Sunday, February 24, 2013

More Fans

It seems I am not the only one who thinks old fans could lend to a lot of miniature projects. I thought I'd post a photo of the other fans I have in my craft supply. I was lucky enough to buy these as a cheap bulk lot - probably someone getting rid of an old collection. Some are wooden and some are plastic or some other old plastic like material. All except the three little picture ones have some form of carving.

They are readily available on ebay and other on-line auction sites and you can often run them down in op shops. I think you can sometimes get new imitations in cheap shops/emporiums. It pays to bide your time with the auctions to wait for cheap ones. Some go for much higher prices and are sold as collectables.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


One old wooden fan...

one umbrella stand...

I'm sure there are a lot more things I could make with the old fans I have. Now there's a challenge!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Plants Saturday... Sunday ?

Yesterday I had a play with making some plants.

The green fern was a Jeanetta Kendall laser plant kit.

The daisies are an experiment in recycling some scrapbooking flowers cut up. One lesson I have to learn is that when I am reasonably happy with something to leave it alone. I made the daisies and I was reasonably happy with them for a first experiment, but I had to keep playing and ended up with big black blotches in the centres. I think it is worth some more experimentation though.

The wicker chair was my first attempt at miniature wicker work back in the 1990s (it was a workshop taught by a Jeanette Dungan at the 1994 NZAME convention) and the cat is an old metal mini.

I am so enjoying getting back into miniatures and my fingers are starting to get used to working with such small pieces again. The skills are slowly coming back to me.

It is now Sunday and my daughter has been invited to a friend's place for the afternoon, so I find myself with a free afternoon.

What should I do today...

(PS: I'd love to hear from anyone who has some tips on successfully photographing miniatures).

Friday, February 15, 2013

Blogs and Forums

I was sitting at the computer last night looking at other miniaturists blogs and reading the forums on Dolls Houses Past and Present and realised how much I appreciate the neat on-line community of miniaturists and collectors. I appreciate how with a couple of taps on the keyboard I can look at lovely photos of what someone else on the other side of the world is creating or collecting. A community where people help each other, offer constructive comments, share information and tutorials, offer giveaways and so much more. As I said in an earlier post I was involved with creating miniatures in the early 1990s and now I want to get back into creating and collecting miniatures. Back in the 1990s I belonged to a miniatures club with the friendships and support of club members. However, now I find myself living in an area where there are no miniature clubs, fabric stores or craft shops. I can only pick up the odd craft items in local shops and pick up bits and pieces in charity shops. All I can say is thank goodness for the internet. Not only does the internet mean I can obtain supplies through on-line shopping, but it also provides me with the link to other miniaturists, many of whom inspire me to keep creating. Keep blogging and sharing.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Our Creations

These are the results of Jamie and my efforts from the previous blog entry.

First Jamie's creations:

Jamie made a lovely clock from a button and clock face cut-out (on the wall), a fancy wall clock with a background of William Morris wallpaper and a copper butterfly and a lovely strawberry cake complete with a strawberry in the middle.

I made a mantel clock and a vase from fimo as well as a button clock. All I can say is it is going to take a bit of time to get my mini-making skills honed again, although I am quite pleased with the vase.

As for the experiment with the air-dried clay bonsai pot, I got a bit rough handed with the pot which stuck to the tile it was drying on after I had put some gloss sealer on it and it crumbled into many pieces. I'll have to start again from scratch. Still, another lesson learned.

As I said to Jamie, it is okay to have failures. They are the steps you take on the way to learning new skills.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Waitangi Day

It was Waitangi Day today, New Zealand's public holiday celebrating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. It meant I didn't have to go to work today.
Of course I thought it would be a great opportunity to do some miniatures. My 10 year old daughter thought that would be a good idea too, so this afternoon the two of us snuggled into my little craft room and made some miniatures together.
I tried to think of something simple to do with her so to start with we made some clocks out of clock face cut-outs, buttons and bits and pieces. Then Jamie wanted to have a go with some fimo and she made a lovely little strawberry pie. I attempted a few pieces from fimo. I had forgotten how fiddly making miniatures can be. I'll have to retrain my clumsy hands. I'll post some photos in the next day or two.
I also had a go at making a little dish from paper clay to make a miniature bonsai. I want to experiment with painting the dish with some fingernail polish to see whether it looks like pottery. I'll let  you know!
I've finally thought of a great miniature project I want to design and work on but I'm still trying to work out how to do it. Watch this space!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Vintage Miniatures

Just a last little blog entry for today with an update on my vintage miniatures.

I have now wallpapered the nursery of The Laurels and have gathered a few vintage items, as well as a few modern miniatures that fit in for now.

I recently purchased the little Japanese doll in a kimono, table, desk and cupboard through Trade Me, a New Zealand on-line auction site. They are possibly from somewhere between the 1920s through to the 1940s.

The miniatures below are Tekno miniatures from Denmark from the 1920s.

Well that is my blogging for today. I think I'll go and make up some miniature book kits for my bookshelf project.

Bookshelf Project

Below are some photos of my bookshelf project. It will house a number of Paper Minis book kits that are awaiting my attention. Paper Minis have some great miniature book kits (and lots of other items) - see the link on the side bar. The bookshelf sits in an old book shaped box I picked up on an on-line auction site.

This is the book box.

I have wallpapered the inside with an old fashioned wallpaper.

This is a picture of the bookshelf on its own. Of course it will look a lot better once I make up the books and get them on the shelves.

When I was very young I first read the below poem and loved it. I have decided I will make a framed picture of the poem to hang on the empty wall:

I've travelled the world twice over,
Met the famous; saints and sinners,
Poets and artists, Kings and Queens,
Old stars and hopeful beginners,
I've been where no-one's been before,
Learned secrets from writers and cooks,
All with one library ticket,
to the wonderful world of books.

My Craft Space

I say craft space as over the years I have dabbled in quite a few crafts and still have bits and pieces of my other crafts around e.g. bookbinding, paper-crafts, porcelain and cloth doll making, bear making, beading and embroidery - a bit of a jack of all trades and master of none. Every now and then I see a craft project that just begs me to have a play. However, at the moment my creativity is heading 95% in the direction of miniatures.

As said in my last blog, I now have a dedicated room for my creative endeavours, albeit very small at approximately 1.8m x 3m, but it is all mine - and I can shut the door on it. What is more, I have sorted through all my craft supplies and for now I am reasonably organised. Long may it last.

My craft room is housed in a small office that leads off our lounge, and I do have to confess the dolls houses have crept out into the back corner of the lounge. Luckily our lounge is huge. Here are my dolls houses awaiting restoration outside my craft room.

The above picture is a bit crooked, but it shows one side of my craft room with my large glass front cabinet holding lots of mini items and some of my vintage items I have collected. It also houses buttons, ribbons, lace, embroidery cottons etc . The brown chest of drawers houses paints, glues, tapes, stationery and the like with a book case sitting on top. There is also a little shelf tucked in the corner with some mini projects on it. In the foreground you can see my main work desk.

Tucked on the shelf in the corner is this little room box I made back in the 1990s when I had my first dabble in miniatures. I saw the little figure in a cake decorating shop and I made this for my Dad who was a cabinet maker. He loved helping my Mum and myself make miniatures at the time. As Dad is no longer with us I treasure this piece as it is a reminder of the special times we had sharing a hobby together. The unpainted house in the top picture was made by Dad for my Mum. She has now handed the house down to my daughter Jamie. Jamie would like me to work with her to do the house up as a collectable house rather than a play thing. I asked her what era she would like to do the house up in and she asked me when Nana was born. I said 1927 and she said then that was the date she wanted her house to be based on. I thought that was a lovely idea, so we will start doing some research. I am sure Nana will get a lot of enjoyment at watching its progress too.

This picture shows the other side of my craft room, again with the white desk in the foreground. The grey desk would usually hold a computer as well but unfortunately my old computer gave up the ghost recently so I am sharing one with my daughter at the moment. The plastic drawers hold my tools. The corner house is the house I am doing up for my sister which will house an art gallery showing her paintings in miniature. She is an awesome artist and I hope she will let me scale some of her art work down for my miniature projects as well.

Just in case you are wondering, I haven't managed to get everything into my small space. I'm good at organising but not that good. Any miniaturist will know we tend to hoard a bit. This is part of the wardrobe in our spare bedroom. As you can see it holds wood, wallpapers, tools, etc. It also holds dolls house electrical items, landscaping items, polymer clay and other bits and pieces.

 Well that is my craft room. I hope you enjoyed the tour. Now to get creating and actually produce some miniatures in it.

Friday, February 1, 2013

It's a New Year

Hi everyone, welcome to 2013. Yes, I know I'm a bit late, but if you note the history of my blog, although I have the best of intentions, I have struggled to make regular posts. While I hope this will improve this year, I am making no further promises (too embarrassing each time I read my earlier posts promising to do so!).
One thing in my favour though is that I finally have a dedicated craft room (albeit small) and have sorted through all my craft items over the Christmas break. So, in theory, I should know where everything is! I have even started a miniature project of a bookshelf (first play with my scroll saw) which is to be housed in a little 'book' box to hold my Paper Minis book kits I have been collecting.
I will post a photo of the book shelf project and some photos of my craft space over the weekend.
Until then, be creative.