Monday, 2 September 2013

Man cannot live by bread alone......

In fact he (or indeed she) cannot live by bread at all if he tries to keep it in a pine bread bin.   In my experience the bread gets mouldy pretty fast.  But the good news is that bread bins are amazingly useful in the dolls house and miniatures world.

I spent quite a lot of time recently pondering on what display to leave in the window of Small Worlds when I set off back to England (tomorrow).   It seemed unreasonable at the start of the school year to leave a window display that was based on "Where shall we go for our summer holidays?".   But equally, September seemed far too early to create a Christmas scene.   And in any case I already had a very nice autumnal set-up, full of my other passion, fungi, almost ready to use.

Someone suggested I could just put in an autumn scene, leaving another one, based on Christmas, ready for someone else to set up for me.   But I won't be back here until spring and leaving Christmas there till almost Easter also seemed wrong, despite what the Danes say in their Christmas song about Christmas lasting until then.   And I really didn't think I could expect someone to set-up, take down, and set-up again in my absence.

It then occurred to me that next spring we are planning to run some workshops for beginner miniaturists, as we have already flagged up on the website, and in the window,  and that one way of encouraging people to have a go might be to show them that they don't need a dolls house to create something in miniature.

And to be honest, I was also looking for a window display that wouldn't involve me in too much work just before departure.....and something that perhaps currently visiting friend Lynda - she was a key helper with packing at the UK end - could help me with.

I already had a stable-in-a-bread-bin (I've just realised you don't yet know about that one!) and a schoolroom in another.   I also had an empty bread bin which had housed a bedroom which could easily be resurrected, and a kitchen
in an Ikea mini-greenhouse, which could equally easily be moved into another spare bin.   That left me with one other bread bin to be filled.

And I thought I could even sneak in a Christmas scene or two if there were lots of other things to look at as well.

So where to start?   Backwards this time, I think, with just a photo or two of the completed set-up and some glimpses of each of the breadbins and other containers.   (Ooh look, I've succumbed to the urge to run the two words together.   I've been resisting that since I started typing this.)   And then the next few blog posts will take care of themselves with detailed descriptions of how the more complicated ones were tackled.

Once again, the photos from outside the window are poor and full of reflections.......

so here is also a view of the full line-up whilst it was still standing on the worktable.  Remember you can click on each photo to enlarge it.

The notice says: 

Aha - some of you don't speak Czech?   

In English it would read "Have you any redundant bread bins around the house?   An old basket or photo frame?   Or even a paper gift bag?   Just see what you can do with them with a bit of imagination……."

Lynda took complete charge of the removal from the Ikea greenhouse to the breadbin.   Since there was some panelling behind the units in the greenhouse, we thought it might look nice to have some tiling in the new home.   And of course a matching floor was also needed. Sadly, we didn't remember to take any photos as she set about the task of doing the tiling.  But the finished product looked very good.

The bedroom required very little work - the breadbin still had the original wallpaper and floor and the bedroom suite just needed a bit of touching up to hide the original cheapie pink furniture where the yellow paint had chipped off.    

The formerly pink sink unit also got the paint treatment, using a combination of a tester pot of green paint, topped with some nail varnish in a very similar colour to give a glossy effect.   I have a whole boxful of these pink bathroom components.   Watch this space for further transformations, probably during a workshop in the spring.

Please note the breadbin in a breadbin! 

There was something of a panic when we got them all into the window since we discovered that because of the two inch front "wall" no one would be able to see into the bedroom.   Hasty investigation revealed that the floor would come up, so we raised it a couple of inches - and added a person.  And then forgot to take a photo, other than from outside. 

And here, in no particular order, are the rest.....


Sadly I also forgot to take a decent photo of the schoolroom. It's been around a long time but Lynda has given it new wall posters and the one behind the (slightly tipsy looking) teacher is a map of museums in South Bohemia, to which has been proudly added "Bavorov - Small Worlds"......

Earlier today I trustingly spread all the clothes I want to take home with me all over my bed.  I always think that doing this will mean that I have to pack before I head for bed.   More often than not, however, I find myself hurling them onto the floor because I am so tired and desperate to lie down.  This time I can't do that because Lynda tidied all my cupboards earlier this week, and the clothes are so beautifully folded that I cannot bear to upset them.   

This means, though, that I must bring this post to an end and do more mundane things.   I will be back with you towards the end of the week with more insights into making use of redundant household objects.   I hope you will join me then - in the meantime thank you for following so far......


  1. What a lovely idea - much richness for viewers to feast on in your absence :-)

    You have a stable - it really is only a hop and skip to the Spanish Riding School.

    I'm a little disturbed by the Father Christmas scene - partly because FC looks stuck and partly because of the dog - is its head too big? And the religious figures are rather looming lol


    A x

    1. I'm not fit to hop and skip just at this moment....will think on it.

      He's not stuck, he's freeing his neck and sliding down - and anyway he's got the fattest part through already, surely?

      Not sure about the dog. Next time I see Heli I'll measure hers :-)

      The Czech miniature tradition consists of Betlems - large creche layouts so I feel the size is fitting.....

      And now, off we go!

  2. Love the furnished breadbin in the breadbin! And the mushrooming scene is gorgeous (and, from what I've read, very appropriate in rural Bohemia). Also love the idea of a Christmas scene in a Christmas bag - must look at gift bags from that point of view!

    My packing method is very similar to yours - although sometimes I just push the piles of clothes to the side of the bed and crawl in, and if they rearrange themselves on the floor during the night, so be it! ;-)

  3. They are lovely. Safe journey home - please let us know somewhere or other that you have arrived safely on this side of the Channel.

  4. Ah! I can really see where the talent in your family stems from!
    These are absolutely fabulous. What resourcefulness. My old pine breadbin went out many years ago and I have Portmerion so not much scope (or chance) of making a dolls house in there alas!
    Safe journey to Blighty!

  5. Thanks for sharing.
    So funny and ingenuity.