Saturday, 27 February 2010

Mothering Sunday Saga now complete........with a little bit of tacky wax magic.........well of course!

Priscilla Jane looks pensively at the broken off leaf....she is SO disappointed after she and Adele had taken such care to grow this daffodil for Miss Enid.........

Hiya Everyone!
Firstly - I just want to thank all of you who are following my blog.............your support is great to receive!

As you have probably gathered I have finally completed our Mothering Sunday page.....DO visit it and see what you think! 

I actually finished the photograph work this morning.  Things worked pretty well because I have the dollshouse upstairs which has our  "Aunt Sal's Tearooms" whilst our church is actually in our living room and sits along the full length patio windows at the back of the house facing the garden.  Home ownership is great most of the time but when something goes wrong as it did the other day when our immersion heater tripped one of our electricity circuits it meant we were without hot water until the element was replaced.  So it was just as well that I had finished my photoshoot in our dollshouse upstairs in one of our spare bedrooms because, this morning, our electrician was working up there as he replaced the element.

This gave me a great opportunity to complete my photoshoot in the church downstairs.  NO time is wasted in our house as you have probably gathered and today was no exception.  So whilst our electrician and his colleague worked upstairs there was I kneeling on the floor with daylight bulb holder in one hand whilst I controlled the camera on tripod with the other one! 

I wanted to provide some photos that would both serve as good Mothering Sunday/Mother's Day cards whilst also adding to my new storyline.  You can see my new selection of four cards on our Downloads page....hope you all like them as much as I enjoyed creating them.
However as wth all things St. Hils things never go quite smoothly although thankfully nothing was lost today............phew for that!  I do feel that Priscilla Jane's dress looks like it could do with a wash.........but trouble is................the dress will not come off so any cleaning would have to be "in situ".  Ummmmmm.........I think I won't worry about that now. I am sure a story will always explain.....

I particularly wanted to use one of my "accidents" again and so it was fun to bring out the one slightly broken potted daffodil my sister of Dollshouse Heaven had made for me a couple or more years ago now.  On the very first occasion of its' use I managed to sever one of the three leaves.........booooooooooooooo.  As you can see in the picture above Adele fell over just as I was trying to take the photograph.

You can see here by my hand how small the dolls is easy to forget.  I was touched when the colleague of our electrician commented on the high amount of detail in our church and he was standing quite a distance away.  Hooray for tacky wax that is what I say!  You won't be surprised to know that Adele had a re-application done to her feet immediately after this latest faux pas.  WHY do my dolls have an innate knowledge of exactly WHEN to fall over.........JUST as my finger presses that camera button.........grrrrrrrrrrr

I took a photo (as above) using the manual setting on my Ixus 980 where I used no flash or daylight bulb. All I did was allow a very long shutter speed (calculated by the camera NOT me!) and the photo you see is the result. I do love the effect don't you?   However as always I never include these photos on the website as they may appear too dark on some people's monitors and it is always my intention to make our St. Hils' site as accessible as possible.
 I am always open to changing my mind here though so if any of you out there love these natural light photos as much as I do let me know and I may well include one or two in the future on the website itself. I am most interested to know how the above photo does look on other people's screens.

I have to tell you that it was "fun" this morning running up and down stairs as I collected my precious doll collection from the ironing board and dollshouse in order to place them safely back in the church downstairs.  NEVER am I so careful walking down the stairs as when I am holding such precious cargo in my hands. 

I guess a move to a bigger house is the only answer here..................but something tells me that is probably never going to happen is a full time job keeping THIS one in working order.............(we may have to get a new digital timer for our immersion as the electrician had quite a job getting it to work again once the new element was fitted..........oh well.......................such is life.........another job to be paid for in the future)

On that note I will leave you..........time for a relax and hot milky drink and watch a funny DVD........
Till the next time
PS I leave you with a close up of our Adele holding up the potted daffodil.......minus of of its' three leaves!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Mothering Sunday photo shoot part two.........

Hiya Everyone!
Hooray - nearly the weekend again and I rejoice because today, being a Thursday, is my "half day" so I finish at lunch time, have a little food shop in Marks and Spencers and then home on the bus to have time in the afternoon to relax and indulge my love of St. Hils and all things miniature!  Our minds were on "Mothers Day" at work and the matter of buying cards to mark the occasion so it was only natural that I should ponder on St. Hils and its' own Mothering Sunday celebrations.  I promise I am planning to provide some downloadable greetings card to celebrate Mothering Sunday/Mothers' Day so do keep coming back!

