Sunday, 10 September 2017

100 days.....

There is apparently something mythic about 100.  

It seems to tick a lot of boxes in terms of the number itself.... for example it is the sum of the first ten odd numbers (1+3+5+7+9+11+13+17+19+21=100) as well as the sum of some pairs of prime numbers e.g., 3 + 97, 11 + 89, 17 + 83, 29 + 71, 41 + 59, and 47 + 53.

A Googol is the number one, followed by 100 zeros.
100 is the square of 10 
100 is the basis of percentages (per cent meaning "per hundred" in Latin), with 100% being a full amount.
100 is the sum of the cubes of the first four integers (100 = 13 + 23 + 33 + 43). This is related by Nicomachus's theorem to the fact that 100 also equals the square of the sum of the first four integers: 100 = 102 = (1 + 2 + 3 + 4)2.
100 is an 18-gonal number. It is divisible by the number of primes below it, 25 in this case. It can not be expressed as the difference between any integer and the total of coprimes below it, making it a noncototient. It can be expressed as a sum of some of its divisors, making it a semiperfect number.
100 is a Harshad number in base 10, and also in base 4, and in that base it is a self-descriptive number.
There are exactly 100 prime numbers whose digits are in strictly ascending order (e.g. 239, 2357 etc.).
100 is the smallest number whose common logarithm is a prime number (i.e. 10n for which n is prime).
All of which, I'm sure you'll agree, is pretty damn impressive for a number made up of a one and two zeros. (although, obviously, I have absolutely NO IDEA what any of that means!)
Much is also made of the first 100 days of any US presidency, but probably the least said about the present incumbent the better.
If you're lucky enough to live to the age of 100, this success is celebrated by a telegram from the Queen.
But I digress.  In my last post I bemoaned my lack of grit and determination to complete a task which has been extant for more years than I care to remember.  Next year, when I hit my 60th birthday, will be a perfect storm of self-imposed deadlines and targets which, if I'm brutally honest with myself, are unlikely to be achieved.
However, I'm clearly not the only one with procrastination issues, so a helpful comment from one of my blog readers (thanks Megan!) led me to discover a programme called 100 Day Goal which aims to help hopeless procrastinators like myself, stop making excuses (too busy, too tired, don't have the correct reciprocating flange sprocket, etc etc) and Just. Get. On. With. It.
I've downloaded all the lists (I love a list) and crib sheets and I've completed my microactions sheets, which ran to several pages.  I also get to colour in a star for each day I complete my allotted microactions...... what's not to like?!
However, I was a little late to the party for the current 100 Day Goal programme, which closes today, so instead of my 100 Days ending at the beginning of December I'll be collapsing over my finishing line the week before Christmas, which isn't the best timing, but if I stick at it I'll be approximately half way to my final goal... the publication of my book.
I'm fairly sure I'll fall off the metaphorical wagon at points along the way (especially as I have a one week holiday in there too) but I just need to get started and I'm hopeful that the project will gain enough momentum that it will drag me along with it to the finish line.
Well....that's the plan anyway.  Feel free to cheer me on.... I need all the help I can get!

Sunday, 3 September 2017


Three days into September and already we've had two seasons.  

Yesterday was lovely.... clear, blue skies, warm but not too hot... a perfect summer's day.
Today is much cooler, with a definite autumnal feel and overcast skies.  The evenings are noticeably drawing in... it's almost dark at 8pm.  

There are just 4 months left of this year and my self-imposed deadline, which back in April seemed eminently achievable, is starting to look a little tight.  It's my own fault, I've fiddled and faffed around all summer and now I'm starting to panic.

It's simple really..... Just. Get. On. With. It.  I need to stop making excuses and buckle down to some seriously focussed hard work.  I have one commission on my desk at the moment which should be finished this week then I really, REALLY need to get my head around a work schedule which I can stick to.

Well that's the plan.  My helpful desktop timer informs me that I have 231 days until my deadine, which feels like oceans of time, but of course, the days will slip through my fingers like grains of sand and before I know it I'll have two weeks left and still no further forward.

So, I'm going to take a bit of a run at things and see if I can take control.....

What could possibly go wrong?

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Busy, busy, busy.....

I seem to have inadvertently mislaid the month of August.  One minute it's the first day, then, before I know it, it's the last. Admittedly I had an almost two week holiday in there somewhere, but even so, to mislay an entire month is extremely careless.
However, to paraphrase, 'tomorrow is another month' so I solemnly pledge not to lose September in the ether.

