Sunday, February 14, 2010


Hello again,

I am sad to tell you that Nancye died this morning at 2AM...she is finally pain free, we were with her when she breathed her last and it was gentle and peaceful.

Thank you all for your friendship to her.

her friend, Debbe Bloom, and her family, her husband Tom, their children,Richard, Sandy and Cindy, and their grandchildren, Shana,Jordan,Lainey,Kristen,Kara and Tyler

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My dear friend Nancye

Hello everyone,

I am a long time friend of Nancye's, we met on the Prodigy Mini Bulletin Boards years and years ago...and have been friends ever since, both in the mini world and our own world outside of mini' is with genuine sadness and a breaking heart that I have to write and let you know that Nancye is losing her battle with cancer. We brought her home from the hospital this past Tuesday and she is in hospice care here in her home, surrounded by her family and friends. I arrived from Toronto last Sunday and will stay as long as needed...

Nancye is a talented, creative, wonderful person and her presence is our world and the mini world has been a joy...she will leave a huge,gaping,painful hole when she leaves us, but I know full well that Tom and her family would love to, in time, read your comments about Nancye and her fabulous if you would post something on here, I will follow her blog and print out the notes for the family...

Thank you so much for being such a special part of her life...she loved writing
( and did it SO WELL!), and of course, she loved mini's so much. Nancye and I spent many happy hours at her kitchen table making mini;s, attending shows, making mini's at my B&B in Maine when I lived there. I never was able to get her to the Guild School, but she adored going to the Guild Study Programs in Williamsburg and I was honoured on so many occasions to go there with her, and with Tom and take so many classes...

I am so sad, I cannot write anymore, but thanks again for being such a special part of Nancye's incredible life.

Debbe Bloom

Sunday, September 13, 2009


The last time I wrote on my blog I mentioned an old, forgotten project I had unearthed from under the bed. It is a half inch scale project and I have only done one other 1/2" roombox. Several ideas have come to mind about the decorating of this three room villa (for lack of a better name for the project). One thing I definitely wanted was lighting so I ordered several lights from Hobby Builders Supply and what a surprise the lights were!! Tom and I have wired a lot of dollhouses, but neither of us was prepared for the 1/2" scale wiring. The lights are tiny of course and we were suprised to find tiny packages which contained the bulbs. Our first order of business was to test the lights and to our surprise, none would light on our test board. We found a grain of wheat bulb which tested lit up like it is supposed to do. Now we started to wonder what we were doing wrong. I picked up one of the lights and said to Tom, "This doesn't appear to have a bulb!" Then we decided to take a second look at the 'extra' bulbs. They were in fact supposed to be inserted into the 1/2" lights and we were astonished at how that was to be accomplishsed. The bulbs had two tiny prongs or legs at the bottom and those were to be installed in a tiny circle with two very tiny dots located on each light. If you know how tiny 1/2" can be, then you can imagine how very tiny the lights are. This procedure is tedious and difficult. Don't try it without a large lighted, magnifier on your work desk. I did the first bulb and it worked, but the second was not so easy. Tom said to let him try and I happily did that. He finished the others, but lost one bulb which we could not find. I had to call HBS to order a replacement. We also discovered that the bulbs are different....two different sizes and with different tops; one with a flame top and the other squared off. To me, there seems to be no sense in having the bulbs so different. Houseworks makes the lights we are using so perhaps I should write a complaint letter. What do you think?

I started this post with a picture of my little villa. The furniture needs to be painted or stained and covers will be made for the upholstered pieces. Most of what I am using is part of a set that HBS sells. It is a kit that one puts together and so far I have found most of it to be satisfactory. I guess I will reserve total judgement until I am farther along with the decorating. I have a lot left to do after I finish the wiring. One other thing I have discovered concerning the lights...If I solder the connections as I have always done on lighting, then it will be totally impossible to replace a light bulb because one could never get to the lights unless the tiny plugs are used for installation. I hope I have made this clear. If anyone reading this has experience with 1/2" scale wiring, I would love to hear some suggestions; am sure we are missing a lot of valuable information. My email is available so let me know what you think.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


