Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!!!

I want to thank all my followers for your support during this last year and I wish you all a wonderful 2012!!!! May it be a fantastic year!!!!

Here is a photo of my most faithful follower, he follows me around everywhere but his favorite time of the day is when I settle down on the couch to do my embroidery.

And from here he can see the neighbors comings and goings, his name is Anakin but most of the time I just call him Ani Boy.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

May you all have a Blessed Christmas with your family and friends.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wall Brackets and Dining Room

My base coat was finely dry enough for me to put the gold on, this is a lot easier to use than gold leaf, I bought it from Angela Jones about five years ago when she attended what turned out to be her last show in Johannesburg, it is the first time I used it, but I am really glad I bought it back then. The paint is fine gold dust mixed with an oil which I can't remember the name of, the gold settles to the bottom in time but a good stir is all that is needed to get it workable again.

I really like how they have turned out.

The tankards and goblet on the mantel are gold and silver bracelet charms that I bought at antique fairs. The silver coffee set on the table I also bought at an antique fair quite a few years ago, it came with a tray that has an inscription on it I think in Portuguese or Spanish, I have no idea how old it is. The HOM kit furniture will be replaced by hardwood furniture as I get the time to make them, chairs are on my list early in the new year. The two double doors will lead to a conservatory, the two copper pots still needs a plant in each. The curtains were made from silk fabric that I found in the wedding and evening dress fabric department of a huge fabric store close by. I think the chandelier needs a few crystals, what do you think????

The tall clock is the one I made in Castine earlier this year, I just need to put in the pendulum and then add the doors, the clock actually works, I used a normal wrist watch movement and replaced the hands with the ones that I got with the face. Since I am waiting for table saw blades and unable to work on the sewing tables , I think I must try and finish the clock next week before the new year starts. Most of the glass items are from GlassCraft in the UK. This room still needs quite a few pieces of furniture, pictures on the wall, etc at the moment I am treating my house as if each room was a room box and my goal for next year is to make as much of the dining room furniture as I possibly can, a table, six chairs, a sideboard and a small table for under the antique shelf.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Tribute Room Box

I have always wanted to make something to remember my Mom-in-Law who passed away just over 3 years ago in a special way, I had a good relationship with her and when I think back I realize she played a big role in my love for antiques and collecting all kinds of things. So yesterday when I saw this Christmas room box made by Kevin Mulvany and Susie Rogers it started me thinking, mom lived in Cape Town which is about a 1000 miles from us and we normally spent about every 2nd Christmas with her and those were some of the best times in my life.

Just before she passed away she bought this little Edwardian chamber pot cupboard for me, I only really use the drawer for a few odds and ends as this is standing right next to my front door and now I am seriously considering recreating her living room at Christmas time behind the door.

Her place was small so the tree always stood on her little stove which of course we didn't need in the middle of summer. My photos dates back to the 80's and 90's so excuse the quality.

Now you know why I love blue and white plates!!!!!

The dining table in the corner, I still have scraps of that fabric which is small enough for 12 scale.

I will make a false wall with a glimpse through to the corridor, where she had a hall stand. I inherited all her bedroom furniture and my sister-in-law all the living room furniture but it is all still scattered throughout my house since my sister-in-law stays on the other side of the country and hasn't had the opportunity yet to fetch them, which means I can measure and copy all the furniture from the originals. 

Close up of the dining chair, most of her wooden furniture was from the late 1800's, early 1900's.

She used this old wagon kist as a coffee table, she used to have an old saddle bag on it, one that looked like they used a rug to make it, I think it is here somewhere, the blue vase was also hers but she had sunflowers in it.

The shelves used to hang above this cupboard, some of the objects on here also belonged to her. I am searching through all her photographs as well to help jog my memory. She lived with us in her own flat on our property the last few years of her life, which is why all her stuff is here, but that will make it easier recreating the room.

It will probably take quite a few years in between all my other work, but that's ok, Rome wasn't build in one day.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dining Room Wall Brackets

I decided to take off from working on my furniture commissions this weekend and work a bit on my sadly neglected dollhouse, the Stokesay vases are crying out to be displayed and not languish in a box for who knows how long. As I mentioned the other day my brackets are not deep enough for the vases, so yesterday I cut 2 pieces from 1/8" basswood and glued them with epoxy to the brakets. Before I glued the wood pieces on I drilled two holes in each for nails to go into the walls, I don't always like gluing things permanently and in this case my wallpaper is old real life flocked paper, so I wasn't sure that glue would really hold in the long term. The wood on the bracket on the right has already been shaped with files, knifes etc in this photo.

Next I drilled holes in the wall for the nails, now my nails weren't evenly spaced, so I cut a piece of cardboard to the height I wanted, marked my nail holes on it, drilled through the cardboard, positioned it and then drilled through the holes into the wall.

