Thursday, November 24, 2016

Second Life For Vintage Petit Point

I bought these three pieces of Schildkraut petit point on eBay for next to nothing!. There is a #1. compact (stitching on both sides), #2. mirror with folding lipstick holder and #3. perfume bottle. I knew I was going to be re-purpose them someday.
 The only piece I have taken apart is the one in the middle. I wanted to use it for a small area rug/carpet. Thinking it would be great in a bathroom or in front of a sink in the kitchen. I love the colors in all of these pieces. That was improved by washing them all. I learned in embroidery classes to use Original Dawn dishwashing liquid. It is mild and leaves no chemicals behind. Even Kilmouski gets washed in it!
The glue went so close to the stitches on the back I wondered how I was going to deal with it. I finally decided on a bit of iron on interfacing to secure it. I made a black twisted cord for a finished edge.

 The finished carpet, so sweet.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Scratching a very old itch!

I think I was bitten by the miniature bug when I was about 4 years old. I remember standing in front of a gumball machine at the drug store with my hand full of pennies. I was willing it to give me the prize I wanted. The prize that kept me awake at night.  It was a tiny folding pocket knife. There were always a few of them in the machine. They were real metal and had different colored pieces of plastic riveted on them. It never happened. All I got were gumballs and prizes like a plastic magnifying glass or tiny figures. :-(

Today, I found the pocket knife of my (age four) dreams and bought it. I have a good reason at this late date. I want to make a charm necklace out of all sorts of tiny things I have had since childhood. Lots of sterling silver charms, old New York subway tokens, ancient 2,000 year old Egyptian beads, antique coins, the list goes on and on. Plus there are a few things that have caught my attention while I was looking around the internet to add to my stash. One requirement, if it isn't sentimental, it has to be a functional working miniature!

 In my search I found the world's smallest pistols! YES, real working ones that either fire blanks or 2mm lead bullets! I spent hours looking around at all the options for a pinfire pistol. I couldn't believe the price range there is. They go from $6,300 American dollars for the ultimate (made in Switzerland) to $30.00 I decided on a price range and found one I liked. I found them irresistible. OK... Maybe you are anti gun... but seriously, you can do more damage to yourself with your X-ACTO blade than one of these little things.

The one I bought is just like the one above, except it has a ring at the very back of the grip. So I will be able to add it as a charm to a chain.
Here is a video of a guy shooting one of the world's smallest pinfire pistols.
 It occurred to me that other people were probably making this sort of necklace so I started looking for them. Here are a few of the crazy ones I found. 

The title of this necklace is.... "I am who they were" These photos are the makers ancestors.

 Edith Head typically wore her famous necklace of antique ivory theater tickets. The late Elizabeth Taylor loved the necklace so much that Edith bequeathed it to her at her death.

 I have no idea yet what mine will look like. It is a work in progress. This has had me on a merry search through the house wondering.... What the heck I did with THAT thing? Things, I haven't seen in years are being found.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Another finished petit point cushion for the bed.

 I have finished another cushion for the bed. They look very happy all together don't you think? ;-)
I have also started a small runner carpet on 40 count silk gauze. Anyone who stitches will understand that despite the fact there are hundreds of colors sometimes you can't find just the right one. Some of the colors I bought were dipped in a dirty water mix I made with transparent inks, in an attempt to tone them down. Then the skeins were rinsed in clear water. Since this dye method it worked so well when I ran out of the thread I was using for fringe on my Aunt Olga carpet, I decided to try it again. I don't think I was aggressive enough though. Which may mean I am going to spray a diluted ink on it when it is finished.  GULP!  What is that expression... No guts no glory.
They also look nice on a gold silk sofa I made.
I am just getting started with the carpet runner. Sadly, I don't like it much so far. Maybe when I start stitching the borders I will change my mind.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Moon Flowers

This year I grew moon flower vines all over my brick wall in the east courtyard 
I looked out about a half hour ago and there was one open. I unloaded the dishwasher and looked out and three more had opened. Every time I looked away there were two or three more open. I would take another photo but moon flowers only open in the dark. They have the best scent you can imagine. I can smell them as soon as I open the back door. It is nice to look out at night and see a wall of huge white blooms. They are annuals which means I am going to have a huge mess to clean up this fall. It was worth it though. Not much grows successfully in my hot/humid climate .

