Sunday, September 27, 2015

1:144 scale dollhouse finished!

My vampire tenant was very happy today to show me she has finished her dollhouse.  The gothic chairs are made and put in their final place in front of the fireplace:

She even added a couple of rugs to the rooms.  They look more cozy now.  And the dollhouse is finally finished, except for the outside paint, that my tenant says she will do in due time.

She says doing this dollhouse was so much fun she is thinking in buying another bigger one, with more rooms to decorate.  She has her eye already in one...

Also, this beauty arrived this week from LDelaney:

A lovely open book with the drawing of a Kraken fighting a ship.  She says she has become very interested lately in issues regarding the ocean.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Memories from the past, part 2

Since my tenant invited me over to talk about the sinking of the Titanic, this morning I went to visit her.  She was already waiting for me, and she took out what it looked like an old Edwardian cardboard box.

And then she opened it...

So many figments of the past!  She proceeded to explain everything about them:

To the left, a soap ad for a brand called Vinolia Otto; they had been awarded the privilege to provide soap for the First Class passangers of the Titanic.  The ad had run in British newspapers at the time, and that is where my tenant got it.
To the right, two menus from the First Class dining room, dated 12th and 14th of April.

Three Titanic postcards.  They could be easily acquired at the White Star offices and at newspapers stands.

To the left, her First Class ticket.  She told me she was able to move from the cabin she had purchased to a suite that had been assigned to another passanger, who finally did not embark.
To the right, an invitation to attend the launch of the Titanic. She confided that she was not actually in the launching ceremony, but that the invitation was given to her as a memento by Bruce Ismay, with whom she had tea once during the voyage.  She also stated she did not like him very much.  Even though he was very polite and correct, he had an unmistakable air of superiority that she could not stand.  On the other hand, she added, the Astors were nicer.  She and Madeleine Astor became friends during the voyage.  She stated that Mr. Astor liked to play cards during the evenings, and that she kept Madeleine company while her husband was out.

A ticket to the Turkish baths.  She said she had not been in a Turkish bath for centuries, and was eager to try the experience again.  She was supposed to give one part of the ticket to the attendant and keep the other, but apparently there was no one in charge when she arrived, and no one asked for the ticket while she was there.

Luggage stickers.  The square ones were for the luggage that would be checked and to be deposited in the ship's hold.  The romboid ones were for suitcases that would go in the cabins.  Hence, the "Wanted" and "Not wanted" printing.  They gave her an excess of stickers (or maybe she did not have many suitcases) and she kept them.

And of course, she had newspapers with the infamous headlines after the sinking.

She seemed very happy to be able to talk about something of her past.  She said her daughter (the one married to the man she got the plates from) is so used to hear her talk about her adventures that none seem to impress her anymore.

I was very impressed, and I told her so.  She smiled, and said I was more than welcome to visit any time I wanted, and she would tell me more of her stories.  I asked how she managed to feed during the voyage, and she smiled and said that Edwardian gentlemen were not as rigid as history would make us think, and they had no problems about accepting invitations to visit her on her suite during the night.  She did not elaborate any further, though.

She is indeed a mysterious being...

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Memories from the past

Today I went to visit my tenant to tell her that hopefully very soon I will be able to bring more plants for her, and found her very excited, having just received a big box that she obviously had been expecting.

She asked me to help her open it, since the contents were delicate.  I did, and this is what surfaced once it was open:

She was very happy when she saw them, and she told me they were very special plates.  I asked if they were replicas of the famous Titanic china, but she smiled and said they were actually the real thing.  My face must have shown my surprise,  and she explained the husband of her daughter had been so generous as to let her keep them in her home, as he knew they would be safe with her.  I asked if he was a collector of Titanic memorabilia himself, and she smiled coyly and said "not exactly".

As I was wondering what kind of contacts she may had that they let her have very valuable historic pieces, she said she herself was a survivor of the Titanic - she had said that before, but I really did not paid any mind to it.  She also let me know that she had a box with mementos of the time, and said if I was interested in seeing it, she would look for it and show me tomorrow.

I was very excited for the offer, and I accepted.  I cannot wait to see what she has kept all these years from the so famous steamer.

Fantasy apart, the plates come from Twelve Times More Teeny.  SofĂ­a has a wonderful collection of dollhouse plates with dozens of designs.  She even has replicas of my real life plates.  I am sure you will find something there that you just need to have! 

I made the shipping box and labels with these templates that you are welcome to download.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Do you like butterflies?

This beauty arrived yesterday all the way from Italy:

Roberta from MairiTales has a great talent to make terrariums and vivariums.  I found her shop while looking for pots to plant my Echeverias, and her terrariums with succulent plants are some of the prettiest I have seen.  I was amazed too when I saw her creations under a dome; what I love most about them is that you can choose between thinking they are taxidermized, or not.  I always wanted butterflies in my dollhouse, but I did not like the classical frame filled with butterflies that mimics the real ones in which the pretty insects are staked with a pin.  I find those terribly sad.

Naturally, when I took this to my vampire tenant, she was very happy to see they were nocturnal butterflies, and of course they were alive!  She was quick to put them in her study, and said she would take very good care of them.

The poster was included with the vivarium
I am very happy she has new pets to keep her company.

Monday, September 7, 2015

1:144 scale furniture finished!

My vampire tenant was ecstatic today.  She has finished her kits from SDK Miniatures over the weekend, and she was very proud when she showed them to me, already in their final places on the mini dollhouse:

She is so, so happy with them!  She says they were easier to do than she thought, and that they only took an afternoon of work.  She now displays the mini dollhouse proudly in her parlor:

She says she still needs to buy a couple of chairs for the living room, to put in front of the fireplace.  I agree, they will look fantastic.  She says she cannot wait to have them.

And I cannot wait to give her the lantern I am making for her. Very soon...

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dollhouse greenies finished!

Remember that Echeveria plant kit that I told you about?  Well, since I did not have any garden pots, I tried to make my own out of balsa wood.  It was a disaster.  Then I tried to find some online that I could use, but the measurements were no good for my windowsills.  I was at a loss as to what to do, because I did not want to put the Echeverias in normal flower pots - I thought they were too tall for a plant so small.

But then, I saw someone using kitchen bowls as terrariums for succulents plants.  They were lovely!  I had in my craft box some unused bowls, and I decided to try a similar look.  I made four Echeveria plants, and started to work in the bowls.  Since my windowsills were white, I decided to paint them a terracota color, provided by hubby, from the Vallejo brand, named Orange Brown.  I was very happy with the results.  They really looked as if they were made of terracota!  I filled them up with plastic putty, also from Vallejo, to make them appear to be filled with soil, and left them to dry overnight.  Then painted the putty with brown acrylic paint, extended a layer of glue over it and poured the soil.  Then I was finally able to "pot" the Echeverias.  I love how they turned out!

 I have to find me some flower pots before buying another kit from The Miniature Garden.  I have my eye on some really pretty begonias...