Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Generous Gifts From Around the World!!

Hello, I want to thank two very generous people who have recently sent me gifts from Australia and South Africa. I am so touched by their kindness, I asked if they would mind me sharing what they sent to me with you all. I would also like to show Fi and Elga their gifts placed in their new home!

Firstly, Fi sent me some beautiful little shells from Australia, all carefully wrapped in tissue paper and stored in tiny cardboard boxes that she made herself, complete with hand drawn illustrations of the shells contained inside.

The boxes in themselves are beautiful, but the shells inside are amazing, full of patterns and so tiny! I had to find something special to display them in!

I got this little display table from McQueenie Miniatures (not a kit, but available in a kit format). It only had room to store a small selection of shells, so I picked some of my favourites. The display table is now in the Library of my Georgian house.

Thank you Fi!!! xxx

Elga also sent my a very generous gift, two in fact, as I was also lucky enough to win her give away competition for the chair, with it's beautifully stitched seat cover. She also kindly gave me a miniature tall boy she had made from a white wood kit.

I was so excited when the parcel arrived! Both items had been very carefully wrapped up to keep them safe. It was like Christmas all over again! The tall boy is perfect for displaying more of my miniature blue and white china!

Here is the tall boy in place on the landing, displaying some of my china, the vase in the centre is a recent purchase, made by Murial Hopwood, and two little ginger jars.

I wanted the chair to go into a room where it would be easily seen, especially the fine needlework, so I created a special place for it in the parlour, where it sits very well indeed.

Thank you Elga!!! xxx

It's strange to think these thoughtful little gifts have travelled over so many miles.  I am so pleased with them, Thank you both once again!

much love
Andy x

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Birmingham Spring Miniatura Purchases

Had a good time at the Miniatura show in Birmingham this weekend. It seemed very busy, and there were plenty of traders there, though perhaps not as many as there have been in previous years. I don't that mattered, it still took a long time to get around the whole exhibition, and I was exhausted by the end!

Pictured above is a selection of things I purchased for my Georgian dolls house. The exception being the Chinese vase by Muriel Hopwood, which I actually purchase a little while ago, not in Birmingham, but it is Muriel who organises the Miniatura shows.

The mahogany tilt-top table is by David Booth, and will replace the table currently in the drawing room, which will move to the attic space between the two bedrooms. The gentleman's shaving stand with mirror is also by David Booth.

On the table are a little trinket box and a pair of scissors, which open and close!! Both made of Stirling Silver, by Simply Silver. The large comport is not silver, it was purchase from Karen Kirby of Karen's Miniatures (www.karensminiatures.co.uk). She had one of these comports filled with a pyramid of oranges, which looked fantastic, but I thought I would like to use the comport to create some sort of floral display in the hall, we shall see!!

The books are by Ellie de Lacy. Only the one with the marbled cover is an actual book, the other four stacked up are dummy books, which I hope might fill my shelves in the library a little quicker!! As I mentioned before, I didn't actually buy the vase at Miniatura, but I wanted to show you it anyway. It's a Ming style design by Muriel Hopwood, and is one of two vases I bought recently, made by her.

 I went to the Minitura show with a clear idea of what I wanted to buy for the pub; tables, chairs, stools, glasses, etc etc. As you can see I cam home with completely different things!! I think the beauty of dolls house fairs is that you see things that you wouldn't normally see, made by specialist craftspeople. I know I can get chairs and tables anywhere, and have seen glasses available online, so it's perhaps not so surprising that I came home with more unusual items! I did buy plenty of pub related stuff, you might just be able to see the three barrels behind the bar, which I bought from Sussex Crafts, and also the beer taps to go with them! I bought some more stock too, which is now also stored behind the bar. The Chest of drawers is great, just the right size for the pub bedroom, so the owners at least have somewhere to store their clothes now, even if they haven't got a bed to sleep in yet! I saw the garden fork and had to have it, its been given just the right finish to make it look weathered and used, and goes perfectly with those muddy wellies, which I thought were great fun! Both made by Pride of Plaice.

Thees a basket of fresh garden produce too, although it does seem a little too clean to have just been dug up in the garden! The half barrels will be used as planters outside the pub, on either side of the porch, and there's also a little photo of a child to fix to a wall somewhere upstairs.

A few other little bits for the pub owners, a pair of silver (not sterling) candle sticks, a delightful fair of green Delft style candle sticks for the bedroom and a lovely cheerful jug, to go on the dresser in the kitchen. All made by Cornish craftspeople and available from Meadowcroft Miniatures (www.meadowcroft-min.co.uk).
The dominoes box will go in the pub. it has a sliding lid, but alas no dominoes at present, I shall make some from black card to go inside.

That's about it, I bought one or two other little bits, and some fabric to make future bed covers. One other thing I did buy was a second hand book from the charity stall.

It's a great book, filled with some really good miniature projects that I am determined to try! These include a tapestry rug, bed clothes, two fire screen designs, a cushion, a needlework sampler and much more!! For someone scared of a needle and thread this book comes as something of a revelation!!!

Wish me luck!! ;o)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A Blog to make you smile! ;o)

Hello, I just wanted to share a blog with you that I have been following for a while, some of you may already know of it.

It is a wonderful, whimsical blog with miniature mice, that can lift my spirits on days when I'm feeling low (like today!)



Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Inside The Swan: The Public Bar

Well I suppose now is as good a time as any to show you what The Swan looks like inside; there's still not much furniture inside, but enough to give you some idea of how it will look eventually. The picture above is the bar itself, which I have made using American cherry wood, which gives it a lovely warm glow. I need to get some beer barrels set up behind the bar, which will fill the space below the shelf with the mirror. I am also looking for some empty beer glasses to hang from the hooks above the bar, so I will be scouring the miniatures fair in Birmingham later this month trying to find them, although I have have seen some online. I'm not sure whether the bottles of spirits are actually true to scale, because I also have some smaller ones, but they look OK, so I've left them there.

I'm hoping that the bar soon won't look as spartan as it does right now. The bench is actually borrowed from the big house, but the chair was a lucky find and is staying somewhere within the pub. You can probably just about see the dart board on the wall. It was from Warwick Miniatures, which is now owned by Phoenix Models, I made the wooden surround for the dart board myself. I wanted The Swan to be a country pub, so am looking for suitable Huntin',Shootin', Fishin' objects to display inside. The fish trophy in a case above the fire is from Mouse House Miniatures. It looks a little cold on this side of the pub at the moment, the fire will eventually glow, and I'll look for some suitable fireside objects to liven it up too. I'm also going to tone down the stark white ends between the wooden beams on the ceiling.

This is the other side of the bar, which has a larger fireplace. In the original plans for the pub, the fireplace is deeper, but I wanted to make a kitchen on the other side of this wall, so made the depth of the fireplace a bit narrower, I don't think it looks too bad. The door is a dummy, but would lead to a corridor and kitchen I suppose if real. This side of the bar does at least have a table! I made the settle standing behind the table, again from cherry wood.

So there we go, it's still got a long way to go, but I think you get the general idea of what I want the pub to look like. It's going to be set in 1930's I think, maybe early 1950's. I don't want any fruit machines or juke boxes, and if it serves food at all it will be rabbit pie, rather than gastro-Euro-fusion stuff!! ;)

Friday, 2 March 2012

The Bird

Just in case any of you might have been wondering what the bird was that Fi mentioned in the last post, it's a little blackbird, sitting on the chimney pot. There's close up above; he looks likes he's starring in a very low budget Hitchcock 'The Birds' re-make! But I assure you he's quite tame, and unlikely to go anywhere as his feet are stuck into a blob of Blu-Tak!