Friday, February 26, 2010

Project of the Week of February 26th

This weekend I will be helping my Mother-In-Law move into her new apartment so I thought I better get my project of the week up in case I am exhausted tomorrow.  At christmas De from http://delightfulminis.blogspot.com posted the sweetest christmas tree made from pipe cleaners and generously posted instructions on how to make one.  Her original tutorial is in natural green- but after seeing the silver tree she posted a little while later I knew that would be the perfect tree for my dollhouse bakery.  Here are De's original instructions- this is a link to the first part and then she has 2 posts after this one that further explain the technique:  http://delightfulminis.blogspot.com/2009/12/pipe-cleaner-tree-tutorial-part-1.html
 http://delightfulminis.blogspot.com/2009/12/pipe-cleaner-tree-tutorial-part-2.html  and  http://delightfulminis.blogspot.com/2009/12/pipe-cleaner-tree-tutorial-part-3.html

Here is a picture of De's silver tree that I admired sooo much:  http://delightfulminis.blogspot.com/2009/12/aluminum-christmas-tree.html

and......here is my tree- I had to try it out in the bakery.  I think I left the branches way too long and I need to trim them up a bit- but I was scared of cutting them too short- better to be able to cut away then try to add back :)  Thank you so much for the great tutorial De!!!!  Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!
 
 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Healthy Thinking Thursday!!


 

It's time for Healthy Thinking Thursday!!!  I had a pretty decent week this last week.  I had a couple of days where I fell off the wagon a bit, but overall I think I did okay.  The cupcake I had was entirely worth it :)    We have had a super busy week at work and that is what trips me up as I find it difficult to prepare a healthy and well rounded meal after work on busy days. I've been looking at the DASH diet plan on the internet as it is recommended if your blood pressure is high.  If you are interested you can read about it here:  http://www.dashdiet.org/   I know I won't be able to follow this perfectly because my husband is not on board with a new diet, but I can slowly sneak it in and make changes and  he won't know the difference :)  I am also happy to report that this last week I managed to go for a walk after work every day and I lost 1.8 lbs!!  My friend Laura at http://sunshineshangout.blogspot.com/ has started this with me-   pop on over and see how she is doing- be sure to say hi- she's awesome!  I know a couple of other people are doing this along with Laura and me.  I think this is great because we can encourage each other on bad weeks and celebrate with each other on great weeks.  I've been trying to keep myself excited about this- I found a couple of tips I would like to share with you this week that I am trying out.

1.  Write your healthy goals down and put it somewhere where you will see it every day as a reminder.  I like this tip- I have my goals of lower blood pressure, more energy and clothes that fit better taped up on my fridge at home and on my bulletin board at work.  When the "snack box" at work calls to me- I just re-read my goals.  Working so far!  (the "snack box" is a box a vendor brings in for the guys in the shop every couple of weeks filled with candy and chips.  It has a little slot for money on the back like a bank and whenever you take a snack you leave 80 cents.  Darn snack box talks to me some days- calling my name and telling me it loves me and my money )

2.  Start a "temptation" jar.  This one actually ties into that snack box.  If I feel like I need an unhealthy snack I put the money I would have spent on the snack box in a jar for a non-food treat later- like a manicure, new shirt, plant for the garden, etc.  Then I go snack on some veggies instead.  I'm lucky here because I really love veggies and I'm looking forward to that snack box money being spent on something else.

Anyhow- that's my Healthy Thinking for this week.  Do you have any healthy tips this week?  I'd love to hear them!!!  If you post a Healthy Thinking Thursday post and would like me to include your link when I post please let me know--I'd love to edit my post and add your blog :)

***coming back in to post that Jessie from http://beyondbaffled.blogspot.com/ is also doing a Healthy Thinking Thursdays post too- pop over and say hi to her- her blog is awesome!*******

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Welcome and a Blog Award!!!

I have some new followers to welcome!


