Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

My friend Merlin, his magical Polar Bear and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and healthy and Happy New Year. To those who have followed me, thank you so much your encouragement and comments. I'm not that great of a blogger but I enjoy reading what everyone has to say and read what you all have to show. Looking forward to more in 2010!

Monday, December 7, 2009

...ooops...dropped it.... ;-)

Nah..I'd never do that! My dear friend Nikki from Witch and Wizard miniatures tossed this ball my way and I was happy to catch it. As I understand it, I have to answer 8 questions about myself, so here goes:

Names that I am called: Well, Mom, of course. “Oh, Honey”, for another. Susan, Aunt Sue, occasionally Bubbela. Mrs. Wener (at school). Unlike HS and college, people no longer call me by names I do not like…..because I simply do not answer .

Three Items I am wearing: I am currently wearing denim capris, a white t-shirt and sneakers…basically my uniform.

Three things I did yesterday, last night and today: Yesterday I put up all the outside Christmas lights that I had planned to…and they all seem to work for now.
Last night I made a week late Thanksgiving Dinner. We were invited out on Thanksgiving but I always like to make a turkey and they are so dang cheap at this time of the year.
Today I made some kind of “Brazilian Rice” for my son’s Spanish class. Why do these teachers give assignments to students that only their parents can complete?? I mean how is a kid supposed to make a dish and serve it up hot for 8th period??? Weird.

Name two things you have eaten: Left-over Turkey and gravy and left-over “Brazilian” rice (I guess it wasn’t a big hit with the class. I thought it was quite tasty…

Two people I have rung today: The Sears repairman since my refrigerator doesn’t seem to be cooling properly (yet again) and my dearest friend Jill to complain about said refrigerator and the fact the I have been given a “window” of 8am to 5pm for the repair guy to show up…grrr.

Two things I will do today: Well, today is already over….so. Tomorrow I will wait patiently all day for the repairman to show up and I will put the lights on my Christmas tree whilst I wait. In-between, I’ll do laundry. An utterly thrilling day…

Three Best Loved Drinks:
Meridian chardonnay…extremely well chilled, a well made latte, and ice cold water on a hot Florida summer day.

Three Things I Intensely Wish:
1) I wish for my son to grow healthy, wealthy and wise…actually, healthy and wise would be adequate, though it would be nice if he could take care of his mother in her dotage.
2) I wish that my husband’s family would stop making him feel guilty for every little thing….
3) I wish everyone could realize their most cherished dreams without interference from outside influences….to experience the joy and satisfaction of being all they ever wanted to be.

Thank you Nik! I enjoyed doing this. I am going to pass the ball to......

Ara at

She actually has two blogs, one for the Addams family and one for Bentley Mansion.

Have fun Ara!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Minaiture Glittered Houses

Let me start by saying I am not a big fan of Martha Stewart but I often bought the Holiday issues of the magazine because they were so pretty....

Now, onto business. Yesterday, I stumbled across some little cardboard glittered house in a local gift shop. They were to be used as Christmas tree ornaments and I remembered that my Grandmother had some that were her mother's.... and now my mother's. I think they came from Germany.

I recalled seeing an article about making them in one of the old MS Living mags so I started hunting through my collection and found it in the Christmas 2000 issue. I reduced the template by 45% and copied it onto colored cards stock. The directions say to paint both sides but I chose the colored cardstock instead. I didn't cut out the doors or windows. I will glue on a different color. Here are my steps:

I scored on the lines and glued the basic house toegther (this is actually the church). The I put the roof on, first one side then the other.

Then I made the steeple. and glued it to the roof followed by the steeple roof. This was a little futzy.

I also made a roofed entry ....

Not bad for a quick and dirty sample. I think I will use a different color for the roofs. I will stick with card stock, though and not paint it. I will thin the white glue just a bit, brush it on and then glitter.

I think I will reduce the template down to 35%. This church is 1in by 2in by 2.5 in high. It is ok for a table decoration but I think I'd like it a little smaller. There is a smaller house template that may be ok. I haven't tried it yet.

I would love to share this template with you but I am not sure how to do that. I have the fullsized template saved to my 'puter as a pdf. Any advice how to make that availlable?

Actually, I have found the article on line and it includes the template. You can reduce it to any size you wish. Just go here:

Glittered Houses


Monday, November 16, 2009

Remember Mug Drumpus....?

...The snarky little Troll went Trick or Treating by adult supervision! Bad boy..

....and look where he headed first thing!

