Thursday, February 4, 2016

Brer Rabbit Petit Point Cushion...4,290 stitches!


 I have always loved William Morris designs. One of my favorites is Brer Rabbit. So when I saw Nicola Mascall's chart on #56 canvas I thought I would try it.

I have no where to buy the right weight silk threads for this size canvas locally. I wanted colors that might look good with the Aunt Olga petit point carpet I stitched. So I chose some silk threads from a needle point shop here. I hate ordering colors online. They never look the way they did on my screen. 

The threads were slightly too heavy, which made stitching this a real chore. Still... I think it worked out in the end. Luckily I had matching silk fabric for the back of the cushion. It looks great on the antique rose color chairs I made.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Are you losing "Followers" in your GOOGLE Blogger?

In December I had 930 "Followers" in my blog . Suddenly, over night in fact, I had gone down to 903. Then it stopped. I was mystified.

In the past two days I have lost many more! Last night I sat looking at my Blogs Dashboard and watched as my Follower numbers dropped dramatically. It totally freaked me out. I thought what sort of mischief is this. I wondered if I would even have a blog when I woke up this morning.

I found the answer in the Google Help Forum. You can read about it here...!topic/blogger/7cZFok8dd20;context-place=forum/blogger
I see Josje found the answer there too.

You would think Google could have put a notice on our dashboards so we didn't have to go through angst of trying to figure out what was happening.

It took me nearly six years to get to 930. I was amazed and grateful so many people were interest. Frankly, I am rather hacked off that all those people can no longer visit my blog. 
Someone please tell me how it benefits Google to do that?

Monday, January 4, 2016

It's a matter of interpretation. Miniature Shows/.April, Chicago 2016

This year there will be three different Miniature shows on the same weekend in Chicago during April.
The Miniature Show, The Tom Bishop Show and the Three Blind Mice Miniature Show.

I was pretty excited when I saw the list of Exhibitors at The Miniature Show in April, 14, 15, 16...2016. Hyatt Regency Schaumburg ~ Chicago The list was impressive because there are so many people listed from other countries I have never seen.... Mike Sparrow, Danny Shotton, David Provan, Dominique Levy, Herbillon, Janet Reyburn, Johannes Landman, Pascale Garnier, Paul Saltarelli, St.Leger. Nicola Mascall, S.Gustavian and so on. In front of their listed names they all have numbers which I assume are table numbers.

 I noticed that Gerd Felka was not listed at the Tom Bishop Show this year on the "Dealer List". He is usually there every year. Sadly, I found out Gerd is not coming because his wife is ill. He is listed as an "Exhibitor" at The Miniature Show. However...That started me thinking. So I began to cross reference the list of "Exhibitors" to the dealer list at the Tom Bishop Show!chicago-intl-dealer-list/c12i  Hrmm... A few people are on both lists such as Jim Irish, David Iriate. 
I emailed a few of the listed "Exhibitors" at 'The Miniature Show' to ask them if they were going to be there in person. I got an email from Mike Sparrow telling me he was not going to be there and one from Nicola Maschall, she also is not going. She seemed a bit confused because apparently I wasn't the first person the ask her about this. Danny Shotton has retired from making miniatures.

Swan House Miniatures gives a huge artisan list of people it will be representing at 'The Miniature Show'. Missing from that list are people who they happen to have an enormous inventory work on their web site Such as Gerd Felka, Herbillon, Paul Saltarelli, Johannes Landman. Hrmmm...Some of those people have nine or more pages on Swan House Miniatures web site. Several hundred thousand  dollars worth of work. They are not included as people who Swan House will be representing.  How interesting!

I usually expect when I go to a miniature show that the Artisans who are listed are actually going to be there in person. It is a matter of semantics I suppose. You can exhibit your work in Siberia while you are basking on a sunny beach in the Bahamas!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Don Buttfield Miniature Chess Table and Pieces 1978

I am afraid until the sun comes back out these are going to be the best photos I can get. It has rained every day for a week. Not that we are having the horrible flooding that those in the UK are experiencing. I have been thinking about all my blog friends there hoping they are safe.

