Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: A Year in Review

January: Rang in the new year with "Uncle" Willy and Donna... eight days later their grand-daughter was born. Starting being unable to walk correctly. Was weird to say the least. Ada and Grace joined the household and I started my Shabby Chic room. Albert Wilbert has gotten himself sick and we had to force feed his to keep his guts going. FH started the tanning process on a wild rabbit hide.

February: Had a wonderful Valentine's Day with FH. Made gifts for Aunt Pat to take to N.A.M.E. for the table gifts. Finished the original Shabby Chic. Willy started the chemotherapy treatments.

March: Started my Poe roombox. FH began carving tradition wooden bows. Worked up my Conservatory Room in a bag to house special flower arrangements. Local flooding was starting to get kind of scary. Was finally able to take the bunnies outside to play again. did my first quarter scale piece. Began the Greenleaf Creatin' Contest. Castor and Pollux turned 10.

April: Finally was able to start walking properly again. FH and I got our respective gardens installed. Finished my Independence Day roombox. Started my collection of Kat's Hats... I swear they are like potato chips.... can't have just one!

May: The start of Rendezvous season... and what an interesting season it was. Unveiled the almost finished Greenleaf aka the Trading Post. Albert Wilbert turned 3. FH bought me the Greenleaf Orchid for Mother's Day. Started to get serious about sewing for Rendezvous.

June: My dad went into the hospital for tests, but was fine. We had a baby shower for one of the Rendezvous couples. A ballpoint pen got left in FH's pockets that went through the washer and dryer, which led to some interesting cleaning tricks. FH blew two discs in his back, causing all kinds of problems.

July: Castor started getting sick. FH's back started to heal. I hand sewed until I was blue in the face. We canceled the local miniature show.

August: Tempie turned 4 and then her teeth became problematic again thus making everything else stop. FH poured roundball in preparation for hunting season and shooting competitions. I started crocheting more baby gifts. Alana joined the mouse house duo.

September: Gracie passed away, leaving Ada and Alana in the mouse house. I joined the local stitcher's guild and started quilting. FH was in full teaching swing for Hunter's Safety Education. Confetti turned 8; I turned 30. The washing machine died.

October: Joined the local fiber guild, did more crochet and some cross stitch. FH and I had Halloween company and had excuses to indulge in sugar. Got the new washer and dryer...finally. Ara's circle swap was loads of fun!

November: More hunting, crocheting, and stitching. The car needed some work. We spent Thanksgiving with Will and Donna... Will was gone less than four days later.

December: Helped Donna get stuff ready for the funeral. FH and I decided to start looking at houses to buy. Forced myself to put up the Christmas tree. Rosana's circle swap made healing easier and was loads of fun! Finished the Christmas outdoor setting I started the year previous. FH and I had our second anniversary and then a quite Yule at home with our new Wii. Snow started falling and hasn't really stopped for very long.

Throughout everything I've had great friends and FH for support, laughter, and fun. I just want to thank everyone for whatever part you played.

We're going to Donna's tonight for New Year's Eve. The year will have come full circle and here's hoping there are more smiles than tears... and more time for fun things like minis, stitching, and laughter.

Oh yeah... it would also be nice if FH could finish tanning that rabbit hide. It's been in salt since January! ;-)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Day!

Usually the mail on Tuesday is filled with coupons, advertisements, and other uninteresting things. However today this arrived along with the regular lot.
I am beginning to think our postal carrier is officially curious about all the packages from all over the world. ;-)

Earlier this month Debie of Piskies and Poppets had a giveaway on her blog to celebrate her 100th follower and I was lucky enough to win!

When I opened the tube I found a bag of fabric and embellishments, one of Debie's adorable face pins, and a lovely doll. :-)

Love this purple pin! As many of you know I think purple is the best color on the planet.I still have no idea what to call this lovely lady.

So far nothing seems to suit her therefore I will have to keep thinking. As you can see she has already been introduced to Confetti.Thank you Debie for such wonderful gifts!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Swap!

Last night I finally got to open my package from Jill! :-)

I was so excited I almost forgot to take pictures. Almost. ;-)
Everyone should note the chocolate on the right... and know that it didn't last long. Mmm..nothing like chocolate to start the holiday.

Of course everyone wants to know what is inside those adorable pink boxes...
Wow! I believe my squeals of delight caught FH off guard. I love each little treasure, especially the cookies with a treat for Rudolph. How can people leave treats for Santa and forget about the reindeer? ;-)

Thank you so much, Jill!

