Monday, March 31, 2008


MyLarry is home sick, and his poor truck is broken down at the Volvo dealer down in Saint George. he got a ride home with another Central drive, I have no clue how he'll get back down there to pick up the truck. Full load of drywall too.

I am coming down with his cold, Stuffy, achy headache. Yuck. I was going to work hard on the dollhouse so I can begin making art for the Home. Not happening today, but I am very close. I need to marble the washstand top, then put a finish on the bed, corner table and washstand, make mini towels, dress the bed, paint the curtain rods and glue those in. Then arrange the suite. The Horrified Bride and the Empty Groom will be put on hold until September.

I have been uploading past projects into my new deviant art page, check the main gallery and the scrapbook to see what I do.

Time for rest and fluids.

The pictures: Are you kidding me? Kit pieces arranged, washstand, partway there. The bed and the chaise; the bed is from a kit and the chaise is from scraps. They will both look far better finished and dressed in the suite. A commercially made chaise lounge in half-scale is $30+! So I made my own.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Battle of NeverMore and the Art Gallery in the Attic

Okay, two more rooms done. Pretty much done done too. My eyes are not what they used to be; painting the Wraith was difficult, even with a magnifier. I did go back in and redo the Sickle Wraith's bone hands, but I am not yet satisfied. I may paint more on the little guys, but likely not. The trees and bushes are held in with Florists' clay; I may have to upgrade that. It is very soft and sticky; the greenery falls over. That mural of the hills was one of the first things I painted in the house. If you look closely, you can see I painted the chimney as a tree trunk with roots. The rocks are tumbled agates. The table and chairs and cups and candles are a Middle Earth gaming set, the Prancing Pony Tavern by oh, great, I lost the packaging. Pal Ratha? Ral Patha? I'll have to look that up.

The Art Gallery started out as an Observatory, but it was not to be. I couldn't find nor manufacture the miniature pieces such as telescopes and astrolabes in half inch scale. But I did have three marvelous sculptures which my brother Larry Castle had made from tektites and tiger iron, silver and agate. The rats are a gaming piece from long ago and far away; the pewter figurines simply part of my massive collections of schtuff. I did the faux marbling; I think it looks rather good.

Only the Haunted Honeymoon Suite to go! And the back hall, but that is part of the suite. I do have a hidden tower room, right now it holds the mini piano, and only the mini piano!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Step into my Parlor

I did it! I finished the Green Gypsy Parlor! I finally tackled the chairs; yowza wowza, that was difficult. Half inch scale is TINY! Those chairs are only two inches tall. I'd been dragging my feet about them, not wanting to take on such an intricate task.

Although I must admit, I'll still fuss, I want two glasses of wine for the table, and maybe a chair in the corner instead of the table holding the egg and the dragon. Or maybe not. There is a tiny stag's head for the parlor, but I need to find a mount for it. Yes, those are "real" Tarot; I have an entire deck in that scale, the rest of the cards are in the side console drawers. Technically, one inch, but why quibble? I would like to print them on cardstock so their backs are not plain. I cheated and lightly glued them to the table. That's not a real spread, it'd be awful if it were. The glass basket on the console holds two real miniature crystals. I also have the front porch and the entryway done. I need a Welcome mat of some kind, maybe one which says "Enter at Your own Risk." I'd also like a picture to place above the matador; he looks alright viewed through the front door, but seems low when seen through the arch of the parlor.

Pictures: Front Porch with male and female lucky Tanukis. Note the brass letterbox. Peeking into the entryway: A Matador I painted, two lucky cats on a table I did the faux marbling on, and the inlaid floor ... that I did not do myself. Three views of the parlor: I painted the pictures myself, the portrait of the green woman isn't visible in the photos. The Egyptian women were once a bookmark (thanks Deb!), Nefertiti and Hathor. I made the candles from tiny wood trim, and I painted the green Snake myself. I also did the marbling on the large round table. The rug began life as a coaster. There is a violin, a shawl, and a proper crystal ball. The books are bound with blue leather. That's a glass dragon in the bookshelf, and an elephant and a chihuahua. The chairs, finished, intermediate and the kit pieces. I made the middle chair for the kitchen from scraps and bits I had about; the inlaid wood trim matches the wood trim along the ceiling in the kitchen. I added a churn to the kitchen.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Coyote Eggly and Road Food

I promise, I promise there will be Spring Sproing pictures as soon as I get my hands on some.

