Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy holidays everyone!!

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season - may you be with the people you love most, sharing love and laughter aplenty. If you have a personal encounter with Santa I hope it's happier than mine was in 1953!

And thanks everyone for the fun and fellowship you've brought my way this year, let's do it all again in 2011!

(I'm off to the cottage in New Zealand for a month just after Christmas, no internet access there but I hope to catch up with blogs from time to time. Unlikely to post, but you never know.... )

Postscript - my big brother tells me that I totally refused to sit on Santa's lap unless he did - which he was none too happy about - considering himself far too 'grown up' (ha ha!!)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I LOVE my Easy Cutter

I was chatting to Glenda (Peppercorn Minis) this morning about the medieval tower she's making and we got to talking about cutting wood. Now, I'm the world's worst at cutting ANYTHING straight - those bread slicing machines at the bakery were invented for people like me! Give me a loaf of bread to slice and it'll end up looking wedge shaped in no time at all. I know it's all in the way you hold your wrist (they told me that about playing tennis too and I can't do that either!) but I don't have to worry about that since I got my Easy Cutter. It chomps through stripwood like a knife through butter, and it does it STRAIGHT - every time! And as you can see from the pic you can easily adjust the angle of the cut.

AND it's not expensive!! It currently retails in Australia for around $40. I bought mine online from Australian company Hobbytools here.

Midwest Products (in the USA) have a store locator on their website as well as online shopping or I guess you could Google the Easy Cutter in your country if you wanted to try to find a local supplier.

So if you're a woodworking tragic like me check this out because it could save you a lot of grief!

(This recommendation is my personal opinion, I haven't had any communication with either Hobbytools Australia or Midwest Products in relation to this recommendation.)

Photo credit: Hobbytools Australia

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Congratulations to Maija and Caterina!

Congratulations to new Follower Maija (winner of the French set draw) and old friend Caterina (winner of the Vintage set draw). Can you both please send me an email ( with your address so that I can send the packages to you next week. I hope you will enjoy these little pieces.

Thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway, and for all your nice comments. I wish all of you 'better luck next time' :)

And a big welcome to all the new Followers of my blog!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A "must see" blog if you love French style

This pretty pic is from French blog "Grange de charme" which I have just discovered thanks to Sandy at "My Shabby Streamside Studio" who told me about it yesterday. The subject of the lastest post on "Grange de charme" is Mercedes' ("Liberty Biberty") cute shabby cottage!

There are enough beautiful inspiring photos on "Grange de charme" to launch a thousand projects, click here for virtual transportation to French heaven :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blog birthday giveaway

This giveaway is closed
- it was drawn on 4 December 2010

My blog is 1 today!!
Let's have a party - the best kind of party - one where you get the gifts ;)

Just leave a comment and tell me WHICH SET you would prefer -

the French set with the French style 'burlap' cushions and shopping bag

the Vintage set with the faded (but not quite as faded as they look in the picture!) tapestry style cushions and vintage mail

Drawn on Saturday 4 December (by the way, you must be a Follower to enter)
Draw procedure: A few of you haven't made a choice of which set you prefer (and I didn't make it clear either that I would do 2 draws, one for each set). SO I'm going to copy Marit's draw procedure, those of you who have indicated which set you prefer will each get 2 chances in the draw for that set, those who haven't indicated a preference will get 1 chance in each draw. (this postscript added 23 Nov)

Credit: The French 'burlap' style cushions are miniature versions of a 1:1 design by Michelle at Petite Coterie. Michelle generously gave me permission to reproduce her design in miniature (personal use only). Michelle has a link to her Etsy shop on her blog, be sure to drop by and take a look, she's got some gorgeous new designs.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Summer break here at last!

Yay! No more thinking about classes and assignments for three whole months *big smile*

It's been a challenging semester - I've really appreciated all your comments and emails over the last few weeks - thanks so much for your friendship and encouragement.

And a big welcome to new Followers, I didn't expect to see so many new faces popping up while my blog was inactive, nice to know that you visited and decided to stay around :)

I do have one little thing to show you. Towards the end of my mid-year break I started this little beach house daybed for Marit and I've worked on it now and then over the past few weeks.

It's now in her otherwise empty beach house which hopefully we can tempt her to work on soon because it's sure to be gorgeous.

Marit has some fabulous projects on her blog including a conservatory which I just love, just click here to visit her at Black Cat Cottage. She's a really talented miniaturist, a couple of examples are these tiny wooden candlesticks, etc and the truly amazing birdcage - complete with bird - which are pieces of hers that I'm so lucky to have.

