Sunday, 29 December 2013

Shabby Chic Candles for my Etsy Shop

I'm back again! The Day program I'm attending gave us last week off, hence my increased energy. I'm taking advantage of it while it lasts, since I'll be back at it tomorrow!

I got the idea for these candles ages go, and finally brought this little project to fruition. I like how they turned out. I'm trying something a little different when taking my Etsy pictures. I've noticed successful sellers take great pictures and take the time to put together a pretty scene. Well, here we go! Selling on Etsy is a steep learning curve, that's for sure.

Here are the three candles I'm selling:

Good buy for now folks!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Simona's Christmas Presents from 2012 Christmas Chain Swap

It was a lovely surprise to come home and discover Simona's Christmas presents waiting for me.
She sent me an adorable purple child's dress, as well as a filled Christmas bag as well as some very twee miniature Christmas cards!

She wrapped the gifts in this lovely handkerchief. I follow the "Miniaturists Creed": Never through something out if you think you might be able to use it at a later date!

I was very pleased over the holidays when my lovely generous father-in-law bought my husband and I a dremmell drill which we were able to buy extremely small drill bits for, perfect for minis!

Here is a picture of the drill:

It will come in handy for my very next miniature project, which I'm keeping a secret for now.
Hugs and Happy New Year to all!

Love Ruth

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Faby's 2013 Christmas Swap

This year I am taking part in Faby's Christmas swap. I mailed off my Christmas presents a couple of awhile back and hope they have made their way to their recipients!
I have been very busy and have not had much time to read my favorite blogs lately.
 Drora's lovely presents arrived a couple of days ago.
She has sent me some lovely Christmas miniatures, as well as a tiny book of the Psalms in Hebrew, which can be kept as a miniature or used as a talisman to ward off evil.

I was lucky enough to win one of Drora's giveaway last year and will add these presents to my small collection of miniature gifts.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Being Found

It's not such a bad thing to be lost, because it is only then that we can be found ~ Anonymous

A woman at the support group I've been going to said this about a month ago, and it struck me as particularly beautiful. Who wants to be lost? I certainly didn't. It's scary, lonely, and makes you feel vulnerable. Last year a number of unfortunate situations in my life and the flare up of the chronic illness that I live with converged, creating the perfect storm. I was lost. I didn't think I would ever find my way home again.

But sometimes we find that there are forces at work that are greater, more powerful, than our own problems and concerns. It is this force that has rescued me, swept me up in a powerful wave, and set my feet firmly upon the shore again. And I find myself up to my eyeballs in the work of becoming found again.

It's rough terrain. It's exhausting. I fall down a lot. I want to give up. But I won't. Last week I left the support group I've been going to since September. Tomorrow I'm beginning an intensive 18 week Day Program at the hospital which is like having a full time job. It runs Monday to Thursday 9 am to 4 pm and Friday for an hour. I'm nervous, but ready. If I've learned anything at the support group I've been going to it's that diving straight in and dealing with the uncomfortable work that has to be done is much easier that spending so much energy avoiding the issues! This is true. There is relief in surrender.

On to mini matters! I have at least 3 blog posts on mini matters that are itching to be written, but this blog post was screaming louder that it needed to be written. Does anybody else ever have blog posts (or writing of any kind, or art) that just WON'T leave you alone until you attend to them? It's happening to me more and more.

Love and Hugs to all my Beautiful Friends in Blog Land,


Sunday, 3 November 2013

My Miniature Nursery Roombox Sold!

I placed an ad on kijiji which is Canada's answer to craigslist. I listed it for $100. I just got a reply to my post, a woman offered $75 for it so I said I'd take $79.95.
I am sooooooo excited! I opened my Etsy shop back in February and have sold nary a thing. I have had so much support from my lovely blogging, miniature artisan friends. They told me to hang tough, hang in there, and I did! I practically embraced social medica as a spiritual practise and kept up making minis while weathering some tough times in my personal life.
Can I just say it again! I just made a profit doing one of my favorite things in the world. Yipee!
Thanks so much for all your love, support and prayers this past year. Things are looking up.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Miniature Nursery Roombox

The front is plexiglass surrounded by a frame that you can open and close, with a latch

The wee inside!
I made this Nursery Roombox last summer and took it to the show and sale in September and tried to sell it there, but alas there were no bites. Good thing I am so in love with it myself! I decided to list it on Etsy, and perhaps I will list it on ebay as well. In the spring I will be having a small show of my work at a local Art supply store. The owner of the store is very nice and she made this generous offer to me.

At the end of the end, I must remind myself that I make miniatures as a lovely pastime, and not to get too caught up in whether they sell or not. I hope this post finds all my lovely blogging friends well. We have had no snow here yet, which is rather unusual. There is snow in the forecast for Sunday though.

Signing off with many hugs,


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas....

Ha Ha! It's not even Halloween yet and I'm already talking about Christmas :P The great thing about having a blog is, you get to make up your own rules! Have I mentioned I'm really a Bossy Boots at heart?
Christmas in Canada usually means lots of snow, time to spend with family and friends, and enjoying Christmas traditions. My husband Mark and I always drive four hours south to visit both our families in Calgary, Alberta. I like to think I am getting a little more sensible about Christmas planning. I have realized that cramming in too many social obligations does not allow me to enjoy Christmas!
This is a youtube video of one of my favourite Christmas songs. It's a classic, sung by Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan. I think I may have posted it last Christmas, but many more of you have joined me on my blogging journey since then, so enjoy!

My special Christmas project is a Christmas Kitchen scene. I've been planning this scene since last Christmas! The baking items are almost all from my wonderful friend Jane, who writes the fabulous MiniFanaticus blog. I won her first giveaway last year. The gingerbread house is from Anna, who writes the blog It's the Little Things. I bought it from her Etsy shop. Anna is a lovely, generous miniaturist.
My talented, clever Dad built the wooden shadow box which I placed the scene in. I'm planning to wallpaper it with white wallpaper with tiny yellow flowers, but at the moment the wallpaper is residing under a heavy object, it has been rolled up so long it won't stay flat!
I have more food and accessories to add, and I have another Christmas project up my sleeve. Expect to be bombarded by more of my favourite Christmas music in the next couple months :) Enjoy the pics!


