Sunday, December 29, 2013

Let's Just Say, Before The Year Is Out.

"The creative process is a process of surrender, not control."  Julie Cameron

I give up.  I am never going to be a consistent blogger.  Look how long it has taken me to showcase just one, single doll house.  Nevertheless, here is the continuation of the  process of doing just that.  It has only taken me MONTHS. So, I surrender.

I apologize to anyone who was waiting to see the rest of the house, which by the way, looks like this:

Copied from a real house in Connecticut, built by T. J. Arnick Sr. Built in  1980.

 The house was originally painted white with black roof and shutters.  When I got it (in trade for one of my Noah's Arks) it had been painted shades of green with tinges of nicotine.  And I painted it as above.  Seems like it needs a change again.

I supposed I need a photo of the whole house opened.  The whole front pulls off and the peak that covers the attic pulls down.  The tower roof lifts off and I have not done anything with that room.  There is a train weather vane by Mary Carson in honor of my son who at the time the house came to live with us was mad about trains.  And he wanted it to be a haunted house.  

Anyway, the living room is here. Part of it goes out into the tower as does the bedroom above it.

Grandparents visiting for tea.

Little girl with bear at the tea table.

The grandmother is by Marsha Backstrom as is the little girl with teddy.  The gent is by Susan Wade (whom I have not heard anything of in years.)  The silver tray is by Guglielmo Cini and the decanter set by Frank Whitmore. Lamp by Niglo.  The lustre-ware tea set is by Karen Zorich, one of my very favorite miniature porcelain makers. The dining table and chairs are by Frank Hardcastle.  Grandma holds a cat by Amanda Skinner.

The display cabinet is by Gilbert Mena and it awaits something fabulous to display.  The caladium plant is by Hiroyuki and Kyoko.  Roses by Sandra Wall Rubin. Ruby velvet chair by Barbara Logan.  Bichon Frise by Kerri Pajutee. Tuxedo cat by Liz McInnis.  Floral still life signed by C. Sparrow. Several Bespaq pieces. Rug by Classic Carpets. Tantalus set by Frank Whitmore.  I can't remember who made the green velvet sofa but I know the lady is from the UK. The maker of the white cat is unknown and was a gift from Eileen Godfrey.  I do have a thing for animals and they are everywhere in my miniature settings.

Still have the attic, hallways, kitchen and that tower room. Looks like I can make a career out of blogging this doll house.  if you enjoy it let me know below.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

So Now It's 'Autumn Cleaning'

"Aprils have never meant much to me, autumns seem that season of beginning, spring". Truman Capote

I always felt like autumn was the beginning of a new year anyway. 

So the spring cleaning I started in the spring has somehow morphed into autumn cleaning.  Well, nearly autumn.  But when I started writing about my doll house and the spring cleaning of it, I left off with the children's bedroom.  So I continue here with the master bedroom.

While it is the master, children have obviously invaded it.  
I changed the paper in this room and it  has sadly faded.  So I suppose another papering is in order.  This bed is from the same person as the other in the children's bedroom.

The little girl with the doll is by the late Marsha Backstrom. She made wonderful dolls and she is missed.  

Here's a better photo of that bed, the Backstrom doll and a secretary by Beth Berman. The filled sewing stand is made by Susan Harmon.

This desk and chair are made-over Bespaq pieces by Jill Diane.  The roses are by Sandra Wall Rubin.  The stationary box is by Terre Fernandez.  Can't remember now who made the lamp, anyone? The gold compact is by Don Henry and I got it from SP Miniatures
More dolls by Gudrun Kolenda.  Puppy by Kerri Pajutee.  Rug from eBay.

Little girl painting her toes.

This amazing little crocheted doll came in a snake skin suitcase with an entire wardrobe of tiny crocheted clothes.  That's my engagement ring, which I have grown out of.  So it might as well work as a prop. The ensemble is by Helen Davies

The little suitcase with more dolls and a crocheted bear is by Dianne Yunni.  I got that incredible cradle on eBay and the baby is by Sally Brennan, who seems to no longer have a website.

These rosaries are truly 1:12 scale, have all the beads and pile up just like the real thing.  

Here's a better shot of some of the accessories.  The gouache is by Allan Waters after a painting by Mary Cassat.

The doll in chair with her bunny are all made by Jill Diane.

More detail of the Dianne Yunni things, painting by Josephine Meyer

Lamp is by NiGlow, figurine is by Chris Okubo, Book is by Jane Bernier.

Hopefully I will get to the rest of the house before winter.  Where I don't decorate for Christmas anyway. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Mad Hatter At Home

"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end.  Then stop."  
Lewis Carroll

My favorite character in Alice in Wonderland is the Mad Hatter.  Inspired by the fairly recent Alice movie starring be-still-my-heart Johnny Depp and made by the quirky Tim Burton my miniature motivation started brewing and an old clock case called to be put into use.
I envision the Mad Hatter to be a curious fellow, for whom it is always teatime. Of course, he is mad, which is his charm, but also creative, messy and he lives in clutter because imaginative and mad people really do not have time for tidying things up.  He's also absent minded and forgets where he left his tea.

