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

Friday, December 19, 2014


Happy Christmas From Coombe Crafts

As you can see, my little apprentice has created a very special Christmas card for Coombe Crafts this year!

I think it says everything about the spirit of Christmas, and I hope very much that however you celebrate, and wherever you are, it will be a happy and peaceful time.

I've enjoyed your company so much this year and thank you for Following or popping in, and for all the lovely comments and messages.  
Have a wonderful Christmas - back in 2015!

Thank you for looking
Robin x

Monday, December 15, 2014

Winding Up The Year

At last the Christmas tree is installed with baubles and lights, cards are arriving and the last few days have brought some special treats.

The very last rose looked beautiful dusted with sparkling frost

In my November 3rd blog I shared pictures of a little 1/24th scale Georgian family I had just completed, and a few days ago I was thrilled to receive super pictures of them outside their cottage - I love it when I'm lucky enough to see my characters in situ. Thank you so much Sally - and I love the robin on the porch and the Christmas wreath on the door! I understand the 'posh' cousins who were also pictured on the blog will be visiting shortly.....

Sharing my Nostalgia in Miniature Workshops hat with my great mate and partner Celia has been lots of fun and very rewarding, with two happy and successful workshops this year.  Thanks to all the lovely participants who attended; for your enthusiasm and great feedback and the super photographs of finished projects you have sent to us. We've just posted a couple of these on our blog -  - and also news and pictures of The Little Vintage Toyshop Workshop next year.

The Toyshop has been such joy to work on - although we love our gardens we also love vintage structures and tiny toys so it's been lovely to work in this area again.

We couldn't resist trying a few toys in the window - even though the back shelves had yet to be installed.

 We do a lot of research for all our projects and old books, catalogues and pictures are often as useful at the good old internet!! A vintage Jack-in-the-Box should fit in nicely.
The workshop is planned for a Saturday in June, although we can't confirm the date with the venue until early in January - we have a Reserve List if you'd like to be advised before Booking goes live just contact one of us. It is proving to be a popular project so it looks as if we may even run two workshops.

Now I just need to look for a special Christmas card for my next blog which will the last one of 2014.

Thank you for looking

Friday, December 5, 2014

Treasures from Kensington

I could simply fill this blog with a list of the fabulous and inspiring artisans  whose work I had the huge pleasure and privilege of seeing at The Kensington Dolls House Festival last Saturday...... I hope you'll enjoy seeing what I bought.

It was hard to tear myself away from my friend Deb Jackson's stand - she really does take the word 'miniature' to another level! If you can't get to see her work at one of the few fairs she attends, visit her website as the next best thing.
When I did tear myself away it was with an exquisite Christmas present to myself - a future heirloom!

The photographs of this tiny gipsy caravan really don't do it justice I'm afraid  - it's only 1 1/2" long and about 1 1/2" high and beautifully detailed.

And inside is perfectly furnished and equipped and even more detailed.

Elisabeth Causeret has so many goodies I always want to purchase them all! Eventually I managed to choose just one, this lovely hand thrown stoneware bowl.

The Newton Wood stand was another where I was spoilt for many original and interesting pieces. I chose one of the super tools - a bit and brace - and wish I'd bought chisels too!

 They'll be at The Thame Dolls House and Miniature Fair on 21st February so I may get the chance then.  By the way, the list of fantastic artisans coming to Thame is  up on the website - it's going to be a tremendous fair!

It was lovely to say hello to Andrea Theick and admire her work- I've been following her blog with great interest as she prepared for this show. By the time I got there all her pretty Christmas decorations had been sold!
David Ward's wonderful mice busy sewing, surrounded by vintage cotton reels, threads and buttons were totally captivating  - this is where I run out of superlatives!
Great to see Trigger Pond back - looking forward to seeing them back at Thame as well.....couldn't get close enough to do more than wave at Julie Campbell as I peered over the shoulder of someone trying to decide which of her wonderful characters to buy......and Jain (Giddy Kipper) was busy too - I love her characters to bits as well....

I must stop or the blog will become the list I wasn't going to write........
Thanks to everyone who made it a great day.

Thank you for looking

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A 1980s Family In Their Own Home - and fabulous KDF!

The 1/16th scale family I mentioned in my last blog haven't wasted any time in settling in to their new home - and very cosy they look too!

These were a fun family to make - a change in scale and in style as they were created for a restored late 1970s - early 80s vintage house. A super collection of vintage furniture by different makers adds to the charm and means that like any home it's absolutely unique.

