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

Monday, April 30, 2012

I Need to Have a Rant!!!

Really my Blog is all about Miniatures...with the occasional bit of gardening thrown in...... a 'small maker' and on behalf of all U.K. 'small makers' I do need to positively blow my top at the HORRENDOUS increase in our U.K. Postal Charges from today!!!

The Post Office must have a death wish!!!!!

As if it wasn't enough to raise charges so that hardly any of us will be able to afford to post Christmas cards ....even second class...

Before the previous rise in charges I was able to post a doll for 36p  (a first class letter stamp) - and added a little for packaging. It leapt to an incredible £1.58!! A little was added for bubble wrap etc.- which costs money sadly.
Having eventually tracked down the new charges I trotted to the P.O. today as I thought my eyes must be deceiving me.
NO - the same tiny package (under 100g) - which might only have contents worth £12-£25 will now cost £2.70  to POST!!!!!

All of us who trade in this 'small' market and in any case keep our costs to the minimum, are beside ourselves.  We can only hope that people are understanding enough and appreciate our work enough to be prepared to pay.
Rant Over!!!

On a brighter note - we had LOVELY  'Little Vintage Hall' Workshop yesterday, despite the dreadful weather. Thank you to all who braved the shockingly wet journeys. We have pictures - still in cameras - and we have the next in the series open for booking on our website. It's filling fast. We are calling our second project 'The Little Vintage Hall - The Other Room'. The clue's in the title!!

I promise the next Blog, won't be a rant, and will have pictures!!
Thank you for looking.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Can't Keep A Secret!!

One of the boys in blue on the previous blog - Mr Peterson the ARP Warden has been spotted - by his future owner....Oh well, she seems to like him. Phew!!

......and here he comes again, only this time he's brought along his nephew Private Jenkins, newly conscripted for the duration of the war in The Royal Engineers. Both are 1/12th scale.

If you hadn't already noticed, this weekend Celia and I have our first The Little Vintage Hall we both took time out to collect together and photograph some of our own items from the 1930s/40s period,  which reflects the time and style of the vignette and demonstrates very graphically that we are both inspired by these super things....and are inveterate hoarders.......

If you are also fascinated by the pre-war decades, love beautiful, or rare, or unusual old things - take a look at the other pictures on our Nostalgia in Miniature Blog.

Thanks for looking
Robin can change his name Jenny!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

All in Blue.....

The characters I'm showing you today happen to all be in blue uniform, although very different ones....and I thought a nice photograph of the super bluebells out in my garden would just be perfect to finish off the blog......but it's raining...AGAIN!!

Two lovely ladies commissioned the 1/24th policeman and postman - and were kind enough to wait until I got around to making them. Both are nicely settled in their new homes and were made very welcome.

This next chap is in 1/12th scale and you'll spot the fact that he's only just been finished by the muddle which is the workbench. He's dressed as a World War 2 ARP Warden in his overalls, (put on quickly over his ordinary clothes). Clearly he's looking for his tin hat and gas mask. He's due to be delivered on Sunday at our next Nostalgia in Miniature Workshop, so I'm hoping his new owner won't check out my blog before.....

Celia (KT Miniatures) and I are looking forward to the first one in the new series of workshops - The Little Vintage Hall - and this time we've moved inside after the series of garden vignettes. The old hall was built in Queen Victoria's reign and is at the heart of our imaginary rural village; we meet it in the 1930s, a little down at heel and in need of being spruced up.

I'm sure it will be as much fun as the previous workshops and we shall be delighted at the effort and individual inspiration the particpants will bring to their projects. There are more pictures on our joint Nostalgia in Miniature blog and details of forthcoming workshops on our website.
Our very mini sales table which is put together specially for the day will feature some authentic-looking and quirky items that are suited to the period....must get working!

Thank you for looking

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Smallholding...and Sam's Secret...

