Thursday, 27 December 2012

New furniture

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas, not quite over yet but soon will be, seems to pass us by quicker these days, oh the joys of getting old!
The chests and accessories above were all created by my wife Pauline, all I did was cut the wood to size and she did the rest, I shall be redundant at this rate.

Lots of ideas to come and all being well I shall be back in the workshop Sunday morning, new frames are now in production, also hopefully make a start on my tudor furniture, I used to make this a few years ago but going to get back in to it again.

I will also be adding the fairs on to our website that we hope to do in 2013 over the next couple of weeks, our first will be Stafford in January and then in February we shall be at Stratford.
And if I don't post again during this week I hope you all have a wonderul New Year and hope to see some of you at the Fairs.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Autumn Cottage

Afraid nothing new from the workshop at the moment, was busy last week and the past four days have been laid up with a virus, today I have managed to finish the two paintings that were on my board and have to say I am more than pleased with them both.
These are of course miniatures, the top one measures just 2-1/4" x 1-3/4"

I just need time now to make a new stock of frames, for the Balmoral Castle one I have to produce my latest frame, which I hope will be done in time for the Stafford fair which is just over three weeks away, but it's going to be the end of next week before I get back in the workshop.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

White Bridge Cottage

Added a few new paintings to my website at, with the cold weather I'm spending more time indoors rather than in the workshop, I do not like being cold.

But I am working on some new frames, felt it was about time as the ones I have are now looking a little tired, this is a long process though and they won't be ready till after Christmas, hopefully in time for Stafford.

Pauline is still working on the furniture and hope to have a bit of a selection ready for the Stafford Fair.

Not sure if I will post again before Christmas Day, so if I don't I would like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas, I hope all your dreams come true.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

New Ottoman and painting

I'm not posting so much right now, mainly because I haven't been making so much, reason being is that it is blooming cold in my workshop.
I shall be so glad to see the Spring here again!
Not been totally idle though as you can see from the upholstered ottoman above, but I can't take the credit for this, I cut the wood on my table saw, but it was then glued together and upholstered by my wife Pauline.
I may be biased but I like this a lot, there is a lot more furniture to come and all being well on our table at Stafford in January.
But with the cold weather upon us it means I get my watercolours out more, have managed two more over the past week.
The one below, well no prizes for guessing where this scene is.

And my very very latest painting, this is Hilltop, which was the home of Beatrix Potter.
This will be on the Breast Cancer Raffle table at the Thame Miniatures Fair on 23rd Feb 2013.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Woodside Cottage

Well we now have a bit of a break before our next fair, so am doing what I enjoy doing most, painting.
The one above is called 'Woodside Cottage' and adds to my array of cottage paintings, this is where I can let the artist inside me run riot, I love using colours as you can most probably tell with most of my miniatures.
There are a lot more like this on the ideas list installed in my brain.

We had a reasonable fair at the Chateau on Sunday, but nowhere near as good as last year, don't know if it was because we were in a side room, but there didn't seem to be anywhere as near as many visitors.

Hopefully by the time our next fair comes along I will have rebuilt the stand, desperately needs doing now as we have added to our range so much this past year.
Furniture is quite big on our list of ideas.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Red Bridge Cottage

Red Bridge Cottage
Well it's almost Chateau Impney time, just a few days and we shall be exhibiting just up the road at Droitwich, possibly the best venue and fair in the Midlands, it's set in a fairy tale type of Chateau, easy to get to and plenty of parking.

Am busy painting now and restocking my stand till the weekend, there will be plenty of new paintings on my stand, the stand is so different compared to last year, so many new items on display and lots more to come yet.
Perhaps this time next year I shall have to increase the table size!

