Friday, April 30, 2010

Gee, that was fast!

I got home from ANU Film Group this evening to find this evening's episode of The Collectors up on their website already. You can watch the clip here or download it from here.

Are you a first time visitor? Perhaps you'd like to see what happened behind the scenes at the filming. Or explore each house in detail (see the sidebar on the left for links). Have any questions? Leave a comment!

This is where it starts...

The first morning where I find myself slipping on wristwarmers at the computer. Soon I'll be pulling the heaters out from under the stairs. Deciding that doing the dishes (hands in warm water!) and the ironing (lots of warm steamy stuff!) are wonderful things to do in the morning.

But first I have to make it though that difficult Canberra period of freezing mornings, quite pleasant days, followed by freezing evenings. And trying to dress for said days without dying of either hypothermia or heat stress along the way...

Thursday, April 29, 2010


It may be a short week but it's a mad week. A full moon. A sudden onset of Winter (hello, did I miss autumn?!). Blood nose season. Many workplaces. A mix up and a frustrating learning block (neither my fault, I'm relieved to note).

Coming up in the next few days: A party. A movie. A TV appearance. A miniatures show. A job interview.

And, maybe, some
dance theatre, depending on if I hit the House Seat jackpot or not. I hope not not as I'm not sure what I'll do as We Unfold is almost booked out. And I don't fancy watching it hanging by my teeth from the catwalk...

The 2010 Lundby Stockholm dolls house

I caught up with my old Lundby distributor yesterday evening ("old" as in I no longer sell Lundby so she's no longer my distributor, not that she's aged and wrinkly!). She told me that she'd send me a sneak peek of this year's Stockholm house as she thought I'd rather like it:
The basic structure remains the same as the original model, with only the colours changing. Most furniture remains the same, in different colourways but there are a few changes: the parents' bed, for instance, has almost returned to the classic 1970s style and the tall white storage unit has disappeared (along with a few other pieces, which always gets me panicking and wondering if I should buy an extra set of the ones I liked "just in case"). The sofa seems to longer be a fold out bed but is now L shaped (with natty throw cushions)

But it's the new pieces I'm lusting after:

Battery powered gas barbeque, anyone?You can eat your meal at this new table settingWhile drinking your hot coffee from the Lundby espresso machine!

Damn them, though, for keeping the rest of the kitchen set the same: new colourways would have been more interesting (hot pink to go with that new sofa and cushions, perhaps?)

If you're similarly smitten the range is available in Australia from August. Or, if you're based in the USA, you can buy it from Cheeky Monkey Toys...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Comings and goings...

Remember back in 2008 I went to Wellington and made a merino hoodie? Here's my 2010 version (not made by me but sent as a present by the wonderful Miggs from Reign, where I interned) It arrived in yesterday's post:(Her version is so much nicer than mine...) Aren't I lucky?

Another hoodie on the move is the one Wendy wears. She's been invited on holiday to the Sapphire Coast to visit Sharon Cornthwaite's studio and help with her work for The Call of the Small!I'd be jealous except I have a couple of jaunts planned myself over the next month.

Call of the Small* update

I spent yesterday afternoon at Craft ACT catching up with some of the artisans participating in my exhibition, Call of the Small in August this year.

Want a taste of what's being planned so far?

* I popped into Ampersand Duck's studio during the opening of Three Chords and the Truth at ANCA Gallery and she showed me some teeny tiny printing blocks she's wanting to incorporate into some miniature letterpress posters

* When I visited Jodie Cunningham she said she's is thinking about painting glass or perspex, possibly in 3 D. I suggested miniature desks or lampshades and sent her some links to miniature eye candy to inspire her (although her choice of colours provides eye candy enough)

* Peter Bollington came into Craft ACT just before the opening of the Epidemic show (which he's featured in) and he said at this stage he's inspired by the Noguchi coffee table

* Jennifer Howlett is thinking knitted garments and accessories with the theme of The Seasons.

* Ceramicist Jo Searle is off to Clay Energy 2010 and tells me she plans to take lots of photos (if she can) of their exhibition Up in Smoke (an exhibition of ceramic art works that will fit inside a standard sized Redheads matchbox) to use for inspiration

* David Hodges tells me he's "thinking of making several miniature books, styled like a fully scaled book, that is with leather spine marbled endpapers and text. Some books will be paperbacks, some covered in a buckram, like a library binding. The text part I haven’t yet fully worked out. I have some very small font but I think the best way is to make an etching plate of the page or pages then print a whole section. Depending on how many I get done, I’d like to make a shelf of some description." I jokingly suggested he could produce our exhibition catalogue. In 1/12th scale...

Yes, I realise that's only six of our ten artisans. I need to keep something for next time. (Did I mention they've all agreed for me to visit their studios and capture pictures of them creating their pieces to share here?)