Sarah and her husband have been working on and nurturing their lovely Smallholding for quite a long time now, and they were kind enough to show us some pictures of their hard work and inspiration. Clearly they are expert decorators, builders and growers.....did I mention it's in 1/24th scale!!

With many thanks for permission to use these photographs - and apologies for my slightly wobbly scanning technique... click on the image for a bigger version.

The buildings were for created for them by John Crooke of Farthingales, and we - Coombe Crafts - are thrilled to see many examples of our work, from people, to items of furniture and gardens in such a superb setting. Their own inspired work and collections and commissions have, I'm sure you'll agree, produced a very special and unique project that will give enormous pleasure to them and anyone who is lucky enough to see it.

In just under two weeks Celia and I, wearing our Nostalgia in Miniature hats, will be hosting our fifth workshop - it's been such a lovely (and challenging) experience, and we're looking forward to it enormously. The first in a series of three is featuring The Little Old Vintage Hall - you know the kind of slightly dilapidated village hall, short of funds and built in the Victorian's lovely and well used - but needs redecorating..... We are creating it as it was in 1930s a time of austerity and impending war.

We did the finishing touches last week on my kitchen table - our little helper Sam wanted to keep it a secret for a bit longer so got between The Little Vintage Halls and the camera!
If you nip over to our Nostalgia in Miniature Blog there are pictures without Sam.......details of this and our other workshops are linked there to our website.

Thank you for looking.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Changing Scales!

As you'll know if you Follow or pop into this Blog - I create my character dolls in the most popular scales - 1/12th, 1/24th and 1/48th. Every now and again I'm asked to shift scales into 1/16th...and I enjoy the occasional change.

This was a scale popular in Dolls Houses when I was growing up in the 1950s - which now makes them (and me) 'vintage'! So I'm guessing that my latest Fag Ash Lil' - a character you've met before in 1/12th and 1/24th scales - is perhaps destined for a vintage abode. Here she is just ready for a spot of spring cleaning!!

I know there's enormous interest in these fascinating old houses and the furniture and accessories that go with them, from my friend Celia Thomas, who runs KT Miniatures. Not only does she source and supply hard to find genuine vintage treasures but she also creates a wonderful selection of original but authentic and aged looking artefacts and ephemera that can be combined with the vintage pieces and her own rooms boxes that evoke past times. From time to time we collaborate as my character dolls also seem to fit very well in these real vintage houses and her unique settings.

I'm always happy to adapt to an appropriate scale or create a character for a specific setting and although Fag Ash Lil', Bless her, has been around for a long time, she's always an original and individual sculpt and no two are every quite the same! Sorry - she doesn't come in 1/48th scale!!!!

There were such striking cloud formations the other evening I rushed out with my camera - I couldn't help thinking that as the annniversary of the sinking of The Titanic nears, they looked like huge icebergs rising from the roof tops.

Thank you for looking.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Speeding to Easter!!

A few days ago it did look as we we might be having a lovely sunny snow is putting in a late appearance. I suppose that's why British weather is often described as 'variable'!! I'll wait and see and get on with some 1/24th characters!!

First up - hence the 'speeding' reference in the title of this blog - are another couple in an ongoing set of fascinating commissions of 1/24th scale 1920s racing car drivers and spectators. The rather strange appearance of the driver is because his face is entirely covered with a mask to protect him against stones from the surface of track being thrown up into his face as he raced around. The sport had a huge following in these early years - as it does now - the spectator is probably a friend I think.

Sadly I am still working in a muddle - the fisherman, also in 1/24th scale, and complete with rod and tackle bag was frantically trying to escape being impaled on my pincushion.......I cropped the looked much worse...I am working on the muddle!!

Is there are prettier wild flower than the violet?? She's the perfect herald of spring and and a simple little flower.
I encourage them in my informal cottage-style garden and I hope you'll all accept this photograph as my Easter Best Wishes to you all - wherever you are and however you are spending the coming weekend - have a lovely few days!!

Thank you for looking.