Tuesday 25 July 2023

DO OVERS! a Glencroft Living room redecoration

    Back in April of 2022, I made up a storyline for my Glencroft renovations, which went something like this...  

"After due consideration, the Dowager has  decided to vacate her spacious Manor; and transfer the house and all its holdings, over to her son and his family. 

Prior to the Dowager's downsizing and permanent relocation, a vacant cottage within the ancestral property, was lightly renovated to suit the dowager's practical and aesthetic requirements.   

A number of sentimental favorites comprised of both personal memorabilia and antique furniture, were carefully transferred from the manor and over to her new home.   

Such items as her handsome Chippendale secretary and ancient tall case clock, shared the cottage space with a worn out leather sofa and a castaway wobbly tea table."

SO- as you all know, the Living Room of the dowagers cottage, was the first room I tackled.  

I deliberately mixed old furniture with new, high end with low end and at the time, I liked the results!   

Shortly thereafter, I completed the second room in the Glencroft.  The English cottage bedroom renos, became  an Edwardian Explorer renovation, published as -"Midnight at the Oasis. πŸŒ΄πŸ«

The 3rd renovated room that I tackled, was its former  cottage kitchen which became the dowager's Garden/dining room.🌷 The design of the Garden/dining Room was bold, contemporary and dramatic, which in conjunction with the Edwardian bedroom above, made the adjacent living room look kinda dowdy by comparison. 

By referring back again to my original storyline, some of the dowager's eccentric furniture choices, didn't ring true to me anymore especially "the worn out old leather sofa".  

Why would a woman with both resources and property,  choose the WORST sofa she owned or decide to salvage a roadside tea table, simply for the sake of downsizing?   

This incongruity bugged me into a state of mind-numbing inertia. After Christmas, I could do nothing more with The Dower House except sit and stare at it. πŸ˜³

By mid-spring, I finally felt like working on the doll's house  again, but since I still didn't know what to do about the sofa, I focused almost exclusively on the dowager's "previously completed" Bedroom.  

I made a few specific purchases to further emphasise its Edwardian Explorer theme and found that the more I tweaked it, the better I liked it!  in my next blog installment I'll post an update 

Anyway, from the exaggerated theme in the bedroom, came the change in direction for the living room.   

The challenge I'd set for myself was to visually connect both the Edwardian and Contemporary themes

without losing sight of my original story.  

Naturally, one thing led to another, which eventually became a total Living room - 

DO-OVER- it's the same- but different! 

The first thing changed
The solid pink

To break them up I painted in  
a"faux"lower panel and added a chair rail.

For the illusion of painted woodwork-
 I infilled the space between the new
chair rail and baseboards,
with 2 coats of white chalk paint
 applied directly over the vinyl coated wallpaper.
Once dry,
I lightly sanded the surface,
followed by 
 several top coats of
white acrylic paint to complete the effect.
Dividing the wall(s) into upper and lower sections
 made a HUGE  difference
in the formality of the room,
 not to mention
 continuity with the white wainscotting
as in the bedroom above. 

As mentioned earlier,
the "Edwardian Explorer"
took on a more significant decor role in the living room, 
and reminded me of one of my favourite books-

my dowager would have the same
independent creative spirit as the real 
Karen Blixen
along with
 a tiny copy of Karen's book, too!

The dowager's next decor adventure 
was replacing the old draperies with

I photocopied
 an over-scaled magazine print of an exotic
Persian rug,
 onto cotton sheets of 

Inkjet Fabric purchased on Amazon. 
Below-the old curtains↓
 behold the new ↓
I backed each of the printed panels with a plain
lightweight muslin fabric to bulk them up,
then I added the fringe along the inside edge
 and brass curtain rings along the top,
 same as before.

The pattern is subtle whilst the colour is rich:
a pretty contrast
against the pink and white walls.

The photo above is a silhouette of a new table lamp.

I purchased this lamp from a vendor on Ebay 
The lamp is 3D printed; hand painted; and prewired with a 12 volt bulb.
I covered the shade
with the same rust/green Thai silk as

on the chairs in the Garden/Dining room,
 I trimmed the top and bottom edges
of the shade in 
old gold bullion trim
 that either Linda or Janine had previously given me.  

 4 brass ball feet were glued to the flat bottomed base 
and VOILA!

Things were chugging along just fine by now,
 shortly after I'd installed the new table lamp above,
 a wire on the brass table lamp next to the 
grandfather clock,
snapped off at its base.

