Dolls' Houses Past & Present

A website and ezine about dolls' houses: antique, vintage and modern. Plus furniture and accessories.

KitKats - A Summer Project! by Jazz

This is a project I started in the Summer.  The Tudor dolls house.  It is called KitKats.  My real name is Katina (I am from a Greek/English family) and I love cats, so it is made up of the two things!!!


I am fairly new to miniatures and 5 years ago had an Art Deco 1:12 house built for me and had all the furniture made, mostly by Kim Selwood.  So I did not know anything about the big market in secondhand dolls houses and furniture.

We moved house three months ago and my two dolls houses (the other is a massive Georgian house from Len Lewis Classic Houses - this may have been the last one he built before becoming ill) are still packed up - waiting for an extension to be built to house the growing collection!

So I thought if I buy a small secondhand one from ebay then that will give me something to do in between real human curtain making and building work!!!  I really miss not being able to work on my miniatures and can get quite low!  I make polymer clay food and do all my miniature soft furnishings etc.  I also print my own material so that I can get authentic scale in the patterns for the project I am currently working on. 



Well I searched long and hard and found this one, you know how things captivate your eye and I fell in love with it.  I subsequently found that it was from Jackie/snowbees here on the forum.  On the ebay auction page for it Jackie suggested that the buyer may be able to furnish it with Tudor Barton furniture.  I had never heard of it and did a search and hey presto - I am hooked!!  I seem to be buying most of this furniture from Michelle and Dale Robertson (also on the forum!) and have built up a nice little collection since July this year!  Have also "met" another lady on the forum - Claire - who has given me more idea of what is available in this range. They look as though the house was especially made for the furniture.  It all seems to nestle together beautifully!! 



In my head the house has come down through the generations, still with "original" furniture and now in the 30's it is being made a little more cosy and comfortable with rugs and upholstered furniture etc. 


Royal Doulton figurine, Staffordshire dogs and Toby Jugs, other "china" and a radio feature here.  You can see the three piece suite I re-covered from a design I manipulated on my computer and then printed on cotton.  Although very similar the two patterns here are slightly different.  I didn't want it to be too "matchy matchy". 

I also "frame" miniature "paintings".  I buy the frames from Wood Supplies - they have made mirrors for another project of mine - and then find paintings I like and shrink and print them on textured paper.  I can then have any Old Master or modern art that I wish in miniature!!!!!


My favourite piece is the four poster bed.  I am SO pleased at the way the tapestry material printed out.  Again from my own work on my iMac - where would we be without them?  (Computers that is.  I have done all of my research into miniatures on the internet.)  I did not want to hide the lovely "carving" on the bed so made the hangings as simple as I could.  The white material is silk.  I always use natural fabrics.


I have made cushions for the chairs and purchased hand sewn rugs for the living room and upstairs room where the dresser is. 


I love the upholstery and soft furnishings in miniatures.  I have scanned in one of the rugs and am going to make cushions from part of the design.  This way I obtain the correct scale and any pattern I like.  On one of my other projects I have used a pattern from a Farrow and Ball wallpaper and it looks amazing - even though I do say so myself.  Please don't think I am a "big head".  I just love creating unique things for my miniature houses and am always thrilled when something turns out well.  (Until 6 years ago I had NO idea of the pleasure that one could get from all this handicraft for miniatures.)


I then saw what else was in the Barton range and other 1:16 ranges that I had NO idea existed.  Also it became clear to me why I thought the 1:12 seemed big when I started my miniature career - as dolls houses, when I was young, were obviously 1:16.


I saw all sorts of "vintage" dolls houses.  Some of which reminded me of my childhood house and then I got the bit and wanted to get one that was as near to it as possible.  That is a whole other story - a tandem dolls house project with the Tudor house!!



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