Computers and The Internet
Graph Paper: I just wanted to say that MSPaint, which comes with everyone's software if they have Windows, has a graph available.
In Paint, you click on New and drag the corner of the drawing space to fill your whole screen. Then click on View and choose Zoom, and then Custom then 600 or 800 for larger grid. If grid isn't there, click on View again, the Zoom and you will see where you can choose "show grid". Then you can draw or print.
Pocketmail : with Pocketmail you can also send short faxes for a small fee (25 cents, I think). It's good for keeping in touch with short emails, but if you get dozens of emails a day, you will be holding the unit up to the phone for a long long time. So it has a limited use, but the price is definitely right! I purchased mine off http://www.egghead.com about a year and a half ago for less than $30 - I have the JVC version.
I think the Palm VII is a much better unit, as you can send and receive email wireless (still has a character limit - 8000 max, I think) and surf the web, but the drawback is the unit cost ($400-500)...and it only works where there is a phone signal. So if you want something to send/receive a few short emails or faxes per day for a reasonable price, the Pocketmail is a good way to go. Lots of retired RVers use it to keep in touch with the grandkids while they are traveling - just hold it up to a payphone and presto! email!
eBay Hints: My DH left a little something on my night stand. He's so romantic: Cliff Notes on e-bay! It's another version of "For Dummies" in Cliff Notes form. A smallish book with step by step how to deal with e-bay either selling or buying. http://www.cliffsnotes.com/product.asp?prod_id=1859
Photosites: I have been using both Epson and Webshots. Both have their own good and not so good features. I figure if I have both, people can still see my photos even if one site is down for maintenance or goes under!
Epson http://photo.epson.com/ is just like the old photopoint site - in fact photopoint designed it, so it is easy to use if you were familiar with that. It has a counter that you can reset daily to how hits, and it has a feature that makes moving and rearranging pictures very easy. The only thing I really don't like is that only 24 pictures show up on a page - if you have more than that in an album they go on to a second page which most people miss and never get to see.
Webshots lets you put 36 pictures in an album, and I like the nifty feature of having the first picture of the album displayed on the initial page - lets people know what to expect inside the album. Their drawback is that the counter can't be set by you - they change it twice a day, and if you are interested you just have to keep track of the last count yourself to see how many new hits have come in. Their pages are really difficult to rearrange. When you load a new pic, it is automatically the last one in the album and it takes quite a while if you try to reposition it to the front of the album.
Both sites are easy to upload pictures to. Epson will let you do a lot at once or even send them in an email. Both sites offer software you can download to make sending pictures in bulk easier. Epson's gallery is currently unavailable since they were using Photopoint's and lost it when they went under. Webshots has a gallery, but can be hard to use.
I know a lot of people like Picturetrail - I'm not that crazy about the format and I hate when people put music on their site - it drives me crazy and makes the site take longer to load. But I guess the site is ok, too. Best about all these sites is that they are still free!
Bonnie Gibson - Tucson, Arizona
Photo Sites: Webshots http://www.webshots.com/ has a program that you can download to your computer called "My Photo Assistant". You can rearrange your photos AND albums just by dragging and dropping. You can also edit them easily and quickly. They send a note weekly to let you know how many hits and downloads you have had, for each album, and also notify you of new guest book entries. It is the easiest photo site program I have ever used.
Karolyn Plymouth Ma
Finding Pictures on the Internet: After three years on the computer I discovered something wonderful yesterday!
You know how hard it is when you are trying on the Internet to sift through websites to find a picture of something you are researching? And you know how whatever you are looking for, (like your Xacto knife) is usually right on the table in front of you?
Well, yesterday I was researching a piece for a customer, and I went to my old favorite search engine, http://www.google.com which I have used for years, and there, right over the place where you type in the thing you are looking for, you can click on "Images" and only get pictures of whatever you type in!
Alice Zinn- Pt. St. Lucie FL
How to Print on Fabric Using Your Inkjet Printer Using Freezer Paper: With this method, you will actually print directly onto the fabric, rather than transferring. Cut a piece of fabric the size of a regular piece of paper (8 1/2 X 11). Cut a piece of freezer paper the same size. Press the wrong side of the fabric to the shiny side of the freezer paper, using an iron set to medium heat. Press just enough to melt the wax on the paper, and fuse the fabric to it--- the whole thing will become slightly stiff. Trim if necessary, so that there are no fabric edges hanging over the paper. Put the fused piece into the printer tray with the fabric side facing the proper direction for the printer to print directly onto the fabric. Be sure the sheet is in straight, and that there is regular printer paper beneath it in the printer tray.
You may want to experiment with your printer settings. If available, try special paper or transparency settings. Try setting to highest quality print and darkest print level. If your printer allows for extra drying time, try this as well. Each printer is different, so once you get some settings that work for you, write them down.
Once you have your settings ready to go, print the image onto the fabric. Once the sheet goes through, it's best to handle the piece as little as possible until it is really dry. Set it aside for a while, or use a blow dryer.
This method can be a little tricky, but yields a very nice result, with good color quality. The down side is that the finished piece will not be washable. I've heard there is a product out there that will set the ink, making it permanent, but I haven't tried or found it yet.