Since it was irreparable,
I ordered another lamp from the same ebay vendor.

The new lamp (the 3 graces) is taller
than my first one. 
I customized it for the room,
by changing the shade it came with, 
to one I already had.
I covered the shade in the same iridescent Thai silk
so it would match the other.
I made a fringe by fraying a length of
green grosgrain ribbon- 
and this is the end results!↓

The 2 lamp DO-OVERS


In the very early days of the cottage renovations
I had wanted to use this dainty brass fixture,
but I'd changed my mind
because only 2 of the bulbs worked
 and none were replaceable.
 Much Later on,
I toyed with the idea again,
and decided that it was far too pretty to entirely forfeit.
I cut the wires off
and removed all of the chain
in order to hang the fixture
as high as I could.
And although it doesn't light at all-
 it sure looks like it could!

Over the years,
I've collected some lovely pieces of miniature fine china 
which continues to be
 a never ending passion of mine. 
I wanted to showcase more of it here on the wall,
 include a few new photos to the mix.

A few months back
I found a pair of vintage, solid brass earrings

at my local thrift store
which became
 2 rectangular picture frames
for the living room wall.

 I wonder if either of these 2 dapper fellows
are Denys Finch Hatton
or Berkeley Cole? 🧐

Along with the Stokesay Ware china on the wall,
I mounted a SMALL half round wooden shelf

 under the trumeau mirror,
as a place for the dowager's keys. 

I  staggered then glued
 2 half circles together to make the shelf top,
along with a pie shaped quarter round
to act as a shelf support,
all of which was
 stained using
a dark brown felt-tipped furniture touch-up pen. 

 I dressed the shelf with a metal tray
and a tiny fob with car keys- 

and  TA DAH!
Bob's your uncle! 


A collection of umbrellas and walking sticks
are to the right of the secretary
directly beneath the English trumeau mirror.
I bought the "Mary Poppins" parrot handled umbrella
on Ebay
because I LOVE birds and so does the Dowager! 

The olive green umbrella
in the foreground below
 is by Fatima of Beauxminis
The rest of the canes and walking sticks
I either already 
had &/or made from scratch.


A jumble of papers, ink, fountain pen, figurines,
Royal mail
and a leather journal
chronicling the Dowager's daily activities;
litter its surface. 

  I used a couple of drops of UV resin,
for the magnifying glass which actually magnifies. 
It sits on top of an open
Book of Curiosities 
Little Things of Interest 
love her store! 

A tiny owl clock
(a repurposed novelty earring) 
 is perched contentedly amid the dowagers collection of assorted writing materials
which includes a gold fountain pen:
  a direct reference taken from the movie
Out of Africa 
I was definitely enjoying the jumble
 of academic paraphernalia crowding 
the secretary desktop; 
and yet it still felt incomplete to me. 
I'd always wanted a task lamp on it
so after some minor reshuffling 
I was actually able to squeeze one in.
and there was light"


For continuity with the dowager's Arts and Craft bed,

I purchased a matching bamboo side table
 for her Living Room.

 It's big enough to hold a Huge Plant, 
yet small enough to walk past
without her bumping into it.

Bamboo furniture made by

Whilst rifling through my stash of long-forgotten accessories,
I stumbled upon a carved wooden rhinoceros -
It fits in perfectly
 with my
Out of Africa/ Edwardian Adventurer
🦏🌴🦏🌴  theme!  πŸŒ΄πŸ¦πŸŒ΄πŸ¦

The carved wood green ball in the photo above
 is a textured wooden bead.
I liked the size and colour of it
so it stayed on the table until... 
I replaced it with a "carved lidded pot" 

This was made by stacking 3 buttons
one on top of the other:
 its base is a leather shank button
its lid is a brass button
and a smaller wood button serves as a knob.  

On the lower shelf of the table
 are stack of books on birds.

also made by
 Little Things Of Interest
 The magazines are stored inside a large carved wooden bowl
(a very large and unusual button)
that sits on the floor underneath the table.
A really FUN detail! 
These Nat.Geo. magazines are actually readable! 

was contrived from a package of
 Michael's fern stems 
found in the
"stickers & embellishments"asile.
These scrapbooking fronds
are actually too big for 12th scale,
so I snipped off the greenery
from their widest end,
down to a more reasonable length.

