Wednesday, 22 December 2010

It has been a while :-)

I've actually been meaning to post sooner but have been manic sorting out Christmas shopping and the like. I used to love it when I lived back home but here, not only do I have to find the right gifts, I have to make sure they are small enough and light enough so that shipping doesn't cost a fortune. Then the delight of packing them all up and standing in line at the Post office.

If you bought anything from me in 2010 you should by now have received a gift from me. Just a small token of my thanks for your business. Without you I wouldn't be here blogging. If, for any reason, you've not received it please email me.

Being so far from home and my family and friends, Christmas over here is a quiet and often sad affair.

This year I did decide that I was going to do some decorating for Christmas even if it was only a small amount. 

I managed to get a gorgeous wreath and garland on sale....$15 for both instead of about $200...impressive huh.

I also bought some adorable tiny white ceramic birds and decorated the wreath and garland with them.

It looks so pretty lit up. I am such a simple person sometimes...a few twinkly white lights and I am happy :-)

In other news here we are having a doozy as a storm. It is called a pineapple express storm but that makes it sound much nicer than it is. It has rained constantly and heavily now for over a week. I've never seen rain like this anywhere I've lived.

We live in the desert yet we are on flood watch and many roads are closed due to flooding. The mountains got over 15 feet of snowfall over the weekend alone. Unfortunately the clouds are so low I've not been able to see any of it. We are in the valley so are just getting the rain.

This is my garden at the minute :-(


Even the poor slugs are suffering and are scaling the walls and taking shelter on the windowsills and under the eves.

Other than this there has been nothing fun happening here. A couple of dentist appointments and I am back at the dentist tomorrow ugh.   Oh well, at least I'll get a good nap out of that :-)

Sorry I've not had chance to keep up with every ones blogs. One of my resolutions for next year is to manage my time better ... we'll see how that goes lol

Have a wonderful holiday everyone

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Tis the season to be....SPOOKY !

Even witches celebrate Christmas...their trees are just a little different
and a lot more spooky :-)

This one is decorated with a multitude of witchy ornaments.

Skulls, toadstools, severed chicken feet, skelly heads, shiny red poison apples, magic spell scrolls, frogs legs, fresh from the field baby pumpkins and even stars...only difference is the stars are made from bones.

All topped off with a large bone star.
Skelly heads and skulls glow in the dark for added effect :-)

Hope you like it !

I've likely left it a tad late to be listing it on etsy but figured I'd give it a try...if not I can enjoy it myself till next Christmas :-)

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Good luck

To anyone who is going to attempt to get to KDF tomorrow or over the weekend.

You have some insane weather over there so I am sure it will be a struggle for sellers and buyers alike.

Take care, be warm and stay safe.


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving....

To all my American friends....and to the rest of you Happy Thursday :-)

Not being American, Thanksgiving isn't quite the same for us. Not that we don't love a turkey dinner but we are really small eaters and even the smallest turkey breast would feed us for years lol. And neither of us are into American football so that is another tradition we shan't be partaking in.

So, we  made a last minute decision to take a ride out to San Diego for the weekend. Mick has some skydiving friends out there I've never met, and one is a Brit, so that should be fun.

But, the main reason we are going is to see the Tran Siberian Orchestra perform which we are really looking forward to.

They put on such a theatrical show with lots of flames, fireworks, fog and dancing...oh and their music is pretty awesome too ...can't wait.

Here is a short clip for those who may not have heard of them.

Not much going on here at the mo. I've just got through the torture that is known as open enrollment (when we have to decide who to have medical insurance  etc with for the next year ) and have spent my time filing and sorting out masses of papers so no decorating done as yet.

I have a idea for an awesome spooky Christmas tree, in mini of course, but I can't see I'll get that done in time for Christmas now :- (

Anyhow, to all of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, have a wonderful time and
don't eat too much pie :-) 


Thursday, 11 November 2010

First off, thank you to everyone who took the time to visit all of the participants in Kats online Halloween party and for leaving comments on mine.

