Creative Competition - The judging begins!
8 October 2014
This year's Creative Competition is now closed. There has been a varied selection of entries and the judges are eager to get started on the selection process to whittle down the entries to the top three. Every year throws us surprises and delights and having had a cursory glance we're sure this year is set to be no exception. Previous years winners have included a stunning Beach Hut from Belize, a Gingerbread House
, a Vernacular Railway
, a Moroccan Villa and many more! To view these and many more past entries whilst you wait for the winner to be announced, simply look for the 'creative competition' tag
and you'll have them all at your finger tips. More news on the judging and winners as we get it!
Miniature inspiration from a weekend away!
4 December 2013
Shelley Hemsley found inspiration in an unexpected place for her entry to the 2013 Creative Competition.
If you remember, this used The Cabin, our first small build with a wall-mounting option.
Here’s the result of her endeavours – scroll down to see how she got the idea!
Shelley, from Nottingham, says: “I bought the cabin kit to enter the creative competition and to be honest I was completely lost for an idea for a few weeks until my partner and I went away for an adventure filled weekend to Worcester.
“On the Saturday night we went out for a meal and whilst driving down the main road we saw three tied up horses on the side of the road, we thought it was a little odd but kept going.
“On our way back we saw two old fashioned gypsy caravans. There it was - my eureka moment, the gypsy caravan idea began.
“Creative juices began to flow and then to confirm it was fate, we were in a tearoom queuing to pay looking at greetings cards and the one that caught my eye was the one with two gypsy caravans at a camp.
“After returning home I realised I would have to alter the kit a lot but guess that’s the whole idea! So I got stuck in and apart from the horse brasses everything has been made, drawn and painted by myself… I have a new love for tacky glue!!
“A few of my favourite and most challenging parts of the caravan are the undercarriage and the roof.
“My beloved jigsaw and chisel work paid dividends on the undercarriage and my immense patience came in handy on the roof.
“With the rest of the project I have thoroughly enjoyed working out how to make the parts and seeing the finished article and most days I have ended up impressing myself.”
'Race Trim' barber shop scoops dolls' house comp 3rd spot!
4 October 2013
At last – we can bring you news of our Third Place winner of the 2013 Creative Competition from The Dolls House Emporium.
It’s Janice Curtis with her Race Trim Barber Shop, based – like all the others – on our new Cabin small project
We just loved the idea behind it and the way that Janice incorporated the theme through the whole project so perfectly.
We smiled, said ‘wow’ - this entry was always going to be a contender!
Janice, from Norfolk, says: “My friend’s son-in-law had just opened a barber shop in our village and I thought perhaps I could turn my Cabin into a barber shop.
“As both myself and husband Dave are keen followers of motor bike racing and own a vintage bike, I thought I would use the biker theme.
“I then thought of the name Race Trim Barber Shop. The name Race, because Race was my maiden name. Trim? Not only because it means cut but a racing motor bike has to be in ‘race trim order’ before being allowed on the track before a race.”
She chose orange on purpose for the customers’ chair – to make it stand out, stripping it down, re-spraying and covering with leather and brown piping detail.
The wooden window blinds are hand-made from balsa, while the magazines are all bespoke copies of real-life publications.
“Still on the motorbike theme, I asked my nine-year-old grandson Archie if he would donate one of his toy bikes. Little did he know that I was going to saw it in half, paint it a different colour and add Race Trim motifs to make a wall feature! (Thank you Archie!)
“I spent lots of fun/fiddly 12th scale hours designing/making the accessories – the outside wall cigarette stubber, the ‘anything for the weekend’ machine, the For Sale wall advertisement, the prices for 2013 and labels for all the barbers’ hair products!
“The outside bench was made from tiny scale measured wooden planks, painted in matching colours but the temptation was too great… I added black diamante studs to resemble bolt heads!”
All of her fencing was made from cut, shaped, measured wood, stained and then stuck around the shop with an added side gate.
The characteristic barbershop pole is an old cotton reel!
“Definitely a challenge,” says Janice, “but I have loved every minute of it”.
Beastly Botanicals - miniature plant lab scoops Creative Competition prize
24 September 2013
Here is the worthy winner of Second Place in the Dolls House Emporium Creative Competition 2013.
It’s called Beastly Botanicals and is the creation of the talented Jayne Woodward, from Staffordshire.
The building and its contents are based around the story of a fantasy plant laboratory owned by Dr Morpheus T. Seedbender PD (Plant Doctor).
