Friday, 28 October 2022

a Garden of Earthly Delights: The Dower House "Dining Room"?

"In proving foresight may be vain:
the best laid schemes of mice and men 
often go awry"
- Robert Burns 

As every miniaturist undoubtedly knows,
things don't usually go as originally 
More often than not,
at certain unforeseen junctures,
 our artistic creations will actively step in and begin steering us towards a 
 destination of their own choosing:
 different than the way we've charted. 
When this happens,
we can resist by pushing back 

take a chance that the new fork in the road
will lead to a better place
than originally planned. 

The following account is my "condensed" version
of how my
"best laid schemes went awry"  
and how I did put up a fight;
but after I surrendered to THE WAY,
I arrived on time
and exactly where I was suppose to be.
True to form-
this is an exceptionally long story 
and of course it always begins in chaos
The photo above shows the state of 
Dowager's former Kitchen 
at the end of June 2022.
I'm including the months throughout this post 
to show how the process developed 
in starts and stalls and doubling back,
and how everything remained in a state of flux 
until the very last leg of the journey. 

For those unfamiliar with this dollhouse kit, 
Here's the actual layout of 
all highlighted text includes a link

After I'd removed all the stuff that I'd stored
in the room,
I was left with the ugly empty carcass you'll see below.
Stripping away all of the remaining 
fabric and interfacing still clinging to the walls,
was a time consuming job.

the majority of the 30 yr. old tape run was still viable so
all I had to do was connect it to the copper tape 
in the Living Room,
which I did- testing the line
over and over and over..... 

After that was done,
I brought in all the Dowager's furniture 
which she'd taken with her from the Manor House
and insisted on using in the cottage. 
She had to decide where the task lights would be placed,
and thus
where more electrical tape needed to go.
so of course-
 More Testing!

According to my
Dower House
 Renovation Story:
the Dowager has had the old kitchen gutted 
and relocated it in the
yet to be built kitchen annex
 on the left side of the cottage.  
Her former tiny kitchen would become
 her New Formal Dining Room,
which would include a brand new casement window
and a fireplace.

to say  
that I've NEVER EVER
had a designated dining room
in any of my doll's houses.
 not in #43 Green Dolphin St.
not in Land's End, and not in Villa Leone. 
I've always made the Living rooms
into spaces where the 
occupants could sit and eat.
I wanted a
with not only a fireplace but also a table 
that could seat 4;
where I could have full place settings;
silver cutlery and real glass stemware.  
but ALAS!
none of it was destined to be

 Installing a fireplace inside this narrow room, 

 using her Wide Round Table & 4 chairs,
 Someone would've ended up
with their 
buns in the fire-
this called for a practical change of plans

My suggestion to the Dowager,
 was to push the table

up against the wall
and reduce the number of chairs 
to only 2.

 The Dowager reluctantly conceded. 

Of course, I could have opted for
a long narrow rectangular table,
 had my heart set on using THIS particular gateleg table
which I'd purchased back in the 1990's.
And Here

was a golden opportunity to put it to good use.  
So, the table and the fireplace stayed put
whilst 2 of the chairs were removed.

One problem down- 
here comes another one- 
the wallpaper

Choosing wall coverings has ALWAYS been an exercise in frustration 
so it takes me a very long time to decide.
Wallpaper sets the mood because it occupies the majority of visible space.
It determines the direction
of a room
and early in July 2022
I was still in need of direction.

I'd printed a Tibetan Prayer rug onto cotton
and draped it over the drop-leaf table as a tablecloth.
 I'd done this before in the music room of Villa Leone .
I really liked the richness of the look. 

The sage coloured wallpaper 
 repeated some of the greens
in the tablecover
but to be honest
 I found the overall effect 
Predictable and Boring

On a whim
 I tried the vibrant
scrapbook paper  
and it felt like A WINNER!

 I loved the high contrast of the stark white woodwork against the boldness of the walls.

This was the point when the room woke up
and started paying attention to what I was doing.

It seemed to be pointing me towards 
Moody, Masculine and Mysterious
which then put me in mind of-
Sherlock Holmes
and then I thought that this room
should double as a library
with built in bookshelves surrounding the fireplace-

 what a GREAT IDEA!

I was pleasantly surprised
that I liked the intensity of the pink walls
as much as I did-
I decided NOT to glue the wallpaper templates
to the walls just yet:
I would wait until I was 100% sure.

To that end the templates were held in place
with green painters tape for the next 4 months.
 Even so,
the interior decoration continued moving forward.

Years ago
my dear friend Fatima of 
the Vancouver Dollhouse Miniature Show
had gifted me a vintage, unfinished
BESPAQ corner shelf unit for Villa Leone.

I wasn't able to use it in the Villa
 but here in the Dower House I could.
 I applied a fruitwood stain to the raw wood
 followed by a thin aging compound to darken it up a bit, then I filled it with some of the Dowager's 
favorite blue and white china. 

I was glad to have it on display,
 yet disappointed too,
because the glass china cabinet door
opened from left to right.
 If the door was open,
it got in the way; 
If it was closed, 
you could barely see the china. 
grrrrrr...😠 my

my best laid plans are going awry!
carry on... carry on...

Since I was restricted to using only TWO chairs,
I would've prefered that they matched, 
but having them both with the same wood stain,
came in a close second. 

I borrowed the John Hodgson side chair
from the Dowager's Living room
and recovered a smaller chair
in the same Elephant printed silk.
A rich oriental carpet was laid on the floor-
Sherlock Holmes here I come!   

A large bust of Queen Victoria
found her home on the table 

so far so good
now for a few books
and a student lamp

Back in the 1980's this student lamp had been
a ceiling light fixture inside this doll's house. 

At that time
it had had two working light bulbs
but when one burnt out
there was no way to replace it. 

I removed the burnt bulb
and turned the fixture upside down.
By using 
assorted washers and jewelry findings glued to its base,
I was able to redistribute the weight so it would remain upright once the heavy metal lamp shade was added.

