Friday, 10 December 2010

America's Doll House and a give away!

I Started to read this book at three in the morning with a gurgling wide eyed baby on my lap, intending to read just a few pages until Sammy gave in to sleep I began. As the pages turned in my hands and my eyes grew heavy I realised I had been reading for well over an hour lost in the history of Faith Bradford and her miniature collection.

At 69 years old Faith Bradford without a girl in her family to leave her collection to decided to donate it instead to the museum she often visited as a girl. The narrative winds in and out of miniature fantasy, museum politics, and both the museums and Bradfords personal history, bringing together photographs and typed manuscripts of the doll house occupants and their scrapbook of soft furnishings. Peppered with nostalgic musings anddescriptions about Bradford such as 'her favourite colours were lavender and grey...' also ' ... Cutting a grandmotherly figure on the floor of the museum, she wore her hair pulled up under a hat fixed with a pin!'

I enjoyed the notions of Faith as a girl her interests, parades, soda fountains and ice cream parlors and like so many miniaturists the eternal hunt for miniatures, seeing an object as something to be used and cherished within ascene, a thimble could be a waste paper basket, Bradford explained 'Everything looks like something else to me.'

I think Bradford must have been an eccentric soul, never married she described her and her sister as 'not very attractive', during the summer she stayed at the back of her sister and brother-in-laws property in a converted chicken coop! these little details stack up throughout this little book adding charm and insight and for me a little bit of dottiness that I found endearing.

The second half of the book is choc filled with coloured photographs of each room, each tiny detail, from the lamp with its missing globe in the attic to the faithful family dog sat by the fire in the library. Concluding with Faiths typed scrapbook filled with tiny fabric remnants of used textiles.

In summary this book works on many levels, not only does it show readers a history of the museum, and an insight into Faith Bradfords creative dream, but it also showcases through text and photographs (deliciously tactile in the scrapbook section) an inspiring room by room account into a magical vintagedollhouse. Letting the reader decided to delve into the informative text or forgothe descriptive museum history and just sit wondering at the miniature marvels in each glossy image.

This lovely book is available here. or if you leave a comment here before Monday 20th I have a spare copy which would love a new home!

Monday, 11 May 2009

the hallway, so far

Yesterday afternoon with the sun streaming in through our bedroom window, knelt on the floor, cup of tea waiting, I painted and glued, arranged and planned, pottered and played in my little hall.

The small wall with the coat hooks I made, the stairs now sit against this wall, giving extra space on the landing which will now become a bathroom, this arrangement also provides a little under stair cupboard to store the hover, and bits and bobs!  Click here to see how the hallway should look.

The little crochet shawl I made in hospital whilst waiting to have my son, I was in there for a week before and it was nice to have something to take my mind off of my pregnancy nerves! I also knitted the teeny tiny mittens on the table.

Here is the hall table by Tony Knott, I brought this from the October fair in Lyndhurst, in The New Forest. The little cactus was made from a kit, the card in the letter rack was cut from a cath Kidston booklet. The little shopping basket was a present. The wallpaper is really scrapbook paper, it just seemed to fit so well!

In this photo you can see the stairs and the under stair cupboard, the stairs are just propped up at the moment, the little rug on the floor I am stitching from a kit, photo below, and I've got a stair carpet also to stitch. The picture rail is made from wooden coffee stirrers, and the plates I've slowly been collecting from Stokesay Ware.

Below is one angle of the now smaller landing, If you click here you can see a tour of the 1940s house mine is based on, move your mouse over the photo and click when you see a little arrow to move around the house. My mini decorating has gone its own way a bit and now I'm wondering if I should do my own version or stick to a complete copy of the real thing, what would you do?

I need to do a few more bits and find a floor before the hall is finished but it is well on its way now!

Thank you everyone who has left me a comment and welcomed me on their blogs and to everyone who takes the time to read and follow my blog, everyone is so kind its lovely to be here blogging and sharing our mini worlds!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

my dollshouse

In a corner of our bedroom, on a large table sits my 1940s dolls house, originally a kit from here, but with changes and plans, ideas and dreams my house is emerging slowly but beautifully.

Whilst waiting for Steve, to glue and measure and change walls, add doorways and new chimney layouts, I started to potter in the kitchen. Making paper flowers, sewing little cotton bags,making a fly curtain with thin rainbow coloured ribbon, stitching a rug from Felicity Price Miniatures, and crocheting teeny tiny pot holders.

Not normally a fan of dolls themselves I put together this kit, I made the hair, the clothes so far, and painted her face, her slippers I made from pipe cleaners, her cath kidston tea towel I scanned in and printed on computer fabric paper.

With the kitchen started, I pottered in the dinning room, delicately cutting out the wallpaper runner with nail scissors, the needle point cushion came as a kit from here, and again I crocheted the blankets on the chair, 

the single room, pale pink, quite bare apart from the furniture, I'm thinking about painting the cot which was made from a kit, the cream knitted blanket on the bed was made by my mum, and the crochet blankets by me.

My rooms need so much more, I've got so much building, making, planning, shopping, arranging and hopefully sharing to do, I hope you come back and read and help and share in my project.

Felicity xx