You will be glad to know that this latest photo shoot has been Pebbles-free!  However my husband, Andrew, has been much less fortunate because Pebbles chose to join him instead as he was cleaning the kitchen sink and work surfaces......much as we tried to dissuade him Pebbles was NOT for turning!

I can thank Frances of Buttercup Miniatures for the idea of having Rita in Aunt Sal's Tearooms as you can see her above.  I initially thought it would be nice if the vicar gave her some daffodils that had been brought over from the church after the main Sunday morning service on Mothering Sunday. 
Note that the vicar has brought Bardsley over with him.  His cousin, Bishop Cuthbert, is away so the vicar has taken charge of Bardsley for the time being.  Bardsley certainly didn't want to miss out today!
However as you can see in this next picture Rita now has some daffodils in her hat.  I decided to use all of Frances' idea and have one of the children give her the daffodils as they felt for her knowing her son was estranged from her and was still living in Australia. Alice is amused to see that Rita has put them in her hat.  (another of Frances' ideas - thanks Frances!) I am not sure that Archie, the proprietor of the tearooms, will be very pleased to see Bardsley on Homer's seat.  WHERE has Homer gone I wonder?  Perhaps Bardsley thinks he is keeping his seat warm for him until he returns.........
Oh dear - yet another stray into fantasy land.  That is how things take me when it reaches Thursday and I know my working week is almost done..............................

You can see the daffodils in Rita's hat more clearly above.....

I guess my photoshoot for my new Mothering Sunday page is a bit topsy turvy.  You see the story will begin IN the church and then move into the tearooms at lunch time/after lunch time but my photoshoots have began the other way round ie IN the tearooms first......  Perhaps both Rita AND Homer like to frequent the tearooms after church who knows?  And is Archie the kind of person who understands how hard life is for them and spares them the odd sandwich and cake when times are particularly hard and the weather particularly cold as it has been recently in the UK?
Whoops - sorry about mind does tend to wonder as I imagine how hard it must be for real people who live like our two characters, Rita and Homer, when the weather is particularly cold and bitter. However we know that Homer and Rita are very well cared for in St. Hils.......................

I must move on and work out what my next scene/pose should be so I must leave you all now...................
Till the next time
PS ALL of these photos are taken with a flash on a macro setting AND hand held.........needs must when you have obstacles like clothes horses, oil filled radiator and ironing board, iron etc close at hand.............

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Aunt Sal's Tearooms Capers from Pebbles..NOT planned I can assure you......

Dear All
There I was having some space to myself whilst setting up and photographing some possible poses for this year's Mothering Sunday page on St. Hils' website when who should come along and disturb my peace but Pebbles, our hand reared cockatiel................................see him here below and despair.......and dollshouse IS a mess upstairs and in the atic as it continues to be a repository for a bathroom set (courtesy of Anne Shepley - a beautiful Victorian style one that has to be "plumbed in"..well not quite literally you understand but........) leather chairs, Nicola Mascall embroidered stool and more................shall I go on?
I think I can give Pebbles 10/10 for attitude.............he even has a following on Youtube and you can see a movie of him here on Aunt Sal's Tearooms here below....

Isn't he a handful.....little monkey!

Enough on Pebbles......but sufficient to show you what a character we have to contend with when he has free reign.........

You can now see the photos I managed to take BEFORE my fluffy feathered incumbrance arrived..........
My sister, Catherine, of Dollshouse Heaven, has promised me that she will make me some flowers to go in the lovely copper kettle she bought me for my birthday two weeks ago.  I guess I  couldn't wait for her to make some more so I thought it a brilliant idea if we used some of the daffodils Catherine made for me a few years back now for my very first Mothering Sunday!  Alice has just arranged them as you can see below....

Don't they look great?!  Catherine is pretty amazing in her work because EVERY flower is slightly different as in real life.  If you check them out (see my last blog where they are in dear late Ernie's rusty old watering can at the end of the blog!) you can see that each may have a slightly different shade at the centre or the petals.......some more open than others............the variety is endless.

