Monday, 21 February 2011

Day 230-Ode To Ladder


Why do I love thee? 

Let me count the ways!

I love thee to the depth and breadth but mainly  height

To that cave I can reach, which without you may be out of sight 

 And where mountain herbs huddled impossibly 

at Land's Ends in   i d y l l i c    Grace

I love that with thee we can level to herb gather 

for everyday's quiet needs to a youthful Face

 I love thee freely, so we might visit thy neighbour's wife;

Who's jealous husband has locked her Way U

in a mushroom  h o u s e  all her life

But mostly, I love thee purely,

For no matter how f  a  r the mountain high

Even when m eye  meets the  sky

With thee, I'm exactly where I want to be.

How I Made My Rustic Ladder

This rustic ladder has to be one of the easiest mini to make.  You only need 1 material, fairly sturdy twigs. The tools are as shown in the picture. First, I cut 2 twigs to the same height , these will make the sides of the ladder. Then I cut the steps to a length I am comfortable with.  Mine need six steps. Make sure they are of equal length of course. 

For the perfectionist, you can use a ruler for this next step. I was too lazy so all I did was to put the 2 long twigs right next to each other and align the holes which I created with a simple round file (the tool with the orange handle in the previous pic). I made a dent on the twig and then dug deep but gentle because otherwise, the twig may break.

 For the steps, I shaved the ends with a fine chisel (best thing I bought from Daiso last month, thanks to Cindy!) like that in the picture above. Then I put glue at the 2 ends and in the holes of the long twigs. 

Here's where I fit the ends of the step into the holes. One by one, till I make six. Don't be afraid that the steps might not fit because it is so easy to just shave a bit more off the ends or if it becomes too short like one of mine, I just cut another step. After all the steps were fitted, I varnished the ladder with a matt finish. This ladder was finished in less than an hour.  Maybe that's long for some of you but it's pretty darn short for me! 

Truth is I really do love ladders. I have 3 in my home.

The really useful one which we use mostly to hand our rags to dry. I think it is a universal use for ladder when it is idle. 

This is the disused but cute  one which I just don't have the heart to throw away. I even wrapped the rusted bars with rope strings. I used this one once to take pictures of my minis.

Then we have ta-dah, the completely useless one which has been leaning against this window for the past 3 years and more. For the photo shoot today, I put 3 pots of plastic plants to give it some hint of usefulness. 

And this is the tag that's still hanging on the ladder since 2007!

What to do? 

I love ladders and sometimes 

for no other reason than the fact that they look pretty. 


Drora's minimundo said...

It looks very nice in the scene. I'm sure it isn't that easy to make with twigs.

Sans! said...

Drora, trust me, it really is that easy, probably easier! I forgot to add that you should apply matt varnish a few times after that to make the ladder sturdier. I should add that now but I am having so much trouble loading the pictures. I can't see most of the photographs when I use google chrome. They show up only when I am using Mozilla. Sighhhh...

Kim said...

I'm storing this excellent tutorial for when I finally work on my tiny half scale cabin--it's too small for a regular staircase! I love ladders too- mainly because I'm only 5 foot 3 inches :) I LOVE the last ladder that doesn't seem to have a purpose. Perhaps it's one of the lucky ones whose purpose is just to be beautiful :) Have a creative week Sans!! ♥

Miniatures by Natalia said...

Sans! You are sooooo great! I liked a poem about ladder, at least for me it sounded like the poem! Thank you! Natalia

Kikka said...

The Ladders you made are Fine! :)
And I really Love those White "useless" Ladders with three plastic

Liberty Biberty said...

The ladder you made is fabulous! Love it!
And I love all your big ladders, especially that white one. No chance of anything like that in my house while I have Liberty around, lol!

Daydreamer said...

Ha! Sans! I love ladders because I CAN'T Live without them! I am only 5'2, so I need a small ladder in my kitchen just to reach the shelves! And I stand on it when I need to stir things at my countertop! LOL! The life of the little person! I also have my useful 5' step ladder and a VERY useful BIG 8' stepladder which is for reaching things outdoors....
I love your little ladder and the uses you have put it to outside.... I have ALWAYS loved to take the minis outside into the REAL world among the moss and rocks and toadstools..... Your pictures are beautiful.... and is that your HOUSE I see from the outside?? Just another glimpse of the different part of the world we inhabit!
So, WHERE is your ladder going to be in your village house?

