Welcome new shoppers!


A huge welcome to new shoppers who have found me through the ad in the Dolls House Magazine!  If you were a regular reader of my column, interviews and assorted articles in that magazine and wondered where I had gone – here I am!

JaneLaverick.com has been going for nearly a year, it was launched in time for Autumn Miniatura ‘09 (and how long ago does ‘09 seem? can you even remember how you were wearing your hair then?)  This site is all my own work with the help of my computery son, who got it set up and showed me how to get my photos of my work up into the virtual shop.  It has to be said it was uphill work for him poor thing.  At one point during a tutorial I started laughing hysterically – my brain was full!

Anyway nearly a year later I think I may know what I’m doing sufficiently to advertise, slightly, and if you found the advert and remembered long enough to get the computer going, well done you.

There are two parts to this site.  One is all the writing, which is known as a blog, which is short for weblog.  The other is an online shop where you can buy collectables with a plastic card and they will be posted to you.

You can enter the shop by clicking on the shop button to the right where it says: View the Shop ‘Click here to go shopping’.  You can get back to this page by scrolling down to find a picture of a doll on a cotton reel.  It says: View the blog, clicking on that brings you back here.  You can also go forward and back by clicking on your computer’s forward and back arrows in the top left hand corner of your computer screen.

Everything in the shop has been made by me of my own invention to my own designs. Apart from here the only other place you can buy them is at the Miniatura dolls house shows.  Items are for adult collectors, these are not children’s toys but apart from wilful damage, things should last; they are properly hand made in traditional materials.  I’m not a TV shopping channel, I couldn’t afford for you to play with them for a month and then send them back because you were tired of them but I have designed them to be enjoyed; dolls’ house artefacts are meant to be heirlooms, which is why I make mine by painstaking traditional methods.  The dolls are made of proper kiln-fired porcelain, they are not made of modelling clay just dried out in a domestic oven.  Clothes are sewn, not glued and when I say a doll wig is brushable, you really can brush it.  You can make clothes, dress the doll and then brush the hair.  Not violently as a child would a plastic fashion doll but carefully as an adult collector.  Paintings are proper varnished oil paintings on board, they are individually painted by me, with a brush, not printed or reproduced by mechanical means.

Don’t let the prices put you off, some of them are very reasonable indeed for hand made collectable artist’s original works.  I’m hoping you will love them so much you’ll become a frequent shopper, I’m hoping to persuade you to my view of the world which is small but beautifully made and above all things, fun.  However if you are not happy with your purchase, please contact me.  I want you to be happy, I want you to compare what I make with similar things in comparable materials, (if you can find them,) decide mine are better made and better value and then come back and shop again.

If you would like to order, having chosen by setting the filters or scrolling through the shop pages, you will find that the postage charges are per parcel, not per item.  I can do this because I am the packaging department.  I am also the walking up to the post office department.  It’s less work for me to put everything in one parcel and  go to the post once and better value for you.  So I try to make sure there are always little ‘top up’ items at top up prices, so you get a nice full, good-value parcel.  I love a parcel full of nice things to arrive by post, I hope you do too.  Everything in the virtual shop exists in reality, waiting to go, and there is exactly one of each photographed thing.  The one you see is the one you get.  I photograph the items for the shop and then put them through a complex computer programme so they appear in the shop with a zoom facility.  You can pick them up in your virtual hand by clicking on the buttons on the bottom right of a picture. The + button, clicked upon, will zoom in to a magnification much greater than you could get with your naked eye (or even your eye with its specs on – have you found them yet?) When it’s big you can pick the picture up and move it around with your cursor, just as you would if you were having a look at a doll on my stand at the  Min.  The button smallerates  the pic, the house returns it to the original size and the other button makes it full screen.  Crikey, you can practically see the atoms!

I know it’s a leap of faith to buy something off the computer, which is why I’ve done my best to show the things as closely and clearly as possible, yet I promise, if you like the picture, you’ll like them better in your hand. I have not photographed dolls in settings or houses, what you see on the screen is what you receive with the exception of some props such as cotton reels and postage stamps to show how small the items are. This is the collectables shop that is always open.  I add to items in the shop as I make them.  To the right of the shop pictures there is always the list to click on that explains exactly how I make the things I make and what I mean by technical terms.  There are no secrets here; if you wish to take quarter of a century to learn how to miniaturise, as I did, it is set out in plain language.

