Sunday, May 17, 2009


The two pictures above are the last classes that Tom and I took at Williamsburg; the last Guild Study Program that we have attended and it was a little more than six years ago. We are big lovers of those study programs and I am trying to figure out a way to get back in the groove. I was told that Peter Kendall started the programs when he was President of the Guild. He has taken classes and taught others and the Study Programs rate highly in mine and Tom's opinions. We have never attended the Guild School which is held in Maine each June, but I have heard great reviews on that program and can only say that my experience with Guild programs has been very positive. Hopefully, one day we will attend another in Williamsburg or in one of the other cites where the Study Programs are held.

The picture of a firestand was done by Tom in a Mark Murphy class. It is supposed to hold the other needlepoint that I have started, but not finished. One day that will hopefully adorn a fireplace in the Thornhill or some other house.

The pictured project was a class I took from Peter Kendall in which we built a reproduction of the parlour in the Peyton Randolph House at Williamsburg. Peter had everything cut out for us so there was not much saw work and when the wall panels had to be trimmed, I enlisted Tom to handle that and make sure that the trims were done correctly. We did have some minor saw work to do and also some mitering of trim.When the room was completed, I had a good time furnishing it. Tom and I were married in France and in 2003 we made a return trip...a trip down memory lane, if you will. When in the city of Chateauroux where we had lived, we went into a gift shop and Tom saw an interesting desk. He took a picture of that piece and when we got home he made a miniature version. That desk sits on the right side of the Peyton Randolph parlour. Tom did not make the small, round table to the right of the fireplace, and the firescreen stand was made by Roger Gutheil and it holds the not too perfect needlepoint that I did in Annelle Ferguson's class a few years earlier. The small table on the left side of the room was made by Tom and it has two of the Ference Albert shrub glassses sitting on the top. Mr. Albert's glass work is superb. The table in the middle of the room is a variation of one of the tables that Tom made in a Carol Hardy class in VT. The chairs in the room are of course, House of Miniatures kits. Last, the andirons in the fireplace were purchased by me at Poupee Tendress in Paris and I understand that the shop is closed now....a shame as there were some wonderful miniatures there. One final note, the tulips on the table were made one fine afternoon when my friend, Debbe was visiting. She and I made the tulips and my closing thought is to say that mini time with Debbe or with Study Program classes is fun time. I hope to repeat those activities soon!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


The same year that we built the Dubois Grocer we discovered that there would be another Guild Study Progam in the fall of that year and it would be at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT. Tom had heard of Carol Hardy and the wonderful furniture that she made and she would be one of the teachers at Shelburne, teaching a butterfly table circa 1750-1780. At the same time I found a class taught by Allison Ashby and Steve Jedd in which the foyer of the Stencil House would be recreated. A miniature class with a group of Guild members is always a wonderful experience and the one that year at Shelburne was almost over the top. The location proved to be a very appealing one in that Miami summers are not always pleasant and September in New England seemed far more appealing. As it turned out, that particular Study Program was one of our all time favorites for the classes, the company and the extrcurricular activities. Saturday night on a Guild weekend is always special, but that year, we were taken to the Trapp Family Lodge, yes Trapp as in the Sound Of Music family Trapp. One of Maria's granddaughters treated us to a songfest after dinner and it was absolutely wonderful. It seems that she was the only one in the family to carry on the tradition. Back to the projects, a few pictures first before I comment.

Tom's butterfly table is lovely. I can't even imagine trying to make one. It has the tiniest hinges installed on something called a 'Rule Joint' and a swing out leg for the full table top to be open. Most of what I just wrote is Greek to me, but the table is wonderful.

The class that I took from Ashby and Jedd was one of my all time favorite classes...did I say that already? I learned so many things in that class and so enjoyed making the roombox. The first thing that I will comment on is the furniture in the room.....I used two pieces made by Tom in previous Guild Study Program classes. The table on the left side was done in his class with George and Sally Hoffman. The double child's chair on the right was done in a Mark Murphy class. The fireplace was part of the learning in my class at Shelburne and I should state that there was a lot to do in the class; so much so that most of the work was completed after we got home. We learned the techniques for the fireplace while in class, but did not actually do the construction until later. The bricks were cut to form the walls and after that was done the fireplace was weathered with oil paints. It was a fun project and we learned a lot for future use.

I also loved doing the stencil work. I had never thought that I could do a stencil, but this class taught me how to do a proper stenciling job. I should point out that there are 15 different designs and a total of 27 different stencils. I cannot imagine the amount of work that was done by the teachers in order to prepare for this class. It is safe to say the the class was wonderful!! When all the walls were completed, there was more distressing and then stain was applied to the case which houses the foyer project. The Shelburne Museum was terrific and it is safe to say that I would hope to journey there again one day, perhaps to another Guild Program.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


As promised in my last post, I am now going to post pictures and write about our attempt to do a 1/12th scale model of the Dubois Grocer's shop. It is a real shop and can be found on the Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg. The facade was completed in Peter Kendall's class so our first chore was to create the bare shelves and counters in the shop. Once those were done, we began to create the items that would fill the shop. Tom did so much lathe work creating items for the shelves. Many things which appear to be ceramic or glass are really wood which were then painted by me and often completed with labels from my computer searches. The internet was an invaluable source for me in doing this project because I found so many appropriate labels to use. Early on in this project, I saw Jane Graber at a Tom Bishop show in Ft. Lauderdale. I purchased a number of pieces from her incredible selection of pottery and ordered more. Her bird bottles are a familiar sight in Williamsburg and they are seen in most of the real shops in the town. Tom later tried his luck at making a bird bottle on the lathe and it turned out quite well. We used some of his lathe bottles to fill up a shelf or two. However, whenever we put a bird bottle, front and center, we used one of Jane's authentic ones. Some of Jane's Colonial mugs are shown in the first picture...the mugs are sitting of the floor awaiting a postion on a shelf. Many of the bottles in the shop are done on the lathe with labels from the computer. I have a number of catalogs from Colonial Williamsburg and that gave me more ideas of things to put on the shelves. I ordered blown glass Shrub glasses from Ferenc Albert. He calls his glasses 18th Century glasses and I suspect that is to ensure that he does not infringe on the actual terminology used by Williamsburg. The Colonial lady who runs our shop was made by the London Company and was purchased for me by my daughter at a shop in New York. This was a fun project. I was indebted to Peter Kendall for the class in which the idea was born and also for his help when I aked him for additional bricks to finish the bottom of the shop. Peter had used bricks from a source in England and I needed additional ones so that all along the bottom of the shop were the same. A few words about the pictures which I will add shortly: We tried as much as possible to keep everything as it was in the original shop and some details were available to us because of the pictures we took in Williamburg. The door to the shop was done with wood placed diagonally and we did the same with our door. We took a picture of the window display from outside the shop and duplicated the display in our shop. Tom made the chandelier as a copy of the original. Once again the lathe came in handy as he used it to do the wooden bulb at the bottom of the fixture. Now for some pictures.

As a final thought on this project, in retrospect, I wish we had checked to see what was behind the curtain in the shop. That is, what was upstairs, downstairs and in the back room? I think I would have liked to do an accurate duplication of the shop, not just the shop itself,but all of the building. There is a lovely old chimney that would have been interesting to recreate, but alas, we didn't do that so the shop is not a true duplication.