Friday, November 30, 2012

No photos

Hello.  Another cold day.  It's beginning to be a pattern.  I was in kindergarten again and the kids were just so great.  They danced to the song, Feliz Navidad.  Cute.

Tonight for our date night we ate at Red Lobster.  It was yummy.  Then home and a bowl of chocolate pudding with whipped cream.  Doesn't get much better than that.

I tried to upload some pictures from this evening.  For some reason, Google  let isn't letting me do that.  So I will just chat and hope you can make sense of it all.

Next week on December 5, we will be at hubby's son's house to doggie sit.  One is a teacup Chihuahua, Pedro, and the other is a border collie, Meg.  The family is on their way to Disney for cheering competitions. 

While there, I have several projects planned.  I won't be able to take my buildings over there because they wouldn't make the trip without a great deal of special packing.  So tomorrow and Sunday, I will be making plans on what to take for my projects.  I have a few kits to put together.  I have quarter-scale furniture to make.  And I want to try my hand at doll shoes. 

I will be busy.  And I will be working, too.  At this time, I'm working Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 

Made some plans for the village.  I see it as having several street levels, one above each other.  I think the castle will be on the top street.  The Dragon House will be up there, too. 

I also want a few pools of water and there will be a tree within the levels.  I have the cardboard shape and it will be a fun project, I think.  There will be some surprises in the tree!

So it's time to go to bed.  I tried the photos again.  No way.  Tomorrow it will be better.

Until then....


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Door and stuff

Hi.  Another sunny but bitter cold day.  They are talking about 60's next week.  Go figure. 

I had a good time in my little class today.  There were three major drink spills:  two milks and one water.  What a mess.  Ran out of paper towels.  Sponges were put to the task.  Kept me on my toes. 

I was exhausted when I came home because 16 little ones are quite tough.  And so I had a snack and then just vegged on the couch.  Hubby made dinner again.  I gave him a break and did the dishes! 

I wanted to do more on the house roofs but starting a messy job at 7 p.m. is not something I was willing to start.  So I did something more quiet.

I did the door to the main house of the castle.  I think it came out great.  There will be other things on the house, not just this door.  But this is a start.  I can see it in my head.  It's the getting it out that's sometimes a problem.  LOL

Then I thought I would show you some more of the things I've collected through the years.  This was for the original six buildings.  They still work great and I'm so glad I bought them when I did. 

The first one shows one of the two huge gates!  Aren't they great?  I will take the wreath down, of course.  These have always been my favorite gates and I haven't ever seen any more like it around here where I live.

This photo is of the little things that help make a village.  Two benches, two sleds, fencing, light posts, sign posts, and trees of all sizes.  It's nice to have this stuff already.

So the weekend will be a busy one.  Lots to do. 

Until then....


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Towers and turrets

Today was bitter cold and I don't like it.  I can't do anything about it but I just had to vent.

I worked in 2nd grade today and all was well.  However, I had outside recess.  It only lasts about 25 minutes.  Seemed liked 2 hours.  The kids are all running around so no one that size was cold.  Us teachers were freezing! 

When I got home, I crashed and burned.  Not used to working a long day.  With elementary school, asall of you teachers out there know, you never ever stop.  It's constant.  One subject goes into another subject.  Lunch is quick.  Walking them to and fro places takes time.  Who knew?

I am working tomorrow already.  Remember the first grade bilingual class I was in several weeks ago?  The teacher called me for the next two days.  The kids liked me.  Ha.  Who knew?  Maybe I can learn some Spanish! 

After dinner, I used the spackle stucco on the towers.  It is a good deal less expensive.  It is not as thin as Martha's textured stuff but it worked out well.  Since it's made to be put on things like sheetrock, it doesn't seem to be warping the towers.  I then glued the turrets on.  They look like missiles.  Or maybe strange mushrooms.  I like them, though, so they stay for now.  If they don't work after a few weeks, I may change them.

With working for the next two days, I will be mapping my village out. When I'm off, I do what I want to do and know it will all be done.  I may try to put the castle buildings together tomorrow. 

