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Also if for some reason I can't post I will try to give a head's up on the Facebook page so check there too.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Way off topic

Let's talk about where I have been for the last couple of years and what that really means for videos and tutorials in the future. The topic I want to talk about today isn't really mini related and it isn't a topic people like to talk to about. A lot of people just brush it under the table and try to pretend it never happens. But we need to change that mindset and have a dialog.

I know from the messages I have gotten that many of you have been worried about me and so I am going to address this.

Honestly this is a hard post to write. I'm not sure how to proceed here. I have written so many drafts of this post and promptly deleted them all. I just can't find the words to say what I want to say. So be patient if this does ramble a bit.

So our topic of the day is depression. I have suffered with/lived with depression for many years. It first started at least 20 years ago maybe closer to 25 (or more) and it has always been the dark shadow in the corner of the room for me. From time to time I would contemplate suicide but it was something that was a fleeting thought.

For whatever reason my depression got much worse over the last couple of years. To the point that 6 months ago I was very close to killing myself. I didn't follow through but I wasn't getting any better either. Then in January of this year I actually acted on the thought. I did stop myself at the last minute but I do carry a scar from that day.

It was at that point I decided I needed to make some drastic changes in my life. I had sold my house back in November of last year and was planning to stay in the area. I had always lived within the same area all my life.

Then in March I got really sick and had a lot of time to really think about my life. I realized that the area I was living was packed with memories that were causing my depression to just get worse and worse. I was running into a lot of people that had done things that had caused me emotional harm over the years. I decided I needed to make a drastic change.

So when I got over being sick I packed everything I could take with me into a Uhaul truck and moved from Oregon to North Dakota. I said I needed to make some drastic changes in my life.

A few things that I have noticed since the move are that for the first time in decades I am actually happy! I hadn't realized how long it had been since I was happy until I was again. It was a shock at first.

I have been here for almost 2 months and I am settling into my new life. I also realized a few weeks ago that the nightmares that used to have on an almost nightly basis are gone. I haven't had one since I moved.

So what does all this mean for my videos/tutorials. I do plan to be back in time. I think it will be a long while before I am able to jump in with weekly videos but I do want to start doing at least some videos. The schedule I was keeping became way too stressful and right now I am trying to limit stress. Also while the majority of people that comment and contact me about the tutorials are wonderful there are those that seem to be on YouTube just to be nasty and mean. Those are also something I want to avoid for right now anyway.

On the other hand I didn't have room for any of my dollhouses in my moving truck so I really want to build a dollhouse soon. I do need to get the extra bedroom set up as a craft-room/filming room.  I will be back even if it is slowly.

I do apologize for basically ignoring all of you the last year or so. I just couldn't handle it for a while.

So you can expect to see very slowly coming back in the future.

Now for any of you that are also in the same head place I was, talk to someone you can trust. That is the first step to getting better but also the hardest step.

Stay safe and happy and I'll see in the next video (or blog post)

Sunday, January 5, 2020

My Favorite Glues

First I want to apologize for my absence from here, YouTube and Facebook. To say 2019 was rough would be a complete understatement. I am ready to put it all behind me and look forward in the new year. Thank you to all that were concerned about me and a huge thanks to all who stuck around.

Now onto the subject for this week's video- my favorite glues.

I started off with the wallpaper paste because I do get asked a lot about this. I am very happy with the border paste I have been using. I have had no problems in any of the projects I have used it in so I can say with confidence it is a good product for putting the wallpaper in our dollhouses. This is one that brand shouldn't matter on, just purchase it from a good paint store.

The second glue today is just plain old Aleene's Tacky glue. I am a bit of a brand snob on glue and I have had the best luck with the name brand. I use tacky glue for just general crafting and gluing small things, especially paper projects.

Next up is super glue, while I really don't like any of the other Gorilla Glue products for making dollhouse miniatures their super glue is my favorite and I have used up several bottles at this point. I do prefer the gel version for most applications.

