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~
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~
These are two miniature dining chairs that are a part of a set of six. Each one has 19 pieces. After I made the pattern for the first one, I then cut the 114 pieces for all of them. Then they had to be sanded, fitted, glued together, stained and varnished. It went pretty fast and was a lot of fun to do. Making the chair bottoms took some time, the cording on the cushions was tedious since they are so small. The chairs are 9 1/2″ tall and copied from a real set of chairs from my grandmother. I restored the real ones several years ago and found $4.75 marked on the undersides indicating the price. A little chair, lamp table and the accessories can fit in almost any place and make a nice and interesting little set up. People either like little things or they don’t, I like those who do~
I copied this dining room set from a real one from my Montgomery grandparents, it has three leaves so makes a large table. When I got 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 of 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.
I was invited to exhibit and demonstrate oil painting at the ASU Folk Festival in February of 1973. I met a lot of people and also saw many familiar faces. I liked the demonstrations, everyone was happy and full of chatter, they enjoyed watching and many of them were also painters. I had my miniature covered wagon and all the little rooms on display so if anyone wasn’t interested in painting, they liked to look at the little things. The famous wood carver, Gene Zesch was also exhibiting his wonderful carvings, he carves old cowboys and anything to do with ranch life, with much skill and unbelievable humor. I was in good company that day, it is a sweet memory for me~