So, enjoy your day.  Try to do a mini or two. 

Until then...


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Meet the Mayor and other things

What a wet and cold day this Tuesday has been.  Brrr....  At least we had no snow.  It's not winter yet so technically, there should be no snow.  That's my theory anyway.

I set about making the turrets and the cover things for the castle.  Since I don't like the original layout of the castle, I am going to make it my way.  Are you surprised?  You shouldn't be!  I like to do things differently. 

I ran out of Martha Stewart's textured stuff and went out to buy more.  Only Home Depot sells it around here.  No textured stuff.  Oh they had textured metallic.  But that is not the look I'm going after.  So hubby suggested a stucco spackle, which is about the same consistency and half the price.

I made the cute little turret caps.  I think they look like coolie hats.  I will be putting texture on the turrets tomorrow when I get home from work.

I do have a job for tomorrow.  Second grade.  It should be a good day. 

While out, I stopped at the Christmas Store and found a few little things suitable for the village.  Remember I said there would be a mayor and spouse?  I have a picture of them strolling down the street.  But they will look very, very different after I get my paintbrush at the ready!  I still don't know who is the mayor and who is the spouse.  LOL

I also have a few village people.  And I bought these street lights, too, which have a battery pack and light up. 

Also included in my purchase were these signs.  They had two packs and I bought both of them, 8 signs in all.  One crossing sign will be changed to Witch Crossing and one changed to Dragon Crossing.  The others will be changed, too. 

Another purchase today was a set of steps.  There are two guards that are supposed to resemble nutcrackers.  Since they aren't part of my village, they will be paintbrushed as well.  Or even taken off.  Haven't decided yet.

So, hope you enjoy the pix.  We'll talk more tomorrow!

Until then...


Monday, November 26, 2012

Castle started -- tough one

Hi.  Didn't work today so I had time to fiddle around with the castle.  It was a little more difficult than I originally anticipated.  Why?  Because I don't know how to put up a castle.

Original house with stucco
Back of castle keep


When I originally saw the picture of this castle, it looked easy. And I'm sure it is. However, there are a few pieces that I cannot figure out where they go. So I'm going to contact the main guy who wrote these directions. 

I was looking through my Christmas decorations and have lots for the mini village.  There were several sets of little people bought by a friend for my collection.  You know the ones.  Little and plastic.  Inexpensive.  Well, I didn't realize she had bought me so many.  I have a few for the village now.  Including a mayor and his wife.  Or a mayor and her husband.  LOL

I decided to put a light coat of stucco on the original house and the castle.  The tops of the towers will be different as will the cone covers (I forgot their actual names).   I started to make the side towers but I made them too small.  So I'll try again tomorrow. 

We are supposed to get snow and rain here tomorrow, starting during the night.  We don't need snow, no matter how little comes down. 

I was hoping to put the greenery on the tops of the houses while outside but it doesn't look promising for the next few days.  I have to put lots of newspaper down and do it here in the living room.  Should be interesting.  (smile)

So here are the items from today.  Oh yes, and my hubby found a knife with a nice handle.  It was in his toolbox.  Of course, just the little bit of cutting today dulled the blade.  As I said, maybe Santa will bring me some.

Catch you tomorrow.  Until then...


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Four castle pieces cut

It was a cold but otherwise nice day.  I went into AC Moore to find a few things I need for the village.  Nada.  Everything I need will have to be purchased online.  It's not worth riding around and using gas unnecessarily.

So I decided that I would tackle the castle pieces.  I was able to cut the first piece out.  Had to quit after one piece, however, because my hand started to hurt.  I'm not particularly fond of X-acto knives but they really are the best thing for cutying mat board.  My blade was new and sharp.  But one almost needs a new blade everytime a new project is started.  That can get pricey.  Next time I have a coupon for either Michael's or AC Moore, I'll stock up on X-acto blades. I also need a knife with a nice handle. Is there such an animal??   Maybe I should ask Santa....

I don't know if I'm working tomorrow or not.  I have the website up but nothing has popped up yet. 

We did get the lights on the tree.  I know.  I know.  We should be able to do the 4 ft. tree with no problem.  I just wasn't in the mood.

