Saturday, September 17, 2022

Chateau update (plus other stuff)

Hi everyone. I have spent a good few hours this weekend making progress on my chateau. There has been some setbacks, including a diminished supply of a paint colour I needed that has become rare/expensive. I solved it by getting a sample pot of paint using colour match. So now I have a big pot of paint plus the formula to make the same colour again if I need it in future. So many parts got repainted in the new paint and we're back on track. I finished my wall mural last weekend and here it is temporarily held in place in the entry. Now some trimming of parts to make everything fit, a bit more painting and then we're very close to done. Wondering if this needs a sky blue ceiling??

It's a really satisfying place to be. The salon is currently having the front wall panels glued in place, so no photos. But it is also progressing. 

I have also begun seriously rehabbing the Fairfield I bought a few years ago. Not much to show, but it has been partially pulled apart and reglued. It was an example of what not to do - wallpapers in slots and on tabs, hot glue, parts not meeting up. The whole base is twisted and no idea how. Or maybe the base is fine and the whole house is twisted? 

This is a reminder of how it looked. I pulled out the fireplace wall as I will make a new wall to go there with a fireplace to the left for the living room and a stove to the right for the kitchen.

And here, stripped and reglued.

If I haven't already mentioned, this will be a seaside house, based loosely in the early-mid 1960s, because I loved the book 'Clarence takes a vacation' so much. This is how the exterior will roughly look (although at this stage, not sure I am going to attempt the curved front window..... but we'll see!

I have also been making miniature baskets, with some slow improvement. These are all earlier ones, except the green one at the back and the white one at the front. It's a fun pastime, but I am still testing thread thickness to find the perfect size.

And the last thing I will share with you today is my Robin Betterley Liberty Bay shop (sorry it's a bad photo). I pulled it out after many years of sitting. It turns out there were only a few things left to do to finish it. I hadn't attached the box that sits inside the frame at the back to enclose it, and wondered where the heck those pieces would be. I had just finished reorganising my craft room, which is why I seized upon the shop in the first place, and I recalled seeing a little bundle of wood and acrylic bits and THEY WERE THE RIGHT ONES!!! Miracle of miracles as I seem to spend more time looking for stuff than doing any mini making.

So now it's just finding some pieces to go inside, although I do have a few accessories already.

OK, I will leave it there as this is getting quite a long post and I am hungry.Two good reasons to stop! Hope you are all well. We have a 4-day weekend next weekend so I hope to have more chateau progress to show soon!!!!! And finally I can start planing the next storey (dining room and another room to be determined....a whole new set of dilemmas). Fun stuff!!! Take care out there!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Mid year update

 Hi all. I have been slack this year on posting here. I apologise for that. I feel like I haven't achieved a whole lot though. As mentioned in my previous post, I have been working on the chateau. Progress is slow - many layers of paint - but I have been painting a mural for the entry. You can still see the underpainting in places - the birds, a plant on the left side of the largest panel, the stairs and the pagoda/rotunda thing. The main images were taken from a real life garden at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in France (website here). The narrow panel and the largest panel sit either side of a door, the birds will sit above the door and both the largest panels go up one side of the stairs (hence the sloped bottom edge). If only I could come up with a good stair rail design, I'd be set.

 And this is the rejigged salon. I am working on the front/window wall and curtains for it (see below). 

I am adding a cut down lace fringe trim to the curtains. Here I am trying to get the colour right. I have cut and shaped my pieces and will paint them then glue everything together. I hope it is convincing. I found a scrap of faded silk in just the right colour in my hoard, but it wasn't enough. Then I came upon a larger piece that was unfaded, so I've had just enough to make the curtains and hoped I didn't screw it up.

I also had a table selling my half scale kits at the Victorian Association of Miniature Enthusiasts show earlier this month. Here I am at my table. It was fairly quiet so I didn't sell anywhere near as much as I usually do. Maybe the early effects of a slow economy?? 

And also, I have been accumulating mini doll moulds. I have been pretty lucky to get quite a few Doreen Sinnett, Janna Joseph and a few other moulds, so I am trying to get some cast. These are in porcelain slip, my first attempts. Wow, is it fragile!!!! I am not sure I will make more this way. I will get these ones fired and then decide. FYI I have poured parts for complete dolls - this is just the last few parts I needed to make complete dolls.

So after that not-so-exciting update, I am off to do a bit more on my curtains. I hope you are all well and still making minis! XX


Friday, May 6, 2022

Sydney miniatures show

 Hi all. Thought I’d write a quick post to show some pics from the Sydney mini show last weekend. There weren’t labels on the displays, so not sure who made what. I do know that this first photo was a workshop from a Cat n Co workshop at the last AMEA convention.

These are most of the minis I purchased. Items for the Chateau from Christmas Everyday.

Rolypoly doll and artwork by Dawn, Faberge egg by lady sitting next to my table (wish I got a couple more), basket by Lidi Stroud and everything else from Andrea Currie (also wish I’d got more!).

And gifts from my husband who helps me at the Sydney show. A bookcase and rocker made by Lynn Palmer (

Plus a few other bits and pieces like lace, some stair spindles and fabric. I got a bargain lot of doors, a window, table legs, corbels AND two bed kits and a dressing table kit made by Small Pleasures (and long ago discontinued). So the Mountfield might get an attic bedroom!

And this beast! A ginormous 1:24 San Franciscan. I will put a lot of my Bespaq in this. It’s got BIG rooms. I made some interior wall adjustments and will now need to alter door and window openings in situ. What a job.

It was so lovely to meet so many of my customers, as well as having time to chat to other makers. Really made the long drive worthwhile.

I have been working on other minis in dribs and drabs. I have been trying to get a little done on the chateau most weekends in an attempt to finally get a couple of rooms done. I haven’t posted about it in soooo long, but I pulled the whole structure apart to reconfigure it. I decided to use photos of one Paris townhouse rather than make it an amalgam of different French buildings, as I couldn’t decide on details. The last time we were in Paris (2018) we stayed in an apartment that was, to my surprise, just a few houses down from a house Linda Carswell had posted photos of on her blog. I was enamoured of it then, and still am now, so it became the dream.

So I will post some photos soon I hope of that project. I decided to really make it my own, and forget about sticking to time period/architectural rules. It’s an old house set in modern day, so I can do with it as I wish! Somewhere I would live myself.

Also just wanted to let you know that I was trying to post comments on your blogs for a few weeks and it wasn’t working, and then I figured out why it wasn’t working and fixed it. So I can comment again. My apologies - I wasn’t ignoring your posts. I just had a brain fart.

OK, take care everyone. I hope your mini and real lives are going well and playing nicely! Xx (And sorry, it wasn’t such a short post afterall!)

Thursday, February 10, 2022

February French shop update

 Hi all. How are you all faring? This whole COVID thing is just so odd, I think it’s hard for anyone to feel normal even if things are at least on the surface returning to normal. 

I have been undertaking at least one little task on the chateau each week/weekend as I am determined to make real progress this year. I will give an update on that soon I hope.

At the weekend I decided to arrange the French shop kitchen a little, and it is by no means done, I was really just having a fiddle. But it’s looking pretty good. So instead of writing, I will just post some photos!

The view through the exterior door:

Lidi Stroud’s picnic basket and a baguette from Petit Plat:

Initially the sideboard was under the shelves but it was too squeezy with the table, so I shoved it along, put the table against the wall under the shelves, and I like it. I need a shelf/rack for hanging some cups on now.

My own amateur apples and pears, some pomegranates (can’t remember the seller, but from Etsy) and a brioche from Betty Sartori:

And the view in the window:

I made a little tutorial on my website blog on making mini cakes from polymer clay. Really easy. If you are interested, here is a link:

On that note, I hope you’re all well, or at least chugging along. Take care.