Monday, 23 May 2022

THE DOWER HOUSE LIVING ROOM- Part 2- my GLENCROFT REHAB.


WELCOME BACK Everyone!  

As usual I'm LATE AGAIN!  ⏰😩
Sheesh!  where has the time gone?
I honestly meant to have Part 2 published early last month but wouldn't you know, I've been totally engrossed in the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial on youtube, and between that and actually working on the bedroom of this DOLLHOUSE, I've missed my blog deadline by a mile- πŸ€₯ yup- MY BAD! 

Anyway, I'll try and make it up to you in this post, because I'm going to show you what I've finished inside  the Dower House living room AND I'm going to show you what and how I'd made ( then remade) the leaded glass windows in the living room using an unconventional method, which happened to work for me. 
  
There's A LOT to cover so grab yourself a hot cup of coffee or tea because this will be a long, Long,LONG post and times a-wastin' -
  
 beginning with -


THE New FRONT DOOR

The door is a "vintage" Miniature House
Victorian front door kit. 
I already had in my stash and believe it came from my dear friend BETTIE SMITH'S miniature collection. 
I didn't realize how old the door was
until I tried to find the image of it via Google and wasn't able to,
but here's an photo of the companion window which will illustrate the carved detail above the door: 
a detail 
 which I was forced to remove.  




I had to lose the cap due to the sloped roof of
the Glencroft
that angles down over the top right corner of the door:
there just wasn't enough room 



The new door is rectangular however I still wanted to keep the look of the old gothic archway
which is original to the kit. 
To do this I re-used the old kit door finishing trim and extended the "legs" of it on both sides
to match the taller height of the new door. 

The door itself is flush with the exterior front wall of the dollhouse and is pressed up as tight against the existing exterior wood trims as it can go. 
Nevertheless,
 making it work from the inside created a 1/2 inch  recess around the front door . 


In other words, installing the new front door was the equivalent of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
I had to modify the installation to enable the door to swing open without any impediment caused by
the interior door surround resulting in a deep space between the door and the wall.
Clear as mud - right?
🧐 

In short
this is what it looks like and
I've left it removable for the time being. 

Who knew that changing out a door could turn into something as complicated as this proved to be? 
Even so, I'm happy with it because
the little recess is unusual and quirky and has a very 
'English-y'
feel to it! ❤😌

  
PAINTING THE DOOR

I've painted the door both front and back,
 several times trying to get it to look fresh
without appearing too pristine. 
In the end I lightly aged it with a graphite pencil then called it a day. 

Just in case you're wondering why I wouldn't want this door to look 'BANDBOX NEW'
is because I want my tiny dwellings to appear as though they've been occupied for a long time
and time and the elements have a way of removing the surface sheen from just about everything
 and
people have a way of causing certain amounts of distress on the things we regularly use.

Which is why, I didn't want the door to look
 freshly painted.

 

I Did however,
want a letter slot in the front door but
I didn't want to have to cut one out of the door 
so I purchased a set of 2 brass mail slots and glued them to both sides of the door. 

I ordered a package of mini mail
from the U.K complete with U.K stamps and postmarks.
If you're in the market for British mini mail, I've included the link below-
Ebay

I left one letter on the floor under the mail slot: the rest
are housed in the Secretary. 

Because of the long glass panes of door,
I felt that The Dowager needed a bit more
personal security 
therefore, 
a iron slide bolt at the bottom of the door
became a requirement. 

Years ago,
I had made one out of card-stock for the front door of 
Villa Leone,
which turned out quite well,
 however I didn't feel like making another so I bought mine on line. 
 The one you see below is by
TOWN SQUARE MINIATURES
I really like the look of the black iron bolt against
the white painted wood. 
It stands out (but not too much!) 
and thus the Dowager is able to rest securely! 







NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT THE 
LEADED GLASS WINDOW
( a semi tutorial) 

Last Year, when I'd removed the old kit windows from this dollhouse, I made sure to save them so that I could use them as a guide 
 but
wouldn't you know it
when I needed them- 
 I couldn't find them
 

SO
I had to make a window from scratch. 😣
NOT MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO! πŸ˜«

I made a window
then after I'd made it 
I didn't like it😱

I had enough wood trims for the replacement panels, 
but historically
 me and wood have a very shaky relationship.  
 I inevitably waste more wood than I actually use.

