Monday, 31 January 2011

From the arms of Morpheus.......

Up uncharacteristically early this morning, due to a lovely 10 hour sleep.  If sleeping were an Olympic sport, I'd be a multiple gold medal winner.  Even Small Dog, who is an enthusiastic napper, has to defer to my capacity for slumber.

Pre-MS I used to bound out of bed at 7am, ready to tackle the day, even after less than 6 hours sleep.  Nowadays, I need a minimum of 8 hours, preferably 10, and up to 12 on a weekend.  Even then, I rarely wake full of the joys of spring.  I need a good 10-15 minutes of preparation before I get vertical, doing a mental inventory of which body parts are hurting/numb/tingling/twitching/responding to command.  On a good day, only a small number of extremities will call in sick.  On a bad day I'm as well to just turn over, cosy down and go back to sleep.

If I've had a late night, or a string of late nights, I have to pay the price which MS demands, in order to regain nominal power over my body.  So sleep is a vitally important commodity to me, and not to be taken lightly. 

Especially the lack therof.

Which is why I feel for PP who is undergoing a (hopefully temporary) bout of insomnia.  I have a fleeting acquaintance with this, when neuropathic pain wakes me.  However I am usually confident that the heavy duty meds which help control the pain, will send me back to sleep within the hour.

PP's insomnia may well be caused by a cocktail of meds she's currently taking for a shoulder problem, but whatever the cause, the nightly lack of sleep is taking its toll.  She's trying all sorts of remedies, short of actual sleeping tablets, to overcome the problem.  Herbal 'night calming' pills, milky drinks at bedtime, reading several chapters of a book, assorted configurations of pillows, innovative sleeping positions......all to no avail. 

I know she had a bad night last night so I won't wake her.  Small Dog is curled up beside her, sleeping soundly in solidarity and didn't even budge when I checked on them earlier.


Saturday, 29 January 2011

Sunny Saturday.......

The sun is shining, the birds are singing and there is joy in my heart.

And the reason for all this uncharacteristic bonhomie...?

We've just sold our motorhome!!!!!!!

For within a whisker of the asking price.

To a lovely couple who came all the way from Marlborough in Wiltshire to see it, and fell in love with it.  We're so pleased and relieved that it is going to people who will enjoy and cherish and care for it.... but we'll be sad to see it go when they come back to collect it.  

We've had some lovely times camping in our little van, not to mention the fact that we now have to be completely prepared for Small Dog never to talk to us ever again. Or until she gets used to the caravan.

Whichever is soonest.

However, a cause for celebration methinks.........

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Retail therapy........

Due to our fridge being a food-free zone, we were forced to go to Tesco this morning, where we took leave of our senses and indulged in some conspicuous consumption.

First off, we came across half price dog beds.

Now, Small Dog is not short of places to sleep.  She has a small soft bed in the office, a basket in the kitchen and an old duvet in the hall right under the radiatorShe also reserves the right to sleep on any sofa/chair/cushion, the rug in front of the fire, and any bed when we forget to shut the bedroom doors.  Also any lap of any visitor to the house.

It goes without saying that our laps are 'on call' 24/7.

So she doesn't really need another dog bed.  However we've been trying to surreptitiously 'bin' her old duvet for some time, but she always discovers its whereabouts before we manage to get it out the door and drags it back to her spot under the radiator. Leaving us with no alternative but to replace her old duvet with something more desirable BEFORE binning it.

She has tested the new bed very thoroughly and dragged both her blankys into it to signify that it passes muster. 


I also bought a fabulous new notebook and set of gel pens for the amazingly low price of £1.31, with which I am completely' over the top' delighted.  I just LOVE stationery.

Oh, and a small but perfectly formed TV for our caravan also in their 'Bargain' sale at an unbeatable price.  

Nothing like a bit of retail therapy on a cold, dank, miserable Thursday in January.  And when it's all at bargain basement prices it's even better.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Autonomous automata.....

You know the other day I was saying how much I enjoy problem-solving and finding innovative solutions to difficult conundrums?  

Well, I take it all back.

Of course it's all my own fault for being over-ambitious.  I just can't keep things simple and always have to over-complicate them.

It's this idea of mine for a range of automata.  I know exactly what I want to achieve, but the mechanics are proving......... somewhat elusive.

