Sunday, May 31, 2009
Sales of antique furniture have been smokin' hot this month and in the last week I've been to two auctions trying to rebuild stock. Apparently Yuppies are starting to stalk out auctions as well. Because they buy for themselves, they always bid way past what's profitable for a dealer....so while I got some good deals on bone handled & french ivory handled silverware, I came up empty furniture handed.
Friday evening's auction had so many items listed that there were 2 auctioneers working. Unfortunately I wanted to bid on items in both auction rings. The sale itself was held at a curling club arena & every foot of floor space was used. Viewing started at 4pm & I didn't leave until way after 11:30. It was a looong day!
I'm only a small player in the antiques game so I'm not always able to bid on big ticket items. I stayed with the 'as found' items but stood on a very nice pressback chair....that I later bought!....to enable me to see what was on offer in the 'fine furniture, china & glassware' ring.
If you've ever been to an auction you know how much noise there is. Now imagine that noise doubled....and try hearing where the bidding stands...and try seeing what's on offer at the far side of an arena. Not easy! At one point, my daughter-in-law & I were bidding against one another. Luckily the auctioneer knows me and so informed my daughter-in-law sitting in front of him, who the other bidder was. I was the winner of the Royal Albert jardiniere but it cost me extra because of it.
My son & his wife got some lovely things. It was their first auction & they were having trouble making out where the biddings stood. It's takes a couple of auctions to make out what an auctioneer says. Each one speaks differently and each one strings his words together until it's one long unending sound. Ken stayed with them to offer his help.
First let me say that Friday evening I was very happy with the auction outcome. I got but overpaid for a Queen Victoria commemorative pitcher & jardiniere, the above mentioned Royal Albert one; in total 7 pressback chairs & one pressback rocker; a number of bevelled glass mirrors and a beautiful old brass hanging lamp. But then...
...now remember I'd spent an hour previewing everything. At one part of the evening, I was actually bidding on items in both rings at the same time. I was sure that the table I was bidding on at the far ring was a lovely console table that needed very little work to the finish in order to get it into the store & make a quick sale. What I ended up getting was a hall table, that was not worth the price that I paid and to which I will have a lot more restoring to do. I was not to discover that until I arrived back the next morning to pick up my big furniture.
The reason for my staying so late was a gorgeous walnut Deco secretary/bookcase with leaded glass doors. It needed some minor refinishing and 3 hinges to reattach the front drawer. But I could have it out for sale within a week. In good shape worth $2-3000CAD easily!
It's the end of a long auction; we're all tired. The auctioneer is cranky; he's no longer getting the bids that he wants. My item is up...no one bids on it. I offer $100. The auctioneer is insulted & moves to the next item and so on until again my item is the only one left. He asks for a bid of $200; I raise my hand. No one else bids. After numerous times asking for another bid, he looks at me & says "I guess you have it" and in that same moment, someone else raises a hand. He opened the bidding up again until I finally got it for $400. It wasn't right but I'm still happy.
I came back the next day to pick up my big secretary. The guys placed the bookcase top next to the secretary bottom in the pickup truck. That's when I noticed that the top seemed loose. Didn't think to tie it down!! Because the front was off, I took out the 4 little drawers & set them under the bottom piece so they wouldn't fall out in transport.
I also picked up some old LPs and an empty mantle clock housing that I can use as a roombox.
It was a windy day and I had quite a distance to travel. Can you guess the rest? My four little drawers disappeared somewhere along the way. When I looked at home, half my LPs were only empty sleeves....I'm assuming they'd become frisbees somewhere as well. But I knew none of this until I heard a loud noise, stopped the truck and looked at my load. You can't imagine how I felt when I realized my secretary top had blown off & smashed on the highway 500 yds back. Luckily the road wasn't busy so at least I was able to go back & pick up the pieces. Luckily it didn't smash into another car!