Norma Soulet (AZArtist) said...

Hi Sans,

Love the little ladder that you made. The one that you put the pots onto would make a great magazine rack (holder) too. :)


Susanne said...

No ladder what you do, it looks fantastic, Sans ;-)
Love, Susanne

Jollie said...

Dear Sans,

You've made a beautiful ladder, I love the story you've told with it too :)
Lovely all those 'real life' ladders you have at your house! Specialy the white one makes a fabulous decor!!

Hugs, Jollie

The Old Maid said...

Great ladder! I do not think it is THAT easy to make it.;) Great house - is this yours, Sans? And you have great 1:1 ladders too!:) Love the shortest one and am not surprised it is hard for you to throw it away.:)

Dark Squirrel Victoria said...

Very nice ladder tutorial :) Love the mushroom house where the neighbors wife is locked up hee hee.

Victoria ♥

Ara said...

Great ladder!! I love the part about the neighbors wife too - lol! Maybe you should make an illustrated poetry book out of all these wonderful poetic posts!! hugs, ara

Ascension said...

Querida Sans
Tengo un pequeño problema......el traductor va de maravilla, porque desde que lo has puesto disfruto mas del texto y las fotografias.....PEROOOO
En este post he tenido problemitas jejejeje no he entendido nada de lo que has escrito, era un codigo? jejejeje
Esta visto que tengo que aprender ingles urgentemente jejejeje
A partir del tutorial de la escalera todo ha ido mejor, has hecho una escalera de ramitas preciosa y el tutorial muy bien explicado, muchas gracias.
Las fotografias me han encantado (no necesito saber ingles jejeje)
En cuanto a que a ti te encantan las escaleras......a que tengo vertigo jejejeje
He pasado un ratito muy entretenido intentando averiguar que pone al principio, lo has hecho para que empiece a estudiar ingles verdad? jejejejeje
Señora Sans, hasta la proxima visita!!!!!!!!!!
Es siempre un placer visitarla.

Ana Anselmo said...

I love your ladder, one of my projects is to make furniture like that, for little fairies like you....

Janice said...

Thank you for sharing so beautifully.

cockerina said...

in Italy we have an ancient proverb:
"Life is made to scale, some down, and some go on ..."
course in Italian reads the rhyme in English is difficult to reproduce ... ah ah!
Your stairway rustic, it is very beautiful in its simplicity!
I fear the stairs! My husband fell down the stairs, entre pruning a tree in our garden, the summer of 2009, and has shattered a vertebra! was in danger of being paralyzed, but surgery has averted the danger. He has been a month in bed, unable to raise ...
now he is fine, thankfully! we had a difficult summer ..
So if you're not careful, the stairs are dangerous ...
and you, how are you? I hope you're definitely right, now!
kisses! Caterina

BiWuBär said...

That was about time that anyone praises the ladder... what would we do without ladders. And even without purpose they can be beautiful - as you've proven with your Ta-Dah-last-one. Did you know that Bavarian people are famous for using ladders to climb up to the windows of their dearest? We have a word in German for it, it's called "Fensterln". Well, Fenster is the German word for window, and fensterln is inventing a verb out of it...

The pictures you've taken are lovely (as usual), that ladder sure knows how to play with the camera (LOL). And thank you for the tutorial - although I have doubts it really is that simple, at least not for me having two left thumbs...


malu2 said...

El tutto esta estupendo y facil,cuantas escaleras que tienes!!!!que hariamos sin ellas?
Es mala suerte pasar por debajo de ellas.Besos.

Alison said...

I just commented on another ladder, machine-tooled and so precise. Now I see your hand-tooled rustic different from the other but just as beautiful. Enjoyed your tutorial.

Sans, you always amaze me with your creativity. And I will remember that you love ladders :)

Patty said...

Sans, Your ladder came out so wonderful! Thank you for the mini just never know when a ladder will come in handy!!! :)

Love your little sounds of nature too!

CWPoppets said...

Perfect staging, as alway's Sans!
The photo's, the ladder itself, the background "music".

sylvia said...

