Tuesday, 29 May 2018

The May Workshop Happened To Be On The Same Day As The Royal Wedding!

Well...when I booked the second session of my 2018 workshop for Saturday 19th May way back at the beginning of the year...I could not have foreseen that shortly after, Prince Harry and Meghan were going to choose that same day to get married!  In the end the "Bicester Avenue" complex where our workshops took place, was like the Marie Celeste for a good part of the day, lots of people obviously glued to the television...but at least all the ladies who were booked in for the workshop came:) And what a lovely day it was. 
The ladies worked hard on their little early 1900s German style kitchen room boxes and contents. Everyone could choose what features to focus on whilst they were at the workshop, and with the aid of a book of instructions and full kit, they could finish the rest off at home. 
This gave the workshop a far more relaxed feel, people could work at their own pace, as well as come and go for refreshments etc. whenever they wanted. With such a small class, it was super to be able to spread right out...and I have decided that for future workshops (or certainly for the more complex projects), the maximum number of people at any one time will be set to six. 

Some of us finally succumbed to one or two of the scrumptious cakes from the restaurant  that were available literally just outside the conference room where we were based. Everyone had a go at painting and aging the walls of their kitchen room box - plus one painted tiled effect floor was finished by the end of the day. You can see for yourself the magnificent results!
This was Fiona's floor just after the final coat of paint had been applied and we all watched with great excitement as she slowly peeled all the masking tape away. 
We all agreed that Fiona's floor was rather brilliant!
Above you can see Janine's German style kitchen range in the early stage of construction. 
Above Jane can be seen with the range almost constructed...
and here is Jane's range with the red and cream paint. 

Here is someone's magnificent replica of a German dresser with its first coat of paint. 
And finally I just had to sneak in this photo of Robin Britton, my ex Nostalgia In Miniature Workshop colleague who is now officially retired, but who kindly agreed to come along to both workshops and help out. It was great having her there and I think she really enjoyed herself too. 
Various antique and vintage miniature kitchenware was available to purchase at both workshops. A lot has now been sold but all left over pieces will be put up for sale on KT Miniatures website over the next few weeks, including a couple of 1920s/30s Britains painted lead cooking pots. 
This is the prototype of the early 1900s German style kitchen, which the attendees kits were based on, however they had many options in decorating the room box and also with the furniture. More photos of the workshop project can be seen on the official KT Miniatures 2018 Workshop web page: CLICK HERE

I hope to bring details of KT Miniatures 2019 Workshop Project later in the autumn this year. A big thank you to all the ladies who attended both workshops in April and May, I am looking forward to seeing photos of your finished projects very soon:)

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

A Special Thank You To Some Amazing People!

Followers of KT Miniatures may remember the difficult time my family had last November, when out of the blue my 22 year old daughter suddenly collapsed at a party, after having driven herself up the 70 miles to Birmingham for the weekend to stay with an old school friend. The phone call that evening from the hospital asking me to come asap and then the subsequent events during those next few days were truly shocking. 

Kate and her friend had only been at the party for a few minutes when suddenly she collapsed with no warning at all. It turned out Kate's heart had stopped, she had gone into cardiac arrest, but miraculously four medical students happened to be in the same room as Kate that very moment. All four girls stayed calm as they realised what was happening, allowing their training to kick in. They worked as a team, each playing a part in helping Kate, during what was a traumatic experience for them too. I shall always be grateful to all four of them, but particularly Jess and Claudia who launched into CPR, even though they had never done it for real before, other than learning the basics on a dummy!

Subsequently all the paramedics, plus the whole team of doctors and nurses at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham were truly magnificent, and I saw the NHS at its very best.  We were left in no doubt that had those medical students not undertaken CPR so quickly and effectively, it was unlikely that Kate would have survived. They really had saved her life!

Once the dust settled, we as a family decided that we would like to give the four girls a thank you present...but what do you give someone who has saved your daughter's life? A bottle of wine or box of chocolates seemed so inappropriate somehow. After much family debate it was decided that I should write to the Dean of Birmingham Medical School to inform him on what the students had done and ask if the girls could get some kind of congratulatory recognition for their actions.  His reply was instant.

So on the afternoon of February 14th 2018, Kate and I found ourselves in the office of the Vice Chancellor of Birmingham University with the four medical students, some of their parents, and various officials, tutors from the university and a doctor who is integral to the CPR training. 