First is Vane from http://www.elminimundodevane.com  Vane is from Madrid and her blog is so pretty!  Vane has lots of sweet little dollhouse treats she had been making prior to Valentines day- they all look so real and good enough to eat!

Wendy is from http://worldofwendylu.blogspot.com  I can't remember how I happened upon Wendy's blog, but I am happy I did.  Wendy is much more skilled at needlefelting than I am and has been showing some awesome creations.  Wendy is also trying to finish some of her unfinished projects and has really been an inspiration to me.  If you read backwards in Wendy's blog you will see lots of projects she has been working on- she is an incredible artist. 


Alla is from http://lasminiaturasdeana.blogspot.com/  Alla blogs about dollhouse miniatures too- and gardening too if her blog is translating correctly.  I always love to read about gardening!  Alla has been published in dollhouse magazines and has some fantastic pictures of minis on her blog.

Marilyn is from http://colorado-heartsong.blogspot.com/  I met Marilyn through Less Apathy More Cake's Valentines Day swap.  Marilyn is a teacher- her blog is super adorable!!  Marilyn has  shown a couple of projects  that I love--I'm storing them away to try out later.  Marilyn is also featuring some different barn quilts in her area- I think they are on the sides of buildings.  I think they are beautiful and I look forward to seeing more of them- how cool!

Anna is from http://miniannalee.blogspot.com/  Anna loves dollhouse miniatures too.  Anna has some cute polymer clay minis she has made in a recent post- as well as some hats.  Anna also makes the most amazing mini bottles from light brite pegs and works in 1/144th scale.  I'm always impressed by artists that work in 1/144th scale. 

Glenda is from http://peppercornminis.blogspot.com/  Glenda loves dollhouse miniatures too!  Her blog is fairly new so it would be nice to drop over and say hello to her if you have a moment.  Glenda makes gorgeous rugs and she has a jerkins and hat in mini she made that I think is amazing- what a talented artist you are Glenda!!

Thank you to all of you for visiting me- I am so glad to meet new friends!!



I also was given an award this week from Casey at http://caseymini.blogspot.com/   Casey has given me the Sunshine Award.  Thank you Casey- I could use some sunshine :)  The rules are to pass the award on to six blogs that I follow.  I have to honestly say that reading blogs is my favorite part of the day.  All of your blogs bring sunshine to my day so thank you all!  After much thought- here are six blogs that are always cheery, fun to read and written by wonderful people.

Doreen from http://doreensminiatures.blogspot.com/

Laura from http://sunshineshangout.blogspot.com

Patricia from http://papillonbleuuk.blogspot.com

Cia from http://briarwoodminiatures.blogspot.com/

Susan from http://susanshouses.blogspot.com

Anna from http://miniannalee.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 22, 2010

Where do the weekends go???

I am always amazed at  how quickly my weekend disappears. I spent a little time helping my hubby finish laying down new carpet in our bedroom and then I made a skirt for the bottom of the bed- it's attached with velcro to the back side of the logs so I can take it off to wash it, but I don't have to try to get it out of underneath our King size mattress each time.  The carpet is nothing special- but it was only $60 to do our entire room, and at this point we could use the savings --and only the hubby and I see it.  I am so happy about it- the old carpet must have been as old as the house, and it was disgusting when we pulled it up.  Here's a little peek:
 

I did a little landscaping on Bernard's house.  Thank you to everyone for the tip to look at the hobby store- we used model railroad landscaping to cover the bright green felt- I think it looks a lot better.


The best part of the weekend was fun mail goodies.  Mel from Less Apathy More Cake sent me a little treat for being one of the first people to sign up for her Valentines Day card swap- Melanye made the heart  magnet and I think it is just the cutest thing around!  Thank you Melanye- you really made my day!!!  Thanks again for hosting such a fun swap too!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Project of the Week

This week for my project of the week I choose to play with beads.  I followed a tutorial from Casey at Casey's Minis (that link will take you to the tutorial).  I had fun with this- the bottle is only about 3 inches high.  I learned I need to pull the thread tighter as I go, and I also learned that if the bottle is straight I am better off not messing with increasing or decreasing the number of beads.  I really had fun with this tutorial because I think that I will be using this technique again on other projects- thanks for a great tutorial Casey!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

I have a winner!!!