Then a police car stopped as well. The nice policeman was the one who told me about my smashed drawers. He must have seen all too well how I felt because he could've given me an unsafe load citation...max fine $4000. I think he was afraid I'd burst into tears if he did...and I would have! He stayed with me until I had retied my load and as I drove off, I saw that he'd stopped someone else. As Ken says I was lucky with my bad luck. But still and all, I should've stayed in bed Friday and gone nowhere! It'll take me quite some time to hunt up a large piece of walnut planking and more money to have it reshaped into my damaged top. At least what wood I did salvage off the road, is solid enough to make 4 drawer fronts. But don't talk to me about profit....there won't be much.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
a 1:144 carved Noah's Ark. Do you like the giraffe (with spaces between the legs) at this size? She's created an even smaller giraffe with spaces between the legs, a tail and those bumps on his head on a matchstick.
All I can say is WOW!!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
So I thought I'd show you the promised oriole photos:
That little chap at the far left is a Grosbeak.
They're already on their second nectar bottle fill up and seem to have lost some of their initial shyness.
I've tried several types of liquid feeders in the past and most of them tend to drip the nectar away on their own. Even this glass ball feeder tends to drip an extra few drops after one of the birds has finished drinking but nowhere as badly as the others. Since the glass is so brightly orange, I don't have to add food coloring to my mixture which is the other reason that I like it. I figure if the food coloring isn't good for us, why would I give it to the birds.
I make my own nectar using 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of boiling water.
If you've ever tried a nectar feeder you'll know all about ants taking over the feeder. Last year I happened to be at Lee Valley and found this handy contraption ...fill it full of water and hang it above the feeder. Supposed to keep ants away. Since I've never tried it, I can't guarantee the results. I also bought an image of a spiders web that's attached to the window & is supposed to keep birds from flying into the glass. I wanted something that was unobtrusive enough for us inside, unfortunately it's as invisible to the birds outside. Because the feeders are so close to the windows, we get a lot of birds bumping into the glass but so far never hard enough to do any damage.
Last but not least, here's Kitty (short for KitKat) at her only indoor recreation besides sleeping. Bird watching!
We got Kitty as a 1 to 2 yr old, after our beautiful Maine Coon, died of a congenital heart condition that many of this breed are susceptible to & Ken, bless his soft heart, didn't want to repeat this heartache. So for the first time in my life, we bought an adult cat.... from a rescue shelter that does not euthanize. Kitty seemed very docile & loving and had the most incredible green eyes. It wasn't until several months after we got him home that we realized that he must have been abused in his short life.
I surmise that at the first house he lived at, the children must have been quite vigorous in pulling his tail and teasing him. He probably scratched and so instead of disciplining the kids, Kitty was de-clawed. Then when his punishment continued, he started biting and that was probably the reason for him being put out for adoption. He is very adamant in his hatred of children and strangers but luckily here, he doesn't go beyond hissing. However if you pet him too close to his tail, he will give a warning nip. Not like when we first got him and he tore Ken's hand up with his teeth. We were close to giving him back but what kind of life would he have had. He would have been unadoptable...besides you can't give your children back either when they don't turn out the way you want them to.
In the 2 yrs that we've had him, he's really mellowed and even without his claws he, unfortunately, is the most incredible hunter!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
add one Michaels hutch that you turn into a hanging shelf & a change table:
...the ledge along the tabletop is made of craft sticks.
Of course, you know the story about the baby products that I needed for this:
....and the end result, is this:
On the hanging shelf, the A, B, C were buttons with the backs shaved off (colored with nail polish); the car came off a pencil top, Pooh was on a hanger, the gardening bunny once hung from an Easter tree and the baby's book came from my initial job lot of dollshouse furniture:
on top of the change table, from left to right:
a blanket with a rattle (a button) on top, a romper, my finally finished! basket containing a towel (same fabric as the romper), 2 diaper pins, 2 baby bottles (all 4 are party favors) and a ducky (another button)
last but not least, the most important item: the diaper bag, with yet another bottle. I made the bag in pink and blue as I don't know the baby's gender.
