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About this blog

Nine different views on building the Coventry Cottage

Entries in this blog

The final decision about the landscaping was not to change a thing. LOL I mentioned to Bruce that I was thinking about changing it and he said he liked it just the way it is. Since this is primarily his house, I left things as they were and just got a better picture. Close up pictures of the landscaping are in my gallery.

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Deb

Updated Pictures

I was going thru my picture files this week and realized that the pictures I'd taken of my Coventry Cottage were done with an old camera and a slightly less civilized photography setup. Besides, I hadn't played with this house for awhile so I took it down to the studio and had a good time taking new pictures. ;) I took the house off the landscaped base for these pics so you can see the house more clearly. It's still in the studio while I debate about changing the landscaping (maybe or maybe not) but I wanted to update with the better pictures. Additional updated pics are in my Samurai's Summer House Gallery.

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Here's a few pics of the interior. More in the gallery.

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Deb

Jimmy has finally gotten the roof all paperclayed, and he came up with his own design for the top of the roof. I'm not real fond of it, but it's his design, and he's the roofer.

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I went ahead and put a dirty wash on the roof.

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Now, for the color of the roof--I couldn't tell you what I did. I mixed red iron oxide, burnt sienna and toffee brown until I came to a shade that I liked.

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Compliments of LPCullen

These pictures aren't very good, but they are ones that I took to show how I paperclayed the rooms with the bay windows. It was not easy, LOL!

This is the bay window before paperclay. It's a difficult angle too. Kinda glad I didn't wallpaper it. Almost.

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Got some of the paperclay in.

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Now it's all finished!

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When doing interior trims, I put the trim in first and then paperclayed up to the trim, like around the door frames.

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On the edges of the house, going toward the outside of the house, I used my fingers and sort of "tamped" it down.

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Of course, once I have paperclayed, I always do the "stippling" to texture the paperclay.

Compliments of LPCullen

Figured I'd give you all a recap on the Coventry, since you may not have yet figured out what we are doing with it.

I saw this house, and I thought, ADOBE!!! Consulted with son-in-law to get his opinion on whether what was in my head [scary thought, that!] could be transferred to this little house. Plus, I have NO CLUE what adobe should look like! He came over, went over things with me, was astounded at some of my thoughts and plans for how this was going to happen (he's never encountered paperclay before), and helped build part of this house.

The outside of the house, except for the roofing, is mostly finished. It is all paperclayed, and then painted with a color wash (or I may have done that twice) of Toffee Brown. The floors are stained with Red Oak and then polyeurethaned twice, and the trim work is also stained with Red Oak, as are the ceilings, and then wiped off and allowed to dry naturally without polyeurethane. The interior of the house is paperclayed and left natural, but I have to go back and fix the cracks.... I also need to get pix in the day time, because the true colors are not showing up.

Here's what it looks like now.

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Compliments of LPCullen

After having roofed for a while, I decided that I like my old way of roofing better, and I have stuck Jimmy with the job. He began roofing, put on his apron, finished the front, and then had me put in skewers for the back.

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And then had about 1/2 bottle of wild turkey .... But I must say, he's doing a right fine job, even if he is quite funny, LOL!

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Compliments of LPCullen

I've decided to try a new technique with the roof. I have no idea if it will work ...

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I took skewer sticks and placed them on the roof, and then put glue in between the sticks. I then take 1/2 inch strips of paperclay and roll it around the sticks, pressing them down in the center to adhere them to the roof.

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This is what I'm coming up with. What do you all think?

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Compliments of LPCullen

Let's see, where were we now? Ah yes, I remember. Sorry for the delay.

When we last left off, I had paperclayed around the porch area, and then I did the one bay window beside the porch.

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Today I put the porch railings on, and then I finished paperclaying the exterior of the house. I have to let that dry before I can do anything else to the house, since I've already messed up one area by hitting it on something ...

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BTW, I'm not sure if what I am doing is going to work yet, but I've got a picture in my head of what I want, and hopefully it will come out. I'm still debating about paperclaying the interior of the house, or wallpapering some areas. I haven't decided yet, but because I've already stained the ceilings, I will probably go ahead and paperclay because I'll need the offset of the "plaster" against the ceilings, plus the windows I want will need the plaster too....