I'd compare it to one of those logic games where you can see a whole lot of interconnecting wheels and cogs with a handle at one end.  You have to work out which wheels will move, in which direction, when the handle is turned.

Only more complicated.

In my head it's all really simple (no sniggering at the back please) and what I want to do SHOULD work.  But it doesn't.   Trying to work out which bit should go where and do what, is infuriatingly difficult.

So it's back to the drawing board.

I think I may have some way to go before I can do anything like this.......

Monday, 24 January 2011

All kitted out...........

I've spent all day today working on the instructions for a new toy kit.


They're in an 8-page A5 booklet, with step-by-step photographs so it's not as if I'm having to deal with something of War & Peace proportions.

Instructions are the bane of my life.  It's not until you have to explain a series of steps in unambiguous, easy to understand text that you realise how difficult they are to get right.

I've spent hours honing, rewording and editing in order to achieve concise but eloquent prose.
Added to which, some of the stuff I'm trying to describe is indescribable.  I mean what DO you call a piece of square plastic with a hole through the middle?  Or a tiny bit of aluminium tube with silk cord threaded through.  I have to call them something, rather than constantly having to repeat their tedious descriptions.

So that's why I'm all kitted out.  I threw in the descriptive towel earlier and hopefully tomorrow my usual facility with words will have reappeared then I'll be able to finish the instructions and print them out, ready to accompany the new kits.

Which will be unveiled at the Thame Fair next month.....

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Ever decreasing circles......

Is it that time already?  Almost a week since my last post.  Good job I didn't make any NY resolutions to write a post at least every other day........


Not that there has been anything of interest to report.  The week has passed in a blur of activity, but I don't feel as if I've actually achieved anything.  Which is dispiriting to say the least.

I found some of our 'To Do' lists this morning, hiding out under a pile of paperwork.  Of the two whole pages of stuff to do, only a single item could be crossed off.

This is crushing, as the lists were made with the expectation of zapping through all the tasks lickety split.  Also, as a dedicated list maker, I experience a definite frisson whenever I can take my pen and draw a firm, black line though a completed task.

It really, REALLY makes my day.

I know.

I should really REALLY get out more.

Not only that.  *Drops voice to conspiratorial sotto voce whisper.*  I have been known to add things WHICH HAVE ALREADY BEEN DONE to a list purely for the satisfaction of crossing them off.

One small highlight last week consisted of us spending a night in our 'new' caravan.  I've been campaigning for this for some time, under the guise of needing to check out all the equipment well in advance of our first proper camping trip.  Also, although we are seasoned and experienced campervan campers, we are complete novice caravan campers, and don't want to be the laughing stock of the campsite the first time we take it out.

The first time we went camping in our campervan, it took us hours to get set up.  Everything was unfamiliar....where to put the electric hook up, where to put the water, how to level the van etc etc etc.  However over the past 6 years we have been forged into a well-oiled team and can complete the entire process, including erecting a day tent, in approximately half an hour.

Not so with the caravan.  We didn't know where anything was and spent well over an hour looking for the gas manifold taps, which were cunningly concealed under the oven.  Ditto setting up the water...... couldn't find the submersible pump then didn't know which way round to plug it in.  Ditto gas cylinder.  

We demonstrated a lengthy list of ineptitude.  However, at least it was on a private driveway with nobody except Small Dog watching us, not on a campsite in full view of all and sundry.

Buoyed by enthusiasm, I had suggested that we cook a meal for the kind relatives who were allowing us to store our van on their drive.  With hindsight, knowing that we had never cooked in the caravan, hadn't tested out the fridge or indeed any of the kitchen equipment, perhaps we should have been a bit more circumspect, but as the stated aim of the expedition was to try everything out we threw caution to the winds.

In the end it was all absolutely fine.  OK so the roasted vegetables took nearly two hours to cook instead of one, but that wasn't really a problem.  And we couldn't quite get the hang of the heating system, so it was either too hot or too cold.  And we ran out of water and had to bring all the washing up home in a bin bag.

But those minor problems aside it was a successful trial expedition.  Small Dog claimed a comfy cushion right by the front window as her dual-purpose 'nap and observational spot', and gave the whole experience a firm paw's up.

So now all we have to do is make a decision on a towcar and learn how to hitch/unhitch/manoeuvre/tow.


