ON A ROLL INTO 2023!
So my New Year’s resolution to blog at least once a month has already come undone! – however thats because I have been so busy making some fab new stock ….
I have expanded my kitchen range in the website shop from Green and Cream lines to now include the ‘RUSTIC’ range. The pieces are all walnut wood coloured with black iron detailing and stringing, with blue and white Delft style tiles. My favourite piece so far is this epic sink with tiled tops and splashback with shelves above for china. The pieces sold out at Miniatura, but more will be added to the website shop soon. get in touch if you’d like to be one of the first to know when more are available.
I think this potting bench runs a close second to my favourite new piece! I am a keen gardener (although I never have the time!) so it was a true joy to make this, and again I will be making more as I am expanding my range of workbenches from the garage, and carpenters versions to include this potting one. There will be more about this posted soon on the 3D printing blog as all the pots, seed trays, crates and watering cans are my own 3d prints.
There is just so much to write about that its probably easier to let the pictures do the talking! I have expanded my lighting range with cherub columns to match both the black and gold and the Meissen style torcheres and chandeliers, added a new chess table to the stock in black with a game in progress (plus used ashtray!) and will be doing another bakery truck with my own made crates and baskets of pies and breads. Ive also been making new urns and ornaments for the dining rooms and buffets….the list goes on!
Best crack on then! its almost April and then another blog will be due – fingers crossed I get my act together and get one out!
LAST OF 2022!
With the last show of 2022 over, and a massive update of the JUST FINISHED page completed, I have been thinking about the last few months….
A busy York show quickly followed in November, and to be honest after all the bad news about the economy, and tensions over Ukraine, and the continuous barage of financial bad news, it was a small miracle!
The traders at York show were relieved to see the queue building up outside before the show – the worry was would people come, and would they buy anything! I’m pleased to say they came and bought!
As the financial news got worse, the worries for Kensington Show in December surfaced – however it was great to hear from the organiser that the advance ticket sales were very strong! I had spent the weeks between York and Kensington making one off pieces (as well as trying to keep on top of my commissions) and was looking forward to seeing what the public would think of them.
….although I do still have my bling side, and you can’t get more blingy than this ebony and gold torchere pair and matching gold chandeliers. The torcheres now reside in a bridal shop either side of the podium that the bride stands on when trying on her dress. The chandeliers are available in the website shop £129 each (and will soon be joined by another pair of Black and Gold torcheres!)
Another of my favourites which sold at Kensington was this fabulous Banquet buffet. It was a one off piece I bought just because it was so odd, but I knew it would work well with my banqueting tables. after decorating the cabinet, I remembered that years ago I has stashed a crystal effect swan in my specials box and thought how fantastic it would be to turn it into an ice sculpture! (I have one swan left so will make another buffet with an ice sculpture at some point!)
And finally… I have put together this small gallery of some of the items made for the autumn shows and some commissions (Click on one of the small images to open the gallery on the full screen) – all the pieces are featured on the JUST FINISHED page and some even made it into the website SHOP! I will be working on my best of 2022 gallery over Christmas and will launch it at the end of December in the GALLERY section. (and if I can pull the pictures together I’ll try and backdate some galleries from before I started putting them on this website!)
Featherstone Hall at Miniatura (Part 2!)
Following on from my last post about bringing the Featherstone Hall Hotel out of retirement and back to showing…
…I’m just back from a fabulous Miniatura show at Stoneleigh Park, I’ve unpacked and put away all my show kit (till York in November) had a ‘flaked out’ day (or two!) and I’m just reflecting on how lovely it was to have Featherstone Hall on display at the show.
There is so much to tell about getting it back into showing condition, that I have added a whole new page to the BIG PROJECTS section covering it all, as well as answering some of the many ‘how did you do the….’ questions I got asked at the show (see the LITTLE PROBLEMS page in the advice section) plus pictures of all the broken bits I had to fix!
Just a few of the ‘minor details’ that had to be rectified before the show!
It went down a storm with visitors – some had bought the book when the house and book were first at Miniatura 10 years ago, then there were those who had bought the book after the house had retired from showing and had never seen it, and then there were people who had never heard of it before – but I’m pleased to say all were equally transfixed by it and kept coming back to it throughout the day. In fact at one point I was tempted to put a line of chairs in front of it for people to sit and look at it!
It was a bit strange for me as the house is now a snapshot of what I was doing 10 years ago – especially as it sat next to my retail stand with all my current stock on it! Much as I love the house time has moved on and I wouldn’t do it in the same way now – for one thing I now make my own dolls, chandeliers, accessories and even pieces of furniture. But then, the house was also the origin of pieces of stock I am still making versions of today – George in the Library, the snooker room set, library bar, bookcases, duchess bedroom, kitchen tables, dressers, vehicles, luggage, trolleys, tea for two sets, stoves – they all have their origins in the house, so I have a lot to thank it for!
It was lovely to chat with everyone about it, and there were definitely some recurring questions:
How long did it take (6 months) how much did it cost (mind your own business!) is it finished (Yes – unlike a ‘hobby’ house this was done as a magazine series, so had to be finished for a set date – that’s why its a snapshot in time – it stopped being added to when the book was published).
