Scrapbook 4 page layout

How do you scrapbook a layout if your event has waaay too many photos? And your client wants most, if not ALL, of the pics in said layout?

That was my dilemma when I scrapped my great niece’s birthday party. My niece is a really busy single mom, so I offered to make scrapbooks to document her daughter’s life. I mean, I love it and it’s fun, but sometimes my niece has her own ideas of how a certain event should be scrapped and those ideas don’t always gel with mine. So it was with this fourth birthday party.

Under-the-Sea-scrapbook-2 Continue reading “Scrapbook 4 page layout”

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How to make custom dollhouse light fixtures

Before I can add the second floor to my dollhouse, I need to figure out the lighting situation. I decided to go with the round wire setup- mainly because it looks easier for me to understand than the tape method. It consists of a bulb, wire and a plug. OK, I get that. It sounds like a regular full sized house. Also, with the round wire power strip, I can plug in and have only the lights that I want on rather than the whole house. Continue reading “How to make custom dollhouse light fixtures”

Dollhouse Construction – Flooring

The next part of my dollhouse construction involves flooring of the living room and kitchen. About 20 years ago, I built a dollhouse in the way that was instructed. Whooo boy! I learned from that experience that it is way too hard to paint tiny little trim, walls, install floor covering, wallpaper and lights AFTER the build. That was just crazy, so now I am trying to do paint and installations as well as making any plan changes as each floor goes up. So to begin this post, I have the first floor base built as well as the walls. The outside walls are painted. The inside walls have a base-coat of paint on them

After carefully cutting and gluing down each piece of my pine wood floor in the living room, I stained it a nice chestnut color. ARGH! I hated it! Continue reading “Dollhouse Construction – Flooring”

Celtic Style Crocheted Afghan

The cooler weather is an exciting time to once again bring out my yarn and crochet hooks. What could be better than making something that keeps you warm while you are working on it?

Here is my last finished piece; a chunky crocheted afghan with crossed cables. I made it a little larger than the instructions so that I can throw it over our queen sized mattress for extra warmth if we need it during these cold winter months. My niece was nabbed as the reluctant model to show off the afghan. She will probably never come to an innocent brunch of mine again. (grin)

Grey-Crochet-afghan

The yarn that I used is from Red Heart and the color is “Dove grey”.  By the way, If you wash the afghan on gentle and use a fabric softener, it really will soften up that inexpensive yarn.

The instructions are from this book at Joanne’s. You can use your coupon on books now, so be sure to check them out.

 

cover-of-afghans-with-style

Click on the photo for a link to Leisure Arts and other crochet books. This one has a ton of cool patterns to follow.

I would love to see your crocheted projects. Put links or pics in the “comments” so that we can share, OK? ❤

S McCall

 

 

 

 

Thrifty Storage Ideas for Gift Wrap and Ribbon

After every holiday, when the clearance prices drop to 80 or 90 percent off, I tell myself, “Do NOT buy any more decorations, paper or ribbon!” And then….

Things stacked on the floor or things that have no “home” really bother me. It was time for another storage solution.  The paper rolls that were shoved into the corner between the card-stock cabinet and the wall needed a home. They also had to be on the wall and OFF the floor. OH! And, as always, it had to be a thrifty solution. After browsing the hardware and home supply stores, I found large, inexpensive hooks for hanging bicycles.

storage-for-gift-wrap Continue reading “Thrifty Storage Ideas for Gift Wrap and Ribbon”

Abstract Paintings of an Early Snow

mixed media painting by Sandra McCall

Our snow has come late this year. I’m calling it an early snow, in spite of its lateness,  because it’s our first and an unusual amount of fall color remains on the leaves. It has stayed warm for so much of this winter that, even after the snow has melted, there is still a fair amount of autumn foliage surrounding us. This past year has been a year of record breaking statistics and total strangeness. Then, along comes January and it’s STILL strange. Ah well, no matter my opinion, life goes on. What to do about it? Paint it!

