Book a Bargain

When I’m preparing stock for my stall, I like to have something to suit every age and every wallet.

Certainly the poseable porcelain figures, with all their clothes hand stitched and their tiny accessories and (often) new wigs all hand made, come out relatively expensive.  Likewise the room cases, which can take me weeks to create.  These items are not really suitable for children either, being fragile, with some sharp edges and a plethora of what health & safety people refer to as Small Parts.

That’s why I make sure some lines are child-friendly and always have a range of items for under £5.

The cheapest (and of course the best sellers) are the DIY miniature books.  For a mere 50p, customers can buy an A4 sheet containing a ready-to-make printed book, with full detailed instructions.  All they will need are scissors, a glue stick and considerable patience!  One enterprising lady at a sale just before Christmas bought one of these for each of her dinner guests instead of crackers, so that they’d spend a happy hour making them and each have a tiny memento to take home.  Construction needs a steady hand, so I hope not too much wine had flowed during the meal!  These are also popular pocket money purchases for children.

each page individually agedFor those who have less time and patience, there’s a range of ready made books, from tiny blank-paged notebooks and pencils to thicker, fully illustrated printed volumes.  The text of each book appears in this blog, in case the print is too difficult to read.

Here, for information, is a list of the books currently in print with links to their blog posts:

  • The Alarming Clock (available as a DIY book for 50p or a ready-made volume for £2.50)
  • Grimoire (ready-made book with each page carefully ‘aged’ for £4.50)
  • Molly – by Herself (DIY book for 50p)
  • The Magical Mechanical Bird (DIY book for 50p)
  • The Vital Chapter (The text is printed in blue towards the end of the linked post.  The ready-made book costs £3.50)
  • Journal (this ready-made book contains a few pages of her Ladyship’s notes.  The rest is blank and it costs just £2.50. The journal entries are based on the linked story, and the Case of the Withdrawing Room is also still available for sale at £48)
  • Heart of Glass (a ready-made book which was serialised here – Part 1 and here -part 2.  It costs £3.50)
  • Diary of a Tinkerer (My personal favourite!  A ready-made book which costs £3.50 and was serialised in four parts at these links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.)  Note: Young Henry was last heard of piloting an airship somewhere, although an older and wiser version of himself – such things are possible with time-space anomalies – resides with me and is not for sale!  His original engine room, however, is still available at £58.

People who come to my stalls keep complaining that they find my 1/12 scale books difficult to read :) so with the help of my miniature tinkers, I put together some illuminating manuscript readers, with magnifying lens and lamp. Come and try them at the Thame Miniatures Fair in mid February.
#steampunkshrunk #steampunk #modelling #miniatures #manuscriptsHappy reading, and should purchasers still wish to try reading the original volumes, we do have a few Illuminating Manuscript Readers, with magnifying lens and bright lamp for £14.  (It’s pictured here on a centimetre square grid, to give an idea of scale.)

All the above items are also available for mail order, with postage and packing extra.  Please use the contact form at the end of the HOME page on this website for any enquiries.

Diary of a Tinkerer: The Final Steps

Finally my furnace was burning away merrily and Inferna the Twisted Firestarter was safely ensconced in her cage (with a large DO NOT FEED sign in case anyone felt tempted to give in to her endless wheedling and eyelash fluttering).

Huge clouds of steam billowed from the copper pipe my assistant and myself had fashioned from something called a ‘jumbo drinking straw’ and a supply of copper tape normally sold, apparently, to deter slugs from entering plant pots.  The twenty-first century will forever remain a puzzle to me.

“So what do we need now, Henry?” enquired my companion.
I made a list of the items required for the machinery, valves, gauges and pipework and a rough sketch of the way I intended to fit them together.
“Shouldn’t be a problem,” she nodded. “I’ll do a trawl of the charity shops on the High Street. If we have to spend money, at least we can be sure it will go to a good cause.”


I must confess that much to my chagrin, I am reduced to relying on the kind lady’s charity, since my own – not inconsiderable – fortune remains locked in my own time.  Even if I had managed to bring some with me on my time-travelling adventure, it would doubtless have suffered the same fate as myself and been reduced to one twelfth of its natural size, rendering it quite useless in my present surroundings.  The dear lady is quite phlegmatic about the expenses, however.  She insists that the total cost of building my engine room has been less than five pounds.  That seems quite a large sum to me, but she insists it is a paltry amount in her age.
” Besides,” she smiled. “Once you’ve powered up your device and headed off into some other dimension, or whatever you do, the engine room will still be here and I can sell it at a profit.”
I agreed that this would be an excellent solution and would prevent me from feeling aggrieved at causing her to be out of pocket.

