Wishing each and everyone of you, and your near and dear, a Merry Christmas.
I thought this picture particularly appropriate since all but one of you (Susan of minicrochetmad) live across the sea from me (even Linda at Une Petite Folie who although also in Australia is on the other side of Bass Strait) so Santa and I are sending this little boat sailing across the waters carrying my wish for a wonderful Christmas for you all.
BEFORE and AFTER I had a real mental block about this hallway so thanks for all your suggestions, as you can see some of them have been incorporated. I had the little dog on hand but I wouldn't have thought of putting him in here, he seems 'right at home' in that spot thanks to Susan's suggestion. The table drawers open, one has a spare 'runner' in it for the top of the table, the other has a vintage (very thin!) telephone directory. Since only a few people and businesses had telephones in the early 1900s I'll have to come up with a good 'story' for there being one in this house which appears to be quite middle class - perhaps the inhabitants have a more important position in society than the house would lead us to believe - let me know if you come up with something! I have tried to achieve an air of relative formality here, befitting the most 'public' part of the house, while at the same time making it welcoming. When I come back to this project in a few weeks I'll probably add a stair carpet, perhaps some pictures on the walls, a plant stand or perhaps a 'what-not' shelf in the corner, and a coat hook or two.
BEFORE and AFTER The table on the back wall was previously in the hallway, a new addition to the house is the box of old books under the table. The Tiffany lamp was bought many years ago, I was delighted to discover yesterday that the stand has holes to take wire so it can be electrified but don't have time just at the moment. From the nonchalant way the 'man of the house' has kicked off his shoes and left them beside his bag it seems he's glad to be home from the office! :)
The old gardening boots were made quite a while ago (painted air drying clay) the 'dirt' on them is a material sold as soil for model railway enthusiasts. The rag mat is a printie, we had a few mats like this in the cottage I lived in as a child (the one in my header photo). PS - I'm clearly not very observant - I hadn't noticed that the oven door handle is missing until I saw this photo on the computer!
This is the 'dining' area of our cottage kitchen in New Zealand. In just over a week I'll be enjoying breakfast sitting not at the table but in the comfy green armchair looking out through the door to the greenery, which will hopefully be backlit by the morning sunshine. Breakfast always tastes better there! :)
Firstly a stroll down memory lane - I followed the plans, and this photograph, for the house that I built in 1984/5. Most but not all of the furniture was made at the time. The house and contents remained in New Zealand when we moved to Australia some years later and I gave it little thought until I stumbled upon the November 2003 Dolls House World magazine in a local newsagents - I was astonished to see what had become available in the mini world, and how easily accessible it was, and I was totally intrigued and inspired by a featured project - I WAS HOOKED ON MINIS AGAIN! For various reasons I decided against shipping the house from NZ and began a long process of planning the replacement. I didn't want to use the same design because I wanted more rooms, and also a smaller 'footprint', in the new house. On a trip back to NZ I demolished it, keeping the stairs and fireplaces to incorporate into the replacement. This house is what I eventually designed and built as a replacement - altho as you can see it's still roofless (that's almost ready to go on) and frontless. Let's start with the entrance hall... it's still looking a bit bare but not sure what else to do with it (gratefully receiving suggestions). Now turn right into the kitchen and pull up a chair... A special guest such as yourself shouldn't be thinking of going into the scullery and washing up so lets go up to the living room, I'll show you the photos I'm putting in the album... While we're here you might as well take a look at the study, that's dear grandma over the fireplace... There are a few more pieces of furniture and so on to go into both of these rooms one of these days to give them a bit more 'life'. Perhaps you'd like to take a look at the little girl's room upstairs, she's been the lucky recipient of quite a few new bits and pieces very very recently, including an angel to watch over her, oh and yes we'll have to go through the newly decorated main bedroom too, it's a pity there's no roof on yet but it's nice to look at the stars at night ;) Well, that's pretty much all there is to see at the moment, I hope it's been interesting and that you've enjoyed your visit.Please come back sometime to see the continuing improvements :) Oh, yes, and if you've got any suggestions about what to do with that hallway please let me know! (To see more detail left click on any photos to bring them up in another window).
This little room doesn't look quite so bare now with a few new bits and pieces. The skipping rope was part of a little set of toys that were part of a box of mini presents from my dear husband. It looks like it'd be very easy to make with a bit of fine string, two round beads and two bits of toothpick for the handles. The bear on the chair and the tiny one on the floor leaning against the bed leg are buttons, both have enough dimension to look just fine, although the photo makes the one on the chair look much flatter than it does in the room.
