Diary of a Victorian Dollshouse

Share in my journey as I create a
late Victorian miniature world.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Bedroom Doors

Having shown you the bed linen it reminded me that I haven't really talked about the lady's bedroom...
This room is on the right hand side of the house, above the parlour and adjacent to the bathroom with a door leading into that.
Because I have taken out the stairs to make the bathroom and taken away the landing, I felt I needed to add another door leading out onto an imaginary landing as I have done in the study, to give a more realistic feel to the room.

The additional door is the one at the back of the room. I've left it ajar and fixed a light behind it so that it looks like it's leading somewhere...

A little project - a lot of time!

It always amazes me just how the time passes so quickly when making miniatures...I certainly would never make a living from it at the speed I go as I love trying to get things as neat and realistic as I possibly can and that can't be rushed as far as I'm concerned anyway. That's the joy of this hobby to me though.....
Here is yesterday's 'make' - a lady's nightdress case. Now there's a thing you don't see often these days...
A 'onesie case' doesn't quite have the same ring to it does it?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bed linens...

I've really got back into my mini work again in this last few weeks and I keep seeing lots of things that need doing in this house still. I know I'm jumping about from room to room too so forgive me for that! 
I will sometimes be looking for something and I'll come across an item that I've not used yet which sends me off on a tangent and so the creativity continues....
Over this weekend I made some bed linen.

Bolster and bottom sheet

Pillowcases edged in lace

Top sheet

I made all these from one of my dear Dad's handkerchiefs of pure cotton....
Next I made the top cover. This is a lovely cotton fabric which has a satin look to it because of the pattern - really pretty. 

I wanted something feminine without going down the 'over frilled and lacy'
route so opted for this colour which picks out the floral tones in the wallpaper.

I think my late Victorian mini people would be appalled at seeing the cat on there - all those germs!


Furnishing the attic landing

After thinking for awhile I've finally got a few things gathered together to furnish this space. Again, because of the sloping ceiling it was a challenge finding items to fit but this little dresser sits snugly at the side of the maids bedroom door.
This is how it started out.

I stained it in a light pine colour and filled it with a few bits and pieces, linens etc.

As you can see it fits the space quite well

At the  front part of the landing I've made a sewing area.

 My children bought me the Bodo Henig sewing machine quite some time ago so it's nice to be able to have it displayed here as it's a lovely miniature. The handle turns and the needle actually goes up and down! 

The trunk in this photo needs a little work as it's only had a coat of paint up to now.

 ...so that's the progress so far here at the top of the house. I still have a few more things to add but I think it's beginning to take shape - it's certainly looking better than it was before....

Friday, March 28, 2014

Onwards and upwards!

To the attic landing!
Now this has long been waiting to be furnished - but with what..? Just what do you use a landing for...? Well in a dollshouse it's another room really....Another area to fill! I must admit though, to feeling quite confused as to what to put into  this space and what it's real use would have been in a real house in the late Victorian/early Edwardian period....
Here is the space. Now it's just a question of having a think......

Monday, March 24, 2014

A few more photos

Onto the bathroom furnishings

As bathrooms in Victorian houses were more or less treated like any other room in the house - cluttered and overfilled,  I was quite looking forward to choosing what to put in there. So with the extra few inches I had gleaned from the makeover, I set upon looking....
The suite I already had which was made by Bodo Henig. I fell in love with this little piece quite soon after I had bought Jubilee.

I love the shaped splash back on the washbasin and the flower detailing on it is very pretty. It's really well made and quite heavy too. The little taps even turn!

The bath has a rolled edge and claw feet, an overflow and like the basin a plug complete with chain....

The pipes and taps are moveable so the bath can be positioned against a wall or in the centre of the room.

Finally the little loo...
The high cistern toilet again is very realistic with a real wooden seat.

I may just paint the pull handle I think...

With my extra space I was able to have a cupboard. I added lace edging to the shelves and dressed it with 'linens' and various toiletries made from beads. Though one is made from a plug taken from a light fitting!

I also have room for a chair now aswell

I've added a wall shelf with a few little accessories on, some again made from beads.

Not forgetting the towel rail, toilet roll holder and plunger!

