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Friday, 12 December 2014

The Tudor House Revisited, Part 2

To the best of my ability, I will try to remember just where I got the instructions for the contents of this house. This will be a floor-by-floor visit, as I took all the furnishings out before replacing them in the house,  and photographed them using my daughter's home-made photo booth, so no paintings or views out the window in these!

The upper level bedroom and working space is sparsely furnished, as it would be in that time, with the basics. The curtained bed and the trundle bed that go under it were designed by Brian Long and found in Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine. The linens were made from linen handkerchiefs, while the red covers are fleece; red was believed to be extra warm, which is why long underwear was made in red versions, as well as flannel petticoats. The cradle is also a Brian Long design, again from DHMS, and swings. The strange structure in the centre is a baby walker; the baby stood in a circular opening in a flat table-like panel, which moved within the structure. This kept the child out of the open fires and away from the staircase, while still allowing for movement. My friend Debbie P. from Nova Scotia made this for me some years ago, from a DHMS Quarterly Special or a magazine insert, I'm not quite sure. A black and white kitten sits on top of the walker, while the ginger kitten on the floor toys with a mouse.

The bedspread on the tall bed is actually a woven rug, bought years ago at Upstairs, Downstairs in Victoria, B.C. Too nice to go on the floor, but great for an extra bed cover. The small bench was a Camp MiniHaHa gift, while the flower arrangement was home-made, again from a DHMS article. The larger bench is from DHMS, with a bedroom set of bowl, jug and chamber pot from JoAnn Shaw, who also made the blue candlestick. In front of this bench is a foot warmer, another CMHH gift from years ago. In case you have never encountered these, they were in use until about 100 years ago. Easily portable, they moved with the owner to friends' parlours, church, and so on. A foot warmer consists of a box with a pierced top, inside the box would be a metal brazier with glowing coals. You set your poor cold feet on top of this box, and draped your skirts around; lovely and warm!

The two baskets need a close-up. The ladies in the house weave, of course, so there is a shuttle wound with wool yarn, a drop spindle, and a pair of wool carders. I based these on a pair of very old Viking carders found in York, UK some years ago, and made them of sequin pins stuck through thin wood, with lightly shaped handles. The shuttle and spindle are also my own design. In the large basket is alpaca wool (begged from a vendor at a craft fair), heritage sheep's wool from Kings Landing Historical Settlement, and some fur from our late cat, RumTum. I had hoped to add a weaving loom, but there isn't space; however, I have a spinning wheel partly assembled, just have to find the right size of small wooden wheel for it. And there is also a Tudor commode to go into this room, it just needs its hinges put on. You wouldn't want to have to run outside to the privy in the middle of the cold night, would you?

If you look at the photo of the bare room, (previous post), you will note a small, blue cupboard on the wall near the staircase; this was made from one of my favourite books, Making Dolls' House Interiors, by Carol and Nigel Lodder, published by David & Charles. This little cupboard has leather hinges, and would hold jewelry, a prayer book, and the like, out of reach of the little ones. A small wooden cross,  a CMHH gift, sits on top of  this small cupboard.

That's all for now, the next visit will be to the kitchen and living level.

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