Tomorrow I also have to go take pix of the roof that I want to copy. Another person who will think I am nuts when I knock on their door and ask them if I can take pix of their roof, LOL! Oh well, I'm used to it.

So, can anyone tell what I am doing yet?

Compliments of LPCullen

I've finished gluing some pieces together, and I've finished some of my staining. I know I've been silent about what I'm attempting to do with this house--partly because I'm scared I won't get it right, and partly because I want it to be a surprise!

I've begun paperclaying some of the exterior. I've also learned another lesson with paperclay--and that is to either take your diamond ring OFF your finger before beginning, or turn it around so that the diamond doesn't jab into the paperclay and gash it. Wanna know how I know?

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I'm wondering, can anyone figure out what I'm gonna try to do with this house? What does it say to you?

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Compliments of LPCullen

Day Two

Didn't get much done on Day Two. Mostly I was getting Josh's advice and input on what I wanted to do, and trying to convert him into a miniaturist, LOL!

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I did get him to put some things together for me.

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And then I had to go back in and glue the things he put together, because he didn't, LOL!

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Compliments of LPCullen

Day One

I like this house a lot! The porch on it reminds me of a Travis Tritt song though, and every time I see the picture on the box that song starts playing in my head. I think I want to modify it a bit from the box though. Still not quite sure what I want though. I may need to consult with my new son-in-law, the architect-to-be. Hmmmm.....

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I stained the floors red oak, which I'm starting to like a lot. I use Minwax stains. I use the oil based and not the water based. Although I like the water based ones for their lack of smell, I don't like the way that they penetrate the wood.

I then began dry fitting the house together to see how it went, and OF COURSE Jimmy took over. He began gluing and taping, and I said honey, don't you think you should see how that second floor goes in before you glue that all up? He said no, it just lays on top. No it doesn't. It slides into the windows and the edges are part of the window sills. Now we gotta figure out a good way to put that second floor in ... should be fun!

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Compliments of LPCullen

ITS A STUDIO!!!!!

Other than a few minor details, like putting flowers in and glueing on the flower box, my studio is now a reality.

Mirrored Walls

I used acrylic mirrors that I was very fortunate to buy off a really nice guy on ebay. It is better and cheaper than the mirror sheet I bought to start with. You can cut and drill into it. I dryfitted the roof and marked where the inner half wall came to. Then holding my breathe and praying that it would still fit, I glued the front roof together and measured and remeasured then glued the mirrors to it before placing it on the house. Low and behold, for once in my life I measured correctly. The roof still fit and the mirrors met perfectly or at least as close as I could figure out how. The next step was to set in the small tea cup hooks for the balance bar. Since I didn't want to push my luck with measuring again, and the bar needed to be straight, Riley drilled the holes and put the hooks in. Now, you might say what's the big deal. Well, with roof angled and mirrors reflecting all images--it was like working in a fun house. It really kinda boggled the mind. Funny note about these mirrors--sitting at another table and looking at the house, I kept wondering when I stained the walls. The light bulb went off, and I realized I was looking at the reflection of the darn floor. Here's a picture--feed back is welcomed.

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Shingles

After getting the side and back roof parts on, I decided not to use the foo foo trim on the top. Two reasons, actually 1. I didn't review the instructions again before I so merrily attached the parts and 2. They little thing that was supposed to connect that back corner no longer fit. So what's a person to do, I close the gap and got rid of them. :lol: Now I understand when people say a lot of bashing comes about do to misunderstanding the instructions. The Lily had shingles and I really did not have a problem with them, but it's roof is not angled. That back corner gave me fits. I didn't do to terribly bad on the V of the front, but I could not seem to get the back to line up at the corner. Now, this could very well come from the fact that I can't draw a straight line and I really thought I was doing pretty good, until Riley sitting across the room (and I thought was paying me a bit of attention)says "Peg, you're crooked." I started to take offense, then realized he meant the shingles. I ended up taking a small level and placing on top of the row to mark the next. At this point I had been happily glueing them on with tacky glue. Those suckers were stuck good. If you look real close you can see where I started trying to straighten them up. Needless to say, I was real worried about the front, but Riley surprised me and when I came home from work the day I was to start on the front he had taken pity on me and drew lines for me to follow on the front. Bless his heart, without him doing that I probably would have done a real hack job. I used fleck stone paint, I wanted a lighter color to contrast with the brown of the house.

