Monday, January 28, 2013

The Reveal

I just spent a lovely, snowy, three-day weekend working on the finishing touches of the Library.

I had hoped for a sunny day to take the photographs, but if I waited for that I'm afraid it might be May or even June before you see any!  I'll eventually have my photographer friend over to snap a few decent shots but until then you will have to put up with mine.

One of my favorite new additions is the red-shaded lamp on the desk which I picked up at the local dollhouse shop, Little Enchantments. It throws just enough light to catch the desk's painted detail.  The built-in bookshelves are all filled with books and objet d'art.  I'm afraid I did not make the books --they are all bought-- but I did add a little gilding to their spines with a gold pen.  Eventually, I would like to have books that have printed pages, but for now, these will do...

I also 'color blocked' the books and think they look neater than when I had them just thrown in willy-nilly.  Not sure if they would have hung a little painting on the shelves like this, but I happen to like that effect --so there!  I received the little steps from New England Miniatures right before I got sick a couple months ago and sort of forgot about them.  But here they are!  Hey --check out the gold piping on the back of the chair!  I made the piping from embroidery floss on my Krazy Cords toy!  (Thanks for the tip, Catherine)!

Here's a shot of the fireplace side.  I have a lamp shining through the windows because it's so terribly gloomy outside in real life...but it's always sunny at Merriman Park!

Still having 'issues' with these chandeliers (grrr)! & I may replace them!
I added a fire in the grate of my Braxton Payne fireplace.  A fire in the Library is always so cozy, don't you think?  I was going to place an ormolu clock on the mantel but I figured with the grandfather clock standing just a few feet away it might be a little redundant, so I placed some tulips there instead. A touch of spring in the dead of winter.  Wish you could better make out the figurines on the mantel shelf.  They're 'vintage Japanese' totchkes I found on Ebay.

Now, I have to show you a closer view of the portrait hanging over the fireplace:

Mrs. Nathaniel Allen (1763) by John Singleton Copley

No doubt Mrs. Nathaniel Allen would have been labeled 'a handsome woman' in her day.  Her curious, life-sized portrait hangs in the Minneapolis Institute of Art and remains one of my favorites, perhaps because she is the very image of my friend, John Brewer. 
Mrs. Nathaniel Allen 1763, or Mr. John Brewer 2013? 
To the best of my knowledge, my friend John does not have a secret penchant for eighteenth-century drag.  His family came to this country in the nineteenth-century by way of Germany and Norway, so there is scant chance that he had an ancestor who frequented molly bars in ye-olde Colonial Boston.

And yet...there hangs this portrait...his portrait? Hmmmm...

I shrunk down an image of Mrs. Nathaniel Allen --(or my friend, John)-- whoever it is!  Anyway, I shrunk it down and over-painted it with Mod Podge, using a tiny brush and trying to mimic the same strokes as the artist.  Once dry and framed, it is difficult to tell that it is not a 'real' miniature oil painting that cost hundreds!  (Thanks, Ray, for the tip)!

I like how the painting's cool tones bring the similar colors of the hallway beyond the doorway into the room.

Well, I do hope you like the Library.  Of course, there are a few more odds and ends I would like to add here and there but you know how it a dollhouse room ever completely finished?

Have a great week, everybody!


Troy said...[Reply]

John, the library is magnificent. You have really done a great job and you thought of every little detail. I love the book shelf surrounds. The blue painting is great too against the red back drop. You should post a picture of your friend John ! Looking forward to your next room. Keep up the inspiring work - Troy

Catherine said...[Reply]

Thank you for all the new pictures John! The room is just beautiful and I love the colors you have used. I like the painting hanging on the bookcase it adds interest to that area.

As for Mrs. Nathaniel Allen.... OMG!!!!!!! She is the most masculine woman I have EVER seen. Her hands look waaaay too graceful in contrast to her face. They ought to be hairy.

I think Mr. Allen took a huge leap of faith when he decided to married her.

miraclechicken said...[Reply]

Beautiful, John! I love the library, and the little stairs are a nice touch :)

Steinworks said...[Reply]

I love it! and thanks for the tip about the painting

she is a handsome woman but I don't think she'd make Rupaul's elimination round ..she's not bringing it!...(sorry Rich switched our DTV service so he could get prppers and we got Logo too..DirectTV has some weird combo packs)

I love the room, thank you for sharing it and no you are never really done with a dollhouse or real house for that matter :)


Pedrete said...[Reply]

¡Hola John! Adoro esta biblioteca, es tan elegante!! No conozco a tu amigo, pero realmente la señora del retrato parece totalmente un hombre... No obstante es un retrato maravilloso y queda perfecto sobre la chimenea. Tienes mucha razón en decir que una casa de muñecas nunca se termina completamente.

