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December 2009: Issue No 18, Cover Image: Eileen Sedgwick
5 Editor’s Note: Read Bea Broadwood’s introduction & welcome to this month’s edition of the Artisans In Miniature FREE ‘downloadable’ magazine! 22 New On The Web: This month we take a closer look at the website of Maia Bisson. 46 In Season This Month: Welcome to the third instalment of this popular ‘miniature food’ feature. This month Vicky Guile and her fellow AIM food artisans take a closer look at Turkey, Duck & Goose. 12 56 Through The Keyhole: Ever wondered what it would be like to be able to have a closer look at the working environments of AIM members? This month we take a peek at the South African work space of Barbara Brear. 62 Aim Pleased To Meet You: Get to know more about AIM member Mary Williams, when you read her answers to our questions. 66 Well, It Happened To An Artisan: Read about the often strange lives of AIM members. 80 Antique & Vintage Corner: Celia Thomas takes an in depth look at a 1930s German ‘Wagner’ Dollshouse. 84 Mini Aimers: Written and compiled by Margaret Pitts especially for younger miniaturists and the artisans of the future. 92 The Miniature Grapevine: Catch up on all the latest news and announcements from the international miniature world.
6 Cover Feature ‐ For The Love Of Art: Find out more about the fabulous work of top doll artisan Eileen Sedgwick. 12 A Tale Of Winsford House: AIM member Celia Thomas tells us all about her first book, which records a particularly unusual story of dollshouse restoration. 15 My Inspiration To Paint Santa: AIM member Barbara Stanton tells her story of a surprise encounter with Santa at a wedding! 18 Seasons Greeting: Happy Christmas from everyone at AIM
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20 Competition Time!!: Don’t miss your final chance to enter our competition to win a farmhouse table in 1:12th scale. 24 ‘1:12’ ‐ Kensington Dollshouse Festival organiser, Charlotte Stokoe tells us more about her new documentary. 40 A Journey Into The Blogosphere: AIM member Sandra Morris lifts the lid on a whole new area of the internet. 41 The New AIM Blog: AIM member Debie Lyons proudly announces a new and very exciting arrival in ‘blog land.’ 44 El Origin De Santa Clause: AIM member Cristina Alberti explains more about the history of this very special man. (In Spanish & English) 53 Dollshouse Fair Report: AIM member Sandra Morris reports back on the Charmandean Dollhouse show. 54 Christmas Floral Traditions: AIM member Kathryn Gray tells us more about the origins of these seasonal decorations. 60 Oh Christmas Tree: Professional artist Susanne Newstead shares a very special discovery. 69 Hungarian Christmas Traditions: Food artisan Orsolya Skultéti tells us more about this ‘mouth watering’ international cuisine. 74 A Dickensian Christmas ‐ The AIM Gallery: This month we bring you a nostalgic gallery of AIM members’ character dolls, all inspired by the pen of the famous author, Charles Dickens.
16 Treasure Box: AIM member and author Jane Harrop shares her project to create a nostalgic treasure box in both 1:12th and 1:24th scales. 18 Christmas Stocking: AIM member Frances Powell shares her traditional 1:24th scale knitting pattern for these timeless Christmas accessories. 27 Robin Redbreast Tutorial: AIM member Anya Stone teaches her fabulous tutorial to create this much loved garden bird. (Introduction by Jane Harrop) 42 A Victorian Inspired Paper Doll: Doll artisan, illustrator, author and AIM member Jill Bennett brings us the delightful ‘Lucy’. 64 Snowman Soup: An adorable seasonal project by AIM member and food artisan Vicky Guille. 83 Christmas Pom Pom Teddy: AIM member Cheryl Clingen shares her delightfully fun seasonal project.
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CLICK…on Artisans In Miniature
How did you find the Online Magazine??
Did you follow a link? Did a miniature friend tell you about it?
...and do you already know about the Artisans In Miniature Website, and the talented members who have all helped create this Online magazine.?
If not, copy, paste and CLICK now – www.artisansinminiatures.com and come and meet us all. Founded in 2007 by Bea (Fiona) Broadwood of Petite Properties, the site has been created in order to showcase the fantastic work of the individual professional international artisan members who create beautiful and original scale miniatures for sale to the public. Together they form the Artisans In Miniature association. Since its launch the AIM association has rapidly grown and now boasts membership of well over 200, including some of the most talented artisans within the miniature world! On the website you will find further information about them and their work; however, please note new pages are constantly being added and there are many members who are not yet included on the site... If you are a professional artisan who is interested in joining the association, you will find all the information there..... If you are wondering what Fairs may be on in your area – that information is there too… We have lots of links…to Fairs and Events Organizers…Magazines…Online Miniature clubs….Historical reference sites…..Workshops…and more… it’s all there!
If you’d like to contact us, copy, paste and CLICK... we’d love to hear from you!
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The AIM magazine EditorialTeam
(in 'first name' alphabetical order)
Welcome to the December issue of the AIM magazine! As 2009 ticks down to a close... so it seems that the season of tinsel, carols and all things 'Christmas' is at last upon us. To be honest I don't mind admitting that Christmas and the end of the year is the time within the calendar that I enjoy the most.
Bea (Fiona) Broadwood
Editor, Layout & Format Designer & AIM Columnist: Editor's note office@petite‐properties.com
Somehow, whether snow falls or (more than likely) not, this special time of year is seemingly infected with something very magical. In fact as the year finally draws to a close, it often seems as if almost everyone takes solace in a collective and often reflective ‘virtual' deep breath. AIM members have also been collectively reflecting on what has been for them; a very busy year within the miniature world. 2009 has seen AIM not only grow from strength to strength, but also the AIM magazine has consistently drawn a HUGE number of readers, month after month...!
AIM Columnist: Antique & Vintage Corner & New On The Web
AIM Columnist & Gallery Coordinator Project writer email@example.com
It is certainly no secret that all of AIM’s successes to date have been the moderating team, the editorial team, and all AIM’s members, for their whom the association, forum or magazine simply could not function. Thank you to each of you, for all that you do...
result of a ‘sum of its parts.’ At this point I would like to thank the
AIM Columnist & Projects Coordinator unending determination, drive and ‘unseen' hard work, without which or Project writer
AIM Columnist, Proof Reader & However, before 2009 marches toward its close, AIM members have been Coordinator of AIM Please To Meet You hard at work putting together this fantastic December issue for you all to Mini AIMers
So as December knocks lightly and yet somewhat excitedly on the door, on AIM Columnist & Miniature Grapevine Coordinator: behalf of AIM and its members I would like to take this opportunity to thank Crafty Tips, Yes It Happened To An all of those who have supported and worked so hard for the association Artisan
during 2009. May I also whole heartedly wish readers, customers and fellow AIM prosperous new year.
AIM Columnist: Tales From The Toy Cupboard
members a like; a very happy Christmas and a wonderful, safe and
AIM Columnist & Coordinator of In Season This Month Editor (& General whip cracker) Project Writer. December 2009 firstname.lastname@example.org
(Regular 'author of' information given in italics)
Artisans In Miniature 5 Please note all AIM members contribute to the magazine…
For The Love Of Art… Miniature Figure Making By AIM Member, Eileen Sedgwick
I had a doll’s house for my birthday, and made a lady from a kit to ‘live’ in it. She was a bit ‘bland’, and I remembered somewhere I had some polymer clay, and decided to try to make something with a bit more character. Way too ambitious....but why change the habits of a lifetime… even as a child I’d never start out with anything ‘small and sensible’!
Back then I was always hauling my huge boxes of ‘interesting stuff’ in and out of the cupboard under the stairs, tipping them out onto the hearthrug so I could be ‘inspired’ into activity. My family were all creative, and encouraged me with additions to the boxes, and endless patience, helping me with anything new I wanted to try. Art was always important to me, right through school, and into college, where I had the chance to try many new things, like ceramics, printing, textiles, and life‐drawing. I two‐dimensional pieces.
loved drawing, collage and mixed media...and made a lot of large, quite abstract, and mostly
After graduating I trained to be a teacher. In my last post I was asked to also take on ceramics and sculpture in the school. I’d some experience of working with clay, but there was a lot of learning for me as well as the children. I was very proud that some chose to specialise in ceramics in their exams, and even go on with it right up to degree level. I left full time teaching to become a full time mum in 1998.
When my daughter started school I found I had some free time, and I began thinking about doing some of my own art again. I really missed working in clay, which had been such a big part of my everyday life over the last 10 years. Polymer clay didn’t need a proper kiln, which I didn’t have anymore, and so I decided to
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I’ve been interested for a long time in the figures created by ‘primitive’ or ancient peoples, and in folk arts, and I have often worked from the human figure myself, so I decided to make a doll. My first miniature figure was finished just before Christmas 2003. Looking at it now I can see it was full of terrible faults, but there was just enough there to see the potential. The detail you could get with the polymer clay on such a small scale was wonderful. I dressed her quickly, and then just sat and stared. It was an absolutely magical moment for me...it felt as if the doll had somehow sud‐ denly found a life of its own, and you could almost imagine it might get up and start walking about. It was a very strange feeling, and I couldn’t wait to make another.
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La Belle Dame Sans Merci
Bilboe & Gandalf
My dolls house hasn’t progressed much since 2003, as I’ve been concentrating on my figures. My hands have improved most, at least they’re less like the bunches of bananas I gave my first poor doll. I love everything about making figures as they involve such a lot of different skills; sculpting, fabrics, painting, wigging etc., so you never get bored. Inspiration can come from many places: books, music, myths and legends, history, nature, stage and screen, the news...and of course the world of Fine Art. I’ve never found myself short of ideas for new figures since I began......just short on the time to do them all justice.
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I like making all kinds of figures. I enjoy the discipline of the historical ones, getting the details correct, and reading about the history of costume. The portrait ones are always great fun, and wonderful if people recognise who they are meant to be. I love the freedom of the imaginary creatures, and the more experimental ones, where you can be as bizarre as you like, and decorate and embellish the fabric and surfaces. My favourites so far have been ones based on paintings... cheating a bit I suppose as a lot of the hard work is done for you of course by the original artist!
I have made a few Pre‐Raphaelite inspired ones, and some based on the lovely work of Gustav Klimt… and I have lots of ideas bubbling away for many more. Miniature figures are so wonderful to make… you can go off in an infinite number of directions… the hardest thing is just deciding which way to go next. To see more of Eileen’s beautiful dolls, why not visit her website... www.eileensedgwick.com
© Eileen Sedgwick ‐ All text & photographs belong to the author.
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THE TALE OF WINSFORD HOUSE
By AIM Member, Celia Thomas
This little book is the brainchild of Celia Thomas, who trades as KT Miniatures. During the course of time, she has seen dozens of vintage dolls houses come and go but just occasionally something very special comes along. Winsford House was thought to be just another English 1960’s dolls house on first inspection, but when renovation began, a lovely discovery was made which saw this dolls house turn into something quite unique indeed. The Tale Of Winsford House tells the journey that restoration including useful renovating tips and detailed information on how to replicate vintage dolls house brick paper, which can be a daunting task but easy once you know how.
this little house embarked on during its
Wonderful 1930s brick and tiled paper with that delightful rich patina, which is instantly recognisable, were found underneath more modern paper on the exterior, but the brick paper on the chimneys disintegrated on touch so it was this that was replaced with replicated brick paper. The house consists of four rooms with a central staircase, hall and landing plus two loft rooms accessed via lift up roofing panels either side. The lovely bay windows contain real glass and real lead strip, which had been painted in white gloss paint. There are two curious black painted lion heads either side of the frontage. The name WINSFORD is embossed on a somewhat tarnished metal nameplate which sits above the amazing 1930s front door.
When layers of 1960s/70s wallpaper were removed from the interior, original wallpaper was found underneath. A truly unexpected magical moment came when each of the very unusual art deco fireplaces were removed, an inscription in beautiful pencilled handwriting was found behind each one stating who made the house, an address in Bath and the date it was made… November 1938!
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Initiating a little detective work using the power of the internet – a little more was discovered about the maker of this wonderful house and you can read all about it in this little book. Included are some fascinating emailed communication that ensued between a gentleman and Celia whilst on her quest to find out about the maker from Bath!
She says “In all the years I have been dealing with vintage dolls houses, I have never made a discovery like it. If only all vintage dolls house creators could have left inscriptions like these on their magnificent creations, my job would be a lot easier, particularly with one off vintage dolls houses, as they are often so difficult to date. At first glance, when the fireplaces were still in situ, I assumed they were some sort of 1960s/70s reproduction and ceramic. But the fireplaces turned out to be cast iron, very rare and each considerably valuable in their own right!”
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With Celia’s expertise a large amount of the 1930s wallpaper was salvaged and with the clever use of acrylic paints, managed to disguise patches where the wallpaper was missing. Original paper in the bathroom and kitchen sadly could not be saved so these were painted and given an aged look. Antique lace hangs in each of the windows and antique 1930s braid runs all the way up the stairs. KT Miniatures imitation 1930s lino has been laid on the floors, replacing the 1960s covering. The house inside and out is now back to its former glory and more in keeping with how it would have looked in the 1930s. Winsford Dolls House is at present currently up for sale in its own right and can be seen on KT Miniatures website, web address details as below. At the handy compact A5 size with 32 full colour pages and with laminated front and back covers, The Tale Of Winsford House is the first in what will be a whole series on not only vintage dolls houses, but miniature projects based on the 1930’s/1940’s era.
Price £5.99 each plus P&P. Available only
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directly from www.ktminiatures.com © Celia Thomas ‐ All text & photographs belong to the author.
My Inspiration To Paint Santa…
By AIM Member, Barbara Stanton
Being in the dollhouse world, I'm always thinking about subjects that might interest my collectors and as you know the Christmas theme is a big one. Being an artist, I want to come up with something new and original. Most of my paintings are inspired by people, places and things in my life. I'm always paying attention to my surroundings looking for new ideas. Since Santa wasn't in my life, I hadn't painted him. I didn't want to make him up. I wanted to have a real live Santa as a model. “One of the first things I noticed was a man with a white beard...”
As it happens and life goes on, my best friend’s daughter got married. I'd known her since she was four! As usual I brought my camera to the wedding as a favour to the bride. One of the first things I noticed was a man with a white beard, long hair and dressed in black with red tie, hat and sus‐ penders (braces in the U.K ! ). I thought I knew all of the bride’s family and friends so I was curious about this gentleman. Obviously he was Santa and I needed to meet him! I pulled the father of the bride aside and asked him who Santa was. "That's Dave!" he said. "Dave?" I asked. "Yes, Elana's ex‐husband." Oh Dave! That's Dave? Last time I saw Dave he didn't have any grey hair and had a huge handlebar moustache but no beard. Wow! I know Santa!
It turns out that my old acquaintance Dave is a professional Santa who appears at malls and stores across California. I took his picture of course and later I did this painting of him. Now that I know Santa personally, I hope to have many future opportunities to paint him again. I've got a great one in my head of him and "Mrs. Claus" dancing at the wedding.
Thanks for letting me share with you.
© Barbara Stanton ‐ All text & photo belong to the author.
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By AIM Member, Jane Harrop
If you enjoyed making Jane’s Salt Box last month, you will love this little box for keeping your miniature memories and treasures safe!
In 1:12 & 1:24th...
Make this tiny painted wooden box in either 1/12th or 1/24th scale to store miniature treasures and mementoes.
You will need...
To make the box in 1/12th scale you will need:
1/16in (1.5mm) thick sheet wood: Two 1in (25mm) by 5/16in (8mm) for box sides Two ½in (13mm) by 5/16in (8mm) for box ends 7/8in (22mm) by ½in (13mm) for ox base Two 1in (25mm) by 3/32in (2.5mm) for lid sides Two ½in (13mm) by 3/32in (2.5mm) for lid ends 1in (13mm) by 5/8in (16mm) for lid 1/32in (1mm) thick sheet wood: Two 1/2in by 9/32in for lid catches
To make the box in 1/24th scale you will need:
1/32in (1mm) thick sheet wood: Two ½in (13mm) by 5/32in (4mm) for box sides Four ¼in (6mm) by 5/32in (4mm) for box ends and lid catches 7/16in (11mm) by 1/4in (6mm) for box base Two ½ in (13mm) by 3/64in (1mm) for lid sides Two ¼in (6mm) by 3/64in (1mm) for lid ends 1/2in (13mm) by 5/16in (8mm) for lid
You will also need:
1/64in (0.5mm) thick plywood Tiny heart paper punch Tacky glue Light coloured wood stain Acrylic paint
STEP 1…Lightly sand the wood pieces and then stain.
Apply the wood stain sparingly to avoid the wood pieces from warping. Once dry, position and glue the two box end pieces on to the short outside edges of the box base piece. The base is now sandwiched in‐between the side pieces and all outside edges are flush. Tip: Use a right‐angled gluing jig to ensure the construction dries square.
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Take the box side pieces and glue on to the long outside edges of the base piece; again all outside edges are flush.
To make the lid, rest the lid sides and ends on their narrow edges and then position and glue on top on the lid wood piece as shown. All outside edges are flush. Leave the constructions to dry thoroughly.
Paint the outside of the lid and box with acrylic paint. Apply the paint sparingly to avoid the moisture from the paint unfastening the glue. If necessary apply one thin coat, allow to dry and then apply another and leave to dry.
To create a slightly distressed finish, gently sand the outside of the box and lid using fine‐grade sandpaper. In some places you will remove a layer of paint and reveal some of the stained wood below. Position and glue the lid catches inside each end of the box, which will allow the lid to fit securely.
Punch a tiny heart out of the plywood and then glue on top of the lid. If you wish, carefully paint with red acrylic paint. Once dry, place the lid upside down on top of fine ‐grade sandpaper, and very carefully sand the heart to slightly distress. Now all you need to do is fill the box with your miniature treasures and mementoes.
© Jane Harrop 2009 Website: www.janeharrop.co.uk
1/24th scale Christmas Stocking
By AIM Member Frances Powell
This is not designed to be worn by a doll, as the stocking has no shaping, but is designed to hang from the corner of a bed or a mantelpiece or be held by a doll. Materials: Size 22 (US size 6/0, 0.70 mm) needles, 25 m No 80 crochet cotton or No 70 tatting thread Abbreviations: st ‐ stitch; sst – stocking (stockinette) stitch (1 row knit, 1 row purl); k ‐ knit; p ‐ purl; dec. ‐ decrease by working 2 stitches together; k2tog ‐ knit 2 stitches together; sl k1 psso ‐ slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over stitch just knitted. Knit stocking as follows: Cast on 19 sts. Row 1: k 1, p 1 to last st, k 1. Row 2: p 1, k 1 to last st, p 1. Change to sst: Rows 3‐16: sst Row 17: k2tog, k to last 2 sts, k2tog. (17sts) Row 18: p Shape heel: K 5, work on these 5 sts only. * Work 3 rows sst. Then dec. 1 st at beginning of next and following alternate rows (3 sts remain)** Work 1 row p. (Omit this row when working other side of heel). Pick up and k 3 sts down side of heel (last few rows worked on 5 and 3 sts) Knit across remaining sts on needle. Next row: p 5, work on these sts only, reversing shaping for heel, from * to **. Pick up and p 3 sts down side of heel as before, then p across remaining sts on needle. (19 sts) Work 10 rows sst for foot. Shape toe: Row 1: k 3, k2tog, sl k1 psso, k 5, k2tog, sl k1 psso, k 3. (15 sts) Row 2: p Row 3: k 2, k2tog, sl k1 psso, k 3, k2tog, sl k1 psso, k 2. (11 sts) Cast off. To make up stocking: With right sides together sew down back seam around heel and along foot to toe shaping. Keeping right sides together flatten foot part of stocking, so that foot seam is underneath, then sew up toe seam so it is at right angles to foot seam. Turn stocking right side out, a thick knitting needle or pencil may help you do this.
To make a loop (optional): either make a chain using crochet or sew a loop about ¼‐inch/0.75 cm long and work a row of buttonhole stitch over it. Sew in all loose ends. Stuff about half of the stocking with crumpled paper or tissue to resemble presents, then fill top of stocking with presents. © Copyright F. H. Powell 2009 This pattern is for private use only and may not be reproduced in any form for commercial gain, including selling any www.buttercupminiatures.co.uk item knitted up from these patterns Artisans In Miniature 18 without written permission from Buttercup Miniatures
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
From All The Members Of AIM
Many thanks to AIM member Linda Master for her kind permission to use her image on our AIM Christmas card. To see more of Linda’s beautiful carving visit her website: www.miraclechickenurns.com
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Would you like to win this fabulous 1:12th scale farmhouse table created by Jane Harrop and hand-painted by Bea Broadwood? If so, then we have a fantastic word search competition for you this month! Simply download the puzzle on the opposite page and clearly identify all the hidden words listed within our ‘topical’ word search grid. To enter our competition, send us a copy of your completed word search either as an email attachment or as a printed copy to the relevant address given below.
For email entries – office@petite‐properties.com (Please put COMPETITION as the subject title of the email)
For postal entries ‐ Bumble Bee Cottages, 52 ‐54 Drury Street, Metheringham, Lincs. LN4 3EZ. (Please note this is a UK address)
All entries must include an email contact address and full name.
Rules of the competition. Closing date will be 31st December 2009 and any entries received after this date will not be accepted. On the 1st of January one winner will be picked randomly from all of the correct entries and notified by email. We can only accept one entry per person. The winner will be published in the February 2010 edition of the AIM magazine.
We at AIM would like to say a big thank you to Jane Harrop of www.janeharrop.co.uk for the kind donation of this fantastic farmhouse table.
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N S N R E T T A P Y I O C S M O A S S R
N A Y G N I W E S N M H O R I I R M F A
T O I L F O B E E I L E M E N E T I S H
D C I R H E N T F T M W P W U R I N E O
I S E S O T I E L A C S E O T F S I S R
T N R D U T N S M A L L T L E D A A U U
A R U S E L C O R C I M I F E A N T O C
C T T P O O L I M T S F T I R A F U H R
H L I U G T T I V M O R I I F N L R S O
T O N E A L C G L O I N O A O N A A L C
E C R P D C N N D A O N N D O F H E L H
S U U A O I C Q A V B L I I U N T Y O E
A T F E T E U E E R S O T A A T U R D T
A H C T N A O M S O O A L I T S L O I U
T C I E R A B N O S I R G G F U T T N I
E N I T J E T N I C O R C M N Y R C A N
K I E L R O L H O R O R O L B I S E N C
L R S A P I R S N E A D I B E L S R A H
T I R O N E S P G F E D O E A N E I T T
N A T E O A R I T L P H C I S N M D O A
Accessories Association Competition Dollshouse Victorian Miniature Miniatura Directory Furniture Georgian
Illusion Knitting Patterns Projects November Artisan Replica Quarter Flowers Crochet
Monthly Petite Minute Online Sewing Global Tudor Scale Model Small
Craft Hobby Micro Fimo Tiny Half Inch Food Free AIM
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Each month we highlight a particular AIM member’s new website and to continue this feature we have chosen the website of Maia Bisson www.maiastwinkleminiatures.com
As soon as you click onto Maia’s Twinkle Miniatures, you know that you are looking at a miniatures website that is so very different from all others. The attractive pink musical notes at the top of the page laid over an off white background with a pale green border either side, immediately grabs your attention and makes you wonder about the significance of this musical header, along with the statement “Add a twinkle to your scene”.
Very quickly, as you navigate Maia’s website, the musical note significance becomes apparent, as miniature music boxes are very much a part of Maia’s trade.
Maia’s Twinkles Miniatures is the brainchild of Maia Bisson who lives in Steveston, a small fishing town in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. Maia started making and collecting miniatures more than 15 years ago. About six years ago she started selling miniatures at local fairs and then Maia’s Twinkle Miniatures began trading a little over two years ago. Her website was launched in June 2009.
Maia tells us “I worked with Anne Gerdes to create the website and with my brother‐in‐law to design the website header. The project of creating the website was very exciting and a little daunting at the same time; Anne walked me through the process one step at a time so it was a very enjoyable experience. My brother‐in‐law is very good at understanding your ideas and translating them into a beautiful design. I’m really happy with the way the header turned out.”
Maia creates different kinds of miniatures such as tiny dolls on music boxes; paper dolls that you can play with; little books; vanity items and even holiday miniatures. She goes on to say, “Many of my pieces
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are one of a kind as I like to explore new ideas. I like to make pieces that can be set out in different ways allowing miniaturists to add their own touch to them!”
The main navigation bar can be found down the left‐hand side of the site, and with curious categories such as “Twinkle Magnets, Twinkle Dolls & Music Boxes, Holidays, Vanity Items, Miniature Shadow Boxes, Stationary Sets & Photo Albums, Books, Twinkle Boxes, Finished Kits, New Products and finally Gift Certificates (which is a nice touch), there is certainly something there for everyone!
Many of these main headings are divided into subheadings e.g. The Twinkle Magnets section is then separated into three more sections called Twinkle Magnets, Twinkle Magnet Paper Dolls and Twinkle Magnet Calendars. All products on each of the pages are well laid out with a clear photograph, description and priced accordingly.
Maia’s little items are certainly unique and she has a very distinct style. My favorite just has to be the tiny shadow boxes. The last one on the page in particular called “Paper Doll With Her Clothes Shadow Box” is delightful, and advertised as ……..“With a paper doll and her clothes on the line is sure to bring back memories and a smile!” And you know what…. it did just that! I couldn’t help but smile plus it evoked all kinds of wonderful childhood memories, conjuring up images of those little paper dolls that I used to love to play with for hours!
For the future, Maia tells us “I have so many ideas and I always get excited with each one of them. I would like to work on them little by little, and always bring something new and different for miniaturists to enjoy. I also want to learn new techniques and explore different materials.”
Well, do go check out Maia’s unique website and peruse the various categories a while. It goes without saying that we here at AIM wish Maia the very best of luck with her miniatures and hope she continues to “twinkle” brightly with success!
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e... Charlotte Stoko
At last, a film has been made about dolls houses, that shows the true passion of the people who make these amazing miniatures. AIM caught up with Charlotte Stokoe, Producer of “1:12”, to find out how the film came about.
How did the idea for the Film 1:12 come about? Miniaturists are passionate about what they did, and would create exceptional work, but were not really represented as a body. Unless you loved miniatures, you would not even know they existed. We always used to say that someone should make a film about them, but any programme that was made about dolls houses, was always focusing on the obvious, how much they cost, who bought them etc.
Weren’t you nervous about taking on such an unusual project? Not really. I tend not to think that I can’t do something, I just do it and hope it works out. It is only after I have done something tough that I wake up in the night in a cold sweat realising how wrong it could have gone. I did start to feel pressure once we had begun filming, as the craftsmen were so excited by the idea. I felt we couldn’t let them down.
What kind of film were you planning on making at the beginning? When we first thought of the film, we thought it would be an entertaining film about the unusual people who make miniatures. We wanted it to appeal to everybody, but mostly thought it would be a great way to promote the industry & draw in new enthusiasts. This changed as we progressed with the film. As we visited people in their studios, we realised that we wanted a more serious film. These people were so talented, we knew that collectors would be fascinated to see how they work.
