Saturday, 29 September 2007

Be Prepared................

Anyone who has followed this blog from the start (and if you've come in at this late stage then I strongly suggest you follow the trail right back to the beginning and read every scintillating post) will know that when I embarked on this journey last December, I was extremely disorganised with regard to Christmas.

I apologise for raising the spectre of the (reportedly) festive season in the dying days of September but due to my reckless inability to 'get my act together' last year, I have solemnly pledged to myself that I will be a reformed character, and will sail into December in the sure and certain knowledge that all my Christmas planning is done, lists have been actioned, presents bought and wrapped, cards written stamped and ready to send and generally being smug.

To this end I have put a timer on my computer desktop screen, in which Santa gallops merrily across the little snowy window, waving gaily, while in large, friendly script there is a countdown of the number of days remaining till 25th December. I thought it would help focus my attention, assist in my planning and listmaking and generally galvanise me into action.


Only three days on, I now find myself sitting transfixed, like a rabbit trapped in the glare of oncoming headlights, regarding the large 'friendly' message with narrowed eyes and gritted teeth.
Somehow just knowing that I have all this time for preparation has rendered me incapable of taking the whole thing seriously.
So in all probability, once again I will arrive at 18th December, blinking in confusion and muttering incoherently about how the time has flown etc etc.

Oh, and just in case you're wondering...............

86 days
'til Christmas

Quite chuffed actually...........

I had some exciting news earlier this week.

After submitting a few of my tiny doll's dolls to the Kensington Dollshouse Festival appraisal process, I have been accepted as a showcase exhibitor at next year's Festival.

Woo and indeed hoo!

Not only that, they want me to offer a workshop on the opening day of the Festival!!
During the workshop session students will costume one of my latest style of little Victorian style dolls, just 1 1/2" tall, learning lots of hints and tips along the way and ending up with a miniature heirloom for the dollshouse nursery or toy shop.

My latest range now includes a toy doll with real glass eyes.
Now if you're saying 'so what.........." then I should point out that I have to work inside a porcelain head no bigger than a small pea, in order to set in eyes the size of mustard seeds, so it is a real technical challenge. I even use a special opthalmic micro-scalpel to excise the eyeholes, with the aid of a powerful magnifying lamp. Less than half a millimetre means the difference between success and failure.

It is one of these glass-eyed dolls which I submitted to the Festival organisers, along with some of my painted eye Jumeau-style dolls, which I must admit are my very favourite dolls of all to make and dress.

My idea of heaven is to spend a day in my workroom surrounded by drifts of silks and ribbons in every shade and colour of the spectrum, creating costumes for these little dolls.


Anyway, as I said, I am really quite chuffed.............:-)

Monday, 24 September 2007


Have just spent a jolly hour deeply immersed in the mysteries of electricity.

Happily as it is of the 12v variety there is little chance of me ending up frizzled to a crisp.

However I am very adept at burning myself with either the soldering iron or hot solder, both of which are extremely hot!

Nevertheless, the front sections of the shop are now 'live' so the little coach lamps either side of the door, and the lights inside the bay windows are twinkling merrily so I am mightily pleased with my efforts.

I've even made a start on the cat's cradle of wires which run from the lit display cabinets and have installed some extra connection points so that I don't have to run wires from one room to another.

All in all, quite a satisfying episode, so if I can keep this up over the coming weeks it might..... just might, be finished by Christmas.

Woo and indeed hoo!

The scale of the problem................

Thanks to Mrs Mop's untiring industry in my little hobby room yesterday, I do now have space to move around in and have spent a dispiriting few hours trying to assess what to do next with my toy shop.

Why dispiriting?

Well I am now re-acquainted with the reason why my enthusiasm for the project had waned somewhat.

There are lots of things to do which isn't the problem.

The problem is this
Before I can move on I need to sort out the electrics for all the display cabinets. If you read way back in these posts, you will recall that I was very excited about my idea to light every display case.

Great idea. No question.


The shop has three floors with two rooms on each floor
There will be a total of 14 display cabinets, a variety of double, triple and some corner units. Not content with simply lighting each cabinet, I decided to light each individual bay in each cabinet.

A grand total of 30 bays. Which means 30 individual bulbs, each with 24" of wire ending in a little white plug.

Which means an unholy tangle of wires running behind the cabinets and converging on a long connector strip tucked neatly in the corners where they will be hidden behind the angled corner units.

So I have no choice.

I have pondered long and hard, aided and abetted by small dog, who helpfully brought her squeaky ball along to help my deliberations.

I now have the tedious, repetitive task of taking off every plug, meticulously measuring the distance to the connector, accurately cutting the wire to length and refitting the plug, soldering each wire to ensure a good connection.

It'll take hours, days, weeks even........... :-(

Friday, 21 September 2007

Cavalry arrives.............

"By 'eck! Look at the muck in 'ere! This'll take more than a squirt of Ajax."

*sighs heavily, lights her ciggy, and sets about putting the blog to rights*


Look at the dust in here..........
*runs a finger along the windowsill and recoils at the trail of dust and debris*

See, this is what happens when a blog is neglected
*ducks to avoid abseiling spider the size of a dinner plate*

I really must knuckle down and give it a good going over
*steps sideways to avoid hibernating marmot* ........gosh, wonder how that got in here...........

Perhaps I should get a cleaner in...........
*startled by rustling noise behind the cupboard*

Yes.......good idea. I'll get someone in to give it a thorough clean and come back later
*backs slowly towards the door*