I've bought several things from Shepherd Miniatures for the Willowcrest in the past, their prices are very reasonable and they do a lot of shop display items. The button display boxes and the knitting patterns are for the Willowcrest. The beach windbreak is for a seaside scene I'm thinking of making for a club project. The map and box of rose food are for my garden shed writer's retreat.
I bought a whitewood bookshelf from World of My Own for the shed as well, the map will go behind the desk (just propped there at the moment and not stuck down yet).
I couldn't resist these reasonably priced and quite cute cross-stitch cushions, which look lovely on my Victorian gazebo porch (below).
Another couple of bargains from minst.com, made from real seashells and jewellery findings. These are to add some glam to my Mulvaney Georgian roombox, which is furnished in Art Deco style.
A hidden corner
The Willowcrest is a bit notorious for the completely inaccessible staircase once assembled. Mine isn't as bad because I cut out a big opening into the knitting shop, but it's still not great. And annoyingly, the one bulb that has burnt out in the whole house is in the upstairs landing where it is impossible to get at. But although the landing is not really visible from the back of the house, you can see it quite clearly when you peek in the front window. For a long time I've had this empty table sitting in there. I don't remember where I got the table, I might have made it, it looks like it is made from a kit. I wanted to put a display onto it so there is something to look at when you peek in the window.
I had a beautifully knitted cardigan I had bought a while ago, but nothing to display it on. So I got out my box of dolls, most of which came free with magazines or were bought cheap at sales. I chose one that had a solid body and was falling apart a bit already, and took it apart so that I just had the torso and arms.
I needed it to be a bit taller so I glued together a crude stand from balsa wood. Generally I don't like using balsa because it is so soft, like crusty sponge, but the stand will be hidden from view.
Then I wrestled the cardigan onto the stand, which was quite difficult because the cardigan came sewn shut, and the arms are bent. Not to mention the thumbs catching on everything. I got there in the end. Then I added two of the display boxes I bought at the show. I also had a knitted basket I had bought a while ago, which I filled up with little coloured pompoms to look like wool. And I had a couple of crocheted potholders from a longago swap.
The next challenge was to manoeuvre the finished display table through the knitting shop onto the landing, without knocking anything off in the knitting shop and without taking out the bored husband standing at the doorway. When I finally got the table into position, I pressed down to bed the tacky wax onto the floor. And a leg promptly broke off...
So I had to work the table back out through the knitting shop, fish around blindly for the leg and retrieve that, and then glue the leg back on and wait until the glue dried. Then repeat. This time, I pressed down only on the feet themselves, not the table. Success. But very hard to take a photograph of. I can also see all the dust on the floor in the photographs, something that you luckily can't see in real life as the floor is pretty hidden from view, lol.
I'm putting together a little display to sit on the end of the cash desk, using one of the Model Village display stands I made a few weeks ago which I have now painted white. I'm thinking it should be full of impulse buy items that you might pick up and buy while you wait to pay. So I've glued on the scissors on cards that I made last week. And I saw at the dollshouse show someone selling miniature decorative needle packs which I thought would be a good idea. Theirs were printed on photo paper which I don't have. I found some suitable pictures online and printed them on my normal printer paper which isn't so sharp but I think it's good enough. I cut them out and folded them over, and decorated a couple with no-hole beads to simulate a closure, and ran a gold felt pen around the edges of another one. It makes a good start on a display but I still need more items.
I've been thinking for a long time about how to make a sign for the front of the store. I've decided to call my store 'Patches & Purls', which I like and I don't think is too commonly used in the needlecraft world. When we visited The Range a few weeks ago, I spotted little boxes of wooden letters, already painted white. They were only £2.99 for a box of 73 letters so I bought a couple of boxes in the hopes that they might work. I'm delighted that they have turned out to be exactly the right size for the shop fascia. I've stuck a few up with wax to see what they look like. I had been thinking I might paint them but actually the white is quite eyecatching. What do you think? Leave them white or paint them a colour (what colour)?