Monday, 19 December 2011

A Happy...Nostalgic.....Christmas!!

Our little Father Christmas seems to have confused the coal bunker for a chimney! Don't worry though....he'll get it right on the night!! Mind you, his longjohns are still drying on the washing line!

The birth of our Nostalgia In Miniature Workshops earlier on this year has been a very exciting venture for us both and we are thrilled with how they have developed.

Maureen has sent us a photo of her lovely garden that she created at our November workshop (thank you Maureen!)

And thank you to everyone who have attended our workshops during 2011....hope you are pleased with your little creations.

We are both very much looking forward to our all day workshop at Waterperry Gardens in March, which is now fully booked.  We are also looking forward to a brand new theme which begins in April. Booking is now open for  The Little Vintage Hall and there are plenty of spaces available so if you would like to come,  please do get in touch.  But for the moment, we are having a few days off over the festive season and will be back in full swing in the first week of January.

So without further ado....we'd like to wish you all a
Very Merry Christmas &  Happy New Year
and hope all your Christmas Wishes come true.

Celia & Robin

Monday, 28 November 2011

Finger Painting At The Sunday Workshop...Plus Booking Now Open For New Workshop!

This last Sunday saw our fourth and last workshop of 2011 - the third in our  Little Old Garden Series. This time we gave Christmas a festive nod so The Little Old Washing Line sported Santa's red longjohns and mince pies and mulled wine were the order of the day....lovely!!

Apart from the washing line, the coal bunker was the other 'big' feature and as it was supposed to be an old fashioned pebble-dashed structure we wanted to really bring texture and ageing into it. Lashings of grit and paint, liberally applied with fingers, was just the perfect way and introduced the participants to a new technique, including lots (and lots) of finger painting. Everyone got very messy - result - some great coal bunkers!!

The coal bunkers are getting's all going well......

Maggie brought along her garden from a previous workshop - we all loved her wonderful hydrangeas!!

Just for a change we kept landscaping to a minimum and had fun with fabrics instead - again using some new techniques/tips.The concise folder of instructions and kits, ensures that no matter which stage each participant gets to at the end of the day, they can continue to complete their project at home.

Thank you to Jennie once more for treating us all to some mulled wine and thank you for everyones generosity on Sunday. A further total of £48.61 was raisedfor Breast Cancer Campaign from the refreshments and raffle.


A cheque will be winging it's way to the charity later this week. We will continue with our fundraising at the workshops in 2012. (An extra thank you to the gentleman who made a donation on our workshop stand when we saw him at Haddenham Fair a couple of weeks ago).

Well...what a year it's been. Neither of us can quite believe how what was only supposed to be a little workshop venture back in early summer with just a handful of people, has totally mushroomed into what it is now.....NOSTALGIA IN MINIATURE WORKSHOPS. We sincerely hope that those of you who have attended our workshops this year have enjoyed the experience and may come back to see us in 2012. Our March all day workshop at Waterperry Gardens is now completely we have turned our attention to a whole series of workshops with a brand new theme, starting in April.

So..without further ado, we would like to announce that booking for our brand new workshop that will take place on Sunday April 29th is officially open!

Plus there is more about our new "Vintage Hall Series" on the Introduction Page.

Spaces are limited so if you wish to come, as always it is advisable to book early. Please take note about our new payment policy but more about that another time.

Friday, 25 November 2011

At The End of a Busy Week.....

Magazine Project
We were delighted to see our copies of  the Dolls House and Miniature Scene  magazine this week (the January Issue) which is out it includes our 'How To..' project in 1/12th scale of 
"On A Cold And Frosty Morning...After The Night Before."

 Part Two of this project will be in the February issue. We do hope many of you will enjoy following our instructions and suggestions and creating your very own diorama. Inspired by the scenes in our series of workshops this year we thoroughly enjoyed planning and creating this one especially for the magazine. As you'll know, like so many others, we are keen supporters of Breast Cancer Campaign and have donated the completed scene to raise funds for this important charity in a Sealed Bid Auction which will close on February 18th 2012. Full details including how to bid can be found on the official promotional page:

This Sunday's Workshop

This Sunday in our continuing theme of  our 'Little Old Garden' series we have The Little Old Washing Line Workshop - it'll be another enjoyable and full afternoon, and fun too! And.... just for fun we might have a little Christmas surprise for the attendees too.Can we please remind everyone who is coming on Sunday to take a look at the list of recommended items to bring. The list has changed just ever so slightly from before but please don't worry if you don't have some of the items....we will have some spare.

