Friday, February 15, 2019

A painted chest, chair and a kakelugn.

A chest, a chair and a kakelugn.

View of the hallway - doorway to left to bathroom, red French doors to upper deck, door entry to bedroom to right. 

The chest/trunk began as a Asian-motif lacquered box. You may recollect seeing them. They are highly glossed black painted with gold.

It was crying out for conversion. A good sanding removed most of the lacquer so that I could paint the box. I am using small sample bottles of milk paint on a lot of the furniture.  The sanded box took the paint well leaving the impression that it had been around a while and well used. 

I had been looking at Swedish marriage chests and thought I could paint a primitive motif on the box but found I had some laser cut pressed wood images. (Linda, I think they came from you?) I cut them into a shape that fitted onto the chest and painted it a different colour. I know it looks the same but the two colours I am using are both a blue grey.

The vignette on the top of the chest.
I painted a small plinth and put a piece of marble in the centre before adding Elizabeth's bead bottles to a round mirror.  The tray is a pendant backing with a doily reduced to size, books, flowers and stacking bracelets.

I had made a tray to match the size of the top of the chest but I did not like the look of it on the chest.. .. so that will find its way into my storage drawers.

In the picture below I am also working on making a pattern for a sweater. I knitted a rug for the day-bed in the living room so plan to try and continue knitting and I am working on the vignette while talking to #1 son on the speaker phone. Who said I could not multi task?

I painted the edge of the circular mirror gold which finished it nicely. #1 son also said it needed handles and a lock. Now looking for something that will give the impression of  a lock.

No doubt the display on the top of the chest will undergo many changes before I move on.

Linda of makes the most wonderful cushions and slippers in petit point. Actually she is adept at most things mini. Please go and have a look at her blog and be inspired!  These slippers have the Swedish crown on their toes. She had also made me bee slippers for the Empire room in the French House.

Anyone perusing extreme shabbiness might like to try the following technique.
I did not care for the mottled sateen upholstery on this ugly reddish mahogany wood chair.
When I was bemoaning that I did not think I could do a good job of changing the upholstery on this style chair Elizabeth said. "Why don't you paint it?"
Good idea Elizabeth! I did paint it with the milk paint. The seat went all lumpy. Never mind I thought I will have to pull it off in any case ... so I painted it again and then stuck a Swedish crown motif on the back and painted over that. Then I sanded the edge of the seat where it was all lumpy.... then I painted the wood and wiped it off a bit.....

Then I made a rough linen cushion (below), for those winter afternoons reading beside the kakelugn stove. Ones slippered feet resting on the embroidered footstool of course that Linda made for such occasions.  Thank you Linda!
I must say it felt quite liberating to shabby the chair. I can see that it could lead me down a different path altogether.

Almost last, but not least, above is the kakelugn. The metal wood basket is a napkin ring.

Now B. has finished the stove he can go out and play!

Anyone like to guess what the eyes are made of?

In this snowy weather I am busy in the workroom!

Hope you are having fun too.

regards Janine

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Making Something .... from something else.

Making something.....

It is a very satisfying challenge for many miniaturists to convert an item into something that will suit ones project. 

In the Swedish House bedroom there have been several of those challenges. 

I won this wardrobe in the 1990's as a door prize. It was surprisingly sturdy but held no appeal.
I am often hesitant to attempt to change an existing piece of furniture. I worry that I will make it worse than it is. I have decided I should be more adventurous ... so this was the process.

This existing wardrobe was too small for the room. It was also the wrong colour and had very unattractive knobs. It did have recessed cupboard doors that would accept trim. I thought the base and the top were very simple and could be removed easily.

The base was removed and an extra drawer made.
Below you can see the extra drawer mocked up and a little extra height added. The reeded front panels are clamped in place to dry.  To make the reeded door fronts I used panels of thin basswood scored with a needle tool against a ruler.

Squares cut from a Dollar Store ribbon add a little detail below. 

In the next photo you can see the reeding better... also the trim was removed from above the drawers. The mock bottom drawers did not look right so Bruce (thank you, thank you) redid that drawer.

Sections of metal trim, a key and fob are now added to the doors.  Yes, the drawer pulls are earring backs - cut in half with a ring threaded through and painted black.

The half-moon table is a kit. I changed the legs and added plastic trim on the fronts and metallic silver tape on the apron. I keep fighting with one of the legs to get it straight. I think I have won that battle.

Now it is painted and almost ready to slide under a window beside the wardrobe.  I reglued the errant leg again after this photo was taken. It really does help to take pics as you can look at items in more detail.

Once it was fitted under the window sill I realized the table top needed extra width to carry the items I wanted displayed on top. An extra panel was added to the back and supported with two wooden brackets then sanded and the table repainted.