Now on to the next, a birthday party vignette. But first I have to empty 1 yard of mulch from our truck box before Friday when I'll need it for an auction.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
I was having problems getting non-fuzzy printies.... Tarapiglet of Poohs' Dollhouse fame sent me a forum thread in which she gives some great advice on resizing images. She's also the lady from whom I received the most magnificent! tiny suitcase labels.....sent all the way from Hawaii. Took an eternity to arrive and for the last while, I've worried that my labels might have gotten lost in the mail. I won't show them just yet. I want you to have the full effect when you see them on a suitcase.
Tara, I have a poohbear site for you to visit. Make sure you've got a google or babelfish translator as this one's in Dutch.
....as for the rest of you, take a look at Taras' site. She's making Pooh Bear his own house, very professionally, I might add. And if you're interested in learning how to make printies, read up on her great advice!
Every evening and every morning, when I look out our living room windows, the lake has reinvented itself, showing a different panorama from the time before. After 2 years, I'm still oohing and aahing!
Friday, May 22, 2009
I kept using:
12 people inches = 1 mini inch
9 " " = 3/4 " "
6 " " = 1/2 " "
3 " " = 1/4 " " and then I came up with:
1 " " = 3/8 " "
DUH!! OK so now I know to divide by .083 not .375! Don't ask me how I came up with 3/8. Must have been one of those brain dead moments.
Anyway, all fixed. Print quality is 4800dpi (dots per inch). I used glossy photo paper.....not matte paper as someone once suggested. I am really pleased!
Do any of you need grocery store items or nursery room products? I'd be happy to trade as many as you need & in the variety you want for a clear pitcher (suitable for lemonade), 2 clear tall glasses (suitable for lemonade), baking utensils such as muffin pans, loaf pans, wooden spoons, jars suitable for jam (either labelled or empty), bread cutting board, or any type of garden tool. Basically, I'm looking for anything that I can use at a lemonade stand, garden shed, or kitchen prep vignette. You'd be getting the images not yet folded but already printed on photo paper.
Now on to bib & romper making......I flunked Home Ec in grade school....maybe I've improved since then.
Oh and P.S.: I half finished my basket....keep getting sidetracked.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I'm in the process of making a birthday "roombox", and if you have a table, where you can show the cake, plates, forks, napkins, etc, then you also need somewhere (besides the floor) where you can unload all the presents, right?
One of the tutorials at the CDHM forum was for making a country ladder back chair. The teacher was Barbara Vajnar. The same lady who was featured in American Miniaturist - April 2009 magazine. You'll find the article on pages 34-6, "Primitive and Pretty Country Furniture".
If you haven't joined CDHM, I urge you to do so. They are a fantastically friendly & helpful bunch of people, ranging from beginners to artisans. While there are a few "free" tutorials, you'll be able to access so many more as a member and if, unlike me, you're at a loss of what to do on a Saturday, there's a new, live online tutorial every week.....or you can do like me: stay after class & take it by yourself.
So right, you're asking: "let's get back to that teeny tiny chair, you showed us!"
This is what happens when you've skipped class and have to stay late to do the lesson by yourself: On the left are the rejects! All three of them!!
Upright, at the right, are the 2 keepers. One is completely finished; the other, like it's human sized prototype, still needs to be "rush"ed.
Originally seating material came from dried rushes as opposed to using willow cane. You can be more creative with cane but basically both when interwoven create surprisingly solid & durable seating.
Barbara's chairs are made entirely of 1/8" dowelling, craft sticks and toothpicks with #10 crochet thread used in place of rush. The only tools required are a dremel or drill with a fine bit and some sandpaper. Only don't get too creative with your dremel....hence the rejects! My idea about using it to sand with instead of using sandpaper wasn't very good....
Other than that, my only advise is to remember when weaving your chair seat, that altho the thread needs to be held tight, the chair is also fragile....especially when made by an amateur......hence another reject!
