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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Getting Back Up Again

Hello Everyone! Though I have only been away for six weeks, it feels like I have missed out on so many amazing mini things in the community! I apologize for not leaving comments on blog posts, and for not posting my own. It might take me a few weeks to catch up, but I am looking forward to the effort...

In the past five years or so, especially since I began to share my mini adventures on a blog, there hasn't been too many weeks when I haven't been excited about or looking forward to some kind of mini challenge. A couple vacations or helping my folks move to Arizona aside, I have been all minis all the time. It felt weird not going in to my craft room (a.k.a. dining room), and in fact, I actually found myself pretty much avoiding it. More on that later. I don't have a whole lot of progress to share this time, but in the interest of giving everyone a little something to distract from the craziness in the world (particularly here in the US), I will share what I have managed to do.

First I need to share a little bright spot. I made a fabulous (and rare since Covid) purchase from Gergana Trichkova, the artisan behind CrochetCanto on Etsy. I had been searching for a tiny clown doll for Vera. The real life Vera was a collector of clown figures of all kinds from every place she visited around the world. Each time I would visit she would show me a new one on display and tell me the story behind it. She was in her 70's in the 70's so she had thousands!  It made her so happy to share her passion, so I knew that my Vera would need to have at least one clown in her cottage to honor those memories. In my searching, I saw a leprechaun doll in Gergana's shop. It was created with micro crochet and was so unique and adorable! I wrote to Gergana asking if she would accept a commission for a clown doll with similar style and size, but with a blue and yellow theme. She happily and enthusiastically agreed and a week later sent me photos for approval!

I could not be more thrilled with the workmanship and detailing, and by golly she even gave him a wee balloon! I also ordered a handbag and a delicate pot of daisies - they, too, are a wonder!

It is such a blessing to be able to collect these precious, handmade things from artisans around the world! This time from the talented hands of Gergana in Bulgaria! The shipping process was worry free, too - she provided tracking so that I could follow the package all the way to my door! Gergana even made opening everything feel like a thoughtful gift! Excellent packaging!

I can't wait to display all of them in Vera's cottage!

Now on to my meager progress for Vera and Virgil's cottages... I decided to use up of some of my stash of furniture kits. I really love using the Maker to make furniture, but also feel guilty for having all these kits and not using them. I reasoned that if I use the kits that I have stashed, then I'll have space for more furniture making supplies in the future.
And... I really just enjoy a good mini kit, too!

I started with the hutch and tables/dining chairs for each cottage. For Virgil, I used HOM kits, except for the table which was an old Magic_N_Miniature kit I picked up on impulse on eBay. What amazing wood this kit had! I had to stain the top!

For Vera, I used a Chrysnbon table and chair kit and a barewood hutch that I had left over from the Sweet Christmas Cottage kitchen. I softened it in the micro so that I could pull it apart for sanding and finishing. There was a lot of excess glue, and being able to sand each piece individually makes for a much funner and better job! I also found a nice piece of artwork that I could resize and cut with the Maker to decoupage onto the sides. That project was super fun!

I still have to paint the table and chairs but I can't decide on the color yet. Maybe, once I make Vera's sofa with it's aqua blue polka dot material, I'll have an easier time choosing...

I used HOM wing chair kits for Virgil's living room and, unlike when I made them for the Sweet Christmas Cottage, didn't make any changes to the original design. The only challenge I gave myself was using striped material. I had to go very slowly and make sure I had the right pieces matching at every point. Phew!

When it came time to add the bottom assemblies to the wing chairs, they seemed to be a little too tall for the scale of the cottage. Even compared to the dining chairs (which are HOM kits, too), they seemed imposing. A little off scale is okay because it only adds to the whimsical feel of the cottage. But it seemed if I could reduce their height they might look better.

