Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thank Heaven for Little Girls!

This is the little girl's bedroom in the Greenleaf Garfield/Thumbelina.  There is even a removable bookcase with a secret hiding spot!  I upgraded all of the doors in the mini house.  I love the pink silk pelmets with fringed drapery treatments!

Some Petite Findings....

 I found some lovely little buttons and mementoes at Michael's and Joanne Fabrics from buttons to bows.  I will cut the hoops off of the top of the tiny mirrors and paint them gold to go with the decor of the Greenleaf Garfield/Thumbelina.  The black backgrounds on the cameos will be painted, and the blue cameos might make nice additions to sconces or wall decor.  The ivory satin is going to be used for some window treatments in my downstairs window seat niche.
I removed the tiny stickers on the far left from the ornate pieces on the far right.  I may make them frames or even tiny trays for perfume and vanity sets in the bedrooms!

                                                                    Lovely little details!
                                               This frame will be perfect for French Portraits!
I might make trays for tea sets out of the frames of these or frames for art.  I will have to find a use for the gorgeous blue bows!

Our Pets in Mini Design

                                     My Brussels Griffon Smooth Coat Petit Brabancon Taz (nicknamed Lilo)
My Pug Franklin (nicknamed Lou)

I just purchased a miniature pug for my Garfield/Greenleaf Dollhouse.  However, I cannot seem to find a Brussels Griffon smooth coat.  There is an amazing artisan who hand-crafts miniature dogs with real fur, but she is not taking any special orders right now.  So, the search continues to find a Taz!

Oh the details!

I am also currently adding wood flooring to the wrap around porch.  The next time I build a dollhouse I will make sure to put it down on the foundation before I actually build the structure.  Building a dollhouse for the first time includes a lot of trial and error.  Que sera sera!  I also added electric carriage lamps as well as some pretty French urn appliques.  I am still adding trim to the porch ballustrades.

One of my favorite how-too inspirational interior design book called The Complete Book of Bedroom Elegance by Lady Caroline Wrey.  It is a must-have staple in design!

The removable window seat is one of my favorite things about the Greenleaf Garfield/Thumbelina!

Working Away on the Nanny's Quarters

 The Nanny's Quarter's of my Greenleaf Garfield/Thumbelina Dollhouse is being planned out right now.  The tiny lamps are hooked into the electrical, but they are not stationary yet.  I love the rosebud lampshades and brass fixtures I purchased from Ms. Peggy's Place in Pacific Beach, California.  I cut out the velvet for the carpeting and have also cut the baseboards.  Still lots of work to do!
I have begun to install the beadboard and wood detail in the third floor hallway.  I will be painting the staircases in my mini house with gold detailing and adding more wood detail to them.  The ornate roman-like shade with sheer austruan shades I made from some leftover fabric samples.  I tied each of the tiny bows by hand from some Samuel and Sons Passmenterie.  I will be filling in the beadboard with wood fill and painting over it.

The Master Bath Construction Zone

The wallpaper and details I chose for the Garfield Greenleaf/Thumbelina master bathroom remind me a little of my bathroom growing up.  In my mini home I chose to cut a hole in the wall from the bathroom to the stairs and make a secret window that will open to let light in.  There will be an opaque window treatment for privacy ofcourse.  I wanted to be able to see into other rooms in the dollhouse that were not available to me.  Detailing and construction continues in this room!

The Baby's Nursery

The Greenleaf Garfield Has a fabulous extra room they call the "secret tower room."  A lot of people use it as a castle-looking room from what I have seen.  It can also make a great observatory room.  However, I thought it would lend itself to a baby nursery.  I had a sample of Maya Romanov wallcovering veneer wood which I cut to fit in the tiny room.  I added some perwinkle, blue satin drapery treatments, some baseboards and crown moulding.  I even added a little "glass" french door to the room.  It leads out the the room I call the nanny's quarters so she can take care of the baby. 
The door is not quite finished, and the baseboards have not been installed, but this is the view from the nanny's quarters to the baby nursery.  I purchased an extra set of Greenleaf Garfield windows for $25.00 to make extra windows throughout my mini home.

