Sunday, 28 January 2018

French cottage style bedroom

I am getting bolder and bolder with my Chippendale kits and want to try different techniques and finishes. I have several kits for chest of drawers, that are mostly similar, and my large house doesn't have room for more chests, so I decided to make a chest that didn't fit into any of my projects. The chest itself wasn't particularly interesting to make, exactly because they are more or less the same. I won't show it step by step, but what I did was paint it with antique white acrylic and then add decoupage decoration. I had never made proper decoupage, and I am not quite sure I made it correctly, but I was very pleased with the result.

The drawers are not glued yes, because I always insert drawer handles before I glue on the fronts. The kits comes with standard handles and plates, but I didn't think they were suitable for this style. I wanted something like I have on my 1:1 chest, metal rings. I have plenty of these from junk jewellery, but they must be attached to the drawer in some manner, and it took me some time to figure it out. As usual, I was just rummaging through my supplies when the solution jumped at me. 


These champagne wires are among the best and most versatile materials. Easy to work with too.


When I shared this picture in my Facebook groups, one friend commented: "Yes, this is what I always do". And I thought I had invented something remarkable.

Anyway, this piece did not fit with anything, but I wanted to make something to go with it and made a bed. Again, I won't show how I made it step by step, because it is exactly like other Chippendale beds, with stringed bottom. Like the chest, I decoupaged the headboard before assembly. 


Making the mattress was again straightforward when you have made it several times, but I have always had issues with bedding because it won't stay. Then I remembered a trick I have seen either in some book or on the web. If you want a piece of fabric to stay, glue it to aluminium foil. In this case, I didn't even have to glue, I simply sewed it inside the blanket.


Now I could tuck it in neatly. Mind, I would never ever have this pink in my own bedroom. But this seemed appropriate. And the two pieces went nice together.


Now, however, I had a dilemma. I already have a shelf full of single miniatures that do not fit in any existing projects. I put the chest and bed tentatively in a cardboard box, but realised I would have to make the whole environment: floor, ceiling, wallpaper, and the box was too small, and a larger box would be too large... So I made a compromise.


This is my first corner vignette, and next time I will do it better. When I asked advice of my miniature friends, they suggested foam board, mdf and other stuff, but I am a recycler, I don't want to buy materials unless absolutely necessary, and also I wanted to make the scene then and there. The wallpaper is a printie from the web, and I made the floor quickly (relatively, maybe two hours) from self-adhesive shelf lining, cutting 4 cm strips and gluing them in a pattern. I used 1:1 embossed wallpaper for mouldings.

The dressing table and the chair are temporarily borrowed from a different project. I have another table kit and may make it in the same style, or perhaps it's not necessary. Maybe sometime I will develop this project in a whole room box or even a small holiday cottage, but at the moment the two pieces are nicely displayed.  

By the way, the tea service comes from a set of earrings an American friend has given me.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Mosaic table

I have recently invested in another huge bundle of Chippendale/House of Miniatures kits, 35 pieces all in all. I still had some from previous purchases, but it was a good deal, and who knows how much longer these kits are available since they were discontinued since 1980s. I wonder how many of each kit was produced and how many can still be in circulation. It is expensive to get them over from the USA, but it's the only way, and if you split shipping costs by the number of kits, it's tolerable. I have only bought kits I know I want to make again - I am never again in my life making the breakfront or wardrobe. Or maybe I will some time in the future. What I am saying is that, once I have made all existing kits and have now started on duplicates, I want to experiment with different finishes and decorations, and I will also be bold.

While I was waiting for my parcels from the US, I kept thinking of possible variations of kits I had made before, like I have already done with Adam furniture. One idea I had was to make a table with mosaic tabletop, and the best kit for this was doubtless Queen Anne tea table. When I first made it, I failed spectacularly with mouldings, so this time I was very careful. I am worthless at mitring mouldings, even after all these years.

I will not show the project step by step, because it was exactly like the previous one (except that I did somewhat better with moulding). I used three coats of stain: brown mahogany, red mahogany and more brown mahogany until I was happy with the tone.

Before I glued on the legs, I made the mosaic tabletop. I learned to make egg-shell mosaic some years ago,  and I also made a tabletop then, although it doesn't feel as perfect as I thought then. But the technique is the same, and I again used two paints, gold and bronze. They are only slightly different, but the two shades create a nice effect.


Yes, I glued every single bit separately, no cheating. Tweezers and toothpicks and patience. I didn't clock the work, but estimate two to two and a half hours. I certainly feel it was worth the trouble. It's definitely OOAK, and while it probably is not good enough for Kensington Dollhouse Festival, I am really proud of it.