Friday, January 29, 2016

12Create

12Create has been my user name on a number of creative sites for many years and now it is the name of my new blog.

I will still be doing miniatures but I want to explore a whole lot of other crafts as well. 12Create reflects this change in my creative journey.

I will continue to use Myrtle Manor Miniatures for my miniature posts. However, I do hope some of you will want to follow me on my new blog also. I look forward to sharing my future creative adventures with you.

Please go to 12Create if you wish to following my musings about cross stitch, quilting, book arts and other crafts.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Moving Forward

Hi my blog friends, this is me. I hate having my photo taken but I am putting it out there - this is me:

Taken today - no make-up - but it is me.

It is now 2016 and I have decided this year is going to be a good year. I will focus on the positives. My daughter gave me a little heart blackboard for Christmas and I have written a message on it as a reminder for the year ahead:


I haven't been around as much over the last  year. Two years ago my husband lost his management job which left us in a difficult financial situation. He has had a few temporary jobs in the interim but we have been unable to really get ahead. This resulted in us having to sell our house at a large loss last month and we are now living in an old rental property - on the bright side we no longer have a mortgage. Our future is uncertain as my husband is trying to get back into an IT position and we could end up moving at any time. During those two years my Mum also passed away and my father-in-law had a major stroke among other things. It has not been an easy two years but luckily if anything it has brought my husband and I closer together with a focus on trying to map out a good future for ourselves and our 13 year old daughter. One thing that did suffer was my creative endeavours - apart from having a nil budget I found it hard to focus on anything.

However, that is in the past and I am now determined to move forward both creatively and in other areas of our lives. While things are still financially tight I realise I don't need to let that restrict my creativity and I need to challenge myself to create again. I respond to being challenged - it gives me a goal to work towards. I am also focusing on trying to get fit and healthy and move myself from obese to healthy. My gorgeous daughter saved her money and bought me a Fitbit for Christmas which is motivating me to move more, eat more healthily and drink more water.

Speaking of my daughter, Jamie starts High School this year - I can't believe how quickly she is growing up.

 Dressed up for her leaving dinner at the end of her Year 8 Intermediate School year.

Ready to go into her dance medal test in October with her proud father in the background. 
(He wants me to note that he has a bit more hair now).

Anyway, while I have done little creatively lately I have given things a lot of thought. I realise that while I love my blog and my blog friends I had got to a stage where I stopped letting myself just do things on a whim because I kept pressuring myself to try and come up with something miniature to put on my blog. I found sometimes I was trying to persevere with things my heart just wasn't in. Unconsciously, I had stopped doing this for me. So while I am looking forward to getting back to blogging there will be changes.

In the past I have explored a number of hobbies - porcelain doll making, teddy bear making including miniature bears, book binding and book arts, fabric dolls, a little dabble at felt making, paper making and paper crafts, a bit of embroidery and more lately adult colouring in. I realise I am not good at limiting myself to one thing. While I want to continue in miniatures I do not want to limit myself to only miniatures. I am in the process of teaching myself crochet which has been a goal for quite some time - hopefully I can scale it down to miniatures. I also want to dabble more in embroidery including crazy quilting, tatting, more book art and doll making in different forms and improve on my wood crafting skills. I am sure there are other crafts out there I will want to explore as well. Of course whatever crafts I do learn and experiment with I will probably want to explore in miniature. I also used to really enjoy photography and want to get back into that as well as explore digital art.

Therefore in the future I am likely to blog about whatever I am doing at any given time. I will be doing things just because I want to do them not because I feel I have to do them.

I am sorry this is a bit long winded but I am getting this down in print as much for myself as to explain to my blog friends where I have been and where I am heading.

I have managed to set up a small work space in the rental and I am ready and rearing to go. Pride of place on my work desk is a gorgeous calendar received from Birgit of BiWuBaren on the Blog.  It will be a pleasure to move on creatively with Flubby and Rosey by my side.


I was very happy and surprised to receive a Christmas package from Birgit in December. As well as the calendar and some marzipan chocolates I received two beautiful decorations to add to my Christmas box.

The gorgeous red and green candle decoration on Edward Elf's table.

The lovely wooden decoration at the back of this shelf. Love it.

Also included were these stars that I can use to make something for the Christmas box.

Finally there was this gorgeous Christmas card. I just love Birgit's work and also her photography.

I love the little characters with Flubby, especially the one on the left as I adore snowdrops.