Then I am part of a project on pbworks wiki.  It's an advent calendar.  I'll give you the url when the calendar is finished, Nov. 30 or before.  I'm Dec. 14. 

I am showing you the first pieces cut.  I think they look nice.  Those little windows almost drove me crazy!  I am sure I can finish the other pieces tomorrow if I am home.  Then I'll lightly score them.  And then fold them.  I still need to decide on the finish for the castle.  Maybe by the time I'm finished cutting everything out, I will get a major idea.

Until then....


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Castle plans on board

It was such a cold day today.  Remember the garbage piles I mentioned a week or so ago?  They are now moving this pile of garbage to our local landfill.  Amazing.  Clean up is still slow and today was not only cold but blustery. 

I did manage to get the tree put up.  Nothing is on it yet, of course.  It's 4 1/2 feet and we put it on a table with a board.  Tomorrow the lights go up.  We went to a friend's house for dinner and had no time for anything major.

We went to Michael's before dinner, though.  I bought two things, one with a 50% coupon, the only time I buy anything.  Or if it's on sale. 

I found these little blocks that are 3/8 inch for the village.  I have plans for these little things.  Stay tuned. 

I also bought, with the coupon, a template for circles.  When I make mini items in clay, I need an exact size.  It's so difficult using a regular ruler.  I've been wanting one of these and since I didn't find what I was looking for, I bought it.  I think it will be a useful tool.

Today I laid out the pattern on mat board so I can cut out the castle pieces tomorrow.  I really wanted to buy textured paper but didn't see any that struck my fancy.  I will have to do it myself.  But I am really happy with the way it looks on the mat board. 

Hopefully, I can get to it tomorrow.  In between putting the lights on the tree and hanging a few ornaments. 

Until then...


Friday, November 23, 2012

Castle plans coming along

How was everyone's Thursday?  For those who celebrate Thanksgiving, are you going to eat leftovers for more than one day?  To those who have no Thanksgiving Day, you need to come and visit during one of these feasts! 

I have never figured out the spacing of Google blogs so please excuse the layout.  It looks fine until it's finished.  Who knows?  That's the problem here--a Google blip...

I have been doing some research on building the castle around the main house.  I found a website,, that had castle plans.  I printed them out (which is allowed because I'm not selling them) and cut the pieces out. 

First, I papered the inside of the original house with the lightest blue/white paper that almost looks like a fine marble.  I used glue and after attaching the paper, put the house walls under my ceramic tile so it wouldn't warp. 

I have to decide now how I want the outside castle walls.  I think part stucco and part white brick. 

I'm excited to get it started but want to do it right.  I will cut the castle pieces from mat board.  Hubby said he would help me.  Sometimes my hands get tired. 

Tonight was our date night and we went out for ribs!  Yum.  Afterwards, hubby responded to a fire alarm but dropped me off at Barnes and Noble where I bought two magazines on miniatures.  I was so surprised when I saw one magazine (printed in England) was wrapped with plastic.  Then I found out the reason.  A present! 

Attached to the magazine, in a little plastic bag, was a 1:12 scale Reutter porcelain pitcher.  For those who don't know, Reutter is a very expensive place to purchase minis.  Their work is exceptional, though, and I will cherish this!  Rowena will like it.

Tomorrow is a no family day again so I will begin cutting out castle pieces.  I want to cover them appropriately so I will research colors for towers and look at castle doors.  This is so exciting!!!

Oh yes, and I have to put up the Christmas tree this weekend.  Hubby brought it in from the porch shed.  Hint!  Hint!  Time to decorate.  That reminds me that I will probably need to put the castle on a longer timeline because I have to make a Christmas tree for Rowena's house.

Always busy!!  I love it!!!

Until then...


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Two lofts and castle first coat

Today was quite nice.  About 35 people (including little ones) and 4 dogs (2 were dogs of owners and 2 were visitors) were in attendance.  It was a good time.  Lots of food and we were so thankful for being able to share with each other. 

I think I'm on the mend so I was anxious to get back home to finish the second floor lofts.  So I did just that. 

