Posts Tagged ‘nativity’

dollhouse miniature nativity set

Wooden base, hand-painted plastic figures. SIZE – Just over 1 inch in height (approximately 2.5cm), Just under 1 inch wide (approximately 2.3 cm), Just over 1/2 inch deep (1.3 cm)

I would like to hold a Giveaway for one of my nativity sets.

From what I have read, the usual purpose of a Giveaway is to promote a product or service, so I had better say here and now that I am not trying to promote sales of these nativity sets. This is intended as a bit of fun for readers of this blog and not as an excuse for viral networking.

It also seems usual to ask giveaway entrants to perform tasks. There are no complicated tasks in this giveaway.

If you would like to, and only if you would like to, please leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post, with a link to a site about miniatures that you like. A site that you would like to share with other people.

Just a link and a few words will do. For example: Phoenix Model Developments and Warwick Miniatures – amazingly detailed 12th and 24th scale cast metal models:

[Incidentally, at the time of typing this, Phoenix are holding a sale  of some of their model toys.]

The comment can be in any language, but I would like the link to be to a dolls’ house or miniatures site that is publicly accessible. For example: a forum, where you need to be a member in order to participate, isn’t accessible to non-members.

Important: you will need to enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter form below, just leaving a comment will not automatically enter you in the draw.

The entry form is here:

Giveaway Entry Form For a Miniature Nativity Set

[UPDATE: 22nd October 2018 – the winner is Kate H in Canada.]

In order to be entered into the draw (and prove that you are not a robot) you will need to type either YES or NO in answer to the question: ‘Did you leave a comment?’

The Giveaway is set to run from 12 am, 28th September 2018 to 12 am, 22nd October 2018 (UK time). The winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and, as I said before, you don’t need to leave a comment and a link in order to enter the draw.

The purpose of this giveaway is not to collect comments for this blog so, if you leave one, please don’t worry when you don’t see it appear immediately.

If I receive a reasonable number of links (more than ten) I plan to have a ‘Recommended by Readers’ list somewhere. Maybe as a static page – but I haven’t decided about this yet.

Rafflecopter will ask you for your email address, or to sign in with your Facebook account (if you have one).

I will contact the winner, by email, and arrange for the nativity set to be posted after the draw has taken place.

Neither I, nor Rafflecopter, will pass on your email / Facebook details.

I have never entered a Giveaway myself so, before I wrote this blog post, I did a very small amount of research and found this Youtube video, which explains how the Rafflecopter giveaways are supposed to work.

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Why do I want to make a ‘Recommended by Readers’ list of links to dolls’ house and miniatures sites?

Well, I had been considering repeating the format of a previous blog post, where I had shared my Christmas Holiday Reading List. But when I looked at the referral information provided by WordPress for this year there was (overwhelmingly) :

  • Pinterest (these cushions were top of the Pinterest links list)
  • Papermau (a site with an astonishing number and variety of paper models)
  • A very wide variety of Dolls’ House Miniature Forums where, invariably, you need to be a member in order to see anything at all.

And from this it was clear to me that the idea wouldn’t work so well this time round.

And then I thought… There are lots of websites / blogs about miniatures. There must be many people who have a dolls’ house / miniatures site that they like. Why not ask the people who read this to share their favourite? That would make interesting reading.

And then the idea of a Giveaway was added into the mix.

Anyway, to bring what was intended to be a short blog post to an end: I was going to save the giveaway until December and call it: ‘A Christmas Giveaway’. But then I thought, if I do that then it will have to end at Christmas, or close to Christmas, and the winner won’t receive their nativity set in time for Christmas.

Hence the rather odd sounding ‘End of Year Giveaway’.

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Finally, if you see an advert here, at the end of the blog post, it isn’t mine. WordPress sometimes run advertisements because they need to fund their blogging service. I could pay to have the adverts removed, but I would rather host a Giveaway and pay postage to have a gift delivered.

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open_house_miniatures_ christmas_2015_dolls'_house_nativity_set_umpainted

This week I borrowed a Daylight Company D45000 4 Watt Foldi LED Portable Lamp and I have to say that it has exceeded my expectations.

It is compact, solidly weighted and stable. It give a very clear light – don’t look into it, you will hurt your eyes. It makes painting by artificial light possible (not good, but possible) and in the photographs that I have just taken the colours that I see on screen are very close to the colours that I see in real life.

The lamp is available from Amazon (UK) and when I looked it was on special offer, which makes it very, very tempting as far as I am concerned, although I need to see if it can help out with photos taken in daylight before making a final decision.

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The nativity scene in the photos is probably going to be my 2015 set. I am saying probably because the figures illustrated are fixed to the stand and I would prefer them to be free standing. They are glued down because they are very small and light, especially the baby Jesus who goes missing despite all my efforts to keep him safe.


Varnished wooden base (gloss varnish)

Hand-painted resin / plastic figures and star. These are finished with a very tiny amount of gold, sealed and given several thin coats of matt / satin varnish so that they have a slight sheen, but are not too shiny.


The stand is -1″ wide (approx 2.5cm) x  just over 1″ tall (approx 2.75cm)

The tallest figure (Joseph) is 2cm – roughly 3/4 of an inch

As the stands are handmade and the figures are hand-painted, they are all slightly different.

UPDATE: 24th November 2015

open_house_miniatures_ christmas_2015_dolls'_house_nativity_set_daylight

As far as I am concerned, daylight is still best.

