Thursday, 22 March 2018

Top O' the Morning to You!

"The earliest truth that we're taught is that there is a world alongside this world, with spirits, not mortals, an enchanted universe of fairies, wizards, leprechauns and trolls. They are all around us. One has only to open his eyes." ~ William Holman Hunt


After a weekend of an awful weather here in York, I pottered off into the garden on Monday morning to see the chickens and enjoy a little of the sunshine AND look at WHO I happened to stumble across! 


With a feather in his cap and a distinctive pipe to hand, it was none other than Seamus Quinn; a cheeky, little Irish elf along with his rickety barrow of unique notions and potions inspired by his Gaelic heritage on display.


Besides the snow and ice, Saturday had also been the day for the celebration of ALL things Irish but as I watched Seamus bask in the morning sunshine as he waited for the first customer of the day, I did wonder if he might have had a little more 'luck' with his sales had he made an appearance on St Patrick's Day?


Whatever his reasons for hiding away at the weekend, their loss is OUR gain as some of his exclusive array of notions and potions are now available for sale in the Crooked Hen Gift Shop!

On offer and measuring just 2.5 cm or smaller, this collection of miniature vials have been personally created by that wise little elf and ALL are guaranteed to lace life with a little of that Leprechaun magick!


And even though the day of wearing green and sporting a Shamrock corsage may be over for some;  it's never too late to enjoy a little of that Irish charm with a drop of this unique 'Leprechaun Nectar' or perhaps a spoonful of 'Living in Clover' might be more to your taste?


However, when I think of how my son and his friends were celebrating St Patrick's Day with glass after glass of Guinness, maybe a sip or several of Seamus Quinn's 'Hangover Cure' may have been more appreciated the morning after!


Thursday, 15 February 2018

Where There's Tee? There's Hope!

The poet Lord Byron once said "IF I don't write to empty my mind, I will go mad" and when I think back to that fateful day many years ago when curiosity got the better of me and I picked up a copy of Dolls' House Magazine in my local supermarket which then went on to change my life - I understand where the man was coming from!

Hello! My name is Tee Bylo and I am a model maker, artist and storyteller creating imaginary worlds in miniature...


Having created an eclectic number of 'Small Worlds' over the years with many now in private collections; my most recent 12th scale ventures include the expansion of the Mouse Town (both in real estate AND with more mice!) the ambitious design for another 'Nicole's House'  with completion for Christmas 2018.

And with my passion for the unique and mystical, I'm also creating more weird and wonderful emporiums and abodes populated by the mythical folk of the All Hallows Hamlet.

Indulging in a Little Hocus Pocus with Claire Eno...

And with a passion for anything Lord Byron, I love to escape to the year 1815 at 13 Piccadilly Terrace as I fluff the pillows, arrange the flowers and stoke the fires in the home inspired by the life of this fabulous poet.

Welcome to the Tales from Lord Byron's Abode...

Self-taught and armed with plaster, strip wood, paints, mountboard, papier-mâché, natural foliage, clay, glue and lots of imagination, I design my 'Small Worlds' using whatever is around me at the time including scrap MDF, cardboard boxes, model kits, a huge plant pot, a tatty dolls house, some chicken wire, a tree stump and even a grotty, old waste bin.

AND wait until you see the 'Small Worlds' I plan to create with an abandoned bicycle wheel, a plastic paint tub and one very large wire mesh basket once used to store a giant firework!
I once jokingly calculated that I would need to live another 250 years to create my dream projects into 12th scale reality.

Remember how I told you about the magazine that changed my life? Well, some years later I was offered a monthly 'Tee Time' column and for one glorious year I got to share my 12th scale musings along with the triumphs, tears and the delicious cake that I had enjoyed and I was paid for it too!


But why am I now on Patreon, you ask? 

Having done the parenting bit for my two amazing sons, in 2014, I suddenly found myself as a full-time care giver to my infirm mother and vulnerable adult brother and life became increasingly difficult as my time and financial independence have continue to diminish.

Lewis Carroll said that "Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality" and right now, my imagination is all that I have as it gives me the freedom to dream, plan and create new 'Small Worlds' either in the studio or from my shed at the bottom of the garden. 

For even though I may never own a fabulous house in Laguna Beach or live at Newstead Abbey in Sherwood Forest and I know that I could never travel back in time to the year 1815 and live as Lord Byron and Jane Austen once did, nor could I shop at dusk in a hamlet populated by crones and goblins and then enjoy a delicious supper with a talkative hedgehog - I can have wish fulfillment in 12th scale and as I keep moving forward on this road less traveled, it would be wonderful if you could be by my side too.

