Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Post of the Year

I thought I'd post an antidote to all the embroidery and flowers that have been going on here recently!  Here is my inspiration for the hall of Daviot House - a room in the Palace of Culross,, Fife, in Scotland.  I have finally decided to to a stone floor, as that would be the most authentic, but I think this room certainly has the ambiance that I am looking for.

A couple of open arm chairs that I will upholster in red silk (and, yes, probably embroider too!   : D ), complemented by an occassional table and joint stool from McQueenies.

I will definitely need a pewter candelabra (Warwick) ....

a hurricane lamp (Glasscraft) .....

And if I were really, really lucky, a cabinet from Masters.

So hopefully the New Year will see good progress on the hall!

Have a very Happy Hogmanay,


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Round Up

Thank you to everyone who celebrated their Christmas on their blogs - I didn't have time, sadly, but I did read your posts and wished I could join in!  So Merry Late Christmas everyone.

This holiday was difficult because I couldn't do any mini-ing at all - my work room is also the spare room, and was full f guests.  But the last of the Christmas cake has finally been finished and everyone has left, so I can quietly get back to my favourite hobby.

I participated in Cockerina's Christmas Swap this year, and as soon as she says it is ok, I'll post pictures of what I made her.  As you can imagine, it was something embroidered (surprise, surprise!).  I received a lovely little package from Natalia, full of Christmas bits and bobs, and I can't wait to have time to use them... next year!  So thank you very much Natalia!

I received some lovely minis from my family, and was particularly pleased with these bird ornaments made by Rachel at V&R Miniatures.  They will grace the mantle piece in the bedroom.

An antique mosaic frame and a 19th century silver pan 

With the tiniest chasing around the side:

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas too!


PS- Dolly Adoption!

I am not a doll person, though I do own two antique dollshouse dolls.  This little one, however, needs a home, as I have no use for her, and I'm sure someone could love her better than me!  If  you could give her a home, I would be so pleased, and I will pay all postage costs.  If you would like to give her a home, just leave a comment below and I will get in touch.  Obviously, the first person who responds will recieve her.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Louis XV Chaise à la reine progress II

Just a quick update - here's the completed seat embroidery.  As you can see, I have completed the roses and filled out the wreath with leaves.

I think the delicate design brings out the carving on the chair.  Next to do is embroider the chair back, then tackle the upholstery, which is always the difficult part!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Not the KDF

I couldn't go to the Kensington Dollshouse Festival this year - in fact, I've never been to a dollshouse festival before, though I would love to.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a few new objects for Daviot House.

Two plates from Carrie Lavender - I love the bright colours and they are made very neatly.  They'll look great in the parlour.

A porcelain bowl from Muriel Hopwood - very excited about this one; I've wanted one of her pieces for a long time, and I can't tell you how delicate it is.  There is a tiny bunch of flowers on the bottom.

A silver wee willie winkie candle holder.  I don't know the maker, but it came from the shop Small Wonders Miniatures


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cornflower Corset

For those of you who like my 18th century corsets, here is a new one, embroidered with cornflowers in shade of blue.  

This one is special because it is the first item available in my new shop!  You can see other items I have listed by using the link on the left.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Louis XV Chaise à la reine progress

I spent a wonderful afternoon last week wandering around the Musée des Arts Décoratifs here in Lyon, and was very inspired by their furniture collection.  

Sadly, I can't share images with you, as photos are not allowed to be taken (which is a very good idea, as flash simply destroys textiles), but I have started the upholstery for a Louis XV chaise à la reine.

You can see the basic flowing shape of the border, which will be filled out with leaves, and the stitch points where I will add roses.  The centre motif is slightly off-centre, but I will balance that by adding more foliage.

Hopefully this piece won't take to long.  It is a bit pink for my usual taste, and is not destined for Daviot House, but it is very Louis XV - they loved pink roses back then!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Music to lift the spirits

Dull December days need some cheering up.  I recently saw a fantastic square piano on Eliza's blog, which she kindly informed me was made by Mell Prescott.  Sadly, a thorough, frantic search of the net didn't turn out to be fruitful.  So I have to content myself with a piano stool for the moment.

I must be missing my summer roses, as they all turned out to be shades of yellow and apricot, which I think works on the quite bright blue silk.  You can barely see it, but the lyre has a row of miniscule buttonhole stitches to give it some texture.

Well, I thought, my woodworking skills are notoriously bad (I can't ever seem to cut a straight line, and I know it is ME rather than the TOOLS that are at fault!), but I'd like to have a go at making a square piano.  

Just until I'm lucky enough to come across a Mell one!

So if you half close your eyes, and squint a bit, maybe looking through your fingers, you might be able to imagine this:

Turning into this:


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rambling Rose Settee

I just couldn't resist!  With only some background to complete on my firescreen, this weekend I couldn't help doing the embroidered chippendale settee cover.

The coral pink silk, the red roses and the turquoise blue borders 

A pair of small embroidery scissors for scale

The colours are really vibrant against the dark wood

This photo reminds me to start planning the rug (and replace my broken daylight lamp!)

A little glimpse into the parlour on a Winter's evening, with lovely warm candle glow


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hall Progress

      The parlour is on its way to completion, I'm just waiting for a few parcels in the post.  I thought I would get started on the hall.

  This is the oldest part of the house, and would have been much bigger, but in the late 17th century, it was partitioned.  You can see the original stone work and large fireplace.

      The size of a fireplace showed how wealthy you were - a bigger fire equals more precious fuel to burn.  So it was important that guests were suitably impressed the minute they entered your home.

     I'll be adding a few more decorative things to the fireplace, including a marriage stone, but that's as soon as I increase my supply of DAS!

For more on halls, check out Andy's fantastic and informative post.

