Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Was looking through my pictures today and realised I hadn't shown these --bought in a toy shop in Ithaca commons. They have many different kinds. I bought three but only seem to have photographed two. As usual I should have gotten more since I have already give two away. They are called Tynies

Here's the turtle

And the parrot

The turtle is about 3/8 inch long. The parrot about 1/2 inch. Should have got more!
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Monday, May 20, 2013

Next phase

I left the US on Friday. I'm now in the UK. It feels like a different planet. I loved Ithaca, so beautiful and parts of it are such classic small town US. It was like driving through an Andy Rooney set. I stayed at the Best Western. I'm not given to commercial plugs, but the staff there were just terrific, such a nice group of people. They really made a difference to the quality of my stay. Things I won't miss: bad coffee, eating and drinking off paper and plastic. What a treat to have china cups and metal cutlery.

Yesterday some fiends and I went for a walk in bluebell woods in the Cotswolds, just north of Bristol. The we went to see a Gothic revival church with stained glass designed by William Morris and his early partners. It was a perfect day. Then this morning I got up and looked out my hotel room window and this is what I saw:

It's going to be a good month!

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Spring Swap, part 2

This is the best I could do in terms of staging a scene with Nancy's wonderful gifts. Remembering that I have been living in hotels for a month so improvisation is key. First of all it prodded me into get the the floor done for the Paris flat. This is not your fancy lay-it-down stick by stick job; its what you get when you have a piece of hardboard, a travellers water colour set, a Swiss Army knife and a tube of Burt's Bees lip salve. I wanted something that looks like very old floorboards of the kind you find in very old French apartments ( Ive only ever been in one). I grooved the floorboards into the hardboard with the knife, then scraped it down with my room key card to get ride of the sawdust that had been raised. Then I washed it down repeatedly with burnt sienna and cobalt blue water colour in various mixes and densities, blow drying it with the hotel dryer a few times so it wouldn't warp. Finally I rubbed lip salve all over it and polished it with Kleenex.
The back wall is the hotel; the side wall is my watercolour pad. I used my French Flat sofa bed. I call it 'Moving into the new studio'.

I bought the lamp in a little housewares shop near the Guggenheim in New York. It's called a Tiny Task. I wish I had bought a couple. I have a Tiny Tim, but it doesn't give off much light.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Spring Swap part 1

I took part in the Spring Swap organised by Cyd at Mini Mod Pod. My partner was Nancy whose entry to the Spring Fling won The First-time Entrant award last year.

We decided to focus on accessories. Here is what she sent me:

It includes a beautiful easel, 2 baskets, three little crates with labels, 3 bowls, a pumpkin, a sack of potatoes, three shoe boxes, a rug, a pillow and 2 bolsters, plus some knickknacks. Furthermore she made all of these things herself and they are just perfect. But the best of all are three exquisite paint brushes, less than an inch long each.

I feel very spoiled. I'll post a scene tomorrow, using it all. Thank you again Nancy.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New York Loot

Since im travelling I have been foraging for mini accessories, both in NYC and in Ithaca. Here are some pix;
First from The Tiny Dollhouse in NYC, some tiny tissue boxes, a brass kettle , a rooster and chicken and four of the nicest little mugs I have come across. Unlike the usual porcelain for minis these are perfectly proportioned, not thick and lumpy. I got a few more things but they have been sent off to Nancy on a swap.

Next from a wonderful little antique shop in the East Mall in Ithaca, an art nouveau picture frame, straw hats and beads which will make ginger jars and candlesticks. I love this little shop which stocks all manner of small vintage and antique goodies--beads, jewellery, dolls furniture, old toys, a veritable treasure trove.

I also got this tiny Chinese figurine. It's only 1/2 inch high I just had to grab it when I saw it. I inherited larger similar figurines from my grandmother and then my mother. They are much beat-up, but are among my most prized possessions. I also inherited 1 tiny single figure from this series, so it now has a couple of mates. You'll see them in lots of scenes in the future.

Then on Saturday I wandered down Ithaca Commons and into Ten Thousand Villages where I scored these little beauties. The hugging figures are less than an inch high while the egg containing a nativity scene is about an inch long. The bicycle is one of a set of earrings.

All in all Im very pleased. They will add more life to future scenes. Some will go into the Paris apartment, which I haven't given up on, even though I couldn't finish it for the Undersized Urbanite which has, by the way, some pretty amazing entries.
And I have another mini-justification. They make great souvenirs and take up no space at all in a suitcase.
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