Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Gypsy vardo : the painting

I had to make a choice for the colour and the exterior decoration of my waggon. First,  the colour : it's not so easy.

Obviously, the green "arsenic"is a real poison. I hate it ! I decided to stick to the yellow for the wheels and I changed the main colour to a bright pink.

My final decision goes to a mix between traditional overdecorated English vardo, and a more contemporary French style, overdecorated, with bright and vibrant colours and delightfully kitch interior. Overdecoration is the key to a good gypsy vardo !
A comment by Sanschichis made me see that she had already built and painted a wonderful vardo inspired by this type of waggon-fitting.
The pictures on the blog of Sanschichis HERE "Ma roulotte".
The french builder of new or renovated vardo with a personal gypsy deco HERE.

I definitively prefer PINK. I have fit the gypsy vanner horse in. This is the top of the front door.

Here is the lid of the back trunk.

Some blooming flowers for the front door.
And the design on the unfinished wheels.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

The gypsy vardo : taking apart


I have made my homework, looking for clues about gypsy vans everywhere. I came to the conclusion that this traditional gypsy home pulled by horse is not so old.  They have been used by gypsies for only 150 years. They developed first in France and then were used in the 1820 s' in England by showmen travelling with fairs and circuses.
The name for the gypsies'waggon is VARDO. And if they are gypsy home, they are traditionaly made by non-gypsy coach-builders. We can find 6 main types of vardoes : Brush, Reading, Ledge, Bowtop, Openlot and Burton.

My Vardo is a Ledge, no doubt. A van with side and back windows, sloping walls, portable steps, front door wich opens separately at the top and the bottom, rack at the back and a raised roof called a mollicroft. The floor is narrow and both side walls widen out at knee-level via a ledge over the wheels.

The maker of this Ledge has done a pretty good work : everything is true to a life size Ledge.
www.gerryvardoes.co.uk : Gerry builds a very complete range of vardoes you can choose of.

And now it's time to take all the pieces apart. I want to make some changes before I begin the painting. I have prepared a new door, the one I had was too thick. Same for the door of the cratch at the back. I have also changed the hay rack, to have a lighter one.

They are many informations and pictures at http://gypsywaggons.co.uk  and http://gypsyvans.com  : builders, collectors and painters of gypsy vardoes.



Sunday, 25 November 2012


Yesterday it was the Kensington Dollshouse Festival. Always a great moment with magnificent miniatures and the "crème de la crème " of miniaturists. Lots of things to see and many ideas to get.
I have made my shopping - components for my own miniatures - and I have found some little things for my Curiosities Cabinet.

Two coral by Cilla Hallbert from Minst www.minst.com, they are nicely set and perfect in my display. In front of them, delicate tools by Danny Shotton : magnifier, scissors, penholder, razor. I don't know yet where they will go but I will find a good place. I plan a barber case.. soon.

Some bottles from Kastlekelm Miniatures www.kastlekelm.webs.com. I guess they will be better in my magical shop "Aux Dragons Azimutés". I can't resist a goblin brain or a dinosaur bone.
And last but not least, I have now an unfinished gypsy wagon.
One of the models made by Gerry's vardos www.gerrysvardoes.co.uk. I wanted to find a place for a gypsy fortune teller with crystal ball and tarot, this time I have a good one. Now I need just one more year to finish it the way I want it.

Sunday, 18 November 2012


I've found the perfect addition for my cabinet : a model Triceratops so tiny it can stand on my 1:12 scale table in the curiosities cabinet.

It's so tiny, I have to use my magnifier to punch out the pieces and my supertiny exacto to cut them out.

Now I have a wonderful Tinyceratops in my cabinet. If this is not a curiosity !

Sunday, 7 October 2012


My new collection of moccasin, native american shoes. Now I will work on the tomahawk and the peace pipe for my cabinet of curiosities

Sunday, 16 September 2012

After summer

After a busy summer in the 1/1 world and after one more moving, I'm back in the  miniature world. I will just tell it with some pictures.

I have made some painting and new upholstery for my chairs. We all need something to sit on after all this work. That's in the real world.

My magical shop, "Les dragons azimutés", was still packed. After two years, my dragons are back on the housefront and the pets from the magical world are taking some fresh air under the shopwindow.

