The Last Rose(s) of Summer

Last November I was very pleased with myself because I thought that I had finally finished the Sitting Room for Daviot House.  I thought it looked very cosy.  But the Greek chorus in my house of miniature critics were less than impressed... 'it's too small!' they cried.  Back to the drawing board...

Daviot House has quite a large number of rooms, but nevertheless finite.  I pondered this conundrum for a long time (hence absence from blog!) and kept rearranging and thinking...  then I hit upon a solution: to swap a bedroom for the sitting room.  Which was a little annoying too, because I had thought the bedroom had been finally finished too (nothing in miniatures is ever 'finally finished' of course!)

Once I had accepted the idea of rehauling two rooms, things funnily fell into place quite easily.

Large Airy Bedroom

Tiny cosy Sitting Room

The larger Sitting Room gave me an excuse to try my hand at oil painting.  For a first attempt it is not too shabby, but I think a medium I shall have to practice!  I made the frame using an outliner gel which I then gilded.  She's quite a grand lady, and this painting set the tone for the rest of the room.


I needed some sconces, but sadly Ray Storey has retired... a very sad loss to the minitures world because his lights were lovely quality and reasonably priced.

I thought about asymmetric bronze 18th century sconces, and found a way to make some reasonably realisitc ones using cold porcelain (also gilded).  I think they flank the frame rather nicely.


Of course I didn't take any photos of the process, which happens often when I get into the 'creative flow'.  I do like cold porcelain -  though it dries extremely quickly, it is very versatile.

I used it to make a tiny Dresden couple for the mantlepiece and painted them with porcelain paints.  


They seem to be playing a lively game of catch across the mantlepiece!


The colour scheme is quite bright in this room, which makes a nice contrast to the creamy walls.  Most of the objects came from the original room, some from my stash or made, but I did splash out on a few items (of course!)


One beautiful new item was a gift - an absolutely stunning chair by Nancy Summers.  I was so pleased to receive this, all the way from the States, and I cannot over-emphasise the workmanship - just lovely!


The silk is a lovely fine pin stripe and appears to have a little lilac in it, which matches the antique rug perfectly.  I love this little carpet which came from an antique evening bag, but it is a little too small for this room.  I took some of the design elements and have started a larger needlepoint rug, though it will be a while before I finish it!


Speaking of finishing things, I had a little embroidered silk that I had started at the beginning of Daviot House.  It was supposed to be the silk curtains for a bed, but I moved on from that project and never finished the embroidery.  


The colours were quite bright and I thought they would look good against a chinoiserie lacquer chair. 


 The chair was an imported cheapo thing off ebay, so I sanded it, shaped the legs and painted it.  It makes a nice 'pop' by the desk in the corner.

I bought a Nicola Mascall needlepoint kit for David Booth footstool which looks welcoming perched by the fire.  Nicola's kits are wonderful and if you are wondering where to start in needlepoint, I highly recommend them.


The chair is in front of a small kneehole desk by Escutcheon, where the lady of the house could write her correspondance. I still need to make/find a few more desk items, such as a blotter.  The pencil box I made and decorated with my initials and the inkwell is by Clare Bell Brass.

I spent the summer recovering from hand surgery, so doing a lot of embroidery was not on the cards.  I found a wonderful version of physiotherapy in making miniature flowers, and was delighted to receive a number of Pascale Garnier kits.

I have made miniature flowers for a long time now, and have tried a wide range of kits, as well as my own designs, but there is something absolutely wonderful in Pascale's kits.  You do need a lot of patience and time, but they really are worth the effort. (And Pascale is really lovely!)


Bouquets of flowers add an extra dimension to a room, and are a really great way to tie colours together.  Best of all, after my garden has been grilled all summer, and my plants are looking less than happy, I can still enjoy the freshness of the miniature flowers.

The coffee table is an antique papier maché box, which I had originally used temporarily to get an idea of the space in the room.  Though the longer it is there, the more I like it.  I like the hexagonal shape, and the blousey roses painted on the side - they tie in with the flower arrangement and also the scattered roses of the sofa.