So Saturday night was the burn, on Sunday morning I decided to ride down to Vegas with MyLarry and a load of steel. We ran with Bob, who also had a steel load. I'd quite forgotten that I don't have "trucker butt" anymore. That's sort of like a sailor's sea-legs, takes a while to get used to sitting for so long with limited breaks. Watched the gorgeous Utah scenery roll from Mountain West Desert to Desert-Desert scenery. I like the prairie dog towns near Beaver; I am sad when I see "commercial land for sale" signs in their fields. Progress means ticky tacky houses and big box stores, alas.

We took our Easter hats and went to Coyote Uglys. The guys still get ushered in, but the free drinks aren't as free as they used to be; Bob can drink a lot of beer. That's okay, I don't drink as much as I used to do. Good thing too. Some dancing on the bar/stage, which is always fun. I did not lose a bra, they take them down periodically. Lots of friendly people, it was a good time.

There is a lot of good food in Vegas, but there is not a lot of good, quick and cheap food. We ended up with a "family" dinner of fried seafood in the New York New York. I gorked quickly, I am not used to eating fried foods anymore. Tasty and fresh, but I've had better. Maybe the calamari next time.

Road food: the small diner in the Moapa Indian Casino just north of Vegas on I-15. There's been a music video made there, with trucks and fireworks, but I'll be darned if I can recall the band off the top of my head.

I woke up Monday morning hungry and tired, but Larry had to deliver the steel on time, there was no going for breakfast or even coffee. I made do with two tiny oatmeal cookies and a swig of his too sweet thermos coffee. Had an interesting chat with the site foreman about Mardi Gras beads and boobs. (Insert wildly inappropriate moment HERE). Then it was straight out to pick up drywall, that was interesting. There are so many broken bottles on the road east out of Vegas that the dirt buttes and hills look like they're coated in pave diamonds. Pretty, but sad. He says there used to be a lot more trash, but the city/county cleaned up. Still, the idjits have started in again; there were tires and couches and mystery buckets of construction goo.

The drywall place has a huge warehouse; the trucks drive into the building to be loaded. Then the truckers pull forward and strap the loads, tarping if there will be rain or snow. There wasn't, Larry just threw straps. This is more complicated than it sounds, it involves corner protectors and big ratchety things and a bar to secure the load tightly. Then it was north on the maintenance road, bumpy and ill-paved and nothing but desert and power stanchions in sight. We got onto I-15; I was whiny and head-achey. We stopped at Moapa on the rez for breakfast/lunch. This is an Indian casino plus liquor store plus diner plus gift shop plus FireWorks! store. There are signs all over saying "no cellphones" because in theory use of a cellphone can set off fireworks. What did I see? Doofuses (doofii?) walking around yapping on their phones. Anyway, we sat down for a meal. Larry had a Big Honkin' Burger, at least a half pound on a nicely toasted bun, with onion rings. I got a patty melt. Wowzer, it was HUGE! A half pound, on yummy grilled bread, with grilled onions and mystery cheese. Grease and salt on a half hung-over morning, exactly what I needed. But truly, it was a good patty melt, the cook did an excellent job of it. I was so full I didn't eat the rest of the day. I had a nice nap in the sleeper until we hit Cedar City; then I got back in my seat for the ride home. I love sitting eight feet above the regular four-wheelers.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Clearance Gods and the Rites of Spring

The Spring Sproing was great ... I forgot my camera battery! It was Randy's birthday, I gave him one of my old, old Japanese lacquer bento boxes, some lacquer teacake plates with matching tiny spoons and forks. I'd had them for ages, I love them, but never used them. I know he does tea ceremonies and adores Japanese things, so it felt right that he should have them. Sometimes I think I am a custodian of treasures until the real owner comes along.

We wore our funky clothes, drank rum and coke, had a birthday potluck, said hi hiya howdy to our many friends. Hope brought an easel, and there was a guy in a plain robe which we painted. He was The Human Easel. I did a spiral sun on his back and others accented it. Lovely. There were drums and el-wire and little kids all over the place, this was an all ages event. Chuck made two "flingers" one a catapult and one a huge crossbow. I brought my head in a basket piece, the one adorned with all the underwires I had to remove from my bras after the breast cancer surgery. We stuffed it with rolls of toilet paper, soaked it in lamp oil, lit it and Flung! it! The catapult was made from leaf springs, it took hooking it to a pick-up to winch it. It snapped, good thing no one was right next to it. The crossbow was nifty, although the Tweety bird attached to the arrow burned too quickly and set the station on fire. A mad scramble to move the fuel cans. Fire, booze and crossbows, what could go wrong?

The main effigy was a shrine/hut, called The Pentagon. Another guy had brought a Santa in a sleigh pulled by a swan to fling, but it was too large. A swan? Hey, that's art. So Santa went on top of the effigy. They swiveled the crossbow and shot a flaming arrow into the Santa. Whoomp! Beautiful trajectory, a perfect hit and the bonfire began. There were a coupe shaman types doing their thing, and some dancing around the fire, but it was a hot beast and you couldn't get close. Much drumming and dancing!