The solid lampshade forced the light downward
onto the table whilst casting interesting shadows against the wall. 
I personally prefer indirect lighting
but most people 
including the Dowager,
prefers to SEE what she is eating-
MORE Illumination was Required

So for overhead lighting 
I hung
 a SMALL 3-armed LED chandelier
with bright white plastic shades

Later on,
 I painted the shades with an alcohol marker.



There's not a HUGE difference
in the amount of light cast 
yet the Dowager and I both agree that 
these"parchment"shades look better! 
I'd discovered that I'd constructed the fireplace
out of level

and not just a Little out of level,
but A LOT! 

Fortunately everything was still removable,
so I took it out and built it all over again.

This time,
I took a page from my friend 

Janine's MINWORKS blog
 and cut down a small resin picture frame
for the NEW fireplace surround which
looks streamlined and modern and 
not Edwardian at all.

By now it was the end of July.
I'd been working on this room for a month
and I still wasn't very excited about it

Returning again
to The Story:

As aforementioned:
this Dining Room of the Dower House
had been original cottage kitchen, 
with a flagstone floor. 

For practical purposes,
the Dowager had decided to retain the flagstone
in this room.

I'd never made flagstone before 
 but I thought
"how hard can it be?" 
it wasn't "hard" but I don't think that mine
 looks like flagstone.

I made it by coating a template of Heavy Cardstock with 
white glue and DryWall Patch followed by a coat of 

Where I think I made my mistake
was not colouring the flags
prior to applying 
the top coat of Resin Sand. 
In other words,
I'd sealed them before painting them
therefore, the colour didn't penetrate.
Then, when I carved out the stones 
I didn't like the look of the grout.

I've painted and re-painted this floor more times
than I care to count. 
I've regrouted it lighter; then darker;
then back to lighter again.

Reworking the flagstone continued off and on,
from July to October 


By now my enthusiasm
for the "
Sherlock Holmes theme"
dining room

was rapidly waning.

By the middle of September,
my interest had totally evaporated, 
so I gave up working on this room

To distract myself, I made flowers.

For me,
constructing miniature flowers whether from a kit
or from scratch,
 is a great stress reliever.

I must have had a lot of stress
because for the next two weeks
 I made a total of 80 Peonies and Roses-  


Earlier in June of this year,
 a dear
 friend from Australia
 Linda Park 

Linda's Mini World
was vacationing here in Canada.
Linda, Janine, Fatima and I always try to get together whenever Linda's in town
although during this visit 
Fatima was away in the Azores. 
Even so,
 Linda, Janine and I shared a Wonderfully Delicious catch-up luncheon and mini visit
 at Janine's aptly named "Becalmed Cottage".
 The reason I'm telling you this is because
 little did Linda or I
know at the time, 
that her visit would be the crux
of what would later happen 
to the Dowager's Dining Room

During her visit
Linda had given Janine stacks of 
which Janine thoroughly enjoyed then later
 passed on to me.
Whenever I'm at the thrift store,
I always look for them to purchase second hand.
Their nostalgic and beautifully staged photos of 
"the good life"
are in my opinion- unsurpassed. 

I spent an entire lazy day in August 
 lying in bed with cupfuls of hot tea
 going through the entire pile;

flagging pages and absorbing their romance. 
It wasn't long afterwards 
whilst I was still basking in their afterglow, 
that something I must have absorbed
from those magazines 
inspired me to return to the 
Dower House and
from the Dowager's China Cabinet 
then rearrange ALL the china in it. 
And, after again viewing the Fabulous
Miniature China and Silver collections
displayed on the shelves of 
Josje's youtube vlogs ,
 I decided to 
include a bit of silver and coloured glass
 on my shelves too.

Unlike Josje's Magnificent collections,
the Dowager's has an equal mix of 
High and Low
which I playfully rearranged 
until I was satisfied that it all looked good together. 


 I  found a bunch of pink fimo roses
to spill out over the china and down the shelves and
 The corner unit
 immediately became a major focal point. 

This cupboard transformation
took place during the last week of  August.
for the next couple of weeks
I continued to wrestle at the crossroads 
between letting go of my initial ideas
which were going nowhere 
 fully embracing an emerging new one.
by the end of September, I'd made up my mind. 
I officially kicked Sherlock and 
the Formal Dining/Library to the curb.

The Dower House would have instead
 New Garden Room! 
in homage
to all those Wonderful VICTORIA magazines received from Linda Park

Pure Bliss!

Once the interior shelves were redone
I also re-dressed the top of the cupboard with 
additional pieces from the Dowager's china collection

The new cupboard arrangement 

 opened the door to new decorating possibilities-
such as including another piece of 

was one among many of the precious mini gifts 
I'd received from Linda during her summer visit.

LINDA is an avid embroiderer Par Excellence!
Her Miniature TALENTS are truly AMAZING
and as for her abundant generosity,
 I could Never Thank her Enough!  

Linda has stitched for me 2 pairs of slippers for Villa Leone as well as a pair for the Dowager's bedside,
 which I featured in my last post

She's also embroidered a matching tea cosy
for the Living Room tea table which I totally Adore!

Each piece she stitches is an absolute 
adding her needle art to the Dowager's Garden Room
makes me feel Very Happy 

 Removing the china cabinet door also
  altered the colour dynamics in the room. 

So soon after Sherlock had been evicted  
 the elephants seat covers were also told to leave. 

The chairs were recovered in an
 iridescent rust/green THAI SILK 
I'd purchased at a thrift store. 

The fabric is incredibly beautiful!  
Along its selvage is a band of delicate embroidery,
some of which I used
to recover both of the dining chairs with.

The centre emblem 
reminds me of a Tudor Rose
which ties in PERFECTLY with the
 Garden Room Theme

At this stage
I took the room apart and began the process of permanently connecting the lamps to the electrics.  
The wallpaper, the window, the wood trims, the flagstone floor and the fireplace were also permanently installed.  

My daughter's boyfriend Lee, 
says that for scale,
 I should always include a HAND SHOT 
somewhere in my posts,  
this one's for you, Lee! 💕 

This Perfect little needlepoint cushion
was also a gift from a LONG time ago,
 from Pam Grant.  Yet another 
Needle-Savvy friend of mine! 
 Its pink and green geometric pattern
looks lovely on this small chair!

