Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Taking a Break

I am taking a short blogging break for a couple of weeks.  I am a bit overwhelmed in real life and I really need to concentrate on getting things in my life back to normal.  I'll probably be around here and there reading blogs of my wonderful friends, but didn't want anyone to worry or wonder if I did not even do that.  See you in a couple weeks!!  Hopefully full of renewed energy :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

I Hate Technology and I Think It Hates Me too.

Well, I kind of made a video of my garden.  There is no talking because this was about the 100th try.  The quality is really bad because it is on my ancient point and shoot camera that I don't even use anymore- I was just curious if I could take a video with it and actually get it to post.  I think it will work, but if you don't see anything here that means that once again it did not work and I give up for awhile.  Sooo.......here goes- tell me if you can watch it if you happen to click play, ok?
video

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Project of the Week April 24

This week for my project I made some flowers from some kits I bought from http://www.hankypankycrafts.com

I bought a kit for daffodils and lillies, as well as a plain terra cotta rabbit container.  I painted the planter and made the flowers from the kits- then planted them in paper clay into the planter.  I need to put a spot of "soil" on the top when the paper clay is dry, but I am pretty pleased with the results.  I cannot believe how long this planter took me to create- I have HUGE respect for miniature plant artists like my friend Jayne from http://tallulahbelleoriginals.blogspot.com  It was fun though- and I think with a little practice I could get them looking a little more realistic.  I can't wait till next Easter to be able to display this in the flower shop dollhouse.  I'm off to try to create a toilet for the bus kit.  I'll be posting pictures if I can get it to work- hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Healthy Thinking Thursday



It is Thursday and time for Healthy Thinking! I'm going to ramble a bit- just be warned. I'm still finding it hard to find some kind of balance in my life. I'm a girl that likes lists, schedules, and little change. Right now with trying to help my Mother In Law find some kind of new balance in her life, I feel like my own life is all out of sorts. I've tried to work out some new "schedules" for myself to stick to- a constant that won't change so that my mind can feel a little calm. I wonder if I am the only person to feel this way- almost like if I don't have a plan I can't concentrate and I end up just floating all over the place? So- first let me tell you about last week. I did pretty good. I did not exercise every day- but I spent a lot of time out in the garden and I know that counts in a different way. I ate pretty good- lots more veggies, less sugar. I had the most wonderful greasy hamburger from the bar on the corner this last week-but made up for it the next meal with an awesome salad. Like my friend Laura says- it's all about balance and not denying yourself all the time. I finally stepped on the scale and for the last 2 weeks I am down one pound. I was originally really upset about this- it's not coming off very fast for me and it's frustrating. However,I just think that I have to stop thinking this way- who cares if it comes off at all- I just need to be healthier. I can feel muscles in my legs and butt that I couldn't feel before and I'm falling into bed and sleeping through the night- and those are healthy improvements. I tend to beat myself up and head towards the negative and thankfully my friends that are with me in this journey are there to remind me that it is about being positive and being healthy- not about being skinny and starving myself for that pound. I know from being in weight watchers before that I will reach a point that these struggles will suddenly disappear and I will wonder why it all seemed so hard- so I just have to stick it out and keep my chin up. Go away bad, negative thoughts- I have no time for you! So....I got out my pen and paper and made some lists. First off, I chose a couple of exercises I could do in my office each day that I am at work. I am lucky in that I work in an office alone. People are in and out during the day- but I have plenty of time alone to do 15 jumping jacks or 15 lunges as a break from my paperwork. It's a schedule I can stick to and puts some  order back into my life. I also sat down and planned some meals that I can prepare for lunch as well as dinners. No more rushing to figure out what to make for dinner when we get home from work or errands, and I can make my lunch for the next day at the same time as I am preparing dinner. Just this little bit of order and schedule should make my next week a lot more pleasant and hopefully help my concentration a lot.

