Monday, January 31

D C Hardy

My grandfather signed most of the things that he built. I think he made a rubber stamp of his signature. These are two really heavy slices of wood that he made into book ends.

I found his signature inside my sewing cabinet when I was dusting it. This makes it even more precious to me.

Here are all of the little parts of my sewing cabinet. I have to weigh them down until they dry and then I can start glueing the pieces together.

Do you sign your work? I think I might just order a little rubber stamp with my signature?

I think it would be fun and who knows? Maybe someday my grandchildren will appreciate my little signature?

Thanks Grandpa for your love, your great big hugs and your inspiration!

Sunday, January 30

Homemade Wood Stain

I really didn't want to go to Home Depot today and spend $8 on a pint of maple stain. I found a "recipe" at It uses plain ole vinegar and watercolor paint. That's it.

I just used the Crayola paints I had. If you have tubes of watercolors it would be easier. I used brown, black, a bit of red and just mixed them up in some vinegar.

I tried my mixture on several different kinds of wood to see how it would look.

Then I dry brushed some black paint over the first coat of stain. The piece on the left below is closest to the color I want. It's still a little light but I'm thinking one more coat and it will be perfect?

I found that a sponge brush works best for applying the stain. I'm hoping that the wood won't warp. I'll let you know how it goes.

So far, so good.

It's kind of like dyeing Easter eggs! :D

Mini Sewing Cabinet?

I just have to try. I measured my real sewing cabinet, used the Art of Miniatures Calculator and then cut some wood. I'm using basswood and StarBuck's coffee stirrers.

I'm wondering if I should stain the pieces before I glue them together? I want the cabinet to have a maple finish like the real one.

Once I get the frame made, I'll try to make the shelves and drawers inside.

I'll also need some tiny hinges to put it all together.

I bought a new sewing machine yesterday. :)

It was going to cost $88 to fix my old one so I traded it in on a new Janome portable machine. I am very blessed to have a store near me that only sells/repairs sewing machines. They have been in business for >35 years!

The owner was very helpful and informative. I had to put my new machine on lay-a-way. I might as well make some minis until there is enough money in the bank to pick it up.

I hope I can do this. It sure will be cute if it turns out.

Saturday, January 29

Finds and Project Ideas

I stopped by my favorite thrift store yesterday after work. I always find something I "need" there. Like these three books. Price for all three? One dollar and fifty cents.

IF I ever learn to knit, I would love to make a little vest or sweater for one of my dolls. This book has mostly bear patterns but there are also patterns for knitted clothes. It can't be all that difficult, can it?

The dress pattern below is in one of the counted cross stitch books. I didn't even see this until I got the book home. I think it is adorable! The skirt is stitched on 32ct linen. There are lots of little motifs to stitch too. Perfect for pillows or wall hangings in miniature!

I recently purchased an Ott Lite with a magnifier. I got it at Michaels, 50% off and I used my Christmas gift cards. NOW I should be able to see to stitch! No more excuses, right?

I saw this little step stool on Ebay a long time ago. The listing expired for the green one while I was hesitating about buying it. Then all I could find were red ones. I wanted GREEN!

Well, guess what? The green one came up again and I snatched it right away! It's perfect for my kitchen. :D

I'm still thinking about what kind of tile I want to make for the floor and walls. The whole color scheme may change if I find something I like better. I may try to modern up the appliances a bit too? Not sure how I would do that. I may try some stainless steel paint on something and see if I like that? I'll need to build some cabinets and shelves too.

My first project today is taking Birgit's gifts to the post office. Congratulations again Birgit and thanks to everyone else who entered my give-a-way!

Hope you have a beautiful Saturday!

Friday, January 28

Art Y Pico Award!

I just received this beautiful Art Y Pico Award from Teitoja! Teitoja is from Finland and her blog is MiniMami.

This award is for creativity, use of materials and membership in the blogging community. I think it wonderful how blogging has brought friends together from all over the world!

I would probably never meet Teitoja in "real" life. But here, I can travel the globe and meet hundreds of friends who share my love of miniatures!

I would love to pass this award to these inspiring bloggers! Just click on their name to visit their VERY creative blogs!






Here are the rules:

1. You must choose 5 blogs that you think deserves this award, the criteria for design, material use, and participation in the blog community, regardless of language.
2. Add each award recipient's name and a link to their blog.
3. Name and link to the person who gave you the award.
4. Add the link to "Arte y Pico" so that everyone can see who originated this award.

Thanks for thinking of me Tietoja! This is a very special award!

Thursday, January 27

Mother's Sewing Cabinet

This is my mother's sewing cabinet. It was made by my grandfather. It is maple and has a nice patina as well as some damage from many many moves.

It is sitting in my bedroom next to my old Kenmore sewing machine. My machine is over 40 years old and needs a tune-up before I can do any mini sewing.
Here is the inside of the cabinet. I love all of the little drawers. I don't know if grandpa made this from scratch, but he probably did. He made other furniture too.

Inside there are wooden embroidery hoops and lots of knitting needles in various sizes.

Maybe I should learn how to knit?!

I have a few wooden spools of thread too. I may make a tiny table with one of them?

