Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sadly, I haven't had much time to working on my minis lately - work has been keeping me far too busy. However, I have managed to squeeze in a couple of hours to work on one or 2 of the rooms in the French House.

The front door is almost finished, and I need to decide what I'm going to do for a bannister. I've decided to keep the walls white, with a plaster finish. Originally I wanted to do panneling, but it is almost impossible to get the correct moulding here, and to import it would be too expensive.


The kitchen so far. I made the table, but still need to paint the bottom half white. The window alcove will be tiled in green and white tiles (Only if they look good!!) The walls have yet to be glued in place - I ran out of moulding so have not been able to finish the back wall yet!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I'm such a lucky girl! Last week the postman delivered the most amazing parcel, all the way from the UK. My good friend Claire sent me these beautiful Jane Harrop kits - perfect for my French House.

I have always wanted the little lavender trug - I imagined it propping open my kitchen door on a warm Summers day, with the sunshine streaming in - the epitomie of a typical French Country Chateau!

This little barrel horse is also one of my favourites. Once finished, it is going to grace the entrance hall. I'm not sure yet how I'm going to finish it off, but it will have a much loved and used apperance!

As if these two fabulous kits were not enough, Claire sent me this beautiful pendant - to continue the French Theme! Isn't it amazing? I love it to bits, and have worn it almost everyday since it arrived. It always gets loads of compliments. There is a picture on the back as well, of the Eiffel Tower.

Please go and have a look at Claires blog if you get the chance. She works in teeny scales, and the amount of patience that she must have always amazes me.

Thank you Claire!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I decided to take advantage of the beautiful spring weather, and show some photo's of the shabby house out in the garden.

I'm almost finished with the interior, so will need to start on the roof soon.

I still haven't decided on what other bits of furniture I want, and I really need to get a pretty chandelier.
Then, some pretty bakery books (cupcakes, obviosuly!) somethings to display at the back.......
Mmmm, it's actually quite a list....

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I spent the weekend working on some furniture for the shabby cottage - actually, cottage is a bit of a stretch, it's more like the shabby room!

I wanted something soft, and pretty, and after the trials and tribulations of the shabby sofa, there was no way I was going to try and make another one. So I figured, what about an old rusty garden bench, covered in cuddly cushions? How difficult can fiddling with a bit of wire be? Grrrrr! Hubby, that sweet, dear patient man, ended up having to help. Admittedly, there wasn't much I could do once I'd managed to super glue my fingers together - I HATE super glue! Actually, I think I hate florists wire as well!

Once the structure was (finally!) finished, I painted it and added a bit of rust and after a rummage through the fabric stash finished it up with a couple of cushions. I was wanting to do shades of pink and blue, but somehow these pretty greems just seemed to scream shabby garden room, so I compromised and added in some pink rose patterned scatters.

I'm quite pleased with how it turned out....I adore the fabric, it sort of looks like a toile de jouy.

Now I need to finish off the cottage, luckily there's not a lot still to do. I'm itching to make some more furniture to go in, but as it is on the small side, I'm not quite sure what will work....

I've heard that there is a South African Miniature fair on this weekend, which I may go to - I didn't even know we had such things! I really want some pretty shabby crockery to fill up the display cabinet which is going to be on the back wall of the cottage, so I might be able to get some at the fair...I've tried to make some, but I'm really not pleased with the results!

Have a lovely day futher! Thanks for following, and an especially big thank you to the 2 new followers Nuri and Lara! It's really lovely to have you on board!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Firstly, a big thank you and welcome to all my new followers! It's a great impetus to keep on blogging!

The right inside wall of the shabby house is almost completed. I still need to make a decent looking fireplace - I want something a little more whimsical than the one that I originally made. This one looks to stiff - although it may look better with a bit of paint and some embellishments - I'll have to see.......
I wanted to try and imitate pressed ceiling panels on the wall behind the fireplace, so I used some embossed scrapbooking paper, cut into thin strips. I need to age it a little with a light buff of burnt umber oil paint to make the embossing stand out a little - you can't actually see it in the photo.

