Monday, December 29, 2014

Welcome Merlin

We have a new addition to the cat family. He is just beautiful, even though his blue eyes are a little crossed.

I wondered why he kept hanging around here.  My next door neighbor told me he had been abandoned for the SECOND TIME by neighbors who claimed they couldn't catch him before moving away. HUH? This is one of the sweetest cats I have ever known. He is so affectionate. He runs to meet me every time I go outside. If I sit outside at the table he either lays on my feet or lays right in front of me on the table.

I would hate to tell you what I would like to do to people who abandon animals. It just kills me.

So now I have four cats. Three outside with heated houses (Puffy, Groupie and Merlin). All were abandoned. And of course Kilmouski he doesn't go outside.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday. Wishing all my Followers a Very Happy 2015!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The four Month Mark... Petit Point Carpet Progress

 I usually don't post the progress pictures until around the 18th of the month. I finished the interior of the carpet this morning and had to take it off the frame to turn it around. Once I get it back on, most of what I have stitched will be rolled up on the bars again. 

Now... off to the borders. That wider one looks like it is going to be a nightmare. I am glad I didn't start there. I think I would have thrown the whole thing out the window if I had tried to teach myself how to do this from there..

This is a big carpet. Finished it is 11 X 8 1/2 inches.

Friday, November 21, 2014

11/21/14 Petit Point Carpet Progress.

 If you click on the photo the weird lines will go away..

I am a little behind where I had planned to be by now. I had another week away from stitching. It was because of the strangest cold I think I have ever had. I just couldn't keep my eyes open. Even when I wasn't tired.Other then that there were hardly any other symptoms.

I am not looking forward to stitching the wider border on this carpet. Every time I look at it, it makes me dizzy. Oh well... I think it will take another couple of weeks before I have to worry about it.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Antique Tiny French Brass Picture Frame

I have never really been interested in antique dollhouse pieces. I am not sure, even though this was advertised that way, this was originally meant for dollhouse. It was made in the 1880's in France.

I just Googled tiny French brass picture frame and I found this offered by an antique dealer.. It was love at first sight. I liked the fact it had such intricate details and was square. It is one inch wide and 1 3/4 inches tall. The baby photo came with the frame. That I will take out eventually.

It has an easel back and it is solid brass. I have never deliberately altered an antique. Even the antique buttons I have collected. Sadly, the easel will have to come off to use it on a wall.  It is too big to sit on a table.

I have fiddled around all afternoon avoiding cutting the back off. How silly...You'd think I could find something else to feel guilty about!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Un-Du Archival Safe.... Saved my Petit Point Canvas. THANK YOU MARK!

Un-Du is an adhesive remover that is archive safe. Scrapbookers use it a lot. It has been used on very valuable antique books to remove stickers and price tags.

This morning I telephoned the company and spoke to Mark. He developed the product. I asked him if it was safe to use on fabrics. He told me a story about a very valuable dress that had gotten some sort of sticky adhesive on it in London. The dress was pure satin and a rich red. Un-do took off the gluey substance without a stain or color change to the rich deep red dye.

He told me to try it on a scrap piece of my petit point canvas using a piece of the Velcro's glue smeared on it. Then he told me how to use it for that purpose.     KAPOOF it ltook it right off.  

So I used it on my petit point canvas. There is no more adhesive on it. It evaporates so fast there isn't even an odor now.

THANK YOU MARK for this WONDERFUL product. I am so glad I found it.

PHEW... What a nightmare that could have been.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Petit Point Carpet...OMG!...A GLUE SMEAR!

Today I had to take the petit point carpet off the frame. I wanted to turn it around to stitch the other  half looking at it right side up.  Doing that won't make any difference to the direction of the stitches.

