Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Last non miniature post

I promise this is my last non miniature post. We are heading home tomorrow and I will be back into the Dollhouse pronto!!

On my last post John mentioned the pictures of the beach. I really  posted them to show the balls of sand and the clusters of crabs and didn't feel it was a great example of the beach. So considering tomorrow is Australia day I thought I would post some classic Aussie images. 

Australia Day is the day we celebrate the first fleet arrival in Sydney cove in 1788. There is an official ceremony in which high achieving Australians are given awards for there incredible efforts. This year Geoffrey Rush is Australian of the year. Some parts of the community prefer that non celebrity Australians are recipients but I guess every one should be entitled. There is also the controversial issue of our indigenous Australians calling it invasion day.

In general though, Australians spend the day with family and friends having Barbies, going to the beach and celebrating being Aussie.

Below are a series of photos showing a typical day at a surf beach. This is Inverloch where we have spent our holiday, only an hour and a half from where we live.

I would like to acknowledge the original owners of this land the Bunurong People.

Well our last day of holiday was a beauty, lots of sun, sand and surf.......not that we are the surfing types but a boogie board is always fun, I was talked into doing a bit of body surfing which is always a laugh as long as you don't get dunked. The last water photo is there to give you the scale of the waves. Not huge by surfers standards but big enough for me.

Happy mini's every one!

Bye for now.

Fi xx

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Natures Miniatures


I'm still holidaying but relaxing nicely. The great thing about relaxing is your free to let your mind wonder and I have certainly done that. I have had lots of ideas for our DH and can't wait to get back to it.

In the meantime I have some little pictures of some of natures tiny things I found whilst wondering the beach. First of all I have some tiny little shells that where imbedded in the wet sand. These are common to surf beaches, I don't know if any of you have come  them in your travels but I think they are very sweet. I'm not sure they are to scale, the ones on the right of the pencil are possibly but I thought I would show you anyway as the variation of colours are delightful, nature never ceases to amaze me.

I would like to mention Deborah from who inspired me to look at natures tiny things.

As I was wondering the beach I noticed from a distance a mass that seemed to be moving across the shore line. As I approached I realised they were soldier crabs moving towards the water. There seemed to be thousands of them. I ran to get my camera but by the time I came back the numbers had diminished, there were still hundreds but they had turned back away from the water. For those that don't know, soldier crabs bury themselves below the level of the sand. You don't often see them, usually the only evidence of them is in the early hours. 

You can see tiny little balls of sand scattered over the surface of the hard surface on the beach and an occasional scatter into the holes they create as you approach. The crabs shovel the sand into their mouths and remove all the organisms then expel the sand leaving the tiny balls on the surface. 

They vary in size, the largest seem to be the size of your thumb nail the smallest your pinky. Very cute little things, as I approached they cork screwed into the sand and waited for me to go. They are different to normal crabs as they have a bulbous body and they  can walk forwards as well as sideways. Clever little things.

As I was getting in close to take the photos I could feel something under my feet and it was a little crab trying to get to the surface, quite a funny feeling. I do wonder about these little creatures, the tiny little snails that must have lived in those little shells. We are not supposed to collect shells from the beach as it inhibits the natural eco system. They are up against so much and they have no idea.

Happy Minis

Fi x

Monday, January 16, 2012

Holiday Post

Well I am on Holiday or otherwise known as Vacation! YAY! That means that there is little going on in our Doll House but I do have a couple of little things to show you that I plan to use in the attic once I get to it. In the attic there will be  an Artists studio ( no surprises there ) but not just for painting. I think the lady of the house is also interested in photography. The little plate camera was a Christmas gift, these cameras were used mainly for portrait photography from late 1800 to early 1900. This is not necessarily the time I will be setting our house in as I'm not sure I want to be fixed to a particular period but I do think it will work in with how the studio will look. Perhaps  a collection of cameras?

Of course what is an artists studio without an easel. This is a sweet little thing however I think it needs a few paint splatters don't you? I actually measured it scale wise and I think it's strictly speaking a little low
to the ground but I think we'll go with it nonetheless. Oh and my little collection of shells are there for no other reason than it looked a little plain.

Next is something I'm sure you are all very familiar with and that is the wonderful book Magnificent Miniatures by Mulvany and Rodgers. This was another Christmas gift and I have been drifting through the pages since I received it. My favourite is the American Colonial house.

Well thats it for my Holiday post. I think it's time we hit the beach!!

Happy Minis to you all!!

Fi xx

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Day to Play

Well after what I would call a hectic week or so after Christmas I have finally had a day to play. Yesterday was spent preparing the garden for the heat of summer and today it was a day of blissful rain. A little bit balmy but just enough of a cool breeze off the bay to make it pleasant.

