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Totally Random Updates

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Where to begin?

We have taken advantage of some nicer than expected weather to start painting the outside of the house we live in. It gave us something to do with the leftover paint from the Victorian!

We won’t get it done until next Spring, but a half painted house is good incentive to finish. (Doesn’t the fresh paint make that old roof look awful?)

I’ve also been doing massive sorts and purges. Moving is good incentive for that sort of thing. Can’t seem to purge too many minis, though.

Speaking of minis, I found these LED lights at the Home Depot. Perfect size for a mini tree. LEDs are becoming one of my favorite things.

I know I shouldn’t do it, but I leave cheap dog food out for the raccoons and possums in the area so they don’t get into the trash and don’t eat all the bird seed. This can lead to less invited visitors. Last Summer we had a red fox that was able to be all kumbaya with the raccoons and possums. A couple of nights ago, we had a black bear come by!

The picture is not the clearest since it was dark and, frankly, my husband and I were both too chicken to crack the door open. (You really need to enlarge the picture to see the bear at all.) Dog food outside is now banned for a few days in the hopes that the bear will move on.

Since it is Monday, I thought I’d throw in a Menu Plan Monday for good measure. This week we are eating:

Quinoa Italian Style (Sauteed Veggies, Tomatoes, Oregano, Basil, and Garlic)
Lentil Soup
Latkes and Applesauce
Homemade Pizza

Simple eating so I stayed focused on sorting and purging!


P.S. If you come just for the blog, please check out all the December Holiday Fun over at Bry-Back Manor!

Inspiration In A Bag?

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Now that outdoor work weather is coming to a close, I am hoping these goodies I acquired over the weekend will provide some inspiration for making minis.

My mom grew up during the Depression and has a tendency to save everything. (Okay, to give her credit, she is finally working on downsizing!) This weekend I got to raid her boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes of fabric scraps.

These are 50 year old fabrics:

And these? 1968 – 1972? I should have asked, but I was too busy sorting.

Not everything is 1:12 scale, but these scraps were too much fun to pass up.


What A Difference A Year Makes!

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Last year about this time I was decorating my Eastside Townhouse 1950’s style, putting together a 1/4 scale Halloween House, and planning my Fascination Station build.

This year in minis – nada! zip! zilch! bupkis!

Sigh. I really hope to change that this winter.

In the mean time, my husband and I have taken this 1:1 house:

And transformed it to this house:

And, although I don’t need another another dollhouse project right now nor do I especially have an overwhelming desire to make another Victorian, I couldn’t help but take a look at what might be transformed into a mini replica of our future home. The closest I found was this by Real Good Toys:


Hey! It’s also Menu Plan Monday.

With all the construction this Summer and getting up and out early in the day and coming home not so early, menu planning and personal chef days have been essential in making sure we always have something to nosh when we get home and have kept us from making too many last minute pit stops for General Tso’s Tofu.

So I menu planned, but I didn’t always get the chance to write it down.

On our menus this week:

Can Can Chili
Tofurkey Italian Sausage w/Peppers and Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Egg Fo Yung (homemade) and Rice
AND I’ll be making a lot of Pesto to avoid the last minute rush before First Frost

Kudos out there to all the bloggers who somehow manage to keep their blogs focused and on track. I think, sometimes, that instead of calling this a minis blog, I should have called it my Middle-Aged Lady Who Sometimes Makes Miniatures Sometimes Does Construction Sometimes Gardens Always Cooks And Can Be Easily Sidetracked With The Next New Thing Blog.


P.S. There’s lots of Halloween fun over at Bry-Back Manor!

I’d Rather Be Making Minis – Part Two

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Well, the excitement never ends!

Due to a rather nasty storm in Virginia, we lost our power for 10 days (We are part of a very elite group!)

I still have this in my front yard.

That is a pine tree and an oak tree in an intimate embrace.

The good part was that we had the apartment we were fixing up to get water, shower, and store food. The bad part was 100 degree temperatures and only some battery operated mini fans.

A great big boo hiss for Appalachian Power.

We did manage to finally finish the apartment repairs.

See the new crown molding in the kitchen? No compound cuts! I think I saw Otterine do something like that in one of her dollhouses. Now I know why. It does not make you a crazy person when doing trim in an old, never square room house. Or a maybe not so square dollhouse.

So I have been a painting, trim working, get out the miter saw and the power nailer babe of late. But in 1:1 scale only. Sigh.



I’d Rather Be Making Minis!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

1:1 construction has replaced 1:12 construction lately. My husband and I have been working on our real life Victorian (there is a certain irony in working on an old house in real life and preferring modern minis these days, I think).

After two years (that is really bad!) the painting on the exterior is finally finished. Plans this summer are to finish the porch, put together some sort of storage shed in the backyard, and to do something with the front yard (flowers? bushes?).

Most of the time this past month, however, has been spent repairing the apartment side of the house. Sadly, not very well vetted tenants pretty much trashed the place (we know better now, I hope!). Okay, the didn’t break everything. But, we are talking hundreds of dollars worth of damage (thousands, possibly, if we had to hire people to do the work). Besides the usual suspects of broken window frames and baseboards, they broke every door on the inside, broke the glass in the gas heating stove, and took down all the crown molding in the kitchen (I later found some of the broken crown molding under the old garage). Who does that?

To be fair, they did try to do some repairs themselves. Doesn’t this trim work look as good as new?

In the background of that picture is my painted over wallpaper. Sigh.

On a different note, since we were “in the hood” I decided to participate in the neighborhood yard sale day.

Yard sales are funny things. Sellers want to make a little money. Buyers don’t want to spend money. And the majority of people out at 8:00 in the morning on a Saturday are retired couples looking to pass some time knowing full well that they don’t need to buy one single thing. (Why, oh, why don’t we have yard sales in the afternoon aimed at young couples with children who actually WANT TO BUY things?)

I did manage to make a tiny bit of cash. And I got rid of a few things, which is also part of the point of a yard sale. (Someone out there still owes me 50¢ for the bag of pinback buttons that went missing.)

And lest you think that this post has absolutely nothing to do with miniatures, I will say that I did have an old dollhouse on my yard sale for $5.

I made that dollhouse for my mother a long time ago. Granted it is not wonderful. (I am much pickier about things now and rarely make a kit without upgrading it.) But, I thought $5 was a fair enough price given that the kit was $20 and shingles, wallpaper, and wood trims probably about $20 more. Heck, I thought, you could take the house apart and put it back together with new colors and better components and still make out. Silly me! “Would you take less for the house?” “Is that your best price?” I was asked. Seriously? $5 is too much? The house did not sell.

Another interesting miniatures/yard sale moment was an older couple who saw my little house and told me about theirs. They even came back later with some pictures. The husband built his wife a 5 foot by 4 foot replica of her childhood home with incredible detail, including a turret in the style of Luxembourg where her grandfather was born. Pretty cool!

Well, back to repair work for me.


Comments Anyone?

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Modern Mini Houses brought to my attention that comments were not working properly. Well, that totally stunk! After getting my techie husband to look at the code and give up, I decided the best course of action was to change my theme. And so I did. Comments are working now. In fact, I got my first spam comment! (DOH!)