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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hello to all my readers,

I have a counter on my blog that tells me which cities in the US or countries around the world are viewing my blog. I can't believe how many places around the world you all are from! Right now, it numbers 54 countries and I lost track of how many cities and states.

As a part of the blogging, I would love to correspond with any of my readers who care to "chat." While it is lovely if you leave comments, I still don't really know who you are and I don't get an email address for you. So, if you would like to start a conversation or a have a "pen pal," I would love to write back to you. Please write to me at if you care to. Be sure to put something regarding "doll house blog" in the subject line because I don't open unrecognizable posts. Thanks! Cookie

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The House of the Three Widows

At the Philadelphia Miniaturia fair in 1994, I discovered a Cornish range by Neil Butcher and bought it from Wayne and Sally Lasch, wondering what I was ever going to do with it. I am very disciplined when purchasing miniatures, only buying for the project at hand. Buying this was a change for me, but I hoped someday to do a house where I could use this piece. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I should contact Vic Newey again (see the Dickensian Street Scene below). He was making a lovely Merchants House, but that was not the style I wanted. I had always dreamed of a Cotswold stone house after several trips through that part of England. I loved the names of the towns, Chipping Camden, Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter, Stow-on-the-Wold, etc. and the sunlit, honey colored stone buildings found there.

Vic and his wife, Jennifer, were willing to drive around Oxfordshire and take photos (this was before gasoline was 6 pounds a gallon). They found a real beauty in the town of Broadway, famous for its Lygon Arms Inn, and that became the basis for the house. My early influence was the book, The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher. Mrs. Pilcher describes the home of her heroine, Penelope, and there was a warmth and comfort I felt from her description. I could imagine myself living there. I also researched Beatrix Potter's life but didn't want to recreate her Hilltop Farm, but again, an influence. I searched through all the books I found on the country life in rural England, specifically in the Cotswolds.

In an effort to explain why this dolls house is named as it is, I will tell you some of the background of meeting the "3 widows."

I was asked to host a portion of a Nutshell News tour through the East Coast and while there were 55 people roaming all over my house, I expressed my fear of driving in England to a group. An older woman said, "If you plan the itinerary, I will drive you anywhere you want." I asked if she was serious, and she was. So began a friendship with Sally Howard Smith of Salisbury, England. True to her word, that spring, we roamed all over the countryside and saw Montacute, the most beautiful and perfect Elizabethan house I had ever visited. A collection of English Band Samplers was housed there, which fascinated me. They differ from the American style sampler which is usually square with a house, figures and alphabet. The band sampler is a long piece of evenweave linen where the stitcher made motifs of repetitive designs, mostly used to embellish clothing. I have since stitched two of them, but the originals are a wonder. It is really a reference piece and many times, kept unframed just lying in a stitchers work basket.

Sally Howard Smith is a needleworker and was one of the founding members, (along with Daphne Turner), who helped to start the MNS, Miniature Needlework Society. This is an international group of needleworkers who are avid supporters of fine miniature stitching. They usually have a table at the English fairs and sometimes in the United States. I believe they have a branch in Australia as well. Sally had been the mayor of the town, Bishops Stortford, at one time. Again, my interest in British place names, so interesting! I once purchased a book on the British place names, but I guess it's out of "place," I can't find it.

I loved staying at Sally's home with its beautiful garden and conservatory. I felt such a warmth and security staying there. Her collection of miniatures was housed in a room that was fairly inaccessible and we had to climb through a sort of porthole to get to it! She had a garden shed with all the implements needed for her to raise hollyhocks and a whole host of English wild flowers.

On another trip to Salsibury, Sally invited me to join her at a Stumpwork workshop that the British Embroiderer's Guild was sponsoring. I was sure it would be based on 16th c. stumpwork and was surprised that it was very modern day styling. While staying at a nearby Bed & Breakfast, I walked into town and as I approached the Cathedral, found three shops, practically in a row, that were my favorite subjects...first a needlework shop, then an art shop where I was able to buy real ivory (cannot purchase in the United States) and real vellum to paint on, and then the old bookshop, that I talk about in the Dickensian Street Scene below.

