Thursday, July 29, 2010

Anne of Green Gables

I thought that as I haven't been able to make many little things this week, I would show you a picture of a project-in-waiting....

I am a huge fan of LM Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables books - I have all the books she wrote and I've had the ones pictured above since I was fourteen. This lovely little Anne doll is one of the first things I bought when I discovered miniatures....she was made by Connie Suave (of The China Doll) . I had to wait two years for her to be made.
Her clothes are beauitfully made with the tiniest stitches, and her hat is so finely woven that I am just amazed . It can be taken off. She even has green eyes, just like the "real" Anne. I'm not a huge fan of dolls generally - I have a few in my Victorian house which have to stay there for sentimental reasons now, but I have decided I won't put any in future projects - I like the rooms to look as realistic as possible, which seems easier without dolls. But I would like to make a scene for this beautiful little Anne one day....since she has her carpet bag, I would like to show her waiting for Matthew at the train station. I'm sure my own little 8-year-old Matthew would be delighted if I built a miniature train station, since he is train mad. I'm even more sentimentally attached to this little doll now that I have Ella, my own little 6-year-old redhead with plaits!!

If anyone who is reading this hasn't read the Anne of Green Gables books, they are just delightful - I would hightly recommend them!!

My knee is finally starting to feel a bit better and therefore I am getting very keen on making things again so we will see what is next. The little boy's room in the shabby cottage needs some attention! Everything is on the floor because I haven't made all the furniture yet.

I am really enjoying reading your blogs, even if I have very little time to make comments these days, and I appreciate you reading mine! Thanks so much for taking the time!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sweetpeas again

Today I managed to squeeze just half an hour of mini making into my day but here are the results - my second attempt at sweetpeas. I like these ones much better - they have been made with tissue paper. Now I need to make a few more stems of these so that this is a nice big bunch of sweet peas. :-)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Reject Sweetpeas and a Reject Knee

Well, I promised that I would post a photo of my sweetpeas no matter how they turned out so here they are. I don't like them at all and they are probably headed either for the bin or my daughter's dollshouse..... I made them from cold porcelain but couldn't find my thin green wires anywhere so I had to use white ones and painted them. And then I did a bad job of twisting the individual flowers into realistic stems of flowers. I have decided to try to make some from tissue paper - it might give me more the delicate look that I want. And I will make the stems first this time.

I do have an excuse for this terrible work! Last Sunday we decided that as it was the last day of the school holidays, we would take the children iceskating for the first time. New Zealand isn't very big, so there are probably only about five iceskating rinks in the whole country, so it was a whole day expedition, driving up to Auckland and going skating. The kids had a fantastic time but I now have a badly damaged knee (cruciate ligament), which is going to take about 6 weeks to come right (if I'm lucky). So I have had a difficult week, both at work and at home and it is very sore and I am sad. :-( The picture is NOT of my sad knees are not pretty enough to post on my blog, so I am using someone else's sad knee photo! I do a lot of my miniature making kneeling on the floor by the coffee table, which I can't do at all at the moment. I fell over about a million times so no wonder I hurt myself. Ella fell over just as often but is totally fine.

But anyway, since I am generally a positive person, I will end on a happier note, so here is quite a cute photo I took of Matthew skating. He loved it so much!

Keep your fingers crossed for my next attempt at sweetpeas.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I am a Mail Junkie!

Well, I have to admit that I have turned into a mail junkie! I couldn't resist this gorgeous miniature mail that Jenn had in her Etsy store! It arrived about a week ago, but now that I am at work all day, it is too dark to take photos when I get home from work (don't forget it is horrid, cold winter over here in New Zealand), but I managed to take some photos today and here they are! Firstly there are a whole lot of little sealed letters....I have put them in this shoebox - I'll put a label on the shoebox later.

Then, Jenn made a whole lot of letters that were opened....and look (!!)...

....when you open them (with tweezers, because they are so tiny), there is a real letter inside! And I opened them all and they are all different!! It must have taken ages to do.

This letter says "I love you" about a million times. How cute is that!!

Then there are a whole lot of little postcards, with gorgeous vintage images ...

... and when you turn them over, they have the writing and address on the other side, just like a real one! Everything is made so beautifully and they are all on paper that looks truly old - such a nice little group of miniature mail.
Some of these things are going into the Shabby Cottage and some will find a home in my Victorian dollshouse (which I must show you one day). I have put this lovely old vintage calendar on the bedroom wall. Sylvia made the pitcher.

Jenn also included a gift of some little soaps in the parcel (thank you Jenn), and here they are on the washstand.

