Gratitude, Framing

Thank you all for your hearty congratulations and encouragement along the way. I really was surprised to win again, and a bit overwhelmed. When I got this comment from Bennie:


Something clicked with “I watched it evolve from beginning to end!” Sharing our work as we did has created a genuinely supportive community for both sharers and viewers, something I value. For me, there are elements of vulnerability and trust in posting imperfect works-in-progress, in letting you see unedited glimpses of my messy studio, my naked un-manicured fingers. One of my motivations is to spark your creativity, as a maker or a viewer. Inspiring appreciation, fostering delight, is another. So thank you for dropping by. Really truly.

The light today is crazy, brilliantly sunny then dark and gray. But I was glad to arrive at this point in the new build:


I got enough pieces from a second kit to be able to get a basic (and square) frame up, and determine with only minor maths the additional posts and casings that need to be built. Starting with the porch support post (finally).


Next, I’ll knock it all flat again to finish the interiors and exterior cladding, then reassemble with omg glue.

A peek at the side wall progress:


Now back to bricking.





Well that was a surprise. I am wide-eyed proud to announce that the Sea House Warming Hut placed third —of more than 100 entries! — in the 2015 HBS Creatin’ Contest. (More contest results here.) Thank you for being curious and caring enough to watch and comment on my meandering mini odyssey; heartfelt congratulations to everyone who participated.

Tiny rancor is more than happy to share my five three minutes of fame :)

In other fun news, I just signed on to this 28-day challenge sponsored by Creative Live. It’s free of cost, and results are shared on Instagram (I’m nancy_k_enge). Check it out!

Sea House Warming Hut: Post-Production

Too windy to take the finished build down to the beach, so I’m hoping to add the ocean in post-production. We’ll see if that happens :)

Earlier in the month, I took various shots from the cliffs down the road for backgrounds.

Looking north towards the Marin headlands and the Golden Gate

After printing out the various Sea House insignia on vellum, I sanded the inkjet out of them before gluing to the hut siding, to get a weather-beaten painted signage look.

The banners announcing the Winter Fair are new, so they get to be crisp, like the oft-painted outdoor furniture.

The tree photo above the couch is of a Monterey Cypress near Mori Point that I am very fond of. Oh dear. There must have been a temblor; I just noticed some of the wool bolsters from the top shelf are on the floor!

Here’s a better view of the Argo Wool Works stuff (and the Peacocks rug).

Cheval Noir (shhh, we’re pretending they’re local) is pouring some of their wine, and later there’s going to be fish chowder and persimmon pudding.

And all the bustling seems to have awoken the tiny Rancor, oh noes!

We’re going dark for now.


Chop wood

What is the sound of a digital clock ticking away the minutes to a deadline? Like the buzz of tinnitus? Or water drops in a still, clear pool? Here’s what it looks like: total bedhead me chopping tiny firewood and kindling and stacking it in place. I’m not freaking out. Well maybe just a little, for how weird the back of my hair looks. Onward!


There’s a break between storms this morning, and we have seriously big waves (18–30 feet/5.5–9 meters) and we have persimmons (3 inches/8 cm)!

Or… persimmons about .25 inch (6.5 mm) depending on what part of the universe you inhabit :)

My inspiration (and breakfast):

Thanks, Vicki, for sharing your bounty.

Sea House Warming Hut: Interior This & That


Working on a wee Gotland sheep using, you guessed it: Gotland fleece and dyed black wool roving. The fleece is from Big Sky Fiber Arts in Montana; check out their wonderful selection of fibers, silk and prefelts. The wee (1.5 inches/38 mm) sheep will be an ambassador for Argo Wool Works :)


It’s overcast, foggy and damp here in Nancyland today and the light is low. I wanted to used vintage photography as wall art in the hut, and have found some good imagery that sets the historical background of the area (real and imagined).


This undated shot from before 1950 shows some of the headlands and other parts of the Sea House Pleasure Pier empire (now demolished).

I found this postcard of an old view south of the Warming Hut


and decided to tint it


but didn’t like how it looked on the wall. I’m showing it here anyway because I like the handwritten greeting from George to Tom.

And of course there will be this map from Cavallini & Company.


It’s the same one that is on the ceiling of the Sea House Pavilion (2013), and the source of the color palette. The green, anyway.


Merrily, merrily, merrily…
and with love to all.




Sea House Warming Hut: Couch


I extrapolated Jane Harrop’s chair design into a sofa that would totally not work in real life, and that’s why I love miniature building.


And then I stained it. You more northern and East Coast people will laugh at me, but it’s been chilly here (in the 50s F (10 C) and my wood shop is in an unheated shed. So I suffered a little bit. Also, everything I seem to need now is out there, or vice versa.

I persevered.


I used Thermolam Plus for the upholstery batting because that’s what Kris Compas uses. The fabric is this gorgeous wool that I cut and washed so it fluffed up in a very cozy way.


Binder clips are the miniature upholsterer’s friend, especially with a fat wooly fabric.


Upholstery nearing completion, with my signature glue pattern :)


And the finished couch, minus bolsters and losing the light.


Sea House Warming Hut: Argo Wool Works

This morning, nearby farm Argo Wool Works started delivering their line of pillows, blankets, felted toys, roving and yarn for the winter fair. This season they’re featuring woolens from both their Gotland sheep and Angora goats. Both flocks pasture on the headlands south of the Sea House Warming Hut, and lambs and kids are frequent springtime visitors. Stop by to see — and feel — their incredibly soft-and-sturdy offerings!

Gnome Retrofitting


I know. Still both busy and distracted, but able to work on these guys inbetween and on breaks. You can see I got some Mohair fleece wool. It’s like the softest thing I’ve ever touched ever. Also mustache wax for the dandy gnomes. And still learning lots, which makes me happy.

Part of my distraction is that I’m finally building out the little lean-to shed on the back of our garage to use as a wood shop. We had been using it for general storage, so my studio is now a shambles of unsorted boxes, disused music gear (his) and bins and tubs full of materials and supplies (mine) that all must find new places to be.

And this is just one side of the room. It is… unwholesome, and overwhelming, and not conducive to getting stuff done.

My granddaughter is sick today, so I’ve been sending pix of the gnomes to cheer her up.

The tall one with mo’hair is about to sit down and have a sunshine smoothie. Did you know gnomes live on smoothies?