Thursday, 14 July 2016

Scaling down - a 1/24th scale Modern Cottage

Do you remember the first time? That moment you discovered the world of miniatures, after which real life was never the same again.

Now people work in many different scales, but probably the majority of miniaturists cut their miniature teeth in 1/12th scale. When you first start out, everything seems tiny and oh-so-cute. As I always say, you can get used to anything. One day, you realise that 1/12th scale doesn't seem so small anymore. And that somehow your collection of one inch scale miniatures has filled all available space in your real-life house.

Faced with a choice between giving up or going smaller, most of us have decided to at least try a smaller scale. I am a real fan of 12th scale but was encouraged to try 1/24th scale by some of my miniature friends who now work in no other scale. 

At first, I liked it. The oh-so-smallness of it all after the relative enormity of 12th scale! I bought two cottages from Petite Properties and set to work. 

The first (shown on the left) was decorated and furnished in a country style and I bought everything to go in it. 

The second (shown on the right) was to be very modern and almost everything in it homemade.

One of the 1/24th scale rooms in my "Everything-Bought" cottage

The original cottage had just two rooms. I made and installed false walls to create two rooms on each of the ground and first floors. I installed a further floor and dividing wall to create two further rooms in the loft space. The walls were constructed from 5mm foamcore board and pinned in place through the back wall of the cottage. The floor I fitted was supported by using some wood moulding to form coving in the first floor rooms. The original two floors were already finished in a wooden planked effect by the maker. I replicated the effect on the top floor by painting and distressing a piece of cereal packet, cutting into strips and laying it in the same way using tacky glue.

Next, I decorated the walls and ceilings using emulsion tester pots from the local DIY store. I built the kitchen units from mountboard to my own design to exactly fit the space available. The doors are all non-opening and the handles are made from lengths of paper clip. I made a sink using pieces of thin stainless steel  and supported  it on scraps of wood inside the sink unit so that the top edges of each were exactly flush. When I fitted the worktop counter, the edges of the sink were concealed. I made a kitchen tap from the curved part of an extra large paper clip and two square silvered beads for taps. The worktop and splashback were both made from mountboard painted in black enamel paint for a high gloss modern finish.

The hob and oven front were purchased from ELF for a very reasonable price but it is possible to find perfectly acceptable printables to download and print out instead, like the microwave, which was printed onto photo paper, cut out, scored and folded.

The settee was a resin kit from Borcraft Miniatures that I covered in leopard-print fabric. The floor lamp was a kit from Jane Harrop. The little house ornaments and dolls house in the study are also kits from Jane Harrop. Otherwise, except as stated, I made all the furniture and accessories myself. 

The books were scraps of mountboard covered in paper, the clock was a cut out from the Argos catalogue mounted on a square sequin stuck onto scraps of wood and painted black. I cut out tiny images of my family from contact prints and framed them using scraps of mountboard.

The little drawer unit is three pieces of wood glued on top of each other, painted and then the join between each piece accentuated by sticking a piece of sewing cotton in the joint. The figure is an N-scale figure mounted on a tiny circle of mountboard.

I made the jewellery box in the same way. The bottles/jars are beads with no-hole beads for stoppers. The necklace is no-hole beads glued into an oval and the candles are nails, painted cream and set in silver coloured beads.

I made the lamp using the end of a ballpoint pen and scrap of cardboard. The radio alarm clock is a scrap of wood painted silver, with painted buttons and a cut-out bar code from a magazine to represent the speaker.

The bathroom is made from wood, purchased from eBay. I added a toilet roll, made from a small Hama bead with a scrap of quilling paper as the tissue. The bin is a large Hama bead with cardboard lid painted silver and scraps of card for the hinge and pedal. The soap dispenser is the rubber back from an earring with a tear-drop shaped jewellery finding as a pump.

The pictures were downloaded from the internet, sealed with Mod Podge and mounted on scraps of card.

The pot plant is made from poly fibre (available from railway modeller supplies) set in the cup of a birthday candle holder. The little wicker chair is by Chicken Little. The pencils are fine nails, painted and glued into tiny plastic pots.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the overall result. However, I really didn't enjoy this project. Having to use tweezers rather than fingers, having to make things in a scale that doesn't come easy to me....on balance I would rather have fewer 12th scale items than more items in 24th scale. Sadly, that didn't stop me trying 1/48th scale.....more on that next time .

