Monday, 30 September 2013


I have no idea why I find kitchens more interesting than bedrooms.  I am of course referring to mini projects.  Somewhere in the last week or so I have decided to switch the bedroom in Chocolat to a kitchen.

From more or less this: 

to, more or less, this:

The cooker will be replaced with a 1940's Speedway gas cooker and the sink unit with a 1950's version.  I have the cooker kit - just need to actually make and paint it!!  I have a 50's unit wending its way from the brilliant ELF - which also requires assembly and paint.  I might even stump up for a 50's kitchen cabinet - not sure yet, but time is rapidly running out.  One month to go before departure and we will only be home a few days in January and realistically I can't count on getting much done then!



With 2014 marking 100 years since the start of the First World War, Dolls House and Miniature Scene have launched a World War One in miniatures competition to commemorate this catastrophic event.  Sponsored by some of the biggest names in the industry and launched at the September 2013 Miniatura the competition will encourage miniaturists worldwide not only to put their creativity to the test but to remember the four years of suffering and heartache.

Launched on 20th September 2013 at Miniatura, the Dolls House and Miniature Scene WW1 in miniatures competition provides an opportunity to get creative and learn about the First World War plus win some fantastic prizes. There are three categories for entries, clubs, individuals and under 16’s. Entries can be anything from a single miniature item to a whole diorama scene and based on the Home Front or the Western Front. Miniaturists will have until the 15th July 2014 to submit their entry. Full details can be found in the November 2013 issue of Dolls House and Miniature Scene or by visiting

Lucie Roper, the editor of Dolls House and Miniature Scene says, “100 years have passed since the First World War which affected every corner of the globe and we felt it was right to mark the date in some way – it only seemed fair to also invite others to do the same. Working alongside The Dolls House Emporium, Jane Harrop Miniatures, Miniatura and Petite Properties we hope to inspire the miniatures community to remember this event in the way we know best, through our miniatures and what better way than to do this with a competition. The DHMS team wish you all the very best of luck!”

For more information about the competition visit

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Sixty years of Lino

If you are looking for lino (from 1910 to 1970) check out this site: Retro Miniatures

It is a new kid on the block - born today! and is absolutely fabulous. There are masses of choices and printed on brilliant material - looks just like lino - you can have gloss or matt finish and is really affordable. She also offers - Lino rugs!!! and fuzzy rugs and even Wall Lino - yes, trust me, it was a big deal once.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


Realised bit of a boob yesterday - I was bashing on with Miniatura visit and showing you what I bought.  I actually have folk who only follow the blog of the project they are interested in, so I always try to only share the appropriate stuff in each place.  What a complicated life I lead; entirely self-made, of course!  Luckily yesterday's stash actually were the things I bought for Chocolat!

To see what I got in 1/48ths you'll need My Quarter Life and the 1/24th stuff is Number Six.

Meanwhile back to Chocolat and its 'troubles'.  The writing I am doing for the magazine is supposed to be following my Summer project in real time - allocating a particular aspect to each month.  Again a self-imposed schedule which seemed like a good idea at the time. August should have been the electrics but I couldn't get the lights I wanted from Ray Storey when I saw him at York (?) until Miniatura.  So I did a switcheroo and did chocolates in August and made a promise for electrics this month - knowing I only had a few days to do it in because we are away for the last four days of the month.  Sadly Ray was unable to make my lights in time for the show.  I am now taking something slightly different which he has promised to make and post on Wednesday - getting them to me for Thursday - we go away Friday - so that should be interesting!  So, for now, I can't show you the lights I bought!!

I can share this lovely little gem of a fire with you though .  I honestly had one of these Belling fires in my life; it used to go from room to room as it was the only source of heat - so too for Vianne.

It is from Truly Scrumptious and Jane even brought my very own one to the show for me.

Mine's the blue one. 

Last, but in no way least, I snaffled a giant Easter chocolate table.  The sad thing is that I will be wrecking this lady's lovely work because I want all the things on the table and not the arrangement itself.  I did ask if she would let me order a bunch of stuff and let me have them loose but she doesn't do that.  You won't find her anywhere but at shows - she has some great things and at a very good price. Steph's Miniatures (Doll House Delights).

So, that's it for Chocolat aka hiatus and now I am off to future things in quarter and half scale....... not to mention creating a new blog for my wonderful, wonderful new property.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Miniatura 21st/22nd September

Miniatura was wonderful!  A couple of hundred stalls to go at and two days to do it in - deep joy. We overnighted in a Holiday Inn pretty much at the NEC and it cost the princely sum of £49 including breakfast and did the job very nicely - had a bar and place to get food - some of it 24 hrs which is unheard of in this country.   Very quiet, room with desk and settee - all in all a bit of a bargain.