I am so miffed I wasn't able to play a more active part.  I was having dental treatment so had to schedule the post early to be able to be part of it at all and was left feeling somewhat the worse for wear for a while after the dentist trip.

I still have more work to be done and have a another visit scheduled tomorrow...maybe next time the sedative they give me will actually be the drug they say it is ...i.e the one I've had before and know works rather than some other drug that did nothing grrr.

Anyhow, in between this I managed to take a most wonderful trip up North.

I've been communicating online and on the phone with a lady from the east coast who I met in a miniatures group years ago. Up until last weekend we had never met. But she was in California for a wedding and there was no way I'd let her be in the same state without meeting up. Those of you who have known me as long will know Patti (Sugar Chicky) who I am referring to.

So Mick and I took a ride up to Napa to meet Patti and her hubby. We only had one day together but we took them to visit San Francisco and Berkley and had a great time, even if it was belting it down with rain half of the day :-) They had to fly back the next morning at 4am but we still managed to stay in the bar past midnight and make the most of the too short time we had together.

I didn't take many photos at all because I've been there before and unfortunately, Patti lost her camera on the flight home. Hopefully there'll be an honest person who turns it in as her camera holds the only photos of us together :-(

Now it is back to reality and back to work. 

I have some commissions I need to get on with but aside from these I am planning on taking a bit of a break. We have been in this house a year now and have barely done anything. I have been crazy busy with minis this year I haven't had the time. So I need to spend some time concentrating on getting some house things done. Things like curtains in the bedroom to replace the blankets that are pinned up there would be nice :-)

So I might not have many minis to blog about but perhaps I'll put up some house project piccies as I go along. 

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Haunted House Online Party

Thank you Kat for organizing this online party :-) 

This is my first time ever participating in something miniature and Halloween.
This time last year I was only making pretty flowers and had no idea that I'd be taking a walk over to the dark side in 2010.

I hope you all enjoy my contribution, just click on the photos to enlarge.

Happy Halloween !

Thursday, 28 October 2010

The best laid plans and all that....

Well as excited as I was to go and see The Nightmare before Christmas in 4D it won't be happening this year. Luckily they do it ever year at Halloween time so perhaps next year we can make a full weekend of it and do the whole shebang with the Pumpkin Kings dinner as well.

My computer monitor has been acting up the past few weeks and has been flickering at me. Then it started flashing and then it started going on and off making it impossible to use. Mick took it apart and ordered the capacitors to fix it but when he came to do so the back light had blown out as well. Likely my fault for carrying on using it when there was a problem :-(

So, we had to to buy a new one. All you can get now are the wide screens. I don't like them but figured I'd get used to it. I set it so the fonts were readable but then it wouldn't run my camera software of photoshop. To do that it had to be on the highest resolution which meant the font size was too mall for me to read. And on top of that my photos all looked squat. I tried ever combination of settings but no way could I work with squat photos lol.

Luckily Mick found me a second hand, old fashioned square monitor so I am good to go now.

On top of this I had to visit the dentist. I have a totally irrational and crazy dental phobia. I can give blood, have shots, do surgery etc but when it comes to the dentist I am a quivering wreck....literally.

I found a dentist that deals in patients with 'high anxiety' and went to see her. I have to say they were fantastic. I've had dentists refuse to treat me as my blood pressure goes so high. Dentists who claim to deal with the likes of me leave me sitting in the chair, surrounded by the sights and smells of a dental office, for ages. Dentists who get totally embarrassed when I am sitting there in tears.

So, to find someone who really understood and wanted to help me is a great step forward.

