Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Remembrance Day 2012

This year in the Niagara Region, both north and south of the border, marks the Bicentennial for the war of 1812-14.

The International Boundary which divides the United States and Canada is the longest international border in the world shared by the same countries. The War of 1812 was the last time there was conflict between the two nations. The Americans burned Niagara on the Lake and the Canadians  returned the favour and burned the White House! Both sides believe they won. And in a way they did, because the Bicentennial celebrates 200 years of peace between our two nations.

The Battle of Queenston Heights was the first major battle of the war, and resulted in the death of the hero of Upper Canada , Sir Isaac Brock.. 
following picture from Barbara Martin 
Barbara Martin: My Town Monday - Major-General Isaac Brock (War of 1812-Canada) - The Battle of Queenston Heights Part 6

 Here is a picture of Brock  on his horse, Alfred. from War of 1812 War Prints

War of 1812 Art Prints  Brock's horse was called Alfred

One of the artifacts in the NOTL museum is the hat Brock ordered from England and which did not arrive until after his death at the Battle of Queenston Heights.

Sir Isaac Brock's Hat

This is a representation of Brock's hat and that of the preacher who conducted the burial service.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Labour Day Weekend.
The election in Quebec.A woman leading the PQ party...
The politics in the US...
What's that got to do with women? Health care? Equal pay? and on and on...

How the Famous Five would have loved all this! Who were they? You honestly don't know? Sit down and let me tell you a tale.

It is hard to believe, but once upon a time, women in Canada were not allowed the vote! You may know the British suffragettes, Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, and the American Susan B. Anthony. But who were the Famous Five and what was the person's case?

Who was Nellie McClung? Listen to what life was like for women back then.
Watch this video for her legacy...

This is a representation of Nellie McClung, modelled after the statue in Ottawa.

See the $50 dollar bill celebrating the achievements of the Famous Five:

Rock on.Nellie! without you and your pals, women would have had limited rights. May your daughters continue to pay attention to politics and the impact on their lives and the direction of our Nation!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More Queen's Jubilee

Check out this British cheekiness!

I Heart Shabby Chic - a brilliant blogpost with lots more pictures.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Queen's Jubilee and firecrackers

Heather Drinkwater posted this remarkable project to the Smaller and Smaller Adventures Yahoo group. Well thought out and designed, a brilliant plan, and gotta love the Corgies!

Here is the link to Heather's Picturetrail albums, where you can see more of her projects.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Whine and Cheese!

Tina Haley posted in Wee Creations that she finished this project for her daughter's birthday. materials.

She says: I do not remember who taught that workshop but I wish I could give her credit for it.  My sister-in-law could not go because of health reasons so I asked if we could buy the kits.  It had a different kitchen area and the printed things in the top part are my own creations as are the planted half barrels.  It is also arranged a little differently than the original was.
I do a lot of roomboxes and this was the first time I worked with a kit. 


Bistro area is 1:48 scale

The top contains mixed scales.

This kitchen is 1" scale.

She used a wine box, and combined items of a different scale to make this scene. Brilliantly done!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee

Source: via Linda on Pinterest

Imagine that! The Queen has reigned over us for 60 years with grace and dignity. AND stamina - did you think they were never going to let that poor woman come in out of the rain during the Thames Pagent?

Pat Wareing, a member of Phoenix Minis and Minis4all has created 2 scenes in honour of the event.
This one features  "the Grannies," who get up to all sorts of mischief. They are "of an age" where outrageous behaviour can be overlooked - or can it be they just don't give a toss for what people think? In this scene they are celebrating the Jubilee - looks like someone may have had a wee dram too much! Did someone add something extra to that tea pot? LOL!
In the second scene, the General Store has all the Jubilee souvenirs on show and the kids are waving the flag.
 Absolutely fabulous, Pat!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rub a Dub Tub

Marjorie Wannamaker writes:
Recently I purchased some Philadelphia Indulgence, a milk chocolate form of cream cheese.  Delicious by the way.  Anyway, when I was emptying the "tub" today I realized that yes, it could very well be a bath"tub", an old one by just adding four feet, or a modern one by setting it on a platform.  Check it out the next time you go to the grocery store.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fishy Business

Chris from Canada has another fantastic idea!
If you live with or know a fishing fanatic, you likely are the lucky (?) recipient of whole, freshly caught fish now and then. Next time you are given one that has to be cleaned, set some scales aside in warm water with a squirt of dish soap. After dinner, rinse a few off and take a good look. Some of them may have a tooth comb edge (i.e. lake perch), and can be trimmed to become a man's comb, some are smooth ovals or seashell shaped and after smoothing the edges with an emery board become 1:12 dipping dishes or bowls in smaller scales.
Depending on the species and where the scales grew on the body, they may have some markings or colours and a pearly lustre. The thinner, flatter scales closest to the belly area can be used to replicate seashell ceiling-light shades.

If you are making fish stock from the head and any trimmings, keep an eye out for the jaws when you strain the stock as when dried out, they make a very convincing toothy smile for mini monsters. Or, if one of your offspring lists "BlueTooth" for one of their gadgets on their Christmas Wish List, do as I did and dye a dried fish jaw blue with food colouring and embed it in a moulded resin pendant. I had bought her the real thing for her car (after I had figured out
what it was she wanted), but gave her the beautifully wrapped BlueTeeth first just to see her reaction.

Adrian's Trash to Treasure Challenge

Another participant in the Canada Minis T2T challenge issued by Barb K!
Take a look at this inventive gazebo.

Adrian Cooper runs a T2T competition at Camp Mini Ha Ha* each year and writes:
I collect weird little bits of tat through the year, and make up identical kits, which can be picked up on the opening evening of Camp, and worked on over the 5 days. I do include a piece of foam core, and several types of mini "lumber" with those kits, as the ladies are at Camp without access to their home stashes. I am always thrilled with the different finished vignettes, so many different approaches.

Components I used for the challenge:

  • Feathers - bird
  • Beads - ornament on gazebo inserts, glasses of wine
  • Cotton balls - body of bird
  • Wrapping paper - roses on table
  • Stir sticks - anchor struts on outside of gazebo roof
  • Small box - table
  • Stickers sides of backdrop
  • Cardstock - gazebo roof and inserts
  • Bottle caps - tray fro sandwiches
  • Greeting card - centre panel of backdrop
  • Foam sheet - "bread" of sandwiches
  • Felt - centre panelling of backdrop
  • Toothpicks - support struts on under edge of roof panels
  • Plain paper - backdrop panel, gazebo inserts, bird's beak
  • Qtips - roses in vase
  • Thumb tack - bird's head
  • Ribbon filigre plush ribbon pattern was cut apart - filling of sandwiches
  • Toiletry caps - cake, finial of gazebo roof
  • Mirror - table derssing
  • Green fabric - rest of vines
  • Straight pins - rose stens in vase
  • Napkin - tablecloth
  • Extra chosen item - bead for vase on table

For more ideas, take a look at these blogs:
T5 Challenge - by Doreen Playter
T5 Challenge - Trash to Treasure 2012 (twenty-twelve!) by Maureen Heuchert
And of course, the trash minis pages of the Minitreasures Wiki!
"Camp Minihahha" in Nova Scotia. Maureen Heuchert has an album of pictures, also showing historic Louisburg, and Cape Breton in 2009 (see interview on Breakfast TV)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gwen's Trash to Treasure Challenge Scene

Gwen Rice, of Gibbons, AB participated in the Trash to Treasure Challenge issued in the Canada Minis group by Barb K.

1. 4 feathers – Birds Tails (2)
2. 10 Beads – Bird heads (2) * Silver Gazing Ball (1) * Wooden “Barrel” flower pot (1)* Brick stand for Mail Box (1)* Flat stone (1) = 7
3. 3 cotton balls – Rolled in paint & glue to make Rocks
4. 10" sq wrapping paper – Quilt pattern, rolled up & strapped to rear bike carrier
5. Eraser – Stuffing for black Flower Pot
6. 5 stir sticks – Fence (5)
7. Small 3” box - Not used
8. 2 stickers – Shamrock on side of Mail Box (1)
9. 1 full sheet of any cardstock – Canadian Flag * Mail Box * Bird House * “Miniatures” Magazine * Leaves & Stems * Birds Wings

10. 4 bottle caps – Brick stand for Pond (1)
11. Greeting card – Daisies
12. 6" Foam sheet – Not used
13. 6" Felt square – Grass (used 9”x4”)
14. 6 Toothpicks – Bird Beaks (2 point ends only)
15. 2 sheets of Paper – Letters * Back & Side Walls * gravel path
16. 4 Q Tips – Bird bodies * Mail box & Bird House Poles * cotton ends made small rocks

17. 3 Thumb Tacks or Push Pins – Gazing Ball stand (1)
18. 6" length of ribbon – part as Strap to tie Quilt onto the Bike
19. 2 Toothpaste caps – Flower pot (1)
20. Small mirror - Pond
21. Tea Bag – Leaves for dirt in flower pots
22. 6" Sq Green fabric – Bush (in “barrel” flower pot w/Bird House)

23. 2 Paper Clips – Flag Pole (1)
24. 6 Straight Pins - Not used
25. A Napkin- 3D leaves on sides of walls (soaked with green paint & glue)

My one added item: Bicycle – latest mini gift from my dear sister

For more ideas, take a look at these blogs:

T5 Challenge - by Doreen Playter

T5 Challenge - Trash to Treasure 2012 (twenty-twelve!) by Maureen Heuchert

And of course, the trash minis pages of the Minitreasures Wiki!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Inky Business

Chris from Canada writes:
If you are thrifty (aka cheap) and refill your own ink jet cartridges, you will find there is either a complete medical syringe or else a blunt needle to screw onto each little bottle of ink. These squeeze bottles can be washed out and reused as can the syringe. They don't have the nice bent tip found on the ones craft stores sell ($4-$5 each) but the price is right and the straight needle makes them a lot more versatile. If you wash the syringe and/or needle out after each use (use a fine wire to make sure the needle is clean inside), you will find it is the perfect diameter for applying teensy amounts of glue or other liquids or semi-liquids to a project. Just wipe the tip clean and stick a straight pin into the end of the needle when you are finished to make sure it doesn't clog up.

