Friday, April 26, 2013

Making Miniatures, Day 1

I love dolls.  I collect dolls.  My mom loves dolls, collects dolls, and makes dolls...from pouring the slip into the molds to painting the faces.  She even sews dresses and makes wigs, hats, and shoes for her dolls.  She's amazingly talented!  :)

She has been making dolls for decades; however, it has only been within the last five years or so that she has gotten interested in miniatures.  It's a whole other world, in a way.

Occasionally, she'll attend the Chattanooga Miniature Society Fun Day in Tennessee. This year, she invited me to go with her!  I've been drooling over her collection of miniature creations, so it only took me a split second to accept her invitation. ;o)

We left yesterday afternoon for Chattanooga.  The first Fun Day (of two) was today from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, with a lunch break from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm.  We had signed up for an all day class, "Odette and her Sewing Basket," taught by Winifred Holloway.

This is the prototype.

Here is Odette....

She is a 3¾” all bisque S & H doll with glass eyes.

The teacher provided us with the miniature doll; her face, stockings, and shoes already were painted.  We had to make her wig, necklace, and clothes.

Here is her sewing box....

The box is a paper-mache book.  We painted it gold (inside and out), cut out the "Our little Dressmaker" picture, used Mod Podge to affix it to the book, and added gold filigree book corners (stickers).  We decorated the back of the book exactly like the front.

Here is Odette inside her sewing box....

We cut out the "Little Dressmaker Notions" panels and used Mod Podge to affix them to the inside cover of the book (photo on the left).  Then, we cut and added strips of gold (stickers) around the edges.  We also cut out the various notions cards and glued them onto the panels.  We painted miniature scissors, spools, and a thimble gold.  We wrapped the spools with thread and glued them and the other embellishments (including tiny beads to represent buttons) onto the notions cards.

That coiled gold thing that looks (to me) like a rose is actually a tape measure.  I didn't really care for how it looked, so I did something different.  (I'll show you below.)

Inside the book (photo on the right) behind Odette are folded pieces of fabric and lace.  We were supposed to use that fabric and lace to make three additional outfits for the doll (a nightgown and two other dresses).  Oh...and under the pale green dress she is wearing are pantaloons.

Now, how the teacher thought we could possibly accomplish all of that in a mere seven hours is beyond me.


Here's my mom, ready to get started!

Here we are, hard at work!


At the end of the day, I (being new to miniatures and a slow worker, mind you) felt like I had completed next to nothing!  In truth, I had completed next to nothing.  :P

Supper was provided at the site.  When my mom and I returned to our hotel room afterward, I did work until bedtime...and I finished the box (book).  yay!  lol.

This is my finished sewing box.

As mentioned above, I did the inside a little different from the prototype.  During lunchtime, my mom had purchased some miniature sewing items, and I used that tape measure for my box.

It was a fun, albeit long day.  :)

By the way...this is a very detailed post, because I'm pretty sure my sister will be reading this...and she likes all the details (being a doll lover and collector, too!)  :D

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Man on the Moon

The Apollo 11 mission landed the first humans on the Moon in July 1969.
source:  Wikipedia

The theme this week for Muffin Tin Monday is the 1960's.  I decided to highlight this space exploration event from that decade for T's lunch today.

  • moons > Pepperidge Farm Space Adventures crackers
  • planet (Venus, I think) > Golden Oreo cookie
  • milky way > 1% milk in straw cup with stars design
  • moon craters > Tostitos Scoops! tortilla chips
  • full moon > sandwich on Nature's Own whole wheat sandwich round with rocket cracker
  • stars > White House Natural Plus applesauce with jumbo star sprinkles

Linked to:
   Another Lunch
   Bento Blog Network

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Luray Zoo

Next, we headed over to the Luray Zoo.

Luray Zoo is a rescue zoo that provides a safe and permanent home for unwanted, confiscated, or abused exotic animals.

This zoo houses an extensive collection of snakes.

T is checking out a snake!

We saw many unusual birds.

