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. 

Friday, 6 January 2017

Vintage Brooch & Fabric Bouquet Finally Finished!

With my son's wedding almost imminent, I am delighted to say that the bridal vintage brooch and fabric bouquet has now been completed! I was honoured to have been asked to make this, and my daughter-in-law to be put an awful lot of trust in my creative skills. Am chuffed to bits with the result and so too is the bride! Even another of my offspring, when he saw it finished,  remarked "it's fantastic", so praise indeed as my kids rarely comment on any of my creations, whether they are of the miniature kind or real life size!

I did make a smaller bridal brooch & fabric flower posy jointly with my sister in law a few years ago for my niece, and which I featured on here.  But this time I was making this all on my own.  The bride-to-be gave me a brief that she wanted it colourful and slightly wild looking...I think I laughed when she first said this to me, and told her that I would do my best. 

I do love a creative challenge though! 
This bouquet was made up of various fabric flowers, most of which I created from different coloured synthetic fabric.  Three fabric roses were purchased from Hobbycraft, and three crocheted flowers along with a small bunch of foam flowers, were purchased off Ebay, all super quality. 

My handmade flowers were created by cutting out various petal shapes of differing sizes and then singeing the edges over a naked candle flame. Once the edges were sealed, each one was then carefully held over the flame again to create the curl of the petal.  Not for the faint hearted I admit, although I only actually set fire to two petals in total...yes truly!  I made sure that I did all the singeing on my kitchen draining board so water was close by! To be honest, once you get used to this technique, it becomes a lot easier but you do have to be careful.
Some of the brooches were old family pieces from my mother-in-law, the brides mother and also her granny, which made this rather special. 
All the other brooches were purchased from charity shops or were gifts from other members of the family who had also been collecting old brooches for me. 

 Gradually as the flowers were made, I began to wire a brooch to the central part of each flower, plus on smaller flowers I used glass beads for the centres, all from a 1920s glass bead necklace. The glass beads give an extra sparkle as the light catches them.
The long wire stems were gradually wrapped around each other as the bouquet grew, to create a handle. It took a few weeks on and off, to get to this stage. It is trial and error in the placing of each flower, and if anyone attempts this, I would strongly recommend to spend a lot of time in placing the flowers before you wire the stems together. If you get it wrong, it will take you some time to unwire that particular flower from the handle...yep had to do that more than once!

I purchased some fabulous fabric eucalyptus leaves and rose hip twigs from a wonderful gift shop just outside  Chipping Campden on my travels (sadly the name of the shop escapes me). They were a little more pricey than the usual fabric foliage but paying that little bit extra was worth it, as they were so realistic than the cheaper versions.
Once all the flowers were  finally in place, the wire stems were trimmed and bound in fabric tape. Then the layers of foliage were added and bound to the handle. Firstly the eucolyptus, and then the rose hip twigs - minus the berries which I decided to snip off.
The contrast in the green colouring between the two different kinds of foliage gave the bouquet added depth...and the bride-to-be got that little bit of  the "wild look" that she wanted.  
Finally the handle was bound in a remant of silk from the bride's wedding dress and I tied a long length of vintage lace to hang down.

The finished bouquet is actually a little heavier than a real floral bouquet, so the bride won't be throwing this over her shoulder...but how fabulous that she can keep this forever and it will become a family heirloom.

This has been such fun to make!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Happy New Year Everyone And Let's Hope That 2017 Is A Good One! KT Miniatures Is Back Open For Business.

Happy New Year to you all, I hope that you have had a wonderful festive time. 

 Am delighted to say that as from today I'm back at my desk after the festive break, as KT Miniatures enters its 21st year of trading....yes truly!  Don't know about you, but I was glad to see the back of 2016 - it was an extremely sad and challenging year for me and my family, but life is now most definitely moving on. 

Our very first Christmas without Mr KT has been a little tough but we all still managed to have a lot of laughs. With the impending marriage of one of my sons looming rapidly on the horizon and the birth of my very first grandchild in a few months time, there is much to look forward to on the personal front. And of course, I am buzzing with ideas and full of excitement in anticipation of all the gorgeous miniature goodies that will pass through the doors of KT Miniatures this year.
During these past couple of weeks I have had time to reflect and you may be pleased to know that KT Miniatures is not going anywhere for the foreseeable future.  I hope to be here for quite some time yet, although along with my miniaturist colleagues, we are in agreement that we can feel a definite shift in our industry, which is a little scary. Whether it is the fallout from the Brexit vote or what...who knows, time will tell.
I came across this illustration amongst my vintage ephemera as I was undertaking some sorting out a few days ago. It is titled "THE JOYS OF PARENTHOOD - BUSY MORN" and  was presented with THE SUNDAY COMPANION 1923. I thought I would share it with you... isn't it fabulous!