Old clock case now a miniature diorama

" Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to."
"I don't much care where -"
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go."  LC

Sometimes you just have to start.  Jump in and go. There had to be the black and white checks but the rest was up for grabs and became purple.  Probably because I found scrap book paper with a Mad Hatter theme.  And that was the start.  I already had a tall chair I had made for a customer for whom it did not suit but I liked the chair and it looks like the Mad Hatter's chair so that became the first furnishing.  
Bit by bit it grew from there keeping in mind the Mad Hatter lives here.  But he is not here.  
And yet the Cheshire Cat, who can vanish at will, is.   
The amazing cat was made for me by Kerri Pajutee. 
How about that grin?

The Cheshire Cat made by Kerri Pajutee

Following is the stuff the Hatter needs in his room including all the tea things and those items he needs to design and make his mad hats. All messy.  When you can't figure out why a raven is like a writing desk you do the best you can.

"How do you know I'm Mad?"
"You must be or you wouldn't have come here".

The Hatter's work desk

Padded Bulletin Board

Mad Hatter Hat Making Supplies

 "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast"

There is an inherent weirdness in the Alice tale written nearly 150 years ago and it is as popular today as it ever was.  Wonderland finds itself the subject of many miniature translations and this is mine.  I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to be at Oxford University and heard the history of the characters as they populated the school back in Lewis Carroll's day and the eccentric characters are as endearing as ever.  And everything about Alice in Wonderland translates very well into miniature.

 "Yes, that's it!, said the Hatter with a sigh, "it's always tea time"

There are lots of tottering tea things here that are certainly impossible. But without a doubt things like this happen in Wonderland every day.  Sometimes, I think it would be pleasant just to stay there.

Drink Me

Forgotten Hats

Sleeping Dormouse

Tea Cart

We all fall down the rabbit hole from time to time and being there need not always be tragic, however bizarre that journey might be.  This was a fun journey for me so I hope you like it.  Please tell me below what you think.
Furnished Room Box
Portrait is a watercolor from the J. Depp Hatter. Photo of the original Alice.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Miniature Spring Cleaning.

"A bright person can always think of something better to do than housework" - Ruby L. Barnhill

I am certainly one of those smart people. But it's time for spring cleaning again, (already) and this time my attention has turned to spring cleaning my doll house.  Oddly, its the only doll house I own, well, except for the haunted one in the garage.  But that's a another story for another time.  Anyway, I did indeed clean up the house by pulling everything out room by room and rearranging it back again.  A lot less intense than real spring cleaning and a lot more fun.

Since I had everything out I thought I would photograph everything, since I had never done that before and so might as well share it here. I don't keep much of what I make so this house is full of the work of others.  Stuff I love and made fit in the house.  This was, of course, all collected after my disaster .

I started with the children's room.  The house only has 4 rooms and an entrance hall, staircase and a hall on the second floor.  There is also a room in the turret and an attic.

Children's Room in The Doll House

 I got the house finished in a trade for one of my Noah's Arks.  I painted the whole house and replaced some of the wallpaper, but this room is the same as it was when it came to live at my house. It had a few owners before me.

Dolls by Feathers Lace and Clay
 I found the bed at a show in Westchester - boy I miss those shows.  The artist was on her way out of miniatures and was selling everything at great prices.  The trunk was made by Alan Waters, an amazing artist from Australia who also dropped out of miniatures. We became friends and he made a lot of special things for me but are gone now (see disaster). I should really get more photos of that because it is really special.  The little boys are both by Gudren Kolenda of Feathers, Lace and Clay.  She is one of my favorite doll makers.  The rug is by Classic Carpets.  The rocker is a Chrysonbon kit that I bashed.

English Hand Carved Rocking Horse

Artisan Made Children's Toys

The rocking horse is from the UK, purchased from Eileen Godfrey, where I used to get a lot of spectacular treasures and there are more in this house.  I made the stick horse, the only piece of mine in the house.  The pencil box is by Alan Waters. Paint box by Lawrence St Leger.  Would you believe the paint tubes hold real paint and the caps twist off?  The stacking blocks are by Terre Fernandez.  ABC book by Barbara Brear .  Both of these gals are wonders at what they do.  The castle is by Jeanne Abil.  Goat pull toy is by Barbara Logan, again, another wonder who unfortunately dropped out of the field.  The teddy is one who escaped the disaster and is by Emily Farmer, a wonderful bear maker.  The horse pull toy by master wood carver, Linda Master .  The bird in the cage actually flaps its wings and I think it might be another St Leger. Oops. The carved bunny on wheels is made by me... 

"My idea of cleaning is sweeping the room with a glance."  Erma Bombeck

And yes, I dusted and swept and shook out the carpets.

The wash stand is an artisan piece but I don't recall the artist.  The Beatrix Potter pieces are early Karen Markland and are porcelain.  The pitcher and bowl and all the matching pieces are reproduction pieces of those that were made for The Queen's Doll House and they are stunning.  I wish I had more.

