Tuesday, April 3, 2012


To Sarah and Henry,
I graciously accept your very kind dinner invitation. 
 I look forward to our next visit.
Annette from California

Lee setting the table....... using tweezers.

The table is 20cm long and the lovely lace cloth started life some time in the 1930's as a powderpuff handkerchief and belonged to my mother

We made the peas and baby carrots from fimo and in the covered vegetable dishes are beans and roast potatoes, the leg of ham was bought. I'm very proud of the table setting, the tiny salts and peppers are pewter as are the serviette rings.

The table is set ready for dinner do come and join us,

Features of the dining room are..........................
The wall paper which is deep red flocked on gold foil background.
 The clock on the dining room mantlepiece is  my favourite.

The Marble topped dresser

Paul made the table and chairs, the chairs specially are beautifully done and the seat fabric is hand stitched on fine linen.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Cute Irish Mouse with Shamrocks free clipart: Click for a larger version of this cute little mouse dressed in green in a top hat with a shamrock boquet.

May you have:
A world of wishes at your command.
God and his angels close to hand.
Friends and family their love impart,
and Irish blessings in your heart!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Come in to the parlour Sarah and Henry are waiting to meet you.......
This room is Sarah's favoutite room, the wall paper is called Roosevelt Rose an early American wall paper design. a note on the edge of the paper we used stated This wallpaper has been restored by "Birge Wallcoverings"from President Theodore Rossevelt's family home "Sagamore Hill"in Oyster Bay, Long Island.
 Before we move round the room note the lovely lace mat on the centre table, this is bobbin lace and was made specially for the house by an embroiderer friend. The drapes and furnishings are all silk, and the antimacassar on sarah's chair is hardanger embroidery The petipoint embroidery on the cushion on Sarah's  chair came from Venice                       Note the little footstool by her chair this is a replica of the Victorian Footstool that I own and was not made from a litset as much of the furnature in the house has been
Another view of the room.. The tiny rose buds oin the vase on the dresser are real dried ones, however with age they have lost their colour so I have been painting them with water colour paints... I felt like the gardeners in Alice in Wonderland who were busy painting the white roses red cos they had planted the wrong ones!! The plate beside the vase of roses was hand painted by Merle Loumans in 1989 is a replica for Royal Worcester China.

 Sarah  embroidery is on a stand by the door, she has been working on a sampler.....
In actual fact in 1991 the Coromandel Embroiderers'Guild competition for the year was a sampler, this tiny sampler I stitch for the dolls house was my entry.
Will you join Sarah for afternoon tea before we continue exploring the house,. I note the afternoon tea table is set ready

Friday, February 17, 2012

DO COME INSIDE..............the Dolls'house

 Today there were visitors here to see the Doll's House,  and what made it so special they were visiting Stratford from England and have previously visited in January 2010, having seen the dolls house then,  asked if they could come back again.     Rosemary and Derek it was lovely to see you once more and I was honoured that you felt the Dolls House was worthy of a second visit. (hope you get to read this on your return to England.)
'My blog friends I invite you to come for a visit.
Come in, Rosie, the maid is holding the door open for you-
Rosie the household's Irish maid is another Pamela Jackson doll, her room is in the attic we may see that on a later visit, but meanwhile step into the hall way.

Entering the hall, the floor is polished wood parquet and the wall paper, an Art Nouveau design which has the suggestion of a William Morris design.  The stair case carpet is deep blue velvet and shows off well the brass stair rods Paul made. The velvet is left over scraps from the recovering the Elders Chairs from St Andrew's Presbyterian Church Coromandel at the time of the church 125th Anniversary.   I did start to stitch a carpet but was taking too long and holding up the building of the house, as the bottom hall had to be completed before the next level could be added.    On the landing is a brass Grandmothers clock, one of three working clocks in the house that are all keeping good time.         The three lights in the hall are all Tulip Wall sconces  replicas of early gas lamps.
On the hall table is a small Doulton pottery jug filled with what appears to be Honesty sead heads, these are in fact the seed heads of one of the Alyssum plants. The little jug which is 1 inch high was brought back from the Doulton Factory in England at the end of WW1 by my Great Uncle Charles Skinner for his sister,Caroline Haworth (My Grandmother) who collected minature jugs and was the smallest jug in her collection.
Down the back of the hall is a dividing door, this is the same as the door in my Grandmother's house and as a child I loved the way the lights came through the coloured glass. Here in the back is where Nanny keeps the pram,  This came as a metal frame and we covered it with black kid leather ( a friend donated her old glove) and it is lined with silk. Looking at my note book I see the pram was done in 1992, it looks as good today as it did then.

 So far I have only completed 1 of the floor rugs, this one is on the upstairs landing and is a Liz Kennedy of Auckland design, intended to be stitched on silk guaze but Stitch in linen to make it a size in keeping with the scale of the house, 1 inch = 1 foot.

We will move into the front parlour and  meet with Sarah and Henry in my next posting,

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Last year at Junior Embroideries we made owl bags. Each of the Adult tutors decide what  type of stitch was going to be on each side of the bag. Grandma chose the black work owl and we got to decide what pattern to use, with some guidance of course,  then a second one using stitches we .already knew. Mary Garlick chose the jigsaw owl. which was lots of fun and had a painted background..   Maree B. designed the owl with the felt parts on it which was fun to work with.  Maree took all the finished owls home with her and made them into wonderful bags like this one. They also have a cute blue, green and purple owl  fabric inner. Grandma as a surprise made the little owl toggles for each us and we got given them along with the finished product on the last day of stitching for the year.


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Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Speaking with my friend Ann recently, she told me she had never seen my dolls' house except for the recent  posting on my blog,'Notes from under the mountain'  Ann has visited us most years  since we moved down here almost 12 years ago, and have to admit I just though like all our Coromandel friends she had seen it. Sorry Ann I will try and share it with you through photos and you can see the real thing later in the year when you next come down. I hope anyone reading this blog will enjoy it too. This is the dolls' house in the middle of the living room, moved there after our front room was flooded in early December.

Paul started building the Dolls' house for me early in 1991, after research about dolls' houses I settled for this drawing of Springvale Station homestead in Hawke's Bay to be the inspiration,I certainly did not want a square box.  We planned it 1/12 scale (1 inch to 1 foot) set in the period of the beginning of the 1900's, and to be front opening like the old English dolls' houses.  The house is 51 x 22 inches and to the top of the turret is 43 inches.

 Some years later we did visit Springvale during a garden tour in the Tikokino District in Central Hawke's Bay. I have called my house "Summerlee" after an early family home in NZ, that is no longer standing, and I am very proud of what Paul built for me. The roof is cedar shingles and there are over 3,000 each glued on separately. The build of the turret  did include a few interesting words !! it was certainly the hardest piece to build.

Living in the house is Henry and Sarah Barker, Henry is just the ordinary ready made dolls house china doll which I dressed and gave a wig to., while Sarah is a beautiful doll  a Pamela Jackson doll kit.,  ( her doll's are really lovely and I am lucky to own several of them)
Their children are  Emma, Caroline and baby John, I just realised I have no photo of baby John, but will do something about that before we visit the nursery.
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Next posting we will go inside the house and start exploring the rooms.
 I look forward to sharing with you.