If anyone is reading this and still has not booked but would like to come....we can squeeze  1 more person in. Please contact Robin or  Celia immediately, if you would like to take up that last space.

The Little Vintage Hall

Early next week we shall be able to publish details for The Little Vintage Hall Workshop which will be held on April 29th 2012 .  A full detailed page including a downloadable booking form, will appear on our website next week when booking opens.    It will be a half day workshop again, based in Thame. Spaces will be limited,as this will be quite a substantial project,  so to avoid disappointment it is advisable to book early.

Meanwhile....look forward to seeing many of you on Sunday!!!!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The November Workshop - At The End Of Next Week!

As we are already more than halfway through November (where did the first half of November go?)... it does mean that we are only just a little more than a whole week away until our Xmas Special Workshop!!!

It was great to see so many past attendees of our workshops last Saturday at the little Haddenham Fair. It was also lovely to see mini gardens on more than one club stand.....looking rather familiar!lol As we have said before, it is fascinating for us, to see how each and every one of you start off with the same materials but the end product varies greatly as each of you stamp your own personality/ideas on your own projects......wonderful!!! In the above photo, you can see part of our workshop stand at last Saturday's fair where we had the prototypes of all three little garden projects in both scales on show. It created quite a bit of interest so hopefully we will be attracting even more people to our workshops in 2012.

Can we please direct those of you who are coming to our workshop next week to take a peek at the revamped list of items that you need to bring with you on our website:

It differs slightly from the last two workshops, however saying that, please don't worry if you don't have some of the items on that always we will have some spare.
Robin & Celia

Due to the popularity of this November workshop (our last workshop for 2011), we have increased the amount of spaces available which means we still have 3 spaces left. So if anyone would like to come and participate in The Little Old Washing Line Xmas Special Workshop, which is taking place in Thame on Sunday November 27th....please get in touch with either Celia or Robin asap (contact details on our website).

PS. Hope to bring you the first half day workshop date for 2012 and more info on our new theme shortly.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

What A Fabulous Day & What A Generous Bunch Of Ladies!!!!

Last Sunday, on yet another nice sunny afternoon - we held the third workshop featuring our imaginary little old cottage garden.

The participants were creating the 'Over the Little Garden Fence' project, apart from a couple of ladies who were embarking on the 'Down the Little Garden Path' project. It's never possible to pick the perfect date that suits everyone, so we were happy to reprise these workshops for those that missed it first time around.

It was a delight to welcome some new participants and of course welcome back several ladies who had been before. They were a lovely, lively and hardworking bunch who all contributed to a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
Janine's "Down The Little Garden Path" project made at September's workshop.
What was especially nice was that a number had brought along their first projects, each with their own individual additions to the prototype, so they could tie them in to the second project, (above is Janine's which you can just about see in this photo)!
In fact this was the original photo...hahahaha...Celia thought that Robin was just taking a photo of Janine's project....but in reality Robin liked the way the sun was shining through the Celia a kind of halo!!!
One of our main aims for these workshops is for participants to learn some new skills and are encouraged to use them in order to create their very own is extremely pleasing for us to see this all being put into practice.

We 'unveiled' 'The Little Old Washing Line' project ( which is our next workshop on November 27th), complete with an ancient coal bunker and Santa's longjohns hanging up to dry, to much merriment and a flurry of booking forms. Thank you ladies!!

