Miniature Attic Room Restored

this room is for relaxing, snacking, and painting. It was one of the most fun to make and to restore, it had everything except my sewing machine~

Today I am showing the miniature attic room. It is also the painting room. I never had an art studio even though Dan wanted me to have one when we were building our house. I liked to paint on the kitchen table in the middle of family life. I would work for several hours after the boys went off to school, then put everything away to cook dinner. It was always nice to start out with a clean space again.

The sandwich here is 40 years old. (I have since made a fresh one), my favorite~ham, cheese, tomato and lettuce on soft bread~

Back to the attic room, there is a real card game going on, and place for someone to have a ham sandwich, bag of Fritos and a Coke.

In real life, I never used an easel or stool, I propped the canvas on my lap and painted at the kitchen table, I usually had a Dr. Pepper that lasted me all day~

Then a place with all the things I needed to paint pictures. The paint box has lots of tiny tubes of paint, brushes, turpentine, and yes it is a mess just like in real life. A stool, paint rag, pallet, and easel with a work in progress.

Finally a cozy bed, I like beds. I had lots of good feelings when I was restoring this room~

Miniature Dining Room

I don’t have a formal dining room, I never wanted one. When I was a child and someone passed away, they often put the casket in the dining room for viewing~yes and men came and sat up with the body all night~

this little tea cart is 2 1/2 inches tall, the paintings are scenes from Bourbon St. in New Orleans, copies of real ones I once painted . (We spent our honeymoon in New Orleans in 1953)

At first I thought this little dining room do-over would be the easy one. It took me more than two weeks. Everything in the china cabinet was in good shape, no repairs there.  The fruit bowl on the buffet has apples, oranges, and bananas that are carved from wood. I started by whittling a piece of fruit on the end of a dowel pin, this way I had something to hold to, then  sanding and shaping it with an emery board. Finally I cut it loose and painted it. The grapes are mustard seeds rolled around in Elmer’s glue to make a clump, dried and then painted. They are still good after 40 years. Pile it all in a bowl (perfume lid) and it is done. Copper wire is great for so many things, I hammered it out in a flat ribbon and made the arms for the chandelier and the drawer pulls from that an then painted them with gold leaf. The dining chairs got new covers. Glue has always been a problem for me. It needs to be tacky so it will  hold the pieces together and then dry strong. There is no way to join the parts and then hold each tiny piece for 20 minutes until it bonds, it has to be sticky.  I think I have finally found the perfect glue, it is Loctite Stik N’ Seal. The carpet is the original, velvet fabric that I painted a design on.  I  re-varnished all the little furniture in each room, it made a big difference. I use polyurethane satin, everything looks   brand new again. This project was almost as much fun as it was the first time ~except nowdays I get tired and think about a nap~

Miniature Bath Room

the perfume and lotion bottles are carved from wood and painted. I had a lot more stuff on the counter that I left out this time.

 

The commode and bath tub are carved out of wood. The toilet paper roll is 40 years old and still in good shape.

This is the miniature bathroom, renovating it was pretty easy compared to the other eight rooms, but I always hit a snag somewhere. This time it was a new mirror. It took three tries to get it right. I put new ’tile’ on the floor and walls, some left over from doing the backsplash in the kitchen. When I thought I was finished, Anna said I needed to put uba tuba ‘granite’ on the counter. I am glad I did. I like bathrooms, the bathtub especially, it is my reward every day. My sister Nancy gave me bubble bath one year for my birthday and said I would never have to wash the tub again~ but she wasn’t right.

Miniature Mess

This is some of the furniture and accessories for three of the rooms. Jitter Joe sits beside it to show it’s size. Every piece is hand made, no kits~

The blog this morning showes my big mess. Last year I was working all day, every day re-doing the miniature rooms and didn’t have time to put together a good blog. I thought this do-over would just involve a little  touch up painting and cleaning. No, all the stuff had to come out, furniture needed new varnish, walls repainted, (some three times because the paint color I was wanting  was the color of my knit shirt, I took it to Lowe’s to match it and when I put it on the walls, it looked like Pepto-Bismol). Not good for a formal dining room~ The old glue was failing on a lot of the things, I had to make  new draperies and curtains. Then when the kids came for dinner the next Sunday, Dan told me I should do a complete renovation on the kitchen with ‘granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and a travertine black splash’.  I think he was teasing, well big surprise Cowboy Bob, I did it. For the counter top I bought one floor tile the color of uba tuba granite (66 cents) and cut it to fit. I painted the appliances with silver leaf, and I worked on the travertine tile. Maybe I will have something better to show tomorrow. Right now I am going to go watch another episode of Downton Abbey. That is my reward~

Miniature Swing Set

The real barn had a child size bed, table and small refrigerator  for ZZ’s playhouse. (this miniature swing set is 4″ tall)

I made the real table, which washed away in the same flood that took the River Mouse. It would seat 8 people, with two stumps on the end to use as seats. This miniature is 1 3/4″ tall~

This is a miniature copy of the swing set at Camp Rock. (I didn’t make the trailer, it was a gift from Dan and Debbie). The barn is a copy of one Dan built, ZZ helped him by handing him each nail, one by one that went on the roof. There is the picnic table like the one I built that washed away. I bought the real swing set at Lowe’s and put it together.  It came in several heavy cartons full of pipes, seats, chains and a thousand nuts and bolts. I laid it all out on the ground, opened up the instructions and it said, ‘have your helper hold the first leg steady as you connect it to the horizontal top bar’. Well,the only helper around was my little dog Spook. One of these things can be assembled by one person because I did it that day. (a hard job) When it was finished, it was worth it. Our kids came for vacation from Albuquerque the next day, and ZZ had stars in her eyes when she saw it. She spent the next two weeks on the slide or a swing or sitting in the glider with her dog and her stuffed toys, she was three years old. I see swing sets in people’s back yards that are a piece of work. They have climbing walls and bridges, curved slides, ladders up to a landing  on top with a flag flying. They are made of redwood and and likely very expensive. I know it would take more than your dog to help put one together. But what a nice thing to have when your kids are growing up, it should last forever. When I grew up, we were lucky if we had a tree big enough to hang a rope swing. Ours was across the street in Grandmother’s yard. You could sit in it and have someone wind you up and spin until you were sick. You staggered out of that swing drunk as a skunk~

 

Miniature Bedroom

It has taken a week to re-decorate and restore this room~

This is the first miniature room I made, it was in 1972. I had planned to only make one room and I just kept adding things to it until it was to the brim, way too much stuff in it. It had criss-cross curtains and divided light windows, linen shades with a crocheted pull on them, and most of this work was hidden behind something else. The windows were too big for the rest of the room and it always bothered me. When I started redoing it last week, I took the windows out, made the curtains more tailored, and got rid of some of the clutter. The lamp shade had completely fallen apart after 40 years and it took me several hours to make a new one. A thing I have learned is to be careful with glue, it goes on clear but through the years turns a dark dirty brown. I had to take everything off the walls and repaint them because of the glue. It has been a lot of fun working with the different rooms though. Three down, four to go~

Miniature Bed Room

the real room had an oak desk, TV, organ, and a lot of other stuff . I didn’t make those things because they were on the wall in front, I had to leave this side open.

Another restored miniature room. This is a copy of a bedroom we had in the farm house where we lived for 20 years, a copy of the real furniture too.The year was 1972. It was one of the seven miniature rooms  I made that year Our two boys shared this room, It had one small closet. They kept it neat and clean, it opened up to the living room and it had to be presentable. I always warned them if they ever went to school without making their beds, I would go get them and bring them back home to do the job. They thought I really would so were good to do it. One day Dan was taking them to school and soon after they left, here he came backing the little green Volkswagen  down the road, out jumped the 9 year old, he ran in the house, made a circle and off he went. I figured it out, he wanted to be sure he had made his bed. I will  be putting the other rooms on the blog soon~

Father’s Day Card

this is the beautiful walnut rocking chair Dan made for his daddy, he worked on it for seven months, and what a wonderful surprise it was!