We have always been on the Sunday 10 - 4.30 and I have done all day.  This time I did 10 -4 Saturday and 10 - 2 Sunday which was lovely - so much less tiring on the feet and the brain.

I must have covered every stand at least half a dozen times.  It is so hard trying to decide where to part with your money.  That said I finished my visit on a totally giddy purchase - a 1/24th perfectly formed Art Deco house.  My twelfth (!!!!) blog will be up and running soon for it so I'll save all the photos and chatter for that - here's just a sniff of what's to come.......

It was a lovely way to spend the weekend - mini folk are the very nicest people.  OK - no chatter about the show just sharing what I bought.

A 1940's Speedway gas oven.  It is a bit boring right now - metal bits in a box - and it will be quite a fiddle to do.  I did the 1910 cooker for Bentleys so I know what I am facing.  I wanted to do it myself because the only made up ones are in cream and green and my mom's was speckly bluey/grey. On reflection, needless to say, I think I want it to be green and cream after all so I could have bought a finished on!!! Hey ho.   I bought it from Jennifer's of Walsall who are my stalwart suppliers of just about everything.  I also found my Anouk there.

I picked up two things I had ordered from the incredibly talented Kath of Delph Miniatures.  You cannot believe how incredibly tiny and detailed this Yale lock is.  Even over-magnified like this it still looks great.  I will be back for more.  

She also made me the electric ring I needed for the drinking chocolate saucepan in the shop - she even remembered to put a brown flex and round plug on it as it is 1950.  I might change the socket to a round and brown one - but what a star - talk about above and beyond.  In addition she is incredibly nice about doing such tiddling commissions whilst working on things like a complete 1/24th fish and chip shop for someone.  How very kind.

Not much here but more to come it is 9 pm and I am done for today - more tomorrow......

Friday, 20 September 2013

Dolls House Projects 2014

I am as giddy as a kipper.... I just got my pre-launch copy of Dolls House Projects 2014 because I am in it. 

Trust me, in a totally unbiased way, I commend the Projects to you.  There is a lovely spread of stuff and none of them beyond any of us attempting if we wanted to.  Some are a bit more challenging than others which is as it should be.  To top it all you can then enter competitions to win many of them.  I have entered five out of the seven.  I won't tell you what they are as I want you to have as much pleasure as I did as you work your way through the book.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Going dolally

I am hoping my shopping blip at the show on Sunday is not a sign of impeding lunacy.  I only bought four items and two of them I don't actually want, one of them is OK and will do as a stand-in until something better comes along and the fourth is fine but doesn't fit the space I have for it.  This is no reflection on the show - I wasn't in shopping mode for some reason.  Maybe it is because at this stage of a project I pretty much have everything I need/want and I am just looking for those very few special items that, in reality, I may never find.

 The first was this absolutely fantastic book showing how to make doll's houses and stairs and doors and windows and furniture and all sorts of stuff.  Really tremendous - the only problem being I have no intention of making a 1/12th house!!!  I honestly picked it up because for some stupid reason I thought it said (well actually worse than that I thought it meant!) 1/24th houses.  Now I wouldn't mind having a go at those in mount-board or something.

So this will be up for sale soon on my site.

Anyone reading this I can bring it to Miniatura if you like - this would save on hefty postage as it weighs a ton. 
£8 please

My second purchase was quite a nice cake - if a bit boring.  I liked the texture of this one.  I think I could probably have made one of these.  It is a perfect fit for the plate in the shop window and will do if I don't find a spectacular one.

This is the other brainstorm purchase.  I won't be continuing my Fimo career and this pack even includes glitter Fimo - what was I thinking.  I was actually thinking fondant cakes, but I don't need any!!  As I said, faculties failing?

Something else to pass on.

This is a nice piece of kit from J & A Supplies - an encaustic tiled Victorian hall floor. It is printed on a sort of plasticised (but fairly matt) sort of paper.  Downside with this is that not one single part of this sheet will fit the doorway space I am trying to fill.  Everywhere I put the space it overlaps a contrasting piece of the floor but doesn't encompass it.  At this stage I am thinking I might cut it into tiles and reform it the way I want. Such a shame to hack it up, but it was only £1.50 (terrific value for such a nice product) so it won't hurt too much.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Stafford show

We toddled off to the Stafford show yesterday as per ...

Doreen Jeffries shows are a good size - enough to go at without ending up exhausted and still big enough to make the journey worthwhile.  I saw a lot of the vendors I already know from many shows which is fine because they often have something new at each show and because I am always looking out for different things at different shows so I tend to take in different 'information'.

I'll just share some of the photos I took and explain what they are - there will be other photos on a web album - just click here Stafford.

I have added web-links to those folk who have them, so just click on their name if you want to see more and/or go shopping.

A great choice of 1/24th things from Herdwick Landscapes.  They also do lit fires in 1/24th.

I had a really nice natter about how they finish their houses and I am enthusiastic about doing one of their classes when we are back in the UK next Summer.

I liked these lovely three-tier fruit and veg racks from C & D Crafts.  They would be good in any period setting and for a million other uses - any shop could use them and they'd be great in a bathroom for bits and bobs.  They do lots of nice baskets and even kits so you can have a go yourself.

Absolutely one of my favourites is Country Treasures - talk about realistic - every single item on the stand is a delight. 

Say Hi to a bunch of folk from Small Sorts. They are all great characters with cheeks you just want to pinch.  She's started a new range of witches in pretty pastel colours!!

Not a great photo but I assure you a great product - Delicious Delights has some very realistic mixers half way through their task.  The bun trays next to them have cup cake papers filled with uncooked mix ready for the oven.  This lady makes all sorts of great food but her raw meat is the very, very, best.

Emma Jane was my FIND of the show - new to me and pretty new to this game.  She embroiders, knits and makes lovely toys.

I am so cross with myself - I spent so long nattering the ears off this poor lady I forgot to buy the box I meant to buy.  I love the one on the left with the plain lid - oh poop!

Not a great photo - I wanted to show you her dolls - why did I take this?  Any way you can just see her dolls - worth collecting in their own right - each one is different.

Her colours are lovely and her scale is perfect - top notch.

I loved the idea of a hand-knitted suffragette - these made me smile.  Made by two ladies who said they were known as The Knits ( I hope not nits) - Actually they are Just in Case.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Photo albums

I have 58 web albums out there and have just discovered today that the link I have been happily posting here there and everywhere does not take you to them!  Apparently the (not-so) wonderful Picasa web albums doesn't have a single link to 'all albums' which you can pass out to folk - only a single link to each album.  Aaaaarrrggh!  This meant I have to sort out 58 albums between 11 blogs - and, believe me, it is a laborious process.  I have made a start and some blogs, like this one, are sorted.  

The irony is that when you get to a single album all you have to do to access all of them is click on the heading which says 'Marilyn Ormson's Gallery'.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Idiot meets Fimo

I am the best at ferreting out information from the web - no, really, I am...but...can I find anything definitive or succinct about working with polymer clay - nope!   There is a ton of stuff all assuming you know the basics - then there's the odd basic this that or the other with none of them covering all the bases.  I even bought an Angie Scarr book - which is lovely but in a way off-putting because she makes incredible things like 'real' cabbage leaves - I kinda know I am never going to get there!   Absolutely no-one but no-one tells me how long to bake stuff for.  Yeah I know you can spend jolly hours making all kinds of thicknesses and cooking at all kinds of temperature but come on - how many of us have that sort of patience?  Then there are the warnings of DANGER!!!!!! from (predominately) American sites - don't eat it - well I wasn't planning on that, don't lick your fingers or utensils, I didn't consider that either, don't cook in the oven you will cook food in or the whole family will dies of terrible plagues etc etc etc.  Basically the stuff is supposed to smell when it heats up and leave a film which goes on vapourising - polymer = plastic = it smells.  I guess if you did loads of it for a living or large objects it might make sense.  The amount I did I couldn't even detect the slightest whiff.

After a huge amount of procrastination - months in fact - out came the clay.  First problem...... I had been told by a lady at a stall at a small show that I didn't need the three chocolate colours I was looking for - white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate I just needed brown, white and black and I could mix them.  Do you think she told me that because she didn't have the other colours??????  Another person said I needed to mix in translucent if I was making chocolates to give them a sheen.  I have no idea if it did or not - if anything wasn't shiny enough I just covered it in clear nail polish.  The upside of the translucent was it made the clay easier to work.  As you can see from this picture the first thing that happens is the wretched stuff all crumbles up, so you have to pull it back together and keep working it until you can do something with it.

I soon got the knack of making sausages and twisting them together to blend the colours.  Part way through doing this I thought it might make those nice stripy shell chocolates you can get.....and I had a shell mold.

Quite pleased with these but wouldn't want to make hundreds of them.  I found clay at this size was too warm when you'd finished mauling it and it came out of the mold easier for baking after five minutes in the freezer - but it does slow down the process to the point of being frustrating.

Then I got creative and made anything I liked to fill sweetie jars.

I baked all of these at 110 degrees centigrade for less than ten minutes - incidentally - and just like everyone else I am not saying that's how long they need!!!!!!! Because I have no idea if they are done properly.

They look just fine on the shelf.  I got pink by the way by mixing in acrylic paint???

............and the Nipples of Venus look just fine.  Again the nipples are acrylic paint.

If I can ever find time before I go show shopping I might have a go at making cakes rather than buying them.  Must be easier than tiddly stuff????

Monday, 2 September 2013

Go shopping

I have another blog!!!!!!  Lilliput minis.  Click on it for a look at what you can get from my dismantled projects.