Monday, 17 September 2018

Normal service.....?

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

In the meantime, here's a dancing guinea pig.

You're welcome.....

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Pinterest goals.....

I strongly suspect I'm not the only Pinterest aficionado who avidly collects pins on a multitude of boards, never to look at them again.  It doesn't help that once Pinterest knows what you like to pin, it sends you emails every few days with pins you might like... it's like offering someone who's on a diet, but has no willpower, a selection of chocolates.


As regular readers will know, there's nothing I like better than spending some time many hours on Pinterest, flitting from one delight to another, pinning freely as I go.  It's my favourite time-wasting  procrastinating  research tool.

It's definitely a form of electronic hoarding, and there are very probably PA groups which operate like AA with members having to admit to their addiction before they can move on....

" name is Sandra, and I'm a Pinaholic"

So, in an effort to justify my Pinterest addiction I'm going to make a concerted effort to actually DO something with them, as opposed to keeping them locked away in cyberspace.

I have one board in particular, which taunts me every time I pin something to it.  It's titled Inspirational Toy Dolls and contains 245 pins showing beautiful vintage dolls which I particularly admire and which I'd like to try to recreate in micro-miniature.

Here is a small random selection.....

Exquisite, aren't they?  

However, with one exception they are all quite large dolls... most are taller than 24".
Whereas I'll be trying to recreate their costumes and style using porcelain dolls under 2" tall.

Quite a size/scale discrepancy! 

But hey.... you know I like a challenge.... right? 

So, starting this week, I'm going to pick one at random and attempt to recreate a micro-miniature version.
My plan is to do one each week, many of which will end up in La Mignonette (my own French doll shop) but others might find their way either to the website, Etsy or Ebay.

I'll also document the results here..... what could possibly go wrong?! 

*cue hysterical laughter* 

Monday, 23 July 2018

Tipping point......

Yes, I know I haven't posted for absolutely A-G-E-S.  There's been a lot going on.... most of it good, including a wonderful holiday in France with lovely friends.

While we still have a few things in the pipeline for the second half of the year, it's mostly business as usual and I've been back to work, continuing the workroom downsizing exercise, which has finally reached a 'point of no return' tipping point.

Cupboards are beginning to echo, boxes have emptied and disappeared, many of my storage drawers are similarly empty and my stash of miniature goodies is now irrevocably depleted.  That said, I've downsized all the 'easy' stuff, and I'm now spending longer considering whether to keep or sell particular miniatures from my collection.

I'm also now at the point where I will not be producing any more toy kits.... the small number I have left are in the Discontinued Kits area of the website and there are no more than a few of any of them.  Which leaves the boxes of assorted kit components, which are also now being listed on the website HERE.

I am still planning my final workshop project pack which should be ready in the autumn and full details will be posted here in due course.  It should have been done and dusted ages ago, but I keep adding more and more to it from my dwindling stash.

So what next...?  Well, probably a slight change of direction, a website makeover and a different path for a while, pursuing a project close to my heart, which will hopefully take me up to full retirement in a few years time.

In a way I'm going full circle, back to my 'first love'... tiny dolls.  Hopefully my new offerings will find favour with non-miniaturists too... collectors of small, lovely things not necessarily for doll's house purposes.

We'll see.

Still lots of ideas swirling around, bouncing off each other and forming new and different possibilities.

In the meantime though, the August Mini Miniature Show kicks off on 2nd August, and although I'm not offering a workshop pack this time, I still have lots of things to photograph and list.

Better get on with it then.

Toodle pip! 

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Flash Sale.... ends today!

Just a very brief post to let you know that we have a Flash Sale running this weekend, which ends today (Sunday 17 June)

There are discounts on both dressed and undressed toy dolls, as well as many new items in my Downsizing Sale.

Also new discontinued kits, toys and dolls......
Limited stocks across the website and when they're gone they're really gone!

All on the website HERE

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Miscellaneous musings.....

So.... over a week after returning from our Scottish odyssey and I've been very lax about updating the blog.

My bad.

The holiday was brilliant... time spent with friends, jaw-dropping scenery, sampling local delicacies (NOT deep-fried Mars bars!) and generally enjoying the land of my birth.

The view from our garden in Argyll

Spotted en route from west to east

The view from our flat in North Berwick

Small Dog 'relacksen' after a hard day's sightseeing.....
Since our return I've been in a whirlwind of 'stuff to do'.  Aside from the interminable unpacking, I've been casting, soft-cleaning, updating the website and attempting to blitz the house.

Plus here we are, almost halfway through the year, and I'm still a long way away from completing my 60th birthday year goals.


In other news, due to the post-holiday laundry mountain, our washing machine exploded the other day.  PP spent several hours trying to mend it, but in the end admitted defeat.  The bearings had gone (don't they always?) and despite watching several You Tube videos showing how to replace them, it entailed taking the entire machine to pieces....a mend-it step too far.  So we've had to grit our teeth and order a new one which arrives (hopefully) later this week.