And since it's already posted on her blog this morning, I can finally reveal what I made for Marja as well.
Merry Christmas, everyone. I'm off to spend some more time with FH.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yuletide Dreams

What's the holiday without coordinating minis? ;-)

I thought you all might enjoy seeing the first Christmas setting I ever made in 1:12 scale. If I remember correctly I made it in October of 2007. With the exception of the actual wooden fireplace and the stitched snowman pillow (Stitch by Fay Zerbolio, added in a later picture, and shown further down) everything in this scene was either made from scratch or made from a kit. Fay taught the room in a bag and the holiday hearth with decorations at the St. Louis miniature show a few years back.
All of our kitties and bunnies made their debut in this room. I was quiet proud of myself for sculpting them myself. Each of them is posed in an activity that matches their personality. Can you find all five? ;-)

Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, and a Joyful Solstice (albeit a tad late)!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Letter to My Best Friend

Dearest Fuzzy Husband,

Two years ago today we stood in the cold next to a lake and made promises to each other. Every day since then has been filled with adventures, some good and some not so good, but we've gone through them together.

I know that this is still only the beginning of our story, but so far it's been one heck of a good ride. Here's to many more, dearest heart.

I love you.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The War on Christmas - Reposted from Last December

Author's Note: This post is recycled from last December. I still feel the same way and rather than try and come up with different words to say the say thing, I used the copy and paste features my word processor so lovingly boasts.

Please enjoy the rerun whilst I'm wandering the local countryside looking for a suitable house to call my own. ;-)



How? What?

Are people in danger of becoming squeezed to death by an animate python of garland? Does the blinking of lights all over town mean an AI has taken over and is systematically plotting humanity's destruction? Are big red, velvet bows carriers of an infectious disease that will eat our three middle toes from our feet, thus making it difficult to walk?

What in the name of cheese and chocolate is going on here?

The war on Christmas indeed. Let us look at Christmas. What are the most common things that we see at Christmas in this country?

Lights. Lots of lights. - Face it. It's dark, dreary and miserable in the winter. Who doesn't like to see something bright, shining, and colorful in the midst of all that? I grew up in a city with a large Jewish community. One guy's dad strung blue lights on the front of the house shaped like the Star of David. I put up lights in the house because it's safer than burning candles. Lights are pretty!

Trees, wreaths, and other greenery. - This practice was absorbed along with the time of jolliness and giving that went along with Yule. At one time Yule, the Roman Winter solstice celebration, and the Christian Natalis Domini were celebrated concurrently. [Look up when the Julian calendar was adopted in Europe.] Here's where I believe the combination of religions and cultures starting forming the modern Christmas.

Santa Claus (with or without reindeer) - Santa came with some of our ancestors when they came over from Europe. Different cultures have different versions. In this country, the ideals of giving to the poor (St. Nicholas) and the bits gleaned from Germanic paganism, Scandinavia, and elsewhere all got mushed together to give us Santa Claus. Again here's the combining of Christian and non-Christian bits into a single something.

Snowmen - Completely secular. It's fun to watch kids play in the snow and remember when we were that young, innocent, and carefree. I think that is why snowmen have really burst onto the scene in the last few years. This is great in my opinion. I have a house full of snowmen, much to FH's dismay.

Big red bows.- I couldn't find anything meaningful or historical about big red bows. As far as I know they just look really nice with the greenery.

The Nativity and other bits connected with the story. i.e. three wise men. - Here's the one major non-secular bit that I could think of that is not seen during the rest of the year. Let us ponder this. This is the symbolism of the birth of Jesus the Christ, the only Son of God, in the Christian tradition. Ok. Should Christians put up the Nativity? Yes. Just as Jews should put up a menorah. Pagans who celebrate Yule put up trees. Muslims have the end of Ramadan, Eid ul-Fitr. All of these practices are worthy of note.

At this point I feel I should mention Kwanzaa. I am unsure if specific members of my family celebrate this holiday alongside Christams. But here is a great example of a cultural tradition that is overlooked in the battles between the big religious traditions this time of year. Like many other cultural holiday tradtions, Kwanzaa is a beautiful thing. Some people say it is a made up holiday and we should ignore it. Umm.. some folks believe Christams is made up too. This just proves that everyone has opinions and other specific anatomy parts.

Take some time to look up various cultural and religious traditions from around the world. It's interesting and perhaps can open your mind a bit more. We're all people on this chunk of rock and we should at least respect each other. But I digress....

Back to the point.

Should a city government with cares for a religiously diverse population put up one without representing the others? No. Should a small city government that has only Christians living there put up a Nativity? If the townsfolk want it, more power to them, but I think the town should educate their children about the other practices and beliefs celebrated in this country.

If we look back at the realligning of Natalis Domini with the Winter Solstice, thus opening the door for Yule traditions to get absorbed into the Christain traditions, we are painted a picture of a religious melting pot. I'm not saying we should all start putting up the Nativity, menorahs or fasting in November. What I'm saying is that the adults in this country need to learn to jolly well get along. We need to get along year round, but especially at this time of year when so many traditions slam into each other with increasing velocity.

Be respectful. Be generous. Be courteous. Be kind.

I don't care who you are or what you believe in. You are my brother or sister in humanity. We can be nice to each other if we all remember to follow the four guidelines above.