Now in position with the wardrobe. The space is beginning to looked lived in.

Handy husband has taken over my workroom. Below he is making the Mora clock.

Last year handy husband began building the Kakelugn Stove for the bedroom.  You can see how it was made with parts of a cardboard tube, rubber ring, flexible tile, bits of plastic and metal crowns and light fitting in a previous post. Here B is finishing the copper door - adding a piece of metal jewellery findings as door decoration and door handle.

The fireplace glows, The little handle on the side is for controlling draft. I will try and get a close up pic soon to show you more details.

Elizabeth of and I had a book-making day early in December. We used embossing liquid and stamps to create the decorated covers of these books.

I made the lower book with the tie on it using the foil from a Ferrero Rocher chocolate. Of course I did not eat the chocolate I just wanted the wrapper!
I had made the book pages and cover and then cut to size and glued the wrapper on to the cover in one piece -front, spine and back.  Before I cut the foil to size I smoothed it gently to remove some of the texture and then pressed it onto a metal jewellery finding to give the impression of embossing.
I then sponged colour on to the foil and used a matt finish paint to give it some stability.  It looks like leather.

It was a lot of fun to spend time together and to try something different.

So on that note I encourage you to do something you enjoy and perhaps post your discoveries.

All the best.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

I'm just having fun.

Hello Everyone,

The weather has been cold and wet... except for a couple of sunny days that pushed me out to the garden. I was tip toeing around as when the ground is soaked it is easy to compact the soil.

My snow drops are beginning to nod their heads. I lifted the skirt of the large rosemary to find them sheltered and almost in bloom. I was rewarded by not only the blooms but the fragrance of the rosemary. The Sarcococca is also in bloom near my front gate. The tiny blossoms give up such a heady fragrance it just makes you feel hopeful that Spring will arrive in due course.

Now Christmas is over and our three sons birthdays have been celebrated it was time to change the decor of the Swedish House.  I am not sure it is a Swedish House but it will continue to evolve until it settles into its location.

I built a simple settee. I imagined a small grandchild sleeping there - cozy beside the fire. This build has only one large bedroom so I thought I would try and include and extra sleeping space. It may not stay there.

Here it is with a rug I knitted on 00 circular needles with very, very fine wool.

Tea is served with cinnamon buns.  I read that in Sweden more cinnamon buns are eaten than in any other nation! Can it be true?

Handy husband Bruce asked me what I would like for Christmas and to fulfill that wish built a mora clock.

Just noticed the side bar is covering the clock. I will try to repeat pic at the end of the post. J.

The feast has been cleared away from the table but may return as I have accumulated, with contributions from my Miniteer friends, quite a collection of food.

A pot of daffodils have come in from the winter room at the front of the house.

I like the reflection of the chandelier in the window in the picture below.

The bedroom is next on the agenda!

Hope everyone in blog-o-sphere is finding time to enjoy their projects.

All the best.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Almost a New Year

Almost ... a New Year:

Still 2018 near Vancouver, Canada. At last I have had some inspiration and begun work on my Swedish House.

It began with the acquisition of a prancing deer in the Christmas section of a big box store. 'I may be able to do something with that" I thought. Home I raced and quickly decapitated the representation of a deer to create an over-the-mantle decoration for the season.

No deer were harmed in this post.

 It can take such a small breakthrough to get one energized for a project.  Now I was ready to fill the panels with a mural I had chosen some time ago.

 After a lovely mini day with Elizabeth of and a consultation on fabrics I began to cover the furnishings I had reserved for this house.

This chair was previously covered in a very shiny cream sateen but was easy to reupholster with cotton fabric. The small table is painted with chalk paint. Christmas tree and pastries by Elizabeth.

Lovely Bespaq cupboard bought at a Seattle Miniature Show contains two Elizabeth Causeret casseroles with lids. One from the Paris SIMP in 2017 and one matching a gift from Minteer friend Linda during her visit to the Kensington Show 2018.

 Hide on the floor cut from very fine leather.

Mantle decorated for the holidays.

Peonies by Fatima of Beauxminis, peaches by Elizabeth.

Preparations for a gathering to welcome the New Year.

Time to light the fire.

The Champagne is poured.

 Or perhaps you would prefer tea?

Tea set by Elisabeth Causeret.

I cannot help but be thankful for the view from my workroom window. It is not always so benign nor are the skies always blue but ever-changing and to me awe inspiring.

The closing of the final day of 2018.

I hope you were able to share this holiday season with family and friends.

Second Granddaughter and I wish you a very happy, healthy and safe 2019.

Warm regards and thank you for visiting.