Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blue Indigo

Just when I thought the gilding mania had finished... I just had to do some more to frame this painting of a lady in blue.  She just popped on to the page at the end of my paintbrush, and it is due to her that I tackled the next room in Daviot House, the dining closet...

This room, leading off from the hall was plastered and then abandoned, as I did other rooms of the house, and also because it was such a long and narrow shape, I really didn't know what to do with it.

I thought at first a study, but really, the inhabitants of Daviot House needed somewhere to sup, to I got my thinking cap on.  Firstly, I rearranged the features - changed entrance door on the left  and made the window into a french door leading to the garden.

Then I had to find enough room for a decent sized fireplace.  Putting it square in the middle of the back wall looked, well, a bit mundane.  And then I remembered all of the houses that inspired me in the first place, and the fact that the corner fireplace was more common (it would also solve a problem upstairs in the bedroom above).  This way the narrow room seems to be a bit wider, without using up too much floorspace.

I had wanted to incorporate a Delft tile fireplace ever since I saw one at John Knox House in Edinburgh.  I can't seem to get away from blue in this house!  I found images online, printed, varnished with mod podge and then grouted them.  The fireplace is not finished, as I have to make a stone fire surround, but you can see where it is going...

I wanted to plaster the ceiling, and made an very simple design using cereal box card with a coat or two of gesso, it works really well on this scale and extremely budget conscious!  I ran out of cornicing, so the right hand wall hasn't been finished yet.  

Speaking of unfinished, the curtains are only temporarily fixed, as I will be DAS-ing the french doorway at the same time as making the fireplace.  The fabric came from a top I had ruined blackberry picking - I wasn't too sad, as I had an excuse to cut the blouse up, the fabric, I think, is perfect.

I can't wait to finish this room, I stared at it for so long in its forlorn state that I'm so glad I have finally found some direction!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Everything but the kitchen sink....

At the moment, Daviot House doesn't have a kitchen - I'll be putting in an extension at the back or at the side, when the main house is finished. But that doesn't stop me collecting and making!

I painted the top of a McQueenie's sideboard a lovely smooth cream, and added some hooks for a tea towel.  The little yellow crock is from One Pottery, the honey jar from LugartPetit and the doily on the milk jug is from Roslyn Treasures, who sadly stopped making last year.  I added the glass beads and used fabric stiffener to make the doily into a jug cover - I have lots of these in my real life kitchen!

A little trip to Small Wonders Miniatures resulted in a Duncan White chicken finial teapot, a Danny Shotton pastry brush and a Veronique Cornish pumpkin jug.

To stick to my New Year resolution of trying to make instead of buy, using materials from my stash, I made a little blue salt box and a painted egg hutch, which considering my non-existant woodworking skills was a miracle as it even has a working door! Thank goodness the style is supposed to be what I would describe as 'rustic primitive'!

Speaking of woodwork, you'll be pleased to know that the sewing for the stumpwork mirror is finished!  I now have to make a frame, and as you can imagine, I am dreading it... bad finishing can ruin a piece, and I have spent so long sewing, I would hate to have a problem now.  More pictures to follow soon,


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pretty as a Picture

Here's a puzzle - is this desk miniature or real life?

Yes, it's real life, taken with the miniature function on my camera... the desk is my new miniatures work desk I got for my birthday last week, and I am very pleased with it - it closes up nicely, so hwever much mess I make, I can quickly close it and everything looks nice and tidy!  

The oil portrait is of my late grandmother, and I love the colours.  I'm thinking of painting a miniature version for Daviot House, as recently I have been painting pictures a lot...

This is a portrait for the hall, I used watercolours and then mod podged it to get the textural effect of oils.  I had been inspired to try gilding by a post by Josje, and found a resin frame on Etsy (my source for pretty much everything these days!)

It was great fun, and I can see the sudden mania for gilding everything!  I managed to restrain myself, as Daviot House is a fairly modest establishment... I think she looks good against the walnut panelling that I have been working on (thank you Giac!).  A coat of antique wax toned down the brightness, and gave the frame a good aged patina.

... and of course, Lady Flora Ogilvy needed her husband by her side, Sir Alexander MacGillivray, in a matching gilded frame!

And here are some of the items I have completed for the hall - the tapestry on the wall and the marl stone flooring.  I am still working on the panelling and the fireplace, so bear with the wonky gaps!

I love the composition, especially with the absolutely beautiful casket made by Tony of Miniature Treasures, it really makes the room.  I am very close to finishing the stumpwork mirror, and I can't wait to see the room completed.

Painting the portraits was such fun that I started to repaint all of the paintings in Daviot House...

And this 1834 lady is perhaps my favourite...