Here is my one healthy tip I found this week:

Focus on complex carbohydrates. Foods such as baked potatoes, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain breads, and bananas boost your “feel-good” serotonin levels without a crash. They also provide plenty of fiber, so you feel full much longer

Please visit my friends on their healthy journeys also--

Laura from http://sunshineshangout.blogspot.com
Angela from http://www.sacrificialdiet.com/
Jessie from http://beyondbaffled.blogspot.com/
and Julia does Fat Fighting Fridays http://juliassewsweetandspecial.blogspot.com 

Have a great day all!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Bus and The Garden

I did not even turn the computer on over the weekend- I was a busy gal!  I worked in my garden during the day and worked on the bus at night- and I made a little progress on both.  The bus now has a front glued on and the bathroom has a tile floor, a half finished shower stall and a vanity with sink.  I am pretty proud to say that I built everything in the bathroom.  Practice is helping- I think my minis are improving a little bit.  I also tried to dirty up the bathroom a little- I'm not done yet, but at least I got past the nerves of starting.  I'm not really sure how I am going to make a toilet- but I'll figure something out.  I even made the little pocket door on the bathroom and it really moves!  Still needs a door handle :)   The dashboard is glued on and I started a sink and counter to go next to the stove.  The two seats came with the kit- I think I am going to make a table to go with them.  There will be a small sleeping area behind the bathroom there.   I also worked in the garden last weekend--here is a pile of brush and weeds that came out of there- still lots of work to do!  I have lots of green popping up through the soil- but this little white grape hyacinth is the only thing blooming so far :)  


Friday, April 16, 2010

SOFTIES FOR SHELBY!!!! (project of the week)



This week for my project of the week I have been working on a couple of stuffed animals for Softies For Shelby.  Shelby is the young daughter of Lori from Oh Mini of Mine and she is battling some health problems right now.  She could use some cheering up as she is also in pain due to a fractured femur!  Carey from http://chicorynits.blogspot.com is collecting stuffed toys to send to Shelby--you can read more about this here:  http://softiesforshelby.blogspot.com/  I made a little boy and girl dog- from a simple pattern I found for free on the web.  If you have some extra time and would like to make something to cheer up a sick little girl please visit Carey's blog.  You can find the info on where to send your finished item as well as see some of the other wonderful plushies other people have made.  Thank you Carey for asking me if I would join in- these were really fun to make- I hope that Shelby likes them :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Healthy Thinking Thursday



I'm feeling kind of cranky about Thursday's today.  Just being honest here- I'm allowed to be honest  on thursday, right?  It might be PMS or it might be having to admit that I am not 20 years old anymore, but I just feel cranky this last week about eating, exercise and medicine.  I hate that I need to pay attention to all three of these- but hopefully writing this out will make it better......and just like weight watchers- a new week always fills me with new determination and a little bit of excitement about being the best I can be.  I did really well with my goals from last week- I walked almost every day and I did the exercise tapes- but not the entire workout because I am so out of shape that it hurts so darn bad!  I think I have "hobbled" out of my bed every single day this week- I'm trying to be patient waiting for that magical day when my muscles adjust and there is not so much pain that goes along with the exercise.  I just know it has to be coming along soon!  I did OK with my eating- still need to focus on that sooo much. I did get veggies at the beginning of the week and chop them up for snacks, but I am out now and I need to fix that soon!   I need to remember to eat slower and I still need to adjust portions more---some days I'm really good about putting more veggies on my plate than meat and carbs- but then other days I blow it by not cooking a vegetable at all.
This is a super boring post today because I was so cranky this last week that I didn't even look for new tips- it was all I could do just to concentrate on the goals I had.  I didn't weigh today- I think I could have lost, but when I am already in an off mood- if the scale is up it can sabotage me so I just choose to wait till a better day.  My goals for this next week:

1.  Take care of myself first!  I know this sounds stupid- but I have been running for work, my hubby and my mother-in-law.   I've cancelled my planned exercise time twice this last week to fit in things for my Mother-In-Law and since she does not work and I do- I think the next time I will tell her that I can help her, but after I do what I already had planned.  I don't think that is too unfair- do you?

