Well as you may remember, oh so many moons ago, I promised photos of the commission project I was working on. My good friend V. and her husband, A., came up with an idea for the World's Coolest Mother's Day Present for his mom (we'll call her Fran): a scene incorporating all her favorite things, set in a (loosely interpreted) miniature version of her house. We settled on four rooms to be represented: a living room, a craft room, a kitchen, and an outdoor garden.
V. and A. came up with a list of particulars to be included, from beloved cookbooks and pet turtles to favorite foods and family traditions. "Bronx Italian decor" and "Catholic" were the main interior design directives given, which meant very little to my New England pirate puritan sensibilities. Luckily a local relative was able to sneak around and photograph her garden and home in a very non-stalkery way (he lives there) and email them to me so I had some specifics.
We looked at a lot of possibilites for cases, and finally settled on the 4-Plex Display Case by Houseworks. With four separate spaces I could get a lot in there, but an overall side dimension of only 16" kept it manageable as far as display space (what do you mean "not everyone wants their house taken over by miniature displays?!")
With a limited time-frame I had to rely more on purchased and kit-based or 'bashed*' items than I might have otherwise, and limit my handmade work to really special items (or things I just couldn't find.) The case itself also took quite a bit of work to finish out the different spaces. I'll fill you in on the details as I post the photos of each section.
*bash (v. bashed, bash·ing, bash·es)So without further ado, the photos:
1. to adapt or rework purchased items into customized miniatures: she's bashing a dollhouse she found at a yard sale
2. to adapt or rework kits into customized miniatures: it's a kit-bashed dollhouse
3. to strike violently: I bashed that stupid dollhouse kit!
4. a drunken spree: Kit? What kit?
The Craft Room
Fran is a creative person with many talents and hobbies, so including them was a top priority. In her real house she's limited to part of the living room for her crafts, so in the miniature version we gave her an entire room of her own.
Sewing is one of her favorite hobbies, she once dreamed of going to Paris to be a fashion designer. I repainted a commercial sewing machine to match her real one, and filled the shelves and tabletop with supplies (hard to see all the tiny spools of thread and other sewing supplies on the table.)
I made miniaturized versions of the purses and microwave potato-cooker pockets that Fran sells for charity. She also crochets scarves - this little scarf and hat were made by a friend from an online miniatures group.
V. helped me make this ornament tree display, to show off the tiny painted and beaded Christmas ornaments.
Vive la France! An antique copy of "La Marseillaise" in a frame finished in 18k gold, and a tiny French flag.
The miniature version of an entire wall from the real house. My spy even photographed the photographs so I could make mini versions! I made many of the frames from scale wood molding and from clay, and refinished some purchased ones. I built the shelf from scratch and filled it with more photos, some nicknacks, a silver crucifix, and one of my 18k gilt-paged Bibles.
The real wall of photos in Fran's house.
Next up: The Living Room!