Thursday, July 29, 2010

Creative Challenge for July......Dream :)

June over at the blog http://acreativedreamer.blogspot.com holds a monthly Creativity Challenge that I love to participate in.  The rules are pretty simple- just create something within the month relating to that month's prompt.  Can be any kind of media- a poem or story, a photo, a painting--anything!--- whatever you would like to create that fits the theme for the month.  You can read about the Creativity Challenge here if you would like to play along:  http://acreativedreamer.blogspot.com/p/creativity-invitation.html


The prompt for July was "dream".  Wow!  What a great prompt!  I have to admit that the prompt scared me at first.  My brain went into overload and was way tooooo serious right from the beginning.  I was frozen and I couldn't even begin to think what I would make that would do this prompt justice.  However.......after some excellent advice from friends and some pondering I came up with a couple of pieces.  The first piece is one I made after telling myself that I was being too serious, and I just needed to come at this prompt from a silly point of view.  So........here is my version of what I think my chickens must dream about when they fall to sleep at night :) Mmmmmm- gourmet worms- a chicken's favorite dream.

After I finished this piece I decided that I would attempt to do a more serious piece in my art journal.  When I was a little girl I had big dreams about exactly how my life would turn out.  Those dreams did not happen for me, but other dreams replaced them and that is part of what makes life so interesting and worth living and I really wouldn't have things any other way.



Please pop on over and visit June's blog after the first of August to see what everyone else has created for the Creativity Challenge :)  Thank you for doing these June!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Candy House Progress

A small amount of progress was made on the candy house last weekend.  I finished adding the biscuit siding to the front of the house and I started to add a lollipop railing to the balcony. I've added more little cookies that look like flowers in one of the dormers and I decided how I'm going to paint the shingles- you might be able to see it better up there in the corner of the roof  if you click the picture to make it bigger.  The shingles are going to be a lot of work!  Before I get too far on the shingles I'm going to experiment with licorice ropes- I'm not the best with polymer clay so wish me luck. 


Before I do some work for the day I thought I would share some pictures from my garden from July.
Clematis blooms on one of my arches........

A couple of the daylillies.......

Purple coneflowers........

Liatris by one of the birdbaths.......
Lavander Phlox.......

Beautiful hydrangeas :)  Hope your day is lovely!!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Caterina's holiday swap

*****Sans- I tried to post this over the weekend but my poor old dying computer at home would not work for me- sorry I am so late!*******

Look at the wonderful items I recieved from Sans in the "Holiday Swap" held by Caterina!!!! For Holiday Sans has chosen for me to visit The Maharajah's Palace. I love them!!! I wish you could see the detail on the tiny little slippers in person, and the hat and bag are just too fabulous! I have been moving them around from project to project trying to decide where to put them. I like how they look in the bedroom of my flower shop dollhouse.....but I'm also considering making them their own roombox because I would love to give them center of attention somewhere. Thank you soooo much Sans- I love them so much- and the colors are absolutely perfect- I'm so glad we met through this swap-what a wonderful friend I have made! A big thank you to Caterina also for hosting another fabulous swap :)


Here are the items I sent to Nina for Caterina's swap. My dream vacation would be to see my penpal Dani in The Netherlands so I sent Nina a picnic basket with wine, cheese and bread, a basket of tulips we picked at the gardens, a raincoat in case the rain comes and a purse with euros and a passport.  I'm thankful for these swaps because they give me a chance to stretch myself and learn new things.  Thank you Nina for your sweet comments on what I sent to you- I'm glad you liked them- it's always a little nerve racking for me to make minis to give to someone else :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Puppa Art Picture :) and The Candy House

My friend Zlatica from http://pupaart.blogspot.com is an incredible artist.  Zlatica recently made some business cards with a picture from a painting she did- one of my favorite paintings she has done!  When I mentioned it would make a wonderful size for a painting in my dollhouse Zlatica was sweet enough to send me one!  I was so excited to get it in the mail last week that I had to make a frame for it right away- it will eventually hang in Amelie's candy house.  Here is Zlatica's business card- isn't it beautiful?
Here is her beautiful painting with a frame added all ready to hang proudly in Amelie's bedroom once I get that far:
Zlatica also sent me a button with another beautiful piece of her art on it- thank you soooo much Zlatica- I have put the button on my camera bag so I will have your beautiful art with me quite often :)  I hope you like how I have framed your painting for the dollhouse :)  If you've never met Zlatica you should pop over to her blog and say hello- she is awesome :)