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paper model kiosk - paper nativity download - free

This is going to sound rushed, because I am supposed to be doing something else this morning, but I saw this and I thought it was too good to miss.

crechemania - paper model kiosk - excellent quality - free nativity download

Paper Model Kiosk (aka Crechemania) have a very large collection of downloadable paper nativities on their entrancing, enthralling, amazing website. Some of them, like the miniature example above are free. (Miniature in this case = 3 x 1.5 x 3.5 inches)

The downloads page for all their nativity sets is here.

To use the site and receive a download, you need to register your email address.

When you ask for a free (I MUST NOT, (cannot) buy them all, although I want to) download, a link that is live for one hour is sent to your email address. By clicking on the link in the email, you are re-directed to the Crechemania website and can then download a pdf of your selected nativity.

I have just tried this out and encountered one minor problem – the registration part of Paper Model Kiosk’s site did not work smoothly for me in Firefox. It was, however, fine in Google.

I am going to repeat the Crechemania Free Download Service agreement here :-

By using this Crechemania Free Download Service I agree with the Crechemania.com download policy; that these downloads are copyrighted material; that they are for my personal use only. I may download as many items as I wish; as many times as I wish; print as many as I wish; assemble as many as I wish; give away as many as I wish. But I may not sell them; offer them for sale on Internet sites; post these as Downloads on my Web site; or mailing lists; and I agree to the receipt of Crèchemania.com email notices and newsletters about crèche downloads, news, and information; and I understand that I may receive periodic emails notifying me of Chrèchemania news and updates.


Any advertisements that you see on this on this blog page, are not mine.

WordPress has to fund this “free” weblog service somehow and so they sell advertising space to third parties

I could, by paying WordPress a small amount of money, stop the adverts appearing here.

I haven’t done this – and considering that I could buy a couple of nativities for the same money, can you blame me?

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Nativity 2013

open house miniature christmas nativity 2013

I made these nativity sets last March and have been trying to get a “nice” photo of a finished one ever since.

So far the best I have come up with has been rather blurred…

open house miniature nativity set christmas 2013

The best that I can hope for, therefore, is that the combination of the above two photos will give some idea of the finished article…

The nativity started life as an old Christmas scrap

I have no idea who this will print - I suspect that although it is relatively large it is also poor quality

I have no idea how this will print –
I suspect that although it is relatively large
it is also poor quality

If you would like to make this miniature nativity for yourself, the pdf is here –


If you decide to print and make the nativity, please bear in mind that your computer / printer settings and the paper that you use will make difference to the results that you get.

A walk-through of how I made mine is here –

There are more things to make and do on the projects page and I am going to repeat here what I say there –

  • 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.

This is my 101st post !

Happy New Year,!
I hope that 2014 will be a good year for you all.

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Open House Miniatures - detail of painted dolls house firescreen

Here I am about to be depressing again as I am (reluctantly) coming to the conclusion that “on-line” is not a good place for the majority of things that I make.


Well, in order for something to exist here,  I have to photograph it.

And in order to photograph something I have to wait for a day when the light levels are “right”.

This is not too bad for repeatable items, but for things that I cannot repeat exactly, it is a distinct problem.

What do I mean by “repeatable” and “not-repeatable”?

A good example of “repeatable” would be this year’s nativity set.

It is going to be printed and so when they are finished all the nativities are all going to look very nearly identical.

This means that once I have managed to photograph one nativity, the photographs can be used for every nativity set,

Open House Miniatures - Notebook - Nativity Scene 2013

This is an old photo.
I started working on the nativity at Easter.

“Not-repeatable” on the other hand, would be something like the fire screens that I made last week.

Here they are, waiting to be wrapped for posting.


It was not particularly sunny this morning, but my camera is still picking up far too much reflected light and the detail is burned out.

I can cut down on the reflected glare by using a different background.

Open House Miniatures - miniature firescreens

and by using pieces of off-white paper to soften some of the light.

Open House Miniatures - dolls house firescreens

but I can’t honestly say that I am happy with the result.

Open House Miniature - doll house firescreens

And because I cannot reproduce a painted item exactly, I have to photograph every piece individually and this, in our uncertain climate, can be a very frustrating and time-consuming business.

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The photographs on this blog post are watermarked to protect their integrity and reproduced with the permission of the new owner.

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The design on the bluer screen is based on a painting by Renoir.

The basket of flowers on the greener screen is my own design.

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Christmas comes but once a year – and a good job to, if you ask me.

I remember watching a television programme about a prestigious shop in the West End of London, where planning for the coming Christmas started on the 2nd of January.

So, although this may look like a very early start, in reality, I have really left things very late indeed…

Open House Miniatures dolls' house nativity scene 2011

This miniature Nativity Scene is based on a vintage one,  and is constructed a full size one would be – with slots and tabs

I have, however changed the original design slightly (and it is lightly glued together) for extra stability.

It is made from acid free paper and card – laminated together – and measures 1 and 1/4 inches (3.2cm wide), by just over 1 inch (2.5cm) tall, by just over 1/4 of an inch (7.5cm ) deep.

I do not know who made the original as it has no printed name, or logo, to identify it.

If anyone recognises it, I would be very glad to know more about its history.

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I will be selling these from my Etsy shop, but if you would like to try making a nativity scene for yourself, the following image should print at approximately the right size – but please bear in mind that I cannot guarantee the results as these depend on the computer / printer / paper used.

Open House Miniatures - dolls' house nativity scene, printable

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