Friday, 28 March 2014

Miniatura


It's Spring Miniatura time !

Luckily for me it is held in my home town Birmingham. I've moved to the neighbouring county now but it is still only a short train ride for me.

I've only ever been once and I am guessing it was in the 80's. Although I wasn't making back then I still had an interest in minis :-) Back then it was a very small affair in a room at a local hotel so this huge event at the NEC will be very different.

I am super excited to go...not because of anything I might buy, in fact I have no plans to buy much really but....I can't wait to meet many of my mini friends. Some of whom I've known for many, many years.

After years of chatting online we finally get to meet ....wooo !

I am still being kept busy with custom orders but every now and then I get a gap which gives me the chance to make something from my own imagination....and here is the latest....Bonita.








Friday, 14 March 2014


I have been terribly lax at keeping this blog up to date....one of those things I keep meaning to do but never got round to.

My time has been spent mainly mini making and I've had a number of commission in half scale which has been challenging but fun.
 
Here is a selection some of the custom orders I've made so far this year :-)

Click on the photos for a more detailed view.


Half Scale Dandelions





My interpretation of the Fanged Geranium from Harry Potter




My interpretation of the Flitterbloom from Harry Potter



Half Scale

 



Half Scale herb and dried flower bunches

 




Back soon with more new creations :-) In the meantime I am on facebook quite a bit so you can always see what I am up to there.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Happy New Year....very belated !




So much for my plans of being back working on the 7th January ! The best laid plans and all that.

I spent New Year camping in a very wet Bedgellert, Wales. Barely stopped raining the entire time but it wasn't at all cold so didn't stop me enjoying being out in the fresh air. I love being outside and try to remember that there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing !




Ive been so delayed due to having to do self employed taxes for the first time in the UK. I used to whizz though my USA ones so assumed it would be the same....hmmmm no. Once I got used to all the different terminology it was easy but I had to spend a load of time reading before I got there. Next year should be a doddle :-)

One good thing came out of it though, I learned a load about my spending habits. Actually that wasn't such a good thing !

I have spent soooo much money on 'supplies'   I had to leave the majority of  the bits and pieces I'd collected over the years in America so was literally starting from scratch again. The cost soon mounts up when you have nothing. All my old stuff didn't go to waste though, my neighbors young daughter was a budding artist and I gave her everything. She still sends me photos of the art she is creating.

So.....my goal for this year is to not buy anything new. I will carry on making but only using supplies I already have.

I am definitely looking forward to the challenge of looking at my 'stuff' with different eyes and it might make for some interesting miniatures.












Thursday, 19 December 2013

New items for sale




Friday, 4 October 2013

Kitchen Nightmares !



Professor Morpheus T. Seedbender learned an important lesson last night.....







Never forget to feed them. They might just help themselves !



Friday, 27 September 2013

Beastly Botanicals



A couple of months ago I read about a competition Dolls House Emporium were running. You had to take their dollhouse kit, The Cabin, and transform it.

Wanting to get back into serious mini making this was just what I needed as a challenge. I didn't tell anyone as I wasn't sure I could do it. 

But I did.....and I came 2nd place :-)

I never thought I stood a chance of winning anything. Aside from messing about with a couple of things this was the first house I'd made. Just making it was enough for me so I was over the moon when I heard I'd come in second place. I still haven't stopped smiling.



Beastly Botanicals


….a fantasy plant laboratory owned by Dr Morpheus T. Seedbender PD (Plant Doctor)

 



Dr Morpheus T.Seedbender P.D is a botanical geneticist. 



 
Due to the highly controversial nature of his work he lives high atop the mountains. This location was picked, not only because of its remoteness, but because he has access to all the weird and wonderful flora and fauna that has been left untouched by people who never venture so far. 










 Unfortunately, the lack of oxygen at this altitude, the absence of other humans and the foraged wild mushrooms he eats has slowly sent him somewhat deranged



Having lost his mind he is totally fearless and will fuse all manner of plant life never knowing what, or how dangerous the final result will be.  






Growing up the outside of his lab you will see a Hysteria tree.







A wisteria with the added bonus of screaming banshee flowers 
which alert him to any intruders.

 



 


Protecting the front entrance to the lab are 
Papahi and Peyton Pumpkin. 

Papahi, although mischievous, is incredibly smart and partnered with Peytons’s reputation as the village warrior they make formidable guards.




  

 

 Inside the lab are some extraordinary specimens.











  

 








 Inside the cage he keeps the Pyromandible plant. 





A most dangerous example of science gone wrong. With the ability to unhinge their lower jaw they are able to bite with a force able to break bones. This plant must be kept constantly sedated.







A near miss while changing the drip feed recently left the professor with a bleeding hand and broken thumb.










In the window you will see Amanita. A beautiful red and white petaled plant. Created using Fly Agaric mushrooms to forcefully induce a symbiotic relationship  with the Pyromandible.  The drool of Amanita has psycotropic properties used primarily for the sedation of  the pyromandible. 




