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Friday, October 30, 2015

Bits of Random...

Did a little work on the restaurant. The front doors have been glued on
and I started cutting the cardboard strips for the roof.
I started glueing them on and realized I wanted to start from the front, not the back. So I started on the other side, then got distracted and put another one on the wrong end. So the strip in the middle has a little more space around it. Then dear hubby said when you do metal roofing, you start in the middle. Well, now I will know that for next time! LOL! Put the first coat of paint on one side...
looks like it will need one or two more. Once the light comes in, I can glue it all together. So in the meantime, I started to think about the next building. It will be the Greenleaf Village store with the two bay windows. At first it was going to be a flower shop, then after seeing the delightful bakery in the November issue of American Miniaturist, I think the minions would like a place to buy their morning donuts too! I tossed around some names...Flora and Fauna, no, that's not right. Bread and Flowers? Wheat and Roses? Then dear hubby said, "How about Buns and Roses?" We both burst out laughing and decided it had to be that one! So maybe that will get started sometime next week.  

The other day when it was raining so much, the sun finally came out in the early evening. Just in time for a beautiful rainbow!
And that evening, a Halloween moon!
Have a great evening!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Minion Mania!

S was so right about keeping my new camera away from the minions, I wasn't feeling well last night and forgot and left it in my shop. Everything looked normal when I walked into the shop this morning, but when I checked my camera, it was full of pictures! There were selfies,
pictures of a game of soccer,
a game called "catch the minion with the tweezers"...which I didn't even know was a game!
And then some general silliness.

I think I would call this some major goofing off! I have to admit I did laugh quite a bit and when the minions finally crawled out of their beds this morning, I put them to work. I had a rough night, so I played supervisor.  I put one to work finishing up the painting in the inside of the overhang
and got a few more of them to move furniture into the restaurant. In fact, there were so many of them helping, we couldn't get the furniture in so had to chase some of them out. In the process, one of the beer taps broke off and there was general pandemonium trying to find enough mugs to catch it all! One of the minions solved the problem by putting his mouth over the broken part. He'll be sleeping that off for awhile! LOL! At last, the tap was repaired and all the furniture was in place. Looks good!
If I was feeling better, I'd go in and have a nice juicy steak. Of course a bout with the stomach bug means I don't get to drive up and see my mom, so I think I will just order the lights I need online. While I wait for those to arrive I can start cutting the strips for the seams on the metal roof and work on the landscaping. For now though, think I will go lay down. Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Side Note...

In an effort to give you all better, clearer shots of my projects, I came to the realization that my little Kodak was no longer up to the task.
So after searching for quite awhile, putting off ordering and basically avoiding the issue, I finally decided on the Canon PowerShot Elph 350HS and put an order in to Cameta Camera. It has a 12X zoom, 20 megapixels,and has full HD Wi-Fi. 

The price was reasonable (around $200) and there were all kinds of freebies included in the price. It came with a 5 Piece Digital Care Kit, a cute little bendy tripod, two batteries, two battery chargers, a nice carrying case, a package of screen protectors, a plastic case for extra memory cards, A thingy to slide your memory card into that is plugged into your computer...(so photography literate I am! LOL!) and an adapter for other voltages.
A free one year subscription to Outdoor Photographer was also included. Since I received the little Kodak from my son back in 2006, things have sure changed! I have been practicing with it and in Auto mode, I can be 1/4" from a subject and it comes out clear and sharp or take pictures of far away subjects with the same results.  I have yet to learn all the things about this camera, but am looking forward to learning more each time I use it. The pictures yesterday were taken with it and the Calico Critters video was the first one I tried with it. I should have gone a little slower, but people were trying to squish by so it's a little blurry. I'll just have to have my big husband block the aisle next time! LOL! Now you can look forward to better pictures and I won't have to take 5 closeups of each thing and try to "perfect touch" them and crop them to get them to look halfway decent. So the little Kodak is traveling to the home of some of my grandchildren to see if one or two of them would be interested in photography like their Meme. We have had a lot of adventures together and I'll have fond memories of it. And me? I'll be trying to figure out the wi-fi feature and even better ways to share my projects with you! Have a great day!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Back to Work!

The minions had a greeting party waiting for me when I entered the shop today. They said, "Enough fooling around, you need to finish this thing!" They wouldn't listen to my whining and just pointed to my chair. So, what to do first....Ha! That's right, I was looking for a scrap of foam core board! I thought of one more spot to check....guess where it was.
So after moving things and digging around up there, voila! I had just one small piece left.
I put that aside and started measuring the roof. You remember that I had shortened this building, so that meant I had to trim the roof pieces too. The minions were glad I was finally getting to this as we have been having some rain lately and they were getting tired of taking shifts holding down the blue tarp over the roof. I only had to trim off 7/8", that gave me enough for the overhang.
I stained and glued two of the roof supports in place and cut the piece for the front of the overhang.

