Said I wouldn’t


but I have

There were to be no human figures in this house, just animals and toys.  Then one day at home we had a conversation that wandered down memory lane and ended up for some reason talking about floral wrap-around aprons and head scarves and I just could not resist the temptation.  Somewhere along the line, when I come to do the fences and what passes for a garden, I’ve taken a fancy to having a go at a woman standing at the side fence looking over – possibly chatting, possibly just being nosey.  We’ll see.

In the meantime, having let figures creep into my mind, I’ve plumped for one in the sitting room, sharing afternoon tea with the dog on the sofa.  I’ve used a kit doll (head and upper chest, legs and arms) from World of My Own.  I like the ones with heads on elastic so that you can get a little movement.  I think she’s the same model as in The Gossips in Hogepotche Hall.

Shirtwaister, hat, clutch handbag
and Great Aunt Agatha

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She is still awaiting sleeves and skirt and even a brooch, but, to save the embarrassment, I’ve draped a piece of cloth over her pink satin bloomers. She’s also in need of a hair trim but that will keep until she is fully dressed.

About making this dress:  well, put it this way, I can’t see me having a go again at this style of clothing anytime in the near future.  Not just the usual fiddling around disentangling arms, legs and head from the sewing thread, that’s par for the course, but the collar was such a pain!  I’ve used a close woven shirt material which is fine until you get across the weave when it runs away at the first whiff of a needle.  Anyway, the bodice, hair and hat are on, with the three-quarter sleeves, skirt and belt plus the handbag still to come.  Then she can have her cup of tea in peace.  Poor woman may have to wait a little, sitting there in her underwear and top, as am tied up a little over the rest of the week.

Things beginning to arrive for the sitting room

A battery-powered standard lamp which came with a very, very white shade and bulb and a gold stem.

That cup of tea

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This I’ve had for a wee while. The cup of tea being poured and cake to come. Must get a milk jug and knife sorted out.

Fire-irons and coal bucket

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Fire-irons in the hearth and coal bucket to the side on the right – must put some coal in it. Magic cup of tea all set out and the standard lamp needs pushing back into the corner again along the chair and table too


15 responses »

  1. Many thanks yet again for your kind response ~ I knew you would be able to relate to at least part or or aspects of what often occurs emotionally as well as physically when we are suddenly made to radically change our lives and what we are able to do , with so many new limitations ~ it is a up hill struggle I know or on going with ups and downs but you intuitively did the best thing really by choosing what you have to do on so many levels. Anyway, you are an inspiration and am grateful that I stumbled across your blog a year ago. I will let you know how I get on and in the meanwhile will be enjoying watching what ideas you are working on and your own journey with these wonderful little worlds you are creating.

  2. No, no, not at all re: coming across as if you were dismissing me ~ I did not feel that at all. I am a terrible procrastinator and a harsh critic of my own artistic endeavours although i know in the past I have achieved some things I believe , certainly others have anyway, both that met my standards for myself and pleased others. I always feel the urge and need really to create something everyday and always loved miniature things and tended to paint and draw on a small scale as well~ And you are absolutely right in this instance ~ I have only myself to please and narrate my own story and way and will learn only by doing and trial and error~ so why not take the plunge ~ nothing to lose at all an possibly a lot of satisfaction. I am in a way now ,like you were / are~ only I fractured my back two years ago and still not fully recovered (not sure if I ever will be really) but it has given me a lot of time to think and also to fret and be full of anxiety and depression over many things ~ Time is passing of course and would really like to immerse myself again in something ongoing that I love that I am able to do~ since I always loved telling , listening to and reading stories , creating a miniature world seems a perfect medium to express all those stories / memories ect I would like to. ~ I always tended to create little vignettes around my house when decorating , just naturally, so this will be just an extension of that I think. I really do appreciate you taking time to reply so thoughtfully and at length. Many thanks gain. Will let you know how I am getting on!

    • Oh boy so sorry to hear about your back. So lowering both pain-wise and the effects it has on your life patterns. Am afraid I try to make myself walk through (so to speak) my depression phases and with luck do find that thinking through solving problems of creating things not only pass the time but also help me ride the waves.
      All good luck to you and yes please do let me know how it goes 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for all your encouragement and yes of course! I must just take the leap , otherwise all those dreams will never manifest or have a chance to, if I only dream about them. I will continue of course, to read your blog both the past and present, for inspiration and maybe glean some helpful hints and tips along the way. I so enjoy every post and feel like I am actually being invited in to all these atmospheric, delightful places~ I love this latest one with dear Aunt Agatha , her little dog and sharing tea together~ makes me long to shrink to their size and linger there awhile. Many thanks again. All the best and happy creating.

