Father’s Day Card

this is the beautiful walnut rocking chair Dan made for his daddy, he worked on it for seven months, and what a wonderful surprise it was!

Dan made a rocking chair to give his daddy for Father’s Day  a few years ago. It took him 7 months, it was a work of art. He had to make all the jigs to bend the strips of walnut, spent weeks putting it together, sanding and rubbing the wood.Finally it was finished and it was  delivery time. Debbie called me when they got to the edge of town to have me to send daddy off in the car for something so they could come slip it in the house. Daddy came back, walked right in past the chair and sat at the bar, then  Dan gave him his card. Daddy read it and looked it over and was so happy. He said, ” you made this card yourself?'” Well yes! So he read and re-read the card and said it needed to be framed. He thanked Dan again and gave him a big old daddy/boy hug. We were about to crack up it was so funny. Then we all went

One more way to say "I love you Daddy"

Wonderful Day

 to sit in the den and Daddy saw his chair. He was speechless! He sat down and went over every inch of it, stroking it and saying over and over again, “I can’t believe it, and you made this chair!”  Daddy treasured things and was happy beyond words. What a wonderful day.

Miniature Bed Room

the real room had an oak desk, TV, organ, and a lot of other stuff . I didn’t make those things because they were on the wall in front, I had to leave this side open.

Another restored miniature room. This is a copy of a bedroom we had in the farm house where we lived for 20 years, a copy of the real furniture too.The year was 1972. It was one of the seven miniature rooms  I made that year Our two boys shared this room, It had one small closet. They kept it neat and clean, it opened up to the living room and it had to be presentable. I always warned them if they ever went to school without making their beds, I would go get them and bring them back home to do the job. They thought I really would so were good to do it. One day Dan was taking them to school and soon after they left, here he came backing the little green Volkswagen  down the road, out jumped the 9 year old, he ran in the house, made a circle and off he went. I figured it out, he wanted to be sure he had made his bed. I will  be putting the other rooms on the blog soon~

Miniature Bedroom

It has taken a week to re-decorate and restore this room~

This is the first miniature room I made, it was in 1972. I had planned to only make one room and I just kept adding things to it until it was to the brim, way too much stuff in it. It had criss-cross curtains and divided light windows, linen shades with a crocheted pull on them, and most of this work was hidden behind something else. The windows were too big for the rest of the room and it always bothered me. When I started redoing it last week, I took the windows out, made the curtains more tailored, and got rid of some of the clutter. The lamp shade had completely fallen apart after 40 years and it took me several hours to make a new one. A thing I have learned is to be careful with glue, it goes on clear but through the years turns a dark dirty brown. I had to take everything off the walls and repaint them because of the glue. It has been a lot of fun working with the different rooms though. Three down, four to go~

Miniature Living Room

I restored my 40 year old miniature rooms, this is the living room. This was a job I had been dreading for a long time. As it turned out, I enjoyed working on them, it was almost as exciting as when when I first made them. Most of the rooms are 11″x16″. Through the years, the glue has failed on some of the furniture and just like real rooms, the walls need  repainting. They were old and it was time to redecorate. There are seven rooms in all and originally each one took about a month to make. Since the drawers and doors didn’t have to be functional on tiny miniatures, they were easier to make than the larger pieces. The piano took a while to make, the keyboard is scored and has individual black keys, each one hand applied. I will put the all rooms on my blog  later.

Work started on living room

after the walls are painted and things start getting moved back in, it turns into happy time

the paintings are done on linen canvas,

It is hard to photograph these small rooms~

  I like the little things, there is a child in us that can live for a lifetime. 

