Friday, January 13, 2017

In the Kitchen with Mercy and Victoria

I had to build this one from the ground up - a real challenge for me! This post includes 1 new room + 1 new outfit for Victoria.

The kitchen is lit by gaslight, not electric lightbulbs, as will be the remainder of Mercy and Tom's first household together as a young married couple. Although there were some places where electric lighting was being used during the 1890's, for many more moderately well off families (mainly middle class) it was considered a high priced luxury.

This project has been on the drawing board now for weeks and weeks. This work has copyrights. Please respect my copyrights by following the red letter Guidelines that are listed at the foot of this post. Guidelines will sometimes vary from post to post, so please read all carefully. Thank you.

How I built this kitchen scene
It began simply enough as a whim for one more room, this time of the more practical sort. The basis for it was actually of much poorer quality than required. The furnishings may have had styles authentic to the place and time, yet the art depicting them made the final effect almost look grimy.

So where to begin? It actually began with me "rebuilding" the entire room as well as refitting it to the dolls.  It felt a little bit like redecorating a real room. New wall coverings got tried, but nothing made me smile until I'd created some new wallpaper in a fetching stripe. The flooring was redone entirely from "scratch," as we say in the U.S. That was a fun project in and of itself. The stove in the basis picture was definitely authentic in that it had been placed inside the older kitchen hearth. Further research showed me how some households with newer kitchens then had slightly larger ranges in niches and nooks decorated with wall tiling.

I finally found just the right range, and then a tiling image I'd been saving for just such an occasion. A few color changes later and the entire kitchen began to be real enough. I added the pretty floral tiles to match the cheery feeling of the wallpaper. The cabinet on the right hand side of the room is actually a kitchen "dresser." We might call it a "buffet" or a "cabinet and hutch" duo. This kind of furniture often was kept and passed on to the next generation, as it was not installed for permanent purposes and so could be shifted from one home to another. This needed a genuine overhaul, and so I used digital "wood veneer." Perspective, shadows, highlighting, and scale (size of each thing in relation to the rest) were among my biggest challenges. I've kept this one on file still in PSD format (unfused, all layers) as a sort of a memory book of the process the project required. The rest of the picture I will explain in the story for you now.

For Some Basic Instructions and Tips on assembling any one of my Paper Doll Rooms, guests may choose to follow the link HERE.

The Story
Victoria had a  little bit of vacation time leftover before her school days were due to resume, and so she has stayed with Mercy in her new home. The two have been very happily busy adding finishing touches to the charming place. Tom had to travel again for his work, so the two have been having an entirely feminine time of it together.

The two cousins have been preparing their favorite selection of sandwiches, salad, soup and desserts. Victoria is ready to finish some of the tidying up, while Mercy has already taken a moment to change into her lovely, comfy teagown. It is Victoria's turn to change into her own cute teagown next, as soon as they move everything from the kitchen into the parlor. Both young women are very hungry after their day's exertions of decorating and tidying up after themselves.

A cook is to be hired in time for the arrival of Mercy and Tom's new baby, along with a general maid of all work to do the extra cleaning. Maids of all work were some of the hardest working women in England during Victorian times. Some middle class households did employ them to do most of the work. If Tom advances quickly enough in his career, then further staff might have to be acquired and a bigger house purchased. For now, we can admire how family members have given Mercy the lovely new range with its bright tile border along with the necessary furniture for this kitchen.

The kitchen has been equipped to keep the household running smoothly. The stove will heat every bit of hot kitchen water that's to be used by the young family.  Notice the big brass tank located on the wall between the stove and the old fashioned scullery sink. (Please don't ask me how such a set up would have worked, for I've no idea) 

Tom and Mercy have been blessed with their very own hot water plumbing for an upstairs bath, too. Though a rarity for many (particularly among more struggling populations), by the time of the story, a number of moderately well off families had just such a modern convenience. Having to lug a tin tub around would not do for a first time mother - at least, that is the general feeling among the three grandparents-to-be.

Mercy's cat looks quite content to sit atop Tom's mother's step stool, doesn't she? She's admirably sleek and healthy looking, a cute kitty. But don't let her sweet face fool you. No adventuresome mouse would ever dare to step foot inside of her kitchen! 

My favorite little detail in this room is one that might get overlooked. It is the bright and shiny copper pot located on top of the range. Such pretty pots were often used for warming the milk necessary for hot chocolate and cocoa. The two cousins plan on having some warming cups of cocoa just before bedtime.

By the middle of March we should see a little bundle of joy with them in this loving home. More rooms will hopefully be ready to be revealed between now and then, as well as some new clothing for the papa-to-be.

Happy Playtime Creativity!

PPSPlaytime™: A New Kitchen for Mercy

(lower quality than the downloads)

Download Upper Left HERE
Download Upper Right HERE
Download Lower Right HERE
Download Lower Left HERE

Display of Before and After
(I really did try to fit a window into my final room. 
It just wouldn't fit well enough to scale with the dolls and their furniture.)

PPSPlaytime™: Victoria's New Kitchen Outfit

Download HERE
Display version 
(lower quality than the download)

You are free to:
play with or give or trade
either the room or the outfit
for my doll collection in this set.
You are not free to:
ever sell it for any reason
to alter it and then 
publish it as your own creation.
Please continue to help me to
keep free things free!
Thank you


Dorthe said...

Thank you for your kind, comments to my blog, Happy New year to you, too, I hope it started wonderfully .
Thank you also for all the beauty you permit us to see here, and download for private fun. I just downloaded some of your dresses ,that I want to play with for cards !The are to be given away, and not sold :-)
Greetings from Dorthe

Plush Possum Studio said...

Hello Dorthe! :)
Thank you for the kind compliment. It is making me smile. It is my pleasure to offer my paper dolls and their outfits here for free. I think that too many things get sold nowadays, don't you? Even things that have lost their copyrights and are now in the Public Domain have been sold and watermarked "copyright" this and that. So I am happy to offer my small collection here for free.
:) It pleases me that you like this too. I hope to be able to visit you again sometime soon!

Plush Possum Studio said...

P.S. Dorthe, If you feature any of the cards you make using anything I'm offering, will you please alert me? I'd dearly love to see anything of yours which includes even a little something of my own.

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