To the left of the side chair
 directly in front of the leaded window,
( leading tutorial here)
is an inexpensive blue and white porcelain vase
which the Dowager has filled with purple hydrangeas.

The faded hydrangeas in the vase
are a Bonnie Lavish flower kit,
which I'd originally constructed for 
The tutorial of how I customized the flower kit is here 

On the floor under table of hydrangeas 
 is a small basket of books,
 and to the left of the basket, 
is a rustic
 bottle basket
which was a special gift
which Linda hand delivered to me 
from the Amazing 
Lidi Stroud 
Thank You again Lidi
for this Very Special Treasure! 

The darling glass fronted half cupboard 
(shown below)
makes an ideal liquor cabinet
next to the fireplace. 

I placed a few bottles in a round silver tray
(a metal bezel casing) 
displayed on top of the cabinet.  

There's a better photo of the assorted liquor bottles
a little further down the page which  
I'm not highlighting
since they'll be changed very shortly. 

 I've ordered a mini bottle of PIMM'S
from Shepherd Miniatures
which I'm waiting to be delivered. 

I saw a BBC program which specifically talked about how much the British enjoyed drinking their PIMM'S 
I searched high and low until I found one in miniature.

What is Pimm's?
I had no idea until I Googled it

"Pimm's is a gin-based fruity spirit.
A quintessentially British liqueur,
it's made by infusing gin with a secret concoction of botanicals, caramelised orange and warm spices."

sounds Yummy
Meanwhile, until it arrives,
I want to place assorted glasses on the top shelf
of this cupboard
and extra liquor bottles on the bottom.

This pretty cupboard also has a secret top drawer
( no knob) 

 I've filled it with a corkscrew, 
and two tiny bottle openers, 
along with pink and white linen napkins.

 I also found a picture in a magazine  
of a Regency Botanist.
I glued the print onto cardstock
 sized to fit the gold frame, 
then hung him directly above the liquor cabinet.

 i really LIKE Him! 
I like the new arrangement on the FP mantle. 
This fireplace mantle 
is narrower than the old one so 
the blue painted clock just barely fits!  
I've dressed the surface of the mantle 
with a Stokesay Ware Blue Willow china plate; 
Marie Freedman china cup;
a glass pink and green bead jar;  
2 Peter Acquisto silver candlesticks

Above the clock 
is a bull's eye mirror 
which beautifully captures the reflection 
of the corner cupboard.

I made the mirror using a recycled round jewelry pin
and a convex stick on mirror 
from a dollar store auto parts aisle
I've used a bull's eye mirror  
once before
 in the bedroom of #43  
which you can see here 
They're very effective for viewing parts of the room which would otherwise be difficult to see
they capture more of the light.

The interior of the firebox surround 
is outlined with carved metal bracelet links 
glued inside its perimeter for additional texture and interest 
my Absolute Favourite Feature in this 
Garden Room are-

I made these foxgloves back in April of this year 
just to see if I could.
I used several different paper punches
and a variety of colouring methods
attempting to improve my techniques
with each plant I made. 
I'd been saving these flowers for the 
Dowager's cottage garden.

 once the room went into botanical overdrive,
I felt I needed something "growing" to go with the cut stems in the hydrangea bouquet.

Placing the foxgloves in the fireplace
was the only available space inside the room.
But who has live plants growing IN their fireplace?  
I just happened to find a website of full-sized
 Potted Porcelain Plants
used in home decor.
This quelled all my previous hesitations,
of whether or not to keep these where they are,
because now that they're officially
FAKE it no longer matters.

see 1:1 Porcelain FLOWER SCULPTURES

For a Wee Bit of Whimsy
I made a fireplace fender from a 
length of plastic Railroad model 
Gate and fencing 
which I painted black then doused 
while still wet 
with a generous sprinkling of ground cinnamon
for textured rust. 

 In the photo below 
is the new entry into the annex
currently plugged with wallpaper
for the Dowager's protection
 Between the doorway and the fireplace
is a brass wall sconce that I topped with a 
pink-tinted Chrysnbon glass globe
found in my stash.

The Palm fronds are left-over stems from 
featured in the preceding post of  
the Dowager's bedroom. 

The brass urn and the pedestal stand 
came from the estate of Bettie Smith
who was a very dear friend of mine for over 40 years. 
When she passed away last summer,
I was given a number of things from her vast collection 
a few of which I've been able to use here.
They are a constant reminder to me of her 
and her unfailing friendship 
and her unlimited joy of minis-  
 I hope that she approves their new home.  

On the floor next to the small armchair 
is a garden trug I borrowed from the garden of 
#43 Green Dolphin Street 
which the Dowager has now decided to keep! 
In it are a frilly variety of freshly cut Peonies 
made from a discontinued flower kit,
and a small bundle of lavender stems 
which Linda had given to me the year before. 

I included a Mini Fanaberia gardening book 
inside the basket, too! 

This is JENNY the Dowager's faithful spaniel 
made by Leslie Frick.
She's taking her afternoon nap on the sisal rug which
is a the last big bit left from the original wall-to-wall carpeting I'd installed back in the late 80's. 

Returning again to the draped table: 
It's been dressed in a mix and match of items 
more for display rather than for dining. 

Here's What's Currently On It
Royal Copenhagen Musselmalet Dish cover
given to me by my bff Janine! 

During those iffy"Sherlock months" I had the 
dish cover displayed inside the china cabinet
(Ref. photo 10 of this post)
Janine told me then that she thought
it didn't fit with the rest of the china,
because the cupboard was the only place
I had to display it, I'd left it in there.  
 But then when the glass door was removed 
and all the china was shuffled about, 
the opportunity to move the Musselmalet onto 
 the table 
for display purposes only 
wasn't the least bit out of character. 
Its distinctive blue and white pattern
 provides a smooth segue from the corner unit 
to the table as well as visually hold its own, 
 in front of the bust of the Queen.
 And speaking of the bust of the Queen
on the wall behind her head,
 hangs a VERY large painting 
of a small herd of cows in a meadow.

