Progress Report


Seven weeks post op, and recovery continues. I’m walking without a walker or cane, going up and down stairs, and weaning off oxycodone use. The labs monitoring my blood supply making are coming back better than expected. Last week I was cleared for conditional driving, which means I can start swimming at the community pool very close to my home. Yay and go me.


I live just south of San Francisco, on the coast, and the smoke from the wild fire some 150 miles north has been very bad, with air quality advisories to remain indoors. This is the afternoon sun over the obscured horizon and ocean. My heart aches for the people and animals and the unimaginable losses they are enduring.

EC03_scaled up

Fortunate to be safely indoors, I am beginning to feel curious and coherent enough to make stuff again. Here is an exploration around scaling the paper succulents up to 1:6 (on the left, nope). The middle example is what would be 1:9 scale (uh, maybe) and on the right is the existing 1:12 scale (magic). It was a good exercise to get thinking again.


I played a few iterations with a wet molding technique on the leaves, seen here with a 1:9 scale succulent, and learned a bit about the nature of cardstock. Again, nope.


Scarlett found her soulmate in my husband’s studio.


And then the factory second conservatory kit(s) arrived. Even though I have no room.


Scarlett at least approves.


The front half in dry fit. (Keli helped solve a critical assumption error I had made on the roof.) I have spent the last two weeks or so happily researching, ideating, sketching and going through my considerably disorganized collections of accessories, materials and building components. My biggest challenge now is to get some work surfaces clear in the studio so I don’t have to work on my bed any more.

18 thoughts on “Progress Report

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Thanks, Sheila. Ideas are still in flux, but I’ve got both kits in dry fit and spend a fair amount of time staring at them… my first step :)

  1. Marilyn Ormson says:

    Well done on your recovery. It takes some doing to behave yourself and do what you are told. Getting better isn’t a passive process. Driving a little and greater mobility to come is your appropriate reward, not to mention painfree. Just think what a bionic Nancy is going to create! Love the potential in your conservatories. Google some Edwardian ones……. Marilyn

    • Nancy Enge says:

      You have some savvy insight into the recovery process, M. Makes me think you’ve had some first hand experience yourself? “Getting better isn’t a passive process.” Truthiness!
      At my 6-weeks post-op meeting with the surgical team I saw radiographs of the implants in place — in my body! — and was mindlbown, still and truly.
      The conservatories are blank slates, which I love, but will family in with my other builds, as part of the remains of the whole Sea House Pleasure Pier empire, now meeting 21st C sea level rise. More than that I know not.

  2. Elizabeth S says:

    I’m happy to learn that you are mending nicely Nancy and driving to dive in again, cultivating new ideas for succulent succulents in conservatories. Welcome Back!

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Hi E! I *am* mending nicely, and try to celebrate each milestone. I bought some new swimsuit separates, and a stylish black & white striped towel to mark my debut at the community pool :) As I mentioned above, I’m currently spending a fair amount of time staring at the dry-fit, and sketching in my notebook and drawing in Illustrator…

  3. Carrie says:

    Congratulations on your recovery….hip replacement is not for wimps, and you certainly did well! I succumbed to the conservatory kit as well. I can’t wait to see how you bring it to life.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      You got that right, Carrie, and I appreciate your encouragement :) The Conservatory is a swell, open-ended kit. I’m much more of a re-purposing kind of builder, but the bones of this one are so strong… I’m indulging my affinity for Art Deco and imaging an initial remodel of the original Victorian (?) structure, that has been maintained and weathered well… Everything is subject to change :)

  4. Bennie says:

    I’m so happy to hear you are healing and on the mend. I’m so sorry about the fires in CA but glad you are safe from them. Are those greenhouses your next contest entry? I can’t wait to re what you create with them. Keep up the good work!

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Heya Bennie! I am totally healing and mending, and feeling bored maybe for the first time since I was a teenager. I thought being able to drive again would be a major deal, but it turns out my stamina hasn’t quite caught up with my expectations :( I did do grocery shopping AND the post office AND the library… and then came home and had to nap. Given the circumstances in my area, I feel fortunate and coddled.
      I’m pretty engaged in the evolution of this build, and it seems like part of my recovery, to be actually interested in making something again (other than an adequate blood supply). Although I’m part-time back at work (as a graphic designer) the miniature builds are something far, far more … demanding, as they are MY vision :)
      Thanks vey much for your encouragement.

  5. azteclady says:

    So glad to know you are doing better, and well on your road to recovery!

    Here is hoping the rains in the forecast help with both the fires themselves, and the air quality.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      As I write this, I have the back slider open to the cool, clean, moist night air (even though it’s a bit chilly). The difference in air quality is substantial, and feels like a blessing.
      I am well along on Recovery Rd., and I thank you for the well wishes :)

  6. brae says:

    So glad you are on the mend and getting back to minis. I don’t think any of us have room for more house kits, but why should that pesky detail get in the way of creativity?!! :D

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Thanks, Brae! I’ve held out for quite a while, but this Conservatory kit seems to be a part of my recovery Rx. Just what the miniaturist ordered :)

  7. Jodi says:

    Such great news about your positive progress, Nancy! It seems long and slow now, but soon will fade into the past! Looking forward to seeing the conservatories becoming part of the beautiful Sea House Pleasure Pier empire story!

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