Friday, July 29, 2016

Kitchen Part 2 - The Sink

Choosing what style of sink to use took a bit of thought.  I had wanted a nice farm house sink with built in cupboards, but I also didn't want to swamp the space with large pieces of furniture.  So I opted for a Belfast sink on a frame with a draining board.

This design is by Jane Harrop from her wonderful book '30s and 40s Era Dolls House'; the sink is available in kit form on her website, which I was going to buy, but realised that even I, with my terrible wood cutting skills, could probably have a go at making it with the bits and bobs I have in my craft room.  

It turned out ok, better than I expected (the eternal pessimist), and I'm just looking for a plug and plug hole and piping to finish it, and wondering if I should put a fabric skirt around the bottom...

I wanted a good splash back with tiles, and decided to make them out of cereal packet squares glued on to a thin piece of wood, with a picture rail along the top.  I then painted the lot in a nice ivory colour, and handpainted little dots of dark blue in each of the corners. I finished it with a coat of triple thick varnish, which gives a lovely deep glaze to the tiles. 

 The taps were painted bronze, but I think I might gunge them up a bit, and I painted the tops white to imitate enamel, and put a TINY dot of blue on one and red on the other.  The little soap dish came from Art of Mini, and I just need to find the tiny weeny bar of soap that Ilona made for me a few years ago....

The draining board was stained with water colour paints, and I left a little bit of gunge in the bottom of the sink - though I'd hate to have that in my RL sink!  Perhaps the inhabitants have just finished washing potatoes....

Above the sink went the draining rack, from Viliaminiature on Etsy, painted a nice ivory, and stacked wih various plates I have seemed to gather along the way.  Kitchens are great for using up all the little things that you can't quite find a home for in the rest of the house.

A lovely ray of sushine across my new sink...

And showcasing one of my favourite miniatures - a miniscule yet perfect cleaning sponge from Elizabeth at Studio E Miniatures ... Elizabeth very kindly sent me a wonderful little collection of miniature items for a kitchen, and I have been waiting to find a place for them for a while.  

The new kitchen at Daviot House is the perfect place, and I'll be showing them to you as we discover the kitchen bit by bit.  There is something really lovely about having items in the mini-house that have been given to us by mini-friends... thank you Elizabeth!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Kitchen Part 1 - The Floor

The heat is unbearable outside in the real world, so what better excuse than to get on with the new kitchen at Daviot House.  I say new, but we're aiming for the 1920s here, and in an old stable block too, so a little bit shabby.  I can't believe that I had originally thought it a good idea to exclude a kitchen.  I am having so much fun with this room, and the opporunities for accessorizing it are endless!

Of course, in this heat we decided to redecorate our RL living room... great idea!  But I did manage to collect a lot of sample paint pots, and claimed the rejects for Daviot House supplies.  The paint colour here is Farrow and Ball's Pale Powder, which in my RL living room looked a horrible, wan shade of green, but on this scale has turned out to be slightly blue-ish.  So not a compete waste of a tester pot! 

I painted the ceiling an off white and installed some small beams... just like in my RL kitchen. They'll be great to hang herbs from.  Then I made a back wall to house the larder and aga.  I bought this stove ages ago on Etsy and instantly hated the colour and chunkiness, but I couldn't find anything I liked better.  The right hand wall will have a fake door connecting the kitchen with the rest of Daviot House.  It is becoming quite a sprawling property!

Now for the floor.  I wanted terracotta tiles, and so used my go-to material, DAS clay.  I'm thinking of taking out shares in the company, or maybe they could sponsor Daviot House.  I use a lot, because I think it gives the best and easiest effect. 

 Here I rolled out a very thin layer of terracotta clay, and then scored the tiles with the edge of a metal metre ruler.  I had tried making the tiles individually, but without a mould the sizes ended up too varied.  I then discoloured them with several washes of water colour paint to get that individual tile look, and then sealed them with a coat of mod podge.

For all the real life DIY going on, I sadly had no grout to hand, and had to think of things I had that could work.  I used a thick mix of plaster that I have been using for moulding (for another room...) smearing it into the grooves and then instantly wiping it off.  Just like grouting, except it was trickier to get off (and messier), and the plaster did smear over all the tiles.

Not to worry, I just gave the whole lot another few washes of dirty watercolour paint, and again sealed it with modpodge.  I think the excess plaster actually gave an interesting texture, and aged the tiles more.

I love the warm baked colour of the tiles, and I think it goes well with the green/blue/green/grey/green of the walls!  The tiles are nice and uneven, as if they have been well worn over the years by busy feet, and stained here and there by a few cooking accidents!

Next, the larder....

I added a little transom at the top for some interest, and there is a light gidden at the top...  the shelves were made very basically from lolly sitcks, and painted a few times ...  now all I have to do is to fill them up with things!

Next up, wall tiles, stone work and a kitchen sink....!


Friday, July 1, 2016

Back from my Sabbatical

Well, that was a long break...  my poor blog has been neglected for a while, as I had to take some time off - time off from making, typing, gardening, sewing...  I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in November and had to rest my hands.  However, after a good rest, and some good physio, things are much better, and the even better news is that after such a long pause, I am full of creative energy!

I have been painting a lot recently, as it is good to regain precision, and this latest addition to Daviot House is a lady from the 1830s.  She graces the chimney breast in the new Morning Room. 

 This is a little sneak peak, but I will be updating regularly to show you the new additions to Daviot House, because we have had the builders in and the original four-room house has been extended by five new rooms!  It is so big, I'll have to get a new table!

The Tower is the original 14th century Tower House... the rest of Daviot House on the right was built in 1615.  In the 19th century , a bay window was built on to the Morning Room on the Ground Floor.  Above it is the library, and the third floor is a bedroom. 

 For the moment, it is still a work in progress, but you get the idea.  Ted Sills at Dolls House Concept built the tower for me, and I am really happy with the extra rooms it gives me.

At the back of the house is the kitchen, in the old stable block.   I had been thinking about adding a kitchen for a long time, and the original one that I made was too delicate for the long term... It had an open side that made it far too vulnerable, and the final straw was when Edgar the cat decided to take up residence....  so it had to go. 

 I found this building on Dolls House Emporium.  It was designed as  barn, but I thought the dimensions were perfect for a kitchen.  There is also a decent sized room above, which I haven't decided about yet..

I've been applying a lot of DAS clay, and making leaded windows, and hopefully I'll be able to start giving you glimpses of the inside soon!