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FREE VICTORIAN CUTOUTS

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WORLD

DOLlSHOUSE UK’S BEST-SELLING MINIATURES MAGAZINE

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JULY 2018

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ISSUE 310

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QUICK & EASY IDEAS

BEAUTIFUL

BEACH HOUSE

FULL OF PROJECTS l Bed from a box l Build a kitchen l Dress a doll

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ISSUE 310

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contents small details July 2018

Issue 310

To reach us: Call +44 (0)1903 884988 Or write to: Dolls House World, PO Box 2258, Pulborough RH20 9BA Great Britain email: support@ashdown.co.uk Website: www.dollshouseworld.com Editor: Richard Jennings Email: richard@ashdown.co.uk Feature writer: Sandra Harding Advertisement sales: UK office: Maria Fitzgerald Email: maria@ashdown.co.uk US office: Sara Vix Email: sara@ashdown.co.uk Design: Richard Jennings & Wendy Crosthwaite US office: Ashdown Inc., PO Box 219, Kasson, MN 55944. Tel: 507-634-3143 Subscriptions: UK: support@ashdown.co.uk US: usoffice@ashdown.co.uk ISSN 0961 - 0928. Printed in the UK. Distributed to the newstrade by Comag.

Subscription prices: Per year: UK £59.99 (12 issues). European and worldwide prices will be adjusted to local currencies. See online for details at www.dollshouseworld.com or call +44 (0)1903 884988. All of our subscriptions are handled by us here at DHW.

Reproduction in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher is prohibited. The written instructions, photographs, designs, patterns and projects in this magazine are intended for the personal use of the reader and may be reproduced for that purpose only. Any other use, especially commercial use is forbidden under law without permission of the copyright holder. All editorial contributions are welcomed by Dolls House World but the publisher can accept no responsibility for loss or damage to contributions. Material is accepted solely on the basis that the author accepts the assessment of the publisher as to its commercial value. All material submitted is accepted on the basis that copyright of will be vested in the publisher who assumes all rights worldwide, in all forms and media. © Copyright ashdown.co.uk Postmaster: Send address corrections to Ashdown Inc., 68132 250th Ave., Kasson, MN 55944 USA. Canada Post International Publications. All rights reserved.

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4

Open House

9

Where I work

10

Room Style

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Show Report

How collector made a challenging kit and filled it with wonderful pieces

We chat with Carol Owen of Minifoods Studio about her workspace

You’ll love the view at this idyllic beach cottage where anyone can relax

Sandra chats to exhibitors and visitors at the 70th Miniatura show

20 A Life in Miniature

Michelle tells us how she’s making up for lost time with steampunk

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Dress a Doll

36

Big Little Ideas

40

Miniature showcase

44

Meet the Maker

48

Collections

Dress your own doll in a beautiful ball gown with the talented Dana

When Bonnie wanted a miniature challenge she didn’t have to look far

Some wonderful kits that are just waiting for you to put together

Kamilla is weaving wonders on a journey of discovery

Take a look at an impressive Polish museum which is promoting minis

24 Small Accomplishments 51

Club news

25 A Look at Lundby

51

Paint by Numbers

26 Bed Project

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Steampunk project

28 Room Style

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Fair Report

Barbara Cass has made a public loo for her little village

Ingrid mixes and matches her Lundby Gothenburg in a modern style

How to make an elegant bed from an old cardboard box

Joan Warren’s wonderful scene is based on a classic murder mystery

Busy club raises helicopter funds with their mini events over the year

We look at another interesting painting for you to hang in your house

Jump on a steampunk Chariotorium.. it’s crazy but a lot of fun

Sandra can’t resist picking up a shop, plus a few more bits, at Lyndhurst

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“where little things matter”

www.dollshouseworld.com dollshouseworldmagazine

When they wrote the song with the line “The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night” I don’t think they had doll’s houses in mind. But when I hear people talking about how finding miniatures gave them a sense of purpose in their life, or a passion to work on a project deep into the night, then I can only join in the chorus wholeheartedly. I hope you’ll be able to sing along while you read through the stories about our amazing hobby this issue. Kamilla Duglowolska found she had a talent for minis after a move to Italy left her feeling isolated, but her new skill helped her through a difficult period. Sit back and admire the beautiful baskets she is weaving now. Michelle Thompson has discovered steampunk, and while she admits she’s never going to be a famous artisan, she’s having a whole load of fun coming up with ideas, which she shares with us. We showcase a fabulous range of kits in different scales and one designer reminds us that doing things can be a path to happiness. And I love Bonnie Cross’s technique for starting a serious project: “I picture a finished piece in my mind’s eye, and then start winging it.’ But whether you’re a careful planner, or a jump-straight-in kind of girl, we’ve got a batch of projects to keep you busy along with an amazing beach house to explore and a gorgeous scene from a movie to admire. Oh, if you didn’t recognise the Louis Armstrong line, the chorus goes like this: “And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.” email: richard@ashdown.co.uk

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Show dates

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Meet the Maker

70 Scene Around

Dates for your miniature diary from around the country

Gabriele’s charming front porch is the perfect place to relax

When it comes to the right tool for the job, David Brookshaw is the man

72 Food project

Wrap up some twelfth scale green beans inside bacon for a mini dinner

59 Quick & Easy

74 House Proud

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76 Make dandelions

Add authentic buckets and barrels to your mini scene with simple idea

House Proud A country store has been turned into a nice middle class house

How couple made a copy of their old family home

A project made to create awareness of need for dandelions in our gardens

64 Meet the Makers

77 Cutouts

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82 Small talk

Meet dynamic duo who make miniature plush toys together in Spain

Kitchen project Making a dream kitchen needn’t be a nightmare if you keep it simple

Quote of the month:

welcome

More interesting ideas for you to cut out and add to your home

This month we talk to Dianne Hawkes about her houses and room boxes

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. Mother Theresa

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HOUSE HUNT

Find the little house hidden inside. n Last issue it appeared on page 30.

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OPEN HOUSE

A house with family (and windows) at its heart How a dedicated collector put together a challenging kit and filled it with wonderful pieces to recreate a scene from one of her favourite books BY CHARLOTTE MERRYMAN

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t was love at first sight for Margaret Gowing from Hants. As soon as she laid eyes on this impressive country house, she knew it had to come home with her. As is so often the way with love, she wasn’t looking for it at the time, but a casual trip to a shop in Waterlooville resulted in the chance encounter. Despite seeing the house in its constructed form, Margaret was just as happy to take it home in pieces; the Harrison doll’s house by Greenleaf only comes in kit form. But as anyone

who has attempted to construct a house kit knows, seeing the picture on the front of the box is one thing; putting it together is quite another. When she got the kit home Margaret wondered if she had made an awful mistake. “The kit was terrible to build,” she admitted, now amused at the memory of being surrounded by pieces of wood and diagrams. The Harrison was a pretty sizeable house and used movable partitions to create up to nine large rooms with six bay windows, and a hidden roof panel

leading into a secret third floor studio room. No wonder it looked so daunting in kit form. With so much scope, Margaret’s dreams of a big house with room for a large family were coming true. Nevertheless, the Harrison had advantages and disadvantages, which were only discovered with experience. For a start the house needs a lot of space to be appreciated from all sides. With so many windows incorporated into each wall of the house, it meant that no face is void. The house simply could not be crammed in to a corner or surrounded in a way that prevents the onlooker being able to enjoy the magnitude of the building. Also, because the house is the American back-opening design, it had to

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OPEN HOUSE

be positioned to allow access into the rooms through the back. You might call it a 360 degree house. Margaret and her extremely supportive husband totally embraced the needs of their new addition and gave it pride of place in their home. Essentially, they paid as much attention to the exterior accessories and furnishings of the house as the interior. By building a platform for it to rest on and adding a small side garden, greenhouse, gardener, hanging basket and dovecote, they have really given the Harrison an air of importance, fitting for a country residence. There’s no getting away from the fact that the main appeal of this particular design is the generous amount of diamond leaded windows in the house,

Far left: The Harrison: an attractive house fit for a large family. Above: Margaret is not fond of making furniture, but enjoys needlework. Above right: Examples of her work can be seen in the photograph above, and on the right in knitted and embroidered pieces. Right: A pretty lady decides on her outfit for the evening.

giving the walls light and interest and drawing the viewer in. Don’t you find yourself wanting to peek through those windows and see what’s behind them? Do so and you will see that the pay off is reduced availability of internal wall space as a result of ample glazing. This meant that Margaret needed to carefully consider the positioning of furniture, such as sideboards, display DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

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OPEN HOUSE

Left: The Victorian era was ideal for Margaret, who wanted to cram as many lovely things in her house as possible. Above: American-style back opening is easy for access, but means the house must be seen from all sides. Far right: With little available wall space Margaret has made the most of every table top, mantelpiece and corner.

cabinets and pictures to utilise every available area. There are some wonderful examples of glass and china; you can see it on the shelves of cabinets and dressers, on occasional tables and mantle pieces throughout the house. Clearly these are favourite miniatures to collect. “When the light is on, it shines,” said Margaret “We tend to incorporate what we want in our own homes don’t you think?” Inside, the house follows a Victorian flavour, which is a curious combination in style. “This is so I could cram it full of stuff,” said Margaret. And full it is. One thing Margaret

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OPEN HOUSE

acknowledged as being beyond her ability was making furniture, which she either bought, or asked her husband to make. Needlework was much more her thing and many of the sewn, knitted and embroidered items in the house are her own work. Fairs were a must to attend, particularly to get new ideas and on this matter Margaret is adamant that professional makers must be supported. “They’re working for us after all.” Four times a year Margaret attended local fairs and wherever possible, added to her collection of professionally made miniatures. With so much to look at, each room competes for the viewer’s attention. Every space is well used and sensibly furnished so that believing it is home to a large and active family requires no effort. Family is at the heart of this house – and it’s a family that Margaret knows well. Not only has she included dolls in her doll’s house she has taken their role one step further and made them central to the collection, basing them around one of her favourite books, DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

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The Eliots of Damerosehay, which is a lovely idea and not one followed very often. The Eliots of Damerosehay by Elizabeth Goudge is part of a trilogy, which follows the Eliot family, and the strangers it takes to its heart. In the book, the Eliots live in an ancient and atmospheric house that has been handed down to the grandson, who lives there with his wife and three children. Using figures by Jill Nix, Margaret depicted the part of the story where all the family members come together for an anniversary. They can be seen around the house engaged in activities that are relevant to the story. It suits the house to be seen as central to a family and to be at the heart of generations. All the same – I wouldn’t like to be the window cleaner. Margaret didn’t say whether she would make the story come true by handing her house down through the

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family - as happened to the one in the book. It would be nice to think that history would repeat itself and that would be the case. It would only be right and fitting, don’t you think?

Top and above: We see lots of examples of fine china and glass that Margaret collected over the years, some of which was bought from makers at fairs - something she felt very strongly about.


WHERE i WORK WE CHAT WITH CAROL OWEN OF MINIFOODS STUDIO ABOUT HER WORKSPACE Hi Carol, what do you love about making miniatures? I ‘discovered’ Etsy about

two years ago and couldn’t believe the fabulous things people were making. Well, I just had to have a go. I love arts and crafts and I love miniatures so the combination is perfect. I am not naturally arty and gifted; I just have a huge desire to create and enjoy the challenge of making something realistic. There is a real buzz if you end up satisfied with something you have made and an even bigger buzz that someone else has bought one of your creations. Where do you work? At the kitchen island. It’s a lovely wide, flat surface. The kitchen is always the hub of a home and it’s a very comfortable place to be.

craft shops in Newmarket and Ely so I’m comfortable with people watching. Some friends have asked for an evening session where they can have a go with the clay along with a bottle of wine (or two). And your cats keep you company? Unfortunately I get a lot of assistance from my cats but cat hair in the clay is a nightmare. My five rescue cats want to get involved and examine everything in detail so I leave a blanket next to me to encourage them to sit there instead. Describe your workspace in five words.

Light. Wide. Flat. Convenient. Warm. What is the one thing that your workspace can’t be missing? Decent light! My

We hear you have a man to help? Yes, I have a twelfth scale man who sits in my workspace helping me keep to scale. If I imagine he could hold the item then I’m happy it will fit in a doll’s house.

eyes depend on glasses for the intricate things in life and good light is important. Otherwise, I suppose it must be the indispensable kettle. Lots of tea is essential for the little grey cells – mine more so than others.

Where do you get ideas? Unbelievably I can re-

What or where would be your dream workspace? A purpose made little ‘studio’ where I

turn from a trip to the supermarket feeling inspired and just want to get the clay out and try and recreate something I’ve seen. What makes your space for mini making so special? The practicalities really. The freezer is

behind me for cooling clay and the cooker is there for baking. In the winter it is the warmest place in the house. The island is big but, unfortunately, the bigger the space the bigger the mess. It’s not a private workspace? No, but I tend not to get all my stuff out if the family is home and creating real food is the priority. I just get involved in chatting and then nothing gets done. I give clay demonstrations at

could leave all my bits and pieces out so that I could just return and carry on even if I’ve only got an hour to spare. It also wouldn’t matter so much if I made a mess. Storage is another issue as I put things away to clear the decks and can’t find them again. The kitchen island tends to be the meeting place when the family is home and the island is the perfect place for dishing up food and preparing meals. Maybe my workspace should be my next project. Thanks Carol. We look forward to seeing that. Minifoods Studio Email: carolowen1@hotmail.com MinifoodsStudio.etsy.com

“UNFORTUNATELY, THE BIGGER THE SPACE THE BIGGER THE MESS.”


ROOM STYLE

You’ll love the view at perfect beach cottage A Hungarian miniaturist was inspired to make a New England beach house after seeing them in films

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BY DEB WEISSLER. PHOTOGRAPHY BY MILAN TOTH

othing says “home sweet home” like a charming vintage Cape Cod. Cosy and efficient, modest yet charming, its style is instantly recognisable by those who have ever taken a holiday or watched American movies along the New England coast. The popularity of capes have waxed and waned over the decades and although many cape exteriors may reflect the looks of centuries past, the interiors can be surprisingly contemporary and infinitely liveable. Orsolya Skultéti may live in Budapest, but she has brilliantly captured the modern, clean, yet charming lines of a cosy yet contemporary beach cottage in her latest vignette, “Cape Cod Living Room”. In the past, Orsolya has made it clear while decorating her other miniature projects that she loves combining crisp white and various shades of blue for a clean and calming effect. She has repeated that palette again in this rendering of a traditional Cape Cod with its views of the sea that she created

Top left: A seaside bounty awaits the residents on the porch. Left centre: There is nothing else to do in this room except to have a splendid day of leisure. Left: A tiny sailboat named “Moby Dick”.

especially for the 19th Hungarian Doll, Bear, and Miniature Competition. “I wanted to create a room so realistic as to be mistaken for a real life interior,” Orsolya explains. By adding an interior door to the left side of the room that leads to an imaginary hallway and kitchen, Orsolya allows the viewer to imagine unseen spaces beyond the living room and terrace. To further the effect, she outfitted the right side with a wall of glass; two fixed windows and two sliding doors that invite you to step outdoors and admire the view from the comfort of a well-appointed deck. The outer shell of Orsolya’s room box is steamed beech wood, a material she favours because it can withstand almost any type of weather without warping. The inner walls are mounted onto cardboard and panelled below in white and painted light blue above. Her decor reflects the same palette of white and blue that shows off well against the walnut floorboards. The back wall features a central fireplace with flicker units, flanked by floor to ceiling built-ins. The generous mantel is one of Orsolya’s favourite features as it allowed her to line the shelf with seashells, both real and hand-crafted from Fimo, reminding visitors this is indeed a beach cottage. Over the mantel hangs a large framed mirror.

