Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas

Edward the Elf, his companion dog Prince and I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy and creative 2015.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mum's Minis

I'm finally back home and will start work again tomorrow. I miss my sisters already. It has been lovely spending time with them despite the circumstances. Mum's funeral on Wednesday was a lovely celebration of her life.
Because all four of us girls were together in Mum's home town we decided to start sorting through Mum's things. I bought home her miniatures. In the 1990s Mum and I both did miniatures. Mum hadn't done any since then but she had kept some items in case she got back into it.
There was a selection of knitted, crocheted and embroidered items and some doilies. The little yellow piece in the centre is my one and only attempt at miniature knitting. Mum made the lovely little bedspread in the top right hand corner. Unfortunately some of these items have age spots so I will have to see if I can do something about that.

There were some dolls:

Some animals:

A few pieces of furniture:

Some 1/4 inch scale items. I think I will enjoy experimenting with some 1/4 scale miniature scenes.

These are a few of the miniature accessories and some crystal pieces:

This bride and groom was a cake topper I used when I made and decorated a 40th wedding anniversary cake for Mum and Dad in 1988. They are the perfect size for the vintage cardboard church I have which was a vintage game piece.

This is an exquisite pop up card which one of my sisters gave Mum a few years ago. I want to eventually try to create a miniature scene around it.

The miniature fimo items were made by a lady who used to do miniature fimo items in the 1990s who has since sadly passed away. I am pleased to be able to add more of her items to my miniature collection. Three of her cats are also included in the animal photo above.

I found a few little gold angels and some little soldiers to add to my Christmas scene:

I now have a cook for my Victorian nursery. Unfortunately she has her work cut out for her. It seems that while I was away over the last few weeks one of the kittens must have ventured into my dolls house and has raided the kitchen shelves!

This lovely cross stitch was made by my friend Lyn for Mum some years ago. It will look lovely amongst my dolls houses.

 I made the bear in the picture below, Lachie, for my Dad when he was very ill with cancer approximately 17 years ago. The doll is one I made for Mum. They have both come back home to live with me.

I also brought home some other miniature accessories, ribbons, laces, braids, beads, cottons and embroidery fabric, etc.

I think I will need to have another sort out of my craft room!

I've made a start today on items for my Christmas swap. I will hopefully get the parcels posted by the end of the week. Unfortunately it will be too late to reach swap participants before Christmas. Once again I apologise.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


I have been absent from my blog again and I also find once again I am weeks behind with reading all of your blogs.

Sadly my mother passed away on Friday night after a fairly short illness and I have been away from my home and computer for most of the last two or three weeks. Add to that my husband's father had a severe stroke on Sunday night and we are working through the implications of this and supporting his mother who also lives out of town.

I have to say it has not been a great year for us.

To my Christmas Swap partners I will be back home this weekend and I will get your swap gifts finished and posted. I really apologise that your gifts are likely to arrive a little late for Christmas but these were unexpected circumstances.

My Mum was also a miniaturist back in the 1990s and had some lovely miniatures tucked away which I have inherited. I look forward to showing you some of these in future posts.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Meeting of Like Minds

First of all I have started a gingerbread house - hopefully this will look something like a gingerbread house next time you see it. We will see!

Today I went to the home of a fellow miniaturist one hour from where I live. The lady Maureen and her friend Marilyn recently held a miniatures display to see if there were people in the region interested in get-togethers to do miniatures. Regrettably I was unable to go to that but they got a huge number of people through their display and quite a lot of interest was shown. Today there was a gathering of eight of us. We discussed what we would like to do for future meetings and did a little workshop making fimo breads. We were also given a little kit for a bread tray to make at home.
We all just did our own thing as far as breads were concerned so each of our bread displays would look so different. I put mine together at home and here is the result - all ready to take to a farmers market:

I added a sign saying 'Artisan Breads' because some of my breads are a little creative - you probably wouldn't find them in a real bread shop.
Maureen also had a cute little mold for making little mice so we all went home with mice as well.
Thanks ladies for hosting the meeting and for the workshop. It was great to meet you both and the other attendees. I look forward to attending future meetings.
I hope everyone is having a great weekend - mine is just about over - it is nearly 7.00pm on Sunday evening in New Zealand. See you next time.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Where Oh Where Has My Creative Ability Gone...