What part of making the film did you enjoy the most? Definitely our research trips. I had no sat nav in my car, so I printed off maps from google to follow. This worked quite well, although we got terribly lost finding Ann High, and of course hers was the one phone number I didn’t have with me. I ended up knocking on the doors of all her
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neighbours, but with no luck. Just as we were about to give up, she called to find out where we were. I was so pleased to hear her voice. We had known many of the makers for nearly 20 years, but you only see them at dolls house shows or talk to them on the phone. Stepping into their world & their workshops was a unique experience for us both. We felt so privileged to see where & how they worked. Their personal environments were all totally different & what came through was the passion & enjoyment they got from their work. They all seemed to share the same contentment with their lives.
How many craftsmen did you end up visiting? We visited around 10 makers & after each visit we were determined that they would be in our film. Our budget would only allow us to use 7 however, so we chose the ones we felt covered the main aspects of miniatures. How was your first day of filming? We started filming with Liz at ELF miniatures. Everyone who knows Liz knows what a great talker she is, and she was the perfect person to start with. We did almost everything in one take and were then treated to a plate of delicious pasta. After that we were flying. We finished our filming at the Festival itself, trying to show work from other makers who we couldn’t visit. Darlene, the Co Producer of the film and I had a rather stressful couple of days trying to not only get all the filming done & interview people, but we also had to make sure that the festival itself ran smoothly (my great KDF team were on hand for that thank goodness).
Filming at the Festival...
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What was the hardest part of making the film? Although Darlene and I both knew all the processes that go into making a film, the postproduction was definitely a shock to our system. Suddenly, the 25th Anniversary of the Festival was looming and we had to get the film finished. We knew the structure of the film and Darlene had been working hard at sorting through the 13 hours of footage to find the relevant shots, so we were confident that it would only take 2 weeks to finish it. Michael (Editor) was a godsend. He immediately took hold of the project, listened to what we wanted, and got on with it in double quick time. We worked solidly for 2 weeks from a small flat in Camden Town. We could see that Michael was amazed by the craftsmen featured in the film and this made us very positive. We kept him fed on chocolate brownies & cup cakes & he did a fabulous job. I had a rather scary morning doing the voiceovers at a studio in Soho, and then Michael added the music and it was finished the day before the Festival was due to start. What was the reaction when you first showed the film? Darlene and I were terrified to show it to anyone, as we really couldn’t gauge if it was any good ‐ it was such a personal project for us. I decided that the Exhibitors should have the first viewing. If they didn’t like it then we were in trouble. On the Saturday night after the Festival was over, we had a Premiere of 1:12 on the big screen at Kensington Town Hall. Over 200 people were present to see our film for the first time (a huge audience for fledgling film makers). I had to face the audience by myself as Darlene had deserted me ‐ she had to go & do a craft fair of her own in Henley. The lights went down & the film began. I had to leave the room I was so nervous, but what was that – laughter – I hadn’t expected laughter. Afterwards we were overwhelmed by the reaction to the film. It really seemed to affect people in a very positive way.
Is 1:12 the film you imagined it would be? May be. We were imagining a light‐hearted look at the craftsmen as they created their masterpieces. What we ended up with, I think, is a beautiful film about some very unique people, who do something they love, and give it everything. It is a film that we are so proud of, not only because it is the first film we have made, but it is a truthful film that shows the passion of the craftsmen & how much time goes into their amazing work.
The ‘1:12’ documentary (featuring AIM members!) will be available to purchase online in DVD format via the Kensington Festival’s website. Alternatively please contact Charlotte for more information.
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1:12th Tutorial By AIM Member Anya Stone
(Introduction By AIM Member, Jane Harrop)
Robin Redbreast (Erithacus rubecula)
Although most commonly associated with Christmas, the robin redbreast is a familiar garden bird in Britain throughout the year. Robins establish their own territory and will generally stay in the same place throughout their lives. Nests are built in sheltered places and robins will aggressively challenge any intruders. Both the male and female robins sing throughout the year to defend their territory, although the male robin also sings to attract female robins. There are many stories of how robins got their red breasts; the most common are linked with the birth and death of Christ. When Christ was born a brown robin is said to have flown in to the stables and flapped his wings to fan the embers of a dying fire back to life. The robin burnt his breast on the fire, burning it red. Mary blessed the robin for keeping them warm, and since then all descendants have been the owner of a dignified red breast in recognition of such bravery. Another story tells how a brown robin plucked a thorn from Christ’s head whilst he was on the cross. The thorn cut Jesus’ head and his blood fell on the robin’s breast, staining it red. The robin’s main association with Christmas is linked to the Victorian era when postmen were nicknamed ‘Robin Redbreasts’ as they wore red uniforms. During that time, postal deliveries were very frequent over the Christmas period, so the robin, postman and the gifts he brought all became associated. This is illustrated on many Victorian and Edwardian Christmas cards which depict robins delivering the mail.
Jane Harrop © 2009 www.janeharrop.co.uk
'Fimo' clay attracts any kinds of dirt and dust particles very easily, so before you begin working make sure your hands, tools and work surface are clean.
Since the size of the sculpture is very small your fingers can be especially vulnerable when using sharp tools, so please do be careful and use a magnifying glass if necessary.
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Materials & equipment...
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Making & Colouring the sculpture..
1 – Knead the Fimo clay until it is soft and roll into a ball approximately 14mm in diameter. One good way to prepare the clay before working is to wrap the amount of clay you need in Cling film and put it under your clothing next to your body to warm it up.
2 – Gently begin to pinch at one end of the ball of clay.
3 – To stop the clay being pinched into a point, keep smoothing the end of the clay with your finger into a rounded shape.
4 – Your sculpture should now resemble the shape pictured in the photo. The rounded end will eventually be the robin’s head.
5 – Measure the head at this stage. It should measure approximately 3mm in length.
6 – To make the beak, the tip of the head has to be pinched very gently with your fore finger and thumb.
7 – The photo here is showing how the beak should look from an aerial view.
8 ‐ Once the beak is ready measure the birds head again. It should now measure approximately 5mm in length.
9 ‐ Using the scalpel, make a small indentation across the base of the beak widthways. This will help accentu‐ ate the bird’s profile.
10 – After you have done step 9 begin to push the rest of clay away from the head using gentle downwards motions. Keep turning the sculpture as you do this so all sides are even, try to keep the back as flat as possible by pressing gently and smoothing your finger over it. You should also begin to see the neck and breast emerg‐ ing at this stage.
11 – Now your bird should look something like the one in the photo. There will be some excess clay at the base of the sculpture and the neck should be visible.
12 – Take the scalpel and gently push the clay right behind the back of the birds head downwards, then slide the scalpel down the back and towards the end. This is to emphasise the top of the and back of the birds head.
Some of the excess clay on the bird will begin to be removed now. What you want to achieve is a small amount of clay protruding from the belly of the bird for you to hold on to, this will also be removed at a later stage. Because the sculpture is so small excess clay is important at the beginning of sculpting to allow you to hold on to something and stops the sculpture getting squashed by your fingers.
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13 – To create the belly, begin to pinch and squeeze any clay that is just below the breast of the bird as pictured in the photo. Do make sure that you leave enough clay to form the rest of the body.
14 – Now begin to remove clay from beneath the tail end of the bird with your scalpel.
15 – At this stage your bird should now look like the one pictured in the photo and should have clay protruding from the belly.
16 – Measure the sculpture along the back. It should be around 11mm in length at this point.
17 – Very gently begin to pinch clay at the end of the bird’s tail end so it ends up looking like the bird in the photo. The reason for doing this is that the more clay that is pinched away from the sculpture the smaller it will get, eventually until it is the right scale.
18 – Cut the excess clay off at the base of the bird’s body including all of the tail. Your bird should now look like the one picture and now measure around 9mm in length.
19 – To make the wings take your scalpel and make a very shallow cut starting at the shoulder and down towards the tail end. You will have to hold both sides of your robin when you do this so apply as little pressure as possible. You could also dip your fore finger and thumb in some corn flour starch to stop them sticking to the sculpture. Make sure not to cut the wings off entirely.
20 ‐ If you have found that your fingers have stuck to the sculpture, use the handle of a spoon to push the skin on your fingertips down and away from the sculpture. This way the sculpture should come away from your fingers.
21 – Make two small holes in the base of your sculpture for the leg holes, followed by two eye indentations. The leg holes should be approximately 3mm deep and the eyes should be no more than 1mm. The tip of a cocktail stick can be used to make the holes. The sculpture must be coloured with pastel prior to baking, this way the pastel will adhere to the sculpture once it has been cured. Apart from painting the beak and eyes, paints are otherwise too thick to use on smaller sculpts and can distort the size. If you have used a dental pick or any other metal tool to support your sculpture up to this point, it will have to be replaced with a cocktail stick before the baking process. Metal tools can heat up too quickly in an oven causing it to affect the colour of the sculpture or possibly melt it To remove the sculpture dip your fingers in corn flour and gently pick up the sculpture holding both sides with your fingers after it has been coloured, or place the sculpture on the cocktail stick prior to colouring
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19b 20 21a
22 ‐ To make a small amount of chalk pastel into a fine powder, use a scalpel to scrape one end of the pastel into a container. You will need your red and brown pastel at this point, each scraped into separate con‐ tainers. 23 – Insert a cocktail stick securely into one of the leg holes of the sculp‐ ture. This part can be very tricky so take extra care not to lose the sculp‐ ture. It is advisable to colour the sculpture over a container of some sort just in case it falls. 24 ‐ Begin colouring the back of the sculpture with a very fine dusting of brown pastel powder using a paint brush. You literally have to just touch the sculpture without having to apply too much pressure. Gradually build up the colour very gently. 25 ‐ Once you have finished the back, brush red pastel powder on to the bird’s breast. 26 ‐ When the bird has been coloured put it in the oven on a cocktail stick stuck into some scrunched up foil for 15 ‐ 20 minutes following the clay manufacturer’s instructions. The foil acts as a supportive base for the cocktail stick to stay upright during baking. 27 ‐ When the bird is cured and cooled paint the beak in one coat of black acrylic paint. Dip the tip of another cocktail stick in the paint and then dip the cocktail stick into the eye holes so they both have a black dot inside of them.
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Feathering & flocking...
A face mask must be worn when making/ applying flocking and cutting feathers...
Feathers should be washed the day before in soapy water and sprayed with an anti‐bacterial solution and left to dry over night or dried with a hair drier on a low setting. From this point keep the sculpture on the cocktail stick at all times whilst working over a container
1 – Take the Canada goose feather separate the barbs so that you expose the rachis and the tip of the feather as pictured.
2 ‐ Cut approximately 10mm away from the tip of the feather. The cut feather MUST include the rachis which is a stem that runs all the way up the centre.
3 ‐ Cut the feather again so it is 8mm in length. This should now be the right size for your tail.
4 ‐ You will also notice that some of the barbs fall away from the sides. Because barbs make up a feather, when they are separated from the rachis they can separate into single strands if pulled apart so do try to keep them as intact as possible. Put these barbs somewhere safe as they will be needed later.
5 – Using a paint brush apply glue to the tail area of the bird, then with tweezers put the top of the tail on top of the glue as shown in the photo. Press down gently using a toothpick making sure no glue seeps through the feather. Let it dry
6 – Using tweezers pick the barbs that were mentioned earlier and make sure that the barbs do not come away from each other.
7 ‐ Add glue to the wings of the sculpture then carefully stick the barbs on to the glue, starting from the bird’s shoulder and ending at the wing tips. Allow to dry.
Once the sculpture is dry measure the length, it should now be 12mm long. If the wings are uneven in length, trim them until they are in proportion.
8 ‐ Depending on whether you are left or right handed, tape the surgical plaster to your index finger, just above the bend. Fingers can get very sore because of the abrasive action of the comb repeatedly going over the finger; the plaster stops this from happening.
9 – Unravel the roving and hold it in‐between your index finger and thumb allowing approximately 127mm of roving draped over your finger. 10 ‐ Using the flea comb start to de‐tangle the wool using gentle combing motions, going away from your body, try not to pull the wool too roughly. Once all of the tangles have been removed you should be able to run your comb through the wool without any snags.
11 ‐ Cut the tip off the roving so that all the ends are blunt and even, now the roving is ready for cutting.
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12 ‐ To cut the roving into a very fine powder, hold the end of it into a dense bunch and just keep snipping the roving letting the powder fall into the container. For the robin you will only need half a spoonful to a spoonful sized amount. It’s always best to have a little more just in case.
13 ‐ Once this is done apply glue to the body of your sculpture and apply the flocking using tweezers starting on the sculpture’s back and then finishing off by applying flocking to the breast and rump.
14 ‐ Leave the sculpture to dry for 30 minutes. Once dry brush off any excess and snip away any stray roving using small scissors.
15 – With the cocktail stick still in place, gently turn your sculpture upside down and dip its back into the fine brown chalk dust until the back is fully covered.
16– With a small bristle brush or eye shadow applicator dab the sculpture very gently to work the chalk into the flocking. Clean the applicator.
17 – Whilst supporting the sculpture’s back, gently dab the red chalk dust on to the robin’s face and breast, followed be one fine layer of the orange chalk dust which is applied over the red.
Clean the applicator again and apply the grey chalk dust where the leg holes are below the red and orange chalk.
18 ‐ Afterwards directly apply the white pastel stick around the edge of the red breast creating a fine band of white.
Stick the toothpick back into the foil you used earlier and spray the sculpture with extra strong hold hair spray. Make sure that you leave a distance of at least 300mm between the sculpture and canis‐ ter whilst spraying.
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Eyes & legs...
colour to add depth
There are a number of ways to make bird eyes. You can use clear nail varnish, glass rounds and black enamel paint works
well too. For a quick and effective way I am using 3D gloss varnish over a black acrylic base
1 – Dip the tip of a cocktail stick into some 3D gloss varnish and gently add a tiny blob amount over the eyes about the size of the eyehole you made earlier. The varnish may appear to be cloudy before it dries this is normal. Leave it to dry following the manufacturer’s instructions. The legs are made from 34 gauge jewellery wire.
