Sunday, December 19, 2010
I'd also like to say a very big THANK YOU for just reading the blog and hope you've found it interesting.
Another big THANK YOU to very special chums, who encouraged and dragged me kicking and screaming into blogland and helped when I got stuck.
I've enjoyed so much of my 5 months or so of blogging; learned a lot from so many talented bloggers and been inspired by them too.
I'm a miniaturist without a dolls house - which usually surprises people, who know that I do collect the work of other makers. So....... I thought you might like to see how I display them, mostly in the old typesetting trays I love.
You'll see that there are also pretty antique brooches, buttons and badges as well as tiny toys, shells and the little keepsakes that we all have squirrelled away.
I 'bashed' a small but tatty cabinet for a few more, and another for my collection of butterfly brooches - I love butterflies!
It was tricky hanging over the bannisters trying in vain to get all of this one in the picture!
I hope you've enjoyed the pictures...... and as always......thanks for looking.
Friday, December 17, 2010
I've known Carole for twenty years...maybe more ......since our craft days, when she'd temporarily put her artist's pencils to one side to grow wonderful plants and herbs which she distilled into fabulous lotions, potions and candles etc. before 'green' and 'organic' were invented. Oh...and she ran marathons in her spare time ....... this was when we were fighting the government of the time to convince them that Miniatures were NOT toys, and should not be subject to the new regulations. Good job we all won.......
I'm delighted to hear that she's picked up her artist's tools again and has launched ORIGINAL ART. For a very reasonable rate she can turn that favourite photograph of a very special person (or pet) into a beautiful pencil portrait ready to frame.
With apologies, because my scanner is playing up and doesn't do it justice, but what a great drawing of Bono......however, my favourite is a sketch of sweet little pooch, next to me as I write this post.
For further details you can contact her - Carole Alison Foord Ollis - on Wildflowers@live.co.uk
or phone her - 01249 816566
Jenny is another special friend............ for a good few years too. Along with her friend Cathy - both incredibly talented miniature artisans - she organizes the fantastic East Cornwall Dolls House and Miniatures Fair at Lostwithiel. We have been fortunate enough to have had a stand regularly and love it. Everyone loves it! It has an amazing reputation for a small/medium fair and attracts artisans from all over the U.K. alongside the talented makers of the south west, who often don't receive the acclaim they deserve, and draws visitors from all over Cornwall, Devon and beyond.
It's a very special fair which raises funds for The Doubletrees Special School - come if you can!!
The Fair is at Lostwithiel Community Centre (A390 Liskeard - Truro) on Sunday 23rd January
from 11.00 - 4.00 - Enquiries to Jenny 01726 815626 or Cathy 01726 882830
........10 days to Santa....are you ready???
p.s. Cornwall in January is SUPER!
Friday, December 10, 2010
It's always busy around this time of year isn't it? ...........and with a lot of little people all bound for new homes this week, there was a sense of relief to have got there! It's also rather nice that my last 'batch' are on their way to lovely, established customers. So, thank you folks, have a lovely Christmas!
We're in the 1930's, and another dashing racing driver, with his elegant companion - glamorous and exciting days! These characters are in 1/24th scale.
Back up the scales to 1/12th. He's an old fashioned carter, a little on the scruffy and weather-beaten side, but then he's got a bit of a trek to the frozen north where his horse and cart are waiting.
And finally...it's those little tiny folks again...1/48th scale......heading west!
I have some catching up to do - but welcome to recent new followers - thank you all for looking.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Everyone works so hard to prepare for an event like KDF and the disappointment in having to cancel is immense........talking of an 'event'...what are the weather men on about.....we are apparently having a 'severe weather event'!! It's SNOW people!!!
Sandra Morris is one of those stuck in a deep drift, so with true grit she has transported her KDF stand to her website. If you hoped to see her in London - or just love her dolls dolls, pullalongs and other amazing miniatures, (or haven't seen them yet) whizz over to her blog and read all about it. There are fantastic new items, special offers, weekend only bargains and giveaways - phew busy, busy!
