Friday, February 24, 2012

My dolls house - part 9

I am going to bore you with some more pictures. :-)  Not that I am a great photographer, far from that, neither have I done a lot of work, but I am filling downstairs with the little things that have been lying around in boxes for  ten long years.  After I had taken the pictures of the kitchen I discovered that I wasn't happy with the open parts of the big shelving cabinet, so I found a piece of cardboard, my old tin of (by now very thick) blueberry ash paint and set to work.  It looks a lot better now.  I am happy!  I used the same white glass pins for the knobs on the drawers as I had used for the cabinet I'd made earlier, so this at least is a matching set.  The white strips along the shelves are from peel-off card making stickers.  It's so handy when you have more than one hobby...

Next I'll show you some close-ups of the shelves.

I don't know how I managed to get this picture done when the shelves aren't in the least bit crooked!!!??
Well, it doesn't matter.  The plates on the top shelf are just paper plates which I decorated with decals.  I learned this from Carolyn from Carolyn's Little Kitchen.  I admire her work so much.  If I could do only half of what she does....  Yeah, keep dreaming Marion!  The same goes for the other three plates.  I should get a better close-up, because the detailed work is fabulous.  They are done by Anja Knoop from the Netherlands.  She is famous for her fimo plates which she paints with ink.  Such fine work.  I am very proud to possess some of her work.  The little box I made of paper.

The next shelf contains a Dutch type of tea cosy, which can actually be opened and you can put a teapot inside, but the teapot is now on the table.  The tea cosy was made by Loes Snoodijk.  She is not only very good with this type of thing, but she also makes beautiful furniture.  I have shown you earlier the chairs I made at one of her workshops last year.  On the left is a fimo tray made and painted by me. (That's why I put the cheese in the centre LOL).  The bread and bread stick are also made of fime, as is the cheese.  The little box is the one that tea bags come in.  The bottle of Grand Marnier and the cake mould are bought items.  The mould I am planning to use to make a jelly pudding sometime in the future.

The bottom shelf contains a jar of liquorice allsorts (given to my by a friend who's name I can't think of right now), a mortar and pestle and fruit made by me of polymer clay and a knife that I bought.  The fruit bowl is an unfinished piece of wood turning.  My hubby wasn't very succesful with his turning work the other day and I asked him to make this into a bowl after he had a mishap.  Will finish if off one day....

It's getting late.  I won't be going into much detail anymore.  Most of the pieces in the kitchen are a mixture of bought items, items given to me by friends or obtained through swaps or made by me.  The table is set for lunch and the lady of the house has just arrived back home from her groceries shopping.

I love the shadow-cat on the door.  No, it's not done with the scroll saw.  I cheated and made it out of a few layers of thin card to look like wood.

Details of the folk art painting on the table, the distressed chair, crocheted cushion and macrame shopping bag.

The shelf above the stove.  The two plates are very dear to me.  The top one (although not completely in the picture) has the inscription MOD, which stands for Marion Ontmoetings Dag.  It refers to meeting a number of people from the Dutch email group I have been a member of for the past 10 years or so.  It says a lot about the group, doesn't it?  The plate with the teddy bear, that I broke and I felt terrible about it, was given to me in 2000 by Anja vd Doel.  She was a good friend and IGMA Artisan.  She used to make the most beautiful settings and was also wellknown for her flowers and bouquets.  Unfortunately she passed away a few years ago.  I am really happy to have this plate and lots of other items of her making, but I save those for my Dutch house that's been in the planning.

 The cats are playing with the curtain until I can find the bowl that belongs to them...  The little shelving thingy above the kitchen bench is partially made of fimo and partially of wood.  It is a copy of a similar little cabinet that I saw in one of the books that came with the Del Prado house.  I have made two.  The other one hangs in  another kitchen.  This is only a bad copy, but still worth hanging on the wall.  The sieve is 'enamel' made of paper.

I changed the doors of the hutch to make it look more like a meat safe.  The knobs I remembered from my auntie's old house and are made of wood.  They do work.

I love the look of this picture.  It's the only way I can go inside my kitchen and look through the windows: take my camera there!  I had to put my hand and camera through two doorways, but it worked! I would love to sit in that kitchen and have lunch or a cuppa while the sun is streaming through the windows...

