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.