Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Talking Turkey.....




Gobble Gobble Gobble.........

I Suppose I am allowed to feel a bit surprised, Dear Readers, that we are Already celebrating Thanksgiving, because it is falling earlier in the year than it has the past few years. This is because it is always the fourth Thursday of November whichever week that falls in! And as many of you know, this is when families on this side of the Pond are expected to gather together and "Give Thanks" primarily by eating an enormous Feast! And the centerpiece of this Feast is almost always roasted Turkey with "all the fixings"! Sally May loves to cook and was eager to host the Family Dinner again, and all the rest of the Family were more than willing to let her have her way. She spent all day in the kitchen preparing the traditional dishes.

Meanwhile, over at the Lovely Old Dollhouse, 
Victor and Joanna are wondering if it is time 
to head over to the Shabby Sister House 
where Sally May and Chip live. 
(It is a bit shabby because Chip is a builder 
and it is a fixer-upper that he promises will be fixed up someday!)
Will has been invited to join them 
because he has no family on this side of "the Pond".

Helen and Charles agree that it is time to head over.
They did not want to be too early 
as that would make Sally May feel rushed....
Sally May had said dinner would be at six.


There is not a great deal of room in Sally May and Chip's house.....
So it is very cozy once they have all arrived.
Chip's parents Ernest and Blanche
 have been there since the middle of the afternoon.
They live up the River and drove down for the Feast.

Joanna and Pollyanna head straight to the kitchen 
to see how they can help Sally May.
(She never likes too many helpers in her kitchen....
 the cooking area is quite small! )
But she has everything almost ready!
 
 The enormous turkey has come out of the oven
 and is just "resting"
 while she makes the gravy and cooks the peas....
 
Pollyanna carries the dishes to the Dining Room.... 
they will be eating "buffet style" 
as there are too many guests to fit around the table.

Joanna says "let me take the turkey.... 
that will give you more room in here...."

Annabelle says "I want to help....!"
 "You can help me sort the silverware...." replies Pollyanna.

Joanna set the turkey at the head of the table, 
then decided to count the napkins....

Sally May says " I think that's everything..."
"Shall I call everybody in..." asks Joanna?

Goodness! It is a crowded room!

Chip's Father always leads the song of Blessing....
everybody joins in, 
the familiar words echoing in the room ....
"Praise Him from whom all blessings flow......"

Chip loves the moment when he can begin to carve the turkey.... 
it makes him feel so useful!
Well, Dear Readers, we will leave them here,
 about to fill their plates and their bellies.
I believe they are ready to Gobble up the food 
they have waited so long to enjoy!

And as we stand back, 
I want to say to ALL of you, Dear Readers, 
how Thankful I am that you are Here!
I feel it is such a Gift that there are so many miniaturists 
all around the World who visit and share this mini World with me!
Thank you for your visits!
Thank you for your Wonderful comments!
Thank you sharing your knowledge and love of miniatures!
 
Oh, and don't forget to stick around for the Pie!

Yes! That Pie!
I hope you All can gather with Loved ones
 and enjoy the Feast!
Yes, it's Thanksgiving once Again
and we're Talking Turkey!
(Gobble gobble gobble.......!)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Teeny Tiny Curtains....!




Pursuing A Dream....

Some of you May recall, Dear Readers, my mentioning that I was not satisfied with the paper curtains that are provided with the Secret Christmas House kits. To begin with, they are very "fussy" and are just not my style. But more importantly in my opinion, they are Flat! As you may have noticed, I have been trying to add a third dimension to many of the pieces that come in these kits...(thickness to books, roundness to teapots and candlesticks, depth to picture frames and door frames to name a few!), so it should come as no surprise that I would want my curtains to appear more realistic and have at least a little bit of dimension to them! How to achieve this and with what materials has been the pursuit of many hours both waking and asleep. There was no way to finish decorating the Secret Christmas House without adding curtains.... and they needed to be added before the furnishings could be put in place. And in case you had not noticed... the Christmas Season is fast approaching! Would I give up on completing this project this year? Or would I try yet again to make suitable curtains....
The above picture will show you some of my attempts. They are a bit embarrassing.... made from coffee filter paper smushed into a curtain-ish shape and painted a color approximating the ones in the kit. Even with lovely gold trim, they just looked horrid when tested in place...

No, this just would Not work!
I decided I was going to need to be very precise with the "folds" of the material... 
and I also decided I would prefer to use cloth if possible!
From there I tried many methods of making the material fold like pleated drapes.... 
I even tried winding the wet cloth through the teeth of a comb while it dried!
But none succeeded in giving me a small enough pleat.
Finally, last weekend I decide to try making a wire "jig" 
to hold the material in place as it dried.

I thought that perhaps if I made a frame of wires in a curtain-drape shape,
 and placed the wet cloth over the wires....
Using a method described by Elizabeth of Studio E Blog...
 (The material is dipped in a watered down glue.... 
thank you for the tutorial Elizabeth!)