I have also included the little single daffodils Catherine made for me for a subsequent year. Here you can see Megan admiring one of them on the display cabinet.   I have to confess that I have had to leave one out because I broke off one of the delicate fimo leaves that Catherine had so skillfully made........grrrrrrrrrrrrr

Miss Enid is entertaining young Phoebe in Aunt Sal's Tearooms as you can see above...........don't those sandwiches and cakes look SO tempting........  I think that poor Pheobe looks a little overcome by the experience don't you?  However I can let you into a secret here..............she accidentally left her dolly in church and is pining for her......................because she NEVER goes anywhere without her............lets hope one of the other children bring her doll over for her soon..................

You will all be pleased to know that not ONE silver teaspoon has gone missing clever am I?

I must leave you with an overall photo of the whole above......doesn't it look grand?!  Yes I KNOW it is quite a shame about the "upstairs" bit and yes...I have had some family nagging there with regards to having the bathroom plumbed in as soon as possible  because the teashop customers will be caught short otherwise......................and they can't even nip over to the church because poor Rev Ponsenby-Smyth has yet to obtain a faculty to build some for his poor parishoners either..................things to do.......................
Till the next time.......

Friday, 19 February 2010

A Penitential time in St. Hils has arrived in Lententide.....and with it comes some penitential cleaning.

Hiya Everyone
If any of you have visited St. Hils' Home Page today you will have noticed a change of colour and picture. I have to confess that the tin of polish on the altar itself is NOT the right kind of polish for the the wooden altar..............................I have provided you a close up below..............we wonder if Eric has noticed?  I have no idea WHO brought the wrong polish to church either!

 I am not sure if every one of you will know this but within the Anglican church, of which Andrew and I are members, different colours signify different parts of the church year.  I am not extremely familiar with other denominations but am pretty sure that many follow a very similar pattern.  As some of you may have noticed I always change the colour of certain type on the home page into the correct colour and now, as we are in the season of Lent, the colour I am using is purple because it represents "penitence".

We actually entered the period of Lent on Wednesday gone and this was "Ash Wednesday".  Traditionally the palm crosses from last year are burnt and, on Ash Wednesday, they are placed as a sign of the cross on the foreheads of all the congregation.  This signifies that we, as human beings, are made of dust, and to dust we return.  I DOES sound quite a stark message in today's society I know.  I would LOVE to hold an Ash Wednesday service in St. Hils!  However, I cannot work out the logistics of placing tiny cross shapes on the foreheads on my tiny dolls?  I could use the tea leaves/dust out of a tea bag but I am so aware that, even IF I could manage to make a tiny cross shape AND get it to stick on the dolls' foreheads, I would not be happy because I would HATE to leave a mark on them after wiping it off.

I have always loved the idea of a "penitential cleaning day" and have held two so far.  I have just hunted down the picture you can see  above of our vicar, Reverend Gyles Ponsenby-Smyth, with his penitential pinny on. This was his very first cleaning day after becoming vicar!   I have to confess I made his pinny myself.  It is made out of a linen band in the same way as all of our different altar cloths.  It felt natural to have a purple hardanger cross on it so our vicar matches the altar cloth during Lent!  As you can see he has no surplice on and I particularly like that because during the period of Lent some robed church choirs don't wear their white surplices.  This is done again to represent penitence.  Of course, as soon as Easter Day arrives, they all have their surplices on and the church again has lots of beautiful flowers in it.  The period of Lent beforehand makes the Easter transformation an even more wonderful event as Christ's resurrection is celebrated.

I have therefore had to dutifully take ALL the flowers out of St. Hils because, although it may only be a dollshouse church, I love to have it mirror a REAL church in as many ways as possible.  I have also got a wooden cross which I may put in the sanctuary too which I bought in a cathedral shop we visited some years ago.....if only I could remember WHICH one it was!

Ben worried me on our first penitential cleaning day  (I had to go on to my backup external drive to find these pictures and they date back to 2005 - can you believe it!)  because he insisted on running up the bell tower stairs with the small table and feather duster in order to dust the windows in the bell you can see above....................!  He must have been pretty cold because we had NO windows as this was before the time we had the extension built and the addition of proper windows.  I don't think that the vicar was VERY pleased with him at all do you? Incidentally the photo of Ben was a difficult one to take for me because my tripod wouldn't extend high enough for me to get a face on photo and that is why I had to take it "looking up" instead!