2.  Buy a couple of the smaller plates I was looking at the other day.  Our plates are really large and I think if I started out with a smaller plate and therefore smaller portions maybe I would have more control?  You know- like if I have to actually get up and refill my plate it might make me think about if I am full or not?  I have a hard time leaving any food on my plate too, so maybe starting with a smaller plate will help in that area too.

Anyhow- I promise I will be in a much better mood about healthy living next week.  I think the hardest part of this last week has been feeling so sore- I think when this passes I'll be back to normal and raring to go!

Please visit my friends to see how they are doing and give them some encouragement too.  Laura at http://sunshineshangout.blogspot.com   Angela at http://www.sacrificialdiet.com/  Jessie at http://beyondbaffled.blogspot.com/  and Julia from http://juliassewsweetandspecial.blogspot.com  does Fat Fighting Fridays, so you could visit her tomorrow.

I hope to be back tomorrow with my project of the week if I can finish up--it's a very special one so I hope you check back in :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I need advice please mini friends!

I have been slowly working away at the bus- I'm going to try to actually keep at this project until I finish it.  I need advice ........the bus is the home of a pig (that I still need to needlefelt) and at the end of the project I want the bus to have a really lived in, messy--slightly dirty and dingy looking feel to it.  For some reason I am scared to death of that part of the project.  I'm unsure how to even start making things look dingy and dirty.  Do I just use really thin and watered down washes of brown paint?  Will that look too heavy and I will mess everything up?  I really like my progress so far, but I'm wondering if I should be adding the messy parts as I go along or if I should do it all at the end.  If anyone out there has some words of advice, some tips or even tutorials they want to point me to I would be super grateful! 

Monday, April 12, 2010

New Followers and an Award!!

I have some new followers to welcome and an award too!  I love blogland so much!  Let's start with the followers.

Natascha from http://aworldofminiatures.blogspot.com/   Natasha is from The Netherlands.  She enjoys dollhouse miniatures and her blog is very new.  If you visit her and say hello you can see the most gorgeous crocheted bedspread her Mom has made for her miniature bed- as well as some great goodies she just purchased at the dollhouse show in Arnhem.  I look forward to reading your blog  Natascha!

Mirja from http://happylittlemuffin.blogspot.com/  Mirja also loves dollhouse miniatures and has just started a mini chocolaterie.  Her miniature chocolate goodies she has created so far are mouth watering!  It's not only chocolate creations though- go further backwards and drool over the wonderful pies and pastries Mirja has created in miniature- and you have to see all the wonderful goodies she received from a birthday mini swap!  Beautiful blog- you won't want to miss it!

Carey from http://softiesforshelby.blogspot.com/  and http://chicorynits.blogspot.com/  First I would like to tell you about the first blog- softies for Shelby.  Shelby is a young girl that has been battling some health problems.  Her Mom is a fellow blogger and Carey has come up with the wonderful idea of creating some stuffed love for Shelby to bring a smile to her face.  I am making a softy for Shelby and if you have the time and would like to join in on this project please visit this blog where you can find Carey's address as well as links to patterns and all the other info.  Carey's other blog is so sweet- I can't believe I have never come across it before this.  You can find pictures of her 39 square embroidery project (which makes me drool whenever I come across a blog that participated in this) as well as pictures of mini projects she is working on and fabulous table arrangements.  If you go backwards a bit you will see a tablescape of rustic cabin type theme- I am in love with it!!! 

Kristy from http://minimenagerie.blogspot.com/  Kristy's blog is also fairly new.  This is another blog you just have to visit because not only is Kristy very talented, but she has a great sense of humor too.  Kristy creates jaw dropping minis- you have to take a look at the miniature etch a sketch!  Amazing!  You have to go see her "Animals Smoking Area" for yourself because I just can't tell you how awesome it is in words. Please visit her and say hello if you have time.

There is also Monique and blogger does not tell me her blog address.  Monique, if you read this would you please tell me your blog link?  I would love to read your blog too if I don't already!

Thank you all for visiting me!  Lovely to meet new friends!!!