I just spotted Mary Williams' incredibly beautiful Edwardian lady dressed in an exquisite green and black silk creation, and envy the lady who finds her under the Christmas tree.
It's been a hectic week, and although we've had less snow than most, it's just as slippery, and the pavements just as hard as I found out to my cost yesterday. I have been doing my best to fulfill all Christmas orders and finish the promised Breast Cancer Campaign Raffle donation for The Thame Fair in February. You may remember the tiny 1/48th little girl I pictured a few blogs ago. She does now have a Mum and Grandad and I've handed them over to Celia Thomas of KT Miniatures who is coordinating the raffle. You can see them if you visit Celia - she's already showing a good number of the donated items on her website (just follow the links) and they really are fantastic. Apart from having her usual super items for sale over there, she has some truly lovely giveaway printies of really old Christmas cards.
Talking of The Thame Fair.......Sandra is running a great workshop in conjunction with it - all the details are on the Fair website.......and our Town Crier has a posh new outfit!
And finally, as they say, I have now got a technical thingy back so I can play with photos again, and hope to get some up here again in a day or two, when 'it' and I are compatible!!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Obviously I can't sort toffee....so I rely on someone else. As I post this, I appear to have 'lost ' my photoshop facility, upon which I depend, to chop off bits of rubbish pictures etc.
However I did promise I'd post a picture of my latest 1/12th character, who is a nice cheery comfortable Granny or Nana, depending which part of the country you live in....
So here she is, waiting to get posted off to her new home ' abroad' - very scary for a rather retiring lady!
There's rather too much background - and not enough Granny - but you get the idea.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Do you ever wonder who your latest creation/commission is going to be?
This 1/12th scale character is now in the post on the way to her new home - and I wonder, with her smart suit, plain jumper, discreet brooch and sensible shoes, whether she's destined to be a member of the WI or a Magistrate in a small town, or perhaps just in her best outfit for a trip to the shops??
I love the creative process, that's why I make miniatures; then I hand them on for someone else to create their own story.
It would have been better to take time, and not stick her on the sofa quickly, with a sheet of A4 behind her, to take this pic.......but the reason for posting is mostly to welcome new followers, and thank them for their interest in this blog.
So a warm welcome to Nuria
and Julie - who many of you know as Cottage Kitty
The next 1/12th lady on the work-bench is an altogether more comfy lady - everyone's Gran - I promise to take a better picture, when I show her to you!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
My fingers are crossed - so I'd be hugely grateful if some kind person could click on it and see?
Thanks - Robin
I've updated the 1/48th scale illustrated price list, with a few more items and pictures - you'll find it in the right hand column.....over there......>>>>>>
It occurs to me that there are many folks who attend regional fairs as well as the BIG ones; not behind a conventional sales stand, but one raising funds for many worthwhile charities. Miniaturists are a generous bunch, I've found, so can I plug a fair in Devon on Sunday 21st November, at the Moorhayes Community Centre, Tiverton?
I'm sure it will be a super fair anyway, but all the proceeds from the Refreshments and Raffle will be in aid of the Devon Air Ambulance Trust........a worthy cause! Although it's not a fair we shall be attending, my fingers crossed for everyone!! If you're in the area, I'm sure you'll have a warm welcome.
Monday, November 8, 2010
WELL - it's chucking it down...no gardening then, the bulbs will have to wait .....I shall have to clear up instead!
Outside the back door is a lovely autumn setting - trees and shrubs in my own garden (the one at the front is a Cotinus or Smoke Bush, for those like me who like the proper name) - and the ones at the back 'borrowed' from next door and the park a street away. MAGIC!!.
The pretty blue and white flower is another from my conservatory - Streptocarpus, Crystal Ice - as a thank-you to the ladies who came specially to the fair yesterday to see the new 1/48th dolls and furniture . Stocks dented - and lovely to meet them and get some feedback, which is always helpful and encouraging.
This well-established fair is always very well organised and advertised and fairly busy.
Less traders than previous years though....less artisans i.e. makers who actually make quality miniatures....more 'commericial' items on sale ........... less sales for artisans and more serious conversations about 'the future'... .and some disappointed visitors who said they'd expected more. Yes I KNOW there's room for every quality and price range - I also truly believe that - but .......
