Saturday, February 28, 2015

Painting Give-Away

Miniature painting in largest size
I recently purchased an original gilt framed watercolour by British painter William Lee Hankey (1859-1952). It is titled "Preparing the Meal" and is the small watercolour he did prior to painting his large oil on canvas painting titled "Peeling the Vegetables" (Except for the medium the paintings are virtually identical but I actually think mine is prettier, especially the face of the young boy)  which sold at Sotheby's auction in 2009. Plates were made of "Peeling the Vegetables" and so there was a run of engravings of that painting.

My son offered to do a high resolution scan of the painting and we made prints for my dollhouse  using watercolour paper.  The original painting is quite small as seen by the size of the roses just in front of the picture.

Anyhoo... I thought maybe someone might like a copy of this painting in their dollhouse so I would like to give one away.  I only have two dollhouses on the go (three if you count the one that has been in the basement since 1983, fyi- I don't). So as you can see there are three sizes so if you win I you can chose which ever size suits your dollhouse. I also have a wonderful Thomas Wainwright Scottish landscape watercolours with cows I am going to scan for the dollhouse.

Just let me know if this is the type of thing that would fit with your decor and if you would like to entered into the draw and I will pick someone at random on March 15th.

Also, I am still working hard on my little French dollhouse ala Lea so I will keep you updated, but I need a name (all the best French chateaus have names) so if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Second go around.

 It is still not perfect but we are back on track.   The house has been scraped and the colour changed to a buff background with cream keystones and molding. I finally received the channel trim needed for the guttering and molding today so that will be added very soon.  The front door is done and installed following Lea's instructions.  I am not sure about the colour but overall I am happy with how it looks. Brick turned out a little brighter than anticipated but again, I am okay with it. I haven't started to distress the brick work yet.  I didn't take my glasses with me to the art supply and ended up with acrylic Burnt Umber and Sienna paints instead of the oil paint variety I needed.  I tell you, I have to do everything twice!

I dearly wish I had more to share but it has been three very intense weeks around here with work and family.  My husband bought me a house cleaning package at a charity auction we attended the other night. Secretly I think he is hoping that will force me to tidy away the pots of paint and filler off the fire mantle but I refuse.  At least if the house project is staring me in the face I can do a bit every day. I have made the mistake before of letting him tidy me into catatonia but I really want to see this project through.

I do however, have some news to share.  I have booked us tickets to Britain and to the Kensington Dollhouse Festival in London on May 15th and 16th!  Perhaps a side trip to Bath, a little tour around Windsor castle.... well see. It has been at least 10 years since I was in London so I am excited to go back.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

I think I'd better think it out again.

Dollhouse front all taped out ready for stippling.

Stippling finished, ready for paint.

Paint done and exterior decoration started.....
I HATE IT!!  Stippling too thick, paint colour is horrid, so I will have to scrape it down and start again.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Houston we have a problem!

 Dollhouse construction had come to a total stand still while I waited on supplies to arrive.  Although it was lovely coming home everyday to a little parcel on the door step, they never seemed to arrive in the order I wanted them to.

Finally, I thought I had all I need to go ahead start the finishing on the house.  My husband has been out of town for the last ten days so I set up shop in the living room ( I won't tell if you don't)  only to find out that a grave error had been made during the cutting and assembly part of the house.  The front had been put on upside down leaving the smaller windows at the bottom, the taller windows on the top and the doorway had been cut.  God bless me, not being that bright it took a minute or two after building the first transom window for the front door to contemplate why I had a 6cmish window, a 5mm transom and needed to make a 16.9cm door all to fit in a space that measured about 17cm. Finally the light went off it is UPSIDE DOWN.
So here is the newly cut dollhouse front, unfortunately I didn't have any 5mm ply left so it was made out of 5mm mdf that is black on one side. No matter, I will paint it twice.   My husband comes home tomorrow so I can work on the dollhouse in the living room for one more day, I just have to make sure I do a really good job hoovering up the sawdust.
Here is what I was working on while waiting for the mail to arrive.  I just found and bought a Jane Newman single bed, isn't it lovely?...and have been constructing a tiny English paper pieced quilt out of little hexagons.  I don't think I thought about how fiddly it was going to be.  I am about half done but have put it away for a bit.  It is the perfect project for doing while watching t.v, but then so is dollhouse construction if your husband is out of town.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015!

