Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Little Spring Cleaning...




Hello again, and thank you so much for your lovely comments about my garden, they are so appreciated!  However, no one managed to spot any Easter eggs... 

 All this spring sunshine has seen me clearing out, cleaning and reorganizing Daviot House.  I thought I'd start with the parlour.  This room has bothered me for quite a while. I love all the pieces in it, but for some reason, they didn't seem to go well together... it seemed a bit stark and cold.  So I found some paint in my stash, I think Dulux Mango, and put a coat on to see it that helped....
plus a rug to tie things together and a different position for the sofa...


I think it works much better now...it's funny how a simple thing like wall colour can change a room.  It is much more sunny and welcoming.  I have to find a good fabric for the curtains, but it is already a big improvement.

I have also started playing around with cold porcelain, making tiny chinoiserie figurines to go on the shelf from Arjen Spinhoven.  I like the little touches of the orient in the parlour, from the Imari plates I painted on the wall to the 'ivory' statues by the fireplace.  

Cold porcelain is super easy to use, and great fun, I much prefer it to fimo, though you have to work really quickly before it starts to cure.  I painted the figurines with porcelain paint.




In my flurry of spring activity, I also started a new bedroom.  This is what it looks like so far... also very spring like.  I hope someone puts Dolly the lovebird back in her cage before the cat finds her...



I started making some clothes for the new season.  Daviot House is an old family home, full of centuries of antiques, but the current date is the 26th April, 1920.  Very specific, I know!  So a white lacey cloche hat with pink roses and a delightful parasol were just the things to go with the cool silk day dress.





And it wouldn't be Latchkey and Jonquil without a little embroidered bag to match!



Jonquil

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Chasse aux Oeufs!





Spring is here, and so is Easter too!



The kitchen garden has been quietly growing over the winter months, and now it is starting to bloom...



There is a very, very early pink rose, and the hostas are starting to crowd the path... There's still a lot of good, brown earth to plant, including in the vegetable patch.


The alpine aquilegias are flourishing...


And the Pierre de Ronsard rose is making a good effort...


Elizabeth's chives are already in flower, as is the Nelly Moser clematis.  The cold frame is still protecting some herb seedings from the dreaded snails!


And look at this!  Someone has left a basket of Easter eggs on the path, ready to hide for the children to find...  How any can you find in the following three photos?


Look carefully!


A few more?


Wishing you a very happy and flourishing Spring!

Jonquil

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Filling Up the Shelves




I thought I'd give you a closer look at the dresser in the kitchen.  The dresser was just a simple whitewood one, that I'm sure you recognise.  I think I got it from Matlock Miniatures (UK) - they always have good prices on their items. 

 I sanded it to death;  the problem with cheap whitewood furniture is that it is cheap, so you have to do a lot of prepwork to make it serviceable.  I added cherry red drawer knobs, and painted a little flourish of roses on the top.

 I don't know if I will keep this dresser, as it is a little generic, but saving money on it meant that I could spurge a little on the items to display, as Flaubert said, "Le bon Dieu est dans le détail"....


There's still room enough for more items, but for now there is quite a good selection of crockery; the teaset from Falcon minis that I painted, the chicken teapot and spotted mug from Duncan White.  I found a little cheese dish by Muriel Hopwood at Karon Cunningham miniatures, which I was very pleased with.  

The hen tureen was made by one of my favourite ceramicists, Rachel Williams, of V&R Miniatures, and the tiny little brown jug was from an Etsy seller.  In the jug and mug are a couple of items by Danny Shotton, and a tiny butter curler by St Leger.... more about the butter curler later..


The bowl was a wonderful find from Halasbasement on Etsy, one of three by potter Jerry Floor.  I have filled it with lemons, which I think go really well with the blue stripe.  It's a good 'pop' of colour to draw the eye to the back of the kitchen.



The 'pop' of lemon yellow is repeated in the bunch of bananas on top of the fridge, and both were made by a really talented miniaturist I discovered on Etsy, called Yulia Yakobson, in Estonia. 

 I started buying some Christmas cakes from her, and then fruit... her items are amazing, I highly recommend them.


Here is a selection of her fruit.....


The tiniest and perfect apples...


And a perfectly peeled tangerine!

The inhabitants of Daviot House will certainly be getting their five-a-day!

Jonquil


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas To One and All





Come inside from the cold and have a seat beside the roaring fire...The Yule Log is burning and there is a warm rug for your knees...


Dim the lights and enjoy the cosy candleglow as the evening sets in...


Don't forget your kiss under the mistletoe...


Have a slice of Dundee cake, a mince pie, a tangerine or two and a cup of hot, mulled wine...

But most of all, have a very wonderful Christmas!

