A Randomly Selected Newspaper Headline:

The following is a randomly selected newspaper headline from many years ago:

Welcome to my blog. Please feel free to leave a comment. I assure you I always read and appreciate everything you have to say. Unfortunately, thanks to Blogger being, well . . . Blogger, I can not respond to comments nor leave any on your blogs. They simply disappear into the ether. Occasionally I will remember to respond in the next blog post I put up, but usually these good intentions slip my mind. So if you want to ask a question or get a response to any comments you may have please leave an email address or other contact method in your comment and I will get back to you.

I have also added a separate page to the blog for the Tower of Magic with a brief summary of all the rooms of the ToM in the one spot. The link is just below this and above the main body of the blog, or you can just click here.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Gingerbread House

I've finally made and decorated the gingerbread house I wanted to do.  All in all, I could have made a house as wonky and unsofisticated when I was ten, but the experience was fun never the less.  Here's the result of an afternoon's work:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my followers. However you celebrate I hope you have a wonderful time and keep safe through the holiday season. Ginny the cat is certainly enjoying herself by ensuring all the tinsel is properly flattened. Put anything that makes a rustling noise down in my house and it gets sat on, laid on and slept on! (And tie the tree to the wall or there will be a very loud crash!)

In miniature news for the week, the Inn is still plodding along very slowly. The roof still isn't quite right, but is probably going to stay as it as (at least for now). I've started to make a bed for the "high" bedroom and hopefully I will add a photo to my Flickr account over the next couple of days, so keep an eye on the Flickr thumbnails to the left for it to appear. I really need to pick up the speed on the Inn as this morning I broke down and ordered Cumberland Castle!!! I've put in an order through Fairy Meadow Miniatures' website, but included a message saying not to worry about posting it until next year. That will give me three kits to play with once the Inn is finished, so the Inn needs to get finished because I want to play! Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post - it is partly due to your lack of discouragement that I took the plunge and bought the kit. I know I am going to love it and will adapt my plans for the Tower of Magic to suit. Have I explained about the Tower of Magic yet? I know I've mentioned it before, but have I told you exactly what it is? Oh well, I'll add another post soon with more info about it for anyone whose been wondering what I've been rambling on about.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Oh no.  I've just been over to Fairy Meadow Miniatures website and found they've added even more DHE house kits.  Worse, they now have Cumberland Castle and more terribly the East Wing extension too.  It was always a wish of mine that they get this kit in stock so I could get my hands on it, but can I justify buying it now when I've only just bought two other kits and still have an Inn to complete?  Can I buy it and still eat?  Can I afford not to buy it now and risk it selling out before I am ready to purchase?  Oh dear, oh dear.

At least I can be reasonably sure the castle won't sell out until after the 20th of January as FMM will be closed for Christmas from Saturday until then.  That's a whole month to think about it . . . but what if the shop burns down over Christmas and they don't restock an C. Castles?  Or what if they sell out before this Saturday?  $600 is really too much to contemplate spending on top of the $400 I've only just forked out.  Isn't it?  It could be turned into the Tower of Magic, it would be a perfect Tower of Magic.  Acutally, it would be two or three TofM's all joined together.  The real magic involved would of course go in finding somewhere to put the finished castle.

When I bought the Retreat and Stratford B. I said how fortunate it was that they didn't have a Cumberland or I'd have bought that too.  If I knew they were getting Cumberlands in stock, and so soon, I may have skipped the other two kits and just bought this one instead.  Maybe if I complain about how unfair it is I'll get a discount on the Castle?  Probably not.

What to do???  What to do???

Welcome New Followers!

Warmest welcomes to Alienora and Anna Amnell, the newest followers of the blog.