Anyway that is it from me for today. I will be back soon. It is my last day of the Christmas holidays as I head back to work tomorrow. Today I am going to do some craft planning, have a go at starting a crochet granny square rug using chunky wool and anything else that takes my fancy.

Best wishes to everyone for 2016 - it is going to be a good year.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Club Meeting Makes

Hi All. First of all I have to apologise to my two giveaway winners. I had an opportunity to attend a miniature club meeting an hour away from where I live last weekend so I didn't get around to making the items to send to you. I will therefore be making them this weekend and will get them posted to you during the week after they have dried properly.
 
I don't usually attend the miniature meeting because I can't justify the travel cost but my daughter had a dance workshop to attend in the same city last weekend so I got my husband to get her to the workshop and take her shopping while I spent four hours with fellow miniaturists. It was only a small gathering of six people as it was Mother's Day in New Zealand so some people had other plans with family. My daughter Jamie paid the cost of the workshop for my Mothers' Day present. It was just a little workshop of a petticoat table and a little photograph album. After I got home I 'toadised' my table for Toad Stall by painting it green and adding a few bits and pieces. I want to find some little seed caps or something similar for little cups. 

The table is set with a jar of Tiberius T. Toad's Honey and Swamp Water Ale and some mushroom bread with toadstool stalk topping.

Then Tibs made some platters from dried pumpkin skins (made from polymer clay). I see a snail is trying to find a way into the ale.
 
 
This is the little paper photo album we made:



Well that is all for now from Myrtle Manor Miniatures and Toad Stall. I have to get making some planter pots. I have to get my daughter to another dance class this afternoon too so I'd better get cracking while I have the chance.
 

I hope you are all having a great weekend.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Giveaway Draw

First of all I have to share with you that I had a disastrous weekend miniatures wise. I spent all yesterday creating polymer clay fungi and toadstools etc so I could make some minis to show on today's blog. I put them in the oven last night and what came out - a melted, singed mess!!! I have no idea what happened although I suspect I may have had the tray a bit too close to the elements. I only managed to salvage a few of them and incorporate them into the miniatures I have been working on. I still have so much to learn about using polymer clay. Then this morning a tube of white paint exploded everywhere. After cleaning that up I thought I had better quit trying to make any more miniatures before I did some real damage and to just get on with choosing a name for Toad.
 
Well trust me that wasn't easy either. Thank you for contributing so many great names for Toad - some regal or mythical, some fun and others solid and befitting a woodland toad. I have listed all the names below so that if you are ever in the position where you need to name a toad you can come back to this spot on my blog for ideas!

Albert
Archimedes
Aristotle
Bellows
Cornelius
Darwin
Eder
Fred Puddles
Fredy
Gustavo
HH (short for Hippity Hop)
Irwin
Jiminy Hoppit
Johnny Longlegs
Jumpy
Pheleas Stomper
Phil
Puddles Hoppidy
Rodderick
Roger
Sir Theodore Toad
Socrates
Telly von Toad
Teodosio
Thadeus
Theodore
Tibbir
Tibbir the Toad
Tiberius T Toad (Tibs for Short)
Tibs Toad
Toadwood III
Toadwort
Tobias
Toby
Toby Toad
Todd
Toddy
Todsy
Touchwood
Trevor
Wembley
Wembley Wetfoot

There will be two prizes. The first will go to the person who provided the name I choose for toad. The second name will be as the result of a random draw of everyone who commented on my recent blog entries about Toad Stall.
 
Drum roll please... you may now address Mr Toad as:

Tiberius T. Toad (Tibs for short). The T standing for Titus, the name of his grandfather who escaped from a stork's beak.

And the winner is BiWuBar.

I loved this name the minute I read it. Not just for the name but also for the way it added to Toad's story. He is a proud toad - proud of his family's history, his grandfather and his own entrepreneurial abilities. I feel this name suits him.
 
 
Tiberius T. Toad (Tibs)
 
There were three other names definitely in the running but I kept going back to Tibs.
 
Now for the random draw:
 
Drawn by my daughter Jamie.
 
... and the winner is Miniaturista.
 
As for the prizes:
 
Option A: You can choose your favourite item(s) from Toad Stall (apart from Jane's hutch of course) - name your favourite item and also let me know if there are any other items on the stall you like;
 
OR  Option B: you can leave it up to me to surprise you if you can't decide;
 
OR Option C: if you are not into fantasy and toads I am happy to send you a red cart and some empty planters for you to fill as you please.
 
