Tuesday, 7 July 2020

News ! Kensington Dollshouse Festival Online Showcase July 17th - 19th 2020

News !

This year many plans have had to change due to the global pandemic including the cancellation of our miniature shows .
I was so sad not to be making my usual trip to the wonderful Kensington Dollshouse Festival this May .
Right now there are plans for a christmas show but sadly I wont be able to attend that so my next show will be in 2021 which seems a long time away .
So I was delighted when Charlotte Stokoe , organiser of the Kensington Dollshouse Festival announced there would be an online showcase in July.

During the weekend 17th - 19th July many of the exhibitors who would have been at the summer show will be showcasing their work on the website www.dollshousefestival.com
Most of us will have items for sale and details of how to purchase .

To celebrate the showcase I will be filling my etsy shop with brand new characters .
Some of those will be shown first exclusively on the Kensington website and I will preview a few characters exclusively here on my website and on my FB page .

For those of us who would have visited the show and also for those who wish they could visit but are unable to this will be a taste of the fair without leaving our own homes !
For the first time ever my etsy shop will have a whole host of  characters available to purchase
I hope you will visit over the course of the weekend and who knows maybe find just  the character youve been looking for.

I will post more details nearer the time and there will be a direct link to my etsy shop here on my website as well as on the Kensington Dollshouse Festival website and of course my facebook page .
There will also be an exclusive preview coming up soon

Julie x

Friday, 8 May 2020

Grandad remembers, special doll created for VE day 2020


Grandad is available from the online shop page 

Grandad comes complete with his shoe box of wartime memories

Created especially for VE day 2020

Friday, 3 April 2020

Charity raffle to support Crisis UK

Charity Raffle in Support of Crisis UK 
Thank you to everyone who kindly donated to Crisis UK 

Congratulations to Jane Seddon who held the winning number 60 !

THis draw is now closed 

We are all staying home and trying to stay safe during the pandemic , but imagine how it must feel to have no home .
I support a few charities but the one closest to my heart is Crisis UK
I have created this lovely old grandma doll to raffle in support of the charity

Stay safe
Julie x

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Fair News

                      Sadly the spring / summer miniatures shows have been postponed worldwide due to the Pandemic .
I will post news when we have firm dates but Kensington Dolls house Festival  has been postponed , likely until July 
I will be listing a few dolls for sale here  on my online shop page 
So far the postal system is working well although there may be some delays dependingn on where you live .
lets all stay safe, stay home and keep busy with our hobby while we are inside
Julie x

Old Dougiey old soul who loves his pigeons .

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Spring Miniatura, 70th show 24th and 25th March

Spring Miniatura Preview
24th and 25th March , Birmingham NEC

This Spring  is  Miniatura's 70th show  and  I will be there to celebrate as will this delightful old fellow who is celebrating his 70th year  !

See me at table number C9 where there   will be a host of new characters including these 

I hope to see you there 
Julie x

Thursday, 4 January 2018

The Miniaturist BBC Drama , the making of the dolls

Happy New Year !
Once again the new year starts with resolutions to update my blog more often !
This year I am starting with some interesting news about a project I worked on in spring last year .
Those of you in the UK may have tuned in to watch the BBC1 adaptation of Jessica Burtons wonderful novel "The Miniaturist" on Boxing day , concluding on the 27th December

I was watching avidly, not only because I love the book so much , but also because I was thrilled to have been involved in making the miniatures for the program

 I created the dolls for the program , shown here in some of the actors hands

A closer photo of the Marin and Johannes dolls
Early in 2017 I was contacted by both the buyer for the BBC production and by Susie Rogers who was coordinating the miniatures for the production .
I was keen to be involved as I loved the book so much .
Reading it my imagination had been captured completely by the mysterious arrival
of the miniature dolls that looked just like the occupants of Nellas home and  people in her life.
I didn't dream I would one day be making those dolls myself so of course I jumped at the opportunity to do so !

There were a few issues , firstly the timing !
I was to make 7 dolls with a tight deadline for the end of April.
The time I had set aside to work on the new dolls for my table at Miniatura show in March ...
I've never minded a little hard work so I was sure this would not be a problem, who needs sleep ! I would just work from dawn till dusk and all would be okay ....
The brief was a bit of a challenge , these dolls were to look like the dolls of the time , the 1600s.
They were to be portraits of the actors but look like dolls and not tiny people ...
Not only that but although I was to wig them and make their footwear the costuming was to be done by the production costuming team using the fabrics from the full size costumes .
I sent a practice doll off so the costumers could make a toile and practice  clothing and then waited for photos of the actors , which were not forthcoming with any speed.
Not to be deterred I made up 7 bodies with arms and legs leaving the heads for last.
Finally I received the photos of the cast I needed and then it was full speed ahead to recreate them in miniature doll form !

Marin without her wig

Frans in wig and leather boots
Agnes in her hand painted stockings and replica footwear

Making Nella , here she is yet to have her limbs . Note her body is sculpted in the shape of a 17th century doll

Jack , who was meant to grinning in an evil manner !

