Saturday, 31 March 2012

Icky vs. Dicky......

PP is a member of several consumer panels, which means we regularly receive free samples of new products to try out, evaluate and review.

In recent times we've had a month's supply of a new dishwasher tablet, some revolutionary cotton buds and a 4 kilo sack of dog food which Small Dog hates and is now taking up a substantial amount of space in a kitchen cupboard.

So this morning, when a box arrived addressed to PP, I was agog to discover what it might contain.

At this point I feel that I should issue a warning that if you are unhappy with bodily functions and excretions, or have a particularly sensitive gag reflex, you might want to stop reading. 

NOW. At this point. Bye

Right, for those of you with a stronger constitution, the box contained one of these.

Namely, the geometrically patterned item on the right.... the ball is there purely to give an impression of scale (but it might give a clue as to its function).

Apparently it's a Dicky Bag.

No, we didn't know what that is either, but further investigation revealed it to be, and I quote, 

"a more civilised way of carrying dog poo".

To be more precise, it's a 4mm, double lined neoprene container which has a lid with a unique odour prevention seal.  It comes complete with biodegradable bags, which are stored and dispensed from the lid, and the icing on the cake is a renewable fragrance disc, which is stored in the base.  It also incorporates a belt loop, and a universal clip which can be attached to your bag, or the dog's harness or lead.

It comes in 5 different sizes, from extra small

to extra large

and, apparently, in a wide range of attractive colours.

So far so good.

On walks with Small Dog, I am invariably the Keeper of the Poo Bags, which means I always have, on or about my person, a ready supply of little black bags.  

I am also privileged to hold the position of Picker-Up of the Poo.  This is a highly skilled task, which requires enormous dexterity and a strong stomach.  Small Dog may be small, but her poo packs a pungent punch.

Analogous with the previous office, I also rejoice in the title of Disposer of the Poo, which is, perhaps, my least favourite vocation.  Small Dog has an uncanny knack of dispensing poo where there are no dog poo bins in sight.  If we are walking along the seafront, where dog poo disposal bins are spaced at regular intervals, she will poo at a point exactly equidistant between two of them.  On country walks, where dog poo bins are thin on the ground, she will invariably poo within the first 2 minutes, resulting in my having to carry a bag of warm poo around with me for the duration.

OK.... so I know what you're thinking.

Sandra, be grateful you don't have a Great Dane.  Or even two. You'd need wheelbarrow for that.

And believe, me, I am thankful for small mercies. 

Or should that be small poos.

But a bag of poo is a bag of poo however you dress it up, and strolling along trying to maintain a nonchalant demeanour, while swinging a bag of dog poo is a hard act to pull off.

So you will appreciate that when I discovered the Dicky Bag, my eyes lit up with barely concealed excitement and anticipation.  It's quite a nifty article.  To the untutored eye it looks as if it might designed to keep a single serving can of gin and tonic nicely chilled.  Indeed, if push came to shove I'm sure it could be used for any number of imaginative purposes, but I'm going to rein in my exhuberance and use it for the purpose for which it is intended.

Namely storing Small Dog's bags of poo until they can be appropriately disposed of.

Incidentally, Small Dog finds the whole subject deeply abhorrent. She seems constantly surprised that she should be responsible for something as repugnant as dog poo, and runs away from it as soon as it hits the ground.

She is even more surprised that I should want to pick it up, carry it around in a little bag, and sometimes even take it home with me.  Indeed, while I am engaged in the picking up process, she stands as far away from me as possible, eyes trained on a distant object on the horizon, attempting (successfully) to ignore the whole sordid business.  

I often feel that my role as her effluent control officer places me on a much lower social ranking than PP, and infinitely lower than Small Dog.

So when I showed her the Dicky Bag, she sniffed it curiously, no doubt hoping that it might contain something delishus.  I demonstrated how the biodegradable bags pull out one at a time from the neat little dispenser in the lid.  I let her sniff the fragrance disc and examine the unique odour prevention seal. I explained the function of the universal clip, which means that she could carry the Dicky Bag, along with its contents, attached to her harness.