On the way home, I asked MyLarry to stop at the Flying J so I could piddle. As I passed the sale table, I noticed a golden pyramid. Then I saw them. They were below the table on the bottom rack. Egyptian gods! Half-priced Egyptian gods! I got a large Bast, an Isis, and a Horus. I mean, I already own a small Bast and a seated Isis, but these were lovely! Huzzah for Clearance Gods!

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 21, 2008

With All the Ribbons On It ...

I spent all day working on my Easter bonnet for the Spring Sproing. I don't know if I will have time to get hundreds of bright orange pom-poms sewn onto my Granny coat or not!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wham Bam Thank You Glam!

Ah, the first day of Spring. I did not work on the dollhouse today, but I did work on my t-shirt for the Spring Sproing Burn out at Seabase on Saturday. Chuck of Arabia made catapults, well, flingers, and we are supposed to bring things to fling. Things to dip in a flammable fluid or compound, lit up, and then flung. Seabase is a salt marsh, wet and mucky this time of year, no worries, we won't set the fields on fire. It is also Randy of Oz's birthday party, so I should make a gift for him, he's a real doll. There will be a big bonfire, but the design is secret so far.

I had an old Synorgy tee, from the year we were Alice in Scubaland. The effigy was a giant white rabbit. I dug it out and used 3-D fabric paints ... wham! And plastic jewels ... Bam! Very much over the top, Thank You, Glam! I'm also eyeing my box of bright orange pom-poms, I could sew them onto my beige granny coat. If you're going to war, Clash!

I did work in the front flowerbed yesterday, weeding and pulling dead matter, and Rowena gave me a daylily she was splitting. Ironic, as those were my daylillies when we were renting next door.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Blue Fairy Bedroom

Note the photo next to the bed ... yep, a blue fairy!

Tea with the Black Dragon

Yay, again! Another room finished, and this one is pretty much done. Tea with the Black Dragon features some of the finest Japanese miniatures I picked up in Akasuka, hand painted gold on black lacquer. The bowl hanging on the wall was part of a home Buddhist prayer cabinet. The tea set is signed by Mock, or Mark, and is one of the first things I bought for the house. Not Japanese, but hey, it is marvelous. If you look closely, the Black Dragon has a teensy cup in his claws. The buddhas in boxes on the wall are lucky trinkets from Kamakura. The petit fours are Fimo, some of my first experiments with the medium.

I got digging into my boxes; I wanted to find my miniature Japanese woodblock print stickers so I could frame them and put them in the tearoom. Couldn't find them at all. But I did find my super-mini glass animals, bits and odds and toys for the Blue Fairy Bedroom, and some kitchen items and pewter figurines I'd mixed in with the full-sized miniatures. Then, a silver skull, some other tiny silver charms and earrings, and YES! the rest of my miniature paintings. As in, I painted them. I got the details I wanted for the kitchen finished, and added a few items to the Red Den. Like the Dormouse sleeping in the chair, so cool, I'd forgotten him. He's jointed, hand painted metal, a collector's piece. I also have a lot done in the Blue Fairy Bedroom, it will be finished in a day or two.

Pics: One of the things I like about this blog is that I can post huge pictures. One click and they're full size, so I can scroll around and check details I'd otherwise miss, like globs of min-hold and crooked things.

Tea with the Black Dragon, tea table, Kitchen with added items, Den with added items. Can you find the ghost family in the kitchen? The pirate's treasure map in the den?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Witches Kitchen

Yowza, one more dollhouse room almost done. The Witches Kitchen is finished, but I need a chair. I have a ladderback cane-bottom chair kit, but the table was bad enough. Simple in design, whereas the chair is not. I still feel like I need a few odds and ends in the kitchen, some firewood, a spider, more pictures on the walls, a mousetrap and a pumpkin. Perhaps some tattered, greasy lace curtains. Maybe give the table the same aged look as the sideboard. The kitchen is one of those dollhouse rooms which you can keep shoving stuff into and it looks alright.

Details: the little glass bottle have removable stoppers, there's a key on the sideboard, the tiles around the fireplace and the stove feet are hand-painted (by me), the red hutch has a Hand of Fatima painted on it, I aged the Star above the fireplace, and painted the mice and the casks of rum and whiskey, the plate on the table has Halloween cookies on it. The ceiling and floor tiles came as unfinished white plastic; I painted, aged and smoke-stained them. There's a mixer on top of the cupboard to the left.