¡Un abrazo enorme!

Sionchi said...[Reply]

Tu biblioteca es un lujo. Elegante, señorial, lujosa....¡¡¡¡Impresionante !!!!! Me encanta todo lo que haces, ya lo sabes. Besos

Daydreamer said...[Reply]

I LOVE your Red Library, John!!! In my old house I painted our "Library" red... but it was never this elegant!!! All your little details are Perfect!!! I really admire people who get all the details exactly right... and this room is just Delicious!!! I agree with your color blocked books... way back in those days, they didn't come in very many "colors" being covered in leather pure and simple! The painting is a Riot! But it also is very lovely in that room... unless you look carefully you would not know she was so manly!!!

Fi.P said...[Reply]

Hi John,

I feel another pintrest photo coming on!!

The pictures are wonderful, who need sunlight when you can use a lamp! I have to admit to using a lamp in some of my pictures. For the opposite reason though. I have too much sunlight that washes every thing out. So I close the blinds and use a lamp!

Your room is so beautiful, I love every detail right down to the gold piping on the chairs. The figures on the mantle are a lovely touch, I think this room is very feminine. Not so much can be said for Mrs Nathaniel Allen. The thing that concerns me is that the artist was usually very flattering to the sitter, so who know how masculine she really looked? They would have rejected the portrait if it wasn't flattering. Perhaps if she had a little more hair around her face she would look more feminine, after all the dress is exquisite and those hands......

A beautiful job on the room as usual. I would love to know where you buy most of your furniture from? I am in the market for some pieces but I just get so confused with all thats out there! I would love some advice!

ML Fi xxx

Evelyne Martin said...[Reply]

Once again, you accomplished an absolutely PERFECT result in you library!! Stunning!

and... OMG!!! This Mrs. Nathaniel Allen is totally a dude! lol!!!

You should post a picture of your friend John too!! :)

John said...[Reply]

Hi Fi!

Most of my furniture is from the extensive Bespaq line and re-covered. The two chairs are from the 'Monticello Collection' which I think was done by JBM. Thanks for the compliments --but I thought my Library was MASCULINE, LOL!!! Go figure!

The grandmommy said...[Reply]

WOW John! This room really makes you sigh. I love everything about it. Boy what I would give to take a class with you. If I could only make my ceiling and moulding look like that....sighhhhhh.

Dale Fluty said...[Reply]

Stunning, exquisite, awe inspiring, breath-taking, oh I'm sure there are more words, but my brain is having a really hard time thinking right now. You have really outdone yourself with this room.

As for Mrs. Allen, I caught myself checking for an adams apple on her throat. :-)

Outstanding job.


The Dangerous Mezzo said...[Reply]

I think there must be a story about the Allens :) It's such a beautiful painting but so amazingly strange at the same time. She looks like a young Hugh Laurie!

Love the lighting effects in this pretty room -- it looks warm, elegant and totally convincing. And I like the painting hung in front of the bookshelves, too!

Anna said...[Reply]

Oh my...Mrs. Allen looks like a man in historically accurate drag!

This is such a beautiful room. I may have to bookmark that Braxton Payne fireplace for a future build...

PILAR6373 said...[Reply]

Una biblioteca de lujo!!! te ha quedado una habitación perfecta,me gusta mucho la combinación de colores y la decoración preciosa!!!

Irene said...[Reply]

Pat yourself on the back, John! This room is just lovely.

Not so sure about Mrs A though!

John said...[Reply]

Hey everyone...Elga just kindly informed me that her comment didn't post and I found it --along with a few other of you fellow blogger's comments-- in my SPAM folder! I do not know how that happened but I apologize and will try to correct this error. Meanwhile, if you post a comment and it doesn't show up here, please email me and let me know! Your comments mean the world to me and I'd hate to lose any of them!

Em said...[Reply]

Incredibly real. Brilliant work. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Fay Cook said...[Reply]

John your library is magnificent. I've recently returned to collecting for my dollshouses and your blog is really inspiring me.
I want to do something similar to your shelves in my antiques shop, so would you mind telling me where you got your door surrounds from please?
Thank you and well done!