With me it's -
measure OFTEN then cut it WRONG anyway. 

  I painted lots of trims knowing that I would mess it up and of course I did. 
As for the acetate,
 I had just enough of it
                             to make the second set 
                           of"glass"panes- whew!  

 It is difficult to see in the photo below but I cut 3 separate panels of clear heavy plastic and built the frames around them 
into one single unit. 

Once I had the frame(s) secured it was time to move on 
to the leading.
With the first set of windows
I used the metal mesh from an air filter
it was good but the mesh had depth and so I needed a lot of UV resin to fill it. 
Hence it made the glass too thick. 

For the leading in this window
 I used the metal cross-hatched mesh
from 2
MOSQUITO ZAPPERS! 


The Zappers look like plastic tennis rackets with 3 layers of grills (2 big over1 small) which are sandwiched over each other and connected to wires; which are connected to batteries; which are housed inside the handle.  
I've seen them in action on t.v. although I've never used one myself. 
I found these at the thrift store. 
 
I've included a link to Walmart's so you can read up about it if you're interested. 
Bug Zapper




The front and back of both rackets have a VERY FLAT crosshatched metal which I thought would work the best.   
I first tried it up against the window opening to see if the scale of the leading looked right but
it was too hard to tell

 I proceeded to pry apart the plastic frame from the bigger of the 2 zappers because I wasn't able to unscrew it.
The smaller racket was easier to disassemble as the screws were more accessible.  

This method worked but I had to be careful not to accidentally bend the mesh. 
This is what it looked like once the grill was removed from the frame.

The photo below shows how thin
the profile of the mesh is

Below the "leading" in millimetres 

and in
inches



NO SOLDERING REQUIRED-

I laid the window frame over the mesh to test it out



Once I was satisfied that it would work,
I cut out 3 separate sections of leading for each panel using tin snips and laid them between the wood strips.
To hold them in place 
I used a tiny bit of Fabri-Tac around the edges of the metal to prevent them from shifting as I continued to build up the wood trims around them. 


and ANOTHER TEST
 I continued to build up the wood panels AROUND and OVER the leading from the inside of the window,
 then I repeated the entire process again with a second layer of metal and trims for the outside of the window.
 
I know...
Sounds like a weird way to do it 
but I'm not a great builder, so I do
what works for ME.  


Once the window panels on the inside were completed,
I BRUSHED over the leading and the clear plastic with 
a very THIN coat of UV RESIN

I USED A BRUSH 
having learned the hard way with the first set of windows 
that pouring on the resin 
 makes the glass way too thick and uneven. 
unless of course, that that's the look you want

I tested the window once again once the interior glazing was done. 

For the exterior side of the window 
I had to make sure that the grills
lined up with the interior leading on all 3 panels
then I began building up the wood trims over them too. 
 
When the exterior trims were completed I again
 brushed over the metal with  UV Resin- curing each panel one at a time
under the UV lamp. 

I'm still debating on whether I should randomly tint some of the diamond panes with a colour
to imitate stained glass 
  πŸ€”
Knowing me, 
I'd wreck it and then be mad at myself forever
and/or have to make ANOTHER set....


Moving on...

I installed the new window. 
As you can see, 
this dollhouse is in desperate need of a repainting 
which I shall do LATER.  
For me I start with the interior and develop the character of the owner.  
Later, (much later) I'll work on the exterior after I've established the history of the house 
and its current occupant-  
kinda backwards to the norm but that's how I like to do it.

The window in situ

fyi
I made these drapes for Villa Leone but I swapped them out with some fabulous fabric which Jodi
MY MINIATURE MADNESS
had gifted me with instead. 
Initially they were place holders but then I decided to make them permanent. 
They're held in place with Museum wax
 and the stiffness of the fabric.  

The next thing on my 
TO DO LIST was 
 unexpected. 


Above the window bump-out
was a connecting strip of the pink wallpaper 
I used in the rest of the room.  But now
with the larger leading
 the window looked proportionally small.
My solution was to beef up the window surround and make it look more imposing! 

