Sharing a love of Dolls House Miniatures - and making time for other creative crafts and the garden.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Panicking Nicely....

UNDER three weeks to go to Thame Dolls House & Miniatures yes, along with a few other standholders no doubt, I'm panicking....

It's always the same - has been for years....X number of days/weeks to go and not enough hours in the day... the list of stock needed is unrealistically long....real life hiccups happen ....we should set it to music!!
SO a bit of calming down required here!

Another commissioned order managed to make it out before reluctantly I had to say to lovely people 'I need stock for the fair...sorry,can you wait?' she is. A 1/24th French Floozy just about to leave my muddley workbench for more salubrious surroundings.

Meanwhile...the bench is full of heads 'n hands and stuffing as this week I work on more 1/24th characters for the fair. These three (and a dog) are finished.....ummmm.... more to do.....

If you click and go to Thame Dolls House & Miniature Fair, not only will you find details of all 45 top flight artisans attending the fair, but details of workshops on the following day (Sunday) in Thame.
Details too of fundraising - a hugely popular Sales Table and (now famous) Tombola run by Market Town Miniaturists ( our local Dolls House Club), - Raffle of Artisan Donations coordinated by Celia Thomas of KT Miniatures (check her website too, for fantastic vintage and handmade items) - a fabulous Chinese Gatehouse to be won and the Sealed Bid Auction for
Frosty Morning...after the night before', made and donated by Celia and myself. ALL IN AID of BREAST CANCER CAMPAIGN.
.....not forgetting a terrific exhibition by the Club members which always attracts attention - this year ATTICS!

'Frosty......' which was commissioned by Dolls House and Miniature Scene Magazine as a How-To Project features the third and last part in the March issue out now. Incidentally if any of you make this project, Celia and I, wearing our 'Nostalgia in Miniature' hats would love to see pictures.
I think the word is 'phew'!

Thank you for looking.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Royal Tudor

With the Falconer off flying his falcon somewhere (previous blog), I turned my attention to royalty - and changed scales to 1/24th!

It's always fun to be given the opportunity to indulge in some lavish costuming and a few jewels, and Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn gave me just that!!
Henry was in his forties when he married Anne - thought to be a lady-in-waiting to his first wife Catherine of Aragon - attracted by her dark hair and striking looks.

A physically big man with a personality to match, I've tried to reflect this in the doll itself and his lavish costume. Poor Anne came to an unhappy end, charged with adultery, incest and the suggestion of witchcraft, she was beheaded as Henry - with only daughters to succeed him - found himself another wife who might give him a son.

Anne is supposed to have started the fashion for ribbon 'choker' necklaces to cover a mole on her neck and extra long flowing sleeves to hide a sixth finger on her hands. Probably one of the most fascinating reigns in English History, the marriage of this King and his Queen completely reshaped religion, politics and the rules of royal succession.
It's been fun to brush up my history and remember the old rhyme from school - 'divorced, beheaded, died - divorced, beheaded, survived'!

To finish, I can't resist sharing this photo of my Bilbergia nutans that has just come out in my conservatory. Its otherworldly flower spikes wouldn't look out of place on a tudor tapestry - and its common name is Queen's Tears!! Seems appropriate!

Incidentally, the background in the photo is very old thin tin plate printed with an exotic picture of parrots, butterflies, bamboo and cherry blossom. It's approx 20" x 24" and is hinged down the centre - the back is really rusty. It cost me next to nothing at a car boot sale a few years ago and reminds me a little of a vintage Sharp's Toffees tin. Maybe it's an advertising display piece. If anyone knows I'd love to hear.

Thank you for looking.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Tudor Falconer

I've been enjoying the 'building' work but it's lovely to get back to some 1/12th doll sculpting.
While I love 1/24th scale which seems to occupy me the most at the moment, and 1/48th scale is fascinating and challenging, 1/12th does allow the opportunity for more detail on both sculpt and costuming - very satisfying!!

