Sunday, April 24, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Happy Easter, everyone!  I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.  The weather is mild here today. I went out and took a few pictures to help make this post prettier.

I want to thank everyone for sharing their pet stories.  I loved reading them all.  It's funny how all the little creatures find ways to entangle themselves in our hearts.  Personally I believe that's what helps us be both human and humane.

A quick word about "Make Mine Chocolate."  This movement is designed to educate people about the drawbacks and sadness associated with giving live bunnies (ducklings and chicks too) as children's Easter gifts.  So many of these animals end up in shelters or dumped once children become bored or the parents do not want to deal with their care.
Many of you know Tempie was one such Easter bunny.  Someone dumped her in the country and luckily for her she hopped into my sister's yard.  Even better that I knew how to care for rabbits and that my parents let me keep her since I was living in their home again. 

'Bert could've become one of those animals had the people at the pet store not warned people away form him "because he (was) mean."  In reality he was so afraid of everything he would attack first in hopes of making people leave him alone.  He was taken from his mother too young, neutered too young, and all the rabbits he arrived with at the store were bought leaving him alone for weeks.  He didn't like the new rabbits when they were plopped into the same territory as him so they had to separate him from the rest.  I saved fate the trouble and brought him home.

I believe no animal should be brought into a home without some thought, planning, and maybe a little research, regardless of species.  Just a little effort on a human's part can lead to one less animal being thrown away.  I know so many of you feel the same way.  Our pets mean the world to us and our members of the family.  Enough with the soap box. 

Now for the fun part!

Since getting Tempie to draw a name last year took hours... yes hours... I had FH give me a hand this year.  It's fitting though since 'Bert was more his bunny anyway.  So with out further ado:

Congratulations, Kim!  I'll be emailing you shortly.

And since this giveaway was dedicated to 'Bert, I thought we should have at least one picture of him.
 Thanks again to everyone who participated!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Better Late Than Never-A Giveaway

Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to the blog.  Life's just been hectic.  Since Tempie went and spilled the beans about a giveaway I can't just hold onto things until next year. 

So without further ado, here are the rules for this year's giveaway in honor of "Make Mine Chocolate."  This is the movement that encourages people to give chocolate bunnies instead of live bunnies as Easter gifts.

Remember this guy?
I actually made two of these. 

Whomever wins the giveaway will get one of these and a few other decorative Easter/spring items.  I will try and get pictures of the other goodies tomorrow, but I may keep a couple things a surprise.

In addition to "Make Mine Chocolate" I'm dedicating the giveaway to 'Bert's memory.  The rules are simple:  Leave a comment on this post with a story about a pet you've loved, between now and Saturday.  You do not have to be a follower, but if you are I will add your name to the hat a second time.  On Easter Sunday I'll pull the winner's name and announce the winner.

Good luck!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Still Distracted

Castor here.  Dad got a sad phone call last night.  His uncle was in a fatal motorcycle accident.  This means Mom and Dad are going to be gone all day Sunday for the funeral.  Mom hopes to get some of her toys played with tomorrow but she isn't sure.  She's out right now finding clothes to wear.  I promise she'll be back soon.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Where Mom Has Got To

Tempie here!  Don't mind me... I love this ottoman thingie.  Anyways Mom's playin' catch-up from while I was sick.  She got behind on all sorts of inside chores and now it's nice enough for her to work outside too.

I'm supposed to say the Panda Nursery thingie will get the missin' mural sometime next week... she thinks.

Oh and Castor got hurt the other night when Mom and Dad were givin' him his fluids.  Mom forgot to warm them first and he fought a lot.  He ended up getting stabbed in the muscles at his shoulders.  It freaked Mom out but he's fine now.

I'm not supposed to mention this next bit but I'm really bad about keepin' secrets.  Mom's gonna do another giveaway to promote "Make Mine Chocolate" like she did last year.  I think she'll have things ready next week.  But don't tell her I told you!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chicago International Show 2011-Long and Picture Heavy!

"Wow" does not begin to describe the wonderful people, great friends, gorgeous miniatures, and total sensory overload I experienced on Saturday.  I rode up with a member of the Stitcher's Guild and her husband.  We didn't stay together long since we were going at different paces.

First off I was able to meet several blog/Facebook friends in person.  April from Every Little Thing was there and we browsed quite a bit together... while we looked for my Guild friend.  I had the double pleasure of meeting Julie Campbell of Bellabelle Art Dolls and Jain Squires aka The Giddy Kipper.  I came away with one of Julie's dolls... more on her in a bit.  Ladies it was fantastic to meet you in person and I hope we have the chance to meet again someday!

Now for the fun part!  There we so many beautiful things it was hard to choose.  Happily I was able to come home with several pieces that spoke to me.

 Let's start off with my treasure from Julie.  Her name is Becka and Julie blogged about her last year.  I had forgotten that I'd loved her then until I went searching for any mention of her on Julie's blog. (There is a much better photo on Julie's blog.)  I do not know yet if Becka will move into the little girl's room in the "big dollhouse" once it's done or if I will construct a special setting for her.
 Here is a close up of my lipstick fairy by The Ladybug.  The butterfly cut-outs in the main picture also came from her table.
 These baby rabbits are a real treat.  This picture does not do them justice in the least.  The artist's name is Sylvia Mobley. Her blog can be found here and her website here.  Please, please visit them both.  Her work is stunning on a bad day and breath-taking on the best.  (And I blame Julie for my inability to resist these bunnies.)
 Now for some of the littler things.  I wanted to expand my collection of mini liquors and I needed the chocolate syrup for "Not Quite Fay's".  It was the only missing ingredient for mudslides sitting in the back corner of the hutch.  I feel in love with the mouse toy whist waiting to pay for the liquor bottles.
 Of course I was drawn to the mouse when I saw this panda bear in a basket close to the checkout area.  I think the panda will look great in the Panda Nursery.  I also had to have this little pig when I saw him.  (There are 4 tiny pairs of scissors in front of the pig.)
 The little pig looks just like a beloved toy of mine from my junior high school days.  Aren't they cute together?
 Another shot of the baby bunnies alongside a pewter candle mold and candle holder.  Perfect for either my witch's house or a Rendezvous miniature.  Come to think of it I should have grabbed a couple more of each.  Drat.
 A little something for FH's hunting cabin that I really should get back to...
 I thought he'd be fantastic in the Trading Post.
 A piece of silk that I couldn't ignore along with some flocking... black and white of course.  I bet you can't guess how I'm going to use that.
 Now for the part where I had to keep my composure and not turn into a gibbering fan-girl of epic proportions.  I was able to meet and chat with one of my heroes in the doll-making world, James Carrington.  He even signed my copy of his book.  I also received some (more) encouragement to attend the IGMA guild school. 
And I came away with this lovely.  This photo doesn't do her justice.  I really needed sunlight but I couldn't wait to take all the pictures. 
She's pretty much an early "everything" gift from FH.  I'll be settling for flowers and his fabulous cooking for many special occasions.  Oh darn. ;-)  This lady will definitely big getting a scene made around her.  It must include a grand staircase and doors to other rooms... I think.  For now I'll be getting domes or something to display both her and Becka in so I can enjoy them without them getting dusty.  Although Becka might come out to play with Maddie from time to time.  One never knows.

Oh and I did find my Guild friend again and we both fell asleep in the car for a bit on the way home.  Happily her husband was driving. ;-)  I'm going to go collapse now.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Another Small Finish

Last Sunday I framed another small design from 365 Tiny Cross Stitch Designs by Kooler Design Studio, published by American School of Needlework.
I found the frame at Michael's, just like the one I used for the mouse.

Tomorrow I'll be in Chicago at the three miniature shows.  One of the ladies in the Stitcher's Guild is going up as she's also a miniaturist.  Happily I'm hitching a ride with her.  Perhaps I'll see a few of you here.  :-)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Some Panda Things Finished!

Monday night saw me finish four of the cross stitching things for the Panda Nursery. 
 Here's the growth chart:
Receiving Blankets:
Panda Toy: (front)
Don't worry about those threads that look loose in the picture above.  I've already dealt with them.

Now I need to make a frame for the birth announcement and move on to other things.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Dark and Mysterious Stranger

Well not really, but he certainly has dark fur.  This is the second time he's been around and happily FH was able to grab the camera in time for some photos.

He's a melanistic grey squirrel.  We have them in the area but I'd never seen one in our yard until recently.  Around FH's office building they're even darker... like charcoal.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Thanks Katie!

Katie did it again!  She made two more adorable minis for the Nursery.  They arrived in the mail yesterday.  Aren't they cute!?!

Thanks again Katie!

These are going to look great in the Nursery!  Speaking of the Nursery construction details are still stalled.  The wallpaper mural for the outside is still back-ordered.  I've called the store and the very nice ladies are trying to get in touch with the lady who makes the papers.  Hopefully I will know more soon.

Until then I have to keep working on things for the inside.  If the back-order goes on too long I may have to come up with a "Plan C"... the mural was Plan B.  *sigh*  At least Tempie can keep me company in the work room again.  It was too lonely in there with her sick and 'Bert gone.  Back to work I go!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cross-Stitched Panda Toy and Tempie

I'll get Tempie out of the way.  She's eating much more normally again, of course this didn't happen until yesterday morning.  However she's not eating anything that has to be chewed a lot like carrots and pea pods.  This is mildly distressing but for the moment FH and I are grating her carrots every night.  She happily eats them that way.  I have a call into the vet about that, hopefully I'll know more soon.

 I finished stitching the front and back of the panda toy yesterday.  I would have posted then but a lovely storm rolled through just as I was finished.
The piece of fabric I've been using for all these smaller pieces was washed and blocked last night.  I painted around the edges of each piece with diluted white glue earlier today.  Currently I'm waiting on the glue to dry so I can start the finishing on these things.

I'm going to get back to the laundry whilst the glue dries.  It will give me something productive to do.