In other, other news, one of my 60th year goals is to get a (possibly electric) bicycle so research is ongoing.

This is how I imagine I might look.....

And THIS is closer to how I will actually look....


Thursday, 3 May 2018

Get thee to a growlery......

A dog-loving friend of mine posted this on her FB page the other day and it really struck a chord with me....

Today I am taking a break from the despised soft-cleaning to tackle the even more hated annual accounts.

Or I should be.

I keep wandering into the dining room, surveying the big box which contains all of my 2017-18 paperwork, sighing deeply, then wandering back out again.  I have made half-hearted attempts to tidy up in the workroom, until my conscience forced me to do something useful. 


So I printed out a set of labels and stuck them onto envelopes which will contain the month-by-month expenses and receipts.  However, far from being buoyed by this admittedly paltry progress, I felt annoyed at my lack of anything approaching progress.

So I have decided that what I REALLY need is a growlery.

Scene: Sandra is dallying from room to room, trying to find something to do, nominally more urgent than starting the annual accounts.  A small, but menacing growl, alerts her to the presence of Small Dog, who has deserted her customary spot in the office and is standing in the sitting room doorway.

SD: *self importantly* Whott is this rubish abowt yue kneading a growllury?
Me: *dramatically... throwing myself down on the sofa* It's my restless, questing spirit SD.  I am out of sorts and in an ill humour.  I need somewhere quiet and soothing to restore my equilibrium.
SD: *derisively* Eckwillibryum?  Bollox....Yue knead to wooman upp and just gett on with itt.  Growllury indeeed.  
*warming to her theme*  If eniwun in this hows kneads a growllury itts ME!  
Alsew.... beein orl dramatick and kollapsen on the sofar is MY job.  Yue ar the karm and kollektid wun!
Me:*tremulously* Oh... but SD.... I am stricken.  It's the accounts you know. I simply can't go on..... *sobs into cushion*
SD:*suspiciously* Yure taken the pis.. arrnt yue. Maken fun of me jusst becoss ai am sensitif and hav phyner pheelens.  Itts mai artistick tempramint as wel yue kno.
Me:*thoughtfully* Well, yes.  Of course. You are indeed the Sarah Bernhardt of the doggy world.
SD:*preening* Ai shal taik thatt as a komplimint!
Me: As you wish SD.  As you wish....


Tuesday, 1 May 2018

All play and no work....

As penance for being such a sybarite for the duration of my birthday week, I'm atoning by tackling two of the most despised and unpleasant business-related tasks.... our annual accounts and a mega batch of soft cleaning.

Of the two, the soft cleaning is infinitely preferable, despite it causing me to lose the will to live.  I started yesterday.... possibly the coldest, most miserable April day in the history of ever, so I was on a hiding to nothing right from the get-go.

Oh it all starts well enough.  Nice hot water for the soft-cleaning bit, the initial enthusiasm for tackling a very necessary task, the determination to see it though and do the best job possible.

But after a while, the nice hot water goes lukewarm, then tepid, and because it happens so gradually I don't really notice until I stop for a break and suddenly realise that my hands are FREEZING COLD! 

And husky.

As in 'dessicated husk' not the dog or the smouldering sexy voice.


Scene: Sandra is at her laptop, composing a long overdue blog post about the vagaries and discomforts of soft-cleaning.  She becomes aware of a small, furry presence staring intently at the laptop screen.

Small Dog: *emphatically* Butt... ai DO absewlootlie hav a smolldurring secksy vois.
Me:*dismissively* Not when you're barking your silly head off up the garden you haven't.
SD: *suspiciously* And whotts this abowt a husckie.  Hav yue bean konsorten with uthr dogs.  Ai hav warrnd yue befour abowt thatt.....
Me: *mollifyingly* I most certainly have not been consorting with other dogs SD....Oh light of my life.
SD:*unmollified* Harrumph.... ai am knott so shure.  Yue oftin kum hoam smellen of strainj dogs.  Ai am knott stewpid yue kno.
Me:  Perish the thought SD.  You are my only and bestest dog in the world.
SD: *settling back down in her basket* Hmmm. Yess.... gude thing too! 

So, anyway.... soft cleaning.  Horrid job *shudder*

Annual accounts *sigh* also a horrid job, involving a tsunami of receipts and invoices which all have to be inspected and corralled into envelopes then all the numbers are laboriously entered into my 'idiot-proof' Excel spreadsheeet and jiggled until they all add up. 

It generally takes an entire day just to get organised to do it... necessitating clearing off the dining table so that I can spread everything out into neat piles, remembering to leave a clear space so that I can repeatedly bang my head on it when the figures refuse to reconcile, which is a depressingly regular occurrence. 

So yes... my week is shaping up just fine and dandy thanks.