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Sometimes the Brave thing to do is to ask for Help

I went back and forth for a long time over whether I should write this post. After all, this blog is supposed to be about miniatures, right? Except you might have noticed that I don't approach my blog that way. I have several reasons for this. For one, art, including the art of miniatures, does not exist in a vacuum. What I create comes out of who I am as a person. And what has made me into who I am today is rich, varied, complicated and deeply personal. As personal as I do tend to get on my blog, I don't share EVERYTHING :)

But what was I saying? Asking for help. In Western society we are taught that we need to be strong and independent. Asking for or even requiring help is a sign of weakness. Well, I am here to tell you, that to use my favourite British cuss word, that is simply bollocks. It takes tremendous courage and humility to ask for help. For years I was a perfectionist, determined to fight my demons and my illness on my own. That didn't work so well for me. I have come to believe there is a kind of hubris in refusing to accept help. There are two parts to this. We are part of a huge, living, breathing, loving organism that is constantly interacting with itself. To imagine we can exist on our own is stubborn pride, pure and simple. And I am telling you this with pure compassion because the only reason I know this is because I fight against this pride as frequently as any other human. The second part of my hubris argument is that by allowing others to help us, we are giving them a huge gift. We may feel like we are being a huge burden but that's not so. If you need help, find the right place, and you will find plenty of compassionate folk who will be happy to help you, and find it a blessing to be of service.

So I will tell you a brief version of the story. After a year of resisting the idea that I needed more support, structure and assistance, I checked myself into the hospital for two weeks to get help for the chronic illness I have battled for over a decade. It was the best thing I've ever done. It was pure relief. I felt such compassion for the other patients there, all fighting their own battles with the limited resources they had, with all the humour and dignity they could muster. I found that having compassion for them allowed me to have more compassion for myself.

For the next six months I will be participating in some very intense out patient treatment that will help me learn some coping skills for dealing with my illness. I'm exactly where I need to be, and where I want to be. I'll be blogging as much as I can, and will be keeping up with my miniature projects as I can as well. You can definitely expect some action from me on both fronts, since I enjoy both activities immensely. My friends, you have been beacons of light for me during the past year, at times when I thought the darkness would engulf me. I am grateful for each and everyone of you. I have not had an easy time of it since the first whispers of this illness began in my teens, but I wouldn't change a thing, since it brought me here, and here is a good place to be.



~What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.
T. S. Eliot 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Jazzi's Christmas in July Presents!

I was very happy to have the wonderful Jazzi herself as my swap partner for the Christmas in July swap that she organized. I have been away, and away from the internet. I arrived home last night to discover some wonderful treats awaiting me.

I told Jazzi that I'm going to be doing a Christmas Kitchen scene and will be participating in the Mini Wiki Treasures Yearly Advent calendar (I was supposed to be in it last year but real life got in the way, as it so often does.) Buzz off real life! :P

Without further ado, here are Jazzi's wonderful creations, which were made from found objects.

I love the little pillows ! The rest of the things will be great for a Christmas scene.

I am usually a total blabbermouth whenever I post, but again, I've been dealing with that pesky old thing called Real Life so I'm actually quite bushed! I have decided to close my Etsy shop right now because I don't want anything to sell, I'm saving it for the show and sale in September (15th), but who's counting? Probably not only me!

I hope wherever you are and whatever you're doing, my dear readers, you are safe, happy and enjoying the blessings of friends and family.



Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Winner of the daily craft tv and a link for my fellow crafty folk!

The winner of the daily craft TV giveaway is....Indy Poppy!! Congratulations and come on down to claim your prize. Email me for Eric Wolf's contact details so he can give you a coupon code and you can choose a video to watch online for free!

I will leave you with a final crafty link that looks like a lot of fun. It's the 10th anniversary, and they are celebrating with a plethora of challenges. I took part in their Bath and Beauty challenge last winter and had a lot of fun with it.

Here is the link for the fabulous 10th anniversary celebration!

That's all folks!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

I did it I did it I have a facebook page!

It's in the middle of the night and I finally got those social media icons to work. Later in the week I will be doing the draw for daily craft tv. I forgot about it again! Shame on me.
This is probably the shortest post I've ever written because I'm so tired of staring google search for "free social media icons". I wrote a tut about it awhile back, filed under Blogging tips.
Night all,

Thursday, 18 July 2013

I won a beautiful Miniature Wedding Dress for Felma's June Giveaway

She included some lovely perfume bottles, which I arranged with some lace in a small tray I had in my "tickle trunk" and displayed them

For those of you not acquainted with Felma's lovely Blog  Dollhouse Miniatures by Felma you must pop by for a visit. If you pay close attention, I would even mark it on your Calendar, she gives away one of her beautiful miniature gowns every single month.
I'm going to go off on a tangent, but after rereading what actually became the bulk of my post, it actually has everything to do with why I became a Miniature Artisan. So please, bear with me. NOTHING is too small to pray about. I pray about everything, and I mean everything. I pray for help in finding a parking spot, I pray for calm and assistance in that God will ensure that things will work out when I am dealing with a rude and difficult government clerk, postal worker, plumber, the list goes on. About a year ago, I started keeping lists and praying even more in earnest. I prayed that I would find work and be successful at a job that I was passionate about. I started keeping a list every month of my prayers and goals. Even I was amazed at what started happening. If you have been following along with my journey on Miniature Maven Diaries, I think you will agree, that as hard as this year has been for me, in many ways (God never promised us an easy life, in fact I think he pretty much promised us exactly the opposite), that miracles happen every day.

I started noticing, as I looked back through my journals, that help was being offered. I won 3 blogger giveaways in a row. (Starting with Jane's, from Minifanaticus, followed quickly by Drora's, then Jen's February giveaway at Plushy Cat Blog). I continued to be offered amazing help and opportunities presented themselves. My Dad offered to build me shadow boxes where I am planning to display miniature scenes that I will customize for my customers. He also dove into carpentry as a hobby with great enthusiasm when he retired. He astounded me a couple of weeks ago when he told me he is planning to build 12 display shelves based on the one that I found at an antique shop two years ago. I can charge between $80-100 for these at the Miniature Show and Sale, and tell my customers they can order more from me. He is also planning to make empty shadow boxes for customers, which I can sell at the mini show for $50 dollars each. Did I mention he only wants to recoup the costs of the wood he is buying to make these things? He wants me to keep the profits, because he has watched me fight to stay employed, and eventually give up and admit that I had to go on disability because I could not hold down a regular full time or even part time job. Since his offer, the local art supply store where I go to buy most of my supplies (to avoid Michaels Craft Stores, because I personally loathe that place), offered to display my miniatures. If I sell my work, they will take a 20% commission, which is a very generous offer.

 I have actually had an extremely stressful month, which has included several very serious health issues, and there are many times when I have wanted to give up and just rest for awhile. But if I look at the big picture, my prayers have been answered in so many ways. I owe it to God, or the universe, not to mention the huge number of people whose prayers and support I have asked for over past year (and been given) to keep at it. This post is a reminder (if you're feeling discouraged) to keep at it. There is no doubt I have struggled, felt despair, wanted to give up. For over a decade I have fought with every ounce of strength I could muster with a very difficult illness. My grandmother that the same illness, and she didn't survive it. I've known of and seen many others who have been swallowed my this dark beast of an illness. Everyone tells me I'm a fighter. Even when I've been at my lowest point, I think there has always a tiny glimmer of that stubborn fighter inside me that refuses to sucumb to despair, and won't give up until I find what I have spent so long searching for: peace, a life filled with meaning, and eventually, I am going to become an advocate for this illness. I learned have how to navigate the health system and the extremely aggravating government run disability system, where the staff often treat you like you have the intelligence of a gnat. Advocating for yourself  is a learned skill, that others need to be taught. There have been many times when I have been so angry that I have spent so much time struggling with being sick and feeling helpless. Eventually, I want to channel that anger into energy that will help me teach others to help themselves.