I bet you know what I did next....let's see how it looks! LOL!
I really should have painted the front gold before gluing it on....well, at least I won't have to be so careful on one side anyway.
I was going to leave the inside of the overhang plain but the minions complained that they could see the old writing on the back when they stood on the porch. And I thought I was a perfectionist! While all the roof pieces were drying, I added some trim around the outside of the building. I wanted to cover the edges of the stone fabric, but the stripwood I have just looks too bulky so went with the same trim as the inside.
I have a few more pieces to add to the inside and then that will be done and ready to glue down the furniture. Just as I was finishing up, I went to add (still) more nail polish to the bucket of wood pieces for the smoker. Next time, remind me to just bite the bullet and buy some envirotex....this poor minion has passed out from the nail polish fumes!
I took him outside to get some fresh air and apologized for all the stinky stuff. I won't be able to glue the roof on completely as I need a light fixture. Haven't been able to find one locally so since I am going to be visiting my mom this week, I will look up there for one or two. I need some plywood bases too...I have five of these left to go! Must make a list. Also wanted to say thank-you to all of you who read my blog, it is very encouraging to me. Please feel free to comment and follow me! More fun to come! Enjoy the fall weather, have a great day!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Leaf Peeping and an Awesome Toy Store!

Dear Hubby and I decided to take a break and go look at the leaves yesterday.  It was warm and we enjoyed the ride through the Appalachians. Of course, pretty soon, I was starving! LOL! So after a bacon cheeseburger at Pals, we went to REI in Asheville, NC and noticed an O.P.Taylor's. I had never been to one and when I walked through the door, I swear I heard angels singing! We were wowed by the Lego sets and laughed at the big robotic dinosaur. But when I came to the Calico Critters, I thought of all my Greenleaf forum friends and how they love to use these cute little animal families in some of their builds. Since I needed to try out the new camera, I made a video and had fun downloading it to YouTube.  Here is the final result for your enjoyment...

Not too much going on in the shop today.  The crominions now have enough smoked meat to feed everyone in the village a few times over so they are giving it a rest today. Dear Hubby and I will be organizing the office...that's going to take awhile! LOL! So enjoy the video and I will see you tomorrow! Have a great day!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Lights and Minions and Catch Ups!

Just have a few things to catch up on today. Between running to Walmart for groceries and staring at a pile of shirts that need ironing, not much time for minis today!  Thought I'd catch you up on a few things while I'm here. Remember Doc's waffle recipe? Not only did the bowl of batter overflow in the refrigerator, I couldn't get them to cook right either. The waffles were either soft and raw in the middle or as crispy as potato chips! LOL! As I typed that, I could hear a chorus of "Potato" from all the the way, there are more of them now.....don't know where they all come from! I think they jumped into my cart at Walmart....;) Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, waffles. I think Doc must have a magic touch with them because when he cooked them at his house they were delicious! Another thing I wanted to mention was the amber bracelet I made. Doc thinks I have the beginnings of osteoarthritis in my thumb joints so I was wondering if the amber would help. After wearing the bracelet for about a week, it does seem to help some. The pain is not as intense and I can move a little better. Baltic amber is supposed to be the best one to some on Ebay. Anyway, I figured it couldn't hurt and was inexpensive to do. Oh, and remember the magnifying lamp I wanted? Well, dear hubby came home with one for me! Woo!Hoo!
Now I just have to find a better spot for it. It's a little precarious where it is right now. It works great and is really beefy...couldn't complain about the $31 price tag either....with the coupon of course...good old Harbor Freight! And the highlight of the day was spray painting the ladder for the minions. It looks a little more like wood and the minions have been inspecting it.
They said it will work for now but think it needs some dry brushing for more realism..always coming up with more work for me!
Well, all this worked up an appetite! Thought I would make a blast from the past for lunch....Beefy Mexican Lasagna. It was as good as we remembered. My kids loved this and we have friends who love it too. Here's the recipe:                                                     
                                                 Beefy Mexican Lasagna
                                                  1 Pound ground beef
                                                  1 can (14 0z.) diced tomatoes
                                                  1 package taco seasoning
                                                  1 can (2.8 oz.) Durkee French Fried Onions
                                                  1 12 oz carton cottage cheese
                                                  1 1/2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
                                                  2 eggs, slightly beaten
                                                  Tortilla Chips
In large skillet, brown beef; drain. Add canned tomatoes and taco seasoning; simmer , uncovered. 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 can French Fried Onions. In bowl, combine cottage cheese, 1 cup Shredded cheddar cheese and eggs. Grease an 8x12" baking pan and put down a layer of tortilla chips. Spoon meat mixture evenly in dish. Top with another layer of tortilla chips then the cheese mixture. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese and french fried onions. Bake uncovered 5 minutes longer.  If desired, garnish with lettuce and chopped tomato before serving. Enjoy! (Should have taken a picture before, but we were hungry! :) LOL!)
Had an afterthought after I posted the recipe. The first time I made it, I used foil to cover it and all the cheese stuck to the foil. After that, I kind of tent the foil over the top. Give this a try, I don't think you will be sorry.