But there were lots of nice treats inside...event though a the remains of who knows who were lurking off to the side. The resident witch has left her new broom from Kat leaning against the door so I imagine she'll be back to hand them out soon. He'll have to be patient...a trait he, like most trolls, is in short supply of. :-)

Seriously... Remember back to the first show I did way back in July? The pitiful one where the highlight was winning the purple ribbon for best overall exhibit? This is the little "inside/outside" roombox that won. I couldn't get a really good longshot so there isn't one but I think the close-ups are good.
The outside porch light, smoldering cauldron (see in the corner behind the cobwebs) and inside chandelier illuminate with a battery pack hidden under the roof (not shown but it is a mansard with gargoyles and a vulture on the top).
The pumpkins on the table and floor also light up. I made the vignette from a tutorial I found on line. The lights are a string of 10 with a battery pack used for Christmas decorations.
Kat the Hat Lady made the broom. Mug's trick or treat pail and the skeleton parts are from Micheal's. Other that I made everything else. I've had the box for ages. Used styrofoam trays from the grocery for the stone on the inside and outside of the box. Light weight, cheap, easy to use and paint.This weekend, I traveled to another miniature show.
Very few dealers (with little stock) and only 3 artisans but I did manage to pick up a few items. My biggest coup was this Abbey corner from a company called Earth and Tree. There was a club table where members could sell things they no longer wanted or needed. Someone started this project and decided it wasn't for them. I snapped it up for a song. It's a sturdy piece but not too heavy.
My friend Larry Bolduc from Unicorn Studios (designer of the Great Hall and class instructor) was there with some of his new medieval castings. I love this fireplace surround and will probably add a third wall to the Abbey and use it there.
You can see Larry's things at
I am sorry that I haven't been blogging much myself lately. I've been up to my elbows in alligators (as they say) with costuming for the Merry Wives of Windsor. This tech week so it's crazy and opening night is Friday. All I can say is that it is a boatload of work for three performances. I have been reading what everyone else is up to many busy people!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Artisan Thomas Saunders

When the maillady showed up today she brought me a package from Canada. In it were two of the cutest little boxes....notice the message on the one.... from Tom Sanders. He does beautiful turnings in stone, wood and acrylic. Health problems have prevented him from "turning" much this year and he thought he might not be able to return to it at all. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled across these pieces of his on Esty. Naturally, I snapped them up!

One of the really cool things he does is the little certificate of authenticity. Each piece is numbered and signed. I bought two bowls, a serving platter and a mortar and pestle. You can poke the pictures to make them bigger....

Here're some better side views......

I put the morter and pestle on the serving tray to show better against the pale grey stone.

I haven't found a website or blog for him but you can visit his Esty shop:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Grace White....amazing!

I stumbled across this extremely talented lady this morning whilst surfing the Net. Her minatures are inspired by "Master and Commander" (film/book?) and I am blown away by her skill and imagination. She is a book conservator by training and I this attention to detail shows in her miniature creations.

Below is just a teeny example of what she has done in the form of books but there is so much more that you all must go to her photostream and see for yourselves. I love all of it!

On the right side bar, click on either "Aubrey-Maturin" miniatures or "Other mini's". You are in for a real delight! I looked for a blog or website but couldn't find one.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Brass "stuff" from the hardware store...

For Nikki...and anyone else who is interested. Sometimes I spend hours at the hardware store looking for things suitable for mini's.

In the Chronographoscope below, I used lamp bits and pieces for the stand. All found at my local hardware store and all solid brass. Makes for a nice sturdy stand. I have no idea what this is called or what it is really used for but I think it lends it self to something. It is metal and it comes in several sizes. This is the smallest.

This is a compression fitting for gas line hook-ups. It also comes in several sizes. This is the middle size, I think. I used it on the end of one of my large telescopes.
This is called a knurled nut. It comes in three sizes. This is the middle size. I've used these for lots of things. Again, solid brass.

So you never really know where you are going to find "stuff" for mini's. Give your neighborhood hardware store a try. Poke the pictues for a closer look.
Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Of super bargains and super friends!

I have been such a bad, bad blogger of late. Life, in the form of costuming the HS production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, has truly gotten in the way of my "mini-ing". But I have kept up with each and every one of you and I'm incredibly awe-inspired when I see what you're up to.

Meanwhile, yesterday was a very excellent day for several reasons. In scouring the thrift shops for appropriate shoes for our characters (any idea how HARD it is to find a pair of size 13 wedgies???), I discovered this little mirror. Not mini but only about 8" around. I collect unique or unusual mirrors and this fit my criteria. I couldn't reach it to see the price and when I asked the clerk she said that is was $10 (excellent!) but because it had been around awhile, she would take $8 (even excellenter!) and then, because she noticed a few dings, she made it $5 (wow!).

