In Search of the Ghost of Piccadilly, Tee Makes a Return to the Year 1815..

Of all romances in miniature… perhaps this is the best shape in which Romance can appear..’ so said the fabulous Lord Byron in one of his many journal scribblings and as a passionate devotee of Regency history as well as an artist who designs ‘Small Worlds’ in 12th scale and who loves to create a scene and not only of the hysterical kind; it is perhaps only to be expected that I would create a Regency inspired miniature!

In 2009, I began the creation of 13 Piccadilly Terrace circa 1815 which is a Regency House complete with a basement kitchen and the attic rooms that will reflect the architecture, interior design, furniture and life-style of the Regency and which has been inspired by the poet Lord Byron and his circle as he lived at 13 Piccadilly Terrace in the year 1815.

hallway-the-entranceway-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815
Welcome to 13 Piccadilly Terrace in the Year 1815! Click on the Door to Enter the Fabulous World of Lord Byron…

Although my idea for the design of 13 Piccadilly Terrace began several years ago, I remain busy with the research and the hoarding of materials, fabrics, pictures with the buying of lots of delightful Regency miniatures; which I might add, is always the fun part!

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The Desk Inspired by Lord B in the Library of 13 Piccadilly Terrace…

And although I am proud of my painting techniques, woodworking skills and electrifying abilities; I am aware of my limitations which include a horror of dressmaking and sewing.

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The Drawing Room at 13 Piccadilly Terrace…

However, one of my many grand plans for this 12th scale abode is the creation of the unique ‘Byron Screen’ for the library and which was decorated to reflect his love of theatre and pugilism and used in his apartment at the Albany until it was bought at auction in April 1816 by his publisher John Murray.

After extensive restoration work, the present John Murray has kindly loaned the Byron Screen for display in Byron’s Library at Newstead Abbey; which I was delighted to see on my visit there last January.

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The ‘Byron Screen’ in the Library of Newstead Abbey…

And another of my many grand plans for this 12th scale abode is to arrange a wedding in the ‘Family Room’ that is situated on the piano nobile and with inspiration drawn from the Byron betrothal of January 2 1815 at Seaham Hall in County Durham even though I shall have to rely on plenty of artistic license with the decor and furnishing of this room being as I am limited to the use of my imagination as the accounts of this infamous union are sketchy to say the very least!

However, as I have studied and photographed the gown worn by Annabella on that cold January day during a visit to the Fashion Museum in Bath, I can boast of one item of authenticity even if it is 12th scale!

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The Wedding Gown of Anne Isabella Lady Noel Byron…

For although I can handle fabrics I can glue, the art of the needle is beyond me and it is fortunate that I have made the acquaintance of Louise from Angelique Miniatures who having positively embraced the art of miniature couture on my behalf has created this wedding gown and the silk pelisse in exquisite form!

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The Silk Pelisse and Wedding Gown in 12th Scale…

And so as my ‘Lord Byron House’ continues to develop, I will be sharing with you the unfolding tale, the triumphs and the tears and even though I have been creating ‘Small Worlds’ for many years now; the passion to design and create a miniature world remains just as intoxicating, rather like my love of cake!

And on that note, I’m off for a wander into the kitchen of 13 Piccadilly Terrace in the hope that a slice or three of this delicious cake remains mine for the taking!

the-basement-kitchen-and-a-warm-stove-of-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815-lord-byrons-abode

Adieu for now!

Tee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tee’s STILL Among THOSE Flowers as Lord Byron’s Bed Awaits!

Dear Diary…

‘Today’s Valentine’s Day. There’s a whole day devoted solely to love. Does that make any sense? Nah. Love makes us all crazy. But it’s fun too.’ Lisa Greenwald.

Listen! Can you hear that crashing sound?

Yes, that’s the sound of yet another New Year’s Resolution demolished, kaput, finito, gatavas!

As my intention was to have shared some news with you dear reader at least once a month, this is my February post even though even though we are now enjoying the third day of March.

However, as the rest of the calendar year consists of eleven months of at least 30 days; this would be day thirty if it were any other month other than February.

