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10 posts from March 2015

interior walls

I had a fairly productive weekend.  All of the window and door openings have been cut out, the interior walls have been glued together, and the first coat of gesso was painted on and sanded.


But that where they go?  Maybe they sit like this....


No?  Maybe like this?


Oh, how I wish I could tell you what I'm making....


Ester knows....


progess on the Creatin' Contest kit

Progress!  Tiffany's sweet husband squared up the crooked new side walls for me.  I baked him some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies last night as a thank you...and because I sent Tiffany home with more 1/4" MDF last night, to have him cut the last of the big pieces I need.


I got all the small pieces of MDF cut myself, on my little table saw.  All the lights and other assorted electronic parts have been received and tested, gorgeous handmade paper, long hinges, and wooden trim pieces arrived in the mail, and I picked up the paint yesterday.  The only thing left to buy is acrylic sheet, but I want to get the walls into dry-fit first so I can confirm my measurements before I order it.

Tonight, once I have the rest of the MDF pieces, I can start cutting out the window holes.  I hope to have the structure completely assembled before the Chicago show next month, so I can focus on accessories.

Meanwhile, since I'm waiting, I have time for my new favorite thing...bubble-bath/cappuccino/Netflix.  Ahhhh......



kit giveaway

I have a special giveaway, sponsored by   This giveaway is restricted to readers in the US, due to the high cost of shipping overseas, because it's a big one....

92015_lgThe limited edition kit Denise's City Cottage.

This is the kit for this year's Creatin' Contest, which I've already bought two of.  If you haven't heard about the annual contest, check it out here.  They've been sponsoring the contest for years, and I've seen some incredible work turned out by miniaturists everywhere.  The deadline for this year's contest is December 16th, so there is lots of time to get in on the fun with me if you haven't bought the kit already.

To keep the contest fair for everyone a free kit can't be used to enter, so if you win this one it's just for fun.  As usual, leave a comment to enter the giveaway.  I'll select a random winner the last day of March.

work on the houses is not going well.....

I cut tried to cut the new walls for the Creatin' Contest kit last night, since it was finally warm enough to work in the garage.  It has been below zero for weeks, yesterday it was in the low 60s...ah, Michigan.

My idea to bolt the two pieces together to cut them exactly the same worked measurements were perfect....I clamped on a board to use a fence in just the right spot....but I just couldn't keep the Dremel Trio against the fence during the cut.  Plus, the rotary saw chewed up the edges of the MDF, it wasn't a clean cut.


Husband gave it a try with the circular saw, without a clamped on fence.  His cut is better, and clean, but has a bow in the middle.


I've decided what I'm going to do is take the walls Husband cut to work with me today, then beg or bribe my assistant, Tiffany, to take them home to her builder husband, Jerry, to square them up on a table saw.  Or maybe Joe has a table saw...Joe built his own house, I bet Joe has a table saw.


While I was waiting for warmth I puttered around with the chimney top of the English Cottage Kitchen.  I added some ash build-up to the top and blackened the top of the working chimney pot.  I don't like it.  I liked it before.  I shouldn't have messed with it.


I think if I repaint the caps of the other three pots it will be better; right now the cement caps are too close in color to the ash.  Any suggestions for improvement would be appreciated.


I'm going to go curl up in my new recliner with Ester and my quilt, and drink a cup of cappuccino while I pout.




pictures of my trip to Grand Rapids, part four

Monday afternoon Kate and I went shopping at a huge mall.  I tweaked my knee on the stairs in the parking garage and it pained me all afternoon.  I did quite a bit of sitting on benches in the mall while she shopped.  I didn't do any shopping, since I just spent a small fortune on new furniture earlier this month.

Tuesday morning we went to the Grand Rapids Art Museum before we drove home.  They had a very interesting exhibit by photographer Edward Burtynsky about water.  Kate and I enjoyed it very much.

"Over the past five years, Burtynsky traveled across the globe, weaving together an ambitious representation of water’s increasingly fragmented life cycle and the roles that it plays in modern life: as a source of healthy ecosystems and energy, as a key element in cultural and religious rituals, and as a rapidly depleting resource. These images—sometimes elegant and sometimes haunting, many bordering on the edge of complete abstraction—hover between the worlds of painting and photography, forming a compelling global portrait of water that functions as an open-ended question about humanity’s past, present, and future relationship with the natural world."













pictures of my trip to Grand Rapids, part two

The Grand Rapid Public Museum is in a different building than it was last time I visited.  The new building is a great space, very modern and up-to-date, but the exhibits were pretty much the same.

The old-town street is kind of neat, but the cheap accessories make it very fake....surely they could purchase more realistic fake vegetables and chickens.  And hide the modern lights, for goodness sake.



The plane and clock made me think of Brae, and how spot-on accurate her miniatures are....



Quilt pictures for Susan....the detail is amazing...



One room in particular amazed me, lots of pictures of that one room are coming in the next post.

I will close this post with Susan's gratuitous polecat picture...ha ha ha ha ha, I crack me up.


picture of my trip to Grand Rapids, part one

First the good daughter passed the exam, she's now a Registered Nurse.  She got her license in the mail earlier this week; we celebrated with pizza, champagne and brownie cheesecake.

Now the pictures....

We stayed at the JW Marriott downtown.   The hotel was fabulous, though the room service food could have been better.  We especially enjoyed the dual massaging heads in the large walk in shower, and the separate soaking hotels are wonderful.





The view out the window at night....


Looking back at the hotel from the other side of that blue bridge....


I lived in Grand Rapids for a decade, before I moved back home 15 years ago, so I wasn't going to go to the public museum, since I've already been more than once.  I did end up there though, because I'm not as travel savvy as I like to think I am. I didn't check the hours of the art museums I had planned to visit Monday until that morning, then discovered that's the only day of the week they're closed.  So, while Kate was taking her test Monday morning I walked over to the public museum, since it was just the other side of the bridge, there wasn't a good movie on HBO, and the hotel spa was out of my price range.  I'll put those pictures in the next post; I've been told posts that are too long and picture heavy aren't the best for followers who read this blog on their smartphones.

chimney is done

Saturday I cut and glued egg cartons, which takes a lot longer than you'd think...


Sunday I painted, grouted, sanded, aged and sealed....


The chimney pots are from my bin of scrap wood.  I had a finial that was too big to do anything with, a castle turret that fell off a cheap birdhouse, a piece of dowel, and a handle from something that I enlarged the hole in the middle of.


I've got a little bit of fiddly work to do on the very top...there is a slight gap where the foremost chimney pot doesn't sit flush that is driving me crazy. (Because I didn't cut the peg on the bottom of the finial off flush.)  I think I'm going to stuff some old dead moss in the gap.  Then I need to build up a thicker coat of ash under the working chimney pot.   I capped off three of the chimney pots with rubber o-rings and paint, since I bricked over the old fireplaces outside and the bread oven inside doesn't have a door and will be stuffed with wood.