Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Halloween part 2! Masks!

Had a go at making miniature masks this year, using silicone to make moulds and experimenting with liquid fimo. Bit hit and miss, learning curves etc, but I'm pretty pleased with the results so far.

The masters for the masks.

No werewolf because time ran out :D Still tweaking these ones..

A representation of how miniature people would look waiting for me to get this party organized! 

Leaving the 1:12th scale Halloween world, this year I decided to go back to the old Irish tradition of using a turnip for carving a Jack o'Lantern (which I have since discovered is actually a swede, and not a turnip..even the shops don't know this, they label them as turnips) Here in Northern Ireland we didn't use pumpkins until relatively recently, in fact Halloween was never really that big here, despite it having origins here as Samhain. I remember as a child being forced to sit out in the garden carving my turnip with a knife and a spoon. It was a nightmarish experience that took up most of the day and would be considered child abuse today, we didn't have adult supervision back then.  We also wore black bin bags as a costume...

 I can see why the pumpkin took over.  There is something perfect about the turnip/swede though (and it really stinks).

Ar har, I stink

Happy Halloween to you all! x

1:12 scale Halloween Part 1 (plus free Halloween printables)

Happy Halloween!  I've flung these posts together, bit last minute! Where have you been Sarah? NO TIME! This is not quite what I had planned, but just in case there are any of you out there running around like a headless horseman trying to sort out some more final touches to your mini party, had to get it posted! Also something to do tonight, if like me, you have no party to go to... :( :D

A little round halloween box, made using a beautiful old illustration by Dennison's. This one is from 1914! Also found this nice online book showing halloween decor for the 1920s, The Dennison Bogie Book

Tips of cocktail sticks make great facepaints, you can put "faceputty" made out of erasers or something in the blank space below those...I haven't finished much unfinished (business ;) ) around here.

A Halloween tambourine, image courtesy of  The Graphics Fairy, and flattened mini beadcaps to make the...oh, er, what are those things called, new tab, google...small metal jangles called ZILS! :D

I scored my party bags sides so that they would fold in nicely at the top.

Here are the links for the Halloween Printables!

Boxes and stuff  Print on card

Because of my limited software, there are no tabs here and there, so I've included these pics below, to show how the party bags and hats should look when you cut them out, DON'T FORGET TO ADD YOUR OWN TABS WHERE YOU SEE FIT!! :D The party hat tabs do not need to be scored. The round box sides, party hat and tambourine sides, need to be curled using a tool of some sort, something like a ruler, I use the side of my bone folder.

When making up round boxes etc, I don't use tabs along the side of the circle. I measure the circumference of the circle, then make a mark on the "side", curl the "side", do a dry fit and then adjust, to make sure of a snug fit, then glue to make a loop that will around the circle. Then run a bit of glue around the inside of the base of the loop and drop the circle in, carefully fitting it in to place.

The Circumference of the tambourine is 56mm.

The circumference of the Ghost box lid is 63mm, the base is 61mm.

Depending on the thickness of the card used, those measurements may go up a millimetre or two to get the right side length. Remember to dry fit before gluing!

Bit of WIOY (work it out yourself) with my printables, sorry about that :D

This is a bit of a hurried post today...

Now some more pics of mini halloween stuff to look time to write anything.

Part 2 coming soon..

Friday, 23 December 2016

Christmas house decoration, Free Printable

Hello, Just a quick mini printable before Christmas! This is a scaled down version of a lovely french card model that was posted on flickr by Patricia, this little house is called Chalet Suedois. I absolutely love her Flickr site, and have made up quite a few of the models she has very kindly scanned and shared.

I made this tiny card model a few years ago, but decided to put a printable of it up, which is a little different from that shown above. I've now put yellow in every window, so that anyone who doesn't want to cut the windows out will have the "lights on" in the house. I also darkened the colours in one version. I've printed neither of these new printables, but I hope they'll be ok...its almost Christmas Eve, no time, no time :D

The snow is a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and glue, with some glitter mixed in for sparkle. I'm afraid I have no ratio for that, it was a bit hit and miss as I remember.... and a few layers of it as well. 

