Monday, September 3, 2018

Introducing Le Musée Trouvé...

Hello Once Again, Dear Friends of The Tearoom!

Today is a very special day indeed, as this is the opening day of Le Musée Trouvé (The Found Museum).  This is the miniature museum project that I have been working on since just before Christmas!

(If you haven't seen the work-in-progress pictures on Instagram, you can see them here and here.)

Dear Friends, I must tell you most honestly that since we have moved to Maine, I have so missed getting to go to museums whenever I wished, as I did when I lived in Washington.  There is a perfectly lovely museum in Portland, The Portland Museum of Art, but it is an hour away.  And the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston are even farther away!   Of course, I miss all of the museums in Washington as well.  My favorites were The National Gallery of Art, The Renwick Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery and The Philips Collection.  I have missed museums so much and that's why I built one of my own!

This is Le Musée Trouvé (The Found Museum).
(As always, please click on the images in order to see
them larger.)

I decided to call it that as I was able to make it mostly from things I found around the house.  Some elements are made from new materials that I had on hand in my studio, such as the floor inside. Some elements such as the decorations on the outside of the building and the frames and backdrops inside the museum and the sign for "Le Monde Sauvage" were printed from images from The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, who most graciously have digitalized and made a lot of their images open source for artists to use as they wish.  You can find this great resource here.

The inside of the museum, as it was just before 
the installation of the first exhibit!

Inspired by the photos of the miniature museums of Mab Graves and The Creeping Museum on Instagram, I built my own museum and curated the exhibits from objects I've found in my house, made myself (and have included a few art pieces I have from other artists, as well.)  I was also very much inspired by a wonderful book, "Miss Violet's Dollhouse" by Sam McKechnie (you can see more information about this book at the Pavillion Books site here, as well as downloadable resources from the book for your own use in miniature rooms!)

Welcome to the first exhibit, 
Le Monde Sauvage (The Wild World):
An examination of nature through toys, 
found objects and repurposed items.

Just look at the line of visitors, waiting to get in!

We are so pleased to see so many visitors on the
opening day!

Please step through to the first exhibit room...

Here we are in Room One.
Each room of the exhibit is filled with vintage toys and
repurposed treasures depicting various aspects of nature.

In this picture, 
we can see the rose topiaries, little plastic garden bug,
vintage metal bug, glass penguins, as well as many 
decorative items made from various vintage items.

These flocked animals have been part of my
collection since I was a child.  Like many of
the items here, I recently re-discovered them
in a box I found in my basement.

Here we are in Room Two!

Some of you may recognize the museum ornaments I made from vintage Christmas bulbs and ornaments that I was working on this winter and chatting about on Instagram.

The fruit decorations in this room were made from various Italian decorative papers I had on hand. The large spools they are mounted on are from my friend Laura's wonderful Etsy shop Provoquer La Curiosite.

The next room awaits you...

This is Room Three...

This particular room of the exhibit contains many fun items:  vintage dice mounted on vintage green spool, the green Italian paper bird,  the little rubber fish.  It also contains the tiny ceramic turtle given
to me by my mother.

My favorite item in this room is this little bird that I made from a big, shiny, red coat button from my
mother's sewing supplies, a piece of copper wire twisted together for a base and the little tin bird
I found in my box of tiny toy treasures in the basement!

Another picture I took of it, to give an idea of the size.

Now, on to the next room!

This is Room Four.

Here are the penguins again and the flocked animals!  To the right of the penguins is someone very special to me.  That is Lionie, a small stuffed lion I made myself when I was about 6 or 7!  He was also found in the box of treasures in the basement.  Here again are the flocked giraffe, lion and leopard.  And if you were in attendance at the last Teeny Tea, I'm sure you will recognize Eadwig the Bug!  He was made by the very kind and talented Sophie of the Etsy shop FilASophie.  You can also see more of her lovely spun-cotton work on her Instagram feed here.

Against a backdrop of vintage butterflies and other insects, you can see a the lovely needle-felted giraffe, made by Miss Bumbles, whose Etsy shop you can find here, as well as her Instagram here.   We love this giraffe so much that we couldn't think of a nicer name for her and so we just call her by the name of her creator:  Miss Bumbles!  On any other day, she and Eadwig live with our vintage Doll and Animal Family, but today, they are both happy to be part of the exhibits here at Le Musée Trouvé!

The visitors seem to be enjoying their tour of the museum today.

A close up of the black panther, who is part of the flocked animal collection.  He was most kind and allowed me to put a purple bow on his neck!

And here he is with his friends, the buffalo and camel!

Won't you please join me in the final room of the museum?

We finish our tour of the museum today in The Conservatory.

From this view, we can not only see the rose topiary and other repurposed ornaments I made, but also the little pink cowboy bee I got in a cereal box when I was little!  His little arms are made to hang on the edge of the cereal bowl and watch you eat your breakfast.  He was another recently rediscovered treasure from my childhood!

In the center of the conservatory is the fountain I made from some odd bits I found around the house (How glad I am that my mother was so convinced she would use these things someday!)  

Thank you so much for your visit to the museum today!
Please feel free to come back whenever you wish!


It's been such an exciting first day, here at the Museum!  And what tiring work it was to pose so nicely all day as the visitors came by.  So, I have planned the teeniest of Teeny Teas tonight as a thank you!

Tonight, by candlelight, we celebrate with big cups of tea and celebratory White Russian Cupcakes!
You can find the recipe here from Christina's Cucina, in case you'd like to make them for your next celebration!

"Is it all for US?"

This lion can't wait to get his whiskers into this cake!

There's even a cup of tea just at the right height for Miss Bumbles!

I hope there is sufficient tea for everyone.  I have never served it watering-hole-style before, you know!

The leopard and panther are sneaking up on this cake
in case it tries to get away!

We will leave everyone to their partying now and we hope you have enjoyed your visit.

Good night!