It’s Finally Here…!!!

A good few months ago, I made the decision to replace my old, tired Edwardian house with a new, ready to move in model.

After much searching and deliberation I placed an order with the lovely Sally and Richard at Cloverley Dolls Houses. I went for their Beeches house with basement.

All the way through the process they’ve been in close contact about every detail so I knew I was going to have a house which was finished exactly to my specifications – and for what I consider to be excellent value.

After a long but worthwhile wait, the finished article arrived yesterday, delivered and set up for me in person by Sally and Richard themselves. Now, before I even get to the house, I have to say that they are such a lovely, friendly couple who are clearly very passionate about their work and the personal service they give is a real credit to them. And on top of that they are clearly very, very, skilled!

As for the house, well, I have to say my expectations were exceeded. It is the house I’ve always wanted but never had the time, patience or skill to produce. The finish is exceptional, the attention to detail is immaculate and I still feel like a kid at Christmas everytime I look at it!

From beautifully executed mouldings to expertly fitted lights, from faultless wallpapering to beautiful stencilled flooring, there is so much about this house to admire. And admiring it is something I’ve spent pretty much all of the last 24 hours doing!

I’ve moved most of the furniture and miniatures from the old house in already (pretty much the most fun I’ve ever had!) and will probably end up buying a few new bits and bobs and replacing some of the older things as I go along. But then that’s the continuing joy of this hobby!

I’m planning a slightly more in depth blog about all the wonderful details and features soon but I must sign off now…need to go and play…I mean “admire” again!!

I will just finish by saying that if you’re looking for a house built to your specifications, with an attentive, friendly and personal service then you need look no further! Thank you Cloverley Dolls Houses! You’ve made me very happy.

 

LINKS

Cloverley Dolls Houses – http://www.cloverleydollshouses.co.uk/

I Took a Little Trip – Miniatura 2016

Wow…the last weeks and months have been crazy and just flown by! Moving house and bringing up a toddler have left little time for any real ‘hobbying’ or indeed blogging.

This is why getting to make the trip to Birmingham for Miniatura 2016 was very welcome and really rather exciting!

I thought I’d share the couple of little treats I bought for myself – I’m really rather pleased with them!

FOR THE TUDOR HOUSE

I’d discovered Costume Cavalcade a year or two ago when I purchased a regency doll for my Mum. I’d spotted the Middle Class Tudor couple at the time, but, with no Tudor house for them they stayed where they were.

Since then I’ve made several trips back to the website and debated purchasing them, but for some reason, I never did hit send on the order email. But when I saw them in the flesh (well, you know what I mean), the decision to buy them was easy.

I’ve searched high and low for the right Tudor dolls for the Tudor house but have only ever found peasants or rich courtiers. These little people however, superbly made by Teresa Thompson (who incidentally is a lovely lady), were just right for my setting. Teresa clearly works hard to ensure historical accuracy when making her costume dolls and it truly pays off. They look just perfect in their new home.

I also visited Masters Miniatures again and bought a cute little water carrier and an adorable Tudor rocking cradle, both of which sit beautifully next to the other pieces I have of theirs.

EDWARDIAN HOUSE

A few months ago, I finally decided to order a new Edwardian house, from a company called Cloverley Dollshouses. I’m very pleased to say it has now been built and will be delivered in a couple of weeks (watch this space for a nice long blog post when it arrives!).

So it seemed only right to also begin to buy a couple of little bits and pieces ready to install in the new residence.

One of these was this cute little toy theatre by Jacqueline Crosby. It took sometime to choose between all the exquisite toys on her stand – I think about 3 hours. As well as the theatres there were beautifully detailed teeny tiny circus scenes so it was a difficult choice. I finally settled and look forward to seeing how it looks in the new nursery.

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Finally, I fell in love with the dolls of Carol Bull at Bags of Character. The name could not be more accurate! These little people are handmade from top to toe, with not a mold in sight and each one has it’s own little personality.

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My heart was stolen by this tiny butler – he has the most expressive face, complete with bushy eyebrows and a look that hints he may have been testing one too many of his master’s vintage bottles! I can’t wait for him to take up residence in his new abode. For now he’s tucked up safely in his box, only coming out briefly for me to admire again!

You can guarantee I’ll be finding time to blog when he finally moves in to the new house!

 

WEB LINKS

Costume Cavalcade – http://www.costumecavalcade.co.uk/

Bags of Character – http://bagsofcharacter.weebly.com/

Miniatura – http://www.miniatura.co.uk/

 

 

 

Mastery in Miniature

It’s been a while since I last blogged…so much has been going on. I’ve also been hanging on because I knew I wanted this to be my next post and I was awaiting the arrival of some new goodies from the lovely people at Masters Miniatures.

Some time ago, I discovered Masters Miniatures when looking for some gifts for my Mum. She’s been very slowly building a regency style cottage and the chaps at Masters were super helpful in suggesting the pieces that would work best from their stock. They also made me some beautiful dining chairs for the purpose.

So they seemed to be an obvious choice when furnishing my Tudor house. Given the rush job I did on the Edwardian house, I have been determined to only fill the Tudor house with really quality items, regardless of how long it might take me!