...there are also no instructions per se, I'm hoping anybody that prints them out will be able to figure out what goes where, though I've a few pointers ahead. Oh and the finished one should help out if needed, I hope. I'm not one for tabs, but I've put a few in anyway. Just play around with it! You can do it! :D

Unfortunately my Christmas tree lights are broken and this isn't as pretty as it could have been...

Don't forget to score these and crease accordingly, I remember being stumped by this briefly.. One wall higher than the other? Oh I see....(refer to finished model). That is the balcony floating above the wall, and goes on the front of the house above the door.

And that's everything in the printable, a base, two rooves, the main building, the gable ends and two chimneys (which I wouldn't bother with :D), oh and a tiny fiddly balcony too.  Those arrows are everywhere that needs creased, do not cut! This is the dark version in this image. It's basically a fancy Putz house that you can add more to as you see fit.

You can remove the smaller roofed building so that it can be placed further back on the large roof, or just leave it as is.

Links to both printables below!

Well this was a bit thrown together and last minute, as I'm sure you can tell. Have a great Christmas!

Sarah x

Friday, 26 February 2016

Queen Mary doll's house linens by The Old Bleach Linen Company

We have a very small collection of miniature linens made in N.Ireland, housed at our local museum, the Lisburn Linen Centre. I have been meaning to get photos of these for a good while now, finally got around to it. Please excuse the poor quality in my photos, they keep the lighting very, very low to preserve the fabrics.  You can right click on an image and open in a new tab if you want to get a closer look.

The following text is transcribed from the information boards at the display. (everything in "..")

"Doll's houses have always been a toy for the wealthy as well as a plaything for children. One of the best known is Queen Mary's doll's house which was designed for her in the 1920s by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the noted architect. Built in 1/12 scale, the house was furnished throughout by British Craftsmen and manufacturers. The doll's house was intended as a token of national goodwill and to provide a means of raising funds for charity.  For this purpose it was exhibited at the British Empire exhibition in 1934. It is now on display in Windsor Castle."

"Miniature items prepared for Queen Mary's doll's house. 
Woven by The Old Bleach Linen Company, Randalstown, Co. Antrim. 
Given by Mrs C. W. Bingley, London, 1995"

Image courtesy of, hope they don't mind me borrowing it... Don't be fooled, our view of the sun rarely looks like that :D

"These linen sheets and pillowcases, diaper and huck towelling and household cloths were for the use of a miniature royal household and it's servants. Those for the personal use of the royal family of dolls had the hand embroidered cypher of George V while the items with the red markings were to be used by the servants of the royal household"

To help with scale, the box is 10 x 3.5 cm.

Bed linen

Bed linen detail


"These miniature Irish damask tablecloths and napkins were intended for use when the doll royal family held luncheon or dinner parties"

Tablecloth and a box of napkins on the right. These are just beautiful in person!

Tablecloth and napkin. True colour.

You can see the pattern a bit better in this one.

In the comment section, Sharon asked a good question about how these came to be in my local museum and not in the Queen Mary's dollshouse, and wondering about the scale. Unfortunately I had no way of showing scale in the photos, now with dimensions for the box this should help. 
I found two links, which shows that the company sold the miniature household linen to the general public. They used the association with the Queen's dollshouse, as a sort of Royal warrant of appointment, as evidenced on the packaging...."They are made by the Old Bleach Linen co.Ltd of Randalstown,Northen Ireland-who made all the house hold linen for the Queens dolls house-you can always write to them about anything to do with linen" Rather tempted to write to them, if they are still around.

Worth having a look at it, if you are interested in vintage miniatures. 

I doubt the damask tablecloths were available to buy, from what I have found online...

Thanks Sharon! I'm pleased to have this new information added to the post :)

And I'm away again, I have neglected everyone's blogs, apologies for that, will be back soon! :D 

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Hope you all had a great Christmas and happy new year!

