Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Large Leaps and Tiny Steps

Still getting used to the new contact lens and think I've finally found the perfect pair.  Now all I have to do is get them ordered, and voila! I'm a contact lens-wearing person

In the meantime, since seeing was somewhat problematic, I cleaned the workroom.  Wow!  What a difference it makes.  Now everything is in its place and I have a place for everything.

Today's Japanese house day, so stand back everyone!  This baby's going up!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Why No New Posts?

Well, I haven't been working on minis lately because I'm in the middle of getting contact lens.  I had contacts in the late 1960s when I was in high school.  They were the hard lenses that were absolutely painful, but vanity demanded that I wear them no matter that my eyes were always red and weepy.  High school ended and so did the contacts.

I got them again in the 1980s, but since I have astigmatism, they were semi-hard and also painful.  The worst part was the best the doctor said he could do was 20/50 vision.  Not a choice for someone like me who likes to see and read.  Another slam dunk into oblivion for them.

Now I'm trying soft lenses which are unbelievable.  I barely know they are in my eyes - except that I can't see!  I'm trying the plan that calls for one eye with far vision correction and one eye with near vision correction.  The far vision correction is perfect, but I can't read or see with the near vision correction so far.

So until I can see - even if I have to have magnifiers with the contacts - I won't be doing minis.  Fortunately, I can see enough to read if I concentrate really hard on the print.  Not fun, but gets the books read and emails written.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Still Working on the Work Room

Now that I have everything scattered around, but grouped, it's time to get it all picked up and put back on the shelves.  I've culled out a stack of cross-stitch books that I'm thinking of adding to my next door neighbor's next garage sale.  We'll see.  He used to hold them about once a month in good weather, but I haven't seen him organizing any recently.

Other than that, I need to get to JoAnn's to buy some velveteen to make myself a new flower petal pillow.  Someone I knew long ago who was really into making mini flowers showed me how to make a pillow that's white or off-white on one side and black or dark grey on the other.  The pillow has batting between the layers and is perfect for making cupped flower petals using a stylus.  I seem to have lost my old flower pillow, but need to make a new one anyway because they wear down with time and use.

I also need to get some Wonder Under and Fray Check for the mini rugs I'm weaving.  I need 53 of them for a huge swap in October, so need to get on the ball with that project.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Today's Project

In October our grandchildren visited.  Being 4 1/2 years old, they were too young to be around my craft supplies, so my husband and I quickly packed everything away without doing a very good job at separating items into related groups.  Consequently, everything ended up in a mishmash and has stayed that way until today.  I finally got tired of having to search for anything I wanted by opening container after container.

So today I started the arduous process of opening containers and grouping items: clay with clay, wood with wood, kits with kits, finished minis with finished minis, etc.  I still have another day or two's worth of work that needs to be done, but already my craft shelves are more accessible.

It will be nice eventually when everything is put away to be able to want a certain item and know exactly where I can get it without having to search through boxes each time. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

French Quarter cafe: Merchandise

Well, a shop's not a shop if it doesn't have anything to sell, right?  So here is the merchandise currently available at the French Quarter cafe.

Under the lamp posts are the cakes and cookies.  Would you like lemon cake, Valentine's cake, or a variety of teeny, tiny cookies?

The boxes and bags are ready to hold your purchases, including the blue "glass" containers made from beads and topped with tiny seed beads.  As you can see, I'm still playing with the arrangement of the boxes, bags and containers.

I'm also beginning to think that I might need more baked goods.  Maybe a few more cakes?

French Quarter Cafe: Interior possibility

I've found some Mardi Gras poster graphics and some gold crowns that I think will spiff up the interior of the cafe and have started to place the tables and chairs.  After I put some baked goods and merchandise packages in the window, I'll add a curtain rod and lace curtains.  There's still a bakery case with serving counter waiting in the wings, too.

French Quarter Cafe: Tables and Chairs

Someone else who is making the French Quarter cafe commented that the chairs were easy to make; in fact, they seemed to go together by themselves.  So I was expecting to sail through this part of the project.  Ha! on me.

The little bars in the front and back of the legs were really difficult to put in place.  None of my chairs wanted to go together.  In fact, they resisted every step from "painting" (with a Sharpie marker) to gluing.  The tables on the other hand?  Went together quickly and easily.  All I can think is the other woman really was talking about the tables and not the chairs.

Oh, yes, the two tall things on the left are the non-lighting street lamps.  I bought them at a hobby shop that specializes in model trains.

Beck's Bakery

For my daughter's 34th birthday, I wanted to make her something special.  Since I have a few craft skills under my belt like sewing and beading, I decided to branch out and do something I hadn't tried in a long, long while.  I saw this bakery kit online and since she's addicted to sweets, I knew this was perfect for her.
I'd never made quarter inch baked goods, so I new going in that they would be the challenge.  And they were!

Although wallpaper and another banner came with the kit, I decided to personalize the bakery to reflect my daughter.  The "now helping" sign reads "34" to remind her of which birthday she was celebrating.  There is a November 2010 calendar on the far right wall.  And the wallpaper is pink, a reminder of when we moved into our current house and were having it repainted and she begged for a pink bedroom.

All in all, I am very happy with the way the bakery turned out.  This kit came from Desert Minis.

French Quarter cafe: The interior

Hmmm, that looks like a BIG empty space.  Actually, it turns out it's a pretty small space when I start filling it up with stuff. 
I think if I had to make this over again, I'd probably use a color other than the coral/pink and green.  But since this was my first quarter inch structure in decades, I decided to stick with the kit instructions as much as possible which included the color scheme.

One thing I've learned with minis is that the "next time" ruminating happens after each project is finished.  One of these days, I hope to have a clearer picture of how a project will look at the end before I begin it.  But I guess this comes with time and practice.

French Quarter cafe: The structure

In January, I finished the structure of the French Quarter cafe.  Even though I began by wondering why the checkered floor paper didn't cover the base as the directions seemed to stipulate, I managed to put the shell of the project together with a minimum of trouble.  The penny in the above photo shows what the scale is in real terms.

This kit comes from Suzanne and Andrew's Miniatures.