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 1/12th...now 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