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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!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013!

I would like to wish everyone the very best for the year ahead. 
These are some of the things I have been doing over the last couple of months, in between moving and settling in to the new place. It is my first attempt at re-upholstery and I need lots more practice! I haven't finished with the chair yet but thought I would show it. I have enjoyed making over the armoires. And as you can see I have been playing with effects in Photoshop. 

The first of February will mark three years of blogging and I think it calls for another giveaway. I will give some thought as to what I might offer, over the next few days. See you all in the New Year!

A bientot!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Look where I have been ...

Yes it is Laduree, but not in Paris, in Sydney. We spent last weekend in the city for my partner's work Christmas celebration. After being treated to dinner at The Rocks, followed by a show - Stephen Merchant the British comedian, at the Theatre Royal - we enjoyed seeing the Christmas decorations around the city, and the iconic David Jones traditional window Christmas scenes.
After more exploring on Sunday (not having been into the city for some time, we really felt like tourists) we stumbled upon the Laduree store in the upgraded Westfield centre. I couldn't believe it, I had no idea. It opened on 11 September this year and I hadn't heard a word about it.

Having just had lunch we still managed to indulge in a couple of macarons and a pot of tea. My favourite so far is the Violet, Brad liked the Raspberry. I was tempted to buy a box but decided to leave that for my next visit.
I thought some of you might like to see some of the gorgeous shopping areas in Sydney, namely the stunning Strand Arcade. It opened in 1892 and is the only Victorian-era arcade built in Sydney that remains in its original state.

The unusual Christmas tree was just fabulous. There are two upper levels where I found a stunning wedding-cake shop. Some really cute cupcakes too.

 And a wonderful chocolate shop with a cafe downstairs where we had lunch.

I have recently moved, again, and I realised it is the 22nd house I have lived in. One reason why I haven't been blogging much lately. I have been doing a few mini things though and will post some pics soon, nothing earth shattering.
I would like to welcome new followers and thank everyone who has visited lately, I hope to have more to show you in the new year.
A bientot.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thank you Natalia

Mathilde's lovely needlework prize from Natalia at Scarlet Sails Miniatures arrived on Friday, I (er, rather she) was really excited. We cannot believe the fine stitching involved, I can only see it with my strong glasses on. Mathilde will enjoy working on the background, although she likes to have a 'work in progress' on show for visitors to admire, so it may remain like this for some time. She will be putting the delightful slippers away for next winter. The chair is lovely too, so with the little box of threads won from Susan at Mini Crochet Mad some time ago, she can get comfortable and indulge herself in doing some quiet needlework.  

The little dog is a spaniel I have had for a while, but Mathilde would dearly love a Golden Retriever to add to the menagerie.  Speaking of which, I couldn't resist taking a shot of my Puddles, who took the opportunity to explore the interior of the Petit Parterre after I removed all the bits and pieces that had accumulated in there. Eeeek! Giant cat on the prowl.  

Mathilde has been looking at fabris etc for her rooms above the shop, and you can see a glimpse of what has been keeping me busy (and a bit frazzled) lately. More pics of that later. Meanwhile WELCOME new followers and all visitors, it is always good to hear from you. Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.

A bientot!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Snip, snip...

Mathilde has been scouring auctions and markets for suitably 'shabby' furniture to decorate the Petit Parterre and this is her latest acquisition. It looks like it has a few more years left in it and I think it will be great for displaying small plants and pots etc.
This is my first piece of furniture built from cardboard, inspired by Kris's blog, one inch minis . I had fun making it and will try something different next time.The legs are cut from some turnings I bought at the Sydney Miniatures Fair in May this year, I knew they would come in handy. Lots of glue, some metalic paper trim, paint and voila! It has its little faults but nothing too noticeable, it is meant to look old after all.

Welcome to all new followers and visitors I will be catching up with what you are all doing, I can spend so much time browsing blogs I really have to limit myself.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend, the weather here in New South Wales has been absolutely perfect the last few days, the start of spring.
A bientot!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Looking Rosey

More flowers, I thought I would try my first floral arrangement, the result of the last several days of fiddling. The roses are Rosa Grandiflora, a kit by Bonnie Lavish, with some white lilies, fern and some daffodils. I added a little ivy around the rim of the pot. I photographed it in a couple of 'locations', I hope you enjoy it.

This display will be in the Petit Parterre, and luckily the plants are very long lasting as I have yet to make up my mind about the interior decoration.
We are enjoying some lovely sunny winter days here, with spring officially almost upon us and I am certainly looking forward to the warmer weather. I think I might have to keep moving north as I seem less and less able to cope with the cold, I go into a type of hibernation.
I hope everyone is have a happy and productive week.
A bientot!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Spring is Almost Here!

Whew, Mathilde is looking just a bit dishevelled after tending to all the early-flowering spring bulbs. There will be many more needed for the Petit Parterre and I have had fun making some roses too, photo of those later. All are from kits I bought some time ago, by Bonnie Lavish. I would like to try making some of Pascale Garnier's flower kits, if anyone has her contact email can you please let me know as I lost it when my old laptop's lights went out.
Flower-making requires concentration and, for me, strong magnifying glasses but I love to see how they evolve just from flat little pieces of paper.
A bientot!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hello Again

Meet Mathilde, the part-owner of Le Petit Parterre. She will be overseeing the decorating for the shop, and of course tending to the plants as she has quite a green thumb. The perfect poppies are again by Little Rabbit Miniatures, aren't they beautiful. Mathilde has no intention of getting her hands or clothes dirty or spoiling her manicure though, she will leave that to her assistants. Mathilde will be the 'face' of the business.

