A diary of my intrepid first steps into the world of miniatures.
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Hi and welcome to my blog. I hope you like my new look, I needed a change from black. Here you can share my miniature endeavours, perhaps be inspired by some of my photographs taken in France and of 'real world' treasures that can be made in miniature. My love of parterre-style gardens and study of horticulture made my decision for the theme of my little shop an easy one. I just hope I can successfully interpret my ideas in 1/12th scale!
I have reached 300 followers - can't believe it. I welcome all newcomers and will enjoy catching up with what your are doing. I hope you will find something of interest here from time to time and I love hearing your comments too.
Well I had to try a mini version of the paper wreath, the first was rather gigantic, the second more in scale. The paper was not so good so it isn't perfect but I can live with it. I found these old mirrors in a Brocante, don't you just love old mirrors. What images may they have reflected, what faces might have peered into them. Well only mine so far, they are quite age-worn but I think they have some real character.
I saw this project on Paint Me White
the other day and had to dive straight in and make one. I didn't have any old hardcover books that I could carve up so made do with some old photography mags I acquired a while back. The paper isn't as firm so not quite as neat as Sandy's but I quite like it on our big mirror. The centre bit is my own creation. Oh, and I am sporting a couple of whopper blisters from the hot-glue gun (ouch) hadn't used it for ages.
Also dived in and made this low, long stool from ice-cream sticks I bought last week. A spur of the moment idea and not much pre-planning but there will be a use for it in the Petit Parterre I am sure. I made lots of pitchers a couple of weeks ago and I have added some patina of age since I took the photo, they look a bit too new.
Oh, and just to let you know where the giveaway items are headed, the chandelier is going to Ewa, The Sunny Hours in Poland, and the bed to Patty, Mini Babies in the USA.
Welcome new followers, I am slowly catching up on everyone's blog, it is great to see what projects everyone is working on.
Sorry everyone for the delay in announcing the winners. A combination of computer trouble, a very sore wrist from tendonitis and a bad headache has conspired to slow the process. After my partner Brad printed out all the comments of everyone wishing to enter the competition, I cut out all the entries and drew two winners.
The first drawn from the first 200 followers chooses which prize she prefers, the second drawn from all followers receives the remaining prize. I must wait to hear the decision of the first prizewinner, who is ...
Ewa, The Old Maid.
Second drawn is ...
Patty, Mini Babies!
Congratulations to you both, I hope you are happy with your prizes. Thank you everyone who entered, it would be great to be able to give a prize to all of you. You may have better luck next time.
They're finished. I made some cushions for the doll/miniature antique-style bed and completed the electrified chandelier I promised. I had to settle for a single light one or I may never have finished it. The light is at the base, with some hanging crystals to add some glitz. Of course it is very distressed, something you might find in a brocante. If I weren't making these as a giveaway I may never have finished them, so I am glad I did and hope the winners will enjoy them.
As I said, the first drawn winner from the first 200 followers gets to choose which they prefer. The next draw from all followers who entered the competition will receive the remaining prize.
Ending 7pm Friday 19 November, Sydney time. I will email the winners to advise of their win. Good luck!
This is one of the pair of mirrors I painted and distressed, also experimenting with aging the actual mirror as a brand new one didn't seem appropriate for these frames. I think they look like 'reclaimed' frames, once gilt now painted 'shabby'.
Also, welcome new followers, things have been moving slowly here lately but hope you will visit again and I would love to hear your comments.
No I'm not referring to Twitter, this is my new, 'old' aviary I may include in the Petit Parterre. It is fairly high so a decent size bird would be happy residing there, smaller ones would just fly between the wires anyway. I'll be on the lookout for something unusual.
I didn't make this I bought it from a decorating shop. It was shiny black so I had to age it a bit, give it some patina. I also bought some plastic Christmas tree decorations that I will use as mirror frames. I have painted and distressed them somewhat and I am quite pleased with how they turned out. I think they will be great when I find mirrors for them. I will show them on a post when finished.
Now I must welcome all you new followers, I have been a bit remiss lately. I am so pleased to see the numbers growing and everyone is welcome to enter the draw for my giveaway, which you'll find a few posts back. I messed up a little with the chandelier and am now waiting on more lights!#* Won't be too long before I can finalise the date for this, promise.