This was clearly a step too far.  I should have known better.  I've been on the receiving end of many a withering glare from Small Dog over the years, but the one she gave me when I suggested she carry her own poo could have curdled milk.

Nevertheless I intend to press the Dicky Bag into use at the first available opportunity, even if I have to attach it to my own belt loop, rather than Small Dog's harness.

However, I'll bide my time.




Friday, 30 March 2012

The incredible shrinking woman......

There isn't much to admire about many aspects of today's popular culture.  

Complete nonentities are feted as celebrities for doing little more than making a fool of themselvesIncreasing numbers of perfectly ordinary people seem to think that the world owes them a living and that working hard to achieve anything is a waste of time and effort.  Similarly, just saying that they want something, is sufficient for them to be fast-tracked to fame and fortune.

Even the most mundane and lack-lustre efforts are afforded the mythical status of  a 'journey', which is usually prefixed by 'amazing', as in

"OMG, I like, can't believe that I've gone, like, two whole days without a Gregg's's like I've been on an amazing journey."

So I'm not reporting the following with any more than a sense of quiet self-satisfaction and solemnly promise not to use any travel-related metaphors.

Since mid-January I've been on an amazing journey a weight loss diet.  In 12 weeks I've lost 16 lbs which is an average of just over a pound a week.  Some weeks more, some weeks less, but each week I've weighed less than the last.  

This, of course, is nothing startling or newsworthy.  It's not as if I've lost half my body weight, or dropped four dress sizes.  It's just slow, steady progress towards a goal which still seems a long way off.

Some days it's easier than others.  Not a smidgen of chocolate has passed my lips, I've had hardly any bread or cheese (all of which I love) and I have a minimum of 4 wine-free days a week.  I've even been extremely disciplined about my 30 minutes a day of Wii unFit. 

Given my adherence to the regime I'd hoped to have lost more, but accept that I have an uphill struggle as so many of my MS meds are notorious for causing weight gain so I'm swimming against the stream*.

*I didn't promise not to mix metaphors....*

Nevertheless, I've had to abandon several pairs of jeans which I can now slip down without undoing either button or zip, and am going to have to buy a new belt soon as even the tightest hole is becoming too loose.

I can now bend in the middle and am regaining some semblance of what I disparagingly call my waist.

I can't say that I notice a huge difference when I look in the mirror, and this is borne out by the fact that not one single person has said, unprompted, that I look slimmer, which is a tad disappointing given my commitment to the task for the past three months.

But, no matter.

Having come this far (see, no mention of journey there) and reaching one third of the way to my goal, I'm determined to stay the course and hopefully at the end of another six months I shall emerge triumphant, a slimmer and fitter me.

And here is proof positive of my progress to date... stage one of two.

I just love those little green dots....


Thursday, 29 March 2012

Lights.... camera....action!

We held the online session for the April Kit of the Month yesterday evening which was most enjoyable, with students from as far afield as Arizona and Ontario.

Several people have already finished their Spring Lamb Pullalong Toys and have emailed the results.

Anne in California adapted her kit according to the wishes of her rather demanding lamb who insisted on grass beneath her hooves....

And Jean in Kent sent this photo of her lamb alongside one of my little toy dolls....

Other examples of completed projects will be posted as they arrive.

Needless to say, never one to shun the limelight, Small Dog couldn't pass up an opportunity to meet her admirers and gave a bravura performance during the online session, at one point trying to lick the webcam, thereby giving everyone an extreme close up of her cold, wet nose and long, pink tongue.

There's been no living with her today.

She's swanning around requesting 8x10 full colour glossy photos of herself to which she wants to add her 'pawtograph'Next thing, she'll be insisting on a rise in her remuneration for  services as 'The Face of Tower House Dolls'

Who would have thought that such a very small dog could have such megalomaniac tendencies....?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

March madness......

