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

Friday, February 24, 2017

Last Week......

...was very odd.  While I was peeering excitedly at the spring flowers emerging in my garden and conservatory and thinking about future planting I was also thinking about attending the Thame Dollshouse and Miniature Fair for the first time in a 'helping' capacity rather than as a standholder.....

KT Miniatures with Celia Thomas (the boss) was in my old spot - odd for her - but quite normal for me except of course that delightful vintage and antique miniatures  had been arranged on  'my' table and looked fantastic. Slightly strange, but we're old mates and she's trained me well over the years so apparently I didn't disgrace myself!!

I dithered like mad but finally succumbed to this exquisite old French clock - yes I know there's some damage, but I love it  and grabbed it quickly from her stall before someone could beat me to it.

Celia's stand was next to Teeny Tiny Teddies- so that was both of us drooling..............yes of course I bought another exquisite 'vintage' teddy.

The charity stall which raises funds for Breast Cancer Now yielded a couple of lovely jugs - always useful.
 We all had a bit of a shock to learn that Felicity and Ron Holland who had taken on the fair from Celia and Dave, who had established it at the Leisure Centre in 2007,  had decided to call it a day.  Shock horror - it's a much loved fair - the whole ethos being to showcase artisan miniaturists while a strong charity fundraisng link for Breast Cancer Now has been maintained throughout the years. Everyone involved over the years and the many loyal customers and visitors hope that new organisers will come forward so that the fair continues and that Felicity and Ron enjoy their retirement.

And now for my spring flowers, and time to think about a new miniature project. 
Bilbergia Nutans - such a super and striking flower - in the conservatory
The Hellebores are all coming out now
This one is growing in a crack at the bottom of the wall

Miniature Iris and snowdrops - exquisite
Tiny bright cyclamen
Thank you for looking

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Very Strange Week

This is a very strange week for me because for the first time I'm not rushing about like a headless chicken preparing for The Thame Dollshouse and Miniature Fair  this Saturday - however, others this is for them....

I retired as a professional miniaturist last summer so I now have time to create some for 'me' and can indulge myself looking properly at and purchasing artisan items from those I so much admire.  It took a while to get used to the change but it is lovely!!

The fair will be held here in Thame, Oxfordshire on Saturday and for all the details go to the website it's always been a must for anyone who can make it; top quality artisans and friendly atmosphere.
 Following a difficult year, me old mate Celia - KT Miniatures - will be there and in my old spot at STAND 38, and she's asked me to lend a hand so actually I'll be there too until she frees me to have my very first proper look at all the stands and indulge in some retail therapy.
As we live near each other I've been lucky enough to see some of the antique and vintage items she will be bringing and also some of her wonderful handmade 'vintage' pieces that fit so well into old houses you have to pinch yourself to believe they're not ancient.

The fantastic Ellie deLacy is back at last - Yay! - and of course many others like Victoria Fasken, The Flower Lady and Teeny Tiny Teddies to mention just a few.....but others like me have retired so there will be some new faces which will be interesting.
One thing that all the artisans will have in common is the desire to create something 'new' for their potential customers so I'm sure we'll be seeing some super work that will inspire and delight us at Thame and the other artisan fairs around the globe this weekend.

Since the use of the internet and social media became so widespread, sadly some less talented 'makers' decide to take a short-cut,  copy artisan work and sell like mad online.  A new one on me is the use of multiple names to confuse purchasers - so clearly it's very deliberate and shocking. It's happened to me and is so upsetting, but one positive aspect of any quality fair is that old and new friends can catch up, have a laugh, have a gossip and share worries and triumphs and pass on information.....and generally spend some of the takings on colleagues' work too. 

Thank you for looking

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Down the Rabbit Hole with Alice and the White Rabbit

I've had enormous pleasure making this little scene and bringing to life a favourite classic children's story.

In the last blog I showed you the basic rabbit hole before I got going with the paint brush mixing and messing until I was happy with the inside of the hole and the ground in front. A rough sandy mixture was used to rough up the ground tipped on and off white glue brushed on fairly randomly until I was happy.
Click on the pictures for larger versions.

The bubble wrap - yes that's an odd component in landscaping I know - was glued over the cardboard 'hill' before the paper-backed grass sheet was glued on top.  The photos don't really show but it gives a rounded, less flat appearance and can be squashed and prodded for a natural look.  Also it's much easier to have the extra depth when 'planting'.
A piece of thin acrylic from packaging was glued to the back of the hole.

I often use roots rather than twigs for bushes and trees in my landscaping and all the rest of the plants are paper, my own invention except the super ivy leaves which I bought many, many years ago and am hoarding and using sparingly.

Alice is perfect so I just needed to sort out my white rabbit.  After much discussion with myself, and as it was a nicely detailed model I abandoned the mad idea of furring him, painted him up and changed his eyes and nose to pink. I actually think dressing him was the most difficult part of the whole affair - solid plastic rabbits don't move their arms so it was 'tricky'!! Even the fiddly pocket watch was a doddle in comparison.

And now it's finished and I'm a happy bunny.

Next? I need to make marmalade before anything else.

Thank you for looking

Friday, February 3, 2017

Diane's Stables...and...Looking at Alice

During the many years of doll-making, one of the pleasures has been fulfilling someone's wish for a specific character or characters for their own very special project - often receiving photographs on completion.
One of the pleasures of retirement I'm discovering is fulfilling my own miniatures 'wishes'.


Diane's local Dollshouse Club set themselves the challenge of turning a basic shed into something completely different - what a great idea for a club project!  So she decided on stables - Hmm... I'd call that different!
So one of my very last commissions for my long-time friend was to create a young girl in a riding outfit and her Dad - who I expect will be the one mucking out her super stables.

Many thanks to Diane for allowing me to use her photographs, and thanks for the years of friendship (and lovely commissions).

Now to Alice.  'Alice' is the creation of the talented Sandra Morris of Tower House Dolls - another lovely friend.  She's been quietly sitting in her box for the last two years soon as I saw Alice, a picture of her emerging from the rabbit hole in Wonderland came into my head and has sat there ever since. In her recent blogs, Sandra has been explaining the intricacies of making these fine and very beautiful porcelain doll's dolls, which has been fascinating - do take a look.

So - Alice and the 'hole'.  Followed by Alice and the hole taking shape - card, round gift box, bubble wrap, tissue paper, lots of paint and glue...
I need a white rabbit.
I consider A. Sculpting a rabbit.  B. Buying a plastic rabbit.  C. Painting or furring a plastic rabbit.
Little characters, not rabbits, are my sculpting thing - I know when I'm beat so buy the plastic (top quality) rabbit and begin to landscape.

Break for visitors.......................more next time.

Thank you for looking