Monday, November 29, 2010

Wow, Frederica!

I couldn't believe my eyes the other day when I opened a little envelope that arrived in the mail and out popped a whole lot of treasures from Frederica!!

She had sent a whole lot of lovely little presents - they are so sweet and I can see that the little brocante shop she is working on must be absolutely gorgeous with these lovely little things inside! She had made the most beautiful hand knitted cardigan, complete with tiny buttons and pretty silk ribbon threaded through! I took it to work and everyone was amazed, even though they are not miniaturists. It really seems as though everyone has a fascination with tiny things, and can appreciate beautiful work when they see it! And there was even a tiny knitted hat to go with it!

Some of the other things Frederica sent were these little bottles on a lovely aged tray and there are even gift tags and cards included!

I feel so lucky - I must admit I had really really longed for a little cardigan like the ones I had seen on Frederica's blog - I even bought some thread and knitting needles to see if I could manage it myself, but I must admit it isn't very likely I could make something like this! So thank you so much, Frederica! I love my little gifts and you are lovely to do this!

Here is the cardigan in pride of place in the bedroom. You can also see the little shabby picture in this photo. The photos are all a bit blue today, but never mind. At least they are the only thing in my life that is "blue" at present!

I think bloggers are the most kind, geneous people! Don't you agree??

Monday, November 22, 2010


One of the things I have had on my wishlist for the cottage is some little birdhouses. I want to cover the whole of the side wall with them, but haven't got around to making them yet. And then I fell in love! Katrina from Katie's Clay Corner posted about a birdhouse she had been making and I just adored it....some quick work on Etsy on my part and now here it is at my house! I couldn't believe it when I opened the parcel.....I could never have parted with it if I had been Katrina.....the aged paintwork is just wonderful!!! It is on display on my bookcase at present but here is a photo of it outside the cottage. Thank you Katrina....I really love it!!

The little birdhouses on the wall came in the same parcel - I will make some more sometime soon to add to this wall.

Now it is time to go outside to walk my little dog!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some lovely presents!

I am a very lucky girl.....I have some lovely little bits and pieces to show you! I was very excited that at our recent Convention I knew that I would get to see Marion. She is just lovely, and I was looking forward to spending a bit more time with her before she went back to Australia. On her last day, she popped round to visit. I really wish I hadn't been so busy and had had more time to spend with her! She made these beautiful miniatures for me! This gorgeous basket has been so beautifully made and given a wondeful shabby finish! And inside it are a whole lot of lovely tiles that she has made herself from air-drying clay. They have the most beautiful pictures of flowers and birds on them! I just love them....thank you so much Marion!

Here they are in the bedroom, next to the washbasin. The colours are just right!

Marion and Dorothee had also been busy making little cats that sit on a door frame. I am a bit short of door frames in my little cottage but one of my little cats looks very much at home on the picture frame in the living room. Sadly there are still no curtains at the window, and the window looks as dirty as my real windows in this photo, but the cat is very cute!!

Now that it isn't long until Christmas, it is time to fill the house with Christmas goodies. My Dad always had bowls of nuts at Christmas and here is a lovely big bowl of walnuts in the dollshouse. The wooden bowl is absolutely was given to me by a lovely gentleman who does the most beautiful woodturning....he had the stall next to me at the recent Convention and this was his parting gift .... I probably need to show a photo of it empty to show it off properly.

I was pretty happy with these little walnuts, and so I have to share the secret with you. I work for a seed company, and one of my jobs is filling packets of seed (we still do it by hand). I really like seeing how all the different seeds look, and of course can't help looking at them with a miniaturist eye! And the other day I had to fill Euphorbia Marginata (Snow on the Mountain) and the seeds looked just like walnuts! So here are a few of them waiting for Christmas in the cottage.

This is what the plant looks like.

I had a really amazing parcel arrive today so I will post some photos of the contents soon!

Monday, November 15, 2010

My First Dollshouse

Well, just as a change from shabby chic, I thought I would give you a little tour of my other dollshouse. This dollshouse is the first house I built, about four years ago - from a pattern in a library book, with my father-in-laws help. This was back in the days when I thought you had to BUY all the furniture and accessories for inside the dollshouse. This dollshouse is Victorian/Edwardian (hmmmmnn??) and has three rooms.

Today's tour is the kitchen. Here is a photo of the whole room, populated by the cook, her friend from the country who is visiting, and the butler, who would quite like to have a cup of tea with them! I don't really like to put dolls in my scenes any more, but I did put dolls in this house and so they have to stay there!

I am especially attached to these two dolls because they were made by a lovely New Zealand lady and they have such a lot of character in their faces! They look as though they would be very nice friendly people to get to know!

I love the stove, which was "as cheap as chips" (that means very cheap!) I love all the ornate details! The copperware on the stove was made by Ken Wyman here in New Zealand. I really love the little kitchen rack you can see in the top photo, with all the copperware on display. Isn't it great that you can have the things in miniature that you would like to have in real life but can't afford!

This shelf was meant to be a bathroom shelf, but I am pretending it belongs in the kitchen because I really like it. It looks like someone has used one of those old parcel racks from a train carriage as a shelf in the kitchen. The coffee pot is totally out of era but I don't care at all because I am a coffee fantatic in real life.

It was great fun filling up the dresser....I have ginger beer bugs there because the cook is making ginger beer every week, and there are some wonderful preserves. The "shawl" hanging on the hook is an old lace collar that was given to me by my lovely 90-year-old neighbour, Elsie, who has since passed away. She enjoyed visiting and looking at the dollshouse.

I made most of the preserves but the asparagus spears are the wonderful work of Linda Cummings at Linsminis, who makes wonderful miniature food!

This is my favourite item in the kitchen and I made it myself! I made lots and lots of jam and jelly last summer (in real full sized life) and this is a miniature apple and blackberry jelly board I made. I love the little blackberries!

Finally, here is the kitchen window, which is on the opening front of the dollshouse. My husband's family are Dutch, so I made the little Dutch plates above the window. The little windmill on the windowsill was a bracelet charm. The gorgeous blue art nouveau "plate" is an antique French enamel button. The picture to the right of the window was a broach that was in my little boy's kindy play box....his kindy teacher said I could have it for the dollshouse. I made the little jams on the windowsill and the peaches. The lovely pink bowl that holds the peaches was made by Bill Helmer.

Well, that will do for now. I have lots more to show you but will do that another day. I hope you have enjoyed this visit to my "old" dollshouse! And have a lovely, lovely week!!!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Look at these!

I didn't particularly set out to end up making vast quantities of dollshouse plates, but it seems to have ended up that way! I just couldn't resist showing you these ones!! Arent' they just gorgeous??? One of my Etsy friends suggested I make some plates like this and here they are. I just love these!