Have a great evening!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Smoker Accessories and the Staff!

As I was going to sleep last night, I realized that the minions have that nice new smoker but no fuel! So this morning, I started by brushing white glue all over the stonework on the restaurant. Since I have to wait for the glue to dry, I started looking around on the internet for a printie of a charcoal bag. It didn't take long to find one and I moved it onto Microsoft Word to make it smaller. Printed it out and gave it a light spray of matte sealer....(I love that stuff!)
I cut it out and put it together but one's empty! I knew there was a stray charcoal briquet laying around outside so I brought out my hammer and gave it a few whacks.
I have no clue what the neighbors are thinking as I'm outside with tweezers filling a teeny bag with broken pieces, but hey, if they want to come over and ask, I'll gladly share! I used some of the really smashed bits to rub around the edges of the bag and we now have a bag of real charcoal!
Another thing that my husband uses when he smokes meat is a bucket of water with bits of wood in it. He uses cherry wood which works really well, but the minions are just going to have to do with the stripwood I have on hand. I sawed a few pieces off and then split them into slivers with my utility knife.
Be careful when you do this, don't want any split fingers out there. I thought a tiny beach pail, yellow of course, would make a funny container so I put in the wood and poured clear nail polish in for water. I know that's going to take awhile to dry and it will shrink too, but don't want to run out and buy a whole set of envirotex for a few drops of water. Arranged everything for a look see and was tickled with how it looks.
Looks like our crominion has some good smoke going there! S asked about our staff and I have been working on that too. As you can see, the crominions are happily at work smoking meat for the grand opening. If you have ever been to a Brazilian Grill, you know how the waiters come around and shave off nice chunks of meat however much you want. Well, our pirate minion fancies himself as one of the waiters there and is even ready with his very large knife.
Since our restaurant is small, he's the bartender too. No one gives him any grief for sure. That's all for today, I hear the laundry pile trying to crawl out of the hamper, so have to get to work. Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Onward and Upward!

Time to put those walls up! There was a general air of celebration as the minions cheered to see the walls go up. First I glued two sets of long and short walls.

While that was drying, I worked on finishing up the front doors. One last coat of finish and I glued the glass in. All the pictures I had looked at showed large brass hardware on the entry doors of Outback Steakhouses so I dug around and found two handles left over from a 1/12" scale project. They looked pretty good to me, so on they went!
Since the restaurant was still in the clamps, I painted the seats of the bar stools. These come in the bathroom set of plastic furniture and I always thought they were a little high. Perfect for bar stools! I know, purple?!
I didn't choose the color, the crominions hired a decorator and that's what was decided....I just do what I'm told around here. I do think they look pretty good with the bar, maybe the decorator knows what he's doing....;)
While the bar stools were drying, I removed the two sections of restaurant from the clamps and it was a race to get all the glue on the various parts and then clamp it up before something dried. So now the four walls and the floor are in the clamps and drying.
I was tearing the shop apart trying to find those few scraps of foamcore I had saved. I just need one small piece for the front of the overhang. So far, no luck. Well, I will keep looking. Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lots of Little Details...

Finished up the beer kegs and glued the parts together.
After I took the picture, I added smaller crimp beads to the tops of the beer taps....can never leave anything alone...LOL! I remembered that I hadn't put any clear finish on the floor, so took care of that too. After the first coat, I did a gentle sanding then put on a second coat. It came out nice.
Of course, I had to try out all the furniture and see how the back bar looked with everything glued in place.
The minions saw a couple of the walls going up and started lining up outside to make reservations. Just a little longer fellas! The back bar accessories looked a little flat to me, so got out my teeny scissors and cut out more bottles and put a tiny piece of card on the back of them. Then with a little bit of glue along the bottom edge, they were put in place.
If I had an open side on this build, I would have gone with more 3 dimensional bottles and glasses. But these will only be visible through the windows with a dim interior light, so I think this will work just fine. With all the furniture arranged, I thought it needed more color so printed out a rug and used some clear matte sealer on it. It's glued in place with glue stick and will be a little warmer underfoot once winter comes.
The next thing was a quick dry brush on the front steps--a little more dimension.
And the last project of the day was the telephone. The one that came with the plastic furniture needed a little more detail.
So with one of my tiniest brushes, we painted it up too!
I trimmed a few more windows and then had to quit for the day. Should be able to start gluing it together tomorrow! Woo! Hoo! Have a great day!