Thursday, 11 April 2019

From MDF To This - Look At My Early 1900s German Style Kitchen A Year Later!

Followers of this journal may remember KT Miniatures' workshop prototype of an old German style kitchen. It featured on this journal a number of times last year. The whole project was inspired by the miniature German kitchens commonly seen around the early 1900s, and was the basis for KT Miniatures 2018 workshops. 


The kitchen project started off as four pieces of plain MDF glued together to create a floor, back and two sides. Then after some fun painting coloured squares on the floor it went from this...
...to this. 

And then after some arty painting on the wall plus construction of authentic pieces of kitchen furniture and accessories by simply using cardboard, wood, card, paint, etc. it ended up looking like this...
The German style furniture and fixtures were based on real antique dolls house items, plus the old style frieze created purely for this project, was inspired by some old dolls house wallpaper. 
The project also included replica lithographed plates, saucepans, utensils, jug, etc.all made from card and paint. In the photo above the dresser, jug and plates on the left are the actual genuine antique items. The dresser, jug and plates on the right are the replicas as reproduced for the workshop. 
Then at the time of running this kitchen workshop back in 2018, in order to help the ladies who were attending, I illustrated on KT Miniatures Journal how the prototype could look dressed with some actual genuine antique miniature pieces, alongside all the handmade pieces that were included in the project.  

And now, here we are a year later...

I am delighted to say that the kitchen prototype now looks like this...I absolutely love it!

Over the past 12 months I have had great fun collecting all kinds of antique bits and pieces to put in this little kitchen. 
In fact I have ended up with so much paraphernalia (you know what it's like, one can become obsessed once you start collecting) that I decided to create an additional long wooden shelf  that runs right across the top of the back wall. It is now perfect for displaying all the additional jelly moulds, metal food covers, etc. that I now seem to have.
The cardboard replica range, wall shelf and bench are heavily laden with all kinds of pots, pans, kitchenware, etc. 
At the other end of the kitchen more antique pieces adorn the replica dresser, kitchen side table and wall rack. 
Plus I have fixed to the wall an antique German wooden flour box and an Art Nouveau German soft metal rack from which a dustpan and brush hang. 
The heavily aged cream painted metal table and matching tin chair came in after I had made the kitchen and I just could not part with them. They look perfect in the centre of the kitchen floor. 
In fact, the kitchen is now literally bursting at the seams but I'm sure I'll be able to squeeze one or two more bits in, at the very least! 

Hope you enjoyed the update:)
Celia

Currently I have one of my handmade early 1900s German style kitchens for sale on the website, same dimensions as the workshop prototype above. 

The walls were inspired by a genuine antique German kitchen and the floor has been covered in antique wallpaper. All furniture and accessories as seen are included:
http://ktminiatures.com/early-1900s-german-style-miniature-kitchen/

Friday, 5 April 2019

Rare c1939 Pit-a-Pat Garden Couch-Hammock

This really is a rare Pit-a-Pat item for the serious collector, needless to say that it was snapped up immediately it went up for sale.
I have handled many Pit-a-Pat pieces of furniture and accessories during my 23 years of trading, but this was a first for me...and to be honest, I had not been aware that Pit-a-Pat had ever made a garden couch-hammock!
I understand that this was listed in a Pit-a-Pat advert in the March 1939 Toy Trader magazine under "New Lines" as a Garden Couch-Hammock. It measures 4 3/4" wide x approx. 2" at deepest point  x 4 1/4" high. The seat really does swing!
The seat is constructed of green stained wood and upholstered in floral material.  In the photo above you can see the instantly recognisable black ink square Pit-a-Pat stamp. 

The seat is hung by the same coloured thread seen on the Pit-a-Pat cutlery stands, and is looped through metal hooks on the underside of the canopy. This same blue/red/white floral material has been seen on some of Pit-a-Pat's fireside chairs. 
The top consists of a wooden stained canopy with further floral material that is fixed over the top and drapes down the back. The front edge and side edges of the canopy are edged in brown fringing. 