I also have a blog award to accept today!!  Jamie from http://jlilroomer.blogspot.com has sent me the Premio Amigo Artesano Award.  Thank you Jamie- so sweet to think of me!  I believe I have to give this award to 5 blogs and I have seen it going around, so if this is a double for you then it must just mean your blog is fabulous!  It's always hard to choose, but here are 5 blogs that I think show fabulous craftsmanship- but there are so many more than 5 that deserve this.

Kristy from  http://minimenagerie.blogspot.com/  because I have just discovered her blog- she's new to blogging and her items are both amazing and they make me giggle.

Julia from http://juliassewsweetandspecial.blogspot.com because she can sew the most beautiful creations out of  anything and she is a master paper cutting artist.  (I know there is a name for this art but I was too lazy to look up the long word :) )

Jenny from http://jennymatlock.blogspot.com because she is an incredibly gifted writer.  She does some awesome craft projects also- but it is her painting with words that makes me laugh and makes me cry.  

Jayne from http://tallulahbelleoriginals.blogspot.com because I purchased my first "handmade" miniature from her and she opened a whole new world of minis and mini artists to me.  Her work is exquisite and you can tell how much time and love goes into her pieces when you look at them.

I know these last 2 ladies have this award, but I have to mention them on my list because they both inspire me to make miniatures and to use materials I have- to keep my eyes open to mini possibilities.  You both inspire me more than you know.  De from http://delightfulminis.blogspot.com/ and Doreen from http://doreensminiatures.blogspot.com

Hope your Monday is sunny and wonderful!!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Project of the week and a Winner!

I've been working on lots of different projects this week, so I had not even started a "project of the week" until this morning.  The other day Anna from http://miniannalee.blogspot.com posted a tutorial for a cute mini bear made from pipe cleaners and I knew I wanted to try it out.  Here is the link to the tutorial if you would like to try too:  http://miniannalee.blogspot.com/2010/04/tutorial-pipe-cleaner-bear.html 

I didn't have any black beads tiny enough for the eyes, so I just painted the eyes and nose on this one- but I think it would be more cute with the beads for eyes.  Amelie has already claimed him so I guess I'll have  to make a couple more for the flower shop. Thanks for such a great tutorial Anna- so clear and easy to follow and so fun!

  Last week I made a little purse out of an old book and I was doing a give-away for it.  I put all of the names in a bowl and had my hubby pick a name.  This lady has really good luck because this is the second time her name has been pulled!  Julia- you are the winner of the little purse.  I am not sure if I still have your addy in my email so if you could would you please send me your address again?


I've also been doing a little bit of work on the bus.  I have the back glued on now and I constructed a little bathroom out of foam core.  I'm working on the dashboard-I'm thinking I might try to make a little cb radio with a cord on there too.  I need to paint the dials in the circles and finish painting the steering wheel.  Now I'm going back outside to the garden- it is gorgeous in Minnesota today and I am taking advantage of that!  I actually have some little grape hyacinth coming up and some tulips coming up- if we would get a spot of rain I bet things would turn green in my garden quickly!!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Healthy Thinking Thursday!!

Well, here we are at Thursday again :)  I am very pleased with this last week.  First, the bad news.  I only lost one pound this last week.  However, I exercised almost every day---- I missed the weekend but the spring cleaning I did was exercise in itself so I'm gonna say it counted in a way :)  I ate pretty well but I still need to work on my portion control.  I think I need to set up a better system of veggie snacks during the day so that when I do sit down to eat a meal I don't feel quite so starving hungry and eat more than I need to.  I have not been dizzy- I have not had a headache- I have not had stomach problems...so I am calling this the greatest week of the year so far on the health front.  I have 2 goals for next week.  I'm going to post them so that I have to tell you how I did with them next week.

1.  Spend the time to clean and chop veggies for snacks for work.  This will help me stay away from the snack box at work and also help me from feeling sooo hungry.