How lucky am I to have received Lea Frisoni's fantastic book from my sons and their partners for my recent birthday? But that's not all ... My baby grandson's clever mum made me these fabulous pics by 'photoshopping' Max's face into a couple of classic vintage images. The perfect present for a Max loving, mini loving grandma :)
This little 'vintage' house is set in the early 1920s. From the look of the furniture I think it's been used by several little girls before the present 'occupant' :) The wallpaper was aged by spraying tea on it, especially so above the fireplace as the paper always discolours there because of smoke from the fire. Can you find kitty?
A shot from above to show the quilt. I found the quilt block on the internet, 'pieced' several together to create the quilt, then printed it on fairly fine lawn which gives a slightly faded look to the finished print. The hot water bottle is painted air drying clay.
I'll post more showing the house as a whole when the electrician's been around to install the last light, and the housekeeper (who seems to have gone on an extended holiday) gives the place a jolly good clean and tidy! Oh yes, and the roofer hasn't been around yet either! Luckily we're having a warm dry spell because as well as no roof it's still without a front!!
The solid fuel stove was what we cooked on almost exclusively when we lived in the cottage for a while. There is no full size electric stove but the microwave and little benchtop oven and elements are adequate backup and now that we are there only in the summer the stove isn't used very much at all. It's wonderful on a cold day tho!
This 'business end' of the kitchen is to the left of the stove...
The concrete floor is new, unfortunately we had to remove the red brick floor that was there previously due to a number of problems. Still undecided whether or not to leave it 'as is' or paint or cover it in some way. Doesn't show in the photo but it has a good rough 'rustic' swirly finish so it's quite ok as is for the moment at least.
All pieces except the black bag (Dolls House Emporium) are handmade from scratch (I'm a kit-free zone), the furniture in my mid-80s foray into miniatures, the books and photograph album since I've come back to the mini world in the last couple of years.
I have no idea how I ended up in my own followers list - this whole blog thing is a bit of an adventure and I seem to have done something wrong! I'm too scared to delete myself in case the whole thing goes up in smoke! Oh well, at least if I keep following myself I'll never get lost :)
After a cloudy damp day yesterday the sunshine is back, great light to try the mini photos again AND I FINALLY worked out how to use the macro facility on the camera. Oh happy day! With rising spirits took some fairly good pics, put the photo card thingy in the laptop, proceeded to copy the pics to a storage file. Hmmm, nothing happening. OK, plan B: upload all the mini ones to my email. Looks good, a big file goes off into cyberspace. Open the email, only one pic there - very strange... took the photo card out of the laptop, put it back into the camera - ALL the photos on the card were GONE except one :( What to do now?? Two options really, sit down and cry about it or get another photo card and take some more photos. Decided on the second option so here are a couple with more to come.
All these pieces are 1:16 scale and were made with basswood using patterns from 'The Dolls' House DIY Book' by Venus and Martin Dodge. The dinner set on the dresser I bought at a show, the blue and white willow pattern plates are 'printies'. The brown 'stoneware' plates are actually light blue 'spatter' pattern like the little bowls but were painted with matte Humbrol. The bread, cheese and knife were all made from air drying clay and painted. The eggs in the bowl on the dresser are unpainted air drying clay. I was quite lucky to find a dinner set and red wine bottles that were small enough to 'work' with the smaller scale. I actually really like this scale but frustration at not being able to find enough accessories 'ready made' has pushed me to try 1:12 in my new projects.
This photo of my late mother was taken about 1918 outside the cottage where she, and her children, grew up. It is my mother I have to thank for her nurturing of my creative spirit in the many hours we spent together making scrapbooks, drawing, knitting, embroidering and just chatting about 'girl stuff'. Thanks mum.
I've been inspired by so many vintage decor and miniature blogs recently I thought it was about time I produced one of my own to share what's going on in my mini-world (although I must admit it's often not a great deal!), and also the (snail pace) real world renovation of our little much loved cottage in New Zealand (it's a slow job when we only get to go there for a few short weeks a year).
So please drop by from time to time, and leave me a note!
I'm not sure if I should describe miniatures as a hobby or an obsession, but it's the best escape from the cares of the world that I know - and an opportunity to indulge a love of vintage decor without breaking the bank.