Unfortunately I have bone loss in my jaw so they are unsure whether anything can be done. My teeth don't look bad but they are not secure in my jaw. Apparently it is a genetic thing and no amount of brushing or flossing will help. They are going to try putting some drugs into my gums and see if it can be built back up and doing some gum surgery before making the decision whether to take them all out or not :-(

So tomorrow I will be dragged to the dentist by Mick and given a wonderful drug that will render me useless. I will then sleep the entire day away and have zero recollection of the whole day when I wake up.

As I have no collection of ever being hurt by a dentist, my new dentist also thinks I need to see a hypnotist to find out why I am like this so I will be seeing a therapist shortly and see where we can go from there.

So with having to buy a new monitor, a dentist bill of about $750 so far (after insurance) and the fact that I will likely still be whacked out on Saturday there will be no going to Hollywood this weekend.

I am not too upset though as next week we are off to San Francisco. A very dear friend of mine is flying there from the east coast to attend a wedding. She will have a day free so we are driving up there to meet her. I met her in a miniature group a long time ago and although we've never met we have become very close friends so I am very exited about it.

I've been finishing off some minis and have some rather spooky ones to show you but I am going to save those for Kats Halloween party. I really want to join in so will schedule a post in case I am not up to it :-)

I've also made some small sets of grungy pots which are now in my etsy store. They can be used for decoration only or actually used to put plants in.

I apologise that I've been so slow replying to emails or reading blogs but with no monitor and then the whole dentist thing I've just not been able to do it :-(

And in case I don't make it on here before....


Friday, 15 October 2010 4 D

Yup you read that right 4D. 

In the next couple of weeks El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard is showing Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas in 4D

So what is 4D ?  Well the film will be shown in 3D and on top of this there will be a whole bunch of additional sensory effects going on all around you in the cinema....things like  wind, snow, fog, and much more.

How cool does that sound :-) And it is showing near me :-)

The only downside is that it is in Hollywood and I will generally do anything to stay out of L.A. ....but this is soooo tempting.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Monday, 4 October 2010

Something different

With all my recent commissions I am somewhat all floozied out so thought I'd spent a day playing with some clay.

I am still working on plants but need something to do in between drying times. 

I watched Beetlejuice last week which got us talking about Tim Burton and The Nightmare Before Christmas movie...which I'd never seen. So we decided to watch it.

I know I am soo behind the curve here but what an awesome head is swimming with loads of new ideas now :-)

Who knows...maybe I'll even watch Harry Potter soon too :-)

Friday, 1 October 2010

Our crazy summer

Well, we've been having some crazy weather the last couple of weeks....crazy enough it hit the UK press :-) Some awesome photography in this article.

Rainbow AND a lightning bolt? Must be a Hollywood production: Days of record heat followed by spectacular storms in California

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 4:48 PM on 1st October 2010

Days of historic heat in southern California came to a spectacular end on Wednesday with thunderstorms, lightening and huge rainbow.
Rain fell steadily in downtown Los Angeles yesterday afternoon as dramatic storm clouds formed over the region, only two days after the highest ever temperatures were recorded.
At the start of the week thermometers hit an astonishing 113F (45C) - beating the previous record set 20 years ago.

Spectacular: A rainbow and bolts of lightening were seen over the Hollywood sign as days of historic heat in Southern California came to an end
Spectacular: A rainbow and bolts of lightening were seen over the Hollywood sign as days of historic heat in Southern California came to an end

Unique weather: A monsoon storm made its way through the Hollywood hills area bringing rain, lighting and rainbows
Unique weather: A monsoon storm made its way through the Hollywood hills area bringing rain, lighting and rainbows

The National Weather Service in the U.S. said the humid conditions would now continue in the region until at least Friday, with the storms increasing the threat of wildfires.
Local residents took to Twitter on Wednesday to post their own pictures of the spectacular weather, including a double rainbow over West Hollywood.

Showers and thunderstorms have been reported in parts of northern Los Angeles and San Bernardino during the last 24 hours as temperatures dropped by some ten degrees on Wednesday, with highs of 92F recorded.
Forecasters said they had predicted the dramatic change in weather as subtropical air pushed into the region.