The most recent commission is this Tudor Falconer and I've enjoyed making him so - and getting back to some period costuming. His new owner loves birds so I hope the little 'falcon' comes up to scratch. It's properly hooded and the handler is carrying bait and jesses in the leather pouch slung around his waist. I've more dolls to make, which I'll show you 'anon' and meanwhile of course like the other standholders at The Thame Dolls House and Miniature Fair on 18th February, there's lots of work to be done for that. I know some wonderful Raffle Donations are coming in to raise funds once again for Breast Cancer Campaign, so for all the details do take a look at the website.

I'd like to tell you about another super fair! We're not able to attend this year, but would like to wish the tireless organisers and everyone else involved, great success. All the profits go to The Hostel at Doubletrees Special School.

EAST CORNWALL DOLLS HOUSE and MINIATURE FAIR is on Sunday 22nd January in the lovely and ancient Cornish Town of Lostwithiel.
11.00am - 4.00pm in Lostwithiel Community Centre. Further details from Jenny 01726 - 815626 or Cathy 01726 - 882830

Thank you for looking.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

We're Building Again!

Over the Fence, Down the Path, a Christmas Washing the Shed!!

Celia (KT Miniatures) and I had such an exciting and busy 2011 as we launched our Nostalgia in Miniature Workshops...and the website...and the Blog!! We introduced our imaginary little old cottage garden and met some lovely, enthusiastic and talented ladies along the way at four workshops, as we encouraged and assisted them to create their own unique gardens in 1/12th and 1/24th scales, learning some new skills and techniques along the way.

Now, a little later than promised, we're delighted to be able to give you a peep at 'The Little Old Garden Shed' (in 1/12th scale) which is the last in the series of workshops set in our faded cottage garden somewhere in rural England. This is a full day workshop on March 25th, at the superb venue, Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire. We're looking forward to this very much and have enjoyed creating and 'building' another unique project to share with our participants, introducing them to more techniques and new ways to use very ordinary materials to produce realistic effects and accessories.

Celia and I both love vintage and evocative nostalgic miniature scenes, so the old partly brick-built shed has been patched up over the years and has a comfortable patina of age and neglect; it's still very much in use but the wooden panels are a little rotten and moss has grown luxuriantly on the old, rusty tin roof - even the contents are well used and ancient and a number of these are included in the kits accompanied by full instructions.

The Little Old Garden Shed Workshop is fully booked, but on April 29th we shall begin a new and quite different series of workshops which features 'The Little Vintage Hall' sharing some quite different styles and techniques not used in the other workshops. It'll be fun!
We still have places on this workshop so do take a look - all the details for this half-day workshop in Thame, Oxfordshire and a downloadable booking form are on our Nostalgia in Miniature Website.

Meanwhile - wearing my Coombe Crafts hat - back to the day job!!
Thanks for looking!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year...and a Miniature Christmas

I had a lovely, lovely Christmas and I hope you all did too. I did take time off for the festivities and family and also spent time relocating all my craft materials to a new shelved, storage area. NO - I don't know where anything is - that's the New Year Resolution - SORT IT OUT!!

I also had a really lovely indulgent time completing a 1/24th attic room box - which is just for me!!!! It'll be the only thing I've made and kept. It's full of bits and pieces that are sentimental for one reason or another and I've so enjoyed doing it. The outside is covered in a copy of 1936 newspaper, and basically it's my Granny's attic!
This and a whole host of other attics in various scales will be on display on the Market Town Miniatures (the local Thame Club) stand at The Thame Dolls House Fair on February 18th. You will of course be hearing more about the fair itself as the weeks tick down.....I hope you'll enjoy looking at the attic and the cats running amok. Without more ado I'd like to wish you all a Happy New Year and hope you'll enjoy reading my (mostly) miniature ramblings for another year.

Thank you for looking - back to work - some nice doll commisions in the pipeline....