 

I have a winner for the new needlefelted puppy!  I had my husband pull a name out of the bowl and the winner is Julia from http://juliassewsweetandspecial.blogspot.com/  

Julia if you would please send me an email at flowerarts at gmail dot com with your address I will send this little guy off to you right away next week ♥  I'll be back tomorrow with a project of the week :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Healthy Thinking Thursday

Some readers probably remember me posting last fall that I needed to get back to healthy habits and take better care of myself.    Well, I have not been very strict with that and when I went to the doctor for my neck I got a lecture on my blood pressure being too high-so now I really need to be serious about getting back to a healthy state.  My friend Laura from http://sunshineshangout.blogspot.com has been working on becoming more healthy also.  Laura and I decided to be partners on this journey- it 's always helpful to me to have someone to encourage me and celebrate my successes as well as to kick me in the butt when I start to decline.  I'm really grateful to Laura for deciding to let me partner up on healthy living with her- I know she will be a big help to me when I feel like quitting- I hope I can do the same for her :)  Laura posted some dresses she hopes to fit into this summer for inspiration to herself and I thought that was a great idea, so I am going to post a few dresses that no longer fit also.  Here are my 3 inspiration dresses:
 

Since I really want to stick with the program this time I am setting small goals for each week and trying to make the goals a habit in my daily routine.  My goals for this week are to drink waaaaay less soda and more water.  I am up to 6 glasses of water in a day and one can of soda- it's hard for me to go cold turkey on the soda because I get withdrawl headaches from no caffeine.  I am also trying to walk for 30 minutes at least 4 times a week to start.  Since the sun is shining longer- it is easier for me to walk outside after work now, so this has not been too hard.  I hope to keep posting my goals and maybe even to post recipes or tips as I find them.  If you would like to meet Laura and  see how she is doing the above link takes you right to her post for Healthy Thinking Thursday.  Thanks for doing this with me Laura- you are an awesome friend!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

I Forgot!!!

In my nervousness at trying to post my needle felting tutorial I completely forgot to show you all the most amazing Valentines Day card I received from my friend Jessie at http://beyondbaffled.blogspot.com/  Jessie put so much work into this card- it is amazing and I love it!  She transformed me and her into fairies in the garden....take a look:  Here is the front..........
                                             Here is the inside............................
 
Here is the back............

Isn't it beautiful??  Thank you Jessie!!!!!
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Felting Tutorial!

Okay, I am going to attempt a basic felting tutorial.  I have only made a couple things and I am still learning, but I think this would give you a basic idea to try it if you are interested.  There are a lot of good books out there right now on needlefelting.  These are the steps I took on the dogs I have made so far:  First I took two pipecleaners and made an armature of the dog's body.  Next I located all my supplies:  a thick foam block to poke the needle into, a felting needle, wool roving and 2 tiny black beads I used for eyes.  Here you can see the foam block, the needle and the armature.
 

My next step is to wrap a strip of wool roving around one of the legs of the armature- you can see that in the background picture above.  Here is the same leg with a strip of roving above it- this is how it looks when you pull it out of the package.  

After wrapping the leg with the roving- just a tad bit loosely, I take the needle and start to jab.  The needle is extremely sharp, so you need to pay attention while you jab.  The book I was using also stresses that you need to jab straight up and down to avoid stressing and breaking the needle.  As you jab the leg will start to condense and take shape.  I flip the leg around occasionally so that I am jabbing all sides and I try to jab more where I want the leg to thin down and jab less in the areas I want to stay fuller.  I add the legs one at a time until all four legs are felted, and then I use the same process on the trunk of the dog.  I wrap a big piece of roving around the dog's trunk and then start to jab it into shape.  I try to pull and combine the trunk's roving in with the legs so that the body and legs become one.  I look at a picture of a dog while I am doing this to get an idea of the form and where there would be indentations for muscles.  If the form is not right it is pretty easy to add more wool and keep forming, but it is not as easy to take away wool once it has been felted. 