So stay tuned.....today was meant to be a basketweaving day for the babys roombox....if I can tear myself away from surfing for decent printies. The chairs are for the 2 birthday roomboxes and then....in my other spare time, I still have to finish the "travel" roombox....as well as watch for orioles.
So many ideas...so little time. No rest! I must be very wicked indeed LOL
If anyone out there knows of decent printie sites, for any type of printie, let me know & I'll start a new link section. There's only one stipulation: you must have used the printie & know for sure that the print quality is sharp. Places like Miniboop & Jim Collins may have lots of printies on their sites but most of it is 72dpi which makes the printed item look fuzzy.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
But when I looked out this morning, there were 14 Blue Jays cleaning up the ground beneath my feeders. With the feeders less than 10ft from our living room window, it's sometimes hard to approach & not scare some of them away. So here I sit, on a hassock in front of the window, my laptop on my knees, my camera & a coffee next to me, waiting for the Baltimore Oriole to come by. They're new to my feeding community and in all my years of feeding birds, I don't believe I have ever had this bird come by before.
Here we have 3 types of woodpeckers, blue jays, the odd cardinal, grosbeaks, a number of finches as well as grackles, the scourge of every feeder as they scatter more seed than they eat. We've even had a occasional hummingbird hover by to see what the commotion is about.
Yesterday I added a fourth bracket to the pole so I can now give everyone their choice of seed. There's thistle seed for the gold finches. At times I've seen at least 6 or 7 finches trying to eat while at the same time battling each other for superiority. I have a double feeder with sunflowers at the top and canary seed on the bottom. There's not as much demand for the sunflowers now as there was over the winter but the canary seed is still going down a treat as the grosbeaks, blue jays & of course the grackles go for them. I have a third feeder made of mesh containing peanuts for the woodpeckers. It's amazing that the strength of woodpecker beaks means this type of feeder needs to be replaced at least once a year. Last but not least I've added a glass nectar feeder...just for the orioles!
Do any of you feed birds? Do you ever get the chance to watch their antics? This morning I watched a blue jay waiting his turn for the canary seed while belligerently pretending to attack the finch who had gotten there first. Each time the finch would duck down but never yielded.
In the city, where the squirrels grow as big as small cats, I used to grease my feeding poles. I don't mind the squirrels coming round as long as they know their place....cleaning up the ground around the pole. There would always be at least one, cheeky enough to climb the pole & empty a feeder in one gulp. (It's extremely amusing to see them jump onto the greased pole & then slide right down again.)
At the moment I have 4 feeders in use.
Oops, my camera seems to need recharging. I'll try again tomorrow. That'll give the Oriole some time to become less shy.
Monday, May 18, 2009
If that's ever happened to you, would you email & tell me how to get things back. Maybe it's going to be a full moon tonite, and the gremlins are out early.
check out this amazing roombox made into a quilters store....even the quilts are made of clay! You can see it in it's entirety at Sarajane's Clay Gallery.
If you search thru the site, you'll find some great tutorials as well. It might even tempt you to join the Yahoo group, like it did me.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you've had a baby.
That Somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother, "Normal" is history.
Somebody said being a mother is boring...
That Somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver's permit.
Somebody said "good" mothers never raise their voices,
That Somebody never came out the back door just in time to see her child hit a golf ball through the neighbor"s kitchen window.
Somebody said you don't need an education to be a mother.
That Somebody never helped a fourth grader with her math.
Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery.
That Somebody never watched her "baby" get on the bus for the first day of kindergarden.
Or on a plane headed for military "boot camp."
Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married.
That Somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother's heartstrings.
Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don't need to tell her.
That Somebody isn't a mother.
Our only choice was to go either satellite or with a private company. Unfortunately we went private. We needed a receiver down at the boathouse to pick up the signal from the tower....at that, we're lucky because some parts of the lake have no direct sight line and are therefore condemned to dial up. From the boathouse we had to run 300+ feet of cable to the router in the house.
