Thursday, 30 August 2012


I will start out this post with one of my favorite quotes.

"Believe there are no limits but the sky..."

I like to dream big when it comes to current and future projects. I also like to have a couple projects on the go, as well as a couple rattling around in my head at the same time.

Right now, I have materials gathered for:

1) A nursery scene
2) A Christmas Room Box Scene

I also have a kit for a Victorian style cottage, but will have to purchase supplies to decorate the exterior, as well as the interior!

These are the projects I'm scheming and dreaming about:

1) A modern kitchen scene
2) A nautical scene featuring a mermaid
3) A sewing room scene
4) A Victorian Lady's Bedroom scene with a very dainty vanity laden with perfume bottles, cosmetics, and a beautiful dress laid out on the bed.
5)A faiery's house, covered in moss.
6) A Beach House Retreat.

If I thought harder, I could probably come up with more! Children are told that anything is possible and encouraged to dream. Usually at some point they are told to "be more sensible" and put childish dreams away. I admire the artists I know who didn't listen and went against the grain. I think adults need to dream more, on a regular basis. I'd love to hear about your dreams and schemes!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

How to allow your followers to subscribe to comments

I will be doing a series of blogging tips. When I have done enough of them, I will create a page at the top of my blog and link back to all of my posts containing blogging posts so anyone who visits my blog can access them easily.

Today we will be talking about how to allow your followers to subscribe to posts comments via email. I believe it is especially important to include this blogging tip because when I was trying to figure it out for myself, I couldn't find it in the blogger help centre (no big surprise there) but I was a bit surprised when no one in the google product forums knew either.

I took matters into my own hands and figured it out myself. First, go to the settings tab, then click on the other tab. Next to Allow Blog Feed Click on Full. This will bring up a drop down menu. Change it from full to Custom.

Below will appear Blog Posts Feed, Blog Comments Feed and Per Post Comment Feed.  For Blog Comments Feed, choose Full. If you were to choose short or none, each blog post would appear shortened or wouldn't appear at all. I don't know why anyone would want that option, but apparently
someone does!

Beside Blog Comments Feed I chose none. This is because I wanted to give my followers the option of subscribing to comments regarding individual posts. If I had chosen full, they would have only had  the choice of subscribing to all the comments ever made on my entire blog, and that makes no sense to me.

Beside Per Post Comment Feed I chose full. This gave me exactly what I wanted. Followers now have the option to subscribe to comments on a posts per post basis. Doesn't it sounds simple? I hope the Blogger Help Centre will get around to including it in their directions some day.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Some treasures I have picked up

In Edmonton, Alberta, where I live, there is a wonderful place to visit and this place is called Old Strathcona Antique Mall. It is comprised of two levels and contains more than 300 hundred booths and showcases. For those who like Antiques, it is like being a kid in a candy shop. Here is a link to their website:

I go to Antique Mall for two reasons. I love Antiques of all kinds, especially old glassware and tableware. Secondly, I have been able to pick up some great 1:12 scale miniature accessories on several occasions.

Many of the Vendor Booths are arranged in a hodge podge manner, so you really have to keep your eyes open and dig around to find these miniatures. I have been a regular visitor to Antique Mall, so now I know which booths have miniatures on occasion. Now when I go, I make a beeline to about three different vendor booths to see if they have anything. If I find something, well and good. I usually buy them because I have never spent more than six dollars on an individual piece. If I see something I like, I pick it up, then take it up to the front desk where they will hold if for me until I am ready to pay for it.

Then I continue browsing. I have been collecting stocking stuffers for my family. Some of the vendor booths are set up very elegantly and one in particular looks just like my Paternal Grandma's sitting room did. She passed away when I was thirteen. There is often a chair or a sofa in that booth which is also for sale. I like to sit there for a couple of minutes. It's relaxing and brings back happy childhood memories and is especially comforting when I've had a bad day!

These are some adorable 1:12 scale accessories I have picked up at Antique Mall in the past month.

I could add these to a picnic or backyard scene

On the left is a roll of paper towel for a kitchen scene, on the right is a mannequin for a sewing or Ladies' Shop scene
I could not pass up this adorable little clock. So elegant!

Friday, 24 August 2012

How to Be Creative

This List came to be via a dear friend who have gotten to know better since she took our wedding photos eight years ago.