2 – Using wire cutters cut a 35mm length of jewellery wire
3 – Bend the wire in half making sure both ends are level with each other.
4 – Twist the wire. A loop will form at one end. At the other end separate the two ends of the wire by unravelling the first twist. These will be the feet.
5 – Hold the loop and paint the wire with dark brown enamel paint. Leave to dry and paint the other end.
6 ‐ Once completely dry cut the twisted wire in half. Both pieces of wire should now measure approximately 8 – 9mm long. These are now the legs. One leg will now have a loop at the bottom of it. Cut this evenly in half to make two more feet (toes).
7 ‐ Place a small blob of superglue gel at the centre of each foot. Make sure one toe is pointing in front and the other is pointing backwards for balance.
8 ‐ Locate both leg holes that you made earlier in the sculpture and add another small blob of superglue gel to the top of each leg. Insert the legs into the holes making sure again that one toe is pointing forwards and the other backwards. Trim the wire feet if necessary.
9 ‐ Your robin is now finished
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1 4 5 6
© Anya Stone Creations in Miniature 2009
Any redistribution of this work for commercial purposes or otherwise is prohibited without consent from the artist
Artisans In Miniature
of excellence in original handcrafted scale miniatures…” dedicated to promoting a high standard “An association of professional artisans,
Are YOU a professional miniature artisan??
Do you sell quality handmade miniatures to the public?? Do you want to showcase your work and talents on a global platform?? Do you want to be part of a supportive professional association?? AND do you want it all for FREE??? If you answered 'YES' to EVERY question… Then look no further, AIM is the professional miniaturists association for YOU!!
AIM is completely FREE to join and completely FREE to be part of.
So...if you are a professional miniature artisan and you would like to find out more about joining the AIM Association, please email AIM’s Membership Secretary: Mary for more information: email@example.com
Or alternatively visit our website…
Artisans In Miniature 68 Artisans In Miniature 39
A Journey into the
By AIM Member, Sandra Morris
As you are reading this AIM magazine online, the chances are you will already be aware of blogs. Blogs have become very popular over the past few years and there are now hundreds of thousands of blogs updated on the internet every day. So, what exactly IS a blog? A blog (short for web log) is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.”‘
Often blogs focus on a particular “area of interest”. There are blogs on virtually any topic you can think of. From photography to spirituality, recipes to personal diaries, travel tales to hobbies ‐ blogging has as many applications and varieties as you can imagine. Whole blog communities have sprung up around some of these topics putting people into contact with each other in order to learn, share ideas, make friends with and even do business with people with similar interests from all around the world.
The world of miniatures has many bloggers, ranging from collectors and enthusiasts who blog about their current projects, houses, visits to fairs etc, to artisan makers, who blog about their work and its trials and tribulations.
Blogs provide a fascinating insight into the working lives of miniature artisans, illustrated with photographs and even videos! They are also interactive, as it is usually possible to leave a comment on individual posts, so a dialogue can be carried out between the blogger and anyone reading their blog. You can ‘follow’ your favourites, and get automatic email notification whenever the blog is updated.
There are many bloggers among AIM members and AIM now has its very own blog, showcasing member’s work. Check out the AIM Directory Pages where many members list their blog address.
Also look out for our regular Blog of the Month starting soon, which will feature a different AIM member’s blog each month.
Well….what are you waiting for? There’s a whole new world of fascinating miniature possibilities waiting for you out there in the blogosphere.
I’ll see you there!
You can read my blog, Tales from a Toymaker at http://towerhousedolls.blogspot.com
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Th e N e w Artisans In Miniature Blog
By AIM Member Debie Lyons
Over the years the Internet has provided many places for artisans to showcase their websites, photo galleries, groups and more recently, blogs. There are many artisans now who solely use blogs to promote their work and some who use both blogs and a website jointly. Taking this into account the AIM Magazine Editorial Team felt that it was now time to take the promotion of AIM, its members and the Magazine to a new level. Moderator and editorial member Vicky Guile came up with the idea as she has been a blogger for some time, so helped by some of the team, this has now become a reality. Members will be able to promote their work and showcase new pieces and projects through the AIM blog. To quote Vicky... ‘The 'aim' (excuse the pun) of the blog is to promote through available.’
accompanied by links to where the item is The team is proud to introduce the new Artisans in Miniature Blog:‐
NE W ! FEATURE
BLOG of the MONTH...
The AIM editorial team are proud to introduce a new monthly feature to the AIM magazine, ‘Blog of the Month’. Starting in February, we shall begin the series featuring the personal blog of one of our Artisans and finding out how it came to be created….
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A ‘Victorian Inspired’ Paper Doll...
By AIM Member, Jill Bennett
Dear Reader… Following on from the huge success of Jill’s first paper doll; ‘Arabella’ which was published in the September edition of the AIM magazine (Issue 15), the AIM editorial team are delighted to bring you the second doll from this nostalgic new series. ‘Lucy’ is a beautiful Victorian girl and as you can see she comes complete with a stunning and versatile wardrobe of outfits. So whether you are young or old, why not grab your scissors, start snipping, and bring this stunningly traditional paper doll to life! ...Enjoy!
If you would like to see more of Jill’s beautiful work, why not visit her website:
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EL ORIGEN DE SANTA CLAUS
By AIM Member, Cristina Albertí
Santa Claus, el hombre bonachón de larga barba blanca que viaja por el cielo en su trineo, es una de las fi‐ guras más representativas de la Navidad. Niños de todo el mundo le escriben cartas pidiéndole los juguetes de sus sueños. Suele entrar por la chimenea para dejar sus regalos debajo del árbol de Navidad.
El mundo hispano le conoce como Papá Noel, aunque también le llaman Santa Claus.
Pero la imagen del personaje de traje rojo, botas negras y gorro con borla blanca es muy distinta a la figura que en realidad inspiró su mito.
En el siglo IV, en la región de Licia (actualmente Turquía), vivía un joven llamado Nicolás. Siendo muy pe‐ queño, quedó huérfano y heredó una gran fortuna que repartió entre enfermos y pobres. A los 19 años se convirtió en sacerdote y con el tiempo llegó a ser Obispo. Al morir, le hicieron santo, convirtiéndose en San Nicolás de Bari, y su popularidad se extendió por toda Europa.
Holanda se convirtió en uno de los países con mayor admi‐ ración por San Nicolás. El nombre de Santa Claus fue una evolución del nombre holandés del santo, Sinter Klass, que es una abreviación de Sint Nikolaas.
En el año 1624, los inmigrantes holandeses que fundaron Nueva Amsterdam (actual Nueva York), trajeron una imagen del santo. En el año 1809, el escritor Washington Irving, en su libro Historia de Nueva York, nombró a Santa Claus como “guardián de Nueva York”, incrementando su popularidad. En el año 1822, Clement C. Moore, esribió el poema navide‐ ño Una visita de San Nicolás que convirtió a Santa Claus en un icono de la cultura estadounidense. En este poema se construye la imagen de Santa Claus viajando alrededor del mundo en un trineo volador que lleva ocho renos para repartir regalos a todas las casas. En el años 1881, el humorista Thomas Nast, dibujó la pri‐ mera caricatura de Santa Claus y le dio la imagen que conocemos hoy en día: añadió los detalles del borde blanco en el traje rojo, el saco repleto de juguetes, el taller del Polo Norte y sus ayudantes, los duendes.
En los últimos años del siglo XIX, se deja de asociar a Santa Claus con una religión o nacionalidad específica y se convierte en el patrón de todos los niños en muchos países de alrededor del mundo.
Actualmente se cuenta que Santa Claus vive en el Polo Norte junto con su esposa, la señora Claus, quienes dirigen un taller de juguetes donde, con la ayuda de cientos de duendes, se fabrican todos los regalos que los niños buenos y obedientes recibirán en Navidad. Se dice que Santa Claus sale la noche del 24 de diciembre viajando por el cielo con su trineo. Mientras los niños duermen, entra por la chimenea o por la ventana y deja los regalos en el árbol de navidad o en los tradicionales calcetines.
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THE ORIGIN OF SANTA CLAUS
By AIM Member, Cristina Albertí
Santa Claus, a good‐natured man with a long white beard who travels through the sky in his sleigh, is one of the most representative images of Christmas. Children from around the world write him letters asking for the toys of their dreams. He is believed to enter through the chimney to leave presents under the Christmas tree.
The Hispanic world knows him as Father Noel, but also call him Santa Claus. But the image of this character dressed in a red suit, black boots and hat with white tassel is very different from the figure that really inspired his myth.
In the fourth century, in the region of Lycia (now Turkey), lived a boy named Nicholas. When he was very young, he was orphaned and inherited a large fortune, which he distributed among the sick and poor. At 19 he became a priest and eventually became bishop. When he died, he was made a saint, becoming San Nicolas de Bari, and his fame spread throughout Europe. The Netherlands became one of the countries with the greatest admiration for St. Nicholas. The name Santa
Claus was derived from the Dutchman's holy name, Sinter Klass, which is short for Sint Nikolaas.
In 1624, immigrant Dutchmen who founded New Amsterdam (now New York), brought an image of the saint. In 1809, the writer Washington Irving, in his book History of New York, named Santa Claus as "keeper of New York", increasing his popularity. In 1822, Clement C. Moore, wrote the Christmas poem A Visit from Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus became an icon of American culture. In this poem, Santa Claus travels around the world in a flying sleigh pulled by eight reindeer, to deliver presents to every house. In 1881, the cartoonist Thomas Nast drew the first cartoon of Santa Claus and gave him the image we know today; he added the details of the white border on a red suit, the bag full of toys, the North Pole workshop and his helpers, the elves. Over the last years of the nineteenth century, Santa Claus became less associated with the customs of a
particular nationality and became the patron saint of all children in many countries around the world.
Currently, Santa Claus lives at the North Pole with his wife, Mrs. Claus, who runs a toyshop where, with the help of hundreds of goblins, all gifts are made that good and obedient children receive for Christmas. It is said that Santa Claus comes on the night of December 24, travelling through the sky with his sleigh. While the children sleep, he comes down the chimney or through the window and leaves gifts on the Christmas tree or in the traditional socks.
Cristina Albertí © Cristina Alberti ‐ All text & photos belong to the author.
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by AIM member Vicky Guile
When we think of a traditional Christmas lunch many of us recognise turkey as the synonymous roast bird for the festive season, prepared with sage
and onion or chestnut stuffing; it’s a stalwart on many festive lunch menus.
It’s thought that the turkey made its first appearance in Britain around 1523 when it was brought from the newly discovered Americas by a Yorkshire‐man named William
Strickland. On one of his return voyages to the British Isles Strickland brought with him six turkeys, which he went on to sell in Bristol for the then princely sum of tuppence each.
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In the days before the turkey dominated our Christmas table, goose and duck were also popular choices for this festive feast and back in medieval times, geese along with swans were the birds of choice but only for the wealthiest of the nobility. Goose would be roasted with saffron, an expensive commodity, and butter to give the finished roast bird a warm golden glow. Swans would have their feathers and skin carefully removed by the kitchen staff who would then go on to roast the prepared bird. After cooking, parts www.artisansinminiature.blogspot.com
such as the wings and thighs would be removed; this meat would be prepared with herbs and spices and quite often with other poultry and game too, then be encased in an ornate pastry coffin. The remainder of the roasted swan would be carefully redressed in its skin and feathers and placed atop the finished pie.
Queen Elizabeth I (1522‐1603) ordered that goose be served at Christmas by all throughout England following the English victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588. Roast goose was the first meal that Elizabeth ate following that victory and she thought it a fitting tribute to honour the English sailors that had fought so bravely in her name. Upholding this decree was problematic for many
citizens as goose was far beyond their budgets.
Unless you knew of a kindly goose farmer or had the facilities to rear your own geese, you would have to make do with a more everyday substitute such as rabbit.
By the time King George II (1683‐1760) came to the throne, turkey was gaining popularity amongst the upper classes. King George adored turkey so much that he had a flock of some 3000 birds established at Richmond Park in Surrey. The Royal party would gather to hunt and shoot the birds on a regular basis, but by the time of King George II’s reign, controlling the livestock and discouraging poaching had become such a mammoth task that he ordered a cull of all the turkeys.
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It wasn’t until the 1860s that the turkey was established as standard livestock on farms across Europe. In those Victorian times, turkey (and chicken) were still too expensive to be enjoyed by all and there was a great north/south divide concerning Christmas menus. In the north of England roast beef was now the traditional fayre, whilst in fashionable London and the south of the country, goose and duck were still high on the list of favourites.
The goose and duck would be prepared with rich stuffing of apples, oranges and plums (or prunes), the skin rubbed with a mixture of spices that included cinnamon, allspice, ginger and cloves, resulting in a heady aroma whilst cooking that we now associate with the scent of
Turkey and its farming were steadily gaining popularity and by the turn of the century it was the roast that most people feasted on at Christmas. With most of the poultry and bird farms in England based in Norfolk, the farmers would have the huge task of getting their stock of turkey, ducks and geese from their farms to market in London. The turkeys, with their feet clad in tiny specially made leather shoes, would be escorted by the farmer and his staff on foot for some 80 miles to the capital while the ducks and geese were quite often transported in cages on carts. Arriving in London undernourished and more than a little scrawny the birds would then have spent a couple of weeks in the lap of luxury being fattened up ready for their appointments with the chopping block.