While I'm on the topic of The Call of the Small exhibition, I thought it would be handy to share the list of links I sent the artisans (80% of them have never worked in dolls house size before) to give them an idea of what was possible:

Call of the Small Exhibition: Useful links
(I've not included photos as a lot of them are expressly marked "not for reproduction")

* Homepage of the
Australian Miniature Enthusiasts’ Association

* AMEA page explaining scale. Includes links to famous dolls house makes and miniaturists including

* Internationally acclaimed designers of one-twelfth scale architectural miniatures and doll's houses,
Mulvany & Rogers have over twenty five years' experience re-creating historically significant European and North American buildings and their interiors.

* From 2000-2008,
Mark Turpin created an exciting original series of mansions and rooms in miniature — the Pine Island Collection. This site is dedicated to the imaginative and innovative results of his years of diligent design and craftsmanship. This virtual museum retains the visual record of Mark’s creative architectural art productions.

* Modern and art deco roomboxes and furniture by Peter Tucker, including lighting.

* Mini Modern blog: excellent (and now defunct) blog covering what’s happening in the world of 1/12th scale modern miniatures. Includes comprehensive links lists to other blogs about modern dolls house miniatures, modern dolls houses and books on the subject.

* Vanessa Tiegs, creator of Miniarcs -- miniature artworks crafted in 1:12 scale.

* Modern Miniatures: A group for photographs of modern dolls house miniatures (styles from 1900 onward). Includes (but not limited to) 1/16, 1/18, 1/12 and 1/6 scales.

* My 1/12th scale modern Kaleidoscope House

* “The Kruger Collection collects, preserves, researches and interprets miniature furniture, accessories, and other examples of the built environment to document human cultural evolution, and serves as an educational resource in the areas of interior design, architecture, and material culture studies.”

* V&A Museum’s Museum of Childhood
dolls house page includes a number of historically significant houses.

(Have I missed any significant links that I didn't originally list in this post?)

(*Thanks, as usual, to "the real" (and fabulous) Call of the Small for letting me borrow her name)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On the set

If I currently have no room in my budget (or time) for cruising I can at least admire the work of Charles Brogdon: (Miniature set for The Love Boat)Charles says "As a kid I loved visiting Hollywood and seeing various TV sets in sound stages. I was always forbidden from taking pictures so I would come home and build what I saw.

I have not built a set in 12 or so years and these make great dust collectors. Now I have brought them out for you to see and have some half finished ones as well I am finally getting done. Sets are made of lots of different things but the basis is Lego bricks. A set can take from 2 weeks to a month to complete.Some people build model ships... I build model sets. My sets are...

Family Feud
I Love Lucy
Good Times
The Love Boat
Happy Days
Mama's Family
Empty Nest
The Golden Girls
The Young and the Restless
Married... with Children
Designing Women
The Facts of Life
The Brady Bunch
Three's Company
The Price is Right

Murphy Brown
Laverne and Shirley
Family Ties

I no longer enjoy watching television today. It's either too mean or too stupid."

For more photos of Charles work see
FLICKR (and for behind the scenes photos see here)Charles has produced a book on his sets which can be bought from Blurb. Preview it here or buy it here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mainstream miniatures

While lolling in bed this afternoon, catching up on my magazine reading, I stumbled across a couple of miniatures: always an unexpected delight.

The first one I can't show you yet as my scanner is still sulking. But I managed to find a copy of this one online:

I was first drawn to it because of the juxtaposition of scales but after a couple of seconds I was peering more intently at the photo trying to ascertain if it was indeed a dolls house or not and which bits were photoshopped onto what. I would say Yes. What do you think?

I give up

I woke up this morning mentally exhausted. Tried the normal tricks to jolly myself out of bed with no luck. Dragged myself into my workroom with my morning cup of tea, dodging the supplies that had exploded off the worktable all over the floor in yesterday's creative frenzy.

Sat down to read a few bloggy updates before I started work on the book. Realised as I was reading I was jealously thinking "I wish I had time to do that. And that. And that."

And then I read this and this. And decided that I should listen to my poor overworked brain and HAVE A DAY OFF.

Off off. Not a day spent catching up on stuff from my to do list "off". In fact I may just declare today a Doona Day.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Let out on an afternoon break for good behaviour...

Mainly because my brain is about to turn to mush and ooze out my ears.

Not sure how I'm tracking towards being finished on time, especially as I spent the first 40 minutes of my morning clearing off the workbench in my study (should have done that last night!) and trying to work out where we'd tucked my box of embroidery threads during
October's manic cleanup before The Collectors came...

