Thursday, April 30, 2020

Keeping Busy! DIY, Gardening, Dolls

Idle hands are the Devil's workshop! 

How many times have you heard that---from your mom, grandmother, of those busy-body friends who never stops moving?

Thankfully we have blogging, where we can partake of others' busy-ness! LOL.
Anyway, most of my posts here have been of the outside, the greenhouse, and the yard. Inside not much pretty is going on.
We had planned to purchase new sofas and chairs for the living room, paint, and do an entire refresh. But, when a pandemic strikes, we decided to sit on our funds and concentrate on the yard and garden.

Easter was pretty much non-existent here. I put some bunnies in the ivy tree, stuck the egg ring around my vase, and took a drive and threw a bag of projects out the car window to our grandgirl. She's getting so big and 4 new teeth...I can't wait to hug her and smell her hair.....sigh.

We've had Daffy's for almost 3 weeks now...all over our property. They need to be split--which I will do when they are done blooming to give to my neighbor. 

Our bird feeder is just far enough away, it's hard to get a focused photo. We put out different kinds of bird seed, for multiple visitors. This old feeder has two suet containers in it, and is a favorite of woodpeckers and cardinals.

The garden and the peat moss were tilled since this photo---and then dragged, but it has poured rain for three days now---maybe I can show hubbies hard work tomorrow.

I have two rhubarb plants that are just going nuts. Even though we are still on the cold side. 

When it is raining, I'm still very busy.
For those of you who remember my doll posts on this blog, I have moved them over to my doll blog: Barbieoldnewgreenredo 

I do PG stories with dioramas and a huge cast of characters ---ALWAYS AD-FREE and always safe for kids, how to's, and all sorts of creative stuff. 
Since I have become older, I find working on a smaller scale for 'redo's' is really easier on my body. Besides who doesn't have fun 'playing'. 

My latest project has been

this Grand Hotel refurbishment. I found it for $9.99---totally trashed, but with good bones. Enjoy the transformation.

Maybe it's because i was an only child, but I have never had issues with being alone, or keeping busy. 

So, my construction crew did some serious demolition here. 

Adding a new floor, atrium,  and expanding. 

The best laid plans of mice and men!
Richelle was the main designer on this project.

This is the bones that were transformed to this, below.

The bakery(left) was the only shop able to open, because of Covid-19!

I've done several posts on Sindy's Pattiserrie, and even how they bake the goodies. And, how busy they are serving the near north side neighborhood during the pandemic.

Since the shut-down, Salon Jacquie(on the right of the first floor) hasn't opened, but she is ready.

Jacquie and her staff had a meeting the night before the total shutdown...! 
I keep reality in my stories. Carefully worded to explain to kids of any age what is going on. I try to keep the stories ethnically diverse, politics and religion free, with a sense of humor. 

Life is funny, sometimes! But, certainly not all pink!

Upstairs are two apartments, and a fictitious eight more on the four missing floors above.  I haven't even begun to introduce those characters, yet. 

The mysterious Diva, Colette and Emilie, who just arrived from Paris, with a very eclectic style. Just what IS their story...we have to wait and see. 

Lara, the manager of the BMR Ltd in Chicago, lives in the last small studio apartment. At least she has had time to unpack and catch her breath. 

Upstairs Atrium, hall and Elevator.
Please come visit the (Barbie Grand Hotel) now the GrandView located in the near north Chicago area. It's an 1892 refurbished building.

I'm currently working on permanent walls, I did foam core to begin with, but decided, it was worth the time for some removable  plywood walls that are strategically hinged. It's a journey and will be one of those projects, never really done.

Just when I was finished, I was already planning the REDO! 

The downstairs lobby Atrium...perfect for a visit and coffee, (prior to shutdown). 
It's not all rainbows and unicorn farts---!

Here's the working craft room/doll room. 

 Hubby is finally working on my sink and water during the icky days, otherwise he is in the garage and yard. (Secret to a happy marriage and shutdown---alone time, lol!)

Here's a new storyline, I'm working on. Jacquie's family---since the salon can't open, they are strapped financially, but working together. 

I have two work stations....I can set up foldable dioramas here, and also work.
I seldom buy new dolls. But, Ella Fitzgerald is on the desk...she's gorgeous and will have a storyline as Colette's Ma`ma!

Waiting in the wings is Trish and her greenhouse garden center, which will soon be able to open again! 

*(Again, I work with current social conditions/weather here in Chicagoland).  She has lots of plants and seeds, and just about everything needed for an urban environment! 