At English miniature fairs, I met a dealer, Jill Swift and her husband Michael. I enjoyed their stand at the fairs and somehow got into a conversation years later about a tour of their portion of England, East Anglia. They lived in the Norfolk area at the time and were happy to arrange a personal tour for me through the area. Jill had been a tour guide earlier on before miniatures came into their lives and she is also a needleworker. They took me to private homes of the Tudor period as well as the public ones, such as Blickling Hall. We drove past a beautiful Tudor house and stopped, taking the chance we could tour the garden. The caretaker welcomed us in and showed us around the ground floor! Shades of the olden days, butlers always did this for money. We didn't tip him but it was an enjoyable time for us.
Jill made an appointment to see a Tudor manor house and view Ann Sharp's Baby House, the oldest known dolls house in England, c. 1700's. It was given to little Ann Sharp by Queen Anne as a gift. The door of the manor house stood wide open when we arrived, so after knocking for quite some time we finally walked through the entry into the Great Hall! Ann Sharp's baby house was right there, covered by a green felt cloth to prevent sun damage. Finally the lady of the house came in from the garden and opened up the dolls house, which is more of a cabinet than a dolls house. She was very casual with it and started handing me items from the house. The top floor of the cabinet contains precious small antiques, including an embroidered Elizabethan glove and shoe, unbelievable to get to hold items of such age!
The guest room at the Swift's was upstairs overlooking a garden that held a pair of peacocks. I had never been near any before, and will never forget the sounds they make at 4 a.m.! They had no sense of people who like to sleep in till 9 a.m. One evening, Jill, Michael and I took a walk toward the North Sea, nearby their home, to hear the call of the nightingale that rarely comes to the area. Very strange to me to be walking in the pitch black at 10 p.m. to hear a bird. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York next to the ocean, and believe me, we never did anything like that at home.
At one time, the N.A.M.E. (National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts) held their annual fair in Philadelphia and I met an English lady, Silvia Rowbottom. At the time, Silvia was editor of The Home Miniaturist, and we hit it off right away. We have maintained our friendship over 15 years, I think. As a matter of fact, I am going to England and will stay at her home again. Silvia, whose last name is now Ambrose, was a collector of miniatures herself and has a reproduction of a house at Lacock Abbey by Peter Mattinson. It is really wonderful, Peter is a superb miniaturist. My last trip to see Silvia, she took me to Waddesdon Manor, a Rothschild property, where we had a delightful outdoor tea. Silvia is a gardener and her home again has a warm and relaxed atmosphere, and while not at all an old house, I feel it was the comfort I felt there that influenced me.
Sally, Jill and Silvia are all widows now and the feelings I took away with me from their homes is how I came upon the title for the Cotswold dolls house. When the name for the dolls house popped into my head, it just stayed and felt right.
While not a part of the title of the dolls house, other people whose homes influenced me are Nick and Esther Forder and Trees and Joop Beertema of The Netherlands. Nick has a wonderful collection of antique dolls houses which I enjoyed viewing on my trips to their home. While we were eating dinner at the kitchen table looking out to their garden, a red fox came and stole food from the cats dish. Again, not something I was familiar with in Brooklyn. They took me to visit Hampton Court where we ran into many costumed guides who only spoke in the style of the period clothing they wore. We were on a tour led by a woman who must have been Anne Boleyn in her former life. Her hands were so expressive and she was truly beautiful.
I talk about Trees Beertema in the description of the 17th c. Dutch canal house below and she led me on a tour of Holland and introduced me to its many historic wonders.
Description of the House, the rooms and the makers:
The house was built in 1697 during the reign of William III, but now it is 1935 and the lady who lives there, Mrs. Victoria Winterbotham, is a widow, having lost her husband, Nigel, from wounds suffered in India. This is my only dolls house representing the 20th century, so she can have some more modern things, such as a telephone and the new-fangled electric lights! She is very proud of having electricity, even though it only works intermittently.

The heart of the home, The Kitchen and the adjacent Potting Shed with storage room behind:
The Cornish range is built in on the left side and in the far right corner is a corner cabinet that I painted in a class with Ruth Pollack of Spain. There are a number of pieces of Stokesayware throughout the kitchen and the natural color wood pieces of furniture are by Jane Newman, including the built-in sink with drainboards on either side. She also supplied a number of pieces on the work table made in that green, peculiar only to the 1930's. Mary Carson of Hammer-n-Smith made a number of green handled accessories. Tom Pouce made the Alsatian stoneware with blue designs as well as some green pottery. Steve Hilbert made a pair of cream and terra cotta bowls at the bottom of the kitchen dresser, which was made by Hank and Elinor Taylor of The Carpenter's Chest. Janet Brownhill of Country Treasures supplied the jelly molds, mason jars, copper pots and pans. Jim Watts made a knife sharpener that really works! Leslie Burgess of Miniature Dreams furnished the table with the breakfast items and Frances Steak supplied some of the copperware. Andrew Gregory made brass accessories.

