Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Thame Dolls House Fair This Saturday - Hope To See You There!

Yes, it is that time of year again and this Saturday KT Miniatures will be exhibiting at the annual 

Thame Dolls House & Miniatures Fair.

I will have on offer various handmade as well as numerous antique & vintage dolls house items. There will be at least two old dolls houses too (a c1950s Amersham and c1950s Tri-ang No. 60). Everything is to be sold on a first come, first serve basis and cannot be reserved before the event. Please note that I will not have the facility to accept credit or debit cards at the event, so it will have to be cash transactions only, although as usual cheque payment may be available to regular known customers. However, for all those of you who cannot come on Saturday, all unsold stock will be listed to KT Miniatures website later next week. 

Here is a peek at just some of KT Miniatures handmade miniature items that will be available for purchase off my stand on Saturday....

Vintage Style Toy & Co, Nurse Dolly & Friends Plus Other Framed 3D Vintage Style Pictures.
Vintage German Style Shelves With Replica Delft Style Papers Insipired By My Old Miniature German Dresser.

More Replica Early 1900s German Style Fireplaces Based On One From My Own Private Collection.

And Now A Peek At Some Of The Antique & Vintage Dolls House Miniatures That Will Also Be For Sale On My Stand At Saturday's Event.

I hope these photos can tempt your miniature tastebuds!
 My Stand Is No.38 In The Main Hall.

Hope To See You There! 
PS. My old retired mate from Coombe Crafts (and ex workshop colleague) Robin, will be helping in the morning...so should be loads of fun. Please do drop by the stand and say "hi", we would love to see you. 

Friday, 10 February 2017

What Do You Do With A Broken Antique Dolls House Sofa & Dining Chair?

Whilst rummaging through stock, in preparation for next weeks Thame Dolls House & Miniatures Fair, I came across two broken antique miniature chairs that I had completely forgotten about. Both are extremely old, and both had a missing leg, plus one of them had a missing back strut too. I never throw anything away and often try to mend broken pieces using components or wood from other "seconds" if I can. Some are more challenging than others - I hate giving up on pieces that have survived decades already, so if I am unable to mend them as such, I do try and make them into something beautiful if I can.
So here was the first casualty....a circa 1920s/30s German upholstered dining chair. 
The right front leg was missing, so I replaced with a tiny scrap of wood, as near to the dimensions as the other front leg as possible.  Also one of the fretwork back struts was completely missing too. This proved a little more tricky but eventually amongst my "Bit Box", I found some dark wood suitable.

So, with a little bit of glue, wood scraps, acrylic paints and wax polish, mission was accomplished. This chair is now acceptable for purchase and will be on my stand at next week's fair, at a greatly reduced price than its good looking "sister", which is currently for sale on ktminiatures.com/living-and-dining-room

 The other chair is a sofa and an extremely old one at that, probably German and from the early 1900s...mabye even late 1800s. How on earth could I give up on it!?
The back right leg and part of the side frame was missing - the damage was so bad that it would not even stand up! I decided any attempt on my part to replace the leg and missing frame could not be recreated very successfully. And although the upholstery is a little stained and rather worn, it was crying out to be loved once more!

So after much head scratching, pondering and two cups of coffee later....this is what I came up with!! Yep, I glued a pile of my old style books together in a random pile and fixed it to the underside of the sofa where the leg should be.
So now it stands up at least! However, yes it is quirky and not everyones "cup of tea" but I love it. Everytime I look at it now it just makes me smile. If anyone has an old dolls house  library/ study, or even miniature front parlour with an eccentric inhabitant, this could be perfect for you!

I have been busy at my workbench all week and more creations are beginning to emerge from my workroom, plus I am now compiling a selection of antique and vintage stock for next week's fair. Very shortly I hope to have pics and some sort of list of stock that will be available to purchase off my KT Miniatures stand at next week's event. 

If you go to the official website of the event, you will see that there is a floor plan of exhibitors. 
KT Miniatures is Stand No. 38.
I have a single stand this year for obvious reasons, but am planning to fill that one stand to the brim with some rather lovely old and handmade miniature goodies. And I can now see that I am to be in my old retired mate Robin's "Coombe Crafts" usual spot..at right angles to my old usual double spot. It is going to feel very different this year but actually Robin, on the promise of alcohol, has agreed to come and give me a hand for a couple of hours in the morning :)! 
So should be fun. 


Saturday, 4 February 2017

Some New Creations...

As the Thame Dolls House & Miniatures Fair is just two weeks away, I have had to get cracking with my miniature creating. Emerging from my workshop after a couple of weeks at my workbench, I am delighted with the results.
Tiny & Co. is something that I have wanted to make for a long time...a vintage style miniature shop with a distinctive KT Miniatures finish, loosely based on something that I saw in the Bethnal Green Museum. The new owner can fill the window with whatever they choose, as access is from the back.
Although I have created many miniature scenes in the past, these are a little bit different, inspired by magical old book illustrations.

All that you can see above plus lots more, including this Amersham dolls house, and many other wonderful antique and vintage miniatures too, will be available to purchase off my stand at Thame Dolls House Fair. The event is taking place at Thame Leisure Centre, Oxfordshire (UK) in just two weeks today. 

More specific details of what will be available on my stand will be put up in a few days time, so watch this space. I hope lots of you can come. 

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Some Pit-a-Pat Items That Don't Come Along Very Often...

As an antique and vintage dolls house collector with a special passion for the 1930s/40s era, I just love the c1930s Pit-a-Pat dolls house furniture. These particular pieces are becoming increasingly difficult to find so it is not often that I have any to sell on KT Miniatures' website these days. However yesterday I was delighted to be able to put up for sale three separate listings under the Pit-a-Pat heading. 

The first was a Pit-a-Pat gas cooker. Now not everyone is a fan of these Pit-a-Pat items, and I do understand. Isn't there a saying that goes something like..."one person's junk is another person's treasure"? Personally I find that there is something so enchanting about the Pit-a-Pat style but am not sure if I could actually explain why, other than in my eyes they simply ooze nostalgia. So maybe it just reminds me of my own childhood, as I grew up in a c1930s lodge house and went to an infant school that was housed in a c1930s building. Much of  the furniture in my childhood home originated from the1930s and 1940s.

Now ok, it may be missing the top plate rack and the paintwork may be described as rather worn, but at least the main structure is there and it still retains its very special Pit-a-Pat charm.
The door still has its original bead knob and opens, although the original Pit-a-Pat lettering is missing off the door. I can't quite decide if a previous owner has deliberately scratched it off, or if the white panel of the door has been painted at some point in the distant past? The original metal tacks are still present that represent the control knobs. 

 The door opens to reveal the original two wooden shelves. 

  The two round mesh disks that represent the gas rings are still intact which is rather nice, as these are so often missing. I quite like the criss cross scored lines on the cooker hob top that the manufacturer has added for extra detail. As mentioned above, the rack is missing and should sit on top of the plinth at the top of the cooker back. 
Around the back of the cooker you can see the original black and red Pit-a-Pat paper square label still fully intact, which is nice to see. Did you know that a Pit-a-Pat item is more valuable with the label than without? I am not surprised that this little gem sold within an hour of going up for sale. 
 Another piece that was put up for sale yesterday, is this sought after white painted wooden Pit-a-Pat kitchen sink with drainer. 

Again, like the cooker, it is missing something ie. the original taps, but a previous owner has cleverly added two bent nails to represent the taps. 

The wooden sink has been created to stand on a wooden frame.

It is particularly delightful to see the separate grooved wooden draining board present. It slots onto either side of the sink edge. Again like so many of the Pit-a-Pat pieces, any separate loose components were easily lost in young hands. The metal taps appear to be another commonly seen casualty, as they tended to drop out over time and then become lost forever. 
Of course, you do not have to have the draining board but it would be a shame not to. However having this option does make this piece very versatile. 
And like the cooker the original red and black Pit-a-Pat paper label is still present. 
And finally, this Pit-a-Pat rexine upholstered three piece suite was also put up for sale yesterday.
 This is probably one of the most instantly recognisable of all of the Pit-a-Pat pieces and so very 1930s in style! Rexine is a type of mock leather material that was used in the 1930s.

Underneath the sofa is the original oval red and black Pit-a-Pat label, which I understand is believed to have been the earliest of the paper labels, dating from approx c1932-1934.The square label as seen on the cooker and sink above, is believed to have succeeded  the oval label. These chairs all have the original bead feet. 

At the time of writing this blog, the cooker had been sold but the sink and chairs still available. All can be seen on KT Miniatures' Pit-a-Pat page: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

What A Beautiful Wedding....These Past Few Weeks Have Been Full On!

With just three months to plan a village hall wedding reception for my son and his partner, life has been rather full on just lately with Xmas in between, but we finally managed to pull it off  last Saturday..and what a magical day it was! Thank goodness the snow stayed away, but blimey it was freezing. The actual wedding took place in the morning at Oxford Registry Office, utterly lovely and emotional with just family and two very close friends...and then the reception/party took place at a local village hall for just under 150 people later in the day! The bride looked radiant and beautiful, her brother sang and played the guitar as her father walked her up the aisle...was a very special moment indeed.  

The  vintage brooch and fabric flower bouquet was a sensational success....phew! The dress was made by the bride's friend - it was gorgeous.

Our brief given three months ago from my daughter-in-law to be and my son had been "a twinkly, sparkly, woodland kind of effect on a minimal budget and an informal big party for family and loads of their friends"...they definitely did not want a stuffy, expensive and formal do.  So that is what we gave them and we used as much creativity as we could muster between us all!

 In the centre of each of the 24 tables a pile of vintage books were placed and standing on top of each pile we had an old style Mason jar, a purple ridged glass jar plus a tiny mercury glass tea light jar - all bought for a snip in bargain shops or in sales - we never paid full price for anything! The  jars were filled with a combination of white and blue battery lights  on a string, and tiny submersible battery lights bought from Ebay and Amazon  (cheaper when bought in bulk). To aid the seating plan, every two sets of tables were named after a famous musician, complete with an image of the artist stuck to a wooden spoon stood in a glass...I was on the Jimmi Hendrix table:)
The lights in jars gave a stunning magical effect when the hall lights were dimmed. Running along the table centre  from each side of the books  were fairy lights (bought from Poundland in November before the Xmas rush) wrapped in eucalyptus leaves. 

Very pretty indeed.

My ginger cat Freddie was very impressed with my cans too!

For the two massive  main hall window sills, we used large empty Morrisons grapefruit tins, decorated with cheap braid and tiny wooden butterflies from "The Works" sale...16p each! Special thanks must go to my friend who very kindly munched her way through the tinned grapefruit when I couldn't face eating anymore!!! 

I then sprayed large beech twigs with white paint on my patio...
but unfortunately even though I had covered my patio with bin liners before spraying....I still managed to create a rather splendid white border around the outside!!!! The one photo of evidence of this can be seen above, taken on my mobile, completely out of focus because I was in complete shock after I removed the bin liner - I  thought I had been so careful. It did eventually come off after much scrubbing with water and a broom though

 Then the twigs were fixed into the cans filled with gravel and  more battery fairy lights were draped around the twigs. Large Mason jars filled with battery lights, coupled with draped ivy completed the look and really did look pretty, especially as the lights reflected in the windows against the backdrop of the black wintery night sky.
The hall walls are covered in bright blue accoustic boards all the way around the room and we were not allowed to pin anything to them...they were so dominant and quite hideous actually (why on earth have them bright blue?)....so much head scratching was spent over what to do about them. But then my lovely sister-in-law had the ingenious idea of perching loads of the tiny battery tea lights along the top. The effect was truly magical, as they created wonderful shadows above. 

In the food hall we used slightly different decorations.

 More empty cans of grapefruit decorated in the same way as the others, but filled instead with pretty pussy willow twigs and decorated with fairy lights. Large floor standing tins bought half price from a local florist (they were old and bashed) were filled with willow twigs from a friend's garden and more pussy willow with fairy lights. Additional cheap Mason jars with blue and white lids were filled with more lights, and tiny crinkled coloured tea candle holders were filled with battery tea lights to decorate the food tables. We dried fennel from our gardens, sprayed them gold and placed them in green wine bottles filled with coloured fairy lights. Special thanks must go to the friend that supplied many of the empty bottles:) The overall effect was very pretty indeed. For additional lighting we purchased cheap uplighter standard lamps from IKEA (just under £6 each) and they were perfect to help give a real informal atmosphere when the main lights were dimmed.
Each guest brought a pre-arranged dish of their choosing for the food....I was seriously worried about this concept but blimey, everyone excelled themselves and what an amazing feast we had!! And as my son's bride is a music therapist and singer, all the music was supplied by her talented friends (and she sang a special song she had written herself especially for my son - how romantic).  There was even a wonderful ceilidh band...great fun!!!

Sadly I don't have any photos on hand just yet of the entrance hall completed, but we had a massive branch covered in fairy lights, and decorated in vintage style clip on butterflies and birds borrowed from a friend. 
I did take some pics of the components last week as we were experimenting with the lights...seen above.

 With everyone pitching in to help and contributing to the food, a real warm and cosy communial atmosphere was created, with much fun, music and laughter. So job done well methinks :)

This is why I have been distracted these past few weeks from KT Miniatures and I am now utterly exhausted. So much hard work went into that one day and it just seemed to all be over in a blink of an eye. But now life has to get back to some sort of normality, therefore by the end of this week I hope to have begun listing vintage items to the website and with Thame Dolls House Fair just a month away, I will need to knuckle down to some miniature creating.