Last night I started work on a round rug for the baby nursery.  I had a pretty embroidered sample of silk fabric that I cut into a circle since the design had natural round shapes in it.  There was just enough for a tiny rug!  I sewed around the edges with some thread.  I will be adding passmenterie around the outside to make the fringe.  I am excited to see how it will look.
I will be using the Bespaq Belmont Blue Furniture for the nursery.  You can purchase it from Tim at Dollhouse Collectables online.  There are other pieces in the set not pictures such as an armoire, a feeding chair, and a rocking cradle.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chandeliers Galore!

 The little boy's room-still a construction site with unfinished edges, but I still continue to make progress.  I put down a velvet carpet, made satin window treatments, and I even added some beadboard so far.  I call this the hall of chandeliers right now since I am storing them on the plush carpeting. 
Since buying crystal chandeliers and sconces can be very costly I opted to take a plain, brass chandelier, and I added my own swarovski crystals I had from my jewelry making days,  They are turning out quite nice.  You can get the tiny gold accent pieces and stringers from Joanne Fabric's.  I am really enjoying this process.  The photos truly do not do them justice!  The chandeliers will be staggered throughout the Greenlaf/Garfield Thumbelina house.

The Master Bedroom

I am very excited about the Master Bedroon of the Greenleaf Garfield/Thumbelina.  The colors remind me somewhat of my parent's bedroom growing up.  It was filled with blues and creams as well as lots of crystal light fixtures.  It will be filled with the Bespaq furniture respectively.

Mini Floral Embroidered Pillows

I made these tiny pillows with some leftover, embroidered fabric I had.  They are 100% silk with silk cording for the welting.  I couldn't find many pretty pillows online with embroidered flowers so I made my own.  They are padded with cotton balls.

Miniature Sewing Basket

This is one of my favorite purchases so far, and I can't wait to add it to my Greenleaf Garfield/Thumbelina Dollhouse!  It is the sweetest, handmade mini ever!  I went to Ms. Peggy's Place in Pacific Beach.  One day I was buying some building supplies, and I noticed this little basket of goodies in a display case.  I knew when I could not stop thinking about it for days after I left that I had to have it.  So here it is awaiting me to finish the dollhouse.  I love to pull it out of it's tiny storage box to look at it.  It is going to be a perfect addition to the Thumbelina!

Crewelwork Pillows

I love mini pillows!  I used some beautiful linen and tiny crewelwork fabric I had on hand.  Crewelwork is so intricate and is used on drapery treatments, table linens, upholstery and even on beautiful shawls.  Victorian ladies enjoyed embroidering it to pass the time.  I had just enough to make a few pillows for the blue toile little boy's room in my Garfield/Greenleaf Thumbelina.  I added some silk cording from a remnant of Samuel and Sons passmenterie.  I even tied tiny bows on the tops.  I am very excited about them!

A Tiny Table

I purchased this tiny table which was originally walnut.  I painted it a pretty white.  I will be adding gold detail to it.  I plan on putting it in the foyer of my Garfield Greenleaf/Thumbelina dollhouse.  It matches my Bespaq Louis XIV furniture, even though it is a no-name brand.  The legs are verydelicate looking but are very sturdy.  I think I will place a vase with flowers on it and maybe a telephone.  Some love letters and keys might also be nice!

Two of the doors I made for the Garfield Greenleaf/Thumbelina have french, ornate murals on them.  Ribbons, flowers and swags are some of my favorite things, so this wallpaper from Dollhouse Collectables was a must have for the house!  The blues, pinks and yellows are gorgeous!

This door complete with a crystal and brass knob set will be installed in the upstairs hallway leading to the master bathroom.  Ribbons and baskets of flowers were very popular during the French reign of Marie Antoinette in Neoclassical Design.
Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette in Sophia Coppola's 2006 film in which she is depicted with her pug Mops.  Marie Antoinette was a true inspiration to so many through her gorgeous decor in the palace. 

The pinks and rose colors Marie Antoinette often chose for decor in her home has inspired me when choosing my fabrics, wallcoverings, and decor for my Garfield/Greenleaf Thumbelina miniature home.
 Miniature Paintings of Pugs are often found in mini homes.  Here is an oil painting of the Princess Golitsyna with Pug by Louis Michel Von Loo in 1759.  You can see she sits in a lavish decor with romantic fabrics.  Pugs have been thought of as royal dogs for centuries, You can purchase miniature Pugs for your mini home.  I intednd to as we have a fawn Pug named Franklin (nicknamed Lou).
This early 19th century painting by Richard Ramsey Reinagle can be found in miniature form through many different dollhouse miniature websites.   