I used an air dry clay casting from this silicone mold which I'd purchased on Amazon for some of the detailed stone carvings on 
VILLA LEONE


I cut a section of the Egg and Dart trim
to fit above the window and glued it in place.
I LIKED IT! 
I felt it gave the window more 
PRESENCE
and the needed visual weight 
so I went with it.
I removed the narrow strip of pink wallpaper and filled  the void with more wood trims above the egg and dart moulding, and then painted everything white.

THINGS ARE LOOKING UP! 😎


More wood trims were added around the parameters of the window until I was satisfied that the window could visually hold its own. 
I may add some black hardware to 2 of the side panels to suggest that the window are operational,
but for now I'm calling them done!
 


THE FIREPLACE

As I think I mentioned in Part One,
this fireplace was formerly a tea-light holder
which I found at the thrift store for a few dollars:
I LOVE the Size of it! 

It had a thick, heavy duty resin hearth which I sawed off with a hacksaw-

easier said than done

Let me tell you guys
sawing resin by hand
is labour intensive!

 πŸ’ͺ 

The metal grate is original to the fireplace. 

Before I forget to tell you-
the little blue and white dish on the wall
 is by artisan Sue Sherrill
an Ebay purchase 
but the pictures on the wall 
are magazine cutouts
 which I pasted onto heavy card and hung with a wire and/or BlueTac

The majority of artwork in the living room,
 as well as in the bedroom are mounted onto card-stock which I've edged 
with complimentary wood stain furniture markers. 
or a matching felt pen. 

THE MANTLE


Once I'd decided that I wanted a green plant on the mantle, I quickly made one using some dried green plant materials from my stash.
But then, as usual,
 I changed my mind and decided to replace it with something different.  
Since I specifically wanted an overgrown ivy, I decided to make one myself 
and have it crawl and drape the way I wanted it to. 


I made the ivy plant on the mantle using multi-twists of fine copper wire which I shaped then painted. 
Once the stems were dry,
 I glued on 
tiny ivy leaf paper punch outs 
 gluing them onto the stems with 
white glue and super glue. 
When all was set, 
I brushed over the stems and the leaves with a thin mix of wood glue and water. 
 
The stems were planted into a square plastic 
 spray nozzle which I'd painted and glazed with UV resin.
I filled the vase with brown plasticine 
to hold the ivy in place. 

I actually enjoyed making this plant and will probably make another for the Dower House bedroom.

fyi 
Below is a photo of the previous dried plant material
 for comparison



The wall sconces were fortuitous purchased from
SP MINIATURES
originally intended for Villa Leone 
however, they didn't work for the Villa  
so on a whim,
 I tried them out here and
THEY WERE PERFECT!

The over-mantle mirror is one I've had for AGES (1970's)!
It's a heavy metal casting which use to have a print of a Old Masters painting.    
I repainted and aged the metal frame and replaced the print with an old compact mirror.


Also on the mantle, are a brass candlestick; a playing card stud earring used as free-standing picture frame; another magazine cutout; a tiny Capodimonte china ornament; and 2 white rabbits from the ebay store of
which I painted with clear UV resin. 
The third rabbit from this set, sits on top of the Secretary. 



On the left side of the fireplace wall
is a fimo cornucopia sculpture which FATIMA 
of BEAUXMINIS
gave me more than a decade ago!
It looks like Murano Glass and  
I've filled it with long fireplace matches:
wood slivers shaved
from a full-sized matchstick.

To the right of the match holder is a nesting table,
 with a display of a cranberry glass drinks set by  
GLASSCRAFT.
The wine bottle contains red printer ink. 


There's also a small wooden camel which I glazed with UV resin and a delicate china bowl by Teresa Welch and a photograph in a brass frame; all of which is illuminated by a brass lamp sporting a burgundy shade purchased from an online miniature show. 





The pink glass display and the pink roses in the painting
appear to have been made for each other!



The TREASURED painting 
was a gift to me from 
Cathrine Buron
Ninette & co.
which she painted specifically for
#43 GREEN DOLPHIN STREET
however,
 I think I've found a better home for it here
in The Dower House!
Thank You again Catherine! πŸ’–

The Tea table is a rescued piece
from I can't remember where. 

