Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Money, money, come to me, financial bondage, set me free

OK, as you can see from my title, I'm being a bit melodramatic today.
I have good reason.
My finances are in the toilet.  Flush. Gone.
I'm not alone; I'm in good company, it seems.
So, rather than dwell on the negatives (and create weird rhymes), I decided to look for ways to make money.
I'm a writer. I should be able to make money writing.  I used to make money writing, before i took time off for my fiction.
So, off to google.  If you google freelance writing online, about.com, hubpages, elance, and odesk will come up.  Other sites will come up too, but I'm interested in these ones.

Of these, I found hubpages and elance to be the most promising.  I signed up for hubpages yesterday and started hubbing (hubba hubba, toil and trubba) (oh no, there goes the weird rhyming thing again!).

My hub pages

I wrote a hub yesterday, and a hub today, and if I write a hub every day for a year, I should start making money on it.  Some people make thousands a month.  I'd like to be one of those people.

And then there's elance.

I joined elance before, then forgot all about it.  I edited my profile today, scanned through all of the job ads, and save several interesting jobs to "my favorites".  Now I just have to make my profile more appealing by adding a photo, and getting verified.  Then I can apply for some of those cool jobs.

In the meantime, I went to look at a trailer today.  I really liked it.  My Dad showed up just as I was leaving.  I'd called earlier to ask him to come with me but his line was busy for two hours.  When I finally got through, my Mom said it was too late for my Dad to come, since he wasn't dressed or shaved yet.  So I went alone, and just as I was leaving, he pulled up.  I had no idea how he found me.  When I asked, he said he'd tell me later.

So, we went through the place again, and my Dad asked all of the same question that I asked, and he pointed out the same flaws that I pointed out, lol.  He wasn't as impressed with the place.  In fact, when he left, shaking his head, he must have driven straight home to complain to my Mom, because she called and offered to pay my mortgage for a year while I wait for a spot on the geared to income housing to open up.  I told her thank you but no thanks. I'm NOT taking money from my retired parents.  No way. 

I asked Mom how Dad had found me, since I hadn't mentioned an address, and she said she called the cab company and asked to speak to a driver.  She knew the trailer park was within the city limits because I told her it was on the bus route.  So she asked the driver which trailer park was in the city, he told her, and gave directions.  I swear, my Mom could be a private investigator, lol.

It was so nice of my Dad to show up.  He thought the trailer (a 3 bedroom) was cute enough, but he's worried about insulation.  I am too.  He also was worried that the realor wouldn't tell us how much the previous owner paid for heat bills per month.  He just told us that the owner used the wood stove for most of his heating needs.  My Dad said the woodstove would only heat up the main part of the house, and not the bedrooms.  It's not a big house though, so I think the woodstove would do a good job.  What do I know, though.

My Dad and I were both wondering if the pipes would freeze.  I guess I'll need to get the place inspected.

Either that or move to Ecuador or Panama or Costa Rica or the Phillipines; maybe Thailand.  Those are all places where people can and do retire on their social security checks.  Ecuador's mountain areas are supposed to have spring like temperatures year round.  I'd love that.  I just don't know how safe it would be, or how my asthma would fair in mountain air.  Or how the Ecuadorians would treat my dogs.  I need a dog friendly country.  Maybe Prague.

OK, so I'm babbling.  Anxiety does that to me.  Something will work out. 
Maybe I can shrink myself down and live in one of my dollouses.  Now that would be cool.

On the bright side, to change the subject, today marks 6 weeks of crate rest for Mac.  He only needs two more; woohoo.  He's been so good about staying in his crate.  I love that dog so much.  Ben too, of course.

OK, I'll stop talking now.
Have a nice day!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Something blue...a mini house?

My kitchen cupboards
I love the color of my kitchen cupboards.  They're such a pretty blue, and one of the reasons I bought my house.

I have ot sell my house soon, so I'm painting my little dollhouse to match my cupboards.
First coat of paint, Primrose cottage dollhouse.

Painting the Primrose dollhouse.

Mac on his 5the week of crate rest, post surgery; enjoying the deck.
Mac is supervising from his spot on the corner of the deck, under the tree.   He's starting his 6th week of crate rest...Friday will be 6 weeks.   He really enjoys this pop-up crate as a break from his regular crate in the house.

