Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Off to New Mexico

We are off on a road trip over to New Mexico.

We went to Los Alamos and Alomogordo last year and visited the museums dedicated to the nuclear bomb but what we didn't realize then, was that twice a year the Trinity Site was opened to the public.

Of course we were there the wrong weekend and then ,when it was open last October, we were buying this house so couldn't get away. It is open again this Saturday so we are driving over to see it.

The Trinity Site is where the first atomic bomb was tested on July 16, 1945. Part of the Manhattan Project, this was the test of 'the gadget' prior to using nuclear weapons on Nagasaki or Hiroshima.

The land is military owned and on the site there now stands a small monument.

In addition to this you can take a bus over the McDonald ranch house. A regular house that was 'acquired' by the government and where the plutonium core for the bomb was assembled.

I've stood on on the same ground where many historical events occurred but nothing that changed the world as radically as this.

When I was a teenager the threat of nuclear war was real and it terrified me. We saw movies of the devastation and were taught what to do if nuclear war broke out. Given that it involved plastic sheeting and duct tape I doubt it would have been effective but I guess it made people feel better.

I joined CND when I was about 11 and protested for nuclear disarmament...yes I was a bit of a hippy :-)

I never imagined I'd one day stand on the ground where it all started.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Old Floozy & Audrey II

Many of you have commented on not seeing my first Floozy and not realizing I did things like this.

So, I thought I'd drag her picture out of the archives and let her take center stage again.
This is the first one I made....the original Floozy.

She has been around the block more than her fair share and is a bit of a man eater. Very rough round the edges and definitely more wrinkly and dead than not but she still puts on her biggest smile in the hopes of attracting something.....anything.

You know the kind I talk about.....past their prime but still sit around the bars looking for the leftovers after all the young chicks have taken there pick....that's her !

I popped this first Floozy on etsy and, to be honest, thought she'd be like my gargoyles and she'd sit there forever. She sold within minutes of being listed. If only all sales were like that lol. She now resides in England and according to the feedback I received she is very naughty and tried to dazzle her with sweets.

And Julie you asked if I'd ever tried to make Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors. I have indeed. She now lives with Nikki over at Witch & Wizard Miniatures.

As I've mentioned before I don't find these easy to make. Real flowers are fine as I can literally dissect one and make it exactly how it is in real life. Wacky plants....well that requires use of my imagination and that is much harder.

Audrey was easier as I knew what she was supposed to look like. It was the same with Cleopatra, I had a picture, albeit black and white, but I at least had a starting point.

But I have many ideas and some similar ones already in progress so practice should make it easier right ? :-)

As for when .... well there isn't much mini making going on at Tallooley HQ at the moment. I was sent to physical therapy for my shoulder and came home with pages of exercises to do daily....regardless of the pain bleh.

There are 32 different exercises. Each has to be done 10 - 20 times and 3 sets of each. And they want me to do them 3 times a day. LMAO....I'll have no time for anything else :-)

So for the moment I am just pottering and being careful. Some days are fine and I can carry on as normal then other days I can't lift my arm. So you will be seeing new floozies and more but not as quickly as I might have been able to do before.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


I recently finished a couple of commissions for Michelle over at
Michelle's Mad World.

She had seen the floozy I had made previously and wanted one for her Hogwarts Conservatory and the other for her Witch.

The floozy for Hogwarts was to be in a mossy terracotta pot, petals like my first floozy, red lips and smiling.

Very similar in fact to my first one. Easy peasy huh. Oh how I tried to recreate those lips lol. Not as easy as I thought :-)

Here she is....

The witches floozy was to be more dead than alive, in an old bucket, droopy with dying lips and grimacing.

Grimacing....did she say grimacing ??? Hokay. I can do grimacing. So I get out my little mirror, pop it on my workbench and while I am grimacing at myself I am playing with the clay. Oh if you could all have been a fly on the wall lol.

This one wasn't easy at all. In fact the more I tried to make her grimace the more I made her look like Elvis with her curled up lip lol. I didn't mention the Elvis bit to Michelle so when she told me she was going to be named Elvie due to resemblance to Elvis I cracked up.

And here she is.....

I likely drove Michelle mad with emails and WIP pictures. I am fine with making my regular pretty flowers and know that people love them but when it comes to these wacky ones I am no so confident.

So thank you Michelle for being so patient and checking my work as I went along :-)

I was so determined to get the look just 'right' that I made mouth after mouth after mouth. So I now have about 30 sets of lips and teeth spare so there will definitely be more floozies in the future :-)

If you've not visited Michelle's blog before go over and take a look...she does amazing work.

Friday, 19 March 2010

My lucky streak.....

Well I have been so lucky these past few weeks. I won the precious doggie from Kim and the magazine from Kate.

Now, if that wasn't enough, I also just won another giveaway. Not mini related this time but the chance for a real interior designer to do over one of my rooms ...wooo hoooo.

While looking for ideas for the room we plan on turning into a library I stumbled upon the blog Decorica run by Erica LeBlanc.

And it just so happened she was having a competition, the winner of which won the opportunity to win a custom design plan which includes

1. A detailed floor plan

2. Paint colors

3. Furniture & fabric suggestions

4. Selected area rugs

5. Ideas for window treatments

6. Accessories and final touches

A custom kit like this normally costs $275 so I am stoked. All I had to do was tell Erica what room I needed help with and why.

I didn't originally plan on entering as I'd only just found the blog and until then wasn't a follower....it seemed a bit cheeky but I am so glad I did.

I hope she likes a challenge as turning this bland odd shaped room into a library will certainly be that.

Here are the photos and the (crappy) floor plan I sent. Yeah, yeah 5 months after moving in those are unpacked boxes you see. it is because we still can't figure out what room is what :-) Once the library is done we can at least get rid of the boxes off books.

