Monday, 5 October 2015

KT Miniatures Is Finally Getting Back To Some Sort Of Normality....

Someone recently sent me this gorgeous card and it just made me smile, so it is now stuck to my fridge door and continues to make me I thought I would share it with you!

 After the past few utterly weird and surreal weeks we have had here, life is now beginning to settle down into some sort of new routine at last....(I am saying this in a hushed voice and with all fingers and toes crossed, as I don't want to tempt providence too much)!!!! But Mr KT Miniatures is doing ok considering and even though reality now consists of constant trips to hospitals and all sorts of various medical professionals, he is being well looked after, so I can now breath a gentle sigh of relief and turn my attention back to KT Miniatures once more. I do have some rather lovely vintage pieces that I am hoping to put up for sale on the website this week - when they are listed I will add some information to my moving strapline on the right hand side of my HOME PAGE.

Just a reminder that in just over four weeks time, KT Miniatures will be attending the wonderful Haddenham Dolls House & Miniatures Exhibition..................

Haddenham Dolls House & Miniatures Exhibition
Saturday 14th November
Haddenham Village Hall, HP17 8EE
Admission £2.50/Children £1.50 
Fundraising for Hearing Dogs For Deaf People & Thame Valley Air Ambulance

Not only will KT Miniatures' stand be filled with my handmade and vintage goodies at this delightful little event, but we are also able to have a stand for our Nostalgia In Miniature Workshops too, which is rather nice. So we are aiming to display a few of our past projects, as well as have one or two of our past workshop prototypes for sale, as both Robin (my workshop colleague) and myself are seriously running out of storage space! This Haddenham event has always been held biennially up until now but the new organisers have agreed to take this wonderful event over from the previous organisers - Freda and George Dorrel, who after many years have decided to retire from fair organising.
Here is a flyer for the event, which gives you an idea of what it's all about.
Haddenham is just less than 2 miles from Thame, close to Junctions 6 & 8 of the M40, has its own mainline station (Haddenham & Thame Parkway on the Chiltern Line) with direct routes from Birmingham and London Marylebone. There is a taxi rank at the station , and the "280" Arriva Bus stops outside the station every 20 mins which stops near the Village Hall. Or if you are feeling particularly energetic it would probably take you about 15-20 mins to walk from the station (with the wind behind you)!!

My apologies if I am not able to respond to your emails or phone messages left on my answer phone quite so promptly as usual, but  I will reply to you as soon as I can. Thank you for your continued patience.

Friday, 18 September 2015

All Packed & Ready For Saturday's Workshop.....

Against all the odds (due to continuing events here with Mr KT), we are now most definitely 100% ready for our workshop tomorrow - Saturday - YAY!
All is now cut, prepared, bagged up and packed away....and both Robin and I have gone through the usual process of counting and checking components, then counting again.....and again! But all is well and ready to go.
A massive thanks to all your lovely messages with regards to Mr KT. Unfortunately he is still very much under the weather and although KT Miniatures is open for business, am just not able to list any new stock to the website for a little while longer. Fingers crossed, life will calm and get back to some sort of normality very soon.
Meanwhile,  I have a lovely team of helpers on standby to take over my nursing duties for tomorrow and both Robin (my workshop colleague) and I are very much looking forward to seeing everyone who are booked to attend our third and final session of our Little Vintage Toy Shop Workshop  at Bicester.
PS. Do you like our new Nostalgia In Miniature Workshops based on a real 1930s dolls house frieze from a genuine antique Art Deco Dolls House...which is currently for sale!!! 

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Oh Dear.....Here We Go Again! has been a case of here we go again with Mr KT Miniatures, as a few days ago I had yet another unexpected emergency ambulance ride with him to A&E.

But he has defied all odds and pulled through once more, due to the fantastic medical team at Oxford hospital and possibly a little help from "him upstairs". 

 So as you would expect, my attention has been somewhat diverted from KT Miniatures of late. My apologies for the delay sending out one or two of your current orders, replying to your emails and phone messages. And of course all listing to the website has been put on hold for the time being. I am endeavouring to catch up as and when I can. Thank you for your patience.

Hopefully Mr KT Miniatures will be home shortly and although I will have to put on my nurse's hat once more and take up my nursing duties, my other immediate attention will be put to completing the finishing touches to kit making for next week's workshop.Yes, I most definitely will be there, as I have a whole army of helpers waiting in the wings to take over my nursing duties for Saturday 19th September!!!

I am still open for business but just not around as much as usual. If I still have not replied to your email or phone message, I will do so as soon as I can. 

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

The Back To Backs Museum....A Wonderful Place!

Over the past couple of weeks or so I have not been around again for all sorts of reasons. But one of the more interesting places I have been lucky to get to was the wonderful Back To Backs Museum up in Hurst Street, (in Birmingham - UK), which is run by the National Trust. From a miniaturist's point of view, it is a glorious venue to gain ideas and inspiration from. 
The Back To Backs Museum is the sole surviving court of back to back houses in Birmingham, where houses were literally built back to back around a single courtyard, and where multiple families would have lived, sharing the washhouse and just a couple of outside toilets. Families living in these kind of houses would have had a tough life. The National Trust has restored several of the houses around this courtyard and set them through various eras ranging from the 1840s, through to the 20th century, right up to the 1970s.  As you are guided around the various rooms, you are taken through the different eras, and will hear about some of the original residents who had once lived there, what life would have been like for them and you can even see some of their original possessions.  Is fascinating!
I have to admit that we had a very special reason to visit this museum....
as we had discovered that my maternal grandfather had lived in a Hurst Street back to back, just a few hundred yards down from the museum, when he was a young boy during the late 1800s/early 1900s....and interestingly also discovered that my great-grandfather was a cobbler.  In fact, we now know that we come from a whole line of cobblers on my mother's side...going right back to the early 1800s, and possibly beyond. At some point, presumably for work, my great-grandfather moved up the family from Somerset in the late Victorian times and ended up in Hurst Street. Researching our family tree has been fascinating and we are unlocking all kinds of wonderful pieces of information!

Life would have been very hard indeed.There would be no running water, and we were told that one of the children would have had to make quite a trek to fetch water for the family each day from a nearby source. Rats, cockroaches, bedbugs, etc. would have been part of their everyday life. Although the museum for obvious reasons in this day and age, is presented in a far more sanitised condition, from the graphic accounts given to us by our guide as we continued around the buildings on our tour, one is able to begin to imagine what it must have been like. I couldn't help wondering how on earth my relatives ever survived....but they did!
Standing outside the washhouse are some of the now redundant galvanised dolly tubs once used for laundry washing.
Set in the courtyard, we were able to step inside the one washhouse where there is the original copper plus all kinds of laundry paraphernalia, including mangle, washboard, etc. We were told that each family would be designated a specific time once a week when it would be their turn to use the washhouse. Families couldn't just use it randomly.
The fire would be lit underneath which would then heat water that would have been poured into the metal bowl above.

When my family moved into our 1930s Gloucester lodge house during the 1950s, there was one of these coppers but like many families up and down the country, was removed in favour of an electric washing machine! Hmmm...not surprising really, don't you think? What a palaver wash day must have been back in the early days, and such hard work!
When the washing was done...and it would have taken some considerable time, the same precious hot water would have been used to bath the whole family in a metal washtub (one can be seen in the courtyard photo above), beginning with the eldest first and ending up with the youngest. To imagine what the water must have been like by the time the youngest child would have had a bath after all the dirty laundry, parents and elder siblings had been in it, is not a pretty thought!
It was absolutely chucking it down on the day we went so outdoor photographs proved a little tricky. We were so engrossed in the guided tour inside, that we never even thought to take photos inside...although come to think of it, am not even sure if inside photography was allowed? Not only from my family's perspective, did this place give us goosebumps as it had very personal resonance to us as we retraced my grandfather and great-grandparents steps, but from a miniaturist's point of view there is plenty to feast your eyes on and inspire! I can strongly recommend that the Back To Backs Museum is well worth a visit. 

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

c1960s Tri-ang Jennys Home Rooms....

At long last, after a few days filled with distractions, I finally managed to put up for sale yesterday  several all plastic Jennys Rooms made by Tri-ang and some related items, which were available during the 1960s. All of these belonged to Marion Osborne, some of which can be seen in her book: The Book Of Tri-ang Furniture. These were quite a unique concept, as the idea was that you could collect these rooms and build your "house" over time, as you can see from the leaflet below.....
The rooms came in two sizes...Large and Small.
These seen here immediately above and below are the smaller rooms, with two doors and three window panels.
Windows tilt open and doors open too. Each window and door panel slide out in theory, although time has taken its toll on one or two which seem to be stuck firmly! 

Here are some examples of the larger rooms....each one has a single door at one end, along with a window panel at the other plus a massive sliding window on one long very 1960s!
Both the large and smaller rooms have clear plastic panels that slot snugly for the roof, which also gives good access to the interior. 
Access is made very easy on the larger rooms, as the big window panel slides open. 

The door and window panels are identical for both different size rooms.
Rooms can be joined together by sliding one single door panel over two doorways. Is a little tricky but do-able. Hence you can make your house into a single storey bungalow with as many rooms as you have space for...or alternatively you can have a building with as many storeys as you seen in the original leaflet at the top of this page. 
I currently have for sale various spare window panels. Sadly I do not have any spare door panels, as the plastic doors were prone to breakages.  But the upside is that you only need one door to join two rooms together!
I do have several spare original felt flooring pieces for the larger rooms, with cut out pieces to fit snugly around the radiator. 
So too, there are some original red/white striped curtains for sale for the larger room.
Rarely do these balcony railings come along and there are several....some are fully intact, some are missing one or other of their fixing lugs. The lugs slot into the holes in each corner of the roof panels found on each room. This gives a lovely finish if you are creating a roof garden on your building!
 Those missing their lugs can benefit from the use of Blu Tack or such like, to keep in place. 
Also for sale is this rare chimney set with Battery Switch Plate and two Room To Room Wire Connectors.
The chimney would hook over a side wall of the Jennys Home Room and would house the battery and Switch Plate. 
The Switch Plate would fix to the top of the battery and the metal switch poke through this tiny slot at one end to allow the electrics to be switched on with ease. There are not any Plug Socket Plates with this set (which fit into the radiator once the radiator plate is removed) but if you have one or two of those already and in need of a Chimney with these electrical bits and pieces as seen above, this could be useful to you..

The rooms that have so far been put up for sale are those in the best condition and therefore most expensive. I have one heck of a lot in both sizes still to list that are in various slightly more used conditions ie. some missing doors/have been wallpared,etc. All will be at bargain prices and useful to have if you are in need of a large quantity.

I hope to continue listing these later in the week, if time allows - if not then it will then be next week. Am also hoping to continue adding more furniture and accessories to the Tri-ang Page -,  next week. If you have any queries, do feel free to email me. To view the current stock, please click on the following link:

To give you further ideas on what you can do with these rooms, do take a look at Jesamine's fabulous Jennys Home Tower, which can be found in KT Miniatures Old Dolls House Gallery - Collection Two. To view, click on the following link and scroll right down to the foot of the page;