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Archive for May, 2013

Meet Noah…

Open House Miniatures - Sock Bear Noah

Somewhere I have a “proper” pattern for a bear.

Somewhere…

Unfortunately my (non-existent) filing system let me down (again) and I had to start again from scratch.

Noah is therefore exceeding handmade and, because I am not very fond of sewing, I cheated a great deal when I made him.

Experienced makers of miniature bears do not look at the slideshow at the bottom of this page – it will upset you – and whatever you do, do not use my pattern.

Open House Miniatures - sock bear  called Noah

This is not a pdf file so
I have no idea what size this will print.

Instead, please go to a website where you can download a professionally designed teddy bear and re-size that.

There are quite a few websites to choose from –

www.planet-teddybear.com

www.sewingsupport.com

www.bearycheap.com

Everyone else…

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Noah is a distantly related to Sock the Elephant and, like Sock, he is not for sale.

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This is a Paper Palace to Cut Out and Color - Evaline Ness

This is a Paper Palace to Cut Out and Color
Designed by Evaline Ness
ISBN 0-684-14708-4

My mother gave this book to me way back in the mid 1970s.

She had come across it in a cut-price bookshop that used to be on the Kilburn High Road (in London).

Shops like these are the last chance for a book that has been remaindered.

If a book doesn’t sell there it is pulped, and I have always been glad and grateful that this one, at least, was rescued.

I have never taken the book apart in order to turn it into a 3d palace, but I have decorated (and re-decorated) again and again in my imagination.

One of the things that I find particularly pleasing about it is the way the shape of two of the rooms is changed by the triangular supports.

This is a Paper Palace to Cut Out and Color - Evaline Ness - back cover

Then there is the way that it is possible to allow furniture to spill out of the rooms, not to mention the way that the owner of the palace is encouraged to use their imagination – and plenty of gold !

This is a Paper Palace - Evaline Ness

Whenever I need to make something fine and golden for a dolls’ house, this is one of the first places that I visit for inspiration.

open_house_miniatures_cinderella_cartel_clock

The book is still in copyright, so I can’t share it it great detail here –

This is a Paper Palace - Evaline Ness

this_is_a_paper_palace_to_cut_out_and_color_evaline_ness_bedroom

this_is_a_paper_palace_to_cut_out_and_color_evaline_ness_page_detail

– but if you are inspired to make a Paper Palace of your own, and would like some furniture to go in it, I would suggest having a look at the digital copy of The Girl’s Own Toy-Maker that is available from Google books.

It has some rather nice furniture patterns (as well as suggestions for a couple of small houses and other paper toys) that can be made from paper / card and I think that all of the designs could be worked up into something more substantial – with a little bit of work.

Here are a few of the simpler items –

The Girl's Own Toymaker - Dolls' HouseChair

The Girl's Own Toymaker - Dolls' House Chair with Arms

The Girl's Own Toymaker - Dolls' House Table

The Girl's Own Toymaker - Dolls' House Fireplace

The Girl's Own Toymaker - Dolls' House Washstand

I was delighted to discover that there is a companion volume for boys too –

The Boy’s Own Toy-Maker

The Boy's Own Toy-Maker - soldiers marching out of a fort

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Open House Miniatures - Cinderella Cartel Clock

This type of clock is sometimes called a Cartel Clock. Cartel Clocks are usually made from gilded metal and designed to fit flat against a wall.

There is quite a story attached to the making of the clock, and the book that inspired it deserves a blog post of its own (which it will get shortly) but here (very briefly) is what happens in my version of Cinderella –

There is no big, booming clock to signal midnight because, in my experience, most drama happens quietly, and there is never a beautifully timed clap of thunder when you need one. Anyway –

The Prince and Cinderella were sitting on a gilded sofa and one of these clocks was on the wall, above their heads.

The Prince had just begun to say,

“Mysterious and Beautiful Maiden, will you marr …”

when the little clock started to whirr and then to chime – chinging, ting, ting…

“Oh !” exclaimed Cinderella, jumping up…

And the rest, as they say, is history.