I am sooo excited to see what she comes up with because I certainly can't figure it out. Watch this space !

Thursday, 18 March 2010

I don't have a dog but......

I really want one of these.

Wish I could get it in king size :-)

If any of you dog owners have a spare $3483.00 lying around you can buy it here

Friday, 12 March 2010

Wear Sunscreen

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.

Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

~ Mary Schmich

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Oh Lucky me...again :-)

A few weeks back Kate of Whittaker's Miniatures got the most wonderful house elf from Jain at Giddy Kipper dolls.

And she needed a name so she ran a competition to name her.

And I won ...woooo hoooo !!!

As soon as I saw her the name Tillie popped into my head. Kate had already thought of Tillie as a name but promised her gorgeous daughter Lola that she could pick the name....and Lola chose Tillie.

So between the 3 of us I guess Tillie was just meant to be :-)

I picked Tillie as I when I worked at one of the newspapers back in England we had a lovely cleaning lady called Tillie. As I was the manager I was always there late so saw Tillie most nights. Work would wait while we sat and put the world to rights over a cup of tea.

I always said if I had a daughter I'd name her Tillie. Luckily for me (or my kids) I had one boy and not two girls. Otherwise I'd have had a Tillie and a Tallulah putting me amongst the ranks of those crazy showbiz peeps and their kids with silly names :-)

Anyhow, enough blabbering ....This is what I won ....a fantastic thick magazine full of dollhouse projects which arrived in the mail today.

Oh how I miss my British dollhouse mags.

It is packed full of how to's including the wonderful mouse house by Julie of Bellabelle dolls.

And it is that article alone that made it so special to me. I have known Julie for a long time and to see her in print was just great. She has come so far since we first 'met' and now she is not only in magazines but is now an IGMA Artisan.

Is it odd to be so proud of someone you haven't physically met .... I don't know and I don't care because I am very proud of Julie.

So thank you very much Kate and Lola.....this mag will keep me entertained for hours.

Now after 2 wins in as many weeks I think I'll go buy a lotto ticket ....just in case :-)

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

What's going on

Just a little update.

I made the decision to stop taking on flower work a few weeks back. I have just finished my last 2 commissions and that will be it for a while.

No, I am not giving up, but my shoulder is giving me trouble still and sitting making flowers can be pretty painful at times. I will likely still make bits and pieces but at my own leisure and without the pressure of commissions.

The torn ligament isn't healing as it ought and I guess the arthritis just adds to the problem.

The doc wants me to try physical therapy before she sends me to the surgeon so I am waiting on the phone call to arrange that.

Hopefully we can get it sorted out soon...I feel like an old woman some days. I can vacuum or I can mop but try and do them together and I am asking for trouble.

Once I've got a few things out of the way I'll be back to trying to sculpt again. Hopefully that
won't put as much strain on my shoulder as the flowers do but we'll see.

So, you might be seeing odd flowers, some sculpting or just some pics of the house over the next few weeks.

We've not done a huge amount to the house to be honest. Again, this darn shoulder is limiting what I can do. Also, although I want to paint the rooms, I just don't know what colors.

The house is semi open plan so I have to work with that and I can't figure out how the different colors should transition between the rooms.

As well as reading design books I've also been cramming up on gardening books. Our gardens are pretty much a blank slate and not being a gardener I am finding it all rather overwhelming. I think once I get going I'll be fine but it is that first step that is so hard.

In between we are dealing with all the repairs that need doing. Last week was 1 totally new toilet and another toilet that needed all the drain gubbins replaced...that wasn't a pleasant job I can tell you :-)

I think the bank must have hired Bodgit and Leggit as contractors to tidy this house before they put it up for sale.

The toilet that had to be completely replaced was from the 70's .... impressive given that this house was built in the 90's huh. The bowl was a 3 gallon and the tank a 1.6 gallon...no wonder the darn thing wouldn't flush.

The other toilet .... well it was wobbly and we assumed it just needed tightening up. It was wobbly as all the concrete floor under it had crumbled ... oh joy.

I have read more about toilets in this last week than I ever care to again.

And yesterday I noticed a damp patch on the ceiling so I guess we have a roof leak as well...bleh.

Anyhow, I have some garden photos and some more mystery plants I need help with so I'll be posting piccies of those soon along with some photos of my workroom and general ones of the house.

I did start a separate blog for the house but I barely have time to keep up with this one so that was a silly idea :-) So, as long as people don't mind, I'll add house things into this blog too.

Toodle pip xxx

Friday, 5 March 2010

A Piano for the Pickled Vicar

You have all seen the Cleopatra plant I made for Ara.
Here is what I got in return.

Isn't it just fabulous. I love every thing about it on it and Ara really captured exactly what I was looking for to go in the Pickled Vicar.

It needed to be something a little old lady would play during church services but also something that the new owners of the church decided would fit into the churches conversion into a pub.

Even the back is finished in a paper very similar to that which I plan on using in the pub...and Ara didn't know that :-)

Ara even signed it 'for the Pickled Vicar' which I just loved...such a personal touch.

Doesn't he look happy. he is waiting on a stool but given that he is always drunk I don't think he actually even noticed that :-)

The vicar was made for me by Debbie of Piskies and Poppets...don't I have some wonderful talented friends huh.

I am getting a lovely collection of things for this dollhouse which resides in my head. One day when my big house is sorted I'll get round to building it....for now it is fun to collect things

I apologise for the bad photos...I have a fancy new SLR camera that I am trying to get the hang off...not knowing my apertures from my elbows is hindering me somewhat lol.

For better photos please visit Ara's blog. Please visit it anyhow, I promise you won't be disappointed.