Thursday, 12 February 2015

A week in the life

Day 1, Sunday 8th February
I'm finished. Well the bricks are finished...on one wall. An ecstatic lap of the room quickly gives way to dismay when I notice some of the bricks are not quite right. Of course the glue has already set and the wonky masonary cannot be removed with anything less than a Chieftain tank and a tow rope. Picking at them with a selection of specialist tools, screwdriver - steak knife - fingernails, exaserbates my frustration. Old buildings are prone to shifting, right? Grabs a bag of Maltesers, amusingly labelled a 'share' pack, and scoffs them alone, under a duvet. Will I ever be a Minature Stone Mason? I think not.


Day 2, Monday 9th February
Enthusiasm renewed, the finished design for the window frames follow three bum-numbing hours at the laptop. Hoorah. My pet cats get catnip treats in a collective celebration of mummies achievements. I've measured the opening four times, checked the design twice. I head upstairs to realise my masterpiece.

Residual light from the laser is seered permanently into my retinas after excitedly watching it make it's way along the wood. Window design looks oddly bed shaped...


Note to self - always wear goggles and ALWAYS clear the history on the laser cutter first. Removes fretwork bed design from laser and starts again.
First of the two-part window frames roll off production. Negotiates a path down the stairs between two cats rubbing themselves in their own catnip flavoured saliva puddle. Still manage to trip on the last stair in oversize bunny slippers. Fits window with a little persuasion and finds a big, fat gap at the top. Where the hell did I leave that drawing board? I need to get back to it.



Day 3, Tuesday 10th February 
Didn't sleep well last night. Cats and Husband are utilising the heat generated from my hot flushes as their own personal comfy blanket. I do hope these Menopausal symptoms lasts another five years. They're the best.

Finish work at 4.30pm. Drive twelve miles like a woman posessed and arrive at the model supply shop exactly fourteen minutes after closing time. No more wood, no further progress to report.
  
Pick up more Maltesers on the way home 

Day 4, Wednesday 11th February
Start a new project to fill the void until my wood order is delivered. Opts for the hardest, most time consuming project to master. Hormonal surges and drug fuelled pets are clearly not enough of a challenge.
Begin sculpting a badger from Super Sculpey polymer clay. Husband likens my efforts to a potato from Mars.? What would that even look like?




High probability of pushing other half down the stairs. Chance of escaping prosecution severly diminished by blogging about it.

Day 5, Thursday 12th February

This morning I felt I had to explain to colleagues why cooking my badger in the oven isn't as sinister as it sounds and why applying fur to my Badger isn't a euphamism for something kinky. I.work.with.devils.
Next steps continue in this order;

- comb and cut Alpaca fibre
- smear glue everywhere
- apply fibre clump with tweezers
- remove clump still attached to tweezers
- reapply
- cough and inhale the best part of a tupperware box full of flocking powder
- choke
- choke some more
- Resent anyone who is at all talented at this miniature animal making stuff
- Wash off glue and start again

I persevere because I'm getting 'the look' from across the table. It wouldn't take much you know. A loose floorboard, a bit of raggy carpet and BAM! Face plant down the stairs. 

Hours later, could have been day since I've lost track of time and Maltesers, I discover that miniature animal hairdressing is another necessary skill I need to learn. Who knew?
'Brutus' looks like he's running due to my shaky camera arm.


Run you sweet, little, alien potato, run!

Have a fab weekend
Pepper =0D



 
 










96 comments:

  1. You've had quite a week!! :D
    Giggling at your laser cutter bed shaped window and brick issues. Been there! It's not the first time I've had to correct my CAD drawings because I've made a mistake. Unfortunately, my mistakes are cut elsewhere so takes longer to find out.
    I think the badger is very commendable for a first attempt! Having made a 1/12th scale Robin at a workshop I know how hard it is to get anything resembling what it's supposed to be and I had help with mine to fine tune some of the details! I know it's a badger and that's the main thing. Looking forward to seeing more of your project.

