Friday, December 13, 2013

How do you like it?

 I just loved this cottage when I saw it. It has great potential for a dollhouse. It is NOT my preferred style either. Sadly when I drew out plans, it was going to be too small for my collection. I really didn't want to enlarge it because part of its charm are the proportions.

I have never seen anything like those wrought iron pieces that are at the edge of the roof (attached to the house). If anyone knows about the use of those... I would love to know what they are about.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ivy Cottage (Update)

Ivy Cottage is located in the Village of Nuttingham. It has a lovely view  from the top of a 300 year old walnut tree. This is the reason all these cottages hang from 'cables'. 
The house has Belgian spider silk lace curtains in all the windows. It is the first house in the village to have a fireplace. There is a large stack of 'rainbow makers' in one of the bay windows. I suppose you thought there was a scientific explanation for rainbows.. In the other bay window there is a basket of fairy dust. There is a nest in a tiny acorn cap just over the front door. It has three blue eggs in it. Who's I wonder? 

The tiny terracotta flower pots were kiln fired and made by Braxton Payne.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Nutshell Cottage In Progress

Three days later... This is all that I have. Waiting for oil paint to dry is a PITA ;-)  when you need two or three coats.

The shell is so thin on the edges where the two halves meet I really thought it would break while I was sawing it out.

Hrmmm.... I see Kilmouski has added a fly away cat hair that has landed over the front door. Grrrrrrr They are as fine a spider silk. I may have to shave him or give him a bath in GLUE!

There is a lot more to do. I love it when it is time to decorate. That is fun....but several days away at this point.

I could never get one of these together without the help of Bostic Blu-Tack. It holds things in place for me while I am fitting things.

Now I can start the back side.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Miss Mousey Says Goodbye to some of her favorite toys before she leaves for France

Catherine and I have become friends. Thanks to Blogger and Google translate. Which can be a bit confusing in its email translations.
Last summer we started talking about a mouse for the gorgeous French mouse house she is working on. She thought she would like to have a little girl about eight to ten years old. One that bared a family resemblance to the portraits Catherine has painted of them for the house. Which she explained had more of a rat like face.
Having never made a doll or dressed one, I wanted to give it a try. The first problem I knew was the fact I didn't have anything to dress her in. Catherine sent me a box of fabric. Many pieces were over 100 years old. 
The challenge began.
I had no idea what the body of a child REALLY looks like. You have to begin a sculpt with a drawing or a photo. So as usual I went to Google.  
Ah-oh! The last thing you want to do is search for....dare I even say it here...NO, I can't. I don't need the FBI at my door thanks. So I searched instead for little girls in a ballet class. That I thought would be fine. Children in leotards. PHEW!
 Refining the body sculpt. OOPS....Her bottom got a little flat. I left her on it while I was away.

I spent many hours sculpting a body that would be hidden under clothes. I printed pictures of all the portraits on the walls of Catherine's house.
I needed to understand what sort of face Miss Mousey should have. She was going to be 45 to 48 inches tall in RL 1: 1 scale.
 The sculpt finished, it was time to dress her. I was worried, I played with fabrics for ages. Never cutting into anything. I quickly found out that fabric has a mind of it's own. I didn't want to torture these beautiful fabrics by using some stiffening agent.
I drew my patterns and first tried them in something of my own. The only fabric in Catherine's box that would act right turned out to be a cotton print and it was new (not antique). It would hold a finger pressed pleat. You can't iron pleats into place without making them look unnatural. Asking fabrics to become 1:12 scale curtains is one thing but this was a lot smaller. 

I gave her leather boots that had to be built right onto her feet and legs. I was very happy with how those worked out.
It is very hard to capture what someone has in their minds eye. Perhaps it is impossible. It is too bad they take so long to make. You usually come a lot closer after five or six.
Please visit ' Suzanne' in her GORGEOUS new home on Catherine's blog at the above link.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Christmas Walnut Shell Cottage For Sale

I have been busy again making a Christmas walnut shell cottage. This time one to sell hopefully on eBay. The listing should be up later tonight and I will then post a link here....  This one has a Christmas tree inside the big bay window. On the back of the house there are lace curtains in the small windows. 
It is too bad the gold star ornaments don't photograph very well, because they are holographic. They sparkle & wink in a rainbow of colors, even in low light. The snow glitter sparkles too but that also doesn't show in pictures. :-(

Yes! This is the same house. It is just a view of the back side.
Of course the house could be hung on a Christmas tree but a better idea would be to hang it in one of those domes for a pocket watch. Those are optically clear and have a hook on the top, inside the glass.

