Thursday, September 30, 2021

Calling for Back-Up

 So I'm two days shy of two months being away from the blog, and my miniature projects. I didn't plan such a long break, but life gets in the way sometimes.

August began with the 4-H fair, so, of course, I spent some long days  watching 3 granddaughters show their horses. Then I had a bit of health issue that knocked me off my feet for three weeks. I couldn't believe how awful I felt for so long. You've heard the cliché that the cure is worse than the illness, which was my case with the antibiotics that I had to take. Anyway I'm on the mend. 

When last I wrote, I wanted to begin installing the tape wiring, but before I could do that, I needed to paint the foundation for the Manchester and the addition. Simple enough but. . . and that's where this post begins.

The foundation for this kit is a simple MFD rectangle. Easy enough to assemble--just glue together at the corners. Except the rectangle was not stable and wouldn't stay square, so had to call for back-up and ask my husband to cut two boards to stabilize the foundation. Well my husband is a very busy man for one who is retired. This weekend is the Fall Fishing Trip, so I suggested that he should get my little project done before he left.

Once supports were installed and glued in place, when I went to move the foundation one corner popped off, so I made another request, asking him to use his nail gun to reinforce the corners and the supports. He's so handy.


The two foundations, the smaller one for the addition, have received their first coat of paint. I wanted a darker gray, but I had this shade on hand, so it will have to do.

So not all of the glued joins are reinforces with these tiny "nails", making them stronger. 

I probably should have used some wood filler to cover the stables, but I think with another coat of paint that will cover up them up.

One more coat of paint and the foundation will be ready to set the house and addition on.

So one favor deserves another. So while my husband has my back with these little projects that require skills that I don't have   I do his chores so that he can take off now and then. 

Pop the pony is 34 years old, mostly blind, and has very bad teeth so he can't graze without a muzzle. While he does graze in the pasture all day, his main meal is a mash of hay pellets and a special feed mixed with hot water. We are hoping to get him to gain some weight before winter comes. He's a sweet boys and in his day a little girl's show pony. She's 29 now and comes to visit him now and then and he still remembers her.

Pop's stable mate is Callie, the stray cat that just moved in pregnant last year. She lived in the alley behind our property. She had 3 litters of kittens, before I finally had her fixed. Now she just hangs in the barn, living the life of leisure with her heated crate. She really loves Gerald and would certainly love to live in the house with us--but old cat would never allow that.

And the hens. I made apple pie today, so they got the peelings and I gathered 1 egg.

So with my chores done, I decided to make logs for my mini fireplace. I took a photo of the gas logs in our living room and try to recreate them for the fireplace that will be in the entertainment center in the Manchester living room.

I began with a package of off-white translucent Scuplty oven bake clay and combined it with #78 Fimo brown and #9 black Fimo.

My first attempt at the logs was to just use the off-white Sculpty--which, by the way, is much softer and easier to work with than the Fimo; however, it becomes very soft--too soft to work with--almost. My idea was to use pastel dust to get the color that I wanted, but the chalk wouldn't cover the light color enough.

So I mixed the black, brown, and translucent and came up with logs that are too dark, so I used shades of gray chalk to try to lighten them up and added a bit of orange for a bit of embers.

I used sculpting tools and my round stylus to add texture. Next I will bake the logs and then I think I'll use gray acrylic paint to lighten them up. If that doesn't get the desired color, I'll start all over. 

I've ordered my fireplace kit from Evans Designs. The company is located in my area, so the kit should be arrive in a day or so, giving me time to finish the entertainment center. 

I do hope to get back into the routine of posting every week, which, naturally, depends on how much work I get done.

Thanks for stop by. 


  1. This was a very enjoyable post- Thank you Ann! I'm sorry to learn that you were ill for so long but Very Happy that you are finally feeling like your normal self again- GOD is good! :)
    Also of note was how well you and your hubby work in cooperation with each other and so that each of you can eagerly pursue your passions of choice Good Job you two!
    Seeing your pony and your barn cat and the hens was very soothing to the soul and I'm glad that Pop still gets a visit from his "little girl" now and then. Animals have an Amazing memory.
    And Thank you for demonstrating how you are making your fireplace logs! I think that it's a Brilliant idea to make them out of fimo so that you get exactly what you need for the firebox. Bravo Ann!


    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. I'm glad that you enjoyed my bit about the animals. They are big part of our life.

  2. Sounds like you’ve had a lot going on. It would be nice to have some acreage, and you are fortunate to have the animals too. I hope you found some time to enjoy over the summer.

  3. Thank you Shannon. It was a busy summer; I hope yours was good, too.

  4. Hi Ann! I was wondering what had kept you away, and I was hoping it was just a lot of fun. I'm so glad you're back to feeling good! Thank goodness for helpful husbands and strong foundations!
    With all those wonderful grandkids and sweet animals in your life, I am surprised there is time for minis at all! I love the idea of making your own fire logs, and they are looking great! Can't wait to see them in the lighted up fireplace!

  5. Thank, Jodi. The logs are work in progress. My Evans fire kit arrived yesterday, so now the real fun can begin.

  6. Sometimes real life gets in the way. I’m so relieved that you are okay now. I love that you arranged a win-win with your husband and got a more solid foundation out of the deal. Your fireplace logs are looking really good. Enjoy the change in season.

  7. The logs need more work, for sure. The lights arrived the day after I ordered them. I chose the pico size and they are very tiny--maybe too tiny. We shall see. Yes, I am feeling better. Thank you.


Building an Entertainment Center

It's hard to believe that I have been away for so long. Life just gets in the way when you are having fun, and then Life isn't so mu...