Not that I have anything against February for not only was I hatched and matched in this month, but I also met my ‘other half’ on the 29th and lest we forget, it is the month for a profusion of chocolates, expensive red roses and some very dubious love tokens as Cupid’s Arrow flies forth!

Even though I would be happy to find myself lost within a profusion of chocolate confectionery on any month of the year; it was to the Brentwood Flower Market that I headed for on St Valentine’s Day to be surrounded by, yes you guessed it, the humble rose!

Yes, it was one busy day and with only moments to go until closing time, and as I finally beginning the arduous task of sweeping up the mess from the floor, while, I might add with one eye firmly on that box of chocolates nestled upon the wooden dresser; who should potter in but that Little Big Cat!

“My Valentine,” he said in a quiet whisper “is the girl next door and she loves nothing more than sitting by the rose bed in our garden on a nice day… She just loves those roses and until they bloom again later this year, I will miss her…”

I ask you! How could I resist whittling up a little love token for Murphy? Could you have refused?

However, I know that I would happily resist and say an unequivocal ‘níl aon’ to making a bed for Lord Byron even though on Friday last I found myself in a fabric shop on a gorgeous day, and on my birthday! And I had wandered into the Sewing Centre entirely of my own accord!

The Sewing Centre is the horn of plenty to a connoisseur of fabric as the shelves of the hardware store are to a D.I.Y. enthusiast; as it is a veritable Aladdin’s Cave with room upon room stacked ceiling to floor with bolts of fabric of every inconceivable pattern, texture and colour and possessed of an extremely helpful and knowledgeable assistant; which in my case, was just as well!

For with the pleasantries observed and the offer of help extended forthwith, I duly uttered; “I have to make Lord Byron’s bed and am in need of some fabric that resembles Chinoiserie in the colours of green and white and it also needs to have an accent of mustard in the pattern. Do you have anything that you can show me please?”

The reply was gracious to say the least; “Let me see if I’ve got this right; you have to make a bed for Lord Byron?”

However, before I answered in the affirmative; I had realised that some sort of explanation may be called for and a pleasant thirty minutes passed by with some cheerful banter about the merits of the delightful Lord B, the wonder that is Newstead Abbey, the virtues of creativity and of personal challenge; which for me sounded a HUGE note of resonance with this recreation of his Lordship’s huge, ponderous bed complete with lavish swags, tails, tassels and something else that I’m sure to have overlooked!

And for those of you who have followed my monthly ‘Tee Time’ with the Dolls’ House Magazine may well recall my column from November 2013 in which I mused about how close proximity to the needle and thread can STILL make my heart beat a little faster…

The logical part of me screams out that it is my fear of failure that holds me back from opening that cardboard box full of the sumptuous silks that I have lovingly chosen as the contents patiently wait for me to gather my tools, open the pages of the book Curtains by Sue Heaser and ‘just get on with it’.

And how do I know that my elaborate window dressings will be an epic fail until I have at least tried?

Dolls’ House Magazine Issue 186 (GMC Publications Ltd)

For as I was to write on my Facebook page earlier today: “Give me scraps of wood, a pot of glue with perhaps some powdered filler, access to a tap and I’ll build you a whimsical cottage. Give me a metre of fabric, needle and thread in which to dress a bed and I’ll run screaming from the room!”

Well, at least in the words of Lord Byron that he attributed to his estranged spouse, I remain “admirably consistent.”

Adieu for now!

And if you are curious about  learning a little more about Lord B’s “admirably consistent” spouse; I have just posted the tale about her on my Lady Byron Blog and it is yours to savour!

Creating Life in 12th Scale? Yes, That’s SO Tee Bylo!

“Of All Romances in Miniature… Perhaps this is the Best Shape that Romance Can Appear.” ~ Lord Byron

I have been creating small worlds in miniature for many years now and the passion to design and create a miniature world remains just as intoxicating and challenging! Which, I might add has also left me a little lighter in pocket!

Vision and inspiration for the creation of my small worlds comes to me in all different forms, the pages of a history book perhaps or a television drama series or even within the pages of a contemporary magazine I find myself reading while waiting for an appointment!

