Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dollshouse Doll with her Doll

This little dollshouse doll's doll came dressed in a pink cotton nightie thing, cut in one piece and sewn only at the side seams and a scrap of nylon lace for a hat.  The doll measures 1 1/8 inches long or approximately 27mm long.  It really consists of a head and two hands attached to wires which are then covered in foam rubber and I wanted her to look a bit better than how she came in the packet. So I crocheted this outfit consisting of a pair of leggings to cover the wire wrapped in foam which has yellowed with age, a dress with a frill of the silk thread and a bonnet to match.  Now she looks more like a doll that would have been a birthday or Christmas present for the little girl of the house.  Mind you, I don't think I would do this again either as I kept losing my focus and having to blink and re-focus my eyes all the time. Here is a photo of Louise. I thought I would call the three children who live in my dollshouse by my grandchildrens' middle names so they will be Louise, Michael and baby June.

Louise is about to be re-vamped as well.  I want my dolls house children in play clothes, not this commercially made satin monstrosity which is only suitable for visiting Great-Grandma or going to a party.


STUFF that was LOST is now FOUND

When I started actually decorating the first of my room boxes I thought that I had all of my dollshouse furniture and accessories together including stuff from 25 years ago.  However once I started on the second box which is the bedroom I remember that "once upon a time" I had an unmade Chrysnbon dressing table set which I no longer had. Gradually I began to remember things like four wooden soldiers, two fires in grates to go in fireplaces that glowed when plugged in, a dress-makers dummy and sewing tools and a pile of pleated ribbons for making dolls' clothes...........all gone.  It was heart-breaking and I felt quite depressed for days while I turned the house and the studio upside-down looking for where I may have put them.  My husband reckoned that it would be a Red Letter Day if I ever found them again.

Well, yesterday was my Red Letter Day when I got down a large plastic container of knitting wool from the top shelf in the back bedroom to get some baby wool to crochet the dollshouse Baby an outfit.  Right at the back of the container and hidden under and behind the wool was a plastic lunch box containing ALL THIS STUFF - some of which I swear I have never seen before because it was so long ago. I put it all out on a shelf in the doll cabinet because it was just too much to take in at first, I was a kid on Christmas Day. Now the dressing table set that I bought from UK on eBay will arrive just when I have found my original one........better two sets than none though.  That complete porcelain dinner service for four plus all those extra bits was brand new as far as I was concerned but I must have bought it when we were in England a few years ago - and that cutlery set for eight which is missing a knife and a fork I swear I have never seen before. I must have - I'm the one who packed it in the lunch box many years ago. Talk about senior moment - very scary!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dolls house Bedroom

Here is a photo of my dollshouse bedroom. Sometimes I need to photograph a room box in order to see what is still needed to complete it.  In this case, the bedroom is nearly finished but still needs a frieze around the top of the wall just under the ceiling, two light fittings flush with the ceiling on either side of the room in front of the bed and a lazy cat lying on the rug on the blanket box.  The cat has been ordered for a couple of weeks now from USA so he is organised but I have no idea where to get a suitable frieze from - I'll have to check all the dolls house miniature suppliers for that one and the ceiling lights can be bought from any number of places.  Here is the room at the moment, please leave a comment if you have any more suggestions of what else I can do with it.

ps. I got the frieze I wanted on eBay......from a seller called Miniature Corner. They are having a clearance sale of friezes so I bought four different ones - just in case - better to be armed than sorry, hey? £1.99 each for five strips which should be ample. The one I chose for this room is this one.

The room looks rather light and bare without a frieze around the top just above the floral frame with the tiniest version of "The Lord is my Shepherd" that I reduced and printed along with the Daniel Sherrin "English Garden Cottage" picture above the bedhead.

