Thursday, December 31, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Great model horse prop, or fab outdoor decor for a dollhouse.
Currently for sale in my Etsy shop: http://www.goldenunicornminis.etsy.com
Thursday, October 1, 2009
October's Flower, the Calendula, is said to have originated in Egypt, and is a member of the marigold family. Its Latin name, calendula, derives from the Latin word calendae (kalendae) "the first day of the month". Calendula also translates as "a little calendar" or "little clock". The name was appropriate since the flower bloomed throughout the entire calendar year and provided monastery gardens and altars with a constant supply of golden blooms.
Calundela afficinalis valued for its medicinal and culinary properties. The word officinalis means "medicinal" and the Latin word calendae means "throughout the months" meaning that the plant flowers for many months. It's colors are yellow and orange. It's common names include: Pot Marigold; Summer's Bride'; Husbandman's Dial; Mary's Gold; Souci; Marybud; Bulls eye; Garden marigold; and Holligold.
Calendula has been used to treat ulcers and other illnesses. It was used during the Civil War to help stop bleeding and help speed the healing of wounds. The Romans used Calendulaas a remedy for insect bites and stings. During the 1600’s it was highly regarded as a remedy for smallpox and measles and has been used as symbol of constancy in love as a flower for weddings or in love potions. Calendula is known for it spasmolytic, mild diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, antihaemorrhagic, astringent, vulnerary, antifungal, antiseptic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, menstrual regulator, antioxidant, antiviral, and mild antibacterial properties.
Some of the legends and folklore of the Calendula/Marigold:
*Eating Calendula was thought to make one see fairies, be easily induced to sleep, or to feel more amorous.
*During the nineteenth century the marigold, which represents the shining sun, became a symbol of life, yet, its strange smell caused it to be planted in graveyards as well.
*During the Victorian era these flowers meant "My thoughts are with you", i.e., symbolizing sorrow and sympathy .
*Dreaming of marigolds was indicative of future prosperity and riches
*Early Christians called the Calendula ~Mary's Gold~ and placed them by the statues of the virgin Mary.
*Considered to be one of the most sacred herbs of ancient India, it is still used in temples and weddings. The blossoms were strung into garlands and placed them around the necks of the gods.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Major back surgery means no bending, lifting, twisting for quite a while (it's difficult getting in and out of bed and also a car), and I didn't realize those ramifications came along with the recouperation period. My problem is that 98% of my supplies are in file-type boxes, some of which are heavy, and all of which are stacked 6 high one atop the other from the ground up.
I need a robot to fetch my supplies :) Anyone have one I can borrow for a while?
I'll probably be re-activating my shops on the different sales venues sometime this week or next. I do have a few minis I managed to finish right before the surgery, so there will be some new items for sale definitely in my Etsy shop.
But...I can sit and work on computer stuff so maybe this blog of mine and perhaps my website will see a little more activity than normal :)
Big "Thanks!" to everyone who has wished me a quick healing period.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
May your September bring you happiness and peace!
See you next month :)
Monday, August 31, 2009
by Sara Teasdale
"In the spring I asked the daisies
Asters generally bloom in late Summer and early Autumn, and produce large clusters of delicate daisy-like flowers in white, purple, lavender, blue, pink or red. Alpine Aster blooms in May and June and usually bears one-and-one-half inch, violet flowers. The most popular variety is the New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae). You will often see native Aster varieties growing wild in almost any environment from the tropics to the coldest regions of the north, in habitats ranging from extremely arid deserts to bogs. Cultivated Aster plants range in height from a few inches to four feet.
The Aster is also known as Starwort. 'Wort' refers to the root and was used in ancient times to indicate a plant with healing properties. A number of Asters worldwide have been used historically as medicines and in a few cases as food. Asters belong to the Compositae family of which there are a great number in herbalism (ie. echinacea, boneset, etc) In Chinese medicine it is: A. tartaricus that is chiefly used and, other than in Chinese medicine, Asters are not used today.
Some of the legends and folklore of the Aster:
*When humans began to become more and more corrupt, Astraea, the Greek Goddess of Innocence left earth to dwell in the heavens as the constellation Virgo. Eventually, even Zeus became tired of the corruptness of humanity and created a flood to cover the entire earth except for the top of Mt Parnassus. Two humans, Deucalian and Pyrrha survived the flood on top of Parnassus. However, after the flood receded they wandered the earth lost and alone. Astraea took pity on them and created starlight to guide them. As she wept from pity, her tears landed on earth and formed the star-like flower, the aster.
*Asters symbolize love, daintiness, and affection.
*Astrologers regard it as an herb of Venus. It is used in love divinations in many countries.