It's a beautiful ladder and I love the story about the ladderss (LOL)
But most of all I love the completely useless one, it's so wonderful!!
Hugs Sylvia

Piikko said...

Darling Sans, you have a amazing ability to found out the most beautiful stories from just an ordinary things. I use ladders every day (I'm not very tall) but I haven't found any poetry out them until today:D Thanks for the photos! Thanks for the tutorial, I will try it!
Hugs, piikko

Sans! said...

Kim, you make my white elephant ladder sounds like poetry :) You know your statement "Perhaps it's one of the lucky ones whose purpose is just to be beautiful" really got me thinking about beauty. I was also wondering if I know anything in life who's sole purpose is just to be beautiful? Maybe one day I will do a post on beauty :). Thank you Kim. :)

The photo session with my ladder got me dreaming of another kind of houses that fascinate me , fairy houses :) I am quite sure I will build one eventually.

By the way I am also 5 ft 3 but over here, I am considered tallish. I wear heels that are at least 3 inches high and even my walking sneakers are about 2" ! LOL! I love being tall! :) Every time I wear my flipflop , whoever I am walking with invariably ask "why are you so short today?"

Sans! said...

Natalia, this "ode" is borrowed heavily from Elizabeth Browning's How Do I love Thee? Sonnet 43 . I only remember these lines "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the length and breadth and height my soul can reach when feeling out of sight" :):)

You can read the rest of this wonderfully passionate love poem here at .

Sans! said...

Thank you Kikka :) After today's post, my love for this white ladder is revived even though the last pot of plastic plant kept falling off the skinny step! :) is truly quite useless.

Sans! said...

Haha, Mercedes, you are absolutely right. This ladder is a hazard ! Why are beautiful things usually dangerous as well? :)

And no matter what you say about the rustic one I made, I know the white one has stolen the show :):)!

Sans! said...

Hehehe, Betsy, you really made me smile . I am imagining you on a step ladder when you are stirring your broth! :) Hehehehe. The only time I remember someone doing that in my house was when I was trying to teach my then 4 year old niece how to wash her own plates after dinner :). But you are only a teeny bit shorter than me , dearie.

I think fairy houses are right up your alley, my High Priestess of Nature :). Maybe that's why you like to see minis in the natural surrounding. Another project ? Do you love the toadstools and mushrooms as much as I do? I was so thrilled to have found them and I imagined Mrs Rapunzel (this time with a jealous husband) living in it. Too many fire ants or I would have tried to take an interior shot of the mush-room :) where thy neighbour's wife sleeps :).

I am supposed to do a post soon which will show where the ladder is. Hint: remember Ro climbing up a tree on the day her home was ransacked?

Sans! said...

Norma, bad news! After I read your comment, I quickly ran to the back where the ladder was and imagine in a 101 ways how to convert it into a magazine rack. Nadah! How?? I fear it is impossibly but definitely useless!

Sans! said...

Susanne, it ladders not that you may be too generous with your compliment, I love it anyway! :)

Margriet said...

What a great story's a joy to read your posts!
Love the ladder....I'm thinking of starting yet another project so I could use a ladder like this ;-) LOL
I like the useless ladder also....I don't think it is useless at's fun to have and that's enough :-)

Glenda said...

'Ode to a ladder' - you always make me smile, dear Sans!

Snowfern said...

*giggle* the only ladder i avoid are those in stockings! XD XD XD

you are THE POWER!!! really, your pics are superconvincingly real :O made me rub my bleary eyes a few times :O somemore everything rhymes, i'll re-read the post later when i'm awake so i can appreciate it better :P

Sans! said...

Hehe, on Sunday when you are here, Cindy, I will show you where everything is, including Longkang Ganga and thy neighbour's house. Even the mountain :).

By the way, I wear laddered stockings ALL THE TIME except the 1st time when I take them out of their packages. It was very in in the 80s when Madonna made trash fashion very fashionable and then again in 2008 with the grunge look. Nobody around me understood fashion like I do though. Good-meaningly. family and friends would try to subtly warn me that I have a run in my stockings or a hole or its just very torn :).

