Monday, 12 February 2018

Skiing Shmiing! - A visit to Michael's is a US vacation must.

So a few days ago I realised there was a Michael's about 15 minutes from where I'm staying for my Ski Trip. For US dwellers this must not seem like a big deal and no reason to blow off an afternoon in the hot tub. :)  But for someone like me who lives in a country of 24 million people and suffers the accompanying lack of retail choice due to the inability to apply economies of scale... it's a big deal!!

For Australian readers, this craft store is like the Spotlight craft and decor sections on steroids. It's more specialised than Spotlight so no, curtains, blinds, fabric, kitchenware, manchester etc, (they have many other stores for that stuff) but such lovely seasonal decor (far nicer than anything we have) and an amazing selection of crafting items.. I was compelled to shop.

Luckily mini crafting items are small so another suitcase shouldn't be required. :D

I mentioned my impending shopping spree to my friends over at the Greenleaf forum and they told me about a sale and a 40 percent off coupon. Even better! Thanks guys!

When I got to the store I didn't know where to start, sensory overload!  I turned down the first aisle and wandered through a maze of silk flowers and plants.. aisles of them.. an amazing selection. If I had an extra suitcase I'd be taking some of these home too, but I had to be sensible. The next aisle I turned down was the fairy garden aisle... Yes a whole aisle, not one little end stand. When I saw the "40 percent off all Tiny Treasures" sign in addition to the 20 percent Valentines sale, I decided this was as good a place as any to start my Mini shopping spree.

I started with mini trees and topiaries. These will be good garden fillers, amongst the hand made plants I intend to make with my punches and origami paper.

I think these little topiary balls will be really cute once potted and given a little treatment to their 
plastic stems. Maybe some reindeer moss in the pot. :)

There was a summer pool themed section so I picked up a couple of cute buckets of beverages for a poolside party.

 I thought these garden chairs were cute so I picked up a couple with a view to paint them a more adult colour.. I may even rust them up. We shall see. The swan I couldn't resist. I though it would make the most amazing retro kitsch garden planter. It will probably also get a make over. Maybe a bit of aging. The fence I thought was cute and might come in handy in a future project and hey, 40 + 20 percent off. The tin bucket will get aged and probably some new handles. I may or may not remove the vegetables from the wooden basket. I'm undecided.

I intend to paint these wire lanterns and make lights out of them. I liked their shape and thought they had promise. We shall see if I can realise my vision. :)

On a lighting note I picked up some battery operated string LEDs in warm white. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of light they give off.

The next aisle also had miniatures of a different brand, no sale on these ones other than the standard 20 percent, :( But smalls are very expensive in Australia with shipping usually more than the item both domestically and internationally, so I took the opportunity to buy what was on offer. The scales varied with no indication which ones they were so I just took a punt on the things that looked most like 1:12. I'm not too concerned about complete accuracy, I just want things to look "right" when in a vignette, so I'm sure I'll be able to use most of what I bought somewhere. :)

I really don't have much in the way of food in mini so I bought quite a few items.

I really like these little clay/plastic food items. I think the Cauliflower is my favourite. I may remove most of the fruit and veg from the crates. I really wanted the food not the containers.. but we shall see what I need, when I need it and make a decision then. The pastries are not the most realistic I've seen but will be good as fillers. At least until I master polymer clay and can make my own. :)

I love the little donuts in their box and the cola bottles. The little cans have cute detail for the ring pull. and the pitchers of juice and tea are adorable. Pancakes, cookies and a cake round out the food purchases.

I also picked up a couple of candelabras that will get a make over. And a selection of plates and cups, most of which will receive paint jobs. 

I couldn't resist this adorable rose teapot and cups even though they are probably slightly too large. I just thought they were too cute and I will have to see if I can work them into a scene somewhere when I get home.

I picked up a few random unrelated minis that were either on sale or as in the case of the mirror, something I needed. I already have one of these mirrors and I want to do a double vanity so needed another one. I could probably have gotten one from China for less but I would have to wait over a month for shipping.

 I also bought a few garden accessories, some tools and mini animals that I will use as indoor ornaments. The Labrador retriever is a Safari Ltd model.. I think I'll flock him. I love the bird bath as is. It's very elegant and may end up in the garden of the San Franciscan.

I think I'll turn the little deer into Christmas decorations. The Swans and blue birds will become indoor decor. The other bird may become a garden ornament as will the flamingos of course!

Some of the beach buckets will get make overs as will the tools. The snails and cute little Gnome will be lawn ornaments.

Over in the scrapbook department I picked up some textured papers that may work as tile or counter coverings. I also picked up some fabric paper that may work for rugs and a sheet of mirror paper.