Supposed to be the last fair of the year for Harvington Miniatures, but may do possibly one more, watch this space.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

New tankards

Well I have been quiet the past few weeks, I have had a bad cold and trying to get a bit of stock ready for our next couple of fairs, this Sunday November 11th we are at Nantwich in Cheshire and the following Sunday at the Chateau Impney in Droitwich.
Then it will be two months before the next Fair, which will be at Stafford in Jan 2013.
Lots of ideas will hopefully come to fruition by then.
The two tankards above are the latest addition to our commemorative mugs line, to see our complete range you will have to pop along to one of the fairs we attend, so far we are looking at around 20 fairs for 2013, so guess we are going to be kept busy.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

What with one thing and another I just haven't had much time for miniature work the past few weeks.
I have managed some new bottles though, the ones pictured here are actually on ebay at the moment and they are all under 1/2" tall.

We are at a new fair tomorrow, it's being run by the Wolverhampton Dolls House Club and is being held at the Bantock House Museum, WV3 9LQ, 11am till 4pm and admission charge is only 50p per family.
So even if you don't collect miniatures this is your chance to pop along and see what is available in the hobby, you may well be surprised.
Then it will be full on in the workshop as we have several fairs before the year is out.
For 2013 we are planning around 20 fairs, so going to busy for quite a while and my head is still brimming with lots of new ideas, watch this space                   .

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Smokers Chair 1/12th scale

Been relaxing and having a play this week at furniture making, having never been trained in any sort of furniture making or miniature making I have this week managed to get hold of a lovely piece of an exotic fruitwood, took a bit of doing chopping it down to size but eventually did it and this is my first attempt at a decent piece of furniture, it measures just over 2-1/4" tall and is based on a smokers chairs from one of my reference books, for a first attempt I am more than happy.
Now I know how to build it I can now make a template and hopefully produce a few more chairs of different types.
No staining here, 12 different grades of sandpaper and finished with a couple of coats of lacquer, which has given a real nice smooth finish.
I'm afraid my carpentry skills does not do this piece of wood justice, but I shall keep trying, but must say 17 turned pieces and two carved pieces tested my patience to the full.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

New bench

Photo is of my prototype for a cartwheel bench (3" long), just need to iron out a few things before making any more, but was an interesting learning process in making this, I will show it on my table tomorrow at Stafford and if there is any interest I will proceed and make a couple more.
Still a lot of ideas in my head so lots more to come yet.

But for now it's watercolours time, want to see if I can get the two miniatures I am working on finished in time for tomorrow.
Any yes I have, Eltz Castle, two versions, thanks Chell!

And if you are in the area then do pop into the County Showground at Stafford for what promises to be a quality Dolls House and Miniatures Fair, open 10.30 till 4 and it's only £3.50 to get in.
Do say hello to us at Harvington Miniatures if you come along.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Chamber Pots

Well a week today (Sept 9th) and we shall be at the County Showground in Stafford for the Stafford Dolls House and Miniatures Fair over 60 exhibitors at this well established fair.
And as I've said before, again we shall have new items on our stand, we somehow to manage to introduce a few new miniatures at every fair we do and for this fair we shall be selling our new Chamber Pot (or Potty).
Have done this in 1/12th and 1/24th, the photo above shows them painted in stoneware style against a background of a £1 coin, they will also be painted up in other styles.
Have also made some more new stoneware in 1/24th scale plus a couple of new pop bottles and also currently working on a couple of new paintings which I hope to have ready.

After this fair it is 6 or 7 weeks till the next one, stills lots of ideas on the table which we are working on, so I may be quiet for a couple of weeks.

Hope to see some of you there.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Thame Miniatures Fair

Well we had a great fair yesterday in Thame, lovely to meet up with old friends and some smashing customers.
Contrary to the forecast it stayed dry most of the day, even had some sunshine.

There were some quality stands and customers flowed through the door all day long, a very busy day indeed, we shall be back next year for certain.

The above painting, my copy of the 3rd Earl of Bristol (after Thomas Gainsborough) went to a really nice lady, the best painting I have done in my long career of painting and was sort of sad to actually see it go.
It is a painting that I shall not be repeating, but with a few more paintings being sold yesterday then I now have to get the paints out again.

It is the Stafford fair in just under two weeks time and have some real serious re-stocking to do, my miniature bottles and stoneware are proving very popular lately, also I have noticed a real upward trend in 1/24th scale this year, so planning to move ahead in that scale, don't know how much my poor eyes will take though.