I mentioned last time that I need to make a lot of hydrangeas to 'plant' in front of my Thornhill. Well, I haven't yet done those, but I have been using a bit of time for a few more plants and to do some work on a new project. First of all, I am adding two pictures of fern plants because I use those so much. They can be purchased of course, but a DIY miniaturist can make them. They look at home in most any setting and if you check out my interior pictures, you will see a fern in almost any setting. I just love them. They can be made from paper that you have painted or from florist tape. In both cases you will want various shades of green to show up in the leaves of the plant. When I paint paper for leaves, I almost always paint one side a different shade, perhaps a lighter shade than on the front side. Plants look more realistic if different shades of color show up. You can draw a pattern for the leaf, making it large or small depending on your preference. Then you use some floral wire, cut a piece about 2 1/2 or 3" long and glue that to the underside of the leaf. The you make slanted cuts along the leaf on both sides of the glued wire. You can use from 10 to 20 leaves, depending on how large you want your fern to be. Arrange them in a pot or basket, remembering to fluff and curl the leaves so that the fern will look natural. They really add life to a setting.

I also took a picture of a couple of small geraniums which have not yet been arranged in a pot. The method for making those is almost the same as for the hydrangeas, but the geraniums are generally a bit smaller. You can buy leaves or you can cut out your own and one nice trick that I learned from one of the flower makers is to use a bit of stampers chalk. Touch the leaves with a bit and you will have a more realistic look to your plant.
There are so many wonderful flowers to make in miniature and many can be done without buying a lot of supplies. Some people enjoy making plants from fimo or sculpy. Try a few and see how much fun they can be.

I mentioned earlier that I am working on another project. It is one that I have had for a while; had it buried under the bed and had forgotten all about it. I don't even remember what it was called, but it looks like a small villa, more or less. It is 1/2" so it will take some work to get it going. There are three rooms and I am now deciding just how I want them decorated. I will share some pictures as I get farther along.

Finally, I am adding a couple of picture of a furniture piece that I bought at Ron's Miniatures some time ago. It is a chest that is all hand painted by Natasha and it is a beautiful piece. I saw it and just knew I had to have it. However, I have never decided just how to show it off so I am asking any of you who read this to give me your suggestions. If you had this hand painted piece by a noted artisan, what would you do with it? I look forward to your ideas and am hoping that you can suggest the perfect decor in a room for this chest.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Making Miniature Flowers

This past week I put away the needlework projects in order to spend a bit of time making some miniature flowers. I have always enjoyed landscaping and making vases or pots of mini flowers as along with pictures, I think that flowers belong in every mini setting and they can be so much fun to make.

I will start with a few comments about the picture of the supplies that I have used to create some plants and flowers. The large piece of wood contains a jig that was made for me by my husband, Tom. It is basically just two lines of drilled holes with cut pieces of toothpicks in each hole. The idea is to wrap covered floral wire around the toothpicks and pulling the piece out at the end. There is a piece of the covered wire sitting on the wood board. Hopefully, it is visible. The jig has been very helpful to me because it can be used to do the stems of hanging plants. Once the covered wire is removed from the jig, the wire can be cut into various lengths to form the plant.

There is one flower punch shown in the picture of supplies. It happens to be one of the more expensive punches, but there are some inexpensive ones available at Michaels and other craft supply stores. The better punches are available at various sources....Hanky Panky Crafts is one source and others are available. Also some of the artisan plant and flower makers sell supplies.

There are two types of glue in the supply picture, a piece of art foam (used for bending the punched out shapes with a ball stylus). As for the paper, you can use various card envelopes or colored sheets of stationery or you can use the paper that is sold by many of the artisan flower makers...the Japanese silk paper. The Japanese paper is wonderful to use and is easy to paint with acrylic paint in any color that is needed.

One thing that is very hard to see in the supply picture is the foil with the Fimo balls. I use fimo shaped into balls and with a covered wire inserted in the end as the basis for many of the flowers. Plastic or wooden beads can be used as the base for the flowers, but fimo works well, the only drawback being that it does need to be baked in a toaster-oven before the flower parts are attached. One flower that I made this week is the hydrangea and I will add a picture of that, hopefully at the end of this note. One note of caution... there are two types of glue shown in my supply picture and they are both necessary and to be used carefully. I have to say that I am the world's worst at proper glue application so do be careful... A little goes a long way. The tacky glue is used first and is followed by a touch of the Zap A Gap. One might say that the Zap A Gap is the magic ingredient in any flower making because that is what makes the flowers or leaves stay on the plant.

