My Dream, My World

 I cannot really remember the time of my life when I decided I wanted to create a miniature village I just know it was when I was young, before I was a teenager. A strange thing for a person to want to build you might say.  
Archibald sweeping the path in
front of his General Store
I would say the same thing but as I have designed six and built four and had the designs of the first lost in moving from one house to another. I suspect it was thrown out. It covered the whole of my wall in my bedroom and I designed it from the age of 10 - 15 and I'm sure my family felt I was wasting my time. I knew what plants were in it, thousand's. How many people I needed to run it, hundred's, and what gardens of history I wanted to build. I suppose, and eventually as the need to build them wouldn't go away, I just decided to 'go with it' and see where it would take me.

The four models I created I destroyed as they were not quiet right. One took up 3/4's of my lounge room and was in 12 sections. That was the model of the Store Stump from Brambly Hedge. That one I broke up and sold, all but the kitchen cupboard, that is in my new model, sitting at the back of the kitchen of Pebble Cottage, all the rest of it were placed into gourds and sold off.

This I did for approx five years until I grew board and my work started to grow more complicated. I needed to move on but I didn't know it at the time. Eventually I was fed up with people squabbling over the money they were willing to pay for my work  (which was not very much as I did not have much faith in my own ability. I did not have much worth in my own art. This a problem a lot of people have I've noticed.) Anyway I got upset about it all and refused to sell them anymore. For years I hid myself away and started making my own even larger models using lots of gourds. Models that no one could tell me what to do with or how to make them.

The Scribe.
I had originally wanted to just make a bunch of houses, out of gourds, all piled up on top of each other so that they sat 1/2 way up the wall in the corner of the lounge room. The idea was to have lights in them twinkling away and maybe one day I will do just that but it will have to compete with the Arabian style city I want to build. Each of them would have lights inside. Sorry I digress as usual.

I should have known that I would never be able to keep my dreams small.
Now I have thirteen large portfolios full of my dream, My World. It is BIGGER than Ben Hur, as I keep saying, and as time moves on by I can only hope that one day it will ALL be built.

I do remember that when I was very young (in England) my mother took me to see an old lady. To keep me quiet I was given a toy to play with. It was a plastic peg board full of holes with three paper 'brick walls' around the edge. I then were given lots of tiny plastic flowers and trees to play with and I spent hours and hours building imaginary gardens sticking plastic plants into the little holes.   Is it any wonder that the two things I do in my life is build imaginary miniature worlds (and now write about them) and gardening (water gardening actually as a job).

Black Hawk Fairy

The potting shed of Pebble Cottage

Finally, I am happy to say, I have settled on a name for my miniature village, my World. It is BRAMBLEWOOD. Ironic really in that I built the model of Brambley Hedge when I was younger. Really I choose the name because one day I had a Bramble Burger at Bramble Bay and the name made me laugh. and as this whole thing I am making has many aims, one of them is to make people happy.

Thinking about it it might be a good idea to write down why I am continuing to build this model. First I don't really know why I just keep on doing it. It  won't go away. I stop sometimes and tell myself I'm being stupid but then I find myself drawing a new plant or actually fiddling with craft stuff and before I now it new creature or plant has been built. So I just keep plodding on knowing that when I do bring the models out I achieve some of what I am aiming at, I make people happy. Another reason I wanted to build My World is to employ people. I've always had this thing about employing as many people as I possibly could. At the moment that is no one but maybe one day that will change.

Many sections of the model have been displayed, mainly at the Gold Coast Show for the past six years and the Mudgeeraba Show for the past three years. I have shown it at other places as well and maybe I'll make a list up later.

In 2006 I met the Governor of Queensland (as she was then, she was the Governor General of Australia) Quentin Bryce at the Gold Coast Show.  It was real highlight.

I apologise for the fuzzy photo but we were (my daughter and I) caught on the hop when Quentin Bryce (who was the Govenor of Queensland at the time) was introduced to us. We just didn't know this was going to happen. My daughter took the photo with a camera she did not know how to use. So I must be grateful that I have any photo of the occasion at all.
At another Gold Show Show I remember a lady saying to me:-

"Will you do something for me?"

"What is that?" I replied.

"I want you to build me that!" and she pointed to the kitchen of Pebble Cottage, "I want to sit down and have a cup of tea and scones in it."

I put up my thumb and said " Not a problem."


  1. Just saw your work for the fist time at the Gold Coast show. What a delight! have sung your praises to all my crafty friends. You are a very talented Lady. Good luck with your wondrous creations. Your work needs to be viewed by the world. Good Luck Nicola!

    1. Hello Maria thank you very much. I am soo pleased that you liked my work. I am trying to get it out to the world but the life keeps getting in the way. Still I keep plodding on. Thank you again. Nicola