 I painted both sides of the paper fronds
with a water based  green enamel 
followed by a thin brown chalk and water wash. 
I filled the urn with a blob of Museum Wax;
 stuck the wire ends into it;
 and called it- 

I also made the tall fretwork
from the cut sections of a sandalwood fan.

I painted the wastebasket with black and red
acrylic paints
then randomly applied gold felt pen highlights
over the red.

 Clear UV resin
 was carefully painted 
around each of  the tiny cut-outs
for a high shine, strength and durability.

 Lastly, I  tossed several crumpled pieces
of mini junk mail into it and called it a day! 

is a MINIATURES by Vio Etsy kit.

I upholstered this chair in a "leather look" fabric 
which I'd stained with a dark brown felt pen,
 then sealed with a liquid floor wax. 

I've purchased several furniture kits 
from this vendor and 
 I highly recommend them! 
To warm up the dowager's
"senior shoulders"

 a native hand-woven wrap
 drapes gracefully over the arm of her chair. 



I hated saying goodbye to Churchill
and Jenny the dowager's 2 previous dogs,
but once 
she saw these 4 snoozing cuties on Ebay,
 madame insisted on adopting them all! 

These are in fact
and from nose to tail they are 2 inches long 
 with a 1 inch body width.

They're the perfect scale for this small cottage
however I must confess
that it's their cute sleeping positions 
  which are the main attraction for me
and for milady dowager!  
Janine ( Minworks)
 told me that corgis are notorious
for getting underfoot,
and as you can see they are all huddled together
like a lumpy scatter rug.
When madame finally returns to the room,
she'll have to tiptoe her way through the huddle
 as well as reclaim her 
 made by Linda Park.

Naughty Naughty Puppies! 


is from the Etsy vendor
It's always a gamble when you're trying to match colours online
but I think that this rug works really well
with the new drapes. 

I purchased it in 1/6th scale
for the extra length

and it fits 
The rug is printed onto very thin canvas 
I've glued onto a thicker piece of fabric
visual weight and underpadding. 

so what do you think?

And now for 

 Using dried grape stems as an amature
 and the assorted birds, beads and nail gemstones,
a whimsical "singing tree" sculpture was contrived.
It's displayed inside 
a vintage iron (candle cup) urn 
and next to the dowager's front door.
It's a OOAK Birthday GIFT
from the dowager's daughter-
The Artist of the family!

 She also made the quirky
metal leaf sculpture
(commissioned by her brother)
for the wall
in their mother's Garden/Dining room.

I deliberately tried to make this piece look
 quirky and outrageous
which of course,
has all the dowagers friends
 gossiping about it over their tea.
"But My Dear have you seen it!????"
BEFORE the tree installation↓



The following photos are a few 


This green vining plant was made using assorted hearts punched out of a painted metal coffee can freshness seal.
It sits in the Living room window recess
on a stack of old books behind a table,
where nobody can see it! πŸ˜„


This vintage Paula Gilhooley miniature Orchid
was purchased AS Is. 

It has definitely seen better days.
Even so,
I love the cloud effect of its tiny yellow blossoms! 

The Parrot Pot 

The Parrot Pot 
is the bird from the 2022 Christmas mantle garland
showcased in my previous Post.
I wanted to keep it in the Living Room so I glued it onto the thumbtack lid of my glass bead-jar.

I decorated the lid with floral nail art and applied several
 thin coats of

Testors clear parts cement & window maker 
over the parrot and the lid
to imitate the look of porcelain. 

I Love this Parrot Pot! 

THE TEA in the teacup 
is removable.
It's made of 2 coloured and punched acetate rounds stacked
on top of each other inside the cup.
This method maintains the integrity of the china
whilst providing the illusion of
a hot Cuppa Tea minus any spillage ☕️

The Next Phase of this Living Room Upgrade
involved swapping out


This was NOT part of the original plan

The soft furnishings in Karen Blixen's African Farmhouse  
were chintz covered and informal,
I decided to replace the upright Wing Chair 

with a more relaxed upholstered armchair. 
This chair was solid light yellow when I bought it,
which didn't work with the drapes. 
I painted it with assorted felt pens and random daubs of red ink

I added 4 brass casters to the legs 
and fringe around the base of the chair
to match the fringe around the sofa.
The doily on the back of the chair was cut from a
piece of nylon lace.

This new to old 
reads more artsy and less formal  
 than the its rigid predecessor 
 more in keeping with its general theme.