I decided that the flower shop's shelves needed to be window ledges and they turned out great.

The carriage house now has its loft and although it's a small one to fit the house, it will be fine for a bed and dresser, I think. 

The yellow house has the loft glued in and it looks good.  There will probably be a bit more furniture up there since it is quite a good deal larger. 

In each of the houses with lofts, I want to disguise the poles in some way.  Ideas from anyone?

I gave the castle a prime coat for the exterior.  I'll probably put the first coat of stucco on tomorrow.  I don't know if I'll use the Martha Stewart texture paint or make my own stucco. 

So that's what I accomplished tonight.  Hope your day was a great one!

Until then....


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Preparing lofts

Good evening.  Went to doctor today.  Have a major sinus infection.  Have lots of powerful antibiotics and a strong cough medicine.  Should be up and good soon.  Slept today and felt much better afterwards. 

However, I couldn't work on the houses this afternoon.  I had to wait until after supper.

I cut the loft floors out and the posts for 2 of them.  I'll cut the rest and put them up tomorrow.  Notice on the right the posts are in. The left? Drying. 

I got tired...
Flower house with 2 shelves

In the flower house, I'm putting up 2 shelves so the owner can show off her displays.  On the other house, I was too tired to think about it anymore.


I'm at odds whether I want to start the roofs on the finished five houses or start the sixth building.  Guess what it will be?  An old castle.  With turrets.  Which is why I didn't start it yet.  It will take a bit of time since it's so small but there will be add-ons.  Can't wait to start it.

I have to think about it.  My mind is a little muddled right now.  I think I need more sleep!

Going to the son and daughter-in-law's house tomorrow for Thanksgiving dinner, which we celebrate here in America.  I am making the salads.  There will be a lot of people there and it's great because they have a big house!  Hubby said it's good the Pilgrims didn't catch fish for their feast.  We'd all be eating flounder!

Whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving here in America or not, have a great day!

Until then...


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Not tonight, folks

I am sick tonight.  Came home from work and actually went to bed for a few hours.  Sinus infection.  Seeing the doctor tomorrow for antibiotic. 

However, not to leave you out in the cold (here in NJ, it's cold), you might want to look at some of the eye candy on the following sites:

Also, if you wish to look at more mini tutorials, google miniature tutorials and you will see dozens on Pinterest.  Hopefully, you are a member.  If you are not, let me know and I'll invite you.  I think it is still by invitation.  Great site.

Have fun!

Until then....


Monday, November 19, 2012

Roofing for 5 out of 6 buildings

Hi there.  Didn't work today so I spent my time wisely.  It was a lovely day.  I went out and gathered some acorn caps for future projects.  Hubby did the leaf blowing.

I decided to use the big card table for my work space.  I put the utensils and paint and glue on the snack tray.  The only things on the work space were the houses, the cardboard roofs, trims, windows, white glue, my trusty toothpick and margarine lid.

Fronts with full roofs
Backs open for maneuvering
The first thing was to make sure the windows were finished.  For those that had no acetate window panes, I cut some acetate to fit.  Then I made sure all of the trims were on the windows.  I finished putting the house trim on the Tudor house. 

Porch done, roofs on front and back with back wall removed.

There was also special trim on the Victorian house on the porch, which included the railings and the decorative pieces on the porch roof.  Then shutters were put up.  I love black on white and I think they look nice. 

Then it was time for roofing.  Because I want to be able to put things in the houses, I put partial roofs on the backs or sides of them.  I used the walls with the doors. 

The next thing to do is to put the 2nd floors in.  I have one cut out, including the two posts to hold it up.  I think they will turn out fine. 

I also plan on doing little curtains for them.  They will probably be made from paper, too.  It's easy and it looks cute. 

I work tomorrow so I will only have enough energy left when I get home to do a little something.  I don't know what yet.  You'll see tomorrow night.

Sleep well, my pretties!

Until then....


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Victorian House Progress

Hi.  Today was chilly and cold, I thought.  Hubby went to work in the yard and used the new generator for the leaf blower.  He had a good time.  Better him than me. 