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ribbons & Roses # 56 count Petit Point Cushion

With encouragement from all of you and especially Natalia. I finally finished this piece of petit point.

This design was supposed to be for a fire screen but I knew the moment I saw it, it was just what I needed for the bed I made. I wanted it compliment the wallpaper also. The back of the pillow is finished with a soft gold (antique) silk fabric. I made a black twisted cord to finish the edge with.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Real Glass 1: 12 Scale Marbles

I couldn't resist when I saw these handmade glass marbles. I was thrilled to see all the different vibrant colors. Some have swirls inside clear glass. Some have two colors swirled together.  I have no idea what I will do with them. Maybe I can talk Linda Master into making me a chip carved box to keep them in. ;-) Boxes should always have a bit of treasure inside them

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Nothing but trouble!!!

This piece is being stitched on # 56 silk gauze. I am wondering if I will ever finish it. I have had more problems with undoing mistakes then ever before. Once I start ripping out something it always causes me a problem in another area that may not even have a mistake.AAARRRGGGHHH!

This piece was designed to go on a fire screen.  I wanted to make it into a big pillow for the black iron bed I have with "brass". The bed has a pink silk duvet cover on it. You have seen it in my posts several times. The wallpaper is the tea stained rose. It looked great against all of that. 

Today..... I am ready to pitch it out the window!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Little Visitors

All day I kept hearing the oddest squeaky noises coming from my tall trees. There was at times a great rustling up there too.
I was in the west court yard working in the garden pruning branches and pinching off dead flower heads. I went in to get something to drink and when I came back there were three baby raccoons playing all around the table. They were being watched by Merlin (one of my cats) who was over seeing it all from the table top.
After a few minutes of watching I remembered my camera. Sadly, just in time to see all three of them going up the ladder into another tree. The smallest one was having a bit of trouble going up the rungs. 
They will be back I have to keep cat food out there.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Who is/was Alex Rothwell Miniature Artisan?

The first thing I do when I want to investigate any subject is go to Google. Sadly, this time it didn't help very much.

I bought this solid brass lamp on eBay by Alex Rothwell. While I could find a few of his other pieces, I couldn't find anything out about him. I assumed that was because he had stopped making miniatures before the internet got going.  If you know anything about him I would love to hear it. Like when he was active, where he is from and if he is still around.

His lamp is really gorgeous. I was lucky to win the bid on eBay.

For Linda... She asked to see my finish mirror in a miniature setting. 

I managed to get the mirror out of my compact and cut it to fit the frame. It is nice to have a real glass mirror in it. It does makes it very hard to photograph though.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Casting Pewter & Apoxie Putty.

 I did a repair on a French frame I bought in Etsy. The frame arrived today from France. It had been broken and was missing a couple of small parts. The first thing I did was use Apoxie putty to carve the missing pieces. I did that right on the antique metal frame. Then I sand cast a new frame in pewter. I intend to use this for a mirror. Pewter melts at 400 degrees, so I can do this casting in my kitchen melting the metal in a cast iron skillet on my stove. The sand is so fine you can press your finger in it and it will pick up your finger print.
Long ago Catherine sent me a jar of her favorite gilding wax. I assume it is a wax. it smells heavenly! She sent me her favorite color which she thought most resembles real antique gold gild. I took the finished pewter frame and compared it to a early eighteenth century gilded frame I have, it was a perfect match! I can't read the directions about how you are supposed to use it as they are in French. I am wondering if I am supposed to buff it a little with a cloth now that it is dry?
I also made the French architectural mold and cast a few in Apoxie putty. I think I am going to try a different material to cast them in. The putty takes too long to harden and I don't like the surface look of it..

Thursday, April 21, 2016

French Exterior ARCHITECTURAL Embellishment

When I found this vintage, French brass stamping, I thought it looked a lot like a exterior architectural embellishment for over a window or a door (in 1: 12 scale). It is exactly 8 cm. long. It reminded me of so many of the buildings Linda Carswell has taken pictures of on her blog.

I am thinking about making a mold of it and casting several of them. Not that I am planning on making a French house. It is just that I have never see French architectural embellishment pieces for buildings. There are three holes that have been drilled in the piece but that is very easy to fix.

Would anyone be interested? Let me know what you think.