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I don’t know if you have noticed, but I have just done two things that I usually avoid doing on this blog

I have used a richly coloured back ground and I have indulged in story telling.

Why have I done this?

Well, you know my boring, boring photographs and my long-winded explanations? Even I get fed up with them sometimes, however let us consider the alternatives…

Open House Miniatures - Cinderella Cartel Clock

Does this photograph tell you
how large this clock is?

open_house_miniatures_three_cinderella_cartel_clocks_crushed_pink_velvet

Does this photograph tell you
what the clock is made from?

open_house_miniatures_three_cinderella_cartel_clocks

Does this photograph tell you
anything at all?

open_house_miniatures_three_cinderella_cartel_clocks_striped_fabric

All this says to me is – STRIPES !

open_house_miniatures_three_cinderella_cartel_clocks_with_ruler

Oh well…

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As a matter of interest it has taken me about 6 weeks to get from here –

Open House Miniatures - Cinderella Cartel Clock

to here –

open_house_miniatures_cinderella_cartel_clock

– and now I am not at all certain that I like the metallic finish and I am going to have to look into alternatives.

So what about this clock?

I made the original clock from DAS modelling clay. I then made three moulds from this original, and I then cast three clocks from the three moulds.

I did think about making a slideshow about the whole process and then decided that Life Is Too Short.

The essential, minimum details are as follows –

I cast the clock in resin, rather than metal, for two reasons.

The main one was weight – in my experience, miniature metal clocks fall off walls with depressing regularity. Araldite seems to be the only thing that will keep them in place.

Secondly, if I had wanted a metal clock, I would have had to make my master in something like Milliput. I would also have had to send it away to be cast, because I do not have the equipment to do this myself. This would not necessarily have been the more expensive option, but I would have had no control of the process and making changes would have been difficult.

The finished clock is 2 and 1/8th of an inch long, just over 1 inch wide at the widest point and just under 1/4 of an inch deep at its deepest point (54 mm x 25 mm x 7 mm)

The clock dials are reproduced from antique scraps.

(By the way, did you know that most modern clocks are photographed with their hands at 10 minutes to two? This is supposed to give them a “smiley” face.)

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I bought the mould making and casting supplies from MB Fibreglass   If you are interested in casting (on any scale), I can thoroughly recommend checking out their product range. Their service is excellent too.

I used –

Polycraft GP-3481-F General Purpose RTV Silicone Mould Making Rubber for the mould – http://www.mbfg.co.uk/rtv-silicone/gp-3481-f.html

and

Polycraft SG2000 Paintable Fast Cast Polyurethane Liquid Plastic Casting Resin for the clock – http://www.mbfg.co.uk/liquid-plastics/sg2000.html

This was the first time that I had used either of these and I was very impressed by the performance of both.

Open House Miniatures - Cinderella clock miniature mould and unfinished cast

Last, but by no means least – I would like to thank Susan Mortimer (I am so very, very deeply jealous of her photographs) for bringing David Neat’s WordPress blog to my attention.

If you are interested in casting or working with paper / card to create models, I would urge you to take the time to visit it too – http://davidneat.wordpress.com/

His tutorials are clear, well-presented and full of essential detail and his (mainly London based) list of suppliers is truly impressive.

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kathleen Holmes' Doll House - Front Door

Kathleen’s house was recently featured in Miniaturas Magazine.

Kathleen Holmes Dollhouse in Miniaturas Magazine

I was very cheeky and asked her if she would mind sharing her photographs with a wider audience, and she has been very generous and agreed.

I planned to select twelve of her photographs as my “favourites” (Just twelve photographs? I couldn’t stop at just twelve!) and have been debating what I could say about them.

I finally concluded that what I really feel about the entire house is that it is:

Lived-in, Looked-after and Loved.

I could go on about the deft touches that please me – the tiny white bobbles on the nursery curtains, the casual, exactly right, arrangement on the attic windowsill, the leaves in the wheel barrow, the watering can (ready for emergencies?) in the photograph for the 4th of July celebrations… but the list would just keep growing longer and longer because I keep seeing new things to enjoy and marvel at.

