Friday, February 21, 2014

The Laurels

I had another play with a vintage house today. This time The Laurels.

Brae of Otterine's Miniatures did a post today referring to a Bodo Hennig sewing machine I had bought to go into my sewing room in The Laurels. It was a timely reminder that I had not done anything to The Laurels for some time.

For those who don't know The Laurels is a vintage dolls house I picked up through an on-line auction in New Zealand in 2012. The lady who sold it to me said she had bought it at an auction in England about 10 years earlier. It is probably a home made dolls house from fairly early last century.


This was the sewing room earlier today, a very narrow tall room:


This is how it looks now - far from finished but now starting to look like a little sewing room:



I wanted to use the small piece of antique wallpaper I had which would be about the same age as the house. It is quite a large print if you think in 1/12th scale but it was common practice in antique dolls houses to use the wallpapers that were available at the time and many antique dolls houses have quite large scale wallpapers.

The wallpaper is the same paper I used for the two giveaway prizes I made recently (photos on my right hand sidebar).

Talking about wallpaper, I just love old wallpapers and I love this little video I found on Youtube called Wallpaper that Moves - 300 Years of Wallpaper.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BR8umOkTEbw

I am far from finished the little sewing room and I don't know if the furniture I have thrown in will stay or whether I will make furniture for the room. I need to do some research on Victorian sewing rooms.


Above is a photo of the Laurels with its doors open. The sewing room is the central upstairs room. I have now wallpapered three of the six rooms. I might retain the wallpaper on the upper left which came with the house. I haven't decided yet. I still need to do all the floors as well. I am slowly hunting out antique miniatures to fill the house. There is currently a mix of new, handmade, vintage and antique items and also a mix of eras.

Here are a few more photos of The Laurels:

The Nursery:

I love this little doll in her party dress.

The Study:
I recently found these treasures. I don't know anything about them but love the detail. They are about 6 cm long.

Collection of miniature Chinese Mudmen.

Vintage Japanese table.

Vintage Japanese desk. The fan is probably an old German miniature.

This is a miniature postcard (made into a locket) that my friend Lyn gave me. It was given to her as a child 60-70 years ago. It is only 2cm across. It shows a scene of a Maori girl on a canoe in the Wanganui River, New Zealand.

The Bedroom:
Another Japanese miniature.

A lovely old china doll in a Japanese kimono. Her legs are a little age worn so I will have to make her a skirt. I made the crazy patch bedspread.

The Kitchen:
The blue items and the little checkered trolley are Tekno miniatures from Denmark from approximately the late 1920s.

There is housework to be done even in miniature households.

I seem to be getting a collection of Japanese and Chinese miniatures. The story that I have created for The Laurels is that the lady of the house makes beautiful dresses for the elite in order to be able to maintain and keep 'The Laurels' while she anxiously awaits her husband's long over-due return from an overseas bird-discovery expedition. He has travelled extensively in the past on research trips often bringing treasures home.

I've enjoyed having a bit of a play with my vintage miniatures over the last week but it is time to get on with another project. It is time to commence Timeless Toys. I will be going through my stash to see what I have for the project and will do a post later in the weekend on what I find and what my ideas are for the project.

Until then, have a great weekend.

28 comments:

  1. Oh! Wow! So many beautiful treasures! The sewing machine is fabulous and so are the two wagons. It's wonderful that you were able to collect so many vintage items that will be perfect for this project. I love following your work.
    Hugs, Drora

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    1. Thanks Drora. I've just been doing some research on the wagons this morning. I thought they were probably Chinese but it turns out they are Japanese celluloid miniatures, approximately from the 1940s. I assume they are made to look like ivory or ox bone carvings. They are wonderful little pieces with so much detail.

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  2. Sharee, you have collected some real treasures, your miniatures do have to tell their own story. The sewing machine is wonderful, but I also think that it will be quite difficult to fill this very narrow room with other miniatures, just like you said. But we'll never know...... :D!
    Hugs, Ilona

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    1. Yes the room is very narrow Ilona, but there is nothing like a challenge to make us miniaturists think creatively. I am sure I will come up with something over time. The room was probably ideal for a bathroom but doing a bathroom didn't inspire me so I came up with a reason for a little sewing room.

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  3. Japanese table is beuatiful Is it intarsia? WOW ;-)

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    1. Thank you for introducing me to a new word. I had not heard the word intarsia before. I have found out very little about the Japanese miniatures. They do appear to be a very fine inlay. From what I understand the dolls house furniture was made using both natural and stained veneers often with scenes of Mount Fuji. They appear to have been made from after WWI through to the late 1930s. Some came in box sets marked KK but I cannot find any information on what KK was. As with most of my vintage miniatures I will keep researching.

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  4. What a fantastic vintage house! I love what you are doing with it. That will be a cozy little sewing room, perfect for rainy days with its cheery wallpaper.

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  5. The sewing room looks beautiful! I do love the Japanese table also, I can see you are on a wonderful and creating venture!

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  6. Hi Sharee! Your Laurels looks Wonderfully Antique! There is no way to replicate the real thing in my humble opinion! And you have the beginnings of a great collection of pieces to go with it! I now have Serious Sewing Machine Envy!!! I want one like that! LOL! I have a RL treadle machine that was converted to electricity early in the 20th century... but is as reliable as a work horse! You have made a wonderful start on the Laurels... I look forward to seeing more!

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    1. I love the sound of your sewing machine. I have heard many people still love the old treadles for straight sewing. If you keep an eye out hopefully you will find a lovely miniature sewing machine in time. I have four miniature sewing machines but two of them stand out for their quality and detail, my Bodo Hennig and another one that has a silver insert under the sewing machine and a little drawer. Both of them have moving parts. Perhaps you will be able to find one that looks like your full size treadle.