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    1. Thank's Jennifer. It's horrible getting that doh moment when you've cocked-up but the machine is already cutting. I have no idea about CAD, I sort of stumble through Inkscape and sometimes I get it =0P I really need to go on a course to learn more about clay modelling

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  2. I know I shouldn't but I've giggled at this post - I can sympathise with the hot flushes and the husband! Maltesers are my favourite and the cause of me not losing weight :) the badger is good for a first effort - I'm impressed to be honest but am curious as to what Martian potatoes look like! Nothing wrong with the brickwork - if you actually look hard enough there are always flaws in real ones! Windows looking like beds - at least you realised :) have a good weekend x

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    1. It's okay to laugh =0) it's the only thing that keeps me sane sometimes. Maltesers are my downfall. I actually cry inside when someone buys me a huge box of them because I can't resist and I know I will eat them in one go haha =0)

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  3. This is gold :-) I think Brutus looks amazing!

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  4. Oh I did laugh and laughed some more at your post! In many ways nearly all my time spent doing mini work is like that...one way or another! I have the same issues when I sculpt my bricks in clay..they move and move some more and you only notice when they are just about dry!! I personally can't fault your bricking!

    Your husband's comment about the badger was rather hysterical, but I actually think the fluffy chap is pretty darn good! God only knows what any creation of mine would look like! I wouldn't dare go near a laser cutter...what damage could it do, or I do for that matter?! lol lol Too much!!!

    I can't eat Maltesers, so I damage a bar of plain chocolate laced with ginger instead! ;o))

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    1. Thank you Michelle. It must be a universal thing that us miniaturists have to go through =0P Ooo, chocolate with ginger, sound yummy

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  5. A mi me encanta esa pared de ladrillos y el tiempo aprovechado mientras llega material.
    Un abrazo y buen fin de semana.
    Maite

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    1. Gracias Maite . Ladrillos Richard Stacey realmente mirar la parte . Tener un buen fin de semana =0)

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  6. Brutus is awesome! I honestly cannot find the problem with the bricks. Your week is more productive than my year in miniatures. Am I ashamed? Yes, yes I am. Did I do the badger dance while reading your post? Yes, yes I did. http://bit.ly/1KRnqMw

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    1. Hahahahah, you crazy Lady. I laughed so hard at that video. I will never be able to say Badger or Mushroom again without doing that crazy-ass dance =0D

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  7. But the real question is what would a potato from Mars TASTE like? Your badger is perfect. Your wall is amazing. Can't you just drip pigeon poop on errors? Do you make us all happy, yes! CM

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    1. Like carrot cake...or so I've heard ;0P
      Thank you sweets, I'll keep the pigeon poop in mind =0)

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  8. Muhaha. Made my evening. I think all your brick and window work deserves a spa day.

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    1. Thank you Kat, glad I gave you a giggle =0)

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  9. I think the bricks look great. I am not sure I would like it as much if all the bricks were in perfect alignment. it looks like the building shifted over the years.

    As for furring animals...ARRGGHH! It is a long tedious process...innit? It's like adding shingles to a roof. I think your badger is wonderful. I hope you won't give up on animals. Oh... I usually bake several times while I am sculpting. That way I don't mess up the good spots when I move on to a new foot. You don't have to cure the clay. Just bake for about 13 minutes.

    Thank you for the giggles. Men On Pause...as I call it.

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    1. Bake several times? Ah yes, how stupid of me not to think of that. I had a hard time not squishing him as I was sculpting. Thank you. On reflection, the brickwork is growing on me. You're right in that the building is supposed to look old. Haha, Men On Pause I love it =0)

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  10. Oh my goodness, you are so talented!

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    1. Aw, thank you Farrah. That's extremely kind of you. =0)

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  11. Oh, you've been so busy! I can relate to your pain! Gap.... what gap? You have to develop the "Old building" excuse... they warp and rot and settle and develop cracks..... so there!
    I have yet to try to fur or feather a little critter.... so I avidly watch your attempts! I think your badger looks Wonderful!
    I hope you keep at it! I think your work is looking fantastic!