The frame I bought to work it on uses hook and loop tape (commonly called Velcro). This is what holds the silk gauze on to the stretcher bars. I have kept the piece tight on the frame. Unfortunately, that caused the tape to move and got glue from the back of the tape on the remaining silk gauze I had rolled up. ( Could you hear me scream when I found that?) Grrrrrrrr 

I think the best idea to get the glue off  the un-stitched gauze is to sandwich those areas between pieces of paper towels and iron in those spots. Just those spots because I would be afraid to iron over the stitches. If anyone else has a better idea I would love to hear it.

I have no idea what the back of everyone else's petit point looks like. This is the back of mine (such as it is). There aren't any knotted up wads of thread I am proud to say. Now that I have it off the frame I can feel that it really is the same thickness too.

I was so excited to find this raspberry leather. It may not show it on this photo but it is a perfect match to the over all color in  tone of the carpet. I think I will make a child's tufted antique leather chair out of it. 

This is the back. I hope it looks as it should.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

October 18, 2014 Carpet Progress

Minus the eight days Linda Master was here for a visit. I have worked on this carpet every day for exactly two months. Once I get started have trouble stopping. I usually have a section I want finished everyday.

Linda and I had never met in person before. Though we speak often on the phone and email. I loved having her here. I am kicking myself now because I didn't take any photos. She took a few so you may see them on her blog soon.

Her visit was perfectly timed to attend Repair Days at the National Ornamental Metals Museum. It is my favorite weekend of the year. What could be better then two hundred metalsmiths from all over the USA (many of which are old friends) working together to repair anything from garden tools to a genuine Georgian sterling silver teapot with a big dent in it. If it is metal, the public can bring it in to be repaired. All the metalsmiths donate their time to raise money for the museum.. 

There are huge tents on the grounds of the museum. Under one of the big tents they are cooking to feed all these people that have come to work. Three meals a day for three days! This year there was a iron pour. The public could sign up to create a mould and watch as metalsmiths cast the molten iron. In another tent children were making bracelets. Another tent had gorgeous metal work by artists for an auction. Also to raise money for the museum. I hope Linda's pictures of the iron pour came out OK. She forgot her camera and took them with her phone.

Thank you Linda for teaching me everything I needed to know about the Proxxon Fet Saw.. I was clueless!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Petite Point....September

Being invited to watch someone's petit point progress might be equated to watching paint dry.
I have kept a steady pace working on it because I have a finished by month in mind. The race is on so to speak, remembering the tortoise and the hare.
Next week will be all play as I am expecting a house guest I think most of you know. More about that later.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Smaller was better!

These two spice barrel jars arrived yesterday. When I ordered them I really didn't notice what size they were. I have some of Terry's barrel jars and they are 1 1/8 inch tall. I was thrilled when I opened the package to see how tiny they are. His work is getting very hard to find.
Kaneel is Dutch for cinnamon and safran is French for saffron.
It's a good thing I bought a bigger hutch.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Moving Beyond the Square


I have to apologize for not having something more exciting to show you. I have only been working on this carpet lately. While it might not look like a lot of progress, you can't imagine how many hours have been put into this since you last saw it.

I continue to make mistakes (which I am told is called frogging). Those take so much time to correct. If not for those I would be much further along. Sadly enough!

The thing about atitching this carpet is, it is the luck of the draw!!! When you go to buy those variegated threads (made by Gentle Arts). The dye lots vary so much it is unbelievable. The "red" I first got for the body of the rug was 5 times lighter that the dusty pink. It was sort of a washed out orange! If you order the threads rather then get them in your local needle work shop, you have no idea what will arrive.
I think after 7 orders from 7 different places, I might have the variegated red I need (thought it is still very light).

Anyway.... I am happy to be getting out of this square and on to the other designs in the rug.
Hope you are all having a great weekend. Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Baby Blue Jay...Injured or Stupid?

I don't know if this fledged baby Blue jay is injured or stupid. I rescued it yesterday when one of the outdoor cats had his eye on him. I know he can fly because yesterday when I picked him up I put him in a five foot long planter tough (that is on my wall). When I came back outside to check on him  he was sitting on the back of my chair.
I was worried they had gotten him over night but no. He is out in my garden again. He took a piece of cat food from my hand. I wish his mother would tell him to stay on the high branch I put him on. I am scared every time I go out side what I might find. 

