Saturday, July 13, 2019

P is for... Paper, Paint and Petronella

We had a heatwave a couple of weeks ago - 41°C!  It was terrible because we couldn't go out or do anything, just close the shutters and try to keep cool.  The good thing about making miniatures is that it is calming and relaxing, and so an ideal occupation when stuck indoors.  

I had no energy to take on any big tasks, but a little painting is always fun.  For a corner of the Dining Room, I needed a new painting.  I had been reading about the dolls houses in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and came across the portrait of Petronella Dunois, the owner of one of the houses.  I though it would be a fitting tribute to have a painting of her in Daviot House.

I carried on the 17th century theme by making a little 'Still Life' arrangement of flowers.  The bowl is a cheap china tureen that I had in my mini-stash, and I painted it with porcelain paint.  You can just about see a little peacock!  I may fill the bowl with more greenery to get that really lush effect of floral still life.  Perhaps if the temperature goes up again?


Thursday, May 9, 2019

Hepplewhite Adorned

I have been busy embroidering over the past few months, and thought I'd show you my most recent work.  I ordered a Hepplewhite suite from Masters Miniatures, and covered the seats with very light cream silk.  The spray of flowers in the centre include roses, lilies and daisies, the summer flowers that are in my real garden around my birthday.

It is extremely difficult to take a satisfactory photo of miniature embroidery!  This one gives you a sense of the scale.  I finished of the seat pads with gold silk cord and tassels - everything looks better with a tassel!

The embroidery is very time consuming, as every stitch counts, but this project was harder than usual, as I had to make the sure the embroidery matched on each chair - not easy with free embroidery, but I think I managed it.

Here are the completed chairs flanking the fireplace in the Drawing Room.  I have yet to complete the sofa that goes with them.

I also made a fire screen for the breakfast room.  It is on light yellow duchesse satin, and the bouquet includes very Jacobite white roses, thistle, bluebells, heather and rowen - all very symbolic of Scotland.  Again the photos don't quite do it justice...

It looks much better in place!

I was very touched by your comments on my last post, and thank you all for welcoming me back,


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Moody Blues or I got stuck!

Sometimes I think I am in control of Daviot House.  I decide what goes in, which rooms are where, which furniture to use etc...  But sometimes, just sometimes, I have the sneaking suspicion that the house has its own opinion.  Some rooms fall into place, and others Get Stuck.

  I last posted A LONG TIME AGO after a Spring Clean, when I changed the colours of the morning room walls.  But something wasn't quite right.  I wasn't happy with the layout, the sofa, the colours.  And I got stuck.  I didn't touch the house for quite a long time - I didn't find a great deal of inspiration, and things weren't working.  

Looking at other people's blogs made me feel a bit guilty that I wasn't being productive, or leaving lovely comments, or joining-in with everyone.  I had contracted that strange disease, 

                                The Miniaturist's Blues!

I think quite a few of us feel it from time to time, often Real Life gets in the way of creativity, and I'm sure some really great miniaturists have disappeared from the blogosphere due to it.  So things were pretty blue in my Mini World!  Well, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  If you feel blue, go blue.  And that is exactly what I did.  Here are the results:

The Breakfast Room in all its splendour, set with the finest silver and blue and white china ...

I painted the porcelain with a dainty pattern...

The table cloth was a wonderful find at a flea market - it is the perfect size for the table, and the lace edging is just about in scale for an Edwardian crochet hem.

 The rug was a very damaged evening bag - although I don't like cutting up antique petit point for miniatures, this was far beyond repair as a bag, and I cleaned, mended and backed it with linen to preserve it.  I love the muted colours!

The panelling and fireplace were inspired by a visit to Fort William in Scotland last year, from a room in the Highlands Museum there, dating to the mid-eighteenth century.  It is very simple, made from cardboard and Das clay.  

There is a rather snooty gentleman in a Tarbena frame, but I do like him, I think he stops the room from being too twee.  The sconces are my usual DIY using elements from Bindels Ornaments, and the clock is by Malcolm Hall on Etsy.  

The breakfast table is set with various pieces of silver, including a fabulous butter dish from Stephen J Randall, a toast rack from Art Forge and a teapot that was rescued from a charm bracelet.  

The egg cups, bud vase and cutlery are pewter from Warwick miniatures.  The stunning tea caddy is from Malcolm Hall.  It was a good Christmas this year!

The corner cupboards are filled with porcelain that I painted myself, and others from my collection from V&R Miniatures, Muriel Hopwood and Deerness ceramics.  

It is very good to have all of my blue and white collection in one place, and I think that the black accents of the sconces and the clock on the mantle piece help to tone down the blue, so it doesn't feel overdone (although my RL addiction to blue and white china has spilled into my miniatures!)

I hope you have enjoyed the Breakfast Room of Daviot House, and forgive me my long absence - I will be back again to keep you updated on other rooms of the house that I have been working on during my sabbatical,


Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Little Spring Cleaning...

