Monday, 26 October 2015

Kits, kits and more kits

In my last post I showed you the three wooden kits that I bought from the Cancer Research Charity stand at the Autumn Miniatura show. I have now made them up and I thought I would show you the results.

The Lyre End Sewing Table

The first kit was a lyre end sewing box made from mahogany and I only paid £4.50 for it. Some of the pieces had already been sanded and made-up so I didn't have too much work to do, which was great. The style of the sewing box looked very similar to the Mini Mundus Biedermeier range except this one had a rectangular frame that slid in and out, rather than having a drawer front as seen on the one below. 

Mini Mundus Kit

The Kit only came with written instructions (I'm a visual person, and I like to look at pictures) and after reading through them several times, I realised the frame section was there to incorporate a fabric work bag. I had no idea how I was going to make a fabric work bag, or even how I would fix it to the frame. After much thought, I decided to make a box out of mat board and cover it with some left over blue wallpaper I had to hand. I then glued the box to the underside of the frame. I applied some bees wax to bring out the colour and that was that. 

I was really pleased with the end result and this sewing table will fit nicely into my Regency Parlor.

The Gentleman's Desk

This kit for a gentleman's desk was also a really good find, as I hadn't seen anything like it before. I paid £14.50 for it and it was made by Small Pleasures, Australia and sold by A & G Sledge Miniatures in the UK. I did a Google search on both companies, but I didn't find very much, only a couple of out-of-date ads for an Empire Sofa Kit and a Regency Carver Chair Kit from Small Pleasures. I'm assuming that they have both gone out of business. This is such a shame, as I really love both of these kits and I wish I could get my hands on them.

Sorry for the blurry image, it was the best I could find.

I so love the look of this Chair, with the scroll arms and turned legs.

Oh well, here is the Gentleman's desk made-up.


This is a really solid looking piece of furniture, I'm not sure how to date it, but I want to use it in my Regency Library. I now need to keep my eyes peeled for worthy chair to accompany it.

A McQueenie's Easel  

This was my third find at the Cancer Research stand and I only had about £10.00 and some change left. But I was more than happy to pay £7.50 for this beautiful McQueenie's mahogany easel. This was another kit that I believe has been discontinued, as I couldn't find it on their website.

I'm not sure how much you can see from the photos, but the easel has lovely bass details, with the hinge, chain and locking clamp.

This item has been earmarked for the attic of my French house for the time being, and under no circumstances with it ever have paint splashes on it.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing my kits made-up as much as I enjoyed making them.

Until the next time

Take care

Jayne x

Monday, 5 October 2015

It's Miniatura Time Again

This past weekend it was the Miniatura show and no matter how many times I have been, I always get very excited as the day arrives. I usually spend weeks beforehand carefully making a word document list of all the things I want to buy and add little pictures for reference. Unfortunately I didn't have as much money to spend this time as a faulty shower a few weeks ago took away a large chunk of my funds. While I was very upset to have paid out to have my shower fixed, I was very grateful not to have time consuming baths each morning. I do hate it when real life things get in the way of my miniature life.

This visit to Miniatura was very different as my Mum wanted to come along as well. She was given a small dolls house a while ago and now she is keen to decorate it. It was really nice to spend the day with my Mum looking at all the exhibitors. She hasn't really caught the bug yet and was very frugal with her purchases, but I could tell that she was happy with what she had bought. 

My Mum is 75 years old and she has far more disposable income than I do, but she is very old school and is very careful with her money. I was quite wary of her questioning how much I was paying for my miniature treasures, but she was very good and didn't gasp too much.

I bought a petite point kit from Nicola Mascall. I already have the round pole kit, and I really liked this design. I have never used 40HPI silk gauze before, so I'm looking forward to working on this kit. 

I bought a chinoiserie grate and Georgian coals from Sue Cook for my Regency parlor. 

I bought a brandy glass and some sweet pie tins from The Little Dollhouse Company. I could have bought so much more from this stand, but I had to limit myself. I was informed by the seller that the pie tins can be filled with polymer clay and baked in the oven. I just need to see if I'm brave enough to try it.

