Sunday, 21 May 2017

Kitchen dilemmas

Where to start

Now that I have finished all of the DIY and decorating of my Regency kitchen comes the hard part of adding the finishing touches. I haven't decided yet if I want to put a doorway on the right-hand side to lead into the scullery/pantry area that I intend to add later. If I do add a door (and there is a good chance that I will) I will move the long table on the right into the other room.
 






I decided to paint the dresser rather than varnish it, as I didn't want it to match the other furniture. I'm not quite sure if it is in keeping with the Regency era, however I like the differing contrast of the furniture.








 



I have added some more items around the range that I bought from Sussex Crafts. After I took this photo I realised that the Andirons should be the other way around. The family are expecting a real feast, hence the rather large pig roast. This was my attempt which I made out of polymer clay, its no masterpiece by any exception but I quite like it and it will do until I find a better replacement.

















I have already got my mind set on my next Regency room and that will be a bedroom. A ladies bedroom to be exact. I thought it was time to create an elegant and feminine room after working on my gentleman's library and the kitchen for so long. 

My mind is full of ideas for the bedroom, I just need to stay focused on my kitchen for a little bit longer and add all the kitchenware that a Regency household requires.


Until the next time


Take care


Jayne c 

Sunday, 16 April 2017

All sorts


While I often neglect my blog for long periods of time, I am still fairly busy making all sorts of miniatures in my spare time. I thought I would show you some of the miniatures I have bought or made over the past few months.

Firstly, here are some items I have bought lately.




A large dresser from A World of My Own. I wanted a substantial dresser for my Regency Kitchen and this one fits the bill.




A large kitchen table from Country Contrast, a three tiered glass cake/serving stand from Glass craft and a delightful egg holder from McQueenies Miniatures. I just need to make some polymer clay eggs when I get the time.







I want to have a lot of copper items in my kitchen, so I have started collecting  items whenever I see them. I bought the saucepan on the left from the Cancer Research stand at the Spring 2017 Miniatura show and the Jam pan and jelly mold from Country Treasures. It wasn't until I got home that I realised the saucepan was actually made by Country Treasures as well. 






The very realistic cut loaf of bread was made by Amanda Speakman, from AmanSpeak Miniatures. It is delighful.








The two plant pots were from the Small Wonders Miniatures website. I had gone a bit mad printing and cutting out plant leaves, but I was struggling to find good quality plant pots online, until I found these. They are actually made by A Womans Touch Miniature China and I think they are lovely. I was really pleased with them and I think I will consider buying more of their products in the future.










My photo's don't do the plants justice, they look much better in the flesh, so to speak. I have also added some dried tea leaves to the surface to resemble earth, I just haven't taken any updated photos to show you.



Miniature sewing - of a sort



Next up is my attempt to dress a doll. Of all my miniature passions, dolls house dolls has got to be my most favorite and coveted items of them all. I spend hours looking at and admiring miniature dolls and marveling at the skill of the makers. I have therefore wanted to have a go at dressing a doll of my own. How hard can it be? I asked myself. Well, I realised that I am a very visual person, I need to 'see' step-by-step how something is made, rather than read and understand written instructions. 


The shirt, waistcoat and trousers were not so much of an issue. The trousers (or breeches) need to be more tapered at the knees. The coat was a much bigger problem. I couldn't fathom out the written instructions at all and I did manage to sew the coat together, but probably not in the way I should have.
However, as I'm not going to go into the business of selling dressed dolls, I am fairly happy with my end result. I just have to avoid looking too closely at all the errors I have made. 













I was supposed to sew the collar on to the coat somehow, but I ended up gluing it on instead, so It looks very scruffy.










Here he is in pride of place in his library.



Moving on to my next miniature makes. I bought some mahogany wood sheets from Miniatura and I made a tiny salt box for my Regency kitchen













I then went on to make a cutlery box. I had seen a similar one on eBay recently which I really wanted, but I thought the design looked fairly easy to recreate.
so a few hours later I had made this.

















It's difficult to see inside, but I made dividers in the base from card and small dowels cut to size. I then glued the fabric over the top.





I know my post has been a bit of everything today, but I hope you have enjoyed seeing what I've been up to.




Until the next time

Take care

Jayne x


















Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Regency Kitchen Update

I have finally made some progress on my Regency Kitchen, so I thought I would show you what I've been up since my last post.


I made the fire surround from wood planks and thick mat-board, and I created a center column from some scrap wood. I used a brick stencil and paste from Bromley Craft Products, as it is a lovely product to use and it looks so effective. I will buy a 'dummy' bread oven door from Sussex Crafts when I attend Miniatura in March, to put on the center column. You can't really see very well in the photo, but I used some foam board for the back walls and I scored tiny bricks into it with a ball ended stylus and then painted them red. I also put in the small window (slightly open) for added realism. 