This is the bedroom set so far, the shelf unit was originally going to be an armoire, however I didn't like the way the doors were fitting so decided to leave it as it is. I will try another armoire, changing the dimensions slightly to fit the doors. I just need to add a little trim to the bottom shelf to neaten it. I would love to make a small bedroom chair to match too. Sorry to bore you with all this furniture making, but I really enjoy putting it together. I will build myself a bed the same so I can use the set somewhere in the future.
Welcome to all new followers, I will enjoy visiting your sites too, hope everyone has a lovely weekend.
Thought I would show my giveaway bed almost finished. Had to find suitable legs and ended up cutting some ballastrading to suit. Have only finished one bolster cushion, will make another and maybe some plain pillows too. Still waiting on some parts to help me make the chandelier. Have enjoyed making the bed and have also made a screen and almost finished an armoire to match. Will show them when they are totally finished.
I had a query about where to buy the bed. I will probably make another and put it for sale in my etsy shop, maybe the screen and armoire too, will see how they turn out. I think they would be really cute as accessories for small dolls, perhaps antique dolls.The bed is a size to suit a young girl's bedroom for 1/12th scale miniatures.
A big welcome to all new visitors here, I hope you come back often and leave a comment. I have been slowly making my way through all your blogs too. It's great seeing all the fabulous things others are up to and always inspirational, it's good to share isn't it.
I know it has been ages since I announced my 200 followers giveaway and asked everyone to be patient while I honed my technique for the electrified chandelier and hinted at a second choice. Well the photo I showed was an antique doll's bed that I wanted to try and make as a mini. Finally I am near to finishing that part of the giveaway. Naturally I have given it an aged look, that's what I love. It took a while to work out how I could do it and I just made it up as I went along.
Some steps along the way below.
It still isn't finished, I will put some feet on it and make a couple of little cushions, maybe think of something else to finish it off. But I wanted to show that I am true to my word and at least part of the giveaway is almost ready. Still waiting on some parts for the other half so I"ll have to ask you to be patient a little longer before the draw.
New followers are still free to enter, as I mentioned the first drawn of the first 200 followers will have first choice of which prize they prefer, the next drawn of all followers will receive the other prize. Will keep you posted. I think this will be a combined 200 and 300 followers giveaway!
This is the swap gift I have for Wanda, something to put in her potting shed. She liked the birdhouse on my blog, I also add a base to the cage I made a while ago, although I don't know what sort of bird might live in it, would have to be pretty big not to escape through the wires, hehe. They look quite nice with a small plant in them though. I am quite happy with the lavender I made, thought she could hang it to dry from the rafters. Also a weathered box always comes in hand in a potting shed. Hope she likes them.
Below is the lovely package I received from Wanda. She made the hyacinths at the front and added loads of bits and pieces to make up. I already have plans for the stack on the right of the photo and will post a shot of it when finished. Plus there are some printy boxes for me to make up. Thank you Wanda they will be great for the shop!
It is the first day of Spring here so I thought it fitting I show my beautiful display of flowers the Shop gardener has been tending all through winter. Some of them have bloomed early!! Flowers were part of the garden swap, posted earlier, with Sylvia's jug taking pride of place on the weathered desk, alongside one of my candelabras.
Welcome to all new visitors to the site and thank you all for your comments, I really appreciate them and read them all. Will give an update on the prize deadline soon hopefully!
I am so thrilled at receiving this lovely gift from Sylvia at lotjesdollshouse. She wanted an appropriate name for her amazing bedroom scene 'Chambre de Seraphine', and I was chuffed when my suggestion was chosen. I had just watched the film about the life of the French artist and found it very moving, and Sylvia's room is one I am certain Seraphine would have lived in happily, with lots of light streaming in and private at the same time.
Sylvia's pitcher and embroidery are gorgeous and will certainly find a place in the Petit Parterre. Thank you so much Sylvia.
I also welcome all new visitors here. I have been holidaying in Perth, WA for just over a week, visiting my sister, nephew and his little daughters and his new partner, so I haven't had much time for blogging or miniatures, although I did sneek a few peeks at what everyone was doing here and there. I had a busy time exploring coffee shops, shopping centres (and there are lots of them in Perth), being driven around Perth's lovely waterside suburbs and seeing amazing houses, and getting to know my 'grand nieces' - aged 8 and 5 - a little better. I had a great time but it is always nice to be home.