I've got lots to catch up on, in both the 'real' world as well as minis, but I'll be back to post again soon because I want to share with you some lovely minis I've received during my blog break.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Time out for study

A short note to let you all know that my blog is in recess until the end of October - these last few weeks of the semester are so busy!
I'm looking forward to getting back to making minis (especially the pieces I've promised to my blog friends who are still waiting, and waiting...) in November when my summer break starts.
See you all in a few weeks!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

1:12 or 1:1 - I want this!

Stine's blog (Vintage Chic) is one of my favourite places to visit for inspiration, this is from her latest post featuring Olsson & Jensen -I just love it. Olsson & Jensen have some really interesting pieces in various styles including grunge, colourful Indian inspired and retro. Click here to visit them if you're looking for something different to jumpstart your mini (or 1:1!) decor dreaming.

Photo credit: Olsson & Jensen, my source Vintage Chic

Monday, September 6, 2010

I'm so lucky! Thanks Rachel, Mimmi and Lillian :)

During my 'blog break' I've been the lucky recipient of goodies from Rachel, Mimmi and my cousin Lillian. My apologies to Rachel and Mimmi for the time it's taken me to publish photos of their lovely gifts.

Rachel sent me these beautiful mats, which will find a home in my French apartment, as a very generous gesture after I sent her a small mat kit. Such generosity wasn't deserved I have to say, the kit had been languishing in my stash for some time with realistically no prospect of every being stitched so it seemed appropriate to send it to Rachel in the hope that she'd be able to use it somewhere. I certainly never expected to receive two beautifully stitched mats by return mail. You can see how skillfully they are made. Thank you Rachel!

My next stroke of luck was winning Mimmi's giveaway, my sincere thanks to Mimmi for making this lovely giveaway, and thanks to her son Noah for drawing my name as the very lucky winner! All of these pretty things are destined for my French apartment. Everything single thing is absolutely gorgeous. Thank you so much!

I've also received a parcel from my English cousin Lillian who has been trying out working with polymer clay and she's made all kinds of cute little things for me. Thank you so much!! I know it's been a trial working with polymer in the summer months, I really appreciate your tenacity and your kindness :) I'm delighted to share some pics of a few of these little treasures including some fruit for the kitchen, toys for the nursery and plants for a 'witchy' hutch...

That's right, even I'm not totally immune to the influence of the 'dark side' LOL - I've made a few bits and pieces to put on a hutch that might be suitable for a witchy old woman's humble abode, Lillian's plants will be perfect for it. Hopefully I'll get to do a bit of work on it this week as I've got a short break from university. It's only one week though and I've got quite a few other things I want to do too so will have to see how it goes, but I will try to post something about it soon at least.

Thanks again Rachel, Mimmi and Lillian for your great gifts, every piece is appreciated :)

A few of you have been asking how uni's going this semester - well, it's challenging so it's taking a great deal of time and effort which is why I'm pretty quiet in Blogland at the moment. However, only a few more weeks of the semester left and then I'll be able to get all my mini stuff out of the boxes again and have some FUN!

I also need to say "Hi" to some new Followers, thanks for visiting and I hope you'll come back from time to time :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Thinking modern? Think Ikea...

Below is a link to the latest Ikea 'interactive' catalogue, you can browse online or download to your computer as a pdf file. Maybe some useful ideas/inspiration for mini furniture design and room layouts ...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pretty gifts from friends

Thank you so much Ana for these pretty jugs! The filigree jug is a 'companion' to one Ana sent me some time ago, they'll make a beautiful pair together. I'm sorry the photo doesn't do justice at all to the handpainted paper jug - I don't seem to be able to get the macro focus right today which is a pity :( The deep purple and red colours are fantastic, and the design is wonderful. Ana also sent me another lovely tatted doiley so now I'll be able to mount and frame them as a pair - how lucky I am!! Ana is an accomplished artist and miniaturist, her blog, Arts and Miniatures, has good quality photos of her incredible work so please visit her and see for yourself.

And I have a second surprise package, this one is from Flora...

Everything is just perfect for the French apartment, thank you so much Flora! A little 'shabby' and oh so 'chic' :) There are lots more pretty creations just like these on Flora's blog - click here to visit her.