In the photo below
you can see the textured effects of painting over the surface using matte Mod Podge and a tiny paint brush

"how now brown cows?"

to the right of that bucolic painting is a framed picture of a goldfinch 
(a plastic bird button with its shank removed) 

Under the goldfinch 
is a painting of a young woman in pink
( magazine clipping on cardstock) 
and a 3 dimensional metal Leaf Sculpture, 
a recent birthday gift to the Dowager 
from one of her children. 
something I'd saved from something I threw away.
A commemorative Qn.V plate 
sits on the table below the pictures. 

I've Tucked a tiny Teresa Welch flower bowl 
in between the plate and a 
Butterfly dome

I made this piece from a glass dome 
purchased at a Michael's Craft Store. 
The tiny puffy butterfly stickers I found a dollar store.  
cut them in half and glued them onto a snippet of dried grape stem then 
planted the stem into a mound of fake moss. 

In front of the Musselmalet dish cover
is a 
a Marie Friedman teacup and saucer
a matching side plate with a chocolate and macarons;
and a Janice Crawley Chicken teapot 
which after 25 years of storing in a drawer,
 I finally get to display. 
The colours of the teapot are PERFECT! 

 Definitely worth crowing about!  

As an aside:
The Dowager has Treats and is serving Tea 
here and in the living room and in her bedroom!
She's old enough and can do as she pleases 
but it seem to me to be
somewhat eccentric...  my question is- 
should I be concerned?

 an excuse 
for a big finger picture! 😛

Along the edge of the table are a few of the 
Peonies and roses I made in September
 during my 2 week hiatus
I lOVE peonies but since I don't have a lot of success with them in my RL garden,
it feels quite gratifying to me
 to grow them in such decadent abundance in miniature,
even though I'm constantly picking them up off the floor after knocking them off the table with my giant hand. 
This makes # 3 for you Lee! 

I changed the lamp shade on the student lamp
upon the conclusion of my 
Sherlock Holmes adventure. 

I settled on this pink fringed one because it was in proportion and girly.
It came off of the brass Ni-glo lamp base,
 installed in the Dowager's Bedroom.

Alongside the table is another 
"wanna be fake"
potted foxgloves

I have it sitting on top of a 
Al Chandronnait picnic basket
next to a stack of 
Mini Fanaberia flower books.

I've installed a silk embroidered valance 
with a bamboo pull shade 
above the leaded casement window.
The valance with the tassles is another section cut from the same length of iridescent Thai silk 
used to cover the chair seats. 
The bamboo pull shade was cut from a painted asian scroll 
purchased from the thrift store. 

We've reached the end.
Here's a final OVERVIEW of
 the Dower House 
Garden Room

"In proving foresight may be vain:
the best laid schemes of mice and men 
often go awry"
And I'm so glad they did! 



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 quits loading and kicks in- Talk about frustrating for you as well as for me trying to respond:🙁 oh well,... it IS 
what it is. 🤪


  1. My dear bunny, I am absolutely lost for words! Your garden room/ dining room is magnificent! It is oozing with charm and character. Your attention to detail is exquisite. And thank you for your vote of confidence in my needlework. I was delighted to hand over my collection of Victoria magazines to such Worthy recipients. Keep up the great work. Hugs, Linda

    1. Thank YOU so VERY MUCH dear Linda, not only for your Lovely comment but also for all of your BEAUTIFUL and Greatly Cherished petit point which I LOVE! ❤️
      Your generosity as well as your unfailing encouragement, have contributed to the story of MANY mini rooms, both past and present. And seeing the work of so many of my friends, from both near and far, has made this floral extravaganza Garden Room, feel Especially Special to me. 😊

      bunny/ elizabeth😘

  2. Now I understand why you do not publish weekly. Favorite items: the blue hen and hen tea pot and 100 peonies, the needlepoint pillows--the entire room. Oh and Queen Victoria and the Robert Browning quote--the way most of us feel most of the time and your charming style of writing. Those are my favorite things. The room has an authentic charm which keep the visitor busy for hours looking at each detail. Bravo.

    1. Hello again Ann!❤️ In response to why I don't post more regularly, trust me that my desire has been to do so, but then when changes happen I tell myself to wait until I do "This" first, but then "This" always leads to "THAT" and so it goes until here we are- many months later. 😅
      Anyway, I Really enjoyed reading your Beautiful comment! and I'm SO GLAD that you have chosen a list of "Favourite Things " in this room, each of which I Totally approve. 🤓 The Wonderful blue ceramic chicken was made by Sally Meekins on Etsy, and the "100 peonies " just happen to be a quick project that I was going to do blog tutorial on, sort of as a stop-gap in between my next major Dower House renovation project. The flower tutorial would serve to not only help me remember how I made them, but also so you wouldn't have to wait as long as you did for this one! 😄


  3. Hi Elizabeth, Janine here. Trying the anonymous facility to comment. I think this room is wonderful. I love so much - the paintings, the china, the flowers, the colour of the wallpaper and the storyline about the Dowager, the clever adaption of the fencing for the fire shield and the fancy edging. Linda’s work deserves to be highlighted - everything she does is fantastic. I don’t know how you manage to fit so much into such small spaces. Thank you for all the work you put into creating your posts! Hugs Janine

    1. Thank You VERY Much for your MOST WELCOMED comment J! ❤️
      AND for finding a way to beat the system- Well done YOU! 😄👍🏾👍🏾
      I'll say it again that this room has managed to both surprise me and delight me. The twists and turns along the way with all its accompanying frustrations, is now water under the bridge. Decorating this room has given me Great Pleasure and I feel that there's nothing more that I would add, even if I could and for me that's saying a lot! 😂
      I totally agree with you about Linda's work which is "FANTASTIC" across the board with (speed) needle skills second to none! I am so proud to have the opportunity to
      have her talents highlighted in the Dower House along with the precious gifts from both you and Fats!
      I am blessed in so many ways by my friends. ❤️
      All for one and one for all-
      Miniteers Forever! 🎉


  4. How I love this room, I'm so glad you changed the theme for this room. Not that the first one wasn't good but the second one with its feminine touch is very appealing to me. The flowers, the colours, the pictures on the walls are fantastic. The corner unit with the collection of china is just perfect in the scene. As always you managed to find the right accessories too. I understand that a lot of thinking and work went to acieve this room but it was truly worth it.

