Thursday, January 27, 2011

101 Followers! Giveaway!

Dear blog followers, readers, lurkers, visitors and especially fellow bloggers, I am delighted to have passed 100 followers! And I'm a little ashamed that this milestone comes when I have not been keeping up with all of your blogs. I shall try to catch up, now I'm home and over the first week back at work ....

To celebrate having so many followers, I have a little giveaway. Longtime readers of my blog know that my favourite dolls house dolls are by Erna Meyer - they live in lots of my houses, and I have so many that quite a few live in a large box (a special one for conserving textiles). Among the box-dwellers are some old store stock dolls which I bought in a live online auction some time ago. Because they're old store stock, there are quite a few duplicates, and I would like one family to have a new home with one of my followers.

If you are one of my followers, and you would like a chance to win this family, please leave a comment saying so below. (If you want to comment but don't want to go in the draw, just let me know - I will enter the total number of people who want them into a random integer generator, so I just need to be able to distinguish between people who'd like to have them and people who just want to leave a nice comment ;-) Thought I'd mention that, as I don't always comment on giveaway posts - but now I've used, I know it works on a number, not the actual comments.)

Please note that ONLY the dolls are included in the giveaway - the red leather Lundby lounge is NOT included, it's just so they didn't all have to stand up. It also gives you an idea of their scale: the adults are about 12.5 cm tall (5 inches, or just a little less if their hair wasn't so fly-away), the boy is 8.5 cm (about 3 1/4 inches) and the girl is 8 cm (3 1/8 inches).

Here is Mrs Meyer's twin sister in my 1960s Lundby house:

So, a big welcome to my new followers, and big hugs and thanks for your support to my fellow bloggers over the past couple of years! Good luck in the draw :-)

MORE INFO: I forgot to say when the draw would close! Please leave a note by the end of Wednesday 2nd February if you would like to enter.

Also, some collectors who are followers here usually read my posts on facebook, and they have left comments there. I will include them in the draw (I did just say 'below') - all entrants will be numbered following the order in which you commented (I have the exact date and time of each comment, so that's easy!), and I'll enter the total number into the random integer generator.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Checks, Red & White

"Hello Aunt Jenny, what are you doing today?" asks Lois.

"I have to go to the supermarket, dear. The boys are coming with me to go to the fossil and mineral museum."

"Yeah," says Paul, "come and look at the insects in amber with us."

"No thanks," says Lois, "I'm going to the corner shop for lollies."

"Why are you holding that old parasol?" asks Bruce.

"It's not a parasol, it's an umbrella. It's going to rain - look at those grey clouds over there."

"Hah, that old thing won't keep you dry! And anyway, it probably won't rain for ages, we'll be right."

"Maybe you're right, dear," says Aunt Jenny, "but we don't seem to have any umbrellas or raincoats. They don't seem to make them in our size - but I'll have another look in the supermarket. Or maybe a mail-order catalogue would have them."

Jenny, her niece Lois and her nephews Bruce and Paul live in Bathurst, in NSW. It rained quite often while I was visiting them - though not as often as in Darwin, and not nearly enough to cause flooding like in Queensland, Victoria, northern NSW and Tasmania.
I'm afraid Jenny's right, that they are sadly under-supplied with wet weather gear. I will have to see what I can do about it!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Another drive through the mountains

A year ago, I hired a car and drove my mother home from Sydney, because the plane was booked out. We had a good trip and were able to go to a bookshop in the mountains, so this year we decided to drive again.

However, this year we made the trip on December 30th, rather than in January, and the highway was so busy (and had long stretches of roadworks leaving only one lane each way), that at times we were doing only 10 km an hour, bumper to bumper with all the other cars. Some no doubt were returning from or going on holidays, as we were; others were Sydney-siders spending the day in the mountains.

Apart from the traffic, the trip is really too long for Mum now, as her strength and stamina have decreased a lot in the last year. So I don't think we'll do it again - maybe I'll hire a car to travel up to see her instead, or to get back to Sydney after visiting her, as there's a lot to see in the mountains.