Do you have any family treasures that are collecting dust? I would love to see them!

Hope you have a lovely day,

Wednesday, January 26

Nothing Fits

Poor Grandpa. He STILL has nothing in his closet that fits! His overalls barely fit his little grandson!

This kid really has a BIG head. Literally! I'm wondering if I should try to make him a new one? I bought him on Ebay because I liked his hair. I didn't notice what a big head he had.

I've never tried sculpting before. My track record with clay leaves a lot to be desired! I 'm going to be sanding and painting the final coat of paint on Birgit's chairs today. Then I'll think about more sewing and sculpting . . .

The grandson needs a name too. His sisters are Sandy and Shelly. Got any ideas?

Tuesday, January 25

Hope It Fits?

So far no sewing. I may need to stitch the leg seams.

Hope it fits Grandpa. He really NEEDS some new clothes!

Monday, January 24

How Are We Doing?

It is sunny and "warm" here in Birmingham today! Warm enough to paint! :D

I thought I would quickly prime Birgit's little chairs with spray primer. You know, to help speed up the painting processs. . .

I took the chairs outside and gave them a quick spray. THEN it started to RAIN! Oh no!

I ran out, scooped up the chairs on the newspaper and brought them inside. I dropped one! It broke.

Then I saw the question on my Walgreen's receipt. "How are we doing?"

Not so good. The rest will be done by hand. I promise.

A Gallon or a Quart?

Grandpa and I are trying to decide if we will need a gallon or a quart of paint to do Birgit's chairs? We will be painting them white, per her request. I think we'll make both just in case.

Maybe we should go back to the eyeglass place too? Grandpa stepped on his new glasses.

He is also sporting a new moustache. He thinks it makes him look more distinguished.

On second thought, perhaps we need to make this man some clothes!!?

He really can't look all that "distinguished" with his hairy chest showing like this!

Hope you have fun today!

Sunday, January 23

Grandpa Picks A Winner!

Grandpa took his lunch to the beach and had quite a few friends join him. Everyone was excited to see who would win the Followers Give-A-Way!

Grandpa had the number of each person who entered the give-a-way in a grocery bag. I think the birds were hoping there was more food in there!

When Grandpa finished his lunch, he shook the big bag, closed his eyes and drew the winning number.

Congratulations Birgit at BiWuBaer! YOU are the winner! Be sure to visit Birgit's shop and blog! She makes the most adorable "flutterby bears!"

Please email me with your address and let me know what color you would like your chairs painted? You may choose any color(s) that you like!
Congratulations Birgit! I will mail your gifts to you soon!

I want to thank EVERYONE who participated in this give-a-way! I really appreciate your visits and comments. YOU make blogging fun!

Saturday, January 22

Today's Projects

Today I'll be working on the posts for the stairs and making a little metal beach bucket.

What are you doing today?

Friday, January 21

Quick Peek

Just a start. Still lots of work to do here!

Drapes are Done!

I love no sew sewing projects! These are the first dollhouse house drapes I've tried to make. I'm happy with the way they turned out.

They just need some steam pressing and then I'll install them in the living room. I will post a photo of that later when I have better light.

I decided not to do the grommet drapes. The fabric I used is an open weave and was too thin for eyelets. I figured that they would probably go "out of style" soon anyway. LOL

I'm going to work on the staircase next. I'll have to get the Dremel out again. I want to make posts that look like pilings for the landing.

Hope you have a beautiful day!

Thursday, January 20

Grommet Drapes?

No offense to Aleene, but I found some fabric glue that works better. It's called Liquid Stitch. It is thinner and much easier to work with.

I'm trying to make some grommet drapes for the beach house living room. I glued a small strip of my sofa and chair fabric to one edge of the first panel.

My kids gave me a cool tool set for Christmas that has a tiny eyelet tool. I've never set eyelets this small before so I hope I can do it? They are 1/4 inch wide.

So far, I've managed to break one eyelet and punch a hole in my work table/desk!

If this doesn't work, I may just make rod pocket panels instead?

Hope you have a good day!

Wednesday, January 19

So What's Next?

Now that I've finished the projects for my give-a-way, I'm thinking about what to do next?

The Adelaide Beachy is still not finished. She needs some exterior work, window treatments and the staircase completed. I haven't even started the kitchen. I have SO many kitchen miniatures to display once that's done!

I also have an idea for a Catnip Cottage and have made some little things for the inside. I have lots of cats who will live there and two "houses" that might work.

Then I bought this wonderful set of half scale furniture from Gina in November. Everything is so perfect and so cute!

Of course I had to get the half scale Greenleaf Fairfield Cottage kit for the furniture. That is still in the box.

So are the General Store and the Travel Trailer kits. If you haven't seen Casey's teeny tiny 1:144 travel trailer you really should go look! It is perfect!

Here are the two possible cat cottages and a great big project that has been sitting in my living room for months!

The big "Hurricane House" really wants to become a modern contemporary house. I'm planning to completey remodel this house. It will get a new door and windows and have a roof top pool and sunroom.

I will have to put up with some sawdust indoors if I start working on it now. What's a little more dust, right? What would you do next if you were me?

Hope you have a day filled with miniature dreams!