Another stunningly lovely day today..... clear blue skies and warm.  

Really warm.

Hot even.

Much hotter than I can ever remember in March.  Indeed up in Scotland, which is hardly renowned for its balmy climes, temperatures have been hitting all time highs and smashing previous records for March which were set way back in the 1950s.

I've spent 5 hours soft-cleaning today, and during my sanity breaks, sat out in the garden marvelling at how hot it was. 

Even Small Dog, on her daily constitutional was feeling the heat, and once back indoors fled to the cool sanctuary of her basket after downing half her water bowl.


I like weather like this as much as the next woman, but I like it IN ITS PLACE.  The weather is not behaving in a seemly manner.  March should be blowy, crisp, occasionally sunny, but never, ever HOT.

It's like one of those sci-fi films where the weather goes screwy and we all die due to drought, or tidal waves, or volcanic eruptions or similar.

Even if the Armageddon scenario doesn't play out (and here in East Sussex we already have a hosepipe ban) I have a feeling that we'll pay for this unseasonably early summer somewhere down the line.

Probably round about my birthday next month, when we're planning a caravan jolly with our camping friends.  Instead of spring-like April weather we'll have snow and hail, with the odd typhoon and thunderstorm thrown in for good measure and spend our time huddling in the caravan peering out at the rain-soaked landscape.

We're all doomed.

DOOMED I tells ye........


Monday, 26 March 2012

Calling all clubs.......

When I first started out in miniatures, over 25 years ago, I was a founder member and organiser of what began as a club of just 3 members..... Kent Miniaturists.  When I finally stepped down after 10 years it was a thriving club with members from all over the county and beyond, and I'm happy to say it's still going strong.

As well as fulfilling the role of club secretary, newsletter editor (and printer!) I also devised and ran many of the club workshops, which over the years became ever more inventive and challenging.  Skills levels among the members increased rapidly, and we thought nothing of trying our hand at silversmithing, woodworking, miniature painting, upholstered furniture, 1/144th scale doll's houses (fully furnished) and much more besides. 

Moreover, at the end of each session, we had created a miniature which we were proud to add to our collection, rather than something which might end up in the bin!

Then as Tower House Dolls developed, and I was teaching workshops and courses in miniature dollmaking, I regularly visited miniatures clubs all over the South East, to teach one day workshops.

As a result, I'm well aware of the difficulties faced by clubs in attracting affordable tutors who can offer innovative, inspiring and challenging but achievable projects for club workshops.

Nowadays, the limitations of my MS have curtailed much of my 'in person' teaching, but through the medium of the video tutorials which accompany our  Kit of the Month home workshop packs I have been able to develop a style of 'distance' teaching, which works very well.

So if you are a club member or organiser, looking for ideas for workshop sessions, why not contact us for details of our special club tutorial packs which can be tailored to your needs.  
We have already designed projects for several clubs in the UK as well as abroad, including a group in Switzerland and the US.

We offer a bespoke, tailored service for clubs which includes the following:

  • Individual kit packs for each club member which contain everything needed to complete the chosen project plus fully-illustrated step by step instruction booklet
  • Leader's pack with annotated notes to accompany instruction booklet, plus pack of assorted spare materials
  • Example of the finished project
  • Link to video tutorial which members can access prior to the workshop session
  • Memory stick pre-loaded with the video tutorial which can be used on a laptop during the session.
  • Comprehensive tools list for members. 
Our club packs can be tailored to a specific budget, the skills level of members, or to the time you have available..... anything from a few hours to a full-day session.

So, whether your club is in the UK, further afield, or even on the other side of the world,  simply contact us for more details or to discuss your requirements.  

All work and no play.....

My work-life balance needs some serious tweaking.  

Last week = no work
This week = all work..... 5 x 12 hour days if I'm to clear my to do list by the end of the month.

I also have that niggly naggly feeling I always get at the prospect of the end of the tax year and having to tackle the accounts.