Oh, and learn how to put the enormous awning.........


Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Positive feedback......

I've just heard about this lovely review of my little Christmas Doll Kit by Janet Granger.

Janet creates the most wonderful miniature embroidery kits for doll's houses, which can be viewed on her website HERE.  I had several rugs and cushions made from Janet's kits in my Gothic Baronial Mansion years ago.

It's always encouraging to get positive feedback and see how well my kits have turned out.  That's really made my day!

Trying hard Tuesday........

Despite a night of monotonously relentless rain, accompanied by the ominous phantom drip, drip, drip in the loft, the sun has finally pulled itself together and made a long overdue appearance from a watery pale blue sky.

Being in the workroom is a whole different experience when it's sunny, as it is south facing and gets filled with natural light.  It's also lovely and warm so I don't have to sit hugging the radiator all day trying to encourage frozen fingers to cooperate.

In spite of my lethargy yesterday, I did manage to make serious inroads into a large order, which will be continued today.  I might even do a bit more casting later, depending on how far my new positive work ethic takes me.

Progress is also being made on some of the new toys I'm working on but they won't be unveiled until I have completed a decent prototype.  Although I enjoy the research and development aspect of new miniatures, it can be a roller-coaster ride of imminent success, quickly followed by dismal failure.  I particularly relish the problem-solving, trying to find innovative and often unusual solutions to knotty miniature challenges.

What you might call thinking outside the box.  Which is very apposite as one of the new toys is an animated box-type thing.  However, it is possible to take things too far.......


Monday, 17 January 2011

Blue Monday...........

Apparently today is statistically the most depressing day of the year.  Some academic with too much time on their hands has calculated that the third Monday in January is the worst day in the calendar, due to a combination of factors - festive anti-climax, Christmas bills landing on the doormat with a weighty thud, miserable grey damp weather, long dark evenings and a seemingly endless wait for spring.

I'll go along with that.  I hate January and February with a passion.  They have nothing at all to recommend them and if I could only drum up the energy and enthusiasm I would start up a "Let's Dump January and February" campaign.  It would be so much more sensible just to go from New Year's Day straight to March. 

I could quite happily hibernate for these two months.  Make a lovely safe, warm, cosy nest and do my world famous dormouse impression for the duration.

However, needs must, and with a fair looming in less than 5 weeks I should be gainfully employed in the workroom, ticking off items on my burgeoning 'to do' list.

Today is most definitely a day for sitting right in front of my SAD lamp.  Not only do I need my serotonin levels boosted, I need all the light I can get in order to work.  It is so dark and gloomy outside that I will have to have every light in the workroom on.

Which is a very lot of lights.

And will it NEVER stop raining?  Our garden is black with damp and mould, everything is squelchy underfoot and a feeling of pervasive ooziness fills the very air.  The blue skies I lauded yesterday made a ridiculously brief appearance, and even before I'd finished my last post the grey gloom had closed in and remained in situ since.  

Spring feels a VERY long way off....

And in case you think I'm making all this up.....

Blue Monday was first identified by Cliff Arnall, formerly of Cardiff University, marking the symbolic time in January when people suffer from a series of combined depressive effects.
Blue Monday was devised using the following mathematical formula:
The model was broken down using six immediately identifiable factors; weather (W), debt (d), time since Christmas (T), time since failing our new year’s resolutions (Q), low motivational levels (M) and the feeling of a need to take action (Na).
The formula calculates that Monday 18 January 2010 is the worst day of the year, when the Christmas glow has faded away, New Year’s resolutions have been broken, cold Winter weather has set in and credit card bills will be landing on doormats across the land – whilst the January pay-cheque is still some way away.
Incidentally, if any of you can explain in simple, layman's terms, how that formula = 3rd Monday in January do let me know.  I'm severely algebraically challenged.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

A glimmer of light........

After a week of solidly grey skies, rain, rain and more rain, and a resolutely cold, dank, damp feel to everything, there has, at last, been some sunshine today.  I'd almost forgotten that the sky could be blue.

I should be working today but my heart just isn't in it so I'm 'pottering' instead.  This mostly consists of wandering aimlessly from room to room, picking things up then putting them back down again.

Sometimes in exactly the same spot.

My creative muse has taken a (hopefully brief) sabbatical, and although I should be beavering away in the workroom, making wonderful tiny toys, I just can't work up the enthusiasm.