 Also a few modern prints for feature wall, wall paper. (Excuse blurry photo)

Then I wandered the embellishment section. Sooo many things to choose from it was difficult to get out of their without a crane. :)

I got a pair of matching frames, that will most likely become mirrors. Some cute enameled numbers that would be good for house numbers. Cabochon frames that I will use with my own inserts. Some steampunk looking gears and cogs that will become home decor or may even be used to create lamp shades for custom lighting. I intend to use the embossed keys to create wall art. The typography will likely be used as modern decor.

The Patriotic embellishments are fabric and will be used to create folk art and decorative cushions. The art packs were a spontaneous buy because they have some interesting things in them and I'm curious as to how I would apply them to mini. The options are only limited by my imagination. :) The Jim Holtz fabric has great modern texture and colour so should be fun to use on a furniture project. The travel stickers will become artwork and the Architectural elements will be used to embellish ceilings and the like.

Several packets of mini roses to fill window boxes with.

I bought these ribbons to make coordinating cushions. There were so many more ribbons I could have bought in the ribbon aisle, but these rolls are large and space in my suitcase is at a premium. Again, so many more to select from than in Australian stores.

I finally made it over to the jewelry finding section and bought a selection of cool charms to transform into minis. The frames will become trays. The glass lidded box will become coffee table decor, probably filled with shells or similar. The lighthouse cat bowl and passport will become decor as will the antler charms once mounted on stands. The bead caps will be used for various projects and to create some delicate filigree bowls. The tiny coastal charms will become decor for bowls etc. 

That's all for now.. Now if I could just make it over to Hobby Lobby.......

Ski Trip Update

So we are now about 2 thirds through our trip and it is the coldest weather we have had today. 9 degrees Fahrenheit! Yikes that is Brrrrrr bone chilling cold when you are flying down the mountain in the wind.

Don't let the sun fool you it's ridiculous cold.

We could really use some more snow.. it's getting icy out on the runs. Look how dry it is down there in the valley.

It was busy on the mountain today because it's Sunday and we had a couple of inches of snow yesterday which bought out all the punters.... Red seems to be a popular ski jacket colour :)

Bad selfie time.... I didn't get the black helmet and jacket memo. :)

I love these little amenities cabins on the mountain crests. It makes me want to build a mini log cabin. The view from them isn't bad either.

The topography is so pretty up here in the high desert.

Got to love an empty run. I guess it's getting too cold to stay out. Apparently there is another storm coming through tonight so we are all doing a snow dance.

And here comes the storm! :) 

I tried to take some photos during the 20 minute blizzard we had yesterday but it is just way too cold to open your jacket, take your mitten off and get your phone out for a photo opportunity.... just sayin' ... ;)

This afternoon I'm taking pictures of all my Michael's purchases. I shall update you on that little excursion next post. :D 

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Garage done... and an introduction

I've finished a room.. ok it's the Garage.. the easiest room.. lol.. but hey it's finished.

Well, when I say finished... I mean the painting and decorating is finished. No styling yet. But trims are done and lighting is installed.

And door hardware has been added.

I did want to put a laundry in here, but there is not much room for anything other than the lilac Morris Minor! :D

Upstairs Guy and Girl found it when they started renovating the basement. It belonged to the Great Aunt they inherited the house from. :)

Upstairs Guy has made a cameo appearance on the blog before but you haven't met Upstairs Girl yet. :)

She has claimed the Morris as her own, given it's decidedly girly colour.

It's just the right kind of cool vintage car for this San Francisco hipster.

The windows still roll down, old school style. :)

Upstairs Guy is going to have to do some work to it, to get it running at it's best. 

 They are pretty happy with their garage find.

See ya! Upstairs Girl is going to take it for a spin around the block! :D 

In other news...  I'm off on a ski holiday tomorrow. I'll be gone for 3 weeks! I may post some holiday pictures if the wifi in our rental is any good. If not, I'll see you guys in a month! :D

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Fairy Forest in the morning mist

A new mini painting from a full size tutorial on YouTube. 

It's surprising uncomplicated to replicate a 1:1 painting into mini size.  I've called this one "Dawn in the Fairy Forest" because it's a gift for a friend who showed me an unsolicited mini kindness. 

The Youtube Channel I painted this one from is called Acrylic Painting Techniques. Great Channel! I don't know the name of the artist because he doesn't identify himself, but he does a lot of these colourful/whimsical/slightly fantasy type paintings that seem appropriate to a fairy house which is what my friend is building.

Here's a bit more of a close up of the detail. Quite chuffed with this one. :D I hope she likes it.