November 9, 2016

Ups and Downs

Picture taken at Yosemite National Park, California

It feels so good to write again! It's been a loooong time since I last posted on this blog. I spent maybe an hour to put together all the things I want to write about - I missed blogging so much!

"Fall down seven times, get up eight" fully describes my past half year. Life had prepared some hills for me to climb, yet I must say that I'm proud of running those hills down today without any big bruises, yay! After 2 medical operations and leaving my new company to join my old one again, I can say that I had my share of stress for the year 2016. Lessons learned:
#1: Take as much advice as you can get, but always trust your gut feelings
#2: No money or status can replace a healthy work environment
#3: Get regular health checks (which in my case saved me a lot of trouble)

After all the stress, me and my husband went to a well deserved holiday and it was such a great metaphorical moment when we hiked up to the Sentinel Dome at the Yosemite National Park. I felt as if all the weight had fallen from my shoulders and it was finally time to "enjoy". When standing at the tip of the dome, I really felt free and happy. We were really lucky with the weather that day.

My favorite picture from our Sentinel Dome hike.

Another picture from the beautiful Yosemite National Park.

Alright, so where is all the miniature in this? Well, you're right, there is none. With all the stress, work, operations, I did not have time at all to work on miniatures lately. The worst part is, I really want (or should I say wanted?) to participate to the HBS Creatin Contest this year, but I'm terribly behind and I am not sure if I can finish the project before the deadline. I keep my hopes up high but I definitely will have to abandon some ideas to be able to make it. For example, I wanted to make a real hand weaved rug for the living room, but it takes so much time to create the rug that this is the first thing I will have to give up. I even made my very own loom out of remainders of wood and some really thin nails. Below you can find some pictures of how I made it and what I did need as material.

 First I added some height to both shorter sides of the loom.

 Then I marked every 2mm on the elevations on both sides to ensure that the nails that will hold the string will have an equal distance on a straight line.

 This is a picture after I nailed all the tiny nails on to the marks I made. Once all nails were ready, I just tied a knot with the string on the first nail and warped it back and forth on the subsequent nails.

Once all was set, I put a stripe of carton on each end of the loom to create an area without knots, which later will end up being the fringes of the rug. Note that I walked the carton over and under the strings 1 string at a time for a better grip. The rest is pretty easy. Just select the color/type of string you want to use for the body of the rug and with the help of a sewing needle run it over and under the base strings row by row. Each new row you will need to inverse the sequence, so that if you had past over a base string in the earlier row, your color string should this time pass under the string. Repeat until rug is finished and tie a knot at the end. Before you taking the rug off the loom, take off 1 nail at a time, cut the freed string in the middle to form two fringes and tie a knot with these two to ensure that your rows stay in place. Voila! I tried to explain as best as I could in English, but if you have any questions please do ask.

For now this is how the interior of the project looks. I have planned something very special for the outside of the house, one of the reasons why part of the roof is hidden!

Another thing that took me quite a time was to make the custom windows. I'm happy that at least these are already done. To create these, I simply glued black colored wooden sticks on a thin transparent PVC sheet to ensure exact measurements. I glued sticks on both sides to create a more realistic look.

First I created the frame.

Then I filled in the remainder.

Ta da!

These are the only updates I can give for now. In the meantime I'm trying to catch up with other blogs as I could not follow any for a couple of months. Below are some really nice ones I already visited. Sorry for not leaving any comments on the posts, there are so many to read...

Keli's amazing Fall Color Pics.
My source of daily motivation @ Mockingbird Hill Cottage.
Brae's stunning model cars in progress.
Useful tips from Nancy on working with wood and her gorgeous plants.
Ilona's fantastic dolls and flowers.
Jodi's breathtaking contest project.
Casey's conservatory.
Evelyne's sweet feves on her Beatrix Potter showcase.


April 3, 2016

The DollsHouse Netherlands Show

Yesterday the weather was perfect for a trip to Ulft to visit the DHN Show. It's a little town with around 11.000 inhabitants. I did not know what to expect from the show, as this was the first time I would attend it. My husband decided to join me this time around. We arrived unexpectedly early at the hall and took a little walk around before the show, taking advantage of the good weather. I was very happy that my husband decided to join me, because I really wanted him to see a miniature show at least once by himself. It unfortunately seems like it will be the last time, ha-hah! He was already counting the remaining stands when we were only 1/3 through the show! Yet I must admit, that even if he was not as enthusiastic as I expected, he played along, helped me find items on my list and did not complain too much about his feet hurting when we left the show after 4 hours. :)

The show was held in the SSP-Hal in Ulft. The letters SSP stand for the "Stainless Steel Products" that rolled for years in the DRU factory. The building hosts now multiple events during the year. I like how they kept the industrial look.