When she took it down to wrap, the backing came off ; not a big deal for me, but she then said:

"mmmm....ok, this is how I'm going to handle this", and she handed me the bag and said "no charge. Hope you can fix it. Have a great day!" Whoa!! I love this little mirror!

When I got home, I found a package at the front door and inside was Mr. Scroll Pot!! (that is a pretty lame moniker...have to come of with something else..) But regardless of what he's called, he is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! The pictures simply do not do justice to Nikki's beautiful work. It is hard to believe she hasn't been sculpting all that long. He is exquisite and I am thrilled beyond words to own him.

She also included some of her fabulous wrapped scrolls. I don't know where she gets her printables for these or how she gets them so crisp and clear and readable. I am almost ashamed to put them next to my paltry attempts in Merlin's Retreat where everything had found a home.

Back to costumes for now. And thank you, Nikki for your wonderful creations!


Monday, September 14, 2009

The Joys of "Bug Pins"....

I have been a terrible blogger of late but non-mini things seem to be taking up far too much of my time. I have been trying to keep up with everyone else though and when I read Liberty Bibberty's latest blog entry about draping fabric using the pin and spray method, I had an epiphany.

Bug Pins!

She commented that there were pin holes in the fabric after it dried which needed to be dealt with. Easy with cotton but not so easy with silk or other fine fabric. However, these holes can be eliminated entirely with the use of entomologist's pins instead of regular straight pins.
I have been using them for years, even since a woman I know introduced me to them during a class in mini-doll costuming. I use the finest ones.... 0, 00 or 000. They do not rust, are flexible if you need them to be and supersharp. They never leave little pulls in the fabric and because they are so very thin, there are no holes to be seen! Cool, eh?
I got mine at a museum shop about 10 years ago but, like most things these days, they are available on line from a variety of sources. Here's one:
Just click on "insect pins". Or google for other sources.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Oy! Such challenges....

I find that going away, even for a short while makes for lots of catching up to do! I spent the week convincing my 88 y/o mother to downsize her living arrangements and taking my son to visit Northwestern University.

Now I find I have several photo challenges! One from Casey and the other from Marsha so I'd better get on it. Because there were two, I counted 4 and then 4 more for the second challenge.

Ok..first I have a rather bad photo of a telescope I made a while back out of brass tubes, jewelry findings and a knurled nut. Somewhere there is a better picture of it. I needed something for my Astronomer's table. It is a little over 2 inches long and stand about 3/4 inch high. If I locate the better picture, I'll post it later.

Four folders down, I found only contained one picture....that of my wonderful son when he was inducted into the National Honor Society last Fall. They all received a yellow rose from an upperclassman (school colors are black and gold). We took this picture quickly right before we left the auditorium since he isn't much for posing.
I know I'm supposed to pass this along to four more friends. Seems it's been around and around for awhile. I'll have to look for someone I know who hasn't yet been so "challenged". :-)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Man plans.....and God laughs...

What can I say of this W/E miniature show and sale except that the highlight was the hotel room and the restaurant my son and I went to Saturday night after the Preview??

The preview on Saturday evening was attended by approximately 15 people (by my son's count of ladies with a white "goody" tote bag). Everyone else wandering around (and also NOT buying, I might add) were members of the sponsoring club. It was a very long 3 hours. The public show on Sunday had more attendees but it was definitely not crowded. I had a lot of traffic because I was next to a lady who sold ribbons, trims, fabric and such. But my sales were nearly non-existent.....oh, there was lots of "ooohing and aaahing" and compliments galore but few open pocketbooks. In the end, I had 3 small sales and, were it not that I won a monetary prize for a judged exhibit (more about that in another post), would not have even covered my table fee. Even the seller with all the trims said it was by far the worst show she has been at and she did not cover her expenses. Apparently that was the case with many, if not all, the vendors.

On top of that, just as the show ended and we were packing up to leave, the skies opened up and it absolutely deluged... What a mess!!

So what's to do? My son says not to throw in the towel (but he's 17...teenagers never know when to quit) just yet but I have to say I am very discouraged. The next opportunity of any worth is not until January. Maybe the economy will pick up by then. In the meanwhile, I got lots of advice and encouragement from other vendors and made a few new it wasn't a total loss.

