A Victorian Seance Parlour

I'm declaring it done!

  Rima has asked for a seance parlour, all dark, spooky and atmospheric. So here goes.


  Firstly I made the fireplace and constructed a chimneybreast...
  The grate was not fixed in place yet as I still needed to attach the chimneybreast to the wall and drill a hole through for the firelight bulb.
  Here is the chimneybreast fixed in place after I drilled the hole through.

The floor has boards scored in at 1/2inch intervals and is stained and waxed.
  The walls are painted that peculiar colour so any gaps in the paper won't be so glaringly obvious.
  And now the wallpapering fairies have been along and done their magic. I wish they had - I dislike that part more than anything. Actually, wallpapering is probaby the only bit of this hobby I don't like. Maybe because my results aren't as good as I'd like. The wallpaper is printed out on cardstock as I have even worse problems with ordinary paper.
  This is the non-opening door fixed in place . It was made from 1/16 basswood sheet with 1/16 stripwood added to make the panels.
  Architrave glued around, a brass knob and a snippet of a border peel-off added give the final touches. As the door is on the left wall and will be partially covered by a draped back doorcurtain I haven't bothered with false hinges.
  Now skirting board has been added. All paintwork is magnolia.
  The ceiling is mounting board that I happened to spot in a not-too-bright shade of magenta. I don't know if Victorians went in for coloured ceilings or not, but the overall effect I want for this room is fairly dark and spooky so it suits me fine! I drilled a hole through the wooden ceiling panel first and the glued the magenta board in place and drilled through that. The ceiling rose is made from the centres of two paper doilies, one glued inside the other and painted. With a central hole threaded onto a skewer poked down through the ceiling hole it was easy to get my glue-laden rose in the right place.
  Now the coving has been stuck in place. I only fixed it to the ceiling and not the walls because the ceiling is removable. This should, in theory..., make the top slot into place like a lid. Instead of drilling my hole through in the exact centre of the ceiling I now see that I should have put it further forward to halve the room taking into account the chimneybreast. Oh well, too late now and I can't bring myself to waste such a big piece of mountcard by replacing it. Odd how the perspective in this photo makes the room look deeper than it is wide, which is not the case at all.
  Let there be light!!

Well, it was a struggle, but what better way to spend a freezing Sunday?
  This was a kit from TeePee made up of various findings and a couple of crystals.
  I added an extra finding at the top so it sat better against the ceiling rose and I had to use one of my own crystals as my wires wouldn't go through the one supplied. Tha's because I didn't wire it as per the instructions - mainly because I couldn't quite follow what to do. So I wired it with 3 separate bulbs and took all the wires right up through and put 3 individual plugs on. I'm pretty certain I was meant to do something else......
  The fire is laid and lit. A hole was drilled through the fireback and a bulb poked through then orange and yellow cellophane crunched up and topped off with a piece of cellophane with crushed coal glued to it. Quite effective I think. Even better in real life but I can't seem to manage to acheive a balance between dark enough to show the glow and light enough to show the fireplace too. Back to Photography 101.
  I made a simple firegrate of craft matchsticks and an ashpan of card with a gold peel-off painted over with black like the other decorations, a hearth made from card generously coated (several times) with different shades of red glass paint. I then impressed tile markings in the the thick coating. I made a kerb from architrave moulding and Bob's your uncle! Pretty cosy I think.
  Not only is the photo a smidgin out of focus, but the curtains are velvet and naturally fuzzy. My new pleater certainly made things easier but I had trouble keeping the material straight at the top (and bottom). I tended to slope down to the right. Will get better with practice I hope.
  My clumsily draped door curtain in the same velvet as the drapes. Maybe a bit too thick to do properly with this material, but it looks so rich and sumptious I can't resist using it.
  The table is covered with the same velvet as the curtains - really not as sparkly-nylony as the flash photo suggests. The crystal ball and a stand was very kindly sent to me by Chris H. of Minis4all list as I couldn't find a suitable marble. It will finally go on a side table. The set of 4 chairs have taken a few days to produce from a pattern in Michal Morse's book "Furnish a Dolls House". I have made a good few pieces of furniture from this book in the past and they are very good patterns and directions.
  I covered the chairs with some of my precious Jo-Anns fat quarter material which I have been hoarding for years. When will I get back to the States to replace it? We have a lot more quilting supply shops here in the UK nowadays selling fat quarters at astronomical prices compared with Jo-Anns. I am fairly happy with the way the chairs have turned out - you can't see all the flaws in a photo thank goodness!
  New additions over the weekend are 2 tiffany lamps, a pair of candlesticks and a gilt mirror.
  The lamps are perched on chairs because the wires aren't long enough for them to go on the floor. Made from gilt findings recoloured with disc pens. The glittery bases were first coloured in black and then red.
  The shades are coloured black and then glazed with glass paint. Very effective and incredibly easy to make.
  I just made a simple mitred frame with architrave moulding and added gold peel-off corners to fancy it up. The frame is glued on to mirror card and Bob's yer uncle! I didn't get a clear pic of the candlesticks - just a couple of findings glued together with a section of cotton bud stalk and black thread wick. Easy peasy.
  Now at least one lamp has a proper setting. I adapted a design for a simple two drawer writing desk with straight legs into this rather more fitting and fancier sideboard for one of the alcoves. All the drawers open of course.
  My first attempt at using Lumina air dry polymer clay. Good job it was something that looks OK translucent! This stuff dries out and goes plastic-ky very quickly. I learnt not to cut out 17 arum flowers and expect to be able to do much with the last few! I shall persevere and have another bash making something else as I do like not having to bake them. That's where I usually have my calamities. The Lumina clay stays flexible and can be coloured with acrylics, oils or Hearty clay, or can be painted when it is dry. The vase is a top off a nasal spray coated with black onyx Paint Jewels. Suitably spooky, I think.
  And the time is 12 midnight, precisely. What a fiddle this thing was but quite well worth the effort I should say.
  And here are the innards....... I wish I could have found a small watch face to make it a working clock, but I couldn't so it just looks like it might be about to strike the witching hour. This is the first time I have attempted pin hinges using short lengths of brass rod as the pins. Very fiddly and probably would have been easier with a finer gauge rod - mine was the same as I used for the pendulum - but they should be very sturdy!
  A marble-topped pier table made from instructions (very vague) in Mott's Miniature Furniture Manual. What a fiddle to get the legs and centre struts to stick at the right angle....... all of them, all at the same time! It doesn't really lean at quite this angle either - don't know why it looks like this! I have owned this book for about 6 years without daring to make any of the furniture in it, as there are no photos, only line drawings, all the parts are hand carved/turned etc. and the directions are a bit sketchy to say the least! But I might be encouraged to try something else now. Actually, it turned out better than I hoped at one point. In fact, despair set in a few times. The marble top was made by coating the wood with gesso tinted very pale grey, over painted with transparent white glass paint and the veins added with a toothpick in black onyx Paint Jewels. I made this to sit in the back right alcove with the lamp on it as in the picture, but I think it will go somewhere else with perhaps a plant on it. The alcove is wasted with such a small piece of furniture in it, and it gives me the excuse to make something else!