Saturday, May 31, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Peeking inside The Pink Door

As promised, here's a tour of Div's creation for this year's Sydney Miniatures Show. It's a shabby chic shop called The Pink Door.
Front view of a three-storey modern miniature shop building.

Close up of a modern miniature shop, showing a display window showing shabby chic items and a pink front door.
Div's houses always have a fascinating back story to them and she has agreed to share the story of the shop's owner, Lily Love: 
Looking through the front window of a miniature shabby chic shop with the owner peeking in from the back,
 'Lilly was born Elizabeth  Langham in England to a well to do family in Tonbridge Kent. She grew up in a somewhat run down old Georgian mansion that belonged to her Grandmother who it was rumoured to have been the mistress of the Prince of Wales before the First World War.
Back view of a modern miniature shabby chic shop, showing three levels of sales areas.
Lilly loved her grandmother and the family always told her how much “Lilly Beth” looked like her. Lilly Beth became an actress with her grandmother’s encouragement much to the dismay of her parents and brothers, who did not approve of a life on the stage .At the age of twenty she ran away from home to star in the Australian production of “Hair” and created the stage name…Lilly Love. 
Ground floor of a modern miniature shabby chic shop, with a counter to the left, a dining table covered in candlesticks in the centre, wallpaper books to the back, fabric and paint on the right.
While in Sydney Lilly met and fell in love with a handsome young artist Damien Miller. They planned to marry but he was conscripted and went to fight in Vietnam. So they became engaged and had a blissful 6 weeks before he was shipped out to fight.
Close up view of a modern shabby chic shop, showing the counter area with plate racks behind it.
Lilly left the stage so she could always be with Damien whenever he had leave. She got a job with an interior decorator named Ray Siede. She rented apartment in a big old Victorian mansion on Moore Street in Surry Hills owned by a star of “Le Girls”.
Middle of the ground floor of a modern miniature shabby chic shop, with someone peeping in the front window.
Damien survived his first 12 months and they had a wonderful holiday together in Hong Kong. But six weeks after he returned to Vietnam Damien was killed in the battle for Long Ton.
The right-hand side of a modern miniature shabby chic shop, showing wallpaper sample books, and shelves full of fabric and paint tins.
 Lilly lost the love of her life but thank fully with the support of her landlord and a close band of friends she survived those first months of utter despair and loss. Lily decided to stay in Australia and with a generous inheritance from her Grandmother she found a house she could afford to buy in Surry Hills next door to her landlord. She threw herself into her work and doing up her rather run down new home. She loves cooking and the kitchen is the hub of her home.
The first floor fo a modern miniature shabby chic shop, with blue cabinets displaying a range of dinnerware and decorative items.
She found she had a talent for decorating and a number of the stars of Le Girls had her create on a shoe string budget comfortable rooms  and flats for them. Then she got a call from America to make a film in Hollywood.
The left-hand side of the first floor of a modern miniature shabby chic shop, with a range of canisters and baskets on display.
So off she went really excited only to find it was to be an erotic movie. The producer saw Lilly in Hair and thought that as she had taken her clothes off in Hair she would not mind staring in an artistic film. 
Modern miniature shabby chic shop three tier display of macarons, tea cup sets and cook books.
Lilly was taken aback but when she found out the money that was being offered she thought what the heck, she put on a black wig and called herself Lilly Loveless and went ahead and starred in the movie.
Close-up view of a modern miniature shabby chic shop, showing a dining table displaying a dinner set.
 Lilly spent six months in Hollywood and met a lovely young English lady called Rachel Ashwell who was just starting to make a name for herself, as an interior decorator. Rachel had introduced America to the concept “Shabby Chic”. Lilly fell in love with the concept, it reminded her of the happy home she had shared with her much loved grandmother.
Modern miniature shabby chic shop bookcase with 'Simply shabby chic' sigh, pink painted basket filled with paper and a small model house.
She left America with the idea to return to Sydney and open a shop. While in Hollywood she visited a shop called “The Pink Door” and liked the name so much she thought she would name her shop “The Pink door”. Lilly liked America, but found she missed her home and her life and friends in Sydney. She realized she did not want to act anymore so home to Sydney she came with idea of the shop firmly fixed in her head.
Third floor of a modern miniature shabby chic shop, with a display of soft furnishings and furniture.
Shabby chic made her think of the home she grew up in and the comforting surrounds of her grandmother’s home in the beautiful Kent countryside. She knew she could make a success of championing the style in Australia.
Modern miniature shabby chic shop close up with display shelves, wall pictures and sot furnishings.
Lilly opened her shop in 1982. It is  a treasure trove of the style and her home  next door reflexes her love of the comfortable style that is “Shabby Chic” She loves the soft pastel shades and has created a shop and a home that reflexes her instinctive ease with this type of interior decoration.
Modern miniature shabby chic shop display of sheets towels, cake stands and toiletries on cream shelves.
She has a couple of pieces that are family heirlooms and collects blue and white china and antique books.
Modern miniature shabby chic shop display of linens and quilts on cream shelves.
She has never married and lives a full and happy life with many friends in the art and entertainment industry.'
Modern miniature shabby chic shop display of soft toys in a tin tub on the floor, with a display of quilts on cream shelves behind.
(Thank you Div, for sharing Lily's story with us!)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Houses in the Highlands

On Sunday my friend and I popped into Bowral for a poke around the shops on the way home from Div's.

