Saturday, 22 September 2012

Design and Build Your Own Doll's Houses

A book for the more experienced miniaturist

Design and Build Your Own Dolls' Houses by Beryl Armstrong is an inspiring book for miniaturists who are not satisfied with kitset dolls houses and want to build their own. Beryl is a very experienced miniaturist who has published several books on the subject.
   The dolls house pictured on the cover of this book is an appealing style reminiscent of American houses. But you don't need to be confined to that - full instructions are given for the concepts used in designing a dolls house to your own unique plan.
Chapters in 'Design and Build Your Own Doll's House'
As you can see from the chapter headings, this book is comprehensive. Each step in the building process is illustrated with very clear photographs and full instructions. Even if you are not designing your own dolls house, the ideas in this book are very useful for finishing, lighting and decorating kitset houses as well.
  All in all, this book is a great addition to your library of dolls house and miniatures books. I have found it to be very useful.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Miniature Teddy Bears for the Dolls House

A selection of miniature teddies
If you are a purist miniaturist who loves authenticity, and if you have a Victorian dolls house, then sorry, you shouldn't have teddy bears in it! You see, they weren't invented until 1902, just after Queen Victoria died. That was when a cartoon showing Teddy Roosevelt with a real bear was published. The Steiff Company started producing teddy bears as toys in 1904.
  The photo shows some examples of the teddies I have in my Edwardian dolls house.
  I made the pull-along bear from a kitset I got in a swap with other miniaturists. The wheels on the little platform are half of the domes used in sewing. The bear itself is made of micro-suede which was easy to work with as it didn't fray.
  The little soft bear has movable arms and legs. I bought that at a dolls house fair.
  The teddy bear plate is a miniature work of art made by an English miniaturist who specialises in ceramics.
  Because the Edwardians were very fond of nautically-themed clothes when dressing their children, I pounced on this tiny resin bear dressed in a sailor suit, with a little yacht. Just the thing for the Edwardian nursery.
  If you really love teddy bears and really want to have them in your dolls house, I'd say, forget the 1902 date and put them wherever you like! Have fun!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Photos From the Miniatures Open Day

A traditional N.Z. villa in 1:24 scale by Laurie and Gayle Davey
Yesterday we had a very successful Open Day at our Hibiscus Miniatures Club. We were amazed at how many people turned up to see our displays and our club members working on their projects. Everyone seemed very interested in our tiny things, asking lots of questions and spending a long time looking at the exhibits. It was great!
 I thought I'd post some photos to show you what you missed if you didn't make it to Orewa.
The Gingerbread House by Flo Schubert was very popular with the children.
Smithy by Laurie Davey. The blacksmith pulls a lever to pump the bellows, the fire lights up and smoke puffs out the chimney
A tiny three-storey house, complete with furniture, made from a Pringles potato chips tin by Joan Murray.

Bruce Davey combined his interests in hot rod cars and miniatures to make this display.
A scale model of a sawmill at Henderson by Des Bellette
What every gardener needs - a potting shed like this miniature by Chris Davey
A spooky Hallowe'en house by Gayle Davey
Steve Naish worked on his model of the 'Titanic'.
A very small log cabin in 1:144 scale by Wendy Craig
These photos show only a small sampling of the miniatures we had on display. Pamela showed her N scale scene in a bookcase that I have written about on this blog. I took along my N scale village and the retro caravan too. Nancy had a very detailed Kiwiana souvenir shop there as one of her exhibits but unfortunately it didn't photograph well - too many reflections bouncing off the perspex frontage. Louise kept working away at her French-styled doll shop and Heather was making some modern miniatures.
  All in all it was a busy, interesting happy day - all our visitors left with smiles on their faces!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Miniatures Open Day

If you are out and about on Auckland's North Shore this Sunday, call in to our club Open Day. There will be some interesting miniatures to look at.
Hope to see you there!