Friday, August 23, 2013

Eine kleine nachtmusik...


First of all, thank you so much for your really kind comments and emails, it was so supportive, and I hope you are enjoying the giveaway challenge in the previous post - you have until the 1st of September!

While I was in hibernating mode, I thought a lot about Daviot House and where I am going with it.  I came to a bit of an impasse with the hall, as after making lots of things and collecting more, somehow it just didn't feel 'right'.  I'll tell all in another post, suffice to say that I felt a little constricted by the time frame I had given myself.

Recreating a period miniature can often feel restrictive and I often found myself looking at the rooms of Daviot House and thinking they didn't look very comfortable at all!  I also kept wishing that I could use things I really love - lamps, photos, games and books etc. that just didn't fit into the 18th century landscape.

I really wanted to have a gramophone, a large old fashioned one with a beautiful tulip horn.  And after a year of saying to myself that it wasn't Georgian, I decided to just make one, and see what happened.

I just used things that were lying around my workspace;

an earring
thin copper sheeting
a bleak head pin 
a couple of tiny beads
jeweller's glue

I made a box out of lolly stick wood and used two squares of matboard for the top and bottom.  I painted this brown with watercolour paint, and gave it a very thin coat of matt mod-podge.

I also used matboard for a disc base, and pushed part of a head pin through the centre.

I cut a cone shape from cardstock, and fiddled about a bit until I got the shape I wanted.  Then I used the template to cut out the very thin copper sheeting.  I would have prefered brass, but copper was all I had, and I kind of like the warm colour.

Using jeweller's glue, I stuck the copper horn onto a piece of earring that had a nice bend, for the needle arm.  This part was REALLY fiddly, and I lost patience quite a few times!  You definitely need to dry this overnight.  Gluing the earring onto the gramophone base also produced a few swear words, but it worked fine in the end!

I threaded a tiny bead onto the rest of the head pin, and then bent the pin into a crank handle shape.  I didn't glue it in, and so the handle actually turns!  The next time I make one I will try to get the turntable to turn as well, though that could take quite a bit of mini- engineering.

I am quite pleased with the result, it certainly brings Daviot House into the 19th century, and I really like the effect.  I decided then that I would put into my house anything that I liked, whether it was 'period apporpriate' or long as it looks comfy and cosy, that's enough for me!

I could definitely improve upon it, and it is a shame that I didn't take any photos of the process to write a proper tutorial, but you are all very talented miniaturists, so I guess you can work it out and make it even better!



  1. I had the same issue starting with a Georgian house but then decided just because the house was Georgian didn't mean the insides had to be. I set mine in Cheltenham with a 1980's family. The formal rooms were Georgian because they collected antiques. They had a modern family room kitchen basement, Victorian bedroom/bathroom floors - keeping the chintz of Victoriana and all periods 'leaked' all over the house - just like in real life.
    The important part is have fun and love it.

  2. Well done honey! It looks amazing!!

  3. I love it! And, I thought I was done with my attic for awhile. Might have to make one of these, too! :D

  4. Hello Jonquil,
    It looks wonderful. You did an excellent job! The horn is very successful. It looks very realistic. Bravo. I agree with you about period authenticity. While I try to be period appropriate with the structure, it is a dream house so I think cheating once in a while is permissible.
    big hug,

  5. Hello Jonquil! I love the little Gramophone and You have made an Excellent job of it! I agree that if you make the house a period home, occupied by a more contemporary family, then it allows you to make use of the best of both worlds. I have tried to incorporate' Victorian' in my cottage proper, but the time frame is 20th century. There is so much more freedom this way! Have fun with your beautiful little house, that's what it is all about!


  6. Hello Jonquil,

    I was admiring the gramophone in your previous post, I had no idea you had made it yourself, it looks great, so it's nice to see it in more detail.

    I think it's easy to get carried away with period detail, I have seen some wonderful miniatures that I would love to own, but as they aren't in my period, I steer myself away, I'm pleased I have a 20th century house alongside my Georgian one, so I can at least use some 'modern' miniatures in that house.

    I think we use miniatures to reflect the sort of places we'd like to live in ourselves, sort of dream houses! I'd go by the maxim 'if it looks right, it is right' your drawing room and your gramophone certainly prove that!!

    Andy xxx

  7. PS,

    Horse blanket indeed!!!

    The measurements are 13.5 x 11cm!! ;) Should you be interested!!!

  8. Beautifully done, Jonquil - it fits perfectly with the rest of the room. Evelyn Waugh described Brideshead's eclectic antiques as "catching and keeping the best of each generation", which I find apt for an old, ancestral home.

    This is why all of my mini settings are set in the present day, regardless of a home's age or style - so I can mix in things I like from different eras!

  9. Hi Jonquil, I understand what you mean about the time period of your house, just like the others do. I think I'll decorate my canalhouse (see my blogpost) in the time of 1900's, but I also think with some other modern influences. Andy is right about that.
    The gramophone is wonderfully made, I really love the atmosphere of the room with the light on. Thank you for the tutorial!
    Have a great weekend. Hugs, Ilona

  10. I like your gramophone very much, I am glad to see you back, blogging and making miniatures, have fun!

  11. Love your gramophone, great use of found materials and it looks soo right! I think your move toward putting anything you love in your dollhouse is going to be way more fun for you. I do the same with mine but I set a limit for it around the 1940's to keep the vintage feel.

  12. Hi Jonquil,

    i hear you on the period restriction thing, I know it's very important to some miniaturists and with good reason but I have found sticking to an earlier Georgian period to difficult for me. As you have said there are so many things from later periods that have so much charm, I decided it could still be a Georgian House but set in early 1900's as Andy said houses survive many generations along with their furnishings and we enjoy them as antiques.
    So I am glad to see you have introduced some later period things, I think it tells a whole other story, adds another generation. Your gramophone is just beautiful, thank you for leaving the tutorial.

    Oh, and I love your new banner! What a beautiful display of your work.

    ML Fi xx