Hello there, I am communicating to you via a smartphone! :D Unfortunately my laptop sounds like an angry helicopter, a few minutes after it is switched on, and heating up rather fast....this has been going on for awhile. So my new year resolution is to get that fan fixed!!! As it so happens I had nothing much to post about except for some 1:12 christmas crackers which I also wanted to write a tutorial about, alas it will have to be done out of season. The gift I was making for Pepper had to be scrapped due to a few mistakes I made, which I'll post about too.
 Hopefully with a happy outcome by then :) hmmmm so for now I wish you all a fantastic 2016! I'm just going to do a little experiment and see if I can get a picture of those crackers up......

Yay! It worked..I should mention I haven't had a mobile phone for many years. This is all very new to me...bit like being in the film Minority Report. I'm amazed at this technology!  takes a awhile to write something though...spell check is very, very persistent!

Hope you all had a super christmas, and big thanks to the ladies who sent me a link to the Christmas decoration boxes you made! Thoroughly enjoyed that and will link to your work once I'm back on the laptop for I do not have a clue how to do it right now :D

Monday, 12 October 2015

1:12 scale cushion tutorial (for pointy corners!)

I wanted to put together this quick little tutorial after Kitty said that she found getting the cushions pointy enough was the bane of her life, strong words, I felt like that once too Kitty...but then I worked out a new way of making cushions, inspired by Gill's patchwork tutorial. :D

I felt so bad about the thought of anyone else suffering with their unpointy enough cushions, I had to get this out there pronto! :D

You will need:-

  • Fabric
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Paper (preferably graph)
  • Glass beads or stuffing
  • Iron/Hair straighteners

Carefully cut out a template using graph paper, keep it as square as possible, then cut a piece of fabric slightly larger.

Turn the fabric over and place your template in the centre.

Fold fabric (preferably along the grain) using the paper to guide you. Use your nail to press the edge down.

Press the fold, either using hair straighteners or an Iron, you will need to repeat this for each fold.
I use hair straighteners, because they're quite handy for mini ironing.

Make sure to test a scrap piece of your material, just in case it melts. 

Fold as before, but on the opposite side from the last fold, and press. 

Fold as shown, press, then fold the other side and press. Try your best to keep the sides of this particular fold, as square as possible, it helps to begin the fold at either end and move inwards towards the centre, using your fingers to press the fabric down.

Now make another one. I usually use plain fabric for the back, to conserve the printed fabric. An old pillow case is a great source of plain fabric.

Abracadabra.........the fabric will now change (apologies for the continuity error, we will now be demonstrating with a new fabric...)

Cut a length of fine thread, for this cushion I think I used about 35 cm. Tie a knot at one end, thread it, and insert the needle into the corner from the reverse of the fabric. 

You should sew from this point, where you can see the folds (this means you will have a less fussy edge to sew later on). Connect the two with your needle and thread as shown.

Now that the two pieces are joined, begin sewing your cushion together. I use the ladder stitch, putting the needle under just a thread or two of the fabric. Do not sew the inner folds together, work over them. 

Ladderstitch diagram.

When you are almost back at the beginning, you can start filling the cushion. I use micro glass beads, I can't remember which size, but I bought them from Mohair Bearmaking supplies. I  hold the cushion over a jar of them, and use a teaspoon to drop them in, until it's just right. You may have to smoosh the cushion a bit to fit them in as you go.

Now carefully holding the cushion, sew up the hole, still using the ladderstitch. 

Sorry for the blur, under the last stitch at the corner put the needle under and draw through until you are left with a small loop...

...then put the needle through this loop and draw through to create a knot close to the corner. Repeat once or twice more. 

Then push the needle down through the corner as shown (where you just made the knot)

Push the needle through the cushion until it pops out somewhere on the other side.

And cut the loose thread. If there is a little short bit poking out after you have cut the thread, smoosh the cushion and it should disappear.
The only downside about this method, is that the stitches will be slightly more visible than they would be if you used the "turning inside out" method, you can always glue a strand of thicker thread around the cushion to act as piping, which I haven't tried out yet, but I imagine it would work very nicely. 

Now back to my secret project, until Christmas...

Byeeee! :)