*deep and extremely heartfelt sigh*

However, I do at least feel reasonably rejuvenated after a rather lovely week, followed by an equally lovely weekend, so I'm cautiously confident that I'll be able to hit my targets this week.


Completing all the prep for our April Kit of the Month which is a very special project to be revealed early next week.

Not forgetting (as if I could) starting phase one of the dreaded soft-cleaning of a kiln load of tiny, wee dolls.  I estimate that the entire lot will take approximately 25-30 woman-hours, so I plan to tackle it in hourly bite-sized chunks spread out evenly over the coming week.

Well, that's the plan anyway.  However, we all know what can happen to even the best laid plans of mice and men.

Not to mention cats.....


Saturday, 24 March 2012

All play and no work.....

Returned yesterday from a short break away in Ramsgate for a few days.  I must have been to Ramsgate before but if I did it was many, many years ago and I don't remember it.

We hired a little cottage, right by the beach under the cliffs with the most amazing views and even more amazing sunlight streaming into every room, which only served to highlight how gloomy our house feels now that we're home.

Small Dog loved being able to sit on the upper deck, looking down on the joggers, cyclists and dog walkers running, cycling and walking along the esplanade and keeping an eagle eye on the seagulls.  Within no time at all we were fully cognisant of the daily comings and goings of the Ramsgate-Ostend ferry and the assorted fishing boats wending their way in and out of the harbour.

We were a tad surprised, on Day Two, to receive texts from our respective mobile phone networks saying "Welcome to Belgium.  Calls and texts will now cost you an arm and a leg" or words to that effect.  We can only assume that as we were right under the cliffs, with hardly any mobile phone reception, and absolutely no mobile broadband reception, the tracking systems in our mobile phones couldn't locate us on the UK mainland so put on the nearest land mass, which from Ramsgate is Belgium!

The lack of any mobile broadband reception meant I couldn't access emails, so I'm taking time out today to trawl through the hundreds in my inbox.  If any of them are yours, please bear with me and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

In other news, the March Kit of the Month is now sold out, but preparations are already well underway for the April offering, which will be unveiled next weekend.

So, having had this past week off, I'm resigned to working though most of the weekend to try to catch up.  Sod's law dictates that this weekend will see temperatures edging up into the 70s..... more like June than the end of March.  On the way home yesterday it was really noticeable how much the trees and hedgerows are greening up and we must have passed millions of daffodils and other spring flowers rampaging through the countryside.

This weekend marks my most favourite time of the year as we put our clocks forward tonight to gain a whole extra hour of daylight tomorrow evening and herald the proper arrival of spring.  It's only two weeks till Easter too so lots to look forward to in the coming months.

However, in the meantime, I'd better get into the workroom and settle down to doing something productive.

Ho hum....

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Parting is such sweet sorrow.......

It looks as though our dream of moving house might possibly be edging imperceptibly closer, so I'm once again turning my thoughts to downsizing the contents of our good-sized 4 bedroomed house so that they will fit comfortably into a much smaller 2 bedroomed one.

This means taking some tough decisions on much-loved items such as my leather-topped yew desk with matching filing cabinets which take up an 8 foot run of wall space and are unlikely to fit into a dinkier house.

The same thing applies to my workroom, which as well as all of my work stuff, contains my toy shop, another corner shop, a conservatory and two room boxes, which poses something of a conundrum.

So, after much soul-searching and deliberation I have decided which I'll have to part with.

First up is my lovely toy shop, which has been featured in the Doll's House Magazine.  Full details of its genesis can be found in the early posts of this blog.  It has 6 rooms and I'm going to include all of the illuminated display shelving and shop fittings, heavy duty 12volt transformer, as well as the proprietor Albert Lowther, who is a sitting tenant.  Also included is the basement kit, which despite my best intentions is still in its unassembled form but which will provide an additional two rooms.  Not to mention a rather lovely 1/12th scale vintage delivery van.

The toys are NOT included.