So, enough words.

I hope that you will enjoy looking at Kathleen’s photographs as much as I do, and will  join me in thanking her for sharing her wonderful miniature home.

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Kathleen adds photographs to Facebook on a regular basis – https://www.facebook.com/kathleen.holmes.12

She is working on a new home at the moment.

new-house_copyright_kathleen_holmes_2013_all_rights_reserved-19
I can’t wait for her to move in.
Kathleen Holmes Dollhouse

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I cannot possibly name all the makers whose work is featured in Kathleen’s home, so it was a question of mention some, or none at all.

The food is principally made by –

Robin Brady-Boxwell of Crown Jewel Miniatureshttp://www.crownjewelminiatures.com/

Amanda Speakmanhttp://www.amanspeakminiatures.com/

Kim Marshall Saulterhttp://kimsminiatures.blogspot.co.uk/

The dog and the cat were made by *reve*.

*reve* has no items for sale at the time of typing this, but his / her eBay profile page is here – http://myworld.ebay.com/*reve*/

I apologise to the many people that I am overlooking by mentioning these very, very few.

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Open_House_Miniatures_Fairy_Tale_Theatre_Made_Up

Dear RG,

I have tried to email you, but my message has been returned as “undeliverable”.

In answer to your questions –

Yes, you may.

No, I don’t mind you asking – if you don’t ask, you will never know !

I am sorry, I don’t have a Cinderella scene for this theatre.

I found the parts that I do have in a small second-hand book market that used to be held on the South Bank of the River Thames, by the Royal Festival Hall. It was years and years ago now.

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Open_House_Miniatures_Fairy_Tale_Theatre_Proscinium Open_House_Miniatures_Fairy_Tale_Theatre_Curtain Open_House_Miniatures_Fairy_Tale_Theatre_Backdrop Open_House_Miniatures_Fairy_Tale_Theatre_Scenes

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The above images above are 80 ppi – They are not the best quality but they are “not bad”.

They should each print onto an A4 piece of paper / card – they are SMALLER than the original pieces.

In order to make the theatre at this size, I would use at least 140 / 160 gsm paper.

Sometimes this weight of paper is sold as “card”.

I am in the UK and I would look for something called “cartridge paper” – basically you will have to find a card / paper that works for you !

Everything that I wrote about scoring, folding, etc for the miniature version of this theatre I would say again for this size.

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4th May 2013 – Sharon has very kindly shared a couple of links, please see the comments for her full explanation –

I recently came across a link to this “set” on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/taffeta/sets/72157614068345415/

… Images for the theater in this post were published in the magazine in 1924. They can be found starting in the middle of the third row of images… The images are posted by the “owner” of the Agence Eureka blog, where she has posted hundreds of vintage paper projects over the years… http://bibigreycat.blogspot.com/

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I have been busy this week, and I am still paying back the “Blog Time” that I borrowed earlier, so to be very, very quickly –

Image7

I make the cloth books as an antidote to “This has to be exactly right” book-binding.

This ABC book is based on one published in the late 19th Century by the McLoughlin Brothers in the USA.

The books are very flexible and can be opened and “posed” in a variety of ways. If they are left open for any length of time they will need to be placed under a solid weight, or between other books on a miniature bookshelf, in order to shut flat again.

The smallest text is just about readable without a magnifying glass.

Just as it does in real-life cloth books, the printing on the interior pages wanders up and down a bit – particularly on the last page.

The top and bottom edges of the pages are slightly rough.

These “faults” are intentional and reflect the condition of the original book.

Size when closed – 1 inch x 3/4 of an inch (2.5 cm x 1.9 cm)

PLEASE NOTE – the books are not “toys”, they are “collector’s items”

Image3

open_house_miniatures_mcloughlin_cloth_book_abc_2

open_house_miniatures_mcloughlin_cloth_book_abc_01

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