A couple of months ago I came across a pair of placemats at a thrift store. They were a woven fiber, I’m thinking banana bark. The colors and textures of the fibers were exactly what I wanted for my HBS Creating Contest floors. 

Since I forgot to get a picture of the placemats, here is a picture of a banana bark mat that is very similar to the placemats I bought. 

After cutting apart the placemats I noticed that the strips of banana bark were very wavy from being woven together. I needed to figure out how to get them to lay flat. Nobody likes a wavy floor. My first idea was to soak them, press them between a towel and something heavy, and wait for them to dry. 

While the banana fibers were soaking I finally glued the framework of my structure together. The inside will be visible through the front and the left sides. The right side and back will be completely blocked off, or at least that’s the plan for now. 

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The idea of waiting for the banana bark to dry pushed me to plan B…the “craft” iron. Each strip got dried off, ironed until it was dry, and placed under a heavy board to keep them flat. I suspected that they weren’t completely dry, so plan C…I layed them out in the driveway to use the power of the Florida sun to dry them. That seemed to work, until I realized that they had curled on the edges. Thankfully, running them under the iron one more time seems to have flattened them out for good. 

  Laying the floor is slow going. The strips aren’t the same width and some of them are curved. It will all work out in the end. I’m really loving the variations in the banana bark, creating a nice aged wood plank effect. 

 If I have any of the fibers left (even if I don’t I can always order sheets of it on the Internet), I plan on wrapping some around wooden dowels to create logs for support beams. I’ll need to plot out how big I want the base for the whole build to be. Initially I was hoping that I could keep the overall footprint smaller than the flower shop, but I’m thinking it will end up being about the same. 


I come up with crazy ideas. Trying to think outside of the box to come up with solutions to my “little” problems. Most of my solutions end in ashes. They crashed and burned. However, some take me by surprise and succeed. 

This shield is one of those projects. Earlier this week it was a wet wooden disk sandwiched between 2 spoons and wrapped with about 14′ of twine. After it was dry I unwrapped it and used my Dremel to sand it and shape it a little. I used mod podge and crepe paper streamer paper to create the texture, glued little cuts of waxed string to create the stitching down the center, and then painted it. It turned out better than I expected. 

After spring break is over I’ll start working on the actual build. Until then, it will be more little projects that can be done with stolen moments. 

Happy First Day of Spring

I moved my miniature operations outside today. It’s sunny, there’s slight breeze, and front yard was calling my name.

I decided to start working on my schematics for some of the furniture that will be going into the HBS Creatin Contest build. The kids will be out of school this week. I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to work on it other than drawing out schematics. Something is better than nothing. 

Have a beautiful first day of Spring!

Pin Weavin

How hard can it be?

I didn’t see much on the Internet on how to do it. So I’m just going to wing it.

My goal is to make a rug that looks handmade and miniature.


This is going to take forever. 

I don’t have to finish it all today…

Let the Fun Begin

It’s been a little while since I have been able to play with my projects. Two weeks ago our family was in a karate tournament.  It’s my hobby that keeps me in shape.


I’m the tall one with the green belt. My opponent was 1/2 my age and relentless. I ended up winning my fight. It took 2 rounds, but I did it.

Last week I needed to focus on all those little things that I let slip while I was trying not to think about, I mean training for the tournament. This week was spent working on a landscaping project that I have put off for too long. I had scheduled all week for the project, but I ended up getting it finished yesterday. I rewarded myself with finally opening my Backyard Bungalow.

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Oh, the possibilities! I love this contest. Even though we all have the same starting point, we all end up somewhere different. I love seeing where everyone ends up.  Anyway, back to my starting point.  Most of the pieces won’t be used or at least used in the way that they were intended.

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I decided to do a dry fit anyway to make sure all of the pieces were there. It also helps me understand how the pieces fit together and to start to figure out how I’ll make my changes.

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It’s cute as it is.  However, not my style. If I were to use it as is, it would probably end up as a summer camp lakeside cabin from the 1950’s. Campers

Couldn’t you see it…bunkbeds, wool blankets, an archery target in the yard?

My idea isn’t too far off. Well, it is but it isn’t. I’m not going to say exactly where I’m going with my kit just yet. Some of you probably have an idea, but I like the suspense.

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I took off everything that I don’t plan on using and set up the pieces roughly where I want them. I’m using the bottom of the foundation board.  The right side has a groove for the front wall of the bungalow that I don’t want to have to fill and smooth out.  However, now the front wall is a little too tall.  Since I’m moving the front wall forward I’ll need to make a new notch in the center support beam and make panels to fill in where there is missing side walls.

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Today’s modification project was cutting the front wall down.  I want to remove everything on the inside of the dark green lines. The front wall is just for structural support and won’t be seen at all.

I used my favorite mini box cutter to score and cut the lines.  It might have been the wrong choice of tools. It took forever and I now have two lovely large blisters on my index finger. Live and learn.

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This was my stopping point for the day. Next, I’ll need to trim down the front support so its the same height as the side walls and cut a notch for the front support in the center beam. Then I think I can start glueing.

It’s exciting!