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I also started using hot glue, I figured if it was good enough for Tracy and Deb, it was good enough for me. Boy did that make the job go so much faster.

Elevator

It is not working, but I do have an elevator. Riley made 2 solid circular discs and 1 with the middle cut out, using scrap pieces and then he made 4 support posts. He notched the discs and the poles so they would fit in each other flush. Using hot glue he first place the edge of a clear plastic sheet and then slowly rolled to the next pole, glued and rolled to the next.

Here's the model:

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Here's ours:

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In Studio:

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We are still debating on how to do the 2nd floor, but more than likely, it will on have a partial frame to give the appearance of the elevator rising.

Finished and Furnished

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Thank You

I like to thank Greenleaf owners and members for asking me to be a member of this team. It has been an honor. I just hope I did the house justice. I very much enjoyed the experience and want to say how much I appreciate the advice and help I've received not only with this house, but since joining the forum. I feel I've made new friends and have learned a lot of new things. Again, Thank You.

Done!

it is true I have finally finished.

actually this kit did not take as much time to build as it seems

I had surgery and did not work on it for almost 2 MONTHS!

wow that was a long dollhouse break.

last we were here I had paperclayed the roof and it was drying for paint.

oooooooo I wish I could say how wonderful it looked....but I cannot. I did not take photos of all the cracks and shrank out of place shingles. I started painting with a dirty wash. "bleech" looked horrible with the paint job of the house so I grabbed my gray and made a wash....ooooo I liked it! but in some of the many cracks I did not fix the wash didnt take so I painted in those areas with full paint. so the 2 shades makes a nicer roof on the overall effect. up close....well?? I plead inexperience! ;) it is my first roof. so please be kind.

also note the reglazed front windows.

the flowers are for the photos undecided about final placement! what do you think?

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The back view:

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The girls chattin about their fancy digs!

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And the kitchen.

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The wall between the kitchen and Livingroom need some trim...it will be a fabric trim I have my eye on at Walmart.

Tomorrow I will have Catriona take it out into the sun light for a good outside shot.

I really enjoyed building this house. looking back I would have done a few things differrently

I would have finished the roof peices(paint the ceiling side) and the back corner and kitchen before putting the bay in. it would have been less frustrating to the decorator me.

the instructions were not bad to follow. the kit and furniture set makes a nice starter home for a new collector or a child recieving her first dollhouse!

I would recomend this kit for a beginner adult or like minded child would find this kit doable and enjoyable.

TTFN

nutti :blink:

almost done

I was determined to get this house done this weekend so I could get back on the Lily.

this is what I have gotten done so far this weekend...mostly today.

My SIL came over and helped me paperclay the roof. I had done some of it with less than the look I wanted.

but I have been assured once I put paint on it I will like it much better

we shall see.

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the photo of the back roof also shows the wallpapers in both lower rooms and the trim going in.

the window seat is almost finished...just got to dig thru my material to finish it!

I am not going to hang this door but glue it in place.

The wainscoating is the siding from the Willowcrest. worked great!

I probably have another hour or 2 on it and it will be finished but for painting the roof...got to let the paperclay dry.

TTFN

nutti :blink:

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Here is a photo of the wainscoating I put up last night.

anyone able to see the "nutti"

the windows are gone....I had to take them out they were crooked...of course while doing that one of those little secrets nobody told me about happened....Gallery Glass peels off :blink:

so before I can reinstall the window I will have to re frost it. well we learn something new every day.

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This is the attic rooms filled with the furniture. all of it is made but the desk and the kitchen chairs. all of the furniture went together fairly easily with pretty nice results.

not happy with living room floor but not sure what I will do with it just yet.

ok all I have done for now.

TTFN

nutti ;)

it is my goal to have this house ready for new owners by the weekend

one of the new things I tried with this house was using Gallery Glass to frost the front windows and door.

I was fairly pleased with how it all turned out....till I was looking at the photos and see my big window is crooked :blink:

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but not to worry that isnt the only "nutti" thing I did today. I managed to decide on a wallpaperand I hung it....it doesnt look bad...and I thought hey while there is glue on the wall I should do the wainscoting I stained weeks ago.

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yup...I should have taken out my wainscoting and remeasured...but nooooooo so now I am waiting for the next batch of strips to dry.