Dan made a rocking chair to give his daddy for Father’s Day  a few years ago. It took him 7 months, it was a work of art. He had to make all the jigs to bend the strips of walnut, spent weeks putting it together, sanding and rubbing the wood.Finally it was finished and it was  delivery time. Debbie called me when they got to the edge of town to have me to send daddy off in the car for something so they could come slip it in the house. Daddy came back, walked right in past the chair and sat at the bar, then  Dan gave him his card. Daddy read it and looked it over and was so happy. He said, ” you made this card yourself?’” Well yes! So he read and re-read the card and said it needed to be framed. He thanked Dan again and gave him a big old daddy/boy hug. We were about to crack up it was so funny. Then we all went

One more way to say "I love you Daddy"

Wonderful Day

 to sit in the den and Daddy saw his chair. He was speechless! He sat down and went over every inch of it, stroking it and saying over and over again, “I can’t believe it, and you made this chair!”  Daddy treasured things and was happy beyond words. What a wonderful day.

Miniature Living Room

Work started on living room

after the walls are painted and things start getting moved back in, it turns into happy time

the paintings are done on linen canvas,

It is hard to photograph these small rooms~

I restored my 40 year old miniature rooms, this is the living room. This is a job I have been dreading for a long time. As it turned out, I enjoyed working on them, it was almost as exciting as when when I first made them. Most of the rooms are 11″x16″. Through the years, the glue has failed on some of the furniture and just like real rooms, the walls need  repainting. They are old and it was time to redecorate. There are seven rooms in all and originally each one took about a month to make. Since the drawers and doors don’t have to be functional on tiny miniatures, they are easier to make than the larger pieces. The piano took a while to make, the keyboard is scored and has individual black keys, each one hand applied. I will put the all rooms on my blog  later.  I like the little things, there is a child in us that can live on for a lifetime. 

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 Den

 

The little den

these little sofas are 6″ high, they sit on the fireplace hearth. My dogs have all tried to sit on them, they recognize what they are~

 

Jitter Joe

Jitter Joe used to lie on these sofas, he still tries but they are  uncomfortable now that he is a big boy~

More miniatures this morning, this is a copy of the furniture in my den, the sofas have been recovered since I made the little ones, I planned to recover the miniatures but like to remember them them as they were when we first built the house. They sit on the fireplace hearth and decorate that area. As I have said before, all my dogs have recognized what they are and have sat on them. I have a living room but the den is where everyone congregates. Most of the time the doors are open to the screened porch. I remember the excitement of making all the little things. If you have ever made a little  chair or carved something tiny, you know what I mean. We may be  wired a little bit different~

Mallard Duck

Stanley Duck

the real Stanley had a sister, Rose Olive, those names have been used for many of our pets

This is a carved mallard duck, his name is Stanley. He came in two large chunks of wood and I used a carpet knife to make him look like one of the two real pet ducks  I had for 8 years. It took me about 16 hours to do the work with the knife, then several days to paint him. By the time I finished, I was loving him just like the real Stanley. He is about 18 inches long~ life size. On the underside I wrote a note to remember what was going on with my family at that time and how old the boys were. (I have also written on the bottoms of drawers on my favorite furniture so I can recall the thrill of the day I got it and what time in our lives it happened, like a journal you could say). I got my two real  mallard ducks in 1976, when they were two days old, I built them a duck house, they had the water trough and a big yard. You never know how wonderful feathered pets can be until  you have had them. In the years since then, Debbie has had Katie Mae, Algeritta, Sarah Kate, and several others.(Sara Kate and Katie Mae were invited into the kitchen on Christmas Eve every year to enjoy a pint of fat earth worms from Wal Mart!) Anna has had the 21 peacocks and 7 pet chickies, there have been at least 8 parakeets through the years, most of them named Blue Boy. Birds make nice pets. They are beautiful and smart,  most of all, they love you back~