Hello again, and thank you so much for your lovely comments about my garden, they are so appreciated!  However, no one managed to spot any Easter eggs... 

 All this spring sunshine has seen me clearing out, cleaning and reorganizing Daviot House.  I thought I'd start with the parlour.  This room has bothered me for quite a while. I love all the pieces in it, but for some reason, they didn't seem to go well together... it seemed a bit stark and cold.  So I found some paint in my stash, I think Dulux Mango, and put a coat on to see it that helped....
plus a rug to tie things together and a different position for the sofa...

I think it works much better's funny how a simple thing like wall colour can change a room.  It is much more sunny and welcoming.  I have to find a good fabric for the curtains, but it is already a big improvement.

I have also started playing around with cold porcelain, making tiny chinoiserie figurines to go on the shelf from Arjen Spinhoven.  I like the little touches of the orient in the parlour, from the Imari plates I painted on the wall to the 'ivory' statues by the fireplace.  

Cold porcelain is super easy to use, and great fun, I much prefer it to fimo, though you have to work really quickly before it starts to cure.  I painted the figurines with porcelain paint.

In my flurry of spring activity, I also started a new bedroom.  This is what it looks like so far... also very spring like.  I hope someone puts Dolly the lovebird back in her cage before the cat finds her...

I started making some clothes for the new season.  Daviot House is an old family home, full of centuries of antiques, but the current date is the 26th April, 1920.  Very specific, I know!  So a white lacey cloche hat with pink roses and a delightful parasol were just the things to go with the cool silk day dress.

And it wouldn't be Latchkey and Jonquil without a little embroidered bag to match!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Chasse aux Oeufs!

Spring is here, and so is Easter too!

The kitchen garden has been quietly growing over the winter months, and now it is starting to bloom...

There is a very, very early pink rose, and the hostas are starting to crowd the path... There's still a lot of good, brown earth to plant, including in the vegetable patch.

The alpine aquilegias are flourishing...

And the Pierre de Ronsard rose is making a good effort...

Elizabeth's chives are already in flower, as is the Nelly Moser clematis.  The cold frame is still protecting some herb seedings from the dreaded snails!

And look at this!  Someone has left a basket of Easter eggs on the path, ready to hide for the children to find...  How any can you find in the following three photos?

Look carefully!

A few more?

Wishing you a very happy and flourishing Spring!


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Filling Up the Shelves

I thought I'd give you a closer look at the dresser in the kitchen.  The dresser was just a simple whitewood one, that I'm sure you recognise.  I think I got it from Matlock Miniatures (UK) - they always have good prices on their items. 

 I sanded it to death;  the problem with cheap whitewood furniture is that it is cheap, so you have to do a lot of prepwork to make it serviceable.  I added cherry red drawer knobs, and painted a little flourish of roses on the top.

 I don't know if I will keep this dresser, as it is a little generic, but saving money on it meant that I could spurge a little on the items to display, as Flaubert said, "Le bon Dieu est dans le détail"....

There's still room enough for more items, but for now there is quite a good selection of crockery; the teaset from Falcon minis that I painted, the chicken teapot and spotted mug from Duncan White.  I found a little cheese dish by Muriel Hopwood at Karon Cunningham miniatures, which I was very pleased with.  

The hen tureen was made by one of my favourite ceramicists, Rachel Williams, of V&R Miniatures, and the tiny little brown jug was from an Etsy seller.  In the jug and mug are a couple of items by Danny Shotton, and a tiny butter curler by St Leger.... more about the butter curler later..

The bowl was a wonderful find from Halasbasement on Etsy, one of three by potter Jerry Floor.  I have filled it with lemons, which I think go really well with the blue stripe.  It's a good 'pop' of colour to draw the eye to the back of the kitchen.

The 'pop' of lemon yellow is repeated in the bunch of bananas on top of the fridge, and both were made by a really talented miniaturist I discovered on Etsy, called Yulia Yakobson, in Estonia. 

 I started buying some Christmas cakes from her, and then fruit... her items are amazing, I highly recommend them.

Here is a selection of her fruit.....

The tiniest and perfect apples...

And a perfectly peeled tangerine!

The inhabitants of Daviot House will certainly be getting their five-a-day!


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas To One and All

Come inside from the cold and have a seat beside the roaring fire...The Yule Log is burning and there is a warm rug for your knees...

Dim the lights and enjoy the cosy candleglow as the evening sets in...

Don't forget your kiss under the mistletoe...

Have a slice of Dundee cake, a mince pie, a tangerine or two and a cup of hot, mulled wine...

But most of all, have a very wonderful Christmas!

To all my readers, thank you!


PS For a couple of weeks now I have had problems posting replies to all of your lovely comments.... I keep trying, but nothing gets posted, so I do apologise.  I am trying to sort it out with blogger, but please know that I greatly appreciate all of your comments!