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here we have the living room and kitchen. I just discovered I have run out of foam core to make the window seat...Ill get some in the am. the kitchen needs another coat of paint and the flooring I have for it.

I have all of the sheets of furniture peices stained and the captains bed is together. took 5 clamps to hold that bugger together.

I also did one other thing which makes for a good time....I forgot to repaint the inside of the windows before I installed them. but while I was doing the front windows I also did the kitchen windows.

doesnt look like much progress but it seems to have taken a long time to do it!

lol...I seem to be having one of those "if it can go wrong it will go wrong"kinda days!

TTFN

nutti ;)

Hanging Doors

I may have mentioned that Riley is a truck driver, although he is home every night, he leaves very early and usually has to be in bed by 7:00 or 7:30. I mention this because you will understand that sometimes to get him to do things for me he only gets to work on my projects if he happens to get home by 3 in the afternoon and is not to tired. Well, I've been depending (and waiting) for him to hang my interior door, in order for me to move on and get the floor/ceiling glued in and to glue my roof. The interior door was all I needed to call the downstairs completed (other than the elevator that may or may not get done this weekend). Night before last he promised he would hang it today, but I asked him, what he did to the front door. He went to bed, and I decided to tackle it. Thinking he could fix any damage I may do.

So here's what I did:

Step one: Drill a hole in the doorway of the wall in both the top and bottom. Riley used a dremel, but since I really didn't want to take a chance of destroying the wall, and I have been known to let it get away from me, I used a tiny hand drill that came with a "starter mini tool kit". Following is a picture of all the things needed to do this.

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The hole was drilled in the roof the width of the drill from the edge. Using this measurement

Step two: Drill hole in top of door.

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Now to make sure my measurement for the bottom of the door was correct, I inserted the small nail through the floor while holding the door in place and push just enough to mark the spot where to drill the bottom hole.

Step Three. Insert a pin--I used a regular straight pin, but one a little thicker might work just as well, (Riley started out using a needle he had shortened.)

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I cut off a very small portion of the pin, but that's because I had drilled the hole about half way the distance of the drilled portion of the bit.

Step four: Insert pin into top doorway hole; line up bottom of door and insert nail.

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I used a short, tiny nail, I think there called finishing nails. Riley actually rounded off a dowel piece and use it as a plug.

I did have to take it out and sand the sides of my door a little more, one side wanted to hang a little. But it went back in easily enough.

Here's the end result:

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If your pin seems to small, you can add glue to it to keep it in place.

My door may not swing as freely as I thought it would or as freely as Riley's did, but it does swing. For my first try, I'm very proud of myself. I apologize for the quality of the pictures, but it is hard to hold things in place and hold the camera at the right angle also.

back on it

well slowly I am getting back to things and last night I took stock of this house to decide what would be the quickest things to do to make the house closer to done

it was the upstairs....so I added corner trim and the windows are in. I also installed my little ceiling supports.

to bad for the slots in the floor ....but since Im using some purple up here I guess some purple felt would make nice area rugs for the 2 rooms. I may consider putting baseboards...havent decided yet.

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I also have been paperclaying my roof...not ready to show that yet....first time doing it...its rather...errmm

well...crooked!

TTFN :blink:

Well I have completed this house. It is raining so I have not had the chance to take pictures out side but to see the ones I took so far you can look in my Coventry Cottage gallery too. I will add better pictures when I can get outdoors and do that.

This house was very fun to build and decorate. I want you all to leave knowing you should NOT feel afraid to alter your houses!! Each kit can turn into a unique item. Just think outside of the picture on the box! So many people miss out on these wonderful houses because they are afraid to think outside of the box. Don't just see a pink house and think that is the way the house has to be. Bring out your own personality. Bash the kit. When you have questions know we are always here to help!!

Even building the house as it is on the box can be VERY rewarding. Some people look down on diecut houses but I not only tell you, I have shown you that you can do a LOT with a diecut Greenleaf house! Have fun and Build On!!

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Floors

Although, I really wanted to be able to do my dance floor by just scribing and staining the foam core, I just never could in all my practices (and believe me there was several) I just could not for the life of me get the depth of the score just right. I was either to deep and the underlying foam would stain (which would not work for the ceiling portion) or it was to shallow and the lines wouldn't show up. I am also hampered by the inability to draw a straight line even using a metal ruler. So I finally decided to bite the bullet and use skinny sticks. I have got to say staining all those little sticks (it took almost 200) was a blast and I felt like a child playing in mud puddles. I had read where Holly had heard of people taking 2 aluminum pans, poking holes in one and pouring stain in the bottom one and letting it drain. This sounded like an excellent idea to get 200 itty bitty sticks stained and not take forever.

