Saturday, February 20, 2010


Here we are, looking into the Grand Salon - the door on the left has a sheer silk curtain in pale gold to match the panel trim which is wood beading painted gold and then fitted around the panels. The doorway leads into the entry and staircase to the upper level. You will notice that the fireplace has not been attached or finished. I love the settee and chairs that I recovered.

To the left is a baby cupboard (Bespac) that I decoupaged in the chinoiserie style and painted with a mahogany stain, a colour to match other furniture in the house. Blue and white wear displayed and closest is a side table and chair for reading. Note the little Eiffel towers used as book ends. These were a prize pair of earrings from a thrift store.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I have called this room the Napoleonic room as once I found the picture of Josephine that is above the fireplace the room began to take on a life of its own. I painted water colour paper the colour I desired and drew double gold lines around the ceiling and trim on doors and baseboard are also gold. I could have called it the Josephine room but it seems more masculine in the strength of colours in the furniture and walls.

The French went crazy over anything Egyptian - note the leopard skin sphinx chair at the desk and the sphinx supported mirror on the top of the desk. Crystal ball is made of a crystal bead mounted on the base of a large snap. The lamps are lead candlesticks painted gold. The lampshades are electrical caps covered with Napoleonic battle scenes. There are so many to chose from!

I dressed the sleigh bed with cushions of yellow fleur de lise and striped gold as well as a couple of fine lace ones to soften the bedding. The sheets are made of an old fine-lawn handkerchief. Note the Napoleonic bee cushion.
The curtains are temporarily strung as I have not decided if these will be used. I tried the gold striped fabric but it does not fall correctly.

I made the breakfast tray and most of the items on it - this includes the teapot, bread and boiled egg and fruit cup and rose in a bud vase.. also the milk jug and sugar bowl made of beads.
I had a weekend once doing nothing but making frames for all the prints and pictures I thought suitable for the house. I really got a lot of use out of the little mitre box I had bought.

Above is a photo of the Bespac cupboard that I painted in the Biedermeier style and decopaged prints of the Battle of the Nile on the doors. They need little tassels on the knobs I think.

Below we can see the whole room. The chaise lounge with an old-fashioned telephone on the little side table behind it. Vignette includes a bowl of chocolates, clock and framed photograph. A LV style purse and a bunch of roses are on the chaise. Shoes are kicked off and will be found at the end of the weekend still underneath.
To the right is a bombe cupboard that displays a tray of ivory bead bottles. The frame (with photo) was made from a decorative button, silver candlesticks and a couple of old postcards finish the scene.

Perhaps you can see inside the suitcase that contains a blue sweater with a small leather purse on top, stockings in their package and speciality underwear in a Paris box. There are also delicate undies almost concealed under the box of chocolates.

This room is occupied by the youngest daughter, who returns to the home most weekends. Much of the furniture has been in the family for decades but Josephine changes nothing.
She loves to come home, kick off her shoes and relax.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


This is for all those in northern climes who are suffering from light and warmth deprivation.
Imagine our boat gently rocking at anchor, warm breezes wafting from a small island atoll. I'm below, staying out of the midday sun.... but preparations are underway for a trip to shore. I must wear my large panama hat (bought in Ecuador), cover up with gauzy long-sleeved shirt (made in India, but probably bought in Australia), my sandals are necessary after standing on a buried cactus in the sands of the Sea of Cortez Mexico. I pack a large bottle of water and several small empty jars with lids. I'm ready.... I jump into the dinghy and motor to shore for an hour or so of shell seeking. Other cruisers in the bay soon succumb to curiousity and meander ashore as the shadows lengthen.
How can I sit in one place for so long? How can I see the shells? Actually the longer I am there the smaller shells I find. As with anything, once you have the proper focus the clearer things become.
I am one of you longing for warmer days. Despite the wishes for snow here in Vancouver for the Olympics, we find that nature has decided to be fickle and snowdrops abound along with a haze of pink in the cherry trees.
The little sea urchin was found in the Tuamotos Islands and the shells (and many more) were gathered across the Pacific. The cranberry glass compote is mouth blown and may be a Phil Grenyer.... not sure as I have had it for many years.