I combined three shapes in Tinkercad to make new, lower legs for the chairs and for the sofa. Then I made a recess in them to hold a toothpick which would then be used to anchor them into the chairs. This idea came from making the Kris Compass sofa kit for the New Orleans dollhouse. It worked well and it only took an hour and fifteen minutes to print twelve of them on the 3D printer.

Some finishing required.

These will make quite a difference in height and I'll share how they came out in my next post.

I can't really explain what kept me away, and in truth, writing this post was a monumental effort in self discipline. I knew it would be good for me to get back on the horse. All I can point to is that after a rapid battle with lymphoma, my beloved beagle Georgie passed in July. That was the start to a time when I just felt really, really sad. The only joy I could find during this time was to spend loads of time with my beloved min pin boy puppies, Rusty and Woodson. We have had a few adventures in the forest and at the beach, and I am so grateful for the healing power of their love. 💗 We all miss Georgie every day.

Here's Georgie the day we brought her home...

 and snuggling her big sister Gracie, who passed in 2013, on the sofa.

It seems as though this year has brought so much loss for everyone around the world. We are all learning to cope with a whole new way of life. And for many of us, that means moving forward without some of the ones we love. Here in the US, we are learning to cope with new levels of shock and horror at human behavior every day. We are learning to live in instability and violence, something many of our friends in other countries have managed through for years. I guess it's no wonder that sometimes all of it makes us sad, and finding joy in spite of it is a battle we must fight each day. To all of you struggling out there with any and every thing, I offer my hugs and prayers.

xo xo,


  1. Jodi, can I confess that I have been so worried about you and to see your new post has brought such a relief and great joy. Bloggers often disappear with no word, leaving their faithful followers sad and worried. So I am so happy to read your post today. The clown is such a little doll LOL in both ways with a wonderful story to make it special. I do some crochet, but I just could not manage to do such tiny work. House of Miniatures kits are perfect the cottages. Love the kits since I'm not so good in design. You know, I was a teen during the civil rights movement; a college student during Viet Nam and watched the demonstrations and they were awful, but I have never seen anything like what we are witnessing now. I just want it all to end. Glad you are back. Stay well and happy.

    1. Thank you, Ann! I missed you, too! 💗
      I know that shaking us out of our complacency is the only way for real changes to happen. This will all have been worth it when we emerge from the other side a closer, more compassionate and equal world. Hugs!

  2. I'm so glad to See you!

    I tend to horde my kits too...but I'm looking forward to copying some of them into Cricut format maybe? That could be a lot of fun.

    The clown is adorable! And I think the new chair legs will be great.

    In times like these I like to remember this 'You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.'

    I've been reminding myself of that daily, like a mantra. Because humanity is really acting...inhuman...a little too much for my peace of mind.

    1. Thank you, Sheila! 💗
      Having the kit patterns in Design Space would be a lot of fun! Great idea!
      And your quote is such a very good way to refocus us all on the positive facets. Our oceans truly are filled with a lot of good, compassionate people helping others, too! 😊

  3. ¡El payaso es precioso!
    Veo que estás totalmente liada con los muebles de las cabañas.

  4. Jodi! It’s great to see you back! Sometimes we need a bit of a reset – time for yourself, time to appreciate the good like the time that your adorable Georgie was a part of your life, time to get outside. You are so generous with your time and support amongst the mini community, your time off was well deserved.

    I’m glad to see that you did set aside a little time to discover and order the little clown for Vera and continue to furnish their cottages.

    Do take care ❤️

  5. Condolences on the loss of your dear Georgie. I wish you peace and comfort.
    Your cabinet decoupage is very pretty and the clown is absolutely adorable!

