Something Old Something New

It all started with this sofa....  I was very lucky to buy a sofa and arm chair from Chris Compas of 1inchminis a number of years ago.  I'm very glad that I did, because she stopped making them soon after (though I think Chris still makes kits).  I have never seen a better made sofa.  

There was a problem though, I just couldn't find the 'right place' for it in Daviot House.  The blue parlour transformed slowly into a pink drawing room, and I didn't have space in another room for it.

I also had difficulty fitting in a lovely sewing table, and a painting I had made, so for a long while these pieces languished in storage.  But I knew I wanted them in Daviot House.

I haven't blogged in a while, because my creative process takes quite a long time, and I find computer time eats into my creative hours.  I mulled over this problem, even considering starting a new property...  until I had a bit of  eureka moment. 

 I realised that I needed to make a different breakfast room (more to come on that soon), and transform the old breakfast room into a nice, cosy sitting room, where I could display a lot of needlework and of course, find a place for my beautiful sofa...

None of the items in this room are new, but it has taken quite a while to make a room where they all fit in together, in harmony.  I repanelled the walls, and made a little corner fireplace. 

 I wanted to make this sitting room the sort of refuge from the cold, very private and personal compared to the grander rooms on the first floor.  This curved back arm chair is by Barry Norbury, and is upholstered in pale blue silk.  Sometimes I think of reupholstering it, but I think the colour goes very well with the darker walls.

Two little greyhounds perch either side of the fireplace.  I haven't found the 'right' fire grate yet, so we assume that although it is November, the fire in this room hasn't been lit just yet...

On the mantlepiece, in pride of place is a working Art Nouveau clock by Malcolm Hall.  I'm very glad I have finally found a home for it!

The painting of the lady was done be me a few years ago, and I think she is a good presence in this room.  I don't have dolls in my house, but I find that paintings and figurines of people definitely give a 'lived in' feel to a house.  

The geisha ornament by Veronique Cornish on the mantlepiece, though Japanese in style, reflects the lady in the portrait, as does the tiny articulated doll I made on the chair.

She is so very small, but her arms and legs really do move!  I'm pretty fond of her tiny black shoes peeking out from her dress...

I made her out of cold porcelain and wired her arms and legs with fine wire.  Her dress is made from an antique handkerchief.

I've had this Tarbena mirror above the sofa for a long time.  It used to be in the 'Dining Closet' when Daviot House consisted of just four rooms (instead of the 14 rooms of the current incarnation!)  I like the little sillhouettes I made, again it gives a feeling of presence.  

I want to give a special mention to one of the kindest miniature makers I've had the pleasure of ordering from.  Michael of MMMiniature Treasures was so kind to make a replica of my thread holder.  I have a collection of antique sewing tools and samplers, and I get a real burst of excitement when I can add a similar item to Daviot House.  That is ten-fold when it is a replica of something I own in big size!

So imagine my complete joy when Michael sent me this:

A lovely copy, complete with the tiny acorn.  It is just fabulous, thank you so much Michael!

 I made a couple of bone stilettos for the sewing table, I'll show you why in a moment...

Another sewing item that I don't think I have shared with you before is my tiny needlepoint 'work in progress'.  I sewed this on 72 count silk, which was pretty challenging!  I took the pattern from a RL size pattern, and I didn't have to modify it at all!  I wonder if it is going to be a cushion cover...

I've put on the lights - I know that this affects the picture quality, but it really is my favourite moment when I have completed a room and the lights add that certain kind of magic.  

I think the sofa has finally found a place worthy of it, and I am relieved to have a room finally for all these little treasures.  The sofa has already been colonised by a little kitten. 

 He's a little timid at the moment, because he has only recently been transformed from a Playmobil cat, and he is getting used to his much more comfortable surroundings! (He was in a large plastic box of playmobil, but shhh! don't tell the children!)  I just need to name him...

Here's why I made the bone stilettos... I made a whitework tablecloth.  White work is a beautiful embroidery method which uses white thread on white linen and a range of stitches.  The stilettos are used to poke holes in the cloth in a way that means they don't fray, and the holes are then filled with needle lace stitches.  This table cloth is a smaller version of the larger one in the the Breakfast Room.

(Please ignore the gravity-defying lamp that decided to drop off the mantlepiece just as I was taking this photo...)

Here's a close-up, but it is quite difficult to photograph the details.  I love making miniature whitework, it only needs fine handkerchief cotton or linen and antique cotton sewing thread.  Also a tiny needle and a stiletto (not the shoe ;) ), so it is a very transportable sewing project, good for holidays!

I have started painting a tea set that I bought from Elizabeth Causeret... who I recently found out lives quite close to me in Lyon, so I may have to plan a trip to her atelier in the New Year!