Speaking of faces, I gave her a makeover, you wouldn't recognise her from the doll I bought a few weeks ago for just $8. I changed her fuzzy brown wool hair for this lovely blonde mohair which I still need to secure in place in a kind of chignon. Her features were almost invisible so I loaded on the 'makeup', just using my craft paints. I must say I quite enjoyed the process and am happy with the transformation. She is now wearing 'suede' pants and a glamorous lace blouse, as well as pearl earrings. Dressmaking for mini dolls is so much easier than for people as they don't need to 'move' and it is possible to cheat with a little glue here and there.
I have also been fiddling with this little antique infants travel trunk.
I wanted it to look like something stored away in an attic for many years. I spent way to long on this, if I do another I will take some shortcuts and make some improvements.
Today I have been sorting through the flower kits I bought some time ago and have made some daffodils. I shall try making more tomorrow and will post a pic of them.
A bientot!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pretty in Pink

As a diversion from working on my faux wood finishes I put together this cute Chrysnbon chair kit. I originally gave it a very shabby greyish paint finish then on a whim, decided to go for pink. It is still very shabby of course, like a RL farm find perhaps. I felt impelled to surround it with all things pink and even gave my large white candelabra a pink wash, which I like for the moment. It does look large against the chair but I styled in on a tall pair I have which tower above our heads when sitting at the table. I will add some sparkly crystal drops and candles to finish it off properly.
The gorgeous poppies are by Michelle of Little Rabbit Miniatures and I received them in a swap back in 2010. I just love them they are so perfect. You wouldn't believe how long I sweated over tying that silk ribbon around the pot to make it fit the 'pink' theme! Until next time.
A bientot!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Antique Collecting

This is what I have been doing lately. I love old leather chairs that look like they have been lovingly cared for over many years, even if they are showing signs of wear. This brown 'leather' wingback has lighter shades from wear here and there, giving it a warm, mellow glow, and it even has a few spots where the leather is wearing thin. I think it has more character than it had originally, but didn't get a before shot. You can just see the burr walnut whatnot next to it, I need to collect some pretty 'antique' china and silver to display on it. I have also been making some cushions, will post a better photo when I have one, and sewing some delicate summer lace-trimmed throws. 

There's also a re-do of the walnut dressing table, have lost count of how many layers are on it now. I'll show it soon, along with the matching mirror I acquired. I am still playing with faux wood effects but am running out of items to practice on.

A big welcome to new followers, I appreciate everyone's visits and really like getting your feedback via comments. I am pondering what I can offer as a GIVEAWAY soon, so stay tuned. 
A bientot! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Goodies from the Fair

The long-awaited Sydney Miniatures Fair was on last weekend. I met up with Norma on the first day, soon after opening so we wouldn't miss out on anything. We made a slow progression around the tables and lost each other a couple of times. We also met up with Rebecca who was down from Darwin for the show and also visiting family.
With a limited budget (again) I was drawn to all the pretty things, nothing too practical as I realised I could buy those any time. There were so many beautiful things it was difficult not to want to spend, spend, spend. But I am very happy with my purchases. Someone else likes the sweet dressing table set, and also the lovely antique lace-covered cushion.

While I wasn't looking, the little monkey tried on the lovely antique lace dress, which is really only meant to drape or hang in a room. She has the rather handy ability to detach both her legs and one arm in order to squeeze into things not really meant for her. She does look quite pretty in it I must admit. She has had to do with oversized clothing up until now as I haven't made her anything.

This is the whole selection, I really love the little box of doilies and the covered hot water bottle, the dress too of course. I will certainly find places for all of these. Unfortunately none of the sellers have web shops. I took some photos of tables on my phone but they didn't turn out well at all. Oh well, only another year to wait for the next one!
A bientot.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fun with painted finishes

I have been having fun painting faux wood finishes, firstly on my kit desk I put together recently. I was going to paint and distress it but decided to try a faux wood finish.
After fiddling for a while I came up with what I thought looked like a pretty good walnut effect. It is a little dark and you may not be able to see the finish in the pics. I have included a 'before' photo, beside the desk I painted way back when.

I bought that desk, already assembled, from Linda from Une Petite Folie, when she was selling off a few of her items. I found out how difficult it was to put together. The only kit I had previously assembled was the bed, pictured, which I also decided to give a faux wood effect, having painted it a beigey colour some time ago.
Then I had to make a mattress of course and followed the instructions from Kris at 1 inch minis. With some bad words said, I finally managed to get it finished, with just a few 'imperfections' hehe. I also found a Susan Harmon kit for these boxes and bags etc that I bought ages ago and had fun making them up. I don't think this is my forte as I seemed to be all thumbs and found gluing my fingers together much easier than gluing the paper pieces.

In this shot you will see the little porcelain doll I made in class a few years ago. She was trying out this bed for size but unfortunately I think she is a touch too big for the scale.

As a diversion from the Petite Parterre I want to build a room box of an old-fashioned bedroom, I'll see what I can find for it at the upcoming Sydney Miniatures Fair.

Well that's about it, other than a warm welcome to the new followers and visitors, hope you find something interesting her occasionally.
A bientot!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hello again, LTNS.

Welcome all new followers and a big hello to everyone, I hope you all had a joyouse Easter and didn't eat too much chocolate.As I have mentioned before I haven't really gotten back into mini making yet but I did paint a few furniture pieces while recuperating, if only I could find them.

I recently put together a kit of the same 'gentleman's desk' which featured some time back. It was only the second kit I have put together and was the most difficult. Some tiny gaps here and there but a couple of the vertical boards were slightly warped (the kit has been packed away for some time) so I will use that as my paltry excuse. I will show it when I work out how to download pics onto this laptop.

Meanwhile, these pics from a very stylish shop in Sydney's eastern suburbs, link here together with the one at the top right of this post (I found it last year and cannot remember the source) have me itching to get to work on my shop. I hope you enjoy them.
A bientot.