These can be used as well with light artist's acrylic gel medium, ModPodge, old glue or acrylic paint that has thickened over time, to create relief designs or carvings on any surface. Grey and black paint mixed into any of the others and extruded onto clear acrylic or glass becomes leading for windows. Just tape the piece of material you are using over a diagram or picture of the design you want and trace over it with the leading. Create a freehand stained glass design on a small mirror and apply glass stain paint. Make a relief design on a 'plaster' wall or ceiling, add fancy mouldings to a plain chair or other 'boring' furniture, add 3-D lettering to a birthday cake, make raised designs on a jewel cask etc..... etc..... Use one to fill small items like glasses or teacups with liquid resin: faster than drop-by-drop and no air bubbles!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pantyhose never die!

Chris from Canada wrote:
If you have a pair of pantyhose, knee highs or lightweight leotards that are about to be tossed, wash them and cut out any good sized bits that are undamaged. This fabric can be sewn into tubes and used for mini stockings, dance leotards, hats, scarves, swim suits, sleeveless tops, long undies etc......... or any mini clothing item that calls for a thin, stretchy, fine knit fabric that can be made with minimal shaping.
NOTE: Pieces of this stuff also come in handy for applying wood stains and acrylic finishes, applying and buffing mini-furniture wax and giving a soft sheen to items made from polymer clay.
Thin tights are good for straining off liquids such as paints. They can be used to hold house parts together until the glue dries. This is stretching things a bit, (heh, heh) but think about storage...lots of stuff fits in those legs! They can be tied to a hanger, hung on a rod, ....
Don't forget to wrap a leg over your vacuum nozzle when you are dusting your craft space, so your little bits are not sucked up into oblivion!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Handbag Heaven

Tanya shared this wonderful project:
The bags are made from plastic spools like the ones you get in a sewing kit from Dollar Tree or any other dollar store. The first ones I made, I covered with fabric, but the other two are covered with a designer paper that I printed off the internet. First I used Tacky Glue to glue the fabric and paper onto the spools. Next I cut two circles the size of both ends of the spool from cardstock or some other type of thin cardboard. I then glued the two circles to a piece of paper or fabric for the bag I am working on and cut around the circle. Once dry glue the circle pieces face up to each of the ends. Next glue on your straps. I used thin ribbon. Lastly add tiny jewelry findings, nail art or whatever you choose to embellish the bags.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Chris from Canada wrote:
Remember those glass serving plates and trays made from all different colours of glass put together that were so popular as wedding gifts in the 60's and 70's? Well, here's a way to duplicate that look using (what else) items most people trash.

Last spring I was looking at a photo album trying to get some ideas for something different and retro to make for swaps, when I noticed my 70's glass plates in use in a family photo from 1975. I was thinking about about attempting these in miniature using small chunks of plastic melted into a mold when I remembered as a small child having used torn squares of tissue paper glued to pickle jars to make vases. I also remembered how pretty they looked when the sun hit them, and so the plates came to be.

First I made a plate blank by brushing two thin, even layers of Sobo glue (used because it's clear, dries just a bit flexible and happened to be handy) onto a piece of plastic wrap. When that had dried, I sandwiched the plastic wrap between 2 layers of white paper, and used a large hole punch to make circles. Mine were 7/8" and 3/4" in diameter. (Scissors work too, but I'm lousy at cutting circles out by hand.) I then took the circles and placed them on a piece of craft foam with the plastic wrap side down and gave them another coat of glue. Then I pushed them down into the foam with the blunt end of a marker to make the plate shape and let them dry in the foam, as you do with mini rice paper flowers. (I let them dry overnight because by then it was nearly 11 pm, but I am sure they would have been dry in 10-20 minutes.)

The next day, I tore some scraps of 3 colours of tissue paper that had come wrapped around swap items into teensy pieces about 3/16" square. One piece at a time, I dipped them into a 50/50 water-glue solution then smoothed them (with the colours chosen randomly) onto the plate blanks, which were still in the foam, using a paintbrush and a wet pinkie finger to remove any wrinkles. The overlaps and odd shaped bits became part of the design. When they looked good, I let them dry for a few minutes, then removed each one in turn from the foam, trimmed off and smoother any ragged edges, and placed it back in the foam. Finally, I brushed on two (3?) coats of glue, and when everything was dry, removed them from the foam and peeled off the plastic wrap, revealing some really groovy retro glassware.