There are lots of internal and external photographs of the shop in the magazine article HERE

I'm inviting offers in the region of £375 for the shop, all fixtures and fittings, transformer, Albert Lowther, additional basement kit and vintage delivery van so if anyone is interested in this unique building and all the extras (and can collect it from St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex as it is for pick up only!) please contact me for further details or to arrange a viewing.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Fishy business......

As you can see, we have finally managed to complete Small Dog's haircut. (Ignore the fish, I'll come to that in a minute)

PP and I girded our respective loins earlier today and decided to finish what PP had started last week, ie trimming the back two thirds of Small Dog's torso.  I've blogged before about these annual haircuts, and Small Dog's 'goodwill period' which can extend to as much as 8 or 10 minutes before she goes bitey.  

I was well impressed that PP had single-handedly managed to trim an entire third of Small Dog's body in the allotted goodwill period, but it says something for the bitey period thereafter that it's taken both of us over a week to work up the courage to finish the job.

In the interim, we've been walking her more or less in public, fully prepared for the "What eejit's been cutting your dog's hair?" comments, and putting on a brave face.


Today, we decided that we couldn't put it off any longer.  She looked like two different dogs, stitched together in a weird Frankenstein styley, plus people were laughing at her.

Which she hates.

But not as much as she hates having her haircut.

Bit of a Hobson's Choice really.

Anyway, we tried to set up the operating table pampering surface as discretely as possible, even going so far as to hide the comb and scissors up our sleeves so we wouldn't get wind of what was about to happen.  However, we blew it when we couldn't find her muzzle and had to conduct a room-to-room search.  It finally turned up in the caravan, by which time she'd gleaned what was about to happen and made herself scarce.

A further room-to-room search located her cowering in one of the upstairs bedrooms, looking like a dog on the very edge of biting someone if they came anywhere near her with either a comb or scissors.

Thankfully, she doesn't have the same reaction to the muzzle, and within no time she was standing on the kitchen table, muzzled and trembling with fear which rapidly turned to biteyness as soon as the comb and scissors made an appearance.

When having a haircut, Small Dog starts off at frenzy pitch and everything escalates from there.  By the end of the session, all three of us were panting, dishevelled and fraught, but at least all of her component parts matched .


She's still not talking to us. Which is why we tried to make peace by showing her our dinner (See I told you I'd get round to telling you about the fish). 

Tesco have a special offer on sea bass at the moment with whole fish at £2.00 each, so we decided to buy two for tonight.

Now, I have a chequered history with fish.  When I was a child (around 7 or 8) I have a vivid fish-related memory.  My grandfather loved fish, and whenever we visited we would invariably have some sea creature.  With child-like innocence I ate whatever was put in front of me, and genuinely enjoyed fish.

Until one day I got a fish bone stuck in my throat.

The whole family rallied round and tried all the prescribed ways of dislodging a fish bone...... I was force fed almost an entire half loaf of bread, drank loads of water, was made to cough till my throat felt it was going to explode...... nothing worked, and by then I felt my entire neck and throat swelling so that I could barely swallow and hardly breathe.

At that point I was rushed to our GP, and such was my distress that I was able to jump the belligerent queue in the always-full waiting room without being lynched.  

By then I was in desperate straits, and convinced that I was going to die.  I remember vividly sitting on the examining couch, while our (usually) lovely GP shone a light down my throat trying to locate the offending piscine protuberance.

I remember even more vividly him rooting through his instrument cabinet and coming towards me with something held behind his back.  Sensing that no good was going to come of it, I resorted to wailing and crying, to no avail.  He requested that my mum give me a hug, good and tight, restraining my arms,  and while my mouth was wide open, flourished a set of very long, curved forceps, with which he adroitly reached down my throat to grasp the offending bone and wrench it out.

Traumatised doesn't even come close! 

He gave me the fish bone as a souvenir, which I kept in a tissue in my 'secrets box' for many years and despite having a swollen throat for a day or so, and a lifelong aversion to fish, I was none the worse.