I particularly love the photo above which was taken for our second cleaning day and you can still see it on our website.  The orange rind, apple core and Kit Kat wrapper are all courtesy of my sister, Catherine of Dollshouse Heaven as is her bin as below....

I really love her bin...............the rubbish looks just too real doesn't it...........?!  I think the dying daffodils are particularly imaginative

I have included this photo (as above) which was again taken from the very first cleaning day because it clearly demonstrates how far St. Hils has come in photographic quality as well as the obvious fact that we now have the chancel/sanctuary extension and windows as well as other furniture additions.  The camera that is responsible for this photo is my old 4 megapixel Kyocera.  Our velvet lined full length curtains along our patio window/door look FAR too obvious through our open windows and, as such, are so out of place I can never look at the photo comfortably.  At least with our new "leaded windows" such "out of place" additions are not so obvious!

I couldn't resist leaving you with (as above!) a photo of our "little Gracie" as she is attempting to clean UNDER the altar!  I feel that a new " A Lenten Penitential Cleaning Day" just HAS to include our Gracie doing her bit to keep St. Hils spic and span don't you?

I have pulled out the daffodils that my sister made for my very first Mothering Sunday page years ago now in preparation for this year's "Mothering Sunday" page.  I have a few ideas for that too and it involves "Aunt Sal's Tearooms"..............keep coming back as I will be sharing them with you all soon.................
Till the next time.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

"The Parable of the Lost Teaspoon" Part 2.........Gracie joins the search!

Dear All
A short and quick blog this Saturday morning.  I just HAD to let you know that Gracie was so keen to look for the lost teaspoon too!  She is a lovely doll and with all those 14 joints her involvement was a MUST!

Here she is (as above) together with Miss Enid and Esther who has also come over to see what all the fuss is about.....

I love the close up of our dear Gracie here as she tries to see if the teaspoon has disappeared down one of the pedals.  Shame she can't see HOW close she is to it isn't it?

I feel that I have now virtually worked out my storyline for my "modern day parable" about the lost teaspoon.  I really love the idea of having as many of my "children" as possible hunting for the said teaspoon.  You see..........poor Miss Enid suffers very bad arthritis in her knees particularly so she can't kneel down to hunt for her much treasured lost teaspoon.  So all the children want to help her!

I quite like this photo! (as above)  Gracie was NOT meant to be posed like this at all.  It was a complete accident! I had her sitting reasonably sedately on the floor but wanted her face to be more visible for the camera. That is the joy of working with a 14 jointed doll from Jane Davies! 
I promise you all that I DO have a pertinent moral to my story but you will have to wait until I publish the new storyline!  Sufficient to say I am very pleased with it.

It is most fitting that Gracie wanted to help find the teaspoon.  She must have KNOWN that she has a small mention in the March 2010 edition of The Dollshouse Magazine when Christiane, the editor, chatted to me at the magazine stall at the last Miniatura Show.  Christiane has reviewed the show which was held at the Birmingham NEC last September (how time flies - seems like yesterday!) and in her review she mentions my acquistion of young Grace and also her tambourine.  I remember the chats so well even today.  How excited I was when I saw Grace on Jane Davies' stall on the Saturday.  I just HAD to have her. 
As soon as I picked her up I went to show Christiane who was entranced by her.  I felt drawn to this tambourine we had seen on Chris Sturgess-Lief's stall.  I HAD to go back to his stall and buy the said tambourine for my new "kid on the block" ie "Grace". 
I went back to show Christiane the tambourine for Grace straight away!  So if you happen to pick up "The Dollshouse Magazine" you can check her Miniatura Show review out and see what she said about me and also what she loves to call Grace too.

I am sure those of you who have been following my blog for the last few months will remember this photo .........but I just wanted to show it off again (as above) Grace and her tambourine..................

I best get along now..............must gather as many "children" as I can to find that wretched teaspoon.....................
Till the next time.
PS:  The Parable of the Lost Teaspoon is now on line for you all to see........hope you like it........

Friday, 12 February 2010

Is it a problem? is a"The Parable of the lost.........."!

