Thursday, 28 March 2013

Rare Antique German Accessories....And My New Little Victorian House!

Old German metal accessories come and go regularly here at KT Miniatures....but it's so nice to see  some of the more rarer pieces..

 Obviously because they don't come along very often they are a little pricey, but I think they are worth it. To be honest, have been torn on whether to keep them or not for my own collection but Mr KT Miniatures has pointed out that I've already decided to keep a very special house that I acquried this week (more about that below) and I simply cannot keep everything!  He has a, go these items must.
 This 1920s/30s German pedestal ashtray really is delightful....I've lost count the times people have asked me for one of these and I simply haven't been able to get hold of one. If you look closely there is a tiny flat part that appears to have snapped off-just at the top right of this photo...I understand that it used to be a matchbox holder. However it is hardly noticeable and the miniaturist in me would love to put some miniature "ash & cigarette ends" in there!  

  Then there's this "electric" bowl heater from the 1930s....isn't it fabulous?  I have to say that am surprised on how heavy it is.....much heavier than it looks. The "bowl" tips over so that you can have it facing either side. Both this and the ashtray are marked GERMANY underneath.
I have only ever seen these metal fans in photos so was really surprised to see that this had a fine cord running down the inside of the body and at the bottom it's attached to a teeny metal handle. If you pull it, the fan whizzes round frantically...absolutely wonderful!
You simply pull up the cord by turning the "winder" that is situated behind the fan. I can imagine this would have kept any previous young owner amused for hours!
These three items can be found on the Antique 1/12th Living Room/Dining Room Page.

Then there's this gorgeous and equally rare German dustpan and brush set, complete with rack. All so very evocative of the era!

What is especially really nice about this set is that the brush still has all of it's bristles. I have seen these brushes before but often minus some or all of their bristles. This one has really been looked after and is in great condition. The dustpan is also marked GERMANY on the reverse.
This can be found on the Antique 1/12th Kitchen Page.


It is so tiny (only 15" high) that it can slip in almost anywhere and in any room of my real life sized house...however it does have a touch of woodworm that needs dealing with before I can start filling. I bought it at auction and it was described as a late Victorian scratch built house from pine wood.
It consists only of two rooms.....looks like it had some fireplaces once upon a time but no longer. The wallpaper looks like it is original so I don't think I will be touching this...even though it is a bit rough.
Once it has been treated and furnished, I will show you it again........

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Miniature Ramblings Plus Some More Unusual Vintage Dol-Toi

Blimey,doesn't time fly when one's enjoying quite a few days since I last posted on here! 

Well am pleased to say that I haven't been shirking from my duties but have actually been getting out and about on my travels, plus been working hard on putting the final touches to kits for our impending workshop at the end of next week. (And working on a rather special comission but that's going to have to stay under wraps for now). 
  First up, a rather lovely 1930s dolls house has come in which Molly, my eldest four legged family member, has wasted no time on checking over for me. I think she is gorgeous...but more about that another day.

 Meanwhile, for the past two weekends in a row I have been to two very different kinds of dolls house fairs purely as a visitor (not as exhibitor) which is rather nice. I know it's a bit like a "busman's holiday" for me  but it's still refreshing to get out and about plus actually have time to "look properly"  at all the exquisite items that other aritsans/traders have. The first event was The Cobham Antique Dolls House & Miniatures Fair (Surrey-UK) which was utterly fabulous and inspiring. If you are into the vintage and antique side of miniatures then I can thoroughly recommend it-you don't even have to buy as there is  plenty for you to just stand and drool over. Plus it was rather nice for me to meet up with old friends (and new) and have a right old natter

The second fair I went to last Sunday was Miniatura at the NEC. For many years, KT Miniatures would exhibit there, but sadly it's no longer a viable option for me these days.  However, it's nice to visit once in a while and apart from catching up with artisan mates and undertaking some business duties, one of my tasks was to purchase some daffodils from The Flower Lady....(a present for someone very special) and I was not disappointed. They are beautiful and Jan Southerton in my view is one of the most talented miniaturist flower makers the UK has........see for yourself in the above photo. They are exquisite. 


Many of the vintage Dol-Toi items were unsurprisingly snapped up immediately on listing this afternoon. Amongst them were some very pretty eiderdowns which would suit both antique and vintage dolls houses of various scales. However, there are still plenty of  lovely vintage Dol-Toi miniatures from Marion's collection available to purchase.