This is the left-hand side of the room showing two framed Rose prints and the magnificent "Vicki Collection" dressing table with crystal perfume bottles, vases and a photograph. On the box that it came in,  the dressing table was described as a sideboard but I thought it looked more like a gorgeous dressing table so it is in my bedroom.  I will worry about the sideboard when I get to making my Dining-room box. Sadly the company that supplied "Vicki Collection" furniture is no longer in business. I have ordered and paid for the mirror, brush and comb setting from UK but as usual, they are taking forever to arrive. I think there is something going on with the postal service at the moment because things which used to arrive in about ten days are now taking up to a month! I made the ivory lacy crochet rug while watching television last week and the petite point rug on 25 holes per inch canvas was finished this morning.  I have to admit that I thought I would never get to the end of it.

This is the right-hand side of the bedroom. It has a wardrobe, mirror stand with a cardboard hat-box on the drawer and a corner unit with a candle and one of "those" things for under the bed.  In Australia we always referred to one as a "potty" but my mother-in-law in England calls it a "gozunder" because it "goes under" the bed.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dolls House Size Crazy quilt

Today I finally finished the 1:12 scale crazy quilt that I have been working on for the last two or three weeks.  The whole quilt measure 8 1/4 inches x 7 inches or 21cm x 17.5cm and there must be at least two hundred tiny patches, I haven't counted them all.  Each one is embroidered around all sides just like in a real crazy quilt and the tiny black edging finishes it all off.  The edging was one that I bought in England when we were there two years ago but it was sky blue, so taking up my husband's suggestion, I dyed it black and then slip-stitched it around the edges of the lined quilt once it was dry. I am posting this to both my crazy quilting blog and my doll's house miniature blog because it fits them both.  The straight edge is the top while the curved bottom edge is designed to go down the end and sides of a four-poster bed.
I used the stitch and flip method of piecing the tiny patches by hand, using  a  3 mm or 1/8 inch seam and tiny running stitches.
This is a close-up of the bottom right hand corner showing some of the decorative motifs such as a butterfly, Rose spray and fan.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Photos in a Frame

This was tricky. I bought the tiny silver photo frame charm attached to a bracelet at the local charity shop. The frame when closed measures 15mm x 11mm so the photos needed to be really small. I opened a word document and copied several family tree photos onto it then saved it. I then copied and pasted it into My Pictures as a JPEG file. When I printed it out as a 4"x6" glossy photo, the photos were small enough to use. I chose Great-Aunt Laura from my Dad's side and Great-Uncle Albert from my Mum's side and trimmed them to fit the frames. I used family photos because I didn't want to infringe on anyone's copyright. I have to admit that they will look great on a 1:12 scale dressing table or sideboard.  The larger photos can go into bigger frames later........maybe.......

These photos are all printed on a single 6"x4" glossy photo sheet. They are pretty much full-size.
This photo frame measures just under 3/4 inch long by 1/2 inch wide when closed.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

7 inch Pedigree Delite Dolls

In the 1950s my sister and I were given one of these little Pedigree Delite dolls each by our Mum.  My sister's doll had dark hair and was called Gwenny and mine had blond hair and was called Joanie.  Both were named after girls that we knew. It wasn't until I started collecting these dolls a few years ago that I found out that they came in various themes such as Nursery Rhyme characters, Story Book characters and dolls representing different countries.  Ours came naked in their original boxes and I remember making little dresses for them to wear.

From left to right: a Japanese doll, Little Bo-peep complete with crook, Robin Hood, a couple of African dolls, a pirate and a school boy.

Starting with the same school boy, from left to right: School girl, nurse, Scottish boy, little girl in a blue felt dress (I might give her a red felt hood and cape later and call her Red Riding Hood), a pair of African dolls which need clothes, a English bobby, a dark haired girl waiting for a replacement Irish Colleen dress (I have kept the tatty original one for a pattern) and another pirate.  I have another Scottish boy doll who is Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son.
The English bobby outfit is not on the original doll which became infected with the dreaded "Pedigree cancer" so I destroyed it and put the clothes which were in excellent condition onto a naked doll. His shoes still need to be painted black. In the cupboard I still have two naked blond haired girls, two naked dark haired girls, a naked boy and another African doll with no arms.
Because these dolls are for my own pleasure and not for an investment I am not too worried if the outfits are not genuine or are missing parts.  For instance, my two pirates are similar but one has his sword and is missing his original bandana while the other one has a red bandana with white spots on his head and is minus a sword. One Bo-peep is missing her crook and the chances of me getting another one is pretty remote while the chances of finding two dark African arms is nil.......

