MECO Show and Sale

MECO Show and Sale
2016 Show & Sale will be the Saturday 14th May 2016 held at the Peachland Community Centre in Peachland BC. contact person Barb Janes-Yeo at 250-757-2842

Saturday 31 October 2015

A Sad Day for MECO

Sherrill Bedu September 29, 1947 - October 29, 2015
This week, MECO lost one of its own. We say good bye to Sherrill, who lost her battle to cancer, although not before getting in a few good punches of her own, I am sure.  Our prayers and thoughts go to her family at this sad time, and we would like to let them know that Sherrill was loved for her kind heart,  as well as admired for her talent and her fighting spirit. Rest in good peace, Sherrill, you will be missed, and the stars shine just a little less bright with your passing.

I thought I would showcase a few things that I have on file to celebrate Sherrill, and I hope you enjoy my choices. 

Although she was primarily a 1/4 scale miniaturist, Sherrill made the most amazing cowboy themed items, which may be an occupational hazard when you are a native Calgarian. I purchased this western saddle from her this spring, and it is one of my favourites in my collection. The details go on forever, each component carefully thought out and painstakingly placed. I believe I have somewhere too a bridle and a hat as well, which sadly I couldn't find.

 Above, little cowboy boots - in a very soft lovely leather. 

 Sherrill made dolls as well. On the left, a beautiful Mardi Gras celebrator, and on the right, a lovely saloon girl.

 One of Sherrill's spectacular little houses.

Modern mini house. 

Above, a Michael's wooden case, reworked in classic Sherrill style. A little sitting room atop, a wine cellar below, and a tasting table off to the left.

A little shop - for some reason I only seem to have the back portion of it in my files. 

A sweet little front/back design. This is a very good example that you don't need to do a whole house in minis to get something spectacular. 

Sherrill also made the occasional kit - this one she called "secret garden", this one I put together. 
Above: I believe this train set was Sherrill's. Below: The "hatbox" container, always a crowd pleaser.  She had an uncanny knack of finding the perfect fabric in the right scale, always a challenge for the ever smaller scale modeler. 

Sherrill at one of our shows.

Thank you Sherrill, for sharing your talent and kind spirit. You will be sorely missed.

Monday 12 October 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you are all having a lovely Thanksgiving. Or what the Americans term "Canadian Thanksgiving". Or what the rest of the world terms "Monday". We just know it for what it is, Thanksgiving, and ours is first, in year and in founding . That is, by the way, very Canadian in attitude. We like to yell "We invented it!". We are the equivalent of that wag who gets to a comment section before anyone else has launched their opinion and yells "FIRST!", but doesn't actually add anything else to the conversation, because the important bit was being first. It tends to annoy everyone else while we wallow in self-satisfied "firstness", but in this case, we actually were - 1578 for Canadians, and 1798 in the US. See? A good 220 years. That gives a nice wide margin for being first. We as a country are totally smug about being number one.  We are the first to admit it too. Either way, it was a brilliant day to celebrate everything tasty and be thankful for the bounty we have received. Interestingly I had the  chance to be thankful with respect to voting today as well. It was an advance polling day,  and I decided to take advantage so next week I wouldn't have to run around like a madman getting to the polls on the "official" election day. Apparently many Canadians also had the same thought -  the second thing you get to learn about Canadians (which might be first, I am not sure) is that when we are ticked off we like to get our opinions on the table early and we like to complain -  loudly. This weekend there were more than 850,000 Canadians lined up to tell the current government what we truly think of them. This is an 11% rise compared to the last Federal election. That says something. The line ups were long, but the discussion in the lines was amazing, in that there was a great appreciation when it came to the freedom we had, just by standing in that line, free to vote in the villain of our choice, instead of having a villain foisted upon us. Not too shabby at all, albeit there was a few grumblings in line about the wait and also because they weren't first in line....  anyway, to business.

Of the seemingly thousands of pictures I have, I didn't have any Thanksgiving pictures to share. I will go a little "Halloweenie" instead. This is something I started working on last October, based on a pattern by Loreleiblu (Etsy). She has since sold this particular settee, but she did published a how to in American Miniaturist in October 2014 if you would like to make one yourself, if you can track down the article. I haven't quite gotten to the pillows yet. Its only been a year. The only caveat is that she didn't quite put in the actual measurements for the coffin. So...either you go find a coffin (cough) or if you happen to have an extra (cough cough) then you can take the measurements off that. Or Google. Google is good. I suppose you could just bat wing it though, it isn't like a coffin has changed dimension over the years. You can just eye of newt it and go from there.

Loreleiblu's original design of Coffin settee.