Am quite a fan of the pastel coloured Dol-Toi pieces. Just listed this afternoon is a pale blue portable heater-so simplistic in its construction. It may only be just wooden with painted features but it has such nostalgic qualities and I love it! A yellow one too is also available. The white rug which is still untouched inside it's original packet is useful for other reasons.... as if you lift it up you can see a whole array of Dol-Toi accessories listed from that particular series on the packaging underneath-handy for reference.
All these can be viewed on the Vintage 1/16th Dol-Toi Page.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Technology Woes... New Website Ahead For KT Miniatures!

Life is full of little "ups and downs"....don't you think? Some are "bigger ups and downs" than others!
 Subscribers to KT Miniatures' Newsletter will aleady have read on Saturday, that I have had to take the decision to create a brand new website.
The reason being that more and more of you have been telling me that when trying to view my website via certain mobile phones and ipads, you cannot get many of the main links to work......including the top navigation bar which unfortunately is the main "hub" of the website. Apparently my website is now deemed" old technology"!  Therefore I and Mr KT Miniatures have spent rather a long time exploring various options but have finally taken the decision that my very best option is to create a brand new website that will be mobile and ipad compatible. 

So folks......I will get cracking on this alongside my daily running of  KT Miniatures business but needless to say, this will be very time consuming,  so in reality the new website will not be up and running for at least 2-3 months. This will be a real opportunity to streamline the new website in a way I have been wanting to do for ages. Meanwhile the current website will carry on as normal, with new stock being added. 

However, on a different woes in this house took a real rapid downward spiral yesterday when daughter, who had been working on her physics A level coursework all weekend in order to meet the Tuesday draft deadline ....suddenly rushed forth in tears with a dead laptop computer in her hands. Needless to say, the piece that she had been working on for hours had not been backed up!!! Everyone in the household dropped everything to see if between us all we could solve the problem but nope. Even a quick dash to an IT expert this morning could not salvage a single thing off the hard was utterly corrupted and beyond help! 

So, using the delightful word invented by a good miniaturiust friend of  mine which sums up life's little cock ups perfectly.......I shall say BUGGRIT, BUGGRIT AND BUGGRIT again! (Phew, I feel a little better already). Then Plan B will have to be implemented by daughter ie. she will have to start all over again after getting a slight extension to tomorrow's deadline from her physics teachers!
I suppose the moral to this sorry story back up EVERYTHING even as you work.....easier said than done though, don't you think?!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

An Award For KT Miniatures.....Plus Some Interesting 1960s Tri-ang Pieces!

What a lovely surprise! 
This week I received news that my business has been given a 

Out of the blue they told me:
 "Your efforts last year to reach your customers and engage with them were exemplary. Your customers noticed and responded positively and we certainly noticed. That's why we're so proud to name you to our roster of 2012 All Stars."

I've been using Constant Contact for quite some time now, to send out the KT Miniatures newsletter to over 500 customer subscribers. The newsletter is intended to keep customers up to date with relevant aspects of our business including items for sale, latest creations, workshop news, etc.   Have to say that I've been particularly thrilled with the response I've been getting of late (your emails and inquiries have certainly been keeping me busy) but had absolutely no idea that the high response rate from customers was so wow, am well and truly chuffed!!! Many thanks to all my customers who have been using the newsletter facility and hope that you have been finding it both useful and interesting. 

I aim to send out the newsletter regularly, on average every 2-3 weeks.  If you would like to subscribe to our free emailed newsletter, then simply go to my website and click on the "Sign Up For Our Free Newsletter" button situated on the left hand side of each web page.

Some Interesting 1960s Tri-ang Dolls House Pieces.........
Am currently working on various creative projects at the moment, however yesterday afternoon, I finally managed to embark on some long awaited listing of items to the Vintage 1/16th Tri-ang Page.

Amongst some of the more unusual and rare items is this boxed Hammock Seat, consisting of a plastic seat and canopy with a metal frame. It comes in pieces but is easily put together and yes folks, it actually swings!
Then there's this plastic trunk with opening lid and original BOAC sticker (remember them?) on the top! Unfortunately, as is common with the plastic luggage items, the lid has warped a little, still has the catches which were so often snapped off.
Here is Baby Tim, quite a rarity these days....
Amongst the boxed sets is this pretty sun lounger, however on the box it's officially called "Sun Lounge Frame & Cushions". Over the years I have had quite a few of these come through KT Miniatures but it is unusual to have the box. 
There are quite a few other bits and pieces that have been listed to this page over the past month including wheelbarrow with tools and vegetables, boxed sink etc.  Fingers crossed I hope to list more over the next few days to various other sections on KT Miniatures website.

Friday, 8 March 2013


We are delighted to announce that booking is now open for our brand new workshop for September........

Sunday September 1st 2013
Waterperry Gardens, Oxfordshire
10.30am - 4.30pm

 Do you remember when you were ever so small and all those summers just seemed so sunny, warm and endless fun?