Kitchen Room Box Finished

Today I put the finishing touches to my first room box, the Kitchen.  Complete with the cook busy making a cake and the family dog warming himself by the stove. However, I still have plenty of shelves that still need filling, room left on the Welsh dresser for more blue and white china and hooks that need things to hang on them.  Later on I am planning to make a Utility room which will include a larder so all the food stuff on the pine shelves behind the cook will be moved into that room and that will give me even more room for ceramic pie dishes and casserole dishes. Each of the tiny glass jars were emptied of their "fake" contents and were refilled with actual powdered herbs and spices. I think that the colours are more authentic now.

The next view is the left hand side of the room box showing the stove and the wall shelves which were made from scraps of wood and beading.  Later as I get more pots and pans I will fill the wider bottom shelf and the narrower top shelf is purely for a growing jelly mould collection. My husband is concerned that the dog doesn't have a bowl, so I guess that is next.
The right hand side view shows the hanging rack above the sink and also a Welsh dresser which will hold a collection of blue and white china once I have managed to get hold of more pieces.  Hopefully when this room is completely finished every drawer and cupboard will be full of tea-towels, cutlery, dish cloths and small kitchen utensils.
and finally, here the kitchen room box in my own kitchen with my husband in the background to show the size of the room.

Dolls House Cupboard

This is the cupboard which we are going to turn into the doll's house, room by room. It is about six feet high with four decent sized shelves and two smaller ones at top and bottom. I want to have eight rooms with a stair-case hallway in between each pair on each shelf and I'll use the top and bottom shelves for storage and attics with smaller Maid's and Nanny's bedrooms.


Pedlar Dolls

Apart from Crazy Quilting, my other love is making Pedlar Dolls who sell a variety of miniature vintage wares, my Doll's House Cupboard and collecting Pedigree Delite dolls like the ones my sister and I had as children. My very patient husband cut's out room boxes for me to decorate and furnish, mainly because we don't want to ruin a perfectly good display cupboard by gluing wallpaper etc to the shelves. Both the pedlar dolls and the doll's house projects are in their infancy at the moment but I shall be blogging their progress for others to share.
What started my love of Pedlar or Peddler dolls was this one which I saw in the Victorian and Albert Museum of Childhood in London during a holiday in 1995. I was fascinated by her miniature wares which I believe were made in England even though the doll is German.
Years before I had bought two wrecked little dolls at a department store clear-out which stood on musical stands. One had dark hair and played "I Dream of Jeanie" while the other one was blond and played "Hello Dolly". I dressed the dark haired one as a pedlar with a tray of wares and sold her for the princely some of $65 at a handicraft fare to a doll collector which back then was quite a lot of money I guess. The other poor little love is still waiting to be salvaged and prettied up. 
The next doll to be dressed as a Pedlar is a porcelain one that I made in a class about ten years ago. I wanted a large Parian looking doll but the lady who ran the class said "No, that mould is Mother Christmas and has to be made in flesh coloured clay...". I made the doll but never went back to the class because I felt that I wasn't being listened to or understood. However, Mother Christmas is about to become my large pedlar doll and her wares will be more detailed. I was never happy with her body either even though it was made to the pattern provided.....surely those skinny legs don't go with those large, rounded hips?? It won't matter once they are covered with long drawers and a couple of petticoats.
In September, my husband and I went to Thailand for my daughter's wedding. We spent several days there, mostly in the air-conditioned apartment which we rented. I took some felt and embroidery threads and produced these needle-cases and matching pincushions plus some tiny Lavender bags which I filled with real dried Lavender after I had returned home. The needlecases and pincushions are one inch wide while the Lavender bags are one inch deep and 2/3 inch wide.