Day of the Dead looms - interestingly the custom is sneaking into Canada bit by bit, to the point where I could have bought a DOTD Halloween costume...which probably muddies up holidays, but oh well. Pictured also are Edith and Ethel Hemlock, the two headed witch sisters, and also Scarlett Ravensblood, my treasured vampiress. Both these dolls are by Loreleiblu (as above).

 I think I have shown this before, but I like it and I have the password for the site, so I am showing it again. So there.

As fall soldiers on, it is getting a bit cooler, and thoughts turn to warm quilts and more nesting kind of pursuits. This was a tableau (unknown artist - well, not "unknown", I just don't know whose it is. Like a UFO - someone HAS to know what it is, just not the viewer at the moment...but I digress)  from our show last spring. This is a great way to showcase your special collections.

The following are from my tableau "After Dorothy left Oz". After Dorothy was gone, Glinda took over Oz, as she had plotted all along. Glenda wasn't all that good, lets just put that out there. After all, who encourages a young girl to steal shoes off a dead woman, and then further incites a murder of the grieving relative who just wanted family property back? Glinda, girlfriend, we are so on to you! The 4th witch (of whom we don't hear much in the story) decides to lie low and lives a blameless and anonymous life lest someone drops a house on her, and establishes a new life as a  specialty coffee cart owner/operator. She does a brisk tourist business just outside of the gates of the Emerald City. She carries a number of different products, and although she realizes that apples from a witch is just "expected",  the tourist money can't be argued with either.

Yes, you are seeing right,  our coffee witch has a pet winged monkey. Okay,  a winged baboon. Apparently the jury is actually out whether a baboon is a monkey or an ape, although they are officially put in the barrel with the old world monkeys. It was more fun that way. What I was thinking was more of the classical chimpanzee, closer to what they showed in WOO. Sadly, whereas there was a whole ark of primates, there were no chimps. When I asked the clerk the whereabouts of said chimps, he gave me "the look", like I asked him for his first born son, so I just quietly purchased a baboon and ran from the store. My flying baboon turned out well though, leathery wings (perhaps these wouldn't keep him air borne, but then again, neither would the wings they slapped on the monkeys in Wizard of Oz, either....!). I put a bit of a collar on him, as you really don't want a 100 pound pet flying around where foodstuffs are being sold.

These pumpkins were once people, who were turned to pumpkins by an annoyed witch (she no longer goes by South, by the way, but Esmerelda).  They apparently wanted credit from her roadside coffee cart.  This just goes to prove the old adage, just because a witch is acting harmless doesn't mean she is harmless.

This is a polyclay gnome of my own design. Kind of diggin' the happy on his face. His name is actually Tipsy, because apparently when I sculpted him I gave him rather rounded heels and an overbalanced hat, so ...well...he tips over. He is fine as long as he has something to stand by, and as long as he sticks to the coffee option. In the background, a few  of the coffee flavours available - anyone up for a Zombie Au Lait? Please note, curses are available upon request.

What is an homage to WOO without a little toy farm house to drop on unsuspecting women and their nice shoes? 

The cart itself. She has a nice set up, I think, lots of tempting goodies. If you look carefully, you will find ruby slippers, Love Potion #9 (big seller, she transfers it of course to smaller vials, it is powerful stuff) , a black widow spider plant, a Dorothy doll, and a fairy in a tree (hint, the fairy is in the tree).

A close up of the gingerbread witches' cottage , Dorothy, the Ruby slippers, and a sparkly farmhouse.  I found some cool raven stickers, which I have used as spook, spoke covers. The windows of the farmhouse and accenting the shoes are fingernail decorations.

 Esmerelda - Esme, as her friends call her  (by Kate Lansing) has her cauldron on, ready for customers. Interestingly, the cauldron was one of the first things I had made in my miniature career. It is classic "early mini", bubblegum machine prize case, black paint, beads, and a bit of wire - one of those "McGyver" deals most of us at one time or another have whipped up. I used cotton batting to make the steam, and added a soucon of sparkle just to add that bit of mystery and "Steamy" effect. The banner decorations for the cart I picked up at Michaels in the sticker/scrapbooking section, I believe.

Fine, I couldn't resist another flying monkey. A flying sock monkey. A flying sock monkey with a jaunty cap. This is a tourist trap, just the kind of vacation treasure that gets taken home for the kiddies, with a jaunty label somewhere saying "A Present from Oz" or some such.

Okay, everyone! I held my nose, I closed my eyes - I took a drink. I couldn't tell if it was day or night, I started kissing everything in sight. But when I kissed a cop down at 34th and vine, he took my little bottle of......