So here are the family just after I finished them - deliberately photographed on the workbench so as to indicate some idea of the 1/16th scale. (Workbench of course still somewhat chaotic).

And here they are again, feet up watching the television in the sitting room of their gorgeous new abode.  Many thanks to M. who very kindly sent me these lovely photographs and has allowed me to share them on my blog.

I had fabulous day at Kensington Dolls House Festival on Saturday....there just aren't enough superlatives in praise of the artists and artisans whose work, as always, is a privilege to see. I did make just a few purchases - exquisite and beautifully crafted so I am thrilled.  I'll take pictures and share them next time.
The list of those that really inspired me is a very long one and I also came back bursting with ideas and the determination to challenge myself further in my own work. So really all I need is lots and lots of money to indulge in collecting more fine work........and more time (and effort) to develop my own miniatures.

....and it's still raining!
Thank you for looking

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It's November, It's Raining........I don't like it!!

For a whole variety of reasons I don't like this month....and it's raining..... and the shops are filling up with Christmas far too early in my book! However miniature work is a very nice distraction and I have another character finished and off to a new home.

You may very well think you've seen this chap before, standing in the field of poppies on the WW1 Scene Celia Thomas and I created. Actually it isn't the same elderly gentleman in his Royal British Legion blazer, but another as close as I could make him to the original for a customer who is building the scene from our How-to instructions in Dolls House and Miniature Scene Magazine.  We have heard from a number of people who are inspired to make their own versions of the scene which is very exciting.  Of course it would also be wonderful to see finished scenes because everyone will have brought their individual ideas to the concept. If you haven't seen it, go to our Nostalgia in Miniature website for a super video.

I cleared my workspace to work on some 1/16th scale characters, which I make from time to time for those who are vintage/antique dolls house collectors.  The challenge of course is that these wonderful old houses vary quite a lot when it comes to scale, as does the furniture, so quite often it's necessary to make minor adjustments when it comes to creating the dolls. They're nearly finished - I'll show you another time.

The workspace soon gets bunged up - I seem incapable of keeping it clear! In between other things I'm playing with toys - little boys love toy cars so I thought I'd experiment.  If you fancy a Vintage Toyshop workshop next year that Celia and I are running, details of that too are on our website.

Thank you for looking

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Little Vintage Toyshop....and ....A Game of Boules

I love it when I receive photographs of my dolls and our other items in the scenes they were destined for - and I've just received this super picture of the two 1/24th scale French boules players featured recently on my Blog.

Janet commissioned the dolls to be included in the Billericay Dolls House Club's French Village Scene and  sent the photo to me - many thanks to her and to Norman Hunter who has kindly allowed me to use his picture.  The whole scene is absolutely wonderful and was a great success at the recent exhibition.  Congratulations to all the members who created such  lovely work.

And now at last, after all the hints, I can announce that our  Nostalgia in Miniature Workshop next year will be 'THE LITTLE VINTAGE TOYSHOP'. We think this is our most exciting project so far and Celia and I are looking forward to it enormously.  We're busy building, planning and creating replica vintage toys. Celia of course is lucky enough to handle genuine vintage dolls house toys and houses all the time as Mrs KT Miniatures and let's be honest....I'm old enough to have played with some!

We are hoping that we can hold this on a Saturday in June but unfortunately aren't able to arrrange the date with the venue until early in the New Year - however we do have a Reserve List with a number of names on it already so if you're interested and would like to have the opportunity of a place before booking officially opens on our website, do contact one of us asap. This does not commit you at this time - just gives you a first chance to book.  More details will be available shortly.

 On this occasion, due the complexity and the fact that by their very nature toys are small and sometimes tiny, we are offering this in 1/12th scale only but its compact nature means it will sit on a bookshelf or mantlepiece so it is very versatile and we think it will also have wide appeal to those of you who usually  work in the smaller scales.

At £86, with a semi constructed carcass and highly detailed  frontage based on a beautiful antique miniature shop, together with kits, materials and instructions to make over 30 toys inspired by originals mostly from 1920s-30s - this could be a future heirloom. And if you're tempted to come with friends as group - a Discount may apply.

Thank you for looking

Thursday, November 6, 2014

In Remembrance.....A Permanent Home for our WW1 Scene

This weekend  many people will take time to remember those men and women who over many decades have sacrificed their lives, health and futures in the hope that the next generations could live in peace. This is the story of one of those men during World War 1.