I did really well at the Cancer Research Charity stand. I bought three wooden kits for a very good price.

I will use the desk in my Regency Library when I get around to making it, that is.

The kit above is a Mahogany Lyre End Work Table, that has been half started, and all I have to do it glue it together.

This kit is a lovely Mahogany Easel from Mcqueenies Miniatures and it has really nice brass fittings. It must be a discontinued kit as it isn't on their website anymore. 

I was really thrilled to buy all these kits and that I was supporting the Charity as well.


I bought two Cranberry Vases from Glasscraft. I didn't realise until I got them home that they are different heights. I love Phil Greyner's glassware so I wasn't disappointed. I am going to put these in my Regency Parlor on the tables either side of the fireplace, so I'm quite sure that the height difference won't be so noticeable.  

I bought a really cute loaf tin from TYA Kitchen. I was really looking forward to seeing this exhibitor and they didn't disappoint. I was just so regretful that I didn't have more money to spend, as I could have gone wild. I really hope that they will return for future shows.

All in all it was a great show, and I was pleased with my smaller hoard of goodies. I just need to start saving for next years show.

Until the next time

Take care

Jayne x

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Wistful Wisteria

After seeing so many new wonderful blog posts, I thought I would get around to showing you my latest work. Ever since I saw a wonderful wisteria flower kit at Miniatura some years ago, I have wanted to have one climbing up the walls of one of my dolls houses. I didn't have the money to pay out for the kit, at approx £20.00 I felt I would rather have ago at making one from my own supplies and put the money to something I have my eye on in the forthcoming Autumn Miniatura. 

I have seen some diagrams of how to make wisteria and this is my interpretation of one. I'm not really knowledgeable about plants and I wasn't sure if wisteria is a tree or a vine, but looking on the Internet I think it can be both. My variety is more tree-like than vine-like.

I started off with cutting plastic coated wire, I bought a whole roll of it from the garden section in Wilkinsons for £1.00 and I cut about 6 long lengths and twisted them all together to make the trunk and when I got to the height I wanted I then used two of the wires each to make three branches. I then covered the trunk and branches with green floristry tape and painted it a brown tree colour.

I was really pleased with the result of the floristry tape over the twisted wire as it gave the tree a vine-like effect.

I then used some very fine green wire, bent in half and once covered in tacky glue I dipped them into a pot of pale lilac Flower Soft. I'm not sure if you can tell in the pictures above, but the first one is just pale lilac and the second picture it shows how I did a second coat of slightly darker purple Flower Soft. 

My washing lines of wisteria flowers, waiting to dry.

Please excuse the bit of blanket you can see to the right of my house, that is where my youngest cat Fluffy like to sleep during the day. 

I filled the plant pot with air drying clay and used dried tea leaves to simulate dirt on the top. It's a tip I found out from Kris Compas and it is really effective.

I used my hot glue gun to attach the plant pot and branches to the front of my French house. I feel it looks a bit bare on the left-hand side so I may make some window boxes. 

I still have to fill the attic and I'm busy having fun making all sorts of different items for it. I will show you what I have done soon, I just need to finish off a few things first.

Until the next time

Take care 

Jayne x  

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Getting sidetracked, again.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I'm not very good at focusing on one project at a time. I seem to work on random things when they take my fancy and leave other projects unfinished as my interest moves elsewhere. I have accepted that this is just my way and that I will get around to finishing off my projects or rooms at some point. 

Last week I saw a picture of a miniature picnic basket and that was it, I was off on another tangent and I just had to make one. So with a bit of card, fabric and tapestry canvas, this was what I came up with. It's quite a cute little basket, if I say so myself. All I have to do now is fill it with food and utensils, and it will be a lovely addition to my Little Shabby house. 

 As I said earlier, about not completing my projects, I've finally got around to making a canopy around the bed in my French house. I am a great admirer of Maritza Moran and the way she uses fabric to dress her beds and furniture. I'm not saying that what I have done comes close to Maritza's work, but I wanted to have a bit of opulence in this room and also have a go at making a canopy.