Did I tell you one time,my niece asked her dad when she saw him in his socks-with-holes "daddy, why are you wearing ta ta ah yee's socks?"

Ta ta ah yee is Mandarin for the eldest aunt i.e. me. :)

Sans! said...

Thank you Jollie :). I agree with you that the white ladder makes a great decor piece IF I have a proper place for it :).

If only I will organise a garage sale....been wanting to do one for years. I need to dispossess myself of all the white elephants. Every time I say that to my house mates. they ask if I will sell my dollhouses too! DARING, don't you think? :)

Sans! said...

Yay! One vote for the little one :). Thank you Ewa !

And yes Ewa and Betsy, the house in the background is mine, in that I live in it with my housemates. You can see the blinds? They are huge green bamboo ones painted in black and white stripes typical of the pre-war days (Colonial) . This is why houses like this are referred to as the Black and White houses in Singapore. It is a heritage building and I understand it used to house a British General in the 40s. It is a great great house and I hope you will visit someday :).

Sans! said...

Thank you Victoria :) I bet you and I can come up with a really good horror story about that mush-room, her husband and his wife, tee hee!

Sans! said...

Ara, no one will want to buy that book . I know some of you are really sweet and may support me by buying one but that means I will need to only print.....hmmmm......10 books? 5 of which I will force my family members to purchase. :):)

But I have been thinking of using Blurb to print one for myself :). I like Alison's suggestion that I can put the sound effect in a CD and then insert it into a sleeve of the book . But if I read the book with the CD in my laptop, then it is likely that I will just read my blog ..hahaha!

Sans! said...

Ascensión, jejejeejejejeje! La primera parte del post es un poema :):). Bien, déjeme ver si puedo traducir mi poema en español:).

"Escalera, Escalera, Escalera, Escalera
¿por qué te amo ?
Déjame contar las maneras

Te quiero,
a la anchura y la longitud, y, definitivamente, la altura,
para que yo pueda ir a la cueva
que, si yo no te tengo, estará fuera de la vista

Y a pesar de que las hierbas de flores crecen muy alto en la montaña, al igual que en el fin del mundo, con mucha gracia
Con usted, mi querida escalera, todavía puedo arrancar esas flores que son muy buenas para mi cara

Te amo libremente, de modo que se puede visitar la esposa del vecino,
su celoso marido ha cerrado su alta en una casa de setas durante toda su vida

Pero lo mejor de todo. Te quiero pura,
porque no importa que tan lejos está la montaña
y qué tan alto es el cielo
Con usted, mi querida escalera, siempre puedo ir a donde quiero estar:)"

Me encanta cómo la lengua española rimas tan fácilmente:)¿Usted entiende mejor ahora? jejejejeje

Ha! Me di cuenta de que la Ascensión palabra significa subir, como en una escalera!

Te amo, Ascensión!

PS what is the difference between te amo and te quiero?? Maybe they both also mean a little different from the English word "love" :):).

Ana Anselmo said...

Sans, in Portuguese we also have "Te amo", that we usually say as "amo-te" and "quero-te" (without the i)...and the difference is quite difficult to explain....literally in English the firt is I love you and the second, I want you...
So, is OK to say te amo Ascension, but strange to say "te quiero" LOL


Ascension said...

Ya decia yo........que habia algo extraño en tu post jejejeje
Me ha encantado tanto tu poema que incluso intentare subir a alguna escalera, porque el vertigo puede conmigo jejeje
Sobre lo de "te amo" o "te quiero".
Te amo suele decirse a la persona amada o pareja y te quiero se le suele decir a todo aquel que te da su cariño y amistad.
Por lo tanto, a mi personalmente me encanta que me quieran y no me importa si es diciendome "te amo" o "te quiero".
besitos y hasta la proximaaaaa!!!!

Ana Anselmo said...

Sans as you see, not the same in Portuguese!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOL I like to find these different meanings in so similar idioms as Portuguese and Castellano (Spanish)

Ana Anselmo said...

Sans, I forgot to say, I have a bambu ladder in my bedroom, I am going to take photo of it just for you.

Piikko said...

Sans, Ana y Ascensión,
Muchas gracias a la lección de español♥
Saluditos, piikko

Afan Valley Miniatures said...