Most questions about the structure of the house boiled down to curtains and doors: I have no idea why the curtains were so fascinating – but if I had a penny for every time someone took a photo of the curtains on the inside of the doors…. and also of the doors themselves – so many people had not considered decorating their own until they had seen the Featherstone ones.
Going back to the curtains though, I think it may have been because they were all different styles – I hate making curtains and I’m not keen on sewing so all my curtains in the house are glued in different styles as I was trying to find an easy option!
…And as for the doors the curtains were on – decorating the inside of the doors was a no brainer, once I had got the main house done for the Dolls House & Miniature Scene magazine 200th issue, I took a look at the undecorated doors, which were a great expanse of white and had to do something about them. (Doing them also made a new section for the book which had not be previously published in the magazine).
Not only were the door insides decorated but I also added
small half round shelves which enabled me to do mini dressed scenes to add to
the story going on in each room of the house. (The key to this is making sure
the shelf is just above the house floor height so the door will still shut!)
For instance, in the Lemon Bedroom Amy is sitting thoughtfully at the window seat with Maisie her dog while her maid Margaret pops her head outside to tell Gervais (Amy’s gentleman caller) that she is dressing and could be some time. He waits patiently with chocolates and a present. By adding the shelf on the door interior I then could add Amy’s father standing holding a newspaper and about to lecture Amy about the perils of how attractive her inheritance is to penniless fortune hunters! (don’t worry it all works out in the end!)
Speaking of the end – that’s all for this blog post, but dont forget to check out the NEW page on the BIG PROJECTS section, the pictures on the Featherstone Hall section of the GALLERY, the answers to some of the many ‘how did you do the….’ questions I got asked on the LITTLE PROBLEMS page.
FEATHERSTONE HALL AT MINIATURA!
Just over 10 years ago I created the Featherstone Hall Hotel for the 200th issue of Dolls House & Miniature Scene magazine…
….And to celebrate its first decade – in October 2022 its coming out again and will be on display at the Autumn Miniatura show at Stonleigh Park!
The creation of the house was featured in the magazine over 24 months and it went on display at Miniatura several times, and also to a show in Holland – but that was a trip too far and afterwards I retired the house from exhibitions.
It was only after realising I had missed the 10 year anniversary which happened during the Covid lock downs, that I took a good look at the house and thought how great it would be to spruce it up and get it back out there!
One thing I have decided on is that all the repairs and reworking I will be doing to the house will be to get it as near as possible back to the same condition it was in when it was first finished.
I have considered long and hard about this, as it would be tempting to update it and showcase all the new things I can do and have learned in the 10 years since first building it, but I think its best to leave it as a snapshot in time and exactly as its shown in the Featherstone Hall Hotel book.
Perhaps I should make a new house to test my current skills… and perhaps another one in 10 years time (if I’m still capable!)
I will be adding a new page to the BIG PROJECTS page which will follow me getting the house ready once I make a start on it! And I will be adding more pictures to the GALLERY of Featherstone Hall pictures already there.
Newsletter Subscribers note: The next newsletter will contain a £5 off code against the purchase price of the Featherstone Hall Hotel book – so watch your mailboxes!
NEW STOCK NEWS
Just a quick update before the BIG NEWS update next week….
I have just finished this special commission car and had to get it straight onto the JUST FINISHED page – its booked itself straight into a slot on my BEST OF 2022 gallery I will be doing at the end of the year!
Another piece to have confirmed a position in the BEST OF 2022 gallery is this Chinoiserie style grand piano. I have hand painted it based on photos of a life size one, with panels of chinese scenes with landscapes and pagodas.
I have also added some new stock to the website shop and also to the just finished page, plus I still have a lot of new bits to add to the website in relation to Featherstone Hall.
Watch out next week for the big news for FEATHERSTONE HALL fans!
TThere are more pictures of the bookcase desks and library units on the JUST FINISHED page (in the INSPIRATION section).
I have also added another tea for two set in sage green and mahogany (in the DINING section of the website shop.
SAVE THE DATE!
With my last show of the Summer season over, I have exciting news about my first show of the Autumn….
I am pleased to say I have signed up to a NEW 3 DAY show taking place 2nd 3rd and 4th September 2022 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) at the Farnborough International Exhibition centre.
The Dolls House show is part of the Creative Craft Show which had been previously at the NEC Birmingham, but which has moved to the site of the Farnborough Air show to the south west of London. The Dolls House show is being supported by Dolls House & Miniature Scene magazine but is organised by ICHF.
I was one of the first to sign up for the Dolls House show a couple of weeks ago – and already they are looking at expanding the floor space set aside for the Dolls House part of the show!
There are free shuttle buses lined up from the four local train stations, and car parking is free. I’m really looking forward to it (I shall be shopping too!) and have added the show to my show dates together with ICHF contact details.
So if you are a crafter and have a dolls house save the date and get your ticket now!
…and in other news – I have added new stock to the website shop, updated the JUST FINISHED page, 3D PRINTING BLOG and added pictures to the gallery pages – enjoy!
FROM SKETCH TO STOCK – See how the new macaws and cockatoo stands were created and 3D printed on the 3D printing blog page
SOME FANTASTIC NEWS FOR FANS OF FEATHERSTONE HALL…..