I was at the bookstore and became very excited!

My husband and I went to Barnes and Noble the other day.  In the sale section is a book on victorian gingerbread houses.  I glanced through it to see if I could obtain any ideas for my Greenleaf Garfield/Thumbelina when all of a sudden I came across the J. Milton Carson House.  It is grand, pink and white, and it looks a lot like the Thumbelina!  It was great to see a real version of my victorian dream home!  It shares a lot of similarities with the miniature home I am creating.  I had purchased some gray shingle dye, but I have been very nervous to use it.  I like the natural shingle color.  "It looks like a cake!"  My miniature shop owner friend Michael Sue Nanos has said.  However, now that I have seen this house, I may have to use the shingle dye.  I have posted the history behind the house so you can learn about this decadent, victorian creation!

"This ornate Queen Anne style Victorian was built for J. Milton Carson as a wedding gift from his father, lumber baron, William Carson. Known locally as "the Pink Lady," the building is an exquisite example of the Queen Anne style of Victorian architecture.
This house has had numerous owners over the years and a very interesting history. It was sold by J. Milton Carson in 1920 and after several owners was inherited by sisters in Germany who operated it as a rooming house. In 1942 the U.S. government seized it as Nazi property. It was sold at public auction in 1951 to the late Lloyd Bridges and Associates (father of the TV and movie star.) Then in 1963 it was sold to a realtor who restored the property and leases it as commercial space.
The Carson House is located within the Eureka Historic District and is considered a primary contributor to the district,"

Copyright (c) 2010 Groundspeak, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Another window seat in the making

Above the window seat on the second floor of the Garfield/Greenleaf Thumbelina I made some double sided roman shades out of an ivory silk on the backside and a silk velvet on the front.  I added tiny detail bows and cording out of some silk, ivory samuel and son passmenterie.  I initially had some lace treatments underneath, but then I could not see in the house.  I ended up removing them.

Since this window seat is removable, it made it easier to put together.  I love the tiny tassels and bows.  I used a seafoam silk for the window seat upholstery.  If I could fit I would be sitting on this seat constantly curled up with a good book and my dogs!

I made a pelmet for over the french doors in the 2nd floor hallway.  I used cardstock, a seafoam silk, and ivory, silk cording for the trim and bows.  The soothing, damask wallpaper can be purchased from Itsy Bitsy Minis.  I am excited to start putting the wood, parquet floor in!

La Grande Maison-The Greenleaf Garfield Dollhouse: The Thumbelina is under Construction

La Grande Maison-The Greenleaf Garfield Dollhouse: The Thumbelina is under Construction

Inspired by Claude Monet's Kitchen

 When I went to Paris we took a side trip to Giverney which was the home and gardens of the famous French Impressionist Claude Monet who lived from 1840-1926.  I grew up loving his paintings and reading over and over the book Linnea in Monet's Garden by Cristina Bjork.  When I finally visited I fell in love with his quaint, blue and white kitchen.  I knew my Greenleaf Garfield/Thumbelina had to have a similar kitchen!  The stove unit I purchased is the Mercer oven by Bespaq.  I glued in a delft-blue tile sheet to tie the room together.  It is one of my favorite, tiny details the house has so far.
Shantung Silk Drapery Treatments I made in a Pretty Pleat I by d. Anne Ruff Miniatures.  I find that hot glue works best in keeping the pleats in.  I used a pretty, blue gimp for the top of the pelmets I had in my gimp and passmenterie collection.

I am enjoying putting the bead board and chair rail in.  I used a plastic, embossed tin ceiling.  The small chandelier was brass, and I gave it a coat of shabby chic-esque white paint.  I hand painted the french blue accents with a detail brush.  I added some swarovski crystals that I purchased from Michael's craft store.

The butler pass-through window in the kitchen that leads to the dining room.  It really works!

