Friday, 29 July 2011

A Little Bit Of Inspiration From The 1930s & 1950s.

These may not be real miniatures but....they are a bit on the small side! A visitor to my workroom the other day was bowled over by them and thought what a good idea it was to use something so small in such a useful way and said she found it inspirational.   So I thought I would share some of my lovely vintage  pieces in my workroom  with you, that although were meant for children in eras gone by, now serve a very practical purpose in holding my brushes, tools etc on my workbench.
This little child's teapot, believed to be from a 1930s children's tea set is simply gorgeous with an image of two characters from the Bruin Boys (from Tiger Tim fame) ....that appeared in comics, annuals etc. over the 1920s/30s and later (I understand).  I absolutely adore it and the colouring is so muted and beautiful even all these years later.  I have no idea of the maker but it just says MADE IN ENGLAND on the bottom.

There is actually a tiny sugar bowl too which is useful to keep tiny pins, nails it etc. They came along  a while ago now, in a whole batch of dolls house bits and pieces  which were all part of "A Lot" at auction. I was not expecting them and found them lurking in the bottom of a very large box of vintage mini furniture.
I also have a Disney teapot that has an image of Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse on a bike....wonderful....and guaranteed to make you smile. This is from a child's 1950s tea set and is marked Beswick on the bottom. It was in that same box of vintage dolls house bits and over the years, this teapot has come in very useful you can see!
Ok...this last piece was not meant for children obviously, nor can it be classified miniature in any way but is wonderful and I love it! This very old enamel jug was picked up for a snip at a car boot sale but is real handy for my larger brushes, rulers etc. 
So there you go.....hope you have found this inspirational too!  

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Romside Windows Now Available

I am delighted to say that several of these elusive Romside metal/tin windows were put up for sale on KT Miniatures website today.
Many a finger and knuckle got scraped on the metal hinges as one went about one's business of opening and shutting the little windows, during the course of  some serious childhood imaginative play! Those little butterfly handles also  had a tendency after much use to simply wear out and snap off.....but apart from all that - I still think they are  wonderful, don't you?

These Romside windows are often referred to as Tri-ang windows, which they are most definitely not. Tri-ang windows are slightly different dimensions, square panelled and a different colour. All of the various makes of tin/metal dolls house windows are becoming extremely sought after nowadays, as they are far more difficult to get hold of - so unsurprisingly value is rising steadily too.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Out With The Old KT Miniatures Newsletter & In With The New!

After days, weeks....actually no months of tearing hair out with the old newsletter system that had been provided free by my internet server company since the very conception of KT Miniatures website (ie. years)........I have finally given in and taken the plunge.  Yep, I've gone for a posh super duper system which even though  I now have to pay a small fee for...what the heck, hopefully it will be worth it just for my sanity alone!

Actually, in order to get my money's worth, newsletter subscribers should be receiving them more regularly from now on - she says hopefully with everything crossed and touching wood at the same time....yes I am a tad superstitious.  Here below, you can see a part of the very first new newsletter that went out a couple of days least it looks a bit better than the old one. But then as I am now paying for it, should jolly well expect it to!!!

The plan is to send a KT Miniatures Newsletter out each week to subscribers. Benefits would be that you should in theory, hear about some of the very special pieces that are listed on KT Miniatures by  newsletter first. I often try and coincide the live listing of very special pieces alongside the sending out of the newsletter.

Anyone who previously subscribed to my newsletter and was receiving them should still get it. However.....with the old system, several subscribers simply never received their newsletter and no-one has been able to fathom out why...they would simply disappear into a cyber black hole. It maybe that you will get this new one?  If not, then please feel free to sign up again and give the new system a go. Obviously some of you with company email addresses may have them blocked and treated as spam - sorry there is nothing I can do about that. It may be wise to use a home/private email address. Also, some of you who are still on old computer sytems that can only receive emails in text form rather than html, will not see the lovely colourful graphics.  Sorry - there is nothing I can do about that either.

