Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween decor

I am not big on decorating the house for holidays, but I do like to decorate for the seasons by using different tablecloths on the table, and putting different flowers in the vase on the table. We use silk flowers instead of real flowers, since the cats like to nibble on plants and many flowers are poisonous. The cats nibble on the silk ones too.

I made the tablecloth yesterday. Mom bought the fabric for me ages ago, and I finally got around to hemming it. I am not usually drawn to autumn colors, but the fabric has eggplants in it! Purple!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


The Cat's Pajamas Tuesday challenge this week is a sketch challenge, hosted by Leigh.

Leigh did not specify the dimensions on her blog, but other TCP design team members said it measured 4.5 x 7 inches.

I changed the proportions, since I wanted my card to be a standard size 5.5 x 4.25 inches.

Here is my card.

The white parts of the fairy's robe and her wings are shimmery, since I painted them with pearlescent paints. I put some shimmer on the holly berries in her hair too. The white layer is vellum, which I ran through an embossing folder. Brads are faux, and were punched from paper and glossed with Crystal Effects

Supplies used:

Stamps: Fairy Nick and holly images from "Fairy Christmas" by The Cat's Pajamas, sentiment from "Faux Ribbon by Papertrey. (The sentiments from the Fairy Christmas set were too large to fit in sentiment area.)
Paper: Neenah classic crest Solar white, Stampin Up: Certainly Celery, Real Red, Handsome Hunter, Vellum cardstock
Ink: Palette Noir, Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol, Cold Stone Prismacolor marker, Radiant Pearls.
Other: Ribbon from Michaels, Crystal Effects
Tools: Cuttlebug, "Tapestry" embossing folder, Long Rectangle Nestabilities, 3/16" paper punch, slot paper punch

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Halloween kids

I had the day off, so I finished dressing the dolls I created from Fimo earlier this week.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The Cats Pajamas Tuesday challenge is hosted by Katie this week.

We were to challenge to make a card using any Poochie stamp. I chose to use Poochie on Crutches and make a get well card. I pulled the colors from the ribbon. When I saw this ribbon in a scrapbook store in Spokane earlier this month, I had to buy it since I thought it would go well with my stamps that Alma (owner of The Cat's Pajamas) calls "Quasars". Matching the ribbon to paper I have on hand was not easy. I think the blue would go great with the new blue from Stampin Up, but I don't have that color yet. (My demonstrator did give me samples of this years In Colors to go on my color swatch ring.) While working on this card, I realized that the Poochie image has parts of quasars in it. Poochie's crutch is shaped like a quasar ray, and his ears are quarter quasars! I clipped the corners of the Poochie Layers to mirror the quasar shape.

This card measures 6.5 x 3.25 inches, which fits in a regular envelope.

Supplies used:

Stamps all by The Cat's Pajamas: Poochie on Crutches, Solid Quasar, Quasar, Dogtor's Orders
Ink: Palette Noir, Colorbox Frost White, and Stamping Up: Tempting Turquoise, Creamy Caramel, Prismacolor pencils, Cold Stone Prismacolor marker
Paper: Classic Crest Solar White, Stampin Up: Chocolate Chip, Creamy Caramel, Tempting Turquoise
Accessories: ribbon (unknown maker), brads from Oriental Trading Company
Tools: 1/2" circle punch, 1/16" punch

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In the mood to create some dolls

I am in the mood to dress some dolls. I have some children in mind. I think I have a couple of porcelain kits for children tucked away, but these dolls will not be elegant, so I decided to create my dolls from scratch from Fimo Classic. I 'sculpted' and baked body parts yesterday. DH was impressed, but less impressed when I reminded him that I have face and hand molds from Sue Heaser. It still takes time to shape the heads and the rest of the body parts.

Today I painted the faces and assembled the dolls. The limbs are made of chenille wires. The wires allow the dolls to be posed. Often with clay dolls, the the thighs and upper arms are also made of clay tubes. I skipped this step, since these parts of the dolls will not show. If the limbs turn out too be too thin, I can always pad the upper arms and legs with cotton.

If you look closely at the the face on the right, you may get an idea of how this doll will be dressed.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Spokane workshop Finished Bed

The bed is done!

Click on the picture if you want to see it a bit bigger.