Alienora blogs about her own dollshouses on her blog at http://alienora74.blogspot.com/

Anna Amnell is a Finnish author of historical novels and you'll find her blog here : http://amnellanna.blogspot.com/ Anna has also turned her hand to dollshouses, some apparently based around her novels. I first found some photos of her dollshouses about eighteen months ago and love what she did with her DHE Gateshouse kit. You can find some pictures of it on Flickr here : http://www.flickr.com/photos/amnellanna/sets/72157594290018836/ and here : http://www.flickr.com/photos/amnellanna/sets/72157594420412213/

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dancing Dragon Inn - Week Fourteen

It's another week with not much to report progress wise. The Inn's roof has been given about four layers of paint. I decided to try for a earthen tile/terracotta colour. I haven't quite got the colouring right yet, so there will be at least one or two more layers of paint to go until I'm happy with it. You can also easily see in the photos many patches that are still white where I've managed not to get paint. In my defence most of these are invisble to the naked eye and most of the rest are under the wonky ridge capping that still needs glueing down properly. Once this is done, the exterior will be finished, barring a few little details like covering the orange paint under the eaves and tidying up a few bits and pieces. Hopefully by Christmas I'll be able to start working on the insides again.

Australia Post have set some speed records this week, delivering both my purchase from Fairy Meadow Miniatures and the delightful giveaway prize from Linda at http://lindasminiaturehappenings.blogspot.com/ after only a few days.  The reason for this amazing speed is probably because they work seven day weeks in December and maybe hire extra workers to cope with the Christmas rush.  I have to wonder if they can do it in December, why not be so efficent all year round?  Anyway, here is a picture of the lovely little things from Linda:

Thanks so much Linda, I just love every piece.  I hate to say this but despite the fact that they are gorgeous, I don't think I can use them in the Inn.  They're just the wrong style for it, so rather sadly I'm going to have to store them away until next time.  On the plus side I do have an idea for which they will be perfect, I just have to get around to doing it.

The two kits from Fairy Meadow Miniatures arrived early Monday morning.  I should mention that I was wrong earlier when I said I'd bought DHE kits made in England.  Boldly printed on the boxes was "Made in Thailand".  Silly me assuming an English company would have it's products made in England.  That makes them very well travelled houses - from Thailand to England to Sydney to Tasmania.  I spent Monday evening eagerly opening up the boxes and ticking off the contents to make sure all the bits and pieces were there.  I started with The Retreat and found all the bits were not only there, but easily identified. 

The Stratford Bakery was another matter, despite the smaller parts being separated into bags marked bag 1, bag 2, etc, and the list of contents listing the contents bag by bag.  The problem was that a lot of the pieces all look the same, some varying only very slightly from others.  The most worrying part is that when all the contents were checked off as present, there were still half a dozen unidentified items out of bag two that bore no resemblance to anything in the diagrams.  Are they extra pieces that shouldn't be there or are they necessary parts not listed in the contents?  I guess I'll find out when I do a dry build.  For now both kits have been squeezed into a cupboard until after Christmas when I will hopefully find the time to dry build them and take some measurements.  Then they'll be going away again until after I finish the Inn.  Maybe.  I could probably make room to work on the Retreat along side the Inn, it's only small after all . . . . . . .

And to add a little bit of seasonal cheer, here's a photo of how my present wrapping and decorating is going.  I'm quite pleased with the boxes.  They were painted red, green and white and then had fabric pasted over them.  The bows however are all wrong and at this rate are going to be replaced with dull shop bought bows.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Welcome Follower No. 63 and Links

Ginny the cat helping build Highcroft
There's something odd happening with my followers lately. First there is a new follower I can't find on the list, now there is another new follower who has appeared seond on the follower list instead of first where the newbies normally go.

I think (but can't swear to the fact) my newest follower is Karin Corbin, whose blog can be found here: http://karincorbin.blogspot.com/ Welcome Karin, I hope you enjoy following my blog. I have just signed up to follow yours and know I am going to love it!

I've also found a couple more websites to add to the Links page. All three new links can be found on the links page under Aussie Suppliers.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dancing Dragon Inn - Week Thirteen

I've done such a good job of side-tracking myself this week that I'd almost forgotten to do this week's post on the Inn.  I've been browsing the internet for ideas for the Christmas Gingerbread house I want to try and make.  How about one like those pictured here?  Yes, maybe that is just a little ambitious for my first try, but wow, aren't those some works of art?  Mine will be small, crooked and if I leave out where it can be seen probably nibbled by a cat, certainly covered in cat fur.  As I've already blogged about I have bought a Retreat and a Stratford bakery kit purely on the basis of extreme greed.  Hopefully they should arrive before Christmas so I can take some time over the Christmas break to dry build them, take some measurements and start coming up with plans for what to do with them - and then put them neatly back in their boxes until after the Inn is finished.  Cough.  Maybe.  Christmas is actually a bad time to start working on projects in Australia because stores often close for Christmas and tend to stay closed until the end of Summer (Jan-Feb).  This means that it can be hard to get your hands on vital supplies.  It's much better to work on existing projects you've already bought all the supplies for.

