Featherstone Hall Hotel Part 8 – the library: a gentleman's retreat (2)

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25 November 2011
In part eight of the miniature delight that is Featherstone Hall Hotel, Julie adds the furnishings and dolls to the library games room and the gambling den bringing the miniature scenes to life…

The sombre Featherstone Hall Hotel library provides a gentlemen's club atmosphere for its male guests, who retire after dining to digest a good meal, gamble, and in some cases even read!

After completing the main room decoration and the gambling den it was time to set the scene in the main room. 

Pelmet and curtains

The pelmet was made from Plastruct sheeting and by gluing two strips together at a right angle about one inch longer than the width of the window. Julie boxed the ends and put a strut inside to make the pelmet more rigid. The chosen fabric was a fabulous grey silk brocade. A strip was spray-glued and wrapped around the pelmet.

Next, Julie took two rectangles of curtain fabric slightly longer than the distance from the top of the window to the floor. Selvedged edges were used for the bottom thus meaning that the two long sides of the curtain had to be glued. The fabric was then hand-gathered/scrunched up at the top edge of the curtains and glued to a strip of Plastruct. The curtains were then glued into position at the window and the pelmets added. Final touches were tie-backs and braid around the pelmet. 

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Dressing the furniture

The next task was to fill the library's main room with furniture. The bookcases were filled with books made from foamcore board with pre-printed covers wrapped and glued around them. The foam on the top edges was painted gold to look like gilt-edged pages. Altogether Julie made 160 books which filled the bottom two shelves of each bookcase. The top shelves were finished with a selection of quirky items, souvenirs, trophies, and tiny china items.

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Building a better bar

The bar is a stunning mirror-backed hand-carved piece from the Dream Home Miniatures range. This was filled with an assortment of wines, spirits, bottles, trays, glasses, decanters, accessories and a large hand-blown glass swan to hold snacks.

It's easy enough to find a selection of bottles etc., but what brings it to life are the details. Take a plain glass decanter and part fill it with clear enamel varnish added a drop at a time with a cocktail stick. Add a drop of colour to the varnish to create different types of alcohol. The bottle labels are made from a piece of chain around the neck and a crafters hot-fix stud to make a silver nameplate. The soda syphon is made from a cast metal atomiser with the puffball trimmed off glued onto the body of a silver-topped jar. The pots on the shelf were made with silver beads and slithers of wood-made cocktail stirrers.

The reader – Hon. George Gardiner

The reader is named the Hon. George Gardiner. After a rather splendid dinner he's retired to the library with the other gentlemen and is now taking a snooze behind his copy of the Times.

The final touches to the room included the positioning of the rest of the furniture, the billiard's table on top of the fabulous carpet, two green shaded ceiling lights, a side table and lamp, and a painting of the Royal Scots Grays capturing the French eagle during the Napoleonic wars.

Also added were the snooker stools, cue rack and two players. The jacket of the second player was removed and glued in position on the second stool, and the first player was given a pair of brass-rimmed spectacles. A large model clipper ship fills the top of the bar, and a fabulous painted cast metal dartboard with darts fills a blank wall space. Also, a collection of stuffed trophy heads look down on the players. These were created by chopping the heads off cheap plastic animals, repainting them and mounting them on oval picture frames. The final flourish was the pair of crossed swords over the painting of the Scots Grays.

Ready to enjoy more of the series? Go back to part seven, where Julie decorates the library games room and drinking den. Or to continue the series, go to part nine to explore the grand hall!

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