Saturday, 30 March 2013

A Mini Present for a New Baby

A Mini Present for a New Baby
I've been thinking of all things small this week as my daughter and son-in-law had their first baby, an adorable wee girl. I wanted to make a special present for her, so looked through my stash of minis and wool and materials and came up with this - a shadow box of miniature 'girly' things!
  The background I papered with gift wrapping paper, white with tiny pink hearts, that was perfectly in scale for this little box. The actual display area in the frame is 2 1/2 inches square by 1 inch deep so I didn't have much room to deal with.
  The onesie outfit I made from a pale pink baby facecloth and stuck it to the back wall of the shadow box.
  The fairy doll was naked - I cut up a pink artificial flower and used the petals to make a dress, hat and wings, sprinkled them with silver glitter and glued them to the doll. The hair is white bunka I unraveled to make it curly.
  I had the china teaset in my minis stash.
  The ball I knitted out of DMC embroidery thread that was a variegated pink, and stuffed it with fibrefill.
  Last but not least was the clown. If you'd like to make one, there are instructions on my blog in the 'How to Make' section.
  I'll be wrapping this present carefully and stowing it in my hand luggage when I fly to Germany in two weeks to meet my granddaughter for the first time! Can't wait!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Miniature Villa on Television!

Laurie and Gayle Davey's Villa in 1:12 Scale
Well, exciting news for Laurie and Gayle Davey, the couple I introduced you to in my last Guest Interview. They have been approached by a reporter from Fair Go, a consumer rights television programme, for the loan of their magnificent 1:12 scale villa.
   Fair Go is filming a piece about going flatting and thought a novel way of adding visual interest to the programme was to use a dolls house. The reporter was put in contact with the Daveys who told her I had been at their place taking photos of the villa the week before. So she rang me & I emailed several photos to her.
  And her comment - "WOW! It's exquisite - this is just what we're after."
  So keep an eye on Fair Go over the next few weeks to see this villa featuring in the programme.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Gayle and Laurie Davey: Miniaturists

Gayle and Laurie Davey in their miniatures display room

Twenty eight years ago, Gayle and Laurie Davey were introduced to the world of miniatures. A neighbour showed Gayle her dolls house and invited Gayle to go to a miniatures club meeting. That was enough to get her hooked! At first Laurie wondered what he could do; after all, he had been involved in various sports clubs rather than making models. He soon found there was plenty, and he hasn't stopped making tiny things since! 
  I visited the Daveys at their home where they have a treasure trove of minis - a room set out displaying the various dolls houses, room boxes and miniature furniture and accessories they have made and collected.
Wendy: Do you remember the first miniature you made?
Gayle: Yes, it was an upholstered red velvet chair. My first dolls house was a Greenleaf kitset one.
W:  What is your favourite scale to work in?
G: We prefer 1:12 scale as you can get lots of detail into projects that size.
W: And your next project?
Laurie:  It's an Art Deco house - we have the building set up ready to be decorated.
A gentlemen's club in 1:12 scale

W:  Where do you get your ideas for making miniature furniture?
G:  We enjoy looking round second hand and antique shops, seeing a piece of furniture we like, then going home and working out how to make it. We also copy pieces from photographs of the real things. (Gayle showed me a working mangle she had made, a copy of a real one she'd seen at the Rangiriri Hotel.)
L: Most of the furniture kitsets we've made have been in rimu, a native timber.
Gayle's Haunted House

W: What do you really enjoy about the hobby?
L:   I like making the buildings (we've got our workshop out in the garage), cutting out all the kitsets and teaching others how to make minis.
G: I like designing the kitsets and, for a change, doing fantasy projects like the Haunted House and Fairytale Castle.

W: I know you are involved with several miniatures clubs. You're president of the Hibiscus Club now.
L:  Yes, and we were founding members of the Papakura Club and now go to three others; the Auckland, Waitakere and Hibiscus Miniatures Clubs. That keeps us busy! We've both been president of the Auckland Club; me for 6 years and Gayle for 4 years.

As you can see, the Daveys have a wealth of knowledge about our hobby and are always happy to share their miniatures and ideas with others.
Thanks, Gayle and Laurie, for your time spent talking to me and showing me all your wonderful minis.

Friday, 8 March 2013

How to Make 1:12 Scale Gloves and Bags

Handbag and Gloves in 1:12 Scale
The good thing about making these handbag and glove sets is that they don't need any sewing, just glue. And they are quick to make. I used micro suede cloth as it is fine, easy to cut and doesn't fray, and it comes in a range of colours. You use only tiny pieces to make each combo.
You will need:

  • microsuede
  • beads to look like buttons
  • fine chain
  • little findings to make bag clasps
  • ruler
  • nail scissors
  • fabric glue
  • toothpick
To make the gloves:
  1. Cut 2 pieces of material about 1 inch long and half an inch wide. You don't have to be too exact as gloves can be of different lengths.
  2. Fold each piece in half longways and glue. Let dry.
  3. Using the nail scissors, very carefully make 3 cuts at one end - this will give you 4 fingers. Try to keep each 'finger' the same width and look at your own hand to see the lengths of the different fingers. Make sure you have a left hand glove & a right hand one! Round the ends off. 
  4. Make the thumbs separately with a tiny piece of the material. Glue one underneath each glove so it sticks out the sides.
  5. Decorate by glueing tiny beads for buttons at the 'wrist' if you wish.
Showing where to Attach the Thumbs for the Gloves

To make the handbag:
  1. Cut a piece of material one inch wide and 1 1/2 inches long.
  2. Fold the top third over to make a flap. If you want to make a handle, cut a length of fine chain and lay it under the fold so it will be secured when you glue the flap down.
  3. Use a toothpick to spread the glue in a fine line up each side of the bag and across the underside of the flap to glue it down.
  4. Decorate the bag with little bits of jewellery findings to make clasps and/or a strip of contrasting material.
As always it seems to take me longer to write the instructions than it does to make things! The gloves and bags do look lovely displayed on a bed or in a haberdashery shop, or stashed in your dolls house dressing table drawers.