But I'm supposed to be talking about the progress on the Inn I've made this week.  The good news is that I now have all the shingles/tiles on the roof.  Next up I need to decide what colour they ought to be . . . a terracotta/clay tile colour . . . a grey slate colour . . . a faux wood look?  I'll have to try a few different colours on some leftover tiles and see which looks best.

My number of followers has gone up to sixty-two, but 62 must be a private follower as I can't see their name/icon anywhere (or maybe it's in plain sight right in front of me and I just missed seeing it).  Anyway, welcome to follower no. 62 whoever you are, I hope you don't get too bored or confused by my occasional ability to waffle on and on and my tenuous grasp of the English language (ain't a governement funded education great?).

Monday, December 6, 2010

I've Been Naughty . . .

I just bought a Retreat kit and a Stratford Bakery kit!  I don't need them - the Inn should keep my busy for a long time to come and I have lots of plans for future projects built from scratch, but what the ****.

Both kits are made in England by Dollshouse Emporium and I bought both from Fairy Meadow Miniatures in Sydney.  Now DHE tends to stop making all the kits I like and FMM can only carry so much DHE stock and when they run out, they often don't get the same item back in stock again.  So buying while they have the kits in Oz instead of waiting until I need a new project and discovering there are none in Oz and DHE have stopped making them is a must.  At least that's how I justify this expensive Christmas present to myself.  It's just lucky FMM don't have a Cumberland Castle kit while I'm in a mood to spend money or I really wouldn't have any left at all!

And a quick note to other Australians who'd like a new dollshouse this Christmas, take a look at ebay.  There are some fantasic houses up for auction at the moment, but all pick up only from what to me are far-away places but might work for some of you.  There is a F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S partly finished house made from (I think) a Greenleaf kit in the Sydney area and the bidding is currently at $71.00.  Now that is a bargain!

Yipee . . . I won!! I won!!!

I got a shock when I sat down and checked my emails this morning.  I've won Linda at Linda's Miniature Musings' giveaway prize!  Just in time for Christmas too!  Luck isn't usually with me when it comes to competitions and prize draws, so actually winning something is a decided shock and then to win something so lovely . . . well, it's a good job I'm fit and healthy.

Linda is also the newest follower of this blog so I'd like not only to offer my thanks for her generosity in holding this lovely giveaway, but also to warmly welcome her to my blog.

I was planning on holding a giveaway of my own before Christmas, but it turns out Christmas is only three weeks away (that scare anyone else?) and I'm just not going to get organised enough to prepare the prize in time.  The giveaway will be held sometime in January next year instead (I hope), so please keep an eye out for it in the new year.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hats and Horses Don't Mix?

Followers of this blog will know I often use dolls I have on hand to model my works in progress.  After several comments suggesting it would be more tasteful to use clothed dolls, I decided to get Naked Neville something to wear.  A suit being auctioned on ebay by Lesley's Miniature Knitting looked like it would work on Neville when I finally get around to making that Edwardian era roombox for him.  The auction included shirt, trousers, jacket and a hat.  When it arrived in the mail I was disapointed to find the hat had been crushed.  It might have been Australia Post's fault or it might have something to do with the fact my mail is delivered by the postman, who then puts the mail in the dog's mouth, who then delivers it to me.  Not only is my mail usually damp, it occasionally has tooth-marks in it as well.

Making the most of the situation, I had a bit of fun coming up with the story of how the hat ended up in such a sorry state.

Proud and dapper in his new suit, Neville promenades along the street.  An errant gust of wind blows his new hat into the path of an oncoming horse.

If only the horse had a rider, they might have been able to miss the hat, but the horse's rider was too embarrassed to go out with the horse because she is still naked.  Neville pick up the hat and surveys the damage while the horse looks on bashfully.

The horse, apparently a close relative of Mr. Ed, says how sorry he is and asks if Neville will forgive him.  Neville would like to be angry, but can't help thinking the horse has a long enough face already.  Neville says they can call it even if the horse will give him a lift to the nearest hat repair shop.