Muisklik1954, Cheryl, Lena, Anna(fellow mini shell collector) and Kate:
Thank you for signing in as a follower as it is great to connect with your sites and see what is going on with those with similiar interests.
I am having a few problems with my site as I am not "blogsavy" as yet.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


The bathroom is unfinished but I will not do anything more to it before I pack everything away once again. I did make a brass type circular shower rail and curtain and I did have a paisley dressing gown draped on the hook on the door (not visible as the door is open). I have put the dressing gown aside as looking at it through the lens of the camera it seemed too distressed. I think that it may be because the soft blue paisley pattern had a beige shadowing.
I have lots of Chanel style bottles, jars of shells and ornamentation to go on the plate rail around the bathroom. I also plan to place a collection of ornamental mirrors on the wall with the door. I have quite a few made from earring backs etc and they looked quite interesting when I stuck them on with blue tack. My goal is to make the rooms look as if we just missed seeing someone pass through the rooms.
I think that the scale of the taps for the bath and the sink are too large. Perhaps I will paint the body and feet of the bath a different colour? Does anyone have an opinion on the scale of the taps?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bedroom Flooring: Bird & Napoleonic rooms

This is a simple herringbone pattern cut from sheets of miniature wood flooring. The herringbone pattern is often used in old apartments and was a very simple solution.
I will show you these rooms - but more of the salon to come.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


The tiles on the floors and walls were made by measuring and scoring white laminate. When you score the laminate the backing shows through and it looks like mortar. You need a steady hand with mat knife.
The cabinet is Bespaq. The display is a combination of items made by Elizabeth and I when we were making and selling miniatures prior to 2002. These items include the tray on the toilet and the one in the bath. Note that the soaps on the lower shelf of the cabinet are displayed in a suction cup! The drawer (unopened) is filled with toilet rolls. Items are all glued to clear plastic sheeting to save the wood. Picture is in a button frame.
The wall display unit was "bashed" - do people still use this expression? It means you take something and turn it into something else. It was some kind of wire thing that I used snips to trim of excess decoration to simplify for a wall unit. Items are mainly bead bottles, towels made from baby velour wash cloths tied with a silk ribbon and bow.

Dining Room Display Cases:

Here are the photos of the two display cases. The clear rigid plastic, to which items are glued, enable you to change the display or to remove an item without doing any damage to the cupboard.
I must not collect any more china unless I plan to set the table.... mmm , I could be tempted.
But I do have a wonderful collection of set tea trays that my friend Elizabeth made for me. I think they are still away in storage. Perhaps I will save them for a bed and breakfast doing each room in a different theme.
I really should polish the silver! Photos are very helpful when I am looking to see if things look realistic.... thank goodness for digital cameras!

Flooring Closeup:

Further detailed photos of the sandstone-styled flooring in the dining room which are squared tiles.
Salon is in a diamond pattern with edge.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Living Room:

This photo to give you an idea of the floor. I will take close ups soon.

Dining Room:

Furniture, once again, is Bespaq. I had a frenzy of buying Bespaq at the Seattle Dollhouse Show in 1992. I was very new to doing miniature scale and so little was available in Vancouver I decided to buy as much as I could afford when I found it. The cupboards house a collection of porcelain china and glassware collected over a few years. Miniature items are so readily available now through the internet it definitely favours a small world.
I took the glass shelves out of the cabinet and painted it. I used prints from a book and papered the interior backs. I arranged the displays on clear perspex (think plastic sheet material) .and glued them into place.
The flooring in the dining room was made with a thin coat of drywall mud applied to heavy card. The mud was painted to approximate sandstone then cut into 20mm squares and applied individually. The living area and entry was made in a similar way but the drywall was scored to create diamond tiles with edging. This process worked very well and looks realistic. It is easy to do some sample boards to practice to get texture and colouring. I wish I had kept a diary when I was working on things as a record of paint colours and techniques would have been helpful.
View of dining room shows through into the entry stairwell. Chairs still to be upholstered and table top detailed.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Kitchen Stove:

I'm thinking of painting the stove a gloss black, leaving the copper detailing. Not sure yet.

Kitchen Divider Counter:

I will probably fill this cupboard with books. The drawers open so they will contain things as well even though they will not be open.

Kitchen sink counter:

This will be leveled and attached permanently when I finish the sink. I imagine it will be filled with cut flowers ready to be arranged in vases. I do have a set of glass-fronted cupboards to fill and place above the counter to the left of the window. Windows will be open multi-paned windows with window boxes.

Through the kitchen window:

You may note things have not been affixed permanently - copper kitchen ladle, fork etc to the left of the oven are favourites. Assorted baskets on the range hood.