Mr. Cecil Hornsby is the gardener who comes faithfully on Wednesdays. Mrs. Winterbotham is getting elderly now and really couldn't properly tend her garden without his help. These figures are from Pat Boldt kits and I dressed them both.

The Lower Hall:
Adjacent to the kitchen is the spacious front to back hallway. Nick Forder antiqued the cream colored iron hall stand containing an umbrella and a cane. Above is a cherry hall mirror and hat rack by Edwardian Elegance. A Le Blond antique print hangs above the doorway leading to the kitchen.

The Dining Room and ensuite Sitting Room:
The Queen Anne Dining Room table is by Edward Norton and the walnut Windsor chairs are marked "WSC." I didn't know the name of this maker, and Doris Alderman kindly informed me that Bill Clinger is the maker. Mrs. Winterbotham has a collection of cranberry glass, most of which is made by Glasscraft. On the right side is an Arts and Crafts cherry wood cabinet with three shelves made by Jeff Wilkerson. The blue and white china is by Stokesayware and the rose patterned dinnerware service by Avon Miniatures. The working black tavern clock on the left is by Small Time. Mrs. Winterbotham proudly collects pieces of Queen Victoria memorabilia, her namesake, and Stokesayware made the Victorian commemmorative vases and bowl on the mantel.

The ensuite Sitting Room:
I made the velvet upholstered armchair in an IGMA class with Nancy Summers and later made the matching sofa. The anti-macassars are antique pieces of needlework I found years ago and never before found a use. Now, they are perfect to avoid hair oil on the precious furniture. The Canterbury magazine rack to the side of the armchair is by Marcia Gardner of Yesterday's Charm. The gold covered corner chair is by Denis E.W. Hillman, which I petitpointed with gold silk thread on 48 silk mesh. More antique Le Blond prints are on the walls and the round candle stand is by Edward Norton. Maps and paper ephemera are by Box Clever Miniatures and the barrel chair with lions heads is made by Cristina Noriega of Spain. On the desk in the rear stands a vase with 5 pink roses. This was a gift from IGMA and made by Sandra Henry Wall for hosting a tour of my collection in the spring of 1999.

Up the stairs are the following rooms:

Mrs. Winterbotham's Bedroom and bath:
As I don't have room in my house for all my dolls houses, some of the furniture has been moved from the Vassall Craigie house, which is not on display. This includes the bed by Mr. Murter and the tambour frame by Harry Cooke. The fireplace is by Sue Cook, the bathroom fixtures are by Ann Shepley. The quilt on the bed is by Elizabeth Andrews. The Glass People, Lynn McEntire, and Box Clever were the makers of many accessories. Wright Guide to Miniatures made items in the closets and on the sink. The leather purse and shoes were made by Susan Lee.

The Upper Hall:
The armoire on the upper left by M & R Miniatures was meant to be in Mrs. Winterbothams bedroom, but when I came home, I found there was no room for it, it was too tall. M & R also made the chess table that stands below a window. The two bargello chairs that I stitched, could be pulled up to the chess table when family members wanted to play. Hand tinted antique engravings hang above the chairs, c. 1830.

The Nursery:
Granddaughters Amy and Lucy are visiting Grammie Vicky. Baby Lucy is by Amanda Skinner and Amy is by Pat Melvin. The green painted bedroom set is by Ruth Pollack of Spain, and the larger brass bed is by Jason Getzan. The blanket chest is by Trevor Jiggins of Dovetail Miniatures. Truly Scrumptious made the lamps with decorated lampshades and books, Reverie Miniatures made the bed pillows. Some of the toys are by Chris Sturgess Lief, Archa of Rosie Duck made many of the childrens games as well as other toys by Debbie Coyle and Joan Howard. Eric Horne made the penny wooden doll Lucy is sleeping with.

