I’m Back

Hurricane Matthew was an emotional rollercoaster that I’m more than happy to not experience again. It started Tuesday when I had to accept the fact an Category 4 hurricane was heading straight towards our county. Wednesday we packed, secured the house and yard, and then just waited. We had planned on evacuating Thursday afternoon to my in-laws condo on the main land. Around 12:30 am on Thursday the storms direction put us right in the path for eye wall to hit us, the storm surge predictions were getting to be up to 11 feet (putting flooding on our road at about 8-9 feet) with possible winds of 140+. It was decided that we were going to head further away. We found a hotel in Orlando that had made their whole hotel pet friendly for the hurricane. So first thing in the morning we had the kids play “the house is burning, which 3 things do you want to take” game, packed up the pets (all 5 of them), and headed to safer ground. 
We took our first family selfie right before we left. We were saying good bye to our house. 

We decided to drop the cats and guinea pig off at my in-laws condo. The dogs came with us to the hotel. It was a long 20 or so hours. One dog gets extremely flatulent when he’s stressed, the other barks and grumbles. It was a rainy and windy night. We decided in the morning to head back toward home since the eye of the hurricane was heading north. 
In the night the storm had shifted north again, so the eye was about 20 miles off shore when it passed our town. St. Augustine and Jacksonville ended up receiving the flooding that we were preparing for. 


Our house was in amazing shape. Mostly tree litter, some very minor flooding (a rolled up rug and some sandbags prevented it from being worse), and we lost half of our plumeria tree. We had power, water, and joy of joys for my kids, internet. No broken windows. No roof damage. All five of our huge trees were still standing. 


We spent 5 hours on Saturday and a couple on Sunday cleaning up the yard. 


The pile is about 5 feet tall, 4 feet wide, and maybe 25 feet long. I’ve been slowly getting the house back in order. Something about the storm has made me want to purge all the clutter. I just want it all gone. Clean slate. I don’t know why, but we’ll see how long it lasts. 

I feel extremely fortunate for how everything worked out for us, but I think I’ll pass on the next hurricane. I may have aged 5 years in 36 hours time.

 I haven’t done much mini-ing since we’ve been home. Trying to get my mind back into it is hard right now when I see so much that needs to be done. Both my parents and my in-laws have winter homes here, so we’ve also been checking on their properties, organizing with insurance adjusters for them, and emptying their refrigerators of spoiled food. I’ll get back into the swing of things. My drive to be creative will start demanding to be acknowledged. 

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Quick Update

Hope everyone is having a lovely first weekend of fall. Here in Florida the best ways to know it’s fall is 1) the days start getting shorter and 2) the humidity isn’t as bad as it was during the summer.

The table is done. That’s all I did this weekend. I never tell anyone what I really did over the weekends, because I’m sure people really wouldn’t understand. 

“I spent the better part of 2 days making a miniature lantern light up and then carving a piece of wood to make a 1:12 scale table for the lantern to sit on.” Yeah, I’m  totally normal. 


It’s a bit more rough than I had originally planned. Turns out I’m very impatient when it comes to carving pieces of wooden closet dowel rod. My Dremel was a big help. I’m not sure it would have gotten done without it. All of the wiring and battery are inside of it. 

Now to get back to landscaping. 

So much landscaping. 

Bad Pictures

I’ve been using my high tech cell phone camera to capture progress  updates this past week. Technically, it’s a better quality camera than the first digital camera I ever owned, however the pictures still aren’t great. I figured an update didn’t need to be magazine worthy.


Landscaping started this week. I’ve decided it’s about the same as planting an entire yard, one blade of grass at a time, with tweezers. The tall grasses are made from decorative straw brooms. The other ingredients of the landscape include sheet moss, little rocks, very old potpourri, and some tiny dried flowers. 


Next up: I have a tiny miniature Coleman lantern like the one pictured above. Since I took it apart and drilled a hole through it, it’s probably a super rare, one of a kind antique and it’s worth millions of dollars. Please don’t tell me if it is. I’d rather not know.


I wanted it to light up. I took it apart, drilled a hole for the wires, cleaned up the rouge glue and paint, “frosted” the inside of the hurricane, gave it a fresh coat of paint, then added some grunge to it, and finally glued everything back in place. I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out. You can’t see the details very well, because of the bad pictures, but I’m sure you get the idea. 


Next, where do I hide the battery and switch? Why be conventional? I’ll make a fun stump side table, hollow it out and hide the wires in there. Easy, peasy. 


I should’ve learn by now that nothing is easy peasy with me. After some googling I decided that this table needed to be something that has been collected on my adventurer’s journey. I decided on trying to make a table inspired by tables carved from one large slice of log. I’m starting with one small slice of closet dowel rod. Pretty much the same thing. 