End of the world? The intense heat made way to thunderstorms and lightening on Wednesday
End of the world? The intense heat made way to thunderstorms and lightening on Wednesday 

What a difference a day makes: The amazing weather is expected to continue until the weekend
What a difference a day makes: The amazing weather is expected to continue until the weekend

Local residents took to Twitter to post their own pictures of the the amazing skyline
Local residents took to Twitter to post their own pictures of the the amazing skyline 

'Today [Wednesday] went pretty much as planned,’ said Southern California Weather Authority Meteorologist Kevin Martin.
'Today was well forecasted by our Special Weather Statement that was issued on Monday'.
Some superstitious local residents though have begun speculating that the spectacular weather may in fact signal something more sinister.
Enrique Santana is quoted by local news station KABC as saying: ‘It's very strange for me - 113-degree weather - it makes you think of 2012 [predicted by some to the date the World will come to an end].’
On Monday thousands of people sought refuge from the incredible heat, with the city of Los Angeles urging people to use parks and recreation facilities, senior centres and libraries as cooling centres.
The blast of intense heat followed an unusually cool summer that often found beaches covered in overcast and whipped by chilly winds.
The above-average temperatures in the region are expected to continue until Saturday and will then fall to lower than normal next week.

Copeed from Daily Mail

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Ambiguous Affair

I am shocked to announce that there have been some naughty going ons at Tallulah Belle’s nursery.

A short while ago I found a cute little shoot that was unfamiliar to me. I looked in all my reference books and couldn’t find a species like it.

It was only once she started growing that I realized why.

It seems, my friends, that we have been having some illicit cross pollination going on in the middle of the night. Tut tut.

Polly Poppy was always the partying type but never in my wildest dreams did I think she’d be run off with Maurice mushroom.

And here she is… the hybrid offspring of this dubious dalliance who looks like she has inherited her Mothers promiscuous tendencies.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Do not disturb


Friday, 10 September 2010

Is your plant in print ?

This months American Miniaturist magazine has an article on moi.  How cool is this....I love how they've done it....looks like the plants are about to jump off the page and bite you...or in some cases lick you :-)

Thanks Bailey and the rest of your team, I am really impressed. I love the comment about NastYurtium Nanci needed to floss more lol

And thanks to Kat for sending me a copy. I can't buy one anywhere near me unfortunately and I subscribe to their other magazines.

If you click on the photos you should be able to get them large enough to read it.

So, is your plant here :-)

And as well as having a grungy fabric tutorial in Dollhouse Word, Kat from Kat The Hat Lady is also featured in American Miniaturist...way to go Kat !

Now I just need to go find a copy for my Nan who I mention in the article. It was my Nan and Grandad who first got me into miniatures when I was very small. 

Unfortunately, my Nan is not at all well and has been in a nursing home for a while. Pretty tough when I live on the other side of the world. A lot of the while she doesn't know who people are or why she is where she is but I am hoping that my Mom can read and show this to her she'll remember me and the things we used to make together :-(

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Blimey it has been a while since I've been on here...I've been busy, busy, busy.

I assume other people have been having the same problems with Blogger that I have as well....sometimes I have a followers list..... sometimes not. Sometimes I can get to someones blog,.....sometimes not. Sometimes I can post a comment.....sometimes not. I guess they are doing some updating. Infuriating when you only have short periods of time to sit and read blogs.

Anyhow, I am still working on commissions but nothing to show as yet.

It has been slow going as I've been having some real problems with glue. I am using and doing the same as I always have but it just ain't gluing right. The only difference has been the heat...we've been pretty hot here of late...getting up to 109 F (43C) so the air conditioning has been on constantly. This is obviously drying the air out and affecting the glue :-(

I have also been doing some painting....real life size painting on canvas.
This is the inspiration photo for our bedroom. Our bedroom will be Japanese themed so I can display all the lovely things Mick bought me from Japan :-) I will make the bedding once I can find the right fabric.