This charming little desk is signed R.R.Moos and is just perfect for a kid's room.  Mother Goose book by Terre Fernandez.  Watercolor box by St. Leger. 

These are the art work that hangs on the walls.  The ship is by Linda Master who is an outstanding painter.  The needlepoint was done by my own husband who was fascinated with Sharon Garmize's work and bought a few kits.  That was the only thing that interested him at miniature shows.  Go figure.  The poppies painting was done by June Field. I like having original art in my doll house even though no one really cares if they are prints. 

I think I will do this house one room per blog.  I like the idea of having a record of this here and dear, Blogger, please do NOT disappear.  If anyone recognizes pieces for which I do not have the artist named I would appreciate the information.

Please comment and tell me about your miniature spring cleaning adventures!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Chair Is A Very Difficult Object

Array of Windsor Chairs by Pierre Wallace and William Clinger

"A chair is a very difficult object.  A skyscraper is almost easier.  That is why Chippendale is famous" ~ Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I have to say, I have a thing for chairs.  You might notice that you might collect more of one thing than another and well, 3 and its a collection.  So turns out I have a chair collection, albeit in miniature. Seems like I come upon an wonderful chair and I have to have it. Even if I don't need it.

Here is a very nice range of artisan crafted 1:12 scale chairsEnjoy looking !!

"A house that does not have one warm, comfy chair in it is soulless". ~ May Sarton 

Fanciful Wingback by Robert Bernhard

Gothic Throne by Michael Mortimer
Horn Chair by Susanne Russo

Victorian Horn Chair by David Ward

Leather Wing Chair by Joan Ince

17th C Spindle Back Armchair by Pierre Wallace

Gothic Chair by Betty Valentine

Comfy Velvet Chair by Barbara Logan

I'd rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion.  I think Thoreau said that.  If you have a nice cozy chair you can get in it and be by yourself, read or wonder or just be. Or pretend you're sitting in the perfect chair in your perfect doll house. 

What does your perfect chair look like in miniature or otherwise?  Please comment below.

"Every chair should be a throne and hold a king" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, January 18, 2013

My $50,000 Miniature Mistake

       ]" A mistake is always forgivable, rarely excusable and always unacceptable."  Robert Fripp

$50,000.  Because that's how far I got.  It took years and years. A collection of glorious, wonderful miniatures and I SOLD THEM.  That would be the mistake.  Great. Big. Huge.

No, I did not have money to burn.  It's just that I was not buying expensive handbags and shoes.  I was collecting 1:12 scale miniature collectibles.  Little by little, year after year.    Something wonderful here, something magical there...

Still life by Paul Salterelli - I had several of his early, and in my opinion, superior works. One is better than none.

It started at a flea market where I was  thrilled to discover a table selling miniature bliss.  It brought me right back to a happy childhood playing with tiny tea sets, rearranging diminutive furniture in a doll house and then later dressing Barbie in her shoes and handbags. 
(If you are not familiar with miniatures, sadly for you, there is a whole tiny world of things reduced to miniature that might make you believe you could just put them in your house and use them yourself, they are so perfect as to deceive. Thus my reason for photographing them with 'big' things.)

Hand Painted Charger by Le Chateau Interiors - this was originally mine and I bought it again.
I bought a bunch.  Put them in a typesetter's tray.  Found a miniature catalog advertized in a woman's magazine and bought more. Found out about a miniature show locally.  Went there and found people making very serious hand crafted artisan pieces in miniature. Anything you could think of that existed in real life was right there. A paragon of miniature wonder.  I was hooked.

Brass Bird Cage and Hexagonal Rosewood Stand by David Krucker - found again on eBay
I SOLD THE COLLECTION !!!  They say you don't regret the things you did but rather the things you did not do.  Not true.

"Stupidity is a talent for misconception." ~  Edgar Allan Poe

I had new babies, needed money and figured, hey, I am never going to be able to collect miniatures again.  Who has the time when there are diapers to be changed and college funds to think about?  Duh. Babies grow up.

Ruby Glass Decanter Set by Francis Whitmore, Sterling Tray by Gugliemo Cini

Anyway, I am now on the lookout for things I gave up.  In truth some of them really did not matter so who cares now?  BUT...there are those perfect, thrilling, masterful creations that just haunt my soul.  From time to time I come across one and do my best to make it mine AGAIN.  Pictured here are some of my lost then founds.

"Just think how happy you would be if you lost everything you have right now, and then got it back again." Frances Rodman

Lute by Ken Manning. Ebay.

In the end we just can't take this stuff with us.  But letting it go is just not an option.  Not for me.  Not again.  A word to the wise...

Chair by Barbara Logan - found again in a miniature shop

Samurai Sword by Cliff Fleltrope - my original was black with a dragon head.  This will have to do.

I sincerely hope you have spared yourself my agony.   And learned from my mistake. I hope you'll share your thoughts below.  (Oh, and if $50,000 is shocking to you, get out your receipts and just add them up.)

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning."  Catherine Aird