Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chinese Miniatures

Took my daughter into town today so she could spend some of her money on some Sylvanian miniatures. While we were out I couldn't resist popping into the local second hand/antique shop. I just had to have these old miniature chinese figurines and miniature bridge. They are between 2cm and 3cm high. The two characters in the front should have fishing poles. They will work well in The Laurels which will be decorated in late Victorian.

I also found four of the ceramic wall paintings similar to the one in my earlier post which work well in old houses so they are now stored away waiting for me to get my dollshouse wallpapered.

Tomorrow morning my husband and daughter will be going to golf. My 9 year old daughter is playing in her first golf tournament (6 holes). I am hoping to take the opportunity to make some miniatures as well as to start stitching a miniature arts and crafts movement floor rug.

Monday, February 6, 2012


My old house has prompted some discussion on the Dolls Houses Past and Present website. The general feeling is that it is probably not an actual G & J Lines dolls house, but a copy of one made around the same period, being the early 1900s. Imagine a little girl falling in love with a picture of a G & J Lines dollshouse and her father/grandfather making her a dollshouse very similar. I bought it thinking it was a home made house and hadn't even heard of G & J Lines at the time. I like the thought of the house being made with love for some little girl. Whether that is the case or not I will probably never know, but I will run with that thought for now. In a way it gives me a little more artistic licence with the decorating and I will probably install lights.

In any event I have decided that the old house will be my project for now. While I love the Arts and Crafts Movement and want to make pieces from that period, I don't have a house yet to put any pieces in. I did consider using the old house for my Arts and Crafts Movement house, but the old house deserves to retain its quirky oversized fire places, which aren't suitable for the Arts and Crafts Movement.

My old house is named "The Laurels" and has the date "1895" on the front. I am going to use that as my starting point. I have therefore today spent some time on the internet looking at old wallpapers, articles about events that happened in 1895 etc. I still haven't formulated an exact idea of what I want to do with the house but I think it will have a lounge, kitchen, bedroom and library and the small rooms will probably be an entranceway and a bathroom. I just need to think about who is living there and create their story.

I did come across an interesting old book from 1895 called Lee's Priceless Recipes. Written in 1895 the cover reads 3000 Secrets - For the Home, Farm Laboratory, Workshop, and Every Department of Human Endeavour. I made a little mock up of the book to go in The Laurels. I deliberately made the cover a bit grimy like it had been well fingered, but unfortunately putting it on the scanner has flattened the spine and the tatty corners I had given it. I didn't think I would be able to photograph it very well as it is only 2cm long. I was hoping to be able to print the image of the cover directly on to old book cloth but it didn't work. I will have to get a better quality printer at some stage.

Another thing on my wishlist!


I have now been advised that the dog in the previous post is Toby, Punch's dog from the old Punch and Judy Puppet shows.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Some of my Old Treasures

Hopefully tomorrow I can load a post of something I have made. However, today I thought I would show you some of my old treasures.

Below is a photo of some old dolls and a dog. They are all very old. The dog is a real character. I don't know if he may have been a character from a story book or from advertising. Hopefully with some research I might be able to find out something about him. The very delicate lightweight baby on the table is unmarked. The tiny doll on the floor has "Made in England" on its back. The doll to the right is marked "Roddy Made in New Zealand".

The two photos below are some miniatures I have just purchased by on-line auction for NZ$8.50. A real bargain. There was also a cute green plastic typewriter pencil sharpener that will look great on a dolls house desk with a new paint job. In the first photo the fan and the tea urn are unmarked but are really nice pieces. I haven't been able to find anything similar on-line yet. The globe is by Chad Valley. I have located a similar thermometer on-line to the one here on an American antique site. They describe it as an Antique German Dolls House Miniature Gilt Metal Art Nouveau Thermometer (that's a mouthful)! They are advertising their thermometer for sale for US$250.00. I just thought it was a lovely piece and wanted it for the 1920s house I am doing. The photo below is of a Tootsie Toy bed, chair and rocking chair. They are 1/24th scale and so cute. I think I would like to collect some more Tootsie Toy items to furnish a 1/24th scale house in the future.

This next photo is of an old piano with the words "Protex Polka" on the music sheet. The painting is made of some type of china or porcelain.

The stove below is also a recent purchase on TradeMe. It is a little worse for wear with a dent on the right hand side. The cook must have attacked the stove with the fryping pan when she burnt the sausages perhaps! I have seen a few of these on the Dolls Houses Past and Present site so they are not rare, but will look great in a vintage house.

My old dollshouse and the above items have now been posted onto the Dolls House Past and Present website and hopefully I will start finding out a bit about them.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of the old treasures I've accumulated so far.