 The following picture was taken with the light on.

So far the pictures of the kitchen.  My back is sore.  Time to give it a rest.  I'll go and find an easy chair and a glass of red and put my feet up.

See you next time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My dolls house - part 8

It's been a few weeks again, but I have been working on the house in the meantime, albeit with problems where I least expected them.  I am just not having a very good time, but hey, we'll persevere...  So what was the latest I did?  Ah yes, the curtains in the living room.  The kitchen was the next place that needed window dressing, so I set out to do something different there as well.  Not liking the pelmet one bit, especially in a kitchen, I thought of something else.  Shorter curtains and two window sills.  A narrow one for the top windows on which I hope to place some potted herbs in the future, and a wider one for the bottom windows with something I have always liked: geraniums and hyacinths!  So there you are:

I am not yet happy with the bottom one, because it's leaning forward. They were very difficult to attach to the wall as there is not much to hang on to.  I will have to think of something.  Looking at the picture I might add small strips of wood underneath, so it will look a bit better and then you won't see the window frames either (as if you would if you don't look at a photograph :-)....)  I like the look from the outside as well.  I will just have to hang the curtains straight:

Next step was to attach the 'corner stones' to the front walls.  They are just as crappy as the roof tiles, but I don't really care much as you'll know by now.  At least they give the plain walls a bit of a lift:

After the wet weather the walls have straightened again considerably. Unreal.  I may have to buy a humidifier to keep to house in order. LOL That wouldn't be enough anyway, because it's already starting to fall apart.  The narrow part with the front door has come off the hinges since I took this picture.  I should have realised that glueing the nails and the hinges first would have been a better option, because the door is too heavy with the stairs attached.

In the meantime I have decided to finish downstairs first and so I have put back the furniture that I have started with a long time ago:

All the furniture in the kitchen was painted white originally, but I didn't like the look, so started off with a few blue items to go with the walls.  As I don't like perfect matches all through the house I have put in a hutch with a different finish: Baltic pine (if I remember well) and added a light tan table top.  The sides of the table I have painted with folk art designs.  I have allowed some white in the kitchen, otherwise it would be too dark.  If you take a close look you'll see a few stains on the walls and the fireplace, but they will be covered up again.  They are from the blue tack with which I initially attached some items to the walls.  I will now either glue them or use wax.  I haven't made up my mind yet.  Glue might be too permanent.  And while you're having a close look you'll see all the dust on the surface of the furniture.  Yak, this dirty kitchen needs a good clean up first.

Although the house is mainly done in the Victorian style, I am not strictly sticking to it.  It's my fun and practice house, so I don't care if the styles are a miss-match here and there.

As you can see, the living room is more Victorian with its dark furniture, curtains and wall paper.  It will end up rather gloomy, but that is quite the essence of the Victorian period.  I have used the original fabric for the chairs and sofa and I must admit I rather like it.  The fabric is a bit too much like cotton, but the stripes go well with the other colours and brighten the room just that little bit.  I do need a rug on the floor though, because it looks quite austere the way it is now. I might also get some stuff to get rid of silverfish.  The nasty bug(ger)s have started eating the wallpaper in the living room.  They really are a nuisance in this damp climate.

This is the hallway.  Not much to tell about it as I have already visited this part of the house earlier on.  Next pictures show the living room and kitchen with their respective curtained walls:

And it's time again to welcome a few more followers.  I was surprised to notice that we have past the round number of 200 already.  I am really humbled to see that so many people seem to take an interest in what I am doing in my 'miniature life'.  I must be honest with you though, and tell you that I no longer offer give-aways.  I think it's a nice tradition for people who like it, just like the rewards, but I am no longer interested in either.  I just like to play with my minis when I have time (and that's not much) and tell you all about it, but I am afraid that's where it ends.  Of course I am not entering nor advertising give-aways either.  I hope you will understand and respect my view.  Then here's a list of new followers.  If I couldn't find a blog or a website I just show your name:

Allis.Kirkegaard at Allis Glade blog
Lidi Stroud at Intominis (Hi Lidi, I'm still in awe of your beautiful baskets!)

I wish you all a warm welcome, thank you for following my blog and hope you will enjoy it, as I enjoyed visiting your blogs and/or websites.

Bye for now.

Sonja has just given me her blog: Minisonja and of course I had a quick look.  Will need to go back though.  What a wonderful blog Sonja.  Your tutorials are great and I admire your Baby Shabby Chic Boutique very much.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My dolls house - part 7

Well, my pondering worked, as well as my corresponding with like minded mini-friends.  I received a few tips about making curtains so I set out to work. As you know, I didn't want to use a pretty pleater and the first tip was to use skewers.  I wanted to try it, but discovered soon enough that I didn't have enough skewers and, impatient as I was, I didn't want to wait till I could go out and do my shopping.  The second tip was to use a polystyrene board and spray starch.  I had both, so I could start straightaway.  Here's a picture of the pelmet and the curtains drying:

I haven't tried my hand yet at making miniature tassels, so I made the same tie-backs as I have made for my own 1:1 bedroom in one of our former houses.  I quite like the look.  Lace curtains were missing, however, so I went through my stash of fabric and found a particular nice piece.  The patterns on it were a wee bit big, but I didn't care, since the lace fabric itself was so beautiful and fitting for this window.

The tie-backs I have fitted with tiny rings to be able to attach them to a small brass nail at the side of the windows.  I had to pull back the curtains a bit, because as this house is just riddled with problems, the pelmets were really too narrow for the windows.  They are exactly the width of the windows, but there is no accounting for the width of the wood, thus one ends up with curtains narrower than the width of the windows.  In such small scale 3 mm on each end would be nearly 4 cm in real life.  Far too much!

It's very noticeable when you open the door and look at the curtains from the side on:

There is nothing much I can do about it now, so I try not to let it worry me too much.  (Please ignore the camera inside the house.  It's one of those minis that I haven't found a place for yet and it's too fragile to put away in a box with all the other furniture.)  And this is what it looks like from the outside:

Not bad I reckon, although eventually I want to see some greenery.  At the moment it all looks a bit sterile.  But hey, Rome wasn't built in a day, was it? :-)

Considering what the curtains should have looked like if I had literally followed the instructions from the book (and used the original material) I am pretty pleased with myself:

Alas, the lounge and chairs I had made in the very beginning and back then I used the fabric that originally came with the kit.  It's not too bad, but with more experience behind me I would now have chosen a different fabric for the other furnishings.

My next step might be getting the furniture in place downstairs and do some work on the decorating perhaps. The doors will have to wait till I can find magnetic strips.  I am in no hurry.  At least I can keep the dust out for the moment.

See you around next time and have a great day, wherever you are...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My dolls house - part 6

A short update this time with but a few photos.

I have attached the windows and glazing.  Not a very exciting job, nor a very quality job either.  The 'glazing' is only the see-through kind used for overhead projectors and the windows, like the door, are plastic moulded windows.  It had to be done though and in some way the house is coming a bit more to life.

The 'doors' are all very warped and the magnets that are supposed to keep the doors closed tight are not working at all.  For a week or so it looked good, because we had a very wet period with loads and loads of rain, so the humidity was close to 100%, which made that doors sit nice and straight.  Now it's drying out again, the warping is back. :-(  I think I might look around for magnetic strips instead and see if they would do a better job.

Next is attaching the pelmets and curtains for all rooms.  The pelmets have been glued, and the one for the living room I have covered with the fabric I am going to use for the curtains:

The picture isn't very clear, but you get the drift....  (I am in a bit of a hurry, going out soon).  You can also see the poor quality of the windows on the inside.  Luckily it's not something that will always be in full view.

I now have the curtains ready to pleat, but I am a bit at a loss of what I will do.  I don't really want to use a pretty pleater, because I don't quite like the unnatural straight look.  On the other hand, gathering the curtains at the top only will also produce an unnatural look if the next picture is anything to go by:

I like the fabric very much and it's soft and silky, but in reality not as shiny as in the picture.  The seams were easy to glue with the special fabric glue I have, but......... I am a bit stuck right now.  So, I am going out and give myself some time to ponder the problem in hand.

See you around.