Thursday, August 3, 2017

Kassandra's big renovation

Since we have just moved our big house, Kassandra thought it was the perfect moment to have some major renovations in hers.

She asked that I finally put wallpaper in her walls.  I bought the dollhouse already mounted (at the time I did not want to deal with the building up), and it came with a rather dull, standard beige with white flowers wallpaper.  I had been waiting years to find the perfect wallpaper for her, and since she knows I finally found it, she insisted it was time I redecorate the whole building.

To tell the truth, I was very anxious to not make any major mistakes that could ruin the whole appearance, but I found that putting up wallpaper is rather simple and fun, although time consuming.

First of all, I made several visits to Ana to buy different wallpapers sets.  Hers are the best wallpapers I have ever seen.  So different and out of the ordinary.  Really, Halloween papers are fun, but for people with inclinations and tastes like Kassandra's, those simply would not do.  Ana's wallpapers are regal, scrumptious and luscious. 

First, clearing out the space.  With our recent move it was easy, as everything was securely packed.  You can see the awful wallpaper the house had all these years, and the stains caused by the Blue Tack holding the pictures.

For the bedroom, I chose the Red Velvet Panel wallpaper.  It is just perfect.  Fancy that Ana called it the Count Dracula!  First I decided the layout, and modified the images so they would fit my walls height.  Then I took scrap paper and made patterns of the walls.  I printed the images in matte photographic paper and cut them using the patterns as guides.

In this pic, you can see that I made I mistake.  I cut the wallpaper from the top instead of from the bottom, so I lost the pretty golden design.  I had to reprint and cut again.  And then, for the dreaded moment of attaching the paper to the wall.  I knew I had several options, but I finally opted for using double-sided tape.

I was so nervous when glueing it down!  But I think it looks pretty nice.  Then I did the two side walls the same way.

Peeling the double-sided tape before glueing the paper

And the room is completed!  Or so I thought...
I absolutely loved it!  However, upon careful inspection, I noticed that the ceiling had the same terrible beige wallpaper - the rest of the ceilings are just unpainted wood - so I decided that the ceiling had to be wallpapered too.  For that, I wanted to resemble an antique paneled wood, and so I chose this wood panel wallpaper.  As with the other images, I adjusted the design to my measurements, and printed it.  The ceiling now looks imperial!

So gorgeous!
Now, I thought, it is finished!

But then I realized that I had not made the last wall, the one that opens up and closes the room.  Oh, the horror!

No matter, I printed two more sheets of the red panaled wallpaper, and got ready to finished it.  But unluckily for me, the sheets did not cover the whole wall!  They lacked about an inch, so I decided to add a decorative wooden trim at the bottom.  And lo and behold, now it was finished!

Kassandra is delighted with her new bedroom, and I am very happy she likes it!  She says she cannot wait for the rest of the house to be redone.  I understand her eagerness, but I need to buy some more double-sided tape first.  I spent a whole roll (5 meters) to do just the bedroom.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

We are already in Salamanca!

And we are exhausted!

We arrived here on the evening of July 17th, and we took residence in our new home the following day in the morning, when the movers delivered all our stuff from Madrid.  We have been unpacking boxes every day since then, and the house is almost finished.  The only thing that it lacking is hanging up all the pictures, frames and artwork.  And of course, we have a room with all the stuff that we had in storage that is untouched; we will be doing that soon, but not in a hurry. 

It is a beautiful house, and we love it so much!  It is probably the biggest house we have ever rented; it is a 4th floor in the downtown district, with lots of sun and light and wind - we even get to see bats flying about in the dusk.  We even have a lovely balcony in which we put a carpet of artificial grass, a folding table and two chairs.  We have a cool view of the roofs over the city.

The movers brought yesterday all the laboratory stuff; we only unpacked the things that needed to be storaged at various degrees of cold (4ºC, -20ºC, -80ºC and liquid nitrogen).  It took us a couple of hours, but now everything is secure in their place.  We began with the unboxing today, and even though there are less boxes than in our home, is going to take us some days.  The good thing is that the lab is huge, and we have lots of room to storage everything properly.