Having lost his mind he is totally fearless and will fuse all manner of plant life never knowing what, or how dangerous the final result will be… or so the story goes!
The tale behind his lab is that due to the highly controversial nature of his work he lives high in the mountains. This location was picked, not only because of its remoteness, but because he has access to all the weird and wonderful flora and fauna that has been left untouched by people who never venture so far.
Unfortunately, the lack of oxygen at this altitude, the absence of other humans and the foraged wild mushrooms he eats has slowly sent him somewhat deranged!
Here’s Jayne to tell you the rest of this amazing story: ”Growing up the outside of his lab you will see a Hysteria tree. A wisteria with the added bonus of screaming banshee flowers, which alert him to any intruders.
“Protecting the front entrance to the lab are Papahi and Peyton Pumpkin. Papahi, although mischievous, is incredibly smart and partnered with Peytons’s reputation as the village warrior they make formidable guards.”
Inside the lab are some extraordinary specimens.
Jayne says: “Inside the cage he keeps the Pyromandible plant (a most dangerous example of science gone wrong). With the ability to unhinge their lower jaw they are able to bite with a force able to break bones. This plant must be kept constantly sedated. A near miss while changing the drip feed recently left the professor with a bleeding hand and broken thumb.”
“In the window you will see Amanita. A beautiful red and white petaled plant. Created using Fly Agaric mushrooms to forcefully induce a symbiotic relationship with the Pyromandible. The drool of Amanita has psycotropic properties used primarily for the sedation of the pyromandible.”
“Sitting next to her is Marley the Rastafarian plant. Strategically placed that his deadlocks are out of reach of the Pyromandible but that the smoke from his cigarette is not. This also has a sedative effect on the Pyromandible.”
“The two plants under the round window are part of the genus Floozy. Floozies are an impish breed, which have a tendency to torment and tease. With their huge toothy smiles the professor finds them hard to resist and rarely chastises them."
“The professor claims that the three-headed plant in the corner is a distant relative of the mandrake. Or was it an experiment gone wrong? Whilst a true mandrake will scream when picked all this plant is capable of is singing constantly. In the absence of any electricity the professor lets him stay for entertainment.”
“The fruit tree in the corner is a Carrow tree. Bred primarily to provide food for the professor, the marrow and carrot fusion apparently makes a wonderful soup.”
A wonderful imagining of a superb scenario! All from the inspiration provided by The Cabin, from The Dolls House Emporium.
Here are a few extra interior and exterior shots from Jayne's work, which earns her £350 of Dolls House Emporium vouchers.
Prizes up for grabs in new contest for dolls' house and miniature makers
20 September 2013
Here’s a great chance to combine your mini-skills with a depiction of recent history - and be in the running for some great prizes.
With 2014 marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War a new miniature making competition is being launched by Dolls House and Miniature Scene.
Entries will recreate a scene from the time and can depict anything from a single miniature item to a whole diorama scene. They can be based on the Home Front or the Western Front.
Editor Lucie Roper said: “A hundred years have passed since the First World War which affected every corner of the globe and we felt it was right to mark the date in some way – it only seemed fair to also invite others to do the same.
“Working alongside The Dolls House Emporium, Jane Harrop Miniatures, Miniatura and Petite Properties we hope to inspire the miniatures community to remember this event in the way we know best, through our miniatures and what better way than to do this with a competition. The DHMS team wish you all the very best of luck!”
- 1st prize for club entries: A workshop with expert Jane Harrop, who will provide club members with a day full of informative, practical and interactive sessions covering a variety of invaluable miniatures making skills.
- 1st prize for individuals: A Petite Properties 1/48th finished house of your choice plus the furniture kits to furnish your house.
- 1st prize for under 16s: Yellow Moon craft essentials pack, an IKEA HUSET set and 6x30g blocks of Cernit Clay.
The Dolls House Emporium is supplying £50 vouchers as the runner-up prizes for the two adults categories and a £25 voucher for the junior section.
The contest is being launched at the September 2013 Miniatura today and encourages miniaturists worldwide not only to put their creativity to the test but to remember the four years of suffering and heartache.
There’s no time like the present to start planning and researching. The competition is now officially open and you have until midday on the 15 July 2014 to create your WW1 related entry. As you can see this can be anything related to the era, even something from our own, more modern times.
Full details can be found in the November 2013 issue of Dolls House and Miniature Scene or by visiting www.dollshousemag.co.uk/WW1competition