              Johannes in miniature

Painting Cornelia
The dolls were all painted in the style of the period with rosy cheeks and strong eyebrows .
Even the male dolls wore a lot of blush !
Although I would love to have costumed them I had to admit on seeing the finished dolls  that it was the right choice for the costuming department to take over.
I usually spend hours sourcing natural fabrics and sewing the clothing to fall in a natural way and look as realistic as possible. I would have found it very difficult to make the stiff doll like costumes that really did make  the dolls look so authentic .
I was pleased to make the footwear though , the male dolls wore long leather boots ( apart from Otto who had shoes and stockings ) and the ladies had rather ornate handpainted stockings based on the actual ones wore by the actors.
Wigging was the final touch  closely following the photo references provided .
After carefully packaging the 7 characters and sending them off it seemed a long wait till December but there was much excitement in my house as boxing day arrived and we sat down to watch the drama.
I loved the adaptation , it was visually stunning and aside from the drama was the delight Im sure all of us real life miniaturists felt in seeing the dolls house and all the beautiful miniatures involved in the production.
A real treat and something I will never forget being a very small part of !
Julie x

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Spring Miniatura , 25th and 26th March 2017

 I will be exhibiting at Miniatura as usual this weekend .  These are just a few of the new characters who will be on my table .

I will be on table number G2

Hope to see you there !
Julie x

Friday, 3 February 2017

Some new dolls and some old !

I  cant believe its already February 2017 ! 
So here we are with some new dolls and some old which I didnt get around to showing here .
The David Beckham Genie has to be one of the most unusual commissions I've been asked to make but he was a lot of fun to do and I got to spend lots of time looking at photos of the handsome Mr. Beckham so no complaints from me ....

Miss Peregrine and the twins I made purely for fun. I had been to see the movie and was struck by the imagery . I couldn't resist making a few of the characters .

The old witch is a new character who will be available on my table this March  at Miniatura show , Birmingham NEC.
I often use a real face as inspiration when sculpting a character . The inspiration behind this one was the lovely and sadly now departed actress Liz Smith . 
I'll be back with more new characters soon
Julie x

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Kensington Christmas dollshouse Festival December 3rd 2016

I can't believe it's a December already !
One of the highlights of the festive season is always the Kensington Christmas Dollshouse Festival and I am looking forward to the show.
I've been very busy making new characters and hope you can come along to meet them .
If you can make it I'll see you there , Kensington town hall , London  , saturday 3rd December

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Miniatura 1st and 2nd October 2016

 Once again its time for the first of the Autumn shows !
I always love to exhibit at Autumn Miniatura which is held at the NEC in Birmingham 1st and 2nd October.

 It has been a very busy summer for me and I havent had as much time as I would like to photograph all of the new dolls I have created for the show.
There are characters to suit every scene 
These are just a few of my favourite and more unusual characters !
If you are visiting the show pop by and say hello , there are more little characters waiting to greet you on my table !

Julie x

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Doll days of Summer....

August 6th and the dog days of summer are almost over.....
I have been a little less productive than usual of late and blaming the dog days and a need for a rest after the Spring shows.
Ive just realised my Kensinton Festival post didn't actually publish so apologies for anyone who had been looking forward to the preview, it was a great show as always .
Here are a couple of the characters who came along to the show with me and sold there

After the show I went on a trip to Paris with my friend Jain  to visit the S.I.M.P show which was a real treat . Lovely to visit a show as a customer and get to talk to everyone and admire all the artisans work .
I came home inspired by my visit to France and the first doll I made was this old ghost who I named The Ghost of Versailles after the opera of the same name whose costumes were also a great inspiration to me.
The summer months are a time when I can concentrate on commission work and I have been working my way through the order book.
This Regency couple were a lot of fun to create. My customer wanted me to model them on the British actors Pete Postlethwaite and Kathy Burke  !
Now that we are into August the preparation has began in earnest for the Autumn shows so I will post some preview photos over the next few weeks ,
Julie x

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Spring has arrived along with some new characters !

Spring has finally arrived and it has been lovely in the shed being able to work with sun streaming through the windows !
I have a few more characters to preview before Miniatura, the first of the Spring shows

The Dowager needs no introduction ! I am a  fan of  Downton Abbey and have enjoyed recreating some of the characters over the last few years. This is my new Dowager and she will be available at Miniatura alongside Mrs Patmore.

Another favourite character is Miss Marple and this is my version of her as played by the wonderful actress Margaret Ruttherford

I really enjoyed making this litte lady , I also made her hat and handbag !

The old fisherman is a character from my imagination.  He would look wonderful sitting outside a fishermans cottage or a pub !
Of course he would happily sit anywhere so would loo just as good reading his newspaper in a comfy chair or perhaps sitting at the kitchen table .

All these dolls will be at Miniatura.
I have had an incredibly busy start to the year so I am now closing my order book .
I am booked up well into 2017 so I wont be taking any more orders until I have honoured all outstanding ones.
I will post here and on my facebook page if and when I am able to take on more orders.
In the mean time I will be listing in my Etsy shop between shows and you can purchase directly from me at Miniatura this Spring and Autumn and at the  Kensington Dolls House festival in May and at the  Christmas show