To all my readers, thank you!

Jonquil

PS For a couple of weeks now I have had problems posting replies to all of your lovely comments.... I keep trying, but nothing gets posted, so I do apologise.  I am trying to sort it out with blogger, but please know that I greatly appreciate all of your comments!



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Problem Solving





One of the reasons I have had such a break from blogging is the fact that I couldn't find a satisfactory, permanent home for Daviot House.  

My craft room also doubles up as the guest bedroom, and although we don't have guests regularly, we do need a spare room.  This room has become the Mini-ing room, and every time we had visitors, I had to pack up Daviot House. 

And I always break something when I pack the house up 😭😭
I have lost a lot of precious crockery that way over the years.

SO I got a little fed up, and spent the summer reorganising the guest bedroom.  I decided that although I would LOVE to keep the table in the middle of the room, so I can walk around the house, it is just not practical.  

The 14th century tower has moved back and the kitchen block has moved to the right.  It should be at the back of the house, but we're just going to have to leave that configuration up to the imagination!

This compromise allows me to access all of the rooms from the front, and I bought a sideboard from IKEA with drawers and cupboards underneath to store all of my crafting things. 

 This means that the room is tidier, and Daviot House NEVER HAS TO GET PACKED UP AGAIN!!  Which is great, because I broke some really nice, irreplaceable things the last time.....

AND, I solved the stairs problem.  Kitchens, stairs, never thought I needed them, 'til I needed them!  The problem with leaving out a staircase in the initial building has meant that stairs will need to be added on from the outside. 

 I couldn't work out where to put them, until I moved Daviot House to its final position, and then..... TA DA!!!



The corner which has now appeared where the tower abuts the house is the perfect place to install a staircase!  This made me so happy I rushed to get my kids to show them.  They were also very impressed.... though we realised that this means more work, and building some stairs. 

BUT it will also be the perfect place to hang some ancestor portraits, because we have been running out of wall space in the house.

Sometimes I think that Daviot House will end up five times the size it started as, but that's ok, as long as it still fits on the table!



The new, permanent home also made me think about the kitchen.  It was converted from a Dolls House Emporium stable kit, and while I think it is just perfect, the stable doors were irritating me.  Because it looks like a stable, not a kitchen.  

So I pulled the doors off....


And started to build a conservatory instead.  This way I solved the giant gaping-space problem, allowed more light into the kitchen, added a conservatory, which I always wanted but didn't know where to put, AND allow an enticing peek into the kitchen....


I just have to finish leading the glass, and filling it with a large amount of salmon pink geraniums!

Jonquil

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Spick and Span - Getting ready for Christmas



There has been a looooooonnnngggg gap between my last post and this...  but work on Daviot House has been particularly productive, so I hope you forgive me for my absence and enjoy the fruits of my labour!

As you know, this year's major work has been the kitchen.  I am pleased to say that it has nearly finished - I only have a few gaps more to fill.  Collecting and making for a kitchen is particularly satisfying, especially when I can indulge my passion for things on the small scale as well as the RL scale!

Copper pots being first on the list....

The ones on the Aga come from Country Treasures, though I bought them from Small Wonders.  Unfortunately, as soon as they were on the website they vanished!  Luckily, I managed to get a stock pot, two sauce pans and a jelly mould.



The pans on the board are from J Getzan, and they are absolutely delightful.  I will be going back for more when the exchequer recovers from Christmas!


This is, perhaps, my favourite pan.  It is slightly out of scale, though not too noticeable, and it is French.  The pan has been made using a 10 centime coin from about 1872, with the distinctive head of the goddess Cérès.  I think Cérès, the Roman goddess of agriculture and the harvest, is an appropriate choice for a busy kitchen!



The coin was hammered into a pan shape and a little handle was soldered on.  Little items made out of coins are fairly rare things in France, and are highly collectable, as they were often made by prisoners, soldiers or sailors, to sell as a source of income.  

I really enjoy including little antique pieces in Daviot House, and I am very lucky living in France as there are so many brocantes, vide greniers and antique markets!


I made a little bar to hang over the stove for cloths and utensils, and used small pieces of vintage handkerchives as dish cloths.  The flash of colour really lifts the back wall.


Before.


After

I am still thinking about painting the handles on the Aga, and I need to find just the right kettle - something I am finding a bit difficult!




Here is the left hand side for the kitchen, all lit up and cosy.  There are a few more things in the larder, but we still have a long way to go, filling it up!


And here is the right hand side.  The 'new' fridge needs to be finished and also filled.  Which is great, because I really enjoy finding things for the kitchen!



Christmas is just around the corner, and the members of Daviot House are slowly starting their preparations...  just like me, first comes the big job of silver polishing!



Jonquil