Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sucky Blogging Ahead...

Sorry my blogging has been so sporadic, of late.  My camera is down and I'm not sure where to take it as there does not seem to be such a thing as a "camera shop' anymore. Or should I say 'Ye Olde Camera Shoppe?' Oh wells... Here are a few shots of Merriman Park, opened up. 
It's kind of weird seeing it all together, isn't it?  I mean, you get used to seeing the rooms individually and so it's a little surreal viewed as a whole.  Even when I look at Merriman Park, myself, it is seldom from afar --I usually pull a chair up close and stick my head right into the particular room I'm focusing on at the moment.

I did spend a considerable amount of time making sure all the colors, the architecture and to a lesser degree, the decor, flowed from room to room. I really like how the arch in the Entrance Hall (ground floor, center) echoes the arches in the niches in the Drawing Room above it.  Because every room has touches of the same colors --in this case: black, white and gold-- it helps to 'unify' the separate compartments of the house.
Some people have asked why I did not 'finish' the inside swinging door/wall panels to the house. Here's my answer: When I started Merriman Park I was a complete newbie. All I had in my repertoire was my fond memories of The Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago and the book Magnificent Miniatures, by Mulvany and Rogers. I noted that M & R did not 'decorate' the front, swinging panels of their houses. So I simply assumed that, that is that! Three, four years later, I have discovered many, many gorgeous dollhouses with fully decorated front, interior panels. So it was a large conundrum for me --should I go back and try and 'finish' my 'bare' front panels?  It was only after the house was completed when I realized that I like how the 'doors' receed into the background and so your focus is on the rooms, themselves.  And not on the doors. 

There is no 'right' or 'wrong' way --it's just a matter of personal preference.

What do you prefer?

In other news, I recently joined a local miniatures club!  It's been around for like, thirty years but I  had no idea it even existed. My new BFF, Brad, from Leroi's Lifelikes, a blogger buddy who, I find  out --lives a mere ten minutes from me-- turned me on to it. The club was awesome --treated me like Royalty --and they even want li'l ol' me to teach a class, next meeting!  (which is kind of surreal). But anyway, go on over to Brad's blog because he is awesome --and tell him I sent ya!

I'm having a little soiree to celebrate the Miniaturas magazine article this Saturday, so if you're in the neighborhood, do drop by! 



Catherine said...[Reply]

It is ALWAYS good to see more picture of Merriman Park. I love seeing it open with all the rooms in view. I don't think you need bother with the doors. I do think it might be a distraction from the interior. It sure would mean ordering more of that wallpaper. Which I know full well is a bit of $. I remember how long you waited for some of it to arrive too.

How nice you found a local group of miniature friends. I bet they want you to teach a class! One in design would be very much appreciated here. I would love to take that class from you myself.
I know everyone will be thrilled to see your dollhouse at a party. Have fun. I wish I could be there. BIG HUG! XOXOX

minifleur said...[Reply]

Hi John,
I like it as you have done it! Sometimes, I think doors if they are decorated look chopped up when they are open and rather busy. I do like them decorated though if one can look into a dollhouse window from all sides of the house. Then, you do not see a plain wall.
My dollhouse sits in the middle of a room and does not have a back or doors which is not great for dust accumulation!
Have a fun party!

Elizabeth S said...[Reply]

Hi John! I think that your Merriman Park is Perfect as it is right now! Decorating the swinging doors was not meant for this house although you may choose to do it for your next one. Each project dictates what it will be and this one doesn't need it. I think that your progression of colors and the repetition of design from one room to the next, showcases your great knowledge and skill of how to visually balance the interiors which makes it all look cohesive when the doors are wide open. Well done! I'm a lot like you and I also try to stick my big head into the rooms! hahah! ( I wonder why we do that? ) Anyway, I am sure that the club will benefit greatly from anything you decide to teach! Have fun at your Mini House Warming and once again Congratulations on the Magazine spread! Well Deserved!


Iris March said...[Reply]

How great it is to see a full interior view--this is a fabulous dollhouse! I just love it! I also think the house is not missing anything by not having the doors "done".

I liked doing the doors to match the rooms on Sunnybrook Farm and some others, but did not do them on all.

I agree that it is a personal preference and also depends on the house itself--if that makes any sense.

Great work, my friend.

miraclechicken said...[Reply]

I am so glad to see Merriman park in it's entirety, thanks for posting
it :)

Norma said...[Reply]

It looks truly magnificent seen altogether like that, the attention to reflecting elements and co-ordinating styles to a degree really pays off. The fronts are such a dilema when it comes to decorating or not aren't they! In this case they look really perfect as they are, as you say they more or less disappear and leave the interior to really be the star of the show.