And finally my very favorite all around glue- Beacon's 3-in-1. I love this stuff for most of my projects and it is the one I run out of the most.

So will this list stay the same forever? Probably not, my tastes change as I find new products to try and also as things become harder to get or change their formulas. But for now these 4 are my favorites.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Dollhouse Miniature Dandelion

This blog post is going to be kind of short, I have a really bad cold and feel like crud. I did manage to get the video finished for you guys though. I know I went off screen more than a few times, I re-filmed some parts multiple times but still missed on a couple of hem. Sorry about that.

So this week I decided to add a dandelion to the landscaping. I love this project and made a bunch of them several years ago. I hope that I haven't already shared it on the channel, I don't think I have.

We start by painting out paper (2 pieces of plan printer paper and 1 of cardstock) with some acrylic paints so that they will hopefully stay more true to color. Then we create the leaf portion and the flowers and finally put everything together.

The leaf punch I used I have no idea where I got it from. I have had it for years. You can use any small leaf punch or cut the leaves with scissors. It really is a simple shape. The other punch is just a cheap hole punch, the standard on those seems to be around 1/4” . I think the one I used was from the dollar store.

I really hope you enjoy the project, I apologize for how bad my voice sounds at the end of the video. Like I said I am sick, so that was what it was today.

Be sure to let me know what you want to see on the channel.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Dollhouse Miniature Front Porch part 13

First sorry this is so late getting up. I ended up getting called into work an extra day last week then on Sunday my daughter brought my grandson over for a while. Loved seeing him but I couldn't work on the video with an almost toddler helping me.

So this week we are adding some shrubs to the planting beds. I decided to go this route instead of flowers because I want to leave my porch on display all year long and decorate it to fit the current season. Flowers would have been hard to make work that way.

The shrubs are very simple and use stuff you should be able to get really easily. In fact you might already have everything you need.

For the base of our shrub you have many choices. I decided to use scraps of the pink foam because I have lots of little bits from other projects. You can use the same or regular Styrofoam, wood shapes, or even form your base shapes from clay. Or really whatever you have on hand.

The next step to add a stem/trunk. This will have 2 uses. First it will act as a handle while we are working on our shrub then we will use it to “plant” the shrub. For mine I used plain old round toothpicks. Again use what you have.

After the glue for the stem is dry give the base a coat of paint. Any dark green (or even black) will work. It should be darker than you will be painting the foliage and will appear to be a shadow if any of it even shows. It is just there to prevent the color of whatever you use as a base from showing in the end. In my case I really didn't want the pink color to show but unless you use something that is dark colored for the base do take the time for this step.

When the paint dried I then coated the bases with a diluted coat of ModPodge and covered them with some outdated herbs. I love the texture the herbs give, they look like leaves on the finished shrubs.

Coat the herb layer with a diluted coat of ModPodge to act as a sealant. Otherwise you might find the herbs coming off.

When this coat dries add a wash of green paint to give your shrubs the look of a living plant. Remember even if the herbs you use are fresh now they will fade to a very pale tan over time.

Finally just put holes in the planting bed where you want to “plant your shrubs, trim the stem and glue in place.

I love how these turned out they really added a nice finishing touch to my porch display.

That being said I think we are pretty much done with our porch project. I do still need to get a door knob for my front door but other than that and some seasonal decorations I am ready to display my porch on the table in my entry. Here's a picture of it in place.

I will do some tutorials for some of the decorations I make over time.

So now I need ideas of what you all want to see next. Be sure to let me know what projects you want to see on the channel.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Dollhouse Miniature Front Porch pt 12

I am hoping I am back to filming videos on a weekly basis. Thank you to everyone that has contacted me in the last few months showing their support. You have no idea how much that means to me.

Now on to the project this week.

I have wanted to do this in a project for a couple of years. It is kind of a twist on using a picture outside the window to show the landscape around the house or room. This time we are using a photo of an interior to show the inside of our house.

