19 February 2017

A Good Read

Restless by William Boyd  depicts the tale of a young woman who discovers that her mother was recruited as a spy during World War II. 
"I am Eva Delectorskaya” Sally Gilmartin announces, and so on a warm summer afternoon in 1976 her daughter, Ruth learns that everything she ever knew about her mother was a carefully constructed lie.
Sally Gilmartin is a respectable English widow living in a picturesque Cotswold village; Eva Delectorskaya was a rigorously trained World War II spy, a woman who carried fake passports and retreated to secret safe houses, a woman taught to lie and deceive, and above all, to never trust anyone. Three decades later the secrets of Sally’s past still haunt her. Someone is trying to kill her and at last she has decided to trust Ruth with her story. 
Ruth, meanwhile, is struggling to make sense of her own life as a young single mother with an unfinished graduate degree and escalating dependence on alcohol. She is drawn deeper and deeper into the astonishing events of her mother’s past—the mysterious death of Eva’s beloved brother, her work in New York City manipulating the press in order to shift public sentiment toward American involvement in the war, her dangerous romantic entanglement. Now Sally wants to find the man who recruited her, and she needs Ruth’s help. 

Restless is a brilliant espionage book, a good story, strong characters and full of tension and drama. I thoroughly enjoyed it, I did get slightly confused when Eva was in America though.

12 February 2017

The Dollshouse: Miss Teen's Room

At last I have finally finished one of the attic rooms which belongs to 16 year old Miss Teen. The main reason it has taken so long is that the rooms at the top of the dollshouse are not strictly 1:12. They start out as 1:12 but get slightly smaller on each floor. As a result it has been difficult finding furniture to fit. I cut the small round feet off the bed to make it fit better!

The wardrobe, dressing table, chest of drawers and bedside table all had plain gold coloured handles on them but I didn't like them so I replaced them with these sparkly pseudo diamantes. I also replaced the feet of this chest of drawers with the round ones I cut off the bed so they matched the wardrobe.
Lighting was a real headache. Each ceiling light I tried was too big, one actually touched the end of the bed! so I tried smaller ones, they were so small they just looked ridiculous. 

So after seeing something on youtube I decided to make one.
I started with a cap from a drink bottle, burned a hole in the top

gently fitted it around the light bulb

and glued a strip of diamantes around it. 

I then decided to make a slightly different one using a bottle top
with a wider flat neck and put diamantes on the top of it.

 I preferred the second shorter one with the diamantes on the top.

This lovely little light fitted perfectly in the corner on top of the bedside cabinet 

These little lights are fairy lights for a Christmas tree. 
The container they are in is what some Schwartz saffron threads were in

I made a plain sheet for the mattress, a pillow case with a lace trim,
a top cover and put some lace on the top sheet.

I then made a small bolster for under the pillow.

I wanted a rug in shades of pink and it just so happened that I had some ribbons in my sewing box that had been there for years, (it pays to not throw stuff away).  I weaved them on a canvas base. It was a fiddly job and looks a mess here but it turned out well.

I made this little rug by sewing strands of wool into the canvas but looping the wool
instead of pulling it right through, then cutting through the loops. 

I then sewed around the edges.

I think the en-suite needs another down light at the front, and I will add accessories around the bedroom, a dressing gown, a prom ball gown, make-up, perfume and some shopping bags, but for now it's finished, I need to crack on with Mr Teens room.  

6 February 2017

Dollshouse Festival

I had a dollshouse when I was a little girl, then nothing for years until ahem - middle age! ok, maybe a bit of artistic license is at work there, anyway moving on. I can't think why I didn't get into miniatures much sooner, probably because I was busy raising a family and working and just didn't give it a thought, and then 8 years ago I bought my first one, and a few years later I bought a second one. At this point you might be thinking "where is all this leading to?"

Well yesterday I went to my very first Dollshouse Festival, the City of London Festival and realised that there is so much I want to do, but will I have time to achieve it all? Every stall I approached I thought oooh I want to make one of those, there were Tudor rooms, Victorian rooms, beachside themes, caravans, lighthouses, conservatories, orangeries, toy shops, fruit and veg shops and many more. Added to that there was furniture, beautiful artisan furniture, exquisite silverware, jewellery, toys, hats, clothes, lighting, crystal chandeliers, so much I can't list it all. I had a great time and could have spent a fortune, instead I was very good and remained focused on what I actually wanted and needed - some DIY hardware products which unfortunately weren't available, a jukebox and dartboard for Mr Teen's room, which also weren't available! 

I did however find this beautiful chandelier for the main bedroom,
it has real crystal beads in it and looks gorgeous lit up.

and an impulse buy, this cute little puppy named Freddie.

He is currently residing in the finally finished Miss Teens room (will tell you all about that soon). Dogs aren't usually allowed upstairs but we will see how it goes, I suspect he will be allowed anywhere he wants to go because he is so cute :-)

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