2.  Walk every day for 30 minutes on the trail before or after work and 2 days out of the week do my Jillian Michaels Exercise DVD.  I have to ease into the DVD slowly or I'll be so sore my hubby will have to pull me up off the toilet after I pee :)  What's that- more than you wanted to know?  Trust me- I know this will happen from past experience.  Do not EVER do too many lunges without thinking how your thighs will feel the next day :)   No- I didn't really make my hubby get me up off the toilet but there were a few seconds I was thinking he might have to!

Soooo  here are some tips and facts I found from looking around this last week.

1.  If you’re always tired, and prone to colds and bugs, here's a great healthy eating tip. Cut down on sweetened foods. Sugar makes white blood cells less able to destroy damaging micro-organisms.

**go figure- I think this could be part of some of my problems.  Curse you my precious sugar!**

2.  This is a tip for adding whole grains into your diet- which is hard for me because my husband rebels against it.  Add a cup of regular uncooked oats to each pound of ground beef or turkey in meatballs, burgers or meatloaf.

So- that's my news for this week.  5 pounds until my first Healthy Thinking Give-Away.  At this rate it will be in 5 weeks :)  They say that weight that is lost slowly is weight that stays off, right?  Please visit my friends to see how they are doing.  Laura at http://sunshineshangout.blogspot.com has been doing great- but she has been sick this last week so if she doesn't post that is why.  Get well soon Laura!!!  Jessie at http://beyondbaffled.blogspot.com/ has been on a healthy living journey with us and Angela at http://www.sacrificialdiet.com/ is going to post with us this week too!  Glad to have you along with us Angela!!  My friend Julia from http://juliassewsweetandspecial.blogspot.com does Fat Fighting Fridays so please be sure to check in with her tomorrow.  Have a great day!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Poor Bernard the Bear!

I was going to work on the bus last night.  I did a little work on the dashboard- but then I could hear Bernard the Bear growling from the other room.  Seems he is a bit upset that his house is still not finished and he has no place to sit other than on his bed upstairs.  When I was at the Thrift store last weekend I bought an old pair of black leather gloves for 50 cents, so I decided to try my hand at making Bernard a leather couch and chair for his living room.  I think they turned out pretty decent- and Bernard is happy to finally have somewhere to sit.  Now he wants a rug so that his new furniture will show up better--I had to use half of an envelope for right now.  Sigh.  I guess I am starting a new project this weekend.  I'm thinking a rug with green, orange, white and maybe a black border.  See you tomorrow for Healthy Thinking Thursday :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Bus!!

Well, I've been steadily working on the bus, but I don't have a lot to show for it! After I completed the floor I wallpapered the inside walls of the bus. The kit did not come with inserts for the windows, so my hubby and I cut plexiglass to fit the window openings and then I framed the windows with skinny sticks. The next step was the bus door. I wanted the front doors to be able to open and close, but I did not want to order hinges and we don't have a local dollhouse shop. I took the easy way out and made cloth hinges- which should work well enough since this bus won't be played with.


Now I was finally ready for gluing the sides to the flooring!! You can see in the picture we used masking tape to hold the sides to the floor straight while the glue dried- and we also used some books and weights to help keep the floor straight as the floorboard was a bit warped.

That's a cast iron bear laying on his side there in the front- it weighs a ton so I am using it for a weight to keep the flooring straight!  In the next picture you can see the front side glued on also--now I can start working on the dashboard and the seats!  If you read the first part of the bus kit journey you know that I am going to needle felt a pig to live in this bus.  I think it will be his home, more than something he drives around a lot, so I bought him this nice little cast iron stove to install in his bus-heat and someplace to cook too- what could be better?  I think there will be a small living area, a little bathroom with a simple shower stall and toilet and a very small sleeping area.  Hope the rest of the kit starts to move a little quicker- I am the slowest kit builder in the world!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter and Caterina's swap!

Happy Easter- even if I am a little late in the day :) I have a few pictures to share with you on this Easter sunday....first, I would like to share what I received from Irene in the swap held by Caterina at http://leminisdicockerina.blogspot.com/  I'm not sure if Irene has a blog or not. These are all so tiny- and adorable!!! I love them. There is a tiny sculpted bunny holding a painted Easter egg, a tiny fuzzy white rabbit, a beautiful bouquet of Easter blooms and a tiny little nest with a bird and eggs.  What a fun swap this was- a huge thank you to Caterina for including me and a huge thank you to Irene!!!