Kathryn x

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Miniature Mouse House in one twelfth scale

What feels like hundreds of years ago -that's having three young kids for you - when I was a child myself, I remember seeing a story about a magical place called Brambly Hedge. I was entranced by the idea of little mice having fully furnished homes and little lives below ground, a theme which was also captured so beautifully in The Wind in the Willows. Fast forward thirty years and I found myself knitting - in full size for once - a selection of mice from a pattern by the wonderful Alan Dart. Cute, aren't they?

Of course as soon as I gave them faces they became, for me, little mouse people with personalities much larger than their diminutive size.They had feelings and needs like any of us. In short, they needed a home. I remembered those much-loved stories and immediately knew that the Mouse House had to appear to be underground and have a rustic higgledy piggledy charm where they could live cosily in their own mouse way.

Now I've seen envy-inducing pictures of miniature houses carved out of real tree stumps but due to my limited abilities with a chainsaw, I was starting out with a simple mdf box with zero character and a sterility that failed to inspire me for quite some time. How to turn it into an underground burrow was a question that kept me awake into the small hours on many a night.

Then, on a visit to a florists' wholesaler I came across some strips of Larch bark. Knobbly, wonky, rustic, it was perfect. I guesstimated how many packets I would need to cover the outside of my box and tried not to faint when the cashier rang up the total. I also bought some natural jute ribbon, pieces of natural cork bark and two different types of artificial ivy and felt even worse when VAT increased the final bill by 20%. This had better work!

I painted the whole exterior dark brown using emulsion to seal the mdf. Then I staple-gunned the jute ribbon all over the exterior, ensuring that I didn't make it too tidy around the front and side edges. Next, it was time to attach the bark strips. Simply nailing it on wasn't an option; the mdf would split. Glueing the foot -long lengths on as they were wouldn't work because they were bent and crooked. Eventually I decided to cut the strips into random shorter lengths so that the wrong side of each piece was as straight as possible. I used almost a pint of wood glue to glue the pieces all over the outside of the jute ribbon, staggering the joins. I had to work on one surface at a time, leaving it level for upto 48hrs to allow the great blobs of glue to dry where they were needed without running down the sides all over the dining table....I have learned that lesson the hard way.

Once covered, there were many gaps where the jute ribbon showed through. I used pieces of cork bark to fill these and soften the cut edges of the Larch bark. More glue and drying time!

Finally, I cut sprigs of the artificial ivy and glued them randomly between the two barks to further disguise any hard edges. I'm really quite pleased with the outside, which looks suitably hedge-like.

So, onto the interior. I had very fixed ideas about how the interior should look. I bought real slate (sadly at more great expense) cut into squares and rectangles and laid the tiles randomly using tacky glue. The walls were rendered using facial tissues stuck to the walls with pva glue and painted over using emulsion paint. I cut lengths of balsa wood to fit the ceiling and used a craft knife to distress them before painting them brown as beams.

I wanted an arched door for the false lobby that I constructed. The only one I could find on the internet was too wide for the false lobby I created. The solution was to cut the middle section out and butt the two remaining halves together. A cat (by Annie Willis) emerging from its cat flap added a bit of humour and irony to the scene.

I found pictures on the internet of mice dressed in clothes, so printed them off and framed them to hang on the walls to make the knitted mice appear more life-like.

I used whitewood furniture to furnish the Mouse House, painted green and slightly distressed. I wanted a cluttered effect, so filled shelves, dressers and plate racks with accessories. Glass jars, sold containing nail art materials, were emptied out and re-filled with herbs and spices out of my store-cupboard and topped with fabric covers and labels.

I knitted a baby mouse and wrapped it in a vintage crocheted doiley before placing it in a little wooden crib by Jane Harrop. Mice have large families, after all.

A rustic scene, this was a great project to cram all manner of miniatures into. Homemade and purchased miniatures merged seamlessly to create a busy, cluttered scene which I could really imagine my mouse people living in.

I'm pretty pleased with my little Mouse House. If only I could make like Alice and shrink small enough to visit.

Next time I will show you my 1/24th scale adventures...
Kathryn xx

Thursday, 18 February 2016

A Doll's House Shop - in 1/12th Scale

It's been a while since I posted; real life has, rather inconveniently, been getting in the way of my miniature one. Recently however, I have found the time to finish off some fairly major miniature projects. Knitting and stitching barely feature in them..... but I'm going to show them to you anyway.

Starting with my 12th scale version of a Dolls House Shop.