He just sat on this branch taking pieces of cat food from me. 

He really isn't afraid of me. I have picked him up 3 times and put him up in a tree.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Petit Point Carpet Progress

I have decided I am total rubbish at petit point. Not that the stitches are bad, not at all. The back looks great. It is just that I make counting mistakes which I then have to spend a ridiculous amount of time taking out. Then of course putting back in. I pay close attention to the chart and I still do it. AAARRRGGGHHH. I am determined. I have never been one to hold up the white flag, But oh boy this thing is kicking my proverbial!!!!!!

Some people take their needle and thread and happily dance across the canvas outlining something five and ten inches away. They get bored with one area and have totally vacant spaces between their other body of stitches. Oooooh I wouldn't dare. I don't stray too far from the mother ship! I am looking forward to getting on with the navy blue that outlines this center medallion of the carpet. That will make all these colors pop to life.

BTW... This is a different canvas from the first one I started and didn't like. I also bought a new frame to work it on.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Very Special Gift

Catherine has sent me a positively beautiful oil painting. I love, love, love the image of this little girl spoon feeding her doll. It's just charming. The colors she used are gorgeous and her brush work is perfection. Catherine continues to astonish me with her talent. I adore her work! I wish you could see this painting in person my photography cannot begin to do it justice.
I am planning to use the painting in the master bedroom. Perhaps over the bed or above a fire place in that room.
Thank you so very much Catherine. I will treasure it forever. It is so special.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A decision.

After many hours of stitching ! I don't like it at all.

Instead of using my brain I made a bad choice. I love the variegated colors in Catherine S. carpet. So what did I do?  I just bought all those colors instead of mixing them with the solid colors also suggested in the stitch guide. Then I just merrily started stitching. Oh yes, I noticed things were looking weird but like a moron I continued. 

The problem is... Every new color lot of these variegated dyed threads comes out differently. Some lots might be light batches some are dark and yes I bought the same color lots. As I stitched along the color changed so dramatically it looked like I started a completely different color. So the design gets lost in a blur of changing colors. I like that in the body of the red background but not when it comes to defining the design elements. That needs to be distinctive. Following the chart I have changed colors only to discover that say the pink is so close to the red I might as well not have bothered to re-thread my needle. The gray is so close to the blue at times, you can't tell those apart either.

So an executive decision has been made. I am going to scrap this piece and start ALL OVER AGAIN. Kill me now as my friend L. M. says. 

Oh yes, I feel like a total idiot but hey..... If  I am going to do all this work, I want to like my carpet when it is finished. 

This is how it should have looked below. The colors are consistent in the middle of the design..

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What Luck! It's A Perfect Fit

This frame belonged to my grandmother. It had a gorgeous (unfinished) piece of her embroidery on it. She passed away before she could finish it. I never had the heart or any reason to remove her work from the frame. I really had not even looked at it for many years. It has been packed away in a closet.

Oddly enough, it was the perfect size to stitch Catherine Soubzmaigne's petit point carpet on. If I stitched it length wise. I decided it was meant to be!

One problem, I had no idea how to mount it. So I decided to wing it. Learning what I could while removing my grandmothers work and devising my own methods as I went along. My grandmother was not stitching a canvas.

Here it shows how it had to be whip stitched onto the canvas like tape. Which is part of the frame. The sides had to be laced on the frame.

It took forever!!!!!!!!!!! First, I turned under the edges of the silk gauze under and based them. Then I decided I needed a bias tape over that all around the edges so I would have something more substantial to stitch onto the frame. I back stitched the tape on through the doubled gauze by hand because I do not own a sewing machine. It is as tight as I dare make it so perhaps it will be OK

Now I can get down to the business of stitching the carpet. ALSO investigating the new Proxxon Fet saw that arrived not long ago. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What's New

Recently Linda sent me several beautiful pieces of Stokesay Ware to add to my collection. It was a thank you gift for something I made for her. I was thrilled! I love their new "Chelsea Plates". They blend so nicely with my mismatched blue & white collection. She also sent me the blue willow tureen and the little leaf dish. Thank you so much Linda!!!

