Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Mother's Dollhouse Part 2: The Kitchen

Last time I showed the exterior of my mother's cottage. Today I'll show you the kitchen.
Mom seriously loves kitchen things! Before she got her own dollhouse (this one), she was always sneaking extra things into the kitchen of my dollhouse. In fact, when she first got this house we agreed she could shop from my kitchen! 

There was one thing she wasn't allowed to take though. Years and years ago, I fell in love with an Amanda Skinner mouse. I wouldn't give mine up, so mom had to get her own. She ended up buying eight! Now there are mice hidden throughout the house for people to try to find. 
The center table is set up for making butter. The doll came from England. Mom and I had wanted to take a trip there for years, to see Jane Austen's house, Queen Mary's dollhouse, and shop for miniatures. About six years ago, we finally got the chance to go, and it was an amazing trip. We ended up going all through the Cotswolds and stumbling across several dollhouse shops. We each found some real treasures. I brought back several plates for my kitchen plate rack, and the brass bed for Phoebes room (ending a two-year search!). Mom brought back this doll and a miniature watercolor which is upstairs.

Mom made the kitchen stool as well as the sink.  The slate sink is made of wood, covered with putty to give it the right texture. I just finished a "lead" cistern to hang above and hold the water supply (not shown.) 

More photos of the cottage exterior can be seen here.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Not My Dollhouse...'s my mother's! It was built by Frodingham Dolls Houses (no longer in business) several years ago. It's a front opening house, but there are no hinges. The front walls and roofs fit together using slots and inside beams to hold everything in place. 
The garden to the right is still in progress. Eventually, they will all be "planted" in one flowerbed, so that they can be easily removed to access the house.

 Here's a closer view of the front door. The lantern on the left is the one I made.
 This photo shows the kitchen door and larder. The larder was originally supposed to be a privy, but mom loves miniature kitchen items, so the larder seemed like a better use of space. The basket holds tiny carved clothespins!
 I'll show the inside in a few days!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Painted Table

Lately I've been really enjoying working on furniture. I've posted about the sofa and chair I reupholstered, and the knobs I changed on Pheobe's dresser. This table was just a fun project.

 This kit was a Christmas gift which has been sitting in my kit drawer for the last few months. It was much easier to paint the base colors while the table was unassembled. The apron got a few coats of blue , and the table top and legs were painted off white.
 I assembled the table before I'd figured out what I wanted to do on the top. Measuring those wedges and filling them in with the blue would have been easier while the table was still in pieces, but I managed! The decorative painting is really fun to do- it's like doodling with paint. I actually used a lot of gold on this table, but it didn't photograph well. Those brownish spots along the table edge, for exmple, are really gold!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Another Before and After

In the last post, I showed a sofa and a chair I'd reupholtered. Today I wanted to share the small change I made to the bureau in Pheboe's bedroom. I found this dresser on Ebay several years ago. It's a little chunky, but it doesn't read that way in the room. I also really liked the finish. The only bad thing about it was that it had huge wooden knobs on the larger drawers.

I replaced the knobs with smaller glass beads. I think it makes the piece look much better!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Two Before and After Projects

It's been a while since my last post! I got my laptop back a few days ago, and have been slowly catching up with everything I've missed over the last few weeks.
I thought I'd share two upholtery projects I did recently. The first is the desk chair in the parlor. It's a bespaq chair that was upholstered in a thick green and cream woven fabric. I actually quite liked the fabric of the chair, but it always seemed a bit pale for the room. You can see that fabric and chair below.

Last summer, a local decorating store gave me several old fabric sample books. I found a brown silk in one of them which I used for the chair. There was barely enough fabric to cover it, but I managed!

The second piece was this sofa from the master bedroom. I bought it years ago thinking I'd recover it. I had several problems with the original upholstery: I wasn't fond of the contrast between the dark wood and the light fabric, the white was a bit shopworn, and there was actually a jacquard pattern woven into the fabric which was subtle but very out of scale. It was in the parlor (which is directly below), but it always seemed a bit big in there. As soon as I moved it upstairs, I knew the fabric I wanted to use.

This is one of my favorite fabrics. Though the fabric looks like a pink and cream stripe from a distance, there are also narrow dark brown and pale orange stripes beside the pink stripes which make things a bit more interesting.
By the way, this one isn't quite finished. Only two of the outer side panels are glued in. I still need to cover the one for the back. It will also need to be trimmed with fine cording to hide the bottom edge of the seat cushion. Have you noticed my big mistake yet? I got the orientation of the fabric mixed up at one point. On the seat and right side, the brown stripe is to the right of the pink stripe. On the other two, the brown is to the left! It's been driving me crazy ever since I first noticed!