As always, I feel honored that you have taken the time to read my blog and for all of you who leave such kind and loving comments each time I post.



Tuesday, 16 July 2013

I won the Liebster Blog Award!

Audra is my lovely friend who writes the thought provoking blog Through The Ever Changing Lense. She has awarded me the Liebster Blogging award, and I am very pleased and proud. She includes quotes (one of my favorite things!) and thoughts about the writing life, as she is working on her second novel.
When you are awarded the Liebster award, you must do several things. I've seen the rules vary slightly on different  blogs, but it doesn't bother me!

In accordance with the rules for nominees of this award, I will...
  • link back to my nominator's blog 
  • answer the questions provided by my nominator 
  • nominate 5-11 blogs that have less than 200 followers
  • create 11 questions of my own to be answered by my nominees, and
  • contact my nominees to let them know that they've been nominated.
I am nominating these five wonderful bloggers!

Maureen, of St. Albert Mini Maureen is what I call a quiet force of good. She has been a winner of the wiki mini treasures award for two years in a row because of the amount of content she has added to the site ( a boon for those new to miniatures) and the first year she was nominated she didn't even know until I told her! She doesn't add to the pages expecting recognition or acclaim. She simply wants to help out beginners. I have been a lucky recipient of her kindness, generosity, and mini knowledge. Not only a fellow Canadian but also a member of the Miniature Enthusiasts Club of Edmonton.

Marissa of Steinworks Blog. Marissa became a friend through email last winter when I had the worst neighbour of all time. (Think you had a worse one? I  dare you to prove it. I got ourse evicted but it took time.) My Papa was dying at the same time and Marissa's emails kept me going. We created a hilarious narrative describing my horrible neighbour which also features some of her more odious coworkers. Marissa's miniature scenes are brilliant and the narrative style on her blog is witty and self deprecating, it keeps her followers coming back for more.

Sarah of Amber's House. She is a newbie Miniaturist Blogger whose blog is full of tutorials. She is obviously a very talented miniaturist.

My dear friend Michelle. We went to highschool together and both started our blogs around the same time so we became each other's first followers. The subject matter of our blogs is quite different. Her blog Growing Patience, Dreaming Big was about her incredibly brave struggle with infertility. Her fertility doctor gave her a 3 % of conceiving a second child. I gave her a big pep talk and reminded her that doctor's are not God's nor can they predict the future. I am very happy to say she delivered a healthy baby girl in February. I'm giving the nursury roombox I've been working on and off since last fall to her to her in August. I can't wait to get to Calgary so I can meet baby Nyah in person, and visit my beloved friend Michelle and deliver her roombox. We were a huge support to each other as I strived to believe in my dream (making money at making miniatures) and she strived to achieve hers.

Brini's Doll DomainBrini's Doll Domain is Fun, Modern and Fabulous! She writes solely about black dolls, as a celebration of her own Ethnicity, which I think is pretty frickin' cool. Stop by for her frequent posts that include pictures of dioramas she set up, complete with dialog! Brini's huge heart and willingness to feel life's deepest emotions and move through them is what first drew me to her blog. I liked what I read, now I'm a fan!

Two Lillies and Fairies: a Tale of Minis I love the concept behind Chris' blog, which she started up not too long ago. She and her sister and niece are all blogging together as their Lily is slowly being built. They are separated by 3,750 miles. I know I'm looking to forward to following along with them on their adventure.

 Here are Audra's Question's for me:

1. If you could list just 3 things that make you happy, what would they be? 
making miniatures (try and stifling your gasp of surprise)
reading a really good novel
spending time by the ocean

2. Would you characterize yourself as more of an extrovert or an introvert?

introvert with a very silly side and a very bawdy sense of humour who is also a blabbermouth around my closests friends, so remember all introverts are definitely not quiet, sweet and innocent3. What has been your greatest challenge in life thus far?

4. If you enjoy reading, what are your favorite book genres?
I can't narrow it down to a genre because I read such a wide variety and it changes from year to year. I enjoy mysteries, fantasy novels, some science fiction a lot of non fiction on any topic that grabs my attention like gender studies, autobiography, addiction, soap making, spirituality, economics, birth order, you name it, I've probably read at least an article about it!

5. Is the glass half-empty or half-full?
I strive for half-full, but it's a struggle6. Who has inspired you most?
Can't pick just one person. Martha Beck, who wrote the searingly honest memoirs Leaving the Saints and Expecting Adam. 
7. Where is home for you? I feel like I'm still searching for a home. We've lived in Edmonton since 2000. It is home in many ways. Calgary, my own home town, is a fun place to visit, but it's not home anymore. I think we'll probably move again and settle somewhere else since my husband has a Forrestry Degree, and we're just waiting for the Housing Industry in the states to bounce back so that he can find a Forrestry job in Canada (Exporting lumber to the U.S. comprises the majority of the Canadian Forrestry Industry).
8. When was the last time you cried? Just now. I was talking to my Dad on the phone.
9. When was the last time you laughed? This afternoon. Talking to my friend on the phone. We were joking about how most men need very specific step by step explanations whereas women are much more intuitive. If you sound angry or sarcastic they will immediately say, "What's wrong?" Heck, they don't even need to hear you say anything! They can tell by the look on your face.  
10. Are your friends also your family members, or are your family members also your friends, or both? That's pretty complicated to answer. They are both, but there are times when I would like to strangle them. And I mean that in the most loving way possible :)
11. How would you spend your last day on Earth if given the opportunity? I would spend the day with my closest friends and family (including my husbands, I love all of them.) I would share special times with those closest to me. We would eat marvellous food. We would be right on the ocean.

Here are my 11 questions for my 11 nominees:
1. What's the first thing you do up each morning?
2. Last thing you do before going to bed?
3. What keeps you sane?
4. What drives you crazy?
6. What couldn't you live without?
7. If you could relive one day of your life, what would it be?
8.If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
9. If you had enough money to build your dream house, what would it be like?
10. What's your favorite holiday?  
11. What is your earliest childhood memory?