I bought the Guinness stone bottle by Terry Curran from Peeps by Post. Elaine wrote and said she was moving house and she had just found a brand new Jane Newman dresser she forgot she had. Right before Jane retired she came to visit her for tea and brought a few of her last pieces. How lucky because it is a bigger hutch and I obviously am out growing the one I have. It is unfinished so I can choose what sort of stain or paint I want on it. I will be very glad to have all the cup hooks it has too.

Stokesay Ware Leaf plate and Teresa Martinez's canned string beans, tomatoes and olives. 


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Beautiful Petit Point Carpet ...Finally I HOPE!

I am afraid I had to cut the photo in half to try to get blogger to publish the quality. I keep getting an error message. Grrrrr Blogger is being a real pain today!!!

You are going to have to click on this photo to see the amazing detail of this petite point miniature rug. It is well worth a closer look.

This is a insanely gorgeous petit point carpet was designed and stitched by Catherine Soubzmaigne on #40 count silk gauze. The rug is 8 1/4 inches by 11 inches. It has been stitched with beautiful variegated cotton threads.

I have looked for a very long time for a carpet I wanted to stitch. When I saw this one I knew it was the one! The detail is so amazing when I first saw the photo blown up (full screen on my computer) I thought...No way this is a miniature. I was in total awe. I immediately ordered the chart from Catherine. In less then 24 hours after the first time I saw it, it was in the mail to me. I am thrilled.

It is going to be a real labor of love.

Monday, June 9, 2014

eBay Auction Wild Rabbit

I have listed a OOAKwild rabbit on eBay. The auction ends next Sunday.
He will make a great addition to an outdoor scene or garden.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

New IGMA Forum....Everyone is Welcome!

The International Guild of Miniature Artisans has created a new exciting forum. I have stolen Elga's words below from the announcement she made on her blog Forgive me Elga, I have a bit of chaos going on here this morning. Catherine XXX
The forum was officially launched last night at the opening ceremony at Guild School in Castine. The web site went live about two months ago but was kept a secret with the exception of a few people who were asked to join and start posting so that there would be some content by launch date.
You don't have to be a Guild member to join the forum, please read through the forum's guide lines before you start posting. I hope many of my friends here will join, this is going to be a great online place to share and inspire each other to build great miniatures! 

Please share this on your blogs and other social media so that we can spread the word among as many miniaturists world wide as possible.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend

I have had a family member who fought in every war since the American Revolution. My father (who fought in WW 11) gave me a deep respect for those who serve our country and those who fought for it. I am very grateful to those people for the freedom I enjoy.
My mothers family came to the US from Northumberland, England. In 1600's. I now own the very same farm they got through a land grant in 1630. That is a very long time for one family to own the same property in the US. My great-grandfather returned from the American Civil War to the farm in 1865. He had fought in 27 battles. He hid woods until dark because he returned without his pants. I have no idea what happened to them. That explanation isn't in my great-grandmothers diary. LOL

Monday, May 12, 2014

Handmade Ceramic/Porcelain Tiles.

This is not the final arrangement. I just keep playing with them like they were puzzle pieces. Sometimes mixing in the white and blue matching solid ones. The square ones are 1/2 inch.  I love the Greek key tiles and the tiny square corner ones.
As usual I couldn't make up my mind. Terry Curran's work is so beautiful. Choosing one design meant leaving all the others behind. So I have what looks like a patch work quilt of tiles here. 
No, I am not sure exactly how I will use them in the kitchen. The idea was to use them around the sink as a splash guard or behind a stove. I will have enough to do either one. I have tested that on the drawings I have of the walls. 