I have photographed some of the tiny treats I received for Christmas and tinkered in my mini kitchen. Although I didn't make a huge amount of progress in my kitchen I have made some important decisions regarding the completion.

First of all I would like to show you some lace handkerchiefs my Step Mother gave me. They were passed down to her by her Mother. The one that is at the very bottom was hand crochet by her mother, the one on the very top with the most intricate lace was her Grandmothers, the others have been collected for special occasions. I feel very fortunate to have them.

You may very well ask what this has to do with miniatures.........and of course I will tell you. I plan to use these in the bedrooms of our Dollhouse as bed linen, Lea Frisoni Style. Linda Carswell also uses lace handkerchiefs as bedclothes

Mia has been very excited to get started on the Children's bedroom. For some time now she has had firm plans in her mind as to what should be in the room. Apparently it is a bedroom for twin girls, Ashley and Tibet. Tibet I hear you ask?...... Mia was a very impressionable nine years of age when she first got her dollhouse....... her much older cousin is named India.......her other older cousin is Bailey, a boy/girl name......and there you have it!

Below we have the Bed steads for Ashley and Tibet. They came all the way from Pheonix models in the UK. I think they will look delightful when the whole room comes together. The chamber stick is also from Pheonix

Whilst it is all very pretty I must soldier on with the kitchen. I have been playing with the range above the AGA as I want to light it. I have worked out how to do this by drilling a whole in the back and widening the opening for the light. The only thing I am worried about is the fire safety. I wonder if the heat of the globe with the wood fibres inside could be hazardous. Any advice would be appreciated.

I have also designed the bench to go around the Belfast style sink. Whilst the other cabinets I have made are in balsa wood I have made this one in Rose wood. I realise it is not a traditional timber for bench tops but I had it on hand and decided to go with it. It was my first attempt at using something of good quality and what a joy it was. Originally offcuts from my framer who makes Guitars it was left with Bandsaw marks i had to sand out. It took a while but it was wonderful to watch the beautiful grain of the wood slowly appear. i'm now thinking I might use it for a nice piece of furniture......who knows?

This is an image of the before and after. Still a way to go but I enjoyed the process.

I  have more little treasures to show but I think I will leave that for later in the week.

Many happy mini moments to you all!

Fi x

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Local Style

Hello Every One,

I would like to wish you all a Very Happy, Safe, and Prosperous New Year!!!!

The weather for us has been perfect for New Year celebrations......30 - 35 degrees with a baker tomorrow of 40. I spent the night with friends and a clear view of the bay and the fireworks display from town to town. I thought I would take this opportunity to give you a little glimpse of where I come from.

This is an image of (not taken by me but J.Heratige ) of Mornington Pier during a fire works display.
Mornington is the central town close to where I live on the Mornington Peninsula  which is the right hand peninsula of Port Philip Bay.  The Bellarine peninsula is on the left hand side and the two meet with very little distance between them, I would estimate approximately 2 kilometres. The Heads allow the passage for Shipping to enter into Port Philip through channels to Port Melbourne. On the whole the Bay is made up of quiet beaches and coves lined with expensive Real Estate. There is very little threat of any ocean nasties such as Sharks but we  do have to deal with the odd Sting Ray ( Mantaray...... poor Steve Irwin ) that we need to step over......... as long as we don't wrestle them like Steve we should be okay!! Out side of the Bay is Bass Strait which is lined with the stunning stretch of surf beaches. The images that Australia is so well known for.

I would like to acknowledge the original owners of the Mornington Peninsula , The Boonwurrung People.

This is Venus Bay  we often holiday here and on surrounding beaches  during the summer break. It was taken last year on a very hot overcast day during a period of heavy rain. ( thats Mia and Paul in the distance )It was the tail end of the weather pattern that caused the massive flood in QLD that wiped out thousand homes and hundreds of lives. Sadly this is the nature of the Australian climate, after drought comes flood.
 I will touch on the drought and its effects another time. 
The surf beaches are a sight to behold, breath taking, invigorating, exciting sometimes calming. It is a wonderful place to spend the sumer (and winter) and we have had many years holidaying all over Australia enjoying these beautiful destinations. The beauty of these beaches do however come with hidden dangers for locals and travellers alike. Being aware of your environment and swimming between the flags is paramount. On our approaching holiday I will be sure to take some pictures of the crowds and the surf patrol to give you and idea. 

I am in danger of prattling on so i will sign off for now.

Happy holidays to you all!!

There is someone I would like to mention before I sign off and that is David from
Whilst Davids blog is not a blog about Miniatures I do enjoy it very much. So for any one who enjoys a mix of beautiful Artwork, Philosophy, Literature and just general good humour please have a look, I'm sure you wont be disappointed!! 

ML Fi xx