I did a small bit of work on the candy house this last weekend.  Does anyone else feel like they work and work on their project and then the result is so small?  I did not feel like I got too far this last weekend- but at least I did get the strawberry patch weeded again so they won't be choked out with weeds. I have a secret...we have had 6 banty chicks we have been taking care of in the house in a spare room.  They are big now so  I   have 6 banty chickens we are trying to integrate with the big red Rhode Island  hens out in the chicken coop.  I'll have to take pics to show you soon- has anyone else tried keeping banty hens with bigger hens?  Will they fight?  I looked on the internet and saw people keeping banty's and Rhode Island Red Hens together- but I'm still nervous about it.  For now we have them seperated in the coop, but so they can see each other in the hopes that they will get used to each other this way first. 
In this picture is Amelie- the little girl that lives in the candy house.  She was created by my dear talented friend Patricia from http://papillonbleuuk.blogspot.com.  Amelie is excited work is finally being done on her new house.  I did some more siding on the house, started adding cookies to the dormer windows and started getting the balcony on the second floor ready.  There will be a lollipop railing soon.  Before I go, I bought this little rocking chair at a garage sale for a quarter.  It's out of scale, but I'm not 100% concerned with scale in the candy house as I would prefer the furniture to look a bit too big for a little girl like Amelie. I took an xacto knife and whittled the chair down a bit so it did not look quite so clunky and then I painted it and added a little flower printie to the back with painted accents.  Here it is in the bedroom of the candy house......so much work yet to be done :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Healthy Thinking Thursdays and Welcome New Followers!!!




 Happy Thursday- pretend it is thursday still because this post took me so long to write it's a day late!!!!  I'm going to start off today welcoming some new followers- there are a lot of them because I have fallen very far behind!  My apologies- and if I have missed you please leave a comment because I love new friends and discovering new blogs :)

First we have Lenira from http://mundodofazdecontaoimaginrioinfantil.blogspot.com/  and http://minimundomania.blogspot.com/ Both blogs are related to dollhouse miniatures and so adorable!  There are also a lot of sweet reminisces about childhood.  Please visit her and say hello- so happy you have visited me Lenira!!!

Paky is from  http://paquicheli.blogspot.com/ Paky's blog is so cute-you can read backwards and drool over her miniature projects, see the beautiful children she helps to teach and see some incredible minis friends have sent to her too.  Thank you for following Paky :)









Kim-Anh is from http://kimanhnguyenart.blogspot.com/  Kim is an incredible artist searching for a tattoo apprenticeship.  I LOVE this blog too- the  most adorable artwork and creative little stories to illustrate lots of them too.  Of course, anyone that uses lots of owls in their artwork is awesome in my book ♥  You've gotta visit this blog and take a look for yourself- you'll be enchanted!


Marie is from http://lepetitmondemerveilleux.blogspot.com/  Marie has a blog that centers on dollhouse miniatures.  If you read backwards in her blog you can see some of the wonderful minis she has made and the most beautiful re-do on a kitchen set- it is gorgeous!  I believe she is working on The Orchid kit from Greenleaf--she has named it Dragonfly Cottage- she is doing a beautiful job!  Thank you for following Marie- I can't wait to see more of your dollhouse!

betty from http://minimetalwork.blogspot.com and http://live-mini.blogspot.com/ and her etsy store is here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/gamekitty
I've read Betty's blog for awhile- it's one of my faves.  Betty is a dollhouse miniature artist.  I love that Betty often shares her knowledge with us "newbie" miniaturists, she does an artist spotlight and a tool spotlight telling us of new artists to discover and some of her favorite tools she uses- I love those posts!  Betty does magic with polymer clay and has also just started the metalwork blog in her quest to learn  more about working with metal and I am so excited to follow along as she learns- I am fascinated by metal work and have always wished I knew how to weld.  My hubby gets nervous when I say that :) 

Eileen from http://the-artful-crafter.blogspot.com  Eileen is an artist and her blog often has the greatest links to art related websites and blogs.  Check out her blog to see her recent doodles (which are fabulous!), read back further and see some gorgeous cards she has made and read back further to see the amazing red hat cake she made- wish I could bake like that!  I'm so glad I met you through June's challenge Eileen- I love your blog :)

Cindy is from http://thecurvycrafter.blogspot.com/ and also has a beautiful blog at http://lampworkdiva.blogspot.com/ .  I have just discovered Cindy's blogs and I look forward to following more of her work.  You can see a fabulous knitted hat at the first blog- love the exclamation point needlefelting!  At the other blog you can see some of her fabulous jewelry as well as loads of links about beading and jewelry- I could spend hours looking around on this blog!  You can also take a gander at Cindy's work for sale at her website here:  http://www.cindygimbronebeads.com/cindygimbronebeads.html  You are a fantastic artist Cindy and I'm so happy to meet you!!!