So, that's why I'm not decorating the crap out of my own home---I have a whole town to take care of. I guess I'm Mayor or City Manager of this near north side neighborhood. 

Vickie and Joe's Condo!

Jackie and Craig's blended family, and niece Kimmy (Mom is a nurse afraid of bringing home the virus) so she stays with Uncle Craig and Auntie Jacquie. Cousin Vanessa is helping her mom with the salon's social media campaign.

Vickie's Vintage Boutique, Vickie's is closed putting three people out of work.

The HFIM house where Impoverished Millenials refurbish a Victorian+townhouse as a co-op! Most are working from home, but three are unemployed. 

Social distancing isn't easy with 13 in the house! 

There were special dates,

and restaurant business meetings.

Even special events---the Oscars! 

Mysterious characters? Diva Colette...from Paris?

Before social distancing, backyard fun with the teens. 

Great selections at Trish's Blue Sprinkling Can Garden Center!

Sometimes a little history: James A. Baldwin for Black History Month. I do keep an ethnically diverse group of dolls-similar to the make-up of the neighborhoods. 

 Almost all my dolls are thrift store rescues, as are my buildings, furniture and settings.

Celebrations, they even decorate for holidays, too! 

Celebrate their favorite sports teams! 

Have pets....

Occasionally a celebrity comes around! This is Barbara Millicent Roberts, owner of BMR ltd. an investment and urban renewal corporation, she turned 60 last year and still going strong.

My gang makes seasonal to a pumpkin farm on a crisp Fall day.

Neighborhood events...the opening of a new business! Alderman and a TV crew.

Cultural visits to the Botanic Gardens!

Remember going on vacation! 

Sunning in Costa Rica on an Island.

Zip-Lining !

Working, planning, building! Vickie helps designer Richelle, plan for the new Vickie's Vintage. 

Charity events...

Bowling in the Northwoods.

A glamour shot...and 

the how-to! 

 Cooking at home....

Baking is a favorite past-time---my 5 year old grand helped Chelsea make these! 

Mysteries...Vickie's 'ghosts'. 

What was this all about????

Working from home....please visit my doll blog

 When you want to smile and get lost for a bit

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Thank you for visiting, I will try and respond to every question and comment. I will be doing further posts on tutorials for the Hotel and contents.

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  1. I love your gorgeous post and pretty daffodils!The doll collection is magnificent!!!Hugs and blessings.

    1. Thank you so much, Maristella. It's a real joy in these tough times...and when it rains, I have something to do besides clean...LOL. Sandi

  2. Holy Wow, you do have a Barbie city!!! Incredible, and I can certainly see how you stay busy, it is all amazing! The construction photos are so creative! Your narrative is delightful with all the funny nods to our current situation! Happy gardening and playing!

    1. Thanks so much, I just have never been bored and having any hobby right now is a God-send. Thanks, I was outside the last two days feverishly planting! Hope the weather holds now and thank goodness it is going to rain tomorrow, lol, my bod is pooped!

  3. Hi Sandi.

    Absolutely love this post, and will have to come back for a few repeat visits to fully take everything in. I also find solace and pleasure losing myself in miniature worlds - although my collection is nowhere near as expansive as yours! But a girl can dream! Thank you so much for sharing - really made me smile.


    1. I honestly do 90-95% of my purchases at thrift stores. The craft supplies I always buy at half off. The secret is to have the space. Every inch has storage down there. Thanks for stopping by, Sandi

  4. Happy Mother's Day,my darling friend.I hope you are well.Blessings to you and yours.

    1. Thank you sweet lady, and the same to you. I've been gardening this week, but thankfully it is raining tomorrow. And, then I can play! Sandi

  5. This is really fun to read your post Sandi. Love all your photos they made me smile. You certainly have some fun barbies. That city is incredible. Let's hope we can get our gardening going soon.

    1. Thanks so much, Kris. I've been outside, as I am sure you have for the last two days....planting our little hearts out. I'm glad it is raining tomorrow, I'm pooped, lol. Hugs back, Sandi

  6. Your dolls are amazing!! I am keeping busy too!!
    Thanks so much for stopping by!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Debbie, I think of you when I want to plant, as we are about the same distance north...grins, hope you found plants and warm weather to get them in the ground! Sandi

  7. Oh, your daffodils are lovely! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!


Thank you for any and all comments. I will be happy to answer any questions or comments in replies or email! HUGS!