The carving part is going to take forever. One day I’ll learn to just take the easy path.  Oh, you can also see in this picture, the support beams and lashing have finally been installed. It was one of those things that was causing me anxiety because how I thought it should work wasn’t working. Turns out I was overthinking it. It went together quite simply with a little patience and glue. 

There will be plenty of room for the battery inside the table. And the button will be easily accessible. My main lesson on last years build was to not wait until the last minute to add the lighting. Guess who still doesn’t know where she wants to put lights (except for this light, I know where it’s going)? I have at least 2 other lights (I’ll need more though) that I’m still trying to figure out where they are going. This year, to accommodate my poor wire hiding planning, I think I’ll try hiding the batteries and wires inside or behind furniture. Maybe one of these years I’ll be able to plan ahead and wire accordingly. Then again, why be predictable.

And the Kitchen Sink

That’s what this update is going to be…everything AND the kitchen sink. I can’t believe that it has been over a month since my last post. If I keep this up there will only be 3 more posts before the Creatin’ Contest deadline. Eeep! I’ll try my best to have more posts before December. This time of year starts to transition into warp speed and before you know it we’ll be wishing each other a Happy Valentine’s Day.

So, lets see… what’s happened this past month? I kept thinking that I hadn’t done much mini wise, but it turns out I have gotten a lot done. It’s mostly details and accessories. That’s my favorite part.

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First, I finally have my own work space. It looks like a mess, but it’s wonderful. I spent a full 2 days at this table after it was delivered. I’m sharing the office space with my husband (his idea). I was able to condense all of my dollhouse/mini supplies into one space that I don’t have to clean up when we want to eat. Yay!

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For the tent, I made a work table. It’s a made with a piece of walnut I found at our local dollhouse store, tiny dowels, and toothpicks. The legs are painted with silver nail polish to try and get a metal look. It’s not done. There are a few more details I want to add (hardware, weathering, and aging).

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The work table now has some papers, notebooks, pencils, and butterflies in jars. You can see the stereo microscope I mentioned in my last post. Hard to believe its made out of a couple of those dental flosser things and a few other odds and ends. The papers, charts,  and pictures are images that I found on google. After their size was reduced, I printed them out, cut them out, and wrinkled them to make them look like they have traveled around Africa.

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The butterflies are also made from pictures I found on google. They were printed out, glued together, and cut out. I used a ball stylus to give them a little bit of dimension. They were glued to small sticks from my yard and then glued into the jars. The glass containers were found in various places (miniatures.com, Michaels beads and jewelry department, and the scrapbooking area).

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The butterfly net, that is hanging from the center pole, was made with a toothpick, some thick wire, and fine tulle. Fast drying super glue gel was the trick to making it work. My fingers stuck to everything, but it was worth it.

 

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The leather satchel was finished today. I went through so many different ideas to make this thing and they all kept failing. Fabric was too stiff, too thick, too thin, wouldn’t take glue, and on and on. I gave up and wouldn’t work on this project for about 10 days. Sometimes a set back will do that to me. I need to let it roll around in my brain to come up with a solution. Today while I was working on something unrelated at my messy art desk, I noticed a material that I hadn’t considered before, masking tape. It’s backed with a single ply of paper towel, glued together, and painted. The leather straps were found at Joanne Fabrics in their jewelry making department. The masking tape has a great leather look, is nice and thin, and will hold the slouchy shape I want.

I think that’s about all I’ve gotten done. I’ll be starting on landscaping soon and finishing up the outside supports and roof. Some details on the furniture, another rug, and finishing the second butterfly chair are also on the agenda. There are roughly 88 days until it needs to be done. While that seems like a long time, I can’t get too comfortable. There is Halloween (I always make the costumes for my family and we all dress up), Science Fair for my 5th grader, Thanksgiving, my 7 year olds birthday, getting ready for Christmas, all of the school/work/life commitments that pop up during these next few months in those 88 day also. Plus my “real” job, which I have sorely neglected the past few months. WooHoo!

I’ll end with some more eye candy. I was having too much fun taking pictures.

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Hopefully, I’ll be back before October is over. Maybe even before September is over. Can it be possible?

 

Little Bits

This weekend was productive. I was able to finish up two more shields, another campaign trunk, and a painted tapestry. Unfortunately my eyes are angry at me about the tapestry. The joys of getting older.

Hope you had a lovely weekend.

Newest Addition


He’s a little fennec fox that will be hanging out around my Backyard Bungalow build. I’m thinking of naming him Nyuki (means bee in Swahili) or maybe Dogo (which means small). I haven’t fully made up my mind, but I’m leaning heavily towards Nyuki. 

A Little Fairy Fun

I was inspired this week.  Most of the week was spent doing my day job.  While I do love my day job, I love being inspired more.  So I called in sick (not to hard considering I’m the boss) and declared today a day to play.