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    1. Thank you. The gap at the top is not small enough that I can get away with filler so it will bug me until I do it right. I think I'll try another animal soon, post a work in progess so hopefully someone more experienced can help me along the way =0)

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  12. The alien potato really is worth all the frustration of your entire week. He's delightful! Heheh, an octogenarian acquaintance tells me she still has hot flushes.......sorry about that, maybe I should have kept it to myself?

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    1. Hot flushes at 80?? Susan, you little monster haha, could you not have left me in my own little bubble of denial. Ugh, only 37 years to go then. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah >~<

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  13. Brutus is very handsome, and your projects are coming along. Your co-workers sound funny! :-) Good read--thanks for sharing! xo Jennifer

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    1. Hi Jennifer. My co-workers are the epitome of funny. Funny that I want to cause them physical pain type of funny ;0P

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  14. HAHAHA Your way with words-fabulous this post is hilarious!
    Well I've tried and tried to "follow" your blog and blogger never would let me. So I added you manually and there you are ummmm here I am!
    Your badger is precious! I love him :) And the bricks look good to me.

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    1. You've made it!! I actually thought blogger was being a random pain in the butt and blocking people. Glad you're here and thank you. Glad my post gave everyone a giggle =0)

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  15. The bricks are coming out gorgeous!
    And He is wonderfull, so very adorable Brutus!
    A day in a spa is heavenly every now and then.. :)

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    1. Thank you Kikka, I'm glad you like it all =0) Ah, a spa sounds wonderful!

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  16. Old buildings do indeed settle...here in earthquake country, old brick buildings often look *much* worse for wear than your mini bricking (especially if they've been repaired multiple times!). Consider it a realistic sign of aging :)

    Brutus looks great! I just saw a stuffed badger at the natural history museum last week and there's a rather good resemblance to the genuine article.

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    1. Thank you Anna, that makes me feel easier about how the bricks should look. Stuffed badger? Glad I didn't mention that to my co-workers haha =0P

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  17. Loved the post! Hilarious. I would hire you in a minute to do my miniature bricks (that was serious!). They look Great! What gap? And Brutus? What a handsome little potato! Thanks for a fun post!

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    1. Thank you Doug, glad you had a laugh. I think the fact the bricks are real brick account for how well they turned out and not my technique getting them in place. Haha, Brutus the sweet potato =0D

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  18. Oh oh Pepper, these situations are so recognisable for me.........do you think everything is going smoothly over here?......NO, it isn't!! So......I had to laugh about all of your acrobatic movements and your mistakes, you've made my day :D! BUT....
    The brickwork does look awesome and yes, it must be an awful feeling to discover that gap at the upper side of your fresh window after you've done so much work! The good side of this all is that you've created a "Brutus" like no one else ever did, he is great. And regarding furring animals.....I know where you are talking about ;S!
    Wishing you a nice weekend, here the sun is finally shining, hurray :D!! Take care!
    Hug, Ilona

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    1. Hi IIona. I saw your fabulous little hedgehogs and thought sculpting and furing an animal would be far easier than it was. I'm sure it helps to practice these things so there may be many more Brutus's. Have a lovely weekend =0)

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  19. I really shouldn't laugh, but I did. Very hard I'm afraid. But I totally get what you're talking about! Think of it this way -- you opted for Maltesers to soothe the pain. My husband said I threw my arms up in the air and screamed "KHAAAANNNN!" a la Star Trek when the hobby shop closed just as we pulled in. In front of the store door and a surprised (and later amused) manager.

