Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wee Cabins for Two Redheads

Last weekend, my sister Dorothy and her husband Beloved came to Farmsville to plane wood. They need some wood to fix their deck, and Pa just tore down a whole hoghouse full of wood recently, so it was a good match. I knew they would be busy all day, and Ma recently hurt her knee and isn't super mobile, so I decided Little and I should have a Mini Day. It was faboosh.

NAME has a Special Events page where you can find simple, free, monthly projects. The one for last July was a Quarter Scale Cabin project by Thuy Means (Thuy is a wonder-NAMEr who does all kinds of fantastic things for NAME!). It was so cute and simple that I knew Little could tackle it. However, I also knew there was a major amount of super boring staining to do in advance. I've learned that the best way to teach others a project is to do the project in advance first to work out all of the kinks, so I stained three total cabins. One for Little, one for me, and one as a sample (that went to Ma and Pa).

Above, you can see the staining nightmare that I did over at my parents' house. Poor Ma had to give up half of her big table to the project, but she took it like a champ. I was able to get everything stained in basically one day. Meanwhile, I wanted to have some furniture for Little to put on the inside. Quarter scale, or 1:48, is quite fiddly, so I cheated and bought what we like to call "little brown furniture." I got mine from Quarter Source, but you can get it at many places. I ordered a bedroom set and a kitchen set. It's old-school furniture, so it's perfect for cabins. The bedding was awful, so I decided to redo it. I used "fun foam" -- that paper stuff that feels like foam -- to make the mattresses and pillows:

Then I put on some itty bitty patterned material for the comforters:

The sample cabin in the directions has the plain wood pieces for the roof, but I thought I'd mix it up by adding some red corrugated paper:

I glued the paper to the roof pieces so Little and I wouldn't have to wait for them to dry, and then I left everything on trays over Nerdtopia (thank you, Ma):

A few days later, I came back to finish the sample landscaping. This cabin is missing its chimney because I couldn't find small pebbles at the store. But here is the completed sample we used for Mini Day:

There's hardwood flooring inside:

My favorite part is the wee flower boxes:

Mini day arrived, and Little and I got going on our cabins. She did a FANTASTIC job. We had great fun together:

Here is Miss Little adding glue to her window boxes (I made them from scrap wood and colored them red with a permanent marker):

And here she is delicately adding flower clumps to her window boxes with tweezers:

Fantastic work, Little!!!!! I'm so proud of my budding miniaturist:

Cabin #2 was much easier for me since I now knew what I was doing:

Little took the red bed, and I took the pink one. You can see how I've organized my furniture here. I also gave us each little black cats to represent Little's cat, Kizzy. Mine is in the middle of the floor:

Here are all three houses together:

So so so cute:

Here is how Little organized her cabin. You can see that her wee Kizzy has taken over the bed:

One thing I added to the project was a little rock pathway leading up to the stairs. It's Scene-a-Rama gravel from Hobby Lobby:

We colored in the tops of the chimneys with black permanent marker. Then Little and I went hunting for itty bitty pebbles in the driveway. We found plenty, washed them, and then added them to the chimneys before gluing them on. I don't have a picture of that for some reason, but this photo shows the location of chimneys:

Overall, we had a WONDERFUL time together. I love being creative with my niece, and I could tell she really liked her cabin. Hopefully, I'll continue to nurture the mini bug in her for many more years to come.


A HUGE thank you to Thuy Means for creating such wonderful, free projects for whoever wants them. The directions and a list of all of the supplies you need is right HERE just in case you want a wee cabin of you own. Be sure to check out the other free projects in the current and archives sections for more goodies. And if you want to join NAME, go HERE.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Webster's Itchy Update

I'm pleased to report that Webster's allergies issues are clearing up with the steroid treatments. I do fear that this will all flair right back up after he's finished taking the medicine, but that's a bridge I'll have to cross when/if I get there. For now, he's SO MUCH BETTER.

