Another day, another shower

by brae  

Pepper at MitchyMooMiniatures was worried I'd had enough of miniature bathrooms with The Artist's Studio, but I was beyond thrilled when I won her giveaway for a Lili-Anne shower set.  :D

It's so wonderful, just perfect details!

And, I already have a home for it in The Brownstone.  It's the perfect set for me to make this beautiful bathroom (the warm brown tone bathroom shown in the third photo down) a reality.  Thanks so much, Pepper!!!  :D

Finally getting back to normal

by brae  

I rested last weekend after my trip to Vancouver only to find myself with a summer cold.  :[  I spent most of the week sneezing, hacking up a lung and generally miserable.  :[

I am finally feeling mostly better, dealing now with a slight cold medication withdrawal headache.  :\

During my trip to Vancouver, my trusty Canon PowerShot G9 finished its swift decline.  It has been losing its marbles awhile now, but when it caused me to miss a few really great shots that can't easily be revisited, I decided it was time for retirement.

In its place, I now have a Canon PowerShot G15.  It's smaller than the G9, which is good for tight dollhouse interior shots, but it has just about the same layout and functions as the G9, so there's only a slight learning curve.

I took a string of random shots to test out the macro capabilities since that's my usual purpose.  These have been edited for size, but the original unaltered shots were wonderful as is.

It picked up the slightest detail and texture as well as an excellent range of color.

I'm hoping to get back into the swing of minis this week.  :]

Elephant tapestry - 4 hours

by brae  

I wanted to bring something along to Vancouver to occupy myself on the plane and during any downtime (ha!) while away.  The two needlework projects I had going weren't good for travel.  I figured the TSA would take one look at the punchneedle and scowl at me.  The French knot rug requires the lap frame which is too much to carry along with my other necessities.  So, I stretched some 32ct Jobelan onto my frame and sorted out five smaller projects.  As it turned out, I worked on it only during the flight to Vancouver.  Add one hour of work back here in Chicago, and this is roughly 4 hours of work.

The pattern is from Miniature Embroidery for the 20th Century Dolls' House by Pamela Warner.  On the page before the pattern, the hanging is shown without the side motifs, and I rather liked it that way.  I changed the colors, removed the side motifs and used only flower designs in the top row of motifs.  This tiny tapestry will measure approximately 1 3/8" x 2 3/8" when finished and will likely end up in The Brownstone.

Following my blog

by brae  

Google Reader is being disabled on July 1, 2013, so here is a new write-up on how you can follow my blog.  I've added buttons for Feedly and Bloglovin' explained in more detail below.

The best thing I suggest to people who ask how to follow my blog is to go to your Blogger dashboard and add my blog manually.  There's an add button on there.

You click ADD and then type in (or paste) my blog URL:  http://www.otterine.com/blog/blog1.php in the pop up box.  (For my sewing blog, enter http://www.otterine.com/blog/blog3.php in the box.)

There's one problem with this method, though.  If you're already following 300 or more blogs, it will give you an error and you'll have to add my blog to another feed reader instead.

I've signed up for three services, each of which can be used from a web browser without having to install anything on the computer you're using.  These are Bloglovin', Feedly and Digg.  Each imports your Google Reader blogs in a similar manner, but each has its own display design and settings.  As with anything new, I still need to poke around each site to learn more about them.

Bloglovin' was the first one I signed up for, and I didn't like the display at first.  They have since modified it, and it's a nice layout.  You get one medium sized photo and a little bit of text - just like in the Blogger dashboard.  I like this a lot, because the Blogger dashboard layout is my preference, even over Google Reader, which I was never fond of.  I used Google Reader only for the blogs I couldn't add to the Blogger dashboard.  For all other blogs, I use the Blogger dashboard.  You can also change the display to show larger photos.

To add my blog, click the dropdown menu by the ♥ on the top right and select Manage blogs you follow.

Once on that page, click Add blog.

You'll type in (or paste) my blog URL:  http://www.otterine.com/blog/blog1.php in the pop up box.

At first, Feedly didn't have a web version, but they have since added one.  It's much easier since I don't have to be at my home computer to check blog feeds.  There are four views to choose from in Feedly, and one of the views also gives you one medium sized photo and a little bit of text in the display.  I like this one a lot as well.

To add my blog, click +Add Content on the top left.

You'll type in (or paste) my blog URL:  http://www.otterine.com/blog/blog1.php in the pop up box.  This saves a step over Bloglovin', so I might end up using Feedly in the long run.  I've noticed that it seems to update the fastest as well.  As I was working on this, my most recent otterine post was on Feedly but not the other two.

I'm not thrilled with the two choices of views with Digg, but I would imagine things could change as they get feedback from users.  There is list view and expanded view.  The list view shows no photos and considering working with miniatures is a visual hobby, I don't like that view at all.  It's also a problem for blogs in languages I don't understand.  With a photo, I can often get an idea what the post is about before opening it up with google translate.  In expanded view, it shows almost too much, so it takes longer to scroll through and find which post you want to read now versus those you will save for later.  The expanded view is similar to the Google Reader layout, which as I said wasn't my favorite.  It also seems to have less functionality than the other two I tried, so I won't be using this one going forward.  But, if you use it and want to add my blog, these photos will show you how.

Additionally, I do have an RSS feed box on the right sidebar that is provided by my blog platform program.  I think to sign up with the RSS feed, you need to click the word "posts" after the word "Atom" in that box, and you should see an option to add me to available feed readers.  Some have said this doesn't work for them, but I know next to nothing about RSS feeds to be of more help with that specifically.

If you don't use Bloglovin', Feedly, Digg or Blogger dashboard to follow blogs or can't get the RSS feed to work for you, then I'm afraid my help stops there.  There are other feed readers popping up on the internet, but these three are the ones I tried.  If things change in the future, I'll update this post.

I'm back!

by brae  

Did you think I fell into a deep sleep on that beautiful bed?  :D

I arrived back yesterday from a business trip to Vancouver, British Columbia.  There were 82 of us at this event, and I was part of the planning committee.  It was good to catch up with old friends, to get to know recent ones better and to make some new ones.  :D  I did have a couple of days for personal touring, too.  It was my first time there, and I definitely want to go back.

I had brought some needlework and mini flower kits with me, but it was pretty much a non-stop series of events between meetings, meals and activities.  During my off weekend, I stopped at Ross' Miniatures in North Vancouver.  Mary was so helpful and friendly.  I was able to find a number of interesting and vintage items.

This Timberbrook closet kit comes with working sliding doors and wood pieces to make an enclosed closet.

These are no longer made and hard to find.

I bought a number of packages of brackets for The Brownstone.  The ones that came with the kit require assembly and since I plan to add to the overall structure, there would not be enough of them to go around.

I found a contemporary chair and side table.  I've never seen anything like these before.

While I was away, some fun new minis from Blake at A Bohemian Bazaar arrived at home.  They are so well made.

The tweets are so tiny!

I slept most of the afternoon yesterday to make up for all the sleep I missed this past week.  Of course, Jasper wanted to play and snuggle.  :D  I missed seeing his furry little face every day.  Today is laundry and unpacking day.  It's good to be home.

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