So this posting is written in Word & from there, when we're on again, I'll transfer it.
I wanted to show some of what I've been working on. Currently I'm making 3 rush seated ladder back chairs.....no pics of those yet. Once I'm done, I'll get you the tutorial.
Here's the travel roombox....it's coming along nicely.
this is the suitcase is that I started with
I've cut the hole, ripped out the innards, built a box of birch plywood and am in the process of painting the walls & ceiling.
I've cut a piece of Plexiglas to fit over the opening which I can either attach to the plywood or to the suitcase lid.
Project #2: take one finding, add one bashed Michael's hutch and you get:
the change table is formed by a couple of craft sticks
It's still kinda empty. I've been looking for printies of diaper boxes & other baby products but so far any that I've found have printed out fuzzy even tho I'm using photo paper & have the printer set for high definition. So what I'm going to have to do is scan real boxes & shrink them. Hopefully that will resolve the issue. Not sure what to do if it doesn't.....buy, I suppose. Any suggestions will be gratefully appreciated.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Get your free fairy name here!
My fairy is called Hex Goblinwitch
She is a bringer of riches and wealth.
She lives in places hexed and tainted by black magic.
She is only seen in the enchanted moment between sleep and waking.
She wears black feathers and rose petals. She has gentle green wings like a butterfly.
....not sure I want the word hex or goblin in my name. I have, at times, been known as the Wicked Witch of the West.....or should that be East. LOL
This is the other quiz going round blogland:
what's your names hidden meaning quiz ....use your first & last name for better accuracy
Here's what my name means:
You Are Smart and Curious oh I like this already!
You are a seeker of knowledge, and you have learned many things in your life.
You are also a keeper of knowledge - meaning you don't spill secrets or spread gossip. ah...but gossiping is fun!
People sometimes think you're snobby or aloof, but you're just too deep in thought to pay attention to them.
You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection. how true!
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive. .....I'd prefer to be assertive!
You have the classic "Type A" personality.
You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something. totally NOT true!
You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense. YUP!
You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.
You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing. YUP also. My kids know to wait 24 hrs before speaking to me when I get wound up.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long. You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start. story of my life!!
You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people. I'm always telling people how smart I am & nobody ever believes me...
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts. ....which is why I currently have 4 projects on the go
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals. sputter sputter sputter
You are loving, compassionate, and ruled by your feelings. You are able to be a foundation for other people... but you still know how to have fun.
Sometimes your emotions weigh you down, but you generally feel free from them. X wrong!
You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.
You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.
At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.
You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong. ooh....ya baby!
You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know. nudge nudge wink wink
You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.
You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.
You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. XX wrong....I hate travelling alone & Ken is a home body
You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.
You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble. bingo!!
You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together. .....a little flaky! Boy did they underplay that one!
I've read everyone else's name meanings & thought them sort of generic but wow mine blows me away! How did they do it?
I have to go now & help Ken cut up some big branches that we've limbed off one of our pines to make room for our new hydro line. But I promise that my next posting will be about roomboxes...
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
"I challenge you to write a blog about the jobs you've had in your life. *Just make sure and leave me a comment telling me you did, so I can come read it....or you can do a short version in my comments section...... Either way, I'm just curious to see what everyone does or has done..... Just another way for us to get to know each other."
So Katie, here's my list:
I went straight from high school to being a file clerk for a trucking company, where I met my first husband.
Then during my married life, I worked in a Sara Lee factory, in a chicken hatchery and as a retail clerk. Also did a stint as a donut store manager.
When my husband died, I cleaned houses....couldn't find any other work... until I decided that my back wasn't up to it. So I went back to school and spent 3 years learning to be an mechanical engineering technologist by day and a mom to an eight and a five year old by night. Never did finish the last semester as I met husband #2 and we started a house building/renovation company and I spent 6 years learning to be a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none builder.