Here is the partition wall.  As you can see, the architrave (MDF) around the door is quite pitiful, so I was glad to cover it all up!

I used white DAS and glued each stone directly to the door jambs.  I used an old toothbrush to add texture, and then covered everything with a few light washes of greys and browns.  I will finish each stone off individually with various watercolour washes, and tidy up the places where the paint has bled into the plaster.

You can even see the mason's marks under the lintel.  I copied those from our real life house... I wonder who MF was?

Laird Alexander MacGillivray and Sir John Ogilvy look slightly more impressed (or at least slightly less snooty) with the improvement in their surroundings!

The doors, also made of plain MDF are quite easy to sort out.  I use iron-on floor boards from Sussex Crafts, polished up with boiled linseed oil and old pine furniture wax.  I have to glue them in place and order some hardware.

    Just a couple of big projects, the ceiling, which will be a traditional Scots painted ceiling, and the floor...

     ...The floor has been driving me insane recently, I have tried three times with DAS to get the right look for the flagstones, but for some reason, something either goes wrong or it just doesn't look right.  So.... any ideas for the flooring?  Stone?  Wood?  Marble!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Needlepoint Progress

Could it be possible that I have yet another sewing project on the go?  This one should be over pretty quickly though, as although it is sewn on 72 hpi silk gauze, I find that it is much smoother and easier to work with than the cotton 85 hpi I usually use.

The firescreen was a present from Elga, (thank you Elga!) and I finished it with a dark oak stain and a thin layer of satin varnish. 

The hunting scene is destined for the hall, I think it is 'manly' enough for the master of the house, don't you?


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Bunch Of Flowers

Thank you so much for all your supportive comments on my last post - they really raised my spirits, and also inspired me.  Josje suggested flowers, and so I attempted my very first bunch, red parrot tulips.  Not quite as spectacular as Ilona's fabulous flowers, but the best I could do using all I had to hand; florist's wire, watercolour paper, water colour paints and a mini snowflake punch.

They look quite at home on the mantle piece, and really do enhance the paintings on the chimney brest...

And I do like them on the parlour table too.

I've started the chippendale sofa, made from an Xacto kit, but it still needs quite a lot of work.  The rug is only a paper print out, as I will sew one soon, but I wanted a visual guide for the proportions and the colour. I think a little more faded would be best, more threadbare!

And I could definitely do with more blue and white china... the shelves look very empty!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Good End to a Bad Month

     This month has been pretty terrible for me, for various reasons, and as a result, my miniatures have suffered from neglect.

   But to celebrate the birthday of my sons, I received this beautiful miniature painted on ivory.  I've chosen to hang her in the parlour, and I think it is just the touch I needed to get on and start finishing the decor of this room!

I like the added coral red colour, and I think I'll try and add that to the room when I do the soft furnishings and upholstery.  I think it is a good foil for the turquoise and slate blues.

Still nothing is finally fixed down (there are so many gaps in the woodwork) but I think it gives a good idea of the proportions.  I added door handles and a latch from Sussex crafts and granite steps.  I am still waiting for architraving!

Next on the list for this room is a chippendale sofa that I need to upholster, but I have so many sewing projects on the go that I have banned myself from even thinking up a design!

I hope you have had a better October than I, and I would just like to say that all of your comments and support have been SO appreciated.

Also, a big welcome to new members, I will try to get my blog activity levels up again after this pause,


Thursday, September 27, 2012

True Blue (Parlour Redux)

Oh, it has taken me so long to get another post together - September is such a crazy month for me as classes start and I have so much preparing to do!  Sadly my mini-world doesn't get a lot of attention!  But I have taken a few photos to keep you up to date.

First of all, I have a new camera!  I went a bit mad and decided to get a really lovely one, with bells and whistles - but so many bells and whistles that I'm going to have to study the users manual (all 198 pages) really well.  So bear with the really bad photos, I'm just getting to know the camera.

After all the ribbons and yellow of the bedroom, I had a flash of inspirtaion when clearing out the garage, and found lots of illustration and chipboard, just waiting to be cut up.  I've been pretty inspired by Irene and Giac, as their panelling looks fantastic, so I thought I'd give making a false wall a try.

For those of you new to the blog, the parlour was originally a box, where I tested out some ideas before taking on a whole house.  You can see it  here.  The dimensions have changed, and I needed a bit more colour, so this is what I came up with:

I need to play around with the furniture, and make a few more pieces, but it gives you a good idea

So much finishing to do!  

A new Malcolm Hall clock (sadly not a working one, that is on my wish list!) and a pair of candle sconces I made using findings from Bindels.  I love these little brass dolphin ornaments I found, but I don't know quite what to do with them.  Originally I wanted to use them on the candle sconces, but they were hidden by the candles.  Maybe some fire-irons?

I marbled the fireplace, but I am really not happy with it, especially in contrast with the granite stone.  I love this granite clay, but I have found out to my horror that it shrinks for a long time after it appears to be dry!  Look at that enormous crack on the right!  I'll have to sort that out asap!

I wanted to try some embroidery that wasn't floral- there is so much possibility with surface embroidery, and I think I have just touched the surface with flowers.  So here is a nautical theme fire screen.

The stitches I use are different for floral embroidery, so I shall have to practice a bit more.  I don't think they are fine enough yet.

Here is the sampler I finally completed and framed this summer.  I love this piece because it shows Daviot House!

Here's the layout of the house so far.  I like to keep putting furniture in as I work to get a good idea of the space. I have struggled so much with the blue colour in the parlour, and I am still not sure if it is quite right.  it seems really bright in this photo, but close up it is a little more subdued.  I think I have painted it about six times!

 The room on the bottom right was originally destined to be a study, but I am now wondering if a dining room would be better...  This picture makes me feel a little exposed, as you can see how much there is still to do!