“I wanted to create a room so realistic as to be mistaken for a real life interior” 10

DOLLS HOUSE WORLD


ROOM STYLE

This twelfth scale living room looks amazingly realistic.

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ROOM STYLE

Top: Orsolya’s Cape Cod living room and porch in full view. Left: The glass sliding doors lead out to the porch for a treat! Above: The shelves are stocked with good books and holiday memories.

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Above right: The perfect reading nook with an ocean breeze. Below left: : A carefully placed coin shatters the illusion but confirms the high skill level of this artist. Below: Orsolya had the most fun creating the attached porch with the wonderfully weathered railings. Ah what a view!

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Left: Polymer fish sculptures and glassware add elegance and a clean fresh feeling. Above: The inspiring miniature living room shown with the lights on.

The painted built-ins are filled with Orsolya’s handiwork: decorative blue glass, Fimo fish sculptures, vintagestyle post cards and photos, a sail boat, ship’s wheel, an old map of Cape Cod, sea shells, starfish, decorative plates made from jewellery findings, and stacks of books and magazines for those lazy summer days out on the deck, or curled up indoors on a rainy afternoon. A pale blue leather chair nearby provides the perfect reading nook. The sofa and armchairs were made from birch plywood and upholstered in a Ralph Lauren maritime collection striped print Orsolya reduced to scale, printed onto fabric, which she then hand sewed. With a nod to the cape’s

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vintage heritage, she built a wooden trunk from walnut, painted and aged, to use as a coffee table. Orsolya dressed it with a scatter of magazines and plenty of sweets to add another layer of realism to the scene. A small white table holds a glass lamp handmade from a tiny bottle in which Orsolya drilled a hole in the bottom to thread the electrical wires. Then she filled the bottle with sand and Fimo seashells. The beautiful lamp shade was silver soldered and covered with a nautical print. The ceiling light, which was once a tiny IKEA sauce bowl, was transformed into the perfect chandelier with wire, chain, and jewellery finds. The walls are decorated with photos of Cape

Cod lighthouses. Orsolya admits she had the most fun creating the veranda. The distressed railings, the painted Adirondack chairs and table, the fresh seafood and wine, and above all the delightful Whalecome sign invites family and friends to sit back, enjoying the repast, breathe the salt air, and relaxing décor; knowing that summer is flying by and we should enjoy each and every minute! Orsolya’s vignette won first place in the ‘Miniatures’ category and has likely won the hearts of many of you. “Now I will take a summer break,” Orsolya says, “and plan to spend it creating something special for myself; a tiny kitchen to compliment this room.” We can’t wait to see it!


Because you deserve the finest.

Swan House Miniatures

www.swanhouseminiatures.com

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DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

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SHOW REPORT

Miniatura celebrates a special get together Sandra chats to exhibitors and visitors alike at the 70th Miniatura show and finds much to admire from tiny teddies to furniture to make your mouth water

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BY SANDRA HARDING

he latest Miniatura was the Hopwood family’s 70th show, and yet the 60th only seems a couple of years ago to me. In the same indulgent train of thought I was trying to recall the first show of theirs we went to, and I reckon it must be about 20 years ago. In those days, the queue spread half way round the waiting areas and the exhibitors almost filled the large halls. When the doors opened my poor husband was often pushed aside by enthusiastic buyers with sharp elbows hurrying to their favourite stand. This was, of course, before the days of internet and Facebook shopping. This time, although the way we buy things has changed, as they do, this did not stop thousands of happy visitors, spread over two days, visiting the nearly 130 exhibitors for beautiful “must have” purchases. So often I heard the words “I like to look and feel something before I buy,” very often from people who have been disappointmented after buying online. I am very glad that we spent both days at this show as I just can’t seem to get to everybody in one day anymore. Maybe that’s to do with me slowing down, or maybe it’s because I have this habit of stopping to admire everything I see, such as S&W Golland, from whom I bought another two tiny wooden carvings, whilst resisting their black lacquer furniture. There were gorgeous bears galore

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from Shoebutton Bears, Five Valley Bears, ABC Tedi Bach Hug, and Teeny Weeny Teddies & Friends. There was enough furniture to make your mouth water, from the most basic, which is where we all start, to the amazing works of art from people like Eleisa, a returner after 10 years (her beautiful work is featured in Basel Museum) and Masters Miniatures, Escutcheon, and Beith Miniatures. It was a delight to have three of the original show exhibitors attending: Country Treasures, Escutcheon and Stokesay Ware. The latter had produced, and had on sale, a limited edition plate to raise money for the Grenfell Fire charity. Another regular charity fundraiser in attendance was, of course, the indomitable Pat Cutforth, raising money for Cancer Research UK. This weekend raised the already amazing amount of £300,000 by a

Dolls House Direct.

staggering £5,353, just selling donated miniatures. Thanks to all who donated and helped out. Quite brilliant. Apart from returner “The Dolls House”, on a “one-off” special, there were a few first timers who all deserve a mention. Adrian Thompson, whom I have picked out especially, as his work can only be viewed through a microscope, AB Miniatures, Marivi Sacristan Miniatures from Spain, DB Miniatures, Twisted Miniatures, and Curious Oddities, who were also holding several interesting workshops. Other workshops were held by Queen Elizabeth Dolls Houses, The Miniature Needlework Society, Small Scale Fiddlers, and the British Polymer Clay Guild. They all had the most beautiful displays of their own work, particularly the cottage in polymer clay by talented Fiona, and a beautiful raised needlework example by Teresa using 20 different stitches along with some “made up” ones. The Warley National Model Railway Exhibition created a lot of interest, as did the talks about wiring a doll’s house given by David Bishop, and Wildlife Projects by Kate Macrae. To talk about all the visitors I chatted to would be impossible, as there were so many. However, I will mention a few, just because they said I wouldn’t. There were several ladies who had flown over from Ireland just to be there; Mandy, Lilian, Rita and Celine have so many houses between them. I lost count at 45.


SHOW REPORT

Enchanted Dolls. Olivia at Five Valley Bears.

Fiona of MN society. Adrian Thompson.

Teresa of MN society.

Phoebe Grace and mum Allison at Shepherd Miniatures. DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

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www.MiniEtchers.com www.MiniEtchers.com Kits in all scales www.MiniEtchers.com Kits in all scales Kits in all scales

DOLLS HOUSE AND MINIATURES FAIR

SALE!

SATURDAY 14th JULY 2018 SEDGEFIELD RACECOURSE Racecourse Road, Sedgefield TS21 2HW (5 mins from A1) Entry £1 per person

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Ample free parking • Free Prize Draws Cafeteria Open10.30a.m. until 4p.m. Cleveland Miniaturists UK Tel.01642 870071/07572060172

Dollshouses (over 50) old and new 1\12th 1/16th I/24th Sunday, Oct 28

10:30 to 2:30 at Shaw Farm in Wiltshire SN8 4LU Kits Roomboxes Shops Furniture Accessories Dolls Tools and Supplies Books and over 2000 Magazines @ 50p ALL PROCEEDS TO CANCER RESEARCH UK

Now available on your tablet! Dolls House World magazine is now available to read on your favourite device, including the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Samsung Galaxy Tab. Buy the latest issue anywhere in the world at a fraction of the cost of the paper edition. Download your FREE App today. Simply search for ‘Dollshouse World Magazine’ in the Apple App store or Android Market.

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SHOW REPORT

VicAnna Vintage. Masters Miniatures.

Then there was Ruth from Blackpool, Louise from Edinburgh, who had waited for many years to come here, and Barbara, who sent me to look at Elite Petite Interiors, and convinced me to buy a 144th scale cottage (she has a lot to answer for). Linda from Dudley, and Bridgette from Shrewsbury who both work in twelfth scale, were among the many ‘locals’. And a special mention for three generations: Phoebe Grace, aged 3, mum Allison and nana Iris, both of whom are ageless, and Olivia, who was there with her aunt. This was as always, a red carpet show (literally) and always worth visiting. The next show at Miniatura is on 22nd-23rd September 2018 at the NEC Birmingham, and if this one is anything to go by, it will be here quicker than you think, so better book tickets soon.

Stokesay Ware.

Giant cake for the miniatures team The Miniatura team of Andy, Bob and the NEC and was large enough to ensure every one of the exhibitors Muriel Hopwood got a big surprise got a slice. at the show when the Birmingham NEC presented them with a huge birthday cake to celebrate their 70th show – and their 35th year of exhibiting at the NEC. Helaena Ackers, Account Manager for the NEC, took the giant iced sponge cake to the Sunday show and raised a toast to all involved. She said: “Seventy shows is a great achievement so we thought that the organisers, Bob, Muriel and Andy deserved a celebratory birthday cake to mark the occasion.” The cake was made by Photo: Rob Tysall Amadeus, the catering team at

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A LIFE IN MINIATURE

Steampunk brings fun and freedom to minis Michelle, who works as an IT Manager at Newcastle University, only got her first house two years ago. Here she tells us how she’s making up for lost time

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BY MICHELLE EMBLETON THOMPSON

hen I met my husband I told him how much I’d always wanted a dolls house when I was a child, but my family couldn’t afford one. We went past a charity shop one Sunday and saw a doll’s house in the window, but at £120 I thought it was too expensive. The next day I came home from work and the house and its contents were waiting for me in our living room. My husband, Brian, had called the shop, asked them to put the house to one side, went to buy it and brought it home as a surprise. Most amazing husband ever. By February I’d bought my second house and by summer I had a further two houses given to me by colleagues, although I did have to let one go due to lack of space. In early 2017 we had to buy a bigger real house to facilitate my new found love and I’ve recently received another house from a colleague so I’m back up to four doll’s houses. At some point I realised that I also have a host of bookshelves which would make ideal room boxes and several weeks ago I decided it would be fun to do a steampunk themed room. I can’t really pinpoint one thing that drew me to the idea of a steampunk theme. I can cite many influences, including some of my favourite films from my childhood, which I’ve seen a million times (Willy Wonka and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as well

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as more recent movies such as Wallace and Gromit, Wild Wild West, Stardust and A Series of Unfortunate Events. They all have some amazing visual references which directly or indirectly summon up the ethos of steampunk. One of my favourite local bars (the Continental in Newcastle) is also a very visually appealing influence in terms of the copper coloured pipe work bottle bar and brass coloured library ladders they use to fetch the bottles. I’ve even upcycled one of their business cards as signage for my steampunk room, the Fantastical

Inventionorium! Another massive influence is other doll’s house and miniature enthusiasts who are largely amateurs and populate one of my favourite Facebook groups “Dollhouse Miniatures made from everyday things”. The inventiveness and ability of members surprises me every day. In particular Jan Stone does amazing things with stuff she finds lying around and produces exclusively steampunk themed miniatures and dolls. The great thing about steampunk for me is the use of colours. I seem to be drawn to the charcoal, brown, tan, gold, brass and copper colour pallet which seems common across steampunk imagery so I’m using a lot of those colours at the moment. I also love the fact that you can pretty much make items up. There is usually something about the piece which most people will recognise, but it will be some contraption which does not or can’t ever exist. And the names! That’s the most fun part.. I can spend as long naming a piece as it does to make it. As for making some of the pieces - I have upcycled pieces of toy doll’s house furniture (chunky, non-collectible), and trash (empty deodorant bottles, drinking straws, buttons, pens). I use pretty much anything I have lying around. I’ve also bought specific craft material (cogs and gears, beads and trinkets) that look or can be made to


A LIFE IN MINIATURE

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A LIFE IN MINIATURE

“I’ve gone a bit nuts and the steampunk theme has taken on a life of its own.” look steampunk. I’ve also bought things like Kinder Eggs and glue packs just for the packaging. I cannot begin to imagine how many pieces of costume jewellery I’ve pulled apart to reuse. I’ve gone a bit nuts and the steampunk theme has taken on a life of its own. What started as an intention to do one roombox a few weeks ago has now manifested into some kind of obsession and I am planning on making further rooms and pieces. I’m currently working on some kind of steampunk chariot. I have no plans or tutorial to follow, I am actually winging it. Because I’m using throwaway things (cap from a spray can, some toy wheels, bits of wire and such) it doesn’t matter if doesn’t turn out quite right. I guess

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that’s the true beauty of steampunk, it’s an invention. It doesn’t have to be explainable, or work, it’s all about the

concept and the idea of something. I wish I could rid myself of my immediacy issues and wait for glue and paint to dry; the finish is never perfect on any of my pieces because I simply cannot wait. Having said that, I used to be a bit OCD and perfection was my goal. Someone on the Facebook group told me that it doesn’t have to be perfect and that smoke and mirrors help. It’s the one thing I’ve learned which is really helping me enjoy miniature making: as long as I like it and it works for me, it works. I’ll never be an artisan, but I’m having a whole load of fun coming up with fantastical inventions. Join the steampunk fun. Michelle shares one of her project ideas on page….