Okay, I have to say, that whole process took a lot longer than I expected! It was hard to find blogs with less than 200 followers, and get in touch with my choices for nominees! After two (or three days of waiting to publish this post, I haven't heard back from some of the blogs I nominated, but I don't think they'll mind getting an award, and if they do, I don't mind taking down the links to their blogs and choosing someone else. Do I overthink every little decision and over analyze things way too much. Why yes, I believe so. If I knew how to stop, boy would I ever. Actually, I am actively searching for strategies for how to stop, I'm even getting referred to some group therapy regarding this exact subject. Well, I am completely bushed and headed for bed.
G'night all

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Full Circle

My parents are getting ready to travel across the country by car to Vancouver, British Columbia and pack up my Papa's things, distribute them among my Dad and his two Sisters, put some in storage and donate some I believe. Real life has been fairly overwhelming lately so I didn't ask my Dad a lot of details about everything that was being done with my late Papa's things. His house sold last month, after being on the market for only a week. It sold for a little over a million dollars. That's Vancouver real estate for you.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Canadian Geography, Vancouver is probably one of the most enviable cities in Canada to live, and the most expensive. I read in a National magazine a couple of magazine that it was one of the most desirable cities to live in Canada, or was it North America? I forget. Our dear Elizabeth, who writes the lovely Studeo E Blog, lives there. It is a city I know very well. I spend many summers there as a child. We made the 16 hour road trip from our hometown in Calgary, Alberta (on the praries) in our wood panelled station wagon, which was packed with our parents and myself, my sister, brother, as many books and toys as could be crammed in, and two car top carriers! How did our parents ever have the patience? I remember one summer my brother and I (he is six years younger) merrily sang repetitive songs for hours. Perhaps my parents were wearing ear plugs? I know they were two safety conscious to have a secret flask of whiskey....

But I digress. I have been having a hard time for several months, although I've been trying to distract myself. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that my Papa's birthday was on July 4th. The last time I visited him was on his 97th birthday, last summer. He was very frail, but delighted when I surprised him with my first ever miniature project, a room box I made for him as a birthday present. I knew deep down is was the last time I would ever see him. For ten years I had been preparing myself that any time I saw him could be the last. I was thrilled that he came to my wedding in 2004. I know my sister was delighted when he was able to attend hers a couple of years ago. For years he seemed to defy the odds. He remarried in his late 80s. He and his second wife travelled the world, volunteered, welcomed great grandchildren, honestly, I had a hard time keeping up with the two of them. I loved watching them together.

The last time I saw my Grandpa, he put on a good face for his wife Ruth and his children, joking that he had to live to 100 so that he could get a letter from the queen, but I could tell he knew he didn't have much time left. When we were alone he spoke of how lucky he was, that he had been blessed with a good life. He told me I shouldn't be sad, that death is a natural part of life. He said he wasn't scared to die, he knew he was going to heaven, and he was looking forward to seeing Nana, who passed away when I was 13, and Trevor, his nephew who passed away at a young age from leukemia.

One of the things that remains with me about the week I spent with him is how celebratory the mood was. While I was there I looked through a photo album that had been put together of his 90th birthday. It was a huge album, that had been held at their local church hall. He had worn a green bow tie (in honor of his Irish heritage) and given a speech. Many others has spoken, telling funny stories and taking about his integrity, sense of honor and contributions to the community. I love the last picture in that photo album. It's a picture of him with a dustpan and broom, cleaning up at the end of the broom. It sums up his character and personality. He didn't believe getting old earned him the right to sitting down or a break from clean up duty.

Since turning 97, he wasn't comfortable in large groups. But that didn't mean no celebrations were planned! We would have 4 dinners to accomodate my Dad's family, who had travelled to Edmonton for the occasion, my Granpa's niece and her daughter, and my stepgrandma's two sons and their wives.

It was the most fun I had in ages. Stories were told. Jokes were told, and they became more and more inappropriate as the evening wore on. On one evening I laughed until my sides hurt as my step grandma's Ruth's son told story after story about how they travelled as a family to Europe in the sixties. Back then it was not commonplace for families to sight see in Europe. Billy, the youngest, was bored and caused all sorts of trouble to stir up a bit of excitement. One day they he was sitting parked in their rented van outside the Vatican and he thought it would be fun to release the Emergency brake while the rest of the family (I think there were at least 7 of them all together) and the van happened to be on a hill.
His embarrassed parents hustled the rest of the children into the van while a disapproving priest looked on. Another day they were in a theme park and met another family they knew. There was a big gang of adults and kids and he got lost in the fray. Apparently he wandered around lost by himself for several hours, fairly unconcerned. And his parents, too, didn't panic. Maybe they would relieved at getting a break from their, um, feisty son!

I wasn't able to go to my Papa's funeral when he passed away peacefully in a hospice on December 10th, and I think that's just as well. I'd rather remember him the way I left him last June. Laughing, joyful, at peace, and reminding me that death is a part of the great adventure we are all on. When I go to Calgary at the end of July to visit my parents I will pick up the roombox I gave my Grandpa. I've decided I will add to it, bit by bit. A picture of the two of us, shrunk down and mounted on the wall. He wrote his memoirs and had them bound. I'll shrink down that and include it. I'll build a simple bookcase and fill it with miniature copies of his favorite books. Perhaps I'll put together a miniature family photo album. I'll add more as the spirit moves me.

This morning was the first time I acknowledged to my husband that I'm doing a lot of grieving for my Papa this month, I spoke of how much having him in my life has given me a sense of love of belonging and my belief that once this gift of love is given it cannot be taken away, even after a loved one dies. I became choked up and cried a bit, but they were healing tears. I have always thought that we grief in stages. I started grieving when I first planned to visit him last summer, and I am still grieving. I think I will never stop grieving, but I think as time goes on, that grieving can take on a sense that is mostly full of love and joy, with only a tinge of sadness. I think I have quoted this poem before on here, but it's my favorite, and I have new followers, and it's my blog so I can do what I want to ha ha.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

My Daily Craft TV Giveaway (Chris (Powergirls) and any of my non miniature followers please read this!!

Over a month ago I wrote this post, which was my review of one of several fun, informative videos available on daily craft tv. Eric Woolf, from craft tv had contacted me and offered me a free tv tutorial to look at and said if I did a review on my blog I could offer a free giveaway on my blog. I was VERY excited because of this opportunity and I was SURE my bloggers would share my excitement, especially since the giveaway is available internationally.
I was a bit dismayed when only 3 of my followers entered. Then I decided this was understandable because I have many international followers who don't speak English and my English speaking followers don't all find non craft videos as exciting as I do.
I was planning to announce a winner at the end of July but as my dear friend and mentor Maureen, member of the Miniature Edmonton Enthusiast of Edmonton Club and author of the blog St. Albert Mini says sometimes RL (real life) intervenes, and this was certainly the case with me.
I finally got it contact with Eric a couple of days ago and I felt bad telling him that only 3 people had entered! It's really no loss to me, but I would like to think that his efforts and company would benefit a bit more!
He told me that anyone on my blog interested in winning this prize can go toDaily Craft Tv and choose the video they'd like, and contact him, and he will email them the coupon code. I will choose the winner using
If you think any of your followers would be interested, please post a pic of the giveaway on the sidebar of your blog. I told Eric I would post about the giveaway again since I have gotten some new followers since May. I'll also post about it in the yahoo groups I belong to.
Can you tell I'm STILL procrastinating my paperroute? On the plus side, it looks nice out. The past couple weeks I've been rained out mid route.