Please click on photo. I chose extra large here.

Occasionally you can find a great deal on eBay. This one blew me away because when I accidentally found it there weren't any bids and only one day left in the auction. Surely it had been up there for at least a week. The starting price was very low. Sadly for the seller, she had misspelled Don Buttfield's name in the title. So perhaps anyone who searches for his work would not have been notified. I really can't figure out any other reasonable explanation for the lack of bidders. Plus, you never see his work for sale on eBay. Actually, this is the first time I have seen anything of his for sale at all.

For those who do not know. Don Buttfield (now deceased) was a well known master miniature furniture builder/maker. IGMA has an award named after him. He was one of their founders.

I first saw his work in a book by Virginia Merrill and Thelma R. Newman called The Complete Book of Making Miniatures for Room Settings and Doll houses, Crown, 1975. That book was what caused me to fall in love with miniatures. It was my first exposure to truly fine collectible pieces.

I was excited but somewhat wary about the auction so I called William Robertson to ask him what he thought of the piece and ask him what he thought it was worth. He and I watched the count down as I won the bid I made the day before and for much less than half of what it is worth. I was so shocked someone wasn't out there waiting in the wings to snag it from me in the last few minutes/seconds.
How fun is that! So my nasty 2015 can now go out of my life on a good note!

The body of the table is made of cherry. The chess pieces are made of ebony and ivory. So tiny I cannot imagine how he made them. I am not entirely sure what the squares inlayed in the table are. The legs get so thin it is very scary to handle the table. The woman who owned it kept it in a box for 38 years!
This is one of the wood boxes that Don made for the table. I received two wood ones.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

It never goes the way you think it will.

Yesterday I had my right hand operated on. Yes, I am right handed. So there won't be any miniature making around here for a few weeks.

Something that I thought was going to be relatively simple. A little bandage and a few days to get the sutures out. OOPS! I have two more weeks wearing this. My hand looks like Donald Trump's face or like someone powdered it with Cheeto's dust. The result of having it painted with betadine before they operated. I have tried baby wipes, alcohol and peroxide.. Nothing gets that stuff off.

Another thing I wasn't expecting was to come home with a giant block of Swiss Cheese to wear on my arm. It does help with holding the ice bag though.
I am going to try to stay out of hospitals in 2016!!!

I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thank you Monique

Due to another eye surgery I have fallen behind on finishing my kitchen cabinets. I couldn't do any sanding. That however gave me time to change my plans a bit.

I was inspired by Monique's refrigerator re-do.   I ordered one from Germany to incorporate into the kitchen cabinets I am building. However when it arrived it was too deep but I could feel that there was a lot of empty space back there. So I cut the back off so it would be the same depth as the cabinets.

Then I covered the outside with wood and trimmed it the same way I did the kitchen cabinets.

I ordered a 1 mm sheet of acrylic plexiglass on Amazon.
I cut it to size for the new shelves on the Proxxyn saw and trimmed the front edge with 1 mm square styrene.                           

Goodbye to those shelves that came with the fridge.


The plexiglass comes with a thin film on both sides to protect it from scratching.

PS... I am happy to report I have 20/20 vision in both eyes now. ;-)


Monday, October 19, 2015

English Cottage Kitchen Cabinets With Soapstone Countertops

Click on photo for a close up of the soapstone

Some time ago I bought a Proxxyn Fet Saw. This is my first project using it. It is far from finished. I still have to make the drawers and add hinges and knobs. I probably won't paint it until I am sure about the kitchen.

The counter tops are cut from soapstone. It is really brittle and cuts like butter on the saw. I still need a piece of stone under the sink which will raise it up to the right height for the counter tops. I also need a piece behind it.

I found lots of pictures of these sorts of cabinets in Pinterest. The photo that I copied these from had the drawers under the cabinet doors. I liked the look but I still have time to change my mind and turn them around so the drawers are on top. I justified the arrangement because my kitchen table has drawers, which I plan to keep all the silverware I made in.

Linda Master was here for several days last week. Thank you Linda for helping me get started.

The photo I copied my cabinets from.