Looking good so far, I think.

Next I drilled a hole in the top for a dowel for the vase to sit securely on, I will use some blue tack or Press Stick as we call it here as well, don't want these vases to fall :-)

Testing, testing...... I like it so far!!!!!

I am planning on gilding them, so here they are with their first layer of paint, I used enamel, so now I have to wait until it is dry, then I will sand them and fill in any gaps.

Hope you all had a great weekend!!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lace and Christmas Petit Point

Today it was a public holiday here in South Africa (it is also the time when a lot of people take their annual leave in the midst of summer) and as usual there was an antique fair at historical Melrose House in the center of Pretoria. Today I was lucky enough to find some pieces of  lovely old lace, the top one is silk lace, not something you find often and the other two are cotton. The small one on the right will look stunning on a doll dress with some fine ribbon through the holes. The other two I think might work for a Victorian bed cover, if all works out i will be doing Bill Robertson's Brass Bed Class in Castine next year and I can just picture the bed with the lace and some petit point cushions.

Talking of petit point, here is a photo of my Christmas petit point, and yes it is a CAMEL.

It will have a nice big star, but no King (Wise Man) , I suspect he went into an inn on the way to get some food. Working on 75 count sure is a challenge, the embroidery measures 44mm (1 45/64") across and will be 56 mm (2 1/4") from top to bottom and has a total of 21 672 stitches. I won't have it finished for Christmas but hopefully for The Twelfth night of Christmas on 6 January.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stokesay Ware!!!!!!!

I received my first ever order from Stokesay Ware today. WOW, what can I say, I am so impressed at the quality of their work, the porcelain is so fine and I can see no mold lines at all. I will definitely order from them again in the future, I would love to have one of their dinner and tea sets. The two vases will go in my dining room, but not in this corner. The shelf in this photo is an antique one that I bought at Lucy's Doll House in Camden on the way to Castine earlier this year, I also bought an antique frame there, once I have done the petit point for it, I will hang that above the shelf, the desk will be replaced with something else not sure what yet.

Here is a photo of the shelf and frame with a ghost lady in it, Brae, she would have looked great in your haunted house, only her face and arms still show, the clothes are long gone, I took it apart and there was just a lot of dust, the ladies face and arms are permanently fixed to the glass.

The vases will stand on these two shelves that I want to paint with liquid gold leaf, they are not quite deep enough, so I am thinking of adding wood to the backs. I want to hang the shelves on each side of the bay window where the Queen Anne chairs are standing (check my header photo). The plate will probably go into the parlor, hopefully with some plates and vases.


Saturday, December 10, 2011


Last weekend I went into a bead shop and they had Swarovski crystals on a 50% sale, well I wasn't going to refuse this opportunity :-) They just screamed the word CHANDELIER, since I wanted it with a working light and felt a bit lazy, I went to my local dollhouse shop to see if there was any light fitting that I could maybe turn into a chandelier and I found this ceiling fitting.

I used bigger crystals in the center that had big enough holes for the wire to go through and glued the bottom crystal to the plastic cover that is on top of the light bulb. The brass part around the light has 20 openings, so I used every second one, I found a jewelry finding with 10 holes and used that for the top, I tried a few different combinations of crystals until I was happy and simply used invisible thread to string the beads. This photo was taken with a flash so that you can see the colors of the crystals.

I love how it looks in the house, my floor isn't made yet, so this is just a bit of a mock-up, I have been a bit sick since Wednesday and needed to do something that doesn't involve wood dust.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Giveaway winner!!!!!!!!

Thank you to all who entered my giveaway and all the lovely comments on my work. And now I guess you want to know who won............ My daughter drew the winner's name, and here she is............

Congratulations Ludmilla!!!!! I will make up the cat into a cushion over the weekend and send your parcel off on Monday, please send me your address.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lots of Wood

I went to my local saw mill today to buy some African Blackwood that I want to use in turning knobs for the sewing table and for the chairs that I will start in the new year. It sure was my lucky day, the manager at the mill gave me a bag full of African Blackwood offcuts and one with the Mopane wood that I have been using for the sewing table. This mill specializes in supplying wood for the making of musical instruments so it is choice wood and well seasoned. The best thing is that the mill is only 10 minutes drive from my home and they asked that I give them photos once my tables are finished to put on their website.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Giveaway for faithful followers!!!!!!!!!

I want to thank all my faithful followers for their support, encouragement and friendship since I started my blog just over a year ago. I wish I could give all of you a little something, but since that is going to be impossible, I am having a giveaway. This giveaway is only open to people who already follow me, new followers are always welcome, but this time round I want to thank the people that has been following me for a while.