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  7. I love hearing the wonderful details of your project, including the history of the house and its furnishings. Your crazy quilt is beautiful! What you've done so far in the sewing room looks fantastic, and I'm looking forward to hearing about your next project. xo Jennifer

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. With your skills you could manage the quilt easily. I just took some fine iron on interfacing and ironed lots of little scraps of fabric on it. I then zig zagged around them. I finished off with a backing fabric and some commercial binding around the edge. I was quite pleased with the way it turned out. Of course home made machines with zig zag stitch weren't around until about the 1940s even though zig zag was available on industrial machines in the late 1800s. I'm afraid I'm not a sticker for period accuracy in The Laurels. I may replace it one day with something else but for now I like it in there.

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  8. Sharee,
    I love the laurels, how wonderful to get a truly antique house and antique treasures to go in it as well!! I haven't found an antique house in my price range yet, but I keep looking...oh well one of these days!! I love seeing all your projects, great job!
    Teresa
    sugar, spice and whatever's nice

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    1. Keep looking Teresa, something will come up eventually. I am glad I stumbled across The Laurels. It was brought over to New Zealand by a couple who had bought it at an auction in England for their young daughter. Luckily for me shortly after arriving in New Zealand they realised it wasn't really a child's dolls house and decided to sell it. Collecting vintage items for it has given me a whole new interest within miniatures and I enjoy doing the research on the pieces I find. It was a great introduction back into miniatures after a long long break from it, but I am now getting back into making miniatures as well. I enjoy the two side by side.

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  9. You´re so lucky with your antique house, it´s so pretty!! I like very much the dolls and the chinese detals. Hugs.

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  10. Cara Sharee, complimenti per la tua nuova casa e tanto lavoro hai davanti ma sicuramente anche con tanto divertimento. Mi incanto sempre a scoprire che deliziosi oggetti riesci sempre ad acquistare, stupenda la bambolina e gli oggetti cinesi.
    Un abbraccio. Manu

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  11. Oh, Sharee! You are the owner of a wonderful collection! Small Chinese objects and other sculptures are true treasures!
    The improvements you are doing in the house are getting good! I loved the sewing room.
    Hugs.

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  12. Even though it's still a WIP I have to say I really like The Laurels house. And you made that patchwork quilt? Wow. :D

    I don't think I've seen many Japanese miniatures, your collection is beautiful. :)

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    1. Thanks Kyle. See the reply to Plushpussycat above about the miniature quilt. It is another of my 'cheat' miniatures. I have also replied above to Meritan Nukkis about the Japanese miniatures. I would love to find some more in time. They do not seem to be a popular collectable, so the prices are quite reasonable.

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  13. The whole house is looking great! I love that little girl in the party dress too :-) Did you add the wallpaper in the nursery? It looks so much like the 1920s wallpapers from Handicrafts, it's a great choice!
    I've found when furnishing old houses like this in particular, that I sometimes aim for a certain style or backstory, and sometimes it just comes about through the things I'm successful in winning or come across. Your Japanese and Chinese pieces look great in here, and I like the story you've created - I hope the lady of the house doesn't end up waiting for years and years! Maybe she'll hear from her husband, at least .... It's wonderful that you have a tiny New Zealand antique, too! My dolls have tended to travel overseas and bring back souvenirs, or have friends who've sent them - I must look out for some of these tiny postcards from Australia :-)

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    1. Hi Rebecca. Yes I did add the wallpaper in the nursery. I got the lovely bird and flower print from Doris Wiegmann of Puppenstubentapelen. From memory it is a reprint of a wallpaper from about 1925. I'm not usually a pink person but I just couldn't resist it at the time and still love it. The wallpaper in the study is also from her and I think that was a reprint of a wallpaper from 1914. The story, like the house, will evolve. The lady's husband will return (perhaps we could say the New Zealand postcard is from him and he has had an unexpected opportunity to do some research in NZ). I really must give them a name. In my mind the husband is loosely based on a younger version of GUM from Ballet Shoes. I love that story and intend to do a dolls house based on that story some time in the future. I love the blue Tekno items and was thrilled to find them in New Zealand. I bought these off a lady whose mother had brought them out with her from Denmark. The mother had had them since she was a little girl. They are quite small for the large rooms in The Laurels but I am okay with that. For me the Laurels is a great house to display many of my old vintage miniatures. As said above many of the antique houses had a range of scales in them.

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  14. Oh, and I meant to say too, lovely to see the blue Tekno pieces! I think I've seen more red ...

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  15. Hi Sharee,

    I love what you are doing with The Laurels and the backstory! I really love the wallpaper in the nursery too. I'm not always big on pink either but that wallpaper is so beautiful and perfect. Can't wait to see how you finish the remaining rooms but I really like it so far and am glad you're sharing it with us.

    Susan

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  16. I love the story you've come up with! The nursery wallpaper is gorgeous! I love the way this is coming together.
    hugs♥,
    Caroline

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  17. it's so interesting to see old mini playthings that have been used and loved thank you for sharing your treasures :)

    Hugs
    Marisa

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  18. Sharee, I just saw your post so I apologize for the late comment. The Laurels is a wonderful house and I love the full size wallpaper in the sewing room. You are right, it does give it an authentic antique look. I noticed the little lookout on one side of the roof. I wonder if this is a widow's walk where a wife of a sea faring husband would go to see if she could spot her husband's ship returning? Wonderful house!

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    1. Isn't that little room cute perched on the top of the house. I've been fascinated by the widow walks ever since I saw one in a movie. However, in my mind, the faithful family dog would keep watch from the window. I just haven't found the right dog yet. The wife is far too busy with her sewing to spend much time up there and besides think of all those stairs she would have to climb!

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