Masters Miniatures are Gary and Heidi Masters, who hand craft beautiful wooden furniture in a variety of scales from their workshop on the Devon-Cornwall border. The first item I ordered for the Tudor house was a simple but carefully made Tudor table which sits perfectly in the kitchen area but is versatile enough to suit anything from a grand Tudor hall to a witch’s cottage or apothecary shop.

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Tudor Table by Masters Miniatures – £20

Then, after my visit to Weald and Downland, a truckle bed became top of my shopping list. Masters Miniatures just happened to have a perfect replica on their site which, at just £36.00, I snapped up. And I adore it. It couldn’t be more perfect! I have since been on ebay and acquired materials to make bedding and drapes but I’ve not been brave enough to dress it yet!

Inspired and excited by these exquisite items, I emailed Masters Miniatures with photographs of some shelving and a cabinet from Weald and Downland to see if they could custom build them for me. Which they happily did and they arrived this morning!

I immediately dropped everything else I was doing, unwrapped the package and stomped over to my Tudor house to try them in situ. They are so delicately and carefully made and look completely spot on – exactly as I’d hoped. Despite my somewhat sketchy instructions and measurements, they have been made to perfection.

I’m yet to hang the shelves, I need to be completely decided on where they’re going to go, but I can’t wait to fill them with all sorts of pots and kitchen paraphernalia!

I’m starting to get the feeling that most, if not all of my Tudor house will end up being furnished entirely by Masters Miniatures! For what I think is an exceptionally reasonable cost, their work is just beautiful. You can see the time and care that goes into their furniture and indeed the incredible skill.

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Cabinet and Table in the house.

They have an excellent Tudor section but they also make and sell furniture from most eras and can offer great advice on what would work in your setting. And if they don’t already have one, then you can be sure they will be able to make exactly what you need.  Each piece can be made in a variety of woods, with a choice of finishes and custom upholstery.

If you want to fill your dollshouse with quality, handmade, bespoke furniture but you don’t have the hundreds of pounds that some companies charge for a single chair, then you literally cannot go wrong with Masters Miniatures.

Visit Masters Miniatures here.

Hearth and Home – Introducing the Tudor House

A few years ago I headed to the Kensington Dollshouse Festival with my Mum, a fellow miniature fan, and an exceptionally patient husband!

Whilst there I fell hopelessly in love with some hand built 1/24th scale Tudor houses by Triggerpond and have coveted them ever since. They had to be custom built to order and the price, whilst fair, was way out of reach. I’ve been constantly on the look out for one which was more suited to my budget ever since but never seen anything that came close to these.

My reason for going down in scale from my usual 1/12th was purely a matter of space. We don’t have a huge house and whilst she’s a wee little thing, it’s amazing how much space Munch takes up! I’d seen quite a few 12th scale tudor houses which met my criteria but I just couldn’t see how we’d fit them in.

Fast forward to Christmas 2015. My husband starts to look worried and drops the odd comment expressing his concern about a gift he’s purchased. “I think you’ll love it” he says “but I think your first reaction will be to flip out in a panic about space”.

Here is the gift he was worrying about. A beautiful Tudor house which he found on the website of a little antique shop in Lincoln. I’m told it was quite an epic task to get it couriered to the Isle of Wight!

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He was assured it was one of a kind, hand built and a replica of the Lincoln Tea Rooms. I’ve not been able to find reference to the building as yet. He was also however, assured it was 1/24th scale but when the courier delivered it, he started to realise that perhaps there had been some mix up! It is indeed 1/12th scale but I’m not going to quibble. It’s really quite beautiful.

It has 3 removable sections revealing a large open plan downstairs and a cute little room upstairs. It’s pre-lit and pretty much good to go, ready to fill with furniture. My plan is to make it the home of a Tudor merchant, or at least a middle class Tudor family. I’m undecided about thatching. My initial thoughts (based on minimal research) are that most houses in towns were tiled to protect from fire so I think I may leave it as is.

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It looks great when it’s lit but the light fittings are a bit on the modern side. There was also a fire in the bedroom which was a little too 1980s for my liking. I’ve replaced this with an adorable little log and peat fire from Romney Miniatures (links below) which cost me all of about a fiver! I already had the bulb to insert from the other fire but you can buy the bulbs on the same site, either separately or along with their fireplaces, for a reasonable price too.

Also from Romney Miniatures are my replacement light fittings, again around a fiver each. They have a great range of Tudor light fixtures and for pretty much the best price I’ve seen online thus far. I’m yet to tackle fitting them because the bulbs are unbelievably small but will let you know how this goes when I get brave enough to do it! As an important aside, the guys at Romney Miniatures are also super efficient and delivery was swift!

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Current light fittings

Whilst we’re on fires, I’ve ordered a whole tudor fireplace complete with bread oven from FirecraftMiniatures on Etsy for the kitchen area. They’re made to order so take a little while to arrive but I have an inkling it will be worth the wait. I had a despatch email yesterday so watch this space for a review!

You can find the log and peat fires, fittings and lighting at:

http://www.romneymin.com/