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.
Outdoor scenes and a secret garden - all in wonderful 1:12 scale!
15 January 2013
It's amazing what can be achieved with a few well-chosen accessories and some miniature know-how!
Juliet Ashmore has been transforming her two houses with a little help from Dolls House Emporium goodies - and a couple of our online tutorials.
One idea we liked making at this end - and on that Juliet picked up on - was the doorway to a secret garden
She says her work has added a lot of character to her projects.
Juliet, from Staffordshire, says: "I started with a kit house back in 1999 - a build it yourself 100 part Del Prado and this sat on top of the wardrobe for a few years while my children were tiny.
"When they were old enough not to eat the small parts I lifted it down and began to show the girls all about dolls' houses.
"We gradually added details to this house, which my youngest daughter 'shared' with me. My oldest daughter had a dolls' house from Santa (a Sue Ryder house acquired with vouchers from the Daily Mail) and this house started to look very plain against the Del Prado. So we visited Ripley and bought a lighting system and more bits (couldn't resist after seeing all your lovely displays!)
"Because this house seems small I made a basement myself and we decorated it and added wallpapers and flooring. I am still in the throes of adding the kit spiral staircase to join the homemade basement with the main house."
"Of course I lost my share in my original house as the girls took one each (they like to 'visit' each others houses for tea etc), so I took on my own project of a garden.
"I didn't have room for another house and we thought some outside space would be good for our dolls. I pinched a few ideas from you and in particular liked my doorway to the secret garden!
"Most of the objects in the houses have come from The Dolls House Emporium with a few exceptions of items bought at fayres and some home made items.
"We are thoroughly enjoying ourselves and only wish our real house was large enough to add another (perhaps Georgian this time) house. The girls are learning a lot about historical changes to style, furniture and fixtures. I am looking forward to Spring when my garden will have spring flowers popping up and maybe even a vegetable garden?!
"Thank you for the hours of fun making and playing, decorating and redesigning."
Dolls' house inspiration came from Edwardian museum
28 December 2012
When Janet Boorman was looking for inspiration for the Dolls House Emporium's 2012 Creative Competition, she needed look no further than Blists Hill open air museum near Telford.
Janet, from Staffordshire, recreated an Edwardian dolls' house shop based on her trip out.
She said: "They had recreations of life as it used to be before the Great War.
"I have tried to make the shop as authentic of the time as is possible in the style of the building and the colours used for the decorations."
"I enjoy making dolls house food from polymer clay and made so much that I decided to open a shop.
"All of the food in here has been made by me,. I have also filled jars and made packets from card and paper.
"This was a time when packaged goods were beginning to come into greater circulation, so i have tried to recreate packets as they were then. Many things were also sold by weight in different coloured bags, blue for sugar, white for flour and yellow for dried fruit."
"Most shops at the time were general stores that sold everything. This shop sells groceries, in the form of pre-packed goods and bottles, fruit and veg, meat and fish, cheese, eggs and things like candles, matches and soap.
"The wife of the owner has opened a bakery on the top floor."
Miniature furniture maker shows off his wunderful creations
18 July 2012
Tony, an engineer, artist and sculptor from Staffordshire, has recently started creating miniature pieces of antique furniture and he has just unveiled his latest work, a wunderkammer collection.
Wunderkammer literally means ‘wonder room’ and is a cabinet designed to show off a collection of specimens or curiosities.
Here is Tony writing on his ‘Miniature Treasures’ blog
about his latest piece:
“This particular specimen measures around 4.5cm which equates to just under 24inches in 1/12th scale. Most wunderkammer and cabinets of curiosity contained minerals and gemstones in one form or another....
The cabinet itself is constructed from walnut and three real glass panels of 1mm glass...”
You have to admire Tony’s incredible attention to detail, something which can be seen in another project of his, a miniature Cobbler’s Shop which we featured in a previous blog
He is obviously a miniaturist to keep an eye on.
A cobbler’s shop in miniature
7 June 2012
Every dolls’ house, no matter how humble or grand, is a labour of love and the work of a blogger by the name of Miniature Treasures
is no exception.
A self-described engineer, artist and sculptor from Staffordshire, the host of Miniature Treasures is in the process of making a cobbler’s shop, drawing his inspiration from his father.
“My father was a cobbler before entering service in WWII and specialised in making infants and ladies shoes so this seems fitting as a first build attempt.”
“The building itself will be Tudor but the shop and all the contents will date from around 1850 as this is the time period that the cobblers shop my father served his apprenticeship with was established.”
When he mentions Tudor it isn’t just in the look of it but in the construction style too, hence the use of wattle and daub for the walls to give the building a truly authentic feel.
The floor likewise has the same degree of authenticity, being made using real oak boards and natural Cotswold stone.
“This won’t be a quick build,” he notes by way of an understatement.
Do look at the photographs on the Miniature Treasures blog and we think you’ll agree that the project is shaping up to be not just a labour of love but a genuine work of art.