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23


SMALL

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

WHERE READERS SHARE PROJECTS THEY’RE PROUD OF, HOWEVER SMALL. EMAIL YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO RICHARD@ASHDOWN.CO.UK

A small public convenience BY SANDRA HARDING

I

make no apologies for showing you this “thinking outside the box” creation from Barbara Cass, as I just knew it would tickle your fancy as much as it did mine. We are all fascinated by what others choose to make and create after all, but this public lavatory block is surely a real first. My first question to Barbara was “why”, but as the story unfolded I realised it made sense, well, as much as anything does in our miniature world. She has created a whole village by the seaside, so there has to be a facility for the public to use, doesn’t there? I want to talk about the

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public facilities first, as there are so many useful tips here, but I’ll return to the village in a minute or two. To start with, Barbara couldn’t have anything too big, and she didn’t want it to look like a house or shop and, after searching online found some small lean-tos which seemed perfect. They are only 6 inches wide, 9 inches deep and about 9 inches high. The outside was painted with emulsion mixed with sand for a textured look, and the roof is tiled with cardboard tiles which were then painted. The wall and floors are just card. Barbara made the cubicles with obeche wood with a cardboard hinge

on the door, so they could be ajar. The “vacant” sign is part of a press stud with green paper behind, and the toilets, basins and soap dispensers were purchases. The ingenious paper towel holder is a tiny tic-tac container filled with folded paper towels. The sani bin in the ladies is just card covered with black paper with silver card on the top and an old earring back for the handle. The signs were printed from the internet. The flowers in the ladies are a nice touch and Hyacinth, a posh lady from the village, put them there as she also organises the village flower show, and these were left over. The toilets


A LOOK AT LUNDBY

Ingrid mixes and matches her Lundby Gothenburg Ingrid Dilworth tells us she had a lot of fun decorating and furnishing her Lundby Gothenburg in a modern style

i will be placed next to the ice cream kiosk on the promenade. To return to the village, when I saw the photographs, my first question was where on earth do you house it all, and the answer made me very envious. “In a specially built cabin in the garden,” was the reply, so I had to ask for a photograph of that didn’t I? The cabin was built two years ago to house the collection which was taking over the house. Barbara tells me the cabin is now full with 47 properties, not including two larger house still indoors. The cottages are all occupied, mainly by retired old people, and there are several shops which supply both their needs and the day trippers. There are also beach huts, an ice cream kiosk and a cafe somewhere on the promenade. There is such a lot of thought in this unusual creation, and I just love the cabin in the garden, and I want one. I must write to Father Christmas, or do something else in lieu (loo) - sorry!

BY INGRID DILWORTH

loved doing my other Lundby Gothenburg from the 1970s and furnishing it with furniture from that decade but I wanted to do the same model of house in a more up-to-date style. So I turned again to eBay and bought a later model from the early 2000s. I later added the basement level which is a current model bought new. I found it a lot of fun mixing and matching furniture from the 70s (downstairs living room suite) right through to current furniture. Again I used a mixture of Lundby, new and used, Djeco, Sylvanian families accessories, and some homemade bits to style a home which I felt was more individual and had more of my personality in it. My biggest challenge was the colour scheme. I think the kitchen had about three changes of paint colour before I settled on the blue. And the Djeco sofa in the upstairs living room I think goes with the wallpaper I chose, although personally I would

find it a bit bright to spend a lot of time in if I were a mini person. I prefer the downstairs living room, which I think is my favourite room as I think this is far more relaxing. I also like the colour scheme in the upstairs bedroom as I think it looks very cosy. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not the most creative person and I often feel like my fingers are too big for this hobby, as I knock things over constantly when I try and move things around carefully, but I have tried to make a few bits myself. I made the blinds, the bedding upstairs (what a wonderful invention is fabric glue) and the candle in the jar on the hall table. I am also quite pleased with the coat rack in the hall which I managed to make with some bits of balsa and some hooks. The hall table and the chest of drawers in the daughter’s bedroom were plain balsa items bought from The Range for a couple of pounds. The umbrella in the hall continued on P27.

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PROJECT

How to make a bed from an old cardboard box Sandra shows how she took an old necklace box and turned it into an elegant doll’s house bed with the addition of a few decorative pieces

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or the purpose of showing how it was cut I will use a blue box in the beginning photos. The actual box that I used is the one with the design.

You will need n One sturdy cardboard box, with removable top. I used a necklace box 6” long 3 “ wide 1 “ deep n Scissors n Tacky glue n Fine sandpaper n 4 wooden pieces for legs n 4 decorative wooden pieces for top

BY SANDRA GURNEY TURNER 1: Take the top part of the box off and place it vertically over the end of the bottom piece, the opening facing inward, the flat part on top. The bottom part of the box

n Craft sticks n Snips for cutting n Saw or serrated knife n Paint n Decorations for inside of headboard, and front of footboard n Optional: Embossed wallpaper or flat wide lace n Optional: Bead mat for mattress and pillow

should be facing up. 2: Draw a line across the top box where it meets the bottom. 3: Cut or saw across this line to completely separate it. This small piece will be your footboard. The other piece will be your headboard. 4: Lightly sand where you cut. 5: Take the smaller piece, flat part on top, the opening facing inwards. Glue it to the bottom box. The bottom box should be facing upwards, with the cut part facing the smaller piece. Hold it down over a flat surface to keep it even. Hold both pieces together while the glue starts to hold. Let dry. 6: Take the tall piece, and glue it vertically to the bottom box, flat part on top, opening facing inward, lining it up evenly on a flat surface. Press together while it starts to hold. Let dry. This is your basic bed. 7: Glue the legs to the outer part of the underside. Let dry.

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8: Glue the other pieces on top of the headboard and footboard. Let dry. 9: Glue the other decorations to the inside of the headboard and front of footboard, but if you don’t want them painted, glue them on last. Let dry. 10: Measure, snip and glue craft sticks to the top and bottom sides of the bed, and one on the bottom front. Let dry. 11: Turn the bed upside down. Measure, snip and glue four craft sticks across the underside, touching the legs for support. Let dry. 12: Paint your bed. Let dry. You may need several coats. You’re almost done; a good time for tea or coffee. 13: Optional: to take it further, cut to fit, and glue embossed wallpaper or flat lace on the sides, back, and wherever you think it would look good. Let glue dry, and paint over if it needs it. Let dry. Your bed is now finished, but for a good night’s sleep you will need a mattress and pillow.


A LOOK AT LUNDBY

continued from P25.

14: Optional: mattress and pillow. Take some bead mat, cut to the correct size to fit. I folded mine over, and glued it in between, for both pillow and mattress. Now you can rest.

was very kindly made by a friend from one of the online doll’s house groups that I am a member of. I also made the noticeboard in the kitchen. This is the first house that I actually manged to light up too. As a child my Lundby was always in darkness as I never had a transformer, but I got hold of one not

long after I bought this house and then there was no stopping me. I was like a child watching Christmas tree lights come on when I first plugged it in. I was so excited. The family living here is a small one, mum, dad and daughter. Mrs Lundby is keen to open a coffee shop in the basement. So, I have

plans to expand the house again with another level and have a little cafĂŠ in there. I thought it would be a nice way of displaying the extra tablewear, accessories and cakes that I have collected rather than keeping them in boxes. So watch this space; it may be opening soon and you are very welcome to visit for coffee and cake. DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

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ROOM STYLE

Classic love story in glamorous roombox Joan Warren’s wonderful scene is based on a classic murder mystery and features many top makers, as well as pieces Joan has created herself

O

BY DEB WEISSLER. PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHELLE BRINN

ne apartment in a row of converted mansions that retains the elegance of its Victorian past is our stop. It is the home of Laura Hunt, a beautiful and wealthy advertising executive; a rarity in the 1940s. This is Laura’s story. If you are a fan of the 1944 film noir by the same name, then you already know how it begins and ends. Joan Warren’s miniature version of this classic love story captures a moment in time that she recalls fondly. For those of you unfamiliar with Laura’s story, it is a film classic based upon the novel by Vera Caspary. When the story opens, Laura Hunt is dead, shot in the face in her foyer and identified by the housekeeper who found her. The story is told by three men; two who loved her when she was alive and one who fell hopelessly in love with her as he investigated her murder. As the story progresses, homicide detective Mark McPherson interacts with the other men in her life—Waldo Lydecker, an older, sharp-tongued gossip columnist who helped launch her career, and Shelby Carpenter, a southern ne’er do well who depends on the patronage of rich women to see him through life. One of them may have murdered Laura, but McPherson must delve into every aspect of Laura’s life to determine which one. This is when he too falls under her spell. With an evocative theme song, a classic murder mystery, and a sterling cast, Laura has been a film classic for

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generations of movie lovers. Joan was inspired to create this bedroom vignette the first time she spotted the commissioned OOAK doll by Susan Scogin. “She looked so much like Gene Tierney, who played Laura, and since Laura is one of my favorite movies in which she stars, I decided to recreate the final bedroom scene,” Joan explains. “It is not an exact copy of the movie set, but captures perfectly that moment when Laura is holding her arms above her head to fix her hair and comes face to face with her killer, shotgun pointed towards her.” Confused? You see, Laura wasn’t actually murdered. She was away at her country home contemplating Shelby’s offer of marriage, when a young woman who resembled Laura’s physique was killed by mistake. It’s a complicated story, but at any rate Laura now knows the identity of the murderer and he’s come back to finish the job. The room box was constructed by Susan Fisher and was made for Joan about seven years ago. She commissioned the doll two years later. Laura sits at her dressing table, a common element in ladies’ mid-century boudoirs. On the wall hangs her portrait, along with a miniature version of the movie poster. Joan has filled the room with pieces made by such artists as Lynn O’Shaughnessy, Melissa Wolcott Martino, Kerri Pajutee, Natasha, and

Above: Joan made Laura’s necklace, earrings, and bracelet using real gemstones. Above right: The full room box showcasing Laura’s bedroom as Joan envisioned.


FEATURE

Above: A small doll’s house was placed in the corner of the room. Left: Joan handmade the rug at the foot of her bed. It was the first petite point rug she ever made. She made it by trial and error and a little instruction from a friend over the phone.

Nancy Summers among others. The room reflects the tastes and opulence of a woman who has earned her own way in life and enjoys her creature comforts. A miniature townhouse doll’s house may be the very one in which she lives. There is a wine bottle on the table and glasses set for two, for Laura is awaiting the return of Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews), and is certainly not expecting the appearance of

Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb) with shotgun in hand. “I love all the miniature treasures this room contains,” says Joan, and never grow tired of looking at it and remembering the movie’s haunting refrain. The room box was made for this scene, as was the rug that I lovingly made for it. I also made Laura’s necklace and bracelet using genuine pearls, diamonds, and a ruby.” Joan has a special room in her

home that houses all her room boxes. She calls it her miniature museum; a beautiful and fascinating world she can visit whenever she chooses. Friends love to drop by to see them again and again, and a local art gallery in North Carolina has asked to showcase this piece. As the curtain closes and the lights come up, Joan hopes Laura will continue to remain a classic film noir for years to come. [fade to black] DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

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DRESS A DOLL

Dress your own doll in a beautiful ball gown Join the talented doll artist DANA each month for a new miniature project. This month make an 18th century ball gown

G

reetings, and welcome to this month’s tutorial. Maree was designed to help you expand your doll creating

You will need n Doll with a stand n Paint n Nail polish n Tacky glue n Scissors n Fine white batiste fabric n Printed cotton material for the dress n Various metallic trims and ribbons/silk ribbon n Cosmetic sponges n Pins n Lace n Pipe cleaners n Beads, rhinestones, feathers for decorations n Flocking or chenille for flower texture n Polymer for hair cone n Toothpicks n Glue syringe n Hair spray n Needle/thread n Plant mister for hair n Knitting needle n Viscose n Tweezers

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BY DANA techniques using a variety of metallic trims and laces. I used a bit of Super Glue to hold on some of the trim pieces. However, you can use regular tacky glue for the majority if you are patient and allow a section to dry, then move on to next section and repeat until entire trim piece is glued on the doll.

The bodice

Step 1: Paint your doll’s shoes.

Step 1: Glue some silver trim or material across the doll’s front torso, leaving the back open. See the photo a bit later on.

Step 2: Assemble your doll. She should be 5 3/4” tall. This mould has a larger torso so we need the extra height.

Step 3: I glued black eye lash trim for the shoulder straps, then made tiny silk ribbon bows and glued them on as I desired.

The underskirt Step 1: Glue on the padding to each hip. I cut cosmetic sponges.

Step 3: Put your doll on the stand. We need a firm base to drape the material because it will be pulled on.

Step 2: Glue some silver metallic trim across the front of the skirt. Only a small sliver shows on the finished over skirt.

Step 2: Glue the decorative black/silver trim down the front of the torso to simulate a corset.


DRESS A DOLL

The skirt

Step 1: Cut out two pattern pieces. Turn the edges under to the wrong side and glue. Step 2: Gather the waist and glue each skirt piece around the doll’s hips. Let dry.

Batiste sides

Step 3: Extend (pull) the edges of the skirt out as shown. Then follow the photos to shape your skirt sides in place, so you can add your batiste puffs.

Place on fold

Step 1: Cut (2) - 8” x 4” pieces of batiste.

Overskirt pattern: Cut 1, flip pattern over and cut another

Step 2: Divide the skirt into three lines. Gather each and draw them up to form puffs.

nt Fro Wa ist

DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

31


DRESS A DOLL Step 4: Cut tiny snippets of the chenille and glue on the ruched ribbon for added texture/detail. Step 5: Glue on pearls and some no-hole blue beads as desired. I painted my pearls with dots of fingernail polish to make them grey for more interest.

Dress sleeves Step 1: Glue pipe cleaner into the porcelain arm hole. Insert other end into shoulder hole and check the length. Do NOT glue arms in yet.

Step 4: I couldn’t make each side match perfectly. After you add the trims or decorations you won’t notice. So don’t get frustrated!

Decorating the dress Step 1: Glue on the silver/ black trim down the front.

Step 6: Add some bows and more trim as desired.

Step 2: Ruche the silk ribbon, then iron flat and glue along the front edges of the skirt.

Sleeve pattern: Step 3: Glue each individual “puff” inside the open skirt side. Let dry.

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Cut 2

Step 3: I cut two half strips of silver/black trim and glued ends under the ruching.

Pleat to fit arm

Option: Cut strips of material, make into loops and glue to front of dress or top as shown below.

Step 2: Cut out sleeve pattern, and pleat/glue the material around the arm to make tight sleeves. I cut off a tiny bit of the sleeve to wrap it tight. The goal here, is to make tight fitting sleeve tops. Step 3: Decide how you want her arms positioned ahead of time. Drape accordingly.


DRESS A DOLL

Doll wigging

Step 4: Stuff a little cotton ball into the top of the sleeve to help fill out the pipe cleaner/arm shape. After the arm is glued in, glue the silk ribbon over the raw edge of the sleeve top.

Step 3: Cut a hole in the oval flounce to slide over the hand and up sleeve into elbow position. Glue in place. I also added ruching around this sleeve/flounce joint.

The flounce

Step 1: Shape a piece of polymer clay into a cone shape, on top of her head. Gently take the cone off, bake, and glue it back on the doll’s head to form a wig base. Step 2: Pleat the viscose hair in a pleater if you have one.

Step 1: Cut (2) ovals from cotton material, 2” long x 1 1/2” wide.

