Heritage chimney ivy and lawn ornaments

by brae  

While I didn't want to cover up all the lovely egg carton brickwork of the massive chimney, I did think some ivy was in order.  You know I don't shy away from cutting and shaping individual leaves, but I found something that not only looked realistic but made life easier.  :D  This is O-Scale (1:45) English Ivy from Scenic Express (Silflor Summer Ivy by Mininatur).

There are three sheets in the box.  The leaves might be small for direct 1:12 scale, but it worked very well.  You cut and stretch it to create long vines.

I thought this store was called Scenery Express since I first started buying their landscaping materials, and that's one of the web addresses that will get you there...but I just noticed that it is in fact Scenic Express.  Maybe I always had it wrong or they changed the name or they just have two domain names for the same place.  Regardless, they have a great selection of landscaping materials.

I didn't overdo it and used just under one sheet of the ivy for the project, using Aleene's clear gel glue to attach it to the house and chimney.

It disguises the awkward edge trim around the chimney.

Here's the back side of the chimney.

The chimney is now complete!  :D

I have a small amount of landscaping left to do, but I added a beautiful aged metal birdbath by Island Crafts & Miniatures to the front lawn.  The last time I made an aquarium, I used some leftover Acrylic Water resin to fill the bowl.  The birdbath is from Dejoux Miniatures.

I also planted the shepherd's hook on the side of the stairs to hang one of my birdfeeders.  :]

It amazes me how each little thing changes the look of the build.

New beds in my etsy shop

by brae  

I have three newly finished beds listed in my etsy shop.  Each measures 6 1/4" long x 3 1/2" wide x 5 3/4" tall (headboard).

The first is burnished copper with a modern autumn leaf bedspread.  You can see the hint of the crisp white sheets underneath on the mattress and the striped box spring.  It comes with a pillow in a pillowcase and a coordinating throw pillow.

The second bed is made in the same way but it is silver with a lavender bedspread with a leaf pattern.

The third bed is chocolate brown with a green and brown chevron bedspread. 

I have other pillows available in my shop in case you'd like a different coordinating throw pillow.  :]

Baby Z Lap Frame

by brae  

Working with French knots is different from working in cross-stitch or petit point in that it is easier if you have both hands free.  I've been working on the Bees and Trees rug without a lap frame, and it's hard not to start hunching forward as you work, balancing the hoop on your lap and completing each knot...not at all comfortable for long periods of time.

I bought a Baby Z Lap Frame since some fellow stitchers were talking about lap frames recently (here's the link to the vendor I bought from, but they don't show a photo of it).  Though the instructions for assembly were minimal, it went together easily enough.  I did have to sand it in a few rough areas, but all in all the quality is good.  It's a solid frame and has a base just 11.5" wide, so it is a comfortable weight and width for me.

It has a tray in the base for holding yarns and scissors.

Plus, it is adjustable in height, folding relatively flat for transport.

My beautiful chair...it's like stitching in a fast car.  Aw, yeah.  :D

So far, I really like the frame.  It will definitely save being hunched over while stitching.  The knobs on the clamp do get in the way a bit and I was going to try putting them on the bottom side with the set screw, but the way the clamp is designed, it isn't an option.  So, I'll just have to get used to them or get a shorter set screw and put that side up instead.  :]

Update: As requested, here's a photo of me sitting with the frame.  :]  Right now, I am working without the set screw and with the knobs of the clamp facing downward until I can get to the hardware store for a shorter set screw.

It's a sickness, I tell you

by brae  

Some of you have wondered aloud what my next project will be.  Well, I do plan to finish up the side garden on The Artist's Studio.  Additionally, the Heritage still has an unfinished attic, bedroom furniture in need of painting and requires a broken down fence of some sort.  So, that will take up some of the next month or so.

After that, the plan was to break ground on The Brownstone.

I also bought the Charming Cottage kit to participate in the HBS Creatin' Contest.  To that end, I figured one public build and one behind-the-scenes build.  :D  Sounds reasonable.

Then those clever people at Greenleaf released the Spring Fling kit for 2013.

I was certain I would be able to withstand the draw of it.  (You may commence laughing at my naïveté.)

Of course, I instantly had an idea for it.  So, I'm apparently in.  With a second secret build, I'm sorry to say my blog will likely have its off days.  :\  Please bear with me....

It's a sickness, I tell you...a marvelous, wonderful sickness.  :D

Hooray!!! The Artist's Studio wins first place!

by brae  

Christina from Little Victorian contacted me this morning with the good news that The Artist's Studio had won first place!  :D

I get to choose my $100 gift certificate from Michaels, Home Goods or Etsy.  Decisions, decisions!  We winners also will receive a one-year subscription to Miniaturas, a delightful Spanish miniature magazine, along with a feature in the magazine!  Hooray!

Thank you to Christina for a wonderful contest and congratulations to Lyssa and Audra (the other two winners).  I love both their projects!  :D  A big round of applause for all the other contestants, too, for a job very well done!

And a very special thank you to everyone who voted for me!  Your generosity and encouragement mean the world to me!  Thank you!

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