Sunday, 3 December 2017

An Inspiring Way To Decorate An Old GeeBee Dolls House Exterior - Absolutely Beautiful!

A few weeks ago I received an order from a lady called Linda Bright for a tiny Romside metal door. She explained that she had bought a dilapidated dolls house similar to the one she had as a child and wanted to restore it, with the help of her father. The back board was rotten, the floor sagged, the outside had been repainted more than once and even part of one wall was covered in plaster. Sounded like they had quite a big job on their hands!

Linda, a professional artist based in East Sussex, emailed through a drawing of her dilapidated dolls house as it was in its present form at that time. You can see Linda's drawing above. The front door was missing and one of the frontage pieces was completely off its hinges. It was an old GeeBee dolls house, probably circa 1950s. 

A few weeks went by and then one morning I received an email from Linda with a couple of photos attached, the content of which literally blew me away! 
Using images of 1950s gardens for inspiration, Linda hand painted flowers over the dolls house frontage to replace the original painted flowers that were long gone. 

I have to say that these must be the most beautiful hand painted flowers I  think I have ever seen on the exterior of an old dolls house...and I have been in this business for over 20 years so have seen many old dolls houses during that time I can tell you! The colours and depth of Linda's carefully chosen flowers are stunning and now bring an exquisite charm to what was a very sorry looking old house. 
 Here is another photo of Linda's dolls house, as you can see now fully restored in all its glory. I think you will all agree that it is absolutely beautiful.

I would like to thank Linda for allowing me to share her photos with you and hope that you have been suitably inspired. 

Linda is an artist and also attends some vintage fairs, you can find her on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lindabrightartist/

Saturday, 2 December 2017

KT Miniatures Back Open For Business.

After two very long and difficult weeks, KT Miniatures has now re-opened for business. Thank you to everyone who have sent lovely messages, I have read them all. 

My daughter Kate is making steady progress, and although the road to recovery is going to take some time, we are all very hopeful that she will be ok.
Celia X


Monday, 27 November 2017

KT Miniatures To Remain Closed For A Few More Days...

My huge apologies to everyone who have been waiting patiently for their order to be dispatched or processed, and to all of you who have emailed orders or enquiries and still not received a response. As you can see from the message that was hurriedly put up on my website a few days ago, I have been and still am currently closed. 

On the evening of Saturday the 18th November I got a phone call that every parent would dread. I was told that my 22 year old daughter had collapsed suddenly whilst staying with friends for the weekend,  and was advised to get to Birmingham Hospital asap, which was nearly 70 miles away.  She was seriously ill. 

For reasons unknown and without any warning her heart just suddenly stopped. I will always be indebted to the two medical students who just happened to be in the same room at the party, who between them kept up CPR on Kate until the paramedics arrived. I will also be indebted to the paramedics who had to shock her twice to get her heart started properly. We have since been told that only 5% of people survive Adult Sudden Death Syndrome. These amazing people saved her life. 

The past few days have been traumatic and shocking for us. 

But along with the wonderful efforts and help from the doctors and nurses at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, (plus I think a little help from "him upstairs" too),  Kate has managed to battle through adversity and survive. And although she has had to have an ICD fitted (the doctors lovingly call it a "Shock Box") in case it ever happens again, we have now been able to bring her home to recuperate. She still has a way to go yet before she can get back to normal life, but we have much to be thankful for.

So whilst I help her get through the immediate recovery part of the op' this week, KT Miniatures will have to remain closed for a little longer. 

I hope to open again for business at the end of the week, and will give priority to all outstanding orders and enquiries, before I then begin listing some rather lovely miniatures to the website. Thank you for your understanding and patience. 
CeliaX

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Some Rare Miniatures Sold Recently...

Has it really been almost three weeks since I put up a posting on here? Life seems to have been filled with so many distractions just lately, mostly of the rather lovely kind (sadly not all though). I am learning to juggle KT Miniatures with looking after Grandson No. 1 once a week and driving up north to see newly born Grandson No. 2. And the other day my youngest offspring and I spent an entire day in London having a makeover and photo shoot at Studio 52 based in Hammersmith...what a laugh! This was a present from my youngest, and although I was well out of my comfort zone...as my makeup these days usually only consists of a touch of lippy and mascara on days out (plus I'm not a fan of having my photo taken) I actually enjoyed the experience!
It proved to be rather expensive in the end, so we shared the cost. But for a one-off experience, I can highly recommend it. And although this one above was a bit mad, we had some really nice normal mother and daughter pics for the family album, which I shall treasure. For years Mr KT and I had talked about having a family portrait, and we simply never got around to it and now it is too late. There is a lesson to be learned here...and it will be one of my regrets. So I am determined, for my (ahem...cough) MEGA BIG birthday coming up in 18 months, to have a proper family photo shoot with all sons, daughter, daughter-in-laws and grandchildren. I shall have to start saving up my pennies:)
Ok...now to miniatures. I have been meaning to highlight just some of the delightful rare miniatures seen in this photo above,  most of which were sold about 3 weeks ago. So without further ado, here they are...
This antique German bottle rack and three tiny coloured striped bottles with original tiny corks,is quite rare and to date, this is a first for KT Miniatures. I have not handled one quite like this before. Bottles yes, but never with the rack.  

Amazingly the rack was fully intact with no cracks, so too the three little bottles.
How on earth did these little glass treasures survive the past 90 years or so? I nervously bid farewell to them at the post office, as they set off  in a well padded box for New Zealand. Posting glass items is always a little nerve wracking. But at last I have heard of their safe arrival so I can  now breath a sigh of relief. 
These antique pink glass egg cups and tiny white glass eggs, I have never seen before. And in fact, to date, I still cannot find out any information about them...except they have to be pre WW2, as all the items that accompanied this set were around the 1920s-1930s era. 
Aren't they delightful and so weeny too? They all measure around 1 1/8" high with the egg sitting in an egg cup.