I've left the unevenly stained wood as is;
 placed a large doily over top and added casters;
 then laid out 
an Afternoon Tea
featuring the work of 
Janet Uyetake 
TINY TOWNE MINIATURES 
crustless tea sandwiches with pickles
AND
 Rina Vellichor open-faced
tomato, basil and cucumber sandwiches.
SUPER YUM! πŸ˜‹



The INCREDIBLE green grapes in the photo above
 were made by 
the AMAZING Claudia of Le Mini di Claudia
And a naked strawberry topped chocolate cake
was made by 
Valentina of
PinkCuteSugar
A Very tempting afternoon tea- YES?  



For some time now,
I've been spot collecting 
vintage Stokesay Ware china from all over the internet.

I happened to find a set of these vintage cups and saucers from the Estate section of 
Dollhouse Junction
the
 2 matching luncheon plates 
came from a winning an Ebay auction 
and the silver teaspoons made by Pete Acquisto 
were purchased from 
SP MINIATURES

I've also managed to purchase a single dinner plate in this particular pattern and then my friend Janine, MINWORKS  blog
was kind enough to give me an extra dinner plate
from her personal collection. 

SOoooo 
 I now have a place setting for 2  -
WHOOHOO! 
πŸ•ΊπŸ»πŸ’ƒπŸΏ



THE SOFA

I purchased this sofa brand new from MforMiniatures 
intended for another project.
 I deliberately aged the surface of the leather,
 to take the newness off
 but then once again,
I changed my mind and
I decided to use it in the Dower House. 

 I loved its size and the shape of this Chesterfield but now the "leather" was so used and abused
that I needed to amend it.
There are some things once done 
that can't be reversed
 and this was one of them!

 


Because it was a little too shabby for the rest of the room,  I did what my mother used to do
 and threw a Throw over it! 
Which has covered a multitude of sinsπŸ˜‡

I used an old piece of brown felt to throw over the back which blends in with the colour of the leather. 
 I made the faded cushions by using the reverse side of a exotic cotton print and filled them with tiny glass beads to make them slouchy.  They were fringed using the leftover scraps from the same tapestry fabric covering the seat cushion.

Any damage I couldn't disguise
was blamed on the cat! 

speaking of which...
I Changed the Cat too! 

The "Queen" of the sofa is
"Jennie" 
a Burmese cat purchased from Ebay
(sorry, but can't recall the name of her maker).
 
I'd originally purchased her for 
Villa Leone
then again,
I changed my mind.
Now here she is living contentedly in 
THE DOWER HOUSE
as if she's always been here




 and she's very territorial! 😼


THE CLOCK 
 I built the tall case clock from a vintage 




It's HUGE
and totally dwarfs the 
 cat scratched sofa beside it. 

I installed it because it not only fills that awkward space under the steps, but it also further illustrates my narrative: 
that the Dowager favourite possession from the Manor, 
were made to fit inside her tiny cottage.
She may have down-sized her house, 
but she's refused to down-size 
on the things that make her happy!😊

THE RUG  


The oriental carpet was just one of at least 6 identical mini carpets
woven into a LONG LENGTH of GORGEOUS Thai silk
which I was LOATHE 😣 to cut up 
although eventually I did

I glued on a backing using FABRI-TAC
to keep the rug from fraying. 

The carpet repeats the rich golden yellow of the window curtains.
 
On the floor under the arm chair is 
"Churchill"
the Dowager's new bulldog pup.
He's all tuckered out from playing with the
Union Jack rubber ball (a bead)
lying next to him.

Unfortunately 
his maker who is a VERY TALENTED 
Russian artisan
is currently off line right now, 
otherwise I'd be able to share her Etsy link
but I'm hoping that she'll soon be up and running again because as you can tell,
 she makes Truly Wonderful miniature animals with lots of expression in their poses. 






In the photo below
you'll see the VERY NARROW  
flight of stairs leading up to 
THE BEDROOM 
which I'd just begun working on during the time I was writing this post. 
I've since finished the hall walls 
and most of the stairs themselves- 
the  2 Windows in the stairwell are yet to be installed.