And now to the fund raising.....we are chuffed to announce that the total raised at last Sunday's workshop for Breast Cancer Campaign was £38.50. Thank you ladies for being so generous with the raffle and the refreshment donations!!!!!
The total to date of all monies raised for Breast Cancer Campaign at our three workshops in 2011 is....
So once again, thank you everyone for your generosity.
After the November workshop (which will be the last for 2011) we will send a cheque off to the charity.
And Finally............
We also had our first opportunity to show off in public our little 1/12th scale scene - "A Frosty Morning...After the Night Before". Thank you ladies for being so complementary.....we were actually a little nervous on the unveiling....(yes honestly)!!!

This is to be featured in the Dolls House and Miniature Scene Magazine - January and February 2012 issues. And as you will all know by now if you have seen our workshop website and the little video, it is now up for sale in The Sealed Bid Auction to raise funds for Breast Cancer Campaign.

Just a reminder that you can bid now online or by post.
See here for details:


Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Little Old Washing Line Christmas Special Unveiled!

At long last we are able to show you photos of our November workshop project in 1/12th scale, before it starts to snow! It's going to be a fun workshop....something a bit different and with a hint of a little Christmas spirit!!!

So here is the project that we will be making in either 1/12th or 1/24th scale on Sunday November 27th at ....

The project consists of an aged pebble dashed coal bunker complete with coal (of course), concrete type washing line posts (the kind that many of us had for years, and still might have) and a line of washing including Santa's hat and longjohns which can be removed if required.

To complete the scene there is a tub of laundry and some simple landscaping.

Each attendee will be offered the opportunity to add snow/frost to this garden to make it into a very festive scene indeed! However, those of you have already made the first two little garden projects may wish to omit the snow/frost and simply join it onto the other two,. Like all our garden projects this can stand alone or butt up against an existing dolls house.

For full details, please see the promotional page:

Friday, 14 October 2011

Alright.......we can improvise!!

This week has seen us putting together the kits and instructions for the Workshop on October 23rd - a reprise of 'Over the Little Garden Fence' and 'Down the Little Garden Path' for those who were unable to attend the earlier workshops. In between we've been working on the prototype of our Christmas Special...The Little Old Washing Line' on November that we can show you pictures and also bring it to the next workshop.

Celia's finished the authentic looking coal bunker pictured in the previous blog....but it does need some coal to spill out! No problem! Somewhere in one of Robin's 'safe places', is a bag of miniature coal. After a week of searching it's nowhere to be found so to Plan B - a lump of real coal smashed to smithereens. Tiny problem - neither of us has a coal fire or knows anyone who does! We briefly consider Plan C - demonstrating a new 'skill' i.e. painting stones black to look like coal and  'stretching it' a bit......"it" being ones imagination!!!

A bright spark tells us where the nearest coal merchant is to be found and we decide to visit and beg or if necessary buy, a single lump of coal.... then a friend locates another friend with coal.....and the miniature coal turns up!!

Meanwhile - back at the miniature compost heap.....we ran out of the net with exactly the right sized holes for 1/12th chicken wire (actually about three weeks ago). Not a problem as the local fabric/haberdasher/craft supplies shop always keeps it in stock. Only they didn't! A variety of other obvious outlets and four charity shops were also bereft of net and then.....with desperation mounting, finally a child's fishing net in a fetching shade of day-glo green, was spotted in another local shop - Phew!!

A bit of unpicking (and a stylish green stake for the garden) and a liberal spray outside with a can of silver paint (it would  have to be on the windiest day of the week) and we have our chicken wire and the compost bins will now be perfect!!!

The Little Old Washing Line - Christmas Special half-day workshop is proving particularly popular with just a handful of spaces remaining, even though we only begun to take bookings for it a few days ago!! So.... if you were thinking of booking, please contact one of us by email or phone without delay. For full details of the Christmas Special on following link:

Saturday, 8 October 2011

New Additonal Workshop For November - Booking Now Open!

Sunday November 27th 2011
2.00pm - 5.00pm

1/12th Scale Garden - £25.00 / 1/24th Scale Garden - £23.00

Thame Girl Guide HQ, Thame, Oxfordshire

This is a bit of fun - another little vintage garden scene but with a slight festive theme. We will be making an old fashioned washing line complete with washing, including Santa's long johns (will be removable), aged coal bunker, tub of washing and very simple landscaping. To complete, you will be given the option of adding snow if you wish to make this a permanent wintry garden. However, for anyone who may have previously made any of our other garden projects, you may want to omit the snow.