abstract apinting by Sandra McCall
Early Snow on the Old Homestead

After a quick gathering of supplies, Les and I set off for another art day in the woods. We chose a close campsite with a long table and got right down to our experiments. It was too cold to stay overnight, so this was strictly a short day trip.

pen and ink by Sandra McCall
Autumn Outing

My experiments were all about using a limited pallet of ink and only white acrylic paint. I smeared, splattered and painted. For some reason, I LOVE struggling in trying to paint a good abstract. Les asks me why I don’t just paint in realism because it comes so easily to me. And that, I think, is exactly the reason that it is not as challenging to me.

ink and paint abstract by Sandra McCall
First Snow on Autumn Leaves

Long ago, I had an art teacher, in college, who critiqued my sketchbook. He said, “You are not an artist, you are a draftsman. Sure, you can draw what you see, but there is no “art” in what you are doing.” He further went on to pour salt into my wounds by proclaiming loudly, “Your paintings are homogeneous.”

Boy! I’ve never forgotten that slam and it still stings after waaay too many years. So, struggle I do, because someday I WILL be an artist!  (grin) Don’t worry, I do know that he was just a jealous old fart – as I told another female student who was in tears over his critique. Oddly, all of the guys in class got glowing reviews. hmmmm….OK,  STILLED pissed! (Smacking my Head)

mixed media painting by Sandra McCall
Snow Over Autumn Landscape

But, back to painting- These abstracts are about trying to depict what I saw and felt that day. The air was crisp, there was a light snow covering the area, but the sun was shining and there was still lots of fall foliage peeking through the snow.

Autumn-campsite
Letters From an Autumn Campsite

S McCall

Journey into 1/12 Scale Miniatures

When Les asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, I already knew months ahead of time. A 1/12 scale dollhouse! The miniatures hobby has always been a favorite of mine since I can use all kinds of art and craft skills to make tiny little treasures. To have a dollhouse of my own has been on my  mind for years. It had to wait though, until I was closer to retirement and not working such long hours. That day has finally come! Les and I recently went together to pick out my Christmas present.  Poor Les had to stand and stare at miniatures for hours. He’s such a good sport.Image result for real good toys victoria's farmhouseAfter lots of deliberation, I chose the Victoria’s Farmhouse kit from Real Good Toys. 

As soon as the ground floor build began, I started thinking of alterations to the floor plan. Yep, that’s me, not content to do anything as prescribed. My first thought was that I want to make a contemporary dollhouse. I love modern-farmhouse decor, so that will be my route.

dollhouse-living-room-1

The photo above shows the originally intended plan with a wall and door dividing the living room from the kitchen. I want a more modern, open floor plan, so I will put a short divider jut so that there will be an entryway to decorate. There MUST be a place to deposit tiny little letters and keys after all. Furthermore, I don’t want stairs to interrupt the decorating- so no stairs even as cute as they are.

lv-modifiedHere is a mock-up of the shortened wall that will form an  entryway into the house. Before putting that wall in, I will need to set a floor.altering-dollhouse-flooring.jpgIn my mind, a store bought wooden floor sheet would be easiest (and fastest since I am anxious to decorate). But once I got the sheet home, it looked too “regular” and flat. I may as well have printed out a picture of a floor, it looked that unreal. The fix-step was to cut the strips apart and into irregular lengths. Then, the edges were sanded to give a more separate look to each board. Gluing the boards down individually brought up a whole new set of problems. Can you see, in the photo below, that the strips are of variable thickness? Who knew that a store bought sheet of flooring would have such high-low spots! After I glue all of the floor boards into place, I will sand them down again to have a more uniform thickness. I don’t want my mini people tripping over floorboards!

laying-LV-flooring

After a week or so of deciding, this is as far as I’ve come. I plan on documenting my little journey on every step of the way so, if you are into minis, stay tuned for future progress.

S McCall