Here is a close up of the fireplace - I made it out of an old window that was left over from a part works dollhouse - as I said above, I don't really like it, but it will do for now. The "tin plates" are just scrapbooking embellishments, painted with gesso and aged.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Well, work is continuing on the shabby house, and I've started on the interior.
Right side finished. I will need to strt on the left side, but I am defeated by the 3 sets of windows that I have to make!

Floor and back wall - the back of the house is a cupboard which will have some pretty pieces of china displayed - if I can ever find some! There will be a series of books shelves above.

The doors are supposed to resemble old window frames.

Rustic planked floor!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Project

While deciding what to do with the French House, I thought that I would try my hand at making something a little smaller. I wanted to create something along the lines of Mercedes little Shabby House on her blog

The design is loosely based on the cutest little studio created by Sandy Foster - she turned a little Catskills hunting lodge into a shabby studio. When I first discovered Sandy's blog, I was more interested in creating a copy of her shelving unit and book case, which is fabulous - I was wondering if there was a way to incorporate it into my French House.......

Anyway, below are a few "work in prgress" photo's of the basic structure - mdf carcass, with some scrap balsa wood for the siding - I've kept everything a bit wonky deliberately, as I want the wee house to look as if it has been put together using what was available.

Right side of the house.

This is the back of the house, the windows are made from layers of 1mm card, and I used old CD covers for the glass.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I thought I would show a couple of pictures of the furniture that I have been working on lately. I make all my furniture from 1mm mount board, as I do not have access to any type of wood suitable for miniature making. Cardboard is cheap and easy to use, and once painted looks great! (Well I think so anyway!!)
The lilac velvet upholstered sofa will eventually form part of the master bedroom. The gold paint will fade over a few weeks, and become a lot softer, giving a very beautiful aged effect - it looks very bright now. It's made as usual from cardboard and a couple of beads, findings and some scrapbook embellishments. The rusty white chair is copied from the Lea Frisonis Flower Shop, and I made the little round cushion to make it a little bit more comfy.

This is the dreaded sofa! It was easy enough to make a cardboard frame, which I padded out with felt. Having been lulled into a false sense of ease, I figured, how difficult could it be to make a loose fitting cover, ala Rachel Ashwell? Mmmm, after several tries, and many metres of white muslim later, I was ready to bin the darn thing. My mistake was to think that it would be easy to use a sewing machine, so after switching to hand sewing, it worked. The cover below is only the first attempt, and I guess that I could get it looking much better if I tried it again, but quite honestly, I'll probably slit my wrists if I had to try again!!

The coffe table was inspired by Carolyn I used an old white wire chair from a part works dollhouse series I did years ago (That's a story for another time!!) made the base and legs from card and beads a dab of paint, some rust, and voila!

This is my altime favourite piece. It was inspired by a real French Country Cupboard that was been sold at my favourite shop for the budget price of R35000.00! (about $4700.00) Like a spy, a took a couple of surreptitious photo's (the sales woman was VERY intimidating) glaring at me like a vulture as I exclaimed in delight and awe! I tried to reproduce the painted panels, but this was beyond my capabilities, so just used a copy and stuck it into the panels. The door and drawer open, and are lined with a beautiful French script scrappbooking paper. I still have to find the perfect door knobs and drawer pulls - my local bead shop has nothing to offer, but I did manage to find a tiny little key that will look perfect.

The cupboard as usual is made out of card, with many layers of paint and distressing and sanding in between to give it an aged look. I love it!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Slooooooww Progress

Well, it's certainly been a while since the last post, and to be honest, not much has been happening in my abscense! What with the FIFA World Cup and school holidays on our doorstep, there hasn't been much me time in the last couple of months. I've also come to a bit of a standstill on the French House - I'm stuck and can't make up my mind how to go about doing the exterior (I actually can't even decide on WHAT type of exterior look I'm going for!) As a result, alot of the interior decorating has had to take a back seat. I have however, not been entirely idle, and have managed to complete a couple of pieces of furniture for the sitting room. I'm hoping to complete this room as soon as I have made some decisions as to the outside look - not much to look at I know, but we'll get there...eventually!