The Dining Room

The Dining Room is one of my favorite rooms in the house.  I love murals, and I especially fell in love with this wallcovering depicting a hunt scene.  I decided to cut a hole in my Garfield/Greenleaf Thumbelina dollhouse and create a window pass-through from the dining room to the kitchen.  In reality, a cook would be able to pass the prepared food from the kitchen, to the dining room and place it on the shelving unit included in the kit.  I am adding a lovely crown moulding to the dining room.  I love the silk window treatments that match the color of the wallcovering respectively.  A Bespaq Louis XIV ding set and cameo-back chairs will be placed in this room.  They are white and upholstered in a lovely, blue satin. 
This room in the Garfield/Greenleaf Thumbelina will be the living and music room.  I made the window treatments out of a thick card stock, blue satin, and some lovely, cream passmenterie (trim).  I made the window seat using the original Garfield Greenleaf tower window seat and brought it down to the first floor.  I added wood aound the original seat's frame, coving trim to make the detail, upholstered the seat with foam and a silk, and glued everything in place with hot glue.  I used some silk cording from a Samual and Sons passmenterie I had to create the welting around the bench.
I made these little pillows out of a scrap of French Chintz I had on hand.  They are petite fleur de lys in blue on a cream background.  I added some matching silk cording from a Samual and Sons passmenterie I had handy.  I stuffed the tiny pillows with cotton balls.  Initially I tried to sew the pillows, but they will come out much nicer if you use hot glue on the fabric, then turn them inside out, and then stuff them.  Add the cording last.

Some of the pillows I purchased from a fabulous online shop called Itsy Bitsy Minis.  Neu Fam makes these tiny pillows herself, and they are simply gorgeous.  They fit in perfectly with my ornate, French decor in my Garfield Greenleaf/Thumbelina.  Itsy Bitsy Minis has over 2,000 fabulous wallcoverings for your miniature home!  I even purchased some pink and white toile fabric and wallcovering for my Garfield Greenleaf/Thumbelina to match my tiny pillows!  The pink toile items will be used in the "sitting & sewing room" which will be on the top floor of my dollhouse.  The pillows with the ladies on the pale pink background remind me of a monet painting I will be adding to the Thumbelina.

I have purchased many pieces of the Bespaq Louis XIV collection for the living and music room.  I am so excited to show them to you and install them after the wood, parquet flooring goes in!  The Ivory curtains you see in the background are by Barbara O'brien Curtains.  I have received some sad news that the company will be discontinuing the collection.  The tiny blue and white clock I purchased from Ms. Peggie's Place owned by Michael Sue Nanos in Pacific Beach, California.  I know it is not time to put accessoris in the house, but I couldn't help myself in seeing how it looks!  The white mirror in the back was once mahogany, and it is by Bespaq.  I liked the style of it, and I decided to add it to my other Bespaq items.

Its the little things that matter

I love little details!  For the master bedroom in the Garfield/Thumbelina I purchased some antique sconces to frame a Degas painting I had.  Then, I added a picture lamp to create warmth in the bedroom at night. I am currently trying to put the sconces in place.

 Some people like red roses, but I love pink ones.  I found these little paper flowers at Michaels that have tiny metal and paper covered stems.  They are bendable, so the roses are perfect for the trellis that comes with the Garfield Kit.  I like how they look like they are climbing up the vine.  The roses come in bundles of three (i.e. 3 bundles of different color pinks).  They are available in other colors if you are interested. 
I plan on making another trellis.  I am awaiting the arrival of it as well as a white porch swing!  I will also be making flower planter boxes under the windows at some point.

The Little Oil Paintings

Today I sized and printed out paintings by some of my favorite artists of all time.  I love French artist's work-that of Monet, Manet, Degas and Renoir.  As a little girl I used to have a poster of the little painting you see in the front entitled "La Loge" by Renoir.  All of the mini painting images I chose, because I have a strong, personal connection to them.  One of the paintings by Monet I tried to replicate on my wall as a young girl in my bedroom.  My father used to take me to the museum as a child, and I memorized most of the French Impressionists at four years old.   

The painting I framed a the top of the little girls at the seaside is by Edward Henry Potthast who was an American Impressionis Painter who lived from 1857-1927.  This lovely painting has always reminded me of my sister and I playing at Chautauqua Lake.  The card table the petite paintings sit on is actually from Chatauqua!  To complete the paintings I simply took ready-made frames with a backing.  I sized and printed the images on acid-free paper.  I trimmed them out.  Then, I cut pieces of acetate to create a glass-like piece in front of the painting to give it a nice shine.  I put them together with Alene's tcaky glue.  Voila!

The Thumbelina depicted on the left in a Painting by Rita Auerbach.  My parents have one of her works of Chautauqua's Bestor Plaza above their sofa in the living room.  Her work is gorgeous and brings me happy memories.  You can visit her on the web at