This one is a tiny watercolour of Buckingham Palace, it measures just 7/8" x 3/4".

Sunday, 19 August 2012

another miniature

Well it's just 8 days now till the Thame Miniatures fair, still busy in the workshop, as always!

Have finished a few new miniatures which will be on our Fair table at Thame, the above is a wall plaque suitable for a church, I can supply these with other inscriptions or even left blank.
This measures just 3" wide and the text has been designed by myself.

Still a lot of new miniatures in the planning stage and hope to get quite a few more new items in production over the next few weeks and with Stafford and Droitwich coming up I really need to get some extra stock made, plus I really want to get the watercolours out again.

And just before I sign off I was asked at the Worcester fair if I could make some Turps & Meths bottles. see pic below, they are now added to our extensive range of hand turned bottles.
They are both under 1" tall.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Another new miniature

Well the new fair at Worcester was quite a success for us, lots of customers through the door, special thanks to those who bought from us, look forward to being there next year.

Now we are coming towards the end of Summer we are busy replenishing our stocks, especially as we now have some of the larger fairs just round the corner we need to be prepared, so lots of time in the workshop over the next few weeks.
Plus I must find time to revamp my website, it is long overdue an overhaul.
Still lots of ideas to come, one of which can be seen above, pub signs or even shop signs, hope to have a selection for the Thame fair which is on Bank Holiday Monday August 27th, will have some blank ones as well so you slip in your own picture.
My mind is still full with ideas, downside is there is not enough hours in the day!

It's a nice sunny day here, perhaps Summer has finally arrived, I won't be holding my breath though.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Moving more toward 1/24th scale

And still going smaller, the last few fairs have seen some good sales on 1/24th scale, so a few new items will now be on our table for forthcoming shows, the photo is of some of my latest work on the lathe, a tad small and not doing my eyes much good. A few ideas are also in progress on this smaller scale and should have a much larger range of 1/24th come the autumn.
And just had to add this painting, I say this in a B&W photo the other day and just had to paint it, it is Lea castle which is no longer there and it once stood at the head of the village where I was born, Cookley.

Tomorrow we shall be exhibiting at the new miniatures fair in Worcester, it is at Perdiswell leisure Centre and hope to see some of you there.
Then it will be a three week gap until the next one which will be down at Thame.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Having a pleasant weekend watching the Golf on TV and at the same time painting, the miniature above is Blickling Hall, this is from a sketch I did when we visited back at the end of June.
Managed to do a few turnings this morning ready for next weekend when we shall be at Crick which is not far from Rugby, looking forward to this as it's a place we have not exhibited at before.
Have to get busy now as we have four fairs within the next six weeks.
All the above are turned in exotic woods, I do love the one on the right which is rosewood burl, shame about the quality of the photo.
Have a lot more on the go in the workshop, a couple of new items at least for Crick, so I am still on target for introducing a new item at each fair we exhibit at.
There are actually quite a few new turnings to add to our table at Crick, have sold quite a lot at the last few fairs, so will be turning a lot more before we depart early next Sunday morning.
Not just exotic woods either, I have been using some nice select pieces of acrylic as well.
The Harvington Miniatures Roadshow continues to roll.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Only realised today that it has been well over a week since my last post, so thought I had better get to it, am working on a few new things right now, the little candlestick holder above is now ready for our next fair which is at Crick in two weeks time, have managed to turn three of them, not easy to do due to the size as you can see from the photo.
And before anyone asks, No the candle does not actually light up!
After six weeks without a fair we have a few coming up over the next month, so will be busy making miniatures and hopefully produce so of my new ideas.
Below is the latest photo of my favourite miniature, grand daughter Martha, she has now taken a liking to her family pet (Choo).
Martha is now 5-1/2 months old and I can't see it being much longer before she is walking, she does love to be stood up.
She is now experimenting with real food and after sucking on some cucumber yesterday she was promptly sick on me!
Well what can anyone say about the current British weather, rain, rain and more rain, feels more like Autumn at the moment, so much that we have been spending more time that usual watching TV, yes I know I could at least be painting, but...
Buying a few DVD's right now, one I fancied was Survivors, this was a BBC series back from the 70's, wow I checked ebay and you should see the prices, anything from £70 upwards, so checked Amazon and found it brand new at £22, watched the first epsiode last night.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Unlocked the door!