I hated every minute I spent making the shabby white couch - I was going for a Rachel Ashwell look, but I couldn't get the look and feel quite right, and I had to start from scratch a couple of times, but I am pleased with the final result even though it's not exactly as I envisioned it. The lilac velvet settee will eventually go into the master bedroom, and will be replaced with a couple of old fashioned wicker ball and claw chairs, based on the chairs that are currently gracing my sitting room.
I will try and post more often - the problem is that I end up spending most of my time drooling over everyone elses beautiful blogs, and forgetting that I actually have one of my own!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pickett Hill

This is the beautiful Pickett Hill house that I have spent the last 2 years putting together. This fabulous kit is designed in quarter scale by Suzanne and Andrew, in collaboration with the amazing Robin Betterley, whose work I adore. I joined the Lydia Pickett Kit of the Month club run by Judith Dowden at, and have been recieving the furniture kits on a monthly basis. Judith, I must add, is the most amazing person, incredibly helpful and a wealth of knowledge.

I changed the exterior of the house slightly - instead of the green trim and roof, I went for a blue, and whitewashed the interior floorboards.

The above photo's show the layout of the rooms, and below are some closeups od Robin Betterleys beautiful furniture.

This is the pretty dinig room........

My all time favourite, the Pie Kitchen.......

and just for fun.......

This is the 12th scale dressing table, next to the House, with a quarter scale dresser..

just to show scale!!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Working on the Entrance Hall

I had a little bit of time over the weekend to do some work on the French House. I made the front door........

...and printed out the Wallpaper panels that I'm wanting to use - this is an image I've had for a while, and can't remember where I got it from - I originally kept it as I was hoping to paint a copy of it onto my lounge wall. I'm just having problems trying to figure out the best way to do the panelling bits around it. All I have is a couple of sheets of cardboard!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Firstly, thank you to Claire and Joey for being my first 2 followers!! and secondly, I can't believe that its been so long since my last post, where does the time go?

I've been making slow progress on my French House - I feel that I should at least keep up with Claire! S0 (drum roll) I took all the pieces that had been lurking in the garage for the last year, and voila! put them all together and I now have 3 walls and a bottom. Not much I know, but this is supposed to be a lifelong project (haha!!). Below you can see the beginnings of the hall and kitchen. The kitchen floor is slate - made by smearing what we call polyfilla (that yucky stuff used to fill the holes one tends to bash into the walls when attempting to hang pictures) over a piece of 1mm thich cardboard. When it dried, I painted it using various shades of grey and white, and then cut it into 3cm x 1,5 cm tiles, and glued them down to another piece of 1mm card. Then grouted and aged a little. The photo doesn't show the subtle variations in texture that one can get from using the Polyfilla though.

The hall way is an almost exact replica of the hallway in Lea Frisonis book - I love that hallway so much that I had to try and copy it.
The dresser on the left still needs to be completed - I need to find someway of doing the handles and strap hinges, and it needs a door on the other side.

The above two pictures show 2 different views of the bottom floor - still stacks of work to do!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The start of things

So, what is my main interest? Well, I adore miniatures in all their forms, and have been slowly putting together a French style dollhouse over the past 18 months. And I mean very slowly! The parts (walls, front and floors) spent the better part of a year lurking in a great ugly pile in the garage, snarling evily at me every time I walked past to put a load of washing on (Excellent reason for NOT doing the washing!). In the meantime, I put a little bit more effort into creating a few pieces of furntiure, having discovered, that although I live in probably one of the most beautiful countries in the world, there's this little thing called an exchange rate which makes a lot of stuff prohibatively expensive. My first roon that I'm hoping to complete will be the Hallway

This little table was made out of 1mm thick cardboard, and is based on a picture out of the South African Garden and Home magazine - I find a lot of inspirational room settings in this magazine, most of which are going to form part of the house. The top is made of balsa wood, painted a dark oak colour, while the jug is based on the tutorial offered by Marlies - I need to work on the scale a bit, as it looks a little on the big side. The gorgeous brose bowl is from Linda Carswell, and was something that I just had to have. I made the little books, and the little house is from the Lydia Pickett range. The frame will not stay - my intention is too create a traditional Scandinavian wall hanging - maybe!!

Note to self - work on taking better pictures!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Well, here we are at last

Well, I have finally decided to join the world of Blogger! Why? Well, everyone else seems to be doing it and connecting with a whole lot of fabulous people! Am I jealous? Probably!! Will I meet new people? Hopefully...............