Friday, February 28, 2014


Hi all. First of all I know I said I would do a post on my Timeless Toys project last weekend. I then realised I had to make something for my Sister's birthday. With Pete currently unemployed I cannot justify spending a lot on presents so it was time to get creative. Unfortunately I can't post what I made her yet because I won't be seeing her until next week.

I still have to sort out what I have for Timeless Toys. I will try to do a post on that this weekend.

Today I want to tell you about AmeriCARna - a celebration of American classics. I thought my American followers in particular might like to know that many Kiwis are big on American cars. AmeriCARna is effectively a touring classic car event that started back in 2007 in our region of Taranaki and has become a very popular event, not only for the participants who get together for a week once every two years but also for the towns the cars visit or pass through. This year about 500 to 600 cars and a few motorbikes came to my home town of Hawera arriving about 12.30pm. The central business district was closed off and the cars parked along the streets so people could mill around the cars and get a good chance to view some fabulous vehicles. The streets were lined with spectators as the cars drove through the town with both participants and spectators waving flags. Shops and buildings were decorated with red white and blue balloons, streamers and Amercian flags. The cars stayed parked in the CBD for 2 or 3 hours and then travelled to The HUB, a local sporting complex for a gymCARna. Apparently the gymCARna gives the participants an opportunity to show off their driving skills as they manoeuver their car through a course. It would probably be great to watch some of the drivers manoeuvering some of those big cars around the course but I didn't get there today.

I did however get to watch a lot of the cars as they arrived in town as my work place is on the main street. Pete kindly also came into town to take some photos for me so I could do this post. We also took a short video of some of the cars arriving so I can have a play with my Adobe Elements Premier video editing software. Hopefully at some stage I will be able to put a little video on my blog showing some of the cars driving through the street.

Often Jamie and I walk to the exit of our town to watch the cars leave at the end of their day in Hawera, but unfortunately this year is started raining shortly before their time to leave to travel to New Plymouth, an hour away. I hope the weather is okay for them tonight as they are driving through the New Plymouth CBD tonight for a street parade.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these photos. I think it would be a fabulous sharing a fun few days with people with a like passion. It would be like a gaggle of miniaturists getting together for a week long get-together with workshops, live entertainment, fun events, good food, music and show and tells of a mix of modern and vintage miniatures.


 Me checking out the dash of a Chevrolet.

 The office where I work.

Looking down the main street. There were classic cars parked along the CBD for a number of blocks.

Sorry for those of you who aren't into cars for this non-mini blog entry. I'm not really a car enthusiast but I love it when AmeriCARna comes to town.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Laurels

I had another play with a vintage house today. This time The Laurels.

Brae of Otterine's Miniatures did a post today referring to a Bodo Hennig sewing machine I had bought to go into my sewing room in The Laurels. It was a timely reminder that I had not done anything to The Laurels for some time.

For those who don't know The Laurels is a vintage dolls house I picked up through an on-line auction in New Zealand in 2012. The lady who sold it to me said she had bought it at an auction in England about 10 years earlier. It is probably a home made dolls house from fairly early last century.

This was the sewing room earlier today, a very narrow tall room:

This is how it looks now - far from finished but now starting to look like a little sewing room:

I wanted to use the small piece of antique wallpaper I had which would be about the same age as the house. It is quite a large print if you think in 1/12th scale but it was common practice in antique dolls houses to use the wallpapers that were available at the time and many antique dolls houses have quite large scale wallpapers.

The wallpaper is the same paper I used for the two giveaway prizes I made recently (photos on my right hand sidebar).

Talking about wallpaper, I just love old wallpapers and I love this little video I found on Youtube called Wallpaper that Moves - 300 Years of Wallpaper.

I am far from finished the little sewing room and I don't know if the furniture I have thrown in will stay or whether I will make furniture for the room. I need to do some research on Victorian sewing rooms.

Above is a photo of the Laurels with its doors open. The sewing room is the central upstairs room. I have now wallpapered three of the six rooms. I might retain the wallpaper on the upper left which came with the house. I haven't decided yet. I still need to do all the floors as well. I am slowly hunting out antique miniatures to fill the house. There is currently a mix of new, handmade, vintage and antique items and also a mix of eras.

Here are a few more photos of The Laurels:

The Nursery:

I love this little doll in her party dress.

The Study:
I recently found these treasures. I don't know anything about them but love the detail. They are about 6 cm long.

Collection of miniature Chinese Mudmen.

Vintage Japanese table.

Vintage Japanese desk. The fan is probably an old German miniature.

This is a miniature postcard (made into a locket) that my friend Lyn gave me. It was given to her as a child 60-70 years ago. It is only 2cm across. It shows a scene of a Maori girl on a canoe in the Wanganui River, New Zealand.

The Bedroom:
Another Japanese miniature.

A lovely old china doll in a Japanese kimono. Her legs are a little age worn so I will have to make her a skirt. I made the crazy patch bedspread.

The Kitchen:
The blue items and the little checkered trolley are Tekno miniatures from Denmark from approximately the late 1920s.

There is housework to be done even in miniature households.

I seem to be getting a collection of Japanese and Chinese miniatures. The story that I have created for The Laurels is that the lady of the house makes beautiful dresses for the elite in order to be able to maintain and keep 'The Laurels' while she anxiously awaits her husband's long over-due return from an overseas bird-discovery expedition. He has travelled extensively in the past on research trips often bringing treasures home.