The Attic:
The Attic contains three rooms and Mrs. Winterbotham's neice from Australia, Henrietta Snowden, lives there. Henrietta has her own bed-sitter with kitchen, and at the end of the hall, is the combination artist studio and sewing room. She earns her keep by laundering, ironing and mending for the household. Mrs. Winterbotham was quite well-known for her oil paintings in her younger days, but now with arthritic knees, she cannot climb the stairs to use the art studio. Henrietta has inherited her aunts' talent and makes use of the studio. She aspires to sell her paintings at the galleries in London.
Henrietta brought the lace dresses and warm woolen blankets with her from Tasmania and they were made by Helen Davies of Cupboard Miniatures. The pine wash stand is by A.L. Miniatures, Betty Blankenfeld supplied the marble sink, Jane Newman made the natural finished bedroom peices, and Nick Forder antiqued the iron bedstead. In her spare time, Henrietta knits and embroiders. I stitched the crewel wing chair (shown elsewhere in the blog) and did the tiny cross stitch piece standing nearby.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rye Street, a Dickensian street scene, c. 1837

"Rye Street" had its beginnings with an ad for an antique painting in The Magazine Antiques. The painting was similar in style to William Powell Frith, a mid-Victorian English artist who I have long admired. I don’t know the name of the artist or of the painting itself, but I was in love with the picture and wanted to own it very badly.

(This view is in the corner of my bedroom and I stitched the two pictures above. On the left is an Elizabethan stumpwork design and on the right is a blackwork embroidery stitched in burgundy thread. I was honored to have this piece appear in the book, "Blackwork" by Mary Gostelow.)

I wrote to the advertiser, N.R. Omell Gallery on Duke Street in the heart of the West End in London, asking for a photo and they sent a transparency measuring 5” x 7.” When held against a light, it glowed with life and showed a group of people in the street crowding around the window of a store, staring in at a painting on display. We, the viewer, never see the object of their admiration, but their looks of awe and wonderment transported me into my very vivid imagination. Along with the transparency came the quote for the painting and I did not pursue it any further, being quite out of my range.

I always kept the transparency safe and finally had copies printed. I wanted a miniature shop made with the view of the inside of a store looking out through the front window. The figures in the street would be looking in. I didn’t try to commission anything similar; it was just a dream until one day in June 1997, I received a copy of an English miniature magazine that showed a street scene of a courtyard with two shops and the façade of a third. It was made by Vic Newey in Warwickshire, England. Within moments, I was on the telephone calling Vic and his child answered the telephone. The family was amazed that a woman from New York was calling about a dolls house! He was at the beginning of his miniature building career and had no idea of the lengths miniaturists go in order to find the perfect piece. Now, years later, he accepts all the strange whims miniaturists have with world-wide commissions.

After assuring Vic that the call probably would not cost more than $5.00, we discussed the street scene. He was a former film and TV set designer and wanted to change careers because of back problems. He felt his full size methods were applicable to miniatures and was able to produce the most wonderful antiquing effects. Over the phone, we settled on details of the street, customizing it to my requirements and I traveled to the Miniatura fair in Birmingham, England in September 1997 to meet. I purchased most of the lighting fixtures necessary from Wood 'n Wool Miniatures, except for the double armed street lamp, which is by Scott's Lighting. I sent it over to Vic to be installed.

Views of Mr. Asquith's Antiquarian Bookshop and courtyard
While Vic and his wife, Jennifer, were working on the street, I was trying to decide the kind of shops I wanted. Using my own interests as a start, I determined that the left side of the street would be dedicated to Mr. Asquith's Antiquarian Books on the ground lfoor and Miss Merrivale's Academy for Young Ladies upstairs.

The two women and little boy are my version of the people "crowding around the window looking inside," in this case, at an open volume of Shakespeare, showing an etching of his face.

Miss Merrivale's Academy for Young Ladies
Most of the figures in the school and in the street are by JDesigns. The young lady is painting oils with a boxed set by Rosie Duck, and her sister is stitching needlework near the window. Their instructress is standing at the table, working on a tapestry frame.

Interior of Mr. Asquith's Antiquarian Books
The bookshop is modeled after one I visited in Salisbury, England, not far from the Cathedral. I’ve heard the shop is gone now, so this is my homage. Mr. Asquith, by Sunday Dolls, has added prints, maps and a few antiques to his shop. The huge bookcase on the left side is by Carl Isabelle and has a working clock inset on the top. The Tudor style refectory table is by Norman Jones. A number of the printed books are by Barbara Raheb, including “The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club” and “Great Expectations” both by Charles Dickens. Jason Getzan made the wood and brass cane that Mr. Asquith is holding. It was a challenge acquiring the many books to fill the shelves.