I've eliminated the previous wooden handrail
but I at one point I was seriously considering installing a 
ROPE-GRIP
However, now that I've finished the stairwell
I'll probably NOT do it
 since getting my big hand in that narrow space would make the job awkward and difficult. 
 
Re: THE FLOOR
I used the left-over wood siding from
The WILLOWCREST KIT
aka VILLA LEONE
because
 I HAVE LOTS OF IT!
waste not -want not 



THE LEFT SIDE
OF THE LIVING ROOM

Initially my plan was to use ALL of the available wall-space in the Living Room 
to showcase a number of the Dowager's prized pieces of 
miniature blue and white china.
But
as the room began to fill up with other things,
 the only wall left for a china display was the left one. 
However
the large secretary in the middle of the wall
 reduced the space even further to
 the area above it
and a tiny bit on either side of it. 


 the BLUE AND WHITE CHINA 

The top of the desk
proved to be the ideal place to feature the taller pieces
in my collection





THE AMAZINGLY TALENTED
JONQUIL NORRIE 
of Latchkey and Jonquil
 sent me a parcel for Christmas 
which contained (among other small wonders)
a tall blue and white vase
which she'd hand painted!
πŸ’–
I'm perpetually gob-smacked and in awe
of her talents! 
πŸ’–
 


I placed it Centre Stage on top of the secretary
flanked by a couple of plates from 
TWELVE TIMES MORE TEENY
alongside a couple of ginger jars I'd found on Etsy 
and a large white rabbit from
GiuliasMiniatures
 
The Secretary itself, is a vintage resin plastic piece from 
The Goebel Butterfly Collection
which I'd painted a long, long time ago
using a faux bois technique
to get it to resemble a dark burl.


I've tried to capture the look of the Traditional
English Country Style in the vignette above,
 without going too overboard with the typical
English Cottage cliches but it was great fun dressing this secretary with everything U.K. that I could find! 
 
The Oval plater on the wall 
is "Vintage" JEAN DAY.

 Back in the day
(no pun intended)
Jean used to make Wonderful little porcelain dolls
and dollhouse dolls
and I'm proud to say that I have quite a few of them 
 some of which you can see in 
my blog post
toys,Toys TOYS

A few years ago,
I purchased 2 Queen Anne chairs from an estate sale which Fatima and I attended together in person. 
It was Great Fun! 
Both caught my eye at the time but since then, they've sat on my shelf with nowhere else to go-
until now. 

  One is a signed artisan made Queen Anne with ball and claw feet and green velvet seat cushion.   
The 2nd is a Magnificent burl wood side chair with ball and claw feet and signed by the late

John Hodgson.
I shift its position from  sitting in front of the secretary,
 to over by the drop leaf table for tea.




The original seat cushion is a burgundy suede,
and the entire cushion lifts out of the frame,
  I recovered it using a section of a man's Italian silk tie depicting a circus elephant
of all things! πŸ‘€
I've recovered the cushion with great care so that the silk can be removed without leaving any damage
on the original leather. 
I know this for a fact
 since I've already changed the fabric on this chair
 5 TIMES! πŸ˜… 
 


Back to the desk...
Inside the upper portion of the secretary 
are a number of homemade books, a toby jug, 3 Staffordshire china dogs and some additional blue and white objects including a
Jean Yingling
demitasse cup and saucer.
which I found at 

RUBY LANE MINIATURES
The Yingling cup and saucer are Exquisite!


Here's a look at the entire upper cabinet area
of books, some cheap mass produced china,
Staffordshire china dogs,
and a miniature tea box from
ZenasMiniatures on Esty



THE Messy DESK

There lots of paper "mess" on the desk top
mostly letters, paper pads, a homemade inkwell
and a fountain pen which I
contrived from the extracted pin of a Push Pin 

British mail 
purchased on Ebay


The small scalloped dish above the light fixture 
was made by U.K. Artisan 
Nikki Naki Nu
and the English mirror to the right of the desk 
was purchased from
SP Miniatures
another favourite resource of mine


A growing collection of canes and umbrellas are placed next to the desk alongside
a pair of muddy Hunter Wellies

The canes and the brollies


the Mary Poppins 
parrot umbrella 
came from 
Miniature Crush on Etsy

This lovely umbrella was made by Fatima
of Beauxminis
Sadly, I had to steal it out of  
#43 Green Dolphins Street
whilst I wait for Fatima to make more of them.