I've enjoyed having a bit of a play with my vintage miniatures over the last week but it is time to get on with another project. It is time to commence Timeless Toys. I will be going through my stash to see what I have for the project and will do a post later in the weekend on what I find and what my ideas are for the project.

Until then, have a great weekend.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Playing with Vintage

The Selina Rose Gallery is safely with my sister and she appears to be very happy with it. Below is a photo my husband sent to me via his phone shortly after he arrived at my sister's place (late evening). She is busy unpacking the house and contents and has found the perfect corner for it in her home. (I'll probably get in trouble with my Sis for posting this photo!) I love you Karen.

That is one thing ticked off my to-do list.

I have to admit I think I suffered a mini burn-out after rushing to get the Gallery finished in time. I didn't even want to go into my craft room for a number of days. However this weekend, after a bit of a tidy up, I have managed to tick another thing off my to-do list (well almost). Yesterday I re-papered my vintage triple gable Amersham with reproduction Amersham papers. I got the papers from Trevor Cain of Dolls House Restoration (dollshouseman on e-bay).

I also gave it a bit of a clean and tidy up (although it still needs a bit of work). Working closely with it I also noticed that where a previous owner has installed plastic windows (assumably because the original windows were lost) they have inserted some extra wood to make the windows fit. In time I will try to get some old Amersham windows and try to restore the house more to its original design. I still need to fix a bit of the roof where it is broken and work on the garage (bottom left room). The bedroom floors also need a bit of work. Amersham also had quite distinctive fire places and I might try to make one  for the lounge. See this link for an image of an original:

I couldn't uncover enough of the original papers safely because a previous owner had used sticky contact papers over them throughout the house and had taped some lighting wires over the original papers with sellotape. However I have left the remains under the reproduction papers. The original papers in the house were all different coloured tulip papers. I have used a mix of reproduction Amersham papers (possibly from different eras) but I couldn't resist the cute lamb paper in one of the bedrooms and I chose not to have a tulip paper in the kitchen opting instead for a blue circle design.

The exterior appears to have also been overpainted and there are signs that the roof was originally green.

Today I reverted back to childhood and just had a play. A while ago I won an auction lot of vintage Barton and Dol-toi furniture and I had fun setting out my rooms and finding some little accessories to give the house a life. I still need to find some bathroom items. My tiny cook decided he would like to take up residence with his collie dogs. It is a perfect bachelor pad for him.

The house and furniture is 1/16th scale. To give an idea of scale the two wardrobes (the tallest pieces of furniture) are only about 10cm tall (4 inches) as is the cook.

It is hard to guess the age of the house. Amersham houses were available between about 1930 to 1957. My initial guess was that this house is from the late 1940s/early 1950s. However, there are also many things that indicate the house could be from an earlier period. Trying to date the house is made more difficult by changes made to the house by previous owners. Clearly I need to do more research.

The house when I purchased it in May 2013.

The house as it is now (excuse the glare on the papers - I had to use a light as the room was a bit dark):

  The Exterior

 The overall interior.

 The cook in his kitchen.

 The bathroom.

 The lounge.

 Bedroom 1.

 Bedroom 2. The nursery paper may not be ideal in a bachelor pad but isn't the vintage lamb paper cute.

 A closer picture of the little cook laying out his culinary masterpieces on the table.

The resident collie family. Some lovely vintage bone china dogs picked up at an op shop.

Anyway, there is still a bit of weekend left so I might do a paper minis book kit to go on my bookshelf project. Then I'll be one step closer to ticking off another item on my to-do list.

Just to finish off I just want to thank everyone for all their well-wishes and good luck wishes with regard to my husband losing his job and seeking new employment. They are really appreciated by all of us. No good news yet but we will keep you posted.

Veronique, for many recent comments you have had your fingers crossed for my husband. Your thoughtfulness is so appreciated but I am concerned your fingers may remain forever crossed if you don't relax them now and then! Thank you my friend.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Selina Rose Gallery - Signing Off

How exciting, I just saw 10,000 click by - since I've had my blog it has had 10,000 views. Another milestone. They seem to be coming all at once - 100 followers, 100 posts, 10,000 views, my first giveaway AND my first finished project since I got back into miniatures. Well, it is not totally finished. Are any of our miniatures totally finished? - there is always the capacity to add just one more thing or come up with one more idea!

The Selina Rose Gallery will be going on a journey tomorrow to its new home with my sister Karen. There are still some things I have in mind, perhaps a window box, some family photos, a mini catalogue of Karen's art and a few touch ups around the windows where there is a bit of a gap between the front and back of the windows, but I feel it is complete enough to make the journey. Karen will also send me a photo of any of her new paintings to scale down for the gallery, so in a way it will be an on-going project.

Below is a final set of photos before I pack it up for its travel. There is not a lot new apart from the front which I have been furiously working on to get finished.

The Front Exterior

The Attic

I've added a rag and paper towels.

The Chill-Out Room

I made up a 'Paper Minis' book kit, A Collection of Still Life Paintings.

The cabinet is full of treasures including a vintage button with a Clydesdale horse on it.

The Upper Gallery

The Lower Gallery

I have added a sign advertising an exhibition by a guest artist, Gail Milne. Gail is another of my sisters (Karen's twin) and is also an artist.

The Whole Gallery

The Inside Door

The Lower Gallery Inside Window

Note the 'Please No Smoking' Sign

Signing Off

I was a good girl and remembered to sign and date the project.

Signing off now and passing the gift of my workmanship to my lovely sister Karen to house miniatures of her wonderful art work.