I don't know - you get days like that where nothing you put your hands to turns out the way you want it to!
For Christmas last year I made some little Christmas bird houses as gifts for Christmas swap recipients.
As per usual I never thought to make one for myself. I decided today I would try to make one to go in my Christmas workshop scene. While I did manage to create one I am not particularly happy with it.  I think the paper needs to be brighter and the bird smaller (you can't see the hole for the bird to enter the house) and unfortunately I didn't get the snow looking lovely and icy like I did last time. In fact I had to cheat and add some glitter to the roof.

I just tend to create and make things as I go and until recently never wrote down how I made things. I'll probably have another go next weekend and see if I can improve on it. I know I can do it - I've done it before. In the meantime this weekend's effort will sit on the shelf in Edward's workshop until I create a better one.

Talking about shelves, I added an extra shelf to the side wall of Edward's workshop so I could make room for the bird house.

I also made a little Christmas tree today from a tinsel pipe-cleaner, some glitter and a glass star.

I need to make some paper chains which I am going to hang on the inside door which Edward will hang on the North Pole Christmas tree closer to Christmas. He also likes to give some to his fellow elves to decorate the Christmas trees in their little North Pole cottages.
When I was flicking through reading some other miniaturists blogs this morning I came across one from Jane of Minifanaticus.
Jane mentioned some gingerbread houses which she is going to do as a workshop with some children. This reminded me of another unfinished Christmas project I have.
In January 2011 (aarrrhhhh where does the time go) when I first got back into miniatures after a break of about 17 years I started Joann Swanson's Sugar 'n Spice project. You can find the project here:
Her project is shown on the paper in the following photo:
I have added to my project some shelves I made at a workshop tutored by a Jewel Lewis at a NZAME (New Zealand Association of Miniature Enthusiasts) Convention in the 1990s (based on a 1920s kitchen). I have also added the stove which I had in my stash.

I even made a little cookbook with a 'Gingermen' recipe.
The main thing that is missing is some lovely little gingerbread houses. I will have to see if I can make some to finish the project. The project needs a few more little accessories and a dog under the table. I think it is probably about time this project was finished.
While we are on the subject of Christmas I came across an ornament my grandfather made me (probably about 45 years ago) when I was a little girl. I thought I would show it to you as it is quite a nice idea for holding a little miniature scene.
As you can see from the photos below the decoration is made from varnished pieces of log (bark included). He has just put one sloping piece of glass in the front and a removable piece of perspex in the back. You could easily replace the back with a background picture mounted on some cardboard.

It could lend to a lovely woodland fairy scene with some foliage, flowers and fungi or a number of other little scenes.
Lastly for today, and not a Christmas thing this time, I managed to pick up this second hand book to provide me with some inspiration for my Victorian Del Prado house. There are some lovely photos in it.
Now to decide what to make next.
Perhaps a knife cleaner:

or a butter churn:

We will see!
Have a great weekend everyone.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Edward's Workshop - Progress Made

For those of you who haven't met Edward Elf yet he was created by Melanie Frank (Melli) of Germany. Melanie's blog is
Edward grew up with such a love of Christmas that he was invited by Santa to be an honorary helper elf at the North Pole. As time went on he worked through the ranks and gained the respect of Santa and is now the Master of Decorations and decorator of the North Pole Christmas tree. Being a German elf he is a bit bigger than the North Pole elves but he is fully accepted by all his fellow elves and is always happy to help them when they can't reach something.

When Santa told Edward he could make arrangements to have a special workshop built for himself,  Edward chose a design that looked like a Christmas gift box because of his love of all things Christmas.

I have made some progress on Edwards workshop today. First of all I added a few more gems, especially on the inside.

I then added some shelves for some of the special decorations Edward has been working on. I also added a few essentials - such as a pot belly stove for warmth, a box of chocolate truffles for energy and a companion dog for company.

The Workshop so far.

Some of the things I added today are:

I found the skier in an antique shop. I think it has come off a German Christmas decoration. It looks similar to some of the vintage Erzgebirge ornaments. I made the little wreath and the lovely cherub ornament was a Christmas surprise I received last year from Melli of der Pippibaeren (the creator of Edward).