  6. Jodi,que alivio y que alegría poder volver a leerte!Durante éste tiempo he sentido preocupación por si estarías bien,lamento mucho la pérdida de Georgie y espero que sea feliz allá donde esté! Puedo comprender que Rusty y Woodston harán que se mitigue un poco el dolor con su amor y los buenos momentos que te harán pasar,creando nuevos y bellos recuerdos.
    Necesitabas tomarte un tiempo,algo normal,ahora de vuelta a las miniaturas verás que son también pura medicina!
    El pasayo es adorable!!! Y el trabajo de los muebles magnífico! Esas patas han quedado increíbles! la combinación de telas y tonos se ve genial con el ambiente de las casas.
    Mucho ánimo Jodi,un fuerte abrazo!

  7. estupendas tus adquisiciones y tu trabajo, siento tu pérdida y te deseo fuerza para acomodarte a los nuevos tiempos, es lo que nos ha tocado vivir...

  8. I too was so relieved to see you back, I love the clown, I love the work you've done on Vera and Virgil's cottages! But like the other's have said, we are living through trying times! I'm a nurse, one of the girl's I work with was complaining about how dry her mouth was from the masks we must wear, I told her that mine was dry from it hanging wide open all of the time! - in total disbelief of everything going on around us. I'm so sad that you lost your beloved beagle Georgie - they are the sweetest dogs! My Jack who is 18 is a beagle mix and we are helping him with some daily battles. Mini's are a great distraction and a way to focus our energies - the crazier my 1:1 world gets the more I love my 1:12!
    Stay strong girlfriend and keep the faith! Love to you Jodi, you are a great inspiration, Michelle in Tennessee

  9. Jodi, I am so very glad to see you posting again, but so sorry to hear about Georgie. I completely understand about the sadness. As you know, I had a tough time focusing when this all started and just couldn't seem to work on my minis. The thought of going online to post or comment was overwhelming. Thankfully, that has passed, and I hope it will for you, too. That little clown is adorable; what a wonderful treat for you! And the furniture is just lovely! What a clever solution on the chairs. Hope you stay safe and healthy; sending good and healing wishes your way. {{{hugs}}}

  10. Oh Jodie, I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your much loved Georgie. The photos are gorgeous. It's good that you're busying yourself with minis, I like what you've done to Vera's cottage, and the hutch looks lovely. Looking forward to seeing the chairs and sofas. The clown is adorable.

  11. So sorry to hear of your loss. My little persian cat Razor passed in August. He was a
    month short of 14 yrs. In May our other persian Razine died. She was only 4 yrs. It has been a sad yr for a lot of people. I too have been inactive but when I force myself to work, my heart's not in it. This will pass. We must keep going. Your clown and others are so sweet and your kits are showing you are healing. Stay safe and well .💜

  12. El payaso es adorable y sus accesorios preciosos, Vera estará encantada con él.
    Los muebles han quedado genial, has hecho un gran trabajo.
    Siento la pérdida de tu querido Georgie, y mucho ánimo en estos tiempos difíciles.

  13. Dear Jodi, It is So Good to see you back at work!!! You have been missed! But I am sorry to hear you lost a beloved pet.... they take a piece of us with them every time. :(
    The little clown is Amazing! I don't know how people crochet so small... and get such perfect details! I am glad you were able to get one for Vera! As for the furniture... you are working your magic again... at lightning speed from my perspective! I love the decoupaged dresser! It reminds me of my RL one which I hand painted many years ago with "nature" growing all over it. I am sure the color dilemma will reveal it's solution in time.... you have a great eye for pattern and color... so I expect to be awed again! I can't wait to see it all come together.
    And don't apologize for taking time off... healing is a personal thing and takes time. But it's Wonderful to see you back here again! :):)

  14. Oh Jodi! I'm so sorry for the loss of Georgie. :( Losing a beloved pet in the middle of everything else is just too much to bear, I know.. but I am glad to see you back blogging. I think we are all struggling in this new world we find ourselves in and I've been struggling to find the heart to mini also... But I will get back to it soon. I see you discovered the wonder of a small pleasures kit! (rebranded for the american market I guess but proudly Australian. :) They do have the most wonderful wood, I have found myself unable to paint some of them too! Such adorable crocheted minis you found. They are going to look wonderful in this build!. I'm also looking forward to you getting back to pound cake. :D Glad to see you back my friend and sending you big virtual hugs and to Woodson and Rusty too.