The main structure of the canopy consists of four silver painted doweling legs which are fixed to the underside of the canopy, with two narrow wooden doweling side supports. 
The doweling pieces are quite fragile and in young hands I am not sure how well they would have survived. 

The bottom of each edge of the fabric drape are fixed to the legs by a metal stud. 
What a curious item this is. 

I had been torn on whether to keep this or not, primarily because it was so rare. But I had nowhere to display it properly so decided that it could not sit in a box any longer and took the plunge by putting it up for sale. As I said earlier, it was snapped up immediately by a lovely customer called Margaret. And I am delighted that Margaret emailed me a photo of it in situ in its new home. 
And here it is, with a doll having a lovely time balancing on it! Margaret has created this little scene on the roof of her Tri-ang No.53 and managed to find room for the Garden Couch-Hammock amongst the many other old treasures she has there. 

Am chuffed to bits that it has found such a brilliant new home, and hope that it goes on to give even many more years of pleasure. Special thanks to Margaret for giving me permission to use her photo on KT Miniatures Journal.

And as a final footnote...for those of you who like to know such things, other pieces that were listed as New Items in the same Pit-a-Pat advert in the March 1939 Toy Trader magazine, were as follows: TAPESTRY 3 PIECE SUITE, DIVAN BED, BILLIARD DINING TABLE, NURSERY PIANO & STOOL, TELEVISION SET & ENAMELLED TOP CUPBOARD. 

How curious some of those sound, particularly the billiard table which in the advert states that it has a lift off top, and comes complete with balls and cues! As all these items, including the garden couch-hammock, are being advertised as new items just a few months before WW2, then I am assuming that not many of them were made as they would not have been in production for very long?  Which would make them more rare and rather desirable.

Celia
KT Miniatures

Friday, 15 March 2019

Come & Make An Old Attic Room Scene In 1/12th Scale At Denman College In November!

I am delighted to announce that I have been invited by the Denman College in Oxfordshire to run a miniature workshop for them. Plans have been finalised, the date is set and the workshop prototype is complete. 

Old Attic Room Scene
Denman College is situated in a lovely Georgian house in Oxfordshire, and is the Women's Institute's centre for learning new skills, offering a wide variety of craft, cookery and lifestyle courses. You do not have to be a member of the WI to attend, it is open to everyone. I understand that if you are a member of the WI you are eligible for a discounted fee.

My workshop will be based in a modern part of the college, a purpose built building with wonderful facilities...I shall feel quite spoilt!

This is a residential workshop,  starting at 4.00pm on Wednesday 13th November and ending at 1.00pm on Friday 15th November, so incorporates two nights of accommodation and meals during your stay. All accommodation I understand is en-suite.  
  Every aspect of booking and payment is undertaken through the college itself. However, please note, an additional payment of £40 for the kit and all materials used to create this scene needs to be payable to me direct on the first day. 
Although this is the first time for me at Denman College, the workshop will be based on my usual workshop ethos of using alternative techniques and methods, plus some ordinary every day materials to create a beautiful miniature scene in 1/12th scale with that realistic aged look. Suitable for beginners and experienced crafters alike, you can make this as simple or as intricate as you like, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. 


A full kit is provided that includes instructions, all materials and a readily constructed MDF room box with perspex front, to create the scene that you see in these photos. 
Attendees will find this project versatile, in so much that you will be given options on a variety of aspects within this project. 

Such as....if you do not wish to have a go at painting a simple landscape scene through the scratch built window, just paint a blue sky, maybe with a random cloud, and cover your window with vintage lace. 
For the wooden chest, you will be given a basic pre-cut wooden kit, but it is up to you how you colour and fill it. You have options on what colour to finish your walls. You have options on how to fill the old fashioned tea chest. 

Just indulge your creativity and see where it takes you!

For those of you who would not normally be able to come to one of my workshops due to the long distance involved, this is a good opportunity to come to one of my workshops and have all your accommodation and meals arranged for you, in a truly delightful setting. 

For more information and details on how to book, please click on the official link for "Old Attic Room Scene" on the Denman College website:

 https://www.denman.org.uk/courses/?search=old+attic+scene

Should be a fun few days!

