Saturday, 23 November 2019

What A Lovely Venue For A Workshop Denman College Is!

What a brilliant time we had last week at Denman College, in Oxfordshire (a WI college but open to all) where I spent three days and two nights with a bunch of 8 rather lovely ladies, running An Old Attic Room Scene Workshop. My old friend Jill Higson, an experienced crafter/miniaturist came along to assist.  

This was the main prototype of what they were making along with all the accessories, and each lady was given a ready primed room box with sliding perspex front, a booklet of instructions plus all materials needed to make the above. However everyone was encouraged to use their creativity, they could age their room box as little or as much as they wished, plus they could make their room into whatever they wanted it to be - it didn't have to be an old attic room. Ideas soon started flowing.

We were based in Studio 1 over in the Teaching Block, the facilities were absolutely amazing...far superior to anything that I have had anywhere else before...and I have run rather a lot of workshops in my time in all kinds of venues!

 The ladies came from all over the UK, some were members of the WI and some were not. Their skills were varied, ranging from absolute beginners to experienced crafters, which this project lent itself well too. 
Every lady had a 6ft table to themselves, which included an individual freestanding magnifying lamp. Several sinks were along the wall and a trolley packed with tools, implements and supplies...amazing!

The beginners among the group arrived a little more apprehensive than others but everyone was full of  wonderful enthusiasm. And by the end of the very first session after they had managed to paint a scene on their back wall, using a simple painting by numbers system...their confidence had begun to grow rapidly. Those who were more experienced in the group were happy to do their own "thing".  

Then as soon as the back wall, ceiling  and window went in, plus the aging of the painted walls began...the mutterings of delight from the ladies were just brilliant!

I was so proud of them all. This particular bunch of ladies bonded so well that on the last morning they asked if I would come back again and run a Reunion Workshop at Denman College for them. I have put a proposal to the college and it looks like you can all return next year ladies! 

In fact I'm delighted to say that I have been formally invited back next year to run three more residential workshops, two more for the exact same project above...and another for the Reunion Workshop. Dates and details are to be confirmed shortly. 

So watch this space!

Friday, 8 November 2019

All Is Now Ready For The Workshop Next Week!

 Preparations for the "Old Attic Room Scene In Miniature Workshop" have been in full swing these past few weeks and am pleased to say that at last all is now ready. 

Many hours of planning, writing, cutting, creating, designing, painting, glueing, etc. have been going on over recent weeks to get all the kits ready for this workshop that is being held at the WI's Denman College in Oxfordshire. 

It is my first time at Denman College and am looking forward to it very much. 
This project involves a lot of painting and getting one's hands dirty, so ladies...please remember to bring your aprons or old shirts!

Here is the project that we should be making.

I will take my camera and hopefully will have loads of photos to show you how we got on. 


Saturday, 19 October 2019

Vintage & Artisan Dolls House Fair - What A Brilliant Day!

It is hard to believe that it was a week ago today that our Vintage & Artisan Dolls House Fair took place in Thame Barns Centre....and what a day it was!

The main aim of running this fair was to help raise awareness and funds for the wonderful charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young), and at the same time bring high quality artisans and antique/vintage dolls house sellers all together under one roof. From the start, 50% of everyone's admission fee was donated to the charity to help raise funds, as CRY is the brilliant charity that helped my daughter Kate after she randomly had a cardiac arrest.  

Well we succeeded in doing all of the above and more, and I am delighted to announce that the total money raised for CRY was an amazing...

So thank you everyone for your generosity, this amount far exceeded all expectations. The raffle alone raised £246, and we ended up with 19 beautiful prizes on the day, all donated by UK miniaturist artisans and traders. Needless to say there were some very happy prize winners! 
The Large Barn
Huge thanks to absolutely everyone who made this all possible. That includes family and all my lovely friends who helped out in so many ways, from beginning to end. Plus all the wonderful stand holders who came, and of course all the visitors too! Many of the stand holders rank amongst the finest in the UK and would not normally come to a small event such as this, so I am extremely humbled that they came and helped to make this event even more special. 
The Small Barn
The weather was wet all day and truly awful, but those that braved the elements seemed to enjoy themselves, there were smiles all round.
The Thame Barns Centre is such a pretty and atmospheric setting, which helped to give the feeling that this fair was just that little bit special and different from the norm. 
My old mate Robin (now long retired from Coombe Crafts) did a fantastic job helping me on my KT Miniatures stand, and business was brisk.
Charlotte of Oxfordshire caterer Time For Tea and her assistant Sonn, did a fantastic job turning two of the smaller rooms into stunning Vintage Tea Rooms, complete with bunting, vintage china and of course, delicious food. The cakes in particular were to die for and proved rather popular with visitors! Charlotte kindly donated 10% of her profits made on the day to CRY.
This is just one of the many lovely raffle prizes which attracted much attention on the day, donated by stand holder Stokesay Ware. 

*Highlights of the day was to meet Alison and hubby, who came all the way from Australia. They had always wanted to come to a British dolls house fair and literally built their entire UK trip around coming to this fair!! 
Here is another gorgeous raffle prize that was donated by stand holder Victoria Fasken. 
*Then there was Norma who had lugged a big plastic carrier bag of small change she had been collecting for a long time, all the way from the east of England to give to CRY. There was well over £30 in that bag!

*And how about John of Onetwelfthscale, who after spending quite some time explaining to a customer how he had created the back panel of his Macintosh washstand, whipped out a separate panel that he called a "second" (although neither I or the visitor could see what was wrong with it) and insisted on giving it to the visitor free of charge, he simply refused to take any money for it. So the lady in question whipped out a £20 note and thrust it in my hand to give to CRY instead. 

This just about summed up the wonderful spirit of the day, it really was rather special. 

Although spare a thought for poor Trevor Cain of Dolls House Restoration, whose car had a blow out on the M25 en route...and by all accounts it was very scary indeed. Thankfully he was ok but sadly neither he or his car managed to reach us on the day. now it is all over and I had said from the beginning that this was to be a one off fair....but since last Saturday, I have had lovely messages and emails from stand holders and customers alike, to ask if I could do this all over again next year. All I can say at this moment of time is that I am considering we shall see:)

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Just a little taster of what to expect to find on KT Miniatures stand on Saturday.

Well everything is priced and packed, and ready for KT Miniatures' stand that will be at this Saturday's Vintage & Artisan Dolls House Fair. The event is taking place at Thame Barns Centre (Church Road, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3AJ) which is right next to the ancient church and opposite the old tithe barn. It has taken me literally months and months to organise, there are still a few more last minute chores that need to be done....then that will be it. It should be quite a gathering and a rather unique event, bringing together high quality miniaturist artisans as well as antique/vintage dolls house sellers. 

Here is a peek at just a weeny portion of antique and miniature items that will be on my KT Miniatures stand on Saturday. Everything is being sold on a first come, first serve basis and cannot be reserved before the event....sorry. What is not sold, will appear on my website over the following days after the event. 
c1920s Elgin furniture,  early 1900s Schneegas towel rail, antique metal fireplace....
One or two of the above antique pieces date as far back as late Victorian and early 1900s, plus the 1930s Pit-a-Pat beds have some authentic looking vintage style mattresses. 
In contrast there will be some 1960s retro furniture of various makes.  
 Large scale vintage cookers, as well as small scale will be on offer. 

These handmade items out of broken vintage bits and pieces, appeared on an earlier KT Miniatures post.
A bit of fun inspired by an old Honor Appleton illustration.
Various vintage Grecon dolls & Britains lead garden bits and bobs.  
All kinds of early 1900s glassware, German striped coloured glass, early 1900s  Gerlach metal items...and lots more!!! Including of course the good old KT Miniatures "rummaging crate" with vintage bargains galore, plus a couple of small vintage dolls houses, one being a Tri-ang. 

And lets not forget that there are 20 other stands too of some truly amazing miniature creations and antique/vintage treasures. Please note that sadly Liza Antrim has had to withdraw due to health problems, but CJ Miniatures have kindly stepped in at the last minute to take up the vacant spot. 

Just by coming on Saturday, you will be helping to support CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) as half of everyone's admission fee will be donated to this brilliant charity.

So why not come and join us all on Saturday and have a fabulous day out!!!

Full details can be found on the fair promotional page:

My old mate Robin Britton (now long retired from  Coombe Crafts) will be helping me out on my stand throughout the day, so if you do come along, please stop by our stand for a good old natter, it would be great to see you. We will be in the Large Barn but make sure you visit the Small Barn too down the wonderful beamed corridor where there are more stands plus the refreshment area. And if you wanted to take a breather while you are here with us, have a cup of tea and taste some of the goodies that will be on offer in the "Time For Tea" pop up vintage tea rooms. 

It is going to be fun, see you there!


Friday, 4 October 2019

Yay....Not Long To Go Now Until The Vintage & Artisan Dolls House Fair On 12th October!

Why not come and see us all at this very special and unique event in a few days time, on Saturday 12th October! There will be 21 truly wonderful miniaturist artisans and antique/vintage dolls house sellers. Many of them usually attend just the large national fairs, so I am extremely grateful for their support. It really will be a special day!
Some I have known for years, and some I only know by reputation but I thank them all for supporting this event.  For a full list of stand holders and further information, please see the promotional page, CLICK HERE.

What is CRY?

As organiser, KT Miniatures is donating 50% of any profit made from organising this event to this wonderful charity CRY. It stands for Cardiac Risk in the Young. The charity's vision as a whole is "to prevent young sudden cardiac deaths through awareness, screening and research, and supporting affected families." To find out more about the charity, see their website:
Reg. Charity No. 1050845

Grand Charity Raffle

There will be a Grand Raffle in aid of CRY, with some gorgeous miniature prizes already donated by UK miniaturists, some can be seen above.  Tickets will be priced at £1.00 and will only be available at the event. 

Vintage Tea Room
Plus....we will have a Vintage Tea Room provided by Time For Tea, and the owner Charlotte Cavanagh has pledged to donate 10% of all profit made on the day to the charity too. So a huge thank you to Charlotte!

The Venue - Thame Barns Centre

Thame Barns Centre is situated in the historic part of Thame, in Oxfordshire. It was built from the ruins of an old farm, right next to the 13th Century church and the old Grammar school, which dates back to the 15th century. Thame itself is a quaint old town, filled with some amazing award winning restaurants, shops, etc. and the Thame Museum is just literally around the corner from this venue. If you are a fan of Midsomer Murders, you will recognise many of the buildings as Thame has been used in the long running tv programme for years. 

PARKING. Please note that there is only limited and restricted parking at the venue, so it is highly recommended that you park down Priest End, which is the road that runs along the old church and Prebendal. And then simply take a shortcut through the churchyard to the Barns Centre (past Robin Gibb's grave from the BeeGees  - as he lived in the Prebendal on the other side of the road). Alternatively there are several car parks in the town centre, which are just a short walk away. More info about parking can be found on the promotional page:

Why am I supporting CRY?
Without warning one November night in 2017, my previously healthy daughter Kate suddenly collapsed from a cardiac arrest. To find out more about the girls who saved Kate's life -Click Here 

Thankfully she was part of the 8% who survive, when many are not so lucky. But once out of hospital, there seemed to be no support network geared up for young cardiac patients, then someone mentioned CRY to us. Through CRY Kate met other young people who had been through similar experiences as herself, and this helped her greatly. We have found CRY to be an amazing charity and brilliant at helping young people with cardiac conditions, plus their families.  Half of everyone's admission fee is being donated to CRY, so just by coming to the event you will be helping the charity.