Hahaha Sans thank you for the comment but I have to say your blog is brill .. how do you keep it up ..??

Snowfern said...

hahaha!!! oh yes you are rather fashion forward!!! ok ok sunday we tour your premises i think if i were younger i'da suggested we go brownie hunting HEEEE!!!!!!!!

Sans! said...

ooooooh Ana, will you ? Build a fairy house for meeeeeee? While you are at it, I want a "black swan" inspired fairy tutu with rainbow coloured wings and flowers for my hair? ;p But don't make me look like a bat, ok?

Sans! said...

Janice, thank YOU for being here :)

Sans! said...

Ahhh, Caterina, that's actually quite a common proverb -about Life being like a ladder, some people go up while some come down. Over here, we add that that's why you should always be nice to people, because you don't know who you will be meeting when you are coming down :).

There are also some really funny proverbs like this Chinese one:

A flatterer makes you climb up the tree and then takes the ladder away :) or

If someone tells me there's a dollhouse giveaway up in heaven, I will find a ladder to go and join it :):):). tee hee :).

I am so sorry to hear about your hubby and his unfortunate accident with the ladder but glad that the worst is over. Although I am not afraid of ladders, I am a little afraid of heights :).

I am really good now, Caterina . My checkup is tomorrow and then I will want to start running again :).

Sans! said...

Wow Birgit, that's definitely a good word to know. So may I ask, dear Birgit, have you done any fensterln
lately? And how does Flutterby and the other bears fensterln into their cups every week.

And Birgit , I have 10 left thumbs so if I say it's easy , it is ABC! And with your eyes close :)

Sans! said...

Jajaja Maria Luisa, he oído que uno también, pero se han olvidado. Así que si quieres que la mala suerte de acontecer en mis muñecas, voy a poner la escalera en la cabeza. jejejeej

Sans! said...

Hey Alison, :):)

I am not sure if we are thinking the same ladder but I just saw one made by someone who's way way and far far I-can-never-find-the-ladder-high-enough-to-reach kind of ahead of me. I think if it is, then mine is the poor poor cousin :) and mustn't be compared by using word like "as" ..hehe :):).

You are so sweet, Alison and I am very encouraged by your words :). I will endeavour to do better, sensei!

Sans! said...

Thank you Patty!

These noises make my otherwise plain minis sound "exciting". I call them my "special effects" :)

Sans! said...

Hehe Christine (CW Pops)! Speaking of staging, you think Lord Oglesby need a stage designer who can also do sound?

Ana Anselmo said...

Sans, little bats are so cute, I had one at home and I have some nice photos in my blog with her (it was a girl) climbing my rustic dollhouse.........
Today it is the most wonderful day here, it seems like spring already!
Love from Lisbon

Papillon Bleu said...

Oh sans! You are definitely the funniest miniaturist in Blogland!

I have never known anyone who had such a passion for ladders!

Love them all but th mini one is my very favourite of course!

Sans! said...

Sylvia, I know why you love that white ladder. I think too that it will go really beautifully with your white home :).

Sans! said...

Piiko :):) as you can see by now, I am a nut case :):). I just think many things can be funny :) and of course fun :). My friends say that's the shallow side of me they love :). I love that side too. It's a happy side, easy to please :).

I think twig ladders must have been done by others many many times because it is very easy. Mainly because twigs are not hard and holes are easy to create. You don't need drills. If you are not concerned with precision like me, you don't even need a ruler. I just like that everything look very handmade and imperfect.

Sans! said...

O Margriet, we may very well share the same world view :). Yes, I think useless things are very necessary in our life, especially if they are pretty or fun :):):). Of course, they may not hold our interest for long and we just chuck them in a corner after a while but well, for that little instant, it was very important and "necessary" in our life:):). If I am the kind of person who throw away things that I don;t use for teh past 6 months, 1/2 the things in my house would have been thrown away by now :).

But wow, another project already??? You are a speedy gonzales!

Sans! said...

Glenda , you make me want to break into another song : (very falsettoish) smmmmmile, an everlasting smmmmmmile, a sssmile can bring you back to me.e.e.e

Bee Gees version, not Boyzone.