 So....if you would like to sign up for my free emailed KT Miniatures Newsletter CLICK HERE
Alternatively,  there is a permanent link on the left hand column of my website, scroll down the page a little and you will get to it. You can unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A Touch Of Dol-Toi & A 1950s Barrett Washing Machine

Some more lovely vintage 1/16th Dol-Toi pieces were listed yesterday on KT Miniatures. Many of you who had childhood dollshouses may well recognise these.  Dol-Toi pieces were widely available over a long period of time; from 1944, then right through the 1950s and 1960s, until finally coming to an end in 1975(See Marion Osborne's new Dol-Toi book - details at the foot of this posting).
The Dol-Toi bookcase and little books must rank amongst one of my favourites from the Dol-Toi range. This manufacturer's bookcases come in various shapes, colours and sizes.  Here you can see a wooden one in a dark varnished finish that has just come in which is now for sale. The tiny mock books with wooden inserts have delightful titles such as Boy Blue, Pied Piper and Ali Baba - completely enchanting!
Then there is this 1960s plaster bathroom set in remarkably good condition....considering the fragility of the material that it has been created from.  In a young child's hands, these plaster pieces would have been quite vulnerable and prone to damage. In fact, in all the years that I have been selling vintage dolls houses, this is the first fully intact plaster Dol-Toi bathroom suite that has come along....yes honestly! (More usually, I come across the wooden Dol-Toi bathroom suites). The lift up seat and lid are made of metal and painted black.
As like the Dol-Toi bookcases, the Dol-Toi pianos came in various shapes and sizes. This one just listed is a 1960s grand piano, complete with lift up lid to reveal paper keys and a lift up piano top that can be propped open. Again, refreshingly it is great to have this fully intact, along with the stool that has a gold painted "seat" and the fixed on Dol-Toi music sheet. Over the years I have handled so many of these pianos that have various missing components so this is a nice example.

See the Vintage 1/16th Dol-Toi Page for all of the above plus many more. In fact I have a lot more to add to that section over the next few days.
 Also just listed is this instantly recognisable 1950s Barrett & Son washing evocative of the 1950s is this?! This lovely kitchen appliance is made of metal with a plastic tub, lid and rollers. In fact, if you turn the handle the rollers rotate - great fun! This particular example is in excellent condition and the previous little owner obviously looked after it well. 
This can be found on the Vintage 1/16th Barrett Page

If my week goes according to plan I hope to be able to load up a lot more vintage pieces to KT Miniatures website during the next few watch this space (as they say)!
For anyone interested in the lovely old Dol-Toi treasures and would like to find out more,"THE BOOK OF DOL-TOI" is now available direct from the author - Marion Osborne.  Accompanying her book is a CD of photographs. For full details and how to contact Marion - see my Recommended Reading Page For Antique & Vintage Dolls Houses

Monday, 18 July 2011

Look At This Antique Bird & It's Cage....Just Listed!

First of all...I would just like to give a warm welcome to the several new Followers that have recently joined KT Miniatures Journal...."hi" and hope you enjoy reading my news.

Ok, now to today's little of the aspects that I love about my job is the spontaneity of it all....... I never know from one week to the next, what will come in on the vintage side.

Well today I have put up for sale one of my more unusual antique acquisitions....a tiny and very old metal bird cage complete with bird on a perch that actually swings. Taking it's picture was a challenge as the slightest vibration sent the birdy swinging! There is no doubt that this metal cage is very old, possibly late Victorian or early 1900s.

There is also no doubt that this little treasure that measures 2" tall to the top of the hook, has been well played with. In fact some of the bars are a tad bent but personally I feel it adds to the overall character! So if you are looking for a very old little treasure with a difference, then look no further.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

New Little Garden Scene Now Revealed!

For anyone following our Nostalgia In Miniature Workshops may be interested to know that at long last our Down The Little Garden Path Workshop garden has now been photograped and can be revealed...


In this next workshop Robin and I will show you how to make a little garden scene incorporating an old fashioned crazy paved path, old weathered cold frame, compost heap and even some slug eaten hostas.

The gorgeous pansies were supplied by Georgina Steed of

Our little garden scenes are designed to either stand alone, butt up against an existing dolls house or  join onto each other to make an entire garden.
Over The Little Garden Fence Workshop Project/Down The Little Garden Path Project
We use many natural materials as well as some synthetic materials and the cold frame has been based on real plans from a 1930s handbook. Techniques used for this scene are different from those used in our first project and can be adapted to suit various other projects too.
Booking is now open and there are still  some places available.

Monday, 11 July 2011

A Bit On The Large Side - 1/10th Scale Plus!

Every so often, I acquire some vintage dolls house pieces that are larger than the "normal" average 1/12th scale. Today I have listed for sale on KT Miniatures website,  several items that may be of interest to those of you who collect 1/10th scale and even larger.
There is this tin cooker, that not only has an opening door but the cooker lid opens right up to form the wonderful is that?! With this particular cooker, age and maker is unknown but judging on the style, I would say that it is most probably post war - 1950s?  The cooker measures from floor to top of cooker hob just under 4".  But when the cooker splasback is fully opened, the whole measurement from floor to top is 6 1/2" high. So you can see, this is a little larger than your normal 1/12th cooker.

Now this tin cooker is a different story. It is meant to be a gas cooker, has MADE IN ENGLAND embossed on the splashback and judging by the style, I think there is no doubt that this is pre war. I have dated it between 1920s and 1930s. Sadly the plate rack is missing off the top, even so though....this is a lovely example of a vintage larger scale cooker. This cooker measures just over 4 1/12" to the hob top and 7 1/4" to the very top of the splashback. So a bit bigger again than the other cooker shown on here.  
Amongst some of the other items listed are a very old heavy metal saucepan and pretty blue bucket. Perfect for the larger scale vintage dolls house kitchen! In fact both of these items came with some  early 1900s dolls house furniture so I am assuming that these are of the same era.
Another of the more interesting pieces is this extremely old cane chair, upholstered in green material and could be useful for various rooms in the dolls house.

There is also this very old glassware set.......probably from as far back as 1915. I am not sure whether one would call these a set of drinking glasses and a bowl or if indeed they should be classified as four dishes and a bowl? (We do have some real life sized glass bowls very similar in style, that belonged to my husband's grandmother). This miniature set would look lovely adorning an old sideboard or old shelves.
To view more info on these above plus other large scale items, please go to the

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Venue For Our All Day Workshop Revealed.....WATERPERRY GARDENS!

We are delighted to announce that the very special venue for our all day workshop next March is the wonderful Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire and booking is now officially open!

This all day workshop will take place in the classroom block at Waterperry  on Sunday March 25th 2012 and will start at 10.30am and finish at 4.30pm. We will be making a unique quirky model of an old fashioned shed and contents. This will not be your old common or garden shed......oh no siree......think old, rusty, well-weathered with oodles of character! 

Waterperry Gardens is tucked away in Oxfordshire, a tranquil haven for garden lovers everywhere and easily accessible from the M40.  It was once the home of a Horticultural College For Ladies, founded in the 1930s by Beatrix Havergal and is steeped in history. 
BOOKING NOW OPEN- See our "Nostalgia In Miniature Workshops" website for full details.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

1940s Hallway Revisited!

For those of you who have followed KT Miniatures for a few years will recognise this 1940s Hallway Room Box below. It was made by KT Miniatures in 2009 and then auctioned off at the 2009 Thame Dolls House & Miniatures Fair to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign.
Full instructions on how to make this scene appeared over several issues of Dolls House & Miniatures Scene magazine that year plus several UK artisans  also donated some pieces.

Well now....out of the blue the other day, the lovely lady who had the highest bid at that sealed bid auction and who is the owner of this little Hallway Room Box has been in touch.
Paula Ward from Daventry wrote a letter telling me how she is still thoroughly enjoying her purchase and sent a photo to show me how it has developed (see below).

George and Lil certainly seem well at home! I love the idea of putting a settee in the scene and making it in into a sitting room - ingenious! Paula is a talented lady and has added some of her own creations to the scene such as the tapestries on the wall and the knitting bag. In fact Paula forwarded photos of her work too and below is an image of her miniature knitting.
Now I am always in awe of anyone who can partake in miniature knitting (not something that I am good at) and Paula's work looks exquisite.
It has been a pleasure to see this little box again and hope you enjoyed it too.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Grecon Dolls - Arn't These Wonderful?

Some Grecon dolls just don't do it for me and can be quite ordinary.....others are simply amazing. These little gems came in the other day and unsurprisingly some have already been snapped up within minutes of going up for sale. In fact, as I sit and type, grandma, the little girl and dog should be embarking on their mammoth journey "over the pond" to the US and their new home.
Grandma is wonderful and all three of these dolls and dog came in together, believed to have been made post war 1940s or possibly early 1950s. I love grandma's spotty dress with lace trim and bead embellishments.  A really nice touch is her woollen scarf and her little bead neck decoration. None of these dolls have Grecon labels, whether they had any in the first place or  whether they all dropped off, there is no way of knowing.
The little girl is sweet.  She has a material dress and matching bloomers.

There is something so charming about this old dog. I have no idea what make he is, could even be Grecon but not sure? He appears to be made out of either pipe cleaners or woollen covered wire. I love him!

This delightful Grecon lady in a purple felt suit with felt frilly decoration and bead embellishments is in a super played with condition. Her hair style is very 1940s don't you think and you can just see a hint of a spotty blouse around the neckline?
She is still currently available at the time of writing this.