New Project(s)

I am getting ready to start another miniature project. For play, of course. In fact it think I am starting several simultaneously. A gnome type house as a neighbor for the doll tree house. My granddaughters have Calico Critters that they enjoy playing with, that would make good neighbors for the Waldorf dolls.

The critter home will be in a large tree trunk. I want it to be a moveable house that can be set on a table, or moved to the floor next to the treehouse. I am thinking two floors. A great room downstairs, with a living room and kitchen. Bedrooms upstairs. The interior and the furniture will be very rustic. In this home, I will forego the bathroom. After watching my granddaughters play with the large treehouse, I have found the bathroom gets very little attention. The majority of play is about cooking dinners and putting dolls to bed. The tree will be free form paper mache something like the sketch below…..

My second project is going to be a street of shops. I recently purchased 4 miniature American girl dolls – one for each granddaughter. They stand 6.5” tall and have removable clothes and shoes. They will sit, although with their legs sticking straight out. I will have to work around that, but it is doable. The scale will be determined using them as a measuring stick, as it seems to be a larger scale than 1/12.

This street will find a permanent home in the studio. The girls love being out there and it has more room available than my house. Unlike the doll tree house, I will start recording my process from the start.

The first shop planned for the street is a bakery/cafe. I have already started making baked goods from polymer clay after watching YouTube videos. It is really quite easy to turn out realistic breads and pastries with this stuff. Also, it’s a project I can work on for short spurts of time. With spring here, my garden is calling me and spending full days in the studio is a challenge.

Other shops I am considering – a clothing store, a book store, and/or salon. I want to put a small apartment above one of the shops. This is definitely a long term project. Although, I do need to get it done while the girls are still young enough to enjoy it!

My process can sometimes be rather random, but I do have a rough plan. These buildings will be constructed by recycling cardboard and foamcore as I did with the tree house.

I started the bakery with a floor plan and constructed a base. When I did the tree house, I didn’t do this properly and my floor was a nightmare to get flat. I wound up gluing the living room and kitchen to a plywood board to keep them from warping.

So…right now I have a floor, with a floor plan and some food. It is a start!

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Garden Time!

I took a bit of a break from the studio projects after I finished the doll house. The weather has been beautiful and the garden is in need of some major work. I have a large organic vegetable garden each year, and an unheated green house for winter greens. My daughter, Megan, and I just harvested the last of the Winter Red Kale. It is, by far, my favorite variety of kale. The leaves are small and it is very tender and sweet. It grows well all winter long and has provided us with fresh winter greens from November through April. The strawberries and raspberries are blooming and will be setting fruit soon.

We have 8 new additions to our small farm. 4 ewes, 3 lambs and a guard llama. Last year we lost 3 lambs to coyote attacks. The llama, by nature, will guard the sheep from dogs and coyotes. Helen and Margo were there when PennyLane arrived. Margo had no fear of her, but Helen stood way back. She said “I don’t understand my sister! She should be afraid!”

Next we plan on a small flock of free range chickens.

Weather Day

I had my April Date to Create with Helen and Margo on Saturday. It was a day exploring about weather. And a great day it was! We had real Spring weather to get outside and enjoy.

We made weather wheels that could be turned each day to reflect what the outside day was showing. I gave them the option of drawing the different pictures for them or they could do it themselves and/or copy mine. They had their own ideas about what rainy, sunny, windy, snowy and cloudy looked like. For Margo, that meant pink rain, pink snow and a rainbow sun.

I lucked out with a breezy day, so we were able to go out in the field to fly kites. When Grammy was tired of running from kite to kite to help keep them in the air, we moved to the garden. Helen enjoyed digging up worms (in her dress, of course). She wouldn’t touch them, but Margo sure would…and would have taken them all home if I had let her. I explained that I needed them in the garden, so she created new homes for them in the soil, then watered them. She did manage to capture a Rolly Polly bug, named it Daisy, and put it in a container with dried leaves. Lucky for Mom and Dad, it was left at my house for me to bugsit.

When we were inside that had fun playing with the doll house. Helen decided to have an Easter Egg Hunt for the dolls. She took the eggs from the hen’s nests and hid them throughout the house for them to find.

We had a wonderful time! In May, we will enjoy exploring the universe in a flying saucer! Can’t wait!