Hope everyone had a lovely New Year Eve.  Despite the best laid plans we ended up in the house cuddled up on the couch with a movie.  I did however purchase a bottle of bubbly which I am now drinking as I type this on New Years Day instead.

I spent the most day in front of the telly (severe weather and snowfall warning for our area) with Monty Python trying to work out the angle for my French house staircase.  I have never been good at math so it took a ridiculous amount of time and effort to finally figure it out.

 HINT: make sure when you are measuring you draw your 23cm (height of the wall) on your bristol board before you start. It will help you get the right angle for your staircase
Here it is as complete as I can show. The gesso is just about finished drying as is the stain on the steps but it still needs paint.  Tomorrow the railing will be added, along with the cut and bent metal wire stair rails that are the right hand corner.

I am pleased with my progress thus far. Unfortunately I foresee a delay in the very near future because the lime-wood is being shipped from Australia and half the items I ordered ie: lights, doors etc. are either back ordered or unavailable.  I will soldier on and chart my progress.

Finished staircase.  I must admit it provided more challenges than I thought it would.  I am not entirely happy with the newel post as it attaches to the rail but it will do for now and if I can't live with it, I will attempt to fix it before installing it in the house.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My own Lea Frisoni "Maison Miniature!"

For Christmas every year my mother always gives me a crisp $50 dollar bill.  This year I decided to invest it in real estate....
This is the base of my soon-to-be "beautiful" French house re: Lea Frisoni.  I received the English version of her book"Le Grand Livre de la Maison Miniature" or in English "Big book of a Miniature House" for Christmas from my DIL Sarah and had to get started right away.  Owing to the fact that the lumber yards were shut until 2 days ago, I don't think I am doing bad. I have ordered the limewood stripping for the floor from Australia as it is not sold in Canada and used up a little chunk of my dollhouse savings account to order light fittings as I will be needing them right away.

I am still planning on finishing my little Georgian townhouse as I have finally bought the required base boarding (I seem to be cutting twice and it is always too short) so with supervision it should be done fairly soon.  I am not convinced that the lighting doesn't need some attention so I will attend to that first.

Anyhow, here is my progress thus far.  Colour me tickled pink!!

Here is a picture of my long suffering husband toiling over the miniature scroll saw, bless him.  He was complaining today that dollhouse construction wasn't in the marriage contract, but he didn't read the small print!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy Christmas 2014!

Hope you found time to enjoy the Christmas season amongst all the holiday shopping and preparations.  It is boxing day here in wintery Canada, a day which is recognized both here and in parts of Europe but I don't believe in the United States.

 Arguably the best day of the year for shopping for post Christmas bargains. This year we gave all the children gift cards which I must admit was much easier than the countless hours previously spent scouring the malls for that perfect gift to delight.  So today we have five little grandbabies to babysit whilst their parents are at the shops.  No good deed goes unpunished LOL.

I must admit that my lack of computer skills is proving to be increasingly problematic.  I accidentally hit the update button on my ipad and now find myself really struggling to do the things I used to be able to do.  I can no longer post pictures from my flickr to my blog, hence the lack of updates to my blog and really makes paying for a photo sharing website ridiculous.  Anyhow, I have figured a way 
to do this old school until I can get a kid over here to help me.

In the above picture I wanted to  showcase my Stokesay ware including my "Merry Christmas to me, from me" new Stokesay ware Chelsea plates with sterling silver galley.  I ordered them in the Imari colours and I am so pleased. They are just perfect!

Yesterday I received  from my daughter-in-law Sarah, the English version of Lea Frisoni's book "The Big Book of a Miniature Dollhouse" needless to say I was thrilled.  I had bought the French version and few years back and have been waiting for Amazon to send my pre-ordered copy of the English version for a few months now with no release date in sight.  Needless to say I have cancelled my order since I am now the proud owner of this beautiful book which I can read without the help of google translator.

Sorry for the long post, hope everyone had a happy Christmas and have a safe and joyous New Year. I wish you all the very best!!!!!