Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's Official: Dollhouse Weather

This is the scene I woke to this morning,dear Readers.  The first snow!  The first snow is rather devious:  it always fools you into thinking, "oh, how pretty.  Maybe winter isn't so bad, after all..."  That's before it piles up in glacier-like proportions.  They are predicting a 'colder and snowier winter than usual,' here in Siberia I mean Minnesota.  All I have to say in response is "BRING IT!"  I have five count 'em five rooms to work on!  And Old Man Winter (and Seasonal Affect Disorder) ain't about to stop the likes of me, I'm here to tell you!

Winter-Schminter!  I laugh in the face of sub-zero temperatures!  Wind-Chill Factor?  Ha!  --Oh, I suppose you probably don't even know what the Wind-Chill Factor is, poor, deprived Reader!  The Wind-Chill Factor is, I believe, strictly a Minnesota thing (or at least a Mid-Western thing), when the thermometer actually reads thirty degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) but because of the Wind-Chill Factor it feels like fifty below!  I know!  What fun, right?

But like I said, who even has time to dwell on the weather when the empty, bare-plywood rooms of Merriman Park are staring me in the face?

So I'm plodding along with the Drawing Room...  My new fireplace mantle from Braxton Payne Miniatures arrived this week.  May I wax poetic for a moment on Braxton Payne?  If you're not familiar with him, gentle Reader, you should be!  His mantles are the most divoon creations on Earth!  Not only are they exquisitely designed, but also expertly wrought with the most superb detail.  He even signs and dates his work, which I think is such a nice touch!  But don't take my word for it:  check out his on-line catalog.  You affectionados of eighteenth-century design will undoubtedly find something to delight the eye. 

The arched frame over the mantle will hold a mirror, and mimic the corner niches.
Because there are so many moldings and panels in this room, I decided to use illustration board, cut to the rooms dimensions, as a 'backer' for everything.  This way, I can work on each wall separately and flat on my work table.  It will also conveniently hide all the wiring.  Sweet!  I stole this idea from Mulvany & Rogers.

 ...Just waiting for my cornice, flooring and ceiling ornamentation to arrive.  Hopefully, it will all come before I run out of stuff to work on!  If it doesn't arrive before then, I may end up like poor little Edie, the Sheltie:

Poor girl!  She looks positively bored to sobs!  I know exactly how she feels --I tell you, it's this weather!  Think she needs a walk, or something?


Giac said...[Reply]

Hi John,
Don't be fooled: snow is evil, pure and simple!
The Drawing Room is really taking shape. I used illustration board backing for several rooms in Dewell Manor and if I may make a suggestion paint both sided of the piece before you work on it. This really helps minimize warping.
I have 2 Braxton Payne mantels and they are Great. You chose a really beautiful model.
Can't wait to see more. Happy weekend,

Teresa said...[Reply]

I am so not looking forward to winter and the windchills. Yes, It is a Wisconsin thing also. We had a first snow a week or so ago. Now it is just COLD and windy.
I love how your room looks so far.

Simon said...[Reply]

Hey Mister. Great post and really good to see an update on the drawing room. Winter weather huh! We too get a "wind chill" reading on our weather reports but as yet have had no snow. I have to say this is my fave time of year though' and the thought of you working on all those rooms has brought Christmas early ;-)
the fireplace looks great by the way, and the niches perfect. Are you happy with how they turned out? (the scale workbench is a cute touch).
Stay warm
Si x

Pedrete said...[Reply]

My dear friend John, his room is beautifully elegant! Use this time to continue your winter decor. I think these cold days ahead we are really ideal for working in the thumbnails, something that we like. Cheer up my dear friend, think that when I get back in the spring, your home will be complete! A big hug!

Garden of Miniatures said...[Reply]

Oh snow,we are still in cold autumn and this enough for me.I love the sunny days,where flowers growing everywhere in my garden.But the first snow,quiet right,we all shout out : Oh,how lovely! But the joy doesn't hold long.
But your new room is great,I love the layout ! Jeannette

Josje said...[Reply]

Snow already! Well it is white here as well, but that is the dense fog we've been having these past days.
The drawing room is looking good. Your arches have turned out very well!
When I started on my dolls house almost nine years ago one of the first things I figured out was to work with false walls. Much easier to work on my desk than in a cramped space of the dolls house room, and it hides all of my wiring while still being able to access them. I the beginning I used any kind of board I had available to me, but now I use only acid free mount board.

Have a great weekend! I look forward to your progress.

Andy said...[Reply]

Hi John,

What a great post! your garden looks beautiful in the snow! Despite all those traditional Dickensian Christmas snow scenes, we rarely get much snow in the lower half of Britain near Christmas (the past couple of years being an exception) it is always nice to see, but even just a few inches here seems to cause chaos to mass transit syetems and roads! I say, dig in for winter and work on your beautiful dollshouse!

The drawing room is looking great! Love the fire place, Braxton Payne is a fine craftsman from what I have seen, would love to get my hands on some of his work, does he sell to the UK? Have you decided on colour yet? what about the floor finish?

Poor Edie, with nothing but an antique arts and crafts style chair and Toile pillow for comfort! She's lovely!! but what are you doing sitting here reading this!? go take her for a walk!!! ;)

hugs, Andy x

Daydreamer said...[Reply]

I know what you mean about the Snow, John..... I have a love/hate relationship with it.... SOOO pretty from INSIDE the warm house.... even Sometimes from outside.... but Driving in it is a nightmare.... and the COLD just isn't my thing! Here in New England we have already been "christened" but fortunately it all melted so we could clean up the broken trees!
Your Drawing room is looking FANTASTIC! I really admire your perseverance with the niches. And the method of working on boards is sounding wise to me.... I get stuck in the inside of my Lovely Old Dollhouse when doing anything "fiddly"! The Castle is large and the ceilings aren't attached til the details are done.... which helps. I will have to study this technique!
Enjoy the "dollhouse weather!"