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For all in England, turkeys, ducks and geese remained a costly luxury foodstuff and reserved for special occasions right up to the 1950s when the introduction of refrigera‐ tion resulted in less expensive birds that could be enjoyed by all. The widespread eating of turkey over the festive season has nowadays produced a market that sees some 22 million turkeys sold in the United States over the holi‐
day season alone and it’s possibly through the phenomenon of the celeb‐ rity TV chef that the demand for the older tradition of goose and duck is gaining popularity once again. In modern society we are probably all familiar with the wide variety of duck and goose recipes available today. One of the most widely known is Pe‐ king Duck, one of the national dishes of
China; it is made from the Pekin duck
which is specially reared and slaughtered when 65 days old. After washing, the skin of the duck is loosened from the fat underneath, coated in syrup and then hung for at least 24 hours before roasting. It is this separation, drying and coating of the skin that gives Peking Duck it’s famous crispy golden brown skin.
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Other products that we may be familiar with include Foie Gras – made from the fattened liver of duck or goose. The birds are fed on an excessive diet of corn, which causes the liver to enlarge and fatten up. After slaughtering, the liver can be used whole or in part, as it is, or prepared into a mousse or pate. French cuisine claims foie gras a delicacy and it is also France that produces over 70% of the world’s foie gras.
Duck and goose fat are also highly prized in many talented cooks’ kitchens. The fat is rendered from the excess or melted fat from the birds. Both of these fats have higher burning temperatures than regular cooking oils making them perfect for the roasting and frying of potatoes and other starchy vegetables.
another turkey to my
This festive season, before I automatically add yet
shopping list I shall be contemplating the other two nominees. Duck with its crispy skin and delicious dark meat or goose, the traditional Christmas bird from centuries gone by with an equally delicious dark meat and the best fat for making those crispy roast potatoes... I think the goose is going to be the winner, but there is one question that still remains... ...Who will get the drumsticks? 18 All text ©2009 Vicky Guile – NJD Miniatures – www.njdminiatures.com Photos 1 & 10 ©2009 Sarah Maloney – www.etsy.com/shop/sarahmaloney ‐ www.cdhm.org/user/willow ‐ http://miniature‐dollhouse.blogspot.com Photo 2 & 3 ©2009 Mags Cassidy – www.mags‐nificent.co.uk – http://mags‐nificentminiatures.blogspot.com Photos, 4, 6 & 11 ©2009 Philippa Todd ‐ www.toddtoysandminiatures.com Photos 5, 9 and 14—18 ©2009 Kiva Atkinson – www.kivasminiatures.com – http://kivasminiatures.blogspot.com Photos 7 & 8 ©2009 Linda Cummings – www.linsminis.com ‐ www.linsminis.etsy.com Photo 12 ©2009 Daisy Carpi ‐ http://miniaturasdaisy.blogspot.com Photo 13 ©2009 Linda Master – www.miraclechickenurns.com Title Photo ©2009 Maria Teresa Espanet – http://terry‐minihouse.blogspot.com
Charmandean Fair Report
By AIM Member Sandra Morris of Diminutive Dolls
It takes a special kind of entrepreneurial spirit to start a new venture in the challenge of a global recession. The tumultuous financial crises which have beleaguered businesses over the past year organisers have all experienced the impact in one way or another.
have inevitably had an effect on the miniature world, and specialist shops, artisans and fair
It was in these uncertain times that a new doll’s house fair was launched earlier this year which, against all the odds, was an immediate success with both collectors and exhibitors alike.
Organised by AIM member Jacqui Sillence and her friend Ginny Walser, (known as Elite Miniature Fairs) the second Charmandean Fair held in Worthing on Sunday 8 November, was eagerly awaited.
Happily, the initial success of the April fair was repeated and over 40 exhibitors were in place when the fair opened to welcome the throng of excited enthusiasts who poured into the hall. With over 95% artisan exhibitors, each with a varied selection of hand‐crafted miniatures for sale,
there was a wide variety of miniature items from which to choose, from the wonderful period doll’s included Annie Willis of Fine Designs with her amazing birds and animals and Ellie de Lacy with her incredibly detailed paintings.
houses of Trigger Pond, to the exquisite furniture of Beith Miniatures. Other top rank artisans
AIM members were out in force, and many visitors commented on the variety and quality of the exhibitors, many rarely seen outside the major fairs, which lifted the Charmandean Fair well above the run‐of‐the‐mill miniatures fair.
In addition to the fair in the main hall, there were also displays by the Southdown Miniaturists Dolls House Club and the Chichester & District Dolls House Club in the adjacent Lounge area. Another innovative idea was a morning workshop, also held in the Lounge, where Tanya from Thimbleberry Cottage taught students how to make a beautiful traditional 1/12 scale cane picnic hamper.
The venue itself is fully accessible, with excellent facilities and free parking. Elite Miniature Fairs will be introducing two new fairs in 2010, in Midhurst and Crayford, as well as continuing to build on the success of the Worthing fair. 2010 dates for the Charmandean Fair are 4th April and 7th November.
For full details of all fairs visit www.eliteminiaturefairs.weebly.com
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Wreath by Mags Cassidy of www.mags-nificent.co.uk
CHRISTMAS FLORAL TRADITIONS
By AIM Member, Kathryn Gray
It was during the Tudor period that celebrations in the mid‐winter first came to prominence, prior to this most of the rituals involved the oak tree and mistletoe. An oak tree was cut down and used to heat and light the home during the festivities, it was always lit from a piece of the oak saved from the year before as this was considered to be lucky. As mistletoe grows on oak trees it was considered to give protection to the oak and therefore give protection to any home it was placed in – it was also a love symbol – the mistle‐ toe was placed over a door and anyone coming in out out was asked for a kiss – after each kiss a mistletoe berry was removed – the bough became bare very quickly !!! The Tudors liked lots of gaiety and fun and Christmas celebrations were really loved as they came at the hardest, coldest period of the year – the larger houses were filled with lots of greenery especially pine, which must have made the great halls very sweet
Davies © Catherine
A Brief Introduction…
© Mags Cassidy
smelling. The Georgians really only celebrated the religious traditions of the Christmas period and their homes were largely undecorated maybe just a small amount of ivy placed on the main dining table, by and large the tradition for mistletoe died out during this period, only to be resurrected by the Victorians. Christmas traditions as we know them really started in the Victorian era, the Victorians really loved deco‐ rating their homes with evergreen boughs even the modest of homes were decorated. The Victorians like
ies of therine Dav rops by Ca Snowd o.uk useheaven.c ww.dollsho w
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to go to town with their decorations and every door, fireplace, mirror, staircases and picture frames were decorated with branches of pine, fir, holly, box and laurel. In the larger households flowers were forced
into flowering by the head gardener and were replaced daily so that they always looked fresh. Flowers used were, camellias, poinsettias, gardenias, hyacinths, snowdrops and other spring bulb flowers. Forced flowers would be orchids, lilies and roses and because they were so rare at that time of year, they would be placed in prominent positions in the home as a status symbol.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, at the start of the Edwardian period, it became fashionable to intersperse the fresh greenery with dried flowers, this fashion meant that long ropes of greenery were formed – the greenery bound by sisal or wire to a long rope and decorated with cones and dried flowers, which were formed into swags and used as over mantle decorations. Wreaths were formed by wiring bunches of pine, holly and fir into a round, on damp moss and then flowers were pushed into the moss, this made them easy to remove when they were wilted and replace with fresh ones.
It is commonly thought that Prince Albert – Queen Victoria's husband introduced the fashion of decorated trees into Christmas the UK,
© Paris Minia tures
however it was Queen Victoria's grandmother that brought the first one into any of the royal palaces, Prince Albert loved the tradition so much and that it was he who popularized them and they in became many fashionable
homes throughout this period. ‐ decorations for the trees often consisted of patriotic flags, beads, nuts and sweets plus lit candles.
Templewood Miniatures © Kathryn Gray
Poinsettia by Em ma & Neil Marti not of www.parisminia tures.com
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This month AIM member Barbara Brear from South Africa, shows us her workroom.
I have never understood anyone who suffered from ‘empty nest syndrome’. When my beloved daughter first left home to go to America as a Rotary Exchange Student, I waved her goodbye at the airport, drove home, walked into the house and down the passage and started stripping her room. I had to PAY someone to get off all the boy pictures that she had stapled to the pine ceiling! I then had a multitude of plugs installed along two walls, put in a tiled floor and wallpapered the room.
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The colour scheme was inspired by a card that some long‐forgotten miniaturist had sent me to enclose her cheque. I loved the colours and the peaceful but warm ambience of the old building featured on the card. I had carefully stored the card and now had it framed to be the anchor point for my colour‐scheme. The other pictures on the walls are my IGMA certificates and some cartoons featuring yours truly. Two worktables and a filing cabinet and I was all set. As you can see the filing cabinet (which stores all my paperwork) is also the display corner for the project I made with Noel and Pat Thomas at Guild School in 2006. Migs, my cat, of course thinks it is made for her. Her other favourite spot, because it is under the warm light, is right in the middle of my cutting mat. Fortunately I can still work on the tiny corner that she leaves me. It is just as well my miniature books are small!
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Although I closed the blinds for the photographs, if I look up from my workbench there is a beautiful view of the Helderberg mountain which is always inspiring.
There are two specialist pieces of equipment that I need to make my miniature books. The first is this beautiful old book press that I bought from an antique shop, but because of the weight it cost me more to get it home than to buy it!
The other fairly recent acquisition was a set of tools made in England (where else) that are specially made for miniature book tooling. Here you can see a selection of them resting on the hot plate that is used to heat the tools before embossing the patterns onto the leather
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My dollshouse has its own workbench on the right hand wall and I often sit in the darkened room with only the dollshouse lights on. Sheer magic.
I am very lucky to have my own space in which to create my miniature books. But don’t worry – my daughter, although she now lives and works in London, is always welcome to come home and it takes only an hour to turn the workroom back into her bedroom. A bunch of flowers and fresh linen and we are all set. The dollshouse, however, STAYS!
Barbara Brear in South Africa
Why not take a closer look at the beautiful miniatures that Barbara creates by visiting her website: www.bbminiatures.homestead.com
© Barbara Brear ‐ All text & photos belong to the author.
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“ OH CHRISTMAS TREE,
By AIM Member, Sue Newstead
OH CHRISTMAS TREE...”
As some of you will know, I am a dummy board fanatic and paint tiny 1/12th versions of the larger historic ones for display in your dollshouse.! These are ( for those that haven’t come across my previous articles on AIM ) usually life ‐sized or slightly smaller, cut out paintings on wood in the style known as trompe l'oeil ( which means deceiving the eye ) in the form of people, animals and inanimate objects. They were designed, and placed in the right light conditions, to fool you into thinking they were the real thing and since their invention in the late 17th century, they have been doing a very good job of doing just that.
They went on being made right up until the 20th century when photography rather killed them off. That and the fact that houses got lighter and friendlier and it was more difficult to achieve that kind of deception in the modern home. Some were made for very specific purposes. My spies (well that is what I call them.... other dummy board fanciers scattered all over the world, who scour the museums, private collections and junk shops here, there and everywhere to find examples of this fascinating and little known art form) have done it again!
Just in time for Christmas, one of my French connections...(ahem!) has found in a Brocante in the Paris area of France, the most beautiful 19th century life sized dummy board Christmas Tree in fabulous condition and has sent me a photo of it.
It’s five feet tall including the base, probably English, painted in oils on pine and shows all the sorts of bibelots and playthings one might imagine adorning the Victorian Christmas Tree. Of course these sorts of decorations are becoming popular again with reproductions found out there in shops such as PastTimes. Here we can see waxed cones in gaudy colours, baskets with celluloid fruits, angels made of spun glass with tiny brass trumpets and tin drums (In fact I am the proud owner of an 19th century original painted tin drum and watering can handed down through the family. Here too are fragile glass baubles often lined with real mercury (a nasty 19th century health and safety problem!) as are the LIT candles. There are gingerbread houses, paper flags, mirrored lanterns and wooden hearts. Of course... not a glimmer of garish modern tinsel anywhere, but the soft sheen of old hand‐ cut and stuck tin ‐foil tinsel, much less gaudy to look at. In fact, the tree itself is a false one...oh yes...even back then, they had fake ones.
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It would have been made of green dyed feathers....as was my Grandfather’s family tree where reposed the tin drum and watering can and many other lovely pieces which I am lucky enough to be able to get out each year and carefully‐ very carefully, put onto my own tree. Some of them are over 150 years old and it’s a scary job I can tell you! The toys themselves are strange to us too. Not a Nintendo or IPod in sight.... elephants on wheels, tin soldiers and wax dolls. Tin trumpets and horns sit at the base of the tree and a book printed in a few muted colours‐ all terribly educational of course, on which leans a Punch figure with his characteristic hump and nobbly nose. Now we must ask why was something like a dummy board Christmas tree made when it’s much more fun to have a real tree with real decorations? It’s very likely that it was made as an advert. Today we can see just such things in our High Street shops; photographic dummy boards advertising everything from mobile phones to cough medicines. This tree would have been made at the end of the 19th century by a sign painter and may have stood in the window of a shop to entice you in. It’s written that just this sort of thing was often dotted around the showroom of furniture shops, to add ambience, to make the place look like home. Who knows? We will never really know why someone went to all the trouble of creating it. But we are glad they did. It gives us a peek at another world....one where it didn’t matter how long one spent on a project‐ for it will not have been an easy or quick subject to paint, even for a professional. I suspect the painter had great fun with it. As have I.
Susanne M. Newstead
© Pastmastery ‐ All text & photograph belong to the author.
pleased to meet you!
talented dollmaker, Mary Williams.
This month we are delighted to find out more about
Can you tell us a bit about your life before Miniatures? I was born in Wiltshire and then moved to London in the mid ‘70s to join the Metropolitan Police. I worked in Kentish Town, Holloway and served on the Special Patrol Group and was at the Broadwater Farm and several Notting Hill riots when they happened. I ended up as a Detective on the Fraud Squad and worked at the Serious Fraud Office during that time. I retired after 30 years service 3 years ago.