Here's a round up of dolls houses and related items that we spotted while browsing Dirty Janes* and the attached antiques centre. (This sort of post seems to be becoming a regular feature around here...)

The first dolls house we stumbled across was in the emporium itself:
Vintage wooden dolls house.
 Homemade with love, we were particularly taken with its pokerwork detailing which included a water barrel and pipe, quoins
Side of a wooden dolls house, showing pokerwork water barrel and pipe, quoins and iron lace.
 and iron lace.
Close up of the side of a wooden dolls house, highlighting the pokerwork iron lace.
 In the antiques centre, we were captivated by this vintage wire house which was being used as a lamp at the Suzie Anderson Home stall. Alas, it was out of my price range,
Vintage wire house, used as the basis for a lamp.
as were the other similar pieces she had on display...
Price tag which reads 'Vox Populi handmade French lamp made using vintage wire, tin, paper and fabric. Sourced in South of France $1750 sample price.'
Vintage wire birdcage-shaped sculpture with wire spiral staircase and fabric doll, used as the basis for a lamp.
Vintage wire birdcage-shaped sculpture with wire swing and fabric dolls, used as the basis for a lamp.
The next stall had a sweet house made of felt, displayed on a vintage dresser with very clever trompe l'oeil, which I'd like to try on a miniature cupboard some time.
Vintage 1950s dresser, painted with trompe l'oeil of the contents of the cupboards and drawers. On it is displayed a number of items including a round house made of felt.
 Around the corner and almost at the end I spotted this house, made from packing crates:
Vintage dolls house made of two packing crates on their sides, painted white on the outside and bright blue and yellow inside, displayed on the top of a tall display cabinet.
Close up of a sign on the side of a vintage packing case dolls house. It reads 'Dolls House c1930s (Hand made from packing cases) $145.00 Rosies Old Wares Shop 69'
I was tempted to send a picture to Rebecca to see if she was interested, but my phone was playing dead.
Back and side view of a vintage dolls house made from packing cases.
 The final house we spotted was less interesting:
 and faced a 1/6 scale ghost chair being used to display vintage jewellery.
(*I consoled myself by deciding there must be several people called Jane who were dirty...)

How I spent my birthday (part 2)

Selection of lunch dishes laid out on a table.
Adelaide and Jennifer brought a delicious lunch with them
Five glasses of sparking wine toasting.
and Celia brought bubbles.
Table with five people eating lunch with glasses of sparkling wine.
 After lunch we returned to the workshop much refreshed
A woman positions items in a miniature picnic hamper.
and finished off our picnic hampers.
A miniature picnic hamper with black and white checked lining, holding a bottle of wine, two glasses, two smoked salmon sandwiches and a wedge of camenbert, displayed on an outstretched hand.
 Mine contained most of the necessities of life (no chocolate, I'm afraid)
A miniature picnic hamper with red checked lining, holding two glasses, a lollipop, two smoked salmon and lettuce sandwiches, two apples and an orange.
while first-timer Celia's was more elaborate (and much healthier!).
Miniature deck chair, radio and filled picnic hamper on the lawns in front of a miniature Rose Seidler house.
It was a great day all round: thanks to Div for providing the venue and Adelaide, Jennifer and Celia for providing kits, lunch and good company.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

How I spent my birthday (part 1)

The day involved three mini friends (and one non-mini friend).
Two women looking at a miniature garden while drinking tea,
Adelaide brought her Italian garden courtyard for us to admire...
Miniature Italian courtyard garden with cane chair.
Miniature rocks with tiny red door with tiny mouse peeping out.
 And her trunk project, with a most appropriate tag,
Miniature red trunk with skipping rope hanging over the edge and tag which reads 'Keep calm and make miniatures'
Jennifer brought a present: a hand-knitted cashmere scarf.
Close up photo of a woman's hand caressing a black knitted lacey scarf.
(Which made me feel very special).
Woman holding a black knitted lacey scarf around her neck.
After morning tea, we headed up to Div's studio,

Two women at the table in a miniatures studio.
where Adelaide had arranged a surprise workshop!
Miniature picnic basket with contents.
The group ranged from experienced miniaturists to first timers.
Group of four women around a workshop table, looking at bits of a miniature picnic basket kit.
I was pleased to find I had been given the special black and white version of the kit...
Miniature picnic basket kit pieces, plus scissors and stain pen.
Miniature half-built picnic kit, with black and white checked lining.
Miniature black and white picnic kit, clamped after glueing,
(to be continued...)