Well I'm back, had a great week in Norfolk, the weather was brilliant, thankfully.
Did a few turnings this morning, just to get my hand in again, was good to be back on the lathe again.
Miniatures above are amongst a few that will be listed on ebay tonight.

Although we have visited before we just had to visit Blickling Hall again, it is such an amazing place, owned by the National Trust, it is kept in remarkable condition, if you get the chance to visit then don't hesitate.
Hmmmm, though if you are to spend a bit of time there take some sandwiches and a drink.
Okay money is needed for the upkeep, would have thought them entrance fees would have looked after that.
But it was so hot, we popped in the cafe for a couple of drinks, a small bottle of coke and a water, okay nothing to go mad about, but come on the cost is way over the top.
I did say something about it which is unusual for me!, but the lady just brushed my complaint aside, expect she is used to it by now, you know the type, hand knitted long skirt and knickers, white top and flat cap which looks like they have been cut out of a tent.
Come on National Trust, you are doing a good job but stop ripping customers off.

Overall though we had a brilliant holiday, Cley Mill is another great place to visit.
We found a great bookshop just a few yards away, hmm that proved to be an expensive visit, but if you ever visit this wonderful place then there is a small cafe at the mill, we had cream teas, very reasonably priced and   was very lightly priced, how I managed to finish off the pot of cream I'll never know, but I did.

And to finish this post off, again if you are ever over Norfolk there is a new Dolls House Shop, Tudor Rose Miniatures at Bawdiswell Garden Centre, it's just a few miles out of Norwich, it's a lovely shop with lots of interesting miniatures and very friendly and the Garden Centre is pretty good as well.
They now stock my wood turnings, fingers crossed they are succesful.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Time for a break

My new project is coming along nicely and will post a photo when finished.
Just added a couple more fairs for the 'Harvington Miniatures Roadshow', so it will be thirteen for this year with plans for a lot more next year, am already planning the 2013 calendar.

The painting above (Beatrix Potter's house) has just been sold along with a few others so am going to have to get the paints out again very soon.

For now though I am going to close the workshop door for a few days, need a break to re-charge my batteries!
Back soon.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Okay it's just over three days and the Harvington Miniatures Roadshow will be on it's way again, this time to Hinckley in Leicestershire, will be a first for us to that county, so hope all goes well.
Neck is back to normal thankfully and today has been the first time I have felt comfortable in the workshop, have managed to do a few turnings in a new batch of burl woods that I now have, lots of new items again since the last fair and then it's the end of July before our next one.
I do have new ideas which I hope to develop during the next few months and you will see them here as and when I get them ready.
Another of my new paintings above, this is titled 'Norfolk Cottage'.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Hinckley next............

Well it's just under two weeks for our next fair, we shall be at Hinckley in Leicestershire on June 17th, the fair is in it's 11th year and this will be the first time that Harvington Miniatures will have exhibited there.

Wow, it only seems five minutes since we were planning on which fairs to attend this year and here we are now almost half way through the year!
Just haven't had time to do all we had planned but still have some new items ready including the transparent jars/bottles pictured above, we shall have quite a selection of these available on our stand.

Many new paintings will also be on show including several cottages including the one below of a Norfolk Farmhouse.
Thanks to my new paintings I now have a trapped nerve in my neck which is the main reason that our plans for even more new miniatures is slightly on hold.
Spending too long in one position whilst painting miniatures is not something that I recommend.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Hat Stands

Well we had a reasonable fair at Stourport on Severn last weekend, a very nice venue and a fair few people through the door.

