Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gifts and Giveaway From MelyMel!

There are some people in blogland who are extra special because of their sweetness. Dear Mely of MelyMel Piccoli Sogni blog is one of those special people. She recently sent me a huge package of miniatures all made by hand. Each gift is a tiny masterpiece, as the love with which she made each one is palpable.

Flossy is very excited to show you a few of the minis that Mely sent. First, can you tell that Flossy is sitting in a chair, and do you see that there is another one next to her? Mely made both of these sweet chairs so that Flossy and any guest, such as Sophie, could sometimes sit in the kitchen while baking or visiting. What thoughtful gifts! Flossy and Sophie's aching paws thank you, dear friend!

Of course, everything on the table was made by Mely too, including the darling cupcake box on the lower rack, but this isn't everything she sent. She also sent these prizes that I won in her recent giveaway:

Prizes won in Mely's giveaway, including hand crocheted bedding.
Mely's shabby chic chairs with woven seats and coordinating frames.
Teapots, cake, canisters, candy, popcorn machine and sewing box.
More hand crocheted bedding, a bread box,
pretty soaps, and delicious food.
Look at this amazing homemade Italian food!

The rest of the gifts were for Christmas and birthday gift exchanges that we had arranged. Christmas, you say? Yes, unfortunately Mely's first package for Christmas never arrived, so she insisted on making everything over again and sending a new package, despite my repeated protests. There are no words to describe my gratitude.

Thank you so much, Mely! You've brightened my year with your thoughtful and beautiful gifts. I'm lucky to have such a sweet friend in you. For all my friends in blogland, please do yourself a favor and visit Mely's blog today. You'll be so glad you did. Until next time, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Giveaway Win Plus More Gifts!

Continuing on with recent gifts from blog friends and giveaway prizes, I won this darling miniature plush bunny in the MiniFanaticus blog giveaway!

Mr. Bunny makes himself at home.

Isn't he sweet? He looks right at home in Flossy's shabby chic Cupcake Cottage bedroom, don't you think? And I won all of these fabulous minis too:

There's even a Mrs. Bunny with an Easter hat--how cute!

Jane sent the darling floral teapot as an extra gift--isn't that thoughtful? Thank you so much, Jane. Your prizes are so colorful and cheery, and your blog is a blast to follow. Check out her Etsy shop, MiniFanaticus, too! She's got some gorgeous items for sale, including some very realistic and tasty-looking veggie soup prep boards.

Next, I received some really fun and thoughtful gifts from Harriet at Victoria Stitch blog. If you don't know her blog, you'll want to. Not only is she a published children's book illustrator, but she makes amazing scenes with her characters Victoria Stitch and Celestine, AND she's building a miniature castle! I know, you're practically running over there, aren't you? ;-)

Here's a darling mini book that Harriet sent me. It features her outrageous and fun Victoria Stitch character :

Victoria Stitch by Harriet Muncaster

Harriet sent all of these precious goodies too. Are these cute, or what?! Oh, what fun I'll have!

Hello Kitty dish set and Peter Rabbit pillows--oh my!

Thank you so much, Harriet! Your gifts are so thoughtful. I love following your blog and am so glad we've had a chance to become blog friends. :-)

Last but certainly not least, Kikka of Pieni Sammakko blog, another talented miniaturist and blogger, sent me some really sweet birthday presents. Kikka must have known that I needed a little bit of perking up, because her package was like a breath of fresh air to me. The colors just say SPRING!

Kikka sent so many sweet gifts!

She's included ponchos, smartphones and satchels for Flossy and Sophie, everything needed to celebrate a birthday, a darling mini frog, some beautiful and useful craft supplies, and a gorgeous card. All of the minis were made by Kikka, aside from the tiny plates.

Notice Flossy and Sophie's new frog friend? :-)

Flossy and Sophie were so excited about Kikka's gifts that they jumped onto my little set and did some modeling. They love being part of the modern age with their new phones--thank you for facilitating that, Kikka! ;-) You're a dear blog friend--thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. I love your gifts.