Giac said...[Reply]

Dear John,
EXQUISITE is an understatement! the room is so rich and elegant! Your craftmanship is perfect, your curtains are divine, and your accessories are spot on! your rooms all look like a million bucks but this one is amongst my favourite miniature rooms ever. You have created an incredible atmosphere...VERY well done my friend.
Big hug,
p.s. That has to be a man!

John said...[Reply]


Yikes, I found MORE lost comments on my 'Comments Moderation Page'! Sorry, you guys...

@ Fay Cook:

I bought the door surrounds from Miniature Mansions in the UK.

@ Marisa:

LOL! What ARE you talking about? Mrs. Nathaniel Allen is serving fish-y realness, m'kay?

Now, sashay away...

Ilona said...[Reply]

Hi John, your library really is magnificent. The color scheme is gorgeous. The little stairs is a great addition or how do I say that in correct English? Well, I guess you'll understand?
The painting: everything is said about this :D but I really thought it was a man until I saw the hands.......:S!
Hugs, Ilona

Andy said...[Reply]

Hi John!

Another fantastic room, really cosy! The colours are great, I always did like the wall paper you chose, and was curious to see how it would look when all was in place, well it's better than I had imagined. The black lacquer clock and desk fit in the room perfectly too.

I smiled when I saw your globe, saw an identical one at the recent dolls house show in London! I nearly bought it!

Spooky portrait! I saw a portrait I thought looked a bit like me recently in an old auction catalogue, though no one else was convinced; does your friend agree with you when you say it looks like him?

Now, By my reckoning you only have one room left to go! and as you hinted at a Chinoiserie bedroom on Fi's blog, I can't wait to see it, but what will you do when the bedroom's finished? I think Merriman Park needs an extension!!! ;o)

Andy xxxx

CLM Toth said...[Reply]


Red is my favorite color, how did you know? But seriously, looking at your pictures is like eating a particularly rich truffle - immensely satisfying and you hold old till you get a chance to really
LOOK and savour them.

You also have naturally impeccable good taste. I try not to envy it all....


minwks said...[Reply]

Dear John, You have created a very cosy atmosphere in the library despite its formality. I particularly like the many tones you have brought together that compliment the whole. Great trim and moldings!
Really, that portrait is quite unsettling but strangely fascinating. I searched for other images by the same artist and did not see any others like it. The head seems to be a different person altogether.
It is satisfying to finish a room but quiet difficult to leave it be!
Following your work with interest. Many thanks for your post.
Regards Janine

Josje said...[Reply]

Hi John! Your choice of colours here (as I have said before I believe) makes it such a warm and cozy room, and yet very elegant. Spending time here with a book in front of that fire would be bliss!

How wonderful to have a painting of your friend John on the wall! ;-) Yes, she really does look like a man and even though we would now not consider her to be beautiful, it is a beautiful painting and rather fascinating I think!

I loved your line 'It's always sunny at Merriman park'! Absolutely, we can create our own world so if we want it to be sunny, it will be sunny!

Have a lovely Sunday! Best wishes, Josje

Gee said...[Reply]

your library looks super!
Just spent a lot of time looking at the photos in awe.
What a great idea making a connection with the blue
color this way..
Watching the room is like taking a big step back in time.
Excellent job!

Tina Wood said...[Reply]

I found your blog about a month ago and was addicted. I read the whole thing in a day and a half. I love your work and this room is amazing as are the other rooms you have finished. I cant wait to see whats to come!

Tina Wood said...[Reply]

I think i went to the spam world :(

John said...[Reply]

No, Tina-- you did not go into SPAM! THANK YOU so much for the lovely compliment!!!

Rosell Torres said...[Reply]

Hello, I found your blog today. I love your doll house and your library is awesome! I am finishing my dolls house made by hand too.If you want look it, mi blog is:

Regards, Rosell Torres

Elizabeth S said...[Reply]

This room has the "Wow" factor in all its details. I love libraries, and books big and small are an element that is absolute in both my real life and my minis, so this would be the room I would chose to hang out in if I lived here, even with "her" looking over my shoulder.


Wyrna Christensen said...[Reply]

I just found your blog via Tina from "Just a small thing". It is indescribably beautiful what you do. I can not believe that it is possible to design and implement something so beautiful. You have my deepest respect.

Wyrna from the cold north, Denmark

MiniLover said...[Reply]

What a lovely room! So inviting! Good to see some sunlit photos....


Diego De marco said...[Reply]

OMG! This artist is one fo my favourites!!! Check out my blog:
Thank you! Good day!