Dear Everyone
It is difficult to believe it is almost a week bar one day since my last St. Hils' blog.  It is so corny to say but so true..........time really DOES fly by too quickly.  I so remember as a naive fifteen year old at school when I and a few others used to visit an old people's home not far from our secondary school and help out in the kitchen making the tea for the residents and then serving it to them aftterwards.  One lady made the self same point to us (ie  time will fly by very quickly for us as we grow older .....just as it had for her!)  but of course, being just teenagers at the time, we really couldn't see it at all!  However I do NOW!

Whoops - sorry about that digression.  Where was I?  Oh yes.  My title relates to a brain wave of a new idea/story for St. Hils which came to me only a few days ago whilst my husband, Andrew, was driving me home from work.  It is amazing how creative I can be once I LEAVE my office - lol!

If you remember, those of you who have kept up with my recent blogs, that I managed to lose one of my most beautiful Mike Sparrow silver teaspoons whilst "playing" in my dollshouse teashop, "Aunt Sal's Teas".  I lost it the once whilst lifting tables and contents from the teashop on to the nearby ironing board but did manage to find it on the floor with the use of Andrew's handy torch.  Fortunately I recently cleaned all my miniature silver cutlery and it shone at me from the carpet!  You would think that, after that fright, I would have been more careful the next time I decided to shunt things about but NO!  As I let you all know at the end of my last blog in my "PS", Andrew found it on the ironing board whilst I was at work so was able to give me the good news when he picked me up from my office.

Jesus used to tell stories to His followers when He was alive.  These stories or "parables" as they are properly called, were used by Jesus to impart a message about God.  So St. Hils' Sunday School children should be pretty familiar with them because Esther, their Sunday School teacher, loves to tell these stories/parables to them when they are in Sunday School.  It suddenly dawned on me as we were driving home for a well earned cup of tea and relax that there was NO reason why we couldn't have a modern day "parable" in St. Hils.  So a new storyline is almost"The Parable of the Lost Teaspoon!"  I hope you like the idea because it really grabbed me big time.  My only problem is......HOW to play it?  So I have began a photo shoot and want to share my "work in progress" with you.......................

As you can see above, Miss Enid is just about to enjoy a lovely cup of tea after the Sunday morning service.  After all playing the organ can be very thirsty work and there is nothing better than a "nice cup of tea" to rejuvenate you!  However, she is not very happy because she is missing something.  She KNEW she had it not so long ago when Ambrose had filled her very own bone china teapot with hot water from the urn on the church trolley. It is........................her very old and trusty silver teaspoon that came with a silver service cutlery set which had been handed down from her father and his father before him.

 I can let you into a secret but PLEASE don't let on to Miss Enid because she may tell her off!  Sepp, Homer's pet rat, thought she would help Miss Enid by putting a spoon of sugar in her tea because she knows that she won't drink it without.  However the spoon slipped out of poor Sepp's grasp and fell............well.............somewhere on the floor!  GP, Grace's pet guinea pig, has decided to look for the teaspoon for Miss Enid which is so kind of him..........

Sepp and Miss Enid join Sepp to search but fail to find the teaspoon............ even though GP  was SO close as you can see to where the teaspoon had fallen to the side of the organ console...............................but didn't see it.......  (note - the teaspoon really DOES look old doesn't it? - and that is after dunking it into silver cleaning solution for a a few seconds and then rinsing it all off)

Fortunately, as you can see above, Priscilla Jane comes to the rescue here! She was NOT going to give up for one moment until she found the teaspoon and here she is presenting Miss Enid with her treasured and much missed teaspoon when she found it............  I am sure that Miss Enid is SO relieved. 

It just goes to show..............even my accidents, losses temporary or otherwise....ALL become fodder for my storylines.........NOTHING is ever wasted...................and so from a "problem" comes a "parable".....................

I would like to tell you that the church is looking "spic and span".......but sadly it isn' you can see above.............................. We have to keep the church covered up with a pair of towels because of our free range and hand reared cockatiel, Pebbles, who loves to watch the birds visit our bird feeders and bird baths in the garden. Currently we are having quite a visitation from the local starling population courtesy of our hanging fat bar so Pebbles is not particularly happy about that and has the occasional mad flap around the lounge and kitchen in protest even though he WILL insist on perching on the church to watch the garden......I have warned him not to but he never learns..........!

