Club project - shop box

Club project - shop box

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Giveaway 15 December 2013

Sorry I couldn't make it any clearer

And the winner is: number 20 out of 51  which is Blanche!

Congratulations!   Blanche please send me your address on idskeh @

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Giveaway - Blue and white vase

It's been a while since I have posted and I've passed 100 followers! It's hard to tell with Google+ circles and all that... Thank you all so much for commenting, it's the best reward for blogging! 

I thought I'd get back in your good graces with a giveaway and it just had to be pottery. This vase is a fraction over an inch in diameter and a bit under an inch high. It's not perfect, with a bit of bleeding of the blue into the glaze, but it's hand made by me...

Blue and White Vase - giveaway 15 Dec 4pm

Rules as usual:
- leave a comment on this post;

- have another chance with a mention on your own blog;

- the winner to send me their address within a week or so of the deadline of 15 December 4pm in the UK.

Good luck!   Idske

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Blue and White Pottery Shoppe and the Apeldoorn show

I'm slowly but surely making progress with the filing box project. It is now firmly a Blue and White Pottery Shoppe with a few items of furniture. Not a very original name, but who knows the right name will at some point show up... Still quite a bit of detail and pictures on the walls to add -or shelves for some more pottery- but the overall look is how I want it.

Last week I did my first ever course at the Apeldoorn show, well the day before. David Iriarte taught us the fine art of marbling, 'oldifying' a mirror, both as part of a trumeau, all in only 6 hours. All parts had been cut for us, but  Ingeborg Landers translated for us - Spanish to Dutch.

A trumeau was a hall table with a mirror underneath, so the ladies of the house could check their shoes and skirts before leaving the house. In very grand houses, they might be a shaped mirror, with a beautiful painting above it, but ours was a hall table, with a drawer for gloves.  The drawer will have a drawer pull eventually.   Of course, by now the mirrors all show signs of their age. It's quite amazing, what can be achieved with some paint and a toothbrush. Aiming and actually hitting around the edges was the real trick here...
Getting there after a few false starts...
 some of the finished trumeaus
Our table, never even noticed the chaos!
That's David on the right- somehow Ingeborg managed to stay out of all my photos!
My loot!
I already had the small table, the mirror and the rug, but everything else if from the show. You can really see the mirror under the table, reflecting the ginger jar and round vase. I just love the plate by Cocky Wildschut. It's of a sailing ship, called a schouw, like we used to have when I was a teenager.
The other pots are by Elizabeth Causeret, the candlesticks and urns in front of the mirror are by David Iriarte. I'm sorry I couldn't show them off any better.  The 4 wine glasses are by Leo Reijnders (I think). He was in a corner of the hall and demonstrating his skills. He made it look easy ...

Happy mini-time!


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

More pottery and a castle...

The summer is well and truly over. Autumn has arrived with pretty colours and dampness. Not a lot of proper rain, but it's trying...

It almost a month ago that I posted. I've just had such a busy summer with non-minis things, it was lovely. I love Autumn too as long as it doesn't rain all the time and so far we've been lucky.

Yesterday the pottery classes started again and lots of pots have been fired over the summer, all but one in blue and white. The bowls are 25mm in diameter (1"), smallest is about 8mm in diameter (1/3").
I've started another tulip vase, the idea is to have more tiers and square pots rather than the round ones of the previous tulip vase. Not quite sure where it's going yet, but the idea is there. I'll update as it develops.

The other project I'm working on is for our school. The reception class (4 year olds) were let loose on this very well made castle. It's about 80cmx80cm and 40cm high at the tip of the church roof.

Within about 4 weeks their play with knights, horses and swords has wreaked havoc with the battlements, the drawbridge, portcullis and main door. Some are old 'injuries'. The rescued bits have been re-glued, but there is still a lot missing. One tower now has new battlements.
Still to do is the front of the castle, the tower on the other side and some bigger bits on the taller towers. And of course the drawbridge, portcullis and main door.  The pointy roof on the first photo also needs something, to make it a bit safer for 4 year olds. And then it needs painting and I haven't found the right colour yet. I really have to hold back from making some improvements and keep in mind that it is a children's toy and it should all be as child-proof as possible.  It sits on my coffee table at the moment because it doesn't fit anywhere else, so I will try to finish it by next weekend - I want my coffee table back!