It was about this stage when I realised I may well have bitten off more than I can chew as I don't think I've actually done any applique before and the only thing I know about machine embroidery is from a 1926 book I bought at Lifeline Bookfair and a library book I borrowed last week:
There was only one thing for it. I took a deep breath and I started working out what I needed to do...
(Keeping fingers mentally well crossed)I decided the best approach was probably to do the more straight-forward parts for each page then go back and work out the trickier bits when I felt more confident.
For each page there was planningtracing bonding and/ or pinningand back to planning!Around lunchtime I thought I should make a test piece and check stuff like how easy it is to stitch through bonded blanket and felt, if fabric markers work on felt and if my machine was able to do machine embroidery. The answers were pretty easy, yes, but they need to be heat set before you sew around anything you've coloured in and yes (but I can't work out how to bring the bobbin thread through on the first stitch so it's off the menu for now. But I played with what I could manage using the machine normally...)And I realised I actually don't care if I get this finished in time, it's fabulous just having the time and energy to craft!


Remember that project I mentioned on March 9? And the update 20 days ago?

Well nothing concrete* has happened since. And the deadline is tomorrow.

I'm not too worried. I've pulled together a body of work over a two day period before. And it just so happens I have two days in a row with no work (and, since it's Anzac Day today, no reason to leave the house this morning as nothing is open.)

So I've put myself into lockdown. Here's hoping I don't emerge tomorrow with an empty email box, a completed winter jumper, a pile of read books, a sparking clean and neat house, several new pairs of autumn PJ pants, and no art book...

(* Except in my head)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Your personal Library Assistant"

It started as a joke.

They were from out of town and visiting the library with a local friend.

"Hi there" I think I said after I sensed a possible situation at the internet computers. "Are you booked onto that computer?"

It seemed they didn't realise they needed to book. We sorted that out for them.

Then there was a small problem with printing that I noticed as I was shelving nearby.

"Don't you know?" I joked. "In the ACT Library Service you get a dedicated Librarian to help you with everything you need? We're like Guardian Angels, always at your service. Each Library patron has a Guardian Librarian..."

We got their printing sorted out. I returned to other more pressing issues: The coming two day break and getting things up to date before then. Other patrons' needs. I almost forgot about them.

After work I pointed Miss Daisy towards the National Portrait Gallery as I had a gift voucher burning a hole in my wallet, a friends' disc
ount, a little spare cash, and a burning desire for something I'd seen in town tugging at my brain.

As I headed to the car from the NPG store I couldn't believe who I saw. Yeap, my new out of town friends from earlier in the day!

I bounded over. "As your dedicated Librarian from the ACT Library Service" I said "It is my duty to ensure your entire visit to the ACT is memorable!"

They laughed. I laughed.

I love my job...

Hear yea hear yea!*

A comment on my last post from Susan made me realise that I possibly need to be proclaiming the news a little more widely and obviously...

If you want to see what The Collectors have done with my collection you can:

* Watch ABC 1 this Friday (April 30) at 8pm

* Watch ABC 2 next Monday (May 3) at 6:05pm

* Wait until they load the episode up to the download section (which seems to be very quickly) and watch it online. At this stage I have no idea if you can see this from outside of Australia. (If anyone wants to check and let me know, I'd appreciate it...)

* Beg me to let you borrow the DVD version which I'm assured will be turning up in my Post Office Box sometime soon.

Oh, and my plans have changed so I won't have to stop at Hungry Jacks on the Freeway to Sydney that night to watch it (it's not what you know, it's who you know...), I can watch it at home. Assuming I can work out how to find ABC 1 on one of my TVs...

(*aka Word up!)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It seems to be becoming a Thursday tradition...

Spending $20 on things to make me happy.

I couldn't help it: my horoscope today said I should support the economy and so the following came home with me:
* The
latest issue of Frankie magazine (Taph alerted me to the vintage caravans but there's also fabulous tea towel eye candy and lots of other things I am yet to discover...)

* The catalogue for the
Jude Rae exhibition at CMAG. I've wanted this since the opening night but had to wait until it came to the top of my list (or that I happened to be in Civic Square with money in my wallet)

* A half price box of black and white
kikki.k luggage tags to label my wool stash suitcases with. Finally!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A secret

Sometimes, when I'm having a particularly bad day, I read my own blog.

And I think "Gosh, I wish I had a life like that..."

Miniatures at Milan

Spotted this intriguing picture over at The Design Files' coverage of Zona Tortona at the Milan International Furniture Fair:Alas I can't tell you anything more about it, but how cool would it be to have one at home?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday April 20 2010. In numbers.

* An 11 hour working day (Urgh)

* At two jobs (Where am I, who am, what's my name?)

* One job application submitted (Hurrah!)

* After three revisions (Thanks to my boss...)

* Two metallic pens bought at lunch time (Just because)

* One still dead scanner (Boo!)

* One message from ABC regarding publicity for the show (When, exactly?!)

* Two glasses of wine (Weehee!)