Whoops - sorry about that digression but sadly Pebbles tends to make himself an integral part of my photo shoots however hard I try to keep him away!  Even my photo shoot of today hardly went smoothly because balancing Miss Enid on that organ stool is a complete nightmare.  WHY I had to have her balancing her cup and saucer on her lap as well I have no idea!  I think it is just a challenge to be achieved.  I can't remember how many times either or both Miss Enid and Priscilla Jane fell off the stool and the tea service went flying as they ALWAYS manage to knock the table over at the same time......amazing that!

Priscilla Jane is probably my most "tacky waxed" doll of all..........let me explain!  I commissioned a "praying doll" from Jane Davies years ago and Jane agreed to make me one which was wonderful.  I left the gender choice to Jane so I had NO idea how my "praying doll" would turn out.  However I was NOT disappointed.  Jane presented me with "Priscilla Jane" and I was just thrilled to receive her into St. Hils. As to the name, Jane suggested "Priscilla" and I just had to add "Jane" to it!  I consider myself pretty fortunate because Jane told me when I picked her up that she had broken at least two sets of legs in the kiln.  The extreme bend of the legs to create the praying position was more than Jane had ever had to do and it proved quite a difficult task.  HOW lucky am I?  I suspect Priscilla Jane is a unique doll don't you?

Priscilla Jane's pose has proved very versatile within many of my storylines.  She may be "praying" but in reality she has still been able to play and draw too.  In fact her "praying position" has proved very useful on many accounts.  As you can see above she does have some tacky wax on her hand so that they will stick together.  Sadly there is no other way to get her to "pray" or hold things effectively.  I like to think that our Priscilla Jane is a deeply thoughtful little girl and so, in this story, as she finds the teaspoon, suggests to Miss Enid that this lost and found teaspoon is just like the parable of "The Lost Sheep" that Esther loves to read to them on Sunday morning. 

I hope you like my new idea/storyline for St. Hils.  I can also vouch for the fact that it is not a far fetched storyline at all given how easily I missed my missing miniature teaspoon even though it was literally staring me in the the ironing board ALL of the time.........and there I was hands and knees on the floor with said torch..................................................arghhhhhhhh  I think I have heard it called..........DOMESTIC BLINDNESS!
Till the next time..

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Of Birthday gains........but a few strange losses......or more accurately.......misplaced or dropped but NOW found - read my PS!

Hiya Everyone
I am back rather quicker than expected here!  However those who know me will realise it was my birthday today and my sister Catherine of Dollshouse Heaven was going to come around with some birthday goodies for me......ALL for St. Hils and co of course.  She didn't have to TELL me that was the case but I had a rather heavy clue handed to me this morning whilst visiting Dolls Domain, our dollshouse shop a few miles away.  You see I rather fancied buying some quality copper pots and pans etc to place on the aga in our Aunt Sal's Teas Shop and Catherine, my sister, had tipped me off that Dolls Domain had some lovely copperware which would be perfect for Aunt Sal's Teas. 

This morning, therefore, we were off to visit Dolls Domain in Leamington Spa but unfortunately had to make a wee detour to the NHS Walk In Centre courtesy of husband, Andrew's sore and swollen gum.  You will be pleased to know he was given some antibiotic cover to see him through til he books an emergency dentist on Monday morning. 

However I digress as per usual but guess you all realise now that most blogs of mine are prone to straying off piste and on to something else because I sadly type as I think.......................and my mind is prone to the odd wander.

Picture this!  There I was perusing the dollshouse accessories in the display cabinets searching for a nice kettle and a few pots and pans for my tea shop.  The one lady assistant was on hand so I asked her if they had some copper kettles and pans etc.  She said they had some but almost before she had finished the proprietor of the shop came forward and told me that my sister had come into the shop and told her in no uncertain terms that if I, Sarah her sister, came near the shop and asked for a kettle to tell me not to get one as she had already bought one for me.  The proprietor assured me that it is a lovely kettle so I was already excited even before my sister came around later this afternoon.

So therefore, with no more ado, I must share with you my latest acquistions which now have pride of place in Aunt Sal's teas! However before I do I  have a confession to make....I DID still make one purchase before leaving for home which I was able to justify easily as it was some of my birthday money from one of my sister in laws.