Celia Thomas
KT Miniatures

Saturday, 9 March 2019

How Whacky Is This - Dolls Houses Hanging From The Ceiling!

A friend has just sent over some photos that she took whilst visiting a vintage clothing shop in Manchester (UK), and for some reason she said that she immediately thought of me! Ha ha...I wonder why?


Apparently several old dolls houses were literally hanging down from the ceiling on chains, some of the houses had holes cut out the bottom?  There are definitely one or two vintageTri-ang dolls houses up there, plus at least one GeeBee dolls house. 

How delightfully whacky this is!

Thanks Jill for allowing us to take a peek at your pics. 
Celia


Saturday, 23 February 2019

Introducing Artist Linda Bright - Painter Of 1950s/60s Vintage Dolls Houses

If you take a peek at the newly created and ever growing list of stand holders who will be attending KT Miniatures & Friends Vintage & Artisan Dolls House Fair on Saturday 12th October, then you will see the name of Linda Bright on the list. 

I first came across Linda a year or so ago, when after purchasing a tiny Romside metal door off me for a GeeBee dolls house, she sent me photos of her project fully restored. But this was no ordinary dolls house restoration, and if you CLICK HERE you will see a posting about it all. She had used images of 1950s gardens for inspiration to hand paint flowers over the frontage of a GeeBee dolls house to replace the missing flowers. 

The beauty of her painting blew me away, I had never seen anything quite like this before on a vintage dolls house, and I have been in this business a very long time! It was utterly unique and inspiring.


Well, since then Linda has gone from strength to strength and she is now described on the stand holder's list as being an artist who hand paints vintage 1950s/1960s dolls houses, seller of vintage dolls house furniture and seller of cards of her paintings. In the photo above you can see a GeeBee dolls house where Linda has painted gladioli on the front in tutti fruiti colours.  Plus you can also see one of her paintings of that very same dolls house...all rather lovely, don't you think?

Recently she purchased off KT Miniatures website the wooden back wall of an old chalet style GeeBee dolls house for another restoration project, and then subsequently emailed me photos of what she did with it. Trust me....it is absolutely beautiful and even more unique!

And here it is in all its glory!
She painted a replica GeeBee dolls house lattice window on the upper back...

and an exquisite scene on the lower half. 

Yet again, I truly have never seen anything like this before on a vintage dolls house. The enchanting little scene depicts a rabbit hutch with two pet rabbits,  a vegetable patch and even a watering, plus some wild rabbits. This really works, it seems so natural and adds real beauty to a dolls house that had seen better days. 
Linda has been clever with the frontage too and added more hand painted flowers, but this time she has created them in such a way that they appear to be growing out of window boxes.
Here you can see a fascinating work in progress image of the flowers on the front of the chalet dolls house. 

I am sure you will agree with me that Linda's work is wonderfully innovative and creative, and also so inspiring. She illustrates how one can breathe new life into old dolls houses that have seen better days and make them into an item of beauty. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Linda for allowing us to take yet another peek at her creations on here. I hope you have enjoyed seeing her work as much as I have and found the images inspiring. You can find more about Linda on her Facebook page: 

Meanwhile, if you come to KT Miniatures Vintage & Artisan Fair on Saturday October 12th, you will be able to meet Linda in person and purchase some of her beautiful work. 
Celia


Wednesday, 20 February 2019

VINTAGE & ARTISAN DOLLS HOUSE FAIR

I am delighted to announce that the official promotional page for KT Miniatures Fair on 12th October 2019, is now live! Stand holder booking has just begun and already we have an impressive line up. 
KT Miniatures & Friends

Vintage & Artisan Dolls House Fair

Saturday 12th October 2019

Thame Barns Centre.

Church Rd, Thame, Oxfordshire.  OX9 3AJ

10.30 am - 4.30pm

Admission Fee: £3.00 Adult/£1.00 Child/Under Fives Free

KT Miniatures, as organiser, will donate 50% of all profit from proceeds of running the event to the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young).