It will be created on exactly the same dimension of MDF base, as all other projects ie. 8" x 6" : 1/24th scale garden base will measure 4 1/2" x 3 1/2".

We are currently in the process of putting together the 1/12th scale prototype for you to see and will bring you photos of the completed project, on here and our workshop website shortly. However, to give you a taster of what you will be making, is this coal bunker (still waiting for a handle to be added to the doorplate) but nearly finished. This is literally made out of cardboard, including the "wooden" planked we will be teaching you some very different techniques to previous workshops including a touch of finger painting...great fun!

To see more details including a downloadable booking form, click on following link:

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Sealed Bid Auction - Breast Cancer Campaign - Bid Now!!!

We are both thrilled to announce that a project that we have been working hard on these past few weeks for a "how to make" feature that will be appearing in Dolls House & Miniatures Scene Magazine in January/February issues now up for auction to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. The promotional video is now live (see below)...we hope you enjoy it!

ON A COLD AND FROSTY MORNING AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE is an old fashioned backyard set in the 1950s, after the New Year's Eve Party. As you can see, the clearing up had begun on a very chilly morning. The festive rubbish is spilling out of the dustbin onto the crazy paving.......even more rubbish is piled into old boxes. Brian the blue tit is tucking into his grub on the bird feeder and yep....there is even a mucky opened can of 1950s soup!!!

You can bid for this online, by post or in person at not only the Haddenham Dolls House Exhibiton & Fair on November 12th 2011 but ultimately at Thame Dolls House & Miniatures Fair on Saturday 18th February 2012. The auction will close on the day of Thame Fair at 3.00pm and the Thame Town Crier will announce the winner shortly after.


Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Little Old Garden Shed Workshop At Waterperry Gardens - A Further Taster Of What To Expect!

Photo taken by Robin of Waterperry Gardens in the summer of 2010.

Sunday March 25th

10.30AM - 4.30PM
This little old shed won't just be any ordinary common and garden shed....oh no siree!

It was probably the old wash house or outhouse almost a century ago.... long fallen into ruin..... all that’s left of the original building being the back and a side rendered wall, with some bricks clearly visible where rendering has fallen away. Replacement wooden walls, built so many years before, that now they too show signs of disrepair. The rusty corrugated iron roof (instead of a once tiled roof), rickety old door and weather-beaten window all just about keep the rain out. Even some of the contents could well have originated from decades ago....

We hope to bring you photos of a finished shed shortly but from the above you can gain a flavour of what we will be making at this, our first all day workshop.....something truly wonderful indeed.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Last Sunday's Workshop....What A Fabulous Day!

We would both like to thank everyone who attended last Sunday's "Down The Little Garden Path Workshops" here in Thame. It was a lovely, lovely day.....very relaxed and very enjoyable.


Although, yet again we simply ran out of time to complete absolutely everything, we don't think people minded as not only did they have bags and bags of materials to take away, but a concise set of step by step instructions too, so everyone could finish the project at their leisure.

As you can see here from these photos, the ladies truly got stuck into their project and some fascinating conversations ensued amongst the attendees!!

The results of their hard work were very pleasing and we hope that everyone left having learnt something new. Abilities of the ladies attending that day were mixed, ranging from experienced to complete beginner.....which is nice. It is always a joy to see people who start a little nervous, thinking that they will never be able to " do" the project and see the sheer satisfaction on their face as they leave with a wonderful masterpiece!

As always, we offered refreshments in aid of a voluntary contribution to the Breast Cancer Campaign plus a little raffle in aid of Breast Cancer Campaign. Below you can see two very happy prize winners!

Linda won a 1/12th scale aged wooden seed box with trowel, seed packets, bulbs etc. Kazumi won a 1/12th scale aged stone planter complete with red geraniums.

We are delighted to announce that at this month's workshop we raised a total of £35.34
So thank you ladies for your generosity!!!

