JDayMinis, My Life, French & Antique Inspiration

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 Christmas Decor, keeping it simple.



















This Christmas I wanted to have my decorations simple in our studio. As well as working in the studio, we watch TV and read at night. Since we spend most of our time in the studio, decorating in it is more important to me. I had been admiring many French blogs with their wonderful stars and simple images for Noel. I started in earlier December by printing out some antique Christmas music and gluing it to card stock and cutting out stars. I then strung them on linen and hung them from the studio mantel piece. It is made of a very large piece of drift wood.

I've collected antique and vintage decorations for quite some time so decorated with them, trying to keep it simple and added candles. We have lit the candles every night since I decorated and love the soft natural glow and tried to show this in the photos. We have had the small tree for a few years and this year I just decorated it with my antique garlands and realized that was really all it need. You can also see John and our son's dog Artie at Butchart Gardens which was beautiful this year and also my center piece on our dining room table.




I was inspired by Kathleen's home at Faded Charm Cottage, her decor is fabulous. I joined her Holiday Home Tour. You might like to go over an check out each of the wonderful links to decorated homes.  http://fadedcharmcottage.blogspot.ca/2012/12/holiday-home-tour-2012-linky-party.html

Thank you so much to all of my fabulous followers..without you I wouldn't feel the need to blog. I hope you have a healthy and happy New Year. Hugs, Jean

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Joyeux Noel and a Free Printable image digital download



Season's Greetings!! Here is a free digital download Joyeux Noel Oilette image that was sent from France in 1907. The oilette was produced by Rapheal Tuck & Sons. I loved this young boy enjoying their Christmas tree. All the best for a fabulous and healthy New Year. I realized that it was quite dark so I have lightened it up a little, which ever you prefer.

Click this link if you would like to download a larger image  or here to view each of the downloads  http://www.4shared.com/folder/ILtK6LJE/_online.html

Hugs, Jean

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Our Fortieth Anniversary and a few new Halloween Digital Downloads





Thought I would show you a couple of  Halloween digital downloads I am offering on Etsy that I've been making recently for Halloween. I especially enjoy altered art such as the one of the lady and her cats. I scanned in a small 1870 photo, colourized it and added atmosphere and most especially many black cats.

We have recently arrived home from a beautiful 17 day Cruise down to LA and then around the Hawaiian Islands especially for our Fortieth Anniversary.  I can't believe I have been married that long to my wonderful husband John. I hope to show you some photos soon, we went on a tour to a Hawaiian botanical garden and I took some photos I really like. Always great to be home to Autumn and getting down to doing art again.

Hugs, Jean

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sharing Sunday, Flower Holders and Uses



My husband's mother, whose maiden name was Genevieve Doucet was French Canadian and had a grandmother from France she would often mention. Gen was a lovely lady who I really admired in so many ways. She loved her family, writing poetry and was in the garden, gardening almost every day of her life. She also loved flower arranging and the top right photo shows all of her flower holders.  The flower hold in the middle is interesting, it is in two parts, one is moon shaped so they could be used together or separated. The top right holder is attached in a small dish which is handy for smaller plants. I think they are so beautifully rustic.

Flower holders are very handy for other things as well, scissor holders as shown on the bottom left, photo holders and I thought I would show also a miniature use in the middle photo. 
I wanted to make vines for a miniature display and wrapped wire around a comb and then made the loops go in two different directions, then I glued leaves onto each loop. I was thinking that instead of a comb these flower holders would work well. You can also use this technique for wire structures and for making miniature bows. 

Thought I would show some of my lovely French sewing postcards and small vintage scissor collection. Love the Eiffel tower scissors.

Cheers, Jean

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sunday Steampunk Picnic in Beacon Hill Park


Here are some photos I took of the Steampunk Picnic on Sunday in Beacon Hill Park. We had a wonderful time. Brigid Skelton organized it, she is better know as Calliope Rose Handcar Jones (pouring tea bottom left). All of the costumes were so interesting and very Steampunk, especially the hats. She brought her gramophone and her son Morgan played songs all afternoon. There was croquet, bocci ball and lots of food, cucumber, butter and egg sandwiches and other goodies everyone brought. There were more people than are shown in the photos as they came later. We had a visit by a love peacock too. I thought I would post the coloured photo too, aren't we so lucky to have coloured photos now!!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sharing Saturday, My Grandmother's Crochet Pattern, mini doll coat



After I had posted my grandmother's mending bag last Sunday, I remembered her doll coat pattern I found in a sewing box as well. She used to make doll coats for my dolls with this pattern and I would get so excited. She lived with us for quite a few years and I was always so pleased to have her with us. I thought the way she made a sample and attached a card with her directions was such a great idea and the tag reminded me of all the scrapbooking tags that are popular. I included a crocheted doll coat I made to display is a room box under the Christmas tree, it is about halfscale. I was thinking of her pattern when I made it but didn't have the design quite right so I was really pleased to find her actual sample.