Registered Charity Number: 1050845

Come and joins us at this wonderfully unique dolls house and miniatures event, set in a picturesque and historic Oxfordshire setting of Thame Barns Centre...just a couple of minutes walk from the thriving town centre of the Oxfordshire market town of Thame.  This fair is rather special as it will bring together, not only highly talented professional artisans who make the most exquisite dolls houses and miniature related items, but also antique/vintage dolls house traders too, who will have some beautiful old dolls house treasures to purchase. 


CLICK HERE TO VIEW PROMOTIONAL PAGE

With so few combined antique/vintage dolls house and miniaturist artisan fairs in the UK, I'm hoping to create an event that uniquely has a mixture of both, all of whom have high quality wares that complement each other.  

So ...mark the date of Saturday 12th October in your diary now and I hope that you can come!
Celia

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Look At The Armand Marseille Dolls Now- They Are In Good Company!

A few months ago, you may remember I put a pair of antique German Armand Marseille Baby Dolls up for sale on this Journal, to raise money for the "Help Save Dolls Houses Past & Present Website Fund". 


A very generous lady called Diane Pearson from Westhill in Aberdeenshire bought both dolls and she has just sent me a photo of them in their new home!
Diane has quite a collection of old dolls as you can see, and tells me that the oldest is made from papier mache, dating from around 1860 (she is the one without any clothes on).  So that makes her over 150 years old! The teddy in the photo is also extremely old and made by a company called Farnell, which was one of the very first teddy bear makers in the UK. 

Huge thanks to Diane for letting us take a peek at her collection. The little baby dolls certainly have a lot of friends to keep them company!
Celia

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Am Back From Travels...Some Austrian Miniatures

I have just returned from Austria, my first proper overseas holiday in several years, and it has been utterly brilliant. If you have emailed me in the past week or so and not got a reply, that is the reason why. I've now more or less caught up with the backlog of emails, thank you all for your patience. 

The holiday all came about through a chance remark one evening down the pub with an old friend, during a conversation about our "Bucket Lists"...as I have a rather special MEGA birthday coming up later this year.  It emerged that we both had always wanted to go to Austria in the winter. One thing led to another, and hence we found ourselves going right across Germany and down to Austria, and ultimately to Innsbruck by train.
View from our hotel in Innsbruck
The whole eight day trip has been quite an adventure. At times it felt we had literally stepped into a fairy tale land, utterly beautiful and magical. 

A famous Innsbruck landmark - The Golden Roof. 
Kufstein Fortress
Whilst travelling on the Stubaitalbahn Tram, just randomly we saw this model of a miniature building hanging on the side of a house. I have no idea what the significance of the model was, but am glad that I was able to hastily take this pic on my mobile. My pic. is not very clear, and my friend did try and take a photo of it on our return journey with her big posh whizzy camera, but just as she clicked a tram came the other way and blocked her view...much to the amusement of everyone else on the tram!

I can thoroughly recommend The Tyrolean Folk Museum in Innsbruck. We spent a wonderful couple of hours wandering around the place. Many of the miniature items were enclosed in glass cabinets, and therefore difficult to photograph.  Plus as I speak very little German, I could not decipher many of the "description tags", but I will show you some of the better pics anyway. Above is a miniature  nativity scene (situated centrally at the base)....surrounded by various other buildings and characters. The photo just does not do it justice, but it really is beautiful. 
I got a bit excited when I spotted this miniature house from afar, however on close inspection realised that there was a religious connotation to it, as it appears to depict a scene of "The Annunciation" (I managed to decipher the description tag on this one). There seems to be an image of an angel dangling in the air over a doll that supposedly represents Mary? 

But I was fascinated by the construction of the house and the furniture...absolutely exquisite. 
I can't help but wonder if it had originally been a dolls house and was latterly made into a religious scene? 



There were several variations of  miniature Tyrolean buildings with landscaped bases but many of my photos just did not come out due to the glass frontage....however above I have included a couple of images. I have no idea who the maker was or when or why they were made, but they are rather lovely and full of detail! They do not appear to be dolls houses as such but actual models.

Well, my holiday is now well and truly over and am hoping to begin more listing of vintage items to the website over the next few days, once one or two pressing matters have been attended to.  
Celia