Marriage #2 flopped and I fell back onto my schooling & spent 12 years with the same company first as a CAD draftsman and then as a how-to manual writer.
Got laid off, met Ken and worked a few years as a technical help, telephone assistant for Comcast, and then Nextel.
Gave that up to retire and sell antiques on the side.
......and if the economy doesn't soon improve, I'll soon be only retired.
So now, tag you're it.
Oh, and if you take up the challenge, leave me a comment too pls.
Last week in a small town on the South Coast, holiday season should have been building - but it was raining so the expected business was just not happening. Everyone in business locally was in debt.
Luckily, a rich tourist arrived in the foyer of the small local hotel. He asked for a room and placed a $100 note on the reception counter - by way of a deposit, took the key and went to inspect the room located up the stairs on the third floor.
The hotel owner immediately took the banknote and rushed to his meat supplier to whom he owed $100.
Quick as a flash, the butcher took the money and raced to his supplier to pay his debt down by $100.
The wholesaler ran to the farmer to pay $100 for pigs he had purchased some time ago.
The farmer triumphantly gave the $100 note to a local prostitute who had given him her services on credit and who was becoming too obvious in her attempts to collect.
The prostitute immediately went to the hotel, as she owed the hotel for her hourly room used to entertain clients.
At that same moment, the rich tourist returned to reception and informed the
hotel owner that the proposed room was unsatisfactory and took his $100 back.
There was no profit or income however everyone had eliminated their debt and the small townspeople now look optimistically towards their future.
COULD THIS BE THE SOLUTION TO THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS ? ...if only it were that easy!!
But wait a minute.....isn't that how the entire global mess got started anyway?
Saturday, May 2, 2009
As the weather was cool-ish & overcast & it seemed likely that showers might also be imminent, Ken agreed to come with me. We took Luna as well since she'd already spent all of yesterday pining for her absent mummy.
Fergus is a one-way distance of 135km from us, so we planned this as a day-trip. We started with a breakfast brunch at Luna's favorite take-out "restaurant": Timmies!
Let me pause here & explain that to most of the driving population of Ontario, Tim Horton's....or Timmies, as it's commonly referred to, is an almost national institution that we can no longer do without.
Because so many people in this province commute long distances to & from work, a lot of food is eaten or drank in the car while driving. You only have to look into the car one lane over to see someone holding a coffee in one hand while driving with the other. We all drink & drive!
The Tim Hortons franchise is possibly the leading Canadian fast food drive-thru restaurant known for its coffee & doughnuts....now speedily being replaced with the supposedly healthier muffin. They serve breakfast as well as simple lunches and soups, all geared to mobile consumption but at the same time they also serve as a local hangout for friends to sit & chat. Few towns are too small to have at least one Timmies & generally you don't have to go too many city blocks before you find the next one.
The first shop was opened in 1964 by Tim Horton the hockey player. Since then they've grown so much that they have twice as many outlets as McDonald's, account for almost a quarter of all our fast food revenues, 3/4 of the Canadian market for baked foods and 2/3 of our coffee market.
......and as I mentioned, they are Luna's favorite since she invariably gets a Timbit (donut hole) served with our coffee.
We traded the 6 lane highway as soon as possible for more scenic roads. Everywhere the grass was bright green & lush. In every field containing a water puddle, sizable or not, there were geese & ducks paddling around. Buds on the trees were ready to burst into leaf. A drive such as this is a great time for quiet conversations, reflections on the passing countryside and in our case, comments on roofs...their condition or lack of it, the color, if metal etc. It was a lovely drive.
We finally arrived at our destination. Walked into the building and...........
.....talk about feeling stupid! The Fergus Mini Show is scheduled for May 3rd! May third is on Sunday! Amazing how easy it is for retired people to lose track of the calendar.
But the day wasn't a loss. We stopped at some antique shops. We found a store that rented landscape harrow rakes that Ken'd been looking for. We had a fun day.
And as for the Mini Show.....well, the next is in Aurora which is a lot closer to drive to.