I'm not the least surprised that you've been asked to do a class at your club! And what fun finding that another miniaturist is practically your neighbour - I'm off to check out his blog now.

latchkey and jonquil said...[Reply]

Hi John,

so you're finished eh? ;) I love the way it has all come together, and the way the rooms flow together - it's great to see it all in one go, completed.

I think you are totally right on the doors - for Merriman Park it would be a distraction, and they frame the rooms like a work of art (which it is), drawing the eye in. Having said that, on Daviot House, the doors have some great architectural features, so I'm going to have to do them (more work for me!).

Ahhhh, a miniatures club, how I long to join one. I'm sadly in a miniatures desert, although we have a miniatures museum here in Lyon, weird, huh? It must be great to have some human contact, I can't tell you how I would love that. AND to go to one of your classes!

Are you going to do some wings on the house, or is that it totes finished?

Have asked my Spanish in-laws to keep an eye out for the magazine to send it to me, so hopefully I'll be able to get a copy soon to see your fab work,


The Old Maid said...[Reply]

It's fantastic to see your whole house on one ( oops sorry - three ;)) photos! Finally we can see the whole perspective, and admire the beauty of the house and how great it is all composed together. It's a beautiful house and I wish I had one house like that one day.:);)
And hey! Congrats on being a Mini Teacher!:) Hope you all will have fun during your workshop!:)
Big hug

Josje said...[Reply]

Hello John, Whether looking at the individual rooms or at the house as a whole, it is always a treat to see Merriman Park. Your attention to colour is immediately obvious as all the rooms also work together. Beautiful both with the lights on and off.
I prefer the doors not decorated as this way they don't distract from the rooms. It's like a picture in its frame.
In the last picture the house reminds me of the famous dolls house at Nostell Priory. I can't remember, but did you use this house as an inspiration?
Oh if I only lived closer, I would love to attend your soiree! Have fun at your party, and at your club!

Ilona said...[Reply]

Hi John, please, leave the doors as they are: they are GOOD! Your house is a real beauty and certainly deserves its own Mini House Warming (I saw Elizabeth's comment)!!
I know Brad's blog, he makes beautiful miniatures, what a coincidence he lives near to your place, yes, the world is "miniature/small" ;)!
Enjoy your party and visiting the miniaturists club, I wish there was one in my region!!
Big hug, Ilona

Daydreamer said...[Reply]

Hi John! Your question "To Door or Not To Door" a good one! I only have doors on my Cupboard House which is Far from done... but I am decorating the doors as they seem such an integral part of each room to me. Also on the Tree House as you know, I am decorating the doors.. partly because it allows for Really Close Inspection of some of the details which are harder to see inside the Tiny Rooms! That reminds me... now I am going to have to paint the murals on the Door to the Tiny Dressing Room and Toilet Enclosure ... when I get the door built that is!
None of my other "Houses" have doors... they are open to the world... and I always wished that the Lovely Old Dollhouse had doors.... but couldn't figure out how to make them work with the uneven room placement...! As for the Castle... I am still considering doors for that one... yeah... I think I would need to paint on them too!!!
Congratulations on your new Club membership! and I hope you find a solution for your camera... We Want Pictures of Merriman Park... you know... all those juicy close up details that YOU get to see when you stick your head right in!!! LOL!!!

Pedrete said...[Reply]

Querido John:

Siempre hay que hacer fotos de las casas abiertas al completo, siempre, siempre, siempre. Más si cabe, cuando se trata de una casa tan exquisita y elegante como es la tuya. Con esa combinación de colores tan bien resuelta.

Con respecto a decorar el interior de las fachadas, yo nunca las he decorado hasta la casa de los ratones. He de reconocer que ha quedado bien, es otro espacio más que se puede decorar, pero en mis anteriores casas nunca lo hice. Creo que es cuestión de gustos.

¡Un abrazo enorme!

Em said...[Reply]

I had the opposite experience - only having seen houses with doors 'finished' inside - I thought that was how it was done. Now, on project three, I wish I had left all mine plain. None of my properties has views in other than from the front so the walls won't be see in situ. They are much better plain so they don't distract from the rooms. Love the whole thing - every little inch. Such a talent.... if only I had a tenth....

