Favorite Arm Chair

 

Favorite little chair

I have had the real chair recovered three times in 45 years. It is my special place to read the morning paper. This miniature is 8″ high. Yes, that is the Standard Times on the table~

This armchair is 8″ high and a copy of one in my living room that I have had for 45 years. We bought it from Bennett Brother’s of Chicago, a wholesale place that put out a wonderful catalog every year. They carried nice furniture, as well as jewelry and almost anything you could think of. The prices were ‘wholesale’. The miniature chair was easy to make, upholstered furniture didn’t take as much time to make as the wooden pieces. The lamp table was a copy of a real one I had. The books are a little block of wood, covered with pictures of books from a magazine, just cut out the  picture and fold it over the wood. One book is True Women by Janice Woods, I scanned the book jacket and then reduced it down to the right size for the miniatures. No matter how tiny these things are, you can recognize the covers and read the titles. It is the same with photographs, I scan, then reduced the size and frame them in something like an ear screw that  has the the stone taken out. Jewelry makes perfect little frames. This chair is like the one I sit in every morning to read the paper. I have said before  how much I enjoy the morning paper~if I am not liking the way a story is going, I just turn the page. The TV news turns into a loud debate, Breaking News! Then the rest of the day, each commentator giving their  take on it and explaining it to us dummies~I like the Standard Times and our wonderful local paper, The Eldorado Success~

 

Miniature Cast Iron Stove

this stove is 9″high and the size of a 5 lb. sack of sugar~it is one of my favorite things~

I enjoy making miniatures but once in a while I find something special and buy it~ which was the case with this little Crescent cast iron cook stove. I had seen one many years ago and had always wanted it. This one I found at American and British Antiques in San Angelo.  I got excited, I was going to buy it no matter the price. Then more excitement ~ it was only $12. It had a broken leg on the back  but the piece was taped to the top so everything was there. It even had an iron skillet and Dutch oven. That was a happy day. When I got home, I ‘glued’ the leg back on with Halliburton Wield and it was like new. I have had it on my counter for at least 30 years to enjoy while I am cooking. I made a miniature potato masher, butcher knife, spatula etc. to go with it, also a little iron, which all women used when they had a wood stove, heat the iron on the stove top and iron the clothes. The oven door opens, the fire box opens and is filled with wood, the lids on the burners are removable. Though  it is not a real salesman’s sample, it is much like one. Salesmen used to travel around rural areas with smaller versions of everything from stoves to furniture and take orders. These samples were exact copies of the real thing in detail and workmanship but about 1/4 the size of the real piece. It is a rare thing the find them these days and they are beyond expensive!  Anyway, this little stove has been one of my all time favorite things to own.

Miniature Violin

 

The little violin

I love music and like all kinds of musical instruments, even the tiny ones~

This 9″ miniature violin was a model kit from a Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog years ago and was a gift from my son Dan. It was a wonderful project and I enjoyed putting it together, every piece was machine perfect, exactly to scale, there was no detail left out. I almost hated to stain and varnish it, it looked so good in the natural wood. Since I like music, I like instruments. It sits on my piano and I look at it every time I am playing. Wonder if I have enough space to talk about my piano lessons~ I took music from Miss Ellington for 6 years, she didn’t like me and I didn’t like her. I hated those lessons! Recitals were the worst, it meant a new dress and a corsage, but the humiliation of playing ‘Birdie in the Treetops’ while my little sister (who was 4 years younger) was playing ‘Moonlight Serenade. I just could not read music.  One day I told Mother that I was not going to take lessons any more, and she  couldn’t make me, I was quitting! She said that was fine, I didn’t have to but I was going to go sit on Miss Ellington’s piano bench  for 30 minutes twice a week. Finally a couple of years later, she let me quit. About that time, the movie ‘The Third Man ‘ came out and it had that most beautiful and haunting song  played on a zither. Somehow I picked it out on the piano and soon was able to play it. I drove everyone crazy with it, I opened the windows so the neighbors could hear,  I was hooked on the piano after I found I could play by ear. Years later at a Bridge party Sharon  was telling us about her sister Joan who use to play ‘Third Man Theme’  over and over until she was ready to scream, she said she ‘just wanted to hang Joan on the wall and beat her ’til she bled’. I am laughing when I think about it, I still love that song.

Row Boat

 

Row Boat

this miniature boat is 10″ long and was a ready to build kit. The many pieces were cut to perfect size so it was a pleasure putting it together.

When I was a child, the two things I wanted most were a play house and a real boat, (followed closely by a cave and a tree house). I had ridden in a rented boat at the park in Christoval, and could just imagine my family having one of our own. Since that time I have owned four boats, We bought an old green aluminum Lone Star boat from Mrs. Furrey in Christoval for $5. It was a good boat that was easy to row and not bad about tipping over. (except that one time). After many years it ‘disappeared’. Then I bought an aluminum boat near San Angelo for $75, and it had a trolling motor. (we were moving up in the boat world) This one was named the Dinktums. Later came the River Mouse, the abandoned one we found at the barn and I restored. This picture today is a little boat kit Dan and Debbie gave me to put together. It had no telling how many pieces but they were all cut exactly right so fit together nicely. It was like a salesman sample copied from real plans for an actual row boat. I stained it and finished it (like decoupage) with several coats of polyurethane varnish. It is named ‘Schatzie’ after their dog. I added the dock, posts, fish net, and the rod and reel. It is an interesting piece, I have it on a lamp table by my chair and never get tired of looking at it.  Some minatures are hard to dust, this is one of them.

Miniature Carved Chair

 

When she started on a project, she didn’t want to stop, she never got tired, sometimes I needed a nap~

This miniature chair and table was a project my little granddaughter Elizabeth made a few years ago. She had watched me carve and was sure she could make a chair. When it was starting to look good, she was hooked. She kept going and made the table and all the accessories. She decided she would make this for my friend Pat, because ‘Pat didn’t have a little chair’. The gift box is filled with pictures she scanned and reduced down to a tiny size, they were mostly of her and her good friend Natalie, Pat’s granddaughter. There is a Hershey bar, a phone, a note pad, reading glasses, and a coffee mug. She was able to do the whole job with little help. Pat was thrilled with her special gift. Later when Elizabeth went back home to Albuquerque she made bunk beds, tables, and all kinds of miniatures. 

twine is great for chair bottoms on the miniatures, it is the fun part~

 

Miniature Rocking Chair

this chair is 12″ tall, it was my first attempt at carving, I tried carving and was hooked~the bluebonnet painting is 3″ X 4″, the globe on the lamp is a ping pong ball

I copied a chair that had belonged to Dan’s grandmother which was over 100 years old. The real chair was hand made and uncomfortable, the seat was too high, so I cut off the legs and made new mortise and tenons, put it back together and it is now (like in The Three Bears story) just right. The miniature  is 12″ tall, my first attempt at carving. It is made from dowel pins and oak wood. Ron Sutto came one day and told me how nice it was, in fact he bragged so much about it, I was feeling just pretty good! After he left, I picked it up and said something like, ‘it is a pretty good piece of work’ ~ then dropped it on the tile floor and it splattered into a dozen pieces. (pride before the fall) I put everything in a shoe box and left it for a couple of months before I had the energy to rebuild it.This was the beginning of a passion for making miniatures.

Miniature Old Fashioned Bedroom

The little bed is about 18″ long and made from dowel pins

Today is another re-run from a couple of years ago. I installed a new printer and since doing so, I have not been able to get my pictures from the memory card onto the computer so will have to rely on older blogs until I can find someone to put me back in business. When I first started the blog, not many people were clicking on it so it will be new to almost anyone who is checking it out today. As always, thank you for looking~

This is the guest bedroom. The bed is about 18″ long. The posters are  made from dowel pins and the solid pieces are mahogany. It sits in the corner of my bedroom. Once when Elizabeth Ann was two years old I was reading and heard her say “my bed’. When I looked up, she was sitting in the middle of it, patting the pillows and saying, ‘bed, my bed’.  I was sure it going to come cashing down~ but it held her. When she got up and went to get something, I put some books under the mattress to prop it up so there would be no weight on the tiny legs. It always made me happy when she liked the little things. All of my dogs have been on the that bed, they recognize what it is. Missy would take naps there and hang off  on three sides. I like little things. We all have that child side in us forever. Elizabeth’s 26 years old now. She is halfway around the world in Uganda, starting a wonderful new married life with John. I miss her. What a sweet and wonderful blessing she is. Love you ZZ!

Dinning Room (and Miniatures)

Real Table

the real table has 3 extra leaves so it can seat 10 people, there are 6 matching chairs

The miniatures

the little table is 7″  tall,  the doors and drawers on the cabinet open and are filled with all kinds of keepsakes and surprises

I copied this dining room set from a real one that belonged to my Montgomery grandparents, they had started out their married life with it. When I received it, I refinished the table and six chairs. It was a surprise when I removed all the different chair seat covers that had been replaced through the years, the original was maroon leather. The price stamped on the bottom of the chairs was $4.75. It is over 100 years old. I treasure this table and remember growing up and having wonderful meals at their house. The miniature table is 7″ tall, it is made from mahogany. The secretary is a copy of one that belonged to Dan’s grandmother. It took several weeks to make all the pieces but was one of those really happy projects. 

