Saturday, 25 September 2010

Caravan progress, and welcome!

Firstly, welcome to LieslMaria, and Heleni.  I'm still surprised anyone is looking at this, thank you for following me!

I've had a busy few days so haven't posted for a while.  I've made a little progress on the caravan.  I've had an old red blouse lying around for years that I kept because of the embroidered panels on it.  I thought that one day I might find a use for them, and now I have!  I thought it made a good bedspread, maybe a bit Indian in style.  The bed is going to have a lot more cushions once I have made them.

I made a small shelf using the fretwork fan pieces.  They are very very delicate and easy to break once the main framework is cut into, so a few were broken as I attempted to make this.  Also I used a little bit for something like a Welsh love spoon to put on the wall.  I tried wetting and bending the wood for the bowl of the spoon but it just wouldn't work for me.

The doorway isn't to scale at all, so it will have to be a very low doorway that you need to stoop to get through - I put some material and lace hangings around it, but this end needs a lot more work.  The stove is a pencil sharpener - not sure about having a chimney inside though!

Here is the exterior, with the fan fretwork in place.  Perhaps it needs some aging?

I made my first little purchase on Etsy a few days ago, so once that arrives I'll also be adding it to the crochet, in lovely colours!  I also bought tickets to Miniatura in Birmingham, my first visit to a dolls house fair.  I'm so excited to be going!

PS.  I expect I will keep changing the background/header of this blog until I'm happy with it!  Sorry if it looks different each time you visit.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Welcome first followers!

Hello and welcome to my first followers, Annie and Norma.  A big thank you for following my blog, how exciting!

Garden colours

I was looking through the window onto the garden while fiddling around with my caravan, and realised the colours I was using are very similar to the colours of the flowers in the garden at the moment; mauves, faded pinks, purples, reds and greens.

In particular, the fuchsia - that is the reason there is a shrivelled looking fuchsia head in the next photo, the last one on that particular bush (others seem to have been picked off by my mini boy!).

So now I want to make some in miniature, perhaps also some red apples freshly picked....I'm thinking of the caravan on a late summer evening in an apple orchard, woodsmoke, lanterns.....

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Morning room sofa

I re-upholstered and painted this sofa...a lot of tea-staining later and I think I'm happy with the result, though still not sure about the gold.  I think it probably needs to be seen in the finished room.  It's for the morning room in Manderley.  I'm not exactly sticking to the novel (I'd need a huge mansion for that), but I am using some of the descriptions of the rooms to influence the decorations and contents.  The morning room should be filled with rhododendrons and will take it's colour mainly from them. I made a few from tissue paper and punched leaves, but there will be many more to make.  The sofa fabric is a hydrangea print - I used the reverse to give it a more faded feel (the front side is a very vibrant pink).

The Green Lady

Here are a few pieces for Manderley.  The photograph is an old ambrotype of an unknown lady, bought on ebay.  I thought it was so sad that on the back was written 'Not to be given away to anyone'. This lady was once loved and this image was once treasured by someone, but now although this may be the only existing photograph of this lady, her identity is now lost and forgotten.  Now she will be treasured once again!  She deserves a beautiful room I think.  I love the patina of the frame and the way the oxidised green on the frame matches the tinted colours of her dress.  The salon of Manderley is in similar green tones, very unfinished at the moment so I'll add pictures once it's in a more presentable state.  The lilacs are made from an Anja van den Doel kit, the cushion I embroidered on 35 count linen using a pattern in 'Embroidered Projects' by Sue Hawkins (Dolls House Do-It-Yourself series).  There was an extra line of stitches, oops, but I am very new to needlepoint so I was happy anyway with the result and hopefully it isn't too obvious!  I bought the Biedermeier commode second hand in a German market, pre-made, I think it is by Mini Mundus.

Sunday, 5 September 2010


Summer strawberries in a vintage bucket for the Gypsy caravan, made from a Dale R. Kendall kit.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Miniature finds!

I am always on the lookout for things with a miniature potential. This week I have found a couple of lovely items. Firstly, a box I found for £1.50 in a charity shop by 'Handcast Designs Ltd'. The lid is beautifully detailed - I think it's cast from a kind of resin. A quick google on the company when I got home revealed that the main sculptor for the company was previously Vaughan Williams, now of V & R Miniatures, so although this isn't intentionally a 1:12 scale miniature, there is a connection! I think it will make some kind of decorative wall carving for the caravan, possibly painted to resemble wood.

Next I found by chance a sandalwood fan on ebay for a very low price. They are sold as scented wedding favours - I immediately saw the possibilities and ordered one straight away!

When it arrived I was really impressed by the detail for something so cheap - what a bargain! Once taken apart there are a huge amount of lovely fretwork panels of very thin, easy to cut, sandalwood (laser cut?) with slightly thicker panels on either end with a more ecclesiastical looking design. They reminded me of Cynthia Howe's laser cut miniature kits. I'm going to have fun trying to make something from these. They will be used partially as ornate carved decoration on the exterior panels of the caravan - there is even a cartwheel shape within the design.

Caravan in colour

I've been working a little on the caravan. The colours will be loosely based on the vibrant 'Roulottes' decorated by Jeanne Bayol, more photos can be found here. I love the beautiful art dolls by Christine Alvarado of Du Buh Du Designs, and she has also used Gypsy Caravans inspired by Jeanne Bayol as a set for her dolls so she is also a source of inspiration to me. I've just put a few things together to give me an idea of how the colours work as a whole. I pulled off the roof (to be reconstructed later as an opening roof), added shutters to the doorway and painted external panels a bright green, painted the interior a mauve colour and started to build a bed using a kitchen cupboard from one of those cheap basic woodcraft furniture kits.

I like the bright clashing greens, mauves, reds and turquoises - somehow I think they will all work together to give the right kind of bohemian atmosphere. This is something very different to my usual fairly muted colours, and when I need a break I will start work again on my vintage white house!