  15. This comment probably won’t publish, they never do :(

    Hugs for you.

  16. Hola de nuevo Jodie, me alegro e leerte de nuevo, de vez en cuando se necesita un cambio y si has perdido a Georgie es normal. Tus trabajos perfectos y tu nueva adquisición es una preciosidad, muy dulce. Es una locura lo que está pasando ;la violencia no lleva más que a más violencia, espero que lo superéis pronto y entre la cordura en la gente. Feliz semana, besos:-)

  17. The clown is beautiful, very cute and the other crocheted stuff too, the furniture for the houses, very beautiful.

  18. I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing a four-legged friend is painful, I know; but he will always remain in our hearts. One day you will find Georgie waiting on the rainbow bridge...
    Your purchases are fantastic, and the little clown is adorable. Have fun with kits!

  19. Hola Jodi.
    Este tiempo que vivimos nos afecta a todos.
    Las perdidas de seres queridos siempre son duras pero si ademas nuestra vitalidad esta mermada por todos los acontecimientos que nos rodean entonces parecen mayores.
    Seguro que, teniendo a George en un rinconcito de tu corazón, encontraras amor suficiente para nuevos compañeros.
    Las minis son preciosas. Me he enamorado de ese lindo payaso, es precioso y muy dulce.

    Un saludo

  20. Hi Jodi. Sending hugs. It is a tough crazy time and we all wish things were different. I hope that you feel better over time, even with the occasional low points, and minis will help. We will get past this I guess, one way or another. Xx

  21. You would not believe how happy it made me to see a new post from you - I was really worried about you. And now I learn that you've had some sad times and that you were emotionally exhausted, no surprise after the loss of your four-legged friend. I'm sorry to hear about Georgie - but I'm glad that you found your way back to miniature making. It's amazing what you've done with these kits - they're perfect for the mice cottages. And as always it's stunning how you're doing it by using all your machine power and of course your own creativity - for example making new legs for the chair by using your new baby aka the 3D printer is great.

    Vera and Virgil will love what you've done for them so far and will be the happiest owners of a beautiful mouse cottage in the mice community ever! Speaking of happy... this little clown is incredible, what a fantastic purchase. To me it's unbelievable that it's possible to crochet little wonders this tiny and still as neat as it is cute. What a lovely little chap - and what a talented lady. It's always amazing how much talent is out there!


  22. Dear Jodi, when I saw a post from you in my blog feed just now, I had to grab a cup of tea so I could sit and read it slowly. How lovely to hear your voice again! I'm absent from my blog for much the same reason as you; this year feels so sad and you wouldn't believe the number of awful things that have happened to us. It feels like a time to sit quietly and not pass the bad vibe on to others. My sincere condolences on Georgie's passing. Pets are such an integral part of our lives. I'm glad to hear that you're spending lots of time with the rest of the pack and I hope that they're a comfort to you. I can't comment on what is happening in the U.S., exept to say that my mouth hangs open when I watch the news. Virgil and Vera's furniture is stunning, as all your work always turns out to be. And that miniature crochet is gorgeous, thank you for introducing me to another artist to follow.

  23. Hi Jodi,
    So many of us have missed you and worried if you were OK. Clearly you weren't and you have had a tough time. I am so (selfishly) happy you have found your way back to your workroom and your blog and hope against hope it will be a huge help in keeping you going forward. All loss can become liveable with if you just keep pushing on and adding little things into your life here and there to make a few moments happy again. Little things like the utterly exquisite clown must make you smile every time you see him and the original Vera would be thrilled to be remembered with such fondness and happy to say hello to you every time you see Vera two's clown. Your work on this project is, as always, inspirational and perfect. Keep on keeping on..... Marilyn