Sitting next to her is Marley the Rastafarian plant. 
Strategically placed that his deadlocks are out of reach of the Pyromandible but that the smoke from his cigarette is not. This also has a sedative effect on the Pyromandible.
 


The 2 plants under the round window are part of the genus Floozy.  





Floozies are an impish breed, which have a tendency to torment and tease. With their huge toothy smiles the professor finds them hard to resist and rarely chastises them. 







 




The professor claims that the 3 headed plant in the corner is a distant relative of the mandrake.
 Or was it an experiment gone wrong ?   





 




Whilst a true mandrake will scream when picked all this plant is capable of is singing constantly. In the absence of any electricity the professor  lets him stay for entertainment.




  
  




The fruit tree in the corner is a Carrow tree. 







Bred primarily to provide food for the professor, 
the marrow and carrot fusion apparently makes a wonderful soup.









The professor has a head full of ideas so I am sure this won’t be the last we hear from him, 
 or his creations :-)




2 years on....where to begin......



How do you follow the hardest blog post you ever had to write ?

Every time I thought about blogging again I just couldn’t do it. The words just weren’t coming. I am struggling now so apologise in advance for this jumble of thoughts.  I can’t think on it anymore and just have to take the proverbial bull by the horns and jump back in. 

Until this morning I have not logged on to blogger, my email or Facebook since I got back to England. I can see there are loads of messages and did start to read some. I am sorry that I haven’t replied to anyone, I do very much appreciate everyone who was thinking about me but it is just too upsetting for me to go back and read them now. Grief is a strange thing and everyone handles it differently. My personal coping mechanism is to tuck it all away into a corner of my mind. Probably not very healthy but the only way I have been able to deal with it.  One day, when I am ready, I will revisit it.   This is not to say I don’t think about Mick…I think about him all the while…but only the happy memories and not the events of that day 2 years ago. That part I still can’t deal with very well.

My life with him in California seems like an eternity ago now. Looking back I have no idea how I coped but I guess your survival skills just kick in. I was alone; things had to be done so I did them. 

In retrospect, moving back to England was a panic reaction. Could I have stayed there alone? Who knows. I try not to dwell on ‘What If’s’. 

But I didn’t. I moved back ‘home’. I went back to work and was working crazy hours doing 2 jobs. I didn’t want to go out. I hated the dismal weather.  I missed sitting in my sunny workshop making miniatures. I was living in one room and had no way of even thinking about making minis. I was miserable.

A dear friend of mine told me to keep putting one foot in front of the other and remember to breath…..that is what I did. 

But it got better.  And I discovered a lot about myself. I found out I could do it, I would survive and knew one day I would be back blogging and making minis. And that day did come, just as I hoped it would. 

I am now settled in a lovely village near Lichfield in Staffordshire and have met lots of new friends. 

Unfortunately I am no longer working, I lost my job 3 weeks ago but something will come up I am sure. 

The upside of this is that I now have the time to blog and make minis. And have been doing so :-)  Tallulah Belle is back in business. Especially now I have no other job !

I just wanted to get this post up to let you where I was at. I will shortly post pictures of a pretty big project I just completed. 

I am doing well, I am back and I have found my new normal.

Jayne xxx

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Very sad news



Hello


Unfortunately this is not a pleasant blog post but it would seem that some people have heard already and, I thought it only fair that this came direct from me rather than 2nd hand rumors.

Sadly I need to tell you that my husband Mick died unexpectedly on Saturday September 11th.

He was out riding his motorcycle and had a heart attack. He told a friend he didn't feel good and was on his way home. He had been working away in the San Francisco area with his new job for the previous 2 weeks so I hadn't seen him. He flew in late Friday night, was tired and went to bed quickly. I only saw him for less than half an hour on the morning he died.

He felt fine. He only planned on being out a couple of hours and was then was coming back to do some dry walling. I was painting when the police man and coroner knocked on my door.

In those few moments my life changed beyond belief.

Last week I was busy dealing with the funeral arrangements so am sorry this has taken me until now.

Because I am here on my own and have no friends in the new area, my dear friend Patti flew straight out to me from the east coast. I truly do not know what I'd have done without her. I love you Patti.

I plan on returning to England as soon as possible. I came here to live in America 8 years ago to be with Mick and for that reason only. I have no one here and it would hurt to much to stay.

I have loved living in America and Mick took me to see so many amazing things. Hopefully one day I will be able to get past the pain and come and visit again.

But for now I have to get home. Mick's Mom is not in good health and has been unable to come here which has broke her heart. I have to get what I need to do here done as quickly as I can and take her Son home to her.

As you all know we were in the middle of renovating our house so I have so much work to finish so I can put it up for sale. Most of our things were still in boxes as we didn't plan on unpacking until we finished the house. Now Patti has gone home I have to go though everything we own and figure out how to sell it.

Mick was a wonderful man. He was kind, thoughtful, generous and extremely non judgmental. I am so lucky to have had him as my best friend for 30 years.