    1. Thank you SO MUCH for your Wonderful comment Genevieve!
      I've never done a room as decidedly feminine as this, nor have I used as many flowers inside a room as small as this one! The way this space turned out, continues to surprise and delight me especially when I turn on the lights where it glows!
      Having a place and the space to showcase the blue and white china other than on the dining room table is also gratifying to me, and even though the table is too big and the room too narrow I'm sure that in a pinch the Dowager could still use this this space for entertaining. In the meantime, she's commandeered the room to indulge her particular interests AND to surround herself with flowers- so She is well pleased!
      And I am pleased also, that this saga of the Dowager's Garden Room, has met with your Approval ! 😘😊


  5. Good Morning, It’s 11 AM - coffee time, as you know. I am ensconced in my comfy chair rereading your post. The wind is throwing the spray from the waves across the sea wall. Next sunny day the crystals of salt will shine on the glass doors.
    So - second look. The door of the Bespaq cupboard would make a great mirror. Would the door to the kitchen be mirrored? I like that you have separated the Musselmalet covered platter from the china in the cupboard. On the table the white of the china pulls ones eye to that corner and onto the corner cupboard. The corner liquor cabinet is a wonderful piece that ties perfectly with the chairs. I like the sisal over the flagstones. I know the Dowager has lots of valuable oriental rugs but maybe she will put one on the floor of the kitchen. That would just drive Her family crazy (just the ones waiting to inherit of course)
    All the flowers and references to flowers - the books, the botanist pic, petit point enhance the theme.
    I look forward to seeing it soon. Pics are great!

    1. You've presented some interesting ideas Janine! I hadn't considered what to do with the China cabinet door although it is too pretty to not do Something with and I like the mirror idea very much! 👍🏾
      And I'm glad to get your approval on the placement of the Musselmalet on the table. Along with your stated observations, the white on the table with the bust, provides a visual counterbalance to the fireplace opposite.
      The fact that liquor cabinet ties in with the finish on the chairs was something which came about unintentionally. I had the tall white chair slated for this dining room and when they didn't work out then I borrowed the Qn. Anne from living room but still needed another. Then I remembered the armchair which I bought at a Seattle show from way back when: you were there with me at the time and we searched for more but the vendor only had two. I didn't realize that the 2 mismatched chairs and the finish on the liquor cabinet were good together until much later!
      Re: the sisal. I like it too, and yet close to the end of this build, I removed the sisal and replaced it with a pink leopard print rug which actually looked REALLY GOOD, however I felt that it was out of character with the rest of the house as well as the Dowager's story. I'm glad that I decided against it , and returned to the sisal which is far more practical.
      I'm sure that her son and his family will gladly take the designer rug off the Dowager's hands and find a place for it somewhere in the Manor: no need to wait for her demise! 😅

      Some wind but nonstop BUCKETS of rain since early this morning- a very soggy end to our long Indian Summer


  6. A post from Studio E!!! 😄😄😄😄😄 Hooray! Just as gloomy season begins, a ray of sunshine! I am so tickled that that little voice whispered to you "just try the pink wallpaper" because it seems to have been the springboard for the rest of this exceptional room! Pink and flowers and pink flowers make my heart flutter, and this room makes it sing! 💗💗💗 Why not a dining room which is also a garden of earthly delights??? When a woman has been completely conventional, made the wisest decisions all her life, has always given all she could to please the people in her life, has lost her life partner and the grand home she looked after for years... now is finally HER TIME!!! If she wants a room filled with year round flowers she shall have them! Any pooh poohers can find their own way back to where they came from, lol!
    This is such and inspirational and beautiful room to look at, Elizabeth, and I think we can all take an important lesson away from your journey with it: be patient and willing to let things develop in all the time that the space needs, not the time we'd like it to be finished. That's when the magic happens! And I think one of the most amazing things about your rooms, aside from the exquisite details you imbue into each of them, is how your photographs seem to capture The Golden Hour in the quality of light. I think it's because it is the closest we are able to get here on Earth to feeling God's light, and your rooms and the photos of them are a message to all of us that He is near. Ann listed some of her favorite things, but I don't think I could pick, because as standalone elements, they are all beautiful, but combined in their beautiful arrangement, one could not possibly be as divine without the others. It is perfect! I could spend my entire day, every day in this room and never have a moment of ingratitude. But... the hen is absolutely enchanting, isn't she? 💙🤍💙
    Well done, my friend! Even "outside the box", you've hit another homerun! Can't wait to see what you have in store for the kitchen annex!!!

    1. Dearest Jodi!
      I have read your comment over 3 times already and I have come to the conclusion, that you must have known someone very much like the Dowager, to have interpreted her story so lovingly and succinctly,
      which in turn, makes "MY heart Sing!"❤️❤️❤️
      I believe that the hearts desire for every human being on the planet- is to know and be known, and our various creative endeavors are often geared towards that end: to reveal something about ourselves; to express something about someone else; or as is often the case- a good dollop of both! This Garden Room contains elements of the latter.
      I totally AGREE with you that it's only when each standalone element works in cooperation with the others, that it can fully shine, but of all the Many BEAUTIFUL things you've written, what has touched me the most is your comment about the photos- specifically this: "your photographs seem to capture The Golden Hour in the quality of light. I think it's because it is the closest we are able to get here on Earth to feeling God's light and your rooms and the photos of them are a message to all of us that He is near "
      I needed to take a deep breath after reading that and all I can think to say in response is - THANK YOU! 🙏🏿


  7. Oh Elisabeth. What a tremendously pretty garden room! How do you do what you do? The charm of the final room is almost uncanny, and I dó mean this in a positive way. I would love to sit in that room opening a random garden book to peruse in while the dowager is instructing her made for the afternoon tea. at the same time my free hand may stumble across the cookies and maccarons the darling lady leaves everywhere. It would be a shame to let quality pastry go to waste would it not? jummy. ( rather let it go to 'waist')

    By the way... When I read you correctly between the lines, changing the plans for the dining room into a delightful garden room is in order to be able to add a cosy diningroom to the kitchen annex? (wink, wink, wink.) :-)

    I have said before that I love it that you take us with you along the different steps of your design process. your posts are little journeys that are always a joy to read. And last but not least, I agree with jodi's post above. You seem to capture the golden hour of light in your photo's. They gove your finished rooms, already being super, that little bit extra charm.