Scarlet Macaw

The Macaw is a large bird common to Central and South America.  These colorful birds can grow to a height of over 30 inches and a weight of over two pounds.  They use their large, hooked beaks to crack open Brazil nuts and to slice fruit.*

Eurasian Kestrel

This Eurasian Kestrel was born in captivity and was bred to be a falconry bird. Sadly, she was born with a deformity called angel wing.  As a result, she has only 70% use of her right wing and can't fly well enough to catch prey.*


The Gyrfalcon inhabits arctic regions in North America, Greenland, Europe, and Asia.  It reaches a length of 24 inches and a weight of two to four pounds and prefers open areas and rocky cliffs from which it can hunt easily.*


The Kookaburra is recognized easily by its long, sharply-pointed beak.  It inhabits woodlands in Australia.  It is the largest species of Kingfisher and reaches a height of 18 inches and a weight of one pound.*

I think my favorite was the tiger.  I've never seen a tiger so "up close and personal" before.

This Bengal Tiger was born in captivity on July 4, 2003.*

Bengal Tiger

The coat of a Bengal Tiger varies from reddish-yellow to rust brown.  These tigers reach a body length of five to nine feet and a weight of 350 to 550 pounds.  They are found throughout India, with smaller populations in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Burma.*

T loved the petting zoo.

T was having so much fun that he asked us to buy more food for the animals to eat.

T is signing the word more.

How could we resist that sweet boy...and those hungry animals??!  ;o)

T definitely was very "into it" until the donkey made his presence known!

He brayed so loudly...on and on.  T covered his ears with his hands and started to truck it out of there.  We had to coax him back...but he would not go anywhere close to that poor, hungry donkey for the longest time!


A Wallaby is only pregnant for 30 days before she gives birth.*  I think this Wallaby has a little one in her pouch.

We also saw Ring-Tailed Lemurs; however, this one was my favorite:

My Ring-Tailed Lemur!

~A warm day and a worn out boy!  :)

*source:  Luray Zoo

Monday, April 8, 2013

Covered Bridge

On our way to the potato chip factory, we crossed this covered bridge.

According to a nearby sign, it is Meem's Bottom Covered Bridge...built in 1892 by Franklin Hiser Wissler to provide access to his apple orchards at Strathmore Farms, and is the longest remaining covered bridge in Virginia.

A 200-foot single span, the bridge is a Burr Truss design ― a combination of arch with vertical and diagonal supports.  All construction materials were obtained locally.

Damaged by arsonists in 1976, the bridge was restored and reopened in 1979.

Potato Chip Factory

Today, we visited a local potato chip factory...the Route 11 Potato Chip Factory.  It was fascinating to watch the entire potato chip-making process, from whole potatoes being cut into slices to seasoned chips being put into bags.

Unfortunately, they did not allow photos to be taken of the process.  However, they did permit photos to be taken in their lobby.

say "chips"

Here is T, sitting in front of a huge Route 11 interstate sign which they found at the dump!

We bought some small bags of chips.  They offered several different flavors for sale.  Actually, we purchased three bags...and then added a fourth after sampling the pickles flavored chips.  Who would have thought pickles flavored chips would taste so good?!  lol.

They are open to the public Monday-Saturday from 9am-5pm.  They do not offer walk-through tours of the facility, but they do have an amazing fry-viewing experience.  They do not fry every day, but we happened to be there on a day when they were frying!

Did I mention that their chips taste outrageously delicious?!!  :P

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Vacation in Virginia

We left home early this afternoon for an eight-day family vacation in Virginia....I guess I'll go ahead and admit that it would have been a nine-day vacation if we'd left yesterday as originally planned.  I somehow just couldn't quite get it together.  :/

We stopped at the North Carolina welcome center for a mid-afternoon picnic.  ~A bit cool and breezy...but nice, nevertheless.

Later, we stopped at the Virginia welcome center to stretch our legs...

and arms!  :)

Finally...about bedtime...we arrived at the resort in the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia.  The drive was beautiful...until it was too dark to see much!  ;o)

The condo was clean.  Hmmm...what else can I say about the condo? was clean!  Actually, it was about what we expected after reading reviews about it ― straight out of the 70s, with lots of mirrors!  lol.