I am still accepting entries for my giveaway and will update you as to a deadline and photo of my prizes when I can, so please be patient, as they say, good things come to those who wait - well I do appreciate your patience and hope the finished items will be pleasing.
Look at the beautiful flowers I received in the Garden Swap organised by Ira of Merry Jingle Crafts.
First came the unbelievably beautiful poppies growing in pots, on the right, from the very talented Michelle of Little Rabbit Miniatures in Greece. They are so delicate and detailed, with buds about to open and a couple of spent flowers, in two shades of pink and a pretty orange. Close up below, thank you Michelle.
Then the next day, from Janice of On Being a Mini Mum in the UK, I received the rose stems in shades of pink and mauve, as well as some sunflowers, all beautifully shaded and closely layered petals that must take so much work and a really steady hand. I displayed them in some of my first pitchers.Close-up of Janice's gorgeous flowers below, thank you so much Janice, they are just exquisite!
There is enough to open Le Petit Parterre already, except the interior work has been held up by conflicts between the owner and the interior designer, hopefully they will sort things out before too long!
I love this antique doll's bed and must have a go at making one in miniature.
As you may have noticed, the number of people following my blog is almost 200. I announced a while ago that I would offer as a giveaway to the first 200 followers, an electrified chandelier. I am still working on the design and will post a photo of it when I can, but it won't be for a while yet as I am going away next week for over a week.
There will actually be a choice of two prizes, so you can decide which you prefer if your number is drawn first. The second drawn will receive the other item. If you would like to go in the draw for the chandelier and have the patience to wait, please leave a comment here. You must be one of the first 200 followers to be in the draw. The second item will remain a mystery for now, just to keep you guessing. Good luck!
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: The Giveaway will now be open to all followers. The first drawn entry from the first 200 followers will get the choice of prizes, the second entry from all followers will receive the second prize. I think that is only fair after considering, it is a long time to wait to the 300 draw!
I am delighted to welcome a number of new followers, I hope you will find some interesting things here and I will enjoy following your blogs too. Isn't this the most divine chaise, I would love it in miniature.
Forgot to mention, we are getting awfully close to the 200 followers giveaway, must get working on the electrified chandelier I promised some time ago. Hope it works out OK!
Yesterday a small parcel was delivered to my door, all the way from Finland, from Ira of Merry Jingle Crafts.
Look at all the lovely flowers she sent me, with her own matching handmade vases. Plus some great little metal stands that can all be used in PP. There is also a small potted fern, on the right, a little journal made from really soft leather which is hardly visible under the printed boxes and seed packets that I will put together. Oh and the large potted greenery, and two unpotted ones at the back also. They are all fantastic, thank you, thank you Ira :D I will work on yours on the weekend.
My little purchases from Glenda (Peppercorn Minis) arrived yesterday and they will be perfect for the PP. I can put flowers in the baskets and I think the mat will go inside the door. Glenda kindly added one of her amazing journals which is made from the softest leather. Thank you so much Glenda I love them!
The note found with these beautifully embroidered gowns, contained in a case found at auction in 2010. My story for the Giveaway at My French Country Home
My name is Martine Bonaparte, and yes, the great Napolean was my great-great uncle, thus I have grown up in a very traditional French family with a long association with the armed forces. I am writing this note as a way to tell my story, the very personal story, to someone who may open this case in the future.
This small package of linen robes is not so important as the rest of my estate which will go to members of my family when the time comes, but it is very close to my heart, so much that I will never open the case again in my lifetime, however long that may be. So whoever is reading this note, you may know something about me, about why I made these linens and the love story associated with them, in the hope you will find value in them and hold them dear.
I know I am not the only young woman whose life has been changed by war, and the loss of a beloved. I hope that this will be the end of war, for whatever perceived good that may come of it is far surpassed by the sorrow and grief caused. I have cried my tears and will continue to cry for my most loved Henri, whom I was to marry in the Autumn of 1909. He was called away to fight in January last, to serve his country bravely, but alas never to return. I spent the months preparing for the wedding and many an afternoon I sat quietly at the window in my room, embroidering these linens nightgowns to wear as a wife, and perhaps as a mother, with my heart almost bursting with love and excitement for what the future may hold.