    But...despite these setbacks...the brickwork is AWESOME! Yes, please bask in the glory of that awesome work! And while it kinda sucks to discover the gap above the window -- at least in a way, you caught it now versus later on in the build right? :)

    Well done Pepper -- and we your fans will be on the sidelines cheering you on. Or sending you Maltesers if you need some more. Mine will have to be via overnight airmail though. Just warning you. :)

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    1. Ha, I don't mind if you laugh. It really was a comical week. LOL, I would love to have seen you screaming at the hobby shop. You can't help laugh in those situations. Did the manager ever let you back into the store? He probably had security watching you, telling them 'watch that Lady, she's a little bit nutty' Haha =0P

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  20. Hi Pepper, Great post, so nice that we can relate to your many challenges. Particularly the one about arriving 14 minutes prior to shop closing time. When will I learn to phone ahead!!
    Your fine man just loves to watch your reaction when he calls your badger an out of space potato. We really do appreciate their input! .... sometimes why cannot they just lie!
    all the best for another exciting week in mini land - related to la la land I think.
    regards Janine - presently in Qld Australia - warm weather , starry nights! So lovely.

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    1. Janine, I have never had the common sense to phone ahead. I just seem to go through life hoping for the best ha! My Hubby believes reverse psycology works to make me try harder. He doesn't realise it makes me want to stuff miniature things up his left nostril =0P

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  21. I love your badger! So cute!!
    Hannah

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  22. Hello Pepper,
    What a week! There was plenty of frustration but in the end the brick wall looks very beautiful and realistic. The windows are great. It's too bad about the gap but It will be worth going back to the drawing board because they will be awesome. From this day on anytime I see a badger they will be referred to as alien potatoes. I hope the hot flushes don't get too severe. I remember when my mom went through those and the house was always freezing...the toughest years of my life!
    Big hug,
    Giac

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    1. Hahah, I can just imagine you wearing outdoor clothes inside and jogging on the spot to keep warm =0P I bet you were as fit as a fiddle when you were young =0)

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  23. Gap? You call that a gap? My IRL windows have gaps bigger than that and to scale tooo. Get some putty or silicone . Great work, love the badger xxx

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    1. Thank you Elbey. I guess putty could work.Hmmm =0)

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  24. Lovely badger, your Alien Potato is the best!
    Hugs
    Magda

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  25. you are very talented and it is very sweet and live like.

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    1. Thank you Neomig, you are so very sweet about my creations =0) X

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  26. The brickwork looks amazing! What gap? I can't see it. I laughed out loud and totally related to getting the flocking powder in your nose - having had similar types of experiences making miniatures. I think Brutus looks great. Can't wait to see your next post!

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    1. Thank you Penelope. That flocking is a nightmare for getting into everything. It doesn't help when you're clumsy. I bet I'm still brushing it up a decade later =0)

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  27. Oh..my..goodness.. The walls you've created..are..WOW. You always create amazing work, yet each time I am greener with envy of your skills *pouts*

    Stone work in that detail certainly is real stone, mini jackhammer to chisle the lines? You could Mcgiver it with a dental pick *LOL*

    Oh...and I can see animal making is now on the list of envy?? Hummmm??? Well madam, I guess you might have to share more of the genious that oozes from your hands.

    You forgot these steps in your animal creation process:
    .Drop glued animal on the rug.
    .Curse at the sky
    .Throw it at the wall...but I...digress

    I look forward to your next artistian animal, your potato is another womans, life work ;)

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    1. Envy? You are one of those people I mentioned resenting for getting the lions share of talent when it comes to clay sculpting. How do you make it seem so sublimely easy to do? Dagnabbit, I need a Jane Smith in Blighty. Hahahah, yes the inevitable dropping of gluey items on a rug. Are we all clumsy or have just really, really bad luck? =0)

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  28. hihi - this blog is very amusing .. you made me giggle. anyone looking forward to another 5 years or private summer has the right positive attitude to deal with laser-cut and fury issues :-)

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    1. You have to laugh Marion. I'm sure we will all look back on these types of weeks and think how lucky we are that we didn't lose a finger or something =0P

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  29. The brick wall is perfect and so realistic.
    Brutus looks fantastic.

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    1. Thank you very much Faby, you're too kind =0)

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  30. ¡Pero de que te quejas! Esa fachada es magnífica y el tejón no tiene nada de patata. Es totalmente reconocible y salvaje. El no quiere saber nada de peluquerias.
    ¡Feliz fin de semana!