Miniature Blue Chairs

these chairs are 8″ tall, the doors on the lamp table open.

These are my miniature blue chairs.( I copied them from two I bought at Robert Massey’s in 1967 and they are some of my favorite pieces of furniture.) They were fun to make, they are 8″ tall. All the miniatures show better if they are just below eye level, then they are at the same angle as you see your real furniture. You have to trick the eye.

here is Jitter Joe, checking them out

I used to have them sitting in the living room on the floor with the other little furniture and Jitter Joe started taking them in other parts of the house so I put them in a safe place. I am always happy that all my puppies recognize it is furniture, they want to lie on the bed, get up on the sofa and sit close to the chairs.

oops~

One time when they were puppies, Jitter Joe and Little Elmo got into a fight behind these two chairs and rolled them around but no damage.

China Doll

 

China Doll

This china doll was made into something pretty from one not so pretty at all

I found some 16″ tall china dolls that had good features but ugly painted faces.  They cost less than $5 so I bought several. I sanded the paint off, which took a while because it was kilned fired. Then I repainted them using my oil paint to look like real people with soft colors and pretty eyes. I made new bodies to replace theirs which were stuffed with something like floor sweepings. I designed pretty new dresses. They turned into something you might find in a doll shop. The carved chairs were a copy of those in my dining room.  These were gifts for my sisters Nancy and Tricia, and I kept one for myself. This project was one of my favorites. My grandmother Montgomery had a neighbor who had a beautiful china doll in her bedroom and I  was was captivated by it, as a  young girl I dreamed of having something like that. Finally I got my own doll~

The Little Sofa

The Sofa

a hand high and two feet long

Today I am showing a little sofa. It is one of the larger miniatures and a copy of a real one we bought at Robert Massey’s in 1964. After making the John Townsend secretary, I scaled everything to that size. When I first made it,  I kept it in my living room with copies of each piece of furniture, even the bay window with draperies and swags. It took up a lot of space so now the different pieces are sitting in other places around the house. The sofa is on my dresser and I see it every time I walk in the room. There is something magical about little things. Your eye is fooled and you can put yourself right in the middle of it. The sofa is one hand high and two feet long. Tumbleweed Smith (Bob Lewis) came out this fall to do an interview about my paintings and liked the little furniture most of all. That was a special day.

Miniature John Townsend Secretary

little things are fun to make, and filling the shelves up with pretty things is the best.

Today’s blog is one I originally I posted  last year. I would like to post it again since at that time I had just started my texasmornings  and had very few people looking. I was feeling pretty good when I was up to 9 lookers until someone told me that by the information on the my stat counter, 5 of those were me. So after a couple of weeks, I was up to 4 real people looking. One more thing that confused me was the time, instead of regular time,  it used Military time so it ended up going on in the middle of the afternoon instead of early morning. Someone told me Military time ran from 12:00 midnight to 24 hours later and then started over at 1:00 AM. I would throw that system out but maybe we would have lost a war or something if we had done it my way.

This is a John Townsend secretary I copied from a real one I have in my living room. It is 23″ tall and made of mahogany.  I found a place that made skis from thin strips of wood and they gave me enough scraps for years of projects.  Unlike the smaller miniature furniture, the drawers and doors need work on the larger pieces. It took a while to make it, all the drawer pulls were made from copper wire that I hammered flat, then cut into shape with a scroll saw, probably something like making jewelry.  Dowel pins are great for carving figurines, vases and all the pretty things we like. I found a  jewelry place in Bryan going out of business and bought a box full of stuff. I took the stones out of the earrings and used the bezels to frame tiny photographs. Crystal beads and chains made great  chandeliers. It was always fun making the furniture pieces but the best part was making all fancy things to fill the shelves. There are envelopes the size of a fingernail, addressed and stamped,  inside each one is a two page letter. It only takes simple tools to build and carve these things. I used a coping saw, Diamond Deb fingernail file, emery boards and carpet knife. Later I bought a small scroll saw, it has a round sanding disc to shape the turned pieces. Finding good glue was always a problem, it had to be sticky to start with and then be really strong when it dried. This was always happy work.