Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New Items for the Hall

I've taken a break from the creamy yellows of the bedroom, this week we are back in the hall.  I recently bought two Tony Knott pewter items, as I heard that he is retiring, and I thought that they would be perfect for the Stuart period feel of the hall.  I bought a water jug with a twisted handle and a quaich - a shallow two handled drinking cup.

I have to say that I was a little disappointed with the jug.  The finishing was really bad - there were slubs on the inside that blocked the jug, and on the bottom there was a lump of lead that prevented the jug from sitting flat.  The join lines and mould lines could also be seen.  I was quite disappointed, I had heard great things about Tony Knott's work, and I imagine it was just my bad luck getting the piece, but still....

So I got out my trusty Dremel and sanded off all the imperfections.  The jug looks much better now and I am happy with the little collection.  I can't wait to get some Glasscraft pieces to complete the scene.

On the opposite wall I have been playing around with a few items, to see what goes best, and I really like this painting-chair combination.  The ornate frame, which I won last year in Elga's giveaway, really works with the plain walls.  I'm not sure if I will keep the portrait of Allan Ramsay's daughter, but for the moment she really works.  

As for the Queen Anne chair - it's a bit of a disaster at the moment.  In fact, it was my very first kit, and I struggled a lot with it.... but I know where I can improve, and if not, I'll just have to break open the piggy bank and get a beautiful piece made!  (Hurry up birthday!)

It will be upholstered in a deep ruby red, to match the Chippendale open armchairs that I am working on.

And here is a little sneak peak of the rug I am making.  After the firescreen on 72 hpi, I decided my eyes needed a little rest, and so this piece is on I think 32 count linen....sorry about the pink colour, but it was what I had in my stash!  I think I will dip it in some cld tea before blocking, so dull the colour a bit.

The design up to the horseman on the right is not mine - it is Marika Bindel's, I think of Bindel's miniature ornaments fame, and it is a lovely piece to stitch.  I think originally it was designed as a wall hanging, but I loved the scene for a rug.  So I extended the design a little.  I hope it works!

Thank you for all your comments and suggestions about the birdcage, it's great to know that there is a wealth of mini information out there!


Friday, May 10, 2013

Spot the Difference...

First of all, thank you SO much for all your lovely comments - I really appreciate them, and it was great to get back to blogging with such a response!  I will try if possible to reply to them, I am always time restricted, and recently my boys' nap time has diminished dramatically, so less precious time for mini-ing!

The above photo is of the bedroom as I left it in the last post... let's play a game of spot the difference! (can you tell I have been hanging out with two and a half year olds?)

Here's the bedroom after a couple of additions....

That's right, bedhangings!  Sadly not my beautiful embroidered silk ones, they are going through a research process at the minute... but I thought that I couldn't leave the bed bare in the meantime, and made some quick drapes and a top sheet. 

The lace on the sheet was kindly given to me by Elga - thank you! - and is pure cotton.  This is important, as it drapes and folds well when I use my 'draping and folding' technique.  It's made with the same method that I used for the valance tutorial here.  Sitcky and messy, but very quick.

That's not all.... look carefully, and you will see that I finished the bedroom chair!

This is my latest adventure in upholstery... I have quite a lot to learn about getting the fabric very taut and tight on the edges without getting glue everywhere.  It is a little tricky, because when I embroider something, it takes so long that any mistakes in the upholstering process have to stay, I can't just rip it off and start fresh with new fabric.  So it is quite daunting...

I think it came out ok.  I made some edging cord with silk button thread, and I think I will have to invest in a crazy-corder!

Here's the close up - quite a bright palette of colours, but I didn't want the bedroom to get too yellow, and I think this flower combination gives it a little 'pop' of colour.

And now I need your help!  Does anyone know where I can get a monterey birdcage kit that will ship to Europe for a reasonable sum?  I have tried a few places, but they either only send to the US, or the shipping is exhorbitant for such a small thing!  Or if you have any other ideas for similar birdcages, I would love to know...


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Front Door Progress

Armed with a lot of DAS clay, a toothbrush, PVA glue and watercolour paints, I finished the front house windows, front door and porch.  You can see how the watercolours really work to bring out the detail in the stone.

The crest of the original occupant and date of construction

The porch so far.  I have to make a step and a nice solid door.  There will be further stone carving above the doorway, just like at Hamilton House:

The porch slots over the front door, and will be slated as soon as I can decide on roofing materials!


Sunday, May 5, 2013

May Flowers

My goodness, how time has flown - I can't believe I have been away for so long!  I have been pulled this way and that between work, home, family and garden, and my poor minis have suffered!  I have been a little busy, snatching a moment here and there to do a couple of things, but nothing particularly big.  

I had promised myself to get the Mimosa bedroom finished for the end of February ....  ha ha ha!  I experimented with pleating embroidered silk, but couldn't come up with a way that gave the hang I wanted without staining the silk, so it is back to the drawing board before I finish the bedhangings... maybe next February?!

So what better way to welcome Spring (finally!) than to showcase the fantastic work of Ilona, who made these amazing lilies and roses for me... aren't they astounding (I am running out of superlatives!).  I can't tell you how detailed they are - even the stamens are perfect...

They really make a wonderful centrepiece.  I love the bright yellows against the simple white walls.  

And here are the beautiful mimosas, I set Ilona quite a challenge with these, and she has succeeded so well, the dark green stems are a really welcome contrast to a light room, and they go very well in the little earthenware pot from One Pottery.

As you can see, there is a sad lack of drapery and finished soft furnishings... I can't wait to finish that chair and put up some curtains!

And here is the last of the tulips in my garden - a beautiful light pink in the sun that I just had to share!