Thursday, 27 March 2014

Another Miniature Knitting Masterpiece from Helen Palenski

Helen Palenski's red hat lady
You never know what IGMA artisan Helen Palenski will surprise us with next! She has added 'Red Hat Ladies' to her range of tiny knitted figures. This one has been made into a brooch - you can see the clasp to the left of the lady.
  With so much detail shown, it's hard to believe that this little figure is only 1 1/2 inches tall.
  Do you know the poem that was the inspiration for this miniature? It's called 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph. The narrator promises to be a difficult old lady! Here is the start of the poem:

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me,
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals and say we've no money for butter.

Helen's wee old woman is perfectly suited to the poem - she looks like a formidable lady with 'attitude'!

If you would like to see more of Helen's exquisite miniature knitting, look in the 'Guest Interview' section of this blog where I did a 2-part interview with Helen.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Doll's House Dolls Book

'Make and Clothe Your Own Doll's House Dolls' by Ellen Bedington

This is a companion volume to one book I have already reviewed - 'Design and Build Your Own Dolls House' (look under the blog label Book Reviews').
  In this book about making and dressing dolls in 1:12 scale, the author, an experienced doll maker, takes you step-by-step through the processes of making four different kinds of doll: a shoulder-plate doll, a flange-neck doll, using a mould and modelling a doll.

Making and Dressing Different Dolls
What I really like about this book are the detailed instructions and the very clear photographs that illustrate each step and technique. I have never made a doll but after spending a lot of time reading this book, I feel quite confident about starting one, with the book by my side every step of the way, of course!
  'Dressing the dolls' section of the book uses the same set-up of instructions and photos. The dressed dolls are then displayed in little scenes to show you what they would look like in your dolls house or room box.

Dolls to make and dress
The only downside of this book, I thought, was that the clothes to make for the dolls was limited to Victorian and Edwardian era styles of dress, perhaps because Victorian dolls houses seem to be the most popular with miniaturists.
All in all, this is a very handy book to add to your library, especially for beginners in the making of dolls house dolls scene!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

How to Plaster Walls in 1:12 Scale

An easy way of plastering in 1:12 scale
Keeping to my Greek theme for the mini shadow box, I decided rather than wallpapering the walls, I'd plaster them. 
  When I plastered the Tudor house (see under 'Tudor House' in the blog labels list) I used a mixture of white paint, PVA glue and talcum powder and applied it quite thickly to the walls.
  This time, because the shadow box is small, I imagined a finer 'plaster' would be better.
  In one of those serendipitous 'aha!' moments, I thought of using gesso. This is a primer used by artists to prepare surfaces such as canvas, wood and paper to provide a flexible, non-cracking surface to paint on. 
  So I squirted some gesso onto the already undercoated box walls and scraped it around with the edge of an old credit card so the walls looked as if they were whitewashed and slightly textured.
  It's an easy way of plastering and the effect was just as I'd hoped for. And because the gesso is white, I didn't have to paint again.