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book cover - the dolls' house book - pauline flick - 1973

The Dolls’ House Book – 126 pages
Author: Pauline Flick
Published by Collins – 1973
ISBN – 0001921568

Having been (possibly) unfair to the 1970s in the previous post, I thought I had better try to redress the balance and mention something that I do like from the 1970s.

Having said that: I didn’t know about this book in the 1970s; I bought it in a library sale in the early 1990s.

[And if you ever wonder why there are so many ex-library copies of books on eBay – the libraries in the UK started selling their books and downsizing quite a while ago now. Our small local library is about to close soon and then it will be goodbye to real books and we will only be able to get digital editions. People without computers, or no internet connection at all, (and there are still quite a few of these) are going to suffer.]

But back to the book: it is a modestly sized and I bought it because I liked the various illustrations of the window pelmets that are used above the section headings.

the dolls' house book - pauline flick - 1973 - pelmet illustration

I very nearly didn’t buy it because there is a section devoted to building a dolls’ house from a cardboard box.

the dolls' house book - pauline flick - 1973 - make your own dolls' house

But when I started reading it I was pleased that I had succumbed to the lure of the pelmets and the suggestion that you could build an Australian dolls’ house.

the dolls' house book - pauline flick - 1973 - australian house illustration

The book is clearly written with a juvenile audience in mind:

Grown-up collectors are always on the look out for old dolls’ house furniture…

but it is far from childish in its approach and, in a quiet sort of way, contains a great deal of historical information.

the dolls' house book - pauline flick - 1973 - cardboard chairs from the 1930s

It is divided into three main sections:

The History of Dolls’ Houses – I find this part fascinating as it is full of details that interest me and it is where I first learned of ‘The Girls’ Own Toymaker and Book of Recreation’ (published 1860 and now available on Google Books)

Making Your Own Dolls’ House – this contains a (sensible, if you ask me) description of making a robust dolls’ house from a cardboard box and suggestions of different types of styles of house that you might like to make, with pictures of the differing architectural styles of houses to be found in various British regions.

the dolls' house book - pauline flick - 1973 - timber framed suffolk house

Furnishing Your Dolls’ House – this is a very short section, but it ends with the wise words: “If you’re like me, once you begin collecting you’ll go on and on.”

*** *** ***

Re-reading the final section just now, in particular where the author describes cutting the head off a plastic deer in order to make a stuffed head to hang in her dolls’ house, I was reminded of something that I think might be of interest to someone reading this.

Jane Harrop (her website is here) provided instructions for making a hobby horse, using the head of a plastic toy horse for The DollsHouse and Miniature Scene Magazine (the article is here)

jane harrop - hobby horse

This is part of a series of ‘How To’ published by the magazine and made freely available by them on-line.

Not all the projects mentioned in the ‘How To’ section have detailed instructions, but there are lots of ideas, even when the instructions are non-existent or a bit sketchy.

*** *** ***

Finally, I have had a look and there is next to no information available on-line about Pauline Flick. This is a great shame as I am certain that she influenced the development of dolls’ house books and collecting in the UK.

The best I can do to redress this lack of recognition is to reproduce the biographic details from the back flap of the jacket ‘The Dolls’ House Book’ here.

the dolls' house book - pauline flick - 1973 - biographic details

While I was searching for information on-line I did come across a scanned copy of this book here.

I am not an expert of UK copyright law, but I am reasonably certain that it must still be in copyright in the UK.

Following Project Gutenberg’s reasoning on the matter of book copyright, it would therefore be an infringement of copyright to download this book to your computer.

Just looking at it on a computer screen, however, appears to be another matter entirely.

If you do decide to read it on-line you will be time travelling, so be prepared – there is only one colour photograph.

the dolls' house book - pauline flick - 1973 - frontispiece

This does not stop it being one of my favourite books about dolls’ houses.

 

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Spear’s Project Cards

spear's project cards - build your own dolls' house - 1970

SIZE – just over 6 x 4 inches

At the moment I am stuck, work-wise, in the 1970s.

Fortunately, the end is in sight for this particular project. I am saying fortunately because, although I am certain there must have been worse times to have lived through, there are all sorts of things that annoyed me in the 1970s that still annoy me today.

These project cards, which were published in the UK by J W Spear  are (in my memory at least) typical of the time: the strong, clashing colours, the determination to make something out of nothing, the way that it necessary to have a plywood base for a wobbly cardboard box house, the utterly unreasonable certainty that it is a little girl who will be making her own dolls’ house and that no little boy could be in the least interested.

While I am shuddering at my memories, I hope you will enjoy looking at the cards and marvelling at how things were.

If I think of these cards as an ancient historical artifact, I can almost persuade myself that they are no longer capable of annoying me intensely. Almost, but not quite…

Would anyone, these days, I wonder, suggest cutting off the end of an egg box to make a sofa?

If they did, I hope that at least they would try to disguise the essential egg boxyness of the finished article.