One of the things I love about this is it can easily be changed. I think it would be so cool to have a collection of pictures of rooms that are decorated for the different seasons. You know maybe one with a Christmas tree, another with Halloween decorations, and so on through the year. I made it so it is really easy to change the photo. Just start collecting pictures to use.

For the back of mine I used a piece of heavy watercolor paper. Mainly because it was laying on my work table so I didn't have to go find it. Use anything that is heavy enough to tape the photo to. I cut mine 12 ½” by 11”. Be sure to try the piece you cut in your porch before you move to the next step. It needs to slide in easily.

For the sides and the divider I used 3 strips of scrap foamcore 1” by about 10 ¾” (the one for the divider will need to be trimmed to fit.

For the top and bottom I used 2 pieces of balsa strip wood that I cut about 11 ½” long. Again measure yours to fit your porch display.

Just glue it together so it looks like this.

Then hunt down some photos in magazines to use.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

My Absence from YouTube/Blogs

I know I have been gone from Facebook, my YouTube channels and my blogs for a while now. I wanted to let you all know what is going on and why. But first I want to say I will be back I'm just not sure when. I want to get back to posting like before eventually.

This last year, starting with the month of November 2017 has been by far the hardest of my life. While there have been some fantastically wonderful things happen (like my first grandson being born) there have been some very hard things happen also.

The deaths of several people close to me has hit me harder than I could have ever imagined. I have also watched people I care about suffer from mental/emotional issues and I have to say the feeling of helplessness that you are left with watching that is indescribable.

There have also been some financial worries in my life that have caused me more than a few sleepless nights.

I know I have been on the brink of depression for most of the last year and many days have been a battle just to get up and do what needs to be done.

I'm not telling you all of this for sympathy or anything else other than to let you all know what has been going on and why there have been so few videos.

I actually have several videos filmed or partly filmed (some from back in August) that I just haven't had the energy to finish. For whatever reason the idea of starting the editing just seems so hard right now.

I will make it up to all of you and the porch series will continue.

I am starting to feel better about life and more like myself the last few weeks. I will get back on track. I want to thank all of you that have stuck around while I have been absent.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Dollhouse Miniature Front Porch pt 11


This week we are going to be adding the “soil” to the planting areas as well as the “grass” to the lawn.

For the soil I went to my standby- coffee grounds. I love the ease of using them, there are always more on hand (at my house at least) and since they would normally either end up in the garbage or the compost they are a free material. They also look great when glued down on our mini projects. If you would like to learn more about the process of using the coffee grounds here is a link to a video I made a while back explaining the process.

For the grass in my lawn this time I decided to try something new, at least new to me. I found a really cool sheet of moss in the floral department of the craft store. I picked the smallest package, the sheet of moss was about the same size as a sheet of normal paper. I really like the more natural feel and look of the moss. This was absolutely the first time I have used a sheet of moss in this way so I have no idea how it will hold up long term but I am in love with it right now.

The biggest thing I learned was to work with as large a piece as you can for any given area and to make sure to pick off the extra layers in the thickest spots.

Because the moss is natural and it has various thicknesses throughout the sheet it automatically makes for a more rolling surface. One of the things I hate about a lot of mini landscaping is that the surfaces are too often perfectly flat. The real world is not perfectly flat it rolls up and down and has holes in it. The moss that I added adds to the realism a bit in that respect. It also has areas that look more green and some that are brown and look dead, again a bit more realistic. 

The biggest drawback I think is the mess that the product creates, it is really messy. I really wish I had worked on this outside, it would have made cleanup a lot easier.

If you don't want to use the moss and would like to use my method of adding the lawn with a terry cloth towel here is a link to video where I show you how to do that. (it is toward the end of the video)

So that is where we will leave the project for this week. I hope you are enjoying the process and picking up a few tips along the way.

As always thank so much for watching my videos and reading the blog.