Step 4: Roll back a section of the hair under with a knitting needle and glue in a “U” shape at the back of her head. Step 5: Roll the front section of the hair with a knitting needle and glue down on top of her head. If this technique is too hard to visualise, you can simply lift front section of hair to back and roll the entire amount of hair under and glue to the back of the head. Then add small curls to decorate the hair as desired.

Step 2: Cut (2) 6” pieces of lace. Trim off the straight edge and the fringe edge. Glue the straight edge around the top of the oval fringe underneath.

TOPTIP If you have gaps in her head/hair, make a few additional curls and glue them on. To make her special jewelled feather take a regular feather and dust it with glitter. Glue to side of her head.

Step 4: Next, cut out a small piece of batiste, gather insert/glue into the bottom half of the sleeve. Feel free to make this as full as you wish. When you are happy, simply glue down the top half of the flounce and drape.

Step 3: Glue a realistic hairline on the head, then lay a strip of hair from the nose to the neck. Let dry.

DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

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DRESS A DOLL

Did you know that Marie Antoinette’s true hair colour was strawberry blonde, the same as our doll? Step 6: Add small section of curl to front of her head for bangs. Lastly, take small section of pleated hair and glue it down on shoulder. To smooth hair, simply mist with hair spray, and pat with plastic wrapped finger. Protect the doll’s face while

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spraying, because it will take off her paint. That’s it! Now it’s up to you to refine some different decorations until you think she is done! And trust me, she is a demanding little lady so plan for a few days of beading!


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3 good reasons to visit Studley Grange Dollshouse Workshop… • Earn up to 10% discount with our new loyalty scheme • And we are now twice as big so there is more to choose from! Including an exclusive new range of hand-made fruit and vegetables and hand-knitted clothes, unique Visit our web shop at www.studleygrange.co.uk/dollshouse dressed furniture made in our own workshop, adding to our existing collection, fine furniture, carpets, Visit our web shop atatwww.studleygrange.co.uk/dollshouse www.studleygrange.co.uk/dollshouse Visit Visitour ourweb webshop shopat www.studleygrange.co.uk/dollshouse lighting and a huge range of wallpapers • good Dolls houses in kit form or fully built – 24 different stock styles 3 reasons to visit Studley Grange Dollshouse Workshop… 3 reasons to visit Studley Grange Dollshouse Workshop… • 3good Full range of electrical equipment 3 good reasons good reasonstotovisit visitStudley StudleyGrange GrangeDollshouse DollshouseWorkshop… Workshop… • Earn up to 10% discount with our new loyalty scheme

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• • • Earn up to 10% discount with our new loyalty scheme And we are now twice as big so there is more to choose from! • Earn up to 10% discount with our new loyalty scheme Earn up to 10% discount with our new loyalty scheme • And we are now twice as big so there is more to choose from! • • And we are now twice as big so there is more to choose from! And we are now twice as big so there is more to choose from! STOCKISTS OF THE FOLLOWING SUPPLIERS: Including an exclusive new range of hand-made fruit and vegetables and hand-knitted clothes, unique • Reutter Porcelain Including an exclusive new range of hand-made fruit and vegetables and hand-knitted clothes, unique dressed furniture made in our own workshop, adding to our existing collection, fine furniture, carpets, • Dolls House Workshop Houses • Streets Ahead Houses and Furniture Including an exclusive new range of hand-made fruit and vegetables and hand-knitted clothes, unique Including an exclusive new range of hand-made fruit and vegetables and hand-knitted clothes, unique dressed furniture made in our own workshop, adding to our existing collection, fine furniture, carpets, lighting and a huge range of wallpapers • Heidi Ott quality miniatures • Wonham Collection dressed furniture made in our own workshop, adding to our existing collection, fine furniture, carpets, dressed furniture made in our own workshop, adding to our existing collection, fine furniture, carpets, lighting and a huge range of wallpapers • Little Trimmings Haberdashery • Dateman Books lighting and a huge range of wallpapers lighting and a huge range of wallpapers • Dolls houses in kit form or fully built – 24 different stock styles • Full range of electrical equipment Dolls houses in kit form or fully built – 24 different stock styles • • • Dolls houses in kit form or fully built – 24 different stock styles Dolls houses in kit form or fully built – 24 different stock styles • Full range of electrical equipment • • Full range of electrical equipment Full range of electrical equipment

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One of the biggest selections in the South West One One of the biggest selections ininthe the South West Oneof ofthe thebiggest biggestselections selectionsin theSouth SouthWest West

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www.studleygrange.co.uk www.studleygrange.co.uk ••• Telephone: Telephone: 01793 01793 854606 854606 www.studleygrange.co.uk Telephone: 01793 854606 Unit 5, Studley Grange, Craft Village, Hay Lane, Wroughton, Swindon, Wilts, SN4 9QT www.studleygrange.co.uk • Telephone: 01793 854606 Unit 5, Studley Grange, Craft Village, Hay Lane, Wroughton, Swindon, Wilts, SN4 9QT Follow signs from M4, junction 16 (1/2 mile towards Wroughton). Unit 5, Studley Grange, Craft Village, Hay Lane, Wroughton, Swindon, Wilts, SN4 9QT

Unit 5, Studley Grange, Craft Village, Hay Lane, Wroughton, Swindon, Wilts, SN4 9QT Follow signs from M4, junction 16 (1/2 mile towards Wroughton). Follow signs from M4, junction 16 (1/2 mile towards Wroughton). One of the biggest selections in the South West Follow signs from M4, junction 16 (1/2 mile towards Wroughton).

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DOLlSHOUSE UK’S BEST-SELLING MINIATURES MAGAZINE

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We can help you give your customers more than dolls houses, miniature furniture or accessories. Become a stockist for Dolls House World magazine and give your customers access to new ideas and projects as well. Contact Jill on + 44 (0) 1903 884988 (option 1) or email: jill.mundy@ashdown.co.uk for more information. www.dollshouseworld.com

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BIG LITTLE IDEAS

Bonnie’s paint shop is copy of one next door When Bonnie Cross wanted a new miniature challenge she didn’t have to look too far - so she started the way she always does, by ‘winging it’

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BY PAM NORTH

nion City is a very small rural town in northwest Pennsylvania, and is where Bonnie L. Cross calls home. She labels her career as ”homemaker”, and squeezes time into that to make an assortment of doll’s houses, buildings, and room boxes, primarily in twelfth scale. “My family has always encouraged me in my hobby/obsession,” she said. “My husband is my biggest fan, and he comes up with many great ideas for projects. I have a wonderful basement workroom that he built for me. One wall is all shelving for supplies; the other three walls have a workbench, worktable, and a desk. “It isn’t easy sometimes to combine home and miniature life, because we like to travel; when we do, that is time away from my passion! So it is a matter of priorities, but I find inspiration in everyday life, and in seeing unusual sites when travelling, so that is the other side.” She’s always had an interest in all things small. Even in elementary school, when she would finish an art project, like a construction paper Easter basket, she would make a tiny one as well. “I’ve had no formal training, but have logged nearly 40 years of experience in making miniatures. “The biggest difficulty that I have with working in miniature is when I am working in a smaller scales such as 1:48 and 1:144 – sometimes I feel like I’m all thumbs! My most valuable tools

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are my X-Acto knives.” She tends to keep many of her creations, but does sell some by word of mouth through friends. “Most everything is still in my possession though, much to the chagrin of my wonderful husband! My favourite piece is my Tyvek cabin. It is sided in Tyvek home wrap, so it’s pretty unusual.” “What I love most about miniatures is the whole process of making them from start to finish. I enjoy creating and collecting them. In fact, I live and breathe them, as ridiculous as that sounds to most people, but what else can I say?” Bonnie belongs to NAME (National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts), but unfortunately there are no groups or clubs in her area to which she can belong. She expressed concern over the future of miniatures: “I wish more young people would become involved; we need to ensure the future of our

hobby.” As for what’s next for her and her creations, she shared the focus of her current project: “Right now I am working on a stone cabin which is quite unique. I always try to imagine something very unusual, more than just your standard doll’s house.” A recently completed piece of hers, which we’re featuring this month is Mike’s Paint and Auto Body garage. “This is a replica of my cousin Mike’s paint and auto body shop,” Bonnie explained. “His place is next door, and it’s quite unique. It’s sometimes a total mess, although I did not make my recreation of it as messy. My husband was the one who suggested that I tackle the project, and I ran with the idea. “I used two kits, combining them together while adding to the rear, and I bought two model kits for the cars. I made all the paint cans, shelving units, both mechanics’ tool boxes (using spice tins), paint can shakers, power lift system in the paint room, and paint mixing system in the rear of the paint room. “Some items were purchased and reconfigured by me. I used mostly wood, although some card stock was used for the small, stacking storage


FEATURE

Above: The shop’s office has a touch of organised chaos. Left: Bonnie’s miniature replica of her cousin’s auto body shop.

cabinets. My technique for this and all of my miniature projects is picturing a finished piece in my mind’s eye, and then I start work, winging it, so to speak. “I don’t believe I have used any

process or method that is unique or unconventional, although working without much of a plan may seem unconventional to some!” “The hardest part about making this miniature project was that it did

take an extended period of time. I never record hours spent, although I probably should, but it took me eight months of work time on this miniature. The interior pieces were built before the structure itself, because I was not DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

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FEATURE

Above left and above: This piece took eight months of work time to complete and Bonnie used two kits. Left: Bonnie’s miniature replica of her cousin’s auto body shop. Below left: The shop shown with the doors and office wall open. Below: The auto shop’s roof opens with hinges so you can get a bird’s eye view of the detailed interior.

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BIG LITTLE IDEAS

Top left and top right: The yellow and red mini tool storage pieces fit perfectly. Above centre: All of the paint cans were handmade by Bonnie. Above: A back view of the shop. Above right: A peek into the shop from above. The actual shop is next door to Bonnie so she only had to make a quick visit to study the space.

certain how some of the tools and accessories would turn out. The piece finished out as I had envisioned it, although the office took a bit of figuring to accommodate the swing-out feature, and the opening roof was somewhat challenging. My favourite parts of it are the paint mixing system and the mechanics tools boxes. Creating all of

this was so much fun, and it was quite a challenge!� After completing this amazing twelfth scale building Bonnie did consider selling it, but knew there was only one place it could possibly end up: next door in cousin Mike’s real shop. At least she gets to visit it whenever she likes. DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

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Miniature showca Making minis from kits can be extremely rewarding. Here we showcase some wonderful designs that are just waiting for you to put together with a touch of your own personality

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s miniaturists we naturally feel an obligation to craft as many things ourselves as possible. Realistically that is a lot of pressure for one creator. To expect yourself to wear all the hats while building your mini dream home can be overwhelming. The artists in this kit gallery are here to take some of the burden off your shoulders, but still give you the opportunity to have pride in creating a new piece. Seeing that miniatures is such a collaborative hobby adding kits to your project really is a sensible solution. If you have a limited budget that won’t allow for show pieces, kits are a great way to save some money and still get show-stopping results. They also allow the freedom to match your project’s specific colour scheme. As you will see these kit designers put their heart into each design and go the extra mile by sharing their assembling techniques so you can use your own skills and add some pieces to your mini collection you can be proud of. As designer Shannon May told us: “I once read a book on happiness and it said that spending your money on doing things, rather than just acquiring things, made you much happier as there was the anticipation, the planning, the doing, and then the satisfaction and memories of doing it.” So much more rewarding!

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Jennifer Osmond Hatt “I find great satisfaction in the creative process as it is a wonderful stress relief. Another wonderful benefit is that minis have enabled me to meet and become friends with other mini enthusiasts all around the world. “I have always loved mini things, but I would say the bug really hit me after my first son was born. I built a doll’s house for my niece and enjoyed the process so much that I ventured into making mini items and started to build my own doll’s house. I then entered a contest and won second place. After that I was hooked. I just loved the infinite possibilities of what you are able to create in miniature.” Above left: An artistic kit with a set of three Alice in Wonderland boxes. Top right: As are all of the kits on this page these shabby chic boxes are twelfth scale. These also come as a set of three. Above right: This kit includes a set of three botanical style boxes with a vintage look. Right: A French cafe vintage style box kit by Jennifer Osmond Hatt.

little links: Looking Glass Miniature Jennifer Osmond Hatt email: www.lookingglassminiature.com etsy: lookinglassminiature.etsy.com

Above: Jennifer’s modern style kits includes numbered boxes. They are available in black, blue, and cream. Each of these kits include a set of three boxes.


ase Above from left to right: This is a large wisteria kit which Theresa was often asked to make. She finally came up with this kit that is proving very popular and surprisingly is not at all as difficult to make as it looks…it just takes time. This elephant’s ears kit is one you cut out yourself, but all the markings are already printed for you so the only painting involved is the back of the leaves. Many of the kits come in both twelfth and 1/24th scale, such as this colourful Bird of Paradise kit. Despite its appearance this agapanthus kit is very easy and makes a nice architectural feature in the garden. Theresa made this kit because she has the real plant in her garden and feels it is stunning!

Theresa Stringer “My love of miniatures started when my husband made my girls a wonderful big doll’s house. I have been making miniatures ever since and have tried my hand at making just about everything. Although I still sell a variety of handmade items, my true love is making the plants and flowers and designing the kits. For me, designing a flower kit is a very exciting process. ‘I sometimes have ideas for plants and flower kits whirling around in my head for weeks before I actually

start designing the kit. Of course I try to make the flowers as realistic as possible with hours of research. But I also want my kits to be easy to make, so anyone can achieve really good results. It’s a fine balance and this, for me, is the challenge.”

little links: Ladies Mile Miniatures Telephone: 00 44 (0) 1565 651878 email: tsastringer@aol.com web: www.ladiesmileminiatures.co.uk

Far left: Bernie’s Banana Split kit is from Phyllis’s Fruit Belt kit series and is 1/48th scale. Left and below: The Forget Me Not Flower Shop is from the Dome series and is 1/48th scale.

Phyllis Nishimori “I grew up in a model railway family, and have always loved little things. Small scales are what ‘talk’ to me. Using my artsy skills to find a way to create my tiny world is a challenge that I love. I try to design our kits with a touch of whimsy. This is what I love most...telling a story with the project that will elicit a smile from those who see it.”

little links: Grandt Line Phyllis Nishimori email: grandt@pacbell.net web: www.grandtline.com

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Shannon May “I first fell in love with this art form as a child. I had plastic doll’s houses which I loved and still have. In 1998, as a young adult, I saw an ad for a Del Prado subscription doll’s house and magazine and knew straight away I needed a doll’s house of my own. Miniatures is a hobby that fulfils all my creative needs, and let’s face it, little things are just cute!