The second semester has started so I'm back at university again which means I need to be "head down and tail up" for a few weeks. That'll mean I won't have much time to spend in Blogland, but I do hope to keep an eye on what's going on so even if I'm not commenting on your posts you can be sure I'll be lurking over your shoulder somewhere, sometime ;)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kits for 1:24, 1:48 and 1:144 from "A Sheila's Shed"

I want to tell you about a range of small scale laser cut kits, and other mini items, available online from an Australian supplier, Virginia of "A Sheila's Shed". This "Grandma's bed" is an example that's available in kit form in 1:24, 1:48 and 1:144 - it's so cute, don't you think? She also has some 1:144 structure kits, this is one example

These little kits are tiny 'flat packs' so the cost of postage anywhere in the world is small, and the prices of all the kits are very reasonable.

Virginia also has a selection of wooden wheels ranging from 10 mm to 100 mm perfect for carts, etc, as well as 2-D laser cut furniture legs in various designs. A range of architectural features are to come.

I have purchased some larger scale pieces from Virginia in the past, she's a delight to deal with so check out her website,, and if you have any questions send her an email, she'll look after you very well.

Photo credit: I took some photos of Virginia's stall at the Sydney show in May but they are among the casualties of my memory card 'melt down' so all these photos are from Virginia's website.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Bali holiday swap items for Roberta

It has taken a long time for the holiday swap package to reach Roberta in Italy, but now that she has it at last I can reveal the contents here.
I invited Roberta to go to Bali on our virtual holiday, a place I've visited many times before. Although I'm a pretty good guide, and speak Indonesian, I thought I'd better include a guidebook, maps and phrase book for the days that Roberta wants to go off and explore by herself :) I hope too that she'll remember to wear her hat and apply the sunlotion (there's a bottle of it in the bag) - that bikini and sarong doesn't cover a lot of skin! ;) As extra encouragement for her to join me I included flight tickets as well. As you can see Roberta agreed to come along on this tropical holiday and has dropped all her things here on the beach at Sanur and has gone off to buy a cool drink before changing into her new bikini and taking a swim in the warm ocean.

It was such fun making these pieces for Roberta, and although I love 'shabby' it was a pleasure to work with some bright colours for a change, and always a pleasure to dream of Bali holidays :)

Thanks again Caterina for organising this holiday swap. I hope we can do it again next year!

(Additional comment - 22 July - the flip-flops are not my creation, they are plastic scrapbooking embellishments, but maybe someone would like to try making something similar using polymer??)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Holiday swap - thanks Karin!!

Caterina's holiday swap has been such fun!
I was invited to take a 'virtual' holiday at Orr Lake in Canada with Karin F. (Karin has two great blogs "mini ramblings and musings" and "Mini Tutes From Orr Lake" - be sure to check them out). We'll be spending time fishing and making sandcastles - what a perfect relaxing holiday.

How wonderful these minis are that Karin has made for our holiday. Can you believe that the little creel basket was a 'prototype' made with nothing more than a photograph for guidance! It's so perfect! The fishing rod obviously works, can you see the little fish? The sandcastle is just delightful. Thank you so much Karin, I'm so fortunate to have received these great minis :)

There are great photos and info about Karin's lakeside cottage at her blog post here.

Photo credit: both of these photos courtesy of Karin F.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Congratulations to giveaway winners Nina, Maria Jose and Mini Pig!

Congratulations to Nina (Minimum)- the winner of the outdoor set first draw :) Because of the amount of interest in the giveaway I decided to do a second draw and the winner of that is Maria Jose (marivigano). I hope you are a patient woman Maria Jose because I haven't made the second set yet (I'm sorry that it won't include a flower vase because the one in the picture is a "one-of-a-kind" that I made a few months ago).

The winner of the little couch is Mini Pig (The Flying Piglet) - congratulations! The Flying Piglet is a fairly new and interesting blog well worth checking out :)

The draw was done by my Japanese houseguest, Mikie, sorry there are no pics of the 'action' because I'm still technolgically challenged (the built-in memory card reader on my laptop isn't working and I can't find the external USB one for the desktop).

Thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway, it was fun to do it for you and I really really appreciate all the positive comments. For those who entered but didn't win, better luck next time ;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Just to prove I haven't been idle...

Some of the things I've been working on recently have now reached their destinations so I can post a few pics (some of you will have already seen them on the recipients' blogs).

