Friday, 16 December 2011

A lovely start to Christmas!

This week I joined the ladies from the dolls house club for our Christmas dinner. We had yummy food at the Harvester in Fulwell.

We exchange gifts, bran-tub style, and I received this lovely wooden toybox kit by Dragonfly from the US. I need to find some clear spray varnish to make it look even more stunning.

I also received this lovely flapper-style handbag, with beautiful stitching detail.

What a great start to Christmas!

Monday, 28 November 2011

A meaty workshop...

There were three workshops at York fair: making a brace of pheasants, a chicken dinner, and dressing a small toy. I took part in the first two.

The brace of pheasants workshop (£10) was hosted by Solway Miniatures. Think glue and feathers and you can imagine the state of our workstations! We created two practice pheasants and were provided with more than enough materials to make another pair at home. That was a nice touch.

The second workshop (£6), making a roast chicken dinner, was held by Tumdee Miniatures. All of the food was made with air-dry clay, and the porcelain plate was provided. We coloured the chicken with ground chalk, using a darker colour for the 'roast' bits. The herby topping is made from green tea leaves. We were again provided with more than enough materials to make this again at home - great value.

Photos of York fair goodies!

This table was only £3 - I double checked the price on buying it in case it was mistakenly tagged!

Mmm... Gordon's and marmite...

I plan to fill this cake stand with cupcakes. The picture doesn't do justice to the flan case, the porcelain is very thin and the pattern beautifully detailed, a bargain £1.

Golden syrup - these tins are quite heavy.

Aleens tacky glue is wonderful for hemming fabric, instead of sewing. This little trunk will be covered in leather or fabric and used in the bedroom for storage. The 'glass' will be cut to size for the back of the shop counter, bringing more depth to the shop.

Teepee crafts sells thousands of findings and filigree bits. I have plans for all of these!!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

York Doll House Fair

What a lovely day we had at a very friendly York doll house fair. Apart from the dozens of stalls selling pretty much anything you could want for a doll house, local club members display their creative work.

A stunning Lines doll house was centre of attention. It had been fully redecorated and was stocked full of beautiful pieces. Lines doll houses are amongst the sought after and admired vintage houses that, generally, are within financial reach, and they evoke wonderful memories of the 1960s and 1970s. I plan to add one to my collection at some point.

The workshops at the fair are a great way to both meet people and learn new skills. I can now make a brace of pheasants and a chicken dinner. More on that on another post when I have completely finished them!

I picked up some lovely bits. A bargain £3 kitchen table, and some stock items for the shop.

Teepee Crafts stall was as packed as usual. It's a great place to pick up findings and filigree that can be adapted for a multitude of uses.

Pictures coming soon!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

1/24 scale first-timer!

I'm so looking forward to York Doll House Fair on Sunday 27 November. Six hours of miniature shopping and workshops. This will be the first time that I've been to the fair at Christmas, so here's hoping for some lovely seasonal decorations.

I'm particularly looking for furniture for a soon-to-start project, a 1/24 scale 'Willow' house from Bromley Craft Products. It is still flatpacked and undecorated however this is a picture from Bromley's website:

My version will look very different to this. I'm using brick compound and stencils for the bricks and quoins, and of course roofing tiles. I like a more realistic look. A 1950s-style interior is appealing to me, so if anyone knows of sellers of suitable furniture or kits, or if you have any tips, please do advise!

A rather nice lamp - made from scratch, and no kit!

This week we made a light at dolls house club. This was easily the fiddliest miniature I've made at the club but I'm really pleased with the result.

The light really works, and it plugs in to the wiring system at the back of the house. I've decided to place it on the dressing table as the bedroom is the darkest room. The wiring needs to be tidied and painted.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

(virtually) no-cost picture and frame

I love making things that cost nothing, or where the cost is negligible.

This picture is a good example. It is made from a cut out picture from a magazine, plus a little balsa wood and some laminate.

I've used felt tip to avoid white edges around the picture, and have coloured the frame with wood stain to give an aged look.

Fishy scales...

I bought a goldfish bowl kit at the York show earlier this year. It has been a job-to-be-done-soon in my craftbox until this morning.

The rubbery scenic water melts within a few minutes of dropping the tube in a cup of hot water. I poured a little in the bowl to make an invisible base for the fish, added the greens, then topped it up once the base had set.

I'm not sure of the scale: he looks a little cramped in his bowl. Poor fish!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Time to fix my clockwork bargain

This working grandfather clock retails at a rather pricey £68.50 at Dolls House Emporium, way out of my price league for dollhouse furniture.