“I am a planner and I love coming up with new ideas, so developing a theme or style and thinking about the furniture, colours, wallpapers, etc is my favourite part. I love that mini making uses a whole range of skills and interests. It can be a very rewarding (and at times frustrating) hobby. “I hope my kits will inspire and aid in fulfilling another’s dreams of mini making.”

Left: The Burton gypsy wagon is my newest kit and was still being tweaked when this photo was taken. The kit includes all the interior cabinets and fireplace, with working doors and drawers. Approximately 1/24th scale. Above right: The Carmel Cottage is based on the sweet cottages designed by Hugh Comstock in Carmel-by-the-sea, California. This 1/24th scale kit is back and side opening and includes a winding staircase.

little links: Red Cottage Miniatures by Shannon May email: redcottageminiatures@dodo.com.au etsy: RedCottageMiniatures.etsy.com

Lia and Alma “We have been miniaturists for more than ten years and we have been friends for more than twenty years. We are both in love with this art form in particular, because you have to know how to do so many things including painting, sewing, and working with wood. With our kits you have the chance to acquire new techniques and you also have the advantage of being able to modify them according to your own taste.” Above left: This sweet twelfth scale purple basket will add some femininity to a bathroom, bedroom, or a boutique shelf. Above right: This sweet twelfth scale basket is filled with perfume, lotion, and soap. Right: Some little twelfth scale items for baby are in the blue basket.

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Top: Shellie’s kits can be cut in all three of the standard scales, twelfth, 1/24th, and 1/48th. Above: Quality laser engraving can produce very fine details.


Above: The Black Walnut Cottage by Shannon May is 1/24th scale and has removable panels on the front and back. The kit also includes the fireplaces and the beams. Right: The Chantilly French store kit is 1/24th scale and includes all exterior detail shown as well as interior details. This store is based on a real store I saw in the small town of Chantilly, France.

Shellie Williams “I enjoy looking at a piece of furniture or an accessory in real life and trying to create it in miniature. I love a challenge and many customers send me pictures of what they want and I design and cut a kit just for them. “I struggled with anxiety and depression in 1987 and bought my first doll’s house kit as a way to cope. Since then miniatures has become my passion. “In 2012 I was looking for something new to earn a little money so I taught myself to use a variety of software programs and bought a laser cutting machine to cut my own kits. For the past 30 years I have spent many wonderful hours in my miniature world. Designing, building, painting, sanding, and decorating.” Tip for working with laser cut kits: Use a cotton bud (Q-tip) dipped in denatured alcohol to remove the “char” or “soot” from the cut edges before assembly or finishing kit. Right: Finishing kits with your own choices of paint and fabric gives you one-of-a-kind pieces like this dog bed kit that is perfect for a very pampered pet.

Above: Kitchen kits can be customised to fit any space by adjusting the width of the cabinets. Design your own kitchen with different cabinet styles to choose from, then paint or stain them as desired.

little links: MiniEtchers by Shellie Williams email: swill123@aol.com web: www.minietchers.com

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MEET THE MAKER

Weaving wonders on journey of discovery Polish-born Kamilla Dlugowolska brilliantly creates an art form that has been around for eons, but she does it in miniature

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s it is with so many talented miniature artists, Kamilla Dlugowolska’s foray into basket weaving began when she couldn’t find the perfect item for her Victorian kitchen. She searched the Internet in vain, finding many of the baskets looked unnatural, made of materials too thick or too coarse, so she decided to make her own. “I had a nice full size basket in my bathroom I studied in detail and then tried to recreate it in miniature,” Kamilla recalls. “It was a small simple basket, but at the time it wasn’t simple for me.” After making the first, she made others, and then began making them for friends. Then one day her miniature mentor, whom Kamilla calls her Godmother of her woven art, asked Kamilla to make a wicker chest. Never

BY DEB WEISSLER envisioning she could make such a complicated thing, she was surprised when it turned out so well. More followed and before long she had more than she could possibly use, so off to Milan she went, toting her tiny baskets to a miniature show where she sold every one! What began as tiny accessories for her doll’s house and for others had morphed into a mini business. Kamilla, much like many of us, grew up with doll’s houses and room boxes made from wood and cardboard. The cardboard version was made in primary school as a technical lesson meant to develop young manual skills. She fell in love with them and with miniatures in general, but interest in them did not survive for long. It would be another twenty years before she fell in love with miniatures all over again.

“When I moved from Poland to Italy to marry my Italian fiancé, I was quite lonely. He spent all day at work and I spent the days looking for a job and practising Italian. One day I saw an ad on television about a new doll’s house magazine that included an offer for some pieces of furniture. How could I not buy it? In that instant I re-embraced the miniature world.” That was six years ago and since then she has built a doll’s house, a Curiosity Shop, and has made hundreds of items to fill them. But it’s her basket weaving, begun two years ago, that consumes her spare hours. “I am always busy and usually handweave standing up,” Kamilla laughs. “I have two small children. The older one spends the morning at nursery school but the younger stays home with me. When people ask when I find the time to make my baskets, I tell them that I make them in between constructing building block towers, making tea parties for teddy bears, doing household chores, and cooking! I have little time to sit and make my minis in peace and quiet. In the evenings I’m usually so tired that I take a cup of tea and listen to music, my hands still. But I love my life and wouldn’t have it any other way.” Above: Bowls, baskets, and chests are all nice ways to add interest to a miniature scene and filling them with special items is half the fun! Left: These aqua wicker totes are perfect for a summer setting.

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MEET THE MAKER

Top: Shown here, Kamilla has an exceptional weaving technique. Right: A skilful hand went into creating these beautiful bags.

It would be another twenty years before she fell in love with miniatures all over again. DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

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FEATURE

Top and above: This small wicker chest with handles adds charm and warmth to the bedroom. Left: Kamilla’s wicker pieces are historically accurate and add realism to any miniature scene.

With her hectic schedule, Kamilla admits she doesn’t have or need a studio, hand-dyeing her cotton threads in the kitchen after her children have been tucked into bed. Free to handweave where she wants, she keeps several cardboard boxes and plastic containers filled with threads, paints, and dry pastels safely locked up in cupboards. Her workspace is a tray she can carry from room to room, as her hand-weaving does not demand a specific spot in which to work.

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Inspiration comes from a variety of sources—mostly everyday objects and magazines, but Kamilla points out her work comes from her own patterns. She may see a beautiful basket in a shop but already her mind is making design changes to handles, shapes, colours, lace and ribbons, with or without a lid. To proof a design, the first pieces are usually made for her own vignettes. So what does her family think of her interests? Kamilla smiles and says:

“They’ve gotten used to it but in the beginning it seemed quite odd to them. Imagine, no one in my Italian family had ever seen a doll’s house and my mother-in-law found it strange that there were adults who “play” with them. But my mum is really proud of me, always wanting to know what I am creating at the moment. Since she can’t see it in person I send her photographs. “My husband was very happy when I started making miniatures. It was


Right: This matching set was made in a rich colour with ambitious details. Below right: These modern style tables come in a variety of colours. Bottom right: Kamilla makes an array of wicker items all with a clean feel.

a difficult transition for me, a time of many changes and adjustments, and miniatures helped me find my new place in life. Of course my children like my doll’s house very much. They will knock on its tiny door and then ask why nobody answers.” The late 18th and early 19th centuries saw the zenith of basket making and wicker furniture. Although still in use in many countries, baskets have slowly given way to paper bags and totes. Hand-woven baskets are labour intensive and heavier than their disposable counterparts. Wicker has lost ground to faux wicker and plastic. Kamilla loves that old world feel about wicker, reeds, and natural fibres. “They allow me to travel in time. I love the Victorian era;,the worlds of Charles Dickens and Sherlock Holmes, and I am able to recreate the atmosphere of the past in miniature. When I open my doll’s house and Curiosity Shop, I am taking a step back into the past.” If Kamilla has learned anything in this journey it is that miniatures teach patience. Not a patient individual by nature, she prefers to see a project completed in just a few minutes, Kamilla’s basket work requires time and infinite amounts of patience. When fashioning a basket, crib, sofa, trunk, or chest, each piece requires just the right materials in the right proportions. Her work is exacting, historically accurate, and aesthetically pleasing. Some pieces have turned out so well Kamilla can’t bring herself to part with them. “I have two linen chests, a sofa, and a couple of baskets that will never leave my Victorian doll’s house. I feel they are part of my miniature life, something like my miniature people that I cannot abandon. They are also the first examples of my basket work and as such serve as records of my career.”

Kamilla markets her work on Etsy, attends miniature shows when she can, and accepts private commissions. She has a presence on Facebook with both Italian and Polish miniaturists, and maintains a private blog where she shares her miniature adventures with others. Modest about being referred to as an artist, Kamilla has neverthe-

less become a fine one and we look forward to seeing more of her work in the future.

little links: Kamilla Dlugowolska email: kamilla.dlugowolska@gmail.com etsy: MiniaturesMad.etsy.com webl: www.miniaturemad.blogspot.it

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COLLECTIONS

Muzeum Domk BY SANDRA HARDING

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left the title as it was sent to me as I knew it would catch your interest the way it did mine. It translates to The Dollhouse Museum I heard about it from one of those off chance comments made by friends Ronald Rotheroe and his wife Mandy at the Gatwick Have a Go Day in 2017. They were manning their stand called Victorian Miniatures, and Ron asked my husband if we knew of this museum in Poland and of course we had no idea, having never been to the country. The museum only opened in 2016 and the contents are the private col-

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lection of one lady, Aneta Popiel-Machnicka. In 2015, Ana, as she likes to be called, set up a foundation to show people in Poland how beautiful our hobby is. It was a difficult task, as there is very little knowledge of miniatures in Poland, although dolls have always been popular. In the collection are over 120 houses, shops, schools, hairdressers and so much more, which have all been repaired and refurbished by Ana, with the oldest exhibit being over 200 years old. There is a separate exhibition in the museum dedicated to sacred toys, old


COLLECTIONS

The wonderful mini exhibits at this impressive museum range from altars to school gyms, from classrooms to dressmaker’s.Visitors, including many children, are often mesmerised by the enchanting houses, roomboxes and doll displays.

mkow dla Lalek altars, miniature churches and chapels, Noah’s arks, dolls, gods and priests. She recently organised charity workshops called “Cottage with Heart”. This was to bring together young and old to make little chalets, which were then donated to the Warsaw Childrens’ Hospital . What a lovely idea. As always happens when I write about a museum – I want to go. The address for those of you who can make it is Palac Kutury i Nauki, Plac Defilad1, 00-901 Warszawa. Tel: 517 49 00 47, DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

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It’s a Miniature World is a small independent business with an on-line shop, providing 1/12th scale dolls houses and accessories to the enthusiast.

The Wool Shop Do you love all things yarn!!

This diorama was commissioned by EWEnited Wool Shop when they were based in Stapleford. It came with a few challenges, especially hand-making the 355 balls of wool needed for the project.

We welcome commissions and custom orders so you can have something made just for you. With a varied range of miniatures, which include refurbished dolls houses, ongoing new and handmade accessories, seasonal projects and diorama projects (one-o˜ displays), you should find everything to suit your miniature need.

It’s a Miniature World

A Unique Gift • Something Special • Captured Memories • Bespoke Designs Tel: + 44 (0) 781 4686633 • Email: Itsaminiatureworld@hotmail.com • Facebook: It’s a Miniature World • Itsaminiatureworld1.etsy.com

www.itsaminiatureworld.com


CLUB

mini meet hereTODAY

NEWS

Busy club raises funds for Air Ambulance Painting by numbers 1. What are we hanging in our houses this month? ‘The Love Letter’ by Auguste Toulmouche. 2. I’m guessing he’s not English. No. He was a fashionable Parisian painter of the 19th century. 3. Aaah, in the good old days when men professed their love in long, elegant letters rather than by a quick text. Exactly. Toulmouche is best known for his depictions of richly clad women set against the backdrop of luxurious interiors. His paintings often told a story, such as ‘The Reluctant Bride’, and many featured women receiving letters. The viewer was invited to guess at the message. 4. What do they say? Well, a critic in 1874 wrote: “Mark the exquisiteness of taste that gives one the very richest upholstery, and costumes of satin and velvet, instead of dull, plebian surroundings. Become absorbed in the consummate execution of details, but do not look for expression, for the rendering of soul-beauty, for that is not truly Parisian in art.” 5. What do we say? Love the dress! Now hang the picture in your house. See Cutouts on page77.

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leveland Miniaturists UK are a hardworking and charitable club based on Teesside who meet twice a month and now have 21 members. Last year the group managed to raise £900 to give to the Great North Air Ambulance who are in need of funds to help build new headquarters and also to purchase land to site the helicopter that they use in emergencies; currently the helicopter is based at Durham Tees Valley Airport. Club chairperson Linda Innes said: “We raised this money at several events throughout 2017 by running tombolas, the prizes of which were all collected by or given to our members. We also exhibited our project in miniature which was a collection of room boxes depicting fashions and styles throughout the decades. “The events that we attended were outdoors as well as indoors. We have our own gazebo with our logo printed on the roof. This serves us very well

Above: The club’s special gazebo used for fund-raising. Above right: Cleveland Miniaturists UK present a cheque to David Gibson from the Great North Air Ambulance.

when we are outside in all weathers fundraising for our chosen charity.” The group have also found the time to organise two very successful doll’s house fairs, one in 2016 and the other in 2017, and this year’s event takes place on Saturday, July 14 at Sedgefield Racecourse TS21 2HW from 10.30 am until 4pm.

New members welcome Following a recent change of regular venue the Fenland Miniaturists Club is now able to accommodate more members. They are a small group of doll’s house enthusiasts who meet on the first Thursday of each month from 6pm to 8.30pm in The Community Space at Tesco Extra, Cromwell Road, Wisbech, PE14 0RG. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced miniaturist this friendly club would be delighted to meet you. Just drop in one evening or contact Sue Menzies at fenlandminis.events@gmail. com for further information.

EMAIL YOUR CLUB NEWS AND PHOTOS TO RICHARD@ASHDOWN.CO.UK DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

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PROJECT

Jump on a steampunk Chariotorium for fun Following on from our look at Michelle’s steampunk inspired house, here she shares how she made a Mechanised Transportation Chariotorium. It’s crazy, but fun

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BY MICHELLE EMBLETON THOMPSON

his was a fun make using mostly things I already had lying round my craft room. The beetle pendant was the only thing bought especially for this project. If you can’t find anything similar it would be easy tocut out and adorn a similar shape from craft card or thin plastic (such as a plastic milk carton).