Oh! And I put your name in the subject bar Chris (Powergirls) because I can't find your blog (unless you don't have one, but it sounds like you have one). If you would like to discuss this further, click on the pink email icon on the top of my blog and that will link up to my email adress (NEVER simply type out your email address on your blog! Unless you enjoy an inbox filled with spam messages and potential viruses)

Must really run this time.

Hugs and Kisses,

You all make the dull days more exciting for me,


Are any of you on twitter?

I just opened a twitter account, I've only posted one post and it was to get an extra entry to a contest giving away a printer!
The reason I opened it is that I'm seriously thinking about starting a facebook page for Miniature Maven Diaries (and my Etsy Shop in the next couple months). I would like to follow any of my followers who are on twitter. When you have an Etsy shop, you can connect it to your Shop Facebook Page, and everytime list a new item, you can press one button and it will be published to your facebook page. Also, if you are on twitter, every facebook update will automatically become a twitter update. You have to manually set it up this way, but only one.
I am already following Jean Day, Cinderella Moments, I think that'a all! I'm also following all the Dollhouse Mags.
Oh my twitter name is MinisbyRuth
Got to run, it's my flyer delivery day. Which is probably why I'm writing this post, procrastinating.



Saturday, 6 July 2013

Happy Canada Day, 5 Days Late

Canada Day is July 1rst, Last Monday. Last weekend was one of significant personal drama for me, so much so that I do not wish do even discuss it, and my husband and I were so exhausted that we spent Canada Day lying low and watching a mini series on the Discovery Channel by Oceanographer Robert Mallard. Speaking of Which, I am fascinated by lighthouses, ships and all things nautical and recently the 1/2 scale greenleaf lighthouse kit has caught my eye. I at first admired the 1:12 Real Good Toys one, until I found out it is 4 feet high!

Personally, I would rather be able to integrate my dollhouse projects into the decor of our home, rather than having to put them all in a separate room. Although I do plan to have at least one grand 1:12 scale house that will certainly need its own room.

In my opinion there is nothing more quintessentially Canadian than canadian Rick Mercer. I have loved his dry, sarcastic, self deprecating sense of humor since he rose to fame on his first show "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" which was a farce on the events in the national and global media. He is quite cheeky. I heartily agree with his philosophy that (almost) nothing is too sacred to laugh at, because there is nothing demeaning in his sense of humor, there is a warmth behind it.

My husband and I were lucky enough to win tickets to see him perform recently at an event hosted by the Edmonton Pubic Library. He has moved on from his first show and now appears in the "Rick Mercer Show". He began by explaining why he no longer focuses on interviewing and making fun of politicians (too much crazy for even him to take on board, and he became disenchanted after awhile).

Our current prime minister, Stephen Harper, is I'm sure popular with some, but I know many committed        
conservatives who can't stand him, simply based on his personality. He has very little personal warmth to the point where he seems to have no personality whatsoever, and this does not sit well with many Canadians. Whenever I talk about it I refer to him jokingly as a "Ken Doll" because he wears so much face make up, his smile is too perfect, and his hair never moves. Almost everyone laughs when I say this.

At the Edmonton Public Library Presentation where we saw Rick Mercer perform, he had us all in stitches  and showed us many hilarious youtube videos of different segments from his show. One of the features he was most proud of is the "vote mob incident". It was the most heartening thing I have seen in years. As many of you in North America know, our voter turn out is quite dismal. It averages about 55 %, which is appalling considering that in some countries some people are being jailed and giving their lives fighting for the right to vote. A friends' mother once spoke passionately about how women campaigned so long for the right to vote that as women we should never take it for granted.

Two years ago, during a federal election campaign the infamously pompous Stephen Harper made a comment to the effect that he was not worried about the youth vote because everyone knew that they never vote anyways. At the end of Rick's show he always does about a minute called"Rick's Rant". After hearing Harper's smug self assurance Rich encouraged everyone over the age of 18 to go out there and show Harper that he should take them more seriously. I will post his original rant, and several responses out of about 13 University's who very enthusiastically took up the challenge. It was a reminder to me that young people in our country care passionately about what happens politically, many of us have just become disillusioned about our ability to create a positive change.


I think Mr. Harper will think twice about calling young voters apathetic :) They just love a challenge. I have often said that university is a time when people are at their most idealistic, because they have so much energy! And they just feed off each other! Then we have to go into the world laden with huge student loans, which much less energy to devote to our idealistic causes :)

So there we go, I have written two days in a row about non miniature topics, to teach you a little more about what it means to me to be Canadian, and because I'm too busy right now getting ready for the mini show to do a Canada day project! Ha Ha! Hope you got a laugh from these videos! I think laughter is one of the best responses to hopelessness and small minded thinking!

Singing off with much love to all of you,


Friday, 5 July 2013

Why I make miniatures. The reasons may surprise you!

Two posts in one day, yes.

There are the more obvious reasons of why I am compelled to create miniatures:

  1. I love tiny things
  2. Miniatures allow me to use many creative talents, including painting, graphic design, and my imagination!
  3. I always wanted a dollhouse as a child and didn't have one. I'm making up for lost time.

Today I had a discouraging experience with a governmental agency. Unfortunately, I need to deal with them on a regular basis. The anger I felt was not only on my behalf. I have learned over the years to be quite adept at advocating on my own behalf, and feel very comfortable doing so. What bothers me more is that others depend on this agency, and many do not have the skills, knowledge or where with all to advocate for themselves when they are treated disrespectfully or unfairly.

Shortly after, I had dinner with my parents and we discussed my feelings of anger and how they could be channelled into something productive.

I spoke to them about how anger is necessary, because it sparks change. I told them that toxic anger is unproductive, but there is another kind of anger that is an appropriate reaction to an injustice. I told them I plan to become an activist. When this will happen, I'm not sure.

I shared some quotes with my parents that I take very seriously.

"If not here, where? If not now, when? If not me, who?" ~ Anonymous

These next words were spoken at Women's Rights Convention in 1855 by Lucy Stone: "In education, in marriage, in religion, in everything, disappointment is the lot of woman. It shall be the business of my life to deepen this disappointment in every woman's heart until she bows down to it no longer."

It is my goal in life to deepen my disappointments, pay attention to any anger I feel that is an appropriate response to an injustice, and continually look for ways to use this dissatisfaction as a motivation to bring about change. Small changes lead to big changes.

