Monday, October 31, 2011

On All’s Well This Halloween:

Our computers are home and virus free. They were ‘Networked’ together and what one got the other got also. Apparently there was a programming error in the one computer and poof, both computers down and out! (Not networked any longer.)

It took forever to get them back. But in the state they were in, at the time, they were useless.

Well let’s see what went on while my internet life line was gone.

The grandkid had his first birthday.

Crafting, I knitted and worked on the doll houses and dolls.

I built a doll closet (seperated from the doll houses) for all the dolls clothing. Well half a closet. (The part with the bars to hang the cloths.) The other part will have shelves and box drawers for the loose things like hats, shoes and other frippery. All that stuff that doesn’t go on hangers.

There was an October snow storm, but I don’t think any one missed hearing about that. More people without power and downed trees than hurricane Irene a few weeks ago.

The old ‘Batman’ show is now on ‘ME TV’ and I couldn’t be happier. I just love that show. The height of campy humor. Too bad it is only on, on Saturday evenings, but they are showing the shows in their serialized order and we get two of them a night.

I can’t wait to get back at my video games. I missed them more than I want to admit even to myself. I just got the first 10 of the Farm Frenzy games in one box from BestBuys and I’m chomping at the bit to play them. (Yes, there are more than 10 Farm Frenzy games out there. And they each play a little differently than the others.)

Here’s hoping you are all having a great Halloween too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On Bed Time:

I was going to blog yesterday, but I was busy.

You see the sewing machine needs to be plugged in where the computer is, so the computer wasn’t on at all through the day and into the night.

I had 3 single beds and 2 twin beds to finish. Including mattresses, pillows and bedding.

You see, I have been fudging it. Using shoe boxes with bandannas, handkerchiefs and/or knitted washrags over them for some beds and cardboard mock-ups for others.

They are still mostly cardboard, but the wooden posts and finials helped a lot once the paint dried.

And the bedding was the topper. Real little pillows in crisp white pillow cases and sheets. Blankets and bed throws, comforters and patchwork quilts too.

Thou I’m still working on the covered bed with the curtains all around, now it is feeling so much more closer to done.

Some day I’ll find or make the rest of the bits and pieces I need to take the pictures for the books I wrote. You know, the things that set the scene in the illustrations to match with the story.

Oh! And there is still a doorway I need to make in the one house and a few windows and window dressing too.

Someday! But at least now that day is closer than it was.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

On My Story Blog:

Today I posted a story over on my Story Blog ‘Thrill or Shiver’.

I hope you enjoy it. I went with a Halloween appropriate theme as this is October.

Let me know what you think. Comment here or there.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

On Small Uses for Tooth Picks:

Today is a gray day. I usually love a gray day, but this one is too cold and windy for me. You know, the kind that the cold goes right through you and stays stuck inside. Thus requiring hours of tea drinking wrapped in blankets by the wood stove with a book.

So, wanting to get something done, I hid in the house doing jigsaw puzzles and playing with the doll house.

I made some things for the doll house out of wooden tooth picks. I cut off the small ends of the flat kind of tooth picks and painted them blue for my ‘Ohio Blue Tip’ matches.

And I used the round kind of tooth pick for my dolls knitting needles.

Yes, I did knit that bit of scarf for them using those small knitting needles. I just wanted to see if I could do it.

The dog needs walking so I’ll soon be shivering until properly tea-ed and blanketed, with a book. Agatha Christie, ‘The A.B.C. Murders’ I think. I am thankful for wood stoves on days like this.

Friday, October 14, 2011

On A Poke About a Doll House Kitchen:

(My Camera is back and doing well for the moment. I was told that if it goes bad again to give it up. So here are some more of the doll house pictures I promised you.)

One day I was feeling the need to add an older element to the kitchen and remembered that I still have a an old Pretzel tin. These were from the days when the Pretzel and Chip Man would come around every few weeks and you’d buy a few pounds from his barrels, keeping them fresh in your large company provided tins in the pantry.

And Yes, I do remember the various, regularly scheduled, delivery men coming around and delivering milk, butter, and yogurt, light bulbs, soda, snacks like pretzels, chips, and cookies, meat, and the Diaper service. There were the men that came around calling out that they sharpened knives or fixed vacuums at their truck while you waited. And we can’t forget the Avon Lady and the Fuller Brush Man selling their wares each month.

My ‘Becker’ Pretzel tin is 13 inches high, just for reference.

Anyway, one day I grabbed some pens and started to draw a copy of it for the doll house, just to see if I could. (You can see my version on top of the Icebox in the doll house next to the larger one.)

A closer picture of my free hand version of the tin.

A look into the kitchen shelves.

And peak into the pantry.

I won’t post doll house pictures every day for those of you who don’t care about such things. But there will be more to come here and there until I’m done cleaning and fixing it all.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

On Just One Of Those Days:

On Just One Of Those Days:

I tripped. One of those little trips where you don’t fall down, but the things in your hands go flying and you kind of trip over them before you can stop yourself.

I did this with the spiral staircase for the doll house. It took hours to fix it. And I still have to replace a few parts, but it is in one piece and standing again.

And the toilet broke. It needs a new flusher valve and I have to wait until Mountain Man can get out for the part to fix it. So for now I have to use a bucket of water to flush.