Retro furniture: Those of you who prefer 20th century styles to Victorian should also check out that wood crafting site mentioned earlier (http://www.thewoodcrafter.net/projects.html). It's not just free Victorian dollhouse plans. There's a big Retro section with life-scale plans for 30s and 40s furniture that include measured diagrams to help us reduce them to our scale of choice.
Half Scale: We have just launched our new 1/24th scale bedroom furniture on the web site if anyone is interested. There are many other things available; most are copies of the things we do in 1/12th scale and pictures are available if you e-mail me. Please take a look and give me your opinions. We need some feedback, if possible. Please, many thanks. href="http://www.franalmin.co.uk">http://www.franalmin.co.uk
Photo/Clipart site: Here is a site that you might enjoy and need for reference. It has pictures and links to thousands of photos of everything under the sun, includes the sun too. http://www.thebiggerpixel.com/
Marcie in MT
DIY needlepoint design: I am sure there are professional needlepoint design packages available for your computer, but if you only operate in a small way like me, there is an alternative. For this you need to have Microsoft Excel on your system - other spreadsheet packages may offer the same facility, I don't know.
FOR THE GRAPH PAPER
Now for the fun part, the coloring in.
HOW TO COLOR IN
Your cell will go brown if you have chosen brown. The color stripe under the paint pot will also have turned to brown which means all you have to do now is highlight a cell, then click on the paint pot itself and the cell will go brown. When you need to change colors simply go back to the spectrum.
WHAT IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE??
Helen from York, England
Webpages: Ikea catalogs that are free http://www.ikea-usa.com/customer_service/order_catalog/order_catalogue.asp
Hobby Lobby for those of us that don't live near one or we thought we didn't http://www.hobbylobby.com/
Fabrics online and to find the store closes to you http://www.joanns.com
Miniature tools and a free catalog http://www.micromark.com/
To join other miniature groups online after you join then do a search for dollhouse miniature and then just miniature then just dollhouse to see how many groups are there you will be shocked.. http://groups.yahoo.com/
Arts and craft store and to see if you have one close by or order online http://www.michaels.com
Another miniature webpage with some goodies http://miniatures.about.com/mbody.htm
Hallmark company http://www.hallmark.com
NAME; if you are looking for a club in your area this is the place to go look also if you don't have a group then start one, find your state and then find out who is your state rep is and email her or him and ask for advice also ask smallstuffers they are full of knowledge! :)) http://www.miniatures.org
Associazione DollsHouse and Miniature Italiane http://web.tiscali.it/admi2000/
Miniaturists Trade Association (MinTA), UK http://www.minta.co.uk/
Minitaly - Associazione Italiana Miniaturisti http://www.minitaly.com/minitaly/associazione.htm
Most all of the dollhouse miniature magazines i say most cause i don't know if this is all of them or not, you can be the judge it lists the American magazines and how to order them and as well the British magazines! and i see some other countries there too! also this link if you go to the home page lists almost anything and everything that you are looking for... http://www.imaginationmall.com/periodic.htm
Hope this helps some of you!:) keep this handy tomorrow someone will ask you for a link LOL
Computer viruses: I see so many remarks about viruses. I belong to a very informed computer group. They have told us Outlook Express is very vulnerable to viruses. Use a different mail program. Download Eudora or Incredimail from a download site. They have free version. Also use a good Antivirus such as AVG or Norton. I have a cable modem and I am ALWAYS connected. I have Zone Alarm and Norton's Internet Security with antivirus. I not only do not get viruses, if I use the preview pane in my mail program, Norton blocks any communication hidden in the e-mail that would go back to the sender. You can go to Norton site and check your computers for viruses and also go http://www.pcpitstop.com/ to check computer performance. I do much of my mini shopping and my husband's car part business on the net so I would be lost without the "puter". I know these programs work especially if you update them weekly. How would we talk if all our computers are down? :(
Another good email (free) program is Pegasus Mail http://www.pmail.com
Susan Robbins, Germansville, PA
Backup of Favorites on Windows XP: With help and encouragement from Gail Spector and Doctor Bob, I finally figured out how to do this. Here are the steps:
Insert Floppy into A Drive
Anita Myers, Arnold, MD
Digital Pics and Printables: I have noticed since joining this illustrious group that many people make comments about the poor quality of their digital pictures. Others are looking for sites with printables. Maybe some of the programs that I use on the computer would help to make life a bit easier or more interesting for these folks. Here are a couple of free programs, one to improve the quality of certain digital camera pics, like those taken with inexpensive cameras with no flash, and one to help you make your own printables. All the originators of the programs, Media Chance, ask is that you let friends know about their site and/or put a link to it on your site. Since many of you have web sites, that would be a nice gesture if you use and like either of the programs. No, I don't work for these guys, I just like their free stuff!
The first is called "Digital Camera Enhancer":
The second is called "Oscar's JPEG Thumb-Maker":
I have used the enhancer on a few pics and liked the way it brightened them up with one quick pass. I can get more controllable results from Adobe Photoshop, but this one is free and so simple to use for those who are not digital picture editing experts.
