Mineral Sizes

2016-04 Plano Storage $53 on AmazonI’ve collected rocks (minerals) since I was very small. They would range in size from very tiny like small seeds to very large like bowling balls.  But when I got older and began getting more serious about my collection, I began to notice that rock & mineral dealers would categorize their specimens by sizes.

The sizes included Cabinet, Miniature, and Thumbnail. I’ve also heard of Micromounts or Toenails.  Some people have said there are no official sizes, and that dealers often use their own personal rules for size.  Others suggest using the sizes that are specified for exhibitors at large mineral shows.

I’ve seen Cabinet size spoken of as being able to fit into a 5 inch cube, but I have also seen it listed as 2 to 4 inches with “Large Cabinet” as greater than 4 inches. Miniatures have been listed as being able to fit into a 2 inch cube or 1-1/8 inch to 2.5 inch.  Thumbnails have been listed as being able to fit into a 1 inch cube or a 16th inch to 1-1/8 inch.  And it is said that Micromounts should fit into a 1×1.5×1 inch cube.

I ran across a person who had many years experience in show competitions and had been involved in mineral judging. He mentioned that sometimes there is a size category called Toenail, which will fit into a 1.5 inch cube. This person listed formal definitions as follows: Thumbnail: Must fit into a 1″ cube Miniature: Must fin into a 2″ cube Small Cabinet: Must fit into a 5″ cube Cabinet: Too large to fit in a 5″ cube

My personal size preference usually ends up being Miniature to Small Cabinet. I prefer my minerals to be around the 2” to 4” size, but I do sometimes go for ones that are larger or smaller.  I find that the 2 to 4 inch range gives a nice size that often does not need magnification and also doesn’t take up a large amount of space for my collection.

I have a nice wall cabinet where I display some of my favorites. The rest are stored in Plano Rack System storage cases.  I love these sturdy cases with adjustable divided trays and large top cavities where I can put my larger specimens.

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Posted in Minerals & Gems

Store Photos Safely & Inexpensively

I’m so glad we have digital cameras these days. I love the clarity, size, and the ease of cropping and corrections.  I find myself wishing all my photos were digital.  Unfortunately the majority of my life was spent during the years prior to the digital age.

I’ve scanned many of my photos, but no matter how much I work with them, they never look quite as good as the digital ones. Not that all digital photos are good; some people just don’t know how to take pictures. Sterilite Containers

But the point I want to bring up today is, what would I do with my photos after I scanned them? I certainly didn’t want to throw them out.  After all, scanners may improve and might want to re-scan them.  The problem was how to preserve them without spending a fortune.

I can’t tell you how many hours I spent reading about how to preserve photos. I began learning about acid, lenin and more. I hadn’t realized the damage that acid was doing to my photos until I started scanning some of them in large sizes.  What a mess.  I couldn’t see it until they were enlarged.

However, I didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on acid free, lignin-free, etc, etc. In the end I decided to store my photos in Sterilite containers that I bought at my local Walmart for just a few dollars each.

Sterilite containers are made of polypropylene and polyethylene. They have no PVCs, Latex, Teflon, Phthalates chemicals, fungicides, Bishphenol A (BPAs), or antibacterial chemicals. These clear containers are safe for storing photos according to the Sterilite website. They come in several sizes, they are stackable and inexpensive. I’m glad I found them.

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Posted in Daily Life

More Miniature Creations

2017-07-04 Spice Rack with Cake Decor BottlesI started a couple new miniature projects recently. One is a diorama with a baking theme and the other is a diorama with sort of a dressing room theme.

The baking diorama is mostly dollhouse size, which is smaller than I usually do. But I found so many cute items to go into it that I decided to go ahead with the smaller size. Several items were purchased, but several are my own creations.  I’m working on some cookbooks at the moment.  And my husband made a tiny spice rack and a cute Jelly stand for me.

The dressing room theme is my usual playscale or 6th scale size and is appropriate for my 8” Madame Alexander dolls.  I used my desk and easel from my past creations to make a dressing table with large round mirror, and my husband built a new and larger bookcase for displaying the toiletries, towels and more.

Once I get them finished, I’ll be adding photos under my “Doll Creations” tab. I’ve enjoyed doing these little dioramas. My biggest problem is that I’m running out of room!

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Posted in Doll Creations

I Don’t Have A Cell Phone

old phoneI don’t have a cell phone. A friend once said I was “the last hold-out”, but I know there are at least a few others out there who don’t have them.  I don’t find the cost of them to be worth the few times I’d use one.  Since I work from home, a land line works just fine and I love that landlines never cut out, drop the line or have other such problems. I guess I see my landline the same way I see my “hard wired” computer.  I never have to worry about a weak signal.