I had a tough night last night.  A severe coughing fit woke me up about 2 a.m. I had to get up, use my inhaler and take my cough medicine, which has codeine in it.  I stopped coughing and slept soundly.  However, I did dream that hubby was riding the generator around the yard.  Good stuff, that cough medicine.  Oh yes, I have a slight reaction to codeine.  Itching.  When I woke, I itched all over and realized I didn't take my Benadryl.  As I said, it was a tough night.

I spent the day working on the Victorian house.  As you can see,  it is together now.  The porch is on.  The trim around the windows has been glued on.  There are shutters on it, too.  Thought the black would really look great.  There will also be a second floor in this house.  This house will probably belong to the mayor of the village.  Who else could afford it?  LOL

Forgive the placement of pictures here.  Google sometimes decides to do its own thing. 

I'm trying to get a job for tomorrow but it's a parent-teacher conference day.  We'll see if anyone has anything scheduled.  In that case, there will be no call-ins. 

If I stay home, I am going to take each house, one at a time, and see what else it needs.  A few need extra trim.  I'll measure for the second floors.

I may or may not have time to do the roofs.  I have ideas about the roofs, too. 

So, here are two photos. Looking at them, they don't look like much but it was a good several hours work.  Remember there is drying time!

Until then....


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Victorian started and Dragon trouble

Today was just beautiful with a little cold breeze.  I'm not much of an outside person so I usually don't know about the weather but I had to help hubby with the generator.  All is well.

I still don't feel terrific but I wanted to get some things done today.   Remember I said I made a mistake on the one window?  I am going to fix it by putting up a curtain over it.  Love curtains and all they hide!

I bought some E-6000 glue last night.  Whew!  Smells terrible.  Holds great but the smell is not pleasant at all.

Painted the Victorian house, which is the 4th of the six buildings.  And I put the windows in.  I want to make trim for the inside of this building.  It needs it. Then I put the three sides up.

I checked the other buildings to make sure they are okay.  They are still standing so that's a good thing.  The pieces laying down are the backs of the buildings.  I keep the openings so I can work inside the buildings.  The backs will be used to keep the inside relatively clean and dust-free.

I am hoping to put the 2nd floors in on those with high roofs, probably next week.  I will only put 1/2 a floor, though, with 2 pillars to hold it up.  They will be the bedroom section.  Excuse me if I said this before. :)  Sometimes it helps to think out loud.

And now something to make you chuckle.  I heard a loud roaring sound and a loud puff.  I looked at Rowena, who was standing on her balcony.  She was looking at the plans for the village, which she is not happy about.  Well, there is this soldier, Commando Man, who really likes her.  She doesn't give him the time of day.  (Hubby thought he was funny and he bought him in the Dollar Store.)

Commando Man usually climbs up the balcony supports just to talk to her.  She goes in and he leaves.  Well, today he tried again.  He has never had anyone stop him.  He put one leg over the rail.  Thus, the roar and the puff.  Mirelth decided to protect the fair Rowena.  Seems he and Rowena knew each other when the village was still active.  Commando Man is now in freeze mode.  Hubby, who is now laughing his head off, said Commando Man needs his trusty knife.  I said one puff from Mirelth and he's toast.  Rowena is not amused.  Mirelth needs to know that this is not medieval times.  (sigh)

Until then...


Friday, November 16, 2012

Today's work and a surprise

Hi.  Friday here.  I have a dilly of a cold coming on.  I have little voice and what's there is squeaky.  Hoping I don't have to see the doctor tomorrow.  It's quite a waste of time when I would rather be mini making. 

We bought a generator and got it today.  It will be hooked up to the house as soon as we get all of the necessary plugs.  Who knew it was so complicated?  Remember the storm they promised for Thanksgiving?  It's now said it will be about 60 degrees that day.  Ha!

I worked on doing the trims on a few of the houses.  The windows are in the Tudor house.  The white trim turned out great.  It is quite tricky to put on.  I used Crazy Glue again.  It is great once it grabs.  It grabbed and so it's good now.   I will put the 3 walls up tomorrow. 