And then there was that Grand Prize I probably shouldn't complain.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sculpey Sale!

To all of you who have JoAnn's Etc. in their neighborhood...starting tomorrow they have a 50% sale on Sculpey. Sorry to my friends in the UK... While it is not my fave brand (really do prefer Fimo), I will try to get to town and pick up some translucent and some of the other light colors.

Lord knows I have plenty of blue.....


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Skull Candelabra

Sorry to have been so scarce lately. I 've been working fast and furiously on getting things in order for the upcoming show in 10 days. I just finished these two skull candelabras and thought I'd share since I was so pleased with how they turned out.

I saw a picture of a full-sized 5 arm one on a Goth Accessory website and thought I'd like to see if I could do it mini.I had to antique the bright brass base (which was more a pain than it should have been) but I had the beads left over from a Halloween party and, of course, I have lots of fimo around... ;-)

Monday, July 6, 2009

help!!! Candy corn fiasco....

I need someone to tell me how to bake fimo canes for slicing. Obviously baking them the usual time is too long though I saw no indication of reduced baking time or temp in the tutorial I read...course I could have missed that part.

I made 6 canes to cut up for candy corn and they just crack and break apart when I try to cut them. I tried putting some back in the oven to heat them up a bit cause they seemed to cut easier when warm but overall that didn't work too well either.

Oh what have I done wrong??!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Joy of Reading Award

Just the other day, I received this lovely award from Mary over at Miz Mary. She passed it along to me after she received it from Dora. This award is about the joys of reading and asks that the recipient pick up a book at hand, go to page 161 and post the 5th full sentence. Then the award is to be passed on to 5 others.

I usually have several books in progress lying around my house since reading a good book is my next favorite thing to minis. At the moment, there is only one where I am past page 161. The book is "The September Society" by Charles Finch. The second Sherlock Holmes-type book by a new, young author. I like to read new authors....sometimes you discover real gems. This fellow is good. At least I think so. I enjoy his style. Here we go; a murder has occurred and "the game's afoot!", as Holmes would say:

"Lenox's suggestion had been well reasoned, Goodson said when the two men met, not adding that it had failed nonetheless".

Later, I'll pass this on to a few other bloggers, as requested.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Kat!!

Happy Anniversary of your 21st Birthday to my friend
Kat the Hat Lady!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Update....on my Fimo "situation"...

Still haven't had any takers on the Fimo but in researching ways to condition old clay (because we must all be frugal in these times, yes?) I stumbled upon this website. All you old hands at polymer clay use have most likely visited this site many times but for those few (like me) who are somewhat new to this endeavor, I thought I'd pass it along.

Garie's Place (just click on the name)

They test all these products in various ways and post all the results. It's quite extensive and I found it very helpful. Their tips were interesting and I liked how they compared different brands and tested post-baking strengths, giving ways to strengthen the clay during conditioning.

I think I'm becoming partial to the "rubber mallet" approach....


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

WHAT was I thinking....anyone interested?

Yes folks...that's a lot of blue Fimo, not to mention the neon yellow, pink, blue and teal Sculpy. :-)

It was a blistering hot and humid SW Florida so I decided to take the time to look through my stash of polymer clay (mostly Fimo.....old Fimo at that) and see if I couldn't condition some it to use for , well, something....

I had some of the lovely original orange which was so nice for pumpkins and some caramel. I sliced it up and ran it through the pasta machine I bought from Michael's with a coupon last year. It started out as a crumbled mess but after 8-10 passes through the machine, it became quite pliable. This stuff is easily as old as my son so I was surprised but I figured, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I could always toss it if it didn't work.

I was pretty happy and think I'll try and make some pumpkins or jack o'lanterns since all the Halloween stuff comes out in July around here.

As I continued to excavate the Fimo bin, I discovered all the above colors. The larger blocks are Sculpy III. Came in a box of assorted colors so I cannot be held responsible. The others are the original Fimo. There are 2 cakes of plain old blue, 1 of lt blue, 1 of turquoise, 1 of lilac and 1 of dove gray. The Sculpy doesn't have a color name on the pkg but the blue is a standard plain blue, and the darker one is a drk teal-like....and then there is the 2 neon colors. Do not ask why I have so much blue Fimo...I do not have a clue. :-)

I cannot imagine what someone would use these colors for but I am happy to give any or all to anyone who wants them. I guess you could paint over the color... Just give me a shout...first come first served. Because I have been successful in conditioning the Fimo with the pasta machine, it seems like it is workable. However, I would not attempt to condition it by hand.