On Facebook, Hobby Builders Supply has been posting about fairy gardens, inspirations, and teaser photos of some fairy gardens that other bloggers have been making. While I love all things small, the idea that someone small is actually living in or using my little space makes me a bit giddy.  Yes, my inner 6 year old is very active.  The Miniature Bazaar, Tilly’s Nest, and Nancyland have all blogged about fabulous little gardens for our fairy friends that they have created. I decided I wanted to play too. I live in Florida, land of perpetual vacations, so I thought a nice fairy b&b would be great for out of town fairies to stay at while at the beach.

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These are the doors from the Backyard Bungalow.  Since I won’t be using them I decided that they would be the perfect place to start.

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The doors and windows from this kit are fantastic! The acrylic in them just slides out the top so you don’t have to tape the panes or take apart the whole door so that you can remove the acrylic to make painting easier. How great is that? Thank you to the creator of this kit for thinking of us lazier people.

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The doors felt a little flat after their first coat of paint. I decided the trim needed to be a different color.  So, I painted, sanded, and sealed them.

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Better. The hardest part of any project for me is waiting. I hate waiting. The doors went outside to dry in the sun while I worked on my next piece of the puzzle.

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This slab of wood has been sitting in my front hall for a few months. I had gotten it at a antique store, but never really had a plan for it. I noticed it when I was taking the doors outside to dry. I knew it had to be used for my tiny b&b. It’s moments like this that further prove to me that hoarding is a good thing. It got a coat of sealant and then outside to dry.

What was I going to use as the structure of my b&b? I had thought of using an old paint can and burying it in the ground or maybe an old pitcher that I could wedge the doors into. No, not quite right.

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While wandering around the house I came across this wicker bike basket. Bingo! Hoarding wins again. The doors fit perfect, the wicker keeps with the tropical beach get-a-way vibe,  and the open weave of the wicker allows for air movement through the room and filtered light, while allowing for privacy. I first tried it with the wood slab under the basket, but I didn’t like the step down from the basket to the slab.

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I decided to put the slab partially into the basket.The slab is now part of the entryway. I was concerned about the fairies bumping their heads since the ceiling is lower, but then I realized that there is a nice step down into the room.

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As I sat in my front yard, for probably 20 minutes,  debating pros and cons of the slab placement, a neighbor asked me if I was getting some gardening done. Yes…that’s exactly what I’m doing.  Pay no attention to the tiny doors I’m agonizing over.

The front needed walls around the door.  I ended up using what ever light weight wood I had in my stash.  I think it’s bass wood, or maybe balsa. I always get those 2 confused. They got a coat of sealant and some time in the sun to dry. While I waited I planted some tiny succulent cuttings from my yard into some tiny terra cotta pots for the front porch.

 

 

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Heres the dry fit of the walls. I feel like they need to have windows, however the placement of the windows would be pretty low since the walls curve down. The gaps between the bottom of the wall and the bottom of the basket will be getting a nice stone/rock foundation.

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This is where I needed to stop for the day. Turns out leaving your kids at school so you can play with miniatures is frowned upon. Something about priorities and being responsible.

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I’m already in love with it. It’s visible from the road, but only if you know where to look.

The list of things left to do isn’t too long: create the rock foundation, more landscaping, and some fun outdoor accessories/furniture (ooohh, maybe a hammock). Maybe I’ll get to finish it up this weekend.

Fingers crossed.

 

 

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…

Undersized Urbanite

The results are in…  
 …and I didn’t win!

Honestly, I knew before I even started that I wouldn’t. The amount of time the previous years winners devoted to their entries clearly showed in how amazing they were. This year was no different. The entries are wonderful and the winners are amazing! Congratulations to them all! You can see them all here. 
I’m really happy with my entry. I wouldn’t change anything. It’s what I needed to do at the time and it turned out better than I first imagined it. 
If you voted for mine, thank you! If you voted for someone else, I can’t blame you, I did too. Maybe next year.

Baby Steps

I let projects intimidate me. Sometimes a problem seems too big or a too mentally taxing. I know I can do it. However, my brain shuts down and continuing seems more daunting than a trip to Mordor.    
The cabinets for the trailer have been one of those projects. I’ve been letting it get so much bigger mentally than it needs to be.

  

I decided to buys some base kits and then alter them into what I want. At the time that seemed so much easier than measuring and cutting. And I know ultimately it is easier. 

  
 
 After getting the pieces dry fit and into place, my brain decided it had had enough for the day. Instead I played with all my bits and bobs for the trailer. When it doubt, play.    

  
 I’ll get back to the cabinets…eventually. I’ve found some pictures to help me narrow in on what I want them to look like, so that will help. 
I have plenty of other little projects to keep me busy until I finally get over this little hurdle.