Tuesday, May 29


I've been busy.  Painting paper, cutting stones and now this.  I wanted to try my coffee print fabric on one wall of the shop. I think I like it.

I found this bamboo "flooring" at KMart.  I like how it looks like parquet.  I don't like how busy the pattern looks on the floor.  I think I will cut them up and just use the lighter blocks? It has a mesh backing so it shouldn't be too difficult to do?  I hope.

I received my LED lights from Evans Designs.  Shelly was a huge help with figuring out what I needed.  She even made me some switches so that I can turn the outside, upstairs and downstairs lights on and off separately!   Amazing.  IF I can figure it out?  I love that Shelly said, "if you have any questions,  I'm only an email away!"  :D  Great customer service!  Thanks Shelly!

Hope you have a good day!  Why do the weekends seem to go by so fast?

Monday, May 28

Queen Palm Trees

I planted a little queen palm tree in my front yard when I lived in Florida.  Sadly, I couldn't bring it with me to Alabama.  It would freeze here, just like I do! 

Now I'm left with looking at photos while I try to make miniature palm trees.  Lesley Shepherd @ About.com has a good tutorial that I've used.

The paper I tried yesterday was too thin for palm fronds.  I painted some photo copy paper and it is working great!

I started the one below to check the scale for my project. The trunk is a wooden dowel that I will shape, carve and paint so it looks more realistic.  Right now it looks very sad!

This is my inspiration photo.  It makes me realize how much I miss the "Sunshine State" where there are blue skies and lovely palm trees like this everywhere you look! 

Alabama is beautiful too.  You just won't find any palm trees here.  Unless you make them!

I want to wish you many blessings on this Memorial Day.   It is a day to thank our Veterans and remember those who lost their lives protecting our freedom. 

Photo of Veteran's Memorial Park in Sanford Florida

Sunday, May 27

Rolling Stones Making Messes

I am making messes this morning.  All for the cause though.  I need more stones for the exterior of the shop.  I used the same recipe as before.  This time I made three different colors.

I used an old paint brush to texture the clay.  I may add something more later. . .

I'm going to wait a while before I cut the stones.  Last time I did it too soon and got some drag marks that I didn't like.   I'm trying to make a stacked stone wall treatment.  Something like this one from TheStoneStore.

Another messy project I have going today is painting the paper I need for my 12 foot (12 inch) palm trees.  This paper is very thin and tears easily.   It makes great flowers but I'm not so sure about leaves?  I usually make my tropical plants out of masking tape.   I may have to try something else?   I want to try out my new Martha Stewart fringe scissors too.

Hope you have fun today!    Go ahead.  Make a mess!

Saturday, May 26

Today's Project

Today's project is cutting the base and second floor for the coffee shop. 

I measured and marked my 1/4" plywood.  Then I read about jig saw blades to find out what size to use and started cutting.  I didn't notice that Dylan was asleep under my table!  I have no idea why he didn't move!?

Poor baby!

I can't cut a straight line with a jig saw to save my life! 

I remeasured.  Then I straightened my cuts with a utility knife.  Yes.  If you go slow and use new blades, you can cut thin plywood with a utility knife.  Where there is a will there is a way!

I dry fit the shop together.  So far, so good.  This is the new front door and the crown molding I'm using to attach the second floor.

Here is a peek at the apartment upstairs with one of the skylights.

I still have lots of work to do.  Hope you have a beautiful day!

Friday, May 25

Cake Crisis!

At four o'clock this morning I had a cake crisis.

I was baking a birthday cake for my friend at work.  We always celebrate each other's birthdays with cake!  Most of the time we get a store bought cake.  I decided to make a homemade one.
I baked my cakes and made my icing yesterday.

I had my supplies all ready and washed. They have been stored away for about eight years! The last decorated cake I made was for my son's wedding. A long, long time ago!

Ready.  Set.  Go!  Right?!   I filled my Wilton's pastry bags with icing and started decorating.  Here comes the "crisis" part.

My old (very old) pastry bags split apart and icing went everywhere except where I wanted it to go! I tried to make some parchment paper cones.  Not as easy as it looks.

So I jumped in the car.  Remember it is four o'clock, well now about five thirty this morning.  I drove to my "24 hour WalMart" to get some new pastry bags. 

Seems my 24 hour WalMart is NOT OPEN 24 hours anymore.  They were closed.  I thought about begging the security guy to let me in but decided he probably wouldn't have understood...

Back home I tried the parchment paper again.  This time I got paper cones that sort of worked.  I have to take this cake to work with me this morning so I just did the best I could.  NOT my best. This could end up being one of my most embarrassing moments?

I sure hope the cake tastes better than it looks! 

