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Dolls' house to ensure a really Cool Yule!

21 December 2012

A dolls’ house builder who has always been fascinated by Christmas in the miniature world has created a festive scene complete with the gift shop!

Felicity Hey, from North Yorkshire, imagined a new interpretation of Christmas with a contemporary, super-cool minimalist shop and the more traditional reds and greens of a “proper” festive season.

And the result - built with The Dolls House Emporium's Corner Shop - was the entry in this year's Creative Competition.

She says: “I have been involved with dolls houses and miniatures for over 30 years, but I still get a tingle when I turn the room lights off and can gaze at my miniature Christmas scene with its fairy lights, sparkling snow and the magic that goes on through the windows. Aren’t us miniaturists lucky people?!”

Felicity Hey, The Corner Shop, Dolls House Emporium

Felicity Hey, The Corner Shop, Dolls House Emporium

Felicity says: “I did a deal with myself - I could have both kits, BUT I was not to buy anything else unless there was absolutely no alternative. So out came all those old margarine tubs with items acquired over the years, in came some very lateral thinking, and ingenuity and creativity formed the backbone to my ideas.

“On the ground floor there is Cool-Yule.Com, selling baubles, wreaths and very expensive ‘designer’ decorations, displayed in jute baskets. These were made from a scrap of upholstery material, cut from the selvage to avoid fraying, and stuck on to an oblong of wood. My favourite Chanel perfume spray box became the display cabinet, and the redundant silvery tops from the sprays had been saved so now were utilised as floral display parts. The desk was a plastic box covered in mirror card. The floor had started out as an unused sheet of wooden flooring, but I cut it down into individual planks and cut them to random lengths before staining and sticking them down, to make the floor look more realistic."

Felicity Hey, The Corner Shop, Dolls House Emporium

Felicity Hey, The Corner Shop, Dolls House Emporium

Felicity Hey, The Corner Shop, Dolls House Emporium

“The roof space has been sub-let to Bryan, to sell his Christmas trees. A Josephine Parnell bear who usually works as a window-cleaner, Bryan has made a rough sign on a piece of sheeting, rigged up a few lights, and sits patiently with his flask and his tree-wrapping machine, awaiting the customers.

“Research into medieval market halls inspired the raised supports for the upper area, and although I had several ideas on what to display underneath, the answer was already in my possession, as I had an undecorated market stall from years back. I can never resist Christmas items at Miniatures Fairs, especially the overseas ones in Germany and the Netherlands, so there was no shortage of little things to decorate the shelves and counter.”

“Upstairs we have the Santa Bears’ home, where they wrap up the parcels for the children, read their letters, and organises the deliveries. Mrs Santa Bear has just slipped out to buy ingredients for more mince pies, and Santa Bear has gone to feed Rudolph (without his red coat on!). Wrapping and sorting the gifts into the tea-chests labelled Boys, Girls or Either is nearly over, and Santa Bear has just another sack full of letters to read before Christmas Eve. Gift wrap, ribbon and string are all to hand to make the wrapping process easier.

Felicity Hey, The Corner Shop, Dolls House Emporium

Felicity Hey, The Corner Shop, Dolls House Emporium

“The ruined castle walls backdrop occurred because I had bought a kit for an absolutely gorgeous gingerbread-type shop when I was at The Netherlands Dolls House Fair, in Arnhem. The instructions were in Dutch, with no translation, and despite many attempts I finally gave up and constructed it my way, but it never looked very good. I had substituted gothic windows, and rather than waste all the time and money that had gone in to it, I used the plaster-stencilled walls to create a backdrop for Bryan and his Christmas trees, which with the green and red LED lighting (yes, I bought something!) looks absolutely stunning."

Felicity Hey, The Corner Shop, Dolls House Emporium

Kitchen scene down-under has echoes of Yorkshire!

13 November 2012

Did you catch Vivienne Garforth’s latest blog about her beautiful dolls’ house kitchen?

If only we all had one as pristine as that!

It’s packed with goodies, both hand-made and bought – with many coming from the Dolls House Emporium shelves, shipped right across the globe to her home in Perth, Western Australia.

Vivienne, who’s married to a Yorkshireman from Hull – thus the name of her blog Anlaby Dollshouse – tells us: “My kitchen room box is intended to slide onto a shelf in a large display cupboard.

“Most of the pieces in the kitchen are from DHE. As you will see, I still have plenty of room on my scratch built wall shelving and in my Welsh dresser which will house a ‘blue and white’ china collection.”

Her own blog has some wonderful photos, as well as a little bit of background on what’s coming next!

You may also enjoy having a root around her blog… it’s packed with interesting bits and pieces about her miniature life!

Kick-start your dolls’ house hobby with this easy-build project

7 May 2012

Popular Dolls’ House Emporium building project Amber House is now available in kit form for the very first time!

Best-known as the perfect solution for collectors who want a quick-start to their hobby, it will continue to be available fully painted outside and wallpapered inside, so you can get going inside an hour.

But now The Dolls House Emporium is offering more flexibility so you can start from scratch and put your own stamp on this wonderfully versatile property, for under £100.

You could follow the romanticism of the Brontë Parsonage like we did!

Amber House as the Bronte Parsonage
The six-room house conjures up thoughts of the Brontë sisters’ house at Howarth, in Yorkshire, where they produced some of their finest work more than 150 years ago.

It's a homely and atmospheric Georgian building in a village set in the wild moorland beyond. The museum there today is full of their furniture, clothes and some personal possessions, which we have imagined in 1:12 scale for this project illustration.

See how we transformed its look at

Amber House project from The Dolls House EmporiumAmber House project from The Dolls House Emporium

The young sisters lived at The Parsonage between 1820 and 1861. Charlotte's novel Jane Eyre (1847), Emily's Wuthering Heights (1847), and Anne's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) were written in this house. They remain some of the best-loved books in the English language.

Whichever format you choose for Amber House – kit form, fully-finished or as a built house – with six rooms on three floors you can select furniture and accessories to suit your mood.

You could make it bright and funky, or set your creativity free on a personal interior design scheme: It is an ideal starter for the young collector or beginner and collectors have turned Amber House into modern or period properties with interiors to match.

A taste of summer... in miniature

12 April 2012

What sums up summer better than warm days and cool ice cream?

The answer is a dolls’ house display that involves creating a 1/12th scale version of an ice cream parlour and filling it with lots of miniature treats on the theme of ice cream delights.

The Yorkshire Miniaturists Association has been invited to create the display by the Luxury Ice Cream Company which has premises in the centre of York.

The group members will be devising a miniature version of the ice cream parlour and it will be exhibited in the shop to raise money for the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity.

So if you are visiting York this May, make sure to take a look at the display in the LICC ice cream parlour and treat yourself to one of their wonderful ice creams (150 flavours and counting).
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