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

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sad Times

I'm sure that like many of you, I'm not feeling in the mood for writing 'cheery' blogs at the moment.

Sadness is all about us it seems in these last days and weeks, wherever we live.  Be it close to home in saying final farewells to friends or family members or watching tragic events on the rolling news broadcasts - many, many people grieve. I hope that time and the support and love of those close to you will bring some small measure of comfort.

Robin xx

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wild Apples and Fimo

I was searching for some old family photographs when I came across some ancient ones of early 'miniature dolls'.
These are the traditional apple dolls I've mentioned'll see why I've hesitated over 'miniature' when you look at them.

We're back in the day here - late 1980s - when a friend and I had embarked on turning our craft hobbies into something more professional. We had come together as part of the team to run a craft fair raising funds to save our little village school under threat of closure (we won and it's still doing great) and enjoyed ourselves so much.

Between us there weren't many 'crafts' we hadn't had a go at and both made small original dolls from a variety of materials.  Craft fairs were in village halls, redundant churches and tents at Country Shows and Ploughing Matches - we frequently got wet or stuck in the mud and didn't make a fortune, but loved it.
Margaret also created soft sculpture dolls and I created poppy seed head dolls - if I find a picture of them I'll show you another time - then I discovered traditional Apple Dolls.

There was no internet then and I only saw them once but I was captivated and had to discover how to make them.  In the end my cousin in Canada came to the rescue - N. America I assume being the home of these characterful and unique dolls  - and I obtained the recipe to preserve the carved apple heads.  My aim was to create miniature versions so that they complemented the poppy dolls - large apples didn't work.  Finally I discovered the perfect apple; small wild apples we called wilderns, a little larger than crabs which grew along the bridle paths near us, and eventually dried to what I considered the right size. There was lots of experimenting!!!!  Quite a learning curve!!

So, here they are. No digital cameras or computers then either - so photo quality isn't great.

I do shudder a bit looking back at them now - so out of proportion for true miniatures. Clumsy costuming.  Still it got me started and led to an invite to the first Marlborough Dolls House Fair - that was a real wake up call - and I learned what a true miniature should look like!!

Fag Ash Lil' - in 1/12th, 1/16th and 1/24th scale. Probably my most popular character.
When I eventually found Fimo I decided to continue with elderly characters still using natural sheep wool for the hair and abandoned the awful 'paws' for proper sculpted hands. .....and sorted out what scale truly meant.

Thanks for looking

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Workshops, Fisherman and Flowers

This last week or so has been about three of my favourite things.....the Nostalgia in Miniature Workshops with my great chum Celia, creating character dolls and my overgrown garden.  It's all in the pictures .

We closed the little door on Nostalgia in Miniature Workshops after our final day with eight lovely and talented ladies last Saturday. Thank you for a super day ladies.

Working well...
Who's that in charge.....?
Yep...that's Celia...
A 1/24th scale version of the shop is taking shape
First reveal 
Our website will be up until the end of the month if you'd like to take a look at our gallery of past projects and I hope next year Celia will be able to start her own workshop programme if circumstances permit, and her website KT Miniatures will be the place to go for news.
The two of us will of course need to maintain our regular coffee mornings (previously 'management meetings'). Hot chocolate with marshmallows in good company is hard to beat!!!

The little 1/24th scale fisherman was my last commission and he, together with his family has gone on a caravan holiday I'm told. So the door to Coombe Crafts is closed too - but after all these years I can't lose the name completely so it will stay in my Blog title.

I'm now officially retired! Ooo'er! I've managed a few minor tweaks to the blog, but nothing exciting - I can stop trying to be techno-efficient now. Phew! When I get back to being creative for 'me' I hope to share with you - in the meantime I've still got lots of pictures of my quirky characters you haven't seen........

The answer to the question 'what are you going to do now', is pretty obvious if you look at my lovely but madly overgrown garden.....get out the secateurs. Click on pictures for a bigger version.

Thanks for looking