There are zillions of other things I could be doing, which don't rely on my creative juices flowing, but I'm feeling a bit meh.

Not to mention blah.

With a soupcon of 'ho hum' thrown in for good measure.

Might just have a bit of a mooch around the interweb to see what's occurring.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Decisions, decisions........

I called a meeting today of all the executive directors of Tower House Dolls and Diminutive Dolls today to discuss the kiln dilemma.

Small Dog in her role as 'sleeping partner' did deign to attend but only when bribed with some toasted brioche.  I need to have a stern talk to her about her negative work ethic.

The consensus was overwhelmingly in favour of maintaining the status quo and keeping the current kiln, with the proviso that I would fire it half full as it would take months to cast enough teeny tiny toy pieces to fill it to capacity.  Small Dog went off in the huff as she had been hoping to use her casting vote.

Not to mention the fact that the brioche had all gone.


Buoyed up by my continuing downsizing efforts I spent the rest of the day sorting through my own boxes of miniatures with a view to identifying which I could offer for sale.  

It is my experience that most miniaturists suffer from 'squirrel syndrome' which drives them to hoard completely unrealistic amounts of everything related to their hobby.  I don't know anyone who doesn't have at least one box full.  There are even some people, who shall remain nameless, *cough*, who have entire rooms full.

However, I have at least made a start and listed the first batch of miscellaneous miniatures for sale HERE.  This sometimes painful process will continue until I either break down, or everything I don't need has gone.  Whichever comes sooner.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The point of no return............

Well that's it.

I've sold the last of my 1/12th doll moulds. They're all boxed up and ready to be collected.

This marks a huge turning point careerwise, as up till now I retained a foot in both camps, miniature toymaking and miniature dollmaking and could have back retreated from my either position at any point.

However I've now completely burnt my boats so going back is no longer an option.  This is both liberating and scary at the same time.  I've been dollmaking for almost 25 years so it's a big proportion of my working life and to cut the final ropes anchoring me to my past is not a decision which has been taken lightly.

That said, I have been working in my new metier for some time now, and am confident that it is the right decision to go with my heart rather than my head.

*fingers crossed*

I've been working on a new batch of toys today, in my suddenly relatively pristine workroom, now that so much stuff has been cleared out.  Of course I will still be creating very, very small porcelain dolls, as toy dolls for doll's house children, so the years of honing my skills will not be wasted.  

However I can now also work with many other materials..... wood, metals, fabrics other than silk and various others, as the fancy takes me.

I now have a new conundrum to ponder though.  Should I downsize my kiln now that I no longer need to fire 1/12 sized pieces.  The tiny dolls and toys are 1/24 scale, and very, very small.  It could take me months to cast enough to even remotely fill the kiln, whereas before, a week or so of casting would fill it to capacity.

Kilns are very expensive beasts, and are built to last.  So they do retain their value and I'm sure I would have no problem selling mine.  However to buy a smaller, front opening table top kiln, capable of firing up to 1230 degrees celcius is even more expensive than a bigger, top opening one.

I've been doing some research and there are some lovely small kilns available which will do everything I need, some of which even have electronic controllers.  My very first kiln was a manual model and depended on small pyrotechnic bars which bent when the correct temperature was reached and switched off the kiln.  It required a lot of experience and technical know-how to get the best results. 

When I moved to a computer controlled kiln, at first I rather resented the fact that I was taken out of the equation, apart from deciding on the temperature, ramp times and soak periods and programming them into the controller.  I wouldn't be without the electronic controller now though as it does take all the guesswork out of firings and I've never had one less than perfect bisque firing while using one.

So should my downsizing efforts also extend to the kiln?  I don't have long to decide as there is due to be a big price hike, plus the delayed VAT rise next Monday.  Plus I'd have to raid my piggy bank.

Decisions, decisions........



Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Too busy to blog.......

Due to an extended and uncharacteristic bout of energy, I've spend the past 4 days in the workroom going through it like a maelstrom.  I've got rid of so much 'stuff' I can hardly believe it myself.  

Some of the 'stuff' has gone to a charity shop, some has been 'freecycled' and lots of junk has been recycled.  There are still a few cupboards to do and I'm starting to run out of steam so I hope I can do the last few bits tomorrow.