BTW...Later this week you should see what that hand I posted a picture of was all about. Now that it has arrived in it's new home in France. I will post a link to it here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A New Chair Style

Among other things... I have been making this new chair. It was a bit more difficult to upholster then the other ones I have made because of the squared ends on the seat cushion. I was very happy to find this fabric because I never thought I would find anything that could be in the same room as the William Morris wing chair I made.The beautifully carved legs are ones made for me by Linda Master Thank you Linda!!!

I was very pleased to find two porcelain pieces by Terry Curran, A jar of clotted cream from 'Harrods' and a tiny container of hot coco powder. I don't know what it is but I love ceramics that have writing on them.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Prize-Winning Animation Lets You Fly Through 17th Century London

I adore this! Have fun flying.

Josje just told me in her comment they have an interesting blog. I have just had a visit. You will like it too.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Scott Hughes Miniature Lighting, Student Lamps

This is the second student lamp that I ordered, just arrived today. It is an absolutely beautiful piece.

There is so much detail you cannot see in the photo.  The shade is etched with a design that allows the light coming through it to be brighter in those etched areas. There is a threaded (working) screw on the side of the lamp, which enables it to be heighten or lowered. This one has a aged brown patina on it. Though some areas have been left with a bright polish.

Eventually this floor lamp will be with different furniture in a living room setting.
Scott made these student lamps in a limited number. They all have different patinas. no two are exactly alike. He has one table lamp with Francis Whittemore glass shade. There are two different styles of table lamps, a chandelier and this floor lamp.

Sadly, Scott will not be at the Tom Bishop Show in Chicago in 2014. He has decided to do a show in Japan next month. If you are interested in one of his new lamps you can contact him at the address below. I am afraid he doesn't have a web site. If you want his phone number let me know in your comment.

Scott Hughes
14500 South Riverside Rd.
Cable, WI. 54821

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nope! It's not going to be a human.

I haven't got much to show or tell you. Though I have a few birthday presents I haven't photographed yet.

I have been busy making something for a friend and fellow blogger . It has been slow going but I am getting there. If she likes it... And that is a big huge IF. You will see it first on her blog.

Making something for someone so talented makes me nervous. Particularly when it is something I have never even tried before. She might just fling it in the bin, so don't count on ever seeing it. 

Wish me luck. It is time to get on with the hard part.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sheraton Side Table

Last summer I ordered a small marquetry side table from Chris Malcolmson. Despite the fact it is a Sheraton table, I thought would be a nice compliment in a room with the William and Mary chest of drawers he made for me.
I want things to be harmonious but not matching. I am keeping my eye out for a taller piece of furniture for the same room, a beautiful secretary perhaps. 
You might have caught a glimpse of my vanished post which was a help question . I got a fast answer, so I deleted the post so as not to trouble you with it.
I have been struggling with the NEW polymer clay formula imposed on clay companies like  Fimo and Sculpy by the Environmental Protection Agency. The clay now is much too soft, sticky and sort of greasy. I HATE IT! It is impossible to work with.
I have been told that Kato polymer clay is the better option now for its working qualities. I am hoping this is true because I have ordered it to finish a project I have been struggling with. Most of which is finished, except for the hands and face. Surely there has to be an answer if it is not Kato. I could never make an animal with the new formula clays. 
Thanks a lot EPA.... You *&^%$#   &^%$. Grrrr

Sunday, September 8, 2013

1: 12 scale Fine Light Fixtures

I have noticed many people seem to have collections within their collections. Some people love beautiful sterling silver, some fine china and so on. I used to collect Barbara J. Raheb's miniature books (Penny Weight Press). I also collected quite a bit of Frank Whittemore's glass. We made several special order things together, like the glass pitchers with the sterling silver tops you have seen here in my blog.

But what I really have a weakness for is fine miniature light fixtures. They are like jewelry to me. This is a new (solid brass) lamp by Scott Hughes (with a hand blown melon shaped glass shade by Frank Whittemore). There is a black bottom on this student lamp Scott turned in teflon. I still have another fixture coming from him. I hope over time there will be many more..

I have several other colored glass shades that will fit this lamp if I need to change it.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

1: 144 Scale Cottage 'The Whispers'

 I am finally finished.... I bet you're glad too. I am VERY happy to get on with a new project!

Braxton Payne made the terracotta flower pots next to the front door. They even have a hole in the bottom of the pot. I am not happy with those flowers. They are not glued in so at some point I will re-do them.