You will be pleased to see (as above)  that Snowy the mouse has gone back to his little home in St. Hils so is quite safe from any pest control.................  I think Miss Enid is pretty relieved too!  Shame Tinker has come back with her best friend, Belle.......seems they can't keep away!

In order for you to see some of the cakes and sandwiches (loose)  which Catherine brought around in better detail   I have sprited them out as above.  The sandwiches have three sets of fillings..........egg mayonaise, (apparently Catherine has LOADS of egg mayonaise left and is planning to do some scrambled eggs on toast with it as it looks just right as "scrambled egg" too!) salmon and cucumber and finally ham, lettuce and tomato! 

I love this fruit cheesecake she included in my birthday goodies (as above) and it would appear that Alice is dying to have a slice too!

See it in close up above........doesn't it look scrumptious?
Before leaving the topic of food.........I must give you some idea of how tiny Catherine's sandwiches really are.  I therefore took a photo with some in my hand  (balancing on our ironing board..........amazing how useful an ironing board......even if you are not using it for ironing!) below...

Before you all die of hunger pangs after seeing all of this "food" in one sitting I will now let you know what I purchased at Dolls Domain with my birthday money.  You may have already noticed it of course and it is............a fully working Grandfather clock.............

Megan has popped in to check it out (as you can see above!)  after she heard that Archie had been left it by his own father who recently passed away.  Archie wanted it in Aunt Sal's Teas so that everyone in the village could also enjoy seeing it........AND it still keeps perfect time.........  Archie finds it a comfort too as it helps remind him of his father.

You can see Alice (as above) admring the kettle!  It is a splended facetted copper kettle and Catherine told me that she means it to be more ornamental than functional.  In fact she is even planning to make me some flowers to put in my kettle as the lid opens!  This kettle will have to be a family kettle....I think that it may have to be the original "Aunt Sal" who owned it and who originally opened and established "Aunt Sal's Teas".  It now has pride of place on the mantlepiece.

I hope you have enjoyed the photos taken today.  I have to admit that taking them has cost me some pain in one loss namely a beautiful silver teaspoon.  I dropped it twice in the process of arranging and rearranging things and the second time happened when I decided to pick the nearest table with contents on and place it on the ironing board in order to make sure the teaspoons were in the saucers (amazing how easily they manage to fall off the saucer - slighest movement and there is mayhem) and the candlestick was upright WITH candle in it etc.  The teaspoon is now nowhere to be seen......booooooo  Andrew has loaned me his torch and it was great because it helped me find the teaspoon on the carpet the first time around.  However the second time I was not so lucky.  I did drop a Gracie cake too but found that alongside another on the carpet that I hadn't even known had fallen so had not missed it.  The teapot lid even went flying at one point but thankfully I found that on the carpet pretty quickly.  So yes - a rather frustrating photo shoot this afternoon.

Incidentally all the photos here were taken by hand (no room for a tripod or daylight bulb in our second bedroom what with the ironing board, washing drying inside as it is too cold to put it outside........) and with the use of flash on my Canon Ixus 980 camera on the easiest setting: ie the automatic with macro and flash.

I hope you have enjoyed a preview of some photos taken today that may form part of a new page with Miss Enid taking the children to Aunt Sal's for high tea as a treat one day.

Oh well - best go back to see if I can find my lost teaspoon with said aid of Andrew's torch.........I don't want to give up........well not just yet because I find it so annoying.......
Till the next time
PS - It is now Monday 8th Feb - just got home from work - hubby picked me up and gave me some good news - he found my lost was on the ironing board ALL along............................Alleluia!

Friday, 5 February 2010

Tinker.........Belle..........Snowy....a tail to tell.....

Hiya Everyone!
I am back again and dying to show you my latest idea for St. Hils.  I am NOT quite sure that any real tea room would allow this but, as you know, with all things St. Hils..........reality NEVER impinges upon my imagination. 

I am fast finding my "Gracie Cakes" becoming a kind of signature cake for St. Hils so it was only natural to include them in my blog again...........sorry about that but Gracie insisted. 