It's a yellow cake with lemon filling.  Maybe after my friend cuts it, no one will notice the messy decorating?!  Sometimes you just have to be humble and remember "it's the thought that counts!"


Tuesday, May 22

He Was Going To Throw It Away!

My daughter has a friend who knows an architect.  He was going to throw this model away! Thankfully, Jason rescued it from Atlanta and brought it to ME!

I have never seen a REAL architectural model before.  Needless to say, I am VERY impressed!

The detail is amazing!  I am not sure what scale this is but it is HUGE!  The base it is sitting on is 42" x 30."  The only place I have to display it is on top of my china hutch.

I don't know the name of the person who built this.  Perhaps this logo might be a clue?

When I bought this book I never thought I would ever own one of these.  I know I could never build one myself!

I am so happy that this wonderful model did NOT get thrown away!  I wonder how many of them do? 

For all of you architects out there, PLEASE don't toss your work!  They can be great "models" for miniaturists to learn from!

Sunday, May 20

More Thinking Than Doing

I've been working on real life projects this weekend.   I'm thinking about my mini projects rather than doing anything with them.

I went back to Let's Build A Dollhouse for some basic instructions.  I'm going to try to get the plywood cut today for the second floor. 

I've also emailed Evans Designs and asked for help with my order.  They have the BEST customer service!  I need all the help I can get!

They have added two videos to their website with instructions about installing LED lights.  Check it out HERE.  There is also a video on how to solder if you want to learn how to do that.  Like me!

Right now I've planned 36 lights!  Little lights, but a lot of them! This shop is going to be visible from miles away!  It's a BIG project, but someone has to do it!  :D

For now, I'm back to the laundry and cleaning.  Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do!

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!
Be back soon!

Friday, May 18

Where The Sidewalk Ends

Shel Silverstein is one of my favorite authors, poets and illustrators.  One of my favorite poems is in his book, Where The Sidewalk Ends.  I thought of it while I was working on my sidewalk.

My copy of Where The Sidewalk Ends was published in 1974 by Harper & Row Publishers Inc.  It was a gift to my daughter from one of her friends.   Yes, I keep things that long!

This poem may remind you of someone you know.  :D

Hector the Collector, by Shel Silverstein

Hector the Collector
Collected bits of string
Collected dolls with broken heads
And rusty bells that would not ring.
Pieces out of picture puzzles,
Bent-up nails and ice cream sticks.
Twists of wires, worn out tires,
Paper bags and broken bricks.
Old chipped vases, half shoelaces,
Gatlin' guns that would not shoot.
Leaky boats that would not float
And stopped up horns that would not toot.
Butter knives that had no handles
Copper keys that fit no locks,
Rings that were too small for fingers,
Dried-up leaves and patched up socks.
Worn out belts that had no buckles,
'Lectric trains that had no tracks.
Airplane models, broken bottles.
Three-legged chairs and cups with cracks.
Hector  the Collector
Loved these things with all his soul -
Loved them more than shining diamonds,
Loved them more than glistenin' gold.
Hector called to all the people,
"Come and share my treasure trunk!"
And all the silly sightless people
Came and looked . . . and called it junk.

This post is for my son-in-law who came into my house on Sunday with my Mother's Day cake. He looked at my daughter and said,  "There's no place to set it down!"  To which my daugher replied,  "Mom, can't you get rid of some of this stuff?"

Silly sightless people.  :D

Illustration from the book, Where The Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein

You really NEED to read this book!  Then you will know about Sara Cynthia Sylvia Stout who would not take the garbage out.   :D

Today is garbage day here.  I doubt there will be much taken out to the street...

Thursday, May 17

Buy One, Get One Free

This is the only egg carton I have.  I found these Chinet paper plates on sale "buy one, get one free."  I thought maybe I could use them to make tiles or stone?

They are about the same thickness as cardstock with a slight texture.  I cut some "stones" then glued them to a piece of foam board. I added some color washes then painted them with Mod Podge gloss.

I ran a knitting needle around the edges to give them some definition.  The colored edges looked like sun bursts to me.  I'm still thinking about whether or not to use them?

Not sure if I will try to add grout?  I'll have to wait for the Mod Podge to dry first.

I may use these to make a patio or sidewalk?  At least I have enough plates to play with.  If nothing else, I won't have to wash dishes for a long time!

Hope you have a great day! 

Tuesday, May 15

Mechanical Engineer?

I am NOT a mechanical engineer. I wish I knew one! Designing the ductwork for my coffee shop sent me to Google again. I spent several hours last night searching for information.

I fell asleep thinking about roof top a/c units, cold air returns and HVAC design.

Photo from Reiner Group,Inc.

I thought would be easy enough to build something like this? I could even hide the batteries for the lighting inside?  This is one I made this morning.  It looks too large, but it's a start.

I found another website with more mechanical information that I will ever need!  


I have to go to work now.  Hopefully, I can get my mind on my work and off building air conditioners!

Sunday, May 13

Exposed Ductwork

I've been thinking about how to add exposed ductwork to the ceiling of the coffee shop.

Here is what I came up with so far.

If I add beams across the ceiling I can hang my ducts from them like this.

I'm using a roll of electrical conduit tubing I discovered at Lowes.  It is 1/2 inch in diameter which is about the same size as real life a/c ducts. 

This is a small piece of it in place.  It is hanging with wire that I wrapped around two nails.

I still need to figure out how to run the wiring for the lights.  I guess I should do that first?

I want "pot" lights and two hanging fixures on this ceiling.  I will be using LED lights from Evans Designs.

Hope everyone had a great Mother's Day!  My kids took me out for lunch at Red Robin.  YUM!

My daughter and I also stopped at Michaels.   I got the Martha Stewart fringe scissors I've been wanting to try.   I forgot my 40% off coupon but the sweet cashier gave me the discount anyway!

Maybe it was her way of saying "Happy Mother's Day!"  :D

Saturday, May 12

Test Post - Color Blinds

I was reading Casey's blog just now.  Casey is making Tessie some new hands and "happy feet."  :D

Casey thanked Elga for her suggestion about the new Blogger format.  Elga said to click on the "remove formatting box." when creating a new post.

I did that.  Then I inserted a "jump break" after the first paragraph.  If you hover  over the boxes on the tool bar you'll see that.   Doing that moved my cursor  down  for the next paragraph.

I want to be able to add text where I want it and move photos around too.  Thanks Elga!

I'm playing with the idea of adding some color to my blinds. I tried 1/8 inch ribbon.  Square matchsticks fit inside the openings too but I don't think I want to paint 50+ matchsticks! 

Back to work.  Lots to do.  The day is going by SO fast!

Up On The Roof

I built the frames for my skylights.  Now I'm ready to attach the roofing material to the roof.  I'm using a Fascade Ripples Brushed Nickle backsplash found at Home Depot.  I just flipped it over so the black side would show.

I'm trying different glues to see what might work.  "This To That"  suggests Household Goop to attach plastic to wood.  Since I don't have any Goop, I'm using what I have.  Home Depot suggests using construction adhesive.   I may have to try that too?

So far Elmer's Wood Glue  is holding the best and not making too much of a mess.

I plan to paint the outside frames black to match the roof.  I'll need to make sure the windows are water tight.  :D  We don't want any rain to leak inside the apartment!  The "blinds" will go inside.

My yard mowing is not finished.  I have no plans on going outside today to do it either!  I'm still itching from the all of the bug bites, especially that bee sting!  I'm taking Benadryl but it makes me very sleepy.  I may have to go take a nap?

Hope you have a great day!  See you soon!

Thursday, May 10

Stay Inside

I got off work early today. Yea! 
I got my haircut.  Yea! 
Then I decided to mow my yard.  You know, extra time to mow tonite.  More "mini time" on Saturday!  Yea!

NOT.  The first thing that happened is that I ran over a HUGE ant pile with the mower.  VERY unhappy and very unfriendly ants!  They attacked me full force!  All of them!

I started doing my version of the "ant dance."  Picture jumping up and down and batting at ants, screaming and scratching!

I came inside and put some Benadryl cream on about 15 ant bites. I took some deep breaths.  Got a drink. Not what I really wanted, but it was cold and wet.

I mustered up some courage and went back outside.  This time, determined not to let a pile of little ants keep me from my appointed rounds.

I made about three passes with the mower across the yard.  I noticed that the apple tree out front is covered with tiny green apples.  Yea!

THEN.  I got bit by a BEE!  OUCH!  This sent me into heavy breathing and more scratching and yelling and jumping around.  I hate being stung.  My body hates being stung.  I took a Benadryl tablet this time.   Deep breath....

Needless to say there will be no more mowing this evening.   The bugs have won this battle.

Moral of my story.  Stay inside and make minis!  It's a lot safer!

Honeycomb Blinds

I've been working on the skylight windows for the coffee shop.  I found some large pieces of plastic on the floor at Home Depot.  It is a packaging material that was just going to be thrown away.
Of course, I brought it home!

It looked like honeycomb blinds to me.  :D 

I've been trying different tools to cut it to size.  It is not as easy as it I had hoped.  I want the "blinds" to fit exactly inside my window frames.   It's a good thing that I have lots of material to work with!

I'm going to keep working on my skylights.  What are you doing today?