The thumb-maker allows you to scale .jpg photo files to any size that you want. I use it to reduce the size of some of my scanned files to make them more compact and all the same screen size for emailing, or even just for archiving. I have also reduced some scanned photos to 1:12 doll house size, using the scale of 100 pixels to the real inch. (Thanks to Jim's Dollhouse Pages for that incredibly useful tidbit). Using that scale factor, the possibilities are endless. I have some examples of a type of artisan product that is common here in Chile, one of which I would like to duplicate in 1:144 scale in a match box. I have scanned it already, and plan to print it out at the exact finished size to use as a guide for making the miniature. Anyone with a scanner and a calculator could copy magazines, pictures or anything else their little heart desires and easily scale them to whatever scale they work in.
David in Santiago
Joining Yahoo Groups: I didn't see the original post regarding the difficulties of joining any of the miniature lists on Yahoo but I would like to assure you that there are no restrictions placed on anyone who wants to join any of the lists. We would love everyone to come on down! *grin*
I am the owner/moderator of Dollhouseminiatures@Yahoo.com, one of the many free lists that are about miniatures on Yahoo. We welcome anyone who wants to join! We are a casual, chatty group that encourages people who want to meet like minded people to exchange ideas, tips, projects, triumphs and woes all in the name of miniatures in an informal setting. You can sign up to get a digest daily, or set it up so you receive every email sent individually. We have a lot of very talented people who will inspire you and make you laugh.
The only essential thing is that, to get on any of the Yahoo lists, you must have an active Yahoo account, which you can sign up for and open for free. Go to Yahoo.com and it will walk you through it.
The 144 Nuremberg kitchen: I thought, I deserve a treat, and decided to make up the Nuremberg kitchen printable Jean Day has on her site, especially as when I am mini-ing indoors, Rodney is outdoors - ah bliss, ah peace, Earlier I had bought a 144 Nuremberg kitchen from Francis Armstrong .. hhmm, I'm thinking medley here, and when I printed off Jean Day's kitchen via the Paint program in Microsoft and the wall pattern fitted exactly into a matchbox, I knew it was meant to be,
I pasted wall and floor into a matchbox, and sealed them with Mod Podge. I used waste bits left over from a punch out house kit to make the body of the stove, and glued the piccy of the stove front onto the stove body, mod podged it, then added acrylic painted details. Glued black card on top for the surface, and a bent flue pipe I had cut from a 144 pot bellied stove bought in Holland. Everything comes in useful in the end.
I edged the window piccy with very thin white painted wood strip, all round, and glued royal blue tissue to it for curtains, then I glued the whole ensemble into the left hand corner and the stove slightly off center, both on the back wall..
I made a tiny shelf which I glued on the right wall, and using snipped up tiny plastic tubes which protect paint brushes to make glass bowls, and brass thingumijigs bought from Tee Pee crafts, filled the shelf with goodies.
With a scrap of square shaped wood, I veneered it with the thin veneer which one can occasionally find in cigar boxes, and used snipped off bits of brass to indicate handles. Voila! a cupboard. This was glued onto the left hand wall.
The bones of the kitchen done, I raided Francis' kit for all the little pots, bowls, plates and pans, and now the kitchen is full and utterly gorgeous. I felt so smart she said modestly.
Helen from York, England
I Love Lucy room: For the person doing the I Love Lucy Roombox, I just had to share the following site http://www.dhminiatures.com/dhm/roombox/roombox98.html The Lucy living room is the third roombox from the top (directly beneath the wonderful "All in The Family" box by Pearl Jordan)
Beacon Adhesives: Folks have been asking about where to find Beacon Adhesives. I ran a Google search and came up with this URL. http://beaconcreates.com/ Apparently they make a wide variety of specialty adhesives for home and industrial use.
"non-mini" web pages: JenniferKY's list of mini-related web pages got me thinking about my favorite "non-mini" pages--which of course tend to be pretty useful for minis anyway! I thought this might be a useful reference for someone out there.
REFERENCE & INSPIRATION: http://www.google.com My FAVORITE site. Arguably the best search engine out there,
with an image search function as well.If you don't have a clue where to start looking, START HERE. http://www.dwr.com Great source of inspiration for very modern furniture--really cool catalog. http://www.costumes.org/pages/costhistpage.htm invaluable if you're doing a period doll and need to know what the appropriate clothing looks like. Has costumes from all time periods and all across the world--not just Western clothes. http://www.foodsubs.com Fantastic as a reference for making mini foods; has photos of all kinds of fruits, vegetables, meat cuts, etc.
MATERIALS: http://www.sciplus.com fantastic resource for materials (wire, basswood, beads, etc.), small plastic bags, motors, pumps, lenses, etc.
OTHER: http://www.x10.com/x10ads.htm This has nothing to do with minis, but I find nothing breaks my inspiration more than those annoying (and I think sort of creepy) X-10 camera popup ads... this will let you turn them off for 30 days so you can do mini research and shopping unharrassed.
Maybe others can contribute their favorite "non-mini" sites? I'm always looking for more inspiration, large or small...
Celeste in Boston
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