There is something very childlike and nostalgic about this wooden range. I do not know the exact era this was made or by whom, but it has been well constructed.
The little oven door opens and the controls down the right hand side are painted screws. 


There is a tiny shelf above the painted hob detail, which would look fabulous laden with tiny pots, pans or plates. I wonder if this was a commercially made item or if it was homemade from plans, such as Handicraft or Hobbies? I have had a quick delve into my own copies of those handbooks but cannot as yet find anything that quite  matches this design.  
This soft metal antique German fireside tool set does not often come along these days anymore in such amazing condition. The metal is very soft and fragile, it can bend easily. Hence the thin spindly soft metal tools are particularly vulnerable, so to still have the tongs, shovel and poker fully intact and still present is refreshing. 

The stand itself is quite attractive with pretty embossed detail.

Underneath it clearly states the origin as GERMANY.
Another German soft metal item is this toast rack. 

Again, it is refreshing to see it fully intact, as over the years I have often handled one of these with feet or spindles missing. It is quite large in scale so really most suitable for either a large scale dolls house or an old dolls house where scale does not matter. All the above were sold quite quickly.

And now something not so nice....

Sadly last week my lovely elderly stepmother suddenly discovered her cash, credit & debit cards, cheque book and bit of paper with pin number written down (don't ask) had suddenly gone missing - out of the one hiding place where she had always kept them (unbeknown to the family).  There are two theories about how she may have been burgled - neither of which do not bear thinking about. The first could have been when she was in the far end of the garden, her kitchen door would have been unlocked so an opportunist thief could have come over the garden gate and sneaked in. However the mystery is, how would the thief have known the exact place to look without making a mess, and why was nothing else taken? Secondly, it may have been taken by someone known to her who had been visiting? Somehow, that seems even worse than the first option. 

However...she seems very confused and cannot seem to remember the last time she saw any of it?  Thankfully, as soon as she raised the alarm, the bank could be notified and so far it appears that no money has been taken out of her accounts. She has been told so many times NOT to keep her pin number with her cards! 

But all of a sudden, coupled with another recent sequence of events which resulted in her giving her bank details over the phone to a complete stranger, it has suddenly become apparent that her short term memory loss no longer amounts to just repeating herself or dithering over people's names. It is all beginning to look a little more serious and I feel very sorry for her.   

Meanwhile, the mystery of the missing items remains....maybe we will never know.

Sad times.

Celia

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

My New Message Board At Last!

Since I moved into my new studio room a few months ago, I had been planning on making a big message board to fit along an empty wall. But since then I just never seem to have had the time to get the project off the ground, although I have been collecting bits and bobs in readiness. My original plan had been to use a large vintage picture frame and antique wallpaper scraps for the backing, but then changed my mind and decided to make a material message board instead.  Last Sunday I finally got cracking with it and surprisingly it didn't take that long really. 


 After clearing out my loft last Easter I came across a pair of old Laura Ashley curtains that I had made many years ago and which I had loved dearly. One was badly stained but the other one was just big enough to stretch over a large canvas previously bought half price in a sale.
A piece of wadding was stapled over the canvas first.
Then the curtain material was stretched over the top and fixed into place with my staple gun around the back edges.
The folded corners were a bit of a fiddle but managed to get them quite neat in the end.
My rather lovely retired ex-workshop colleague friend Robin,  had loaned me a big bag of vintage braid from her loft and had told me to help myself to whatever I wanted from there. There were some wonderful pieces including some patterned braid from the 1920s/30s.
I used lots of random bits of various colours which kind of  coordinated with the material,  and literally made it up as I went along, allowing 7" in between each row.  As I am planning on displaying a bit of all sorts on here in a slightly unconventional way, I decided that I didn't want the braid to be placed too precisely.
The ends of the braid were stapled around the back and well hidden out of sight. Above is a picture of the braid almost finished.
Next was the real fun bit, of securing various vintage and new buttons with thick brown thread, wherever the braid crossed. 
 On the back of the canvas the brown thread was tied securely.


I also had a couple of silk flowers left over from  daughter-in-law's vintage brooch bouquet back in January, so too a couple of vintage brooches, and secured them to the braid crossovers.
Also left over from the bridal bouquet were some old earrings from my mother in law, and they were very easy to fix. All I had to do was push them through the braid and canvas, apply some Tacky Glue, and fix the earring back on the reverse of the canvas. 


Over the past few weeks I have been gathering buttons from various sources. This late c1800s button was bought at a car boot sale.

I used several of these c1920s/30s buttons that came with a Victorian sewing box bought at an antique and vintage fair. 


And finally two metal picture fixtures were secured to the back and then threaded with string, which enabled me at last to hang it on the chosen wall. Although it is for daily use to hold important bits of paper, price lists, business cards, etc., as it is also on permanent display in my studio, I wanted it to be a little unconventional too. 



So I have dug out old picture cards, postcards, tiny vintage cotton reels, vintage packs of buttons, antique miniature dolls, a vintage Rinso tape measure and a piece of vintage lace, and slipped them all onto the board.

It is even perfect for holding a Gottschalk chair which I have put aside and am hoping to use as a template for a possible inclusion in next year's workshop (the chair is proving a bit tricky though and at this moment of time, might have to resort to a Plan B...but that is another story for another day). 

Am rather chuffed with the result of this message board. 

Honestly, this was so easy and cheap to make - almost anyone could make one of these too.  I had considered using a large cork pin board for the backing but am glad that I used a canvas instead now, as it made fixing the buttons, brooches, etc. so easy. 
Celia