This time, I wanted to visit Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum in Leura. It has beautiful large gardens (which we didn't attempt), and imposing stone steps up to the entrance (which we managed) - and a wonderful collection of Lenci dolls, model trains, tintoys, and many other toys. Here are some things that caught my eye.

All the comforts needed for your railway trip:

Some relaxing places to visit:

Interesting people:

and impressive buildings:

More Lotts Bricks! a different set from the one I have - it looks like these were not intended to be painted.

This tall tower looks like it's made from a wooden construction set, but I'm not sure.

As well, there is a vintage, homemade dolls house. It is also called Leuralla, and was part of the exhibition of Dolls Houses in Australia 1870-1950 ten years ago. It's the main reason I wanted to visit the museum, but it's not possible to see it close up, as it sits in the children's bedroom by the window:

There's so much to see at Leuralla, I'd love to go back one day.

As we drove on over the mountains, we passed Trains, Planes and Automobiles. I had been to their shop in Annandale when I stayed with my sister last year, and I'd hoped to get to the Mount Victoria shop on this trip. We left Leura much later than I'd expected, because of the heavy traffic, so I thought that the shop would be closed. However, their Open sign was still out, so I pulled over and went in. Here's what I found:

A tiny caravan, with stars and moons on the roof! It's marked only with the number 2, on the inside of both the roof and the cabin, so I don't know who made it. It's quite light metal - aluminium, or an alloy of some kind? - and is missing the yoke for the horse. I love the colours and the design - and as the roof lifts off, I could furnish it, for a very tiny person - it's only 2 inches long!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

01 01 2011 - Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Ein frohes neues Jahr! Bonne Année! Godt Nyttår! Feliz Año Nuevo! Buon Anno! Gott Nytt År! Onnellista uutta vuotta! Gelukkig nieuwjaar! καλή πρωτοχρονιά! Feliz Ano Novo!

I wish you all a happy, healthy, peaceful and fulfilling new year. Our blog world has grown a lot over the last year, it seems to me, and I'm sure we'll have more new bloggers this year. It's a bit like living in a dolls house museum and art gallery that changes daily! And where many of the artists and visitors and curators become friends, and share support and inspiration. Thank you for sharing last year, and here's to another year of great things!

My new year wishes come with a page from my Australian Nana's step-mother's 1886 scrap album. My Nana did not like her step-mother, but she had kept this album and gave it to us when we were children. We loved looking through it and making pencil rubbings of the embossed pictures - and the back and front covers:

The page I've scanned has two New Year cards by S. Hildesheimer & Co (an English greeting card company), both with very traditional European images of forget-me-nots and a passion flower.

My tiny azure flowerets
Come wishing thee good cheer,
And ask for thy remembrance,
When dawns the glad NEW YEAR.

The New Year bring thee
Health and Happiness

There is also an Australian scene, showing The Lower Light, Sydney (from a Cave on Coast). This card was published by Gibbs, Shallard & Co (a Sydney company, and probably the first local printer of Australian Christmas & New Year cards). I'm sure I should know the name of the native plant depicted on it - but I can't remember it.

(I included an Australian card from this album in my 2009 Christmas post, too - it shows Watson's Bay & Gap, NSW with more native flowers.)

There are six cards in the album which have blank spaces within the design for writing in. I think they were probably sold for friends to exchange remembrances by. The two on this page show a school room (with a poor little dunce wearing donkey's ears!), and a clock tower. One is inscribed "When this you see, remember me, and bear it in your mind, Let the world be as it may, Think of me as you find." (And make of that what you may!) The other says more simply, "With best Love to Bella" (my Nana's step-mother's name was Isabella).

Happy New Year!

(I'm staying with my mother with dial-up internet only, so please forgive me if I'm a bit slow at leaving comments on your blog posts, or responding to yours.)