You will need n A cap from a spray paint can n Some wheels and wheel fork from a toy bike n Some brass rods cut to size and some thin wire n Assorted beads n A butterfly decal and a steampunk style beetle pendant n A broken plastic doll’s house seat (I also replicated one from a plastic milk carton but didn’t use it here) n A spring from a retractable ball point pen and the metal bottoms of three ballpoint pens n Three picture pins n Super glue, black, gold and silver spray paint Tools required: n Scissors and wire cutters n Tea light n Beading awl (or an alternative sharp, thin tool that you can heat up)

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Take a plastic cap from an aerosol (I used a cap from spray paint) and mark out a semicircle shape for the front of your chariot. Cut out the shape (retain the cut piece to use as a template in case you want to make another). Heat a beading awl over a tea light and melt a hole underneath the cut section, just big enough to fit the end of your wheel fork through. Slot a thin piece of wire through the wheel end of the fork and add a bead to resemble a front wheel. Glue in place and cap each side with a smaller bead to tidy up the ends of the wire. Make a further two small holes toward the rear of the cap using your heated awl and slide though a cut piece of brass rod and add your chariot wheels, again using a smaller

bead glued into place to tidy up the ends of the rod. Spray your piece in the colour of your choice. I obtain my colour by spraying first with solid black, then whilst still wet, spraying lightly with gold then silver (I find it helps to take a pace backwards when spraying my metallic colours to get the effect I want). Using a small clockwork style craft key, snip out sections from the key head using wire cutters and slot the key over the wheel fork to form your steering column. Assemble your steering column by gluing together a couple of barrel beads and adding a circular adornment. Top with a bead or picture pin. Glue a picture pin in to the base of each metal biro housing; these will


PROJECT

“I’ve used a stick on butterfly decal and a steampunk gear.” form exhaust pipes. Glue the pieces together to form a bunch. Using your heated awl melt a hole in the rear of the cap and push through

the pins in the bunch of exhaust pipes. Glue in place if necessary. Add any decoration of your choice to the rear of the cap. Here I’ve used a stick on

butterfly decal and a steampunk gear. Push brass rods through the pendant - this will form the front panel of the chariot and place the pendant behind the front wheel, in front of the steering column. Slide the brass rods underneath the rod holding your rear wheels - this should help stabilise it, but glue the pendant in place if necessary. Use a spring with a bead attached to resemble a wing mirror and a barrel bead with piece of wire and bead to resemble a brake handle. Glue flat, sparkly beads on to the front of the pendant to resemble headlights. Slide the seat into place and a seat pad to suit. The finished vehicle took approximately two hours to make (excluding drying time for the paint). DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

53


FAIR REPORT

Excited visitors at the Lyndhurst fair Sandra can’t resist picking up a shop, plus a few more bits, at the Lyndhurst fair but eventually has to break into her emergency funds Judy Taylor.

My new shop from Mary Stokes.

Bluebell Miniatures.

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W

BY SANDRA HARDING

hat could be better than a nice drive through the New Forest in Hampshire on a cold, bright and sunny Sunday morning? Why, a doll’s house fair of course. Wendy’s World Dolls House & Miniatures Fair is a regular feature in my area and I always try to attend when I can. Over the years I have got to know the talented, regular exhibitors well and I always get to meet old friends with a similar mini obsession (you know who you are). I always have fun trying to resist the many temptations offered along the way but, as you know, I easily give way to temptation. This time it was a gorgeous, irresistible shop from Mary Stokes, cabinets and a bag of toys from Wendy for the shop (yes, already), and teddies from Sewcrafts. Plus pillows and bedcovers from Audrey Johnson who, by the way, was at the very first doll’s house fair at

Lyndhurst many years ago. By now I had raided my husband’s wallet and used my own emergency £20 note (we all have one of those) so I decided I had better stop. Just because I bought an emergency doll’s house my husband insisted on an emergency Belgian bun – aren’t men unreasonable? It was good to see a few newbies there, including Aurora Butterfly of Pagan Moon Crafts (a fascinating lady who has agreed to a separate article later), Sarah May Miniatures, with lovely dressed dolls, and Sew Crafts. Eggers Delight were displaying their ever growing range and, I am pleased to say, a large selection of gold findings, invaluable to us crafters. As we arrived there were several ladies outside all eager for the doors to be opened, amongst them an excited group from Carisbrooke Dolls House Group. They have also agreed to an article about their club. I met two of the most delightful children, Phoebe and Toby, who were both busy buying items for Phoebe’s dolls house. They had been introduced to our mini world by their grandmother and she, and their parents, should be very proud; such perfect manners. Once again, a diverse and happy show, and I love my new shop. Maybe a toy shop, or a hat shop filled with Jilly’s hats, or a doll’s house shop, or antique shop, or jewellery shop, and I could go on. I have enough to fill them


FAIR REPORT Pagan Mooncrafts.

Little Homes of England.

Kathy, Denise, Stella, Christine.

Gill and Belinda.

Phoebe and Toby.

all. Is there a cure do you think? Next shows at Lyndhurst are June 10 and October 28, 2018, while Cobham Antique Dolls, Dollshouses and Toy fair is on March 18, June 17 and September 30 at Cobham Village Hall, Surrey, KT11 2LU. Wendy also runs the Doll & Dollshouse show on May 20 and October 7 2018, at Kensington Town Hall. For further details email wendyhobday@wendysworld.co.uk or call 01895 934348.

Pandora’s Box.

DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

55


Mini classes on your iPad and iPhone If you own an iPad or iPhone then you’re in for a mini treat. Dolls House World has a wonderful range of mini courses and classes available through the iTunes store.

Learn everything from how to make mini furniture to how to knit and crochet in twelfth scale. Our expert makers will guide you stepby-step through the process, and best of all you can learn at your own pace. Many of our apps contain videos where the tutors will show you exactly how things are done. So search the iTunes store for any of the apps listed below and get started on a mini course today.

• Fun Halloween in Miniature • Kiva’s Miniature Cuisine • Kiva’s Mini Cookbook • Mini Gowns and Glamour • Springtime Mini Flowers • Steampunk Inspirations • Holidays in Miniature • Mini Sweets • Mini Desserts • Dolls in Miniature • My Mini Valentine • Mini Bedrooms • Miniature Kitchens • Fairies and Fantasy


SHOW DATES .

A ROUND UP OF PLACES WHERE THE MINI

. MINI FAIR . TODAY .

FLAGS WILL BE FLYING AROUND THE COUNTRY

MAY

SUNDAY JUNE 24TH DOLLS HOUSE & MINIATURES FAIR Holiday Inn Ashford-Central, Canterbury Road (A28), ASHFORD TN24 8QQ (M20/Junction 9) Open: 10.30am - 4.00pm Organiser: Dolly’s Daydreams

SUNDAY JULY 22ND DOLLS HOUSES & MINIATURES FAIR Ipswich Hotel, Old London Road, COPDOCK, near Ipswich IP8 3JD (off A12) Open: 10.30am - 4.00pm Organiser: Dolly’s Daydreams

JUNE

DOLLS HOUSE & MINIATURES FAIR Royal Hotel, Knightstone Road, WESTON SUPER MARE, BS23 2AH Open: 10.00am - 4.00pm Organiser: Wendy’s World

DOLLS HOUSE & MINIATURES FAIR Craig-y-don Community Centre, Queens Road, LLANDUDNO, N. Wales LL30 1TE Open: 10.30am - 3.00pm Organiser: MGM Fairs

SUNDAY 27TH MAY DOLLS HOUSE & MINIATURES FAIR The Inn On The Lake Hotel, GRAVESEND, Kent DA12 3HB Open: 10.00am - 2.30pm Organiser: D&M Fairs SUNDAY 3RD JUNE DOLLS HOUSE & MINIATURES FAIR York Racecourse YO23 1EX Open: 10.30am - 4.00pm Organiser: Warner Exhibitions

JULY

SATURDAY 9TH JUNE DOLLS HOUSE & MINIATURES FAIR The Assembly Rooms, High Street, DEDHAM, Colchester, Essex CO7 6DE (off A12) Open: 10.30am - 4.00pm Organiser: Dolly’s Daydreams

SUNDAY JULY 1ST DOLLS HOUSES & MINIATURES FAIR Windmill Farm Hotel, Runcorn Road (off Whisby Road), LINCOLN LN6 3QZ (on A46) Open: 10.30am - 4.00pm Organiser: Dolly’s Daydreams

SUNDAY 10TH JUNE DOLLS HOUSE & MINIATURES FAIR The Imperial Rooms, Imperial Road, MATLOCK, Derbyshire DE4 3NL Open: 10.30am - 3.00pm Organiser: MGM Fairs

SUNDAY JULY 8TH DOLLS HOUSE & MINIATURES FAIR Dorothea Mitchell Hall, Station Road, Claverdon, HENLEY IN ARDEN, Warks. CV35 8PH Open:10.30am - 3.00pm Organiser: MGM Fairs

DOLLS HOUSE & MINIATURES FAIR Community Centre, Main Car Park, LYNDHURST, Hants SO43 7NY Open: 10.00am - 4.00pm Organiser: Wendy’s World SUNDAY 17TH JUNE DOLLS HOUSE & MINIATURES FAIR Portsmouth Marriott Hotel, Southampton Road, PORTSMOUTH Hampshire, PO6 4SH Open: 10.30am - 4.00pm Organiser: Dolly’s Daydreams DOLLS HOUSE & MINIATURES FAIR Tattershall Village Hall, 16 Lodge Road, TATTERSHALL, Lincs LN4 4LL Open: 10.30am - 3.00pm Organiser: MGM Fairs

FAIR ORGANISERS: Cleveland Miniaturists UK: Tel: 01642 870071/07572060172 D&M Fairs: 01634 375763 E: pattydixon54@gmail.com Dolly’s Daydreams: 01945 870160. www.dollysdaydreams.com E: dollysdaydreams@btinternet.com Doreen Jeffries: 01274 616539 www.doreenjeffriesdollshousefairs.co.uk London Dollshouse Festivals: 020 7812 9892 E: kdf@dollshousefestival.com www.dollshousefestival.com MGM Fairs: Tel: 01225 466533 Mob: 07818 462448. www.mgmfairs.co.uk E: admin@mgmfairs.co.uk Warners Shows: Tel: 01778 391123 www.yorkdollshousefair.co.uk Wendy’s World: 01895 834348 www.wendysworldfairs.co.uk E: wendyhobday@wendysworld.co.uk

AUGUST

SUNDAY AUGUST 5TH DOLLS HOUSES & MINIATURES FAIR Felixstowe Leisure Centre, The Sea Front, FELIXSTOWE IP11 2AE (next to pier) Open: 10.30am - 4.00pm Organiser: Dolly’s Daydreams SATURDAY AUGUST 11TH DOLLS HOUSE & MINIATURES FAIR Holt Community Centre, Kerridge Way, HOLT, Norfolk NR25 6DN Open: 10.30am - 3.00pm Organiser: MGM Fairs SUNDAY AUGUST 19TH DOLLS HOUSE & MINIATURES FAIR Exeter Conference Centre, Westpoint, Clyst St Mary, EXETER EX5 1DJ Open: 10.00am - 4.00pm Organiser: Wendy’s World

CLUB NEWS

SATURDAY 14TH JULY Cleveland Miniaturists UK DOLLS HOUSE & MINIATURES FAIR Sedgefield Racecourse, Racecourse Road, SEDGEFIELD TS21 2HW (5 mins from A1) Open: 10.30am - 4.00pm Organiser: Cleveland Miniaturists UK

While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of these dates, please do check shows before travelling.

DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

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MEET THE MAKER

Making tools in mini When it comes to using the correct tool for the job, David Brookshaw is the man to ask – even if they are in miniature

M

iniaturists come in all guises (or disguises for that matter) and David Brookshaw is no exception to this fact. In his laboratory his work as a dental technician has taught him the skills and techniques of working to precise measurements, and this is where his talent for producing miniature pieces stemmed – along with his life-long passion for woodwork. Around twenty-four years ago David built himself a workshop where he planned to spend his time making furniture or other household pieces. It was also the period he was lucky enough to meet a retired cabinet maker; so instead of going to classes the craftsman went and taught David in Inset right: David made the cover of the book Tools Rare and Ingenious, where his craftsmanship of tiny tools was showcased. Right: One of David’s full-size pieces, a 17th century iron brace with carved dolphins on the handle.

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BY ALICE MONROE his workshop. Each lesson the gentleman would bring the required tools from his own tool chest, and it was these old pieces that David began to admire, and gradually put together a kit of his own, finding items in flea markets and other old tool stores. Then using his skills as a dental technician, David made some doll’s house scale tools from ebony and boxwood. These attracted attention and were admired by many friends – and David was encouraged to put some into an antique tool auction. The tiny tools sold to some collectors who subsequently contacted him to order more. Having found that he

enjoyed and loved making these tools David researched further into the market and started to make copies of museum pieces; more orders followed keeping him pretty busy ever since. About sixteen years ago, while doing more research, he found a reprint of a mid-nineteenth century tool catalogue. Advertised within the pages were various tool chests, the best of which was a “Gentleman’s Tool chest”. There was a list of the contents of the chest, and in other pages of the catalogue all of these tools were beautifully illustrated. David was inspired and knew that he wanted to produce it in twelfth scale. One problem immediately arose, the miniature cabinet! Having been concentrating on making tools, David decided that he did not want to learn another skill,

Top far right: A 16th Century etched Nuremberg plane. Above right: A beautifully hand carved plane. Right: A twelfth scale wheel lathe.

miniature cabinet making, so he looked around and found Geoff Wonnacott, one of the best, who agreed to make the chest while he made the tools. It was very successful joint venture with the tool chest being featured in a book, Tools Rare and Ingenious by Sandor Nagyszalanczy; also some of the tools were placed on dominoes and the picture used as the front cover. Encouraged by members of his family David has since made everything from single tools, up to full chests. These have been for collectors of antique tools not doll’s houses. His work can be seen in many different museums around the world. We are very lucky to be able to take a brief look at David’s incredible skill. Surrounded by many of the old tools he has bought over the years, which are on display in his workshop, David hopes to continue to make more tools in twelfth scale.


MEET THE MAKER

niature

Quick & easy project BY SANDRA HARDING You will need n Plain wooden dishes, buckets and barrels. Mine were from Hobbycraft, but they are available elsewhere. n Dark brown shoe polish, or wood stain if preferred (but messier) n Cloth for rubbing and buffing n Black felt tip pen n String n Small drill

Tudor accessories

Above: A bench press drill which will be part of the equipment for a Victorian workshop.