As a child, what were your favourite toys? My favourite was Sindy. When she first came out I was given one for Christmas; I had a red‐ head and my sister had a blonde. I still have her and some of her clothes. I had an aunt who made me loads of fabulous clothes for her. I used to save my pocket money and go and buy her a new outfit every couple of months which was a real treat.
What attracted you to miniatures in the first place? Well to start with, I thought it was something that didn’t take up much room. How wrong I was about that! I’ve always loved small things; I have a cabinet full of cut‐glass antique salts, which are small but incredibly detailed. I’ve always loved things that are small but beautifully made.
What was your first purchase? My first purchase was a doll kit. A friend dragged me along to a Dollshouse Show and I had no interest whatsoever until I saw the dolls.
What miniature item do you most covet? Teresa Yu’s doll collection and display, doll heaven!
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Who do you most admire in the miniature world? I think it would have to be Marcia Backstrom, I just love the faces of her dolls they have such character and I would love to be able to paint the way she does. Marcia is a lovely lady too and very helpful with hints on how to paint.
What made you decide to specialise in dolls? I’ve always loved costume and design ‐‐ I almost studied to become an Art teacher. I haunted the Museum of Costume near Bath as a youngster, and my idea of heaven is a day out at the Victoria and Albert Museum costume section. I suddenly realised this was a way of making one of my passions come to life but in a small way. Have you had any unusual commissions? Well I’ve had to make several boudoir ladies for a couple of gentlemen collectors but nothing that unusual really.
Do you have any hobbies unrelated to miniatures? Gardening and cross‐stitch are my other hobbies although I rarely get the time for cross‐ stitch these days. I have made quite a few of the Lavender and Lace series, ladies in costume of course!
Any phobias? Cockroaches! They are the most disgusting, revolting things in the world. Whenever we go abroad, the first thing I do is go to the supermarket and buy a tin of Cockroach spray just in case I see one. I hardly ever do but just in case I have to have my spray!
Fantasies? I would have loved to have lived in Edwardian times and been able to afford to buy all my outfits from Charles Frederick Worth. He was the most amazing designer. I would love to go to the Metropolitan Mu‐ seum of Art in New York and see their collection of his costumes one day. You can see some of Mary’s beautiful dolls on her website: www.dollshousedolls.co.uk
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By AIM Member Vicky Guile
Snowman Soup... A fun and delicious way to present hot chocolate, with added chocolate buttons for extra creaminess, mini marshmallows for fluffiness and candy cane for a minty twist on the traditional chocolatey flavour that we all love. To make a miniature version of Snowman Soup you will need: A miniature ceramic cup or mug. Polymer clay in brown, white, red and translucent. Liquid polymer clay. Ceramic tile for mixing and baking on. Ice lolly stick for blending clay. Craft knife.
Condition a small amount of brown polymer clay and press inside your miniature cup or mug, avoiding gaps, until the cup is 2/3 full.
Mix a small amount of the conditioned brown clay with liquid clay until a smooth consistency is achieved. Use this brown liquid mixture to top up the mug to the desired height.
Condition a small amount of white clay and red clay separately. Roll each amount into a long thin log. Place the red and white log next to each other and pinch one end together. Twist the two logs together along the length so that they spiral around each other then roll with your fingertips until the two logs form a smooth candy striped
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Cut the log into lengths, for whole candy canes – 15mm long and a couple of shorter lengths which we will use for the candy canes in the mugs. Gently bend and curve over one end of each length to make the crook shaped cane. Place the whole canes onto your ceramic tile ready for baking.
Taking one of the shorter canes, measure it roughly against the side of the mug and trim the end so that only a short piece will be dipping into the liquid clay. Place this shorter cane so that it hangs over the side of the mug.
Mix a small amount of white and red clay together to make light pink, add the same quantity again of translucent clay and mix until a uniform colour. Roll into a log approximately 1.5mm diameter and cut into 1.5mm segments. Do the same again but this time with white and translucent clay only. Place a couple of the ‘marshmallow’ clay pieces into each mug so that they look as if they are floating on top of the chocolate mixture.
It’s not necessary to make the chocolate buttons unless you would like them for extra decoration but to make chocolate buttons roll out some of the chocolate clay that we used to fill the bottom of the cup or mug into a log approximately 1.5mm diameter and cut into slices less than 1mm wide. Roll each slice into a ball and press down onto a ceramic tile with your fingertip, this will create the classic chocolate button shape. Place your filled mug, candy canes, extra marshmallows onto the ceramic tile along with the chocolate buttons and bake in a preheated oven as per the polymer clay packet instructions. Let your dolls house inhabitants enjoy on cold winter evenings!
All text and photos ©2009 Vicky Guile – NJD Miniatures – www.njdminiatures.blogspot.com
Well, happened to…
A Miniature Artisan
Off with her head…
We have some interesting ‘conversations’ on the AIM forum …members are all generous with tips and ad‐ vice to each other, and every now and again a question sparks a bit of a discussion… sometimes we have such a chuckle!
Barbara Davies is a doll‐maker; the question she asked, was ‐ ‘if your head was being chopped off ‐ would the neck still be attached?’... Clearly, these kind of questions are run of the mill for miniaturists… where else would you find concerns for the aesthetics of the severed neck!! We had a bit of a think, gave a few opinions, on the basis that Barbara was probably making one of Henry VIII wives and not planning murder, and had a good giggle… A few days later she came back with the following…
I was sitting making nice even cuts on the neck, and all of a sudden I saw spots of blood on the part I had cut. A shudder went down my spine, but guess what ‐ when I looked I had cut my little finger! What’s the percentage of that happening?’ Really… Babs, that is taking authenticity a little too far! If you’d like to get in touch with Barbara, and see what other characters she is making, you can contact her on: firstname.lastname@example.org AIM Member Hazel Dowd is a doll-maker too, and tells a couple of amusing stories from Dolls House Fairs. So, when you've had a chuckle – do go to Hazel's website and see her wonderful dolls.
I knew I had no flowers to sell so looked at her, and she pointed to some flowers I had decorating my stand!!!! Due to it being a slow fair I promptly gave her a price and she bought them!
Another time I had a lady pick out all the 'red' ribbons. I asked if she was making roses and she picked up her little Yorkie dog and pointed to the ribbon saying her doggy kept losing them… she bought the lot… www.hazel-dowd.co.uk
Sadly, you can't please all customers, although we do try....this from Carol Smith......... I had a lady ask me if I had any fireplaces. I said that, no I only make food related items and witch/wizard stuff. She said 'yes, but do you have any fireplaces?' I didn't know what else to say!
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Carol has really been in the wars too... No matter how I try and be organized before Miniatura I can guarantee that I end up neglecting housework and getting into such a mess. A few days ago I decided I really should tackle two jobs specifically. One was to sort out and clean my freestanding larder unit in my kitchen as it had got to the stage where, when I opened the top door, loads of stuff fell out. The other was to clear my kitchen table. I emptied the lot and wondered how had I managed to fit so much in. I was regretting having started but was determined to carry on until I had finished. It got to 6.30pm and all I had to do was clean the top of the unit . The table would clearly have to wait. I picked up odd items including the packaging for my razor saw. Looking forward to a cup of tea and something to eat I got the steps and climbed up to clean the top of the larder unit. .I am 5'1 and struggled to reach the far corner of the unit. The next thing I knew the steps wobbled and I had nothing to hold onto when I fell. I fell into the non sturdy kitchen table knocking it over. Not only that, but my razor saw was sticking out of the bottom drawer of the portable drawers I have next to my table (why had I not put it into the packaging I had in my hand earlier?!) It sliced straight into my leg. The table had been piled with goodness knows how much stuff including what seemed to be thousands of tiny beads and a huge amount of poppy seeds which I had promised people for their gardens for next year. I have a cord carpet in my kitchen which is not easy to vacuum. I finally picked up and vacuumed the worst of it by 11pm.The cut from the razor saw took two days to stop bleeding. This was how not to clear a table of mini related stuff!
....that does sound VERY painful… but check out the fabulous food Carol makes... http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6590817 Lydia Murphy, creates wonderful crochet in miniature… recently she's had a truly special treat!! Last year we were having lunch with a friend out of town...we've known about each other for years but never really got to KNOW each other...in chatting over Chinese food it turns out her husband (they're in their late 60's) has an aunt that lived next door to Den, and Den never knew they were related...then it turns out one of her closest friends is my daughter's mother‐in‐law… and to top it all off, when she found out I loved minis and designed crochet she nearly choked on her egg roll… she's a miniature lover and mini maker herself ‐ what a SMALL world.
So we drove to the next town and spent a lovely afternoon ‐ the guys talking and Pam and I looking at her yard sale ‐ Lundby and other house renovations ‐ plus some of the wooden furniture, she enjoys making using nothing but an xacto knife, coping saw and very fine sandpaper, for the most part.
Over the past year we've gotten together whenever they come to town for supplies (they live 100 miles down the road and Kingston is the biggest place close enough) ‐ I've added to her mini stash with extra books, patterns, findings, fancy papers, wood and many of the duplicate accessories that I had from a Pierce dollhouse yard sale find, plus some of my mini crochet and we both felt like kindred spirits ‐ each understands the other and loves minis.
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Well, in September she called and said they were coming to town with a belated 40th anniversary gift ‐ a little something for me she had made...when they arrived she was carrying her mint green shoebox that she always transports little things in, for me to see what she's been up to. And inside were a number of wooden furniture pieces she had made for her Lundby ($25.00 yard sale price btw) and a memory trunk for me.
I was touched, amazed and thrilled with how perfect it was, including a leather catch that snaps closed over 2/3 of a metal snap fastner she had snipped smaller… and tiny brass hinges and tiny leather handles on the side. Then my heart stopped when I opened it. Not only did it contain a lift out insert like the old fashioned trunks, but nestled in the insert was an album titled Memories, handmade and filled with photographs selected from the memory book from our 40th anniversary. Unbeknownst to me she had called our daughter Barb and asked her to pick a few dozen special ones and reduce them to about 3/4 inch square, print them and mail them to her…
Below you can see the results.
This last picture is my favorite and I'm so happy she included it. Rocking my little girl to sleep at night. She is now 36, married and living next door, but it's one of the sweetest memories I'll ever have.
Many thanks to the AIM Members who have shared these anecdotes – the photographs used, and the text, remain the Copyright of the individuals mentioned. Very many thanks also, to all the AIM Members who have shared their amusing, and sometimes startling or personal, anecdotes with everyone, this last year A Very Happy Christmas and Bright New Year to you, and all our readers.
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Hungarian Christmas Traditions
By AIM Member Orsolya Skultéti
When we talk about Christmas preparations we might want to highlight a difference between urban and countryside feasts. Christmas is about beautiful lights and fancy fairs in the towns, but it is about peace and faith in the countryside. 20‐30 years ago the winters were much colder, usually we had ‐20 Celsius (‐4 F) and tonnes of snow; snow covered the meadows, the streets, the roofs, the trees hardly could bear the weight of the frozen snow. The kitchens were filled with spicy flavours; every housewife baked gingerbread and a traditional Hungarian Christmas sweet, the "beigli" and prepared mulled wine for the guests and visitors. The "beigli" is the same to Hungarians as the Christmas
pudding is to the Brits. There's no Christmas dinner without it. The beigli is actually a rolled pastry filled with poppy seed, nuts or chestnut cream, greased with egg or milk and baked well in the oven.
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In the countryside, pig slaughters usually took place before Christmas because of two reasons: the families could
produce enough meat for the feast and the weather was cold
enough to preserve the meat until spring.
The Christmas feast always contains fresh roasted meat, roast sausage, black pudding and stuffed cabbage, which means white cabbage leaves filled with a mixture of minced meat, rice and spices (garlic, paprika, salt and pepper), cooked with sauerkraut and served with sour cream and fresh bread. Women baked milk loaf, "beigli" and
gingerbread, and the family ate apples and grapes.
A good housewife could preserve the grapes in the cellar until Christmas. The sugar accumulated in the grapes and the fruit was sweeter than honey.
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Urban Christmas starts in October, and festive decorations appear in the shop windows around that time. Later in November, Christmas lights begin to appear on the trees of larger streets and Advent fairs open their gates. Budapest's biggest Advent fair is located down‐town, at the city's most famous square, Vörösmarty place, where the world‐famous Cafe Gerbeaud is located. Only traditional craftsmen can participate in the fair as dealers, while visitors drink mulled wine and taste traditional Hungarian dishes. The Cafe Gerbeaud's windows serve as the biggest Advent Calendar of Hungary: 24 Hungarian artists create paintings, which are hidden behind the red covers. Every day at 5 p.m. an orchestra starts to play and a new window opens painting. The Christmas dinner can vary in the different parts of the country, but it is usually made of fish or goose. The menu comprises a hot soup made of goose, a roasted goose garnished with red cabbage and potato with parsley. Potato with parsley. One of the easiest and most popular garnishes (serves 4) You will need 1.8kg potatoes (suitable for cooking), water, salt and parsley. Peel the potatoes, cut them into cubes (1 inch x 1 inch size) and cook well in salty water. Chop the parsley leaves. Pick out the potatoes from the water and put them into the baking pan, which was used to roast the meat, so that a little grease left in it would add flavour to them. Add the chopped parsley, stir it well with a wooden spoon and put it into the preheated oven for 10 minutes (150 C will be suitable).
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The main courses are followed by delicious sweets; the beigli is part of the urban dinner too, together with different linzers, petit fours and gerbeaud. Beside the petit fours, fancy cakes have become very popular as well. We can eat a tasty home‐made cake, like the marzipan covered pinetree‐shaped rum cake, or buy an amazing festive cake in a confectioner’s. Whether bought or home‐made cake, the most important thing is that the families come together on this heart‐warming feast.
Here is the easy recipe of the black and white linzer, it is really worth a try.