I managed to pick this one up for just £2.50 at Dainty Toys in Washington. It needed a bit of glue, sanding and staining and is starting to look good.

Now I just need to find some black wire to make the clockface hands.

It will never work of course. The clockwork gubbins was missing when I bought it but I still like my bargain!!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Shopping as it used to be

My 1/12 scale 1950s-style haberdashery department, soon to become part of a shopping emporium, is looking quite sweet.

Creating the scene brought back some lovely memories of Binns, Sunderland's department store which sadly closed in the 1980s. Binns was a shopper's delight, a real department store with wonderful displays, dedicated staff and stocked full of quality merchandise. Sadly, proper department stores of its ilk are becoming rarer.

I've now to fill one of the cabinets with wool and bolts of fabric, then it is ready for display with the other 9 departments in early September. Photos of the full display will follow.

Monday, 20 June 2011

A pretty pinny, and a useful gardening bag

I would enjoy gardening more if I had a pinny (I love that word) and a gardening bag like this.

We made them at our latest doll house club night.

I learned a great tip: the scissors are made from a hook from a 'hook and eye' set. Just fold it out flat with plyers. Brilliant!

Friday, 17 June 2011

A giant step for this dinky house

The smallest of my little houses is a very demanding house and seems to revel in being difficult. Unsticking things, warping wood and mismatched corners. Not my fault of course... ;)

I feel like I am clunking around with a giant's set of tools, smashing a bit here, squeezing something in there.

While it's starting to looking quite pretty, you can probably spot my goofs.

I need to invest in a sharper blade. Mine is dreadful and I'm really regretting starting this house with it. So, the paper cuts around the windows are a little messy, but I will cover those with window boxes and colourful flowers.

I especially love the staircase and the upstairs, very, very cute.

Next to do: furniture, back wall and roof. There are pool tables to make and tiny little gold balls that need painting. There is also a garden to build and fill with flora, garden seats and picnic style tables. Oh, and I need the very tiniest of twigs or stiff stems from the garden to make logs for the fire.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

1/144 scale stairs

I've built and stained the tiny staircase and couldn't resist posting it up! It needs another coat of stain but is coming along nicely.

I need some teeny people with equally teeny feet to climb them.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Haberdashery department

We're making a department store at our doll house club. I've chosen the haberdashery department: lots of small sewing items, balls of wool and bolts of fabric.

After spending a considerable amount of time wrapping fabric around 3/4"x5/8" strips of cardboard, making balls of wool from cut drinking straws at 3/8", wrapped in embroidery threat, and buying a range of suitable oddments, I thought I had enough items to fill my shop.

Unfortunately it still looks half empty but at least I've a good start. We don't need to be finished until September, to display at the Sunderland Horticultural Society event in Seaburn, so I've plenty of time to fill it to the rafters.

1/144 scale pub - The Swan

Working in 1/12 scale is starting, just starting, to feel intuitive.

The need for attention to detail is one of the draws of this hobby. Head often battles with heart, purist versus 'oh but it looks nice anyway' when a slightly off-scale rogue becomes apparent.

Moving to 1/144 scale feels like I'm starting over. My 2.5 inch high pub will have two floors, furniture and pool tables. It's small, very small. In fact it is perfect scale for a doll house in my 1/12 scale house.

The Swan is made from laser cut wood, 1/32" in some cases.

I've started carpeting and wallpapering, and have just stained the wooden window frames and tiny doors.

The penny is included to help demonstrate scale.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

York Dolls' House Fair

The York Dolls' House Fair in York is a treasure trove for collectors of all ages, attracting hundreds of visitors every year.

Stalls offer items to cater for every budget, ranging from artisan crafted furniture to kitchen utensils costing pennies. Mind, you do get what you pay for.

Amongst the hundreds of thousands of items I saw today, a cute teacosy caught my eye, and as it was the only one, I bought it straight away.

I also bought another house, this time a 1/24 scale which I know is going to be a challenge. I need to decide how to log my build on that house, along with my new 1/144 scale village pub. New blogs are on the horizon...

Saturday, 16 April 2011

The story so far!

I've been working on so many mini projects in the house I thought it would be good to show some pictures of the rooms so far.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Bags and gloves

I made this vanity bag, hat case, handbag and gloves set from a kit by Hilda Burden. Nice quality leather and well sized dowelling were supplied, along with tiny brass locks and trimmings to adorn the bags.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Bedroom: accessories

A friend gave me a pattern for making a pair of slippers. I've used some thin red leather for the soles, and a gold and red fabric for the uppers. A touch of gold glitter adds a little glamour.

At this week's doll house club we made travel bags. I'm going to make some smaller ones as handbags.