Sunday, 22 December 2013

Happiness and joy to all!!

Hello everyone,

Happy holidays! I just wanted to take a moment and wish you all a wonderful holiday season. I don't care what you celebrate, who you celebrate or if you celebrate , I just care that you enjoy every minute of every day.

Every Christmas I put up an updated picture of the dining room because it really represents what the holidays mean to me: my family sitting around the dinner table, eating, laughing, my mom yelling at my sibling and me to stop misbehaving, opening presents, watching Garfield's Christmas special...just one happy moment after another.

I wish you all the happiness in the world my dear friends and more joy then you think you can handle! I have always believed life is about living through terrible lows, and celebrating mind numbing highs. Thank you for being there through the sadness and the euphoria!

The past week has been busy, but once again I will catch up with your blogs over the holidays. I have not worked much on my miniatures, but the kitchen chairs are done

and while I LOVED the jade green marble dining table top I made, it looked wrong in the dining room. As you could see in the first picture, I started it over and made a green marble that compliments the room rather then overpower it

Last week I started experimenting on another project for the manor, but you will have to wait until 2014 to see it.
I send you all the biggest hug I can manage and as always I wish you all the best.
Love to all and happy holidays,


Friday, 6 December 2013

Back to work on miniatures, my mom and real life kitchen renovations!

Hello my dear friends!

I hope you are all doing well. It is so nice to finally post again. Renovations are almost over and I was finally able to get beck to work on my miniatures last Sunday

and the changes continue

But before I go into miniatures, I have to thank you all from the bottom of my heart because all the prayers and thoughts you sent for my mother worked. She was operated last week and it was not cancer. Aside from a little pain she is recovering well and fast. We went to see her Wednesday night and I told her "mom, you are walking slowly, cannot go down stairs, using a walker, and wearing a shall over your shoulders to keep are turning into an old lady before my eyes!" Her vulgar answer was "Giac, go f*** yourself" Yes, she is back to her old self and will be just fine.

Now back to miniatures. A warning to all my friends: if you are kept away from your miniature project you will eventually break down and go shopping.
Last post you saw the Alhambra Piano I ordered for the Dining room. My next purchase was a commission from my good friend Julie Dewar who made the Imperial Cherry Blossom Dinner set for my Chinese tea room. I sent her a picture of a black jar with daisies on it and asked her to interpret the pattern in miniature. Once again, her artwork blows me away

Delicate daisy dresser set for the countess

 Julie, thank you so much! I cannot tell you how much I love the set. It is really a work of art and I will cherish it always. You can see more of Julie's incredible work at

My next big purchase was inspired by our trip in October. The cruise was wonderful, but I must say my favorite day was in Newport. We spent the day with my "big brother" and his wonderful partner. We had so much fun and of course the mansions were superb. I will put pictures of the trip in a pinterest page one day soon, but we could not take pictures in the mansions.

I got a lot of ideas, but the main one was how to rearrange the dressing room. It was the one room I did not really like. I think the space was just too big for a dressing room and did not work. When I saw the Newport mansions the answer came to me...separate adjoining bedrooms for the earl and countess.
Before as a dressing room

after as the countess's bedroom

I had the Bespaq "Madam's Suite" vanity, cheval mirror and chaise...

...and I purchased the bed, night table, bed steps and armoire
I got rid of the 2 older model wardrobes, removed the pier mirror, and reworked the office area. I think the room works much better and now I love it. I have a red pattern fabric and some rococo appliques for the window treatments and I am still looking for the bedding fabrics.

I also purchased my first plastic furniture kits.

some of the pieces were a bit twisted, but I think proper placement around the table can camouflage that
 I ordered 6 chairs for the kitchen. I will use the same technique to faux walnut them that I used on the scullery and butler's pantry. If they do not turn out right they only cost me $2,60 each. They are pretty accurate and well scaled so I think they may just do. Another project I was able to tackle Tuesday night was stone tops on tables.

I saw a lot of stone top tables in a book of mine and I just love the look

The big table is the Dining table. When I bought it the top finish was damaged as you can see in the next picture...

I was going to just cover it with a tablecloth, but I decided to try and faux marble it. I sanded the top smooth, covered the sides I did not want to paint with painters tape, painted the surface blag and then sponged on 2 shade of green. I then used the lighter green to make the veins

Green marble is one of my favorite stones

I am really happy with the effect. The second table is a coffee table for the Great room. It arrived in the mail in pieces (Bespaq glue tends to come undone in the mail) so I took the top and tried to make a faux malachite finish. I used a white base coat, covered it with a jade green and went over it many times with an old dry brush

Malachite is another favorite

Malachite is a natural stone that can come in gorgeous crazy patterns, but I based mine on a linear tabletop I saw online. I am happy with the experiment and plan on redoing the tops of the Library desk and coffee table as well as the entrance table.

Thursday night I decided to take on a small project...Will I never learn...when your house is as big as the Manor there is no such thing as a small project! For a long time I have been trying to find the right artwork for the Manor. After months of looking I was enjoying one of my favourite books

It is about Chatsworth, one of my favorite building in the world. As I was going over the pages I realized there were tons of family portraits and other paintings that I could cut and use. I went onto Amazon and purchased a used copy of the book for $8,00. I have mentioned before I always buy a second used copy of a book to cut up for miniatures...but even then it hurts me to cut books. Dewell Manor is big, so that meant a lot of artwork

I went over all of these with glossy modpodge and an old brush, a trick I learned from Ray Whitledge and I think John used it as well for Merriman Park. If you kind of follow the lines and shapes  it really makes them look like real took me over 2 1/2 hours to go ever them and I am not sure if I have I have to paint and build the picture frames.

And that is it for now...not much miniature work, but It has only been 6 days since I got back into it. Prior to that all my time, and workspace, was dedicated to the kitchen renovation. Aside from a black frame around the window over the sink, my real life kitchen is done:

we have to finish caulking behind the stove which is why we left a towel under it...I do not want to scratch the floor

It was hard work, took up all my time and an extra source of stress, but in the end Jo and I are really happy with the outcome. Now I can concentrate on putting up the old cabinets in my workroom, and most importantly...get ready for Christmas. This weekend I hope to decorate the house, but we still have many projects to finish.

And that is all my friends. Thank you once again for your patience and your great kindness. Your good wishes really helped me through a difficult time and I appreciate all your support more then I can put into words. My blog friends are the best! I also want to welcome the new followers who have joined my adventures. It is important to me to follow you so please let me know if I overlooked anyone.

Have a great week everyone and I will be in touch before Christmas.

Huge hugs,