I grew up in this chateau which overlooks the beautiful Loire river, often a favourite retreat of my famous ancestor. I loved this time I spent sewing, feeling close to my Henri and awaiting his return. This morning a rider delivered the message advising my beloved had been killed in battle - my life stood still. My dreams for the future are have turned to ashes. I wrap these garments and lock them away in this small case as a memento to the life that will never be. Perhaps some young lady may find this and I wish her every happiness and joy in her life and hope she will appreciate the many hours I spent lovingly stitching these, so she may experience all that love too. Please don't feel sad as I will live my life honestly and my love will never die, I wait until I am reunited with Henri and I trust that a love like mine will be experienced by many in the future, for love is the most important thing in life and this is something that should be recognised before it is too late.
The lovely little wardrobe on the right of the photo is the one Linda (Une Petite Folie) had for sale a while back and it was intended for a future bedroom. However as I am impatient when I get an idea and with nothing else to work with I decided to transform it into a shelf unit for the shop and this is the result (so far, for now). I kept the colours neutral as I have yet to decided on the wall coverings for the shop and with next to no experience I am reluctant to commit to a particular look as yet. So I'll continue to fiddle with the smaller things :)
While cutting out the shelves from fine mdf I realised I am hopeless at cutting a straight line, at least the front is straight and I managed to sand the cut edges fairly smooth. I really need an electric saw if I am going to do much in the way of furniture making! Appears rather dull in the photo but is a little 'fresher' in reality. I added the little metal finding as moulding for a 'Frenchy' look.
Now I would like to welcome all newcomers to my blog and I hope you will find something to enjoy, as I continue to discover new and exciting projects on all of your blogs.
Finally time to open my holiday swap gift from Nina, for my holiday with her at the Northsea. What gorgeous little things she has made me.
A pretty swimsuit with matching carry bag - inside the bag is a towel and a bottle of coke for refreshment and a German treat, pommes frites, to eat while we walk along the beach at the water's edge. After that we fly the lovely red kite in the breeze. Finally it is back to the hotel for a shower and with my new soap, Syreeta, made in Germany. What a great day to remember at the Northsea with Nina, thank you so much Nina!
Today I got a parcel in the mail from Nina at MiniMumm, all the way from Germany. All these pretty little packages were inside but I cannot open them yet. She is taking me on a virtual holiday to the North Sea and has posted lots of lovely photos of the area on her blog. Thank you Nina, can't wait to see what you have made for me!
On the surface everything seems normal in the topiary garden, but all is not as it seems. Something very strange has been happening, one of the plants seems to have morphed into a strange being, heard snoring softly early this morning.
I think it is harmless enough, I certainly hope so, don't want rumours to spread about the Petit Parterre having dangerous plants for sale.
This one was inspired by all the witchy and creepy themes of so many blogs and I couldn't resist seeing what I could create, he is my first attempt, maybe I'll make something else later on.
Today I am so pleased to welcome my new little friends all the way from Portland, Oregan USA. When I arrived home from the shops there was a small box left on my doorstep, and this is what was inside, and it made my day! I was the lucky winner of Kristy's fabulous giveaway, the prize being the Raccoon which I chose from Kristy's fantastic menagerie of tiny critters. She also made me a Koala to keep Raccoon company as well as the little overnight bag for them. Racoon looks right at home while Koala is busy checking out this new place that seems strangley like home already. My photos do not do them justice, they are so perfect, thanks Kristy. If you want to check out more of Kristy's amazing animals, go to her blog http://minimenagerie.blogspot.com
They are photographed on the table of the setting I made the week before last. It is a prototype and needs some adjustments, I have simply put some paper circles on the seats as I haven't made cushions for the chairs yet. It is something I need to work on a little more to improve.
This is the wonderful view of Sydney that Janne may be lucky enough to see when she arrives for her shopping spree while all the department store sales are on. As she will only be in town a couple of days there won't be much time for sightseeing as she will be spending most of her time in the shops. Of course I couldn't go shopping in Sydney without calling in first to my mecca, David Jones on Elizabeth street. I discovered it is the oldest store in the world that is still trading under it's original name, fancy that! This particular store is really special, the building I believe dates to the 1920s and in Spring there is always an awesome floral display on the ground floor. The windows displays are something to see at Christmas time too! You can always identify a DJs shopper by the black and white houndstooth patterned shopping bags.
