Creating to Empty My Mind!

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 an artist and storyteller creating life in 12th scale…

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’ 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.

Vampyres, Werewolves and Zombies. Oh My! Better Have Some Holy Water at the Ready…

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.

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, I suddenly found myself as a full-time care giver to my infirm mother and vulnerable brother in 2014 and life became difficult with time and financial independence diminished and a wish that sometimes I could live a million miles away BUT as I have continued to dream, plan and create new ‘Small Worlds’ either at home or in the studio and even in my shed at the bottom of the garden; I have come to understand that a loss of freedom can also be strangely liberating!

A few days ago, I discovered the quote by Lewis Carroll 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 create and to write stories as I keep moving forward on this road less travelled and it would be wonderful if you could be by my side too!

Your kind support will enable me to create my ‘Small Worlds’ and keep the shelves of my two Etsy stores fully stocked with my uniquely designed miniatures.

Welcome to the Crooked Hen Gift Shop…

I could finally publish the adventures of a Little Big Cat in a picture book to be cherished and enjoyed by children and adults alike and the anticipated coffee-table book about Nicole’s House due for publication in late 2018 will be a fitting tribute to the lady who inspired the creation of this 12th scale house.

‘Twas the Night before Christmas and I Spy Paw Prints in the Flour!

And I could continue to make the world a better place one mouse at a time!

What is this Death? A Candle in Memory of Lord Byron…

With a monthly pledge of $1 and upwards charged to your card on the 1st of the month, there are lots of ‘Tee Time’ 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!

Advertisements

As Lady Byron Departs from 13 Piccadilly Terrace in January 1816, Tee Bylo Returns For an Extended Visit Over 200 Years Later…

Walked early to look at my old house in Piccadilly – saw into the room where I have sat with him, and felt as if I had lived there with a friend who was long since dead to me.

No sense of past agony – all mournfully soft. My thoughts floated peacefully into other channels as soon as I had left the spot…

These poignant reflections were noted in Annabella’s journal on September 17 in 1820, a mere four years after she had left hearth, home and Byron behind on a cold January day and walked out of the front door of 13 Piccadilly Terrace for the last time.

And some 198 years later in January of 2014, the doors of 13 Piccadilly Terrace reopened; albeit in 12th scale for a feature in Issue 189 of the Dolls’ House Magazine with GMC Publications.

When Lady Caroline Lamb described Byron as ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ it summed up his flamboyant reputation as one of the leading figures in the Romantic Movement.

Famous for his scandalous liaisons as much as for his brilliant as a poet, today he might be described as a ‘player’. What would he have made of Tee Bylo making his London home the subject of his attentions I wonder?

Tee Bylo loves Regency history as well as making miniature scenes and has combined the two in her fabulous dolls’ house.

’13 Piccadilly Terrace in the Year 1815′ February 2014 (Issue 189)

The house, named ’13 Piccadilly Terrace’ after Lord Byron’s London address, has been styled to 1815. Byron lived here with his wife Annabella Milbanke, who he had married in January that year, while that December saw the birth of his only legitimate daughter, Ada Lovelace.

The dolls’ house is complete with a basement kitchen and attic rooms that reflect the architecture, interior design, furniture and lifestyle of the Regency gent, inspired by Byron and his circle.

Comments made in letters to and from Byron have given Tee insights into aspects of life at Piccadilly Terrace. These snippets have guided her when deciding what goes where, or at least in conveying the same atmosphere in miniature.

’13 Piccadilly Terrace in the Year 1815′ February 2014 (Issue 189)

Being an avid blogger, Tee has documented her progress allowing her passion for Byron to reach other fans of the poet as well as fellow miniaturists.

The Dolls’ House Magazine (GMC Publications)

’13 Piccadilly Terrace in the Year 1815′ February 2014 (Issue 189)

 However, despite this complimentary words; I should mention that with the beds unmade, the ancestral portraits to hang as well as locating the whereabouts of the dining service as the scrumptious dishes of Regency cuisine languish in an old biscuit tin; the unfolding tales, triumphs and the tears of the creation of my Lord B’s abode remain very much a work in progress!

Until next time…

Blood, Sweat and Relief… The Windows are Finally Dressed!

Dear Diary…

Can I have a drum roll please….