Mix together the flour with the egg yolks, the sugar, the vanilla, the baking powder and a pinch of salt. Separate approximately 200 grams of the mixture and add the grated bitter chocolate and the cocoa to it. Put the pastries into plastic foil and let them rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Take first the half of the white pastry and stretch it to 5 inches wide. Stretch the other part of the white and the cocoa pastries to 2 inch wide and 1/2 inch thick. Cut them into four strings (1 inch wide each). Brush your 5 inches wide white pastry with egg white, lay a white string on it, then a brown one next to it, then a white again in a row. Start the next row with a cocoa string, continue with a white and then cocoa again. Repeat it 3 more times, so finally you will get 5 rows, which will be similar to a chess plate. Fold it with the 5 inches wide pastry, cover it with plastic foil and put the roll into the fridge for an hour. (You can leave it there for a night too.) Slice it into 1/4 inch thick slices, lay them onto a baking plate and bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven (at 180 Celsius). If you keep them in a metal box, it will be fresh and edible for a month. Orsolya Skultéti IGMA Artisan, AIM and CDHM member, lives in Budapest, Hungary.
Email: email@example.com www.picturetrail.com\sorsika www.bbminiatures.uw.hu All photos and text in this item © Orsolya Skultéti 2009
Artisans In Miniature 73
A Dickensian Christmas…
In the miniature world inspiration can come from many places and at this time of year Charles Dickens’ seasonal tale ‘A Christmas Carol’ is much loved and read by all. AIM’s doll artisans have certainly found the pen of Dickens to be particularly inspiring. So why not join us in this month’s gallery, as we wander back through time and meet many of the much loved characters, made famous in Charles Dickens’ classic tales…
Scrooge by Nancy Cronin.
“Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it.” - A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens...
Artisans In Miniature 75
Marley visits Scrooge by Julie Campbell.
& Bob Cratch ett by Julie Cam pbell.
Artisans In Miniature 74
“Surprises like misfortunes, seldom come alone.” - Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens...
Fagin Julie Campbell. by
Artisans In Miniature 75
“Why, it’s Nancy!’ exclaimed Oliver; who now saw her face for the first time...” - (Oliver) Oliver Twist,
Nancy Debie Lyons.
Artisans In Miniature 76 Artisans In Miniature 54
“What has become of the boy? Speak up!” - (Fagin) Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens...
The Arful Dodger
Dickens’ Boy & Fagin. Photo 10… by Queen SnowRobin Britton (Beatrice Thierus)
Artisans In Miniature 77
Oliver & Fagin By Annemarie Kwikkel-Smit
“You’d like to make pocket handkerchiefs as easily as the Artful Dodger, wouldn’t you my dear?.” - (Fagin) Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens...
Dickensian Lady By
Bill Sikes Julie by
- (Bill Sikes) Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens...
Thank you to all the AIM members who allowed their stunning characters to be featured in this gallery. To view more of these doll artisan’s beautiful work, why not visit their respective websites.
Nancy Cronin of Nancy Cronin Dolls http://creativedoll.blogspot.com/2008/03/remarkable-characters-of-nancy-cronin.html Julie Campbell of Bellabelle Dolls - www.bellabelledolls.co.uk Debie Lyons of Piskies & Poppets - www.piskiesandpoppets.com Robin Britton of Coombe Crafts - www.coombecrafts.co.uk Annemarie Kwikkel-Smit of By Annemarie Dolls www.annemariedolls.com
Elisa Fenoglio - www.elisafenoglio.it
“Fair or not fair, give it ‘ere you avaricious old skeleton.”
All photographic © belongs to the individual artisans listed above.
Artisans In Miniature 79
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By AIM Member, Celia Thomas
1930s German Wagner Dolls House
This month, do have a peek at a truly lovely little vintage dolls house that has just been sold and is now residing in the States. The exterior particularly, evokes pure nostalgia and this is quite a rare model that does not come along very often. The dolls house that you can see here is a German Wagner Dolls House, made in the early 1930s. D.H.Wagner & Sohn had been trading in the toy market for many years already by the 1930s; by the mid 1930s they started to import dolls houses and other toys such as forts, into England via a London company called Messrs. Fred H Allen Ltd. The Wagner dolls house featured in this article is an earlier 1930s model with thick cut card windows. Other models of Wagner houses had lithographed windows; some of the later models had opening metal windows not unlike the Tri‐ang metal windows, along with card or simple plastic sheet windows.
All of the exterior on this old house is in original condition and retains its gorgeous muted colours, which is remarkable seeing that it is at least 70 years old and been kept up in a loft for years. Much of the original interior is still present too. Refreshingly there was no sign of woodworm or damp, two common problems with vintage houses, particularly those that have been stored away in a loft for decades.
This all‐wooden dolls house was built in a fairly traditional 1930s style, with slight European connotations. The latticed panel windows are fully intact and even the original curtain material is still in place, albeit a little moth eaten! The exterior detail has either been hand painted or stencilled on. If you look at the front door, classic stencilled details can be seen quite clearly, which although quite crude are still effective. The garage door opens fully, the garage roof has a textured finish
and there is definitely plenty of room to park the miniature family motor car in there!
Access to the interior is gained via one large door at the front that opens out to reveal four rooms. Three of the rooms have original 1930s wallpaper and flooring papers. Note the bright colours and designs which are very typical of the Wagner style and so very 1930s. Sadly on this model, a previous owner at some point, had decided to have a go at interior decorating in the bathroom....and painted it bright yellow! But it would not take much to redecorate this room with matt emulsion or acrylic paints. As you can see in this case, there was nothing to salvage in the bathroom so it could be decorated without any fear of devaluing this old treasure. ** (See “Did you know” at the end of this feature).
This house is petite and suitable for the smaller 1/16th scale furniture or even 1/24th scale. I have seen furniture in both of these scales in Wagner dolls houses, and both look equally quite at home. The downstairs ceiling height measures 5 1/4" (13.5cm) and the upstairs ceiling height measures 4 1/2" (11cm) so as you can see, it is quite tiny. Overall Measurements ‐ 21" (53.5cm) wide x 8" (20.3cm) deep x 16 1/2" (42cm) high to top of chimneys approx. I just love the exterior of this house, as it is extremely attractive and gorgeously nostalgic in appearance. The little upper bay window of the bedroom and the stencilled brickwork around the base are just lovely finishing touches that help to make this Wagner house very special. This particular model is quite rare and I was quite sad to see it depart but know it will be much cherished in its new home over “the pond”!
**Did you know ....that a vintage dolls house is worth far more with all original decor and paintwork present, (even if it is badly flaking and half hanging off), than if all original tatty decor was removed and replaced with more modern reproduction wallpaper/paints? I would always advise customers never to redecorate their vintage dolls house unless there is hardly any or no trace of the original present and even then I would strongly recommend redecorating cautiously, sympathetically and in keeping with the style of the house. Otherwise, the value of the antique house could be drastically affected and not in a positive way!
See www.ktminiatures.com for a selection of antique and vintage dolls houses that are currently for sale plus details on how to buy Celia Thomas’ newly released book “The Tale of Winsford House” which is about a very special 1930s dolls house indeed (includes tips on renovating old dolls houses).
I would just like to wish all the AIM magazine readers a very Happy Christmas and a very Happy New Year! Thank you for your fascinating emails and comments you have sent me concerning topics in this column over the past year, it has been lovely to hear from you.
© KT Miniatures ‐ All text & photograph belong to the author.
By AIM Member Cheryl Clingen MDM
Here is a project for everyone, young, old and everyone in‐ between. This little teddy, created from pom‐poms, makes a great stocking filler. What you need Strip of polystyrene / Styrofoam to pin the Teddy to <shame, poor Teddy> 3 sizes of pom‐poms, colour of your choice . Large black bead for the nose. Two no‐hole beads for eyes. Circles punched from coloured lightweight card (for ears and pads on feet.) Smaller punched circles (in a darker colour for ear definition.) Pins Tacky glue, white glue, craft glue or fabric glue. Your choice. Tweezers for applying little itti‐bits. Scissors Body ‐ 1. Place a bit of glue on the large pom‐pom (body) and attach the head. Push a pin through the head and body and press down tightly into the polystyrene / Styrofoam for a firm attachment. Allow to dry. 2. Glue legs into place, and again, press with a firm pin‐hold (sounds like a wrestling match..LOL) . Allow to dry. Meanwhile prepare the snout. Snout ‐ 3. Take a medium size pom‐pom and cut in half with scissors. Half of it will no doubt crumble away, but not to worry, you need the half that is still held together by the glue centre. Trim this snout piece to the right size then glue it in place on the head. Press hard with your finger to flatten it out shaping at the same time, pin it and let dry. Ears ‐ 4. Glue the small punched card dot to the center of the larger, lighter one. Once dried, cut carefully down the centre. Curve each ear inwards slightly and glue into place on the head. Now you can go ahead and glue the pads onto the ends of the feet and glue the nose and eyes into place. From here on you can dress him/her up as you wish. I chose a tiny silk bow with a “sequin hole” for some sparkle, and seeing as it’s the Christmas season, I jollied him up with a red Christmas hat (see main photograph). A little gathered lace around the neck looks very cute too!
Merry Christmas everyone!
Hope you have a happy holiday filled with mini‐fun and MEGA love and happiness!
Photos and Text ©2009 Cheryl Clingen ‐ www.minidollsfromafrica.com Artisans In Miniature 83
Compiled By AIM Member, Margaret Pitts (MiniMilliner)
I expect you have all caught the Christmas Celebrations bug by now (and avoided all the nasty flu -type ones I hope!) and are getting into the swing of all things festive. There are so many creative aspects to the season, but I thought we would start with a little project that I’m sure you will love…..and it’s very easy Are you familiar with Christingles? Take a look at the picture and you’ll see what I mean. The first Christingle was made by a Moravian Bishop in Germany more than 260 years ago when he was telling small children about Jesus. He used an orange to symbolize the world; he tied a red ribbon round it to show how Jesus’ love stretches right round the world. Next, he stuck four small sticks into the orange to represent the four Seasons. Onto these sticks he put dried fruits, nuts and sweets --- these were the fruits of the earth, God’s gifts to us all. Lastly, he pushed a candle into the centre of the orange, lit it and held it up to show the children that Jesus is the Light of the World. For the last 50 years, children in England, as well as other countries, have made Christingles to light at services held on the Sunday before Christmas. They look truly magical when they shine in the darkness and light up the faces of the children holding them. Here, you can make both a real Christingle from an orange and a miniature one for your dollshouse or Xmas scene. Artisans In Miniature 84
For the miniature one, you will need:
Orange Fimo (and whatever colours you wish to make the ‘fruits’ and ‘sweets’ from – I used red, brown and white or cream) Narrow strip of red paper or foil Fine wire Miniature candle
Step 1...Take a small piece of the orange Fimo and soften it in your
hands. Now roll it into a small ball, the size you want your miniature orange to be. Remember, in real life oranges vary a lot in size, so you decide when it looks right. Press lightly on the top so that it will have a flat base to stop it from rolling away. Now take your candle and make a hole with it in the top of the orange, but remove it again at this stage or it will melt when you cook the Fimo.
Step 2… If you look at a real orange, it has quite a dimply skin. You can make your miniature orange like this by either rolling it gently on very coarse sandpaper; or use an old toothbrush and dab the bristles up and down (don’t pull the brush over the surface) to make tiny marks. Step 3... Wash your hands before you handle any of the other Fimo colours, especially cream or white. Now decide what ‘fruits’ and ‘sweets’ you want to put on the four sticks (wires). I made cherries from red Fimo (just roll tiny red balls), raisins (brown Fimo rolled into slightly elongated shapes) and sweets from cream or white Fimo pressed into squares or oblongs. You can of course use other colours to make other things for the sticks, but three items is enough for each stick. Just remember to make four of each thing. Artisans In Miniature 85
Step 4… Cut four pieces of very thin wire, each about 1cm long. Slide one of each thing down the stick, leaving enough wire to poke into the orange. It looks good if you finish with a cherry on the top of each wire. Now space out the wires round the orange (near the top) and carefully push them in at an angle. Step 5… Ask an adult to bake the orange for you. Step 6… When it has cooled, you can glue a strip of red paper (I used a narrow strip of red shiny foil) round the middle of the orange, then glue the candle in the top. I gave mine a coat of matt varnish, but this isn’t necessary. If you want to make a real size one too, use cocktail sticks, dried fruit, glace cherries, soft sweets (e.g. marshmallows), a birthday candle, red ribbon….and of course a big, juicy orange!
Last month we launched a great series featuring these three very talented youngsters who, encouraged by their grandma, artisan Debbe Mize, produced some fantastic room-boxes. We started off by focusing on Tristan (in the middle) and her “High School Musical” box. This month, her brother Caden, not to be out-done, shows us what a wonderful job he made of his room-box. Caden is 9yrs old and like his sister, he spends time during the summer vacation with Mimi (the children’s name for their Grandma). Inspired by all the miniatures at Mimi’s house, he loves to make something for himself. This year, he chose a Spiderman theme and decorated his room-box accordingly. When asked what the hardest part was, he said that gluing the wallpaper border on was quite difficult…..I expect it was hard to get it perfectly straight, but here you can see he managed it beautifully: Artisans In Miniature 85
You can also see that he has installed the carpet, which had to be carefully measured and cut to make it a perfect fit. Caden is a great fan of Spiderman, so had no trouble collecting together all the things he wanted to put in the box. However, what he
did find tricky was deciding exactly how to arrange all the things to fit
them in. achieved You can see from the following pictures how brilliantly he it. I love the Spiderman bedspread and matching
pillows…..even the pillow on the sofa matches! The next picture (middle right) shows more Spiderman motifs on the rest of the furnishings…..and even a few things scattered around on the floor! I wonder if Caden’s real bedroom looks anything like that! The final photo (right) shows the finished room-box.
