Category Archives: Cottage Comfort

Cottage Comfort

Miniatures can literally take you way from the cares of the world to a place time has slowed down.

Shrink down and come inside!

This morning’s weather has changed to a damp rain.

A pair of wellies by the door , the watercolor palette on the chair with binoculars are from this morning outing that ended when the damp rain began.

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Wellies by the door
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A timid mouse is checking out the activities
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Chair with this morning’s paraphernalia

With the cold and damp setting in outside…

Hot tea, fresh bread and rustic cheeses more than make up for the dash inside.

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Ready to pour a cup
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This morning’s bread
cheeses
A wonderful assortment of cheese to go with the bread and hot tea.

A lazy cat enjoys the warmth of the fire besides the favorite rocking chair.

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Best spot in the cottage on a cold day!

Upstairs is a sled bed with lots of warm blankets to snuggle under.  I imagine the cat abandons the hearth with bedtime comes.

bed
Simple but elegant

The bed warmer is a recent find from a lot of copper things on ebay.  It added to the mood.  Imagine snuggling down is a toasty warm bed on a cold night after its use!

bedwarmer
Makes for an inviting bed when the weather is cold

The kitchen counter….

This turned out so good!  I do love aging and adding character to pieces.  Going from a blank canvas to this …. is a total artistic escape for me.

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Bare beginnings
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A well loved sink with lots of use

If I could give you a step by step instructions of the transformation I would, but it is like asking Grandma how she does a recipe that she doesn’t measure — just makes it!  It leaves me perplexed by the inner workings of the mind that control the hands.  How does that happen?

My treasures collected over time have pulled together to breathe life into this cottage and given it a story!

The coolest butter mold with an imprint is from a box of junk.  No idea who made it but it is a cherished find. It sits on the counter by the fresh bread and butter dish.

A spot for the spice drawers – all which open.  I know it is silly but I love knowing that.  A wonderful rustic chicken print  from Dominque Autin. Every one of her pieces are simple but done so well they delight me each time I look at them.  The shelf sports a bottle of wine and special canned goods to be used for the arrival of someone special.

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Warm glow of candlelight
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Always ready for the unexpected guest
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Rustic chicken print

The china in the shelves by the door are from my faux china painting days.  This cabinet and dishes was a class I taught long ago with a few added pieces to round it out by Vince Stapleton and Valeria Casson.

Oh the table! It is by Bradley Meinke.   If you get a chance to take one of his wood finishing classes — do it!  He is very sharing of his techniques.

The chairs are odd ducks picked up at the Denver show.  I love the faux bamboo look.  Quirky but adds to the cottage character.

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Faux china in the corner and Bradley’s table

I had a friend over and she was checking out the cottage interior.  She said that one thing seemed out of place — the pipe on the mantle.  Obviously, its a woman’s cottage — so why the pipe?

Its a remembrance of a friend now gone.  A reminder of many an evening shared by the hearth and the stories shared but not forgotten.

hearth-closeup
A pipe to remember many a shared evening by the fire

For a bit of amusement — note the transformation of the skull candle into a normal warm candle.  Another one of Dominque’s pictures hides the wiring.

Now for the total view of the interior………

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Kitchen area
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The entire interior of the cottage

All in all … I can imagining walking through the cottage door and feeling instantly at home.

I hope you are feeling the same!

Transformation…

I had bought a half done project at a miniature show auction some time ago. It was a cottage from a Rik Pierce class. They are a lot of work but so beautiful when done. The structure was glorious but the exterior landscape had a swampy wetland with all kinds of creatures.

The beginning cottage

The previous owner’s intent was for a witch’s cottage. That was not an interest of mine. What to do with the poured resin swamp had me stumped. So it sat all this time waiting.

Changing the landscape

Finally, I started to play house inside the structure this summer and ignored the exterior. A plan of action developed. The fantasy of a place away from the busy world tucked away in a woods emerged. The cottage began to have a personality – I pulled out the barren tree (so much easier in miniature than real life!) and covered the swamp with paper clay to get a landscape to support flower beds. This then sat for several months without any further work. The reality of how many plants this involved overwhelmed me.

The dead tree is gone!

 

Not today – another day – was my response each time I started to think about it UNTIL an unexpected Christmas package arrived! My friend, Loretta Kasza had been talking about creating and making plants this fall but I hadn’t seen them. She sent me a batch of them!

I think my cottage had simply been waiting for them! They were just perfect! I wish had had photographed before planting but didn’t plan that far ahead. So here is a peak of them in the ground so to speak.

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Flower beds emerged! Combined with my stash of plants collected over time, Loretta’s foliage plants and filler materials it became a lush cottage garden that I could envision enjoying living there in the cottage.

A fimo butterfly from Lola’s Originals (in a drawer far too long) now rests on a hydrangea flower. Two of Loretta’s spectacular variegated plants show off the hydrangea bush.  Then for fun, I added the dandelion growing in the rocks, it seems the gardener missed that one.  The dandelion is by my friend, Twilla McKee.  The corner became a composition with all the elements working together. I was thrilled!

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A perfect corner!

Another butterfly sits on my prize rose bush ( I can grow them in miniature it seems versus reality it is not so pretty. Kansas weather is rather harsh on them here). Another plant from the drawer stash. Along with a cadmium made ages ago.  

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Rose bush in full bloom

I even had some creatures to add to the garden. The path around the corner has a toad and a snail peaking out from the greenery. The lovely hosta is another of Loretta’s treasures.  Can you see the ladybugs added to the plant to keep the aphids away? They were another forgotten treasure from the drawer stash.

Loretta's hosta
the eye catch corner of the path as you approach the door

A pot of lavender on the bench by the door has a few more butterflies. Sitting beside it are a few vegetables harvested from the garden to add to the stew for supper tonight. The lavender is by Maryvonne Herholz. The bench is by R-stuff.

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the comforts of home
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a gathering of butterflies on a pot of lavender

No garden is complete without birds. A bird’s nest is tucked in on the porch roof and a chickadee is resting on a shutter momentarily add to the scene.

It all pulled together and became a magical place to wander off to when I need time away from dirty dishes, laundry, etc. . Don’t get me wrong, reality is fine  but an occasional daydream wandering about in a FINISHED setting gives me a perk of energy to return to the mundane chores of daily life.

Now for the tour of the garden that I have been hinting about….

side of the cottage
flowers and ferns abound in the side bed
the front of the cottage
a view of the garden in front of the cottage
a view of the front entrance
a resting spot in the garden
close up of the plantings
close up of the flower bed
door
you are invited to step inside…..

with the next posting….