Tuesday, 9 August 2022

It's a puzzlement!

As promised last week (if you missed Rose's Corner then do take a look) I have something rather different this time. What do you do when you find you have collected an assortment of objects with the intention of creating a window display, but you need to use all of them to fill the space and they appear unrelated?

Yes - you look for connections! I am sure some of you will be watchers of the TV programme "Only Connect". Wiki describes it thus:

"Only Connect is a British television quiz show presented by Victoria Coren Mitchell. In the series, teams compete in a tournament of finding connections between seemingly unrelated clues. The title is taken from a passage in E. M. Forster's 1910 novel Howards End: "Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted".

Once I had thought of this convoluted way of displaying things Butterfly then said "Why not make it a quiz?".   She and I let our minds wander wild and free, and we have come up with many connections between the objects in the window.  Some are easy to find, some not so much, there are even multiple links across objects, but there are no right or wrong answers.   

Visitors who have seen the actual window do have it easier, I suspect, than you who are working from photos. Especially since these were taken with the challenge of glass and sunlight interfering with the quality - our apologies for that. 

To our delight, people have found things we didn't.  I suspect there is much more to be found.  Do bear in mind that you can increase the size of the photos by clicking on them.

Answers on a postcard please....ah no, I don't mean that. Feel free to list things in the comments below or send me an email - the address is to be found under the museum information tag.

Later in the year I will post what we have come up with, probably in the form of a mind map - another way of delivering your ideas of course.

We hope you enjoy the challenge - we loved creating it.  

In the meantime I leave you with a very appropriate song (only connect!)

Here we go, in no particular order

See you some time soon and thanks for playing.....

Following the recent death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II we felt it right to add a tiny tribute to her in the Small Worlds window.  It comes with our love and thanks for her many years of service - I am one of a minority who remembers her accession to the throne in February 1952 and the wonders of her coronation in June 1953....
"To weep is to make less the depth of grief." 
William Shakespeare

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Rose's Corner

Today's post, going live on 2nd August, will be brief.   It is in the nature of birthday wishes for what would have been a 105th birthday....

Those of you who have followed my blog for some time will know that every year between 2016 and 2020 I made a birthday present for my friend and neighbour in England, Rose Howard.  I began with her 99th birthday, thinking that I had better not wait till she was 100 in case she didn't get there.  Little did I think I would end up making 5 gifts - by the end it was a struggle to think of something new!

I met Rose too late in her life for her to have had a chance of visiting Small Worlds but she was always fascinated by it. In fact for my 77th birthday she and her brilliant carer Jo gave me 77 tiny packages, most of which contained items which have found their home in the Beamish Miner's Cottage.

Rose never liked to think of no longer being around but it was clear that she wanted very much to be part of Small Worlds so now all those birthday presents have come together in Rose's Corner - and I get a chance to remember Rose with every visitor to the Museum and to share something of her spirit with them.

So without further ado, here is Rose's Corner.....Happy 105th Birthday Rose!

Rose's mother's teacup, well over a 100 years old itself, peeps out between the 103rd and 99th birthday presents

This 103rd birthday present came along with a giant bunch of sunflowers - full-size of course!

When you are 100 years old, then it has to be roses all the way....

102nd tea party at Mabel's Vintage Tearooms. 
Rose's Room on her 101st birthday, complete with the Queen's card from the previous year on the mantelpiece.
  The pictures right and left now hang in Small Worlds a short distance away from Rose's Corner. 
Again, the full-size versions.

The tiny house was a Christmas present from Alison, also known as Butterfly. A hop out of kin here.

Introducing Rose in Czech and English

Columbia Road, including the primary school Rose attended. The picture was a gift from my friend Lynda Cowan. We discovered her grandparents lived in the adjacent road to Rose when she was a child. Small World indeed.

The rose painting is by Dora Marshall, who long lived and painted in the Waltham Cross area of Herts where Rose lived.

PS If you are unfamiliar with the gifts you see above you can find all the necessary links to see them in detail in last year's post, The Last Rose of Summer, together with more about Rose.
Remember that clicking on the photos makes them bigger for better viewing.

Within a very few days another blog post should be appearing here, one that should stretch your minds and your imagination - it certainly has ours! So do watch this space.....

Monday, 11 April 2022

Sylvanian Spring Part Two - "Come inside!"

As we enter Easter Week 2022 I return, as promised, with Sylvanian Spring Part Two - we have been outdoors in the Sylvanian village so now it is time to take a peek inside the houses and other buildings to see what is going on.

I have in the meantime travelled a long way in the real world and am spending a few weeks in England prior to making my way back to Bavorov in early May to finalise getting Small Worlds ready for the summer season. We hope, if nothing gets in the way - but who can predict that nowadays? - to open on Saturday 18th June, with normal weekly opening hours following on from then.

This will be a word-light, photo-heavy post, showcasing Butterfly's work setting the scene, telling the stories, and taking the photos whilst I sat and admired her endeavours.

She painstakingly explained to me that in order to reverse the scene accurately, the buildings had to appear from left to right, rather than from right to left as in Part One.  (Or vice versa - I am the first to admit that the reversing of shapes and patterns is a total mystery to me, even when carefully demonstrated!)

So starting on the far right when looking into the window we have the water mill, which houses the baker's shop, known for its delicious Danish pastries.  (Although we call them Danish pastries, the Scandinavians call them Wienerbrød/Wienerbröd = Viennese bread).

No Wienerbrød for Grey Squirrel today though, just a plain loaf and a roll to match.

Tucked neatly between the baker's and the café handily next door are the café tables, not a seat to be had as usual, especially when the sun is shining....

Meanwhile the proud parents of Mimsie Meercat are considering whether to wait for a space or head home having bought some pastries from either baker or café to go with their coffee.

The café next door - buying much of its wares from The Water Mill - is busy.   The Hedgehogs are choosing their morning treats and little Master Hedgehog, in despair at not being able to see properly, has climbed up for a better view.

Ah - now he's happy with his sandwich!

Moving along the street we come to the sort of shop no tiny village should be without - the Dollshouse Emporium!  

In the summer, the owner prefers to mount a display outside, leaving a rather empty shop, but in the spring it is safer to keep the houses safely indoors, away from the April showers.....

And finally we reach Rabbit Range, an imposing house with much space - which is sorely needed since after all these are rabbits and we know all about their breeding skills!

Despite the house's size, as you can see, it has been necessary to convert part of the garage to gain enough space for the ever-increasing family....

Here's the latest addition......

Mrs Rabbit really can't afford to take her eyes off her brood for a moment - look, there's one heading for the stairs while she's waving to Mr Rabbit outside....

And by the time she gets in - oh no! There's two of them - let's hope she is just in time!

So that brings me to the end of the update into springtime goings on in Sylvanialand and it just remains for me to thank Butterfly for all her hard work and to wish you all a very Happy Easter!

 Well - just one more thing. I hate to end a festive occasion without some music but seriously - did this ever catch on?

PS I recently gave a talk about Small Worlds to a group called the Collectors' Studio. It was done on Zoom and can be found now on YouTube. There is a written list of associated links I am happy to send anyone interested.