Monday, 25 March 2013

Spring Miniatura

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered... sorry slipped into Labyrinth for a moment then... Through snow and ice we braved the weather and drove this weekend to Birmingham for Miniatura. My first one in about 3 years and I was very much looking forward to it - and was quite furious when I awoke to 3ft of snow on Saturday morning here in the Pennines. Erring on the side of caution we called off the journey and I sat by the fire knitting instead. On Sunday however no more snow had fallen and after digging out the car found that most of the main roads were clear enough to drive on.
We got to the NEC in one piece and spent a happy few hours wandering the stalls and buying some gorgeous new minis. In the photo you can see a rustic Tudor bench from Constance Irene; a carpet beater and trellis from C&D Crafts; wooden wand and bundle of herbalist's papers from Ellie de Lacy; herb chopper and dish from Sue & Sandy Eismont, picture frames from Wood Supplies; and the tiniest bronze mouse from Art Forge. I can't remember who made the lovely mushroom-adorned tea pot and canister, but isn't it splendid?
I also bought, perhaps in a fit of temporary insanity, a wisteria kit from The Miniature Garden Centre and the strawberry thief cushion kit from Nicola Mascall. They're both absolutely wonderful but I don't know when, if ever, I'm going to find the time and patience for such fiddly kits! Finally I also came home with an old fashioned guttering kit from Sussex Crafts, because progress WILL resume on my dolls houses!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Kensington Swag

I was pretty restrained this time, only going around the fair once. We were heading off to Leighton House Museum (amazing place, go see it!) and then my old stomping ground of Camden to revisit old haunts (what was left of them anyway).
Top of my list and most pleased to get is the lovely William Morris table by Kim Selwood. I've been eyeing this up for the past few years and now it is all mine! On the table are a man eating plant (a little nod here to the fabulous Little Shop of Horrors!), toadstools and jam jars from Kastle Kelm Miniatures, a set of 6 wineglasses from The Little Dolls House Co. and a chamber pot by Elisabeth Causeret.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Anniversary Mission

My lovely husband and I are celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary today, and his gift for me was this beautiful Mission silver cigar box by Don Henry. It is so dainty and lovely! (Thank you my dear!). The American Mission style equates with the British Arts & Crafts so this will fit right in with Mooredge Manor.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Kensington Dollshouse Festival

Last Friday I had a lovely day in London at the Kensington Dollshouse Festival. I was partly on a fact finding mission regarding decoration for Mooredge Manor, and I'm pleased to find the roof tiles, fireplaces and wallpaper I had picked out all look fantastic in the flesh so I can go ahead and order them. I was also excited to find some really realistic looking leaded glass sheets that I'm going to use on Tanglewood Lodge (I've been using thin strips of electrical tape and it just wasn't working for me!). Other than that my only agenda was shopping, and I've come home with some splendid bits and pieces.

The birdcage is by Lidi Stroud; the folding table, table top easel, artists palette and hand rest from Ellie de Lacy; ceramic jug and washbasin by Elizabeth Causeret, orchid and moneybag from The Little Dollhouse Company; ceramic stag ornament by Janice Crawley; and fireback from CA & BA Hooper. I also got a cupboard furniture kit, some more fabric and a set of really amazing curly window latches and stays (that work!).
Also, it was quite exciting to see Helena Bonham Carter there, buying a house for her faery dolls!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Kim Selwood Furniture (And Some Progress News!)

There sadly isn't much in the way of Arts & Crafts furniture available in miniature, but Kim Selwood is an exception. His catalogue covers Morris & Co., Liberty, MH Baillie Scott, CFA Voysey and many others.

I'd love a Sussex Chair from Morris and Co. for Mooredge Manor. And I really like all the Voysey furniture too! I am going to Kensington Dolls House Festival next week so we'll see what comes home with me...

And news of Tanglewood Lodge - the roof is finished!!! Finally, hurrah! It does feel like I've been ironing those shingles on for years now. In my excitement at finishing I've been in a whirlwind of activity, and am now nearly through with the ageing of the house's exterior. It is quite amazing what a wash of grey paint can do! I still need to weather the beams and flick lichen onto the roof, lead the windows and scatter grass all over the base, but then it will be done! Photos will be coming soon.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A Few New Little Things

We've just spent a lovely weekend in Bath, so of course I had to pop into Karon Cunningham's Pulteney Bridge shop. I had to restrain myself otherwise I'd have spent an absolute fortune, but I did have a little bit of birthday money to spend, and so these came home with me:

I think they're all by the same German maker, but his name is a mystery!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Some Words of Wisdom From the Man Himself

"If I were asked to say what is at once the most important production of Art and the one most to be longed for, I should answer, A Beautiful House."
William Morris

I also like this quote from Charles Voysey:

"Try the effect of a well-proportioned room with white-washed walls... and simple furniture and nothing in it but necessary articles of use."

Monday, 29 November 2010

Mini Haul from York

We braved the snow to visit the Dolls House & Miniatures Fair at York Racecourse yesterday, and this is what came home with me...

Ladder by Harlands of Hedon, trio of copper saucepans and milk jug from Country Treasures, mistletoe bough by Jan Southerton, jar of herbs from Solway Miniatures and a most lovely shaped copper teapot from Forget-Me-Not Miniatures. (Pictured outside a nowhere near finished Tanglewood Lodge... )
I also picked up for wood and fabric for future projects.

The fair itself was pretty good, although really quiet. Perhaps the snow put people off? It is also the Kensington Christmas Fair next weekend so perhaps people were saving for that instead (I can't make it, as it clashes with my son's second birthday!). We've decided next year to give Miniatura a miss completely, and just go to Kensington and York. I really need to direct my time and money into actually decorating my dolls houses instead of just buying things for them!

Monday, 18 October 2010

The Lodge Has Landed

'The Lodge', or as it is henceforth known, Mooredge Manor, is here! And very impressive (and somewhat intimidating!) it is... My initial thought was 'Crikey, it's huge'... quickly followed by 'this is going to be a loooooong project'!

Now it has been moved into my office it doesn't look too vast, although I am going to have to get a special table or cupboard with a turntable for it to stand on. It is going to take a very long time to finish however... but that is all part of the fun!
I've been making tentative plans for decoration over the last few months but now I can actually see the rooms I can better visualise what will and won't work so I will be able to start finalising my ideas. The rooms include the big hallway with attic above, kitchen, studio, bathroom, conservatory, drawing room and bedroom.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Pear Tree Miniatures

I've just received my latest parcel of goodies from Pear Tree Miniatures. The talented Barbara Moore makes beautiful carved wooden furniture inspired by historical pieces. Luckily for me, she will also rise to the challenge of making bespoke items, which in my case are a mish-mash of historical and fantasy inspirations.
These include a Unicorn Rocking Horse, a Glastonbury Chair carved with acorns and oak leaves (and Barbara's first attempt at this type of chair), a Gothic inspired trestle table (the only catalogue piece) and a matching settle (which combines elements of a few different designs). All of these beauties are bound for Tanglewood Lodge (when I finally finish decorating it! Just tackling the lighting now, and gearing myself up for attaching the 1000's of shingles on the roof...).