Friday, 1 May 2015

By the Sea

I haven't posted for a while as 
I am still hard at work at finishing the garden of my cottage at #43 Green Dolphin Street, and will bring you an up-date on it very soon, meanwhile, I thought that I would distract you and tell you about 2 of my former doll's houses. 

I know that I have made mention many times before, about one of  my doll's house that the rats destroyed.   That particular tragedy took place rather early during my 12 silent years, of non-mini-making.
However, there were TWO doll's houses that the rats trashed.
One of them was my very first doll's house,
a Greenleaf "Jefferson" doll's house,
(This saltbox kit was later re-named the Willow) 

Mine was
fully furnished,
in an American Country style, in pinks and blues with country quilts as its theme.   I later on gave this house and its entire contents to my friend, Pamela Grant.  The same lady that made all of the incredible needlepoint cushions that I have shown you before, and a few of which currently reside in 

#43 Green Dolphin Street.
After the rat fiasco, Pam took that house under her wing and nursed that poor Jefferson back to health. 

No regrets; as I know that my invalid house went to a good home.
My other doll's house was my favorite
it was the Greenleaf Glencroft entitled
 "At Home By the Sea".
 It was done up in a West Coast Vintage Nautical style, loaded with cabbage rose upholstery, paisley, gingham, stars and stripes, and based loosely on the REAL Life east coast home of a professional Interior Designer, 

Betsy Speert.
( If you like cosy interior spaces with a leaning towards traditional, nautical, and cabbage rose prints, and if you have a good sense of humor, you should check out Betsy's interior design blog. )  

  "At Home By the Sea" ended up winning a First Place ribbon here at what is now, the West Coast Miniature Show, way back in the late 1990's and then Best In Show the following year in Seattle, Washington! :D  
I was very proud of both doll's houses, but then when I moved into my current Real Life house, they were carelessly 
stored and ignored 
 for many, many years, 
moldering away inside my dark and dank garage,
and it was during that time
 that those dastardly rats chose to strike and chewed them both to bits and then left behind their many mousey deposits.

( oh, those 2 poor defenseless doll's houses... )

After Pam came and rescued my country house, I finally made an effort to clean up the
 Nautical one.
   I restored all that I could salvage, cleaned, sanitized and then put it all away again.
Just recently, I pulled out some of what has been lying hidden in boxes.  I grouped some of them together with some fresh pieces that I have recently made.
It was Lots of Fun, getting re-aquatinted with my seafaring toys again.
The photos that I am about to present are just a pastiche of the more interesting bits and bobs that I have salvaged, saved and still continued to collect.  Some are left overs from my old Glencroft, some are gifts and then some were hand-crafted not all that long ago.
The theme is of course
"By The Sea"

welcome aboard!

 I've used my metal topped kitchen work table which makes a great display surface for some of my most recent experiments.
I made the "bronze" whale statuette in the foreground, from an earring as well as, the domed coral and shell display using some of my many mini shells and tiny starfish collection. They have been out of sight out of mind, but I fished them out of hiding when I saw this RL idea on an internet site.  The red coral is a section of plastic flower stems painted with coral nail varnish.
Below, is a close up of the smaller of the 2 nautical displays.
I am quite happy with the way that both of them have turned out.
the small display
The larger display
Jennifer of "Plushpussycat", sent me the glass pitcher which she had included into part of her Giveaway last year.   The pottery vase is actually a rubber foot guard from an old vanity tray.  The china teapot with the net design, was purchased from the West Coast Miniature Show 2013.  The teacup and saucer are plastic Chrysnbon, painted with  black nail polish and gold enamel paint. 

The teapot and the cup and saucer rest upon a coiled mat. 
The mat is a single section from a pair of thrift store earrings.   
The rolled maps in the barrel were cut from various magazines that were displayed inside my Glencroft doll's house.  I still use old magazines.  And these maps were perfectly to scale so all I had to do was to cut them from the pages of the magazine.
( this was back in the day, long before the internet and free on-line printies)   
Ah Ha!....  Does any of this look familiar?
This is the Fantastic Basket that I won in Lidi's last Giveaway.

hooray for me!!!
Now I am even MORE of a 

"Basketcase Miniatures" fan,
(if that's even possible!) 
It fits right into this nautical scene perched upon the styrofoam "rocks" that I had originally made for
 #43 Green Dolphin Street. 
Look at all of this nautical stuff that has washed ashore!
As you can see, I love baskets and the ones pictured above, are just a few of my favorites collected from all over the place.  The life preserver was formerly a beer bottle opener.  I  finally figured out how to safely extract the metal bottle opener bit from its center,
Lidi's wonderful basket is now perched atop a painted Shaker storage box.
The ship's wheel was clipped from a key chain.
The stacked book table was something I used to make and sell.  All of them gone now except for this one and the one I gave to Janine for her French house.

ahhh,... the memories

This treasure is A Bearly Big Enough painted chest of drawers from my collection of
"furniture in waiting"
I love this piece and look forward to eventually including additional rustic furniture to round out my collection.

