Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Window Seat

   Apologies for another post about embroidery - but at least this one has to do with furniture as well!  I commissioned a window seat from Master's Miniatures, asking that they not upholster it, so I could try myself.  I used a combination of Piper's floss and Guttermann twist silk threads to create a slightly raised effect.

   I backed the dupion silk material with some envelope paper, and fused it together with Bondaweb...  this made creating the creases much easier, as the silk had to bend cleanly over the edges of the seat.

  It looks like a lovely place to sit, though now I shall have to make some matching curtains à la Ray's drapery tutorial, as the window just looks too bare!

P.S. - Don't worry, I know the fire screen is in need of some mending, result of an unfortunate tussle with Edgar the Cat..

Friday, February 24, 2012

How small can you go?

  I use Guttermann silk thread to do my miniature embroideries, but there is a limit to how small the motifs could be, as the thread is twisted.  This means that there is a relief texture.  I recently found a supplier of silk floss, Pipers Silks.  It didn't take me long to order from them!  They have a good range, and it is really reasonably priced, plus (one of the most important things for me), the postage is fantastically low.  I immediately started practicing...

  The embroidery hoop is 4"/10cm diam, and the material is duchesse silk satin.


  A pencil for scale!

   The tiniest feathered leaves.

  I need to start practicing shading, to give the motifs more depth, and then I can start on my new project!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Planning and thinking and sketching...

   Somedays it seems that I don't get anything productive done, but my sketch book proves this isn't the case!  I spend so much time scribbling and planning.  My latest dilemma is 'to build or not to build'.

   I have a very specific idea of the house I want to construct, but as I have NO woodworking skills, and even less tools, I wonder if I'd be better off buying a kit and 'kit bashing'.

  Daviot House will be a venacular Scots building from the mid 17th century - lots of stonework and whitewash, and quite asymmetrical. As you can imagine, it is really hard to find a kit that satisfies - most are symmetrical and Georgian/Victorian.  I've found one kit, the Manse house from DollsHouse Concept, that I am contemplating, but it involves building a stair tower and entrance way.  It also seems a bit small.

   Also, I'm having problems with the layout.  The rooms I want in the house are:

Linen Closet
Still Room

   The hall will double up as a dining area, as the house does not belong to the super wealthy, but a good family of modest means.  The main problem I find with kit houses is that the kitchen has to go on the ground floor, which is completely inauthentic.  I want the still room, linen closet and kitchen to be at the back of the house, behind the parlour and hall.  So I'll have to do a lot of kit bashing!

  So far, then, I'll just have to keep scribbling plans in my sketch book until I make up my mind!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Musée des Tissus, Lyon

   It's funny when you live in a place, the way you can take things for granted.  It struck me recently whilst reading your blogs (which are wonderful) that a lot of miniature enthusiasts are extremely fond of and inspired by all things French.  I live in Lyon, a mini version of Paris, where we are really spoilt for choice in terms of architecture. I visited the Musée des Tissus (Textile Museum) again recently, mostly to get some inspiration from their fabulous 18th century textile section, and I realised that maybe I should post a few French things from time to time.  

I love the courtyard of the museum, which is tucked away in a residential area behind big gates.  It is like stepping back in time.  Sadly, I couldn't take photos of the inside of the museum, as the fabrics are very fragile and don't need a bunch of visitors to speed up the decay!  But I did take this sneaky pic of the staircase, because it seemed so lovely, if a little neglected.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Something Comfy

    Keeping with embroidery for the moment, I also finished off two cushions.  I want to be able to do smaller and smaller stitches, but have decided that I'll need to use floss instead of twist if I want to get smaller than these flowers.

    This pattern is the same one I drew for the reticule, but about twice the size.  I'm not fond of pink, but it seems it gets everywhere!

   My next problem is getting enough chairs to display the cushions on!


   I've been waiting and waiting for things to arrive in the post, and I had to make myself take on another project so I didn't stagnate too much.  This little reticule was made of a tiny scrap of material that I had been practicing my embroidery on, and I thought it would just be the right size to make a reticule, or the precursor of the handbag.

    It is only just large enough to squeeze in a handkerchief and a notebook, but not even the lorngette would fit!

   I can imagine it being the perfect accessory for going to the theatre, or perhaps afternoon tea...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Windows on the world

     After my little cold turned into a horrible virus, I'm slowly getting back to normal again, and finally finished off the window.  This poor excuse of a hole was made in the wood using a pretty bad jigsaw, and so is not totally straight!  I had to make a frame myself from basswood.

     Then I finished off with glazing, using black thread stiffened with starch for the lead lights.  I had difficulty sticking the thread to the perspex; it looks as if it is raining permanently!  If I use this method again, I'm going to have to sort out a gluing technique.  I quickly made a muslin curtain, again stiffened with starch, but it is a little too bulky at the moment, and so I'll redo it at some point.

    Right now I have so many projects floating around in my head that I am finding it difficult to settle down and work on one!  I also am waiting for a couple of packages in the post, so the poor postman gets accosted every morning by me!  I'm sure they'll turn up soon, and then I can share them with you,


PS - I am also planning a give away soon to thank all of my new followers, so stay tuned!