  8. Oh my goodness Huibrecht! ❤️ I got such a good chuckle reading your comment! The part about your free hand stumbling across a cookie or macaron, that the Dowager leaves all over the house,
    ( which of course is true ) but sounds so much better the way you've said it! 😂
    I Thank you SO MUCH for your Enthusiastic enjoyment of the Garden Room and I hope you'll take advantage of the Dowager's Standing invitation to come and peruse her stack of Garden books as well as her pastries any time you're in the neighbourhood!
    And as a matter of fact I DO have plans for there to be some sort of seating arrangement in the new kitchen annex, but knowing me and how things can change at the drop of a hat, I'm making no promises to either you or to the Dowager!
    All that being said, I'm not only Greatly Appreciative of your taking the time to leave such a humorous and DELIGHTFUL comment, but also that it's come from someone whose work I've always considered to have reached the Top of the Ladder. I Thank You and I'll treasure it.❤️


  9. Every time you post on your blog I enjoy reading it so much. I enjoy reading how a room develops and the end result is always so inviting. I wish I could just visit the dowager and talk about beautiful flowers

    1. Hello Kleine Vingers! ❤️ I saw that you had visited me on Instagram and I am SO Glad to see that you are here as well!
      I've Really Appreciated reading your Lovely comment which, encourages me to continue writing and posting my blogs.
      I know that Instagram is now the "go-to" vehicle for most miniaturists however, I personally find it difficult to tell enough of my story there, so having an audience for the Longer "condensed" Version is such a relief! 😄
      I am DELIGHTED that you have enjoyed reading this story and that you wish to come and visit to talk about her flowers; and so speaking on the Dowager's behalf, she Thanks You! and says Yes,Please Do! ❤️


  10. It seems that you're destined never to have a dining room. If it's any consolation, in real life I've never owned a sofa, microwave oven, or net curtains. Some things are just not meant to be...
    As always, your latest room is stunning and it's such a joy to look at the pictures and take in every little detail.

    1. Hi Megan! ❤️ You've brought up a very good point in that people can easily live without certain things and feel no sense of deprivation, although personally I don't know if I could ever voluntarily live without a microwave! 😄
      I don't think that the Dowager will miss not having a formal dining room either, especially since her life is full of outside social engagements including regular dinners with her kids and grandchildren up at the Manor, so there's little need for the room to wait in perpetual stand-by.
      Thank You VERY MUCH for your Lovely comment Megan and for taking time again, to look at the details in the pictures.
      I know it's ALWAYS lot the first time around, but remember that what you're seeing is actually the "edited" version. 😄


  11. I think we all can a tale about hardly ever ending up with what was originally planned when working on miniature projects - but I also think we all will agree that this is one of the best things about our hobby. Some things lead you to "new horizons" and inspiration waits everywhere... often in things lying on your work desk. But of course hardly ever changing plans turned out so beautiful as the Dowager's Room of Changes. Personally I would always prefer to have an indoor garden instead of a dining room or (so sorry, Mr. Holmes) a library. It's so much better to have the books lying around the real or supposed-to-be fake plants (btw thanks for the foxglove tale, this really made me smile) than having them in shelves.

    It was wonderful to follow your many steps that led you finally to this awesome result. As always your abiltiy to bring a room to life with your well chosen and arranged details is breathtaking. And as always it's also the quality of your photos that makes reading your posts such a pleasure. Greetings to Lee, he's right with demanding a finger every now and then because your scenes are so realistic that one could easily forget they're miniatures. And I could say a lot about the beautiful golden light you've captured so well... but as Jodi already put it in the most lovely words I'm just pointing towards her.


    1. Hi Birgit! For some unknown reason, my reply to your comment has decided to skip itself further down the page- ( seems lately EVERYTHING has taken up a life of its own!😳😅

  12. He tenido que repasar varias veces tu entrada, es tan interesante lo que has ido haciendo como el proceso por el que ha pasado tu imaginación para llevarlo a cabo. ¡Me encanta el colorido que tiene y lo relajante que resulta!. ¡Me encantas las peonias y flores que forman parte de la estancia. Muy bonito el toque azul de la porcelana. Una perfecta ambientación!

    1. Thank You So Much Isabel for your WONDERFUL comment - MUCH Appreciated! ❤️
      I realize that I had a lot of content in this post so it's also Very Gratifying and Encouraging to learn that you have read and then re-read it several times over- Music to my ears! 🎶😘
      I've never this much vibrant colour prior to doing this Garden Room but including more white as well as the blue and white china,helped to keep the pink in check! The flowers both cut and potted were the icing on the cake in this room and I'm DELIGHTED to hear that you like the peonies because I'm planning to do a quick tutorial on how I constructed them. 💐


  13. I'm SO GLAD that you've sided with the Dowager and her Garden Room rather than with Mr. Holmes and his library! ❤️
    It's elementary, My Dear Birgit, that independent ladies of a certain age, are equally permitted to arrange their working spaces as they so please, as Sherlock and Dr. Watson did at 221b Baker Street. 😄
    Needless to say that I Totally Enjoyed reading your comment Birgit and I couldn't agree with you more that "Some things lead you to "new horizons" and inspiration waits everywhere... often in things lying on your work desk."
    Usually with me, when things are lying on my work desk they're also under piles of other things and camouflaged from view. 🤪
    Knowing though that you have enjoyed reading this post and its accompanying photos, makes me VERY HAPPY! 💝
    and Btw, The "Golden" Photo you, Huibrecht and Jodi referenced was taken as a "one off" but has become one of my Favourites pictures too!


