Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my followers. May today be a day of peace, love and goodwill.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2011 is on it's way.

This is the time of year when I start thinking about New Year's resolutions and reviewing the old year. Some resolutions I will make again, even knowing the same ones made every year are broken within days, but maybe 2011 will be the successful year! 

For the magic of New Year's resolutions to work though, I have to get everything tidy from the current year, so it is a time of pulling out old projects and finishing them - not the dollshouse, much to my husband's disappointment, but some of the unfinished furnishings came from their takeaway containers to be worked on.

With the larder still waiting for materials, the kitchen table was the obvious piece to pull out. It is semi based on our real life kitchen table. I have always loved the square turned legs on it and used to puzzle over how they were made. A needle file and half a dozen emery boards later and I now know. Possibly the real life craftsman 100 years ago used different tools.

 I've always wanted a drawer in our table so could add one here instead and I love the cutlery which were a pack of jewellery charms - a complete set for 50 cents on a sale table! With the rings filed off and the knife handles painted cream, they were just what I wanted. Even though the drawer will generally be kept closed, I like knowing they are there.

Pip, the eldest boy in my dollshouse family, finally got a desk, maybe one day he will have a bedroom to put it in!  After the war materials were in short supply and a 1947 'Hobbies Weekly' magazine recommends using cardboard or black linen (blackout fabric?) to back a tallboy until ply became available. I can't imagine that in our time when materials of all kinds are so readily available. 

With that in mind, I decided a piece of furniture which looked 'repurposed' with a slap of post war brown paint would be perfect. The authenticity was increased when the cat knocked the drying piece off the desk and rather than replace the resulting broken leg, it seemed right to splint and paint it. Maybe it had been a broken washstand stored in the attic from an era when nothing was thrown away? I think when it is finally in place I will give him a crystal radio set to work on and I had to smile after doing the inkstains, when I realised that Pip must be left handed. How often these dolls houses take on their own life and build their own stories!

Last was Pip's toy chest, from an old blind slat and my first attempt at 'joining'. It is pretty rough (it was a very hard blind slat!), but I like the effect and as I imagine it as a chest used to bring treasures back from Istanbul/Constantinople where his father was on a dig before the war, it doesn't need to be a craftsman piece ...fortunately!

Pip's mat was done a while ago and was so much easier than the plaited methods I had been playing with. Crochet a chain of variegated thick wool and start winding into an oval. As you go, either ladder stitch it into shape across the bumps on the back or glue it to a piece of card, then press with a hot steamy iron and liberal amounts of spray starch until it is flattened.

A couple more bits to finish and I can start concentrating on Christmas!

Welcome to my new followers. As always it is lovely to see new faces and I hope you enjoy visiting.

From my last post is Patrisan and of course I remembered her after visiting another blog, as she has the most wonderful giveaway of teeny shoes! These are incredible! I don't often go in giveaways, but my name was down in Patrisan's post as soon as I saw her gorgeous offer. I have used the google translate link, so I hope it works, but if you visit her before the 18th, look for her giveaway post which she will be closing on that date. (if it doesn't work...that's more chances for me to win, hehehe) Congratulations Patrisan on your tiny new niece as well.

Drora Hed, Lady Jane and Beth Laverty aren't showing up with blogs, so please DO contact me if you have one we can share.

Edit - Lady Jane  left a comment on my last blog post, so I was able to track down her two blogs from there. I haven't had a chance for a full read yet, but have enjoyed what I have seen so far - another talented and creative homemaker.

Mandy  is another who wasn't showing up with a blog when I posted, then it clicked and I realised she is DHE friend. She is reasonably new to mini ing (I think) but has a wealth of talent from various crafts she has mastered,  before mini life, to draw upon.  

I noticed Lucky Little Fringer is following Mandy as well, still apparently blogless. As they were one of my first followers as well, I was intrigued. If you ever want to come from your quiet following corner, please let us know.

Another follower from my 'no picture' list is the Karen and Kevin team. I'm sorry I didn't notice you hidden away there. Karen and Kevin are building the most amazing Tudor dollshouse. I have to be careful when I call by and visit in case I come back full of discontent. The detail is amazing and it is truly a grand house, and enormous, even at 1:12 scale.

I'll see you all next time, stay safe and calm over this time.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Needlefelting - my new love

This week has been one of those frustrating weeks you know has to come around occasionally to remind you how good life normally is. Nearly every project I have wanted to do has needed something I have to buy online (or have lost and know that as soon as I buy another it will appear - aaarrrgghh) my laptop has lost yet another faculty and wont recognise USB sticks or SD cards, I have been confined to the house with a revolting 'childhood' illness and the only ones loving me at the moment are the cats...and I suspect their love is because with a temperature I am so cosy to cuddle up to in this wet weather we have been having. Oh woe is me!

So with nothing going right, it was a thrill to have some felting needles I had bought on ebay arrive and with some  rovings I had from a craft find at the local op shop, I only needed the tutorial in the December Dolls House Magazine to get started. Needless to say the magazine was not to be found ...definitely one of those weeks!

3 cm Teddy

 Determined to keep going I figured a dollshouse scale teddy bear with its round basic shapes couldn't be too hard, and if it was a disaster...well, it could be a well loved teddy.

Nowhere I had read how therapeutic sitting and continuously stabbing at a piece of wool is, giving the evil eye to anyone who came near. I am surprised all those witchy types blogging away had never mentioned it, but maybe that is a witches secret. Some of my family were convinced they were being voodooed and all of a sudden I had offers of tea and icecream and a bit of much needed spoiling.

Teddy needed a friend and  I wanted a dolly of the old fashioned stuffed toy variety but only had  teddy brown, so attacked some ancient wool/polyester crepe yarn (left over from a jumper knitted 17 years ago - never throw anything away!) with a 'nit' comb and it was even easier to felt than the proper materials!
Dolls house scaling failed so she was given to Dolly for her own little dolly.
Dolly and dolly

Several Christmassy projects followed along with a broken needle (don't try to manipulate the wool and poke at the same time) and some pricked fingers  (it is better to felt against the foam, not while holding the piece) and morale was much restored with a new craft learned, albeit at a very basic level.
2cm Nativity

to my new followers:

Linda with such a variety of houses from shabby chic to witchy (an entire community)! All so wonderfully realistic, and well...perfect! Her twin Beacon Hills deserve their own blog and have it so call by there as well because these mansions are worth studying.

Chelle who is an online dollshouse friend but currently occupied with her daughter's approaching wedding. Her dollshouse work is gorgeous and I can imagine her daughters wedding will be wonderful given Chelles crafty abilities. (I did enjoy seeing her messy craft room before pic- hehehe)

There is another follower I can't access at the moment - the computer has already turned itself off once this session - thank goodness for autosave! I'll look forward to catching up next post and also with some of the mystery followers I was puzzling about, which Susan so nicely solved for me.

I hope you enjoy following and I am already enjoying the blogs you have to share.