Three of the books on the table in front of Mr. Asquith are by Barbara Brear, a maker of miniature books, who lives near Capetown, South Africa. At the time, I didn't know Barbara, but she knew that articles on my collection appear from time to time in British and American magazines. She sent an email wanting to gift me with three of her books in the hopes that they would get into a publication. Shortly after they arrived, they did appear in Miniature Collector and Mr. Asquith is reading her open book in the photos, the other two are also on the table.

Several years later, Barbara was chosen to be a recipient of an IGMA scholarship to the Guild School at Castine, Maine. Barbara again contacted me to see if I would be at Castine, but as I wasn't going, I invited her to visit me at my home. We had a lovely visit together and she taught me the art of bookbinding and decorating china.

Redman & Son, Ironmonger's
On the right side of the street, is Redman & Son, Ironmonger’s, (a hardware store to Americans). Mr. Redman, wearing his traditional leather apron, is happily checking the day’s receipts while Mrs. Redman is dusting the merchandise. Sir Tom Thumb made many of the tools, pewter is by Jim Ison, Harmony Forge, Olde Mountain Miniatures, pottery by Jane Graber and Debbie Coyle and Joan Howard made wooden items.

Miss Upshot's room
Renting a room above the Redman's shop, Miss Evelyn Upshot, a single lady, is preparing her evening meal. Her incorrigible parrot, Timmy, regularly embarasses her with his colorful phrases and curses. He was taught to speak by a Cockney seaman and she tries to keep his dicey language under control, may I say, unsuccessfully. She is at her wit’s end!

Courtyard and the Clockmaker's
The shop façade in the middle of the scene is Samuel and Co., the Clockmaker’s Shop. Mrs. Samuel, the proprietor’s wife, looking out the upper window, is trying to chase away the rag picker who is slightly daft and cackles loudly the day long. The skivvy is giving the stoop its' daily scrubbing. Mrs. Samuel is also observing the two young urchins near the vegetable cart, the younger one is about to pinch a peach, while her sister lectures her about the sins of stealing.
When the crate containing the street arrived at my house in the spring of 1998, I was devastated to find one of the frosted glass globes was broken. The fragments were lying on the floor and I feel the crate was opened by customs agents who broke the globe. Instead of trying to break the lamp out of the stone ground to have it repaired, I added a street urchin holding a rock with the broken glass all around him. My overly zealous cleaning lady eventually dusted the broken shards of glass away!

At the side of the Ironmongers, a cat looks on trying to figure the best way to catch the rats hovering around the piles of grain and feed.

Once I had received the scene, the Rye Historical Society in Westchester County, New York contacted me and I was asked to put it on their Christmas display. I never put a dolls house together so quickly! I had to get it ready in a few short weeks, have it brought over and set up in no time at all. Never again!

While on display, a woman came by and said it looks just like a street in the town of Rye, England, and I kept the name from her observation.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Vassall Craigie House

The original of this dolls house, c. 1759, is located at 105 Brattle Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The names shown above were previous owners of the full size house and it is currenly known as the Longfellow House, after the famous poet who lived there. I chose to freeze it to the time that George and Martha Washington were residents of the Vassall-Craigie House. They celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary there and stayed nearly one year during the American Revolution (1775).

I worked very closely with the maker of the dolls house, Robert Louis Bartlett of Saratoga Springs, New York. Unfortunately, this was the last miniature house that he built as he changed careers shortly after completing it. I first saw his work in Ridgewood, New Jersey at a men's clothing store called McHugh's. It was a model of Abraham Lincoln's house in Springfield, Illinois and I thought his work was brilliant.

I lived quite a distance away from Robert and this was in the days before emailing existed, so we wrote frequently and designed the house with input from both of us. I sent him fabrics and matching paint for the rooms and bought him a copy of the various research books I was using. This way, he was able to see the particular fireplace I wanted in each room, or I sent him a post card purchased at the many restorations I visited. I researched all the 18th century houses that I knew of and was leaning toward a real beauty in Litchfield, Connecticut, but fell in love with this one. I found the Litchfield house had been reproduced a number of times in miniature and that was not what I wanted. I drove up to Cambridge, Massachusetts to see the Longfellow House in person.

I loved the exterior, little changed during the Victorian period except for two porches that had been added on the sides of the house, which I left off. The interior floorplan was not suitable for a dolls house, so I created my own layout. I wanted it as authentic as possible and found a chip of exterior paint on the porch. It was a wonderful shade of gold and I was able to have it matched exactly.

