Saturday, 24 September 2011

Born to shop

Today I spent several lovely hours at Miniatura, one of the UK's biggest dollshouse and miniatures fairs.  It has a really nice range of traders and craftspeople, from the expensive elite down to the pile-em-high-sell-it-cheap. If you ever visit the UK, try to time your visit to coincide with one of their two shows each year, held at the National Exhibition Centre near Birmingham.  It is accessible by public transport, and some years I have made the trip by train.  But this year I was spoiled as DH drove me up, and dozed patiently in the car park while I shopped.  He came inside to join me for a nice lunch, then went back out to wait until I was done.  What a great hubbie!  He's even stopped asking me how much I spent, although that is the result of 20 years of training so don't despair if you haven't got to that stage yet with your DH.

I enjoyed seeing all the marvelous things on sale, particularly the European traders from France, The Netherlands etc.  I was mainly looking for 1/24th scale accessories for the Fairfield, but as usual it was 1/12th scale which predominated.  There was a small amount of 1:24, but 1:48 seems to be picking up speed here in the UK and I think there was actually more of that scale than of 1:24 this year.

I work in all scales, so I did rather well finding things for some of my other houses as well.  I found some good things for my Willowcrest quilting and knitting shop, but I will blog those on the Willowcrest blog along with a few strays purchased for other houses.

I also want to say 'Welcome' to the new followers that have joined us.  Although you are coming in towards the end of the project, you can start right back at the beginning and follow the journey from cardboard box full of plywood right through to the furnished house.  (You don't have to read it all, you can just look at the pictures...  :)  )

I know what you really want to see is what I bought, so here you are:

  • The knitted afghan, teddy bear pillow, fairy doll, and teddy bear are for the little girl's room. 
  • The silk cushions are hopefully going to look nice on the kitchen window seat, which is also the destination for the two liquor bottles. The pillows were only .50p so hardly worth making my own.
  • The bird feeding table is for the garden and I am planning to improve on the basic kit.
  • The knitting bag will probably go in the living room.
The tiny fairy doll and teddy are so cute.  The teddy is actually a very small 1:12th scale bear, but I think he is small enough to be a large 1:24th scale bear.  They are both from Sally Reader Miniatures who had lots of cute toys in both scales.

The very reasonably priced kits for the knitting bag and the bird feeding table, and I think also the knitted afghan, are from Model Village Miniatures.  I used several of their excellent and cheap kits in my house, for example some of the boy's room furniture.  A previous commenter noted that they didn't seem to have a website.  I checked with them today, and they said they do mail order but don't have a website as they 'don't do computers'.  They are willing to mail abroad and have a mail order catalogue, so here are their contact details and Sally Reader Miniatures.

A very nice day and I will enjoy putting things into the house.  I probably won't get time to make up the kits for a while, as work is extremely busy and I am trying to hit some deadlines before we go off on our big holiday to New England in October.

On that topic - can any American readers recommend dollshouse shops I should visit in New England?  We are doing the usual circuit around Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Mass., and Rhode Island and we are in a hire car so have some flexibility on where we go.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

An earthquake, and a milestone

Hi there, this week the house suffered an earthquake, and I have reached a milestone with it.

The earthquake was because it fell off of the box that I balance it on (to keep it at eye level while I am working on it) sideways onto the bed, resulting in everything that wasn't stuck down ending up on the front wall.  Luckily, as it was onto the bed, I was able to recover everything that fell out (I think).

It gave me the impetus to finally get the last couple of rooms finished and get things stuck in with grip wax or glue.  And then - yes, all good things come to an end: I moved it out of my bedroom and downstairs to the dollshouse lineup.

I am still going to shop for accessories for it at shows such as Miniatura coming up in two weeks.  And I will still build kits for it if I get any.  But the main construction and the things that I set out to achieve back in April 2010 have now been accomplished.  When I look back over the blog, I can't believe how much has been done to transform the house from a box full of plywood, to the finished article that I see today. I've had a wonderful time doing it, and you have all helped and supported me so much.  From offering your opinions, and cheering me on, to Keli who shipped a big box with all her unused trim and porch pieces all the way from Michigan.  It's almost been like building this house as part of a dollshouse club, and I want to say thank you so much to all of you for being part of it. I don't think I would have got nearly as much done if I didn't feel that I needed to keep this blog going for all of you.

Yes, there are so many more details that could be added to it:  kitchen bits, cushions, pictures, towels, all the bits of ephemera that make a house look lived in.  But the main parts are now all completed, and I need to have that corner of my own bedroom back - just moving out the folding table that the house was on has made the room seem so much bigger! 

This won't be my last post, but I probably won't be posting as regularly in future.  And what will I be doing?  Well, I really should go back to my Willowcrest and finish the interior - I bogged down on the details and never finished the quilting shop or the workshop floor.  You know what I'm like, I preferred building the house itself.

Anyway, here's what I did this week:

Boy's room

I've now stuck everything into the room with either Grip Wax or Tacky Glue.  Since last week I've added a jewellery finding on the shelf to look a bit like a trophy, and I found a Burger King bag in my stash.

Little Girl's room

I dug out my bowmaker (made from sewing needles embedded in a block of Fimo) to make some ribbon bows to decorate the bed canopy.  As usual, I couldn't remember how to use the bowmaker but I found this video on Youtube demonstrating on a much larger version.

I made four bows:  two for the tie backs, and two to decorate the canopy.  Then I pushed and prodded at the canopy to make it look a bit more presentable.

Then I stuck in the rest of the furniture and accessories.

Rest of house

The rest of the house just needed a tidy up after the earthquake.

Annoyingly, to take some of these pictures of rooms I hadn't worked on for a while, I had to brush away the dust first.  Dust is such an enemy of dollshouses.  After I moved the house downstairs, I wrapped it up temporarily in fabric to keep the worst of the dust out, while I think about how to display it. 

If I manage to find any nice accessories at Miniatura, I will post them here so you can see what I got.

[edited next day: Forgot to add that I will still be blogging regularly on my main blog , but I don't tend to put the minis on that blog because it confuses the quilters and knitters.  I got a few comments in the past revealing that they didn't understand something was only one-inch-high and not real life!  ]

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Clutter making

This week I've still been working on the printables to create more clutter for the boy's room.  One of the reasons I prefer building houses to furnishing them, is that you can spend hours on making accessories with very little to show for it. 

This week I've put together:

- board games: boards glued onto card
- board games in boxes: didn't use bottom of box.  Cut piece of wood to correct size, painted edges in toning colour, and glued cover over board.
- keyboard:  this didn't have instructions but I think I got the correct result.  It's open underneath, and a bit floppy so I glued some card under the keyboard to make it look flatter.  End result isn't great, I think I will hide it under the bench in the room so it's not on full view.
- school supplies:  two notebooks with pages, a steno pad, a box of crayons.
- a mock Kentucky Fried Chicken takeaway box
- some fake books, and some covers glued onto real books.
- a puzzle, with an opening puzzle box

I took some of these and started to fill up the boy's bookshelf.  Taking inspiration from my own DS's room, I shoved the games boxes in rather haphazardly.

I've pretty much used up the printables now that I found online.  But I'm hoping to go to the big Miniatura dollshouse show at the NEC Birmingham in a few weeks, and I will look out for more 1:24 accessories there.  There are usually some, even though the smaller scales aren't as popular here as they are in the States.