Paint? Beads for legs? Something, anything to make it more like a sofa and less like the end of an egg box…

No wonder I make every effort to avoid ‘How to Make’ books.

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You may have noticed that, although I do mention other websites and blogs from time to time, I don’t have a side-bar list of links on display.

This isn’t because I don’t appreciate the work of other bloggers, but because I know that I don’t have the time to maintain an up-to-date list.

WordPress statistics tell me that the following websites and bloggers have been kind enough to host a link to my blog this year and  over the past month I have checked that the links are live.

I look forward to doing more in-depth reading over the Christmas Holidays, with many thanks to all the following:

MINIATURES

Dada’s Dollhouse

Bickersgracht in miniature

Nuestras Minis – miniatures

Maria Inez Garibaldi

Kunnen nukkekoti

Minitarinat

Miniature Dreamworld – miniatures

Mini Foreningen

Le Petit monde Merveilleux de Marie

Villa Rendezvous ja muita tarinoita – miniatures

Wasting Gold Paper

Anajah’s Favoriten – a collection of dolls’ house projects to do

Dolls’ House Past and Present – miniatures and quarterly on-line magazine

So Mini Projects

One Tiny Little Thing

And then there are:

PRINTABLES

Jennifer’s Printables – printable things for miniature homes

Amy’s Wandering – printable nativity scenes, other printables and home schooling

PAPERCRAFT

Papermau – papercraft, models to make

Tektonen – papercraft, models to make

PaperCraftSquare – papercraft, models to make

AND

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

Minitreasures – a Wiki for miniatures

Freubelweb – crafts, paper projects

* * *

Finally, a special mention for littleglitterhouses.com, which has downloadable plans for many small building projects, some of which can be adapted for miniature use.

open-house-miniatures-christmas-2015-glitter-houses-and-bird-tree

I was looking for information on nativity sets when I came across the website and was amused at the way little snow scene houses (aka “putz”, or “glitter houses”) have travelled around the world and the ways in which they have changed in design as they did so.

For the record, these little houses  existed in the UK too. I can remember, when I was very young, helping to make a small village (there was even a postbox!) from cereal box card and gummed coloured paper. The glitter that we used came in a box and the flakes were large, flat and translucent – fascinatingly and memorably different to the silver glitter that came in a glass tube.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ettore Sobrero

ettore_sobrero_1991-catalogue

Ettore Sobrero’s books are, some of the most beautifully bound miniature volumes that I have ever seen and I was very glad to discover that I still had one of his catalogues.

I scanned the catalogue to see if I would be able to reproduce the fine quality print here. The answer to that is: no.

However, I thought that the  scans weren’t completely unflattering and decided to see if I could remember how to make a slideshow and upload it to Slideshare.

This was only partially successful because I had to compress the images in the presentation in order to be able to upload the file. This naturally affected the quality of the image on-screen and the scans became decidedly uncomplimentary.

Below is the result of my Plan B, which was to host the images on another site. I hope that this will prove to be a reliable way of storing images, although, in this instance, I still had to reduce the files a little in size.

Another reason for writing this particular blog post was to experiment with some of the changes in file management that have taken place on WordPress.

My apologies to all who find my experiments in the technological field duller than ditch water.

 

 

 

 

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The Not Very Encouraging News

  1. My camera is not working reliably
  2. My little home printer is not working at all

Result: no paper projects to do on this blog until above are fixed or replaced

The Good News

  1. The scanner part of my printer is working. (I am not saying that it does a wonderful job, but at least it is working)

The “Oh no, what now…” News

Due to building work at home, alot of my things have been in store.

While in store, some things evidently became damp (see foxing on scan of card below)

example of foxing due to damp

Foxing (the brown spots) is the result of a type of mould and I have to go through everything and check / air / scan / throw away / make tough decisions about it.

While doing this, I thought that I should make the effort to digitize my paper-based archive. [Archive, in this case = a very grand word for a box of postcards, scraps and other miscellaneous junk.]

However, I have so much to do (in general) at the moment that I cannot – must not – spend more than 1 hour a day sitting in front of my computer.

Despite this, in an unwise(?) but praiseworthy(?) attempt to share what I thought might be useful to other people interested in making miniature things, I created a page called Printables on this blog.

I then came swiftly to the conclusion that:

  1. My idea of what is “useful” may not be universally “useful”
  2. I will soon run out of storage space, if I add full size images randomly
  3. Looking through lots of thumbnail sized images on a computer screen is tedious

Result: a suggestion that is going to end in disappointment for some people.

The suggestion is this:

There should be a comments box on this page and, if you would like to, you can leave a message there letting me know what would be useful to you. Please be as specific as you can, for example magazines is good, but magazines (fashion, 1950s) would be even better.

This would be a great help to me, as I could spend more time scanning and less time uploading (not at all useful) images here.

A couple of things to bear in mind, please:

  1. My 1 Hour a Day Computer Rule
  2. There are only 24 hours in a day and I do my best to be asleep for at least 6 of them

Finally:

Below is the result of one hour’s work. Most of the time was taken up by typing the descriptions and double checking that the right description was with the right card and how they were displayed on screen etc., etc., etc. This means that any scans I upload here are not going to have detailed written descriptions.