Dishes are easy, simply rub with polish and buff them up Barrels were rubbed with polish, buffed up, and a black felt tip added to the “metal” bands (2-3 coats may be needed). Buckets were rubbed with polish, inside and

out and the outside buffed up. A small hole was drilled on either side, and a piece of string threaded through the holes and glued to form a “handle”. I then discoloured the string to add a well used look. Black felt tip was added to the bands around the bucket.

Right: The amazing contents of the gentleman’s tool chest.

DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

59


HOUSE PROUD

Highfield House has a family story to tell A country store has been turned into a nice middle class house, where the family get together for Sunday lunch and talk about breeding highland terriers

J

BY SANDRA HARDING

en Dunphy had always wanted a doll’s house and after pricing some readymade options, she decided to get herself a kit and have it made by a friend. She chose The Country Store by Dolls House Emporium because she liked the bay windows and, as the basement was on offer, she got that too. However, Jen didn’t want a country store. She wanted to create a nice middle class house, and she seems to have managed it very well. With the addition of an extra floor between the bay windows and the ground floor, Jen has created two more rooms to house the family and their visitors. Many hours were spent on the decorating and choosing of furniture and accessories. Jen even made some of

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the dolls and dressed them, including the nurse, the ladies in the bedroom and bathroom, and the old lady in the living room. Other dolls were purchased to add to the story, although I am not sure who the children are in the nursery. “They just appeared like magic,” Jen told me (yeah, right, I’ve heard that before). It is a pleasant Sunday afternoon and the family have gathered for lunch at Barbara and David’s house with their daughter and her little boy, David Junior. Barbara’s mother has just arrived and in the bedrooms are the couple’s second daughter Ruby and her son Peter who loves his music and computer. Ruby is a shoe fanatic and has sneaked in another three pairs of shoes. She uses mum’s house as a shoe store and takes them home when

her husband isn’t looking. Ruby and Peter will join them downstairs soon, although their third daughter Susan (in the bathroom) and her boyfriend Roger (playing chess) will be going out to their local when she is ready, which could be ages. David runs a very successful group of veterinary practices, and they can afford to have a couple of dailies and a gardener in, even at the Sunday rates. Barbara has recently decided to set up a business breeding highland terriers, but up to now, she can’t bear to part with any of them. Jen made many of the curtains and other accessories, including the grocery boxes in the kitchen. The delightful photograph over the bed is Jen’s mother and father on the day they got engaged. Although they are both no longer around, Jen liked the photograph so much she wanted them to be part of her house. Since this lovely house was finished Jen has bought and made several shops which I hope we may get to see later.


HOUSE PROUD

DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

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HOUSE PROUD

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DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

63


MEET THE MAKER

Mini toys that are made with such joy Maria Luisa Vera Arasa and her daughter Maria Luisa Paredes Vera are a dynamic duo who make miniature plush toys together in Spain

t Top: The miniature table project that started the creation of many more mini toys. Above: Handsome little Pol happily squeezes into a photo shoot of a miniature hot air balloon scene.

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BY CHARLOTTE MERRYMAN

his mother and daughter team enjoys making twelfth scale miniatures together. Maria Luisa and her daughter, Malú, were introduced to the world of miniatures when Maria Luisa’s mother gave her an American-style doll’s house for Christmas many years ago. Malú is thirty-one years old and lives about fifteen minutes from her mother in Barcelona, Spain. With a career as a lawyer, she has little time to make minis, so it is an added bonus that the time she does have to make them is spent with her mother. They mostly work out of Maria Luisa’s house on the weekends because that is where the family tends to gather. She lives in a cottage with an orchard and a large garden. Since they are surrounded by fish, turtles, cats, and birds there are many things to inspire them. Although their workspace is crazy and filled with many small items, they are all organised in individual boxes. The rest of their family feels that miniatures are a beautiful hobby. They give support and sometimes, as an added bonus, give them wonderful ideas. The smallest member of the family, two-year-old Pol, is always nearby while they are creating. He is Malú’s son and has much interest in tiny things. If he is not watching with much

curiosity as they create, he is playing nearby with his games and puzzles. They began making miniature plush toys in March 2014 when a local show held a contest. The contest theme was “Imagine a Table.” After some brainstorming, they agreed to make a table displaying stuffed toys and they titled it “We play.” This is one piece they cannot bear to part with because they worked on it together and won second prize for it! Having no training in making miniatures, they are self-proclaimed autodidacts and love to work with their hands. They also enjoy painting on canvas, painting murals on walls, restoring furniture, and needlework. Maria Luisa’s believes that creating miniatures requires inspiration, patience, and as we all know—good eyesight! For the most part, this motherdaughter team makes miniatures only for the joy it brings them, but occasionally people are interested in purchasing their miniatures and they are happy to sell them. Future projects include a house with five floors and a few smaller inspirational pieces. Little Pol will have many more years of watching with amazement as his family creates tiny magical worlds right in front of his eyes.


MEET THE MAKER

Top: These wonderful tiny toys were all handcrocheted. Above left: A cute brown and pink set of miniature teddy bears. Above right: How could you not fall in love with these fun little bunnies? They are perfect for a mini nursery! Right: All of these plush toys have their own wonderful personality. DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

65


PROJECT

Dream kitchen needn’t be a nightmare Making a custom made kitchen is quite an undertaking, but not as difficult as you might imagine. Auralea shares how she built hers and hopes you’ll give them a go

R

BY AURALEA KRIEGER

ecently I decided to make my own kitchen cabinets for my Kinfeld doll’s house because the set I had left over from another doll’s house that was sold didn’t fit correctly. This doll’s house was a scratch build using foam board. This won’t be a specific step-bystep tutorial because this was a custom build. Sizes will vary for every kitchen. But I did convert my own life scale cabinet measurements to twelfth scale. I am hoping this will help someone else that wants to make a custom kitchen, but isn’t sure how to go about it. First, I researched features I would like in my modern kitchen design. Then I decided what to compromise on so it would work in twelfth scale and would also work within my skill set. One thing I have learned over the years is not to torture myself and try

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to make something I am not capable of. At the same time I still try and push myself to learn new skills with each project. To start this custom build I used 1/8” thick balsa wood for the base. Balsa is nice to work with because it can be cut easily with a craft knife. On the flip side it is also very soft so if you accidentally knock it with something hard it can be easily damaged. This wasn’t going to be an issue for me because I planned to cover it with card stock. I lined the back walls with it and cut notches on the side pieces for the over hang at the base. Then I lined the floor with wood strips and glued a base over them. I wanted the sink to step out a bit so I glued card stock onto balsa for the cabinets under the window and then glued a piece of foam board on top of

that in the centre. I used yellow wood glue for all wood/paper gluing. Now let’s back up a minute and talk about the front of the cabinets. I decided not to make anything open because I have never gone in and opened any cabinets in my past mini kitchens, but there will be one very important drawer that will open. I started by drawing my kitchen cabinets (Piece C) on an extra thick piece of card stock and first cut out the frame and the drawer/cabinets holes so there would be dimension. I put the cabinet drawer and door frames back into the main frame and traced that (Piece B). Then I glued all the layers on a piece of foam board (Piece A), because I wanted it to come out from the front of the sink area to give some dimension. Then I glued piece A to the centre of the full front piece of balsa that was covered with regular card. Here is something I missed during my build that may help someone attempting this. Cut away at the balsa piece from the top down behind the foam board where the sink will be. Do this before you glue on the foam board piece. I had to make a ledge in my sink because I missed this. I painted the cabinets with white acrylic paint. Then I used regular Elmer’s glue along all the drawer and door inset edges and wiped with my finger to give a curved in look. Once dry, I painted white and then painted


FEATURE

with matt varnish. Between any coats of anything that was painted I ran a needle tool in the crevasses where the drawers and cabinets would open to remove any paint. I also lightly sanded each time. I glued small silver beads on for knobs and then glued each section into place. Yellow wood glue was used for gluing all wood and paper. I can’t get into how I did the actual construction because I don’t even know myself! I just drew, measured,

Piece A Foam board for the background. Glue onto the balsa wood. (This foam board is only for the step out sink. Balsa is used on all other cabinets.) Piece C Thicker card stock. Cut out the above and below pieces, sand their edges and place back into their holes. Carefully glue onto piece B.

Cut away circled area.

Piece B Regular card stock. Glue onto piece A.

Balsa wood covered with card stock for lower cabinets under window.

DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

67


PROJECT

The counter was pieced together, weighted with a book to dry, then adhered to a print out of “granite”.

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PROJECT

cut and tried to think ahead with each step. There wasn’t room for a refrigerator so I decided to make some modern refrigerator drawers. If you are extra crafty you could make a track so when open it doesn’t hang down. The dishwasher is in the back left and the bin is on the left next to it. Love that these features are designed into the cabinets these days. Makes my job easier! For the counters I printed a granite texture but didn’t have my fixative spray before I varnished it so it changed the colour of my ink. I went in with paints and restored it then sealed it again with satin varnish. The modern flat top stove was very easy. I printed one I liked and used a white gel pen for the controls. Then I glued it onto card, used a black marker on the edges, and painted with a satin varnish. I created my backsplash in Adobe Photoshop using a square sample. I had to slowly piece it together to make it my counter dimension. After it was printed it was sprayed with fixative.

TOPTIP Planning ahead of time by drawing on graph paper helps to make the best use of your time and space. Always be sure to include the thickness of your wood and paper materials as you are measuring.

Above: The oven was cut from thick card and painted with a gloss varnish mixed with a silver metallic powder. Then it was glued onto black paper with an acetate layer.

Then each “glass tile” was highlighted with a high gloss varnish twice. The “stone” tiles were left alone. I used Yes! paste to put the backsplash on the wall. Always glue your back wall piece first and let it wrap about a half-inch around both side walls then glue the side wall pieces up to the corners. The upper cabinets were made the same way the lowers ones were. The back cabinets were glued in first. Then the left and rights were glued in and then the arch over the window was added. I then cut and painted card to glue up under the top cabinets. Card was also used under the bottom cabinets. I wish I would have had the patience to figure out a lighting system under the top cabinets, but I honestly just wanted to get these finished! I added crown moulding and touched up any spots with Elmer’s glue and/or white paint. The sink was made from mat board, paint, and gloss varnish. Bent wires were used to make the handles. If you have been contemplating making your own kitchen I would recommend doing it. It really does make your entire doll’s house come to life and is so much fun to stage. Always remember you are more tal-

ented than you think you are so roll up those sleeves and go for it! Don’t get discouraged by small mistakes - that’s how we learn. Keep going! DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

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SCENE AROUND

Charming front porch is perfect place to relax Gabriele Layne took part in a club birthday party project and made her version of grandma’s front porch

f

BY GABRIELE LAYNE

ront porches are a great way to give your doll’s house a big welcoming smile on the outside. The main entry of a house also tells a lot about the residents who live there. Gabriele Layne spent a weekend at The Society of American Miniaturists (SAM) thirty-fourth birthday party in Dallas, Texas. Members spent the day crafting a free project designed by the host club. The project theme was “Grandma’s Front Porch”. After returning home to San Antonio, Gabriele had to take care of a few projects in her own house, but soon after was able to return to her miniature world. She took some time to carefully think about the theme she wanted to create with her miniature porch. She finally decided to make it a cosy place where Grandma could sit and read her daily newspaper, or write in her journal while enjoying a snack along with a glass of red wine. To make the porch a light and welcoming space she chose sage green for the walls and antique white for the trim. The floor is a faux stone framed with bricks. To give the porch a realistic appearance, Gabriele made and installed two windows and then inserted a print of a room behind them. She also added lighting and enough space to install an indoor sill to hold four hand-turned vases.

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To make the curtains, fine fabric was gathered on toothpicks and fastened to the top of the windows. To add extra interest to the door she printed out a flower design and inserted it in the window over the door. It is just transparent enough to let light through. There is a bit of space added behind the door so it could be displayed slightly propped open to allow the family dog with his bone to sit there. The columns were inserted on brick pedestals with enough room between for small gardens. The Victorian-style banisters bring charm to the scene as the green ivy grows along them. Once all the construction was complete, Gabriele was excited to start decorating. A small rattan chair and table were placed in the right corner for a quiet place to sit. The table was made with a round disc that she covered with felt. On the table is a plate of tacos, a glass of red wine, and a journal with a pen. She placed a pillow left over from her mini quilt shop on the chair to support grandma’s back. After taking some time to meticulously rummage through boxes and bags of extra minis, she added everything imaginable to the little porch. For this project Gabriele decided to finally attempt making miniature flowers. She would normally shy away from them because they require so much

patience, but to her surprise she really enjoyed the process. She used some flower-shaped paper punch-outs she had been saving. She first shaped the paper pieces by rubbing them on foam with a ball stylus. She dipped the tip of thin wire into white glue and let it dry into a ball tip. Then she threaded the paper punches onto the wire. Once she had enough, she glued the stems into airdrop clay. After leaving them to dry overnight she added leaves to the flowers and placed them in the garden. Then she covered the clay with dried coffee grounds to resemble garden soil. On the wall in the corner a birdhouse has a feathered guest: a small bird is perched there unafraid of the Above and below: The windows were set back so vases could be displayed. Gabriele also added lights inside the window and door.


SCENE AROUND

Top: A comfortable place for grandma to sit and relax. Above: This was Gabriele’s first attempt at making flowers and they turned out just wonderful! Above right: The charming front porch in its frame.

dog that is peeking out of the door. The porch light was made from a small Christmas lantern. The mailbox with a rolled up magazine and the house number over the door was in the SAM tote bag and indicates the year of the birthday party. The mat in front, the welcome rock, dandelion, and the wasp nest up under the roof were also tote bag gifts. She decorated the mailbox with gold embossed paper to spruce it up. A German weather station, which is hand-painted pewter, indicates the weather. The full size ones are typically made of wood and many people used to have them in their homes. If the weather is sunny the lady comes out of her little door; when it rains the man appears. The walls left and right are decorat-

Above left: Gabriele has made such a welcoming twelfth scale front porch. Above: The small dandelion behind the welcome rock was in the tote that SAM supplied for the project.

ed with metal artwork including German pewter scenes depicting spring and summer. Finally, Gabriele made the two wind chimes and the wall hooks that hold them out of cane slices, thread, beads, and acorn caps. She shared a tutorial in issue 301. This is a charming porch scene and you can see that Gabriele had such fun adding the decorations. Perhaps this will inspire you to take another look at your doll’s house porch and add a few more touches to make it feel like home, or make a scene like Gabriele’s. DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

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PROJECT

Serve up some delicious mini beans in bacon Mo Tipton shows us how to wrap up some twelfth scale green beans inside bacon for a delicious mini dinner

t

BY MO TIPTON

his delicate and delicious-looking side dish is perfect for your doll’s house dinner table! Serve it alongside any roast dinner for a realistic addition to a tiny feast.