Now, back in London in my new work place, I just finished a whole bunch of ballet shoes and I'm working on a new model of indian mocassins. That's the prototype.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Provencal village

I've made three paintings of small provencal villages with the typical ochre colours of the walls and the blue of the shutters. The style is  Naïve painting. The trick is I've added some reliefs in the roofs and the landscape.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

More Egyptian antiquities

The owner of my "Cabinet de curiosités" spent a lot of time in Egypt, buried in the darkest shops of
Old Cairo. Guess what he has found this time behind a dirty curtain in the rear room of a perfumes shop.

I believe that they sell real antiquities coming from unauthorised excavations in the Memphite necropolis. The 1 inch scale necropolis of course ! Or perhaps it is a good forgery.

The paintings are still so fresh that they seems to be brand new [and for good reason...].

It's a canopic jars chest placed under the protection of the "4 sons of Horus" Hapi, Imsety, Duamutef and Qebehsenuef. They are anoint by the 4 funerary goddesses : Isis, Nephtys, Neith and Serket.

Qebehsenuef, the hawk, protects the intestines of the dead placed in the canopic jar, and is protected by Serket the goddess, making a libation over his head.

Imsety, the human, protects the liver and is protected by Isis

Duamutef, the jackal, protects the stomach and is protected by Neith

Hapi, the baboon, protects the lungs and is protected by Nephtys

Next time, I'll show you the inside. I didn't have the time to make the canopy jars yet.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

An Egyptian king's jewels

The collector from the "Cabinet de curiosités" came back from Egypt with a new piece for his collection. He bought a large necklace, a Wseh collar in a small dark shop, hidden in the old soukh of Luxor, a town in front of the Valley of the Kings. Obviously this collar was made for a king. Its beads are precious stones : lapis lazuli, turquoise, cornelian, all well preserved, and the same goes for the golden frame. The collar is fastened with two Horus falcon heads. The seller says it was found in a remote tomb of the Valley of the Kings.

It is now displaid with the two Egyptian cats and the ibis. This is the beginning of a great Egyptian collection. Don't forget that my "Cabinet de curiosités" was established well before 1922, the year the tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered by Howard Carter and Lord Carnavon. Perhaps they've found ideas there....

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Giveaway - And the winner is...

Today is the day !

We have 58 participants. I'll give each one a number, in the order they appear in the comments. I just added Cockerina at the beginning of february 15, she had problems with Blogger and could not leave a comment but would like to participate.

1.The Old Maid
12.Maria Blanca
19.Maria Ireland
21.Miniaturas y vintage - Silvia
22.EVminiatures - Ericka
26.El Bichillo
34.Loly Rodriguez
35.NarinaNapertaa - Irina
36.Maria - Il Cucchiaino Magico
39.Cockerina - Caterina
40.Miniaturas y vintage
51.Drora minimundo
52.Miniaturista - Maite
I asked my daughter to give me a number between 1 and 58, and she said 18.
So the winner is Lara, number 18. I hope you will enjoy your new shoes ! I contact you by email in order to send you the shoes.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

100 followers GIVEAWAY

The "Petit Cabinet de Curiosités" has now 100 followers. To celebrate this achievement, it's time to organize the first Giveaway. I have here a pair of floral shoes waiting for a new "chic" home.
The rules are universal : you have to be a follower, you leave me a comment - a nice one !

The draw will take place on Tuesday, February 28th.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Thank you Katrina for this award. It's the first one for my blog !

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A dinosaur in my Cabinet

A small dinosaur of undetermined species and unknown era took place in the Cabinet. The skull comes from secret excavations under my dollhouse. I built the display box for the monster. That box was easy to make, because it wasn't Godzilla-sized, just tiny bat-sized.

I also added some shells in the display table

And found a new home for my naturalised seahorse.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Egyptian cat mummy

The Curiosities Cabinet is proud to present two new additions to the Egyptian fund. Two cat mummies of the Late Period coming from the necropolis of Tell el-Ashmounein. Of course they are 1:12 scale and made of FIMO, the wrapping is particularly meticulous but not made of linen [I didn't have fine linen ].

Art Nouveau carpet

At last I finished this carpet. I can't remember how many hours I have worked on this one, but I'm satisfied with the results. I eventually have the colours and the the design I planned.