*Asters were burned by the Greeks to drive away serpents. The Romans dressed up altars to the gods with wreaths of aster blossoms.
*The Chippewa Indians smoked the dried, powdered root of an aster species to attract game.
*In some Native American tribes, asters are associated with Bear, the most powerful of all mystical beings. According to some legends, Bear gave mankind a particularly powerful medicine, the aster root. It is named for Bear - Bear Root or Bear Medicine - and is regarded as being the next best thing to a panacea.
*In China, according to the Feng Su Chi, the people of Li lived well past the 100 years because the water they drank was flavored by the asters growing up in the surrounding hills.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Not sure if I'll have the time to write a flower of the month for August post, but will try next week.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
This award was presented to me on July 9, 2009, by fellow Miniaturist and Friend, Mike Rowe, who is one fantastic Turner. Thank you very much, Mike!
The rules are: I have to pick up a book that I have at hand, turn to page 161 and write the fifth sentence on that page here. Then pass the Award onto five other bloggers.
I recently finished reading a book so I hope that counts... "The Green Gardener's Guide" by Joe Lamp'l, a neat book with info on going even greener in your gardens and yard. Page 161, 5th sentence: "Salt is salt (at least from the standpoint of what it does to your soil and plants), and synthetic fertilizer has a lot of it." Just what you all wanted to know :)
I hereby present this award to the following wonderful folks who have become friends over the years:
Angela of Angela Michelle Dolls, a very sweet and talented Doll Artist http://angelamichelledolls.blogspot.com/
Ray of Mini Builder, an up and coming fantastic miniature furniture artist http://minibuilder.blogspot.com/
Pat of Miniatures by Pat Carlson who has a big heart and creates and publishes fantastic miniature books http://skywind.mycdhm.com/
Candy of Fairy Garden (aka Gypsy Trading Company), whose quick wit is enjoyable and finds its way into all of her "dead" Fae
And, a "right back attcha!" to Mike Rowe, a great guy who is a superb miniature Turner and Carver http://mike-rowe.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
"...The larkspur listens,'I hear, I hear;' ... ~Tennyson
July's flower, the Larkspur, is a genus of ranunculaceous plants and has often shared its identity with the Delphinium. The original Latin name for the flower was Delphinium Consolida. Later, botanists divided them into to separate groups and the Larkspur became Consolida ambigua. The name "Larkspur" is derived from the spur of the flower and reminded some people of parts of the lark, hence "Larkspur".
Characteristics of the Larkspur are showy flowers, a spurred calyx, and tall stems with many branches. The European form of larkspur supposedly had medicinal properties that made it useful in healing poisonous stings, and it was also dried and used in a powdered form as an insecticide. The American larkspur. the nuttalianum, was known to West Coast tribes who used it to make a blue dye; and the settlers used it to make ink.
The Larkspur was a favorite flower during the Victorian Era, and the message it conveyed varied according to color:
Pink symbolized fickleness
White was a symbol of joy and happiness, levity, lightness, laughter, and purity of heart
Purple/Blue was associated with a sweet disposition, first love, ardent attachment
Some history and folklore associated with the Larkspur:
**Delphium ajacis owes its name to the Greek hero Ajax. When Achilles was killed, his armor was supposed to be given to the most heroic of the Greeks who remained alive. The two candidates for this reward were Odysseus and Ajax. Minerva swung the vote to Odysseus since she felt heroes should mix intelligence with bravery and Ajax was not very sharp. The dishonor drove Ajax mad and he began killing a herd of sheep believing them to be his rivals. When he realized with he had done, Ajax felt the honorable thing to do was to kill himself and so he impaled himself on his sword. Where his blood fell, larkspurs grew. On their petals, one can find the Greek letters AI, which is the Greek cry of mourning.
**In Germany young men and women stared at the Midsummer fire through a bunch of Larkspur. It was believed this would preserve their eyes for another year.
**An old Italian myth tells of three brave warriors who slew a dangerous dragon. Once the beast was conquered, they wiped their swords on the grass to clean off the blue blood which made the blue flowers of Larkspur, and the venom in the dragon's blood made the plant poisonous.
**A Pawnee legend tells of Dream Woman who was rather nosy and was very curious about the goings on in the world of humans. To satisfy her curiosity she cut a hole in the sky and took some of the green material which is the inside color of the sky and made it into a stalk. But, some blue flecks of the outside of the sky got mixed in. When she lowered her stalk toward the Earth and began to climb down it, the stalk dried in the sunlight, became brittle, and broke into millions of little pieces which became our Larkspur.
**Some Native American tribes called this plant sleep-root, and gave it to whomever they were sitting around with for a night of gambling. It dulled the senses of the person on the other side of the dice.
**Because it is poisonous, Larkspur was a favored herb of English witches. And, in France it was used to keep away ghosts.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
from: A Red, Red Rose
June's flower, the Rose, is possibly the most popular flower in the history of the world. DNA research has traced roses back some 200 million years. The Rose is the national flower of England and the United States, and the provincial flower of Alberta, Canada. There are over 7,000 different rose plants of approximately 550 varieties. The roses bloom from April through October with the peak coming in June, depending on the weather.
The Latin name for the Rose is rosa, which means red, but Roses come in many different colors each with its own specific tradition and meaning:
1. Red Roses are the traditional symbol for love, romance, beauty and perfection.
2. Pink Roses symbolize grace, elegance, admiration, appreciation, and joyfulness.
3. Yellow Roses are associated with warmth, happiness, and friendship.
4. White Roses represent innocence, purity, honor, reverence, remembrance and are traditionally associated with marriages and new beginnings.
5. Orange Roses symbolize desire, enthusiasm, passion, excitement and fervent romance.
6. Lavender Roses are a symbol of enchantment and express feelings of love at first sight.
Some of the folk lore and legends associated with the Rose:
*Roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty. The Rose was sacred to a number of goddesses, and is often used as a symbol of the Virgin Mary.
*Roses were introduced to Rome by the Greeks. During feasts young men and women in Athens adorned a crown of Roses and danced naked around the temple of Hymen to symbolize the innocence of the Golden Age.
*Cloris, goddess of flowers, crowned the Rose as Queen of the Flowers. Aphrodite presented a Rose to her son Eros, god of love. The Rose became a symbol of love and desire.
*Eros gave the rose to Harpocrates, the god of silence, to induce him not to gossip about his mother's amorous indiscretions. Thus the rose also became the emblem of silence and secrecy. The Greeks would plan their battles in the secrecy of a rose bower or sub rosa. In the middle ages a Rose was suspended from the ceiling of a council chamber, pledging all present to secrecy.
*Prostitutes in Nimes were known as roses. Clearly a visit to a rose would need to be done in secret.
*Jewish legends attributed the red color of the Rose to the first blood that darkened the Earth’s soil.
*The Teutons believed the Rose was a symbol of the underworld and called their battlefields rose gardens.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
These potting benches are currently for sale in my
Friday, May 1, 2009
...from the Song of Solomon/Song of Songs
May's Flower, the Lily of the Valley, is known by two Latin names... lilium convallium and convallaria majalis. Other names include May Lily, May Bells, Lily Constancy, Ladder-to-Heaven, Male Lily and Muguet.
The stems grow to 15-30 cm tall, with one or two leaves 10-25 cm long, flowering stems have two leaves and a raceme of 5-15 flowers on the stem apex. The flowers are white tepals (rarely pink), bell-shaped, 5-10 mm diameter, and sweetly scented; flowering is in late spring, in mild winters in early March. The fruit is a small orange-redberry 5-7 mm diameter that contains a few large whitish to brownish colored seeds that dry to a clear translucent round bead 1 to 3 mm wide.
All parts of the Lily of the Valley (stalk, flowers, and berries) are highly poisonous, containing cardiac glycosides and saponims. An extract of the plant, digitalis glycosides, has been used for centuries to help treat heart ailments.
Some of the folk lore and legends associated with the Lily of the Valley:
*According to Christian legend, the tears Mary shed at the cross turned to Lilies of the Valley, thus giving the plant another name, Our Lady’s Tears.
*Picking and giving bouquets of the flower bring good fortune in love.
*During the Middle Ages and up to modern times, the blossoms are often included in a bride’s bouquet symbolizing modesty and purity.
*Another legend tells of the nightingales who only sing after the scent of the Lily of the Valley fills the air, giving the plant yet another name, Fairy’s Bells.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
April's Flower...The Daisy
The Latin name for Daisy, bellis perennis, comes from the word bellus, which literally means beautiful. Daisies are known by several names: Bachelor's Buttons, Bull's-eye Daisy, Butter Daisy, Dog-blow, Dutch-curse, Dutch-cuss, Herb Margaret, Horse Daisy, Maudlin Daisy, Maudlinwort, Midsummer Daisy, Moonflower, Moon-penny, Poverty-weed, Rhode Island Clover, Sheriff-pink, and Whiteman's-weed.
Daisies are associated with the planet Venus, their element is water, and they are considered feminine.
Daisies were sacred to Freya and Ostara, both Germanic Goddesses, and has also been associated with the Greek Goddess, Aphrodite. They were in the past dedicated to Artemis, the Goddess of women, and considered useful in treating women's ailments.
Dreaming of Daisies is considered good luck in Spring, and bad luck in Winter.
It is lucky to step on the first flowers in the spring but extremely unlucky to uproot them.
Daisies were popular in Medieval times, when knights at tournaments wore the flower, while their ladies wore Daisy wreaths as crowns.
American colonists treated cuts and bruises with a Daisy lotion, and Daisy tea was used for whooping cough, asthma, and as an anti-spasmodic, as a diuretic, and as a tonic.
Elizabethans cured joint pain with Daisies, and Yugoslavians drank Daisy juice for their upset stomachs.
New England Puritans used Daisies to cure deafness.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Dead Fairy Who Loved Flowers Too Much
(Fairy by Fairy Garden)
*Sniff* Tonight upon my return home from doing my usual job of being the night shift PalPay Fairy, I discovered to my dismay*Sniff* that my locked cabnet had been broken into.
(White Fairy Cabinet by Enchanticals)
My white cabinet with all my special potions, and someone stole my potion jar with Dead Fairy Dust in it. As you know, Dear Diary, Dead Fairy Dust is very poisonous to live faeries. *Sniff*
('Stolen Potion Jar' by Mike Rowe)
My phone was ringing too when I got home. I received some very sad news from Scotland Yard. *Sniff* My sister, who is also a PayPal Fairy (PPF as many humans call us) was found laying on her back in a pile of leaves in Nottingham Forest by a poacher. *Sniff* Just her skeleton and her tutu and her wings. *Sniff* They said she was holding a pink flower. *Sniff* My sister loved flowers. *Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa*
"Dry your tears, and call your friend, Hercule," said the Diary as it rolled its eyes.
('Diary' by Blue Kitty Miniatures)
*Sniff* So as you know, Dear Diary, I tried to dry my tears and called my friend Hercule, who I met in Hyde Park. He assured me he would use his 'little grey cells' to deduce what had happened to my sister.
(Hercule Poirot by Sandy Copeland)
Well, Hercule went to the taped off area where he found my sister still laying on a bed of leaves. Without disturbing anything at the scene of my sister's death, Hercule deduced that my sister had been *Sniff* murdered *Sniff* * Sniff* from inhaling the stolen Dead Fairy Dust. I asked how he had come to that deduction and he said he could see some tiny glittery specks still on the flower my sister was holding. *Sniff* My sister loved flowers. *Waaaaaaaaaa*
(Dead Fairy by Fairy Garden)
(The Diary said nothing; just kept rolling its eyes.)
As you know, Dear Diary, I poured my heart out to Hercule and told him everything I could about my sister. He has such a way with we female faeries. *Sigh* When I mentioned this one particular human who enjoyed hoarding PPF's, his eyes lit up like a Christmas tree! Anyway, he went to visit this human who he said was just about to leave for a costume ball, but he assured her he was only wanting to talk with her about a friend of his and he wouldn't take up much of her time.
('Ugly Stepsister' by Solet Luna)
Hercule said he quickly gained her confidence, and before long she confessed to the crime and never made it to the costume ball. She suddenly poured out the whole story to him confessing my sister had some how escaped out of her cage.
(Captured Fairy by Fairy Garden)
My sister's escape so enraged her that she came to our home anticipating my being here to capture me, but as you know, Dear Diary, my hours were changed a few days ago to the night shift.
(Shroom House by WonderWorks)
As you also know, Dear Diary, we have never had any need to lock our door, so this human told Hercule she walked into the house and not finding me here broke into my white cabinet and stole the potion jar with the Dead Fairy Dust. *Sniff*
She had taken my sister's crystal ball from her and hid it. She knew it was the way PPF's communicate with each other so upon her return home, she got the crystal ball and was able to see where my sister was hiding. *Sniff*
(Crystal Ball by Enchanticals)
She also knew my sister loved flowers *waaaaaaaaaa* so she set about cutting the most fragrant of the flowers from her garden and sprinkled Dead Fairy Dust on the inside of every one of them. Then she went to Notingham Forest where my sister was hiding and laid down one flower.