To those of you who visited and may be reading this, it was nice to meet you and all being well we shall see you again next year.
Now getting ready for our next fair which is in Hinckley in three weeks time, have had a few days rest but today I returned to the workshop, turned a few new hat stands with shelves, the shelves are ideal for displaying gloves, handbags or shoes.
Lots more new items planned for the next few fairs, but need the workshop to cool down a bit, it's so hot in there at the moment.
Well you may wonder what else I am making, well I have said for years I don't make Dolls Houses, well that may just be about to change, okay I am not getting into 1/12th houses, but on a smaller scale, so far so good and all being well my first one or two will be available at Hinckley.
Also had a delivery of some really nice woods from America, so there will be plenty of new turnings in those woods as well, one wood that really stands out from the rest is a Brazilian rosewood burl.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

pop bottles

Finally restocked my stand just in time for this Sunday's Fair, it's at Stourport Manor Hotel, it's a lovely venue and set in the lovely Stourport-On-Severn on Sunday May 20th, opening at 10.30.
If it's as good as last year I shall be happy..
As well as restocking I have also managed to finish part of my new range of vintage style pop bottles, 6 of which can be seen above.
Also been working on a range of beer bottles and two of these will also be on sale.
This makes a total of more than 50 bottles which are now on my stand, spirits, beer, medicine and pop, lot more yet to come and all are hand turned and labelled.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Well what a lovely setting for the fair yesterday, was in Crickhowell down by the Brecon Beacons, we had a great day and was nice to see so many people through the door, everyone was very friendly and we shall definitely be back next year.
Got a few new ideas from a couple of customers so will be working on those when I get the time.
For now I am busy restocking in time for Stourport, only two weeks to go for that one!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Well we did Sutton Coldfield, but it wasn't the best of fairs, mainly down to the weather, but we still managed to sell a fair bit, been busy replacing stock this week.
Our next fair is this Saturday May 5th, we are down at Crickhowell which is in Wales, our fingers are crossed for the weather.

Surely there can't be much more rain left up there, this must be the wettest drought we have ever had!
Will be busy getting ready for Stourport when we get back, hopefully add a few pics as I make new stock.

Friday, 27 April 2012

My favourite miniature

My favourite miniature is, wait for it, is our first grandchild, 'Martha Belle Baker', three months old this Sunday, but she isn't for sale, not enough money in the world for this one I'm afraid.
Hopefully she will help on our stand in a few years time.
Back to business now though, been turning and making many new things in time for this Sunday's Dollshouse and Miniature fair which is at the Penn's Hall Hotel in Sutton Coldfield.
Two on show here are a honey pot with dipper in Red Malleee Burl and a Mortar & pestle in Cocobolo, many more like this will be available at very reasonable prices.
Then it's three weeks till our next fair which will be at Stourport on Severn, lots of new miniatures on the way for that one as well, I just can't sit still, have to keep making, at this rate we shall have to have an extension on the house!

Kings Lynn went that well that we have now booked more fairs with Dolly's Daydreams, they do run their fairs very professionally.
Crick, Hinckley and Thame still to come with them, possibly more toward the end of the year.

The HARVINGTON MINIATURES roadshow is fully under way again.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Well it's been a week or more since my last post, we exhibited at the Kings Lynn Fair last sunday, had a great day, plenty of customers through the door and was nice to meet many new people.
What a great venue.
The fair was very well organised by Dolly's Daydreams and we shall definitely be exhibiting at more of their fairs in the future.
We then spent several days over in East Anglia, the weather was quite pleasant as well, so all in all a good week.
Not had much time to work on new minis, been busy the last few days replenishing stock ready for next week.

We spent a day at Ely, a wonderful town and the cathedral is just magnificent, spotted a lovely view on the way in to the town, just had to get the watercolours out for this one, see the result below.
And before anyone asks, yes it is a miniature, although I could be tempted into doing a full size painting of this scene.
Next Sunday the 29th April we shall be on the road again, this time at Sutton Coldfiled, hope to see some of you there.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

new work

Okay am now finished making for a week or so, our next fair is at King's Lynn on Sunday April 15th, the fireplace above is now ready for selling, am producing these in a ceramic type of plaster, they feel heavy and authentic, they measure 3" high and will be on sale at £12 each.
The bottles  I have turned in a clear acryilc, all in one piece, the candles have just been painted, not real ones.

Not the best photo, but now added 3 more mirrors to my range and will only be £5 each, am quite pleased with these, lots of detail in the frames, took a while to get these just right.
If you are in Kings Lynn next Sunday then please stop by and say hello.
Just hope now that the weather improves as we shall be spending a few days by the sea.
Happy Easter everyone.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

a bit more adventurous

Testing myself again, this time with a Spinning Wheel.
24 turned parts in 4 different exotic woods, nothing is movable, just wanted it to look like a spinning wheel, it stands just a touch under 3" tall.
This project really tested my patience, I could really do with some thinner fingers!
This will be on my table at Kings Lynn over in Norfolk on April 15th, please say hello if visiting.
As usual my table (Harvington Miniatures) will only contain miniatures which are 100% hand made by myself.
Wonder what I can try and make next......hmmmm

Thursday, 22 March 2012

still turning

Still busy with the miniatures in the workshop, three weeks now till the Kings Lynn fair and then Sutton Coldfield a couple of weeks after that. Working on yet another new stand as well.
The vase on the left I have turned in Malleee Burl, the one on the right is Big leaf maple burl, I have listed both on ebay.
A new fireplace and some new flagons will hopefully be ready in time for the April fairs.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Still turning

Cheltenham went okay, not the best fair I have exhibited at, but may do it again next year, but then again may not.
Could have done with a few more people through the door though.

Just taken delivery of a parcel of wood, looks lovely and managed half hour on the lathe, bit more tomorrow hopefully, the above piece is buckeye burl and I have just listed it on ebay.
Nice smooth finish which gives a nice marble effect.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

and there's more......

Still working, this time I thought I would make a little sister for the larger table, this is a 1/24th table, again it's made from 100 year old Brazilian Mahogany, inlaid with Amboina Burl and has rosewood feet, measures 2" across and 1-3/16" high.
Just over2 days to go now till Cheltenham, will I making anything else, yes you bet I will, but you will have to come to the fair to see what I've made.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Still at it

We are now more or less packed and ready for the Cheltenham Fair, so it's given me chance to start trying out some of the woods that a good friend sent me from America at Christmas.
This one is Buckeye Burl and this is now my favourite wood to turn, it finishes with such a high gloss finish, think I shall be purchasing a lot more of this wood, but not quite yet, I have about another ten woods from the package that I haven't tried yet, but they are going to have to be something special do out do this one.
Boy, do I love making miniatures.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

More miniatures

Well it's just one week now till my first fair of the year, Cheltenham on Sunday 11th March, if you visit please stop by and say hello, we are on table 38.
I have been doing a bit more furniture making as you can see from the photo below, I have used 100 year old Brazilan Mahogany, inlayed with Amboina Burl and has rosewood feet, this will only be offered for sale at Cheltenham.
Thankfully my latest oil paintings are dry and will be ready in time, I am doing a range of instant ancestor portraits, ideal for most periods from Victorian or earlier, I have done five to start with, all are numbered, will be interesting to see if they sell.
Again these for now will only be available at the fairs.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Getting ready

Been hard at it in the workshop the past few weeks, Cheltenham fair is now only two weeks away, lots of new items are being added to my range of miniatures, including the furniture above which is in 1/12th and 1/24th scales and four weeks after this one we shall be exhibiting in King's Lynn Norfolk.
Few more items yet to be made before we are ready, hopefully be adding new items to our stand all through the year.
Lots of ideas are still rattling round in my head.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

New paintings

Slowly getting back into the swing, started the new year quiet but now back on track again.
Been building a new section for my stand, just needs painting up now.

Getting ready for the new season of Miniature and Dolls House fairs and as well as painting some new paintings I am also making some new additions to my range of miniature frames.
The watercolours above, left to right are 'The Gallents', Sandringham Church and Windsor castle.
All come framed, initialled on the front and signed on the rear.
Click on the pictures for a larger view.