Thursday, September 25, 2014

Waldorf Flower Children

Recently a friend lent me a book by Sybille Adolphi on making Waldorf Flower Children and I immediately knew I just had to try to make a set.  

The book itself is OK for the basics but generally it is not easy to follow.  I looked for further help elsewhere and came across some great inspiration.  Firstly there is the gorgeous work of Katja (who sells her dolls on Etsy), RosenrotAtalierpippilottaBlumenkinder and Jacqueline of Poppelien.  

The dolls are about 12cm tall and made entirely from natural materials with no glue used.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Strawberry themed baby gifts

Mini making has been put on hold for a few more weeks as real life got/gets in the way, so apologies for any lack of progress.  I am leaving my job at the end of June which is going to make an enormous difference to my quality of life.  Finally after over four years of legal battles, followed by a very demanding job,  I am going to have some real time to slow down and start leading a Gentle Life.

In the meantime I have been busy making a couple of little ‘strawberry themed’  baby presents to mark the arrival of the new granddaughter of one of my friends.  The little bear is a modification of a super free pattern by the very talented Jenny Harris who you can find at Allsorts – the dress is reversible and will be easy for future little fingers to take on and off. 

The little booties are loosely based on a vintage pattern which I found on the internet in Dutch!  Off on holidays to France next week and then hopefully back to resume work on my many mini projects.  

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Finally work has resumed....

At long last Ivy Lodge is awakening from its winter slumber….and work on the inside has finally resumed. I have started on the little kitchen.  Progress is slow partly because I am waiting for some equipment and supplies to arrive from the States, and partly because my mini-time is limited.  But here is a preview.

When this kitchen is fitted into Ivy Lodge itself there will be a flickering log fire inside the bottom part of the cast iron stove.  And this fire will need logs....

This beautiful brush and shovel are by Matthias Matthes - but roughed up a good bit by me!!  I wove the little log basket myself and the logs are from my garden.  The fire underneath the stove heats both a small oven and also a hob.

The hob is based on the classic Aga design with padded lift-up lid.  I bought the beautiful cast iron kettle at the Kensington Dollshouse Festival last year.  I wanted to have a jug holding some wooden spoons beside the hob but couldn't find anything suitable so decided to make them myself.

I had the greatest fun making these wooden spoons and stirers.  A whole afternoon was spent with my trusty Dremel, mini scoll saw and lollipop sticks!  I then got carried away and also made a little knife with the blade coming from a bit of flattened night-light holder.

This crate of garden vegetables is by Sarah Maloney.  I think it will probably end up tucked into the bottom shelf of the kitchen unit ready to be made into fairy vegetable soup.

This looks so bare at the moment and unfinished.  But hopefully once my supplies arrive I will be able to make progress.  I also need to explain that it is very deliberate that there is only one tap.  The water supply for Ivy Lodge comes directly from a nearby stream.  If hot water is needed, it has to be boiled in the kettle!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ivy Lodge

At long last I can post photos of my latest project - Ivy Lodge.  

It is a fairy tree stump house in 1:12 scale but fits into an a life size ivy covered 'tree trunk'.

I got a lot of inspiration from Rik Pierce, especially for the tiles on the roof and chimney stones, but the structure is very much my own creation and because of this took a long time to design and build.

The reason I built this was very personal.  As a child I loved fairy stories and had one particular book full of wonderfully romantic illustrations of fairyland, including magical toadstool and fairy houses.  In fairyland the evil people were easy to spot - they were either wicked witches or nasty goblins.  Sadly I have had too many experiences in my adult life of cruel people who look - not like big bad wolves - but like everyone else.  This fairy house is a form of therapy for me to rid my life of these toxic creatures.

So although it was designed and built for a little fairy called Celandine, it is really built for me to escape to!!

