It’s a busy birthday week at my house- today Maisie turns 4! I don’t have any pics of her yet this morning, but wanted to update everyone on our projects (and my dad’s bday) this week.
Pic of Papa wearing Maisie’s hat 🙂 –
Maisie on my dad’s bday- she dressed as a ‘cowgirl ballerina’:
We build ultra realistic log cabin dollhouses for fun. I love doing miniature things. Maisie complained that her dollhouse cabins had no bathrooms- so my dad made an outhouse out of poplar, barn wood, and cedar shingles- he even made the handle for the door out of copper wire he hammered and aged!
I did the ‘poop’ and a snake to go in the 2-holer, out of polymer clay- and we have teeny antique (readable) Sears catalogs in there!
R made the base, it revolves- and painted it with milk paint.
R put the static grass down, but I did the rest of the landscaping and painting and stone crafting out of egg cartons- and I made ‘weeds’… it is a marvelous collaboration! I can’t wait til we surprise her with it later this afternoon!
She’s also getting an ant farm, which she asked for 🙂
Will update more later! xo
I spent a couple of days playing baker and cheesemonger, with varying results.
Polymer clay food miniatures are so fun to make for a foodie who is currently on a 10 day juice cleanse.
I need to go back to bread and cheesemaking at some point, but I quit after a couple of days because I now have way too many loaves of bread and cheeses in my possession.
My first attempts at baguette loaves were made with sculpey clay and colored with turmeric and eye shadow/mineral makeup. My dad actually painted them for me. They came out a bit overbaked, but it was a great first attempt.
My second attempts (and subsequent ones) were better, I still need to refine my bread painting skills.
I also ended up making Norwegian lefse sticks and bread. Lefse is like a potato based flat bread, similar to a huge tortilla, that has it’s origins during the Viking age. In my house, we make it around Christmas time, because my ex is Norwegian. I will do a separate post on the lefse tomorrow…
My first attempt at a blue cheese ended up looking like spinach artichoke dipped stuffed into bread instead- yumm
I ended up making blue cheeses, brie, swiss, garlic gouda, and herb covered chevre. Cheese making is fun, I will eventually get back to it again.
My sister Edie and I decided to try our hand at polymer clay sausage making.
We started with black pudding, then moved on to salami, and finished with lap cheong (Chinese sausages). I know that the salami and lap cheong would definitely not be in a log cabin of that period, but it was fun to try!
They turned out just okay… going to keep plugging away at this and learn how to make them more realistic.
BTW, the garlic, potatoes, and chilis in photos are not by me, I purchased them.
My sister also made some melted candles out of polymer clay
Daddy and Maisie playing peekaboo in the log cabin
The cabin definitely needed a table. I decided on a tilt style colonial table and found a vintage House of Miniatures kit on eBay that I wanted to use.
We are SO happy with how it turned out!
Tilt top tables were a space saving innovation in those days, used mostly in poorer (but obviously not dirt poor) homes where space was at a premium.
I distressed and stained it using existing photos found online as a guide.
The table has no chairs, so I cut out some shapes to make benches. I ended up making two- when not in use (cmon, they’re never in use), I push one on either side of the fireplace. Also pleased with how these turned out:
not easy to see, but the benches are on either side of fireplace
We also got a teeny Maltese china dog in that we named Ruby after my aunt’s little Maltese. Ruby lives with Gabriel, our resident log cabin Labrador Retriever. Maisie loves them so much. She takes them for ‘walks’ before bedtime.
Because I was running out of room in the cabin, the half loft had to be extended to a full loft. I stained and glued temporary boards to the ceiling rafters in such a way that if I had to remove them, it wouldn’t damage the original structure.
It’s not perfect, but it works in a pinch!
I also added a fireplace trammel to hang pots from in the fireplace
and a few other eBay finds:
The old rug in the house was actually an antique crocheted pot holder that I put in there when I was 12. I decided it was time to make a ‘real’ rug for the cabin.
I used antique embroidery cotton that I had (Yeah, I stockpile old sewing stuff and linens *sigh*).
First, I made a ton of strings to braid. Did I mention that I DETEST braiding?!
Sewing this took FOREVER- probably over a week or more, so my sister, who is staying with me during her cancer treatments, took over the sewing of it and finished this rug in a couple of days. She even sewed it when she was in the hospital- that’s dedication!
It turned out a little bumpy, but I don’t mind. I glued a cotton backing on the thing after it was done being sewed together. I love it 🙂
We started building and designing period furnishings for this cabin.
Historically, a cabin this size would have housed (on average) a family or up to 11 or more!!!
Trundle rope beds were in order… a single sized bed like that could have slept (I’m not kidding) 2 grown people or quite a few children!
I made all of the bedding out of vintage linens and stuffed it with ‘straw’ (actually, tea leaves).
We tried our hand at a stool with a woven rope seat, but cut it wrong (too tall) and now it is a side table.
I also made a teeny ‘fire’ for the fireplace
One thing that has kept me occupied all month (and away from blogging, etc) is this:
35 yrs old-ish, nearly an antique now!
My dad made this for me in 8th grade for my Michigan day project (I helped).
He got an A.
Took it out of the basement for the first time in 15 years to fix up and decorate for Maisie (well, that’s the official story).