Sunday, August 28, 2016

August 28, 2016

One blink of the eye and over 6 years has past.
I now live in Auburn, Washington, I am still an Operating Room RN, at 59 I can see on the horizon Retirement is beckoning to me.

I finally had enough senority to get a summer vacation and I attended the 2016 NAME National Convention in Seattle Washington this July. It was so wonderful to see all of my old friends and make new friends. I took classes, shopped in the sales room and celebrated with my Miniature family at the meal functions and banquet.

One of the projects I bought at the salesroom was Secret Books Case, designed by Shawn and Robin Betterley.

Robin is an amazing artist, and makes these pretty perfect things that she and her husband create and sell on their website:

But she has this other side.... this grungy, used and a little twisted side... she and her daughter love altering things and re-cycling or up-cycling things. I told her I was going to do my "thing" with her kits and she gave me her blessing.
I purchased 6 different book kits and naturally "altered" them.

The Bookcase was easy to put together, it is oversized miniature, bigger than 1" scale. The book kits that Robin sell have 1/144th or 1/4" scenes inside. I decided I wanted to put some of my little treasures that I have been squirreling away for years.

I found images online of old marble pages, I used them on this book. Naturally you won't find something bright and pretty in a spellbook.

Ancient pictures and notes in the back, claw holding a seer's seeing glass ball and skull mask on the wall.

I left the shelf out of the original kit, painted all of the wood a "used" brown color.

I looked through my multiple boxes and drawers, I found this beautiful beetle that died a natural death at least a decade ago.

I have been waiting along time to showcase the beauty that Mother Nature bestowed on him.

Next is my book on Spiders.
No I do not have a dead or live Spider that I put in the book.

Why spiders?

They are a huge part of the Eco-system. They help control bad bugs and are true artists with their webs.

There has been an exceptional amount of live spiders coming in my house and visiting this summer... most made it back outside intact

I am leery how many will be visiting this Autumn when the weather turns cool and they come in to warm up..... their "normal" visiting hours... perhaps if they see this book open they will head back outside on their own!!

Cinderella who had to lose her shoe to get her crown, I had to lose my tooth.

Another item I found was a "crown" from a tooth who has long left my mouth and was replaced with an implant.

Yes, I saved it. I payed a lot of money for that thing and spent hours and hours of quality time with my dentist.

I love all things, worn things. I especially love books, all books.
I have an old "Spelling Book" on my shelf.

And a book of "Crows"

I love Crows, they are smart, clever and inventive.
I had a special relationship with one when I was a child. I nicknamed him "Cracker", he would take the treats I gave him and buried them for a later meal.

 The Bookcase has a display stand built on top that can hold the book in place. It is fun to rotate that books on it's shelf.

I wanted to highlight the bookcase, so looking through my treasures I found an old Photo Frame case, that had matted photos for each side, when you took the Frame off (held with magnets) there was a file of photo sleeves. I removed the glass from both sides, removed the interior photo sleeves.
I covered the mat board with paper on both sides- and put it in one side. That created the inside/outside wall, I papered the sides, added a floor. The other side is open so you can reach in and open the books. The Bookcase fit is perfectly!!

This was another thing that I found at Goodwill for $3.00, not knowing when I would use it, how I would use it, but I knew one day I WOULD USE IT, AND I DID!!!!

As you can see there is space on those shelves.

I already ordered 8 more books that I will be filling with more of my precious bits and baubles.

Hopefully one will hold a perfect little Mouse's femur bone. I put it in a very safe spot, so safe I can't find it. Rest assured once I find it, it will be in my bookcase.

So what do you have in that cigar box? Do you have some of your children's baby teeth? Do you have one special earring that is missing it's mate?

This is a quick and fun project to do, whether you use the beautiful art that comes in the kit, or you change it like I did.

Friday, September 25, 2009

New Journey

I started a new jouney this year, one of personal growth and challenges.
At the age of 52, I have allowed myself to be in control of my life. All the decisions good or unwise are of my doing. It has taken great focus and energy to travel this new direction. What is exciting is that there is no set destination, no predetermined date of arrival. It is a trip that keeps revealing with every turn, with each new door that presents itself and a variety of methods of travel as I explore it.

I was thrilled and a bit relieved when my thoughts and fingers started to express themselves with my own art.

Much has been focused into making my new house a home; it has taken nearly 10 months to return to this avenue of expression.

I so missed it and everyone in my miniature and altered family. I have never forgotten any of you; I appreciate beyond words the love, the energy and the space that has been shared with me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I missed the NAME National Convention in Indianapolis and will not be attending the Small Scale Houseparty in Utah next week. What I miss the most are the wonderful people who I call friends and many more waiting to become new friends.

2010 Nationals in Seattle next July is not that far away- I intend to make up my absence with even more obnoxious enthusiastic and excitement.

For those going to Salt Lake Small Scale Houseparty- my altered Halloween house will be exhibited along with altered miniaturists. I hope you have a chance to see how unique each turned out, all starting with the same idea- and finishing with each persons own creative spirit.

There is endless ideas and endless potential available for all of our art- when shared- the possibilities are greatly magnified.

Thank you all for sharing….I love it and need it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Years!!

2009 is starting out fresh and promises to be full of changes. Besides altering my miniatures, my real life is going thru an alteration… personal and economical- got to love the economy.

I hope you all have mini debts and major gains!!

The tremendous snow we had in Oregon over Christmas- delayed my trip north to my family in Renton, Washington by one week (16” at my house- the glowing globe is one of the street lights by our sidewalk completely covered). In turn our mini club delayed our “Halloween” Sleepover Christmas party by one week.