As I suspected, I haven't had any time to do miniatures this week. What I would like to do next is to try to make some miniature sweet peas out of cold porcelain. Now I don't think that is going to be easy!!!! I spent a little bit of time today mixing the colours, so wish me luck. I have a feeling that it might be too hard for me.
I promise I will show you the result no matter how bad, so you will probably have a chuckle at my next post!!
And just in case they are truly awful, here is a lovely bunch of sweet peas to say thank you to my followers and welcome to my new followers - I hope you have a lovely week!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

No Time

I am definitely suffering from miniature making withdrawal at the moment. I knew this would's the school holidays and I just haven't had time to do anything much for the cottage since my last post. The kiddies are off to Nana's for a week now, but I start my seasonal job tomorrow, so I'll be VERY short of time from now on. Please don't give up on me if my posts are a bit less frequent!! In the meantime, here is a picture of the living room in the shabby cottage - this is a hard corner to photograph because the light hangs down in the way, but I have managed to get a photo for you....the gorgeous picture above the chair arrived yesterday - it is a stunning miniature oil painting (a fantastic ebay find!) of wildflowers. It is by Sandie Coe and it is so pretty!

All I have managed to do for the cottage over the last few days is to have made a few more books for the cottage....lots of very pretty books on baking - the person who lives in this cottage obviously loves making cupcakes and macaroons!

A very nice parcel arrived in the mail which excited the kids (and me!) no end. After finding something called scoubidous mentioned in Nadine's tutorial for a gorgeous little table, I wondered on my blog what a scoubidou was, and Lara offered to send me some!! They arrived yesterday - and Lara even took the trouble to translate the toy instructions into English for the children so that they could play with them too, along with an example of a little key ring made by one of her children! Thank you so much, Lara - the children had an absolutely wonderful time with the scoubidous....I had to be very quick to take the photo as they were keen to open them straight away. Now I have some to play with too, so soon I may be able to show you whether I have been able to make some little tables with them!

This is the kind of thing that makes hanging out in "blogland" so nice....thank you all for your comments, support, motivation and inspiration!!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Rose Petals

I have finally got around to having a play around with cold porcelain. I've had the ingredients sitting around for a while, but have been held up by not having an old saucepan that I didn't want to use again for food. Yesterday my lovely friend Dorothee emailed me this tutorial, and I thought it was about time I got round to it. I found an old saucepan at the op-shop, and cooked up my first batch of cold porcelain (here is the recipe). Mine turned out a bit sticky, but I added a bit more cornflour and it seems to be a bit more manageable now. I didn't feel as though my roses are as good as I would like them to be - I think I need a bit more practice with those, but I was really pleased with my little rose petals!
I coloured the cold porcelain quite a few varying shades of pink, made these tiny petals, and dusted the edges of the paler colours with pastels to get a realistic, graduated colour. They are really pretty - I have put them in a bowl on the table in the cottage living room.
You can see the graduation of colours a bit better in this photo.
Once I had all these lovely rosepetals, I couldn't resist making some cakes. It's been ages since I've made any miniature food - I've been busy working on the cottage instead.
Here are the two cakes I made today - my absolute favourite is the one with pink sugar.

My daughter Ella likes the one with red rose petals.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Wow! I am so delighted with these beautiful roses. I have never made any flowers from kits before and although I have been horrendously busy over the last couple of days, I have managed to steal a few moments to make up a few roses from the flower kits that had arrived from Bonnie Lavish. These are the result. And they were really easy to make!

The trickiest thing is making them stay in the vase and not leap out onto the floor of the dollshouse if given the slightest bump. (I bumped them LOTS of times last night when trying to arrange them!) And I might work on trying to get them to droop their heads a little. I think I will mix up some clear resin to use as water, then when it is set the flowers won't be able to move around and jump out of the vase when I am trying to adjust each flower head to look graceful and realistic. I still have some little pansies to make - there are a few more steps involved with those so I need to make some quiet time to do them.

Tomorrow is the last day before the school holidays start so there might not be much quiet time around here for a while!

The little macaroons filled with Chantilly cream are from Emmaflam & Miniman - they arrived yesterday and are just beautiful!

I couldn't resist adding this photo too! My mother rang today - she is missing me! Although I wouldn't put this poster up in my real life house, I love it in the cottage kitchen - (now that I am a mother, I think my children should have a copy of this poster - Giggle!) I just think it's funny!! And I like the colours. The little parfait glasses are a homage to Mercedes and her wonderful blog - she had the original idea and I loved it, so here are some similar ones in my cottage kitchen, because it's true that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

xx Carolyn