Those of you who have followed the progress of the World War 1 Scene created by Celia Thomas and me in our alternative Nostalgia in Miniature Workshops roles will, I hope, be interested in the end of the tale.  While we were thrilled to be able to donate £200 (50% of the sale price) to The Royal British Legion in support of their important work, we were deeply moved by the generous amount paid by a lovely lady from Hertfordshire, and even more so by the poignant story that prompted her purchase.
She has very kindly allowed us to share it with a wider audience.

A few years ago, her family inherited some letters from her grandfather that had been kept safe at his old farm ever since WW1 by his niece, who is now a grand 91 years old!  He was one of two brothers in the French Army, and they both looked out for each other during the war.

Her grandfather was an engineer so his letters  were quite detailed about the villages, the landscapes and the different movements of troops at that time. Being  a photographer too, he was sent out as a scout at night to survey the paths to be used by the canons the next day.  He was also in charge of "communications",  a glamorous word for carrying a wind-up telephone around everywhere, and was quite a character by all accounts! Both brothers survived the war itself, but her grandfather's brother sadly was gassed during the conflict and suffered badly until his death in 1951. Her grandfather died in 1936, in a motorbike accident.

As a final footnote to this story.....the lady's brother organised an exhibition in the little town where grandfather lived, just west of Paris,  earlier in 2014 as part of the WW1 Centenary  commemorations. The exhibition traced the  destiny of four soldiers from the same area, including photos, medals etc. and an itinerary was created following the first four days of the war in 1914 in Belgium, based on her grandfather's letters.

We feel very privileged that this little scene now belongs to the family of such a brave man.

For more information about this little scene, please go to:
View the video  - lovely music too, so speakers on - on the side bar.

If you are in Thame, Oxfordshire the scene itself is being displayed in the window of the Oxfam Bookshop until 13th November.

Thank you for looking

Monday, November 3, 2014

An C18th Family ...and..Playing with Prototypes...

It was another 'one of those weeks'.....but I think the gremlins have finally left my camera and laptop alone after another little attempt to distrupt things, but moved on to kitchen equipment....not a lot of fun!
However some proper miniature work did get done and delivered so I can at least share some pictures again.

It is always very interesting to be told about the house or setting my little characters will be moving into and it's often helpful in creating them.  So.......somewhere around 1780 a happy little hardworking 1/24th scale family lived in a pretty cottage on their smallholding. Mother and father and two little girls had a good life, even if money was a little tight.

However Mother's sister had married well, to a merchant in the nearby town.

Every so often they came to visit.

 In between C18th 1/24th and a modern 1/12th scale charcters there's been a little time to play with toys...or at least a few prototypes.  When my Father-in-Law was a little boy he had a wooden pull-along ship...his son played with it...and the next two generations. It's very much still going strong...and this is the rough protoype for a vintage toy ship.

Our next Nostalgia In Miniature workshop is still some time away - next June - but we're already planning and you might guess that vintage toys will be a will be a few weeks before we can give details but our website, this blog and Celia's too will carry all the information as soon as we can.  In the meantime we do have a Reserve list already running  - absolutely no committment at this early stage, but you'll get all the details and opportunity to book first. If you're interested and love vintage toys as much as us do get in touch.

In other news...those of you who have kindly been interested in our World War 1 Dug out and Trench Scene created for Dolls House and Miniature Scene Magazine earlier this year, might like to know that we are thrilled to announce its sale has enabled us to donate £200 to The Royal British Legion.  The purchaser has very special reasons for buying our scene and has allowed us to share a rather wonderful story, which we will do in a few days.
If you live in or near Thame, Oxfordshire,  it will have its last public appearance later this week and over the Remembrance period in the Oxfam Bookshop window display in the High Street.
If you're new to my blog and would like to see more, switch on your speakers and view the video on the side bar. 

Thank you for looking

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Actually it's been one of those fortnights! I dare say everyone reading this is thinking 'yeah, know what that feels like...'

Leaving out the fact that it's now raining instead of being warm and sunny, and other 'stuff' has been happening... my camera and computer stopped talking to each other!!! Now in my tiny world this is a happening of proper seriousness as I couldn't blog without a picture or two, or send pictures to customers.

MAJOR PANIC...look up possibility of buying new camera.......realise it's October and the gremlins always come visiting this month.....scream for help from tame 'expert'.
Said tame expert has now got the camera and computer to talk to each other again so with a big 'PHEW' I'm up and running again.