Up for grabs is this little beaded purse that I made sometime ago and one of my very first petit point pieces, a cat, he was stitched on 40 count canvas with DMC, the winner can choose whether they want it framed or made up into a cushion.

So if you would like to own these two pieces, here is what you must do:
1: Already be a follower.
2: Tell me why you follow me and what you are going to do with the two items if you win.
You have until midnight (South African time) 30 November to leave your comments. I will draw the winner on  1 December, good luck to you all!!!!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sewing Table Drawer

The first drawer of five is finished, the partitions are made of  0.6mm thick wood and they are joined with tongue and groove joints, what a fiddly job!!!! I cut the writing quill down from a feather with scissors, I plan on raiding a bead shop soon to see what I can find to make ink bottles. The scissors are from Cats Paw Miniatures and I found mine in the Miniseum in Denmark when I visited there earlier this year just after Guild School.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New Look

As you can see my blog has a new look, I am not sure if I am 100% happy with it, but I got sick and tired of the green. What do you think about how it looks now????? Any suggestions of where to look for backgrounds will be more than welcome!!!!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Can You Guess??????

I did some more stitching on the Christmas petit point and you can start to see the subject emerging. Anyone want to take a guess at what it is going to be???? PetitPointers you are not allowed to guess since you probably know already.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sewing Table Progress

I finally have all 5 tables glued together, here is the last one showing all the pieces.

The two on the left already have a layer of Danish oil on them, isn't the grain and color just fantastic?

View from the top, they all have a scrap piece of wood in the back where the sliding screen will fit in.

All four sides in one view.

Close up with one of the Queen Anne chairs, there are still a lot of work to be done, the candle slide, the small drawer that will have partitions for ink, pen, scissors, etc, the big drawer for the needlework, the screen in the back and the top that will be able to raise at an angle to form a writing slope. Oh and little caster wheels, my husband is helping me figure out how we are going to make those since all the commercial ones are too big for this project.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Petit Petit Point

I started a new stitching project for the Christmas season. This time I am working on the smallest size gauze I have ever tried, 75 count!!!!! I promise I am not crazy ;-), keep watching and you will see the subject soon, hopefully it will be finished for this Christmas!!!!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Mini Automata

In 2006 on a trip to England I bought all of these little items in a miniature shop in Bath. I have always been fascinated by the little lion tamer automata toy that you can see on the far right, and always wondered who made it, well I discovered their blog today, enjoy!!! 


Friday, October 21, 2011

Victorian Dollhouse Study

I haven't posted about my dollhouse for a while so I thought it was high time that I show you the study and how I did certain things. I prefer things like curtains to be removable for cleaning and wiring for in case anything goes wrong in the future. Here you can see the basic shell of the room, the middle floor plank is loose, the floor has a groove cut in it for the kitchen's light fitting wire, in the back of the wall there are two holes, one for the wire and one for the fireplace light.

On the left wall you can see two screws above the window, the curtain pelmet fits on here. The lamp's wire goes through a hole in the wall to the outside.

Here you can see the holes in the back of the pelmet that fits over the screws in the wall. The lace curtain are sewed to the curtain at the back, the curtain fits on a rod that fits into grooves on each side of the pelmet, this means that I can clean the curtains if a spider or any other creature decide to make this their home and trust me they do on occasion.

Here you can see the lamp's wire on the outside of the house going through a hole in the corner to the back of my house where all the wires will be hidden behind a chimney breast. The scullery closes against this side of the house so the wire won't be visible. Check under the label Victorian dollhouse if you want to read earlier posts that I wrote about this house.

My husband helped me with the fireplace, the front and back was made from a piece of galvanized steel. In this photo you can see the back of the fireplace, the loose piece of flooring is back in place as well as the hearth stone.

Here you can see the fireplace from the front, the molding around the arch was made from twisted wire.

The animals on top of the bookcase were antique fair purchases and carved from bone, the porcelain horse came from my grandma's sister and the hunting scene was painted by Anet Pearson. The rug was my first petit point rug.

I still need to finish the paint job on the pelmet, but I will do that once I have made the second pelmet for the window on the front of the house. The elephant on top of the High Boy is a Victorian chess piece carved from Ivory that I found at an antique fair. I bought the lamp in a miniature shop (I think it has closed down now) in Bath, England in 2006. A wing chair is on my to do list for the study. The painting above the desk is another one by Anet Pearson, unfortunately it seems as if her website has disappeared.

The floor above the study is still loose, when I start work on the third floor of my house I will complete the ceiling, I find it a lot easier to work on the walls etc. without the floor in place. I hope to get some work done on the parlor over this weekend.
Hope you all have a fun filled weekend!!!!