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 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!
Another great table at the Sydney Fair that I didn't manage to get a photo of is Nambucca's Little Shoppe, I found their business card and checked out the website. The various baskets are so well made, they also sell the beds made by Robert and Linda Prentice. If you would like to check them out go to: www.intominis.com
Sorry about the quality of the photo above but I just loved that little roombox, by Cassandra Stevens I think, and the one below, by the same talented artist, was also one of my favourites.
These traders were from New Zealand but I cannot find their card. (Just checked and they can be seen at http://www.kimsminis.com thanks to Linda's info). Absolutely unbelievably good fish, plus fruit displays and I think the hats and shoes were from the same traders. The little crochet rugs they had for sale are by a Swedish miniaturist, Gullvie Larsson, perhaps some of you know her.
I thought you might enjoy shots from they Sydney Miniatures Fair, of this stand by Robert & Linda Prentice. Their work is simply amazing. Fabulous old coaches and wagons were on display, the oh-so-realistic saddle caught my eye and I would love to have bought it, even though I don't have a mini horse for it, but my budget was fairly restricted so a photo had to suffice.
They also made beautiful brass beds, mattresses etc.Great work.
Well, we had a great day at the Sydney Miniatures fair, met Norma, Linda and her friend Jo, had a lovely chat and a few laughs, it was so good to talk to them in person.
There was much to see and so many gorgeous things, I bought just a few goodies that I will photograph tomorrow and show you.
The first photograph is from a local miniatures group, Alice in Wonderland. Following are a few shots of the trading tables. The roombox is by Adelaide Cann, for display only, not for sale; little dresses made from antique lace by Tasmanian miniaturist Helen Davies of Launceston, my home town; next shot is also from a Launceston miniaturist, I don't seem to have her details at the moment; the Jacobean, or is it Tudor, furniture was really good quality and the gentleman, whose card I cannot locate, also had some great houses that I will post tomorrow; the last trader had some great pot plants etc, but she only sells at fairs and doesn't have a website. I bought some nice muddy gunboots from her for the owner of the Petit Parterre.
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!