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    1. Gracias Isabel . Usted muy amable sobre mi papa bultos =0) . Les deseo un maravilloso fin de semana

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  31. Ahem... well... I must admit: Your week gave me a very broad grin on the face! *teehee* But I don't have a clue why you're not satisfied with your bricks, to me this wall looks awesome, obviously a building built many years ago. And about that gap... there must be a definition of "big gap" I didn't know so far - as well as the breathtaking discovery how a potato from Mars looks like. Well, you live, you learn... ;O) But honestly - Brutus already looked stunning in his naked state, but now after all the efforts of flocking (and getting rid of glue) he looks gorgeous. Hardly to believe that you're new to this. Thanks for making my day with this post - and one thing is for sure: You deserve a big pack (and I mean BIG!) of Maltesers... and don't even consider sharing them with anyone!

    Greetings
    Birgit

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    1. Hi Birgit. Yes, my very first alien potato =0P Maybe I am expecting too much of the brickwork, after all it is a very old building. I'm glad I made you smile with this post =0)

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  32. What problems with what brick? The wall is perfect. What gap? The window is perfect. Mr. Badger is perfect, and I expect he is meeting Mole and Mr. Toad for a cream tea shortly. Is there anything you are not able to build perfectly?

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    1. Thank you Neen, that is very kind of you. Ooo, cream tea. That sounds yummy =0)

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  33. I think the bricks are absolutely fantastic! :) And I love the animal very much.
    Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog.
    Hugs, Melli

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    1. Thank you Melli, hope you are having a good weekend =0)

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  34. I see no alien potato! I see a cutie patootie! :D That certainly was a roller coaster of a week! :O I think your masonry looks fabu, as well!

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    1. Thank you Brae, that's kind. Patootie, I like it =0)

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  35. Lol...great post, i think i need some Maltesers!!! your brickwork looks spot on..and as for Brutus well he sure looks good to me...infact perfect ☺

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    1. Maltesers are the perfect medicine for everything Tony. They should put them on prescription ;0P I hope you are well =0)

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  36. Honey if your gonna do it, buy a nice chain saw, some bleach, plastic bags and a few rolls of duct tape, I like your brickwork...brutus is a keeper :)

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    1. Haha Marisa, you make me laugh so hard =0D Thank you

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  37. I loved this post of yours Pepper!! What a week!!! Alien or not the badger looks great and I love it.....apparently you are not just good at making things but also to sculpt animals. You don't seem to happy with it but it is a great sculpture. I love the windows and I'm sure you'll fix the gap so that nothing will be noticed. Thanks for the smiles and I hope you were joking when hoping to have hot flushes for another 5 years....I don't have them myself but I've heard it's pretty awful.....
    Big hug

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    1. Hi Simona, yes that comment was tongue in cheek. I've had them five years now so I think I've paid enough penance ;0) Thank you for your kind comments, I guess I always hope I can do better so it keeps me trying =0)

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  38. What an amazing job ! I just LOVE the badger ♥

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

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  39. Your minis are going to look awesome in their new home!! I love everything about these bricks especially the colour. Congrats on getting them in place. Just gorgeous! And I can relate to laser cutting windows, it's like how on earth did that happen?? I measured so so many times!
    Hope you've got all the flocking powder out of your system... totally worth it for the little Brutus!! :)

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    1. Thank you Kristine. Yeah, technology is great when you do it properly. I seem to have more 'Oops' moments lately =0P

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  40. Who says that the British have a dry sense of humor. You are hysterical! This was so on- point in every way: The discovery of the gap, running in over-sized slippers, eating chocolate on the sly, miscalculations and too late for the store, etc. are all things that we have experienced at one time or another. The badger on the move is a TERRIFIC photo, just too darned funny!!!! :D
    I LOVE your bricks but you will have to point out which ones have gotten under your skin, because I can not see them. They all look good to me. The windows are going to be Fantastic with the way you are making them. Pepper your work blows me away and I love what you do and how you do it, so keep it up. 5 years more of Hot Flashes, to warm your husband and your cats is such a small price to pay for your minis! :D

    elizabeth

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    1. Dry sense of humour? Man, we really need to meet up for a drink and a chin-wag. Us Northerners have a fab sense of humour =0) Thank you for such lovely comments =0D

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  41. Looks fabulous to me Pepper. I can't really see a gap in the window. Besides anything man or woman made for that matter is by definition not perfect but yours comes really close. Your too hard on yourself. Your badger is kool.