Pictures: Painting the mice, table kit, glued together table drying, unfinished kitchen so you can see the painted tiles, kitchen right, kitchen left.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Girls Just Wanna Have Lunch

Woke up to a dusting of fluffy snow this morning, it has melted of the concrete and the cars, but is sticking to the grass and trees. Pretty.

I'm still spending too much time online today, but I am getting bits and pieces accomplished. I decided to go ahead and make the recipe I've been eyeing. MyLarry can eat it reheated, as leftovers. If I wait until he is home, it will be later than I should be eating a meal and I never feel like cooking late at night. Honey-Walnut Scallops, on rice with a side of peas and carrots. Sure, the recipe was for shrimp, but scallops is what I had. Very yummy, although I think the scallops would have been better pan-seared rather than lightly battered and fried. This recipe calls for honey and coconut milk in the sauce; most of the standard ones use condensed milk instead. Ook, that would be like candy. And I used lime juice instead of lemon, which works beautifully because I prefer the flavor of lime. This sauce would be wonderful with grilled prawns or chicken. I did not glaze my own walnuts, I used Emerald brand out of the bag. I don't like them on their own, but they were perfect with this dish.

I am happily full. Time to read or fuss with the dollhouse, I have to decide. MyLarry will be home tonight after all, so I have to attend to the chores which show such as dishes and the kitchen. He never says anything, but I know he notices.

Friday, March 14, 2008


I know a slump when I'm wallowing in it. I have no idea why it feels like I didn't get out of bed today. As though my body got up and left my spirit behind. Unplugged, drained, bored and restless. Like I am craving food or company, but want neither. I'm tired and clumsy and unamused. I neglected the most basic chores, barely tending the animals and bringing in the mail. I don't feel depressed, but I'm acting like it, and I know that's a sure way to get there. Do Not Want.

So, today I wallowed, tomorrow I force myself into some type of activity outdoors, get the correspondence attended to, tidy the kitchen and tackle either art or the dollhouse. Get on the gazelle. Watch how much crappola I'm shoving into my mouth. Stay hydrated, piss clear. Dance. Sing badly. Sew. Something, something. I did read today, but that was a chore, not a joy. I don't like that, don't like it at all.

I can has cheezburger? Gack, don't tell me, it is PMS? Perimenopause, neither curse nor change, but some mix between Purgatory and Limbo? Frell me. Seriously, MyLarry needs to come home, although I'm not likely to see him until Monday night or so. He just left this morning, while I was still mostly sleeping, I didn't say 'bye or get a hug and a kiss at the door or a feel up the nightie. Wah.

Okay, now I'm just whining.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Yay! I watched Ark of Truth this morning, enjoyed it very much. No spoilers! Teal'c/CJ was especially good. Daniel/MS got beat up on a lot. Poor thing. Uh-huh. Vala was her own irritating self, I wanted to strangle her, means CB's doing a good job. Landry, oooh, love him! Cam and Sam, whatta team. And Adria ... hot, hot hot!

Other than that, had a dull day. Too dull to elaborate on here.

Wrote a funny blog entry on Tribe, but can't post such things here. It was hilariously giggly and far too TMI to share. Your loss.

MyLarry should be home tonight, tomorrow is dentist day, and prescriptions and blood giving. he has hemachromotosis, or iron overload disorder. His body produces and hangs onto iron. The x-rays of his hands show the joints lined in iron deposits. If he doesn't donate on a monthly basis, the iron could build up in his organs and kill him. So, he needs a phlebotomy prescription. The only way to remove the iron is to bleed him. Yeah, bleeding has a place in modern medicine. When he was first diagnosed, he had to donate a pint a week for 26 months. The FDA wouldn't allow therapeutic blood draws to be donated, so it was all thrown away. The rules have changed, his blood goes into the bank.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Red Wizard's Den

Hey, I have one room done! Done, except for two small details: I want to paint the pewter pieces so they look better; the wizard doorstop and the pirate chest. And maybe touch up the wands.

Details: The shells on the shelf are real ones from Diego Garcia. The hourglass works, there is a framed picture of a young girl on the maps on the desk, the skull holds three wands. There are two black and gold lacquer boxes, one on the desk and one in the bookcase, both open! Japanese miniatures are remarkable. The swords are large, this wizard must be a giant slayer! The books on the floor are too large, they will go into the full size dollhouse. The tiny dragon figurine will go into the Blue Fairy room I think. I also got knobs onto the desk so it looks more finished. I had a cloisonne egg in the room, but it was far too large and threw off the scale. Same with the pewter staff behind the Kannon, that may come out. A "finished" dollhouse room is never truly done.

Oh, and my modem died; I was without internet for *gasp* 36 hours or so. Ack!

Pictures: Almost final room, room in two stages, room with egg, chair kit.