This project was born when I saw something similar that my good friend Margaret had built for a Club project. I fell in love and had to have one! But whereas hers was petite and a manageable size, I bought the biggest room box I could find - a huge 18 inches wide and 11 inches deep - and conceived a Grand Plan. What I didn't appreciate at the time was just how many 1/144th scale miniatures it would take to fill it. I now know the answer: A Lot. 

Some years ago, at great expense, I'd fallen in love with, and bought, three little 1/144th scale room boxes made by a Dutch lady called Ank Schaap (see below). I thought they were amazing and wanted to fill my Huge Enormous Dolls House Shop with tiny room boxes of similar quality. 

Unfortunately, given that I effectively wanted to live a champagne lifestyle but had only a lemonade budget (as the saying goes), I realised early on that simply buying all the contents was not an option; there was nothing for it but to make as much as I could myself. And not really knowing where to start, for a long time I simply didn't. And so the Huge Enormous Room Box in the corner of my dining room sat there reproachfully until I couldn't bear the guilt any longer. 

So I covered black and cream cardboard in clear sticky-backed plastic and cut one inch squares to make a quick, cheap and effective tiled floor. The walls and ceiling were painted green using an emulsion tester pot from the local DIY store. The effect - unintentionally -  was not unlike the 1930's bathroom that I rermember from childhood visits to my great-aunt's house!

I bought the large shelving unit on the back wall as a kit from The Dolls House Builder and painted it cream and black. I built the angled corner units from mountboard, to exactly fit the space available and painted them cream and black to blend them into the main unit. Cheap white-wood shelving units were transformed with black and cream paint for the side walls, while I built the central U-shaped display counter using mountboard and made the bookshelves on the front of it from leftover lengths of 1/12th scale coving. The books and magazines themselves were made using cut-outs from catalogues and magazines.

So far, so good. But it was still very empty. A visit to the local Railway Modelling shop procured some N-Gauge houses made of resin for a couple of pounds each and I used brick paper in the same scale to re-cover some nasty cheap dolls houses I'd bought at a dolls house fair. Some wonderful kits from Jane Harrop and Templewood Miniatures provided a better standard of house for the more prominent displays and I snaffled a lovely wooden house made by Jacqueline Crosby from my big dolls house. But there was still an awful lot of space left to fill.

I knew I wanted a DIY section in my shop and so 'The Creation Station' was born. I made rolls of wallpaper from magazine and catalogue cut-outs. Rolls of carpet were made using samples of velvet paper. I glued lengths of leftover stripwood into an empty plastic container and filled the lid of the container with cut-out pictures of carpets and rugs from various magazines and catalogues. I made fat quarters from scraps of fabric, arranged in wooden seed trays. The wall-mounted wallpaper display was made using a couple of cheap wooden plate racks, painted black and used vertically rather than horizontally. The wallpaper displayed on it was printed from the internet and the sandpaper in the display was made up using printables from a dolls house magazine.

I made the larger bottles of woodstain and varnish using beads and those plastic caps that cover the pins on the plug when you buy a new electrical appliance in the UK. The labels were cut-outs from craft catalogues. The smaller white bottles were made from my daughter's 'pop-a-point' pencil (don't think she's noticed that it has been appropriated for mummy's use) with the pencil points snapped off and the top of each segment painted black to represent a lid. I made tiny tubes of paint using thick metal foil wrapped around a cocktail stick, flattened at one end and with a seed bead stuck on the other end to represent a lid. Paintbrushes were made using the fancy end of turned cocktail sticks - rather hilariously sold in Marks & Spencer one memorable Christmas as 'Posh Pricks' - with the end painted black to represent bristles and the handle painted red, blue or green. 

To help fill the shelving on the left hand side of the shop I used some little N-gauge sheds from the Railway shop and made a display of dolls house dolls using some tiny figures from the same shop. Scrap wood wrapped in paper with a picture of a dolls house on served as flat-packed dollshouse kits. I made some little paper houses using cut outs from a dolls house magazine. 

Finally, it was time to tackle the huge (and still empty) central shelving unit. I painstakingly made twenty eight little room boxes from mountboard, measuring just 2" wide. I painted them brown on the outside to look like they were made of wood and painted most of them inside using emulsion tester pots, although I did wallpaper some using catalogue cut-outs. 