Your kind support will enable me to continue with the creation of my 'Small Worlds' in some of the following ways:


With the funds to buy glass bottles, paper and other mixed media, I can keep the shelves of my two Etsy stores fully stocked with my uniquely designed miniatures.

Welcome to the Crooked Hen Gift Shop...

And with wood, paint and glue I could design more fantastical models for the All Hallows Hamlet and with polymer clay, fabric and hair, I could create more of the 'Small' folk too!

'Vampyres, Werewolves and Zombies. Oh My'

I could design and furnish 'Nicole's House' with your support and the anticipated coffee-table book due for publication in June 2019 will be a fitting tribute to the lady who has inspired the creation of this 12th scale house and over at 13 Piccadilly Terrace, I can continue to share the dazzling Regency era with my visitors as we step inside the world of Lord Byron in the year 1815.

And I could continue to make the world a better place one mouse at a time with more parishioners, some flowers for the church and all of the other 'little' things every respectable Mouse Town needs!

You could also help me to fulfill a life-long dream of becoming a published author when the Mouse Town adventures are discovered within the pages of a children's picture book.

Read the Rev. Suze's Welcome Letter from the Parish of St M's...

With a monthly pledge of $1 and upwards charged to your card on the 1st of the month, there are lots of rewards for you to enjoy and there’s a 10% Etsy discount too!

You can cancel your pledge at any time and if you are unable to pledge - that's OK for knowing that you are still reading this means just as much - Thank you!

From Dusk 'Til Dawn...

Are the Models from the All Hallows Hamlet 'Real' Models?
Yes, they are 'real' models! And all have been created in 12th scale.

Can I Visit the All Hallows Hamlet?
As the models used as part of the All Hallows Hamlet have been on private and public display in the past; there are occasions when they can 'seen' in person and a subscription to the Crooked Hen Newsletter will keep you informed about our studio open-days and forthcoming exhibitions.

What is the Story Behind the Creation and Design for the Models of the All Hallows Hamlet?
Many of the structures have been created primarily with the use of MDF, plaster, strip wood, paints, mountboard, papier-mâché, natural foliage and of course with plenty of glue and lots of imagination!


However, some have been designed with the use of an eclectic assortment of materials including a huge plant pot, chicken wire, a tree stump, bicycle wheel and even an old and grotty plastic waste bin! And even though several began life in kit form as simple pieces of MDF purchased from several independent dolls' house suppliers; the original designs have been 'tweaked' by the artist.

The models remain the exclusive work of Tee Bylo.

Can I Follow the Stories About the All Hallows Hamlet?
As well as sharing in the 'Magick' through Crooked Hen Productions on the website, you can follow the tales of the 'Small Folk' on InstagramFlickrTwitterFacebookTumblr and Google+

And you can now join Tee as she weaves that special 'magick' from the confines of a crowded shed at the bottom of her garden or from her studio in the heart of York on this blog!

Why the Creation of the All Hallows Hamlet?
A day dreamer since birth, Tee is a natural creative and with a passion for the unique and mystical, the idea of creating a hamlet of weird and wonderful emporiums and abodes populated by the folk of myth and legend was impossible to resist.

And even though Tee has been creating 'Small Worlds' for many years now; the passion to continue with the design and expansion of this fantastical world remains just as intoxicating!


How Can I Learn More About the Work of Tee Bylo?
You can discover more about the artist's work with a visit to her official website Tee Bylo or by signing up to follow her blog Creating Life in 12th Scale...

You can also support Tee by becoming an 'Honorary Hen' and enjoy an exclusive peek at her work AND an Etsy discount on the crowdfunding site Patreon.

Tee can also be found on the usual social media platforms including FacebookInstagramFlickr and Twitter.

Tell Me the Inspiration for the Tales about the 'Small Folk'...
With an instinctive gift for weaving stories and as her designs for the All Hallows Hamlet continued to evolve; Tee fell in love with the idea of a gaggle of unique characters to inhabit this fantastical world and with the help of Jain from the Giddy Kipper and Pearl from Literature in Miniature the tales have begun to unfold!


And now having created the first of her 'Little Folk' -  an Irish elf who answers to the name of 'Seamus Quinn'; her imagination is now soaring to new heights!



And the Plans for the All Hallows Hamlet?
As there are structures in the design and creation process including a Christmas Grotto, flower shop, patisserie; barista bar and herbarium; there is plenty to keep the artist and those 'Small Folk' busy for some time to come!

And as the doors to the Crooked Hen Gift Shop have FINALLY opened; there is now the opportunity to indulge in a little retail therapy and buy a 'little something' from the All Hallows Hamlet for yourself or a loved one.


Can I Share the Information and the Images from the All Hallows Hamlet on My Website or Blog?
Of course! However, all we ask is that you will remember to fully and accurately credit the artist and her work. Thank you!

Thursday, 8 February 2018

A Poppy Seed a Day Keeps a Vampyre Away!

Every respectable vampyre hunter knows that a sprinkle of 'Poppy Seeds' around the grave of these pesky creatures will make sure that they will STAY sleeping BUT did you know that these seeds are packed full of calcium, iron and zinc keeping bones healthy AND boosting brain power?


Now if that's not enough to make you fly over to the Crooked Hen Gift Shop to treat yourself to some - I don't know what will!


AND if you become a supporter of my work on the crowd funding site Patreon, you will become an 'Honorary Hen' AND enjoy a 10% discount too!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Stirring Up Some More Trouble...




Why not indulge in a 'little' retail therapy as you browse the shelves of a magikcal emporium nestled somewhere in the All Hallows Hamlet and linger over the intoxicating array of exclusive notions and potions designed to entice your imagination AND your wallet.

On offer and measuring just 2.5 cm or smaller is a collection of miniature vials now available exclusively on the Crooked Hen Gift Shop.


Available for sale individually and from the shelves of the 'Harum Scarum Notions & Potions Emporium' in the All Hallows Hamlet, each vial is an exclusive (and a somewhat sinister!) remedy ALL freshly brewed from the ancient recipe book belonging to one Claire Eno.




With a pinch of 'This and That' suspended in resin, labelled in parchment and finished with paper tied with jute, raffia or silver wire- these little vials will add a perfect finishing touch to YOUR fantastical miniature world... OR could YOU discover another use for it?


Whatever your plans for this miniature; a unique vial of will find it's way to you beautifully packaged with a collectible 'Thank you' card and a poster from the 'Harum Scarum Notions & Potions Emporium'.

This is a collectible miniature and as such is NOT intended as a toy OR suitable for children.



'Cause It's Witchcraft, Unkind Witchcraft






"When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, may luck be yours on Halloween." ~ Anon

As the sun disappears on this All Hallows Eve, the folk from the All Hallows Hamlet are excitedly polishing shoes and dusting their finest hats as they dress to impress to celebrate the Festival of Samhain BUT not everyone wants to enjoy this special evening!

Sadly, there is no fabulous frock to wear or a sumptuous banquet to enjoy for Claire Eno this All Hallows Eve as this reclusive and unfriendly crone is busy pottering about and cooking up some rather unusual elixr from inside the Harum Scarum Emporium which is carefully shielded by the prickliest thorn bushes and whispering trees in this bleakest part of the hamlet.



There are no visitors here and Claire's only friend is the ancient book that has been in her family for as long as anyone can remember and it is from within the dusty pages of this HUGE recipe book that she concocts a vast array of nasty potions from the beautiful flowers, nourishing berries and healing plants that she gathers every day at dusk and even though they all gather dust on the cobwebby shelves waiting for the customers who never arrive; Claire is unable to stop weaving her unkind magick.






BUT could a surprise visit from that Little Big Cat change everything?


Silver, Herb, Seed, Root or Werewolf Fur?

You’ve probably read somewhere or seen it on television that the best way to be free of a vampyre would be to arm oneself with a crucifix and a large bottle of Holy water or if you are of a very brave disposition; you could get rid of this fiend by driving a stake through it’s rotten heart before chopping off the head and then having a nice bonfire with what remains.


But did you know that there are many different ways of seeing off a vampyre?


On offer and measuring just 2.5 cm or smaller is a collection of miniature vials now available exclusively on the Crooked Hen Gift Shop.

Available for sale individually and from the shelves of the 'Monsignor Suárez Vampyre Slayer Emporium' in the All Hallows Hamlet, these are exclusive remedies created by the Monsignor himself AND guaranteed to see off the most determined of Vampyres!






With a pinch of 'Silver, Herb, Seed, Root and Werewolf Fur' suspended in resin, labelled in parchment and finished with paper tied with jute, raffia or silver wire- these little vials will add a perfect finishing touch to YOUR fantastical miniature world... OR could YOU discover another use for it?

Whatever your plans for this miniature; a unique vial of will find it's way to you beautifully packaged with a collectible 'Thank you' card and a poster from the 'Monsignor Suárez Vampyre Slayer Emporium'.

This is a collectible miniature and as such is NOT intended as a toy OR suitable for children.