Although I have been working in miniature I've no pictures to share at the moment, so have fallen back on my garden as usual. I was desperate for rain as my garden was drying up. Mother Nature was having a joke - so she made it rain....lots of it...

I've some gorgeous late roses out and wonderfully bright Michaelmas Daisies while the fence/shrubs/border is completely submerged by clematis which is now in full frothy seed-head.  When it stops raining I must take a picture!

I often think that Mother Nature must chuckle at our pontificating about global warming and climate change and then throw a curve ball. A winter flowering Helebore has been looking wonderful for three weeks now, 'Freckles' a winter/early spring Clematis is flowering it's socks off as is this deep red Japonica although it still has apples as well.......

Then we have Viburnum Bonariensis which usually flowers on leafless stems in deep winter!!

I'm happy to see them all this early - whatever the weather.
Thank you for looking

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Lovely Day...

Last Saturday was lovely day - a super workshop with lovely participants ..... Billericay Miniatures Club have a lovely day coming up in November.....and I've had some lovely outings.......

A BIG thank you to all the ladies who attended our 'Down the Little Herb Garden Path' at Bicester Avenue Garden Centre last Saturday.  It was a very full working day but lots of fun so we hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as Celia and I did.

I think Celia was explaining the intricacies of the old gate
  We also took along a few of our earlier projects for the ladies at their first workshop to see - nice to see them out again!

Billericay Miniature Club are  putting the finishing touches to a fascinating and very exciting project - a French Village called 'Village des Amis' - which they will be exhibiting on Saturday 8th November in the Billericay W.I. Hall from 10.30am. Do go along if you're able to.
I was delighted to be asked to create a couple of boules players for the village square which is surrounded by 15 shops - I look forward to seeing them in place in due course. It sounds fabulous!!

Not in the first flush of youth...'Pierre and Jean'
 I love Oxford and am fortunate to live quite near and visit often.  I think Oxford is a wonderful city with Town and Gown very close together - but away from the commercial bustle and dreaming spires there are some lovely walks and interesting backways.  We had a wander recently along the Oxford Canal towpath - over a bridge and into Jericho, an ancient area of streets outside the original city walls. If you're a fan of colin Dexter's novels featuring Inspector Morse this is where the televised adaptation  'Dead of Jericho' is set. I lived around the corner MANY moons ago and it hasn't changed too much.

A few weekends ago we had a lovely day in Brighton - there are so many wonderful pictures of the famous Pavillion and the Pier I won't add to them.  However the remains of the old West Pier are very striking and sculptural so I hope you'll like this.

Brighton is very creative and vibrant place - we had lunch listening to live music and looking over the waves - not bad eh?
There appeared to be an informal musical 'happening' down on the beach as well and these guys were in the top spots! They looked very precarious but seemed happy.

We had to tear ourselves away from the Museum and in particular the fantastic room dedicated to 20th century Art and Design - Macintosh and Lalique to die for......and much, much more.

...and then it was off to London this week with my chum Celia, partner in Nostalgia in Miniature Workshops ....absolutely a works outing for research purposes (we told our husbands) The Museum of childhood in Bethnal Green. The vast array of toys was stunning. from ancient to modern, but the vintage ones interested us the most.  It was slightly disconcerting to find that the ones I remember playing with are all vintage.....

There were so many wonderful dolls and dolls houses from all eras but I couldn't resist taking a photograph of this amazing pair of large dolls from 1920s depicting two characters from the C18th play 'A School for Scandal'.

Thank you for looking

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Busy Week Or Two...lots going on...

I rather like weeks like this when every day is different! It's been great - been to Brighton, finished a couple of Tudor peasants, did some (mini) upholstery, made some parrots and was bowled over by the latest from Dolls House and Miniature Scene.....and we still have the workshop to come on Saturday! Phew!

On Saturday Celia and I are off to our lovely venue at Bicester Avenue Garden Centre for the latest Nostalgia In Miniature Workshop - all the elements for the tiny herb gardens are packed and we're looking forward to another enjoyable day.

It was also very exciting when the Projects 2015 Magazine from Dolls House and Miniature Scene arrived in the post - not least because our joint 'Autumnal 1930s Porch' is one of the 'how to' makes included.  It's a great issue with a host of seasonal projects to tempt miniaturists of all abilities.