I've also been working on a better work space. I spend so much time trying to find things or setting up the power tools, that there isn't any time left to make anything! Not good, so in the holidays when he is back from uni, my youngest will have to share his bedroom with my tools and projects. He knows and says he doesn't mind, if I don't mind if he makes use of it too.. I've got the plan and a work table and 90cm high kitchen table to put the power tools on, but they are all still in bits. These are the table legs for the work table in the corner where the higher table will go.
You'll have to wait a bit for some photos as the project has ballooned a bit. I'm now also painting the walls and possibly replacing the carpet with laminate. Possibly, because that is quite a job with a very heavy bed and wardrobe still in the room. Neither fit through the door. I might just give up on that one, or wait until the boys are both here at Christmas.  

Happy mini-time,


Sunday, 8 September 2013

Summer update

Hi everyone!

We have had a lovely summer here and have also been very busy! Sorry for the silence, I just didn't have time for miniatures. I have been reading many blogs, but commenting has also been a bit hit and miss. And yes, I did say I would have time for miniatures in the holidays,  but I'm back at work and nothing much has materialised.
I did finish the piano runner; it's on my niece's piano and it looks great. Just forgot to take a photo. This is the last photo I took when I had just finished the embroidery.

In the evenings I'm working on a full size quilt in creams, blues and pink roses to go in my younger son's bedroom, I started it over a year ago and it's time to finish it. I have too many UFOs both miniature and full size! I will keep the reverse in neutral, less girly tones, creams and blues only, so he can turn it over when he is here. He is going to university in about two weeks to study aerospace engineering. His older brother is moving to London next week. I loved having them both here for the summer and going to see the family together, but it will be quiet here when they have both moved out and even though I know they will be back, it is certainly something to get used to. Time to work on ideas for a proper work space...

Miniature wise, I will be concentrating on the pottery and the larger projects we are making with our club The pottery classes will be starting again on October 1st. The teacher told me there are some very nice pots from the last batch she has fired for me and I will get these back on 1st October, fingers crossed one of them is suitable for a giveaway...
I'm still sporadically working on the box file, because I haven't quite finished the exterior, but we are adding another project from September in the form of an attic for our exhibition next July.

Happy mini-time,


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Pottery class!

The piano runner is coming along nicely (I'm almost half way) and that is taking a lot of my mini-time. I am trying to stay up to date with all of your posts! With all of the RL stuff, the boys, the garden, the house and work, I haven't had much mini stuff to post about. Just too busy.

I made RL bowls for my sisters (and one for myself) just before half term, but the last few weeks have been a bit of a production line with the miniature pots. There are still a few that haven't been bisque fired yet. No idea where they are, I had so much to decorate that I didn't even look for them.  I still have one more class before the summer holidays to finish decorating them and then glaze them all.
The 4 on the left are decorated, although I'm not sure about the plate, the rest have had a wash applied and it works much better for the final decorating session if the wash is bone dry.  By the way the pink decoration will turn a slightly lighter blue than the black decoration which is cobalt and will also turn blue.  So lots of white and blue china.

Just for fun we tried one of my pots out on the almost finished lamp base Beverly is making in the same class.
That puts it in perspective, doesn't it. To make the small ones takes just as long as the really big pots and the decorating takes a lot longer.

It's finally summer here so here are a few pics from my garden...

The scented rambler rose

A climbing old English rose 

This is a hybrid tea rose rescued from the very overgrown rose bed that was in the garden when I moved in. It was very old but actually seems happier in it's new spot!

AND I have cherries!!!

Only two more weeks until the end of term (not that I'm counting down, of course) and then I will definitely have / make more time for minis!


Friday, 21 June 2013

A new(ish) blog and a 1970s RL piano runner

I'm not quite sure how I came across this blog, but I think his work is fantastic! 

His work is so detailed and a lot of it in metal. It's worth going back to his previous posts as there are lots and lots of photos of how he makes things. Love his guitar cases, mics and chairs, oh and the tools of course (in an older post).

I keep forgetting to take pictures at pottery class. Must do better! There is another class in 2 weeks and I'm hoping some more miniature pots will be fired then.

I haven't got time for any other miniatures at the moment as I'm embroidering a RL piano runner for one of my nieces. Her new home is all about 1970s design and colours. She has a beautiful orange sofa and she now has her grandmother's piano (carried up 3 flights of stairs!). The original runner embroidered by my sister was a bit worse for wear. So a new one in orange and brown was in order. The runner will be about 16 cm x 130 cm to cover the keys. It's taking a lot longer than I thought, but am enjoying it!

                                          I'm just hoping she'll like it!

Happy mini-time,

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Did I really say I didn't have time for miniatures???