The furniture was a bit of a headache. I bought some lovely pieces from Barbara Moore of Pear Tree Miniatures and a few  bits of white-metal furniture from Tee Pee Crafts, but they were nowhere near enough to fill all those room boxes. I couldn't afford to buy more and began to think I would never get the thing finished. On one of my visits to the Railway shop I noticed some styrene tubing in all manner of different sizes and shapes. I experimented with some square and rectangular tubing and discovered that if I used small sections of it as a base or armature, I could create quite passable furniture by covering it in thin card, adding false drawer fronts with minute no-hole beads (or nail caviar) for handles and painting the whole thing. I made chests of drawers, cupboards, wardrobes and bedside tables this way, for mere pennies. 

Furniture by Barbara Moore. Homemade plant, pictures and accessories.

Furniture by Barbara Moore. Homemade Mirror and pictures.

Furniture by Barbara Moore. Homemade runner, plant, bowl & pictures.

Furniture by Barbara Moore. Homemade toybox and accessories.

I also found some styrene with the profile of a capital "H". When cut to size and covered with card in the same way I found that this made quite passable beds, to which quilts could be added using more magazine cuttings. I made passable settees and armchairs using tiny scraps of wood and painted an appropriate colour. They aren't strictly to scale but I think they look the part and I am really quite pleased with the result. Best of all, they were so cheap as to be almost free!

Homemade (and inspired by Cath Kidston).
Entirely homemade using styrene tubing covered in cardboard.

Carpets were made using scraps of velvet paper and cut-outs of rugs from dolls house catalogues were used as, well, rugs. I made tiny pictures using cut-outs from craft catalogues, framed on scraps of cardboard. Mirrors were made in the same way using silver sequins. Plants were made using tiny scraps of lycopodium and reindeer moss glued into seed beads. Cushions were made from tiny squares of velvet paper. I made bottles and jars using nail caviar and lamps from beads and jewellery findings. I found some little cupped sequins which served as bowls and made tiny books using the picture from an advert featuring a 12th scale book-making kit.

Metal Bed. Homemade chests of drawers and accessories.

Metal Dresser & Clock. Homemade settee, armchairs, cushions, pictures and coffee table.

Furniture by Barbara Moore.

Furniture by Barbara Moore, homemade accessories.

Furniture by Barbara Moore.

Entirely homemade.

Entirely homemade from styrene tubing and cardboard.

Wardrobe built from a kit, remainder of room homemade.

After a lot of very fiddly and frustrating work, not to mention endless hours of cutting up magazines and catalogues, I finally had enough furnished room boxes to fill my shop. I made some little signs using my computer to add realism and introduced the shop's first customer: Mrs Wallet (miss 'is wallet - get it?!) and her long suffering husband (both from Crumpled and Rumpled). 

I'm sure I shall add even more bits and pieces to the shop over time to make it truly cluttered and lived in.  I am currently recruiting a Shopkeeper to run it for me. Right now though I wouldn't care if I never made another thing in 1/144th scale - it's back to my beloved 1/12th scale for me. Who'd have thought that 1/12th scale could ever seem so big?!

Next time I will show you my Mouse House. And there's even some knitting in it!


Monday, 13 October 2014

Finding Findings - discovering miniature supplies on a High Street near you

So, 9 months have passed since my last posting and it has, literally, been a "pregnant pause"! In April Ian and I welcomed our much longed-for third child, Harry, into the world. Life as a family of five has taken some getting used to; there is, as they say, Never A Dull Moment....and life was far from dull before! Here he is, my last real-life miniature (and I mean it this time):

Now that I can get out and about again I have been trundling up and down the High Street with the pram and I have discovered that miniature supplies can be found in the most surprising of places.

Now I have never had false nails and have never felt the urge to glue fake diamonds either to them, or any other part of my anatomy (THAT is a whole subject in itself, only to be discussed late at night with close friends in the local wine bar...) but it seems that plenty of people do. Which is why recently I have discovered a whole world of things to add to my stash of Things That Might One Day Be Useful.

So we start with Primark - where for just £1.00 you can buy a nail gem wheel containing hundreds of tiny jewellery findings. Mine contained no-hole silver and gold beads in the size that can no longer be obtained at dolls house fairs, tiny metal discs, stars and hearts that are perfect for use as buttons or for trimming shoes and handbags etc, plus a variety of gems that would make wonderful jewellery.

At the moment they also stock false nails which have been ready-painted with a cute penguin design - they would make fabulous Christmas ornaments if mounted onto a bead or scrap of dowel. Again, these are just £1.00.

