Last Chance to say…

Best wishes for Christmas
and the coming New Year!

 
Like Santa I have been very busy on the run up to December 25th – and there is still time to enjoy the fruits of my labours before christmas! (UK customers)
   I have added some new items to the website shop which if bought before the 21st December can be with you for Christmas – an ideal last minute present or surprise stocking filler – and for no extra charge presents can be wrapped ready to open Christmas morning! (just email me after purchasing and I’ll wrap and post the same day.

As well as making stock I have been busy with commission work and still have a small mountain to be getting on with….(in fact special commission orders taken now won’t be started till February/March next year)

Pictured below are some of the commissions I have recently been working on…..

Governess with baby in pram and little girl with teddy
Sleeping granny has dropped a stitch!
Wedding guests at a grand hotel reception

And of course I have been topping up my shop items as well as adding new ones….

The new LARGE SINK and NEW TABLE are both in the website shop, and will soon be joined by more new pieces.

The snooker set (table two players and scoreboard) is complimented with the library bookcase and bar buffet. The snooker set is available in two colourways as the men have different waistcoats and hair colours in each set.

All this room needs now is a couple of leather armchairs!

The range of pet birds is expanding with the new large birdcage (which I make). I will be doing a feature on how its made soon!

And there’s more!  I am quite behind on my new stock update and so will be looking at adding to the JUST FINISHED page next!

BACK FROM ONE SHOW AND STOCKING UP FOR THE NEXT!

With the summer over, and the first show of the Autumn season in the bag, I have returned home full of great ideas for new stock, and a list a mile long of things to make…

..its also a great opportunity at shows to catch up with other exhibitors and show regulars, see whats new and what people are wanting, as well as reaction to my own new pieces!
   You can see some of the stock I finished just before the show on the JUST FINISHED page, and I have added some new stock to the website shop.
   With constant problems in sourcing furniture, the range of pieces I make myself is expanding too – with the new Carpenters workbench to match the potting and garage work benches – and I think the new Bob the handyman just finishes off the group!

The banqueting buffet and ornaments are made by me and hand painted - including the faux marble buffet top.

The popularity of the revived Chateau Chic range continues – which is why I don’t have much of it in the shop stock yet! The banquet table for 8 now has an accompanying extra long banqueting buffet. And for smaller rooms the Chateau Chic table now comes set for 6.
   The matching working grandfather clocks all sold out at the show, but even as I am typing this I have some on the printer and will have shop stock soon (be the first to know when they are back in stock by clicking the ’email me when available’ button on the shop listing.)
   
   The new Banqueting buffet comes in the Chateau Chic version, and a  Mahogany version which can be made to match the china on any of the banqueting tables in the range. 
  
    Banqueting buffets are listed in the shop Buffets and Cabinets section.

Above: This Mahogany Banqueting Buffet sold at the show, but more will follow soon!
  
   Another piece sold at the show and made from scratch was this stove to match the Rustic kitchen collection.

Both the new Wedgewood fireplace and the revised Portland fireplace (now with Club Fender) are in the website shop – as is the new card table – although the Chateau chic and Pagoda Clocks all sold out at the show.

After having written this and noticing how many times I have said that things sold out at the show, I guess I had better crack on and get more made before the next one!  (York  November 19th)

.…and at time of writing there are 79 sleeps till Christmas!

NEW RANGES, NEW ARTICLES, NEW PICTURES!

After my last couple of shows for this season (my next show is September – like the kids I have broken up for the summer!) I have treated myself to spending some time on my website – since I spent the last few weeks making stock (and I only have one pair of hands!) But the good news is I have new stock, I have revisited some retired pieces and have plans for my next new pieces…

 That’s one of the best things about shows, its a great way of testing out new ideas, talking about new products with customers and for looking at what other people are doing (or not doing – and spotting an unexplored niche!)
   So many people seem to be doing vintage French style at the moment, so I think its a good time to reintroduce my Chateau Chic range – I did them a few years ago in cream and green, but my new range is now cream and pale blue. The cream and green range was produced pre 3D printer, so the new range can now feature all the things I wanted to do previously, as I can make all the accessories myself and hand paint the borders on the plates. I had a big push before York show and managed to make a banqueting table, buffets, dresser and a new, fully 3D printed, working grandfather clock (see the website shop for more details and 3D blog for more about the clock).

Another revisited piece (after several requests), is the Snooker set – it comes complete with table (with balls positioned for a game in progress) plus wall mounted cue rack/scoreboard and two players.

    And speaking of new products – my new RUSTIC kitchen range, was launched it at Miniatura in March. I tweaked it a little, and expanded the range for Kensington and York. The sink dresser is one of my star products, and it was great to chat with Ria from the Netherlands who bought one, about additions to the range – I am now working on some base units and dressers with cupboards and drawers thanks to her suggestions!

 …Talk about life imitating art – one of my ‘regulars’ was bought one of my new potting benches by her Dad – with the intention that he use it as a blueprint for her real life one! This new piece has also undergone some revision since Kensington, and I now make the whole piece of furniture (from wood and printed parts – I will update the 3D printing blog about this) as well as 3D printing the plant pots, watering cans, seed trays, crates, cans and packets!

      When I started to write this blog I went a bit off piste onto the people I met at the shows – and this now a RANDOM THOUGHTS article (find it under the inspiration tab). As well as going off piste on the news, I have also taken some time to catch up my GALLERY section with more recent work, and I’ve added a new page to the MAKES & ADVICE section called HOW TO… the first article is on the inside of the doors of Featherstone Hall. More will follow on things like how to create the optical illusions used in the hotel and how to divide large rooms….

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….

Autumn Miniatura in October was a great show, and it was wonderful to have Featherstone Hall on display – despite all the trials and tribulations getting it ready for the show, getting there and setting it up!

Featherstone Hall was right beside the show enterance.

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.

I think this four poster in raspberry silver and blue is a bit of a 'Marmite' set - I love Marmite! I think this would look amazing in the right room, and I think it could be adapted for a master bedroom in a haunted house! £149 set includes everything shown - available in the website shop.
Baxter cleaning shoes is one of my favourite pieces I have made this year. £129 available in the website shop - includes workbench and accessories. THe walnut clock behind Baxter sold at the show.
On the 'Grime' theme the workbench (£99 in website shop), and 1911 Stanley Steamer (SOLD) show I don'just do 'Bling' ....

….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).

Amy's father looks on disapprovingly....
Gervais waits patiently.....

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.

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