 
When I am done I have the basic felted shape of my dog's body.  Now we need a head....I take a larger strip of wool felting and shape it into a loose ball of wool  I jab at the wool to condense the head a bit, and then once again I jab more where I want the dog's head to indent a bit- like to form a muzzle.


When the shape of the head looks good to you it's time to add ears.  You can make long and droopy, perky, tiny, large- up to you.  I choose to have perky ears so I took a small piece of roving and folded it over to form an ear shape.  It is easier to attach this to the head if you leave a wisp of roving coming out from the ear.  Keep jabbing the ear, flipping back and forth until you have a shape and density of felting that you like.  Position the ear on your head and start to anchor the ear in place by jabbing the loose roving into the head first, and then jabbing a bit at the other side of the ear, so that both sides of the ear are felted into the head.  Now I position the head onto the body, pulling a bit to loosen the fibers at the base of the head and the place I will anchor it to on the body.  Carefully lie your dog on it's side and jab lightly through the base of the head and into the body.  I use lots and lots of light jabs that don't actually even leave the dog body at this stage because I don't want to create a dog with a noticeable indent at his neck.  I do jab lightly for quite awhile though to ensure a good felted connection.  I kind of tug lightly at the head every so often to see how it is sticking. 
 

For the nose of the dog I took just a tiny little wisp of black wool and jabbed it right into the dog's muzzle.  I glued two tiny black beads in for his eyes.  Every dog needs a tail, so I took a strip of roving and twisted it a bit-still leaving a wisp at the end.  Then I started jabbing until I had a long skinny tail.  I added this to the body the same way as the ears- and now we have a new dog!!!

  

Here is a picture of the new dog with Rose in the dollhouse so you have a better idea of how they look in 1/12 scale.  I still need to work on it, but practicing making these little guys is really fun, so back to the drawing board I go.   Hope my tutorial made sense and if anyone has all the supplies but has been scared to try (like me) I say "go for it!"  It is really fun!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!!!

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!!!!  I did a bit of work on the flower shop and bakery dollhouse for Valentines day- I didn't finish, but there is always next year :)  If you are late getting something for your sweetie please stop in- Rose and Hans would be happy to help you find the perfect gift!

First is the bakery- there a couple heart shaped cakes made from paperclay that I have not decorated yet.  Much of the cupcakes and cookies are made from my friend Cathy from http://thefabulousfarmhouse.com/ and a lot of the cakes are made from my friend Patricia from http://papillonbleuuk.blogspot.com .  I made the new stands in front of the counter from chess pieces, wooden candle cups and poker chips.  I'm going to try my hand at making some polymer clay canes to decorate the paper clay hearts later this week.
 
  

Here's the flower shop.  The bears in the front window are a Hallmark ornament.  I pried off the storybook they were holding and replaced it with a heart.  Maia's doll is on the front counter- someone already wants to take her home for his Valentine!

 
  



Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentines Day Present to Myself :)

   I have been a big fan of Maia's dolls from http://maiastwinkleminiatures.com/shop/  I decided to treat myself to one for a Valentine's Day present to myself.  She arrived this last week- she is amazing!!!  She is so tiny- but the detail is incredible- she even has tiny little buttons on her dress.  Take a look!!!
 

I love her so much!!  Here is a picture of her on the counter being sold at the flower shop- Thank you Maia!!!  Thank you also for the little brooch you sent with her- I'm still trying to decide where I will use it :)

 

I have been working on the felting tutorial- about halfway done with another dog, so if you are interested keep an eye out for that tutorial on Monday :)

LAMC Valentines Swap!!!