So let's get to some more personal reasons as to why I make miniatures

  1. It is the best antidote I know of to deal with despair, tragedy, loss, and the everyday stresses of life
  2. I don't think of miniatures as escapism. When I am working on a miniature project, I am wholly absorbed in what I am doing. This is necessary if I want to create something I am proud of
  3. It is my way of lighting a candle in the dark when the world around me frustrates me or overwhelms me.
  4. I think all art is a form of prayer
  5. Art is a vital, essential part of our culture. We can never know the effect we have on another person's life. If my miniatures bring pleasure and enjoyment to others, I feel both privileged that something I create has this effect, and grateful that I have been given the chance to make someone else's life a little brighter
  6. My maternal Grandma lived with the same chronic illness that I do. She also loved dolls and collecting small things (She also made my sister and I dollhouse furniture out of clothespins!) Her illness was never successfully treated. Mine has been, although there is no magic cure and I experience setbacks. When I create miniatures, I am honouring her memory. She was ill at a time when there were very few treatments available to her. I often think that I am fighting this illness for both of us, even though she passed away in 1993. I like to think that the healing I've experienced help make sense of the healing that was elusive for her.
I hope I have not lost you in these rather convoluted blog post, and I am grateful for every single one of you, because you have joined me on a very important and exciting journey.

Good night and Sweet Dreams to all of you. (It is midnight here.)


Grandaddy list of things I need to do for the Show and Sale on September 15

Hello all my lovely followers! I have been feeling anxious about getting everything done for the show and sale, so I decided to write out a list of to do items and share it with you, and then put all the tasks in my day timer
  • Design template for cardstock display boxes
  • Come up with a flexible template for pamper baskets
  • Design labels for strawberry themed pamper basket
  • Buy 2 part yellow mold putty
  • Assemble more cardstock display boxes
  • Make Vanilla Cupcake Bath Set
  • Make a yellow flower themed Perfume, Bubble Bath, Bath Powder and Bath Salts Pamper Basket (Need to do more research to come up with the best flower!)
  • Make a Sugar Plum Themed Bath Basket
  • Make leather and fabric covered beauty cases
  • Buy supplies to make a miniature loofah
  • Make some Housecoat, towel and slipper sets
  • Assemble kits from Paper Minis and the Craft Pack Company and place them on a dresser or in a pamper basket (Everything arrived at once! I ordered things from the States, the U.K., and Asia (over ebay, fantastic option for Canadian Miniatures on a budget, Asia offers free shipping on most items)
  • Assemble Christmas Shadowbox (easy because I can just insert the Christmas scene I made last November!
  • Learn Decoupage from my friend Theresa, and use the technique to create a Beatrix Potter themed Nursery Shadowbox.
  • Go visit my friend Pat so we can work on minis together because she is super organized and keeps me on task :)
  • Put together my Wedding themed shadowbox (I have many of the items/supplies, I think I will need my mom's help with some sewing!)
  • Create a child's birthday themed shadowbox (I decided to do this instead of a beach themed one)
  • Make up business cards!
  • Distribute Flyers for the show and sale
  • If I have time, make up another Christmas themed shadow box and display it at The Paint Spot, a local art supply store where they know me very well since I shop for many of my mini making supplies there. They said they will display my miniatures and shadowboxes at no cost, and take a 10% commission if it sells. I am very excited about this fantastic opportunity
  • Thank my Dad again for his incredible generosity! He has already made up 12 display shelves for me to sell at the show and sale, and plans to make some empty shadowboxes too. This led me to rent a six foot table instead of a 3 foot one
Besides show and sale stuff, I also need to:
  • Make up Jazzi's Christmas in July gift and get it in the mail by the 15th! I am very excited that Jazzi is my swap partner. I have already decided what to make her, and bought most of the stuff I will need(part of the swap rules are everything has to be made with found objects)
  • Finish the Nursery Roombox I am making for my dear friend Michelle because I am going to Calgary at the end of July to deliver it to her! (I'm almost done, so I'm not too concerned)
  • Possibly make up another small miniature scene for my generous friend Marie, who gave me homemade soap and tinted lip balm the last time she was in Edmonton. (She lives in Calgary too.) Visit her fabulous wordpress blog here. She shares Natural Beauty Recipes and Yummy Vegetarian Recipes on her blog.
  • Write 2 Blogging Tips Posts (I love writing and taking breaks from mini making to write is a stress reliever :)
  • Write another post about trash to treasure minis that I have been thinking about for about a month
I think that will keep me sufficiently busy. I'm glad my hubby is going fishing/camping with his friends for two weeks at the end of July because that means I can make very simple meals for myself (Hello crockpot! And salads) and make minis late into the night.

That's all for now my friends I just have to cut out a mini sponge and my Blue Pamper Basket will be done and up on Etsy.

I love all of you and the support you have given me over the last year.



Tuesday, 2 July 2013

1/2 scale anyone?

I have been saying for ages that I don't want to do a dollhouse. Too much time, not enough space!
Recently I started to dream of building a 1/2 scale dollhouse. I posted on the yahoo Group Canada Minis, asking if anyone knew if 1/2 scale kits are ever available at our show and sale in September. Carol, a wonderfully generous member of our mini group, showed up to give me a ride to an estate sale a couple of weeks ago, and she had a 1/2 scale dollhouse kit that she offered to give me! I was very astounded at her generosity and very pleased.
Carol didn't stop there. I bought mostly small items at the show and sale, lace trim, small grocery items.
Carol saw several cute 1/2 scale items and insisted on buying them for me :) I was like a kid at Christmas.
Here is a picture of the kit that Carol gave me:

I think this will be an ongoing project for me, since I don't have the time and the money to do it very quickly! I have about 3 shadow boxes for friends or family that I want to do, and keep working on my Etsy shop.
I have already started dreaming of how I will decorate the house. I really like the greenleaf 1/2 scale bathroom kit. Here is a picture of it:

This kit can be ordered locally through Hobby Wholesale

I like their bedroom kit too, but it's not available to order locally

I'm not planning on buying a lot at the show and sale. Maybe a couple of 1/2 scale items, if they have them :)

I've actually picked out the 1/12 scale dollhouse of my dreams as well, I'm not sure when I'll buy it, can I justify spending that much on a dollhouse? :P

The 1/12 house comes assembled, with furniture, accessories, and a doll family. Someday... We all have our dollhouse dreams, don't we?

Thursday, 20 June 2013


I have been designing miniature labels for toiletry items for what seems like forever :P (more like about two months).
Now I have all my templates and I've decided what I'm going to take to the show and sale.

I hope you enjoy my two latest creations:

The soaps are butterfly shaped :)

When I tell people I make miniatures they usually say "You must have so much patience!" or "I could never do that." They used to say pretty much the exact same thing when I worked with preschoolers!
I am a patient person, but that does not mean I don't have occasional hissy fits, this afternoon it was related to making miniature bows. But I'm getting better!

Hugs to all,

Tips to use social media to attract more customers to your business

I follow Eli Roses' blog, and it's full of savvy social media tips explaining how to make social media a powerful marketing tool. She also includes general blogging advice. Her most recent post is full of practical tips. You can read her blog post here.

I am thinking of starting a Facebook page for Miniature Maven Diaries. I often come across links that I would love to share, but lately I haven't  had much time for blogging.

The Edmonton Show and Sale is coming will be Sunday June 15. I think I will start my facebook page after the show and sale!

I have been working on a template for my card stock display boxes and I will write a post later in the day when they are ready to be listed on Etsy.

I'll be back soon!



Monday, 3 June 2013

I've got such a generous Dad!

I was delighted to see the shadowboxes that my Dad brought me from Calgary. There's only one in the picture since I was in a hurry and I shot the other picture at an angle :P

My Dad apologized for the state of the frame, saying I'd want to repaint it. I said I wouldn't repaint it, it's already shabby chic!

I've decided that I will do four shadow box scenes (this is in addition to the pioneer kitchen scene, and the small white shadowbox which will be a book nook) for the September Show and Sale.

I plan on doing a Wedding Scene, Beach Scene, Nursery Scene and Christmas Scene. I plan to sell customized shadowboxes to celebrate special times, such as a wedding, new baby or graduation. I will  print out business cards and give them out at the Show and Sale in September, and also sell them on Etsy.

I was thrilled when my Dad told me that he enjoys making shadowboxes and room boxes, and that he would like to make many more, but he doesn't plan to sell them himself. He'll give them to me to sell at a fair price, he only wants to recoup the cost of his building supplies!

I was stunned and touched by such a generous gesture, although it's not unlike my Dad. He has always been generous with his wife, three kids, and others.

I'm also very excited about this as a potential way to earn more money in miniature related stuff. I think I'll be able to sell most of them locally! Although I will have them in my Etsy Shop.

I'd like to extend a warm welcome to Conny, my newest follower.

Must run!


The new issue of AIM magazine is here!

I've been waiting for ages for this issue :) Can't wait to read it, how about you? It's free to download, print or read online.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Updated Etsy Shop Settings

After some thought and looking at other Canadian Etsy shops that ship internationally, I changed my settings to indicate that I will sell and ship the smaller items internationally.

I have too many worries about shipping the items with a glass mirror. Any small business owner can get a special card from Canada post that will give you a discount at the post office, which means you will pay regular parcel and get expadited parcel, which includes insurance and a tracking number.

However, other Canadian Etsy shop owners have told me that Canada Post will not pay insurance on an item that has glass in it. How stinky of them :P

My Parents are coming to visit today and my Dad has made two shadow boxes for me, so I am very excited to see them.

Take Care Everyone,


Saturday, 1 June 2013

New Item in my Etsy shop

I've made this small soap with a silver soap dish and added it to my Etsy shop. Unfortunately I am now only shipping within Canada and the United States, due to the increase in postage.

I have been working away at my Pioneer Kitchen Scene but it is proving difficult to paint! I sanded it down, then ended up spraying it with a sealer in order to get the white paint to adhere. It should be ready for me to work on again soon.

Have a great day everyone!


Monday, 27 May 2013

My review of a Scrapbooking video on which includes a giveaway for my followers!

Several weeks ago I was contacted by a very nice man called Eric, who explained that he works for He offered me a free online Scrap booking class with the condition that I write a review on my blog. I was very excited when he said the daily craft website would include a giveaway prize to my followers. I have wanted to have a giveaway on my blog for quite some time, it has just not been possible up to now.

I chose the video Design ideas for Scrap booking and Papercraft . The video is made up of 9 Chapters, with tutorials from 6 different ladies. The video is about an hour in length. Once you purchase a video is stays in your account, it will never expire. You can go back and refer to it as needed! The directions are easy to understand. I think many of my blog followers, especially those who enjoy paper craft, would enjoy the Design Ideas for Scrap booking and Paper Craft video.

One technique from the video I watched explained how to use embossing powder and a matte spray to achieve the look of glass on the picture of a clock! This has many uses for us miniaturists. You could use it to mimic a window, miniature clock, or whatever else you dream up.

The videos that you can purchase on the daily craft website are available internationally. Go to  the daily craft website to view all the videos available. They have videos on quilting, sewing, crochet, knitting, scrap booking and paper craft. If you win, you can choose the video of your choice.

Ok, let's get to the rules that will qualify you to be entered in this giveaway!

  1. Be a follower of this blog, via google friend connect, email, RRS feed or Networked Blogs.
  2. Leave a comment on this post explaining why you would like to be entered in the giveaway

Optional but very much appreciated: if you have a blog, mention my giveaway on your blog or even better, include a picture of the giveaway on the sidebar of your blog. My lovely friend Jazzi of Jazzi's Minis has written an excellent tutorial on how to put a picture of the giveaway on your blog sidebar.
Read her tutorial here.

I will use the tool to choose a winner. I will be choosing a winner on June 27, one month from now. Good luck everyone!

Hugs and Kisses to all my lovely followers,


Sunday, 19 May 2013

Shelves stained, wallpaper trim added

Hello my friends!

Yesterday I went over to a friend's house and we both worked on two separate miniature projects. She made an adorable mini trunk with matt board, and I worked on my kitchen shadow box.

I contemplated painting the sink and the other shelf that were part of the original scene white, but then I realized that pieces of furniture in a kitchen roombox at the beginning of the 20th century would likely be unpainted wood.

So I decided to stain the shelves and add some wallpaper trim to the shelves for aesthetic appeal.

Here is the picture showing the updates to my project.

The shelf with the dishes on it will be mounted on the wall. The butter churn will be painted white or stained. I'm still planning to add scenic water and an old wash rag to go into the white pail. I'm going to take everything out of the box, scrub off any accumulated dirt, and remove the existing wallpaper.

Then I will paint the whole shadowbox white, and probably add the some of the blue wallpaper I have used to line the shelves as a border along the back wall.

There are a couple other things I am considering adding to the scene. Jars of Jam, vintage groceries, an old calendar and clock glued to the wall.

I'm having lots of fun with this one!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Follow my blog with Networked Blogs

Since Google Reader is being deleted as of July 1rst, 2013, I decided to register my blog with Networked Blogs so that my followers will have another way of following me.

Why am I doing this? Blogger only allows you to follow 300 blogs via Google Friend Connect. I know some of my followers are currently following more than 300 blogs. If you are following more than 300 blogs with Google Friend Connect, you can choose to follow your favorite blogs through Networked Blogs, Bloglovin', by email, or a reader other than Goolge. (For example, I follow some blogs using Yahoo reader.)

To learn more about following blogs via Networked Blogs, go here to learn more.

Any questions? Feel free to comment on this post or email me by clicking on the mail icon at the top of my blog and I will be happy to help you out.

Talk to you soon!