I didn't touch another fish for over 30 years.  I couldn't even manage a fish finger.  However, PP, being born by the sea and loving all things nautical, has, over time, persuaded to me to try fish.  I like to think I've become quite adventurous.  I now love skate, monkfish, cod.... anything which doesn't look like it's going to be boney.

Like this for example.....


Nevertheless, sea bass tonight was a step too far.  PP dutifully cut off its head, and all its fins.  And carefully explained to me how to minimise the risk of bones.

So getting a few horrid, hard, spikey bones in my third mouthful was a bit of a setback. I did try to recover, but by then my heart wasn't in it.  I couldn't even manage the stir fry vegetables as I could start to feel my throat constricting in response to all the vivid fish bone related memories which flooded my brain.

Paradoxically, Small Dog LOVES fish, and polished off the sea bass cheeks with lip-smacking fervour.  Predictably she now has a lingering fishy odour, which is all to the good, as she has to have a proper post-haircut bath tomorrow to get her hair to lie flat.

All in all it's been quite a difficult day........might have to have a hot chocolate in bed.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

The spirit of competition.........

I don't generally regard myself as a competitive sort.  I've hardly ever won anything in my life, unless you count my solitary £10 lottery win years ago, and the odd raffle prize.

I'm not into competitive sports, or, if it comes to it, individual sporting pursuits.  I think the phrase "doesn't play well with others" might have been coined with me in mind.

Indeed, actually entering any sort of competition where I have to pit myself against other people normally brings me out in a cold sweat.

Which is why I'm baffled as to the reason I've just entered not one but TWO competitions. 

I can feel the phrase "it seemed like a good idea at the time" looming into view over the event horizon.....

OK, so one has a closing date of December, which as we all know is simultaneously aeons away/just around the corner, and is going to help ensure that I have a stunning pre-Christmas workshop project planned and executed way in advance.  The other has a closing date of August and also has several lovely Kit of the Month project ideas written all over it.

The competition kit isn't available until mid April, so between now and then I have a lovely honeymoon period to plan the layout, decide exactly what I'm going to do, make lists and so on before starting on the actual construction.

As suggested I'm going to take photos showing the progression, and perhaps also hone my video making skills doing a weekly update.  So if anyone else out there is planning to enter, do let me know and we can compare notes.

For as we all know, it's not the winning it's the taking part that counts......

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Genius. Sheer genius......

It will come as no surprise to long-time readers of this blog, that I love the internet.

It is the font of all knowledge.  

A playground.....

A workplace.....

Somewhere to unwind and relax, or be entertained, or terrified, or disgusted.......

And it houses a Palace of Entertainment such as the world has never seen.

I refer, of course to YouTube.... where I found this gem earlier.

 At last.... a video which combines two of my favourite things.

Doll's houses


Downton Abbey.

These won't make a whit of sense if you haven't watched the series, but if you have, the subversion of subtext, plot and characters is epic.

Almost better than the real thing.......

Admittedly, I'm not too sure why Samuel Whiskers and Tom Kitten are on the cast list, but the portrayals of the evil Thomas and O'Brien are masterly.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Busy, busy, busy......

The online show closed last night so today I've spent all day so far, packaging orders which are now winging their way to far-flung corners of the globe.  Thanks to everyone who visited our 'virtual table'.  It was good to speak to many of you via email over the course of the past few days.

In other news, this is a last call for anyone who wants to join in with our Kit of the Month for March 


We have just two kits remaining, and we will not be producing any more of these in the foreseeable future.  Purchasers of the kit will have exclusive access to our 30 minute video tutorial as well as the option to attend an online class with us in our fully-featured virtual classroom on Wednesday 28 March at 8.00pm GMT. 

Right.... I'd better get back to work.  I have two commissions to complete in time for Mother's Day on Sunday so I'd best get cracking.....


Friday, 9 March 2012

Online show update......!

The third Miniature Online Show is now open to visitors.

You can find us HERE, and we have a special discount offer valid for the duration of the show. 

If you need any information or have any queries, you can contact me direct using the email link on our page.  

There are over 100 exhibitors this time so I'm hoping to be able to find some time to visit as many as I can over the course of the weekend, daughter's birthday celebrations permitting.

Happy browsing......

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Online show......

It's the third online miniatures show this weekend and I've set today aside to update my virtual table and list some new toys.

The show will open on Friday 9th in the evening and will remain open until 12 March.  No passwords required this time, just visit the show HERE  at the appointed time.

Lots more exhibitors this time round, but we're under the Dealers I tab.  We'll be having a very special online show offer for visitors so we do hope you can find the time to take a look.


Better get back to it then. 

No displacement activity for me today.

No by no nonny no.....


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Happy Birthday.....!!!!!

Just have to wish my gorgeous daughter a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!

It's a milestone birthday but it's very uncouth to reveal a lady's age so I won't.  Sooooo looking forward to her coming down for the weekend to celebrate.


Small Dog has had half a haircut.

She would have had a whole haircut but her 10 minute goodwill period only allowed for PP to trim her head, ears, neck and half her back before she became feral.

So she looks, not to put too fine a point on it, absolutely ridiculous.

I have renamed her Pinhead, which is a fairly accurate description.  Tiny little shorn head, great big fluffy, shaggy body.

She is not amused.......


Saturday, 3 March 2012

Spoke too soon..........

What idjit's been banging on about the advent of spring and how it's only just around the corner, yada, yada, yada......?

Predictably, following the brief spell of Elysian weather this week, the past two days have been  grey and misty, and there is a persistent,cold, steady drizzle today which just saps your will to live.

Nevertheless, I am determined to maintain the optimistic view that we are finally in the dog days of winter, and that in no time time at all, buds will be bursting from the trees and all will be well with the world. 

In the meantime though, it's a thoroughly miserable day and the temptation to snuggle up on the sofa with Small Dog is almost insurmountable.  I suppose I could take the laptop with me, ostensibly to do some 'paperwork' and have an old film on the TV in the background.....

Sounds like a plan......

Friday, 2 March 2012 action!

Had to be up especially early this morning in anticipation of the arrival of the photographer from The Doll's House Magazine.

He's been here once before to take photos of my Victorian Toy Shop for an article in Christmas edition of the magazine a few years back, which also appeared on the cover.

On that occasion, Small Dog, in her role as Business Mascot, muscled in on the action and ended up with her photograph in the article too.

She's most definitely NO shrinking violet!

This time she kept well out of the way, apprehensive perhaps of the extensive array of equipment in evidence, as the aptly named Anthony Bailey (no relation I'm informed) took photos of my day nursery room setting for a DPS.

No. I didn't know what a DPS was either, until the blank expression on my face elicited the explanation that it refers to a Double Page Spread.

Of course it does.

How silly of me.

Anyways, the photos have been taken, all the equipment packed away, and calm has been restored.

Here's one corner of the nursery.......taken by me beforehand hence the less than perfect quality!

The son of the house, Aloysius St. John,  has ambitions to go on the stage one day.  Here he is sitting by his beloved Punch & Judy puppet theatre, rehearsing for the performance he is due to give to his sisters. Unfortunately he has misplaced his swazzle, without which the show cannot proceed.

I hesitate to suggest an interrogation of the usual suspect to identify the phantom swazzle swallower........


Thursday, 1 March 2012

March Kit of the Month........

The past few days have been a whirlwind of activity in the Tower House Dolls workroom as I really wanted to get our new home workshop packs ready in time for March 1st.

Which is today.

I've even surprised myself that it is actually ready...... I'm usually a complete doofus when it comes to deadlines.  However my pre-Thame Fair work ethic is still in evidence, so I've been completely focused on the task at hand this week, disdaining the temptations of displacement activity and the Interweb.


So we are pleased to announce the release today of our March Kit of the Month......

*insert anticipatory drum roll here*

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Kits are now available to purchase on our website HERE!