Highlighted text

If you click on any of the highlighted text when you're reading the blog it will take you to the thing it is talking about. Usually in my blog it takes you to some of my photographs which illustrate what I'm saying. Sometimes it might be a link to a site which I think is worth checking out.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Haydock 10th July

Off to the Haydock Show on 10th July and for the first time it didn't beat its predecessor.


Compared to York it was quite a small show and even in the short time I have been doing this I am beginning to realise I keep seeing pretty much the same things at each show I go to.  That said I don't see an alternative to going to the ones you can get to easily as it is the best (only?) way to shop hands on.


Buying from E Bay and from the web generally leaves a lot to be desired.  Postage is killing when you are buying a small inexpensive item and is hugely disproportionate and when added up across a dozen items it would have bought you tons more goodies for your collection if you've been able to purchase them directly from a shop.  


The other problem is that you really don't always get what you are expecting.  Things being perfectly in scale is the biggest issue for me.  I appreciate that colours are notoriously difficult when buying this way.  Between the quality of the camera (and photographer!!!), the downloading of the picture to E-Bay and finally the screen you are viewing it on you don't really have a great deal of chance of colour being very accurate: so I don't expect much as far as that goes and I try to resist buying where colour is critical.  Being out of scale is really irritating though.  Claiming 1/12th for just about everything 'dolls house' is a fairly loose guide.  I now usually email and ask for the exact size and often cut a piece of paper to the dimensions given and put this in place where the object is going.  Sometimes even things in scale such as the dressing table I mentioned before can 'look wrong'.


So the Haydock show was a mix of disappointment in that I had a hard time finding anything I wanted and pleasure because the handful of things I did buy I was pleased with.  


Also, I am at the stage now where the backbone of the work is done and I need more particular bits and bobs which won't always be there. If you are looking for flooring for example it is pretty likely you'll have a choice of stuff and can get what you want.  If you decide you want a bowl of cornflakes (like me) then it gets a bit tougher.


My saint of a husband did the drive there and back and the sit in the car park with a book without complaint as usual.  I did buy him a totally rubbish Italian meal in the evening as a reward!


There's a couple of photos in the album in the left column if you want to see what I bought.  Meanwhile bits and bobs via E-Bay are accumulating and I'm set for shuffling things around (again!) soon when I can find time to settle them in.  My days are being given over to the garden when I can - that said rain has stopped play for the last three days but that just means I have 'paperwork' to catch up with.  Wentworth Court is singing to me like a siren right now and I'm itching to get back to it.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Update on all the rooms

I've just added an album (in the left hand column) to show where I am up to at the beginning of July.  The house must be about 90% done now.  It actually makes me feel a little sad as I can't imagine how I can keep collecting things for and doing things to the house when it reaches the finished point.  I am beginning to understand all those people I thought were very odd who decorate their houses for each and every holiday - St Pat's, Valentine's Day, Easter, Christmas etc.  Perhaps that's only in the States (?) as they do that in their 1:1 homes.  Any way I don't know how to make the hobby  last four or five years which is what I thought it would take when I began.  Basically most of it has been done in three months!


Back to the album and some explanation of the photos in it ....


The Family Room has mom thinking about marking a pile of school books and the kids killing time.  It is Sunday and they are waiting for lunch to finish cooking and Nan to arrive.


I've included some close ups of bits of the room to show some details.  If you look on the desk for example you can see the tiny little pencil pot I made.  Terrible fiddle sticking the bottom on to it.  I made a brave attempt to carve a red Biro from a toothpick and made a white ruler from cardboard (yes, the marks are scaled down 1/2th) which I then coated with nail polish and all the pen ran!!  They will all do the job until I come across something better.
I have the fabric for the curtains and blinds so that needs to be done.  the delay on that is that I want some tiny grommets for the pole to go through the curtains.  Trust me to want to do it the hard way.  There is a picture winging its way to me for the 'dining room' wall. [it winged the day after I typed this and it doesn't look right so I'll frame it and use it on the staircase wall]  I made the rugs incidentally from a place-mat.  A lamp for the desk would also be nice.  After that I don't think there is anything else I need but I just might find something I hadn't thought of..... oh yes, a phone might be useful.


I haven't added photos of the whole kitchen as not much has changed since the last ones I did but I have put in photos of all the wonderful Miele machines.  I've opened them to show the insides.  The oven even has an oven light which comes on when the door opens.


Each one of the machines can be turned on and they make the appropriate sound.  The washing machine sounds like it is washing and beeps when it is done.  The dishwasher does the same.  The cooker makes a frying noise (!) and the hobs lights up.  The fridge has removable shelves and boxes like a real fridge.  Apologies here for the sausages flung on the shelves - that's the way it arrived - I don't actually keep my food that way.  I think the microwave just opens; it doesn't do anything else.