A  fishmarket sign that I made for
"At Home by the Sea"

A really good source for minis is often keychains.  
I have found the most interesting ones at the thrift stores.  I believe that is where this deep sea diving helmet came from.
Janine has just reminded me that it was She who purchased this diving helmet for me while she and Bruce were in 
Western Australia.
What a blessing it is to have friends that will fill in the memory blanks when required
*and these days it is required more often than not*
thank you Janine! :))
The clock on the left is the one that I made from a novelty toy watch.  This use to hang in my Glencroft house.  The brass Paris wall clock was recently made from a clock face button and a brass button casing.

The green bottle is actually a pushpin painted with green glass paint and glued to the top of a wrapped bead that came from a necklace.  I had seen this tutorial on a blog about 2 years ago.  It was my first and only try.  The candlesticks I made, painted and aged.  The candles are white ceramic beads dripping with white nail polish.

This telescope lived in my Glencroft " At Home by the Sea" and you can easily see the corrosion from the years of dampness in the garage.
The coiled mat that the Teapot is on, is a "medium" section from the pair of earrings I mentioned earlier, which consisted of
   3 perfect coils joined together in graduated sizes, (small, medium and large) on each earring.
For $3.00, I got 6 perfect mini place mats!
This "cast iron" urn started life as a plastic silver loving cup on the top of a cheap plastic sports trophy for junior hockey or some such sport.  I sawed the cup off of the plinth, and filed down the rough bits, then I painted it to look like iron.
I love the way it turned out! 
Over the last few years I have found several of these kinds of trophies in various sizes and have used them in the miniature garden as planters, also as punch bowls as well as vessels for firewood.
Look for them at the thrift stores and/ or garage sales.
More shells from my bulging collection. 
In This photo, the Wonderful Windsor bench is signed by William Cruger. It is such an Incredibly delicate piece and I am anxiously waiting for the opportunity to use it.  The spindles on the bench are superfine and it truly is a real mini masterpiece

The whaling print was taken out of an old design magazine, which I reduced to fit an existing frame.  

The bird/lighthouse are items I made, but 
the model sailing ship and tiny wooden toys and the Shaker box, were purchased in Seattle and all were used in 

" At Home by the Sea"
These items were also part of that doll's house. I don't know where I got the captain's cap, but the boot were from Seattle, possibly made by Sylvia Roundtree, and the cribbage board was a Miniature Club gift.
The corrosion on the toe of the boot was from it being left in my garage all those years.
The sailor doll, I made and he use to have a sailor hat too, however it seems that he now needs a new one.
The Spanish sailing ship was one that use to live inside a bottle. Whoopsie! 

It appears that the original glass bottle has 
"crashed upon my hammer"
but luckily the ship has made it safely into port. :D

More stuff!

Here you can see clear evidence of my previous neglect in these poor ship-wrecked boots!

Men's toiletry case of English leather cologne and a "Manly" soap on a rope

Last but not least, this seagull ornament, which is something that my sister Bev, found at the thrift store which she thought that I might be able to use.
The first time I saw it I said "no thanks" because the gulls are huge even though the barnacle encrusted pylons are the perfect scale.
However, it wasn't until I saw how the gulls looked in the photos, that I decided to keep them. In the foreground, the birds look fine, although they still need eyes. They make great props for pictures.

It is certainly good to have scouts like my sister, out in the field...

Thanks Sis! :D

Just before I weigh anchor and cast off;
I have to let you know that the black and white mural in the background was taken from a book entitled
"Great Sea Battles"
by Oliver Warner
yet another thrift store score.

I was considering using it as wall paper mural if I ever do another big project.
As I have saved a lot of my Nautical collection and even added more, my plans are to be able to eventually showcase it in
another house.
I have been watching
Giac, rework his Dewell Manor and Mercedes, of Liberty Biberty, who is currently restyling her mini country farm house, but I'm still not sure if I want to redo my Glencroft; At Home by the Sea, 

which, by the way, is still sitting empty and uninhabited
in my garage. 
Would it be better to simply
  start another doll's house right from the beginning?
I suppose that I really don't have to decide right at this moment, do I?

Meanwhile, it sure was nice to play again with  so many of my seafaring toys,
just drifting along 

remembering those 2 important doll houses of my past;
 and quietly humming to the  
"Orinoco Flow"

 Sail away, sail away, sail away.....