I recieved my swap card from Less Apathy More Cake's Valentines Day Swap!!  My partner made me this sweet card and the most awesome cd of love songs- I have been listening it to it a lot since it came in the mail- thank you so much Vivian!!

 
  

Here is the card I made for my swap partner--the heart is felt and has a pin attached to the back.

 

This swap was really fun- Thank you so much for organizing it Melanye !!!!

Project of the Week of February 13

I worked two jobs at the end of this week, so I decided on a project that I could finish in one day.  This week's project of the week I found from this tutorial:  http://gondasminiaturen.blogspot.com/2009/10/cakeplateau.html

I plan to use it in my bakery to hold cookies or cupcakes eventually.  Here's my version- I think it might need one more wash of paint but I wanted to get my project of the week up before the week was over!

 

It's not really this crooked- I took the picture on the bed and did not realize until I went to edit it that the entire picture slants!  Oh well- I'll show it again full of some goodies and straight :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

WELCOME TO NEW FOLLOWERS!!!

I am trying to catch up from my little hiccup in life here- and I am very late in welcoming some new friends to my blog! I'm so happy you have all come to visit me!!



First is Susan from http://minicrochetmad.blogspot.com/  .  Susan is a miniature artist that does wonderful crochet work, along with other miniatures such as furniture.  Susan is also been working on minis with her grandchildren- which I think is so awesome!  If you go back a bit in Susan's blog you can see the crochet hooks she uses for mini crochet- so tiny and amazing!

Next is Dawn from http://inmyminiatureworld.blogspot.com/ .  Dawn is working on a beautiful dollhouse named the Longbourne House.  Dawn also does mini crochet, needlepoint and does needlefelting!!!  Dawn has the most amazing 1/4 scale teahouse dollhouse on her blog- you should take a look- it is wonderful :)

Victoria is from Spain and has many blogs.   I really liked looking through her blog entitled http://isla300.blogspot.com/ which is translating "the hiding of the swallows".  The translator is translating her blog strangely, but I believe she has made many of the things she is showcasing on this blog- I especially love the nativity further back in the blog made from dried gourds.  I also love the blog http://iala300-victoria.blogspot.com/  which is a blog centering on rescuing and helping animals that have been abused and neglected. 

Last, we have Paulette from http://beedeebabee.blogspot.com/ .  I stumbled across Paulette's blog while blog hopping and I love it so much!  Paulette does such delicate and beautiful stitching and beadwork. I don't post mine here often, but I love beadwork, my favorite is beaded embroidery.  I will enjoy watching her creations and she has already inspired me so much- thank you for visiting me too Paulette!!

My neck and shoulder are feeling so much better today, but I am still taking it slowly and one little step back into a normal routine at a time.  After this past week I can truly see where a bad fall can be devastating for an older person--I guess this has been a very good reminder that I am not getting younger and perhaps I better get my body a bit stronger.  Hope you all have a great day!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Winner!!!

Hi all!  I am popping in very quickly to announce the winner of my small give away for the long haired chihuahua needle felted dog.  It is .......

Jayne from Tallulah Belle!!!!!!

Jayne- I have your address already so I will get him off into the mail sometime this week!  Thank you again everyone for all your sweet comments.  My neck is still hurting pretty good- I am worried about this because I work the later part of this week at the flower shop after my full time job.  I hope I do not make it worse- I go back to the doctor again tomorrow to see if it is healing up correctly-so I guess I'll see what he says.  I have not done ANY crafts in over a week and I think I am going stir crazy!!!!  I never realized how much creating is a part of my every day life!  Don't know if I will be around much this week with 2 jobs going on....but I am determined to be back on the weekend with a basic needlefelt tutorial of what I have learned so far--even if I have to rope the hubby into helping me with it!  Have a great week!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Temporary Absence

Hi all!  I am popping in to say I will have a little delay on my project of the week and a tutorial on needlefelting I planned on posting.  I slipped on ice a few days ago and I hurt my neck quite badly.  I thought that with stretching and alternating hot and ice packs that I could get it to go away- but it is getting worse.  I had to grit my teeth to finish up projects I absolutely needed to get done, so now I am going to the doctor and taking a tiny break to try to get my neck to heal---I'll be back soon though!  If I said I would do something for you and I have not done it would you please remind me----I feel as if I dropped some balls here while I am hurting so much!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Small Give- Away!!!