I googled for the lyrics and someone actually thought this was an Elvis Presley song???!!! :):):) Now that's funny :)

Sans! said...

Would you believe Ana, I went to google te amo and te quiero and got even more confused :). But yes, some has advised that te queiro may imply something more carnal :):).

The Portuguese and Spanish language is so close. I think just by knowing one puts you effectively bi-lingual :).

Sans! said...

Tú eres mi campeón, Ascensión! :):)

Acabo de regresar de mi jog segunda después de la cirugía. Es un muy corto plazo, pero estoy feliz:) yo voy a bañar ahora:):)


rosanna said...

Here I am at last. I read ALL the comments and what shall I add more? nothing, you are great as anways and I loved seeing your blinds down and I wish you and the girls to have lots of fun.BTW I use a lot my ladders. You know I am short and I NEED them to go to the top shelves. I'm very curious about Ro and the ladder now, please don't keep us waiting too much. Love, Rosanna
PS Te quiero, like ti voglio in Italian, has a much more passionate meaning and definitely a carnal one. But only Ti voglio, without anything added behind. Write to you soon, I still have to unpack.

Sans! said...

Ascension! I want to tell you again I am glad you did the post :).

Sans! said...

Ana, do show me your bamboo ladder! I think that one must surely be "replicable" in mini! :)

Sans! said...

Shucks, click "send" before I wanted to ask you, Ana, did you watch "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"?
Watch the bamboo fight scene, if you can get hold of the DVD. I think I put it up on one of my post a long long time ago :). But I think you can google it on youtube :)

Sans! said...

Piiko , bienvenido? :P

Sans! said...

Paul , I am a little overwhelmed by your visit to my humble blog! First, I am already blown away by your creations , and of course that name, Paul Smith, even more awe inspiring :):). Bet you get that A LOT! Sorry ! :)

How do I do it? I sleep 2 hours only when I write a post plus no husband and children to feed :). Teehee :)

Sans! said...

Cindy, I have decided to do a further shoot tomorrow . They turn out so beautifully after the varnish and the staining, I just cannot post them before. So hopefully, tomorrow ;P

Have I told you how much fun I have had today and how this is the best .....ok ok don't reply to this please ;p

Sans! said...

Patricia, a hundred kisses butterflying to you! Funny is the sweetest thing anyone can ever say to me :). Can you see me blushing already?

Sans! said...

Te amor then, Ro :):)

I am sooooo happy to see you back but it means I will be leaving soon. Did your ears itch today cos you were in our thoughts again , of course . Cindy said you are never far when we (Cindy, Steph and me) are together.

I hope to make the first post on our mini meets tomorrow. It is about something you will love to do, Rosanna :).

Ani said...

I've always been afraid to climb a ladder. But I would be tiny and I would go to this! perfect, as always
It is as if they stopped the time when you enter your blog. I thank you again

Sans! said...

Ani, as I grow older, my fear of heights becomes worse. But in December last year when I was in Sri Lanka, I made myself climbed these really scary looking metal stairways up a hill. As I climbed, I saw people repairing the stair and I actually saw that some screws were missing!!! Well, I am here to tell the tale so Ani, I am sure any ladder will be safer in comparison :):)

You really made my day with your compliments. Thank you Ani! :):)

Ani said...

I had not been able to do what you say .. or .. maybe yes.. it is best to face the fears ..I know it .. lend me your mini ladder? : P
a big hug!!

Pianissimo said...

Hey I love your blog. It's amazing and inspirational. I enjoy making miniatures too. This is such a beautiful blog. <3

Sans! said...

Ani, the mini ladder is yours :):)if you want because I can make you one :). Then you can learn to conquer your fear in your own sweet time :).

But I have seen the artist's easel you made and I am positive you can make a far better ladder than me :).

Sans! said...

Pianissimo , wow , you are in Singapore too !!! :):)

I just visited your blog. You write beautifully! I will visit again when I am not rushing rushing rushing :). This is the post holiday rush with me playing catch up :)

Pubdoll said...

Great work making that ladder! Getting all the steps aligned couldn't have been easy! And I love your real life ladders too. (And of course the hilarious poem!)

Sans! said...

Helene, who else but a fellow word muse will appreciate a limerick aka hilarious poem? :)

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