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December 2009

13 posts from November 2009

Sunday's work

Almost done!  I've just got to wait for the beads I ordered to get here so that I can can make the focal cluster.

There are three knots for every bead, so it's time consuming, but once I got a rhythm going it went much faster and easier than I expected.  I did all the work of figuring out the how and what when I made the first one, so I didn't have to think about this one, just let my fingers fly.


I've decided I don't like the new camera for close shots of things on my worktable.  The color is off, no matter how I light the room, or whether or not I use the flash.  The necklace is more vibrantly colored than the picture shows, and my worktable is white, not yellowish.  (See an accurate picture in the Nov. 25th post.)

It also doesn't seem to matter whether or not I turn the macro function on, the results are the same.  I've got to charge some batteries for my faithful Fugi, so that I can take a good picture of the necklace when it's done.

what was I thinking?

DSCF0005 Remember the seashell/pearl/coral/turquoise/anemone necklace I made at the beginning of the year?  When I wore it in Chicago, Kristy, a co-worker in Indianapolis, fell in love with it.  I think Kristy is absolutely fantastic, so I agreed to make one for her.  I blame it on the Tequila Sunrise.  Making that necklace was a huge pain in my butt, and I only finished it out of sheer stubbornness.

I have enough beads left over from mine to make the necklace, and I have a cut shell left for the focal cluster.  I'll just need to buy a larger anemone and pearl for the focal cluster...which the bead store doesn't have in stock right now.  I have to decide whether to make the focal cluster different than mine, or to order beads online.

I started the necklace on Saturday, got a couple of inches done, screwed it up, tore it apart, then started over.  I had forgotten that I need to make variations in my knotting technique for the beads with smaller holes.

DSCF0001 This is what I've got done so far...the process involves a lot of knotting, which means very slow and tedious work.  I should be able to get a good bit done this coming weekend, I hope.

more Chicago pictures

PB150039 I told you I would bring something back for you, Susan, if you were good.

I picked out for you Portrait of a Noblewoman Dressed in Mourning, by Jacopo da Empoli, a compendium, and some wicked cool globes.  They wouldn't let me leave the museum with them though.  It's probably just as well, the painting is taller than your living room walls.



What I was really going to buy you, until I looked at the price tag, was a little Frida Kahlo...I was going to mail it to you with a box of straight pins.  If it had been more reasonably priced it would have made an awesome gag gift, but alas...



PB150021 One of the things that amazed me is how vibrant the ancient artifacts still are.  To the left is a piece of pottery from the South coast of Peru, made sometime between 180 B.C. and A.D 500.  It looks like it could have been made yesterday.

I didn't take a whole lot of pictures of the exhibits, there were just too many people in the way.  I wasn't expecting the museum to be so crowded...I don't know why I had that expectation, perhaps because I never hear people talking about art and history.  I did snap a couple of pictures in the Egyptian exhibit that are worth showing you.

PB150024 PB150025

(That's Bessie, looking at the Egyptian boat.)

PB150018 PB150017 Kathy collects paperweights, so we made a point of going downstairs to see the paperweight collection.   The way they have them displayed is as neat as the paperweights themselves.  (That's Kathy, in the picture to the right.)






It was dusk when we left the museum, so the pictures I took of the city on our walk back to Union Station (we took a train into the city from our hotel in Warrenville) didn't turn out very well.  I converted this one to black and white, as it looked better that way.  Again, that's Kathy and Bessie in the picture.


PB150050PB150049PB150034 On the left are two that I was able to play around with the exposure level, etc., to make look pretty good in color.  The one on the right I took earlier in the day, from the bridgeway on the top floor of the museum, where we had lunch.

I wanted to walk down the block to see the gargoyles (I think they were gargoyles) on the top of the brick building, but we didn't have time to lollygag or we would have missed our train.


As always, click on any of the pictures to see them full size in a new window.


my purchases



At $40, my biggest splurge is the hutch.  I'd been eyeing it online, but it was hard to tell how deep it was by looking at pictures.  Once I saw it in person and knew it was the right size I still waffled a bit on the price, but ended up putting it in my basket at the last minute...I figured there is no way I can make one just as nice for that price, considering the 'cost' of my time and effort.

My second biggest splurge is the plates.  They are really 1/12 scale dessert plates, which should work fine as dinner size plates in 1/24 scale.  I intend for them to sit on the mantle in the dining room.  The plates I'm planning to put in the hutch and kitchen cabinet I will cut out of paper, because only the face of the plates will be visible.  The side of the plates will be visible on the mantle, so I want china ones there.  I love the patterns, though I can't decide if it's supposed to be the four seasons or not...