  14. I love how you put a room together, your ideas, your eye for detail and the lovely accessories. The room is beautiful. My first and second houses followed the traditional route and had dining rooms but my Lake View and the Tudor house won’t. Ditto with wallpaper. The pink fringed lamp looks lovely with the peonies

    1. Hi Polly! 😃 Thank You Very Much for your LOVELY comments regarding the creation of this room! ❤️
      I'm far more comfortable adding decorative details and accessories to a finished room than with any other discipline within this hobby, however once the necessary foundation elements were finally settled, it all went together pretty quickly!
      I totally agree with you that having rooms used as they've been traditionally designated OR deciding against them altogether is entirely at the discretion of the creator or as it was in this case, at the discretion of the room itself! 😄


  15. chère Elizabeth, tout ou presque ayant été dit dans les commentaires précédents, je vais être brève !
    J'adore la façon dont vous avez repensé cette pièce !
    le charme, se répand dans tout l'espace. Les objets, qui comme toujours sont nombeux, sont de très bon goût et se marient très bien entre eux.Que dire des fleurs, je les trouve magnifiques !
    Cette fois encore, je vous félicite chaleureusement pour votre travail !
    Je vous embrasse.

    1. Dear Joce❤️. Thank you for taking the time to write such a Lovely comment- I appreciate it VERY MUCH especially after your mention of the flowers!
      I hope to do a post on how I made the peonies sometime between now and Christmas. It's not a complicated process but I did end up using a rather unique paper punch which for me, made them more fun!
      Until then Joce- Kisses right back to you!😙


  16. Oh Elizabeth! No one can produce "mood" in a scene like you can!!! This room is, as always, amazing. How you manage to take so many diverse elements and bring them all together in such a beautiful fashion, I will never figure out! I think a person is born with this ability and sadly, I was not, so I will continue to live vicariously through your exquisite and masterfully produced scenes. Thank you so much for taking us along for the ride! - Marilyn D.

    1. P.S.: Thank you also, Elizabeth, to choose to continue posting on the blog. I am one of the many people who do not do Instagram, or any of those other extra sites like Snapchat, Twitter, etc. I would sorely miss seeing your creations if they were only available on one of these other apps. Big hugs - Marilyn D.

    2. Thank YOU Marilyn for your comment and your post script both of which I have been Greatly Encouraged by! ❤️❤️
      I can't say that I was born with a particular ability but I will say that over the years I have learned to watch and absorb and refine my own style of making miniatures by what I see in the media. In the case of the Dower House, there's boatloads of images in print and online which have helped enormously.
      And as you've seen throughout this post, it was a very slow process to get from point A to Z, so Definitely NOT born this way, yet grateful that it grew into what it has become! 😄


  17. Dear Elizabeth, What a Joy it is to see a new post from you! I am always amazed to see the process that gets you to where you want to be! The creativity all along the way... nay possible version could be just as fantastic and fascinating... but you move on to the elusive vision you are seeking! And in the end, we all are absolutely enchanted by what you produce!!! Yes, the Victoria Magazines have contributed.... but only in that they reminded you of what you Love and were seeking for this room! (I also avidly read Victoria back in the day... and have a collection!) This room is redolent of the gardens you love, the fine china, the needlework, the art... it is pure Bliss! To begin with, the wallpaper... it takes a daring soul to go red! LOL! But you succeeded in making it the "obvious" choice for this room.... in that it looks so natural you don't even think about it! Then that gorgeous cabinet.... so brave of you to remove the door! Oh heavens! What a difference to see the china, have it be a part of the decor, on display, but accessible for use and with all the other charming little items mixed in! Just Beautiful! Poetic, a scene stealer except that there are so many lovely things strewn on every surface and hung on every wall! The bullseye mirror...! You made that???? I love you just for telling me how to make one!!! :):):) And those gorgeous foxgloves... oh my! I love a good foxglove filled garden... and these sculptural ones will work in lieu of the real thing! Lol! And the peonies and the hydrangeas... you really do make gorgeous blossoms and plants!! And then the needlepoint... yes, you did not stitch a thing... but these little works of art add so much to the welcoming home sweet home feel of this room! Who would not love to sit at that beautiful gate-leg table to drink tea and read and plan the garden of one's dreams??? You have definitely set me to dreaming....! Thank you for bringing us along on this journey!!! :):):)

    1. It took 2 weeks and 3 re-writes before I was FINALLY able publish this post, so it like a Joyous occasion for me too, my Dearest Betsy🎉 ❤️ Indeed, what a journey of unexpected outcomes it was, yet in the end it was worth it not only for me and the Dower House, but that this room has been so well received by my long time blog family and new social media friends- therefore a DOUBLE blessing!
      I am DE-LIGHTED to read, that this room has resonated with you Betsy AND that you're also faithful fan and collector of Victoria Magazines: nothing like having a kindred spirit who fully understands the magic which their signature images evoke.

      And I'm stoked, that you have enjoyed the effects of the bull's eye mirror, Betsy! The mirror should be readily available just about anywhere they sell car accessories and super simple to construct- a little glue and Bob's Your Uncle!
      But I must tell you, that a few years ago I was surprised to find wild foxglove growing randomly throughout my RL gardens and just like you, I have a penchant for them, and so I'd grouped them together and encourage them to spread. Last summer they surpassed my wildest dreams and were absolutely GLORIOUS- Happy Happy Dancing!
      I don't know what I can expect for next summer since they're bi-annuals, but I do know that foxgloves will be "growing" in season and out; year after year; inside the Dowager's fireplace, which continues to put a smile on my face everytime I look at them! 😁


  18. I cannot be the only one who reads then re-reads your perfectly explained journey, stares at the photos, scanning all the delicious details and then looks at their own home and feels their decor is FAR TOO DRAB by comparison! If you were an interior designer I’d hire you in a second (especially as I live in a tiny flat – your miniature skills would be invaluable hahaha)

    1. What a Perfectly DELICIOUS complement-❤️ Thank YOu VERY Much Jill! 😁
      And fyi, such is usually the case with me too especially after watching a favorite interior design video &/or going through a pile of design publications and then looking at my own RL home and wanting to change things up.
      However, changing things in mini, allows you to keep trying until you get it right, whereas in 1:1, just one wrong investment could lead to a lifetime of buyers remorse, and you've seen for yourself how many times I've gotten it wrong, so probably NOT the best idea to want to retain me! 😂
      although I can't help but be TOTALLY FLATTERED at the thought😚😉

  19. Late to the party, but better late than never. LOVE this, as usual Elizabeth. You’ve done an amazing job. I can see myself sitting in this sunny cozy room and having my meals. Reading a book. Maybe just staring at those ‘ceramic’ foxgloves. It’s so serene but fun. So full of life. And the pink wallpaper really makes it. Your flowers are spectacular and are making me want to gather patience to try some myself. In a small home, making the most of a room is important, so why not have the dining room filled with flowers and plants? It’s just so pretty. And perfect use of the little collection of china! Well done!