And then laid more wires over the wet cloth....
 pressed into the valleys between the first wires.... 
to hold the wet cloth down while it dried....
Then maybe it would dry with small enough pleats!
I also tested the method of just using pins
 to hold the fabric in pleated folds.... 
(which you can see above to the right.)
This method left large pin holes in the cloth 
and not enough consistency to the pleats.
But the wires method seemed to work fairly well...!

You can sort of see the test curtains here.... 
I know they are very pale and you can hardly see the pleats....
 but it shows promise!

I tested more versions with coffee filter paper.... 
but did not like the results.
Paper is out... cloth is in.
I quickly made more with the cloth...

Well, not quickly... it takes a couple of hours for the cloth to dry!
Here I am using an antique silk charmeuse scrap...
it has a very fine weave and a soft and malleable hand.... 
and is also a cream color that could be painted if necessary....

Here I am testing one of the dried panels in the parlor..... 
I think I am getting somewhere!

How about two panels together....?
I think these could work!
Now, Dear Readers, I am getting Excited!!!

Here I am testing the pale silk in the Sitting Room again... 
but I am not happy with the color for this room... 
it is too pale. The curtain just disappears.
And I am not really happy with the way it looks painted... 
that will serve as a last resort... 
but first I want to try other fabrics.

Starting with a green silk....
 the very same green silk I used for the bed curtains 
for the Tree House bed!

Here you can see several of the different versions 
together with the original printed paper kit versions.
The green silk is too "yellow" for the Sitting Room... 
so I try them in the Dining Room....

Oh my...!!! 
What a perfect color match!!!
And the fringe even looks okay!!!
So now I need to make the curtain rods.....

Like so...!

And testing the Parlor curtains......
I have decided to go with the cream color in this room... 
it tones down the pink a bit and won't compete with the Tree....!

And now I have Glued them in place!

The Sitting Room curtains wanted to be a darker green....

Here you can see it drying in the wire "jig"....

And in place in the Sitting Room.
It is hard to get the colors to look the way they are in RL... 
this appears a bit too blue in this light.
But the "green" in this room is a very blue-toned green!

But I must say, Dear Readers,
 I just want to Crow about these curtains!!!
Even though they will practically "disappear" 
when the room is all furnished...
 I think they look Perfect!

See what I mean? 
You hardly notice the curtains!

Here, come a little closer.....

I just Love the way the Light shines through them!
Well, Dear Readers, 
I just can't tell you how Excited I am
 by these tiny bits of cloth...
Catching that Dream....
Teeny Tiny Curtains!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Where Was I.....?




Hmmmmm..........

It was weeks and Weeks ago, Dear Readers, that I last accomplished any building on any of my many projects! I hope you will be able to remember that I was building the attic "knee walls" for the Lovely Old Dollhouse sometime back in September, before I got swept up in the recent story-telling binge. This was a project I had been contemplating for nearly fifty years!!! I had even made a version of these knee-walls back in my teen-aged years when I was first trying to "up-grade" the decor of the dollhouse, but my construction methods were not sturdy and did not last. This time I am being a little more thorough and not relying on glue alone to attach the parts. At the moment they are all still removable while I decide how detailed the walls and doors need to be. But I did manage to add a coat of primer to the basic parts! It makes an amazing difference in the feel of the rooms to have the walls painted!

Of course, the lighting is not very good in my photos... 
and you can hardly see the wall behind all the furniture..... 
but that is sort of the point! It now feels just like a wall!

And the same is true of the bedroom....

I am still not sure if I will be trying to make 
the walls appear to be "bead-board" paneling....
since that is a later style of decor than the supposed era of this house. 
But I probably will... 
because "up-grades" would have been done over time, 
like with the kitchen walls.
 
And these were not the only walls I was painting, Dear Readers, 
as you may have spotted in that first photo!
I was also working on painting the 
sleeping compartment of the second Gypsy Wagon!
 
Here I have started to paint the dark blue base coat.
 
(Yes, I know, I have not shown you this second Gypsy Wagon!
But you might have spotted it in the Meadow with Beatrice!)
It is becoming quite different from the first, 
starting with an extra rear window in the sleeping compartment.
And I wanted the mood to be more "mystical"....
beginning with deep blue walls and silver-gray forest...

Here you can see how the walls fit together... 
only the gray under-painting has been done so far on the trees.

Here I have started to add the black details...
but decided that I really needed to add the silver color first...

You can see on the tree to the far right that I have added the silver .....

And now I am adding the black over the silver. 
I wanted a reflective effect because the compartment will be quite dark,
 and this way the trees will stand apart from the blue background.

Slightly closer shot.....

Most of the black texture added.....
There are still many details to be added... 
I have not decided how much foliage to add... 
but there will be more added!

Here the walls are assembled temporarily.....

And a hint of the decor... 
viewed through the compartment doors......

And closer..... 
Yes, it will feel much more Mystical than the other wagon!

And speaking of doors....

The exterior doors needed trim added....

And the doors needed the draft strip added to the center 
where the doors don't quite meet when closed.

And a lovely old tarnished bronze door knob too!

I love the way it looks in the morning light!

Well, Dear Readers..... 
I seem to have discovered where I was 
All those weeks ago!
Where I am going is another matter altogether....
Hmmmmm.... we shall have to wait and see!