Too bad the color of the 'lavender' garden on the right isn't true. It is the perfect color in RL.

Linda Master made me the beautiful cherry wood frame molding that surrounds the garden. THANK YOU Linda!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

1: 144 Scale Interior

Here are some new pictures of the (nearly) finished interior of The Whispers. 
I was making the last chair for the blue bedroom when it shot out of my tweezers and flew across the room. It must have been intercepted by invisible aliens because I have never found it. I looked for it for over an hour. Do gremlins steal things from your work space? Sometimes things disappear when I haven't even moved!!

I thought I should take a picture before I added the ceiling. I knew it would be very hard to see inside the room once I added it. The beads for the 'oil lamp' are only 2 mm. They are too big but it was all I had.

I cut up one of the 1: 12 scale doilies I had to make curtains, a dust ruffle, valances and 'crocheted blankets for the bedrooms.

The candle sconces where made by cutting elements of a N scale brass weathervane and a antique French brass bead. The candles are 24 gauge wire painted white with a 30 gauge wire for a wick. The over head ceiling light fixtures were made using a tiny brass bead end cap and a half round opal. When light catches the opals it looks like they are turned on. haha

Now onto the small garden around the house.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Progress On 'The Whispers'

 August 22. 2013

I finished the living room today and glued in the ceiling.I would like to add some flowers to the coffee table but I have to find the right sort of  'vase' first.

I am still working on "The Whispers'. It has been slow going because I am waiting for materials to arrive. I can't start the second floor until I have finished the living room.

I wish my camera photographed colors accurately. The curtains are not as orange as they appear, but rather a subtle peach color and soft green. Actually it was the only paper I had I that could use. My printer will not print anything fine and the ink isn't water proof. Grrrrr

I made the rugs with my Crazy Cords machine by twisting two threads and winding it into a rug on top of double stick tape. Then I painted on tacky glue (on the back side). Once that dried I was able to peel the rug off the tape.

The brass fender for the fireplace was made by cutting a strip out of the N scale brass fence I had for the Georgian Townhouse. I also used that for the brass basket.

I made both lamps out of beads and some altered brass jewelry findings I cut apart for lamp shades.
I have several more things for I want to make to put on my tables. Candlesticks for the mantle would be fun.

Then I can start working on the second floor bedrooms.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Welcome to 'The Whispers'

For three hundred years the people who have lived at the Whispers have reported they heard and felt someone whispering in their ear. Though no one has ever reported they have seen a thing! Just that they heard a woman's voice.

It usually happens at night when people are asleep. They wake to hearing a soft spoken message. "Is the baby alright"? That was heard by a guest who had come to visit with her two year old boy recently. The child had gotten up from his bed and was stabbing the banked coals in the fireplace with an iron poker. As he had seen his mother do before they went to bed.

Sometimes while I am working, I amuse myself with stories. Do you make up stories about the people that live in your dollhouse? Do you know what those people like to collect, what their interests/passions are or what they do for a living? Do you know where or what country they live in, the name of the town or village or street? Feel free to tell a little of your dollhouse story here. After all, isn't this all about having fun.

Still in progress..... A 1: 144 Scale half timbered cottage.
The roof is not glued in place yet. I can't add any weathering to it until it is attached.
I am working on the rooms and furniture now. I am wondering if I will want to do any landscaping in a small area around the house. Maybe add a over the door small roof.  

Thursday, July 25, 2013

1: 144 Scale Half Timbered Cottage

I have been side tracked by a new project. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Ever since I added half timbered additions to the nutshell houses  I have wanted to do a 1: 144 scale cottage.

I wanted to use twigs  because I thought they looked great on the other pieces I made. (I buy twigs at Michaels in the floral dept. They are six feet long, all I can use are the tips.) And.... I wanted to fill between those "timbers" with a super fine sand & glue mixture I make. I thought it looked much more realistic/ interesting then just having a flat painted background. It is a bit tedious... more than a bit actually. You have to be so careful not to get the thick sandy glue on the "timbers".  I push it around with the point of a toothpick and pat it all into place between the twigs with a damp finger.

The end of the pin is black from burning off the Zap-a-Gap glue off it. If it gets up your  nose it can make your eyeballs CROSS!

It is not going to be finished for a week or more. I am waiting for shingles and some more windows. I want to operate on those so the inside will have a finished look around the windows.
I was going to paint the double front doors white but now I am leaning toward a sort of barn red. Which might compliment the roof if I try to simulate a reddish tile look.

Where is everyone??? Taking the summer off from blogging I suppose. :-)