Sunday, July 16, 2017

Summer Happenings

The hubs and I are having a busy summer
 working on various projects.  His is very productive.
My projects are being completed at a snails pace.
 My friend, Sigi, in Germany has this "tiny"
antique Dora Kuhn red furniture, but no room
box to keep it in.  Empty miniature Kuhn boxes
are virtually impossible to find.
This "tiny" blue furniture is the last version of the miniature
furniture made by Kuhn.  I keep it stored in a doll wardrobe. 
There is no room for dolly things so this furniture really 
needs a home too.
The handy hubs offered to make room boxes,
 in just the right dimensions for our furniture.  My
project this summer has been painting them. 
When both rooms are decorated, I'll do a post. 
Here is a sneak peek of the unfinished boxes.
I am also working on things for the nautical bedroom in
the Double-Decker dollhouse.  The Mariner is the first
of 2 Teresa Layman miniature knot work rugs.
This is slow needlework, but it's fun to see the design
take shape.  This ones going to be very colorful.

The unique wall art for the nautical room has an interesting
story.  These ships and lighthouses started out life as plastic
jewelry pins from the 1950's.  They were sent to me by Sigi,
from her pin collection.
Some of the paint had chipped, so I repainted
them and the hubs made walnut plaques with hangers.
They will look beautiful on the blue painted walls.
I sent some of the finished pieces back to Sigi for
her nautical room.  
Cindy and her husband hosted the annual girlfriend's 
gathering on their beautiful farm, north of Kansas City, in June.
It was our craziest gathering so far!
Cindy's car needed to be in the fix it shop,
so I came a day early and volunteered to be
the designated driver.  Of all the ladies, I am the
worst big city driver!  Luckily, they gave great 
directions and I managed to keep us all safe,
although I think I gave them a scare or 2!
I lost my camera........somewhere.
Beth is the editor of The Weston Chronicle,
the local town paper.  She had a scheduling issue,
 but managed to arrive the morning of day 2.
   Teresa had arrived a week earlier and was staying
 with her daughter and son-in law.  Her grandson
had been in Children's Mercy Hospital, with a 
rare condition called:
Teresa joined us for our daily excursions.
We visited the Museum Of Toys and Miniatures.
(I've used website photos.....I have no photos)
The Nelson Art Gallery.

 McCormick's Distilling Co. in Weston, Mo.
The Farmer's House.
All the ladies are avid successful gardeners.
My gardening skills are practically non existent.
Besides, when you live in a forest, the critters
literally eat it up.  Teresa found the perfect raised
garden "bed" for the cabin.  Small enough to easily
maintain and tall enough to keep the bunnies 
& turtles out.  A small fence might even discourage 
the deer, possums and raccoons.
We had a great time, lots of laughter and hen talk.
The best part of our time together, was sharing
the joy with Teresa, that her grandson was
expected to have a full recovery and he has.
Beth, Teresa, Me, Cinders.
(Thank you Beth for the photos)
Last fall when Teresa hosted the girlfriends get together,
 I brought home 6 chestnut seeds from her chestnut trees.
I put them in a plastic bag with peat moss and kept them
in the top shelf of the refrigerator to winterize them.  This
spring, to my amazement, 5 of them sprouted!
Beth brought us all perennial herbs at the get together.
I planted mine in 3 clay pots.  I've watched them carefully
 and watered them diligently.  Trees and herbs are still alive.
I showed the hubs the raised bed and he's planning one
for next spring........I even have an old iron bed in the shed!
The hubs has made several Adirondack chairs and 
tables for the nieces and small chairs for Emmett and Ava.
He made oak kitchen recipe boxes 
for our daughter, nieces and friends.
He's working on a third captains sea chest.
  These handles are called beckets, painted knot work
 handles just like the ones ole' sailors made for
 their personal chests.  He spent a couple weeks this 
winter doing all the knot work and painted
them a historic blue.

This chest is made of wide cherry boards.

Cappy has diligently been executing her "yard 
guard" duties.  She safely escorts the many turtles 
across the yard and chases the rabbits and squirrels.
Unfortunately, she had a fall and began to lose
the use of her back legs, by the next morning she was
completely paralyzed.  The hubs and I took a somber
gloom and doom trip to the veterinarian.  Tissues were
flying out of the Kleenex box, one for me, two for
the hubs.  We were sure the outcome
would not be a good one.
I'm certain the vet thought we were in
far worse condition than Cappy.  While he examined
Cappy, his assistant dutifully handed out more tissues.
One for me, two for the hubs, one more for me, 
two more for the hubs.
To our relief and total amazement the vet was 100%
 confident she would make a full recovery as she had 
all the signs necessary, feeling in her legs etc.  He gave 
her a mega shot and sent us home with the miracle 
doggie medication, steroids.