The dresser and bowl were just $3, because the top left corner is broken off.  There was an unfinished, unbroken dresser without a bowl sitting next to it for $50....I want to cut a hole in the top and drop a bathroom sink in, so I didn't want to spend $50 on something that I might irreparably damage in the process.  I figure the bowl is worth $3 on its own, so I pretty much got the dresser for free.  I thought I'd have to pry the bowl off the top, but it was stuck on with a bit of blu-tac, so it came right off, which is nice.  If I do damage the dresser turning it into a bathroom counter I'll pile some boxes on top of it and put it in the attic.

I already had a stove, but this one matches my refrigerator, so I bought it.  I bought a cat, because the "1/12 scale kittens that will work as 1/24 scale cats" that I bought a few months ago don't really work as 1/24 scale cats, they're too big.  I'll put the kittens in the 1/12 scale studio room box instead.  I also picked up a birdbath, turned legs to use when I make my kitchen worktable, stone patterned, textured paper to put on the foundation of the house, and an unfinished coffee table and end table.

The two rugs are bookmarks that I bought in the museum gift shop.  I think one will work in the upstairs hallway.  (I couldn't decide which pattern I liked best, so I bought both.)  Even if they aren't too wide the scale might be too big, so I may end up using them as bookmarks...I haven't tried them in the hallway yet, so I don't know if they'll work or not.

The doll house store didn't have as many 1/24 scale things as I was hoping they would, but I'm happy with what I came home with, so it was worth driving in crazy busy Chicago traffic to get there.

home from Chicago


What a wonderful trip! 

I work with a group of amazing was great to put faces with telephone voices, and to hang out and have fun together.

Whirly-ball was insanely fun.

The doll house store was great, tomorrow I'll show you the goodies I bought.

The Art Institute was a lot larger than I expected.  We didn't see everything there, but we saw a lot in one day.  The miniature rooms are so much more amazing to see in person than they are in photos. The intricate and detailed work that went into the rooms is astounding. I'll tell you more, and show you some pictures, later in the week.

I had my nose inches away from a Van Gogh, several Monet's, a Gauguin, Seurat's...oh my...the feelings the paintings elicit when you are standing in front of them just can't be duplicated by seeing pictures of the works in books or online.  It's very hard to describe, was very unexpected, and very powerful.

I'm ever so pissed

DSCF0001 I just noticed this yesterday. you see it?  One of the tower windows is higher than the other.

I measured from the top of the die-cut for the original oval windows to the top of the is 1/8 inch higher than the other.  1/8 inch may not seem like much in our size, but on my dollhouse that's a three inch difference.  That's a big factory defect.

I'm going to have to do some major surgery to even up the windows...there's no way I can live with them like that without going slowly insane.

I'll have to do it when I come back from Chicago, I've got no time today.

I'll see you guys next Wednesday...have fun while I'm gone.

ready for Chicago

I took my car to the shop yesterday for a tune-up and stuff, I get it back today.  I replaced my broken umbrella, and I'm all set up with my new camera.

What I need to do is to make a couple of lists for the dollhouse store...a list of things I already have, so I don't buy them again, and a list of things I need (with measurements).  Oh, and I have to remember to take my little tape measure...I should probably throw it in my purse right now, so that I don't forget.  I also need to take a little pad of paper so that while I'm there I can make a list of things I'm not sure I want right then but might want to buy later.

I need to mapquest everything out so that I know where I'm going, and I need to see if there is a cafe inside the Art Institute, or we have to find somewhere to have lunch on Sunday.

What else?  I feel like I'm forgetting something...

Oh!  I need to go to the bank to get some traveling cash.

kitchen dilemma

DSCF0001 When I first got the house, I imagined putting a counter and sink in the bay window alcove, and putting a chair and table on the "wall" that is the open side of the house.  I would use the vintage icebox as my refrigerator, and build L-shaped cabinetry (simulated here by white dressers) on the remaining wall space. 

That looks awfully cramped though.


DSCF0002 After it dawned on me that the windows come further down on the wall than countertop height, I decided to put the table and chairs in the bay window alcove instead, then build L-shaped cabinetry on the two remaining walls...but I wouldn't be able to use the icebox, I'd have to use the skinnier refrigerator so that there is room for a sink. 

That would work okay, but I wouldn't have much counter space for display.


DSCF0003Then I thought that I could build cabinetry in front of the windows by boarding up the bottom of the windows, with a curtain print facing the outside, and a backsplash and faux windowsill facing inside.  The windows would still look full length from the outside, but would look shorter inside. 

But that would probably look it would have to be done absolutely perfectly to have a chance of fooling anyone.


Now I'm thinking that, since I have a dining room, I don't necessarily need a kitchen table and chairs.  I could put a worktable like this in the bay's not cabinetry, so I wouldn't need it to butt up against the wall, and since it's not solid it wouldn't visually block the windows...that way I could have more counter space without having to alter the windows, the worktable would just sit in front of them.

I've got to get this figured out so that I know what I need to do for lighting.  What do you guys think?