The worst part was that little area where his head connects to his ears in the middle of his head. It was ridiculously swollen and all crusty with cuts. The swelling has gone way down, and he'll let me touch that part of his ear now:

He doesn't like taking the medicine, but he gets most of it down. He doesn't flee from me like he was doing with the different creams:

I'm even getting snuggled again:

So for now, all is well with Webbie. Yay! I'm crossing my fingers that it stays that way.

*crosses fingers*

Friday, October 10, 2014

Webster's Itchy Issues

WARNING: There are some kind of gross-looking scratch photos at the bottom of this post. View at your own risk.

For months now, Webster has been having some ear issues. It started with a few cuts around his ears and on his forehead area, where he's been showing signs of male pattern balding for years. I thought Gretchen had taken a chomp out of him while they were playing, so I didn't really worry about it. I smeared some Neosporin on there and went on with my life. But a week later, there were more scratches. Hmmm....

So I was a good momma and took Webbie to the vet. That was back in May. I didn't realize it had been so long. But it's good to know exactly when I went because I can rule out a few things that way. The problem is that he wasn't showing any symptoms the day I took him to the vet because I'd been being so good about using the Neosporin (Webster was NOT pleased, of course). The vet said he had no mites, but he did have waxy ears that should be cleaned with stuff from the pet store. I also had his back nails trimmed (he doesn't have front nails). I thought it was over.

Webster has ALWAYS been extremely skittish, so I knew there was no way I was going to be able to clean his ears on my own. I researched how to do it and the different brands of cleaners, and I kept making notes to go get some from the store, but then I got busy and forgot to do it -- day after day, week after week (not such a good momma now, eh?). The cuts came and went, and I trimmed his back nails again on my own and kept treating him with the Neosporin. Then one day, I noticed that the place where his ear and his head meet in the middle was getting really bumpy and swollen. No good. This time, I sent pix to Average Jane to ask for advice. She is a Kitteh Whisperer:

I also sent the photos to April, who has two fluffballs of her own:

Both of them said the same thing: allergies. Oh boy. Great. Just great:

I also asked my sister about this, and she said her cat, Sybil, had the same problem. But I SWEAR Dorothy said Sybil had ringworm, so I ignored Dorothy because I didn't see any rings. It turns out I just imagined that Dorothy said ringworm -- or she really said it, and I'm the right one. I like pretending to be the right one in this situation.

Anyway, I went to the store and bought Hydrocortisone cream and Benadryl cream. Then I put one on each side and went to bed. In the morning, Webster looked much better:

Oh yes, we're getting somewhere:

And my handsome boy looked happier:

That was a few weeks ago. I kept seeing progress, but then it all went to sh*t. Webster's ears became massively inflamed. He was scratching ALL THE TIME, and his skin was all red/purple. MY POOR FURBABY!!! I switched back to Neosporin, but by now, he was running from me at all times. NO GOO ON MAH HEAD, WOMAN!

Then I got the flu. So a whole week went by of me watching Webster tear his head open while I barely stayed alive on the couch. I didn't want to give the flu to the whole vet office, so I stayed home like a good girl. Meanwhile, Mr. Itchy scratched and scratched:

This was a few days ago when I felt like The World's Worst Mother for not trying to find someone else to take him to the vet while I was sick:

Back at the vet, we did another physical examination. Since he's ALWAYS had a wet nose, I didn't think a wet nose was a problem. My baby has been wiping his wet nose on me since I got him. I also noticed a few eye crusties, but who doesn't get those? But of course on the day I take him to the vet, he's extra drippy and eye crusted. Good times. It was RAGINGLY OBVIOUS that Webster is allergic to something. But what? Nothing has changed. Well, I got the mice, but that was AFTER he became symptomatic. I have no idea what could be causing this. I just want it to stop. I did have his ears cleaned, which I doubt will help, but at least I don't have to worry about it now. He was NOT HAPPY.

In order to get the swelling and redness under control, we're doing a steroid treatment. Webster is notorious for foaming up pills or liquids, but I will diligently give him the steroid medicine on its rigid schedule. When he's looking a little better, we'll try to figure out what the allergen is. Based on info from Average Jane, April, and Dorothy, I'm thinking this might just be a seasonal thing. I'm really hoping it is. Webster has clawed off all of his hair on that left side down to the eyelid, so now he looks like a drunken sailor with a wicked shiner. I hate seeing my cuddlebug like this. Sigh.