Beaming broadly, she returned from her shopping expedition and tipped a collection of items on to the table.  I had to admit she had done well.  There were narrow gauge steel tubes, various jewellery beads and fittings, a wooden memo box with a picture of two children and a rabbit peeling from it (excellent housing for the machinery, once the picture was removed and it had been painted and burnished), some metal devices for inflating footballs and a heavy-duty metal nut and bolt set.

I began work at once.  Within a few hours my engine was chugging merrily and the machinery was in perfect working order.

So – if all goes to plan – this will be my final entry in my diary for the year of 2017.  I have said fond farewells to my able and accommodating full-sized assistant.  I have made all the necessary calibrations and am shortly to plug my heavily rebuilt portable time-machine into the engine to charge it.  Hopefully, I will then depart for my own world and be restored to my full size, with many a tale to tell.


Assistant’s note:  I am pleased to report that Henry’s departure was successful – although I do rather miss him.  By some strange space-time anomaly, a lifeless but otherwise perfect version of Henry, as he looked when he first arrived in my cottage, has remained behind and is offered for sale at the Steampunk Dolls’ House (click for link).  The engine room will also be offered for sale, either at the shop or on my Steampunk – Shrunk! stall at the Glastonbury Craft and Vintage Fairs held once a month.  Contact me for details.

Diary of a Tinkerer – Part 2: Fire

A new day dawns, and if I can permit myself a brief moment of nostalgia for my – temporarily – lost world and stature, I shall temper that with enthusiasm for the construction of my engine room.  This is progressing well.

Yesterday my enterprising assistant was able to help me to construct the furnace for the steam generator.  True, in her dimension it is a small box coated with some strange, shiny substance, but for my present scale (one twelfth of my accustomed size) it provides a sturdy and robust firebox, particularly as much of it is lined with copper.

“We can use one of these to make the fire, Henry,” she announced, producing a cylindrical appliance of oriental construction, which utilises something she calls a ‘battery’ to produce a flickering flame in a small translucent bulb.
“It’s a battery tea light,” she continued, as if all should then become clear to me.
“Madam, I applaud your ingenuity,” I responded. “And a cup of tea would be most welcome, by the by.  However, I should feel more comfortable if I were able to use a more traditional fuel for my engine. We will need a large quantity of coal and a means with which to ignite it.”

Nothing daunted, the redoubtable lady collected a sheet of extremely thin and pliable aluminium from her kitchen.  It apparently has some culinary purpose which I am unable to comprehend.  Having screwed it into a lump, she proceeded to spray it black.  I have to admit, it certainly resembles a coal heap and the good lady assures me it will serve as such.  I trust that she is not merely humouring me.

“I’m not sure how you would be able to light it, though,” she remarked, dubiously.

I am pleased to say that I provided a solution to that difficulty.  However I am too fatigued by my day’s exertions to record the details now.  It will have to wait for another occasion.


Steampunk Explorer 'Henry' Dollshouse Scale 1/12thShould you wish to become better acquainted with Henry, do visit him at the Steampunk Dolls’ House.  He’d enjoy the company.  The link is here


Diary of a Tinkerer – Part 1


I’m not lost.  It is, after all, impossible to be lost when you are in possession of a temporal transformer.  Time and space have been my playground for some time.  However I do find myself – ah – temporarily displaced, one could say, since my efforts to adapt the Machine to incorporate the space-time continuum (a theory I discovered on one of my journeys into the twentieth century) have had a somewhat unfortunate – and unforeseen – result.  In short, I find myself marooned in the year 2017 and one twelfth of my normal size with a malfunctioning device.

Nevertheless, I am by nature a resourceful gent and I have acquired the services of a slightly eccentric but mostly harmless lady (of normal dimensions) who has agreed to act as my guardian and enabler while I am forced into this regrettable situation.

The good lady looked only mildly taken aback when I informed her that I would need an engine room – at 1/12 scale, naturally – in order to generate enough steam power to re-calibrate and start the Machine.  She rummaged in a cupboard and produced a small valise of suitable dimensions (although quite UNsuitable design).  Once I had persuaded her to redecorate it in a more suitable manner, though, I decided it would do very well.

“So what goes inside it, Henry?” the enterprising lady asked.
I informed her that a large steam tank was needed, and pointed at a white plastic container on her table which bore the legend ‘Cod Liver Oil Capsules. Extra strength. Take one daily.’
“About that size and shape,” I said.
“Right you are,” she grinned, and decanted said capsules into a tin.

We worked together to transform the container. She wielded the car spray can and fitted the pipework, while I worked on the more intricate gauges and levers necessary to maintain the correct pressure and temperature.

I am beginning to feel quite optimistic about this project.

To be continued.


Henry is, at the time of writing, still marooned in the 21st century.  To be exact, he is located at the Steampunk Dolls’ House, which he finds quite distressing.  Should you wish to visit, or even liberate him, please find him there by using this link: