Monday, July 28, 2014

Meeting Maggie Rudy of MousesHouses!

I've written about Maggie Rudy here before. Perhaps you already know this talented creature maker, author, illustrator, and photographer from her MousesHouses blog or from her first book, The House That Mouse Built. Her latest book is called I Wish I Had a Pet, and I was able to meet her in person for a book reading at Green Bean Books! Here the two of us enjoy a casual moment:

Photo taken by Jennifer Green of Green Bean Books.

We were blog friends, but we had never met in person. I enjoyed a little bit of private time with Maggie (it pays to arrive early!), in which she offered guidance and some oh-so-appreciated praise of my work (which I will treasure forever!). Do I sound a little bit starstruck? Probably because I am. :-) What a kind, gracious, humble, and gifted person. Thank you so much, Maggie!

Maggie Rudy reading from her latest book, I Wish I Had a Pet.

A number of fans, both young and old, came to hear Maggie speak. We were treated to a reading of her new book, a short lecture about her creative process, and a question and answer period, followed by a book signing. I could have stayed there for hours soaking up her humor and wisdom. What a thrill to meet someone whose work I admire so much!

Maggie's creative process: first she sketches out her ideas.

Then she creates her creatures and sets.

The House That Mouse Built is one of my all-time favorite books, and this new book, I Wish I Had a Pet, is destined to become another classic loved by both children and adults everywhere. It is so sweet and a fun way to introduce the responsibilities involved in having a pet to children (adults too, actually!). Maggie even created a diorama for the bookstore with part of one of the scenes from her book:

Maggie Rudy's diorama at Green Bean Books. Come see it!

My diorama had been in the bookstore's main diorama box since April 15, but I gladly made way for Maggie's display. Now you can still view my diorama, but it's in the second diorama box, near the back of the store:

My diorama, a scene from one of my early greeting cards.

Be sure and check out Green Bean Books if you're in the Portland area. It is one of my all-time favorite bookstores, and there are dollhouse miniatures and Re-Ment miniatures for sale, as well as books and toys. Maggie's blog is MousesHouses and is not to be missed! Her books are available from bookstores everywhere, including Green Bean Books. Until next time, keep it fun! xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Special Gifts From Special Friends!

Hi All! How has your summer/winter been going? We are coming out of a heat wave here in Portland, Oregon that had us living in a darkened house to try to keep things cool. I'm so glad it's back to comfortable temperatures now. Hope everyone is doing well. I'll have some fun diorama news for you this coming weekend, but first I want to show you some amazing swap gifts and prizes I recently received. Flossy and Sophie are at the ready to show you all the goodies from these talented artists.

First up, if you haven't found Todd & Lindsey blog yet, you're missing out on some fun! There are lots of miniature tutorials plus fun posts on both dollhouse and real-life decorating, tasty recipes, and so much more. Don't miss it! So Lindsey and I arranged a fun swap together. :-) We told each other our favorite items made by the other person, and we tried to limit our gifts to five handmade ones plus some fun extras. Lindsey sent me my favorite things (there were so many to choose from!), all in my favorite colors! Flossy received a number of darling mini items for her bathroom plus some yummy cookies:

Sophie has already started nibbling on one of the black and white cookies that Lindsey sent, and Flossy is overwhelmed with the cute bowl of homemade soaps, the sweet pedestal stand with toothpaste and two toothbrushes, the pretty pedestal stand with three adorable nail polishes, and the fun Yankee Candle for relaxing soaks in the bathtub. And below the table, Lindsey also sent two sweet green plants and two adorable floral pillows:

She also sent a beautiful sunflower card (not pictured) and these fun mini holiday decorations, including mini candy canes and snowflakes:

Thank you sooooooooo much, Lindsey! This was a really fun swap, it has been fun getting to know you better, and I love the things you sent me. Let's do it again in the spring! You can see what I sent Lindsey on her blog here.

Next up, Monica Castillo of Kitchen Miniature blog and I sent each other some mini gifts. Look at this exquisite cherry pie prep board with tiny Chinese-style metal tea pot. Flossy sneakily cut herself a piece of cherry pie while Sophie was focused on gnawing the delicious dried pork leg Monica sent. Sophie is so happy that for once she can eat some meat at Flossy's house. Flossy's food, including her cupcakes, is all vegetarian (she's a rabbit, after all!). ;-) Notice the vintage Polaroid camera too?

And look at these darling items in front of the table. Mini ice chest with ice, potato chips, and beach towel for a perfect summer day; red polka dot watering can; and special shelf for Flossy's bathroom (see the "F" for "Flossy" and the queen sign?):

But that wasn't all. Monica sent a precious paper mache lapel pin of her Rabbit Queen, and Monica's daughter, Neus, sent a Special Card and two gifts for Flossy in Flossy's favorite color:

Here's another shot of these special gifts:

Monica also sent some pretty fabric and ribbons (not pictured). Thank you so much, Monica and Neus! Everything you sent is so special! I'm so glad we're friends! You can see what I sent Monica on her blog here.

Finally, I was one of the lucky winners of Carmen of Pekevasion blog's recent surprise giveaway. The top five commenters on her blog each won a miniature baby and baby blanket, both handmade by Carmen:

The detail on the baby is exquisite! The soft lavender blanket looks like it needs to be draped across the foot of someone's bed, and it will be soon! ;-) Thank you so very much, Carmen! You're so talented and generous, and all of your giveaways, swaps, and tutorials make blogging really fun!

OK, that's it for today. Whatever you do, keep having fun! I'll be back next weekend with an update. xoxo Jennifer