  1.   Make Lists
  2.  Carry a Notebook Everywhere
  3.  Try Free Writing
  4.  Get away from the Computer
  5.  Be Otherworldly
  6.  Quit beating yourself up
  7.  Take Breaks
  8.  Sing in the shower
  9.  Drink coffee/tea
10.  Know your Roots
11.  Listen to new music
12.  Be open
13. Surround yourself with Creative People
14.  Get feedback
16.  Don't give up
17.  Practice, Practice, Practice
18.  Allow yourself to make mistakes
19.  Go somewhere new
20.  Watch foreign films
21. Count your blessings
22. Get lots of rest
23. Take risks
24.  Break the rules
25.  Do more of what makes you happy
26.  Don't force it
27.  Read a page of the dictionary
28.  Create a framework
29. Stop trying to be someone else's perfect
30. Got an idea? WRITE IT DOWN
31. Clean your workspace
32. Have Fun
33. Finish something

I thing these are great words to live by. Several years ago I went through a very painful and difficult period. The group of friends my husband and I had had for almost a decade chose to abandon us when we were at a very low point in our lives and most needed the support of our friends. I tried in vain to hold on to several people from that group. I was so afraid of offending them and losing yet another friend. In the end I lost about 95 % of them anyways.

In retrospect this is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I decided that since being cautious and afraid to express myself and take risks had not guaranteed me any kind of security, why not say whatever I wanted and take risks that felt scary and made me feel vulnerable? The way I see it, a whole group of people think the worst of me. So what's the big deal if someone else does too?

I believe the experience of losing a group of friends has made me a better artist. I don't know why it's the painful experiences that help us develop compassion, and push us to grow personally and artistically. But that does seem to be the way it works!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Grrr....Blogger is making me mad today!

I love my new blog title. I'm thrilled with the decision to create two separate blogs. What I am not thrilled with is the Blogger "Help Center" which in my experience is the exact opposite of helpful.

In the main, the transition from one blog (mykrafylife) into two blogs has been smooth. All my followers moved with me. The one issue I seem to be having is I do not think those who follow me by email are getting my posts.

Apparently I got off lightly. You see, I figured out fairly quickly that the Blogger "Help Center" is actually code for "Useless Waste of Time Center". Since then I have always gone straight to the Google product forums. This is where actual bloggers answer your questions. A few weeks back I joined one of Google's support groups specifically for Blogger users and have posted a question seeking an answer re: my subscribers by email getting my posts.

As I searched through other questions, I came across stories much worse than mine. People's pages had disappeared. They lost entire chunks of content. They had none of their blogger followers. Nobody could find their blog in a Google search. Aiiii! Every so often I'm tempted to switch to Wordpress. Many have started with Blogger, and have finally ditched Blogger (I'm guessing because of uncontrollable fits of rage) for Wordpress. But then I wouldn't have the ability to follow so many wonderful bloggers, I could still follow them, but not on my dashboard :(

Still Blogger, don't you push your luck with me! The following picture expresses exactly how I feel about Blogger today. And if anyone who has been following mykraftylife via email, please comment on this post so I know you got it!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Important Changes to my Blog

I have been hemming and hawing over this issue for awhile now, and have finally come to a decision.
I will be separating my blog in two! I want to create one blog which will focus exclusively on Miniatures.

I have a couple of reasons for this. I would like to attract more blog followers who are miniaturists, and this is harder to do if my blog is a hodge podge of craft projects. I would also like to sell miniature scenes someday, so it makes sense to have one place to promote it. I have chosen a new name for the miniatures blog. It will be called The Miniature Maven Diaries. I'm already looking forward to revamping the design which can now be exclusively catered to miniatures!

My second blog will be called Sweethearts Beauty Care and Gift Baskets. I also want to sell my beauty products and gift baskets eventually and would like one place in which to promote them. My homemade cards may appear on the Sweethearts Blog, but maybe not for awhile. I have not been pleased lately with the amount of detail I have been achieve using my camera.

I invite you to join me as I begin the next exciting phase of my blogging journey! You can always contact me  at This information is always accessible by going to my profile at the top of the page and clicking on see my complete profile.

Over the next couple days expect to see some changes as I fiddle with different design templates. Thank you for your patience!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

If you can dream it, someone will make it for you

Today I am riffing off of something which a blogger I follow, Kat Picot does occasionally. If you haven't checked out her blog you really should!

She will post pictures of dreamy, dainty miniature creations that have been hand crafted by artisans and are for sale on Etsy. If you have not yet visited Etsy, you really must stop by. It is an online market for handmade goods of all sorts, from furniture to clothing to, well, miniatures!