Here is the pattern, which could be adapted to minis if you can understand it.
Make a chain of 56 and that makes 13 points. 12 rows, 3 for each sleeve, 3 for back and 2 for each front.

I'm excited....we have been invited to go to a Steampunk picnic at Beacon Hill park tomorrow afternoon. It should be quite Victorian with cucumber sandwiches and croquet.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tradecard Tuesday, freebie Tradecard on new blog


I was so excited to receive this antique box filled with over 350 French Chocolate trade cards and scraps from a dealer in France.  "de 350 chromos, images etc... en majorité sur le thème du chocolat, un grand nombre de Chicorée Arlatte et Compagnie, la Chicorée A la Boulangère, chocolaterie de l'Univers, Chocolats Guérin-Boutron, chocolats Payraud, Alcool Ricqlès..
Imagine how excited young children must have been to collect all the tradecards offered with the chocolates. Just like I enjoy Kinder Surprise hoping for a toy suitable for miniatures!

It was so much fun to organize all of the tradecards and see what surprises the box actually held. Many were historial, famous men and battles but many were my favorite theme of youngsters, ladies, businesses and other interesting topics. I hadn't realized I was to receive the box as well so that was fabulous. I created to digital downloads for my Etsy shop from the logo which I thought was so beautiful and the cover which is a great colour and design. It was very interesting reading about the history of Revillon Chocolate Bars and I found a great video as well called "La fabrication du chocolat "Révillon" à Lyon" which you can see here http://youtu.be/m3QrY9HsgS0
I find I learn so many new things from what I collect.

The Romeo and Juliette Trade Card image shown above up soon on my new free digital download's blog for you to save if you can use the image http://jdaydigitaldesigns.blogspot.ca or you can download it through a link for a much higher resolution. I will be adding more trade cards to my Etsy store too.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Miniature Monday, Baby Shop, "Nursery Blessings"







I designed this room box years ago, probably late 80's to look like a small portion of a baby store that I called "Nursery Blessings". It has been up on my web site for years but I thought I would share it on my blog too as well as close up photos of some of the items.  When I went to mini shows I would collect lovely crochet and knit outfits mostly by Cheri Sandall and some by Anne Hart, Jo Whale and Judy Lauson.  The wonderful teddy in the chair or in front of the lace bassinet in the new photo is by Thelma Michaud and the darling elephant is by Nora Walker both of Victoria. Lori Ann Potts from Vancouver made the sweet, tiny musical ducky and pink fimo elephant bank. Always love Lori's minis.

The top photo is a close up of the white porcelain baby ornaments I used to make and sell... elephants, bunnies, lambs, stacking toys etc. I used to have many of the porcelain designs in four sizes so people could purchase sets, I'm please I kept a few but I do still have the molds I made of my sculpts. I also enjoyed making all of the gift boxes, one is a knitting box and another other is a baby powder vintage set. Also enjoyed making the fimo bears etc, magazines or books and all of the oils, bottles and toiletries. The photo in the middle is one of my favorite baby purchases in a small tin of a moon and tiny babies all sculpted in porcelain by Chris Okubo, fabulous work and I recently found out that she sells on eBay under her shop name CreationCottage, she did the tiniest work in porcelain I've ever seen. I bought one quarterscale roly poly toy from her and very quickly lost it, I'm sure it just blew away it was so tiny, sigh!! I also made the lace bassinet with antique lace. Sorry the close up photos are so blurry, I should have put on my close up lens.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sharing Sunday, My Grandmother's Sewing Bag


I know, this is a very unusual photo!! When I was going through my sewing room trying desperately to organize it, I came across my grandmother's old sewing bag. I had kept it as it was because I loved my grandmother and thought it was fun just to keep everything as she had left it. Now, since I'm in a simplifying my life and clearing away mode, I dumped all of the tangled odds and ends on the table and was going to toss out much of it as garbage. 