Now it is finished it looks like a simple structure, but it was a real challenge to build.  It was nearly dumped on two occasions when things just got too difficult but I am glad I kept going. It was built from the inside out.  Once the wooden internal walls and roof were finished the whole tree trunk shape was formed using papier mâché.  I wanted the internal walls to be mainly straight so that furniture would 'sit' well, but also wanted it to echo the external tree trunk shape.  It was also imperative that the roof have a curved pitch - that was a particularly difficult thing to build.  I also wanted to have the inside easy to view, so had to incorporate a front opening wall.  Because of the curved roof, this was not easy, but it works well now and is held closed by small magnets.  Let me show you around....

This is the front door with steps going to to it.  The little lamp is battery operated and can be easily taken in and out of position as it is fixed with a magnet.  Under the light is a string a little bells which visitors ring when they arrive.  The door and windows are all handmade and slightly quirky as a result.

On the steps are little 'pots' of flowers and toadstools.  The pots are made from real acorn cups.
To view the inside of the house you open the front wall.....

There are two main rooms connected by a semi-cantilevered staircase.  This was time consuming and took about two weeks to finish.  Although it is not possible to see from the front, there is another little door tucked away under the stairs which leads to an underground cellar.  

The inside is completely unfinished at the moment, except for a bookcase sunk into one of the walls downstairs,

and another alcove where the kitchen will be.  In the kitchen there will be a little flickering fire.

The whole fairy house is on a turntable so it can be viewed from all sides.  This meant that I could not have any electrics that required external cables as they would get tangled up. Instead I chose an LED battery operated circuit from Evans Designs in the US.  They make lights for railway diaramas as well as miniatures.  They are very very helpful when it comes to giving advice.  I have two different wiring circuits which will currently gives me 3 different lighting options.  I made the light fittings myself from buttons, bead caps, rubber tubing stripped from electrical wire and Evan's little LED bulbs.

Again, these are slightly quirky being handmade!  The electrics are turned on by little button switches hidden under the outside log 'shed'.  

This is a flap that lifts up for turning the lights on and off and replacing the coin batteries when they run out.  The bulbs themselves last for something like 10,000 hours!

I got help with the tiling technique from the talented Janice from onbeingaminimum.  
They took a long time and are made from Creative Paperclay which Rik Pierce uses a lot. I also used Creative Paperclay for the stones on the chimney.  The chimney will be linked to the fire in the kitchen stove.

There are four main windows in the house and another tiny one for the attic.

I only finished painting the roof tiles today, I will probably add some dried moss in places soon.  Under the main windows are some window boxes with tiny woodland flowers.

Here is a view from inside looking out....

The outside of the fairy house is more or less completed and now I have the fun of starting work on the inside.  I much prefer this part!!  

I hope you have enjoyed the mini-tour and look forward to welcoming you back to see the progress inside.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mini Tissue Box Tutorial

I just love these sort of quick projects that cost nothing!! 

These little square tiles are found on many clothing items to show size.  They make perfect 1:12 tissue boxes. 

Lightly sand all over, fill in the criss-cross bit with some plaster filler or air dried clay.  Allow to dry,  sand again then paint and/or cover with some printed paper, et voila…..

Sunday, October 13, 2013

One week to go.....

At long long last the end is in sight.  I estimate the structure of my little fairy house will be completed by this time next week. I have announced that, I will have to meet the deadline!!  I can't wait to start the real fun which will be working on the inside....

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ivy Lodge is inching along....

My latest project is called Ivy Lodge and it is a tree stump fairy house.  It is slowly slowly coming near to completion but here is a taste of what is to come. 

The next couple of weeks is going to be all about making roof tiles and completing the chimney.....then once this is done, the little fairy can move in.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fairy Houses

We have enjoyed some glorious sunny days in Ireland over the last couple of weeks.  It would have been a shame not to get out and enjoy them.  I visited a garden show in Dublin with a friend and we came across these sweet little fairy houses.  
 On another day out I came across this quiry (although much larger) house. 
I love fairy houses and the whole idea of woodlands full of hidden treasures.  This is the archway into our own little secret woodland at the end of our garden. 
All of this is in keeping with my latest project!   However, construction has been delayed because it was just too sunny and warm to stay inside and work on minis.