Janne's treats are on their way to faraway Norway, but she may have to wait six to 10 days for them. Hope she likes the results of her shopping!
I have to say this has really been a lucky week for me. First I win one of Susan's (http://minicrochetmad.blogspot.com) lovely little boxes of embroidery thread, shown above. I used Susan's photo as I don't think my camera would show it too well it is sooo tiny and delicate. Thank you Susan, it arrived so quickly.
Then today I learn I am the lucky winner of Kristy's (http://minimenagerie.blogspot.com) fabulous giveaway and I chose a racoon as I just love them. I will try to photograph him/her when he/she arrives. Thank you Kristy. They have both come at a good time too with my birthday coming up!
And welcome to all new visitors to my blog, I hope you will leave a comment from time to time!
This is where Janne http://jannelandet.blogspot.com will be coming to for her shopping spree holiday, beautiful Sydney, Australia. I think she believes she is going to Japan, I hope she doesn't get lost. This is one of the shopping centres she will visit in the heart of the city.
It is a stunning shopping centre created within a historic building, the Queen Victoria Building which was completed in 1898 as a monument to Queen Victoria. It was threatened with demolition in the 1950s but survived to be restored to its former glory. It takes up one entire city block and has many great boutiques and coffe shops.
I have just come across this great blog by doll sculptor Cristina Caballero. She makes gorgeous miniature dollshouse dolls, like the beautiful one above, as well as some unbelievable, life-size animal character dolls. Check out her site, you are sure to enjoy it.
Isn't this wreath just wonderful, I am not sure whose blog I found it on otherwise I would link to it. If the owner sees it I hope you don't mind.
I would like to welcome all the new followers, I love to see new faces and I will catch up on your blogs too if I haven't done so already.
I'm working on a wire table and chairs at the moment, the first chair turned out a bit small as I didn't do my measurements before I started:( The next ones are a bit better, will show them when I finish.
Going for a walk in the bush now, looking for a good vantage point for my partner to take some photos of the lovely Hawkesbury River that he crosses over every day on his way to work at about 5am. It's still dark now in winter but he sees fabulous scenery in the summer months, awe-inspiring. Will take the dog, he loves sniffing around in the bush.
I have just listed some of my candelabras and wall sconces on my etsy shop. I'll see how they go. You are welcome to visit and let me know what you think.
Now, a big welcome to all the new visitors, it is so good to see so many people like to visit my site. I am slowly making my way through all your blogs too, which I am thoroughly enjoying.
My Petit Parterre hasn't progressed much, although ideas are going around in my head. I enjoy putting together little pieces bit by bit, but will have to decide on the interior decoration soon. With so many of you creating such fantastic houses, roomboxes etc, it is easy to get distracted from working on my own. And some of you work so fast, with several projects going at one time, I feel worn out just thinking about it. Well, not really, but some of us work at a much slower pace I guess.
I can hardly believe it is so long since my last post. I have been a bit busy and I want to have something to show when I do post, so here is what I have been working on. I know, more candelabras. I have gone back to my original more rustic style and made them much smaller than the first ones. The off-white one is about 6cm high, the next one is 5cm and the smaller pair is 4.5cm. The earlier ones were large, suitable for outdoor rustic dining, similar to ones I have in 1:1 so the candles are over the diners' heads.
These are for indoors and won't take up the whole table. There is also an old birdcage in the photo, missing its base but has a certain rustic charm, may look ok with a fern poking out perhaps.
I would also like to offer a warm welcome to all the new visitors to my site. I will be visiting all your blogs to see what you are doing. I hope to have some interesting things to show you soon.
That is how it's been lately, working on candelabras whenever I can. Have had quite a few problems but think I have worked out a major one. I was having a lot of trouble with the solder not 'taking' properly. I had noticed a funny waxy residue around the soldered areas and thought it must be residue from the flux. It suddenly dawned on me that when I was busily making candles I had dripped candle wax all over my work area, including the little container of flux I have been using. It was contaminated with candle wax.
So I cleaned it all out, filed off the dirty solders which were a bit wobbly anyway and started again. A little easier this time but still have a few problems. This one is a little smaller than the first few which were made to go on larger outdoor tables for casual summer dining. his one is sort of shabby chic. I may add little brass candle holders tomorrow, haven't decided yet.
