Sunday, August 31, 2014

Kitchen Renovation

I've made a start with the renovation of my Del Prado dolls house. I am trying to just make do with supplies I have to hand and found a tile patterned piece of wallpaper that I have used in the kitchen on the bottom half of the walls. I have left the pale green wallpaper that was already there on the top half.

I have given the chimney where the cooker sits an undercoat of gesso after filling in some gaps with polyfiller and sanding. It will need a few more coats of gesso and some more sanding yet but I think I prefer the white to the cream colour. I think I am going to repaint all the kitchen furniture white, perhaps with blue accents. I have used the same tile wallpaper to back the chimney and have inserted a brick floor in the chimney using a bit of plastic brick sheet I found in my stash.

I was going to do up the cooker but then remembered I had one the same size in my stash so I replaced it with that. I can do up the other cooker another day for another project.

Anyway, here are a few pictures:

 The kitchen as it was.
 The chimney and cooker as they were.
The tile wallpaper added to the bottom half of the walls. 
 The new cooker in the renovated kitchen.
The cooker inset in the chimney with tile backing.

 The brick floor of the chimney.
The kitchen.
I really want to replace that light shade but I'm not sure how I am going to do that yet as everything is wired and glued in. I'm sure I'll come up with some solution.
Lots of gesso-ing and sanding for me this week while I work on the rest of the kitchen furniture.
I hope you are having/have had a great weekend.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

New Project(s).

A few days ago I got an email from my friend Susan. The only other miniaturist I am aware of in our town. In it she said:

"I have a dolls house that I am going to get rid of. It is the house that you could get years ago with a magazine and it built up with the parts they gave you. It isn’t completely finished but nearly.  I was wondering if you would like it." 

Well, yes please! At the time I was trying to decide what I could work on next - dilemma solved. On Thursday I went and picked up my Del Prado dolls house. I also had the chance to have a look at Susan's dolls houses and her compact but fabulous and very organised craft room.

I walked away the happy owner of a new house/project and with the realisation that my craft room could be so much better organised.

So this weekend after the housework was done I was into my craft room to try to get it a bit more organised. Also, as I needed to fit in another dolls house the decision was made that I needed to spill out into the hallway. I can no longer contain my hobby to one side of the spare bedroom. I told myself that other than do a quick stocktake and take a few photos of the house for a blog entry I would not play with the house until my craft room is totally sorted (progress report - it is still far from complete).
I am really pleased with the house. Susan bought the house second hand from a lady who had done most of the house and some of the furniture but I will probably refinished some of the furniture by sanding down and repainting. I will probably change at least one of the wallpapers and there is still quite a bit to complete including putting in all the stairs. I have tested the lights and they work and I have done a stocktake of all the parts that came with the Del Prado step by step kits and all I can see that is missing is the sitting room rug cross stitch pattern. The house did not come with any of the magazines or instructions so I will have to make things up as I go as far as the stairs and the other furniture kits go. This is probably not a bad thing as I would probably have done things my way anyway. The wood in the kits are not of the greatest quality but there is potential to 'upgrade' the kits and I will embellish them to suit. This is a challenge I will enjoy.
Anyway here are some photos of the house and furniture in its current state:

(with lights)

The resident family. 

The folder contains all the furniture kits not yet done.
There is also a bag of roof tiles and a bag of wallpapers etc.
Of course while the intention was not to play with the house until my craft room was organised I could not resist a little play. I had to put the furniture into the house.