And I can’t decide if the following should be called: “cigarette cards“, “lithographic prints” or “possible miniature theatre scenery“, so please don’t be surprised if images are not classified as you think they should be.

No. 2 of 25 Reproductions of Celebrated Oil Paintings -

No. 2 of 25 Reproductions of Celebrated Oil Paintings
“Dutch Boats off Flushing”
De Reszke Cigarettes – J Millhoff & Co Ltd.

Cigarette Cards No. 20 (of 80) in the series Evolution of the British Navy - no manufacturer name given.

No. 20 (of 80) in the series Evolution of the British Navy
– no manufacturer name given.

Cigarette card - No. 19 (of 25)

No. 19 (of 25) Reproductions of Celebrated Oil Paintings
“Dutch Boats in a Calm”
Army Club Cigarettes – Cavanders Ltd

Cigarette Card - No. 3 (of 25) Reproductions of Celebrated Oil Paintings

No. 3 (of 25) Reproductions of Celebrated Oil Paintings
Dedham Mill
Army Club Cigarettes – Cavanders Ltd

Cigarette Card - No. 12 (of 25) Reproductions of Celebrated Oil Paintings

No. 12 (of 25) Reproductions of Celebrated Oil Paintings
“The Valley of the Llugwy”
Army Club Cigarettes – Cavanders Ltd

No. 7 (of 25) Reproductions of Celebrated Oil Paintings

No. 7 (of 25) Reproductions of Celebrated Oil Paintings
The Stream
Army Club Cigarettes – Cavanders Ltd

 

* * *

Afterword

I don’t sponsor any advertisements on this blog

WordPress need to make money in order to run their blogging service and so they sell advertising space.

I could, by paying WordPress a small fee, make this blog advert free – nice as this would be, it’s not going to happen soon.

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How Big…?

Open House Miniatures - screen detail and 10p coin

10p coin.

One of the comments on the post before this one started a train of thought that ended, a great deal earlier this morning, in these photographs.

Open House Miniatures - screen detail and 10p coin

1p coin.

I look in bemusement at photographs from around the world, where my only size reference is an unknown coin.

Does the same thing happen to you?

If it does, this may help – for the UK at least.

Open House Miniatures - UK coins

The 10p coin
(far right)
is very slightly smaller than
1 inch
(2.5 cm)
in diameter

Open House Miniatures - UK coins

I think that, if you are not familiar with the UK currency,  in addition to the variety of sizes and shapes, it may sometimes difficult to identify a coin because the front and reverse of the same denomination can vary.

Open House Miniatures - 5p and 1p coins showing variations

This is one of the reasons why I continue to use a ruler – even though many people have told me how much they dislike it.

Open House Miniatures - screen detail and ruler

“…horrible, everyday, metallic, nasty, mundane-ness…” is possibly my favourite quote to date.

[Please do not take this as encouragement to send me more, even more descriptive, quotes !]

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Oh No…

I have just had a notification regarding “spam” email from WordPress.

Unfortunately, some of it is not “spam” at all.

I would like to apologise to everyone who left a message on “My Dilemma”, and who did not get an acknowledgement.

In particular to  Le Minis di Cockerina, who left me a kind message and whose very enjoyable blog (I love the selection of Christmas miniatures) is here http://leminisdicockerina.blogspot.it/

I am truly sorry.

WordPress has something called Askimet and this filters out “spam” emails.

I could switch Askimet off, but when I do this I receive a huge number of peculiar messages. Admittedly some of them have very inventive addresses which (sometimes) make me laugh, but despite this they are still not my favourite reading matter.

So, dilemma time again…

I could say, the first person to leave a comment gets the “giveaway”, which would be nice and quick from my point of view, but it is unfair because of time zones and Askimet.

I could promise to check my “spam” folder – this sounds sensible and practical but will I remember to do it?

If I feel guilty enough, I might.

So, as I am feeling more than just a bit guilty, I will try one more time.

These fans are too delicate to survive in my “Think About These” box.

open_house_miniatures_french_fan_2

I had help with these photos

open_house_miniatures_french_fan_1

The black shape is the top of a bottle of Hugo Boss aftershave.

If anyone would like a fan, please leave me a comment, letting me know which colour tassels you would prefer.

You can say both if you like.

I will check my “spam” folder daily.

On the 1st of March, a friend of mine will pick two names/numbers, and I will contact the winners.

Lastly, but by no means least, Ersilia of  Dadasdollhouse  mentioned that when she makes fans she uses fans from the Graphics Fairy’s online collection.

Ersilia’s (dual language !) blog is well worth a visit. It features some excellent projects to make and her collection of links for printable materials is truly impressive. (You may need to scroll down to see Materiale da stampare – Printies on the right hand side of the page).

***   ***   ***

Please see “How to Make a Miniature (printed) Fan” if you are interested in how I made these / would like to make one yourself.

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