Each day it seems, I hear of another talented colleague who has decided, at the very least, to finish attending fairs, and the likelihood is that we shall only attend around three next year ourselves. Worrying.
Hey ho - if it stops raining I can get my bulbs in and get muddy, finish some orders and not panic so much about 'stock'. Not so bad.
What some lovely comments on my last blog - thanks to you all. I'm really chuffed that you liked the 1/24 painted furniture, so here's the other lot......and yes, we do 1/12th as well Sandra, and I'll shout when we have more than the one solitary chest looking lonely in the stock box!
p.s. If you haven't...Sandra's dolls' dolls....do look!
Friday, November 5, 2010
'Exquisite', 'quirky', 'statement' pieces ...they all 'do' something by being special! But I also like the ones that you can fiddle about with, load up with 'bits', experiment with or re-imagine!
My other half is the one who actually makes our furniture - I'm the one who fiddles about with some of it from time to time, when I take time-off from doll making.
A blog or two ago I was moaning that I needed to increase our stock of 1/24th dolls, especially with a fair coming up this Sunday (7th) at The Plinston Hall, Letchworth, Herts. Well I did manage it and these are the latest - the vicar is spoken for, but the others are all for sale, as are a few more in 1/48th scale.
So - time for a little painting - I love painting! These are all simple pieces in 1/24th scale - doors and drawers don't open - but great fun!
Furniture in this demanding 1/48th scale, keeps emerging from the workshop. The promised shop counter has arrived, and a super veg/fruit display bin - both of which go beautifully with the shop shelves/dresser I showed you earlier. It seemed reasonable to fill one of the bins with cabbages, spuds and carrots......fear not food makers, I won't be going into production!
On the basis that the shop might be of the 'Open All Hours' variety, brooms and buckets for sale are crammed into an old tea-chest.
Another tea chest does a turn as a packing case full of china and 'removal' items. We have empty ones too!
Having sold the earlier 'vintage' trunks, another mini-batch has been crafted and I've enjoyed the challenge of turning one into an old sailor's chest
I'm not sure how well this photo works, but there is a sea-chart, spyglass and ship's log in the lid, and his hat, uniform, treasures from travels and a shawl for his lady are inside.
Finally, the much loved 1/12th scale. I've taken this Edwardian Revolving Bookcase out of stock, together with a Macintosh chair, to show off some of my collection of exquisite dummy books made by my friend Celia Thomas of KT Miniatures. She has a lovely, unique selection of vintage books, and wartime paper memorabilia like ration books, which are also used in her fabulous settings and smaller pieces. They're beautifully proportioned, crafted and aged and these are really special to me because she borrowed some of our real old books to miniaturise, so 'our' books sit on 'Aunty Lola's bookcase', alongside the real one in our sitting room!! Nice - very nice!
If you'd like more details, or prices for any of the items on this blog - please do email me and I'll be happy to help..... and have a look at Celia's books too.
Thanks for looking - Robin
Sunday, October 31, 2010
One of my favourite books, T.V. serials and films is The Railway Children - personally I like the one with Dinah Sheridan as Mum and Jenny Agutter as Bobbie - but that's probably showing my age!
A while ago one of my favourite customers asked me to make her the children and Mother from The Railway Children, in 1/24th scale - what a treat!! Recently she very kindly she sent me a picture of the family in situ, and as you can see she has created a lovely authentic garden and picket fence in front of the cottage, where they can wave at the trains. I love it. She's a talented lady, is Pat!
So, with HUGE thanks to Pat for allowing me to reproduce her photograph ..........
here are The Railway Children.
And now, as they say, for something completely different.........
one of my favourite family of flowers, is the orchid...and this Cymbidium has just opened in my conservatory!
O.K. - this picture is one of self indulgence and has absolutely nothing to do with miniatures!
A kind soul pointed out that finding my website or email address, meant digging through 'About me'...... hopefully both are now more visible and obvious in the right column. Thank you - hope that helps.