Miniature Den

 

The little den

these little sofas are 6″ high, they sit on the fireplace hearth. My dogs have all tried to sit on them, they recognize what they are~

 

Jitter Joe

Jitter Joe used to lie on these sofas, he still tries but they are  uncomfortable now that he is a big boy~

More miniatures this morning, this is a copy of the furniture in my den, the sofas have been recovered since I made the little ones, I planned to recover the miniatures but like to remember them them as they were when we first built the house. They sit on the fireplace hearth and decorate that area. As I have said before, all my dogs have recognized what they are and have sat on them. I have a living room but the den is where everyone congregates. Most of the time the doors are open to the screened porch. I remember the excitement of making all the little things. If you have ever made a little  chair or carved something tiny, you know what I mean. We may be  wired a little bit different~

Mallard Duck

Stanley Duck

the real Stanley had a sister, Rose Olive, those names have been used for many of our pets

This is a carved mallard duck, his name is Stanley. He came in two large chunks of wood and I used a carpet knife to make him look like one of the two real pet ducks  I had for 8 years. It took me about 16 hours to do the work with the knife, then several days to paint him. By the time I finished, I was loving him just like the real Stanley. He is about 18 inches long~ life size. On the underside I wrote a note to remember what was going on with my family at that time and how old the boys were. (I have also written on the bottoms of drawers on my favorite furniture so I can recall the thrill of the day I got it and what time in our lives it happened, like a journal you could say). I got my two real  mallard ducks in 1976, when they were two days old, I built them a duck house, they had the water trough and a big yard. You never know how wonderful feathered pets can be until  you have had them. In the years since then, Debbie has had Katie Mae, Algeritta, Sarah Kate, and several others.(Sara Kate and Katie Mae were invited into the kitchen on Christmas Eve every year to enjoy a pint of fat earth worms from Wal Mart!) Anna has had the 21 peacocks and 7 pet chickies, there have been at least 8 parakeets through the years, most of them named Blue Boy. Birds make nice pets. They are beautiful and smart,  most of all, they love you back~

Miniature Den

A place I dreamed of having some day

This was one of the most fun rooms to make, the boat is like a larger one the boys had in their room. It is two inches tall but has all the detail~

I have been posting my little things on face book, but now I will be bringing them to my blog, the one today is the den. When I made it in 1972, we lived over at the  farm house with no den so it  was fun to dream of ‘some day’ as I made it. On the desk there is a typewriter, world globe, pens and pencils, and letters etc. The book case has framed pictures of the kids, carved figures, books and a little sailing ship on top. There is a checker board on the coffee table with a heated game going . My miniature rooms never have dolls in them, once you put a doll in the magic is gone. In your mind you can be the one in the room and own the space without being an intruder.

Oak Dining Chairs

Two little dining chairs

little chairs are the ‘comfort food’ for my eyes, they are my favorite miniatures to make.

These are two miniature dining chairs that are a part of a set of six. Each one has 19 pieces. After I made the pattern for the first one, I then cut the 114 pieces for all of them. Then they had to be sanded, fitted, glued together, stained and varnished. It went pretty fast and was a lot of fun to do. Making the chair bottoms took some time, the cording on the cushions was tedious since they are so small. The chairs are 9 1/2″ tall and copied from a real set of chairs from my grandmother. I restored the real ones several years ago and found $4.75 marked on the undersides indicating the price. A  little chair, lamp table and  the accessories can fit in almost any place and make a nice and interesting little set up. People either like little things or they don’t, I like those who do~

Favorite Arm Chair

 

Favorite little chair

I have had the real chair recovered three times in 45 years. It is my special place to read the morning paper. This miniature is 8″ high. Yes, that is the Standard Times on the table~

This armchair is 8″ high and a copy of one in my living room that I have had for 45 years. We bought it from Bennett Brother’s of Chicago, a wholesale place that put out a wonderful catalog every year. They carried nice furniture, as well as jewelry and almost anything you could think of. The prices were ‘wholesale’. The miniature chair was easy to make, upholstered furniture didn’t take as much time to make as the wooden pieces. The lamp table was a copy of a real one I had. The books are a little block of wood, covered with pictures of books from a magazine, just cut out the  picture and fold it over the wood. One book is True Women by Janice Woods, I scanned the book jacket and then reduced it down to the right size for the miniatures. No matter how tiny these things are, you can recognize the covers and read the titles. It is the same with photographs, I scan, then reduced the size and frame them in something like an ear screw that  has the the stone taken out. Jewelry makes perfect little frames. This chair is like the one I sit in every morning to read the paper. I have said before  how much I enjoy the morning paper~if I am not liking the way a story is going, I just turn the page. The TV news turns into a loud debate, Breaking News! Then the rest of the day, each commentator giving their  take on it and explaining it to us dummies~I like the Standard Times and our wonderful local paper, The Eldorado Success~