I'm about finished in here now apart from maybe a picture or two on the walls and a radiator...and I'm also toying with the idea of perhaps putting in a small table with a lamp on..

Lighting the bathroom

I did some research on Victorian bathrooms with regards to lighting and from the images I found it looked as if most of them used to be wall lights which were often set at either side of a mirror.
I decided this might be an attractive feature on the back wall in the alcove under the 'stairs'.

Getting them in position was a job and half, making sure they were level and equidistant. I hope they stay put as wall lights are notorious for not sticking - I did use extra glue so I'm keeping my fingers crossed! I just need to connect them up now, I think that will be a comparatively easy task.....(famous last words.....😊)

The start of the new bathroom

I began by replacing the floor and ceiling. I'd forgotten that I'd put a false wall in the back of the room in an attempt to cover up the floor and ceiling holes left from this originally being a landing area so that was removed too. Doing that has given me extra inches! Very important!
Next the old wallpaper had to come off...and then I rebuilt the 'mock staircase' shaped piece to give the illusion of stairs behind this room.
This is how it looked at this stage..

Next I filled in all the gaps and gave it all a coat of emulsion....(forgot to take a photo of that)
Wallpapering proved abit of a challenge because of the awkward shape but I managed by making paper templates of all the walls first.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

In the beginning...

The bathroom in this house originally began life up in the attic...(I will try and find an old photo of the very original) but I began to realise that I wasn't going to have enough rooms to make everything that was going on in my head for this property. I needed to have a re think!
In my lovely  8 roomed dollshouse I wanted to have a parlour, dining room, kitchen, scullery, study, lady's bedroom, maids bedroom, nursery and bathroom that was a total of 9 rooms! 
With space limited and as I had two landings I thought I would sacrifice one of those and make another room from that...so this has now become the bathroom.
Often box rooms became bathrooms in Victorian times....not sure about landings though but artistic licence allowing ...?

Another look at the bathroom...

As I've mentioned before I felt a few rooms needed to be refurbished after my initial flurry of activity when I first bought Jubilee House. Some of my first tries at creating period rooms were a little haphazard to say the least and very under researched. That's not to say I didn't enjoy my earlier work - I did...Very much so! Now though with a little more experience under my belt, I've felt the need to improve on those early attempts
and I'm more pleased with what I've managed to achieve of late.
I'm having a go at the bathroom this time..

Monday, March 17, 2014

Photos of the finished Nursery...

I've put all of the furniture into the nursery now so here's some more photos to show how it's looking...
I have a few more things to add -  a picture or two on the walls and some toys and other accessories.

Friday, March 07, 2014

A few more close up photos

I've just hung the curtains and will soon be ready to photograph the whole room setting...but I thought I would just share a few more pictures of some of the pieces close up before that, as sometimes the tiny details can get lost in room shots...

I dyed the material for the curtains as I couldn't for the life of me seem able to find anything in this colour anywhere...I'm wondering whether I need to add tie backs now...

 Here you can see how the bed fits nicely under the eaves..


This high chair again started life as a barewood piece as has most of the furniture in this room. I changed it a little from the original however as I thought the fitting for the tray was quite cumbersome so removed that....after being stained and waxed I'm more pleased with the way it is now...the beautifully knitted hat I bought from the York Fair in November...

 A shot taken through the open door - the area where I imagine Nanny might sit and read...

Thursday, March 06, 2014

After a long break I'm back!

Over Christmas and well into the first couple of months of 2014 I haven't done much in the way of miniature work at all....The first couple of months, of any new year is a very busy family time for me. Jokingingly (is that a word..?) called the 'Barmy birthday months' - we have 8 of them in as many weeks. Crazy indeed!
I've also been spending some time on my other hobby of reborn dolls...

Now that the decoration of the nursery is complete, I've been putting in a few pieces of furniture...still more to do so I will add more pictures as I get it done.
Here are a few to be going on with....

I embroidered this tiny sampler and the chair is made from a McQueenie kit 

The jigsaw is a lovely miniature which I bought from the York Fair

I touched up the paint and varnished the two Figurines from DHE - the little side table is a bare wood 
one which I've stained and waxed.