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!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

New DHE Minis, or What was I Thinking?!

So I got an email last week saying there was 10% off everything on the Dolls House Emporium site last weekend, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to pick up some tile paper I'd had my eye on.

Whilst browsing there were a few other things that caught my eye and before you know it 'd spent £50+.

Of course when it all arrived yesterday I remembered again too late why I generally avoid DHE products as I looked in dismay at their terrible quality.

Actually that is perhaps a tad melodramatic. But the quality is very disappointing. I'd picked up the hutch with the intention of repainting it any way, so I suppose that is not too much of a problem that it is so very roughly finished.
The hand cart is for my future Faery Market. While the construction is fine it is going to at very least need the wheels reworked as they've come with very badly applied black paint around the edges. I think it's supposed to be a tyre, but perhaps it is mud?
The little milk jug is very sweet but well out of scale. It'd hold a lot of 1/12th scale milk.
The 'leatherbound' books are fine as shelf fillers but I wish they'd not been printed on such glossy paper. Obviously it isn't going to exactly simulate leather but just being matt would help.
The worst was a carpet beater I couldn't bring myself to photograph, made of white plastic coated wire. Just... why? Surely cane is cheaper, and you know, a bit more authentic for a carpet beater?
And the tile paper... well it's OK. I bought lots extra so I can experiment a bit with it so maybe it'll turn out looking how I want it to. Maybe.

On the upside the three woven rugs I ordered were all fine.

So the moral of this story is to not get suckered into buying cheap and nasty mass-produced dolls house miniatures unless you've got the time and skills to customise them.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Birds and Berries

My lovely husband and I have just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary, and his gift to me (in keeping with the tradition of him always giving minis) is this lovely Art Nouveau fireplace from Sussex Crafts. This will eventually go in the dining room of Mooredge Manor, as will the Birds and Berries wallpaper I photographed it against. Can you spot the little birds on the fireplace? I sense the beginning of a theme here... especially since I have been eyeing up the Voysey Swan chairs from Small Time Miniatures.

Thursday, 30 August 2012


This is not my favourite fur-person right now - she has taken to scrambling all over the rooftops of my houses. Perhaps she is trying to recreate that scene from Monty Python's Flying Circus? I don't know... but the result is, she has broken a large section of ridge tile off Tanglewood Lodge's roof, left scratch marks in the tiles and deposited 'matter' on there too (which I hope is just mud, but who knows what horrors lurk between kitty toes!). I'm not quite sure what to do about this, other than chase her off whenever I catch her at it...

I'm also sorry to say there has been no progress at all on any of my mini-projects. There are just too many other things demanding my time. It will come back around again though, I am sure. I did have a short stay in York this week and came home with a couple of nice pieces from The Miniature Scene, in the form of this lovely melting candle, and a little leather tankard. I've no idea who made them, but aren't they great?

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Nothing much to report on the mini front really, I've just not had the time to get stuck into any projects. I did add this lovely longbow and arrow to my collection this week though. It is made by Little Green Workshop, and should go nicely in Tanglewood Lodge.
I'll leave you with a quick shot of my family of tabby cats by Pocket People...

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.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

*blows off the cobwebs*

Oh dear neglected dolls houses (and blog), you shall languish no longer! Although I have been busy launching my new business my soul is crying out for a little mini-me time.
I've just returned from a visit to London for Kensington Dollshouse Festival and my enthusiasm is all fired up again. I've all these treasures but until the houses are finished there is nowhere to put them. No more! I will crack on and get them done!

I'm waiting on a special piece I bought at Kensington to be delivered before I take swag photos, but until then the curious may like to take a peek at my actual real-size house. I was interviewed for the splendid Domythic Bliss blog a little while ago and you can read all about my home and take a tour. Go explore the rest of the blog too for inspiration - Domythic is definitely the category my houses large and small fall into!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Small Time Masterpiece

Gosh it has been a while since I updated here. Sadly all work on my miniatures ground to a halt while my office was being redecorated. Now that is finished and the houses are back in their proper places but I've just not had the time to do anything - I'm knitting like crazy every spare moment of the day in preparation for launching a new venture in the Spring. I must remedy this, miniatures are good for the soul!

I've been oohing and ahhing over the beautiful offerings from Small Time Miniatures. They specialise in clocks but their furniture is also a wonder to behold. Just look at this reproduction Morris & Co cabinet!

They also make a splendid Voysey mantle clock as well as several other Arts and Crafts inspired pieces, including a Liberty bookcase, Voysey's Swan chair, a lovely little table and a chair by AH Mackmurdo.

Monday, 3 October 2011

An Alternative Lodge

We're still decorating the 'real' house, so progress on Mooredge Manor is minimal right now... but I have picked up a couple of back issues of The Doll's House Magazine (121 and 122). These feature a version of The Lodge decorated by Pearl Hudson (of Literature in Miniature), and it's absolutely amazing! The brick exterior isn't one I'd have chosen myself, but it does work very well, and I love the changes she's made to the windows and the chimneys. I'd love to know how she inserted the leaded windows too, since I haven't been able to work that out yet! Inside, the doors have been replaced with planked versions, which is what I was planning to do. And the fully panelled hall is astounding. The rest of the interior decoration isn't really to my taste, but it is fascinating seeing how someone else has worked with the space, and what has been added or altered.
If anyone else reading has The Lodge from Elphin, I'd really love to see pictures!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Birthday Kitty

This splendid feline is a belated birthday present from my lovely husband (yes, I do request minis for all my presents!), and was of course made by Sarah Hendry. I've a few other cats also made by her, but I specifically wanted a black cat since my own beloved kitty is a sleek black female called Avalon. I'm not sure which house she'll be living in yet, but where ever, it is I'll have to find a suitably cosy spot.