I hope and pray everyone has a safe and joyous holiday, whatever it is.



If you really hate the commercialism of the Christmas holiday, teach your kids differently. Eventually it will catch on.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another Finish and A Delivery!

Last year's project is finally finished. I wasn't happy about the actual box this scene was in originally. I opted for a finished box as opposed to a paper mache box to decorate myself... only because I couldn't find a paper mache one the right size.
The mailbox and it's contents are printies. Each one was personalized by the gentleman running the workshop. I may come along and put some sort of bush on the left side of the scene, but for now it's done.

I did decide to use this set up as an excuse to display a few more Christmas minis from my stash.Speaking of Christmas and minis, my package from Jill has arrived!
Now to wait for Christmas Eve! :-)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A New Consideration...

So things around our household may be changing within the next couple of months. FH and I have decided to start looking at houses for sale.

Now my days will be partially filled with real estate listings, meetings with mortgage brokers and agents, and driving around looking at potential homes.

IF we move, it will be at the end of February. So between now and then I will post when I can and try to take time to play... for the sake of my sanity.

Wish us luck!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The White Elephant Renovation

In the US there is a tradition of giving "white elephant" gifts from time to time. This means that the gift's cost generally exceeds its usefulness, and generally the recipient didn't want the gift in the first place.

One of our Rendezvous friends was garage sale shopping this summer and found a sad little room box hat had been decorated for display in a bathroom. She decided I should have it and thus brought it to me.

Of course the last thing I needed was another miniature project so I stashed it away until I found it while cleaning.

It was a sad little room that had way too much green in it.
Now I do like green, but this was just too "bleh." If you look carefully you can get an idea of what I thought about the room via the mirror. ;-)

The robe seemed to be suspended by magic since the hanger had fallen off the peg. Those towels didn't look like an person, mini or otherwise, would want to dry their skin with them. The shelves were ok, but too plain. The mirror needed to go.

Lucky for me I received some bath accessories for Christmas this weekend, so between those new treasures and some things in my stash and supplies....
The walls were repainted a brighter shade of green and the frame was repainted bright white. I happened to have the yellow tile stashed and the floor is a scrap of life-sized wallpaper. I reclaimed the white baseboard from another project that got renovated.

The sink and shelves all got repainted a bright white and I added some floral embellishments to the shelves. I did away with the robe, original towels, and the too-large mug but I kept the hairdryer.

I put together all the bottles and jars this morning. I can't find the beads I bought to make nail polish bottles. I know they are in my work room somewhere. Once I find them I will open the room again to add them.

And if you're wondering, the towel bar is made from that errant hanger that the robe was supposed to be hanging from. The robe was too covered in glue to salvage. I had considered making a hand towel and/or wash cloths from it.

Until then this room is hanging in the perfect spot:
The guest bath is a bit more cheerful now. :-)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Loot! I Mean... New Treasures ;-)

FH and I went down to St. Louis for the weekend. Lucky for me our trip was planned around my mini friends' holiday party. I brought home all kinds of wonderful treasures. Since I didn't make it down in September for my birthday, I had a few extra gifts to open.

The best part of course was eating too many cookies and pieces of cake while catching up with everyone. I really miss spending time with everyone down there. Maybe someday we'll live a bit closer again.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jolly Holly

How to make really easy holly berries.

Holly leaf garland form the hobby shop and HO railroad apples.
Glue the pieces together in this order:

Wetting the end of a toothpick or piece of spaghetti makes picking up the berries easier.Add these, a few other odds and ends, and some cute baskets...
And you get:

Of course you don't necessarily need to put the leaves on a stem.
Bet you can't make just one!
Happy "holly-days!" ;-)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Holi-daze Have Begun

On Tuesday the Stitcher's Guild had a treat party with ornament exchange. Anyone who wanted to play just had to make an ornament and bring it wrapped to the party. Some were quilted, some were stitched, some were crocheted. All were gorgeous.

For those who may have missed the pictures of my ornament, here it is again:
My friend, Maxine who hosts the Quilter's group, received it.

I was lucky enough to receive this gorgeous card and ornament made by my friend, Teresa who is also a budding miniaturist.
I had to so off the card too, since she made that as well. :-)

Then on Thursday the local miniature group had their party and gift exchange. I put together these Christmas treats that my friend, Bobbi, received.
Some of you may recall that last spring I taught the club members how to make layered cakes. When I opened my gift I was pleased to see that Marti had taken that concept and had been practicing.
I just love this little cake. I spent so much time admiring it that it took me a moment to realize a second little box was inside the big box. Inside was this adorable jell-o dessert (jelly, to my friends across the pond) ringed with strawberries. Marti said this was a purchase, but she was pondering trying her hand at some in the future.

Friday I mailed my part of the Christmas swap to Marja. I hope you like it, Marja! :-)

Now to do some cleaning and try to get the minis made for my St. Louis miniature group's Christmas and missed birthdays.