I've had some really bad financial news and will have to sell the house soon, so we're enjoying the deck and yard as much as possible.

I'm not sure what we're going to do next, but something will come up.  I'm hoping I'll have enough money left over after selling the house to pay off my bills and buy a trailer in a trailer park, so we'll still have a yard.  I need a yard, with the dogs, and the apartment rentals in town are outrageous; they all want to charge a ton of money (for the area), and discrimante against smokers and pet owners.  I'm not a smoker, but I have dogs and birds and fish, so I'm thinking a trailer may be our best bet for affordable pet friendly housing.  I'm just not sure how much it will cost to heat a trailer in Northern Ontario.  Lots of people live in trailers, so it must be possible.  The one I want to see has a wood stove, so there'd still be heat in case of electricity failure.  I've heard that trailers burn quickly though, so that's kind of scary.

I wish I was healthy enough to return to teaching.  I saw my doctor last week, and he said it's not possible; he told me "don't even think about it".  I'd end up in the hospital again, he said.

If I relocate to someplace like Ecuador or Panama or the Phillipines, I can live off $800.00 per month, or so people online who are doing it say, but then what about health insurance and health coverage?
What about my pets?  I've looked into ther countries, and some are OK but others are not.  Mac needs a good vet.  I need a good doctor.

I wish my book would have sold better.  I have others I can send out, to see if I can find a publisher or agent, but that's beginning to look as likely as winning the lottery.

Lots of people are in the same boat, with this terrible economy, so i'm not alone.

Something will work out; it has to.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Primrose dollhouse construction Part B floors

Staining the floor of the Primrose dollhouse
I am new to the world of dollhouse miniatures...wooden dollhouses, that is.  I've made a few cute plastic canvas dollhouses, which I love, but this is my first wooden dollhouse kit.

I've been reading a lot, so much that I'm almost crippled by the loads of info out there.  I can't seem to make a move without googling everything extensively, lol.

Anyway, my point is, I read on several blogs and forums that the dollhouse kit will "talk to me".  I didn't believe it, until i stained these floors.  My dollhouse told me it wanted a lighter color for the floors; a nice honey blonde.

Unfortunately, I was unable to hear the kit's pleas until AFTER I stained the floors this red...it's not cherry red, but the name is a type of wine, I think.  I can't remember...the fumes are getting to me, lol.

Primrose dollhouse kit :  floor staining
I like the color; I wouldn't have purchased it otherwise.  Well, maybe, as the 2 dollar sale price was awfully tempting.  But I do like the color.  The problem is, this one floor piece came out nice, but the other didn't.  It's because no two pieces of wood in this kit are equal.  Some are lighter, some are darker, some are dry as desert sand while others seem brand new.  It's a big pain, and a drawback to tab and slot kits, in my opinion.

It's not a problem, as I'm probably going to make a nice plastic canvas rug for the upstairs of this little house. 

I like the woodgrain showing through on this piece, though.  It reminds me of our neighbour's cottage...it was all done up in a similar color, in an Austrian chalet style. 

I wanted to do the walls up in a blue flowered pattern; I already have the paper.  But the blue flowered pattern is delicate, and won't go with this floor...I don't think.  I guess I'll save that paper for another room in the bigger house, the Laurel. 

I suppose I could stain some coffee stir sticks in this color and use them as beams; make this a sort of cottagy addition.  It's so hard to know what to do.  I keep changing my mind, lol.

One thing, I do need to make this floor shiny.  I'm not sure if I should apply a gloss, or modge podge, or what.  So, it's back to google for me.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Dollhouse construction Part B

I am officially on Part B of my dollhouse instructions, lol.  Part A had 3 steps; I had to sand and paint the window frames and door frames, shutters, and flower boxes.  Then I had to put them together.  I got bored waiting for the paint to dry so also tried a dollar store cradle, lol.
This is my work area, outside on the deck.

Dollhouse miniature  flower box and cradle

Here's the other flower box.  This is the end of step three of part A of the instructions; yay, lol.
I wasn't sure whether to use carpenter's glue or the fast grab tacky glue.  I tried both and like the fast grab better.  It seems to hold well.  I'll do the main parts of the house with carpenter's glue, just in case.

