Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Now that,s better

Wishing you all a most Mimi 2013.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from a very wet down-under.

I was all prepared to do a beach scene, but cyclone Evan is running back and forth over northern NZ. It's been pouring rain for days, so no trips to the beach.

Have a very happy Christmas, from very wet NZ

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, December 16, 2012

At last: Mini-nut draw

You know you're a mini-nut when:

you collect everything you earlier used to throw away, and you think, there is something mini there

you steal your children's toys to use in your own dollhouse

You put your minis in the microwave

if you gather all kind of trash in your hut

your tradesman partner brings in all sorts of crap from his van or work and says, could you use this in your crazy mini hobby?

you beg to peal off the colored silver wrappings off your friends, chocolates and put it in your purse. Or when You don't use the paper napkin with tiny flower prints at their dinner table and take it home instead.

you start putting minis before your real house and feel like a hoarder

your husband has finally given in and began saving the bits and pieces for you.

you start rifling through the neighbor's garbage for possible miniature-making doohickeys

you must thoroughly inspect all garbage before it leaves the house for possible miniature-making doohickeys.

you go through the recycle trash each week before collection day!"

You look things over very carefully before throwing anything out and wonder if I can use it somehow, the process takes awhile because my mind has to run through everything that is used in a home..

todo lo que ves le pones utilidad para usarlo en las minis.....

ves algo de la vida cotidiana que se puede convertir en algo en miniatura

llego a la casa de alguna amiga o familiar que tiene hijos y observo sus juguetes para pedir regaladas aquellas cositas que pueden servirme

There were 15 people who finished the sentence; 9 who also put a link on their blog (and thus got 2 entries); and 3 who put a link on their blog but didn't,t finish the sentence.

I didn't,t resort to fancy random numbers. I did it the old-fashioned way. Bits of paper in bowl. My one innovation was to put a piece of Scmacko in the bowl and let Molly fish it out.

Which she did, along with a winner.

And the winner is GINGER LOLA!

Please send me a mailing address for you.

Thank you to everyone who participated and helped me get my blog started. I,m at 35 followers today, and a very select bunch it is. Keep following. I feel a 50 follower giveaway in the wings.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Disaster; Delay; Desolee

I dropped my iPad last night; almost caught it with my toe; fractured the screen; thus no draw.
Don,t give up on me. Will do it tomorrow.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, December 10, 2012

What to do? What to do?

Congratulations to Mini modern and Fran-made minis for winning the Cubebot challenge.  I'm feeling a bit bereft now its over. What to do next? Gert's chair remains unfinished and there is the Undersized Urbanite to begin, but one seems too fiddly and the other too big to start just before Christmas.
I started to build a kitchen scene in my office as my students think its a bit crazy that their white-haired prof plays with dolls. Over the week its morphed into a retro scene about writing. Funny how the unconscious works! Not finished yet but here's some pix:

Does any one else remember writing to deadlines on a typewriter? I had a little black portable my mother gave me when I was 12, which saw me through my undergraduate years, much like the one above.

Today I added my "Bad Hare". I bought him a few years ago in the Ottawa Valley. He seems like the kind of pooka who hangs around when deadlines loom.
Where do you think the writer has gone? To put on some laundry? To get a new typewrite ribbon? To turn all the taps on in the bathroom and scream?
That's it for the day.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cubebot update

I can't seem to stop fiddling. I have put in a better family photo. I've also listed the titles and linked to the provenance of each of the paintings, for those who are interested in the Cubism aspect of things. And I've added credit to Jim Coates for the lovely fireplace, which I originally bought for the Gertrude and Alice project. Check out his wonderful fireplaces, moldings, picture frames, etc.

Thanks for all the supportive comments.  I have a feeling that this is not the end of Cubebot and his new found family on this blog. Those who have checked out my other blog will recongise that the early 20th century modernism is one of my passions. Quite unexpectedly Cubebot has given me the opportunity to play around with the people, ideas, and works of that period. I also think that Cubebot's relationship with Rubik has lots of potential, as of course, does his relationship with the beautiful Jolie.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Minibot challenge: Cubebot Finds His Roots

Cubebot was very lonely when he got to earth, until one day:

Quickly he found the Gallery. As he went into the exhibition he gasped:

" Mon Dieu!  It's Grandmama, who ran away to earth with an artist". (I didn't know I could speak French, he thought). A beautiful young women with more than a passing resemblance to Grandmama approached:

"Mon Dieu, she is my grandmama also! We are cousins. My name is Jolie. You must come home with me right away and meet your other cousins."

"This is Marie-Therese, the grandaughter of our grandpapa Pablo and  his fourth mistress".
"Bonjour Marie-Therese" said Cubebot. Jolie whispered in his ear, "She's flamboyant, like her grandmama, but shallow."

He sat down to enjoy a beer with two cousins, Pablito, Jolie's brother, and Rubik. "He's the brainy one," whispered Jolie.
(He may be brainy, thought Cubebot, but I could teach him a thing or two).

Alas, Rubik was brainy, but not very flexible, so they gave up and posed for a family photo:

And from then on Cubebot was not lonely on earth.


