Monday, 23 December 2013

Season's Greetings

Wishing all my followers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The trouble with having more than one blog means that occasions such as Christmas and New Year have to have more than one seasonal pic.   Not this year!   I know a few of you follow all three of  blogs but some just follow one so if you see this pic more than once, I apologise!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

York Fair

It has been a couple of years since I was last at this particular fair and I decided to combine it with a bit of Christmas Shopping, which was all well and good until it came to lugging all my purchases round the fair!   Thankfully a very kindly soul (the husband of a fellow miniaturist) let me stash my bag (Bag A) in his car for the duration of the event.   That meant I could whiz round with Bag B and stock up on all the minis I needed!
I managed to get the necessary bits for all three projects and these are some of the finishing touches for the Hall.   There's some wooden trim (for the external staircase), two Thomas Crapper loo roll boxes (I've had my eye on those for ages), a Christmas Storage box kit for the attic room and a magazine for the lady of the house.  
I know I'm supposed to have finished the interior but there's always that little something else that has to be had!

The additional bits were some acetate for windows, some extension sockets (I've not used these before but figured they might come in handy) and a set of keys.   No idea where they're going yet but some pewter-y coloured paint and they should fit right in somewhere.

All in all (although it doesn't look like much there) I had an excellent trip.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

We have a balcony.

Well, it's taken some time but at last I have finally given the balcony on Hambleton Hall some railings.   I've had these "railings" for ages but hadn't plucked up the courage to do anything with them.   I thought initially that they would be tricky to install but it turned out to be pretty straightforward.
It really finishes off the front, I think.
The topiaries are resin with flat backs and were purchased from The Dolls House Emporium although they don't appear to have that particular style available at the moment.
All that is left to do now is deal with the baseboard and grand staircase then work my through the snagging list.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Janey, the Servant

Janey the Servant's room was the last space to be decorated inside the house.   It's taken me since 2005 to get to this point and it's still not finished.

First of all, I had to dull down her wallpaper a bit.   It was far too bright and new looking for a servant.

Then a cupboard and wall-light were added -
Then I had a little play -

Of course she now had to have furniture to store her worldly goods.   She needed a washstand complete with toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and nailbrush -
No servant went anywhere without her box -
It's nice to finally be able to show, in situ, the bonnet sent to me by Marlene 
She has her secret little Valentine card hidden under her pillow -
The Penny Dreadful she's really not supposed to read - but does anyway - immediately beneath the stitched message that says (in case she should ever forget) "God Sees All" -
And finally, the whole room -

It was a bit sad completing this room.   I really enjoyed doing this one and learnt how to make a few little bits along the way.
Just the "grounds" to tackle now!


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Towel Rail, Tiles and Toothpaste.

Janey, the Servant, now has a wash stand boasting a towel rail and tiles.

I've also added a tin of toothpowder and a mug for her toothbrush.

She also has a piece of white rag for use as a facecloth and a plate to hold her soap and nailbrush.

No excuses for this girl!   After all, cleanliness is next to Godliness!

Shortly after posting my last batch of pictures, I received a message from Marlene at Somerset House to say that she had a bonnet that was surplus to her requirements and which would be ideal for this setting.
The little bonnet arrived today and it's lovely!   I'm waiting on starch drying at the moment and once that's done I can put the little bonnet in place.   In the meantime here are a couple of pics to show how lovely it is.
Thank you Marlene.   It was a lovely thing to do and very much appreciated.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

How to make a hairbrush

A few people have asked how I created the hairbrush so I thought I'd share the process with you.

Step 1.

Take a paintbrush.   Any paintbrush.   I used a cheap artists brush for this.   Trim the bristles so that they're absolutely flat along the top then add a layer of glue.   Leave to dry thoroughly. *

Step 2.

Draw your hairbrush shape onto a very thin piece of wood.

Step 3.

Using a craft knife, roughly cut round your hairbrush shape.   (Sorry it's fuzzy but you get the idea).

Step 4.
Gently sand/file round the shape until you're happy with it and it resembles a hairbrush.   I used a needle file.

Step 5.

You can either paint or wax your brush.   I used brush on/buff off wax.

Step 6.

When the glue has thoroughly dried on the bristles, add a layer of glue to the hairbrush form, gently lay it along the top of the bristles making sure everything is in alignment and leave to dry.

Step 7.

Cut the hairbrush from the paintbrush allowing extra to trim.   Ensuring that the bristles are well and truly stuck to your hairbrush, trim them to size.


You are now the proud owner of your own hand made mini hairbrush.

* The instructions for how to deal with getting the bristles on the brush were found here: 

I am not in any way affiliated to this site but there are lots of very useful hints and tips to be found there relating to miniatures. 