The Roof Garden of Nicole’s House…

My small worlds have included the Gothic Castle Dracul perched on a snow covered mountain to the trendy and “hip” Themis, a fashion boutique inspired by the “Swinging London” boutiques such as Biba and Granny Takes a Trip.

There is also Surf’s Up!, a surf store that is complete with it’s own beach and guaranteed beautiful weather…

I have even created Marilyn Monroe’s bedroom as reported by the police officer who had discovered the body of the movie star in the early hours of Sunday August 5 1962…

‘Cursum Perficio’ The Journey is Finally Over for Marilyn Monroe on Sunday August 5 1962…

“When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laughter broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies – Peter Pan”

If the author of the enchanting tale of Peter Pan is to be believed then Sir James Matthew Barrie will not doubt be reassured to discover that there is still at least one faerie that can be found skipping about within the stone walls that surround the ancient City of York, although at first glance, she may be mistaken for just another conventional human; appearances can be deceptive!

For nestled in the shadow of Micklegate Bar and within the ancient City of York is where you will discover the studio of the Yorvik Faerie and where I create my ‘Magick in Miniature’ with the design of the All Hallows Hamlet, a collection of fantastical miniature buildings where the weird and fabulous collide.

And over in this world of the Yorvik Faerie, there’s the Harum Scarum Emporium that sells all manner of notions and potions that can be found nestled somewhere within the All Hallows Hamlet…

A Pinch of This and a Pinch of That at the Harum Scarum Emporium…

As the All Hallows Hamlet is a marketplace of emporiums, boutiques and other such establishments for discerning folk with a penchant for retail indulgence and a predilection for all that is extraordinary; it was only right that I should have unlocked the doors of the Monsignor Suárez Vampyre Slayer’s Emporium on All Hallows Eve!

The Door FINALLY Opens… The Monsignor Suarez Vampire Slayer’s Emporium of the All Hallows Hamlet…

For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed a fascination with (and a sneaky regard!) for the Vampyre of folklore and mythology and as such I created something of a fantastical store that seeks to offer those essential accoutrements for any discerning hunter or slayer of the undead.

Jars and Jars of Vampire Deterrent Await…

I confess that I have been more than a little excited about the creation of this ‘Small World’ for not only is it a fantastical store brimming with merchandise of the magickal kind and after a lot of meticulous research on my part (any excuse to read, read, read!) really is seeped in all manner of ancient folktale and superstition!

Poppy Seeds and Whitehorn…

And as the last weekend of October was one of celebration with the festival of Día de los Muertos or otherwise known as the Mexican Day of the Dead, I have it on good authority that a certain ‘Small’ feline did in fact put in an appearance within this newly inaugurated establishment, along with one or two other folk from the All Hallows Hamlet…

As Tilly Simms has always been something of a creative soul, her imagination was now flying all over the place much like the leaves that had tumbled from the old Oak trees that surrounded All Hallows and she began to wonder if the cat she had seen was not really Murphy at all but a Mundane in disguise as a shape-shifter or could it be the beastly familiar of that most evil witch or… that it had been Murphy that she had seen but that he was now slowly transforming into a…. werewolf!

Oh My! Tilly Simms Goes in Search of a ‘Lost’ Soul…

To Discover the Tales that I Weave About the ‘Small’ Folk from the All Hallows Hamlet for Yorvik Faerie

Productions, Simply Follow the Link: It’s Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus! Tales from the All Hallows Hamlet…

It was the artist Henri Matisse who said that “there will always be flowers for those who want to see them” and although I am no fan of his work, I do love his philosophy!

For many years I lived and breathed a world of flora and fauna as a floral designer and although my life has taken many strange twists and turns since I began as a ‘green-fingered’ recruit in my teenage years; there will always be a place in my heart for a flower or two.

It’s All Hallows Eve and a Broom Awaits at Bouvier’s Flower Shop…

Having already created ‘Bouvier’s Flower Shop’ several years ago, I have simply been unable to resist the opportunity to design another small world of flowers and so I have created the Brentwood Flower Market which now can be found nestled within a quaint Tudor building that has all the appeal of a typical rustic flower shop and which remains alive with the human presence.