The fabric is a beautiful pink raw silk and it came from a bridesmaid dress that I wore to my bed friend's wedding in 1991. I have long since being able to fit into it anymore and as sadly my friend is now getting a divorce, I thought it deserved to be re-purposed and used. The canopy may be a little bit too much in such a small room, but I love the decadence of it.  

All I need to do now is make curtains for the windows, a pillow for the bed, sort out the bed sheets, make a fancy drape thingy for the bottom of the bed...........

Until the next time

Take care

Jayne x

Thursday, 13 August 2015

When creativity strikes

I completely forgot to say hello and welcome my new followers on my last post, so please accept my apologises for that and say how happy I am to see new people taking an interest in my miniature adventures. I'm just doing what I love and if my work can inspire anyone else, then I'm all the happier.

First things first, I have been working on the front panel of my Regency room box. I really wanted to create a boxed window frame down the one side of my parlor, but I was a bit concerned of how much space I would lose in the room. I decided in the end to make it on the front panel. 

I cut some architrave to fit around the inside window and painted it. 

I had kept the double door frame that I had previously cut off from around the doors in the parlor and it fitted perfectly around the window frame. I then stained the wood.  After measuring carefully I made another frame from some wood strips and glued it down. I had to make sue that when I opened and closed the front panel it would glide in easily.

I used some heavyweight mount board to make the new wall. It is starting to come together and I really like how it's looking. 

I made some pagoda style curtains from some very pretty fabric I bought at last year's Miniatura show. 

I followed a pattern from the 'Dolls House and Miniature Scene' magazine
to make the pelmet. Only ever having made some basic curtains before, I was really pleased with the results, and it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.

I have now painted the front panel the same as the room, but I did omit the lower white wall. I'm not sure if I will leave it like this, but at the moment I am happy with it.

You probably won't be able to tell, but I have cut individual pieces of glass to fit inside the 12 window panes. 

I need to add some door furniture at some point, and I will look at making some better curtain ties, as I'm not overly happy with what I have done so far.  

I have added some plaster wall panels either side of the fireplace and attached some lovely wall lights and a chandelier I bought from Heidi Ott. All of the decorating has now been done on my Regency Parlor and I just need to add the furniture and other decorative items. This process will take me a while as I really do have expensive tastes and some of the items will have to be bought as and when I have the money for them.

The Library

For my next Regency room box I have decided to make a library. I have already made a plan of how I want it set out and I am busy gathering supplies, ready to make a start on it. 

I just love reading books, so a library is an essential room to have. I went on to Pinterest and found lots of fantastic book printies to download. I made sure that I had a new supply of printer ink and printed off lots of book covers. I know that I have only printed off a fraction of the amount that I will need to fill my library, but it's a start.

 I have made a a few of the books out of wood strips and some out of folded strips of paper to see which effect I like the best. 

As you can see I have my work cut out.

 A bit of dressmaking

I love seeing items of clothing in miniature scenes and dolls houses, and if I had the money I would buy as many that took my fancy. However, as I don't have the money to spare, and being a true crafter, I like to think I can have a go myself.

Here is two of my attempts to make Regency dresses. I had previously bought the book 'Making and dressing Dolls' House Dolls' by Sue Atkinson. In the book it talked about 'bonded' fabric and this is where you iron on a fusible interfacing to some parts of the pattern piece. This pattern required that the skirt was 'bonded' before cutting out and sewing, and it certainly made the fabric very easy to work with. However it also gave a stiffness to the dress, hence they can stand up all by themselves. 

None-the-less I was pleased with the results and I hope to display them when I get around to making my Regency bedroom. It has also inspired me to have a go at some more dress making, but I would like to aim to have more natural folds in the fabric. 

 A day dress

An evening dress

I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings and seeing what I have been up-to. I am also working on another little project, which I hope to finish in a few weeks. I still have a couple of weeks off for the summer, I'm lucky to work in a Secondary school and have long summer holidays.

Until the next time

Take care

Jayne x