Thursday, July 30, 2009

Not Dead Yet!

I'm here, I swear!

Yards upon yards of fabric have claimed me for the duration since FH and I need our own clothes for Rendezvous.

First came sporting through forty yards of linen. This is how it arrived:
Twenty yards of this roll is a lighter weight linen (5.3 ounces, for those interested) and will be used for chemises and shirts. The other twenty yards is an even heavier weight (7.1 oz) and will be used to make outerwear. All of this linen has been bleached, which means the outerwear garments will have to be dyed before they are finished.

In case folks are interested linen must be washed with detergent in hot water (no fabric softener!) to remove the formaldehyde that is in the fabric from the fiber being processed. This also serves to pre-shrink the fabric before you sew with it. Then if you sew the garments with 100% cotton or linen thread you can dye the entire finished piece and the threads will stay unseen since they will match. This cannot be done if you use polyester thread.

I haven't started sewing with the linen yet. I'm working with the cottons I have first. There will eventually be pictures. There will also be pictures of the dying process whenever that gets underway.

Then came working on non-linen garments after the patterns I ordered arrived. As you can see I'm sewing by hand for most of each piece.

This section is the side opening in a petticoat (1770's style) to allow access to a pocket.

If you're wondering why there is a white-ish blob on the point of the 'V,' I sewed a bar tack to reinforce the seam so it wouldn't want to pull apart. I'm using cotton thread for the stitching.

For this petticoat I still need to sew the waistband in place and then I can start hemming it.

Here I'm closing the waistband on an apron. The front panel is pleated, so I cheated a bit and used the sewing machine to initially attach the waistband to the panel.
When done right, the machine stitched section isn't visible... and neither is my hand stitching.
Right now I'm attaching the ties for the apron and then I will attach the top panel. These aprons are "pinner style"(also 1770's) meaning the top section is actually pinned to your clothing. When not doing something really messy, you can un-pin the top and fold it down out of the way.

Next up are shirts for FH and a friend and bed gowns for myself and another friend. We're trading sewn garments and leather goods for an unlimitted supply of homemade soaps that these friends make. ;-)

When I get a chance, I will take pictures of the pattern envelopes. Obviously I will take pictures of the finished clothes too.

Catch you later!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Quick Bit of Fun

Hehe! She's always been my favorite. Although I prefer Hattie Moran's performance.

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More Welcomes, and Awards!

Hello and welcome to the newest followers to my humble blog!

My dear friend, Alice over at Double Purr, has finally clicked the "Follow button. ;-) She makes extraordinary cards and is a miniaturist. Currently she's working on the Greenleaf Spring Fling building (which she blames/credits me for).

Kathi at Beautiful Mini Blessings is a miniaturist who is currently renovating a dollhouse. She also just made her first mini sofa. And the music on her blog is pretty sweet. ;-)

Hanna at Hanna and Leijona who makes the most fantastic felted animals. I could spend hours looking at all her creations. They are just so wonderful.

Please pay these lovely ladies a visit when you can. You will be happy you did.

And now for the awards which I'm awfully tardy in accepting.

The first award that I've caught up with is from dear Rosanna. Thank you. Rosana!

For the Reader Award you must grab the nearest book, turn to page 161, and copy the fifth sentence.

When you consider that the computer desk is right next to a bookcase, that becomes a difficult task. Add in the fact that the easiest shelf to reach is covered in books printed in other languages, mostly Russian, and it becomes more entertaining finding a book who font can be reproduced on the blog. ;-)

The next shelf down is our religion, philosophy, and spirituality section. I grabbed a book from that one. It's called "My Road to the Sundance" by Manny Twofeathers.

"That's why the Spirits told me at the Sundance the year before that I had to dance and pierce every day for my children."