    • I do so hope that any energy of encouragement I sent down the line didn’t come over as though I was trying to give you the brush off. It’s just that I remember so clearly how much umph I had to put into starting off myself.
      Mostly I did it as a distraction from ill health (could barely stand up straight due to a debilitating ongoing digestive problem). It was either put my frustration into something distracting and creative, thereby living in my mind or just flop down in a messy heap 😉 I suppose it was also a form of exercise too, all that scraping, attempts at sawing and general standing around.
      I had no worry of failure or personal disappointment as I was, and am, doing it for me as it were. I’m afraid the mini constructions have become a bit of a way of life. I do appreciate that with your knowledge and skills you may put more pressure on yourself but, well, if it goes off-piste that can be interesting too and, if it still doesn’t lead anywhere then, after all, it’s a mini thing in the scale of things 🙂
      I do so hope you will share your adventures and am so looking forward to possibly ‘hearing’ from you about where they take you.
      Wishing you all the very best

  4. Hello again! Thank you so much for this detailed and very interesting history of how you came to get involved with miniatures and why ` I too am especially fond of both the medieval and Jacobean periods so would love to do something with either or both. I guess I should just start and get stuck in and teach myself as I go ~ at least I do have some artistic skills to begin with but so much I don’t know re; building and some other things ~ but your posts are so inspirational and make me want o start what i have wanted to do for years~ I have planned a monk’s cell with chapel in a simple sort of single structure like a tower which I have sketched out ideas for.. And no, you did not explain more than needed at all! In fact would love to be able just to simply sit down over a cup of tea or two and ask you all manner of things ~ but will have to settle for going back through your blog and reading and absorbing . Thank you so much for all your generous info and ideas .

    • Great to hear from you.

      The monk’s cell and chapel sounds very interesting. Why not just get your best gym shoes on and take the leap, how hard can a stumble be when you’re the maker and critic of your own work? It’s all learning and developing and that has to be to the good 🙂

      I’m working up an idea for my next fiddle around but trying to control myself from doing more than thinking and planning until the current house is much nearer completion 😉

  5. Do you have a particular and favourite place from which you order accessories for your houses? or do you try and make most of them? Would love to know some of your sources for small items like the teapot and cake ect. Love all your amazing work.

    • Hi Val. I just shop around (online as live out in the wilds). The teapot came up on eBay I think but will check. I make what I can depending on how gung-ho am feeling at the time so it’s a bit of a mix and match. I don’t usually make furniture but have done some but mostly hacked others about to make what I want. This 3-pce suite is homemade.

      • Hello, Thank you so much for getting back to me in response to my question~ I need to go back to the early entries of your blog, as I came upon it much later than most have probably~ I so love everything I have seen you do and many of your projects are exactly the sort of things I have dreamed of doing myself but never gotten round to and don’t know some of the techniques for making many aspects of miniature houses / buildings. I am however creative and know how to draw , paint and sculpt ~ are you self taught? Did you ever read any books on making miniatures before you embarked on your first project How long have you been creating these magical atmospheric houses / rooms etc? ~ Do you also make your own doll figures? I see I have inundated you with questions and have several more to ask, but will leave it here for now so you don’t feel you have to write a book’s worth to reply! Have you ever considered making a video or two to show bits of how you do things ?

        • Self-taught? Indeed mostly a trial and error kind of body, but brought up in the 50s when you had instruction at home and in school re sewing, knitting etc. My drawing is more like carving and ditto my painting while my sculpting is better in my mind’s eye than in result I can tell you 🙂 Can’t cut wood very successfully though have been trying for the last 7 years or so. Any sheets of wood or bulky item that needs a good, clean cutting job I hand over to my partner I’m afraid, though some DIY stores here (UK) will cut items to your instruction I believe. I just enjoy working out work-arounds and ways of getting a result.
          Research and started:
          Not before I started when I newly retired and in bad health 7 yrs ago. Needed both mental and fairly physical distraction. Like miniatures and was lucky in finding a bundle of ex-display room boxes which destroyed and played jigsaw patterns with until I could see the shape of a ground plan I thought interesting. Started with medieval to Jacobean as a period I liked and knew a little about over quite a wide field and could v easily research online.
          Since have used books, mags and anything that stayed still long enough for me to get ideas and some inkling of methods. I’m not v good at following written instructions any longer so have to go back and forth if I really need detailed wording eg when making the 3-piece suite for the sitting room. Otherwise I’ve got to work it out by image and general trial and error. I’m afraid. I know nothing much about dolls houses so joined the Dolls House Past and Present site and go through the archives there on a regular basis and follow the Forum discussions. The site deals mainly with the Past but members are really kind helpful there and there’s lots of interesting and v useful info.
          If you click on the top menu link Populating Projects (and if you’ve got the time to scroll back … and back) you’ll find a bit of a mixed bunch of figures. Most are made from kits that I shape to my needs’ some are ready built and I tend to cruelly hack them and break them to my needs (such as the roofer sitting astride Hogepotche Hall) and some (about a dozen or so) are my attempts to build from Creative Paperclay and similar but they are extreme looking characters mostly (eg the figures out at the front of Hogepotche Hall – the beggars and washer-women). I’ve just got hold of some of the softer Paperclay which may give a smoother, finer appearance though I suspect the roughness of the ones I’ve made is more due to my handling so this more mouldable clay may not solve that problem. Figure making I looked at carefully online and printed out various techniques such as hands, feet etc and bought a book or two but found some of them too difficult.
          More info than you needed? I do apologies. Oh, and there’s no way I’d make a video as I’ve no idea what I’m doing at the best of times 🙂

  6. Can’t make a house a home unless somebody lives there! Anyway, who would hand the dog a slice of cake and saucer of tea, but GA Agatha? She’s a lady from the past and no mistake! I love her.

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