How wonderful would it be to try and recapture just a little bit of that childhood magic in a unique miniature scene.

In our little back garden, "Mum" has tied the old clothes line to the top of the bird table and anchored it into the ground with an old meat skewer, as far down the lawn as it would reach. An old curtain has been flung over, weighted down at the edges with whatever came to hand. It has has made such a splendid tent for the afternoon!

Mr Golly and Miss Dolly are out in the back garden with their assorted little friends from the toybox, for a picnic!! While Mr Golly runs around the lawn with his wooden truck, Miss Dolly is preparing tea for her much loved guests, with old pans from the kitchen and the remains of a toy teaset.

Why not come and join us for the day and recreate a little bit of childhood nostalgia in this unique project - have some fun making the toys and some simple landscaping, including a very old fashioned bird table and a hedge. 


Booking is now open and spaces are limited......its highly recommended that if you wish to come that you email or ring  either me or Robin in the first instance to reserve a space.  If you need further details please don't hesitate to contact us. Suitable for both absolute beginners and the more experienced miniaturists alike-all are welcome. Our contact details can be found on our workshop website:

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Little Girl's Sewing Book-Beautiful!

Every so often Mr KT Miniatures and I try to get away together, as working from home can be quite claustraphobic at times. 

Much as I love my work, it is nice to have a break. Occasionally I have to travel quite long distances on KT Miniatures business so if we can, we try and combine these trips with some time off too.   At the beginning of this week, we did just that....this time down south. Needless to say, I just can't help myself from wandering into an antique shop or old bookshop if we are passing!

Whilst rummaging through a pile of old books in a dark corner of an antique centre in Lewes,  I came across this. The photo above just doesn't  really do it justice....the image and the colouring on the front cover is simply stunning. 

I have to say that I was one of those children who was always making "outfits" for my dolls......then as I got a little older, began making real life sized clothes for me and my friends! If I think back, I made all my grammar school summer dresses and my best friend's school dresses too (her mum paid me well I seem to remember)!  So I suppose the image on the front cover of the book hit a certain resonance with me and brought back so many childhood memories.  Without any obvious printing date within the book, I did a little research and it appears it was published in 1915.

The contents are also a delight, including "Furnishings for Dolly's Cottage".

It is suggested that the reader makes her mattress out of grey and white striped material with edges bound in red ribbon-sounds quite attractive. Then she is to fill her newly made mattress with horse-hair but that cotton wool, small pieces of rag or paper could be used. Now there's a thought!

This chapter advises to choose the colour of rugs carefully in order to "go nicely with wallpaper".  Some of the designs do appear to be quite intricate.
A rather fetching casement curtain design.

Had a chuckle over the tip for using drawing pins to fix down the carpet to the floor....can you imagine giving young children drawing pins these days to use in their dolls houses?   However it was certainly common to use drawing pins in old houses.....often for hanging up curtains!

Had an even bigger chuckle over the heading of this chapter....."For the New Perambulator" there's a word you don't hear often these days!

Finally, although I simply cannot print the entire book on here, I must include this little embroidery design for the "perambulator's cover". It is suggested that you use tracing paper to transfer the design onto your little pram cover.  Feel free to use this above design if you wish.....could be perfect for a vintage dolls house bedspread or cushions maybe, scaled down accordingly.

For those of you who have an old dolls house, hope you find some of these ideas useful!

Friday, 1 March 2013

More Antique & Vintage Delights - Part Two!

Moving on from yesterday's listings....more lovely treasures have been put up for sale today. Some of the more special items have been highlighted below......
This gorgeous plaster fireplace is now up for sale on the Vintage 1/16th Others Page. It is in particularly good condition which is refreshing, as these plaster dolls house items would have got a right bashing when played with over the years and many that have  managed to survive do have cracks and chinks missing.
 Some plaster fruit and vegetables have also been listed to that same page today, again-believed to be by Kaybot. I love the bright colours and the naivety of the mouldings- evokes all kinds of childhood memories!
I have also put this fabulous late Victorian/Early 1900s metal fireplace and range on the same page as above. I know that it is far older than vintage....well and truly antique but it's scale is odd-much smaller than 1/12th, even smaller than the normal 1/16th but not quite small enough to be 1/24th. Therefore this particular little antique treasure would suit a very old dolls house where scale doesn't matter. 
In total contrast with both the Victorian and plaster Kaybot fireplace, is this 1930s Taylor & Barrett heavy metal fireplace with fender that has just been added to the Vintage 1/16th Barrett Page. This particular one is in good played with condition and very little wear. Is also nice to have the fender too which is so often lost. 

I will continue to list various antique and vintage items to the various sections over the next few days.