Friday 28 August 2015

The End of an Era - Part 2

As in the real building, Gladstone's Land, we now move forward 100 years to the Georgian period and the Green Room.

The blue and white china displayed was purchased from a variety of sellers and the lights on the right hand side were made by me.   The candle stand was another commission from Olde Charm Miniatures.


The tulip vase on the central table is from Sally Meekin and the screen is a kit as is the corner seat and bureau.   The spinet on the back wall was a commission by Masters Miniatures.   The space I had was smaller than their stock sized spinet so they very kindly scaled one down for me.


I am particularly pleased with the desk in this room.   Again the space was very neat so this one was created by me from cardboard then painted and varnished.   It actually started life as a prototype but I was happy with the way it turned out so I stayed with it.

Those rooms conclude the spaces on view to the public in the real building.   My little property has a further two, namely a Lawyer's residence and a Cobbler in the attic.
Firstly, the Lawyer. 
Due to this room being situated higher than the Green Room, it would have been cheaper to rent.   The finishes wouldn't have been as fine and to this end I've used wider panelling, left out some of the detailed trim and used a plainer cornice.

The chair below was a bare wood item picked up at a fair and the desk is another of my cardboard creations.   I also made the fire.   The wig on top of the cabinet was purchased at the start of this project form Sue's Enchanted Cottage (website under construction).

Items for this room were purchased from a variety of sources but the document, wax and stamp were from Montserrat Folch

The chest was also a long ago purchase from the York Fair, the day bed was made by me from foam board and spindles and the tri-corn hat shown above (on the day bed) was from The Mini Milliner.


and finally up to Mr Bennett, the Cobbler, housed in the attic space.

I was lucky enough to find a picture of a cobbler's bench on the internet complete with measurements which certainly made life easy when coming to create this little item.   The buckles in bowls beneath the bench are from The Dolls House Mall.

The tools were purchases from Danny Shotton at Miniatura.

Mags Cassidy of Mags-nificient Miniatures created the bread and cheese lunch for me.

The majority of shoes were from the Mini Milliner with the exception of the two pairs on the floor which are by Carol Cook and yet another Miniatura purchase.

There isn't (as far as I am aware) any fireplace in the roof space of the real building but for my purposes, I created a "hingin' lum".

This is how I imagine the effect would be in real life with just the tallow candles to see by.

You've now seen all the rooms in my Tenement.     It stands 67.5 inches (72cms) high from the base and is 11.5 inches (30cms) wide (and it isn't squint, it's the photo!)    The base is 24 inches (61cms) square with castors attached.

The real building has two gable windows, one with a fleur de lys decoration (honouring Mary, Queen of Scots) and the other with the thistle - for obvious reasons I went with the thistle.

These very detailed pigeons were a gift from sister Valerie on our recent visit to The Kensington Fair.  They have beautiful iridescent touches and were created by David Ward (no website).

It took some time and a lot of fiddling to get the staircase exactly how I wanted it and I'm pleased with the result.


and finally (this was the last piece to be attached).............The Gled*!   I am so pleased with this find, it was almost ceremonial when it was finally attached.   The rat in it's claw is blue tac, moulded into shape with florists wires for whiskers.   The whole thing was then sprayed gold.
* Hawk.
It's been really interesting recreating this wonderful old building, I'm going to miss working on it.   I've discovered so much about the history of the property and indeed Edinburgh.   If you're ever in our capital city, going down the Royal Mile, pop in - it's worth it!

Friday 21 August 2015

The End of an Era - Part 1

Well, friends, The Tenement is finally finished.   Yes, all done and dusted.   All repainted and I'm very pleased with the result.   The end has been a long time coming.
It all started as a day out with my sister way back in 2009 when we took the time to "do" the Royal Mile in Edinburgh as tourists and visited attractions we hadn't been to since our school days and others we hadn't been to at all, despite the fact that they're on our doorstep.
Briefly, by way of history, Gladstone's Land is a 17th century building.   The building itself is referred to as a "land" and the ground it sits on is the "tenement" (but for my purposes and for anyone familiar with buildings of this type, we know them as tenements).
It was purchased in 1617 by Thomas Gledstane (Burgess and merchant) who subsequently enlarged it forward by 23 feet and this work was completed by 1620.    It was occupied by himself, his wife Bessie and other tenants who included a Merchant (John Riddoch), a Minister and a Knight (Sir James Creichton of Fiendraucht, Kt.).   
You can find out more here Gladstone's Land.
My Tenement started life as a series of boxes from Ted Sills at Dolls House Concept.   The design of this meant that I could separate each one as I worked on them.
The first room to be dealt with was The Cloth Merchant or "Luckenbooth".  All the additional walls (with the exception of the panelled rooms) are created from foamboard and covered in polyfilla mixed with pva.   The ceiling light fixture and cruisie lamps were custom made for me by Olde Charm Miniatures and the spinning wheel was a purchase from Ashwood Designs


I then moved on to The Kitchen.   The lamp on the shelf, cradle and rocking lambing chair were from Ashwood Designs, the spoon rack is by Tony Knott and the bowls of herbs, porridge and bucket of apples were from Oaktree Dolls House Miniatures.   The flooring is real stone.

The little patens (overshoes for ladies) were made by me from a pattern in a dolls house magazine using balsa and leather.


Moving on up, the next room to get my attention was The Little Chamber.
The longcase clock and marquetry cabinet were made up from kits with marquetry panels (taken from the internet and reduced) then varnished over.

The William and Mary chair to the left is from Masters Miniatures and the chairs to the right were a commission from Ashwood Designs (who have since added this style to their website).
As with a lot of items in The Tenement I had to create my own as there was nothing out there that fitted the bill.   Two of those items were the foot-warmer and light fitting.   The foot-warmer was created from wood scraps and old earrings and the light fitting was made from wooden stirrers, solder and two bulbs.

The original Darien Press* was located in a building further up the Royal Mile and now resides in the Little Chamber.   You can find out more about the ill-fated Darien Company here The Darien Scheme.
* "Press" is an old Scots word for cupboard.

As far as I know, there isn't a ghost in the real property but for fun I decided to give my Tenement one and my sister Valerie wrote the poem:
Once I used to stay in this fine Tenement
Worked hard for my silver for food and for rent
Times were hard and oft I was low
I worked you see, for the Darien Co.
But I look around now at how things once were
The press, the tapestry and fine oak carved chair
I remember too clearly at how I was feeling
When downstairs the wifie would bang on the ceiling
"Keep the noise doon, it's time ye were off
Ah've four hungry weans and yer spoilin' the broth"
Upstairs the judge lived with his lady wife
And he was the one who ended my life.
I robbed and I stole from the Darien Co
The company folded with nothing to show
In court the Judge told me, "Sir, you're a wreck,
You deserve to be flogged and then hung by the neck"
And so my life ended and I'm back to lament,
My life and my death in this fine Tenement. *

Moving on up, we come to the Painted Chamber.

The Court cupboard below was created from a cardboard lid, decorative mouldings and models.  After assembly it was given three coats of oak stain varnish.   The chair was my first attempt at this type of thing.

The ceiling was painted by my sister Valerie and inserted as a separate piece.   LED lights were fixed to the top of the bed to highlight it.

Close up details of the wall decoration (by me) and painted ceiling.

Coming soon................Part 2.






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