The Drawing Room:
The Drawing Room, located at the lower left front, is decorated with matching yellow silk upholstered Duncan Phyfe sofa and recamier by Denis E. W. Hillman of the U.K. In 1975, I found these when I visited his home in Surrey, England. This was in Denis' early days of making miniatures when he made a Tudor refectory table and matching chairs (pieces I later acquired for my Elizabethan Manor House). More recently, Denis Hillman became known for his Louis XIV furnishings with bronze ormulu trim made for Ede & Ravenscroft, the cloak makers to the Queen. These pieces are in the permanent collection of the Naples Museum of Art, in Naples, Florida.
Oil portraits of Martha and George Washington are by George Schlosser and sterling silver pieces by Cini and a Myer Myers Coffee Set by Obadiah Fisher. The silver kettle by Eugene Kupjack rests on a stand by Terry Rogal. The brass fire fender is by William H. Bowen and the brass andirons by Don Buttfield. Harry Cooke made the piecrust table. Gold edged china is by Deborah McKnight and Priscilla Lance. As I got my start with miniatures through needlework, I flame-stitched (also known as Bargello) a pair of side chairs for the room. The chairs frames were made by Betty Valentine of Viriginia. I stitched the carpets throughout the house using DMC floss, this one is a Savonnerie pattern on 22 mesh. These carpets were the basis for my miniature rug business I launched at that time. I sold them as kits at the White Plains Miniature Show and the International Guild of Miniature Artisans show (I.G.M.A.) in the 1980's.

The Music Room:
On the lower right front of the house is the Music Room with a harpsichord by Roger Gutheil and a Betty Valentine sofa upholstered in silk. Joe Murter made the two Hepplewhite chairs set around a pie crust table The figure of Sally Fairfax was made by Silvia Mobley and I costumed her. As it turns out, Sally Fairfax is a relation to the residents of Mansion House!

Martha Washington's Bedroom:
The walls of Mrs. Washington's room are covered with a blue and white floral fabric. Betty Valentine chose the same fabric for a wing chair and I knew it had to go home with me when I saw it at the Molly Brody show in 1979. I dressed the Roger Gutheil tester bed to blend with the room. I dressed the Sylvia Mobley figure of Martha Washington and she stands beside a tambour frame that she has been embroidering. The tambour frame was custom made for me by Harry Cooke after I wrote to Woodlawn Plantation, the home of Nelly Custis and requested a photo and particulars about the piece. I had to sign a letter stating I was not planning to reproduce it for sale and it was being made for my own use. The chest on chest, made of a lovely old cherry wood, was made by Richard Rooney in England with exquisite detail and craftsmanship.

George Washington's Bedroom:
General Washington's bed in his deep red room was also dressed by me, as was the bargello day bed, crewel wing chair and the carpet, which only took three weeks to stitch. Notice the grimace on the General's face...his wooden teeth are on the dresser to his right!

Upper and Lower Hallways:
Photos of the front to back hallway on both floors of the house.

This is a two sided house and the following pictures are on the back side of the house:

The Dining Salon:
The built-in corner shell top cupboards are by Roger Gutheil with Debbie McKnight pottery on the shelves. The large dining table is by Joe Andrews. These tables were made by hand as gifts for all attendees to the VME (Virginia Miniature Enthusiasts) show in the 1970's. Joe was partially losing his eyesight and thereafter had his furniture made in Asia. Joe also made the 8 dining chairs. The rug here is an Aubusson pattern that I created and stitched on 22 mesh to the inch. The figures are by Sue Atkinson of Sunday Dolls and were just visiting this house, awaiting delivery of the dolls houses they currently reside in. Look for the gentleman and lady and in the Mansion House Drawing Room and the children are located elsewhere in that house.

The Kitchen:
Warren Dick made the spice chest on the left side of the picture. It contains 9 tiny drawers to hold the precious spices brought back to America from Asia, at great expense. The mistress of the house would hold on to the key to the chest, not trusting the servants to have access.

Nelly Custis's Room (Mrs. Washington's daughter):
I stitched the tiny cross stitch sampler on the left, crewel embroidered the coverlet, and folk art painted the chest at the foot of the bed.

Patsy and Jackie's room (the Washington's relatives):
The figures are by Amanda Skinner, including the sleeping baby on the chair. The 1/144th scale house is by the Gudgels, a part of a series of charming little houses and are now quite collectible. I made the chest at the foot of the bed. That sneaky old Tooth Fairy dropped off my children's teeth in this chest as she flew through our house!