Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Humpy Wednesday

I'm taking some days off work.

Nothing exciting, just a few days to break up the monotony of account deadlines and business reviews. I'm very grateful that I have a job and one that I enjoy. Too often these days I see 'closing down sale' posters in the window of the shops where I live. Apparently the recession in England is coming to an end yet I see no evidence of it.
Hobby stores are often the first to go. In the last month, a local dollhouse supplier and model shop have closed their doors for good. It's sad. Behind every padlocked shutter lies the story of yet more people struggling to make rent or mortgage payments.

The world wide web is a double edge sword, no?

Family run businesses can't compete with chain stores. Chain stores buckle under the pressure of online retailers. A vicious circle that devours anyone who won't adapt to the ebb and flow of market trends .

And yet, the internet allows me to peer into a world that I would otherwise never see. I 'speak' to dear friends across the globe. With the click of a button I can purchase goods from every corner of the world. I try to restrict my online spending to things I can't get in England. I try to support my local businesses, though right now this seems as helpful as a band aid to a heart attack victim.

Is bartering the way to go? A time of post-currency? I utilize my skills to make something you need and you reciprocate in kind. I don't know. If I knew the answers I would likely be serving my country as a member of Parliament.


So to brighter thoughts. Speaking of frugality, I have been saving my pennies for a very long time with a view to purchasing an addition to my tool arsenal. I knew that if I could deny myself new clothes/shoes and work like a Trojan that it would prove how much I wanted my new equipment and that I would have earned it. Two weeks ago the monster arrived. I say monster because I thought irrationally that a desktop anything would fit nicely onto...well a desk top. Not, as it is, taking up a whole desk.

Behold 'Monty' the laser cutter/engraver


I'm still getting to grips with the software. It's a huge learning curve considering I'm an old fashioned Tenon saw and Mortise chisel type of gal. I hope that this machine will allow me to make better miniatures but I still want to retain the individuality of each piece.

This morning I pulled together a scene with a few laser cut items. I'm pleased how they turned out. Even happier that it worked and I didn't burn my retinas from watching the laser. It's hard not to imagine James Bond baddies and world domination when operating one of these machines. *evil laughter*



I suppose I should emerge from my workroom and make some lunch. Hubby has been extremely supportive of my hobbies up to now. I think starving him might send him over the edge.


Oh, before I go I just wanted to give a shout out to missing friends. I try to read everyone's blogs as often as I can and I'm always conscious when a blogger hasn't posted in a while.

So... Margaret LovesPubdollsMinima - H.Bean and new Mum Annina Hope everything is okay in your neck of the woods. We miss ya =0)

Have a great day

Pepper


43 comments:

  1. Good morning Pepper,
    What a greta investment. Your first pieces are absolutely beautiful. I think it's a must to have greta tools like this when you're makjing high quality modern miniatures.
    It really is a shame that many people are afraid or just can't manage to make the leap into the online world. Like it or not I think it's become a must in this day and age. I hope all the people will land on their feet without too much effort.
    Keep up the great work...hope you fed your hubby in time.
    Big hug,
    Giac

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    1. Hey there Giac,
      It is a shame, especially when a business has to fold because they don't find their market. The internet is a great communication tool if people would just take the plunge =0)

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  2. WOW...These are FANTASTIC!!!!! It looks like a good investment to me!

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    1. I hope so too M4M and thank you

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  3. The system is so sad indeed.

    But your new laser cutter and the headboard and room divider are AWESOME!

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  4. Your blurb about the state of things is eloquent and spot on!

    Looking forward to even more fab laser cut pieces from you...these first samples are wonderful! :D

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    1. Thanks Brae. I hope I can live up to expectations =0/

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  5. In addition to an elegantly worded post, you have given us some phenomenal eye candy. Everything looks incredible. I'd like you to laser cut a clone of myself so that it can cater to my children's needs while I work on my minis!!! ;) Seriously, though, I'd love to come up with a swap of things you cannot get in the UK. Any interest???

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    1. That would be so cool to make a clone. I could send 'working' clone out to earn the money while I played =0)

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  6. Hi Pepper, I just want to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your post. From the economy to changing trends, online to James Bond, you flow from 1 topic to another seamlessly, kind of like the scroll work you have created .

    I believe that you will be able to retain your personal touches despite the Monster Monty :)

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    1. Thank you so much Sans. I really want the laser cutter to enhance the designs rather than take over. I'm sure the learning curve will be fun =0)

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  7. Hi Pepper, I appreciate the way you weave more than miniatures into your posts. Always compassionate, it is a joy to read your thoughts.

    I too try to make purchases from local shops, at least sometimes, even when the prices are typically higher than buying from big box stores or online. Miniature swaps are fun, too, I must say!

    Your new pieces are wonderful, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work. Looks like you're having fun with the monster already! xo Jennifer

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    1. Thank you sweets. I felt really sad when I saw the closed shutters and I'm normally an upbeat kinda person. I just hate the thought of people struggling to make ends meet. We've all had a taste of it and it's not a good place to be =0(

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  8. Great investment!
    Your new pieces are fantastic.
    Bye Faby

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  9. Wowww the laser cut pieces look gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you like them =0)

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  10. como te entiendo la cosa esta muy mal por todos lados, me alegro mucho de que la maquina que has comprado vaya tan bien

    besitos

    Mari

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    1. Desafortunadamente, muchas personas están teniendo un momento difícil.
      Gracias por los lindos comentarios, Mari

      =0)

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  11. Your first pieces look amazing, love them. Looks like you will be busy with your new purchase!!

    Jenn

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    1. It is like a new toy. I can't stop playing *grins*

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  12. What a great new toy! You did that?!!! Amazing! Love the headboard. Love love love! :D

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    1. Thank you so much Kathi. Glad you like them =0)

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  13. Hi Pepper,

    Yes the web is both a blessing and a curse. I do buy from sites I trust, as its hard to get hold of things in a small town like mine, so you are sort of forced to buy from big chains! I like to support small family run web sites where possible, and there are plenty of those in mini land fortunately, as well as teh actual artisans at the dolls house fairs.

    I love the things you have made with your new laser cutter, what a great bit of kit! I think Mr Bond had indeed better watch his step!!!

    regards
    Andy xxxx

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    1. Hey Andy. Totally agree with your thoughts.

      Thanks for the kind words =0)

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  14. Oooh, Pepper, what a fun new toy! Looks like you've already done a pretty good job using it... and if those were your "test" runs, I can't wait to see what you come up with with some skill!!!

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    1. Improvement may be slow going but I'm really enjoying the playtime =0)

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  15. Congrats Pepper on purchasing Monty - my DH is extremely jealous of course and thinks us miniaturists have better tools then him lol. Your setting is wonderful and I know as a talented woodworker you will make some amazing creations. Hugs J :)

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    1. Ha-ha. I have far more tools than my better half...and I won't share mowahaha!It's only right that we have the coolest gear for the coolest hobby!

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  16. The only way I could possibly be more jealous of you was if you'd bought a 3D printer as well :-)

    Always happy to barter with you!

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    1. Hey TSS, you know you can play any time if you come for a visit =0)

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  17. Hi Pepper, That's one smart piece of kit ;) and a great investment, im sure judging by your first pieces that you will have it mastered in no time :)

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    1. I hope so Tony. I feel like Methuselah trying to get to grips with a mobile phone ha-ha!

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  18. Your post is incredible and touching. Just saying. I totally agree with a previous comment in that it was "spot on".

    Having said that, I am completely awestruck at your newest creations!

    The right tool in the right hands makes something wonderful!

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    1. Thank you so much Sandra. I feel extremely lucky in life and just wish others well in theirs.

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  19. AWW MAN!!! That's a MONSTER!!! I'm part-ELATED and part-(ok mostly) jealous of Monty! GAHHH!!! those are 'prototypes'!?!?!? GAAAERRARAHAHH!H!!!!!

    hope you've had a good rest. :)

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    1. Hi Cindy. Yeah thanks, I'm ready to take on thew world again ha =0)

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  20. es el sueño de muchas esa maquina !!!! podes hacer infinidad de muebles y adornos, hasta una casa ! :) me gusta mucho que puedas mostrarnos los trabajos que vas haciendo.
    Un saludo muy grande y felicidades !

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    1. Gracias Barbara. Sigo llegar a enfrentarse con la máquina, pero espero que me ayude a tomar mejores miniaturas

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  21. Hi Pepper. It's so nice of you to remember and mention me.
    I really miss making miniatures, but it's been really hard to find free time to focus on them.
    But I think I'll be able to make a few new things soon.
    I'm attending a traditional wood crafts course, so I think it willl be very helpfull and stimulant.

    Congratulations on your new purchase and on the work you've done with it so far. I'm so jealous! :)

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    1. HEY Minima, so glad you dropped by. You know how worried we get when someone doesn't post. I hope you get some free time soon. Have a great time on the wood crafts course =0)

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  22. <3 I feel the same as Minima, you're so nice to think of those of us who haven't been around. I'm far from caught up on everyones blogs, but had noticed Pubdolls hadn't posted for some time & was sad to see that & hoped she's doing ok.

    My local hobby store closed some years ago now & I still miss it, but i know what you mean re. the things that this online world allows & makes possible.

    The laser cutter/engraver is a fantastic purchase, & the bed & screen turned out great, oh the things you can do!! Of course my mind automatically runs to vintage furniture. You could make some *amazing* vintage style room dividers using Monty (if you were so inclined)

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/317222367479210045/
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/331296116315192978/

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