You might choose:
 
A red cart full of finds similar to this:
 
 
A chair planted out in fungi similar to this:
 
 
A planter of fungi & snails such as one of these:
 
 
Hollowed out pumpkins filled with fungi similar to these:
 
 
A toadstool stool similar to this:
 
 
Some little wall plaques similar to these:
 

A pennant banner similar to this:
 
 
A toadstool bread board and mushroom bread with fungi stalk topping similar to this:
 
 
A bouquet of fungi similar to these:
 
 
or Option C - a red cart and planters such as these:
 
 
BiWuBar and Miniaturista, please email me using the 'Email Me' on the side bar and let me know what you would like. I will complete your miniatures over the next week and hopefully get them in the post to you next weekend.
 
As we always say when drawing a giveaway I wish I could give everyone who took the time to provide a name and/or comment a gift. In any event I hope you are all having a great weekend.
 
Bye for now from Toad Stall and Tiberius T. Toad.
 
 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Special Parcel in the Mail

I have received a special parcel in the mail - my prize from Noelle of Nono Mini Nostalgie for the fourth best guess at guessing how many items were in her delightful mini flea market.

I have long admired Nono's beautiful work and am thrilled to have something she has made amongst my miniature collection.

If you haven't visited her blog I really advise you to do so for a dose of inspiration.

My prize was a box of wonderful vintage house numbers such as she has in her miniature flea market.

Thank you so much Nono. I am thinking about doing a car boot sale scene and these will be perfect. I just have to find the right car for the scene.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Giveaway Draw Is One Week Away

Hi there. Just a quick reminder that my giveaway is drawn next weekend with a closing date of 8.00am Sunday 3 May (New Zealand time).  I will post the results some time on Sunday.
 
I have decided there will be two prizes. Quite a few people have expressed a desire to be in the giveaway but have not suggested a name for Toad. The winner of the main prize will be the person who has suggested the name I choose to use for Toad - so please keep the names coming in. You can suggest more than one name.  There will also be a second prize drawn from the names of anyone who has made a comment whether they have given a name for Toad or not. So if you want to enter the giveaway but have not been able to think of a name for Toad please comment that you would like to be included in the giveaway. The only condition of the giveaway is to be a follower of my blog.
 
As for toad - he is still only a head!


The rest of his body will have to wait until I have made a few more things for his stall so the winners of the giveaway have something to choose from.

I have made a few additions to the stall items:

Little toadstool pennant string.

A couple of chairs ready for planting and planters.

A couple of little wall plaques.
 
A chair in progress as well as Jane's gorgeous hutch that started it all.
 
A toadstool stool, planted small hollowed out pumpkin, large hollowed out pumpkin still to be planted.

I have started giving Toad's cart a bit of a battering. He uses the cart to collect bits and pieces from abandoned cabins on the edge of the woodland to make items for his stall.

A general view of the cardboard mock-up of Toad's stall. I have decide it does need a bit of frontage for landscaping so have added a foam core base.

Anyway, that is where things are with Toad's Stall. I need to spend the rest of the afternoon making some toadstools and fungi so I can make some more things. Toad is getting very excited (he would jump up and down if he had a body). He can't wait to open his stall and in the meantime he is looking forward to next weekend's giveaway draw.


See you next weekend.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Behind or A-head!

Hi there. I am feeling a bit behind with the schedule I had set myself for doing toad stall but I do have a head - a toad's head that is.
 
Actually toad also had a body earlier today but that has ended up in the bin so I only have a head to show you. I don't know if this head will belong to the final toad in my project. I may try some other techniques for making a toad yet. I consider the options to be polymer clay, paper mache or fabric sculpting. This one is made from polymer clay and has been painted.
 
He looks a little sad without a body. Maybe by next weekend. I travelled to see family yesterday so haven't achieved much this weekend. I really must get more disciplined and try to do some miniatures in the evenings during the week.
 
Toad also has a cart for his fungi collecting. He really would love to pull it along but unfortunately he needs a body for that! I will attempt to give the cart a worn and rusted look.


 
 
I had a lovely time at a second hand book sale with two of my sisters, my husband and daughter yesterday. I do love books. I picked up some great books but two I am really happy with are two old DMC embroidery booklets. I certainly think some of the alphabets, borders and little designs will come in handy in the future for miniatures.
 



 
 
Well I have neglected the housework all day trying to make a toad so I had better get some washing folded and put away and get my daughter ready for school tomorrow - she has just been on school holidays for two weeks and spent the last week away staying with family.
 
Update:
Well, the intention was there but my husband and daughter have just advised we are going to watch a movie - oh well, the housework will still be there tomorrow!