We will be going on vacation very soon.  I am so looking forward to it; we will be going to the sea side where I can use my mermaid tail again.  I bought a new skin some days ago; I hope it arrives on time!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

And moving again!!

We are moving one more time!

Last year my husband applied for a position in another city (Salamanca), and he got it.  We have been waiting for a year for the position to be officially made, as it depends from the Government, and finally we will be moving to Salamanca next month.

We just came back from there; we spent two days visiting apartments - we visited 9! - and we came back with a chosen one.  It is a beautiful apartment, very big, in a fourth floor.  We will be living downtown, very near were my husband will be working, and also in the old part of the city, which is full of old churches and buildings.  The University of Salamanca was founded in 1218 - we will be celebrating a centenary next year! -, and it is the oldest university in Spain, and the third oldest in Europe.  Hubby will be working in the CIC.  I am so, so proud of him!

We are very happy with this change in our lives; we still have a lot to do before we leave, first of all to hire a moving company, both for our home and one for my husband's lab equipment.

Looking forward to it!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Making boxwood planters

Remember that YouTube channel from We Love Miniatures I told you about? Yesterday I tried a tutorial to make boxwood and here are the results.  I am very happy with them.

The tall urn is my mother's; she bought it at last year's Tom Bishop Show in Madrid; the small one is mine, and comes from Innovative Miniatures.  Kassandra says she is putting it beside her entrance door:

 Here is the video tutorial I used:

Instead of cotton balls, I used dark green polymer clay rolled into a ball and hardened in the oven.  And instead of the bulgar wheat, I used raw cous-cous.

Annie is so talented; not only to make miniatures, but also to make tutorials so the rest of us can learn something new.  Thank you so much, Annie!

Monday, June 5, 2017

A gift for Claudia

Today I found Kassandra very busy.  She told me she was preparing a gift for her goddaughter, Claudia, whose birthday is coming up very soon.  She told me that Claudia is very fond of mermaids, and she was getting ready a gift basket as a surprise.  And what a gift basket!

A couple of coloring books and several boxes of coloring pencils and crayons.  I am sure Claudia will be very happy with them.


Fantasy apart,  I came up with the idea of the coloring book after finding by chance a printable in an Advent calendar with miniature tutorials for Christmas season (you can find the printable I am referring to behind door number 20).  I loved the idea, but I am not very fond of Christmas, so I decided to make my own.  For the coloring pages, I used the Mermaidens drawings offered by FinFunMermaid.  I made the cover using their own coloring book.  The crayon and pencil boxes come from PrintMini, and the gift box is my own creation.

On the next days I will be trying to learn how to make a bow-maker and how to use it to make tiny bows.  Hopefully the box will have a nice red bow!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A miniature lantern for Kassandra

I bought a miniature lantern kit from We Love Miniatures a long time ago, and I finally had the time this weekend to make it for Kassandra.  It was challenging, but so much fun to make:

I left it in black color to mimick one that I have in real life made of cast iron.  I figured since Kassandra loves black she would like it that way.

Annie has a wonderful YouTube channel full of miniature tutorials that you should definitely check.  She also offers some freebies in her website to make those tutorials, including the lantern that I finished (she doesn't sell the kit anymore, instead you can download it for free).

Here is the video tutorial for the lantern:

Kassandra was very happy when I presented it to her.  She is going to use it in her study, for those long hours of work during the night.  She says she is always afraid that the candle wax from a loose candle will drip onto her papers and books.  That won't be happening anymore!

I will be doing very soon another one of Annie's tutorials: a boxwood for Kassandra to put by her doorstep.  Waiting on the delivery of some urns to begin the work...

Monday, May 15, 2017

Little gifts for my belly dancing mates

As I mentioned that I am relocating soon, I wanted to give farewell gifts to my troupe friends.  This is how they ended up being:

Everything you see in the pics are printables from Vectoria Designs' shop.  The burlap bags come from a dollar tree store.

I used the mermaid tags because we played mermaids in our Summer performance last year. Along with all the wonderful printies come a pair of earrings from Alarde, a bag of Moroccan tea and the hand-made Egyptian magnets that I mentioned some days ago.

I hope everyone likes everything...