Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Day to Play

Well after what I would call a hectic week or so after Christmas I have finally had a day to play. Yesterday was spent preparing the garden for the heat of summer and today it was a day of blissful rain. A little bit balmy but just enough of a cool breeze off the bay to make it pleasant.

I have photographed some of the tiny treats I received for Christmas and tinkered in my mini kitchen. Although I didn't make a huge amount of progress in my kitchen I have made some important decisions regarding the completion.

First of all I would like to show you some lace handkerchiefs my Step Mother gave me. They were passed down to her by her Mother. The one that is at the very bottom was hand crochet by her mother, the one on the very top with the most intricate lace was her Grandmothers, the others have been collected for special occasions. I feel very fortunate to have them.

You may very well ask what this has to do with miniatures.........and of course I will tell you. I plan to use these in the bedrooms of our Dollhouse as bed linen, Lea Frisoni Style. Linda Carswell also uses lace handkerchiefs as bedclothes

Mia has been very excited to get started on the Children's bedroom. For some time now she has had firm plans in her mind as to what should be in the room. Apparently it is a bedroom for twin girls, Ashley and Tibet. Tibet I hear you ask?...... Mia was a very impressionable nine years of age when she first got her dollhouse....... her much older cousin is named India.......her other older cousin is Bailey, a boy/girl name......and there you have it!

Below we have the Bed steads for Ashley and Tibet. They came all the way from Pheonix models in the UK. I think they will look delightful when the whole room comes together. The chamber stick is also from Pheonix

Whilst it is all very pretty I must soldier on with the kitchen. I have been playing with the range above the AGA as I want to light it. I have worked out how to do this by drilling a whole in the back and widening the opening for the light. The only thing I am worried about is the fire safety. I wonder if the heat of the globe with the wood fibres inside could be hazardous. Any advice would be appreciated.

I have also designed the bench to go around the Belfast style sink. Whilst the other cabinets I have made are in balsa wood I have made this one in Rose wood. I realise it is not a traditional timber for bench tops but I had it on hand and decided to go with it. It was my first attempt at using something of good quality and what a joy it was. Originally offcuts from my framer who makes Guitars it was left with Bandsaw marks i had to sand out. It took a while but it was wonderful to watch the beautiful grain of the wood slowly appear. i'm now thinking I might use it for a nice piece of furniture......who knows?

This is an image of the before and after. Still a way to go but I enjoyed the process.

I  have more little treasures to show but I think I will leave that for later in the week.

Many happy mini moments to you all!

Fi x


  1. ¡Hola Fiona! es muy buena idea usar telas y encajes antiguos, aparte del aspecto delicado y elegante que suelen tener, también se trabajan mejor que los materiales nuevos. La camas son preciosas, seguro que quedan maravillosas vestidas con esas puntillas tan deliciosas!! Un saludo y feliz Domingo!!

  2. Hi Fi, the handkerchiefs are beautiful, they will make great bedcovers, though its almost a shame to use them, they are so wonderful just to look at!

    The bedsteads will look great too, I like Phoenix Models, they do some really unusual pieces in miniature you just wont find anywhere else, and the pieces go together well, with only minimal filing down.

    Rose wood has a beautiful rich warm colour and was used in the more 'feminine' rooms (such as the drawing room)during the 18th century in England, so would be good to use them for a special piece in your house. I would use basswood to make the worktops in the kitchen, it has a good fine grain and takes stain or Danish oil well too.

    As for the lighting, I think you should be ok with a red grain of wheat bulb, which are regularly used to light fire places in dolls houses, and should be easy to get hold of.

    Andy xx

  3. Estimado Pedrete,
    Eso es un cumplido hermoso viniendo de alguien que trabaja tan bien en fino encaje. Creo que van a trabajar muy bien, aunque me di cuenta que cuando yo estaba a planchar era difícil conseguir las marcas plegable. Creo que debido a que había sido doblada durante tantos años.

    Así que bueno saber de usted como de costumbre.

    Abrazos Fi xx

  4. Hi Fi!
    Your lace Hankies are Beautiful... and look just like some that I have... I Can't bring myself to cut them up! I am draping them over a bed.... but they are too big....
    I LOVE the little metal beds...they will look so Beautiful with the lace covers.
    As for the lighting... I think the amount of heat you get from one little bulb is not enough to ignite wood or paper which require something like 435 degrees (farenheit scale) to self combust. And of course, the smaller the bulb the less heat it will put out. But if you are worried.... you could do a "mock-up" of the conditions and leave a bulb lit for a while and see what happens! I am a great believer in "mock-ups" when I am not sure of an idea!

  5. Hi Andy,

    they do look lovely just as they are. I intend to use them without cutting them.Ii think in a way it will be a nice way to have them on show instead of them being tucked away in a draw. The most detailed one i will use in the master bedroom ( I don't think thats what they called it) it has almost the look of a cobweb when fully open.

    Yes I have been thinking perhaps it will be more suited to a nice piece of furniture. I cannot get Bass wood here, I believe its also called Lime wood. We are third generation cabinet makers (not that I have a clue bout it) and neither my Father or Brother knew what it was. I asked my framer and he told me it was hard to get so he gave me some offcuts he had been using. I know Linda Carswell uses Bass wood and I have been meaning to ask her where she got it.

