Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

A short post, lots of pictures! 

I hope you are having an enjoyable day, wherever you are.

The little parlour still looks quite bare. Lots more accessories and a rug needed! And maybe a mirror in the hall stand!

The outside, looking kinda cute but in need of more gingerbread trim and snow!

Thanks for the lovely comments; I find it very encouraging and great to know that you enjoy reading my blog. Soon there will be some Mountfield progress photos I hope, as I have been working on a few little items for it.

Best wishes for a great year ahead everyone.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

One more sleep!

Wow, how did we get there so quick?? Just a short post with a few more pictures of my Christmas cottage. Did I really post the same picture twice in two consecutive posts? ( the red clock and candy dish) Never mind! I'll blame it on the time of year!

Below are some figurines I've painted: carolers, sledders and some kids with a Christmas tree. Hard to capture; perhaps if there's better light tomorrow, I'll get some better photos.

Two comfy chairs in the living room:

A Santa figure and teapot I painted on the little kitchen table where Mrs Noel likes to sit while her gingerbread is cooking:

Another Santa, clock and crockery I painted:

The cupboards in the kitchen, which will need filling over time:

I started adding some snow to the exterior, but it hasn't worked that well. I will show some photos tomorrow. I like it being a work in progress. I think adding things over time can have a better result, as you think more about what you want and where, rather than rushing to fill it up. I like to do something, set it aside for a few weeks and look at it regularly, maybe change it a little, keep looking. Eventually it clicks and you know you have it right!

One other thing. This is my staple tree, with it's meagre piece of green tinsel. It has taken 7.5 years to get this tall. It sits in a Coke bottle lid and is made of nothing but staples. It is quite sturdy too. About 15cm tall I suppose. I wanted to measure it but it is locked in my drawer at work, and having had 6.5 months off work, I've forgotten where I put the key!! Ooops!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Christmas house needs a fireplace

I initially didn't have a fireplace in the parlour of my little Christmas house, but a few months ago, looking at it, I realised, what sort of a Christmas house wouldn't have a fireplace? There is a stove in the kitchen but it's not the same. So I added one, despite not having a chimney. Who cares? I dug this one out of my stash and painted it up. It was originally earmarked for another project but I wanted it for here. It needs a hearth and a very small grate with fire as it is very shallow (probably should've added a chimney breast for extra depth but I only had a tiny bit of that wallpaper left and it wouldn't cover it). It was quite a job trying to cut off the skirting in situ. Something needs to go over the fireplace as a focal point. A wreath? A framed picture? Not sure. Maybe that will be next year's addition!

These are some of the accessories I've painted. Almost every accessory in this house is painted by me. Hope you like!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas already??

Wow, this year has gone quickly, and now we're not far off another Christmas and new year. I have been working on my Christmas house and although it is not quite finished, it only needs some more accessories (as I find them!) and some snow to the exterior. It is good to leave a certain amount undone, as there will be room for more accessories should I find them or want to make them. So I will try to post a few more blog posts over the next couple of weeks, showing some different views each time. For now, here's a few details that I hope you will like.

Little red clock and candy dish:

Mrs Claus's shoes all lined up:

Little red house in miniature:

(Ooops, just noticed the gaping hole where a tree fell off!! Note to self: find tree and reattach!)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Half scale French shop

Hello all. A short post to show you something I've been working on. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I want to start producing some half scale furniture and house kits. I am working on two house designs at the moment, this French shop and a cottage. I hope to release this shop first to go with the range of French furniture I have designed. Still a few details to go, but well on the way.

I hope to have laser cut prototypes of my first lot of furniture in the next few weeks. I am still struggling a bit as I need to source the right wood and at the right price, which is proving quite difficult.

For now, I hope your December is so far good and that you have all your holiday shopping, cooking, decorating etc well in hand. Keep safe amongst the craziness.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Something I'm working on

As some of you may be aware, I am looking at a career change. I have been working on a bunch of half scale house and furniture kits, which I hope to have laser cut and up for sale in the next few months. If there is anything in particular you'd like to see, let me know. I probably won't be selling the currently available miniature items (lights, accessories etc) any time soon, but I hope to make a few printed/laser cut accessory packs.

Here is a picture of a stove design that I printed out on paper, stuck onto card and cut out as a prototype.

Seeing as there appears to be discrepancies in sizes of half scale items, I am basing the size of mine on Bespaq pieces. I want these kits to be relatively detailed but easy to put together. 

The first things will be some furniture, like a French style bed, some stoves, occasional tables and a country style bedroom suite. I am also working on a house, with tab and slot construction for stability and a shop or two. I will post some more pics as I progress. 

Lastly, thanks for your comments on my last post. And no, I didn't realise I'd sprouted horns til I got home from the SF zoo and saw the photos! I wondered why people were staring!

Hope you are all keeping well and enjoy your week.

Results of my Rik Pierce course

Hi all. I am back in Australia with my Dudding Wells tearoom which hasn't been touched since the course finished. I had to make some tools and get some supplies, so no real progress.

The course was amazing. If you get the chance to join in, I highly recommend you do. Rik is a great guy and so willing to show you any of his techniques and tricks. He is an endlessly talented and inspiring man - makes me wonder what I'm doing with my life!

Not a lot to show at this stage, but here is part of the exterior, with my unpainted brickwork. I don't have the right colours of paint to finish it, so need to do some shopping for that. We have a limited selection of paints in our small town, so might need to get them online.

This is the interior of the upper floors. Having never used proper paperclay, I didn't know what to expect. I am now a convert. Unfortunately, having tried many types of air dry clays available here in Australia and found none that are remotely similar, I will be limited to buying the real thing online from the US.