John said...[Reply]

Hey, everyone!

How great to wake up and find your messages in my inbox!

Giac, thanks for the tip on the illustration board. (It does have a tendency to warp, I've noticed). Fortunately, the pilasters are helping to keep the walls true. I'll remember your trick on the next room!

Teresa, I guess we shouldn't complain after what happened on the East Coast before Halloween, right?!

Hi, Simon! You, know, I am pretty happy with how they're turning out. It's kind of cool knowing they are my own, you know? I'm so glad you caught my saw-horses! I was going to buy some but then I thought, 'duh, I could so make them myself in about ten minutes,' and so I did and saved twelve bucks! How's your house coming along?

Thanks for the encouragement, Pedrete! Although, I don't know if I'll finish ALL the rooms, this winter! Time and money, my friend! Hey, how was the big show?

Oh, Jeanette, you are so lucky to still have flowers! Actually, my sedum is still blooming along with the kale, even under the snow!

Josje, thank you for mentioning acid-free illustration board! I asked on my dollhouse message board about 'acid-free' materials and everyone there was like, 'WHY would you even bother to worry about that?' But I DID go with acid-free and now I feel vindicated! So thank you!

Hi, Andy! Braxton Payne is based out of Georgia, but I don't see why he wouldn't sell to you. (If he doesn't, and you see something you like let me know and I'll get it to you)! I just ordered the flooring --it's a wood veneer in a sort of basket-woven, diamond pattern (if that makes any sense)! It's very similar to the 'real-life' flooring that Thomas Jefferson used in his parlor at Monticello. I'm still flip-flopping on the wall color! I want one thing but Mrs. Thorne wants another --and she can put up such a fuss! ;-) And you're right, the pups need a walk in the snow, lol!

Iris March said...[Reply]

I like the idea of illustration board and looked it up to buy -- but it comes in various thicknesses! Could you tell us novices-- what brand and thickness? Thanks a bunch... By the way, we, here in southern Connecticut had a horrible snow storm at the end of October -- half the state was out of electricity and trees were in a terrible state. Still, worst in Minn!

jeffry said...[Reply]

Sorry to say but I really do like the snow! It's so nice to walk along the canal's through the city overhere....!! But all we have now is fog...very annoying when you have to drive to a friend. The drawing room looks really nice we will soon see a lot more due to the snow?

John said...[Reply]

Hi Daydreamer and Iris! I heard about the New England snowstorm you guys had last month! At least it melted, right? We once had a blizzard on Halloween and it stayed all winter.

Iris, honey, I have seen your enormous and impressive body of work so you are hardly a novice! Anyway, the board I use is 3/32," 'hot-press,' acid-free by Crescent. (Hot-press board is smoother than cold-press).

Hello, Jeffry! You might change your tune about snow if it stuck around til May as it sometimes does here! Oh, how I wish I could join you for a walk along the canals! That sounds so wonderful. I originally began Merriman Park as a 'winter project' to keep myself gainfully occupied instead of lying around in front of the TV eating potato chips all day long. It really helps keep the blues at bay.

Thanks, everyone for the comments and encouragement!

Fi.P said...[Reply]

Hello Frosty,

Your house looks so pretty covered in snow, it's so novel here. Mia my Daughter has never seen snow, I feel a little guilty that she hasn't experienced it. We have just had our first hot day also, 35 c or 95 in your just so happened on the day of the school fair and of course was followed by a down pour and thunder storms. Needless to say were all drenched.

Your Drawing room looks fabulous darling and I also noticed the teeny tiny saw horses......soooo cute!

And as for little Edie, I did wonder if Mr Display had placed the oh so perfectly colour coordinated arrangement....but I suspect your whole environment is perfectly arranged and coordinated.I do think little Edie would enjoy a romp down the beach with my Twiggy ( Oh so lanky Hungarian Vizsla)

I thought of you today John when I bumped into an old friend from CR who is working in a Retail Menswear store down here. He asked me to pop in and give him some pointers re has been some time since I have dabbled in the old VM so i'll let you know how it goes.

I do love your drawing room, it's going to look fabulous, and your post is great, I love to see whats going on in your life.

Lv Fi x

Fi.P said...[Reply]

P.S Hi Si....I've been wondering how you are, hope your not too worked off your feet. Fi xx

John said...[Reply]

Hi, Fi!

I've always taken flack for having coordinating pets/decor, but it was never planned, I swear! My dearly departed Ella was a sable-colored Sheltie, and even my former cat, Wolfgang, (may he rest in peace) was an orange tabby and everyone always said that they 'matched' too!

I posted photos of my house last summer if you'd like to see it. It was a post about 'pairs,' I think. There's also some old Holiday pics from the first few posts at the very beginning of this blog. (I don't decorate for Christmas anymore --too jaded)!

Good luck with your windows still working on ours which will be revealed on 'Black Friday' --the end of this week!

Irene said...[Reply]

Progress on the Drawing Room is very impressive. I love how it's all starting to come together and I take it the workies are off for their break?

Your garden looks lovely in the snow - I bet you're glad it's here now and you can get really stuck in to Merriman Park!

John said...[Reply]

Irene! Hello!

No excuses now, right? Actually, I am running out of stuff to work on until things start arriving in the mail. Thanks for the compliments!