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

Thursday, January 19, 2017

An Early 1900s German-style Haberdashery Shop

In the early part of last year my friend and erstwhile partner in crime Celia Thomas and I completed our final workshop before closing the miniature doors on Nostalgia in Miniatures Workshops for the last time.  So the final project had to be very special.  In both 1/12th and 1/24th scales this little German-style early 1900s shop was, we hoped, just that and would be very versatile.

All our participants were able to make adjustments and variations as they went along, depending also just how they were going to stock their little shops.  Everyone enjoyed themselves and did brilliantly - and so many different contents were being planned from haberdashery to apothecary.
 I get to keep the 1/24th prototype and Celia the 1/ I've had the time to turn mine into a haberdashery and ladies' outfitters,  somewhat faded and struggling into the new century but elegant still.
Click on the pics. for bigger versions 

It was too pristine and I prefer a little 'tatty'! We had aged the larger scale prototype but left this to allow our workshop ladies to see how both effects would look, so the first job was take it back to 'faded' with washes of burnt umber and lots of sandpaper.  The mirrored door was given a curtain of antique lace and I decided to shift the display cabinets and add a work table and chair so the sewing machine could be included - I'm sure 'Arbery and Golding' would have done alterations for their best customers.

I've always enjoyed making tiny accessories for my dolls so I indulged myself in creating a collection of posh hats with blowsy paper roses and feather trimmings and dainty handbags. Those of you who've done this all before will know how long it took to fill the shelves with fabrics, laces and ribbons and wind fine wool into skeins. Celia's faux glass doors really add to the authenticity and the finest fabrics are kept here. I spent ages making a rather classy mannequin and then promptly covered it up with the frock.....still, I know it's there.

We had supplied instructions and materials for a variety of packaging for the workshop so I was ahead here, adding a few extra, filled jars with micro beads and a basket with feathers until I was satisfied that it looked nicely cluttered. The shop till (saved from our Coombe Crafts stock along with the table, chair and broom) sits on the counter where clearly the assistant is busy with a customer. I could still fill all those enticing little drawers at the back...maybe another day.

Celia and I had a lovely time creating this room box and it's been such fun to be able to bring it to life. 
Although I've retired and can now please myself and 'play' in miniature, she is of course still working happily as KT Miniatures with a wealth of wonderful vintage and antique items for sale on her website, along with her very special handmade 'vintage' creations that work so well in houses and room boxes alongside the authentic.
 KT Miniatures will again have a stand at the prestigious Thame Fair on Saturday February 18th at Thame Leisure Centre, Thame, Oxon - come along if you can, it's a terrific day.

By the way, we'd both love to see pictures of other little shops from the workshop ladies.

Thank you for looking

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Framing the Orchids

I'm slowly thinking through my 'wish to do' list - e.g. those packets of lovely paper flower kits that have been languishing for a few years...the bookcase I was going to fill with beautiful books....the little shop that has no stock... I've started with the orchids.

It's no secret that I love flowers and plants,  also collected many beautiful miniature creations by some stunning artisans and made a fair few of my own from scratch for a variety of projects over the years - which in no way compare.  For years I've been a fan of Georgie Steeds's brilliant paper flower kits 
Her eye for detail is superb and she has a really good range in both 1/12th and 1/24th scales,  supplied with excellent instructions. I love working with paper and card so I dug out those lovely little packets and made up my orchids.

As I grow orchids I have some real life ones to study which helps with colouring petals and adding a few extra details like aerial roots where appropriate. I was SO happy with the way they turned out.

I had already decided which aged terracotta pots I needed for them and was properly stumped when I couldn't get hold of any.  After a lot of hunting and research I gave up, dug out the paper and decided to give it a go and make my own - this would be an all paper project after all!  Actually I think they turned out pretty well and decided to use them so the orchids were planted and the pots topped up with tea leaves and moss which looks quite authentic.

All I needed now was a deep box frame to display them in. Out came the cardboard to work out dimensions as usual, a cheap, cheap gold-coloured photo frame which I pulled apart and a  willing husband who braved freezing conditions in the shed (sorry - workshop...) to actually make my box. I painted it with emulsion paint, sponged with different tones and replaced the original flimsy glazing with thicker acrylic 'glass'.

And this is the result. Difficult to get a good picture now the plants are in the box, and I've left out the glazing as the glare made it impossible to photograph, but I'm happy with the finished project.

Thank you for looking

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Welcome to A New Year !

I'm very happy to welcome 2017 and hope it will be lovely year for us all.  May I wish you all you would wish for yourselves in the coming months.

My garden is looking brown and withered until the frost each morning recently lights it up and the sun catches branches and seed heads. This winter-flowering Viburnum is a positive treasure - prettily pink with a delicious almond scent.

In the conservatory the orchids are coming into bud and beginning to flower - and inspiring me to get out my miniature orchid flower kits that have been waiting to be made up for so.o.o.o long.  I'll let you know how I get on.......

In a P.S. to my Christmas blog, I thought you might enjoy seeing how the Father Christmas scene turned out after two little girls had worked their magic and finished it off to make it their very own. They were very excited to open the box of 'bits' and read the instructions - didn't they do well?

Thank you for looking