This is what I sent to my partner. I started with an unfinished bench.  I painted it and tried to shabby it up a bit.   I made the little Easter baskets, and the daffodil is my first attempt at a flower kit.



Next--here's the dollhouse flower shop for Easter.  I wanted to do something different, but ran out of time.  There's always next year :)


I also wanted to show you my Easter decorations for this year :)  I fell a little behind this year and I never even brought my Easter decorations down from the attic.  Thankfully my sweet friend Dani from http://theweirdworldofdani.web-log.nl/mijn_weblog/ sent me these adorable little egg cozies- so I had a little Easter like decor out- aren't they adorable??!!!  Thank you Dani- I love them!!  Happy Easter to everyone- hope your day was wonderful!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Project of the Week April 2

This week for my project I am following this tutorial for making a purse out of an old book cover:  http://www.hungrypanda.net/blog/2010/02/book-purse-tutorial/ .  I differed a bit because I did not have any purse handles, so I made my own out of wire and beads.  I also didn't like the way the book title looked, so I made a beaded medallion for the front of the purse.  I kinda like how it turned out, and I made the entire project in about 4 hours, so it was nice and quick.  The thing that took the longest was waiting for glue to dry.  I'd love to give this away to someone, so if you like the way it looks and you would like a chance to own it just leave me a comment telling me your favorite spring flower.  My garden is still brown- just tiny little hints of green-but flowers are on my mind already!   I'll take comments for the give-away  until next Friday the 9th and then I will draw and announce a winner on Saturday the 10th.   Thanks for visiting !!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Healthy Thinking Thursday

It is time for Healthy Thinking Thursday!!!!  I have mixed feelings about this last week.  I ate much better- I'm getting my fruits and vegetables in every day and I am drinking mostly water- I'm down to only one can of soda a day- some days none!  I did not get much exercise this past week- I had a LOT of dizzy spells.  When I went back to the doctor yesterday for my follow up on the blood pressure medicine he said my blood pressure is now too low-go figure.  I have a lower dosage of medicine now- so hopefully this will make the dizziness stop and I will be back at Heatlhy Living full force!  Whew, it's hard to take care of yourself as you get older!  My weight has stayed exactly the same- unfortunately I think I really need exercise to push any weight off my frame.  I hope to see good results on the scale next week because I will be back to walking every day unless for some crazy reason the dizzy spells come back.  While at the doctor's I was forced to know my true weight and I have 18 pounds to lose to be back to my former healthy frame.  This sounds so intimidating to me at the moment, so I have decided to break it down into 3 goals of 6 pounds each- and I think to spur me on I am going to do a little "healthy" give-away at each 6 pounds.  That should help me stick to it- how can I let readers down?  So- my first goal is 6 pounds off and then I will be giving away a cool gift to help me celebrate.  Here's some tips I found this week:

1.  Make eating purposeful, not mindless. Whenever you put food in your mouth, peel it, unwrap it, plate it, and sit. Engage all of the senses in the pleasure of nourishing your body.

2.  Eat the low-cal items on your plate first, then graduate. Start with salads, veggies, and broth soups, and eat meats and starches last. By the time you get to them, you'll be full enough to be content with smaller portions of the high-calorie choices.

3.  Walk around the mall three times before you start shopping.


I really like the last one- how simple is that?  okay- that's it for this Healthy Thinking Thursday.  My awesome friend Laura at http://sunshineshangout.blogspot.com/ is doing this journey with me and sometimes the uber cool Jessie at http://beyondbaffled.blogspot.com/ posts with us too.  Sweet  Julia from http://juliassewsweetandspecial.blogspot.com/ does Fat Fighting Fridays if you would like to see how she is doing this week, check in with her tomorrow.  I'll be back friday or saturday with the project of the week.  I really should get moving on that I guess, it's already thursday!