I guess I have to confess that I just love my two half days at work on Thursday and Friday.  I work three long days from Monday to Wednesday so, on Thursday and Friday, I only work til midday and then, as I work near the town shopping centre, often enjoy a little shopping mooch before heading home on the bus.  I enjoy that little bit of solitude after working in a busy office most of the week so it was easy to imagine how our Miss Enid must feel after a hectic Sunday in St. Hils with services to play for, children to keep an eye on etc.  The best thing that can be enjoyed after hectic times is.................a nice cup of tea.  So I wondered if Miss Enid would fancy visiting "Aunt Sal's Teas" this afternoon for a nice quiet cup of tea whilst enjoying the lovely classical background music that is often played for the customers.  However all didn't go to plan because Grace wanted Miss Enid to take her tin with some freshly baked "Gracie Cakes" for Archie, the proprietor, to sell to help raise funds for St. Hils.  These funds are needed badly to help fund the ongoing repairs required in St. Hils as it is, after all, a VERY ancient English village parish church!

See below the shock poor Miss Enid had..................................

As if seeing Snowy hiding IN the tin was not bad enough both Tinker and Belle had secretly followed her to the tearooms too........... again as I said earlier we are pretty sure that the pest control people would have been called in double quick if this was a REAL teashop so we think that Snowy is pretty lucky here as he is quite safe.  NO danger of any nasty men in white coats arriving to exterminate him and his friends!  Miss Enid may be a bit cross with him and give him a telling off as will Archie but that will be all.

Unfortunately Tinker leapt on to the table and knocked the one teacup over too in the process and sent the beautiful silver teaspoon flying!  Naughty Tinker! (in reality I knocked it over and never noticed until all the photos were taken but still decided to keep the cup, saucer and spoon "as is" - amazing how many accidents actually make the story!)

Sorry about that - another fantasy land expedition wandered into by yours truly!  However I just love to stray into fantasy land after a week at work where reality is just too real if you understand me....deadlines have to be met, jobs done etc etc.  I very often envy my St. Hils "little people" as they can relax in St. Hils and not worry about any cares in the world at all.  In fact I have to confess I NEVER tire of looking at our little church and, when we are home, the lights are ALWAYS on.  I even find it more interesting than watching the television on most days.  My imagination often wanders................and not only at home looking at my church either because when I was at my church home group last night whilst we were supposed to be listening attentively to the CD my mind started wandering off and thinking about yet ANOTHER addition to St. Hils.  Bet you can't guess what it is?  I will let you out of your misery because it is a votive candle stand with candles that can be removed.  I know where it should where my prayer corner is with the prayer desk.  I am even considering a small notice board for people to pin their prayers up on as well.  Oh only worry there ENOUGH space?   I am not quite sure where or who to go for my votive candle stand but whatever happens it may need to be custom built to fit.

Oh dear I realise I have wandered off piste again as is my wont and nearly forgot there was something else that I wanted to share with you today.  I wanted to tell you something more about both Tinker and Belle and how I acquired them.  They really ARE a pair of waifs and strays because I had an email from Frances of Buttercup Miniatures asking me if I would be prepared to take this cat and dog in as new pets for St. Hils.  There was, however, a rather big snag..........BOTH had their tales broken off.  Naturally I had to agree to take them - who wouldn't?  However I realised that their tails needed to be stuck back so that is what I did.  Belle's tail was no problem as you can't see it was ever broken off but poor Tinker...........HER tail still looks a bit rough where you can all see the join.  However she doesn't seem too bothered about it as you will have noticed in all of our storylines featuring her so I have given up trying to hide it during photoshoots.  You can see where the break was very clearly on the sprited out portion of the main picture as above.

I have to confess to being quite excited because my sister is coming tomorrow because it is my birthday.  Now please do NOT ask how many years it is as I would rather forget!  Catherine has promised me some sandwiches and cakes for Aunt Sal's Teas.................I SO want to divulge what the fillings are but you will just have to wait til my next storyline when Miss Enid takes some of the children to Aunt Sal's Teas as a special treat......................

Well - I best go............other things to do etc.....
Till the next time.......
PS We were thrilled to hear from Jackie Wightman, Coventry Diocese representative for the Children's Society, that a total of £2,692.20 was raised for the society in memory of the late Jan Craven who was a wonderful supporter and contributor to St. Hils and is sadly missed............