And I got a wasp up my skirt while walking the dog. Seven stings later I managed to get it out. I had to limp home as they swelled. A baking soda poultice helped, but I still have red swollen bumps on my legs.

Tomorrow has to be a better day. And knowing that I can look forward to enjoying it, with no reservation, makes me smile.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On Give and Take:

Mountain Man is gone for the whole day today. Don’t worry. He’ll be back by dark. He is off helping a friend.

We are not fused at the hip by any means. But we touch base often living the way we do. And that means little interruptions in the day. Not bad or good, just stopping what you are doing to look up and answer a question or hear the latest news.

Having the day to myself with no interruptions is heaven sent. I have gotten so much done with no one around to take my mind away from what I’m doing. It is wonderful in its own way. Like hearing a piece of classical music through to the end with no one coughing in the audience, or watching a whole movie without the kids asking questions.

But still I feel the aloneness. When the fire in the wood stove gets low he is not around to add more wood without my even having to ask. I miss his minor interruptions.

He asks me how I’m doing. He touches me as he walks past. I help him do things he could do alone, but it goes faster with two. We share the load.

Not that I’m missing picking up after him all day long. Or dropping what I’m doing to do something for him and forgetting where I was and having to start all over again.

It’s a give and take. We do for each other and have done for us. Nice to know someone else is there if you need them, kind of thing.

So, I’m making head way on fixing a few things for the doll houses. I’m a hot glue gun fool today. Loose bits and bobs, table legs that have come off, things that came apart or lost a piece or two.

But I am feeling incomplete. Because there is no one here to take my give.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

On Not So Tick-led:

And so goes my life. The sun started to shine again and other things have to go wrong.

First my camera started to die. (Hence the lack of doll house photos I promised you.) The zoom lens stopped working, then the flash stopped, then the timer. It is now at the shop, but the prospects are not looking good.

Than after a few days of no rain. (What you need to know here is what the local weather forecasters said the other day. 'We have had some form of precipitation every week since mid November last year!') That is right 11 months of mostly rain or snow each week!'\

Anyway the ticks came back with a vengeance once the ground dried out a bit! It was like a plague around here. We were finding them on us and the dog faster than we could pick them off when we came into the house.

So I’ve been spraying, and cleaning, and killing ticks as fast as I can. I like to see them sizzle on the wood stove best. Then I know that they are dead.

I’ll get back to the doll house cleaning, fixing, and making of new things as soon as we have the bugs under certain control.

And hopefully with a working camera in hand.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

On Looking at the Details, Part 1:

Some Doll house bedroom details while I‘m cleaning them up.

Dresser top.

Sewing basket and button box on hope chest.

Jigsaw puzzles.

Some details are better than others, but they all add to the overall reality of the place.

More tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On Time for Cleaning Houses:

For those of you who don’t know, I have a couple of doll houses I made to go with the hand made Victorian dolls I made some 15 years or so ago.

It was one of those projects that just kept going and growing. First the Dolls. Then some stuff (Clothing and a few bits and bobs.) and more stuff for the dolls, houses to put the stuff and dolls into, books I've written about them for my nieces, pictures to use as illustrations in the books… a doll house garden… Yes, I know I’m crazy, but I hope it is a good crazy.

The dolls are 15 inches high. The houses are six feet high.

Mountain Man standing next to one of the houses.

I have two of these large doll houses. A two part, six room, three floored house. Picture above. (7 feet wide and 6 foot high) and a four room, three floored house (4 foot wide and 6 foot high) with a garden.

If you look in the box of matches on the shelf, you will find mini matches. In the jigsaw puzzle boxes are jigsaw puzzles. And there is a block of ice and a drip pan in the icebox. The pantry is full of food stuffs, apples to oranges, crackers in the cracker box, cookies in the cookie jar.

It takes the better part of two weeks to clean it all. I use a paint brush for a broom. And I wash up and down everything I can, bedding to bustles.

All the little fiddly bits, knickknacks, and all. From the tops of their heads and the roof top chimneys, right down to the their high buttons shoes and the foundations of the building all gets a cleaning.

I fix the stuff that got broken, replace the things I can’t fix, and I make a few more things for the houses or dolls each time I give all of it a proper clean out.

I’m a busy doll mommy at this time of year. But I’m having fun doing it. Much more fun than I have cleaning my own house.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

On A Door to Convenience:

Life is great when the bad times are over. So I’m going with, If it weren’t for migraines, I wouldn’t know how good life could be.

Of course, I do get to have one little complaint. ‘Another week lost from my life!’ (Rant over.)

On the up side. Now that I’m feeling better, Mountain Man is replacing an old door that his father made with a much better one that doesn’t leak the heat out and the cold in.

It will be so nice not to have to pack insulation in between the screen door and the house door, rendering it unusable all winter long. And it is the door closer to the wood shed making it easier to get wood in the house in the winter.

I hated having to go the long way around to the wood shed when there was a door just feet away that we couldn’t use once the insulation was up for the season. And no more digging through the snow to get there and back either.

Why we didn’t do this years ago I’ll never know. We talked about it. But other things just got done first, second, third…

So, as I watch a little piece of family history (the door his father built) be tossed aside for convenience sake, I’ll be jumping for joy at the prospect of not having to dig a path through the snow and ice to the wood shed any longer.

Convenience is a wonderful thing.