I've paired the chair with a resin ottoman:
 a discontinued sale item
found at Michael's;
originally covered in a dusty pink flocking.

Using assorted green felt pens,
 I painted right on top of the pink flocking,
and it worked like a charm!

I trimmed the top and bottom circumference of the poof 
 with 2 narrow bands of felt-painted picot trim
then I glued 4 bead feet onto its base.


 The original mirror was replaced
with a vintage portrait of a family flapper.
Then an assortment of unrelated accessories
have been carefully rearranged on either side of it. 

I tried several times 
 to get a better photo of the portrait in situ
 but this was the best I could manage ....

The china dog and a peacock blue and gold vase 
were both recent gifts from Fatima. 
 I filled the vase with tall, iridescent feathers 
harvested from a ebay brooch pin.

has been 
changed so many times I've lost count! 
As of mid-July 2023
this is what it looks like. 

The Sovereign Blue
luncheon plates, cups and saucers 
are by
 Stokesay Ware
The bone handled Mike Sparrow butter knife
is coupled with a mismatched sterling silver fork. 

Pete Acquisto silver cake server 
is tucked under a slice of my own
 Studio E pound cake
 spilling over with mixed summer berries. 

I can't remember where or when
 I purchased
the steele & china cake plate
but how lucky for me that 
the shape of the handle
 the shapes of the mismatched tea service!
 A stroke of serendipity if ever there was one!   


 (signed by an unknown Artisan)
a Cream and Sugar bowl with tongs
by U.K. Artisan
The round silver serving tray
 is by Ken Chellis U.S.A.

The Exquisite fully lined 
petit point tea cosy,
 is by the Incomparable 
 I'll be selling an exclusive selection of Linda's AMAZING Needlework Creations
including her slippers, cushions, and teacosys

On the table is a single lace napkin
 in a sterling silver napkin ring.
The other 3 napkins and rings
 are stored in the GARDEN ROOM's
corner cupboard drawer. 
I mention this here to remind myself LATER
when I'm tearing my Studio apart looking for them! 

The floral tablecloth started life
as a thrift-store rayon scarf.
It's very thin and was quite easy to wet, shape and drape. 
and now for 
I stripped off the old "ratty leather" using its original upholstery as my templates. 

I'd found a crumpled length
of Steel Blue and Sage Green VELVET
buried deep inside my fabrics stash drawer:
a sleeve remnant from a thrift store jacket.

 To get an 
"Bloomsbury Group"
I covered the sofa's front and back 
in the steel-blue velvet 
and used the sage green velvet
for the rolled arms and bench seat.

To give the sofa a bit of slouch
I filled the seat cushion with glass beads.

By following the existing pattern from the old template,
I tufted the arms and back 
with iridescent blue-black seed beads/buttons. 
my tufting efforts turned out 
I failed to get enough tension
the beads still look like-

Oh Well-Never mind! 
most of the "tufting" is hidden by the cushionsπŸ‘€

I stitched together
2 new carpet print sofa cushions
 to counterbalance 
 the colour weight of the carpet print window curtains.  
You can't really see the cushions
unless you are looking in
from the cottage front door.
To save you the effort of stepping outside,
I've turned the sofa around. 

Janine (Minworks )
had given me a long length of fringed selvage
in blues, browns and golds. 
which was CAREFULLY fitted
around the base of the sofa.

And it was either Linda or Janine
who'd given me 
a bag of old-gold metallic cording
which I glued end to end, 
along the top edge of the fringe. 

As you can see,
the dowager's rescue kitten
takes great pleasure in shredding it!

The help comes in twice a week
for the dowager. 
 She's just finished hoovering the living room carpet
and will be back in a trice 
for the dusting and tidy up.

Until she returns,
here's another quick tour around the
living room.

so in conclusion-
 it's gone from

the Same but Different! 

Thanks so much to everyone for stopping by.
 I do hope you've enjoyed your visit
and please come again!



As a reminder:  I'm still having problems with the comment section. If you try to leave one before the sidebar finally appears, or before the whirly-thing in the tab stops twirling, then your comment won't register.  This can take up to 60 seconds before the program stops loading and finally kicks in- Talk about frustrating!😩 
oh well,... it IS what it is. πŸ€ͺ

DO OVERS! a Glencroft Living room redecoration

    Back in April of 2022, I made up a storyline for my Glencroft renovations, which went something like this...   "After due considera...