy.  As will the magic wands.  Out of all the buildings, it is the most labor intensive because it needs "things." 

So it's off to bed for me.  I work again tomorrow.  With all of the days off during the week, this is only the second full week of school.  The body doesn't like it!  The checkbook does, though. 

Until then...


Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Hi.  Worked in a 7th grade science class today.  They were so good and worked like they were supposed to.  Nice day.  However, I'm not used to working 5 days in a row, so I'm beginning to slow down in the brain!  LOL

I decided to make beds tonight.  The next batch of buildings include a few houses.  Beds are needed. 

I took the basic bed and created my own.  I added balsa wood pieces for stability.  I'll paint the wood tomorrow night.  I want to add some fancy things to the bedposts.  And of course, they will need a mattress and linens.  I love the colors of the ones on the left. 

I think for me the most difficult thing is keeping everything to size.  It's why I like this furniture book so much.  I stay within the scale, which is so important.

I decided to make the beds in different styles.  After all, you wouldn't want your neighbor having the same style bed you have! 

I will be trying to dresser, too.  Maybe tomorrow night.  I'll give the green building a second coat.  Maybe I can sew a skirt or two.

And now that's it for the night.  The three beds, while they don't look like much, took an hour to make. 

Off to sleep...until then....


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dragon Rides

Hi.  Worked today and I'm exhausted.  Seventh graders can wear you out.  I found out today I'm working every day this week so my mini time will be limited.  After I get home, the only mini I think about is a nap! 

But today I decided to start building #4.  I looked at it for the longest time.  And suddenly, it came to me.  The village needs a building for Dragon Rides.  There may also be a train in the village but every fairy village needs dragon rides. 

Green was the color I chose.  Unfortunately, I'm painting it over red.  Red, as you may know, is one of the most difficult pigments to cover because its pigment is so dense.  So I put a thin coat of Spring Green on it.  I love the color.  I have an idea for the roof but have to check Home Depot and Martha Stewart paints first. 

I don't think I'll put in a second floor because dragons need headroom. The building looks like some type of station.  In the front of the building, there are 2 windows.  The one on the left reminds me of a ticket window.  And that's what it will be.  I will put a shelf there.  A good place to purchase tickets!  The idea ball is rolling now. 

So that was this evening's work.  I am in the process of deciding building #5 and hope to begin painting it before the weekend.  I am certain that if everything is painted, it will be easier to keep the momentum going to finish them.  The dragon ride building won't need much in the way of furniture, which will be nice.  I have 6 new buildings to put together yet.

That's all for tonight! 

Until then...


Monday, October 15, 2012

Magician's Cabinet

Good evening.  Worked in 7th grade Language Arts and will be there again tomorrow.  These are the same students with whom I went to New York.  Great group.  Great teachers.  I don't remember having teachers so nice.  LOL 

Because I took a nap after I got home, I was only able to finish the top of the cabinet.  At first, I had it lovely and then thought about the magician's cabinet.  I had thought it should be old and abused and used.  In purple.  So here it is.

The doors open on the top and there's a "glass" in the center pane.  It's a bit difficult to see but the next one I make will be in a lighter color.  There is a shelf in the top section and a small shelf in the bottom.  I think the next one I make will have doors that open, as well.

It was difficult choosing the knobs because of the size.  These fit but were bright yellow.  So I daubed purple paint over them. 

So that's my mini for the day. 

Until then....


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Library steps and cabinet pieces

Hello.  Sunday has been busy.  Hubby's thumb is better and he's not working tomorrow.  However, I am working in 7th grade language arts.  Should be a great day!

Stairs and balcony need leveling but at least they are up!
I put in the 2nd floor and the two staircases.  I was able to slide the 2nd floor balcony in between the first and second floor windows.  And when I slid the stairs under the balcony, they fit perfectly.  I was thrilled.  Isn't it just so annoying to try and be so precise and then be off by sixteenths of an inch?

Then I put one of the counters on the balcony so you could get the full effect.  I am still deciding on the railing.  I may need to make a visit to one of the craft stores.

This will be black and gold and purple

I want to make a black and gold and purple cabinet for the magic shop.  The quarter-scale book has the perfect size. 

Pieces of cabinet cut out

So here is the bottom section and the pieces for the top shelves and doors.  I hope to finish it tomorrow after school.  The folded piece is the shelves, the piece on the right are the front doors (pieces will be cut out) and the piece in the back left side is the back of the cabinet top.

Also able to cut out and sew a few more skirts.  I do sewing sometimes in an assembly line style so I sewed the six skirts together and will then do the waists and hems and closures.  Sometimes it's easier to work in that manner. 

It's time to call it a day.  I have a love/hate relationship with work.  I love to go to work as a sub but I love to stay home, too.  I'm sure I am not the only one with that dilemma.

Until then...


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Library progress

I made some progress on the library today on stairs, inside trim and roof.

The roof is now black and I will put another coat of black on it before I seal it with a clear satin finish.  I think it looks sharp, especially with the white.

I finished the inside trim and am ready to put up the second floor.  I also need to put a door on the front but haven't decided what to use on it.  The front looks crooked but it's just my photography skills.

The stair rails are drying now; you can still see the wet glue, which will dry clear and then be painted.  I hope to put them on the balcony tomorrow.  Of course, that's if I can find what to use for the 2nd floor balcony railing curve.  Any ideas???   I'm open to suggestions.

2nd floor balcony

I would like to make some bookcases tomorrow, too.  I'll see about the time limitations.  The days go by so fast, don't you think?

Hubby can't help for awhile.  He cut his thumb today and had to get 5 stitches.  So he's the advisor and spectator.
I finished a few skirts for the dolls this morning and have more to cut out and sew.  That will take a few hours, too.

Time to go to bed.  Hubby is falling asleep on the couch -- he's had a terrible day.

Until then....


Friday, October 12, 2012

Went to Ellis Island today with the 7th graders.  On the ferry from Liberty State Park to Ellis Island, we passed the World Trade Center being rebuilt.  Just thought I'd share a piece of history with you.

As for miniatures, not tonight.  After getting home at 6:15 and going to dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant and sipping a Riesling, I'm shot.  (smile)

And, as my hubby said, tomorrow is another day.  Tonight is for sleeping!

Until then...


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Worked in 7th grade science class today.  There was quite a buzz about the trip to Ellis Island tomorrow.  I cannot wait.  Because I'll be with a group of 5 students, I won't get to do much researching but my hubby promised to take me back soon.  Yay!

So tonight I did the normal touristy thing: erased the saved pix in the camera and charged it, made sure my phone was charged, took my money, small carry purse and aspirin. 

Then I decided that the magic shop roof needed another coat of paint.  I like the darker purple.  Now I plan to look for some gold stars and moons for the sides of the shop.  I have an idea for the top of the roof, too.  I just need time to do it.  LOL

I won't be doing anything else this evening in the line of miniatures.  I took some time for cutting out clothing for the dolls. 

I have decided that the General Store will stay a general store but with a twist.  I'm developing it and will reveal all.

Also decided I didn't like the stair rails so I am redoing them.  I'll try something different. 

Everything will have to wait until Saturday, though.  Hope you can find time to mini, too!

Until then...