Thanks for calling by. I hope you enjoy what you see, feel free to leave a comment and call again to catch up on my news.

Friday, 29 April 2011

The manor house is begun!!

Did I tell you that I treated myself to a 24th scale Georgian manor house kit this Christmas? I looked at it straight away (of course) but the instructions are so sparse (a single side of A4 drawings with not even one word in sight) that I panicked a bit and put everything straight back in the box. And there they've stayed - until last week. Now I've finally made a start.

As all the interior surfaces of the mdf are shiny and therefore won't hold glue, the first job was to paint primer on everything. Of course I couldn't resist screwing just a couple of pieces together along the way.

Then I painted the exterior of the windows and added glazing to the inside. These doors are pretty poor and will need a lot of work to make them fit for a Georgian mansion!

Inside, the windows are finished off pretty poorly too and for some reason the levels are all different so I spent several hours cutting tiny pieces of balsa wood strip, mount board and card into 3/8" wide strips and sticking them together in various combinations to fill the gaps. Then, because you'll be able to see one edge of these when the windows are finished, I painted one long edge of each before sticking them in place.

Once the interior is decorated I'll put moulding over these strips of wood and card to finish off the windows and make them look smart.

That was enough serious work and was actually a couple of days' work all in all so yesterday I played a bit and made some bird houses for my shabby chic shop. Then I painted some home made plant-pots with stone finish paint and painted them over in pink and lilac.

then added some primulas made from fimo to the plant-pots.

My brother has come to stay for a few days and yesterday we went over to Haworth to look around the Bronte museum and there on the main street of the village was a shop selling just the same kind of things as my miniature one will have. I couldn't resist taking a few photos.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Happe Easter everyone!

It's Easter Sunday and I thought I would celebrate this wonderful weather by giving you a tour of my garden shed - in miniature of course. I wish I had room in my real life garden for a shed like this.

The whole model is made from foam board, card, craft sticks and coffee stirrers.

The gardener has left his tools hanging tidily on the back of the door and his muddy wellingtons are just where he stepped out of them.

Some of the flowers are made from kits but the tall ones are just pink sprinkles glued to wire. I had great fun making the vegetables from Fimo.

I did make a more convincing bird but Willow took a fancy to it and it was lost forever - probably underneath the washing machine or something.
The inside is a little too clean and tidy for my liking now and I may return to this and dirty it up a bit I think.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your Easter break.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Happy Easter

Always at the last minute with my ideas!!!

I made this box for a competition last year - it didn't win, nor did it deserve to, and I've never really displayed it in my home as I didn't like it much. We were given a photo frame and had to make something amusing to fit. I was inspired by the poem "When I grow old I shall wear purple" and made this little scene.

So ... yesterday I was browsing through my latest dolls house magazine and came across these Easter printies and thought that I'd do something with this little box. I decided to turn it into a seasonal display so quickly papered it inside and out with scrapbooking paper and made a shop counter and shelves from mount board then placed my printies inside, together with a few miniature easter eggs.

Now I'm happier with it and have it on display on the top of my bookshelves, and I will take more time to make things for it next time.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

New threads and a workshop

I attended a workshop at the Embroiderers' Guild on Monday and had great fun getting creative with felt and crochet. I've never really done much crochet before but am now hooked (if you'll forgive the pun). We started out by making a piece of wet pre-felt and then left that to dry while we ate lunch and learned to crochet. After playing for a while we made a little badge using dry felting techniques - which was also a new skill learned for me. We then cut up our piece of pre-felt, embellished it using dry felting, then returned to the 'wet area' to complete the felted item.

My name badge, which I shall wear at the group in future. I added a few beads and a fabric backing with safety pin so I can wear it easily.

These are the flowers I made - embellished with silk threads and then beaded once I got home. Now I just need to decide how best to display them. Maybe I'll stitch them to a bag ...

These circles and flowers are made from a length of Sea Silk yarn that I already have in my yarn stash and they're so easy to make. You just wrap the yarn three times around your finger to make a loop and then work double crochet stitches until the circle is filled up. To make the flowers you do a second row of stitches working a double crochet into the first stitch and three trebles into the next and repeat until you come to the end.

I think I said in an earlier post that we went to York last Friday and of course I had to visit the Viking Loom craft shop and bought these beautiful threads ...

Aren't the colours gorgeous?! I've not decided yet what they will become but they're so beautiful that it won't be long before inspiration strikes.

And finally ... these beautiful green spray chrysanthemums are the last of my Mother's Day bouquet to survive. The colour looks so fresh that I couldn't resist sharing them with you.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Gardening and a tour of the attic

It's wonderfully sunny here in West Yorkshire at the moment. I'm hoping that this isn't really all the summer that we get this year but am loving it anyway. The garden is blooming and the veg plot is coming along a treat - broad beans, chard, onions and garlic shooting away, carrots, beetroot, courgettes, brussels sprouts and broccoli all planted and beginning to grow. My garden is tiny but, encouraged by a visit to the RHS gardens at Harlow Carr last year where they had a 3 metre square veg plot, I've built tiny (2 feet square) raised beds in my back garden and filled the patio with tubs in which I'm growing my veg.

These are the tulips in my front garden ...

and one of my collection of bonsai - a beautiful crab apple tree which is about 25 years old and just a foot tall. In spring it's smothered with these lovely white flowers and in autumn is covered with tiny crab apples.

Now ... as promised, the last two rooms of the tea room.

This is the attic, filled with dusty old things - a trunk full of old magazines, books and papers, and a teddy peeping over the front edge; boxes of old photographs; a tea chest filled with rolls of wallpaper and old fabric and a chair which I had great fun distressing to make it look worn out.

And this is the bedroom, complete with chest of linens and cosy patchwork quilt and knitted blanket folded across the bottom.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A weekend with family

It's been a busy weekend as my son and daughter both came up to visit. They live in London so it's a bit of a trek, but that's why I've not been posting for a few days. We went over to York for the day on Friday and then on Saturday my son and I walked up through the park in the hope of finding something worth taking photographs of. There were some new baby ducklings - just one day old - but it was impossible to get close enough to them. So cute though, racing across the water.

Here are the miniatures I was working on last week - some shabby chic jugs ...

... made from scrapbooking paper. I thought I'd make a few while I was working on them and I've put them all into my shop for the moment. I am sure they'll all find a new home before too long.

and then there is this selection of cushions. Again, they're all in my shop for the time being. That shop is proving to be a very useful holding place for the things I'm making in bulk!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Meet Willow

I thought that today I would introduce you to my beautiful cat Willow

Here he is on my garage/workshop windowsill, momentarily distracted by a bird on the roof. He spends a lot of time sitting here when I'm working on my miniatures as he has a good view of what I'm doing and he likes to supervise my work.

And here he is indulging in his other favourite pastime - sleeping. I think he looks so cute with his paw wrapped around his eyes to keep out the daylight. Doesn't he match the decor perfectly?

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

An evening of miniatures

I'm not a 'group' person. I'm not a hermit or at all antisocial but I am quite shy and a little unsure of myself (will I ever grow out of this ... I'm guessing not) and I never have been good in groups. I'm much happier with one or two friends at a time. However, I do keep pushing myself outside that particular comfort zone - hence joining the embroiderers' guild meetings and my local miniatures group.

At yesterday evening's mini group we had a sale table and I bought lots of lovely new bits and pieces to add to my collection of things that will come in handy one of these days.

Quite a selection isn't it? Some of the things I know exactly where they will live. The teapot will go into my tearooms and the mincer and mouse trap will go into the kitchen. The two little silver tankards will go into my 1/24th scale cottage - I'll show you that another day. Just look at the fruit though! 

I couldn't resist!! The slices and half oranges are just perfect and the cut apple even has pips and a stalk!

Each month we have a workshop and last night we learned how to make flowers ...

The marks on my pansy's face need a little more work but I think that they're recognisable as an iris, pansy, daisy and poppy. They're nowhere near as impressive as the samples that the lady leading the workshop brought with her but with a little more practice ... Anyhow I'm pretty pleased with them as a first attempt.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A tour of my tea room

As promised, here is a brief tour of my Edwardian tea room ...

This is the shop part of the ground floor, with a small selection of tempting cakes. The collection of tea pots on the dresser is growing all the time as I'm tempted by new ones I see in shops and on websites.

This is the actual tea room section with the old lady treating her grand-daughter to a special birthday tea and the two elegant ladies in the background taking a well-deserved rest from their shopping trip.

Here is the kitchen where all the hard work happens. You can see a cake partly made on the dresser at the front alongside a pastry making board complete with rolling pin and another board with ingredients laid out on the table. The washing up is already beginning to pile up.

This is one half of the sitting room where the owner spends her time once the cafe is closed. She has a pile of paperwork awaiting her so it seems like its going to be a long day.

Well, that's probably enough for today. I'll show you the rest of the house tomorrow.

Monday, 11 April 2011

A day of embroidery

I just got back from my Embroiderer's Guild group meeting and my head is buzzing with ideas. I always feel inspired by these get-togethers as there are so many talented ladies there and we spend the day looking at each other's work and chatting ... as well as stitching of course. The talk today was by a lady from the Lincoln group who staged an exhibition of embroidery inspired by the Luttrell Psalter, a 14th century document produced for Sir Geoffrey Luttrell. The work was exquisite and we heard about exciting new techniques of using painted tissue paper bonded to felt and then dyed with tea bags and stitched, which makes the finished fabric look very similar to the original vellum.

I'll show you what I'm working on when it's finished, but here is something I made this last week.

It's a fabric box for my newly decorated bathroom, just to keep my bits and pieces tidy. The colours of the sweet peas echo those of my towels and I'm really quite pleased with the way it turned out. Here's the other one I made. No embroidery this time, just a silk lining to pick up on the green again.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Finally ...

Well, I'm finally taking the plunge into the world of blogging. I've been thinking about it for a while but there always has seemed to be so much else to do. I thought I'd start by showing some of the miniatures I've made in the last year but other things will doubtless creep in here too as we go along.
This is my very first house, which I made into an Edwardian tea room. You can just see the young girl out for a birthday treat with her grandmother through the window... and here they are viewed from the inside ...

I made some of the dolls myself and made all their clothes. More pictures will follow later.