    Hugs from Texas

    DiAnn

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  42. Perfectly message! I was crying with laughter! I am familiar with women's secrets! :) :) :)
    You did really old wall! I do not see any bugs! I love your work and your humor! Excuse my English! You make beautiful miniatures! Badger looks great! Exactly the same as in the movie "Perhaps the gods are mad"
    Thank you very much! I still continue to laugh!
    Tatiana

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    1. Thank you Tatiana, your English is fantastic compared with my Russian =0D
      I am happy to make you laugh and I am glad you like Brutus =0P

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  43. "Brutus" looks amazing! Is this your first shot at miniature animals? It's admirable the way you did the fur, I would have never thought of using Alpaca fibre :) Definitely NOT an alien potato from Mars. :D

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    1. Thanks Sophie. Yes, my first ever animal sculpt, probably my last =0/ I read on an old Kerri Pajutee tutorial that she uses Alpaca as well as other fibres =0)

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  44. Hi, and thank you so much, for your beautiful blog. I am in love with Brutus, he is adorable. I can not se, he is your first try, looks like you have done this many times before. The bricks look realistic too, i am really impressed. (sorry for my english)

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    1. Thank you so much for the lovely comments and your english is excellent =0)

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  45. I thought you said you were rubbish at modelling fimo! Such lies :D He's fantastic and what a great name (stored away for future pet names)! You must do more! I love this diary style post, I have the "share with you and only you Sarah" pack of mini eggs, thanks to Easter now starting in January, two days that pack lasted, TWO DAYS :D The brickwork is fantastic, looking forward to seeing this room.

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    1. Haha, I based my fimo skills on a raw chicken I tried to model years ago (after trying my hand at fimo food making) It was dreadful. Ah, the mini eggs. So much Easter chocolate, so little time =0)

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  46. This post is just pure gold!

    I can definitely sympathise with the lasercutter bit - although I didn't forget to erase the history, one time I put in a massive sheet of clear acrylic to cut out an upscaled mousemat, only somehow I'd fudged the measurements in CAD and once again, the modelmaking gods laughed from atop their heavenly workshop as I watched it being cut out. One of my classmates, David, was waiting on the lasercutter and I assured him I would only be a moment as I uttered the fateful words:
    '...this will probably be the day it prints out the wrong size or something'

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/elrenia_greenleaf/11709430186/

    That badger is adorable by the way!

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    1. Thanks Christine. I'm nodding as I'm reading your comment. It's amazing we accomplish anything with our luck =0P

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  47. He is adorable! As for a potato from the moon, I think I may have had one of those at the local diner. But maybe not....

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    1. Haha, that must have been a strange looking potato ;0P

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  48. hahaha Pepper, you gave me some good laughs with your writing! Although your frustrations are anything but funny of course :D, but you know how to turn them into something fun for us to read at least, thanks! I'm fascinated with this new project and enjoy it a lot already. Can imagine the bricks were a nice battle, but one you've tackeled very well! (and absolutely: old buildings have things shifted, all part of their charm) Such a shame you missed out on the wood because of closingtime, I thought we live in a 24-hour-economy, guess some folks run a bit behindhave never got that memo :D But I LOVE your inbetween project the badger, you've done a FANTASTIC job with it! It doesn't show any lack of talent, I'm in awe, ESPECIALLY because this is not what you do normally! Haha, I can only imagine the conversation at work. And about the spouse 'falling' down the stairs: you can always claim anyone writing about things like that on a blog are clearly not in their right mind, so that's one step towards claiming insanity, another is that we can vouch for you regarding miniatures that can seriously drive you insane, adding 'looks' from someone and other stuff is just asking for trouble, haha :D Thanks again for this great post and the laughs it gave me, you're the best!

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