Susan also gave me these three dolls which I will redress:


Susan has also been very generous to Jamie giving her this lovely doll:

She has also given Jamie this old Arthur dolls house that has seen better days so Jamie and I can do it up for the doll:

Susan got this house second hand from a lady who had put it together with a hot glue gun and over time it has fallen apart. It will do up nicely for Jamie's doll. Jamie has come up with the great idea  that it will be a wonderful two storey play house for the little girl where she can have tea parties with her dolls.
Jamie is thinking she now wants to start a blog to record the progress of her house too!
And finally, Susan has leant me a whole pile of miniature magazines to read which I am absolutely loving.
Thank you so much Susan. You have made a couple of girls very happy and I so enjoyed the guided tour of your craft room!
I hope everyone is having a great weekend. I know I am.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Town Mouse & Country Mouse Book-Ends (almost) Complete

Well the book ends are almost complete - complete enough to do a final showing. I still need to find a small enough copy of the book "The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse" to go between the book-ends and do a few paint touch-ups here and there but other than that they are complete. In time when I can afford to I will put a battery light in each of the roof spaces so the houses can light up.

I cannot take credit for the cute little mice residents. They were made by a lovely lady back in the 1990s (sadly no longer with us) who was very clever with fimo. I have had them stored away all this time so I am sure they are happy to now have their own special houses.

Here are some photos:

This is Master Town Mouse's residence. 

He is especially proud of his bright red door and the plants either side. The plants were a gift from his cousin and great friend Country Mouse. Master Town Mouse found the grandest beads he could from the rubbish tip on the outskirts of the town to put them in (the things the big people throw out!).

Master Town Mouse is about to head indoors to have a cup of tea and a slice of camembert and watch out the side window of his house for Country Mouse who has promised to visit this afternoon.

This is Country Mouse's residence.

He loves the simple green door of his house which blends in with the beautiful countryside.
He has been out gardening but has put his shovel down to get ready to go and visit Master Town Mouse. He is hoping he will get a slice of Camembert cheese when he visits.
He might pick a bunch of flowers first to take to give to Master Town Mouse.
 Well I hope the mice cousins enjoy their afternoon together and I hope you are having a great weekend.
I'm off to think about what my next project will be.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


One of the spin-offs of an interest in miniatures is you learn little bits of history and information about other crafts as you go. It can often lead to an interest in or love of things other than miniatures. In my case, amongst other things, I have developed a love of antique and vintage wallpapers. I could sit and look at the wonderful designs of antique and vintage wallpapers on the internet for hours and the social history behind the wallpapers of a particular era. It is a fairly recent interest so I have a lot of learning ahead of me and I look forward to it.
For those of you more recently following my blog you may not have stumbled across the you tube video I provided a link to some time back that gives you a glimpse of 300 years of wallpapers in 3 minutes:
I am lucky to have obtained a few pieces of antique wallpapers from a friend which I have shown in a previous post:
While I recently took you on a guided tour of my craft room and my treasures I realised there was one treasure I haven't shown you. It is a little 1938/39 sample book of Sanderson fancy papers. The whole book is only 7 inches by 3 inches. I am sure many of you will recognise the name Sanderson in relation to wallpapers and fabrics.
In brief, the company's start was in 1960 when Arthur Sanderson established himself in London as an importer of French wallpapers. In 1968 he started commissioning block-printers in England to print designs and in 1879 the company's first wallpaper factory was built.
The sample book I have is divided into sections and I give you a tiny glimpse of some of the contents below:

 31 Papers.
Most of the flocks are a single colour but there are two multi-coloured flock papers.

83 Papers.
Many of the papers in this section are gold textured prints.

Approx 175 papers.
Some of these scaled down would make great mini bags and suitcases.


27 pages.

15 pages.

77 pages.


Some of you who have vintage houses may recognise some of the last few papers.
While I originally bought this sample book to use the papers I have found it hard to pull it apart.
I did use a tiny piece of paper for this table.

I could copy the papers of course, albeit that they are very small, but then you don't get the wonderful textures of some of the papers. I might do that though at some stage with some of the leatherettes to experiment with some miniature handbags and suitcases.
In the meantime I am just happy to own this wonderful glimpse of the past.
I do have a project in mind relating to antique wallpaper that I hope to start soon ... watch this space.
I'd better stop typing this post and try to finish my Petite Properties book-ends first though.
Have a great weekend.