This suitcase, packed ready for a trip to her favourite overseas holiday destination, Scotland, is now in the possession of Rosanna (La Casa Rossa and La Stanza Di Giuggiola) in Genoa, Italy. Unfortunately it doesn't contain flight tickets, sorry about that Rosanna ;)

Ira in Finland (merry jingle crafts) has also received her package which included an 'old and worn' carpet (actually a scan of a very old book cover) and made to measure bookcase for her dark house inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven", plus some 'old' books and printies including portraits of Poe and his young wife. All photos courtesy of Ira - something has happened to my memory card and lots of my photos have vanished :(

I've had fun making these very diverse bits and pieces, and others that are about to go into the post, or are in transit - and then of course there's the holiday swap which is close to being able to be revealed too!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sandy's Shabby Streamside Studio under mini construction

Caroline at "Shop Cinderella Moments" has started working on a 1:12 scale version of Sandy's "Shabby Streamside Studio" that I've posted about a couple of times. These pics are from Caroline's blog, she's doing a great job capturing the character of Sandy's unique little place - click here to go directly to Caroline's blog to check it out.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Giveaways (1:12 & 1:16) and welcome to new followers

Firstly thanks to everyone who has decided to follow my blog recently. I hope that from time to time I'll have something of interest to share although once the new university semester starts again in three weeks my free time will be very limited again and my blog will probably go into a state of semi-hibernation. Please bear with me during that time!

And of course a big thanks to all my blog friends, old and new, who make the whole exercise worth while. You're a great bunch of people and I appreciate you all!!! So now I'd like to give something back and have at last completed a few little things to offer in two giveaway draws, one for the 1:12 scale outdoor set and one for the 1:16 scale sofa.

For this little outdoor set (1:12 scale) I used the tutorial on Lea Frisoni's blog to make the chair, and extended the idea to construct the table. They're not perfect, and are still to get another coat of paint, but I hope they have some measure of charm ;) - and don't worry - the little table isn't really leaning like it's about to fall over the way it looks in the picture! :)

This 1:16 scale backless sofa could perhaps be suitable for a 1:12 setting also. Approx dimensions are: height 2.75cm (1 1/8"); width 10.5 cm (4"); depth 4 cm (1 3/8"). I wanted to include something in 1:16 (3/4) scale because I know that several of you have houses that are that size.

Entry is open to all followers who leave a comment on this post. Those of you who were kind enough to leave a comment on my May 28 post about what to do with the side window in the Brocante have a bonus entry as promised, and Ira gets another two bonus entries because she was the first to spot that I'd mistaken the bottom of Marit's birdcage for a work of art - which of course it is :) If you wish to publish this giveaway on your blog sidebar that's fine by me but it's not an obligation.

I'll do the draw on Sunday 19 July to allow plenty of time for all who are interested to take part as there seems to be an issue of late with followers not receiving all notifications of new posts - I've seen mention of it elsewhere and I know that I'm not receiving notification of all new posts on blogs that I follow.

Remember - please tell me in your comment whether you wish to be in the draw for the outdoor set or the small sofa.

Tues 6th - comments left here today by me, Flor, Minilisa and Sagrario have been forwarded to my email, but they're not showing here. However you can be sure that I'll keep these email notifications and will make sure you are all entered in the draw whether or not your comment appears here :)

(It will be interesting to see if they mysteriously re-appear - Blogger is an unpredictable beast!)

Design credit - the image used to print the little cushion is from Janet McCaffrey's blog Primrose Design. Thank you Janet for kindly giving me permission to reproduce it in miniature. Janet also has a website featuring pretty handcrafted gifts for sale, be sure to pay her a visit :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Marit's tiny turnings & link to bird and cage making

Marit's little bird didn't arrive empty handed - he brought these lovely tiny tiny turned candlesticks, etc with him, part of a swap arrangement between Marit and I. The smallest piece is about 5mm long - it's so light and delicate that I'm afraid that if I should sneeze it would fly off never to be seen again! The package also included these pretty things...

Thanks again Marit!

My contribution to the swap will be some things for Marit's beach house.

Here is the link to Marit's post about how she made the bird and his little cage

Post amendment: if you look closely at the above pic, and those in Marit's post about making the bird and the cage you will see why I'm in the running for the award of IDIOT OF THE YEAR (if not the century)! If you can spot my idiotic bungle let me know in a comment! First to spot it (I hope there's only the one I'm aware of!!) will get an extra couple of entries in the giveaway that I promise is coming this side of Christmas!! ;) ["Quick as a flash" Ira's got it!]

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sandy's studio in spring, and a NY Times interview

In February I posted this Christmas time photo of this gorgeous little place in the Catskills, NY, USA that is the feature of Sandy Foster's blog My Shabby Streamside Studio - a 1:1 dollhouse if ever I saw one :)

The New York Times has just published a feature on Sandy and the studio at

There are great photos of how the studio looks in the spring, as well as an inspiring interview with Sandy, a woman committed to following her heart no matter the obstacles that I admire greatly on every level. Take a few moments to check out the article and her blog, I guarantee you'll be inspired too :)

Oh yeah, and the challenge is still out there - which miniaturist is going to be the first to mini Sandy's studio?????

(Click here to read my February post about Sandy's studio)

Photo credits: Sandy's blog

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Arrival secret revealed - look who flew in from The Netherlands!!

The sun came out for a few moments this morning so I could get my camera out and can now reveal the arrival in Sydney of this little fellow ...

You could have knocked me over with a feather (please pardon the pun!) when Marit told me that this little fellow was winging his way to Sydney!! I had admired him from afar but now he is mine, all mine - how lucky can a girl be?!! THANK YOU MARIT!!

This is the happy conclusion of a saga that began in March when I (jealously) admired a lovely little birdcage Brenda (Cozy Little House) had purchased at her local garden centre (along with some other lovely minis) and posted about it on my blog.
Then in May Marit posted on her blog (Black Cat Cottage) that she'd made a similar birdcage complete with little bird adorned in peacock feathers...

With Marit's permission I posted about her birdcage, including this photo, here on my blog and created a bit of confusion with several people assuming that the photo was taken by me and that I had the little cage, and it's occupant, in my possession. Marit thought this quite funny as she in fact was planning to send me the birdcage but wanted it to be a surprise and commented that perhaps a few bloggers may have psychic powers :)

Now, several months on from my admiration of Brenda's mini cage purchase I have this splendid cage, with beautifully plumed bird, of my very own. The skill that has gone into making this little cage and bird is simply amazing to me. I'm sure I could never make anything like them. It will be my pleasure to give them a home on this side of the world (eventually most likely in the French apartment above the brocante).

Thank you again Marit for your kindness and generosity. It is greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Busy busy busy

Usually I have no minis to show because I'm so busy doing uni work, now I am busy making minis but I still have none to show because they're for other people!! Yes, at last I'm working on gifts and swaps and I'm having such fun but can't show you a thing until they have arrived at their new homes.

The other reason for no photos is that the light is so bad (too many dull cloudy winter days) that I can't get decent photos of a little surprise that flew into Sydney recently that I really really want to share with you ... all will be revealed soon I hope! So watch this space...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Treasures from Synnove

I fell in love with this pretty lavender Synnove (Synnoves Et Dukkehjem) made recently and asked if she'd like to do a little swap (click here to see the full picture including pretty potted lavender and gorgeous roses).

I haven't fulfilled my end of the bargain yet but Synnove generously said she'd send the lavender anyway - she didn't mention that she was sending a lot of other little treasures as well! ...

Thank you Synnove, they're all fabulous and will have special places in my mini world :)

Synnove has a very charming French house on her blog, make sure you pay her a visit!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Holiday theme swap

I'm participating in the holiday themed swap organised by Caterina @ 'Le Minis de Cockerina' - this is my postcard for my virtual holiday destination, Sanur Beach on the beautiful island of Bali. Oh how I wish I could visit my friends there for real but it's just not possible this year - however the upside is that I have lots of time to make minis during my midyear break :)

I'm waiting for my swap partner, Roberta (Il Boratorio di Pitosfora) to email me with her address so that I can send her the minis for our Bali holiday - they are all ready and waiting to go in the mail Roberta!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Amazing antique 1890s dollhouse, with a twist...

Click here to go directly to this post on my friend Tracy's blog to see more on this very special antique dollhouse - she's got lots of detail about it's fascinating history which I won't duplicate here. It's SOOO charming!!!
This chest is my favourite piece in the house but there are lots and lots of wonderful old minis to see. And I just love this printed lining -
Tracy's previous post has wonderful pictures of a 1900s lithograph dollhouse that you must see too -
Tracy's blog (clicking on her name will take you to her latest post) has a fabulous array of weird, wonderful, whimsical, and sometimes downright wacky! ;) old toys (and other interesting stuff)!! Don't miss out on visiting her, it's a real treat.

Thanks Tracy for permission to publish your photos here.

Now back to my university assignment .......... (I hope to be done with it in about a week so see you all soon!)