 I have just dipped into my inbox this morning and can see rather a lot of communication sitting there...so I am thanking everyone in advance for their patience, and I will endeavour to reply as quickly as possible.

I read somewhere just recently that life is like a bus journey. People get on and off your bus throughout your "journey"....some stay only for one or two stops, some stay a bit longer and some will stay until the very end with you... and this imagery kind of touched a chord with me. Unfortunately my bus must be one of the old vintage ones with a dodgy engine but there is always a lot of laughter on my bus no matter how bumpy the journey gets:)

So without further ado, please feel free to jump on my "bus" and lets see where it takes us in 2017.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Merry Christmas From KT Miniatures - We Are Now Closed Until January 3rd 2017

Many thanks for your friendship and custom during 2016. KT Miniatures is now closed for the festive season and will be open again on Tuesday 3rd January 2017. 

Hope you have a wonderful time. 
See you in 2017!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

A Few Miniature Curios....Some Quite Rare!

If you have been following KT Miniatures' website this week you will have noticed that in the past few days quite a few items have been put up for sale. Some flew off the shelf almost immediately but there is still plenty on offer. 

Rare c1930s Charbens Metal Bookcase & Bureau
 I have handled a fair few c1930s Charbens metal furniture pieces over the years but this is the first time I have had this particular model, so I would say that this is one of the more rare Charbens items.
It is all metal and hollow inside but still quite heavy. As you can see it has suffered a fair bit of paint loss but even so, this is highly desirable. This can be found on the following page:

This antique plaster crab is such a curious thing - I have never seen anything quite like this before. Its exact age or origin is unknown but I suspect it is probably of German make and as it came with a group of early 1900s dolls house items, I am assuming it is from that era. He just makes me smile!
 Then there is this cast iron Victorian bucket, it is so heavy. 
One can just imagine how much enjoyment this has given many little people over the decades, as it is a tad on the rusty side inside and has probably been filled with water many times.
 This miniature wood and black bristle brush is exquisite, measuring 1 1/2" long. Again, exact age or origin is unknown so I would describe this as vintage. If you have an old dustpan that is in need of a brush then this could be for you. 
These can be found on the following page:

 This is another curious item! It is a KIDDICRAFT MINIATURE CHEQUE BOOK. 
I understand that this was produced in conjunction with Martins Bank Ltd during the 1950s-1960s and is literally an exact miniature version of a Martins cheque book. All cheques are still present and unused, and even though the first cheque has been removed it is still present. I have placed a 20p piece in one of the photos above so that you can instantly get a feel for the size of this item. As you can see it is quite large in scale but if you have an old dolls house or miniature shop where scale does not matter, this could be a fantastic addition to your collection. 

 This is a lovely Victorian metal and glass picture/photo frame.

Actually we know that it used to house a photo, simply because on the backing paper is the wording: G. HERBERT - PHOTOGRAPHER and there is a Banbury address. But the photo is long gone. However, it is in super condition and perfect for someone to put their own photo or old picture inside and hang on an old dolls house wall.
Now a real antique gem...when I first obtained this DEWROPS miniature book, I assumed that it dated from c1920s because inside there is an inscription in ink saying FROM GRANDMA 1920. 

I cannot make out who the recipient Grandma intended it for as it is faded plus a later owner has written in big ink letters her name too. 

However, on researching CHISWICK PRESS: CHARLES  WHITTINGHAM, the named printer, I realised that in fact this is probably a lot older than first thought.  Apparently Charles Whittingham died in 1876 and someone else took over his company, so this has to be pre 1876! I am now of the opinion that as this is a book of biblical verse for each month of the year, that "Grandma" was passing on a family item to their grandchild.

How fascinating is that!

These items can be found on the following page:

There are lots more old miniature treasures to be listed to KT Miniatures this coming week..so do keep checking the website and feel free to get in touch if anything takes your fancy!  
Celia x