This one is so much fun. I'm going to pass it onto anyone who wants to play along. If you do, pop back and let me know so I can come see what book you chose. :-)


The second award comes from Rosanna, Casey and Mary. Thank you ladies! :-)

The text that went with it goes,"This award was designed by Ces for her friend Bella. Ces wrote:- I designed this award to celebrate art in the blogs and to honour the value of friendship, sisterhood, sharing and caring. It is to be awarded to the gifted, accomplished, eloquent and talented blogger, whose friendship and influence inspire us to do our best. That I named it after Bella Sinclair is because she epitomises all of these things."

Along with the above text, these wonderful ladies included the following sentiments:

Casey: "She is a miniaturist, needleworker and history buff. And she manages to make all of the things that she writes about interesting."

Mary: " I pass this award to a few of those in the 'hood whose creations, stories, thoughts, or photos add a spring to my step."

Rosanna: "Minikat,whose ability in sewing and stitchings makes me envious but with whom I'd really like to share a choco mint cupcake."

To make my head and heart swell even more, I took Casey's suggestion and went over to Ces' blog to read her original entry, and then onto Bella's own blog where I shed tears.

Wow. To be given this piece of friendship is an honor and I thank you ladies very much.

There are many dear friends who have already been given this award, so I shall pass it to others who haven't received it.

Michelle at Boulderneigh

Alice at Double Purr

Sharon at In Stitches

Leigh at Leigh's Fiber Journal

Christine at DandelionFair DollHouse

Katie at Katie's Clay Corner and Let's Make Lemonade

Heather at This Little Dollhouse

Julie Campbell at Bellabelle's Blog

Julie Kendall at Jackdaw's Attic

and Savannah at Miniature Mumblings

There are so many more people I would pass this award onto, but then I would spend the next few days trying to list them all.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Welcome Kath!

Hello and welcome to my newest follower, Kath of The Halcyon at Play. Kath is a younger mini enthusiast and according to her blog works in both 1:6 and 1:12 scales. She is also new to the mini blogging world, so let's all make her feel welcome and perhaps pass on some inspiration.

Of course we all know inspiration tends to lead towards new projects... ;-)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Catching Up, part one

For the past few weeks I've been taking care of Castor and FH, which means I haven't had time for minis or blogging. But now I think things can start smoothing out.

The dryer was not ink free when I tested it. I have cleaned it again and will test it again... hopefully for the last time. I really need to catch up on the laundry.

Castor is eating again and becoming quite demanding about food. FH has started physical therapy and should heal up nicely. Our trip to Kansas City was canceled due to the injury, but we made the best out of his first vacation in four years anyway.

I've also been behind in thanking people for things I've gotten in the mail.

First is this assortment of awesome Halloween printies from Tara at The Dollhouse at Pooh Corner.

Second is my Pay It Forward gift from Maia at Maia's Twinkle Miniatures.

My gift to Maia is on it's way to her and I will post pictures of it after she has received it. :-)

Thank you very much, ladies! :-)

I started a second spider web to see if I would be any happier with it. Here's how far I've been able to get.

Here's the first one alongside the current.

I plan on finishing the original at some point.

The UPS man just dropped off this treasure! I'm so excited now. I will be reading it tonight for sure.
I have some awards and tags to post about still. I will do that in my next entry. Right now I'm going to spend some more time with FH before his last day of vacation is over.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day!

It's the Fourth of July!! Happy Independence Day to all my countrymen!

As we remember our founding fathers and the brave men and women who helped shape our country today, let us not forget those brave men and women who are fighting now.

Thank you, to the members of our Armed Forces and their families.
Your courage, patriotism, and sacrifice are not forgotten.

My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.
Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Friday, July 3, 2009


At least to me it is beautiful. Castor is eating! At the moment we're just hoping to keep his weight stable. If he can put some on that would be fantastic.

Baby steps for now...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Peoria, IL Miniature Show 2009

As my regular readers already know, the 2009 Peoria Area Miniature Society's Miniature Show and Sale has been canceled.

The group is trying to exercise every possible avenue to get the word out since the August printings of many magazines that advertise the show are already on their way to newsstands.

If you have any questions, please email me via my complete profile.

Thank you.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wednesday's Weariness

It's not really that bad today. I just liked the alliteration. Ok. Maybe it was a little bad today...