Monday, October 25, 2010
As other makers know, there's this balancing act of working on commissions without keeping people waiting too long, trying to maintain some kind of reasonable stock and still finding time to try out new ideas and create new characters. At the moment I'm having trouble keeping all the balls in the air.......... but I have made a batch of 1/24th scale heads and hands today, so hope springs eternal, and all that!
In theory the stand should have a group rather like this picture, which was taken before the last show.
I've been having a fiddle to see how I fared making a 1/48th child doll, that was also poseable. This is the result - I'm not sure I shall be making any more! She was 'a fiddle'!!
I'm going to put her away now and make a Mum and Grandad to go with her later, which will be my donation to the Breast Cancer Campaign Raffle at The Thame Fair in February. I know there are some super prizes already donated and you can see them if you go to KT Miniatures where Celia Thomas is coordinating the Raffle. For details of the fair itself go to
And....if you have fallen for 1/48th scale, do nip over to Louise Win's blog and website and see her wonderful work! The detail is superb! At this point 'thank you' Louise for your kind mention.
As always - thanks for looking!
p.s. As a novice blogger this is my first attempt at making links that work! If they do, it's entirely due to Celia's kind lesson today!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Well - O.K. that is a bit OTT - but a couple of very good friends of mine (you know who you are), not to mention one son and a DIL, will appreciate just what I mean.
In the right hand column - yippee - I've got a download - click there and I hope, I really hope, that up will come an Illustrated Price List of our 1/48th offerings!!
This has come about with a great deal of sweat and hand-holding, because as you will all have probably realised, I can do dolls, but technology is a whole different and scary ball-game for me!! I can't manage to update my own website - so this is my effort to keep Coombe Crafts up-to-date!
Having been dragged kicking and screaming into Blogland - I find I really enjoy it! I appreciate the 'following' of talented people, the comments, and the fun and wonder of looking at the work of others. So - thanks folks.
P.S. If there's a typo, I suppose I do want to know.....
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
One of our lovely customers knew just the carpenter she wanted and I was delighted to bring him to life for her; he has his pencils, ruler and polishing rag in his pockets and carries a chisel ready to get some work done. Clearly he needed a bench so the carpenter half of our team set to and built him a bench with vice and half-made furniture.
I thought you might like to see what the miniature carpenter is making ....when it's finished it will be one of these beautiful Macintosh chairs!
More tiny 1/48th pieces of furniture are coming out of our workshop and this set of shop shelves looks great as a dresser with dining room furniture which I'll picture another time. We (well not actually me, of course) make a 1/24th version and a shop counter and till, and there will be a 1/48th counter in due course.....or so I'm told!
It is lovely to see some more followers - a warm welcome to you all.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
The flyers are out already for this fabulous and prestigious fair held just once a year in Thame, and I'm totally thrilled that it features a picture of my Town Crier - you know the one - the one in the right hand column...in a muddle. He isn't just any Town Crier, in fact, but Anthony Church, Thame's real life Town Crier who will promote the fair throughout the day.
The flyer also illustrates the wonderful work of artisans Victoria Fasken, Mags Cassidy and Mary Williams - just three of over 40 of U.K.'s finest miniaturists who will have stands on February 19th 2011 at Thame Leisure Centre - and the Grand Raffle and sales table which will raise funds for Breast Cancer Campaign.
Ron and Felicity Holland are now organizing The Thame Dollshouse and Miniatures Fair, and the website, which they update regularly, is packed full of information about all the miniaturists attending and details of the four fantastic workshops. See www.thamedollshousefair.co.uk
We're looking forward to being at the fair once again...as everyone who attends says....it has such a buzz!
Here's the next plug folks.....
As a pretty regular visitor, I think Nottingham is a great city with a buzz too! So, if you are living in that neck of the woods or heading that way this weekend, I'm sure as creative people you'll be interested in a series of events called 'Creative October', which celebrate the work of so many designers, artists and makers based there. It's no surprise - and so appropriate - that it is launched this Sunday with a tea party - and the theme...Lace! Sounds super.