I really, REALLY hesitated to paint on her beautiful work, her pieces are just stunning, even in plain white.  But I was itching to have a Meissen-Style 18th century tea set, so I brought out my tiny, tiny brushes and had a go.  

It takes a lot of concentration, and I have only completed half the set at the moment, but it is enough for tea-for-one!

I need to fill the biscuit barrel with some biscuits soon...

To hide the lack of a cheery, warm fire grate, I put up a little firescreen.  It is made from a plant screen from Arjen Spinhoven, but I think it works quite well as a fire screen.  I also moved the pole screen from the breakfast room to the Sitting Room, and the floral painting by Andrew Nicolls moved from the Drawing Room.  I think it is happier here!

Time for a cup of tea after all that re-arranging!

A little bit of silver for some luxury, and a bunch of extremely early paperwhites... I imagine they smell delicious!

A little cluttered, perhaps, but defintely somewhere where I would like to sit and sew  quietly in the dark evenings of Autumn...

We really ought to name this little kitten!  Any ideas?

And last of all, nestling in a small corner of the room is the very first painting I made for Daviot House, back in 2010 when my twins were tiny babies and Daviot House was just a room box with hope...  




  1. Dear Jonquil, your work is so Inspiring!!! The stitched pieces are beyond fabulous! 72 count!!! Wow! I am slowly aiming for that size... but currently am working 40 count and have a kit or two in 50 or 52 count... but really, your work is gorgeous and masterful and... well, really inspiring! Lol! And your paintings... Wow! And the tiny tiny doll that is articulated! I am in awe of the gorgeous rooms you put together! Thank you for sharing!! And maybe the cat is "Peek-a-boo"? Because he is peeking out of the corner of the sofa.... I just love your work!!! :):):)

  2. Something old, something new... And definitely some things blue! So what out of all these little treasures in this super little room is borrowed? Oh wait, the Cat is borrowed!

    Perhaps that can help you to find a good name for this little kitten. A word that is related to borrowing but sounds good as a name. My suggestion is to call the little purring darling "Purloin?" After all, little 'Purrrloin' is bound to find and hide strands of wool or embroidery silk and what not behind that lovely blue sofa or other pieces of furniture. :-)

    But back to the room itself. It has become a very comfortable private sittingroom. Filled with all those little treasures it has the feel of being the private domain of the lady of the house. Each item you have showed is beautiful. The 'work in progress' is nothing short of stunning!

    I am intrigued to what the new breakfast room will look like.


  3. What a delightful room, where I would definitely enjoy having tea and do some needlework with you. As usual you manage to add real treasures and the perfect accessories to your rooms. I admire your tablecloth and your painting of Elisabeth's tea set.

  4. Ha quedado una habitación muy hogareña.
    Un saludo

  5. Dear Jonquil, You can't imagine how many times I've been checking to see if there was anything new posted from you and TODAY"S The Day- and well worth the wait! 😃.
    I am LOVING the total ambiance of this Oh So Cozy room!
    Even without a fire lit, it feels warm and inviting- not always easy to do with cool blue yet when coupled with the coral drapes and the echoing embroidered accents on your Beautiful throw cushions, you've tied it all together Brilliantly. It's a space that one can totally relax in and snuggle down into on a cold November morning.
    LOVE LOVE LOVE, the look of the lamp on the mantle along with the china dogs on the floor in front of the firebox, but by far, the artfully arranged collection of paintings on the walls and the display of so many of your Incredible needlework creations are for me The Showstoppers!
    The hand-painted china; the tiny doll; the "Purloined" cat; the stumpwork sewing casket and all of the tiny accessories which identify all the things YOU LOVE and EXCEL at, makes this room feel inviting and full of life!
    It has a distinctly quiet, contemplative atmosphere which makes me think that although you may have begun making a home for your homeless blue sofa, you've ended with a room that's a PERFECT FIT for you! 💝

  6. ¡La sala es encantadora! La pintura del juego de té es excelente y el mantel me parece un estupendo trabajo.

  7. hooo , je prends enfin le temps pour rattraper tout mon retard. et hop d'un coup , je découvre beaucoup de merveilles. Je comprends si bien la difficulté de trouver une solution . on perd beaucoup de temps à réfléchir et à retourner les problèmes dans tous les sens. on est heureux quand on trouve enfin la solution . vous avez réussi à donner à ce petit salon une ambiance très confortable. tous les objets sont délicieux et précieux. vos broderies sont incroyables. c'est quelque chose que je ne sais pas faire. tous les tons de bleu servent à créer une ambiance très douce. C' est une petite pièce parfaite pour se détendre et prendre le thé. vivement un bon feu dans la cheminée .


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