The Sitting Room is now a more spacious and elegant room, but it still has a relaxed feeling.  There is also enough space for my inhabitants to sit comfortably, as a contrast to the Drawing Room, which is definitely a 'sit up straight' room.

I found a lovely table by Escutcheon which fits perfectly in the corner underneath the chippendale corner cupboard by Arjen Spinhoven.  I painted the inside of the cupboard cream, which makes it seem lighter, and also a good place to display ornaments (more shopping!) 

A few photographs and a working clock by Malcolm Hall, and a couple of chinoiserie figurines...

The left wall has a couple of paintings 'missing' for the moment - these are two antique French bronze frames that I found in Dijon this year, and I have yet to decide what to put in them.  The armchairs look like comfortable spots to read or sew, but I do need to find a lighting solution for this side... perhaps a lamp?  Or more wall sconces?  

Well, that has been quite a tour, and next stop will be to revisit the bedroom and the crewel bedhangings which are just about finished!



  1. I loved your blue sitting room but to have rearrange it in a bigger room was worth it and an excellent idea. A good way also to display your multi talents, you never stop amazing me, it seems you can make anything. Your flowers are absolutely beautiful.

    1. Hi Geneviève! Thank you so much, but sadly it isn't true that I can make anything... I am hopeless at wood working, which I would love to be better at! Je vous souhaite une rentrée sereine et productive!

  2. I've been on pins and needles awaiting another post from you Jonquil and what a surprise this one has been!
    And as Geneviève has already expressed- I too loved your blue sitting room, but O how LOVELY this new sitting room is! The furniture arrangement, the portraits, delicate flowers, rug, new chair, china ornaments and your bespoke wall sconces all Simply WONDERFUL, but I think the coffee table has to be my absolute FAVOURITE THING in this room because it is not only unique and unexpected but it ties everything together to Perfection AND I can't imagine it not being there!

    With your instinctive designer eye for select miniature treasures; your phenomenal painting and needlework skills; along with so many of your other supergirl talents displayed throughout - Daviot House is definitely- "To The Manor Born"!❤️

    1. Oh my goodness Elizabeth, I am blushing!! You are too kind! It is true that making a room and then completely changing it us always a bit risky, there is always something from the original that gets lost, but I hope overall it's an improvement 😉

  3. Oh my! Oh My!! What an amazing transformation! I know it is an entirely new space.... (spacious space!) but you brought the same "feeling" into an airier environment and added so many delicious details... it's just delightful! I love your bravery with making the cold porcelain ornaments... I would never have thought of that! And your needlework as always is just awe inspiring! I am sorry you had to take time off from stitching... but the flower kits show that you did not wast any time! They are truly lovely! And your painting... the portrait and the furniture... !!! Beautiful work! I am definitely going to have to take my courage in my hands and dip into oils "someday"! Meanwhile, I will just soak up your gracious and delicate artistry in this room and hope to be able to capture a fragment of it someday!

    1. Thank you Betsy, I'm really glad you like it! You should try your hand at cold porcelain, it's really versatile, but you have to work FAST! I've been away from miniatures because of my hands, but hopefully things will get better now.

  4. El salón ha quedado precioso. Me encanta como encajan la variedad de piezas que has colocado. Muy bonitos los bordados y desde luego las floras aportan vida y alegría a la estancia.

  5. All these details! So lovely! And they coordinate and blend together so well. A little reading lamp would be gorgeous but putting it on the table might block your future painting. Maybe a floor lamp? Did they make those for that time period?
    You'll figure it out and it will be perfect!

  6. Wonderful! Thank-you for blogging about it too....I appreciate being able to come here and read your thoughts as I look at your lovely images.

  7. Dear Jonquil. Before I had a miniature Hiatus I read this new post and enjoyed it immensely. I was sure I had posted a response, but apparently not.

    Switching these two rooms in Daviot House is a good decision I think. And what charming sitting room it is already. I love the oilpainting of the grand dame. She really looks the part. Why not try your hand at some more portraits to fill the lovely rococo style frames?

    I look forward to see the new bedroom and espescially the crewel work!

    As always, a fan of your work.



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