Must remember to check... spell check. hahaha

Spring is busy. There is always a lot to do around here as the weather warms up. The garden always needs attention in the spring. I have been busy planting things and doing some minor repairs.

A new piece of petit point is almost finished.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Diamonds and Roses Petit Point Cushion

I have been busy stitching another petit point pillow on # 56 silk gauze. It fits very well with the chair and the carpet I think. Much better I'm afraid then the rabbits do.  So they may have to find a different spot to live. I have another one in mind that will work much better. Though I am always happy to hear what you think.

Despite what it may look like, we are having a dark and dreary winters day. So apologies for these photos. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Brer Rabbit Petit Point Cushion...4,290 stitches!


 I have always loved William Morris designs. One of my favorites is Brer Rabbit. So when I saw Nicola Mascall's chart on #56 canvas I thought I would try it.

I have no where to buy the right weight silk threads for this size canvas locally. I wanted colors that might look good with the Aunt Olga petit point carpet I stitched. So I chose some silk threads from a needle point shop here. I hate ordering colors online. They never look the way they did on my screen. 

The threads were slightly too heavy, which made stitching this a real chore. Still... I think it worked out in the end. Luckily I had matching silk fabric for the back of the cushion. It looks great on the antique rose color chairs I made.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Are you losing "Followers" in your GOOGLE Blogger?

In December I had 930 "Followers" in my blog . Suddenly, over night in fact, I had gone down to 903. Then it stopped. I was mystified.

In the past two days I have lost many more! Last night I sat looking at my Blogs Dashboard and watched as my Follower numbers dropped dramatically. It totally freaked me out. I thought what sort of mischief is this. I wondered if I would even have a blog when I woke up this morning.

I found the answer in the Google Help Forum. You can read about it here...!topic/blogger/7cZFok8dd20;context-place=forum/blogger
I see Josje found the answer there too.

You would think Google could have put a notice on our dashboards so we didn't have to go through angst of trying to figure out what was happening.

It took me nearly six years to get to 930. I was amazed and grateful so many people were interest. Frankly, I am rather hacked off that all those people can no longer visit my blog. 
Someone please tell me how it benefits Google to do that?

Monday, January 4, 2016

It's a matter of interpretation. Miniature Shows/.April, Chicago 2016

This year there will be three different Miniature shows on the same weekend in Chicago during April.
The Miniature Show, The Tom Bishop Show and the Three Blind Mice Miniature Show.

I was pretty excited when I saw the list of Exhibitors at The Miniature Show in April, 14, 15, 16...2016. Hyatt Regency Schaumburg ~ Chicago The list was impressive because there are so many people listed from other countries I have never seen.... Mike Sparrow, Danny Shotton, David Provan, Dominique Levy, Herbillon, Janet Reyburn, Johannes Landman, Pascale Garnier, Paul Saltarelli, St.Leger. Nicola Mascall, S.Gustavian and so on. In front of their listed names they all have numbers which I assume are table numbers.

 I noticed that Gerd Felka was not listed at the Tom Bishop Show this year on the "Dealer List". He is usually there every year. Sadly, I found out Gerd is not coming because his wife is ill. He is listed as an "Exhibitor" at The Miniature Show. However...That started me thinking. So I began to cross reference the list of "Exhibitors" to the dealer list at the Tom Bishop Show!chicago-intl-dealer-list/c12i  Hrmm... A few people are on both lists such as Jim Irish, David Iriate. 
I emailed a few of the listed "Exhibitors" at 'The Miniature Show' to ask them if they were going to be there in person. I got an email from Mike Sparrow telling me he was not going to be there and one from Nicola Maschall, she also is not going. She seemed a bit confused because apparently I wasn't the first person the ask her about this. Danny Shotton has retired from making miniatures.

Swan House Miniatures gives a huge artisan list of people it will be representing at 'The Miniature Show'. Missing from that list are people who they happen to have an enormous inventory work on their web site Such as Gerd Felka, Herbillon, Paul Saltarelli, Johannes Landman. Hrmmm...Some of those people have nine or more pages on Swan House Miniatures web site. Several hundred thousand  dollars worth of work. They are not included as people who Swan House will be representing.  How interesting!

I usually expect when I go to a miniature show that the Artisans who are listed are actually going to be there in person. It is a matter of semantics I suppose. You can exhibit your work in Siberia while you are basking on a sunny beach in the Bahamas!