 For I am delighted to announce that the windows of 13 Piccadilly Terrace are now finally dressed!

Several weeks ago as I was counting down the days to the photo shoot for publication in the February issue of the Dolls’ House Magazine as well as musing about my plans for the celebration of a ‘Christmas Past’ and a recreation of that infamous betrothal between Lord B and Annabella Milbanke and with the promise of another exciting possibility or two; I finally set off on the ‘Road Less Traveled’ as it were.

drawing-room-the-entrance-door-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815
The Drawing Room of 13 Piccadilly Terrace…

Yes, I finally found my way to the storage cupboard to locate the box labelled ‘Soft Furnishings for Lord B’s House’ that had been patiently waiting for me and was now covered in a respectable layer of dust.

With a faded instruction sheet in hand and surrounded by a pile of sumptuous silks and an assortment of other essential needlework paraphernalia and while under the watchful eye of a small ball of fluff that now answers to the name of ‘Murphy’; I finally created a pair of curtains and finished them off with the obligatory signature of the Regency – the elaborate swag!

drawing-room-the-lavish-curtains-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815

The name of the lavish silk used to dress the windows of the Drawing Room at 13 Piccadilly Terrace  is called ‘Blood Red’ which is rather appropriate considering that my fingers will bear the scars of that particular day’s work for some time to come!

And on the day following, I even managed to create some more swags and drapes for the dining room and with no band aid required!

dining-room-the-chippendale-table-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815
The Dining Room of 13 Piccadilly Terrace…

I will happily admit that I could not have accomplished the task of dressing these windows had it not been for a well-read copy of Curtains by Sue Heaser who promises the reader that her book will learn ‘just how easy it can be to make quality projects… when expert guidance is at hand’ and how right she was!

Although, I wouldn’t quite agree with her assertion that ‘miniature sewing is a delightful hobby’!

Boatswain Warms By the Fire as Tee Bylo Makes Plans…

Dear Diary…

Yes, I am still here and I can guess what thought is uppermost in your mind right now as you read this!

For you’re probably thinking that I have forgotten all about the creation of my ‘Lord Byron House’ and have shaken the dust of the year 1815 from the soles of my feet as Lord B had hoped to when he sailed from our shores in the Spring of 1816 to a life of exile and even greater notoriety.

I am happy to report that you are quite mistaken and although I haven’t quite got around to dressing some of the rooms that will appeal and appease the comfort level of any inhabitant, imaginary or otherwise; the work on my small Regency abode still continues.

hallway-a-candle-sconce-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815
A Candle Sconce in the Hallway of 13 Piccadilly Terrace…

Admittedly, my work as of late has been more of the choosing and purchasing variety rather than the creating and painting tasks that still await that includes the putting together of one or two pieces of rather essential furniture.

For over two score years I would like to believe that I have had a more than average understanding of the word essential and what it means; however last month I was forced to concede this point when my pesky teenage son caught me drooling over a silver Georgian Tea Urn that I had bought from the US and having excitedly held it aloft for his opinion, he remarked “It’s very nice, but did they serve tea from a tray on the floor in Byron’s time?”.

Although the merits of essential furniture which along with the virtues of soft furnishings have never been high on the list of my priorities, 12th scale or not, I have also been very busy in my new role as a feature columnist for the Dolls’ House Magazine and the story of my ‘Lord Byron House’ has been making frequent appearances within the news ink that constitutes my monthly musings.

dolls-house-magazine-october-2013
The Dolls’ House Magazine (GMC Publications)

In the October issue, you can see a photograph of a miniature Boatswain warming himself by the cosy fire in the library of 13 Piccadilly Terrace. He was made for me by the wonderful Lucy Maloney of Designer Dog Miniatures and inspired by the portrait of Byron’s favourite Newfoundland which you can see on display at Byron’s ancestral home Newstead Abbey in Nottingham.

And I am quite sure that he will remain there at his leisure as any self respecting Poet would take one look at those bookshelves all devoid of books and would promptly make off to the nearest Gentleman’s Club!

With the summer officially over I shall been spending a lot of my time in the year 1815 between now and Christmas as there are some exciting plans being made for 13 Piccadilly Terrace which I will be able to share with you very soon!