To find out all about this one and much more, go to
And a 'thank you' for a superplug to - Jean Tuthill at A Romantic Country Home - wow Jean!! And four new followers....will catch up with you all later as I'm having 'one of those days'!
In answer to the question - 'do I sell my dolls?' - Oh yes. The website details and my email address is in the Contact box over there. Needless to say no website is up-to-date...do email me with any queries, using the bt email addy which is there.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
This 1940s nurse and patient will form a small part of her wonderful new room box, which is a 1940s wartime hospital ward at Christmas time. Celia is showing her work in progress on her blog, and it's already amazingly detailed as the scene is being authentically recreated. It's a privilege to be a small part of this and I urge you to rush over to KT Miniatures, see the work so far and then enjoy the progress until Christmas day comes to the ward.
From 1/12th down to 1/24th scale again .....my real miniature garden in a big planter out in the garden forms a lovely backdrop, I think, for these little children. Many moons ago I combined my love of plants, miniatures and photography and made greeting cards - this fun picture makes me think I might have a look and see if I've got any card blanks left.
Before I forget - a warm welcome and thanks for following to Maria Jose and Lara - I've had a quick peep at your blogs - wow, super work - will be back, as they say..anon
Monday, October 4, 2010
Oh my word it did rain didn't it, although I'm not sure that was the reason for the down turn in visitor numbers. Usually I am on the other side of a stand so I did feel for my friends and colleagues who had the very highest standard of artistry and originality. I shall be sad, but very understanding if some do not continue to attend this show and it will be diminished if the number of high quality stands does reduce.
Too many fabulous things to mention individually...... I brought home some real treasures, and it was really super to catch up with so many friends.
This particular treasure was a gift from Mags Cassidy - Mags-nificent Miniatures - and is very special. Some years ago I also filled baskets with fruit and flowers, until others became so very much more expert than me and I decided to stick to dolls! My lovely and now, sadly late Mum, made my baskets for me. I passed some on the my chum Mags and happily she has been able to use them for her lovely work. This one she kept for me. Thanks Mags.
My two little 1/24th people in their night attire were on the Model Village Miniatures stand - trying out their beds and other furniture! I'm delighted to say that they went off to a new home with a smart new bed kit - thank you ladies.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I'm really looking forward to being a visitor on Sunday - I'm sure there won't be enough hours .......
Can I also say a belated welcome and 'thank you' for following my blog, to everyone who is sticking with me... or come along in the last week or two .....it is so much appreciated. The big bonus for me is seeing the wealth of talent in the miniature world that I hadn't yet come across and 'meeting' more lovely people.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
If you're off to the great show at N.E.C. next weekend, do stop by and see the drinking pals - and a few of their chums - on the Model Village Miniatures stand where Louise and Marlene have extended their range of 1/12th and 1/24th accessories and furniture even more. As well as wonderful items for the house, shop and pub they now have now moved into the garden!
If you enjoy building your own furniture, there are over 100 different kits to choose from .... and not forgetting adorable tiny knitted toys and comfy, squashy cottagey sofas.
Now I have to finish the Tudor servants, or they won't be ready help with the furniture in the Tudor kitchen .......
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
As a rule I do try and concentrate on only one scale for several days at least, before moving on to another, because the brain, eyes and hands can begin to play tricks ..... I thought it might be interesting to show you what I mean.
The most familiar scales are probably 1/12th and 1/24th, and the very tiny 1/48th scale is gaining in popularity as more tiny little houses become available.
This elderly 1940s couple are in 1/16th scale and their likely home will be a vintage/antique house.
If you are over 50 like me, this is probably the scale of the dolls house you had as a child, so dressing the dolls in the forties style, or sometimes 1930s is often very appropriate. Anyway I must admit to being fascinated by the styles of clothing, furniture and accessories of the 1930s to 1950s.... and of course it gives me the opportunity to cover the wartime period and make chaps from the three services, or the odd air-raid warden or evaccuee.