* One tired me (Yawn)

* One bed calling (Zzzz)

Monday, April 19, 2010


I have big deadlines this week. The job application is due in by close of business tomorrow. I have a textile work to finish before Anzac Day evening. I just sent the call out for submissions for the May issue of the Dolls House Past and Present May ezine. And I have a six day working week starting today.

To top it all off my scanner has been having tanties all weekend. Which means I'm having to photograph my submissions for What I wore today this week until I can find the time to thwack said scanner upside the head (or find my old scanner and install it instead)...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday: doing boring but important stuff

Like addressing selection criteria for a job I really really want. Getting the dishes and washing up to date. Tidying my study.

There were many other, more exciting things I wanted to be doing but they'll just have to wait for another time...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday night plans

* A new book I unpacked at work today (ironic that I have just bought a pile of books and am starting a library book, yes? But I can't resist a time travelling novel and since it's a YF I should be able to knock it off in one sitting)

* The latest issue of Extra Curricular, which I've been saving to savour.

* A glass (or two) of $2 a litre wine.

* Lindor balls from a box given to me by someone I donated spare fabric to. I think I got the better end of that deal...

* That's a jumper sleeve you spy at the bottom. Perhaps I can finish it and it's partner tonight? Perhaps not.

* And there'll a pile of new-to-me music to sample. Perfect!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Holy Day of Obligation

There are a couple of potentially embarrassing purchases in that there pile. I so love that I'm old enough that I don't care.

(And yes,
of course I went!)

I couldn't resist...

I was invited to the opening of Shop Handmade last night. The invite said dress "After 5". I was tempted to wear PJs but finally decided the only thing to do was pull out the tails and shirt I bought for the Sturt Summer School party (which I never went to).So, feeling very Yves St Laurent circa the 60s (but the thrifted version) I trotted off to drink bubbles, eat gorgeous colour coordinated desserts and beautifully branded biscuits and spend this week's grocery budget on a fabulous yardage design tea towel to add to my collection:Black and white? Destination roll design? Featuring dessert and chocolate? How could I resist?!

(For photos of the event, check out the Shop Handmade blog)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

An ode...

I woke up this morning to a comment from petite nouveau, letting me know she'd created a scene in my honour: Pop over to her blog to see more photos of this fabulous room. (When can I move in?)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Because boys can be textile artists too (two)

(Shortlisted for Picture Book of the Year 1989) "Mr Nick and Mrs Jolley are friends. They meet every morning on the seven o'clock train to the city. Mr Nick knits jumpers for his twenty two nieces and nephews and Mrs Jolley knits toys. They both love knitting and they love each other's company.
One morning Mrs Jolley isn't on the train, she is ill in hospital. Mr Nick misses his friend and works very hard to make something very special to cheer her up..."
(Buy it here, or, if you're Canberran, request to borrow it from the library here)

Friday, April 09, 2010

In which I'm not featured in The New York Times

David Azia for The New York Times

Remember I said I had been contacted by someone from The New York Times?

The article ran in today's paper. And the only (oblique) mention I get is my Modern Miniatures FLICKR group

Oh well, that's life in the newsroom.

It's a great article though, with some fabulous photos in the slideshow.

Monday, April 05, 2010


Easter Monday included...

Rejigging the bookcase in my workroom and discovering a spare couple of inches:
(Which I'm sure will be filled soon enough)

Seriously working on ideas for my The Story is the Thing submission. Finally.
And since pictures of knitting and my current reading material seem to have become a tradition around here, this evening's picks:(One new to me and one previously read and pulled back out for inspiration)

And my What I wore today sketchbook continues to be used:

Sunday, April 04, 2010


a) Daylight savings for the year.
b) The back of my 2010 winter jumper (thanks to an extra hour of knitting time last night).
c) Me, after a day in the library helping catch up with the Easter backlog.
d) All of the above...

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Easter Saturday: sorting and scones

Another day spent pottering around home, keeping an eye out for twinges of regret that I'm not up the road stalking Eddi Reader.

It's rather wonderful to unexpectedly have enough free time to slow down and move at a whole different rhythm, getting things done but with no feeling of rushing.

One of the things I'm especially pleased about is making time to empty all my wool stash suitcases and bags onto the workroom floor
sort the resulting pile out and repack the suitcases (and some plastic bins gifted by my benefactor) in a much more logical (to me at least) way so I might actually manage to find what I'm looking for. And fit it into a smaller space. Now all I need to do is track down some old fashioned luggage labels to tie onto the handles and my task is complete.

I made scones for afternoon tea. Fancy cinnamon pinwheel ones. And I invited Cycling S around to share them with me:
(I'm loving the fact that the only things bought new in the picture above are two teaspoons and the knife. Oh, and the coffee table.)

And in case you think I've given up What I wore today already: