Category Archives: Family living

A doll with a mood of her own


Scene hijacked by the 40th doll

but that’s OK

At the last count there were 39 dolls in various scenes around and about Hogepotche Hall and I fancied rounding it up if it could be done without making it look too forced.

I returned to the dairy back doorway.  It has struck me from the beginning of this room that it was inviting something to be happening there but I couldn’t work out what.  So that’s where I’ve sat the last doll, a less than 3″ little girl, sitting playing with her doll and a hunk of bread.

theinfill dolls house blog Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - a Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - dairy with child on doorstep


Playing truant



theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house blog - the infill dolls house blog – owl in the schoolroom beams

Like a kid sulking over not having what it wants, I didn’t work on the middle attic today. The problem with Ms Moody here was I fancied an owl in the schoolroom sitting in the rafters (left-hand front attic) a little like Merlin’s Archimedes (“Once and Future King”).

(Three separate links there, sorry 😉 )

Saturday afternoon playing around

The ones I found online and really fancied were beyond my pocket so, instead of putting it out of my head I played hooky today and tried to make my own.

I studied as many pictures as I could find and printed out a few and then took photos of what I was up to until I got so involved in visualising what I was trying to make (and my fingers were sticky as well).  By then I was so carried away so there’s a gap in the photos with only the finished article to see.


Well, apart from busting the rafter set up, and with the luck and ignorance of the beginner bird builder, it’s better than I thought it might be, but I am a little peeved that I didn’t set the wing feathers further back.  The beam I can fix.

Missing info on construction

By the way, the eyes are a couple of bright beads with a sewing pin inserted to hold them in place and the head of the pin felt-tipped black.  (The tail of the pin was cut off as it emerged from the back of the poor owl’s head.)  The min beads and the natural feathers were bought from one of the doll’s house haberdashery websites.

Juggling the drying times


Four new strangers

Firstly hilarity and celebration and great relief all round as the internet is back to as fast as it gets round here.

Mix and match; a pinch of this a blob of that

On the workbench front

There are so many things needing drying time at the moment, most surfaces and shelf spaces are filled with balancing bits and bobs.  Starting another job which might fit in with that schedule within the limited working space I’d left myself just seemed fitting.

Heads – I’m back to heads

because it doesn’t take up much room for working or drying.

I’ve lost what little flow I had found working on the first bunch of figures and therefore it’s very much like starting from scratch again trying to build some technique and physical memory.

(click on an image to access the gallery and read the longer captions as well as getting to the link – just down to the right of gallery – for full size image)

And in other ‘news’ …

theinfill dolls house blog - Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean 1:12 dolls house – Porch working on the other side - building up the outside facade

New window for corridor

Slotted in the spaces between all the old and new drying times, here’s the progress on the window in the corridor.

Well, what do you know?  It turned out that a standard French window in 1:12 was a suitable height and width for the opening.  Hacked about (indeed butchered) it’s totally taken apart and reassembled into a well know phrase or saying.  It has produced a couple of panels (turned upside down) to fit in a little with the large sitting room next to it.  The panels produce an area for adding  similar trim whilst leaving a glazing area of a suitable size above.  The top halves of the original opening doors and bits of the outer frame not needed on the journey have been stashed away for rainy day use.

Beginning to look as though it might work and fit in.  It still needs the wall building up, further trim and a slider adding, not to mention some squaring off of the whole opening.  It’s just the handy size of job that’s needed whilst everybody else settles down and dries out.


Owning up – a review of story so far


(title from post first appearing 18 July 2012)

Late spring clean

I usually do a rough sweep through the blog entries once a year but haven’t made time so far in 2015.  Whilst up to my shirt cuffs in tiles and glue I’ve been wondering how I got into this mess in the first place, other than being so cackhanded in the way I go about everything.

The first blog entry still extant is dated 26/7/2011, though I may have deleted earlier items in one of my previous spring cleans. I remember how I got into that particular bit of the build, but why did I continue?

Well, it was one way of filling in time, it was one way of doing the old Zen and the art of centring in on a subject other than letting the mind wander (in my case an inability to get on top of debilitating digestive probs) and I’ve always liked the idea of handicrafts.

I do remember writing an entry about working under the burden of clutz-dom – I’m left handed for writing but can’t make up my brain which hand to use for other jobs.  I’m also very heavy-handed and will stand in the paint tray if it’s available for the standing in. Being short, I can knock over the nearest glue jar on the work surface, catching it with the ever flying elbow. At least once a week.

So whilst twirling the duster through the blog entries this year, I looked up that blog entry to see if the points I tried to make then are still valid now. I’m afraid they are. I’m still a clutz, I still overwork the materials making them dingy and bruised and I’m still sticky up to my shirt cuffs.

That blog entry

It’ll never be svelte and clean of line

first appearing 18 July 2012

Owning up – a review of story so fartheinfill - Great Hall Medieval to Jacobean - addition of a window

I’ve been thinking about what I do with the miniature items when they are entrusted to me after the exchange of a suitable amount of dosh.

  1. Many things purchased possibly don’t get used in the manner imagined by the seller, or look quite as they were intended, and yes, this does include finished items dismantled
  2. I over handle and model items like someone who plays with their food
  3. Results are therefore, always chunky and slightly grubby
  4. Although an inability to be precise can be lowering, I’m pretty much up beat about the whole thing.
  5. Balancing mind’s eye design with hand ability and skill is great fun

Am probably better at looking at something and turning it into something else than making from scratch, though am not sure what an item entirely disassembled and reassembled into something a little different should be called.  (Let’s keep it polite.)

The growth of a Medieval to Jacobean dolls house

– sad examples of wilful vandalism

theinfill - Jacobean dining room 1/12th scale

Lovely inlaid small box lid with carved animal scene cruelly detached and used as back to sideboard with piece of newel post to help hold in place and leave gap for wiring.

theinfill - beginnings of a Tudor to Jacobean kitchen space

Kitchen table – more Georgian pine than anything – carved, hacked about and dirtied. Dresser with hen section removed and new bottom half built from scraps and lolly sticks, with hen part separate under stairs.

It started with 8 second hand, ex-display, standard sized room boxes from eBay, a bad sketch by me, a load of photos from the web and a great deal of reading.

The room boxes were mostly the same dimensions so some hacking and extending in both length and height as well as wall and/or ceiling removal was necessary.  The 8 have become on the ground floor

  • entrance hall and stairs rising (single storey) thro to the back of the 1st part of the Great Hall (16” long and double storey height)
  • a dining room
  • the first part of the kitchen quarters and the sleeping room directly above

On the next level there’s:

  • the sitting room/solar
  • the corridor outside it with stairs rising to a floor above (yet to be added)
  • a section closed off for a lighting panel, cable storage and other paraphernalia
  • a mini chapel and the beginnings of a bedroom which may yet be extended a little
  • and there are still 2.5 pieces of the boxes left to use.

theinfill - Medieval to Jacobean dolls house - hall stairs

Stairs heavily sanded to look worn with use

theinfill - Medieval to Jacobean dolls house - height of Great Hall

First part of Great Hall

theinfill - Medieval to Jacobean dolls house - family dining room

Private dining space

theinfill - Medieval to Jacobean dolls house - kitchen womens qrtrs

More work needed above kitchen

The second part of the Great Hall with the meeting room above is the only part entirely built from raw materials so far.

theinfill - Medieval to Jacobean dolls house - 2nd part of Great Hall

New build, left side view

theinfill - Medieval to Jacobean dolls house - 2nd part of Great Hall
and right

theinfill - Medieval to Jacobean dolls house - Great Hall ceiling

Ceiling built out of individual frets – amdcrafts who at present does Party Post Boxes

theinfill - Medieval to Jacobean dolls house - Grt Hall door

More amd frets used here

theinfill - Medeival to Jacobean dolls house - spiral stair cover

More frets, floor boarding, kebab sticks tiles and a pigeon wrapped around what were grey, now sandstone spiral stairs

Most sessions work well with a general feeling of heading off in roughly the right direction for me with very few things ending in the scrap waiting to be recycled. Finished items such as glassware, food items and pewter ware etc (as seen on kitchen and dining room table) tend to be mostly left in peace, with possibly here and there a little bit of dirt added, but on the whole they are given their due respect.

However, destruction as a form of creation is extremely enjoyable and stimulating, so I can’t promise to give it up all at once, and it has been very useful to bring together some of the aspects of the house so far in order to gain a better perspective on how things are a-building.  Meanwhile, on with the search for a Holbein rug!

— ~ —


Since these photos were taken and the notes made the dining room has been stripped down and redecorated and the solar/sitting room is totally remodelled and opened up and a further sitting room for the Guild Master’s wife has been added.  The chapel is now a secret one at the back of the Master’s office and, although I’ve more or less run out of second hand room boxes to destroy, there’s a new floor level above completed with the ‘T’ shaped Long Gallery 1 and Long gallery second half, the Arnolfini bedroom, the girls’ bedroom and now the removable front porch set of rooms along with dividing an original second hand room box into three.  I’ve yet to return to the kitchen end of things but there’s a whole set of storerooms to be sorted out there and somewhere for the male live-in help to doss down too.  And then of course there’s the cursed attic and large roof to attend to.  More tiles!

2015 spring clean conclusions

I guess it must be a case of I’ve started so I’ll finish.  Though I must admit that now, going on five years in, I’m addicted to miniaturing almost as a way of life.

Besides what else is a person to do with all the ideas that continually fly around their head other than try to construct them into something – or other?