However, one day into the steroid treatment, I can already see that some of the redness is backing off. YAY! But the VET is the one who gave him the medicine yesterday. Now it's my turn. Time to corner the beast in the bathroom and do the dirty work. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Fall Mini Fun

I haven't been blogging lately. I've been very busy and then SICK. I have the flu. Not The FLU Flu, but a flu, and it sucks. I haven't been sick for years, so I've been frustrated and very whiny. Sigh. To make up for my long absence, I'll now shower you with images of my Halloween/Thanksgiving mini project.

I've never decorated for any holiday other than Christmas, and I don't really decorate for that anymore, either. This is because:

1. I live alone, and no one comes to visit.
2. I don't have kids.
3. I live in the country surrounded by trees, so no one can see my house anyway. This also means I don't get any trick-or-treaters.
4. Decorating is f*cking expensive.

However, now that I've been doing miniatures, I keep accumulating holiday-themed minis from friends, my guild, and little sales. I realized a few weeks ago that I had a LOT of Halloween/Thanksgiving minis, so I had might as well bring them out into the light of day.

When I first joined my guild, I won the .50 raffle. The prize was this lovely floral arrangement with Jack-o-lanterns in it. It has sat in its little acrylic box all this time. The poor thing. It's too cute to be hiding:

OK, so some of these photos are really going to suck because it was late at night, and I was tired and sloppy about my phone pix. But this is what the little foam pumpkin looked like when I picked it up from Shopko at 60% off (knife not included):

I don't know what 60% off $9.99 is, but it was a good deal:

I started by hacking a grid into the pumpkin:

Then I pulled all of the styrofoam out. It was extremely crumbly, so I made a huge mess. You can't really tell the depth of the hole, so I put a pen in there for you to show you how deep it is:

Next, I took a piece of brown cardstock and butchered together a box. Basically, I just estimated the length, shoved the paper in there, bent it to shape, and cut it. Then I did it again for the height:

Then I took the template and cut out a piece of lighter brown cardstock that was all one piece. It fit in nicely, but you can see that it doesn't join all the way on the top corners. Oopsie:

I had this roll of brown tape, so I started to put that over the lip area:

The problem was that you could see through the tape, so I had to keep putting on more and more layers. It looked AWFUL:

Then I remembered that I had some sparkly ribbon I used for my Pippi Longstocking costume a few years back. I used it as ribbons on my braids. PERFECT! It was hard to put it over the "pumpkin boob" areas, but I got it on there OK after a lot of patience. You can see that the pumpkin is small -- here is a thing of tape for scale:

I also used some regular scrapbook paper flooring:

I have wisely moved the pumpkin into the home office with better lighting for the finished shots. Here it is:

On the left side, we have the Demon Kitty. I got this cat a few years back in a bunch that I bought all together for the Cattery. It was freaky looking, so I left it out. It makes a perfect Halloween cat. I also added a candlestick and some baby pumpkins with greenery that were on clearance at Hobby Lobby. The stems were orange, so I colored them with a brown marker. The wee skeleton was a gift from a friend:

Next to the skeleton, you can see a bunch of seeds that look like pumpkins that I got from Morrigan. I forgot to keep the piece of paper that had their name on them. Googling isn't doing much help. But basically, they're seeds. And they look exactly like mini pumpkins. Yay:

The right side is more of a Thanksgiving scene. I used some of the greenery to try and cover the spot where the paper isn't touching. Then I piled on pumpkins, flowers, and gourds that I got from a guild my sale had last year. I also added some spooky-ish cameos:

And what fall scene is complete without a mouse?

Front and center, we have the original fall decoration -- the happy pumpkin flower arrangement:

And hiding up top is a wee owl. HOOT:

There is a little room left for other doodads to find their way in over time. Overall, I really like it, and it only took me about three hours. I love projects that are mostly gluing.


I'm going to crawl back to the couch now.