Next post, you guessed it: more gifts and giveaway prizes from lovely blog friends. Until then, keep having fun! xoxo Jennifer

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Recent Gifts From Blog Friends

We're coming into Easter season, that time that is oh-so-close to my birthday, and I've received so many wonderful gifts from blog friends already. I'm so touched by everyone's thoughtfulness. Additionally, I recently won three giveaways, so it's like an extra-extra wonderful birthday season! Today I'll show you some of what has arrived. I'm so far behind that this may take me several posts. :-)

Notice Plushpussycat's new sweet doll from Lucille? She loves it!

First up: Lucille, a miniaturist, blog reader and prolific commenter who is familiar to many of us. She is Plushpussycat's (the plush critter that is also my avatar) biggest fan. Lucille's comments really make my day. She sent some gorgeous gifts, including two especially for Plushpussycat: a darling pink doll, and a mouth-watering hamburger plate.

Plushpussycat drooled over this amazing mini hamburger and fries!

Thank you so much, Lucille! Plushpussycat and I both adore the gifts you sent us, and Plushpussycat says you're her favorite too. ;-)

Clear back in February I received a wonderful packet of precious gifts from Petra of peetjes dollhouses blog. Just look at the sweet things she sent:

Petra made everything but the girl doll with the hat and the card, from her hospital bed no less! I keep the needle felted snowman at my computer, where it reminds me of Petra. Look at the darling shabby chic bra and panties set Petra made for Flossy too:

Thank you so much, Petra. Your gifts are so sweet and thoughtful. May you always have fun making miniatures with your children, my friend.

Finally (for this post, anyway!), I received over 1 lb. (500 grams) of tiny scale fabrics and laces from Klara Meijer of Klara's Blog and Klara's Handwerk blog. Out of the goodness of her heart, she sent me all of this:

Klara is special to me, partly because hers was the first blog giveaway I won, two years ago. She got me hooked on blogging, that's what she did!!! ;-) Thank you so much, Klara. I'll treasure, use and share this fabric, always with you in my heart.

Next post, more gifts and giveaway prizes from dear blog friends. Until then, keep having fun! xoxo Jennifer

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tips for Safe Blogging

After blogging for just over two years now, I've heard a number of stories about bloggers being scammed, so I thought I'd share some tips for safe blogging today. Hopefully you'll see something here that could keep you safe from an online scam.

Blog friends are not always as friendly as they appear.

Miniaturists and crafters are so nice, right? Yes, most of them are, but a con artist may appear to be the sweetest person in the world, so you need always be on guard!

Here are some tips I've learned about safe blogging:

1) If it looks or feels too good to be true, it probably is. If someone desperately wants to be your friend online, and it feels like things are going really, really fast, proceed with caution. Watch out for people who build up your ego. It may feel good in the moment, but do you know their true motive? It's best to keep your  guard up until you do. How would a friend act in real life? You would probably get to know them over time, right? That is a good idea online too.

2) Remember that many people online often are not anything close to their descriptions of themselves. They may try to play on your sympathy to get your attention. There was an interesting online case called "Dave on Wheels," in which a person claiming to be a young deaf blogger with cerebral palsy and confined to a wheelchair was exposed as a complete hoax. Facebook estimates that of the 1 billion Facebook accounts worldwide, 14 million have been set up with malicious intent. How do you know that the blogger who you think you know is really who she says she is?

3) Pay attention to what your online friend tells you about herself. If you start seeing red flags, pay attention. Don't sweep them under the carpet. At the same time, listen to your own intuition. If a small voice inside you keeps saying things like, "I can hardly believe this is happening," or "This is too good to be true," listen to that voice. That voice is there to protect you from unscrupulous persons.