The cull has revealed another pile of books for sale, and an assortment of miniature bits and pieces which will go onto the websites over the coming week or so, and rather a lot of space which wasn't there before.

I can even see the floor which is a bit of revelation as it's normally covered with all the overflow boxes and work in progress which won't fit on the worktops or desk.

I've got the bit between my teeth now, and have also made a start on the two spare rooms which are currently repositories for all the stuff we don't have room for anywhere else.  I'm being completely and utterly ruthless, which is what downsizing is all about.

In other news, PP has mended our fan oven.


None of the potentially disastrous scenarios came to pass and we now have an oven which purrs rather than roars, and actually gets really hot.

How exciting is THAT?!

Friday, 7 January 2011

All booked out......

I've spent the greater part of today listing more of the books from my collection on the website.

Some of them are very old friends and have been with me for over 20 years so it feels almost as if I'm selling my children.

They all cover areas of interest to the miniature enthusiast, from antique doll's houses, through to how to recreate stunning interiors in 1/12 scale.  There are books on making furniture, accessories, doll's house dolls, as well as several on historic period costume, antique toys and games, social history and more.

Several have already gone today, almost as soon as they were listed, so if there's one you really, really  want, I'd snap it up quick.

I fervently hope they all go to loving, appreciative homes.......


Is it Friday already.......?

Good grief this week has gone by so quickly.  It feels as though Monday was only 5 minutes ago!

However I have no anticipatory Friday frisson today as I will be working right through the weekend.  With just 40 days till the Thame fair and the inevitable  accompanying comprehensive 'to do' list to contend with, I'm determined to get at least some of my new toy ideas off the drawing board and into reality.

We heard yesterday that we won't be running a Sunday workshop on the day after the fair, which was disappointing for mere nanoseconds until I realised that at least now I won't have to do the prep for it and spend all day Sunday teaching.  Instead, after the fair on Saturday we can look forward to a lovely relaxing dinner followed by a restful night at the hotel.  Then a Sunday lie-in, full English breakfast and a leisurely drive home in the daylight.

Every cloud has a silver lining.......

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Lateral thinking........

I have managed to track down a replacement fan element for our ailing oven and it is currently on order.  In the meantime we are restricted to meals cooked either on the hob or in the slow cooker since salads don't have much appeal at the moment.

We're aiming to try to replace it ourselves.  I've read all the instructions online and the actual mechanics seem simple enough.
  • Unscrew back panel inside oven.
  • Unscrew retaining screws which hold fan element in place
  • Remove busted element.
  • Install new element, having first attached the connection leads.
  • Replace back panel.
  • Cook oven chips.
Of course, in reality it won't go so swimmingly.  According to the instructions there are a few niggly naggly problems which might arise.

Apparently, the manufacturers of some ovens think it's a hoot to put bolts on the screws which hold the back panel in place.  Unscrewing the screws inevitably results in the bolts falling off the end and down the back of the oven.  This necessitates removing the oven from its cabinet (bearing in mind that we have a built-in oven at eye height) in order to find the bolts and subsequently fix them back on.

Also the connector thingys are usually short.  

Very short.

Which means you have to practically crawl right inside the oven to see what you're doing, while holding a torch in your mouth, screwdriver in one hand and screw in the other.

That's just for starters.  I'm sure there are a whole barrel-load of amusing unforeseen faux pas we can inadvertently make to add to the general hilarity.

However, in the meantime I am cooking PiriPiri chicken in the slow cooker along with rice which will be cooked on the hob and chapatis which will be warmed under the grill.  Just right for a damp, chilly January evening filled with post-festive gloom.

Might even have a glass of something chilled to take the heat off.....

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

It begins..........

Well, we're only 5 days into the New Year and the first household catastrophe of 2011 has already befallen us.

Our oven had died.

Not quite such earth-shattering news as Nigel Pargetter falling to his death from the roof of Lower Loxley, but just as upsetting in its own way.

We're fervently hoping that if we've correctly carried out the post mortem, the cause of death will be a failed fan element.  If that is the case, then it will be possible to resurrect it, but only if we can find an exact replacement element for our rather obscure make of oven.  I think it's Italian but its provenance is anybody's guess.  Needless to say the exact make and model of oven is no longer available so we're relying heavily on the resources of the interweb to track down a suitable spare.