There were a lot of visitors, but it did not feel crowded at all, due to all the space the location had to offer. During the show, I unfortunately exceeded the budget I had in mind, probably due to the presence of my husband who constantly encouraged me to buy "whatever I like". He likes to spoil me! :D I definitely would have been more selective, if I was visiting the fair alone. Finally, I ended up with a LOT of building materials for this year's HBS Contest entry, which I won't show to keep the suspense, but also some other miniatures, such as the ones below:

Table and stepladder - Het Klein Meubelparadijs
Teal/green/brown ceramic bowls and plates - Zus & Zo (Their webshop seems to be closed)
Wooden plates - Miniatuurdraaiwerk
Vases and big white plate - Fennicole Miniatures
Little cactuses - Lupenklein
Little glass bottle - Minidoor
Noodles, muesli and kitchen roll - Bibaminis

The most impressive miniatures I bought yesterday were the flowers from Ilona. I have been following her work since a while now; her flowers are even more beautiful in real. I was lucky enough to be able to reserve some of her magnificent Strelitzia's and a hanging kokedama orchid. I was relieved bringing them home without damaging them and spend some time discovering their beauty in detail. Now I have to find a worthy vase able to hold the Strelitzia's and decide about the final scene I want to create with them.

It was much warmer outside when we left the show than in the morning and we had (!) to take off our coats. The sun shining on us in the train and the view of the endless green fields we passed by made us really sleepy after our long day.

I wish you a happy Sunday.


February 27, 2016

Sunny Saturday

My husband is still sleeping (!) which gives me some time to write a little about my progress on my new project. Yet there is not much to tell, because one idea chases the other and I can't really decide what to do with this kit. The shape is really bothering me. Each time I try something, I notice how many other pieces I will need to cut/change to end up with something totally different than the initial kit, so that it can't be recognized anymore. I do not want that. I want to keep the main shape by making it modern, which is a challenge by itself.

The first fitting went very well. Everything seems to fit perfectly and it is actually bigger than I have imagined.

Now I keep staring at it trying to decide what it is going to be. The sun is shining today after days of bad weather and it makes me feel really good this Saturday morning, no rush, just chill. Nevertheless, there are too many decisions to take: Light color? Dark color? Wood or paint? Where to put windows, doors? Flooring... naah too early! Wiring? Hmpf... I need to eat first...

But before I eat something and grab a cup of coffee, I would like to present you Lilly. She's the first (14cm) doll I have ever made so please be kind to her :) Her face is a little weird due to the wide eyes that are too far from each other - had I mentioned she has no ears? The head is too big for her body, but this was somehow intentional, as at the beginning I wanted to create some fairy tale unrealistic face with blue hair, but changed my mind in the process. Next time it will be better.

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Hugs, Susi

February 24, 2016

My new minis and the new Creatin' Contest Kit

I got a call from my husband today while I was at work, he just wanted to let me know that my order from had arrived. He knew how happy that was going to make me, indeed I ran home after work to come home to this:

I ordered this big box full of minis with the coupon that I received from for my entry in the last Creatin' Contest, where my record shop has been selected as one of the first time entrant winners. I can't tell how much fun it has been for me to prepare for the contest and making all the little accessories for the shop.

Ta daa! And the box was already open the second I had taken the obligatory picture of the sealed box!

At this point, I don't even know where to start! So many things in the box :) Finally, I bought some tools. When I decide to buy some miniatures, I normally tend to buy the most important things I need first, and forget to invest some part of my budget into tools. The below were some tools that were missing in my tool box and I can't wait to work with them. I am especially looking forward to use the brass head hammer when wiring my projects, as the little brads and eyelets were until now I nightmare for me.

I also ordered some dollhouse stucco and lights for the upcoming contest.

I decided that there will be a kitchen in the next project and ordered a metal stove hood and a sink. I also ordered a lot of accessories and items I will need during the decoration.

And of course, on the bottom of the parcel, there it was, the main item I was waiting for, to start working: The Backyard Bungalow Kit for the HBS Creatin' Contest.

I can't wait to assemble it, but for today, it's already too late. Let's see if I will be able to find some time tomorrow, otherwise, it will have to wait for the weekend. I started to work on some 3D projects for printing. I will be sharing more on that in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime I would like to mention the wonderful article about Ilona and her work that appeared in the Netherland's DollsHouse Magazine. She's creating gorgeous flowers. If you did not see those yet, I highly recommend to visit her blog.