What an achievement! Well done Caden!
I asked Caden about school and whether he gets time to make any models there. He attends West Jackson Intermediate School in Braselton GA, where the only craft-type work he does is pottery using clay. His favourite subject is Maths… not an easy subject, Caden, so I guess you are an ‘A’ student too, like your sister! When he grows up, Caden’s ambition is to be a professional footballer. I’m sure you will be successful at whatever you do Caden… and thanks for letting us see your terrific Spiderman room-box!
We can’t keep Emma waiting, so let’s see what she has been up to!
Emma is Debbe Mize’s youngest granddaughter. She is just six years old, but you wouldn’t believe it if you saw the miniatures she has produced! She is a very talented young lady and here we shall have a peep at the room box she made. Artisans In Miniature 87
When I asked her what theme she had chosen for her box and why, here’s what she said: “Disney Princess -- it is my favourite thing & I am a princess, too!” Here she describes how she started: “I measured with a ruler for the pink carpet & glued the carpet in & then I put my Disney Princess dolls on the shelves. “
“The hardest part I would say, was carpet & putting the glue on it.
The easiest part, I would think, would be gluing my Hannah Montana & princess books on the desk.”
Altogether, it took me about six days to finish the room box.” The standard of Emma’s work is amazing for her age, so I asked her when she first started making minis. “I have been watching Mimi a long time making her minis & one day when I was, maybe, 3 she taught me how. I am a great mini artist!” (We wouldn’t argue with that, Emma!) I have made tiny clowns, flowers & a beautiful girl doll out of clay & pompom animals out of tiny fuzzy balls.” Emma’s enthusiasm for everything shines through, including school: “I attend Matt Elementary School in Cumming GA & I am in the 1st grade. I make models at school and we have just made a map out of cookie dough & cooked & ate it !” “My very favourite subject is PE, but art is my next favourite one.” Emma is already thinking about what minis she would like to make next: “I'd like to make a little doll with a dog & some more food out of clay and lots more room boxes!” Emma also added this....”.My favourite food to eat is Chocolate cake with chocolate sprinkles and vanilla ice cream! My favourite thing to do is play outside & ride my bike. My favourite animal is Izzy the cat who is my Mimi's little cat. I love to sing & dance and I love my boom box.” When I grow up, I should like to be a mini teacher, a vet & a Subway sandwich maker! Artisans In Miniature 88 (What a variety Emma! One thing’s for sure, you will never be bored )
Trash to Treasures
Have you ever needed a little table, bench or bed-tray …….immediately…., and not had one to hand? Well this need never happen again, because Mini AIMer Sarah and Grandma Leilani have a brilliant idea for making one (or all) of these and all you need is a polystyrene (foam) tray, scissors and glue.
You have probably got something like this in the fridge, with vegetables, fruit or meat in it, and if you ask nicely, you may just be able to have it for this project. (Remember to wash it thoroughly first!!) Step 1. Cut off the edges/sides of the foam tray where the flat part of the foam tray ends but save them, as these will become the feet or sides of your project. Step 2. Decide how big you want your table top and cut a piece this size from the flat part of the tray. Take one of the edges you cut off earlier and measure two pieces exactly the same size for the sides/legs. You will probably have enough to make two tables, perhaps a small one and a larger one. Look at the next picture to get the idea: Step 3. Smooth off all the edges/sides of your three pieces using a pencil carefully so as not to break or dent your pieces, this is just to clean up the sides a little. Step 4. Glue one leg to each side of your bench with the curved part out. Step 5. If your tray was white, you can paint the whole table with acrylic paint, or use a colour marker. We used felt tip markers to colour these tables and we think they look pretty cool : Experiment with a piece of foam and see which works better for you, the paint or the markers. We suggest you make a template/pattern for your tables, maybe from a thick cardboard so you don't have to guess the size next time. NOTE: Remember you can also make these in any size you want, smaller or larger. It is all up to you!.
Christmas Cake Project...
You might like to make a festive Christmas Cake like the one on the table (see previous page). Here’s how:
Plastic bottle-top or foam tube Fast drying spackle (Polyfilla in the U.K.) Red ribbon Red air dry clay (or Fimo etc) Glitter, tiny beads & other decorations of your choice Green paper Toothpick (cocktail stick)
Step 1. If you are using foam, cut a slice to form the cake circle. Glue it to a circle of card the same size, to make a firm base. If you use a bottle-top (a cap from a water bottle would be perfect), glue the open edge to a card base as above, so you have the flat top uppermost. Step 2. Cover the ‘cake’ with spackle or polyfilla, smooth the top and leave it to dry. Then add some more spackle to make the cake look like it has vanilla frosting -- no need to be neat here as we want it to look like frosting would in real life, all fluffy and yummy! .Now add glitter or beads around the sides of the cake before it dries. Step 3. Cut out holly leaves from the green paper and glue in a pattern on top of the cake Step 4. Make tiny balls for holly berries using the red clay or Fimo. and glue to the centre of the cake. If you want to, you can add a touch of glitter to the top of the cake., just dab a little bit of glitter glue here and there with your toothpick and your cake is done! Here
are some more ideas for cake designs...
Artisans In Miniature 90
Don’t forget to arrange it on a plate with a pretty doily…. or to make your own plate, see below!
Easy Button Plates...
You will need: Flattish Buttons Xmas pictures (tiny) Glue Gold pen Step 1. Choose a button the right size for your cake (it will need to be slightly larger). Step 2. Cut out a picture of something Christmassy to fit on the button. You could use old Xmas cards, wrapping paper, or a printie from the computer. Step 3. Glue the picture into the button and use a gold pen to make a fancy edging to the plate.
If you want to make a stack of plates, choose three different sizes of similar buttons, so that you have a large, a medium and a small to make a neat pile. Copyright of text & photos belongs to Sarah & Leilani With many thanks to Sarah & Leilani for all their wonderful ideas! Don’t forget to send us your pictures of anything you make….we should love to see them.
We should like to wish all Mini AIMers a very Merry Christmas and look forward to bringing you more fun things to do in the New Year!
Copyright of text and photos belongs to their authors. Please note – although the projects in this column are for children, adult supervision is recommended at all times. The authors cannot be held responsible for any accidents arising from these projects.
Artisans In Miniature 91
New AIM Members
We would like to extend a warm welcome to the This year we have decided to have a special Advent following new members who have joined AIM in the calendar for miniature knitters and will be featuring past month: a knitting pattern for a 1/12th scale cot cover on our
Alberto Gozzi Pablo Leal Julie Dewar Erika Van Horn Sandie Coe Evelyne Fontaine Monica Lavoie Patricia Cabera Sue Gutheridge Pearl Button Celia of Sorceress’ Hollow Paul & Dean Davey
Buttercup Miniatures 1/12th scale Advent cot cover
blog pages at http://store.buttercupminiatures.co.uk/newsblog/ The cot cover is made up of 24 small squares which when stitched together will make a cot quilt for a dolls house doll. Knitting instructions for one square will be posted each day of Advent, with the final square and finishing instructions being given on 24th December. The designs of the squares are kept simple so no matter how rushed you are preparing for Christmas
AIM Editorial Team
I am really sad to have to announce that Celia, Robin, this year, you can find ½ an hour a day to sit and Sandra & Margaret have decided to step down from relax with some miniature knitting. This also gives you the option, should you prefer not to knit certain the AIM Magazine's editorial team.. They have collectively and individually given AIM an incredible types of pattern (such as cables/Aran or multi and immeasurable amount of their own time and colour knitting), to duplicate a pattern for a square you like in another colour. This makes the project energy to work on behalf of AIM and its members. On behalf of AIM members and readers of this suitable for both novice and more experienced knitters. Due to the limited number of stitches and magazine, I would like to thank them all for all that they have done and for the successes they worked so hard to help achieve.
nature of the cot cover lace stitches have been excluded from the designs.
CONGRATULATIONS... To AIM Members
– both Artisan Doll‐makers ‐ Julie Campbell, and Tiggy Goldsmith who have been awarded IGMA Artisan status recently. More congratulations to Kiva Atkinson and Linda Cummings ‐ both artisans who specialize in making food, for achieving IGMA Fellow status. A really great achievement!!!
BRAND NEW LITTLE BOOK, IDEAL FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS STOCKING! THE TALE OF WINSFORD HOUSE
This is the first little book written by Celia Thomas of KT Miniatures and is available to purchase exclusively from her website:
The Award Winning AIM Magazine!!
The AIM editorial team are delighted to
announce that the November issue of the AIM
Magazine was yet another award winning issue! Issue 17 won the following 2 awards from Scribd
News from Josephine Parnell of Original Design Dolls House...
...and as a result, November’s AIM magazine was
also featured on the Scribd homepage and like its
I am to be having a feature article predecessor, held the coveted ‘No1’ spot in their about my work published in the magazine charts! American Miniaturist magazine Feb. 2010 issue.
Do check out Josephine's website and see her super bears!
EVERYONE who was involved with this award winning issue!
THE DOLLS HOUSE MAGAZINE –
December Issue 139 features a Christmas Gift Guide, within which is a splendid two page Gallery devoted entirely to members of Artisans In Miniature.!!
This December the members of AIM have put together a very special advent calendar, in order to
NEW 1:48th Book & Kit Package From Petite Properties Ltd
IDEAL FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS STOCKING!
Petite Properties Ltd are delighted to officially
say a big thank you to announce that Toadstool Cottage (Property No.3 all our readers, customers from their 1:48th scale series) and keen supporters. Each day of December a new FREE miniature project will ‘go live’ behind one of our special advent doors… So don’t miss a thing, visit the AIM website today!!
has now been officially released for worldwide sale. The Toadstool Cottage Kit & Book package is now available to order online, via the Petite Properties' web site.
As AIM members have worked so hard on the magazine throughout the year, we have decided to again make this December issue a ‘double issue’ to cover both December and January. However, this does not mean that AIM will not be publishing something special to welcome in the new year!... 2010 will kick off with a fantastic project supplement – available to read online or download. Packed with 25 fabulous projects all written by AIM members, it should certainly give you all something to enjoy after the sparkle of Christmas has faded. The AIM magazine will be back in February, with a new look, brand new features and much much more… all still FREE of course!
Blowing our own trumpet…? Us? Never!!
Each time a new issue of the AIM magazine is released many of our readers get in touch with us to tell us what they think and we thought we would share a tiny fraction of them with you !!
I have been blown away by the latest issue. The AIM magazine is officially my favourite miniature
mag, please please please keep up the good work! (Name & email address supplied ‐ UK)
It's a delightful overload of images and information… so glad someone had this brilliant idea of AIM Well, have to run and get back to drooling.
magazine and thanks so much for sharing it. (Name & email address supplied ‐ US)
And you know what I also really like about it - it's not a 'Christmas Special'. I shall look forward
to that edition at a time when I'm beginning to feel it's the proper Christmas season, not the retail Christmas season, which seems to last 3 months these days. (Name & email address supplied ‐ UK)
Having quickly "looked" can I be the first to say a massive congratulations to all concerned!
It really is quite awesome how the magazine grows month by month - this issue particularly excellent. Thanks for the great amount of work that must go into it. (Name & email address supplied ‐ UK)
Yet another fabulous issue! Thank you, thank you, thank you! (Name & email address supplied ‐ US) This is a great issue for one of my 1/12th projects. And I love advent calendars. The doors are
great. We don't generally have doors like that in Northern California. (Name & email address supplied ‐ US)
I didn't know about AIM until a couple of months ago and have now downloaded everything so far
for 2009. What a wonderful resource and so generously offered! I am sure there are enough projects there to keep me busy and teach me much at the same time. Please thank your production team and your contributors. That this great magazine comes free is so good for the many home-bound or fixed-income miniaturists who must be so grateful - and inspired by the many projects, pictures and informative articles about miniaturists and the items they create. Keep up the good work. (Name & email address supplied ‐ NZ)
Don’t Miss A Thing!
PROJECT SUPPLIMENT SPECIAL!!
All FREE and fully
downloadable at: www.artisansinminiature.com
All the projects from the AIM advent calendar combined in one bumper project supplement! Written exclusively by AIM members!!!
Written by artisans Enjoyed by miniaturists...!
Please Note: The projects included in this publication are not suitable for children under the age of 14* The miniatures featured in this magazine are collectors items and therefore unsuitable for children under 14*. All projects are undertaken at your own risk. AIM does not accept responsibility for any injury incurred. All articles and photographs used in this magazine are copyright of their authors. The AIM magazine’s content is for private use only and it must not be reproduced in part or in full for commercial gain in any form.
Each artisan contributor is responsible for their own work / contribution to the AIM magazine and retain full responsibility for their published work.
Artisans In Miniature 52 The authors/self publishers cannot be held legally responsible for any consequences arising from following instructions, advice or information in this magazine. *with the exception of the Mini AIMers feature which is written especially for children under 14.
This issue would not have been possible without the generous contributions from the following AIM members… Many thanks therefore go to...
Annemarie KwikkelSmit Anya Stone Barbara Brear Barbara Stanton Bea (Fiona) Broadwood Catherine Davies Celia Thomas Cheryl Clingen Cristina Albertí Daisy Carpi Debie Lyons Eileen Sedgwick Eileen Sedgwick Elisa Fenoglio Emma & Neil Martinot Frances Powell Jane Harrop Jill Bennett Josephine Parnell Julie Campbell Kathryn Gray Kiva Atkinson Linda Cummings Linda Master Mags Cassidy Maia Bisson Margaret Pitts Maria Teresa Espanet Mary Williams Guest Contributors Grandma Leilani & Sarah
Tristan, Caden & Emma
Nancy Cronin Orsolya Skultéti Philippa Todd Robin Britton Sandra Morris Sarah Maloney Susanne Newstead Vicky Guile
See you again next month…!
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