Roses Abound at the Brentwood Flower Market for St Valentine’s Day..

And as I have been known to share the extraordinary tales of a ‘Small’ Cat; I thought I’d share with you a ‘little’ more about this 12th scale feline as he is the ONLY animal, domestic or otherwise that is permitted unlimited visitation rights to the ‘Small Worlds’ that I create!

Perched Among the Christmas Gifts in the Loft of Nicole’s House…

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” So said Robert A. Heinlein…

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at Piccadilly Terrace and a ‘Small’ Feline IS Stirring!

The inspiration for a ‘Small’ Cat is a Persian fluff-ball that moves like the speed of light, has a penchant for lime-green feathers and can on occasion be extremely vocal; particularly when a basket of grooming implements comes into view!

He will on occasion answer to the name of Murphy…

The Feline is Beset by Bits of Baby’s Breath at the Brentwood Flower Market on St Valentine’s Day…

AND the exciting tales of this ‘Little Big Cat’ look set to continue with the debut appearance of ANOTHER fluff-ball who enjoys a ravenous appetite, has a fondness for cuddles and will on occasion, answer to the name of ‘Minnie B’!

It’s All Hallows Eve and Orange is THE New Black for One Little Big Cat!

However, when I’m not troubled by the antics of these ‘Small’ felines; I can usually be located within the annals of Regency history and in particular the year 1815 as the design for my abode for the delightful Lord Byron called 13 Piccadilly Terrace circa 1815 continues…

A Portrait of His Lordship in the Hallway of 13 Piccadilly Terrace in the Year 1815…

And although the pots of distemper paint, lime wash and brown mahogany wood dye have been packed away for the moment, a large cardboard box containing the gorgeous silks for the soft furnishings awaits…

I can handle fabrics that I can glue but, alas, the art of the needle is beyond me!

The Drawing Room of 13 Piccadilly Terrace…

It is fortunate that as I am also an enthusiastic social networker who travels through cyber space to the lands of Facebook and Twitter, I have been able to meet other miniaturists whose skills can more than compensate for my shortcomings.

Artists such as Louise Goldsborough of Angelique Miniatures have positively embraced the art of miniature couture on my behalf and Hayley Bedells of MiniMunchies has managed to create a delicious feast or two for my ‘Small World’ inhabitants which is something my own family have been known to long for!

It’s Christmas Day at 13 Piccadilly Terrace in the Year 1815 and a Delicious Breakfast Awaits…

Now what I most long for is a nice cup of tea and perhaps a chunk or two of chocolate!

However, before I disappear, I have one final ‘Small World’ to share with you for I am also the designer of St M’s and the ‘Small World’ that the Mice from St M’s inhabit in which they will be sharing their musings, mishaps and ministry from St Margaret’s Church and Parish Hall, along with the antics of those two Little Big Cats!

I should add that I will be the one attending to most of the arduous work including designing, creating, researching, the blogging and the cleaning up afterward! I am also hopeful that I will get to enjoy the occasional ‘hot’ cup of tea now and again!

However, until these Mice make their presence felt in the very near future, I shall enjoy sharing another story with you about me…

The Chancel of St Margaret’s Parish Church on Palm Sunday…

St M’s Parish consists of (for the moment at least!) a church and parish hall, both 12th scale models that have been designed and created by me.

My vision was to create an old church that captures a sense of our history and yet is ever changing…..

Seven Years and Counting! Where Are You Claudia? St M’s Parish Remembers ‘Missing’ Claudia Lawrence…

In addition to being a peaceful place for reflection and thanksgiving and always with the enjoyment of plenty of good food and lots of cake!

Enjoying a Delicious Cake on Homeless Sunday…

 The old and quaint parish hall has been created as a place for celebration and busy social interaction…

Tucking into a Big Brekkie for Christian Aid Week…

… AND one in which the mouse presence is keenly felt!

Complimenting St Margaret’s Parish Church is a Memorial Garden that has the enduring appeal of a scruffy, evergreen and restful place.

It’s also one of the best places in the world (‘Small’ or not!) in which to enjoy a cuppa!

And on that note, I shall say ‘Adieu’ for now..

Tee