Thanks to Areaware and Christine for the great challenge,  to Briar for sizing and printing the pictures, to Corinna who found Rubik (who was also lost and lonely) and to Grandpapa Pablo and and his many muses who gave us new and beautiful ways of seeing the world. Marie-Therese's chair and the Le Corbusier sofas by Reac. Fireplace by Jim Coates.

Paintings by Pablo Picasso, unless stated otherwise. Where possible titles are linked to the holders of the original. All Picasso images copyright of the estate of Pablo Picasso.

Image on Cubism poster: 

Images in City Gallery (left to right):

Girl with a Mandolin (Fanny Tellier), 1911-12

Nude, 1907, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Marie-Therese and her Grandmama:

--> Woman with a book, 1932 

Picasso Self-portrait, 1907
Narodni Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic.

Other paintings on walls of cousins' home (left to right): 

  Seated Woman with Wrist Watch, 1932. Collection of Emily Fisher Landau

Gertrude Stein, 1905-06



Friday, November 30, 2012

One more day

Working on the CUBEBOT challenge today. See pix here and o Flickr tomorrow.
Final hint to Paris Miniatures.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fiddling with fabrics and women's lib!

Not much mini-ng done this weekend --mostly  spring cleaning, getting ready for Christmas as the rellies are coming to us this year. However, I did get a few minutes to make some drapes for the Cubebot challenge. I found the fabric during my R&R visit to my friend last weekend. Not much time to look for fabrics otherwise. I also found some Fraystop, so now I feel like a real miniaturist.

I pleated, rather than draped the fabric because I tried using a home-made starch from a recipe on the internet. It didn't work, but it did make me think about how long it had been since I had starched anything --we may be talking 50 years here, since ironing my brother's shirts was one of my household jobs! There's another one for the Mini-nuts: you know you're a mini-nut when you start doing things that women haven't had to do for half-a-century!

So here's to drip-dry, no-iron, no-starch, and boys ironing their own clothing! That's why we have time for minis.

 The other mini-ing was a detour back to my first, now suspended-- blog. Also having to do with fabrics. Read it here. These are the fabrics:

Second Cubebot challenge hint go to Drora's blog

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Post-posting confusion

I know its been more than a week and I set my self the goal of posting at least once a week. The mitigating circumstances are : 1) I DID post and then accidentally deleted it; 2) I have been finishing up all the end-of-year marking, processing, etc. at work; 3) I did have 4 days away to give my friend the retirement home and have some R&R (which was the subject of the deleted post).

So on that note: she loved it. I wrapped all the bits individually in shocking pink tissue paper; then wrapped the roombox in gold paper with a big red and gold bow. It took her about half an hour to open everything, so it was a lovely ceremony. We drank (tea) to her happy retirement.

As you can see she had to get a magnifying glass to see some of the details. However, she loved it and kept moving it around the house to find the perfect spot for it where it would get natural light and she could see it. The next morning she made a lovely comment on being able to 'inhabit it'. So that's a great thing about minis: so much fun to make; and so much fun to give, two pleasures for the price of one. Somewhere there is a picture of how she set it up but I can't find it. Confusion reigns

On another note: here's the first hint for my CUBEBOT challenge:

Go to Brae's blog. TTFN

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Challenge 1: The Mini-Nut Challenge

Does anyone recognise the items in the photograph below? They are the little doohickeys that you pull out of the seal in the top of vinegar or soy sauce or other  liquid. You pull them off so that you can pour out liquid, and then you throw them away, right? Well, most people do that.

The other day I opened a bottle of rice vinegar, tossed the doohickey on the bench (counter-top), made the salad and then, when I was cleaning up, I picked up the doohickey and found myself inspecting it minutely to see if it could be of use --miniature-wise, of course. And then, when I went to brush my teeth I found myself saving the little ring off the toothbrush head I replaced because I remembered someone (apologies if it was you, I can't remember where I saw it), using such a ring to make a magnifying glass. At that point my husband came in and declared I was off my head.

Now I think otherwise sensible people who happen to be miniaturists do this kind of thing everyday all over the world,  so I have decided to have my first challenge (I have to get you guys to notice this blog somehow). The challenge is to complete this sentence:

"You know you're a mini-nut when...."

Rules (there have to be rules)  are:

1) Be a follower of this blog
2) Leave your finished sentence as a comment
3) I you tell a friend and if they verify you and also leave leave a comment OR if you put this link on your own blog, you get a second entry.
4) Contest ends midnight 15 December New Zealand time (Remember we're a day ahead of most of the world so get your comments in early).

I don't have time to make a prize so this one comes from my stash. A Reac lips sofa (nuts not included; you supply yourself)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Taylor's pad

Just because I am trying to blog twice a week, I thought I'd post some photos of the furniture I made for my granddaughter, who shares my love of minis. The colour scheme of turquoise and brown, complemented by lime green and mauve was inspired by a beautiful Pareto a friend brought me from the Cook Islands, and two fat quarters I found at Spotlight. Sorry the pix aren't great.

The sofa and chairs have a 70s feel about them. I made the table and stools/bedside tables from craft box tops and basswood. Simple, but effective.

The pareo fabric reminded me both of tivaevae, the wonderful quilts made by Cook Island women, but also of Marimeko fabric that was so popular in the 70s,and seems now to be returning. I quilted around the hibiscus flower to give the cover some dimension. The bed base is covered with brown grosgrain ribbon.


I bought her a simple 2 drawer chest from Michaels which made a perfect 2 story modern townhouse (minus the drawers). My next project is to use my new dremel to build her an efficiency kitchen.

Still working on the challenge. Watch this space!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, November 5, 2012

I just couldn't help myself

The blinds were all wrong; too pallid; too bland; added nothing and so, despite having a gazillion other more pressing issues to attend to, I made a new, more upmarket, and definitely brighter, set. The pictures aren't that great. My briefly found camera has lost itself again so I am once more reduced to the iphone (which is on its last legs).

I am resigned to fiddling with it until I have to pack it up for presentation on the 13th. But really,... I have Call Small' cubebot challenge to complete, and I have come up with an idea for a challenge. Watch this space.....

Monday, October 29, 2012

Retirement Home

So, the retirement gift is finished, although I keep thinking of more things I could do to it to make it more detailed, better, more colourful. However, its my first completed mini 'set', so I've learned a huge amount (Note to self: don't paint the inside walls white, unless you improve your photographic skills). As luck would have it the macro button on my newly found camera doesn't seem to work any more, so I'm not sure the photos are very good. This is the best overall view. My friend more or less lives on her verandah and in her garden. The plan originally was to build a mock-up of the actual verandah, but since I last saw it she has replaced much of the furniture. In addition to that ,various tasks, including installing french doors, are beyond me at this point. So this is an approximation.

She is also an avid reader, of poetry, novels, gardening  and home decorating magazines, cereal boxes, etc, so I have made some of her favourite books and magazines. On the table are the Letters of Lord Chesterfield to his son, a couple of detective novels and the Poetry of Phillip Larkin. She has a sweet tooth, thus the chocolate treats, and we play Skywords everyday on our ipads.
The bird on the wall, for those who have never been to New Zealand, is a pukeko. They are classic garden decorations, being very colourful and slightly cartoonish.

I made the potting shed from craft sticks; also made all the little pots, cushions, veg, magazines and books. The furniture was bought from Fairytale Miniatures in Australia, but didn't have any brand labels. The yellow wall art is a paperclip from my accountant. Thanks to Briar for sizing and printing the images for the books and magazines.

Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pretty pleased to have received my cubebot from Christine for the Cubebot challenge already. I've got lots of ideas; it's going to be difficult settling on one. I like the way Brae drops hints when she's preparing challenges so maybe I'll do that. In the meantime here's the wonderful Mr. (I think) Cubebot, unpacking him?self after a long flight (over 20 hours Princeton NJ to AKLDNZ).

 Stretching: a boy gets cramped during long flights.

Here are a few close-ups of the retirement roombox. Almost finished; just a few details to go; then I'll post some whole scenes.I did  a bit of research after baking the first lot of veggies. Someone said if you boil them they come out very shiny and have less risk of burning. Boiled the second lot; they came out very pale and very dull. A bit of gloss nail varnish fixed that, but boiling definitely doesn't work with my Fimo.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Mini Blog

I have decided to start a new blog and make a commitment to blogging once a week. It seems like an auspicious week to do this for three reasons: 1) I got a dremel as a (belated) birthday  present; 2) i was one of 10 international people lucky enough to get a free cubebot from CallSmall for her cubebot challenge; and 3) i finished (or pretty close) the roombox I made as a retirement gits for a friend (about which more later). So I have things to blog about, am participating in a challenge and, most importantly, finally found my camera so I can post pictures.

I have also given up on my Gertrude Stein project until we get the rest of our goods out of storage, and that seems to be an ever receding event. finally, after two years of following blogs, I realised that I was worried about Oese who writes Raum fur raum and who hasn't blogged for ages. So I guess I am in this community and better start contributing.

On the other hand I still have a lot to learn about blogging, such as how to put a link to CallSmall's blog. [I think this works now], but I reckon this is a good place to start.

So here are the first pictures of the retirement roombox for my friend who loves gardening, poetry, good writing and crosswords. Its a mockup of her back verandah where she spends most of the time when she's not in the garden. Below is an early photo. At first I thought I would just paint the inside of the box, but it looked too flat.

So I tackled the old craft sticks (Just because these started out as popsicle sticks, do they STILL need to make themwith rounded ends. Who uses the rounded ends? Think of all the trees which could be saved by making them square. On the plus side the sight of me struggling with a craft knife and popsicle sticks inspired my husband to buy me the aforementioned Dremel).

I also went out and bought my first Fimo and discovered the joys and frustrations of making teeny tiny veg: Not patisserie, but quite a lot of fun. And here are a couple of close-ups the almost finished product:

The statue looking through the window was my grandmother's I decided to keep him in. and wasn't planned, but he looked so intersted.