Well, I'd forgotten about these pots...
and I did the outside (most of it) of the box file shop a couple of weeks ago, it only took a few hours...
Still a lot to do as well as figure out what to do with the top or roof and whether it should have a carry handle of some sort...
oh and I finished the oriental style rug...
Now I just have to decorate the room...
Not bad for someone who thinks she doesn't have time for miniatures....

Happy mini-time,


Sunday, 19 May 2013

Almost finished!

It has been such lovely weather here, although a bit cold, that I've spent more time in the garden and on RL house things (such as preparing for a new settee and chairs in the sitting room) than on miniatures. The only exception being the Oriental style rug.

The main job of filling in the cream background is done! I then started on the edge and promptly forgot that I still have to do the stitching for the bamboo style edge. I had hoped to finish it this weekend, but I'll need a few more hours. 
The inner edge still has to be 'bambooed' and then I have to finish the edges and the back. Still, I'm quite happy with it.

This half term my sisters are visiting and we have planned to see Sissinghurst gardens and I hope to take them to Hever Castle as well, to show them the Tudor, Georgian and other miniatures in the permanent exhibition. Not sure if we will have enough time to do both, but I can try to show them what can be achieved in miniature (by top makers) and why it is such a fantastic hobby!

Happy mini-time,


Tuesday, 7 May 2013


Welcome to my new followers and an apology for having nothing to post about  for some time. Life's just getting in the way of making minis.  I'm experimenting with new tools, but I've only got a few pictures of how far I've got with learning to decorate leather.

I bought the 'preeg' set (I can't find a translation for this word so if anyone knows, please let me know: it is embossing set! see the comments below) of 20 metal stamps with all the other bits you need, at the Apeldoorn show in the Easter holiday as well as the very thin brown leather.

I've made a table top even though I'm not quite happy with it. The edge is too fussy and I can't decide on how to finish the sides of the table top. Still working on a better design, so I'm using this one to work on some gold or silver decoration around the edge of the leather.
Some of the paper patterns are scattered around. I had to try all of the different stamps (they probably have a different name, but I can't think of it) as well as some combinations. Not all of them look good together. The table top, that might or might not turn into a table, is made of mahogany and a boxwood string, ebonised string and tulipwood inlay.

I'll try the decorating out on the black leather, even though it is much coarser than the brown leather, we are talking 0.8mm thickness for the black leather and paperthin for the brown leather, less than 0.1mm.

The Fleur de Lys in gold on the triangular bit of leather were my first tries. Not quite sure of the pattern yet, but as the edge is quite fussy, it will be quite simple. The pattern is done on paper first, so that is the next step. If I had had the opportunity, I would have done a course with Tine Krijnen, who was kind enough to show me the basics at the show!

This is the set I bought at the show in Apeldoorn and the outside of the box on the right, very pretty I think.

In the meantime, I am working on some full size pieces at pottery class. As they are meant to be presents, I can't show them to you until about the end of May, assuming they can be fired by then!

Happy mini-time!

Friday, 19 April 2013

More pottery

I really haven't forgotten about posting, but sometimes life gets in the way and other things take over for a while. Nothing unpleasant, but there just wasn't any time left for minis. Weeeell, except for a visit to the show in Apeldoorn, where I bought some tools. A milling/drilling machine and a 'preeg' set from Tine Krijnen for tooling/decorating leather for books or a leather inset in a desk. I'm still experimenting and will post if and when I have something to show you!

In the meantime I have had a very productive run of making more pots!
This is what it looked like when I left the pottery class and I can tell you I was really pleased with the results, even though it doesn't look like much yet.
That still looks pretty messy, and as I filled the moulds again just before I left, these pots had to stay in the mould overnight.  After some serious cleaning up I now have these ready for the bisque firing.
With all the bits of clay coming off the moulds I made a few more plates, but they aren't out of the mould just yet.  The open bowl was originally the same as the one on the right of it, but on the edge of the pot it was too thin, and so I have the makings of a fruit bowl as well as the vase!  I'm still trying to decide whether to stay with blue and white or experiment a bit with other colours...

Happy mini-time!

Sunday, 14 April 2013


I never thought I'd have 61 entries (many twice for putting it on their own blog). Thank you for participating!

And the winner is Josje!

Please send me your details to idskeh @, so I can put the tiles in the post to you.

Thank you all for following my blog and entering the draw for the giveaway!

It won't be very long before I have another draw, either for one year on Blogger or for reaching 100 followers!

Happy mini-time,   Idske

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Thank you Jonquil!