The things I keep hearing over and over from his friends are how thoughtful he was, how intelligent and knowledgeable he was and what a sense of humor he had. Mick was so much fun to be around and will be missed by many, many people.

Mick loved his job working on life support ventilators. He would tell me how lucky he was to not only have a job where he was able to help so many people but how it combined his love of physics, biology, chemistry and medicine. And the more problems that were thrown at him the more he thrived.

He once visited an 8 year old girl who, although on a ventilator, was mobile. She loved the band N- Sync but was sad that she couldn’t dance because the tubes on the ventilator weren’t long enough. Mick custom made new, longer tubing for her so she could get up of the bed and dance.

If you asked him why he loved his job so much he would say it was ‘because he was able to let little girls dance again.’

I loved him so very, very much and am absolutely devastated so please understand that I may not answer emails for a while.

Please. please, please tell your family you love them each time you are saying goodbye.




Mick Woodward
March 5th 1960 - September 10th 2011


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Indian room finished !



More or less :-)

As we had friends coming over from Australia I had to have one last mad push to get at least this one room finished.

As you may recall from previous posts, I purchased fabric to make the bedding and curtains. Hmmm that didn't work out as well as expected.

There were 2 lots of fabric...on patterned and one striped. I started with the stripes. It soon became clear that the stripes were not in the slightest bit straight. But I carried on and had to cut the fabric wonky to make a bedskirt and curtains with straight stripes. Problem solved...or so I thought !

Then it was onto the patterned fabric. Goodness me...had I started with this I'd have given up a lot earlier and wouldn't have wasted time with the striped fabric.

This patterned fabric just sucked...BIG time. It is woven but was woven so loosely I only had to look at it and it fell apart.
 


I tried....I really tried but after 3 weeks of battling with this and spending a fortune in fray check I had to give up :-(

I didn't particularly want to make it all myself but couldn't find anything ready made so bought this fabric. The seller is no longer online but claimed it was fabric left from making Oscar De La Renta bedding which retails at a crazy price. Oscar from Sesame Street perhaps cause if this is the quality of designer bedding I am glad I have more sense than money than to buy this junk.

But with guests arriving in a couple of days I had no choice but to go out and buy something so off I went.

All I could find that was remotely suitable was a purple and gold set which peacock feather details. Quite amused me as I'd started off with peacock feather embroidered curtains and changed my mind. 

But, with nothing else about I had to get this set. I wasn't crazy on the purple and was worried it would clash horribly with the amber walls but wouldn't you know the gold in the set matched the walls just perfectly. More of a dull bronze gold than a shiny gold.

And once I'd made the bed up ...well, I was rather pleased with it. The blues in this bedding go well with the splashes of blue I'd already added to the room and I'd got peacock feathers from my original plan. Plus I'd bought a candle for the sconce that just happened to be peacock colors and have a little peacock charm on it.

So from absolute disaster it all came together just like that. Wish every room was so easy lol


And at night time...well I just adore it. 
So cozy I am tempted to move in myself :-)



I couldn't find any bedside tables that allowed me to tuck the stools under so just made 2 large rustic shelves and added carved trim to the front and sides.



The ceiling lamp was actually a candle holder but Mick converted it so I could wire it up to the mains. It casts such a beautiful glow on the room at night.


The side lamps were white and silver to start...couldn't find anything more Indian looking but with some jiggery pokery I made them the perfect color.



 The mirror was a bargain find and I love the shape of it.



 I've had this carved Buddha art for some time....just waiting for the perfect spot.




This vase was handmade in Bangladesh...the inscription reads....

I am Dipali Rani Paul. My father is the late Sachindra Chandra Paul. From my childhood I was inspired by seeing my father’s devotion to his work with terracotta. I am dedicated to keeping up my father’s reputation. Today on his blessing I live on making terracotta goods. The trade keeps us still alive." 

I love being able to support small artists.

Add in some dried flowers and some peacock feathers and we are good to go.

The hanging ornaments were a fit from Susan...thanks sweetie...
they are perfect in here:-)



 This sconce fits nicely in this small space...complete with peacock candle.



And that is pretty much how it is right now. I have many other Indian things I could put in there but for the moment I think I'll leave it as it is...sometimes less is more :-)

Our guests have gone back home now but took them on a fantastic  trip though the southwest. Managed to fit in the coast, Vegas, San Francisco, Yosemite and Death Valley and a wonderful time was had by all.

Now it is back to reality, work and home renovating.

I couldn't say much on the last post as we were still talking about it but Mick just started another job. Moving from a very secure career with a big corporation to a brand new company with a brand new product was a huge risk which is why it took us a while to decide.  Hopefully we made the right choice.

His new commute is longer than the old one though and that was bad enough. 120 miles a day is a lot of time to spend traveling on top of the long hours he'll be putting in....so we might be looking at moving house again. 

Biggest problem with this is he is working right out by the coast where the property prices are insanely high so we need to look into this some more. In the meantime there is still a load of work to be done here before we could even put this house up for sale.

So I guess I am going to stay busy for a while :-)