The Peoria Miniature Show has officially been canceled. That means I won't be running around like a headless chicken trying to have FH and a friend run my booth while I coordinate the actual show, but of course this means the closest show will be in Indianapolis this year. Bittersweet news. :-/


Today I let FH try driving himself to work. I wished later that I hadn't because it became very necessary to get Castor to the vet asap this afternoon. His appetite had vanished and getting him to drink water was impossible. He had lost another 3/10 of a pound in the last five days and just did not look good. In fact my instincts were telling me something was "Not Right." The vet was able to work us in and FH came racing back to drive us.

We are rechecking blood and whatnot. They gave us some special wet food that even dying cats with no appetite will gorge on. The doctor fed him with a syringe, but when she took the lid off the can to show me about how much to mix with water Castor stuck his head in and started eating like there was no tomorrow!

Needless to say my trip to the post office did not happen today. I will get there tomorrow, come Hades or high water! Maia, Alice, and a couple other folks are going to be expecting mail soon. More on that another day. ;-)


After we got Castor home I had to drive (yes, I'm back to driving... he did too much today) back to work so he could finish up something before his vacation (first in 4 years!) started tomorrow. I wisely thought to grab my stitching bag when I dropped Castor off and had something to play with for the two or three hours we spent at the office. It was supposed to be a 30 minute trip. Yeah right.

So here's what I was fiddling with. It's supposed to be a Halloweeny/witchy table cloth with a spider web in the middle and cats, bats, and jack o'lanterns around it. As you can see I'm futzing with the web right now. For those interested, I'm stitching on 28-count punch needle fabric. I couldn't afford the proper count linen and I thought I would give this a try. It's actually quite soft, but it's impossible to do any "creative back stitching" since there are no threads to work around like on linen. I'm avoiding that problem by working the back stitch over two instead of one. It makes life much easier, and it was suggested int eh directions so I don't feel like I'm cheating too much.

The chart is from the September/October 2003 American Miniaturist. I'm wondering now if the magazine was supposed to print the entire chart and not just one quarter of the design. The artist made it asymmetrical which doesn't lend itself well (in my opinion) to only printing a fraction of a chart. I've had to wing it on part of it and I'm not sure I'm pleased with the result.

The sections closest to the coin were done free hand, with really now pattern to speak of. All we were given in the chart was the center circle and the bottom-right portion of the web with the cats, bats, etc.

So I'm not sure not if I want to start over and make a symmetrical web myself and then go around the with the original motifs or what... Any ideas?

I love the picture of the finished sample in the magazine. It was quite peculiar though. When I first saw it a voice in my head shouted "MINE!" Later I came back to the magazine and bookmarked the page so I could make it for a witch's house. Of course you all know the witch's house has evolved into "Ezzie's house."

I'm starting to wonder if Casey was right to warn me against actually sculpting a witch. Who knows what trouble I could find myself in, or what headaches would await me... ;-)

As far as Ezzie's house goes, I have to wait for FH to be healed enough to help me cut a 8'x4' sheet of plywood down to be 27"x21". I need a base to start constructing the basement addition with the "hidden" hat vault and the hill that will be in front of the basement area. Then I will know how tall the basement walls will be and be able to figure out the necessary bashing to get the Orchid the way I want.

Of course as I type this I wonder how well a commercial cork board would work as a base for the whole thing. I would have to find one that's the right size... Hmm... Something to ponder.


Tomorrow I take FH to the neurologist to see just how bad the damage is and if we need to see a neurosurgeon for cortisone injections. This way if we do need a surgeon, we get sent to one she trusts which makes us feel better about the whole mess. [This is the same neurologist I went to for my stuff and we like her a lot.]

Then the local mini group has our 4th of July party. I'm making a dessert and a pasta salad to take. I'm not sure if FH will feel like going or not, but if he does there will be several non-mini-ing husbands there to talk to. ;-)

Happy Canada Day!

For my lovely Canadian friends, Happy Canada Day!! :-)

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.