(Flower by Mostly Art)
She patiently waited to see if the flower's fragrance would entice my sister to come and pick it up. It did. *Sniff*
Oh, Dear Diary, why oh why did my sister have to love flowers so much? *Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa*
Monday, February 23, 2009
These are a few of her favorite "Kids" (as she fondly calls her horses) shown with their winning plaques and ribbons:
GNC Western Arena Trail
(gate obstacle set-up shown with
my wagon wheel florals)
GNC in Western Arena Trail
(ground pole obstacle set-up
shown with my potted florals)
GNC in Western Arena Trail
(water obstacle set-up shown with
my wagon wheel florals)
Suits Her Fancy, Paint
RNC in CM Halter Showmanship
(set-up shown with wall backdrop
and my florals)
Monday, February 16, 2009
"Guardian of Broken Hearts"
An OOAK Art Doll Sculpt
by Sue Barton of Barton Originals
Sue wrote, "My thinking behind this is that often when one's heart is broken, we try to hide it. It is like a guardian takes it and protects it for us...however at times we can't help but let the World see - thus, the open skirt. She is sculpted from polymer clay and affixed to a modified vintage birdcage. The hearts in her basket are also polymer clay. She is dressed in vintage silk and antique lace trim. Her hair is Tibetan mohair. She stands approximately 12" tall."
Saturday, February 14, 2009
This 'Thank you' is for Pat, who I also met through CDHM shortly after joining the eBay group.
Thank you so very much, Pat, for sharing with me your wit, your kindness, your generosity, your shoulder, your ear, your tolerance, your willingness to understand both sides of a situation, your trust. For the things you taught me. For urging me onto better things in my life. For being there/here both during good times and not so good times. For allowing me to 'speak my mind'. For our interesting debates. For our long-winded phone calls. For you allowing me to be me. And, most of all, for your friendship.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
For three years I was given the opportunity to be a Moderator in a special forum overflowing with members of some of the World's finest Artisans of Dollhouse Miniatures...CDHM. Yesterday, I resigned from that position. I'm still a member tho! :)
Today, I want to publicly thank the Founders of CDHM (Custom Dolls, Houses & Miniatures), Marlene and John for everything they have done for me.
Marlene found me selling my minis on eBay many years ago and invited me to join an eBay dollhouse miniature group. I was thrilled! At that time I was a 24/7 caretaker for my Father and was not able to do much away from the house because of his poor health. Marlene had given me the opportunity to save my sanity and 'get away from it all' via her group. Not having any forum/chat experience back then I was a little intimidated at first but soon got used to the ins and outs of posting and very much enjoyed the commaradarie and friendships which developed over time.
A couple years later Marlene designed and 'opened' CDHM.org which today is one of the World's finest International sites for dollhouse miniature artisans and collectors. CDHM.org began as only a private forum. Since then it has grown by leaps and bounds from just a forum into a thriving marketing venture. The forum is still there - a huge forum - as well as now having a Gallery with artists' portfolios featuring the individual member's art.
Having been given the opportunity to be a forum Moderator gave me insight into what made CDHM.org tick...mostly Marlene with a lot of help from John, CDHM.org's computer guru. I also learned a lot from both of them about marketing, selling, business tactics, self-confidence, how to mix fun with business, computers, and friendship.
So...a HUGE "Thank you!" to Marlene and John for everything. Both of you are a rare gem!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Elaine Diehl's OOAK Dollhouse Castle
The Dollhouse Castle was designed and created by Colorado miniaturist Elaine Diehl, who was inspired by the character of Lady Elaine and her fantasy castle in Tennyson’s Lady of the Lake.
The level of detail ranks this Castle as one of the finest miniature structures in the world today. Over 100,000 pieces are contained within its walls, that were built, commissioned, or purchased to the highest standards. It is occupied by beautiful dolls, including Ladys in Waiting; Knights; and even a Wizard in its tower. It is 100% handcrafted in a 1” to 1’ scale and stands a grand 9 feet high (not including the base), is over 5 feet wide, and weighs approximately 800 pounds.
Ms. Diehl tapped some of the best known miniaturists and artisans in the world to create furniture, sculptings, art work, lighting, and much more to include in her Castle. The Castle and its interiors, ceilings, and floors was constructed over a 13-year period and over 6,000 thousand hours of work; not counting the time it took to create or commission the various pieces within its walls.. From 1978 to 1981 the various pieces were put together to form the final creation. It took more than a year alone just to carve the outside faux-finish stone which is comprised of approximately 200 central blocks that inter-lock into each other with precision pegs that lock into each other. The Castle was on display for many years in her store/museum (MiniElaine's in Sedona, AZ) until Ms. Diehl sold her enterprise in 1996 and went into retirement.
The current owners, Dr. Michael Freeman and his wife Lois, acquired the Castle from Elaine Diehl over a decade ago when Ms. Diehl retired. The Dollhouse Castle is on loan to the Nassau County Museum of Art on Long Island, New York. It is on public display at the Tee Ridder Miniature Museum located Roslyn, NY.