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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Closing Up For Winter

When Vera and Virgil first came and asked me to build their dream cottages, I don't think they were planning on my taking August through October off. I wasn't either, so it didn't surprise me in our last meeting when they expressed concerns. After all, every sign, in the house and out in the world, was pointing toward trouble. Darkening skies, cold nighttime temperatures and the sound of wind swept rain as it played it's threatening tune against my southern facing work room window. Winter was coming, and while it has never rained in the work room, the cottages, with no roofs installed, were exposed to whatever may happen in there. I assured them that I was concerned, too, and would focus great energy toward winterizing the cottages right away.

The first task was to get the porch ceiling and then the porch roofs installed. Luckily, this was a pretty straight forward process since the Lisa's Country Cottage kits are so well made. Sure, I had to make some revisions due to the added pop outs, but that was, thankfully, an easy job, too.

With the porch roofs completed, it was finally time to move on to the main roofs. I had cut the openings for the dormers when I first dry fit the kit. Heck - I even had the ceiling sides primed. All they really needed at this point was to have the wallpapers added. 

Once the papers had been applied and the paste had set, it was time to get the roof pieces installed on the cottages. It's such a great sense of accomplishment as you see the pile of components on a kit build dwindle down!

I'm so glad that I planned ahead and had both the gabled and shed dormers for each cottage as finished and as ready to install as possible. This meant that there was no lag in getting to see the cottages nearly complete. The facades, which I had only seen in a rough dry fit and in my imagination, were now a more tangible and nearly realized dream.

Here are photos of the inside of Vera's bedroom with ceiling and dormers installed. It's fun at this point to remember the original kit design and know that, by simply dropping the floor, there is a real and functional living space for these mice. 

And Virgil's

And the gabled pop out roofs, the trickiest roofs I've ever taken on. They were challenging because they have to tie in to both the porch and the big roof, and connect flush into the wall. I did pretty okay with them, thanks to Russ' help. Gaps will become a secret once the roofing is installed and the inside ceilings trimmed.

There is still much trim work and touch up to do. And actual roofing shingles to be installed...

But with such promising progress, Vera, Virgil and I are ecstatic! It looks like the cottages truly will be closed up and secured for the winter.

I hope your winter preparations (or summer for our down under friends) are coming along in a hopeful way, as well.

xo xo,


Friday, November 13, 2020

Back At The Table...

Hello dear mini friends! Here I am in my second attempt at getting back in the mini groove again. For weeks, I was having such a hard time getting restarted on any project. The thought of where to begin or what to do next was literally too overwhelming. Which was so weird for me because, for the past 8 years or so, I'd go to bed dreaming of the next mini task, then I'd wake up looking forward to finding mini time to do it. I was beginning to think I had totally lost my mini mojo and that maybe, I'd never get it back again. I was so sad!!!

But then, a thought occurred to me. What if I just started with something small and simple? Like gluing the cottage foundation pieces together and covering them with egg carton cobblestone. That seemed like the least daunting project given my mood, and one that I could do in tiny spurts if need be. So that's exactly what I did. And it was, surprisingly, so much fun! And, it was soooo good to feel like my old mini loving self again! I actually had tears well up, and I knew my lack of motivation was only temporary. :O)

Inspiration Stone

No grout, just painted background.

After deck boards and stairs installed.

Once the foundations were covered with egg carton rocks, I felt that old excited feeling! I had to see what the cottages looked like assembled. That led to gluing foundation to floor, then walls to the floors.

And installing siding and trim...

And painting the siding...

That was so encouraging that I just had to see what the deck boards would look like on the porches...

And that lead to an overwhelming urge to get the porch roofs finished and installed. Vera's cottage went great, and with a little luck, I'll have Virgil's finished up in a few days. I've got to scribe the board lines in with a metal file, then paint, sand and fit.

So this is what I've got to share for now. Just an encouraging bit of progress, but a monumental personal breakthrough! I hope to keep taking small steps forward until the old passion is ignited once again.

And while I waited for my mini inspiration to kick in, I began working my way through this list of...

20 Top Rated Soups

Russ and I have very much enjoyed the ones I've made, so far, and it's been fun to make a few a second time too, improving on the recipes. I've been busy finding other ways to expand our waistlines, too!

If you are blessed with more than you need as Russ and I are, I'd like to encourage all of you to think a little about the folks in your communities. Many in our county are struggling to find the resources to stay safe and secure in this unstable Covid economy. I'd like to help them to enjoy cooking and eating until their bellies are full.

My amazing and generous daughter has started a campaign to raise money for Nourish Pierce County, our local food bank. Please consider donating, if you can, to Tasha's food drive or to your own local food banks. A little can go a long way, and with our cupboards full, it's a little easier to face all the other challenges that life brings to our doors.

I hope that each of you is finding your way through life, too, and enjoying the little things that make life worth fighting for.

xo xo,