One note to all reading this...if you click on the supply picture, everything is much easier to see. You can actually read the names on the glue bottles and see the covered wire after it has been removed from the jig. I have had fun making these flowers and plants this week and I hope that many of you will join in the fun, too. I love hydrangeas, probably because they are not grown in south Florida. However, I am planning to use many of them on the front of my Thornhill so I need to get busy. Those flowers take a lot of time, but they are worth it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


It has been a long time since I last posted on my blog, mainly because I have been looking over various projects in order to discover one that would peak my interest for some time. Like most miniaturists, I have a number of houses and shops in boxes, waiting for attention, but choosing the right one is not always easy. I have been using up some of the time working on various accessory items and also working on a new rug which is done with French knots. I thought I might post a few of the needlework pieces in the hope that one or another might spark a bit of interest for those looking for interesting accessory ideas for their houses. I hope to complete the French knot rug that I mentioned above. At the moment I am on the time taker part of the rug, the filling in part around the major pattern design. I have also added a few other pictures of needlework ideas which can add much to the dollhouse decor. Perhaps when I have finished with the latest rug, I will have decided on which shop or house has peaked my interest. Now for a few pictures. One of the rugs is a bunka rug done by Debbe Bloom (the second picture) who does the best bunka rugs that I have ever seen. Then there is a French knot rug, a crocheted afghan, some cross stitch pillows and chair seats and finally, the rug I am currently working up. All of these projects are fun to make and can add another dmension to your accessories.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


The two pictures above are the last classes that Tom and I took at Williamsburg; the last Guild Study Program that we have attended and it was a little more than six years ago. We are big lovers of those study programs and I am trying to figure out a way to get back in the groove. I was told that Peter Kendall started the programs when he was President of the Guild. He has taken classes and taught others and the Study Programs rate highly in mine and Tom's opinions. We have never attended the Guild School which is held in Maine each June, but I have heard great reviews on that program and can only say that my experience with Guild programs has been very positive. Hopefully, one day we will attend another in Williamsburg or in one of the other cites where the Study Programs are held.

The picture of a firestand was done by Tom in a Mark Murphy class. It is supposed to hold the other needlepoint that I have started, but not finished. One day that will hopefully adorn a fireplace in the Thornhill or some other house.

The pictured project was a class I took from Peter Kendall in which we built a reproduction of the parlour in the Peyton Randolph House at Williamsburg. Peter had everything cut out for us so there was not much saw work and when the wall panels had to be trimmed, I enlisted Tom to handle that and make sure that the trims were done correctly. We did have some minor saw work to do and also some mitering of trim.When the room was completed, I had a good time furnishing it. Tom and I were married in France and in 2003 we made a return trip...a trip down memory lane, if you will. When in the city of Chateauroux where we had lived, we went into a gift shop and Tom saw an interesting desk. He took a picture of that piece and when we got home he made a miniature version. That desk sits on the right side of the Peyton Randolph parlour. Tom did not make the small, round table to the right of the fireplace, and the firescreen stand was made by Roger Gutheil and it holds the not too perfect needlepoint that I did in Annelle Ferguson's class a few years earlier. The small table on the left side of the room was made by Tom and it has two of the Ference Albert shrub glassses sitting on the top. Mr. Albert's glass work is superb. The table in the middle of the room is a variation of one of the tables that Tom made in a Carol Hardy class in VT. The chairs in the room are of course, House of Miniatures kits. Last, the andirons in the fireplace were purchased by me at Poupee Tendress in Paris and I understand that the shop is closed now....a shame as there were some wonderful miniatures there. One final note, the tulips on the table were made one fine afternoon when my friend, Debbe was visiting. She and I made the tulips and my closing thought is to say that mini time with Debbe or with Study Program classes is fun time. I hope to repeat those activities soon!!!