I always think of September 1st as the first day of autumn, which in my head always consists of September/October/November.  That said, summer days can persist right into October, but the leaves are already on the turn, conkers are burgeoning on the trees and the nights are noticeably drawing in.

This year I feel a bit like that grasshopper from Aesop's Fables, who idles away the summer months while the industrious ant gathers food to sustain it through the winter.  Granted I have been busy... just not always with what I should have been doing.

That said, I have just finished a complete 'Workshop in a Box' for the lovely ladies of a miniaturist club in Belfast.

They opted to make a Deluxe Jumeau-Style Toy Doll with pleated dress, bustled jacket and elaborate silk and lace bonnet.....

Elaborately costumed workshop sample doll
Beautiful hairstripe silk jacket

Their workshop box contains everything they need to complete their chosen project, including:

  • Sample dressed doll for reference
  • Comprehensive tools and materials checklist
  • Set of fully illustrated step-by-step instruction booklets for each club member
  • Selection of kit packs in assorted colours
  • Wigging packs
  • Organiser's pack which contains 'spares', workshop schedule, hints & tips etc

The club will also have access to an exclusive video tutorial which will take them through the complete process of dressing and wigging their little doll, step-by-step.

So.... whether you're a member of an organised miniatures club, or one of a small group of friends who get together to make miniatures, if you would like further information on my 'Workshop in a Box' packs, please contact me for further information.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Curiouser and curiouser.....

I've blogged recently about taking a new direction workwise next year, and although I'm still uncertain about which path to take, thoughts and ideas are swirling around and gradually coalescing into a nebulous plan.

The problem is, I have loads of ideas for 'stuff to do' all the time... it's sorting the wheat from the chaff which is the hard part.  Nevertheless, the more I think about things, the more certain I am that it's all worth a go.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and all that.


For the foreseeable future I'm going to have plans for two 'projects' running side by side, while I engage in one of my favourite work-related tasks.... research and development.

Or Pinterest as it is sometimes known.

I'm also toying with the idea of forsaking my beloved 1/12th scale, and taking the plunge into 1/24th.  Yes I know it's no longer the new best thing.... the even smaller, and frankly impossible 1/48th scale has stolen that crown, but I've never been an early adopter.

As a result I'm in the market for a very specific half scale house.  There are lots around but none which tick all my specification boxes.  So whichever one I decide upon I'm going to have to do some serious kit-bashing.

That's my autumn/winter free time taken care of then........

Friday, 14 July 2017

Sewing bee.....


I've been playing this week.... first with the creation of a new little book

Book comes complete with three separate colour plates
Written instructions and patterns for all of the illustrated costumes

And as these things are wont to do, one thing led to another....

Children's Sewing Set

I've again signed up as a dealer for the August Mini Miniature Show, and have been trying to come up with a new, exclusive kit to offer as a workshop at the show.  It was while I was making the Dolly's Dressmaking book that I remembered I had a few half scale sewing machines which would be just perfect for a child's boxed sewing kit.

Et voila!  Over the weekend I'll be refining the kit, adding some other sewing accoutrements and designing a bespoke box for the entire set.

With luck and a following wind my new Doll's Dressmaking Set workshop will be advertised on the Mini Miniature Show website next week 😊

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Vintage doll's sewing books.....

Buoyed by my success with the sewing machine kit for my L'atelier de Poupée workshop pack, I've been busy again today making two very special miniature book kits, also destined for inclusion.

Both are facsimiles of original books written specially for children, to help them make clothing for their dolls. Like doll's houses, which were originally used as a teaching aid for girls to help them gain skills in domestic housekeeping, these books instilled the basics of needlework, at a time when most clothing was handmade, before the age of mass production.

The text is rather patronising....

..... but I have no doubt that if the instructions were followed to the letter, young girls would have been able to create beautiful costumes for their dolls.

I do wonder though how present-day children would react to being given a non-digital book (with precious few illustrations) some fabric and sewing equipment and left to get on with it.

The instructions for the Mantle, in particular, combine elements of arithmetic and geometry in a form which don't even make much sense to me and I do this stuff every day! 😲

Monday, 10 July 2017

A stitch in time......

A few weeks ago I blogged about the preparations for my swansong workshop pack, which are going rather well, if I do say so myself.

I have 10 boxes, each gradually filling with all manner of mini kits which together will make up my L'atelier de la Poupée Vignette..

This morning I've just finished this.....

..... which will also be included.

It's all coming together very nicely 😊