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Archive for April, 2013

Miniature Kitchen Loves and Sweet Inspiration Kim Marshall Saulter 1

I have to ration my time on the internet to one hour a day (otherwise I would be here all day !) and I overspent my “Blog Budget” wildly last week – so I really shouldn’t be here at all.

However, I have just seen this book by Kim Marshall Saulter and instantly knew that it was one of those Must See Things That Had to Be Shared.

There is a very generous 21 page preview of the book on Blurb here –

 Miniature Kitchen Loves and Sweet Inspirations

Kim Marshall Saulter - Kitchen Loves and Sweet Inspirations

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Open House Miniatures - Theater Bilderbuch - one scene

I haven’t seen many copies of the Theater Bilderbuch, and the (very few) antique ones that I have seen usually resemble the one on the V & A website.

[ Lucia Contreras Flores has an edition on her website that I have never seen before – you may need to scroll down the web-page to find it. ]

There are two modern editions that I know of –

  • a German edition (ISBN 978-3480131631)
  • an English language edition (ISBN 978-0722655368)

and these have been  re-engineered to work on a smaller scale, and using much thinner materials, than the original publications.

In order to make my miniature version work (to my satisfaction) I had to re-work the original construction too.

Open House Miniatures - Theater BilderBuch - construction of one scene

My version was designed for 100 gsm paper (I use the smoothest, best quality that I can find.)

90 gsm paper (in my experience) tends to be a little bit too thin and “soft” and, with repeated opening and shutting of the book, quickly loses its crispness.

I am mentioning this here because I have been experimenting with some paper that was recommended by the printers who do most of my printing.

It is 90 gsm, comes on a large roll and is designed to go through a printer “under tension” – in other words it is thin, smooth and relatively tough. It also gives a superb print finish, with excellent colour reproduction.

The printers call it “proofing paper”.

I still don’t know much about it, but I am quietly excited by the possibilities it seems to offer.

In the following slideshow I am using that “proofing paper”.

I would still say that most 90 gsm papers are probably unsuitable for this project, but you may know of a paper, or discover one, that will work better for you than the 100 gsm that I recommend.

It is definitely worthwhile experimenting !

***   ***

The pdf for this is here –

Theater_Bilderbuch_Christmas_Eve_OHM20130419

– and there is a page for those who like to Make and Do here.

I am going to repeat here what I have written there –

  • Simply click on the link to open the pdf on-line. You can then print it without downloading it.
  • If you want to save the pdf to your computer / a CD / data stick etc. you may do that too.
  • You may use the contents of the pdf for yourself – and if you would like to make 10 of something and try selling them please go ahead, but do think first of all the other people who will be doing exactly the same thing.
  • You may share these projects with your friends and family, and miniature club.
  • You may link to them from your website / blog / satellite station, if you have one
  • You may customise them.
  • You may use them / the design ideas, in whole, or in part, as for inspiration for making your own things.

You may not copy the pdf, or the contents of the pdf, in whole, or in part, and re-sell them.

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I found the method used to construct the modern German edition of the Theater Bilderbuch very interesting.

The background scene, the text for one play and the front of the next theatre in the series are printed on one sheet and the various sheets are then folded round each other and glued together.

reproduction theater bilderbuch structure

Technicalities aside, the way that the front of the theatre frames the scenes, so that the edges are hidden – even when viewed from an angle – and the way that the overall scene changes depending on the viewer’s position make this (for me) not only an extremely good example of paper engineering, but it is also a wonderful piece of “theatre” – in every sense of the word.

reproduction theater bilderbuch side view

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Meet Sock…

open_house_miniatures_sock_elephant_5

Sock is an Easter elephant – and I promised someone that I would write about him “properly” on this blog.

Sock is unique and most definitely not for sale.

His name probably explains a great deal about him, but it would also be useful to know that –

  • His cap and back cloth are embroidered in 2 ply crewel wool, and the blue trim and tassels are embroidery cotton
  • His tail is embroidery cotton too.

If you would like an elephant like Sock you might find this pattern useful.

Will Cigarette Card - elephant pattern

This is reproduction – from a greetings card.
The original cigarette card was from a set called –
Household Hints (2nd series)

I am not very fond of sewing, but I enjoyed making Sock.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Next Week…

Making a Pop-up book.

There is still a short time before the poll closes, but it looks as though “Christmas Eve” is going to be a clear winner.

Many thanks to everyone who took the time to vote.

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I am about to abdicate responsibility again…

A little while ago I promised someone that I would demonstrate how to make a pop-up book “soon”.

“Soon” is taking me longer than I anticipated.

The week after next, however, I am planning to make some books.

The trouble is that there is more than one way to animate a book.

The ones that I made and photographed a while ago are not the simplest sort and, as an introduction to pop-ups, they may be a little off-putting.

Open House Miniatures - Theater Bildersbuch, single scene, Red Riding Hood

So I am going to be unfair and leave the choice up to you.

Shall I –

a) Do something simple – so that you can take the ideas away and use them to make something of your own (I will see what I can find by way of pictures)

b) Demonstrate one of my Theater Bilderbuch, with a pdf download for one of the following four scenes –

  • Little Red Riding Hood meeting the Wolf in the wood
  • Hansel and Gretel being chased by a (wonderfully irate) bear
  • The Adoration of the Magi – nativity scene
  • Christmas Eve – family scene

I am not going to say what I am going to vote for, only that I promise to be back to collect the results next Friday.

open_house_miniatures_poll_result_making_a_pop_up_book

If, like me, you are interested in theatres (and in books) and you would like to see an antique, full-size version of the Theater Builderbuch, there is one in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. It can be viewed on-line here

While I was checking that the above link was working, I came across an article regarding the conservation of another late Victorian book that gives a tantalising view of a different sort of pop-up mechanism.

victoria nad albert museum punch and bunny

This is the book after it had been restored.

The full (highly detailed)

A 5mm LD45 Plastazote polyethylene foam was chosen as soft, strong and inert. Three pieces were cut, bevelled and melted with a hot spatula on each edge to make them smoother, wrapped in Japanese paper and adhered with wheat starch paste between the upper board and back drop…

article is here.

(I loved reading the article, then I started to wonder – which Japanese paper did they use?)

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