You will need n Polymer clay in red, light orange, yellow, brown, tan, white, leaf green, olive green, and translucent n Sharp blade n Needle tool n Paint brush n Aluminium foil n Chalk pastels in tan and medium reddish brown n Razor blade n Rolling pin n Doll’s house serving dish n Satin polymer clay varnish E6000 or two-part epoxy

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Step 1: Begin by preparing the green bean clay. There is quite a bit of variation in real green beans, so feel free to use colours you already have on hand, using the photos as a guide for your colour mixing. I used Sculpey Premo in Spanish Olive and Sculpey III in Leaf Green. To give the dish realistic, varied colour, mix up two batches of green bean clay in slightly different hues. For example, I made one batch from pure Spanish Olive and another batch of equal parts Spanish Olive and Leaf Green. The colours shouldn’t be dramatically different. Step 2: Once you’re satisfied with your green bean colour, mix one part green bean clay with two parts translucent clay and knead thoroughly to combine.

Step 3: Roll the clay out into a thin snake and cut off shorter green bean lengths, roughly ½” long. Make sure they’re not all the same exact length to add realistic variation.

Step 4: Take a crumpled, flattened piece of aluminium foil and roll one of the green beans against the foil with your finger. Press firmly enough to make an imprint on the clay from the rough foil but not so hard that the clay gets stuck to the foil. This will add an interesting, wrinkled texture to your beans. As you roll the beans, make one end slightly tapered, like real green beans.

Step 5: Use a needle tool to gently draw a light line down the length of each bean, creating a little seam in the bean pod.

Step 6: Assemble the beans into little bundles, each with about eight or nine beans. Repeat for the desired number of bundles.

Step 7: Use a very small, moist paint brush to add hints of colour to the beans by dipping the brush in a bit of chalk pastel pigment that


PROJECT has been grated off the stick with a razor blade. Step 8: Bake the bean bundles in a preheated oven at the temperature specified by the clay manufacturer for five minutes and set aside to cool.

Step 9: To make the bacon, you’ll create four separate clay colours: a very pale tan, light caramel brown, a medium reddish brown, and a darker reddish brown (see photo). For the pale tan, mix little pinches of tan with white clay; for the light caramel, mix brown clay with light orange. If it needs further lightening, add a pinch of yellow or white. For the medium reddish brown, add pinches of brown to red clay, and for the darker reddish brown, add pinches of red to brown clay. Once you’re happy with your three colours, mix one part pale tan with three parts translucent clay. For the caramel brown and the medium and dark reddish browns, mix one part coloured clay with two parts translucent clay.

Step 10: Roll the clay out into thin sheets, roughly 1/16” thick and cut a ¼” wide strip from each. Stack

Step 15: Wrap a bacon strip around each bundle of beans. Bake in a preheated oven for ten minutes and let cool.

the strips on top of each other: pale tan, caramel, medium reddish brown, dark reddish brown.

Step 13: While the clay is still cold, use a sharp blade to cut off segments ½” in length. Then, slice off thin bacon strips.

Step 11: Cut the stack into shorter segments: You need two, each about ¾” long. Stack these on top of each other. I like to finish by adding one more slice of pale tan on top so the entire stack is book ended with pale tan, which is the fat of the bacon.

Step 12: Gently elongate the bacon stack until it’s a little over 1/8” thick. Take the crumpled up piece of aluminium foil from step 4 and press it into the top and bottom of the segment, giving the clay an irregular, somewhat wavy texture. Place it in the freezer for ten minutes to firm up.

Step 14: Gently press and drag the toothbrush over the surface of the bacon strips to add texture. Use a moist paint brush to add hints of pastel chalk colouring to the strips, using the same method as outlined in step 7. Concentrate the colour along the edges of each strip to make them look extra crispy.

Step 16: Finish by brushing a thin coat of satin polymer clay varnish on the bacon and beans. Use E6000 glue or a two-part epoxy to attach the food to the doll’s house dish. Optional: If you want to add a touch more colour to the dish, place a dollop of satin polymer clay varnish on a piece of parchment paper. Dab a small brush in the varnish, then dip the brush lightly in dark brown chalk pastel pigment. Dab this on top of each bundle to make the food look broiled. You can also add a hint of grease around the bottom of each bundle by cleaning your brush, dipping it in the varnish again, and this time picking up a bit of tan chalk pastel. Dab this around the base of the bundles and let dry. The green beans in this dish can be used in numerous ways; for example, piled into a casserole dish and topped with polymer clay cream of mushroom soup and fried onions. And the bacon is equally versatile: Serve it with a side of eggs and toast, add it to a tiny BLT – you name it! DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

73


HOUSE PROUD

Couple make a copy of their old family home Wendy and Roy Essex’s house is over-flowing with miniatures but we are featuring one of their favourites that is filled with memories, Eastfield Cottage BY SANDRA HARDING

I

looked up the meaning of collector in a dictionary (I still use one of these) and the description said: “A number of things collected together”. To use this to describe Wendy Essex’s collection would be an understatement as her collection resembles an explosion in a toy factory. Miniatures of every description cover her hall, stairway, living room, conservatory, bedrooms and every surface in the house. And it’s gorgeous. To get back to the original reason I visited it was to tell you about a specific doll’s house which has an interesting story. But before that let me tell you how it all started. Wendy and her husband Roy visited a doll’s house shop

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DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

while on holiday in Arizona and they fell in love with the contents (we know the feeling). They bought an irresistible bureau, boiler, table, chairs, plus a USA letterbox, lovingly took them home and placed them on display. However, the couple had caught the bug and soon Roy had made an ironmonger’s shop, as his grandfather had had one. The scales and telephone were purchased, but Roy had found a talent that he didn’t know he had, and started making things for the shop. Soon after that he turned an old fuse box into a three-room house which they furnished, and then came the decision to make a copy of their old house in Liss, Hampshire. They moved to the lovely 1830’s

cottage in 1982, which was a dream house for bringing up their children. It had large bedrooms and garden, with a workshop and tree house but, after 20 happy years, the garden became too much and they had to move. Although the house has changed over the years, the couple decided to create a copy as it was when they lived there. The replica Eastfield Cottage is made from ply, with shingles on the roof. The rooms are laid out as close as possible to the original layout, although you have to lift off the roof to really see the bathroom and the back of the bedrooms. Almost everything you see has been collected because they were small, interesting or simply because Wendy liked them. That’s good enough for me. My curiosity eventually got the better of me and I asked Wendy who were the “men in black”, to be told they were her grandsons of course. I should have guessed. We then went through all the other dolls in the house, who are all a representation of her family, including Wendy and her husband Roy, both standing in the kitchen. There are one or two left over, as Wendy has a real problem walking away from any doll that looks in need of a home. If you want to count them, there is a daughter, with two granddaughters, another daughter and her husband and son, a son and his wife, and the youngest grandson. Then there are the Men in Black (more grandsons), and I


HOUSE PROUD

have probably got this all wrong. Oh yes, the clear plastic figure in the bedroom is the invisible man (of course he is) who, I am told, looks after everyone in the house. The dustman standing outside is there because Wendy doesn’t dust (her words – honest) This couple are such a delight and so kind and patient with each other. Their love of miniatures is obvious, and I just love the eccentricity they have brought to their hobby. Very catching. Footnote: As Wendy and Roy live close to my home I made a second visit to take a photograph of the house from the back, which I had forgotten to do in my excitement. However, I had a surprise, as the people had moved around, and no-one owned up to it. I suppose I have to blame the invisible man then. DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

75


PROJECT

Dandelions are vital in all our gardens Christel shares a project she made to create “awareness of the necessity of dandelions in our gardens. It’s the first food bees and bumblebees find after their hibernation.” BY CHRISTEL VAN DER REE The leaves are only done along the leaf vein. They will curl up a little, exactly as the real ones do. Only one of the green flowers is done, the flat one is used to glue the leaves on. Step 1: These are the punches I’ve used. There is a small size difference in the sun shaped flower, but that will be enough.

Step 3: For the leaves I’ve used printer paper, coloured with a watery acrylic paint. I used light green because after punching there isn’t a white edge.

Step 6: Use a dot of glue and start from the outside in, bigger leaves first. Use as many as you like; they vary in real life too. Leave to dry. Step 3: I’ve used coloured tissue paper for the flowers. Normally I would use printer paper, but because you need a lot of petals, it would be too thick. You need to use about six layers to punch, otherwise the paper will tear.

Step 4: The smaller flowers are much tighter than the bigger ones. They become the heart of the flower.

Step 5: Cut the leaves from the stem, you don’t need it.

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DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

Step 8: Cut off a small length of florist or cake wire. If you want a bent stem, do this before you add the flowers. Puncture a small hole in the green flower and stick the wire through. Add a dot of glue and leave to dry. When everything is dry, puncture a hole in the leaves and stick the stem through. Add the heart to the bigger flowers and then the whole flower into the green one.

Step 7: Tip the bottom of the flower in glue, and pile them up, the darker colour somewhere in between. Form the smaller ones with your fingers into a heart. Leave to dry.

Step 9: For the seed head I used white cake wire, painted with watery acrylic paint, a clear glass bead and fibrefill. Once dried, I shaped it with my scissors. The leaves are coloured printer paper.


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We have over 200 different wool fabrics plus Japanese and Indian Silks with beautiful brocades. Some are very rare and many are perfect for decorating the interiors of our mini homes, as well as clothing our miniature people.

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Limited Edition, Realistic, Hand Crafted Miniatures. Original & Unique

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QUALITY CURTAINS FOR DOLL HOUSES I produce a range of lovely curtains, in cotton prints and also plain prints. All made to fit your doll house windows.

visit: Clusters, Hop Pocket, WR6 5BT

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www.elainesminiaturecurtains.co.uk ekchell@btinternet.com Tel: 01570 481549 Looking for trade suppliers to sell my curtains, excellent discounts available

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Family business stocking 1/12th miniatures including Streets Ahead, Wonham Collection, Dollshouse Emporium plus unusual items imported direct. The local arts & crafts shop for all types of hobbies. See website for opening hours & online shop.

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Fast Mail Order Tel: 01565 651 878

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Tiger Lily Dolls House & Miniatures Marvel around our wonderful world of dolls house miniatures. Large variety including special items. Lots to see, two large rooms full. Open Tuesday to Friday 10.30am to 3pm and Saturday 10.30am to 1pm 17 High Street, Alford, Lincolnshire LN13 9DS Tel: 07511 231999

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Massive stocks of houses and shops ready built or kit.  Furniture  accessories  carpets  food  curtains  electrics  DIY restoring  building & decorating. Electrifying a speciality! Colour catalogue £3.95. Car park and tea room. Open: Tues - Sat 10.00 - 4.00pm 31 Copheap Lane, Warminster, BA12 0BG Tel: 01985 846797 E: sales@margaretsminiatures.co.uk www.margaretsminiatures.co.uk

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Vanessa’s Miniature Dolls Beautifully unique, 1/12 scale doll miniatures, dressed in handmade vintage clothes and wigged to ensure a soft natural look. Dressed beds are also available.

Beautiful Range of Craft Kits for Dolls House Enthusiasts. Craft Packs are DIY project kits that enable you to make handmade doll house miniatures, celebration cake toppers, room boxes, miniature framed scenes etc.

Visit my shop to see the full collection, including Jia Yi and some Reutter Porcelain.

Each pack is beautifully presented, with full, easy to follow instructions and all of the materials that you need for each project.

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We carry a substantial stock; everything from animals, gardens, bicycles to bathrooms.

Specialist retailer in 1/12th scale Dolls House Miniatures and associated craft products

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THE CUTOUTS PAGE

Works of art to frame and hang in your project.

Mr S Holmes 221b Baker Street London England

Mr S Holmes 221b Baker Street London England

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Mr S Holmes 221b Baker Street London England

Mr S Holmes 221b Baker Street London England

Mr S Holmes 221b Baker Street London England

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93 Mr S Holmes 221b Baker Street London England

Mr S Holmes 221b Baker Street London England

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Mr S Holmes 221b Baker Street London England

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Mr S Holmes Street 221b Baker London England

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DOLLS HOUSE WORLD

81


SMALL LL TALK

WHERE WE CHAT WITH READERS ABOUT OUR HOBBY. THIS MONTH MEET: DIANNE HAWKES

Hi Diane, what are you working on at the moment? I am making

room boxes. I have a few friends who love them but do not want a doll’s house of their own. It’s great as I try to put things in the box that I know they love, putting their personality into it. But we know you like houses.

Yes, I have three large twelfth scales: a Victorian, a Georgian and a Tudor. I also have a 1/24th scale cottage with a thatched roof, a Vardo caravan that is a work in progress, and a small cake shop and a few room boxes. Do you make or collect? I love making things but until I retire I haven’t got as much time as I would like. “Roll on retirement,” I say. I love to buy some expensive items that are unusual, but am also happy to buy the everyday furniture. Some I paint or change in some way. How enthusiastic is your husband about your hobby? He takes me to doll’s house fairs and has a

look round. He prefers my Tudor house and finds things I should buy for it. He also helped me build and light up my houses but would probably prefer to be going fishing. How did your mini madness start? I wanted a

doll’s house when I was a child but had to make do with scraps of carpet. I made furniture out of cardboard to put on them. I had a Sindy doll and was always making new clothes for her. My first doll’s house was a surprise present from my husband

on my birthday back in 1998. I opened the box and there was a pile of MDF. It took me a while to work out what it was. What inspires you? I love visiting museums with doll’s houses in. And the Queen’s doll’s house at Windsor… well, I had to be dragged away from it. I could have stayed all day. What other craft hobbies have you tried? I have always sewn and

knitted. I love painting, but I’m not as good as my daughter. I will gave a go at anything really. What do you do when you’re not in mini mode? I love photography and

cycling. I brought myself an electric bike so I can keep up with my husband but I still use a normal one when I am feeling energetic Do you buy too much stuff? I have a cupboard full of lace ribbons and material all bought because I will make something when I get the time. Roll on retirement. What do you love about our hobby? You can be

creative in so many ways. You can decorate a room, make a rug, dress the bed or dress a doll, or even make the floor from lolly sticks. Everywhere I go I look for ideas or find something I can use to make something. I will never get bored, that’s for sure. Thanks so much for chatting with Small Talk, Dianne.

“I opened the box and there was a pile of MDF. It took me a while to work out what it was.” 82

DOLLS HOUSE WORLD


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Dolls house world july 2018  

How a dedicated collector put together a challenging kit and fi lled it with wonderful pieces to recreate a scene from one of her favourite...

Dolls house world july 2018  

How a dedicated collector put together a challenging kit and fi lled it with wonderful pieces to recreate a scene from one of her favourite...

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