 

Miniature Cast Iron Stove

this stove is 9″high and the size of a 5 lb. sack of sugar~it is one of my favorite things~

I enjoy making miniatures but once in a while I find something special and buy it~ which was the case with this little Crescent cast iron cook stove. I had seen one many years ago and had always wanted it. This one I found at American and British Antiques in San Angelo.  I got excited, I was going to buy it no matter the price. Then more excitement ~ it was only $12. It had a broken leg on the back  but the piece was taped to the top so everything was there. It even had an iron skillet and Dutch oven. That was a happy day. When I got home, I ‘glued’ the leg back on with Halliburton Wield and it was like new. I have had it on my counter for at least 30 years to enjoy while I am cooking. I made a miniature potato masher, butcher knife, spatula etc. to go with it, also a little iron, which all women used when they had a wood stove, heat the iron on the stove top and iron the clothes. The oven door opens, the fire box opens and is filled with wood, the lids on the burners are removable. Though  it is not a real salesman’s sample, it is much like one. Salesmen used to travel around rural areas with smaller versions of everything from stoves to furniture and take orders. These samples were exact copies of the real thing in detail and workmanship but about 1/4 the size of the real piece. It is a rare thing the find them these days and they are beyond expensive!  Anyway, this little stove has been one of my all time favorite things to own.

Miniature Violin

 

The little violin

I love music and like all kinds of musical instruments, even the tiny ones~

This 9″ miniature violin was a model kit from a Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog years ago and was a gift from my son Dan. It was a wonderful project and I enjoyed putting it together, every piece was machine perfect, exactly to scale, there was no detail left out. I almost hated to stain and varnish it, it looked so good in the natural wood. Since I like music, I like instruments. It sits on my piano and I look at it every time I am playing. Wonder if I have enough space to talk about my piano lessons~ I took music from Miss Ellington for 6 years, she didn’t like me and I didn’t like her. I hated those lessons! Recitals were the worst, it meant a new dress and a corsage, but the humiliation of playing ‘Birdie in the Treetops’ while my little sister (who was 4 years younger) was playing ‘Moonlight Serenade. I just could not read music.  One day I told Mother that I was not going to take lessons any more, and she  couldn’t make me, I was quitting! She said that was fine, I didn’t have to but I was going to go sit on Miss Ellington’s piano bench  for 30 minutes twice a week. Finally a couple of years later, she let me quit. About that time, the movie ‘The Third Man ‘ came out and it had that most beautiful and haunting song  played on a zither. Somehow I picked it out on the piano and soon was able to play it. I drove everyone crazy with it, I opened the windows so the neighbors could hear,  I was hooked on the piano after I found I could play by ear. Years later at a Bridge party Sharon  was telling us about her sister Joan who use to play ‘Third Man Theme’  over and over until she was ready to scream, she said she ‘just wanted to hang Joan on the wall and beat her ’til she bled’. I am laughing when I think about it, I still love that song.

Row Boat

 

Row Boat

this miniature boat is 10″ long and was a ready to build kit. The many pieces were cut to perfect size so it was a pleasure putting it together.

When I was a child, the two things I wanted most were a play house and a real boat, (followed closely by a cave and a tree house). I had ridden in a rented boat at the park in Christoval, and could just imagine my family having one of our own. Since that time I have owned four boats, We bought an old green aluminum Lone Star boat from Mrs. Furrey in Christoval for $5. It was a good boat that was easy to row and not bad about tipping over. (except that one time). After many years it ‘disappeared’. Then I bought an aluminum boat near San Angelo for $75, and it had a trolling motor. (we were moving up in the boat world) This one was named the Dinktums. Later came the River Mouse, the abandoned one we found at the barn and I restored. This picture today is a little boat kit Dan and Debbie gave me to put together. It had no telling how many pieces but they were all cut exactly right so fit together nicely. It was like a salesman sample copied from real plans for an actual row boat. I stained it and finished it (like decoupage) with several coats of polyurethane varnish. It is named ‘Schatzie’ after their dog. I added the dock, posts, fish net, and the rod and reel. It is an interesting piece, I have it on a lamp table by my chair and never get tired of looking at it.  Some minatures are hard to dust, this is one of them.