I was avoiding  my housework on sunday so I decided to try some more needle felting.  I was curious if I could create a smaller dog so I decided to try a long hair chihuahua.  In my opinion it is harder the smaller you go- I feel that way a bit about minis too though :)  Here is the new doggie....and I am offering him as a give-away.  If you would like a chance to own this little guy just comment on this post between today and friday night.  I will draw a winner on sunday and ship him right off to you.  He is not exactly dollhouse size- maybe a little more towards Barbie or playscale size- but he is cute :)  I'm going to keep practicing---I would like to be able to make 1/12 scale animals eventually.
 

 

For all the professional dollmakers out there- is there a big difference between chenile stems and armature wire?  If I wanted to try a needle felt gnome would I be better off starting with professional wire? 

New Wonderfulness!!!!!!

My friend and extremely talented seamstress Amy at Ponder and Stitch recently had a free shipping sale and it was just enough to prod me to head over to her etsy store.  I have wanted one of her cuffs for a long time--this time I found one that spoke to me- especially right now as I am suffering from a bit of the winter blues.  My new cuff arrived this last weekend and I have only taken it off to take baths- I have had it on my wrist constantly!  I love it so much!!  It is so much more elegant and dainty than the pictures at her store show- the stitching is so sweet- I embroider a lot, but I have never been able to stitch words this delicately- I am in awe and inspired to work on my stitching more!  I also love the words so much- sometimes when I am a bit depressed it helps if I tell myself to stop overwhelming my brain- to stop and be still for awhile and be calm.  Now when I find myself needing to settle down, to breathe and relax- I just glance at my wrist.  I calm down and relax- but I smile too because I am reminded of the wonderful friends I have met from blogging that I have never met in person, but whom I feel so close to all the same.  Thank you so much Amy- I really love it a lot!  If you have never met Amy you should pop over to her blog and say hello.  She is the sweetest person and her blog is amazing♥  Check out her etsy store too- I see she just listed a new headband I am coveting !!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/ponderandstitch
I'm going to list a give-away this afternoon, so I'll see you all a bit later !

 

 

For Amina from Clay, Paper Wood Wire

This is a quick little post for my friend Amina from the blog Clay, Paper, Wood, Wire.   Amina is building her dollhouse from scratch- she is doing an awesome job!  In the bedroom there will be sliding glass doors and this post is to show Amina how my husband did the sliding doors for the cooler in my flower shop dollhouse.  There are 2 doors- one in front of the other.  We made the doors with skinny sticks and some of the plastic packaging that things come wrapped in- the hard clear sheet plastic you need a scissors to get your item out of the blasted packaging- know what I mean?  Anyhow- there is an indented track that both doors sit into- for ours we did not carve one out, but rather added raised flooring tiles on both sides- which left an indent where there were no tiles.  You could also put a small strip of wood on both sides of the doors to create a channel and then disguise this with molding I would think.  It is so hard to explain- and it is so hard to get a good picture of the cooler because it is at the back of the dollhouse and when I get in there the flash is rendered useless.  I hope you can get a little idea of what I mean Amina- basically we created a channel for the doors to fit into- loose enough for them to move, but snug enough they stand straight up and don't wobble.  We made the same channel up on the ceiling with the strip wood that will be camouflaged by trim.  Please feel free to ask me more questions- I will help if I can- but thought that my door might spark some ideas for you- even if you just use the idea and do your door totally different.  Good luck with the door- I love your house and I can't wait to see what you do!!!