Also, having read about the pitfalls of replacing said element, I somehow doubt our ability to do it without having to take the whole thing out of its housing.

A task I would rather not undertake.


In other news, I have successfully transformed my lovely, neat, tidy workroom into a complete and utter guddle courtesy of sorting through the last of my doll moulds for sale.  Now that they've been evicted from their cupboard, I have to meticulously list and price them so there are little piles of moulds all over the desk and worktop.  Nowhere near the massive 5 boxes full I sold a while back, but enough to disorganise the relative calm I'd managed to maintain since Monday.

So I'm now down to just one shelf in one half of one cupboard, as opposed to all the shelves in all of the cupboards.

Which means that the newly vacated cupboard space can become home to the stuff on the shelves on top of the worktops.

Which in turn means that I can dispense with the bookshelves and reclaim the worktop space in one fell swoop.

I've also started listing more of my book collection on the website, as well as a bargain set of miniature sculpting materials, tools and books.  I'll be adding to the book listings over the coming days, as well as listing items from my own miniature collection which are now surplus to requirements.

On the dolls website, there is also a January Sale, with reductions of up to 50% on selected items to further aid our downsizing effort.

And in amongst all of the above, I've been cracking on with the production of a new kit as well as tinkering with my automaton idea.

I'll never be able to keep up this blistering pace........

Monday, 3 January 2011

I quite like Mondays..........

Despite the fact that today was a Bank Holiday and could therefore legitimately be treated as a boney fido day off, I was actually glad to get back to work and spent the whole day closeted in the workroom, transforming it from relatively neat and tidy into a chaotic muddle of colourful ribbons, lace and trimmings.

I'll be doing more of the same tomorrow, with perhaps a tentative foray into a batch of casting to further ease my progress back into full-on work mode.

The festive season seems to have lasted longer than usual this year, perhaps due to all the wintry weather we had to endure at the beginning of December.  January and February are my least favourite months of the year, so I'm going to keep my head down and work diligently through them, holding out for March and the impending arrival of spring.  I'm sure that winter still has plenty to throw at us, and if last year was anything to go by, the next two months could see us snowed in yet again, on possibly several more occasions.

With this in mind, any potential house-hunting activities later in the year will prioritise NOT choosing anywhere right at the top of a steep hill, or too far away from a routinely winter- treated road.  We're also giving serious consideration to getting a 4 wheel drive car which would not only tow our caravan with ease, but mean that we would be unlikely to be rendered housebound by more than a few inches of snow.

However, for now, I'm relishing the prospect of getting back into a creative frame of mind, and working on some of my ideas for new miniature toys.

Excellent plan.........

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Out with the with the new. Possibly.....

Happy New Year!

Yes I know I'm a day late but yesterday was a bit of a black hole of pain, pain and more pain, courtesy of my MS giving me a good kicking for enjoying myself too much.

Mea culpa.

However, thanks to the soothing ministrations of PP, and a marathon 12 hour sleep, plus some absolutely ace painkillers I am feeling much better today and ready for the very last round of socialising for this festive period before we can pull up the January drawbridge and snuggle down for the rest of the winter.


Here we are in 2011.  I not keen on odd-numbered years.  I'll have an odd number birthday this year which I don't like either.

I'm actually really looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow, cocooned in my cosy workroom with Radio 4 for company.  It's the Archers 60 anniversary episode tomorrow afternoon and we're promised a sensational event.  Perhaps Jamie will run amok with a Kalashnikov, or Harry will turn out to be a married father of four.  More likely somebody will die......Jack's been on his last legs for a while and that would free Peggy to have a wild, passionate affair with her transatlantic 'friend'.  I do hope that Joe Grundy doesn't turn up his toes......he's my favourite character.  His rendition of the Hob Hound poem, which is always interrupted before the denouement is a real tour de force.

That aside, 2011 is set to be a year of change in the Small Dog household, with a potential house move on the cards, a change of direction business-wise and of course, the beginning of our caravan adventure.

If I absolutely HAD to make a New Year's Resolution it would be to get back to blogging basics and cut out all the flim-flam.  There's probably too much nonsense here and not enough stuff about miniatures.  I think I need to redress the balance.

And possibly give the blog a bit of a makeover.  

That's enough to be going on with......