In this picture you can see a tea and a coffee cannister that I made out of silver card - again they will do until I find something better.  Like the pencil pot, all the tea caddies I've seen are so out of scale; the smallest is about an inch tall  - who has a one foot tea caddy?  Even mine are a little large but they are still better than the ones I've seen so far commercially.  If I don't find any I may have a go at making better ones from Fimo.


There is masses of stuff I want to buy to finish dressing the kitchen - too long to list.  it (like the rest of the house) will still be pristine and anal retention tidy as that is how I live and even at this scale I can't just leave stuff around.  The glass of milk and bottle of milk left out of the fridge annoys me when I see it and I want to nag the kid who left it out!


The formal Dining Room is pretty much there.  I would like two chairs to stand in the corners of the room at the back for when we need to seat six.  Unfortunately I couldn't get two to match from Dee-Daw who sold me the rest of the set.


I'm not mad keen on the sideboard it is too hefty for the other furniture and wrong legs, so that may go if I see a better one.


I also need bits and bobs for the mantelpiece and different stuff for the sideboard.  The basket of logs beside the (log) fire with a bundle of kindling on the top is incredible.  The scale and detail is just perfect right down to the odd bit of dirty looking moss attached to a couple of the logs.  The kindling is quite separate and again such perfection of scale.  I just love it.  Rycote Miniatures if you want to take a look at their stuff.  I'm not over fond of the rug but it cost me £9 plus postage and was bought for the Sitting Room where I liked it even less.  I can not find rugs for any where in the house (other than the bathroom) that I like.  Sylvia-Rose Dolls House Furnishings (sells on E-Bay) does the best I can find but she only does bits and bobs occasionally and you have to keep your eyes open.  The two little rugs in the Bathroom which I love are hers.


The Formal Sitting Room has quite a way to go.  I gave up searching for some dainty Sheraton style seating and ended up buying the leather settee and two chairs which I'm not fond of.  they are beautifully made but such a dull colour and not at all the dainty Regency sitting room I would have liked.  I am hoping a magic rug (not found as yet) will do the trick and pull it all together.  So far I have rejected two and tried a third which I sent back and I am awaiting the fourth - so wish me luck. [fourth has arrived and it is in there for now but it isn't right!]


The three tables and mantelpiece need dressing.  I'm not fond of the mirror so that's another long term temporary.  The books in the bookcase don't really show up enough so they may get changed for some nice porcelain or glass.  As I said, I've a long way to go on this room.


The girl's room is pretty much done.  I had a plain desk and chair in here until I bought the dressing table and stool for the master bedroom.  I then had a change of plan in the master bedroom to a modern Victorian mahogany style and so the girl's room acquired this duo and the desk went to the bathroom.  I find it too large and fussy for this room but I am doing my best to settle it in as I don't want to have to shift all sorts of stuff around again to accommodate this and that.  If you measure it the scale is actually OK but, as in real life, some pieces of furniture dominate a room and look over large.


Other than another fan to add to the collection on the back wall and some 'dressing' for the side table I think this room is done.  There is a nod to all sorts of things from my daughter's real teenage life/room.  The collection of fans and postcards, ballet shoes and dress, books (Anne of Green Gables on the rocker) a cactus she had from an aunt (I think it still lives on in her flat) and a suitcase for her itchy feet personality and her extended trail round Europe.  The wardrobe has clothes hanging in it.  Her toy box represents an American G.I. footlocker she had (and still has) from my time working on base long before she was born.  This will eventually be filled with other things which remind me of her.


The boy's room is looking like a teenage boy's room - something of a tip!  The shelves of the wardrobe need filling with boy junk.  I need bits and pieces for the desk and a pin board for the wall.  The major job waiting for me is the bunk beds.  I  just haven't quite decided what I want to do with those yet.  Like the girl's room the things in this room are nods to my son's life.  He was always something of a computer fan; had a keyboard and skateboard briefly in his teenage history and still likes kites.  I made the one here as I couldn't find one any where - and, no, he certainly wouldn't have had 'bows' on the tails of his kite!


The bathroom is getting there.  Unfortunately the wallpaper for the back wall arrived today and it was printed the wrong way round.  An 11 x 8 inch sheet works along the back wall as long as the 11 inches is the horizontal measurement.  Sadly-the roses went the other way.  I really can't settle on any mirror I've seen so far for over the dressing table and I'm wondering if that is because I'm not entirely sure about that arrangement.  I don't like the light shade or picture either - all in all I am fidgeting with this room and feel I need a major item to help me anchor it in some way so that the rest falls into place.


Much the same seems to be going on with the master bedroom; it has had numerous incarnations right now it is Kath Kidston and modern Victorian.  The only thing I really like in this room is the light.  It is probably not too clear in this photo but it is sort of cream flower shapes. Again the finishing touches of a mirror, rug, bedside lamp and other bits of dressing might bring it all together.


There seems to be much complaining going on  here but taking the photos and writing this has allowed me to see where I am up to and to give me a chance to step back and assess overall instead of being bogged down in detail - just in time for the Dolls House Fair on Sunday in Haydock!!!!!  Spend, spend, spend.