    1. Thank You for your Enthusiastic vote of Approval Shannon! ❤️
      It's still a wonder to me at how things turn out so different than the original "plan" and yet so much better than I expected. This room speaks to me because of all the flowers and the china but it's the intensity of the pink walls that brings it all together and as you've said in your comment- make it feel "so full of life".
      And I totally agree with you that the room does feel "fun"; which is a real about face from the serious "Holmes" overtones it previously sported.
      And Thank You VERY MUCH for enjoying the flowers! ❤️ It was such a pleasure making them.
      After the "ceramic" foxgloves were installed I thought I had enough and wasn't going to include the roses or the peonies in this room, but then I decided why not just go for it?
      Once the stems were piled upon the table the room felt complete, and now I can't imagine any of the flowers in this room being anywhere else! 😊


  20. cela fait 1 an que je n 'ai pas regardé les blogs miniature . et Whaouuuuuuu ! je suis stupéfaite de découvrir cette pièce terminée. merci de partager avec nous tous les chemins essayés. C'est souvent frustrant de devoir attendre pour trouver la solution . hélas , souvent on attend et la réponse ne vient pas . quelle chance que cette maison a su vous exprimer ce qu 'elle aimait . le resultat est magnifique . comme d 'habitude , tous les objets ont su trouver leur place. Je n 'aurai pas osé ce papier peint rose . j 'adore le résultat . j' aime particulièrement le tissu des chaises. la couleur est parfaite . je vais relire plusieurs fois votre page car je pense que chaque photo va s'imprimer dans mon cerveau et faire germer de nouvelles idées et envies. cette petite pièce a tellement de détails que c 'est un grand plaisir de les découvrir .

    1. Greetings Catherine and WELCOME BACK! ❤️ Last year, I also, took a long Sabbatical from the blogs and had a lot of catching up to do when I finally returned, so you definitely are not alone. I'm VERY Glad to see you here again and I Greatly Appreciate your LOVELY comment- Thank You!
      You're right about the waiting for direction being frustrating and especially so if a person has both the time and the energy to move forward with a project, and yet the project won't budge.
      Not being patient by nature, made it particularly difficult for me (although you'd think that by now I would've learned to adapt and not become so stressed when things don't go MY way) and yet my response is always the same: weeping 😭and wailing! 😩
      But, having said all that I LOVE the pink wallpaper too, which immediately cheered me up! 😃 There is something about the colour pink that causes people to gravitate towards it and although I would never consider this intensity of this color in my RL home, it feels totally normal and natural to me within the confines of this tiny Garden room.
      Colour is truly a Marvellous thing and the color and texture of the silk seat covers was serendipitous! It'd been stored in a drawer -out of sight and out of mind and then suddenly it appeared on the scene again; right on time-
      GOD is good😁


    2. Yes, I have just had a frustrating year because I too have not found the solution. I stayed put. I have finished things and then I am still waiting for the solution for the others. it is very annoying.
      I looked again and again all your photos and I have a real and big crush on your
      hortensia . it is perfect and so realistic. I love the photos where it is against the light. your brain has a gift for staging. keep your patience, resist frustration because when magic happens it's great.

    3. A few years ago I had over 10 hydrangea shrubs in my garden and the greater majority were the same burgundy colour as these mini ones so I suppose you could say that I've become an "expert by default" re: these vigorous shrubs.
      Mine grew so big and took up so much space that I finally had to dispose of them although I did keep 2 which have since reverted back to blue.
      I find them far more manageable and appealing in miniature! And thank you for your advice Catherine, which I not
      only appreciate but shall definitely be taking to heart 💝

  21. It's a beautiful room. The decoration is perfect in every detail. You are a great interior designer.

    1. Awwwww What a LOVELY thing to say Faby- THANK YOU! ❤️
      There was a very famous architect in the mid 20th century named Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe who coined the phrase -"GOD is in the details". My interpretation of his dictum is this: that everything, no matter how tiny or obscure, is equally as important as the bigger and more visible anchor pieces. i.e.
      that a teacup contributes as much as a chair.
      For me the challenge is knowing how to get these details to cooperate and live together harmoniously; and after reading your comment, I'm happy that you think I have! ❤️


  22. Oh Elizabeth! I have been positively drinking in the wonderful tings you have done with this room! And Victoria Magazine! Whenever I visit my mum I sit by her fire and go through all her back issues, so comforting and relaxing. It is a pity they stopped publishing. You have totally nailed the style, and I do believe you are the Queen of Perfectly Placed Miniatures. And blue and white china!! SO lovely. I have been coming back again and again to look at it, thank you for sharing! Jonquil

    1. Such a Pleasure to share a common love of vintage Victoria Magazines with a fellow kindred spirit such as yourself, Jonquil! ❤️. I probably should have guessed, given the Quiet BEAUTY found within each of your exquisite creations; that gracious, old world charm which sets your work apart.
      And what a lovely way to link the magazines with visits to your mum! It makes me Very HAPPY, that you've found that same special connection here inside my Garden room too! 💝

      Displaying my mini collection of blue and white china can easily be attributed to the magazine's special BLUE AND WHITE editions, which continue to be my favourites.
      Yet it goes without saying that I LOVE miniature fine china, so being able to place things out where I can look at and enjoy them, has been a satisfying treat for me, and it's DELIGHTFUL that you enjoy seeing the china too! 😙



a Garden of Earthly Delights: The Dower House "Dining Room"?

"In proving foresight may be vain: the best laid schemes of mice and men  often go awry" - Robert Burns  ☙☙❦❧❧ As every miniaturis...