dining · kitchen

Company is Coming

I haven’t added much to the food blog yet as you can see.  I had to figure out a writing style to present things – not just a picture of a great food item.  So I decided I needed a stage – hence the current project for displaying them.  Things are always simple and quick in your mind but so much more involved in actual time. Also, I work S-L-O-W.  It does work out for the best in the long run because over time my realism gets fine tuned with more detail.

Collecting foods is enjoyable but the REAL fun is putting them in a setting that creates a story – an added layer of my enjoyment.

Another objective was to point out that you do not have to have a large dollhouse – a small setting can be very versatile and it is amazing how much detail you can put into it.

I wanted a kitchen and a dining area with both areas well visible but separate.  So sometimes both can be set up or just the one area depending on the occasion.

So enough introduction…….

Fine dining doesn’t have to be elaborate.  How about a beet salad with a dressing drizzled over it followed by soup and bread? Sounds perfect to me!

A beet salad with a drizzled dressing for tonight’s supper.

The colors in the salad complimented the red wine in the glasses. It seems they were made for each other.  The salad plates are by Orsolya Skulteti of Orsis Minis.  I got them this spring at the Chicago International show. She also has an Esty site if it is not possible to make it to a show.  The soup tureen is by Jane Graber.  Her redwork pottery always adds a warm touch. The pumpkin autumn tray was made by MoonBijoux , an Italian food artist on Esty.

I was going to have the room unoccupied but a Jeanne Rullie’s doll fit so well as the proud hostess that she had to stay.  She seems glancing at everything for the final check before the guest arrive.  Her hand fit the knob of the chair and added a life like gesture that I hadn’t planned on but was perfect for the moment.

The final check of the dining room before the guest arrives.
The soft smile of contentment when everything is ready.
The casual hand resting on the chair was perfect.

The table and chairs are by R.L. Carlisle.  His work has stood the test of time and still look fantastic years later.  They were made in the mid 70’s.

The table is set!

The corner hutch was a painted Bespaq hutch piece that seemed dated but I liked the size and shape. So I removed the doors and revamped it to fit my era.  I am aiming for a 40-50’s setting.

It now houses some great china painted pieces that have a final home.  I also added in with some of my own faux painted Chrysnbon dishes to fill it out and add to the color palette. Nancy Wantiez made the basket and I filled it with a lush philodendron from my friend Loretta Kasza.

I was loosely aiming for the 40-50’s era so I thought a print of The Gleaners was a must.  The food bowl is by a UK artist from 25+ years ago and still holds it colors well. The urn by Vince Stapleton seemed a good choice for the time frame.  Of course, the 40s and 50s were big into doilies – so naturally I used them freely ( I don’t need much excuse – I love them anytime!).  The clock is by Ron Chase.  I never have a hard time finding a spot for one of his. I had  made the National Geography magazines for another project a few years ago and made plenty so added them and the reading glasses to set on the stack.

Creating the mood of the era.

Time to skip down to the kitchen…

I had to have an old style refrigerator.  I got brave and drilled a hole to add a light!  It was worth the effort! Not entirely sure if they were lite  back then but I am pretending so. I stocked a few items inside and even found an ice tray in my pile of metal minis. 

The refrigerator is well lighted and stocked.

The stove is a classic of the era.  This is a kit from Phoenix Models in the UK. You will find a finished one occasionally on Ebay but rather pricey.  The kit is a cheaper way to go but I will warn you it is not an easy build – the instructions require multiple rereads and patience to assemble.  However, the end results speak for themselves. I think I might do some photos of the constructions in a posting some time down the line when I build another one to help fellow builders.

The finished stove ready for my kitchen.
Putting the oven to use!  Pot roast cooling and rolls warm from the oven.

My display in the kitchen is not in line with the upstairs dining as you can see but I was in the “cooking ” mood so allow me a little artistic license today!  

The roast is out of the oven and rolls are about ready.  I got the meat fork this summer at a miniature shop during a trip.  A vintage piece from the past. It added such detail along with the crochet potholder to the scene.

The apple strudel prep board is by Betsy Niederer.  It could be sitting by itself under a dome since it creates a stand alone setting  but I put it to use in my kitchen today. I am imagining the smell of cinnamon in the kitchen mingling with the roast and fresh rolls. The meal is coming together. The cherries and peaches are by Jan Patrie.  I am not sure what the cook had intended but I loved the color – so why not!

Apple Strudel prep board

I had intended to build a kitchen sink cabinet but dreaded the hinging of doors so rethought that idea.  My placement of one in the mock up is borrowed from another kitchen.  The large porcelain sink was a better fit for the time (and no hinging needed!). I will probably add a skirt to it later. 

The kitchen mockup
The porcelain sink was the final choice.

I laser etched the door window to add some interest and make it inviting.

The frosted etching adds some privacy.

Stocking the pantry was fun.  I am not sure the brands and packaging are totally accurate but I enjoyed the arranging. The unfinished cabinet is by M & R miniatures.  I painted it and added worn spots and shelf liners to give it the feel of well used kitchen storage.

A well stocked pantry
Everything for making a fine meal.

In playing around with things, another Jeanne Rullie’s doll invited himself into the scene. It made a perfect shot with the porch light on and the door halfway open – he looked so ready to step into the kitchen.

He is looking forward to the evening meal invite.
The dinner guest and perfect gentleman.

A view of the kitchen….

Wonderful food and aroma greet the guest.
The bustling activity in the kitchen.

Now so you can see the humble start of my kitchen and dining room box…..

The beginning shell.
Playing house with arranging things.
Finally, a warm and inviting home.

It has come quite a way from my bare beginnings but I have a feeling it will be hosting many a fine meal in the future.

Whether you linger in the dining room or in the kitchen, the food is ready.  It is time for a great meal and good company! 

You’re invited for supper!

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