The Muddy Wellies
I painted a pair of generic yellow dollhouse boots
with a green acrylic paint; but then, while thumbing through an old   
Victoria Bliss magazine, 
I found an advertisement for Hunter Boots and
 was able to cut and paste the tiny logos from the ad
onto the front boots.
I saw a pair of muddy boots on an Instagram post
and loved the look,  
so I used a thinned white glue along with some real dirt 
and spread it out over the surface and underside,
 then let it dry
before I removed the excess
and 
"Bob's Your Uncle!"

fyi
I wouldn't normally have such dirty boots inside the house but 
they'll have to remain in the living room
 until the exterior gets done.

I've already got the boot-scraper for the front stairs! 




INTO THE HOME STRETCH

Yes! I'm almost doneπŸ˜„


So having come full circle 
we are back again at the window. 
In front of the window I have installed a wide arm chair
from a miniature furniture lot purchase-
It was already upholstered in a multi-stripe of light & dark stripes of pink, gold, beige,
and gradient blues 

I like the way it picks up the pink in the wallpaper
 but I also enjoy the contrast of it against
the golden yellow drapes and the area rug.

On the chair are two cushions
One made for me a LONG time ago embroidered
 by my friend 
Pam Grant
and the other cushion I made 
  using the same fabric and method as those on the sofa. 




On the small gate-leg table,
 is a
"non-working"lamp.
Non-working ever since I accidentally

 broke off the wires!
whoopsies! 
Even so-
 Since I already had enough illumination in this room and only required the presence of a lamp to dress this table,
"non-working" works just fine! πŸ˜†

But to make it work for this room,
I painted it, glazed it with U V resin then I appliquΓ©d it with gold nail decals.
The shade is painted inside and out with silver nail polish and black chalk paint, 
after which, the bottom of the shade

was edged with a fine black picot trim.  

The silhouette on the table is another magazine cut out
 mounted onto card-stock.

The sterling silver cream and sugar on the silver tray 
were all made by Don Henry.  
The tray came from 
and the silver sugar and cream I acquired from 

The black and white Staffordshire china dog
 is the mate to one displayed in the secretary.
The painted metal hunting dog was a lucky find
inside a bag of thrift store junk.

A blue and white Stokesay ware plate
sits in front of a bouquet of white daisies, pink dahlias and burgundy peonies.
Daisies made by me 
Peonies I made from a kit by 
The Miniature Garden
Dahlias -Ebay


The silver teapot is one of my 
FAVOURITE THINGS
  I can't remember where or when I bought it, 
but what I liked about it 
was its unique shape.  
When it finally arrived in the post, 
I was SMITTEN even more! 😍

It's hand-signed but the signature is so faint, 
that it can only be deciphered via a jeweller's loop.  
The knob on the lid and the carved handle are both made of (ebony?)wood.
There's also what looks like a teeny tiny hallmark 
stamped in the metal 
which is impossible to make out even with my loop.
Regardless of whether it is sterling silver or not,
the entire teapot with its curved spout and squat body is
Altogether LOVELY


SO there it is-
 YOU'VE SEEN ALL THERE IS TO SEE!


SUCH A LONG POSTπŸ˜‚  
but I hope you've enjoyed the tour 
and found it worth the wait!  


 

the DOWER HOUSE LIVING ROOM
is DONE!
well actually
there are still a few more tweaks which I need to complete so let's say it's 99.9%
DONE! 



Thank you everybody for you patience 
AND
 for sticking it out to-


THE END



But WAIT! 
before you go-
here's a teaser of the Dower House bedroom which I'm currently working on....

and  I can hardly wait to show it to you- 
IT WILL BE READY"to post...
very soon!😜
❤️
elizabeth



















































































 




















 





THE DOWER HOUSE LIVING ROOM- Part 2- my GLENCROFT REHAB.

WELCOME BACK Everyone!   As usual I'm LATE AGAIN!  ⏰😩 Sheesh!   where has the time gone? I honestly meant to have Part 2 published earl...