Thursday, 9 May 2013

The Progression of My Early 20th Century Kitchen Shadowbox

I first introduced you to this shadowbox in this post about kit bashing. The items I ordered from ebay have arrived so it's time to get to work!

This is what the shadowbox looks like now:

Click on the picture to enlarge it!

I did some research about what farm kitchens looked like around the 1900s, and decided to "upgrade" the kitchen so that I can sell it at the miniature show and sale in September.

I already had some blue spatter pots, so I ordered a blue spatter Jug, plates, and cups to match. I also ordered the adorable sacs of flour, sugar, salt and potatoes. I took the white pail out of the kitchen sink. It might go back in again, but I want to put something in the pail. I'm thinking perhaps a wash rag in water. The "shelf" that is positioned in front of the shadowbox will be mounted on the wall eventually, as will the towel rack.

The original kitchen items are old dollar store pieces, and will need to be sanded before I paint them, since they are shellacked with quite a heavy varnish. I love the process of putting together these small scenes.

I would like to extend a warm welcome to all my new followers. I am delighted to have you "along for the ride" as I chronicle my miniature adventures!

Hugs and Kisses to all my lovely followers,


Monday, 6 May 2013

The Mini Wiki Treasures Annual Awards

When I first became interested in miniatures last February, I started looking around on the internet for miniature resources and  the Mini Wiki Treasures Page was one of the first things I found. I spent hours combing through all the pages, which are organized by topic. I still always go back to the pages when I'm planning a new mini project. People from all over the world post pictures of their projects, and I've found it is such an excellent resource.

Last May the Mini Wiki Treasures Annual Awards were announced. You win an award if you are one of the top blogs that has contributed to the site. Last May I said to myself, "I want to be on that list next year".

And I am! You can read about the awards here.

I became involved in editing the pages, have joined their flickr group, and was supposed to be involved in their Advent Calendar but had to withdraw for personal reasons. I received the award partly because of my involvement in editing the site but mostly because I donated a prize to celebrate Mini Wiki Treasures fourth birthday.

I just mailed it off this morning, to a woman in Finland.

This is Saara from Finland's prize:

I have been designing my own labels and soap boxes in gimp, which is a free program similar to photoshop. What I didn't take into account was that my previous display box design wouldn't show the entire soap box! I played around with the arrangement a bit, reminded myself to stop being a perfectionist, and am pleased with the result. Every time I make something new, I learn something new.
That's what I love about miniatures.

Hugs to all,


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Kit Bash!

Technically I am bashing some small shadow boxes which my lovely sister found at Goodwill and bought for me.

After examining the larger of the two boxes, and consulting with my friend Pat, who is very ingenious, we decided that the pink shadow box just needed some sprucing up.

Here is the picture my sister sent me right after she bought the boxes:

Now that my family knows I am always looking for miniatures, they keep finding some and giving them to me! I am very grateful for their generosity.

In this next photo I will show you some of my plans for the kitchen shadowbox.
We rearranged some of the minis and added the small bench, which is the bottom of a Michaels  Hutch.

Luckily I already had these cute pots, which I think are more in line with an early 1900s Kitchen Scene
The Michael's hutch can be used again, I will saw off the top, mount it on the wall, and display dishes there.
I also ordered a blue spatter Jug from Ebay and plan to add sacks of flour, sugar and potatoes!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Forgotten Memories from my Childhood

Last night my sister sent me this darling link, it is a child's project about making faery gardens. She reminded me that the two of us used to build faery gardens in the back yard as children. I had actually forgotten, but am not at all surprised.

Making a faery house is on my to do list of projects to create. Next year I am looking forward to creating some scenes that I will actually KEEP, instead of just creating miniatures and scenes to sell.

I do remember that as children my sister and I spent hours outside in the background. We created "soup", which was a mix of mud, twigs, rocks, and anything else we thought was worth adding. We played in the treehouse my Dad built for us. We climbed trees in the frontyard. We also rode bikes around the neighbourhood.

One of the reasons I am drawn to miniatures is that it gives me an opportunity to play as an adult. When we are playing we are wholly absorbed in what we are doing, it is time out of time. The ordinary stresses of life fall away.

Lately I have been reading books and articles about how adults in the western world need to play more!  According to research that is now being done, play enhances creativity and improves work performance. Why does it always come back to work performance? I think we are too obsessed with working in North America.

There is another trend in North America I find even more disturbing. Many children today are not being given time to play. Their parents fill their schedules with activities like music lessons, sports, ect, to the extent that they don't have time to play! I think this is a grave mistake. I recently read an article in a parenting magazine on the subject. I couldn't find the article online, but I did find a similar one. I apologize to my international readers if they are unable to read it! I find that if I use Chrome Browser, most international websites translate to English.

Before I sign off, I think I need to promote my Etsy shop a little more on my blog. The last item I listed is getting a lot more attention than usual! It has been listed in two treasury lists, which makes me very happy.

I am also excited that I learned a new skill this week. Jane from MiniFanaticus Blog kindly taught me how to make printie cookbooks.

That's all folks.

Enjoy your weekend!


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

I think I will actually start responding to comments on my blog!

Up until now I have always responded to comments by emailing my blogging friends directly in response to the lovely comments I receive. I have liked doing it this way because often times these exchanges become a bit more personal and have led to some great friendships. But I do see the benefits of responding on my blog. Then everyone can read the comments! So from now on when you leave a comment, make sure to click on the link that says subscribe to comments by email, or check back for my reply.
And if I have a more personal reply for you, I'll still be sending you a personal email!

Hugs to all my blogging friends!


Monday, 8 April 2013

This made helped make me into who I am today

I have written very openly on my blog about my Grandpa, who passed away in December at the age of 97. We were very close. For the last ten years, I have known that he could die at any time. Nevertheless, his death hit me very hard.

My first miniature project was a gift for his 97th birthday. He loved it, and I was so pleased that I was able to give him a gift that brought him pleasure in his last months of life. Several of my blog followers have commented that I write well. I come by that gift honestly. My Grandpa was an Irishman. A wonderful story teller and writer. My father inherited this gift. Tonight my Dad forwarded me the obituary he wrote for my Grandpa. It's well written. I am glad that my Dad emphasized the lovely qualities of my Grandpa.

What I remember most is how much he loved his family and that he wasn't afraid to show it. He was also very generous with us. He took pride in his work, and was a skilled carpenter. Surely this are good genes to inherit for a future miniturist.

I would like to share the obituary with my blogging friends. I know that some of you have recently lost loved ones or are experiencing different sorts of griefs in your own lives. It gets easier. We don't want to forget the ones we lose, but peace comes with the passing of time. I don't think that death has the power to ultimately separate us from those with whom we are tied to with strong bonds of love and memory. I'm going to insert the newspaper article as a picture, I think that will work just fine.

Left click on the article and select open link in a new window, then click on the zoom icon to read

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