I wanted some art to hang above the bed that was similar to the pattern on the duvet here.

And this is what I did. The canvas is 4 feet x 3 feet.

I have to say I really enjoyed painting. Unfortunately my shoulder was not as impressed :-(  I only did this in half hour spurts between making minis but it was really quick to do. 

I had a number of paint samples I'd bought from the DIY store to test on the walls. The sample pots here are so big that I had loads left over. I wanted an dark aged effect as my background so used them to paint the canvas. I used 4 shades.... amber, gold, ochre, and tan and just kinda rolled them around with a plastic bag. I actually love the effect I much so that I'll do this on my walls :-) The flowers and branches are in artists acrylic.

At one point I made a mistake on a  flower and wiped it down with a damp washcloth.  I loved the way it removed some of the paint and gave it a worn I went ahead and wiped paint off all the flowers :-)  Probably not a real artist technique but I love the effect.

I am no Michelangelo but considering this is the very first time I've painted anything I am very pleased with myself.

See the flower in the top right corner....that was the first one I did and I changed the shape of the others. I've decided to leave that mistake there to remind me this was my first try.

Now I have art exactly how I want it, all for just the cost of a canvas....using a Michael's 40% off coupon of course :-)

Monday, 16 August 2010

Progress....minis and house

I haven't really posted any photos of my current commission for a while...for no other reason that there really isn't much to see.

All I am doing is gluing on leaf after leaf after leaf. This stage is pretty time consuming as it is often a case of glue 1 on, knock 3 off.

I am limited to doing about 4 branches at a time and leaving them to dry before doing any more.. Any more than that and the chances of knocking off more than I add increases.

Here is a picture of how far I've got.

Doesn't look like there is much more to do...until you see the underneath :-)

You can see parts where it is rather shiny. This is just glue. For some reason, even thought I am using the method I always have, these leaves aren't sticking as well as normal. So I am having to paint glue over all the joins. I'll go over it all afterwords and re-texture and paint it. Not difficult, just adds more time to the making of it :-(

There will be a load more leaves in the gaps I've left. I want to see how it looks with this amount and them place it in situ and reassess the situation.

In between I am painting in real life.

Outside my kitchen window I have a little patio area.

Since we had the dead trees cut down the sun blazes through the windows on this side of the house and makes it unbearably hot in there

So we decided to build an arbor over it....which is actually cheaper than getting a custom blind made for the odd sized kitchen window.

Here is how the area looked when we moved in.

And this is what it looks like when we had the ficus trees cut back.

The plant to the right, blocking the door, is a fake castor oil plant. Luckily we have a door to get out back on the other side of the room so I can let this grow wild for the moment. At some point it will have to be cut right down but for now I can just enjoy it as it is :-)

I was out there this morning painting all the eaves...not fun in 100 degree sun.

Now I am painting the main beams for the arbor. Luckily we have this room at the end of the house that we have no idea what to do for now I can at last paint the beams in here with the A/C on :-)

The ficus grows like weeds so that will be trained to grow over the arbor roof. I also plan on planting some more vines next to it and in planters on the right hand side.

If anyone knows of any heat tolerant, evergreen, fast growing vines that don't require much space for roots please let me know.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Miniature....or art ?

You might remember this photo
of a commission I am working on
I showed a while back

My friend Patti loved how it looked at this stage.
So much so that she wanted a copy of it to frame.

So, after a bit of jiggery pokery in photoshop, we decided that this
was how it should look for framing. 

As it was coming up to her birthday, I kind of ignored it after this and hoped she'd forget about it.

Because I wanted to get it matted and framed as a present of her.

You can't really tell in this photo of it but it is 11'' x 14''

I think it worked really well and would never have thought to do this.
Now I just have to get one for me :-)