Old Town Classics

(I promise this will be the last entry for today. You can tell I’m seriously stalling from doing the work I’m suppose to do for the office….)

As promised in the previous entry, this is more of an update on another miniature project I created for BK’s and my wedding back in 2011….

Cardbox-1

Which our wedding photographer Sarah Culver somehow made magical on that day. Seriously.

The cardbox at our designated gift table. Photos courtesy of Sarah Culver Photography. All Rights Reserved.

The cardbox at our designated gift table. Photos courtesy of Sarah Culver Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Some cheeky humor from us.

Some cheeky humor from us.

Photos courtesy of Sarah Culver Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Photos courtesy of Sarah Culver Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Photos courtesy of Sarah Culver Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Made bunting to indicate that this was a card box. Photos courtesy of Sarah Culver Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Many of BK’s and my relatives didn’t know my obsession love for miniatures until they saw this cardbox and arbor. Not only was it popular with our guests – even OffBeatBride.com surprised me by posting about the arbor in their January 2012 montage. For awhile, I was popular! πŸ˜€

After the wedding, I ended up storing the card box (which is actually the Seabreeze roombox from Victoria Miniland). I knew I was going to reuse it as another miniature setting for my collection. But at the time, I didn’t know what I wanted to put in it. Because the roombox was designed based on the old townhouses from Old Town Alexandria (where BK and I lived up until a year after our wedding), I was going to aim for its interior to reflect its exterior. At least, what I could see from outside the townhomes during walks around Old Town.

Again, thanks to my obsession, – apparently I did pick up a couple of pieces here and there — I think this as close to the classic styles I was able to glimpse in those townhomes. And of the old hometown that BK and I miss from time to time.

Rewaxing the hardwood floor.

Rewaxing the hardwood floor.

Though before I could move the pieces in, I had to do a thorough scour of the roombox. For starters, I had to wipe off the years of dust that accumulated using a damp rag and a cheap nail brush from the dollar store (definitely useful for brushing dust in corners). Once everything was wiped down/brushed off, I used the beeswax polish to re-polish the walnut flooring.

Once the floor was polished and buffed, I started to hang some pictures and moving my pieces in….

Movin' them in....

Movin’ them in. Check out the newly polished floor! Shiny!

…and before I knew it, I was done. Well, I should have finished quickly. It is a single room for crying out loud!

The finished sitting room.

The finished sitting room.

I wanted the setting to be a formal sitting room of sorts. A mix of antiques and comfy seats. Someplace I’d imagine the owners would want to curl up with a good book to pass this lovely Sunday afternoon. Versus sitting in front of a laptop and reviewing contracts like this crazy blog writer <groans inwardly>.

Left side of the room.

Left side of the room.

Right side of room.

Right side of room.

In terms of what I used: the in-laid writing desk chair was purchased from dheminis.com. The chairs were an eBay purchase from Small World Minis. The bookcase, side table, rug and tea chest were random pieces won from eBay. Lamp, tea sets, other accessories were purchased from Manor House Miniatures and local miniature shops.

Upper view.

Upper view from the open ceiling panel. I popped out the plexiglass sheet to take this shot….

Bastian - my chipped ear dog.

Bastian – my chipped ear dog.

As for the dog (Bastian) — he was actually a gift that I got back in college. Even though my parents wanted me to focus on schooling, I did some odd jobs here and there to earn some extra money to pay for other expenses (like books. And eating out with friends). I had a short stint of being a French tutor for this kid. He learned about my hobby for miniatures, and on our last day of tutoring, he actually surprised me by giving me this porcelain pup. I can still see his embarrassment when he pulled it out of his backpack – the ear fell off from getting jostled around his bag. Despite that little accident — Bastian has remained one of my most prized minis.

Close up of the portraits.

Close up of the portraits.

RevampedCardbox-07

RevampedCardbox-08As for the portraits — I did a random search on Google images for 18th century portraits. Specifically American portraits. Not sure why, but I got the feeling that whoever is living here, would have traced his/her ancestry to the period. Which could be plausible, given that Old Town Alexandria was founded in 1749, and was incorporated as a town around 1779 (source: Wikipedia).

Sorry…digressed there. Once I found the pictures I wanted, I resized them in Photoshop and printed them on cardstock. I had some that had a canvas texture – which nicely replicated the feel of the pictures of looking hand-painted. At least that’s my take on it. πŸ˜›

Now that the room’s completed, I moved in the new occupants. I actually found these guys inside the cardbox when I pulled it from storage. Guess I had assigned these two to be the master and mistress of this residence.

The room's new occupants.

The room’s new occupants.

Because we were going for an Old Town Alexandria theme….I ended up naming the male doll as Mr. Philip Alexander. After a Captain who in 1746 created an estate on what eventually became the town of Alexandria itself.

In terms of (the doll) Philip’s bio, he used to teach history at Georgetown University up until this past May, when he decided to retire and work on his books. Mostly the history of Alexandria and on maritime trade of the late 1700s. If he’s not writing, he’d be doing his next favorite activity — taking Bastian around for walks in their hometown. As you can see from his outfit….he likes to wear a coat and tie whenever possible.

Close up of Mr. Philip Alexander

Close up of Mr. Philip Alexander

Despite being a history professor, Philip is considered somewhat of an eccentric by the locals. Even though he was able to trace his lineage as far back to the Revolutionary War, there are rumors that there’s a bit of madness that runs through his family. In fact, there were rumors amongst the faculty that Philip would sometimes be seen having spirited discussions with portraits of his ancestors. Whether these rumors are true or not, no one could contest the fact that Philip is also known for his generosity and love for pranks. Especially during finals week.

Admiring (maybe chatting?) at the portrait of his ancestor, Sir Francis Alexander.

Admiring (maybe chatting?) at the portrait of his ancestor, Sir Francis Alexander.

Philip’s wife Tess (or Theresa), is also a history buff. In fact, she volunteers at the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association – the nonprofit organization responsible for the care and maintenance of George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. Like her husband, Margie was able to trace her lineage back to the 18th century – it turned out her parents came from a line of sea merchants in Connecticut. In fact, the portraits on the right side of the sitting room are portraits of her distant relatives – Lawrence King and his wife (and Tess’s namesake) Theresa Christina. Which is oddly appropriate for Tess, given her love of the water. She hopes that now that Philip has retired, perhaps they can finally look at getting a boat. And start taking Trent and George’s kids on boat trips on the Potomac River during the summer months.

As for how they met…they actually met at Williamsburg, Virginia during their college years. Philip was visiting friends who were attending summer school William and Mary. Tess in turn got an internship at Colonial Williamsburg and got to play the role of a seamtress at one of the shops. Philip was taken by Tess’s bubbling personality and her passion for the historical period. Tess in turn was smitten by Philip’s sweet nature and his never ending supply of jokes. Even after 25 years of marriage, they’re still acting like newlyweds — much to the amusement of their nephew Trent, whom he sees as his honorary parents and grandparents to his and George’s kids.

Philip's wife, Margie (Marjorie).

Philip’s wife, Tess with the portraits of her predecessors.

Like Philip, Tess is fond of jokes and pranks. So it doesn’t help that they both seem to encourage that characteristic from each other. πŸ™‚

Philip and Tess joking around.

Philip and Tess joking around.

Hopefully these two are enjoying their new home — and I sure as heck hope I don’t get surprised from one of their pranks. For a moment, I thought I saw Tess put a whoopee cushion on Philip’s chair when he went out to walk the dog. This is going to be interesting…..

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