4) Be cautious with online swaps. Oh, the joy of a miniatures swap, right? Yes, they can be a lot of fun, but remember to practice caution. Whatever you send may never be reciprocated. Never invest a lot of money in these swaps. Watch out for grandiose promises from your blog friend. If your blog friend has excuses for why she can't send you a swap gift right way, slow down and reconsider sending your package. If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's probably a duck, right?

Here's a possible scenario: A fellow blogger asks you to do a Christmas swap with her. You are thrilled, since you love her taste in miniatures. She promises you amazing gifts, so you invest more money than usual in special gifts and craft supplies for making her gifts. Then you invest your time making items you hope she'll like. Oh, but now she has excuses for why she won't be able to send her presents to you right way. Do you send your gifts anyway or wait until both of you are ready? Either way, if your friend is a scammer, you may never see any gifts at all, or it could be even worse.

5) Be careful about the personal information you share with others.
Your birth date, for example, is a precious piece of information that can be used to steal your identity and eventually get into your financial accounts. Guard and safe keep it, along with your full name (including middle name), mother's maiden name, birth city, etc. Once the information is out there on the web, you can't make it disappear, but it can be used without your knowledge for nefarious purposes.

OK, now it's your turn. What do you do to practice safe blogging? Have you ever been the victim of a blogging or other online scam? What would you recommend that others do to avoid the trouble you experienced? I'd love to hear your ideas on this topic in the comments. Thank you for sharing so that others may avoid having bad blogging experiences. Wishing you all fun and safe blogging! Until next time, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Nice Neighbor Lady

Sophie has a light headache, so she's decided to take a nap.

"Knock! Knock!" Who could it be?

Flossy is visiting Sophie, so she answers the door. Oh, apparently it's a nice neighbor lady with a bundt cake. "It's almost as good as cupcakes," thinks Flossy. "Won't you come in for a visit?"

The nice neighbor lady makes herself comfortable on the sofa, but soon her demands are extraordinary, as the snacks and treats pile up around her. Flossy innocently works to please Sophie's guest, but feels something is not quite right.

"Grrr!" growls Sophie. "Who do you think you are coming to my house and making so many demands?! I've heard of you! You're the infamous Raccoon! Now get out of here!"

Raccoon high-tailed it out of there. Raccoons are no match for bears.

Raccoon was running really, REALLY fast! "Aaaaaaaaaah!!!!! Help!!!!!"

Remember, things aren't always as they appear. More to follow. ;-) More of Raccoon's previous antics here. Keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Amazing Dollhouse Miniature Afghans!

Flossy has been whipping up chocolate chip cookies using the mini cook book and pink gingham shabby chic tea towel that I recently made.

Actually, these were gifts for the wonderful shopper who just purchased a second custom order from my Plushpussycat Etsy shop--yay! Now with two orders under my belt, so to speak, I'm no longer such a newbie on Etsy. Hurray!

I'm still busy working on my taxes, unfortunately, but that didn't keep me from noticing an amazing shop on Etsy that I really think you will want to know about. It's called Tiffsniffer's Tiny Things.

Several readers asked about this afghan--isn't it gorgeous?
Close-up of Tiffsniffer's black granny square afghan.

Michelle hand crochets tiny afghans with 80# tatting thread from her home in Manitoba, Canada. She likes to crochet while watching TV! Her afghans are a bargain at $15 each, so get them while you can at this price. ;-) Take a look at her sold items to put in a custom order request.

Tiffsniffer's pink and white afghan, shown in Flossy's special guest
bedroom at Sophie's house, Brambleberry Farmhouse.
Look at the beautiful detail on this afghan--wow!

Are you on Pinterest? I recently discovered that it's a great place to find and store dollhouse miniature tutorials and printables, among other things. Follow me there so I can follow you back! :-) OK, that's it for now, but in future posts I'll show you amazing gifts I've received from special blog friends and a new story, and we're still going to have that blog birthday party! Until next time, keep having fun! xoxo Jennifer