Cinderella Moments has a magical blog at http://shopcinderellamoments.blogspot.com/ and an etsy store where she sells the beautiful items she makes at http://www.etsy.com/shop/cinderellamoments  Lots of talent from this artist also!  She has just finished a miniature version of Sandy Foster's Catskill Studio( from the blog  http://www.myshabbystreamsidestudio.blogspot.com/)  This dollhouse turned out so wonderful- it is a dream and it's for sale! You gotta go look!   I look forward to seeing her next creation!

Wanda is from http://sominiprojects.blogspot.com/  I just recently met Wanda from Ira's flower swap and I LOVE her blog!  Wanda is a dollhouse miniaturist- visit her blog to follow along with the fabulous garden shed project she is working on and you can see some fabulous inspiration pictures of some Newfoundland cottages she took too- what a wonderful dollhouse they would make!  Thanks for visiting Wanda- hope we can swap some flowers :)

I have been visited by Trudette from http://trudette.blogspot.com/  Trudette is a full time artist and her blog is sooooo dreamy!  I love her paintings- you have to read backwards a bit, but well worth it!  I love that Trudette includes a poem when posting her artwork and her blog has so much beautiful crochet work it makes me want to go buy a hook and try to learn!  So colorful and so beautiful!!!  If you read backwards in the blog you can also be treated to the most adorable little birthday party for her dog Amy- too cute!!!  You can find her work for sale here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/trudette and http://www.etsy.com/shop/trudette4crochet

Heather is from http://diaryofadollhouse.blogspot.com/  Heather is working on a dollhouse named the Daydream Cottage.  Like most of us bitten by the mini bug, she has recently aquired her fourth dollhouse  to work on, even though she's still working on the Daydream Cottage.  I know how you feel Heather!  I would like to add 2 more to my collection, but hubby says we have no more room so I have to work on the ones I have started- so many ideas and not enough time!  Heathers children are even working on a dollhouse and I always think it is fabulous when the younger generation keeps the hobby going!  I adore your blog Heather and look forward to watching your dollhouse projects progress :)

Minnie Kitchen is from http://minniekitchen.blogspot.com/    She makes the most adorable miniature food and flowers- I love the roses she has been making and her desserts are so sweet!  You can find her etsy store here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/minniekitchen  I've saved her as one of my favorites because after I finish saving for a new laptop you just know I have to go shopping here for the dollhouse bakery!  Thank you for visiting me Minnie Kitchen!!!  Love your work :)

Lainie is from http://lainieslittlethings.blogspot.com/  Lainie is working on her first dollhouse and she is doing a fabulous job!  I love to visit Lainie's blog- she always makes me smile.  Right now her miniature blue cat is missing and I'm really worried about him!  Please visit Lainie to say hello and find out about blue cat and her cute dollhouse :)


Debbie is from http://uneekmusings.blogspot.com/  Debbie makes the sweetest dolls and just recently she has given us a little peek at how she creates her magic.  Visit her and read backwards to see all the wonderful dolls she has created- I love the little Oliver Twist!  You can find Debbie's etsy store here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/uneekdolldesigns

Sans is from http://sansddprojects.blogspot.com/ and http://sansdollhousediaries.blogspot.com/  Sans is a talented dollhouse miniature artist.  The  thing I really love about Sans is that she gives us so much info behind her posts- I've learned so many interesting things since I started following this blog and Sans is so funny too!  I'm so glad I met you Sans and I enjoy your blog so much.  There is a tutorial she just posted to make miniature tin cans- pop over to see it and say hello!

Nina is from http://minimumm.blogspot.com/  Nina is the person I sent my Holiday swap items to- hope she likes them!  Nina's blog is also about dollhouse miniatures- she makes the most amazing clothes for her dolls and the birdcage and picnic basket she has made for her giveaway are incredible!  Read backwards to see more of her dollhouse and fabulous minis she has made.

Piikko is from http://avenidamignonne.blogspot.com/  Pikko's blog is related to dollhouse minis too :)  Visit her blog to see some of the sweet things she has created, as well as some goregous garden pictures if your read backwards a bit.  So glad you visited me Pikko!

