Mistress Of Miniature

My creative journey and inspirations….

What’s in store for you today? Nothing much…

“Nothing much” were the last words out of my husband’s mouth before a drunk driver drove head on into the taxi that my husband was a passenger in. Four months ago at 6.30 in the morning our lives took on a whole new direction. He was air lifted to emergency and was only just saved from bleeding to death with internal injuries. I got the dreaded emergency call that no one wants to ever get and to rushed to his side.

What an amazing appreciation of life we all have now! My husband looks fine and you would think nothing has happened but our lives have completely changed. He is happy despite his ongoing problems seeing 6 different specialists an OT and our GP that are all looking after the long-term nature of his internal injuries. The ripple effect of the accident has changed things you would not expect. From the food we buy to changing my career. We have come such a long way in 4 months and we still have such a long way to go.

Now you wonder why I am writing about this on my art themed blog?

1. I have not written a post since the accident. Going from wife to full-time carer meant not much spare time for anything much but simply managing. Finally though, I am getting some time for me… so a happy blogger again.

2. My life has shifted. My career is changing and my art is being placed firmly into the role of pleasure – not income. This change is quite wonderful as I am excited about my new direction but it is sad at the same time. As I love creating and I will not be so prolific now.

3. Before the accident (funny, our lives are divided into ‘before the accident’ or ‘after the accident’ now) I was working on a series of paintings I had vaguely named ‘Bitter Sweet’. That single moment in our lives certainly has us tasting both the good and the bad in life and the loads of feelings that go with it!

Here are 2 of the paintings …. I have more and sketched or blocked in. My goal in the next weeks is at least to get the next one finished!




Spot The Illusion

I love it when artists very consciously play with 2 and 3 dimensions. The trompe l’oeil is an obvious form of this. In Chatsworth House, Derbyshire England there are some great examples of the interaction between the different dimensions.

As you can see there is so much decorative gold detail in this room. The stair rails are quite obviously 3 dimensional. Then in the centre of the image there is a vertical panel that looks as if the decoration is created in relief.

Then to the left of the image is this…

A beautifully painted trompe l’oeil that mimics all the gorgeous gold details in the room.

This was in a photo from within the chapel in Chatsworth House.

There was no actual cornice but a curved surface in it’s place and then the detail of a cornice painted in. Amazing!

It was fun playing spot the illusion while wandering in this incredible house.

This play between 2 and 3 dimensions have inspired me in one of my current creative projects. I have written a children’s book and am now in the process of illustrating it. The images are photos of dioramas. They combine the 3d figures and objects I create for my cake toppers combined with 2d drawings.

I love creating!

Where Am I?

One of the best things that has developed in my life time is having a camera in my phone!  I love having it on hand for any occasion. Anything that appeals to me visually through out the day I can record.

Today was one such occasion…

So where am I?

The Little Things

The Little things in life make me smile. 

Here are some I came across on my trip.

This gorgeous tiny perfume shop within a perfume shop.

More Marie Antoinette’s.

And wonderful paper creations. I have a fascination with the play between 2 dimensions and 3 and when artists jump between the two.

I think that may be the subject of my next blog…

Let Them Eat Cake

My visit to the Palace of Versailles was inspirational! I LOVED Marie Antionette’s bedroom.

My obsession with her absolute lavish and opulence environment and life just had to be enjoyed! Voila!

Inspirations From Abroad

Spending time in the UK and Europe has been the most inspiring 2 months in my life. Such variety … from perfect glass baubles to warring gnomes, delightful!

Miniature di vetro was an exhibition I saw in Venice that featured miniature works from glass artisans of Murano from the last 50 years. The lighting was superb! Creating shadows just as interesting as the ‘bomboniera’ themselves. I love this shadow spill!

Warhammer has been my one of son’s interest for a couple of years – so off to the museum in Derby we go. I adore the detail and patience that goes into creating and painting these tiny figures.

Creative work by amazing artisans and tacky tourist trinkets, beauty can be found in the expected or simply surprise you from anywhere. Even at lunch time. The Gooseberry relish was yummy and what fabulous packaging!

Note to self – As much as my trip was wonderful, I needn’t go to the other side of the world to be inspired. Going outside the usual places and spaces can move the creative spirit!

Little Darlings

In the last couple of months I have had some different orders for babies and children’s special events. I have created a new size range just right for these occasions. I call them my “Little Darlings” range.

Avalon turned 3 earlier this year and her favourite activites are dancing classes and playing with the boarder collie next door…

What a cutie! Thank you Cath for the sweet photo of your gorgeous girl!

This little darling boy was for a Christening.

He was such fun to make. I especially love the dummy! I really adore dummies. Not just for how cute some of them are these days. One of my favourite things in life is seeing a little one get their dummy and the expression of absolute bliss it brings to their faces! Sigh – one of those good things in life!

A New Face

My latest obsession is still calling me… Ball Jointed Dolls. I made another one. This time I concentrated on making her face more real.

I used my clay again but with less colour added to give her skin a more translucent appearance.

Sweet Brides

During the time I have worked in the bridal industry I have met lots of lovely couples. One of the sweet brides I have created for recently is Karyn. Karyn and Ed were married in November last year.

Gorgeous cake!

Karyn and Ed met at Kungfu. It was not love at first sight apparently, but love grew as they progressed throughout the levels of achievement in their sport.The blue sash around the shoulders of the toppers represents the level in Kungfu they have achieved so far… I feel very lucky when bride and grooms share their stories and photos with me from their weddings.

Karyn was even so kind as to write a beautiful testimonial.

“Ali was by far my most favourite suppliers to deal with during the very stressful time of organising a wedding. Ali was professional at all times and nothing was ever too big of a task; even though I kept changing and adding things to our design! The toppers were absolutely perfect and I couldn’t thank her enough for them! I would highly recommend Ali to anyone as she is such a pleasure to deal with and she is very creatively gifted!”

I told you I meet lovely people!