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.

Discovered a great Resource for arts and crafts

I am a charter subscriber of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion. I love her art, I love the inspiration I get from her magazines and enjoy meeting new artists that are interviewed.

So needless to say, I was jazzed when I saw Home Companion's first ever Crafters' Guide.

"Guide to Creative Living, a sourcebook for arts and crafts".

It is like a phone book, internet address search and a GPS all rolled into one.

I look forward to exploring new and some familiar sources that I find in here.

No this is not a paid advertisement, I just think it's a great tool available to all of us.