We had a heatwave a couple of weeks ago - 41°C! It was terrible because we couldn't go out or do anything, just close the shutters and try to keep cool. The good thing about making miniatures is that it is calming and relaxing, and so an ideal occupation when stuck indoors.
I had no energy to take on any big tasks, but a little painting is always fun. For a corner of the Dining Room, I needed a new painting. I had been reading about the dolls houses in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and came across the portrait of Petronella Dunois, the owner of one of the houses. I though it would be a fitting tribute to have a painting of her in Daviot House.
I carried on the 17th century theme by making a little 'Still Life' arrangement of flowers. The bowl is a cheap china tureen that I had in my mini-stash, and I painted it with porcelain paint. You can just about see a little peacock! I may fill the bowl with more greenery to get that really lush effect of floral still life. Perhaps if the temperature goes up again?
I have been busy embroidering over the past few months, and thought I'd show you my most recent work. I ordered a Hepplewhite suite from Masters Miniatures, and covered the seats with very light cream silk. The spray of flowers in the centre include roses, lilies and daisies, the summer flowers that are in my real garden around my birthday.
It is extremely difficult to take a satisfactory photo of miniature embroidery! This one gives you a sense of the scale. I finished of the seat pads with gold silk cord and tassels - everything looks better with a tassel!
The embroidery is very time consuming, as every stitch counts, but this project was harder than usual, as I had to make the sure the embroidery matched on each chair - not easy with free embroidery, but I think I managed it.
Here are the completed chairs flanking the fireplace in the Drawing Room. I have yet to complete the sofa that goes with them.
I also made a fire screen for the breakfast room. It is on light yellow duchesse satin, and the bouquet includes very Jacobite white roses, thistle, bluebells, heather and rowen - all very symbolic of Scotland. Again the photos don't quite do it justice...
It looks much better in place!
I was very touched by your comments on my last post, and thank you all for welcoming me back,
Sometimes I think I am in control of Daviot House. I decide what goes in, which rooms are where, which furniture to use etc... But sometimes, just sometimes, I have the sneaking suspicion that the house has its own opinion. Some rooms fall into place, and others Get Stuck.
I last posted A LONG TIME AGO after a Spring Clean, when I changed the colours of the morning room walls. But something wasn't quite right. I wasn't happy with the layout, the sofa, the colours. And I got stuck. I didn't touch the house for quite a long time - I didn't find a great deal of inspiration, and things weren't working.
Looking at other people's blogs made me feel a bit guilty that I wasn't being productive, or leaving lovely comments, or joining-in with everyone. I had contracted that strange disease,
The Miniaturist's Blues!
I think quite a few of us feel it from time to time, often Real Life gets in the way of creativity, and I'm sure some really great miniaturists have disappeared from the blogosphere due to it. So things were pretty blue in my Mini World! Well, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If you feel blue, go blue. And that is exactly what I did. Here are the results:
The Breakfast Room in all its splendour, set with the finest silver and blue and white china ...
I painted the porcelain with a dainty pattern...
The table cloth was a wonderful find at a flea market - it is the perfect size for the table, and the lace edging is just about in scale for an Edwardian crochet hem.
The rug was a very damaged evening bag - although I don't like cutting up antique petit point for miniatures, this was far beyond repair as a bag, and I cleaned, mended and backed it with linen to preserve it. I love the muted colours!
The panelling and fireplace were inspired by a visit to Fort William in Scotland last year, from a room in the Highlands Museum there, dating to the mid-eighteenth century. It is very simple, made from cardboard and Das clay.
There is a rather snooty gentleman in a Tarbena frame, but I do like him, I think he stops the room from being too twee. The sconces are my usual DIY using elements from Bindels Ornaments, and the clock is by Malcolm Hall on Etsy.
The breakfast table is set with various pieces of silver, including a fabulous butter dish from Stephen J Randall, a toast rack from Art Forge and a teapot that was rescued from a charm bracelet.
The egg cups, bud vase and cutlery are pewter from Warwick miniatures. The stunning tea caddy is from Malcolm Hall. It was a good Christmas this year!
The corner cupboards are filled with porcelain that I painted myself, and others from my collection from V&R Miniatures, Muriel Hopwood and Deerness ceramics.
It is very good to have all of my blue and white collection in one place, and I think that the black accents of the sconces and the clock on the mantle piece help to tone down the blue, so it doesn't feel overdone (although my RL addiction to blue and white china has spilled into my miniatures!)
I hope you have enjoyed the Breakfast Room of Daviot House, and forgive me my long absence - I will be back again to keep you updated on other rooms of the house that I have been working on during my sabbatical,