The theme of our Christmas party and gifts was Halloween, each of us are making an altered miniature house sharing the theme of Halloween and the criteria that it has to fit within a pre-purchased acrylic container.

Besides miniatures and gifts, we shared many laughs, lots of advice and a tremendous amount of food.

I ended up having to alter my house to meet our criteria, I am placing my acrylic box on top of a “witches shoe teapot”, and the top of the pot is secured to the top of the building within the box. Thus I had to cut and peel away my previous ½” base of foam core, leaving only the top skin, which I stabilized by gluing it to matboard. I reached interior clearance. Yipee!!

I progressed to adding a layer of torn paper over the initial exterior; it adds great texture and hides sins…..

I left the paper hanging over the edges or wrapped some into the interior…. Again it adds layers of texture and interest. Another thing you can do is to add plaster or paint to the exterior. Anything goes!!

Barbara was our hostess this year for Christmas; she has this incredible room that is full of light and tons of room. You can’t see the side tables piled up with tools, and anything and everything to work on a project. None of us came to her house with a moving van, but it would have been helpful from all that we brought.

Susan’s Halloween house has a haunted castle motif- her amazing painting skills are used thru her project. No activity in the graveyard that nite.

Lorene’s house was inspired by the pretty ghoul at the top; she customized the top to showcase her. Besides pretty it has pretty creepy things too!

Karla’s house is one of the happiest Halloween houses you can ever see, it has a terrace on top with a table and chair set for lounging on a bright moonlite nite!! Even the spiders are cheerful as they weave their webs.

Barbara’s house is co-coordinated with her favorite color- green combined with orange. She has collected over the years many pieces made by Karen Markland. She is using the traditionally one inch scale piece as a focal point. Gorgeous…. And ghoulish…..

My house has the tea pot top glued in place, skirted with a border paper of cauldrons, I secured a one inch scale pumpkin with bat wings (Karen Markland) to the top, and I have started in this picture to make a fence out of fimo candy corn buttons of varying sizes. (Not pictured is the bats- specialty buttons placed in between the candy)

As always spending time with people you love is the best present one can ever get.

I had a wonderful Christmas!! and I look forward to sharing the New Year with all of you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Crafting Personal Shrines" by Carol Owens

Happy Holidays to Everyone!!

It is cold and it is snowing in Oregon. This IS news in this part of the country- rain we know, snow- not so much. Ice: we ALL HATE.

I was working on some Christmas presents, and was looking for inspiration- I explored my book shelves and found one of my favorite books. “Crafting Personal SHRINES” by Carol Owen.

The book is filled with full paged colored pictures and instructions, she also included a variety of artists shrines.

This is where I was first inspired for my “America’s House”. I had been exploring the idea of 3D display of rooms in a free form, and when I saw Nancy Hoerner’s picture of “Noreen’s Blue Habitat” everything fell into place and my little altered miniature was born.

The basic shrine shape is easy to make and adjust into an altered miniature vignette.

Carol Owen takes this shape, then takes it into an additional six designs for a total of seven shrines.

Not only are you inspired to make a shrine from “scratch”, but there are examples of shrines that are designed using pre-made items that can be recycled and given a second life as an art piece.

This would be great addition to your library, I was able to get it online thru Amazon.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Progress on the "Your House Challange"

All today I was playing with my dear friends in our miniature club (KETCHUP CLUB).

We are all working on our “Your House” altered miniature project.

All five of ours are Halloween based (all of our Christmas presents this year to each other will be Halloween themed too).

I have included pictures of my house and the progress made. (REMEMBER IN PROGRESS).

It is no longer just black boxes, but now has the basic wallpaper in and out. With many more layers to come.

Our only rule on this project is that it fits within a acrylic container that was given to all of us by Susie Newell. Using the America’s House project as a starting point we have all ventured down our own paths.

The base was carefully cut to fit inside the container, but after wallpapering all around it was too big. So the knife came out and ruthlessly it was trimmed up.

I added a floor for each layer of boxes to sit on, so it has a more open layout and more places to put “stuff”. The knife came out a couple more times as each floor was added.

I will share my progress (good and bad). It is fun to see how my initial conception becomes final reality. It is always different but right in the end.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Robin Betterley's Fabric Line with Wilmington Prints

I was excited to see a article of page 19 of the magazine of "Guide to Creative Living"

Robin Betterly and her husband, Shawn are gifted artists in miniature and oh so much more.
I added the link to Robin's bio and her fabric lines.

Angels Watching Over Me

Harvest Moon

Stitching In The Woods

After looking at her fabric, check out their website for miniatures and oh so much more!!

I find their laser-cut kits to be detailed, complete and buildable. And yes- oh so- alterable!!

Accordian House (new project for Miniature Gazette Magazine)

The Accordian house was named for it's shape, if you push hard enough it would collapse like you were playing an accordian. But don't try it with my house!!!

Pictures and directions will be published in a upcoming NAME Miniature Gazette. You have to belong to NAME to receive the magazine NAME stands for National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts.

It is a non-profit, all for fun and great friends organization that has members all across America, Canada, and over seas too.

Just as my recent projects were created using matboard, foamcore and index card- this one is too. It is an altered miniature, that has very open rooms. I used the "packing tape" transfer method on all three doors to give depth and texture.

For more ideas and pictures go to and join our alteredminiatures yahoo group. It is a new group that is already full of creative people who love to share.