 In no time she was standing and walking.  Except for 
outdoor trips to do her "business" he has to be 
confined until she's healed, so the hubs made her
a little pen.
Cappy's doing well, although she's none too happy.
Me, I'm full of smiles.
 The hubs.......... well, he has a new spring in his steps.
Hope you are having a great summer.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Cappy's New Friend

It's not unusual to see deer in our yard.  Our cabin is 
surrounded by woods on all 4 sides.  Part of our
morning "coffee drinkin" "porch sittin" ritual, is
 counting the deer that cross our driveway.  Last year we
had a mamma with 3 little babies that made a morning
& evening return trek across the yard.  We literally
watched them grow up.  Cappy often waits at the 
end of the sidewalk to catch sight of the travelers.
This year, we have a doe that casually walks 
down the driveway and meanders around 
the yard and the woods that border our yard. 
From a safe distance, Cappy keeps a 
curious but watchful eye on the visitor.
This usually lasts about 30 minutes.
How strange is that?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hall's Lifetime Toys Dollhouse Finished (Almost)

The Double-Decker was decorated just
in time for a visit from our niece Emily and 
the little ones, Ava and Emmett.  Ava gave
us a seal of approval on the new dollhouse.
They love to come to Uncle Steve and 
Gamma Sherri's house.  We have lots of 
toy cars and dollhouses to play with.
Emmett was highly entertained searching for the 
hidden ladybugs in the hillbilly fairy house with
the flashlight.  They found all 23.

The 3 pieces of the double-decker 
 stack securely one on top of the other.  
The exterior colors the hubs chose are
just right and with furniture in the rooms
the interior doesn't look so bright.  Shutters 
and flower boxes make it a sweet country home.
Most of the furniture was made by Hall's 
Lifetime Toys in Chattanooga Tennessee.  Items
not made by Hall's Lifetime are the pie safe, 
 ladder back chairs, stove, sink & pastry table.
The miniature decoupaged vintage signs 
added lots of color to the kitchen walls and
they cost virtually nothing to make.  Scraps 
of wood, card stock paper, printer ink and
 decoupage finish from my craft box.
 I painted the walls Pale Honey & the trim and 
drapery cornices are Beehive.  Don't you just 
love the names of paint?
 Red and cream homespun curtains in a country 
check and lots of fresh vegetables from the garden.
I bet that phone has a party line.  Anyone
remember those?
Crescent Biscuit Company advertisement.
This little plate is a French Feve.
Feves (French for bean) are tiny figurines made to be
 put inside a "Kings Cake" for the "Epiphany" holiday,
celebrated on Jan. 6th, the 12th day of Christmas.  This
is the day the three wise men (three Kings) came to 
Bethlehem to honor the birth of Christ.  Traditionally 
a bean was placed inside the cake, but in the late 
1800's porcelain figures replaced the bean.  Whoever 
finds the feve in their slice of cake is king for the day.
Feves are considered good luck and are collected.
The hubs made the little plate stand.
 These porcelain roosters are also French Feves.
The little wooden box has Zwiebel
written on it.  That's German for onions.
 I stained the unfinished legs of the sink and
pastry table to give them a bit of age. 
More French feves.  Feves are just
the right size for a dollhouse.  They are
made to bake in a cake and are very sturdy.
Today, they are made in hundreds of designs. 
 The kitchen rug is a miniature knot work
kit by Teresa Layman Designs called The
Pecking Order.  Visit her website to see
all of her beautiful designs: 
 Ava's favorite thing in this dollhouse
is the kitty, she named her Princess.
Princess has a best friend, his 
name is Mr. Mouse.  A dollhouse
is a happy place.
I had not planned 0n a bedroom, so
it's rather spartan.  As time goes by, I will 
add some pictures and minis.

I have a couple miniature knot work kits in nautical 
designs by Teresa Layman Designs, that will make sweet
 little rugs.  This will always remind me of the fun 
we've had working on the dollhouse and the ship 
model in our shared loft space.

Gentle Sea for the walls and Peaceful
Blue for the trim and drapery cornices.
The sea captain's chest was made by
the Shackman company and the curtains
are made from some lace scraps.

This swan planter is a gift from a friend.
Just perfect for a dollhouse on the Swan Creek.
I made a blue and white ticking mattress 
and pillow for the bed.
Cotton sheets and pillow case.
The bed coverlet and decorative pillow are
made from a small piece of old Matelasse.
This little glass vase was in my
 mother's miniature shadow box.
There is a partial ceiling in the bedroom.
The underneath is painted white.
It makes a small attic space.
I hunted around for some "attic" 
things.  I'll add some little boxes of
holiday decorations later.  I think
it needs some dust and cobwebs too! 
The hubs rafters make it look
just like a real attic.  I left them
their natural color.  Nice work hubs.
The hubs built the entire dollhouse from scraps
he had in his wood shop, including the beautiful
teak wood for the floors.  We purchased 7 paint 
samples from Home Depot and 1/2 price flowers 
from Michael's craft store.  Total cost of the 
Double-Decker dollhouse, around $35.00.  
Can't beat that!
This was an exceptionally enjoyable project
 because the hubs and I worked on it together.
Thank you ladies for all your comments.
I've read them all to the hubs, and he
thanks you too!!
Be sure to stop by Teresa Layman Designs 
Emmett and Ava's Easter photos.
Ava's five & Emmett is 2 1/2.
We are very proud of them!