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Bits and Bobs

Inspired by the very talented Pedrete and following through with my statement that I love to see drawers, cabinets and boxes with contents, I've been busy creating a few bits and bobs for Janey, the Parlour Maid in Hambleton Hall.
The wash stand is in need of a towel rail and some tiles and I'm working on those but this is what I've managed to come up with so far.
On the wash stand there's a little writing case.   It actually contains envelopes and writing paper but since I didn't take a photo before tying it shut and the chances of getting the bow tied if I open it are pretty slim, you take it from me, they are in there!
There's a fancy box she kept from some long ago gift that contains some family photographs and a box of violet soap that she keeps for her afternoon off.  
I also had a go at making a hairbrush, nail brush and toothbrush - certainly not to David Edwards' very high standard but I'm happy with them given I've not done anything like that before.
Below sits her box.   This was the only item a servant would have to hold their personal belongings - I find it also doubles up as a very useful bedside surface.
In the box there is a length of fabric for her to make herself a dress and of course the obligatory family bible given to her by her mother when she went into service and which will hopefully keep her on the straight and narrow!   The final item is a little romance she enjoys reading when she finally manages to get some time to herself.


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Servant's Room

This is the last room to be dealt with in Hambleton Hall and it's taken me since 2005 to get here!

I've decided to call my servant Janey and she's a Parlour Maid.   Although I don't put figures in my properties I still like to have some idea of who they are and what they would be like as it helps me with decorating and furnishing a room.
Her room is situated in the attic, top right and is a decent sized space.    The wallpaper was purchased online and when put in place, it looked far too white and bright for a room that was probably decorated years ago and then ignored so I set about it with a used tea bag and that dulled it down a bit.   It did feel odd however, attacking such lovely fresh looking paper!
In order to give the room a bit more perspective, a cupboard was added at the back and I can imagine that this would lead to additional attic space.
A hole was pre-drilled to accommodate a wall light and a channel created for the candle light still to be purchased.

I was all set to fix in the cornice today but realised I couldn't until the candle light has been wired into place so that little job is on hold for the moment, as is the placing of the skirtings.  
It was too tempting not to have a little play!
I'm now working on bits and pieces to put in the drawers and in her box, which will make a useful bedside surface.

Friday, 26 April 2013

I've been Etsy shopping

I have a habit of saying "I like to see things inside things" when viewing other peoples minis -    cabinets full of toiletries, drawers with little personal items, cupboards with food items and utensils, shelves filled with books and scrolls but as yet, I've still to do that with my cabinets and drawers.
The nudge I needed came when Pedrete  shared his photo of a beautifully filled drawer and this picture has stayed in my mind.   I have even been back a few times for another look.
Pedrete makes the loveliest mini gloves I have seen so I definitely had to have a pair of those.   Even the box is a little work of art! 
I am also now the proud owner of one of Pedrete's little bags (and another box!)
Not only that, I also have a lovely little selection of sewing accessories and fashion plates.
Thank you Pedrete for giving me the nudge I needed to fill those drawers and thank you too for the wonderful minis you make.   Your Etsy shop is well worth a visit!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

My first fair of the year.

I can't believe I haven't posted here since the end of last year.   That's terrible!

I visited a fair today and as most of the items are for the Servant's Room in this property, I thought I'd post the pic of my purchases here.
It wasn't a big fair and on arriving and looking around I really thought I was going to be disappointed but after making the first circuit, that turned out not to be the case although there were a few of the usual exhibitors missing.
I didn't have a list this time as I knew pretty much what I wanted.   One thing I did notice was a lot of the fancy accessories, ie. perfume trays, dainty gloves, handkerchiefs, etc. all the little things that add so much to a room and are usually hand made, they were all stuck down!   I saw a lot of dressing tables, cabinets, display tables etc all beautifully dressed and accessorised but the little items weren't available separately.   I thought that was a shame although perhaps my wallet didn't!
Anyway, I did get cornicing, a chest of drawers, trunk, bag, basket, mirror and pillows - all for Hambleton Hall and also a slightly smaller hat stand for my Edinburgh Emporium project.   I think the one I have at the moment stands too tall.   I also picked up a couple of bags of findings to add to my little collection.
One other thing I got (and it wasn't intentional) was this wooden knife - RL size.   I've noticed at the few fairs I manage to get to that the caterers are no longer offering wooden stirrers - I wonder why? lol!   When I got to the table, ready to tuck into the lovely pastry I'd bought, I discovered I had picked up two knives (they were a bit more substantial than the plastic ones also available).   It seemed daft to take the extra one back as I'm sure I can find a mini use for it .............maybe!   All suggestions gratefully received.


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