Pilar is from http://lasminisdepilar.blogspot.com/  Pilar is a miniature artist also.  You can see a beautiful bedroom set she decorated on her blog, as well as an incredible fairy she just created in a workshop- so pretty!  Pilar also makes the most gorgeous boxes and hat boxes- check out her blog and say hello!

Mary is from http://elrinconminidemary.blogspot.com/  ( Please correct me if I am wrong on your name- my translator is not working so well)   This blog is also about dollhouse minis.  She is working on a miniature dollhouse with a workshop- I LOVE it!  Visit her blog to see how great it is- I love the little paint tubes, the tools, the embossed metal ( I used embossed metal on my kitchen cabinets- I love embossed metal!)  I want to make an art room in Bernard the Bear's house so this blog is so enchanting to me! 

Sonya is from http://cannellaemelograno.blogspot.com/  I believe Sonya is working on 2 dollhouses- one in Parisian style and another in American Country style.  Visit her blog to see her dollhouses as well as some of the wonderful minis she has made and received :)


Lille Diane is from http://www.woodstocklily.com/  This blog is so wonderful!  Lille Diane is working with art and nature to help her recover from an accident.  I've just recently discovered this blog and I have spent awhile reading backwards in her blog- I adore this blog ♥  What beautiful writing, a beautiful person that shows through that writing, beautiful artwork and she's  funny too!  

Whew- please remind me not to let things go for that long again!  Welcome everyone- I'm so glad you all visited and I am thrilled to meet you all!


Now on to Healthy Thinking Thursday.....remember you're supposed to be pretending here :)  My blood pressure is staying pretty low- I think the exercise helps because when I can't get the excercise done it tends to go up a bit.  I faced the scale at the doctor appointment I had this week and I am four pounds above where I started from.  This is disappointing to me, but I"m not gonna get worked up about it because I am eating better than I was- I just can't seem to find a stable ground as far as work, my own personal health and my Mother-In-Laws health is concerned.  I feel like I've got it all under control and then everything hits the fan again.  Stressed is becomming more common than relaxed this summer.  So, I will continue to work on this "healthy" thing and I'll really try to watch what I'm eating for awhile now since obviously healthy food can make me gain weight just as easily as "garbage" food :)  Here's some tips I found to lower my blood pressure- might be useful for someone else too.

Know your blood pressure.  Take your blood pressure regularly and keep an eye on it.

Watch your salt intake and read what is in the foods you eat.

Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and whole grains.

Limit your alcohol intake.

Get exercise and watch your weight.

Hope you have a great weekend if you're still reading this :)  I hope to get some progress done on my candy house and finish up some flowers I have been making for trades.  I'm even thinking about starting a painting this weekend- we'll see how much I can get done- still gotta catch up on laundry too.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Productive Weekend

Well, I had a really productive weekend again!  First I got down to business and really cleaned up the house so I won't have to feel guilty for playing when I should be doing the housework. Then I was even more well behaved and I went out and weeded my hubby's tomatoes and green beans!  Now I had earned my play time for sure!  I worked a bit on the candy house- I put some of the siding up and finally went for it and glued down the porch posts and attached the balcony.  Next, we put up the largest of the dormer windows- when it is dry I'll be able to add posts to the balcony that will help hold up the dormer.  Thank goodness for masking tape!  After we applied all the glue and I had to wait for things to dry I decided to work on Bernard the Bear's house- his poor house has been neglected for a bit!  I made him a coffee table and a side table, and glued some printie tile to his counters in the kitchen.  I need to finish more of the kitchen, but it's a start at least!

Here's a weird little picture of the rug I've been working on for Bernard's living room.  I am so impatient, so once I had the general shape done I had to take it off the hoop and fold it under and just stick it in the dollhouse to see if I liked the way it looked.  I think Bernard likes it, but he reserves final judgment for when it is done.
Last, I'm doing a swap with Ira from http://merryjingle.blogspot.com   Ira, if you want to be surprised don't read further.  I am pretty new to flower making, but I love working on them.  I'm trading some blood red and white lillies for some flowers - or whatever she wants to make really, I love surprises!  I am hoping that they look okay- still not totally confident in the flower making department, but I think they look pretty realistic.  The white ones are from a kit and the red ones I cut by hand-they are the ones I am worried about.  I still have some more to make, but this was a pretty good start!  What do you think- are they okay for a swap or should I keep practicing?  Oh, how bummed I am to go back to work today and not stay home to play!

