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A guest blog from one of our 2009 Creative Competition Winners

March 10th, 2010

Following onfrom our first guest blog, we are very pleased to bring you the second in a series of blogs from the winners and entrants of our 2009 Creative Competition.

Hello everyone

As this is my first blog, I thought I would quickly introduce myself and give you a brief history of my miniature life so far.  My name is Alice, I live in France and I started creating miniatures over 15 years ago when a friend of mine built a 1:12th scale house, which I thought was fantastic.  This also coincided with my first trip to England, where I saw a number of beautiful dolls’ houses and miniatures, all of which were full of character and eccentricity – exactly like me!  My other passion is painting miniature watercolours which I include in many of my creations.  I am now completely immersed in the hobby as I’ve found one small project leads to another, and before you know it you’re building an entire house and every accessory inside!

My first project was a Del Prado house which I decorated in a traditional Victorian-style, based on a house I saw during my trip to England. Unfortunately, I was not happy with the finished product, but I put it down to experience and I learnt a lot along the way. My next build was a little bit more successful!

I am an avid Sherlock Holmes fan and have read all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books and short stories, as well as joining online communities to talk to other Sherlock fans.  Because of this passion I decided to recreate 221B Baker Street, which I had visited during my trip to London.

For me, the key to this project was the attention to detail and the realism of the house.  I wanted my replica to be identical to the “real” house, so I made sure every piece of furniture and all the accessories were placed exactly where they had been at 221B Baker Street the day I visited.

To accompany the house I created a horse and carriage, which Sherlock Holmes would undoubtedly have used to travel around nineteenth century London.
The highlight of this project was its appearance in the Tonga Times – the newsletter of the mini-tonga Scion Society, a society that combines its love of Sherlock Holmes and miniatures – which was a great honour!

After my Sherlock Holmes house project I took another holiday in England and while I was there came across a traditional 16th century English pub – ideal for my next miniature project!  My aim was to create a building with the same atmosphere, so although the interior is fictional hopefully I’ve captured the same friendly and welcoming feeling!  The one-roomed building has a traditional thatched roof, together with an internal thatched bar.  I included a large open fireplace at one end of the room to help capture that warm feeling, and made as many of the fixtures and fittings myself as I could.  The bar also comes complete with a couple of customers enjoying a drink by the fire, out of the cold English weather!

Through all of my projects, the Internet has played a huge role both in terms of research and communicating with like-minded people.  I found an excellent website, www.miniaturama.com, which is a social site for miniature-mad people like me, to talk to each other about their projects, to get hints and tips and to ask any questions.  It was through this website that Miniaturama-on-Sea was born.  What started as a few houses being displayed on the website, has grown into an entire village with homes, shops, a bank, post box, garage, church, green grocers and outdoor play area for children.  The whole village is lit and, if I say so myself, it looks fantastic!  We have each contributed our own buildings and often display the village at dolls’ house shows and exhibitions.  This whole project has been, and will continue to be, a fantastic experience and I have picked up a few hints and tips along the way that has helped to develop my hobby even more.

More recently I have done a number of smaller builds, including a scout hut; wine merchants; a nursery; and a Christmas Wonderland shop.

I have also built a hunting scene, complete with hunting memorabilia and animals which I moulded myself.

Following this, I created an Art Deco-styled 1900’s bar, which featured two floors; a number of watercolours – my speciality! – on the walls, together with a bar and a piano player on the top floor to entertain all the customers.

This is a potted history of my projects so far, but I can guarantee there will be more, and I will try my best to keep you up to date with them.

Thank you for reading.



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