Next comes B&M and Poundworld, where I discovered tiny no-hole beads in a plethora of colours being sold as nail art kits for just £1.00. For an outlay of only £2.00, look at what I got:

Even better, look at the empty bead containers I was left with after decanting the contents into these beading storage trays:

These tiny glass jars will be filled with various seeds and herbs and given a gingham lid for display on the country dresser in my current Mouse House project - they would also look fabulous filled with fimo sweeties for your sweet shop or with coloured solid water in your chemist shop. A friend of mine filled some with miniature eyeballs for her witchy house. I have some strange friends.

There was no stopping me now. Onwards I marched, this time to Poundworld. Here I discovered another phenomenon that is completely new to - and lost on - me: Hair Gems. Apparently, you can bond jewels to your hair with your straighteners (like I have time to straighten my hair!!) and they - boasted the instructions proudly - will "naturally fall out over a period of 3-14 days". Not sure that that is entirely a good thing when leaning over the baby's cot or pureeing his food. Anyway. These tiny findings come in gold and silver coloured hearts, stars, hexagons, squares and circles and although presented on an adhesive sheet, they can be easily picked off for use. Having picked all mine off,  I discovered that the textured paper they were stuck onto is itself unusual and it, too, found its way into my ever-growing stash. Here is the packaging in case you are inspired to sprint to your local branch of Poundworld:

The mirror card in the picture above was part of the packaging in one of the nail art sets I bought and will also find reincarnation in some scene or other.

Across the way was Claire's, an accessories shop popular with teenagers. Here I found nail art kits containing fimo shapes - fruits, animal faces etc - that could be used to decorate miniature gingerbread houses for the Christmas scene. Amongst the earring display I found tiny silver-coloured articulated robots that would look lovely under the Christmas tree, in a toy shop or on a shelf in the Nursery. These were rather more than a pound so I didn't buy them, although I was sorely tempted. Around Halloween there are earrings with tiny skeletons attached which would look fabulous in my strange friend's witchy house. They also sell packs of no-hole beads for decorating nails, although again they can be purchased more cheaply elsewhere. 

Back to Poundland. In the children's toys section I found cheap dolls house furniture in 1/12th scale. Painted white and badly finished it is less than inspiring. But with a bit of work involving emery boards (also available in pound shops) and a couple of coats of acrylic paint (ditto) the side table/sideboard came up nicely and doesn't look any different to the more expensive whitewood furniture I bought at a dolls house fair and subjected to the same treatment.

Also worth considering in Poundland are the various decals sold for nails - they currently stock Santa faces for £1.00 which, stuck onto cheap white plates would make wonderful Christmas crockery for your festive table.

Just around the corner, in the stationery aisle, I discovered these packs of sequins:

Each weighing 84g- that is a LOT of sequins - the packs come in gold, silver, white and multi-coloured. I bought 3 of them for £1.00 each and am thrilled with the variety of shapes, sizes, textures and colours they contain. The photo doesn't do them justice. Mostly really tiny, there are sequins shaped like cogwheels (I'm thinking steampunk), flowers, fans and domes and the gold and silver embossed ones look like metal findings rather than the sequins that they are. Many of the square and round ones don't have holes in so would make perfect tiny mirrors etc. I have never seen sequins like these before and my mind is awash with ideas for ways in which I could use them - particularly in my 1/48th and 1/144th scale projects. I'm so easily pleased!

All in all I spent £10 on what is pretty much a lifetime's supply of findings. I also ended up with several bottles of nail polish from the nail art kits that can be used to varnish or seal things. Given that I cannot make it to dolls house fairs for the moment, I have nevertheless managed to satisfy the miniature itch whilst at the same time walking off my baby weight. What's not to like? The only mystery is why, when you go into a pound shop, you come out having spent rather more than £1.00 on things you didn't know you needed.

Happy shopping!
Kathryn x

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Happy Miniature Christmas!

So I've finally got around to writing my Christmas-themed blog in mid-January...fashionably late as always! Truth is, December was so busy that it was only afterwards that I had time to start putting together a Christmas-themed bookend that I am making for our annual competition at the Dolls House Club. At least it will be ready in good time for Christmas 2014...if only I can by then remember where I have put it! We miniaturists tend to be adept at concealment, so as to hide the true extent of our miniature collection from those we share our lives's a 'need to know' thing. And they don't really need to know, do they?