It is a perfect color match to the Stokesay Ware I have. Which is also a mismatched collection because I loved all the blue and white designs they have too.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Collecting Terry Curran's Porcelain

I adore Terry Curran's porcelain pieces. His work is hard to find in the US. Although I have found several things on eBay. None of those dealers bother to tell you it is his work they have for sale. I have just looked at enough of it to recognize it when I see it. All the pieces I have, have been signed by him. I am waiting for several tiles I ordered he made. I am very excited about those. They are soooo beautiful. I ordered 6 of each blue and white design I liked. Along with Greek key border tiles and tiny corner tiles. I can't wait to see those in person.
 The Ginger jar and the barrel jars are 1 1/8 inch tall. I am planning to have a pantry/closet in the kitchen with shelves visible through an open door. That is where these porcelain pieces and other food items will be. I am still not sure where I want to use the tiles. I also bought four of his terracotta chimney pots.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Very Good New Tool

No doubt you recognize this woman, she arrived today. I bought her because in real life she would stand 5' 5" tall.  I have read that several people have used figures to help them judge scale in the houses and rooms they are building. I know Noel and Pat Thomas had one they used for many years. I have forgotten his name. I think they sold him. haha  As soon as I stood her up next to a few pieces of furniture, I knew she was going to be very helpful. 

Don't worry... you won't be seeing her again.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Birthday Boy


It's Kilmouski's birthday. As usual the boxes that arrived in the mail today are much more interesting then his gifts. He loves to shred paper and chew cardboard. Oh well.... I can clean it up after the fun is over.
Tonight... Tuna cake!


Friday, April 4, 2014

It feels so big!!!

I am not used to thinking big. Big being a 1: 12 scale room/house. I am very comfortable with making many of  the tiny elements that go in a house but this seems huge to me. haha

I have watched with fascination and admiration as so many of you have built your houses. I am only just beginning to fully appreciate how much thought you have put into them. And frankly I am more then a bit intimidated. There are so many things to consider. So many measurements that all have to tie into everything else.

So I am just going to play with some cardboard mock-ups and interior schemes.  I know what I want, I just have to figure out how to get there. It may not be possible.
For instance...
I really want to use this stove I cast in bonze. The look is so different in metal then it was in plastic. Even though the rest of the kitchen may have been updated to some degree. If I later I change my mind and want to have a more modern stove, I want to be sure it will fit in the area I build for this one. The stove will fit inside the surround.

Does anyone know the measurements of a small AGA stove by Hearth & Home? They have not put them on their site.

Between the Sue Cook brackets, I want to have a brass rod to hang all the copper pans I have made from hooks. Looking at this I see the brackets need to be lower so someone would be able to reach a pan.

I want lots of textures in this room. Wood beams with baskets and herbs hanging from them. There might be cabinets built in above the mantel with hinged doors.  The bricks in this photo are clay fired on a mesh backing. I bought them looooog ago. They can be aged very nicely.

I am going to try to design a house from the inside out rather then the outside in. I want  to see if what I want will work with the sort of exterior I have in mind.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

1: 12 Scale Kilmouski # 2

I just finished this cat. I think he is my favorite to date. Not just because he looks so much like Kilmouski but because I have found a new way to add color and stripes to the fur. I love these new dyes I just bought. They allow me to make the strength of color I want by diluting them with alcohol. I can also make very thin stripes on the head with these.

The fur on this cats back is dark. A bit darker then the stripes. This is sort of like Kilmouski. His is actually black on his back but when you separate it you see it is almost white close to the skin.

On a recent ETSY search I found this great pet carrier made by FranMadeMinis.  It comes flat in an envelope and you just fold it up and put the tabs in the slots. It is just like a heavy cardboard one I used to have.
 Fran told me she would personalize the message on the box if I needed it. How wonderful! It will be fun to send animals off to a new owners in these.

Please click on photos for a closer look. :-)

I forgot the words on the box will not translate. It says....