Suddenly I felt very bad and if I had lived through the depression as my grandmother did or if I was really environmental, as I always claim to be, I would be trying to make good use of everything. I did think everything made a lovely design for a photo. The bag appears to be from the 1920's because of the design. Everything is really quite beautiful as individual items. My grandmother always wore a girdle; since she was from Scotland she could pronounce girdle so much better than I can. Loved the girdle clip odds and ends, very handy if one breaks, lots of elastic bits and a few pearly buttons. The top left corner shows scraps of dress fabric and it is really a raggety piece, really don't know what she might have done with that piece, wish I could ask her. There was a real treasure of my grandfather's initial stamp A T made of metal and he used it to stamp his initials into his beautiful inlaid wooden pieces.

Today is not the day I will get rid of most of these odds and ends, I'm going to put them all back in the bag and wait for another day.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Mini Miniature Show today, this weekend & Monday


Just a quick note to remind everyone about the online show A Mini Miniature's Show, there are nearly 90 fabulous dealers and this year they are likes for the 4 scales so it is easy to find those dealers selling quarter scale. Drop by and say hi if you are visiting!! You can find me under Jean Day Miniatures or in the Quarter Scale Section and we also have information about the sale on our web site with most of our kits marked 25% off.  http://jdayminis.com  Mini Hugs, Jean

Monday, August 13, 2012

French Country Style, Painting Wicker..what else can I paint.





In our den I keep my French collectibles and antique wicker. It is a very relaxing sitting room. Recently when I was visiting my favorite French decorating shop in Victoria, called French Vanilla, the owner of the shop had collaborated with A French Touch and is now selling the wonderful paints called Chalk Paint™ Decorative Paint. You might like to visit both of their blogs and find out more about the paint. I picked out an antique white can and painted my antique folding wicker table I had bought a few years ago. The bottom photo shows what the top looked like before I painted it, I wanted to preserve the lovely rusty legs but really thought the top would look better fixed up a little. I gave it two coats of the antique white which went on beautifully and was so lovely to use. Then I applied a couple of coats of their clear wax that is used for protection and because the chalk paint is dull. I was very pleased with the results. I didn't antique the paint because it already looked antique. This paint also comes in small jars and would be perfect for miniatures, I'm looking forward to finishing my country farm house mini bedroom with this paint too. I have mostly white mini wicker in the room and just have the bed to finish and I will show photos. You can also mix paint in with the wax to achieve various stain results which is great, especially for minis. I keep looking around to see what else I can paint.. I've got so many ideas now. Inside our old kitchen cupboards would look very refreshing white too!

On the top of the finished table you can see a couple of my favorite china painted antique cups. I made the pillow sitting on the chair from antique lace and an iron on transfer of antique roses for the center. The other pillows are lovely embroidered pillow cases.
 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Peaceful





Beautiful day!! I took the top photo today on our walk and thought the old boat looked so peaceful, I could have just hopped in and drifted away. I love my life and always feel very blessed but taking photos like this does help me to remember to relax. Today was so warm and very relaxing. We are looking after my son's French Bulldog, Artie this weekend and we took him for a walk along Beach Drive here in Victoria B.C. to the Oak Bay Marina. You can see Artie and me posing for John. It is so nice to be able to sit outside for a drink and look at all the boats in the Marina. The walk only takes us about 45 min.each way from our house so it is good exercise on days when we aren't ballroom dancing.

We have been ballroom dancing Thursday evenings in the Bandshell with the band at Butchart Gardens and it is so wonderful to be able to dance outside. Butchart Gardens is so lovely this time of year.

I just had to add the photo of Artie smiling, I know he is probably just panting but it sure looks like a fabulous smile to me.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Behind the Door


I took photos of one of my old doors this morning, I have always loved, rust, crackled paint and patina. We found two of these doors about 12 yrs ago behind a house that was being demolished and the contractor let us take them home. Since then I have used them in a variety of areas in our house as a folded screen and now they are sitting against our atrium wall with old garden tools and a rusted old bird cage in front. I thought these close up photos made a lovely statement on their own. It is fun to imaging the door handle to a kitchen which will open to the smells of dinner with laughter and anticipation of getting together to exchange the days topics. My dad always used to challenge me with questions at the dinner table and had me look up words in the dictionary if I was using words incorrectly... I always enjoyed those times.

Monday, July 30, 2012

30th Annual Sand Sculpting Canadian Open Competition in Parksville











I thought you might like to see some of the fabulous sand sculptures that were up on Vancouver Island in Parksville B.C. We stayed there for a few days after coming back from Nimmo Bay. We stayed in a hotel that has a view of the beach in the second photo of John. We just had to walk across the sand when the tide was out and it does go out really far, to see the wonderful exhibit. I loved them all and it was very difficult to decide on a winner but I loved the last one I have shown of the boy sleeping with his bear fighting off the dragon in his nightmare.

All the best, Jean

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