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Creative Competition Winner – A Guest Blog

December 23rd, 2009

Way back in September we announced the winners of our Creative Competition. We are very very pleased to bring you the first in a series of guest blogs from our winners and some of our entrants.

Hello everybody,

This is my first blog and I will try to make one every two months.

My name is Sherpa and I am part of the Nalladris team, together with Little Sun and Camel. Camel is a stuffed animal, and part of the interface of our shop. We take him wherever we go and he has made it almost around the world.

I am the maker of “Jimi” the winner of the Creative Competition 2009. We live in the Netherlands and started three and a half years ago to build miniatures and dolls’ houses. In this first blog I will tell you how we got started and in the next blogs you will see each time another project. Starting with the first project, and showing you how it all got to where I am today.

Nalladris is a small internet shop, where Sun sells Swarovski beads and jewellery. Little Sun loves to design and I buy and sell beads. On our trips to South Africa and America, Sun learned traditional beading from the Zulu women and the Native Americans. From the Japanese she has learned 3D beading which helped with the first project, though it originally was used for a different purpose.

It all started with a question in the shop for Swarovski beads. The lady explained that she did not want the beads jewellery, but for miniatures in her dollhouse. We had never heard about it, but it got Sun inspired to make a little chair of Swarovski beads, in her newly learned 3D technique. We sent the lady the pictures of the chair and asked if this was what she meant. The lady was overwhelmed and asked if she could show the pictures on the Dutch dollhouse forum. The response we got from this forum were so great, that we decided to visit a small dolls’ house fair, in the town next to us, to meet this lady, and see for ourselves about her hobby. A new world opened up for us. The thought of making miniatures stayed in our minds, snoozing somewhere deep in our head.

About that time, Swarovski was advertising about the Design Contest 2007. Sun wanted to make something special. A contest is a good way to learn about your own skills. The chair had put Sun in a certain direction and she thought she could do something with that idea.

To make an entire house out of beads would be impossible, but the furniture had some options. So the basic plan was there.

But how do we make a room? And how are we going to fill it? We needed chairs, side table, lamps, a rug on the floor would be nice… and a painting perhaps?

To make a miniature painting out of beads, you really need a simple design. The painter Mondriaan loved to work with simple designs too. Yes, that would work. We could use his composition with two lines for a painting, and make the furniture in his favourite colors, red, yellow and blue. We are not afraid of bright colours! We found a glass salad bowl, to put upside down on a glass dish. A hole was made in what once was the bottom of the bole, so a large chandelier could be hanging above. And so the project got a name,  The Mondriaan Dome.

Sun learned about dolls’ house lighting to make everything work, asked a friendly glass-worker to make the frame for the painting and then got to work.

After sending in the pictures, she almost forgot about the whole thing. Until the day came, that Swarovski mailed her. She had made it to the semi finals, and Swarovski wanted the dome, to show in the finals in Tucson Arizona. Sun never got to the finals, but she didn’t mind, this was already an honour, more than she’d ever expected. And the idea stayed, so she made another dome, to keep the first one in her memory.

A few weeks later, Sun asked me, if I would be able to make a gazebo. Yes, I thought that shouldn’t be to difficult, but what is a gazebo? Sun explained, and I got to work. Just thinking it would be easy. But it took me about 7 months to complete!

In the next blog the story of the Gazebo and all the work we had on that project!

In name of Little Sun and Camel we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a creative 2010.

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