Simon said...[Reply]

Hey John
I totally agree with your door theory. I too thought they had to be left plain, but now prefer them blank so they don't detract from the main view.
Lucky you having a club near by, and to have a mini pal not far away. Good luck with the training day - I don't think my nerves could take it, but I know you'll do just great.
It's so cool to see the whole view of the house and see the relativity of the rooms and they work together.
Thanks for sharing

Wyrna Christensen said...[Reply]

Impressive, simply impressive. It's great to see the whole Merriman Park at once, and in different colors and lighting. Thanks for showing.
It's so great, that you are come in a miniature group, so great for you.

Fi.P said...[Reply]

Hello my lovely,

You don't know how much I wish I were in the neighbourhood, I would love to drop by!

Merriman Park looks fabulous, such a work of art, I love the fact that you have made all the rooms work together, in fact I had the same intention from word go, I think it's important to have all the room in harmony. One thing I didn't think of till after I had done the kitchen and hall was the opening doors. It occurred to me one day when trying to take a photo from the side window and I saw the ugly plain door......hmmm I just can't decide what to do, I'm with you, I don't like the look of the miss match of all the different wall colours mixed together on one space, it does take away from the look over all.But the look from the side windows is important to me.....grrrr I'm not sure what to do?? I think you have however made the right decision. Merriman Park looks stunning as a whole!


AM said...[Reply]

Hi John, I don't think decorating the panels will add something to your already beautiful Merriman Park. As you said the focus is on the rooms. I must be weird finishing such an amazing project. Gr. AM

Flora said...[Reply]

Hi John,
it's wonderful to see Merriman Park in its total beauty!
It reminds me a lot of pictures of Uppark Baby House, one of the most beautiful dollhouses in the world, in my opinion ...
There is the same elegant atmosphere in which nothing, absolutely nothing, is out of tune.
I imagine you sitting in front of your creature, staring for hours every small detail: this is slavery (and joy) of any self-respecting miniaturist :-)
As for me, I love not - finished interior doors, because I love the symmetry, and unless one wants to decorate everything in the same way (curtains, wallpaper, moldings, etc.), I find it more appropriate to leave them bare. As you say, so as not to create distractions ...
I like to think that in the world there are people who come together to talk about doll houses, techniques, experiences, future plans: perhaps there is hope for a better future :-)
I also love the "queen voice" Farinelli :-)
Have a nice day

Steinworks said...[Reply]

You had me at Hello!
there is nothing sucky about this post at all (as if there ever would be!) thank you so much for the Open house *tee hee* I've run right over to Brad's blog it's wonderful but Im so sorry that I wont be able to come to your class but I have a wonderful idea..maybe you can post it here? as always you're wonderful!


Gee said...[Reply]

Hello John,
been in love with Merriman Park since the first time I laid a virtual eye on it, and that love only deepened when seeing these pics; you have put together a house that is just divine. It has come so far, when surfing the internet looking for pics of world famous estates/castles/mansions I sometimes find myself mumbling: that looks like Johns' house instead of the other way round.

Can't attend your housewarming party but there is no doubt in my mind we will have a drink, sometime, somehow, somewhere.

I am all for leaving the swinging doors blank, I myself would hate the distraction if decorated.

You've done an awesome job.
Be proud of yourself, I am proud of you.
Have fun at the housewarming party!
XXX & hugs, your biggest fan
Gee :)

Evelyne Martin said...[Reply]

You are right, I didn't realize that all the rooms are finished until now!

You can do the panels, I'm sure they'll turn out great and will complete the rooms. Don't worry, NOTHING will take the focus from the rooms, they are absolutely gorgeous!!!

And now I officially envy that club for having you to teach them, and share their passion for miniatures with you, while I don't know anyone in my state who likes miniatures... I'm pouting! lol....

Troy said...[Reply]

I got so caught up on your video the other day that I forgot to leave a comment. The project turned out beautiful beyond words. It is very inspiring. I do agree with your blank open wall/door concept too. I think it takes away from a house when the walls are open and there is wallpaper and curtains out there in space. Congrats on a great project John.

Plushpussycat said...[Reply]

Finally! I found your blog again, John--yay! I always appreciate your thoughtful, funny, tender comments on my blog, but I couldn't find your blog again, after losing touch with it months ago. I'm so glad to have found my way back here and look forward to catching up on what I've missed. Your work is stunning!!! xo Jennifer

Heather said...[Reply]

I hadn't realized that you had finished merriman park. It is stunning. Your room box is great as well. Your work is wonderful!