The blog, the bit you’re reading now, is completely free and changes for a new bit about three times a week.  It’s all written by me and made up out of my head.  Why would I spend so many hours a week doing something for free?  Partly because I know if you like the blog, you’ll love the dolls but also because of the hundreds of letters I received during all the years that I wrote for magazines. So often readers wrote to me when they were going through a difficult time in their lives and said that articles they read that I had written in magazines lifted their spirits and gave them a laugh.  I know readers reread words I had written many times. 

Early in my show career I was puzzled by visitors running up to my stand, gabbling something, laughing like a drain and running off into the crowd.  Eventually I caught someone to discover the cause of their apparent insanity.  It turns out that people were memorising jokes from my column and, in some cases, entire paragraphs, nerving themselves up and then running to tell me my own jokes back again before they could forget them.  I have also been responsible for some near divorces over the years as miniaturists have forced their significant others to listen as they read extracts from my column to them, and sometimes re-enacted the entire thing.  On one notable occasion the lady reader’s bedtime performance caused so much hysteria she wet the bed and she and her husband had to get up and change  the sheets.  There are buttons to enable you to tell your friends on Digg, Twitter and all the rest about funny things you read here and want to share.  You can have alerts on your mobile phone when I post because, whilst I try to do so three times a week, sometimes a really long bit of writing takes a while to do and sometimes I feel funny more often than three times a week.  Everything I have ever written here is archived – if you’ve just found me you have hours of reading ahead of you.  To access the older stuff either scroll down to the bottom of the endless page to time travel backwards, or click on one of the categories on the right: Miniatura, site information, Werse, The Parrot has landed and so on.  Then select by month.  Or you can select a month and take pot luck.  Clicking on the buttons cannot possibly break anything on the site, please click away all you wish.  It is not possible to buy anything ‘accidentally’ in the shop. There are several screens to go through, the last is a disclaimer to remind you that shop products are for adult collectors.  If you never see that screen you have not bought anything, so if you wish to practise purchase, you can.  Once you have gone through all the steps and checked out, the item will disappear from the shop.  If you are completing a purchase and need a pictorial memory of the doll please print if off before you complete. Whilst the content of this site and everything I make is copyright, of course you can print off your own catalogue and take it up to bed with a cup of tea.  The only qualifications to be here are to like little things and to enjoy a good laugh. There is nothing here you couldn’t show your granny.  JaneLaverick.com is regularly read by people in over 30 countries and twenty five languages.

Coming soon will be profiles of artists, linked to the Miniatura website, for use as a resource for miniature art collectors.  I have always believed that the hobby goes far beyond a dolls’ house.  I was brought up with antiques and collecting; so much that I see  convinces me that many aspects of mini art bear the hallmarks of a genuine art movement.  I see evidence of artists with lifetime skills, working to produce wonderful artefacts by brain, hand and eye that enrich our understanding and provide a window on the world, in a way that I feel is lacking in much so called big ‘modern art’ today. Crucially this is art for ordinary non-millionaire collectors spending pocket money, if it isn’t relevant, attractive and good value they don’t buy it.  In full size art the emperor is not wearing any clothes at all; in miniature, they are hand embroidered and lined and you can inspect the quality as closely as you wish, before you buy one for you.

Finally, if you love this site and want more than one woman has breathing time in a day to give you, the links page, accessed by clicking on ‘links’ to the right will take you by click to other sites I think you’ll enjoy.

And finally, finally do email me. Tell me what you think.  You can make comments on bits of writing, which I’ll post if suitable – join in, please!

And finally, finally, lastly, finally, really (probably) thank you for reading all those magazines for all those years, I hope you’ll be delighted to find I can be silly about a lot more things than dolls houses.  I am, basically, very silly and work hard at it.  I’m here for shopping and fun, for you.

JaneLaverick.com – online shopping and a jolly good laugh.

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