Celia & Robin

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Breast Cancer Campaign Fundraising

On Sunday at our Down The Little Garden Path Workshop, we will be holding a raffle again in aid of Breast Cancer Campaign (our chosen charity) where all workshop attendees will have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets at £1.00 a time, and will have a choice of two prizes. Both Robin and Celia have donated a raffle prize - the lucky two winners will be able to choose their prize in either 1/12th scale or 1/24th scale.

Robin has made some delightful April Garden Planters which include red geraniums - so the lucky winner will be able to choose from one of these (1/12th or 1/24th) - whichever suits.

Celia has created an old seed box complete with bulbs, trowel and seed packet - again the lucky winner can choose from one of these (1/12th or 1/24th) - whichever suits.

Refreshments in the form of tea, coffee and squash will be offered plus biscuits - all we ask in return is for a voluntary contribution to Breast Cancer Campaign.

At our first workshop in June, we managed to raise just over £44.00 on the day. Lets hope we can raise a nice tidy sum for the charity again on Sunday.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Final Preparations For Next Sunday's Workshop!

Both Robin and I have been making the final preparations for our workshop that is taking place in a few days time, on Sunday September 18th. Down The Little Garden Path Workshop will be our second project and we are both looking forward to meeting those of you who have booked to attend.

The vintage cold frames are now made up - it was decided that due to lack of time (big problem at our first workshop) and for ease, that cold frames would be pre-assembled so attendees can concentrate on painting them instead.

Your cold frame will look like this by the time you have finished - you will have great fun too filling it!!!

Each kit will be supplied with a tiny garden fork, handle painted up to look weathered and well used. Above, you can see that a piece of foam came in extremely handy to stand them in whilst painting them up. Bit of a surreal sight!

Finally the tiny vintage seed packets (leeks) have been made up ready as a final finishing touch for the little scene.

Hope this has tempted your tastebuds!!!

Just to say that we still have a couple of places left spare and there is still time to book up for this workshop if you would like to make a last minute decision. There are enough spare kits so simply give Robin or I a ring or email, to reserve a space then the booking form, payment etc. can be arranged.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Making Compost ......And Other Jobs.

So - as our workshops are all about an imaginary little old garden - it stands to reason there's work to be done!!
Gardening is like that!

Down the Little Garden Path is the second in our series of workshops and as this one is looming rapidly...... (Sunday 18th September), you can imagine we are busy putting kits together.....partially assembling cold frames, making miniature compost and printing instructions.

This won't be the most exciting photograph you've ever seen....but it does indicate that everything is coming together nicely.....

There was a cat - he's called Sam - in the picture, but it didn't seem terribly professional to include him, so he's been cropped out and is complaining like mad!!

We do still have a few places available on the September workshop.  Please see the website for full details. 

Now to check on the cold frames......

Thank you for looking.
Celia and Robin

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Featured In Dolls House & Miniatures Scene Magazine!

If you take a look at the brand new issue of Dolls House & Miniatures Scene magazine (Oct No 208) that has just come out in the shops, you will find on pages 34 and 35 a feature on our very first workshop in June and how this whole "Nostalgia In Miniature Workshops" initiative was conceived.
If you came to our workshop in June, there are some photos we took on the day so you may see yourself in the magazine!

Also, you will see at the end of the article that if you sign up to Dolls House & Miniatures Scene Magazine email newsletter before September 14th, you have the opportunity to win a free space on our October 23rd half day workshop - Over The Little Garden Fence Workshop - which is our first June workshop repeated all over again.
Weathered old cold frame, old fashioned crazy paved path, compost bin, slug eaten hostas, pansies, old garden fork, old seed packet plus various foliage as seen above, are what we will be creating at our September workshop.

Meanwhile, just to say that we only have 5 more spaces available for our Down The Little Garden Path Workshop that is taking place on the afternoon of September 18th. If you would like to book a place please do get in touch with either Robin or Celia asap. It is advisable to either email or ring one of us first to confirm availability then a reserve can be placed whilst deposit/booking form is being sent.

Our full contact details can be found under Contact Us on our workshop website.

Celia & Robin