The picture does not show the quilting stitches on the spread, but they are there. The workshop instructions had patterns for 6 small pillows and directions to make the bolster. I made one bolster, 2 standard sized pillows and 3 smaller throw pillows.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Spokane workshop progress 4

Pillows and tie-backs are done. I might finish dressing the bed tomorrow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Spokane workshop progress 3

I am still working on dressing the bed.

This is how the pleated panels look after they have been pinned in place and steamed. These are the two drapes that will go at the foot of the bed.

Pleating can be done without a pleater. The drapes at the head of the bed is one piece. Here, I have gathered the top, and have started pinning the drapes to my ironing board.

Here, I have started folding pleats into the fabric.

After all the pleats were pinned in place, I held my iron over the drapes and used a lot of steam. I let the drapes dry overnight.

While the drapes were being pleated, I worked on gluing the swags and the valence to the canopy frame.

Here are all three drapes done, and glued to the canopy. (The canopy is upside down.) I pulled out the basting threads after the glue was dry.

I started work on dressing the bed. I covered the foam mattress with fabric.

I also made the bedspread. There is a layer of flannel between the top and back pieces.

The fabric looks too flat, so I am quilting the fabric by hand. The quilting will be done in a grid pattern, and I have marked the quilting lines by cutting squares from freezer paper and sticking them to the fabric with an iron. The paper peels off easily and does not harm the fabric. I like to mark my fabric this way, because there will be no chalk or marker lines to remove later.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


This week's TCP Tuesday challenge is hosted by Toni, and it is a color challenge to use blue/gray, pale yellow, and dark red.

These colors felt gender-neutral to me, so I made a birthday card that could be given to anyone, especially a person who likes cake. :-)

Supplies used to make my card:
Stamps: "Smells Like Cake" and "You Say It's Your Birthday" clear sets by The Cat's Pajamas.
Ink: Palette Noir, Colorbox Frost White, Stampin' Up Bordering Blue and Barely Banana, Cold Stone Prismacolor marker, Prismacolor pencils
Paper: All cardstock by Stampin' Up--Very Vanilla, Bordering Blue, Barely Banana, Bravo Burgundy.
Other stuff: Very Vanilla embossing powder, circle Nestabilities, pencil eraser to stamp glow around candles.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Spokane workshop progress 2

I am still working on the furniture every day.

I finished varnishing the bed and I wove the mattress support on Saturday. I finished the chest on Sunday. The drawers all open.

All the fabric parts for the canopy are cut and the edges are finished. I marked the valence's pleats with pins, ironed them, and pinned them in place. With all the pins holding the pleats, handling the valence is dangerous work!

The drapes for the canopy are to be gathered. In this picture, you can see that I ran two rows of basting stitches across the top edge, and pulled up the gathers. The center is marked with a pin.

The next step will be at the ironing board, where the fabric will be pinned into the correct shape and steamed. Some people use hairspray to hold pleats in fabric. I find that steam works well, if I can wait overnight for it to dry, plus it doesn't smell as bad as hairspray!

Friday, October 10, 2008


This week's TCP Tuesday challenge was hosted by Jen, who challenged us to make a card, based on this image.

I didn't find this image inspiring, at first. The stamps I have from The Cat's Pajamas just did not lend themselves to the objects in this vintage photograph. However, I knew I had the new Fright Night set coming in the mail, so I waited a couple of days to work on my card.

I decided to start with the black and white (and gray) colors. However, while working on my card, I just had to introduce color! I chose orange, not only because orange flames under the cauldron would look good, but because I wanted to color the witch's hair red as soon as I saw the stamp. Why red? Because Alma named some of the stamps in her new line interesting names.... Trevor, Hedwig, Ginny. If these names are meaningful to you, good for you! It means you enjoy books, just like the woman in the picture! Anyway, Ginny is the witch. And the witch she is based on certainly has red hair, since all Weasleys have red hair.

Here is my card.

Elements I pulled from the inspiration piece are the colors. The square layer represents the book. The witch represents the woman. The cauldron and the witch's circle pick up on the round shape of the pumpkin.

Supplies used to make card:

All stamps from Fright Night set from The Cat's Pajamas
Cardstock: SU Going Gray, Basic Gray, Whisper White, Apricot Appeal
Ink: Palette Noir, Prismacolor pencils
Other: D'vine swirl embossing folder, circle nesabilities, wave scissors to make faux rik-rak. Cauldron and Giny were cut out; cauldron was attached with dimensional sticky dots.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Spokane workshop progress

I am making progress with my canopy bed.