This is the house in its box, ready to be shipped home:

If you have any doubts about doing a course because you will have trouble getting something like this home, don't. We boxed it pretty well (double-boxed actually) and checked it as additional baggage (which cost $95 pre-booked). With the heavy timber base, tools, paperclay and all house components (plus a few extra items of clothing used as packaging!) it weighed about 14kg. It was openned by the US customs people but they repacked it and taped it neatly. I think they were suss about the packages of paperclay!

Some quick photos of some souvenirs. This is a tiny teacup I bought at Shellie's Minis (where the workshop was held). She had beautiful stuff.

Some little teddy and bunny faces. Think I'll use these for cakes and the like.

My tiny dolly. She won't live in my Mountfield. Maybe she'll go in a half scale house.

All in all, the San Francisco area was fantastic, and we had an amazing time. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

More pretty houses

Whilst on our holiday, my husband and I took a bus tour to Carmel and Monterey. I had really wanted to stay in Carmel but it just didn't work out, but at least I got a flying visit. Many of you may be aware of the Hugh Comstock storybook cottages, which are what we wanted to see. We managed to track them down during our 1 hour at Carmel, but they were very difficult to photograph, due to the terrain, trees and landscaping. If you ever plan to visit, they apparently sometimes have open houses, so I think that would be the best chance of viewing them properly. It was a very picturesque town anyway, so well worth a visit. 

This was a B&B in Monterey we found. Loved it.

And lastly, we took a drive down 17 Mile Drive which is apparently where all the millionaires live. It was pretty spectacular with the rocky coastline and twisted old cypress trees. Someone there had the good fortune and good taste to build a French gatehouse. Again, hard to photograph. I was down the hill from it, on a narrow windy bit of very busy tourist road without a footpath. 

A really lovely spot to visit, but it has been a very expensive holiday - more so than France that's for sure. But on the upside, the people are friendly. See you all!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A little hello from California

Just a quick post to show some photos of the beautiful San Francisco painted ladies.

The ones below are right next to Alamo Square, just down hill/next to the very famous ones you see in every brochure. And there were about a thousand people there in Alamo Square photographing them!

Also, for Elizabeth at Studio E, I thought you might be interested in seeing the photo of the little cottage right next to the water in Sausalito. The photo is taken from a boardwalk over the water. There were a few metres of sand and then water.

This is a little shop I found in the store window on Haight Street. Notice the little posts out the front of the door? Hmmmm...

Also, whilst in Sausalito, we visited the Daniel Merriam gallery (he is apparently local). You willrobably have seen some of his artwork, which often include fanciful Victorian style buildings. The deceased father of another artist exhibiting in the gallery had made this little San Franciscan:

Hope you enjoyed. Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Off on holidays soon

On Sunday, my husband and I fly out to San Francisco for three weeks, where I will be doing a Rik Pierce class at Shellie's Miniatures. Should be a great trip and September is supposed to be the best month in San Francisco. Will try to post an update whilst there. I hear they have some pretty buildings there! Tee hee!

For now though, some updates on my projects.

I have decided to lightly grunge up the interior of the doll shop. I've grunged all the painted surfaces (architraves, door, skirting, cornice) with a gel medium/linen coloured paint mix, and will grunge the corners of the wallpaper just a little with a light chalk pastel dust. I decided it would be more in keeping with the overall feel I am aiming for. So thanks to readers for their suggestions (Elizabeth, Margaret and PILAR6373), they were greatly appreciated.

I haven't ordered the accessories I was wanting for the Mountfield, so progress is slow, but I've done a bit to the laundry, including installing a sink with taps and towel rail, a shelf (actually made two but so far only one has been attached to the wall) and painting up a Phoenix metal vaccuum cleaner. I will show pics soon, when I have got a little further. I have also finished the two chairs from the music room. I added a few more splashes of paint, covered the cushions with a floral print fabric and made some cord from embroidery floss for trim. I am really happy with them and think they suit the room perfectly.

I have also been working on accessories for the French shop. I purchased some Lisa's Little Things kits, so some of these are going into the shop. The thread box is on top of the red display table on the left. 

The notions counter on the right (below) is also one of her kits. I have always loved her kits, so it is great to finally have some to put together. Still playing with the placement of little accessories but do you ever just leave something where you put it initially? I keep changing lots of things in this house.

And a little photo of the back room:

I also don't think I've shown this room yet, as I wasn't quite sure for a long time what it would be. It is now a sewing room, given that the occupant of this shop is obviously into sewing. The sewing machine is a Rement one. I think it is reasonably within scale, but strangely the peddle cord is too short to go from the machine all the way to the floor. I might need to replace the cord with a longer one. It's not shown in this photo as it was dangling off the table and looked silly. You can see my hand painted metal kitty playing with wool in the foreground.

And lastly, I have put together the shell of my chateau. I will need to get the windows cut up very soon, before I can start installing the interior walls, so hopefully I will get organised and have them done whilst I am away. I have them mostly drawn up and ready for laser cutting. I need to find something to have them made from first though. The laser cutting place doesn't stock thin enough boards.

This photo shows a wall that will go in the salon. They are the Robert Dawson (the Modelroom) wall panels I got at the Kensington Dollshouse Fair in 2012. The spaces between panels will be the windows. I want to paint these with a bit of colour and can't decide if I want to turn them into something like the panels from the Dauphine's private study at Versailles or not. I'd need to add a fair bit of detail to get that effect, and it is a room I have to replicate somewhere in this chateau, but not sure if it will be in this room or another. I have a little while to think about that though, whilst I wait on windows.

Here is a pic (from a google search) of the Dauphine's study. It is my favourite room at Versailles.

 Well, I hope you enjoyed my updates. I am off to vaccuum my floor and water the plants and then pack. Hope you are all well and happily miniaturing away.