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

Monday, August 15, 2016

If It Doesn't Move...Paint It!

Along with 'I work in a muddle'.....'If it doesn't move, paint it'....has always stood me in good stead.
Back in the day, before miniatures absolutely took over, I was inclined to paint or paint on all kinds of things.
As a 'general' crafts person I painted everything from blown goose and ducks eggs to wooden boxes, furniture and proper pictures.
But I did always love painting on a BIG scale!

I do think that any kind of creative work informs and enhances whatever comes next, even if it's just the confidence to try something completely new.
I came in from hacking back my very overgrown shrubs to sort through old photos and found some more really old ones.

As a youngster I'd loved painting scenery for school productions of 'The Pirates of Penzance' and such, so later, with a young family and big blank walls to decorate in old houses I was in my element.
Does anyone remember 'Noggin the Nog'? I painted scenes from the popular children's cartoon on the hall wall.....'Rupert the Bear'...was on a bedroom along with a very bizarre aeroplane scene on another....but my little sons loved it.
We lived in an old house with a staircase that had been turned round - someone left the old blocked doorway behind on one side.  Yes that was odd!
.......that was clearly also my  macrami phase...

The Pied Piper of Hamelin was a favourite story and the door was a blank canvas. The little boy is now well into his 30s.....Whoops, where have the years gone?

The reflection from the paintwork made it difficult to photograph - but hopefully you get the picture and you can click to make them bigger.

Decades later I revisited the Pied Piper as a 1/12th scale miniature, and also added a few rats to the finished set piece.

The Pied Piper door was a great success and one day my brother-in-law turned up with his little daughter's bedroom door on the roof of his car. She loved the film '101 Dalmations'.............the door lived in the kitchen while I worked on it - not exactly convenient - but she loved it.

Thanks for looking

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Blowing The Cobwebs Away

Three of us decided to take a walk along the ancient Ridgeway -  a route for travellers since prehistoric times.
Actually it's about 80/90miles long but we are two different generations who grew up in different but nearby places just under the hills, so the bit we know best is between Wantage (Oxon), the White Horse Hill at Uffington and on past Wayland's Smithy to Foxhill (Wilts). We walked about 3 miles...phew...puff, puff .....

We were all in need of blowing a few cobwebs away - and we did -  nattering randomly along the way in that comfortable way of one conversation drifting into another. Nice!
Wayland's Smith was our objective, walking from the car park for White Horse Hill it's supposed to be roughly a three mile round trip - aching feet suggest a bit further, but I'm out of shape.....

There is something truly spiritual and unspoilt about this ancient pathway without any kind of twenty first century influence and it's easy to imagine ancient peoples walking the same chalk route along the crest of the downs.

The rolling hills and farmland stretch out on all sides and down to the villages in the Vale of the White Horse, the birds flit in and out of the wild hedges and there's a huge variety of native flowers and grasses.  Even a bank of thistles look magnificent in this setting.

Of  course history and archaeology define Wayland Smithy as a Neolithic long barrow but we know is of course the home of the fairy smith Wayland (Wayland/Welund, being the Saxon god of metalworking).  In times long gone a traveller would leave a silver coin at the cave's entrance and tether his horse to be shod. He must go away for a while and never look, so no one ever saw the smith - when he returned the coin had gone and the horse had been shod. 
This is the local tale, but there are others, some gory and others that seem to have their origin in Nordic myths and legends.

Today it is a peaceful but magical place in a green copse and a favourite destination for walkers just off the main path.

Thank you for looking