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9 posts from September 2011

My Halloween present

My gift from Susan arrived today...she outdid herself this year.  I love absolutely everything about it.  It's so perfectly me!

As usual we had the "your's is better", "no your's is better", "no, your's is better" argument.  (The one she made is better!)

Sorry some of the pictures are a bit blurry...I can't find my tripod.







Susan's Halloween present

Susan got her present in the mail today...she loves it :)

I was having a miserable, awful, stressful day at work...then I got Susan's emails about how wonderful and brilliant I I feel great!  I love our annual Halloween swap. 

I hope my present gets here tomorrow.

Work in progess pictures...




The finished piece...



What's inside the drawers...





back to my minis / the bathroom is done

Susan and I finished each other's Halloween presents last week.  I'll show you pictures later in the week, we're going to mail them to each other on Tuesday.

I was happy to get the Chantilly back out...I've missed it.  I spent all day Saturday finishing the bathroom, which had to be done before the roof can go on.  It was hard to take good pictures because the room will only be seen from two doorways or through a window...and I was so in the zone working away on it that I didn't think to take pictures of the things I made before I glued them in place.

I started by adding another coat of paint to the vanity I made.  After some consideration I decided I didn't like the finish as distressed as when I made it a couple of months ago.  When I finished that I made a small shelving unit for the wall out of skinny sticks, bottles to fill it from beads, a bench from basswood and tiny turnings, and put together a plant kit. 

The plant kit is from SDK Miniatures; I bought it for the as yet unfinished Fairfield.  I didn't want to short the Fairfield, so I used a pot leftover from the mill to make two plants from one kit.  They're not as full as they should be, but they look okay.  I may have to repot the Fairfield's plant, as it's in an awfully large pot.

You can see it better from above...

I was stumped on what to use for the bathroom rugs and towels...then I had an epiphany while I was doing laundry.

The fluffy rugs are from the inside of the foot of the sock, and the towels were cut from the ribbed top part.

two weeks without a post

Where did the time go?

I've been busy at work.  We're transitioning to a new billing system, so all of us in the accounting department have been working a serious amount of overtime.  I'm exhausted, but will likely go in to the office today for at least a few hours, as I did yesterday.

I'm still working on the present I'm making for Susan for Halloween.  I finished filling the drawers yesterday, then decided a couple weren't up to par with the others so am redoing them.  Because I filled the drawers with found "natural curiosities" I need to discard the leftovers and wash the dirt and sand off my work table before I can move on to the next step of the project. 

I also need to have a little photo shoot today.  I filled the drawers before I put the fronts on them, so that I could reach into them from two sides.  I should photograph them before I put the fronts on as well.

Speaking of daughter's birthday was a few days ago.  I bought a lemon raspberry cheesecake to celebrate.  I thought those of you who make miniature food would like to see.


labor day

I'm still working on Susan's Halloween present...I'm close to being done. 

I'm at a bit of a stopping point...I lined all of the drawers in red felt, but now that I'm filling them I realize I shouldn't have, I should have lined each in a color suitable to the contents of the drawer.  I'm going to try to pull up the felt to re-do some of success will depend on how good a job I did gluing the felt down.

Yesterday my husband and I walked down through the woods to the lake, to gather some more natural curiosities to put in the drawers.  It's been a while since we've been down there...I remarked to him how shameful it is that we get so caught up in our day to day routine that we forget to enjoy the beautiful place we live.





Chicago pictures


Thursday, my nephew's and my first day in Chicago, we went to Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum of natural history.

The stingrays were Jake's favorite at the should have seen the look on his face when I told him he'd get to pet some when we visited the zoo :)  He also enjoyed the dolphin show.


My favorites were the pirahna and the jellyfish.

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We had lunch between visiting the aquarium and museum...we got Chicago style hot dogs from a cart in the green space in front of the museum, then sat on the steps in the warm sunshine eating our hot dogs while gazing at the downtown Chicago skyline.  Ahhh...

When we walked into the Field Museum Jake dragged me right to Sue.


We didn't have time to see all of the exhibits, but made a point to see the rest of the dinosaurs, the Egyptian artifacts, and the birds and mammals.

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Friday we spent the day at the Museum of Science and Industry.  We saw all of the exhibits except BodyWorks (I've already seen it and Jake wasn't interested).  We even went down the coal mine.  When the German WWII submarine U-505 came into view as we rounded a corner I heard Jake gasp...he looked at me in amazement and said "it's real!".   When I told him on the drive down that we would see a submarine at the museum he assumed it would be a scale replica.


 I particularly enjoyed The Great Train Story...a model railroad traveling between miniature cities of Chicago and Seattle.

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Friday evening we had dinner with Brae, then Brae and I attended the miniature show.  Saturday I took Jake to the miniature show.

Brae bought a spectacular pair of sterling silver griffin candlesticks crafted by Don Henry that I am very jealous about.

You can see her other purchases from Friday on her blog, as well as Sunday's, when she went back for more.  I already showed you what I bought.

Sunday Jake and I went on a hop-on hop-off double decker bus tour of downtown Chicago.  We stopped first at the tallest building in the United States, Willis Tower (which used to be known as Sears Tower), where we went up to the Skydeck to look down at all the other skyscrapers.

From there we went to Millenium Park, where we had lunch and saw the sculpture Cloud Gate, by artist Anish Kapoor .  I've seen it in photographs, but it's truly impressive in person.


Jake and I took a picture of ourselves reflected in the is one of two I have of myself on the trip (I was too busy taking pictures of Jake)....the other is of me at the observatory at the top of the John Hancock Center, which was our last stop on the bus tour.

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We also stopped briefly at the Michigan Avenue bridge and Navy Pier.

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I wanted to stop at the water tower, but we ran out of time.  We did see it from the bus, but I didn't get a picture. 

Jake and I both found the architecture of Fourth Presbyterian Church unsettling.  The symmetry normally found in such a structure is totally thrown off by having a spire on only one side of the church.  Jake was sure it had to have been built with two and one 'fell off'...I couldn't convince him otherwise.


We spent our last day of vacation at Brookfield Zoo.   After the excitement of petting and feeding the stingrays we were both pretty worn out so did a lot of sitting on benches while watching the animals.  We also saw another dolphin show.

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back from the Bishop Show

I enjoyed my week in Chicago, it's a beautiful city.  I took my seventeen year old nephew with me for company...he had never been on a trip before, so I had as much fun watching him experience new things as I did seeing the sights.


The highlight of my trip was meeting Brae of for dinner, then attending the Bishop show with her.  It's nice to meet online friends in person to discover they're just as nice as you thought they'd be.

There weren't very many half scale items at the show, so I didn't buy very much.   I picked up a kitchen sink, plate rack, Aga range and wooden basket for the Chantilly, which I'm planning to decorate in a European cottage motif.  I bought some tiny turnings to use when scratch building furniture, and a metal thingamabob to use for a base when I build my next chandelier.  I also got a 1:12 scale push broom for the mill, because I looked all over for a nice one when I was building the mill but couldn't find one, then ran out of time to build one myself. 

Normally I link to the store or artisan I bought from, but I didn't pay attention to where I was shopping this time.

This was my last trip for a while, and probably the last of my miniature purchases for a while as well.  While I was gone my husband became unemployed.  My income is enough to support our family, but there won't be any extras.  I've socked away quite a stash of miniatures, art supplies and building material over the years, so I don't imagine I'm going to slow down much, I'm just going to have to be more inventive in making things that I would normally have found it easier to buy.