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Well, it did save some time staining them, but silly me was using Mini wax Poly Shade Bombay Mahogany (you know the kind with the polyurethane already mixed in). That was my first mistake, this stuff is thick and doesn't drain like normal stain, so each stick had to be handled individually to wipe off the excess. My second mistake was putting to many sticks in at once. I had to keep stirring the mixture to get an even coat. The picture shows me wearing gloves, this was after I realized that my hands were also getting stained and I had a meeting at work the next day where I would have to be shaking hands with community leaders from 5 counties and they probably would wonder what I had been playing in. :blink: Needless to say before I got all those sticks stained, I had it running down my elbows and had puddles forming on my table. If I hadn't gotten so tickled at myself, it might have seemed like real work.

After the stain had dried I tackled the job of gluing each individual stick to the floor. After the first two rows I got a system going and it worked real well. Again, a hint from Holly, I took one of those plastic credit cards from a "free offer" I would lay a bead of glue and then using the credit card as a smoother I would lay a row of sticks.

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You can barely see the credit card because it happens to be one of those clear one. I'm not sure if having the polyurethane already mixed in helped or not, but I was able to apply a second & third coat of stain after gluing it down to get a better color and no glue stains showed up. (Thank God) But I did have to paint the ceiling portion with about 3 layers to hide where I had accidentally picked the roof up with stain on my hands and it had transfered. Here's the finished floor

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It is still not permanently attached I have to finish installing my interior door.

I kept looking at where the tabs joined and finally asked Riley if he would cut me some corner posts--I felt this would help hide any gaps that I hadn't be able to completely sill up and would help add more accent to the house. So I glued those in place on all corner joints.

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I used real vinyl flooring for the porch covering. Again, at first I experimented with Tracy's method of scoring grout lines on a different medium, and gave up but while visiting my sister, she had some left over from redoing her daughters floor and I swiped a piece. Luckily I swiped extra, cause I had trouble cutting the piece I wanted with the right pattern.

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Riley decided it was easier to hang the front door using pins. He drilled a whole in the bottom of the house, one in the top and bottom corner of the door and glued a pin in the door and carefully inserted it. It works.

On the interior door, I made from scratch wood a trim to cover the top, bottom and side and then again using scrap wood glued little rectangles on the front so that from the reception room the door is not so plain. Plus, it give Riley something more to stick a pin in to make it open and shut. This idea was probably borrowed from Melissa. The door handles are made from some old earring I had, but they remind me of the "glass" knobs I've seen in some homes.

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Right now, it is just propped up and not attached. But once it is installed and the trim glued in the downstairs will basically be complete.

I've had an idea every since I started this house/studio that I wanted to put in an elevator. This has been one of my procrastinating points. I finally found a picture of one, that I think I (meaning Riley, really) will be able to closely duplicate.

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He has drawn up plans and started working on the actual building and the transformer to our mini saw went kaput. But the new transformer arrived today, so I'm hopeful that within the next few days he will see if his idea works. Now, let me say, before I got him involved I spent and ruined several plastic tubes and borders trying myself to get the look I wanted. Those mistakes are in file 13 right now and hopefully will never see the light of day again. Whereas, playing with the itty bitty sticks had me laughing, this had me fit to be tied. If this doesn't work out, then we will go to plan B (of course I'm probably up to plan H or I). This is also one reason I've not finished the second floor, we are debating on whether we will actually cut a hole in the floor or just give the illusion of one. Until I can get the floor in and measure with a ballerina on the roof/wall to place the barre and mirrors, I'm kinda at a stand still.

I can work on the porch supports and finish the interior door. But I really don't even want to do much touch up paint until I'm through actually gluing the roof and floor in.

I have done more painting but I am still not finished. I had expected to finish this house last night but this was as far as I got. I still have to add 2 more colors on all bricks and stone and 1 more color to the roof to give it the proper aged look.

:blink:

I know I will finish by next week for sure!

Enjoy the pictures!

This one is of the side with opening:

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This is the front view

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