The girls were given a newly created award -
The Vice-Chancellor's Special Commendation Award
If you click on the following link, enlarge the magazine text and scroll to page 10, you can read all about it: 

There is a minor detail wrong in the write up, as Kate has not been a student for a couple of years, since she graduated from Sheffield Hallam University and has been working ever since.  But the article does illustrate how not only amazing the medical students are but also how wonderful and effective the training is at the Birmingham Medical School. I have no doubt that those four girls will go on to become incredible doctors, and they more than deserved the special recognition. In our eyes, they are absolute heroes!

To date, there is still no definitive diagnosis for the cause of Kate's cardiac arrest, and the terminology "Sudden Adult Death Syndrome" has been mentioned. And although Kate has had a S-ICD (a mini defibrillator) fitted into her side in case her heart stops again, she is back at work, and  we have so much to be thankful for. We were told that only 8% of people survive what she went through. And out of them, some have brain damage. So we REALLY do have a lot to be thankful for. 

For anyone who has gone through similar to Kate, I can highly recommend the Cardiac Risk in the Young charity (CRY). 

So thank you everyone, who have been emailing these past few weeks to ask how Kate is doing, I do appreciate it. 

The answer is...she is doing ok.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Some Rare Antique German Miniatures & Some Increasingly Rare c1930s British Made Miniatures Just Gone Up For Sale...

Some quite rare dolls house miniatures went up for sale yesterday on KT Miniatures website. One or two were  snapped up immediately, but there are plenty more miniature delights to be had still.
This antique soft metal chair is a bit of a mystery. I am assuming that it is either late 1800s or early 1900s German made? But it has been suggested to me that it could also be French? 

If anyone out there can shed some light on the origin of this, I would love to hear from you. It is gorgeous. I do have another chair like this but which is missing one leg, and am considering whether to do something arty with it. The other chair is too lovely to be consigned to a box for evermore just because it is missing a leg, so watch this space:)

Here is an increasingly hard to find attractive sideboard with decorative mirror top. It is very much in the Biedermeier style with lithographed paper imitating wood. This is also believed to be late 1800s, early 1900s and German made.  

The original tarnished mirror is kept in place by blue paper over the back. 

The little metal handle is missing but seeing that this is over 100 years old I think it can be forgiven. 
More about the above items can be found on the following page: 

This is a first for KT Miniatures, never handled one of these little painted metal German bathroom scales before. It is exquisite. 
It is believed to originate from the 1920s and is marked GERMANY underneath. The pastel pink and cream colour is very pretty.
The dial detail is quite sweet too. 
More about this can be found on the following page:

Some c1930s British Made Miniatures
Here is a set of c1930s  Charbens brown painted metal furniture, which was manufactured in the UK. I must admit, I am finding more and more that amongst the few pieces of Charbens metal furniture that does come along,  about 50% of the items seem to be suffering from the same fate as a lot of the Dinky Dolly Varden dolls house furniture, ie. with metal fatigue. Is it a fault with the material used or could a major cause be how and where these little treasures may have been stored over the decades...such as attics that can experience temperature extremes throughout the seasons?

The bureau/bookcase rarely comes along, and although this is suffering a little from metal fatigue (there is a hole in the bureau front, plus a gaping hole in the back unseen), it is well over 80 years old so allowances can be made.
The piano is another hard to find Charbens piece.

This one is fully intact, including the two foot pedals and the side supporting bars...these are so often missing!
And although this Charbens dining table has suffered much paint loss and has two tiny metal fatigue holes in the top, it still could be useful to someone.
More of these can be seen on the following link:

Here is a 1/24th scale Dinky Dolly Varden metal bedroom suite, in a mottled pink finish.

The dressing table, stool and cupboard are in a relatively good condition. The drawers open on the dressing table and cupboard.
The bed base, as you can see has one or two holes in it caused by metal fatigue! But someone with nimble fingers could easily make a tiny mattress and bedclothes to cover all this.
This set can be seen on the following link:

Now these little 1/24th scale Dinky Dolly Varden kitchen and one chair sets, are in fabulous condition, which is refreshing.

The mock drawer detail is quite effective.
These would look fabulous in any tiny 1/24th scale dolls house.
Can be seen on:

Various other bits and bobs were listed to various sections of KT Miniatures yesterday. Why not go take a peek and see if there is anything that takes your fancy: