Following on from my last post about bringing the Featherstone Hall Hotel out of retirement and back to showing…
…I’m just back from a fabulous Miniatura show at Stoneleigh Park, I’ve unpacked and put away all my show kit (till York in November) had a ‘flaked out’ day (or two!) and I’m just reflecting on how lovely it was to have Featherstone Hall on display at the show.
There is so much to tell about getting it back into showing condition, that I have added a whole new page to the BIG PROJECTS section covering it all, as well as answering some of the many ‘how did you do the….’ questions I got asked at the show (see the LITTLE PROBLEMS page in the advice section) plus pictures of all the broken bits I had to fix!
Just a few of the ‘minor details’ that had to be rectified before the show!
It went down a storm with visitors – some had bought the book when the house and book were first at Miniatura 10 years ago, then there were those who had bought the book after the house had retired from showing and had never seen it, and then there were people who had never heard of it before – but I’m pleased to say all were equally transfixed by it and kept coming back to it throughout the day. In fact at one point I was tempted to put a line of chairs in front of it for people to sit and look at it!
It was a bit strange for me as the house is now a snapshot of what I was doing 10 years ago – especially as it sat next to my retail stand with all my current stock on it! Much as I love the house time has moved on and I wouldn’t do it in the same way now – for one thing I now make my own dolls, chandeliers, accessories and even pieces of furniture. But then, the house was also the origin of pieces of stock I am still making versions of today – George in the Library, the snooker room set, library bar, bookcases, duchess bedroom, kitchen tables, dressers, vehicles, luggage, trolleys, tea for two sets, stoves – they all have their origins in the house, so I have a lot to thank it for!
It was lovely to chat with everyone about it, and there were definitely some recurring questions:
How long did it take (6 months) how much did it cost (mind your own business!) is it finished (Yes – unlike a ‘hobby’ house this was done as a magazine series, so had to be finished for a set date – that’s why its a snapshot in time – it stopped being added to when the book was published).
Most questions about the structure of the house boiled down to curtains and doors: I have no idea why the curtains were so fascinating – but if I had a penny for every time someone took a photo of the curtains on the inside of the doors…. and also of the doors themselves – so many people had not considered decorating their own until they had seen the Featherstone ones.
Going back to the curtains though, I think it may have been because they were all different styles – I hate making curtains and I’m not keen on sewing so all my curtains in the house are glued in different styles as I was trying to find an easy option!
…And as for the doors the curtains were on – decorating the inside of the doors was a no brainer, once I had got the main house done for the Dolls House & Miniature Scene magazine 200th issue, I took a look at the undecorated doors, which were a great expanse of white and had to do something about them. (Doing them also made a new section for the book which had not be previously published in the magazine).
Not only were the door insides decorated but I also added
small half round shelves which enabled me to do mini dressed scenes to add to
the story going on in each room of the house. (The key to this is making sure
the shelf is just above the house floor height so the door will still shut!)
For instance, in the Lemon Bedroom Amy is sitting thoughtfully at the window seat with Maisie her dog while her maid Margaret pops her head outside to tell Gervais (Amy’s gentleman caller) that she is dressing and could be some time. He waits patiently with chocolates and a present. By adding the shelf on the door interior I then could add Amy’s father standing holding a newspaper and about to lecture Amy about the perils of how attractive her inheritance is to penniless fortune hunters! (don’t worry it all works out in the end!)
Speaking of the end – that’s all for this blog post, but dont forget to check out the NEW page on the BIG PROJECTS section, the pictures on the Featherstone Hall section of the GALLERY, the answers to some of the many ‘how did you do the….’ questions I got asked on the LITTLE PROBLEMS page.