Monday, I drilled holes in the bedframe, which will hold strings which will hold the mattress. I glued the headboard to the frame.

I got out the chest kit and sanded all the parts except for the drawer parts.

Tuesday, I stained the pieces I had sanded, then later in the day I glued two posts to the bed frame and I started to assemble the chest.

Wednesday, I glued the other posts to the bed, assembled more chest pieces, then I sanded the drawer fronts and marked and drilled holes for the drawer pulls. The marks on the templates I was supposed to use did not line up with the hardware that came with the kit, so I made new templates. It is always a good idea to trial-fit what you can when working with these kits.

There is the bed in clamps, and the base of the chest. The base of the chest is held together with some of my favorite clamps...clothes pins! Notice that some of the clothes pins have been altered. If you take apart a clothes pin and flip the wood pieces around backwards, it makes a better clamp because it concentrates the pinching force at the very tip.

I am using cherry stain. I love using the Minwax stain markers for little projects, but I decided to use stain out of a can for this project. I purchased this stain for another project. I started another furniture project years ago, stained two pieces, lost momentum, and I do not remember which stain I used! I think it might have been Minwax Cherry stain, since I found a can of it in the basement along with our other stains and the other stains were definately not what I used. I wanted to see if the stain matches the stain on the project I started earlier, and what is a better test than to use it on the same kind of wood, basswood. What is weird is that this stain does seem to match the old stained piece, at leas stain on the bed does. On the chest pieces, the color is not the same! I guess that each tree is an individual, so each piece of wood will stain differently.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

2008 Spokane Miniature Workshop

I went to Spokane yesterday to attend the Spokane Miniature Society's 2008 workshop. The project was an "Antique Bedroom Set with Dressed Canopy Bed". This is a 1/12th scale project. The main focus was to dress the bed.

Two prototype beds were mostly complete, and we were encouraged to dress our beds however we wanted, but we had guidance in using pleaters, doing embroidery, etc.

The kits for the workshop included 4 HOM kits, which were the bed, a chest, a lowboy, and a corner chair.

We were also provided a bag of kits for accessories.
These included kits for:
  • Binder clip Purse
  • Slippers
  • Nightgown
  • Fan
  • Lavender Potpourri bags
  • Perfume Tray
  • Perfume shelf
  • Tampons (to make the bed's bolster! Yes, miniaturists are resourceful)
At the workshop, I did get stuff done, although it didn't look like I got much done. I sanded my bed parts and started assembly. I did this first, since I needed to know the size of the canopy before I could dress it. The workshop flyer had said there would be forms for the canopy to work with, but there were not. Even the alignment patterns in the bed's directions were not accurate.
I have done enough projects like this to not trust someone else's meaurements, but to measure things myself!

Anyway, after I got the canopy glued and drying in my gluing jig (where I could measure it), I could start working on the canopy. I got the ruffle started (not shown) and the top of the canopy glued to the canopy frame, and I started making some decorative swag thingies. My bed will be dressed kinda like the one in this drawing.

Many of the people at the workshop were using china silk for their beds. Real silk fabric is not something I can buy locally. I do have china silk in small pieces, and a large piece of white and a large piece of royal blue. I did not want to dress my bed in white or royal blue. So, I went to the the local quilt shop and looked for tiny prints and came home with 4 new fat quarters. I also chose perl cotton 'trim' to coordinate with the fabrics. I decided to go with a muted purple fabric and I paired it with some hunter green fabric I had in my stash. (Leftover from a full-sized quilt, that was on our bed.)

Bobbie Jo commented that my color choices of purple backed with green were "unusual". She is so polite. LOL If I do finish this bed and I am happy with it, I will take it for show-and-tell next year.

A couple of vendors were at the workshop, as usual. I avoided temptation at all but Becky's table. She brought cats.

I do not need any mini cats.

I have enough mini cats.

My weakness are mini cats. I was gonna buy 1 cat, but ended up with 5.

Becky had pairs of cats! Pairs of cats tug at my heartstrings.

I didn't have a cat looking backwards yet. Cute pose! The cat behind him is the one (yes, only 1) that I purchased from Becky last year.