I have been hiding from the heat in the bedroom in front of the pedestal fan, and to relax I like to search the internet for odd little miniature accessories or interesting dollhouses. I was pursuing this hobby when I came across something that made me laugh out loud. VERY loud. It inspired me to write a post that included some more unusual things to be found in miniature. I hope these pictures give you a giggle. They certainly tickled my funny bone...

It all started at this website

Never leave home without it!
These cuties would add interest to any scene!

Nantasy Fantasy is a Miniature artisan that I have heard others rave about and now I understand why!
This is her website

The following two pieces are an ode to Harry Potter fans, young and old.

It's the sorting Hat!
It's Nearly Headless Nick!
The last two pieces were also crafted by Nantasy Fantasy, and remind me that one day I would love to create a nautical scene. I hope you have enjoyed this little trip through the specialty online shops with me. Believe me, this is only the tip of the iceburg...

For those of you who have heard of Pinterest, I have many Pinterest Boards. One of them is  a thriving Dollhouse and Miniatures Board where I usually post pictures such as these. That is why I have added the follow me on pinterest button, to give you the option of seeing more miniatures that have caught my eye! The button is located on the right hand side, right under the Mary Engelbreit Miss Smarty Picture!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Homemade Card for a New Mom

I love making cards for friend. I enjoy the artistic aspect, and they are always delighted to receive a personalized gift. This is the latest card I have made. I have just sent it off in the mail. I'm not worried my friend will read this blog post before she gets the card, because she's a new mom, and we just reconnected on facebook, so she isn't even aware of my blog as far as I know.
In other homemade card postings I have included the personal message I have sent to the recipient. From now on, I will post the interior of the card but not the personal message, just to protect everyone's privacy.

I would like to thank Megan, for generously providing so many free images for public use. You can find the graphic I used for the baby boy being carried by a stork here
Left Interior of Card
Right Interior of Card

Friday, 10 August 2012

Miniature Beach Scene within a Memory Box

I have to say I have probably felt the most pressure about this project then any other!  I completed it in about a week, and during that week I wasn't getting much sleep. It is a gift for a friend who means a great deal to me so it was a lot of fun despite the time crunch.

I worked on it a little bit every day, but it wasn't until yesterday when my friend Laura was coming over for dinner so I could give it to her that I looked at the clock and said "Eeep! I don't know if I'm going to get it done before she gets here!"
The miniature beach basket was not proving to be as easy to put together as it was described in the July issue of online magazine. I started to panic. I was running out of time!

So I took some deep breaths, and followed some basic rules that have helped get me through some of my more challenging projects:
  1. Adapt a project if it's not working for you. Be creative. Make it your own!
  2. Push through those panicky feelings and refuse to submit to perfectionisism
  3. Remember you are doing this because it's a hobby you enjoy
  4. Remember what your ultimate goal it. In my case it was to create a gift for my friend to commemorate a vacation we had taken together
Of course it turned out fine. Laura came over after work so we could cook dinner together. As she arrived I was putting finishing touches on the scene. She sat and read a book while I decided to add a second paperback novel to the scene. I had printed out an entire page of miniature book covers so she could choose her own! We also had fun joking about the miniscule bikini I made for the scene.
 It was an evening of talk, collaborative cooking and fun, and she was delighted with her gift when I finally let her see the top of the box.

I feel I need to make some honorable mentions regarding this project. I recently joined the Yahoo Miniatures Group The Camp. Since joining it never ceases to amaze me how generous the members are with their advice and offers of supplies.

When I posted a question on the group page regarding this project, two women, Cheryl and Irene, offered to send me some materials for the beach basket since I didn't have any myself and wasn't sure where to buy some. I gladly accepted and I couldn't have made the scene without them.

Maureen, who is a member of the Camp and also a member of the Miniature Enthusiasts of Edmonton Club, sent me some tiny printable sunscreen labels.

I found great selection of miniature printable book covers at this website.
It's worth bookmarking on your computer if you think you're ever going to do a similar project!

This picture was taken on the ferry on the way to Galliano Island. It is designed to fit in the top of a wooden jewellery box, which I painted and decorated. 

The Beach Scene features the bikini, trimmed with yellow cord called bunka, which was donated by Irene, a miniature novel on the towel , beach ball and beach basket.

This was the best close up shot of the miniature beach basket. I wanted to show the bunka donated by Cheryl and Irene. Cheryl donated bunka that is an ecru shade, Irene donated several shades, and I used green in the basket. You can see the sunscreen bottle peeping out. Usually I can get fairly good pictures using the editing function that iphoto provides, but I would really like a better quality camera to take close ups of miniature scenes.

I hope my followers enjoy reading about this project as much as I enjoyed creating it!
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