The cradle was part of a set that I bought at the dollar store.  It had weird tab and slots; the tabs were huge, with hooks on the edge.  I cut them off.  I was going to put bows on the cut out parts, so it looks like I've tied a mattress cover set there, but now I'm wondering if I should just fill the cut out parts  in with wood filler or plaster and paint over them.

The wood was very thirsty; it took over 5 layers of paint to do these little items.

Smokey the bird, and Noel the bird.

Smokey the bird with her foraging toy.
Smokey is such a smart bird.  Last month, the vet suggested I buy her a foraging toy to keep her occupied and help her stop egg laying.  I told him she already had loads of toys, but he said a foraging toy will take her a long time to figure out, and will keep her from being bored.  I bought one, and Smokey immediately figured it out, lol.  In fact, she can get the treats out faster than I can put them in.
Each pie shaped compartment has one opening, and they all have to be lined up in order to get treats in, or out.   After the food is dropped into the top pie, all of the pies are twisted and turned so the holes no longer line up.  In theory, it should take Smokey quite awhile to turn them again so the holes line up, allowing the food to drop from the top compartment to the bottom.  Yah right, lol.  She twists them and is eating before I can close the cage door, lol.  Here she is, looking very proud of herself.

Smokey the bird.
Here's Noel, the bird, Smokey's friend, watching Smokey play with her new toy.

Noel has new toys too, but he'd rather watch Smokey play with hers, lol.  Smokey taught Noel to talk, and this is what I hear very day:  "Are you a bird?"  "No, you're the bird!"  "You're the bird!"  "I'm Smokey the bird!  Noel, are you a bird?"...and on and on, lol.
Then Smokey will yell, "Kathy, Kathy!  Are you a bird!"  After all of these years, she knows what I'll say.  "I'm a human being. You're the bird."  Smokey says, "Are you a dog?"  I tell her no.  She cracks up laughing, then asks, "ARe you a pretty, pretty girl?"  I tell her thank you, and reassure her that she's the pretty girl, lol.  Sometimes she barks, and I tell her she's not a dog, she's a bird.  Then she quacks, meows, etc.  She's a cool bird. 
Noel's vocab isn't as big as Smokey's, but he can say "Hi, hello, thank you, are you a bird, you're the bird".
Smokey's vocab is about the same as a 4 or 5 year old child's.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker?...

...no, not quite, but I did feel like a jill of all trades today...or at least a painter, carpenter, and furniture maker.  I know there's a name for furniture makers...makers of furniture...why can't I think of it, lol?

I painted a window box for my dollhouse, and a mini cradle.  Next I have to glue them.  I would have done the other window box too, but my dog, Mac, wanted to go inside.  It was too hot on the deck, and he apparently has more sense than I do because I didn't even notice that I was getting burned.  He was in the only shady spot, so he was OK, but I am lobster red.  Are lobsters red?  More of a pink, I think.

I only had 3 hours of sleep last night because the light outside my window was too bright.  I'm probably not making much sense, and I'm beginning to sound like Dr. Seuss, so I'd best call it a night.

Emma is listed on Ebay

I stayed up until 3:30 AM to finish this auction template.  I sure hope Emma will find a new Mommy so I can make payments on my credit card.  I have to pay down Mac's $6000.00 vet bill.
Oh, here's the link to the auction:  Reborn Emma on Ebay
I'm so sleepy I almost forgot, lol.
Well, cross your fingers that she'll sell.

I love crocheting!

Like my title says, I love crocheting, but I never thought I'd be crocheting...a tree!
Crocheted tree, home for needle felted bunny.

I found the pattern for this tree online.  It's called Fairy Hideaway, and it's by Karen Fitch.  Her pattern is easy to follow, with lots of photos.  If I make this again, I'm going to be sure to use a smaller hook and tight stitches, so the tree isn't so wobbly.  I think I'd put pipe cleaners in the tree branches too, because once I sewed the green pieces on, the branches sagged.  I had to run some thread through the branches and anchor them onto the tree.
If I do make it again, I also want to try making it bigger, so it will fit my bears.  It would be a perfect home for the bears.  I would also divide the floors so someone can live "upstairs", lol.
Crocheted hollow tree for needle felted bunny.
Crocheted tree, needle felted rabbit.