A few weeks ago I won Latchkey and Jonquil's giveaway and when I came back from visiting family in the Netherlands, I found a package in the post with a lovely card of a peony, my favourite flower and a little box with the cushion!  I will now have to make a new settee as the only one I have is my very first attempt at furniture making from about 20 years ago. It's in the banner photo above, but it's also a bit scruffy and that just isn't good enough!

Isn't it absolutely perfect?

Thank you Jonquil, it's just as beautiful as I imagined! Idske

PS: Tomorrow at 4pm my son will make the draw for my tiles giveaway, so you still have 
about 24 hours to enter your name! 

Friday, 22 March 2013


I've been working on these tiles for about 2 months and finally after 3 firings I have enough of them! 
I had meant to do this when I passed the 50 followers about a month ago. 
So a bit late, but I hope you don't mind... 

They are earthenware tiles with under glaze hand painted decoration,
 after Dutch 17th century tiles.  

First there was a square of 9 tiles, but I think this will be easier to make into something!

Here are 15 tiles for one of you !

Rules: be a follower of this blog and leave a comment on this post.
If you put it on your side bar you will have 2 chances to win!

The draw is on 14th April 2013!

Good luck,  Idske

Thursday, 7 March 2013

More tiles and my 'work space'

Is the blue better than in the previous post?
The tiles for the kitchen are all fired now and I really like them!  I've made another 10 or so of the corner tiles, just to have the choice of the best ones, as some of these are slightly too big. How much of a perfectionist will I allow myself to be?
Just to give an idea of the size 

I've also put some around the 2 flower baskets. Not quite sure what to do with these...

On several other blogs I've seen some fabulous work spaces. Mine is in the dining room and most of my supplies are in my grandmother's cupboard.  I like to work from a board that was originally meant to hold the wood lathe. It nice and heavy and doesn't move around with a cloth or place mat under it.  It could still be used for that, if only I could bring myself to tidy it all up.:))  The entire board fits under the cupboard and there is a small cupboard in the corner for the box shop.  I don't want to use power tools here so they have to stay in the kitchen, which isn't ideal as it's quite a task getting them out of their boxes and set up properly.
Although the dining room isn't a bad work space, I would love a room where I can have everything set up ready to use, including the table saw, scroll saw and lathe, space for glueing, drying, houses, roomboxes and anything else I could possibly think of!
Lola likes to sit in the middle of the table watching me just like this!
She's a seal point with blue eyes and has a very definite opinion on everything
Happy mini-time!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Pots and more from the kiln

The pottery class was lovely!  Lots of things were fired and I actually like them enough to consider them for the dollshouse. The lighting isn't great because it is definitely blue and white, not the almost black and yellow in the photos. I'll try again during the day, I was just too excited with the results, so this will have to do.
These tiles are for the kitchen, it's turning into a rather Dutch kitchen in my Georgian house, but I'll just have to invent a story to fit how that happened :)). I've made more of the corner tiles, which may be fired soon too. Another 3 on either side and the 4 missing ones in the middle and half a dozen extra, so I'll have a bit of choice!

All the finished items put together!

The dish is just about 2.5cm in diameter (1")

and the vase, which weighs just 2 grams is 2.5cm  (1") high and 3cm (1.25") diameter and the best one I've made so far!

I've also made a few flower basket tiles, but they don't have a home yet. 

Happy mini-time!


Sunday, 10 February 2013

Oriental style rug update

Welcome to my new followers, thank you for taking an interest in my attempts at making miniatures!

Sorry I haven't posted for a few weeks, I've had the flu and have not been up to much of anything other than embroidering the rug. It's going much better than I expected and I won't need 400 hours, thankfully. I'm up to about 180 hours. It's very difficult to keep track of the exact amount of time, when you're also doing other things, such as cooking or watching TV. :))   Most of the rest I've still got to do is the background, which is quite boring, but you can also get on with it without having to look at the pattern all the time.

It's on 32 count joblean type fabric, in 225 rows of 185 cross stitches, which makes it just over 15x19cm (6x7.5 inches). This equates to a Real Life rug of about 180 x 230 cm (72x90 inches). Not huge, but that also means it won't cover up the pretty parquet flooring already in the room.  BTW I decided to change the colour of the walls (currently green) to either cream or a very very pale blue. That will make the panels with the cranes stand out much better. I posted about the crane paper in September 2012 and no I haven't made the panels yet.  Things will suddenly come together though, I'm sure-ish.

Happy mini-time!