Once I had painted all the walls I then laid the flooring. I used real sandstone flagstones which did cost me quite a lot, but I feel they were well worth the money. Cutting the tiles was very difficult as I was only using a Stanley knife. My fingers were very achy afterwards.

I really liked the initial look of the flagstones and I was going to leave them as they were, but as I had some grout mixture from many years ago, I decided to grout between the cracks. You can see from the photos below how much of a difference the grout made. I was glad that I took the time to grout the floor as it looks so much better.














I made the fire on the left hand side from two metal mint tins I got from Aldi and super-glued a fire grate from Sussex Crafts between them. I added a brass tap to resemble a water boiler and two small drain covers, also from Sussex Crafts, on the top for pot burners. I then sprayed it all with black paint. I just need to buy a light-up log fire for the grate. I have already bought a smoke jack spit and a chimney crane, I just need to add them later.








On the right hand side I have bought a low stove from Hearth and Home. It is really well made and the service I received from Dick and Jane was excellent.









I also made this sink unit to go under the window. I painted the inside in a grey paint to look like it was lead lined, as it would have traditionally been in the Georgian/ Regency era.






I then made a water unit above the sink as there wouldn't have been any running water. I bought the lovely delph tiles from Romney Miniatures for 45p  each, which I think was a bargain.














Now that all the hard work has been done I just need to add the finishing touches. I will be collecting a few items I have ordered when I attend Miniatura in March, and I will also be on the look out for other items to display.




Until the next time


Take care


Jayne x

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Making Pies and Veg


 


Ever since I became interested in miniatures my first impressions of items that at the time I thought looked wonderful, were quickly forgotten as I explored the miniature world on the Internet, and saw the works of numerous miniature artisans. While there are so many miniature items I could mention as wonderful works of art, miniature food artisans are some of my favorites to look at and admire (drool over).

As a miniaturist, albeit a very novice one, I will attempt to make things myself that I think I'll have half a chance at success at. So this summer I decided to gather all my supplies together and have a go at making miniature food out of fimo. I've had Angie Scarr's book of 'Making Miniature Food and Market Stalls' for many years, so I used this as a reference as well as the numerous tutorials I have gathered online.

I first started off making some pork pies as these are very traditional food items that would fit in both my Georgian and Victorian dollhouses. The difficulties I found was firstly keeping the clay clean, having two cats around, and secondly conditioning the clay by hand was hard work. I do have a pasta machine which I have used in the past, but I find that it leaves streaks on light coloured clay, so I made sure I had an abundance of baby wipes to clean my hands frequently as well as my work surfaces.



I made three pork pies and as I had some of the meat mixture left over I made some salami.



Here you can see the pies uncooked and without any colouring






Here I used chalk pastels (before cooking) to make the pie's look cooked and I also wanted the insides to be shown, so I cut small pieces from each of them. 










Finally these are the pies once cooked. You should be able to see the slight transparency between the meat mixture and the pastry, this was to show the jelly you get inside pork pies. I still have to varnish the pies which will give them a more realistic glaze.










A word of warning (see below)


My first attempt at making the pork pies went great until I put them in my oven and didn't check the temperature correctly. It was too high and this was the result, a disaster. I was really annoyed with myself for not checking the temperature, but fortunately I put it down to bad luck and persevered to make the pies I have just shown you.  







 At least I was able to laugh about my burnt pies. I will still keep them, as a reminder to always check my oven temperature.



On to making veg



 As my confidence grew I then moved on to making vegetables. 







Cauliflowers, swede, carrots, tomatoes, parsnips, beetroot, two sizes of potatoes  and onions. 



My cauliflower making needs more work, the leaves are too thick and curly and the colour is much too dark, they should be a lighter, more transparent green.











I found the whole process of making the vegetables very relaxing and therapeutic, while I know that they are no where near some of the ones I have seen online, I will still be able to use them in baskets or on food prep boards in my dollhouses. I also feel that I have started to learn a lot about mixing the different coloured clay together to get the desired shade, but also that I have a long way to go if I want true perfection.



An update


For those of you who have seen previous posts about my French dollhouse, I just wanted to show you some additions I have made to my attic room. I often have times when I make random items that take my fancy, and some of these have ended up in the attic of my French house. 

























It's my faviourite time of the year as it's Miniatura next weekend, I really can't wait. I have my list ready and hopefully I can get everything I want and then some.


Until the next time


Take care


Jayne x