Monday, June 29, 2009

...a new award...

An award of friendship passed on by Casey to all who read her blog. Thank you Casey! I look forward to your tutorials, progress reports and the ongoing adventures of Tessie and Zar.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another little hag...

The lastest from Primdolly.

The coolest little witch ever. Pop over to her blog, here ,to see additonal views.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's upcoming film interpretation of Alice in Wonderland.

Hey doll makers! Wouldn't he make a great doll??!!


Monday, June 22, 2009


Stanley is almost, sort of, done. He still has bug pins in his cloak and some clamps in an attempt to keep the thing draped. I will have to spray the whole outfit with something to get it to stay...steam is just not doing the trick, even though the sleeves are silk. I gave him a Russian-esque hat. Still undecided about facial hair. There is a close up of his tasseled boots.
While he wanted to be a wizard, he was very fussy about his "look". Costuming these little people is clearly as difficult as making them. Almost as difficult as buying clothing for teenagers...
Speaking of which... I can remove "taxi service" from my list of responsibilities. My son, Matt, has acquired his permanent driver's license. He and his Dad when car shopping yesterday. I have suddenly gained back 3 hours of my life per day. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing now that it has come to pass, though.....sigh.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

An eHag....

Since I was going on about dollmakers just a post ago, I want to share this with you all.

I was surfing eBay this morning just to see what turned up and stumbled upon this little gem. Actually, I found her under "completed sales" for a dollmaker called "primdolly". Most of her things are much smaller in scope, usually just heads (calls them "witchlets') but she has a few complete dolls and this was one that recently sold at auction for an astounding $445!!?? Well, it was astounding to me, anyway, especially since it was ebay. I am going to assume she has a following but I have not heard of her till now. I've never seen her at a show or read about her in a mini mag. Does anyone know her? The work is really cool, I think.

The pictures should enlarge if you click on them. Look for her over on ebay so you can see the other things she does.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Odes and awards and what not...

OMG...I got an award! From my friend Kat. It is always my pleasure to read your blog and see what you might be up to. You inspire me as well. Thank you, Kat. It is a beautiful award!

On to Odes.....

I have an deep respect for doll makers...of all kinds. From the sculptors to the porcelain pourers to the ladies who dress these little people. I salute you all. I have taken many classes over the years. I have had teachers who spray everything with hairspray to get it to stay put and those who use some kind of product called Stiffen (which I've never been able to find) and one who only used steam from a Rowenta iron (which I immediately ran out to great on shirts, btw). I've been taught to sew, to glue, never to glue and all things in between. I've had wigging classes and shoe classes and construction classes. In the end, my things never looked as good as those of the wonderful teachers I've had. Yes, I know it takes practice but it also takes a certain amount of talent and skill. I am in awe of the things I see (well..most of them.)

Worid is complete and I am happy with him, though he is not as I originally expected. Stanley is another story. He didn't like the ..ahem..dress (under tunic) so that had to be re-done, nor was he happy with the sleeves or the robe. I almost put him back into the box he's been in for the past 13 yrs! He is now muttering something about a different hairdo....we are not making that movie. I might consider a beard and possible some sort of hat. We'll see.



Meet Worid

The Mugwumpus has revealed his name...Worid. And he's thrilled to go play in the marsh out behind the house. Unfortunately, it's a little dry now but rainy season is upon us so the waterproof boots will come in handy. It doesn't show well but the tips of the toes are curled up....helps with the sloshing apparently.
I guess I've seen the last of him for awhile though he did agree to be back in time to accompany Stanley and I to the Show. I hope so...there are 'gators in the marsh....
As for Stan the Man, we've had a few "wardrobe malfunctions" but we're working on it.....

At the auction...

While browsing a miniature auction site this morning, I stumbled upon a few rather interesting items.

This little Tudor reminded me of the Burrows project. It is 1/2 scale so only a total of 30 in tall.

This furniture would be at home in any of the fairy or witch houses currently in progress, no? The headboard is a laser cut dragon in only 1/4 inch scale. Amazing!

This site is called Go visit. You never know what you'll find and it's all minis.

Speaking of laser cut "stuff", I discovered a site which specializes in all laser cut house trims and such. There is a round window mullion that reminds me of a spider web...I'm considering making some spiderweb back chairs. The site is

Now I really must get to work on my two fellows. Stan is loving his new outfit (actually, his first outfit...) and my little marsh denizen is almost complete. He still has not divulged his name but all in good time I suppose. As soon as they are both done, I'll post the outcome.