Alana Davies


alanadavies.com

And in my spare time ...

My hobbies include sewing, dollshouses, vintage prams, and making very unusual celebration cakes. And I read, I write, I listen to music. As do most people.

A Stitch in Time

I have sewn for as long as I can remember. As a child, I made clothes for my dolls; as a teenager I made clothes for myself, and took in sewing and alterations from neighbours. I wish I had pictures of some of my early creations, including a trendy mini fur coat with a hood and an oversized zip. It was borrowed by fellow students quite often! As an adult, I made clothes for my children, coats, men's blazers, fancy dress outfits, cushions and chair covers, . With my mother, we opened a boutique in Porthcawl - 'The Juniper Tree' - and I made every item of clothes we sold for the first year, often made-to-measure for customers I'd never met. Day dresses, evening dresses, imitation leather coats - I made them all. I've made wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses, angel outfits and Welsh costumes. It's a shame it wasn't as easy to take photographs then as it it is now, but here are some more recent examples.





Prams

I must mention my love of vintage and classic prams. Baby prams, dolls prams - as long as they are coach-built, carriage prams, I love them!

When I opened my first Dollshouse shop, I bought a maroon 1948 Silver Cross pram (on ebay) and had the name of the shop painted on the side. I would leave it in the main street (chained to a lamp-post) and it was a huge attraction. The first picture above is not the same pram, but the same model.

The second picture is of the model (Silver Cross Monaco) I had bought - second-hand - for my eldest daughter in 1969. The third is of the Balmoral I bought for the baby shop I opened, and which  I later used for 2 of my grandchildren. And the last picture is of a Silver Cross dolls pram, sold in my shop and bought for a granddaughter.

Dollhouses aren't toys ...

I have always been fascinated by anything miniature. I didn't have a dollshouse as a child, and when my daughter's friend showed me a catalogue specialising in them, I was blown away. I hadn't known that grown women - and men - collected them. My daughters bought me a dollshouse kit for Christmas 1999, and I spent all of boxing day building it. I sent for wallpaper and lights - by express delivery - and when I had finished it, and I looked through the windows into the lit and furnished room, I was hooked. Six months later I had opened my first dollshouse shop. Although I sold dollshouses for children, most of them were for adult collectors. I built them and decorated them and stocked wonderful one-twelfth scale accessories. I was in heaven!

See the slideshow below for more examples