The lovely 'Merry Christmas' wreath is one of a pair earrings I found at a local op shop. I was lucky enough to win the three tiny Christmas characters which were a giveaway prize from Sylvia of Mijbil Creatures. The tallest character is only 9mm high. The silver angel I made from jewellery findings. The bells are a charm from an 'Avon' Christmas bracelet. The three stockings are buttons from a scrapbooking shop. The wooden Santa and his Christmas tree was another op shop find.

Under the shelf is a string of cards which are from Paper Minis. The box of chocolate truffles are also from Paper Minis. I made the woven box holding the coloured paper. I have made a tutorial to make this which you will find here. I also made the paper chain Edward is making. The dog 'Prince' was an antique shop find and when he saw the pot belly stove he decided this would be a good place to live. He thought Edward looked very kindly too. The pot belly stove is actually a pepper shaker. Other miniatures are just from my stash.
Edward seems pretty pleased with his workshop so far. He is really pleased Prince has volunteered to be his companion. Towards Christmas Edward can spend hours making last minute touches to all the decorations and decorating the North Pole Christmas tree. He will be glad of the company.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween


 Image from
While we don't really celebrate Halloween in New Zealand, although it is starting to take hold, I do love Halloween images, especially vintage ones from old postcards. I think next year I might just create a Halloween scene for fun.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

National Cat Day

I just saw a post by Margaret on her blog at Petit Parterre with a delightful photo of her cat wearing a hat:
She said it is National Cat Day in Australia. I note from an internet search that 29 October is also National Cat Day in the USA. I don't think New Zealand has a National Cat Day and International Cat Day was on 8 August but I will share with you photos of my two cats Dash and Squiggle anyway. I figure some of you cat lovers out there might be interested in seeing their progress. They are now about 7 months old and have grown out of that tiny kitten stage.
Unfortunately they didn't oblige me like Margaret's cat did. They were far more interested in snoozing on our bed, it being a rather wet and blustery afternoon outside.

Dash (male)
 Squiggle (female)
My three dogs are grumbling in the background about all the fuss over cats. Perhaps I'd better find out when International Dog Day is if there is such a thing!
Anyway, Happy Cats Day to all your furry feline friends.
Image from the Graphics Fairy

Monday, October 27, 2014

An Early Start

Lying in bed this morning I was determined to make a space for doing some miniatures even though we had a fairly busy day planned - but what to do?
I considered doing a little Halloween scene and entering a photo in Kyle Lefort's Halloween challenge. While traditionally we have not celebrated Halloween in New Zealand it is starting to be celebrated by some and I have always thought it would be fun to do a Halloween scene. However, as it is the 27th I have left it a bit late to do a good job - next year Kyle!
That led me to thinking about Christmas. Every year I say I will do a Christmas scene but again I always leave it too late. Not this year. I am making an early start. Today I started my Christmas scene. The box I am setting my Christmas scene in and around I purchased Christmas 2012. It is high time I got it out and did something with it.
As for the resident of the box, Edward Elf, he has been more than patient waiting for me to create his workshop. Edward Elf is the official Christmas decoration maker for Santa and also the decorator of the North Pole Christmas Tree.
I think the box is so beautiful I don't want to cover too much of it so he will just be sitting in the box with a few shelves and hooks inside to hold all the wonderful Christmas decorations he is going to create. Of course we will also need to create a North Pole Christmas tree eventually .

I have previously blogged about the box and about Edward here:

Edward Elf was made by Melanie Frank in Germany.
Melanie's blog is

The front of the box.

Inside the box.

Edward Elf.

I love his oversized feet.

Edward is busy working on a paper chain (made by me).

I recently got a large jar of 'seconds' gems from an op shop. Some have little chips or are not quite the shape they should be but many of them are just fine for enhancing some of the lovely detail on the box.

Some of the gems.

Unfortunately it is a dark gloomy and wet day here today so very hard to take photos showing the gems but hopefully the above gives you an idea of what I am working on at the moment.
I need to think about what I am going to do for shelving and hooks now. Hopefully I will have solved that dilemma before my next post.
See you then.