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My Little Corner of the Net

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chateau Antoinette



I came across a great article in a British publication today about a British couple Kevin Mulvany and Susie Rogers, who have built what is expected to be the most expensive dollhouse ever built.  It looks pretty amazing.

Mulvany and Rogers
Read more about the commission: Here

For more information on the couple and other projects, click on the website:  Here

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Union Station St Louis

I had the opportunity recently to travel to St Louis Missouri.  One of the places on our stop was the St. Louis Union Station.  This is one of the great architectural treasures of our country and is listed on the National Register for Historic Places.  It was built in the 1890s for $6.5 million dollars.  The current website says: The architecture of St. Louis Union Station is an eclectic mix of Romanesque styles. The Station's interior and exterior details are a combination of both Richardsonian Romanesque tradition and French Romanesque or Norman style. In fact, Link modeled the grandiose Station after Carcassone, a walled, medieval city in southern France. These designs are most evident when entering the Station's Headhouse and the impressive Grand Hall, with its sweeping archways, fresco and gold leaf detailing, scagliola plaster surfaces, mosaics and art glass windows.

This scale model of the property is on display inside.  It is built out of wood and was constructed in 1932 by Oklahoma resident Edgar B Blumhof when he was nineteen years old.

I found this photo online which shows the beautiful fountains in front of the building.


 


The great hall was part of the 1980's $150 million dollar restoration and is truly awe-inspiring.  The barrel vault ceiling rises 65 feet above you and and has openings to other floors on three sides.  It serves as a lobby and cocktail lounge for the hotel.


 I was particularly taken with elements like this fan shape above an arched doorway.  The doorway led to the restrooms.  It was created in the Victorian era and has influences of Art Nouveau and even starts to look a little bit Art Deco.


A closer look at the decoration shows the attention to detail, including the underwater tile mosaic which was original.

 I am not sure the tile in the restrooms was original, but it carried out part of the same look and feel.



One of the most impressive features of the Grand Hall is the "Allegorical Window," a hand-made stained glass window with hand-cut Tiffany glass strategically positioned above the Station's main entryway.



The window features three beautiful women representing the main U.S. train stations during the 1890s. Of particular interest is the allegorical window above the entrance to the Grand Hall which depicts the cities of New York and San Francisco as goddesses looking toward St. Louis, who stares serenely ahead, sure of her exalted place in the world.
 
The main hall and hotel were lovingly restored in the 1980's and the amount of detail is almost mind boggling.

There are beautiful custom Art Nopuveau tiles are far more beautiful in person that the camera can capture.

 This detail shows that even the door hinges were ornate and carefully crafted.


The stair banister and balustrade had a unique detail where it wrapped around a column, I had never seen this done before.

One of the rooms off the hotel lobby had this beautiful ceiling.  The design reminded me of some of the cathedrals in England.

This is a detail of a finial at each corner in the room.  There is also an empty niche to the right in the photo.

This room is actually part of a restaurant and I was impressed with the attention to detail here too.  If you look closely, you can see that even though quarter sawn oak paneling appears to be plain, it has a round column and capital carved at each corner.
 

This picture showed a corner of the hotel lobby  off of the main hall.  I liked the two different colors of fabric in the window treatments.   I will post some more St. Louis Architecture next time.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cozy Cabin Stair Research

I have not given up my cabin project.  In fact, I have been over-thinking it.  I worked a little more on the stairs on my cabin the other night.  I have had "designers block"  If anyone has medication for this, please let me know!

 I have been doing some research and I came across this swirly modern design, and thought it was very cool - while it is too ornate and refined for the cabin, I do like the idea of filling the whole space from floor to ceiling with some sort of divider.

 Initially, I was thinking of something kind of plain like this.

I do have access to a laser cutter so one of the ideas that I am leaning towards is a panel, perhaps with a design similar to these cat-tails.

 or a laser cut design with trees, mountains and bears ?


 I also like the idea of doing something not so typical with wood twigs



 This railing is done with vines - but I am not quite sure how this would translate into miniature or my cabin. ( or how you dust it ? )

 I like the kind of Arts & Crafts feel of this wooden cut-out 

 I also have been thinking of doing something with metal.  I follow Ray Whitledge's blog and he did a beautiful metal railing.  Click here to see his fine work!

 I like the kind of Asian, modern, artsy feel of this metal panel. I also like the metal random twigs and leaves on the last two.



I may have to make a small sample of each and try to decide which one looks best.  As always, I appreciate your comments, ideas and suggestions!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter

I hope everyone had a great Easter.  My daughter and I had made these mini Easter baskets at miniature club.  The chocolate bunny and eggs were polymer clay.  I remember the best part was eating the chocolate and saving the foil!



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pedal Cars and Trikes

 
I found some Hallmark Christmas ornaments that are about 1"=1'-0" scale at an estate sale the other day.  I have had the trike for a while, but I picked up the fire engine and the blue coupe.  ( sidenote - if any of you collect Hallmark ornaments, this estate sale is a collectors dream.  There are literally dozens of boxes and crates full of ornaments.  I don't have a feel for which ones were valuable or not, but if any of you need one let me know!)

 The firetruck is very detailed and modeled after an original pedal car.  I like the bell that is mounted to the front.


Here is a pic online of the real thing that has been restored - a 1940's Deluxe Fire Engine.  The real one has a lot of chrome!


 The blue coupe kind of reminds me of a character from Cars.  The body had great detail.


I looked for a picture of the real car this was modeled after and found this one.

 The trike has a tiny bell on the handlebars and springs under the seat.  I love how they combined a wagon and trike into one.



 These should be great accessories in my 1940's Strombecker House.  
So long for now !

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Oak Alley Plantation


A while back, my wife and I had the pleasure of visiting Oak Alley Plantation, one of the most famous plantations in Louisiana. This home was built in 1839 and was originally named Bon Séjour (pleasant sojourn). But steamboat passengers traveling on the nearby Mississippi River had a different view of the property. Marveling at the quarter-mile avenue of 28 giant, live oaks leading up to the house, they dubbed it “Oak Alley.” It is a short drive from New Orleans and sits along the bank of the Mississippi River. This famous view above is actually from the Mississippi River side. The house was one of the back drops for the movie "Interview With A Vampire" several years ago. Even today, Spanish moss grows and hangs from the live oak trees which were planted early in the 18th Century before the house was built.
This is the view from the second floor balcony looking back towards the river.  All rooms in the house have high ceilings and large doors and windows that open to surrounding covered porches to aid in air circulation in the hot humid Southern United States.

 This aerial view is from a photo in magazineusa.com.  It shows the relationship to the Mississippi.  The plaque below shows the status of the residence as a National Historic Landmark. The house is characterized by high ceilings, large windows, a symmetrical facade and interior plan, and a second-floor gallery for viewing purposes. The flooring was made of marble, but has since been removed and replaced by wood floors, the roof is slate, and the house and columns of brick painted white to look like marble.


Photography was not allowed inside the house, but I have found a few glimpses into the interior of the house online.



The large object above the dining room table was actually a large fan that would swing back and forth by having one of the slaves stand in the corner and pull on the chord. 

John, at his miniature blog called Merriman Park, is contemplating putting a similar piece in his dining room.   You can check that out by clicking  here.






The entry hall shown below, extends the entire length of the house.


I will use some of the inspiration here for my Victorian House.