Hello! Hope you have all been doing well and staying healthy. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the projects that many of you have been working on. I am not quite as productive, but the art deco house is moving along steadily, if slowly.
My first little project was filling the refrigerator/icebox in the kitchen. I couldn’t have a refrigerator that opened and not put something inside. 😊 So now it holds milk, butter, something wrapped in brown paper from the butcher, and some eggs and carrots that Effie brought from the Fairfield’s kitchen garden and hen house. I couldn’t find milk bottles in half scale, so this is one of my 3-D printed wine bottles, with the neck mostly cut off and a bead glued on top. Painted, it doesn’t look too bad. Now my little resident will have fresh food on hand.
Next, I started work on the dining room. This is another small room, but it holds what I need, even if it is a smidge crowded.
The drinks cart has been updated with lots of lovely new glassware.
I still need an ice bucket for the bottom shelf, but haven’t found one yet (or rather, I haven’t found the perfect little bottle cap to repurpose as an ice bucket). My original plan was to make the room black, white and gold, with light gray silk on the chair cushions, but the thought of another gray and black room was a little depressing. I looked through my stash and found a swatch of some gorgeous blue silk charmeuse from Mood. Then, looking on the Internet for some wall ideas, I saw peacocks. The idea for a peacock-inspired dining room was born. I know that peacocks are more art nouveau than art deco, but my little home-owner is fine with mixing styles.
I started with the walls. After spending way too much time trying different wallpaper designs, I ended up using the same white scrapbook paper I used on some of the walls in the living room. It’s such a tiny room that anything too colorful or busy would just be a distraction. Plus, I plan on making a rug with a peacock feather design and a base color that matches the chair cushions. That will be colorful enough. The scrapbook paper does have a nice art deco design embossed in it, but it is subtle. There is no room for a hinged door between the kitchen and dining room, and I am not as talented as Brae at making pocket doors. I may hang a curtain of beads in the doorway, or I may add a little hardware to make it look like there’s a pocket door there. It’s all smoke and mirrors anyway. 😉
The table and chairs are from Red Cottage Miniatures, and, as usual, went together with ease. The chairs are black with that lovely blue satin used for the cushions. I couldn’t stand the thought of covering up that beautiful table with a table cloth, so I came up with the idea of a diamond-shaped runner. It is made from some bits of left-over white silk (two layers, because it is thin), and some fairy lace. I plan on having short-stands of “crystals” hanging from each point, but the beads I have ordered have not yet arrived. I designed the plates to look as though they are part of the same set used on the breakfast tray in the bedroom, but have added a peacock silhouette to the center of each plate. The napkin rings are crimp beads. The candles are made from thread and polymer clay, painted with some blue metallic paint I had; their holders are just beads. All glassware by Linden Swiss from the Virtual Dollhouse; the lovely flatware is from My Favorite Dollhouse.
The centerpiece is calla lilies and spikes of real peacock feathers (inspiration photo).
The calla lilies were super easy to make—just dip the tip of some green floral wire in yellow paint, let dry, and wrap an upside-down heart around it. I used tissue paper painted warm white on both sides and a punch that I had picked up from Daiso to make the hearts.
I did use a tiny bit of yellow and green pastels around the base of each flower, and shaped them a little on my craft foam with my ball tools. I would dearly love to have used actual tiny peacock feathers in the centerpiece, but I was unable to find any in half-scale, and didn’t want to try making my own; the peacock spikes will have to do, and I do like the way they look. I added a peacock painting to the wall, and the room is essentially done.
As I was working on the dining room, I thought of how beautifully the Fiesta Ware had popped in my glass-fronted cabinet in the kitchen. Then I realized (duh) that it was up against a creamy white background. I took my lovely art deco cabinet from the living room, gently and carefully pried off the front piece (whew! no damage at all!), and painted the inside back the same white I had used on the kitchen cabinets. While the front was off, I took the time to fill it. I already had my black “ceramic” panther, but I really wanted to make some books for it. No dollhouse is complete without a few books for the occupant to enjoy! With the help of UC Berkeley’s “Books of the Century” to pick some period-appropriate reading material and Facsimile Dust Jackets, which provides dust jacket art by both title and year, I was able to make up a nice selection of 1920’s books.
The only things I changed were the spines, to ensure that the titles would be readable, even when the books were on the shelves. Then I use two N-scale swimming figures, some matboard, cardstock, and bronze paint to make my little art deco bookends.
I am extremely happy with how they turned out. I have included an original swimmer in my picture. (I have no idea what he is supposed to be doing. Maybe lolling in an inner tube?) From cheap plastic to upscale bookends, with just a bit of paint. 😊 They make up a nice row on the center shelf of the cabinet. I added a couple of bead “vases” and a bronze and gold elephant (a Peruvian ceramic bead I painted), and glued the cabinet front back on. This time I put the door pulls at the top, where they belong—another benefit of having redone the cabinet. 🙄 See how much easier it is to see inside now?
Here is a top-down shot of the first floor.
I’m still pondering the living room rug; one reader suggested including a bronzy green. I love that idea, but don’t have anything like it in my stash (*sigh*). I still have plants to make and doors and windows to do, and I am planning a ceiling fixture for the dining room. Then it will be time to put the roof/ceiling on and start on the second floor!