This is the book-end I am making, well on its way to completion. It is supposed to be a gift-shop type scene so that anything goes...well that's my explanation for a bed being in the same room as a kitchen dresser, and I'm sticking to it! 

The only rule of the Club competition is that members should try to make as many of the contents as possible, so almost everything you can see is either entirely home-made or built from a kit. The only exception is the bear in the stocking which I couldn't resist and bought from Shoebutton Bears. The trunk at the end of the bed is a 1/24 scale kit by Petite Properties. The cushions you can see were all needle-pointed by me using patterns published in the various dolls house magazines over the last few years; I particularly like the Christmas Tree one (middle shelf, centre) which was designed by Shelley Hawley-Yen.Behind the cushions are Christmas plates made using commercially bought paper plates trimmed with fine braid and embellished with paper shapes such as gold stars and punched snowflakes etc. They aren't, of course, terribly realistic up close but, from a distance, and as part of a cluttered scene like this, they add to the overall effect. The little wooden Christmas trees are from the card-making department of my local haberdashers (Samuel Taylor's in Leeds) and I fitted them into little square beads sold for jewellery making. The wooden silver-painted reindeer on the bottom shelf are also sold for cardmaking at Samuel Taylors and I mounted them on plinths made from miniature wooden quoin stones. The two taller Christmas angels on the dresser are made from raffia, folded over and tied with a length of silk ribbon, with a small wooden bead for the head. The smaller Christmas angel with the gold hair next to the Christmas Tree teapot is knitted, using a few repeats of a lace pattern and a tiny wooden bead for the head. The Christmas Tree tea-cosy was knitted using a pattern designed by Jan's Minis and the Santa and Mrs Santa on the top shelf are knitted up from full size patterns designed by Alan Dart and Jean Greenhowe, two of my favourite knitting designers. Hanging from the drawer knobs on the dresser are three of the Christmas Stockings I needle-pointed using Bobbie Schoonmaker's lovely patterns. Here are all the stockings that I have stitched over the years:

The bed cover and pillow were stitched very simply using a red floral fabric - not strictly Christmas but the right colour palette - and the lace coverlet was a lucky find in a charity shop. The knitted Santa on the bed was made using a pattern designed by Anneliese de Korts. You will also see a selection of gift boxes which I made from cut-outs in magazines but the green and blue gift boxes were scratch-made by me and have a tiny Christmas motif embroidered onto 40-count silk gauze in their centre; the motifs came from a cross stitch magazine. I made the wreath by covering a white acrylic curtain ring with evergreen pipecleaners and adding narrow tartan ribbon and some gold no-hole beads.

Here is a close-up of the Santa Weebly toy; he's made based on a pattern that appeared recently in a dolls house magazine; I think it was one of Marianne Colijn's designs -  but I did adapt it quite a lot to get the look I wanted. The 'fur' and beard are simply short lengths of white chenille knitting yarn, glued on rather than stitched as it is rather difficult to work with due to its tendency to fray away to nothing. The bobble on Santa's hat is actually a tiny polystyrene ball that I appropriated from my daughter's toy vaccuum cleaner - miniatures really can be found in the most mysterious places! Although he is merely stuffed, rather than filled with a bead, he does actually 'weeble' in a very satisfactory way and I am quite pleased with him. I can see a range of weebly toys on my stall one this space!

Still to add is some miseltoe, based on a project that appeared in the AIM imag a few months ago: I made this by twisting short lengths of green florists wire together and adding punched miseltoe leaves (Pinflair do a great multi-punch tool which includes a tiny miseltoe die) and pearly seed beads for the berries. I bound the stalks together with narrow braid and made a hanging loop so that the miseltoe can be hung up to encourage those miniature kisses...

Here also are two little knitted characters made using full size patterns from Sandra Polley's 'Knitted Toys' and scaled down to a suitable size:

The reindeer in the book has wonderful antlers made from fuzzy brown chenille pipecleaners, but this just didn't translate into twelfth scale, so I used tiny brown pompoms instead. The eyes and nose are made using the tiniest little paper fasteners that I, again, found in the scrapbooking section of the haberdashers. I also used them as buttons for the weebly Santa (above). The legs are thread-jointed so Rudolph can be posed if required. I intend to knit a selection of these using the full-size pattern one day - I can see them prancing along my mantelpiece at Christmas....

So there you have it, a little scene that won't take up much room but was lots of fun and inexpensive to make. In case my husband is reading this....

Until next time...happy knitting!