I also put windows and trim on the carriage house.  Oh my, it was tough.  And I put the window on wrong so I now have to put a special trim around it.  I haven't really had a problem until now.  Knew it had to happen.  Oh well....

The doors didn't fit, either.  I realized, after much trying to fit them in their space, that the wood must have swelled because of the water-based paint.  So I sanded and trimmed the wood.  The doors fit but there needs to be some patching up.  That's not a problem so to me, it looks great.  I have the one wall up tonight, which is drying. 

And now, for the surprise!  Meet Mirelth, the green dragon.  He just flew in because he heard the village is being redone and new people will be moving in.  At first, he landed on the building roof and almost fell off because of his size. 

After he thought about it for awhile, he realized it was a nice building and that after all, he would only be visiting occasionally.  However, he doesn't know that he will be giving rides on a regular basis.  Sometimes it's best to just let well enough alone until it's time.  :)

Hope your day went well.  Talk to you tomorrow night.

Until then....


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Two together

Today was cold with gray skies.  The school where I was today had a fire alarm go off.  Of course, we thought it was a fire drill but it seemed unusual for them to call something on a nasty day.  We went outside with the kids and no one had coats on.  So we froze.  After about 40 minutes, we all trooped into the gym until all was clear in the classrooms.  No one got back to class until around 10 a.m.  The kids were psyched all day. 

Seems we won't get the storm they were predicting.  In fact, we may have warm temperatures next week.  Many won't have Thanksgiving, I'm sure.  They are opening up Fort Monmouth (which they closed last year) for about 600 families who are homeless.  At least they will have winter shelter and the kids will be able to have a stable environment of a sort.


Tonight I put the windows in the green house and glued on the two ends.  I was going to smooth out the bay window seams but they won't need it.  :)

Then I glued the walls in the carriage house.  You would think they would go up easily.  Nope.

One thing that was annoying was the gluing of the acetate windows.  Directions say to use white glue.  I did.  Nothing.  So I tried super glue.  Seems to have worked.  I'll see in the morning.  If they have popped off during the night, it doesn't work.  LOL

If I work tomorrow, there will be a few little things done tomorrow night.  If I'm off, I hope to be able to put all of the houses together with their windows.  I also want to have the roof sections on by the weekend.  We'll  see!

I'm anxious to finish these now. 

Until then...


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Work is continuing

Hi.  I didn't work at school today.  At this time, we are looking for a generator for our little mobile home, mostly for lights, fridge, and heat/AC, depending upon the time of year.  The waiting time is through February but we went a little smaller than we first thought and were very lucky.  No one wants smaller ones so this one is being flown in for us to pick up on Monday.  I am really excited.  We have lost power enough and have thrown enough food away and have stayed at people's houses and eaten meals out to afford this one! 

Remember I told you there was so much trash and debris that they didn't know what they would do with it?  There is an open area that used to be a huge department store in the town next to ours.  (and next to a school, I might add)  They are bringing the junk and dumping it in there until it can be decided where to put it.  A huge problem.  And there will be more of it, I'm sure.

I concentrated on my village houses today.  I am having a bit of difficulty with the windows.  I don't think I have enough.  I do have some "window acetate" that I purchased once and may have to use it. 

I put the trim on one side of one house.  I think it looks so nice.  I haven't done any doors because they are all going to be funky. 

I painted every exterior wall today.  Some needed 3-4 coats of paint.  The light colors are not very effective in covering wood, even with sanding and a light coat of polyurethane, which was suggested by the manufacturer.  But they did come out great, I think.  And they will have more than just the trim that came in the box.

I managed to put up several walls. They have to dry now.  Completely and overnight.  They are too fragile before all of the other walls are attached.

I work tomorrow at a middle school 7th grade so I will put more windows in and make the houses three-sided.  I will keep the 4th wall to keep dust out.  But it won't be attached so I can make furniture and everything for the little houses.

Hubby is already asking me what my plans are for displaying the village.  As I began my explanation, I swore I saw his eyes cross.  Maybe it was just the reflection of the lamp...

Until then...