    I know the sort of bulb you mean, i hope its not a silly question but would it glow red? I realise now I said range and meant range hood. As I was fiddling I was thinking they probably didn't light them any way early 20th century. I'm not sure how authentic my house is going to be???

    Fi x

  6. Hi again, well you can get both red and clear bulbs so whichever you wanted should be available. Another alternative, if you're using copper twin tape wire, is to use the little lights that can be pushed straight into the tape wire, they are all available at Hobby's, but not sure if they export.

    Yes bass wood is the same as lime wood, very pale, if you can't get that use obeche wood or, if you can find it, ramin, a good model shop should stock obeche, and comes in a variety of thicknesses. Balsa is usually a little too light and spongy for making furniture with.

    I find it quite funny that you had trouble getting hold of lime wood so you got some rosewood instead, that's not a wood you find often in B&Q or Homebase!! lol!

  7. Hi Daydreamer,

    Yes I think I will need to do some fiddling to get them to fit without cutting. Once I set my mind to something, I will fiddle till it works. Famous last words!!!

    Thats good advice about the "mock up" I really should post a picture to show what I have done,its hard to explain but i'm relieved to know about the 435 degrees.


    Fi x

  8. Hi again,again Andy,

    I will post a picture of what I have done re light bulb.

    And thanks for the alternative re bass wood, I need to investigate more. Sometimes I get impatient and can't wait!! Well the story re Indian Rose wood is interesting Andy, I will post about it because i have some other interesting wood and it certainly is not readily available in a home base!!

    Fi xx

  9. Hai,
    I Love the handkerchiefs.
    It will be wonderful.
    Greetings, Alexandra.

  10. Hi Fiona, The handkerchiefs are wonderful. Not only for the history but the fine lawn cotton that is used. Your op shops should provide you with some that you would be more inclined to cut up - also they are often nicely antiqued without doing a tea stain on them.
    I agree that balsa is too light and spongy - not often a satisfactory wood for our purposes.
    I was born in Brisbane but left at 21 and finally settled in Canada via Mexico. We return regularly to Au. for extended times as we have a wide web of relatives who we love and enjoy being with. Two cousins have recently relocated to Daylesford and we also have friends who live in Melbourne. So, yes, we even stayed on Mornington Penninsula - almost at the last house at the southern end - with our friend's parents. It is truly wonderful.
    Looking forward to upcoming posts!

  11. Wow! What treasures! I'm excited to see more of what you do with the bedroom. :-) Jennifer

  12. Hi Alexandra,

    Thank you and its lovely to have you here.

    Regards, Fi

    Hi Janine, I will look out for some hankies in the op shops, I think thats how my SM came to give them to me as i couldn't find any. I'll still keep trying. I am having such trouble finding any of the woods Andy has suggested.

    Well you do know the area well. Daylesford is one of my favourite parts of the world. When you say the very end of MP do you mean Portsea? That is cremedelacreme of the MP. Beautiful spot!

    You know Janine, as i'm looking for Hobby and Specialty woods you will understand how many Surfboard making websites I come across!!

    Love your work.

    Fi xx

    Hi jennifer,


    Fi x

  13. I think I should have been an eighteenth-century French aristocrat as I would then have been able to wear lace cuffs. My model for that particular role would be Christopher Lee, who looks wonderful in A TALE OF TWO CITIES as the nasty French aristo who comes to a sticky end (not that I fancy the sticky end). My mother still has the box of lace and ribbons, which always fascinated me when I was a boy (well, nothing's changed there). I was particularly fascinated by the wide red lace (which was presumably knicker lace, though it looks dreadfully scratchy). While the others were out playing I football and getting muddy I was fingering the lace and ribbons and stitching away my needlework hoop. (I can remember taking my little hoop on train journeys with mum. No wonder growing up was a tad confusing for me.

    I watched ladies making lace on Burano when I was in Venice, but couldn't afford to buy any of it! I don't think I would have the stamina for that one. Tapestry is more my line...

  14. David,

    No better way to start the day than opening your lap top and having a laugh!! I shall now, if you like, imagine you typing away in a white shirt with delicately trimmed lace cuffs.

    You must have been a darling little boy. I'm glad your mother encouraged you follow your interest and not try and push you to play football. The lace sounds beautiful, whilst I'm not really a lace kind of girl I do find it so alluring. Particularly antique lace, it suggests stories from another time.

    Next trip to Venice I will visit the ladies in Burano.

    Fi xx

  15. I have a few handkerchiefs from my grandmother and now I know what to do with them! Fi, why don't you just buy basswood off the internet? I get 99.9% of my supplies sent to me in the mail, from all over the world.

    I think I had the same childhood as your friend David. I once made a stunning ensemble for my G.I. Joe doll out of lace and electrician's tape.


  16. Hi John,

    I will try on the internet. I am just impatient some times. It seems to take up to four weeks for some deliveries. You would think I could get an equivalent here!

    You know john, the first post I ever saw of yours was about not getting your Big Jim!!! Now I know what you REALLY planned to do with him!!!

    Love your work!!!!

    Fi xx

  17. I remember, Fi! Rest assured that Big Jim retained his original, Castro Clone-look...I wasn't about to mess with that there good thang!

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