Now that I have polluted your minds with an ear worm, I can leave you to enjoy the rest of Thanksgiving/Canadian Thanksgiving/Monday. 

Later Lovely People! 

Friday 25 September 2015

Here I am, rocking like a Hurricane!

The biggest hassle with today's technology is keeping track of one's passwords. Everywhere you go, you need one. I don't have as many keys on my keychain as I do passwords, and there are more doors locked with my cleverness than ones unlocked at the moment. My fault, I fall for that intoxicating lure of  "you can get all the good stuff from our site if you only join, make a password and you are in!", which I do, and promptly forget I was interested in the site in the first place and never go again, unless of course I go surfing again and come across it by accident, vaguely remembering I joined and then I desperately plug in my database of secret words until it locks me out.  Seems a little juvenile, does it not? Really,  I feel like I am back in the heady days of being a kid trying to get into some other kids uber cool  "fort" (read ramshackle structure we are lucky didn't fall in on itself and kill us all), and the only thing that kept you from Narnia was a darn arbitrary password that was held by that grubby little tosser who wasn't going to let you in anyway. Nowadays, to make a password, they get all tricksy on you too- gone are the days when you could plug in 1234 - apparently the super criminals are on to that one. Now, they want 8 characters (but less than 16), mix of capitals and lower case, plus a number and/or a symbol, it can't be one that you have used in the last 6 months and can't be the same one as you use for a companion site, and you have to get special authority from the Vatican to use it. Oh it sounds clever, it sounds like it will keep people out and you will be safe from all the evils of the world, but it usually only keeps one person out, namely you, because durn if you didn't forget that you were using the "at"  symbol for an "A", or you weren't supposed to use a space just there, and you get locked out and have to call special access number to unlock your account. Ah, the price of technology (which usually is sanity plus a goodly chunk of patience).

Anyway, obviously, I have figured out my password to get back into THIS site. Or at least figured out how to change it. Probably should write it down somewhere....nah.

Anyway, to keep you amused, a few pictures from the last show and sale in 2015. Please check out the information for next year's event!

This first mini is a design by Ruell, who is a South Okanagan Miniature Enthusiast. She did this homage to Johnny Depp, which is fabulous. I like my angle on the picture it so it looks like Johnny is shopping at our show (although he looks like he is late for something).  I like to think he would would like my camera angle as well.

 The big thing in the last couple of years has been the fairy/gnome garden. the plant shops will sell you the real deal for plants, but if you have a rather black thumb like mine, you needn't go to the extreme of trying to keep anything alive, there are options.

 Another little fairy home, should we knock? Why not?

The Okanagan is rather famous for its tiny little hideaways where you can enjoy some of the world's best wines. 

 An elegant little pumpkin carriage, off to the ball. Is that Cinderella I see in the window?

When you are a small minded soul, you tend to look at everything like it is a place to set a scene. This is quite clever, and I love the colours that were used and the lighting made it very romantic.  I could totally vacation there, although I might request curtains.

Miniatures too take the ordinary, and by reducing it, make it unique. I love the little wrap around porch and garden out front.

Another interesting little structure turned miniature.

I seem to recall bugging the lady who made this to make this into a kit. Make the kit, Sherrill. Seriously.  Or just one for me. How gorgeous is this?

Not from the show, bu something I collected. I couldn't resist this two headed witch.  The afghan behind her  has since been whisked away to Australia.

Finally, my garden. Yup. One sunflower. You are asking yourself, how does she do it? How does her garden grow? Against all odds, I say ....against ALL odds.

That is all I have energy for tonight ladies and gents - until the next time I find my password!

Sunday 23 February 2014

They Shoot...they Score!

Woke up to the world looking like this ...

Yup, that is a large full frontal blizzard. At the end of February no less. Three short weeks out of spring. It was a little dismal. Personally, I only like blizzards that look like this...

Too bad what we got was the snow and ice cliche kind, and me managing to lose my good gloves this week. Its enough to drive a girl back into bed.

 However, when I turned on the TV - I got this! 

Nice work boys! Hey, not even ashamed to say I had a bit of a tear in my eye as the lads lined up, held each other in a line hug, and sang the national anthem as our flag went up. Canadians don't get all that patriotic, but when you are talking hockey, even the most hardened heart will melt - sniff! (wipes away a tear). 

So.....its been awhile. Decided since I wasn't going to venture out into the ice, snow, and -10 windchill (and if anyone tells you that windchill isn't an issue, tell them that is only true for inanimate objects, in weather like that a warm blooded creature  can freeze their toches off ). Anyway, its the  perfect time to update this bloggy thing. 

What have I been up to, you say? Lets take a looksee what we have on the film, shall we? 