Friday, July 9, 2010

more on the candy house :)

This week is flying past me!  I was only able to work a little bit on the candy house this week- hope to get a bit further over the weekend if I can catch up on housework a little.  First, I thought I would show you a little sketch I did in my journal of the candy house.  The dollhouse won't be a shop that sells candy- it will be a normal house inside....but the outside will be similar to a gingerbread house.  There will be square cookie siding with candy buttons added here and there.  The posts will be like candy peppermint sticks....the railing on the balcony will be lollipops and there will be touches of red rope licorice everywhere.  I don't know why I'm so excited to build this house, but it seems to keep calling to me so I'm finally just listening to it and starting to build.  Maybe I'll get bored after a week or so and go back to the bus, who knows?  Here's the sketch I made so I would have an idea of where I was going with the dollhouse:
 Here's some pictures of the start of the siding.  I think I like how the siding is turning out- I bought a little sheet of balsa wood and carved the cookies out and then painted it.  The candy buttons are those little wood plugs you buy to cover up a screw in your woodworking.

Before I go do some work for the day I thought I'd post a picture of a baby present I made- I like how it turned out and I hope the new Mom likes it too.  I bought the frame and painted the floral border and the little sheep I added to the corners.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!  I'm so excited to start mine!  It's so great to be feeling better lately....still no dizzy spells and what a difference it makes!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I love weekends!

I was lucky enough to have a three day weekend over the fourth of July.  I am truly appreciative of this after years and years of working retail and not having holidays off.  My hubby and I spent time out in the garden weeding- seems like we had more weeds than veggies or flowers after all the recent rain.  At night I was able to do a little crafting and I decided that I would drag out the last of the dollhouses that I have and start them- just work on whichever project inspired me at the moment.  Ira from http://merryjingle.blogspot.com is actually the person that inspired me to do this.  Her blog is wonderful- and she has more than one dollhouse in the works right now too.  I just keep thinking about the candy house, so I figure if I get a chance to work on it a little bit I'll be able to think about something other than the candy house once in awhile.  Anyhow- I didn't get too far.  The candy house is my biggest "kit bash" attempt so far, and I'm trying to think things through as I go so I don't have a big problem further down the line.  It is "The Orchid" kit from Greenleaf on the top with an added bottom floor so I would have just a little more room to decorate :)  The other dollhouse is one of those little kits from Michael's arts and crafts store.  I think it's closer to half scale.  I ripped off the porch that came with it and I"m going to turn this house into a little cabin for Lester the Bear.  I'm going to add new porch posts that will look like logs with a stone base.  I also added new windows and filled in the large holes left by the "kit" windows and added a new door.   Here's how far I got over the weekend.  I'm pretty happy I was able to squeeze some mini time in and still got the garden weeding done. 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Creative Prompt.......Cake

I am joining in this month on a Creativity Invitation from http://acreativedreamer.blogspot.com/  .  We were given a theme and we were to do something creative around the theme in the month of June.  The reason I LOVE this idea is that the rules were so flexible...you didn't have to draw or paint something- anything creative is fine as long as it pertained to the theme. The theme for the month of June was "Let them eat cake".   I did a painting on a page in my art journal for my piece.  It is acrylic paint, collage papers and sharpie marker on watercolor paper.  I can't wait for next month's theme!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Healthy Thinking Thursdays

Having a great week this week.  I feel like I'm catching up with obligations and I feel like I have more energy.  Last week I went back to the doctor- again.  I had been having a lot of dizzy spells again.  Turns out my blood pressure is still low and they cannot lower my dosage any further on this particular medication.  The doctor said we should do a trial of taking me off the medicine cold turkey for a month and monitor my blood pressure every day- go back in a month and discuss the results.  I have been off of the medicine for a week now and I can already tell such a difference.  The dizziness has stopped again and I think I"m not feeling as tired.  I really don't want to go back to the blood pressure medicine, so my exercise regimen has become really strict now.  I excercise for at least 30-50 minutes each day for sure now.  Sometimes this is a walk, sometimes it's on the eliptical, but sometimes if I'm short on time it's just "power- housecleaning".  I'm hoping with keeping my salt intake down, staying away from fast food and exercise that when I go back to see my doc he'll say all is good.  Still no stepping on the scale,but the clothes are fitting loose still so I'm not worried.  Last night I picked a bucket full of peas out of the garden and a large bundle of lettuce- so I'll be eating healthy this weekend!  Happy 4th of July weekend to my American friends- and have a wonderful weekend to all!!