This old wheelbarrow should come in handy for displaying plants in bloom in the Petit Parterre. It has a very distressed paint finish, from years and years of hard yakka. Now it can rest in retirement in the comfort of the shop, its subtle green colour being ideal for holding plants.
(It was nice as it was but I couldn't resist giving it a hint of colour.)
Well that's what the owner of Petit Parterre says, they look somewhat like some reproduction cameos I have seen somewhere. The quite heavy bronze plaque on the right is probably French, by some famous bronze sculptor, it may be the most expensive piece in the shop. The stone carving on the right seems to depict youth and age. Both would be quite nice to hang on a wall in the garden I think. The rustic (rusty) candelabra is the first one I made which I photographed earlier. Had fun playing.
Welcome to all the new followers, I hope you enjoy dropping in occasionally and I am busily catching up on everyone's blogs too. Such fun!
Well I warned you I have trouble making up my mind, so here is my second version of the little desk. The topiary trees are the ones I made a while back, lovely pot from Small Pleasures, owned by Neridah O'Callaghan who organises the Sydney Miniatures Fair.
The desk looks like it has seen hard times, is well weathered but suits the owner of the Petit Parterre to a tee. It has been cleaned up and may need just a light coat of varnish to give it a slight sheen. Don't want to use wax as, you never know, 'the owner' may decide to re-paint it. I think the contrast of crystal handles will compliment the rustic look of the desk.
Had some fun with paint this morning, the birdhouse is suddenly covered in some type of fungal growth from being outside in damp conditions for many years, how time flies. Not to mention bird droppings, well what would you expect!
The desk has simply a light wash of greyish white over it and rubbed off a little but I think I will be doing more to it later. I removed the tiny drawer handles and I may replace them with crystal ones perhaps ...
As promised these are the little pieces I bought at the Sydney Miniatures Fair last Saturday. Of course the wardrobe and desk I bought from Linda's sale (Une Petite Folie) and she kindly carried them to Sydney for me. She also generously included two of the wire chairs (one shown at the back) for free!
I bought just some small things for the Petit Parterre, a ladder and paint tin for the painter to work with; a large wooden barrel for one of my large trees (it is really a washbowl for an old-fashioned laundry); a lovely old-style English wheelbarrow and a birdhouse, all these from the same gentleman, I think he is Mr Courtney from Mt Colah in Sydney; and some metal buckets and washtub in which to display flowers. That's it. Oh, I forgot the lovely little petit-pointe embroidery, it may turn into a few cushions, chair or stool cover, we'll see.
I have shown a view of my shop interior, rather plain. The painter came to look at it, ready to start work. I have already had a go at the windows which were painted a shade of green I didn't much like. Then I decided I may have to get the builders in to put in a French door at the back of the shop, it is so dark and the door will lead to the outdoor garden area that may come in future. Also perhaps a window at the back of the top left-hand room where customers can plan and discuss their garden designs. It will also be a display room. Haven't quite decided on the smaller room, it's a little too small for a double bed, have to think on it. Might need a window there also. Of course there will need to be a door leading to the stairway behind??
Wouldn't this be a lovely house to make in miniature? It's compliments of TGF. The fine details would be a bit difficult to replicate though.
I am so pleased to welcome new followers, steaming towards 200. As I have given you all pride of place at the top of my blog it is so easy for everyone to visit you too. I have been making my way through all of your blogs but it takes so much time when you are easily distracted, as I am. I see a blog you are following and have to investigate. Three cheers for the internet, so much to enjoy.
I hope you will find some items of interest as you follow my blog, I haven't been making much of late, working on candelabras, they seem to have taken over my free time. I still have my pieces from the Miniatures Fair to photograph, as well as the goodies I bought from Linda of Une Petite Folie that she kindly brought up to Sydney with her. Tomorrow!
I bought this gorgeous shop, photo below, at a Sydney miniatures fair about six years ago and want to personalise it. Have decided on a flower/plant shop with a French theme, hence the name, Petit Parterre. Am currently experimenting with flooring and wallpaper but haven't come up with anything very pleasing so far. I might be in for the long haul with this. Always looking for inspiration though!