On a day sunnier than this, obviously, I was gifted with a container. It will probably be a glitter village container at some point, when I make more houses and such. It started life off as a bath and perfume gift pack apparently. It smells vaguely like a box of old cards to me, but eventually it should air out.  It is unfortunately a little small for my Mondorf Christmas Market, so I will find a different street scene to do. With glitter. Did I mention, I like glitter?


Speaking of Mondorf, I have finished most of the structures. Above are the baffles of the Church. After fiddling with one side, I realized I was going about cutting these out the hard way - i.e. I was cutting each piece and gluing each piece, meaning I was doing some interesting finger gymnastics and making a general mess. The next batch I cut so everything lined up back to back, and glued the whole chunk as one. Then I only had to cut 4 pieces out instead of 8, and only had to glue once instead of 4 times. 

The wee baffles glued down. It looks like it is hovering, but that is some folds under the church propping it up a bit. They are level. 

The big Christmas tree for the square. Really quite elegant in the design - basically 4 cones built, with a rectangle folded into a tube for the trunk. 

The top of the tree. 
A middle section and a trunk made. 

Stacking the tree parts....

A view of the under-structure....

The finished tree with the star at the top (Take that, Joyce Kilmer!). Again, you may look at this and say "weird scale", but it is again a more naive interpretation as opposed to a strictly accurate rendition (which is a really good retort to anyone getting fluffy at you because you have goofed up on scale, by the way - you are welcome).

I have been repainting my mushroom house again - you may or may not recall, I bought this at a seconds sale for I think a quarter, possibly 50 cents, I can't remember. I redid the paint job, mainly because what I did before didn't thrill me - for reminders, this is what I had done: 
I liked the more "realistic" look I saw on a little mushroom house at a card store. Fairy gardens are hitting the market place in a big way, by the way. I bought three gnomes from the card store  (in a section which they dubbed "the garden centre") where I found my inspiration mushroom (okay, that sounded better in my head). They had a number of little fairy and gnome things, which I resisted with a strength of will not seen since biblical times.   The smaller gnome, which to me is more of a traditional gnome with the pointy red hat, I found at Michaels, and he is probably going to be in the mushroom, or at least around it. Anyway, if you like gnome and fairy cottages, this is the time to go scoop them up, before the trends change again. 

The next thought was, what can I do for the inside?  The whole mushroom house is a cool concept, but there are some logistics involved in decorating a structure with a strangely formed inside - i.e.  you don't get with nice straight walls - plus a mouth opening that doesn't quite let you do much.  I tried a number of different things, eventually settling on a clay treatment for the floor and walls. I used my das clay. Oh das, is there anything you *can't* do?

I cut wood patterning into my walls with a knitting needle. Once everything is dry, I can sand the floor, and decorate from there.

Not bad looking and definitely will be easier to build in now. Air drying clay also solved a small issue I had with the chimney too - unfortunately mushroom roofs are notorious for being rounded and don't lend themselves well to a square bottom chimney, which of course is important to any fantasy narrative, a mushroom house HAS to have a chimney, or it just reads wrong (totally ignoring my mycology class way back when which taught me that fungus cells don't have walls, which is why they are soft, and of course you can't really get much strength out of mush and heat will definitely deflate a mushroom, plus the mushroom I made is notoriously poisonous in a kind of a terminal neurotoxic kind of way, but oh well). The benefit again of air drying clay is you can mold it right to the structure. It is important though to put down glue before hand, or you will have problems later on. 

I stopped there for the day, as I have to let this stuff dry before I proceed, and the hockey game is going to be on again soon.  I am betting the Canadian boys will win again, what do you think?

On a last note, I did a few more buildings in paper. I find I quite enjoy these little paper houses. My camera doesn't want to load the pictures though, which is probably because I haven't fed it enough batteries today. These are an example of what I made - 

Which you can find the patterns for on . The ones they have actually print up a little bit too big, so I actually reduced them, which you can do right from your printer. I am waiting for a less haunted version to come out but these are still quite cute, in a spooky kind of way. 

Speaking of, you can also find a pattern tutorial from Lesley Shepherd there as well of little gnomes to make. Proper teeny gnomes too! 

I found this fellow on Youtube. He shows you how to make a bit bigger gnome. The time lapse is a little funny, it reminds me of those "how to draw" cartoons, which started off with a stick man and ended up with the Mona Lisa or some other piece of art in 3 easy steps, but it is an interesting approach, and could be easily translated smaller. 


Hope you all have a wonderfully "warm inside with a big hot chocolate, warm blanky, and smokin' hot hockey game" kind of day! Ciao for now!