Celia Thomas of KTMiniatures also loves this period and sells vintage/antique houses, furniture and accessories, consequently we often know the same collectors, and I know where to go for a gas mask! She also specialises in making the most original and authentic miniatures and accessories of the 1930s and 1940s in various scales and shows just how well vintage items and handcrafted 'new' creations can mix and match. It's an inspiring website, if you don't know it already, do take a look!
Friday, September 17, 2010
Wearing coarse, woven fabric clothing and long days spent serving the master or mistress - sweeping and lugging heavy wooden buckets about - can't have much appeal for these Tudor servants.
On the other hand, Sir 'Tim' Birkin was not only wealthy and distinguished but A British Racing Car Driver of the 1920s - one of the famous "Bentley Boys".
I am making a series of racing car drivers of the early 1900s for a special customer; Sir "Tim" Birkin is the latest character and in this case was a real person. I was provided with a photograph of a super painting of the gentleman, to help in reproducing him, and I am most grateful to the owner of both the photograph and the orginal painting for kindly allowing me to use it in this picture.
The miniature Sir "Tim" is now displayed standing alongside an equally miniature version of his original Bentley car in a private collection.
Friday, September 10, 2010
I love making witches - and these are my latest 1/24th offerings - characters that allow doll makers to really run riot with their imagination! Lots of fun!
You'll guess that this isn't a miniature - it's a real life Magnolia 'Exmouth' - almost 10 inches across fully open. Gardening and plants fight miniatures for first place with me, so I couldn't resist showing this to you. It is SO beautiful with the scent of lemons. A year ago, when we moved to this house and garden, the small tree was almost buried in the undergrowth with one fabulous flower. This year, having been given space and light, it has rewarded us with ten. Magic!
If you love gardening and plants like me, check out Jayne's blog - she's mad about them too.
Tomorrow I shall be torn between the weeding and the witches - the weather will probably decide it! Enjoy the weekend everyone.....whatever the weather.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Fag Ash Lil', the last 1/12th doll I was trying to finish prior to the fair on Monday, did go to the fair - and liked it so much she came back home so that she could go to the next one!!
The moral of this story - that all makers will recognise - is that you NEVER sell the last thing you stayed up late to finish!!
We had a good fair on Monday - and have lots of gaps, so 'must work hard'. It was lovely to catch up with old friends amongst the other stallholders, and the visitors too.
I thought in an effort to demonstrate that I am still making 1/12th characters, even though 1/24th has rather taken over lately, I'd picture this old retired sea captain in his fetching yellow wellies, who is off to a new home after a visit to the fair.
As a rule, when shadows are cast, I abandon all attempts to take pictures of my work - but this was such a great shadow......
If you have read the last couple of posts, you will have seen that 1/48th was temporarily taking me over. The response to the dolls and furniture on Monday was just terrific, and all the dolls have found new tiny homes. Thank you for all the lovely comments on that last post - yes my eyesight is being challenged....thank you son!
Finally, just to squeeze in 1/24th - these ponies with their riders. I'd like to say I made the ponies too - but I have changed them quite a lot from their original 'look' (as you do) and the leather tack is all mine.
I hope everyone else at a Fair over last weekend had a great time.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
....well I feathered the parrots, completed the order for a little old 1/24th sailor and even made and feathered a couple of seagulls to go with him. I did paint the pony but he still needs a rider and the 1/12th dolls are still only heads and hands. You may see them anon, as they say....
Close-up of the 1/12th parrots
......my other half presented me with further 1/48th challenges from the depths of his shed (sorry - workshop). The tiny little trunk needed trimming with leather bindings and 'brass studs', and the unbelievable, folding deckchairs needed canvas seats - VERY fiddly - but I could hardly complain, could I?
A Victorian 'Whatnot' in 1/48th scale did stop me in my tracks though. Between us we have made and filled our Whatnots in 1/12th and 1/24th scales for years, and I enjoy making tiny teapots, and turning beads and odds and bits into ornaments and using real miniature shells and stones to decorate them - but this was something else! I admit I considered it an impossible undertaking - then over several hours it slowly turned into something special. Just for once I don't even mind if I don't sell it!
This is horribly long - so, thanks for looking - and thanks for the encouragement in following my blog.