Also out this week is the November issue of the magazine itself with a really splendid WW1 Competition Supplement full of  terrific pictures of the entries by winners and runners up together with fascinating and often poignant stories behind the scenes.

I'm on a 1/24th character run at the moment....this Tudor couple are the latest and have now moved to their permanent home.  Fun to make - and nice to ring the changes around the centuries in the costuming. The next pair on the workbench are right up to date.

Also fun to make were a few of my scruffy parrots - I've been meaning to make some more in 1/24th scale for ages so it was a good prompt when I had a specfifc request for one.  The bodies are made from polymer clay and they are real feathers - taking a deep breath or sneezing is NOT recommended during the feathering process! Anyway I now have just a few in both 1/24th and 1/12th scales and if anyone else would like one please email me.

Thank you for looking

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Back To School In 1/24th Scale

After a good deal of concentration recently on much bigger projects it's nice to get back to the rather more gentle pursuit of individual sculpts for new characters, and in this case some children.

A lovely recent commission was for a group of Victorian school children - and even the clothing is a reflection of the difference between then and now.  The costuming is really just a junior version of adult clothing - no comfy track suits or school uniforms made from easy-care materials.   Can you imagine having to go to school in heavy serge trousers, stockings and boots or a long pinafore over an even longer full and heavy skirt??

Here come the girls....
The emphasis in school seems to have been on the three Rs with some kind of physical education and practical subjects such as woodwork for the boys and cookery for the girls,  designed to equip them for adult life. An abacus helped with arithmetic (I reckon I could do with one of those) and slate and chalk or a dipping pen and ink for writing, while a globe helped with an understanding of geography. Learning was by rote and a cane was used for doesn't sound like a very cheery atmosphere in the classroom!

....and the boys.

In other miniature news Felcity and Ron are completing the line-up of spendid artisans for The Thame Dollshouse and Miniature Fair in February 2015.  There are details and super pictures of artisans' work on the website already and their Blog is updating regularly with more news as it comes in.  We all love this very special fair so do take a look and maybe think about coming....if you've been before I'm pretty sure you'll be coming again!

I do love pottery, and a jaunt around Oxford's open air Antique and Collectible Market a couple of weeks ago saw me come home with this gorgeous platter which I understand is by Anna Crockett (1980s). I love the earthy colours and wonderful  depiction of our countryside which I think she's captured perfectly.

Thank you for looking

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Great Big Cardboard Box!

This week it was a matter of urgency to find a a big strong cardboard box.....I considered the 'Egg Man' in the market as a possible supplier.....acquired a banana box from Sainsbury's (not deep enough)....and begged another large deep box just before it went into salvage from our local Art and Craft  Shop. Phew!! Just in time.

Yards of parcel tape later, a big strong box was all ready when Lucie Roper, Editor of Dolls House and Miniature Scene arrived from Lincolnshire to collect the World War 1 Scene jointly created with my friend Celia Thomas for a three part 'how to make' for the magazine. We are delighted that it will be on the

Dolls House and Miniature Scene stand at Miniatura and hope many of you who have been following its creation, or perhaps working on your own interpretation, will find time to take a look.  Sadly neither Celia nor I are able to attend the show this time but the winners of the WW1 competion in the magazine will also be on display, and from what I hear they are truly outstanding - I'm sure it will be a great weekend.

AS you may know the original scene is now for sale, including the elderly gent standing in the poppy field proudly wearing the blazer of The Royal British Legion.  50% of the sale will be donated to this very important organization to support their work - offers in the region of £250 are welcomed and the team on the Dolls House and Miniature Scene have kindly agreed to handle any sale on the day.

We Will Remember Them.......
It was a BIG cardboard Lucie left with another smaller project as well which will also be on show on the day!
We've been very secretive about our latest work so far, but can now reveal The 1930s Porch in an autumn setting - another 'how to make' that we have created once again in our Nostalgia in Miniature style which will be featured in the super Projects 2015 Magazine that will be published at the end of the month - I'm sure there will be some copies available on the stand.
So - there's lots to see and I know Lucie and her team would love to meet some of you.

We enjoyed making this project so much  and maybe the following pictures will whet your appetite and you'll be tempted create your own little porch where the lead is on the bench ready to take the dog for a walk and the geraniums and bulbs are being potted up before the frosts come.

........and if you nip over to Celia's KT Miniature's blog you can see more pictures!

With very best wishes to all standholders and visitors - Enjoy Miniatura!

Thank you for looking