There’s been a few times while I’ve been out shopping that I would have liked a cell phone. It could have saved a little time. But for the few times I’d use it, I can’t see spending the money.

I heard that iPhones can cost a thousand dollars. Wow, I can think of hundreds of other things I’d rather do with a thousand dollars.  I’ve also heard that most plans run at least $40 a month.  My landline runs about $35 even with all the taxes added in, and I don’t have to worry about viruses or updates.

Young people probably don’t even remember a time when there weren’t cell phones. I’m old enough to remember rotary dials and party lines.

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Remembering Childhood Toys & Games

2011 Ginger MinifigI’ve always had a bad habit of living in the future. Looking ahead weeks and months, even years, and never living in the day.  But as I’ve gotten older I find myself often looking at the distant past of my early childhood. Maybe because I have so many great memories of those days.

I was recently thinking about toys I used to have. I wonder how many people remember the Easy-Bake Oven?  I had one. It actually baked little cakes.  It was fun, briefly. But being the type that never liked cooking, I lost interest fairly fast.

I also remember Hula Hoops, Slinkys and those ugly Troll Dolls. I can’t believe I actually liked those Troll Dolls for a while. I also fell in love with Liddle Kiddle dolls. They were little miniature dolls; some were only an inch tall. They had oversized faces, I Dream of Jeannie eyes, and wild hair colors. I mostly liked the ones that came encased in plastic perfume bottles. Oh, they smelled good!

I enjoyed the Etch-a-Sketch and the Spirograph, but I was never any good at them. My drawings were never as good-looking at pictures on the packaging. Then there was Play-Doh, another creative medium for children that’s still popular today.

Games were also a part of my childhood and Monopoly was probably my favorite. I still remember the night my uncle and I stayed up late playing the game and how he’d always turn all his money into the smallest currency denominations to make it look like he had lots of money.

I also enjoyed Go to the Head of the Class, but I don’t remember having the game myself. It had a board that looked like a classroom and it was a trivia type game. I’ve always loved trivia games, but have a hard time finding others who like them. And speaking of school, I always loved the games we played in the early years of grade school like Seven-Up. I liked spelling bees, too. I still remember how happy I was when I spelled Ferdinand Magellan correctly!

Colorforms, Silly Putty and the View Master were some other fun toys from my childhood. View Masters can been around since the 1939 New York World’s Fair, but they continue to be popular even today.

One other toy that I remember enjoying was the Whee-Lo. It was a wheel with a magnetized axle that rolled up and down a handheld metal track. The toy was first introduced in 1953 under the name Magnetic Walking Wheel.

But the one thing that stayed with me all these years and is still in my household today are Lego building blocks. They were first introduced to me in grade school, and although I never had any of my own as a child, they were of the first toys purchased for my children, and I’ve had them in my home ever since. Be sure to see my Lego creations on the “Custom Legos” menu tab above.

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Still To Come

2012-11-27-ginger-with-pigtails-doll-used-on-websiteIt’s true that I don’t do new posts as often as some people, but my plan for this site is to share information and photos.  I will add new posts as often as I have time to do so.

In the mean time, I’d like to let my doll collector friends know that I’m planning to add many more photos in the near future.  I’ll be photographing dioramas of rooms including sewing room, office, and kitchen.  I’ll also be photographing a garden scene and bakery. Photos of my “grandmother” Cissette doll along with photos of my “Little Women” Tiny Betty dolls will also be added.

I mostly use Madame Alexander 8″ dolls in my dioramas.  I just love these beautiful dolls! Several of my little models are articulated, so they can be posed in a variety of ways.

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Posted in Doll Creations, Website Updates

Longaberger “The Club”

2016-11-25-ginger-with-longaberger-miniatures-copy-472x640Longaberger’s Collectors Club began in 1996. Those who join the club have access to some of the most unique Longaberger products. Longaberger has offered many miniature versions of their regular size baskets to club members. During this past year, The Farm Miniature Collection was introduced.  These four baskets included a berry, vegetable, apple and measuring baskets. I especially liked the berry and vegetable basket (see photo).

Recently, I noticed recently that Longaberger has been referring to the Collectors Club as “The Club”. Membership is just $45 per year and includes special access to exclusive member baskets, Homestead amenities, a wall calendar, the Connections E-newsletter, and exclusive travel & events.

When I started my Longaberger collection in 2008, I noticed right away that most of the baskets and other unique items that I liked the most were from the Collectors Club. I especially love the miniatures!

To learn more about my collection and see many photos, go to the “collections” tab at the top of the page and go to the Longaberger, Collectors Club tab.

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Posted in Longaberger
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