Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Once upon a time... / il était une fois...

I've just stumbled upon some old photos containing some of my work from waaaaay back.  At the time miniature-making was purely a very enjoyable hobby and much of what I made was used to decorate my apartment's walls!

Je viens de tomber sur de vieilles photos d'une vitrine, et je me dis que c'était le bon vieux temps, quand  tout-ou presque- ce que je faisais finissait sur les murs de mon appart'.....!

Vitrine for the birth of a girl
One thing that I used to really enjoy making were "vitrines"; tiny room-boxes featuring a detailed scene.  In fact at that time, it was the logical choice because individual miniatures as we know and love them were not widespread in France (sadly still the case).  "Vitrines" do seem the acceptable way for the French to 'consume' miniatures.  Dollshouses other than the likes of Barbie and Playmobil (and I love them both!) are really not in the French culture.

Je suis toujours surprise de revoir ces vitrines entièrement faites  "from scratch" (on dit comment en Français?!)
On me demandait toujours si je pouvais faire "la même chose mais dans une vitrine"....la peur de la poussière était souvent invoquée, juste après le "mais c'est pour quoi faire?"

When I did try to sell individual miniatures not contained in one of my vitrines, the response was often comical - "Well, what would I do with THAT?!" - "It will only collect dust!" etc...

Finalement, c'est la vitrine/cadeau de naissance que les gens connaissent le mieux en France; hélas pas de maison de poupée hors Barbies et Playmobil (mais j'aime bien les deux quand même ;-)

From time-to-time a friend or a colleague would ask me to make a vitrine for a special occasion, usually the birth of a child.  They provided me with photos of the new-born and any brothers and sisters and a list of the parents likes and tastes and then would leave me to come up with something.

I created the piece shown here for my English teacher's newly born grand daughter.  Almost everything used in the making of my vitrines was generally made by me from scratch using whatever I had to hand.  There were no on-line tutorials to make things easy at the time (!), no blogs where I could find inspiration when I reached a dead end.  But this meant that I had to rely on my own creativity and ingenuity - something which really helps me in my work today.

Celle ci a été faite pour la naissance d'une des petites-filles de ma  prof d'Anglais de 6ème...seul le cadre (10x15cm) a été acheté, et repeint, le reste c'est bidouillage, customisation, récup, carton plume, colle, fimo etc.... pas d'internet, pas de tutorial, pas machine à pâte, pas de "je moule tout ce qui bouge"!!!

Un cutter, du scotch, et surtout, ne rien mesurer avec une règle, non mais des fois, j'ai pas que ça à faire!!!!

The only thing I actually bought was the wooden picture frame (10x15cm) and I stripped it down and repainted it!

And I did all that with a minimum of tools (a good cutter and a straight edge - not even a ruler!).
Each vitrine could take me a couple of weeks to create - I had a job to fit in too!  And because I really enjoyed making these settings, and not knowing any better, I sold them for peanuts!! :-p

As you probably know we're up to our eyeballs in preparations for the SIMP, but when it's over, we'll maybe start photographing the setttings that I still have and show you a whole new side to my work.  After all, there's more to miniatures than just food, right?!

J'en ai fait beaucoup, de ces petites vitrines, et nous nous ferons un plaisir de vous les faire découvrir ....c'est vrai quoi, à la fin, y a pas que la bouffe dans la miniature, hein, les gens!


  1. Que tierno, la niña con su osito! me ha encantado la escena, una preciosidad! Enhorabuena. Estefanía

  2. oui, j'aimerais bien voir ces petites vitrines et tous les détails.

  3. Same here in Italy. Most people look at me sa if I were a poor shortminded kid when I talk about my mini.And I have began with Ikea vitrines too. See you at Simp, Rosanna ^_^

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. It is lovely work and nice to see how you evolved! I would adore to see other miniature items you have made.

    Yes, there is more to miniatures than food, but food adds so much to a miniature scene, it seems to add so much 'life'....

    ...all the very best for SIMP...

    Linda x

  6. Jolie ballade dans le temps !
    L'atmosphère reposante de la vitrine est palpable, on y plongerait bien pour rêver avec le nounours, juste un peu petite !

  7. Una escena muy dulce, me ha encantado!!!
    besitos ascension

  8. La vitrine est adorable. Je suis tout à fait d'accord avec tout ce que tu as dit. De plus les gens qui ont une maison de poupées souvent n'en font qu'une.
    A bientôt au SIMP.

  9. Thank you everyone, merci, Gracias,
    Mille excuses pour ce calme plat, mais nous n'avons plus que quelques jours avant la tempête!!!!!...et bien sûr, rien n'est prêt:( ooops!!!!

    Sorry for beeing so little into communication, but we are VERY late about next sunday for the SIMP...that will get better soon:)

    Lo siento que no hablamos mucho en el blog, pero hay que trabajar para domingo:)

    I think I 'd better shut up than try spanish, I know it sounds really bad, but at least I try!!;-)